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Chapter 42: Alertness through Tantra

A buddha can be angry if he thinks that it is going to help. Because of his love sometimes he may be angry, but that is only a pretension and only fools are befooled by it. Those who know, they will simply laugh. As meditation deepens, says Tantra, you start changing. And it is beautiful when change happens to you. If you “do” it, it can never be something very deep because doing is just on the surface. So Tantra says, allow it to happen from the being, from the very center. Let it flow from the center towards the periphery; don’t force it from the periphery to the center. That is impossible.

Tantra will not say moral or immoral. The only thing is if you are asleep try to change it. Allow yourself to become more and more alert, wherever you are. If you are immoral, Tantra says, “It is okay. We are not concerned with your immorality, we are concerned with your sleep and with how to transform it into alertness.” Don’t fight with the immorality. Just try to transform your sleep.

If you are moral it is okay. Tantra is not going to tell you first to become immoral and then to try. Neither does the immoral one have any need to transform himself into a moral person, nor does the moral person have to transform himself into an immoral one in order to get into meditation. All that they need is to change their quality of consciousness. So wherever you are, a sinner or a saint, for Tantra there is no distinction. If you are asleep, then try the techniques for alertness. And don’t try to change symptoms. The sinner is ill and the so-called saint is also ill because both are asleep.

The illness is the sleep, not your character. Your character is just a by-product. And whatsoever you do while remaining asleep will not make any basic change. Only one thing can change you and create a mutation and that is alertness. The question is one of how to become more and more alert. So whatsoever you do, make it an object of alertness. If you do some immoral act, do it meditatively. It will not be long before the act will dissolve by itself and disappear. Then you will not be able to do it - not because you have created an armor against it, but because now you are more alert. And how can you do a thing which needs sleep as a requisite? You cannot do it.

Understand well this basic distinction between Tantra and what others teach. Tantra is more scientific. It goes to the very root of the problem, transforms you from the very being - not from your outer sheath of character, of morality and immorality, of acts and doings. Whatsoever you do is just on the periphery; whatsoever you are is never on the periphery. The quality of the act, not the act itself, is meaningful for Tantra.

For example, one butcher came to Nan-in. He was a butcher and Nan-in was a Buddhist monk who believed in non-violence. His whole profession was of violence. The whole day he was killing animals. But when the butcher came to Nan-in, he asked him, “What am I to do? My profession is one of violence. So am I to leave my profession first and is it that only then I can be a new man, or is there some other way?”

Nan-in said, “We are not concerned with what you do. We are concerned with what you are. So you go on doing whatsoever you are doing, but be more alert. While killing, remain alert, meditative, and go on doing whatsoever you are doing. We are not concerned.”

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