Chapter 7: Flowers of Feelings at His Feet
Commit yourself to the earth while on the earth,
if you wish to attain the unattainable man.
Place at his feet your flowers of feelings
and the prayers of tears
flooding your eyes.
The man you seek is earthed
in the earth,
deceased while being.
Dying with death,
you must live to seek.
The religion of the Bauls is the religion of the earth. It’s radical, because it pertains to the very roots of being. When I say it is the religion of the earth, I mean many things: it is the religion of the body, it is the religion of nature, it is the religion of reality.
The Bauls don’t believe in fantasy and they don’t believe in some heavenly paradise. They don’t believe in faraway goals, they are not utopians - they are very realistic people, down to earth. This is something very special in the world of religions, because ordinarily religions are nothing but wish-fulfillments, dreams of a suffering humanity. Because humanity is suffering, it substitutes for reality by dreaming. A poor man can console himself that at least in the kingdom of God he will be the first. He can console himself with sayings like: Blessed are the meek because they shall inherit the earth; the poor in spirit are the people of God; those who are last will be the first in my kingdom of God. The poor man needs all these consolations.
Man is afraid of death. He needs to be reassured again and again that “You are a soul, deathless, immortal - only the body dies, not you.” Man is suffering a thousand and one complexities. The whole life is almost an oceanic sadness, suffering, sorrow. It is difficult to bear it. Dreams are needed, hopes are needed of a better future, of a better world. Maybe it is beyond death, but just the idea that it is there waiting for you.. And the suffering is only for today - pass it somehow, believe in tomorrow. Sooner or later you will be relieved of it. Ordinary religions are the religions of tomorrow. They simply indicate that because man lives in suffering, man needs dreaming.
The religion of the Bauls is very down to earth; it believes in the herenow. It does not say that paradise is somewhere else - it is here and you cannot postpone it - and all postponement is dangerous, suicidal. If you cannot discover it herenow, you will never discover it anywhere else because you will remain the same. And whenever you will be, life will always come in the form of herenow. So the only door to reality is here, this very moment.
The Bauls say, “This is the reality and there is no that.” They don’t divide reality into two: they don’t say illusory and the real, they don’t say maya and brahman, they don’t say this and that. They say, “This is all.” This moment is total, and all division is dangerous because reality is nowhere divided; it is indivisible.