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Chapter 8: Freedom to Choose

Ask a dancer, “Why are you dancing?” and he will say, “What else can one do? Life is to dance.” Or ask a lover why he is in love. Have you ever loved somebody? And if somebody comes and asks you why, what will you say? Will you really have any answer as to why you love? You will say, “Why? - there is no question about it. That’s the way I feel the best, at my very peak. That’s the way I feel blooming. That’s the way bliss happens to me.”

Now, there is no question about bliss. If you are happy, you are happy; nobody asks you why you are happy. Yes, if you are miserable, a question is relevant. If you are miserable, somebody can ask why you are miserable, and the question is relevant - because misery is against nature, something wrong is happening. When you are happy, nobody asks you why you are happy, except for a few neurotics. There are such people; I cannot deny the possibility.

I have heard about a patient - the psychiatrist was bored with him. Of course, he was getting enough money out of him, but he was getting bored by and by - three, four, five years of psychoanalysis, and the man was repeating the same again and again and again. The psychiatrist said, “Do one thing: go to the mountains for a few days. That will be very helpful.”

So the patient went to the mountains, and do you know what? Next day a telegram arrived for the psychiatrist. The patient said in the telegram, “I am feeling very happy - why?”

Feeling very happy - why? An explanation is needed. No, happiness needs no explanation, happiness is its own explanation. God is creating because that is the only way he can be happy, that is the only way he loves, that is the only way he sings, that’s the only way he can be at all. Creation is his innermost nature, no why is needed.

The third question:

What is the difference between a monastery and an ashram?

A lot of difference, a great difference. The difference is as much as between West and East. The difference is as much as between will and surrender.

The monastery is a Western concept. You should never translate “ashram” as “monastery.” That is corrupting the word ashram, destroying its whole meaning. A monastery is on the path of will: people are trying hard to know the truth, struggling hard to find God. The monastery is strenuous, tense.

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