Chapter 11: Two Paths, One Ultimate Reality
This sutra is rare - it combines both. It says: When you know you are That, this is the salutation. The first part belongs to the path of knowledge and the second part to the path of devotion, to the path of love. This is to say, in other words, that when you know that you are one, only then do you know that you are two. Or, when you come to know that you are two, you can feel the inner unity, the oneness.
This twoness and oneness belongs to you, not to reality. Reality is both or neither. Before a lover’s eyes it behaves like two; it is divided between the lover and the beloved. Before the knower’s eyes it behaves as a particle, one. There is no contradiction, real contradiction, but they will laugh at each other. The seekers on the path of knowledge will always feel that the devotee is missing something, he cannot achieve the ultimate. And they are right in a way, because from their standpoint this is so.
I will tell you one story. I have heard:
One day, just in the morning, the sun is yet to arise, one earthworm, half-awake, still sleepy, is just relaxing around a stone. Then the sun begins to rise, the mist disappears, and this earthworm feels the presence of some other earthworm. He looks around the stone. Just by the other side, another earthworm is approaching. He falls in love, as it is the habit of men and earthworms to fall in love at first sight. And when the preliminaries of courtship are over, the first earthworm says to the other, “Baby, I am in deep love. And now I cannot live without you, so marry me.”
The other has remained silent up to now. Now the other laughs and says, “You fool, I am your other end!”
On the path of knowledge, devotees look foolish. They are talking to their own other end. They are calling, “Beloved. God! Divine!” but they are talking to their own other end. They look foolish. But they are good people - they accept it.
Saint. Francis is reported to have always called himself “God’s fool.” They are good people - they can laugh at themselves. Saint. Francis says, “I am a fool, but let me be a fool. I don’t want to be wise because I have seen wise ones. I may be mad, but let me be mad. This love between me and the divine is enough.”
Devotees are fools, but with a method. They are mad, but with a method. They say, “This madness is the only wisdom possible. If you cannot love yourself, you cannot love. Let it be the other end, but love is so good and love is so beautiful that even if one has to divide oneself in two for love, one should divide.”
That’s why bhaktas, devotees, lovers, have said, “This world is a play, a leela. Radha is also Krishna - disguised. the divine loving itself through so many disguises.” So bhaktas, devotees, are not very serious. They say, “We are fools, we are mad people, but we are happy about it. And we don’t want your knowledge - dry, dead. Of course, it is exact, but dry and dead. Our madness is alive.”