Chapter 11: Footprints in the Sky
“Now I understand what you mean by saying that once you have known yourself nothing else is costly. I cannot stop practicing awareness. I have tasted just a few drops of the nectar which you must be tasting every moment. Will you allow me to be a disciple and follow you?” Nagarjuna said, “I knew it that very day. I had initiated you already when you followed me. You were thinking you are going to steal the begging bowl and I was thinking how to steal you. We are both in the same business.”
Never be bothered about anything else, only one thing - one thing is the whole religion, and that is awareness, and then you will be able to see where your life is going, where all of life is going. And you will be able to feel that this is the only way to be at ease and in harmony with existence, the only way to dissolve yourself into the whole.
So just remember one thing, whatever you are doing - it may be drama, it may be cooking in the kitchen, it may be washing the dishes.
I used to have a German disciple, Gunakar. He was too much in a hurry to become enlightened, just like any German! While he was with me, of course, he could not become enlightened because I was there and he could not declare himself enlightened, he knew that he is not enlightened; but when he went to Germany, there he will declare that he is enlightened. And he will start writing great letters to world leaders, religious leaders, representatives in the UN, presidents, prime ministers, advising them how the world can be transformed. And somebody will inform me that Gunakar has become enlightened. And I will call him back, and he will come back to me. And I will say, “Gunakar, is it true?”
He will say, “It is not true, but when I go to Germany the temptation is so great - because to other Germans who don’t know anything about enlightenment I can declare, but here it is difficult. It is strange. People come here to become enlightened, but whenever I come here I become unenlightened. In Germany I remain enlightened.”
Three or four times he became enlightened, became unenlightened. Then for a few years - five years almost, I had been in America - I had not heard of him. I was worried that perhaps he has become really enlightened and is afraid to come. But no; the reality was something else. Just two days ago, somebody informed me that he saw Gunakar in a sannyasins’ commune in Germany, washing dishes.
And he knew that this man had become many times enlightened. He asked, “What happened to your enlightenment?” He said, “Forget all about it. I’m just a dishwasher. Don’t talk nonsense to me.”
This awareness may make him one day enlightened - washing dishes I am a dishwasher; cleaning the floor I am a cleaner; cooking food I am a cook.
Each moment, whatever you are doing, do it with full awareness, with totality, intensity, love; and do it as if it is the greatest thing in the world to do. Make it an art, so that each moment of your life becomes the life of an artist.
Enlightenment will come on its own accord without even knocking on your doors. One day suddenly you will see that your joy, your ecstasy, never leaves you; whether you are awake or asleep, it is within you. For days you have not been miserable, for days you have not felt any agony, for days you have not felt anger, jealousy, competitiveness, for days you have not felt yourself as an I.