Chapter 2: Meditation: The Razor’s Edge
Meditation cannot come about just because you visit a temple or mosque or gurudwara.. If you were not awake in the shop, in the marketplace, or at home, how can you all of a sudden be awake in the temple? Nothing is going to come about suddenly when it is not part of an internal flowing. This is why Buddha has said that meditation can happen only if you are meditative for twenty-four hours a day.
So understand well that meditation is not just one of life’s innumerable activities. It is not just one link in the chain of man’s endless doings. It is like the thread on which all the flowers of a garland have been strung.
Meditation is a lifestyle, not an activity. If one is meditative in everything one is doing, if the thread is running through each of the flowers, only then a garland is created. The thread is not even visible, it is hidden underneath the flowers. Nor can the meditator be seen; he is present, but hidden behind all the activities being done through him. An individual is awakened the day when he begins to live meditatively. While he lives non-meditatively, he sleeps.
Someone asked Mahavira what was the definition of a sadhu. Nobody else has ever given the answer that Mahavira gave. He said, Asutta muni, sutta amuni - the one who is not asleep is a sadhu, the one who is asleep is no sadhu.”
Who is not asleep? The one whose every action is meditative is not asleep. Religion, liberation, is an experience that happens in such a wakeful consciousness. All other learning is of a mind that is asleep. This is why I say there is a big difference between waking up and learning.
My whole effort here is not to teach you. The whole world is available to you for that. There are great universities, pundits everywhere; there are endless treatises and libraries in which you can learn. The world is vast and you can learn anywhere. There are countless teaching facilities available.
Moreover, there resides within you an intense ambition for learning, because through learning you become powerful. The more information you have, the higher your degree of expertise in a special subject, the more power you have. The more information you have, the more wealth you have.
Knowledge too is wealth. Some people amass wealth in bank vaults, others in their memory. And remember, the one who gathers wealth in his memory system is cleverer because the bank can be broken into, the financial position of the country can change, a communist revolution can happen. The bank vault is not really safe at all. Thieves, communists, the state, can snatch it away. The protection of the bank is unreliable. But to steal from the memory system is not so easy, though that is also happening now. Ways are being devised to make theft from the memory system possible. Until now, the memory system never changed with a change of power in the state, but efforts are afoot to bring this about, too. In China and Korea, communists have performed great experiments in stealing or changing the memory of the population, because in the final analysis memory, though hidden within, is also wealth. To reach within the brain is a highly complex and subtle task for man, but nowadays this too has started to happen.