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Chapter 5: Master of the New Monastery

But why can’t we sit silently? We can sit - I can sit, but it will be difficult for you. We can sit silently - I not talking, you not asking - but inside you will go on talking, chattering will be there. Tremendous chattering will go on, more than ordinarily, because whenever you say to the mind, “Sit silently,” the mind rebels. Then it creates more words, more questions, a monologue, and it goes mad. You cannot sit silently; that’s why I ask you to ask, that’s why I answer you. If I am talking, your mind will not talk. And my talking is not destructive to me, your talking is destructive. When I talk, you get absorbed in it, you may have a few glimpses of silence. This is how life is paradoxical - you will have certain glimpses of silence while I am talking, because you get so absorbed, engaged, occupied; your mind becomes so tense listening, you are so alert that something may not be missed. In that alertness you become silent, the inner talk stops. That gap is my answer.

My answers are not the real thing, so my answers go on changing. People feel that I am inconsistent. I go on saying things - today something, tomorrow something else - they are irrelevant. And I am not concerned with consistency; my answering is like music playing on a guitar. You never ask consistency - that “Play the same thing again and again.” The musician goes on changing. If you get absorbed into the music you will have some gaps of silence. In those gaps, intervals, you will become for the first time aware who you are. That awareness, by and by, will become crystallized.

So don’t bother about what you are asking. Whatsoever you ask is okay. Don’t rehearse it, let it be more spontaneous. It will be difficult for you, because spontaneity is difficult.

I have heard about one preacher. He was going into the pulpit for the first time so he rehearsed for the whole night what to say. He had chosen a very beautiful theme about Jesus, and this was going to be a crisis in his life - either he succeeds or fails, and the first failure or the first success means much. So the whole night he was rehearsing and rehearsing, standing in his room, lecturing, imagining the audience. And then in the morning he was so tired, really feeling so sleepy, that when he stood in the pulpit his mind went blank.

He had chosen a beautiful passage: Behold I come! So he said, “Behold I come!” and his mind went blank. He couldn’t find anything so he thought, “If I repeat it again, maybe the flow will come.”

Again he leaned forward and said, “Behold I come!” but nothing came.

To appear nonchalant, he leaned forward more, as if it was not by accident that he was doing it, and again he said, “Behold I come!”

Under his pressure the pulpit gave way and he fell on an old woman in her lap. He was very embarrassed and he said, “Sorry, I never meant it to happen.”

The woman said, “No need to say anything. I should have been alert. Three times you said, ‘Behold I come!’ It’s not your fault.”

There is no need to rehearse, no need to premeditate; let things happen. But this is the way things go in the world. Questions are dead, answers are dead. Questions have been thought over, answers have been thought over. Both are dead, and when two dead things meet there is no spark. I know it is difficult for you but try. By and by it will happen, and it has to happen, and once it happens you will have a freedom from the mind. Then you become weightless, then you have wings into the sky.

Anything more, Teertha?