Chapter 9: See the World as It Is
Yes, I am all for freedom, but by freedom I don’t mean what you mean. You mean freedom of your ego and I mean freedom from the ego. That’s how things go on being continuously distorted.
Swans rise and fly towards the sun.
So do the pure conquer the armies of illusion
and rise and fly.
Be ready! Kabir’s statement is worth remembering. He says: “Hansa ur chal va desh: O great swan, let us fly to our real land.”
The swan is a symbol of purity in the East, because it is so white. And the swan is also the symbol of purity because it lives in the deepest mountains in the Himalayas, it drinks the purest of water.
There is a lake in the Himalayas, Mansarovar. It must be the most pure water in the world, because the air is absolutely unpolluted. Rarely does a man reach there. Very rarely, once every few years, a man reaches there; the journey is long, arduous, dangerous. Swans live on that lake. Only when it is too cold and the lake becomes frozen do they come to the plains; otherwise they remain there, that is their original land. Once the winter is gone, they start flying back to the Himalayas.
The swan is a symbol that this world is not our home, this muddy pool of water is not our real home. We belong to some other world: the world of the Himalayas, of virgin peaks, of the purest of lakes. We belong to Mansarovar. Don’t forget. Don’t become too involved in the muddy water of this pool. Remember, go on remembering, your real home.
Buddha also uses the same symbol: Swans rise and fly towards the sun. What magic! So do the pure conquer the armies of illusion and rise and fly.
If you scoff at heaven
and violate the law,
if your words are lies,
where will your mischief end?
Beware of yourself!
The fool laughs at generosity.
The miser cannot enter heaven.
But the master finds joy in giving
and happiness is his reward.
Don’t be a miser. Share your love, share your joy, share your dance. This is the way of my sannyasins, and this is what Buddha wanted, but his followers never followed him.
And more -
for greater than all the joys
of heaven and of earth,
greater still than dominion
over all the worlds,
is the joy of reaching the stream.