Chapter 7: Flowers of Feelings at His Feet
They believe in man. They believe in the tremendous potentiality of man. They believe that man is the shrine of God. They believe in the body. No religion except Tantra has ever endeavored to understand this miraculous happening of consciousness located in the body, of consciousness residing in the body. All the other religions have remained anti-body, anti-life, life-negative, body-negative - as if the more you destroy your body, the more you become divine, or the more you come closer to God.
Bauls say, “If you destroy the body, you destroy the very base. If you destroy sensation, you destroy sensitivity. If you destroy your senses, then how will you taste him, how will you hear him, how will you see him? If you destroy your love, how will you love him? If you destroy your passion, then you will be impotent.”
They have a really revolutionary religion to preach to the world. They are very illiterate people, but of great insight. Maybe that’s why they are so full of insight, because they are illiterate.because they don’t know much about scriptures, and they don’t know much about philosophy and metaphysics. Because they cannot read books they read their own bodies; because they cannot understand conceptualizations they try to find out who they are; because they cannot be very learned - poor beggars moving from one village to another, singing and dancing, enjoying - they have come very close to reality.
They are very authentic, uncorrupted by culture, society, education. They are very innocent people. And this is their understanding: that body is divine. The body is sacred, because everything is sacred. But this word sacred is not very good. In the Old Testament, the word sacred comes from a root which means “the separate.” God is called sacred in the Old Testament because he is a separate reality from this reality.
Bauls will laugh. They will say, “You have gone insane! There is no separate reality. God is this reality.” Bauls make the whole reality sacred, holy, divine. Their vision is so vast that even matter is no longer thought of as matter. Even matter, in their vision, becomes luminous. Even body is not just body - it is of the earth, but it carries the divine within it.
I have heard about a Hasid rabbi: Rabbi Bonum was his name. When he was dying he left this last message for his disciples.
He said, “Everyone must have two pockets, so that he can reach into one or the other according to his needs. In his right pocket are to be the words: For my sake was the world created; and in his left: I am nothing but earth.”
Beautiful. He is saying: Man is nothing but earth - keep this message in one pocket; and in the other: The whole world is created for me. I am the God of the whole world - keep this message in the other pocket. Both messages are true because one shows the reality, the other shows the potentiality. One shows the fact, the other shows the truth.