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Chapter 5: Dissolving the Five Afflictions

It is a trick of the mind: heaven - the greatest trick of the mind. The mind is saying, “Don’t be worried about today, tomorrow is paradise. Just somehow pass through today. It is nothing compared to the happiness that is waiting for you tomorrow!” And tomorrow seems to be so near. Of course it never comes, it cannot come. Tomorrow is a non existential thing. Whatsoever comes is always today, and today is hell. But the mind consoles; it has to console, otherwise it will be almost impossible to bear - the misery is intolerable. One has to tolerate it.

How can you tolerate it? The only way is hope, hope against all hopes, dream. The dream becomes the consolation. The dream dilutes your miseries today. The dream may not come, that is not the point, but at least today you can dream and tolerate the misery that is there. You can postpone. Your desires can go on hanging there in the future, unfulfilled. But the very hope that tomorrow will be coming and everything will be okay helps you to pull along, to persist.

The more miserable a man, the more hopeful; the more happy a man, the more hopeless. That is why beggars never renounce the world. How can they renounce? Only a Buddha, a Mahavira - born in palaces as princes - renounce the world. They are hopeless; they have nothing to hope for. Everything is there and still there is misery. A beggar can hope because nothing is with him: when everything is there, there will be heaven and paradise and everything will be a happiness. He has to wait and make arrangements for the tomorrow to happen. There is nothing left for a Buddha. Everything is available; all that is possible is already there. Then how to hope? For what to hope?

That is why I insist again and again that only in an affluent society does religion become possible. A poor society cannot be religious. A poor society is bound to become communist, because communism is the hope of the tomorrow, the heaven: “Tomorrow everything is going to be distributed equally, tomorrow there is going to be no rich man and no poor man, tomorrow is the revolution. The sun will rise and everything is going to be beautiful. The darkness is only today. You have just to tolerate it and fight for tomorrow.” A poor society is bound to be communist.

Only a rich society starts feeling hopeless. And when you start feeling hopeless about life, the real hope becomes possible. When you feel so very frustrated with life that you are at the brink of committing suicide, you are ready to leave this whole misery. Only in that moment of crisis is transformation possible.

Suicide and sadhana are the two alternatives. When you are ready to commit suicide, you are ready to be transformed - never before it. When you are ready to leave the whole life and all its miseries, only then is there a possibility that you may be ready to transform yourself. Transformation is the real suicide. If you kill your body, that is not a real suicide. You will get another body again, because the mind remains the old. To kill the mind is the real suicide, and that is what yoga is all about: how to kill the mind, how to attain to the ultimate suicide. From there, then there is no coming back.

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