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Chapter 1: The Bridegroom Is Waiting for You

It is a training, suffering is a training - because there is no possibility of becoming mature without suffering. It is like fire: the gold, to be pure, has to pass through it. If the gold says. “Why!” then the gold remains impure, worthless. Only by passing through the fire will all that is not gold be burned, and only the purest gold will remain. That’s what liberation is all about: a maturity, a growth so ultimate that only the purity, only the innocence remains, and all that was useless has been burned.

There is no other way to realize it. There cannot be any other way to realize it. If you want to know what satiety is, you will have to know hunger. If you want to avoid hunger, you will avoid satiety also. If you want to know what deep quenching is, you will have to know thirst, deep thirst. If you say, “I don’t want to be thirsty,” then you will miss that beautiful moment of deep quenching of the thirst. If you want to know what light is, you will have to pass through a dark night; the dark night prepares you to realize what light is. If you want to know what life is, you will have to pass through death; death creates the sensitivity in you to know life. They are not opposites; they are complementary.

There is nothing which is opposite in the world; everything is complementary. “This” world exists so that you can know “that” world; “this” exists to know “that.” The material exists to know the spiritual; the hell exists to come to heaven. This is the purpose. And if you want to avoid one you avoid both, because they are two aspects of the same thing. Once you understand, there is no suffering: you know this is training, a discipline. Discipline is to be hard. It has to be hard because only then will real maturity come out of it.

Yoga says this world exists as a training school, a learning school - don’t avoid it and don’t try to escape from it. Rather live it, and live it so totally that you need not be forced again to live it. That’s the meaning when we say that an enlightened person never comes back - there is no need. He has passed all the examination that life provides. He need not come back. You have to be forced again and again to the same life pattern because you don’t learn. You go on repeating the experience without learning. The same experience you repeat again and again - the same anger. How many, how many thousand times have you been angry? Count it. What have you learned out of it? Nothing. Whenever the situation arises, you will be angry again - the same, as if it is for the first time that you are getting into anger.

How many times has greed, lust possessed you? Again it will possess. And again you will react in the old way - as if you have decided not to learn. And to be ready to learn is to be ready to become a yogi. If you have decided not to learn, if you want to remain blindfolded, if you want to repeat the same nonsense again and again; then you will have to be thrown back: you will have to be sent back to the same class - unless you pass.

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