Chapter 1: Lines Drawn on Water
How are you?
I am the same.and you, also, are the same. That which changes is not our real face, is not our soul. That which does not change - neither in life nor in death - that alone is our reality. We ask people, “How are you?” We shouldn’t, because in the very asking we have embraced the transitory: childhood, youth, old age, birth, death.
You know that there is something within you which was the same in childhood and was the same even when you were not yet born. So much water has flowed down the Ganges, but you are standing on the bank and you are still the same. Tomorrow you will be seen no more.then, too, you will be the same. Forms will be new, shapes will be new - perhaps you may not even recognize yourself. Names will be new, identities will be new, your clothes will be new, and yet I say, you will be the same. You have always been the same, and you will be the same forever. If you like you can call this eternal, everlasting ancient-ness “godliness,” or if you want you can call this your is-ness - many waves coming and going, but the ocean remaining the same.
Change is a lie, but we have accepted change as the reality and have made it our world. If we could only understand that change is a lie, then there would remain no difference between a thief and a saint - because that which is within both of them is neither thief nor saint. Then, there will remain no difference between a Hindu and a Mohammedan - their languages may be different, but hidden under their languages is an entity called the witness. Their actions may be different, but hidden behind their actions is something which is forever the same. And it is the search for that which is eternal which is called religion.
In fact, people should be asking each other, “Hopefully.you haven’t changed?” However this world is upside-down and its ways are upside-down, and its behaviors are all nonsensical. But because the crowd follows them, everyone else also complies.
When you look at your face in the mirror you think you have seen yourself. I wish it were that easy - then everyone would be self-realized. When you hear your name, you think you know your name. If it were so cheap, there would be no need for religion in the world. Your name is not yours; it is borrowed and stale. You came into the world without a name and you will go from the world without a name.
When we are carrying a dead body to the crematorium, we chant: “Ram naam satya hai” - the name of Rama is the truth. Strange that nobody mentions the dead man’s name - although that was his truth his whole life, and now, suddenly, it is thrown away. When the man was born, he came without a name; now when he is dying suddenly Rama’s name becomes the truth and his own becomes a lie..