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Chapter 2: I Teach Only Awareness

You have taken a vow of celibacy, you have chosen the life of a brahmachari; now what you will do when the sex desire arises and a beautiful woman passes by? You will start chanting the mantra: “Rama, Rama, Rama.” You are avoiding. You are pulling a curtain over your eyes. You are pretending the woman is not there. But the woman is there and that’s why you are chanting the name of Rama, and so loudly.

In India, people have to take a morning bath. In my village there is a very beautiful lake, a river, and people go there to take their morning bath. There, in my childhood, for the first time I became aware of the trick of suppression. The river is cold - particularly in winter - and people go to take a bath; I watched them taking a bath in summer also, and they would not chant, “Rama, Hari Krishna, Hari Krishna.” But in winter, because the river is so cold and they chant so loudly, they forget the river. They take a dip and they are out. Their minds are engaged in chanting. The colder the morning, the greater will be the chanting to the god.

In my childhood, watching people there, for the first time I became aware of the trick, what they were doing - because I saw the same persons taking their baths in summer and they didn’t bother about Rama, Hari Krishna, or anybody, but in winter suddenly they became religious? They have learned a trick, how to avoid a fact; and the fact is there, knocking and kicking and alive - turn your mind somewhere else.

Have you seen people going through a lonely street in the night when it is dark? They start singing a song, or whistling, or humming. What are they doing? - the same trick. Humming, they forget the darkness. Loudly singing a song, they listen to their own voice and feel that they are not alone. The voice gives a feeling that they are not alone. Surrounded by their own voice, the darkness has disappeared for them. Otherwise, if they move silently in a lonely street in the night, their own footsteps create fear, as if somebody is following. This is a simple trick.

Mahavira and Buddha cannot talk about, and cannot teach such deceptions. They teach about fasting, but their fasting is totally, qualitatively different. On the surface both the fasters will be the same, but the difference exists deep down. Deep down, a person who is following Mahavira or Buddha will fast and will not do any activity in the mind. He will watch and he will pay all attention to hunger. Then arises a very, very beautiful phenomenon: if you pay attention to hunger, it disappears. Without any food, it disappears. Why? What happens in paying attention to hunger?

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