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Chapter 20: Less Than an Eye Blink Away

It was good to talk about these sutras, because I could go on telling you what is not right and what is right. You may be reading many books, you may be hearing many people. Just watch clearly. Every day I receive letters from sannyasins saying, “I have been to see some saint, some guru” .and I know those people are just idiots. They write to me, “We are very impressed,” and I simply say, “My God!”

I have been working with these people so hard to make every small point completely clear, and any idiot can impress them! They don’t seem to have the awareness and the clarity and the capacity for discrimination.

One of the greatest Indian scriptures is Badarayana’s Brahmasutra. He prescribes a clear-cut capacity for discrimination as the first thing needed by the disciple. I can see why Badarayana has made discrimination his first point - to see what is false and to see what is true, to feel what is real and to feel what is just hypocrisy.

Have you seen the Catholic pope? Perhaps many of you have seen him or met him and most of you must have seen his photographs. Do you see anything that gives you an indication that this man is the representative of God? He can be a salesman of any shoe company.but a representative of God! He should look at least once in a mirror and he himself will realize, “My God, why have you chosen me? Can’t you find some other idiot? In this big world, why have you chosen poor me?”

I have heard about an old Jew dying. He was muttering something, so people of his family came close to hear what he is muttering at the time of his death. He was saying to God, “God, just only one request. We have been your chosen people for four thousand years. It is enough. Can’t you choose somebody else now? If you had not chosen us we would not have suffered so much. Now be merciful; listen to a dying old man’s last words. It is time that you choose somebody else as your chosen people and relieve us of that great burden. We are being continuously crushed.”

Look at your popes, look at your shankaracharyas, look at your Ayatollah Khomeini, look at your Jaina monks, Buddhist monks, and you will be surprised that these people don’t have the presence of the awakened person. Neither do they have the words that come from an experienced source of authority, but you become impressed by any kind of nonsense.

And this has been going on for centuries. It is time it should stop. At least everybody should be meditative enough that he can discriminate between the man who is an arrow towards the ultimate truth and its realization, and the man who is simply pretending.

These sutras were a good exercise for you to see how to discriminate. Be very alert. To be impressed easily is to be gullible. Don’t be gullible, otherwise you will be exploited. Not to be gullible is what Badarayana means by being discriminative, alert, aware. There is no hurry to be impressed by anybody. Wait, watch, look at it from every aspect, and if your heart starts ringing bells, then it is a different matter altogether. But if it is just your mind saying, “I have found the right master,” beware of your mind. Your mind is your greatest enemy.