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Chapter 32: The Greatest Gamble

A man comes to me asking, “Is enlightenment possible in this life? Is it so easy? - because I have heard saints saying that it is so difficult that hundreds of lives are needed.”

What do you want me to say to this man? - that hundreds of lives are needed? Then perhaps in thousands of lives also he will not be able to get it. I say to this man, “Enlightenment is possible right now. It is not a question of lives, not even of days, not even of hours. If you are ready, this very moment.” This gives him courage. Although he knows that it is not possible this very moment - but perhaps tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, at least in this life.

I say to the man, “It is the easiest thing in the world because it is your self-nature. It is not something to be achieved; it is something to be remembered. You have simply forgotten it. So don’t be worried.” In a sense I am lying. I know that perhaps it will not be possible in this life, but it is a “perhaps.” Perhaps if I can give him enough encouragement, if I can give him enough inspiration, if I can give him enough challenge, it may be possible.

I am ready to lie, because I am not going to lose anything by lying but he may get something. There is no harm. I am lying for his benefit. I am not lying to cheat him, because I will not be benefited by it. I am not lying to exploit him. I am simply making it clear to him that time is not important but your intensity, your longing, is important. If your longing is dull, if you don’t have any intensity, if you are lousy, then perhaps it will take hundreds of lives. But if you are ready to risk, risk your life, then this very moment can become an opening.

Life is not arithmetic; it is a mystery. You cannot calculate and you cannot predict. Anything is possible - why not hope for the best? Why not create the situation for the best? If it has happened to me, one thing has become absolutely certain - that it can happen to you. I don’t put myself on any holy pedestal. I am not holier than you, I am not higher than you, I am not a prophet, I am not a savior, I am not a messenger of God. I am not the only begotten Son of God; I am just a simple, ordinary man like you. And if it is possible for me, it is possible for you; the difference is only that you believe that it is very difficult. Your belief makes it difficult - that too is a lie. And when there is no other way except lying, why not make it easy?

I say, “It is the easiest thing in the world.” It is a lie, but it is a better lie. It is compassionate.

That’s why when communists tell a lie it is a lie, and when a master tells a lie it is not a lie, it is a device. It is a device to help you in some way, to bring you closer to the truth. There is no direct way; hence, indirect ways are needed. A device is only an indirect way.

I have been telling the story often:

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