Chapter 2: Desire for Life
To behave as if he is dead - that is the quality of a sannyasin. And the day a living person starts to behave like a dead body, he attains to the ultimate life. Life goes on slipping away from the hands of anyone who tries to save it by grabbing hold of it.
Jesus has said that if you try to save your life you will lose it, but if you are willing to lose it you will have abundant life, a full life.
These sutras point to this very paradox.
The first sutra says:
Kill out desire of life.
But why? Why should you kill out the desire of life? So that you may have life, so that you may attain to life, so that you may know it and live it, so that you can know what life is.
Those whose minds are filled with a desire for life cannot know life. This is contradictory. It should be that those who desire life get it - but they don’t. They get only death, they only die, and their time is just spent in dying. But someone who lets go of the desire for life, who says that he has no worry about life, no desire - “Even if death wants to come right now, let it come. I am not worried, I am willing to die” - that person comes to know that which is deathless. It is contradictory, but there is a reason for this contradiction. Only when it is very dark, and dense clouds have gathered in the sky, can the lightning be seen. If there is a background of darkness, blackness, then the lightning is bright. If you want to see the lightning then a background of black clouds is necessary.
For those who want to see life, it is necessary to accept the background of death. The spark of life shines bright for someone who has accepted death. The one who is afraid of death, who is terrified and tries to save himself from it, cannot see the spark of life. The acceptance of death and the realization of deathlessness are simultaneous. We are all afraid to die, but it is not as though this fear is going to save us from death! Death will come anyway, but because of this fear we don’t see the life which is just here. As long as we remain afraid of dying, the life that is given to us passes us by. Our eyes are forever focused on death and life passes us by.
Life is here and now. To live life there is no need to go anywhere into the future. Life means you being here and now. You don’t need to turn back, you don’t need to go forward. You already have life, but your mind is either moving towards moments that have gone by in the past, or into future worries. It is lost in making plans for the future, in moments which have not yet even arrived. And in this way, the delicate stream of life keeps on flowing by, and you never become acquainted with it. You are never able to bathe in it, it never becomes possible for you to develop a relationship with it.
Kill out desire of life. Why? So that you may have life.