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Chapter 15: Session 15

But idiots don’t listen. They never listen to anybody, they are deaf. Even if they listen they don’t understand. They are imbeciles. Even if they can understand, they don’t follow; and unless you follow, understanding is meaningless. Understanding is understanding only when it is proved by your following.

Shankaracharya has written many books but none of them is so beautiful as this song: Bhaj Govindam moodh mate. I have spoken much on these three or four words, almost three hundred pages. But you know how I love to sing songs; if I have the opportunity I will go on endlessly. But here I wanted to at least mention the book.

Seventh, another book by Ludwig Wittgenstein. He is also one of my love affairs. The name of the book is Philosophical Papers. It is not a book, but rather a collection of articles which appeared at different times. Each article is beautiful. Wittgenstein could not do otherwise. He had that capacity to produce beauty without being illogical, and also to write poetry in prose. I don’t think he ever thought of himself as a poet, but I declare him to be a poet of the first order. He is in the same category as Kalidas, Shakespeare, Milton or Goethe.

Seventh: Paul Reps’ Zen Flesh, Zen Bones. It is a great work - not original in that he has not created it, but although not original it is far more significant than just a translation. It is a category in itself. In one way it is original, in another way a translation. It is a translation of old Zen anecdotes and original writing. I know because I have seen almost all the books written on and about Zen, and nothing compares to Paul Reps’ book. He has caught a glimpse. He has the same flavor as Basho or Rinzai.

The man is still alive somewhere in California. He has in this small book not only collected Zen anecdotes but also Vigyan Bhairav Tantra - the one hundred and twelve sutras of Shiva to Parvati, his beloved, in which Shiva talks about all the keys possible. I cannot conceive that there can be anything more to meditation than Vigyan Bhairav Tantra. One hundred and twelve keys are enough - they seem to be enough; one hundred and thirteen will not look like a right number. One hundred and twelve looks really esoteric, beautiful.

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