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Chapter 4: Original Innocence

The awakened man is one who has slipped out of the trap of the society, who has seen it, that this is just absurdity. You cannot improve upon yourself - and I am not saying that improvement does not happen, remember, but you cannot improve upon yourself. When you stop improving upon yourself, life improves you. In that relaxation, in that acceptance, life starts caressing you, life starts flowing through you. And when you don’t have any grudge, no complaint, you bloom, you flower.

So I would like to say to you: don’t lose this thread that has fallen into your hands. This is the most valuable thing that you can learn here, that you can see with me. This is what I would like to impart to you all: accept yourself as you are. And that is the most difficult thing in the world because it goes against your training, your education, your culture. From the very beginning you have been told how you should be. Nobody has ever told you that you are good as you are; they have all put programs in your mind. You have been programmed by the parents, by the priests, by politicians, teachers; you have been programmed for only one thing: just go on improving upon yourself. Wherever you are, go on rushing for something else. Never rest. Work unto death. My teaching is simple: don’t postpone life. Don’t wait for tomorrow, it never comes. Live it today!

Jesus says to his disciples: Look at the lilies in the field. They toil not, they weave not, they spin not, yet even Solomon was not so beautiful as these poor lily flowers. What is the beauty of the poor flower? It is in utter acceptance. It has no program in its being to improve. It is here now, dancing in the wind, taking a sunbath, talking to the clouds, falling asleep in the afternoon warmth, flirting with the butterflies.enjoying, being, loving, being loved.

And the whole existence starts pouring its energy into you when you are open. Then the trees are greener than they look to you, then the sun is sunnier than it looks to you; then everything becomes psychedelic, becomes colorful. Otherwise everything is drab and dull and gray.

Accept yourself: that is prayer. Accept yourself: that is gratitude. Relax into your being - this is the way God wanted you to be. In no other way did he want you to be, otherwise he would have made you somebody else. He has made you you and nobody else. Trying to improve upon yourself is basically trying to improve upon God, which is just stupid, and you will get madder and madder in trying that. You will not arrive anywhere, you will have simply missed a great opportunity.

I accept you as you are. That is just to impart to you to do the same to others.

Jesus is reported to have said to his disciples: I give you the eleventh commandment - love. Love others as I have loved you. Note that emphasis: Love others as I have loved you. And this he calls the eleventh commandment. The new commandment I give to you: accept others as I accept you.

Let this be the color of my sannyasins: acceptance. Let this be the characteristic of my sannyasins: acceptance, utter acceptance. And then you will be surprised, life is always ready to shower its gifts on you. Life is not a miser, God always gives abundantly - but we cannot receive it, because we don’t feel that we are worthy to receive it.

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