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Chapter 6: Either This or That

It is worth understanding the nature of this fascination. That nothing is going to change from this creation of ashes is something that you also know. But in the ashes you are looking for something else; your hope is that the one who can create ashes can also create diamonds. Through making ashes he has set fire to your desire. Your hope is that if he can create ashes he can also destroy your ills. If he can create ashes, then he can give you victory in the elections. This is why every politician in Delhi has his guru. Everyone, president and prime minister included, has to depend on some baba, some mahatma, who creates ashes and performs miracles.

Everyone who harbors desires is impressed by miracles. Look at the millionaires: every millionaire is touching the feet of this or that guru. He may be a millionaire, but the deeper truth is that he wants to be a billionaire! You bow down to the miracles because you have some desire, there is something you are hoping to gain for yourself. And of course, the miracle-maker feeds this hope in you and helps you cling to the belief that your dream can come true. People are unhappy, they face many difficulties - sickness, unemployment, work going badly, some matter in the law court, and so on. Seeing the ashes being created out of nowhere, the hope is aroused: “If it pleases this baba, my misery can be made to disappear, and happiness can shower on me just as the ashes are showering!”

But happiness has never been able to shower just through someone else’s dispensation. Bliss has never been born through someone other than you yourself. Centuries of history provide the evidence that no one other than you can give you bliss. But the mind has its own illusions; the mind seeks cheaper, easier ways.

It is a miracle that you have come here to listen to me. This is what I call a miracle.because no ashes are going to be created here, no miracle-making devices are going to be distributed. I am not going to cure you of your illnesses, nor will you win any elections through being here; in fact, none of your ambitions will be fulfilled. And yet you have come - this is what I call a miracle! There is no logic in your coming to me, because nothing of all that you want is going to be given to you. On the contrary, through being here whatever you have may be taken away, until in the end you yourself dissolve. And yet you have come, and I have to agree that you must have some genuine spiritual quest: you have obviously not come in search of ashes, nor are you so insane as to try to walk on water!

The truth is that you are certainly bored with your world, and this boredom is real. Your anguish has run to the limits of this world, to where you want to enter a different world of spirituality. You want to break the continuity which has defined your journey up to now. You want to jump off it, you are not interested in moving in the same rut.

So I don’t give you any mantra - nor do I have any to give you, because a mantra is given when the search is for siddhis, for supernatural powers. I am not going to strengthen your mind; I am going to dissolve it. I will cut into it, and then wait for the layers to peel off one by one. Just as the layers of an onion are peeled off, so the layers of your mind will gradually drop away until finally the whole onion has disappeared. Nothing of the mind will remain, and you will have attained the emptiness. Buddha compared the mind to an onion whose layers are peeled off one after another until the whole onion has disappeared. Only when mind has vanished completely do you appear in your true nature.

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