Chapter 7: The Severe Teacher
You may have heard stories, Indian stories, of rishis, seekers, doing austerities, meditating in their forest abodes in the hills. Always it hap-pens that whenever they reach a point of awareness, suddenly sex arises. Apsaras, nymphs from heaven, descend as if they are just waiting for someone to come to a point of awareness, as if there is a subtle conspiracy against achieving awareness. Hidden deep in a forest someone achieves a little alertness, and suddenly nymphs are there, beautiful girls from heaven - not of this earth, perfect; you cannot conceive anything more perfect. The bodies are as if of gold, transparent. Suddenly awareness is lost and the rishi has become a man of desire. He falls.
From where do these apsaras come? Do they really come from heaven? Is there some conspiracy against awareness? No. They come out of the mind of the seeker. The mind, when it sees that everything is going to be lost, uses sex as the last weapon. When the mind sees that now awareness is reaching a crystallization, and that crystallized the mind will not have any say, the mind will be dropped, this is its last struggle. Suddenly the mind creates sex and the desire for sex, the mind projects.
I say to you, there may have been no girl passing. It was just the moment of death, and this man was aware, so the mind played the last trick. That is the last; if you win that you have won the mind. The mind will play other tricks and always preserve sex as the last resort. If sex cannot work then nothing can work. The mind depends basically on sex.
Look into your mind: you will find it is ninety percent sex, thinking about sex, dreaming about sex, projecting in the future, remembering the past. It is always about sex. And sometimes, even if you feel it is not thinking about sex, ponder over it, meditate - it desires other things also because of sex. You may think about becoming wealthy - what will you do with your wealth? Just ask the mind, and the mind says: Then you can enjoy the body, then you can get the most beautiful woman possible. The mind may think: “Become a Napoleon, a Hitler.” But ask the mind what you will do with power. Suddenly you will find, hidden somewhere, sex and desire.
This girl may not have been passing there. Or, even if the girl was passing, the girl may not have been as beautiful as she looked, as she appeared. In the first place I think there was no girl - just the moment of death and this man’s awareness. He was beating the gong fully alert. This is part of meditation in a Zen monastery: whatsoever you do, do it with awareness. When you walk, walk fully alert; when you move your head be fully alert. Whatsoever you do, follow it with alertness; don’t miss it, don’t think of anything else. Be there in it as a light and everything is revealed. Every act, every nook and corner of it is lighted; nothing is in darkness. When you eat, eat with awareness. This is all one has to do in a Zen monastery - twenty-four hours of alertness.
This disciple must have been beating the gong with full alertness. The gong is beaten to make everybody alert, and he must have been alert with the sound resounding in the monastery. Suddenly the girl appeared - from where? In the first place I think there was no girl; the mind projected. In the second place, even if there was a girl, the girl was not so beautiful as the mind thought - it projected. The girl was just a screen; the dream came from the mind and was projected.