The second question:
A number of times I have felt in the past that I had reached a state of effortlessness. It lasted for some time, for days or even weeks, but then I fell back from it. Why does this falling back happen? Can anything be done to prevent it?
Whenever it happens again don’t get miserable about it – let it happen and accept it. This is difficult. Whenever happiness happens you accept it, whenever you feel blissful you never ask any questions about it. You never ask, “Why has it happened?” You accept it. But whenever misery comes, whenever unhappiness comes, whenever you are in pain and anguish, immediately you ask, “Why has it happened?” Behave equally to both, have the same attitude to both.
There are two possibilities: one, do the same with unhappiness as you have done with your happiness, or do the same with your happiness as you are doing with your unhappiness. Either accept both or reject both, and then you will have a transformation. If you can accept both, when misery comes accept it as part of life, suddenly the nature of the misery is transformed. Through acceptance the quality has changed – because nobody can accept misery. If you accept it you have changed it, it is no more misery – because we can accept only happiness. Or if you can understand the deeper meaning of it, this is the meaning: whatsoever you accept becomes happiness, and whatsoever you reject becomes pain, misery, unhappiness.
Nothing is happiness, nothing is unhappiness, outside you – it is your rejection and acceptance. Try it. And you know, many times this has happened to you unknowingly. You love a person, you are happy. You accept the person, there is happiness. And then a moment comes when you reject the same person. The person is the same; you don’t love him, you don’t accept him. The person is creating unhappiness now, and the same person was creating happiness before. The same object can give you happiness and unhappiness. So the object seems to be irrelevant. It depends on you, on whether you accept or reject.
A person who can accept both misery and happiness equally will transcend, or a person who can reject both will transcend. And these are the two ways, the most fundamental ways of transformation. One is to accept everything – this is the positive path Hindus have been following. The Upanishads belong to this path, accept everything. Then there is the negative path, reject everything. Buddhists, Jainas have been following that, that is the negative path.