Words are not enough, but because you understand only words… Can you understand silence? Then you would not have been here. There is no need to be here. You could have sat by the side of a silent rock or you could have sat underneath a silent tree and you would have understood all the buddhas. Then you will not read the Bible and the Koran and the Gita. You would have gone to the desert to feel the silence, the eternal silence of the desert. And you would have understood all the Bibles, all the Korans, all the Gitas. But you have come here.
You can understand only words. And I know truth cannot be communicated through words, but words can be used to bring you out of the house which is on fire. Words can bring you out of the world of words and dreams and desires in which you live. Words can be used in such a skillful way that they can lead you – or at least indicate – towards silence; hence the discourses.
Groups are a little rougher. If you don’t listen to me, if you don’t understand words, then real hammers will be needed. I hammer you, but I hammer you with words. I don’t whip you, I only show you the shadow of the whip. If you listen, good; if you don’t listen, then you will need groups. There they use actual whips! To bring you to your senses they hit you hard. With great compassion they are cruel. They do everything that can be done to wake you up.
And sannyas? – sannyas is just to make a fool of you! You are too much in your knowledge, in your head. A little foolishness will do! You are too knowledgeable, too clever, too cunning. Sannyas is a surrender of all your cleverness, cunningness, knowledge.
Sannyas is a madman’s path; I am a madman’s guide! But before you can really become sane you will have to drop your old kind of sanity – which is not sanity.
These are all devices – sannyas, groups, discourses – strategies. Not that only through these strategies will you know what truth is, but they will help you. If you are intelligent you will use them as a ladder, as a boat to the other shore. When you have reached the other shore, the boat has to be left behind. It is not that you have to sit in the boat forever and forever or that even when you have reached the other shore you have to carry the boat on your head, just out of sheer gratitude.
You are utterly unaware, and great effort is needed to make you aware.
A guy went to the track and won three hundred dollars. Thinking his luck would hold he went back the next day ready to make a killing.
As he was looking over the horses set to run in the last race he noticed a priest making signs over one of the nags. Thinking that he had really lucked in, the guy bet every nickel he had won and every cent he could scrape up on the horse. Naturally, the horse finished last.
Leaving the track he happened to bump into the very priest he had seen blessing the horse. “Father,” he said, “I am a ruined man! I saw you blessing that horse and I bet every cent I had on him.”
The priest was horrified. “My son,” he said, “I was not blessing that horse, I was administering the last rites!”