Even those so-called saints who go on preaching this to you – they themselves have not won. I know them very well; when they are alone with me, they ask the same questions that you are asking me now. That is why there is not even one iota of difference between you and your saints. If there is a difference, it is only this: that at least you are a little honest about it, and they are dishonest. Even where they have not succeeded, they will give you the impression that they have won.
Holy men, so-called saints come to me – and they are well-known preachers with hundreds of disciples; they have hundreds of monks as their followers. But when they are alone with me, even they ask me how they can overcome sexual desire. And can you believe it? – they have written books on celibacy! They preach celibacy and make up rules and vows of celibacy for people! It is a huge racket.
I ask them, “When you have not achieved celibacy, why do you suggest people take vows? Why are you getting people entangled in the very trap that you yourselves are caught up in? If you were at least to admit openly that you could not attain to celibacy, then perhaps a way could be found. You could all put your heads together and think about where you are going wrong and where the trouble lies.”
And this is where you are going wrong: if a person has taken the wrong path, the result can only be disappointment. The right path…what is the right path? If you keep on fighting with yourself you will never win, because who is going to win and who is going to lose? And all these energies only belong to you. Sexual desire, greed, anger – all these energies are yours, all these forces belong to you.
So then what should we do? This sutra tells you.
You need to find a place within yourself which lies beyond them both. Then you will start winning. Sexual desire is there, and the greed for celibacy – they both exist. There is a struggle between the two but they are both at the same level, so neither can win. They are of equal strength, so neither can win. If you can find a point within you that is beyond both, that is neither eager for sex nor for celibacy – understand the difference: a point at which you are not interested in either sexual desire or celibacy – if you were to find such a point within you, it would lead you to victory.
We have called such a point the state of the witness. If you can find the witness within you which can impartially observe both states of mind then you will be well on the road to victory – because this third one, the witness, has no quarrel with anyone. It is not engaged in fighting with anyone. And it watches both desires, sexual desire and the desire for celibacy, as a witness.