Buddha said, “No, I am not a gandharva either.”
And the astrologer went on asking, “Then are you a king in disguise? Who are you? You can’t be an animal, you can’t be a tree, you can’t be a rock – who exactly are you?”
And the answer Buddha gave is of immense importance to understand. He said, “I am just a buddha – I am just awareness, and nothing else. I don’t belong to any category. Every category is an identification and I don’t have any identity.”
My answer is exactly the same: I don’t belong to any category, and godman is a category. I am simply awareness. I am simply watchfulness. And this is not something special; this is part of your innermost core, too. You are as divine as anybody else – a Buddha, a Krishna, a Christ. You are as divine as anybody else. The highest and the lowest, all are divine, because only godliness exists.
This is the first thing to be remembered: that I don’t belong to any category. Neither do you belong to any category. Are you a Hindu, a Mohammedan, a Christian? Are you black or white? These are things which are outside – you are not these things. Consciousness cannot be black and cannot be white; consciousness can’t have any color. Are you rich or poor? Consciousness cannot be rich or poor either. Are you a man or a woman? Consciousness is neither a man nor a woman.
Consciousness is simply consciousness. To realize this is to declare, “Aham brahmasmi! – I am God!” It is not a new category. When somebody declares “I am God!” it is not a new category, it is simply disappearing from all categories. That is exactly the meaning of the word God.
When Mansoor says, “Ana’l haq! – I am the truth!” he is saying the same thing. He is saying, “I am consciousness.”
I have no claim to be a godman – I am not.
The second thing: between me and the so-called godmen there are many differences. The most basic is that I am life-affirmative and they are life-negative. I love life; they hate life. I would like you to go deeper and deeper into life; they would like you to shrink back, withdraw. They are all for renunciation, I am all for rejoicing. To me “Rejoice!” is the only message. “Renounce!” is escaping. Renouncing is committing a slow suicide. Rejoice – and rejoice tremendously. Only then will you be able to know what godliness is all about.
At the optimum of your being, when the intensity is total, when you are not holding anything back, when you dance with abandon, when you sing so totally that the singer disappears in the singing, when you love so infinitely that there is no lover left behind, you simply become the energy called love, then you affirm life. And life is godliness.