Whosoever desires, suffers. He has sown the seed, he has planted the seedlings and now he will have to harvest the fruits. Whatever you are suffering now is because of the seeds of desire you have sown in the past. And if you do not want to suffer in the future, in the days ahead, then don’t sow any seeds of desire today, because whatever seeds you are sowing now will bear fruit – if not today then tomorrow.
This is also worth understanding: your sufferings are in equal proportion to your desires. If you want more suffering, then desire more. If you really want happiness, then never ask for happiness. Then no one will ever be able to make you unhappy, no power on earth will ever be able to make you unhappy. Then, even if this whole world is against you, it cannot cause you one iota of suffering.
If you don’t ask for happiness, then you step outside the circle of unhappiness. The moment you ask for happiness you enter into the world of unhappiness. However much happiness you ask for determines how much unhappiness you get.
This calculation never occurs to us, this paradoxical rule never occurs to us. That is why we suffer so much. We ask for happiness but what we get is unhappiness. We all put our efforts into trying to be happy but we make a fundamental mistake: happiness is not related to the effort, happiness is related to not asking for it.
Lao Tzu says, “No one is as happy as I am because I have never asked for happiness.” Pearls shower on you when you do not ask. Someone who never asks for anything gets everything and the one who asks, loses everything. In this world, one who lives like a beggar lives unhappily and the one who lives like an emperor lives happily.
But who am I calling an emperor? I call that person an emperor who asks for nothing, not even happiness; and I call the person a beggar who, even if he asks for nothing else, asks for happiness. So those people we normally call emperors are actually beggars, because they are asking for happiness. And it sometimes happens that a beggarly-looking person is an emperor inside. We have seen Buddha – he goes begging on the road with a begging bowl but he is a real emperor. He is not asking for anything, he has given up the desire for comfort. And such a person becomes happy.
Experiment with this a little. During these days that you are here with me, don’t nourish any desire for happiness, and then see how your heart becomes filled with happiness. Don’t have any desire for peace, and see how the turmoil within you vanishes. Don’t beg for contentment and see how contentment showers down on you. Please try this – only then will you understand.
This is the deepest experiment of life. And whatever has been discovered in regard to life, this is the most significant finding of all: don’t ask for happiness if you want to be happy, don’t ask for peace if you want to be peaceful. Whatever you ask for will be lost. Whatever you do not ask for you will get. You have asked many times and seen that you do not receive it. Now try not asking and see. There is no need to believe me; there is a need to experiment.