“Be sincere. And I hope that you will be honest. And if you don’t know what is beyond death, then why destroy these people’s lives? Focusing their mind on the future, which is unknown, is really murderous. In my eyes, you are not a theologian but a murderer! The law may not catch you as a murderer, but you cannot deny that you have murdered many people; you have taken them away from the present – and that is the only life there is. Live this moment in its totality.”
Other religions have goals. This is not a religion, this is a mystery school. This is a religio – the root from where the word religion has come. Religio means putting you together. Nothing else – no God, no heaven, no hell, just putting you together, a crystallization. And that can happen only in the present.
I don’t sell opium, I am not a dope dealer. For that you will have to go to Christian bishops and cardinals and the pope – they are dope dealers. The dope is so subtle that the law cannot catch them; it is invisible. But it is far more dangerous than the ordinary dope. Once you get accustomed to focusing your life, your longing, your hope, in the future, you are finished. You have committed suicide, you will not be able to live.
I teach you life.
I teach you love.
I teach you meditation.
They all mean the same thing: to be in the present. And see the beauty of being in the present – the silence that descends, the serenity that surrounds you, a tremendous contentment that arises for no reason at all.
And as you become more and more attuned to the present, as your depth within yourself grows, suddenly one fine morning you really wake up! Not the everyday waking – you really wake up, because you are at your very center, and you see the whole life in a new light. The whole existence becomes luminous. Everything becomes a glory unto itself. Small things start having tremendous meaning. And what God had forbidden…. You have eaten the fruit of wisdom and the fruit of eternal life; now you know those trees are not outside you, they are your very being.
The Garden of Eden is not somewhere outside, it is within you. And once it is felt, what a relief, what a blessing! This I call enlightenment. Then moment to moment you go on growing more and more into light, into life, into love. There is no end to it. Even the sky is not the end. You are far bigger than the whole universe. You are carrying within yourself all the millions of stars, all the flowers, all the music of the world. There is nothing that you are missing.
This experience I call enlightenment. But please, don’t make it a goal; otherwise you will miss it. Make it a goal and you have missed it. You simply learn how to be in the present, and enlightenment comes to you. You don’t have to go anywhere.
A friend is going to visit Russia in a couple of weeks. Do you have a message for your sannyasins over there?