That which flies out of the body in death is an invisible bird flying into an invisible sky. But if you are aware you will be dancing, because for the first time you will have known what freedom is. It is not a political freedom or an economic freedom; it is a more fundamental, existential freedom. And anything that grows out of this freedom is beautiful, graceful. Your eyes are the same, but their vision has changed. Your love is there but it is no more lust, it is no more possessiveness. It transforms itself into compassion. You still share your joy in your songs, in your dances, in your poetry, in your music – but just for their sheer joy.
It has been a centuries-long debate: What is art for? There have been pragmatic utilitarians who say that art should serve some purpose, otherwise it is useless. But these people don’t know art. Art can only be for its own sake. It is the sheer joy of a solitary cuckoo, of the bamboos standing in silence, of a bird flying into the sky. Just the very flight, the very feel of freedom, is enough unto itself. It need not serve anything else.
But that is possible only if you have known your fundamental existence. You are acquainted with the mind, which is borrowed, which is nurtured, educated. You are acquainted with your body very superficially. You don’t know how it functions, although it is your body. You don’t know how it turns food into blood, how it distributes oxygen to different parts of the body.
The body has its own wisdom. Nature has not left it to you to remember breathing, because you can forget. You are so sleepy, nature cannot take the risk. If you had to remember breathing, I don’t think you would have been here. You would have been forgotten long before.
But whether you remember or not, whether you are awake or asleep, the breathing continues on its own, the heart goes on working on its own, the stomach goes on digesting on its own. It does not ask your advice, nor does it need any medical education, nor does it need any advice. It has simply an intrinsic wisdom of its own.
But it is just your house – you are not it. This house is going to become, one day, old. One day its walls will start dropping away, its doors falling. One day there will not be even a trace of the house – all will be gone. But what happened to the man who used to live in the house?
You have to understand that principle. You can call it awareness, enlightenment, consciousness, buddhahood – it doesn’t matter what name you give to it. But it is the absolute responsibility of every human being not to waste time in mundane affairs. First things first! And the first thing is to be and to know what this being is. Don’t go on running after butterflies. Don’t go on looking at the horizon which only appears to be but is not.
I am reminded…Twenty-three centuries ago, Alexander the Great came to India. His teacher was a great philosopher, the father of logic, Aristotle. And when he was coming towards India, Aristotle asked him, “Can you bring something for me as a gift?”
Alexander said, “Anything – just say it.”
Aristotle said, “It is not so easy, but I will wait. Please bring me a sannyasin when you come back, a man who has realized himself. Because we don’t know what this means…what it means to be a buddha. Get hold of a buddha and bring him with you.”