When I was a student, one of my professors in the university always used to talk about his bravery, fearlessness, so much so that not even a single day passed by when he will not mention in some way or other that he is a brave man. I listened at least for two, three months, and then I stood up and asked him, “Insisting every day that you are a great, brave man, simply shows that there must be some cowardice in you. Otherwise why this insistence? Whom you are trying to prove? We are not asking whether you are a coward or a brave. We have not come here to inquire about your bravery or your cowardice, whatsoever it is – we are not interested in it. Why you go on insisting?” And from any reference, from any context he will jump to the conclusion, as if he was just always looking for any excuse to prove that he is a brave man.
He was shocked. He called me home in the night and told me that, “You are the first person who has made me aware of a certain fear in me. I am really a man who is full of fears. I am not trying to convince you – in fact, by talking to you I am trying to convince myself. And I am thankful,” he said, “although when you said it for the first time before others I was shocked, angry, enraged. But later on when I thought about it calmly, quietly, I realized the fact of it.”
The people who go on emphasizing the world is illusory are simply trying to prove to themselves that it is illusory but they know it is not. They are trying to create a great smoke around themselves that it is illusory, worth renouncing: “It is worthless, there is no meaning in it!” But why this insistence? If there is no meaning in it, there is no meaning in it. If it is illusory, it is illusory. You need not say it. And these so-called saints have written so many books proving that the world is illusory.
These saints have been talking about the illusoriness of the female body, that it is ugly, it is not beautiful: “Just look within the skin: it is nothing but bones, blood, pus, mucus.” Whom they are trying to prove these things? And why this continuous insistence? There seems to be a great attraction in them for the woman’s body. They are trying to create defenses.
Upanishads never say a single word against the world; that seems to be a more truthful vision. The world is there, it is real. Of course its reality is relative, and that’s a fact everybody knows its reality is relative. You love a woman today, tomorrow you may not love. Today it had seemed to you that you will love her forever, and tomorrow all that idea has simply evaporated. Just a day before you were ready to die for her, and a day afterwards you are ready to kill her!
It is a relative world, nothing is permanent here, that is true. Everything is changing, flux-like; it is momentary. But that does not mean that it is unreal, that it is illusory. Even though it is momentary it is true, it is real. It has a relative reality.
The other world, the beyond, the absolute, has a totally different kind of reality; it is non-relative. But both are real. The relative and the absolute are two aspects of the same reality. Watch a river: in one way it goes on changing, in another way it is the same river. Watch your mind: the mind goes on changing – every moment something new comes something old dies – but in another way your consciousness your watcher is the same. You can experience both these things within you: the mind is a relative reality and your consciousness is an absolute reality.