Some of you who are fond of playing cards may know that there is a card game which only one person plays. He deals out the cards for both sides; he plays on one side and then on the other. He plays all alone and takes great delight in being the winner and the loser! Now this is really hilarious, because who wins and who loses? He is the only player in the game! He is playing hide-and-seek with himself.
It is necessary for you to understand this rightly because we have been wasting energy on the path for many lives; always having the hope of winning – and yet we never win. Most people are destroying their energy this way. Their mistake is natural because the hope always remains.
I was a guest at the house of a multi-millionaire from Rajasthan. He was very old – he has died now – and very charitable. At the time that I was a guest in his home he must have been well over sixty-five. He told me that he had taken the vow of celibacy four times in his life. A friend of mine was there with me, and he was very impressed.
I told him, “Don’t be so impressed! First, you had better ask him why he didn’t take the vow for the fifth time, because what does taking the vow of celibacy four times mean? – just that you have broken your vow three times. And one who has broken it three times…. Don’t jump to conclusions: go and ask him why he didn’t take it for a fifth time too.”
The old man started to cry, and he said, “You have put your finger right on the spot. No one I have told about taking a vow of celibacy four times has ever asked me, ‘Why not the fifth time?’ I did not take it a fifth time because I had already broken the vow four times and after that I couldn’t gather enough courage to do it a fifth time. I understood by then that it was beyond me.”
At least this man was honest. Even to understand this much is really very sincere. If only his understanding had had a little more depth…. But it could not mature. He thought that he was a weak person, and that was why he was not able to succeed. But it wasn’t so; he wasn’t weak. It was simply that the way he had chosen to fight is not the way to win.
Understand this difference correctly otherwise all your religious disciplines unknowingly end up giving you nothing but a feeling of inferiority, they fill you with feelings of inferiority.
Your holy men, your so-called saints, tell you to take the vow of celibacy. What they say impresses you because while you are under the spell of sexual desire you feel as if you have become a slave to something. Something is ordering you around; you are not your own master. That is why there is a sting in sexual desire. The anguish felt is not because of sexual desire, but because of the feeling of being a slave to something. It feels as if you are being pulled, as if you are being dragged into something against your will – and that you cannot do anything about it.