The evil that was in Hafiz and in Omar Khayyam
Yes, I am guilty of that too to some extent.
Mazaz, who wrote these lines, also misunderstood Omar Khayyam; he too thought Omar Khayyam was a drunkard. Mazaz died of excessive drinking. The wine that you have mentioned as being bitter and that which burns in the chest, Mazaz died in his youth because of drinking it. He died an unfortunate death.
Don’t misunderstand the wine that I am talking about to be something else. Don’t make the same mistake with me that was made with Omar Khayyam. It is possible.
I say unto you: enjoy life with the witnessing consciousness. But you want to drop “the witness.” You catch only the “enjoy.” Enjoy life, but if you enjoy it without remaining the witness you won’t enjoy it. Real enjoyment is only when you remain a witness. Drink wine, but if you lose consciousness this is not right drinking. You are drinking the real wine only if your consciousness grows as you drink it. There is no wine other than samadhi.
As I see it, the attraction for alcohol will continue in man until the attraction for samadhi grows. People will go on drinking fake wine until the real wine is available to them. False coins will circulate until the real coin is available. Governments throughout the world try to stop the consumption of wine, but it doesn’t happen. They have always been trying to do it. Religious people have been advising governments to enact prohibition. They fast, and do this and that: “Alcohol consumption must be stopped.” But no one has succeeded with prohibition. Under various names and by differing means man goes on seeking intoxicating substances.
As I see it, it is beyond the power of any government to enforce prohibition. But if the wine of samadhi begins to spread, if the real wine appears on the earth, the false will stop. If we make temples into taverns and there starts to be joy and songs and bliss and celebration, and if we live by healthy principles instead of the wrong ones and let life become a blessing – then alcohol will disappear on its own.
Man drinks wine because of misery. If misery decreases, wine will decrease. Man drinks alcohol to forget himself, because there are so many worries, so many problems, so much misery: if we don’t forget them then what will we do? If worry, unhappiness, and misery are decreased, alcohol consumption will decrease.
And I have seen a rare thing happen: many times drunkards have come and taken sannyas from me. They got caught by mistake. They came to me, thinking “This man does not prohibit anything: drinking or not drinking, eating or not eating this or that – there’s no harm in trying….” They were very happy.
They say, “We totally agree with what you say, no one has ever said it before.” But as their meditation deepens, as the color of sannyas deepens, their feet stop taking them to the tavern, another tavern begins to call them.