In this world, if we could only accept this universal search, there would not be disputes between so many religions. Hindu, Mohammedan and Christian would not fight each other; there would not be any contention between Hindus and Jainas. But instead we begin our search for God, and we don’t know anything about godliness. We have no strong desire to search for it, nor do we have any reason to do so. So we fight about words, so we make different wordy interpretations about a God whom we don’t know at all. Then there is conflict between these different interpretations; then temples, mosques and gurudwaras come into being, and man unnecessarily suffers.
Begin with bliss: then there is no problem or conflict even for the atheist. Then whether you are a Hindu or a Mohammedan, there is no question – because if you are searching for bliss, you are searching for the thing that every living being is searching for. About this, everyone agrees. And slowly, slowly, as the search becomes deeper, you will come to know that the search for bliss has become the search for godliness.
The third thing to keep in mind is that you want to search for bliss, but what will you give for it? What will you pay for it – with what? What do you have that you will give in return?
In order for a man to take even one step, he has to leave the piece of ground on which he was standing; only then can he go forward. There is no progress in this world if he is not willing to leave something behind. Without sacrifice you cannot take even one step. If your hands are full of mud, pebbles, stones, and you want diamonds, you will have to let go of the stones. To grasp the desired object, your hands at least should be empty; you will have to let go of the useless things. So what do you have?
Please don’t become afraid. I will not tell you to renounce your wealth – because no one has any wealth, no one at all. In this world, even the richest man is a pauper. Nobody has any wealth.
There are two types of paupers: one is a poor pauper and the other is a rich pauper – but all are paupers. Up until now I have not seen a rich man. You can see many people who have money, but they are not rich. They are also in the rat race to grab as much as they can, just as the poorest of the poor are. Like a beggar holding on tightly to whatever he has got in his hand, just like that, the man who has the biggest safe is also holding on tightly to whatever he has. The tightness of their grip is the same, so their poverty is also the same.
So you don’t have wealth – no one has – and that is why I don’t insist that you drop it. How can you let go of what you do not have? I don’t tell you to give up your life, because even that is not yours. How can you have a life that you are not even aware of? And each moment you are trembling with the fear of death. If you are life itself, why are you afraid of death?
Life has no death. How can life ever become death? But you are trembling with the fear of death; each moment death is surrounding you. You are trying to save yourself in whatever way you can so that you don’t disappear, so that you don’t die and you don’t come to an end. And you don’t even have life! That is why I will not tell you to give up your life. How can you give up what you don’t have?