Many people come to me and they say, “Now we are very old….” And the mind is so cunning. Young people come to me and they say, “Now how can we meditate? We are too young.” And old people come and they say, “How can we meditate? We are too old.” Others come to me and they say, “Don’t initiate children. They are just children – don’t give them sannyas, don’t initiate them.” So who am I to initiate? – dead men? Nobody is left. Some are children, some are young, some are old.
Mind is cunning. When you are a child, you say you are a child. When you are young, you say you are young, you have to live life a little more. By the time you are old, you feel exhausted, energy gone, tired. You say, “Now what can I do? Nothing is left. I can simply wait helplessly for death.”
Never in the history of man has man been as helpless before death as he is now – and with such tremendous advances in medical science! Never before has man been so helpless before death. Never has man worried about death as much as he worries now.
Why such a helplessness? – because you are not in contact with the eternal, your roots are not in the eternal. You have lived a temporal life, and death is the end of time, not of you. Remember, death ends time, not you. And if you have lived in time, with time, only with temporal goals, then death is a problem. But if you have lived deeper within yourself, in the remoter mountains where Kakua moved, inside, where nobody can visit you, totally alone, then death is not a problem – because you know the deathless. It is hidden there.
On the surface is time, at the center is eternity. Remember, eternity is not a long, long time, no. Eternity is not time at all. Eternity means “no-time.”
At the age of sixty, Joshu started. You can start anytime, and this has always been my feeling. Joshu lived so long – he lived one hundred and twenty years. He must have lived one hundred and twenty years, because he started at the age of sixty. And when you start meditating you become so fresh and young, you can simply live long without any effort.
A person who is ready to learn always becomes a child. Joshu again became a child at the age of sixty. You cannot start at sixty because you already know too much. You cannot learn, you cannot become a disciple – you are so knowledgeable; you are already wise. You have known so much, experienced so much, collected such rubbish. You are a junkyard, but you think you are very very experienced. What is your experience? What have you known exactly? – nothing. I see your hands are empty, I see your being is just poor. You have not attained any inner experience which gives you richness, which gives you significance.
But just by being old you have passed through many things of course, traveled on many many paths. Frustrated, hopeless, helpless, you stand before death trembling, just waiting, not knowing what to do. In the West particularly, the old man has become such a helpless phenomenon, just waiting for death with nothing to do. You cannot imagine….