That part of Kashmir occupied by Pakistan has the longest living people in India and Pakistan. One hundred and twenty is very ordinary, normal. One hundred and fifty you can find; it is not so normal, but still there are hundreds of people who have passed one hundred and fifty. And there are a few rare cases who have reached one hundred and eighty years of age and they are still young; they are still working in their fields.
And this man has been questioned by newspapers, by journalists from all over the world, because he is a rare man; three times certified dead and three times he has defied all medical knowledge, all medical science. And they asked, “What have you been doing? What happens?”
He said, “Nothing – because I am not my body. I know it; and I am not my breathing, I know it; and I am not my heart, I know it – I am beyond all these. I simply slip into the beyond. The heart stops, the pulse stops, the breathing stops, and you are all befooled. Then I slip back again into the body, the blood starts running again, the pulse starts working again and the heart starts beating again.”
He is a simple man, a farmer. He is not a yogi; he has never practiced anything. But just when he was a very young child, not more than seven or eight years old, he came in contact with a Sufi mystic who told him that death is an illusion. And he was so innocent that he accepted it.
The Sufi mystic said to him, “There is a very simple way to slip out of your body. Just watch it from inside; watch the body and suddenly there will come more and more distance between you and your body. Soon the body will be miles away. Watch the mind and the same will happen with the mind.
“You simply remain a watcher and you will be able to slip out of the body, out of the mind, out of this whole personality. And it is within your control to come back. Because you have slipped out, you know the way you slipped out. So you know the way to come back in. And the way is that by watching, you slipped out – now stop watching. Become identified with the body. Say, ‘I am the body, I am the mind, I am the breathing, I am the heart beating.’ Immediately the distance will disappear. You will come closer and soon you will slip back into the body.”
Identifying yourself with the body, you become the body. Then you are a mortal. Then there is fear of death. Non-identifying with the body, you are just a watcher, you are just a pure consciousness, a no-mind. And there is no death and there is no disease and there is no old age. As far as your witnessing is concerned, it is eternal and it is always fresh and young and the same.
The authentic religion does not teach you to worship. The authentic religion teaches you to discover your immortality, to discover the god within you. And that’s what Bodhidharma is saying.
If you seek direct understanding, don’t hold onto any appearance whatsoever, and you will succeed. I have no other advice.