Once, in Kathmandu, I asked you about the need of the disciple for a master. Then I asked you if the master needs the disciple, and you showered on me some words that I received in tears, like petals of an unknowable flower. Would you please be so kind and speak to us about the need of the master for the disciples. Aren’t you the formless form, with whom existence is fulfilling our longing? Aren’t we, in some way, your food, your nourishment?
Sarjano, I do not remember what I said in response to your question in Kathmandu. I never remember anything I have said. That keeps me responsible. I cannot repeat, because I do not remember. I can only respond to the question, and to the questioner in this very moment.
Between Kathmandu and this moment, neither you have remained you, nor I have remained I. And so much water has gone down the Ganges, that any repetition is always out of date. Any repetition is dead, is not alive.
That’s how the whole of humanity is only pretending to live, but deep down is dead, because it has forgotten the language of response. It knows only the language of reaction. It reacts according to the memory. It does not respond according to the awareness of the moment, of the need here and now. It is full of the past.
There is no present in millions of people around the world. Millions of people live without knowing the taste of the present. And when you are full of the past you are a graveyard. Howsoever beautiful the past may be, it is still dead. And beauty is meaningless if it cannot dance, if it cannot sing, if it cannot even breathe.
I am here, you are here, why bring Kathmandu in? I don’t know what Kathmandu means in Nepalese, but in Hindustani we have a phrase which immediately reminds one of Kathmandu. The phrase is kath ke ullu. It means, “You are an owl. And that too not real, but made of wood.” I don’t know what Kathmandu means; Kath certainly means wood….
Why bring Kathmandu in? You really want to listen to the same answer again, but it is impossible Sarjano. You will have to forgive me, because I don’t remember a single word. Kathmandu is almost as far away as the farthest star, as if it happened in some other life.
While we are alive, why waste your time? You can ask a new question and you can receive a new response. The new will be fresher, and the new will be better. The new will be more mature.
But people have lived to live in the past. It has become almost a second nature to them. It is very difficult to drag them out of their graves and tell them, “You are not dead yet. Start breathing, you are still alive.”
An elderly Jewish man walks into a jewelry store to buy his wife a present. “How much is this?” he asks the assistant, pointing to a silver crucifix.
“That is six hundred dollars, sir,” replies the assistant.
“Nice,” says the man, “and how much without the acrobat on it?”