The Snake and the Rope
PAPAJI: Everybody spends time for others. No one is spending even one minute, means 60 seconds is quite enough to be free. So I’m very happy that we are all here. We can help each other. And let us be happy. And let us be free. And let us love each other.
This world is going to change though the people say it will be destroyed. This world will not see the next century. That’s what the guess is, and people are writing to me, writing to me from other countries — keep us, keep a place somewhere which could be safe because next war is going to destroy everybody, you see, instantly. Even the marine life will not be spared. So there, people are so frightened and they’re asking me to find some place in the Himalayas. So, so much terror is being spread in the minds. How can you have peace? Our leaders are piling up sophisticated weapons to destroy our own community, our own race. What a modern civilization I’ve never heard of before.
This century has given us a very beautiful chance, you see. Much scientific developments. Life is very easy, but then look at this ideas of killing a man. It doesn’t please me at all, you see. So let us raise the banner of peace from Lucknow. [Chuckling]
[Reading from a letter] ‘Sometimes I think there is nobody who could say I am this or that peace and bliss and endless space in this time. In the course of time also other things happen. Thoughts and emotions happen. So in my idea of enlightenment this would not fit. Do I have a misunderstanding about enlightenment? In enlightenment my true nature is also in pain and anger and I simply forget. Thank you for answering this question or questions.’
So when an ordinary man is enlightened, he will not grow horns on his head to be seen that here goes an enlightened man because he has two horns on his head. No, no such, no such thing is going to happen. Suppose you are going in the evening on the road to your village and you see, you see a snake on the road and you cannot walk forward seeing a snake on the footpath and then you stop. You don’t go beyond this because you have fear now of the snake. This is a snake and then you will look after some stick or stone to kill it. From the other side one man comes, ‘What are you looking for?’ ‘There’s a snake.’ He says, ‘No. It’s a rope. It was a rope. I come everyday and see it’s a rope.’ So this man now agrees to what the other man says. His fear goes and the snake vanished and this disappearance of snake has not made any difference in his physical sense. The fear is gone. The snake disappeared. What has happened in this? Only the knowledge came that it was not a snake. That confusion is no more there. That fear is no more there that I am bound. This concept of bondage has left like a snake and you return to your own self nature, as you are. You will not change. The fear is gone because snake was never a snake. It was a rope. You were a rope. Now you return back to your original nature that I am not the body. This body was a snake. I am what I have been. I am what I am. I am myself. Then that confusion that I am the body, I am the ego, this belongs to me, all these things simply vanished without giving any special significance in the change of your body. So that fear is now gone. So nothing new will grow only the concept that you are bound. This will leave you. That’s all you have to do.
Are you clear? OK. That confusion will go and you will be, within you will be happy, within yourself — I have been the self, I am the self, I’m not the body. This was a dress I am wearing like my other tunics. Nothing has changed. You return to your original self nature which is the enlightenment — which is always there. You have not to get it at some distant future. But to know it as very few have known it. All the others are lost into the fear of snake, that I am the body and I am the body concept is samsara, endless misery. So if you decide to get rid of it you can do it yourself. You seek it. There may be quite few people to guide you in this line and remove your fear.
[Fumbling with and reading a letter aloud] ‘I will speak to you. About garbage, so much garbage, garbage that keeps my heart closed most of the time.’
[Continues reading] ‘I came half way round the world to see you because I heard you help people find freedom. I have been here two and a half weeks and I have heard you say many wonderful things yet I am still as self conscious as I have always been which is the opposite of freedom.’
Come here. Please come here. Where you come from?
DEVOTEE: America. United States.
PAPAJI: Many people are here from the same place as you, you see. So what’s the garbage in your mind? Without going to the past. Now you are sitting in front of me, in front of all these people, you see. What do you mean by garbage? What do you mean by garbage?
DEVOTEE: If I don’t go to my mind I won’t know, but…
PAPAJI: Who told you to go to your mind? Mind is garbage, another word. Mind means garbage. You can live very well without the mind, can’t you? When you sleep do you carry mind with you to sleep or no? No. If you don’t take mind in the sleep there’s no garbage also. You are the same. Where did you leave the garbage to go to sleep? Where did you keep the garbage? Yeah. You know the trick very well, but you forget it, that’s all. So when you were sleeping at the end of your waking state, at the end of your waking before you enter into sleep what did you do with the garbage? What is garbage? First of all, what is garbage? Heh?
DEVOTEE: Umm, garbage is that I have to carry the baggage that I have to worry all the time about…
PAPAJI: Who told you this that you have to worry? Who told you? You must have heard from someone.
DEVOTEE: Yeah, I heard it.
DEVOTEE: I always heard it growing up.
PAPAJI: You must have borrowed this garbage from someone else. You tell me if it is not true. First from parents?
DEVOTEE: I believed it.
PAPAJI: You believed it. Then from society? These are the two factors that give you only garbage, you see. Parents give you garbage. They want to shape you in their own line, isn’t it? It may be garbage, you see. Don’t listen to your parents. You keep quiet and work for yourself. If you’re lucky you will do it, otherwise you will follow your parents. If they are wise parents, then follow them. Wise parents don’t give you garbage. They give good training, good teaching to their children and they will help their children. All the rest, most of the parents are not worthy parents to be called and they give, they spoil their children, you see. And that’s the result of 6 billion people. Very few are intelligent, you see. So the others comes from your neighbors and from the society. These are two sources and you are happy. You have come here. You have rejected everything. So here, here at least you have known that there is garbage. Huh? Before you would not have known that there is garbage at all. So now you have known this is garbage you are taking — it’s enough, you see. It’s enough progress that you call garbage a garbage, otherwise they say this is my own real nature to remain in garbage and I am the garbage. Then you do not know. You have separated yourself at least from the garbage. So it’s good progress. You have not to worry about it. Now from here if you have separated from the garbage —you don’t like garbage, do you? Huh?
DEVOTEE: No, I don’t.
PAPAJI: So, I don’t like. This is quite enough. Simply you stick to this, ‘I don’t like garbage.’ Then what will you do? If you dislike anything what you do generally? I dislike someone I don’t go to his lane. If there’s a garbage here I don’t go that side. I will cut across some other way, isn’t it? So you don’t touch anything that troubles you and now, instantly, you find out who you are. I give you this thing, same thing, to keep yourself away, out of the garbage — this whole samsara is garbage, mind you, you see. Wherever you look is garbage. You have to know who you are. Right now. Don’t postpone it. So give rise to a quest, ‘Who am I?’ Continually go on repeating it, making quest of it. Now you do it and tell me. Do this thing, this quest, enquire, ‘Who am I?’ and tell me what garbage smells. Do it. Not only theoretically listen, but do it and during this you tell me I also see the garbage. Since you have come from long way off. I’m happy you are here and we are so many people to help you. We will share your garbage, no problem. So what you have to do …
I think it was in 1970 I was in Haridwar. One man comes from Gujarat, one of the states of India. This swami was going to Bhaji Narayan and somebody who knows me, said, ‘Poonjaji may be in Haridwar. He stays in this hotel. You see him. If he’s there then go.’ He brought two busloads of his disciples with him going to Bhaji Narayan, about one hundred people. He came to my hotel and asked the manager if this man is here. He said, ‘Yes, he’s here, but uh, he’s not in the room. You leave your name. We will give him information.’ ‘No, no. I will… what time he comes?’ he says, ‘Eight o’clock he goes out and at 12:30 he comes. After lunch he sleeps. At four he goes and eight o’clock he comes. This is his routine everyday. So you can pick up.’ He said, ‘No.’ Next day he comes. I had finished my lunch and I went into my room. I saw swami who was about 80 years old. I was then 60, twenty years ago. And then old man had rudraksh rosaries around his neck and saffron clothes, usual sannyasi dress, going to Bhaji Narayan and stood at the door. ‘May I see you?’ ‘Yes, welcome, swamiji. Sit down.’ I gave him a seat. Then this swami asked me not to waste time. ‘I have very little time. We are moving to Haridwar. I will tell you the points that we have not to touch, not to discuss they will be waste of time. So you will not to have talk on any scripture because I am very well versed in Vedas, in Upanishads, in the Gita and Bhagavad and all these things. Let us not discuss because I give talks in many states of India on these subjects and you have not to discuss Yoga also because I am a yogi who can stay underground for forty days. I had given this demonstration. Forty days I was underground and it was buried and a glass was kept on the top, anybody can see. So that I am a yogi and then I have done many other exercises. I am very well, very well studied in the scriptures. You have not to speak anything of scriptures and not of yoga. Have you got anything to speak?’ I said, ‘Yes, swami. I have. Something which you have not mentioned.’ And he says, ‘What’s that?’ What I say, ‘Swamiji, you please get up and the things that you have mentioned you please go out and leave them out of the room and then come.’ He was not understanding this. Nobody took him in this way before. ‘So Swamiji, I help you. You come out. Here you lay down your garbage, garbage and come in. I will speak something other.’ Then he stood in the door. He was very intelligent, very learned person, aged eighty years and a sannyasin and having thirteen ashrams there. He stood there and then for awhile I’m looking at him, he’s looking at me. Immediately he entered and he began to touch my feet. I stopped him half-way. ‘No, Swamiji. It’s not going to happen. First of all, on three accounts you are superior. You are a sannyasin, fourth station of life. I am on number two, householder. You are on the top. You have renounced. You have ejected everything so I have to prostrate before you. Number two, you are learned and I am illiterate. I have not studied any sutras because living in Pakistan I have studied Sanskrit, not even Hindi. I know only Persian and Urdu from which these good scriptures were not published. Third, age. You are eighty I am sixty. So on these accounts please sit. You can’t touch my feet. You simply sit quiet in front of me and I will tell you something.’ He says,’No. All is over. All is over for the first time and I am enlightened.’ He simply said, ‘I am enlightened. I never knew if there could be any teaching like this teaching that means no teaching, no thinking of anything whatsoever. So when you asked me to go out and leave your garbage what you have done so far in the past is garbage. Swamiji go out and keep your basket of garbage outside and then come in.’ That was all he said and he stood up and said, ‘When may I see you again?’ I said, ‘No need to see me again. That’s all.’ He says, ‘I’m not going. I will send my students Bhaji Narayan and I will go and disappear.’ That’s all that happened, you see.
So when you come tomorrow you leave your garbage outside and then enter and then I will search your pockets. If any difficulty please ask me. I will keep the basket outside. I will arrange which door. Leave all the garbage outside and come fearlessly inside, you see. It’s better in satsang we should not bring mind inside as we keep shoes outside, you keep your mind outside. This is the way to attend the satsang, you know. If you can’t do anything, please bless others and don’t come to this gathering where we speak because it will have effect on all the minds, you see. If you smell bad it’s better to keep away. What do you prefer?
DEVOTEE: I prefer to leave my mind outside.
PAPAJI: Outside, right. Very good. Why tomorrow? Why not now? [Laughter]
DEVOTEE: Today? Now?
PAPAJI: Yes. Yeah. Give, give it to me, all the garbage. Huh? What do you — make up your mind. Hmmm? What?
Questioner: Thank you.
Papaji: Thank you. Good luck. So I’m happy. Thank you. Good luck. You are a good person. I like you.