Once there was a monk who was an expert on the Diamond Sutra, and as books were very valuable in his day, he carried the only copy in his part of the world on his back. He was widely sought after for his readings and insight into the Diamond Sutra, and very successful at propounding its profundities to not only monks and masters but to the lay people as well.

Thus the people of that region came to know of the Diamond Sutra, and as the monk was traveling on a mountain road, he came upon an old woman selling tea and cakes. The hungry monk would have loved to refresh himself, but alas, he had no money. 

He told the old woman, “I have upon my back a treasure beyond knowing – the Diamond Sutra. If you will give me some tea and cakes, I will tell you of this great treasure of knowledge.”

The old woman knew something of the Diamond Sutra herself, and proposed her own bargain. She said, “Oh learned monk, if you will answer a simple question, I will give you tea and cakes.” To this the monk readily agreed. 

The woman then said, “When you eat these cakes, are you eating with the mind of the past, the mind of the present or the mind of the future?”

No answer occurred to the monk, so he took the pack from his back and got out the text of the Diamond Sutra, hoping he could find the answer. As he studied and pondered, the day grew late and the old woman packed up her things to go home for the day.

“You are a foolish monk indeed,” said the old woman as she left the hungry monk in his quandary. “You eat the tea and cakes with your mouth.”

Oceanic Unity

When the monk was asked by the old woman a simple question – When you eat these cakes, are you eating with the mind of the past, the mind of the present or the mind of the future? – he got confused. Because he had never practiced what he had learned and preached.

This is happening with all of us. What you talk and what you practice is totally different. Our failure is not because of any circumstances but because we have never tried to live our education. We are always eager to strengthen our ego and identity.  Never thought that if we practice the same thing in our actions the result will be totally different. 

I would like to give you a simple example VAS. We have heard it and we try how we can achieve our goals from the objective world by VAS. It is fine. But in that our desire to get more will be achieved. But we have never thought that in our actions what is VAS. We have never thought that by VAS we can bring self-awareness from our actions. If we practice VAS in our action and become self-aware we will be able to achieve our goal but in that our focus will be changed from receiving to giving. Our actions will be desireless.

We all remember Kabir, Gora, Ravidas and many such saints. What they did in their life is nothing but VAS in their work for self-awareness. They become enlightened. They practice something which has been written in our scripture. Even though they have not read any scripture nor have they followed any religion. But they brought self-awareness in themselves through their work.

When you do something, suddenly you fall into the oceanic unity of existence….

Practice dynamic methods of meditation: dancing, singing, music, T’ai Chi, karate. Do something, because when you do, you are part of the greater world of the trees, of birds, of animals. They are doers, they are not thinkers. When you do something, suddenly you fall into the oceanic unity of existence.

There is then a feeling that God is. But that God is not the God of Christians and Hindus and Mohammedans. That God is your God. That has nothing to do with the Bible and Gita and Koran. That God is YOUR God; that God has nothing to do with logic, syllogism, philosophy, dogma. That God is a felt, lived experience. Then…then you will know, and there is no other way to know.

People are learning from scriptures, and the greatest scripture that has been given to you by existence remains unopened. And through scriptures you get notions.

Learning from the story Tea And Cakes: Oceanic Unity

Experience Learning

Mulla Nasrudin went to see his lawyer about a divorce.

“What grounds do you think you have for a divorce?” the lawyer asked.

“It is my wife’s manners,” said the Mulla. “She has such bad table manners that she is disgracing the whole family.”

“That’s bad,” the lawyer said. “How long have you been married?”

“Nine years,” said the Mulla.

“If you have been able to put up with her table manners for nine years, I can’t understand why you want a divorce now,” the lawyer said.

“Well,” said Nasrudin, “I did not know it before. I just bought a book on etiquette this morning.”

You first read the books, then you decide about life.

First move into life and then decide about books. And then you will be surprised that the Gita and the Koran and the Bible are not three books, they are one book. Then Buddha and Christ and Krishna are not three persons, but three voices of the same person. But if you are first caught up in the logical structure of books, then you will never be able to know life.

Try to become more natural. Forget all about God, the God that is discussed in the universities and in the churches and the temples. Forget about that God. Be with the God that is already surrounding you, that is your surround. This moment the cuckoo goes on doing her prayer, the birds go on doing THEIR prayer. Look at the trees, at how prayerful they are. The whole existence is in prayer, and what are you doing sitting inside your skull thinking about whether God exists or not?

He must exist because the world is going so beautifully together.

The world IS going beautifully together. Become part of this togetherness, dissolve into this togetherness! When the river is flowing by, why not jump into it? What are you doing sitting on the bank with closed eyes thinking the river must be there because…? Drop all these ‘becauses.’

 MIND THINKS IN TERMS OF SEPARATENESS, division analysis. Through mind, life is divided into fragments. Life itself is not divided; life itself is a unity. Life itself remains undivided, but the mind thinks in terms of fragments so whatsoever the mind says is bound to be false. The tree over there, the sky above you, the earth, you and everything are in a deep unity. The tree appears to be separate from you. but it is not. it cannot be. The sun is so far away. but you cannot exist here if the sun dies. Immediately, you will cease to exist here. Without the sun there – ten crore miles away – you cannot exist here. If the sun ceases to exist we will never be able to know that it has ceased, because there will be no one to know it. We are part of the rays of it.

The whole universe is a cosmic unity. You are not isolated; you are not like an island. You are connected; you are rooted in the ocean of existence just like a wave.


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