Just Receptive – In Gita Verse 18.56 Though engaged in all kinds of activities, My pure devotee, under My protection, reaches the eternal and imperishable abode by My grace.

Krishna says do all kinds of activities. But begin with yourself. Then you are in contact with the divine, then you know what grace is, what gratitude is.

In my Bhagavad Gita Verse 10.14, I wrote – If you begin with yourself you will end with the divine, because that is your other part, the other pole. But begin from this bank. Do not begin from the other where you are not. You cannot begin from there. Begin from where you are, and the more you will go deep, the less you will be.

Do not begin with God at all. Always begin with your mind – where you are: always begin from there. If you begin from your mind, then something can be done. Then you can know something, then something can be transformed. Then it is within your capacity to do something. And if your capacity to do something with yourself is used completely, you will grow, you will expand, your barrier will be gone, your consciousness will be naked. Only then can you begin with the divine.

When you have begun, when you are in contact with the divine, then you know what grace is, what gratitude is. Grace is that which you feel showering upon you from everywhere, and gratitude is that which you feel within your heart, at the center of that inner space upon which the whole is showering his love, his compassion, his grace. Only then is it meaningful to say: “Oh God” or “Hare Ram”. Otherwise our words are just words – not known from existence but only learned from language, learned from the scriptures.

God has no attributes, but it does not mean that when we come in contact with him we will not feel his love; we will not feel his grace. It only means that these are not his attributes. These are his nature. This is how he happens to be, and he cannot be otherwise. Even when you are close to him, even when you are standing just opposite to him, just giving your back to him, then too he is the same.

It is just like light: your eyes are closed; the light is there. It will not go into non-existence just for the sake that your eyes are closed. Open your eyes! The light is there; it has always been there. Begin with your eyes.

When someone says God is not, it is not that he is against God. It is only that he is the man who thinks. It is nothing else. He is not against God, because to be against God will have to be preceded by knowing him. He is not against God. One who knows cannot be against. One who has known, how can he be against? He cannot be. It only shows that he just goes on thinking. And thinking cannot conceive of the unknown, so he denies it.

Religion is existential. Begin from yourself; begin transforming your aggressive mind. Let it be just receptive.

I would like to tell you Buddha tried for six years continuously to know what the divine is. And it cannot be said that he left anything undone. He did everything that is humanly possible, even some things which seem humanly impossible. He did everything. Whatever was known up to his day he practiced. Whatever methods were taught to him, he became a master of them.

He went to all the gurus that existed in his time, to everyone. And whatever they could teach, he learned, he practiced, and then he said, “Anything more, sir?” And the guru said, “Now you can go, because all that I could give you I have given, and I cannot say, as I say in other cases, that you have not practiced. You have practiced. This is all that I can give.” Buddha said, “I have not known the divine yet.”

With each guru this happened. Then he left all the gurus. Then he invented his own methods. Continuously, for six years, he was in a struggle of life and death. He did everything that could be done. Then at last, he was so tired of doing, so deadly tired, that one day when he was taking his evening bath in the Niranjana River near Bodhgaya, he felt so weak and so tired that he could not come out of the river. He just clung to the root of a tree and a thought came to his mind: “I have become so weak; I cannot even cross this small river. How will I be alive to cross the whole ocean of the world? I have done everything and I have not found the divine. I have only tired my body.”

He felt that he was on the verge of death. At that very moment he felt that he had done everything, and now there was nothing to do. He relaxed, and new energy came upon him because of his relaxation. All that was suppressed through those six years flowered. He came out of the river. He felt just like a feather, a bird’s feather – weightless. He relaxed under the Bodhi tree.

It was a bright full-moon night. Someone came: a girl, a shudra-low-caste-girl named Sujata. The name shows that the girl must have been a shudra because to have the name “Sujata” means she has not come from a higher caste. Sujata means “well born”. She had promised the Bodhi tree to pay it some homage daily, so she had come with some sweets.

Buddha is there – tired, pale, bloodless, but relaxed, absolutely unburdened, and it is a full-moon night with nobody around. The girl, Sujata, felt that the deity of the tree had come to receive her homage. Had it been another day, Buddha could have refused. He would not rest in the night; he would not eat any food. But today he was totally relaxed. He took the food and he slept. This was the first night after six years that he really slept.

He was relaxed with nothing to do. Then there was no worry. There was no tomorrow even, because tomorrow exists only because one has to do something. If one has not to do anything, then there is no tomorrow. Then the moment is enough.

Buddha slept, and in the morning at five o’clock, when the last star was withering away, he was out of sleep. He saw the last star disappearing, with no mind, because when you have nothing to do there is no mind. The mind is just a faculty for doing something. It is a technical faculty. No mind, nothing to do, no effort on his part, indifferent to whether he was alive or dead, he just opens his eyes and he begins to dance. He had come to that knowing to which he could not come through so many efforts.

Whenever someone would ask him how he achieved, he would say, “The more I tried to achieve, the more I was at a loss. I could not achieve it. So how can I say I have achieved? The more I tried, the more I was involved. I could not achieve it. The mind was trying to transcend itself, which was impossible. It is just like trying to be a father to yourself, just trying to give birth to yourself.”

So Buddha will say, “I cannot say I achieved. I can only say I tried so much that I was annihilated. I tried so much that any effort became absurd. And the moment came when I was not trying, when the mind was not, when I was not thinking. Then there was no future because there was no past. Both are always together. Past is behind; the future is in front. They are always conjoined. If one drops, the other drops simultaneously. Then there was no future, no past, no mind. I was mindless, I was I-less. Then something happened, and I cannot say that this something happened at that moment. I can only say that this was always happening; only I was not aware. I cannot say that this happened at that moment. It was always happening, only I was closed. So I cannot say I have achieved something.”

Buddha said, “I can only say I have lost something – the ego, the mind. I have not achieved anything at all. Now I know that all that I have was always there. It was in every layer, it was in every stone, in every flower, but now I recognize it was always so. Only I was blind. So I have lost my blindness; I have not achieved anything, I have lost something.”

Krishna says if you begin with the divine, then you begin to achieve. If you begin with yourself, then you begin to lose. Things will begin to disappear, and ultimately you will disappear. And when you are not, the divine is with all its grace, with all its love, with all its compassion, but only when you are not.


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