Again? Again you will be in the mud! You ask for encouragement? I cannot encourage you.

I am going to discourage you totally, so you are never again in the mud. Who is asking for encouragement? The same ego.

You go on changing your question, but it remains in a subtle way the same – as if you have decided not to see the fact. Now you have seen the fact; still you want to falsify it.

“Each time I feel one with myself and in communion with you, my mind creates an enormous ego trip about how well I am progressing. Soon I am back in the mud.” Whenever the ego arises, sooner or later you will be in the mud. You cannot avoid the mud if you cannot avoid the ego.

See. Scientists say that even to say, “Tomorrow again in the morning the sun will rise,” is just an assumption. It may not be so; there is no certainty about it. It has been so up to now, but what is the certainty that tomorrow again the sun is going to rise in the morning? There is no absolute certainty about it. It is just an inference based on the past experience that every day it has been so, so it is going to be so. But it cannot be made a scientific assertion. It may be so, it may not be so.

But as far as you are concerned, the moment you have taken birth, your death is absolutely certain – more certain than the sunrise tomorrow. Why? Even scientists cannot say, “Maybe you will die or maybe you won’t die.” No, you will die. It is certain! Because in the very birth the death has already happened. Birth is already death, one side of the same coin. So if you are born, you are going to die.

Scientists say that if you want to make a guarded statement you can say this much: that if every circumstance remains the same, then the sun will rise tomorrow again. With this condition: that if everything remains the same. But the same is not applicable to death. Whether everything remains the same or not, a man who is born is going to die. Death seems to be the only certainty in life – the only. Everything else seems to be just a perhaps, a maybe.

The same is true about the ego and the mud. Once the ego has arisen, you will be in the mud.

Because the ego and the mud are two aspects of the same coin. You cannot avoid falling in the mud once you have risen with the wave of the ego. You can avoid rising with the wave of the ego – that you can avoid. Then mud is also avoided. So beware at the very beginning.

“Please, will you encourage me?” you ask me. If I encourage you, will again be flying high, you will again start thinking you are doing well. No, I am here to discourage you. I am here to destroy you, to annihilate you, so that the whole ego trip disappears. Otherwise again and again you will be asking the same question, from one corner, from another comer.

And my answer remains the same. You seem to ask different questions; you are not asking different questions. And I may be appearing to answer you different answers, that too is not true. You ask the same question, you formulate in a different way; I answer the same answer, I have to formulate in a different way because of you.

Let me tell you one anecdote: A visitor to Ulster found himself approached by a menacing gang of toughs.

“Are ye Catholic or Protestant?” said the leader, swinging his clothes significantly.

The visitor, unable to ascertain which answer was the desired one, resorted to subterfuge.

“Actually, I am a Jew,” he said.

His subterfuge was of little avail.

“A Catholic Jew or a Protestant Jew?” was the next question.

You cannot avoid; the question has to be faced. And the question has to be answered not by me but you. Because it is your question.

If you can see that the moment the idea arises that “I am going perfectly well, doing well,” the ego arises; then when the idea next arises that you are doing well, have a good laugh, a belly laugh.

Laugh immediately, don’t waste a single moment. Laughter is tremendously helpful in destroying the ego. Laugh at yourself. See the point of it: Again? Have a good laugh, and suddenly you will see you have not been in the right, and there will be no mud. The mud is created by the ego; it is a by-product.

Go on watching. It is arduous, but once you get the knack of it, it becomes very simple.

And never ask for encouragement from me. Just ask for understanding. Ask for awareness, but not for encouragement. The language of encouragement is the language of the ego. You want encouragement, somebody to clap, appreciate, and say that you are doing perfectly well. You want the whole world to garland you, to say that you are great. But why does this need arise? This need arises because deep down you are not certain, deep down you are not certain whether you are really doing well. If you are really doing well, no encouragement is needed. If you are really doing well, you don’t hanker for people to clap and to appreciate and garland you. There is no need.

The need arises because of an inner ambiguity, an inner confusion, an inner vagueness, an inner uncertainty.

And remember, you can gather a crowd to appreciate you, but that is not going to help you. That won’t be able to deceive you. You may be able to deceive yourself, but that is not going to help you. That’s what politics is. The whole of politics is nothing but seeking encouragement from others.

You become a president of a country – you feel very good, very high – but in the first place, that you wanted the encouragement of the people, you wanted their applause, shows that you feel deep down very inferior, that you don’t value your being. You wanted it to be auctioned in the market to know.

I have heard that Mulla Nasruddin once went to the marketplace with his donkey. He wanted to sell it because he was fed up with it. It was the worst donkey possible. He will not go where Mulla would like him to go; he will go only where he wants to go. And he will kick and he will create much fuss – anywhere. And wherever there will be a crowd he will create trouble for Mulla. So, fed up one day, he went to the market. Many customers asked, and he told the whole story, the true story, of what type of donkey this is. So nobody was ready to purchase it. Who will purchase such a donkey? And it was evening time, and the whole day many people had come and he would tell the whole story truthfully… and people would laugh.

Then one man came, and he said, “You are a fool. You will never be able to sell this donkey; this is no way. You give me a little commission and I will auction it. Just see how it is done.” So Mulla said, “Okay,” because he was also tired.

The man stood on a chair, shouted loudly, “The greatest donkey there has ever been, the most beautiful animal, the most loving animal, obedient – almost religious!”

The crowd gathered and they started bidding, and the price started getting higher and higher; and even Mulla got excited. He said, “Wait! I don’t want to sell such a beautiful animal! I cannot sell. I never knew these qualities about him. You take your commission; I don’t want him sold.”

This is what politics is. You don’t know your value, you go in the marketplace, you allow yourself to be auctioned, and when people come and they start valuing you – you advertise – when they start valuing you, you feel good. You start feeling that you have a certain value; otherwise why are so many people mad after you?

A man who has felt his being is not in any need of any encouragement. Try to feel yourself. All encouragement, all inspiration, is dangerous – it puffs you up. The ego enjoys it very much, but ego is your illness, your disease. You don’t need encouragement; you need understanding. You need clarity to see.

And I am not here creating soldiers, to encourage you and inspire you and tell you to go and fight for the country or for the religion. I am not creating soldiers, I am not creating an army. I am trying to create individuals. I am trying to help you to become so uniquely in tune with yourself that you know where you are, who you are, what you are doing… and you enjoy it, because that is the only thing you are meant for. You feel your destiny and you are glad.

I am not here to make you Hindus, Christians, Mohammedans – they need encouragement, they need armies, they need slogans, they need politics, they need some type of maniac obsession, crusade, murder. They need some type of violence so they can become convinced that they are doing great things.

No, I am not here to teach you to do great things. I am here to tell you just one thing, a very simple thing, ordinary: to know who you are. Because I know you are already great. And when I say you are already great, don’t get any encouragement from it, because everybody is as great as you are – not a bit less, not a bit more. As I see the world, every individual is unique, incomparably unique.

There is no need to compete with anybody; there is no need to prove anything. You are already proved! You are there; existence has accepted you, given you birth. God has already made an abode in you. What more do you need?


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