OSHOMEDITATION - Chapter 5. The Ultimate Secrets of Swordsmanship

OSHOMEDITATION - Chapter 5. The Ultimate Secrets of Swordsmanship


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Osho  - Ancient Music in the Pines
Chapter 5. The Ultimate Secrets of Swordsmanship

Yagyu Tajima No Kami Munenori was a teacher of swordsmanship to the shogun.
One of the personal guards of the shogun came to Tajima No Kami one day asking to be trained in swordplay.
'As I observe, you seem to be a master of the art yourself,' said the teacher. 'Please tell me to what school you belong before we enter into the relationship of teacher and pupil.'
The guardsman said: 'I do not belong to any school, I have never studied the art.'
'It is no use trying to fool me,' said the teacher. 'My judging eye never fails.'
'I am sorry to defy, your honour,' said the guard, 'but I really know nothing.'
'If you say so then it must be true, but I am sure that you are the master of something, so tell me about yourself.'
'There is one thing,' said the guard. 'When I was a child I thought that a samurai should never be afraid of death, so I grappled with the problem, and now the thought of death has ceased to worry me.'
'That's it!' exclaimed the teacher. 'The ultimate secrets of swordsmanship lie in being released from the thought of death. You need no technical training, you are already a master.'
The ocean is not only hidden behind the waves, it is also manifesting itself in the waves.
It is there on the surface as much as it is in the depth. The depth and the surface are not two separate things: they are two polarities of the same phenomenon. The center comes to the circumference; it is as much on the circumference as it is at the center.
God is not only the unmanifest, it is also the manifest. God is not only the Creator, God is also the creation. God is as much in his world as he is in himself.
Just the other night, a new sannyasin asked me,' Osho, can you show me the Divine form?' I told him, 'All forms are Divine. I have not seen a single form which is not Divine. The whole existence is Divine - don't divide it into profane and sacred.'
All the time, what else am I doing? Showing the Divine form. What else are you doing?
Showing the Divine form. What else is happening all over existence? The Divine is spread everywhere. It is as much in the small as it is in the great; it is as much in a grass leaf as in a faraway great star.
But the mind thinks in dualities. It thinks God is hidden, then it tries to deny the manifest and seek the unmanifest. Now you are creating an unnecessary conflict for yourself. God is here, now - as much as anywhere else. God is as much in the seeker as in the sought.
He is manifesting himself. That's why I say that the ocean is in the waves. Dig deep into the waves, dig deep into the form, and you will find the formless.
If you cannot see this it doesn't mean that God is not manifested, it only means that you are still blind. You have still not got the eyes that can see the obvious. God is the obvious.
And this is so on every level of being: whatsoever you are, you go on broadcasting it around you. You cannot hide it. Nothing, absolutely nothing, can be hidden. There is a Zen saying that nothing whatsoever is hidden - from of old, all is as clear as daylight.
But all is not as clear as daylight for you. That doesn't mean the daylight is not there - it simply means you are standing with closed eyes. Open your eyes, just a little, and the darkness starts disappearing. Open your eyes, and wherever you are, immediately you will be able to see as deep as existence is.
Once your eyes are open, everything becomes transparent.
When you see me, you just see the surface, the waves. When you hear me, you only hear the words, not the silence hidden behind them. You see exactly that which is of no worth and you miss all that is of any worth and significance. When I see you, it is not the form, it is not the image that you see in the mirror. When I see you, I see YOU.
And you are broadcasting yourself in your every gesture, in your every movement. The way you walk, the way you talk, the way you stay silent and don't talk, the way you eat, the way you sit - everything is manifesting you. Anybody who is perceptive will be able to see whether you are dark inside, or whether you have kindled the flame.
It is as easy as if you pass by a house in the night, a dark night, and the house is lighted inside. Is it in any way difficult to know it is lighted? No, because from the windows and from the doors you can see the light coming out. Or, if the house is in darkness and there is no light burning inside, then of course, you see it. It is obvious.
The same is happening in you. Whatsoever you are is being broadcasted every moment.
Your neurosis is broadcasted; your enlightenment also. Your meditation is broadcasted; your madness also. You cannot hide it. All efforts to hide yourself are futile. They are stupid, ridiculous.
I was reading a book by Edmund Carpenter. He was working on a sociological project, a research project, in Borneo. He writes: 'In a small town in Borneo, professional clerks sit before open windows, reading and writing. Because people are illiterate and they cannot read and write, for their letters, documents, or any other thing, they need the help of professional writers and readers. And I was very surprised because I noticed one who was plugging his ears with his fingers while he read aloud. I inquired and was told that this was done at the request of the writer who did not want to share his letter with the reader!'
So the reader was plugging his ears with his fingers and reading the letter loudly!
But this is what is happening in everybody's life. You go on hiding, but everything is being declared, continuously, loudly. Everything is being broadcasted; you are a continuous broadcasting station. Even while you are asleep, you are broadcasting. If a Buddha comes to you while you are asleep he will be able to see who you are. Even in your sleep you will be making gestures, faces, movements, uttering something. And all those things will indicate something about you, because the sleep is yours and it is bound to carry your signature.
If one becomes a little alert, one stops hiding. It is futile, it is ridiculous. Then one simply relaxes. Because of your hiding you remain tense, continuously afraid that somebody may know about you. You never expose yourself, you never live in the nude...spiritually I mean. You never live in the nude, you are always afraid. That fear cripples you and paralyses you.
Once you understand that, everything is bound to be declared. it is already being declared; that the center is coming to the circumference every moment, and the ocean is waving in the waves; that God is everywhere, spread all over existence, and you are spread all over your activities - there is no point in hiding. Nothing whatsoever is hidden from of old; everything is as clear as daylight. Then why bother?
Then one relaxes - the anxiety, the tension, the anguish, disappear. Suddenly you become vulnerable, no more closed; suddenly you are open; suddenly you become inviting. And this is the point to be understood: once you are exposed to others, only then will you be exposed to yourself. If you are hiding from others, whatsoever you are hiding from others will by and by be thrown into the basement of your unconscious mind.
Others will not know about it and by and by you will also forget about it.
But whenever you come within the vision of a perceptive man, everything will be revealed. That is one of the basic reasons why, in the East, the relationship of a disciple to a master is so valued: because the master is just like a ray of light, an x-ray, and the disciple exposes himself. And the more the master penetrates and knows about the disciple the more the disciple by and by becomes aware of his own hidden treasures.
Trying to hide himself from others, he has become such an expert in hiding that he hides from himself also.
You don't know much about yourself; you know just a fragment about yourself, just the tip of the iceberg. Your knowledge about yourself is very limited - not only limited, it is almost irrelevant! It is so partial, it is so fragmentary that unless you put it in the context with your whole being it carries no meaning. It is almost meaningless.
That's why you go on living without knowing yourself. And how can one live without knowing oneself? And you go on projecting things on others which have nothing to do with others; they may be just hidden inside you. But you project them on others.
Somebody looks Like an egoist to you - you may be the egoist, and it is you projecting.
Somebody looks very angry. The anger may be inside you and the other is just like a screen - it is you projecting.
Unless you know yourself exactly, you will not be able to know what is real and what is projection. And you will not be able to know about others also. Self-knowledge becomes the door of all knowledge; it is the very base. Without that foundation all knowledge is just knowledge in appearance; deep down it is ignorance.
I have heard an anecdote.
Mistress Jones, deeply troubled, was consulting a psychiatrist.
'My husband,' she said, 'is convinced he is a chicken. He goes around scratching constantly, and sleeps on a large bar of wood he has fixed up as a perch.'
'I see,' said the psychiatrist thoughtfully. 'And how long has your husband been suffering from this fixation?'
'For nearly two years now.'
The psychiatrist frowned slightly and said, 'But why have you waited till now to seek help?'
Mistress Jones blushed and said, 'Ah well, it was so nice having a steady supply of eggs!'
Now this woman is neurotic - but she thinks her husband is neurotic! Whenever you think something about somebody else - watch. Don't be in a hurry. First look within. The cause may be inside you. But you don't know yourself so you go on confusing your own projections with outer realities. It is impossible to know anything real unless you have known yourself. And the only way to know oneself is to live a life of vulnerability.
Don't live in a closed cell. Don't hide yourself behind your mind. Come out.
Once you come out you will become by and by aware of millions of things in you. You are not a one-room apartment, you have many rooms - you are a palace. But you have become accustomed to living on the porch and you have forgotten the palace completely.
Many treasures are hidden in you, and those treasures constantly go on knocking, inviting. But you are almost deaf.
This blindness, this deafness, this insensitivity, has to be broken - and nobody else can do it. If somebody else tries, you will feel offended, you will feel a trespassing. 11 happens every day. If I try to help you, you feel you have been trespassed upon; if I try to say something true about you, you feel offended, you feel humiliated, you feel hurt, your pride is hurt. You want to listen to lies about yourself from me; you want to listen to something which helps your already-fixed image. You have a very golden image about yourself which is false. It has to be shattered to pieces, because once it is shattered, the reality will arise. If it is not shattered you will go on clinging to it.
You think you are religious, you think you are a great seeker - you may not be religious at all. You may be simply afraid of life. In your temples and churches cowards are hiding, afraid of life. But to accept that one is afraid of life is very humiliating so they say they are not afraid of life, they have renounced: 'Life is not worth anything. Life is only for mediocre minds.' They have renounced everything for God; they are searching for God.
But watch. They are trembling. On their knees they are praying - but their prayer is not of love, their prayer is not of celebration, their prayer is not a festivity. Their prayer is out of fear. And fear corrupts everything; nobody can approach God through fear.
You have to approach truth through fearlessness, but if you are hiding your fear behind religiousness then it will be very difficult to shatter it. You are greedy, miserly, but you go on saying that you live a very simple life. If you are hiding behind the rationalization of simplicity, then it is very difficult to see that you are a miser.
A miser misses tremendously. Because life is for those who share, life is for those who love, life is for those who are not too clinging to things - because then they become available to persons.
To cling to a thing is to cling to something which is below you. And if you go on clinging to things which are below you, how can you soar high? It is as if you are clinging to rocks and trying to fly in the sky. Or you are carrying rocks on the head and trying to climb Everest. You have to throw them. You have to throw those rocks. You will have to unburden yourself.
Edmund Hillary, the first man to reach to the top of Everest, says in his autobiography, 'As we started reaching closer and closer, I had to leave more and more things behind. At the last moment, I had to leave almost everything, because everything became such a burden.'
The higher you reach, the more unburdened you need to be. So a miser cannot soar high.
A miser cannot soar in love, or in prayer, or in God. He remains clinging to the earth, he almost remains rooted in the earth. Trees cannot fly. If you want to fly, you need to be uprooted. You need to be like a white cloud, with no roots anywhere - a wanderer.
But you can hide your miserable self. And you can hide your diseases behind good, beautiful terms and words. You can be very articulate and you can be very rationalizing.
All these have to be broken.
And if you go on hiding, then not only do you hide your diseases, you hide your treasures also. This hiding becomes a fixation, it becomes a habit, an obsession. But I tell you, before a perceptive man, before a Master who has known himself, you will be completely x-rayed. You cannot hide from somebody who has eyes. You can hide from yourself, you can hide from the world, but you cannot hide from somebody who has come to know what clarity is, what perception is.
For such a man, you are absolutely on the surface.
I have heard about an American couple who were strolling along the banks of the Seine under the shadows of Notre Dame. He was lost in silence. She said finally, 'What are you thinking about, darling?'
'I was thinking, dear, that if anything happened to either of us, I would like to spend the rest of my life in Paris.'
He may not be aware of what he is saying; he may have uttered this in absolute unawareness. Let me repeat it. He says, 'I was thinking, dear, that if anything happened to either of us, I would like to spend the rest of my life in Paris.' He wants the wife to die although he is not saying it clearly. But he has said it.
We continuously broadcast, in many ways.
Just a few days ago, President Ford gave a party in honor of the Egyptian ambassador to the States. But then when he was giving the toast he forgot completely and something from the unconscious bubbled up - a slip of the tongue, we say, but it is not just a slip of the tongue. He raised the glass and said, 'In honor of the great nation of Israel.' To Egyptians! Then of course he tried to mend it, to patch it - but it was too late. Deep down, he wants Israel to win over the Egyptians; from the unconscious it bubbled up, surfaced.
It happened at a party: a man was leaving, but he was very diffident. He murmured to the hostess, 'The meal was delicious what there was of it.'
Noting the hurt expression on his hostess' face, the guest blushed and hastened to say, 'Ah, ah. And there was plenty of food, such as it was.'
These are unconscious assertions; they come out of you when you are not on guard.
Ordinarily, you are on guard. That's why people are so tense: continuously on guard, guarding themselves. But there are moments when the tension is too much and one relaxes; one has to relax, one cannot be on guard for twenty-four hours. In those moments, things surface.
You are truer when you have drunk a little too much, and things start surfacing from your unconscious. Under the influence of alcohol you are truer than you ordinarily are, because the alcohol relaxes the guard. Then you start saying things you always wanted to say, and you are not worried about anything, and you are not trying to leave any impression - you are simply being true. Drunkards are beautiful persons: truer, more authentic. It is ironical that only drunkards are authentic.
The more you are clever and cunning, the more inauthentic you become. Don't hide behind screens. Come out in the sunshine. And don't be afraid that your image will be shattered. The image that you are afraid of being shattered is not worth keeping - it is better to shatter it on your own. Take a hammer and shatter it.
That's what being a SANNYASIN means: you take a hammer in your hands and you shatter the old image. And then you start a new life from ABC, from the very beginning again, as if you are born again. It is a rebirth.
Then by and by, if you relax, and if you are not too much worried about your image in the eyes of others, your own authentic face, your original face, comes into being - the face that you had before you were born, and the face that you will again have when you are dead, the original face, not the cultivated mask. With that original face you will see God everywhere, because with the original face you can meet with the original, with the reality.
With a mask, you will meet only other masks; with a mask, there can be never any dialogue with reality; with a mask, you remain in the relationship of 'I' and 'it'. The reality remains behind it. When the mask is removed and you have come back home, a tremendous transformation happens. The relationship with reality is no more one of 'I/it', it is of 'I/Thou'. That 'Thou' is God.
The reality takes on a personality: you become alive there, reality becomes alive there. It has always been alive - just you were dead. It is as if you have taken chloroform: when you come back, and the influence of the chloroform disappears by and by, how do you feel? It is a beautiful experience! If you have never been to the surgeon's table, go, just for the experience! For a few moments you are completely in oblivion - and then consciousness arises. Suddenly, everything becomes alive, fresh. You are coming out of the womb. Exactly the same happens when you decide to live an authentic life. Then for the first time you understand that now you are born. Just before...you were thinking and dreaming that you were alive - but you were not.
A great mathematician, Herr Gauss, was keeping vigil while his wife lay ill upstairs. And as time passed, he found himself beginning to ponder a deep problem in mathematics.
People have grooves in their mind and they move in the same grooves again and again. A mathematician has a certain track. The wife is going to die, the doctors have said that this is going to be the last night, he is keeping vigil - but the mind started moving, in its old pattern of course. He has started thinking about a mathematical problem. Just see. The wife will no longer be there, it is the last night, but the mind is creating a screen of mathematics. He has completely forgotten about the wife; he has moved, he has gone far away on a journey.
As time passed he found himself beginning to ponder a deep problem in mathematics. He drew pen and paper to himself and began to draw diagrams. A servant approached and said deferentially. Herr Gauss. your wife is dying.
And Gauss, never looking up, said, 'Yes, yes. But tell her to wait till I'm through.
Even the great minds are as much unconscious as you are. As far as consciousness is concerned, great, small, and mediocre, all sail in the same boat. Even the greatest mind lives under chloroform.
Come out of it. Make yourself more alert. Bring yourself together. Let one thing become a centering, a constant centering in you - and that is alertness, awareness. Do whatsoever you do, but do it consciously. And by and by consciousness accumulates and it becomes a reservoir of energy.
Now, the Zen story.
Yagyu Tajima No Kami Munenori was a teacher of swordsmanship to the shogun.
In Zen, and only in Zen, something of great import has happened. That is, they don't make any distinction between ordinary life and religious life; rather, they have bridged them both. And they have used very ordinary skills as UPAYA, as methods for meditation. That is something of tremendous import. Because if you don't use ordinary life as a method to meditation, your meditation is bound to become something of an escape.
In India it has happened, and India has suffered badly. The misery that you see all around, the poverty, the horrible ugliness of it, is because India always thought religious life to be separate from ordinary life. So people who became interested in God, they renounced the world. People who became interested in God, they closed their eyes, sat in the caves in the Himalayas, and tried to forget that the world existed. They tried to create the idea that the world is simply an illusion, illusory, a MAYA, a dream. Of course, life suffered much because of it.
All the greatest minds of this country became escapists, and the country was left to the mediocres. No science could evolve; no technology could evolve.
But in Japan, Zen has done something very beautiful. That's why Japan is the only country where East and West are meeting: Eastern meditation and Western reason are in a deep synthesis in Japan. Zen has created the whole situation there. In India you could not conceive that swordsmanship could become an UPAYA, a method for meditation, but in Japan they have done it. And I see that they have brought something very new to religious consciousness.
Anything can be converted into a meditation because the whole thing is awareness. And of course, in swordsmanship more awareness is needed than anywhere else because life will be at stake every moment. When fighting with a sword you have to be constantly alert - a single moment's unconsciousness and you will be gone. In fact, a real swordsman does not function out of his mind, he cannot function out of his mind - because mind takes time. It thinks, calculates. And when you are fighting with a sword, where is time? There is no time. If you miss a single fragment of a second in thinking, the other will not miss the opportunity: the other's sword will penetrate into your heart or cut off your head.
So thinking is not possible. One has to function out of no-mind, one has to simply function, because the danger is so much that you cannot afford the luxury of thinking.
Thinking needs an easy chair. You just relax in the easy chair and you go off on mind trips.
But when you are fighting and life is at stake and the swords are shining in the sun and at any moment a slight unawareness and the other will not lose the opportunity, you will be gone forever, there is no space for thought to appear, one has to function out of no- thought. That's what meditation is all about.
if you can function out of no-thought, if you can function out of no-mind, if you can function as a total organic unity, not out of the head, if you can function out of your guts.... It can happen to you. You are walking one night and suddenly a snake crosses the path. What do you do? Do you sit there and think about it? No, suddenly you jump out of the way. In fact you don't decide to jump, you don't think in a logical syllogism that: here is a snake; and wherever there is a snake there is danger; therefore, ergo, I should jump.
That is not the way! You simply jump! The action is total. The action is not corrupted by thinking, it comes out of your very core of being, not out of the head. Of course, when you have jumped out of the danger you can sit under a tree and think about the whole thing - that's another matter! Then you can afford the luxury.
The house catches fire. What do you do? Do you think whether to go out or not to go out - to be or not to be? Do you consult a scripture about whether it is right to do it? Do you sit silently and meditate upon it? You simply get out of the house. And you will not be worried about manners and etiquette - you will jump out of the window.
Just two nights ago a girl entered here at three o'clock in the night and started screaming in the garden. Asheesh jumped out of his bed, ran - and only then he realized that he was naked. Then he came back. That was an act out of no-mind, without any thought. He simply jumped out of the bed. Thought came later on. Thought followed, lagged behind.
He was ahead of thought. Of course, it caught hold of him so he missed an opportunity. It would have become a satori - but he came back and put on his gown. Missed!
Swordsmanship became one of the UPAYAS, one of the basic methodologies. Because the very thing is so dangerous that it doesn't allow thinking. It can lead you towards a different type of functioning, a different type of reality, a separate reality. You know of only one way to function: to think first and then to function. In swordsmanship, a different-type of existence becomes open to you: you function first and then you think.
Thinking is no longer primary, and this is the beauty.. when thinking is not primary, you cannot err.
You have heard the proverb: it is human to err. Yes, it is true. It is human to err because the human mind is prone to err. But when you function out of no-mind you are no longer human, you are Divine and then there is no possibility of erring. Because the total never errs, only the part; only the part goes astray. God never errs, he cannot err. He is the Whole. When you start functioning out of nothingness, with no syllogism, with no thinking, with no conclusions - your conclusions are limited, they depend on your experience, and you can err - when you put aside all your conclusions, you are putting aside all limitations also. Then you function out of your unlimited being, and it never errs.
It is said that sometimes it has happened in Japan that two Zen people will fight who have both attained to satori through swordsmanship. They cannot be defeated. Nobody can be victorious because they both never err. Before the other attacks, the first has already made preparations to receive it. Before the other's sword moves to cut off his head, he is already prepared to defend the attack. And the same happens with his attack. Two Zen people who have attained to satori can go on fighting for years, but it is impossible - they cannot err. Nobody can be defeated and nobody can be victorious.
Yagyv Tajima No Kami Munenori was a teacher of swordsmanship to the shogun.
One of the personal guards of the shogun came to Tajima No Kami one day asking to be trained in swordsplay.
'As I observe, you seem to be a master of the art yourself,' said the teacher.
As I observe...' said the Master. When Buddha was alive, one of his contemporaries was Mahavir. Between the disciples of the two there has been a great discussion ever since. The discussion is about an enlightened person's awareness. Mahavir's followers, Jainas, say that whenever a person has become enlightened, he always knows everything of the past, of the present, of the future. He has become omniscient. He knows everything. He has become a mirror to the whole of the reality.
Buddha's followers say that that is not so. They say that he becomes capable of knowing anything if he observes. If he tries to focus on anything, he will be able to know everything about it. But it does not happen as the followers of Mahavir say - that whether he focuses or not, he knows.
To me also, the Buddhist standpoint seems to be better and more scientific. Otherwise a man like Buddha would go almost mad. Just think of it: knowing everything of the past, and the present, and the future. No, that doesn't seem to be right. The Buddhist attitude seems to be more right: he has become capable of knowing.
Now, whenever he wants to use the capacity, he focuses, he throws his ray of light, he puts something in the flow of his meditation - and that thing becomes revealed to him.
Otherwise it would be impossible for him to rest. Even in the night he would be continuously knowing, knowing the past, and the present, and the future. And not only of himself, of the whole world! Just think of the sheer impossibility of it. No. That's not possible.
'As I observe...' said the Master. The disciple has come and he has asked to be trained in swordplay. The Master said, 'As I observe...' He focuses his ray of light, his torch, towards this disciple. Now this disciple is under his meditation. He goes through and through - the disciple becomes transparent. That is what happens when you come to a Master: simply his light penetrates you to your very core....'you seem to be a master of the art yourself,' said the teacher. He could not find anything wrong in this man. Everything was as it should be, in tune, humming. This man was a beautiful song; he had already achieved.
'Please tell me to what school you belong before we enter into the relationship of teacher and pupil.'
That is the highest relationship in the world - greater than a love relationship, greater than any relationship. Because the surrender has to be total. Even in a love relationship the surrender is not total, surrender is partial. the divorce is possible. But in fact, if you have once become a disciple of a Master, if you have really become a disciple, if you have been accepted, if you have surrendered, there is no possibility of divorce. There is no going back; it is a point of no return. Then the two persons are no more there. They exist like one, two aspects of one, but they are not two.
So the Master says, 'Before we enter into the relationship of teacher and pupil, I would like to know where you learned this art. How have you become so tuned? You are already a Master.'
The guardsman said, 'I do not belong to any school, I have never studied the art.'
'It is no use trying to fool me,' said the teacher. 'My judging eye never fails.'
Now, listen to this paradox: the judging eye arises only when you have left all judgment.
In meditation you have to leave all judging: what is good, what is bad - you have to drop all that division. You simply look. You look without any judgment, without any condemnation, without any appreciation. You don't evaluate, you simply look. The look becomes pure.
When this look has happened to you and has become an integrated thing in your being.
You attain to a capacity which never fails. Once you have become one insider and gone beyond morality, dualism - good and bad. sin and virtue, life and death, beautiful and ugly - once you have gone beyond the dualisms of mind, you attain to the judging eye.
This is the paradox: all judgment has to be left, then you attain to the judging eye. Then it never fails. You simply know it is so, and there is no alternative to it. It is not a choice on your part, it is not a decision, it is a simple revelation that it is so.
It is no use trying to fool me,' said the teacher. 'My judging eye never fails.'
'I am sorry to defy, your honor,' said the guard, 'but I really know nothing.'
'If you say so, then it must be true, but I am sure you are the master of something....'
Now this point has to be understood: it makes no difference what you are a Master of, the taste of Mastery is the same, the flavor is the same. You can become a Master of archery, or you can become a Master of swordsmanship, or you can become a Master Just of the ordinary tea ceremony - it makes no difference. The real thing is that you have become a Master. The art has gone so deep that you are not carrying it anymore; the art has gone so deep that now there is no need to think about it - it has become simply your nature.
'...but I am sure that you are the master of something... Maybe you aren't a Master of swordsmanship, but you are a Master '...so tell me about yourself.' 'there is one thing,' said the guard. 'When I was a child I thought that a samurai should never be afraid of death, so grappled with the problem. And now the thought of death has ceased to worry me.'
But that is what the whole of religion is all about. If death no longer bothers you, you have become a Master. If you have tasted something of the deathless, something of your innermost nature - you have known something of the eternal. To know the deathless is the whole business of life. Life is an opportunity to know the deathless.
'...And now the thought of death has ceased to worry me.
'That's it!' exclaimed the teacher. 'The ultimate secrets of swordsmanship lie in being re/eased from the thought of death.
You need no technical training, you are already a master.'
When you are fighting with a sword, if you are afraid of death, thinking will continue.
Now let me tell you one basic truth: thinking is out of fear.
All thinking is out of fear. The more you become afraid, the more you think. Whenever there is no fear, thinking stops. If you have fallen in love with someone, there are moments with your beloved or your lover when thinking stops. Just sitting by the lake, doing nothing, holding hands, looking at the moon or the stars, or just gazing into the darkness of the night, sometimes thoughts stop because there is no fear. Love dispels fear just as light dispels darkness.
If even for a moment you have been in love with someone, fear disappears and thinking stops. With fear, thinking continues. The more you are afraid, the more you have to think - because by thinking you will create security; by thinking, you will create a citadel around you; by thinking you will manage, or try to manage, how to fight.
A swordsman, if he is afraid of death, cannot be a real swordsman because the fear will make him tremble. With just a slight trembling inside, a slight thinking inside, he will not be able to act out of no-mind.
There is a story.
A man in China became the greatest archer. He asked the king, 'Declare me as the greatest archer of the country.' The king was just going to decide and declare him when an old servant of the king said, 'Wait, sir. I know a man who lives in the forest who never comes to the town. He is a greater archer. So let this young man go to him and learn from him for at least three years. He does not know what he is demanding. He is like a camel who has not yet come across a mountain. Archers don't live in the capitals, the real archers are in the mountains. I know one, and I know for certain that this man is nothing.'
Of course, the man was sent. He went. He could not believe that there could be a greater archer than him. But he found the old man and, he was! For three years he learned from him. Then one day, when he had learned everything, the thought arose in him that, 'If I kill this old man, then I will be the greatest archer.'
The old man had gone to cut wood and he was coming back carrying wood on his head.
The young man hid behind a tree, waiting to kill him. He shot an arrow. The old man took a small piece of wood and threw it. It struck the arrow and the arrow turned back and wounded the young man very deeply. The old man came, took out the arrow, and said, 'I knew this. I knew that some day or other you were going to do this. That's why I have not taught you this secret. Only one secret I have kept for myself. There is no need to kill me, I am not a competitor. But one thing I must tell you - my Master is still alive, and I am nothing before him. You will have to go deeper into the mountains. He is a man of one hundred and twenty years, very old - but while he is alive, nobody can pretend and nobody should even think of declaring. You must be with him for at least thirty years. And he is very old, so go fast! Find the old man!'
The young man traveled, now very desperate. It seemed to be impossible to become the greatest archer in the country. He found the old man. He was very ancient, one hundred and twenty years old, completely bent, he could not stand upright. But the young man was surprised because there was no bow, no arrow, with him. And he asked, 'Are you the old man who is the greatest archer?'
The old man said, 'Yes.'
'But where are your bow and arrows?'
The old man said, 'Those are playthings. Real archers don't need them once they have learned the art. They are just devices to learn; once you have learned, you throw them. A great musician will throw his instrument because he has learned what music is. How to carry the instrument is foolish, childish.'
And the old man said, 'But if you are really interested in becoming an archer, then come with me.'
He took him to a precipice. A rock was there overlooking a very deep valley. The old man went ahead of the young man and stood just at the very edge. With a slight trembling he would topple down into the valley. He called the young man to come close to him. He started perspiring, he started trembling, it was so dangerous to be there.
At just two feet away he said, 'I cannot come that close.' The old man started laughing and he said, 'If you tremble so much with fear, how can you become an archer? Fear must disappear totally, with no trace left behind.'
The young man said, 'But how can it be? I am afraid of death.'
The old man said, 'Drop the idea of death. Find someone who can teach you what a deathless life is and you will become the greatest archer - never before.'
Fear creates trembling; fear creates thinking. Thinking is a sort of inner trembling. When one becomes unwavering, the flame of consciousness remains there, undistracted, untrembling.
'That's it!' exclaimed the teacher. 'The ultimate secrets of swordsmanship are in being released from the thought of death. You need no technical training, you are already a master.'
But he was not aware of his own mastery. He may have been hiding many other things and because of that he was hiding his treasures also. Once exposed to a Master, he became alert. And the Master said, 'There is no need for any techniques. You are already a Master.'
As I see in you, everybody is carrying the deathless within him. You may know it, you may not know it, that is not the point - but you are carrying it within you. It is already there, it is already the case. Just a slight understanding of it and your life can be transformed. And then there is no need of any techniques; religion is not technology Everybody is born with a secret treasure but goes on living as if he were born a beggar.
Everybody is born an emperor but goes on living like a beggar. Realize it! And the realization will come to you only if by and by you drop your fear.
So whenever fear comes to you, don't suppress it, don't repress it, don't avoid it, don't get occupied in something so that you can forget about it. No! When fear comes, watch it. Be face to face with it. Encounter it. Look deep into it. Gaze into the valley of fear. Of course you will perspire, and you will tremble, and it will be like a death, and you will have to live it many times. But by and by, the more your eyes become clear, the more your awareness becomes alert, the more your focus is there on the fear, the fear will disappear Like a mist.
And once fear disappears, sometimes, even for only a moment, suddenly you are deathless.
There is no death. Death is the greatest illusion there is, the greatest myth - a lie. For even a single moment, if you can see that you are deathless. then no meditation is needed.
Then live that experience, then act out of that experience, and the doors of eternal life are open for you.
Much is being missed because of fear. We are too attached to the body and we go on creating more and more fear because of that attachment. The body is going to die, the body is part of death, the body is death - but you are beyond the body. You are not the body; you are the bodiless. Remember it. Realize it. Awaken yourself to this truth - that you are beyond the body. You are the witness, the seer. Then death disappears and fear disappears, and there arises the tremendously glorious life - what Jesus calls 'life abundant,' or 'the kingdom of God.' The kingdom of God is within you.

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