Can you understand what a religious life is?
Life is a movement in learning
3rd Public Discussion Madras
January 11, 1979
As we said the last time that we met here, the day before yesterday, this is a dialogue, a conversation between two friends who want to talk over any problem, any issue they have. So what would be the relevant and worthwhile question to ask, and out of that perhaps a right answer can come. What shall we talk about this morning?
Questioner: Sir, most people believe in things like god, religions, astrology, numerology, and the like. They spend a lot of time, money, their material resources, believing that these things will, they will be amply rewarded for their efforts. How to save them?
Q: Sir, in this existence only at the point of death all our accumulations come to an end. So unless we understand death very deeply any amount of effort on our part to end the psychological memory would be absolutely futile.
Q: Can we discuss the relationship between time and awareness?
Q: You have often urged people to be free of violence but I really wonder what we could do if we are faced with a practical problem. Like say somebody attacking you, when you are defenceless, so shouldn’t you have to retaliate with violence?
K: Right sir.
Q: What is clear thinking so that I can find a lot of energy?
Q: Can we discuss the relationship between time and awareness?
K: I have understood, sir. What is the relationship between time and awareness.
Q: Sir, can we discuss the relationship between truth, actuality and reality?
K: The relationship between actuality and reality. Just a minute, sir.
Q: It is pointed out that listening is the way of life, but the quality of listening, or observation which you point out indicate a feeling that it is beyond the mind.
Q: I have a problem, sir.
K: Thank goodness! (Laughter)
Q: Meditation as generally understood is taking some time apart from our daily activities and concentrating the mind on some form, or some name, or some idea. Well, sir, I have practised it for years and I have found that it has had absolutely no effect on my life or on curbing any of my evil tendencies. Well, sir, could we explore the possibility of making one’s daily life, entire waking life, including the time we spend on our activities, into one continuous form of meditation?
Q: Sir, is not the observation in itself an instantaneous action? Can we discuss about it? Any observation is instantaneous.
K: Now, sir. Now we have had so many questions I am quite lost.
Q: Krishnaji, maybe this question would cover a lot of them. We seem to be interested in a religious life but it seems that culture and tradition get in the way. One wonders how we can live with culture and tradition or can one live with culture and tradition?
K: Can one live a religious life, in daily life, without tradition. Is that it?
Q: And culture, yes.
K: Without tradition. I don't quite follow your question.
Q: It seems that we are interested in a religious life but we are not able to get anywhere because we are so involved with tradition and culture, and how do we live with tradition and culture, or does that have any part in religious life?
K: Has tradition and culture any part in religious life. Do you want to discuss that?
Q: As we have been talking about, when there is deep profound interest and care thought won’t interfere. Is that interest and attention free of thought?
K: I can't hear, would you please speak a little louder, sir.
Q: I heard you saying when there is profound interest thought won’t interfere. Is that interest free of thought, sir?
K: Is this a problem to any of you, all this?
K: Just a minute, sir, there are so many questions.
Q: We are full of problems.
K: Perhaps if we could take the question: what place has tradition and culture in a religious life? Would you like to discuss that, would that be worthwhile? I think perhaps if we could go into that question and answer deeply that enquiry perhaps we could include all the other questions in it. May we do that? Yes, sir?
What would you think is culture? No, not theoretically, actually, what does culture mean? The word 'culture' means to grow, to cultivate, to develop, to expand, to flower, to be, or to become, and so on. Have you had culture in that sense in your life? To grow, to develop the intellect, the mind, the heart, all the very, very subtle senses and so on, that's part of culture. So that is what we mean by culture. Do we agree to that? To the meaning of that word, would you agree to all that? No?
K: Right. And what do you mean by tradition? Go on, sir. Tradition implies, doesn't it, values, beliefs, dogmas, rituals, handed down from generation to generation, handed over from father to son, to son, to son. There is the tradition of the Upanishads, the Gita, handed down, what the writer meant and it has been handed down in this country, or in various other countries, and that is what we call tradition. Is that right?
Q: Tradition, I think, is the preservation of culture as well.
K: Preservation of culture as well. Which means culture being values, beliefs, rituals, gods, concepts, principles, ideals, all that has been handed down and you have marvellously preserved it. Is that it? As you cultivate a beautiful garden where flowers grow, there is shadow, sunlight, beauty, and you preserve that. And tradition means also to hand it down - concepts, beliefs and so on. And also please bear in mind that word means treason, betrayal. Right? So what has tradition and culture to do with a religious life? Go on, sir.
Q: Is it the religious life that is being betrayed by tradition? You say tradition is treason, the meaning of tradition is treason. What is being betrayed?
K: What do you mean by betrayal. When you are functioning with a deep, ingrained, conditioned mind - right? - as most people who are traditionalists, how can they betray? They are betraying the present. No?
Are you interested in all this? Or is it a nice cool morning and we can sit quietly together under the trees? You understand my questions, sirs? What has tradition and culture to do with a religious life, and what do we mean by a religious life - so we can expand it, shall we? Are you interested in all this? What do you consider is life? Your life, what is your life? Come on, sirs, let's... Two friends talking over together, what do you mean by your life, my life?
K: Sir, I am asking a question, sir, if you would kindly listen to it. What do we mean by a life?
Q: A relationship with others.
K: You say it is a relationship with another - intimate or not intimate, neighbour and so on. But what is that relationship? What is that life that you daily live? Come on, sir. What's your life? For god's sake!
Q: We want something, sir.
Q: An act of living in harmony and understanding.
K: Oh, sir, what is your daily life, actually, not theoretical.
Q: A bundle of experiences.
K: Is that it, a bundle of experiences, your life?
Q: Eating and sleeping, sir. (Laughter)
K: All right. Eating, sleeping and what else?
Q: Expecting something from the other.
K: Sir, what is your Look at your life, sir, for god's sake, talk factually not theoretically.
Q: And work.
Q: Fight, conflict.
K: A most extraordinary generation!
Q: It’s searching for pleasure, many kinds of pleasure, based on sensations, pleasant, unpleasant. That’s what my life is.
K: Yes, so your life - your life sir, your life is based on pleasure, pain. You see how we are avoiding to face our life, our daily life? Aren't you?
Q: Yes, my life.
Q: It’s a continuity in time.
K: Sir, sir, don't invent something. Your daily life, sir.
Q: It is a compulsion to complete, to satisfy, to alleviate pain.
Q: Facing problems, sir.
K: Facing problems. What are those problems?
K: Changes. That is, sleep, wake up, work, sex, what else? Don't you know your life?
K: Go on, sir, your life.
Q: Creating problems.
Q: Constant search.
Q: And then in the field of work you have problems.
K: Is this your daily life, sir?
Q: At the mundane level it is subsistence, and at the spiritual level it is questioning ourselves, who am I and what is all this.
Q: Sir, it is a constant search for pleasure.
K: Sir, I am asking you, you repeat the same thing, sir. Find out what the others say.
Q: My life is based on pleasant sensations.
K: You have said that, sir. Pleasant sensations, avoiding pain, work, seeking something more and more, physical pain, and what else?
Q: Searching the ego.
K: I think you don't know your own life.
Q: Following a routine in which I have already committed myself to. That’s my honest answer.
K: It is neither honest or dishonest, what is the actual fact?
Q: And going for a goal.
K: I give up! You are really the most extraordinary generation of people!
Q: Experiencing continuously, from moment to moment – continuous.
K: Are you doing that? You see, it's just incredible! You don't know your own daily life.
Q: Sir, it is expecting something out of the other, and expecting something from you now.
K: You are expecting something from me, you are expecting from another, dependence, attachment, pain, annoyance, anger, irritation, sorrow. You know all this, don't you? This is your daily life: going from 9 o'clock or 10 o'clock to the office and coming back in the evening exhausted, and so on, so on - is that your life? Going to the temple and doing some kind of noise with the bell, and doing puja, doing yoga, is that your life?
K: Study. If you want books. Please, is that your life?
Q: Let’s proceed.
K: I want to, sir, how can I proceed?
Q: We agree.
K: You agree to this?
K: I'll ask that gentleman out there - do you agree to this, sir?
Q: Just one point, sir.
Q: May I submit that I am existing as a part of the whole, and I see I am the whole myself.
K: Oh, good, that settles it! Sir, you don't
Q: Sir, what is obvious doesn’t need our acknowledgement, so let’s proceed.
K: Right. That we say, that is our life. Then what do you mean by religion, a religious life? You tell me. What is religion to you?
Q: Just a word, I think.
K: Morality, just a word.
Q: Not to be angry, not to be envious, to be peaceful.
K: Sir, I said, what do we mean by 'religion', the word. The word itself, what does 'religion' mean to you, the word? Not what it implies, the meaning, the significance of the word.
Q: The brain.
Q: Holding together.
Q: Relationship with the divine.
K: Relationship with the divine - how do you know about the divine? You see, you are so incredible. The word 'religion' comes from, etymologically, from various Latin, Greek, which meant originally to tie, to bind. Now they are denying that etymological meaning, they have given a new meaning to the word 'religion'. Which is - if you are interested in it - it means to gather all your energy. That's all they mean. Do you understand, sir? To gather all your energy to enquire, to find. Right? Not all the nonsense of temples, rituals, and all this either, sir, what you have put on your head. You see how you all agree? Would you agree to that - the meaning of the word? That means gathering every particle of energy that you have to enquire into what is truth and what is reality, to enquire into what is meditation, to enquire into why human beings live the way we are living, to enquire if there is an end to sorrow, to enquire into what is love, whether one can live without any effort, and control, all that is implied in that word.
So we are asking - you are putting the question whether tradition, culture, can live, is it possible to have tradition, culture for a religious life. Do you understand now? I say - I say, tradition and culture has no place in religion. Right?
Q: My doubts come from a practical point.
K: I don't follow. Sir, if you want to talk, answer the question, please say it loudly, kindly.
Q: Question, and to have order are means of culture by using it we arrive and go on exploring. It’s part of the culture that’s not coming to guidelines. I think it is right to use culture, use development. From there, start.
K: Sir, religious life implies also having no authority.
Q: No authority.
K: Sir, I am saying something. Having no authority of any kind, no spiritual authority. Right?
Q: The development...
K: You go on, sir, you go on and I will go on - it will be all right, sir. (Laughter) A religious life implies being a light to yourself. Which means, no outside authority, except law, policeman, taxes, that's a different matter - if you have to pay taxes, or if you want to deceive the government by not paying tax and so on. We are talking about having no spiritual authority including me, the speaker. Have you any authority, spiritual authority? Have you sirs?
Q: No, sir
Q: In the sense that we don’t take it as an authority but as a suggestion for us to experiment and see whether that method holds good for us.
K: Have you done it, sir?
Q: Yes, sir.
K: Have you experimented and found what?
Q: It is slightly useful, some methods suggested by the
K: Has it in your life?
Q: For example, meditation...
K: Have you found it in your life?
Q: To some extent.
Q: I’m on the way.
K: When? (Laughter) Sir, you are just asking some - you are not being serious, are you sir?
Q: Not as an authority but a suggestion for us to experiment.
K: You know, sir, what we mean by authority?
Q: To blindly accept.
K: Oh, not in the least, sir
Q: Authority implies blind acceptance.
K: No. Please kindly listen to what the other person has to say before you answer. Authority comes from the word 'author', one who originates something. You understand, sir? One who originates an idea, a concept, a belief, a statement of his own experience and so on, he is the author - not merely the writer (laughs) but he is the author, and from that word authority comes. Now you have the Upanishads, the Gita, and various, the Bible and so on, the Koran, and so on, they become your authority. Have they? You see, you don't even... Have they in your life?
Q: You seem to be the author for new ideas.
K: Do you follow a guru?
Q: I don’t.
K: You don't. But do you? You see you are so frightened to answer. You have had various gurus, Mahatma, Mr Gandhi and so on, all the way from the sixth, fifth, fourth, third, century, down to the present. And where are you, having been led for these thousands of years, where are you? Do you want to be still led?
K: I give up.
Q: Could we approach it in a different way since you are giving up, sir?
K: I can't, sir, you don't respond, you don't find out for yourself!
Q: Krishnaji, I think in the beginning most people do need some guide or guru or some teacher.
K: There is no beginning and no end.
Q: They are at a level when they do, Krishnaji, and then may be through expansion, and
K: I have heard you, madame, I understand. At the beginning you need a guru, later on you can throw him overboard.
Q: No, it can be a book, a (inaudible)
K: Yes, madame, understood. First I need somebody to help me to walk. I need a mother, a father to cling to when I am a baby, to cling to their skirt, to their trousers or whatever it is. So when one is ignorant, inexperienced, not thinking, you need somebody to help you to think, to clear away your ignorance and so on. So we say at that state we need a guru - right? - later on we don't need it.
Q: You can do it.
K: Yes, you don't need it.
K: Yes, madame, you don't need it. Are you in that position?
Q: Sir, are we to deny that there is some spiritual force connected with a person of an elevated consciousness? I feel benefit to me in my spiritual life and that I call as a guru. I mean when I read your lectures and notes in the house I don’t find the same meaning and the same spirit as I feel in your presence.
K: I am not your guru, thank god, or anybody's guru.
Q: No, no, I’ll call you as a non-guru sir, but that the whole (inaudible) in your presence. (Pause)
K: Sir, you asked a question: can tradition and culture exist or co-exist with a religious life? And we said very carefully tradition - apply it, sir, find out - tradition means handing down certain authoritarian statements, certain values, rituals, principles, conclusions, and so on. That's what tradition means. And that word also means betrayal, treason. Culture means to develop, to grow, the mind, your heart, to flower, to have beauty in your life, all that means culture. And a life which we live now daily is constant struggle, work, gathering money, having influence, having pain, suffering a great deal, insensitive to everything about us and only sensitive to our own little problems, and so on and on and on. That is what we call living. And religion as it is explained, means gathering your whole energy to enquire into what is truth and what is reality. Now do you want to go into all this?
Q: Yes, sir.
Q: No, before we go into that, we have seen what religion is, we have seen what religion is, and it is gathering our energy, all our energy to enquire. We have seen what tradition is, we have seen what culture is, let us see what life is and then go ahead. Let us enquire into what life is, what living is.
K: Enquire, sir, enquire what living is into your life.
Q: How? We haven’t enquired into what living is; we have enquired into what culture is, what tradition is, what religion is, but not what life is.
K: Sir, I am telling you. What is your life?
Q: My life is my life, that is all. What is life, that is what I am asking. What is life, what is living?
Q: He means to say how life should be, how it should be lived.
K: Are you asking what life should be?
Q: Yes, what is life. What is life, just tell what. We have said religion is gathering all our energy to enquire.
K: You want to know what life is.
Q: What living is.
K: Just a minute, sir. I understand your question.
K: You want to know what life is independent of our suffering, of our pain, of our anxieties, or our grabbing, greed, you want to know what life is.
Q: Yes, that, please answer.
K: Will you find out? You see...
Q: We must find out, you and I. You and I will find out now what living is. Let us enquire what life is. What religion is we have seen.
Q: He’s put a different question.
K: Sir, don't repeat, sir. I understand that.
K: How will you find out what life is? If you remove all the colouring, all the attributes and all the rest of it, will you first remove it to find out?
Q: Let us do. You and I will do it.
K: You want to know what life is and we are saying you can only find what life is, which may be eternal, which may be nonsensical, which may be extraordinary, only when we understand our living, daily living, and from that daily living understand the beauty of life. So if you want to enquire into pure life, go ahead and do it.
Q: Sir, religion has tried to deliver us from what we have just described, we might say the failure of life. Now there has been some error as that has been communicated since the dawn of time, across all efforts. Can we attack that error? Because we must be reproducing it if we continue to suffer
K: Look, sir: you say you start with error.
Q: That is our tradition, an error. What is that error?
K: Yes. Or also you can say, what is the original sin.
Q: What’s the original sin, yes.
K: It is the same thing, we are back into some kind of... Sir, we have described what tradition is. Are you free of that tradition? Because otherwise you can't proceed to find out what a religious life is. Because one must be free to climb great heights. If you want to go to the Everest you must throw away all your burdens and carry very little. So I am asking, we are asking you, courteously, if you have thrown away your traditions.
Q: Yes, sir, I have.
K: Traditions being nationality, your caste, your beliefs, your rituals, going to the temples, all that - have you thrown it away?
Q: Yes, sir.
Q: No, sir.
K: No? No. Then how can you find out what a religious life is when you are blind? So you want to find out what a religious life is and yet won't leave your little enclosure. Right? See your own tragedy, sirs. And you are slaves to certain things, and you say, 'I must find freedom' - you won't let that go to find it.
So what shall we do?
Q: We are caught by the crocodile, sir.
K: Crocodile? (Laughter) Like a donkey tied to a post, it can't go very far, you are tied to your tradition, and you want to enquire into something that demands a mind that is capable, a heart that can really love. Without that, freeing yourself from your tradition, your culture, your belief, how can you find out anything? You can repeat what the Gita said, or the Upanishads, or some other book, what value has it? I was told the other day, some of the gurus now give lectures, or talks on the Gita. Is that right?
K: Yes. And there are hundreds and thousands go and listen to it. What value has it? What are we all playing at, sirs? Apparently one doesn't see one's own tragedy. Right sir?
So what shall we do? I can go on talking, I'll become another one of those people who read, who lecture on the Gita, and you will all sit down and shake your head and say, yes, marvellous.
Q: I think most of us know our own tragedy, we understand it, but we can’t be bothered to do anything about it. Too lazy, we don’t want to see the truth.
K: What, I can't hear sir, from Somebody who hears, will you tell me?
Q: He says that most of us see our tragedy but we’re too lazy to do anything about it.
K: One sees the tragedy, the misery, the confusion, the uncertainty and we are too lazy to clear it up. Is that it?
K: Then please take some vitamins (laughter), put some guts into you and wake up.
Q: That’s the problem.
K: It's not a problem, sir, if you want to do something, you do it! You wanted to come here, and you woke up early and you took all the trouble to come here - you have enough energy to do something when you want to do it. But we don't apparently want to do this.
Q: Sir, do you communicate that the scriptures won’t help us to know ourselves, our mind, the things of our mind?
K: Would it not help us if we read the scriptures and other books to understand ourselves. Please, I'll answer that - please listen - you have asked that question, sir, please listen. To understand yourself must you read somebody else to tell you about what you are? If you read what they tell you, what you are, you are conforming to their idea of what you are. Right? You understand what I am saying?
Q: Oh, god!
K: You haven't even listened. For god's sake, what kind of people are you!
Q: Please go on, please.
K: Look, sir, if I tell you what you are, and you try to understand yourself according to what I have said, have you understood yourself?
Q: No, sir
K: Or are you imitating what I say, what you think you are. So can you stop reading about what you are and find out for yourself what you are, what actually you are - isn't that much more simple, much more practical?
Q: Sir, even if we were to give up reading books...
K: Wait, sir, I am coming to that. Can you first realise, if I may suggest, that our minds have become so imitative - right? - do you realise that, sir? Conforming, obeying, so that we are never original, find out for ourselves. So can you put away what the psychologists have said, what your Gita has said, what other books have said, and say, 'Look, I am going to find out for myself'? Won't you do that? No, you won't, because if you follow others you think that is the easiest way to solve life; and you have followed for millennia, and you are still where you are. Right?
Q: Sir, habit excludes creativity, and the brain and the mind are locked into patterns of habit, so people will, we will not respond to the fresh, obviously. We are speaking about de-habitualising the mind, are we not?
K: Yes. I'll show it to you. That means, the word is not the thing, the description is not the described, the word 'tree' is not the actual fact. So when I explain it is an explanation, but not the actual thing that is happening. Right?
First of all, forming habits, both physical as well as psychological habits, is a thoughtless repetition. Right? Why do we form habits?
K: No, sir.
Q: In order to be safe.
K: Sir, please, just listen sirs, you are all so quick to answer something which is, I am asking you, if you will kindly listen - why does the brain, your brain form habits?
Q: It is convenient.
Q: For convenience sake
K: That's right. He says, for convenience, for comfort, for following daily certain routine, both physically as well as mentally, psychologically. Why? Because the mind has found the habit convenient, it hasn't to work anew again, and so habit is formed, which means routine, a machine. The piston engine has a marvellous habit (laughs). Right? You understand, it is a marvellous habit, the piston engine. So our minds have become piston engines - repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat. Because that way you think is the easiest and the most comfortable way of living. Right? So habit is formed, good habit, bad habit. Which is, the brain refuses to think anew, to work afresh. Right? Isn't this so obvious, isn't it? I am describing, you do it actually, watch your own brains. So habits are formed, which is the tradition. Habit is a tradition. There is nothing holy or unholy about it, it is just tradition. And once caught in that the brain refuses to let go. If it lets go it immediately forms another habit and it pursues that. So one has to question why the brain operates this way. You understand all my
Q: Why does the brain refuse?
K: I'm going to Have you followed up to now, what I have said, sir?
Q: Yes sir.
K: Forgive me asking you a direct question. You see, you interrupt all the time and I lose
So we are saying, why does the brain form habits, which is tradition, whether it is ten days old or ten thousand years old, why does it do it? You understand? You have a leader of non-violence in this country, and he established a certain principle, or whatever you like, and then the brain says, all right I'll accept that, and I will follow that. Which is tradition, which is habit, and you don't like to call it habit, you say you have principles - we are following a principle. So I am asking why the brain does this constantly - you relinquish this habit, pick up that habit, and then throw that away and a new habit. Why? Just think it over, sir, don't answer quickly, enquire, go into yourself, look at your brain, why does it do it.
Doesn't it do it because - listen quietly, sir - the brain can only function in security. Because it is secure in habit, it is secure in a tradition, it is secure in a belief, it is secure in an illusion. So the brain demands at all times to be secure, whether it is false, whether it is real, whether it is absurd, whether it is superstitious - you understand? - it says, please I can only operate where there is complete security. So it forms habits, thinking that it will give it security. Right? You have understood this? No, not description (laughs), the actual fact. Then is there such security? That is, forming a habit, living in it, breaking it up with a new habit, and then following it, breaking it up, another habit. That is, the brain wanting security but never investigating into the security it thinks it has in habits. Are you following this? No, sir you are not, otherwise you wouldn't put on this thing, sir. That's a habit we have, the 'naamam', you know.
So I am asking - we are saying, there is a security not in habit. Right? I wonder if you understand this. I am going to show it to you. When the brain sees that this habit-forming is the most dangerous way of living - you understand? - what it does. You understand, sir? I don't think you do. It is the habit to call yourself a Hindu. Right? And that habit is most dangerous because on your border there is the Muslim. Right? And on the other border there is the communist. Which is their habit, and it is the other habit, and your habit, so you have got three habits, and there will be constant wars. So when the brain realises any formation of habit, or the continuance of habit is the most dangerous way of living, which is, when it comprehends the danger, the sequence of a habit, the very perception of it is intelligence. The brain then has this intelligence, which is total security. It is not habit, it is not tradition, it is not one habit after another, but the perception, the seeing logically, sanely, the consequences of habits. And when it sees the consequences it says, 'Right, finished'. I wonder if you understand this.
Q: Yes, sir.
K: Will you do it? That is, not to be a Hindu, or a Muslim, or anything. You are a human being. This human being, has this extraordinary capacity to create an illusion, and in that illusion, like temples, like churches and all the rest of it, create, live in that illusion and say, 'I find security there'. Right? And there is the other which says there is security in Islam, and so there is a battle. And it destroys itself. You follow all this? So will you, seeing this, throw away your illusions, throw away your habits because you see the reason, the logical sequence of forming habits? Have you understood?
Q: Sir, what you described, on the level you describe things to me, referring very much to the contents of illusion, but the mind itself is a form of habit so in effect you are asking us, you are leading to the question: can we throw away this psychological mind? Can we pursue that?
K: Yes. You are saying the mind is itself a habit.
Q: The mind orients its words, itself towards safety, security.
K: The mind itself orients towards a habit.
Q: No. The mind orients its words to security, psychological security, is a habit.
K: Yes, that's... when I use the Sir, you see, the mind, what do you mean by the word 'mind'? I know - we know what the word 'brain' means. Right? What is the mind? What is your mind, sir? Ask it. Please ask, demand, challenge, what is your mind.
Q: Sense of (inaudible)
K: You see you don't even ask! You don't put your guts in it to ask this question: what is your mind by which you live?
K: Don't look at me, sirs. I am not your mind.
Q: Sir, may I respond, sir?
K: Yes, sir.
Q: It is a modification, a formation of force, of the total force that you are, into certain forms.
K: Are you saying, if I may interpret what you are saying, your mind is your senses, your emotions, your sensory responses, your beliefs, your desire for security, the confusion, the sorrow, the misery, all that is your mind, which is, your consciousness is that. That is, your consciousness is the content. The content is sorrow, pain and all the rest of it. Now, that's what we say is the totality of your mind. Out of this totality you can invent a super-consciousness, you can invent a final divine consciousness, Buddhic consciousness and Krishna consciousness, and banana consciousness. (Laughter) You can invent anything you like. And the more superior, the more gullible you become. So we are saying, can you observe your consciousness? Are you aware of your own mind? Sorry, I've got a cramp. You don't have to bother about it. Are you aware of your own mind? Are you aware of your own reactions? It is twenty five to nine, sir.
Sir, you respond with one particular sense, don't you? You understand? Either the response, sexual response, which is the particular, or response to your taste, to your smell, to your touch. Please listen to this. That is, we generally operate along one particular sensory response. Right? Tasting, smelling, hearing, touching. Now can you respond all this together? You understand my question? Understand the question first. When you respond only with one particular sense, in that response there is division, breaking up. Right, sir? Now we are asking, can you respond wholly, with all your senses? Have you ever tried it, or is this something new? Something new.
Q: No, sir.
K: You don't understand?
K: You don't understand.
Q: All the senses...
K: You haven't even listened. Understand the question first, sir. We have so far responded with one of the senses. Right? We are saying, is there a response with all the senses?
Q: Sir, it seems to me you are leading to something else. The supra-sense is the sense of I.
K: No, no, absolutely you have gone off!
Q: Have I?
K: Yes, sir. Forgive me.
Q: Please put me up.
K: Can you look at the sea - the sea - with all your senses, the tasting, the smelling, the touching, the feeling, with all of that? When you do that there is no centre from which you are holistically responding. I wonder if you've understood this.
Q: We do that when we are playing with a child.
K: You are off with the child! You don't even do it for yourself and you talk about the child. Have you ever tried this?
Q: Occasionally we see.
K: Look at that tree, sir. Wait a minute. Look at that beautiful tree with all your senses: touch it, smell it, taste it - you know, you can't, of course - but with the feeling of all that.
Q: There is the complete cessation of the past, actually there is only observation, actually in the moment. In the moment there is only observation.
Q: Sir, the use of one sense is still conditioned by a central experience – you have just said, the centre – so if you synthesise all of the senses you will still be conditioned by that centre.
K: Have you tried it, sir?
Q: I’ve tried it and thought gets in the way.
K: Ah, you can't, sir, you can't try, do it, and you will find out thought doesn't.
K: You see, sir. You want to try something the other fellow is saying. Don't try what the other fellow is saying, but see what you are doing, that you are responding partially, either hearing, seeing, tasting, touching, partially. I say, don't respond partially but respond totally with all your senses.
Q: Sir, my difficulty is this: you are right, it works. However I cannot conceptualise it in your terms.
K: No, I don't want - you see, you have introduced concepts. That means you are...
Q: But I have said that it works, sir.
K: When you make a concept you are not listening.
Have you given up your Gandhism, have you given up your principles, ideals, and concepts, which are all habits? Right? Give one up easily. Try, see what happens.
Q: But, sir, when we give up concepts, what you speak would be just sounds for our ears, we would not understand what you mean.
K: One has explained very carefully how concepts are formed, ideas are formed. The speaker makes a statement, and from that statement you draw a conclusion. You don't listen to the statement without conclusions. Just listen. That's one of our habits, which is, you listen to something, instantly you form an idea, a conclusion. Now, break that habit, which means, listen. Now I will make a statement, and please listen, don't make an abstraction of it, an idea of it, or say, how am I to do it, just listen. Which is, when sorrow ends completely there is love. Don't draw a conclusion, don't say what do you mean by sorrow, what do you mean by ending - you follow? - all that, just listen and find out why you form a conclusion, which is a habit. So you have wandered away from the act of listening.
The question was put: can tradition, culture co-exist with a religious life? We went into that very carefully. We said, culture, tradition, cannot possibly exist with a religious mind. If one is to find out what is truly a religious life one must abandon totally tradition, totally any form of culture as it is understood. Which means a free mind, a mind that is not caught in Christianity, in Buddhism, in Hinduism, Islam, or in some other sect and guru, none of that. That means total freedom. And in that freedom there is tremendous energy because there is no conflict, no struggle, nothing. Right, sirs.