|The Fish in the Sea is Not Thirsty
Talks on Kabir
Talks given from 11/04/79 am to 25/04/79 am
English Discourse series
Year published: 1980
The Fish in the Sea is Not Thirsty
Chapter title: But Man Is
11 April 1979 am in Buddha Hall
Archive code: 7904110
Length: 106 mins
I LAUGH WHEN I HEAR THAT THE FISH IN THE WATER
YOU DON'T GRASP THE FACT THAT WHAT IS MOST
ALIVE OF ALL IS INSIDE YOUR OWN HOUSE;
AND SO YOU WALK FROM ONE HOLY CITY TO THE NEXT
WITH A CONFUSED LOOK!
KABIR WILL TELL YOU THE TRUTH: GO WHEREVER YOU
LIKE, TO CALCUTTA OR TIBET;
IF YOU CAN'T FIND WHERE YOUR SOUL IS HIDDEN,
FOR YOU THE WORLD WILL NEVER BE REAL!
I DON'T KNOW WHAT SORT OF A GOD WE HAVE BEEN
THE CALLER CALLS IN A LOUD VOICE TO THE HOLY ONE
WHY? SURELY THE HOLY ONE IS NOT DEAF.
HE HEARS THE DELICATE ANKLETS THAT RING ON THE
FEET OF AN INSECT AS IT WALKS.
GO OVER AND OVER YOUR BEADS, PAINT WEIRD DESIGNS
ON YOUR FOREHEAD,
WEAR YOUR HAIR MATTED, LONG, AND OSTENTATIOUS,
BUT WHEN DEEP INSIDE YOU THERE IS A LOADED GUN,
HOW CAN YOU HAVE GOD?
The fish in the sea is not thirsty -- but man is. Man lives in God, and is absolutely unaware of it. Man is born in God, breathes in God, and one day will dissolve in God. MAN IS GOD, made of the stuff called God, and yet completely oblivious of the fact.
The fish is not thirsty in the sea, but man is. God is the sea -- God surrounds you, within and without. All that is is divine. God is not a person: God is the presence that is overflowing everywhere in all directions. The radiance, the beauty of existence, the splendour, the majestic, the miraculous, the mysterious -- the whole magic of life is God.
God has not to be worshipped: God has to be lived. And to live God you need not go anywhere -- you are already in him. To live God you need not cultivate any character. God is already the case. He is your consciousness.
To live God you need not become a Hindu or a Mohammedan or a Christian -- you are already in it, he is already in you. It is not a question of the future. THIS very moment God is showering on you. But you are closed. He comes, but you don't receive him. He knocks on your doors, but you don't listen to him. And he has been knocking for ages.
The old biblical story is: when Adam disobeyed God, he was frightened, obviously. God came in search of him. Afraid, he went behind a bush just to hide from God. he was not courageous enough to face him, to encounter him. And the story says God called in the Garden of Eden, "Adam, where are you?"
Adam heard it, yet did not respond.
This is not just a story, this is not something that happened in the past: this is what is happening with EACH of you. God calls you -- either you don't hear, or, even if sometimes you hear, you don't respond. You are hiding! You are hiding from the truth of your own being; you are hiding from yourself. You don't want to see your original face: God IS your original face. and unless you see your original face, you will live in misery.
Misery is nothing but remaining ignorant of one's own being. To be alert, to be conscious, of all that has been given to you, to be conscious of all that has been bestowed upon you, to be conscious of the treasures that are hidden in your being, is to be blissful.
Man is very strange, the strangest animal on the earth. no other animal lives in such anguish -- even trees are far more blissful, even rocks have more of the heart than man. They are in tune with God, or in tune with totality. man has lost the connection. Man has broken the bridge.
Why has it happened? It has to be understood. And it has happened to almost all. Only once in a while does there happen a person who reconnects himself with God -- a Jesus, a Buddha, a Kabir -- but only once in a while. and these people are so few that they cannot be believed.
People go on talking about Jesus, Buddha, Mahavira, Zarathustra, Mohammed, but deep down they doubt their very existence. They HAVE to doubt! Nothing like that has happened to you. You have not tasted any of the nectar that they talk about. your life is just bitter, your life is nauseous, your life is sick -- and they talk of wholeness and of health, and of great bliss and of eternal peace... and you know nothing of these things!
Your only experience is that of a very poisoned life, a very poisoned spirit. Your experience is so much opposed to what these few people say -- how can you believe in them? And you are the majority. Millions and millions will support your experience that life is hell.
And Krishna sings songs celestial on his flute, songs of the beyond. And Kabir sings songs unbelievable! You may listen out of courtesy; you may not say anything out of formality; or maybe just the presence of a Jesus, of a Kabir, of a Bayazid, is so enchanting, so charming, it has such a charisma that it overpowers you, that you become dumb, that you cannot say no. But your not saying no does not mean that you are saying yes. They are two totally different things.
Not to say no is one thing, and to say yes is a totally different phenomenon. Not to say no is not going to change you. The no will remain in you -- silent, unspoken. The no will surround your being like a transparent capsule. You may not be able to see it, you may be able to see through it, but it will not allow you to meet and merge with existence -- unless your are capable of saying YES! That single word, 'yes', contains all the religions; all the Vedas and the Bibles and the Korans are contained in the single word 'yes'.
That is the meaning of the word Christians, Jews and Mohammedans have been using to complete their prayers -- AMEN. AMEN means, "yes, God, yes -- I say to total yes to you."
You may not argue with Kabir -- it is difficult to argue with a man like Kabir. His presence has such weight; his eyes, his fragrance, are hypnotic. Even in you want to argue you would not like to argue. But the argument remains. And once Kabir is gone, Jesus is gone, the argument surfaces, the no comes to the surface, and the formal silence is found to be impotent.
People go to the churches and to the temples and to the mosques, and it is all formality. It is nothing but Sunday religion. It is a social phenomenon; they are not individually committed, they are not involved. They are not going to the church or the temple to be transformed. It has a social utility; it is a kind of club -- you can call it a religious club, where people can meet and gossip and talk. It is a meeting-place, but not a meeting-place between you and God. That's what it is supposed to be, but it is not.
You go to the temple empty-handed, you come back from the temple empty-handed. Nothing has been happening there. It cannot happen this way. God needs commitment, involvement; God asks for your totality, your surrender, your yes.
And when you say yes, with no strings attached to it, with no conditions, when the yes is unconditional, and has not been said out of coercion but has welled up spontaneously within you, it has a tremendous beauty to it, and tremendous power too. Its very fire transforms you from the base metal into gold, from an ordinary human being into an extraordinary divine existence.
But, remember, your yes should not come out of any sort of coercion, physical or psychological. Somebody is a Christian because he has been coerced from his very childhood to be a Christian, and somebody is a Jew because he has been coerced from the very beginning to be a Jew. A great psychological conditioning is going on. Children are being exploited; children are being forced to be Hindus, Jainas, Buddhists. The parents are not even aware of what they are doing to their children: they are preventing their children from ever becoming religious. Yes, that's what they are doing to their children. In the name of religion they are poisoning their innocent souls. They think, they may even believe, that they are helping their children towards God. The truth is just the contrary: they are creating great barriers.
Once a man has said yes under coercion, once a man has yielded because he was forced to yield, you have destroyed his capacity to say yes spontaneously for ever. He will say yes only when he is coerced.
Children are helpless. They depend on you, they cannot survive without you -- you can exploit their vulnerability, you can exploit their helplessness. And that's what has been done on the earth for centuries and centuries. Hence, so much talk of God, and you cannot see God anywhere; so much talk of religion, so much of theology, but nothing of the existential.
Everybody is religious in a way -- somebody is Hindu, somebody is Mohammedan, somebody is Christian -- and nobody is religious in reality. We have created a fiction of being religious, and the fiction is so cheap, is so easily available, who is going then on the adventure to seek and search for God? That is arduous. One has to risk -- one has to risk one's ego, and that is the MOST arduous thing in life.
UNLESS ONE IS READY TO DISSOLVE ONE'S EGO, the fish is going to remain thirsty. Dissolve the ego and all thirst disappears, because the moment you dissolve the ego, the wall between you and the ocean disappears; then you are part of the ocean. How can you be thirsty then?
And man is certainly thirsty! hungry, in deep anguish. Man lives a very phony life, inauthentic. He only pretends to live; he does not really live. He goes through all the empty gestures of living, but look at people, look at yourself, look at others -- you will not see the dance. People are dragging; life seems to be a burden, a great burden, somehow to be tolerated. Life is not a celebration, and that's what it should be.
Your steps don't have the quality of dance. Your heart is not throbbing with ecstasy. You are not pulsating and vibrating with joy, with love. You are not overflowing with energy.What kind of life is this? Just going round and round in circles, dead, dull, stupid routines. Just hoping that tomorrow something will happen... and the tomorrow never comes, and nothing ever happens. Waiting for Godot, and Godot never comes. You go on waiting and waiting and waiting and all that ever comes is death.
But life is so miserable that even death feels like a relief. Life is so empty that it is very rare to find a human being who has not contemplated, some time or other, committing suicide. Life is so empty that we go on keeping ourselves occupied -- with any rubbish, just to remain occupied so that we don't see the emptiness, so we don't see the inner vacuum, the inner darkness.
Just watch and you will see that man is living in great anguish, anxiety. Man is already in hell. When somebody asks me, "Osho, do you believe there is a hell?" I always say, "There is no question of believing -- you are living in it." Hell cannot be doubted; heaven can be doubted but not hell. Hell is such a day-to-day reality! But why? -- why should it be so? Why did it happen in the first place? We will have to understand something special about human beings.
Man is the only animal on the earth, in fact in the whole of existence, who is dual. Other animals are not dual: they are what they are, hence there is no problem. A tiger is a tiger, and a peacock is a peacock, and a dog is a dog. With man there is something special. That is the glory of man, if we understand it. If we don't understand it, this becomes the agony.
Man is not what he is: he can be more. Man is not finished: man is a growth. Man is the only growing being in existence, the only evolving being in existence. Man is a potential and much has to become actual in him. And unless you start transforming your potential into the actual, your life will remain empty. The seed is empty. If the seed remains a seed it will remain in anguish; it will not feel the joy of fulfillment, the contentment that comes when the seed has become the tree and the tree has bloomed.
Man is a seed -- the seed of God. When man blooms, God becomes manifest. That's why we have called Buddha 'Bhagwan'; Mahavira, Krishna, 'Bhagwan'. It simply means that their seed is no more a seed; the seed has disappeared in the soil of existence, and they have come to their ultimate blossoming. Godliness has bloomed in them. The fragrance of divineness has been released. They are fulfilled, utterly fulfilled. Joyous they are because they have come home. Now there is nowhere to go.
Man is the only animal who is an unfinished product. Nature HAS brought man to a certain point, and from that point man has been made responsible. Now you are responsible for your growth. Nature cannot do any more; whatsoever was possible through nature has already happened -- it has brought you to the threshold. You have to take the further journey now; you have to become a pilgrim.
If you don't become a pilgrim, if your life does not take the quality of adventure, of search, of enquiry, you will remain empty -- and you will remain thirsty, and you will remain hungry. You will remain spiritually starved. Don't take yourself for granted -- that is the problem, exactly that is the very crux of the problem: we take ourselves for granted, we think as if we are what we are supposed to be.
Man is a paradox. Man is not what he thinks he is -- man is far more. Man's capacities are immense. In fact, there are no limits to man's growth. One can go on and on and on... It is an infinite journey. There is no goal! There is a beginning of the pilgrimage but no end.
To know God is to know that life is an eternal pilgrimage. What is the meaning when we say God is infinite. You can go ON attaining, but you can never say that now the dead end has come.
This is the beauty of existence -- it goes on giving you more and more opportunities. When you have climbed one peak, another peak starts giving you challenges.
The misery of man is that he thinks he is what he is supposed to be. He thinks that he is already that which he can be. Man remains satisfied with the superficial; then there will remain a deep discontent in your soul. That's what Kabir is trying to say
Kabir is one of the greatest revolutionaries who has ever walked on the earth. His insight is of tremendous value. If you can fall en rapport with his vision you will be enriched -- you will be enriched beyond all your expectations.
I LAUGH, says Kabir, WHEN I HEAR THAT THE FISH IN THE WATER IS THIRSTY.
HE IS TALKING ABOUT YOU, not about the fish -- you are the fish. Kabir says "I laugh..." The Buddhas have always been laughing.
It is said of Hotei, a Japanese Buddha -- he is known as the laughing Buddha -- that the day he became enlightened he started laughing and then he never stopped laughing. Many years he lived; he would move from one town to another, laughing, from one marketplace to another, laughing. He would stand in the marketplace and his laughter was catching, infectious, and people would gather and people would start laughing. And the laughter would go on spreading... and soon the whole village would be involved in it.
People used to ask Hotei, "What is your message?" He said, "Laughter is my message."
People used to ask him, "Why do you laugh so much?"
He said, "What else can I do? Man is so ridiculous, man is so absurd!"
That's exactly what Kabir is saying:
I LAUGH WHEN I HEAR THAT THE FISH IN THE WATER IS THIRSTY.
Life surrounds you with all its joys, with immense possibilities, opportunities. And you go on crying and weeping! Your anguish goes on deepening as you grow older. Children can laugh, but the older you become, the more the laughter disappears. And whenever you laugh, it is phony; it is just a painted laughter. It has no roots in your heart.
Why have people become so serious? They know they are missing something. They know that life is slipping out of their hands. They know that this should not be so, but it is so -- they are miserable. And when someone attains, like Kabir, he is bound to laugh.
If a fish comes to you and says, "I am thirsty," what will you do? Will you feel any sympathy for the fish? Will you feel any kind of empathy for the fish? You will simply laugh, and you will say, "If you are thirsty then you are simply stupid. There is no need to be thirsty! You are in the sea already. Why should you be thirsty?"
Man is in anguish, great anguish. We go on hiding it, because what is the point of bringing it to others? Nobody can help. We go on carrying dark nights in our beings, great turmoil, great pain, great wounds. We go on hiding! It is pointless to tell anybody; nobody can help. It is better not to talk about the wounds that you are carrying in your soul; it is better to forget about all those wounds.
That's why intoxicants have been so important down the ages. There has never been a time when something or other was not used by man to forget the inner wounds, to forget this whole nonsense that we have made out of life. People go on talking against alcohol, against drugs, but they don't understand the psychology behind it.Just talking against them is not going to prevent people. You can legalize, you can prohibit, but still intoxicants will be used.
Unless man becomes blissful, they cannot be prevented. If man lives in misery, he will need something or other to forget the misery. Otherwise, it will be too much! In fact, my own insight is this: if all the drugs and all the intoxicants could be simply removed from the world, man would immediately go mad. The whole world would be a madhouse.
People are somehow keeping themselves together. They can drink alcohol, and for a few hours they can forget the world and the misery that the world brings to them; they can forget their own selves. They can be lost into oblivion. They know perfectly well it is not going to change anything. But then nothing seems to change anything. At least for a few hours one can forget all about it.
Intoxicants will disappear from the world only when meditation has become a world-wide phenomenon, when each single individual has created some meditativeness in his being; when each single individual has become aware, "There is no need to be miserable. Misery is created by me. Life is not misery: life's nature is bliss. It is my stupidity that I am creating misery out of it."
Misery needs great efforts, bliss is natural -- you cannot create bliss, you can only create misery. And if you don't create misery, bliss comes of its own accord. Bliss comes effortlessly -- you cannot practise it. But for misery you have to make great efforts -- and you ARE making great efforts to remain miserable. You have invested much in your misery.
Kabir is right; he says, "I laugh..." It looks a little hard, looks a little cruel, that a man like Kabir should say:
I LAUGH WHEN I HEAR THAT THE.FISH IN THE WATER IS THIRSTY.
It is not cruel, it is not hard. It's simply how it should be. All the Buddhas have been laughing; they may have said so, they may not have said so. Hotei laughed publicly; Gautam Buddha must have laughed privately, but laughter is bound to be there.
I am saying it because this is my own experience too. When you come with all your miseries to me, I listen very sympathetically -- I don't laugh. But deep down there is laughter. I listen, very patiently and very attentively... I don't want to hurt you, I don't want to be impolite to you. But if you want to know the truth, then the reality is that you are simply showing how ridiculous you are, how stupid you are.
And God is not responsible for your stupidity. It is your own work. God creates every human being with great intelligence. You can see in children's eyes: all children are intelligent. It is very difficult to find a stupid child. If you can find a stupid child, that simply means he is already old.
Children are so overflowing with intelligence. Where does all this intelligence disappear to? What happens to this intelligence? The society is against intelligence; the society does not want intelligent people to be around. Intelligent people seem to he dangerous to the society.
The society wants stupid people because stupid people are easy to manage, easy to dominate, easy to manipulate, easy to order. Stupid people are obedient -- even where obedience is sin they are obedient. Stupid people can be forced to become machines, and the society needs machines, not men. The society is not interested in you; it is interested in your efficiency. And machines certainly are more efficient than men. The machine is the model, and man has to follow the model. Make man more and more stupid and he will come closer and closer to the machine. He will be a good clerk, a good station master, a good teacher in a school, a good collector... but unintelligent.
If he is intelligent, he may not be a clerk at all; he may not waste his life in writing stupid documents, collecting garbage in files. He may be more respectful towards his own being. He may choose some other way to live. He will not be just a deputy collector. How can you ask an intelligent man to be just a policeman? Impossible! And where will you find the thousands and thousands for your armies? Intelligent people are not cattle; intelligent people cannot be told to do stupid things. They will say, "No!"
Just think: the man who dropped the atom bomb on Hiroshima, if he had been intelligent he would have simply said "No!" Even at the risk of his own life he would have said no. He would have said, "If you want to kill me, kill me, but I am not going to kill one hundred thousand people. They have not committed any sin. They are innocent civilians -- small children, old people.... They have no responsibility for the war! They have not caused it. Why should I drop the atom bomb? It is better to die than to kill one hundred thousand people."
If the man had been intelligent, he would have immediately said no. But he must have been utterly stupid: he dropped the atom bomb, and had a good night's sleep. His sleep was not disturbed.
In the morning when he was asked, "Could you sleep in the night?" he said, "Certainly, I slept well! I did my duty, I finished my job, and then I had a good night's sleep. Whenever I do my duty perfectly well, I always sleep well."
One hundred thousand people burnt within five seconds, and not even a nightmare came to this man? Just think: we must have destroyed his intelligence totally; we must have reduced him to a machine. Machines don't have any conscience, machines don't have any consciousness, machines don't have any heart. And the society needs machines, more and more efficient machines. Hence the universities go on reducing people to stupid people. If you are a BA it means you have a certificate that you have lost much of your intelligence. If you are an MA, even more; if you are a PhD, finished! No hope for you.
It is said that when Henry Thoreau came back from the university, an old man of his village came to see him and was very much surprised. Seeing the old man very much puzzled and surprised, Thoreau asked him, "Why do you look so puzzled? Why are you so much surprised?"
He said, "I am surprised because you have really done a great job: you have saved your intelligence, although you have been to the university. You still look intelligent! This very rarely happens: to escape from the university and still remain intelligent -- because the whole machinery of education is to make you mechanical."
A new education is needed in the world, which will make you more conscious, not more knowledgeable, which will make you more loving, not more logical. Logic is good -- if love remains the master, then logic is a good servant; but logic should not be the master, and love should not be the servant.
Knowledge is good if consciousness remains in control. But if knowledge is in control, if the head is in control, then the heart is killed, destroyed.