Question – The bauls celebrate their lives in their bodies. Could you say more about this? Americans cherish their bodies with health food, rolfing, massage, etc. But i don’t think this is the same as the bauls. Could you please comment?
Osho – THERE IS A LOT OF DIFFERENCE, and the difference is not only quantitative, it is qualitative. The modern world, the modern mind, knows only the empty temple. It has completely forgotten about the one who is enshrined in the temple. So we go on worshipping the temple, but the God is forgotten. Not knowing anything about the center of life, we go on moving and indulging on the periphery.
The American cherishes his body as the body, Baul worships his body as the shrine of God. Body in itself is nothing. It is luminous because of something that is beyond the body. The glory of the body is not in the body itself — it is a host — the glory is because of the guest. If you forget the guest, then it is sheer indulgence. If you remember the guest, then loving the body, celebrating the body is part of worship.
The Baul has a great vision. In that vision body is the lowest part, the most visible part, the most tangible. But it is not the all, it is just the beginning. You have to enter through the body; it is just a gate. It leads to deeper mysteries. The Baul cherishes the body because the body is a vehicle, and through the body one can know that which is embodied, that which is not body itself. The body is the earthen lamp and God is the flame. The lamp is worshipped because of the flame. Once the flame is gone, who worships the body, who celebrates the body? Then it is nothing; then dust unto dust, it returns back to the earth.
The body is throbbing with God, pulsating with God. If you can see that pulsation, then even dust becomes divine. If you cannot see that pulsation, then it is simply dust. Then there is no meaning in it. The American worship of the body is meaningless. Hence, people go after health food, massage, Rolfing, and in a thousand and one ways they somehow try to create meaning in their lives. But look into their eyes; a great emptiness exists. You can see they have missed. The fragrance is not there, the flower has not flowered. Deep inside, they are just desert-like, lost, not knowing what to do. They go on doing many things for the body, but it is missing the target.
I have heard an anecdote: Rosenfeld walked into the house with a grin on his face. “You will never guess what a bargain I just got,” he told his wife. “I bought four polyester, steel-belted, radial wide-tread, white-walled, heavy-duty tires, on sale yet!”
“Are you nuts?” said Mistress Rosenfeld. “What did you buy tires for? You don’t even have a car.”
“So,” said Rosenfeld, “you buy brassieres, don’t you?”
If the center is missing, then you can go on decorating the periphery. It may deceive others, but it cannot fulfill you. It may even deceive you sometimes, because even one’s own lie repeated too many times starts appearing like a truth. But it cannot fulfill you, it cannot give contentment. The American is trying hard to enjoy life, but there seems to be no rejoicing. The Baul is not trying at all to enjoy life. There is no effort in it; he simply is enjoying it. And he has nothing to enjoy; he is just a beggar on the road, but he has something of the inner, some glow of the unknown surrounds him. His songs are not only songs; something from the beyond descends in them. When he dances, it is not only that his body is moving; something deeper has moved. He’s not trying to enjoy.
Remember it: whenever you are trying to enjoy you will miss. When you are trying to achieve happiness you will miss. The very effort to achieve happiness is absurd — because happiness is here: you cannot achieve it. Nothing has to be done about it, you have simply to allow it. It is happening, it is all around you; within, without, only happiness is. Nothing else is real. Watch, look deep into the world, into trees, birds, rocks, rivers, into the stars, moon and sun, into people, animals — look deep: existence is made out of the stuff of happiness, joy, SATCHITANANDA. It is made of bliss. There is nothing to be done about it. Your very doing may be the barrier. Relax and it fulfills you; relax and it rushes into you; relax, it overflows you.
The Baul is relaxed; the American is tense. Tension arises when you are chasing something, relaxation arises when you are allowing something. That’s why I say there is a great difference, and the difference is qualitative. It is not a question of quantity — that Bauls have more than Americans, or Americans have less than the Bauls. No, the Americans have nothing of happiness that the Bauls have; and what the Americans have — the misery, the tension, the anguish, the neurosis — the Bauls don’t have. They exist in a totally different dimension.
The dimension of the Baul is here-now; the dimension of the American is somewhere else — then-there, but never here-now. The American is chasing, chasing hard, trying to get something out of life, trying to squeeze life. Nothing comes out of it because that is not the way. You cannot squeeze life; you have to surrender to it. You cannot conquer life. You have to be so courageous to be defeated by life. Defeat is victory there, and the effort to be victorious is going to prove to be nothing but your final, UTTER failure.
Life cannot be conquered because the part cannot conquer the whole. It is as if a small drop of water is trying to conquer the ocean. Yes, the small drop can fall into the ocean and become the ocean, but it cannot conquer the ocean. In fact, dropping into the ocean, slipping into the ocean is the way to conquer.
The Baul is one who is dissolved in life. He has said an absolute yes to life. He’s not trying to squeeze anything. He simply waits — passive, alert, available. When God knocks on his door the doors are always open, that’s all.
He is not chasing God. How can he chase? Where, in what ways, on what paths can we find Him? Either He is everywhere or He is nowhere. You cannot address your life towards God; you cannot make a target out of Him. He is the total; the total cannot be made a target. Wherever you look, He is. Whatsoever you do, you do in Him. Even when you are miserable, you are miserable in Him. Even in your misery you don’t lose Him. He cannot be lost. That which can be lost is not God.
That’s why Bauls call God ADHAR MANUSH — the essential man, the essential consciousness. It is so essential you cannot lose it. It is your very ground, it is your being. He celebrates his body because he knows that someone who is of the beyond, the stranger, is residing in the body. The body is an abode. It is a temple, but not empty. It is full of light, it is full of life — God is there. Realizing this, he dances; realizing this, he sings; realizing this, he smiles and cries and weeps, and tears roll down his face. Seeing the miracle: “I have not earned Him, and He is here; I have not even sought Him, and He is here; I have not even begged, and He is here,” a great, tremendous gratitude arises. The Baul dances because of it.
Now let me say this: the American is trying to find happiness, hence his overconcern with the body. It is almost an obsession. It has gone beyond the limits of concern, it has become obsessive: continuously thinking about the body, doing this and that, and all sorts of things. He is making an effort to have some contact with happiness through the body. That is not possible.
The Baul has ATTAINED it. He has already seen it inside himself. He has looked deep into his body, not through massage, not through Rolfing, not through sauna bath. He has looked into it through love and meditation and he has found that it is there, the treasure is there. Hence he worships his body; hence he is careful about his body because the body is carrying the divine.
Have you watched how a woman walks when she is pregnant so careful, because a new life is enshrined in her. Have you seen the transfiguration that comes to the, face of a woman when she becomes pregnant? Her face is luminous, hopeful, throbbing with new life, new possibility. Look at Prafulla; she is pregnant now. Look at her face — how transfigured, how happy she looks. She is carrying a treasure, a great treasure. A new life is going to be created through her. She walks carefully, moves carefully. A grace has arisen in her because she is pregnant. She is no more alone: her body has become a temple. This is just to make you understand.
What to say about a Baul? God is there. He is pregnant with the divine. He glows, he is luminous, he dances and sings. Possessing nothing, he possesses all; having nothing, he is the richest man in the world. In one way he is just a beggar on the road, and in another way, the emperor. Because of this that has happened inside — that he has become aware — he is happy with his body, he takes care of his body, he loves his body. This love is totally different.
And secondly: the American mind is competitive. It is not necessary that you may be really in love with your body; you may be just competing with others. Because others are doing things, you have to do them. The American mind is the most shallow, ambitious mind that has ever existed in the world. It is the very basic worldly mind. That’s why the businessman has become the top-most reality in America. Everything else has faded into the background; the businessman, the man who controls money is the top-most reality. In India, BRAHMINS were the top-most reality — the seekers of God. In Europe the aristocrats were the top-most reality — well-cultured, educated, alert, in tune with subtle nuances of life: music, art, poetry, sculpture, architecture, classical dances, languages, Greek and Latin. The aristocrat, who had been conditioned for the higher values of life for centuries, was the top-most reality in Europe. In Soviet Russia the proletariat, the downtrodden, the oppressed, the laborer is the top-most reality. In America it is the businessman; VAISHYA, one who controls money.
Money is the most competitive realm. You need not have culture, you need only have money. You need not know anything about music, anything about poetry. You need not know anything about ancient literature, history, religion, philosophy — no, you need not know. If you have a big bank balance, you are important.
That’s why I say this is the most shallow mind that has ever existed. And this mind has turned everything into commerce. This mind is continuously in competition. Even if you purchase a Van Gogh or a Picasso, you don’t purchase it for Picasso. You purchase because the neighbors have purchased. They have a Picasso painting in their drawing room, so how can you afford not to have it? You HAVE to have it. You may not know anything — you may not know even how to hang it, which side is which. Because it is difficult to know, as far as a Picasso is concerned, whether the picture is hanging upside-down or right-side up. You may not know at all whether it is authentically a Picasso or not. You may not look at it at all, but because others have it and they are talking about Picasso, you have to show your culture. You simply show your money. So whatsoever is costly becomes significant; whatsoever is costly is thought to be significant.
Money and the neighbors seem to be the only criterion to decide everything: their cars, their houses, their paintings, their decorations. People are having sauna baths in their bathrooms not because they love their bodies, not necessarily, but because it is the ‘in’ thing — everybody has it. If you don’t have it you look poor. If everybody has a house in the hills, you have to have it. You may not know how to enjoy the hills; you may be simply bored there. Or you may take your t.v. and your radio there and just listen to the same radio you were listening to at home, and watch the same t.v. program as you were watching at home. What difference does it make where you are sitting, the hills or in your own room? But others have it. A four-car garage is needed; others have it. You may not need four cars.
The American mind is continuously competing with others. The Baul is a non-competitor. He is a drop-out. He says, “I am no more concerned with what others are doing, I am only concerned with what I am. I am not concerned with what others have, I am only concerned with what I have.” Once you see the fact, that life can be tremendously blissful without having many things, then who bothers? That’s one of the basic differences between other renunciates in India and the Bauls. Bauls are beggars, Jain monks are also beggars, but there is a great difference: Jain monks have the American mind. They have left the world with great effort, they have renounced the world with great effort — because they think this is the only way to achieve the other world, to earn virtue. But they remain businessmen. The Jains are the top-most businessmen in India. That’s why I say they have the American mind. Their sannyasins remain the same.
The Baul’s renunciation is totally different. He has not renounced for any other world. He has renounced seeing the foolishness of possessions, seeing the unnecessary burdening. He has renounced seeing the fact that you can be so happy without many things. Then why carry them? Carrying them creates anxiety, burdens you and destroys your blissfulness. The Jain monk is thinking of another world: his MOKSHA, his heaven.
The Baul is not worried about any other world. He says, “This is the only world.” But he has come to see the fact, a simple truth: that the more you have, the less you enjoy. Can’t you see it? It is a simple arithmetic of life — the more you have, the less you enjoy, because you don’t have any time to enjoy. The whole time is occupied by having. If you have too many things, you are occupied by those many things; your inner space is occupied. To enjoy, you need a little space; to enjoy, you need a little unburdening; to enjoy, you need to forget your possessions and just be.
The Baul loves life, hence he renounces. The Jain monk hates life, hence he renounces. So sometimes the gesture may appear the same, but it need not be the same. The inner significance may be totally different.
I have heard….
Old Luke and his wife were known as the stingiest couple in the valley. Luke died and a few months later his wife lay dying. She called in a neighbor and said weakly, “Ruthie, bury me in my black silk dress, but before you do, cut the back out and make a new dress out of it. It is good material and I hate to waste it.”
“Could not do that,” said Ruthie. “When you and Luke walk up them golden stairs, what would them angels say if your dress ain’t got a back in it?”
“They won’t be looking at me,” she said. “I buried Luke without his pants.”
The concern is always the other — Luke will be without pants so everybody will be looking at him. The American concern is with the other. The Baul’s concern is simply with himself. The Baul is very selfish; he is not worried about you, and he is not worried about anything that you have or anything that you have done. He is not concerned at all with your biography. He lives on this earth as if he were alone. Of course, he has a tremendous space all around him — because he lives on this earth as if he were alone. He moves on this earth without being concerned with others’ opinions. He lives his life, he is doing his thing, and he is doing his being. Of course, he is happy like a child. His happiness is very simple, innocent. It is not manipulated, it is not manufactured. It is very simple, essential, basic, like a child’s.
Have you watched a child just running, shouting, dancing for nothing at all — because he has nothing? If you ask him, “Why are you so happy?” he will not be able to answer you. He will really think that you are mad. Is there any need for any cause to be happy? He will simply be shocked that the ‘why’ can be raised. He will shrug his shoulders and will go on his way and start singing and dancing again. The child has nothing. He is not a prime minister yet, he is not a president of the United States, he is not a Rockefeller. He owns nothing — maybe a few shells or a few stones that he has collected on the seashore, that’s all.
That’s all that Bauls own: a few seashells, a few stones — they will make a MALA of those stones, they will wear the MALA; a little instrument to sing, bells to ring for their innermost God, a small AEKTARA, a one-stringed instrument — that too one-stringed, because that is enough; a small DUGGI, a small drum — that’s all. A Baul sleeps unconcerned with the world. He lives, moves unconcerned with the world. And his God is always within him so wherever he is is his shrine. He never goes to the temple — not that he is against it; he never goes to the mosque — not that he is against it. He has come to the real temple, and now there is no need to go anywhere. He worships, he prays, he loves, but his love, his prayer, his worship, is of the essential reality that he is.
The Baul’s life does not end when life ends; the American’s life ends when life ends. When the body ends, the American ends. Hence, the American is very afraid of death. Because of the fear of death, the American goes on trying any way to prolong his life, sometimes to absurd lengths. Now there are many Americans who are just vegetating in hospitals, in mental asylums. They are not living; they are long since dead. They are just managed by the physicians, medicines, modern equipment. Somehow they go on hanging on.
The fear of death is so tremendous: once gone you are gone forever and nothing will survive — because the American knows only the body and nothing else. If you know only the body you are going to be very poor. First, you will always be afraid of death, and one who is afraid to die will be afraid to live — because life and death are so together that if you are afraid to die you will become afraid to live. It is life that brings death, so if you are afraid of death, how can you really love life? The fear will be there. It is life that brings death; you cannot live it totally. If death ends everything, if that is your idea and understanding, then your life will be a life of rushing and chasing. Because death is coming, you cannot be patient. Hence the American mania for speed: everything has to be done fast because death is approaching, so try to manage as many more things as possible before you die. Try to stuff your being with as many experiences as possible before you die, because once you are dead, you are dead.
This creates a great meaninglessness and, of course, anguish, anxiety. If there is nothing which is going to survive the body, then whatsoever you do cannot be very deep. Then whatsoever you do cannot satisfy you. If death is the end and nothing survives, then life cannot have any meaning and significance. Then it is a tale told by an idiot, full of fury and noise, signifying nothing.
The Baul knows that he is IN the body, but he is not the body. He loves the body; it is his abode, his house, his home. He is not against the body because it is foolish to be against your own home, but he is not a materialist. He is earthly but not a materialist. He is very realistic, but not a materialist. He knows that dying, nothing dies. Death comes but life continues.
I have heard: The funeral service was over and Desmond, the undertaker, found himself standing beside an elderly gent.
“One of the relatives?” asked the mortician.
“Yes, I am,” answered the senior citizen.
“How old are you?”
“Hmm,” said Desmond, “hardly pays you to make the trip home.”
The whole idea is of bodily life: if you are ninety-four,; finished. Then it hardly pays to go back home; then better to die. What is the point of going back? — you will have to come again. It hardly pays…if death is the only reality, then whether you are ninety-four or twenty-four, how much difference does it make? Then the difference is of only a few years. Then the very young start feeling old, and the child starts feeling already dead. Once you understand that this body is the only life, then what is the point of it all? Then why carry it on?
Camus has written that the only basic metaphysical problem for man is suicide. I agree with him. If body is the only reality and there is nothing within you that is beyond body, then of course that is the most important thing to consider, brood, and meditate on. Why not commit suicide? Why wait until ninety-four? And why suffer all sorts of problems and miseries on the way? If one is going to die, then why not die today? Why get up again tomorrow morning? It seems futile.
So on the one hand the American is constantly running from one place to another to somehow grab the experience, somehow not to miss the experience. He is running all around the world, from one town to another, from one country to another, from one hotel to another. He is running from one guru to another, from one church to another, in search, because death is coming. On the one hand a constant, mad chasing, and on the other hand a deep-down apprehension that everything is useless — because death will end all.
So whether you lived a rich life or you lived a poor life, whether you were intelligent or unintelligent, whether you were a great lover or missed, what difference does it make? Finally death comes, and it equalizes everybody: the wise and the foolish, the sages and the sinners, the enlightened people and the stupid people, all go down into the earth and disappear. So what is the point of it all? Whether it be a Buddha or a Jesus or a Judas; what difference does it make? Jesus dies on the cross, Judas commits suicide the next day — both disappear into the earth.
On the other hand there is a fear that you may miss and others may attain, and on the other hand a deep apprehension that even if you get, nothing is got. Even if you arrive, you arrive nowhere because death comes and destroys everything.
The Baul lives in the body, loves his body, celebrates it, but he is not the body. He knows the essential man, the ADHAR MANUSH. He knows that there is something in him which will survive all deaths. He knows that there is something in him which is eternal and time cannot destroy it. This he has come to feel through meditation, love, prayer. This he has come to feel inside his own being. He is unafraid. He is unafraid of death because he knows what life is. And he is not chasing happiness, because he knows God is sending him millions of opportunities; he has just to allow.
Can’t you see the trees are rooted in the ground? They cannot go anywhere, and still they are happy. They cannot chase happiness, certainly; they cannot go and seek happiness. They are rooted in the ground, they cannot move, but can’t you see the happiness? Can’t you see their joy when it is raining, their great contentment when winds are running hither and thither? Can’t you feel their dance?
Now researchers say that when the gardener comes and the gardener loves the tree, the tree feels happy and rejoices. If you love the tree and you come close to it, it rejoices, as if a great friend is coming close. Now there are scientific instruments to check whether the tree is happy or not. It vibrates in a different rhythm. When the enemy comes — the woodcutter, the carpenter — the tree is simply in a turmoil, anxious, afraid. And when you cut one tree, now the scientists say the other trees all cry and weep. It is not only that when you cut one tree that tree weeps and cries; other trees, all the surrounding trees, cry and weep. And not only with trees, but if you kill a bird, all the trees start weeping — subtle tears, great anguish, agony spreads. But they are rooted; they go nowhere. Still, life comes to them.
This is the understanding of the Baul: that there is no need to go anywhere. Even if you go on sitting under a tree as it happened to Buddha; God himself came to him. He was not going anywhere — just sitting under his tree.
All comes — you just create the capacity; all comes — you just allow it. Life is ready to happen to you. You are creating so many barriers, and the greatest barrier that you can create is chasing. Because of your chasing and running, whenever life comes and knocks at your door she never finds you there. You are always somewhere else. When life reaches there you have moved. You were in Katmandu; when life reaches Katmandu you are in Goa. When you are in Goa and life somehow reaches Goa, you are in Poona. And by the time life reaches Poona, you will be in Philadelphia. So, you go on chasing life and life goes on chasing you, and the meeting never happens. Be…just be, and wait, and be patient.
Source – Osho Book “The Beloved, Vol 1”