Render to the immortal gods the consecrated cult. Guard then thy faith:
Revere the memory of the illustrious heroes, of spirits, demi-gods….
Be a good son, just brother; spouse tender, and good father.
Choose for thy friend, the friend of virtue; yield to his gentle counsels,
profit by his life, and for a trifling grievance never leave him;
if thou canst at least: for a most rigid law binds power to necessity.
Pythagoras represents the eternal Pilgrim for philosophia perennis – the perennial philosophy of life. He is a seeker of truth par excellence. He staked all that he had for the search. He traveled far and wide, almost the whole known world of those days, in search of the Masters, of the mystery schools, of any hidden secrets. From Greece he went to Egypt — in search of the lost Atlantis and its secrets.
In Egypt, the great library of Alexandria was still intact. It had all the secrets of the past preserved. It was the greatest library that has ever existed on the earth; later on it was destroyed by a Mohammedan fanatic. The library was so big that when it was burnt, for six months the fire continued.
Just twenty-five centuries before Pythagoras, a great continent, Atlantis, had disappeared into the ocean. The ocean that is called Atlantic is so called because of that continent, Atlantis.
Atlantis was the ancientmost continent of the earth, and civilization had reached the highest possible peaks. But whenever a civilization reaches a great peak there is a danger: the danger of falling apart, the danger of committing suicide.
Humanity is facing that same danger again. When man becomes powerful, he does not know what to do with that power. When the power is too much and the understanding is too little, power has always proved dangerous. Atlantis was not drowned in the ocean by any natural calamity. It was actually the same thing that is happening today: it was man’s own power over nature. It was through atomic energy that Atlantis was drowned — it was man’s own suicide. But all the scriptures and all the secrets of Atlantis were still preserved in Alexandria.
All over the world there are parables, stories, about the great flood.
Those stories have come from the drowning of Atlantis. All those stories — Christian, Jewish, Hindu — they all talk about a great flood that had come once in the past and had destroyed almost the whole civilization. Just a few initiates, adepts, had survived. Noah is an adept; a great Master, and Noah’s ark is just a symbol.
A few people escaped the calamity. With them, all the secrets that the civilization had attained survived. They were preserved in Alexandria.
Pythagoras lived in Alexandria for years. He studied, he was initiated into the mystery schools of Egypt — particularly the mysteries of Hermes. Then he came to India, was initiated into all that the brahmins of this ancient land had discovered, all that India had known in the inner world of man.
For years he was in India, then he traveled to Tibet and then to China. That was the whole known world. His whole life he was a seeker, a pilgrim, in search of a philosophy — philosophy in the true sense of the word: love for wisdom. He was a lover, a philosopher — not in the modern sense of the word but in the old, ancient sense of the word. Because a lover cannot only speculate, a lover cannot only think about truth: a lover has to search, risk, adventure.
Truth is the beloved. How can you go on only thinking about it? You have to be connected with the beloved through the heart. The search cannot be only intellectual; it has to be deep down intuitive. Maybe the beginning has to be intellectual, but only the beginning. Just the starting point has to be intellectual, but finally it has to reach the very core of your being.
He was one of the most generous of men, most liberal, democratic, unprejudiced, open. He was respected all over the world. From Greece to China he was revered. He was accepted in every mystic school; with great joy he was welcomed everywhere. His name was known in all the lands. Wherever he went he was received with great rejoicing.
Even though he had become enlightened, he still continued to reach into hidden secrets, he still continued to ask to be initiated into new schools. He was trying to create a synthesis; he was trying to know the truth through as many possibilities as is humanly possible. He wanted to know truth in all its aspects, in all its dimensions.
He was always ready to bow down to a Master. He himself was an enlightened man — it is very rare. Once you have become enlightened, the search stops, the seeking disappears. There is no point.
Buddha became enlightened… then he never went to any other Master. Jesus became enlightened… then he never went to any other Master. Or Lao Tzu, or Zarathustra, or Moses…. Hence Pythagoras is something unique. No parallel has ever existed. Even after becoming enlightened, he was ready to become a disciple to anybody who was there to reveal some aspect of truth.
His search was such that he was ready to learn from anybody. He was an absolute disciple. He was ready to learn from the whole existence. He remained open, and he remained a learner to the very end.
The whole effort was… and it was a great effort in those days, to travel from Greece to China. It was full of dangers. The journey was hazardous; it was not easy as it is today. Today things are so easy that you can take your breakfast in New York and your lunch in London, and you can suffer indigestion in Poona. Things are very simple. In those days it was not so simple. It was really a risk; to move from one country to another country took years.
By the time Pythagoras came back, he was a very old man. But seekers gathered around him; a great school was born. And, as it always happens, the society started persecuting him and his school and his disciples. His whole life he searched for the perennial philosophy, and he had found it! He had gathered all the fragments into a tremendous harmony, into a great unity. But he was not allowed to work it out in detail – to teach people he was not allowed.
He was persecuted from one place to another. Many attempts were made on his life. It was almost impossible for him to teach all that he had gathered. And his treasure was immense — in fact, nobody else has ever had such a treasure as he had. But this is how foolish humanity is, and has always been. This man had done something impossible: he had bridged East and West. He was the first bridge. He had come to know the Eastern mind as deeply as the Western mind.
He was a Greek. He was brought up with the Greek logic, with the Greek scientific approach, and then he moved to the East. And then he learnt the ways of intuition. Then he learnt how to be a mystic. He himself was a great mathematician in his own right. And a mathematician becoming a mystic is a revolution, because these are poles apart.
The West represents the male mind, aggressive intellect.
The East represents the female mind, receptive intuition. East and West are not just arbitrary — the division is very very significant and profound.
And you should not forget Rudyard Kipling: what he said has significance, has meaning. He says East and West shall never meet. There is a fragment of truth in it, because the meeting seems to be impossible; the ways of their working are so diametrically opposite.
The West is aggressive, scientific, ready to conquer nature. The East is non-aggressive, receptive — ready to be conquered by nature. The West is eager to know. The East is patient. The West takes every initiative to reach into the mysteries of life and existence; it tries to unlock the doors. And the East simply waits in profound trust: „Whenever I am worthy, the truth will be revealed to me.“
The West is concentration of the mind: the East is meditation of the mind. The West is thinking: the East is non-thinking. The West is mind: the East is no-mind. And Kipling seems to be logically right, that it seems impossible that East and West could ever meet.
And „the East and the West“ does not only represent the earth being divided in two hemispheres: it represents your mind too, your brain too. Your brain is also divided in two hemispheres just like the earth. Your brain has an East in it and a West in it. The left-side hemisphere of your brain is the West; it is connected with the right hand. And the right-side hemisphere of your brain is the East; it is connected with the left hand.
The West is rightist. The East is leftist. And the processes of both are so different…. The left hemisphere of your mind calculates, thinks, is logical. All science is produced by it. And the right hemisphere of your brain is a poet, is a mystic. It intuits, it feels. It is vague, cloudy, misty. Nothing is clear. Everything is a kind of chaos, but that chaos has its beauty. There is great poetry in that chaos, there is great song in that chaos. It is very juicy.
Pythagoras was the first man to try the impossible, and he succeeded! In him, East and West became one. In him, yin and yang became one. In him, male and female became one. He was an ardhanarishwar — a total unity of the polar opposites. Shiva and Shakti together: intellect of the highest caliber and intuition of the deepest caliber. Pythagoras is a peak, a sunlit peak, and a deep, dark valley too. It is a very rare combination.
But his whole life’s effort was destroyed by the stupid people, by the mediocre masses. These few verses are the only contribution left. These verses can be written on one postcard. This is all that is left of that great man’s effort, endeavor. And this too is not written by his own hand; it seems all that he had written was destroyed.
The day Pythagoras died, thousands of his disciples were massacred and burnt.
Only one disciple escaped the school; his name was Lysis. And he escaped, not to save his life — he escaped just to save something of the Master’s teachings. These Golden Verses of Pythagoras were written by Lysis, the only disciple who survived.
The whole school was burnt, and thousands of disciples were simply murdered and butchered. And all that Pythagoras had accumulated on his journeys — great treasures, great scriptures from China, India, Tibet, Egypt, years and years of work — all was burnt.
Lysis wrote these few verses. And, as it has been the ancient tradition that a real disciple knows no other name than his Master’s, these verses are not called Lysis‘ Verses — they are called The Golden Verses of Pythagoras. He has not written his name on them.
This has been happening again and again. It happened with Vyasa in India, a great Master. In his name there are so many scriptures that it is impossible that one man could write so many scriptures. It is humanly impossible. Even if one thousand persons wrote their whole lives continuously, then too so many scriptures could not be written. Then what happened? They are all authored by Vyasa — they are not all written by Vyasa but by his disciples. But the real disciple knows no other name than his Master’s. He has disappeared in the Master, so whatsoever he writes, he writes in the name of the Master. So many theories have been evolved by linguists, by scholars, by professors — they think there have been so many Vyasas, many people of the same name. That is all nonsense. There has been only one Vyasa. But down the centuries many people loved him so deeply that when they wrote something, they felt it was the Master writing through them — they signed the Master’s name because they were only vehicles, just instruments, mediums.
The same happened in Egypt to Hermes: many scriptures, all written by the disciples. And the same happened with Orpheus in Greece, and the same with Lao Tzu in China and Confucius in China.
The disciple loses his identity. He becomes utterly one with the Master. But something of immense value has been destroyed by the stupidity of people.
Pythagoras is the first experiment in creating a synthesis.
Twenty-five centuries have passed since then and nobody else has tried it again. Nobody else before had done it, and nobody else has done it afterwards either. It needs a mind which is both — scientific and mystic. It is a rare phenomenon. It happens once in a while.
There have been great mystics – Buddha, Lao Tzu, Zarathustra. And there have been great scientists – Newton, Edison, Einstein. But to find a man who is at home with both worlds, easily at home, is very difficult. Pythagoras is that kind of man – a class unto himself. He cannot be categorized by anybody else.
The synthesis that he tried was needed, particularly in his days, as it is needed today — because the world is again at the same point. The world moves in a wheel. The Sanskrit word for „the world“ is samsara. Samsara means the wheel. The wheel is big: one circle is completed in twenty-five centuries. Twenty-five centuries before Pythagoras, Atlantis committed suicide — out of man’s own scientific growth. But without wisdom, scientific growth is dangerous. It is putting a sword in the hands of a child.
Now twenty-five centuries have passed since Pythagoras. Again the world is in a chaos. Again the wheel has come to the same point – it always comes to the same point. It takes twenty-five centuries for this moment to happen. After each twenty-five centuries the world comes into a state of great chaos.
Man becomes uprooted, starts feeling meaningless. All the values of life disappear. A great darkness surrounds. Sense of direction is lost. One simply feels accidental. There seems to be no purpose, no significance. Life seems to be just a by-product of chance. It seems existence does not care for you. It seems there is no life after death. It seems whatsoever you do is futile, routine, mechanical. All seems to be pointless.
These times of chaos, disorder, can either be a great curse, as it happened in Atlantis, or they can prove a quantum leap in human growth. It depends on how we use them. It is only in such great times of chaos that great stars are born.
Pythagoras was not alone. In Greece, Pythagoras and Heraclitus were born. In India, Buddha and Mahavira and many others. In China, Lao Tzu, Chuang Tzu, Confucius, Mencius, Lieh Tzu, and many more. In Iran, Zarathustra. In the brahmin tradition, many great upanishadic seers. In the world of Judaism, Moses…. All these people, these great Masters were born at a certain stage in human history — twenty-five centuries ago.
Now we are again in a great chaos, and man’s fate will depend on what we do. Either we will destroy ourselves like the civilization that destroyed itself in Atlantis — the whole world will become a Hiroshima; we will be drowned in our own knowledge; in our own science we will commit suicide, a collective suicide. A few, a Noah and a few of his followers, may be saved, or may not be…. Or, there is a possibility that we can take a quantum leap.
Either man can commit suicide, or man can be reborn. Both doors are open.
If such times can create people like Heraclitus and Lao Tzu and Zarathustra and Pythagoras and Buddha and Confucius, why can they not create a great humanity? They can. But we go on missing the opportunity.
The ordinary masses live in such unconsciousness that they can’t see even a few steps ahead. They are blind. And they are the majority! The coming twenty-five years, the last part of this century, is going to be of immense value. If we can create a great momentum in the world for meditation, for the inward journey, for tranquillity, for stillness, for love, for God… if we can create a space in these coming twenty-five years for God to happen to many many people, humanity will have a new birth, a resurrection. A new man will be born.
And once you miss these times, then for twenty-five centuries again you will remain the same. A few people will achieve enlightenment, but it will remain only for a few people. Here and there, once in a while, a person will become alert and aware and divine. But the greater part of humanity goes on lagging behind — in darkness, in utter darkness, in absolute misery. The greater part of humanity goes on living in hell.
But these moments when chaos spreads and man loses his roots in the past, becomes unhinged from the past, are great moments. If we can learn something from the past history, if we can learn something from Pythagoras…. People could not use Pythagoras and his understanding, they could not use his great synthesis, they could not use the doors that he had made available. A single individual had done something immense, something impossible, but it was not used.
I am trying to do exactly the same again.
I feel a very deep spiritual affinity with Pythagoras. I am also bringing you a synthesis of East and West, of science and religion, of intellect and intuition, of the male mind and the female mind, of the head and the heart, of the right and the left. I am also trying in every possible way to create a great harmony, because only that harmony can save. Only that harmony can give you a new birth.
But there is every possibility that what was done to Pythagoras will be done to me. And there is every possibility what was done to Pythagoras‘ followers will be done to my sannyasins. But still, even knowing that possibility, the effort has to be made again. Because this is a valuable time. It comes only once in twenty-five centuries when the wheel can move in a new way, can take a new direction.
You all have to risk, and you have to risk all that you have. And risk it with great joy! Because what can be more joyous than to give birth to a new man, to become vehicles for a new man, for a new humanity?
It is going to be painful as every birth is painful. But the pain can be welcomed if you understand what is going to happen through it. If you can see the child coming out of it, then the pain is no more pain — just as the mother can accept the pain of the child’s birth. The pain is irrelevant: her heart is dancing with joy — she is going to give birth to life, she is being creative. She is making this world more alive; a new child is being born through her. God has used her as a vehicle; her womb has proved fertile. She is happy, in great joy. She rejoices, although the pain is there on the periphery. But when this great joy is there, the pain simply functions as a background and makes the joy even more loud. Remember….
My sannyasins can become an energy womb, an energy field. A great synthesis is happening here. East and West are meeting here. And if we can make this impossible thing happen, man will live in a totally different way in the future. He will not need to live in the same old hell. Man can live in love, in peace. Man can live in great friendliness. Man can live a life which is nothing but a celebration. Man can make this earth divine.
The sutras, they are few.
Pythagoras‘ sutras are divided into three parts; they are known as the three famous P’s of Pythagoras: preparation, purification, perfection.
Preparation means getting ready, into a receptive mood, becoming available, opening up. Preparation means creating a thirst, a longing for truth. Preparation means, not only curious, not only intellectually interested in what truth is, but committed to the search. Not just as a speculator standing outside but as a participant.
Preparation is the introductory part — to create a great thirst in you. Whenever you come close to a Master, the first thing that he is going to give you is a fiery thirst. A great longing he will give to you; he will sow the seeds of great longing. In fact, he will make you very discontented.
You may have come to him in search of contentment, you may have come to him to be consoled, but he will make you aflame, afire, with a new desire that you have not even dreamt about, of which you have never been aware. Maybe it was lurking there somewhere in the dark nooks and corners of your being, or hiding in some recesses underground — he will bring it forth into light, he will provoke it into a great fire. He will pour all his energy into you, to make you so thirsty, so discontented, that you start the search and you become ready to risk all; that you forget all about other desires, that you pour all your desires into one stream, that your only desire, day and night, becomes truth — or God, or Nirvana. Those are just names for the same phenomenon.
Preparation means the disciple is being awakened — awakened to the truth that we are existing in darkness and light has to be searched for and sought, awakened to the fact that we have been wasting our lives, that this is not the right way to live. Unless one starts moving towards God, life remains empty, impotent. The disciple has to be shocked, shaken, out of his dreams — dreams of money and power politics and prestige — and he has to be given a new dream, the ultimate dream, in which all dreams will be consumed. The ultimate dream is to know truth, to know that which is, to know that from which we come, to know that source and to know that goal to which we are going.
Then the second part is purification. When the desire has arisen then you have to be purified, because to reach the ultimate truth you will have to drop much unnecessary weight, much luggage that you have always carried. You have carried it because you have been thinking it is very valuable. Your system has to be purified of all the toxic things that you have absorbed on the way. And we have been drinking poison, many kinds of poison. One is a Hindu. Another is a Mohammedan, another is a Christian — these are all poisons, prejudices. They keep you tethered to the society, to the conditionings of the society.
Purification means one has to drop all conditionings, all ideologies, all prejudices, all concepts, all philosophies…all that you have been taught by others. One has to become a clean slate — a tabula rasa — one has to become utterly clean. Only when you are utterly clean, when nothing is written on you, can God write something. Only when you are utterly silent and all words given by the society have disappeared can God speak to you. Truth can whisper its mysteries into your ears only when you are absolutely empty — emptiness is purity.
Purification is a purgative part. Man has to drop many things. In fact, truth is not far away — you have just accumulated many things around yourself. You have grown many layers around yourself, many personalities around yourself, many masks you are wearing. Hence you cannot see your original face. All those masks have to be dropped. You have to become authentic, truly as you are, utterly naked as you are.
Purification means: Stop hiding! Stop lying! Stop being phony!
And third is perfection. When you have stopped being phony, when you have dropped all the poisons that you had gathered on the way, when the dust is cleaned off the mirror, then perfection starts happening of its own accord.
Perfection is the unitive part – Unio Mystica.
First the desire, intense desire, a total desire… because only if you are totally desirous of truth then you will be ready to go through the pains of purification. If the desire is lukewarm you will not be ready to go through the pains of purification.
It is painful to be purified! It is like taking pus out of your body – it hurts. Although it is good in the long run – if the pus is out, the poison is out and you will heal soon – but it hurts. To take the pus out is painful. But to leave it inside is to help it to grow; it will spread all over your body.
One can only be ready to go through purification if the desire is so total that one is ready even to die for it if that is needed. And it is a kind of death — because the personality that you have always thought you are will have to die. You will have to drop all that you are identified with. And that has been your ego. You will have to surrender all that you have been claiming up to now and bragging up to now; all that has been precious to you has to be dropped as utter rubbish. It IS painful. It feels as if you are losing your kingdom and you are becoming a beggar.
Unless the desire is total you will not be ready to do it. And when purification has happened, when you have dropped all that is non-essential, then the essential perfects itself. You need not become perfect! You have only to create the space in which perfection grows, happens. Perfection is a happening.
The first sutra – preparation:
Render to the immortal gods the consecrated cult; guard then thy faith.
Lord Bacon, a great scientific mind, has written in his famous book, Novum Organum, that Pythagoras was a great fanatic. Now, this is utter nonsense. Bacon’s book is really great; except for this one statement, the book is of immense value.
It is said that there are three great books in the world. First is Aristotle’s Organum — „organum“ means principle. The second is Bacon’s Novum Organum — new principle. And third is Ouspensky’s Tertium Organum — the third principle. And they are really great books, incomparable.
But it is very surprising how Bacon concluded that Pythagoras was a fanatic — because Pythagoras was just the opposite, the absolute opposite of a fanatic. If he had been a fanatic he would not have entered into all kinds of esoteric, occult schools. If he had been a fanatic he would not have been so open to learn from every possible source. In fact, fanaticism has never been part of the Greek mind.
The philosophic mind cannot be fanatic, cannot be dogmatic. That is a prerequisite of philosophy, that you have to be open, that you have to inquire, that you have to doubt, that you have to question, and that you have to remain available to truth in whatsoever form it comes. That you are not to decide beforehand; you have not to fall into that kind of attitude which has already concluded without knowing. You are not to be a victim of the fallacy of „aprioriism“ — that you have already accepted from the very beginning without inquiring, without knowing, without experiencing.
I have tried hard to see why Bacon should call Pythagoras a fanatic. Fanaticism came out of the Judaic mind; it was never part of the Hindu mind or the Chinese mind or the Greek mind. It came out of the Jews. And it spread to Christians and Mohammedans because both are offshoots of Judaism.
The idea that „We are the chosen people of God“ is dangerous. It creates fanaticism. The idea that „We have the truth, and nobody else“ is dangerous; that „There is only one God and no other Gods“ is dangerous — because that one God is going to be my God. And then what will happen to your God? Then you are wrong, then you are a sinner. Then you have to be persuaded, converted. If you allow easily, okay; otherwise you have to be forced and coerced so that you can drop the wrong God.
Pythagoras lived in so many countries, with so many different visions of life, with so many philosophical standpoints, with so many religions – he could not be a fanatic. It seems Bacon knew nothing about Pythagoras.
The first sutra says:
Render to the immortal gods…
He does not use the word „God“ but „Gods“ – that is significant. That is the state of a non-fanatic mind. „Gods“ – why plural? Why not „God“? Because the moment you say „God“ you are falling into that dangerous trap…then what will happen to other peoples‘ Gods?
Pythagoras is not a monotheist; he does not believe in one God. He says: All the peoples of the world and all their approaches are true. And he knows it, because he has followed many many paths; almost all existent paths Pythagoras followed many many paths; almost all existent paths Pythagoras followed. And he always reached the same peak.
There are many paths by which to reach the peak. The mountain has many paths, but they all reach the same peak. You can go from the south or from the north or from the east or from the west… you can follow a very rocky track, or you can follow a very different track. There are many alternatives.
Pythagoras knows truth is one, but he does not say it. Truth is one un-said. Once you say it, then please don’t use the singular; then it is better to use the plural. The Vedas say: Truth is one, but wise people have described it in many ways.
Render to the immortal gods the consecrated cult…
He had lived with many people, worshippers of different Gods. He says to his disciples: When you go to the temple, worship the God of the temple, and worship the way people are worshipping there. Respect the people who are worshipping and praying. And when you go to the mosque, worship the way people are worshipping there. And when you go to the church or the synagogue, worship the way people are worshipping there.
This is my approach too. All prayers are good. All prayers reach to him, and all paths ultimately end in him. There is no need to create any antagonism. To my sannyasins this is my message: If you want a silent, isolated place, a temple or a church or a mosque, then whichever is close by, enter there. All temples and all churches and all mosques are yours. Claim that „Whichever place is dedicated to God is ours. Jerusalem and Kaaba and Kailash and Girnar — all are ours.“ I give you all the temples of the world as yours and all the scriptures of the world as yours.
Pythagoras is saying to his disciples: Wherever you are, watch the people, respect their prayer, respect their God, respect their vision. It may be only one aspect, but it is an aspect of God himself. It may be only one face — God has many faces — but all the manifestations are his. In one way he descends in Krishna, in another he descends in Christ, in still another he descends into Moses. All prophets are his, all messengers are his.
Render to the immortal gods the consecrated cult…
And whatsoever you believe, don’t just believe it — consecrate it, make it holy by living. Let it not remain just an intellectual belief in the head: it has to become existential. Then it is consecrated, then you have made it holy and sacred.
Beliefs, if they are only thoughts, are useless. Unless they become your very blood, bones and marrow, unless you live them…if you feel something is true, live it! because that will be the only proof that you feel it is true. There is no other proof. Only your life is a proof of your belief.
But that does not mean you should impose a belief upon yourself. That does not mean you should force a belief and a character upon yourself. That will not be making it sacred: that will be hypocrisy. And how can hypocrisy be sacred? Live it, not from the without towards the within, but just the opposite: from the within towards the without. First experience a truth….
For example: I say meditate. Now, you can make it just a belief — that it is good to meditate, that meditation contains great truths, that you can now argue with others about the beauties, about the mysteries of meditation. You have never meditated yourself, and you don’t have time enough because of the arguments and the thinking about and reading about meditation… and you have completely forgotten that meditation has to be tasted, not to be argued.
Or, you can impose, violently, some meditative posture upon yourself. You can sit silently like a Buddha — although there is no buddhahood inside, no silence, no purity, no innocence. The inner talk continues, but on the surface you can sit like a stone statue. This is hypocrisy: you are simply pretending. This is not the way to consecrate. This is not the way to make something sacred.
You have to really go into meditation, not to pretend. And whenever you live a truth, the truth becomes consecrated.
Render to the immortal gods the consecrated cult…
And whatsoever you have known, offer it to God, go on offering it to God — whatsoever you have known. Whatsoever experience has happened to you, of truth, of beauty, of love, go on offering it to God, go on offering in deep gratitude.
Guard then thy faith:
But don’t tell it to people. Guard it. Offer it to the God, but don’t talk about it, otherwise you will be in danger. The masses are foolish. They cannot understand. It is beyond them. Guard! Keep it secret deep down in your heart. Open your heart to the Gods. Open your heart to your Master, or open your heart to the friends who are following the same path, the fellow-travelers, the fellow-seekers. But don’t open your heart in the marketplace – you will be misunderstood.
And the misunderstanding will create disturbance for you, it will distract your search, it will disrupt your energies. It will create turmoil in you. Truths can be communicated only to people who have some understanding.
Guard then thy faith:
And whatsoever trust has arisen in you, whatsoever faith is born in you, keep it secret. It has to become a seed in your heart. If you just throw the seed on the ground it will not grow into a tree, because it is open. It has to go deep into the womb of the earth, into the darkness of the earth. There it will disappear, dissolve, and a tree will be born.
Whatsoever trust has arisen in you, let it become a seed in your heart, let it disappear into the soil of the heart. There it will grow into a big tree. Yes, one day it will happen that you will not be able to contain it any more, but then what can you do? As long as you can contain, contain it. As long as you can keep it a secret, keep it a secret. Just like the child in the mother’s womb remains secret for nine months, but one day the mother cannot contain it…. The child has grown. Now the child is ready to be born, then it is perfectly okay.
Why is Pythagoras saying it? Why in the first sutra? For a certain reason: because whenever you have a little glimpse of truth, the mind tends to talk about it. And in that very talking you lose it. It is like an abortion. Let it remain for nine months a secret, a mystery, known only to yourself, or your beloved, or a few friends, but not to the public. It is a private phenomenon.
Yes, one day it is going to become public. One day you will not be able to contain it any more. It will have become so big, bigger than you, that it will have to overflow. When it starts overflowing, it is another matter. You become a Master then. But till that moment arrives, be very guarded, be very watchful. Don’t talk about your inner experiences to each and everybody. Keep alert, because truth is very difficult to get hold of and it is very easy to lose track of. Trust is very difficult to be born in, and very easy to dissipate.
Revere the memory of the illustrious heroes, of spirits, demi-gods….
Render to the immortal gods the consecrated cult. Guard then the faith:
Second sutra: Remember all those who have attained before you, cherish their memory — that will help you on the way. There will be many moments when suspicion will arise, doubts will arise; there will be long long dark nights of the soul when you will feel utterly lost, when you will start thinking of going back and being just the ordinary person you had been before. In those moments revere the memory of the buddhas revere the memory of all those great heroes who have attained to truth.
In Pythagoras‘ language, the hero means one who has become enlightened, who has attained the truth. The only heroic deed in life is to become realized. All else is very ordinary.
You can become very famous — it is very easy. You can have political power — it does not need much intelligence. You can earn money — you have only to be a little cunning and calculative. These are not great things.
The only great thing that makes a life great and sublime is to know truth, is to know God, is to be truth, is to be God. But the journey is very alone.
Revere the memory of the illustrious heroes…
…Of Buddha, of Lao Tzu, of Krishna, of Christ, of Moses, of Mohammed, of Mahavira. Remember! That’s why I am talking on so many Masters: so you can remember that you are not alone on the path. Many have succeeded before you. You will also succeed. If so many have succeeded, why not you? Many have preceded you and reached. You are not moving alone; many are ahead of you. It is a long procession of truth-seekers. You are part of a great chain. You may be a small drop, but you are part of a great river — the river of uddhas, of all the enlightened people of the world.
That’s why I am talking about so many enlightened people: to give you courage, to give you confidence; to give you the sense that you are in a great chain, part of a golden chain, and you are not moving alone. There is no need to be afraid. You cannot be lost!
Revere the memory of the illustrious heroes, of spirits, demi-gods.…
One who attains to God becomes a demi-god, becomes a God himself. One who has known him has become him. Cherish the memory, remind yourself. And find out with whom you feel affinity. Do you feel affinity with Moses? Do you feel affinity with Zarathustra? If you feel some affinity, then the best way is to ponder over the sayings of Zarathustra or Moses – meditate, think of their lives, create a climate around yourself. Because if you feel affinity with somebody, that means you are of the same type.
And it is not a question of your accidental birth. You may be born a Mohammedan and you may not feel any affinity with Mohammed. There is no necessity. Birth is accidental. You may be born a Hindu and you may not feel any affinity with Krishna, or you may even feel a certain antagonism. You may not be the type!
So don’t be too much identified with your birth. Roam around. Have a little more freedom. Look around. Whichever flower attracts you, follow that. Whichever fragrance calls you, follow that fragrance. So you may be a Hindu by birth, but if you feel that the Koran simply rings bells in your heart, then the Koran is your scripture. Forget all about Hinduism! Then Mohammed is your man — forget all about Krishna!
You may be born a Mohammedan, but if seeing the statue of Buddha something immediately settles in you, becomes serene, calm and cool; just the same of Buddha and you feel great love arising in you for this unknown mysterious person…. Then forget all about Mohammedanism and the Koran and Mohammed Then create the climate of Buddha around you, because that will be helpful, that will nourish you, that will strengthen you.
The second part: purification. This was preparation: respect all the Gods of the world, all the temples, all the sacred places; respect all the scriptures. This is your respect for other human beings. And remember with great love all those who have preceded you on the path and have reached.
This will prepare a climate in you. And this will create a great desire in you, this will become a longing. And you will be gripped by the longing, you will be possessed by the longing. If Buddha has touched your heart, a great longing is bound to arise: How to become a Buddha? If Christ has been felt at the deepest core of your being, then it is bound to happen that you will start working, searching: How to become a Christ? How to attain to Christ-consciousness? Once the desire is there, then purification is possible.
The second part: purification.
Be a good son, just brother; spouse tender, and good father.
You will be surprised by this sutra, but it is of immense value:
You will think, „What has it to do with spirituality?“ It has much to do with spirituality. You have to create a peaceful surrounding — only then can you fall into meditation. You have to create an atmosphere, an energy field — only then can you go inwards.
In Gurdjieff’s school in Fontainebleau it was written on the gate: „If you have not settled your accounts with your father, go back.“ First settle your accounts with your father, then come. Unless you respect your father, there is no possibility of your growing. Strange! Why? What has it to do with the search?
And from another corner there is psychoanalysis which says: „Settle your accounts with your mother.“ Unless that is settled, you will never feel settled. You will remain tense. The whole of psychoanalytic work is how to close accounts between you and your mother — gracefully, lovingly.
Pythagoras seems to be the first to say it exactly, simply: Be a good son…. What does it mean to be a good son? Does it mean to be a slave, utterly obedient? If you are a slave, you are not a good son. If you are utterly obedient, you are a hypocrite. Then what does it mean to be a good son?
If you ask people they will say, „A good son means: do whatsoever your father says.“ It is not that simple — because you can do it from the outside and you can resist it from the inside. That’s what children have to do! They are helpless. Whatsoever the parents say, they have to do it, willingly, unwillingly, reluctantly — they have to do it. That creates a split in them. They become two. They start becoming false, phony.
So one way that is ordinarily thought: just be obedient to the father and you are a good son. That is not the meaning of Pythagoras. Then does he mean rebel against the father? Go against him? Do just the opposite of whatsoever he says? Be a hippie or yippie or something? If he says have short hair then have long hair? If he says, „Take a bath every day,“ then forget all about taking a bath for years? If he says, „Cleanliness is next to God,“ then be dirty and claim that dirtiness is next to God? No, that is not the meaning of being a good son either.
In fact, the second thing has happened in the world because the first has persisted too long. Too much enforced obedience has created a reaction. Then who is a good son?
A good son is one who is alert, understanding, respectful; who listens to the father because the father knows much – he has lived, he has experienced life, he has more experience. He listens to the father. He tries to understand the father. He is open. He is not in a hurry either to obey or to disobey.
A good son is one who is ready to listen, to understand, to learn. And then if you feel that you agree with the father, do it. If you feel you don’t agree with the father, then say it. There is no question of reaction. Just make it plain that you don’t agree. You will do it, but it will be done with forced effort. It will make you phony. If the father wants, you will do it, but it will make you phony, it will make you split, schizophrenic. It will divide you.
A good communion is needed between the father and the son, because the father represents the past and the son represents the future. A bridge is needed. And it cannot be one-sided, so it is not only for the son to be a good son: the final thing is to be a good father too. He is creating a family atmosphere in which meditation can grow easily.
A good son is one who is alert, ready to obey the father when he feels he is right, ready to say to the father, „I am not willing to do it — it will be false, it will be phony.“ And ready to go with the father if he cannot decide on his own, because there may be things which you cannot feel either right or wrong. Then follow the father; he knows better.
And the father simply represents the past. The father simply represents all father figures, all those who are older than you. The father is simply a symbol of all those who have lived more than you, experienced more than you – the teachers, the elders. A great respect is needed – respect for their life, respect for their experience.
There is no need to become a slave, and there is no need to react against them. Understanding is needed – neither obedience nor reaction. And if obedience comes out of understanding, it is beautiful. And if sometimes rebellion comes out of understanding, it is beautiful. But it has to come out of understanding, not out of reaction.
There are people who will not do a certain thing because their father says to do it. How can they do it? Just because the father is saying it, they cannot do it – they will do the opposite. Their egos are in conflict. And there are people who know that it is wrong, but they will do it because the father says to do it. Both are wrong.
The good son is one who listens to the father, to all father-figures, tries to understand with great respect, with openness, with no conclusions. And then whatever decision arises in his being, to follow or not to follow, he goes with it. It is neither reaction nor obedience: it is simply acting out of understanding.
Be a just brother…. With all those who are of your age, be just, don’t be unfair. Don’t exploit, because if you exploit you create a tension around yourself. Create friendship around yourself, because growth will be easier in a friendly atmosphere.
…Spouse tender…. With your wife, with your husband, be tender, be soft, because love has the other side of hate in it, and unless you understand what it means to be tender, soft, loving, there is every possibility love will bring great hate in you.
People love the same person, and the same person they hate. And that hate destroys all love, poisons all possibilities of love. And love is a great phenomenon. The person who has missed love will never know what prayer is, will never be able to pray. It is only love’s experience that prepares you to pray.
Be a spouse tender…love the woman or the man with great tenderness, grace. That has disappeared from the world. People’s relationships have become very ungraceful. They have lost the whole language of tenderness – their love life is so full of hate and anger and rage.
That may be one of the reasons why God has become dead in this century. Love has disappeared: prayer cannot arise. Love is the flower, prayer is the fragrance. If the flower is not there, then there cannot be any fragrance.
…And good father. And in your own turn, the circle is complete — be a good father. What does it mean to be a good father? Don’t enforce anything on your child. Give your love, give your understanding, but always make it clear that the choice is the child’s. If he wants to follow it he can follow, but he is following his choice. If he wants not to follow, he is free not to follow — again he is following his choice. Make everything clear to the child. You love him, so give your experience to him but don’t enforce it, don’t command. Let him understand. Let understanding be the only law, and let him follow his understanding.
Now you can understand: the father has to be just a helper. The father has not to mould the child in a certain pattern that he wants; he has not to use the child for his own ambitions. He has to love the child, make him strong, make him more alert, so that he can search out his own ways in life. Make him more and more independent.
The good father does not cripple the child, does not force the child to depend on him. And if there is a good father, naturally the son will be good, because he will not be forced into any slavery and he will not have to react either.
And if you have been a good son, in your own turn one day you will become a father and you will be a good father.
This is the family atmosphere, the space in which we live. This space has to be of intimacy, of love, of grace. Only then will meditation be easier and spiritual growth enhanced.
Choose for thy friend, the friend of virtue; yield to his gentle counsels, profit by his life, and for a trifling grievance never leave him.…
Friendship has also disappeared from the world. What you call friendship has nothing to do with the ancient idea of friendship. Your friendship is just accidental. You work in the same office, so you have become friendly. Or you study in the same college, so you become friendly. This is not real friendship.
Pythagoras says: Choose for thy friend . You cannot choose your father, you cannot choose your mother, you cannot choose your family — but you can choose your friend. You can choose your woman, you can choose your man — that too is an extension of friendship.
Choose for thy friend, the friend of virtue….
…One who has some grace, who has some flowering, who has some quality around him, who has an energy field of virtue. By „virtue“ is not meant the righteous, no. Not the holier-than-thou, no. By „virtue“ is meant one in whose company you suddenly start feeling a tremendous well-being; in whose company, in whose vibe, something starts dancing in you; whose presence helps you to soar high.
Choose a friend, and then ultimately you will be able to choose a Master — because the Master is the ultimate friend. If you cannot choose friends you will not be able to choose the Master either. Choose good friends, and then one day you will be able to choose the ultimate friend.
Yield to his gentle counsels, profit by his life….
And when you choose a friend, listen to his counsels. He will not enforce them – they will be gentle whisperings. He will not be very loud. He will not argue, he will not command – he will only suggest, he will only hint, he will only indicate. And that is the case with the ultimate friend, the Master.
Buddha says: Buddhas only point the way. They don’t make it very loud because they don’t want to be violent. They don’t want to drag you according to themselves; they have no desire to dominate you. They simply express whatsoever they have known and understood — now it is up to you to follow or not to follow.
And learn from his life, be profited by his life — not only his words, but see the way the friend lives. See his actual life and watch it. This is the only way to learn in life. People are scriptures — you have to learn how to read the language. People are great secrets, each person is carrying a great secret. If you know how to listen to it you will be tremendously benefited.
And for a trifling grievance never leave him; if thou canst at least: for a most rigid law binds power to necessity.
Pythagoras says there are two laws: one is of necessity, the other is of power. The law of necessity applies to people who are unconscious. People who live mechanically, they live out of necessity. There is another law higher than necessity: the law of power. The more conscious you become, the more you go out of necessity, you transcend necessity, you start living out of power, out of abundant power. Then your life is not of necessity.
For example: a person speaks out of necessity because he cannot resist the temptation to speak. Buddhas also speak, but with no necessity: it is out of power, out of abundant power They are silent; there is no temptation, no obsession to speak. They can remain silent for ever. But still they speak. If they speak, they speak out of power.
You love out of necessity. Buddhas also love — they love out of…so much energy is there that it has to be shared. So much power is happening, it has to be given. You live out of necessity, they live out of power.
Buddhas are the greatest luxury in existence.
These two laws are rooted in one primordial law. They are part of one law, two aspects of one law. In China that law is called tao, in India that law is called dhamma, in Greece that law is called logos, Jews have called it torah. It is the same law.
The whole existence is based in one law, but that law has two aspects. One aspect for those who are unconscious — they live like slaves, robots. And another aspect of freedom, of power, of immense joy — that aspect happens only when you are awakened, enlightened. And to have these two laws harmoniously adjusted in your life is the basic message of Pythagoras.
When these two laws are in harmony, you are in harmony. When these two laws are in harmony, then your body follows the law of necessity and your soul follows the law of power. Then your mind follows the law of necessity, and your heart follows the law of power. Then you are a meeting of the sky and the earth, body and soul, the visible and the invisible. And that’s what Buddhahood is, that’s what enlightenment is.