Can you live alone in this world without husband or a wife, without children, without friends?
Most people can not live alone, therefore they need companionship. It requires enormous intelligence to be alone; and you must be alone to find truth.
It is nice to have companion, a husband or a wife, and to have babies; but we get lost in all that, we get lost in the family, in the job, in the dull monotonous routine of a decaying existence. We get used to it and then the thought of living alone becomes dreadful, something to be afraid of. Most of us have put all our faith in one thing, all our eggs in one basket, and our lives have no richness apart from our companions, apart from our families and our jobs. But if there is richness in one's life – not the richness of money or knowledge, which anyone can acquri, but that richness which is the movement of reality with no beginning and no ending – then companionship becomes a secondary matter.
Whether we are teachers or students, is it not important to ask ourselves why we are educating or being educated.
What does life mean? Is not life an extraordinary thing? The birds, the flowers, the flourishing trees, the heavens the stars, the rivers and the fish therein – all this is life. Life is the poor and the rich; life is meditation; life is what we call religion, and it is also the subtle hidden things of the mind – the envies, the ambitions, the passions, the fears, fulfilments and anxieties. All this and much more is life.
But we generally prepare ourselves to understand only one small corner of it. we pass certain examinations, find a job, get married have children, and then become more and more like machines. We remain fearful, anxious, frightened of life.
So, is it the function of education to help us to understand the whole process of life, or is it merely to prepare us for a vocation, for the best job we can get. Surely education has no meaning unless it helps you to understand the vast expanse of life with all its subtleties, with its extraordinary beauty, its sorrows and joys.
You may win degrees, you may have series letters after your name and land a very good job; but then what? What is the point of it all if in the process your mind becomes dull, weary, stupid?
Do you know what intelligence is? It is the capacity to think freely, without fear without a formula, so that you begin to discover for yourself what is real, what is true.
It is very important to go out by yourself, to sit under a tree - not with a book, not with a friend, but by yourself - and observe the falling of a leaf, hear the lapping of the water, the fishermen's song, watch the flight of a bird, and of our thoughts as they chase each other across the space of our mind. If you are able to be alone and watch these things, then you will discover extraordinary riches which no government can tax, no human agency can corrupt, and which can never be destroyed.
For Most Of Us Life Is Suffering,
. . . a constant battle of pain and pleasure, hope and frustration. And can that not come to an end? Should we not die?
Should we not die to everything of yesterday, to all our accumulations and hopes, to all the success that we have gathered?
Should we not die to all that and live again tomorrow, so that, like a new leaf, we are fresh, tender, sensitive?
To a man who is constantly dying, there is no death. But the man who says, 'I am somebody and I must continue'- to him there is always death and the burning ghat; and that man knows no love.
For The Youth
Have you ever asked yourselves what you are going to do when you grow up? In all likelihood you will get married, and before you know where you are you will be fathers and mothers; then you will be tied to a job, or to the kitchen, in which you will gradually wither away. Is that all what your life is going to be? Have you ever asked yourselves this question?
Life is really very beautiful, it is not this ugly thing that we have made out of it; and you can appreciate its richness, its depth, its extraordinary loveliness only when you revolt against everything – against organized religion, against tradition, against the present rotten society – so that you as a human being find out what is true. Not to imidate but to discover – that is education.
It is very easy to do what your society or your parents and teachers tell you. That is a safe and easy way of existing; but that is not living, because in it there is fear, decay, death. To live is to find out for yourself what is true, and you can do this only when there is freedom, when there is continuous revolution inwardly, within youself.
When we say we love somebody, what do we mean? We mean we possess that person. From that possession arises jealousy, because if I lose him or her what happens? I feel empty, lost; therefore I legalize possession. From holding, possessing that person there is jealousy, there is fear and all the innumerable conflicts that arise from possession. Sure possession is not love!
You have respect for those above you, for your boss, for the millionaire, for the man with a large house and a title, for the man who can give you a better position, a better job, from whom you can get something. But you kick those below you, you have a special language for them. Therefore where there is no respect, no mercy, no pity there is no love.
We are neither respectful nor merciful nor generous. We are possessive full of sentiment and emotion which can be turned either way: to kill, to butcher or to unify over some foolish thing, ignorant intention. So how can there be love?
You can love only if all these things have come to an end, only when you don't possess, when you are not merely emotional with devotion to an object.
A man who prays does not know love, since you are possessive, since you seek an end, a result, through devotion, through prayer, which makes you sentimental, emotional, naturally there is no love.
When the things in your mind don't fill your heart, then there is love; and love alone can transform the present madness and insanity in the world - not systems, not theories.
You do not say, 'I love the whole world', but when you know how to love one, you know how to love the whole. Because we do not know how to love one, our love to humanity is fictitious.
When you love there is neither one nor many; there is only love. It is only when there is love that all our problems can be solved and then we shall know its bliss and its happiness.
You may have all the academic degrees in the world, but if you don't know yourself you are a most stupid person. To know oneself is the very purpose of all education. Without self-knowledge, merely to gather facts or to take notes so that you can pass examinations is a stupid way of existence. You may be able to quote ... wholly scriptures ... , but unless you know yourself you are like a parrot repeating words. Whereas, the moment you begin to know yourself, however little, there is already set going an extraordinary process of creativiness. It is a discovery to suddenly see yourself as you actually are: greedy, quarrelsome, angry, envious, stupid. To see the fact without trying to alter it, just to see exactly what you are is an astonishing revelation. From there you can go deeper and deeper, infinitely, because there is no end to self-knowledge.
. . . is to be discovered in every action, in every thought, in every moment, in every feeling, however trivial or transient; it is to be obsereved at each moment of every day; it is to be listened to in what the husband and the wife say, in what the gardener says, in what your friends say, and in the process of your own thinking. Your thinking may be false, it may be conditioned, limited; and to discover that your thinking is conditioned, limited, is truth. That very discovery sets your mind free from limitation. If you discover that you are greedy - if you discover it and are not just told by somebody else - that discovery is truth, and that truth has its own action upon your greed. Truth is not something which you can gather, accumulate, store up and then rely as a guide. That is only another form of possession. And it is very difficult for the mind not to store up. When you realize the significance of this, you will find out what an oridinary thing truth is. Truth is timeless, but the moment you capture it, it is not longer truth.
We Want . . .
. . . success, we want to be respected, loved, looked up to, we want to be powerful, we want to be famous poets, saints, orators, we want to be prime ministers, presidents.
Why do we ant all that? Because we are dissatisfied with what we are, and we think we can escape from our discontent by aquiring more clothes, more power, and so on. But the dissatisfaction is still there, is it not? We have only covered it up with clothes, with power, with cars.
Seeing this, the unhappy person, the person who is in sorrow, does not run away to gurus, does not hide in possessions, in power; in contrary, he wants to know what lies behind this sorrow.
If you go behind your own sorrow you will find that you are very small, empty, limited, and that you are struggeling to achieve to become. This very struggle to achieve, to become something is the cause of sorrow.
"What Is Happiness In Life?"
You may want to marry the richest man, or the most beautiful girl, or passing some examination, or be praised by somebody, and you think by getting what you want you will be happy.
But is that real happiness? Does it not fade away like a flower that blossoms in the morning and withers in the evening?
Yet that is our life and that is all what we want. We are satisfied with such superficialities: with having a car or a secure position, with feeling a little emotion over some futile things, like a boy who is happy flying a kite in a strong wind and a few minutes later is in tears.
We never say, "I will give my heart, my energy, my whole being to find out what happiness is."
We are not very serious, we don't feel very strongly about it, so we are satisfied with little things.
XIII. "What Is Love Without Motive?"
Can there be love without any incentive, without wanting something for oneself out of love?
Can there be love in which there is no sense of being wounded when love is not returned?
If I offer you my friendship and you turn away, am I not hurt?
Is the feeling of being hurt the outcome of friendship, of generosity, of sympathy?
Surely, as long as I feel hurt, as long as there is fear, as long as I help you hoping that you may help me – which is called service – there is no love.
If you understand, this the answer is there.
Sayings by J.K. , Published by "Simple Wisdom" 42/1 Asgiri Vihara - Kandy