From ‘Bauls. The Mystics of Celebration’
The Bauls are called Bauls because they are mad people. The word ‘Baul’ comes from the Sanskrit root vatul. It means mad, affected by wind…………..Bauls have nothing – no scripture…..no church, no temple……nothing whatsoever. A Baul is a man always on the road. He has no house………..Dance is his religion, singing is his worship. He does not even use the word ‘God’. The Baul word for God is Adhar Manush, the essential man………..He says, inside you and me, inside everybody, there is an essential being. To find that Adhar Manush, that essential man, is the whole search……..And he lives very spontaneously, because the Baul says, “If you want to reach to the Adhar Manush………the way goes through Sahaja Manush, the spontaneous man”
There are two traditions in India: one is the tradition of the Vedas, the other is the tradition of the Tantras. Vedas are more formal, more of the nature of rituals…….more social, organizational. Tantras are more individual – less concerned with rituals, forms, habits, more concerned with the essential………….Vedas………are……more puritan, more moralistic. Tantras are non-puritan, all-inclusive, more human, more earthy. Tantras say that everything has to be used and nothing is to be denied.
Bauls belong more to the Tantras than to the Vedas. There is only one improvement on the Tantras……Tantra is too technical. The very word ‘Tantra’ means technique. It is a little harsh, more scientific. Bauls are more poetic……..singers and dancers.
Tantra uses sex to rise higher than it, but it uses it. Sex becomes instrumental. Bauls say that is not very respectful……….They don’t use sex as a means; they delight in it, they enjoy it………..
In Tantra, you are to remain unattached……….absolutely neutral….like a observer, a witness…………….Thats where Bauls differ. They say it is too cruel, this passionless attitude is too cruel…….thats why I call their attitude more poetic, more human, and more worthy
From ‘When the Shoe Fits. Commentaries on the stories of the Taoist mystic Chuang Tzu’
When the Shoe Fits
Chu’i the draftsman could draw more perfect circles
freehand than with a compass
His fingers brought forth spontaneous forms from nowhere
His mind was meanwhile free and
without concern with what he was doing.
No application was needed,
his mind was perfectly simple and knew no obstacle.
So, when the shoe fits, the foot is forgotten;
when the belt fits, the belly is forgotten;
and when the heart is right, ‘for’ and ‘against’ are forgotten.
No drives, no compulsions, no needs, no attractions:
then your affairs are under control.
You are a free man.
Easy is right.
Begin right and you are easy.
Continue easy and you are right.
The right way to go easy is to forget the right way
and forget that the going is easy.
Chuang Tzu is one of the rarest of flowerings, rarer even than a Buddha or a Jesus. Because Buddha and Jesus emphasize effort and Chuang Tzu emphasizes effortlessness. Much can be done through effort but much more can be done through effortlessness
Buddha worded for six years, continuously meditating, concentrating……….not a single stone was left unturned – he staked his whole being. But it was an effort, the ego was there; he failed…………………………failed absolutely……..he became absolutely hopeless. In that hopelessness he dropped all effort……………That night his sleep was of a different quality because there was no ego……….Buddha flowered that night and in the morning he was enlightened
Chuang Tzu says from the very beginning: Don’t make any effort. And he is right………..He says…………….You were born. What effort have you made to be born? You grow. What effort have you made to grow? You breathe. What effort have you made to breathe? Everything moves on its own, so why bother? Let life flow on its own; then you will be in a let-go. Don’t struggle………..Be a white cloud moving in the sky – no goal, going nowhere, just floating. That floating is the ultimate flowering
Chuang Tzu and his old master, Lao Tzu, are against culture. They are for nature, pure nature. Trees are in a better position than you……….because they are more alive, they dance more to the rhythm of nature.
Look at nature: everything is so perfect. Can you improve upon a rose?.........If a rose is beautiful without any effort on its part, why not man? What is wrong with man? If stars remain beautiful without any effort, without any of Patanjali’s yoga sutras, why not man? Man is part of nature, just as stars are
The Tower of the Spirit
The spirit has an impregnable tower which no danger
can disturb so long as the tower is guarded by the
invisible Protector who acts unconsciously, and whose
actions go astray when they become deliberate, reflexive
The unconsciousness and entire sincerity of Tao are
disturbed by any effort at self-conscious demonstration
All such demonstrations are lies
When one displays himself in this ambigious way,
the world storms in and imprisons him.
He is no longer protected by the sincerity of Tao
Each new act is a new failure. If his acts are done in public,
in broad daylight, he will be punished by men.
If they are done in private and in secret, he will be
punished by spirits.
Let each one understand the meaning of sincerity
and guard against display.
He will be at peace with men and spirits and will act rightly,
unseen, in his own solitude, in the tower of his spirit.
Hindus have called this Rit. Jesus calls it the kingdom of God. Chuang Tzu calls it Tao. Whatsoever the word used, it means to stay close to one’s consciousness, and to flow with it without any conditions……..and to trust it.
Flight from the Shadow
There was a man who was so disturbed by the sight of his
own shadow and so displeased with his own footsteps, that
he determined to get rid of both.
The method he hit upon was to run away from them.
So he got up and ran.
But every time he put his foot down there was another step,
while his shadow kept up with him without the slightest
He attributed his failure to the fact that he was not running
fast enough. So he ran faster and faster, without stopping,
until he finally dropped dead.
He failed to realize that if he merely stepped into the shade,
his shadow would vanish, and if he sat down and stayed still,
there would be no more footsteps.
Man creates his own confusion just because he goes on rejecting himself, condemning himself……….Why don’t you accept yourself as you are? What is wrong? The whole existence accepts you are you are, but you don’t.
The Prince of Wu took a boat to Monkey Mountain.
As soon as the monkeys saw him they all fled in panic and hid
in the treetops.
One monkey, however, remained, completely unconcerned,
swinging from branch to branch – an extraordinary display.
The prince shot an arrow at the monkey, but the monkey
dexterously caught the arrow in mid-flight.
At this the prince ordered his attendants to make a concerted
attack. In an instant the monkey was shot full of arrows
and fell dead.
Then the prince turned to his companion Yen Pu’i, “You see
what happened? This animal advertised his cleverness.
He trusted in his own skill. He thought no on e could touch
him. Remember that! Do not rely on distinction and talent
when you deal with men!”
When they returned home, Yen Pu’i became a disciple of a
sage to get rid of everything that made him outstanding.
He renounced every pleasure. He learned to hide every
Soon no one in the kingdom knew what to make of him. Thus
they held him in awe
Tao says that whatsoever is beautiful in you, valuable, hide it, because whenever a truth is hidden in the heart, it grows like a seed hidden in the earth
It has to be remembered that a Taoist master has never been crucified or poisoned. Never! Because…………they never say that they are higher than you, more divine that you, holier than you………..They behave in such a way that everybody around them will feel that they are superior to them
Symphony for a Seabird
You cannot put a big load in a small bag, nor can you with a
short rope, draw water from a deep well.
Have you not heard how a bird from the sea was blown
inshore and landed outside the capital of Lu?
The prince ordered a solemn reception, offered wine to the
seabird in the Sacred Precinct, called for musicians to play the
compositions of Shun, slaughtered cattle to nourish it.
Dazed with symphonies, the unhappy seabird died of despair.
How should you treat a bird? As yourself, or as a bird?
Ought not a bird to nest in deep woodland or fly
over meadow and marsh?
Ought it not to swim on river and pond, feed on eels
and fish, fly in formation with other waterfowl.
and rest in the reeds?
Bad enough for a seabird to be surrounded by men
and frightened by their voices! That was not enough!
They killed it with music!
Water is for fish, and air for men.
Natures differ, and needs with them.
Hence the wise men of old did not lay down
one measure for all.
Chuang Tzu with his bamboo pole was fishing in the Pu river.
The Prince of Chu sent two vice-chancellors with a formal
document: We hereby appoint you Prime Minister.
Chuang Tzu held his bamboo pole. Still watching the Pu river,
he said, “I am told there is a sacred tortoise offered and
canonized three thousand years ago, venerated by the prince,
wrapped in silk, in a precious shrine on an altar in the temple.”
“What do you think? Is it better to give up one’s life
and leave a sacred shell as an object of cult in a cloud of
incense for three thousand years, or to live as a plain turtle
dragging its tail in the mud?”
“For the turtle” said the vice-chancellor, “better to live and drag
its tail in the mud!”
“Go home!” said Chuang Tzu. “Leave me here to drag my tail in the mud.”
Man is Born in Tao
Fishes are born in water, man is born in Tao. If fishes, born in
water, seek the deep shadow of pond and pool,
all their needs are satisfied.
If man, born in Tao, sinks into the deep shadow of nonaction
to forget aggression and concern, he lacks nothing,
and his life is secure
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