I\'m trying to explain the meaning of contemplation. Contemplation means to reflect on whatever is happening around you. If death is happening right in front of you, then contemplate on whether it will happen to you too. If you see someone who is old, then contemplate on whether this will also happen to you.
Buddha\'s father tried in every way to prevent this kind of contemplation from happening in him -- I want you to do everything so that this contemplation will arise in you. The father did everything he could to prevent Buddha from thinking, but still it happened.
One day Buddha went out and saw an old man walking on the street. He asked his attendant, \"What has happened to this man? Do other people look like this too?\'
The attendant said, \"I cannot lie to you -- everyone has to become old like him one day.\"
Buddha immediately asked, \"Me too?\"
The attendant said, \"My lord, I cannot lie to you, no one is excluded.\"
Buddha said, \"Take me back to the palace. I now understand that I too can become old. If this is going to happen tomorrow, then there is nothing left.\"
This is what I call contemplation. But the atttendant said, \"We are going to a youth festival, the whole village will be waiting for us. Let\'s go on.\"
They went a little further on and saw a funeral procession. Buddha asked, \"What is this? What are these people doing? What are they carrying on their shoulders?\"
The attendant was hesitant to answer. He said, \"I should not tell you, but I cannot lie to you. This man has died, he has died and these people are taking him away.\"
Buddha asked, \"What is it to die? For the first time he came to know that people die.
Buddha said, \"Now I have no wish to go, take me back immediately. It is not this man who has died -- rather, I have died.
This is what I call contemplation. A man has succeeded in contemplation if he understands that what has happened to someone else can also happen to him one day. People who don\'t understand whatis happening all around them are blind, and in a way we are all blind. This is why I have told you the storyof the blind man who was caryying a snake in his hand.
So the first thing for you to do -- and it is very important -- is to observe all that is happening around you, and through this is an understanding will arise in you. Therefore the first, the most important thing for you to do, will be to observe everything around you. Through this observation a quest will arise in you, a question will arise, and this will in turn give rise to a thirst for a higher truth. I have suffered much pain. When that pain subsided, in its place I began to see the steps on the path. Now I want to take about the first step on this path.
I have come to understand that two things are necessary if you want to attain to the ultimate consciousness, to the divine, to your inner being. One is the circumference, the circumference of meditation. The other important thing is the center of meditation -- the circumference of meditation and the center of meditation; or you can call it the body of meditation and the soul of meditation. Today I will talk about the circumference of meditation, tomorrow I will talk about the soul or the center, and the day after tomorrow about the fruits of meditation, the center and the fruits of meditation. In other words, the foundation of meditation, meditation itself and the fulfillment of it.
The foundation of meditation involves only your periphery, and the periphery of your personality is the body. Hence the periphery of meditation involves only the body. So the first step towards meditation begins with your body. So remember, whatever negative feelings you may have about your body which other people may have imprinted on you, drop them. The body is just an instrument in the material as well as in the spiritual world.
The body is neither an enemy nor a friend, it is just an instrument you can use to do wrong or you can use to do good. Through it you can either get involved in the material life or you can get involved in the ultimate. The body is just an instrument. Don\'t hold any misconceptions about it. People usually believe that the body is antagonistic towards us, that is sinful, that it is our enemy and that it needs suppressed. I tell you that this is wrong -- the body is neither an enemy nor a friend; it is what you make it. That is why the body is so mysterious, so extraordinary.
In the world, whenever something wrong has happened it has happened through the body, and whenever something right has happened it has happened through the body. The body is only the means, the instrument you can use to do wrong or you can use to do good. Through it you can either get involved in the material life or you can get involved in the ultimate. The body is just an instrument. Don\'t hold any any misconceptions about it. People usually believe that the body is antagonistic towards us, that it is sinful, that it is our enemy and that it needs to be suppressed. I tell you that this is wrong -- the body is neither an enemy nor a friend; it is what you make it. That is why the body is so mysterious, so extraordinary.
In the world, whenever something wrong has happened it has happened through the body, and whenever something right has happened it has happened through the body. The body is only the means, the instrument.
So for meditation it is necessary to start with attention to the body, because you cannot proceed without first putting this instrument in order. If the body is not in the right condition you cannot proceed. So the first step is to purify the body; the purer the body, the easier it will be to go deeper inside.
What does purifying the body mean? The first meaning is that there should be no disturbance, no blocks, no complexes in the body, in the system of the body -- then the body is pure.
Try to understand how these complexes and blockages enter the body. If the body is without any blocks, if it doesn\'t have any disturbances and if there are no problems, no interferences, then the body is pure and helps you to go inside. But if you are very angry, if you get angry and you are not expressing it, the heat that this creates will accumulate in some part of your body and it will become a blockage. You must have seen how anger can lead to hysteria, how it can lead to illness. Recent experiments being done on the human body show that out of a hundred diseases, fifty of these are not of the body but of the mind. But the mental illnesses become disturbances in the body, and if there is a disturbance in the body, if the body is not healthy, then the body\'s whole system becomes rigid and impure.
All the different schools of spiritual discipline and the different religions have tried many incredible and revolutionary experiments to purify the body, and it will be good to understand these experiments. If you try these experiments, in a few days you will discover just how mysterious your body is. You body will not appear to be an enemy, it will be a temple where the divine resides. Then it will not be an enemy but a friend, and you will feel grateful to it. The body is not you. It is made of matter. You and your body are different from each other. Yet you can make tremendous use of it, and then you will feel gratitude towards it, you will feel indebted to it because it is so supportive.
Keeping the body free of blockages is the first step towads purifying the body. And there are many blockages in our bodies. For instance, a few days ago a man came and said to me, \"For some days now I have been doing some meditations of a particular religion, and the mind has become very quiet.\"
I said to him, \"I don\'t think your mind is quiet.\"
He said, \"How can you say that?\"
I replied, \"Since you arrrived you have been jiggling both your legs about.\" He was sitting and jiggling his legs. I said, \"It is not possible for the mind to be silent when the legs are jiggling about so much.\"
The agitation of the body comes from the agitation of the mind. When the movement of the mind slows down, the body too slows down. The bodies of Buddha and Mahavira would have appeared to be like the stone that their statues are made of; they would have appeared stone-like. It is not coincidental that their statues are made of stone. The reason for it is that they had started looking like stone, all movement inside them had stopped. That is, they moved only when necessary, otherwise they remained absolutely still.
When your legs jiggle, it is the energy created by your dissatisfaction which is not finding any outlet and you dissipate it by jiggling your legs. When a man is angry he gnashes his teeth and he clenches his fists - why? His eyes turn red -- why? Why the fists? Even when you are alone and angry at someone you will clench your fist. There is no one to hit, but the energy that is created by your anger has to be released somehow. The muscles in your hands become tense and so the energy is released.
These difficulties have been created by social conditioning. A man without conditioning has a purer body than yours. A wild man\'s body is purer that your bodies; it does not have any bloakcages because where you suppress your emotions, he expresses his emotions very easily and spontaneously.
Imagine you are at work and your boss says something to you and you become angry, but you cannot tighten your fists. Now what will happen to all this energy which has just been created in you? And remember this: energy never comes to an end. If you say something to me which makes me angry, I will not be able to express my anger in front of all these people. I cannot gnash my teeth or clench my fist; I cannot call you names or jump around in anger or pick up a stone. What happens to the energy that has been generated inside me? this enregy will cripple a part of my body. It will be used to create a blockage in some part of my body; a disharmony will form. By that I mean that most of our disharmonies emerge in the body.
You may be surprised, and you might say that you don\'t see any such blockages. But I ask you to try an experiment; you will then discover how many blockages there are in your body. Have you ever noticed that if you are in a room alone you may clench your teeth, or when you look in the mirror you may stick out your tongue or widen your eyes in anger?
You may even laugh at yourself for doing this. Sometimes it may happen that while you are taking a shower you will suddenly jump, and you will wonder, \"Why did I jump? Why did I clench my teeth at my reflection in the mirror? Why do I feel like humming a song?
My suggestion to you is that once a week, for half an hour, you lock yourself in a room and let your body do whatsoever it feels like doing. You will be surprised. Your body may start dancing -- let it do whatsoever it pleses, don\'t stop it. It may dance, it may jump or even scream. Or it may jump at an imaginary enemy, it is possible. Then you will wonder, \"What is happening?\" All these are the disharmonies of the body that are repressed but are still very much present and want to be expressed, but your social conditioning does not allow it. You also don\'t allow them to be expressed, so in this way many disharmonies have found a home in your body. And if the body is full of blockages it is not healthy and you cannot go inside.
So the first step in meditation will be to purify the body, and the first step in purifying the body will be to put an end to all the disorders in the body. So you will have to stop accumulating new disorders and also find a way to release the old ones. A solution is that once or twice a month you lock yourself in a room and let your body do whatever it feels like doing. If you feel like removing all your clothes and dancing naked, then do it, then throw off your clothes. You will be surprised that after half an hour of all that jumping you will feel so relaxed, so quiet and fresh. It will seem strange but you will feel very silent, and you will wonder where this silence has come from. When you exercise or take a walk you feel a lightness -- why is that? It is because many of the blocks in the body are relased.
Do you know why sometimes you are just looking for someone to get into a fight with? Why you are so ready to fight that you jump on the first person who comes along? It is because you have collected so many energy blocks and they are all wanting to be released. Whenever there is a war there have been two world wars -- during these world wars people were really hooked on reading their daily newspaper first thing in the morning. And many curious things happen in wartime. You may not know that during these wars two very strange things happened: one was that there was a drop in the number of suicides all over the world.
During the First and Second World Wars, psyhologists were suprised at this phenomenon. During the whole time of the wars there were very few suicides; all over the world there was a drop in the number of suicides, and psychologists were puzzled. During that period there were also fewer murders. And another strange thing, there was also a decline in mental illness during the time of the war. Later they realized that all the news about the war and the intensity of the news had helped to release certain blocks in people.
Somehow, when you hear any news about war you get involved with it. For instance, your anger ...... Now imagine you are angry with Hitler, so you build an effigy of Hitler and burn it, shout slogans and scream at him. You can sit in your living room and abuse him. Hitler is not there in front of you, he is an illusionary enemy. But in this way many of your blockages are released and it will result in better psychological health. You will be surprised: consciously you don\'t want there to be war, but deep inside you do not want it to happen. During wartime people seem to be very cheerful.
Although danger may be very close by, still people seem to be cheerful.
Some time ago India was attacked by China: there was a sudden burst of energy in all of you at the time. Do you know why? The reason was that a lot of the blocks in your bodies were released through your anger and that made you feel very light. Wars will always be fought; there will be wars as long as there are people with unhealthy bodies. Wars will not end until everyone\'s body becomes so pure that there are no blockages in them that need wars to dissolve them. What I am telling you right now will sound very strange, but there will be war in the world as long as people\'s bodies are unhealthy. No matter how much effort is made to stop war, you will still derive a certain pleasure from it.
And you also experience pleasure from fighting. Think about it: don\'t you get some kind of pleasure out of fighting? The fight can be at any level -- it can be between one religion and another, between a Hindu and a Mohammedan -- and you will be surprised that it has no basis. Just look, whenever a religion is born it is divided into twenty other sub-sects, and then each of these is divided into sub-branches. Why? - because man\'s body is so unhealthy, it is so filled with dishamony that he is just looking for any excuse. People grab at even the smallest excuse to fight, because fighting gives them some release and makes them feel more relaxed.
The first step of moving towads meditation is the purification of the body.
I would also like to add two more things. In order to release all the old disorders, one method is to let yourself go totally wild in a closed room, dropping all the ideas that you have forced on yourself. Drop them. Then let it all happen and observe your body and see what it does. It dances, it jumps, it falls to the floor and lies there. It hits an imaginary enemy. It pretends to stab someone, to shoot someone. Observe everything it does and let it happen. A month or two of this experiment and you will be surprised at the results. You will find that your body has become very easy, healthy and pure. It has found a release; the old blocks will have found an outlet.
In days gone by, seekers used to go into the forests. They liked to be in solitude and did not want to be in a crowd. One of the main reasons for this was for purification. You have no idea that Buddha or Mohammed did when they went into solitude; there is not one book that tells you what they did when they were in the forests. So what do you suppose they were doing? I tell you without a doubt that they must have been purifying their bodies. The world \'mahavira\' means someone whose blocks have been destroyed -- and the first step towards destroying these blocks is in the body.
So first those blocks that you have accumulated have to be released. In the beginning you will find it strange, and if you feel like laughing at yourself for behaving like a madman, jumping around, then allow the laughter to happen. If you feel like crying then let it happen. If I tell you right now to let go, then some of you will start laughing. There is pain within you which could not be expressed, which was suppressed, and it will come out. Or there is laughter waiting to come out that was stopped; it is lodged in your body in the form of a blockage. Now it will come out. You will feel that what is happening is absurd, but let it happen. Try this method of body purification on your own, and the upper layer of your blockages will be removed and you will feel lighter.
The second thing: you have to see to it that new blocks don\'t develop. I have spoken about how to release the old blocks, but you go on accumulating new blocks every day. I may say something that makes you very angry, but you will not show it because of your social conditioning and social etiquette. A fireball of energy will move into your body. Where will it go? It may create stress on some nerves, disrupt them, lodge itself there. This is why there is a difference between the eyes and face of someone who is angry and of someone who is peaceful: the fever of anger has not distorted anything in a peaceful man\'s face. The body blooms into its true beauty only when there is no disharmony in it. In that sense, a beautiful body is simply an indication that there is no disharmony. That\'s when the eyes become beautiful, and even the ugliest body seems to be beautiful.
Gandhi\'s body was very ugly when he was young, but as he grew older he started looking more beautiful. It was very strange. The beauty was not of the body, it was the result of the dissolving of all the blocks in the body. Very few people understood when they saw this. There\'s no doubt that Gandhi was ugly; if we measure by any criterion of beauty, he could not have been considered beautiful. If you see photogrphas of him as a child and as a young man you will see that he was ugly, but as he grew older he started looking more and more beautiful. If you have led your life beautifully, then your youth is not as beautiful as your old age. Because in youth there are many forces working in you, in old age all the feverishness disappears. If you have lived, your life beautifully then old age is the most beautiful part of life, because then all the feverishness is gone. All the disorders will have disappeared if you have developed rightly and lived your life totally.
Have you ever wondered how all these blockages accumulate in your body? If I insult you and you get angry, this creates a surge of energy in you. And energy cannot be destroyed, energy is never dstroyed. Energy has to be used, and if it is not used it will become perverted and self destructive. You have to use it -- but how to use this energy?
Imagine you are work and you are angry -- there is a strong feeling of anger in you and you cannot express it. I suggest you try this: transform that energy creatively. Contract the muscles of your legs -- nobody can see your legs-- as much as you can. Make them stiff, pull them as tight as you can. When you feel that you can\'t go any further, suddenly relax them. You will be surprised to see that the anger has gone, and you will also be exercising your muscles and toning them up. And that angry impulse which could have become destructive has been released, and in the bargain your legs have been toned up. You can tone up and improve whichever part of your body has become blocked by anger, and the energy which has been created will be used in a creative way. If your hands are blocked, tighten the muscles of both your hands and all the energy of anger will be used. If your stomach is blocked, pull all the muscles of your stomach in and imagine that all the energy of your anger is being used to contract these muscles. You will see that in a minute or two the anger will have disappeared and the energy will have been used creatively.
Energy is always neutral. The energy which is created by anger is not destructive in itself; it is destructive only because it is being used in the form of anger. Make better use of it. And if it is not used in a beter eway it will continue to exist in a destructive form. It cannot disappear unless you do somethng. If you can learn to make use of it, it can bring a revolution into your life.
So purify the body old blocks have to be released and new blocks have to be transformed creatively. These are the two preliminary steps and they are very important. Most of the postures in yoga, the asanas, are meant for using the body creatively. Physical exercise makes creative use of the body. If you don\'t use your body creatively, then all this energy which could have been a blessing will become a curse. You are all suffering from your own energy, in other words, just having energy has become a problem, a burden.