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Dogen…

Book on Dogen:
Dogen, the Zen Master: A Search and a Fulfillment (in English)

Before I explain Dogen to you, let this be the introduction, because this is what he is trying to say: that everything passes and yet there is something that never passes; that everything is born and dies and yet there is something that is never born and never dies. And unless you get centered into that eternal source you will not find peace, you will not find serenity, you will not find blissfulness, you will not find contentment. You will not feel at home, at ease in the universe. You will remain just an accident, you will never become essential.

Dogen is a very unique genius. He is saying, “You may be aware of your buddhahood or not aware of your buddhahood — don’t be worried. When the right time and the right season come you will blossom into a buddha.” Just wait … wait intelligently, wait without desire; enjoy waiting, make waiting itself a blissful silence, and whatever is your birthright is bound to flower. Nobody can prevent a bird from flying, nobody can prevent a cuckoo from singing, nobody can prevent a rose from blossoming. Who is preventing you from becoming buddhas? Except you, nobody is responsible for it.
– Dogen, the Zen Master: A Search and a Fulfillment, Chapter #3

Dogen, a Zen master, used to say, when he felt hungry he would say, “It seems the universal feels hungry through me.” When he would feel thirsty he would say, “The existence is thirsty within me.” This is what this meditation will lead you to. Then everything disperses from your ego and becomes part of the universe. Then whatsoever happens, happens to existence itself; you are no more here. Then there is no sin, then there is no responsibility.
– Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, Vol 1, Chapter #39

Bayard…

Books on Sufis:
Just Like That (in English)
The Wisdom of the Sands (2 volumes in English)
The Secret (in English)
Sufis: The People of the Path (2 volumes in English)
The Perfect master (2 volumes in English)
Until You Die (in English)

When a Sufi mystic, Bayazid, was dying, people who had gathered around him — his disciples — were suddenly surprised, because when the last moment came his face became radiant, powerfully radiant. It had a beautiful aura.

Bayazid was a beautiful man, and his disciples had always felt ar aura around him, but they had not known anything like this; so radiant.
They asked, ‘Bayazid, tell us what has happened to you. What is happening to you? Before you leave us, give us your last message.’

He opened his eyes and he said, ‘God is welcoming me. I am going into his embrace. Goodbye.’
He closed his eyes, his breathing stopped. But at the moment his breathing stopped there was an explosion of light, the room became full of light, and then it disappeared.

When a person has known the transcendental in himself, death is nothing but another face of God. Then death has a dance to it. And unless you become capable of celebrating death itself, remember, you have missed life. The whole life is a preparation for this ultimate.
– The Art of Dying, Chapter #1

Bayazid of Bistam, one of the greatest names amongst the Sufis.
– Just Like That, Chapter #8

Sufism is the path of intense love, passionate love. As Bayazid has said, “The duration of Bayazid’s life of asceticism was only three days. On the first day he renounced the world, on the second day he renounced the other world, and on the last day he renounced himself. ”
– The Secret, Chapter #17

Bayazid says that it is the nature of the master to change others; it is not an effort. Nothing is being done by the master, simply his presence…. And if he appears to do something, that appearance is just a trick because you cannot understand the language of nondoing. You can only understand the language of effort. So he creates a language for you. Even if you cannot understand his language, he can understand your language very well. Even if you cannot understand him, he can understand you very well.
– The Supreme Doctrine, Chapter #3

Adi Shankaracharya

The Song of Ecstasy (in English)
The Great Transcendence (in English)
Bhaj Govindam Moodh Mate (in Hindi)

“Adi Shankaracharya was an unbounded flow of revolutionary energy, a Ganges rushing towards the ocean. He cannot be channeled like a canal.”
– Nowhere To Go But In, Chapter #3

Adi Shankaracharya, the first shankaracharya, who established four temples — the four seats of shankaracharyas for all the four directions. Perhaps in the whole world, he is the most famous of those philosophers who are trying to establish that everything is illusory. Without doubt he was a great logician, because he went on conquering other philosophers; he moved all over the country and defeated all other schools of philosophy. He established his philosophy as the only right vision, the only right perspective: that all is maya, illusion.
– The Great Zen Master Ta Hui, Chapter #9

This is the book I have always wanted to talk about; it is even scheduled for my morning talks in English. I have already spoken on it in Hindi and it can also be translated. The book is by Shankaracharya — not the present fool, but Adi Shankaracharya, the original one.
The book is one thousand years old, and is nothing but a small song: “BHAJ GOVINDAM MOODH MATE — O Idiot….” Now, Devageet, listen carefully: I’m not talking to you, that is the title of the book. BHAJ GOVINDAM — sing the song of the Lord — MOODH MATE, O Idiot. O Idiot, sing the song of the Lord.
But idiots don’t listen. They never listen to anybody, they are deaf. Even if they listen they don’t understand. They are imbeciles. Even if they can understand, they don’t follow; and unless you follow, understanding is meaningless. Understanding is understanding only when it is proved by your following.
Shankaracharya has written many books but none of them is so beautiful as this song: BHAJ GOVINDAM MOODH MATE. I have spoken much on these three or four words, almost three hundred pages. But you know how I love to sing songs; if I have the opportunity I will go on endlessly. But here I wanted to at least mention the book.
– Books I Have Loved, Chapter #15

Ashtavakra

Books on Ashtavakra:
Enlightenment : The Only Revolution (in English)
Ashtavakra Mahageeta (6 volumes in Hindi)

Ashtavakra is not for synthesis — he is a man of truth. He speaks the truth just as it is, without any artifice or coloring. He is not concerned about the listener, he does not care whether his listener will understand or not. Such a pure expression of truth has never happened anywhere before, nor has it ever happened again.

No one is concerned with Ashtavakra, because to accept Ashtavakra you are going to have to drop yourself — unconditionally. You cannot bring yourself along. Only if you stay behind can you come near him.

If you really want to understand Ashtavakra you will have to descend into the depths of meditation. No commentary, no interpretation will be of any help.

And for meditation Ashtavakra does not ask us to sit and chant “Ram, Ram.” He says that anything you do will not be meditation. How can there be meditation when there is a doer? As long as there is doing, there is illusion. As long as the doer is present, the ego is present. Ashtavakra says becoming a witness is meditation. Then the doer disappears; you remain only as watcher, nothing but the observer. When you are nothing but the observer then only is there darshan, seeing; then only is there meditation, then only is there wisdom.
– The Mahageeta, Vol 1, Chapter #1

Ashtavakra, one of the greatest seers of this country, says: The sannyasin is one who is dead even while he is alive. But the person who is dead while he is alive will be alive when he is dead.
– The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 5, Chapter #4

Ashtavakra says, “Rest in yourself, and you will attain all.” Because resting in yourself you will know who you are.
– The First Principle, Chapter #9

“One very great mystic of India — I have spoken on him for almost half a year continuously. His name was Ashtavakra. And what he has written is tremendously important; each sentence has so many dimensions to be explored, but the man himself was in a very difficult situation.

Ashtavakra — the name was given to him, because he was almost like a camel. In eight places he was distorted in the body — one leg was longer, one arm was shorter, his back was bent — in eight places he was distorted. That’s how he was born, with a crippled, distorted body. But even in a crippled and distorted body the soul is as beautiful as in the most beautiful body.

He became enlightened, but his body was too rigid to change with his inner change. His eyes started showing something of the beauty, but the whole body was in such a mess.”

“It is one of the strangest things in this country that on every book written by any prominent mystic there have been hundreds of commentaries, but nobody has commented before me on Ashtavakra. And he must be at least five thousand years old. For five thousand years nobody has bothered to look into his statements, which are so significant.

But his inner enlightenment, his inner understanding could not change his outer appearance. And yet for those who are going deeper into themselves, the outer does not matter. They would have seen even in Ashtavakra tremendous beauty, but it would not have been of the outer circumference, but of the center.
Most often the inner change changes the outer, if the outer is not too rigid. But the outer never changes the inner.

You need to have eyes, going deep into people’s beings, which is possible only if you are going inwards yourself. The deeper you go into yourself the deeper you can look into other people’s beings. And then a totally new world opens its doors.”
– Sat Chit Anand, Chapter #27

Just a few days ago I was talking about Ashtavakra. Yes, he is exactly like Lao Tzu; he also praises the quality of sublime laziness. He calls it ALASI SHIROMANI. the emperor of laziness, a great king of laziness, the highest peak of laziness. But remember, inactivity plus energy, plus vitality. And not a single effort has to be made, because in the effort so much energy will be wasted that you will be less radiant. And God comes to you only when you are so vital — optimumly vital, optimum… at the peak — that you cannot be any more vital. At that peak you meet the divine. Your highest energy comes closest to God’s feet; God’s lowest energy is closest to man’s highest energy, and there is the communion.
– Tao: The Pathless Path, Vol 1, Chapter #2