Baul Mystics…

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. The Baul belongs to no religion. He is neither Hindu nor Mohammedan nor Christian nor Buddhist. He is a simple human being. His rebellion is total. He does not belong to anybody; he only belongs to himself. He lives in a no man’s land: no country is his, no religion is his, no scripture is his.

Bauls have nothing — no scripture, not even to burn; no church, no temple, no mosque — nothing whatsoever. A Baul is a man always on the road. He has no house, no abode. God is his only abode, and the whole sky is his shelter. He possesses nothing except a poor man’s quilt, a small, hand-made one-stringed instrument called AEKTARA, and a small drum, a kettle-drum. That’s all that he possesses. He possesses only a musical instrument and a drum. He plays with one hand on the instrument and he goes on beating the drum with the other. The drum hangs by the side of his body, and he dances. That is all of his religion.
Dance is his religion; singing is his worship.
– The Beloved, Vol 1, Chapter #1

The Bauls say that life is not a creation of something new, it is just unfoldment. You already have it; it just has to be unfolded, barriers just have to be removed. Obstacles just have to be put aside and your life starts unfolding. You are like a bud: when obstacles are no more there, you start flowering, your lotus opens.
– The Beloved, Vol 2, Chapter #1

The methods of the Bauls are very simple. They say that if you can dance, many blocks will disappear from your being — because when a person dances and really moves into dance, and becomes movement, then he becomes liquid. Have you not seen it? If you have seen somebody lost in dancing, can’t you see it? that he is no longer solid? He is flowing. The solidity is gone; he has become liquid. This liquidity melts the blocks. So dancing is the Yoga of the Baul; he dances for hours together. When the moon is in the sky in the night, the Bauls will dance the whole night — because for them the moon is a symbol of their Beloved, Krishna. They call Krishna ‘the moon’. When the moon is there they will dance, and they will dance madly. And this dance is not a performance. It is not for somebody else to see. If somebody sees it and watches, that’s another thing. The Baul dances for himself, for his own pleasure.
– The Beloved, Vol 2, Chapter #1

Bauls have been very extraordinary people. The word BAUL means MAD. Bauls were mad mystics. They have talked in all sorts of paradoxes; but very beautiful. They are not philosophers, they are mad poets. They are not proposing any logical thing, rather on the contrary ‘they are trying to show you something through paradox.
– Tao: The Three Treasures, Vol 4, Chapter #2

Bauls were great mystics of such beauty and depth that people started thinking that they were mad. So the literal meaning of the word “baul” is mad; it means: the mad mystic. Their whole life was so utterly different, so radically different from the ordinary life, that naturally they looked mad. They danced, they sang, they moved like madmen, traveling up and down the country singing songs of joy, of celebration. Naturally they looked mad, because in a world of suffering how do you conceive of celebration? In a world where everybody is miserable, the man who is dancing and has laughter in his soul looks simply out of place, outlandish, mad, stoned, not in his senses. Hence the word “baul” — it means the mad mystic.

Slowly slowly they have disappeared; very few Bauls are still alive. But the glory is gone because this country no more welcomes the real mystic. It still talks about mysticism, in fact talks much about mysticism, but its heart has become materialistic.
– God’s Got a Thing About you, Chapter #13

Basho…

Book on Zen with Basho’s Haikus:
Hyakujo: The Everest of Zen, with Basho’s Haikus (in English)

Basho has tremendous respect in my heart. He is not only a mystic, a master, he is also a poet, a painter, a sculptor; he is a creative phenomenon. Nobody can compare with him as far as his multidimensional personality is concerned.

He has the fragrance which only a flower can have. That fragrance is manifested in his poetry, in his small statements, in his every gesture. Even in his ordinary talks with people he cannot be other than Basho.
Basho is far more refined, perhaps the most refined Zen master up to now. His refinement is in his cultured, meditative spaciousness. Out of that spaciousness many flowers have showered on the world. It does not matter wherever he is and whatever is going on, Basho is going to make it a Zen state of affairs. That uniqueness will not be found again.
– Live Zen, Chapter #4

Basho is one of the greatest poets of the world, but he has written only haikus — very symbolic but very miraculous, very simple but very mysterious. They are all to be understood through visualization, because Zen does not believe in words. Visualize and perhaps you may have some understanding.
– Hyakujo: The Everest of Zen, with Basho’s Haikus, Chapter #1

A meditator, according to Basho, will go on searching deep within himself, but that does not mean that he should lose contact with the outside world. Once in a while he should open his eyes. With all his emptiness he should mirror the outside world. Those reflections are collected in these haikus. They don’t mean anything, they simply depict a picture.
– Hyakujo: The Everest of Zen, with Basho’s Haikus, Chapter #1

Basho is the greatest haiku poet of Japan, the Master haiku poet. But he was not just a poet. Before becoming a poet he was a mystic; before he starting pouring out with beautiful poetry, he poured deep into his own center. He was a meditator.
– The Beloved, Vol 2, Chapter #8

It happened when Basho’s master died — Basho is a buddha, a buddha who writes poetry, a buddha who paints beautiful pictures, a very aesthetic buddha. His master died, thousands of people gathered. His master was very famous; more famous because of Basho, because Basho was a famous poet and painter and he was Basho’s master. Thousands of people gathered and they were very much surprised when they saw Basho crying, big tears rolling down his cheeks.

A few close disciples of his master came to Basho and said, “It does not look right. Thousands of people are coming and they are getting confused. They don’t think a buddha should be crying and weeping, and you are the man who has been saying to them again and again: There is no death and the innermost core lives forever. Then why are you weeping? Your master is not dead, he has only moved from the small body to the universal body of God. So why are you weeping?”

Basho wiped his tears and he said, “Listen! This is nobody’s business. I live according to my inner feelings, I cannot pretend. When my innermost core

has disappeared into the universal. don’t care whether people think it right or not. If they don’t think that I am enlightened it’s okay, but I cannot pretend. I cannot do something which is not really there. And yes, I have said that the soul is immortal and my master has not died, he has disappeared into the universal. That’s why I am crying, not crying that he is dead but crying that now I will never be able to see his form. Now he has become formless — and his body was beautiful. I will never be able to look again into those deep eyes, I will never be able to hold his hand and touch his feet. I have lost his form — I am crying for his body, for his form; I am not crying for the formless soul. And I am not concerned whether people think me enlightened or unenlightened, that is their business. Who cares?”
– The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 6, Chapter #8

Bahaudin..

Bahaudin is one of the greatest Sufi Masters ever. He is of the same status as Buddha, Krishna, Mohammed, Christ. “Naqshband” means “a designer”; and he was a designer, and this story is a design. He used to create situations because people can only be taught through real situations. And he was one of the greatest designers.

Gurdjieff learned his devices from the Order of Naqshbandis, the followers of Bahaudin Naqshband. They are called Naqshbandis, “The Designers”, still. No other school of human transformation has created so many devices. Bahaudin used to say that people are so asleep that if you simply talk with them, they will listen and yet they will not listen. They will only hear, and they will not listen. And even if they hear, the meaning that they will give to you and your words will be their own. They have to be brought to actual situations. People are so asleep, they have to be hit by actual realities; only then can something penetrate into their thick, dense, insensitive, unintelligent heads.
– The Secret, Chapter #1

When you go to a man like Bahaudin you are coming close to danger, you are coming close to fire, you are coming close to death.
– Sufis: The People of the Path, Vol 1, Chapter #5

Sufis don’t believe in teachings and teachers. This man, Bahaudin, is one of the greatest masters. The master does not teach: he demonstrates; his whole being is a demonstration. He opens new dimensions and he invites you to look through these new dimensions, new vistas, new windows. He demonstrates, he does not teach. And even if he teaches, it is just to persuade your intellect to come to his window from where things have a totally different look.
And a master has to be skilled in the greatest art: the art of the human heart — because subtle are the problems, very complicated and complex.
– Until You Die, Chapter #5

The book I am going to talk about is a Sufi one, THE BOOK OF BAHAUDDIN. The original Sufi mystic, Bahauddin created the tradition of Sufism. In his small book everything is contained. It is like a seed. Love, meditation, life, death… he has not left anything out whatsoever. Meditate over it.
– Books I Have Loved, Chapter #11

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

Atisha…

Book on Atisha:
The Book of Wisdom (in English)

Atisha is one of the rare masters, rare in the sense that he was taught by three enlightened masters. It has never happened before, and never since. To be a disciple of three enlightened masters is simply unbelievable — because one enlightened master is enough. But this story, that he was taught by three enlightened masters, has a metaphorical significance also. And it is true, it is historical too.

The three masters that Atisha remained with for many years were: first, Dharmakirti, a great Buddhist mystic. He taught him no-mind, he taught him emptiness, he taught him how to be thoughtless, he taught him how to drop all content from the mind and be contentless. The second master was Dharmarakshita, another Buddhist mystic. He taught him love, compassion. And the third master was Yogin Maitreya, another Buddhist mystic. He taught him the art of taking the suffering of others and absorbing it into your own heart: love in action.

This could happen because all these three masters were great friends. They had started their search together; while they were on the way they had remained together, and when they attained they were still together.

Atisha became a disciple of Dharmakirti. Dharmakirti said to him, “I will teach you the first principle. And for the second you go to Dharmarakshita, and for the third to Yogin Maitreya. This way you will know all the three faces of the ultimate reality, the three faces of God — the trinity, the TRIMURTI. And this way you will learn each face from the person who is the most perfect in it.”
– The Book of Wisdom, Chapter #1

Because Atisha learned under three enlightened masters, he is called Atisha the Thrice Great. Nothing more is known about his ordinary life, when and where exactly he was born. He existed somewhere in the eleventh century. He was born in India, but the moment his love became active he started moving towards Tibet, as if a great magnet were pulling him there. In the Himalayas he attained; then he never came back to India.

He moved towards Tibet, his love showered on Tibet. He transformed the whole quality of Tibetan consciousness. He was a miracle-worker; whatsoever he touched was transformed into gold. He was one of the greatest alchemists the world has ever known.

These “Seven Points of Mind Training” are the fundamental teaching that he gave to Tibet — a gift from India to Tibet. India has given great gifts to the world. Atisha is one of those great gifts. Just as India gave Bodhidharma to China, India gave Atisha to Tibet. Tibet is infinitely indebted to this man.
– The Book of Wisdom, Chapter #1

Atisha is really very very scientific. First he says: Take the whole responsibility on yourself. Secondly he says: Be grateful to everyone. Now that nobody is responsible for your misery except you, if it is all your own doing, then what is left?
BE GRATEFUL TO EVERYONE.
– The Book of Wisdom, Chapter #5