I live naturally – and it is very natural to live in comfort and convenience. It is simply stupid, if comfort is available, not to live in it. If it is not available, that is another thing. Then whatsoever is available, live in it comfortably, manage to live in it comfortably. I have lived in many kinds of situations but I have always lived comfortably. When I was a student I used to walk to the university, four miles every day. But I loved it. I walked those four miles every day with great comfort; I enjoyed it. When I was a teacher I used to go on a bicycle to the university; I enjoyed that too. Whatsoever has been the situation, whether I have had only a bicycle or a Mercedes Benz, it doesn’t make any difference: I have lived in comfort. Comfort is an attitude of mind, it is an approach towards life. I have lived in very very poor houses. When I became a teacher in a university, I started living in one single room with no windows, no ventilation. The rent was just twenty rupees per month. But I loved it, I enjoyed it, it was not a problem at all. Whatsoever the moment allows, I have squeezed the moment to its totality. I have drunk fully of the moment, I have never repented and I have never desired for something else; if something else started happening I enjoyed that too.
I used to walk four miles to teach in the university, and back four miles – two hours every day. But I enjoyed it, it was such beautiful exercise.
When I was a student in the university, I used to wake up early, three o’clock in the morning. The university where I was, was surrounded by mountains, and at three o’clock in the night the roads were empty, no traffic. I used to run for miles.
For ten years I used to run eight miles every morning and eight miles every evening — from 1947 to 1957. It was a regular thing. And I came to experience many, many things through running. At sixteen miles per day I would have encircled the world seven times in those ten years. After you run the second or third mile a moment comes when things start flowing and you are no longer in the head, you become your body, you are the body.
It happened once with me, many years ago. I used to get up at 3 a.m. in the night and go for a walk. It was a lovely night and the roadside was thickly covered by clusters of bamboo groves. There was a slight opening at one point, otherwise it was covered all the way along. I used to run straight from one end to the other of that stretch one way and then run facing backwards the other way. In an hour – from 3 a.m. to 4 a.m. – I would do my exercise there.
I was never sick before I became enlightened; I was perfectly healthy. People were jealous of my health. But after enlightenment, suddenly I found that the body had become so delicate that doing anything became impossible. Even going for a walk – and I was running before that, four miles in the morning, four miles in the evening, running, jogging, swimming. I was doing all kinds of things. You will be surprised to know that when I entered the university, I was doing so much exercise – running, swimming, jogging and other exercises
Only very few people, who are enlightened, may not be helped by physical work. I have tried it. I was running four miles in the morning, four miles in the evening, and doing all kinds of hard work. Even before sleep – and I used to go to sleep at twelve – from eleven to twelve I was again going for a walk, but whatever I would do would simply relax my body. My body would be completely at rest, but I would be fully awake. It did not disturb, but the awareness was so much that there was no way to reduce it; it cannot be reduced. Once it has happened, it goes on growing. But the man who is enlightened, if he cannot sleep because of too much consciousness, can at least rest, and rest totally. And that rest will give his body something almost similar to deep sleep. When I was in jail in America for twelve days, for twenty-four hours I was sleeping – sleeping means I was resting with closed eyes. I would get up to eat something or go to the bathroom; then I would come back to myself and again I would close my eyes and go to sleep. The nurses and the doctor were puzzled. They said, “How can you manage sleeping twenty-four hours?” I said, “I am not sleeping even twenty-four seconds!” They said, “But you look so fast asleep.” I said, “That is from the outside! From the outside I am fast asleep, my body is at rest. But from the inside I am fast awake.” And there is no way… physical exercise won’t help. With physical exercise or without physical exercise, I can relax my body but sleep will not be coming. But if you are enlightened, then who cares about insomnia. You can pay that small price for such a big treasure.
For one year I was also in the same state that this parable talks about. For one year it was almost impossible to know what was happening. For one year continuously it was even difficult to keep myself alive. Just to keep myself alive was a very difficult thing – because all appetite disappeared. Days would pass and I would not feel any hunger, days would pass and I would not feel any thirst. I had to force myself to eat, force myself to drink. The body was so non-existential that I had to hurt myself to feel that I was still in the body. I had to knock my head against the wall to feel whether my head was still there or not. Only when it hurt would I be a little in the body. Every morning and every evening I would run for five to eight miles. People used to think that I was mad. Why was I running so much? Sixteen miles a day! It was just to feel myself, to feel that I still was, not to lose contact with myself – just to wait until my eyes became attuned to the new that was happening. And I had to keep myself close to myself. I would not talk to anybody because everything had become so inconsistent that even to formulate one sentence was difficult. In the middle of the sentence I would forget what I was saying in the middle of the way I would forget where I was going. Then I would have to come back. I would read a book – I would read fifty pages – and then suddenly I would remember, ‘What am I reading? I don’t remember at all.’ My situation was such.
I was at that time really strong – one hundred and ninety pounds – and I was running eight miles every day, morning and evening, whenever I could find time. So that when I said to anybody, “I will hit you hard,” they understood it would be hard. I had enjoyed jumping, running, swimming so much that my family was always worried: “Will you do anything else in life or not? And you create such a nuisance for other people.”
What do I do all day? Nothing. Just nothing. And where do you do nothing? Just sitting in my room, in my chair, enjoying myself… Even in the crowd I am not in any way different than when I am sitting in m y room alone. My aloneness persists; it is incorruptible. I live in just one room almost the whole day. I never have used telephone in my whole life.
My life is as much a routine as possible. Everything that creates boredom I have meticulously arranged around myself I have not allowed anything that may help me to escape from my aloneness. In the day, Vivek, another sannyasin, takes care of m y food. She comes only when I give her a call to bring m y food or my tea. Otherwise, I remain completely alone.
My whole day, twenty four hours a day, I am making love to existence in different ways. If I am taking a shower I enjoy it as much as making love to a woman. So what is the difference? I am contacting existence through water. It is not necessary that I should make the contact with existence through a feminine body. Eating I am making love, because I eat with such joy. And I don’t see any difference: my joy is the same. So twenty-four hours a day I am in love; it does not matter what I am doing. That you can take as a criterion of the man who has gone beyond enlightenment: whatever he does is love, whatever he says is love. If he does nothing, that is love. If he remains silent, that is love.
6 I wake up at six in the morning. My tea is not much, it is just water and tea leaves.
I take one and a half hours in my bathroom , relaxing in my bath. I love my bathroom the best; it is my temple. So for one and a half hours I enjoy in my bathroom. I have the best bubble baths. I’m allergic to perfumes, so I can take only herbal bubble baths. If you come to my bathroom you will be surprised to see what a treasure I have got there: the world’s best shampoos, hair conditioners, liquid soaps without perfume—all kinds. Every day it is really difficult for me to choose. It takes me almost five minutes to figure out what this combination will do.
whether I am saved spiritually or not, I am not going to shave my beard!
6:30 then went to the bathroom to prepare my towel and toothbrush, and everything that I need. one and a half hours in the morning, one and a half hours in the evening, three hours every day, I devote to my bathroom — that is my temple. I enjoy sitting under the shower, lying down in my tub. I change from hot, extreme hot, to extreme cold, freezing water. enjoying the bathtub, the shower. Everything is set up exactly the same every day. I have half an hour in my bathroom,
7 then half an hour in my swimming pool. Half an hour in that hot water. I don’t wear anything. I used to swim twice, but for two months I had to stop it because m y physicians became afraid. The water going into my ear was creating trouble, and m y ear drums may get hurt or some trouble may arise. And it is possible because I have been swimming from my very childhood for hours. It may have damaged my ear drums. So for two months I have not been swimming.
7:30 then back for half an hour under an ice-cold shower. You cannot have that ice-cold shower for more than two minutes. But after ninety-nine degrees of hot water it is a tremendously beautiful experience to be under ice-cold water.
8 Vivek brings my breakfast, which is really a great breakfast – just a glass of juice, the same.
I am a lazy man, bone lazy. My physician, Doctor Devaraj, wants to give me Vitamin D because I am bone lazy. Calcium is missing he thinks—perhaps! But it has been tremendous; it is good that it was missing.
Now, my doctor, Devaraj, does not allow me, otherwise my whole life I have been eating apples—not one, at least six per day. That was my main diet.
Ice cream I used to love. To tell you the truth I still love it, although there is no way to find it anywhere.
8:30 Musical Trance – After juice I listen to a few songs, poetry, music, that I have been listening to for almost thirty years. they were the same records. I had an old-style gramophone and a collection of records. I know every nook and corner, every nuance. And when I hear them, a strange thing happens: physically I almost fall asleep, but I continue to hear. And in this state, the words which have been heard thousands of times are no longer significant, but something deeper than the words starts opening up. So after my breakfast, for two or three hours I listen to my chosen songs. It is almost a state of deep silence; and because of the silence, my body relaxes and goes to sleep – I am awake. Sometimes, very rarely, I listen to instrumental music.
8:30 Just in the morning, everybody listens to me, the whole commune together. After my bath, immediately I have to get into the car and move to the Mandir where my people are waiting. Two hours, or two and a half hours in the morning, I talk to my disciples.
That was just because of these lights. My eyes were feeling teary. Continuous exposure for two hours in the morning or two and a half hours, and two and a half hours in the evening, my eyes started feeling teary. That’s why I used those glasses; I don’t need them now that they have managed to put the lights a little farther away. I think they need still to adjust them because I can feel the strain on the eyes a little.
(8:30 People used to say that my body looked as if cut out of marble. It used to look like that because I was exercising so much: eight miles in the morning I was going for a walk.)
11 Lunch – Back to my place, it is lunchtime. I take my lunch at eleven. I don’t like to talk even, because whatever I am doing, I want to do it totally. When I am eating, then I just want to eat and relish every bite to the fullest. So one hour or one and a half hours — because I take two meals, lunch and supper. I know exactly what she is going to bring, everything is predictable; three small quantities of vegetables, boiled, without salt, without any kind of spices. Three vegetables, almost the same; four slices of bread just toasted and without any butter; and a cup of Indian sauce, chutney – that’s all. And in my eating the same food every day my taste buds have discovered their sensitivity. I am excited about my taste buds, not the food. My kitchen people have invented something new, a patty made out of dahl. My kitchen has dozens of recipes for patties but I have chosen only two: one for the morning, and one for the evening. I end up my lunch with a glass of juice the same as in the morning, because I will not allow anything to go beyond the juice.
11:45 After my lunch I go to sleep. This is something that I have followed my whole life. Now to me, both sleep and samadhi are the same. My consciousness is awake twenty-four hours a day. I had to miss my classes when I was a student, and my teachers allowed it because if they did not allow, then I used to sleep in the class. I said, “There is no way… I have to sleep these two hours.” When I was a professor, I was sleeping two hours and I had told the vice- chancellor that during these two hours no classes should be given to me; otherwise I would be sleeping there. Two hours I sleep in the day. I have napped as long as I can remember, and I love to sleep because to me sleep is just meditation, as pure and as simple and as relaxing. So for two hours in the day I enjoy a small night, and I make my room completely dark. Many times I forget: when I get up at quarter to two it takes a little while for me to figure it out, whether it is morning or afternoon, and sometimes Vivek has to come to wake me because I have simply forgotten completely that it is afternoon. So I have told her, “You can wait up to quarter to two; longer than that you should not wait. That means I am not clear whether it is morning or evening… and people must be waiting for the drive-by, so you wake me.”
13:45 Then again, a cup of tea – the same, because it is again morning.
14 Then I go to see you all. I go for a one-hour drive in one of the ninety Rolls Royces. So, one hour after my sleep in the afternoon — I wake up at two — I go for a drive. At two o’clock I wake up, and for one hour I go for a ride. That is the only time I come in contact with the Rolls Royces. I love driving. (Not every day now. When I was not speaking, when I was in silence, I wanted to see my sannyasins every day…that’s why the driveby was invented. Now I am seeing them in the morning for two and a half hours every day, so there is no need. But we have four celebrations around the year. In each celebration—it will be a seven day celebration—they will have driveby also.)
15 Coming back I again listen to music.
15 Then whatsoever time is left, I am sitting in my chair. I use only one type of chair. Then I simply relax with closed eyes. You can call it meditation. I cannot call it meditation because to me meditation is now my very nature. Not that I am doing anything, I am just sitting with closed eyes, no ideas floating in my mind. Just utter silence. One and a half hours I simply sit silently in my chair doing nothing and let the grass grow by itself.
I need a certain kind of chair. I use only this chair, it has been made by my sannyasins exactly to give support to my back, because doctors said they cannot do anything…. They make everything for me: this chair, my shoes, my dresses, my hat, even my watch.
(16 I was going for a walk, eight miles in the evening – at least for twenty years, sixteen miles per day.)
16:30 Then I again repeat the same routine: going to the bath, going to the swimming pool, going to the chilled shower.
18 After the bath, I take my supper. Why you call it supper, I don’t know, because it is the same as lunch. At least as far as I am concerned, a different word is not needed; it is just the same as lunch. I end my supper, so-called supper, with a glass of juice and then I am excitedly waiting for Sheela to bring the questions.
19 and after the supper, I am here. in the night, two hours, just the way I am talking to you, I talk to some journalist, some author. I will be back there nearabout nine, nine-thirty.
21-21:30 In the evening, my secretary, Sheela, comes if there is any problem for which she needs guidance from me. Then comes my personal secretary — with letters from all over the world; news cuttings about me from all over the world, anything that the personal secretary feels I need to know — because I don’t read. After the discourse I do some work with Sheela, anything concerned with sannyasins’ spiritual growth. Since five years I have stopped reading anything: books, newspapers, magazines, anything. The clippings that my personal secretary brings she has to read; I simply listen.
22-23 And whatever time remains in the night, I go to bed at about ten or eleven, it depends on the interview.
and then I take, before I go to sleep in the night, my whole life I have taken some special sweets which are made only in Bengal, India. At eleven in the night, all my life I have eaten a certain kind of Indian sweet that I eat and go to bed. Without eating my sweet I cannot sleep. What kind of a sweet is it? It is a Bengali sweet which is not known in the West, but is the best. It is made of milk. The cream is taken out. You heat the milk and just pour lemon juice into the boiling milk. It separates, and what is left is called rasogulla. It is something that the West has not used. It is the lightest sweet. In Bengal, it is given to patients or to those who are recovering from a long sickness. It is very helpful and tremendously delicious. From eleven to six, I am again knocked out. And if existence wants me again tomorrow, I will be awakened; otherwise I am gone—gone with the wind. So in all, one and a half hours goes to my food.
And nearabout ten o’clock I take my last glass of juice and go into sleep or samadhi, which are both the same to me. Now you can see that I don’t have anything beyond the juice. Nearabout eleven, I go to bed again.
I have been active all my life. But now it is enough. I’m finished with it. I enjoyed it before my enlightenment, and I enjoyed it more after my enlightenment. And I proved one traditional idea wrong: that an enlightened man cannot enjoy sex. It is something of historical importance. But now I am completely satisfied. Too much! I am a simple, natural man. I follow my natural instincts in every way. I have loved many women— perhaps no man may have loved so many women. In the beginning I used to keep a count; then I dropped it, because what is the point? Right now I am celibate, but if my health gets better I am not going to be celibate. I have never been celibate. I do not do anything against nature.
Of course, my ways of chasing (women) are very subtle. I chase them sitting in my chair. I don’t have to do all kinds of gymnastics. I don’t have to take them to the cafe, to the restaurant, to the movie; I am simply sitting in my chair. But even if I look in their eyes, that is enough: cafes and restaurants and movies are nothing before it. Just waving my hand…and I see the woman becoming so happy. just a little smile towards a woman is enough! I don’t have to chase her and go through all the dramas and traumas; there is no need. In m y whole life I have never met a single woman who was not ready the moment I looked into her eyes. Where else was she going to find such a simple man who has not even asked her name, who has not asked her address?
as far as I am concerned, I am going to be totally free, absolutely frank, no secrecy, no privacy.
No celibacy is needed before enlightenment. After enlightenment sex disappears, giving place to love—a far more delicate phenomenon. You can have as much fun as you like, in no way can it disturb your enlightenment. It is something bodily, chemical, physiological. How can it affect your consciousness? The enlightened man can make love, and while he is making love he is still centered in his being. He is just a witness, he is seeing him self and the woman making love; he is a third party. And this is what I mean when I say the enlightened man transcends sex, because he becomes a third party. He can see his own body and the body of his woman completely as a witness. His witnessing is not disturbed by anything.
Buddha would not allow any woman close to him, she had to remain eight feet away. Is this enlightenment? so afraid, so shaky that even a woman coming close and you become afraid? This is repression, this is not enlightenment.
I can play cards; it is not a need. I can drink once in a while; it does not disturb my enlightenment. I can make love. My enlightenment is not made of such fragile matter. It cannot be disturbed by anything. And I have transcended enlightenment, too. Now I am again the same old ordinary man I was before all this round trip jet journey. I am back home. I have passed through everything, all meditation, all enlightenment, and come back home, with new eyes, new clarity, new vision. It is almost like living continuously on LSD.
To me there is no point at all in going to any entertainment. I am not against it—I can go. If people feel happy by my going there, I can go anywhere, hell included! But as far as I am concerned, I don’t need any entertainment. I am so full of blissfulness in myself.
Perhaps one or two which I liked. One was The Brothers Karamazov. That is Dostoevsky’s novel that I have always loved, and I consider it more valuable than the holy bible. Another was Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. That is a masterpiece of genius. So once in a while, if somebody sees something beautiful that they would like my time to be wasted on, they bring it. Patton and The Ten Commandments I liked, as a film. for five years I have not read anything, but before five years I have read as much as people will read in five lives.
I sleep with three pillows: one on each side and one under my head…. and I use very big pillows, perhaps the biggest size… I cannot sleep without those two. Those two are absolutely part of my sleep. If somebody takes one of my pillows, then it is difficult for me to sleep. I will miss him the whole night.