Learning to Silence the Mind
"The West is bewildered. Out of this bewilderment a great desire is arising: how to have contact with one’s self again. Meditation is nothing but getting your roots again into your inner world, into your interiority. Hence the West is becoming very much interested in meditation, and very much interested in the Eastern treasures.
"The East was also interested in meditation when the East was rich; this has to be understood. That’s why I am not against richness and I don’t think that poverty has any spirituality in it. I am utterly against poverty because whenever a country becomes poor it loses contact with all meditations, all spiritual efforts. Whenever a country becomes poor outwardly, it becomes unaware of the inner poverty.
"That’s why on the Indian faces you can see a kind of contentment that is not found in the West. It is not real contentment; it is just unawareness of the inner poverty. Indians think, “Look at the anxiety, anguish, and the tension on the Western faces. Although we are poor, we are inwardly very content.” That is utter nonsense; they are not contented. I have been watching thousands of people – they are not contented. But one thing is certainly there, they are not aware of the discontent, because to be aware of the discontent outer richness is needed. Without outer richness nobody becomes aware of the inner discontent. And there are enough proofs of it.
"All the avataras of the Hindus were kings or sons of kings – kings or princes. All the Jaina tirthankaras, all the Jaina prophets, were kings; and so was Buddha. All the three great traditions of India give ample proof.
Why did Buddha become discontented, why did he start a search for meditation? Because he was rich. He lived in affluence; he lived in all that was possible, all the comforts, all the material gadgets. Suddenly he became aware. And he was not very old when he became aware; he was only twenty-nine when he became aware that there is a dark hole inside. Light is outside; hence it shows your inner darkness. Just a little dirt on a white shirt and it shows. That’s what happened.
"He escaped from the palace. That’s what happened to Mahavira; he also escaped from a palace. It was not happening to a beggar.”
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