As waves come with water and flames with fire, so the universal waves with us
First try to understand what a wave is, and then you can feel how this consciousness of waves can help you to enter into meditation. You see waves in the ocean. They appear; they are in a sense, and still in a deeper sense they are not. This is the first thing to be understood about a wave. The wave appears; it is there in a sense, but still it is not there in a deeper sense.
In a deeper sense only the ocean is. You cannot have a wave without the ocean, and even while the wave is there, only the ocean is. The wave is just a form, not a substance. The ocean is substantial; the wave is just a form.
Because of language many problems are created. Because we say “wave,” it looks as if a wave is some thing. It would be better if we use not wave, but “waving.” There is no wave, just waving — just an activity, not a thing; just a movement, not a substance; just a process, not matter. The matter is the ocean; the wave is just a form. The ocean can be silent. The waves will disappear, but the ocean will be there.
The ocean can be silent or in movement or in much activity or in no activity, but you cannot find a silent wave. A wave is activity, not a substance. When the activity is there, the wave is there: it is a waving, a movement — a simple form of movement. But when the silence comes, when inactivity comes, the wave is no more and the ocean is there. In both the cases the ocean is the reality. The wave is just a play-form. The wave happens and disappears, the ocean remains.
Secondly, waves appear as individuals. Each wave has its own personality — unique, different from any other. No two waves are similar. Some waves are big, some waves are small. They have their own peculiar characteristics. Each wave has its own character, and, of course, each wave is different from the other. One wave may rise, another may die. While one is rising, another is dying. Both cannot be the same because one is rising, another is dying. Still, the reality behind both is the same. They look different, they look separate, they look individual, but the look is fallacious. Deep down only one ocean is, and no matter how they look unrelated they are related. And while one wave is rising and another is dying, you may not see any relationship; the relationship may not appear, because how can a rising wave be related to a dying wave?
An old man is dying and a child is born: how are they related? If they are related, they will die both together or they will be born together. The child is born and the old man has died; one wave is dying, another is arising. But the rising wave may be gathering energy from the dying wave. The dying wave may be helping it, by its death, to rise. The dispersing wave may be the cause of the wave that is rising.
Deep down they are related to one ocean. They are not different; they are not unrelated, they are not separate. Their individuality is false and illusory. They are non-individual. Their duality appears to be, but it is not so: their non-duality is the truth.
Now I will read the sutra again: “AS WAVES COME WITH WATER AND FLAMES WITH FIRE, SO THE UNIVERSAL WAVES WITH US.” We are just waves in a cosmic ocean. Meditate on it, allow this feeling to go deep down within you. Start feeling your breathing as just the rising of a wave. You breathe in, you breathe out, and the breath that is entering you was someone else’s breath just a moment before and the breath that is leaving you will become someone else’s breath the next moment. Breathing is just waving in the ocean of life. You are not separate — just waves. You are one deep down. We have a togetherness; individuality is false and illusory. Hence, the ego is the only barrier. Individuality is false. It appears to be, but it is not real. The real is the non-individual, the oceanic, the togetherness.
That is why every religion is against the egoistic attitude. The person who says there is no God may not be irreligious, but the person who says “I am” is irreligious.
Gautam Buddha was an atheist; he didn’t believe in any God. Mahavira Vardhaman was an atheist; he didn’t believe in any God. But they achieved, they arrived, they realized the totality, the wholeness. If you don’t believe in any God you may not be irreligious, because God is not basic to religion. Non-ego is basic to religion. And even if you believe in God, with an egoist mind you are irreligious. With a non-egoistic mind there is no need to believe in a God. You fall into the divine automatically. With no ego you cannot cling to the wave; you have to fall to the ocean. With the ego, you go on clinging to the wave. Look at life as an ocean, and feel yourself just as a wave, and allow this feeling to enter in you.
You can use this technique in many ways. While breathing, feel that the ocean is breathing in you. The ocean comes to you, goes out, comes in, goes out. With every breath feel a wave rising, with every exhalation feel a wave dying. And between the two, who are you? Just a nothingness, shunya — a void. With that feeling of the void you will be transformed. With that feeling of nothingness all your misery will disappear, because misery needs a center — and a false center at that. The void is your real center. With it there is no misery; you are in a deep ease. Because you are not, who can be tense? You are bliss-filled. It is not that you are bliss-filled, but because you are not, only bliss is. Without you, can you create misery?
That is why Buddha never says that in that state, the ultimate state, there will be ANANDA — bliss. He never says it. He says that there will be no misery, that is all. To talk about bliss may mislead you, so Buddha says don’t ask about bliss; simply try to know how you can be without misery. And that means how you can be without yourself.
What is our problem? The problem is that the wave thinks itself separate from the ocean; then there are problems. If a wave thinks itself separate from the ocean, the fear of death will immediately come. The wave has to die and the wave can see all around dying waves. And you cannot deceive yourself for long. The wave is seeing that other waves are dying, and the wave knows that even in its rising, death is hidden somewhere, because those other waves a moment before were rising and now they are falling down, dispersing. So you are to die. If the wave thinks itself separate from the ocean the fear of death is bound to appear sooner or later. But if the wave knows that it is not and only the ocean is, there is no fear of death. Only a wave can die, not the ocean. I can die, but not life. You can die, you will die — but not the cosmos, not the existence. The existence goes on waving. It has waved in you, it will wave in others. And while your wave may be disappearing, just by your dispersal other waves will arise and the ocean continues.
Once you detach yourself from the wave form, and you become one and feel one and realize oneness with the ocean, the formless, there is no death for you. Otherwise the fear of death will create misery. In every pain, in every anguish, in every anxiety, the basic fear is of death. You are afraid, trembling. You may not be conscious of it, but if you penetrate within you will find that every moment there is a trembling because you are going to die.
You may create many securities, you may create a citadel around you, but nothing is going to help. Nothing is going to help! Dust unto dust! You are going to fall back down. Have you ever observed or have you ever meditated on the fact that when you are just walking on the road dust clings to your shoe? The dust may have been the body of a Napoleon, of an Alexander. Somewhere, Alexander is just dust now, and the dust clinging to your shoe may have once been the body of Alexander.
The same is going to be the case with you. Now you are here, and the next moment you will not be; the same is going to be the case with you! Sooner or later the dust will go unto dust, the wave will disappear. Fear grips. Just imagine yourself as dust clinging to somebody’s shoe or imagine some potter making an earthen pot of you, of your body, or of your beloved’s body, or imagine yourself moving into a worm or becoming a tree. But this is happening. Everything is a form and form has to die. Only the formless is eternal. If you cling to the form, if you identify yourself with the form, if you feel yourself as a wave form, you are getting into trouble by yourself. You are the ocean, not the wave.
This meditation can help; it can bring a metamorphosis for you, it can become a mutation. But allow it to spread all through your life. While breathing, think; while eating, think; while walking, think. Think two things — that the form is always the wave and the formless is always the ocean. The formless is deathless; the form is mortal. And it is not that you will die someday, you are dying every day. Childhood dies and “youth-hood” is born; then “youth-hood” dies and the old age is born; then the old age dies and the form disappears.
Every moment you are dying into something else; something else is born. Your first day of birth is not the first day of your only birth; that is simply part of many more births to come. And your death of this life is not the first death: it is only the death of this life. You have been dying before. Every moment something is dying and something else is born. A part of you dies; another part is born.
Physiologists say that within seven years nothing old remains in your body; everything changes — every cell. If you are going to live for seventy years, ten times over your body is renewed again and again. Every seven years you have a new body. Not suddenly, but every moment something is changing.
You are a wave, and that too not substantial; every moment you are changing. And a wave cannot be static, a wave has to be changing; a wave has to be constantly in movement. There can be no phenomenon like a non-moving wave. How can there be? A non-moving wave makes no sense. There is movement, process; you are a process, a movement. If you become identified with this movement and process and think yourself confined between birth and death, you will be in misery. Then you are taking appearance as reality. This is what Shankara calls MAYA — illusion. The ocean is the BRAHMAN, the ocean is the truth.
So think yourself as a wave, or as a continuum of waves rising and falling, and just be a witness to this. You cannot do anything. These waves will disappear. That which has appeared will have to disappear; nothing can be done about it. Every effort is absolutely useless. Only one thing can be done, and that is to be a witness of this wave form. Once you become a witness, suddenly you will become aware of something which is beyond the wave, which transcends the wave, which is in the wave also and out of the wave also, which forms the wave and still goes beyond, which is the ocean.
“AS WAVES COME WITH WATER AND FLAMES WITH FIRE, SO THE UNIVERSAL WAVES WITH US.” The universal waves with us. You are not, the universal is — and he is waving through you. Feel it, contemplate over it, meditate on it. Allow it to happen to you in many, many ways.
I told you about breathing. A sex desire arises in you: feel it — not as your desire, but just as the ocean waving in you, just as life pulsating, just as life having a wave in you. You meet in a love act: don’t think of it as two waves meeting, don’t think of it as two individuals meeting. Rather, think of it as two individuals merging. There are no more two individuals. Waves have disappeared; only the ocean has remained. Then the sex act becomes a meditation. Whatsoever happens to you, feel it not as if it is happening to you, but as if it is happening to the cosmos. You are just a part of it — just a wave on the surface. Leave everything to the Universe.
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.
I don’t mean that you will become irresponsible; I don’t mean that you will become a sinner. Sin will be impossible because sin can happen only around an ego. There will be no responsibility because sin can happen only around an ego. There will be no responsibility because now you cannot be irresponsible. Only you are, so to whom can you be responsible? And now if you see someone dying, you will feel you are dying with him, within him. The Universe is dying and you are part of it. And if you will see some flower flowering, you will flower with it. The whole universe will become you now. To be in such a deep affinity and harmony is to be in SAMADHI.
Meditation is the way, and this harmony of oneness, this feeling of oneness with all, is the end, is the goal. Try it! Remember the ocean and forget the wave. And whenever you remember the wave and start behaving as the wave, remember, you are doing something wrong and you will create misery because of it.
There is no God who is punishing you. Whenever you fall a prey to some illusion, you punish yourself. The law, DHARMA, the Tao is there. If you move in harmony with it, you feel blissful. If you move against it, you feel yourself to be in misery. There is no one sitting there in the skies to punish you. There is no record of your sins; there is no need for this. It is just like gravity. If you walk rightly, the gravity is a help. You cannot walk without it. If you walk wrongly, you will fall down, you may get a fracture. But no one is punishing you; it is just the law, the gravity — the impersonal gravity.
If you walk wrongly and you fall down, you will have a fracture. If you walk rightly, you use gravity. The energy can be used wrongly or rightly. When you feel yourself as a wave, you are against the universal law, you are against the reality. Then you will create misery for yourself. This is what the law of KARMA means. There is no law-giver; God is not a judge. To be a judge is ugly, and if God were a judge, he would be completely bored, or else he would have gone mad by now. He is not a judge, he is not a controller, he is not a law-giver. The universe has its own laws, and the basic law is that to be real is to be in bliss, to be unreal is to be in misery.