The world reels under deceit and lies. The worst kind of ugliness is happening at the highest level. If you look at the election campaigns across the world, you see no limits, as if democracy was all about hitting below the belt. It seems like it is no more a shameful thing to say something that is a complete lie. Today, lies are mainstream— truth is a fringe phenomenon.
When this is the situation in the world, to establish a large group of people who will live and die for truth is paramount. Truth is not a belief. You can believe whatever you want, it need not have anything to do with reality. If you make a large number of people believe something, lies will become mainstream. Once you believe, your entire identity will be built on what you believe. Belief leads people to accept the most ridiculous things as the absolute truth. Though much has been done to mainstream truth, there have been forces that managed to marginalise it. Now a time has come when human ability to communicate to the entire world is greater than ever before.
We can make truth knock on everyone’s minds and hearts. Technology has rendered us to this place. This is the best age ever to make truth the main force on the planet. You can start gossip on social media and make it reach everywhere. Now that gossip has gone global, truth should go global. No one wants to listen to laborious verses of scriptures, but if you rehash truth as gossip, everyone will want to know it. Right now, during monsoon, the northern and eastern part of the Indian subcontinent is receiving heavy rains. In a season like this, Gautama the Buddha, who was otherwise continuously travelling with a large group of his disciples, made a rule that in these two and a half months, the monks could stay in one place. Generally, the rule for the sanyasis or monks who were with him was to never stay in any place for more than two days. But during the rainy season, walking through the jungles would have been treacherous, and many would have lost their lives. Therefore, this was a time when they stayed in a larger town and spread across many homes.
During the day, the monks went out for alms. Ananda Tirtha, Gautama’s elder cousin, encountered a courtesan. She gave him alms, looked at him, a tall and handsome young man, and said, “I heard monks are looking for shelter. Why don’t you come and stay in my house?” Ananda Tirtha said, “I must ask the Buddha as to where I should stay.” She became really taunting, “Oh, you want to ask your guru? Go and ask him. Let’s see what he says.” Ananda went back to Gautama and put what he had collected at his feet.
Everyone was supposed to find food and shelter wherever they go. So Ananda asked, “This lady is inviting me. Can I stay there?” Gautama said, “If she is inviting you, you must go and stay there.” Upon hearing that, the townspeople who were around were up in arms. They said, “What? A monk is going to stay at a prostitute’s home? This is it! This spiritual process has become corrupt.” Gautama looked at them and said, “Why are you so worried? The lady is inviting him. Let him stay there. What is the problem?” People started to get up. He said, “Wait. I am on this path because I see this is the most precious and powerful way to live. Now you are telling me her ways are more powerful than mine? If that was the truth, I should go and join her. As a true seeker, that is how it should be – if you find something much higher, you should go for that.” People were in high dudgeon, and of course, many left. Ananda went and stayed with her.
Because of the rains, it got cold. He was only wearing a thin robe, so she gave him a nice silk wrap. He covered himself with it. When people saw this, they took it as evidence that he was going astray. She cooked nice food for him. He ate. In the evening, she danced for him. He sat watching with utmost attention. When people heard the music, they thought he had fallen. Time passed. When the rains stopped and it was time to move on, Ananda came to Gautama with a female monk. This is the power of being on the path of truth. There is an innate longing in human beings to seek truth. They just need to be given an opportunity.
Right now, people may be caught up with different things, but ultimately, everyone aspires for the highest. We just have to show them that there are better highs. There are better highs than getting drunk. There are better highs than doing drugs. There are better highs than being caught up in social drama. There are better highs than being better than someone else. Always, sages, saints, yogis, and gurus have been putting people on the path of truth, allowing them to experience the power of truth. Out of sheer grace and energy, they transformed many people around them. But they did not have the tools to reach people everywhere. Today we have an onerous responsibility because we have the technology and an ability to communicate that they could not imagine. As I have repeatedly said, in our lives, if we do not do what we cannot do – not an issue. But if we do not do what we can do, we are a disastrous life. It is my wish, especially for all the young people, that you stand up for what you see as the highest.
You don’t have to be better than everyone else, but you have to be at your best. If you don’t invest your life towards what you see as the highest, this is a wasted life. “Yes, Sadhguru, but…” That but(t) needs to be kicked. Everyone has a “but.” Everyone has an excuse why they do not do the best things that they can do in their lives. With every program, right from the free introductory, we have been trying to take away these excuses that you have for not living at your best. “I wanted to do it, but…” Responsibility means that you have no excuse. “What is the use of all this for me, Sadhguru? I don’t want to change the world.” This is not something you can choose. This is not something that I am trying to put into you. The very nature of human existence is such if you do not do what you could do, it will bother you until your deathbed. If you want to live a wholesome life, you must do what you see as the highest. Otherwise you will always feel incomplete. You will always feel not worthy of many things that you are.
In many ways, the forces are getting aligned in the world. Something as gentle as a flower can bring fragrance to the atmosphere. You don’t have to fight anyone. You cannot fight with darkness. You just have to light up. If you light up, darkness will disappear. Darkness seems to be the most formidable thing. Suppose it is pitch-dark, it takes your breath away. But if you light up, it will be gone without effort. This is the nature of ignorance. This is the nature of falsehood. There is no need to fight it. If you light up, it will disappear. We are looking at ways and means to light up yourself and every human being on the planet. It may take a bit of effort, but it will not take the kind of effort that the Saptarishis, Gautama the Buddha, Krishna, and many others had to make, because they didn’t have the technology to spread truth across the world. We have tools that no one ever had. We must do something that no one ever could do.