An Unopened Gift
In this life, there are many things, many issues—but there are also many gifts. And without accepting those gifts, without opening those gifts, this life would not be a life.
Human beings have a short memory. And even after the statues and the famous names, slowly but surely, surely and surely, they fade from the memory. As more and more of the past becomes irrelevant, it all starts to fade and you forget who they were. And once again, the field is ripe for the same mistakes to be played out again.
Do you know how many billions of people will work extremely hard to reach that line that says, “You are successful,” and fail? How many billions of people will dream about that arbitrary line that somebody has drawn that says, “Here is the ‘success’ line”—and they will fail, as they have in the past? Now, the question becomes, “Is that what life is—or is there something more?”
Is there a world of yours that you are unfamiliar with, your inner world in which you don’t strive for success but for happiness? In which you don’t strive for fame, but peace? In which you don’t strive for diplomas, but clarity? In which you don’t weigh and measure the accomplishments, but measure your existence by the gifts you have been already given?
Do you understand and see the value of this breath? Because this breath is the inner face of existence, so far you are concerned. So far you breathe, you are alive. Breath comes into you? All is good. Breath doesn’t come into you? All is not good.
It is the manifestation of life. No, we don’t see it that way. Then we do—when it’s too late. When it is too late! We’re lying in that bed: “The bed. The bed.” And the doctor … is not looking optimistic.
And then the penny drops. Oh, boy, does the penny drop—and you have no idea how big that penny is when it drops. It is huge. And it drops with that “krdack, krdack, kullunk, kullunk, kuh-dunk!” And now you finally see your relationship with everything else.
Now, all of a sudden…. Because first, there is sorrow; there’s sadness—disbelief, anger, fear—at first. But now there is no point in getting angry—and you start to realize that; it’s like, powchkh, “What’s the point?” Nothing you can do about it.
And now all of a sudden, something else comes in—love. Love! You become the center of your life. That’s what I’m talking about. That’s the unopened gift! That’s the unopened gift!
Because you are not at the center of your life; everything else is. The morning you get up—the coffee you pour, and you grab your newspaper; your family is dancing around you; that “Dah, da-deh, da-deh, da-deh, dah-dah, dah, da-deh, dah, da, da-dah-dah….”
There are no “‘love you’s”; there are no “‘good morning’s”; there is just like, “So, what do you have to do today?” “Oh, well, ah-la-ah-la-ah-lah, I have to go there, yeah, you know….”
So, what do we do now? Well, we now change our strategy. That’s what we do. Because we’ve had the wrong strategy all along—we change our strategy. And what do we do? We hone in on every last drop of joy we can muster from this thing called “life.” No holds barred.
And I say to them, “Till this breath is coming into you, you are alive. And you have the license to squeeze it. So, do!” Usually, the family members are there—and I say to them, “Fill the bowl! Because that’s the only thing, the only thing you take with you. The only thing is the feeling of being full.”
And that’s why you have a heart—which lies there, an empty bowl, wishing to be filled. Wishing to be filled, filled with joy, filled with understanding. And the day you ask yourself that question, “Who am I?”—you have given yourself a gift. Because you have finally acknowledged, what? You!
And what about me? Who am I? Seventy percent water? And I can talk? Seventy percent water? And I can actually see things? Seventy percent water? And I can think? When was the last time water thinks? Does that come across the news? “We have thinking water.” And we have thinking water right here! So, who am I—this tourist that has to go one day? Who? What?
What is this life all about? Why do I want to be happy? I mean, well, what is this crazy thing? “I mean, well, I just want to be happy.” Even when I’m sad, I want to be happy. It’s not like when I’m happy, I want to be sad. (Then I’m crazy. Then I need to see a psychiatrist.)
But why is it, naturally, that when I am happy, I want to remain happy and when I am sad, I want to be happy? Clue? Sherlock Holmes, clue? What is the clue? That I am biased.
“Oh, but no human being is born with an instruction manual.” Maybe we don’t need it. Because the instruction manual is obvious.
Nobody goes to the church, nobody goes to the temple, nobody goes to the mosque to pray to God, “Too much happiness; please take it away; I can’t stand it.” Too much sadness? “Oh, please, too much sadness; take it away.” Too much happiness? Not a problem. Too much joy, not a problem. Too much clarity, not a problem.
So, if this is who you are, what have you done about it? If you are hungry, you need to eat! (Or do you need a scientific discourse?)
As you saw in that video, people come to see me—and that was a crowd of about 300,000—I’ve had more. Over 500,000 people—people could hardly hear me on the PA systems, and we had three rows of PA, (time-delayed and everything), but people in the back still couldn’t hear me.
So, what do I tell these people? I tell them, “One—you are very fortunate that you have life—gift number one.” “Umm, oh, oh, but-but it’s been so many problems; how can this be a gift?”
“Second gift: you can separate the problems from you. Gift number two. Gift number three—regardless of what happens, you can still feel contentment in your heart.”
Socrates said, “Know thyself.” Why? Why? I mean, why know yourself? Isn’t your name enough—on a, on a card? Isn’t it? Isn’t it?! But is that who you are? Somebody else had that name—and somebody else will have that name.
You! There’s a beautiful—and there are a lot of people from India here, so I’m going to say something in Hindi. So, (and I’ll translate it so nobody’ll be left out. I won’t translate it in Hindi; I’ll translate it in English; nobody will be left out.) This is about the gifts, the unopened gifts.
So, “[quotes poem in Hindi.] Within you are the magnificent gardens, magnificent jungles. And the gardener of this garden is also within you.” This is from Kabir. “[quotes poem in Hindi.] Within you are the seven seas, the seven oceans. And within you is the priceless star.” Ocean holds in it immense wealth; this is the metaphor of that immense wealth. (Within you!)
“[quotes poem in Hindi.] Within you….” (The “paras” is this mythical stone in India, that when you take this stone and touch it to metal, it’ll turn the metal into gold—the alchemist’s metal, the alchemist’s stone, the famous stone.)
“That that’s within you too, and the pearls are within you too, and the one who understands the value of these is also within you.” The appraiser is also within you. “[quotes poem in Hindi.] Within you resonates the silence. The silence. And within you springs the spring of hope, of joy, of knowledge, of wisdom.”
So, don’t underestimate me. When I say “an unopened gift,” don’t underestimate me. I am talking about the gift of all the gifts.
That peace that you seek is within you. The Divine that you seek is within you. The truth that you seek is within you. The clarity that you seek is within you.
People call Kabir a “mystic”—and that’s exactly who he is not. Like me, he’s tactile—no mystery, none whatsoever. The only problem is they don’t get him; I do. Because when I read these couplets from Kabir, you know what I say? “Yes. Yes!” Yes, my friends, these are the gifts you have in you. These are the gifts you have in you.
One more couplet of Kabir, just to put it in context: “[quotes poem in Hindi.] A drop resides in the ocean.” (Right? Many, many drops.) “[quotes in Hindi]. Everybody knows that. [quotes in Hindi.] A whole ocean is in a drop? Only a few know. [quotes in Hindi.] Only a few know.” With this, I’m going to wrap up! Because you are the drop in which the ocean resides.
Nobody understands destiny—but everybody believes it. What is destiny? Do you want to know what destiny is? I’ll tell you what destiny is. This is what destiny is: every human being has a gift. Every human being has a gift. Find your gift—and pursue it to no end. And when you do, that’s your destiny.