Spirit Of Enquiry

Fri, 30/11/2012

Bangalore, India

There are six types of people who asks questions.

The first type of person who asks questions is one who is sad or unhappy.

Unhappy people ask questions but they do not listen to the answers.

This is a fact, have you not experienced this? How many of you have experienced this in your life? (Many raise their hands)

Old people, especially when they are old and at home, suffering, they say, ‘Oh I have this problem, why has God been so unkind to me? Why this problem?'

They keep asking these questions for which they are not even expecting an answer from you. Remember?!

They simply ask questions, 'Why am I suffering. I did everything good, why this suffering for me?'

So, sad or unhappy people ask questions, but they are not expecting an answer. And if you give an answer then you are foolish.

You should keep quiet. Just smile at them. You just being with them is good enough for them.

A situation in which - you do not know, you want to know and you are sure that the person whom you want to put the question to knows the answer. When these three factors are there, then there is Jigyasa - The real spirit of enquiry.

When a death happens in a family, people keep asking questions, 'Why this happened?' And you have nothing to say. Do you have anything to say? No, there is nothing to say. So your simple presence is good enough. Do not try to answer their questions, got it?!

Also, do not be an advocate for God or make them against God.

Usually people say, 'God has been unkind to you, nature has been so unkind to you, this should not have happened', and all these things. It does not help them in any way.

So when sad and miserable people ask questions, you should simply keep quiet.

Second type of people who ask questions are those who are angry; who feel injustice has happened them. They are very angry and they ask questions.

They are not ready to listen to any answer, because when a person is angry, the mind is already closed. The intellect is not functioning. Emotion has taken over.

In that situation it is better to let them calm down and not go on answering their questions. An angry person’s questions are useless to answer.

The third type of people who ask questions are those who ask questions just to make their presence felt, they are not interested in an answer.

'I am here, do you recognize me', that is all they want to know, they are not at all interested in the answer. If you answer their question, they look somewhere else, or they may be doing something else. Because it is so compelling for them to make their presence felt they ask a question.

This is the third type of people.

If you are a school teacher you will have this experience. A college teacher has written about this, that in the college, sometimes people get up and stand just to show-off that they are intelligent and they are present in the classroom.

How many of you here have experienced this? Doesn't this happen in IIT all the time? Someone just stands up and questions.

The fourth type of people are those who think they know the answer but they just come to test whether the other guy knows the answer or not. As if to say, 'I know all the answers, but I want to test this guy, whether he knows the answer or not.'

It is useless to talk to such people.

The fifth type of people who ask questions are those who have a deep experience and they want to understand that.

'I meditated and I felt all these sensations happening. What was that? I want to know more about it. '

'When I meditated I saw light and there was this beautiful fragrance. I want to know about this. I want to understand if I am doing the technique correct. What is the meaning of this experience? '

Asking questions after having an experience, because experience and understanding has to go together.

When some people have experiences for the first time then they want to understand it and so they ask questions.

The sixth type of people who ask questions are called Jigyasu.

There is a burning desire deep in their mind to know the truth, to know the reality, and they have faith in whom they are asking the questions to, that this person knows the answer, and so they go and ask them.

You do not ask a question relating to medicine to the maid servant.

Someone is sweeping your floor and she is washing the vessels in your home, you wouldn’t go ask her what medicine should you take because you know that she may not know.

When you are sick, you will go to a doctor and ask him because you know that he knows.

A Jigyasu is one who has a burning desire deep in their mind to know the< truth, to know the reality, and they have faith in whom they are asking the questions to, that this person knows the answer, and so they go and ask them.

So when you have confidence that the person knows the answer, and you want to ask your question to that person, then you are ready to take the answer.

A situation in which - you do not know, you want to know and you are sure that the person whom you want to put the question to knows the answer.

When these three factors are there, then there is Jigyasa - The real spirit of enquiry.

You do not ask a sweeper how to go to the airport.

You do not go to a gardener and ask the gardener how to drive a car, or how to administer a medicine. You know that they will not know because you have an idea of what they know.

When you go to a gardener and ask them a question in their field, then you know they know the answer.

So, knowing that this person knows the answer, and I do not know the answer and then asking - that is a genuine seeker.

This is the sixth type of people who ask questions.

All our Shastras, all our scriptures in India have begun with a question.

Which type of question? Not the first type, nor the second, nor the third, nor the fourth, nor the fifth, but the sixth type of question - I do not know, I want to know, and this person knows so I ask him the question.

All the knowledge from the scriptures have started with a genuine spirit of enquiry, through questions.

Once somebody was standing in a railway station and kept asking the ticket collector about every train that came and went. The ticket collector answered him three to four times and finally he got so tired that he said, ‘Come on gentleman, just tell me where you want to go.'

The man said, ‘Nowhere , I just want to cross over to the other side.'

So if you just have to cross over to the other side, it is futile for you to keep asking questions which are irrelevant. This is what most people do, ask irrelevant things just to spend time.

So, whatever I have said, ponder over it. Think about it again and again!

Once in Canada, during a satsang, I said, '2+1=0'.

There was debate over this for two hours. There were all the top professors from places like IIT.

It was such fun for everyone - how can Gurudev say this, 2+1=0.

See, it also depends upon who says it. If a child says, '2+1=0', then we can say it is wrong. But if a great professor says, '2+1=0', then we cannot say, 'No, this is not correct.' You have to ponder over it. You need to think about it. There could be some secret behind it and that is why he has said it. He is not a fool to just say it like that.

On the surface when you look at it, you might feel that this is impossible, but there is some possibility in every impossibility. It is when you sit and ponder that many new possibilities open up.

Life is like a puzzle and many times knowledge also comes to us in the form of a puzzle. Using the sharpness of the intellect we need to contemplate and chew on the knowledge to understand the secrets

So that day so much of knowledge opened up by just thinking how 2+1=0.

With this we had one complete tape. It was hilarious, everyone was laughing throughout the whole two and a half hours.

It depends on who is giving the knowledge, who is saying it.

If a very intelligent person says, '2+1=0', you cannot dismiss it. You have to go into it, and contemplate. This is what is called Koan (a puzzling, often paradoxical statement or story, used in Zen Buddhism as an aid to meditation and a means of gaining spiritual awakening.) In Hindi it is called Paheli (riddle).

See, life is like a puzzle and many times knowledge also comes to us in the form of a puzzle. Using the sharpness of the intellect we need to contemplate and chew on the knowledge to understand the secrets hidden inside; the meaning hidden inside.

In India, there have been many great intellectual teachers like that, and these teachers used to convey everything in the form of puzzles to the very intelligent ones. So for them to receive the knowledge, they had to first think and solve the puzzle. Then they would receive the knowledge.

You must have heard about Vikramaditya and Betal; there are so many puzzles like that in our country which are very beneficial for children. It sharpens their intellect, and their thinking faculty also becomes very sharp.

Even Lord Krishna, after giving all the knowledge to Arjuna, he said, 'I have said all that I needed to say, now you think over it. Go deep into it, contemplate and if you think it is right, then you accept it.'

So after listening, you need to contemplate. Just listening is not enough, digesting it is also important. Think over it again and again. Understand the meaning behind the meaning. And without contemplating over it, you should neither accept it nor reject it.

If you reject it, then that is wrong, and if you just accept it and sit, that is also wrong.

You have to listen, contemplate and then accept. Then the knowledge will be established inside you.

If you accept it immediately after you listen, then there is no chance to ponder over it. And if you immediately reject ii saying, 'No, this is wrong', then also there is no contemplation.

So first listen, accept and then contemplate over it. And after contemplating over it, accept it.

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