- I say unto you: The body is your greatest
friend. Take care of your body.
- Your body is giving you the right
indication; the body is very wise. The mind is a very late arrival.
The body has lived millions of years, it knows what is needed. It is
the mind that interferes. Mind is very immature, body is very
mature. Listen to the body. And when I say listen to the body, I
don't mean remain confined to the body. If you listen to the body,
the body will not have anything to say to you -- things will be
settled. And when the body is at ease, relaxed, and there is no
tension, and the body is not fighting for something, is not trying
to attract your attention because you are not fulfilling a need,
when the body is calm and quiet, you can float high, you can fly
high, you can become a white cloud.
But only when body needs are truly looked after. The body is not
your enemy, it is your friend. The body is your earth, the body has
all your roots. You have to find a bridge between you and your body.
If you don't find that bridge, you will be constantly in conflict
with your body -- and a person who is fighting with himself is
always miserable. The first thing is to come to a peace-pact with
your body and never break it. Once you have come to a peace-pact
with your body, the body will become very, very friendly. You look
after the body, the body will look after you -- it becomes a vehicle
of tremendous value, it becomes the very temple. One day your body
itself is revealed to you as the very shrine of God.
- If you really want to be a sensitive,
intelligent mind, you need a sensitive, intelligent body too. Yes,
the body has its own intelligence. Don't kill it, don't destroy it,
otherwise you will be destroying your intelligence. But if it is
respected, then it becomes something religious, spiritual, holy.
- In the beginning it will be difficult but
for just three weeks allow nature. When you feel hungry, eat, when
you feel sleepy, go to sleep. When you don't feel hungry, don't eat.
It is not a fast, remember, because a fast is from the mind, and you
are feeling hungry but you are on a fast. There is no harm if you
don't feel sleepy; there is no harm because the body doesn't need
it, so don't force it. Stay awake, enjoy, go for a walk, have a
little dance in the room or sing or meditate, but don't force sleep.
When you feel sleepy, when the eyes say: Now go to sleep....
And don't force yourself in the morning to come out of bed; allow
your inner being, give it a chance. It will give you the indication,
the eyes will open by themselves.
For a few days there will be difficulty but within three weeks...
and I say within three weeks if you don't interfere; if you
interfere, then three lives are not enough. Don't interfere and just
wait for things to happen, and allow them. Within three weeks you
will fall into nature again
- I don't think that by torturing yourself
you can meditate more easily; on the contrary, if your body is
pleasantly at ease you can meditate more easily. I don't think that
when you are fasting you can meditate. You can only think of food
and nothing else; you will dream of food and nothing else. But if
you are well fed, well nourished, you don't think of food -- there
is no need. The body is completely satisfied, it does not create any
To live pleasurably, to live joyously is not against meditation. It
is really the basic need of meditation. I know many kinds of
ascetics but I have never seen any intelligence in them, I have
never seen any creativity in them. I have never seen in their eyes a
light of the beyond, or in their gestures some message that cannot
be said through words. They don't have anything. They are simply
starving -- and starving because it fulfills the ego, because the
more they starve, the more they torture themselves, more and more
people come to worship them.
- People can be helped with diseases,
because almost seventy percent of diseases are mental. They may be
expressed through the body, but their origin is in the mind. And if
you can put in the mind the idea that the disease has disappeared,
that you need not worry about it, it does not exist any more, the
disease will disappear.
- You can fast for three days, you can force
your body to fast, but if it is repression, the fourth day the body
will take revenge -- you will eat too much, for a few days you will
eat too much. In fact, if you had lost any weight in those three
days, you will gain more weight within a week. The body has taken
the revenge, the body has taught you a lesson. Fighting is not the
way -- not the way of the buddhas. Fighting is stupid; it is your
own body, you need not fight with it, you have just to be more
watchful of it. If some watchfulness starts crystallizing in you,
you will be surprised that the body starts following you. It no
longer commands you, it no longer orders you: it becomes obedient to
- When the spine is erect, making a
ninety-degree angle with the earth, your body expends the least
energy possible. If you are leaning towards the left or towards the
front, then your body starts spending more energy, because the
gravitation starts pulling you downwards and you have to keep
yourself, you have to hold yourself so that you don't fall. This is
expenditure. An erect spine was found to need the least spending of
energy. Then sitting with your hands together in the lap is also
very very useful for low-energy people, because when both the hands
are touching each other, your body electricity starts moving in a
circle. It does not go out of your body; it becomes an inner circle,
the energy moves inside you.
You must know that energy is always released through the fingers,
energy is never released from round-shaped things. For example, your
head cannot release energy, it contains it. Energy is released
through the fingers, the toes of the feet and the hands. In a
certain yoga posture the feet are together, so one foot releases
energy and it enters into the other foot; one hand releases energy
and it enters into the other hand. You go on taking your own energy,
you become an inner circle of energy. It is very resting, it is very
The yoga posture is the most relaxed posture possible. It is more
relaxing than even sleep, because when you are asleep your whole
body is being pulled by gravitation. When you are horizontal it is
relaxing in a totally different way. It is relaxing because it
brings you back to the ancient days when man was an animal,
horizontal. It is relaxing because it is regressive; it helps you to
become an animal again. That's why in a lying posture you cannot
think clearly, it becomes difficult to think. Try it. You can dream
easily but you cannot think easily; for thinking you have to sit.
The more erect you sit, the better is the possibility to think.
- And remember, again let me repeat it: the
middle is not a fixed point. You cannot decide once and forever that
this is the middle, that "I will eat only so much" -- because your
needs change. One day you have walked ten miles, you may need a
little more food. One day you have rested, you have not worked at
all, it was a holiday -- you will need a little less food. One day
you have been chopping wood; you will need more food, your body
needs more nourishment. And one day it was raining and you were
simply playing cards; you can do with little food.
And once in a while your body may not need food at all. If you are
ill it will be good to give the body complete rest, because eating
means work for the body. The body has to digest it, the body has to
continuously work on the food. Once in a while it is good; if you
are feeling that the body is not in good shape, it is good not to
eat. But there is no religious quality about it; this is a very
One thing is certain: that nothing can become a static phenomenon.
You have to go on moving.
When you are young you will need eight hours sleep. When you become
old you will need four hours sleep, three hours sleep, and that will
be enough. When you were a child you needed ten hours of sleep. In
the mother's womb the child needs twenty-four hours of sleep; after
the birth, twenty-two hours, then twenty hours, then eighteen hours,
and slowly slowly... by the end, when a person comes to die, he
needs only two hours sleep and that's enough. In the mother's womb
the child is growing; those nine months one grows so much that one
will not be growing as much in ninety years' time. Leaps and bounds!
The pace is so quick and so fast that the child needs absolute rest.
But the old man, he has stopped growing long ago. Now the body does
not need so much rest. The body no longer revives itself; it is
getting ready to die, the process of revival has stopped. Now
whatsoever cells are dying are dying; they are not being reproduced
again. Hence, less and less sleep is needed. You can't fix it
There are fools who fix it, who say, "I have taken a vow to sleep
for only five hours a night." They will suffer when they are young,
they will suffer when they are old; their suffering will never end.
When they are young they will suffer because the body may need ten
hours sleep, nine hours sleep, at least eight hours sleep -- and
they have decided to sleep only five hours. They will be
continuously missing those three hours. They will look a little sad,
tired, their faces lusterless, their eyes always sleepy. They will
not show intelligence, because body and mind both need deep rest.
They will simply move through life like a somnambulist, half asleep.
And their scriptures say that if you feel sleepy in the daytime it
means you are a sinner, TAMASIK, that you are suffering from
lethargy. And the only thing that you are really suffering from is
foolishness! You have decided that you will sleep only five hours
when the need is for eight hours. And in old age you will try to
sleep five hours and you will not be able to sleep, then you will
suffer because you can sleep only three hours. Then the whole night
you are tossing and turning and cursing the whole world, and you
can't conceive why you can't sleep at least five hours. And trying
to sleep five hours when you can sleep only three hours will be a
disturbance; it will keep you in despair. You will continuously
think that something is being missed. Never decide like that. Buddha
says: Let your life be dynamic. It has to correspond to the reality,
to the situation in which you are. Don't follow dead rules; respond
to reality, to that which is. In that responsibility you grow, you
become mature. To be responsible is to be right.
I want my people, for the first
time in the whole history of man, to be lovers of themselves, their
bodies. Take care of the body, it is taking care of you. You cannot
repay it, there is no way. It is doing so much for you, what have
you done for it? fasting, celibacy, standing naked in the burning
hot sun, or standing naked in the freezing cold. And these maniacs
have been worshipped down the centuries as the greatest heroes of
humanity. Get rid of these heroes. They all need to be imprisoned.
They all need psychiatric treatment, they are simply mad. But the
line of mad prophets and messiahs has impressed strange ideas on
your delicate mind.