Stone & Steel | Part 1 | The Iron Liver

The conversation begins with a young, 45ish, beautiful, Burmese-black Swamy, hair and beard flowing long, aura strong sitting quiescent, hands gently folded, staring out from behind a pair of dark Ray Ban sunglasses into a video camera at the back of an altogether non-descript room.  He is dressed in traditional Indian style with white wrap-around dhoti in place of slacks, an ochre, pajama-like shirt, and a sleeveless, button-down vest made from Kullu wool. Folding His hands in the ritual prayer-like Namaste, He greets the room gently, happily, even reciting several remembered Japanese phrases for the occasion before casting us off on our journey across the ocean of life.

Let me just offer one or two words of caution before we proceed, words that I will clarify only much later as needed. It may appear sometimes that this Burmese-born baba is not perfectly acquainted with the English language. Nothing could be further from the truth and I beg you look deeply into the words. At times the double entendre will be apparent. Other times you’ll have to work for it if interested. And yes, not being a native to English, there are times when the grammar does not jive entirely with common usage. Go with it. Enjoy the read. And I’ll be happy to enjoy conversation on the matter in the comments section.

“Sometime, when the One is on the film,” He says indicating the camera at the back of the room. “Sometimes, there is sometime, somebody writing scripts? Somebody good acting? So, all of us what we are playing here is a game – a happy game. Acha. So to feel the happiness from Him.” He gestures upwards. “To know Him in you, the all happiness in this world is in you. If you feel happy, you are happy. If you don’t feel happy, it’s you, not He. He gives you always happy. Whenever you are happy, you are feeling your body only. Whenever you are sad, where you are? Just saying, ‘Oh God, what has happened?’ Why you are thinking when you are having a pain? Then only why you are thinking? By being happiness, you put in that happiness, too, to Him. This, what we are experiencing in this world, is just as a tourist. We are coming. We are going. We are put up into different, different, different ideas, whatever that He desire. If one can understand it, within him (self), he can see the Universal creation within him (self). So he will have no hurriedness. He will be very happy to see that.

Say, I am on this seat. Somebody need the same seat, too? Is it correct? So want to be there. Try to be there! Don’t make, jealousy, to see me on this seat. You try. You try. That’s what I want to say. Try. You try your level best to be with Him, to have His grace.

So what we are doing? We are each other running behind something. If one have a big thing, other is going ‘Ahhh, he is having so big one. Hey, I need one more. He is running for that only. He is not realizing why he is running so much. For what? When the things, whatever you have, it will give you happiness at that present moment only. After that, you will be fed up with this. You want to go away from the situation. Where you want to go? You show me that place where you can go where you can have a rest. You cannot trace a place to rest in this world because the boost[1](is) moving. We are moving very modernly. So there is no place. There is a place, that’s in you. Stay in you. Be patient. Have His grace. See Him in you. Be happy. If any questions, you can ask.  Anybody have a question, you can raise. I may be answering. Do you?”

“Tell us about how to attain,” Duncan asks. The object is left unspoken, but his hands signal both upwards toward the heavens and also to his own heart.

“How to attain? I don’t say. Just you have to attain.” He speaks directly to Duncan. “You cannot do that. How you can do that? Can you do? You tell me. If you have to attain that, you have to kill all your body feelings. Nothing need. So, I cannot take you to that sanyas[2] idea, to move behind me as a sanyasi. You have to work, so you work with your body feeling. So you must work. That’s what Krisna[3] says. Creation is first. You have to create. Whatever idea you want to create, that is His idea. It’s not you.”  He turns back to the audience. “So you have to do. You have to work. You have to get everything. If you need to attain, then have to kill away this body feeling to be a stone or steel. Then only you can attain. Can you be a steel?” he asks Duncan.

“No, Baba[4].”

“Can you be a stone?” Duncan indicates that he cannot.

“Ahhh, I can be. In this moment somebody can throw a bomb. I am okay. No problem. Only I lose this body. I never lose anything. I will be happy. I will be much happy. You cannot do that. Hey, I want to be happy still. Where is happiness? Happiness to attain the Self needs too much. It needs too much. And also it needs like an iron liver in you. Having everything, enjoying the world. Being happy with material things, so also nothing. Can you do that idea? You cannot. There also you are putting your body feeling. The physical feeling. Can you do that? No. Having everything. Whenever somebody comes (saying) ‘Hello Duncan, your machine is good,’” Babaji indicates the cassette player. “Can you give it quickly to this man? Possibly, no. Aahh. There needs, iron liver. Having everything. Have to give. When a man is enjoying my thing, my thing – a small piece of cloth, too – if he is happy with my cloth, I will be very happy to see this man happy. I am ten times happy. That’s God. When He gives many things to people, when they are happy, He feels, ‘Haaaaa, all the guys are happy.’ Wo hai Bhagavan[5]. That’s the God. That’s the Lord. That’s the stone. That’s the steel. Not knowing anything, unconscious status in man – being Brahman. That’s the Brahmacharya. The man who is merged with Brahma, what you can give a name to this man? Tell me. Can you say him Brahma? Can you say him Vishnu?”

“Bhagavan,” Duncan answers.

The Master nods. “That’s Bhagavan. That’s Bhagavan. No background for Bhagavan. Everything is background for him. When he attains the Self, every, every, every, every enemies turns a friend. You have a place in every, every, every, every mind. That was Christ, who had a place for Him (self) in every mind. That was Christ, who gave away himself on the cross for many people. Somebody (said? 9:16)[6] for them self. So how you can attain the Self? Here come with your answer. I’m asking, too, question.”

“Through love?”

“Possibly. The love must be, acha,” Baba considers briefly and chuckles to himself. “not expecting anything.” He continues, looking at Duncan. “You cannot give love sometime, by your body feeling. If you have no desire then the love is pure.”

“What about the desire to know myself?” Duncan asks.  “To the Self? That’s still a desire.”

“Yes. There is desire. Desire is your physical body. Desire is your physical body.” Gesturing at himself, Baba continues. “(Here) there is no desire at all. He is just a witness – seeing you, how you play. Somebody can say, I am doing everything inside a room and nobody knows. You knows. You knows! You who are doing, know it! Later on one day, you have to realize that, too, what I did inside my room. Is it right?”

“Possibly it needs much energy, to feel a man to be a God. It’s easy to be a ghost. It is easy to be anything except a God. Attain Self. Know yourself. No those. No those.”[7] He gestures here and there. “If you don’t know you, you don’t know anything. Be here still,” He says, gesturing at his heart. “That’s the boosting happiness which comes in you. Otherwise where is happiness?

There are many ideas, Duncan. The world is moving towards much more modern idea, so the much more modern idea needs much more – having much more needings. Every time we need many things, many things, many things. If we are not in need…” He lets his voice trail off with a simple shrug of the shoulders. “You understand now? We need many things. So we do business. So I am also here, in the picture.” He gestures at the video. “Possibly it is my destination? Why He put me into this? I don’t say. I don’t feel. It’s He who want to put me there. Possibly this picture can be used against me, (or) can be used for a good purpose. Both have to be seen in that idea. If it goes on bad idea, it is bad. Not for me – I am the same man. I don’t feel I have gone (or) there is no people (or) I have no kana[8] (or) I am dying! I don’t feel. So who am I? Do you think just a man? So strong words! Nothing doing. Nothing doing. I have no care. Rain and snow, same for me, as you have seen me[9]. Acha. Anything you need?”

Duncan asks, “You mention good and bad. How does good and bad work?”

“Good is feeling His grace in you, is always good. Rest of all, (is) all your creations. What is bad in this world? Two hands, saying left, saying right. Good and bad is same. Same thing – as He exists in every idea. He don’t know a bad man. He don’t know a good man. As naturally the Sun on the sky comes up, He is on the heat. He is on a dead body. He is everywhere.”

Quite suddenly Babaji breaks off from the conversation with Duncan and removes the sunglasses from his face. He puts his hands together in greeting and looks around the room at everyone.

“I am very glad to see you all. I am very glad to be all with you.” He brings his folded hands to the space between his eyebrows, closes his eyes and bows his head to the group.

“Acha, Rajneesh, sir. Hmm.  Mr. Raj.” He greets someone in the room whom he either recognizes personally, or recognizes to be a devotee of Rajneesh[10]. Just as quickly the baba reverts back to his conversation.

“That’s easily (done),” he says to Duncan. “If God wants to make an ordinary man, to lift him up, possibly can be lifted. He will give that. That’s called just a tapasiya[11]. The man’s tapasiya (is) for that person and purpose. The will-power in the man gives that.

There are many channels in the body. Some doctors knows. Cut this nervous,[12] this will never work.” Gesturing upwards he continues. “The Doctor who knows every creation of a man, every channel of a man – He will put on the switch. He can (also) off the switch at any time. Hmm? Highest Doctor. The Supreme Doctor. The Big Doctor. So everybody need doctor when we are sick. If we are always healthy, then we do not need a doctor. Is it right? So where, in which idea we can neglect, or not to have faith in Him? In which idea? You say, How to realize the Self. So I explained you. You must be a steel or a stone, then only you can realize the Self.”  The sunglasses go back on.

“And to know something it needs much things. Not to be a burning person. If you burn yourself it is you. Ahh.” His para-language communicates their mutual understanding of the point. “If another man is having a big bungalow and having good boost knowledge – if you burn against this man it will destruct you only. He is always the same, and stone. As you say, He is a stone. He is stone. Mmm. He don’t know anything. That’s you (who) are burning. Is it right?

Can I say, ‘Hey, you very bad man!’ What you will do? You will sometimes slap, isn’t it? So I must be able to receive a slap here, too,” he gestures at his own cheek, “if you feel happy on that idea. The bullshit mouth should not say ‘I am good and he is bad’. Nobody good, nobody bad. Everybody is the same. We are all man. Man. See, same hand, same leg. Any different instruments or something if they have gifted to you from the God? Anybody have?” He asks into the audience but nobody offers an answer. “No different.” Indicating above, the master continues. “He (is the) One, who send you here. It is His desire that you to be Duncan, me to be, a Vinayagananda, he to be a Kip, he to be, Akshara. Akshara is in Hindi. Sometimes Akshara means the letters. We say like that. Akshara – aksharum (plural). I don’t know. I don’t know.” Duncan claps mirthfully, laughing as if Baba has said something hilarious. Baba sits by with palms turned upwards. “I don’t know, but it means – aksharum means letters.” Duncan is gazing at baba with a smile on his face as if the two are sharing a private joke. Baba continues.

I am not a big educated man, but little, even little speaking English. Sometimes it looks to be a funny comedian. So He want me to act like a comedian? I act.” He turns back to the group.

“He does. He does,” says Baba pointing again to the sky. “This Crazy Man doing many thing. Ahh. He is a big crazy man. He want to make everybody crazy. Sometimes He take many people to many good place. Sometime the peoples are taken to some other place where they don’t want to be. They are sure(ly) they are taken. It is His desire to take that one to that place to realize in different ideas when they cannot realize Him.

So then, further, you have anything, doubt?”

“I have no doubt, Babaji.” Duncan answers, then turning to the group asks, “Do you have questions? Please? Yes, Kip?”

“This might be a stupid question,” begins Kip, adjusting himself on the floor.

“No problem,” says Baba. Many laugh as the tension is broken.

“Ya know, what the hell are we? We’re spirits? Is that what we are? We’re not these bodies?”

Babaji looks to Duncan for a translation.“What he says?”

Duncan rephrases. “Are we spirits? What is this body? Who are we? In other words, what does it mean to be a human being?”

“You are just a puppet of Him,” answers Baba pointing once more upwards.

Kip Continues. “Everything, I mean, if I do good things or bad things, I feel that it’s just…”

Baba replies before Kip can say anymore. “Everything will exist in you, as He exists in everything.”

“Then why don’t I, or haven’t I…” stammers Kip, conflicted as he tries to convey too much, too quickly. “I mean, I’m beginning to know this, but this is going to sound very strange, too. But, why haven’t I known this before?”

Baba looks again for translation. “Make it straight, Kip,” admonishes Duncan. “Just be straight. Straight question.”

“Chorta question,” adds the baba. “Small question, straight away through.”

“Why do we not know this?” Kip manages.

“That’s your ignorance.” replies Baba.

There are some giggles as Kip acknowledges the truth of the answer. A young lady next to Kip has a question of her own.

“Why is he so ignorant?” she asks.

“Who he?” asks Duncan.

“Me.” answers Kip.

“Own it,” adds Duncan to the questioning girl with a laugh.

“He said he was!” she defends.

“Eh? Wait.” Babaji implores.

Kip asks, “Why am I so ignorant?”

“That’s, what you say, these are the ignorance that what we have in our body.” Baba is looking intently at Kip while the next question is being formulated.

“So, our purpose, is, to just be?” Kip paces himself.

“Just be here. Do your work. Without work, nothing can be done.”

“And don’t worry.” adds Kip.


“Don’t worry.”

“So, you may be a God,” he answers Kip. “Stay still. No need this (clothes) also. No need car. Can you walk from here to Tokyo, all along your life? Can you do that, always? Can you wander without a car? Can you do that? You cannot. If you have no food for the next day, you will be hunger. Can you stay in that status, not knowing anything? Can you be there? You cannot,” He laughs. “Smile always. Be happy. Don’t feel. Don’t feel. Stay still as you are, Mr. Kip. That’s the best idea. Trying to know the Self, need strooong energy. Just must be ready to give anything, including the body. That’s, what you say, when the spirit goes out – heh?” He snorts. “Only the body goes out. He (God), is always there safe.” He says, indicating His chest. “Merging with Him.

When you attain that Self, sometimes they say Mukti[13]. I don’t know. Many people write many books. They are explaining in many books. Some ideas are good, some ideas are bullshit, whatever. Hey! You take all the ideas and you make yourself. Acha. You go with every book. No objection. Whatever it exist in you – if you can exist in that. If you are not existing in anything, then it is not existing in you, too.”

“But you must connect to God,” replies Kip.

“I am His servant. I am His instrument. He want to, do me this only. For this purpose I am here. I don’t know Tokyo. Even 15 days before I am going to, throw away my passport. I don’t want. You know that? Even though, the love in this man,” He pats Duncan on the leg. “Good love, bad love, no care. I am here.

Everything can exist. When a man is ready to give away his body, to face a death, then only he becomes God.” He holds his posture strong as man. “Until, unless, he don’t know anything – just man – feeling only his physical body.” His hands relax once again, coming together in salutation. “Anything more?” Nothing. He salutes and thanks the group several times then sits back and waits.

[1] The ‘boost’, he would later explain to me, is the energy of the heart, or a burst of energy.

[2] Literally, ‘a renunciate’. In the Hindu tradition, the life of renunciation is the fourth and final stage of a man’s evolution, after which time he is absorbed into the universal soul.

[3] In the Hindu pantheon, the supernal triad is Shiva-Brahma-Vishnu. Krishna is an incarnation of Vishnu.

[4] Literally, father, but also refers to a master yogi. The suffix ‘ji’, roughly translated as ‘sir’ is also often affixed to the end of the word. Omitting the same indicates familiarity.

[5] Literal translation: That’s God

[6] Throughout the transcript, words are sometimes placed in parentheses with a question mark and time stamp when they are unclear, for a later date when this document will be able to be compared to video footage. At 9:16, the word used may be ‘said’, ‘stayed’ or  ‘dead’)

[7] Niti niti, meaning, neither this one nor this one. The reference indicates the idea of not running behind any particular idea, but rather staying in the center.

[8] Literal translation: food

[9] Duncan met Babaji on the grounds of Pashupathinath Temple in Katmandu, where the Baba stayed outside, even in winter, practically naked. Even when he transferred to the village on the India side of the Himalaya, he still stayed in a small tent for a while, the elements seemingly inconsequential. Duncan was witness to that.

[10] Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, commonly known as Osho.

[11] Literally, a practice or austerity.

[12] these nerves?

[13] Literally,  release or liberation from ‘samsara’, the wheel of life.