The first question:
Are you the only enlightened person in this ashram? If yes, is it impossible to enlighten or to be enlightened near an enlightened person?
Since I became enlightened I have never come across a person who is not enlightened. You see only that which you are. Before I became enlightened, the same was the case with me – the whole world used to appear tremendously asleep, in darkness, in death, unenlightened, because you are reflected everywhere continuously. Every other person is just a mirror – you see yourself. So don’t be worried about others; think about yourself. That should be your problem.
Others are not your problem. Whether they are enlightened or not, how does it concern you? Why should you be worried about it? If somebody wants to remain unenlightened, it is absolutely his business to decide about it. If they want to play the game of being unenlightened, it’s perfectly okay. If you have become fed up with the world, if you are fed up with your anguish and anxiety and you have realized that now it is time to awake, then there is no difficulty. Nobody can prevent you, nobody is preventing you. It is only your own decision to play the game as an unenlightened being or to play the game as an enlightened being, it is only a question of inner decision.
In a single moment, in one stroke, you can become enlightened. It is not a gradual process, because enlightenment is not something that you have to invent. It is something that you have to discover. It is already there. It is not something that you have to manufacture. If you have to manufacture it, of course, it will take time; but it is already there. Close your eyes and see it there. Be silent and have a taste of it. Your very nature is what I call enlightenment. Enlightenment is not something alien, outside you. It is not somewhere else in time and space. It is you, your very core.
I was staying at Mulla Nasruddin’s. One morning when we were sipping tea, the wife of Mulla Nasruddin told him, “Mulla, you swore terribly at me in your sleep last night.”
Mulla Nasruddin laughed and said, “Who was asleep?”
You are not asleep. Whatsoever you are doing, you have chosen to do it. It is your choice. And I insist that it is your choice, because if it is your choice, then it can be dropped immediately, the moment you are ready to change your choice. You have chosen your life to be this way – the way of agony, anguish.