Why did Osho change the traditional order used for The Three Jewels? At first I wondered if it was just a mistake that Sheela made when introducing us to them, but later I found discourses in which Osho referred to them in the order that was presented to us.
Buddham Sharanam Gacchami – I take refuge in the Awakened One
Sangham Sharanam Gacchami – I take refuge in the Community of the Awakened One
Dhammam Sharanam Gacchami – I take refuge in the Ultimate Teaching of the Awakened One
Traditionally they are said with Dhammam preceding Sangham. We can have our own insights as to why he changed them but clearly this is the order that his work has operated on me.
First it was I bow down to the Buddha, to the Master. This is the easiest. Who can not bow down to the Master once the Master is met. For me this is was what took place in what we refer to as Poona One. It was all Him. He gave us meditations. He gave us daily discourses. He guided us through our personal issues during darshan. He then began working on us in energy darshans; and finally introduced us to Satsang.
Sangham Sharanam Gacchami was more difficult; and for some almost impossible. To surrender to the commune is much more arduous, because often it means saying yes to stupidity. But it is that saying yes to stupidity that is intelligence because one understands that it is transformative. It is surrender. Surrender means putting aside the conditioning and saying yes. This then lessens the grip that the conditioning has on oneself. In fact it lessens the grip of oneself. One can let-go of conditioning with awareness. Not saying yes because of a need of appreciation or because of a hunger for position or power but in the understanding that it is here that the transformation takes hold. It is here that awareness is strengthened and the ego begins to lose its grip.
When I saw Osho take off in the plane from the runway at Rajneeshpuram, I knew at that moment that I would never see him again. This was the beginning of Dhamma, the ultimate truth of the awakened one. What does it mean to surrender to the ultimate truth? It is when one starts Being the teaching. One starts living the understanding.
It didn’t really start at that moment watching the plane take off, it took a little time. I was still involved with the distribution of the books. We then had to move the books to Colorado and setup distribution anew. And then because of conflict with the organization I moved further and further away until finally I was standing on my own. The call of the inner guru was heard.
For the first time the spark of inquiry was lit. Up to that point I had meditated but it was witnessing phenomena, be it emotions, thoughts or sensing. Now the consciousness was seeking its source. This is what I believe to be conversion. It is here that surrender to Dhamma begins. To me it means Self-Inquiry. It is the movement from seeking to inquiring. It is the movement from the outer guru to the inner guru. Up to this point one is living on borrowed bliss. From this point on one is relying on one’s own light of understanding that has been lit by Buddha, strengthened by Sangha and is now being stabilized in Dhamma.
This does not mean that one is no longer open to the understanding being expressed through the Masters, on the contrary one is more open than ever. And once the contact with the inner guru is established there is no fear whether some teaching is valid or not because it is seen from one’s own understanding and there is clarity. The understanding is experienced for oneself, it is acted upon, even more accurately it can be said that the understanding itself, the seeing itself is the acting, is the transformation. Finally it is stabilized and lived moment to moment in Being Understanding.
Everyone passes through The Three Jewels at their own pace but what is important is that we don’t linger too long on the way and that we continue until finally we are living the Dhamma.
Now is the time to be a light unto ourselves.
“Be ye lamps unto yourselves,
be a refuge to yourselves.
Hold fast to Truth as a lamp;
hold fast to the Truth as a refuge.
Look not for a refuge in anyone beside yourselves.
And those, who shall be a lamp unto themselves,
shall betake themselves to no external refuge,
but holding fast to the Truth as their lamp,
and holding fast to the Truth as their refuge,
they shall reach the topmost height.”
Buddha’s Farewell Message to Ananda
This story is part of a collection of stories and essays from along the Way titled From Lemurs to Lamas: Confessions of a Bodhisattva, Prem Purushottama Goodnight.
The entire book can be downloaded from:
From Lemurs to Lamas: Confessions of a Bodhisattva