Awareness and Effort – Osho

For me, there is no earth, water, fire, air or sky. Only the one who has realized the godliness which dwells in the cave of the heart, which is formless, which is beyond the web of illusion, which is the witness to the whole and which is beyond existence and non-existence, will know my pure and godly nature.

Thus ends the Kaivalya Upanishad.
Om, Shantih Shantih Shantih.

The most significant thing to be understood in this sutra is that only one who becomes capable of knowing the formless, the witness to the whole – which is beyond both existence and non-existence – will know the God that lives in the cave of the heart. One must either first become the ultimate witness, and then he will enter the cave of the heart; or first enter the cave of the heart and then he will become the ultimate witness. Either the one who knows the ultimate reality will enter the cave of the heart, or the one who enters the cave of the heart will be able to know the ultimate reality – these are the only two ways. This is why there are only two disciplines for man’s spiritual search.

India has recognized only two disciplines that lead to knowing the truth of life. One is called Sankhya. Sankhya means that if you realize the ultimate reality, then you will enter the cave of the heart. The other is called yoga. Yoga means that if you enter the cave of the heart, then you will come to know the ultimate reality.

Sankhya is direct knowing. Yoga is an effort, a doing. Sankhya says that nothing has to be done; it only has to be realized. Yoga says that much has to be done and only then can realization happen. Both are right, and both can also prove to be wrong. It all depends on you, on the seeker. If a seeker can ignite the fire to know so totally that his ego is burned to ashes, and only the fire to know is left, then nothing else needs to be done. If there is only knowing and there is no knower, if there is no nucleus of ego left within the seeker – only knowing, only awareness, only consciousness – then nothing needs to be done. In this penetrating fire, everything else will happen on its own. Just to see is enough, just to become more aware is enough. To go on growing in awareness is enough. If awareness grows, if wakefulness flowers, that is enough.

But this happens very rarely, only to one in tens of millions. When this happens, it is the result of the efforts of many, many lifetimes. But whenever the phenomenon of Sankhya happens to someone, that person experiences that awareness is enough, that all has happened just through awareness. He has also lived an endless number of lives, and in those many lifetimes he has moved with an endless number of streams of effort.

Sankhya has always spoken against yoga. It is bound to be so, because when the state of Sankhya happens to someone, he feels that nothing else needs to be done – just to be totally aware is enough. But for someone who is unconscious, simply to become totally aware is very, very difficult. Someone whose sleep has broken can say, “Nothing was needed to be done. I simply woke up and saw the light!” But for someone who is asleep – not only asleep, but drunk, almost in a coma; who has taken poison and has become unconscious – you can go on shouting, “Wake up! Wake up! All that you need is to wake up! Just wake up out of your sleep and that is enough. Nothing else needs to be done and you will know the truth!” – But he cannot even hear your shouts. Someone who is drunk from alcohol will first have to clean his whole system of it. Someone who is unconscious will first have to be revived so that he can at least hear what you are saying. At least what you are saying about him opening his eyes needs to reach him.

This is why this concept of Sankhya, although true, does not help. It is only sometimes that someone has a mind-set for Sankhya, and he goes on speaking in the Sankhya way. My own mind structure has been of Sankhya. For fifteen years I went on saying that nothing needs to be done, that just to become aware is enough. Continuously saying this to people, I realized that they are incapable of hearing it. They are not just asleep, they are unconscious. And even if they understand, their understanding is only intellectual, only on the surface. They hear the words, the teaching, and they even start repeating those same words and teachings, but no transformation happens in their lives.

Then I saw that Sankhya is like a flowering – and when a flower blooms, you have no remembrance of its roots at all. The roots are hidden in the darkness, under the earth; they don’t even come to your mind. But for years the roots are growing, the tree is growing, and only then does the flower bloom. Perhaps the flower can say, “Simply to bloom is enough. One just has to bloom; and the fragrance begins to spread everywhere on the winds. What else needs to be done?” The blooming of the flower is the result of a long process – but when the flower blooms, the process is forgotten. When the flower blooms the process remains hidden. When the final fruition happens, then all else, the whole long journey, is forgotten in its shadow.

I began to feel that only once someone’s flower has already bloomed is it okay to say, “All that is needed is for the flower to bloom.” But to go on saying this to someone whose flower has not yet bloomed can be dangerous, because then that man will not even do what little he could have done to care for the roots. He will not even do what little he might have done to nurture the plant, to take care of the plant. Now he will also think in his mind that, “Simply to flower is enough, so I will!” and he will not be able to flower because the flowering is part of a long process. That long process is called yoga.

This is the mistake that Krishnamurti has been making for his whole life: he is telling people that nothing needs to be done. People even understand it, but it is the kind of understanding that instead of destroying ignorance, only hides it. People start to think that nothing has to be done, so they even stop doing what little they might have done. This is why the flower that Krishnamurti says can bloom does not bloom, and the people who listen to him fall into a tremendous dilemma.

So many of his longtime listeners – people who have been listening to him for thirty years or forty years – come to me and say, “We are in a great difficulty. We have heard this idea so much that there is nothing to do. Now even if we want to do something, we can’t. The moment we do something, we immediately remember that doing is futile and that the flower blooms without doing anything; it blooms through non-doing, through effortlessness; there is no need for any spiritual practice. This idea has gone so deep within us that now we can’t do anything at all! We have also stopped doing what we used to do, and by not doing anything at all we have not had even a glimpse of what Krishnamurti says will happen through non-doing. The flower has not bloomed at all.”

The problem has gone even deeper, because they never reached to the same state as a tree reaches when its flowers bloom on their own. Perhaps there are only roots, or their tree has just sprouted, or the branches and leaves have just begun to grow. Now they are not ready to do anything, either to water the plant or even to put a fence around the plant to protect it. Now they no longer actively try to grow towards the sun. Their beings are restless and their flowers don’t bloom, but deep down the flower wants to bloom. The pain in their being is the pain of the flower that wants to bloom – but they have been told that there is nothing to do.

So on one side there is this problem in the approach of Sankhya, that it talks about the ultimate flowering. On the other side, yoga creates a different problem: yoga searches deeply for the roots in the soil, for the water and the sun, but the danger is that you become lost in all the techniques and rituals of yoga. The flowering that you have been doing the rituals for is forgotten, and the rituals themselves take over so much that you begin to feel as if these rituals are your very life. The rituals and practices have become a habit.

Patanjali has mentioned the Eightfold Path of Yoga, and the last three points are dharana, conception, dhyana, meditation and samadhi, enlightenment. These three are the really significant ones, and the other five are the basic steps that lead to them. Samadhi, enlightenment, is the flower, and the other seven are the tree. But often yogis go on doing body postures and pranayama, breath exercises, for their whole lives. They go on doing these same things for their whole lives: they forget the flower of samadhi completely and these rituals become an end in themselves. The means becomes the goal; the path itself starts to become the destination.

The mistake of Sankhya is that the goal becomes all-important, as if no path is needed. And the folly of yoga is that the path becomes so important that even if the goal has to be abandoned in favor of the path, it is done. Even if God were to stand in front of a man who is obsessed with rituals, he would ask God to wait until he has finished doing his rituals! This idea that on the path of yoga rituals are everything misleads thousands of people. The mistake of Sankhya rarely happens, because people with a Sankhya personality are rarely born. Not many people fall into that trap.

Krishnamurti spoke for his whole life, but I don’t think that there are more than five thousand people in India who really hear or understand him. And these five thousand are also the same people who have been listening to him regularly, for the past thirty years – but there seems to be no transformation in their lives. Yes, they accumulate some words, like transformation or words of this sort, and they just start repeating those words. But they always feel the pinch, that the real thing has not happened within them yet; their flower has not bloomed yet.

The danger in yoga is even greater, because whenever people on the Earth become interested in religion, most of them immediately become interested in some activity, in some techniques. It is natural – because man does not achieve anything in life without activity, so naturally he thinks that religion will also have to be an activity. They approach religion in the same way that they approach money. If God is what they seek, that too will have to happen only by doing something. This is how most people think. But the other side of this danger is that man becomes so obsessed with these rituals and the mind enjoys the rituals so much that it becomes difficult to let them go. They lose sight of the destination and the path becomes a trap.

So what can be done to experience the cave of the heart? I say that instead of taking sankhya and yoga as two separate disciplines, take them as two parts of one discipline: take yoga as the beginning part and sankhya as the end part. Take yoga as the tree and Sankhya as the flower. I join the two together for you: sankhya-yoga.

You will certainly have to do something, because as you are, nothing can happen unless you do something. But also, keep in mind that if you remain stuck only in doing, then too, nothing will happen. Much will have to be done, and at a certain moment, all doing will simply have to be dropped. It is like someone climbing a ladder: he climbs it, but then he also leaves it. When someone takes medicines, when the disease is cured he stops taking them; or when someone walks on a path, when he arrives at his destination he leaves the path.

It is not right to say that then he leaves the path, because in reality, the meaning of a path is that you have to go on leaving it at each step – this is the exact meaning of a path. To get closer to your destination you have to go on leaving the path. One has to go on abandoning the path each day so that the destination will keep coming closer. When I say that your destination will come closer as you walk on the path, it means that it comes closer as you constantly leave the path behind. If you have walked one step ahead, it means that you have left one step of path behind you, and this has also brought the destination one step closer.

You have to walk on a path, you have to accept a path, but you also have to let go of it; only then will you come closer to the destination. But people find it easier to get stuck with one of these two. You say, “If I have to abandon the path, why walk on it in the first place?” This is the mistake of Sankhya. Or the other way that makes sense to you is, “Why let go of something that I have already started? Once I start, I should go on forever. I will go on holding on to it and never let go of it.” This is the mistake of yoga.

If both ways – Sankhya and yoga – are in the seeker’s awareness, the cave of the heart can be found very easily.

-Osho

Excerpt from Flight of the Alone to the Alone, Chapter 17

You can read a related post at:  https://o-meditation.com/2011/05/08/the-door-to-sankhya-is-open-osho/

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

The entire book can be read online at: http://www.osho.com/library/

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