Terence Stamp travelled to India and became a disciple of Osho′s, then called Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, on Tuesday November 16th. 1976. The following is an account of his initiation into sannyas as it appeared in one of Osho′s books, titled The Shadow of the Whip.
Osho: Mm, what about you? Is there something you would like to say to me?T
Terence Stamp (a film star from England): If you can help me in any way…
O: In every way!
T (thinking he had been misheard): Any way.
O: In every way I am going to help, mm? The first thing first: become a sannyasin (Terence nods slowly). That connects you with me – and before the work can start a deep connection is needed, a deep involvement with me is needed because the help is not going to be an outer help. I need a passage into the heart. And by becoming a sannyasin you become available, you become vulnerable. Then it becomes very easy, you don′t create obstacles. Otherwise ordinarily the human mind goes on creating obstacles in a thousand and one ways… unconsciously of course.
A man is his own undoing. So if you really want help, the first need is to get involved with my family – immediately many things start happening. The first thing – you become relaxed with me. Otherwise whenever a new person comes here, he′s afraid of sannyas – desirous and afraid too. There is a part which wants to move into this new space that I am making available here, and there is a part, naturally from the past, which is suspicious of everything – everything new at least; that part holds back.
So if you are here and not a sannyasin, to become a sannyasin or not to become a sannyasin remains a constant worry on the head – a very subtle tension. Once you have become a sannyasin that tension is gone. You can relax, and only when you are in a relaxed state can I penetrate you. By becoming relaxed you become feminine; then penetration is possible. By surrendering you are no more a male energy that′s why surrender is so difficult. The male energy is aggressive… it wants to conquer. Hence the West has given birth to science – science is an aggressive attack, almost a rape on truth.
In the East we have never thought in terms of conquering, we have thought in terms of surrendering. We surrender to nature, to God, or whatsoever one calls it, and then nature starts revealing its mystery.
So this sannyas is nothing but a first step towards the ultimate surrender which will be coming by and by. I am just a door. By surrendering to me you enter into the temple.
And I can help in every way, but I can help only if you allow me to help.
There is a very famous story about a sufi mystic, Bayazid…
When he went to his master he was a young man, desirous of knowing. He went to his master and he asked the master,
′Would you teach me, sir?′
The master looked at him and said, ′Would you allow me to teach you?′
And that very saying became a transformation.
I am ready to help but will you allow me to help you?… because nothing can be done without your cooperation. I never interfere in anybody′s life unless the life has become part of my life – that′s what the meaning of sannyas is. Then you are no more Terence: you don′t belong to your past – you belong to me. You can simply come out of your past as a snake comes out of the old skin – and it is tremendously beautiful to come out of the past. For a man like you who has lived a public life, who has become famous in a way, who is well-known, it is a must to get out of it.
This is one of the greatest human dilemmas – that when a person is not known, not famous, he hankers to become famous because walking on the road as a nonentity hurts. Nobody looks at you, nobody even says ′hello′, nobody pays any attention. Whether you exist or not does not matter. If you die, there will not even be a ripple, you will simply disappear as if you had never existed – it hurts. One starts in every way to make one′s mark, to leave one′s signature, so that even when death comes one can live in people′s memories. And one wants that people should pay attention… people should know who you are! So there is a great urge to become famous. Somebody becomes a politician, somebody becomes an actor, somebody becomes an author, a painter, a poet… somebody becomes a saint.
The day you are famous – and it takes long effort; tired, exhausted you arrive, you become famous – suddenly you recognise that now it is almost impossible to walk on the road, to be, because no privacy is available. Wherever you go people know who you are. Everybody is staring at you. One becomes a public show. So when one becomes famous, one finds that one has lost one′s privacy, one′s own space. Then one wants to be anonymous, you want to go somewhere where nobody knows you. So first we create fame, when it is there… and by the time it is there much has been lost, much energy has been wasted, one has suffered much: many headaches and many ulcers, and everything has happened. And then by the time one becomes famous, it is futile. First one hankers for riches – when they are there, one simply sees the futility of it all.
T (quietly): It′s true.
O: Sannyas is just a leap of understanding, that now fame does not mean anything, richness does not mean anything; that you would like to live a natural, simple spontaneous life. I am not saying to escape from the world, I′m not saying drop out of your work, but once this ambition disappears, you can remain in whatsoever you are doing, but the quality will change.
O: And that′s what I can see – you need a space to be alone, you need a space, a private space, a private sky where you are left alone and you can be silently growing, doing something or not doing something, just enjoying being. You are tired of doing. Sannyas will be a great help: it will make a discontinuity.
On the surface it is very difficult to say what sannyas is. It is an experience And there are two ways to become a sannyasin: one is you think about it, you decide about it. The other and the better is that you simply go into it in deep trust without thinking about it, without making a decision about it. When you make a decision, sannyas is not so valuable because it is the past making decision. Then the break is not so abrupt. Mm? you will think – who is this thinking? Your past will think and calculate and watch and talk to people and meet people and see whether something happens or not. This whole thing will go on and then there is a conclusion, a decision you take or you don′t take. But this decision comes out of the past, and the past remains continuous; then the quantum leap is missed.
If you simply take a jump, not knowing where you are going, not making any effort to know where you are going – if you simply go into this darkness, into this vast darkness of existence, without any map, without any plan then it has a tremendous beauty. You will have a thrill, an adventure.
So it is for you to decide! Would you like to decide or would you simply like to go into it?
Terence gazes at Osho for a moment, then wordlessly lowers his head and moves closer to Osho′s chair.
O: Close your eyes and feel me surrounding you from everywhere as if you are just in my womb, relaxed, contented and whatsoever form your body starts taking, let it take.
Terence sits quite still while Osho writes his sannyas name and then places the mala over his head. Osho places his thumb on Terence′s forehead, on his third eye, while his right hand holds the locket of the mala. After a moment or two Osho allows the locket to fall and places his hand on Terence′s head, gazing at him and then closing his eyes, for several minutes…
O: This will be your name… so consciously, deliberately make a break with the old name. For your business purposes you can continue the old, but as far as you are concerned the old name becomes fictitious, the old name becomes pseudo, and this new name becomes your reality – Swami Deva Veeten.
“Deva” means “divine” – the word comes from the same root as divine. Divine comes from a sanskrit root, deva – they both mean light. From dev comes day and divine both – it means light. And “Veeten” means “beyond”: “the light beyond” or “the God beyond”. And the reality is beyond you. The reality is beyond the body, beyond the mind. That′s what one is ordinarily identified with – either the body or the mind – but reality is beyond both. Reality is in the witnessing of both.
If you can observe the body, you are more real than you are when you are in the body. If you are eating, you are not as real as if you are watching yourself eating. When you are thinking, you are not so real; but if you can watch the thoughts passing by you become more real.
Reality happens to you only when you are not identified with the body and mind. So Veeten means trying to be beyond, trying to be constantly beyond any identity that can confine you. That′s what Gurdjieff calls ′self-remembering′, but self-remembering is not such a good word because the self in fact does not exist when there is remembering. So the word is not a very fortunate choice; self-remembering somehow makes it a self-centred thing. There is every possibility… and I have come across many Gurdjieff people who have mistaken self-remembering for self-consciousness.
They become more self-conscious – that creates more tension. Self-remembering has nothing to do with self-consciousness because it has nothing to do with self, it is simple remembering. Remembering is also not a very good choice of words, mm? Because it means that you are remembering something from the past. It has nothing to do with the past either. You have never known it. It is going to be for the first time. It is not a rediscovery it is a discovery! So it is a witnessing, it is pure consciousness, it is just seeing things as they are.
So these are the three layers upon one′s being. One is the world outside, the outermost layer: the sun, the trees, the people, the society. It is very easy to get out of it, because there is a gap between you and it; it is not very difficult. And there is no need to escape to the Himalayas or to a cave, because wherever you go the world is there – the outer world is there. It is very simple, because the distance is vast so one is never identified with the outer world. There are a few people very neurotic, who have become identified. Somebody is so much identified with his car that if a car is dented, he is dented. Or with the house – if the house is gone, he may start thinking of committing suicide. Or there are people who are very much identified with money, wife, children, but ordinarily that is not such a big problem, because you know that you are separate.
The problem starts with the body; the body is very close. The outer world is like a dream – you can drop it and you can become naked. The body is like skin it is not so easy to peel it away, but it is not impossible. So just watching helps. You are walking on the road – just become the witness, see the body walking.
And don′t make it a tense thing: strain is not needed. If it becomes strenuous, you miss the point. So be perfectly at ease and relaxed. It is fun – it is not a serious thing. That is one of the other problems which Gurdjieff people have imbibed – they become very serious, and they don′t take it as fun. That creates anxiety.
Even when Gurdjieff was there many people became ill, many people died, many people went mad, and the reason was that it was thought to be such a great work! The very word ′work′ makes it very serious. What I am doing here is play – it is not work. When I am gone, my work is to be known as play, never as work. So take it non-seriously. Seriousness is a disease and through seriousness no one has ever gone beyond. Seriousness is so heavy that it makes you rooted in the gravitation. One needs to be very playful, then one can go beyond gravitation – one can fly!
A great unburdening is needed, so just be playful about it. When I say, ′when walking, watch,′ I mean be playful. If sometimes you forget, nothing is wrong in it. Watch that too – you have forgotten, good! Then again you remember, good! Both are good. In fact there is a rhythm. You cannot constantly watch; it is just like breathing in, breathing out.
Veeten (suddenly animated as if something has clicked inside): Aahh!
O: And that has been one of the missing points in Gurdjieff′ system.
V: Yes! Yes!
O: People are trying to be continuously watching. It is foolish!
V (thoughtfully, one hand under his chin, the other across his waist): Right… right!
O: When you breathe out the air goes out, when you breathe in the air goes in, and there is a rhythm. The eyes go on blinking; there is a rhythm. And everything is a rhythm: the day and night, the summer-winter, the whole of life is rhythmic. So watchfulness cannot be a continuity. One should not strive for it. It is foolish, and it can create a neurosis! It can create cancer, tuberculosis, and it can create many things, because you strain too much.
So just let it be a natural rhythm. Sometimes you forget; that means it is exhalation. When you remember it is inhalation. And then it becomes very simple… very simple, child-like. And when you start enjoying it, forgetfulness, remembering, forgetfulness, remembering… And both are good. because the forgetfulness gives you respite and rest that is needed, it prepares you again to remember.
So walking, eating, sitting, just be watchful, but in a playful mood, with the body. And the same has to be done with the mind. Sometimes sitting silently, just watch. And that watching has not to be with a staring inside – with very relaxed eyes. One is simply sitting, a thought passes by – one looks at it.
V: Yes, because when I look at it, it stops.
O: No, you must be straining. If you strain, then it stops. Let it float, it has its own right to be. Let it float just as clouds float in the sky. Just watch. So, watchfulness without any tension in it. That′s why I am not using the word attention, because it has tension in it.
V: Yes… yes!
O: Just an unfocused watchfulness. So whatsoever it is, one is looking at it. There is no desire to stop, because if you are desiring to stop it you cannot watch it. The very desire becomes again a subtle identification – you are afraid of the thought. There is no need to be afraid. The thought is the thought, you are you. The thought is not hindering you. The clouds are moving in the sky. The thoughts are moving in the mind. The thoughts are as far away from you as clouds, and they have nothing to do with you. In fact they are not even yours – they are just passing. That′s why one thought comes, another comes, and sometimes you will become aware that if you are with a certain person a certain type of thought enters in you, mm? Because that person is constantly broadcasting. So they are not exactly yours; thoughts are collective.
The society exists in an atmosphere of thoughts just as air is social. Mm? I breathe out, you breathe in. You breathe out, I breathe in. One thought passes my head, it enters in your head, it passes into somebody else′s head and it goes on.
So nothing to be worried about. You are not to stop it. Simply watch, and in a very relaxed, calm, quiet mood. And learn to sit silently. Whenever you can find time, just relax in the chair – no need for any posture. The only thing to be remembered is that you are at ease. Any posture that makes you at ease, at home, is good. So just relax, just close your eyes, and just be.
By and by you will see you are neither the society, nor the body, nor the mind. And then a new sensation… a new feeling of being arises, and you know you are this. Not that you make that type of statement inside – no. It simply arises existentially: ′Now this is me.′
This witnessing, this consciousness, is our innermost core. And all the religions have been working to achieve this state. Many people try but miss, because they try too hard. That is the problem with Krishnamurti – trying too hard… making it such a problem. People are already burdened with problems, and you bring another problem, and an almost impossible problem too. And Krishnamurti goes on hammering on their heads, and becomes angry too… rages!
V: Yes – he′s very austere.
O: But that is not going to help anybody. Life is playful… God is playful. And one comes closer to God as one becomes more playful.
So mix with people here, change to orange, forget your past for the days you are here. Dance, meditate – but everything has to be done absolutely non-seriously. Sincerely, yes! – but seriously, no.
V: I understand.
O: And enjoyment, delight, has to be imbibed. Laughter has to be learned and enjoyment in small things: drinking a cup of tea, talking to a friend, holding hands with a stranger or just sitting looking at the sky. Life is marvellous! And if we miss, only we are responsible – nobody else.
And all that man needs to be happy is available. All that man needs to be happy is always available. You just have to relax and enjoy it and participate in it. So let celebration be the only rule!
And I would like you to do a few groups here. A few groups will be very helpful.
V: Okay. Whatever you say.
O: And have you done any groups?
V: No. I put my name down for Rolfing.
O: Rolfing is good, mm? Do that, and book for Encounter 4th to 10th. Your dates are not yet certain, when you will be leaving?
V: No. Maybe 5th, but I′m trying to stay for the eleventh (Osho′s birthday).
O: Be here! Eleventh is not to be missed (laughter).
O: And now I can order you – you are my sannyasin! (laughter) Mm?
V (grinning cheerfully): Okay!
O: So book for Encounter, 4th to 10th, and these days you are here just mix with people and dance and enjoy… And forget everything.
(The Shadow of the Whip (a Darshan Diary) #8)
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