Without making an effort, but remaining loose and natural….
And this is the whole method of Tilopa, and the whole method of Tantra: Without making an effort… because if you make an effort, the ego is strengthened. If you make an effort, you come in.
So love is not an effort, you cannot make an effort to love. If you make an effort, there is no love. You flow into it, you don’t make an effort, you simply allow it to happen, you don’t make an effort It is not a doing, it is a happening: Without making an effort…. And the same is the case with the total, the final: you don’t make an effort, you simply float with it… But remaining loose and natural. This is the way, this is the very ground of Tantra.
Yoga says make an effort, and Tantra says don’t make any effort. Yoga is ego-oriented, finally it will take the jump, but Tantra is, from the very beginning, non-ego-oriented. Yoga, in the end, attains to such significance, such meaning, such depth, that it says to its seeker, “Now drop the ego” – only in the end; Tantra from the very beginning, from the very first step….
I would like to say it in this way, in such a way: where Yoga ends, Tantra starts. The highest peak of Yoga is the beginning of Tantra – and Tantra leads you to the ultimate goal. Yoga can prepare you for Tantra, that’s all, because the final thing is to be effortless, “loose and natural.”
What does Tilopa mean by “loose and natural”? Don’t fight with yourself, be loose. Don’t try to make a structure around yourself of character, of morality. Don’t discipline yourself too much; otherwise your very discipline will become the bondage. Don’t create an imprisonment around you. Remain loose, floating, move with the situation, respond to the situation. Don’t move with a character jacket around you, don’t move with a fixed attitude. Remain loose like water, not fixed like ice. Remain moving and flowing; wherever the nature leads you, go. Don’t resist, don’t try to impose anything on you, your being.
But the whole society teaches you to impose something or other: be good, be moral, be this and that. And Tantra is absolutely beyond society, culture and civilization. It says if you are too much cultured you will lose all that is natural, and then you will be a mechanical thing, not floating, not flowing. So don’t force a structure around you – live moment to moment, live with alertness. And this is a deep thing to be understood.
Why do people try to create a structure around them? So that they don’t need alertness – because if you have no character around you, you will need to be very very aware: because each moment the decision has to be taken. You don’t have a prefabricated decision, you don’t have an attitude.
You have to respond to the situation. Something is there, and you are absolutely unprepared for it – you will have to be very very aware.
To avoid awareness people have created a trick, and the trick is character. Force yourself into a certain discipline so that whether you are aware or not, the discipline will take care of you. Make a habit of always saying the truth; make it a habit, then you need not be worried about it. Somebody asks, you will say the truth, out of habit – but out of habit a truth is dead.
And life is not so simple. Life is a very very complex phenomenon. Sometimes a lie is needed, and sometimes a truth can be dangerous – and one has to be aware. For example, if through your lie somebody’s life is saved, and through your lie nobody is harmed and somebody’s life is saved, what will you do? If you have a fixed mind that you have to be true, then you will kill a life.
Nothing is more valuable than life, no truth, nothing is more valuable than life. And sometimes your truth can kill somebody’s life. What will you do? Just saving your own old pattern and habit, your own ego that “I am a truthful man,” you will sacrifice a life – just being a truthful man, just to be that? This is too much, you are completely mad! If a life can be saved, even if people think that you are a liar, what is wrong in it? Why bother too much about what people say about you?
It is difficult! It is not so easy to create a fixed pattern because life goes on moving and changing, and every moment there is a new situation and one has to respond to it. Respond with full awareness, that’s all. And let the decision come out of the situation itself, not prefabricated, not imposed. Don’t carry a built-in mind just remain loose and aware and natural.
And this is how a real religious man is; otherwise, the so-called religious persons are just dead. They act out of their habits, they go on acting out of their habits – this is a conditioning, this is not a freedom. Consciousness needs freedom.
Be loose: remember this word as deeply as possible. Let it penetrate you. Be loose – so in every situation you can flow, easily, water-like; so if the water is poured into a glass, it takes the shape of the glass. It doesn’t resist, it doesn’t say, “This is not my form.” If the water is poured into a jar, into
a jug, it takes the shape of that. It has no resistance, it is loose. Remain loose like water.
Sometimes you will have to move south and sometimes north, you will have to change directions; according to the situations you will have to flow. But if you know how to flow, it is enough. The ocean is not very far away if you know how to flow.
So don’t create a pattern – and the whole society tries to create a pattern, and all the religions try to create a pattern. Only very few enlightened persons have been courageous enough to say the truth – the truth that: Be loose and natural! If you are loose you will be natural, of course.
Tilopa doesn’t say, “Be moral,” he says, “Be natural.” And these are completely, diametrically opposite dimensions. A moral man is never natural, cannot be. If he feels angry he cannot be angry because the morality doesn’t allow it. If he feels loving he cannot be loving because the morality is there. It is always according to the morality that he acts; it is never according to his nature.
And I tell you: if you start moving according to moral patterns and not according to your nature, you will never reach the state of Mahamudra, because it is a natural state, the highest peak of being natural. I tell you: if you feel angry, be angry – but perfect awareness has to be retained. Anger
should not overpower your consciousness, that’s all.
Let anger be there, let it happen, but be fully alert to what is happening. Remain loose, natural, aware, watching what is happening. By and by, you will see many things have simply disappeared, they don’t happen any more – and without making any effort on your part. You never tried to kill them and they have simply disappeared.
When one is aware, anger by and by disappears. It becomes simply stupid – not bad, remember, because “bad” is a loaded value. It becomes simply stupid! It is not that because it is bad you don’t move into it, it is simply foolish; it is not a sin, but simply stupid. Greed disappears, it is stupid.
Jealousy disappears, it is stupid.
Remember this valuation. In morality there is something good and something bad. In being natural there is something wise and something stupid. A man who is natural is wise, not good. A man who is not natural is stupid, not bad. There is nothing bad and nothing good, only wise things and foolish things. And if you are foolish you harm yourself and others, and if you are wise you don’t harm anybody – neither others, nor you. There is nothing like sin and there is nothing like virtue – wisdom is all. If you want to call it virtue, call it virtue. And ignorance is there if you want to call it sin – that is the only sin.
So how to transform your ignorance into wisdom? That is the only transformation – and you cannot force it: it happens when you are loose and natural.
... Remaining loose and natural, one can break the yoke – Thus gaining liberation.
And one becomes totally free. It will be difficult in the beginning, because constantly the old habits will be there forcing you to do something: you would like to be angry – but the old habit simply starts a smile on your face. There are people that, whenever they smile, you can be certain that they are
angry. In their very smile they show their anger. They are hiding something, a false smile spreads on their faces. These are the hypocrites.
A hypocrite is an unnatural man: if anger is there he will smile; if hate is there he will show love; if he feels murderous, he will pretend compassion. A hypocrite is a perfect moralist – absolutely artificial, a plastic flower, ugly, of no use; not a flower at all, just a pretension.
Tantra is the natural way: be loose and natural. It will be difficult because the old habits have to be broken. It is difficult because you will have to live in a society of hypocrites. It will be difficult because everywhere you will find a conflict with the hypocrites – but one has to go through it. It will be arduous because there are many investments in false, artificial pretensions. You may feel completely alone, but this will be only a passing phase. Soon others will start feeling your authenticity. And remember, even an authentic anger is better than a pretended smile, because at least it is authentic. And a
man who cannot be authentically angry, cannot be authentic at all. At least he is authentic, true to his being. Whatsoever is happening, you can rely on him that it is true.
And this is my observation: that a true anger is beautiful and a false smile is ugly; and a true hate has its own beauty, just like true love – because beauty is concerned with truth. Neither is it concerned with hate, nor with love – beauty is of the true. Truth is beautiful in whatsoever form. A truly dead
man is more beautiful than a falsely alive man, because at least the basic quality is there of being true.
Mulla Nasruddin’s wife died, and the neighbors gathered, but Mulla Nasruddin was standing there completely unaffected, as if nothing had happened. Neighbors started crying and weeping and they said, “What are you standing there for, Nasruddin? She is dead.”
Nasruddin said, “Wait! She is such a liar – at least for three days I have to wait and see whether it is true or not.”
Remember this – that beauty of truth, authenticity. Become more authentic and you will have a flowering. And the more authentic you become, by and by you will feel many things are falling away – of their own accord. You never made any effort to do it; they are falling of their own accord. And
once you know the knack of it, then you become more and more loose, more and more natural, authentic. And, says Tilopa:
… One can break the yoke – Thus gaining liberation.
The liberation is not very far away, it is just hidden behind you. Once you are authentic and the door is open – but you are such a liar, you are such a pretender, you are such a hypocrite, you are so deeply false; that’s why you feel that the liberation is very very far away. It is not! For an authentic
being, liberation is just natural. It is as natural as anything.
As water flows towards the ocean, as vapor rises towards the sky, as the sun is hot and the moon is cool, so for an authentic being is liberation. It is nothing to be bragged about. It is nothing that you have to tell people that you have gained something.
When Lin Chi was asked, “What has happened to you? People say that you have become enlightened,” he shrugged his shoulders and said, “Happened? Nothing. I cut wood in the forest, and carry water to the ashram – carry water from the well, cut wood because the winter is approaching.” He shrugged his shoulders – a very meaningful gesture.
He is saying, “Nothing has happened. What nonsense you are asking! It is natural: carrying water from the well, cutting wood in the forest. Life is absolutely natural.” Says Lin Chi, “When I feel sleepy, I go to sleep; and when I feel hungry, I eat. Life has become absolutely natural.”
Liberation is your being perfectly natural. Liberation is not something to be bragged about, that you have attained something very great. It is nothing great, it is nothing extraordinary. It is just being natural, just being yourself.
So what to do?
Drop pretensions, drop hypocrisies, drop all that you have cultivated around your natural being – become natural. In the beginning it will be a very very arduous thing, but only in the beginning. Once you get attuned to it, others will also start feeling something has happened to you, because an
authentic being is such a force, such a magnetism. They will start feeling something has happened: “This man no more moves as part of us, he has become totally different.” And you will not be at a loss, because only artificial things will drop.
And once the emptiness is created by throwing away artificial things, pretensions, masks, then the natural being starts flowing. It needs space.
Be empty, loose and natural. Let that be the most fundamental principle in your life.
Excerpt from Tantra: The Supreme Understanding, Discourse #1
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