The Fragrance of Awareness – Osho

Sarvatra bhavana gandhah.

The feeling of That everywhere is gandhathe only fragrance.

The Indian metaphysics divides Existence into two realms. One is “this” – that which can be pointed out; and another is “That” – that which is beyond this, which cannot be pointed out. The Sanskrit word for truth is satya. This Sanskrit word is very meaningful and very beautiful. It is a combination of two words: sat and tat. Sat means “this” and tat means “That”, satya means “this plus That is Truth”. So first we should understand what “this” is and what “That” is.

That which can be perceived, that which can be understood, that which can be comprehended, that which can be pointed out, fingered out, that which can be shown, that which can be seen – all belong to “this”. That which cannot be seen but yet is, that which cannot be comprehended but yet is, that which cannot be contemplated but yet is, belongs to “That”. So “this” means the known and the knowable, and “That” means the unknown and the unknowable. The known plus the unknown is the Truth: this plus That is satya.

So this division is very meaningful, significant. Without giving it any name, we simply call it “this” and “That”. Whatsoever science can know is this, and whatsoever science cannot know is That. Science is concerned with this, and religion is concerned with That. That’s why between science and religion there is no meeting, and there cannot be really. That meeting is in a way impossible. This cannot become That. That means all which transcends – that which is always beyond. The very beyondness is That. So they cannot have a meeting, and yet they are not separate, yet there is no gap, there is no gulf. So how to understand it?

It is like this: darkness and light never meet, yet they are not separate. Where light ends, darkness begins. There is no gap – yet they never meet, yet they never overlap. They cannot. Where light ends, darkness begins. Where light is, darkness is not. Where darkness is, light is not. They never overlap, they never meet – and yet there is no gap, there is no distance. They never meet, yet they are very near. The boundary of one is the boundary of the other also. There is really no gap at all.

The same is the phenomenon with this and That – the world, this; and the Truth, That – they never meet, they never overlap, yet there is no gap. In a way they are always meeting somewhere, because where one ends the other begins – yet there is no overlapping. Light can grow more, then the darkness will go further away, Science can know more, but whatsoever it knows becomes this. The That goes further away; it can never touch it – yet is just on the boundary. It is there just by the comer where it ends. To call it “That” means it is far away – beyond, transcending.

The this is very near; That is far away. This is known by our senses, intellect, mind. We already know it. Our knowledge, our mind, has a focus. The realm upon which this focus falls is this; the beyond is That. The Indian yogis have not even called it God, because once you use such words – God, Soul, Nirvana, moksha – it seems as if that unknown has become known to you. The word “That” shows that the unknown is still unknown. You feel it, but yet you cannot express it. Somewhere it penetrates you, but still you cannot say, “It has become my knowledge, my experience.”

Whenever someone says, “God has become my experience,” it means that he has transcended God, because that which you know has become smaller than you. Your experience can never be greater than you. Your experience is in your hand. It is something you have; it is your possession. But God can never be possessed, Truth can never be possessed – it is never in your hand. It is not something which has become a memory, it is not something you are finished with, so it is not something you can define.

You can only define a thing when you have known it totally. Then you can define and believe it. Then you can say, “This is this.” But God remains indefinable. The moment never comes when you can say, “I have known.” God never becomes an experience in this sense. It is an explosion. but it is not an experience. It is a knowing, but it is never knowledge. Remember the difference. A knowing is a growing thing; it goes on growing. Knowledge is a dead stop. When you say, “I know,” you have stopped. Now there will be no growth, now there will be no flow, now there will be no unknown dimensions, now you will not be a riverlike living experience.

Knowing means flowing – a riverlike existence. You know, but not as knowledge; not as something finished, complete, dead in your hand. You know as an opening – a constant opening to the greater, a constant opening to the sea, a constant opening to the transcending. Knowing is a constant opening, knowledge is a closing. So those who have felt that knowledge becomes dead have not called that experience “God”. They have not given any name to it. Any name means knowledge. When you can give a name to a certain experience, it means you have known it totally, completely. Now you can encircle it. Now you can give it a word. A word means a limitation. So the Indian wisdom says: He is That. “That” is not a word – it is an indication.

Ludwig Wittgenstein has said somewhere that there are certain things which cannot be said but which can be shown. You cannot say, but you can show, you can indicate. This word “That” is an indication. It is just a finger pointing to the beyond. It is not a word; it gives no negation. It doesn’t show that you have known – it shows that you have felt.

Knowledge has a limitation, but feeling is unlimited. And when we say “That”, we say many things more. One: it is far away. “This” means near, here. We know it: it is in our capacity to know it. “That” means far away – very far away. In one sense, That is very far away; in another sense it is nearer than the near – but it depends from where you start. We are sitting here. The nearest point is just where you are sitting: anything compared to it is away from you. But you can go and travel the whole earth and can come back to your own point – then it will be the most distant point. […]

So it depends on where we are – on the very point where we are, on the very point of consciousness where we are just now. If we can see that point and penetrate that point, then this is very far away and That is the nearest thing. But if we cannot look at the center where we are and we follow the direction of the eyes and the senses, then this is near and That is the most faraway thing. It depends. But in both the ways That transcends this. If you go in, if you reach to the center of your being, then again you transcend this that surrounds you, and That is achieved. Or, if you go out, then you will have to go on a very long journey, an infinite journey, and you can touch That only when this ends. […]

Religion says that there is no journey. There is no journey – you can find it just here and now. You can be That without going anywhere. That is here. If you miss the inside center, then you are in the this. If you can transcend this, then you will be again in That. So That is beyond this – either in or out. The beyond means the That, and not using any particular name means it is a mystery.

Metaphysics is not mathematics; it is not logic. It is a mystery. So it will be good to understand what is meant by “mystery”. It means your categories, your ordinary categories of thinking, will not do. If you go on thinking in your ordinary categories, you will go on moving around and around and around, but you will never reach the point. About and about you will move, but you will never reach the point. Logical categories are circular. You go on, you do much, you walk much, but you never reach.

The center is not on the periphery, otherwise you would have reached. If you go on round and round in a circle, you can never reach the center. If you are walking slowly, you may think, “Because I am walking slowly, that’s why I am not reaching.” You can run; still you will not reach. You can go on using any speed, but speed is irrelevant – you will not reach. The more speed, the more dizzy you will become, but you will not reach because the center is not on the circle. It is in the circle, not on the circle. You will have to leave the circle completely. You will have to drop from the periphery to the center.

Logical categories are circular. Through logic you never reach a new truth – never! Whatsoever is implied in the premises becomes apparent, but you never reach a truth. Through logic you can never come to a new experience. It is circular. The conclusion is always there. It becomes apparent, it was latent – that is the difference. But through logic you never come to realize a new phenomenon, and through logic you never come to the unknowable. The mystery can never be reached through logic because logic is anti-mystery. Logic divides and logic depends on clear-cut, solid divisions – and reality is fluid.

For example, you say a certain man is a very kind person; but this is a statement. And in the meantime, while you have been making this statement, the person who was kind may now not have been so, he may have changed. You say, “I love someone.” This is a statement. But in the very statement your love may have disappeared. In this moment you are loving, in the next moment you are angry. In this moment you are kind, in the next moment you are cruel.

In the dictionary kindness never becomes cruelty – never. But in reality, it goes on moving: kindness becomes cruelty, cruelty becomes kindness; love becomes hate, hate becomes love. In reality, things move; in dictionaries they are static. Reality is dynamic and moving. You cannot fix it. You cannot say, “Stay here!” And not only do things change – they go on to touch their very contradictions, they move to the very extreme, the other extreme. Love can become hate. It is not a simple change – it is a dialectical change. The diametrically opposite has come into existence. A friend can become a foe, but the word “friend” can never become the word “foe”. How can it become? Words are fixed.

Reason works with fixed entities and life is never fixed. You say, “This is God,” but the God may have changed into the Devil. You cannot label. In reality, labelling is futile, because while you are labelling a thing it is changing; that time is enough to change it. But logic, reason, mind, cannot work without labelling.

We can understand how love can become hate, but even more fixed categories can change. You say, “This person is man, male; that person is female, woman.” Again, these are categories, labelings. In reality this is not so. When I say that in reality this is not so, I mean you may be male in the morning and female in the evening. It depends. There are moods when you are female and there are moods when you are male. And now modern psychology says man is bisexual. Logic will never believe it. No one is man and no one is woman – everyone is both. The difference is only of degrees; it is never of quality; it is only of quantity. And degrees go on changing.

Reality cannot be labelled; nothing can be labelled. But we have to label. It is a necessity; mind cannot function without it. Without labelling mind cannot function, so mind goes on labelling things. This labelled world is known as “this” – the world that is created by labelling. And the world that exists beyond these labels is That – the unlabeled, the undefined, the uncharted.

You have a name – mm? – this is a labelling, so your name belongs to “this”. You are a man or a woman. This is labelling, so your being a man or a woman belongs to “this”. If you are finished with your labelling, then there is no That. But if you feel that you exist beyond the label; if you feel that your labelling is just on the periphery and there is a center which remains unlabeled, untouched; if you feel that even this being male or female is a labelling, this being young or old is a labelling, this being beautiful or ugly is a labelling, this being healthy or ill is a labelling – if you can feel something within you which is unlabelled, you have touched the realm of That.

So “this” is the labelled world and That is the unlabelled. “This” is the realm of the mind – categories, thinking, logic, mathematics, calculation – That is a mystery. If you try to reach it through logic you cannot reach, because logic is anti-mystery. When I say logic is anti-mystery, I mean that logic cannot function in a mysterious world. It can function only in a fixed, dead, labelled world.

Alice went to Wonderland, and she was just confused. A horse was coming and suddenly the horse changed into a cow, just as it happens in dream. You never object in dream. Have you ever objected? You see something, and suddenly it changes without any cause. The causality doesn’t exist in the
dreamworld. A horse can become a cow, and you never ask why or how this has happened. No one asks in dreams; you cannot ask. If you ask, you will come out of the dream, the sleep will be broken. But the doubt never arises.

Why? If you pass through the street and suddenly a horse becomes a cow, a dog becomes a man, your wife or your husband suddenly becomes a dog, you will not be able to take it. It will be impossible for the mind. But in the dream, you take it with no hesitation at all, with no doubt, with no questioning. Why? In the dream the logical categories are not functioning. The “why” is absent, the doubt is absent, the labelled world is absent. So, really, a horse can become a cow and there is no questioning. The horse can flow and become a cow. It is a fluid world.

So in that Wonderland, Alice was just confused. Everything flows into everything else – anything. So she asked the Queen, “What is this? Why are things changing? And how can I function here? – because nothing can be taken for granted, nothing! Anything can be anything, and in any moment it
can change. Nothing can be taken for granted, so how am I to function here?”

The Queen said, “This is an alive world. It is not dead. You are coming from a dead world; that’s why you feel the difficulty. Things are alive here, A can become B. There are no fixed categories, no categories at all. Everything is just fluid and flows into everything else. This is an alive world – you are coming from a dead world.”

We live in a dead world. That dead world is the “this”. If you can feel the live current beyond this dead world, then you have felt That. But the rishis have not given any name to it – mm? because to give it a name is again to label it. If you call it “God” you have labelled it, so God becomes part of “this”.

Shankara has said that even God is part of maya – illusion. Mm? This is inconceivable for a Christian or a Jewish mind, because God means the Supreme Reality. But for the Hindu, God has never been the Supreme Reality – because the Supreme cannot be named! The moment you name it, it is not the Supreme. You name it, and it becomes part of “this”. Hindus have struggled and tried to indicate, but never to define.

“That” is an indication. If you say it is God, you have defined it. It has come within the categories. That’s why Buddha remained silent. He would not even use the word “That”, because he said that if you use “That” it refers to “this”. Even to use “That” means a reference to “this”, and the Ultimate Reality cannot be in reference to anything. If we say it is light, it refers to darkness. It may not be darkness, but it refers to darkness, it is related to darkness. It has meaning only in reference to darkness, so it is not beyond. So Buddha remained silent. He would not even say “That”.

“That” is the last word to be used. But Buddha felt that even to use “That” is not good, so he would deny “this”, he would destroy “this”, but never assert the word “That”. He would insist, “Destroy this, and then . . .” And then what? But he would remain silent. Beyond “then”, he would remain silent. […]

Logical categories will not do because logic exists in thinking and mystery exists in non-thinking. You come in contact with mystery when there is no thought. You come in contact with mystery, all the bridges are destroyed, all the gaps are destroyed, when there is no thought. So from another dimension, “this” means the world of thinking and “That” means the world of no-thought. If you can be in a state of no-thought, you are in That. If you are in thinking, you are in this. When you are in thinking you are not in Being. When you are in thinking you are on a journey away from yourself. The deeper you go in thought, the further away you are from yourself. So a thinker is never a knower – never! A thinker is just dreaming. […]

If you are thinking, then knowing is not possible because you can do either thinking or knowing. The mind cannot do both simultaneously. Either you can think, or you can know. It is just like you can either run or you can stand; you cannot do both. If someone says, “I am standing while running,” he is saying the same absurd thing as we go on thinking and saying: “I am knowing while thinking.”

You cannot know, because knowing is a standing and thinking is a running from one thought to another. It is a process. You go on running and jumping and running and jumping. If you stand still inside, no running . . . a centering, just sitting. In Japan they call it “Za-zen”. It means just sitting. The Japanese word for meditation is “Za-zen”. It means just sitting, doing nothing – not even meditation, because if you are meditating you are doing something. The Japanese say that even if you are doing meditation, you are still doing something, you are running. Don’t even meditate – just be. Don’t do anything. Just be! If you can be without any doing, you drop into That, because thinking is this – the thought process, the labelling, the logic.

Thinking is a process of ignorance. You think because you don’t know. If you know, there is no need to think. You think because you don’t know – it is a groping in the dark. But thinking is a very tense process – most tense! And the more you are tense inside, the less you are in contact with the center. Relaxed, fall into yourself. Relaxed, just be. Relaxed, don’t go anywhere. Remain in yourself – suddenly you are in That.

This sutra says:

The feeling of That everywhere is the only fragrance.

The only Divine fragrance – the feeling of That everywhere! But how can you feel it everywhere if you have not felt it inside? If you have not felt it in yourself, how can you feel it everywhere? The feeling must come first in your center; then it goes out in waves all around you, everywhere. Once you have known that fragrance inside, you suddenly become aware it is everywhere. Then this this is just an appearance and That is hidden everywhere. So this is to be understood: unless you know it inside, you cannot know it outside; unless you come to That within, you cannot come to it without. You have to drop into That inside first, otherwise you can create a very illusory phenomenon.

Many religious persons are doing that. Without knowing the inside, you can go on thinking that That is everywhere – in the trees, in the houses, in the sky, in the stars, in the sun – everywhere. You can go on thinking – I insist, thinking – you can go on thinking That is everywhere, and you can come to a false feeling through constantly thinking that it is there everywhere. This is an imposition, a projection, and mind is capable of it. It can project. But projection will not lead to you That. Mm? – you are dreaming about that – not knowing it, not feeling it, not living it. So you can, by constant repetition, auto hypnotize yourself that That is everywhere. You can go on repeating that you are feeling it in every stone.

Try it! It is a good experiment. Try for twenty-one days continuously to feel That, the Divine, the God, everywhere – in every leaf, in every stone, everywhere. Whatsoever comes to your mind, remember it is That continuously for three weeks, and you will be able to create a certain illusion around you. You will be in a very high euphoria just like with LSD or mescaline or marijuana. By constant repetition of a certain feeling, you can project it without any chemical drugs. The mind creates its own chemical drugs. But it is arduous; through drugs it is very easy. But the same is the process.

When you take a pill and instant heaven comes to you, what does it mean? It means only that the chemical drug lowers down all your defense measures, breaks down your logic, your rational thinking. You are in a waking dream. The logic has stopped – not as an achievement, but just as a chemical enforcement. You are in a waking dream; with LSD you are in a waking dream.

Timothy Leary has written a book comparing Tibetan mystics with LSD-takers, and he says the same is the experience. He says about Marpa and Milarepa, or you could say Kabir and Ekhart, Huang Po or Hui-Hai, or Bayazid and Rabiya, that whatsoever they have known or have come to know is just similar to LSD experiences. And Timothy Leary is right in a way – but still fundamentally wrong. He is right in a way because the experiences are similar, but not the same.

When you take some chemical drug which lowers down the defense mechanism of the mind, the logic, the reason, you are in the same state as in a dream in the night. The difference is only that now you are in a waking dream. You are awake and still dreaming, so if a horse becomes a cow, there is no problem. And this waking dream gives the whole reality a new rainbow color. Everything becomes fresh. All the labels have dropped; your dream has spread all over. Now, whatsoever is happening inside chemically is being projected outside.

The colors that you see outside arc a projection of your inside mind. Now your dreams are projected everywhere. The whole world has become a screen and you are a projector now: you project everything. So whatsoever is inside you will now be projected. So LSD will not give the same experiences to all. A poet will have a very poetic experience, but a murderer cannot have the same experience. Someone can have heaven instantly, and someone may drop into hell. So whatsoever is inside will now be projected outside.

The same can be done through constant repetition. If you go on constantly repeating a certain feeling, you can project it. You can begin to live in this world as if this world has become dead. But unless you have known it inside, it is a false phenomenon. Any day you stop your repetition, and the hypnosis will go down. You can go on in this process for lives together. It is self-perpetuated because it is so pleasant.

So remember this: you are not to project. You are to know it inside, not to project it outside. For projection thinking will be needed, and for realization no-thinking will be needed. For projection you will need a certain concept to be enforced on reality. It is a rape of reality. And you can auto hypnotize yourself, but this is a dream existence. The real thing to be done is to come to a stop of inside brooding and thinking. The clouds must be thrown. Your inner center must come to a very uncloudy sky. Your inner center must be there without any action, and thinking is the action.

If every thought stops . . . but that you can do even by becoming totally unconscious. If you become unconscious, then it is of no use. You have fallen into deep sleep. In projecting outside you have fallen into a waking dream. You can stop every thought inside and be unconscious – you have fallen into deep sleep. It will not do.

A third thing has to be done – no thinking and no unconsciousness. This is the basic formula: no thinking and no unconsciousness. Conscious totally with no thoughts, and you come not only to know That but to be That. You are one with it. And once tasted, the taste never leaves you. Once felt, it never leaves you because you are transformed, you are not the same. And when you have known it, felt it inside, then open your eyes and it is everywhere. Now everything becomes just a mirror. You need not think about it; there is no need. You need not remember that it is there – it is there! That felt inside is felt everywhere.

Really, the inside and outside drop. Then your inside is the outside. Then the whole distinction between the within and without is meaningless. Once you have known That, the infinite inside, then it is the same outside. Then a very different feeling comes. Then it is not that you are inside, and you are not outside – then you are everywhere. The inside and the outside are just two poles of one reality. You are spread between the two. You are the reality – the That. One pole was known as inside previously; another pole was known as outside. Now you are spread between the two. They are both your poles.

This knowing inside is authentic religion. And this sutra says:

The feeling of That everywhere is gandha, the only fragrance.

If one is to know, if one is to live in that divine fragrance, in that bliss, this is the path. Why does the rishi say that the feeling of That everywhere is the fragrance? If you go to worship, you take some flowers with you. This is a symbolic expression. Ordinary flowers will not do for worship. Take this fragrance with you – this feeling of That everywhere. Then only will your worship be authentic; otherwise, it is just a false show. Ordinary flowers will not do.

Take this fragrance with you when you are going to worship. But then there is no going because then there is no temple. Then everything has become a temple. If you feel That everywhere, then where is the temple? Then where is the Mecca and where is Kashi? Then He is everywhere. Then the whole Existence becomes a temple. If you feel That everywhere, then this becomes a temple. Take this fragrance with you.

But really, the rishi is very deep, even in his symbology. He will not say “flowers”, he says “fragrance” – because flowers again are part of this fragrance, part of That. A flower is born, and it dies; a fragrance is forever. You may know, you may not know it. A flower is a material manifestation; a fragrance is a spiritual part. A flower you can have in your hand, but you cannot have fragrance in your hand. A flower can be purchased, but never the fragrance. A flower is a limitation, but a fragrance is simply the unlimited. A flower is somewhere, but the fragrance goes everywhere. You cannot say it is here; you cannot say it is there. It is everywhere. It goes on, it goes on.

So that’s why the rishi says not “flowers”, but “fragrance”. Take this fragrance with you, and only then will you enter the real temple – because the reality of the temple doesn’t depend on the temple, it depends on you. If you are authentic, the temple becomes authentic. Then any temple or any place will do; it makes no difference. […]

The rishi says, “The feeling of That everywhere is the only fragrance.” Go to Him, go to His feet, with this fragrance. But then there is no going. Then wherever you are, you are in His presence. If the fragrance is inside, then the presence is outside. If you are filled with the feeling of That, then there is no seeking.

Bokuju, a Zen Master, has said that sansar is Nirvana – this world is the Ultimate. When he said this for the first time, his own disciples became disturbed and they said, “What are you saying? This world, sansar, is nirvana! This world is the ultimate! This world is Brahma! What are you saying?”

Bokuju said, “When I didn’t know, when I was ignorant, there was a division. But when I came to realize That, the division disappeared – now everything is That.”

So the last thing: this and That is a division for the ignorant and of the ignorant. You know only this, and That is just a concept. When you come to know That, this becomes only a day-to-day concept, a utility. If you only know this, then That is just a concept, a metaphysical concept. If you come to know That, then this disappears. Knowing That does not mean that the world disappears; it will remain. But for you it will not be this – it will become That. […]

This is a non-dualistic concept, feeling. When you know That, this disappears; when you know this, That remains just a concept somewhere. But start from yourself. Don’t go to find it out anywhere else; otherwise, the journey will be very long. And you may reach, you may not reach. Take a total about-turn – seek it in your own center.


From The Ultimate Alchemy, V.1, Discourse #13

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from or you can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

Many of Osho’s books are available in the U.S. online from and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from and

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