Neo-Advaita Meets Dzogchen: The Unraveling of a Pseudo-Enlightenment

The following is an excerpt from Sam Harris’s book Waking Up. I must confess that I have not read Sam’s book, but I find the excerpt below to be an incredibly insightful exposé on the deficiencies of neo-advaita.

“Poonja-ji’s influence on me was profound, especially because it came as a corrective to all the strenuous and unsatisfying efforts, I had been making in meditation up to that point. But the dangers inherent in his approach soon became obvious. The all-or-nothing quality of Poonjaji’s teaching obliged him to acknowledge the full enlightenment of any person who was grandiose or manic enough to claim it. Thus, I repeatedly witnessed fellow students declare their complete and undying freedom, all the while appearing quite ordinary—or worse. In certain cases, these people had clearly had some sort of breakthrough, but Poonja-ji’s insistence upon the finality of every legitimate insight led many of them to delude themselves about their spiritual attainments. Some left India and became gurus. From what I could tell, Poonja-ji gave everyone his blessing to spread his teachings in this way. He once suggested that I do it, and yet it was clear to me that I was not qualified to be anyone’s guru. Nearly twenty years have passed, and I’m still not. Of course, from Poonja-ji’s point of view, this is an illusion. And yet there simply is a difference between a person like myself, who is generally distracted by thought, and one who isn’t and cannot be. I don’t know where to place Poonja-ji on this continuum of wisdom, but he appeared to be a lot farther along than his students. Whether Poonja-ji was capable of seeing the difference between himself and other people, I do not know. But his insistence that no difference existed began to seem either dogmatic or delusional.

On one occasion, events conspired to perfectly illuminate the flaw in Poonja-ji’s teaching. A small group of experienced practitioners (among us several teachers of meditation) had organized a trip to India and Nepal to spend ten days with Poonja-ji in Lucknow, followed by ten days in Kathmandu, to receive teachings on the Tibetan Buddhist practice of Dzogchen. As it happened, during our time in Lucknow, a woman from Switzerland became “enlightened” in Poonja-ji’s presence. For the better part of a week, she was celebrated as something akin to the next Buddha. Poonja-ji repeatedly put her forward as evidence of how fully the truth could be realized without making any effort at all in meditation, and we had the pleasure of seeing this woman sit beside Poonja-ji on a raised platform expounding upon how blissful it now was in her corner of the universe. She was, in fact, radiantly happy, and it was by no means clear that Poonja-ji had made a mistake in recognizing her. She would say things like “There is nothing but consciousness, and there is no difference between it and reality itself.” Coming from such a nice, guileless person, there was little reason to doubt the profundity of her experience.

When it came time for our group to leave India for Nepal, this woman asked if she could join us. Because she was such good company, we encouraged her to come along. A few of us were also curious to see how her realization would appear in another context. And so it came to pass that a woman whose enlightenment had just been confirmed by one of the greatest living exponents of Advaita Vedanta was in the room when we received our first teachings from Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, who was generally thought to be one of the greatest living Dzogchen masters. Of all the Buddhist teachings, those of Dzogchen most closely resemble the teachings of Advaita. The two traditions seek to provoke the same insight into the nonduality of consciousness, but, generally speaking, only Dzogchen makes it absolutely clear that one must practice this insight to the point of stability and that one can do so without succumbing to the dualistic striving that haunts most other paths.

At a certain point in our discussions with Tulku Urgyen, our Swiss prodigy declared her boundless freedom in terms similar to those she had used to such great effect with Poonja-ji. After a few highly amusing exchanges, during which we watched Tulku Urgyen struggle to understand what our translator was telling him, he gave a short laugh and looked the woman over with renewed interest.

“How long has it been since you were last lost in thought?” he asked.

“I haven’t had any thoughts for over a week,” the woman replied.

Tulku Urgyen smiled.

“A week?”

“Yes.”

“No thoughts?”

“No, my mind is completely still. It’s just pure consciousness.”

“That’s very interesting. Okay, so this is what is going to happen now: We are all going to wait for you to have your next thought. There’s no hurry. We are all very patient people. We are just going to sit here and wait. Please tell us when you notice a thought arise in your mind.”

It is difficult to convey what a brilliant and subtle intervention this was. It may have been the most inspired moment of teaching I have ever witnessed. After a few moments, a look of doubt appeared on our friend’s face.

“Okay . . . Wait a minute . . . Oh . . . That could have been a thought there . . . Okay . . .”

Over the next thirty seconds, we watched this woman’s enlightenment completely unravel. It became clear that she had been merely thinking about how expansive her experience of consciousness had become—how it was perfectly free of thought, immaculate, just like space—without noticing that she was thinking incessantly. She had been telling herself the story of her enlightenment—and she had been getting away with it because she happened to be an extraordinarily happy person for whom everything was going very well for the time being.

This was the danger of nondual teachings of the sort that Poonja-ji was handing out to all comers. It was easy to delude oneself into thinking that one had achieved a permanent breakthrough, especially because he insisted that all breakthroughs must be permanent. What the Dzogchen teachings make clear, however, is that thinking about what is beyond thought is still thinking, and a glimpse of selflessness is generally only the beginning of a process that must reach fruition. Being able to stand perfectly free of the feeling of self is the start of one’s spiritual journey, not its end.”

-Sam Harris

From Waking Up, Chapter 4

A Still Mind: The Door to the Divine – Osho

Nishal-gyanam asanam.

Non-wavering knowing is asana – the posture.

Man is neither a body, nor a mind alone – he is both. Even to say that he is both is wrong in a way because body and mind are separate only as two words. Existence is one. Body is nothing but the outermost core of your consciousness, the grossest expression of consciousness. And consciousness, on the other hand, is nothing more than the subtlest body, the most refined part of the body. You exist in between.

These are not two things, but two ends of one thing. So whenever knowing becomes non-wavering, body is also affected; non-wavering knowing creates a non-wavering body. But the vice versa is not true. You can impose non-wavering on the body, but the knowing will not become non-wavering. It can help – a very little. It can be helpful, but not much.

Body posture became very important because we are body oriented. Even those who say that we are not bodies think in terms of body. Even those who say, “We are not bodies,” their thinking, their mind, remains tethered to the body. Even they begin with body postures. Asana means giving your body a posture in which the body becomes non-wavering, still. It is supposed that if the body is still, then the mind will go into stillness.

This is not true – the contrary is true! If the mind becomes still, then the body becomes still. And then a very mysterious phenomenon happens: if the mind is still, you can go on dancing but your body will remain still. And if your mind is not still, you can be just dead but still the body will be wavering, because the mind wavering creates subtle vibrations which come to the body and the body goes on wavering inside. Try it. You can sit just like a statue – dead, stonelike. Close your eyes and feel. Outwardly, no one can say that your body is wavering, but inwardly you will know that it is. A subtle trembling is there. Even if it cannot be detected from the outside, you can feel it from the inside.

If your mind is totally still, then even if you are dancing you will feel from inside that the body is still. A Buddha is still even when he is walking, and a non-Buddha is not still even when he is dead. The vibrations come from your center, they originate from you, and then they spread towards the body. The body is not the originator, it is not the source, so you cannot stop them from the periphery. You can impose, you can practice, but inside there will be turmoil – and this imposing will create more conflict than stillness.

So this sutra says that to practice meditation, posture – a still posture – is needed. But what do we mean by a posture? This sutra says that “a non-wavering knowing” is the posture. If the mind is non-wavering, then you are in the right posture. In that right posture everything can happen.

So don’t deceive yourself by creating bodily imitations. You can create them; that is very easy. On the circumference, on the periphery, to impose stillness is very easy. But that is not your stillness. You remain in turmoil, you remain wavering. From the center the waves must not come.

What is this non-wavering knowledge? It is one of the deepest secrets. To understand it we will have to go deep into the very construction of mind, so let us begin.

Mind has many types of thoughts. Every thought is a wavering, every thought is a wave. If there are no thoughts, then the mind will be non-wavering. A single thought, and you have trembled. A single thought, and you are not still. And a single thought is not a single thought: it is a very complex phenomenon. A single thought is created by many waves; a single word even is created by many waves. So only when many waves are there in the mind is a single word created, and a single thought has many words. Thousands and thousands of ripples create one thought.

Thought is the outermost, but waves have preceded. You become aware only when waves become thoughts because your awareness is so gross. You cannot be aware when waves are pure waves still in the formation of becoming a thought. The more you will become aware, the more you will feel that thought has many layers. Thought form is the last. Before thought there are seed waves which create the thought, and before the seed waves there are still deeper roots which create seeds.

Seeds create thought. At least three layers are very easily visible for a conscious mind. But we are not conscious: we are asleep. So we become aware only when waves take the grossest form – thought. As far as we know, thought seems to be the most subtle thing. It is not. Thought really has become a thing. When there are pure waves, you cannot even detect what is going to happen, what thought is going to be created in you. So we become aware only when waves become thought.

A single thought implies thousands of waves, so we can conceive how much we are wavering – continuous thinking, not a single moment of no thought, one thought followed by another constantly, no gap. So we are really a wavering, a trembling phenomenon. Soren Kierkegaard has said that man is a trembling – just a trembling and nothing else. And he is right in a way. As far as we are concerned, man is a trembling. A Buddha may not be, but then Buddha is not a man.

This thought process is the process of wavering. So non-wavering means a no-thought state of mind. Really, the sutra says “non-wavering knowing” – mind is not even mentioned. So first, three layers of mind have to be distinctly understood.

One is the conscious mind, and one type of thought belongs to the conscious level. These thoughts are the least important. They constitute moment-to-moment reactions, reflexes. You are on the road and a snake passes and you jump. The snake gives you a stimulus and you respond. So one type of thought is like this: stimulus outside and a response from the periphery. Really, you don’t think: you just act. A snake is there: you act; you become aware and you act. You don’t go inside to ask what to do. The house is on fire and you run. This is a peripheral reaction.

So one type of thought is the moment-to-moment reflex type. Even a Buddha has to react in this way. This is natural; nothing is wrong with it. If you react moment-to-moment, then nothing is wrong with the mind – but that is not the only layer.

Then there is a second layer. This second layer is the subconscious. Religions call it “conscience.” Really, this second layer is created by the society; it is a society in you. Society penetrates everyone, because society cannot control you unless it penetrates you; so it becomes a part of you. The upbringing, the education, the parents, the teachers – what are they doing? They are doing one thing: they are creating the subconscious mind. They are giving you thoughts. structures, ideals, values. These thoughts belong to the second layer They are helpful, they have their utility, but they are harmful also. They are instruments to move easily, conveniently in the society, but they are barriers also.

This second layer has to be understood more. This second layer consists of ideas within, fixed ideas, fixations. So whenever your peripheral mind is working moment-to-moment, it is not pure. Only a child is pure, innocent – he is working moment-to-moment. There is no subconscious to interfere.

You are not working moment-to-moment. The subconscious is constantly interfering. It is giving you choice: what to choose, what not to choose. Every moment it is making you narrow. You become just unaware of many things because of the subconscious. It will not allow you to be aware of everything. And about many things you become too much aware because this subconscious mind forces you constantly to be aware of them.

Every society creates a different type of subconscious, so, really, one’s being a Hindu or a Christian or a Jain belongs to the subconscious mind. As far as the peripheral mind is concerned, everyone reacts in the same way; it is natural. But the subconscious mind is not natural; it is a social product. So we behave in different ways. You see a church. A Hindu can pass without even becoming aware that there is a church. He need not be aware. But a Christian cannot pass without becoming aware that there is a church. He may even be anti-Christian – consciously he may even be like Bertrand Russell who can write a book called Why I am not a Christian – but he will become aware. The subconscious is working there.

A Brahmin, he can intellectually understand that the problem of untouchability is just violent, cruel, and intellectually he can think that it is not good, but this is the conscious mind. The subconscious is working there. If you ask him to marry a Sudra girl, somewhere deeply he is struck. He cannot conceive of it. Even to eat with an untouchable becomes difficult. Intellectually he understands nothing is wrong in it, but the subconscious goes on projecting and pushing. And he cannot react naturally: the subconscious distorts, perverts.

This subconscious is supplying you constantly with many ideas which you think are your own. They are not. They have been fed to you just like a computer is fed. You can get information out of a computer only if you have previously fed it. The same is the case with man also, with mind also. Whatsoever you are getting out is just because of what has been fed in before. Everything has been fed in. This is what we mean by education, the so-called education: feeding information. So it is ready in the unconscious every moment. It is so ready, really, that even when you don’t need it, it comes up. It constantly overfloods your mind, and it becomes a constant wavering, a constant trembling. This subconscious mind is the root cause of so many social evils.

Really, the world could be one if there were no subconscious mind. Then there would be no distinction between a Hindu and a Mohammedan. The distinction is of the subconscious feeding, and it goes so deep that you cannot even feel how it works. You cannot go behind it. It goes so deep that you always remain in front and you feel helpless. But the society is also helpless. It is a substitute – a poor substitute, but a substitute. Unless man becomes totally aware, the society cannot dispense with the subconscious.

For example, if a man becomes totally aware, he cannot be a thief. But man, as he is, is not aware at all, so society has to create a substitute for awareness: it must put a strong suggestion inside that theft is bad, evil, sin, that you must not be a thief. This idea must be put deep in the subconscious so that when you begin to think of theft the subconscious comes up and says, “No. this is sin,” and you are stopped. This is a social substitute for awareness – and unless man comes to awareness the society cannot dispense with the subconscious, because it has to give you some rules. Unless you are so aware that rules are not needed at all, the subconscious will have to be maintained.

So each society has to create a subconscious. And I call that society good – remember it – I call that society good which creates a subconscious that can be dispensed with very easily; and I call a society bad which creates such a subconscious that cannot be dispensed with: because if it cannot be dispensed with, then it becomes a hindrance when you try to be aware. And, really, no such good society exists now which gives you a dispensable substitute, a dispensable subconscious, which gives you a subconscious as a utilitarian instrument so that the moment you become aware, you can throw it.

To me, that society is good and religious which gives you an inherent freedom about the subconscious. But no society gives it. so. no society is religious, really. Every society is totalitarian, and every society takes your mind in such a way that you become just an automaton – and you go on thinking and deceiving yourself that your thoughts are yours. They are not! Even the very language we use is contaminated, the words we use are contaminated. We cannot use a single word without the subconscious being there. It comes suddenly. Society uses it very cunningly, and then your reactions, your reflexes, are not spontaneous. […]

This subconscious mind is constantly working, day and night. The mind’s working is double. One working belongs to your conscious mind. It is concerned with how to control the subconscious consciously, constantly. Then the subconscious is controlling the conscious mind. It is working to control your reactions, your actions, your reflexes, everything. Whatsoever you are doing must be controlled! This is the society’s grip on you. You are just moving in society’s hands. No value is yours. How can it be? How can a value be yours when you are not at all aware? Only awareness can give you authentic, individual values.

All these values are supplied. If the society is vegetarian, then you have vegetarian values. If the society is non-vegetarian, then you have non-vegetarian values. If the society believes in this, then you are a believer in it. If the society doesn’t believe, then you are a disbeliever. But you are not; only society is there.

This is a double control: one control is on your conscious mind, your behavior. Another control is more deep and more dangerous, and that is the control on your instinctive nature. The first part is conscious, the second is subconscious. The subconscious is created by society. And the third is the instinctive. which is given by biological nature: that which you really are biologically, that which you are born with. That’s a third part, the deepest: the biological instinctive nature.

This second, subconscious mind is controlling outward behavior and also controlling inward instincts. Nothing should be allowed to come up to the conscious mind from your instinctive nature if the society is against it. Nothing should be allowed to come up – even up to your consciousness. So this subconscious creates a great barrier for the instinctive nature.

For example, sex is an instinct, the deepest, because without it life cannot exist on earth. So life depends on sex. It is not easily dispensable; obviously, it must not be – otherwise life will become just impossible. So it has a deep grip. But the society is anti-sex; it is bound to be. The more a society is organized, the more it will be anti-sex – because if your sex instinct can be controlled then everything can be controlled, and if your sex instinct cannot be controlled then nothing can be controlled. So it becomes a fighting ground.

You must be aware that whenever a society becomes sexually free, that society cannot exist. It is defeated. When Greek culture became sexually free, Greek civilization had to die. When Roman civilization became sexually free, it had to die. Now America cannot exist anymore. America has begun to be sexually free. The moment a society becomes sexually free, the individual is not in its grip. You cannot force him.

Really, unless you suppress sex you cannot force your youth to war. It is impossible. You can force your youth into war only if you suppress sex. So the hippie slogan is really meaningful: “Make love, not war!” So society has to suppress the deepest instinct. Once it is suppressed, you can never rebel. Many things have to be understood about it.

Children, when they mature sexually, begin to be rebellious – never before. The moment a boy is mature he will begin to be rebellious against his parents, never before – because with sex comes individuality. With sex he really becomes a man, never before. Now he can be independent. Now he has the initial energy with him, because he can propagate, he can reproduce. Now he is complete.

At fourteen, a boy is complete, a girl is complete. They can be independent of their fathers and mothers, so rebellion begins to take shape. If the society has to control them, sex must be suppressed. All instincts have to be suppressed because we have not been able yet to create a society in which freedom is not against all, in which one individual’s freedom is not against all. We have not yet been able!

We are still primitive, not yet civilized, because a society can be called civilized and cultured only when each individual grows to his total potentiality, is not suppressed. But politics will not allow it, religions will not allow it, because once you give total freedom to instinctive nature, then churches and temples and the so-called religious business cannot continue. Religion will be there, more authentic, but religions cannot continue: because if you cannot create fear, then no one will come to this religious business.

People come because of fear; and if you suppress their instincts, they become fearful – fearful of themselves. A child feels existential fear for the first time when his sex is suppressed. He feels guilty. He begins to feel that something is wrong, and he begins to feel also that “No one has this evil that I am having inside. I am guilty.” You create guilt; then you can control. Then he feels inferior inside, afraid. This fear is then exploited by religious heads, by political leadership, because they all want to dominate.

You can dominate only when people are fearful. And how can you create fear? If you can convince them that something which is constantly within them is sin, they will be fearful. They will be fearful! All the time sex will be there, and they will become afraid – afraid of themselves and guilty. They cannot enjoy anything then. Then the whole life becomes a frustration. Then they go on seeking somewhere help, guidance, someone to take away their responsibility, someone to lead them to heaven, someone to protect them from hell.

This third, instinctive layer is the unconscious. The subconscious is controlling it every moment – every moment! And it controls so fanatically that everything is destroyed – or at least distorted. We never feel from the third layer what real instinct is. We never feel! Everything is distorted. From this subconscious mind – the most suppressed, the most distorted, the most destroyed – come all the miseries. All the miseries, all the paranoia, all the schizophrenia, all mental diseases, they come from this third layer.

These three – conscious, subconscious and unconscious – these are the three types of thoughts. The deeper the layer from where the thought comes, the more irrelevant it looks. So if you just write down your thoughts as they happen, you will feel that you are just mad. What is going on in your mind? What type of thinking is going on? Most of it looks irrelevant. It is not! It is relevant, only with missing links – because the subconscious will not allow everything to come up. Something escapes and comes to the mind, and the gaps are there.

That’s why you cannot understand your dreams: because even in dreams the subconscious is always alert not to allow everything, and the unconscious has to try symbolic routes. It has to change everything just to escape the censor of the subconscious. So it goes on giving you messages in symbolic, pictorial forms.

Your mind is flooded: first, with outward reactions and reflections which are natural; second, by subconscious thoughts which have been produced by the society; and third, by instinctive nature which has been suppressed totally. These three constantly flood the mind. And because of these you are constantly wavering – constantly wavering and trembling. You cannot even sleep. Dreams will continue; that means mind will continue wavering. Twenty-four hours a day, the mind is just a mad thing going round and round and round.

In this state of affairs, how can you be still? How can you attain the posture, the non-wavering mind? How can you achieve it? And when the rishi says that non-wavering knowing is the posture – the right posture – he means that unless these layers are broken and the contents released, you will never be in a state of pure knowing. The mind will not be cleansed; you will not attain the purity of perception. So what to do? What to do to achieve this non-wavering knowing?

Three things: one, whenever you are living moment-to-moment, don’t allow your subconscious to interfere constantly. Sometimes, just drop the subconscious and live in the moment. It is not needed. sometimes it is needed. When you are driving, the subconscious is needed, because the skill of driving becomes a part of the subconscious. That’s why you can talk and you can smoke and you can think and you can drive. The driving is now not a conscious effort. It has been taken over by the subconscious. So it is good to use it whenever it is needed, but when it is not needed, just drop it – put it aside! Without any murmur, just put it aside and be in the moment.

There are many moments when the subconscious is not needed, but only because of old habit you go on using it. You have come back from the office and you are sitting in your garden: why should the subconscious come in now? You can listen to the birds just as once you listened when you were a child without a subconscious.

Relax in these moments, and just be there near the reality. Don’t allow your subconscious mind to come in. Just put it aside! Play with children, put the subconscious aside.

A father who cannot play with his children as their equal cannot really be a right father, because no communication is possible unless you are equal to them. A mother cannot really be a mother unless she can become a child again with her child. Then there is a rapport. Then both become equal. Then there is a friendship. Then a different quality of love comes in. So, really, a child never feels independent, free, at liberty with his parents – never! He begins to feel freedom for the first time when he goes to his chums – not with his parents.

So remember constantly that whenever you can relax your subconscious, relax it! It is not needed to be there every moment.

There are many moments, but you will not relax it even in your bed. You have gone to sleep and it is working. You want to sleep and it will not allow you. It says, “I am to do much work.” It goes on thinking; it goes on working. You can put off the light – mm? – that means you stop the first, the peripheral mind. Now there will be no light; you will not be able to see. You can close the doors. Now there will be no noise, no sound. You have completely closed yourself off from outside stimuli. That means now you need not react, so the first layer of the mind is relaxed.

But what to do with the second layer? You put off the light, close the doors, close your ears, close your eyes, but it goes on working – because you have never allowed it not to work. And, really. A man is not the master of his mind unless he achieves this: that when he wants to work with the mind he works; when he doesn’t want to work the mind, he doesn’t. And the second capacity is the greater. […]

It needs only the breaking of an old habit. But you have never tried it. You have used your subconscious constantly; your subconscious mind doesn’t have any memory of when you have allowed it not to work. So the first thing to do is to allow your subconscious mind sometimes to be put aside. Don’t use it, and soon you will have a less wavering mind. You can become capable of this, and it is not difficult. You must only become conscious of your subconscious workings. Don’t allow – just relax sometimes and tell your subconscious mind: “Stop!”

One thing more to remember: never fight with it; otherwise, you will never be capable of this nonwavering. Never fight with it, because when a master begins to fight with his servant, he accepts equality. When a master begins to fight with a servant, he has accepted him as the master. So please remember: never fight with the subconscious mind; otherwise, you will be defeated. Just order it – never fight.

Know the difference – what I mean when I say just order it. Just say to it, “Stop!” and begin to work. Never fight with it! This is a mantra, and the mind begins to follow it. Just say, “Stop!” Nothing more, nothing less. Say, “Stop totally!” and begin to behave as if the mind had stopped. And soon you will become capable, and you will be just wonder-struck at how this mind stops by just saying “Stop!” It is because mind has no will.

You might have seen someone in a hypnotic trance. What happens? In a hypnotic trance, the hypnotist goes on simply giving orders and the mind follows – the man follows. Absurd orders, and the man begins to follow, the hypnotized subject follows them. Why? Because the conscious mind has only been put to sleep, and the subconscious mind has no will of its own. Just tell it to do something and it will do it.

But we are not aware of our own capacity, so rather than ordering we go on begging, or, at the most, we begin to fight. When you fight, you are divided. Your own will begins to fight with you. The subconscious mind has no will at all. So, if you want to stop smoking, don’t try. Just order and stop. Don’t try at all. If you fall in the trap of trying you will never win, because you have accepted something which is not there. You just say to the mind, “Now I stop this very moment,” and soon you will become aware that things begin to happen. It is natural! Nothing is strange about it: it is just natural. Once you have to be aware of it, that’s all. So just put the subconscious mind aside and begin to live in the moment.

Then the second thing you have to do is: when you have become capable of putting the mind aside when something outside is working as a stimulus, then try the other way – when some instinct is coming up, just put the subconscious mind aside. It will be a bit difficult, but when the first thing is achieved it will not be difficult at all. Just see now that again the sex is coming up, the anger is coming up, and just say to the subconscious mind, “Let me face it directly. Don’t come in – let me face it directly! You are not needed.” Just order the mind and face the instinct directly. And once you begin to encounter your own instincts directly, you will be the master without the need of any control.

When you need control, you are really not the master. A master never needs control. If you say, “I can control my anger,” you are not the master – because a controlled thing can erupt any moment, and you will remain constantly in fear of that which you have controlled. There will be a constant fight. In any weak moment you will be defeated. So, please, don’t control. Be a master! – don’t control. These are two completely different dimensions.

When I say be a master, this mastery comes only when you encounter your nature, your biological nature as it is, in its purity. I wonder, have you ever seen your sex in its purity without moral teachings coming in, without the gurus and mahatmas dropping in, without the scriptures? Have you seen your sex instinct in its purity, in its pure fire? If you have seen it, you will become the master of it. If you have not seen it, you will remain a cripple and you will remain a defeated one. And howsoever you try to control, you will never be able to control it. That is impossible!

Control is impossible: mastery is possible. But mastery has a different root. Mastery means knowledge; control means fear. When you fear something, you begin to control. When you know something, you become the master: there is no need to control. And knowledge means direct encounter. Instincts should be known in their purity. Drop the subconscious, because it is a constantly disturbing factor. It goes on distorting things; it will never allow you to see things as they are. It will always put the society in between, and you will see things through the society as they are not.

Really, this is the miracle of the subconscious mind – that if you look through it things begin to be as you see them. The subconscious mind can impose any color, any shape on things. Just put it aside; face your biological nature directly. It is beautiful! It is wonderful! Just face it directly. It is Divine! Don’t allow any moralistic nonsense to distort it. See it as it is.

Science observes things, and the basis of its observation is that the observer must not come in: he must remain just an observer. And whatsoever the thing reveals should be allowed. The observer must not come in to disturb and destroy or distort or give a shape or a color. A scientist is working in his lab: even if something comes up which destroys his whole concept, his whole philosophy, his whole religion, he must not allow his mind to come in. He must allow the truth to be revealed as it is.

The same goes for inner working, inner research: allow your biological nature to reveal itself in its pure being. And once you know it you will be the master – because knowledge means mastery, knowledge means power. Only ignorance is weak. And through control there is no knowledge, because the whole concept of control is brought in by the subconscious, by the society.

So if you can do two things with your subconscious: one, allowing the fact of the outside Existence to come to you directly; and then, two, allowing the “facticity” of the inside Existence to be realized in its purity, in its innocence – then a miracle happens. It is a miracle, and that miracle is this: that subconscious and unconscious drop. Then mind is not divided in three. Then mind becomes one. That oneness of mind, undivided oneness, is what the Upanishads call “the knowing” – because even the knower is not there. When these three divisions have dropped, when even this division of knower is not there, then only pure knowing, only mirrorlike knowing remains.

With this knowing, you have two centers: one, the outside periphery where you unite with the universe; and another, the inside where again you unite with the universe. And this knowing joins both the inner and the outer – the atma and the brahma.

This pure knowing is without any trembling. This pure knowing is the posture, the right posture, in which the Enlightenment happens, the Realization happens, in which you become one with Truth. This is the door – but how to cleanse? It is not simply a theory; it is not a theoretical statement at all. It is just a scientific procedure; it is a process. Do something to dissolve the divisions of the mind. And if you want to dissolve the mind, concentrate on the subconscious, the middle portion of the mind, which is society. Drop it!

It is, of course, necessary for a child to be brought up in a society. It is necessary! So the subconscious is a necessary evil: the society has to teach him many things – but they should not become fetters. That’s why I say that a better society, a real, moral society, will also teach, side by side, how to break this subconscious. A better society will give its children the subconscious with a conscious methodology of how to drop it when it is not needed and how to be free of it.

It is needed up to the point when you become aware, when you achieve an awakened state of mind. Until then it is needed. It is just like a blind man’s staff. A staff cannot substitute for eyes: it is just a groping in the dark. But a blind man needs it, and it is helpful – but a blind man can become so much attached to his staff that when his eyes are healed and he has begun to see, he still cannot throw away his staff, and goes on groping. Because groping is easier when the eyes are closed, he remains with closed eyes and goes on groping with his staff.

This subconscious is like a blind man’s staff. A child is born, but he is not born aware. The society has to give him something so that he can move and grope – some values, some ideals, some thoughts. But they should not become the eyes. And what I am saying is: if you drop the divisions and create more awareness within yourself, you will have eyes, and with those eyes this staff is not needed.

But it is a related thing. If you drop the subconscious, you will become aware; if you become aware then the subconscious will drop. So begin from anywhere. You can begin by being more aware, then the subconscious will drop. Mm? This is a samkhya process, this is a samkhya methodology: just be aware and, by and by, the subconscious will drop. The yoga process is a second way – the other, the contrary: drop the subconscious, and you will become more aware. Both are related.

So wherever you want to begin, the important thing is to begin. Begin from anywhere, either from being more conscious or from being less obsessed with the subconscious. And when these divisions drop, you will have a pure knowing. That pure knowing is the posture. With that pure knowing, with that non-wavering knowing, your body will achieve a stillness you have not known at all.

We are not aware: that’s why we don’t know how disturbed we are in our bodies. You cannot sit still, and if you try to sit still then for the first time you will become aware of subtle movements in the body: the leg will begin to say something, the hand will begin to say something, the neck will begin to say something, every part of the body will begin to give you information. Why? It is not that when you sit still the body begins to move; it is moving every moment. It is only because you are otherwise occupied that you are not aware. There are subtle movements continuously: your body is constantly moving and moving. This constant wavering really doesn’t belong to your body. It belongs to your mind. The body only reflects. […]

A Buddha sits just like a statue. It is not that he has forced his body to be still. The mind is still, and the body need not reflect because there is nothing to reflect.[…]

Unless one can be so silent, one can never feel what Existence means, what life means, what the bliss of it is, the benediction. Only in such silence does life descend. You become aware of the music, of the nectar. You begin to feel it, but only in silence. And that silence comes only when you are non-wavering. If you are wavering, if the mind is just wavering and there is trembling inside, you cannot feel that silence.

You cannot attain silence directly: you have to attain non-wavering, then silence comes as a shadow. If non-wavering comes, then silence comes. […]

Silence never divides, silence joins you.

For example, if we are sitting here and everyone becomes so silent that not a thought has any existence, not a single ripple is there in the mind, everyone silent, totally silent, will you be different from anyone else? Will you be different from your neighbors? How can you be different? The feeling of difference is a thought. Do I mean you will feel one with them? No, because the feeling of oneness is a thought. You will simply be one, not a feeling. Really, there will be no one here – just silence. […]

When you begin to be silent you begin to be in deep communion with Existence. Thoughts and thoughts are noises. Waves and waves are thoughts and tremblings inside. They create a barrier, they disrupt – they make you alone. Then you begin to be alone in this whole universe, and that loneliness creates meaninglessness. The more lonely you are, the more you will feel meaningless, futile, useless, and then you will begin to fill yourself with more noise. With radio, television, with anything, you will try to fill yourself, to be occupied. You run from here to there, from this club to that club. Go on running! Don’t leave any gap in which you might become aware of your loneliness! So this whole life just becomes a running from one point to another. This is madness, and the whole earth has become a madhouse.

So attain to this posture – and don’t begin with the body. Begin with the subconscious mind, and then your body will reflect what is happening within. Even now it is reflecting what is happening within. The body is a mirror; it is transparent. Those who have eyes, they know that the body is transparent. You enter here, and I know what is happening inside you – because you cannot enter without showing it. You look at me, and I know what is happening inside your eyes – because how can you raise your eyes without expressing that which is within? It is being shown every moment!

Every moment is an indication. It is related; nothing is irrelevant. Your body is showing every moment, but you don’t know the body language. The body has a language of its own, and it shows – everything! You cannot deceive. You can deceive with your language. but not with your body – not with your body! You can smile, but your lips will say that there is no smile within. You can show something by your face, you can try, but still the face will give hints that this is false.

This body is just giving information every moment. You cannot change it. You can try, but you cannot change it. And even if you succeed in changing your body, you can succeed only in deceiving others not yourself, because the inside cannot change by the outside change. It is not basic. You can cut a tree by the roots, but not by the leaves. If you cut the leaves, new leaves will come up again and one leaf will be replaced by two. Cut two, and four leaves will come out of that spot. The tree will take revenge, the roots will take revenge. They will say, “You are cutting one leaf – we will put two. We are capable of constantly supplying – infinitely.”

So don’t be bothered by leaves. And body has only leaves: roots are deep within. Cut the roots, and the leaves will wither away by themselves. When there are no roots to feed, the leaves will drop by themselves. Your body will change. Change the mind and the body will change. Mind is the root!

Attain a non-wavering knowing, and the door will be open, and you will be able to have a glimpse into the unknown. The unknown is not far off: only you are closed. The unknown is here, but you are running. The unknown is here, but you are in such a hurry and in such speed that you cannot look at it.

Stand still! I don’t mean your body: let your mind stand still, your consciousness, and suddenly you will become aware of something which has always been there. You have been seeking for it, seeking and searching, lives and lives running for it – and it was here. It is so near, and that’s why you have missed it. It is just by the corner, and you have sought it everywhere except this place where you are standing.

Non-wavering reveals to you the here and now. That standing still in consciousness reveals to you the presence which is here.

-Osho

From The Ultimate Alchemy, V.1, Discourse #5

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

For a related post see Encountering the Unconscious.

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from Osho.com 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 Amazon.com and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from Amazon.in and Oshoworld.com.

A Direct Apperception – Jean Klein

Presence, the now, refers to our eternity. We can never think of it, represent it, because we are it. It is an instantaneous apperception that it refers to our totality. Every step undertaken to find it is going away. It is the ultimate goal in every human being to know it, to be it. It is everlasting peace and joy.

Jean:  Any questions?

Q:        You’ve said that it is only through inquiry, by asking the question, “Who am I?” that we come to know our real nature, ourselves. At what point in a life time does the question really come up? When do we really feel the question?

Jean:  It needs a certain maturity to come to this question. By maturity I mean that you know, in a certain way already, what you are not. This knowing what you are not brings you to the fore feeling what you are. The moment you know what you are not, you are free from all directions, and you are brought back to the starting point which means, “Who am I?” And in this moment, there is no more reference to anything, anything known. And then, I would say, you are taken by reality. There is no more a knower and something known. There is only being the known.

Q:        But how can I ask the question so that it doesn’t remain mental? So that it has real transformative power to change my life? Otherwise, it remains mental repetition, or a mental inquiry. How do I make it a really existential question, living question?

Jean:  When you ask the question, you don’t know the answer. So automatically you find yourself in a state of not knowing. In this state of not knowing, your mind is completely unfurnished. You are free from all representation. It is only in this state of not knowing, in this openness of not knowing, waiting for the eventual known. When the waiting becomes free from what it is waiting for – in this waiting without waiting – there is the living answer.

Q:        What does it mean to be enlightened?

Jean:  It supposes that there is somebody to be enlightened. As long as you take yourself for somebody, you live in darkness. When you realize that the somebody is a mental image, and it is when you think of it and you produce it. Then you give it up. This image has no more a role to play. And in this instantaneous giving up, it gives you up. It produces, I would say, a great laughing. In this laughing, it’s like you will feel yourself free from all representation. You function in daily life and all functions refer to you.

Q:        Many teachers teach different forms of meditation practice. If a person sincerely follows a meditation practice, will that lead him to the consciousness or the non-state that you have referred to?

Jean:  Going to meditation means to find yourself in a laboratory. The entity which looks for peace, joy, security, in other words God, will never find it because our cerebrality can never know what truth really is. So, as long you can find the meditator, meditation is an illusion. And this giving up the meditator and even the meditation, then what remains, I would say, is a current of love. There is not another, only the love.

Q:        But the conditioning to take ourself as a person runs so deeply, don’t we need some kind of technique or process to break ourselves of this identification, to decondition the mind and the body?

Jean:  Every state, every object refers to the now. It appears in the now, and it vanishes in the now. Every technique remains [keeps] you in the realm of the mind, but that can never free yourself from the mind, free from memory. So I would say, see really what is next to you, what is the near to you, look at your nearness. It can never be an object. It can never be a state. You are your nearness. Otherwise, there is conditioning and conditioning. To see it really clearly means wisdom.

Q:        Jean, isn’t this rather confusing for someone who would come to one of your seminars and find that there is meditation. There is bodywork, an advaita yoga you might say, where we are working with sensation and feeling the energy body. All of which ultimately have to be objects. All of which are existent and not eternal. What do they have to do with this nearness, this presence you are speaking of?

Jean:  We are working with objects, sensation, feelings, but really, we don’t know this original perceptions, original feelings. We know only a certain pattern. In this session, you become familiar with listening, listening to your sensation, to your feelings, your reactions, resistance. In this listening, you give the feeling, the sensations, the opportunity to unfold itself in the observation. It comes to a new reorchestration of your feelings and sensations. This unfolding is only possible because you are open to it, you welcome it. Now welcoming is an idea, but really with your whole being being open to it, what refers to your totality. You realize that it isn’t you, that you are not in the body, in the perception, in the feeling.

Sometimes we use certain techniques, which generally are used in a progressive way, but it is only occasionally. It is the idea behind that which we are looking for – we are it fundamentally – because in the end all things appear in the now, and it has its reality in the now. It is the now which gives the perceptions, the apperceivings, its reality. I would say, only then we have a certain reality. We have an expanded reality, but at the end, it belongs to the now, to the present. All what appears is a prolongation, an expansion, of the now, of consciousness, of awareness.

So, it brings you back, in other words, to your real nature, because all that is done emphasizes not on the object part but on the ultimate subject part, consciousness.

Q:        This listening that you speak of, is this an integral part of being or is it an attribute, a way toward being?

Jean:  The listening of which you are speaking is free from all memory. There are no expectations. There is no goal. In this listening we are looking away from the goal, looking away from the target. So it is unconditioned listening. In listening, the listening is open to itself. It refers to itself. And at the end, it knows itself by itself.

Q:        You said that all objects point to our true nature or the background, do some objects point more directly, and just what do you mean by this?

Jean:  All objects point where [toward] your real nature, but then? When? you see nearer an object the smallest sense perceptions. It belongs to our five senses. So generally, when the mind is not informed that you are behind all sense perceptions, then you are more or less fixed to the sense perceptions. So your question, is there other form of objects which reveals your real nature, I would say these are objects which point directly to beauty. This means these are objects which have been conceived, produced in beauty, and these objects, the artist which offers it to you in a certain way, don’t emphasize the object part what is producing. It is why he produced it in a very economic way. He frees the object of its objectivity. So the listener, or the person who looks at it, may be free from the senses and brought back to real beauty.

The artist has from time to time, this feeling of absolute beauty, free from the person. And then this state, free from the person, the artist likes, I would say, to thank – thanking to be allowed to be. And this thanking brings him to offering. He offers it. And the object which he offers is free from any anecdotic part, and free from keeping it for the senses. So in a certain way, he shares his inner beauty. His beauty is your own beauty and oneness. It is so in listening to music, and it is also looking at any art objects – sculpture, painting, architecture, and so on.

Q:        In this enlightened non-state, what about feelings and emotions? Do you feel anger or happiness and joy in the same way or is there a difference?

Jean:  When you are established in the now, the present, there is no place for somebody who reacts, who resists. All what appears to you, appears to your totality. All counterparts – positive, negative – are, I would say, abolished. You may say certain things appearing in your life are not completely appropriate. That is sure, but there would not be a reaction. When you qualify it, it is more or less; it is not functional, but you are not more psychologically involved in it.

Q:        Jean, I would like to ask a question about relationships. When two people come together, like a man and a woman, and live with each other, and one of them is interested in this kind of approach to life and the other perhaps isn’t, it is often a lot of ground for conflict, which has led me to feel sometimes that it might be better if I were living alone. It might be somehow easier to accomplish this kind of awakening. And I wondered what you had to say about that?

Jean:  It is love which brought both together. And it is in this oneness that the personality of each unfolds, but both personalities refer to oneness, to love. When the personality of the woman, of the man don’t refer to the oneness, to love, you can be sure there is a kind of degeneration because the personality, the character, or what you call the individual, has its reality in this oneness, in love. It is so on every level. Every activity in its own level refers to this oneness. Otherwise, there is a moment, there is no more stimulation. It is this oneness which gives life to all activities. The moment we believe in this restricted being, of personality to personality, of man and woman, then you can be sure there is not only a kind of degeneration in its form of energy, but there is constant comparison because the personality is completely insecure, looks for security, for the moment that doesn’t refer to the oneness. There is only asking, demanding. So, you must refer to the original encounter, you as a man with a woman which means love.

Q:        Jean, you just mentioned referring to the oneness. I notice that when I experience fear, I identify almost totally with my body and biological survival. How can I break that restricted identification when I am in that state?

Jean:  Fear is first a perception. You feel fear. And then feeling, you qualify it. You name it; you say “fear”. But the word fear is memory refers to a certain pattern that you have, the notion that you mean by fear. So the idea of fear doesn’t refer to the actual fear, the actual perception. So pedagogically I would say, free yourself from the concept fear then you face really the perception which is localized in your body.

See in this moment how you function. You try to change the fear. You try to escape. You try by all means to refuse it. In the refusing, in the escaping, you give more or less fuel to the fear. When you see it really, there is a moment natural that you allow the fear to be fear. And it becomes energy – really energy alive. You accept it completely. It is not psychological acceptance, but it is functional acceptance – accepted to know it more and more deeply. Then the perception refers completely to your accepting. It is in this accepting position that what you accept frees itself; and it dissolves in you, in your presence. It reveals really what you are profoundly.

Live with the fear more and more deeply. Accept it. Even love it. You are not more bound it. When you are not more bound to it, when you are not more involved in it, it frees itself. It is a reaction. But in accepting it you will come completely through the fear. You remain completely a witness to it. It vanishes in your witnessing. It means intimate living. You are able to do it.

Q:        Jean, this question has probably come up many, many times, but it is the issue of money and our desire for it, and how we use it, and our feeling that it is going to provide security for us. Could you speak about the issue of money and our proper relationship to it.

Jean:  I have observed that many people have a wrong relationship with money. First, I would say that you are not the owner of your money. You are the administrator. And being an administrator of your money, you are detached in a certain way. You have a non-relation with your money because an ownership is avidity, a striving, a coming. An administrator is only functioning. Try functioning with your money and spending it and then earning it.

The first thing what I think is that you are completely emotional, psychologically involved with your money. It is generally when you take your money for [as] yourself, an expansion of yourself, belonging to yourself, that you will have a bad death. You will only dying [die] but never really dying [die]. It is your money which keeps you from dying. Many people take risk with your [their] body and mind, but they would never take risk with the money, for money is something which keeps you. Owns you. Lets you never go. Because there is a moment in life that they have to go. But what is important [is] that when you be really [are] an administrator of your money, the distribution and the earning become really functional. It’s been coming to you because somebody has spent it.

Apparently, I don’t see that you spending money [is] an augury. The question may be more or less the mind. (Soft laughter.)

Q:        Thank you.

(More laughter.)

Jean:  I think in daily life you should come often back to the starting point and the starting point you can never think of it because the moment you think of the starting point the point is already in the past. The starting point is the presence, the eternal now. All flows out from the now, and all appears and disappears in the now. And the now is a kind of original perception. It is a direct apperception; you know yourself in your totality. There is not a knower there is only known.

-Jean Klein

From Dialogues with Jean Klein, Part 1

Here you can read more from Jean Klein.

Here you can listen to A Direct Apperception (Dialogues with Jean Klean part 1).

Here you can listen to Dialogues with Jean Klein part 2.

Here you can watch the videos of the Dialogues with Jean Klein on YouTube.

Here Ends this Upanishad – Osho

By listening to these above teachings, the disciple attained knowledge and he exclaimed, “Whither has that world gone? Whither has gone that world I have just seen? Who did it take away? And in what way has it dissolved? Is it not immensely astonishing that it is not?

What have I now to renounce in this great oceanlike brahman, which is whole and full of a nectar of bliss? What is the other? What is more unique? Here, I do not even see anything. I do not even hear anything, and I do not even know anything, because I am the ever-blissful self.

I am unique.
I can be compared to none.
I can be compared only to myself.
I am absolutely alone, without body.
I cannot be indicated.
No symbol can represent me.
I am the supreme god Hari.
I am immeasurably silent.
I am the infinite, absolute, and the most ancient.
I am not the doer.
I am not the one who indulges.
I am without growth.
I am the imperishable.
I am already pure and knowledge itself.
I am the Sadashiv, the eternally good.”

This knowledge was transmitted by the guru to his disciple, Apantaram, who in his turn transmitted it to Brahma. Brahma gave it to Ghora Angirasa, and the latter to Raikwa. Raikwa gave it to Rama, and Rama gave it to all of humanity.

This is the teaching of nirvana, of knowledge, Veda. It is ordained by the Veda itself.

Here ends this Upanishad.

-Adhyatma Upanishad

By listening to these above teachings, the disciple attained knowledge and he exclaimed, “Whither has that world gone? Whither has gone that world I have just seen? Who did it take away? And in what way has it dissolved? Is it not immensely astonishing that it is not?

This is a very unique happening. The teacher was saying that this world is just a dream, and unless this dream ceases, the world of reality, the world of truth cannot be attained. “Cease dreaming and enter the world of reality,” he was teaching. And he would never have imagined that just by listening to this, the disciple attained to knowledge. How can it happen? It is not happening to us. We have heard it also; it has not happened to us. Why? And why could this happen to that disciple? What is the difference? You are listening, but that listening is not of the heart.

You are listening, but that listening is not total.

You are listening, but you go on standing outside.

Only the mechanical part of your ears hears it. Or at the most, the mechanical part of your mind thinks about it, but the heart remains untouched. You go on protecting your heart from the teaching. You are afraid that if this teaching goes deep into your heart, you will not be the same again. And then you will be thrown into insecurity; you will be thrown into the unknown – and everyone is afraid of the unknown. That fear becomes a barrier.

Unless you are ready to go into the unknown, to move into the unchartered, to move in a world where you do not know anything . . . insecurity will be there, you will be vulnerable; danger will be there, even death. Unless you are ready to take a jump into the unknown, this teaching cannot become a deep happening for you.

But to this disciple it happened. He heard it; he must have heard it through his heart. He must have heard it through his total being; he must have become one while the teaching was being delivered. The teacher and the taught must have felt a deep communion. The teacher must have gone deep into the disciple’s heart through his teaching.

The disciple was ready and receptive. He never doubted; he simply believed – there was no question.

The whole Upanishad is without a question, there is no question, no questioning at all. The disciple remains completely silent through the whole discourse. Only in the end do we suddenly become aware that there has been a disciple present. The teacher was talking, the teacher was giving his message, but we were never aware that a disciple was there. Suddenly we become aware in this last part of the Upanishad, when the disciple says, “Whither has gone that world I have just seen? Where is that world? When I came to you, there was a world around me. Now I look and there is no world to be found. Where has it gone? It is immensely astonishing. You were teaching me that the world is not, and now I see that it is not!”

What has happened to the disciple? Now he is looking from a new standpoint; now he is looking from a deeper center. Now he is looking really, from his being. When you look from your being, the world of becoming disappears like a dream.

That’s how I started this commentary on the Upanishad. When we live on the circumference, then the world is real. When we move towards the center, the world becomes more and more unreal. When you stand at your center, when you are centered in yourself, the world completely disappears. What have I now to renounce in this great oceanlike brahman, which is whole and full of nectar of bliss? What is the other? What is more unique?

The disciple is just shocked – what has happened to the world? When for the first time one explodes into that realm of the divine, the first thing is a shock – the world disappears.

And when the world disappears suddenly, you cannot face, you cannot see the other world that arises. The curtain falls, the barriers fall, but your mind has been always attuned to this world of ignorance, of dream. When this dissolves suddenly, you cannot become aware of the other world that is now before you.

Your eyes will need a new attunement; your consciousness will need a new way of looking. Now you will need a new dimension, a new opening in you. Only then you will feel that although the world has disappeared, a new existence has come up and has appeared: Here, I do not even see anything. I do not even hear anything, and I do not even know anything . . .

All old knowledge has become futile. All old ways of seeing have become futile. All the senses have become futile, because they were meaningful only when the world was there – but the world of senses has disappeared, senses have become useless: “I cannot see, I cannot hear, I do not know; because all my knowledge was concerned with the world.”

Whatsoever you know is concerned with the world If the world disappears, what will be the difference between a learned man and one who is ignorant? What will be the difference? No difference – if the world disappears, then the learned will be just like any ignorant man, because all your learning is concerned with the world. So the disciple says: I do not even know anything . . . only this much I know: I am the ever-blissful self . . . unique. I can be compared to none. I can be compared only to myself . . . I am like myself; only this much I know.

The knowledge of a Mahavira, the knowledge of a Buddha, or a Jesus, or a Krishna, is not the knowledge of a learned man. They do not know anything about the world; they know only about their own selves.

Mahavira has said that if you can know your own self, you have known all; and if you know everything except yourself, you know nothing.

They know about their own central force, energy, life. They know about their own inner being, and they do not know anything about the world, because the whole world has disappeared. They know only one thing, that I am the ever-blissful self.

When you know about the world, you know many, many anxieties, you know anguish, you know tensions, you know misery. When you know many things about the world, the misery goes on growing with your knowledge. The more you know, the more miserable you are. We can observe this all over the world. Now, for the first time, we have gathered great knowledge – not only have we gathered, we have dispersed it to everyone through universal teaching, education. And now every man is miserable, and the misery keeps growing. On the one hand, knowledge grows, on the other hand, misery grows.

What is happening? This seems quite inconceivable, because if with knowledge misery grows, then for what is this knowledge? Knowledge of the without goes deeper and deeper, but then misery also goes deeper and deeper.

There is another knowledge also, that this Upanishad is talking about – the knowledge of the inner self. With the knowledge of the inner self, blissfulness grows. So this is just an indication: if you are becoming more and more blissful, know that you are growing in inner knowledge. If you are becoming more and more miserable, know that you are growing in outer knowledge.

The biblical story is beautiful:

Adam was expelled from Eden because he disobeyed God. And what was the disobedience? The disobedience was this: God has forbidden Adam and Eve . . . he has said to them that they are not to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge. In the Garden of Eden in heaven, there was a tree, the tree of knowledge, and God has forbidden Adam and Eve to touch that tree, to eat the fruit of that tree. But because of this, Adam and Eve must have become attracted to the tree.

The garden was big and there was only one tree of knowledge. But because of this order, they rebelled. And when they ate the fruit of the tree of knowledge they were expelled from Eden.

This story is beautiful. They were expelled because of knowledge, and man is continuously being expelled from Eden because of knowledge. The more you know, the more heaven becomes just impossible, and hell the only possibility. But there is another tree also in the Garden of Eden. It is not mentioned in The Bible, but I will tell you about it. That tree is the tree of inner knowledge, and unless you eat the fruit of that tree you can never enter again into heaven.

There are two types of knowledge: knowledge of things and knowledge of self. The devil tempted Adam and Eve to eat the fruit of the forbidden tree of knowledge – and the Upanishads tempt you to eat the fruit of the other tree of knowledge. Unless you enter yourself, and eat the fruit of inner knowledge, you cannot be redeemed; you cannot be liberated, you cannot become free. And you can never be blissful.

I am absolutely alone, without body.
I cannot be indicated.
No symbol can represent me.
I am the supreme god Hari.
I am immeasurably silent.
I am the infinite, absolute, and the most ancient.
I am not the doer.
I am not the one who indulges.
I am without growth.
I am the imperishable.
I am already pure and knowledge itself.
I am the Sadashiv, the eternally good.

The disciple tells his teacher his own experience now. The teacher was telling the disciple his experience; the disciple is not saying, “I am convinced now that whatsoever you say is true,” or “I am convinced a little bit, and later on I will think more about it”; nor “Whatsoever you say must be true, because you are a reliable man.” No, he simply tells his own experience. He has not even mentioned it, that “Whatsoever you have taught me is true.” No reference is made to the teaching at all. He simply says, “Now this is my experience: I am the divine, I am Hari. I am immeasurably silent. I am absolute, infinite.” He has attained to experience. This is not a conversion, intellectual; it is a transformation.

This knowledge was transmitted by the guru to his disciple, Apantaram, who in his turn transmitted it to Brahma. Brahma gave it to Ghora Angirasa, and the latter to Raikwa. Raikwa gave it to Rama, and Rama gave it to all of humanity. This is the teaching of nirvan, of knowledge, of the Veda. It is ordained by the Veda itself.

Here ends this Upanishad.

This last paragraph, last sutra, has to be understood:

Knowledge of the absolute is eternal.

It is never new, never old.

It is not a growing body of knowledge.

Science grows; religion is eternal.

Science goes on growing, increasing. No scientific truth is absolute; it is relative. And no scientific truth can be called really a truth, because it is always more or less approximate. Time will change it, time always changes it. Whatsoever Newton said is no longer true; even what Einstein said is now doubtful.

Time changes science, but time never changes religion. Why? – because the religious experience is attained only when you enter a timeless moment. When you enter in yourself and time stops completely – no flow of time is there . . . no past, no present, no future; time stops completely – you are here and now. Only this moment remains, and this moment becomes eternal. In timelessness, religious experience is attained; that’s why time never alters it.

This sutra says that whatsoever is taught in this Upanishad is not something new, it is not original. Our modern world is too obsessed with originality. People go on saying, and trying, and proving that whatsoever is said is original. Particularly in the West, every thinker tries to prove that he is original, that whatsoever he is saying, no one has ever said before. Unless a theory can be proved original it is never appreciated in the West. If someone else has already said it then what is the use? Then what are you doing wasting your time? So everyone tries to be original.

But originality is impossible as far as religion is concerned. As far as science is concerned, originality is possible. In science there are old truths dying, new truths being born. Science is relative, growing. But in religion there can be nothing original. In religion everything is eternal. Whatsoever a buddha says will be said always by anyone who becomes enlightened, who becomes a buddha. Language may differ, terminology may be different, but the experience can never be different.

So in the old India, in the East, it was a tradition always: whenever someone would say something, he would say, “I am not the originator of it. I have also attained to it, but before me it was given by A to B, by B to C, by C to D – it is an eternal message.” When one thinks and says, “I am original,” this is an egoistic standpoint. The ego always tries to be original; only then it feels strengthened. But these teachings are not ego teachings, ego oriented; they are egoless teachings. Those who had attained to egolessness have said them. That’s why this sutra:

This knowledge was transmitted by the guru to his disciple, Apantaram, who in his turn transmitted it to Brahma. Brahma gave it to Ghora Angirasa, and the latter to Raikwa. Raikwa gave it to Rama, and Rama gave it to all of humanity.

Here ends this Upanishad.

The scripture ends here but not the journey. For you, really, now begins the journey. The Upanishad ends, your journey begins.

-Osho

From That Art Thou, Discourse #51

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from Osho.com  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 Amazon.com and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from Amazon.in and Oshoworld.com.

The Jivanmukta Lives in this Silence – Osho

One who does not ever discriminate through intellect between the individual self and the supreme self on the one hand, and between the supreme and the universe on the other, is called a jivanmukta.

One who treats equally both the noble person who does him honor and the ignoble who offends him is called a jivanmukta.

The world does not remain the same as before for one who has known the supreme; therefore, if one sees the world as the same, he should be taken for one who has not attained the knowledge, and who is still extrovert.

So far as the experience of happiness, sorrow, et cetera, is concerned, it is assumed to be due to prabdhakarma – that is the predestined cause-effect chain – because every effect flows from the cause of action. There is no effect anyway without the cause. As upon waking, the effect of dreaming ends, so also upon the attainment of knowledge that “I am the supreme,” the accumulated karmas, conditionings of millions of births, become extinct.

-Adhyatma Upanishad

One who does not ever discriminate through intellect between the individual self and the supreme self, and between the supreme and the universe, is called a jivanmukta.

Some more qualities of a jivanmukta; something more about the state of mind of a jivanmukta, of the state of consciousness.

The first: there is no division. He sees the whole world as an organic unity, there is no division. Things are not divided; the whole universe is one. He sees the unity. The diversity is there, but the diversity is just on the surface; a jivanmukta sees the unity behind it. Every diversity is just a hidden unity. Why? Why do we divide? – and a jivanmukta never divides.

It is because of the intellect, the medium of intellect. If you look through the intellect, everything is divided immediately. Intellect is the instrument to divide, to analyze. For example, you see light, you see darkness, you see birth, you see death. Birth and death in existence are one; birth is death, two poles of one process. If you are born you are on the journey to die. The whole of your life is nothing but a gradual process of dying. But the mind divides; mind says birth is good, death is bad. Mind says life is good, death is bad. But death is part of life, life is part of death – they cannot be divided.

Have you ever seen anything alive which is not also dying simultaneously? A flower has come up, has opened its petals. This opening of the petals – can you see it as a process of death? The flower is alive, young, but it is dying already. The evening will come and the petals will wither away. And the withering of petals is really nothing but the conclusion; in the morning the process began, the petals opened. The very opening in the morning will become withering in the evening; the petals will wither away.

So where do you divide? Where is the line where you can say that the flower was alive, and when the flower started to die? Is there any distinction? Can we mark a boundary that up to this point the flower was alive, in the process of more and more life, and from this point the flower started to die? No, there is no possibility of division.

Birth and death is a continuous process. One pole is birth, another pole is death. But mind, intellect, thinking, divides. Mind says birth is good, celebrate it; death is bad, weep over it. And the same goes on; the whole of life becomes a division between things which are not divided. Because of this division we live in a false world, a mind-created world. You say this is love and this is hate, and this is religion and that is irreligion, and this is sin and that is virtue – all divisions, on all layers, on all planes, are through the mind.

Put aside the mind and look at life, and then everything is one: then life and death are one, then darkness and light are one, then love and hate are one.

A jivanmukta never divides because a jivanmukta looks at life without the mind coming in, interfering. Can you look without the mind, even for a single moment? Try it. It is one of the most arduous things, but if possible, the most beautiful. Look at a flower and don’t allow the mind to come in between you and the flower. But the mind comes immediately – you have not even seen really, and the mind says, “This is a rose – beautiful, red,” and the desire to possess it, to pluck it, arises. The mind starts functioning. The flower is there and the cloud of mind comes in, and you look through the mind. Don’t allow this.

Look at the flower. Don’t let your mind say, “This is a flower. This is a rose.” Just look.

Stop the mind and just look.

Don’t allow the mind. Don’t move, and don’t allow the mind any movement; just look. Become a stare. Let your whole consciousness flow from your eyes, and don’t allow the mind to create any cloud between you and the flower. Then what happens? If you go on trying . . .

This is a meditation – a meditation based on non-verbalization. Don’t verbalize, let the flower be there. Observe it, be a witness to it, but don’t verbalize the experience. Don’t translate it into language. The rose is there – red, alive. Feel it, see it, remain with it. But don’t allow the mind to come in and say something – “This is beautiful,” or something else. It is difficult in the beginning, but if you go on trying, sometimes for seconds there will be no language. The flower will be there in all its beauty, in all its aliveness, youngness, but with no name, with no linguistic concept attached to it. The rose has never known that it is a rose; it is you who have called it a rose.

A rose is a rose without ever being aware of being a rose. The name is given by your mind. The rose is simply a rose without knowing whether it is beautiful or ugly – you have called it so. If there is no mind in the world, the rose will be there but it will not be a rose, it will not be a beautiful flower; it will be just existence flowering with no name attached to it – no verbalization, no language, no valuation. It will flower. It will be just the same, simple existence. If you don’t verbalize you will come to be acquainted with the flower as it is, without human interpretation. And when the mind is not there, for a single moment there is a breakthrough. The rose is there, you are here; and if the mind is not there to divide you, if the mind has dropped, suddenly you become one with the rose.

I don’t mean that you become a rose. It will be very difficult then to become a human being again. I don’t mean that you become a rose. You remain whatsoever you are, and the rose remains whatsoever the rose is – but suddenly there is a communion, a meeting. Your consciousness moves directly, with no hindrance, and the rose also moves, comes nearer. You become close and intimate, and the flower enters you; the doors are open, and you enter the flower. The doors of the flower are always open, there is no mind to close them – but when your doors open, the flower moves in you, and you move in the flower, and there is a constant harmony. The flower contributes, you also contribute, and there is a meeting.

That meeting can become a glimpse into the cosmos, because a flower is not just a flower. It is the whole cosmos grown into a flower, the whole cosmos becomes a flower. You are also not just a human being – the whole cosmos has become consciousness in you; that too is a flowering. And when these two flowerings meet, that meeting is ecstatic, blissful. And through that meeting you for the first time become aware of a non-verbal existence.

Man has created verbalization, man has created language, man has created mental concepts. They all drop, and the whole of existence becomes a deep silence, a no-music.

The jivanmukta lives in this no-music. The jivanmukta lives in this silence. The jivanmukta lives without mind. It seems absurd – how can one live without mind? Then he will go mad . . .

So the last point to be remembered is never think that a madman has no mind. Really, a madman has a very fixed mind, solid. A madman has really more mind than you, that’s why he has gone mad; too much mind has created the whole mess.

A madman and a jivanmukta are poles apart. The madman is too much mind; a jivanmukta is no mind, and we are in between somewhere. And we go on moving – sometimes we reach the madman, sometimes we have the glimpse of a jivanmukta. At any moment you can become mad. In anger you become temporarily mad, in sex you become temporarily mad – any moment you can become a madman, but fortunately you can come back. If you cannot come back, and become fixed in the extreme, you become mad.

So the madman is not without a mind; rather, he is with too much or with many minds – multi-minds. He is a crowd of minds. And a jivanmukta is just the opposite pole: no mind. That doesn’t mean that he cannot think. Really, on the contrary, only a jivanmukta can think; you cannot think. What is the difference? Thoughts go on in you, thinking is an obsession with you. You are not the master. Thoughts go on and on, you cannot stop them. You cannot say, “Don’t come,” you cannot say, “Now I want to relax, no more thoughts.” Whatsoever you say they are not going to listen to you; rather, if you disturb them they become more mad. If you say, “Don’t come,” they come more.

Try with a single thought: try to forget it, and you cannot forget it. Try to stop it, and it will haunt you. It will go on and on, and it will defeat you; you are not the master. You cannot think; just this mad crowd of thoughts, and you think that you think – you cannot think. Only a jivanmukta can think, because thoughts are not his masters. He uses thoughts just like you use your legs. When you want to walk, you use them; when you don’t want to walk, the legs are relaxed, non-moving. But think of a man who says to his legs, “Please, now stop,” and they go on moving! They say, “We cannot stop. Who are you to stop us?” Then we will say that the legs have gone mad. Your mind is like that. You say, “Stop and it never stops. You say, “Think over this,” and it goes on to think of something else. Try, and you will know your mind is not your slave.

So it is better to say that your mind thinks you, not that you think with your mind. Your mind possesses you, it is not you who are in possession of the mind. A jivanmukta uses his mind just like you use your legs: when he wants to, he thinks – and he thinks whatsoever he wants. If he never wants to think he remains quiet, silent; there is no mind inside.

When this mind is not there constantly, you come into contact with brahman, and then you know tat twamasithat art thou Without the mind there is no division; then the self inside becomes the supreme. When there is no division, the self and the supreme are one, one wave of existence.

Your self is nothing but the supreme come down to your body, resting in you – your body has been taken as an abode. Your body is just a host and the supreme has become a guest in you.

-Osho

From That Art Thou, Discourse #47

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from Osho.com  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 Amazon.com and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from Amazon.in and Oshoworld.com.

Samyak Smriti, Right Remembering – Osho

Prarbdhakarma fulfills itself only when one identifies the self with the body, but it is no good identifying with the body. Who wants to sever this identification and free himself of prarbdhakarma, illusion of the body, is the basis for the projection of prarbdhakarma.

But that which is projected or imagined by illusion can never be real. And how can it arise or manifest if it is not real? And how can it be destroyed if it is not manifested? How can the false, the unreal have the bondage of conditioning?

-Adhyatma Upanishad

This body is the result of ignorance and knowledge destroys it fully. Ignorance then raises doubt as to how this body exists even after realization. To remove this doubt of the ignorant, the scriptures have ordained the concept of prarbdha externally.

In reality there is neither body nor prarbdha.

This sutra is very strange, but very true. To understand this sutra is to understand many, many things about scriptures, about teachers, about masters, methods, techniques, doctrines.

This sutra says that in reality there is no world, in reality there is no suffering; in reality, whatsoever you feel and know is not – but in reality, remember. As far as you are concerned, it is real.

As far as you are concerned, it is real.

We should try to understand it through dream, because the Eastern mind has been very much fascinated by the reality of dream. And this sutra can be understood only through dream.

You are dreaming. While dreaming you can never doubt that the dream is a dream. While dreaming, the dream is true, real, as real as any reality – even more real. Why do I say even more real? I say this because when you get up in the morning, you can remember your dream – but when you go into sleep you cannot remember what has happened, what was happening when you were awake. This is a rare phenomenon. In dream you forget your so-called reality completely.

You cannot remember that you are a doctor in the day while you are awake, or an engineer, or a minister. You cannot remember in your dream the facts of the day, when you were awake. The whole reality, the so-called reality of the day is completely washed away by the dream – it seems more powerful. But in the morning when you get up, when sleep has gone, you can remember your dream. It means the reality of your day is not strong enough to completely wash away the reality of the dream. In dream you forget your day completely, but in your day, in your waking state of mind, you can remember your dreams. Dreams appear to be more real – that’s why I say “even more real.”

In dream you can never doubt that whatsoever you are seeing is unreal or real; it IS real, it is felt to be authentically real. Why? Why does dream appear so real? – and this is not your first experience. You have been dreaming for your whole life, and every day in the morning you have come to know that the dream was unreal. Yet, when you go to sleep tonight and dream, you will not remember your whole life’s experience, that dreams are unreal. Again, you will fall into the illusion, and you will feel the dreams as real. In the morning again you will repeat that “it was just a dream, nothing real.” What is happening? So much experience of dreaming, still the dream remains real. Why? – because really, anything becomes real if you are absent.

Your absence gives reality to false things.

In the dream you cannot remember yourself – so whatsoever passes in front of your eyes becomes real because you are not. You are so unreal that anything can be felt as real. If you can remember yourself in the dream, the dream will drop; it will cease immediately.

Gurdjieff used to give this technique to his disciples: to remember themselves continuously. In the day go on remembering “I am, I am.” Do whatsoever you are doing but continuously make it a point to remember “I am” – not verbally, feel it – “I am.” Eating, go on eating, and simultaneously feel “I am.” Remember “I am.” You are walking, go on walking; remember “I am.” This Gurdjieff called “self-remembering.” Buddha has called it “right remembering” – samyak smriti.

Go on remembering – “I am.” If this feeling of “I am” goes deep, it will follow you in sleep also. And when there is a dream, you will remember – “I am.” Suddenly the dream will stop: if you are, then there can be no dream.

This is just to explain to you a greater truth: in this life, the world is because we are not. This is the Upanishad’s basic teaching. In this world, the world is, everything is – you are not. Only you are not; everything is.

That’s why you cannot feel whether it is real or unreal. Remember yourself, be centered in yourself, be conscious, aware. And as you become more intensely aware, you will feel simultaneously that the world is dropping its reality and is changing into a dream. When you become aware totally, the world becomes a dream. This means, if you are real, then whatsoever you experience is a dream – whatsoever, I say – if you are authentically real, conscious, alert, then all your experiences are dreams.

If you are unaware of yourself, then your own reality is projected onto the dreams, then your own reality is transferred to the dreams. Your own existence is transferred to dreams and experiences and thoughts, and they become real. They have a borrowed reality; your own reality has gone to them. They are not real.

For example, look in a mirror. Your face is there in the mirror; it looks real – it is not. It is just a borrowed reality; it is not real at all. You are real, the mirror reflection is just a dream. Forget yourself completely – as it happens particularly with women; they forget themselves completely – and the mirror figure becomes more real. Look at a woman looking into the mirror, observe her. What happens? She is no more – only the mirror is, and the mirror-woman has become real. She has completely forgotten herself. The mind is doing the same.

The world is just a mirror.

You have forgotten yourself, and the reflection has become real.

This is a borrowed reality.

Remember yourself!

Do it with a mirror and you will come to a deep realization. Do it with a mirror: gaze constantly into the mirror, gaze in your eyes reflected in the mirror continuously, for thirty minutes, forty minutes. Go on staring, and constantly go on remembering, “I am real. This is a reflection. This which is mirrored is reflection. I am real, not this reflection.” Go on remembering inside, “I am, I am, I am,” and go on staring into the eyes of the reflected figure – your own figure. Suddenly – any moment this can happen – the reflection will disappear. Suddenly the mirror will be vacant. It is a very strange experience when suddenly you are in front of the mirror, and the face has disappeared and the mirror is vacant. Why does it happen? If you go on remembering “I am, I am,” and this remembering becomes authentic, then the borrowed reality comes back to you and the mirror becomes vacant.

Even for a single moment if you can see the mirror as vacant – no face, nothing reflected – you will feel a sudden upsurge of reality in you. For the first time you may become aware that you are.

This same thing happens with the world when someone becomes a witnessing self. One day, this explosion comes to him – the whole world disappears, the whole world becomes just vacant; only I am, and the whole world has disappeared as if it was never there. This experience is the ultimate. Again, the mirror will reflect your face, but now you know it is just a reflection. Again, the world will come – for one moment you will see the world has disappeared, and again the world will be there – but now it will never be real again. It will be just a dream world, and all the figures will be dream figures. It will be a great drama.

But when you know it as a drama, a pseudo phenomenon, you are freed from it. Then there is no clinging, and then there is no slavery, no bondage.

-Osho

From That Art Thou, Discourse #49

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from Osho.com  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 Amazon.com and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from Amazon.in and Oshoworld.com.

 

It Remains in its Suchness – Osho

The yogi, being alone and indifferent like the sky, does not even in the least attach himself with the future.

Even as the ether inside a wine jar remains untouched by the smell of wine, so the self, even in association with its covering, remains uncontaminated by its nature.

As the arrow aimed at its target cannot but hit it after it has left the bow, so the karmas performed before the advent of knowledge will yield its fruit, even after one has attained knowledge. It implies that the fruits of karma done before realization have to be lived out.

As the arrow shot at a tiger cannot be stopped upon learning that it is a cow and not a tiger, but rather goes forth and hits its object just as forcefully.

So the action performed yields its fruits even after knowledge has been attained. One who knows his self as ever young and deathless also remains so.

How could he even have an imagination of the bondage due to past conditions? It means that there is no relationship between the sage and his past conditionings.

-Adhyatma Upanishad

Some very significant and beautiful definitions about the ultimate experience . . .

The first thing to know about the ultimate experience is that it cannot be called an experience, because experience implies the experiencer and the experienced – the subject and the object. But the ultimate experience is absolutely undifferentiated, undivided. The experiencer is the experienced, the observer is the observed, the knower is the known, the lover is the beloved – there are not two; only one remains.

About this one who remains, this sutra says that one is like space, like sky – vacant, empty, yet full, fulfilled; yet whole.

Look at the sky: Sky is just emptiness, but everything exists in the sky. It cannot exist otherwise because to exist you need space, emptiness. So emptiness surrounds the whole existence. Existence comes out of this emptiness and again drops this emptiness – and this emptiness remains untouched, unaffected.

Observe the sky in the rainy days: Clouds come; the whole sky just disappears behind the clouds. You cannot even imagine where the sky has gone. It has gone nowhere; the clouds will rain and disappear, and the same sky will be there. It was always there; even when there were clouds the sky was there in its total emptiness. Clouds cannot disturb it, and clouds cannot affect it – they come and go and the sky remains the same.

It remains in its suchness, in its tathata.

This word “suchness” is to be understood deeply. What do I mean when I say the sky remains in its suchness? It remains in its nature, unchanged by anything that happens in it. It is just like a mirror: The mirror remains untouched in its suchness, in its mirroring – fresh, young, never old. Whatsoever happens before the mirror, whatsoever is reflected in the mirror, comes and goes; the mirror remains unscarred, the mirror remains eternally virgin. This is what is meant by sky. Sky is the eternal virgin. The virginity is never broken, the sky remains unmarried to anything, untouched. Everything happens in it and yet nothing happens to it.

The same sky is within you also. Without, there is space; within also, there is space. Space is everywhere. The space within is known as your self, and the space without is known as the supreme self. The body is just a material barrier – and it is porous, so the outer sky goes on coming in and the inner sky goes on coming out. There is a constant meeting. Your body is just like an earthen pot, porous. You have an earthen pot of the body, it divides, but it cannot divide totally; the space is not broken by it.

To know this inner space is the ultimate experience, because once you know this inner space you have known all; the quality of the inner space is the quality of the outer space. Inner and outer are not really two things; inner and outer are just two terms – because of this earthen pot, this body, we call it the inner space and the outer space. When the body drops, the inner becomes the outer and the outer becomes the inner; they become one.

In and out are false terms. You can put an earthen pot in the ocean; then the ocean is divided by the earthen pot – the ocean without, and the ocean within. But the earthen pot is porous, and some drops will escape from the within to the without, and some drops will go on coming in, from the without to the within. But then the earthen pot melts, and drops, and in and out become one.

When one comes to know this inner space as just an extension of the outer space – or vice versa: when one comes to know this outer space as just as an extension of the inner space, then inner and outer become meaningless. They are.

To know this while in the body is called the state of jivanmukta – while the body is there, the earthen pot is there, you have realized the inner space and the quality of space. Now there is no inner and outer. Of course the body is there, but now you know that the body never divides – the division is false. But the body will continue for a while . . .

The Upanishads say that even when you become a knower of the inner, a knower of the space – and you have come to realize that nothing can disturb you, nothing can scar you, nothing can touch you, your virginity is absolute – even then your past karmas will continue to have their effects. The body will continue; the body will continue to feel pleasure and pain, the body will become old, diseased, the body will die – this will continue.

Knowledge of the inner self is not the cessation of all karmas. The past karmas will drop only when they have reached their target. But now, no new karmas will be accumulated. When you attain to this knowing, past karmas will continue for a while, unless and until their momentum is finished – but new karmas will not be accumulated. And secondly, while these old karmas are going on in their continuity, you will know that they are not related to you. You will remain in your unrelatedness.

So a jivanmukta never says, “This is my body.” He says, “This is my past karma’s body.” He never says, “I am ill and I am suffering.” He only says, “This is a long procession of karmas and their effect; my past karmas reaching to their target – past reaching into the future. I am just a witness to it, unrelated.” Because of this, because of this experience, observation, this realization that all the past karmas of all the past millions of lives have not affected my inner space – it has remained pure, crystal pure, innocent – this realization means cessation of the future.

Then you cannot long for happiness, you cannot long for success, you cannot long for riches, this or that. You cannot be for and against – this should be and this should not be – because now you know that nothing has ever happened to you, and nothing can happen to you. This knowing that the past has been absolutely futile to you – you have been just space, just like sky – like space, you have remained pure, simple, innocent . . . the future drops.

The future is just the past reflected again and again. Desiring something which was pleasant in the past, not desiring something which was unpleasant in the past, is the projection of the future. The future is just the past reflected again and again – modified, a little bit of change here and there, rearranged, re-structured, but all the elements belong to the past.

When the past appears unrelated to you, and you appear just like empty space… clouds have come and gone, lives have come and gone; birth, death, you were this and that – a beggar in one life, an emperor in another, unsuccessful in one, successful in another, educated, uneducated, good and bad, sometimes a thief and sometimes a saint – everything has come and gone, and the inner point has remained untouched. Nothing has happened to it; everything happened around it, near it, in the vicinity, but nothing has happened to it itself – knowing this, the whole future drops completely. Now you cannot project the whole nonsense that you were projecting in the past. Future drops. With future, time drops. With time, cessation of time – you enter the eternal.

But the past will have its fulfillment. Now you can watch the past moving into the future without you. You remain in the present; the past goes on moving into the future until the whole momentum gained in the past is finished.

A jivanmukta means one who has attained to the inner sky, inner space, but still he will have to live in the body. He will have to be a witness to all the past karmas and their consequences. When all the consequences are finished, and the past karmas have dropped, the body will drop. Then a jivanmukta becomes a mukta; then moksha, total freedom is attained.

A jivanmukta attains freedom from the past, freedom from the future – but he cannot attain freedom from the consequences of the past. They will have to be fulfilled . . . but he remains a witness.

One who knows his self as ever-young and deathless also remains so.

How could he even have an imagination of the bondage due to past conditions? It means that there is no relationship between the sage and his past conditionings.

The conditionings go on flowing but there is no relationship; you remain a witness.

If you can become a witness this very moment, you are severed from you past and from your future. Then the mechanism goes on moving, just like you are on a bicycle pedaling. You stop pedaling but the cycle will have some movement still, because of the momentum of the past. You are not pedaling it, but it is not going to stop just now. It will move into the future without you pedaling it. It will go a little while and then it will drop.

The same happens with your body, your mind. It is just a cycle, just a mechanism. It will move, but without you it cannot move far. Unless it is fed continually, fueled continually, it cannot move very far; it will drop.

Buddha was dying. Ananda asked him, “Cannot you be with us a little more? Cannot we have you a little more? I have not yet attained and you are dying, and you are leaving us.” Buddha had said that morning that he was going to die. “So if you have to ask anything,” he had told his disciples, “you can ask. This is my last day. This evening will not come for me. This morning is the last; in the noontime I will drop. When the sun comes to its peak, I will drop.”

So his disciples gathered and they began to weep and cry. And Ananda asked him, “Cannot you stay a little while more?” Buddha said, “That is impossible, because all the past karmas are finished. This is the last day, the last momentum; I feel it can last up to noon. The energy is gone, everything has ceased, and now the mechanism is just going to stop. And nothing can be done, because as far as I am concerned, I stopped pedaling long before – forty years.

Really, I have been dead for forty years as far as I am concerned. I have not been in the body for these forty years; it was only for you that it has appeared I have been in this body. For me, I have been beyond; I have gone out of it long before. But the body had to continue, and now this is impossible. The momentum is just in its last flicker, the flame is just about to go, the oil is completely finished. And I cannot pour more oil into it because the man who could pour is dead for forty years – who could pour more oil into it? So ask, don’t wait. The noon is coming soon – if you have anything to ask, you can ask. The noon is coming very soon.”

This happens – Buddha was a jivanmukta for forty years. A jivanmukta means one who is already dead – of course, the body is alive, and then moksha is attained and body also falls.

-Osho

From That Art Thou, Discourse #48

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from Osho.com  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 Amazon.com and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from Amazon.in and Oshoworld.com.

This Oneness is That Art Thou – Osho

The enquiry about the oneness of the soul and the brahman to the great saying like “That Art Thou” is known as the right listening. And thinking in the right way on the meaning of what has been listened to is known as right contemplation.

And to harmonize and center one’s mind with the meaning, shorn of all doubts – that which is derived from right listening and right contemplation is what is known as meditation.

And finally, when the meditator and meditation are eliminated, and only you are fixed, meditating upon the means, then the mind becomes unwavering and settled like a flame in a place without air. And that is called samadhi.

-Adhyatma Upanishad

This sutra uses four words as four steps – four steps towards the unknown. The first is shravan. Shravan means right listening – not just listening, but right listening.

We listen, everyone listens, but right listening is a rare achievement. So what is the difference between listening and right listening, shravan?

Right listening means not just a fragmentary listening. I am saying something, you are listening to it there. Your ears are being used; you may not be just behind your ears at all; you may have gone somewhere else. You may not be present there. If you are not present there in your totality, then it cannot be right listening.

Right listening means you have become just your ears – the whole being is listening. No thinking inside, no thoughts, no thought process, only listening. Try it sometimes; it is a deep meditation in itself. Some birds are singing – the crows – just become listening, forget everything – just be the ears. The wind is passing through the trees, the leaves are rustling; just become the ears, forget everything – no thought process, just listen. Become the ears. Then it is right listening, then your whole being is absorbed into it, then you are totally present.

And the Upanishads say that the esoteric, ultimate formulas of spiritual alchemy cannot be given to you unless you are in a moment of right listening. These spiritual formulas – ultimate, secret keys – cannot be handed over to you as you are: unconscious of yourself, fragmentary, partial, listening but not present there. These keys can be handed to you only when your total being has become receptive to take them in. They are seeds, and the seeds are powerful; they will explode in you. And they will begin to grow in you, but one has to become just a womb to receive them. If your ears have become just wombs to receive, and your total presence is there; if your whole body is listening – every fiber, every cell of the body is listening – only then these “great sentences” as they are called, mahavakyas, can be delivered to you.

So it has been a tradition in India, in the old India of ancient days, not to write down these mahavakyas, these great secret formulas – because if they are written, anyone can read them. He may not be ready. He may not be reading, he may not be listening, but he can become acquainted and that acquaintance becomes a barrier. When he begins to feel that he knows – and these secrets are not to be known through words, they can be known only through experience . . .

So the rishis, the writers of these Upanishads insisted for centuries not to write at all. These secrets were given from one individual to another, and not in an ordinary way – in a very extraordinary process. A teacher, a master would give these secrets to a disciple. And the disciple must wait, sometimes for years; just being near the master, forgetting himself completely; just becoming attention, just being attentive – whatsoever the master says, to listen; whatsoever he orders, to do. He had just to be obedient, serve, and remain there – constantly remaining in the presence of the master and waiting for the right moment. And the disciple cannot decide when the right moment is, so leaving it to the master, remaining in a let-go and waiting . . . and suddenly one day, any moment, the master will say it. When the master finds that now you can listen with your total being, that now you have become a womb, just receptivity, and now the secrets can be handed to you – then he will tell you.

And he will tell you very simple things; this sentence is very simple, the simplest, but the most difficult to realize: That Art Thou – Tat Twamasi.

We discussed last night that the Upanishads call the ultimate, “that.” So “that” is there; you are here. What is the relationship? What is the bridge between the two? This sentence says: That Art Thou.

“That” is not far away from you, it is just within you.

It is a within beyond.

It looks, it appears very far away because you have not recognized it; otherwise, it is just here and now within you. You are that.

This is a very simple sentence; even a small child can understand it and learn it. But it takes lives and lives to realize it. That Art Thou, I am That. To realize this, that my being is one with the universal being, to realize that my being and the universal being are not two things, but one . . . how to realize it?

The first step is right listening – listen to the master in a right way. And the right way means, listen to the master with your total being, with your total receptivity. Become just ears; only then you can understand it.

The second step is right thinking. You can think in two ways: you can think negatively, then it is wrong; you can think positively, then it is right. Negative thinking starts with denial, negating. Negative thinking starts with a no, the no is the starting point. Observe within yourself whether you start with no. Whenever something is said, what is the first feeling arising in you? – no or yes? And you will find ninety-nine percent of the time a no arising in you. You may not have observed it. Even for futile things where no “no” is needed, “no” arises. A Child asking his mother, “Can I play outside?” Immediately – “No!” She may not even be aware why she is saying no.

No is our basic attitude. Why? – because with “no” you feel you are somebody. The mother feels she is somebody – she can say no. The child is negated, the child’s ego is hurt and the mother’s ego is fulfilled. “No” is ego-fulfilling; it is food for the ego, that’s why we train ourselves in saying no.

Move anywhere in life and you will find no-sayers everywhere, because with no you feel authority – you are someone, you can say no. To say “yessir” makes you feel inferior; you feel that you are someone’s subordinate, nobody. Only then do you say “Yessir.” Yes is positive and no is negative. Remember this: no is ego-fulfilling; yes is the method to discover the self. No is strengthening the ego; yes is destroying it.

Right thinking means yes-saying. First find out whether you can say yes – if you cannot say yes, if it is impossible to say yes, only then say no. But our method is first to say no; if it is impossible to say no, only then, defeatedly, say yes. And wait for the moment when you can say no. No-oriented mind and yes-oriented mind . . .

In a religious search, no-saying is just undoing yourself because there, no-saying will not help. You are not there to strengthen your egos. Yes-saying . . . try it someday. Take it as a vow, that for twenty-four hours you will try in every situation to start with yes. And look what a deep relaxation it gives to you. Just ordinary things! – the child asking to go to the cinema… he will go; your no means nothing. On the contrary, your no becomes inviting, your no becomes attractive, because when you are strengthening your ego, the child is also trying to strengthen his. He will try to go against your no, and he knows ways to make your no a yes, he knows how to transform it. He knows it needs just a little effort, insistence, and your no becomes yes.

For twenty-four hours try in every way to start with yes. You will feel much difficulty, because then you will become aware: immediately, the no comes first! In anything, the no comes first – that has become the habit. Don’t use it; use yes, and then see how the yes relaxed you. And particularly in the spiritual search, if you are working with a master, yes-saying saves much time, much energy. You become a total receptivity, and then in that total receptivity things begin to flower.

Right thinking means to start thinking with yes! It doesn’t mean that you cannot use no; it only means to start with yes. Look with a yes-saying mind. And then if it is impossible, say no. You will not find many points to say no if you start with yes. If you start with no, you will not find many points to say yes. The starting means ninety percent is done – your start is ninety percent, done. Your start colors everything, even the end.

Right thinking means think, but think with a sympathetic mind. Think with a yes-saying mind. Use logic, use reason, but use reason and logic to find out how to say yes. I will repeat: use reason, use logic, but use them as instruments to find out how to say yes. We go on using reason, logic, to find out how to say no. Our whole logic is just a structure to find no. It should be otherwise; then it is right thinking.

The third is right contemplation.

If you find something with right thinking to be true, then contemplate it, then meditate on it. Then try to find some harmony between you and it. Because a truth no lived is not a truth – sometimes it is even more dangerous than an untruth. A truth unlived is a burden. A truth unlived divides your mind. A truth unlived becomes a haunting – it is a nightmare. So it is good not to think about truth if you not going to transform yourself accordingly. Because if you are not going to transform yourself accordingly, the truth will haunt you, disturb your sleep. You will become more uneasy; you will have to suffer much unnecessarily.

So if you are ready to change yourself according to the truth, only then contemplate it; otherwise, it is dangerous. And don’t play with dangers; it is playing with fire. It is better to be unaware of truths, because then you are blissfully ignorant. Ignorance has a certain bliss. The moment you begin to contemplate, that bliss will be destroyed. Uneasiness will come to you; you will feel nowhere, strange, an outsider. Now you cannot go back; there is no going back, there is no movement backwards. You cannot fall again into your blissful ignorance; you can only move forward.

And the third step is right meditation. Right listening, first; right thinking, second; right meditation, third. Now, whatsoever you have found – whatsoever you have encountered in right thinking – meditate on it. Try to create a bridge between you and it. Try to be like it yourself, transform yourself accordingly. Become a shadow to it, and follow it. Unless you do this, the truth will remain just intellectual. It will not become your bones, it will not become your blood, it will not become your heartbeats, it will not be your being. Contemplate, meditate, go on meditating. Remember this: that you become that upon which you meditate.

If you constantly meditate upon anything, by and by you will be transformed by your meditation; you will become like that. Meditation transforms you. Remember, the truth found in right thinking – meditate upon it. Create some harmony between you and the truth. Don’t go on carrying it in your head; let it go deep – so deep that you begin to feel a certain oneness with it. I say, “certain oneness.” You cannot feel totally one with it at the third step, but a certain oneness, a similarity, a certain attunement – not total oneness, That total oneness comes at the fourth step.

That fourth is samadhi, right ecstasy. If the third step is attained and you have begun to feel a certain harmony, attunement, an opening, a bridge with the truth, now immerse yourself in it.

Samadhi means the remaining of only one. In meditation there are three points. Meditation is divided into three: the meditator, the meditated upon, and the relationship – meditation. So meditation has three things in it, three divisions: meditator, meditated upon, and the relationship – meditation. When these three dissolve, the meditator loses himself into meditation, and the meditation drops into the meditated upon. Anyway one remains, and the three are lost. What does it mean? Simple consciousness remains; simple knowing remains; simple awareness remains. You are not aware of anything, just aware. You are not aware; there is no you, just awareness – it is better to say, only awareness remains. Or, you can choose any point among the three – one remains.

There are different sets of seekers. One set says the object of meditation remains, another says the subject of meditation remains; another says object and subject both are lost; only meditation remains. But there is no conflict; this is just a difference in names.

Three are no more; three are lost into oneness.

This oneness is That Art Thou.

This oneness is to come to realize I Am That:

Or That I am – tat twamasi.

Step by step, move into the unknown and become the unknown.

-Osho

From That Art Thou, Discourse #44

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

This Oneness is That Art Thou is from the morning talk, Then Only You will be Able to Know is from the evening talk of the same day.

 An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from Osho.com  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 Amazon.com and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from Amazon.in and Oshoworld.com.

 

Know it as the State of Vairagya – Osho

When desires do not arise even in the face of the objects of enjoyment, know it as the state of vairagya – non-attachment, desireless ness. And when the ego ceases to rise, know it as the highest state of knowledge.

When the moods that have become extinct do not arise again, that state is known as one of the indifference.

And the sage whose wisdom has become steady attains eternal bliss. One whose mind has dissolved into the supreme becomes innocent and inactive. And the moods of the mind then dissolve in the unity of the supreme self, and the purified individual self remains choiceless and in a state of pure consciousness.

This state is called wisdom, or pragya and one who has attained this wisdom throughout is called jivanmukta – one free in life itself.

One who has no egoistic feeling in respect of his body and the senses, and besides has ceased to think in terms of “me” and “mine” in respect to other objects, is called a jivanmukta.

When desires do not arise even in the face of the objects of enjoyment, know it as the state of vairagya – non-attachment, desirelessness. And when the ego ceases to arise, know it as the highest state of knowledge.

-Adhyatma Upanishad

Definitions about certain states of inner search, “in-search,” are helpful, because when you enter yourself, you are alone. You will need certain definitions, certain criteria so that you can feel inside what is happening – where you are.

In the in-search one is always alone. One needs certain criteria to feel where one is. And the inner world is uncharted, no map exists which can be given to you. And even if some maps exist, they don’t belong to you; they cannot be applicable to you. Buddha says something – that is about his own inner journey; that may not be your route at all. Really, it cannot be your route. Every individual enters into the inner world differently, uniquely, because every individual stands on a certain spot where no one else stands; every individual is unique. Buddha stands somewhere – you cannot stand on that spot. He starts his journey from there; every journey starts from where you are. So we have different routes to move on, no map can be helpful.

So this sutra is not going to give you a certain map, no. Just certain liquid definitions – you can feel your own path – and certain happenings inside, so that you know where you are, where you are moving, whether you are moving or not, whether you are nearing your goal or not.

First the definition of vairagya – because that is the entrance. Unless you are non-attached to the world you cannot enter inwards. Your back must be towards the world; only then your face is towards the inner center. So vairagya is the door – non-attachment to the world. What is the definition?

You can force yourself to be non-attached, you can force yourself in the about-turn. You can face the inner world forcibly, you can stand with your back to the world, but just your back to the world is not enough. Your mind may be still moving in the world.

It is not very difficult to go away, to leave, to renounce – it is not very difficult. You can escape to the Himalayas and the world is left far behind – but your mind will still be moving in the world. Non-attachment, vairagya means: When desires do not arise even in the face of the objects of enjoyment.

You can close your eyes; you don’t see anything. That is not vairagya, because with closed eyes you can continue desiring. Really, with closed eyes desires become stronger. With closed eyes the world is more charming than with open eyes. Really, if your eyes are open, sooner or later the world loses its charm. The more you penetrate it, the more you know it and see it, the attraction disappears. The attraction is in ignorance; with closed eyes it is more.

Non-attachment is authentic if your eyes are open and objects of enjoyment are there, and no desire arises in you. A naked, beautiful woman is before you and no desire arises. Tantra has used this sutra. Tantra is based on this sutra. Tantra says: Do not escape, because you cannot escape your mind. And the real problem is not the world of objects; the real problem is the mind. So wherever you go, you will be there, and you are the problem! How can you escape from yourself? Go anywhere, the mind will be there. You can escape from the world, but not from the mind, and mind is the real world. So tantra says, “Do not move away; rather go deep in the world, fully conscious, with open eyes, aware of the desires moving in you. Look at the world deeply.” Tantra has developed its own techniques. The tantra technique is that if someone feels sexual desire, then just enforcing brahmacharya, celibacy, will not do. If you force celibacy on someone, if he takes a vow that now he will remain celibate, he will simply suppress sexuality and nothing else. And suppressed sex is dangerous – more dangerous than ordinary sex. Then the whole mind will become sexual. The suppressed energy will move inside; it cannot go out, so it moves more inside. It creates grooves, it becomes cerebral; the whole mind becomes sexual. The sex center gathers more and more energy, and ultimately the whole body becomes a sex center.

Tantra says this is not the way to go beyond sex; this is stupid. Tantra has its own scientific techniques. Tantra says, “Okay, there is desire, there is sex – then move into sex, but move fully conscious.” That is the only condition: If you want to touch a beautiful body, touch, but remain conscious, alert that you are touching the beautiful body. And then when you are touching, analyze your touch – what is happening? Observe your touch – what is happening? If you can observe your touch, the touch becomes futile, absurd, stupid; nothing is happening. Nothing is happening.

So tantra has techniques . . . Look at a beautiful naked body; observe it, and observe what is happening inside you. The desire arises: observe the desire, and observe the naked body. And really with a naked body, with a full alert mind, sex is neither suppressed nor indulged; it simply disappears. It may look contradictory – but bodies have become so important only because of clothes. Clothes are deeply sexual. They give the bodies a charm, a hidden charm, a secret attraction which is not there at all. Bodies are just bodies. You hide them and the very hiding creates a desire to look at them, to see. Humanity has become so body-conscious only because of clothes. The clothes create a secret desire to unclothe, to undress. […]

Any desire becomes futile if you observe it, if you know it in its totality. Tantra says do not escape; rather, be aware and move into the objects of enjoyment, and one day suddenly all the objects lose their charm.

This sutra says this is the definition of vairagya:

When desires do not arise even in the face of the objects of enjoyment, know it as the state of vairagya – non-attachment, desirelessness.

And when the ego ceases to arise, know it as the highest state of knowledge.

This is the criterion for knowledge, wisdom – when there is no ego, when ego doesn’t arise.

Ego can arise in any situation. The ego is very subtle and its ways are very mysterious. On anything, ego can feed itself. You meditate and through your meditation your ego can be strengthened: “I am a meditator.” And the whole point is lost, the whole meditation is lost. “I am a religious man. I go to church every Sunday, never miss.” The ego has arisen. It has taken a religious shape, but the shape doesn’t matter. “I fast,” or “I take a certain food,” or “I do this or that” – any ritual. “I do yoga” – whatsoever. If you feel that your “I” is strengthened, know that you are not on the path of knowing, you are falling down into ignorance.

Go on observing whatsoever you are doing. Do one thing continuously: go on observing whether your ego is strengthened by it. If you continuously observe, observation is a poison to the ego, it cannot arise. It arises only when you are not observing, when you are unconscious, unaware, unattentive. Go on observing, and wherever the ego arises just be a witness to it. Know well that the ego is arising: “I am meditating, certain experiences are happening, and the ego feels good.” And the ego says, “Now you are on the path. Now you have known the inner light. Now the kundalini has arisen. Now you are extraordinary. Soon you are going to be a siddha – one who has achieved. The goal is now nearer.” Know well: with this feeling of the goal being nearer, you are missing the goal. This ego feeling good is a fatal disease.

This sutra says, when the ego doesn’t arise, it is the highest state of knowledge. When the feeling of “I” doesn’t arise, you are but there is no “I.”

We go on saying, “I am.” The man of knowledge rarely feels only “am,” not “I” – just “amness,” existence, being, with no “I” attached to it. “Amness” is vast, infinite; “I” is finite. “Amness” is brahman.

When there is no “I,” when there is only simple “amness,” when the “I” is dead, this state is known as the state of a jivanmukta – one who has achieved freedom in life, one who has achieved freedom while in the body, one who has known the infinite while alive.

You can also become a jivanmukta. The only problem is you. Throw it out, and you are. Nothing new is to be gained; the freedom is there hidden in you, but you are attached to the ego. That creates a boundary, a limitation. Look beyond the ego, and suddenly you enter another world. And it was always there, just to be seen, but our eyes have become fixed; we cannot move our eyes. We go on looking in one direction – the direction of the ego. The reverse is the dimension of the non-ego, and non-ego is the path.

One who has egoistic feeling in respect of his body and the senses, and besides has ceased to think in terms of “me” and “mine” in respect to other objects, is called a jivanmukta.

Egolessness is a great death. When you die only your body dies; when you attain mukti, freedom, your mind dies.

In the old scriptures the master, the guru, is known also as death: acharyo mrityu. The teacher is death, great death. He is, because through him your ego dies; he kills you. In a way he is death, and in a way eternal life, because when the ego is no more, for the first time you are.

Die to be reborn.

Jesus says, “Whosoever loses himself, attains, and whosoever clings to himself loses.”

-Osho

From That Art Thou, Discourse #46

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from Osho.com  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 Amazon.com and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from Amazon.in and Oshoworld.com.

Meditation is Objectless – Osho

By meditating upon the lord Parameshwar, consorted by mother Uma, the highest lord, the all-powerful, the three-eyed, and the ever silent, the meditator reaches Him who is the source of all manifestation, the witness of all, and who is beyond ignorance.

-Kaivalya Upanishad

Meditation is object-less. If you use any object, then it is not meditation; it becomes thinking. It becomes contemplation; it becomes reflection, but not meditation.

This is the most essential point to be understood. This is the essence of a meditative state: that it is object-less. Only consciousness is there, but not conscious about anything.

Consciousness without being conscious of anything – this is the nature of meditation. But this may create a very depressed mood; this may create pessimism in the mind. It is so difficult to throw even a single thought out of the mind – how can one conceive of being totally thoughtless? It is so difficult to get rid of one object of the mind, that it is inconceivable how to be totally object-less; how to be just a mirror, how to be just conscious without being conscious of anything.

We are never conscious without being conscious of anything – something is always there. And there are some psychologists, some schools of psychology, who say that it is impossible to be conscious without any object. Consciousness to them means consciousness of something. Something must be there; otherwise, we will go to sleep; otherwise, we will become unconscious. But yoga says that ordinarily this is right: as far as the ordinary mind is concerned, if there is no object the mind will go down into sleep, slip down into unconsciousness.

We also are aware of it. If you are thinking something in the night, then sleep becomes impossible, because if some object is present in the mind then you cannot drop into sleep, into unconsciousness. So if you are thinking, then you cannot go to sleep; you go to sleep only when thinking has ceased. When thinking has ceased but there is no sleep, only then will you understand what is meant by meditation – but we never know any moment like that. When thoughts cease, thinking ceases, sleep takes over. You are not even aware when sleep has come; you become unconscious.

This is what hypnosis uses as a technique. Hypnosis – any method of hypnotism, any method – uses only this technique: to fix the mind somewhere on one object so intensely that the mind becomes bored of one object. This is the tendency of the mind – mind needs novelty; something new every moment, then it feels alert. If you are in a situation where you have to be aware of only one thing repeatedly then the mind feels bored, and boredom becomes the gate to sleep. So hypnotism uses it. It will give you any object to concentrate on, to concentrate your total consciousness on; then you will feel bored, by and by sleepy, and then sleep will take over. The very word hypnosis means induced sleep. So sleep can be induced if mind is devoid of thoughts.

But yoga says that this is right as far as the ordinary mind is concerned, but this is not right for a meditative mind. Through meditation, mind takes on a new quality, and it becomes possible to be conscious without thoughts. But it is difficult, and to take the jump is arduous.

In Zen there are two schools: one is known as the sudden enlightenment school, and another as the gradual enlightenment school. The sudden school says that any enlightenment is sudden. You have to take a jump from thought to no-thought, from ignorance to knowledge, from sleep to enlightenment. You have to take a sudden jump. But there are very few followers of the sudden school; there cannot be, because it is inconceivable.

There is another school which is known as the gradual enlightenment school. There are many, many followers of it, because the moment one says “gradual,” we are at ease – now we can do something. And in steps, gradually, in degrees we can proceed. In a sudden phenomenon there is no time, so you cannot postpone – you cannot say tomorrow. If the phenomenon can happen suddenly, this very moment, then your mind cannot excuse itself; there is no basis to postpone it. With a gradual school you can say, “Okay, we will try in this life, and if not in this life, then in another life. Gradually we will reach the peak. One step, second step – by steps we will reach to the ultimate.” Then you have to divide.

But this Upanishad belongs to neither. This is neither sudden nor gradual. This Upanishad takes a middle way. It says: It is difficult to take a sudden jump, and it is tedious and long to think in terms of degrees. Then you can go on thinking in infinite degrees. So this Upanishad says: Only one step is enough – neither sudden nor gradual. Only one step – only one step in between. To be object-less, to be thought-less and conscious is the goal. Only take one step: from many thoughts to one thought, and from one thought to no-thought. This one thought is suggested in this sutra.

This sutra says:

By meditating upon the lord Parameshwar, consorted by mother Uma, the highest lord, the all-powerful, the three-eyed, and the ever silent, the meditator reaches Him who is the source of all manifestation, the witness of all, and who is beyond ignorance.

From the world to the ultimate, take any image of God as a single step. This will look strange because we think of God as the ultimate. But the Upanishads never think of God as the ultimate. They say,

“God is a step towards the ultimate.” And they always use for the ultimate the term brahman, the absolute. God, Ishwara, Parameshwara, is just a step towards the ultimate. God is not the ultimate end. God is just to be used as a technical help for the jump into the ultimate abyss.

Use God as a jumping board from the worldly mind to the ultimate abyss.

This image of God used as a technical help is very typical and strange, because ordinarily the religious mind feels that God is to be achieved. But yoga says, “God is also just a technical help.” That’s why there are systems of yoga which are godless – for example even Buddha’s system. Buddha never talks about God – he discarded God. He created other steps; he discarded God. Mahavira never, never uses the word “God.” He discarded it – he used other techniques as jumping boards. But the ultimate remains the same: Hindus call it brahman, Buddhists call it nirvana, Jainas call it kaivalya. The ultimate remains the same: God is used as a technical help. Any imagery, any symbolism can be used. But it must be such a symbol that when you have used it, you are capable of discarding it.

Buddha has told a parable. He says:

Some villagers crossed a stream by boat. But then they thought, “This boat has helped us so much; otherwise, to cross the stream was impossible. So we must not discard this boat.” Then they carried the boat on their heads into the town.

Then the whole village gathered and everyone began to ask, “What is the matter? Have you come to sell this boat in the town? or why are you carrying it? The boat seems so old – just a ruin. Who will purchase it? And we have never seen anyone carrying a boat on the head. Why are you carrying it?”

So they said, “This boat is not ordinary; this has helped us to cross the stream. Without this, it would have been impossible to come to this village, so we cannot be ungrateful to it. Now we will have to carry it.”

Buddha always used this parable, and he said, “Every technique, every symbol, every ritual is just a vehicle. The moment you have crossed the stream, discard it. Don’t go on carrying it; otherwise, you will be just stupid.”

We can understand that those villagers were stupid, foolish. But as far as religious vehicles, techniques, boats are concerned, everyone carries them continuously. If I give you a name “Rama” as a japa, as a repetitive method for your meditation, then one day it is bound to happen that you will come to me and say, “Now I feel very blissful with this mantra. Now I am more at peace, more relaxed. Now I am more fresh, now I am less disturbed, now I am less tense. So now what more to do?”

And if I tell you to drop this name now that you have crossed the stream . . . now that you have come to the other shore, now drop this name also, then you will feel disturbed. I have advised many, and when I say to them, “Drop this,” they say, “What are you telling us? How can we drop this? It is inconceivable. We cannot do this. And this seems profane – how can we? This is a very holy name, and this has helped us so much that we cannot discard it.”

No ordinary person – even a Ramakrishna . . . Ramakrishna used the name of Mother Kali as a mantra continually, for years. He achieved much through it, but not the ultimate. He became silent, he became purified, he became holy; he became everything that we can conceive of a religious man. He became totally a religious man – but still a discontent within, still a desire, the desire for the ultimate. He had not reached the end.

Then he met a Vedanta teacher, Totapuri. And he said to Totapuri, “I have reached a very deep silence but still something is missing; I feel it, something is missing. So what to do now?” So Totapuri said, “Now drop the name of Mother Kali. Drop it – you are carrying the vessel; you are carrying the boat. You have crossed the river; now don’t carry this boat.” Ramakrishna was absolutely disturbed. He said, “What are you telling me? – A person like you, a renowned teacher – what are you telling me? To drop the name of Mother Kali? This is simply irreligious, unholy! What are you telling me? Don’t tell me such things!” He began to perspire; he began to tremble – a person like Ramakrishna.

Totapuri laughed and he said, “I knew this. You will feel much disturbed, your whole base has to be destroyed. You have made it a foundation; hitherto this has been your base. Now this has to be destroyed; otherwise, you cannot go further.”

For three days Ramakrishna wept, because he had heard such irreligious words. He couldn’t speak to anyone; he just closed his door, wept; cried, “Mother! Mother!” and wept. And Totapuri would come and knock at the door, and would say, “Ramakrishna, come to your senses. Drop this name.”

After three days, fasting, weeping, Ramakrishna came out, and he said, “If you say, I will do it. But first let me go to the Mother and ask her permission. I cannot do it would her permission.” This is how a boat can become so meaningful . . . and don’t laugh at it; even if you are in the state of Ramakrishna, this will happen.

Ramakrishna went to ask the Mother – of course permission was given, because deep down Ramakrishna himself felt that now this name is the only obstacle. If it drops, consciousness will be totally pure; there will be no disturbance. But he couldn’t utter it, he couldn’t say it. He went to Mother – there was no one; this was his own deep-down unconscious which gave the permission. He asked the Mother . . . If one goes in a very devoted way, continuously, to feel in an image the divine presence, one’s own deep unconscious becomes projected. And even from the image, things can come which are just being put there by oneself. It was his own unconscious; it was his own deep existence which responded. So permission was given. He came back, of course, weeping, because the conscious was still clinging, clinging to the name. His own unconscious was ready. He was totally purified, and this last step was to be taken – had to be taken, it was a must!

So the unconscious allowed him, but the conscious began to feel guilty again. He came back. Totapuri said, “Don’t feel any guilt. When the Mother herself has allowed, now you drop it.” So Ramakrishna sat before Totapuri, closed his eyes, went into deep meditation. Tears were flowing. Hours pass and Totapuri goes on saying, “Now drop it! Don’t continue!” And Ramakrishna is continuing. Tears are flowing; he is weeping and trembling. He cannot stop.

He opens his eyes and says, “It seems impossible. I cannot stop. It seems it is absolutely impossible to stop! How can I myself drop the name? It is my heart of hearts. How can I drop it? This is just . . . it seems suicidal, as if I am killing myself. I cannot.” And poor Totapuri insists, “Try again, try again.”

Then Totapuri says, “This is the last, and I will not remain here for a single moment longer. I am not going to remain here; I will leave this place. So try again, only one.” And he brought a piece of glass, and he said, “When you are meditating and when I feel that the image of Kali has come into your consciousness as an object, I will cut your forehead on the third eye spot with this piece of glass. And when I cut your forehead, you cut the image inside.”

Ramakrishna said, “But how can I cut it? And with what? How can I cut it and with what? There is no weapon!”

Totapuri said, “If you can create an image, so alive, by imagination, why can you not create a sword? You have created the image of Kali so loving, so radiant, so alive, so why not create a sword? You are so capable a man – imagine a sword and then cut it! Otherwise, I am going to leave and you will not find me again.”

And Totapuri was a a rare man; to miss that man was to miss for lives. And Ramakrishna knew this, that this was the only man who could help; otherwise, one would have to wait, for lives even. And one is not certain that even after waiting for many lives, a man like Totapuri will be there. So Totapuri stood, and he said, “Now I’ll leave. You try.”

Ramakrishna closed his eyes – he was weeping, he was crying, screaming; and then Totapuri cut his head. And in a single stroke, Ramakrishna dared – this is the most daring thing – he dared: he cut the image within. The image broke into two. Tears stopped, crying stopped. And Ramakrishna began to laugh and Ramakrishna began to dance. And Totapuri said, “Now I am leaving. Just tell me in one sentence what has happened.”

So Ramakrishna opened his eyes and said, “The last barrier has dropped.” And Totapuri disappeared.

Ramakrishna tried and tried for many years to find the man again, to give him thanks, but Totapuri was not found again.

So don’t laugh. This middle step can become a barrier, or it can become a jumping board – it depends on you. Use any image, but remember continuously that this is just a technical help.

Remember continuously that this has to be dropped. If you can remember it, then you can use any method, any technique, any image, any help. It is artificial, but for our minds – which cannot take a sudden jump – it helps.

-Osho

From That Art Thou, Discourse #24

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

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