The Enlightenment of Govind Siddharth – Osho

Beloved Osho,

The other day I had narrated an event, and yesterday you replied in your own way. The event, the question and answer, is known to you and me only. Now I can understand what must have transpired between Bhagwan Buddha and the disciple Mahakashyap. Beloved beautiful Osho, it’s not the language but the silence that has and had asked, that has answered and had answered. Words are not spoken, but I have listened. There was a flower between Bhagwan Buddha and the disciple Mahakashyap. Between you and me there was something else. You know and I know what it was – Something that you brought and gave, and something that I received. Everybody has seen it, and yet no one knows it. The disciple Mahakashyap laughed, and I shed tears. My beloved, beautiful lord, my heart bows down to you full of gratitude and thankfulness, and eyes full of tears of joy and happiness. The event is repeated again on September the twenty-second, nineteen eighty-six. Let this be recorded. Osho, would you like to comment?

Govind Siddharth, the laughter of Mahakashyap and the tears of yours do not mean different things. Perhaps you laughed more deeply than Mahakashyap. When laughter is abysmal, it can only come out into tears – tears of joy, tears of gratitude, tears of blissfulness.

Yes, something has transpired between me and you. And the date that you are giving is absolutely accurate; it will be on record.

The master can give only something which cannot be seen by the ordinary eyes.

Even though Gautam Buddha had given the flower to Mahakashyap it was not the flower that made him laugh, it was something else. The flower was just an excuse. Everybody saw the flower. Only a few – those who had eyes to see the invisible and to hear the unsaid – were able to understand that the flower was not the real thing, it was a cover-up.

And for twenty-five centuries, mystics have been discussing what was really transmitted. It cannot be just the flower; the flower can be given to anybody. Something else was given. But Buddha was very kind, even to those who are blind. If he had not given the flower and just transmitted the wordless message, Mahakashyap would have laughed all the same. But the people who could not see the invisible would have thought either that Mahakashyap was mad, or would have felt ashamed that they could not see what had transpired between the master and the greatest disciple.

After twenty-five centuries, man has come of age; and I hope that I can transfer the unseeable without hiding it behind an excuse. Neither has Govind Siddharth to feel ashamed for his tears nor do the others have to feel that he must be mad because they can’t see anything happening – and particularly in this temple of the mystery school. Only those few people are present who will understand at least the possibility of something mysterious, miraculous happening. You are here only for that miracle; you are not here to listen to a talk, to listen to words, theories, philosophies.

You are here to taste something of the beyond.

And that day, Govind Siddharth tasted something of the beyond. He experienced the flowering. I have not given a flower to him, but he has experienced the flowering of his inner lotus.

Every one of you, sooner or later, is going to taste, to experience the same mystery.

He is what Gautam Buddha used to call “become an elder.”

He has arrived to the point which we call enlightenment.

And you should rejoice in it because one of you becoming enlightened makes it easier for you to become enlightened, makes it possible, brings it within your reach.

It is not an impossibility. You don’t have to be special, unique – a savior, a prophet. In your very ordinariness, in your very simplicity, in your very humanity you have the potential.

Govind Siddharth becomes a proof for your potential.

You should rejoice as if you have become enlightened. His becoming enlightened is your becoming enlightened; it is only a question of time. But he is enough of a proof and a guarantee.

Enlightenment is not something that comes from above. It is something that grows in you, the seed everyone is carrying for lives together.

Jesus used to say, “You can throw the seeds: some may fall on the rocks and will never grow. Some may fall on the footpath: they will grow but will be crushed by people continually passing on the footpath. Some will fall into the right soil and will grow and realize their ultimate flowering, will dance in the wind, in the sun, in the rain – expressing their gratitude to existence.”

This is a garden.

Whatever I am saying to you is just providing you with a right soil.

Slowly, slowly, a few seeds will start sprouting. Each seed sprouting should fill you with great celebration because it reflects you. It reflects your future, it indicates all the possibilities that are hidden in you.

The day I had given sannyas to Govind Siddharth… I remember it. Why had I given him the name Siddharth? Siddharth is Gautam Buddha’s original name – when he became enlightened, people slowly, slowly forgot Siddharth. ’Buddha’ means the enlightened one; Gautama is his family name.

He was Gautam Siddharth, now he had become Gautam Buddha. Siddharth was the seed, his buddhahood was the flowering.

Siddharth is a beautiful name. It was given to him by a very strange man; nobody knows his name. He had come the day Gautam Buddha was born. He was an old, very old, almost ancient saint living in the Himalayas. He rushed, because his death was very close. His disciples asked, “Where are you going? At this age don’t go for any travel, it can prove dangerous.”

But the old man said, “It doesn’t matter. I will have to go, because if I don’t reach in time I will never be able to see a child who is going to become an awakened being. I have been doing everything to become awakened – I have failed. Perhaps whatever I was doing was wrong, perhaps whatever I was doing was not intense enough, was not total enough, although it may have been right. But a child is born, and I want to see him.

And he reached, down the hills… Gautam Buddha was born just near the Himalayas on the boundary line of Nepal and India. As he reached…. The king Shuddhodhana, Gautam Buddha’s father, had never seen such an old man. He touched his feet, asked him why he had come – he could have called on him, since he was too old to travel.

He said, “There was no time. I want to see the child that has been born to your wife.” The child was brought. The old man touched the feet of the child.

The king could not believe it. He said, “What are you doing? You are a great, respected saint and you are touching the feet of a child?”

That old man said, “I am old, I am respected as a saint, but I am not yet awakened. My spiritual sleep still continues. But this child is going to become an awakened soul. This is his last life. I give him the name Siddhartha.”

The father said, “But what is the meaning of this name Siddhartha? It is not common” – it was at least not common in those days. The old man explained the meaning of Siddharth: it means one who is going to achieve the meaning of life.

When I gave sannyas to Govind Siddharth I thought for a moment for his name, and I felt so definitely that he was going to achieve the meaning that I gave him the same name, Siddhartha. And he has fulfilled my feeling of that moment. He has fulfilled a promise that he had not given to me.

It is not only his enlightenment; it is yours, too. Participate in it, celebrate it. That should be the way of every disciple. Anyone coming home, a part of you has also come home with him – recognize it.

And Govind Siddhartha is doubly blessed: my blessings are with him, and now Gautam Buddha’s blessings are also with him.

And you should accept this celebration as a challenge too. It opens a door. Forget all the nonsense that has been imposed on you for centuries – that Krishna becomes enlightened because he is already born as an incarnation of God. In fact, if he is born as an incarnation of God then his enlightenment is not much to be celebrated. He is already God, he cannot be more than what he is: he is dead.

If Jesus is enlightened because he is the only begotten son of God, that is not something to be proud of – because to be the only begotten son… Now, enlightenment cannot be an addition to your being in any way. You have all that a man can be. And because of these people, millions of human beings have shrunk back from the journey thinking that it is only for those towards whom God is especially favorable – “It is not for us ordinary human beings.”

And to make these people special, the priests have done everything in their power. Jesus is not born like any other human being: he is born out of a virgin mother – just to make him special; otherwise, it is absolute nonsense. Nobody can be born out of a virgin mother. Yes, there are unfertilized eggs but nothing is born out of them. They are born out of virgin mothers but they are pure vegetables, there is nothing alive in them.

If Jesus was an unfertilized egg… But then these priests cannot be forgiven – to make him an unfertilized egg, and then crucifying the poor egg! First he is dead, no life, no possibility of life, and then putting him on the cross… the whole story is so fictitious.

Life is possible only with the meeting of man and woman. The woman alone is not capable of giving birth, neither is man capable of giving birth alone. Life is a harmony between the man and the woman, between two polarities a meeting. But just to make him special…

Gautam Buddha is born, the mother is standing. Now, no woman gives birth to a child standing. But perhaps she was practicing some yoga discipline and was able to stand up while giving birth. Even up to this point, it can be accepted rationally – but then Gautam Buddha is born, also standing. The first thing he does is, he walks seven feet. And the second thing he does is to declare that “I am the most awakened being who has ever walked on the earth.” Not even seven minutes old!

But to make them special, these fictitious stories are created around Krishna, around Mahavira, around everybody. These stories are, in a subtle way, to prevent you from becoming enlightened. These are to create a distance between you and those who have become awakened, and the distance is so vast, so unbridgeable that it is better not to try because you are going to fail. There is no possibility of succeeding.

My basic standpoint is that all these people were as ordinary as you are. Yes, they became extraordinary, but so can you become. That extraordinariness is the flowering of your seed, of your potentiality.

What has happened to Govind Siddharth, I hope and bless you all that nobody should be left behind.

You all have to claim your birthright.

-Osho

Taken from The Osho Upanishad, Chapter 36

A few days later Govind Siddharth asked this question:

I have no words to express your love and compassion showering on me. My gratitude and thankfulness cannot be expressed in any word or any language. Please forgive me for my shortcomings. Also, please forgive me, my dearest lord Osho, that you had to bend down to take my head into your hands. I know how painful your back is. It was so painful for me that because of me you had to bend down. On the day of my sannyas, you had taken by hand in your hands. Yesterday you had taken my head in your hands. I hope, pray, and beg everyone’s blessings that I can become worthy of it. My beloved Master, please tell and explain to all that the journey has only begun. I am not yet worthy of their respect. Instead of respect, let all give me their blessings so that one day I can become worthy of really touching your feet. I am requesting and pleading with folded hands to you to tell all to save me from embarrassment, giving respects to me which I do not deserve yet.

Govind Siddharth, the laws of spiritual life are diametrically opposite to those of the ordinary mundane existence.

In the world, one wants to be respected whether one deserves it or not. In fact the less people deserve, the more they want. In the spiritual realm, the more you deserve the less you want.

I am happy to know that you feel embarrassed by people respecting you. That is a sign of real humbleness. And to say that you do not deserve it makes you worthy enough to be respected.

In the world, people declare themselves ‘the great’. When Alexander the Great met Diogenes, he introduced himself: “I am Alexander the Great.”

And Diogenes laughed and he said, “If you were really great, you would not have used that word for yourself. You should be ashamed. The true greatness does not assert itself, the true greatness radiates itself. It needs no language, it needs no expression, it needs no words – its presence is enough.”

And I know the difficulty. When for the first time suddenly people start looking at you with respect, a humble person, a person who deserves it, feels embarrassed. Because it is the ego that demands respect, begs for prestige, power, respectability. True greatness is simply oblivious to it. The moment you respect such a person, he feels embarrassed – “What are you doing?” – Because he is not expecting it, it is so unexpected.

And the humbleness, the simplicity, the innocence does not make anyone holier-than-thou. It makes you stand last in the queue, because you are so certain of your integrity, you need not go shouting about it, you don’t need any recognition from anybody. Your own feeling is so absolute that even if the whole world rejects it, it makes no difference.

Recognition from others is sought only by people who are suffering from inferiority. A real superior man is not aware of his superiority, is not in any need of recognition from others. His superiority is just his nature.

Govind Siddharth, don’t feel embarrassed if people respect you. You will have to learn, and to see people’s respect in a new light; when people respect you, they are respecting their own potential. They are respecting one of their brothers who has arrived. They are recognizing you not as you; you have become a mirror and they can see their possibilities opening. They are thankful to you because you have made them feel, for the first time, not inferior to anybody; you have given them their humanity, their respectability. You have become an argument, a proof for their own possible fulfillment.

So when they respect you, accept it with love, with respect, realizing the fact that they are seeing themselves in you. You have been of tremendous help to them because you come from them, you have been a fellow traveler.

As far as you are concerned it is certainly a beginning, but it is also an ending; it is a death and a resurrection. One chapter is closed, another has opened. One life that you have been living is now just a memory and another life is opening its doors – which you have dreamed about in thousands of ways, in thousands of lives, and for the first time the dream is becoming real. It is a beginning.

And remember it; it is always a beginning.

Changes will be coming, old chapters will be disappearing, new doors will be opening. And a moment comes when your sensitivity is such that each moment you die and each moment you are born. You die to the past and you are born for the future.

But it is tremendously beautiful on your part to feel that you don’t deserve it. That is felt only by people who deserve it.

That’s what I meant when I said that in the spiritual life, laws are diametrically opposite to what they are in the ordinary mundane world. Here you have to try to be somebody, because you go on feeling that you are nobody; you feel so empty, so meaningless, so faceless, that you are begging everybody – “Give me a face, a name, an identity.” And people give it to you but those faces are just masks, those identities are just false. They make you hypocrites. They make you believe what you are not. And you have wasted many of your lives in believing in things which you are not and you have never been.

In such a moment of transformation as Govind Siddharth has passed through, one for the first time drops all the masks, all the old identities. One accepts oneself as nameless, as a nobody. And this is the tremendous miracle: that the moment you accept yourself as nobody, for the first time you have become somebody. For the first time you have attained to your original face.

And if people see it happening… it is good for people, because it will become a remembrance to them. Something that they had forgotten, your presence may make them remember. And you cannot take away their right to thank you. That’s what ‘respect’ means.

The word ‘respect’ is beautiful. It does not mean honor; that is a dictionary meaning. Existentially it means re-spect, a desire to see again. Somebody looks at you, remembers something, wants to remember more, wants to look at you deeper, wants to be closer to you, wants to look into your eyes, wants to hold your hands. It has nothing to do with honor, it is simply an effort to remember his own forgotten treasure.

-Osho

Taken from The Osho Upanishad, Chapter 40

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

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From Meher Baba to Osho with Love

As the rickshaw pulled to a stop, I looked up and read the sign at the top of the gate – Shree Rajneesh Ashram. Quite a large fellow with a German accent (Haridas) greeted me and I heard myself say, “I’m not where I was going, but I’m sure I am in the right place.” At the Poona train station I had told the rickshaw driver, “Sai Baba Ashram, not Rajneesh Ashram.” He responded, “Yes, yes, baba.” Mistakenly I had been told that there was a Sai Baba Ashram as well as a Rajneesh Ashram in Poona and so I thought I would be able to visit both but had decided to start with the Sai Baba Ashram.

As soon as I stepped out of the rickshaw – I knew there had been no mistake.  After only a day or so, I went to the front office and asked Arup for a Sannyas Darshan, in fact I showed her that I already had a mala; I just needed Bhagwan’s photo attached. I had arrived wearing a Tibetan mala that I had bought from Tibetan refugees in Pokhara, Nepal and all green Indian clothes. Later I heard Osho say that green was the color of the Sufis. I looked Arup straight in the eye and asked if she couldn’t see that I was already a sannyasin. She was not impressed and so I was instructed to do the meditations.

My first exposure to meditation was through Meher Baba. Interestingly enough, in the book Dimensions Beyond the Known, Osho says that Meher Baba and he had used the same meditation technique. It had been seven years earlier, while selling Kansas City Free Press newspapers on a street corner in the Country Club Plaza that I had been introduced to Meher Baba. An older fellow named Charlie walked up to me and started telling me about him. We walked over to a coffee shop and I learned about this modern day Master who was from Poona, India and who had dropped his body six months earlier.

My connection to Meher Baba was totally a heart connection. I had tried to read his book God Speaks but was unable to take it in. I had totally forgotten that Meher Baba was from Poona, but it was the connection to Meher Baba that took me to Poona, both for the Shree Rajneesh Ashram and looking for the Sai Baba Ashram. The interest in Sai Baba stemmed mostly from the fact that one of Meher Baba’s Masters was Sai Baba of Shirdi and this current Sai Baba was proclaiming to be a reincarnation of him.

While staying at the Sunder Lodge I met a beautiful German sannyasin named Gatha and we established a nice connection. After being in Poona for some time she asked me how I was feeling. I remember telling her, “I’m more in love than I have ever been in my life.” I felt that I was swimming in love. When I told her of my meeting with Arup she suggested that I go with her and see Laxmi who was a friend of hers and also Arup’s boss. Because Enlightenment Day was nearing, the soonest I could get an appointment for a Sannyas Darshan was March 28th exactly one week after Osho’s Enlightenment Day celebration on March 21st.

On the day of the celebration of Osho’s Enlightenment I was aware of the anticipation of the unknown. I had only seen Osho in discourse and had not had a darshan (a face to face meeting with him with only a small group present) so I really did not know what to expect but there was a heightened energy around. I also remember consciously taking myself inwards. I wanted to be as present as possible for that first meeting. I spent the entire day not meditating but “being” meditation. I was aware of all the emotions, thoughts, and even body sensations that were visiting but I stayed anchored in that heart space where one is just being.

I believe 1976 was the last year that Celebration Darshans were held in Chuang Tzu Auditorium before moving to the much larger space of Buddha Hall. In that time on Celebration Days, people filed into Chuang Tzu past Bhagwan for darshan. I remember standing in the queue which was long and stretched out towards the front gate. We began lining up in daylight but it was dark before I finally arrived at Osho’s chair. Music was playing during the entire time and as I neared the entrance to Chuang Tzu. A beautiful female voice  was singing Elton John’s Love Song; so appropriate as I was sinking deeper and deeper into heartfulness.

   “Love is the opening door
    Love is what we came here for
    No one could offer you more
    Do you know what I mean
    Have your eyes really seen.”

Just as my space in the line was reaching the entrance to Chuang Tzu the music changed dramatically and became high energy drumming. This increased the excitement and anticipation tenfold. It still was not possible to actually see Osho because of the crowd in front.

Finally I arrived and it was my turn to approach Osho. What followed I still see as if looking through a dream. It was as if some body memory took over. In front of him I bowed down and touched his feet and then my body made motions as if it was pouring water from his feet to my head and this happened several times, then my hands folded in Namaste. When my hands touched it was as if a current had been completed and I felt what can only be described as a powerful electric current circulating between my hara (area around the navel) and my hands clasped in front.  My body then went limp but I did not lose consciousness but simply watched what unfolded. The same German Sannyasin that I had met at the gate on my arrival was there, Haridas. He slung me over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes (but very lovingly), carried me out of the auditorium and placed me outside the gate on the ground to gather myself. I had met my Master, a living Buddha.

My sannyas darshan was still one week away and as one could imagine I didn’t know what to expect. Would it be even more powerful? As it turned out it was rather anticlimactic. I followed two Americans who received the names Milarepa and Marpa. Then it was my turn—he told me my name, Swami Prem Purushottama, and asked if it would be easy to pronounce. He said, “Prem means love and Purushottama means God. So love of God or God of love.” He then asked how long I would be staying and that was it.

To this day I do not know what the “current” experience was, perhaps some of our Indian friends can explain, but to me it was my true initiation. Hence in some ways I have two sannyas birthdays. Somehow by keeping it to myself for all these years it has not been able to be what it is, just another naturally ordinary experience with the extraordinary. Now I set it free.

Thank you, Osho. Your Enlightenment that took place so many years ago made each of our own experiences possible. Your sannyasins are eternally grateful.

A few days after my sannyas darshan, I walked out of Sunder Lodge and made a right turn. Up to that time, I had always turned left. The first building I came to was a memorial to Meher Baba. All the while, I had been staying next door to the Guru Prasad Apartments which is the spot where Meher Baba held his East-West Gatherings. At that moment Meher Baba and Osho were One. Tears of gratitude flowed down my cheeks. Buddham Sharanam Gachchhami.

 

-purushottama

This story is from a collection of stories and essays from along the Way titled From Lemurs to Lamas: Confessions of a Bodhisattva.

 

Be a Light Unto Ourselves

Why did Osho change the traditional order used for The Three Jewels? At first, I wondered if it was just a mistake that Sheela made when introducing us to them, but later I found discourses in which Osho referred to them in the order that was presented to us.

Buddham Sharanam Gachchhami – I take refuge in the Awakened One

Sangham Sharanam Gachchhami – I take refuge in the Community of the Awakened One

Dhammam Sharanam Gachchhami – I take refuge in the Ultimate Teaching of the Awakened One

Traditionally they are said with Dhammam preceding Sangham. Each of us will have our own insights as to why he changed them, but regardless as to why this is the order that his work has operated on me.

First it was I bow down to the Buddha, to the Master. This is the easiest. Who cannot, but bow down to the Master once the Master is met? For me this is what took place in what we refer to as Poona One. It was all Him. He gave us meditations. He gave us daily discourses. He guided us through our personal issues during darshan. He then began working on us in energy darshans; and finally introduced us to Satsang.

Sangham Sharanam Gachchhami was more difficult; and for some almost impossible. To surrender to the commune is much more arduous, because often it means saying yes to stupidity. But it is that saying yes to stupidity that is intelligence because one understands that it is transformative. It is surrender. Surrender means putting aside the conditioning and saying yes. This then lessens the grip that the conditioning has on oneself. In fact, it lessens the grip of oneself. One can let-go of conditioning only with awareness. Not saying yes because of a need for appreciation or because of a hunger for position or power but in the understanding that it is here that the transformation takes hold. It is here that awareness is strengthened and the ego begins to lose its grip.

When I saw Osho take off in the plane from the runway at Rajneeshpuram, I knew at that moment I would never see him again. This was the beginning of Dhamma, the ultimate truth of the awakened one. What does it mean to surrender to the ultimate truth? It is when one starts being the teaching. One starts living the understanding in one’s own light.

The beginning of living the understanding didn’t immediately start at that moment of watching the plane take off, it took a little time. I was still involved with the distribution of Osho’s books. We had to move the books to Colorado and setup distribution anew. And then because of conflict with the organization I moved further and further away until finally I was standing on my own. The call of the inner guru was heard.

For the first time the spark of inquiry was lit. Up to that point I had meditated but it was witnessing phenomena, be it sensations, thoughts or feelings. Now the consciousness was seeking its source. This is what I believe to be conversion. It is here that surrender to Dhamma begins. To me this means Self-Inquiry. It is the movement from seeking to inquiring. It is the movement from the outer guru to the inner guru. Up to this point one is living on borrowed bliss. From this point on, one is relying on one’s own light of understanding that has been lit by Buddha, strengthened by Sangha and is now being stabilized in Dhamma.

This does not mean that one is no longer open to the understanding being expressed through the Masters; on the contrary one is more open than ever. And once the contact with the inner guru is established, there is no fear whether some teaching is valid or not because it is seen from one’s own understanding and there is clarity. The understanding is experienced for oneself, it is acted upon, even more accurately it can be said that the understanding itself, the seeing itself is the acting, is the transformation. It is in the fire of this Being Understanding that the “me” is consumed, impression by impression, Gathe, gathe, para gathe parasam gathe. Bodhi svaha. Gone, gone, gone beyond, gone altogether beyond. O what an awakening all-hail!

Everyone passes through The Three Jewels at their own pace but what is important is that we don’t linger too long on the way and that we continue until finally we are living the Dhamma, being a light unto oneself.

PostScript– It occurs to me that there are many who reading “Be a light unto ourselves” will think that it is ironic for those of us who have lived with a master, who have lived as part of a commune to place importance on being a light unto ourselves.

To those, I would say that is precisely what drew us to the flame. We had become aware that until we were capable of separating ourselves from this conditioning, we would not be that light. We had already discovered that our minds had been filled with conditioning—by our parents, the society, the churches, the politicians and the schools.

We could also see that anyone who has not managed to extricate themselves from that conditioning is simply not capable of being their own light because it is through that conditioning, that mind, which one sees the world, acts and reacts. Is it any wonder that we live in a world in conflict? And we found that meditation is the means of brain washing (de-conditioning).

Meditation is not a learning, rather an unlearning which in the end uncovers the original face.

“Be ye lamps unto yourselves,

be a refuge to yourselves.

 Hold fast to Truth as a lamp;

hold fast to the Truth as a refuge.

Look not for a refuge in anyone beside yourselves.

And those, who shall be a lamp unto themselves,

shall betake themselves to no external refuge,

but holding fast to the Truth as their lamp,

and holding fast to the Truth as their refuge,

they shall reach the topmost height.”

Buddha’s Farewell Message to Ananda

Bodh Gaya

-purushottama

This story is from a collection of stories and essays from along the Way titled From Lemurs to Lamas: Confessions of a Bodhisattva.

The Person Is The Past – Alexander Smit

Alexander: There was a moment in your life, probably when you were three of four years old, when you began to experience yourself as something different from the perceivingness. A moment in which you made a swingover to an “I,” that is to say, to a “person,” a self consciousness.

What  you know about yourself is what you remember about yourself. The person, the “I,” consists of nothing but memory pictures from the past. Unlike the images which you make of yourself, awareness does not need any memory. Therefore, all that you know about yourself, and that which you take yourself to be, is old; it is the past. Memory cannot perceive anything new, whereas awareness can. That which you take yourself to be and with which you may identify yourself, are curdled experiences consisting purely and simply of memory pictures. Your so-called experiences are always past. Necessarily the past, for what you know about yourself is derived from memory and is memory. The memory is able to retrieve through images that which is past. But something that is past is not the reality. At best, it is a mental reality. That reality, however, is only short-lived and will eventually dissolve in the awareness.

What sort of reality does the person, composed by you from the past, possess? The reality which you attribute to that past consists of thoughts, mental images, ideas, and concepts. Those images seem to overshadow the reality that you are actually living. Because of that you are living in a world of delusion instead of in the reality. Only the power of discrimination can free you from that. That is why Advaita emphasizes viveka so much, the ability to discriminate between what is delusion and what is reality.

The person, that “somebody” which you have created, cannot be replaced by the concept of “nobody.”

Visitor: That is precisely the point. What I have done is to replace the “somebody” by a “nobody.”

A: It is sufficient to see that what you call the “somebody” or the “person”—that is to say, all the material with which you could identify yourself—is the old, the memory, pictures, and that these do not have any reality. They do have some form of reality, but that reality, in turn, is being attributed by other images again. The reality you are actually living is free from delusion.

V:  I can see that.

A: It isn’t a question of your seeing it: It’s a question of your being there—always.

V: I remember quite well, when I first came here, that you said, “There has got to be a knowing.” My question is: Who knows it?

A: Do you need a “who” in order to know that? At best, the knowing is conscious of a “who,” but there certainly isn’t a “who” that is conscious of the knowing.

V: That knowing happens through the body.

A: Now, if the body is dead, then what does the body know?

V: Then the knowing also isn’t there.

A: So the knowing is the body? The body is still there after death, but the knowing has gone. The knowing does have something to do with the body, but it is not the body. When someone dies, the one who is afraid of dying will disappear. For then it is actually happening, so he needn’t be afraid of it anymore. The one who has the fear of passing away will disappear along with the passing away. It can never take long. You needn’t be afraid of death—the fear will go together with death. If you are afraid to lose your finger, then the fear will have disappeared the moment that you have actually lost it. Those fears are not substantial, not real. In the reality fear disappears. More people have died from the fear of death that through death itself…

V: I am still left with the question of whether the knowing isn’t actually tied up with a “somebody.”

A: No, it isn’t.

V: You are saying. Things happen within the consciousness.

A: Yes, but you can’t make consciousness into an object, into a thing. By making a noun of it, it would seem as if qualities may be attributed to it.

V: When Self realization takes place, will there be a “somebody” then who knows it?

A: It is that very “somebody” which will disappear with Self realization. But there isn’t going to be a “nobody” to take its place.

V: Then who knows?

A: There is only the knowing. There isn’t a “somebody” who knows, nor is there a “nobody” who knows. There is only knowingness, love, consciousness. Once a person came here. After one meeting he said, “I know enough. I get it.” “All right,” I said, and I never saw him again.

To see it only once is sufficient. Knowing is sufficient unto itself. Then there is always something that has to go with it—stories, dramas, ideas, philosophy, etc. Ignorance always needs to be supported, because it cannot stand on its own. The knowing-ness which you are, doesn’t need any support. No guru, no disciple, no commentary, no confirmation, not a single reflection.

Self realization is self-sufficient; that is the beauty of it. The whole guru-disciple relationship also is transcended along with it. The reality—that which you really are—is sufficient unto itself. It doesn’t need anyone’s confirmation, not even the confirmation of the teacher or the guru. But until the last moment you will not stop to seek the grace, the blessing, the approval, the confirmation of the guru as the father.

Only the reality which you are actually living suffices. Self realization is self sufficient. That realization can never be confirmed by anything from outside, by an authority, by an outsider. Someone who is truly Self realized doesn’t run into the trap of self complacency, thinking, “I’m enlightened, I don’t need anybody anymore.” It is very subtle . . . Profound knowing will ultimately become silence.

You have to understand that the “person” is obsessive. You can’t tell the memory, “Stop producing images!” Memory simply produces what it produces. In fact, it is producing a three-dimensional delusion. There is only one thing which is staying out of the delusion, and that is the perceivingness. No wonder that is where the emphasis needs to be put. From the delusion you will never be able to realize what that perceivingness is. The will has no grip on the memory and, therefore, not on the “person,” either. They can’t just disappear.  Memory simply continues to deliver. You may forgive but not forget. To forget is not an act of the will. The brains are simply doing their job. That is how it works; that’s the reality.

Thus I see only one possibility, and I’m asking you: Are you able to see that which is beyond memory? That is the perceivingness, the knowingness. That is why Advaita would like to see you moving into that direction.

V: What matters—looking at it from the subject—is to shift the point of gravity.

A: To shift the point of gravity from constantly trying to get a grip on the knowingness from the delusion—to the knowingness itself, to the real essence. That is what matters in these meetings.

V: And all the whirlings produced by the memory are to be viewed from the perceivingness as being more or less irrelevant.

A: No, no, no! That again is a judgment, and undesirable involvement. What matters is the fact that you are choicelessly aware. The word “choiceless” isn’t just anything: It means to be without discrimination, without preference or aversion. Without judgment, for the perceivingness is choiceless.

V: So you let everything pass by?

A: Let me put it this way: Whoever realizes the perceivingness cannot but live and look from that. The possibility to judge remains completely available, but condemnation will prove to be impossible.

V: Everybody is pushing you into the reality value of the person. Is it possible to avoid that?

A: No, it isn’t. Try to see that you are not a person yourself. That is sufficient and that will do the job.

-Alexander Smit

Taken from Consciousness

This excerpt was originally seen in Inner Directions Journal, Spring/Summer 2005.

The entire magazine can be downloaded from:  http://www.innerdirections.org/catalog/journal/Spring-Summer_2005.pdf

For more from Alexander Smit look here.

The Stages of the Path – Meher Baba

All persons have to pass through the state of bondage, but this period of bondage is not to be looked upon as a meaningless episode in the evolution of life. One has to experience being caged if one is to appreciate freedom. If in the entire span of its life a fish has not come out of the water even once, it has no chance of appreciating the value of water. From its birth till its death it has lived only in water, and it is not in a position to understand what water really means to its being. But if it is taken out of water even for a moment, it longs for water and becomes qualified by that experience to appreciate the importance of water. In the same way, if life were constantly free and manifested no bondage, man would miss the real significance of freedom. To experience spiritual bondage and know intense desire to be free from it are both a preparation for the full enjoyment of the freedom that is to come.

As the fish that is taken out of the water longs to go back in the water, the aspirant who has perceived the goal longs to be united with God. In fact, the longing to go back to the source is present in each being from the very time that it is separated from the source by the veil of ignorance; but the being is unconscious of the longing till it, as an aspirant, enters the spiritual path. One can in a sense become accustomed to ignorance, just as a person in a train may get accustomed to the darkness of a tunnel when the train has been passing through it for some time. Even then there is a definite discomfort and a vague and undefinable sense of restlessness owing to the feeling that something is missing. This something is apprehended from the very beginning as being of tremendous significance. In the stages of dense ignorance, this something is often inadvertently identified with the variegated things of this mundane world.

When one’s experience of this world is sufficiently mature, however, the repeated disillusionments in life set one on the right track to discover what is missing. From that moment the individual seeks a reality that is deeper than changing forms. This moment might aptly be described as the first initiation of the aspirant. From the moment of initiation into the path, the longing to unite with the source from which he has been separated becomes articulate and intense. Just as the person in the tunnel longs for light all the more intensely after he sees a streak of light coming from the other end, the person who has had a glimpse of the goal longs to hasten toward it with all the speed he can command.

On the spiritual path there are six stations, the seventh station being the terminus, or the goal. Each intermediate station is, in its own way, a kind of imaginative anticipation of the goal. The veil that separates man from God consists of false imagination, and this veil has many folds. Before entering the path the person is shrouded in this veil of manifold imagination, with the result that he cannot even entertain the thought of being other than a separate, enclosed, finite individual. The ego-consciousness has crystallized out of the working of the manifold false imagination; and the conscious longing for union with God is the first shaking of the entire structure of the ego, which has been built during the period of the false working of imagination.

Traversing the spiritual path consists in undoing the results of the false working of imagination, or dropping several folds of the veil, which has created a sense of unassailable separateness and irredeemable isolation. Thus far, the person had clung firmly to the idea of his separate existence and secured it behind the formidable walls of thick ignorance, but from now on he enters into some kind of communication with the larger Reality. The more he communes with Reality, the thinner becomes the veil of ignorance. With the gradual wearing out of separateness and egoism, he gains an increasing sense of merging in the larger Reality.

The building up of a sense of separateness is a result of flights of imagination. Therefore the breaking through of the self-created sense of separateness and being united with Reality is secured through reversing the false working of imagination. The act of getting rid of imagination altogether may be compared with the act of awakening from deep sleep. The different stages in the process of ridding oneself of false imagination might be compared with the dreams that often serve as a bridge between deep sleep and full wakefulness. The process of getting rid of the manifold working of false imagination is gradual and has seven stages.

The shedding of one fold of the veil of imagination is decidedly an advance toward Light and Truth, but it does not amount to becoming one with Reality. It merely means renouncing the more false imagination in favor of the less false imagination. There are different degrees of falseness of imagination corresponding to the degrees of the sense of separateness constituted by ego-consciousness. Each stage in the process of ridding oneself of false imagination is a definite wearing out of the ego. But all intermediate stages on the path, until final realization of the Goal, consist in leaving one flight of imagination for another. They do not amount to cessation of imagination.

These flights of imagination do not bring about any real change in the true being of the Self as it is. What changes is not the Self but its idea of what it is. Suppose in a daydream or fantasy you imagine yourself to be in China while your body is actually in India. When the fantasy comes to an end, you realize that your body is actually not in China but in India. From the subjective point of view, this is like returning from China to India. In the same way, gradual non-identification with the body and progressive identification with the Oversoul is comparable to the actual traversing of the path, though in fact the different intermediate stages on the path are all equally creations of the play of imagination.

The six ascending stages are thus all within the domain of imagination. However at each stage, breaking down the sense of separateness and discovering a merging in the larger Reality are both so strong and clear that the person often has a pseudo sense of Realization. Just as when a person climbing a mountain comes upon a deep valley and is so fascinated by the sight of it that he forgets the real goal and believes for a time that he has arrived at his goal, the aspirant also mistakes the intermediate stages for the goal itself. But a person who is really in earnest about climbing the mountain realizes after a while that the valley has to be crossed, and the aspirant also realizes sooner or later that the intermediate stage has to be transcended. The pseudo sense of Realization that comes at the intermediate stages is like an individual dreaming that he has awakened from sleep although he is actually still asleep. After becoming awake he realizes that his first feeling of awakening was really a dream.

Each definite stage of advancement represents a state of consciousness, and advancement from one state of consciousness to another proceeds side by side with crossing the inner planes. Thus six intermediate planes and their states of consciousness have to be experienced before reaching the seventh plane, which is the end of the journey and where there is final realization of the God state. A plane is comparable to a railway station where a train halts for some time, and the state of consciousness is comparable to the movements of the passenger after getting down at the station.

After entering a new plane of consciousness, a person usually takes some time before he can freely function on that plane. As there is a radical change in the total conditions of mental life, the person experiences a sort of paralysis of mental activity known as samadhi. When the pilgrim enters a new plane, he merges into the plane before he can experience the state characteristic of that plane. Just as a pilgrim who is tired by the strain of a journey sometimes goes to sleep, consciousness-which has made the effort of ascending to a new plane-goes through a period of lowered mental activity comparable to sleep. However, samadhi is fundamentally different from sleep. A person is totally unconscious in sleep; whereas in samadhi he is conscious of bliss or light or power, although he is unconscious of his body and surroundings. After a period of comparative stillness, the mind begins to function on the new plane and experiences a state of consciousness that is utterly different from the state it has left behind.

When the aspirant enters a new plane, he is merged into it; and along with the slowing down of mental activity, he experiences a substantial diminution in the ego-life. This curtailment of the ego-life is different from the final annihilation of the ego, which takes place at the seventh plane. But like the final annihilation at the seventh plane, the different stages of the curtailment of the ego at the intermediate six planes deserve special mention owing to their relative importance. In the Sufi spiritual tradition, the final annihilation of the ego is described as Fana-Fillah. And the earlier samadhi of the six planes of duality have also been recognized as kinds of fana, since they also involve a partial annihilation of the ego.

Through all these fanas of ascending order there is a continuity of progression toward the final Fana-Fillah, and each has some special characteristic. When the pilgrim arrives at the first plane, he experiences his first fana, or minor annihilation of the ego. The pilgrim is temporarily lost to his limited individuality and experiences bliss. Many pilgrims thus merged think they have realized God and hence get stuck in the first plane. If the pilgrim keeps himself free from self-delusion or comes to realize that his attainment is really a transitional phase in his journey, he advances further on the spiritual path and arrives at the second plane.

The merging into the second plane is called fana-e-batili, or the annihilation of the false. The pilgrim is now absorbed in bliss and infinite light. Some think that they have attained the goal and get stranded in the second plane, but others who keep themselves free from self-delusion march onward and enter the third plane. The merging into the third plane is called fana-e-zahiri, or the annihilation of the apparent. Here the pilgrim loses all consciousness of his body and his world for days and experiences infinite power. Since he has no consciousness of the world, he has no occasion for the expression of this power. This is videh samadhi, or the state of divine coma. Consciousness is now completely withdrawn from the entire world.

If the pilgrim advances still further, he arrives at the fourth plane. The merging into the fourth plane is called fana-e-malakuti, or the annihilation leading toward freedom. The pilgrim experiences a peculiar state of consciousness at the fourth plane, since he now not only feels infinite power but also has plenty of occasion for the expression of that power. Further, he not only has occasion for the use of his powers but has a definite inclination to express them. If he falls prey to this temptation, he goes on expressing these powers and gets caught up in the alluring possibilities of the fourth plane. For this reason the fourth plane is one of the most difficult and dangerous to cross. The pilgrim is never spiritually safe, and his reversion is always possible until he has successfully crossed the fourth plane and arrived at the fifth.

The merging into the fifth plane is called fana-e-jabruti, or the annihilation of all desires. Here the incessant activity of the lower intellect comes to a standstill. The pilgrim does not think in the ordinary way, and yet he is indirectly a source of many inspiring thoughts. He sees, but not with the physical eyes. Mind speaks with mind, and there is neither worry nor doubt. He is now spiritually safe and beyond the possibility of a downfall; and yet many a pilgrim on this exalted plane finds it difficult to resist the delusion that he has attained Godhood. In his self-delusion he thinks and says, “I am God,” and believes himself to have arrived at the end of the spiritual path.

But if he moves on, he perceives his mistake and advances to the sixth plane. The merging into the sixth plane is called fana-e-mahabubi, or the annihilation of the self (lover) in the Beloved. Now the pilgrim sees God as directly and as clearly as an ordinary person sees the different things of this world. This continual perception and enjoyment of God does not suffer a break even for an instant. Yet the wayfarer does not become one with God, the Infinite.

If the pilgrim ascends to the seventh plane, he experiences the last merging, which is called Fana-Fillah, or the final annihilation of the self in God. Through this merging the pilgrim loses his separate existence and becomes permanently united with God. He is now one with God and experiences himself as being none other than God. This seventh plane Fana-Fillah is the terminus of the spiritual path, the goal of all search and endeavor. It is the Nirvikalpa state, which is characteristic of conscious Godhood. It is the only real awakening. The pilgrim has now reached the opposite shore of the vast ocean of imagination, and he realizes that this last Truth is the only Truth and that all the other stages on the path are entirely illusory. He has arrived at the final destination.

-Meher Baba

Taken from Discourses

For more posts on Meher Baba see Meher Baba category.

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Buddham Sharanam Gachchhami – Osho

Beloved Osho,

Is this a question, a realization, or a declaration?

Something beyond forces me to put this on paper; though I am writing this, the words are not mine.

It is past midnight, about five o’clock on the full moonlight night of the Indian month known as “Bhadra the Thursday,” The Guruvar Master’s Day in Indian language.

I am in vipassana meditation, as my eyes open, a dazzling light brightens the room. I cannot keep my eyes open, as the light is too dazzling. After a few minutes, I can open my eyes and I become quite aware.

Two figures are standing before me: one is beloved Bhagwan with folded hands and that gentle, beautiful smile; and the other is Gautam Buddha in Gyan Mudra. It is Buddha’s third body.

He looks at beloved Bhagwan, and after a few moments he touches the feet of Bhagwan and merges with his body, smilingly.

I hear him saying:

“I have fulfilled my promise. I was to come as Maitreya after two thousand five hundred years, and I have come. If you have eyes, you will see me; if you have ears you will hear me; if you have a heart you will feel and recognize me. My third body I had kept in existence to rebirth, to help whoever wanted my help.

“With due respect and adoration, I have to state that I could have merged with Krishnamurtiji, but due to his insistence on being original I could not merge and help individuals through him. I was hopeful, as he was especially prepared for my appearance – but he was adamant. His body suffered a lot due to his resistance to accepting me. He preferred and chose ceaseless pain and suffering for this.

“My third body now cannot remain in existence if it is not accepted for rebirth or merging. The time I had decided for it is coming close to an end so I cannot wait any longer, and hence I am merging my third body with Bhagwan’s energy without disturbing his individuality.

“He is like an ocean; many small and big rivers merge with it, but still the ocean remains, unperturbed. Its identity remains as an ocean without any change.

“In him, all enlightenments – past, present and future – have become alive and active; a unique event that has not happened before, nor will it happen again. Bhagwan is total acceptance, total emptiness, total nothingness, and unbounded compassion. He is both Purna and Shunya incarnated.

“From my third body, I address him as ‘Bhagwan,’ but from now onwards he will not be only ‘Bhagwan Rajneesh,’ he will be ‘Bhagwan Rajneesh, the Buddha Lord Maitreya’ – A Buddha, A True Friend to All.”

Thus saying, Buddha’s third body merged with our beloved, beautiful Bhagwan.

Bhagwan’s radiance was increasing and filled the whole universe. I remember the prophecy of Lama Karmapa, who had predicted this event, but had asked me not to talk about the event till it happened. Now it has happened and flowers have showered.

So let it be known to all, let it be shouted from the rooftops that Bhagwan Rajneesh, the Buddha Lord Maitreya, is here; Buddha has fulfilled his promise.

The light was fading, the full moon was setting slowly in the West with its cool, silent fading light; and in the East the new sun was rising with a light orange glow, silently bringing a new day, and with it a new journey.

Beloved, beautiful Bhagwan slowly, slowly disappeared with a gentle smile and folded hands, leaving me in that gentle morning light with a heart full of gratitude and eyes full of tears.

Beloved Osho, I bow down to you, announcing to the world that Bhagwan Rajneesh, the Buddha Lord Maitreya, is here and the flowers have showered. To date, Masters have declared themselves, but today a disciple declares with gratitude that the Master, the Buddha, a Real Friend, has come with a new radiance to help all.

Beloved Osho, I have nothing to offer – not even a flower – and yet I offer everything. Thus, something is given and something is taken.

Oh beloved sannyasins, devotees and friends who are present here are the blessed ones to hear this declaration and witness this unique event.

Oh sannyasins, rejoice, celebrate and sing, “BUDDHAM SHARANAM GACHCHHAMI;

SANGHAM SHARANAM GACHCHHAMI; DHAMMAM SHARANAM GACHCHHAMI.”

Beloved Osho, I was reluctant to write this to you, but something unknown forces me to write to you. I do not know whether this is right to do or not. Will you please comment on the event?

Govind Siddharth, it is not a question.

It is a realization, and it is a declaration.

Whatever you have experienced was not a dream. Your whole life may have been a dream, but this experience is absolute reality. That’s why you felt an unknown force compelling you to declare it. You had to declare it – it is impossible to hide the truth.

It has not only happened to you alone; there are two more persons present here to whom the same experience at the same time has happened. They are also hesitating whether to declare it or not. The hesitation is natural, because the declaration is so big and you feel so small, but you cannot keep it within you. It is just like a pregnant woman – how long can she hide that she is pregnant? One day she is going to give birth to a child.

Every truth is a living experience.

And the very nature of life is expression, expansion, declaration. Each flower declares it, each morning the sun declares it, each night millions of stars declare it. Of course their language of declaration is different – a flower declares it by its fragrance, the star declares it by its light, the moon declares it by its beauty.

But truth, beauty, good… these three – satyam, shivam, sundaram – are the basic, the fundamental trinity of existence. You cannot hide them.

One feels embarrassed – how to say it? And to say it in a world which is skeptical, in a world where people are deaf as far as truth is concerned, where people are blind as far as beauty is concerned, where people don’t have hearts as far as feeling, sensitivity is concerned… one feels alone to declare such a thing.

But it is not out of egoism – you cannot declare such a thing out of egoism because the ego will feel very embarrassed, and ego does not like to feel embarrassed. It is out of humbleness that one declares such experiences.

I was waiting… out of those three persons, who is going to declare it first? Govind Siddharth has proved really humble, courageous. Whatever he is saying, he has seen – not in sleep, not in dream.

It is true that J. Krishnamurti was prepared for exactly this phenomenon.

Gautam Buddha had promised that after twenty-five centuries he will be coming as Lord Maitreya. Maitreya means ‘the friend’.

Of course, his own body was burned and could not be kept for twenty-five centuries; the technology was not yet developed. Now it is possible. There are ten bodies in the world which are being kept. They are dead, it is very expensive to keep them, but those people were very rich people and they have willed that their bodies should be kept – because science is saying that within ten or twelve years, at the most twelve, we will be able to revive dead bodies. These rich people have allowed their bodies to be kept, so that when the technology is ready to revive them, they can be revived back to life again.

Gautam Buddha had to use a totally different kind of technology – not scientific but occult. The physical body died. But there are other bodies within this body which don’t die, and he has lived with his third body. He cannot be born through a womb; that is impossible, that is against the nature of things. Once you are enlightened, you cannot be born through the natural process, through a womb.

It is his compassion. No one before him has ever tried. Perhaps no one before him had such compassion.

The story is that Gautam Buddha reaches the door of nirvana – and once you enter the door you disappear into the universe. The doors are opened, the doorkeeper welcomes him. But Buddha refuses to enter the door and he says, “I will stay here outside the door, because millions of my fellow travelers are groping in the dark. I will try in every possible way to help them. Unless every living being has passed through the door, I will wait. I am going to be the last.”

This is not just a parable, not just a fictitious story, but something absolutely factual in the world of mysticism. It is not factual in the world of matter, it is factual in the world of the spirit.

J. Krishnamurti was prepared by very learned scholars who had found in all the scriptures – Tibetan, Chinese, Japanese, Indian – the promise of Buddha that after twenty-five centuries he would be coming back: “I will find a way. I cannot come through a womb but I can enter into a living being, can merge my soul with his soul.” When the theosophists found this, they started searching for somebody who could be prepared – in purity, in discipline, in meditation, consciously – so that he can become a vehicle of Lord Maitreya.

They worked really hard on J. Krishnamurti.

He was not the only one they worked on. They had chosen at least five children of immense intelligence, and they worked on all five. One of the five was Nityananda, Krishnamurti’s elder brother. He died; he died because of too much arduous discipline. He was immensely intelligent. He would have become a great scientist, a great philosopher, but he was not meant to become a great mystic – and perhaps not a vehicle of Gautam Buddha.

Training those five – and when Nityananda died, the four – slowly it became clear that Krishnamurti was the best out of the four. One was Raj Gopal, who was made personal secretary to J. Krishnamurti. And he betrayed J. Krishnamurti because he carried that resentment for his whole life. He was chosen for the same purpose, and finally he was just made a personal private-secretary. He was angry, resentful, but he didn’t show it.

He was the managing trustee of all the properties that belonged to the organization which was created for Krishnamurti – its name was “The Star of the East.” The royalties for all of Krishnamurti’s books were going to Raj Gopal. And just five years ago, he simply betrayed J. Krishnamurti. He simply said, “You have nothing to do with the organization, the money, the books, the royalties.” At the age of eighty-five, Krishnamurti had to begin again from ABC.

This man, Raj Gopal, must have had a tremendous patience, because for sixty years he kept the resentment repressed in himself, waiting for the right moment when Krishnamurti was so old that he could not do anything. At that moment he would desert him. He took away all the assets of Krishnamurti Foundation – he was the head of the foundation – and Krishnamurti was left, at the age of eighty-five, just a beggar.

Another boy who was trained was a German. Seeing that he was not going to be chosen, he behaved just like a German: he created a new organization and revolted against the theosophical movement, created a split in the movement. And the German section of the theosophical society became a separate party. He became the leader of it, hoping that he would compete with J. Krishnamurti not understanding at all that these matters are not of competition.

Krishnamurti himself, after years of training and discipline… rather than becoming pure, rather than becoming a right-vehicle, he became so hateful towards all the ringleaders who were torturing him – telling him to fast, telling him to wake up early in the morning at three o’clock, have a cold bath at three o’clock – with all good intentions, but they never realized the fact that you cannot make anybody a Gautam Buddha. It is not a question of training. However good the intentions are, the result is going to be a disaster.

When Krishnamurti reached the age of twenty-five, they gathered the chief leaders of the theosophical movement in Holland, where Krishnamurti was going to declare that Gautam Buddha had entered into him and he has become the world teacher.

But he was a sincere man. Gautam Buddha did not enter. If he had been a man like the pope or

Ayatollah Khomeini he could have said, “Yes, Gautam Buddha has entered in me and I am the world teacher.” But he refused. He said, “No Gautam Buddha has not entered in me, and I am not the world teacher. Not only that, I am not going to be a teacher at all.”

It was such a shock to the six thousand leaders of the movement who had come from all over the world. They could not believe it – they had prepared this man, they had fought for this man in the courts, they had done everything that was possible to give him the best education. He never gave an indication that he was unwilling. And at the last moment, when he stood up, he declared, “I dissolve the organization, ‘The Star of the East’. I am not the world teacher.” It was a reaction. You cannot force anybody into paradise. A forced paradise will become hell, because the basic element of freedom is missing.

Gautam Buddha’s third body has been hovering around the world to find someone to become a vehicle, so that whatever he said twenty-five centuries ago can be updated, resurrected, made fit for the modern man – for the new man who is going to be born.

In twenty-five centuries so much dust has gathered that unless something absolutely fresh begins…

There are millions of Buddhists, there are thousands of great Buddhist monks; it looks simply absurd that he should not choose a vehicle from these people. It will be just natural and logical to choose a Dalai Lama or a great Buddhist monk, learned.

But you have to remember – that is one of my basic emphases – that these people cannot be chosen, because they are still hanging on to the Buddha that was twenty-five centuries ago. To choose them as vehicles is just meaningless; they will be repeating the same.

I love Gautam Buddha as I have not loved any other master, but my love is not blind. I have criticized him as severely as possible. I have praised him when I have found him right – right for today, right for tomorrow, right for the new humanity to come. And I have criticized him severely whenever I have found that he is twenty-five centuries old, still carrying conditionings, rotten ideas which are of no use for the new man, but will be a great hindrance.

Govind Siddharth must have been puzzled seeing what he has seen, because I would appear to be the last man that Gautam Buddha would choose to be a vehicle.

But this is the beauty of Gautam Buddha: he understands that the message has to be for the present and for the future, that he needs an absolutely fresh being – unattached to any old tradition, his tradition included – a man absolutely untraditional, unorthodox. A man of today, as fresh as today’s rose – even if the man goes many times against the teachings of the old Buddha.

I was not going to declare it for the simple reason that then it would become difficult for me to criticize the old man. So I was keeping completely aloof, so that my freedom and my independence are not in any way curtailed.

I have my own message.

If Gautam Buddha finds that my message has the essentials of his message too, then it is his choice.  It is not a burden on me. I will go on criticizing him whenever I find anything that is not right for human growth in the future.

But Govind Siddharth’s difficulty was that he could not keep it a secret. One of the most difficult things in the world is to keep a secret – and such a secret!

But I will remain exactly the same as I am, no compromise. Gautam Buddha and all the masters of the past can choose me as their vehicles, but I will not allow any pollution. My message will remain my message.

Yes, they can… and Govind Siddharth says it rightly: The river can fall into the ocean; thousands of rivers can fall into the ocean – they don’t make the ocean sweet. They themselves become salty.

Gautam Buddha has chosen me as his vehicle because it was difficult now to keep hanging around in his third body anymore. Twenty-five centuries have passed; in fact a few more years have passed. He had to choose, but he has chosen a person who has his own message. It will surely be beautiful if it coincides with his essentials, but if it does not coincide, then I am going to be as hard on him as I have been before. It will not make any difference.

I am not going to be his voice; I am going to remain my voice.

But what Govind Siddharth has seen is a tremendous experience, a great realization.

There are two more persons present here – if they gather courage, then their questions will be coming. If they cannot gather courage, then they will always remain burdened with a secret. It is better to bring it in the open and be free of it – and anyway it is in the open, Govind Siddharth has done almost 99.9 percent of the work. Nothing is left for you.

Anybody who has been close to me has felt it many times, that I bring Gautam Buddha, his life, his stories, more than those of anybody else to illustrate some of my ideas. Gautam Buddha comes very close to me. The difference is not of twenty-five centuries – maybe only twenty-five centimeters – but the difference is there.

I am not a person who compromises.

I will not be compromising with Gautam Buddha either, but whatever is ultimate truth is nobody’s possession, neither Gautam Buddha’s nor mine. Only the non-essentials are different; the essential is always the same. And my effort is to cut all non-essentials and give you only the pure, essential message, because only the essential religion is going to survive in the future. The non-essential rituals are all going to be dead.

With this century ending, there will be a religiousness in the world but no religions.

Perhaps he has chosen a right man.

And he has also chosen a right man in Govind Siddharth to declare the fact. I was not going to declare it, because declaration from my side brings a certain compromise, as if I have become a vehicle of somebody else’s message.

I am nobody’s vehicle. In fact, my message and Gautam Buddha’s message are almost parallel – so parallel, so similar that it can be said that he was my vehicle or it can be said that I am his vehicle. But it is not going to change my approach in any way. Now I will be even harder on Gautam Buddha, so that only the most essential and the purest part of him reaches to humanity in the future.

-Osho

From The Osho Upanishad, chapter 35.

There is a related post concerning Govind Siddharth’s meeting with the 16th Karmapa at Osho and the 16th Karmapa.

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 online from Amazon.com and in the U.S. from OshoStore-Sedona and Osho Here and Now.

Prayer by Shankarcharya – Vimala Thakar

Translation & Commentary by Vimala Thakar

Pratah smarami hridi samsphura ta twam
Satchitsukham paramahansa gatim turiyam
Yat swapna jagara sushupta mavaiti nityam
Tad brahma nishkalamaham na cha bhuta sanghaha.

In the morning as I meet the dawn, I remember that my heart contains the God, the Beloved, who has not yet been defined and described. I remember that it is He who vibrates within my heart, enables me to breathe, to talk, to listen, to move. When I am thus aware, that it is He who lives and moves within me, then the three phases of consciousness, jagrat, swapna, sushupti : wakefulness, dreaming, and profound sleep, they are transcended into turiya, the fourth dimension, which is behind the wakefulness, the dream-consciousness, and the sleep-consciousness.

When I thus remember, that the underlying current behind the wakefulness, the dream, and the sleep-consciousness is He, who lives and moves within me, then that awareness gives me sat chit sukham, the flavor of the truth, the reality, and the bliss that is the nature, the basic primary nature of life.

Sat chit sukham. When I am always thus aware of the real nature of life, then I arrive at paramahansagatim turiyam. I arrive at a state of being that has been called by the ancient wise Indians “Paramahansa”, a swan that swims through the waters of duality. That is how a sanyasi is called a paramahansa, one who lives in the renunciation of that austere awareness that it is not he who lives, as separate from the universe, but that he is only an expression of the universal.

The state of paramahansa is the state where a person is aware that he is not a conglomeration of sense organs and only the five elements, but he is the nishkala Brahman, the supreme Brahman, the divinity, who has taken the dense form of a mind and a physical body.

Pratara bhajami manaso vachasam agamyam
Vacho vibhanti nikhila yadanugrahena
Ya neti neti vachanaih nirgama avochu
Tamdeva devam ajam achyutam ahuragryam

But my mind, when I am awake, needs some work to do. It cannot remain without movement. So I give it a job. “Pratara bhajami manaso” – by the mind – “vachasam agamyam” – by the mind I move. On the frontiers of the mind I give the mind a job to explore that which lies beyond its own frontiers, that which is not accessible to the word, to the speech, as well as to the mind.

My mind asks me, “How shall I do it?” And I ask the mind to travel back, through the word, to the source of the word, the sound, and find out how the sound is born. I ask my mind to travel with the breath, to go inside: with the breath to travel. That is the only way you can find out how the sound is born, because breath and sound are woven together.

All speech and all sound is a blessing of that unspoken, unstruck sound. And unless one discovers the source from which all sound is born, one shall never set oneself free from the power of the word, that intoxicates and distorts the mind; that intoxicates the mind and sweeps it off its balance.

All the Upanishads and the Vedas have been searching for that source of sound. That source of breath. They arrived only at two words: na iti, na iti: it is “not this”, it is “not this.” So even the Vedas arrive at the point where nothing can describe and define. The source can only be experienced, the source can only be perceived and understood, but never defined and described. That is how the mind becomes silent. Not because I ask it, but while it is searching for the source of its own activity it takes a dive deep into silence, where the mind becomes the no-mind, where the knowing becomes the not-knowing.

Then I understand that silence is the only speech through which life speaks, and I feel blessed when I am in that silence.

Pratarnamami tamasah param arkavarnam
Purnam sanatana padam purushottamakhyam
Yasminnidam jagadashesham ashesamurtau
Rajjuam bhujangama iva pratibhatitam vai.

But then comes the body. It wants to do something. To worship, to admire, to adore. So I give it a job. I ask my body to bow down before the light of the earth, the sun, who dispels darkness from all the corners of the earth. And I ask my body to expose itself to that darkness dispelling sun – ask it to find out how that sun enters into the body through the doors of the eyes, and through the pores of all the veins and nerves, every pore of my being. I want my body to find out which are the avenues through which the light is received.

And when the body says, “It is the eyes through which the light enters,” I say, “Find out how the eyes can see the light. Is the light outside the eyes, or is it inside?” With the help of the mind, the body travels inward, to find out the source of the light.

And it discovers that it is not a blind person who can receive the light from outside. He who has an eye can receive the light. So that which receives the light is greater than the light seen from outside.

So I arrive at the source of light within me. And the awareness of that light dispels the illusion – the illusion and the fear that a man experiences when he sees “rajo bhujangama” : when he sees a rope in the darkness and he mistakes that for a snake, a cobra. I had mistaken the rope of duality for the snake and cobra of misery and sorrow. But the light dispels the darkness and I see that the duality is only a rope that cannot bind me in any way unless I bind myself with it.

That light is the purushottam, that is sanatana – eternal. Purnam – that is perfect. The perfect eternity. The God divine. That is really my nature. I had mistaken the tensions of duality to be me, but then the light dispels all the darkness, and I get rooted back into the ajam, the aychutam – that which can never be swept off its feet. Ajam – that which was never born, and can never die. I am that.

This is the prayer composed by Shankaracharya, the majestic exponent of the philosophy of non-dualism, vedanta or advait. This was sung by Vivekananda very often, and it is really on this prayer that Vivekananda’s “Song of Sanyasin” is based, where he sings, in great ecstasy:

They know not truth who dream such vacant dreams
As father, mother, children wife and friend –
The sexless Self, whose father, whose mother is he?
The self is All in All,
None else exists, and thou art that,
Sanyasin bold, say ‘Om Tat Sat Om’.

Where seekest thou that freedom?
This world nor that can give you.
Thine only is the hand,
That holds the rope that drags thee on.
Then cease lament, let go thy hold!
Sanyasin bold! Say ‘Om Tat Sat Om!’

-Vimala Thakar
Hunger Mountain, MA, October, 1972

Here is a link to an audio recording of Vimalaji chanting part of the above prayer.   Prayer by Shankarcharya – Vimala Thakar

For more posts on Vimala Thakar look here.

There are quite a few of Vimala Thakar’s books that are downloadable.