It is a ‘Releasement’ – Osho

Truth is within ourselves; it takes no rise

From outward things, whate’er you may believe.

There is an inmost centre in us all,

Where truth abides in fullness; and around,

Wall upon wall, the gross flesh, hems it in,

This perfect, clear perception – which is truth.

A baffling and perverting carnal mesh

Binds it, and makes all error; and to know

Rather consists in opening out a way

Whence the imprisoned splendour may escape,

Than in effecting entry for a light

Supposed to be without.

Yes, these words of Robert Browning are right, absolutely right. Truth is not something outside. Truth is not an object that you have to find, search for, seek. Truth is your subjectivity: truth is the one who is seeking; truth is not the sought, but the seeker himself. To think of truth as something outside is to miss from the very beginning; and once you take a wrong step, you go on taking more and more wrong steps because one step leads to another. It is a chain.

The first step is the most important step. In fact, it is almost half the journey. If the first step is right, you have already arrived; you have moved in the right direction.

Truth is not without but within. And everybody has been seeking it without, hence everybody is missing it. And it is not only true about truth but about all search as such. Bliss is within, so is beauty, so is love, so is joy. All the values that one wants to attain to are within one’s own being.

These words of Robert Browning are of immense significance: 

Truth is within ourselves; it takes no rise

From outward things, whate’er you may believe.

And man has believed down the ages in some truth which is somewhere in heaven far away. And one has to travel to it, and one has to go on a long, long pilgrimage. There is bound to be great effort – practicing, cultivating, preparing – and truth is all the time waiting for you within yourself.

All the beliefs mislead you because all the beliefs are based on the false idea that truth is an object. People come to me and they ask ‘Where is God?’ And they think that they are asking a very relevant question – as if God can be somewhere. They have not looked into the problem deeply. First they have to search into this questioning itself.  Who is the one asking for God? Who is this one searching for God? One should start from the very start. ‘Who am I?’ is the only significant question one can ask. And once this question is solved, all other questions are solved because God is found.

Raman Maharshi used to give only one meditation to everyone, whosoever would come to him: just to go on and on pondering, observing, watching, witnessing one thing – to let this question become so utterly your existence that it persists even when you are asleep – Who am I? And it has not to be repeated like a mantra. If you repeat it like a mantra you will have missed the point; it is not a mantra, it is an inquiry, and the greatest inquiry there is. It has not to be used as a meditation technique; it has to become your very life. Walking, let the inquiry be there – ‘Who is walking?’ Listening right now, let the inquiry be there – ‘Who is listening?’ And finally the inquiry has to penetrate to such profound depths that when you ask ‘Who am I?’ the inquiry is there – ‘Who is asking this question?’

Move to the innermost centre of your being. This inquiry is a movement withinwards. And this single question can solve all the problems; it is a master key: it unlocks all the locks.

Truth is within ourselves; it takes no rise

From outward things, whate’er you may believe.

Your belief is not going to change the nature of things. You can believe that a rose flower is a lotus – and you can believe stubbornly, you can believe blindly and madly – but the rose remains a rose; just by your belief it is not transformed into a lotus. Yes, you can remain in a kind of illusion, you can remain hallucinating, you can even start seeing it as a lotus. Belief creates dreams, but it cannot create reality. Belief cannot deliver reality to you because all belief is a hindrance. Belief basically means that you have believed before knowing; you are deceiving yourself. All believers are deceivers: they have lied to themselves. They have not known God, and they have started believing in a Christian God or a Jewish God or a Hindu God. They know nothing; they have not experienced anything.

Once a man came to me. He had listened for ten days, and then he came to me. He was crying, and he was an old man. And he said ‘You have destroyed all that I have believed, and now I am at a loss. For almost thirty-five years I have practiced a certain kind of life. I have done all that possibly can be done. And I was living in a beautiful dream, and you have shattered it all. I was thinking that I had started seeing God. I had great visions of God, and now they all have disappeared.’ And he was crying like a small child whose toys have been taken away, he said ‘Now, help me to start again!’  And I had to laugh even though he was crying, I said ’Start again? Then you will be getting trapped into another illusion. What do you mean by starting again?’ He said ‘My old beliefs are destroyed; now, give me new beliefs. That’s what I mean.’

People go on changing beliefs, but that never brings a radical revolution; it cannot bring. A Hindu can become a Mohammedan – nothing changes; just you have changed your dream. A Christian becomes a Buddhist – nothing changes; deep down everything remains the same. Unless you drop believing nothing is going to change, because belief is a deception. Belief means that you don’t know and yet you think you know. And the less you know, the more stubbornly you believe – naturally, you have to complement it. The less you know, the more arrogant, the more dogmatic, more violent you are in your belief – ready to fight, kill and be killed because you are afraid. If somebody brings light to you, and you come to SEE that your belief is just a belief and nothing else, then all that you have invested in it has gone down the drain, then your life has been a stupid life. The life of a believer is a stupid life, it is unintelligent.

Robert Browning is right. He says ‘whate’er you may believe.’ Your beliefs cannot make any change. Truth is as it is. Truth is not an object; you cannot believe in it, you cannot worship it, you cannot pray to it. Truth is your hidden reality. You are part of it, it is part of you; there is no separation between you and truth. And the first door to be opened has to open within you, then all the doors open. I am not saying that truth is not there without, but once it is known within, then you will know it without. There is no other way. Once you have seen it within yourself, then you will see it in a tree, in a mountain, in a star – in everything. Because now you have tasted the centre; now the centre is everywhere. Now you have known the inside of things. God is the inside of things.

But the first approach, the first acquaintance, has to happen within you because that inside which exists within you is the closest inside. How can you penetrate into the inside of a tree? It is very, very far away. You have not even penetrated your own inside – where you already are.

It happened…

Leo Tolstoy had gone for a morning walk with Chekhov. They came across a beautiful horse in the woods, and Tolstoy started talking about the horse. And he talked in such a way that Chekhov could not believe it. He said “What are you saying? You are talking as if you know the very inside of the horse!” – because Tolstoy was talking about ‘this morning, these birds, these trees, this sun, this sky, these clouds…’ and how the horse was feeling about the clouds, and how he was feeling about the trees and the smell of the wet earth; how the horse was feeling about the grass and the flowers and the sun. And he was saying it as if it were directly from the horse’s mouth. Checkhov himself was a great artist, a great novelist, a great genius, but he had never visualized how the horse would feel. And Tolstoy was saying it so deeply, profoundly, that he said “Leo Tolstoy, I feel as if you had once been a horse in your past lives!” Tolstoy started laughing, and said “No, but the day I came across my own inside, I came across everybody’s inside. Before that, I knew myself as the body – I knew myself as if from the outside.”

Have you any acquaintance with yourself from the inside, or do you only know that which the mirror says about you? That is as if you were standing outside yourself and looking from there. You know all that people say about you. Somebody says that you are beautiful, and you think you are beautiful; and somebody says that you are ugly, and you start feeling miserable; and somebody says that you are intelligent, and you are flying high; and somebody says that you are stupid, and you are shattered. Again, this is nothing but a mirror: others’ opinions cannot be more than mirrors. But have you never seen yourself from the inside? And there you are; there you have always been, you are abiding there. And if you cannot know this space that you are abiding in, how can you know the inner reality of a tree or a mountain or a star? And how can you know the inner reality of the totality?

God is inside of totality. But to enter into that, one has to enter within one’s own door.

Truth is within ourselves; it takes no rise

From outward things, whate’er you may believe.

There is an inmost centre in us all

Where truth abides in fullness… 

True, absolutely true. And sometimes it happens that poets come very close to the mystics. Poetry comes closer to religion than anything else. Poetry is a glimpse into truth; mysticism is living there. Poetry is like the Himalayas seen from far away – those sunlit peaks, those virgin snows; religion is living there as those sunlit peaks, as that virgin snow. Poetry is a distant vision of truth; mysticism, or religion, is becoming one with it, knowing it as one’s innermost centre. But poetry comes closest. 

Where truth abides in fullness…

Nothing is lacking in you, nothing has to be added to you. You are born perfect, because you are born of perfection. You are perfect, because the perfect is breathing within you, living in you. You are an extension of perfection. If God is perfect, then nothing can be imperfect, because all is his expression. How can it be imperfect? So, there is no need to seek perfection, there is no need to improve upon yourself. All that is needed is to know who you are, and in that very knowing one comes to feel the completion, the perfection. One has not to become perfect; one already is. And because we are trying to become perfect we are becoming more and more ridiculous.

Down the ages man has tried to become more and more perfect, and the only result is that man has become more and more ugly. The very effort is absurd. In trying to become perfect people have become guilty. In trying to become perfect they have become pathological.

In trying to become perfect, and failing again and again – and they have to fail because they are already perfect… You cannot attain to that which you already have, so the effort is doomed to fail. And when you fail again and again and again,, naturally, a great sadness settles; one feels utterly depressed. All hope disappears, and all joy with it. Life becomes an ugly evil; one has to bear it somehow. Life becomes sin. If you are trying to become perfect, life will become sin, because you will fail, you will condemn yourself, you will hate yourself – and a man who hates himself has gone as far away from himself as it is possible to go. 

There is an inmost centre in us all

Where truth abides in fullness; and around,

Wall upon wall, the gross Flesh hems it in,

This perfect, clear perception – which is truth.

Truth is not a thing but the clarity of perception. It is not that you will have to see something; it is only the clarity of seeing that is truth. All objects disappear, all content disappears, only a clarity remains. Everything becomes transparent – you can see, you can see totally; nothing is hidden from you. That perception is truth.

Truth is not an object but an awakening in you. Let me emphasize it again and again that truth is within not without; it is an awakening within you; it is an awareness within you; it is intelligence functioning at its optimum. You cannot see truth; it is not a thing. You cannot grasp truth; it is not a thing. You cannot give or take truth; it is not a thing. It is your inner eye, your inner perception – what the Hindus call the third eye.

To be alert and awake is to be true. So, let us define. Untruth is unconsciousness, and truth is consciousness. Untruth is living like a somnambulist; truth is living like a Buddha, alert, watchful, witnessing.

A baffling and perverting carnal mesh

Binds it, and makes all error; and to know

Rather consists in opening out a way

Whence the imprisoned splendour may escape,

Than in effecting entry for a light

Supposed to be without. 

The splendor is within you. It is just like a fountain hidden behind a rock, and because of the rock it cannot flow. Remove the rock, and the fountain starts flowing. This insight is also of tremendous significance. And I say ‘hidden behind a rock’ not ‘behind rocks’ because there is only one rock. Somebody thinks it is because of greed that he cannot attain to truth, so one has to renounce greed. Somebody else thinks it is because of anger, violence that he cannot attain to truth, so one has to renounce anger, violence. Somebody else thinks it is because of money, possessions, so one has to renounce all possessions. Somebody else thinks it is because of sex, love, attachment, so one has to renounce that. And people think that there are so many rocks: anger, sex, sadness, possessiveness, greed, etcetera, etcetera. No, there are not rocks; there is only one rock, and that rock is unawareness. Everything else is a by-product of that unawareness. It becomes greed, it becomes sex, it becomes anger; it can take many forms. But basically it is only one thing: forgetfulness, unawareness.

We have become completely oblivious of who we are.

… and to know

Rather consists in opening out a way

Whence the imprisoned splendour may escape,

Than in effecting entry for a light

Supposed to be without.

Don’t search for any light outside. The last words of Buddha were “Be a light unto yourself. Be a lamp unto yourself.” Don’t search for light anywhere else; the light is already there, the fire is already there. Just probe a little deeper into your being, enquire. Maybe much ash has gathered around the fire… just probe deep inside, and you will find the spark again. And once you have found a single spark inside yourself, you will become a flame soon, you will be a fire – a fire that purifies, a fire that transforms, a fire that gives you a new birth and a new being.

It is because of this that Martin Heidegger uses the word ‘releasement’ instead of ‘enlightenment’. His word is beautiful. It is a releasement: something is already there; it has only to be released. Just like the seed sprouting, becoming a big tree, and then comes the spring… and there is great joy, and the tree bursts forth into thousands of flowers. But they were all hidden in the seed, the small seed. The seed has been carrying the blueprint for all that: the colour, the shape, the fragrance – all was hidden in the seed. The tree is not anything new. The seed was unmanifest; the tree is its manifestation. It is a releasement.

I like Heidegger’s word, it is beautiful. It is a releasement: enlightenment is a releasement.

You are already that. You have never been other than that. Remember, remind yourself, shake yourself into awareness. Use all the opportunities of life as triggering points, as occasions, so that you can become alert and aware of who you are.

These words of one of the great Greek mystics, Plotinus, will be of help. ‘You do not really go away from It, for It is there; you do not “go” anywhere but remain present to It, yet you turn your back on It.’ Or as Raman Maharshi used to say ‘Enlightenment is simply to admit that you are already enlightened.’

Just to admit… Yes, Raman is stating the simple fact: it is only admitting. You are enlightened; you consist of it. You are made of light; light is the stuff’ that you are made of. Then why can’t you admit it? Why can’t you recognize it? And rather than recognizing it, you do a thousand and one other things: you search for God, you go to the Himalayas, you move to the monasteries, you torture yourselves, you become masochists in the name of religion, you destroy yourselves, you slowly, slowly commit suicide. You do everything, but just a simple thing you never do: you don’t admit. Why can’t you admit it? And nothing is being taken away from you. In recognizing the fact, all is gained, nothing is lost. But you have become too attached to your chains, you have become too attached to your misery – you have started thinking that this is you.

It is like an emperor who has fallen asleep and dreams that he has become a beggar. And in his dream he has a begging bowl and rotten rags, and somebody is trying to snatch the begging bowl from him. And he will fight; he will fight to the very bitter end. It is a question of life and death – somebody trying to snatch his begging bowl? He will give a great fight; he is not going to give it easily – that’s all that he has.

That’s what has happened. Misery is all that you have. You cannot admit that you are enlightened because then you will not be able to afford misery any more. So, many times you come to the brink, many times the recognition is very close by – you see the point – but you withdraw, you immediately start getting as far away from it as possible. You withdraw, you turn back. You have become too attached to your misery: that looks as if that is your kingdom.

This is my observation: listening to thousands of sannyasins, one thing seems to be absolutely certain: that nobody wants to renounce his misery. People are even ready to renounce their little bits of happiness; they are ready. This is strange, but this is how it is. If I say to them ‘Renounce your wife, renounce your children, renounce your home’ they are ready, they say ‘We are ready to go with you, Osho, wherever you say. We can renounce.’ But if I say ‘Renounce your misery, renounce your chains’ then immediately I see that they cannot gather that much courage. They cling to it, they will fight for it.

Raman is simply saying that all that is needed for enlightenment is to admit that you are enlightened. Just think of it. Just for a moment meditate over it. Can you admit that you are enlightened? And immediately you will see that it is difficult, because if you admit that you are enlightened then there will be trouble. And the trouble will be: you cannot be angry, and you cannot be sad, and you cannot fight with your wife or with your husband, and you cannot be possessive. All is lost, and that has been your whole life. Now, this is too much, you will say ‘How can one become enlightened so suddenly? First I will have to practise.’ That is only a way of postponing. You are saying ‘I cannot deny the truth of what you say, but I cannot admit it right now either. Yes, you are right, you must be right; but I have to prepare myself for it.’ And this is how you have been preparing for so many lives.

You missed Buddha, you missed Yoka – you can miss me too.

And you are always preparing, and you are always postponing, and you say ‘Yes, we understand what you are saying.’

Many times you are almost enlightened, and then immediately you shrink back. I say ‘almost’ because you can still shrink back, that’s why I say ‘almost’. Just one step more… but then fear grips you, you become so frightened. Then what will happen to your whole past and all your investments?

You will think that this should not be so – what investment can there be in misery? There is; people remain miserable because through misery they gain sympathy, at least sympathy. If they cannot get love, they can get sympathy, they can get attention.

And you are too attached to attention. Things are complicated then. You are too attached to attention – people should pay attention to you – and you don’t know what else to do. If you are miserable, they pay attention. If you are ill, they take care of you. If you go mad, everybody is kind to you. Just see the point why so many people go mad and when they go mad. There is a perfect timing to it. Whenever they are passing into some crisis, through some crisis, and they need attention, love, sympathy, care, they immediately choose madness. It is a choice – unconscious, but still a choice.

If they remain sane, everybody is hard. If they remain sane then the world is too much; then the wife is hard, the children are hard, the boss is hard – everything is hard. And they are tired. But if they are insane, if they have a certificate to say that they are mad, if the psychiatrist says that they are not in a position that anything should be expected from them, they can relax. Now nobody expects anything from them, and they can expect everything from everybody else.

Thousands of people who live in madhouses have only learned a trick; this is their way of life; they have learned a style. They are not all mad; they have just found a beautiful way of life where care has to be taken of them by others – they need not worry.

Just look into all the investments that you have put into your misery. You hanker for love, and your husband never sits by your side. You hanker for love, and your wife never comes and massages you. Now, you have a headache, and she comes and she is all love. Just see the point: the headache has become a need; because love is not freely available so you start paying for love with your headache. Whenever you need love, when there is starvation, when you feel that love will be nourishing, suddenly your mind triggers the mechanism – the headache comes.

And I am not saying that you are just pretending, I am not saying that you are pretending – a real headache comes; there is no pretension in it. I am not saying that you are just deceiving your wife, no; you are deceiving your wife and yourself too. The headache is real, but you have learned a trick.

Whenever love is starved, a mechanism triggers itself; it is autonomous. It immediately brings some illness to you, and with illness, love comes. Your wife becomes your mother – you always wanted her to be your mother. You have been in search of a mother not in search of a wife. Every man is in search of a mother. Every woman is in search of a father.

It is difficult to accept it, but it must be so because people’s mental age remains hanging somewhere near about thirteen – nobody grows psychologically more than that. Now, what more can you expect of a thirteen-year-old boy or girl? Psychologically that is the average age, so even the man who is seventy or eighty remains interested in the breasts of women – why? For what? He is still childish. Those breasts symbolize the mother; they are symbols. He is still hankering for a mother, for a warm womb – somebody to encompass him. But the only way seems to be to be ill, to be miserable, to be sad. And it seems that the prize is worth it; that’s why you can’t agree with Raman Maharshi that all that is needed for enlightenment is just a recognition. One has to admit that ‘I am enlightened.’ But from that admission your life will never be the same again; you cannot afford those toys you have been playing with.

-Osho

From The Sun Rises in the Evening, Chapter Three

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.

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You Are the Cause – Osho

Why am I not getting enlightened soon? Why is there so much delay?

Sagaram, the cause must be in you. In fact, YOU ARE the cause. You are not trying to understand what I am saying. Now enlightenment has become an object of your desire—a and enlightenment happens only when there is no desire left. And when I say no desire I exactly mean no desire—absolutely no desire. The desire for enlightenment is still a desire. If you go on desiring enlightenment it is not going to happen, neither sooner nor later. It is never going to happen. You will have to drop the desire.

See the point, because mind is so cunning and so stupid too that it can go on being clever. You can even say, “Okay, then I will drop the desire—but is it guaranteed that when I drop all the desires, the desire for enlightenment included, is it guaranteed that I will become enlightened?” You miss the point again: it can’t be guaranteed. And dropping desire to attain enlightenment is not dropping at all—the desire is coming from the back door again. You are not getting enlightened because you WANT to get enlightened, and it is not something that can be wanted, can be desired. You can’t be ambitious for it.

Then what is to be done? Try to understand the futility of desire. Try to see that desire is the culprit, that desire goes on taking you away from the present moment. It is desire that is not allowing you to be meditative. It is desire that goes on creating the mind and goes on creating hindrances for meditation. Mind is a hindrance for meditation. It is desire that goes on creating time and time prevents eternity, becomes a rock between you and eternity.

See the point—simply see it! It is not a question of having to drop it. Just see the point, that desire is your hell. Seeing it, desiring disappears, because if you see it clearly, totally, one hundred percent, how can you go on desiring anymore? It will slip out of your hands on its own accord. And in that very moment is enlightenment. That moment is enlightenment.

Enlightenment is not something that is going to come to you from somewhere else. Desire dropped, and you are a buddha. The only difference between you and a buddha is desire.

It happened to Gautam Siddhartha exactly the same way. For six years he was also, Sagaram, continuously hankering for enlightenment and could not attain it. For six years he tried hard, harder than any man has ever done. He risked all. He was a warrior, a Kshatriya—a man who knew only how to fight. He fought with God, with existence. He wanted to conquer truth; he wanted to become a conqueror. And after six years of arduous effort he was reaching nowhere, not even a single inch closer to truth than when he started.

One full-moon night sitting under the tree, he started looking backwards. Six years have passed since he renounced his family, his palace, his kingdom. All that is written in the scriptures he has done and all that the teachers he came across told him to do he has done—and he has done it with totality. Now there is nothing more to do. This whole project has failed.

Then suddenly he became aware that “Although I was searching for truth, I was searching for God, I was still the same person—the same ego, the same desire, the same ambition: the ambition to conquer, to be victorious. I was the same old man; these six years nothing has changed. Objects of desires have changed—they are no longer worldly, they are otherworldly—but what difference does it make? Desire is desire, worldly or otherworldly, it doesn’t matter. Desire is desire; its nature is the same.”

Seeing it and seeing the futility of it, that evening he dropped… or it will be better to say, desire dropped itself. That evening as the moon rose, a totally new being arose in him: a desireless consciousness, a non-ambitious being, not asking for anything. His eyes were clear for the first time, unclouded, no smoke of desire. His flame was burning bright. That night he slept for the first time in his life without dreams, because once desires disappear, dreams disappear. Dreams are reflections of your desires.

And early morning just before the sun was to rise, he opened his eyes. There was nothing to do that day, all is finished. He is no longer interested in the world; he is no longer interested in the other world. He remained in the moment; there were no projects to do. He was utterly empty. He looked at the rising sun… and that was the moment when he became enlightened.

What is enlightenment?—The insight that desire is futile, that ambition is illness. Then suddenly you are thrown back to the present moment. To be in the present is to be enlightened. To be now and to be here is to be enlightened.

You are all buddhas—dreaming, desiring. Understand the desire and let it go.

Enough for today.

-Osho

From The Dhammapada, the Way of the Buddha, V.7, Chapter Two

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.

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Is This Enlightenment – Osho

When the internal talking stops, is this enlightenment?

Parivesh, when the internal talking stops, who cares? Who is there to care? Who is there to raise the question ‘Is this enlightenment’? If you can still ask the question, then it is internal talking continuing.

If you can still see that this is enlightenment, then nothing has happened; then the mind is back from the back door. It has jumped upon your enlightenment too, and it has destroyed it.  Enlightenment is not an experience, that’s why nothing can be said about it. Enlightenment is not one of the series of experiences that you have lived through. Enlightenment is not something that happens to you like a content in the mind. When the mind is not there you don’t say ‘This is enlightenment’, you don’t feel it as an experience; rather, on the contrary, you see it as your nature.

It has always been so – just because of that internal talk you were too occupied and you could not see it. It is not a realization; it is only a recognition, a remembrance. It has always been so from the very beginning – just you had got lost into thoughts, fantasies. Now the fantasy is no more there, you are back home. It is your home.

Enlightenment is not an experience; it is your interiority, it is you. One does not become enlightened; one comes to know that one is enlightenment, one is light, one is consciousness. But, Parivesh, your question is philosophical. When the internal talking stops, you ask, Is this enlightenment?

Don’t be philosophical about these things – these are not philosophical things. You cannot think about them; you can only be, and know; be still, and know. If I say ‘Yes, this is enlightenment’ I will only be giving you an idea. That will burden your mind more, that will become part of your internal talk. Then you will not talk much about money, and women, and you may start talking about enlightenment, God, Buddhahood. But it is the same. The object of thinking does not matter much – you can give any object, and the thinking can weave and spin around it. The question is that the thinking should disappear, evaporate.

So, don’t make enlightenment in any way a goal. Enlightenment is the very source, the very ground, of your being. You consist of enlightenment; you are made of this stuff called enlightenment. So, naturally, when you are silent and there is no distraction – thought means distraction, thought means going away from yourself, thought means something has come between you and yourself, thought means you have moved into the future or into the past, thought means you are not here, you are not now: all this is implied in thought – when there is no distraction, you relax into your source. Slowly, slowly you rest into your being.

Martin Heidegger has called this resting into yourself ‘the releasement’. He has also called it ‘the enchanted regioning’. There is a region inside you, the enchanted region, a space where you are still God, where you have not fallen at all – where you cannot fall in the very nature of things; where you still live in the Garden of Eden, where the fall has not happened – cannot happen. One cannot fall from God and God’s paradise; one can only fall asleep. This is my interpretation of the biblical story. Adam has not been driven out of the Garden of Eden, he has fallen asleep. By eating the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge he has fallen in dreams, he has started thinking. That is the meaning of the whole parable. That is the meaning of the symbol of the Tree of Knowledge: he has started thinking. Thinking, he has gone away – in thinking only; otherwise, he lives in the same place. But he is no more available to God; he has moved into fictions, imaginations.

Wake up, and you have always been enlightened. Just wake up. Open your eyes. Don’t let enlightenment become an idea in you, otherwise you will think about it, and that will be a distraction.

-Osho

From The Sun Rises in the Evening, Chapter Four

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.

 

What is Satori – Osho

What is satori and how to attain it?

Pratima, satori is exactly your ordinary nature; it is not anything special. Hence there is no question of attaining it – it is already the case. You are in it, you have just forgotten. You have become too occupied with the outside world. You have forgotten your own kingdom, you have forgotten your own treasure, you have forgotten yourself. You have become too concerned with others. You are too much in the world and you don’t give any time, any space for your inner nature to have a dialogue with you, to whisper a few things to you. You have become artificial.

You have created a false ego because nobody can live without a center. You have forgotten your real center, and nobody can live without a center, so you have created a false center as a substitute. That’s the ego. Ego simply means living with a false center.

Satori is dropping the false, entering into the real; just being yourself, your natural self, your ordinary self.

The word “ordinary” has to be remembered because the mind is not interested in the ordinary at all; it wants to be extraordinary, it wants to be special. It is through being special that the ego survives.

It is constantly striving to be more special, more special. It wants to be more rich, more powerful, more respectable; it is ambitious. Hence the word “ordinary” has no appeal for the mind. And that is the beauty of the word “ordinary” – because it has no appeal for the mind.

Mind is an achiever and the ordinary need not be achieved; it is already the case. The extraordinary has to be achieved, the extraordinary becomes the goal. It is far away; you have to make all kinds of efforts, you have to struggle for it, you have to fight for it because there are so many competitors.

To be ordinary… and there is no competition at all. You can just be ordinary, nobody has any objection. People will simply feel sorry for you that you have dropped out of the competitive race.

One competitor less – they will feel good but sorry for you. They will say, “Poor fellow! What happened to him? Why did he have to drop out?” The dropouts are not respectable people. Buddha is a dropout. All real Masters are dropouts. To be a sannyasin means to be a dropout. To drop out of the rat race is to drop in, because when you are in the race you cannot enter in. When you are no longer in the race there is nowhere to go. You start moving inwards because life is a flow: if there is no outer direction it takes the inner direction. If the goal is not there far away in the future, then you start moving into your nature in the present. That is satori.

Satori is very ordinary. Satori means your nature. You have come with it; it is your original face – all other faces are masks.

Yoka says:

A disciple speaks in accordance with the ultimate, the absolute truth.

Remember that one should cut the root and not the branches and the leaves.

What is the root of your misery? The root is your ambition, desiring. One wants to be this and that, one wants to possess this and that, one wants to be somebody, one wants to be significant.

Yoka says: Cut the root… only then are you a disciple. And the moment you cut the root – not the branches, not the leaves – you attain the ultimate truth. The ultimate truth is not far away; it is the immediate truth, it is your truth, it is your very being.

Most people do not recognize the perfect jewel, the jewel of supreme wisdom, satori. It is hidden in the secret place of Tathagata, awaiting its discovery.

It is to live in your suchness; it is hidden in your suchness. Whatsoever you are, live in it. Don’t create any conflict, don’t live through the ideal. Don’t be an idealist, just be natural.

But everybody is being taught to be an idealist: “Become a Jesus” or “Become a Buddha” or “Become a Krishna.” Nobody tells you just to be yourself! Why should you be a Jesus? One Jesus is enough and one Jesus is beautiful – he enriches the existence. Many Jesuses just carrying crosses, and wherever you go you meet them… It won’t look beautiful, it won’t add to the beauty of existence; it will make the whole world ugly. Wherever you go you meet a Mahavira standing naked…. It is because of this that God never creates the same person again. He never repeats; he is original.

He always creates a new person. You have never been before, and there is no one who is like you, and there will never be anybody else like you again. In the whole of eternity you alone are just like you. Look at the beauty of it and the glory of it and the respect that God has shown to you! What more respectability do you need? See the uniqueness of yourself. There is no need to be unique; you are already unique, just as everybody else is unique. You are unique in your ordinariness, in your suchness.

Satori is hidden, says Yoka, in the secret place of your suchness, awaiting its discovery.

It has not to be created, it is already there; you just have to discover it. Go in and discover it! It is waiting and waiting. And centuries have passed and many, many lives have passed, and you have become addicted to extroversion. You never move in.

The first step towards satori is meditation. Satori is the ultimate experience of meditation when meditation is fulfilled, when meditation has reached to its ultimate flowering.

Yoka says:

The world is complete illusion, yet nothing exists which might be called illusion.

The world that you have created through your mind is illusory, but there is another world which is not your creation. When your mind disappears you discover that world: the world of suchness. That is a totally different experience. No words can describe it. Thousands of mystics have tried to describe it, but nobody has ever been able and nobody will ever be able to describe it. It is so mysterious; it is so beautiful that all words fall short. No poetry reaches to its level, no music even touches its feet.

The perfect light of this wisdom enlightens one.

The moment you have put your mind aside – mind means ambition, the ego trip of being this and that – the moment you have put the whole mind aside, a great light explodes in you and you are enlightened. This is satori. It does not come from the outside: you are not delivered by somebody else; you are delivered by your own being, by your own nature.

That is possible only by practicing zazen beyond speculation. You can see clouds naturally in the mirror but to hold on to the reflection is impossible.

That is possible only by practicing zazen… Satori is possible only by practicing zazen. Zazen means:

Just sitting, doing nothing, the spring comes and the grass grows by itself.

You are simply relaxing into your own being, not doing anything at all. It is not a question of doing; it is simply a question of being. You go on relaxing into your being. A moment comes when you are in your utter purity, in your utter simplicity, in your utter innocence. That is satori.

Zazen is a beautiful word. It simply means just sitting – not even doing meditation. In fact, you cannot do meditation. Meditation is just sitting silently; it is not a question of doing. If you are doing something you are disturbing your meditation.

Somebody is chanting a mantra; he is disturbing his meditation. Somebody is focusing on something; he is disturbing his meditation. Somebody is concentrating, somebody is praying, somebody is thinking of God: they are disturbing their meditation. All these are the doings of the mind, and if the doing continues the mind continues. Stop doing, and where is the mind? When the doing disappears, mind disappears. And the disappearance of the mind is satori.

It is beyond speculation, says Yoka. You cannot think about it, you can only experience it. It is the ultimate experience, and the immediate experience, too, of truth, of beauty, of love, of bliss, of God, of nirvana.

-OSHO

From Walking in Zen, Sitting in Zen, Chapter Four

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.

Samadhi Without Seeds – Osho

In yesterday’s sutra, Buddha says ‘someone who has set out in the vehicle of a Bodhisattva should decide that “I must lead all the beings to nirvana, into that realm of nirvana which leaves nothing behind.”’ What is this realm of nirvana which leaves nothing behind?

Buddha has talked about two kinds of nirvana. One he calls nirvana with substratum. The tree has disappeared, the tree of desires. The foliage, the leaves, the flowers, the fruits—everything has disappeared. But the roots are still there underground, hidden in the dark soil. From the outside the tree has been removed, but the tree is still capable of renewing itself again. The substratum is still there, the seed has not been burnt yet. This he calls ‘nirvana with substratum.

This is exactly the same that Patanjali calls nirbeej samadhi —samadhi with seed. It is very difficult from the outside. The tree has been completely removed, but underneath the soil the roots are still alive, waiting for the right moment to sprout again. Rains will come and they will sprout. They are waiting for their season, for the moment again to assert.

This is the state when many times you have come to the point where mind disappears, no-mind is felt, but again mind comes back, again it sprouts. You reach to a peak. That moment of that peak experience, you think all is finished—now you will never be falling back to the valley of darkness. You think that you will never go back into those ugly and miserable days—that the dark night of the soul is over, that the morning has arrived, that the sun has arisen.

But again one day you suddenly find you are slipping back into the darkness—again the valley, again light is no more, again that peak experience is just a memory. And one starts becoming doubtful whether it has happened or not. “Have I been just imagining? Or maybe I was just dreaming.” Because if it had happened then where has it gone?

Where is that sunlit peak? Where are those moments of ecstasy? And misery is back and anger is back and agony is back—you have fallen into hell again. This happens many times.

This Buddha calls nirvana with substratum; sabeej samadhi in Patanjali’s words. Manifestation of the world is gone but the unmanifested seed remains.

The second nirvana Buddha calls the nirvana without substratum—in Patanjali’s words nirbeej samadhi—seedless samadhi. Not only the tree has been destroyed, but the seed also burned. A burned seed cannot sprout again, all substratum is gone. Then you remain on the peak forever, then there is no falling back.

That’s what Buddha says in yesterday’s sutra: ‘Someone who has set out in the vehicle of a Bodhisattva should decide that “I must lead all being to nirvana, into that realm of nirvana which leaves nothing behind…”‘ which leaves no substratum, no roots, no seeds behind.

-OSHO

From The Diamond Sutra, Chapter Two

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.

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Without Ripples – Osho

Anything I see happening in myself is false, illusory, and a mind trip, right? And my recognition of the mind trip is a mind trip too?

RIGHT. As far as thoughts go, everything is a mind trip. When thoughts cease and you see without any thoughts crowding in your mind, when you see clearly with no smoke of the thoughts surrounding you, when your look is simple, innocent, uncorrupted by thoughts, then it is not a mind trip. Only meditation is not a mind trip; everything else is a mind trip. Or, love is not a mind trip; everything else is a mind trip. If love or meditation has happened to you, you will know what I am indicating towards. In a deep moment of love, thinking stops. The moment is so intriguing, the moment is so tremendously powerful, the moment is so intensely alive, that thinking stops. You are simply in awe, a great wonder surrounds you. Or in deep meditation, when the moment of silence has come and you are absolutely silent, still—no flickering, no wavering, no trembling, the flame of your consciousness is straight—then thinking stops. Then you are outside the grip of the mind. Otherwise, everything is a mind trip.

Remember it: one has to go beyond the mind because the mind is samsar, the mind is the world. It is because of your thinking that you are missing the truth. Once thinking is stopped you are face to face with the reality. It is the continuous screen of thinking that is distorting reality. It is as if you are looking in a lake full of ripples. It is a full moon night, and the lake is reflecting the beautiful moon—but it is full of ripples. You cannot gather it together; the moon goes on splitting into a thousand fragments. The whole lake seems to be spread over by the moon, silvery, many fragments of the moon all around. Then the wind stops, the ripples disappear: those fragments start falling into one moon. The silver that was spread all over the lake becomes more concentrated in one place. When the lake is completely without ripples, the moon is reflected perfectly.

When the mind is with thoughts, the lake is with ripples; when the mind is without thoughts, the lake is without ripples. God is reflected perfectly when there is no ripple in you. Forget all about God—the only thing to be done is how to become ripple-less, how to become thoughtless, how to drop this constant obsession with thinking. It can be dropped—it is because of your cooperation that it continues. It is your energy that you go on giving to it that keeps it alive. It is just like a man on a bicycle: he goes on pedaling—it is his energy that keeps the cycle going on. Once he stops pedaling, the cycle may go a little further because of the past momentum, but then it has to stop.

Don’t give energy to your thoughts. Become a witness—indifferent, aloof, distant. Just see the thoughts, and don’t be in any way involved in them. Note the fact: the thoughts are there; but don’t choose this way or that, don’t be for or against, don’t be pro or con. Just be a watcher. Let the mind-traffic move, just stand by the side and look at it, unaffected by it, as if it has nothing to do with you.

Sometimes try it: go on the busiest street where the traffic rush is too much. Stand by the side of the road and see the traffic—so many people going hither and thither, and cars and bicycles and trucks and buses. You just stand by the side and look, and do the same inside: close your eyes and see—the mind is a traffic of thoughts, thoughts rushing here and there. You watch, you just be a watcher. By and by, you will see that the traffic is becoming less and less. By and by, you will see that the road is empty, nobody is passing. In those rare moments, first glimpses of samadhi will enter in you.

There are three stages of samadhi. First, when you achieve glimpses through gaps—one thought comes, then it has gone and another has not come for the time being. There may even be a gap for a few seconds; in that interval reality penetrates you—the moon becomes one. The reflection is there only for a single moment, but you will see the first glimpse.

This is what in Zen they call satori. By and by, the gaps will become bigger, and when the gaps become bigger and you can see reality more clearly, that vision of reality changes you. Then you cannot be the same because your vision becomes your reality also. Whatsoever you are seeing affects your being. Your vision, by and by, is absorbed, digested. That is the second stage of samadhi.

And then comes the last stage: when suddenly the whole traffic disappears, as if you were fast asleep and dreaming and somebody has shaken you and awakened you, and the whole traffic of dreaming has stopped. In that third stage you become one with reality, because there is nothing to divide. The fence that was dividing you has disappeared. The wall is no more there. The wall is made of the bricks of thoughts, desires, feelings, emotions; once it disappears—it is a China wall, very ancient, and every strong—but once it disappears, there is no fence between you and God. When for the first time the third stage happens, that is where the Upanishads announced, “Aham Brahamasi“—I am God, I am the Brahma. It is where the Sufi mystic, Mansur, declares, “Ana’l Haq“—I am the truth. It is there when Jesus declares, “I and my God are one, I and my Father are one.”

-OSHO

From The Beloved, Chapter Ten

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.

 

The Three Entanglements – Osho

I loved the introduction about the psychological universe that you gave me yesterday. And yet I would like to repeat the question. You say that you were studying us in order to find out which are the difficulties that the seeker finds on the path towards realization of the Self, towards his own awakening. Now you have been studying us for fifteen years, and I would like you to give us some hints on what you find in your living experiment. Or, in other words, what are the patterns the seeker gets most entangled in, and what is the function of the master in that?

There are patterns the seeker gets entangled with.

The first thing is: most of the seekers are lost in an illusory feeling that they have arrived. It is a kind of dream in which you feel you are awake. You are still dreaming – your feeling of being awake is part of the dream.

The same kind of thing happens to the seeker. The mind is capable of creating the illusion that now there is nowhere to go, you have arrived. The mind is a deceiver, and the function of the master in this condition is to make you alert that this is not the reality but only a dream; you have not arrived.

This can happen at many points, again and again. And one can get very irritated and annoyed with the master for the simple reason that whenever you feel you have got it, he simply takes it away and puts you back into your ignorant state.

For example, it was happening to a German sannyasin continuously. Whenever he was in Germany he was living in a beautiful castle of his own – he was very rich – meditating; and then he would get the feeling that he had become enlightened. And the force of the illusion was so much that he could not keep it to himself, he would tell others. Not only would he tell other fellow sannyasins, he started writing letters to the presidents, prime ministers, kings, queens around the world: “I have become enlightened, and if you want any advice on any matters that concern the future of humanity in the world, I can help you.”

He was so certain. This happened three times, and because of his certainty he came to India to get my blessings. Naturally, it shows his certainty that he came for my blessings. One can think that the first time perhaps he was not aware that I would destroy his illusion, but the second time, he came again after two years; and a third time, after two years again he came.

Each time I had to tell him, “You are just being deceived by your own mind. Nothing has happened to you, you are simply the old man – the new man has not arrived. And all that you are doing – writing letters to the U.N., to other governments – are just ways of the ego. And you are in the grip of the ego.”

Close to me, he understood. Three times he became enlightened and I had to make him unenlightened. Now, that is not a good job. The fourth time he never came back; perhaps he is afraid I will make him again unenlightened. Now he remains in his castle and remains enlightened!

It is very easy to live in a beautiful dream. It is hard to see your dreams shattered by reality. In the ancient scriptures of the East it is called the power of maya. Mind has the hypnotic power to create any illusion. If you are after a certain thing, desperately, it is one of the functions of the mind to create the illusion to stop your desperateness. It happens every day to everybody in their dreams, but people don’t learn things.

In the night you go to bed hungry. In the night you are going to have a dream about eating delicious food. The mind is trying to help you so that your sleep is not disturbed; otherwise you are hungry and you are bound to be awakened by your hunger. The mind gives you a dream that you are eating delicious food of your choice, which satisfies your mind. The hunger remains but sleep is not disturbed, The hunger is covered by the illusion of the dream; it is a protection of your sleep.

You feel in sleep that your bladder is full. If the mind does not create the dream that you have gone to the toilet, come back and gone to sleep again, then your sleep will be disturbed – and sleep is a great necessity for the body. The mind is taking care that it is not disturbed again and again; you can have a long sleep, rest, so in the morning you are rejuvenated.

This is the ordinary function of the mind; on a higher plane the same thing happens. It is an ordinary sleep, an ordinary awakening that mind prevents. On the path, it is an extraordinary sleep and an extraordinary awakening. But the mind is programmed – it is just a mechanical thing. It simply does its work without bothering, because it has no way of checking whether it is ordinary sleep or spiritual sleep, ordinary awakening or spiritual awakening.

To the mind it is all the same. Its function is to keep your sleep intact and create a barrier for anything that disturbs your sleep. If you are hungry it gives you food; if you are desperately in search of truth, it gives you truth, it gives you enlightenment. You ask for anything, and it is ready to give it to you.

It can create the illusion of the real thing – that’s its intrinsic power.

Western psychology has not yet been aware of the dream’s actual function, what function it has. Sigmund Freud thinks that its only function is to bring up your repressed desires and allow them a certain illusory reality so that you don’t go insane. The dream is an outlet so the steam that you go on repressing is released. That seems to be the whole understanding of Western psychology about dreams – that it is an outlet. While you are asleep, your dreaming helps you to get rid of many aberrations.

You had seen a beautiful woman while you were awake, but you had to maintain your civilization, the civil code, manners, morality, religion, respectability, and you behaved that way. You could not behave like an animal. That’s actually what you would have liked to do, but all these barriers prevent you.

In the dream you have the freedom to be an animal again, with all the freedom of an animal. You can do whatsoever you want to do with the woman. Nobody is preventing you – no priest, no policeman. Nobody is ever going to know what you did in your dream. Even you yourself will forget in the morning what you did in your dream.

But this is not the only function, this is a very small function of dreaming. In fact Western psychology has not divided mind’s different stages the way the East has done. In Eastern psychology the most superficial state is the waking state – very thin, very artificial. It is a social by-product.

You cannot live alone, you have to live with the society; you have to follow the rules of the game. This thin layer is created by the priests, by the parents, by the pedagogues, and by all kinds of influences on you. And you are given tremendous respect for it, you are rewarded for it.

The second layer is dreaming, which is far truer, far more natural – out of reach of the crowd, society, education, morality, religion. You are more authentic, you are not a hypocrite in your dreaming. The third stage is sleep mixed with dreams. That is even deeper. A few dreams float in it, and these dreams are far more important than the dreams of the second stage because the second-stage dreams are more or less reactions of your waking state. Whatever you have repressed creates them.

The third stage of sleep with dreams… these dreams have nothing to do with your waking state. These are more like visions. And if you can remember them, they can be of tremendous help for you for your spiritual growth. They show you the direction where to go, where the right way is.

These dreams should not be called dreams, and they are not called dreams in the East; they are called visions. And they can happen only when you have reached the sleep of the third strata of your mind. You are far away from your waking world, miles away. The waking world has no effect on it.

These visions are caused by the fourth stage – which is dreamless sleep. This is the fourth stage, when dreams disappear completely – no visions, no dreams; you are simply asleep. This is the deepest in your being. You are at the very bottom of your mind.

Patanjali, one of the most authentic seekers of the mind, and one of the oldest, ancient most people, in many ways very rare…. For example, there are very few people who have created a whole system alone.

Yoga is the creation of one single man, Patanjali – the whole system. And he created it to such a perfection that for five thousand years nothing has been added to it, nothing has been taken out of it. He has exhausted the whole field. It is very rare; it takes centuries for any science to become complete, and many people have to contribute to it.

There are only two cases: One is Patanjali who created a whole science of Yoga; and the other is Aristotle, who created the whole science of logic. And for two thousand years there has been no change, no improvement. But just in this century, Aristotle has lost his ground. Non-Aristotelian logic has come into being – which is absolutely against Aristotle. But Patanjali stands like a peak of the Himalayas – still unchallenged, still perfect and complete.

Patanjali says that the deep sleep, dreamless sleep, is exactly the same as samadhi, superconsciousness, the ultimate experience of being. It is the same; the only difference is you are not aware of it. Dreamless sleep plus awareness is equal to enlightenment.

One has to start with the first layer of waking, and make it alert. It is a very thin layer, very superficial, but it can be used as a preface for greater things to happen. Meditation begins with wakefulness.

You start becoming aware of the moments when you are awake.

Walking, eating, doing your work – anything – you have to make it a point that it is done in awareness, that it is not done like a robot, not mechanically. Even breathing has to be joined with awareness, so you know when the breath is going in and you know when the breath is going out.

The smallest things you have to try – even the blinking of the eyes. The smaller the thing you try, the better, because those are the things which one ignores, and those are the things which will give you a deeper penetration into the thin layer of wakefulness.

Buddha has said that the meditator has to walk keeping his eyes only four feet away, looking at the ground, not looking all around everywhere, reading the posters on the walls, looking at people and what they are doing. He has to keep his eyes focused four feet ahead, and remain alert that he does not move from that posture.

And while he is looking four feet ahead, he has to be continuously aware of each step that he is taking. He has to walk very slowly. He has to remember the breathing, that it is going in, coming out. He has to remember the blinking of the eyes. He has to be aware of each small thing that is happening.

Being awake plus awareness will lead you to the second step: you can dream with awareness – and that is a tremendous experience. Then dreaming cannot deceive you; you are alert. If you are hungry, you know you are hungry, and you know the dream is trying in every way to provide delicious food, but it is just dream-food, it is not the reality. You can see both the hunger and the food. You know the hunger is true and the food is false.

As you become more and more aware of subtle nuances of dreaming, a great surprise is waiting for you. Dreams become less and less because they don’t need awareness. They are very shy; they don’t want to face awareness. They come only in the shadows of sleep.

But if you are alert, then naturally they stop coming. And when dreams stop coming you fall suddenly into the third state, which is sleep with visions. And there is a clear-cut distinction between dreams and visions.

Dreams disappear when you are aware, visions become more clear and solid when you are aware; they are not shy. They are part of reality, they are predictions, they may be glimpses of your future. Dreams belong to the past, visions belong to the future. They are opening doors of the unknown.

And if you can see clearly, your path is made very simple. So they are of a great help.

But remember the distinction, that awareness makes them very solid, real; they don’t disappear, they become perfectly clear. And soon you start discovering that what you have seen in your visions comes to be true in life.

Dreams are simply repressed parts of life.

They are intuitive, and once you have become aware that you have seen them before…. For example, in the vision you see a man that you have never seen, and the next morning you open your door and the man is standing there. The vision has prepared you for something. The man is no ordinary man, there must be something significant. He is a guest to be honored and respected.

Your intuition has made you already aware of it, that he is carrying a treasure for you. Something is going to happen with this man, something is going to transpire between him and you.

In fact, most of the people find their master through visions. Thinking is of not any help. What can you think about a master?

And the people who go to a master through thinking always go to a wrong person, because thinking is a by-product of the society.

You are born in a Hindu family or a Christian family or a Buddhist family – those families have given you a certain idea of what a saint is. Your thinking cannot go beyond it, and if you go through thinking to find a master, you will end up with somebody who is trying to be a saint according to the expectations of the society. He is not really a saint; he is just rehearsing a part that he wants to play in life.

Only through visions do you come across beings who are not according to your expectations. In fact, they have nothing to do with your mind. It is through the tremendous sensitivity of your intuition that you start seeing something of the future. It is through the height of your awareness that what is future for others becomes present for you.

For example, it is like this: A man is standing by the side of a tree, and he looks at the road – the road is empty. He looks behind him, at the road that he has traveled – it is empty. He looks ahead to the future, the road that he is going to travel – it is empty. But at exactly that same moment, another man is sitting in the tree. He has a bigger perspective, he can see more of the road.

He sees a horseman coming closer to the tree. That horseman is present to him, but that horseman is future to the man who is standing by the side of the tree. So what is future to one man can be present to another: it depends on his height, on his perspective, on his alertness.

It is a known fact that thousands of saints down the ages have predicted their death – the exact time, days before, sometimes months before – because in the old days their disciples were miles away; they had to be informed that the master is going to leave the body. They have to come because the master cannot leave the body without saying goodbye to them, or maybe there is a last message.

So disciples from faraway places will start traveling – it will take time but they will all reach and the master will die exactly at the time he has declared. It is part of the vision – he knows when death is going to happen. To him it is already present; to his disciples it is future – maybe three weeks, maybe four weeks. He has seen it already.

So the vision is a tremendous help to the seeker – where to go? With whom to go? Whom to trust? It is not a question of the mind deciding. The deepest part of your consciousness has already decided, and there is no question of doubt about it.

I am reminded of a Sufi story. A king was told by his prime minister, “In your whole kingdom there is only one beggar, and it is within your powers – you can easily make that beggar a rich man. And that is the only blemish on your kingdom. Your kingdom can be free of beggars, it is already free – there is only one beggar.”

The king said, “I know it. I have tried, but my visions are not in agreement with my mind. That man will remain a beggar; whatever we do is going to be futile.”

The prime minister was a man of intelligence, intellect – he said, “I don’t believe… why should he remain a beggar? If we give him some money, a good house to live in, he will not be a beggar.”

The king said, “Wait for tomorrow morning. Let me check.”

The prime minister said, “With whom are you going to check? I am the person, your adviser – you have to check with me. About whom are you talking?”

The king laughed. He said, “You may not understand. I always have to check my visions, because I have noticed that when my vision has said, ‘Don’t go to war,’ if I went, I was defeated, even though I was mightier than the enemy. And there were times when the enemy was mightier and I was weaker, but my vision said, ‘Go ahead,’ and I was victorious. So it is there that I have to check: what my vision says about this beggar.

“And this is my method that I go to sleep thinking about a certain thing, for example this beggar. I will fall asleep thinking about this beggar. Slowly, slowly it settles to the point where visions happen.”

And the next morning the king said, “It is not possible, but I will give it a try, just to show you that it is not possible.” The beggar used to pass along a bridge. Just in front of the palace there was a river, and he used to pass over the bridge and sit on the other corner of it to beg the whole day.

The king, in disguise, and the prime minister, in disguise went on to the bridge early in the morning when the beggar used to come, with a big pot full of gold coins – enough for the beggar to live his whole life luxuriously. There was nobody on the bridge – it was too early in the morning and it was too cold.

The king put the pot with the gold coins in the middle of the bridge, and they both went away to the other corner to see what happened.

The beggar was coming. He was not blind, and on the whole bridge there was nothing except the pot, but the prime minister was surprised that the beggar was coming with closed eyes. He passed the pot full of gold coins with closed eyes, groping his way.

When he reached close to the king and the prime minister, they asked him, “What is the matter? You are not blind, and you have never done this before. Why are you walking with closed eyes?”

The beggar said, “Just as I got onto the bridge the idea occurred to me: what if I go blind, then how would I manage to walk along the bridge? So I closed my eyes and tried to walk along the bridge as a blind man. And you should be happy that I managed it.”

The king turned to the prime minister: “What do you say? I had seen this whole scene in my vision – that the beggar will pass the pot with closed eyes, and he will have a reason, he will give an argument. It happens to everybody, once in a while, to want to walk with closed eyes to see how it feels – but exactly on that day?”

Once you have become aware of the reality of your visions, you are safe from your dreams, from your mind. And you are in a state where trust is possible. Not that you have to do anything, just your visions will make you trust.

The real masters are found through visions.

And then you can give yourself up totally into the hands of the master. Below this stage, if you go on with awareness, visions will not be happening every day. Once in a while, only when something is very important that existence wants you to be alert about…. It is your connection with life, with existence, with the cosmos.

So visions will happen only once in a while – not an everyday affair – but whenever they happen they are going to materialize in reality soon. You have been warned beforehand.

If you remain aware you will reach the fourth stage – dreamless sleep. The word of Patanjali is sushupti – dreamless sleep. And he says sushupti and samadhi, dreamless sleep and the ultimate awakening, are exactly the same. The only difference is of awareness.

If you can go with awareness into dreamless sleep, it explodes. There is an explosion of light, suddenly you are full of light. Your whole mind – dreams, sleep, everything is gone. There is only pure awareness.

On the way, the disciple can first be misled when he is trying awareness in the waking mind. If you just put a watch with a second hand in front of you and keep your eyes on the second hand, you will be surprised: you cannot continue to remember even for one minute completely. Perhaps fifteen seconds, twenty seconds, at the most thirty seconds, and you will forget. You will get lost in some other idea – and then suddenly you will remember that you were trying to remember.

Even to keep awareness continuous for one minute is difficult, so one has to be aware that it is not child’s play. So when you are trying to be aware of the small things of life, you have to remember that many times you will forget. You will go far away into something else. The moment you remember, don’t feel guilty – that is one of the traps.

If you start feeling guilty, then you cannot come back to the awareness that you were practicing. There is no need to feel guilty, it is natural. Don’t feel repentance. It is simple, and it happens to every seeker. Accept it as natural; otherwise you will be caught in repentance, in the guilt that you cannot remember even for a few moments and you go on forgetting.

Mahavira is the first man in history who has actually worked out that if a man can remember, be aware, for forty-eight minutes continuously, that’s enough – he will become enlightened, nobody can prevent him. Just forty-eight minutes… but it is difficult even for forty-eight seconds – so many distractions.

No guilt, no repentance – the moment you remember that you have forgotten what you were doing, simply come back; simply come back and start working again.

My emphasis is, simply come back. Don’t cry and weep for the spilled milk; that is stupid. It will take time, but slowly you will become aware that you are remaining alert more and more, perhaps for a whole minute, perhaps two minutes.

And it is such a joy that you have been aware for two minutes – but don’t get caught in the joy. Don’t think that you have attained something. That will become a barrier. These are patterns where one is lost. Just a little gain and one thinks one has come home. Go on working slowly, patiently.

There is no hurry – you have eternity at your disposal.

Don’t try to be speedy. That impatience will not help. Awareness is not like seasonal flowers that grow in six weeks’ time and are then gone. Awareness is like the cedars of Lebanon which take hundreds of years to grow; but they remain for thousands of years and rise to one hundred and fifty feet, two hundred feet high in the sky. They are really very proud people.

Awareness grows very slowly, but it grows. One has to just be patient.

As it grows you will start feeling many things which you have never felt before. For example, you will start feeling that you are carrying many tensions in your body of which you have never been aware because they are subtle tensions. Now your awareness is there you can feel those very subtle, very delicate tensions.

So wherever you feel any tension in the body, relax that part. If your whole body is relaxed, your awareness will grow faster because those tensions are hindrances.

As your awareness grows even more, you will be surprised to know that you don’t dream only in sleep; there is an undercurrent of dreaming even while you are awake. It goes just underneath your wakefulness – close your eyes any moment and you can see some dream passing by like a cloud in the sky. But only when you become a little more aware will it be possible to see that your wakefulness is not true awakenedness.

The dream is floating there – people call it daydream. If they relax in their chair for a moment and close their eyes, immediately the dream takes over. They start thinking that they have become the president of the country, or they are doing great things – or anything, which they know at the very moment they are dreaming is all nonsense. You are not the president of the country, but still the dream has something in it, that it continues in spite of you.

Awareness will make you aware of layers of dreams in your waking state. And they will start dispersing, just as you bring light into a dark room and the darkness starts dispersing.

Awareness functions almost like a light. If you can disperse your dreams in the waking state, your waking state will have a clarity, your intelligence will have a newness to it. These will be the byproducts.

You will be able to see things which you were not able to see before. You will be able to reason, argue. You will be able to see your conditionings, which you were never able to before; you had accepted them in your childhood when there was no argument, no reasoning. […]

So as you become aware, your conditionings will start falling this way and that way. Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism – they will start disappearing from your wakefulness. You will start discovering your own identity, which has been covered with so many labels.

In the second step, dreams can delude you. That is where the master will be of immense help. He can tell you that you are dreaming, that you are awake. The Zen master in Japan has developed a staff; he moves amongst his disciples who are meditating with his staff. So whosoever he feels is dreaming, he hits him on the head… because when you start dreaming, you start dozing. Your face immediately changes. When you are awake, your face has a certain quality; when you start dreaming, it has a different quality – and immediately the hit comes.

Suddenly you are awake and the disciple is expected to bow down and touch the feet of the master in gratitude for his compassion that he did not allow him to fall into the trap of dreams.

In the third stage the master will be helpful in making it clear to you that what you are seeing now are not dreams. Listen to them, follow them – they are indications of your destiny. If you go astray, you will miss fulfillment. These visions are showing you the right path to follow.

But still there is a danger – the danger of getting very egoistic because you can know the future. Not only can you know your future, if you try a little harder you can start seeing other people’s futures. It is in this stage that all astrology has been born. It has nothing to do with stars – that is just a façade to deceive you. It has nothing to do with the lines of the hand.

It is a visionary who can manage to look into your future. But that can give him the role of a prophet.

The word “prophet” comes from prophecy. Only in India have there been no prophets – you will be surprised. In Judaism there have been prophets, in Christianity there have been prophets, in Mohammedanism there have been prophets. It is only in India that there have been no prophets, which is strange because this is the most religious part of the world, and the most ancient in religion, deep in religion.

What happened to the prophets? Why did they not appear here? – because every disciple was made aware by the master that these visions are not to make you a prophet, that you are not to move in that direction, that it is a false direction. Use these visions to go deeper, to the fourth. Don’t start using these visions to play around and show your power.

This is the greatest trap that waits for the disciple, because the attraction is immense – to tell somebody his future, that “tomorrow this is going to happen to you.” […]

So this is one of the greatest traps, because as power grows you are closer to being trapped. And this is the last trap.

It happened in the life of Vivekananda in Ramakrishna’s ashram, in Dakshineshwar, in Calcutta, Bengal…. There were many disciples, and Vivekananda was one of the most intellectual disciples of Ramakrishna. There was a very simple man who was also a disciple – his name was Kalu, a poor man. He was so faithful, religious, emotional, that he had in his room hundreds of statues of different gods, because in India the traditional number of gods is thirty-three million. So he had hundreds of statues, and it was such a long affair to worship all those gods that it was only in the afternoon that he was able to take his breakfast.

Early, at four o’clock in the morning, he would take a bath in the Ganges, and then the worship would begin. And of course each god had to be worshipped equally; otherwise somebody may get angry, somebody may feel offended. So the whole day was lost and everybody was laughing at Kalu: “What are you doing? Just one god is enough!”

But Kalu said, “I have become so attached to these hundreds of gods – whom to reject? And whoever I reject will become annoyed. So in this life it is impossible; I have to worship these hundreds of gods and I have to give equal time to each.”

Vivekananda was the most prominent in making a fool of Kalu. He said, ”You are simply stupid – these are just stones! And you are wasting your life.” But Kalu would not listen to anyone; he continued his way.

One day Ramakrishna gave Vivekananda a certain method of awareness to practice: “Go into your cell, close the door and practice it.” When Vivekananda came to a certain stage of awareness he felt himself so full of power that the idea came to his mind, “If I say at this moment just within myself, to Kalu, ‘Take all your gods and throw them into the Ganges,’ he will do it.” He was so certain of it. And he did it, he said to Kalu, in his own cell, just within himself, “Kalu, just collect all your gods” – and this was the time when he was worshipping the gods – and throw them all into the Ganges.”

And Kalu collected all his gods into a big bag and was dragging the bag down the steps when Ramakrishna ran after him, stopped him and said, “What are you doing?”

He said, “Suddenly I heard a voice – it must have come from God himself, because there was nobody in the room – saying, ‘Kalu, collect all your gods and throw them into the Ganges.’ It was so powerful that I could not doubt it.”

Ramakrishna said, “Come back. Take your gods back and I will show you from where the voice has come.” He knocked on Vivekananda’s door. Vivekananda came out and Ramakrishna was very angry. He said, “Vivekananda, this is the last thing I had ever expected of you. I had told you to be aware – not to destroy a poor man’s life. This is his whole life, and he is no harm to anybody. He is so simple-hearted, so loving, such a beautiful man – how could you do it to him? Awareness is not for such things. And from now onwards I will keep the key of your awareness; you will never attain to the same power again.”

It is a very significant story. And it is said Vivekananda died without attaining enlightenment because the key was kept by the master. He never showed Vivekananda the way to go deeper. He tried hard in his own way but always went round and round, could not enter within himself. Although he became Ramakrishna’s successor because he was the most intellectual – a great orator, a very powerful personality, had a certain charisma, influenced people – he himself died a poor man, knowing nothing. And the reason was that he disturbed a simple-hearted man because he got just a little power and he immediately used it – not for the benefit of somebody, but to harm somebody.

There are traps and traps.

And the master is needed in many ways: to keep you aware not to use your power in any harmful way to others, not to use your power in any way harmful to yourself, not to use your power as an ego-trip.

And he has to go on reminding you that you have to transform your sushupti, your dreamless sleep, into samadhi, into superconsciousness.

-OSHO

From Light on the Path, Chapter 18

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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