The World Needs Masters – Osho

Can you explain the fine line between our trust in you and the saying, “If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him”?

There is no fine line. Unless you trust, you don’t have a Buddha, you don’t have a master.

Buddha has made the statement: “If you meet me on the way, kill me.” It is not said to those who don’t trust him, who don’t love him, who have not merged their identity with his being. Once you are in deep trust with a master, there is a danger that you may become so blissful with the merger of your identity with the master that you may not like to become enlightened on your own; hence, the statement.

The statement is saying that you are feeling so blissful, just being in tune with an awakened being, you don’t know how much more bliss is possible if you yourself become awakened. But to become awakened you will have to drop this identity. You will have to forget even the master. It is something about the inner journey. When a person is moving in meditation on the inner journey, the last thing is the master. It is easy to drop other ideas, other feelings; it is easy to drop greed, anger. But finally you come to a point when you have to drop the master too. That is the last barrier.

It is just in your mind. You have loved the man so much, your love has made it so difficult, that you would prefer to remain unenlightened than to drop the master. And a real master will say, “Drop me, so that you can also become a master in your own right.”

It happened in Ramakrishna’s life – and Ramakrishna was alive just in the last part of the preceding century, so he is not very far away, he is very close to us. He was a great devotee of the mother goddess, Kali. And it was not a formality, it was not just like going every Sunday to the church. He was the priest of the temple of Kali, but his behavior was strange. Sometimes he would worship, sometimes he would not open the doors of the temple at all. Sometimes he would worship the whole day, from morning to evening, till he fell down unconscious from dancing.

Rani Rasmani had made the temple near the Ganges in Calcutta – a beautiful temple and a very scenic place. But Rani Rasmani, although she was a queen of a small kingdom, belonged to the fourth caste of the Hindus, the untouchables. So no brahmin was ready to become a priest in the temple of an untouchable. For years there was no priest. Rasmani was very much in trouble. She looked all over Bengal; she was ready to give any salary the priest wanted, but no brahmin was ready to worship in a temple of a sudra, an untouchable.

But when Ramakrishna was approached, he said, “I will come.” Even Rasmani was a little puzzled: the man seems to be a little mad, because no brahmin was ready to come. Ramakrishna said, “Whether the temple is made by an untouchable or by a brahmin, the highest caste, the mother Kali is the same; it doesn’t matter. I am coming, and whatever salary you feel is right, must be right. I don’t know much about money – you are a queen; your decision will be far better.” When she heard that sometimes he dances, sings songs the whole day, and sometimes he does not even open the door, Rani Rasmani called him and said, “This is not right.”

He said, “Nobody can say to me what is right and what is wrong: it is a love affair. Only I know and my mother Kali knows. Sometimes I get angry at her when she does not behave. I have been for three days dancing, and she has not even given a little vision to me? Now let her be punished! I am not going to open the doors, and I am not going to offer the food.”

Rasmani said, “You are strange! You are supposed to be a priest – you have to do the ritual.” He said, “I am not a priest, and I am not supposed to do any ritual. I love! I love the Kali in my village. I will continue; if you are worried you can stop my salary… because when I prepare food for Kali, first I taste it, then I offer it to her. So that’s enough, I don’t need much – I can just taste a little more!”

This was unimaginable. In India you cannot taste anything and then offer it to God, or to a goddess. Rasmani said, “This is too much!”

He said, “No. My mother used to do the same. She would taste everything before she gave it to me. Was it worth giving or not? Has the taste come out right or not? I cannot offer anything to my mother without tasting it.”

This man, Ramakrishna, was really in love with that statue. Nobody was there, but his love was real. The goddess was unreal, but his love was not unreal.

One wandering mystic came to the temple and said to Ramakrishna, “You have not yet attained to the ultimate consciousness, and I can see you are capable of it. You are very close to it. Only one thing is blocking the way: this mother goddess, Kali. You love her too much. She does not exist, but your love certainly exists. And you have created a great image of her. You have dropped everything else from your mind, you are ready to reach to ultimate samadhi, ultimate ecstasy, but you will have to cut off the head of Kali.”

Ramakrishna said, “That is a little hard. Killing one’s own mother? – what are you saying? I would rather remain unenlightened. And anyway, the moment I close my eyes I see her; she is so beautiful and so alive, I cannot do this.”

But the mystic insisted. He said, “I have never come across a man who is so close – just one step!”

Ramakrishna was a simple man. He said, “Then you will have to help me, because when I close my eyes, I will not remember you. And Kali is standing before me, so gorgeous, so beautiful! And it is such an immense bliss to see her, I completely forget.”

Many times, he tried. He would close his eyes, and soon he was swaying, as if from an inner dance. And the mystic would say, “Wake up! Don’t forget what I have said.” Ramakrishna would open his eyes and say, “But this seems to be impossible.” Then the mystic found a way. He brought a piece of glass, really sharp, like a knife, and he said, “I will do one thing: I will just cut your forehead with this piece of glass. It will be painful, but it will remind you. The same way, you cut the mother Kali.”

Ramakrishna said, “Let us try.”

The mystic cut Ramakrishna’s forehead and the mark remained all his life. Blood started flowing, the pain was intense, and he remembered: with great courage, he cut the image of Kali in two parts – it was just in his imagination – and Kali fell in two parts. And he went into transcendental ecstasy. It took six days to wake him up, he was so deep in ecstasy. And the mystic said, “Don’t disturb him.”

After six days he was awakened, and his first words were, “The last barrier has fallen! I am grateful to you,” he said to the mystic. “If you had not insisted, I would have remained happy, but now I know what bliss is. It is a millionfold more.”

That is the meaning of Gautam Buddha’s saying. It is not for all, because you don’t have that love.

When you go inside you will not find Gautam Buddha. You may find all kinds of idiots there: the attorney general of Oregon, Governor Atiyeh, Ronald Reagan – anybody.

The statement is not for you. The statement is for those who had loved Buddha so much that Buddha knew that they could drop everything else, but they could not drop him. So he had to say, “When you meet me on the way” – that way is the inner way – “just chop my head off, so that you can become an enlightened person on your own.” And that is the joy of a master, to see his disciple also becoming a master.

This is the meaning when I say that this commune is a mystery school. The effort is to have everyone become a master; just disciplehood won’t do. I want you all to be masters. The world needs masters. Only a great energy of masters around the world can prevent the catastrophe of a third world war, which is looming on the horizon.

So it is not only a question of your enlightenment. It is also a question of the life or death of this whole planet.

-Osho

From From Bondage to Freedom, Discourse #26

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

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

Tathata Means Suchness

In my sannyas darshan, Osho assigned two groups for me to do in the couple of weeks that I would be in Poona before heading to the States. The first was Tathata which was somewhat modeled on the EST trainings. The second was a group with Amitabh called Tao.

 

A scene from a group in Poona

The Tathata group was my first group experience. Until then I had never participated in groups so I really had no idea what to expect. Two experiences from the group have remained in my memory. The first memorable experience was one of the meditations we did, Osho’s Mandala Meditation. The first stage of the meditation is running in place for 15 minutes. You begin rather slowly and gradually increase the speed and bring your knees up as high as possible. In the group this was accompanied by the group leaders pushing you on like a couple of drill sergeants, shouting “faster, faster” and “higher, higher.” As you can easily imagine this brings up quite a bit of resistance. But the amazing thing was that there came a point when resistance just melted and the legs picked up speed and they were just running on their own. The contrast between the effort needed to fight the resistance and the resistance free running was stark.

Another exercise in the Tathata group that was quite instructive was one where we were lying on the floor with blindfolds on and the group leaders came by and laid a large snake on my naked chest. If one wants to witness fear — that is the way to do it. And you are also able to see the result of fear. The snake would react to fear, but when you let the fear go, the snake was just a cold smooth moving object in your senses. It wasn’t just the dropping of fear that was so instructional, but it was also the perceiving the fear as an object, a perception within my awareness but not my self, something separate from my self.
The Tao group didn’t provide the same degree of insight. Although during one break I went out the front gate of the ashram and someone handed me a joint which I took a couple of tokes off of before heading back into the group. It was an interesting mix — the energy of the group and a couple of tokes. At one point, I suggested we sit together in a circle holding hands and just feel the love, which we did. That was the only time I was ever stoned on some substance anywhere near Osho’s presence.

When I arrived at the ashram, I had been outside of the States for three years, and very soon I realized the trip that I had been on up to that point had come to an end. Sannyas was truly the beginning of something new for me and I had no idea what that would entail, but I knew I had to return to the States and to Kansas City where I had left some friends with whom I would have to share what I had found.

This story is from the book From Lemurs to Lamas: Confessions of a Bodhisattva. Download a PDF or order the book Here.

Surrender is Understanding – Osho

My surrender is goal-oriented. I’m surrendering in order to win freedom, so it is not real surrender at all. I’m watching it, but the problem is: it is always “I” who is watching. Therefore, every realization out of that watching is reinforcement of the ego. I feel tricked by my ego.

You have not understood what surrender is.

The first thing to remember about surrender is: you cannot do it; it is not a doing. You can prevent it from happening, but you cannot manage for it to happen. Your power about surrender is only negative: you can prevent it, but you cannot bring it.

Surrender is not something that you can do. If you do it, it is not surrender, because the doer is there. Surrender is a great understanding that, “I am not.” Surrender is an insight that the ego exists not, that, “I am not separate.” Surrender is not an act but an understanding.

In the first place you are false, the separation is false. Not for a single moment can you exist separate from the universe. The tree cannot exist if uprooted from the earth. The tree cannot exist if the sun disappears tomorrow. The tree cannot exist if no water is coming to its roots. The tree cannot exist if it cannot breathe. The tree is rooted in all the five elements – what Buddhists call skandhas, the five groups we were talking about the other day. Avalokita… when Buddha came to the transcendental vision, when he passed through all the stages, when he passed through all the rungs of the ladder and came to the seventh – from there he looked down, looked back – what did he see? He saw only five heaps with nothing substantial in them, just emptiness, shunyata.

The tree cannot exist if these five elements are not constantly pouring energy into it. The tree is just a combination of these five elements. If the tree starts thinking, “I am,” then there is going to be misery for the tree. The tree will create a hell for itself. But trees are not so foolish, they don’t carry any mind. They are there, and if tomorrow they disappear, they simply disappear. They don’t cling; there is nobody to cling. The tree is constantly surrendered to existence. By surrendered it means it is never separate, it has not come to that stupid idea of the ego. And so are the birds, so are the mountains, so are the stars. It is only man who has turned his great opportunity of being conscious into being self-conscious. Man has consciousness. If consciousness grows, it can bring you the greatest bliss possible. But if something goes wrong and consciousness turns sour and becomes self-consciousness, then it creates hell, then it creates misery. Both alternatives are always open; it is for you to choose.

The first thing to be understood about ego is that it exists not. Nobody exists in separation.

You are as much one with the universe as I am, as Buddha is, as Jesus is. I know it, you don’t know it; the difference is only of recognition. The difference is not existential, not at all! So you have to look into this stupid idea of separation. Now if you start trying to surrender you are still carrying the idea of separation. Now you are thinking, “I will surrender, now I am going to surrender” – but you think you are.

Looking into the very idea of separation, one day you find that you are not separate, so how can you surrender? There is nobody to surrender! There has never been anybody to surrender! The surrenderer is not there, not at all – never found anywhere. If you go into yourself you will not find the surrenderer anywhere. In that moment is surrender. When the surrenderer is not found, in that moment is surrender. You cannot do it. If you do it, it is a false thing. Out of falsity only falsity arises. You are false, so whatsoever you do will be false, more false. And one falsity leads to another, and so on and so forth. And the fundamental falsity is the ego, the idea, “I am separate.”

You ask: “My surrender is goal-oriented.”

The ego is always goal-oriented. It is always greedy; it is always grabbing. It is always searching for more and more and more; it lives in the more. If you have money it wants to have more money; if you have a house it wants to have a bigger house; if you have a woman it wants to have a beautiful woman, but it always wants more. The ego is constantly hungry. It lives in the future and in the past. In the past it lives as a hoarder – “I have this and this and this.” It gets a great satisfaction: “I have got something” – power, prestige, money. It gives a kind of reality to it. It gives the notion that, “When I have these things, I must be there.” And it lives in the future with the idea of more. It lives as memory and as desire.

What is a goal? A desire: “I have to reach there, I have to be that, I have to attain.” The ego does not, cannot live in the present, because the present is real and the ego is false – they never meet. The past is false, it is no more. Once it was, but when it was present, ego was not there. Once it has disappeared, is no longer existential, ego starts grabbing it, accumulating it.

It grabs and accumulates dead things. The ego is a graveyard: it collects corpses, dead bones.

Or, it lives in the future. Again, the future is not yet – it is imagination, fantasy, dream.

Ego can live with that too, very easily; falsities go together perfectly well, smoothly well.

Bring anything existential and the ego disappears. Hence the insistence of being in the present, being here-now. Just this moment… If you are intelligent there is no need to think about what I am saying; you can simply see into it this very moment! Where is the ego? There is silence, and there is no past, and there is no future, only this moment… and this dog barking. This moment, and you are not. Let this moment be, and you are not. And there is immense silence, there is profound silence, within and without. And then there is no need to surrender because you know you are not. Knowing that you are not is surrender.

It is not a question of surrendering to me, it is not a question of surrendering to God. It is not a question of surrendering at all. Surrendering is an insight, an understanding that, “I am not.” Seeing, “I am not, I am a nothingness, emptiness,” surrender grows. The flower of surrender grows on the tree of emptiness. It cannot be goal-oriented.

The ego is goal-oriented. The ego is hankering for the future. It can hanker even for the other life, it can hanker for heaven, it can hanker for nirvana. It doesn’t matter what it hankers for – hankering is what it is, desiring is what it is, projecting into the future is what it is.

See it! See into it! I’m not saying think about it. If you think about it you miss. Thinking again means past and future. Have a look into it – avalokita! – look into it. The English word look comes from the same root as avalokita. Look into it, and do it right now. Don’t say to yourself, “Okay, I will go home and do it.” The ego has entered, the goal has come, the future has entered. Whenever time enters you are falling into that falsity of separation.

Let it be here, this very moment. And then you suddenly see you are, and you are not going anywhere, and you are not coming from anywhere. You have always been here. Here is the only time, the only space. Now is the only existence. In that now, there is surrender. “My surrender is goal-oriented,” you say; “I’m surrendering in order to win freedom.”

But you are free! You have never been unfree. You are free, but again there is the same problem: you want to be free, but you don’t understand that you can be free only when you are free from yourself – there is no other freedom. When you think about freedom, you think as if you will be there and free. You will not be there; there will be freedom. Freedom means freedom from the self, not freedom of the self. The moment the prison disappears the prisoner also disappears, because the prisoner is the prison! The moment you come out of the prison, you also are not. There is pure sky, pure space. That pure space is called nirvana, moksha, liberation.

Try to understand rather than trying to achieve.

“I am surrendering in order to win freedom.”

Then you are using surrender as a means, and surrender is the goal, is the end unto itself. When I say surrender is the goal, I’m not saying that surrender has to be achieved somewhere in the future. I’m saying that surrender is not a means, it is an end unto itself. It is not that surrender brings freedom, surrender is freedom! They are synonymous, they mean the same thing. You are looking at the same thing from two different angles.

“So it is not real surrender at all.”

It is neither real nor unreal. It is not surrender at all. It is not even unreal.

“I am watching it, but the problem is it is always ‘I’ who is watching. Therefore every realization out of that watching is a reinforcement of the ego. I feel tricked by my ego.”

Who is this ‘I’ you are talking about who feels tricked by the ego? It is the ego itself. The ego is such that it can divide itself into fragments, into parts, and then the game starts. You are the chaser and you are the chased. It is like a dog trying to catch hold of its own tail, and goes on jumping. And you look and you see the absurdity of it – but you see the absurdity, the dog cannot see it. The more he finds it is difficult to catch hold of the tail, the more he becomes crazy, the more he jumps. And the faster and the bigger the jump, the more the tail jumps faster and bigger also. And the dog cannot conceive what is happening: he’s such a great catcher of everything, and this ordinary tail, and he cannot catch hold of it?

This is what is happening to you. It is ‘I’ who is trying to catch, and who is the catcher and the caught both. See the ridiculousness of it, and in that very seeing be free of it.

There is not a thing to be done – not a thing, I say, because you are already that which you want to become. You are Buddhas, you have never been otherwise. Seeing is enough.

And when you say that, “I am watching,” it is again the ‘I’. Watching, the ‘I’ will be created again, because watching again is an act, there is effort involved. You are watching – then who is watching? Relax. In relaxation – when there is nothing to be watched and nobody as a watcher, when you are not divided into a duality – there arises a different quality of witnessing. It is not a watching, it is just passive awareness; passive, I say – remember. It has nothing aggressive in it. Watching is very aggressive: effort is needed, you have to be tense. But be non-tense, relaxed. Just be there. In that consciousness when you are simply there, sitting doing nothing, the spring comes and the grass grows by itself.

That is the whole Buddhist approach: that anything that you do will create and enhance the doer – watching also, thinking also, surrendering also. Anything that you do will create the trap. Nothing is needed to be done on your part. Just be… and let things happen. Don’t try to manage, don’t try to manipulate. Let the breeze pass, let the sunrays come, let life dance, and let death come and have its dance into you too.

This is my meaning of sannyas: it is not something that you do, but when you drop all doing and you see the absurdity of doing. Who are you to do? You are just a wave in this ocean. One day you are, another day you will disappear; the ocean continues. Why should you be so worried? You come; you disappear. Meanwhile, for this small interval, you become so worried and tense, and you take all the burdens on your shoulders, and you carry rocks on your heart – for no reason at all.

You are free this very moment!

I declare you enlightened in this very moment. But you don’t trust me. You say, “That’s right, Osho, but just tell us how to become enlightened.”

That becoming, that achieving, that desiring, goes on jumping on every object that you can find. Sometimes it is money, sometimes it is God. Sometimes it is power, sometimes it is meditation – but any object, and you start grabbing it. Non-grabbing is the way to live the real life, the true life, non-grasping, non-possessing.

Let things happen, let life be a happening, and there is joy, there is rejoicing – because then there is no frustration, ever, because you had never expected anything in the first place. Whatsoever comes is good, is welcome. There is no failure, no success. That game of failure and success has been dropped. The sun comes in the morning and wakes you, and the moon comes in the evening and sings a lullaby and you go to sleep. Hunger comes and you eat, and so on and so forth. That’s what Zen masters mean when they say: When hungry, eat, when sleepy, sleep, and there is nothing else to do.

And I’m not teaching you inaction. I’m not saying don’t go and work, I’m not saying don’t earn your bread, I’m not saying renounce the world and depend on others and become exploiters; no, not at all. But don’t be a doer. Yes, when you are hungry you have to eat, and when you have to eat you have to earn the bread – but there is nobody doing it. It is hunger itself that is working; there is nobody else doing it. It is thirst itself that is taking you towards the well or towards the river. It is thirst itself moving; there is nobody who is thirsty. Drop nouns and pronouns in your life and let verbs live.

Buddha says: The truth is that when you see a dancer, there is no dancer but only a dance. When you see a river, there is no river but only rivering. When you see a tree, there is no tree but only treeing. When you see a smile, there is nobody who is smiling, there is only smile, smiling. When you see love, there is nobody who is a lover but only loving. Life is a process.

But we are accustomed to thinking in terms of static nouns. That creates trouble. And there is nothing static – all is flux and flowing. Flow with this, flow with this river, and never be a doer. Even when you are doing don’t be a doer. There is doing but there is no doer. Once this insight settles in you there is nothing else.

Enlightenment is not something like a goal that has to be attained. It is the very ordinary life, this simple life that surrounds you. But when you are not struggling, this ordinary life becomes extraordinarily beautiful. Then trees are greener, then birds sing in richer tones, then everything that is happening around is precious . . . then ordinary pebbles are diamonds.

Accept this simple, ordinary life. Just drop the doer. And when I say drop the doer, don’t become a dropper! Seeing into the reality of it, it disappears.

-Osho

From The Heart Sutra, Discourse #2

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

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

The Greater Sensitivity, the Greater the Detachment – Osho

With deepening meditation, one becomes more and more sensitive to objects, events and persons. But due to this heightened sensitivity one feels a sort of deep intimacy with everything, and this usually becomes a cause of subtle attachments. How to be sensitive and yet detached?

How to be sensitive and yet detached? These two things are not contraries, they are not opposites. If you are more sensitive, you will be detached; or, if you are detached, you will become more and more sensitive. Sensitivity is not attachment, sensitivity is awareness. Only an aware person can be sensitive. If you are not aware you will be insensitive. When you are unconscious you are totally insensitive – the more consciousness, the more sensitivity. A Buddha is totally sensitive, he has optimum sensitivity, because he will feel and he will be aware to his total capacity. But when you are sensitive and aware you will not be attached. You will be detached, because the very phenomenon of awareness breaks the bridge, destroys the bridge, between you and things, between you and persons, between you and the world. Unconsciousness, unawareness, is the cause of attachment.

If you are alert, the bridge suddenly disappears. When you are alert there is nothing to relate you to the world. The world is there, you are there, but between the two the bridge has disappeared. The bridge is made of your unconsciousness. So don’t think and feel that you become attached because you are more sensitive. No. If you are more sensitive you will not be attached. Attachment is a very gross quality; it is not subtle.

For attachment you need not be aware and alert. There is no need. Even animals can be attached very easily, rather, more easily. A dog is more attached to his master than any man can be. The dog is completely unconscious so attachment happens. That is why in the countries where human relationship has become poor, such as in the West, man goes on seeking relationship with animals, with dogs, with other animals, because the human relationship is no longer there. Human society is disappearing and every man feels isolated, alienated, alone. The crowd is there but you are not related to it. You are alone in the crowd and this aloneness scares. One becomes afraid and fearful.

When you are related, attached to someone, and someone is attached to you, you feel you are not alone in this world, in this strange world. Someone is with you. That feeling of belonging gives you a sort of security. When human relationship becomes impossible then men and women try to make relationships with animals. In the West they are very deeply related to dogs and other animals, but here in the East, although you may be worshipping cows you are not related to them. You may go on saying that you worship the cow as a divine animal, but your cruelty has no end.

In the East you are so cruel with your animals that the West cannot even conceive of how you can go on thinking that you are non-violent. All over the world, particularly in the West, there are many societies to protect animals from the cruelty of men. You cannot beat a dog in the West. If you beat it, it will be a criminal act and you will be punished for it. What is happening really, is that human relationship is dissolving – but man cannot live alone. He must have a relationship, a belonging, a feeling that someone is with him. Animals can be very good friends because they get so attached; no one, no man, can get that attached.

For attachment, awareness is not necessary; rather, awareness is the barrier. The more aware you become the less you will be attached, because the need for attachment disappears. Why do you want to be attached to someone? Because alone you feel you are not enough. You lack something. Something is incomplete in you. You are not a whole. You need someone to complete you. Hence, attachment. If you are aware, you are complete, you are a whole; the circle is now complete, nothing is lacking in you – you don’t need anyone. You, alone, feel a total independence, a feeling of wholeness.

That doesn’t mean that you will not love persons; rather, on the contrary, only you can love. A person who is dependent on you cannot love you: he will hate you. A person who needs you cannot love you. He will hate you because you become the bondage. He feels that without you he cannot live, without you he cannot be happy, so you are the cause of both his happiness and unhappiness. He cannot afford to lose you. This will give a feeling of imprisonment: he is imprisoned by you and he will resent it, he will fight against it. Persons hate and love together, but this love cannot be very deep. Only a person who is aware can love, because he doesn’t need you. But then love has a totally different dimension: it is not attachment; it is not dependence. He is not dependent on you and he will not make you dependent on him; he will remain a freedom and he will allow you to remain a freedom. You will be two free agents, two total, whole beings, meeting. That meeting will be a festivity, a celebration – not a dependence. That meeting will be a fun, a play.

That is why we have called Krishna’s life Krishna-leela, the play of Krishna. He loves so many persons but there is no attachment. The same is not true on the part of the gopis and the gopals, the friends and the girl friends of Krishna. The same is not true. They have become attached, so when Krishna moves from Vrindavan to Dwaraka, they weep and cry and suffer. Their anguish is great because they think that Krishna has forgotten them. He has not forgotten, but there is no pain because there was no dependence; he is as whole and happy in Dwaraka as he was in Vrindavan and his love is flowing as much in Dwaraka as it was in Vrindavan. The objects of love have changed but the source of love remains the same. So whosoever comes near him receives the gift. And this gift is unconditional: nothing is required as a return, nothing is asked as a return.

When love comes through an aware consciousness it is just a pure gift with no condition, and the person who is giving it is happy because he is giving it. The very act of giving is his bliss, his ecstasy.

So remember that if you feel that through meditation you have become more sensitive, then automatically you will become less attached, more detached. Because you will be more grounded in yourself, you will be more centered in yourself, you will not use somebody else as your center. What does attachment mean? Attachment means that you are using someone else as your center of being, Majanu is attached to Laila: he says he cannot live without Laila. That means the center of being has been transferred. If you say that you cannot live without this or that, then your soul is not within you. Then you are not existing as an independent unit, your center has moved somewhere else.

This movement of the center from yourself to something else, to the other, is attachment. If you are sensitive, you will feel the other, but the other will not become the center of your life. You will remain the center and out of this centering the other will receive many gifts from you. But they will be gifts, they will not be bargains. You will simply give because you have too much, you are an overflowing. And you will be thankful that the other has received it. That will be enough and that will be the end.

That is why I go on saying that the mind is a great deceiver. You think that you are meditating and that that is why you have become sensitive. Then the question of why you get attached arises. If you get attached, that is a clear symptom that the sensitivity is not because of awareness. Really, it is not sensitivity at all. It may be sentimentalism: that is a totally different thing. You can be sentimental: you can cry and weep over small things, you can be touched, and a storm can be created very easily within you – but that is sentimentalism, not sensitivity.

Let me tell you a story. Buddha was staying in a village. A woman came to him, weeping and crying and screaming. Her child, her only child, had suddenly died. Because Buddha was in the village, people said, “Don’t weep. Go to this man. People say he is infinite compassion. If he wills it, the child can revive. So don’t weep. Go to this Buddha.” The woman came with the dead child, crying, weeping, and the whole village followed her – the whole village was affected. Buddha’s disciples were also affected; they started praying in their minds that Buddha would have compassion. He must bless the child so that he will be revived, resurrected.

Many disciples of Buddha started weeping. The scene was so touching, deeply moving. Everybody was still. Buddha remained silent. He looked at the dead child, then he looked at the weeping, crying mother and he said to the mother, “Don’t weep, just do one thing and your child will be alive again. Leave this dead child here, go back to the town, go to every house and ask every family if someone has ever died in their family, in their house. And if you can find a house where no one has ever died, then from them beg something to be eaten, some bread, some rice, or anything – but from the house where no one has ever died. And that bread or that rice will revive the child immediately. You go. Don’t waste time.”

The woman became happy. She felt that now the miracle was going to happen. She touched Buddha’s feet and ran to the village which was not a very big one, very few cottages, a few families. She moved from one family to another, asking. But every family said, “This is impossible. There is not a single house – not only in this village but all over the earth – there is not a single house where no one has ever died, where people have not suffered death and the misery and the pain and the anguish that comes out of it.”

By and by the woman realized that Buddha had been playing a trick. This was impossible. But still the hope was there. She went on asking until she had gone around the whole village. Her tears dried, her hope died, but suddenly she felt a new tranquility, a serenity, coming to her. Now she realized that whosoever is born will have to die. It is only a question of years. Someone will die sooner, someone later, but death is inevitable. She came back and touched Buddha’s feet again and said to him, “As people say, you really do have a deep compassion for people.” No one could understand what had happened. Buddha initiated her into sannyas, she became a bhikkhuni, a sannyasin. She was initiated.

Anand asked Buddha, “You could have revived the boy. He was such a beautiful child and the mother was in such anguish.” But Buddha said, “Even if the child was resurrected, he would have had to die. Death is inevitable.” Anand said, “But you don’t seem to be very sensitive to people, to their misery and anguish.” Buddha replied, “I am sensitive; you are sentimental. Just because you start weeping, do you think you are sensitive? You are childish. You don’t understand life. You are not aware of the phenomenon.”

This is the difference between Christianity and Buddhism. Christ was reported to have done many miracles of reviving people. When Lazarus was dead, Jesus touched him and he came back to life. We in the East cannot conceive of Buddha touching a dead man and bringing him back to life. To ordinary persons, to the ordinary mind, Jesus would look more loving and compassionate than Buddha. But I say to you that Buddha is more sensitive, more compassionate, because even if Lazarus was revived, it made no difference. He still had to die. Finally, Lazarus had to die. So this miracle was of no use, of no ultimate value. One cannot conceive of Buddha doing such a thing.

Jesus had to because he was bringing something new, a new message to Israel. And the message was so deep that people would not understand it so he had to create miracles around it – because people can understand miracles but they cannot understand the deep message, the esoteric message. They can understand miracles, so through miracles they might become open and able to be receptive to the message. Jesus was carrying a Buddhist message to a land which was not Buddhist; an Eastern message to a country which had no tradition of enlightenment, of many Buddhas.

We can conceive that Buddha was more sensitive than his disciples who were weeping and crying. They were sentimental.

Don’t misunderstand your sentimentality for sensitivity. Sentimentality is ordinary; sensitivity is extraordinary. It happens through effort. It is an achievement. You have to earn it. Sentimentality is not to be earned; you are born with it. It is an animal inheritance which you already have in the cells of your body and your mind. Sensitivity is a possibility. You don’t have it already. You can create it, you can work for it – then it will happen to you. And whenever it happens, you will be detached.

Buddha was totally detached. The dead child was there but he didn’t seem to be affected at all. The woman, the mother, was miserable and he was playing a trick on her. This man seems to be cruel and this playing of a trick seems to be too much for a mother whose child has died. He gave her a riddle, and he knew well that she would come back empty-handed. But I say again that he has real compassion because he was helping this woman to grow, to be mature. Unless you can understand death you are not mature; and unless you can accept death, you don’t have a center within your being. When you accept death as a reality, you have transcended it.

Buddha used the situation. He was less concerned with the dead child and more concerned with the alive mother because he knew that the dead child would come back to life again – there was no need for the miracle. But if the child was revived the mother might have lost an opportunity. For lives together she might not again have a meeting with a Buddha. So in the East only third-rate saddhus have been doing miracles; the first-rate have never done any – they work on a higher level. Buddha is also doing a miracle but the miracle is being done on a very high level. The mother is being transformed.

But it is difficult to understand because our minds are gross and we only understand sentimentality, we cannot understand sensitivity. Sensitivity means an alertness which feels everything that happens around. And you can feel only when you are not attached. Remember this: if you are attached you are no longer there to feel, you have moved out of you. So if you want to know the truth about someone don’t ask his friends. They are attached. And don’t ask his enemies. They are also attached, in the reverse order. Ask someone who is neutral, neither a friend nor an enemy. Only he can say the truth.

Friends cannot be believed, enemies cannot be believed, but we believe either the friends or the enemies. Both are bound to be wrong because they don’t have a neutral witnessing, they don’t have a detached view. They cannot stand aloof and look because they have an investment in the person. Friends have an investment and enemies have an investment. They see according to particular viewpoints, and with those viewpoints they are attached. The moment you feel you are attached; you have taken a viewpoint. The totality is lost; only a fragmentary thing is in your hands. And fragments are always lies because only the whole is true.

Meditate, become more sensitive, and take it as a criterion that you will go on becoming more and more detached. If you feel that attachment is growing, then you are erring somewhere in your meditation. These are the criteria. And to me, attachment cannot be destroyed and detachment cannot be practiced. You can only practice meditation – and detachment will follow as a consequence, as a by-product. If meditation really flowers within you, you will have a feeling of detachment. Then you can move anywhere and you will remain untouched, unafraid. Then when you leave your body; you will leave it unscratched. Your consciousness will be absolutely pure, nothing foreign has entered into it. When you are attached, impurities enter into you. This is the basic impurity: that you are losing your center and somebody else or something else is becoming your center of being.

-Osho

From The Book of Secrets, Discourse #74, Q1

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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Be a Light Unto Yourself – Osho

Is Zen the path of surrender? Then how come the basic teaching of Buddha is ‘Be a light unto yourself’?

The essential surrender happens within you, it has nothing to do with anybody outside you. The basic surrender is a relaxation, a trust — so don’t be misguided by the word. Linguistically, surrender means to surrender to somebody, but religiously, surrender simply means trust, relaxing. It is an attitude rather than an act: you live through trust.

Let me explain. You swim in water — you go to the river and swim. What do you do? You trust water. A good swimmer trusts so much that he almost becomes one with the river. He is not fighting, he does not grab the water, he is not stiff and tense. If you are stiff and tense you will be drowned; if you are relaxed the river takes care.

That’s why whenever somebody dies, the dead body floats on the water. This is a miracle. Amazing! The alive person died and was drowned by the river, and the dead person simply floats on the surface. What has happened? The dead person knows some secret about the river which the alive person did not know. The alive person was fighting. The river was the enemy. He was afraid, he could not trust. But the dead person, not being there, how could he fight? The dead person is totally relaxed with no tension — suddenly the body surfaces. The river takes care. No river can drown a dead person.

Trust means you are not fighting; surrender means you don’t think of life as the enemy but as the friend. Once you trust the river, suddenly you start enjoying. Tremendous delight arises: splashing, swimming, or just floating, or diving deep. But you are not separate from the river, you merge, you become one.

Surrender means to live the same way in life as a good swimmer swims in the river. Life is a river. Either you can fight or you can float; either you can push the river and try to go against the current or you can float with the river and go wherever the river leads you.

Surrender is not towards somebody; it is simply a way of life. A God is not needed to surrender to. There are religions which believe in God, there are religions which don’t believe in God, but all religions believe in surrender. So surrender is the real God.

Even the concept of God can be discarded. Buddhism does not believe in any God, Jainism does not believe in any God — but they are religions. Christianity believes in God, Islam believes in God, Sikhism believes in God — they are also religions. The Christian teaches surrender to God; God is just an excuse to surrender. It is a help, because it will be difficult for you to surrender without any object. The object is just an excuse so that in the name of God you can surrender. Buddhism says simply surrender — there is no God. You relax. It is not a question of some object, it is a question of your own subjectivity. Relax, don’t fight. Accept.

The belief in God is not needed. In fact, the word “belief” is ugly. It does not show trust, it does not show faith — belief is almost the very opposite of faith. The word ‘belief’ comes from a root “lief” — “lief” means to desire, to wish. Now let me explain it to you. You say, “I believe in God the compassionate.” What exactly are you saying? You are saying, “I wish there was a God who is compassionate.” Whenever you say, “I believe,” you say, “I intensely desire.” But you don’t know.

If you know, there is no question of belief. Do you believe in the trees here? Do you believe in the sun which arises every morning? Do you believe in the stars? There is no question of belief. You know that the sun is there, that the trees are there. Nobody believes in the sun — if he did, you would say he is mad. If somebody came and said, “I believe in the sun,” and tried to convert you, you would say, “You have gone mad!”

I have heard an anecdote.

A certain lady, Lady Lewis, was appointed ambassador to Italy by the United States of America. She was a recently converted Catholic, and, of course, when people become converted, they are very enthusiastic. And she was boring everybody. Whosoever she came into contact with, she would try and make him a Catholic.

The story goes that when she went to Italy as the ambassador, she went to see the Pope. A long discussion followed — it went on and on. A press reporter slipped closer and closer, just to hear what was going on. The Pope had never given so much time to anybody, and the discussion seemed to be very heated and hot. Something was going on. When the Pope talks so long to the ambassador of the richest and the strongest nation in the world, there is going to be some news.

Just to overhear, he came closer and closer. He could hear only one sentence. The Pope was saying in a faltering English, “Lady, you don’t understand me. I am already a Catholic!”

She was trying to convert the Pope!

If somebody comes and says to you, “Believe in the sun,” you will say, “I am already a Catholic. I already believe. You don’t be worried about it.” You know.

Somebody asked Shri Aurobindo, “Do you believe in God?”

He said, “No.”

Of course the questioner was very shocked. He had come from far away, from Germany, and he was a great seeker of God and he was hoping for much. Then this man simply says a flat no. He said, “But I was thinking that you have known him.”

Aurobindo said, “Yes, I have known him, but I don’t believe in him.”

Once you know, what is the point of belief? Belief is in ignorance. If you know, you know. And it is good that if you don’t know, know that you don’t know — the belief can deceive you. The belief can create an atmosphere in your mind, where, without knowing, you start thinking that you know. Belief is not trust, and the more strongly you say that you believe totally, the more you are afraid of the doubt within you.

Trust knows no doubt. Belief is just repressing doubt; it is a desire. When you say, “I believe in God,” you say, “I cannot live without God. It will be too difficult to exist in this darkness, surrounded by death, without a concept of God.” That concept helps. One doesn’t feel alone; one doesn’t feel unprotected, insecure — hence belief.

Martin Luther has written, “My God is a great fortress.” These words cannot come from a man, who trusts. ‘My God is a great fortress’? Martin Luther seems to be on the defensive. Even God is just a fortress to protect you, to make you feel secure? Then it is out of fear. The thinking that “God is my greatest fortress”, is born out of fear, not out of love. It is not of trust. Deep down there is doubt and fear.

Trust is simple. It is just like a child trusts in his mother. It is not that he believes — belief has not yet entered. You were a small child once. Did you believe in your mother or did you trust her? The doubt has not arisen so what is the question of belief? Belief comes only when the doubt has entered; doubt comes first. Later on, to suppress the doubt, you catch hold of a belief. Trust is when doubt disappears; trust is when doubt is not there.

For instance, you breathe. You take a breath in; then you exhale, you breathe out. Are you afraid of breathing out, because who knows, it may not come back? You trust. You trust it will come. Of course there is no reason to trust, what is the reason? Why should it come back? You can at the most say that in the past it has been happening so — but that is not a guarantee. It may not happen in the future. If you become afraid of breathing out because it may not come back, then you will hold your breath in. That’s what belief is — clinging, holding. But if you hold your breath in, your face will go purple and you will feel suffocated. And if you go on doing that, you will die.

All beliefs suffocate and all beliefs help you not to be really alive. They deaden your being.

If you exhale, you trust in life. The Buddhist word ‘nirvana’ simply means exhaling, breathing out — trusting. Trust is a very, very innocent phenomenon. Belief is of the head; trust is of the heart. One simply trusts life because you are out of life, you live in life, and you will go back again to the source. There is no fear. You are born, you live, you will die; there is no fear. You will be born again, you will live again, you will die. The same life that has given you life can always give you more life, so why be afraid?

Why cling to beliefs? Beliefs are man-made; trust is God-made. Beliefs are philosophical; trust has nothing to do with philosophy. Trust simply shows that you know what love is. It is not a concept of God who is sitting somewhere in heaven and manipulating and managing. Trust needs no God, the infinite life, this totality, is more than enough. Once you trust, you relax. That relaxation is surrender.

Now, “Is Zen the path of surrender?” Yes. Religion, as such, is surrendering, relaxing. Don’t cling to anything. Clinging shows that you don’t trust life.

Every evening, Mohammed used to distribute whatsoever he had collected in the day.

All! Not even a single pai would he save for the tomorrow because he said that the same source that had given today, would give to him tomorrow. If it has happened today, why be untrusting about tomorrow? Why save?

But when he was dying and he was very ill, his wife became worried. Even at midnight a physician may be needed, so that evening she saved five rupees, five dinars. She was afraid. “Nobody knows — he may become too ill in the night, and some medicine may be needed and in the middle of the night, where would I go? Or a doctor may be needed and the fee would have to be given.” Not saying anything to Mohammed, she’d saved five dinars.

Near about midnight, Mohammed opened his eyes and he said, “I feel a certain distrust around me. It seems something has been saved.”

The wife became very much afraid and she said, “Excuse me, but thinking that something may be needed in the night, I have saved just five dinars.”

Mohammed said, “You go out and give it to somebody.”

She said, “In the middle of the night who is going to be there?”

Mohammed said, “You just listen and let me die peacefully, otherwise I will feel guilty, guilty against my God. And if he asks me. I will feel ashamed that at the last moment I died in deep distrust. You go out!”

The wife went out, unbelieving of course, but a beggar was standing there.

When she came back, Mohammed said, “Look, he manages well, and if we need something, then a donor will be standing outside the door. Don’t be worried.”

Then he pulled up his blanket and died immediately, relaxed totally.

Clinging to anything, anything whatsoever, shows distrust. If you love a woman or a man, and you cling, that simply shows that you don’t trust. If you love a woman and you say, “Tomorrow also, will you love me or not?” you don’t trust. If you go to the court to get married, you don’t trust. Then you trust more in the court, in the police, in the law, than in love. You are preparing for tomorrow. If this woman or this man tries to deceive you tomorrow or leaves you in the ditch, you can get support from the court and the police, and the law will be with you and the whole society will support you. You are making arrangements, afraid.

But if you really love, love is enough, more than enough. Who bothers about tomorrow? But deep down there is doubt. Even while you think you are in love, doubt continues.

It is reported that when Jesus was resurrected after his crucifixion, the first person to see him back alive was Mary Magdalene. She had loved him tremendously. She ran towards him. In the New Testament it is said that Jesus said, “Don’t touch me.”

I became a little suspicious because Jesus saying, “Don’t touch me,” does not look right. Something somewhere has gone wrong. Of course it is okay if a pope says, “Don’t touch me,” but a Jesus saying, “Don’t touch me.” Almost impossible.

So I tried to find the original. In the original the Greek word can mean both touch or cling. Then I found the key. Jesus says, “Don’t cling to me,” not “Don’t touch me,” but the translators have interpreted it as, ‘Don’t touch me.” The interpreter has entered his own mind in it. Jesus must have said, “Don’t cling to me,” because if there is trust, there is no clinging if there is love, there is no clinging. You simply share without any clinging; you share in deep relaxedness.

Surrendering means surrendering to life; surrendering to the source from where you come and to where one day you will go back again. You are just like a wave in the ocean: You come out of the ocean, you go back to the ocean. Surrendering means trusting in the ocean — and of course, what can a wave do except that? The wave has to trust the ocean and whether you trust or not, you remain part of the ocean. Non-trusting, you will create anxiety — that’s all. Nothing will change. only you will become anxious. tense, desperate.

If you trust, you flower. you bloom. you celebrate. knowing well that deep down is your mother, the ocean. When tired, you will go back and rest in her being again. When rested, you will come back again to have a taste of the sky and the sunlight and the stars.

Surrendering is trusting and it has nothing to do with any concept of any God, any ideology of any God. It is an attitude.

Then you can understand the meaning of Buddha s last utterance. Be a light unto yourself. When he says. Be a light unto yourself. he means: if you have surrendered to life you have become a light unto yourself. Then life leads you. Then you always live in enlightenment. When he says. “Be a light unto yourself,” he is saying don t follow anybody, don’t cling to anybody. Learn from everybody but don’t cling to anybody. Be open, vulnerable, but remain on your own, because finally the religious experience cannot be a borrowed experience. It has to be existential; it has to be your own. Only then it is authentic.

If I say something and you believe in it, it is not going to help. If I say something and you search, and you surrender, and you trust, and you also experience the same — then it has become a light unto yourself. Otherwise my words will remain words; at the most they can become beliefs. Unless you experience the truth of them, they cannot become trust, they cannot become your own truth. My truth cannot become yours, otherwise it would have been very cheap. If my truth could be yours then there would be no problem.

That is the difference between a scientific truth and a religious truth. A scientific truth can be borrowed. A scientific truth, once known, becomes everybody else’s property. Albert Einstein discovered the theory of relativity. Now there is no need for everybody to discover it again and again and again. That would be foolish. Once discovered, it has become public. Now it is everybody’s theory. Once discovered, once proved, now even a school child can learn it. Now no genius is needed — you need not be an Albert Einstein. Just a mediocre mind will do; just an ordinary mind will do. You can understand it and it is yours. Of course, Einstein had to work for years — then he was able to discover it. You need not work. If you are ready to understand and put your mind to it, in just a few hours you will understand.

But the same is not true about religious truth. Buddha discovered, Christ discovered, Nanak and Kabir discovered, but their discovery cannot become your discovery. You will have to rediscover it again. You will have to move again from ABC; you cannot just believe in them. That won’t help. But that is what humanity has been doing: mistaking religious truth for scientific truth. It is not scientific truth, it can never become a public property. Each individual has to come to it alone, each individual has to come to it again and again. It can never become available in the market. You will have to pass through the hardship; you will have to seek and search and follow the same path. A shortcut cannot even be made. You will have to pass through the same austerities as Buddha, the same difficulties as the Buddha; you will have to suffer the same calamities on the path as the Buddha and you will have to be in the same hazards as the Buddha. And one day, when the clouds disappear, you will dance and be as ecstatic as the Buddha.

Of course, when an Archimedes discovers something, he runs naked in the streets, “Eureka! I have found it!” You can understand Archimedes within minutes, within seconds, but you will not be ecstatic — otherwise every school child would run naked in the streets, crying, “Eureka!” Nobody has done that since Archimedes did it. It happened only once. For Archimedes it was a discovery; since then it has become public property.

But it is good that the religious truth cannot be transferred to you otherwise you would never achieve the same ecstasy as Buddha or Jesus or Krishna. Never, because you would learn it in a school textbook — any fool could transfer it to you. Then the whole orgasmic experience will be lost.

It is good that religious experience has to be experienced individually. Nobody can lead you there. People can indicate the way but those indications are very subtle — don’t take them literally. Buddha said, “Be a light unto yourself.” He is saying, ‘Remember, my truth cannot be your truth; my light cannot be your light. Imbibe the spirit from me, become more thirsty from me, let your search be intense and be totally devoted to it, learn the devotion of a truth-seeker from me — but the truth, the light, will burn within you. You will have to kindle it within you.”

You cannot borrow truth, it cannot be transferred, it is not a property. It is such a subtle experience that it cannot even be expressed. It is inexpressible. One at the most tries to give a few hints.

-Osho

From Ancient Music in the Pines, Discourse #4, Q1

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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Zen is just Zen – Osho

Zen is just Zen. There is nothing comparable to it. It is unique—unique in the sense that it is the most ordinary and yet the most extraordinary phenomenon that has happened to human consciousness. It is the most ordinary because it does not believe in knowledge, it does not believe in mind. It is not a philosophy, not a religion either. It is the acceptance of the ordinary existence with a total heart, with one’s total being, not desiring some other world, supra-mundane, supra-mental. It has no interest in any esoteric nonsense, no interest in metaphysics at all. It does not hanker for the other shore; this shore is more than enough. Its acceptance of this shore is so tremendous that through that very acceptance it transforms this shore—and this very shore becomes the other shore:

This very body the Buddha;
This very earth the lotus paradise.

Hence it is ordinary. It does not want you to create a certain kind of spirituality, a certain kind of holiness. All that it asks is that you live your life with immediacy, spontaneity. And then the mundane becomes the sacred.

The great miracle of Zen is in the transformation of the mundane into the sacred. And it is tremendously extraordinary because this way life has never been approached before, this way life has never been respected before.

Zen goes beyond Buddha and beyond Lao Tzu. It is a culmination, a transcendence, both of the Indian genius and of the Chinese genius. The Indian genius reached its highest peak in Gautam the Buddha and the Chinese genius reached its highest peak in Lao Tzu.

And the meeting…the essence of Buddha’s teaching and the essence of Lao Tzu’s teaching merged into one stream so deeply that no separation is possible now. Even to make a distinction between what belongs to Buddha and what to Lao Tzu is impossible, the merger has been so total. It is not only a synthesis, it is an integration. Out of this meeting Zen was born. Zen is neither Buddhist nor Taoist and yet both.

To call Zen “Zen Buddhism” is not right because it is far more. Buddha is not as earthly as Zen is. Lao Tzu is tremendously earthly, but Zen is not only earthly: its vision transforms the earth into heaven. Lao Tzu is earthly, Buddha is unearthly, Zen is both—and in being both it has become the most extraordinary phenomenon.

The future of humanity will go closer and closer to the approach of Zen, because the meeting of the East and West is possible only through something like Zen, which is earthly and yet unearthly. The West is very earthly, the East is very unearthly. Who is going to become the bridge? Buddha cannot be the bridge; he is so essentially Eastern, the very flavor of the East, the very fragrance of the East, uncompromising. Lao Tzu cannot be the bridge; he is too earthly. China has always been very earthly. China is more part of the Western psyche than of the Eastern psyche.

It is not an accident that China is the first country in the East to turn communist, to become materialist, to believe in a godless philosophy, to believe that man is only matter and nothing else. This is not just accidental. China has been earthly for almost five thousand years; it is very Western. Hence Lao Tzu cannot become the bridge; he is more like Zorba the Greek. Buddha is so unearthly you cannot even catch hold of him—how can he become the bridge?

When I look all around, Zen seems to be the only possibility, because in Zen, Buddha and Lao Tzu have become one. The meeting has already happened. The seed is there, the seed of that great bridge which can make East and West one. Zen is going to be the meeting point. It has a great future—a great past and a great future.

And the miracle is that Zen is neither interested in the past nor in the future. Its total interest is in the present. Maybe that’s why the miracle is possible, because the past and the future are bridged by the present.

The present is not part of time. Have you ever thought about it? How long is the present?

The past has a duration, the future has a duration. What is the duration of the present?

How long does it last? Between the past and the future can you measure the present? It is immeasurable; it is almost not. It is not time at all: it is the penetration of eternity into time.

And Zen lives in the present. The whole teaching is: how to be in the present, how to get out of the past which is no more and how not to get involved in the future which is not yet, and just to be rooted, centered, in that which is.

The whole approach of Zen is of immediacy, but because of that it can bridge the past and the future. It can bridge many things: it can bridge the past and the future, it can bridge the East and the West, it can bridge body and soul. It can bridge the unbridgeable worlds: this world and that, the mundane and the sacred.

-Osho

From Ah, This!, Discourse #1

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

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

What is Zen – Osho

What is Zen? Zen is a very extraordinary growth. Rarely does such a possibility become an actuality because many hazards are involved. Many times before the possibility has existed – a certain spiritual happening could have grown and become like Zen, but it was never realized to its totality. Only once in the whole history of human consciousness has a thing like Zen come into being. It is very rare.

So first I would like you to understand what Zen is, because unless you do that these anecdotes won’t be much help. You need to know the complete background. In that background, in that context, these anecdotes become luminous – suddenly you attain to the meaning and the significance of them, otherwise they are separate units. You can enjoy them; sometimes you can laugh at them; they are very poetic; in themselves they are beautiful, unique pieces of art, but just by looking at these anecdotes you will not be able to penetrate into the significance of what Zen is.

So first try to follow me slowly through the growth of Zen – how it happened. Zen was born in India, grew in China, and blossomed in Japan. The whole situation is rare. Why did it happen that it was born in India, but could not grow here and had to seek a different soil? It became a great tree in China, but could not blossom there, it had to again seek a new climate, a different climate – and in Japan it blossomed like a cherry tree, in thousands of flowers. It is not coincidental; it is not accidental; it has deep inner history. I would like to reveal it to you.

India is an introvert country, Japan is extrovert, and China is just in the middle of these two extremes. India and Japan are absolute opposites. So how come the seed was born in India and blossomed in Japan? They are opposites; they have no similarities; they are contradictory. And why did China come just in the middle, to give soil to it?

A seed is introversion. Try to understand the phenomenon of the seed, what a seed is. A seed is outgoing; a seed has really turned upon itself. A seed is an introvert phenomenon, it is centripetal – the energy is moving inwards. That’s why it is a seed, covered and closed from the outer world completely. In fact a seed is the loneliest, most isolated thing in the world. It has no roots in the soil, no branches in the sky; it has no connection with the earth, no connection with the sky. In fact, it has no relationships around it. A seed is an absolute island, isolated, caved in. It does not relate. It has a hard shell around it, there are no windows, no doors; it cannot go out and nothing can come in.

Seed is natural to India. The genius of Indian can produce seeds of tremendous potentiality, but cannot give them soil. India is an introverted consciousness.

India says the outer doesn’t exist and even if it exists it is of the same stuff that dreams are made of. The whole genius of India has been trying to discover how to escape from the outer, how to move to the inner cave of the heart, how to be centered in oneself, and how to come realize that the whole world that exists outside consciousness is just a dream – at the most beautiful, at the worst a nightmare; whether beautiful or ugly, in reality, it is a dream, and one should not bother much about it. One should awake, and forget the whole dream of the outer world.

The whole effort of Buddha, Mahavir, Tilopa, Gorakh, Kabir, their whole effort through the centuries, has been how to escape from the wheel of life and death: how to enclose yourself, how to completely cut yourself from all relationships, how to be unrelated, detached, how to move in and to forget the outer. That’s why Zen was born in India.

Zen means dhyan. Zen is a Japanese change of the word dhyan. Dhyan is the whole effort of Indian consciousness. Dhyan means to be so alone, so into your own being, that not even a single thought exists. In fact, in English, there is no direct translation.

Contemplation is not the word. Contemplation means thinking, reflection. Even meditation is not the word because meditation involves an object to meditate upon; it means something is there. You can meditate on Christ, or you can meditate on the cross. But dhyan means to be so alone that there is nothing to meditate upon. No object, just simple subjectivity exists – consciousness without clouds, a pure sky.

When the word reached China it became ch’an. When ch’an reached Japan, it became Zen. It comes from the same Sanskrit root, dhyan.

India can give birth to dhyan. For millennia the whole Indian consciousness has been travelling on the path of dhyan – how to drop all thinking and how to be rooted in pure consciousness. With Buddha the seed came into existence. Many times before also, before Gautam Buddha, the seed came into existence, but it couldn’t find the right soil so it disappeared. And if the seed is given to the Indian consciousness it will disappear, because the Indian consciousness will move more and more inwards, and the seed will become smaller and smaller and smaller, until a moment comes when it becomes invisible. A centripetal force makes things smaller, smaller, smaller – atomic – until suddenly they disappear. Many times before Gautam Buddha the seed was born – Gautam Buddha was not the first to meditate and to become a dhyani, to become a great meditator. In fact he is one of the last of a long series. He himself remembers twenty-four Buddha’s before him. Then there were twenty-four Jaina Teerthankaras and they all were meditators. They did nothing else, they simply meditated, meditated, meditated, and came to a point where only they were, and everything else disappeared, evaporated.

The seed was born with Parasnath, with Mahavir, Neminath, and others, but then it remained with the Indian consciousness. The Indian consciousness can give birth to a seed, but cannot become the right soil for it. It goes on working in the same direction and the seed becomes smaller and smaller, molecular, atomic and disappears. That’s how it happened with the Upanishads; that’s how it happened with the Vedas; that’s how it happened with Mahavir and all others.

With Buddha it was also going to happen. Bodhidharma saved him. If the seed had been left with the Indian consciousness, it would have dissolved. It would never have sprouted, because a different type of soil is needed for sprouting – a very balanced soil. Introversion is a very deep imbalance, it is an extreme.

Bodhidharma escaped with the seed to China. He did one of the greatest things in the history of consciousness: he found the right soil for the seed that Buddha had given to the world.

Buddha himself is reported to have said: My religion will not exist for more than 500 years; then it will disappear. He was aware that it always happened that way. The Indian consciousness goes on grinding it into smaller and smaller and smaller pieces; then a moment comes when it becomes so small that it becomes invisible. It is simply no longer part of this world; it disappears into the sky.

Bodhidharma’s experiment was great. He looked all around the world and observed deeply for a place where this seed could grow.

China is a very balanced country, not like India, not like Japan. The golden mean is the path there. Confucian ideology is to remain always in the middle: neither be introvert, nor be extrovert; neither think too much of this world, nor too much of that world – just remain in the middle. China has not given birth to a religion, just morality. No religion has been born there; the Chinese consciousness cannot give birth to a religion. It cannot create a seed. All the religions that exist in China have been imported, they have all come from the outside; Buddhism, Hinduism, Mohammedanism, Christianity – they have all come from the outside. China is a good soil but it cannot originate any religion, because to originate a religion one has to move into the inner world. To give birth to a religion one has to be like a feminine body, a womb.

The feminine consciousness is extremely introvert. A woman lives in herself; she has a very small world around her, the most minimum possible. That is why you cannot interest a woman in things of great vastness. No. You cannot talk about Vietnam to her, she doesn’t bother. Vietnam is too far away, too outer. She is concerned with her family, her husband, the child, the dog, the furniture, the radio set, the TV. A very small world is around her, just the minimum. Because she doesn’t have a very big world around it is very difficult for man and woman to talk intelligently – they live in different worlds. A woman is beautiful only when she keeps quiet; the moment she starts talking then stupid things come out of her. She cannot talk intelligently. She cannot be very philosophic; no, that’s not possible. These things are too far away, she doesn’t bother. She lives in the very small circle of her own world, and she is the center. And whatsoever is meaningful is meaningful only in concern to herself – otherwise it is not meaningful. She cannot see why you are bothered about Vietnam. What is the matter with you? You are not related to the Vietnamese at all. Whether there is a war happening or not, it is no concern of yours. And the child is ill and you are bothering about Vietnam! She cannot believe that she is present near you and you are reading the newspaper.

Women live in a different world. A woman is centripetal, introvert. All women are Indian – wherever they are it makes no difference. Man is centrifugal, he goes out. The moment he can find an excuse he will escape from the home. He comes to the home only when he cannot go anywhere else; when all the clubs and hotels are closed, then, what to do? He comes back home. Nowhere to go, he comes home.

A woman is always home-centered, home based. She goes out only when it is absolutely necessary, when she cannot do otherwise. When it has become an absolute necessity she goes out. Otherwise she is home based.

Man is a vagabond, a wanderer. The whole of family life is created by women, not by men. In fact, civilization exists because of woman, not because of man. If he is allowed he will be a wanderer – no home, no civilization. Man is outgoing, woman is in-going; man is extrovert, woman is introvert. Man is always interested in something other than himself, that’s why he looks healthier. Because when you are too concerned with yourself, you become ill. Man is more happy looking.

You will always find women sad and too concerned with themselves. A little headache and they are very concerned, because they live inside – the headache becomes something big, out of proportion. But a man can forget the headache; he has too many other headaches. He creates so many headaches around himself that there is no possibility of coming upon his own headache and making something out of it. It is always so little he can forget about it. A woman is always concerned – something is happening in the leg, something in the hand, something in the back, something in the stomach, always something – because her own consciousness is focused inwards. A man is less pathological, more healthy, more outgoing, more concerned about what is happening to others.

That’s why, in all religions, you will find that if there are five persons present, four will be women, and one a man. And that one man may have only come because of some woman – the wife was going to the temple so he had to go with her. Or, she was going to listen to a talk on religion, so he came with her. In all churches this will be the proportion, in all churches, temples, wherever you go. Even with Buddha this was the proportion, with Mahavir this was the proportion. With Buddha there were fifty thousand sannyasins – forty thousand women and ten thousand men. Why?

Physically man can be healthier; spiritually woman can be healthier, because their concerns are different. When you are concerned with others you can forget your body, you can be more physically healthy, but religiously you cannot grow so easily. Religious growth needs an inner concern. A woman can grow very, very easily into religion, that path is easy for her, but to grow in politics is difficult. And for a man to grow in religion is difficult. Introversion has its benefits; extroversion has its benefits – and both have their dangers.

India is introvert, a feminine country; it is like a womb, very receptive. But if a child remains in the womb forever and forever and forever, the womb will become the grave. The child has to move out from the mother’s womb otherwise the mother will kill the child inside. He has to escape, to find the world outside, a greater world. The womb may be very comfortable – it is! Scientists say we have not yet been able to create anything more comfortable than the womb. With so much scientific progress we have not made anything more comfortable. The womb is just a heaven. But even the child has to leave that heaven and come outside the mother. Beyond a certain time, the mother can become very dangerous. The womb can kill, because it will then become an imprisonment – good for a time, when the seed is growing, but then the seed has to be transplanted to the outside world.

Bodhidharma looked around, watched the whole world, and found that China had the best soil; it was just a middle ground, not extreme. The climate was not extreme, so the tree could grow easily. And it had very balanced people. Balance is the right soil for something to grow: too cold is bad, too hot is bad. In a balanced climate, neither too cold nor too hot, the tree can grow.

Bodhidharma escaped with the seed, escaped with all that India had produced. Nobody was aware of what he was doing, but it was a great experiment. And he proved right. In China, the tree grew, grew to vast proportions.

But although the tree became vaster and vaster, no flowers grew. Flowers did not come, because flowers need an extrovert country. Just as a seed is introvert, so a flower is extrovert. The seed is moving inwards; the flower is moving outwards. The seed is like male consciousness. The flower opens to the outer world and releases its fragrance to this outside world. Then the fragrance moves on the wings of the wind to the farthest possible corner of the world. To all directions, the flower releases the energy contained in the seed. It is a door. Flowers would like to become butterflies and escape from the tree. In fact, that is what they are doing, in a very subtle way. They are releasing the essence of the tree, the very meaning, the significance of the tree to the world. They are great sharers. A seed is a great miser, confined to itself, and a flower is a great spendthrift.

Japan was needed. Japan is an extrovert country. The very style of life and consciousness is extrovert. Look . . .  in India nobody bothers about the outside world very much: about clothes, houses, the way one lives. Nobody bothers. That is why India has remained so poor. If you are not worried about the outside world, how can you become rich? If there is no concern to improve the outside world you will remain poor. And India is always very serious, always getting ready to escape from life, with Buddha’s talking about how to become perfect drop-outs from existence itself – not only from society, ultimate drop-outs from existence itself! The existence is too boring. For the Indian eye life is just a grey color – nothing interesting in it, everything just boring, a burden. One has to carry it somehow, because of past karmas. Even if an Indian falls in love he says it is because of past karmas, one has to pass through it. Even love is like a burden one has to drag.

India seems to be leaning more towards death than life. An introvert has to lean towards death. That’s why India has evolved all the techniques how to die perfectly, of how to die so perfectly that you are not born again. Death is the goal, not life. Life is for fools, death is for those who are wise. Howsoever beautiful a Buddha, a Mahavir may be, you will find them closed; around them a great aura of indifference exists. Whatsoever is happening, they are not concerned at all. Whether it happens this way or that way makes no difference; whether the world goes on living or dies, it makes no difference . . . a tremendous indifference. In this indifference flowering is not possible; in this inner-confined state, flowering is impossible.

Japan is totally different. With the Japanese consciousness it is as if the inner doesn’t exist, only the outer is meaningful. Look at Japanese dresses. All the colors of flowers and rainbows – as if the outer is very meaningful. Look at an Indian when he is eating, and look at the Japanese. Look at an Indian when he takes his tea – and the Japanese.

Japanese create a celebration out of simple things. Taking tea, he makes it a celebration. It becomes an art. The outside is very important; clothes are very important, relationships are very important. You cannot find more out-going people in the world than the Japanese – always smiling and looking happy. For the Indian they will look shallow; they will not look serious. Indians are the introvert people and the Japanese are the extrovert: they are opposites.

Japanese is always moving in society. The whole Japanese culture is concerned with how to create a beautiful society, how to create beautiful relationships – in everything, in every minute thing – how to give them significance. Their houses are so beautiful. Even a poor man’s house has a beauty of its own; it is artistic, it has its own uniqueness.

It may not be very rich, but still it is rich in a certain sense – because of the beauty, the arrangement, the mind that has been brought to every small, tiny detail: where the window should be, what type of curtain should be used, how the moon should be invited from the window, from where. Very small things, but every detail is important.

With the Indian nothing matters. If you go to an Indian temple, it is without any windows; there is nothing, no hygiene, no concern with air, ventilation – nothing. Even temples are ugly, and anything goes –dirt or dust, nobody bothers. Just in front of the temple you will find cows sitting, dogs fighting, people praying. Nobody bothers. No sense of the outer, they are not at all concerned with the outer.

Japan is very concerned with the outer – just at the other extreme. Japan was the right country. And the whole tree of Zen was transplanted in Japan, and there it blossomed, in thousands of colors. It flowered.

This is how it has to happen again. I am again talking about Zen. It has to come back to India because the tree has flowered, and the flowers have fallen and Japan cannot create the seed. Japan cannot create the seed: it is not an introvert country. So everything has become an outer ritual now. Zen is dead in Japan. It did flower in the past, but now, if by reading in books – reading D. T. Suzuki and others – if you go to Japan in search of Zen, you will come back empty-handed. Now Zen is here; in Japan it has disappeared. The country could help it to flower, but now the flowers have disappeared, fallen to the earth, and nothing is there any more. There are rituals – the Japanese are very ritualistic – rituals exist. Everything in Zen monasteries is still continued the same way, as if the inner spirit is still there, but the inner shrine is vacant and empty. The master of the house has moved. The God is there no more – just empty ritual. And they are extrovert people, they will continue the ritual. Every morning they will get up at five – there will be a gong – they will move to the tea-room, and they will take their tea; they will move to their meditation hall, and they will sit with closed eyes. Everything will be followed exactly as if the spirit is there, but it has disappeared. There are monasteries, there are thousands of monks, but the tree has flowered and seeds cannot be created there.

Hence, I am talking so much about Zen here –because, again, only India can create the seed. The whole world exists in a deep unity, in a harmony – in India the seed can again be given birth. But now many things have changed around the world. China is no longer a possibility, because it has itself become an extrovert country. It has become communistic: now matter is more important than the spirit. And now it is closed for new waves of consciousness.

To me, if any country can in the future become again the soil, it is England.

You will be surprised, because you may think it is America. No. Now the most balanced country in the world is England, just as in the ancient days it was China. The seed has to be taken to England and planted there; it will not flower there, but it will become a big tree. English consciousness – conservative, always following the middle way, the liberal mind, never moving to the extremes, just remaining in the middle – will be helpful. That is why I am allowing more and more English people to settle around me. It is not only for visa reasons! Because once the seed is ready, I would like them to take it to England. And from England it can go to America, and it will have flowering there, because America is the most extrovert country right now.

I tell you that Zen is a rare phenomenon, because only if all these situations are fulfilled can such a thing happen.

-Osho

From The Grass Grows by Itself, Discourse #1

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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Existence Is Advaita – Osho

The nature of consciousness is to be just a mirror. The mirror has no choice of its own.

Whatsoever comes in front of it is reflected – good or bad, beautiful or ugly – whatsoever. The mirror does not prefer, it does not judge, it has no condemnation. The nature of consciousness, at the source, is just mirror-like.

A child is born; he reflects whatsoever comes before him. He does not say anything, he does not interpret. The moment interpretation enters; the mirror has lost its mirror-likeness. Now it is no more pure. Now it is filled with opinions, disturbed, many fragments, divided, split. It has become schizophrenic.

When the consciousness is divided, not mirror-like, it becomes the mind. Mind is a broken mirror.

In the root, mind is consciousness. If you stop making discriminations, if you stop making dual division – choosing this against that, liking this, disliking that – if you drop out of these divisions the mind again becomes a mirror, a pure consciousness.

So the whole effort for a seeker is how to drop opinions, philosophies, preferences, judgments, choices. And this should not become a choice in itself – that’s the problem.

So try to understand the basic problem, otherwise you can make this a choice “I will not choose, I will remain choiceless. Now choice is not for me, now I am for choiceless awareness.” This has again become the same thing – you have chosen. Now you are against choice and for choicelessness.

You have missed. Nobody can be for choicelessness, because the being for IS choice.

So what is to be done? Simple understanding is needed, nothing is to be done. The ultimate is achieved not through effort but through understanding.

No effort will lead you towards that, because effort will always be from the dual mind. Then you dislike the world and you like God; then bondage is not your preference, freedom is your preference; then you seek the moksha, the ultimate liberation. But again the mind has entered, and the mind goes on entering. And you cannot do anything – you have to simply be alert to the whole situation.

If you are alert, in a sudden illumination the mind falls. Suddenly you are one with the mirror-like consciousness; you have fallen to your base, to your root. And when you have fallen deep within to the root, the whole existence falls to the root.

Existence appears to you as you are. This is one of the fundamental laws. Whatsoever you see depends from where you see. If you are a mind, divided, then the whole life is divided. Existence re-echos your being. If you have a mind, split, then the whole world will be seen as split, then day is against night. They are not, because the day turns into night, the night turns into day – they make a complete circle. They are not against, they are complementaries. Without the night there cannot be any day, and without the day there cannot exist any night. So they cannot be opposites; they are deep down one.

Life and death appear as opposites because YOU are divided. Otherwise life becomes death, death becomes life. You are born, and that very day you have started to die. And the moment you die a new life has come into being. It is a circle – the yin and yang circle of the Chinese.

That circle has to be remembered again and again. It is one of the most basic symbols ever discovered. No other symbol can be compared to it – the cross, the swastika, the aum – no, no comparison with the Chinese yin and yang, because yin and yang comprehends the whole oppositeness of existence: the dark night and the bright day, life and death, love and hate.

All opposites are together in existence. Inside you are divided, outside they are divided. When you fall to your source and you become one, the whole existence suddenly falls into line and becomes one. When you are one, the Brahma appears, the ultimate appears, because to the one only one can appear; to the two, the two; to the many, the many. And you are many, you are a crowd – not even two. You have many, many selves within you.

Gurdjieff used to say that you are a house where nobody knows who the host is. Many people are there, everybody is a guest – but because nobody knows who the host is, everybody thinks he is the host. So whosoever becomes powerful in any moment plays the role of the host.

When anger becomes powerful, anger becomes the host. When love becomes powerful, love becomes the host. When jealousy becomes powerful, jealousy becomes the host. But it is a constant fight, because many are the guests and everybody would like to be the host, the owner of the house. And nobody knows who the owner is. Either the owner has gone for a long journey and has not come back, or the owner is fast asleep.

Your self is fast asleep. Hence the insistence of all Jesuses, Krishnas, Buddhas: “Awake!” Jesus goes on using the word ‘awake’ many, many times: “Awake, watch, be alert.” Buddha goes on saying, “Become more conscious.”

The meaning is one: that if you become aware the host will appear. And the moment – and this is the beauty of it – the host appears, the guests disappear. The moment the master comes into being, the servants simply fall into line and they become servants. They don’t claim that they are the masters. So the real problem is not to fight with anger, jealousy, hate. The real problem is to bring the master, make him aware. Once he is aware everything is set right. But this awareness is possible only if you fall to the source.

Mind is bound to remain divided, it cannot become one – the very nature of the mind is such. Try to understand the nature of the mind, then these sutras of Sosan will become clear, transparent. The nature of the mind is to look at a thing in such a way that the opposite has to be brought in. Without the opposite the mind cannot understand. If I say, “What is light?” how will the mind understand? Immediately darkness has to be brought in.

If you go to the dictionary – the dictionary is a vicious circle – if you look for what light is the dictionary says: that which is not darkness. To destroy light, darkness has to be brought in. What nonsense! And when you go to the definition of darkness, you will be surprised – then the light has to be brought in. What is darkness? – then they say: that which is not light.

You have not defined either, because both remain indefinable. And from one indefinable how can you define the other which is undefined? The whole game of the dictionary is that you never look at the whole thing.

If you ask linguists, “What is mind?” they say, “Not matter.” And, “What is matter?” they say, “Not mind.” Neither is defined. How can one undefined term define something? If I ask you where you live you say, “I am a neighbor of A.” And if I ask you where this A lives, you say, “He is my neighbor.” How am I to find the place where you live? Because neither A is defined nor you; A lives near B and B lives near A. But this is how things go on.

Mind cannot understand anything unless the opposite is brought in, because through contrast mind becomes capable of seeing. Life cannot be understood if there is no death, and happiness is impossible to feel if there is no unhappiness. How will you feel healthy if you have never known illness? You may be healthy but you cannot feel it. To be healthy is possible without illness but the mind cannot check it, the mind cannot know it. You have to fall ill.

For the mind, to be a saint one needs to be a sinner first, and to be healthy you have to be ill, and to be in love you have to hate. If you love and there is no hate you will not be able to know, your mind will not in any way detect it. And nobody else will be able to know it.

That is the problem with a Buddha or a Jesus. Buddha is full of love, but we cannot detect his love – he has no contrasting background, no hate. We have never seen hate in his eyes, and we have never seen anger in his eyes. How can we know that he loves? His love becomes incomprehensible.

For the mind, anything is comprehensible if the opposite is brought in. But the moment you bring the opposite you falsify existence, because in existence there is nothing like ‘opposite.’

Mind moves through the opposite and existence is unitary. Existence is advaita, existence is nondual – there is no problem. Where is the boundary of the day, when the day stops, ceases to be, and the night starts? Is there a gap between the two? Only if there is a gap then the boundary is possible. But there is no boundary! The day simply melts into the night, it merges into the night, and the night again merges into the day. Life is one, existence is one – mind is dual. So if you go on choosing you will never come to the source. Then you will cling to life and you will be afraid of death. Then you will cling to love and you will be afraid of hate. Then you will cling to the good and you will be afraid of the bad. Then you will cling to God and you will be afraid of the Devil.

Life is one. God, Devil – one. There is no division where God ends and where Devil begins; there cannot be. In life, Ram and Ravan are one, but for the mind they are the enemies, they are fighting.

For the mind everything is a conflict, it is a war.

And if you choose then you remain part of the game. And how not to choose is the whole art of religion, how to drop into a choicelessness.

But remember, don’t choose choicelessness! Otherwise, listening to me or to Sosan or Krishnamurti you will become enchanted by the word ‘choicelessness.’ Your mind will say, “This is very good. Then ecstasy is possible and much bliss will happen to you if you become choicelessness. Then the door of the mysteries of life will be opened.” The mind feels greedy. The mind says, “Okay, so I will choose choicelessness.” The door is closed, only the label is changed, but you have become a victim of the old trick.

-Osho

From Hsin Hsin Ming: The Book of Nothing, Discourse #4

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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Surrendering to Nobody – Osho

You say that religion is total freedom or moksha, and you also stress the importance of surrender in religion. But are not freedom and surrender contradictory in terms?

They appear contradictory but they are not. And they appear so because of the language; existentially they are not. Try to understand two things. First: you cannot be free remaining as you are, because as you are is your bondage. Your ego i s the bondage. You can be free only when this ego point disappears – this ego point is the bondage.

When there is no ego, you become one with existence, and only that oneness can be freedom. While you exist separate, this separation is false. Really, you are not separate; you cannot be. You are part of existence – and not a mechanical part, but an organic part. You cannot exist for a single moment separated from existence. You breathe it every moment; it breathes you every moment. You live in a cosmic whole.

Your ego gives you a false feeling of separate existence. Because of that false feeling, you start fighting existence. When you fight you are in bondage. When you fight you are bound to be defeated, because the part cannot win against the whole. And because of this fight with the whole, you feel in bondage; everywhere limited. Wherever you move, a wall comes. That wall is nowhere in existence – it moves with your ego; it is part of your separate feeling. Then you struggle against existence. In that struggle you will be defeated constantly; in that defeat you feel bondage, limitation.

By surrender it is meant that you surrender the ego, you surrender the separating wall, you become one. That is reality, so whatsoever you are surrendering is just a dream, a concept, a false notion. You are not surrendering reality; you are just surrendering a false attitude. The moment you surrender this false attitude you become one with existence. Then there is no conflict.

And if there is no conflict you have no limitation; nowhere there comes a bondage, a boundary. You are not separate. You cannot be defeated, because there is no one to be defeated. You cannot die, because there is no one to die. You cannot be in misery, because there is no one to be in misery. The moment you surrender the ego, the whole nonsense is surrendered – misery, bondage, dukkha, hell – everything is surrendered. You become one with existence. This oneness is freedom.

Separation is bondage. Oneness is freedom Not that you become free, remember this – you are no more. So it is not that you become free – you are no more. Really, when you are not, freedom is. How to express it is a problem. When you are not, freedom is. Buddha is reported to have said, ‘You are not going to be in bliss. When you are not, the bliss is. You are not going to be liberated. You are going to be liberated from yourself.’

So freedom is not freedom of the ego. Freedom is freedom from the ego. And if you can understand this – that freedom is freedom from the ego – then surrender and freedom become one, then they mean one. But if you take the ego as the standpoint from which to think, then the ego will say, ‘Why surrender? – because if you surrender, then you cannot be free. Then you become a slave. When you surrender, you become a slave.’

But really, you are not surrendering to someone. This is the second point to be understood: you are not surrendering to someone; you are simply surrendering. There is no one who will take your surrender. If there is someone and you surrender to him, then it is a sort of slavery. Really, there is not even a god to whom you are surrendering. And when we talk about a god, that is just to find you something to help you to surrender.

In Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, God is talked about just to help you to surrender. There is no God. Patanjali says there is no God, but it will be difficult for you to surrender to one; it will be difficult for you to simply surrender. To help surrender, God is talked about. So God is just a method. This is rare, very scientific – God is just a method to help you surrender. There is no one who is going to take your surrender. If there is someone and you surrender, then it is a slavery, a bondage. This is a very subtle and deep point: there is no God as a person; God is just a way, a method, a technique.

Patanjali relates many techniques. One of them is ishwara prandihan – the idea of God. There are many methods to reach the surrender; one method is the idea of God. That will help your mind to surrender, because if I say, ‘Surrender,’ you will ask, ‘To whom?’ If I say, ‘Simply surrender,’ it will be difficult for you to conceive. Try to understand in a different way. If I say to you, ‘Simply love,’ you will ask, ‘Whom? What do you mean by “simply love”? If there is no one to be loved, how to love?’ If I say, ‘Pray,’ then you will ask, ‘To whom? Worship to whom?’ Your mind cannot conceive non-duality. It will ask, it will raise a question, ‘To whom?’

Just to help your mind, so that the mind’s question is satisfied, Patanjali says that God is just a way, a technique. Worship, love, surrender – to whom? Patanjali says, ‘To God.’ Because if you surrender, then you will come to know that there is no God – or you yourself are that to which you have surrendered. But this will happen when you have surrendered. God is just a trick.

It is said that even to surrender to a god who is nowhere seen, who is invisible, is difficult, so scriptures say, ‘Surrender to the guru, to the master.’ The master is visible and a person, so then the question becomes relevant – if you surrender to a master then it is a slavery, because a person is there and you are surrendering to him. But then too you will have to understand again a very subtle point – even more subtle than the notion of God. A master is a master only when he is not. If he is, then he is not a master. A master becomes a master only when he is not. He has achieved non-being; there is no one.

If someone is sitting here in this chair, then there is no master; then it is going to become a slavery. But if there is no one sitting in this chair, a non-being, one who is not centered anywhere, one who has surrendered – not to anyone, but simply surrendered and achieved non-being, has become a non-person – who is simply there, not concentrated in an ego, diffused, not concentrated anywhere, then he can become a master. So when you are surrendering to a master, again you are surrendering to nobody.

This is a deep question for you. When you are surrendering, if you can understand that this is simply surrendering, not a surrender – surrendering, not a surrender. . . A surrender is to someone. A surrendering is something on your part. So the basic thing is surrendering – the act, not the object. The object should not be important, but the one who is surrendering is important. The object is just an excuse – just an excuse.

If you can understand, then there is no need to surrender to anyone – you can simply surrender. Then there is no need to love someone – you can simply love. You are significant, not the object. If the object is significant, you will create a bondage out of it. So even a god who is not, will become a bondage; even a master who is not, will become a bondage. But that bondage is created by you; it is a misunderstanding. Otherwise surrendering is freedom. They are not contradictory.

-Osho

From The Book of Secrets, Discourse #60, Q1

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

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

They Danced, They Found, They Absorbed – Osho

Each master has to create devices according to his own talents, capacities, genius.

For example, one of the great Sufi masters, Jalaluddin Rumi, had nothing to say, he was not a man of words – but he knew how to dance. His discourse was that of dancing. He would dance, his disciples would dance, and a certain dancing which is called “whirling” … just standing on one spot and whirling. This dancing had made him enlightened, because he whirled for thirty-six hours, continuously, non-stop, till he fell down. But when he opened his eyes, he was a totally different man.

Whirling still goes on. There are dervishes, Sufi followers of Jalaluddin Rumi, who still go on whirling – nothing happens. It was only a device. With Jalaluddin Rumi it was alive; the man gave life to it. With him, dancing was not just dancing. Whirling with Jalaluddin Rumi, you were all slowly becoming stars circling in the sky, and with his grace, with his beauty and with his experience radiating.

Truth is infectious, and there is no antidote to it yet.

For twelve hundred years, dervishes have been whirling; nothing happens. You can go on whirling, but you have forgotten that the whirling was significant because there was a man as a source of radiation – while you were whirling, he was reaching to your hearts.

A story is that a few people had gone hunting and they came across the camp of Jalaluddin Rumi. Just out of curiosity they looked inside the doors. It was a walled garden, and nearabout one hundred disciples were whirling with Jalaluddin Rumi. Those people thought, “These are mad people. Who has ever heard that by whirling you can get truth? In what scripture, in what religion is it written? There is no record. This man is mad, and he is driving so many young people mad.”

They went on. Hunting was far more significant. Obviously it was saner than to dance with Jalaluddin Rumi.

After their hunting, they went back. Just out of curiosity about what had happened to the whirlers, they again looked into the door. They were surprised: those hundred people were sitting under the trees in silence, with closed eyes, as if there was nobody – absolute silence; you could hear the wind blowing through the trees.

Those hunters said, “Poor fellows… finished. This happens by whirling – all energy lost. Now they are sitting like the dead; perhaps a few are already dead.”

Do you think they started discussing amongst themselves whether these people had achieved truth? If sitting like this with closed eyes… “What was the need of whirling, you could have sat before.” They went away.

The next month, they went again for hunting. Again, just out of curiosity – “Now what happened to those people – are they really dead, or still sitting, or gone, or what happened?” They looked. There was nobody, only Jalaluddin Rumi was sitting there. They laughed. They said, “Everybody has escaped; they must have understood that this man is mad. He was almost killing them by dancing, whirling. He seems to be an expert, thirty-six hours non-stop… anybody would be dead by that time! No coffee break, no tea break, just continuous whirling….”

So they went in and asked Jalaluddin Rumi, “What happened to your disciples? We had come one month ago and there was a group of at least one hundred people.”

Jalaluddin said, “They danced, they found, they absorbed, and they have gone into the world to spread the message.”

“And what are you doing?” they asked.

He said, “I am waiting for the second batch. My people have gone out; they will be bringing them.”

-Osho

From Osho Upanishad, Discourse #27

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

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