Death is Making Love with God – Osho

Is there a difference between the Shunyavada of Nagarjuna and Avyakritopadesh, the unspoken and the undefinable teaching of Lord Buddha? 

There is no difference at all. If a difference appears to be there, that is only because of the formulation. Nagarjuna is a great philosopher, one of the greatest of the world. Only a few people in the world, very few, have that quality of penetration that Nagarjuna has. So, his way of talking is very philosophical, logical, absolutely logical. Buddha is a mystic, not a philosopher. His way of saying things is more poetic than philosophical. The approach is different, but Nagarjuna is saying exactly the same thing as Buddha. Their formulation is certainly different, but what they are saying has to be understood.

You ask — the question is from Omanath Bharti — “Is there any difference between shunyavada…” shunyavada means the theory, the philosophy of nothingness. In English there is no word which can be equivalent, appropriately equivalent, to shunya. Shunya means emptiness; but not negative, very positive emptiness. It means nothingness, but it does not mean simply nothingness; it means no-thing-ness. Shunya means void, void of everything. But the void itself is there, with utter presence, so it is not just void. It is like the sky which is empty, which is pure space, but which is. Everything comes in it and goes, and it remains.

Shunya is like the sky — pure presence. You cannot touch it although you live in it. You cannot see it although you can never be without it. You exist in it; just as the fish exists in the ocean, you exist in space, in shunya. Shunyavada means that everything arises out of no-thing.

Just a few minutes ago I was telling you the difference between truth and reality. Reality means the world of things, and truth means the world of no-thing, nothing — shunya. All things arise out of nothing and dissolve back into nothing.

In the Upanishads there is a story:

Svetaketu has come from his master’s house, back to his parents. He has learned all. His father, Uddalaka, a great philosopher, looks at him and says, “Svetaketu, you go outside and bring a fruit from yonder tree.”

He goes out, brings a fruit. And the father says, “Break it. What do you see in it?” There are many seeds in it. And the father says, “Take one seed and break it. What do you see in it?”

And he says, “Nothing.”

And the father says, “Everything arises out of this nothing. This big tree, so big that one thousand bullock carts can rest underneath it, has arisen out of just a seed. And you break the seed and you find nothing there. This is the mystery of life — everything arises out of nothing. And one day the tree disappears, and you don’t know where; you cannot find it anywhere.”

So does man: we arise out of nothing, and we are nothing, and we disappear into nothing. This is shunyavada.

And what is Buddha’s avyakritopadesh, the unspoken and the undefinable teaching? It is the same. He never made it so philosophically clear as Nagarjuna has made it. That’s why he has never spoken about it. That’s why he says it is indefinable; it cannot be brought to the level of language. He has kept silent about it.

You know the Flower Sermon? One day he comes with a lotus flower in his hand and sits silently, saying nothing. And the ten thousand disciples are there, the ten thousand bhikkhus are there, and they are waiting for him to say something, and he goes on looking at the lotus flower. There is great silence, and then there is great restlessness too. People start becoming fidgety — “What is he doing? He has never done that before.”

And then one disciple, Mahakashyapa, smiles.

Buddha calls Mahakashyapa, gives him the lotus flower, and says to the assembly, “What can be said I have said to you, and what cannot be said I have given to Mahakashyapa.”

This is avyakritopadesh, this is the indefinable message. This is the origin of Zen Buddhism, the transmission. Something was transmitted by Buddha to Mahakashyapa, something which is nothing; on the visible plane nothing — no word, no scripture, no theory — but something has been transmitted. What?

The Zen monks have been meditating on this for two thousand five hundred years: “What? What was transmitted? What exactly was given?” In fact, nothing has been given from Buddha to Mahakashyapa; Mahakashyapa has certainly understood something. He understood the silence, he understood the penetrating silence. He understood that moment of clarity, that moment of utter thoughtlessness. He became one, in that moment, with Buddha. That’s what surrender is. Not that he was doing it: Buddha was silent and he was silent, and the silences met, and the two silences dissolved into each other. And two silences cannot remain separate, remember, because a silence has no boundary, a silence is unbounded, a silence is simply open, open from all sides. In that great assembly of ten thousand monks there were two silences that day — Buddha and Mahakashyapa. The others remained outside. Mahakashyapa and Buddha met: that’s why he smiled — because that was the greatest sermon that Buddha had ever preached. Not saying a single thing and he had said all, all that could be said – and all that could not be said, that too.

Mahakashyapa understood and laughed. In that laughter Mahakashyapa disappeared totally, became a Buddha. The flame from the lamp of Buddha jumped into Mahakashyapa. That is called the ‘transmission beyond scriptures’ — the Flower Sermon. It is unique in the history of human consciousness. That is what is called avyakritopadesh: the unspoken word, the unuttered word.

Silence became so substantial, so solid; silence became so real, so existential; silence became tangible in that moment. Buddha was a nothing, Mahakashyapa also understood what it means to be a nothing, to be utterly empty.

There is no difference between Nagarjuna’s shunyavada and Buddha’s unuttered message. Nagarjuna is one of the greatest disciples of Buddha, and one of the most penetrating intellects ever. Only very few people — once in a while, a Socrates, a Shankara — can be compared with Nagarjuna. He was very, very intelligent. The uttermost that the intellect can do is to commit suicide; the greatest thing, the greatest crescendo that can come to the intellect is to go beyond itself — that’s what Nagarjuna has done. He has passed through all the realms of intellect, and beyond.

The logical positivists say that nothing is merely an abstraction. In the various instances of negative assertions — for example: this is not sweet, I am not healthy, I was not there, he did not like me, etcetera, etcetera — negation has no substance of its own. This is what the logical positivists say. Buddha does not agree, Nagarjuna does not agree. Martin Heidegger, one of the most penetrating intellects of the modern age, does not agree.

Heidegger says there is an actual experience of nothing. It is not just something created by language; there is an actual experience of nothing. It is inseparably bound up with being. The experience that attests to this is that of dread. Kierkegaard, the Danish philosopher, also asks, “What effect does nothing produce?” and answers, “It begets dread.”

Nothing is an actual experience. Either you can experience it in deep meditation, or when death comes. Death and meditation are the two possibilities of experiencing it. Yes, sometimes you can experience it in love too. If you dissolve into somebody in deep love you can experience a kind of nothingness. That’s why people are afraid of love — they go only so far, then panic arises, then they are frightened. That’s why very few people have remained orgasmic — because orgasm gives you an experience of nothingness. You disappear, you melt into something and you don’t know what it is. You go into the indefinable, avyakrit. You go beyond the social. You go into some unity where separation is no longer valid, where ego exists not. And it is frightening, because it is deathlike.

So it is an experience, either in love, which people have learned to avoid — so many go on hankering for love, and go on destroying all possibilities for it because of the fear of nothingness — or, in deep meditation when thought stops. You simply see there is nothing inside, but that nothing has a presence; it is not simply absence of thought, it is presence of something unknown, mysterious, something very huge. Or, you can experience it in death, if you are alert. People ordinarily die in unconsciousness. Because of the fear of nothingness they become unconscious. If you die consciously… And you can die consciously only if you accept the phenomenon of death, and for that one has to learn for the whole life, prepare. One has to love to be ready to die, and one has to meditate to be ready to die. Only a man who has loved and meditated will be able to die consciously. And once you die consciously then there is no need for you to come back, because you have learned the lesson of life. Then you disappear into the whole; that is nirvana.

The logical positivists look very logical, but they miss something —because reality is far more than logic. In ordinary experience we come only to what they say: this chair is here, this will be removed, then you will say there is no chair there. It simply indicates absence – the chair has been removed. These are ordinary instances of nothingness: there was once a house and then it has been dismantled, it is no longer there. It is only an absence.

But there are nothingnesses deep inside your being, at the very core. At the very core of life, death exists. Death is the center of the cyclone. In love you come close to that, in meditation you come close to that, in physical death also you come close to that. In deep sleep, when dreams disappear, you come close to it. It is very life-giving, it is life-enhancing. A man who cannot sleep deeply will become ill, because it is only in deep sleep, when he dies into his deepest depth, that he regains life, energy, vitality. In the morning he is again fresh and full of zest, gusto — vibrant, again vibrant.

Learn to die! That is the greatest art to be learned, the greatest skill there is.

Heidegger’s standpoint comes very close to Buddha’s, and his language is very modern, that’s why I’m quoting him. He says: “Every being, so far as it is a being, is made out of nothing.” There is a parallel Christian doctrine too — very neglected, because Christian theologians cannot manage it, it is too much. The doctrine is creatio ex nihilo: the creation is out of nothing.

If you ask the modern physicist he will agree with Buddha: the deeper you go into matter, things start disappearing. A moment comes, when the atom is divided — thing-hood completely disappears. Then there are electrons, but they are not things anymore, they are no-things. It is very difficult to understand. But physics, modern physics, has come very close to metaphysics — because it is coming closer and closer to reality every day. It is approaching through matter, but coming to nothing. You know matter no longer exists in modern physics. Matter is just an illusion: it only appears, it is not there. The solidity of it, the substantiality of it, is all illusion; nothing is substantial, all is flux and energy. Matter is nothing but energy. And when you go deeper into energy, energy is not a thing, it is a no-thing.

Death is the point at which knowledge fails, and we become open to being — that has been the Buddhist experience down the ages. Buddha used to send his disciples, when somebody had died, to see the body burning on the funeral pyre: “Meditate there, meditate on the nothingness of life.” Death is the point at which knowledge fails, and when knowledge fails, mind fails. And when mind fails, there is a possibility of truth penetrating you.

But people don’t know. When somebody dies you don’t know what to do, you are very embarrassed. When somebody dies it is a great moment to meditate.

I always think that each city needs a Death Center. When somebody is dying and his death is very, very imminent he should be moved to the Death Center. It should be a small temple where people who can go deep in meditation should sit around him, should help him to die, and should participate in his being when he disappears into nothing. When somebody disappears into nothing great energy is released. The energy that was there, surrounding him, is released. If you are in a silent space around him, you will go on a great trip. No psychedelic can take you there. The man is naturally releasing great energy; if you can absorb that energy, you will also kind of die with him. And you will see the ultimate — the source and the goal, the beginning and the end.

“Man is the being by whom nothing comes into the world,” says Jean-Paul Sartre. Consciousness is not this or that object, it is not any object at all; but surely it is itself? “No,” says Sartre, “that is precisely what it is not. Consciousness is never identical with itself. Thus, when I reflect upon myself, the self that is reflected is other than the self that reflects. When I try to state what I am, I fail, because while I am speaking, what I am talking about slips away into the past and becomes what I was. I am my past and my future, and yet I am not. I have been the one, and I shall be the other. But in the present, there is nothingness.”

If somebody asks you, “Who are you?” what are you going to say? Either you can answer out of the past, which is no more, or you can answer out of the future, which you are not yet. But who are you right in this moment? A nobody, a nothingness. This nothingness is the very core, the heart — the heart of your being.

Death is not the ax that cuts down the tree of life, it is the fruit that grows on it. Death is the very substance you are made of. Nothingness is your very being. Attain to this nothingness either through love or meditation, and go on having glimpses of it. This is what Nagarjuna means by shunya. This is what Buddha transferred that day when he delivered the Flower Sermon. This is what Mahakashyapa understood when he laughed. He saw nothingness, and the purity of it, the innocence of it, the primal innocence of it, the radiance of it, the immortality of it — because nothingness cannot die. Things die; nothingness is immortal, eternal.

If you are identified with anything, you will suffer death. But if you know that you are death, how can you suffer death? Then nothing can destroy you; nothingness is indestructible.

A Buddhist parable narrates that the king of hell asked a newly arrived spirit whether during life he had met the three heavenly messengers. And when he answered, “No, my Lord, I did not,” he asked whether he had ever seen an old man bent with age, or a poor and friendless sick man, or a dead man?

Buddhists call these three ‘the messengers of God’: old age, sickness, death — three messengers of God. Why? — because only through these experiences in life do you become aware of death. And if you become aware of death and you start learning how to go into it, how to welcome it, how to receive it, you are released from the bondage, from the wheel of life and death.

Heidegger says, and so does Soren Kierkegaard, that nothingness creates dread. That is only half of the story. Because these two people are just philosophers, that’s why it creates dread.

If you ask Buddha, Mahakashyapa, Nagarjuna, if you ask me, death looked at only partially creates dread; looked at absolutely, totally, it frees you from all dread, from all anguish, from all anxiety, it frees you from samsara… because if you look partly then it creates fear that you are going to die, that you will become a nothing, that soon you will disappear. And naturally you feel nervous, shaken, uprooted. If you look at death totally, then you know you are death, you are made of it. So nothing is going to disappear, nothing is going to remain. Only nothingness is.

Buddhism is not a pessimistic religion as has been thought by many people. Buddhism is the way to get rid of both optimism and pessimism, to get rid of duality.

Start meditating on death. And whenever you feel death close by, go into it through the door of love, through the door of meditation, through the door of a man dying. And if some day you are dying — and the day is going to come one day — receive it in joy, benediction. And if you can receive death in joy and benediction, you will attain to the greatest peak, because death is the crescendo of life. Hidden in it is the greatest orgasm, because hidden in it is the greatest freedom.

Death is making love to God, or God making love to you. Death is cosmic, total orgasm.

So drop all ideas that you carry about death — they are dangerous. They make you antagonistic to the greatest experience that you need to have. If you miss death you will be born again. Unless you have learned how to die, you will go on being born again and again and again. This is the wheel, samsara, the world. Once you have known the greatest orgasm, then there is no need; you disappear, and you remain in that orgasm forever. You don’t remain like you, you don’t remain as an entity, you don’t remain defined, identified with anything. You remain as the whole, not as the part.

This is Nagarjuna’s shunyavada, and this is Buddha’s unspoken message, the unspoken word. They are both the same.

-Osho

From The Heart Sutra, Discourse #2

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The Path of Intelligence – Osho

Can the intellect be a door to enlightenment, or is enlightenment only achieved through surrender? 

Enlightenment is always through surrender, but surrender is achieved through intelligence. Only idiots cannot surrender. To surrender you need great intelligence. To see the point of surrender is the climax of insight; to see the point that you are not separate from existence is the highest that intelligence can give to you.

There is no conflict between intelligence and surrender. Surrender is through intelligence, although when you surrender intelligence is also surrendered. Through surrender intellect commits a suicide. Seeing the futility of itself, seeing the absurdity of itself, seeing the anguish that it creates, it disappears. But it happens through intelligence. And especially in concern with Buddha, the path is of intelligence. The very word buddha means awakened intelligence.

In the Heart Sutra one-fourth of the words used mean intelligence. The word buddha means awake, bodhi means awakening, sambodhi means perfect awakening, abhisambuddha means the fully awake, bodhisattva means ready to become fully awake. All go back to the same root, budh, which means intelligence. The word buddhi, intellect, also comes from the same root. The root budh has many dimensions to it. There is no single English word that can translate it; it has many implications. It is very fluid and poetic. In no other language does any word like budh exist, with so many meanings. There are at least five meanings to the word budh.

The first is to awake, to wake oneself up, and to awaken others, to be awake. As such, it is opposed to being asleep, in the slumber of delusion from which the enlightened awakens as from a dream. That is the first meaning of intelligence, budh — to create an awakening in you.

Ordinarily man is asleep. Even while you think you are awake, you are not. Walking on the road, you are fully awake — in your mind. But looked at from the vision of a Buddha, you are fast asleep, because a thousand and one dreams and thoughts are clamoring inside you. Your inner light is very clouded. It is a kind of sleep. Yes, your eyes are open, obviously, but people can walk in a dream, in sleep, with eyes open. And Buddha says: You are also walking in sleep — with eyes open.

But your inner eye is not open. You don’t know yet who you are. You have not looked into your own reality. You are not awake. A mind full of thoughts is not awake, cannot be awake. Only a mind which has dropped thoughts and thinking, which has dispersed the clouds around it — and the sun is burning bright, and the sky is utterly empty of clouds — is the mind which has intelligence, which is awake.

Intelligence is the capacity to be in the present. The more you are in the past or are in the future, the less intelligent you are. Intelligence is the capacity to be here-now, to be in this moment and nowhere else. Then you are awake.

For example, you are sitting in a house and the house suddenly catches fire; your life is in danger. Then for a moment you will be awake. In that moment you will not think many thoughts. In that moment you forget your whole past. In that moment you will not be clamored at by your psychological memories — that you had loved a woman thirty years before, and boy, it was fantastic! Or, the other day you had been to the Chinese restaurant, and still the taste lingers on, and the aroma and the smell of the freshly cooked bread. You will not be in those thoughts. No, when your house is on fire you cannot afford this kind of thinking. Suddenly you will rush to this moment: the house is on fire and your life is at stake. You will not dream about the future, about what you are going to do tomorrow. Tomorrow is no longer relevant, yesterday is no longer relevant, even today is no longer relevant! — only this moment, this split moment. That is the first meaning of budh, intelligence.

And then there are great insights. A man who wants to be really awake, wants to be really a Buddha, has to live each moment in such intensity — as you live only rarely, rarely, in some danger.

The first meaning is opposite to sleep. And naturally, you can see reality only when you are not asleep. You can face it, you can look into the eyes of truth — or call it God — only when you are awake. Do you understand the point of intensity, the point of being on fire? Utterly awake, there is insight. That insight brings freedom, that insight brings truth.

The second meaning of budh is to recognize — as to become aware of, acquainted with, to notice, give heed to. And so, a Buddha is one who has recognized the false as the false, and has his eyes opened to the true as the true. To see the false as the false is the beginning of understanding what truth is. Only when you see the false as the false can you see what truth is. You cannot go on living in illusions, you cannot go on living in your beliefs, you cannot go on living in your prejudices if you want to know truth. The false has to be recognized as false. That is the second meaning of budh — recognition of the false as false, of the untrue as untrue.

For example, you have believed in God; you were born a Christian or a Hindu or a Mohammedan. You have been taught that God exists, you have been made afraid of God — that if you don’t believe you will suffer, that you will be punished, that God is very ferocious, that God will never forgive you. The Jewish God says, “I am a very jealous God. Worship only me and nobody else!” The Mohammedan God also says the same thing: “There is only one God, and no other God; and there is only one prophet of God — Mohammed —and there is no other prophet.”

This conditioning can go so deep in you that it can go on lingering even if you start disbelieving in God.

Just the other day Mulla Nasruddin was here, and I asked him, “Mulla Nasruddin, since you have turned into a communist, you have become a comrade, what about God?”

He said, “There is no God! — and Mohammed is the only prophet.”

A conditioning can go so deep: Mohammed remains the prophet.

You have been brought up to believe in God, and you have believed. This is a belief. Whether God exists or not has nothing to do with your belief. Truth has nothing to do with your belief. Whether you believe or not makes no difference to truth. But if you believe in God you will go on seeing — at least, thinking — that you see God. If you don’t believe in God, that disbelief in God will prevent you from knowing. All beliefs prevent, because they become prejudices around you, they become thought-coverings — what Buddha calls avarnas.

The man of intelligence does not believe in anything, and does not disbelieve in anything. The man of intelligence is simply open to recognizing whatsoever is the case. If God is there he will recognize — but not according to his belief; he has no belief. Only in a nonbelieving intelligence can truth appear. When you already believe you don’t allow truth any space to come to you. Your prejudice is enthroned, already enthroned. You cannot see something which goes against your belief; you will become afraid, you will become shaky, you will start trembling. You have put so much in your belief — so much life, so much time, so many prayers, five prayers every day. For fifty years a man has been devoted to his belief; now suddenly how can he recognize the fact that there is no God? A man has put his whole life into communism, believing that there is no God; how can he come to see if God is there? He will go on avoiding.

I’m not saying anything about whether God is or is not. What I am saying is something concerned with you, not with God. A mind, a clear mind, is needed, an intelligence is needed which does not cling to any belief. Then you are like a mirror: you reflect that which is, you don’t distort it. That is the second meaning of budh.

An intelligent person is neither a communist nor a Catholic. An intelligent person does not believe, does not disbelieve. That is not his way. He looks into life, and whatsoever is there he is ready to see it. He has no barriers to his vision; his vision is transparent. Only those few people attain to truth.

The third meaning of the root budh, intelligence, is to know, to understand. The Buddha knows that which is; he understands that which is, and in that very understanding is free from all bondage — to know in the sense of to understand, not in the sense of knowledgeability. Buddha is not knowledgeable. An intelligent person does not care much about information and knowledge. An intelligent person cares much more for the capacity to know. His real authentic interest is in knowing, not in knowledge.

Knowing gives you understanding; knowledge only gives you a feeling of understanding without giving you real understanding. Knowledge is a pseudo-coin, it is deceptive. It only gives you a feeling that you know, and you don’t know at all. You can go on accumulating knowledge as much as you want, you can go on hoarding, you can become very, very knowledgeable. You can write books, you can have degrees, you can have PhD’s, DLitt’s, and still you remain the same ignorant, stupid person you have always been. Those degrees don’t change you; they can’t change you. In fact, your stupidity becomes more strong… it has degrees now! It can prove itself through certificates. It cannot prove through life, but it can prove through the certificates. It cannot prove in any other way, but it will carry degrees, certificates, recognitions from the society; people think you know, and you also think you know.

Have you not seen this? The people who are thought to be very knowledgeable are as ignorant as anybody, sometimes more ignorant. It is very rare to find intelligent people in the academic world, very rare. I have been in the academic world, and I say it through my experience. I have seen intelligent farmers; I have not seen intelligent professors. I have seen intelligent woodcutters; I have not seen intelligent professors. Why? What has gone wrong with these people?

One thing has gone wrong: they can depend on knowledge. They need not become knowers, they can depend on knowledge. They have found a secondhand way. The firsthand needs courage. The firsthand, knowing, only few people can afford — the adventurers, people who go beyond the ordinary path where crowds move, people who take small footpaths into the jungle of the unknowable. The danger is they may get lost. The risk is high.

When you can get secondhand knowledge, why bother? You can just sit in your chair. You can go to the library or to the university, you can collect information. You can make a big pile of information and sit on top of it. Through knowledge your memory becomes bigger and bigger, but your intelligence does not become bigger. Sometimes it happens when you don’t know much, when you are not very knowledgeable, that you will have to be intelligent in some moments.

I have heard…

A woman bought a tin of fruit but she could not open the tin. She did not know how to open it. So she rushed to her study to look in the cookbook. By the time she looked in the book and found out the page and reference, and came rushing back ready to open the tin, the servant had already opened it.

She asked, “But how did you do it?”

The servant said, “Madam, when you can’t read, you have to use your mind.”

Yes, that’s how it happens. That’s why farmers, gardeners, woodcutters, are more intelligent, have a kind of freshness around them. They can’t read, so they have to use their minds. One has to live and one has to use one’s mind.

The third meaning of budh is to know, in the sense of understanding.

The Buddha has seen that which is. He understands that which is, and in that very understanding is free from all bondage. What does it mean? It means you are afraid.

For example, these Heart Sutra talks are making many people feel fear. Many people have sent their messages: “Osho, no more! You make us afraid of nothingness and death.” Prageet is very afraid. Vidya is very afraid, and many more. Why? You don’t want to get rid of fear? If you want to get rid of fear you will have to understand fear. You want to avoid the fact that the fear is there, the fear of death is there.

Now Prageet, on the surface, looks a strong man — a Rolfer — but deep down he’s very much afraid of death; he is one of the most afraid persons around here. Maybe that’s why on the surface he has taken the stance of strength, power, a bully. That’s what a Rolfer is!

I have heard that recently the devil in hell is appointing Rolfers: they torture people for their own sakes, and they torture very technically. If you are afraid inside, you will have to create something strong around you, like a hard shell, so nobody comes to know that you are afraid. And that is not the only point — you also will not know that you are afraid because of that hard shell. It will protect you from others, it will protect you from your own understanding.

An intelligent person does not escape from any fact. If it is fear he will go into it – because the way out is through. If he feels fear and trembling arising in him, he will leave everything aside: first this fear has to be gone through. He will go into it, he will try to understand. He will not try how not to be afraid; he will not ask that question. He will simply ask one question: “What is this fear? It is there, it is part of me, it is my reality. I have to go into it, I have to understand it. If I don’t understand it then a part of me will always remain unknown to me. And how am I going to know who I am if I go on avoiding parts? I will not understand fear, I will not understand death, I will not understand anger, I will not understand my hatred, I will not understand my jealousy, I will not understand this and that…” Then how are you going to know yourself?

All these things are you! This is your being. You have to go into everything that is there, every nook and corner. You have to explore fear. Even if you are trembling it is nothing to be worried about: tremble, but go in. It is far better to tremble than to escape, because once you escape, that part will remain unknown to you, and you will become more and more afraid to look at it because that fear will go on accumulating. It will become bigger and bigger if you don’t go into it right now, this moment. Tomorrow it will have lived twenty-four hours more. Beware! — it will have got more roots in you, it will have bigger foliage, it will become stronger; and then it will be more difficult to tackle. It is better to go right now; it is already late.

And if you go into it and you see it… And seeing means without prejudice. Seeing means that you don’t condemn fear as bad from the very beginning. Who knows? — it is not bad. Who knows that it is? The explorer has to remain open to all the possibilities; he cannot afford a closed mind. A closed mind and exploration don’t go together. He will go into it. If it brings suffering and pain, he will suffer the pain but he will go into it. Trembling, hesitant, but he will go into it: “It is my territory, I have to know what it is. Maybe it is carrying some treasure for me? Maybe the fear is only there to protect the treasure.”

That’s my experience, that’s my understanding: if you go deep into your fear you will find love. That’s why it happens that when you are in love, fear disappears. And when you are afraid you cannot be in love. What does this mean? A simple arithmetic — fear and love don’t exist together. That means it must be the same energy that becomes fear; then there is nothing left to become love. It becomes love; then there is nothing left to become fear.

Go into fear, Prageet, Vidya, and all others who are feeling afraid. Go into it, and you will find a great treasure. Hidden behind fear is love, and hidden behind anger is compassion, and hidden behind sex is samadhi.

Go into each negative thing and you will find the positive. And knowing the negative and the positive, the third, the ultimate happens — the transcendental. That is the meaning of understanding, budh, intelligence.

And the fourth meaning is to be enlightened and to enlighten. The Buddha is the light, he has become the light. And since he’s the light and he has become the light, he shows the light to others too, naturally, obviously. He is illumination. His darkness has disappeared, his inner flame is burning bright. Smokeless is his flame. This meaning is opposite to darkness and the corresponding blindness and ignorance. This is the fourth meaning: to become light, to become enlightened.

Ordinarily you are a darkness, a continent of darkness, a dark continent, unexplored. Man is a little strange: he goes on exploring the Himalayas, he goes on exploring the Pacific, he goes on reaching for the moon and Mars; there is just one thing he never tries — exploring his inner being. Man has landed on the moon, and man has not landed yet in his own being. This is strange. Maybe landing on the moon is just an escape, going to Everest is just an escape. Maybe he does not want to go inside, because he’s very much afraid. He substitutes with some other explorations to feel good, otherwise you will have to feel very, very guilty. You start climbing a mountain and you feel good, and the greatest mountain is within you and is yet unclimbed. You start going, diving deep into the Pacific, and the greatest Pacific is within you, and uncharted, unmapped. And you start going to the moon — what foolishness! And you are wasting your energy in going to the moon, and the real moon is within you — because the real light is within you.

The intelligent person will go inwards first. Before going anywhere else he will go into his own being; that is the first thing, and it should have the first preference. Only when you have known yourself can you go anywhere else. Then wherever you go you will carry a blissfulness around you, a peace, a silence, a celebration.

So, the fourth meaning is to be enlightened.

Intelligence is the spark. Helped, cooperated with, it can become the fire, and the light, and the warmth. It can become light, it can become life, it can become love: those are all included in the word enlightenment. An enlightened person has no dark corners in his being. All is like the morning — the sun is on the horizon; the darkness of the night and the dismalness of the night have disappeared, and the shadows of the night have disappeared. The earth is again awake. To be a Buddha is to attain to a morning, a dawn within you. That is the function of intelligence, the ultimate function.

And the fifth meaning of budh is to fathom. A depth is there in you, a bottomless depth, which has to be fathomed. Or, the fifth meaning can be to penetrate, to drop all that obstructs and penetrate to the very core of your being, the heart. That’s why this sutra is called the Heart SutraPrajnaparamita Hridayam Sutra — to penetrate.

People try to penetrate many things in life. Your urge, your great desire for sex is nothing but a kind of penetration. But that is a penetration into the other. The same penetration has to happen into your own being: you have to penetrate yourself. If you penetrate somebody else it can give you a momentary glimpse, but if you penetrate yourself you can attain to the universal cosmic orgasm that remains and remains and remains.

A man meets an outer woman, and a woman meets an outer man: this is a very superficial meeting — yet meaningful, yet it brings moments of joy. When the inner woman meets the inner man… And you are carrying both inside you: a part of you is feminine, a part of you is masculine. Whether you are man or woman does not matter; everybody is bisexual.

The fifth meaning of the root budh means penetration. When your inner man penetrates your inner woman there is a meeting; you become whole, you become one. And then all desires for the outer disappear. In that desirelessness is freedom, is nirvana.

The path of Buddha is the path of budh. Remember that ‘Buddha’ is not the name of Gautama the Buddha, Buddha is the state that he has attained. His name was Gautam Siddhartha. Then one day he became Buddha, one day his bodhi, his intelligence bloomed.

‘Buddha’ means exactly what ‘Christ’ means. Jesus’ name is not Christ: that is the ultimate flowering that happened to him. So is it with Buddha. There have been many Buddhas other than Gautam Siddartha.

Everybody has the capacity for budh. But budh, that capacity to see, is just like a seed in you — if it sprouts, becomes a big tree, blooms, starts dancing in the sky, starts whispering to the stars, you are a Buddha.

The path of Buddha is the path of intelligence. It is not an emotional path, no, not at all.

Not that emotional people cannot reach; there are other paths for them — the path of devotion, Bhakti Yoga. Buddha’s path is pure Gyan Yoga, the path of knowing. Buddha’s path is the path of meditation, not of love.

And just like budh, there is another root, gya, at the basis of gyanam. Gyanam means cognition, knowing. And the word prajna, which means wisdom — prajnaparamita – the wisdom of the beyond, or sangya, which means perception, sensitivity, or vigyanam which means consciousness — these roots come from gya. Gya means to know.

You will find these words repeated so many times in the sutra — not only in this sutra, but in all the sutras of the Buddha. You will find a few more words, repeated very often, and those words are ved — ved means to know; from ved comes the Hindu word veda — or man, which means mind; manan which means minding; or chit, which means consciousness; chaitanya, which again means consciousness. These words are almost like paving stones on the Buddha Way. His path is that of intelligence.

One thing more to be remembered: the sutra, it is true, points to something that lies far beyond the intellect. But the way to get to that is to follow the intellect as far as it will take you.

The intellect has to be used, not discarded; has to be transcended, not discarded. And it can be transcended only when you have reached to the uppermost rung of the ladder. You have to go on growing in intelligence. Then a moment comes when intelligence has done all that it can do. In that moment say goodbye to intelligence. It has helped you a long way, it has brought you long enough, it has been a good vehicle. It has been a boat you crossed with: you have reached the other shore, then you leave the boat. Then you don’t carry the boat on your head; that would be foolish.

The Buddha’s path goes through intelligence but goes beyond it. A moment comes when intelligence has given you all that it can give, then it is no longer needed. Then finally you drop it too, its work is finished. The disease is gone, now that medicine has to go too. And when you are free of the disease and the medicine too, then only are you free. Sometimes it happens that the disease is gone, and now you have become addicted to the medicine. This is not freedom.

A thorn is in your foot and is hurting. You take another thorn so that the thorn in your foot can be taken out with the help of the other. When you have taken the thorn out you throw both; you don’t save the one that has been helpful. It is now meaningless. The work of intelligence is to help you to become aware of your being. Once that work has happened and your being is there, now there is no need for this instrument. You can say goodbye, you can say thank you.

Buddha’s path is the path of intelligence, pure intelligence, although it goes beyond it.

-Osho

From The Heart Sutra, Discourse #8

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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Right Initiation Cannot be Given – Osho

In spiritual quest, deeksha, initiation, holds a very important place. Its special ceremonies are carried out under special conditions. Buddha and Mahavira used to give initiation. How many types of initiation are there? What is their significance and use and why are they needed?

A little talk on initiation will be useful. For one thing, deeksha, initiation, is never given; initiation takes place, it is a happening. For example, a person stays with Mahavira and it takes years for his initiation to take place. Mahavira tells him to stay, to be with him, to walk with him, to stand in such a way, to sit in such a way, to meditate such a way. Then a moment comes when the person is fully prepared. Then Mahavira is only the medium. Perhaps it is not proper even to say that he is the medium – rather, in a very deep sense he remains only a witness and initiation takes place in front of him.

Initiation is always from the divine, but it can happen in the presence of Mahavira. Now the person to whom it is happening sees Mahavira in front of him, but the divine he cannot see. It happens to him in front of Mahavira so naturally he becomes grateful to Mahavira – and this is fitting also. But Mahavira does not accept his gratitude. He can only accept his gratitude if he acknowledges that he initiated him.

So there are two types of initiation. One is that which happens and which I call ”right” initiation, because in this you establish your relationship with the divine. Then your journey through life takes a new turn: you become someone else now; you are no longer the same that you were; everything within you is transformed. You have seen something new. Something new has happened to you, a ray has entered you, and now everything within you is different.

In the real initiation the guru stands aside like a witness and he can confirm that initiation has taken place. He can see the full process but you see only half. You can only see what is happening to you; he sees that from where the initiation takes place. So you are not a complete witness of the happening; all you can say is that a great transformation has taken place. But whether initiation has taken place or not, whether you have been accepted or not, that you cannot say for certain.

Even after you are initiated you will still wonder, “Have I been accepted? Have I been chosen? Have I been accepted by the divine? Can I now take it that I am his? On my part I have surrendered, but has he taken me to him?” This you cannot know at once. You will come to know after some time, but this interval can be long also. So the second person, whom we call the guru, can know this because he has watched the happening from both the sides.

Right initiation cannot be given, nor can it be taken. It comes from the divine; you are merely the recipient.

Now the other type of initiation, which we may call false initiation, can be given as well as taken.The divine is completely absent there; there is only the guru and the disciple. The guru gives, the disciple takes, but the third, real factor is absent.

Where there are only two present – the guru and the disciple – the initiation is false. Where three are present – the guru, the disciple and he from whom it takes place – everything changes. This giving of initiation is not only improper but also dangerous, fatal, because in this illusion of initiation right initiation cannot take place. You will merely live under the illusion that initiation has taken place.

A seeker came to me who had been initiated by someone. He said, “I have been initiated by such and such a guru and I have come to you to learn meditation.”

I asked him, “Why then did you take initiation? And if you did not even attain meditation, what have you obtained from your initiation? All you received is clothes and a name. If you are still seeking meditation, then what is the meaning of your initiation?”

The truth is that initiation can only happen after meditation. Meditation after initiation has no meaning. It is like a man who proclaims that he is healthy and still he knocks at the physician’s door and asks for medicine. Initiation is the acceptance obtained after meditation. It is a sanction given of your acceptance – a consent. The divine has been advised of you and your entrance into his realm has happened. Initiation is only a confirmation of this fact.

Such initiation is now lost, and I feel it should be revived again: initiation where the guru is not the giver and the disciple is not the recipient – and the giver, God. This can be; this should be. If I am a witness to someone’s initiation I do not become his guru. Then his guru is the divine. If he is grateful it is his business. But to demand gratefulness is senseless and to accept it is meaningless.

Gurudom, the web of the so-called gurus, was created by giving a new form to initiation. Words are whispered in the ears, mantras are given, and anybody initiates anyone. Whether he himself is initiated is also not certain; whether the divine has accepted him is not known. Perhaps he too has been initiated in the same manner. Someone had whispered into his ears, he whispers into someone else’s, and this one in his turn will whisper into someone else’s ears again.

Man creates lies and deceptions in everything – and the more mysterious a happening the more deceptions there are, because there is nothing substantial to show as proof.

I intend carrying out this method also. About ten or twenty people are preparing for it. They will take initiation from the divine. The others who are present will be the witnesses, and their work will be to confirm whether the initiation has been accepted by the divine; that is all. You will experience but you will not be able to recognize at once what has taken place. It is so unfamiliar to you, how will you recognize that the thing has happened? Confirmation can be made by the presence of the enlightened one. This alone is the basis of its evaluation.

So the supreme guru is the paramatman – existence. If the gurus in between would step back initiation would be easier, but the intermediary guru stands fixed. His ego exults at making a god of himself and displaying himself. Many kinds of initiations are given around this ego. They have no value, however, and in terms of spirituality they are all criminal acts. If some day we should start punishing spiritual criminals, these should not go unpunished.

The unsuspecting seeker takes it for granted that he has been initiated. Then he goes about with pride that he has received his initiation, that he has received his mantra, and that all that was to happen has happened to him. So all his search for the right happening stops.

When anyone approached Buddha he was never initiated immediately; sometimes it took years. Buddha would keep on postponing by telling him to perform this practice and that. Then, when the moment came, he would tell him to stand up for initiation.

There were three parts to Buddha’s initiation. One who came for it went through three types of surrender. First he said, “I surrender unto Buddha – Buddham sharanam gachchhami.” By this he did not mean Gautam Buddha; this meant surrendering himself to the awakened one.

Once a seeker came up to Buddha and said, “I surrender unto buddha.” Buddha listened and remained silent.

Then someone asked him, “This man says, ’I surrender unto buddha,’ and you were only listening to him?”

Buddha replied, “He is not surrendering to me, he is surrendering to the awakened one. I am a mere excuse. There have been many buddhas before me, there will be many after me. I am just an excuse. I am just a peg. He is surrendering himself to the awakened one, so who am I to stop him? If he surrenders to me I shall certainly stop him, but he has said three times that he is surrendering himself unto the awakened one.”

Then there is the second surrender which is still more wonderful. In this the person says, “I surrender myself to the assembly of the awakened ones – sangham sharanam gachchhami.” Now what does this assembly mean? Generally the followers of Buddha take it to mean Buddha’s assembly, but this is not the meaning. This assembly is the collective gathering of all awakened ones. There is not only one Buddha who has become awakened; there have been many buddhas before and there will be many buddhas after who will awaken. They all belong to one community, to one collectivity. Now the Buddhists think this term means an association of Buddhists, but this is wrong.

The very first invocation, in which Buddha explains that the seeker surrenders himself to the awakened one and not to him as a person, makes everything clear. The second invocation makes it all the more clear. In this the person offers himself to the community of awakened ones.

First he bows down to the awakened one who is right there in front of him. As he is right there it is easy to approach him, to talk to him. Then he surrenders himself to the brotherhood of the awakened ones that have awakened since long and whom he does not know, and to those who will awaken in the future and whom he does not know. He surrenders to all of them and he proceeds a step further towards the subtle.

The third surrender is to dhamma – religion. The third time the seeker says, “I surrender unto the dhamma – dhammam sharanam gachchhami.” The first surrender is to the awakened one, the second is the brotherhood of the awakened ones, and now the third surrender is to that which is the ultimate state of awakening – to the dhamma. That is, to our nature, where there is no individual, no community; where there is only the dhamma, the law. He says, “I surrender unto that dhamma.”

When these three surrenders were completed then only the initiation was recognized. Buddha was only a witness of this happening. This was not a matter of mere repetition. When these three were completed – and Buddha could see whether they had been completed – only then was the individual initiated. Buddha remained a witness to the happening.

So later on also Buddha would tell the seeker, “Do not believe what I say just because I am an awakened one; do not believe what I say just because I am famous or because I have many followers or because the scriptures confirm it. Now only believe what your inner understanding tells you.”

Buddha never became a guru. At the time of his death, when he was asked for his final message, he said, “Be a light unto yourself. Do not go after others; do not follow others. Be a light unto yourself. This is my last message.”

Such a person as Buddha cannot be a guru. Such a person is a witness. Jesus has said many a time, “On the final day of judgment I shall be your witness.” In other words, on the last day Jesus will testify, “Yes, he is a man who had striven to become awakened. This man wanted to surrender to the divine.” This is talking in symbols. What Christ meant to say is also this: “I am your witness, not your guru.”

There is no guru; therefore, beware of the initiation where someone becomes your guru. The initiation where you become immediately and directly connected with the divine is a unique initiation.

Remember, in this initiation you have not to leave your house and go away, you have not to become either a Hindu or a Mohammedan or a Christian, nor are you required to be tied to someone. You remain where you are in your full freedom; the change will take place only from within.

In the false type of initiation you will be tied to a religion: you will be a Hindu or a Mohammedan or a Christian. You will be a part of an organization. Some belief, some religious order, some dogma, some person, some guru, will catch hold of you and they will kill your freedom.

That initiation which does not bring freedom is no initiation. That initiation which gives you absolute freedom is alone the right initiation.

-Osho

From In Search of the Miraculous, V.2, Discourse #21

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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.

Blessed are Those who Doubt – Osho

Can you say something about doubt and negativity? What is the difference?

The difference between doubt and negativity is great. They look alike; on the surface they have the same color, but deep down the difference is unbridgeable. First, doubt is not negativity; neither is it positivity.

Doubt is an open mind, without any prejudice. It is an inquiring approach.

Doubt is not saying anything, it is simply raising a question. That question is to know, to find what the truth is.

Doubt is a pilgrimage.

It is one of the most sacred values of human beings.

Doubt does not mean no. It simply says, “I do not know, and I am prepared to know. I am ready to go as far as possible, but unless I myself come to know, how can I say yes?”

Negativity has already said no. It is not inquiry. It has come to a conclusion, the same way somebody has come to the conclusion to say yes. One man says God is; his statement is positive. The other says there is no God; his statement is negative. But both are sailing in the same boat, they are not different people. They have not inquired. Neither the theist has doubted nor the atheist has doubted; both have accepted borrowed knowledge.

Doubt says that, “I myself would like to know, and unless I know for myself, it is not knowledge. Only my experience is going to be decisive.” He is not arrogant, he is not denying anything. He is just open for inquiry.

Doubt is not disbelief – that’s how religions have been confusing people. They confuse doubt with disbelief. In fact, disbelief and belief are exactly the same. Both accept knowledge from others, from books, from masters. And remember, anything that you do not know, yet you have started believing or disbelieving in it… you have missed a great opportunity for inquiry. You have closed the doors already, by yes or by no. You have not traveled.

It is easier to say yes, it is easier to say no, because there is nothing you have to do.

But to doubt needs guts.

To doubt needs courage to remain in the state of not-knowing, and go on questioning everything till the moment you yourself arrive at the reality. When you come to the reality there is no negativity, no positivity. You simply know – it is your experience. I will not say it is positivity because positivity always has the other pole of negativity. An experience goes beyond both; the whole world of polarities is transcended. That is true wisdom.

Doubt is the way to truth.

No or yes are not ways, they prevent you.

It will look very strange, that yes does the same thing as no. In dictionaries they are opposites, but in reality they are not. They look opposite only, but both have not asked the question. Both have not tried to find out what the case is.

The communist believes, exactly as the catholic believes. The communist believes that there is no God. You can call it disbelief, but it is his belief. He has not inquired, he has not meditated; he has done nothing to find out that there is no God. The theist says there IS God. He has also done nothing. Both have chosen without moving an inch towards truth. That’s why a very strange thing happens: the person who is a theist, a believer, can become a disbeliever, an atheist, in a single moment; and vice versa.

Before the revolution in Russia, Russia was one of the most theistic, religious countries of the world. Millions of people in Russia could have sacrificed their life for God. After the revolution, when the authority changed, when the priest changed, when The Holy Bible was replaced by the holy Das Kapital, within ten years the whole country became atheist.

It was amazing! People who had believed their whole life that there is God started disbelieving. Even communists could not understand that these people are the same people who could have died for God – and now they are ready to die for no-God.

Nobody has analyzed the situation up to now, what happened there. This is the analysis of the fact: negativity and positivity are both belief systems.

Doubt is against both. Doubt is the insistence of the individual that he wants to taste, to experience the truth. He is not ready to accept it from anybody else, this way or that.

They are very, very rare people who doubt.

But let me say to you: Blessed are those who doubt, because they shall inherit the kingdom of truth.

It is arduous to doubt, it is risky, it is dangerous. One is going into the unknown, with no preparation, with no prejudice. He is entering into the dark hole, not even believing that there will be the other end of the tunnel, and he will again come out of Darkness. There is no belief; he simply takes the challenge.

There is only a quest, a question.

He himself becomes a question.

It is very consoling to have the answer, and if it is freely available, as it is…. Jesus says, “Just believe in me and you need not bother: I will take care. I will choose you at the day of judgment. I will recommend you to God: ‘These are my people – they should be allowed in paradise.’ All that you have to do is believe.”

A real shortcut – simple belief. That’s why thousands of people around the world have believed, and thousands of others have disbelieved. Their sources are different but the basic approach is the same.

In India there has been a very ancient philosophy, charvaka. That philosophy says there is no God, no heaven, no hell, no punishment for your bad actions and no reward for your good actions. And thousands have believed in it. It is negative, absolutely negative, but very comfortable. You can steal, you can murder, you can do anything you like; after death nothing survives.

In many ways the West has lagged behind the East, particularly as far as religion, philosophy, culture, are concerned. Charvaka is a five-thousand-year-old ideology; Karl Marx just in the last stage of the previous century said there is no God. He was not aware of charvaka, he thought he had come to a great discovery. For five thousand years charvakas have already been saying that; but they had not inquired.

The man who created the philosophy was Brihaspati – must have been a man of charismatic personality. He convinced people that you can do anything you want to because the thief, the murderer, the saint, all fall: dust unto dust. And after death nothing is left; the saint disappears, the sinner disappears. So don’t bother at all about afterlife, there is none.

This is not inquiry, because charvakas and their master Brihaspati have never gone beyond death. According to their philosophy, if they had gone they would have not come back – so on what grounds do they say that there is nothing left? Nobody has visited the land. But it is very easy to believe. His famous statement is worth quoting.

Brihaspati says, “Rinam kritva ghritam pivet:” “Even if you have to borrow money, borrow it, but drink ghee as much as you can” – because after death you are not going to be questioned, punished. The person who had given you money cannot drag you into the court of God; there are no such things. His whole philosophy is simply, “Eat, drink and be merry.” You can believe in it – the theists will call it disbelief.

And that’s what Karl Marx did for the communists, he said that there is no soul, no consciousness. It is a by-product of matter, so when the body falls apart, nothing is left. This became a very dangerous attitude, because communists could kill people without thinking twice.

Their belief is that by killing you are not committing any sin. There is nobody inside a person; there is no inside. A man is chemistry, biology, physiology – but there is no soul. Joseph Stalin could kill almost one million people after the revolution without feeling even a slight doubt about what he was doing.

In Soviet Russia man has been reduced to a mechanism. You can kill – nothing is killed, because there was nobody in the first place. It is just like a clock functioning. It moves, it shows you the time; that does not mean that there is somebody inside. You can take the clock apart and you will not find anything.

I have heard…. Once Mulla Nasruddin’s clock stopped. It was an old clock, and some day everything has to stop. He opened the clock and found there a fly, dead. He said, “Now I know the clock is dead – this is the clock’s soul!” He was just going to bury the clock in the garden when his wife caught hold of him.

She said, “What are you doing? Have you gone mad? Clocks are not buried; graves are not made for them!”

Nasruddin said, “Those people have never known what I have come to know. The clock stopped; certainly I thought it was dead. I looked at it, opened it, and found its soul dead. This is the soul” – he was holding the fly in his hand; he said, “This is the soul.”

The wife said, “You are simply an idiot, and you will always remain an idiot! Bring that clock out. Perhaps it needs oiling, some repair work – it is an old clock. And clocks don’t die, because to die first one has to live: clocks don’t live!”

But that’s what Karl Marx has preached to the communists, that man is also just like a clock. And now almost half the world believes in Karl Marx. Strange – these same people had believed in God. Russians, Chinese, Indians, Mohammedans – all kinds of people change their yes to no. To change yes into no is so easy because they are not different. Basically they give you a consolation without the arduous journey to truth.

I have asked many communists, very old communists…. In India, S.A.Dange was a member of the international communist party along with Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin. He was an eyewitness of the Russian revolution. I asked him, “Have you ever meditated?”

He said, “Meditated – for what? Why should I meditate?”

I said, “If you have never meditated, then you don’t have the authority to say that there is no soul, no God, no consciousness. Without going inside yourself, how can you say that there is nobody? And see the absurdity of it: who is saying that there is nobody? Even to deny you will have to accept that there is somebody. Even to say that there is nobody, somebody has to be assumed.”

The same is the situation of religions.

Nobody has encountered God – no Christian, no Hindu, no Mohammedan – but they have all said yes because the crowd in which they were born was the crowd of theists. To say no amongst that crowd would have created difficulties for them. Yes was simply the accepted rule of the game. They have worshipped, they have prayed, not knowing why they were doing it. But everybody else is doing it so it must be right.

When the crowd changed – for example in Russia, the same people who were so certain of God became uncertain. It took ten years to change from one certainty to another certainty… an interval of uncertainty, but uncertainty is not doubt.

Doubt is simply a question, and doubt says, “I want to know.”

It has no ideology.

Doubt is absolutely pure quest.

You have asked, “What is the difference between doubt and negativity?”

Negativity and positivity are both the same.

Doubt is different from both.

It does not make you a theist, it does not make you an atheist.

Positivity makes you a religious believer, a theist; negativity makes you an unbeliever, irreligious, an atheist.

Doubt does not make you anything. It simply makes you an inquirer.

And that is the dignity of man.

I teach you doubt because I know if you can doubt to the very end you will realize the truth of your own being, and simultaneously the truth of the whole existence. And that will be liberation, that will be freedom.

Doubt is neither Christian nor Hindu, nor American nor German. Yes may be Hindu, yes may be Mohammedan, yes may be Christian; no may be communist, no may be fascist – but doubt is simply a quest, an individual quest.

Yes and no both belong to the crowd.

Doubt makes you assert your individuality.

You start finding your path on your own. You don’t accept the maps given you by others.

In India I have seen in Jaina temples, maps hanging which show seven hells, seven heavens, and the ultimate, moksha. Between seven hells and seven heavens is the earth. They show you exactly who goes where, what route he follows, what sufferings he comes across.

Even in my childhood I used to ask the priest, “Do you know where Constantinople is?”

He said, “Constantinople? That has nothing to do with religion.”

I said, “That has nothing to do with religion, but it has something to do with maps. You don’t know Constantinople and you know seven heavens, seven hells? Just be kind enough to tell me, how many have you visited? Who has made this map?” And for thousands of years Jainas have believed in this map.

People who had no idea that the earth is round were able to know how many hells there are, how many heavens there are; and each according to his action goes to a certain space, certain place. They had no idea of the earth they were living on but they had ideas about things which are just fictions.

Now slowly, slowly those maps are disappearing from the temples, because even followers have started asking embarrassing questions. But it continues. One small sect in India is that of Radhaswamis. They divide the whole existence into fifteen parts; the earth is the lowest.

I have been to their temple in Agra. They are very egoistic people; they have been trying for almost one hundred years to make the temple better than the Taj Mahal. They have poured immense amounts of money into it, but only one story is complete. They have done tremendous work. Certainly if they succeed in making all the three proposed stories, the Taj Mahal will look very pygmy before that temple.

The Taj Mahal is also in Agra, and Radhaswamis originated in Agra; their founder was there. And from all over the world tourists come to Agra to see the Taj Mahal. Radhaswamis wanted to make something so that the Taj Mahal becomes secondary. And seeing what they have done – it is only one-third complete in one hundred years, but even that much is enough to show you they have transcended the Taj Mahal already.

In their temple, this half-built temple, they have engraved in golden letters the fifteen levels of existence. And they have marked – for example, Jesus Christ has only reached up to the sixth. A long journey is still ahead for that poor carpenter carrying his cross. How many times he will be crucified, nobody knows.

Mohammed is still on the fourth, Moses on the fifth, Mahavira on the seventh, Buddha on the ninth. And their own master is on the fifteenth.

When I had gone to visit their temple, their priest welcomed me, he showed me everything. He showed this description of fifteen stages and he said, “What do you think about it?”

I said, “There is no question of thinking, I know your master is on the fifteenth.”

He said, “How do you know?”

I said, “Because I am on the sixteenth – and he is trying hard, but I go on pushing him back. I won’t allow anybody else to be on the sixteenth.”

He was very much shocked, but I said, “If you can just imagine fifteen, what is the trouble? On what authority do you put Buddha under your master? On what authority do you put Jesus… what grounds have you got?”

They said, “Our master said it.”

So I said, “I am a master, and I say to you, make a place also for me on the sixteenth. And of course your master could only talk about the fifteenth because he has never entered the sixteenth. I will not allow him to enter! I am alone there.”

These are your theists who simply believe.

It is cheap to believe, it is cheap to disbelieve.

But it is really a dangerous journey to know.

I would like my sannyasins neither to be negative nor to be positive, but open, available, with a quest, a question mark, and to go on searching.

Many times your mind will say it is good to believe – because the journey is arduous, and one never knows where one is going, whether one is going to find anything or not. But don’t listen to the mind.

Mind has created all these “yes” philosophies, “no” philosophies.

Doubt has never created any philosophy; doubt has created science.

And doubt is going to create religion.

They are exactly the same – the same application of doubt in different fields. About objects, the outside world that spreads to millions of stars, doubt has given tremendous insight just within three hundred years. You are carrying another world within yourself, which is in no way smaller than the world you see outside; perhaps it is bigger.

Why do I say that perhaps it is bigger? I am including the word ‘perhaps’ so that you should not believe. I know it is bigger, for the simple reason that you know the stars, you know the sun, you know the moon – but the moon does not know you, the sun does not know you. The stars are great, the universe is vast, but you are the only knower. You have something more than the whole universe.

That’s why I say inside you are carrying something bigger than the universe, more than the universe. Just inquire.

One of the most beautiful men of this century was Maharishi Raman. He was a simple man, uneducated, but he did not accept the ideology, the religion in which he was born. When he was only seventeen years of age he left his home in search of truth. He meditated for many years in the hills of Arunachal in south India, and finally realized himself.

After that his whole teaching consisted only of three words, because those three words had revealed to him the whole mystery of existence. His philosophy is the shortest. What are those three words? Whoever came to him – because as he became slowly, slowly known, people started coming to him from all over the world – his whole teaching was to sit silently and ask only one question: “Who am I?” and go on asking that question.

One day the question will disappear, and only you will be there. That is the answer.

Not that you will find the answer written somewhere; you will find yourself. You just go on digging with this question – this question is like digging – but do you see the question? It is a doubt: Who am I? It does not accept the spiritualist who says you are a soul. It does not accept the materialist who says there is nobody, don’t waste time; eat, drink and be merry. He doubts. Those three words are followed by a question mark: Who am I?

And he says this is enough. If you can go on and on and on patiently, one day the question suddenly disappears and what is left is your reality. That is the answer.

And the moment you know yourself you have known everything that is worth knowing.

-Osho

From From Death to Deathlessness, Discourse #24

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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Jesus’ Three Stages of Enlightenment – Osho

This question has been hovering in me for years. A few times you have talked around it, but this has mystified me more, so please enlighten. When and where did enlightenment happen to Jesus? Was he born enlightened? – As it is said some three wise men from the East travelled to have darshan of the baby Jesus. Or did enlightenment happen to Jesus when he was secretly and anonymously travelling in Tibet and India, visiting Buddhist monasteries? Or did enlightenment happen to Jesus when he was initiated by John the Baptist in the river Jordan? Or did enlightenment happen to Jesus when he was on the cross saying ‘Lord, the kingdom come, thy will be done’? 

There are three stages of enlightenment.

The first is when the first glimpse happens. I call it mini-satori. When, for the first time, for a single moment mind is not functioning, there is a gap – no thought between you and existence. You and existence, you and existence… for a moment… and the meeting, and the merging, and the communion, and the orgasm… but for a moment. And from that moment the seed will be in your heart and growing.

The second I call satori: that is when you have become capable of retaining this gap as long as you want. For hours together, for days together you can remain in this interval, in this utter aloneness, in God, with God, as God. But a little effort is still needed on your part. If you drop the effort the satori disappears. The first satori, the mini-satori, happened almost an accident – you were not even expecting it. How can you expect? You had not known it before, you had never tasted it.

How can you expect it? It came just out of the blue. Yes, you were doing many things – praying, meditating, dancing, singing – but they were all like groping in the dark. You were groping.

It will not happen if you are not groping at all. It happens only to ‘gropers’, real gropers – they go on groping, they never feel tired and exhausted, and they never feel hopeless. Millions of times they are defeated in their effort, and nothing happens, but they go on and on. Their passion for God is so tremendous. They can accept all kinds of defeats and frustrations, but their search continues.

Unwavering, they go on groping. The darkness is great, it seems to be almost endless, but their hope is greater than the darkness. That is the meaning of faith; they grope through faith. Faith means hoping for that which seems almost impossible. Faith means hoping against all hope. Faith means trying to see that which you have not seen, and you cannot even be certain whether it exists or not. A great passion is needed to have that much faith.

So to a groper who lives in faith and goes on and on, nothing ever prevents him. No failure ever settles in him; his journey continues. He is the pilgrim. Then one day it comes just out of the blue.

You were not expecting. Unawares, it comes close to you and surrounds you. For a moment you cannot even believe… How can you believe? – For millions of lives a person has been groping, and it has not happened. The first time it looks almost like imagination, dream. But it is there, and it is so real that all that you have known before as real pales before it, becomes very faint. It is so real that it carries its certainty intrinsically. It is self-evident. You cannot suspect it. That is the criterion of whether the mini-satori has happened or not: you cannot doubt it. You can try, but you cannot doubt it. It is so certain that no doubt arises in that moment. It is simply there.

It is like the sun has risen… how can you doubt?

Then the second becomes a more conscious groping. Now you know it is; now you know it has happened. Now you know it has even happened to you! Now there is a great certainty. Now faith is not needed, now experience is enough. Now belief is not needed. Now its certainty permeates your whole being, you are full of it. Now you grope more consciously, you make efforts in the right direction. Now you know how it happened, when it happened, in what space it became possible.

You were dancing? – Then what was happening when it happened? In what way did the contact become possible? By and by, it happens again and again, and you can make out, figure out, reckon out how it happens, in what mood. In what mood do you fall in tune with it and it happens? Now things become more clear, now it is not just waiting in the darkness. You can start moving, you can have a direction.

Still you falter, still sometimes you fall, still sometimes it disappears for months. But never again can doubt arise in you. The doubt has been killed by the first satori. Then, more and more, it will come.

And sooner or later you will become capable of bringing it on order. Whenever you want you can create that milieu in you which brings it. You can relax, if it comes in relaxation; you can dance, if it comes, in dance. You can go under the sky if it comes there. You can watch a rose flower if it happens there. You can go and float in a river if it happens there.

That’s how all the methods have been discovered. They have been discovered by people when they found out that in a certain situation – make certain arrangements – it happens. Those became methods. By and by you become very, very certain that if you desire it, any moment you will be able, because you can move your focus towards it. You can move your whole consciousness; you can direct your being.

Now you become able to see that it is always there; just your contact is needed. It is almost like your radio or like your TV: it is always there, sounds are always passing; you just have to tune the radio to a certain station – and the song, and the news. This is the second stage. But still, effort needed to tune. You are not continuously tuned on your own, you have to work it out. Some days it is easy, some days it is hard. If you are in a negative mood it is hard, if you are angry, it is hard. If you are loving it is easier. In the early morning it is easier, in the evening it is more difficult. Alone on a mountain it is easier, in the market-place it is more difficult. So you start coming closer and closer, but still effort is needed.

Then the third thing happens. When you become so capable of finding it that any moment, whenever you want it – not a single moment is lost – you immediately can pinpoint it, then the third thing happens. It becomes a natural quality. That I call samadhi.

Satori one, satori two, satori three… The first satori must have happened somewhere in the East – in Tibet or in India. Jesus was with Buddhist Masters. The first satori must have happened somewhere here, because to the Jews samadhi had never been a concern. Jesus brings something very foreign to the Jewish world: he introduces Buddha into the Jewish world. It must have happened somewhere in Nalanda, where he stayed for many years. But he was travelling – he was in Egypt, he was in India, in Tibet. So nobody can be certain of where it happened. But more possibility is India: it remains, for centuries, the country where satori has been more available than anywhere else – for a certain reason – because so many people have been meditating here. Their meditation has created very potential spots, very available spots. It must have happened somewhere here, but no record is there, so I’m not saying anything historical.

But about the second: it is certain it happened in the River Jordan with John the Baptist when he initiated Jesus into his path – the path of the Essenes. He was a great Master, John the Baptist, a very revolutionary prophet. The second satori must have happened there. It is depicted as a white dove descending on Jesus. The white dove has always been the symbol of peace, silence.

That is the symbol for satori – the unknown descending. The second satori must have happened there. And John the Baptist said ‘My work is finished. The man has come who will take it over from me. Now I can renounce and go into the mountains. I was waiting for this man.’

And the third happened just on the cross – the last effort of the ego – very tiny, but still… Jesus must have desired how things should be in some way. Deep down, in some unconscious nook or comer of his being, he must have been hoping that God would save him. And God never moves according to you. Man proposes and God disposes – that’s how he teaches you to disappear, that’s how he teaches you not to will on your own, not to have a private will. And the last lesson happened on the cross, at the last moment. Jesus shouted, almost in agony ‘Why have you forsaken me? Why have you deserted me? What wrong have I done?’ But he was a man of great insight – the man of second satori. Immediately he must have become aware that this was wrong: ‘That means I still have a desire of my own, a will of my own. That means I still am not totally in God. My surrender is still only ninety-nine per cent.’

And a surrender that is ninety-nine per cent is a no-surrender, because surrender is one hundred per cent. A circle is a circle only when it is complete. You can’t call a half-circle a half-circle, because ’circle’ means complete. There are no half-circles. There is no approximate truth. The approximate truth is still a lie; either it is true or it is not true. There is nothing like approximate truth, and there is nothing like approximate surrender.

In that moment he realized. He relaxed, he surrendered. He said ‘Let Thy kingdom come. Who am I to interfere? Let thy will be done’… and the third satori, samadhi. That moment, Jesus disappeared. And I call that moment his resurrection. That is the moment Buddha says: Gate, gate, paragate, parasamgate, bodhisvaha: Gone, gone, gone beyond, gone altogether beyond. What ecstasy! Alleluia! That is the moment of absolute benediction. Jesus became God.The Son became Father in that moment; all distinction disappeared. The last barrier dissolved, Jesus had come home.

-Osho

From I Say Unto You, V.1, Chapter Four

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

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Hurry Slowly – Osho

Jesus said:  Two will rest on a bed: The one will die, the one will live.

Exactly the same words are in the Upanishads. They say that there are two birds on a tree, one sitting on a lower branch, another sitting on a higher branch. The bird on the lower branch thinks, gets worried, desires, demands, accumulates, fights, competes; it remains in anguish, tension, jumps from this branch to that, always moving, never in repose. The other bird, who is sitting on a higher branch, is in repose. He is so silent, as if he is not. He has no desires, no dreams happen to him. He has no needs to fulfill, as if everything is fulfilled, as if he has attained, nowhere to go. He simply sits, enjoying himself, and he watches the bird who is on the lower branch.

These are the two dimensions in you. You are the tree. And the lower is always disturbed. The lower is your body and the bodily needs and the bodily desires, and if you forget yourself completely into it then you become one with it. On the higher branch, at the top of the tree, sits the other bird who is a witness, who simply looks down at this foolish bird jumping, moving in anguish, anxiety, anger, sex. Everything happens to it; this other bird is simply a witness, he simply looks on and on, he is just a spectator. You are the tree.

Jesus says the same thing with a different symbol: Jesus said:  Two will rest on a bed: The one will die, the one will live.

Now the whole question is to whom the attention should be paid. Towards whom should you move, towards whom should your whole energy flow? Who should become your goal?

Ordinarily, that one who is going to die is your goal. That’s why you are always in anxiety, because you are building a house on sands. It is going to fall – even before it is built it will fall and become a ruin. You are always trembling because you are making your signature on water – before you have completed it, it is gone. Your anxiety is because you are concerned with the realm of death and you have not looked towards life. And on each bed two are sleeping – the other is just a witness.

Pay more attention to it, turn towards it more and more – that’s what conversion means. Conversion doesn’t mean a Hindu becoming a Christian, or a Christian becoming a Hindu. This is foolishness, you simply change labels. Nothing is changed because the inner man remains the same, the old pattern. Conversion means the movement of attention from the death realm to the life realm. It is an about-turn: looking at the witness, becoming one with the witness, losing yourself into the witness, into awareness, and then you know that which is going to die will die. It makes no trouble, no problem, and you know you are not going to die so there is no fear.

Jesus said:  Two will rest on a bed: The one will die, the one will live.

And it is up to you. If you want to remain in trouble, never pay attention to the inner one; if you want to remain always in anguish then remain on the periphery, don’t look within. But if you want repose, a peaceful eternity, truth, the doors of heaven open for you, then look within. It is difficult – it is difficult because it is very subtle. Where the invisible and the visible meet, where matter and spirit meet, it is very subtle. You can see matter, you cannot see spirit, it cannot be seen. You can see where the visible ends, you cannot see the invisible, it cannot be seen.

Then what is to be done? Just remain at the boundary of the visible, and don’t look at the visible, look in the opposite direction. Gradually the invisible can be felt. It is a feeling, it is not an understanding; you cannot see it, you can only feel it. It is just like a breeze: it comes, you feel it, but you cannot see it. It is just like the sky: it is there, but you cannot say where, you cannot pinpoint it, you cannot touch it. It is always there, you are in it but you cannot touch it.

Remain at the boundary of the visible looking in the opposite direction. This is what all meditation is about. Whenever you can find a peaceful moment close your eyes, leave the body behind and the bodily affairs and the world of death; the market, the office, the wife, the children – leave them all. The first time you will not feel anything inside.

Hume has said, “Many people have talked about going in and looking there. Whenever I look, I find nothing – just thoughts, desires, dreams, floating here and there – just a chaos.” You will also feel the same. And if you conclude that there is nothing worthwhile in going again and again to see this chaos, then you will miss.

In the beginning you will see this, because your eyes can only see this – they need a tuning. Just remain there looking at the floating dreams. They float like clouds in the sky, but between two clouds, sometimes you will see the blueness; between two dreams, two thoughts, sometimes there will be a glimpse of the sky behind. Just don’t be in a hurry. That’s why they say that if you hurry you will miss.

There is one Zen saying which says, “Hurry slowly.” That’s right! Hurry, that’s right, because you are going to die – in that sense hurry. But inside, if you are in too much of a hurry you will miss, because you will conclude too soon, before your eyes have become attuned. Don’t conclude too soon.

Hurry slowly. Just wait! Go there and sit and wait. By and by, a new world of the invisible becomes clear, comes to you. You become attuned to it, then you can hear the harmony, the melody; the silence starts its own music. It is always there, but it is so silent that very trained ears are needed. It is not like a noise, it is like silence. The sound within is like silence, the form within is like the formless. There is no time and no space within, and all that you know is either in space or in time. Things are in space, events are in time, and now physicists say these two things are not two; even time is just a fourth dimension of space.

You know only time and space, the world of things and events. You don’t know the world of the witnessing self. It is beyond both, it is not confined to any space and it is not confined to any time. There is duration without time, there is space but without any height, length, breadth – it is a totally different world. You will need to become attuned to it, so don’t be impatient – impatience is the greatest barrier. I have come to feel that when people start working towards the inner one, impatience is the greatest barrier. Infinite patience is needed. It can happen the next moment, but infinite patience is needed.

If you are impatient it may not happen for lives, because the very impatience will not allow you the repose that Jesus talks about, the tranquility. Even if you are expecting, that will be a disturbance. If you are thinking something is going to happen, something extraordinary, then nothing will happen. If you are waiting, expecting that some enlightenment is going to happen, you will miss it. Don’t expect. All expectations belong to the world of death, the dimension of time and space.

No goal belongs to the inner. There is no way to it except by waiting, infinite patience.

Jesus has said, “Watch and be patient.” And one day, suddenly you are illumined. One day, when the right tuning happens, when you are ready, suddenly you are illumined. All darkness disappears, you are filled with life, eternal life, which never dies.

Enough for today.

-Osho

From The Mustard Seed, Chapter Fourteen

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

Listen to the discourse excerpt Hurry Slowly.

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What is this You in Yourself? – Osho

So we have to understand what meditation is.

Gautam Buddha, the founder of Zen, the founder of all great meditative techniques in the world, defines it in one word. Somebody asked him one day, ‘Bhagwan, what is meditation? What is it all about?’ And Gautam Buddha said a single word, he said: Halt! That was his definition of meditation. He says, “If it halts, it is meditation.” The full sentence is: “The mad mind does not halt. If it halts, it is meditation.”

“The mad mind does not halt. If it halts, it is meditation.” Meditation is a state of thoughtless awareness: Meditation is a state of non-emotional, non-sentimental, non-thinking awareness. When you are simply aware, when you become a pillar of awareness. When you are simply awakened, alert, attentive. When you are just a pure awareness.

How to enter into it? The Zen people have a special word for the entry, they call it hua t’ou. This Chinese word means ante-thought, or ante-word. The mind, before it is stirred by a thought, is called hua t’ou. Between two thoughts there is a gap, that gap is called hua t’ou.

Watch. One thought passes on the screen of your mind – on the radar screen of your mind one thought passes like a cloud. First it is vague – it is coming, it is coming – then it is there suddenly on the screen. Then it is moving, then it has gone out of the screen, again it becomes vague and disappears… another thought comes. Between these two thoughts there is a gap – for a single moment or a split second the screen is without any thought.

That state of pure no-thought is called hua t’ou – ante-words, ante-thought, before the mind is stirred. Because we are not alert inside, that’s why we go on missing it – otherwise meditation is happening each moment. You have just to see it happening, you  have just to become aware what treasure you are carrying always within you. It is not that meditation has to be brought from somewhere else. The meditation is there, the seed is there. You have just to recognize it, nurture it, take care of it, and it starts growing.

The interval between two thoughts is hua t’ou. And that is the door to enter into meditation. hua t’ou – the word literally means ‘word head’. ’Word’ is a spoken word, and ‘head’ is that which precedes the word. hua t’ou is the moment before a thought arises. As soon as a thought arises it becomes a hua weihua wei literally means ‘word tail’. And then when the thought has gone or the word has gone and there is a gap again, it is again hua t’ou. Meditation is looking into this hua t’ou.

“One should not be afraid of rising thoughts,” says Buddha, “but only of the delay in being aware of them.” This is a tremendously new approach towards the mind, never attempted before Buddha. Buddha says one should not be afraid of rising thoughts. One should only be afraid of one thing – of not being aware of them, of being delayed in awareness.

When a thought arises, if with the thought your awareness is also there – if you can see it arising, if you can see it coming, if you can see it there, if you can see it going – then there is no problem at all. This very seeing, by and by, becomes your citadel. This very awareness brings you many fruits. You can first see, when you see that you are not the thought. Thought is separate from you, you are not identified with it. You are consciousness and it is content. It comes and goes – it is a guest, you are the host. This is the first experience of meditation.

Zen talks about two words: foreign dust. “And this is just where we would begin our training.” Zen says, “For instance, a traveler stops at an inn where he passes the night or takes his meal. And as soon as he has done so, he packs and continues his journey, because he has no time to stay longer. As for the host of the inn, he has nowhere to go.

“The deduction is that the one who does not stay is the guest, and the one who does stay is the host. Therefore, a thing is foreign when it does not stay. Again, in a clear sky when the sun rises and sunlight enters the house through an opening, the dust is seen moving in the ray of light – whereas the empty space is unmoving. Therefore that which is still is voidness, and that which moves is dust. Foreign dust illustrates false thinking and voidness illustrates self-nature – that is, the permanent host who does not follow the guest in the latter’s coming and going.”

This is a great insight. Consciousness is not the content. You are consciousness: thoughts come and go, you are the host. Thoughts are the guests – they come and stay for a while, take a little rest, or their food, or stay overnight, and then they are gone. You are always there. You are always the same, you never change you are eternally there. You are eternity itself.

Watch it. Sometimes you are ill, sometimes you are healthy, sometimes you are depressed, sometimes you are happy. One day you were very very small, a child, then you became young, and then you became old. One day you were strong; one day comes, you become weak. All these things come and go, but your consciousness remains the same. That’s why, if you look inside, you cannot reckon how old you are – because there is no age. If you go inside and look and try to find out there how old you are, there is no age, because there is no time. You are exactly the same as when you were a child or when you were young. You are absolutely the same inside.

For age you have to look at the calendar, at the diary, at your birth certificate – you have to look for something outside. Inside you will not find any age or aging. Inside there is timelessness. You remain the same – whether there is a cloud called depression or the cloud called happiness, you remain the same.

Sometimes there are black clouds in the sky – the sky does not change because of those black clouds. And sometimes there are white clouds also, and the sky does not change because of those white clouds. Clouds come and go, and the sky remains. Clouds come and go, and the sky abides.

You are the sky and thoughts are the clouds. The first thing, if you watch your thoughts minutely, if you don’t miss them, if you look at them directly, will be this understanding – and this is a great understanding This is the beginning of your Buddhahood, this is the beginning of your awakening. You are no more asleep, you are no more identified with the clouds that come and go. Now you know you abide forever.

Suddenly all anxiety disappears. Nothing changes you, nothing will ever change you – so what is the point of being anxious, in anguish? What is the point of being worried? No worry can do anything to you – these things come and go, they are just ripples on the surface. Deep in your depth, not a single ripple ever arises. And you are there, and you are that. You are that being. Zen people call it the state of being a host.

Ordinarily, you have become too much attached with the guests – hence your misery. One guest comes, you become too much attached. And then the guest is packing and is leaving, and then you cry and you weep and you run around and you go with him – at least to see him off, to give him a send-off. And then you come crying and crying – one guest has left and you feel so miserable. And another guest comes and again you fall in with the guest, again you become identified with the guest, and again he is going.

Guests come and go, they don’t stay! They can’t stay, they are not to stay, they are not meant to stay.

Have you watched any thought? It never stays, it cannot stay. Even if you want to make it stay, it cannot stay. Try. That’s what people try sometimes – they try to keep one word in the mind. For example, they want to keep one sound aum in the mind. For a few seconds they remember, and then it is gone, slipped. Again they are thinking of their market, of their wife, of their children…. Suddenly they become aware – where is that aum? It has slipped.

Guests are guests – they have not come to stay there. Once you see that all that happens to you is going to move away from you, then why be worried? Watch: let them be there, let them pack, let them leave. You remain. Can you see the peace that arises if you can feel that you always abide? This is silence. This is an unworried state. This is non-anguish. Suffering ceases the moment identification ceases. Don’t get identified – that’s all. And if you can watch somebody who lives in such eternal timelessness, you will feel a grace, a coolness, a beauty, around him.

It happened – the story is about Buddha, a beautiful story. Listen to it carefully, because you can miss it.

One day, at mealtime, the World Honored One put on his robe, took his bowl and entered the great town of Sravasti to beg for his food. After he had begged from door to door, he returned to his place. When he had taken his meal, he put away his robe and bowl, washed his feet, arranged his seat, and sat down.

Go slowly, as if the film is moving very slowly. It is a Buddha film, and Buddha films move very slowly. Again, let me repeat it…

One day, at mealtime, the World Honored One put on his robe, took his bowl and entered the great town of Sravasti to beg for his food. After he had begged from door to door, he returned to his place. When he had taken his meal, he put away his robe and bowl, washed his feet, arranged his seat, and sat down. 

Visualize Buddha doing all this and then sitting down on his seat.

This shows the Buddha’s ordinary life and daily activities which were similar to those of others and had nothing special about them. There is, however, something which is uncommon, but very few know it.

What is that? What is that uncommon unique quality? – because Buddha is doing ordinary things. Washing his feet, arranging his seat, sitting down, putting away his robe, putting away his bowl, going to bed, coming back – ordinary things everybody is doing.

At the time, one of Buddha’s disciples – a great disciple – Subhuti, who was in the assembly, rose from his seat, uncovered his right shoulder, knelt upon his right knee, respectfully joined the palms of his hands and said to the Buddha: “It is very rare, O World Honored One! It is very rare!”

Now, nothing rare seems to be there on the surface. Buddha coming, putting away his robe, putting away his bowl, arranging his seat, washing his feet, sitting on the seat – there seems to be nothing unusual. And this man, Subhuti….

Subhuti is one of the most insightful disciples of Buddha – all great beautiful stories about Buddha are concerned with Subhuti. This is one of those stories, very rare.

At the time, the elder Subhuti, who was in the assembly, rose from his seat, uncovered his right shoulder, knelt upon his right knee, respectfully joined the palms of his hands and said to the Buddha: “It is very rare, O World Honoured One, it is very rare!

Never seen before, it is unique.

The Tathagata’s daily activities were similar to those of other men but there was here one thing which was different, and those who sat face to face with him did not see it. That day, suddenly Subhuti uncovered it, praised it, and said: “Very rare! Very rare!”

Alas! The Tathagata had been thirty years with his disciples and they still did not know anything about his common acts of daily life. As they did not know, they thought these acts were ordinary and let them pass unnoticed. They thought only that he was similar to others and were, therefore, suspicious of and did not believe what he said. Had Subhuti not seen clearly, no one would really know the Buddha. 

So say the scriptures.

If there was not a Subhuti, nobody would have seen what was happening inside. What was happening inside? Buddha remains the host. Not for a single moment does he lose his eternity, timelessness. Buddha remains meditative. Not for a single moment does he lose his hua t’ou. Buddha remains in his samadhi – even when he is washing his feet, he is washing so alertly, so aware, so consciously. Knowing well that “These feet are not me.” Knowing well that “This bowl is not me.” Knowing well that ’This robe is not me.’ Knowing well that “This hunger is not me.” Knowing well that “All that is around me is not me. I am just a witness, a watcher of it all.”

Hence the grace of Buddha, hence this unworldly beauty of Buddha. He remains cool. This coolness is what meditation is. It has to be attained by being more alert of the host, by being more alert of the guest, by getting disidentified with the guest, by disconnecting yourself from the guest. Thoughts come and go, feelings come and go, dreams come and go, moods come and go, climates change. All that changes is not you.

Is there something that remains unchanging? That’s you. And that is God. And to know it, and to be it, and to be in it, is to attain to samadhi. Dhyana is the method, meditation is the method, samadhi is the goal. Dhyana is the technique to destroy this identification with the guest. And samadhi is dissolving into the host, abiding in the host, getting centered there.

Each night one embraces a buddha while sleeping,

Each morning one gets up again with him.

When rising or sitting, both watch and follow one another.

Whether speaking or not, both are in the same place.

They never even for a moment part,

But are like the body and its shadow.

If you wish to know the Buddha’s whereabouts,

In the sound of your own voice there is he. 

This is a Zen saying: “Each night one embraces a Buddha while sleeping.” The Buddha is always there, the non-Buddha is also there. In you meet the world and nirvana, in you meet God and matter, in you meet the soul and the body. In you meet all the mysteries of existence – you are a meeting-place, you are a cross-roads. On one side the whole world, on the other side the whole of God. And you are just a link between the two.

Now, it is only a question of emphasis. If you go on focusing yourself on the world, you remain in the world. If you start changing your focus, if you shift your focus and you start focusing on consciousness, you are God. Just a small change, as if one changes a gear in the car – just like that.

“Each night one embraces a Buddha while sleeping, each morning one gets up again with him.” He is always there, because consciousness is always there; not for a single moment is it lost.

“When rising or sitting, both watch and follow one another.” The host and the guest, both are there. Guests go on changing, but somebody or other is always there in the inn. It is never empty – unless you become disidentified with the guest. Then an emptiness arises. Then sometimes it happens your inn is empty; there is only the host sitting at ease, not being bothered by any guests. Traffic stops, people don’t come. Those moments are of beatitude; those moments are of great blessing.

“Whether speaking or not, both are in the same place.” When you are speaking, there is also something silent in you. When you are lusting, there is something beyond lust. When you are desiring, there is somebody who is not desiring at all. Watch it, and you will find it. Yes, you are very close, and yet you are very different. You meet, and yet you don’t meet. You meet like water and oil; the separation remains. The host comes very close to the guest. Sometimes they hold hands and hug each other, but still the host is the host and the guest is the guest. The guest is one who will come and go; the guest will go on changing. And the host is one who remains, who abides.

“They never even for a single moment part, but are like the body and its shadow. If you wish to know the Buddha’s whereabouts, in the sound of your own voice there is he.” Don’t go on looking for the Buddha somewhere outside. He resides in you – he resides in you as the host.

Now, how to come to this state of the host? I would like to talk to you about a very ancient technique; this technique will be of tremendous help. To come to this unknowable host, to come to this ultimate mystery of your being, this is the way – one of the very simple ways Buddha has proposed.

Deprive yourself of all possible relationships, and see what you are. Suppose you are not a son to your parents, nor the husband to your wife, nor the father to your children, nor a relative to your kindred, nor a friend to your acquaintances, nor a citizen to your country, and so on and so forth – then you get you-in-yourself.

Just disconnect. Some time once a day, sit silently and disconnect yourself of all connections. Just as you disconnect the phone, disconnect yourself of all connections. Don’t think any more that you are a father to your sons – disconnect. You are no more a father to your son, and you are no more a son to your father. Disconnect that you are a husband or a wife; you are no more a wife, no more a husband. You are no more a boss, no more a servant. You are no more black, no more white. You are no more Indian, no more Chinese, no more German. You are no more young, no more old. Disconnect, go on disconnecting.

A thousand and one connections are there – just go on disconnecting all the connections. When you have disconnected all the connections, then suddenly ask: Who am l? And no answer comes – because you have already disconnected all those answers that would have come.

Who am I? And an answer comes, “I am a doctor” – but you have disconnected with the patients. An answer comes, “I am a professor” – but you have disconnected yourself from your students. An answer comes, “I am Chinese” – but you have disconnected it. An answer comes, “I am a man or a woman” – but you have disconnected it. An answer comes, “I am an old man” – but you have disconnected it.

Disconnect all. Then you are in yourself. Then for the first time the host is alone and there is no guest. It is very good sometimes to be alone without any guest, because then you can see into your hostness more closely, more carefully. The guests create turmoil, the guests create noise, and they come and demand your attention. And they say, “Do this, and hot water is needed, and where is the breakfast? And where is my bed? And there are bed bugs’… and a thousand and one things. And the host starts running after the guest. Yes, of course, you have to take care of these people.

When you are completely disconnected, nobody bothers you – nobody can bother you. Suddenly you are there in all your aloneness – and that purity of aloneness, that pristine purity of aloneness. You are like virgin land, the virgin peak of a Himalaya where nobody has ever traveled. This is what virginity is.

This is what I mean when I say, “Yes, Jesus’ mother was a virgin.” This is what I mean. I don’t agree with Christian theologians – whatsoever they say is all bull. This is what virginity is – Jesus must have been conceived by Mary when she was in such a disconnected state. When you are in such a disconnected state, of course if a child enters he can only be a Jesus, nobody else.

In ancient India there were methods for how to conceive a child. Unless you are tremendously in deep meditation, don’t make love. Let meditation be a preparation for love: that is the whole meaning of tantra. Let meditation be the basis – only then make love. Then you invite greater souls. The deeper you are, the greater soul will be invited.

Mary must have been absolutely disconnected in that moment when Jesus penetrated her. She must have been in this virginity; she must have been a host. She was no more a guest and she was no more clamored at by the guest and no more identified with the guest. She was not the body, she was not the mind, she was not her thoughts, she was not a wife, she was nobody. In this nobodiness she was there, sitting silently – a pure light, a flame without any smoke around it, a smokeless flame. She was virgin.

And I say to you, exactly the same is the case when Buddha is conceived or when Mahavira is conceived, or Krishna is conceived or Nanak is conceived – because these people cannot be conceived in any other way. These people can enter only the most virgin womb. But this is my meaning of being a virgin. It has nothing to do with the foolish ideas that go around – that she never loved a man, that Jesus was not conceived with a man, that Jesus was not the son of Joseph.

That’s why Christians go on saying: “Jesus the son of Mary.” They don’t talk about his father; he was not a father. Son of Mary and son of God – there was no Joseph in-between. But why be so angry about poor Joseph? Why can’t God use Joseph too, if he can use Mary? What is wrong in it? He uses Mary for the womb – that does not spoil the story. Then why not use Joseph too? The womb is half the story, because one egg from the mother has been used. Then why not use another egg from Joseph? Why be so angry at this poor carpenter?

No, God uses both. But the state of consciousness must have been of the host. And really, when you are the host there is no wonder if you receive the greatest guest: Jesus comes in. If you are dis-identified from all the guests, then God becomes your guest. First you become the host, pure host. Then God becomes your guest.

When you are disconnected… you-in-yourself. Now ask yourself: “What is this you-in-yourself’?”  You can never answer this question – it is unanswerable, because it is cut off from all knowable relationships. This way one stumbles upon the unknowable; this is entering into meditation. When you have become settled into it, utterly settled, it becomes samadhi.

-Osho

Excerpt from Zen: The Path of Paradox, V.2, Chapter Three

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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The Dilemma of the Bodhisattva – Osho

After these words

The Lord said to Subhuti:’Therefore, Subhuti, listen well and attentively. Someone who has set out in the vehicle of a bodhisattva should produce a thought in this manner;’

It does not look very good in the English translation. The Sanskrit word is chittopad.

One should create such a mind, such a decision; one should create such a great decision, determination—chittopad in this manner:

‘”As many beings as there are in the universe of beings, comprehended under the term ‘beings’, all these I must lead to nirvana...”‘

“Not one or two, Subhuti, not one or two, but all the beings — men, women, animals, birds, trees, rocks, all the beings in the world. One should create such a determination that ‘I will lead all of them into Nirvana.'”

‘… Into that realm of nirvana which leaves nothing behind. And yet, although innumerable beings have thus been led to nirvana; no being at all has been led to nirvana.’

That too you have to remember, you should not forget; otherwise, leading others, you will fall into ignorance again.

All the beings have to be led to the other shore, and still you have to remember that their miseries are false, so your remedies are also false. And you have to remember that they have no selves; neither do you have any self. So don’t forget; don’t think that you are helping people, that you are a great helper, this and that, otherwise you will fall again.

Again you will grow roots on this shore. So two things have to be remembered. You have to remain on this shore with great determination, otherwise you will be pulled by the other; and yet you are not to grow roots, again otherwise you will not be of any help. You will destroy yourself, you will fall into the dream again.

‘And why? If in a bodhisattva the notion of a “being” should take place, he could not be called a “bodhi-being”. And why? He is not called a “bodhi-being” in whom the notion of a self or a being should take place, or the notion of a living soul or of a person.’

“So you have to remember, Subhuti, two things. One, that you have to lead all the beings to the other shore, and still you have to remember that nobody has a being—neither you nor they. All egos are false and illusory.

“Go on remembering this and go on with great determination. Help people to the other shore. They are already there; you just have to make them alert and aware. But don’t get lost, don’t become a saviour—these two things.”

And again and again Buddha will repeat in this sutra The Vehicle of the Bodhisattva. I would like you all to become bodhisattvas.

Enough for today.

-Osho

Excerpt from The Diamond Sutra, Chapter One

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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The Essence of Buddha Dharma – Osho

What is the essence of Buddha Dharma – The religion of the Buddha? 

Mouna,

Yoka says:

If you reach the Zen of Buddha, at that very moment you accomplish everything. 

In your dream there are many pathways, but when you wake up, they are reduced to nothing. Neither error, nor happiness, nor loss, nor gain. 

Do not try to find anything in the essence of your being. It is a long time since you wiped the dust from your mirror, now it is time for you to see its brilliancy perfectly. 

Who can not-think, all is his. If you practice charity in order to become Buddha when will you succeed? Never – A thousand times never. 

Drink and eat according to your true nature. All things in the universe are impermanent, and therefore all existence is void. That is the whole understanding of Buddha.

This is the essence of Buddha Dharma, the religion of the Buddha. First: it is not a philosophy that you can understand intellectually; you have to become a Buddha to know it. Hence Yoka says: 

If you reach the Zen of Buddha – the state of the Buddha – at that very moment you accomplish everything.

Nothing is missing when you reach the ultimate state of awakening; all is fulfilled, you are utterly contented. Life is known for the first time as a great significance, as a great dance, a celebration. Life is known for the first time as absolutely perfect. There is no complaint, no desire, no hankering for things to be other than they are. One is simply contented, totally contented. All desiring disappears.

And what is the state of Buddha? What is this “Zen of Buddha” Yoka is talking about? It is the state of no-mind. Hence Yoka says:

Who can not-think, all is his.

The greatest thing in life to experience is a state of no-thought. The greatest art of life is to be able to be without mind. Even if it happens for a single moment – just a glimpse – you have reached the beyond and you have crossed the point of no-return.

Don’t go on thinking about it – what it is. By thinking you will go on missing it. Thinking is the sure way of missing the Buddha Dharma; non-thinking is the way to achieve it. It is your own nature!

Buddha does not talk about some great mysteries, hidden secrets, esoteric knowledge. He does not believe in mythology; he is not an occultist. He is a very simple man, very ordinary. He believes in the ordinary existence. He says your day-to-day life is all there is. If you can live it joyfully, silently, understandingly, watchfully, there is nothing else to be done. Your very ordinary life starts becoming extraordinary. 

Drink and eat according to your true nature.

Just remember: don’t distort your nature, remain true to your nature. Listen to your own nature and follow it. Don’t follow anybody else.

Buddha says, “Even if you meet me on the way, kill me immediately.” He is saying: Don’t follow me, just take the hints. Try to understand, imbibe the spirit. Feel my presence and then go on your way. Live according to your own light, howsoever small it is; but if it is yours and you live according to it, it will go on growing.

Buddha says, “Be a light unto yourself.” That is his greatest message. Nobody else in the whole world, in the whole history of humanity, has been so respectful towards others as Gautam the Buddha. “Be a light unto yourself.”

Buddhas only point the way – fingers pointing to the moon. You have to follow, and you have to follow according to your nature. You have to be silent, quiet, so you can listen to the still small voice within you, and then follow it. Wherever it leads it is good. Go in deep trust, following your own voice.  Be spontaneous, natural, ordinary. This is the way of being extraordinary. Be ordinary but aware, and the ordinary becomes the sacred. 

All things in the universe are impermanent

So don’t be worried. All things are impermanent: pleasure and pain, friendship and enmity, poverty and richness, success and failure, birth and death. All is in a flux, all is impermanent, so why be worried? Everything goes on changing. Don’t cling – clinging brings misery, clinging shows your misunderstanding. The moment you cling to something you are living with the idea that it can be permanent. Nothing can be permanent, and nothing can be done about it. It is just the nature of things to be impermanent.

You are trying to catch hold of rainbows. They are beautiful, but you cannot catch hold of them – one moment they are there and another moment they are gone. So don’t cling to anything because everything is impermanent. And don’t desire anything because even if you get it, you will lose it. If you don’t get it, you will be frustrated. If you get it and lose it, you will be frustrated. Either way you will be in misery, you are inviting misery. So don’t desire anything and don’t cling to anything.

Whatsoever comes, accept it. Buddha calls it tathata, suchness. Just accept it, live through it silently, without being disturbed by it. Misery comes, it will go. Happiness comes, it will go. Everything passes away, nothing abides, so there is nothing to worry about.

Go on passing through all kinds of experiences, and then you will know that one can pass through the world uncontaminated, uncorrupted. One can live in the palaces without clinging, then he is a sannyasin; and one can live in a hut and can cling to the hut, then he is not a sannyasin.

That’s why I don’t tell you to renounce the world, I simply say: Be watchful. That is the essence of Buddha’s message.

People ask me, “But Buddha renounced the world. Why did he renounce?” He renounced when he was not a Buddha. He renounced when he was as ignorant as anybody else. He renounced in ignorance.

When he attained the truth, when he experienced the truth and came back home, his wife asked him only one question. “Just tell me one thing,” she asked. “Whatsoever you have attained… I can see you are a transformed being. You have become luminous, you are no longer the same person. The old is gone, you are reborn. It is so clear to me – even a blind person like me can see it. But just answer me one question. Whatsoever you have attained, was it not possible to attain it living here with me in this palace?”

And the story is: Buddha remained silent, looking downwards. The wife was right. He didn’t say anything.

In the East, not saying anything is thought to be a sign of agreement: Mounam sammati lakshanam. “To be silent means I agree with you.” It says more than Buddha saying yes. His silence says more, it is more pregnant with meaning.

He immediately felt it: “She is right.” Whatsoever he had attained could have been attained anywhere. There was no need to go into the jungle.

There is no need for you to go anywhere. Wherever you are you can assert your Buddhahood, you can become awakened.

The essence is to slip out of the mind, to get out of the mind. The mind is the world. The mind is full of desires, full of clingings, attachments, longings. Get out of the mind! Create a little distance between you and the mind. Be a watcher, a watcher on the hills, and you will be surprised: as you watch the mind, the distance becomes bigger and bigger. As you watch the mind, as you become more and more established in watching, the mind recedes farther and farther away. One day it happens: you cannot hear the chatter of the mind; it is no longer there. It is simply, absolutely silent. In that silence, truth descends in you. In that silence, you encounter yourself, you encounter your innermost core. And that is the innermost core of the whole existence. Your being is the being of all.

We are separate as minds, as bodies, but not as consciousness. In consciousness we meet, we are one. That consciousness is God. That meeting, that oneness where all differences dissolve, where we are no longer separate ice cubes, where we have melted and disappeared into the universal, Buddha calls nirvana. The word is beautiful; it means cessation of the ego. When the ego ceases you are God, you are a Buddha, you are a Christ. It is the ego that is giving you a limitation. It is the ego that is making you live in a prison. Get out of the ego! And nobody is preventing you – it is your own clinging, it is your own attachment. You have become too attached to your chains, you have become too attached to your prison cell. You think it is your home, and it is not. Come out of it! Wake up!

To be awake is to be a Buddha. And Yoka is right.

If you reach the Zen of Buddha – the state of Buddha – at that very moment you accomplish everything.

-Osho

Excerpt from Walking in Zen, Sitting in Zen, Discourse #3

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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See the False as False and Follow Your Nature – Osho

Truth is. It needs no effort on your part to invent it. Truth has to be discovered, not invented. And what is hindering us from discovering it? We have been taught many lies, mountains of lies. Those are the barriers which go on falsifying the truth, which do not allow our hearts to reflect that which is.

Truth is not a logical conclusion. Truth is existence, reality. It is already here — it has always been here. Only truth exists. Then why cannot we find it? How do we manage not to find it? Because from the very childhood we are taught falsities, prejudices, ideologies, religions, philosophies…all lead you astray.

Truth is not an idea. You need not be a Hindu to know it, or a Mohammedan, or a Christian. If you are a Hindu you will never know it; your very being a Hindu will keep you blind. What do we mean when we say, “I am a Hindu, or a Mohammedan, or a Jew”? We mean, “I have already got ideas about truth — ideas from the Bible or the Koran or the Gita, but I have got ideas already. I don’t know the truth, but I know much about it.” And that knowing much about it is the only problem that has to be solved.

Once you drop your ideas about truth you will be confronting it, within and without both. You will be facing it — because there is nothing else!

But the parents, the society, the state, the church, the educational system, they all depend on lies. As the child is born they start trapping it into lies. And the child is helpless. He cannot escape his parents, he is utterly dependent. You can exploit his dependence…and it has been exploited down the ages.

Nobody has been exploited so much as children — neither the proletariat nor women, nobody has been exploited so much and so deeply and so destructively as the innocent children. Because they are helpless and dependent they have to learn whatsoever you teach them. They have to imbibe all the falsehoods that you go on forcing upon them. It is a question of survival for them — they cannot survive without you. It is a question of life and death! They have to be Hindus, they have to be Mohammedans, they have to be Jainas, they have to be Buddhists, they have to be communists. Whatsoever you are interested in putting into their minds, you go on putting it in.

Instead of making them more alert, more aware, more alive, more reflective, instead of making them more mirror like, pure, you make them full of ideas…layers and layers of dust. And then it becomes impossible for them to see that which is. They start seeing that which is not and they stop seeing that which is.

Hence, to be really religious means a rebirth: again becoming like a child, dropping all that the society has given to you.

Religion is a rebellion — a rebellion against all that has been forced upon you, a rebellion against being reduced to a computer. Just look inside! Whatsoever you know, you have been told; it is not your knowing, it is not authentic. How can it be authentic if it is not yours? You are not a witness to it, you are just a victim — a victim of circumstances.  It is just an accident to be born in India or to be born in England. It is just an accident to be born in a Hindu family or in a Christian family. Because of these accidents your essential nature has been lost — you have been forced to lose it. If you want to regain it you will have to be reborn.

That’s precisely what the meaning is when Jesus says to Nicodemus, “Unless you are born again you will not enter into the Kingdom of God.” He does not mean that you actually have to die, commit suicide, and then be born again. That won’t help, because again you will be born to some parents in a certain society, within a certain church, and again the same stupidity is going to be done to you.

Jesus means by ‘rebirth’ that deliberately, consciously, now you are capable of dropping all that has been taught to you. Drop your knowledge and become innocent. And that is the only way to become innocent. Knowledge is a contamination. To be in a state of not-knowing is innocence, and to function from that state is the only way to know the truth.

Meditate over these tremendously significant sutras of Gautama the Buddha. He says:

Mistaking the false for the true
and the true for the false,
you overlook the heart
and fill yourself with desire.

Mind is nothing but desire. The heart knows no desire. You will be surprised to hear it, that all desires belong to the head. The heart lives in the present; it pulsates, beats, in the here-now. It knows nothing of the past and it knows nothing of the future. It is always now, here.

And I am not talking about a certain philosophy. I am simply stating a fact so simple you can observe it within yourself: your heart is beating now. It cannot beat in the past, it cannot beat in the future. The heart only knows the present, hence it is utterly pure. It is not polluted by the past memories, by knowledge, by experience, by all that you have been told and taught, by the scriptures, by the traditions. It knows nothing of all that nonsense! And it knows nothing of the future, of the morrow. For it, past exists no more, the future not yet. It is utterly here. It is immediate.

But the mind is just the opposite of the heart: the mind is never now, here. Either it thinks of beautiful experiences of the past or it desires the same beautiful experiences in the future. It goes on shuttling between past and future, it never stops at the present. It is utterly unaware of the present. For the mind, the present exists not. See the point: the present is the only thing that exists, but for the mind the present is the only thing that exists not. Past is nonexistential, future is nonexistential, but those are the things which are existential for the mind.

The head is the problem… and the heart is the solution. The child functions from the heart. As you start growing, you start moving from the heart to the head. When you graduate from the university you have completely forgotten about the heart. You are hung up in the head, your whole energy has moved to the head. Now you don’t know anything of reality. You are full of garbage — scholarly garbage, academic nonsense. You may be a Ph.D., a D.Litt. You know much, knowing nothing at all! — because real knowing happens in the heart, not in the head. And the universities exist to distract your energies from the heart to the head.

All the universities in the world up to now have been enemies of humanity. Their whole function is to serve the state and the church. They are agents of the status quo, they are agents of the vested interests. They don’t serve you, they serve the powers, the masters, the oppressors, the exploiters. Whosoever happens to be in power the universities serve. They are not in the service of humanity yet.

If they were really in the service of humanity, then the university would be the place to learn rebellion. The university would create revolutionaries. The university would not create conventionalists, conformists; the university would create nonconformists, nonconventional people. It would create rebels — adventurous, ready to risk their lives for truth. That has not happened yet.

It is a sad fact that in the name of education something ugly is continued, something very ugly. Behind a facade, something very criminal continues. And this is the crime: that they divert your energies from the heart to the head, they destroy your capacity to love and they force you to learn logic. Logic is more important than love for them, thinking is more important than sensitivity. This is just putting the bullocks behind the cart. It is totally topsy-turvy.

That’s why humanity is in such a mess: the untrue seems to be true and the true seems to be untrue. They have succeeded in distorting your vision. The buddhas have been fighting against all these vested interests.

Buddha says:

Mistaking the false for the true
and true for the false,
you overlook the heart
and fill yourself with desire.

Mind is desire, and you go on filling yourself with more and more desire, more and more ambition, more and more longing for power, prestige, wealth. And you completely forget that there is a heart beating within you which already lives in God, which is already part of the ultimate law — Aes Dhammo Sanantano — which is already part of the inexhaustible, eternal law. You are joined from the heart to God. Your hearts are the roots in the soil of God.

Your hearts are still being nourished by God, by truth, but you are not there. You have vacated the place. You live in your head. Day in, day out, you live in your head; you never descend from there. Even in the night while asleep you go on rumbling in the head… dreams, and dreams upon dreams. In the day thoughts, in the night dreams. They are not different.

The dream is only a translation of thinking in the language of sleep, and vice versa: thinking is nothing but a translation of dreaming in the language of the day. You go on moving between these two: dreaming and thinking. Both are desiring. What do you think? What is there to think except desire? And what do you dream except desire?

Buddha says the false appears to be true because you have become false to your own truth, to your own heart. Come back to the heart, and then you will be able to know the truth as the truth and the false as the false. That is enlightenment, that is coming home.

See the false as false.

But from where to begin? Begin from seeing the false as the false. That’s why all the buddhas appear to be negative, all buddhas appear to be destructive. They negate. Jesus negates. He says again and again: It has been told to you in the past, but I say to you…. And he changes the whole standpoint.

For example, he says: It has been told to you in the past that tit for tat is the law. If somebody throws a brick at you, react by throwing a rock. But I say unto you, if somebody hits you on one cheek, give him the other cheek too. And if somebody takes away your coat, give him your shirt too. And if somebody forces you to go one mile with him, go two miles.

Mohammed is against all kinds of images of God, because his people were worshipping for centuries; they had three hundred and sixty-five gods — one god for every day of the year. The Kaaba of Mohammed’s days was one of the greatest temples on the earth — dedicated to three hundred and sixty-five gods! Mohammed destroyed all those idols. It looks negative….

Buddha says: There is no truth in the Vedas, in the Upanishads. Beware of beautiful words, beware of philosophic speculation. Don’t waste your time with hairsplitting, with logic. Be silent! Throw the Vedas out of your head, only then can you be silent. He looks negative, he looks nihilistic, he look dangerous, but that is the only way you can be helped.

You have to be told the false is false. You have to begin with this: neti, neti — neither this nor that. The master has to say to you, “This is false, that is false.” He has to go on pointing out to you whatsoever is false first, because when you have known all that is false, suddenly a transformation happens in your consciousness. When you have become aware of the false, you start becoming aware of the true.

You cannot be taught what is truth, but you can certainly be taught what is not truth. You have been conditioned, you can be unconditioned. You have been hypnotized — as Hindus, Mohammedans, Christians, Jainas…. The function of a master is to dehypnotize you. Once you are dehypnotized, suddenly you will be able to see the truth. The truth need not be taught.

See the false as false, the true as true.
Look into your heart.
Follow your nature.

One of the most significant statements ever: Look into your heart. Follow your nature. He is not saying follow scriptures. He is not saying follow me. He is not saying follow certain rules of conduct. He is not teaching you any morality. He is not trying to create a certain character around you, because all characters are beautiful prison cells. He is not giving you a certain way of life. Rather he is giving you courage, encouragement, to follow your own nature. He wants you to be brave enough to listen to your own heart and go accordingly.

“Follow your nature” means flow with yourself. You are the scripture… and hidden deep down within you is a still, small voice. If you become silent you will be guided from there.

The master has only to make you aware of your inner master. Then his function is fulfilled. Then he can leave you to yourself; he can throw you back upon yourself. A master is not to enslave the disciple; a master is to free him, to give him total freedom. And this is the only possibility of attaining total freedom: Follow your nature. By “nature” Buddha means dhamma. Just as it is the nature of water to flow downwards and it is the nature of fire to rise upwards, so there is a certain nature hidden in you. If all the conditionings that have been put around you by the society are removed, suddenly you will discover your nature. Your nature has become God. Aes dhammo sanantano — this is the eternal, inexhaustible law: your nature is to become God.

Man is a potential god — a bodhisattva. Man is meant to become a god. Less than that won’t satisfy you, less than that is of no use. You can have all the money in the world, all the power, all the prestige possible, and still you will remain empty — unless your divine nature flowers, opens its buds, unless you become a lotus, a one-thousand-petaled lotus, unless your divinity is revealed to you, you can never be contented.

The ordinary religious person is told to remain satisfied, contented, with whatsoever is the case. The so-called religious saints go on teaching people: Be satisfied. Satisfaction is one of their fundamental teachings. That is not the way of the true masters.

The true master creates discontent in you — and such a discontent that nothing of this world can ever satisfy it. He creates such a longing in you, that unless you attain to the ultimate you will remain aflame, afire. He creates pain in your heart, he creates anguish… because life is slipping by every moment, and each moment gone is gone forever, and you have not attained to God yet, and one day is over.

He creates such a deep longing in you, such pain in the heart! He creates tears in your eyes, because only through such divine discontent will you move, will you take the quantum leap, the ultimate jump into the unknown. It is only through such divine discontent that you will gather together all your energies, and you will risk, and you will go on the ultimate adventure of finding who you are.

Follow your own nature. Your nature is consciousness. But you have been told by the priests: follow certain rules of conduct, the Ten Commandments, follow certain principles — not your nature. Priests are very much afraid of your nature, because if you follow your nature you will get out of their grip, you will be a slave no more. You won’t go to the churches and the temples and the mosques, and you won’t listen to your stupid priests, politicians, the so-called leaders. I call them “so-called leaders” because what is actually happening is that blind people are leading other blind people.

You won’t listen to them anymore if you listen to your own nature. If you know your own inner voice you will become free. Your inner voice has to be crushed, destroyed, utterly destroyed — at least distorted so much that even if you hear it you can’t understand it. And they have succeeded. Unless you struggle hard against them there is no possibility of succeeding. Their exploitation is so old, their oppression is so ancient, their strategies are so cunning… and they have infinite power in their hands. And what are you against them as an individual?

But if you go in, if you listen to your heart, you will attain to such power that no power on the earth can enslave you again.

Follow your nature.… But how to follow your nature if you don’t know what it is? And you are not allowed to know it! You are given precise instructions as to what to do: what to eat, when to get up in the morning, when to go to bed. You have been given precise instructions. Those instructions, if followed, make you a slave. If not followed, they make you a criminal. If followed, you become a saint —but a slave. People will worship you, respect you, but all that respect is a mutual understanding: “If you follow our instructions, we will respect you. If you don’t follow, you will be thrown into jail.”

Either you are made a slave spiritually or a prisoner physically: these are the two alternatives the society gives to you. And it never lets you become aware that there is a source of infinite guidance within you, from where God speaks.

God still speaks, he has not stopped speaking. He is not partial — it is not that he spoke to Mohammed and to Moses and he does not speak to you. He is speaking to you as much as he was speaking to Mohammed. The only difference is, Mohammed was ready to listen and you are not ready to listen. Mohammed was available and you are not available.

To become available to your inner nature is what I call meditation.

Remember these two words. ‘Character’ is an invention of the politicians and the priests; it is a conspiracy against you. Consciousness is your nature. Yes, a man of consciousness has a certain character, but that character follows his consciousness. It is not imposed by anybody else on him; it is his own decision. And he is not encaged in it; he is totally free to change it any moment. As circumstances change, his consciousness gives him different directions and he changes his character.

The man of character — the so-called man of character — is encaged. Even if circumstances change he goes on repeating the same character, although it is no longer relevant, it does not fit. The context in which it was meaningful has disappeared, but he goes on repeating the same nonsense. He is like a parrot. He is a machine: he does not respond, he only reacts.

A man of consciousness responds, and his responses are spontaneous. He is mirror like: he reflects whatsoever confronts him. And out of this spontaneity, out of this consciousness, a new kind of action is born. That action never creates any bondage, any karma. That action frees you. You remain a freedom if you listen to your nature.

But this simple advice seems to be very difficult for people. It should be the simplest thing in the world. Each child is born following his nature, but as you grow up, slowly you lose contact with it — you are forced to lose contact with it. The contact can be regained, it can be rediscovered. Later on, when you become very knowledgeable, encaged in a certain character, utterly blind to your own heart and nature, you start asking such questions.

Just the other day Prem Vijen asked:

“Beloved Master, what do you mean when you say ‘Go in’?” Such a simple statement — “Go in” — and you ask me, “What do you mean?” Can’t you understand these simple words, ‘go in’? I know you understand the words, but going in has become so difficult because you have been taught only how to go out. You can only go out, you only know how to go out. Your consciousness has been turned towards others; it has forgotten the way to itself. You go on knocking on others’ doors, and whenever it is said to you, “Go home,” you say, “What do you mean by ‘going home’?” You know only others’ houses, but you don’t know your own home. And you are carrying it within yourself. You have been forced to become extroverts. One has to learn again ways of inwardness.

Soren Kierkegaard has said: Religion means inwardness — going into your own interiority. But the simple words, ‘go in’, have become so difficult to understand. Mind only knows how to go out; it has no reverse gear in it.

I have heard that when Ford made his first cars they had no reverse gear. It was a later addition. Without a reverse gear it was really a problem: whenever you wanted to come back you had to go miles unnecessarily, you had to go round. Even if you wanted to go a few feet back, you might have to take a journey of miles. Then Ford became aware that a reverse gear was needed.

I am teaching you here that the reverse gear is there, built in, you have just forgotten about it. You know how to go out. Nobody asks, “What does it mean when you say ‘Go out’?” But everybody wants to ask, “What do you mean when you say ‘Go in’?” Simple words!

Thinking is going out: non-thinking is going in. Think, and you have started moving away from yourself. Thought is the way leading you farther away. Thought is a project. No-thought… and suddenly you are in. Without thought you cannot go out, without desire you cannot go out. You need the fuel of desire and the vehicle of thought to go out.

Sitting silently, doing nothing… not even thinking, not even desiring… and where will you be?

Going in is not really going in. It is simply stopping going out… and suddenly you find yourself in.

Prem Vijen, you need not go in because if you go you will always go out. Going means going out. Stop going! Stop going anywhere! Can’t you sit silently without going anywhere? Yes, physically you can sit, that is not very difficult. You can learn a yoga posture and you can make your body almost a statue, but the problem is — what are you doing inside? Desires, thoughts, memories, imagination, all kinds of projects? — stop them too.

How to stop them? Just become indifferent to them, unconcerned. Even if they are there, don’t pay attention to them. Even if they are there, don’t give them any importance. Even if they are there, let them be. You sit silently inside — watching. Remember that word ‘watching’ — witnessing, just being alert.

Remember that word ‘watching’ — witnessing, just being alert.
And as watching grows, becomes deeper, the same energy that was becoming desires and thoughts and memories and imagination — the same energy is absorbed in the new depth. The same energy is used by this deepening inwardness. And you will know what it means when I say “Go in.”

Don’t start looking in the dictionaries or in the Encyclopedia Britannica. It is not a question of words! Words are simple to understand; when I say “Go in,” that’s exactly what I mean — go in! Don’t start asking about the words — listen to the hidden message; otherwise you will miss the train. […]

If you become too much interested in words —”What does it mean to go in? What does it mean, verbally, linguistically?” — Vijen, you are going to miss the train. Don’t waste time with words!

And it is a particularly new kind of disease that has gripped the intellectuals of the world. For at least fifty years the philosophical world has become too much interested in words, linguistic analysis. They don’t ask anymore what God is. They don’t ask anymore whether God exists or not. The contemporary philosophers ask, “What does it mean when you use the word ‘God’?” It is not a question of whether God exists or not. It is not a question of what God is. It is not a question of how to attain God. Now the question has taken a very new turn: “What do you mean when you use the word ‘God’?”

What do you mean when you use the word ‘rose’? Now it is easy: you can take hold of the philosopher, force him to go to the garden, and you can show him the rose: “This is what I mean when I use the word ‘rose’.” But this cannot be done with the word ‘God’ — and this cannot be done with the word ‘meditation’ and this cannot be done with the words ‘going in’. These are subtle phenomena. Don’t become linguistically interested. I am not here to teach you linguistic analysis.

My whole approach is existential. If you really want to know what it means to go in, go in! And the way is: watch your thoughts and don’t get identified with them. Just remain a watcher, utterly indifferent, neither for nor against. Don’t judge, because every judgment brings identification. Don’t say, “These thoughts are wrong,” and don’t say, “These thoughts are good.” Don’t comment on the thoughts. Just let them pass as if it is just traffic passing by, and you are standing by the side of the road unconcerned, looking at the traffic.

It does not matter what is passing by — a bus, a truck, a bicycle. If you can watch the thought process of your mind with such unconcern, with such detachment, that moment is not very far away when one day the whole traffic disappears… because the traffic can exist only if you go on giving energy to it. If you stop giving energy to it….  And that’s what watching is: stopping giving energy to it, stopping energy moving into the traffic. It is your energy that makes those thoughts move. When your energy is not coming they start falling; they cannot stand on their own.

And when the road of the mind is utterly empty, you are in. That’s what I mean, Vijen, when I say “Go in.” And that’s what Buddha means when he says: Follow your nature.

-Osho

From Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha V.1, Chapter Three

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