My Connection with Krishnamurti – Osho

Can you tell us about your connection with J. Krishnamurti?

It is a real mystery. I have loved him since I have known him, and he has been very loving towards me. But we have never met; hence the relationship, the connection is something beyond words. We have not seen each other ever, but yet… perhaps we have been the two persons closest to each other in the whole world. We had a tremendous communion that needs no language, that need not be of physical presence. […]

You are asking me about my connection with him. It was the deepest possible connection – which needs no physical contact, which needs no linguistic communication. Not only that, once in a while I used to criticize him, he used to criticize me, and we enjoyed each other’s criticism – knowing perfectly well that the other does not mean it. Now that he is dead, I will miss him because I will not be able to criticize him; it won’t be right. It was such a joy to criticize him. He was the most intelligent man of this century, but he was not understood by people.

He has died, and it seems the world goes on its way without even looking back for a single moment that the most intelligent man is no longer there. It will be difficult to find that sharpness and that intelligence again in centuries. But people are such sleep walkers; they have not taken much note. In newspapers, just in small corners where nobody reads, his death is declared. And it seems that a ninety-year-old man who has been continuously speaking for almost seventy years, moving around the world, trying to help people to get unconditioned, trying to help people to become free – nobody seems even to pay a tribute to the man who has worked the hardest in the whole of history for man’s freedom, for man’s dignity.

I don’t feel sorry for his death. His death is beautiful; he has attained all that life is capable to give. But I certainly feel sorry for the whole world. It goes on missing its greatest flights of consciousness, its highest peaks, its brightest stars. It is too much concerned with trivia.

I feel such a deep affinity with Krishnamurti that even to talk of connection is not right; connection is possible only between two things which are separate. I feel almost a oneness with him. In spite of all his criticisms, in spite of all my criticisms – which were just joking with the old man, provoking the old man… and he was very easily provoked. I just had to send my sannyasins to his meetings to sit in the front row, all in red colors, and he would go mad! He could not tolerate the red color. In his past life he must have been a bull; just a red flag and the bull goes crazy. Bulls have their own personality.

But even though he used to become angry – he would forget the subject matter he was going to talk on, and he would start criticizing me and my people – later on he would say about me to the hostess where he was staying, “This guy is something. He disturbs my meetings, sending red-robed people. And the moment I see them, I forget what is the subject I have decided to speak on. It happens every time, and I know that he is simply playing a joke. He is not serious, he is not against me; neither am I against him.”

From many of his intimate people I have been informed, “He is not against you. He wants you to know that howsoever angry he becomes, he is not against you.”

I said to them, “I know it. I love the man. But to love a man and once in a while to joke with him, do you think it is contradictory? In fact, I am trying to help him to become a little less serious. A little more sense of humor will not do any harm to him. Only on that point I do not agree with him – he is too serious.”

Religion needs a certain quality of humor to make it more human. If there is no sense of humor in any religious teaching, it becomes more and more intellectual, mathematical, logical, but it loses the human touch. It becomes more and more a scientific subject. But man cannot be just an object of scientific study. There is something in him which transcends scientific study.

Just look around the world. Trees don’t laugh, buffaloes don’t laugh. No animal laughs; it is only man who has the sense of humor. There must be something in it because it happens at the highest evolutionary point – man.

Krishnamurti’s teaching is beautiful, but too serious. And my experience and feeling is that his seventy years went to waste because he was serious. So only people who were long-faced and miserable and serious types collected around him; he was a collector of corpses, and as he became older, those corpses also became older.

I know people who have been listening to him for almost their whole lives; they are as old as he himself was. They are still alive. I know one woman who is ninety-five, and I know many other people. One thing I have seen in all of them, which is common, is that they are too serious.

Life needs a little playfulness, a little humor, a little laughter.

Only on that point am I in absolute disagreement with him; otherwise, he was a genius. He has penetrated as deeply as possible into every dimension of man’s spirituality, but it is all like a desert, tiring. I would like you back in the garden of Eden, innocent, not serious, but like small children playing. This whole existence is playful. This whole existence is full of humor; you just need the sense of humor and you will be surprised.

I have heard about a man in India who used to sell Gandhi caps. Particularly at election times, everybody wants to prove that he is a Gandhian, because the followers of Gandhi had been ruling the country for forty years. If you are a Gandhian your victory in the election is certain. The Gandhian cap – a white cap – symbolizes who you are, and this man used to earn so much money just by making caps and selling them.

But this year he was sick. He was getting old, and he told his young son, “You will have to go to the marketplace” – which was a few miles away from the village – “and I have to tell you only one thing. The way is beautiful; on both sides are very shady trees so that even in the hot sun you can sit under them and it is cool. And there is one big bodhi tree so huge that hundreds of bullock carts can rest underneath it. Avoid it. If you feel like resting, don’t rest under that tree.”

The son said, “But why? – because that must be the coolest place.”

The father said, “That is the problem. It is the coolest place, but the tree is full of monkeys. And it happened with me; I was resting there and when I woke up my whole bag of caps was empty. I was surprised – what happened? Then I suddenly heard the monkeys enjoying – all were wearing caps just the way I was wearing a cap. So they knew how to put it, where to put it, and it looked as if the whole of New Delhi from the president to prime minister, the cabinet and all the parliamentarians were sitting there – all over the tree! And they were enjoying it so much.

“But I am a poor man. Suddenly I remembered the saying that monkeys always imitate, so I took off my cap so they could all see; they all took off their caps. Then I threw my cap away; they all threw their caps away. I collected the caps and went to the market. So just remember in case something like this happens, take your cap off and throw it – they will all throw theirs.”

The son was in a way excited to rest under the same tree and see what would happen. He found the tree – it was beautiful and it was the most shady, and he saw hundreds of monkeys sitting on it. He rested, went to sleep, and exactly what the father had said, happened. The bag was empty; he looked up and the monkeys were looking very happy, very proud, all Gandhians. But he was not worried because he knew the trick. So he simply took off his cap and threw it, and to his great surprise, one monkey came down and took the thrown cap, went back up the tree and put the cap on his head! They all enjoyed it, because this monkey had missed; one cap had been missing.

This must have been the second generation of the monkeys; perhaps the older generation had taught them that if it happens sometimes, “don’t throw your caps but pick up the cap thrown by the merchant. We have been befooled – once to be befooled is okay; twice to be befooled is unforgivable.”

The son looked in shock – what to do? He came back home and told his father. His father said, “I knew it: monkeys are more capable of learning than men. This is their second generation and they have remembered. And I told you specifically, you should not have thrown it so quickly. First you should have taken it off and seen whether they took theirs off or not; then at least you could have saved one cap. You lost even that.”

Existence is hilarious. Everything is in a dancing mood; you just have to be in the same mood to understand it.

I am not sorry that J. Krishnamurti is dead; there was nothing more for him to attain. I am sorry that his teaching did not reach the human heart because it was too dry, juiceless, with no humor, no laughter.

But you will be surprised to know – whatever he was saying was against religions, was against politics, was against the status quo, was against the whole past, yet nobody was condemning him for the simple reason that he was ineffective. There was no reason to take note of him. In India he used to visit only three places – Delhi, Bombay, Madras. And it was the same way around the world… some big cities, and the same people year after year listening to him saying the same things, and nothing has changed in those people because nothing reached to their hearts. It remained only intellectual. […]

Krishnamurti failed because he could not touch the human heart; he could only reach the human head. The heart needs some different approaches. This is where I have differed with him all my life: unless the human heart is reached, you can go on repeating parrot-like, beautiful words – they don’t mean anything. Whatever Krishnamurti was saying is true, but he could not manage to relate it to your heart. In other words, what I am saying is that J. Krishnamurti was a great philosopher but he could not become a master. He could not help people; prepare people for a new life, a new orientation.

But still I love him, because amongst the philosophers he comes the closest to the mystic way of life. He himself avoided the mystic way, bypassed it, and that is the reason for his failure. But he is the only one amongst the modern contemporary thinkers who comes very close, almost on the boundary line of mysticism, and stops there. Perhaps he’s afraid that if he talks about mysticism people will start falling into old patterns, old traditions, old philosophies of mysticism. That fear prevents him from entering. But that fear also prevents other people from entering into the mysteries of life.

I have met thousands of Krishnamurti people – because anybody who has been interested in

Krishnamurti sooner or later is bound to find his way towards me, because where Krishnamurti leaves them, I can take their hand and lead them into the innermost shrine of truth. You can say my connection with Krishnamurti is that Krishnamurti has prepared the ground for me. He has prepared people intellectually for me; now it is my work to take those people deeper than intellect, to the heart; and deeper than the heart, to the being.

Our work is one. Krishnamurti is dead, but his work will not be dead until I am dead. His work will continue.

-Osho

Excerpt from Socrates: Poisoned Again After Twenty-Five Centuries, Chapter 25

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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The Observer is the Observed – Osho

There is a statement by J. Krishnamurti that “the observer is the observed.” Will you please kindly elaborate and explain what it means?

The statement that “the observer is the observed” is one of the most significant things ever said by any man on the earth. The statement is as extraordinary as J. Krishnamurti was.

It is difficult to understand it only intellectually, because the way of the intellect is dialectical, dualistic.

On the path of intellect the subject can never be the object, the seer can never be the seen. The observer cannot be the observed. As far as intellect is concerned, it is an absurd statement, meaningless – not only meaningless, but insane.

The intellectual approach towards reality is that of division: the knower and the known have to be separate. Only then is there a possibility of knowledge between the two. The scientist cannot become science, the scientist has to remain separate from what he is doing. The experimenter is not allowed to become the experiment itself. As far as intellect is concerned, logic is concerned, it looks absolutely valid.

But there is a knowledge that passeth understanding, there is a knowing that goes beyond science.

Only because that kind of knowing which goes beyond science is possible, is mysticism possible, is religiousness possible.

Let us move from a different direction. Science divides the whole of human experience and existence into two parts: the known and the unknown. That which is known today was unknown yesterday. That which is unknown today may become known tomorrow, so the distance is not impossible, unbridgeable. The distance is only because man’s knowledge is growing, and as his knowledge grows the area of his ignorance diminishes. In other words, as he knows more, the area of the unknown becomes less and the area of the known becomes bigger.

If we follow this logic, the ultimate result will be that one day there will be nothing left as unknown.

Slowly, slowly, the unknown will change into the known, and the moment will come when there is nothing left as unknown. That is the goal of science, to destroy ignorance – but to destroy ignorance means to destroy all possibilities of exploration, all possibilities of the unknown challenging you to move forward.

The destruction of ignorance means the death of all intelligence, because there will be no need for intelligence anymore. It will be simply something which was useful in the past – you can put it in a museum – but it is of no use anymore. This is not a very exciting picture.

Mysticism does not agree with science, it goes beyond it.

According to mysticism, existence and experience is divided into three parts: the known, the unknown, and the unknowable. The known was unknown one day, the unknown will become known one day, but the unknowable will remain unknowable; it will remain mysterious. Whatever you do, the mystery will always surround existence. The mystery will always be there around life, around love, around meditation.

The mystery cannot be destroyed.

Ignorance can be destroyed, but by destroying ignorance you cannot destroy the miraculous, the mysterious.

J. Krishnamurti’s statement belongs to the unknowable.

I have been telling you that as you meditate… and by meditation I simply mean as you become more and more aware of your mind process. If the mind process is one hundred percent, taking your whole energy, you will be fast asleep inside – there will be no alertness.

One morning Gautam Buddha is talking to his disciples. The king, Prasenjita, has also come to listen to him; he is sitting just in front of Buddha. He is not accustomed to sitting on the floor – he is a king – so he is feeling uncomfortable, fidgety, changing sides, somehow trying not to disturb and not to be noticed by Buddha because he is not sitting silently, peacefully. He is continuously moving the big toe of his foot, for no reason, just to be busy without business. There are people who cannot be without business; they will still be busy.

Gautam Buddha stopped talking and asked Prasenjita, “Can you tell me, why are you moving your big toe?” In fact, Prasenjita himself was not aware of it.

You are doing a thousand and one things you are not aware of. Unless somebody points at them, you may not take any note of it.

The moment Buddha asked him, the toe stopped moving. Buddha said, “Why have you stopped moving the toe?”

He said, “You are putting me in an embarrassing situation. I don’t know why that toe was moving.

This much I know: that as you asked the question it stopped. I have not done anything – neither was I moving it, nor have I stopped it.”

Buddha said to his disciples, “Do you see the point? The toe belongs to the man. It moves, but he is not aware of its movement. And the moment he becomes aware – because I asked the question – the very awareness immediately stops the toe. He does not stop it. The very awareness, that ‘It is stupid, why are you moving it?’ – just the awareness is enough to stop it.”

Your mind is a constant traffic of thoughts, and it is always rush hour, day in, day out.

Meditation means to watch the movement of thoughts in the mind.

Just be an observer, as if you are standing by the side of the road watching the traffic – no judgment, no evaluation, no condemnation, no appreciation – just pure observation.

As you become more and more accustomed to observation, a strange phenomenon starts happening. If you are ten percent aware, that much energy has moved from the mind process to the observer; now the mind has only ninety percent energy available. A moment comes… you have fifty percent of energy. And your energy goes on growing as mind goes on losing its energy.

The traffic becomes less and less and less, and you become more and more and more.

Your witnessing self goes on increasing in integrity, expanding; it becomes stronger and stronger.

And the mind goes on becoming weaker and weaker: ninety percent observer and ten percent mind, ninety-nine percent observer and only one percent mind.

One hundred percent observer and the mind disappears, the road is empty; the screen of the mind becomes completely empty, nothing moves. There is only the observer.

This is the state J. Krishnamurti’s statement is pointing at. When there is nothing to observe, when there is only the observer left, then the observer itself becomes the observed – because there is nothing else to observe, what else to do? The knower simply knows itself. The seer sees himself.

The energy that was going towards objects, thoughts… there are no thoughts, no objects. The energy has no way to go anywhere; it simply becomes a light unto itself. There is nothing that it lights, it lights only itself – a flame surrounded by silence, surrounded by nothingness.

That is Krishnamurti’s way of saying it, that the observer becomes the observed. You can call it enlightenment, it is the same thing: the light simply lights itself, there is nothing else to fall upon. You have dissolved the mind. You are alone, fully alert and aware.

Krishnamurti is using a phrase of his own. He was a little fussy about it… not to use anybody else’s phrase, anybody else’s word – not to use anything that has been used by other masters. So his whole life, he was coining his own phrases.

But you can change only the expression, you cannot change the experience. The experience is eternal. It makes no difference whether somebody calls it enlightenment, somebody calls it nirvana, somebody calls it samadhi, somebody calls it something else. You can give it your own name but remember, the experience should not be changed by your words.

And it is not changed by J. Krishnamurti’s words. They are perfectly applicable, although they are not so glamorous as nirvana, Gautam Buddha’s word, or samadhi, Patanjali’s word, or il’aham, Mohammed’s word. ”The observer is the observed” looks too mundane. It certainly points to the reality, but the words in themselves are not very poetic, are very ordinary. And the extraordinary should not be indicated by the ordinary; that is sacrilegious.

So there are many people around the world who have been listening to J. Krishnamurti. They will listen to these words, “The observer becomes the observed,” and they will not have even a far-off notion of nirvana or enlightenment or samadhi.

I don’t like this fussiness. I don’t want to say anything against that old man because he is dead. If he were alive I would say something against him, certainly. His whole effort – and he lived long, ninety years – was somehow to prove that he was original in everything, even in expressions.

I don’t feel the necessity. If you are original, you are original. There is no need to shout from the housetops that “I am original,” that “I am fortunate that I have not read any sacred scriptures.”

And this is not true, because even to avoid samadhi, nirvana, enlightenment, you have to know those words; otherwise, how can you avoid them? He may not have read them himself; somebody else may have read them, and he must have heard it.

And that’s what actually had happened: from his childhood he was being taught to become a world teacher, so others were telling him…. He was just nine years old, so he was not telling a lie by saying that he had not read the sacred scriptures; but the sacred scriptures were read to him.

This reminds me of a milkman. I was a student in the university and he used to come to the hostel with his small son to give milk to the students. And everybody was suspicious that his milk was at least fifty percent water. Already the purest milk is eighty percent water; then fifty percent more….

So it is just the name milk, otherwise it is all water. So everybody was telling him, “You are mixing in too much water.”

And he was a very religious man, worshipping for hours in the temple. And he would say, “I am a religious man. I cannot do this. I can take an oath. This is my son” – and he would put his hand on his son’s head – “Under oath I am saying that if I lie, my son should die. I have never mixed water into milk.”

I listened many times. One day I called him inside my room and closed the door. He said, “What are you doing?”

I said, “You need not be worried, I am also a religious man. Just a little dialogue….”

He said, “But why are you closing the door?”

I said, “It has to be very private; otherwise, you will be in difficulty.”

He said, “Strange… why should I be in difficulty?”

I said, “Now just tell me exactly. I have seen you mixing water with my own eyes…. I had to miss one morning walk just to hide near your place to see it. Just this morning I have seen it. And if you don’t listen to me… I don’t have a son, but I can use your son, under oath.”

He said, “Wait! Don’t do that. You are a dangerous man. You can do it to your son but not to my son.”

I said, “What is the harm? Your son is not going to be harmed; truth is truth.”

He said, “That means I will have to tell you the truth.”

I said, “You will have to tell me the truth.”

He said, “The truth is that I never mix water into milk, I always mix milk into water – and that makes all the difference. My oath is absolutely correct. But please don’t say it to anybody, otherwise they will start asking me to take the oath the other way, and that I cannot do. I mix them, but I always mix milk into the water. I am making the water also milky. I am not destroying milk; I am just changing the quality of the water!”

I said, “You are really a religious man.” Now what he is saying is simply the same.

For thousands of years, anybody who has reached to the point of no-mind and only awareness has given names which are far more meaningful than J. Krishnamurti’s words. For example, Patanjali’s word is the most important and the most ancient: samadhi. In Sanskrit, sickness is called vyadhi, and to go beyond all sickness is called samadhi. It has a beauty – going beyond all sickness; attaining wholeness, perfection. It has a beauty and a meaning.

Gautam Buddha used the word nirvana… because he was trying to make an effort twenty-five centuries after Patanjali. In these twenty-five centuries Patanjali had been misused. The people who were trying to reach samadhi made it some kind of ego trip. The word ‘samadhi’ is very positive – beyond all illness, wholeness. There is a loophole in it: it can give you an idea that “I will become perfect, beyond all limitations, all sicknesses. I will become whole.” But the danger is that this “I” may be your ego – most probably it will be, because your mind is still there.

The samadhi is true when the mind is gone. Then you can say, “I have gone beyond sickness” because the ego was also a sickness – in fact, the greatest sickness that man suffers from. Now your “I” does not mean ego. It simply means your individuality, not your personality. It simply means the universal in you, just the dewdrop which contains the ocean. The emphasis has changed completely. It is not the dewdrop that is claiming; it is the ocean that is proclaiming.

But because many people became egoistic… and you can see those people even today. Your saints, sages, mahatmas, are so full of ego that one is surprised – even ordinary people are not so full of ego. But their egos are very subtle, very refined.

Gautam Buddha had to find a new word, and the word had to be negative so that ego could not make a trick for itself. ‘Nirvana’ is a negative word; it simply means “blowing out the candle”… a very beautiful word. Blowing out the candle, what happens? – Just pure darkness remains.

Buddha is saying that when your ego has disappeared like the flame of the candle, what remains – that silence, that peace, that eternal bliss – is nirvana.

And certainly he was successful: nobody has been able to make nirvana an ego-trip. How can you make nirvana an ego-trip? The ego has to die. It is implied in the word itself, that you will have to disappear in smoke. What will be left behind is your true reality, is your pure existence, is your truth, is your being – and to find it is to find all.

But Buddha had a reason to change the word ‘samadhi’ into ‘nirvana’. J. Krishnamurti had no reason at all, except that he was obsessed with being original. What he says describes the fact: the observer is the observed – but it has no poetry. It is true, but it has no music.

But that is true about J. Krishnamurti’s whole philosophy: it has no music, it has no poetry. It is purely a rational, logical, intellectual approach. He was trying hard somehow to express the mystic experience in rational and logical terms, and he has been successful in many ways, but he has destroyed the beauty.

He has brought the mystic experience closer to rational philosophizing; but the mystic experience is not philosophy, it is always poetry. It is closer to painting, closer to singing, closer to dancing, but not closer to logic – and that’s what he was doing. And my opposition to him is based on this ground. My effort is to bring mysticism to your dance, to your song, to your love, to your poetry, to your painting – not to your logic.

Logic is good for business, it is good for mathematics. It is absolutely useless as far as higher values are concerned.

-Osho

From The Osho Upanishad, Chapter 14 

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

Here you can listen to the discourse excerpt The Observer is the Observed.

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I Don’t Belong to Any Path – Osho

I took sannyas from Swami Shivand of Rishikesh after reading his book Brahmacharya and other books of his.

After some years, I was attracted to Sri Ramana Maharshi and thereafter to Sri Aurobindo due to his integral approach to the divine. From 1959 onwards I was doing meditation on the lines indicated by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.

Thereafter J. Krishnamurti’s approach attracted me, now yours.

I enjoy and feel happy whenever I read Sri Aurobindo’s works, since he emphasizes living a full life and realization of Integral Divine and gives much emphasis to physical transformation.

You also emphasize not to negate life but to live fully, and have given a new meaning to sannyas.

Hence I am here to embrace this also.

I wonder whether I am on the right path or drifting?

What is this multifarious attraction in me?

Could you help me with a right path if I am drifting?

The first thing to be understood: Before one can come to the right door, one has to knock on many doors. Life is an adventure – of courage, daring, and basically it is trial and error. One has to go astray many times to come to the right path. And when I say the right path, I don’t mean that Sri Ramana’s path is not right, but it must not have been right for the questioner; otherwise there is no need.

Once you have come to the right path for you… and it is always a question of the individual, it has nothing to do with Ramana, Aurobindo or me; it is a question of you. If you have come to me and you feel at home, then your journey has finished. Now there is no need to drift any more, now you can settle and start working – because in drifting work is impossible.

It is as if you start constructing a house and just in the middle you are attracted to something else and you leave it and you start another house; and just in the middle again you are attracted to something else. Then you will live like a vagabond. The house will never be completed. One has to settle somewhere, one has to commit somewhere, one has to take the fatal decision. But it is not difficult. If you have courage, it happens.

One has to be available to many sources. It is good that you have been to Shivanand, to Ramana, to Aurobindo. It shows you have been seeking – but it also shows that nowhere could you feel at home. So the journey continues. The journey has to continue until you come to a point where you can say: Yes, I have arrived. Now there is no need for any more departures. And you can relax. Then the real work starts.

Whatsoever you have been doing is just moving from one place to another. The journey is exciting, but the journey is not the goal. One becomes enriched by the journey. You must have become enriched being open to so many sources; you must have learnt many things – but still the journey continues. Then you will have to seek again and again.

Now you are here. Try to see and try to understand: do you fit with me, or do I fit with you?

Sometimes it is possible that you may have learnt only one thing – how to drift again and again, how to go away again and again. It can become a mechanical habit. Then you will be gone from here also. So don’t allow mechanical habits to lead you. If you don’t fit with me it is perfectly good to go away, because then your being here is going to be a sheer wastage of time for you. But if you fit, then take courage and be committed – because only after the commitment does real work start, never before it.

You think you have been to Shivanand and you think you have been initiated by him, but the initiation has not happened yet, otherwise you would not have been here. Initiation means a commitment: that now one has looked all around – now this is the place to settle. Shivanand may have initiated you, but you have not taken the initiation yet. You have been just a visitor. You have not become intimate with any system of growth.

It is as if the plant has been removed from one place to another again and again. The plant cannot grow; the plant needs that it should settle on one ground so that roots can go deep. If you go on removing the plant again and again, the roots will never grow; and if roots cannot go deeper, the plant cannot go higher.

Hence commitment. Commitment means: now this is the soil for me and I am ready to settle for it. It is risky because, who knows, a better soil may be available somewhere else. So the risk is there, but one has to take that risk some day or other. If you go on and on just waiting for something better, something better, the time may be lost, and by the time you have arrived you will be dead.

The real thing is work. It is good to go around, have a look, visit many places, many people – but don’t make it a habit. That habit is dangerous. It won’t allow you roots. And if roots are not there, the tree cannot be alive, flowers are not possible; fragrance will not spread from you, your life will remain empty.

So the first thing: don’t make your past a pattern to be repeated in the future. Now you are here: don’t do the same thing to me as you have been doing to Shivanand, Ramana, Aurobindo. You don’t know what you have done.

It happened:

A great painter, James McNeill Whistler, is reported to have displayed a just-completed painting to Mark Twain.

Mark looked at the painting judiciously from a variety of angles and distances while Whistler waited impatiently for the verdict.

Finally, Mark leaned forward and, making an erasing gesture with his hand, said, “I’d eradicate that cloud if I were you.”

Whistler cried out in agony, “Careful! The paint is still wet!”

“That’s all right,” said Mark coolly, “I’m wearing gloves.”

You must be wearing gloves. You think you were initiated by Shivanand, but it has not happened. Your gloves won’t allow it. You must be living in a capsule, closed. You must be clever, logical, cunning. You have been on the alert not to be committed anywhere deeply. Hence, before the commitment happens, you move.

You say: “I took sannyas from Swami Shivanand of Rishikesh after reading his book, Brahmacharya, and other books of his.”

Now, if you are impressed by a book written on brahmacharya, it shows much about you. You must have something of a problem concerning sex. It has nothing to do with brahmacharya or Shivanand. You must be obsessed somehow with sex – hence the appeal of brahmacharya. You must have been repressing sex. You must have been brought up with wrong ideas about sex; hence you become impressed by Shivanand’s book on celibacy.

It is not that you are impressed by Shivanand – you are still following your own mind. You could not surrender to him. The phenomenon that you call initiation was intellectual; by reading the books, not by being in the presence of the master. You must be an intellectual, calculating, theorizing. This won’t allow you to move in a deep relationship – and the relationship between a master and a disciple is the deepest, deeper than the relationship between a lover and the beloved.

You may have been impressed by what Shivanand has written, but deep down you search for it again and again. It is not Shivanand that you are impressed, influenced by. You have certain ideas in your mind; wherever you find those ideas appreciated, you feel good. With me it is going to be dangerous. I am not going to appreciate any of your ideas; they are all rubbish. I say that even without knowing what your ideas are, because that is not needed. Unless you are aware, all your ideas are rubbish. So it is not a question of saying that this idea is rubbish and that is good. To me, all thoughts are rubbish; only awareness is valuable. And awareness has no ideas in it. It is a simple, pure light of consciousness.

So it is going to be difficult with me. You may have come to the man now who can shake and shock you. With Shivanand, you thought you were with Shivanand, but basically, deep down, you felt that Shivanand was with you; that’s why you lingered there a little while. This is not going to be so here with me. I am not going to be with you, remember; you have to be with me. I am not going to be with you, I repeat, you have to be with me.

So I am not going to fulfill your expectations in any way. If you have theories, I am against them already without knowing them, because I am against mind and my whole emphasis is how to become a no-mind.

But the questioner seems to be too much in the head: then he became interested in Sri Aurobindo, “because he emphasizes living a full life and realization of the integral divine.” You have some fixed ideas, so whosoever seems to be following your ideas you become impressed by. In fact, you remain impressed only with your own ego. You have been playing an ego game. You have been on an ego trip – that’s why Shivanand, Ramana, Aurobindo, nobody could help you.

As far as I know, if somebody comes back from Ramana, then there must be something very deeply wrong. With Shivanand it is not much of a problem, with Aurobindo also it is not much of a problem. Shivanand is just ordinary. Aurobindo is a great intellectual – a mahapundit, a great scholar. So if somebody comes away, nothing is lost; you have not lost much because there was nothing in the first place to be gained. But if you have come away from Ramana, that shows something deep like a cancer in your soul, because persons like Ramana are very rare – thousands of years pass, then sometimes that quality of being arises. Ramana is like a Buddha, a Jesus, or a Krishna – a very rare phenomenon. But I know why you could not get in tune with Ramana – because of your Shivanands and your Aurobindos. To get in tune with a Ramana means to drop your ego completely. Great courage is needed.

Now you are here. If you are really a seeker, then gather courage and drop the ego and the past. Forget the past; it has been nothing but a nightmare. And don’t go on repeating it; otherwise, you can go on repeating to the very end of time, changing from one person to another. This can become a habit; this shows simply your restlessness. Otherwise to come back from Krishnamurti would have been almost impossible. There is no need.

So now become aware of your basic trouble: something in you is betraying your whole effort; something in you is continuously causing clouds around your intelligence. Your awareness is not sharp.

It happened:

The little girl was invited to dinner one night at the home of a friend. The hostess, knowing that many children don’t like spinach, asked if she liked it.

“Oh yes,” the little girl replied. ”I love it.”

When the platter was passed, however, she refused to take any.

“But, dear,” said the hostess, “I thought you said you liked spinach.”

“Oh, I do,” explained the child, “but not enough to eat it.”

Going to Shivanand, Aurobindo, Ramana, Krishnamurti – and you have some idea that you like and you love these people, but your liking is not enough. You don’t love enough; otherwise you would have eaten them and they would have transformed you.

Become aware! As it is you have wasted a long time already. You can also go from this door empty-handed, but remember, the responsibility is yours. If you take courage I am ready to give you whatsoever can be given. But for visitors nothing can be given, and even if it is given they will not be able to understand.

If you are tired of your journey, going from one place to another, from one person to another, if you are really tired, then here I am ready to give you whatsoever you are seeking – but you will have to fulfill one condition, and that is: a total commitment. Unless you become part of my family, nothing can be given. I would like to give you something even then, but you will not be able to take it; or, even if you take it, you will think it is nothing – because your mind will continuously befog you. It won’t allow you to understand, it won’t allow you to see directly. It won’t allow you to see what type of game you have been playing with yourself.

Up to now it has been a drifting. Become aware how much you have wasted. Many opportunities were there but you have missed them. Now don’t miss this opportunity! But I know: the mind gets in a rut, it becomes a pattern. You go on repeating the same thing again and again, because you become very efficient in repeating it. Now get out of that vicious circle. I am ready to help if you are ready to take my help. And such a help as this cannot be forced on you. You have to take it or not take it. Your freedom has to decide it; it is your choice.

And don’t ask: What is the right path? All paths are right or wrong. It is not a question of deciding which path is right. The only thing to be decided is which path fits you. Of course, Ramana has a certain path – very simple, absolutely nonintellectual. The head was not required at all on that path; the head was to be dropped. If you had allowed him, you would have been beheaded by him. The head was not part of his path. It is a path of the heart.

Just the opposite is Krishnamurti. The path is absolutely true, but the head has to be used and transcended, not to be dropped. That’s why Krishnamurti appeals tremendously to intellectuals – nothing of the heart; everything is analysis, dissection. He is a great surgeon; he goes on dissecting. You give him any problem – he does not, in fact, answer it; he simply dissects it. And if you are listening with deep participation, sympathy, it will be possible that through his dissection he gives you an insight – not the answer, but the insight – and that is your insight. He simply dissects the problem. He is a rare intellectual man; gone beyond intellect, but has gone through it. Ramana bypasses intellect, he never passes through the intellect; his path is of the heart. Krishnamurti’s path is of intellect, of the head, of understanding, dissection, analysis.

Shivanand is not yet enlightened. He has no path – stumbling in the dark. A traditional man, he can make you knowledgeable, but he cannot help you towards the ultimate understanding. A good man, a very good man, but just a good man, not yet a Jesus or a Buddha, not yet a Krishnamurti or Ramana – a simple man. If he becomes enlightened some day in some life, he will be like Ramana – his path will not be of the head. But he is not yet realized.

And then there is Aurobindo: his path is as yet the path of an unenlightened person, moving towards it but yet in the dark. The morning is not very far away, but it has not happened yet. If some day it happens, then he will be a man like Krishnamurti; he will go through the head – a great scholar, he has much appeal for those who like logic-chopping, hair-splitting.

And here I am: all paths are mine, or no path is mine. I am more concerned with individuals. When you come to me, I don’t have a certain path to give you. I look at you to find which path will be suitable for you. I have no fixed path; I have wandered on all the paths, and all paths are true. If it fits, then any path can lead you to the ultimate. If it doesn’t fit, then you can go on struggling, fighting, but nothing is going to happen; you are trying to pass through a wall. You will be hurt, wounded, that’s all; nothing is going to happen.

I don’t belong to any path, hence all paths belong to me. And I am more concerned with the individual seeker. If I see that devotion, worship, prayer, will be helpful to you, I teach you that. If I see meditation will be helpful to you, I teach that. If I see that just understanding, pure awareness, will be helpful, I teach that. If I feel that awareness is going to make you very tense, does not fit with your type, then I teach you to be lost completely in something, absorbed completely in something. Dancing, get into it so much that you become the dance and there is nobody watching it; don’t create any separation and division between you, become the act.

Hence I am going to be very, very contradictory, because to one person I will say something, to another I will say something else, sometimes even just the opposite, diametrically opposite. So whatsoever I have said to you, somebody may come and say to you: Osho has said something else to me. Don’t listen to anybody. Whatsoever I have said to you, I have said to you. Otherwise, you will be confused.

Millions of paths go towards God. In fact there is nowhere else to go. Wherever you are going, you are going towards God. All paths lead to him. But when you are seeking, only one path can lead you. If you start walking on all paths together, you will be lost. One has to choose a path. So please don’t repeat your old pattern.

Now it will be very difficult. I am hurting your ego knowingly – because when I say Aurobindo is not enlightened, I immediately can feel what is happening to you. It is not a question of Aurobindo – whether he is enlightened or not enlightened, who bothers? It is his problem; it is not my problem, it is not your problem. But if you have been following Aurobindo and I say he has not yet become enlightened, your ego is hurt. You, and following an unenlightened person? – never, it is not possible!

When I say Shivanand is good but ordinary, mediocre, of course you will feel hurt because you have been initiated by Shivanand, and how is it possible? – You, so intelligent, being initiated by a mediocre man? No, it is going to hurt, but I do it knowingly.

I will create every sort of trouble for you so that if you stay, you really stay. If you decide to stay, it will be a real decision to stay with me. I am going to be hard. Shivanand, Ramana, Krishnamurti, Aurobindo, it seems, have been too compassionate towards you; hence you could drift.

I will make every effort so that you can go away. I will create a struggle within you, a friction, because that is the only way now; otherwise your old habit will go on functioning. If you come and ask for sannyas from me, I am not going to give it to you easily… because you have been taking things very easily. This sannyas is going to be arduous.

-Osho

From The Search, Chapter Four

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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Aurobindo, Krishnamurti and Ramana Maharshi – Osho

This talk was from a series that was originally given in Hindi and subsequently translated into English.

Questioner: Shree Arvind (Aurobindo) has written a commentary on the Geeta in which he talks about the relationship between the creation and its perception. From one point of view it is reality that is important, and from another its perception is important. In his concept of the supramental he believes that divine consciousness is going to descend on this earth, but this concept of his seems to be dualistic. What do you say? And do you think that Raman Maharshi’s concept of ajatvad, of unborn reality, is closer to you and to Chaitanya’s concept of achintya bhedabhedvad, or unthinkable dualistic non-dualism?….

All Arvind’s (Aurobindo) talk of supraconsciousness and the supramental is within the confines of the rational mind. He never goes beyond reason. Even when he speaks about the transcendence of reason, he uses rationalistic concepts. Arvind is a rationalist. Everything he says and the words and concepts he uses to say it belong to the grammar of rationalism. There is a great consistency in the statements of Arvind which is not there in statements from supra-rationalism. You cannot find the same logical consistency in the statements of mystics. A mystic speaks in terms of contradictions and paradoxes. He says one word and soon contradicts it by another word that follows it. A mystic is self-contradictory. Arvind never contradicts himself.

Arvind is a great system-maker, and a system maker can never be a supra-rational. A system is made with the help of reason. Supra-rational people are always unsystematic; they don’t have a system. System is integral to logic; that which is illogical cannot follow a methodology or order.

The unthinkable cannot be systematized. All the thinkers of this century who have crossed the threshold of reason are fragmentary in their statements; none of them followed a logical order. Wittgenstein, Husserl, Heidegger, Marlo Ponti and the rest of them, have made fragmentary statements. Krishnamurti belongs to the same category which denies system, order. Their statements are atomic, and they contradict themselves.

Arvind’s case is very different. The truth is, after Shankara there has been no greater system-builder in India than Arvind. But this is what makes for the weakness and poverty of his philosophy. He is very skilled in playing with words, concepts and theories. But the irony is that the reality of life is far beyond words, concepts and doctrines. His trouble is that he was wholly educated in the West where he learned Aristotelian logic, Darwinian Theory of Evolution and the scientific way of thinking.

His mind is wholly western; no one in India today is more western in his way of thinking than Arvind.

And ironically he chose to interpret the eastern philosophy, with the result that he reduced the whole thing into a system. The East has no logical system. All its profound insights transcend logic and thought; they cannot be achieved through thinking. Eastern experiences go beyond the known. The knower and knowledge itself; they all belong to the unknown and the unknowable – what we call mystery. And Arvind applies his western mind to interpret the transmental experiences and insights of the East. He divides them into categories and makes a system out of them, which no other eastern person could have done.

So while Arvind always talks of the unthinkable he uses the instrument of thought and the thinkable throughout. Consequently his unthinkable is nothing but a bundle of words. If Arvind had the experience of the unthinkable he could not have categorized it, because it defies all categories. One who really knows the unthinkable cannot live with categories and concepts.

Curiously enough, Arvind creates concepts out of things that have never been conceptualized. His concept of the supramental is a case in point. But he goes on fabricating categories and concepts and fitting them into logic and reason. And he does it without any inhibitions.

The other part of your question is relevant in this context. In a sense, no religious thinking subscribes to the concept of evolution.

In this respect, we can divide the religions of the world into two groups. One group believes in the theory of creation with a beginning and an end, and the other believes in an existence that has no beginning and no end. Hinduism, Christianity, and Mohammedanism believe in creation; they believe that God created the universe. The other group of religions like Jainism and Buddhism, deny the theory of creation; according to them, that which is, is beginningless. It was never created.

All those who believe in creation cannot accept the theory of evolution. If they accept it, it would mean God created an incomplete world which developed gradually to its present state. But how can a perfect God create an imperfect world? Evolution means that the world grows gradually, and creation means that the whole world comes into being altogether.

It is significant that originally the word shristhi, meaning creation, belonged to the Hindus, and prakriti, meaning pre-creation, belonged to the Jainas and Buddhists and Sankhyaites. In the course of time, however, they got mixed up. But the Hindus cannot accept the word prakriti, which means that which is is there from the time before creation, that which is uncreated, which is eternal.

Creation means something which was not always there and which was created and which can be terminated.

The concept of the pre-created, the uncreated, of prakriti, belongs to an altogether different school which does not believe in creation. Sankhyaites, Jainas, and Buddhists don’t have the concept of a creator because when nothing is created, the question of a creator does not arise. So God disappeared, he has no place in their philosophies. God is needed only in the form of a creator, and so those who rejected creation also rejected God. God as creator belongs only to those who accept the idea of creation.

Arvind brought with him the idea of evolution from the West. When Arvind was a student in England, Darwin’s ideas were sweeping across Europe. Evidently he was very much influenced by them.

After his return to India he studied eastern philosophy, and studied it deeply. I deliberately use the word ”studied” to say that he did not know the truth on his own, his knowledge was merely intellectual. Although he possessed a sharp intellect, his direct experience of truth was very dim.

Consequently he produced a crossbreed of eastern mysticism and western rationalism, which is an anomaly. India’s psyche is not much concerned with the study of nature, matter and their evolution, it is basically concerned with the understanding of mind and spirit. The meeting of the western thought of evolution with the eastern understanding of the psyche gave rise to a strange idea of psychic evolution, which became Arvind’s lifework. Like nature, he thought consciousness evolves too.

Arvind added something new to the idea of evolution which is his own, and for this very reason it is utterly wrong. Very often original ideas are wrong, because they happen to be the finding of a single person. It is true that traditional beliefs, in the course of time, degenerate into fossils, but they have a validity of their own because millions of people go out to find them. This new idea which built Arvind’s reputation concerns the descent of divine consciousness.

Down the centuries we have believed that man has to rise and ascend to God; it is always an upward journey, an ascent. Arvind thinks otherwise: he thinks that God will descend and meet man. In a way this is also like the two sides of a coin. The truth happens to be exactly in the middle. That truth is that both man and God move towards each other and meet somewhere midway. This meeting always happens somewhere midway, but the old idea emphasized man’s efforts – and not without reason. As far as God is concerned, he is always available to man providing man wants to meet him. That much is certain, and therefore God can be left out of this consideration. But it is not certain that man will make a move to meet God. So it mostly depends on man and his journey towards God, his efforts. God’s journey towards man can be taken for granted. Too much emphasis on God moving toward man is likely to weaken man’s efforts.

Arvind starts from the wrong end when he says that God is going to descend on us. But he has great appeal to people who are not interested in doing anything on their own. They took enthusiastically to Arvind’s idea of the descent of the supramental energy and they rushed to Pondicherry. In recent years more Indians have gone to Pondicherry than anywhere else. There, God could be had for a song. They need not move a finger, because God on his own was on his way to them. There could not be a cheaper bargain than this. And when God descends he will descend on one and all; he will not make any distinctions. Many people believe that Arvind alone, sitting in seclusion at Pondicherry, will work for it and divine energy will be available to all, like the river Ganges was available when it was brought to earth by Bhagirath. Arvind is to be another Bhagirath, and at a much higher level. It has put a premium on man’s greed and led to a lot of illusions.

I think that is a very wrong idea. It is true God descends, but he descends only on those who ascend to him. A great deal depends on the individual and his efforts. Divine energy descends on those who prepare themselves for it, who deserve it. And there is no reason for God to be collectively available to one and all. In fact, God is always available, but only to those who aspire and strive for him. And it is always the individual, not a collective or a society, who walks the path to God. And he has to go all alone. And if God is going to descend on all, why do you think he will exclude animals, trees and rocks?

The experiment that is in process at Pondicherry is utterly meaningless; there has not been a more meaningless experiment in man’s history. It is a waste of effort, but it goes on because it is very comforting to our greed.

In this context, the questioner has remembered Raman who is just the opposite of Arvind. While Arvind is a great scholar, Raman has nothing to do with scholarship. Arvind is very knowledgeable, he is well informed; Raman is utterly unscholarly, you cannot come across a more unscholarly man than him. While Arvind seems to be all-knowing, Raman is preparing for the non-knowing state; he does not seem to know a thing. That is why man’s highest potentiality is actualized in Raman, and Arvind has missed it. Arvind remains just knowledgeable; Raman really knows the truth. Raman attained to self-knowledge, not knowledge. So his statements are straight and simple, free from the jargon of scriptures and scholarship. Raman is poor in language and logic, but his richness of experience, of being, is immense; as such he is incomparable.

Raman is not a system-maker like Arvind. His statements are atomic; they are just like sutras, aphorisms. He does not have much to say, and he says only that which he knows. Even his words are not enough to say what he really knows. Raman’s whole teaching can be collected on a postcard, not even a full page will be needed. And if you want to make a collection of Arvind’s writings, they will fill a whole library. And it is not that Arvind has said all that he wanted to say. He will have to be born again and again to say it all; he had too much to say. This does not mean that he did not bother to attain real knowing because he had already so much to say. No, this was not the difficulty.

Buddha had much to say and he said it. Buddha was like Raman so far as his experience of truth was concerned, and he was like Arvind in general knowledge. Mahavira has said little, he spent most of his time in silence. His statements are few and far between; they are telegraphic. In his statements Mahavira resembles Raman. Digambaras, one of the two Jaina sects, don’t have any collection of his teachings, while the Shwetambaras have a few scriptures which were compiled five hundred years after Mahavira’s death.

Questioner: You compare Raman with Buddha who happened in distant past. Why not compare him with Krishnamurti, who is so close by?

The question of being close or distant does not arise. Krishnamurti is exactly like Raman. I compare Arvind with Raman and Buddha for a special reason. In the experience of truth, Krishnamurti is very much like Raman, but he lags behind Arvind in knowledge. Of course, he is more articulate and logical than Raman. And there is a great difference between Krishnamurti and Arvind in so far as the use of logic and reason is concerned.

Arvind uses logic to reinforce his arguments; Krishnamurti uses logic to destroy logic; he makes full use of reason in order to lead you beyond reason. But he is not much knowledgeable. That is why I chose Buddha as an example; he compares well with Arvind in knowledge and with Raman in self-knowledge.

As far as Krishnamurti is concerned, he is like Raman in transcendental experience, but he is not scholarly like Arvind.

There is yet another difference between Raman and Krishnamurti. While Raman’s statements are very brief, Krishnamurti’s statements are voluminous. But in spite of their large volume, Krishnamurti’s teachings can be condensed in a brief statement. For forty years Krishnamurti has been repeating the same thing over and over again. His statements can be condensed to a postcard.

But because he uses reason in his statements, they grow in volume. Raman is precise and brief; he avoids volume. You can say that the statements of both Krishnamurti and Raman are atomic, but while Krishnamurti embellishes them with arguments, Raman does not. Raman speaks, like the seers of the Upanishads, in aphorisms. The Upanishads just proclaim: the Brahman, the supreme is; they don’t bother to advance any argument in their support. They make bare statements that, “It is so” and “It is not so.” Raman can be compared with the Upanishadic rishis.

Questioner: Please tell us something about Raman’s ajatvad or the principle of no-birth.

According to Raman and people like him, that which is has no beginning, it was never born, it is unborn. The same thing has always been said in another way: that which is will never die, it is deathless, it is immortal. There are hundreds of statements which proclaim the immortality of Brahman, the ultimate, who is without beginning and without end. Only that which is never born can be immortal, that which is beginningless. This is Raman’s way of describing the eternal.

Do you know when you were born? You don’t. Yes, there are records of your birth which others have kept, and through them that you came to know that you were born on a certain date, month and year. This is just information received from others. Apart from this information you have no way to know that you were born. There is no intrinsic, inbuilt source of information within you which can tell you about it; you have no evidence whatsoever to support the fact of your birth. The truth of your innermost being is eternal, so the question of its birth does not arise. In fact, you were never born; you are as eternal as eternity.

You say you will die someday, but how do you know it? Do you know what death is? Do you have any experience of death? No, you will say you have seen others die, and so you infer that you too will die someday. But suppose we arrange things and it is quite possible, that a certain person is not allowed to see any other person die. Can he know on his own that he is ever going to die? He cannot. So it is just your conjecture, based on external evidence that you will die in some future.

There is no internal evidence, no intrinsic source of knowledge within you which can sustain your conjecture that you will die. That is why a strange thing happens, that in spite of so many deaths taking place all around, no one really believes that he is going to die; he believes while others will die he is going to live. Your innermost being knows no birth and no death; it is eternal. You only know that you are.

Raman asks you not to guess, but find out for yourself if there is really birth and death. You have no inner evidence in support of birth and death; the only dependable evidence available within you says, “I am.”

I too, say to you there is every evidence that makes you know, “I am.” And if you go still deeper you will know, “I am not.” Then you will know only a state of “am ness” within you.

– Osho

Excerpted from: Krishna: The Man and His Philosophy, Chapter 14.

You can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

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The Royal Way – Osho

The belief in the myth of change is the most dangerous kind of belief. Man has suffered much from it – much more than from any other kind of belief. The myth of change – that something better is possible, that man can improve upon himself, that there is some place to go to, that there is somebody to be, and that there is some kind of utopia – has corrupted human mind infinitely down the centuries. It has been a constant poisoning.

Man is already there. Man has been all along that which he wants to be. Man need not change in order to be. All that is needed is an understanding, an awareness – not a change. Becoming is never going to give you being. Through becoming you will remain constantly in anguish, in tension – because becoming means that the goal is somewhere else, that the goal is never here, never now, that the goal is far away. You have to strive for it and your whole life is wasted in striving. And you can go on striving and you will not find it because the goal is here and now, and you are looking then and there.

Your being is in the present, and all ideas of becoming are projections into the future. By projecting into the future, you go on missing the present. That is a way of escaping from the reality. The idea that you have to become something is the idea that takes you away from your real being, from your authentic being. You are already that – that’s why I say the myth of change is one of the most dangerous myths.

It has two dimensions to it. One is political, the other is religious.

The political dimension is that the society can be improved, that revolution can help, that there is a utopia that can be realized. Because of this, politicians have been able to torture, to murder, to exploit, to oppress. And people have suffered in the hope that revolution is going to happen. That revolution never happens. Revolutions come and go and society remains as it has always been.

Hitlers, Stalins, Maos, can exploit people for their own sake. And if you want to get to the utopia, to the wonderland, to paradise, you obviously have to pay for it. This is the secular dimension of the myth – that something better is possible. Right now it is not there, but some day it can be – you have to sacrifice for it. Millions of people were killed in Soviet Russia, tortured inhumanly, for their own good. And logic says that if you want to have a better society, who is going to pay for it? You are going to pay for it, naturally. So the people cannot even revolt, they cannot even resist. If they resist, they look like enemies of the revolution. And the myth is so deep-rooted in the mind that they accept all kinds of humiliations in the hope that maybe if they cannot live in a golden age, their children will. This is the secular direction of the same neurosis.

The religious dimension is that you can have a better future – if not in this life, then in the next. Of course, you have to sacrifice. If you sacrifice the present, you will have the future.

That future never comes. The future in itself cannot come. The tomorrow is not possible, it is always today. It is always the present that is there. The future is just in the mind, in the imagination. It is a dream; it is not part of reality.

The political myth has been taken up by the sadists – those who want to torture others; and the religious myth has been taken up by the masochists – those who want to torture themselves. Torture yourself. Fast. Don’t sleep. Don’t do this. Don’t do that. This is the whole secret of the so-called ascetic attitude towards life: torture yourself. And naturally, your body is helpless, your body is defenseless. It cannot protest. It cannot go against you.

There is a possibility that people may revolt against the politicians, but what is the possibility that your body may revolt against you? There is no possibility. The body is very innocent, helpless. You can go on torturing it and you can go on feeling that you have immense power because you can torture it. You can go on killing it, and feel powerful. And you can attain to a great ego.

There are two kinds of people in the world: the sadists and the masochists. Sadists are those whose enjoyment consists of torturing others, and masochists are those whose enjoyment consists of torturing themselves – but it is the same violence, it is the same aggression. The sadist throws it on somebody else; the masochist turns it upon himself. Because the sadist throws it on others, sooner or later they will revolt. But when the masochist throws it upon himself there is nobody to revolt.

In fact, all revolutionaries; once they are in power, by and by lose respect. Sooner or later they are dethroned; sooner or later their power is destroyed; sooner or later they are thought to be criminals. Your whole history consists of these criminals. Your history is not the history of humanity because it is not the history of humanness. How can it be the history of humanity? It is not the history of humanity; it is only the history of politics, political conflicts, struggles, wars.

It is as if you write the history of robbers and murderers and you call it the history of humanity. The revolutionaries are great murderers, they are no ordinary murderers – otherwise they would have been in the jail or sentenced to death. They are powerful people. They possess power. Until their power goes, they are worshipped like God. But their power goes sooner or later. A day comes when Hitler is no longer honored; he becomes an ugly dirty name. A day comes when Stalin is no longer honored. Just the reverse happens.

But with the other dimension, the religious dimension, of the myth – the ascetic, the self-torturer, the masochist – people never come to know their reality because they never torture anybody else. They torture only themselves. And people go on respecting them. People respect them very much because they are not harmful to anybody except to themselves. That is their business. The ascetics have always been worshipped. But ascetism is a kind of neurosis; it is not normal.

To eat too much is abnormal; to fast is also abnormal. The right amount of food is normality. To be in the middle is to be normal. To be exactly in the middle is to be healthy and whole and holy.

If you go to one extreme, you become a politician. If you go to the other extreme, you become a religious fanatic, an ascetic. Both have missed balance.

So the first thing to be understood is that the religion that we are creating here – and it has to be created again and again because it becomes corrupted again and again – the religion that we are invoking here is not political and is not in the ordinary sense even religious. It is neither sadistic nor masochistic. It is normal. It is to be in the middle.

And what is the way to be in the middle? The way to be in the middle is to be in the world but not to be of it. To be in the middle means to live in the world but not to allow the world to live in you. To be exactly in the middle and to be balanced means you are a witness to all that happens to you. Witnessing is the only foundation for a real authentic religion. Whatsoever is, has to be witnessed – joyfully, ecstatically. Nothing has to be denied and rejected. All denial, all rejection, will keep you in limits and you will remain in conflict. Everything has to be accepted as it is.

And you have to be a watcher. Pleasure comes – watch. Pain comes – watch. Neither be disturbed by pleasure nor be disturbed by pain. Let your calm remain unperturbed. Let your silence, your tranquility, remain undisturbed. Pain will come and go and pleasure will come and go. Success will come and go and failure will come and go. And soon you will come to understand the point that it is only you who remains. That is eternal. This witnessing is eternal.

The contents that flow in the consciousness are temporary. One moment they are there, another moment they are gone. Don’t be worried about them; don’t be either in favor of them or against them. Don’t try to possess them; don’t hold onto them, because they are going to go. They have to go. It is the very nature of things that they cannot be permanent.

Something pleasant is happening. It cannot be permanent. It will have to go. And following it, something unpleasant is already getting ready to happen. It is the rhythm of life – day and night, life and death, summer and winter. The wheel goes on moving.

Don’t hold on and don’t try to make something very, very permanent. It is not possible. The more you try, the more frustrated you will become, because it cannot be done. And when it cannot be done, you feel defeated. You feel defeated because you have not understood one simple thing: nothing can be static. Life is a flux. Only one thing is eternally there and that is your consciousness, that innermost watcher.

Sufis call it ’the watcher on the hills’. The valleys go on changing but the watcher remains on the top of the hill. Sometimes the valley is dark and sometimes the valley is light and sometimes there is dancing and singing and sometimes there is weeping and crying – and the watcher sits on the hill-top and just goes on watching.

By and by the content of consciousness does not matter only consciousness becomes significant. That is the essential foundation of all true religion. And this is the understanding of the Sufis.

Before we enter into this small parable today; let me tell you that there are four ways to approach truth, to be connected with truth.

The first is known in the East as karma yoga – the way of action. Man has three dimensions in him: action, knowing, feeling; so three ways use these three directions: action, knowing feeling.

You can act, and you can act with total absorption, and you can offer your act to God. You can act without becoming a doer. That is the first way – karma yoga: being in action without being a doer. You let God do. You let God be in you. You efface yourself.

In this, the path of action, consciousness changes the content. These two things have to be understood: consciousness and content. This is all that your life consists of. There is something which is the knower in you and something which is the known. For example, you are listening to me. Now two things are there: whatsoever I am saying will be the content, and whatsoever you are inside, listening, watching, that is the consciousness. You are looking at me. Then my figure in your eyes is the content and you, who are looking at that figure in the eye, are consciousness – the object and the subject.

On the path of action, consciousness changes the content. That is what action is. You see a rock. Somebody may stumble upon it – because it is getting dark, night is falling. So you remove the rock from the path. This is action. What have you done? Consciousness has changed the content. On the path of action, content is important and has to be changed. If somebody is ill and you go and serve him and you give him medicine, you are changing the content. If somebody has fallen in the river and is drowning, you jump in and you save him from drowning. You have changed the content.

Action is content-directed. Action is will – something has to be done. Of course, if the will remains ego-oriented, then you will not be religious. You will be a great doer, but not religious. And your path will be of action but not towards God. When you allow God to become your will, when you say, ’Let thy will be mine,’ when you surrender your will to the feet of god and his will starts flowing through you, then it is the path of action – karma yoga.

The goal of karma yoga is freedom, moksha – to change the contents so much that nothing antagonistic is left there; nothing harmful is left there; to change the content according to your heart’s desire, so that you can be free of limitations. This is the path of Jainism, yoga, and all action-oriented philosophies.

The second path is the path of knowledge, knowing – gyana yoga. On the second path consciousness is changed by the content. On the first, content is changed by consciousness; on the second it is just the reverse – consciousness is changed by the content.

On the path of knowledge you simply try to see what is the case – whatsoever it is. That’s what Krishnamurti goes on teaching. That is the purest path of knowing. There is nothing to be done.

You have just to attain to clarity, to see what is the case. You have just to see that which is. You are not to do anything. You have simply to drop your prejudices and you have to drop your concepts, notions, which can interfere with reality, which can interpret reality, which can color reality. You have to drop all that you carry in your mind as a priori notions – and then let the reality be there. Whatsoever it is, you just see it. And that changes you.

To know the real is to be transformed. Knowing the real as the real, you cannot act in any other way than the way of reality. Once you have known the reality, reality starts changing you. Consciousness is changed by the content.

The goal of the path of knowledge is truth. The goal of karma yoga, the path of action or will, was freedom. The goal of the path of knowing – Vedanta, Hinduism, Sankhya, and other paths of knowing, Ashtavakra, Krishnamurti – is truth, Brahman. Thou art that. Let that be revealed, then you become that. Once you know that, you become that. By knowing God, one becomes God. Thou art that – that is the most essential phenomenon on the second path.

The third is bhakti yoga – the way of feeling. Love is the goal. Consciousness changes the content and the content changes consciousness. The change is mutual. The lover changes the beloved, the beloved changes the lover. On the path of will, consciousness changes content, on the path of knowing, content changes consciousness; on the path of feeling, both interact, both affect each other. The change is mutual. That’s why the path of feeling is more whole. The first path is half, the second path also half, but the path of love is more round, more whole, because it has both in it.

Vaishnavas, Christianity, Islam, and other paths; Ramanuja, Vallabha, and other devotees – they say that subject and object are not separate. So if one changes the other, then something will remain unbalanced. Let both change each other. Let both meet and merge into each other, let there be a unity. As man and woman meet and merge into each other, let there be a unity. As man and woman meet and there is great joy, let there be an orgasm between consciousness and content, between you and reality, between that and thou. Let it not be only a knowing, let it not be only partial – let it be total.

These are the three ordinary paths. Sufism is the fourth. One of the greatest Sufis of this age was George Gurdjieff. His disciple, P. D. Ouspensky, has written a book called The Fourth Way. It is very symbolic.

What is this fourth way? If it is neither of action, nor of knowing, nor of feeling – because these are the three faculties – then what is this fourth way? The fourth way is the way of transcendence. In India this is called raja yoga – the royal path, the fourth way. Neither consciousness changes the content, nor the content changes consciousness. Nothing changes nothing. All is as it is with no change. Content is there, consciousness is here, and no change is happening. No effort to change is there.

This is what I mean by being. With all the three paths something remains in the mind that has to be done. With the fourth, all becoming disappears. You simply accept whatsoever is. In that acceptance is transcendence. In that very acceptance you go beyond. You remain just a witness.

You are no longer doing anything here, you are just-being here.

A goal is not possible with the fourth way. There is no goal. With the first, the goal is freedom; with the second, truth; with the third, love. With the fourth there is no goal. Zen and Sufism belong to the fourth. That’s why Zen people say ’the pathless path, the gateless gate’ – because there is no goal. The goal-less goal. We are not going anywhere. We are not striving for anything. All that is needed is already here. It has been here all along. You have just to be silent and see. There is no need to change anything. With the fourth, the myth of change disappears.

And when there is no need to change, joy explodes – because the energy that gets involved in changing things is no longer involved anywhere; it is released. That released energy is what is called joy.

Sometimes it happens to you too, unknowingly. Sometimes sitting alone, doing nothing, you feel something happen. You cannot believe what it is. You cannot even trust what it is. It is so incredibly new, so unknown. It happens to everybody – in rare moments, for no reason at all. You cannot figure it out; you cannot reckon why it has happened.

You have been lying in your bathtub and suddenly something happens. The mind is not rushing in its usual way; the body is relaxed in the hot water. You are not doing anything; you are just being there. Suddenly it comes – the silence of the house, the birds singing outside, the children playing in the street. All is there as it has been, but with a new quality. There is great restfulness, a relaxation. Something in you is no longer striving for anything. You are not goal-oriented, you are just herenow.

If you start thinking about what it is, you miss it immediately. If you start trying to get hold of it again, you will never get hold of it again. It comes when it comes. It comes when the right situation is there. But you cannot create that right situation. If you try to create it, you will fall into one of the first three ways. If you try to change the content, you will become a follower of the path of action. If you try to change your consciousness through the content, you will become a follower of the second path – the path of knowledge. If you try to make both meet and mingle and merge, then you will become a follower of the third path.

But if you don’t do anything – not willing, not knowing, not feeling – if you just relax, then there is witnessing. Witnessing is not knowing; witnessing is totally different. In fact, it cannot be said that you are witnessing. You are not doing anything – not even witnessing. You are just there. Things are happening. Suddenly a bird starts singing outside and you hear it – because you are there, you hear it. There is no effort to hear it, there is no deliberate concentration for it.

Just the other day I came across a Shankhya sutra of immense beauty: Dhyanam Nirvishayam Manah – that’s how Shankhya sutras define dhyana. Meditation is mind without thoughts, without feelings, without will. Meditation is consciousness without any striving. Dhyanam Nirvishayam Manah. There is no longing for any object. You are not striving for anything. Then you are in dhyana, then you are in meditation. You are not doing anything; on no plane are you doing anything. All doing has simply disappeared. There is utter silence inside you, and absolute rest.

Let this word ‘rest’ be remembered by you; relaxation. You cannot do it, remember. How can you do it? If you do it you cannot relax, because then relaxation becomes a goal and you become a doer. You can only understand it. You can only allow it to happen; you cannot do it, you cannot force it. It has nothing to do with your doing. You can only understand how it happens and you can remain in that understanding. And it comes.

Dhyanam Nirvishayam Manah. When the mind is, with no desire, no object, no goal, not going anywhere, then how can it be tense? It is not a state of concentration. It is not concentration at all because concentration will need striving; concentration is a kind of tension. It is not even attention, because attention is also a kind of tension.

The Encyclopedia Britannica defines the word ’meditation’ as concentration. That is absolutely wrong. Meditation is not concentration. Concentration means mind striving, forcing, willing, trying to do something. Putting one’s whole energy into one direction – that’s what concentration means. Meditation means you are not putting your energy into any direction; it is simply overflowing. It is not going in any particular direction; it is simply overflowing like a fragrance, a fragrance overflowing from a flower, unaddressed – neither to the north nor to the south. It is not going anywhere, or, it is going everywhere. Wherever the winds will take it, it is ready to go. It is utterly relaxed.

This moment happens sometimes to you. I would like you to remember that it is not something rare that happens only to religious people. It happens in ordinary life too but you don’t take note of it. You are afraid of it.

Just a few days ago, I received a letter from a woman. She had been here, and then she went home. For six months she was trying and trying to meditate and it did not happen according to her idea of meditation. She must have had some desire about what it should be like. She must have had some expectations, and it was not happening.

She has written a letter to say that one day she was just sitting in the room. There was nothing to do. The husband had gone to the office; the children had gone to school; the house was empty. She was just sitting, not doing anything; there was no desire to do. She was just sitting in the chair with closed eyes – and it happened. It was suddenly there, with all its benedictions. But she became frightened. She became frightened because when it happened suddenly a fear came to her – because it was there, meditation was there, but she was not there. That became a great fear and she simply pulled herself out of it. It felt as if she was disappearing.

Yes, it happens. Your ego cannot exist there. Your ego is not possible there. Your ego is nothing but all your tensions together. Your ego is nothing but a bundle of past tensions, of present tensions, and of future tensions. When you are non-tense, the ego simply falls to the ground in pieces.

She became afraid. For six months she had been trying to meditate and nothing was happening, and then one day it happened. It came while she was completely unaware of it. She was taken aback. It was there. And she had been provoking it and desiring and asking and praying, and it had not come. And then it came. But she missed. It was there but she became frightened. It was too much. She felt as if she might disappear into it and might not be able to come out of it. She pulled herself out of it. Now she writes that she is crying and weeping, and wants it back.

Now this wanting it back won’t help – because it came that day without any wanting. Without any idea of what was going to happen, suddenly it came. It always comes like sudden lightning.

This is the fourth way, that’s why it is called raja yoga – the royal path. The king is not supposed to do anything. Servants do. The king is not supposed to do anything. He simply sits on his throne and things happen. There are so many people to do it. That’s why it is called raja yoga – the path of the king. The other three are ordinary; the fourth is really exceptional. The king is not expected to do anything; he simply sits there relaxed. That’s what we mean by one who is a king. Doing has disappeared, knowing has disappeared, feeling has disappeared – the king is utterly relaxed. In that relaxation it happens.

Sufi and Zen are raja yogas – the royal paths. Neither consciousness changes the content nor the content changes consciousness. This is the fundamental principle: nothing changes, there is no change happening. Things are. The flower is there and you are there. You don’t change the flower and the flower does not change you. Both exist together. It is existence with no motive.

Zen people call it nirvana, the goal, the no-goal – nirvana. One simply ceases to be. The word ‘nirvana’ is beautiful. It means: as if somebody has blown out a candle. Just a few minutes before it was there, the lamp was burning bright, and then you blew it out. Now the flame has disappeared into the infinity. It has become part of the cosmos. You cannot find it. You cannot trace where it has gone, where it is. It has simply disappeared.

There is a Sufi parable.

A Sufi mystic was entering a village and he came across a small boy who was carrying a lit candle. The boy was going to the mosque. The night was coming and the boy was going to the mosque to put the candle there – as an act of worship.

The mystic saw the boy, the innocent boy, his face lighted by the light of the candle. The mystic asked the boy, ’Have you yourself lighted the candle?’ And the boy said, ‘Yes, sir.’ The mystic jokingly asked, ‘Then you must have seen from where the flame comes. Can you tell me from where the flame comes?’ The boy laughed and blew out the candle and said, ‘Now you have seen it going. Can you tell me where it has gone?’

Nobody knows from where it comes and nobody knows to where it goes. It comes out of nothingness or out of all – which means the same – and it goes back into nothingness or into the all – which is the same. That is nirvana.

Sufis have the word for it – Fana. It means exactly the same. One is utterly lost.

There is no need to do anything on the path of will or on the path of knowledge or on the path of feeling. Nothing is needed to be done – because if you do something you will remain, you will persist a little. Something of the ego may linger on. No change, no improvement, no effort to make you better is needed – just be.

Mohammed says: ‘Be in this world as a stranger or as a passer-by.’ Be in this world but don’t be of it. Be in this world but don’t allow the world to be in you. ‘Be for this world as if thou were to live a thousand years, and for the next as if thou were to die tomorrow.’ Live this moment as if you are going to live forever and yet be mindful that the next moment may not come. So live totally, and yet remain a witness. Be involved in it, but still keep yourself like a watcher on the hill.

– Osho

Excerpt from: Sufis: The People of the Path, Volume 2, #11

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