Hara, the Third Eye and Zen – Osho

I heard you say that the center of our Buddhahood is at the hara  point inside the body. Is there also a sleeping buddha energy in our hearts and in the third eye? 

Do we all have the same potential of remembering, each one with his or her unique expression of creativity? 

Please comment. 

The hara center is the source of all your energy. It can grow just like a tree grows from the roots into different branches.

According to a different calculation of Patanjali, the energy can be divided into seven centers, but the original source remains the hara. From the hara it can go up.

The seventh center is in the head, and the sixth center is what you call the third eye. The fifth center is in our throat, and the fourth center is exactly in the middle: the heart. Below the heart there are three centers, above the heart there are three centers. But all these seven centers grow like a tree from the original source of the hara. That’s why, in Japanese, suicide is called hara-kiri. People don’t cut their throats, they don’t cut their heads. They simply pierce a small knife into the hara center – just exactly two inches below the navel – and the person dies. And you will not know at all that somebody has committed suicide. Just the energy is released from the body, the source is opened.

I am trying to take you to the very original source. From there, it is up to you to bring your energy into any center you want.

Between the first center, the hara, and the seventh center in the head, the energy can move just like the energy moves into different branches of a tree – from the roots to the uppermost flowering. The hara is the source. When it blossoms, it reaches suddenly to the seventh center, piercing your heart, your throat, and at the seventh center it blossoms as a lotus. Man is also a flowering tree.

These are different ways of looking at things. Patanjali’s yoga is one of the ways; Zen is a totally different approach. To me, Zen seems to be more scientific, while Patanjali seems to be more intellectual and philosophical. Zen begins from the very source.

The buddha is not lying anywhere else other than in the hara; he is not lying in the heart. The energy can be brought to the heart, then the expression will be love. The energy can be brought to the third eye, then you will be able to see things which are not ordinarily visible – auras of people, auras of things, a certain kind of X-ray energy that goes deeper into things. If the same energy moves into the seventh center, according to Patanjali, samadhi is attained – you become enlightened.

But these are different calculations. Rather than talking about samadhi, I would rather encourage you to enter into the source of energy from where everything is going to happen. I don’t like to talk about the flowers much, because that talk will remain simply conceptual. My approach is more pragmatic.

I want you to experience your sleeping energy. And the moment you reach there, it awakens. It sleeps only if you are not there. If your awareness reaches to the source, it wakes up, and in its waking is the Buddhahood. In its waking you become for the first time part of existence: no ego, no self, a pure nothingness.

People are afraid of the word ‘nothingness’. In the second question that fear is clear.

The second question is:

Though you have infused the sutras with life and humor, for me, Zen remains the stark beauty of the desert, and I long for something else.

Why can’t I drop the idea that my way is not via emptiness, but fullness? I still carry this longing for some kind of union, a melting outwards rather than dissolving into nothingness inside.

With whom are you going to melt outside? You don’t know even who you are. And who has told you that Zen is a “stark beauty of the desert”? Zen is perhaps the most beautiful path, full of flowers, songs, joy and laughter.

But the idea of nothingness creates a certain fear of dissolving into a desert. It is just your mind that makes the difference between emptiness and fullness. In realizing either, you will be realizing the other too, because they are two aspects of one thing, of one phenomenon which can either be called nothingness, or can be called fullness.

Zen has chosen rightly to call it nothingness, because fullness can give you misunderstandings. The moment you think of fullness you start imagining. The moment you think of melting into someone outside, immediately a God, a paradise, a heaven, and all kinds of imaginations arise. And those imaginations will prevent you from going anywhere.

I am not helping your imagination at all. I am trying to uproot your imagination in every possible way. I want to leave you without images, in utter silence, in nothingness, because that is the only way to attain fullness.

When the dewdrop disappears in the ocean, it is not that it becomes nothing. Yes, it becomes nothing but it also becomes the ocean. In its disappearing as a dewdrop, on the other side it is also becoming the whole ocean. So the fullness and nothingness are not two things, only two concepts of the mind, but in reality, only two ways of saying one thing. Emptiness, or nothingness, is better because it does not allow any imagination to arise.

Fullness is dangerous. If rightly used there is no problem. Fullness will also dissolve God, and paradise, and heaven and hell, and incarnation. But mind is capable of using the idea of fullness in a way that it cannot use the word ‘nothingness’. To prevent the mind from using the word ‘fullness’ and preventing you from realizing the reality, from Gautam Buddha onwards the word ‘nothingness’ has been chosen. But nothingness is not absence; nothingness is not dead. Nothingness is fullness, but so full that you cannot define it, and you cannot make a limit or a boundary to it.

Unbounded fullness and nothingness, in experience, mean exactly the same. But for the beginner, the word ‘fullness’ is dangerous – and everybody is a beginner.

Begin with something which is less capable of taking you astray from reality. Fullness can be used only by a master who knows that nothingness and fullness are synonymous. But for the beginner it is dangerous, because for him fullness means something opposed to nothingness. If ‘fullness’ is synonymous with ‘nothingness’, then there is no problem. Then the desert becomes the ocean, then there is only beauty and song and dance.

Nothingness gives the idea to the mind that everything will be lost. You will be lost, but the truth is, the moment everything is lost, including you, you have gained the whole universe – all the stars within you, and the vast universe inside your heart. It is not losing anything, so don’t be worried about nothing.

The questioner goes on:

Is this just my refusal to grow up? Am I fooling myself? Are we all to embrace the Zen Manifesto no matter what ‘type’ we feel we are?

There is no question of type. All types are just superficial. At the innermost core there is only one existence. The Zen Manifesto is not for a particular type, it is for all – for men and for women, and for black and white, and for Hindu and Mohammedan, and for Christian and Buddhist. It does not matter what kind of conditioning you have been brought up in, Zen is simply a technique of entering into your veryness. The entrance is so deep that nothing remains, and all is found.

Gurdjieff has written a book, All and Nothing. I would like to withdraw the word ‘and’, because all is nothing; there is no question of ‘and’. Whatever type you are – introvert, extrovert – it does not matter, you are all part of the same existence. And when you relax into existence, all your differences disappear; only oneness remains. You can call that oneness whatever you like, but basically it is nothingness. You can give it any color; you can call it by any name, but don’t start calling it by another name from the beginning, because that can take you astray. Somebody may think that he can call it God, then he will start worshipping a God which is man manufactured.

For the beginner, nothing is the most secure path to avoid the mind playing games. Nothing is beyond the reaches of the mind, so it cannot play games with it. But anything else you name it, mind is capable of playing games with it.

The whole effort of meditation is not to allow the mind to play games. It has been playing games for centuries. One has to come to the point of seeing all the games of the mind: all the gods, all the messiahs, all the prophets, all the religions, all the philosophies.

Existence is available to a silent being, not to the learned, not to the well informed, not to the scholar. It is available to the innocent, and meditation is a way of becoming innocent again. Getting back your childhood, being reborn, knowing nothing, a silence, a joy, a blissfulness arises which is indestructible, which is eternal.

-Osho

From The Zen Manifesto: Freedom from Oneself, Discourse #7

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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Bardo: Between These Two Dreams – Osho

I’ve always been fascinated by the state of bardo as described in ancient Tibetan scriptures. Could you say something about this?

Bardo is a simple method but with great significance. Only people who have meditated a little bit in their lives can be benefited by it, and Tibet was one of the countries where almost everybody was devoting some time to meditation – just to be alone, silent, not doing anything, just witnessing. If such a person does not achieve enlightenment in his life, and death intervenes, then bardo is used.

Such a man has achieved a certain opening of the door. He has not entered in, but he has at least tried; he has knocked on the door. He has a certain receptivity, and at the time of death he is absolutely willing to go into a state of meditation. Now there is nothing to be afraid of. Death has already come; he can risk everything. And bardo is a certain soft method of hypnosis… just the way I am using it. Listening to me you become quiet, silent.

The bardo is a suggestion to the dying person: “Now be silent. Leave this life consciously. Rather than death taking it away from you, relax your hold; don’t be defeated by death, don’t struggle. Just drop all your attachment. This world is finished for you, and this life is finished for you. There is no point in holding on to it; in holding on to it you will be fighting with death. You cannot win, and a very significant possibility will be missed.

“Simply let go of everything on your own accord. Relax, and accept death without any antagonism as a culmination of life, as a natural phenomenon. It ends nothing. Remain conscious and watch what is happening – how the body starts becoming more and more distant from you, how the mind starts falling into pieces as if a mirror has fallen and broken into pieces, how your emotions, sentiments, moods… everything that made your life starts disappearing.”

It is the end of a dream. That is the fundamental point in bardo, that you have lived a dream that you call life, a seventy-year-long dream. It is coming to an end. You can weep for the spilled milk and miss the opportunity… because within seconds you will be entering into another womb, into another dream.

Between these two dreams just a few seconds are available for you to be alert and awake, and if you can manage this alertness you have conquered death, you have conquered dreaming. You will be entering into another womb consciously; you will be leaving this body consciously, entering into another body consciously.

You will be able to remember the death, the dream you had lived, in the coming life, which will make you alert not to get into the same rut – again chasing the same stupid desires, getting caught in the same jealousies, fighting for the same meaningless respectabilities. It will keep you alert that you have done it before. Everything ends in death and this too will end in death.

So bardo is reminding you that what is disappearing was a dream. It is very easy when death is coming to see your life as a dream. What else can it be? It is just as if you are waking up in the morning.

The whole night you have lived so much, so many dreams – you may have lived years in the night – but bardo reminds you that it was a dream. It has to be done by a very evolved being – a lama, a master – and he insists that it is time to realize that it was a dream: you are not dying, only the dream is broken.

And while you are being shifted from one dream to another… the gap is of tremendous importance because in that gap there is no dream, there is simple clarity, absolute clarity, awareness. So the second point to be reminded of is: don’t miss the gap.

And the third thing: don’t miss the entry into the womb. Then you have accomplished something which people need lives to work on.

The person is just falling into deep silence and death is descending. He is listening to these words from someone he has loved, he has trusted, from someone he cannot imagine deceiving – only then is it meaningful. It won’t work from just anybody. The bardo is available, all the instructions are available, but it is possible only through someone whom you have respected, honored, trusted, loved.

In this critical moment a small doubt about what the person is saying will destroy the whole thing – then the bardo has been futile. But if you don’t miss and you follow the instructions, you are laying a foundation for a new life which will be a totally different life. It will be your last life, because anybody who is dying consciously, who uses the gap to have a taste of absolute purity, enters into the womb alert, is born alert. His enlightenment is guaranteed by nature: he has the seed, the foundation.

So bardo is a simple process, but it can be helpful only to those who have meditated a little, who have been with a master, who have once in a while tasted the silence, the presence, and the beauty of being in the moment. They become capable.

Bardo is the greatest contribution Tibet has made to the world. Tibet has not contributed anything else. It is a poor country, far away from the world – the roof of the world – unapproachable. Even today it is very difficult to reach Tibet.

Tibet developed meditation through Buddhist influence and finally became the only country in history where everybody was meditating, where meditation was a normal phenomenon. Every family had to give at least one of its members – someone who was ready – to a monastery, to meditate totally. So from every family at least one member went from each generation.

Almost the whole country of Tibet became a monastery. Just as Russia has become a concentration camp, Tibet became a monastery. There were hundreds of monasteries in the mountains, in beautiful places. Every family had contributed someone who was truly interested in seeking. It was the only place where people were encouraged to go on the search; it had become part of the style of the whole country.

And those who were not in the monasteries were also meditating as much as they could manage, so by the time of death, bardo was possible for everybody. There were many masters available, many evolved beings available who could repeat those instructions – and everybody had a master of his own. It was a totally different world.

In this century many beautiful things have been destroyed but Tibet is at the top. Tibet has been destroyed by a communist invasion from China. Monasteries have been changed into schools, into hospitals, and monks have been forced to work in the fields. Even to mention the word “meditation” became a crime. And it was not hurting anybody: the country was so aloof, so cut off from the world.

But it has been destroyed, and I don’t think there is any possibility to recover its beauty, its grandeur. That is impossible because now there are roads joining it to Pakistan, to China. Now buses are moving, now airports are there and planes are coming and going. The army is there. It has become a military base for China. It has lost its golden age.

Soon it will be difficult to find a person who is capable of listening to bardo instructions and almost impossible to find a person who can give those instructions. They will be in the books; they are available now in all the languages. They are simple instructions but they can be improved, and I have the idea to improve them because they are very ancient and very crude. They can be polished. Much can be added to them, more dimensions can be given to them. But the basic thing is that the people should be meditative. My people are meditative, and it will be part of our basic work to revive the bardo in a more refined form so we can use it for our people.

Tibet is no longer the same Tibet. But we can create the situation, the psychology, where bardo – or something like bardo but even far more evolved – can help people. It is a beautiful process. Just as Japan has brought Zen from Buddhist sources of meditation, Tibet has brought, from the same Buddhist sources of meditation, bardo. These are their immortal contributions.

When nuclear weapons are forgotten, still these discoveries will have the same significance.

-Osho

From The Path of the Mystic, Discourse #7

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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Something Belonging to Eternity – Osho

A few months ago my friend and I were visiting his dying father. Lots of people were around, his body was about finished. To most people he was indifferent, but when everyone left he suddenly opened his eyes and told us, “I feel like I have two bodies; one body is sick and the other is completely healthy.” We told him, “That’s right! The healthy body is the real you, so stay with that one.” He said, “Okay,” and closed his eyes. As we sat with him, the sick energy around the hospital bed changed. We couldn’t believe this new energy; it was as if we were in darshan with you… such beautiful silence. I felt a bit strange saying these words to someone who was really experiencing this. Whatever I said wasn’t really my experience, just something I’d thought about. After we left he improved for a while, went home and died peacefully in his bed.

Beloved Osho, even though I’ve been with you for ten years, I felt so ignorant in front of this man who was ready to let go of everything with such trust and clarity and peace.

Geeta, the experience that you went through always is possible when someone is dying. All that is required is a little alertness. The man who was dying was aware – not much awareness is needed for this experience.

At the moment of death your physical body and your spiritual body start separating. Ordinarily, they are so much involved with each other that you don’t feel their separation. But at the moment of death, just before death happens, both the bodies start getting unidentified with each other. Now their ways are going to be different; the physical body is going to the physical elements, and the spiritual body is on its pilgrimage onwards, to a new birth, in a new form, in a new womb.

If the person is a little alert he can see it himself, and because you said to him that the healthier body is you, and the body that is sick and dying is not you…. In those moments, to trust is very easy because it is happening just before the eyes of the person himself; he cannot identify with the body that is falling apart, and he can immediately recognize the fact that he is the healthier one, the deeper one.

But you could have helped the man even a little more – this was good, but not good enough. Even this experience of the man, of getting unidentified with the physical body, immediately changed the energy in the room; it became silent, peaceful.

But if you had learned the art of how to help a dying man, you would not have stopped where you stopped. A second thing was absolutely necessary to tell him because he was in a trusting state – everybody is, at the moment of death.

It is life which creates problems and doubts and postponements, but death has no time to postpone. The man cannot say, “I will try to see,” or, “I will see tomorrow.” He has to do it right now, this very moment, because even the next moment is not certain. Most probably he is not going to survive. And what is he going to lose by trusting? Death anyway, is going to take away everything. So the fear of trust is not there; time to think about it is not there. And a clarity is there that the physical body is getting farther and farther away.

It was a good step to tell him, “You are the healthier body.” The second step would have been to tell him, “You are the witness of both the bodies; the body that is dying is physical, and the body that you are feeling is healthy is psychological. But who are you? You can see both the bodies… certainly you must be the third; you cannot be one of these two.”

This is the whole process of the bardo. Only in Tibet have they developed the art of dying. While the whole world has been trying to develop the art of living, Tibet is the only country in the world which has developed the whole science and art of dying. They call it the bardo.

If you had told the person, “This is good that you have taken one step, you are out of the physical body; but now you have got identified with the psychological body. You are not even that; you are only awareness, a pure consciousness, a perceptivity….” If you could have helped the person to understand that he is neither this body nor that body, but something bodiless, formless, a pure consciousness, then his death would have been a totally different phenomenon.

You saw the change of energy; you would have seen another change of energy. You saw silence descending; you would have seen music also, a certain dancing energy also, a certain fragrance filling the whole space. And the man’s face would have shown a new phenomenon – the aura of light.

If he had taken the second step also, then his death would have been the last death. In the bardo they call it “the great death,” because now he will not be born into another form, into another imprisonment; now he will remain in the eternal, in the oceanic consciousness that fills the whole universe.

So remember it – it may happen to many of you. You may be with a friend or with a relative, your mother, your father. While they are dying, help them to realize two things: first, they are not the physical body – which is very simple for a dying man to recognize. Second – which is a little difficult, but if the man is able to recognize the first, there is a possibility of the second recognition too – that you are not even the second body; you are beyond both the bodies. You are pure freedom and pure consciousness.

If he had taken the second step, then you would have seen a miracle happening around him – something, not just silence, but something more alive, something belonging to eternity, to immortality. And all of you who were present there would have been overwhelmed with gratitude that this death has not been a time of mourning, but it has become a moment of celebration.

If you can transform a death into a moment of celebration, you have helped your friend, your mother, your father, your brother, your wife, your husband. You have given them the greatest gift that is possible in existence. And close to death it is very easy. The child is not even worried about life or death; he has no concern. The young man is too much involved in biological games, in ambitions, in becoming richer, in becoming powerful, in having more prestige; he has no time to think of eternal questions.

But at the moment of death, just before death is going to happen, you don’t have any ambition. And whether you are rich or poor makes no difference; whether you are a criminal or a saint makes no difference. Death takes you beyond all discriminations of life and beyond all stupid games of life.

But rather than helping people, people destroy that beautiful moment. It is the most precious in a man’s whole life. Even if he has lived one hundred years, this is the most precious moment. But people start crying and weeping and showing their sympathy, saying, “This is very untimely, it should not happen.” Or they start consoling the person, saying, “Don’t be worried, the doctors are saying that you will be saved.”

These are all foolishnesses. Even the doctors play a part in these stupid things. They don’t tell you that your death has come. They avoid the subject; they go on giving you hope. They say, “Don’t be worried, you will be saved,” knowing perfectly well that the man is going to die. They are giving him a false consolation, not knowing that this is the moment when he should be made fully aware of death – so acutely and so impeccably aware that pure consciousness is experienced. That moment has become a moment of great victory. Now there is no death for him, but only eternal life.

-Osho

From The Razor’s Edge, 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.

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

 

The Metaphor of the Third Eye – Osho

The other day, you talked about the third eye as a door for connecting with you and existence. Whenever I feel open, flowing, connecting with you, other people, nature or myself, I mostly feel it in my heart as silence and expanding spaciousness, and sometimes as radiating light. Beloved Osho, is this the same kind of experience you were talking about, or is there a difference between connecting through the third eye or the heart; or are there different stages?

What you are experiencing is in itself valuable, but it is not the experience of the third eye. The third eye is a little higher than your experience. The way the mystics in the East have categorized the evolution of consciousness is in seven centers. Your experiences belong to the fourth center, the heart. It is one of the most important centers, because it is exactly in the middle. Three centers are below it and three centers are above it. That’s why love is such a balancing experience.

Your description is, “Whenever I feel open, flowing, connecting with you, other people, nature or myself, I mostly feel it in my heart as silence and expanding spaciousness, and sometimes as radiating light. Is this the same kind of experience you were talking about?” I was talking about the third eye, which is above the heart. There are three centers above the heart. One is in your throat, which is the center of creativity; one is between your two eyebrows, exactly in the middle, which is called the third eye. Just as you have two eyes to know the outside world… the third eye is only a metaphor, but the experience is knowing oneself, seeing oneself.

The last center is sahastrara, the seventh; that is at the top of your head. As consciousness goes on moving upwards, first you know yourself, and in the second step you know the whole universe; you know the whole and yourself as part of it.

In the old language, the seventh is “knowing God,” the sixth is “knowing yourself,” the fifth is “being creative,” and the fourth is “being loving, sharing and knowing others.” With the fourth, your journey becomes certain; it can be guaranteed that you will reach the seventh. Before the fourth, there is a possibility you may go astray.

The first center is the sex center, which is for reproduction—so that life continues. Just above it… the sex energy can be moved upwards, and it is a great experience; for the first time you find yourself self-sufficient.

Sex always needs the other. The second center is the center of contentment, self-sufficiency: you are enough unto yourself. At the third center you start exploring—who are you? Who is this self-sufficient being? These centers are all significant…. The moment you find who you are, the fourth center opens and you find you are love.

Before the fourth the journey has started, but there is a possibility you may not be able to complete it. You can go astray. For example, finding yourself self-sufficient, contented, you can remain there; there is no need to do anything anymore. You may not even ask the question, “Who am I?” The sufficiency is so much that all questions disappear.

A master is needed in these moments, so that you don’t settle somewhere in the middle without reaching the goal. And there are beautiful spots to settle… feeling contented, what is the need to go on? But the master goes on nagging you and wants you to know who you are; you may be contented, but at least know who you are. The moment you know who you are, a new door opens, because you become aware of life, of love, of joy. You can stay there; it is so much, there is no need to move any more. But the master goads you on, “Move to the fourth! Unless you find the purest energy of love, you will not know the splendor of existence.”

After the fourth, you cannot go astray. Once you have known the splendor of existence, creativity arises on its own. You have known beauty; you would like to create it also. You want to be a creator. A tremendous longing for creativity arises. Whenever you feel love, you always feel creativity just as a shadow coming with it. The man of creativity cannot simply go on looking outside. There is much beauty outside… but he becomes aware that just as there is an infinite sky outside, to balance it there must be the same infinity inside.

If a master is available, it is good; if he is not available, these experiences will lead you onwards.

Once your third eye is opened, and you see yourself, the whole expanse of your consciousness, you have come very close to the temple of God; you are just standing on the steps. You can see the door and you cannot resist the temptation to go inside the temple and see what is there. There you find universal consciousness, there you find enlightenment, there you find ultimate liberation. There you find your eternity.

So these are the seven centers — just arbitrarily created divisions, so the seeker can move from one to another in a systematic way; otherwise, there is every possibility, if you are working by yourself, to get muddled. Particularly before the fourth center there are dangers, and even after the fourth center….

There have been many poets who have lived at the fifth center of creativity and never gone ahead—many painters, many dancers, many singers who created great art, but never moved to the third eye. And there have been mystics who have remained with the third eye, knowing their own inner beauty; it is so fulfilling that they thought they had arrived. Somebody is needed to tell you that there is still something more ahead; otherwise, in your ignorance, what you will do is almost unpredictable.

Mike had decided to join the police force and went along for the entrance examination.

The examining sergeant, realizing that the prospective recruit was an Irishman, decided to ask him a simple question. “Who killed Jesus Christ?” he asked.

Mike looked worried and said nothing, so the sergeant told him not to worry and that he could have some time to think about it. Mike was on his way home when he met Paddy.

“Well,” said Paddy, “are you a policeman yet?”

“Not only that,” says Mike, “but I am on my first case.”

Man is such that he needs someone who has known the path and knows the pitfalls, knows the beautiful spots where one can remain stuck, and has compassion enough to go on pushing you—even against you—until you have reached to the final stage of your potentiality.

-Osho

From The Golden Future, Discourse #6

Golden Future

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

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

 

The Third Eye and “Who am I” – Osho

The other night, following the energy between by eyes, I went into myself, looking for “Who am I?” At a certain point I found myself immersed in great nothingness. The sensation was very strong. I couldn’t go on; I felt so afraid of this emptiness that I stopped. Osho, what is this energy that is felt between the eyes? Is it the so-called “third-eye”? If this was the right way, why was I so afraid and trembling?

Ramaprem, this is the right way. That’s why you became so afraid, because the right way means a certain death, the death of your ego, the death of your personality as you have known it, and the beginning and the birth of your essential self. But the death comes first, hence the fear and trembling. The resurrection comes later.

You have been in a very beautiful space. This is the third eye that in the East has been talked about for at least ten thousand years. It is only symbolic. You have two eyes to see the world of duality – the day and night, the beautiful and the ugly, the true and the false. The whole world consists of dualities. The third eye is a poetic and symbolic expression that your two eyes have become one, that all duality has disappeared.

For the outside world two eyes are needed, for the inside world only a single clear vision – because inside there is no duality, there is only oneness.

Your question is, “The other night, following the energy between my eyes, I went into myself looking for ‘Who am I?’ At a certain point I found myself immersed in great nothingness.” These are the spaces if you go inside. But this nothingness is not negative; just a little more acquaintance with it and you will be surprised: it appeared as nothingness because there was nothing that you have ever known before or even dreamt before. But once you become acquainted with the nothingness you start feeling an immense fulfillment, an overflowing energy. This nothingness is the beginning of fullness and wholeness.

“The sensation,” you say, “was very strong. I couldn’t go on; I felt so afraid of this emptiness that I stopped.” Just be a little more intelligent.

The nothingness was surrounding you, but you were not nothing. You were witnessing it; you were separate from it. The emptiness may be surrounding you; it may be vast and may create trembling in you, but you are not it; otherwise who will become afraid and who will stop going forward? Who will turn back?

Your being is totally separate from the nothingness and emptiness that you have felt. If you had remembered only this much, “I am not it,” the fear would have disappeared. Perhaps next time, remember that you cannot be anything that you come across. You cannot come across yourself; you cannot meet yourself. So whatever you come across is separate from you. There is no need to be afraid.

But Ramaprem, it happens to almost everybody. You are alone, surrounded by nothingness, emptiness, and a deep fear arises that perhaps you are coming close to death, because in our minds the association with nothingness and emptiness is with death. But even death is not you. You pass through it; it is a passage. And if you are alert, you can pass through without any fear. On the contrary, you can enjoy the silence, the peace, the immensity, the infinity that is surrounding you. You are almost in an oceanic state of consciousness.

But now you know the door, the third eye. Travel more into it so that you become more and more acquainted, and nothingness, rather than making you afraid, will make you dance, because it is not destructive. It will give you individuality, it will give you freedom, and if you go on and on you will reach to your innermost center, which is life.

Death always happens to the body, but never to you.

And if you have found the deathless in you, all your fears, forever will disappear – and a man without fear is truly and authentically dignified. You will be proud that you have found the right path.

Very few people have traveled inwards because of this fear. As they move in, the fear stops them and they turn back into the mundane world where everything is ephemeral, where everything is going to die, where all that you possess is going to be taken away by death.

Death is impotent only against a person who knows himself. But before you can know yourself, you will have to pass through this beautiful space of nothingness, emptiness, aloneness. So rejoice and be grateful that a great experience has happened to you.

A Catholic priest visited a Catholic family. There was a little boy sitting very happily beside his cat, which had just given birth to six kittens.

The priest asked, “Why are you so happy?”

The boy said, “Because all the kittens happen to be good Catholics.” Very satisfied, the priest went home.

Two weeks later he visited the family again. As soon as the little boy saw him, he began crying desperately. “What’s the matter?” asked the priest. “Why are you so sad?”

The boy replied, sobbing, “The kittens are no longer Catholic.”

“How can you say that?” asked the priest.

The little boy replied, “They have all opened their eyes.”

The moment your inner eye starts opening, you will not be a Catholic, you will not be a Protestant, you will not be a Hindu, you will not be a Mohammedan, you will not be a Jew – you will be simply yourself; hence, all the organized religions have been avoiding the very subject.

The science of how to enter into yourself has been known for thousands of years, but no religion wants you to enter into yourself. They want you to look upwards at the sky for a fictitious God. If your inner eye remains closed, you are going to remain a Catholic, a Hindu, a Mohammedan, a communist, but once the inner eye opens, you start becoming free of all these fetters and all these imprisonments.

Every person has the potential, but you have been diverted into looking for God outside yourself – and He is sitting inside you. All the priests of the world are against God, because once you know that God is within you, the whole profession of the priesthood is finished. Churches will be empty, mosques will be empty, temples and synagogues will be empty, and the whole politics of numbers and the power that it brings to the priests will be gone.

You are only an individual without any adjective.

The world will be immensely beautiful if there are only individuals, not belonging to any religion or any political ideology, but belonging to their own inner self. That’s enough, more than enough. Belonging to life itself is the only true religion, the only truth that has to be discovered. And it is not far away, just a little fear has to be dropped.

And if you go on trying, as you will become acquainted with the beauties of nothingness, the fear is going to disappear automatically. You have accidentally found the right path – now don’t lose it.

Don’t become again a Catholic. Keep the eye open.

-Osho

From The Razor’s Edge, Discourse #30

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

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

What is the Law of Karma? – Osho

What is the law of karma?

It is not in fact a law, because there is nobody behind it as a lawgiver. On the contrary, it is intrinsic to existence itself. It is the very nature of life: whatsoever you sow, you reap. But it is complex, it is not so simple, it is not so obvious.

To make it more clear, try to understand it in a psychological way, because the modern mind can understand only if something is explained in a psychological way. In the past, when the law of karma was talked about – when Buddha talked about it and Mahavira talked about it – they had used physiological, physical analogies. Man has gone far away from that, man has moved far away from that. Now man lives more in the psychological, so this will be helpful.

Every crime against one’s own nature, every one, without exception, records itself in our unconscious – what the Buddhists call alayavigyan, the storehouse of consciousness – each crime.

And what is a crime? It is not because the court of Manu says it is a crime, because that court is no more relevant; not because the Ten Commandments say it is a crime, that too is no more relevant; not because a certain government says it is a crime, because that goes on changing. Something is a crime in Russia and the same thing is not a crime in America. Something is a crime according to the Hindu tradition and the same thing is not a crime according to the Mohammedan tradition. Then what is crime? There has to be a universal definition for it.

My definition is: that which goes against your nature, that which goes against your self, your being, is a crime. And how to know that crime? Whenever you commit that crime it records in your unconsciousness. It records in a certain way: it records and starts giving you a feeling of guilt. You start feeling yourself despised by yourself, you start feeling yourself unworthy, you start feeling yourself not as you should be. Something inside you becomes hard, something closes inside you. You are no more as flowing as you have been before. Something has become solid, frozen; that hurts, brings pain, and brings a feeling of unworthiness.

Karen Horney has a good word to describe this unconscious perceiving and remembering. She says “It registers”. I liked it… it registers. Everything that you do registers itself automatically. If you have been loving it registers that you are loving; it gives you a feeling of worth. If you have been hateful, angry, destructive, dishonest, it registers and gives you a feeling of unworthiness, a feeling of being something below human, a feeling of inferiority. And whenever you feel unworthy you feel cut off from the flow of life. How can you flow with people when you are hiding something? Flow is possible only when you expose yourself, when you are available, totally available.

If you have been cheating your woman and seeing another woman, you cannot be with your woman totally. It is impossible, because it registers: deep in your unconscious you know that you have been dishonest, deep in your unconscious you know that you have betrayed, deep in your unconscious you know that you have to hide it, that you are not to reveal it. If you have something to hide, if you have something to keep secret from your beloved, there will be distance – the bigger the secret, the bigger the distance will be. If there are too many secrets then you are completely closed. You cannot relax with this woman, and you cannot allow this woman to relax with you because your tenseness creates tenseness in her, her tenseness makes you even more tense, and it goes on creating a vicious circle.

Yes, it registers in our books, in our beings. Remember, there are no books which God is keeping: that was an old way of saying the same thing. Your being is the book! Whatsoever you are and whatsoever you do is constantly being registered. Not that there is somebody writing it; it is a natural phenomenon. If you have been lying it is registered that you are lying, and now you have to protect those lies, and to protect one lie you will have to tell one thousand lies, and again to protect those one thousand lies you will have to go on and on and on. You become, by and by, a chronic liar. Truth becomes impossible for you, because to tell one truth will be dangerous now.

See how things go together: if you tell one lie then many lies are invited – the same attracts the same – and now truth is unwelcome, because the darkness of the lies will not like the light of truth. So even when your lies are not in any danger of being exposed you will not be able to speak truth.

If you speak one truth, many other truths are invited – the like attracts the like. If you are naturally truthful it is very difficult to lie, even once, because all that truth protects you. And this is a natural phenomenon. There is no God keeping a book. You are the book. You are the God, your being is the book.

Abraham Maslow says, “If we do something we are ashamed of, it registers to our discredit. And if we do something good, it registers to our credit.” You can watch it, you can observe it.

The law of karma is not some philosophy, some abstraction. It is simply a theory which explains something true inside your being. The net result: either we respect ourselves, or we despise and feel contemptible, worthless and unlovable.

Every moment, you are creating yourself; either a grace will arise in your being or a disgrace: this is the law of karma. Nobody can avoid it. Nobody should try to cheat on karma, because that is not possible. Watch… and once you understand it things start changing. Once you know the inevitability of it you will be a totally different person.

-Osho

From The Wisdom of the Sands, V.1, Discourse #2

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

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

Where Does Your Body End? – Osho

Does the soul leave the body when you die? Where does it go? 

This whole way of thinking – that something remains and something leaves – is fallacious. The gross body that we know is just a seed, the outer mask. There are also subtle bodies which continue to surround your soul even when it is leaving. These bodies are also part of you.

The body that is with me now is part of the universe, but because we conceive of our self as ours, it becomes a problem: where does my body end?

If you go into it deeply, you will see that the whole universe is part of you, part of your body. For example, if the sun were to cease this very moment, your body could not continue to exist. It could not exist if there were no oceans, it could not exist if there were no atmosphere. Your body is just a part, a constantly changing part of the universe. When the sun rises, something rises in you. When the sun sets, something sets in you. When there is a moon, you are different. When there is no moon, you are different. Your body is in a constant, dynamic relationship with the whole.

Wherever you are, whatever state you are in, you will still be in a body. If your body is taken by the universe then the universe will give you another body, unless you consciously become the whole universe. Then there is no need for a body, because the universe itself has no body.

Individuals are bound to have bodies. But where does your body end and where does it begin? It is a problem, a multidimensional problem. Your body could not exist if your father’s body had not been in existence. Your body is part of a long series, of an eternal series. Your body exists in the trees, in the sea, in everything. It is a small cosmos related to every part of the total.

Our language is very crude and limited, so when we say that the soul leaves the body, it gives a mistaken idea. The soul moves into the body of the universe, but the universe is constantly giving it another body. That body which you have left behind is still related to you, because the whole is related to you.

You are swimming in the sea. You have left part of the sea behind and gone ahead, but the part that has been left behind is still a part of the sea in which you are now swimming. The sea is one and you are swimming in it just like the fish which is born of the sea and will dissolve into the sea. A fish is nothing but the sea itself, frozen somewhere, which will soon dissolve back into the sea again.

Our concept of coming into life and going out of life is primitive. You cannot go anywhere beyond this universe. Wherever you go, the universe behaves like a body to you. Your body is not only your body: it is a big community of many souls; you are only one of them. Every cell of the body has a soul, and each body has seventy million living soul cells.

Your body is a crowd of many, many souls living in a big city, and you are only one soul living in it.

Each part of you is a soul in its own right. It can live and grow without you, it can love and reproduce without you; you are not needed. So when you have leave the body, the body is still a living thing. The central soul has gone, but there are multi-millions of cells still living in the body which can ultimately develop, like you have, into a human being.

So it is a complex thing. But one thing is certain: nothing is dead. We are part of the ocean of life; we are aliveness.

It seems inconceivable to us because we go on seeing the universe from a particular point of view. That point is the disturbance. If that point dissolves and there is no ego to look from, then you cannot say that when you die you have gone somewhere. You have been. You will continue to be. Even though everything dissolves, nothing really dissolves; nothing ends. But that is possible only when there is no ego to say, “This is me.”

We think that we are the center of the universe, just as mankind has always thought that the earth is the center of the universe. But even science has proven that this is not so. The fallacy that the sun goes around the earth is the same mental fallacy that we have about ourselves. It looks true even today, when we know it is not true. If we look, the sun seems to be circling the earth.

The same phenomenon happens deep down also. In religion also we are earthbound, ego-bound: everything seems to move around the ego. It is a fallacious idea; the reality is that you are going round the universe. You are part of it; you cannot be otherwise.

Whatever you think from an egocentric point of view will be wrong. For me, right and wrong have different connotations. For me, anything that has ego at the center is wrong and anything that has no ego at the center is right. And unless you become one with the universe, unless the ego dissolves, you cannot have the right vision.

-Osho

From The Great Challenge, Chapter Ten

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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.

Nothing is Created – Osho

Were all souls created together, as Paul Brunton theorizes, or were they created at separate stages? Is this difference – the difference in their stages – due to their own choice or is it their destiny? What degree of choice do we have as far as reincarnation is concerned?

Before I can answer this question, two or three things must be understood. One, religious inquiry is basically different from scientific inquiry. In scientific inquiry the question is important, but in religious inquiry it is the questioner – the state of mind in which the question is asked – who is significant. In scientific questioning your mind has to be continuously focused on the question. In religious inquiry the question is just a jumping board into something that is uncharted. So ask the question and then forget it, because the question is concerned with the known, and the answer can only be concerned with the unknown.

When we formulate a question the very formulation, and the presupposition on which the formulation is based, belong to our mind, our memory, our knowledge. But the answer is bound to be in a totally different dimension. For example, this question. We will take it in parts.

Were all souls created together, as Paul Brunton theorizes, or were they created at separate stages?

The question seems relevant. Man has always been deeply concerned with the concept of creation: How are things created? When? Why? By whom? Even concerning souls man has many questions: When were souls created? Were they created equal or unequal? And if they were created equal, then why this inequality?

Is this difference – the difference in their stages – due to their own choice or is it their destiny?

To us it seems important to ask about creation. But in existence, nothing is created; it is a continuous and endless beginning. The very concept of creation is childish and irrelevant as far as existence is concerned. Existence has always been: it has never been created and it can never be destroyed. “Creation” means out of nothing – and out of nothing, nothing can come. The world, the creation, is in constant change, but nothing can be created or destroyed.

Change is the reality. By change I mean that only the form changes, never the substance. The basic remains always the same; only the mode of expression, the form, changes. And this change is continuous; it is eternal. So neither things nor souls are created. When not even things are created, the concept of the creation of souls becomes absurd. A created soul cannot be a soul; if a soul could be created then it would become just a thing.

But to the so-called religious mind creation seems significant, because we have conceived of God as the creator, and without creation where will the creator be? God is not the creator, God is existence itself. God is not something separate but the very substance of reality; he is not the creator of reality but the reality itself.

This duality – God and the world, the creator and the created – is due to our dualistic thinking. Our mind goes on creating dualities, but the reality is one. God is not the creator but the creation, the energy, the force, the basic substance of all.

Look at it in another way. No one asks, “Who created God?” because the question seems absurd. If you ask, “Who created God?” the question leads to an infinite regression; the same question can be asked again and again about the answer. If A created B then we can ask who created A. We can go on asking ad infinitum and no answer will be found. Every answer will only create another question, and the same question at that.

We cannot think of God as being created because if he is created then he is not God; he becomes a thing. The same is true of the soul: the soul is not a created phenomenon. And not only the soul – even matter is not a created phenomenon.

Even science realizes now that nothing can be created and nothing can be destroyed. Even if matter is converted into energy and energy converted into matter, it is not destruction and it is not creation. The quantity remains the same. If matter is converted into energy we can say that it is destroyed, because the matter disappears. But it is not destroyed, because matter itself is a form of energy – it is in a different form now, but the same energy remains. The total quantity of existence is always the same. Whether you change A to B or B to C makes no difference to the total; not a single particle can be added to the total and not a single particle can be subtracted. And this total quantity is God.

The first thing to be understood is that nothing has been created. Existence is. Existence exists with no beginning and no end, but with many changes.

Our mind has created a second duality: that of matter and mind, body and soul. This, again, is a mind-created difference; in reality, only one exists. The body is a form of it and the soul is also a form of it.

That is why, just as matter can be converted into energy and energy can be converted into matter, the body is constantly being converted into consciousness and consciousness is constantly being converted into the body. You cannot come to a point where you can say the body ends and consciousness begins; there is no demarcation. Body and soul are not two things but only two poles of one existence: at one pole you feel the body and at the other there is consciousness.

You have an existence: one pole of it is consciousness; the other, the body. If you become more and more conscious, you become a soul; if you become less and less conscious, you become only a body. If Buddha is sitting beside you, both of you have bodies, but only to outward appearances.

Buddha has no body, he is just a soul. By soul I mean that every particle of his existence has become aware. On the other hand, when you are in deep sleep, you are just a body and not a soul.

You have no soul – just a concept of the soul, just a thought, a theory, a philosophy of the soul.

It may seem strange, but Gurdjieff used to say that not everyone has a soul. He also used to say that to have a soul is an achievement; only rarely does it happen that someone acquires a soul. He was right. The concept that everyone has a soul is misleading. It appears as if the soul is something you already have, but it is not so.

It is a possibility, a potential… it is a flowering.

You can be a soul, but you may also miss. If your whole consciousness becomes an actuality, if the potential becomes an actual center of perfect awareness, then the attachment to the body will be lost. You will appear to be a body to others, but for you there will be no body. This duality must be thrown away. Body means unconscious energy and soul means conscious energy. The energy is the same. Look at it in this way: matter means only one thing, potential soul, and soul means only matter that has come to its flowering. Forget completely the concept of creation and forget any concept of duality. Only then can you go deep into existence as it is.

Philosophies and theologies will not help – they are all mental creations. Whatsoever mind can create will be in the shape of duality. Wherever there is mind, there is bound to be duality because mind cannot conceive of polar opposites as one.

How can mind conceive of body and soul as one? It is impossible. That is why there are two types of monists.

One type is like Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Mao. They are monists: they say that there is no soul, that only matter and body exist. Mind cannot conceive of these two opposites existing side by side. Where will they meet, and how? The mind always inquires how consciousness and matter can meet – what the bridge between the two will be, and who will bridge them.

The question exists for the mind because the mind has already divided them. Then the question arises how they are able to work together along parallel lines. But they are already bridged. For example, if your body feels hurt, the mind is hurt. If there is a thorn in the body, you feel it in your soul. Your mind is depressed and your body becomes depressed; your mind feels blissful and the whole body becomes young and fresh. They do not behave as two, they behave as one. But the mind divides them so there is a problem: how to make them behave as one, how to bridge the gap?

Consciousness and matter are so opposite – what type of interrelationship can exist between them?

A monist will do one of two things. He may deny the soul completely, as materialists such as Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Mao have always done. Then only the body exists, there is no soul – the soul is just a fiction.

Or there is another type of monist, like Shankara, who has said that there is no body, only the soul. Their conclusions are contradictory, but their logic, their argument, their thinking, is the same. Shankara says that matter is just an illusion, a dream – it cannot exist – and Marx says that the soul is just an illusion.

The problem for both Shankara and Marx is this: first they make a division of body and soul and then they cannot unite them. It becomes a problem to unite them; so instead, they eliminate one or the other.

To me, the solution to the whole problem takes on a different shape. Do not divide them. They are not two, they are already one – they have always been one. When the energy becomes conscious it is soul, when it becomes unconscious it becomes body. Sometimes you are more a soul and less a body, sometimes you are more a body and less a soul.

This flickering back and forth between one and the other goes on continuously. In the morning you may be more a soul, in the evening you are more a body. When you are in anger you are more a body, when you are in love you are more a soul. The degrees change continuously. When you meditate your consciousness expands and your body shrinks; when you take an intoxicant your consciousness shrinks and your body expands. Body and consciousness are two poles of one phenomenon.

So remember: this second duality is only mind-created, mind conceived. It is not there.

I will not say that souls were created. Nothing has been created; everything has always been here. And when I say that souls are not created, then of course, there is no question of whether they were created equal or unequal. The question will take on an altogether different shape.

As I see it, all souls are potentially equal. They have always been potentially equal, but in actuality they are not equal. And they are responsible for it, no one else. No one else is there to be responsible for it. God is a very useful concept – you can put all your responsibilities on him. It is a good device, a very cunning device: if there is a God, and if you are not equal, then he is responsible for it. He created you unequal so what can you do? There is no such God! The total existence is God. You participate in the total, so you participate in the responsibility.

You are potentially equal. That means you become equal when you flower totally. A Buddha flowering, a Mahavira, a Jesus, a Mohammed – they become equal. There is no difference between them. But when the flowering was just a potential, they were unequal. On the path we are all unequal.

No one else is responsible because there is no one else. Only you exist. So it is your decision what to be or what not to be. Whatever you are is your decision. If you are not changing, it is your decision. If you want to change you can change this very moment. Time is not needed, only your decision to change.

If your decision is weak, more time is needed. But if your decision is total, then the change can happen this very moment. No time is needed – the change can occur this very moment. Time is needed only because your will is not total, your decision is not total. The problem is created because basically you are not ready to change, and yet your mind has become obsessed with the concept of change.

We have seen Buddha, so the greed is with us. How to be a Buddha? This is greed, this is lust, this is desire: how to be a Buddha – calm and collected, a light unto oneself, a deep silence with no disturbance, a flower not of this world. The greed has commenced, but the mind is not ready. We want to be like Buddha without being Buddha-like, because the mind wants other things also. What Buddha renounces we are not ready to renounce, but what Buddha has achieved we are greedy to achieve. This is the problem. The major part of your mind is not ready for the change, not ready to be a soul, but the desire has come in.

No one else is responsible for this. Go inside and analyze why you are not a Buddha. The potential is there, the energy is there. Why are you not a Buddha?

Don’t go on thinking, who created us unequal? Who created someone a Buddha and someone not a Buddha?

No one has created this; our minds are responsible. If I cling to the theory that God created us – him like a Buddha and me not like a buddha – then what can I do? It is a destiny that has been forced on me. Then I can remain what I am, I can drift. This drifting will not do! The theory is just a saving device, a trick, so that you can continue as you are without bothering to change.

Religiousness is born in you only when you begin to feel total responsibility for yourself. Philosophy is one thing: philosophy can continue its meaningless, absurd theorizing. Religion is different: religion is a decision; it is to feel totally responsible for yourself. Whatever I am – a violent, angry, greedy, lust-filled mind, a bundle of desires – I am responsible.

The moment I feel that my ugliness is my responsibility, that my sin-centered mind is my responsibility, then the jump becomes possible. Because I am responsible for my ugliness, no one else can be responsible for my beauty. If I am responsible for all the darkness that is within me, then all the light that comes to a Buddha can also come to me. By taking responsibility for the one, the other potential becomes open.

Responsibility means freedom, so don’t go on complaining to God. There is no one to receive your complaints; you are only deceiving yourself. If I am not responsible for myself then I am not free. But if I am free, then I have to carry the whole responsibility.

If I am living in hell, it is my decision. I have used my energy and freedom in order to come to this hell; I have not been thrown there. Sartre speaks about man’s being thrown into the world. No one has thrown you; it has been your choice to come.

Sartre feels that only in one dimension does man seem to be free, and that is suicide. You are not responsible for your birth, but you can be responsible for your death: you can commit suicide. This is illogical! If one pole is free, the opposite pole cannot be otherwise. If I can commit suicide – if I can end my life by my own decision – then, whether I remember it or not, my entry into life has also been my decision. The other pole must be consistent. If I am responsible for my suffering then no one else can be responsible for my bliss. If I can be responsible for my death then I am also responsible for my birth.

That is what religion says: It is your freedom to be born, to live, or to die. When someone is dying, to us he appears to be dying. But if you penetrate a dying man’s mind you will see that he is desiring life and more life; he is constantly thinking of another life, of continuity. First he will try to cling to this life; then, if the clinging becomes impossible, he will desire a different body, a different form, a different shape, so that he can live again. But if a man is dying with no desires left unfulfilled, with no desire to continue living, then there will be no more births for him. If some desire is left unfulfilled, the mind will endeavor to fulfill it: that will become the choice for a new birth.

We know that when someone is born he has to die, but we do not know the other side of it – that when someone dies he has to be born again. If birth leads to death, then death will lead to birth again unless you die totally. That total death is samadhi. That total death is the highest peak of being a soul – the soul has been purified completely. There is no more desire for the future, because future means birth; no more desire for tomorrow, because tomorrow means birth; no more desire for the next moment, because the next moment means birth. In this moment, if you can die totally – with no future, with no tomorrow, with no desire, with nothing remaining unfulfilled – then there is no more birth.

It is your choice to be born again even though it is a very unconscious choice. If you become more conscious you will not choose, or you will choose differently.

Buddha was dying. Someone asked him, “Where will you be after death?”

Buddha said, “Nowhere. Enough! I have been in so many bodies for so many lives – it is enough.

This time I am going to be nowhere. I am dying totally.”

To the questioner this seemed tragic – Buddha, dying totally. He would not be born again. Now there was no hope left. The questioner began to weep.

Buddha said, “Don’t weep. Dance! This is the moment of my fulfillment: I am dying totally. This is the last peak, the highest possibility. With no desire, with no hope, with no future, I am simply dissolving into the cosmos. I will be nowhere because I will be everywhere.

You will not be able to find me confined to any point, but I will be like the salt of the earth: you will be able to taste me everywhere. But it will only be a taste. I will have no body, no visible form; I will be cosmic energy.”

This is what Buddha means by nirvana. Nirvana is a beautiful word. It is not moksha, not liberation; nirvana is a different word, with a different quality. It means cessation, like the cessation of a candle.

“Just as a candle ceases,” Buddha says, “I will cease.” When a candle ceases can you tell where the light has gone? You will not be able to find the flame, you will not be able to locate it, because now there is no new desire. But it will still be part of the cosmos, because nothing can disappear from the cosmos.

Everything is a choice. For us, this becomes difficult to conceive of, because then our whole suffering is our own choice: that is the problem. If someone else is responsible I can be at ease; then I am not suffering because of myself. If there is a destiny, if there is a God, then someone else is responsible and I am forced to be as I am. This is an escape. No one is there! You are alone.

Then how can we explain suffering? We think that we never choose suffering, but that is nonsense – we choose everything. No one is ready to admit that he chooses suffering because when we choose, we only choose facades. But in the end the reality of what we have chosen is encountered.

Everyone chooses pleasure and, ultimately, everyone suffers, because pleasure is just a facade, a false screen. The closer you come to pleasure, the more the pleasure begins to evaporate. This happens every time, but we are still not aware that pleasure is just the false face of pain, of suffering, of anguish.

No one chooses suffering directly; everyone chooses it indirectly. But the choice is unconscious, unaware. You choose pleasure, and you have chosen suffering: every pleasure ends in pain, every pleasure creates a tense state of mind. Suffering is an inevitable part of pleasure, the tail end. You cannot escape it. The hankering for pleasure, the seeking of pleasure, is an illusion; what you achieve finally is never pleasure. Look at it from the outside. Someone chooses pleasure.

It is a positive effort: ambition, achievement…. Then suffering comes – you choose heaven and you enter hell. Heaven is the gate of hell. Enter the gate, and you have entered hell. Pleasure is a positively sought thing; happiness is negative. It is not the presence of anything, it is the absence of something – the absence of suffering. Don’t choose pleasure, and suffering will be discarded automatically. And when there is neither pleasure nor suffering, there is happiness and bliss.

From the outside it looks negative – it is an absence – but from the inside it is a positive thing.

Happiness is your nature. It is also a choice – everything is your choice. If you don’t choose pleasure then you have chosen happiness.

Any moment you can change. And when I say “any moment” I mean much by it. I mean that whatever you have chosen in the past is not a barrier. For millennia you may have continuously chosen pleasure, pleasure, pleasure, and perhaps got only suffering, suffering, suffering.

But that is not a barrier. Whatever you have chosen in the past you have suffered for – nothing remains suspended in the balance. This very moment you can choose the opposite, and whatever karmas, whatever actions you have done in the past, will not be a barrier.

The mind can play tricks. If there is no destiny, if there is no God, then karma becomes your scapegoat. You say, “What can I do? – I have been a sinner for lives and lives, and now my karma is standing in the way. How can I choose freely? I am bound by my karma.”

You are not in any bondage. And if you are, if you still feel that there is an imprisonment around you, it is your own choice. There is no prison and no jailor.

You can come out this very moment. It is your choice to live in a prison, it is your choice to be there or not be there; no one is preventing you from leaving it.

If you want to be a prisoner you can create a philosophy around yourself in which you can be a prisoner. If you want to be a free man, if you want to be freedom itself, then you can choose a different type of thinking and you can be free. Both are your choices.

Whatever level you are on you are responsible because you are free; there is no bondage. There are many bondages, but there are no bondages outside you. They are all your creations; they are all because of you.

If you find difficulty in leaving the prison it is not the prison which is preventing you, it is your own habit, your own wrong choice. You have chosen it so many times that it has become a routine, a habit: it is easier to be in the prison than to be out of it.

You have become so well-acquainted with the prison, you have decorated it so much that it looks not like a prison but like a home. Inside there is every security, every defense, and outside you will be vulnerable and open – with no defense, with no security. You will be in an unknown world, fear will grip you. It is new; it is not the prison of your own mind.

Whenever someone chooses, becomes conscious and remembers his freedom, he is free. It is this remembrance that makes him free. It is not an effort, it is coming to understand one’s freedom and one’s responsibility. Freedom and responsibility are two aspects of one coin, so don’t throw your responsibility on anyone else or you will be throwing away your freedom also.

Feel responsible, accept responsibility for yourself, because only then will you become free. If you can say that this hell you are in is your choice, that no one else is responsible for it, then you have become free; you can go out of it, you can leave it. But if someone else has put you in this hell then only he can take you out. You are not involved in it at all.

The attitude that someone else has been the source of whatever you are will make you more of a body and less of a soul. I am saying that if you feel responsible for yourself, then a sudden freedom begins to appear in you. You are responsible for yourself; you become more of a soul.

A person like Buddha feels responsible for the whole world. Buddha goes to the other extreme: He says, “Whenever I choose misery I create vibrations of misery.” A miserable person creates a certain type of vibration. A violent person creates violence, an angry person creates anger, a loving person creates love.

Ordinarily, we feel that God is responsible for us, the whole is responsible for us. Buddha goes to the other extreme and says, “I am responsible for the whole. If there is ugliness in the world I am responsible for it because I have created it. If there is hatred in the world I am responsible for it because I have created it. I have chosen hatred so many times when I could have chosen love. I have chosen hatred, I have chosen anger, I have chosen lust, and when I choose, I create a milieu in which others become vulnerable to choosing the same things.”

If you feel that you are responsible for yourself then you become a soul. If you feel that you are responsible for the whole then you become a god. Then there are no barriers. You have become the whole – the “other” has gone.

What degree of choice do we have as far as reincarnation is concerned?

You are totally free to choose. Freedom cannot have degrees. How can freedom have degrees?

How can you call that which has degrees, freedom? If you are free only inside your house but not if you go outside, then you are not free. A limited freedom is not freedom; it is slavery with a beautiful name. Freedom means that which is unlimited; it cannot mean anything else.

Slavery means limitation. This is something that has to be understood deeply. Slavery can never be unlimited – you cannot make someone a slave without limitations – because slavery is a limited thing. There are degrees of slavery: you can be more of a slave or less of a slave. I can make you a slave up to a certain limit; I can say, “As far as this or that is concerned, you are free.” But there are no degrees of freedom; freedom is total. It is such an infinite phenomenon that we become afraid of it.

Erich Fromm has written a very beautiful book, Escape from Freedom. The name is very significant: Escape from Freedom. He is right – everyone is escaping from freedom. For example, love is a freedom but marriage is not. Once you are in love, sooner or later the mind will try to escape from freedom and move into marriage.

Love is unchartered, unknown – no one knows where it may lead. And freedom is infinite – one becomes afraid. So you make a cage, draw boundaries, and live within them. Then you know where you are and where you are going. You have escaped from freedom.

We are escaping in every way. Why? Because freedom is such a total thing, so big, and we are so small that we cannot face it, we cannot live with it. If you are alone you have freedom, but when someone else is there, when you are in a crowd, the freedom is lost. That is why everybody is trying to escape from loneliness. No one wants to be alone and free. One must have company because company means less freedom and more slavery.

David Riesman has written a book, The Lonely Crowd, in which he talks about this phenomenon. Everyone escapes into a crowd because to feel the pangs of loneliness is to be afraid – afraid of oneself, afraid of living with oneself. Everyone has done the same thing, so it is a big crowd, and everyone in it is lonely.

A person who is not capable of living with himself cannot be capable of living with anyone else. One who is not capable of loving himself, enjoying his own company, will not be able to be in a deep communion with anyone else. If you are bored by yourself, you will create boredom in others. So the crowds are there, but they are lonely crowds.

This freedom that you are asking about is the greatest freedom: to choose one’s life, to choose one’s being, to choose one’s self. One becomes afraid. It is better to surrender to someone, it is better to let someone makes the choices for you – someone who is more expert, someone more knowledgeable, someone who can guide you. We go on escaping….

I have met many, many people who come to me and say, “I cannot do anything. I surrender to you – do something for me!” I am always surprised. If you cannot do anything, then how can you surrender? Surrender is a big thing. But people say, “I cannot do anything so I surrender,” as if surrender were nothing, as if surrender meant not doing anything. How can you surrender if you have not chosen your life? If you think that you have not chosen anything, that you have just been thrown into life, can you say, “I have surrendered?” Who are you to surrender?

No! Surrender is the greatest act, a total act. Only a person who feels totally free can surrender, not a slave. How can a slave surrender? Only a responsible person can surrender. And if you can surrender, you can do anything.

This freedom must be understood deeply, not as a concept but as a situation in which we live. We are free. This very moment you can make an about-turn.

There is no destiny that is forcing you in a particular direction, no past that is pushing you, no future that is pulling you – only you. You can turn around this very moment and change. You can be different, completely different. You can be a soul, not a body.

There are no degrees of freedom. And when I say that there are no degrees of freedom, no degrees of choice, I am also saying that there are no degrees of enlightenment.

You become enlightened suddenly. Just as there are degrees of slavery but no degrees of freedom, there are also degrees of ignorance but no degrees of knowing. Either you know or you do not know.

People come to me and ask, “Who is more enlightened, Buddha or Mahavira or Krishna or Christ?” As if there were degrees! People who write in the scriptures that there are degrees of enlightenment are stupid. ”Buddha has attained this degree of enlightenment. Mahavira has attained that degree, someone else has gone beyond both….” There are no degrees of enlightenment!

Whoever evaporates, jumps. Enlightenment is a jump. Buddha’s ignorance has degrees, Mahavira’s ignorance has degrees, but the moment Vardhaman – the old name of Mahavira – or Siddhartha – the old name of Buddha – evaporate, their knowing has no degrees. Bliss penetrates the whole phenomenon of life.

Similarly, there are degrees of hate, but there are no degrees of love. There are degrees of anger, but there are no degrees of forgiveness – either you forgive or you don’t. There are degrees of sin, but there are no degrees of virtue – there cannot be.

You are totally free to choose, infinitely free to choose. You can go on choosing repeatedly, birth after birth, for millennia. No one can tell you to change. You cannot change unless you yourself realize that it is enough. Buddha said, “It is enough. I have been, now I am going to be no more.”

This is difficult to conceive of because logic feels that there must be degrees to everything. Reason says, “How can I say that I am free when there is bondage everywhere?” There is, but it is you who have created it.

Logic cannot conceive of it because logic is part of the mind and logic thinks in terms of rigid dualities. In logic, either there is white or there is black; either you are free or you are not free. In logic, there is no gray. But in life, gray is the only reality: white is one pole of gray and black is the other pole.

When I say that you are free, I am also saying that you are free to be unfree, you are free to be a slave. Your freedom is such that you can choose unfreedom also, because if you cannot choose to be unfree then your freedom is not total.

That is the dilemma. Ordinary logic will ask, “If man is free then why is he not free? If man is divine then why does he not feel divine? If man is bliss then why is man not in bliss?” But I say that man is unfree because he is free – he has chosen. Man can choose freedom and become free or man can go against himself, against his nature. That is what freedom implies. When you can go against your nature, when you can expand your consciousness or not expand your consciousness, you become free, responsible – or more damaging to yourself.

Animals are not free – not free in the sense that they are more unconscious. They live by instinct, they cannot choose. They have a fixed nature; they have to follow it.

Man has no fixed nature – there is no such thing as man’s nature. Man has freedom: he can fall, he can rise: he can go lower than the animals or higher than the angels. He has no fixed nature.

The more conscious you become, the less there is that binds you. The more responsible you become, the more dangers there are. Dangerous changes will be there, and you will not escape them unless you become totally aware. But it is good to pass through them rather than to try to escape because these dangers will help you to be more aware. Escape will only create unconsciousness, unawareness, lethargy and sleep.

-Osho

Excerpt from The Great Challenge, Discourse #10

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Osho on Deeksha and the Three Gachchhamis

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 – God only. 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, Discourse 21

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The Mysteries of the Seven Bodies – Osho

In yesterday’s talk you said that the seeker should first worry about his own receptivity and should not go begging from door to door. But the very meaning of a sadhak is that there are obstacles on his path of spiritual growth. He does not know how to be receptive. Is it difficult to meet the right guide?

To seek and to ask are two different things. Actually, only he who does not want to seek asks. To seek and to ask are not one and the same; rather, they are contradictory. He who wants to avoid seeking asks. The process of seeking and the process of begging are very different. In asking the attention is centered on the other – on the giver; in seeking the attention is centered on oneself – on the receiver. To say that there are obstacles in the path of spiritual growth means there are obstacles within the seeker himself. The path too lies within and it is not very difficult to understand one’s own hindrances. It will have to be explained at length what obstacles are and how they can be removed. Yesterday I told you about the seven bodies. We shall talk in greater detail about these and it will become clear to you.

As there are seven bodies, so there are also seven chakras, energy centers, and each chakra is connected in a special way with its corresponding body. The chakra of the physical body is the muladhar. This is the first chakra and it has an integral connection with the physical body. The muladhar chakra has two possibilities. Its first potentiality is a natural one that is given to us with birth; its other possibility is obtainable by meditation.

The basic natural possibility of this chakra is the sex urge of the physical body. The very first question that arises in the mind of the seeker is what to do in regard to this central principle. Now there is another possibility of this chakra, and that is brahmacharya, celibacy, which is attainable through meditation. Sex is the natural possibility and brahmacharya is its transformation. The more the mind is focused upon and gripped by sexual desire, the more difficult it will be to reach its ultimate potential of brahmacharya.

Now this means that we can utilize the situation given to us by nature in two ways. We can live in the condition that nature has placed us in – but then the process of spiritual growth cannot begin – or we transform this state. The only danger in the path of transformation is that there is the possibility that we may begin to fight with our natural center. What is the real danger in the path of a seeker? The first obstacle is that if the meditator indulges only in nature’s order of things he cannot rise to the ultimate possibility of his physical body and he stagnates at the starting point. On the one hand there is a need; on the other hand there is a suppression which causes the meditator to fight the sex urge. Suppression is an obstacle on the path of meditation. This is the obstacle of the first chakra. Transformation cannot come about with suppression.

If suppression is an obstruction, what is the solution? Understanding will then solve the matter. Transformation takes place within as you begin to understand sex. There is a reason for this. All elements of nature lie blind and unconscious within us. If we become conscious of them, transformation begins. Awareness is the alchemy; awareness is the alchemy of changing them, of transforming them. If a person becomes awake toward his sexual desires with his total feelings and his total understanding, then brahmacharya will begin to take birth within him in place of sex. Unless a person reaches brahmacharya in his first body it is difficult to work on the potentiality of other centers.

The second body, as I said, is the emotional or the etheric body. The second body is connected to the second chakra – the swadhishthan chakra. This too has two possibilities. Basically, its natural potential is fear, hate, anger, and violence. All these are conditions obtained from the natural potential of the swadhishthan chakra. If a person stagnates at the second body, then the directly opposite conditions of transformation – love, compassion, fearlessness, friendliness – do not take place. The obstacle on the meditator’s path in the second chakra is hate, anger and violence, and the question is of their transformation.

Here too the same mistake is made. One person can give vent to his anger; another can suppress his anger. One can just be fearful; another can suppress his fear and make a show of courage. But neither of these will lead to transformation. When there is fear it has to be accepted; there is no use hiding or suppressing it. If there is violence within there is no use in covering it with the mantle of nonviolence. Shouting slogans of nonviolence will bring no change in the state of violence within. It remains violence. It is a condition given to us by nature in the second body. It has its uses just as there is meaning to sex. Through sex alone other physical bodies can be given birth. Before one physical body falls, nature has made provisions for the birth of another.

Fear, violence, anger, are all necessary on the second plane; otherwise man could not survive, could not protect himself. Fear protects him, anger involves him in struggle against others and violence helps him to save himself from the violence of others. All these are qualities of the second body and are necessary for survival, but generally we stop here and do not go any further. If a person understands the nature of fear he attains fearlessness, and if he understands the nature of violence he attains nonviolence. Similarly, by understanding anger we develop the quality of forgiveness.

In fact, anger is one side of the coin, forgiveness is the other. They each hide behind the other – but the coin has to be turned over. If we come to know one side of the coin perfectly we naturally become curious to know what is on the other side – and so the coin turns. If we hide the coin and pretend we have no fear, no violence within, we will never be able to know fearlessness and nonviolence. He who accepts the presence of fear within himself and who has investigated it fully will soon reach a place where he will want to find out what is behind fear. His curiosity will encourage him to see the other side of the coin.

The moment he turns it over he becomes fearless. Similarly, violence will turn into compassion.

These are the potentials of the second body. Thus, the meditator has to bring about a transformation in the qualities given to him by nature. And for this it is not necessary to go around asking others; one has to keep seeking and asking within oneself. We all know that anger and fear are impediments – because how can a coward seek truth? He will go begging for truth; he will wish that someone should give it to him without his having to go into unknown lands.

The third is the astral body. This also has two dimensions. Primarily, the third body revolves around doubt and thinking. If these are transformed doubt becomes trust and thinking becomes vivek, awareness. If doubts are repressed you never attain to shraddha, trust, though we are advised to suppress doubts and to believe what we hear. He who represses his doubts never attains to trust, because doubt remains present within though repressed. It will creep within like a cancer and eat up your vitality. Beliefs are implanted for fear of skepticism. We will have to understand the quality of doubt, we will have to live it and go along with it. Then one day we will reach a point where we will begin to have doubt about doubt itself. The moment we begin to doubt, doubt itself, trust begins.

We cannot reach to the clarity of discrimination without going through the process of thinking. There are people who do not think and people who encourage them not to think. They say, “Do not think; leave all thoughts.” He who stops thinking lands himself in ignorance and blind faith. This is not clarity. The power of discrimination is gained only after passing through the most subtle processes of thinking. What is the meaning of vivek, discrimination? Doubt is always present in thoughts. It is always indecisive. Therefore, those who think a great deal never come to a decision. It is only when they step out of the wheel of thoughts that they can decide. Decision comes from a state of clarity which is beyond thoughts.

Thoughts have no connection with decision. He who is always engrossed in thoughts never reaches a decision. That is why it invariably happens that those whose life is less dominated by thoughts are very resolute, whereas those who think a great deal lack determination. There is danger from both. Those who do not think go ahead and do whatever they are determined to do, for the simple reason that they have no thought process to create doubt within.

The dogmatists and the fanatics of the world are very active and energetic people; for them there is no question of doubting – they never think! If they feel that heaven is attained by killing one thousand people, they will rest only after killing one thousand people and not before. They never stop to think what they are doing so there is never any indecision on their part. A man who thinks, on the contrary, will keep on thinking instead of making any decision.

If we close our doors for fear of thoughts we will be left with blind faith only. This is very dangerous and is a great obstacle in the path of the meditator. What is needed is an open-eyed discretion and thoughts that are clear, resolute, and which allow us to make decisions. This is the meaning of vivek: clarity, awareness. It means that the power of thinking is complete. It means we have passed through thoughts in such detail that all the doubts are cleared. Now only pure decision is left in its essence.

The chakra pertaining to the third body is manipur. Doubt and trust are its two forms. When doubt is transformed trust is the result. But, remember, trust is not opposed or contrary to doubt. Trust is the purest and most ultimate development of it. It is the ultimate extreme of doubt, where even doubt becomes lost because here doubt begins to doubt even itself and in this way commits suicide. Then trust is born.

The fourth plane is the mental body or the psyche, and the fourth chakra, the anahat, is connected with the fourth body. The natural qualities of this plane are imagination and dreaming. This is what the mind is always doing: imagining and dreaming. It dreams in the night and in the daytime it daydreams. If imagination is fully developed, that is to say if it is developed to its fullest extent, in a complete way, it becomes determination, will. If dreaming develops fully it is transformed into vision – psychic vision. If a man’s ability to dream is fully developed he has only to close his eyes and he can see things. He can then see even through a wall. At first he only dreams of seeing beyond the wall; later he actually sees beyond it. Now he can only guess what you are thinking, but after the transformation he sees what you think. Vision means seeing and hearing things without the use of the usual sense organs. The limitations of time and space are no more for a person who develops vision.

In dreams you travel far. If you are in Bombay you reach Calcutta. In vision also you can travel distances, but there will be a difference: in dreams you imagine you have gone, whereas in vision you actually go. The fourth, psychic body can actually be present there. As we have no idea of the ultimate possibility of this fourth body, we have discarded the ancient concept of dreams in today’s world. The ancient experience was that in dream one of the bodies of man comes out of him and goes on a journey.

There was a man, Swedenborg, whom people knew as a dreamer. He used to talk of heaven and hell and that they can only exist in dreams. But one afternoon, as he slept, he began to shout, “Help! Help! My house is on fire.” People came running, but there was no fire there. They awoke him to assure him that it was only a dream and there was no danger of fire. He insisted, however, that his house was on fire. His house was three hundred miles away and it had caught fire at that time. On the second or third day news came of this disaster. His house was burnt to ashes, and it was actually burning when he cried out in his sleep. Now this is no longer a dream but a vision. The distance of three hundred miles was no longer there. This man witnessed what was happening three hundred miles away.

Now scientists also agree that there are great psychic possibilities of the fourth body. Now that man has set out in space, research in this direction has become all the more important. The fact remains that no matter how reliable the instruments at man’s disposal, these cannot be relied upon completely. If the radio communication in a spaceship ceases to function the astronauts lose contact with the world for all time. They will not be able to tell us where they are or what has happened to them. So today scientists are keen to develop telepathy and vision of the psychic body to overcome this risk. If the astronauts were able to communicate directly with the power of telepathy it would be a part of the development of the fourth body. Then space travel can be safe. A lot of work has been carried out in this direction.

Thirty years ago a man set out to explore the North Pole. He was equipped with all that was necessary for wireless communication. One more arrangement was also made which has not made known up until now. A psychic person whose fourth body faculties were functioning was also made to receive the transmission from the explorer. The most surprising thing was that when there was bad weather the wireless failed, but this psychic person received the news without any difficulty. When the diaries were compared later on it was found that eighty to ninety-five percent of the time the signals received by the psychic person were correct, whereas the news relayed by the radio was not available more than seventy-two percent of the time, because there were many breakdowns. Now Russia and America are both very eager, and a great deal of work is going on in the field of telepathy, clairvoyance, thought projection and thought reading. All these are the possibilities of the fourth body. To dream is its natural quality; to see the truth, to see the real, is its ultimate possibility. Anahat is the chakra of this fourth body.

The fifth chakra is the vishuddhi chakra. It is located in the throat. The fifth body is the spiritual body. The vishuddhi chakra is connected to the spiritual body. The first four bodies and their chakras were split into two. The duality ends with the fifth body.

As I said before, the difference between male and female lasts until the fourth body; after that it ends. If we observe very closely all duality belongs to the male and the female. Where the distance between male and female is no more, at that very point all duality ceases. The fifth body is non-dual. It does not have two possibilities but only one.

This is why there is not much effort for the meditator to make: because here there is nothing contrary to develop; here one has only to enter. By the time we reach the fourth body we develop so much capability and strength that it is very easy to enter the fifth body. In that case how can we tell the difference between a person who has entered the fifth body and one who has not? The difference will be that he who has entered the fifth body is completely rid of all unconsciousness. He will not actually sleep at night. That is, he sleeps but his body alone sleeps; someone within is forever awake. If he turns in sleep he knows it; if he does not he knows it. If he has covered himself with a blanket he knows it; if he has not then also he knows it. His awareness does not slacken in sleep; he is awake all the twenty-four hours. For the one who has not entered the fifth body, his state is just the opposite. In sleep he is asleep, and in the waking hours also one layer of him will be asleep.

People appear to be working. When you come home every evening the car turns left into your gate; you apply the brake when you reach the porch. Do not be under the illusion that you are doing all this consciously. It happens unconsciously by sheer force of habit. It is only in certain moments, moments of great danger that we really come into alertness. When the danger is so much that it will not do to go about lacking awareness, we awaken. For instance, if a man puts a knife at your chest you jump into consciousness. The point of the knife for a moment takes you right up to the fifth body. With the exception of these few moments in our lives we live like somnambulists.

Neither has the wife seen the husband’s face properly nor has the husband seen the wife’s face. If the husband tries to visualize the wife’s face he will not be able to do so. The lines of her face will start slipping away and it will be difficult to say whether it was the same face he has seen for the last thirty years. You have never seen, because there must be an awakened person within you to see.

One who is “awake” appears to be seeing but actually he is not – because he is asleep within, dreaming, and everything is going on in this dream state. You get angry, then you say, “I do not know how I got angry; I did not want to.” You say, “Forgive me! I did not want to be rude; it was a slip of the tongue.” You have used an obscenity and it is you who deny the intention of its use. The criminal always says, “I did not want to kill. It happened in spite of me.” This proves that we are going about like an automaton. We say what we do not want to say; we do what we do not want to do.

In the evening we vow to be up at four in the morning. When it is four o’clock and the alarm goes off we turn over saying there is no need to be up so early. Then you get up at six and are filled with remorse for having overslept. Then you again swear to keep the same vow as yesterday. It is strange that a man decides on one thing in the evening and goes back on it in the morning! Then what he decides at four in the morning changes again before it is six, and what he decides at six changes long before it is evening, and in between he changes a thousand times. These decisions, these thoughts, come to us in our sleepy state. They are like dreams: they expand and burst like bubbles. There is no wakeful person behind them – no one who is alert and conscious.

So sleep is the innate condition before the beginning of the spiritual plane. Man is a somnambulist before he enters the fifth body, and there the quality is wakefulness. Therefore, after the growth of the fourth body we can call the individual a buddha, an awakened one. Now such a man is awake. Buddha is not the name of Gautam Siddharth but a name given him after his attainment of the fifth plane. Gautama the Buddha means Gautam who has awakened. His name remained Gautam, but that was the name of the sleeping person so gradually it dropped and only Buddha remained.

This difference comes with the attainment of the fifth body. Before we enter into it, whatever we do is an unconscious action which cannot be trusted. One moment a man vows to love and cherish his loved one the whole life and the next moment he is quite capable of strangling her. The alliance which he promised for a lifetime does not last long. This poor man is not to be blamed. What is the value of promises given in sleep? In a dream I may promise, “This is a lifelong relationship.” What value is this promise? In the morning I will deny it because it was only a dream.

A sleeping man cannot be trusted. This world of ours is entirely a world of sleeping people; hence, so much confusion, so many conflicts, so many quarrels, so much chaos. It is all the making of sleeping men.

There is another important difference between a sleeping man and an awakened man which we should bear in mind. A sleeping man does not know who he is, so he is always striving to show others that he is this or he is that. This is his lifelong endeavor. He tries in a thousand ways to prove himself. Sometimes he climbs the ladder of politics and declares, “I am so and so.” Sometimes he builds a house and displays his wealth, or he climbs a mountain and displays his strength. He tries in all ways to prove himself. And in all these efforts he is in fact unknowingly trying to find out for himself who he is. He knows not who he is.

Before crossing the fourth plane we cannot find the answer. The fifth body is called the spiritual body because there you get the answer to the quest for “Who am I?” The call of the ‘I’ stops once and for all on this plane; the claim to be someone special vanishes immediately. If you say to such a person, “You are so and so,” he will laugh. All claims from his side will now stop, because now he knows. There is no longer any need to prove himself, because who he is, is now a proven fact.

The conflicts and problems of the individual end on the fifth plane. But this plane has its own hazards. You have come to know yourself, and this knowing is so blissful and fulfilling that you may want to terminate your journey here. You may not feel like continuing on. The hazards that were up to now were all of pain and agony; now the hazards that begin are of bliss. The fifth plane is so blissful that you will not have the heart to leave it and proceed further. Therefore, the individual who enters this plane has to be very alert about clinging to bliss so that it does not hinder him from going further. Here bliss is supreme and at the peak of its glory; it is in its profoundest depths. A great transformation comes about within one who has known himself. But this is not all; there is further to go also.

It is a fact that distress and suffering do not obstruct our way as much as joy. Bliss is very obstructive. It was difficult enough to leave the crowd and confusion of the marketplace, but it is a thousand times more difficult to leave the soft music of the veena in the temple. This is why many meditators stop at atma gyan, self-realization, and do not go up to brahma gyan, experience of the Brahman – the cosmic reality.

We shall have to be alert about this bliss. Our effort here should be not to get lost in this bliss. Bliss draws us towards itself; it drowns us; we get immersed in it completely. Do not become immersed in bliss. Know that this too is an experience. Happiness was an experience, misery was an experience; bliss too is an experience. Stand outside of it, be a witness. As long as there is experience there is an obstacle: the ultimate end has not been reached. At the ultimate state all experiences end. Joy and sorrow come to an end, so also does bliss. Our language, however, does not go beyond this point. This is why we have described God as sat-chit-ananda – truth-consciousness-bliss. This is not the form of the supreme self, but this is the ultimate that words can express. Bliss is the ultimate expression of man. In fact, words cannot go beyond the fifth plane. But about the fifth plane we can say, “There is bliss there; there is perfect awakening; there is realization of the self there.” All this can be described.

Therefore, there will be no mystery about those who stop at the fifth plane. Their talk will sound very scientific because the realm of mystery lies beyond this plane. Things are very clear up to the fifth plane. I believe that science will sooner or later absorb those religions that go up to the fifth body, because science will be able to reach up to the atman.

When a seeker sets out on this path his search is mainly for bliss and not truth. Frustrated by suffering and restlessness he sets out in search of bliss. So one who seeks bliss will definitely stop at the fifth plane; therefore, I must tell you to seek not bliss but truth. Then you will not remain long here.

Then a question arises: “There is ananda: this is well and good. I know myself: this too is well and good. But these are only the leaves and the flowers. Where are the roots? I know myself, I am blissful – it is good, but from where do I arise? Where are my roots? From where have I come? Where are the depths of my existence? From which ocean has this wave that I am arisen?”

If your quest is for truth you will go ahead of the fifth body. From the very beginning, therefore, your quest should be for truth and not bliss; otherwise your journey up to the fifth plane will be easy but you will stop there. If the quest is for truth, there is no question of stopping there.

So the greatest obstacle on the fifth plane is the unequaled joy we experience – and more so because we come from a world where there is nothing but pain, suffering, anxiety and tension.

Then, when we reach this temple of bliss, there is an overwhelming desire to dance with ecstasy, to be drowned, to be lost in this bliss. This is not the place to be lost. That place will come, and then you will not have to lose yourself; you will simply be lost. There is a great difference between losing yourself and being lost. In other words, you will reach a place where even if you wish you cannot save yourself. You will see yourself becoming lost; there is no remedy. Yet here also in the fifth body you can lose yourself. Your effort, your endeavor, still works here – and even though the ego is intrinsically dead on the fifth plane, I-am-ness still persists. It is necessary, therefore, to understand the difference between ego and I-am-ness.

The ego, the feeling of ‘I’, will die, but the feeling of ‘am’ will not die. There are two things in “I am,” the ‘I’ is the ego and the ‘am’ is asmita – the feeling of being. So the ‘I’ will die on the fifth plane, but the being, the ‘am’, will remain: I-am-ness will remain. Standing on this plane, a meditator will declare, “There are infinite souls and each soul is different and apart from the other.” On this plane the meditator will experience the existence of infinite souls, because he still has the feeling of am, the feeling of being which makes him feel apart from others. If the quest for truth grips the mind the obstacle of bliss can be crossed – because incessant bliss becomes tedious. A single strain of a melody can become irksome.

Bertrand Russell once said jokingly, “I am not attracted to salvation, because I hear there is nothing but bliss there. Bliss alone would be very monotonous – bliss and bliss and nothing else. If there is not a single trace of unhappiness – no anxiety, no tension in it – how long can one bear such bliss?”

To be lost in bliss is the hazard of the fifth plane. It is very difficult to overcome. Sometimes it takes many births to do so. The first four steps are not so hard to cross, but the fifth is very difficult. Many births may be needed to be bored of bliss, to be bored of the self, to be bored of the atman.

So the quest up to the fifth body is to be rid of pain, hatred, violence and desires. After the fifth the search is in order to be rid of the self. So there are two things: the first is freedom from something; this is one thing and it is completed at the fifth plane. The second thing is freedom from the self, and so a completely new world starts from here.

The sixth is the brahma sharira, the cosmic body, and the sixth chakra is the agya chakra. Here there is no duality. The experience of bliss becomes intense on the fifth plane and the experience of existence, of being, on the sixth. Asmita will now be lost – I am. The I in this, is lost at the fifth plane and the am will go as soon as you transcend the fifth. The is-ness will be felt; tathata, suchness will be felt. Nowhere will there be the feeling of I or of am; only that which is remains. So here will be the perception of reality, of being – the perception of consciousness. But here the consciousness is free of me; it is no longer my consciousness. It is only consciousness – no longer my existence, but only existence.

Some meditators stop after reaching the Brahma sharira, the cosmic body, because the state of “I am the Brahman” has come – of “Aham Brahmasmi,” when I am not and only the Brahman is. Now what more is there to seek? What is to be sought? Nothing remains to be sought. Now everything is attained. The Brahman means the total. One who stands at this point says, “The Brahman is the ultimate truth, the Brahman is the cosmic reality. There is nothing beyond.”

It is possible to stop here, and seekers do stop at this stage for millions of births, because there seems to be nothing ahead. So the Brahma gyani, the one who has attained realization of the Brahman, will get stuck here; he will go no further. This is so difficult to cross because there is nothing to cross to. Everything has been covered. Does not one need a space to cross into? If I want to go outside of this room there must be someplace else to go. But the room has now become so enormous, so beginningless and endless, so infinite, so boundless, that there is nowhere to go. So where will we go to search? Nothing remains to be found; everything has been covered. So the journey may halt at this stage for infinite births.

So the Brahman is the ultimate obstacle – the last barrier in the ultimate quest of the seeker. Now only the being remains, but non-being has yet to be realized. The being, the is-ness, is known, but the non-being has yet to be realized – that which is not still remains to be known. Therefore, the seventh plane is the nirvana kaya, nirvanic body, and its chakra is the sahasrar. Nothing can be said in connection with this chakra. We can only continue talking at the most up to the sixth – and that too with great difficulty. Most of it will turn out to be wrong.

Until the fifth body the search progresses within a very scientific method; everything can be explained. On the sixth plane the horizon begins to fade; everything seems meaningless. Hints can still be given but ultimately the pointing finger breaks and the hints too are no more because one’s own being is eliminated. So the Brahman, the absolute being, is known from the sixth body and the sixth chakra.

Therefore, those who seek the Brahman will meditate on the agya chakra which is between the eyes. This chakra is connected to the cosmic body. Those who work completely on this chakra will begin to call the vast infinite expanse that they witness the third eye. This is the third eye from where they can now view the cosmic, the infinite.

One more journey yet remains – the journey to non-being, nonexistence. Existence is only half the story: there is also nonexistence. Light is, but on the other side there is darkness. Life is one part, but there is also death. Therefore, it is necessary also to know the remaining nonexistence, the void, because the ultimate truth can only be known when both are known – existence and nonexistence. Being is known in its entirety and non-being is known in its entirety: then the knowing is complete. Existence is known in entirety and nonexistence is known in its entirety: then we know the whole; otherwise our experience is incomplete. There is an imperfection in brahma gyan, which is that it has not been able to know the non-being. Therefore, the brahma gyani denies that there is such a thing as nonexistence and calls it an illusion. He says that it does not exist. He says that to be is the truth and not to be is a falsity. There simply is no such thing, so the question of knowing it does not arise.

Nirvana kaya means the shunya kaya, the void from where we jump from the being into the non-being. In the cosmic body something yet remains unknown. That too has to be known – what it is not to be, what it is to be completely erased. Therefore, the seventh plane in a sense is an ultimate death. Nirvana, as I told you previously, means the extinction of the flame. That which was I, is extinct; that which was am, is extinct. But now we have again come into being by being one with the all. Now we are the Brahman, and this too will have to be left. He who is ready to take the last jump knows the existence and also the nonexistence.

So these are the seven bodies and the seven chakras, and within them lie all the means as well as the barriers. There are no barriers outside. Therefore, there is not much reason to inquire outside. If you have gone to ask someone or to understand from someone, then do not beg. To understand is one thing, to beg is another. Your search should always continue. Whatever you have heard and understood should also be made your search. Do not make it your belief or else it will be begging.

You asked me something; I gave you an answer. If you have come for alms you will put this in your bag and store it away as your treasure. Then you are not a meditator but a beggar. No, what I told you should become your quest. It should accelerate your search; it should stimulate and motivate your curiosity. It should put you into greater difficulty, make you more restless and raise new questions in you, new dimensions, so that you will set out on a new path of discovery. Then you have not taken alms from me, then you have understood what I said. And if this helps you to understand yourself, then this is not begging.

So go forth to know and understand; go forth to search. You are not the only one seeking; many others are also. Many have searched, many have attained. Try to know, to grasp, what has happened to such people and also what has not happened; try and understand all this. But while understanding this, do not stop trying to understand your own self. Do not think that understanding others has become your realization. Do not put faith in their experiences; do not believe them blindly. Rather, turn everything into questioning. Turn them into questions and not answers; then your journey will continue. Then it will not be begging: it will be your quest.

It is your search that will take you to the last. As you penetrate within yourself you will find the two sides of each chakra. As I told you, one is given to you by nature and one you have to discover. Anger is given to you; forgiveness you have to find. Sex is given to you; brahmacharya you have to develop. Dreams you have; vision has to evolve.

Your search for the opposite will continue up to the fourth chakra. From the fifth will start your search for the indivisible, for the non-dual. Try to continue your search for that which is different from what has come to you in the fifth body. When you attain bliss try to find out what there is beyond bliss. On the sixth plane you attain the Brahman, but keep inquiring, “What is there beyond the Brahman?” Then one day you will step into the seventh body, where being and non-being, light and darkness, life and death, occur together. That is the attainment of the ultimate… and there are no means of communicating this state.

This is why our scriptures end with the fifth body, or at the most they go up to the sixth body. Those with a completely scientific turn of mind do not talk about what is after the fifth body. The cosmic reality, which is boundless and unlimited, begins from there, but mystics like the Sufis talk of the planes beyond the fifth. It is very difficult to talk of these planes because one has to contradict oneself again and again. If you go through the text of all that one Sufi has said you will say this person is mad. Sometimes he says one thing and sometimes something else. He says, “God is” and he also says, “God is not.” He says, “I have seen him” and in the same breath he says, “How can you see him? He is not an object that the eyes can see!” These mystics raise such questions that you will wonder if they are asking others or asking themselves.

Mysticism starts with the sixth plane. Therefore, where there is no mysticism in a religion, know that it has finished on the fifth body. But mysticism also is not the final stage. The ultimate is the void – nothingness. The religion that ends with mysticism ends with the sixth body. The void is the ultimate; nihilism is the ultimate, because after it there is nothing more to be said.

-Osho

From In Search of the Miraculous, Discourse #16

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Related post: Your Identification Breaks in the Fifth Body, Now You will be the Master

In Search of the Miraculous

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