The Enlightenment of Govind Siddharth – Osho

Beloved Osho,

The other day I had narrated an event, and yesterday you replied in your own way. The event, the question and answer, is known to you and me only. Now I can understand what must have transpired between Bhagwan Buddha and the disciple Mahakashyap. Beloved beautiful Osho, it’s not the language but the silence that has and had asked, that has answered and had answered. Words are not spoken, but I have listened. There was a flower between Bhagwan Buddha and the disciple Mahakashyap. Between you and me there was something else. You know and I know what it was – Something that you brought and gave, and something that I received. Everybody has seen it, and yet no one knows it. The disciple Mahakashyap laughed, and I shed tears. My beloved, beautiful lord, my heart bows down to you full of gratitude and thankfulness, and eyes full of tears of joy and happiness. The event is repeated again on September the twenty-second, nineteen eighty-six. Let this be recorded. Osho, would you like to comment?

Govind Siddharth, the laughter of Mahakashyap and the tears of yours do not mean different things. Perhaps you laughed more deeply than Mahakashyap. When laughter is abysmal, it can only come out into tears – tears of joy, tears of gratitude, tears of blissfulness.

Yes, something has transpired between me and you. And the date that you are giving is absolutely accurate; it will be on record.

The master can give only something which cannot be seen by the ordinary eyes.

Even though Gautam Buddha had given the flower to Mahakashyap it was not the flower that made him laugh, it was something else. The flower was just an excuse. Everybody saw the flower. Only a few – those who had eyes to see the invisible and to hear the unsaid – were able to understand that the flower was not the real thing, it was a cover-up.

And for twenty-five centuries, mystics have been discussing what was really transmitted. It cannot be just the flower; the flower can be given to anybody. Something else was given. But Buddha was very kind, even to those who are blind. If he had not given the flower and just transmitted the wordless message, Mahakashyap would have laughed all the same. But the people who could not see the invisible would have thought either that Mahakashyap was mad, or would have felt ashamed that they could not see what had transpired between the master and the greatest disciple.

After twenty-five centuries, man has come of age; and I hope that I can transfer the unseeable without hiding it behind an excuse. Neither has Govind Siddharth to feel ashamed for his tears nor do the others have to feel that he must be mad because they can’t see anything happening – and particularly in this temple of the mystery school. Only those few people are present who will understand at least the possibility of something mysterious, miraculous happening. You are here only for that miracle; you are not here to listen to a talk, to listen to words, theories, philosophies.

You are here to taste something of the beyond.

And that day, Govind Siddharth tasted something of the beyond. He experienced the flowering. I have not given a flower to him, but he has experienced the flowering of his inner lotus.

Every one of you, sooner or later, is going to taste, to experience the same mystery.

He is what Gautam Buddha used to call “become an elder.”

He has arrived to the point which we call enlightenment.

And you should rejoice in it because one of you becoming enlightened makes it easier for you to become enlightened, makes it possible, brings it within your reach.

It is not an impossibility. You don’t have to be special, unique – a savior, a prophet. In your very ordinariness, in your very simplicity, in your very humanity you have the potential.

Govind Siddharth becomes a proof for your potential.

You should rejoice as if you have become enlightened. His becoming enlightened is your becoming enlightened; it is only a question of time. But he is enough of a proof and a guarantee.

Enlightenment is not something that comes from above. It is something that grows in you, the seed everyone is carrying for lives together.

Jesus used to say, “You can throw the seeds: some may fall on the rocks and will never grow. Some may fall on the footpath: they will grow but will be crushed by people continually passing on the footpath. Some will fall into the right soil and will grow and realize their ultimate flowering, will dance in the wind, in the sun, in the rain – expressing their gratitude to existence.”

This is a garden.

Whatever I am saying to you is just providing you with a right soil.

Slowly, slowly, a few seeds will start sprouting. Each seed sprouting should fill you with great celebration because it reflects you. It reflects your future, it indicates all the possibilities that are hidden in you.

The day I had given sannyas to Govind Siddharth… I remember it. Why had I given him the name Siddharth? Siddharth is Gautam Buddha’s original name – when he became enlightened, people slowly, slowly forgot Siddharth. ’Buddha’ means the enlightened one; Gautama is his family name.

He was Gautam Siddharth, now he had become Gautam Buddha. Siddharth was the seed, his buddhahood was the flowering.

Siddharth is a beautiful name. It was given to him by a very strange man; nobody knows his name. He had come the day Gautam Buddha was born. He was an old, very old, almost ancient saint living in the Himalayas. He rushed, because his death was very close. His disciples asked, “Where are you going? At this age don’t go for any travel, it can prove dangerous.”

But the old man said, “It doesn’t matter. I will have to go, because if I don’t reach in time I will never be able to see a child who is going to become an awakened being. I have been doing everything to become awakened – I have failed. Perhaps whatever I was doing was wrong, perhaps whatever I was doing was not intense enough, was not total enough, although it may have been right. But a child is born, and I want to see him.

And he reached, down the hills… Gautam Buddha was born just near the Himalayas on the boundary line of Nepal and India. As he reached…. The king Shuddhodhana, Gautam Buddha’s father, had never seen such an old man. He touched his feet, asked him why he had come – he could have called on him, since he was too old to travel.

He said, “There was no time. I want to see the child that has been born to your wife.” The child was brought. The old man touched the feet of the child.

The king could not believe it. He said, “What are you doing? You are a great, respected saint and you are touching the feet of a child?”

That old man said, “I am old, I am respected as a saint, but I am not yet awakened. My spiritual sleep still continues. But this child is going to become an awakened soul. This is his last life. I give him the name Siddhartha.”

The father said, “But what is the meaning of this name Siddhartha? It is not common” – it was at least not common in those days. The old man explained the meaning of Siddharth: it means one who is going to achieve the meaning of life.

When I gave sannyas to Govind Siddharth I thought for a moment for his name, and I felt so definitely that he was going to achieve the meaning that I gave him the same name, Siddhartha. And he has fulfilled my feeling of that moment. He has fulfilled a promise that he had not given to me.

It is not only his enlightenment; it is yours, too. Participate in it, celebrate it. That should be the way of every disciple. Anyone coming home, a part of you has also come home with him – recognize it.

And Govind Siddhartha is doubly blessed: my blessings are with him, and now Gautam Buddha’s blessings are also with him.

And you should accept this celebration as a challenge too. It opens a door. Forget all the nonsense that has been imposed on you for centuries – that Krishna becomes enlightened because he is already born as an incarnation of God. In fact, if he is born as an incarnation of God then his enlightenment is not much to be celebrated. He is already God, he cannot be more than what he is: he is dead.

If Jesus is enlightened because he is the only begotten son of God, that is not something to be proud of – because to be the only begotten son… Now, enlightenment cannot be an addition to your being in any way. You have all that a man can be. And because of these people, millions of human beings have shrunk back from the journey thinking that it is only for those towards whom God is especially favorable – “It is not for us ordinary human beings.”

And to make these people special, the priests have done everything in their power. Jesus is not born like any other human being: he is born out of a virgin mother – just to make him special; otherwise, it is absolute nonsense. Nobody can be born out of a virgin mother. Yes, there are unfertilized eggs but nothing is born out of them. They are born out of virgin mothers but they are pure vegetables, there is nothing alive in them.

If Jesus was an unfertilized egg… But then these priests cannot be forgiven – to make him an unfertilized egg, and then crucifying the poor egg! First he is dead, no life, no possibility of life, and then putting him on the cross… the whole story is so fictitious.

Life is possible only with the meeting of man and woman. The woman alone is not capable of giving birth, neither is man capable of giving birth alone. Life is a harmony between the man and the woman, between two polarities a meeting. But just to make him special…

Gautam Buddha is born, the mother is standing. Now, no woman gives birth to a child standing. But perhaps she was practicing some yoga discipline and was able to stand up while giving birth. Even up to this point, it can be accepted rationally – but then Gautam Buddha is born, also standing. The first thing he does is, he walks seven feet. And the second thing he does is to declare that “I am the most awakened being who has ever walked on the earth.” Not even seven minutes old!

But to make them special, these fictitious stories are created around Krishna, around Mahavira, around everybody. These stories are, in a subtle way, to prevent you from becoming enlightened. These are to create a distance between you and those who have become awakened, and the distance is so vast, so unbridgeable that it is better not to try because you are going to fail. There is no possibility of succeeding.

My basic standpoint is that all these people were as ordinary as you are. Yes, they became extraordinary, but so can you become. That extraordinariness is the flowering of your seed, of your potentiality.

What has happened to Govind Siddharth, I hope and bless you all that nobody should be left behind.

You all have to claim your birthright.

-Osho

Taken from The Osho Upanishad, Chapter 36

A few days later Govind Siddharth asked this question:

I have no words to express your love and compassion showering on me. My gratitude and thankfulness cannot be expressed in any word or any language. Please forgive me for my shortcomings. Also, please forgive me, my dearest lord Osho, that you had to bend down to take my head into your hands. I know how painful your back is. It was so painful for me that because of me you had to bend down. On the day of my sannyas, you had taken by hand in your hands. Yesterday you had taken my head in your hands. I hope, pray, and beg everyone’s blessings that I can become worthy of it. My beloved Master, please tell and explain to all that the journey has only begun. I am not yet worthy of their respect. Instead of respect, let all give me their blessings so that one day I can become worthy of really touching your feet. I am requesting and pleading with folded hands to you to tell all to save me from embarrassment, giving respects to me which I do not deserve yet.

Govind Siddharth, the laws of spiritual life are diametrically opposite to those of the ordinary mundane existence.

In the world, one wants to be respected whether one deserves it or not. In fact the less people deserve, the more they want. In the spiritual realm, the more you deserve the less you want.

I am happy to know that you feel embarrassed by people respecting you. That is a sign of real humbleness. And to say that you do not deserve it makes you worthy enough to be respected.

In the world, people declare themselves ‘the great’. When Alexander the Great met Diogenes, he introduced himself: “I am Alexander the Great.”

And Diogenes laughed and he said, “If you were really great, you would not have used that word for yourself. You should be ashamed. The true greatness does not assert itself, the true greatness radiates itself. It needs no language, it needs no expression, it needs no words – its presence is enough.”

And I know the difficulty. When for the first time suddenly people start looking at you with respect, a humble person, a person who deserves it, feels embarrassed. Because it is the ego that demands respect, begs for prestige, power, respectability. True greatness is simply oblivious to it. The moment you respect such a person, he feels embarrassed – “What are you doing?” – Because he is not expecting it, it is so unexpected.

And the humbleness, the simplicity, the innocence does not make anyone holier-than-thou. It makes you stand last in the queue, because you are so certain of your integrity, you need not go shouting about it, you don’t need any recognition from anybody. Your own feeling is so absolute that even if the whole world rejects it, it makes no difference.

Recognition from others is sought only by people who are suffering from inferiority. A real superior man is not aware of his superiority, is not in any need of recognition from others. His superiority is just his nature.

Govind Siddharth, don’t feel embarrassed if people respect you. You will have to learn, and to see people’s respect in a new light; when people respect you, they are respecting their own potential. They are respecting one of their brothers who has arrived. They are recognizing you not as you; you have become a mirror and they can see their possibilities opening. They are thankful to you because you have made them feel, for the first time, not inferior to anybody; you have given them their humanity, their respectability. You have become an argument, a proof for their own possible fulfillment.

So when they respect you, accept it with love, with respect, realizing the fact that they are seeing themselves in you. You have been of tremendous help to them because you come from them, you have been a fellow traveler.

As far as you are concerned it is certainly a beginning, but it is also an ending; it is a death and a resurrection. One chapter is closed, another has opened. One life that you have been living is now just a memory and another life is opening its doors – which you have dreamed about in thousands of ways, in thousands of lives, and for the first time the dream is becoming real. It is a beginning.

And remember it; it is always a beginning.

Changes will be coming, old chapters will be disappearing, new doors will be opening. And a moment comes when your sensitivity is such that each moment you die and each moment you are born. You die to the past and you are born for the future.

But it is tremendously beautiful on your part to feel that you don’t deserve it. That is felt only by people who deserve it.

That’s what I meant when I said that in the spiritual life, laws are diametrically opposite to what they are in the ordinary mundane world. Here you have to try to be somebody, because you go on feeling that you are nobody; you feel so empty, so meaningless, so faceless, that you are begging everybody – “Give me a face, a name, an identity.” And people give it to you but those faces are just masks, those identities are just false. They make you hypocrites. They make you believe what you are not. And you have wasted many of your lives in believing in things which you are not and you have never been.

In such a moment of transformation as Govind Siddharth has passed through, one for the first time drops all the masks, all the old identities. One accepts oneself as nameless, as a nobody. And this is the tremendous miracle: that the moment you accept yourself as nobody, for the first time you have become somebody. For the first time you have attained to your original face.

And if people see it happening… it is good for people, because it will become a remembrance to them. Something that they had forgotten, your presence may make them remember. And you cannot take away their right to thank you. That’s what ‘respect’ means.

The word ‘respect’ is beautiful. It does not mean honor; that is a dictionary meaning. Existentially it means re-spect, a desire to see again. Somebody looks at you, remembers something, wants to remember more, wants to look at you deeper, wants to be closer to you, wants to look into your eyes, wants to hold your hands. It has nothing to do with honor, it is simply an effort to remember his own forgotten treasure.

-Osho

Taken from The Osho Upanishad, Chapter 40

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Buddham Sharanam Gachchhami – Osho

Beloved Osho,

Is this a question, a realization, or a declaration?

Something beyond forces me to put this on paper; though I am writing this, the words are not mine.

It is past midnight, about five o’clock on the full moonlight night of the Indian month known as “Bhadra the Thursday,” The Guruvar Master’s Day in Indian language.

I am in vipassana meditation, as my eyes open, a dazzling light brightens the room. I cannot keep my eyes open, as the light is too dazzling. After a few minutes, I can open my eyes and I become quite aware.

Two figures are standing before me: one is beloved Bhagwan with folded hands and that gentle, beautiful smile; and the other is Gautam Buddha in Gyan Mudra. It is Buddha’s third body.

He looks at beloved Bhagwan, and after a few moments he touches the feet of Bhagwan and merges with his body, smilingly.

I hear him saying:

“I have fulfilled my promise. I was to come as Maitreya after two thousand five hundred years, and I have come. If you have eyes, you will see me; if you have ears you will hear me; if you have a heart you will feel and recognize me. My third body I had kept in existence to rebirth, to help whoever wanted my help.

“With due respect and adoration, I have to state that I could have merged with Krishnamurtiji, but due to his insistence on being original I could not merge and help individuals through him. I was hopeful, as he was especially prepared for my appearance – but he was adamant. His body suffered a lot due to his resistance to accepting me. He preferred and chose ceaseless pain and suffering for this.

“My third body now cannot remain in existence if it is not accepted for rebirth or merging. The time I had decided for it is coming close to an end so I cannot wait any longer, and hence I am merging my third body with Bhagwan’s energy without disturbing his individuality.

“He is like an ocean; many small and big rivers merge with it, but still the ocean remains, unperturbed. Its identity remains as an ocean without any change.

“In him, all enlightenments – past, present and future – have become alive and active; a unique event that has not happened before, nor will it happen again. Bhagwan is total acceptance, total emptiness, total nothingness, and unbounded compassion. He is both Purna and Shunya incarnated.

“From my third body, I address him as ‘Bhagwan,’ but from now onwards he will not be only ‘Bhagwan Rajneesh,’ he will be ‘Bhagwan Rajneesh, the Buddha Lord Maitreya’ – A Buddha, A True Friend to All.”

Thus saying, Buddha’s third body merged with our beloved, beautiful Bhagwan.

Bhagwan’s radiance was increasing and filled the whole universe. I remember the prophecy of Lama Karmapa, who had predicted this event, but had asked me not to talk about the event till it happened. Now it has happened and flowers have showered.

So let it be known to all, let it be shouted from the rooftops that Bhagwan Rajneesh, the Buddha Lord Maitreya, is here; Buddha has fulfilled his promise.

The light was fading, the full moon was setting slowly in the West with its cool, silent fading light; and in the East the new sun was rising with a light orange glow, silently bringing a new day, and with it a new journey.

Beloved, beautiful Bhagwan slowly, slowly disappeared with a gentle smile and folded hands, leaving me in that gentle morning light with a heart full of gratitude and eyes full of tears.

Beloved Osho, I bow down to you, announcing to the world that Bhagwan Rajneesh, the Buddha Lord Maitreya, is here and the flowers have showered. To date, Masters have declared themselves, but today a disciple declares with gratitude that the Master, the Buddha, a Real Friend, has come with a new radiance to help all.

Beloved Osho, I have nothing to offer – not even a flower – and yet I offer everything. Thus, something is given and something is taken.

Oh beloved sannyasins, devotees and friends who are present here are the blessed ones to hear this declaration and witness this unique event.

Oh sannyasins, rejoice, celebrate and sing, “BUDDHAM SHARANAM GACHCHHAMI;

SANGHAM SHARANAM GACHCHHAMI; DHAMMAM SHARANAM GACHCHHAMI.”

Beloved Osho, I was reluctant to write this to you, but something unknown forces me to write to you. I do not know whether this is right to do or not. Will you please comment on the event?

Govind Siddharth, it is not a question.

It is a realization, and it is a declaration.

Whatever you have experienced was not a dream. Your whole life may have been a dream, but this experience is absolute reality. That’s why you felt an unknown force compelling you to declare it. You had to declare it – it is impossible to hide the truth.

It has not only happened to you alone; there are two more persons present here to whom the same experience at the same time has happened. They are also hesitating whether to declare it or not. The hesitation is natural, because the declaration is so big and you feel so small, but you cannot keep it within you. It is just like a pregnant woman – how long can she hide that she is pregnant? One day she is going to give birth to a child.

Every truth is a living experience.

And the very nature of life is expression, expansion, declaration. Each flower declares it, each morning the sun declares it, each night millions of stars declare it. Of course their language of declaration is different – a flower declares it by its fragrance, the star declares it by its light, the moon declares it by its beauty.

But truth, beauty, good… these three – satyam, shivam, sundaram – are the basic, the fundamental trinity of existence. You cannot hide them.

One feels embarrassed – how to say it? And to say it in a world which is skeptical, in a world where people are deaf as far as truth is concerned, where people are blind as far as beauty is concerned, where people don’t have hearts as far as feeling, sensitivity is concerned… one feels alone to declare such a thing.

But it is not out of egoism – you cannot declare such a thing out of egoism because the ego will feel very embarrassed, and ego does not like to feel embarrassed. It is out of humbleness that one declares such experiences.

I was waiting… out of those three persons, who is going to declare it first? Govind Siddharth has proved really humble, courageous. Whatever he is saying, he has seen – not in sleep, not in dream.

It is true that J. Krishnamurti was prepared for exactly this phenomenon.

Gautam Buddha had promised that after twenty-five centuries he will be coming as Lord Maitreya. Maitreya means ‘the friend’.

Of course, his own body was burned and could not be kept for twenty-five centuries; the technology was not yet developed. Now it is possible. There are ten bodies in the world which are being kept. They are dead, it is very expensive to keep them, but those people were very rich people and they have willed that their bodies should be kept – because science is saying that within ten or twelve years, at the most twelve, we will be able to revive dead bodies. These rich people have allowed their bodies to be kept, so that when the technology is ready to revive them, they can be revived back to life again.

Gautam Buddha had to use a totally different kind of technology – not scientific but occult. The physical body died. But there are other bodies within this body which don’t die, and he has lived with his third body. He cannot be born through a womb; that is impossible, that is against the nature of things. Once you are enlightened, you cannot be born through the natural process, through a womb.

It is his compassion. No one before him has ever tried. Perhaps no one before him had such compassion.

The story is that Gautam Buddha reaches the door of nirvana – and once you enter the door you disappear into the universe. The doors are opened, the doorkeeper welcomes him. But Buddha refuses to enter the door and he says, “I will stay here outside the door, because millions of my fellow travelers are groping in the dark. I will try in every possible way to help them. Unless every living being has passed through the door, I will wait. I am going to be the last.”

This is not just a parable, not just a fictitious story, but something absolutely factual in the world of mysticism. It is not factual in the world of matter, it is factual in the world of the spirit.

J. Krishnamurti was prepared by very learned scholars who had found in all the scriptures – Tibetan, Chinese, Japanese, Indian – the promise of Buddha that after twenty-five centuries he would be coming back: “I will find a way. I cannot come through a womb but I can enter into a living being, can merge my soul with his soul.” When the theosophists found this, they started searching for somebody who could be prepared – in purity, in discipline, in meditation, consciously – so that he can become a vehicle of Lord Maitreya.

They worked really hard on J. Krishnamurti.

He was not the only one they worked on. They had chosen at least five children of immense intelligence, and they worked on all five. One of the five was Nityananda, Krishnamurti’s elder brother. He died; he died because of too much arduous discipline. He was immensely intelligent. He would have become a great scientist, a great philosopher, but he was not meant to become a great mystic – and perhaps not a vehicle of Gautam Buddha.

Training those five – and when Nityananda died, the four – slowly it became clear that Krishnamurti was the best out of the four. One was Raj Gopal, who was made personal secretary to J. Krishnamurti. And he betrayed J. Krishnamurti because he carried that resentment for his whole life. He was chosen for the same purpose, and finally he was just made a personal private-secretary. He was angry, resentful, but he didn’t show it.

He was the managing trustee of all the properties that belonged to the organization which was created for Krishnamurti – its name was “The Star of the East.” The royalties for all of Krishnamurti’s books were going to Raj Gopal. And just five years ago, he simply betrayed J. Krishnamurti. He simply said, “You have nothing to do with the organization, the money, the books, the royalties.” At the age of eighty-five, Krishnamurti had to begin again from ABC.

This man, Raj Gopal, must have had a tremendous patience, because for sixty years he kept the resentment repressed in himself, waiting for the right moment when Krishnamurti was so old that he could not do anything. At that moment he would desert him. He took away all the assets of Krishnamurti Foundation – he was the head of the foundation – and Krishnamurti was left, at the age of eighty-five, just a beggar.

Another boy who was trained was a German. Seeing that he was not going to be chosen, he behaved just like a German: he created a new organization and revolted against the theosophical movement, created a split in the movement. And the German section of the theosophical society became a separate party. He became the leader of it, hoping that he would compete with J. Krishnamurti not understanding at all that these matters are not of competition.

Krishnamurti himself, after years of training and discipline… rather than becoming pure, rather than becoming a right-vehicle, he became so hateful towards all the ringleaders who were torturing him – telling him to fast, telling him to wake up early in the morning at three o’clock, have a cold bath at three o’clock – with all good intentions, but they never realized the fact that you cannot make anybody a Gautam Buddha. It is not a question of training. However good the intentions are, the result is going to be a disaster.

When Krishnamurti reached the age of twenty-five, they gathered the chief leaders of the theosophical movement in Holland, where Krishnamurti was going to declare that Gautam Buddha had entered into him and he has become the world teacher.

But he was a sincere man. Gautam Buddha did not enter. If he had been a man like the pope or

Ayatollah Khomeini he could have said, “Yes, Gautam Buddha has entered in me and I am the world teacher.” But he refused. He said, “No Gautam Buddha has not entered in me, and I am not the world teacher. Not only that, I am not going to be a teacher at all.”

It was such a shock to the six thousand leaders of the movement who had come from all over the world. They could not believe it – they had prepared this man, they had fought for this man in the courts, they had done everything that was possible to give him the best education. He never gave an indication that he was unwilling. And at the last moment, when he stood up, he declared, “I dissolve the organization, ‘The Star of the East’. I am not the world teacher.” It was a reaction. You cannot force anybody into paradise. A forced paradise will become hell, because the basic element of freedom is missing.

Gautam Buddha’s third body has been hovering around the world to find someone to become a vehicle, so that whatever he said twenty-five centuries ago can be updated, resurrected, made fit for the modern man – for the new man who is going to be born.

In twenty-five centuries so much dust has gathered that unless something absolutely fresh begins…

There are millions of Buddhists, there are thousands of great Buddhist monks; it looks simply absurd that he should not choose a vehicle from these people. It will be just natural and logical to choose a Dalai Lama or a great Buddhist monk, learned.

But you have to remember – that is one of my basic emphases – that these people cannot be chosen, because they are still hanging on to the Buddha that was twenty-five centuries ago. To choose them as vehicles is just meaningless; they will be repeating the same.

I love Gautam Buddha as I have not loved any other master, but my love is not blind. I have criticized him as severely as possible. I have praised him when I have found him right – right for today, right for tomorrow, right for the new humanity to come. And I have criticized him severely whenever I have found that he is twenty-five centuries old, still carrying conditionings, rotten ideas which are of no use for the new man, but will be a great hindrance.

Govind Siddharth must have been puzzled seeing what he has seen, because I would appear to be the last man that Gautam Buddha would choose to be a vehicle.

But this is the beauty of Gautam Buddha: he understands that the message has to be for the present and for the future, that he needs an absolutely fresh being – unattached to any old tradition, his tradition included – a man absolutely untraditional, unorthodox. A man of today, as fresh as today’s rose – even if the man goes many times against the teachings of the old Buddha.

I was not going to declare it for the simple reason that then it would become difficult for me to criticize the old man. So I was keeping completely aloof, so that my freedom and my independence are not in any way curtailed.

I have my own message.

If Gautam Buddha finds that my message has the essentials of his message too, then it is his choice.  It is not a burden on me. I will go on criticizing him whenever I find anything that is not right for human growth in the future.

But Govind Siddharth’s difficulty was that he could not keep it a secret. One of the most difficult things in the world is to keep a secret – and such a secret!

But I will remain exactly the same as I am, no compromise. Gautam Buddha and all the masters of the past can choose me as their vehicles, but I will not allow any pollution. My message will remain my message.

Yes, they can… and Govind Siddharth says it rightly: The river can fall into the ocean; thousands of rivers can fall into the ocean – they don’t make the ocean sweet. They themselves become salty.

Gautam Buddha has chosen me as his vehicle because it was difficult now to keep hanging around in his third body anymore. Twenty-five centuries have passed; in fact a few more years have passed. He had to choose, but he has chosen a person who has his own message. It will surely be beautiful if it coincides with his essentials, but if it does not coincide, then I am going to be as hard on him as I have been before. It will not make any difference.

I am not going to be his voice; I am going to remain my voice.

But what Govind Siddharth has seen is a tremendous experience, a great realization.

There are two more persons present here – if they gather courage, then their questions will be coming. If they cannot gather courage, then they will always remain burdened with a secret. It is better to bring it in the open and be free of it – and anyway it is in the open, Govind Siddharth has done almost 99.9 percent of the work. Nothing is left for you.

Anybody who has been close to me has felt it many times, that I bring Gautam Buddha, his life, his stories, more than those of anybody else to illustrate some of my ideas. Gautam Buddha comes very close to me. The difference is not of twenty-five centuries – maybe only twenty-five centimeters – but the difference is there.

I am not a person who compromises.

I will not be compromising with Gautam Buddha either, but whatever is ultimate truth is nobody’s possession, neither Gautam Buddha’s nor mine. Only the non-essentials are different; the essential is always the same. And my effort is to cut all non-essentials and give you only the pure, essential message, because only the essential religion is going to survive in the future. The non-essential rituals are all going to be dead.

With this century ending, there will be a religiousness in the world but no religions.

Perhaps he has chosen a right man.

And he has also chosen a right man in Govind Siddharth to declare the fact. I was not going to declare it, because declaration from my side brings a certain compromise, as if I have become a vehicle of somebody else’s message.

I am nobody’s vehicle. In fact, my message and Gautam Buddha’s message are almost parallel – so parallel, so similar that it can be said that he was my vehicle or it can be said that I am his vehicle. But it is not going to change my approach in any way. Now I will be even harder on Gautam Buddha, so that only the most essential and the purest part of him reaches to humanity in the future.

-Osho

From The Osho Upanishad, chapter 35.

There is a related post concerning Govind Siddharth’s meeting with the 16th Karmapa at Osho and the 16th Karmapa.

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

Many of Osho’s books are available online from Amazon.com and in the U.S. from OshoStore-Sedona and Osho Here and Now.

Osho and the 16th Karmapa

16th Karmapa performing Black Crown Ceremony
16th Karmapa performing Black Crown Ceremony

The first time I heard the name Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh was on a bus from Pokhara to Kathmandu. My friend Randy, (who had traveled with me to India and Nepal from Madagascar), and I were trekking on the Annapurna route and reached the point where we decided to turn around. Ben and his girlfriend Kathy (actually I’m not sure of their names but will refer to them as Ben and Kathy from here on out), were coming down the path and said that they had run into snow. Being ill-equipped, without even sleeping bags, the decision was choiceless. We all spent the night in a teahouse.

There seemed to be some tension between Ben and Kathy. They were both involved in Tibetan Buddhist practice but it seemed that Ben was keener than Kathy and this was causing some friction.

On the bus ride back to Kathmandu, Ben and I sat together and Randy and Kathy sat together with a growing chemistry. Ben told me about his experience doing a Tibetan Buddhist meditation retreat at the Kopan Monastery in Kathmandu. Randy and I had visited Kopan a week or so earlier with another friend from Madagascar and had the good fortune to have a cup of tea with the head Lama, Lama Yeshe. He was a very sweet man and enormously generous. But as I explained to Ben, I wasn’t finding myself attracted to the Tibetan Buddhist practice. In fact, the words that I heard come out of my mouth as we talked were, “I’m looking for something more universal and more personal.” For one thing, it was the limitation of the “ism” in Buddhism that turned me away. My own intuitive spiritual sky was wide open and did not want to be confined into a container, however much I respected the teachings.

Ben told me that I should pay a visit to the ashram of a guru in India named Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and proceeded to give me the address. Ben had met one of Rajneesh’s sannyasins recently while he was on a visa run and so was visiting Nepal in order to return to India with a new visa. This sannyasin named Devanand had impressed him and what he heard about Rajneesh interested him but he was quite immersed in the Tibetan Buddhist dharma. So I put the piece of paper with the address away in my wallet. The bus ride was a few hours and so Ben and I had quite a long chat. He was a sincere practitioner, perhaps I thought a bit too serious, but regardless we had a very nice connection.

When we arrived back in Kathmandu, both Ben and Kathy returned to Kopan to continue their practice and Randy and I stayed in a guest house. Randy and I were intending on spending a couple more weeks in Kathmandu and so found a room in a private house. It was a lovely situation because the house had a walled garden and so offered a retreat from the daily busy-ness of the city. This house was closer to the Tibetan Swayambhu Monastery which we liked to visit.

We had learned that a very important Tibetan Buddhist teacher was coming to Kathmandu soon to perform an Empowerment Ceremony and this event was to take place at Swayambhu. I wasn’t really sure what an Empowerment Ceremony was but it sounded interesting. Unfortunately, we also learned that it was only open to practicing Buddhists.

The day of the event I spent meditating in our room. It was a silent, cool oasis. We were close enough to the monastery to hear the Tibetan horns and in my meditation I felt a humming sensation in the area of my heart.

During our time in Kathmandu both Randy and I became interested in Satya Sai Baba. He was quite popular with the Hindu Nepalis and his photo and books were everywhere. I was intrigued by the possibility of a “living” Master. I had been introduced to Meher Baba seven years before, six months, however, after he had passed away, so the idea of meeting a living Buddha very much appealed to me.

Randy and I decided to end our traveling partnership. We had different schedules. I wanted to go to India and head south and possibly meet Sai Baba. Randy also wanted to do the same, but he had become involved in a torrid affair with Kathy that hadn’t burned itself out. We bid our farewells with the idea that we would meet up at the Sai Baba ashram which was in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh.

Note: I will now intersperse my story with a letter I received from my friend Randy (Narayanadeva) after sharing what I had written of our journey in Nepal and India.

Dear Purushottama,

What a flash from the past. Thank you for this.  It brings so much back.  Your memory is like a video recording.  My memory is patchy with particular moments fuzzily framed. If you don’t mind I want to share what I can.

I believe if we hadn’t stopped where we had at that last village at 10,000 feet that we would have gotten into serious trouble.  There was a group with a broken leg still on the snowed-in trail was the story.

 I remember the couple.  The name Ben comes to mind and I can’t remember the name of the girl, Kathy is very close.  This was a significant time.

She was from the east coast, living in an artists and musicians commune, a photographer and roadie with Jethro Tull, I think.  The social and other experiments she participated in at such a tender age, this boy from Nebraska was challenged to comprehend.  In this respect she was much more worldly, wiser than me, an elder in a killer 20 something body.   

She was also the first lover in my life where the center of gravity and conversations were about spirituality, Buddha’s teachings in particular, and how to reconcile our limited understanding with what we saw in the monasteries and monks, which was then followed by the most present lovemaking for me up to that time.  We flew high, were consumed with each other, and parted consciously in mid bubble, purposely in crescendo. I review that time with joy and sadness. It is hard to think of that extraordinary woman and time without sometimes tearing. She was finished traveling, wanted to return to her art. I knew I didn’t want to go back to anything. I was sure I wanted to go forward. We knew but unspoken that to go further would have brought reality into the mix. We wanted to say goodbye in full bloom. Things like that were easier in your 20’s.  I must say probably the most, bitter sweet, intense affair I ever remember in a life riddled with less meaningful affairs.

I remember spending the winter in Kathmandu immersing myself in everything I could about the Buddha’s teaching, going to the temples, hanging with the monks, partaking in the local produce followed by the pie shops.  I was completely blown away and still am today about the psychology, the profound understanding of the science of the mind, but could not get my head around the asceticism. Why the monks, western included had to walk around in winter without shoes or why the poor food needed to be covered in flies.  Also the live translations of the Lama’s discourses by some very severe and grim western types.   If there was any juice in the teaching, these translators sucked it out and everything was completely lost in translation. I knew for me to go deeper I needed to be able to listen and speak about all this in my tongue.

This is also where the timing gets confused. I do not remember you during that winter.  I remember attending the Karmapa’s Black Hat ceremony after spending those cold months in study.  This is when I had the most profound experience with him.

The ceremony lasted several days.  There were many westerners mingled with the overflowing crowds of Tibetans.  The first few days I could not get into the hall but stood outside with the multitudes listening and catching glimpses through the barred windows of the pageantry.

There was one day that I did get in and sat with a few other westerners along with it seemed several hundred monks with the Karmapa on podium doing chants and mudras. The monks deep toned chanting in response, the horns, the incense, I got completely stoned.  When it was over, I lingered.  The hall was clearing out.  I stood in the middle looking up at all the hanging tangkas.  I turned around, a few people parted and there was the Karmapa sitting alone on his dais looking at me with an inviting smile a few meters away.   I was so shy and not sure what to do.  I smiled, bowed and retreated. 

The next day I could not get in. I was peering through the open air barred window being jostled back and forth by the crowds feeling the music and chanting; suddenly the Karmapa was at the window looking directly at me about 50 centimeters away. He had been making the rounds inside, blessing everyone in the hall.  He looked in my eyes and smiled. He threw water on my face and these words came into my head “Don’t worry, this path is not for everyone” Then he was gone.

I was so shocked. This was the confirmation.   Whenever I think of this I feel I was blessed by this very extraordinary being. How he got those words clearly into a very confused mind was magical.

It was not long afterward that I headed south and planned to go to Sai Baba’s ashram as we had planned, on my way to Madras before heading back to the states.  As you remember we gave Sai Baba magical powers and were convinced he was going to help us financially.

I got to Bombay and stayed at the Salvation Army behind the Taj Mahal hotel.  The very place you and I stayed on our first nights in India coming by boat for 10 days from Madagascar and Mauritius.  Do you remember waking up to the Shiva Baba’s with their pythons and cobras, the junkies some dyed from head to toe in blue, including one with a blue dog, the color of the local antiseptic? What a circus before we took a train to the edge of town and hitched our way to Nepal.  Do you remember the time a truck stopped for us and we threw our packs into the back, climbed up and jumped into a truck full of cow shit along with our packs?  Do you remember all the chillum brakes at the roadside temples?  Or the nights in small villages waking up to thousands of the same face staring at us with vacant eyes and all with small pocked scars, village after village the same?  

When I was in New Delhi, I heard that there was a Meher Baba center and so I visited during one of their evenings. Upon hearing that I was on my way to visit Satya Sai Baba, an older Baba lover suggested that I go see a rebel of a guru named Rajneesh. I remembered the name and said that I did have in mind possibly stopping there as well. He told me that the Rajneesh ashram was in Poona, just a couple of hours by train from Bombay. He also said that although Satya Sai Baba was not in Poona, there was some kind of Baba center there. At this point, it became clear to me that I would indeed head to Poona.

Walking out of the Poona train station, I found a rickshaw and told the driver to take me to the Sai Baba center. I said, “Sai Baba center, not Rajneesh ashram.” “Yes, yes,” he replied. I had decided that I would first go to the Sai Baba center and then check out the Rajneesh ashram.

As we got nearer and nearer to our destination I saw increasing numbers of young western people dressed in orange clothes. By this time, I had been exposed to a couple of Rajneesh sannyasins and so recognized what I was seeing. We arrived at a large gate and on the top was written Shree Rajneesh Ashram. A large blonde German fellow greeted me and I heard myself say, “I don’t think I am where I was going, but I know that I’m in the right place.”

The first thing that I read from Osho (I will now begin to refer to Rajneesh by the name he took only a few months before leaving this planet) spoke directly to me. There was no space; no separation between the words and my self, there was an immediacy. It was clear within days that I would not be going on to the Sai Baba ashram; I had found the living Master I was looking for. I had arrived just weeks before a major celebration day, March 21st, honoring Osho’s day of Enlightenment. I took initiation, became a sannyasin and did a couple of groups. During this time I read one of Osho’s books called The Silent Explosion. At the very end of the book was the story of an Indian sannyasin who had gone to Sikkim and visited the Karmapa at his Rumtek Monastery. This was the same Lama that had been in Kathmandu months earlier. I had learned that he was highly respected in the Tibetan Buddhist community and was on par with or even more highly regarded than the Dalai Lama.

This is the story that was recounted:

     In 1972, Swami Govind Siddharth, an Osho sannyasin, visited the Tibetan Lama Karmapa, who had fled from Tibet and who at that timed lived in his Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim. When Siddharth arrived, accompanied by his wife and two young daughters, the monastery was completely closed. In an interview at the time, he told of his initial disappointment at not meeting the Karmapa. Then all of a sudden, one monk came running out to tell him that he was immediately wanted inside by His Holiness. He went in and was greeted by the Karmapa as if he was expected there. The Karmapa never even knew anything about him beforehand as he had not made an appointment… he knew nothing about him except that he was dressed in the faded orange of early neo-sannyas.

     Of Lama Karmapa, it was said he was a ‘Divine Incarnation’, a Bodhisattva. In Tibet, they believe that whosoever attains to Buddhahood, and then by their own wishes is born again to help people in the world is a divine incarnation — Bodhisattva. His Holiness was said to be the sixteenth incarnation of Dsum Khyenpa, the first Karmapa, who was born about 1110 AD.

     When Swami Siddharth first entered, the Karmapa immediately told him that he knew where he was from. He said, “I am seeing that you have somewhere some photograph or something which is printed on two sides, of your Master.” Siddharth answered that he had nothing like that which is printed on two sides. He had completely forgotten about the locket hanging from his mala with Osho’s photograph on both sides! There was an English woman who was acting as an interpreter, since the Lama Karmapa did not speak English. She immediately saw his mala and said, “What is this?” He then remembered that the locket was printed on two sides and he said, “This is the photograph of my Master.” She was curious to see it, so Siddharth took it off and showed it to her.

     Immediately, the Karmapa said, “That is it.” He took the locket of Osho in his hand and he touched it to his forehead and then said: “He is the greatest incarnation since Buddha in India — he is a living Buddha!” The Karmapa went on to say, “You may be feeling that he is speaking for you, but it is not only for you that he speaks. Rajneesh speaks for the Akashic records also, the records of events and words recorded on the astral planes. Whatever is spoken is not forgotten. That is why you will find that he goes on repeating things and you will feel that he is doing this for you, but, as a matter of fact, he speaks only for a few people.  Only a few people realize who Rajneesh is. His words will remain there in the Akashic records, so that they will also be helpful to people in the future.”

     The Karmapa went on to say that Osho had been with Siddharth in past lives. “If you want to see one of Rajneesh’s previous incarnations — who he was in Tibet — you can go to Tibet and see his golden statue there which is preserved in the Hall of Incarnations.” He continued to chat about Osho and his work, “My blessings are always there, and I know that whatever we are not going to be able to do to help others, Rajneesh will do.” He explained that one of the main aims of the Lamas in coming to India was to preserve their occult sciences. Osho from his side also confirmed this in his Kashmir lectures given in 1969. He said then, “The Dalai Lama has not escaped only to save himself, but to save the Tibetan religion, the meditation secrets and the occult sciences”

     The Karmapa went on to explain, “We have gotten these things from India in the past, and now we want to return them back. Now we have come to know that here is an incarnation, Rajneesh, who is doing our job in India and the world, and we are very happy about it. The world will know him, but only a few people will realize what he actually is. He will be the only person who can guide properly, who can be a World Teacher in this age, and he had taken birth only for this purpose.”

When I read this story I was very skeptical, because all devotees of gurus like to exaggerate the importance of their teachers. Although I believed the story must be based on some truth, I could not be sure what the Karmapa thought about Osho.

In the meantime, I had written to my friend Randy to tell him about Osho and the ashram and had sent it to American Express, Delhi, where I knew he would pick up mail. One day I went into the ashram office to check for a response and as I was walking down the steps leaving, coming through the gate was my friend Randy. He had never received my letter but had learned of Osho on his own.

Narayanadeva’s letter continues:

Anyway I returned to Bombay to catch a boat to Goa and then planned to go to Sai Baba by land.  I needed to get something to read.  The best bookstore I knew was at the Taj Mahal Hotel.  I went to the section on psychology and religion.  I was browsing when I swear this book fell on my big toe.  “Archarya Rajneesh” was the title.  The first page mentioned that he gave lectures in English and lived in Poona only one day away. 

Getting there, first person I meet is you.  And our stories join and the rest is history.

Brother, we shared some amazing times together.  I have forgotten so many of them.  It is a complete delight to hear from you with your photographic memory of those days.    We were so lucky. I am so grateful for that time.

Much Love to you my fellow traveler.

Narayanadeva a.k.a. Randy

I had by this time realized that my time traveling outside of the States was coming to an end. Taking sannyas was a new beginning for me and to be honest I wanted to return to my hometown and share this remarkable discovery. I had received a name for a meditation center that I would start. Randy, (who had become Narayanadeva by this point), and I said our farewells again with approximately the same plans to return to the States by going east from India through Thailand but with slightly different time frames.

On the plane from Bombay to Calcutta I sat next to a Tibetan Buddhist monk. He didn’t speak a word of English but there we were— he in his maroon robes and me in my orange clothes.

It might have been the first or second night of my stay in a Sutter Street guesthouse in Calcutta and in walked Ben, the American Tibetan Buddhist who had given me the contact info for Osho. I was very happy to see him. I had thought about him many times and was so grateful for his sharing and I wanted to tell him what I had found. We talked a bit and then he told me that coincidentally the Karmapa was in Calcutta and he was going to see him the next day at the Oberoi Hotel. He invited me to go with him. I was delighted. For one thing in the back of my mind was the Rumtek story and so I thought I would be able to see what the Karmapa actually did think about Osho for myself.

The Karmapa’s room was a corner one and Ben and I approached from one hallway and as we neared we could see an Indian sannyasin couple in orange approaching from the other direction. He was dressed in a lunghi and had a very long beard and long hair. She was dressed in an orange sari. They were Osho sannyasins and ran the Calcutta Osho center.

We all entered the room and were shown to sit just in front of the Karmapa who was seated on a sofa. He was immensely childlike, full of love and innocence and looked to be always on the verge of a good chuckle. He sat stroking the beard of the Indian sannyasin who was sitting slightly to his right. This in itself would have been enough to let me know what he thought of Osho but it was not all. Sitting next to him on the sofa he had propped up a copy of Sannyas Magazine (published at the ashram) with a photo of Osho beaming out on to our group.

At that point it did not matter whether the story that I had read was factual or not, I could see the connection between the Karmapa and Osho. That space out of which the Karmapa and the photo of Osho appeared was One.

Of course I had related the story to Ben when we met in Calcutta but after the meeting at the Oberoi we didn’t talk of it again. We were invited to a private Black Crown (Empowerment) Ceremony that was taking place at the home of a wealthy Indian woman later that evening. This is the same ceremony that took place months earlier at the Swayambhu Monastery in Kathmandu but that I had not been able to attend.

One of the first people I met after arriving at the house was the Tibetan monk who had sat next to me on the flight. As it turned out he had been traveling to join up with the Karmapa and return with him to Rumtek. He was as surprised as I was.

The ceremony was penetrating; to be in a room with Tibetan horns blaring is in itself a transformative experience. After the ceremony the few westerners that were there, I think maybe we were five, were invited into a side room where the Karmapa gave a teaching on Tilopa’s Song of Mahamudra. This is the most important text of the Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. Osho had himself given a discourse series published as Tantra: the Supreme Understanding on this text, and I was traveling with the book.

Because the Karmapa didn’t speak English he had a translator, but his translator told us he was having a very difficult time translating this teaching into English. He was frustrated but the Karmapa was understanding and compassionate. This experience highlighted for me one of the advantages of having a teacher who spoke English. Osho’s words did not need to be translated and we were able to hear them directly without a filter.

I am grateful for having had the opportunity to first spend some time with the Karmapa and then to take part in this mysterious ceremony. It was the only time I met the Karmapa. But my wife, Amido, and I did have a chance in 2006 to visit the Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim where his relics are today housed.

-purushottama

This story is from a collection of stories and essays from along the Way titled From Lemurs to Lamas: Confessions of a Bodhisattva.

I have recently come across the entire story of Govind Siddharth’s visit with the Karmapa A Visit to a Tibetan Monastery.

Another post related to Govind Siddharth’s visit with the Karmapa is Buddham Sharanam Gachchhami.

And another: The Enlightenment of Govind Siddharth.

Link to site for Tibetan Black Crown Ceremony.