Five Categories of Teachers – Osho

14 October, 1982 in INS Portland Oregon

Osho’s visit to the U.S Immigration and Naturalization Service was in connection with an application for permanent residence in the USA, filed on his behalf a year earlier. These extracts are from highlights of what Osho said about his work and vision.

Q: Okay, do you consider yourself a teacher of religion?

I will have to explain it.

Q: You may feel free to explain that to me.

In India we have five categories of teachers. The first category is called the Arihanta; he’s a teacher and also a master. Being a master means that he has realized what he says. For example, Jesus will be called an Arihanta because whatsoever he says is his own realization. He says, “It is on my own authority.”

The second category is called the Siddha. The Siddha is only a master. He has realized but he’s incapable of communicating it. He cannot say what he has realized; in a way he is dumb. And there have been many saints in the world who have not spoken because they cannot manage to bring the beyond within the words. That too is called a Buddha, a teacher.

The third category is called an Acharya – who is only a teacher but not a master. He knows exactly what he’s teaching, but not on his own authority. The Pope is an Acharya. If Jesus is an Arihanta, then the Pope is an Acharya. He is speaking on the authority of the Bible, not on his own authority.

The fourth category is called Ubadhyay – one who is not even certain of what he says. Perhaps fragments are true. P.D. Ouspensky has written a book on Gurdjieff: In Search of the Miraculous. Its subtitle is “Fragments of an Unknown Teaching”, and he’s very true in writing the subtitle – only fragments, because he could understand only parts of it; parts were beyond him. He’s also called a teacher.

And the fifth is called a Sadhu. A Sadhu is one who has not achieved but is trying sincerely to achieve. He may be just one foot ahead of you, but he can teach that much. He cannot claim the achievement; he cannot say with certainty that this is so.

English is poor in that way, it has only two words. English is poor in many ways, particularly as far as religion is concerned, but is bound to be so. Eastern languages are poor in scientific terms. So you have only one word, teacher, for everything. You can call me a teacher but to us it means a very lower category.

Q: Where would you put yourself on this list of five categories?

I am an Arihanta. You can call me a super teacher, because I speak on my own authority. I don’t have to rely on Jesus, or Buddha, or Krishna. What I say, I know. If I don’t know, I don’t say it.

Q: Do you consider Sheela enlightened?

No, not yet.

Q: Does she not have the power to conduct sannyas?

She has the power to conduct Sannyas, as one of the Acharya category – those five categories all can conduct Sannyas – but she has to conduct Sannyas only with my consent, she cannot conduct Sannyas on her own.

Q: Sheela has not reached?

She may reach any moment, but she has not reached yet.

There is some discussion of the running of the ashram in Poona. Osho explains the difference between the day-to-day running of the ashram and the spiritual work.

About these small things I give them absolute freedom. As far as initiation is concerned and the inner transformation is concerned, sannyas is total surrender. Either you are a Sannyasin or you are not. You cannot be in a doubtful situation.

And it is not democratic; remember… no transformation process can be democratic because it is like asking the sleeping people, “Would you like to be awake?” So what?… A sleeping person has to be awakened. He cannot be asked. He may even resist, he may even fight you, that you are disturbing his beautiful dream.

I’m not talking about the society. For the society and the political world, democracy is perfectly okay, but for any inner transformation process democracy does not work, it has never worked.

[NOTE: This was published in The Rajneesh Times, 26th August 1983 while Osho was in silence.]

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Stilling the Mind vs. No-Mind – Osho

There has been a long misunderstanding about these two things: KEEPING THE MIND STILL and MINDLESSNESS. There have been many people who have thought that they are synonymous. They appear to be synonymous, but in reality they are as far apart as two things can be, and there is no way to bridge them.

So first let us try to find the exact meanings of these two words, because the whole of Ta Hui’s sutra this evening is concerned with the understanding of the difference.

The difference is very delicate. A man who is keeping his mind still and a man who has no mind will look exactly alike from the outside, because the man who is keeping his mind still is also silent. Underneath his silence there is great turmoil, but he is not allowing it to surface. He is in great control.

The man with no mind, or mindlessness, has nothing to control. He is just pure silence with nothing repressed, with nothing disciplined — just a pure empty sky.

Surfaces can be very deceptive. One has to be very alert about appearances, because they both look the same from the outside — both are silent. The problem would not have arisen if the still mind was not easy to achieve. It is easy to achieve. Mindlessness is not so easy to achieve; it is not cheap, it is the greatest treasure in the world. Mind can play the game of being silent; it can play the game of being without any thoughts, any emotions, but they are just repressed, fully alive, ready to jump out any moment. The so-called religions and their saints have fallen into the fallacy of stilling the mind. If you go on sitting silently, trying to control your thoughts, not allowing your emotions, not allowing any movement within you, slowly slowly it will become your habit. This is the greatest deception in the world you can give to yourself, because everything is exactly the same, nothing has changed, but it appears as if you have gone through a transformation. The state of no-mind or mindlessness is just the opposite of stilling the mind — it is getting beyond the mind. It is creating such a distance between yourself and the mind that the mind becomes the farthest star, millions of light years away, and you are just a watcher. When the mind is stilled you are the controller. When the mind is not you are the watcher. These are the distinguishing marks.

When you are controlling something you are in tension; you cannot be without tension, because that which is controlled is continuously trying to revolt against you, that which is enslaved wants freedom. Your mind sooner or later will explode with vengeance.

A story I have loved … In a village there was a man of a very angry and aggressive type, so violent that he had killed his wife, for something trivial. The whole village was afraid of the man because he knew no argument except violence.

The day he killed his wife by throwing her into a well, a Jaina monk was passing by. A crowd had gathered, and the Jaina monk said, “This mind full of anger and violence will lead you to hell.”

The situation was such that the man said, “I also want to be as silent as you are, but what can I do? I don’t know anything. When anger grips me I’m almost unconscious, and now I have killed my own beloved wife.”

The Jaina monk said, “The only way to still this mind, which is full of anger and violence and rage, is to renounce the world.” Jainism is a religion of renunciation, and the ultimate renunciation is even of clothes. The Jaina monk lives naked, because he is not allowed to possess even clothes. The man was of a very arrogant type, and this became a challenge to him. Before the crowd he threw his clothes also into the well with the wife. The whole village could not believe it; even the Jaina monk became a little afraid, “Is he mad or something?” The man fell down at his feet and said, “You may have taken many decades to reach the stage of renunciation … I renounce the world, I renounce everything. I am your disciple — initiate me.” His name was Shantinath, and shanti means ‘peace’. It often happens … if you see an ugly woman, most probably her name will be Sunderbhai, which means ‘beautiful woman’. In India people have a strange way … to the blind man they give the name Nayan Sukh. Nayan Sukh means ‘one whose eyes give him great pleasure’. The Jaina monk said, “You have a beautiful name. I will not change it; I will keep it, but from this moment you have to remember that peace has to become your very vibration.” The man disciplined himself, stilled his mind, fasted long, tortured himself, and soon became more famous than his master. Angry people, arrogant people, egoistic people can do things which peaceful people will take a little time to do. He became very famous, and thousands of people used to come just to touch his feet.

After twenty years he was in the capital. A man from his village had come for some purpose, and he thought, “It will be good to go and see what transformation has happened to Shantinath. So many stories are heard — that he has become a totally new man, that his old self is gone and a new, fresh being has arisen in him, that he really has become peace, silence, tranquility.”

So the man went with great respect. But when he saw Muni Shantinath, seeing his face, his eyes, he could not think that there had been any change. There was none of the grace which necessarily radiates from a mind which has become silent. Those eyes were still as egoistic — in fact they had become more pointedly egoistic. The man’s presence was even more ugly than it used to be.

Still, the man went close. Shantinath recognized the man, who had been his neighbor — but now it was beneath his dignity to recognize him. The man also saw that Shantinath had recognized him, but he was pretending that he did not. He thought, “That shows much.” He went close by Shantinath and asked, “Can I ask you a question? What is your name?”

Naturally, great anger arose in Shantinath because he knew that this man knew perfectly well what his name was. But still he kept himself in control, and he said, “My name is Muni Shantinath.”

The man said, “It is a beautiful name — but my memory is very short, can you repeat it again? I have forgotten … what name did you say?” …

This was too much. Muni Shantinath used to carry a staff. He took the staff in his hand he forgot everything — twenty years of controlling the mind — and he said, “Ask again and I will show you who I am. Have you forgotten? — I killed my wife, I am the same man.”

Only then did he recognize what had happened … in a single moment of unconsciousness he realized that twenty years have gone down the drain; he has not changed at all. But millions of people feel great silence in him … Yes, he has become very controlled, he keeps himself repressed, and it has paid off. So much respect and he has no qualification for that respect — so much honor, even kings come to touch his feet.

Your so-called saints are nothing but controlled animals. The mind is nothing but a long heritage of all your animal past. You can control it, but the controlled mind is not the awakened mind.

The process of controlling and repressing and disciplining is taught by all the religions, and because of their fallacious teaching humanity has not moved a single inch — it remains barbarous. Any moment people start killing each other. It does not take a single moment to lose themselves; they forget completely that they are human beings, and something much more, something better is expected of them. There have been very few people who have been able to avoid this deception of controlling mind and believing that they have attained mindlessness.

To attain mindlessness a totally different process in involved: I call it the ultimate alchemy. It consists only of a single element — that of watchfulness.

Gautam Buddha is passing through a town when a fly comes and sits on his forehead. He is talking to his companion, Ananda, and he just goes on talking and moves his hand to throw off the fly. Then suddenly he recognizes that his movement of the hand has been unconscious, mechanical. Because he was talking consciously to Ananda, the hand moved the fly mechanically. He stops and although now there is no fly, he moves his hand again consciously.

Ananda says, “What are you doing? The fly has gone away …”

Gautam Buddha says, “The fly has gone away … but I have committed a sin, because I did it in unconsciousness.”

The English word ‘sin’ is used only by Gautam Buddha in its right meaning. The word ‘sin’ originates in the roots which mean forgetfulness, unawareness, unwatchfulness, doing things mechanically — and our whole life is almost mechanical. We go on doing things from morning to evening, from evening to morning, like robots.

A man who wants to enter into the world of mindlessness has to learn only one thing — a single step and the journey is over. That single step is to do everything watchfully. You move your hand watchfully; you open your eyes watchfully; you walk, you take your steps alert, aware; you eat, you drink, but never allow mechanicalness to take possession over you. This is the only alchemical secret of transformation.

A man who can do everything fully consciously becomes a luminous phenomenon. He is all light, and his whole life is full of fragrance and flowers. The mechanical man lives in dark holes, dirty holes. He does not know the world of light; he is like a blind man. The man of watchfulness is really the man who has eyes.

– Osho

From The Great Zen Master Ta Hui, Chapter 28

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

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Ramana Maharshi’s Self-Enquiry

This was originally published as The Path of Sri Raman, Chapter 7 by Sri Sadhu Om.


On hearing the expression ‘Self-enquiry’ (atma-vichara), people generally take it to mean either enquiring into Self or enquiring about Self. But how to do so? Who is to enquire into Self, or who is to enquire about Self? What does enquiry actually mean? Such questions naturally arise, do they not?

As soon as we hear the terms ‘Atma-Vichara’ or ‘Brahma–vichara’, many of us naturally consider that there is some sort of effulgence or a formless power within our body and that we are going to find out what it is, where it is, and how it is. This idea is not correct. Because, Self (atman) does not exist as an object to be known by us who seek to know it! Since Self shines as the very nature of him who tries to know it! Self-enquiry does not mean enquiring into a second or third person object. It is in order to make us understand this from the very beginning that Bhagavan Ramana named Self-enquiry as ‘Who am I ?’, thus drawing our attention directly to the first person. In this question, ‘Who am I?’, ‘I am’ denotes Self and ‘who’ stands for the enquiry.

Who is it that is to enquire into Self? For whom is this enquiry necessary? Is it for Self? No, Since Self is the ever-attained, ever-pure, ever-free and ever-blissful Whole, It will not do any enquiry, nor does it need to! All right, then it is only the ego that needs to do the enquiry. Can this ego know Self? As said in the previous chapters, this ego is a false appearance, having no existence of its own. It is a petty infinitesimal feeling of ‘I’ which subsides and loses its form in sleep. So, can Self become an object that could be known by the ego? No, the ego cannot know Self! Thus, when it turns out that Self-enquiry is unnecessary for Self and Self-knowledge is impossible for the ego, the questions arise: “What then is the practical method of doing Self-enquiry? Why is this term ‘Self-enquiry’ found in the sastras?” Are we not to scrutinize thus and find out? Let us do so.

There is a difference between the sense in which the term ‘enquiry’ is used by Sri Bhagavan and the way in which the sastras use it. The sastras advocate negating the five sheaths, namely the body, prana, mind, intellect and the darkness of ignorance, as ‘not I, not I’ (neti, neti). But who is to negate them, and how? If the mind (or the intellect) is to negate them, it can at best negate only the insentient physical body and the prana, which are objects seen by it. Beyond this, how can the mind negate itself, its own form? And when it cannot even negate itself, how can it negate the other two sheaths, the intellect (vijnana-maya kosa) and the darkness of ignorance (anandamaya kosa), which are beyond its range of perception? During the time of enquiry, therefore, what more can the mind do to remain as Self except to repeat mentally, “I am not this body, I am not this prana”? From this, it is clear that ‘enquiry’ is not a process of one thing enquiring about another thing. That is why the enquiry ‘Who am I?’ taught by Sri Bhagavan should be taken to mean Self-attention (that is, attention merely to the first person, the feeling ‘I’).

The nature of the mind is to attend always to things other than itself, that is, to know only second and third persons. If the mind in this way attends to a thing, it means that it is clinging (attaching itself) to that thing. Attention itself is attachment! Since the mind is to think about the body and prana – though with the intention of deciding ‘this is not!, this is not!’ Such attention is only a means of becoming attached to them and it cannot be a means of negating them! This is what is experienced by any true aspirant in his practice. Then what is the secret hidden in this?

Since, whether we know it or not, Self, which is now wrongly considered by us to be unknown, is verily our reality, the very nature of our (the Supreme Self’s) attention itself is Grace (anugraha). This means that whatever thing we attend to, witness*, observe or look at, that thing is nourished and will flourish, being blessed by Grace.

* The practice of witnessing thoughts and events, which is much recommended nowadays by lecturers and writers, was never even in the least recommended by Sri Bhagavan, Indeed, whenever He was asked what should be done when thoughts rise (that is, when attention is diverted towards second or third persons) during sadhana, He always replied in the same manner as He had done to Sri Sivaprakasam Pillai in ‘Who am I?’, where He says, “If other thoughts rise, one should, without attempting to complete them, enquire ‘To whom did they rise?’. What does it matter however many thoughts rise? At the very moment that each thought rises, if one vigilantly enquires ‘To whom did this rise ?’, it will be known ‘To me’. If one then enquires ‘Who am I?’, the mind (our power of attention) will turn back (from the thought) to its source (Self)”. Moreover, when He says later in the same work, “Not attending to what-is-other (that is, to any second or third person) is non-attachment (vairagya) or desirelessness (nirasa)”, we should clearly understand that attending to (witnessing, watching, observing or seeing) anything other than Self is itself attachment, and when we understand thus we will realize how meaningless and impractical are such instructions as ‘Watch all thoughts and events with detachment’ or ‘Witness your thoughts, but be not attached to them’, which are taught by the so-called gurus of the present day.

Though one now thinks that one is an individual soul, since one’s power of attention is in fact nothing but a reflection of the ‘knowing-power’ (chit-sakti) of Self, that on which it falls or is fixed is nourished by Grace and flourishes more and more! Hence, when the power of attention of the mind is directed more and more towards second and third person objects, both the strength (kriya-bala) to attend to those objects and the ignorance – the five sense-knowledges in the form of thoughts about them – will grow more and more, and will never subside! Have we not already said that all our thoughts are nothing but attention paid to second and third person objects? Accordingly, the more we attend to the mind, the thoughts which are the forms (the second and third person objects) of the world, the more they will multiply and be nourished. This is indeed an obstacle. The more our attention – the glance of Grace (anugraha-drishti) – falls on it, the more the mind’s wavering nature and its ascendancy will increase. That is why it is impossible for the mind to negate anything by thinking* ‘I am not this, I am not this’ (neti, neti) – On the other hand, if our (Self’s) attention is directed only towards ourself, our knowledge of our existence alone is nourished, and since the mind is not attended to, it is deprived of its strength, the support of our Grace. “Without use when left to stay, iron and mischief rust away” – in accordance with this Tamil proverb, since they are not attended to, all the vasana-seeds, whose nature is to rise stealthily and mischievously, have to stay quiet, and thus they dry up like seeds deprived of water and become too

*This is why aspirants who, in order to destroy evil thoughts like lust, anger and so on, fight against them and thereby think about them fail in their attempts, while aspirants practising Self-enquiry, who pay their full attention to Self with an indifference towards their thoughts, bypass them easily.

weak to sprout out into thought-plants. Then, when the fire of Self-knowledge (jnana) blazes forth, these tendencies (vasanas), like well-dried firewood, become a prey to it.

This alone is how the total destruction of all tendencies (vasanakshaya) is affected.

If we are told, ‘Abandon the east’, the practical way of doing so would be to do as if told, ‘Go to the west’! In the same manner, when we are told, ‘Discard the five sheaths, which are not Self’, the practical way of discarding the non-Self is to focus our attention on ourself. ‘What is this I?’ or ‘Who am I?’ Thinking ‘I am not this, not this’ (neti, neti) is a negative method. Knowing that this negative method is just as impractical as saying, ‘Drink the medicine without thinking of a monkey’* Sri Bhagavan has now shown us the practical way of drinking the medicine without thinking of a monkey, by giving us the clue, ‘Drink the medicine while thinking of an elephant’, that is, He has reformed the ancient negative method by giving us the positive method ‘Who am I?’,

“ … Verily, the ego is all! Hence the enquiry ‘What is it?” (in other words, ‘Who am I, this ego?’)” is the true giving up (renunciation) of all. Thus should you know!”

‘Ulladhu Narpadhu’, verse 28

Verily, all (that is, the five sheaths and their projections – -all these worlds) is the ego. So, attending to the feeling ‘I’,

*There is a traditional story of a doctor prescribing a medicine to a patient with the condition that It should be taken only while not thinking of a monkey; but the patient could not take the medicine under this condition, for every time he tried to drink it, the thought of a monkey would surely jump up.

‘What is it?’ or ‘Who is this I ?’, alone is renouncing the five sheaths, discarding them, eliminating them, or negating them. Thus Bhagavan Ramana has declared categorically that Self-attention alone is the correct technique of eliminating the five sheaths !

Since this is so, with what purpose did the sastras use the term ‘enquiry’ to denote the method ‘neti, neti’? By means of ‘neti, neti’, can we not formulate intellectually (that is, through paroksha) the test which we have given in paragraph 4 of chapter four of this book, “A thing is surely not ‘I’ if it is possible for one to experience ‘I am’ even in the absence of that thing”? So long as there exists the wrong knowledge ‘I am the body’ pertaining to the aforesaid five sheaths or three bodies, will not one’s paying attention towards the first person automatically be only an attention towards a sheath or a body – a second person ! But if we use this test, can we not find out that all such attentions are not the proper first person attention? Therefore, it is necessary first of all to have an intellectual conviction that these are not ‘I’ in order to practise Self-attention without losing our bearings. It is only the discrimination* by which we acquire this conviction that has been termed ‘enquiry’ by the sastras. What then is an aspirant to do after discriminating thus? How can the attention to these five sheaths, even though with an intention to eliminate them, be an attention to Self”? Therefore, while practising Self-enquiry, instead of taking anyone of the five sheaths as the object of our attention, we should fix our attention only on the ‘I’ -consciousness, which exists and shines as oneself, as the singular, and as a witness to and aloof from these sheaths.

*The discrimination dealt with in chapter four of this book is also with the same aim in view, yet it is not the actual process of enquiry. What is given in the last chapter of this book alone is the actual method of Self-enquiry.

Instead of being directed towards any second or third person, is not our power of attention, which was hitherto called mind or intellect, thus now directed only towards the first person? Although we formally refer to it as ‘directed’, in truth it is not of the nature of a ‘doing’ (kriya-rupam) in the form of directing or being directed; it is of the nature of ‘being’ or ‘existing’ (sat-rupam). Because the second and third persons (including thoughts) are alien or external to us, our attention paid to them was of the nature of a ‘doing’ (kriya). But this very attention, when fixed on the non-alien first person feeling, ‘I’, loses the nature of ‘paying’ and remains in the form of ‘being’, and therefore it is of the nature of non-doing (akriya) or inaction (nishkriya). So long as our power of attention was dwelling upon second and third persons, it was called ‘the mind’ or ‘the intellect’, and its attending was called a doing (kriya) or an action (karma). Only that which is done by the mind is an action. But on the other hand, as soon as the attention is fixed on the first person (or Self), it loses its mean names such as mind, intellect or ego sense. Moreover, that attention is no longer even an action, but inaction (akarma) or the state of ‘being still’ (summa iruttal). Therefore, the mind which attends to Self is no more the mind; it is the consciousness aspect of Self (atma-chit-rupam)! Likewise, so long as it attends to the second and third persons (the world), it is not the consciousness aspect of Self; It is the mind, the reflected form of consciousness (chit-abhasa-rupam)! Hence, since Self-attention is not a doing (kriya), it is not an action (karma). That is, Self alone realizes Self; the ego does not!

The mind which has obtained a burning desire for Self-attention, which is Self-enquiry, is said to be the fully mature one (pakva manas). Since it is not at all now inclined to attend to any second or third parson, it can be said that it has reached the pinnacle of desirelessness (vairagya). For, do not all sorts of desires and attachments pertain only to second and third persons? Since this mind, which has very well understood that (as already seen in earlier chapters) the consciousness which shines as ‘I’ alone is the source of full and real happiness, now seeks Self because of its natural craving for happiness, this intense desire to attend to Self is indeed the highest form of devotion (bhakti). It is exactly this Self-attention of the mind which is thus fully mature through such devotion and desirelessness (bhakti-vairagya) that is to be called the enquiry ‘Who am I ?’ taught by Bhagavan Sri Ramana! Well, will not at least such a mature mind which has come to the path of Sri Ramana, willingly agreeing to engage in Self-attention, realize Self ? No, no, it has started for its doom ! Agreeing to commit suicide, it places its neck (through Self-attention) on the scaffold where it is to be sacrificed !!

How? Only so long as it was attending to second and third persons did it have the name ‘mind’, but as soon as Self-attention is begun, its name and form (its name as mind and its form as thoughts) are lost. So we can no longer say that Self-attention or Self-enquiry is performed by the mind, Neither is it the mind that attends to Self, nor is the natural spontaneous Self-attention of the consciousness aspect of Self (atma-chit-rupam), which is not the mind, an activity !

“A naked lie then it would be

If any man were to say that he

Realized the Self, diving within

Through proper enquiry set in,

Not for knowing but for death

The good-for-nothing ego’s worth!

This Arunachala alone,

The Self, by which the Self is known !”

‘Sri Arunachala Venba’ verse 39

The feeling ‘I am’ is the experience common to one and all. In this, ‘am’ is consciousness or knowledge. This knowledge is not of anything external; it is the knowledge of oneself, This is chit. This consciousness is ‘we’, “We are verily consciousness”, says Sri Bhagavan in ‘Upadesa Undhiyar’ verse 23. This is our ‘being’ (that is, our true existence) or sat. This is called ‘that which is’ (ulladhu). Thus in ‘I am’, ‘I’ is existence (sat) and ‘am’ is consciousness (chit). When Self, our nature of existence-consciousness (satchit swarupam), instead of shining only as the pure consciousness ‘I am’, shines mixed with an adjunct (upadhi) as ‘I am a man, I am Rama, I am so-and-so, I am this or that’, then this mixed consciousness is the ego. This mixed consciousness can rise only by catching hold of a name and form. When we feel ‘I am a man, I am Rama, I am sitting, I am lying’, is it not clear that we have mistaken the body for ‘I’, and that we have assumed its name and postures as ‘I am this and I am thus’? – The feeling ‘this and thus’ which has now risen mixed with the pure consciousness ‘I am’ (satchit) is what is called ‘thought’, this is the first thought.

The feeling ‘I am a man, I am so-and-so’ is only a thought. But the consciousness ‘I am’ is not a thought; it is the very nature of our ‘being’. The mixed consciousness ‘I am this or that’ is a thought that rises from our ‘being’. It is only after the rising of this thought, the mixed consciousness (the first person), that all other thoughts, which are the knowledge of second and third persons, rise into existence.

“Only if the first person exists, will the second and third persons exist..”

‘Ulladhu Narpadhu’ verse 14

This mixed consciousness, the first person, is called our ‘rising’ or the rising of the ego. This is the primal mentation (adi-vritti) ! Hence:

“ Thinking is a mentation (vritti) ; being is not a mentation ! …”

‘Atma Vichara Patikam’, verse 1

The pure existence-consciousness, ‘I am’, is not a thought; this consciousness is our nature (swarupam). ‘I am a man’ is not our pure consciousness; it is only our thought! To understand thus the difference between our ‘being’ and our ‘rising’ (that is, between existence and thought) first of all is essential for aspirants who take to the enquiry ‘Who am I?’

Bhagavan Sri Ramana has advised that Self-enquiry can be done either in the form ‘Who am I?’ or in the form ‘Whence am I?’ Hearing these two interrogative sentences, many aspirants have held various opinions about them up till now and have become confused as to which of them is to be practised and how! Even among those who consider that both are one and the same, many have only a superficial understanding and have not scrutinized deeply how they are the same. Some who try to follow the former one, ‘Who am I?, simply begin either vocally or mentally the parrot-like repetition ‘Who am I ? Who am I?’ as if it were a mantra-japa. This is utterly wrong! Doing japa of ‘Who am I?’ in this manner is just as bad as meditating upon or doing japa of the mahavakyas such as ‘I am Brahman’ and so on, thereby spoiling the very objective for which they were revealed! Sri Bhagavan Himself has repeatedly said, “‘Who am I?’ is not meant for repetition (japa)”! Some others, thinking that they are following the second interrogative form, ‘Whence am I?’ try to concentrate on the right side of the chest (where they imagine something as a spiritual heart), expecting a reply such as ‘I am from here’! This is in no way better than the ancient method of meditating upon anyone of the six yogic centres (shad-chakras) in the body!! For, is not thinking of any place in the body only a second person attention (an objective attention)? Before we start to explain the technique of Self-enquiry, is it not of the utmost importance that all such misconceptions be removed? Let us see, therefore, how they may be removed.

In Sanskrit, the terms ‘atman’ and ‘aham’ both mean ‘I’. Hence, ‘atma-vichara’ means an attention seeking ‘Who is this I?’ It may rather be called ‘I-attention’, ‘Self-attention’ or ‘Self-abidance’. The consciousness ‘I’ thus pointed out here is the first person feeling. But as we have already said, it is to be understood that the consciousness mixed with adjuncts as ‘I am this’ or ‘I am that’ is the ego (ahankara) or the individual soul (jiva), whereas the unalloyed  consciousness devoid of adjuncts and shining alone as ‘I-I’ (or ‘I am that I am’) is Self (atman), the Absolute (brahman) or God (iswara). Does it not amount to saying then that the first person consciousness, ‘I’, can be either the ego or Self? Since all people generally take the ego-feeling (‘I am the body’) to be ‘I’, the ego is also given the name ‘self’ (atman) and is called’ individual self’ (jivatma) by some sastras even now. It is only for this reason that even the attention to the ego, ‘What is it?’ or ‘Who is it?’, is also named by the sastras as ‘Self-enquiry’ (atma-vichara). Is it not clear, however, that Self, the existence-consciousness, neither needs to do any enquiry nor can be subjected to any enquiry? It is just in order to rectify this defect that Bhagavan Ramana named it ‘Who am I?’ rather than using the ancient term ‘Self-enquiry’ (atma-vichara)! The ego, the feeling of ‘I’, generally taken by people to be the first person consciousness, is not the real first person consciousness; Self alone is the real first person consciousness. The egofeeling, which is merely a shadow of it, is a false first person consciousness. When one enquires into this ego, what it is or who it is, it disappears because it is really nonexistent, and the enquirer, having nothing more to do, is established in Self as Self.

Because it rises, springing up from Self, the false first person consciousness mentioned above has to have a place and a time of rising. Therefore, the question ‘Whence am I?’ means only ‘Whence (from where) does the ego rise ?’. A place of rising can only be for the ego. But for Self, since it has no rising or setting, there can be no particular place or time.

“When scrutinized, we – the ever-known existing Thing – alone are; then where is time and where is space? If we are (mistaken to be) the body, we shall be involved in time and space; but, are we the body? Since we are the One, now, then and ever, that One in space, here there and everywhere *, we – the timeless and spaceless Self – alone are !”

‘Ulladhu Narpadhu’, verse 15

*Time and space apparently exist in us (Self), but we are neither in them nor bound by them, The experience of the Jnani is only ‘I am’ and not ‘I am everywhere and in all times’.

– thus says Sri Bhagavan. Therefore, enquiring ‘Whence am I?’ is enquiring ‘Whence is the ego?’. Only to the rising of the ego, which is conditioned by time and space, will the question ‘Whence am I?’ be applicable. The meaning which Sri Bhagavan expects us to understand from the term ‘Whence?’ or ‘From where?’ is ‘From what?’. When taken in this sense, instead of a place or time coming forth as a reply, Self-existence, ‘we’, the Thing (vastu), alone is experienced as the reply. If, on the other hand, we anticipate a place as an answer to the question ‘Whence?’, a place, conditioned by time and space, will be experienced within the body ‘two digits to the right from the centre of the chest’ (as said in ‘Ulladhu Narpadhu Anubandham’ verse 18). Yet this experience is not the ultimate or absolute one (paramarthikam). For, Sri Bhagavan has positively asserted that Heart (hridayam) is verily Self-consciousness, which is timeless, spaceless, formless and nameless.

“He who thinks that Self (or Heart) is within the insentient body, while in fact the body is within Self, is like one who thinks that the screen, which supports the cinema picture, is contained within the picture ‘“

‘Ekatma Panchakam’, verse 3

Finding a place in the body as the rising-point of the ego in reply to the question ‘Whence?’ is not the objective of Sri Bhagavan’s teachings; nor is it the fruit to be gained by Self-enquiry. Sri Bhagavan has declared clearly the objective of His teachings and the fruit to be gained by seeking the rising–place of the ego as follows:

“When sought within ‘What is the place from which it rises as I?’, ‘I’ (the ego) will die ! This is Self-enquiry (jnana-vichara) .”

‘Upadesa Undhiyar’, verse 19

Therefore, the result which is aimed at when seeking the rising-place of the ego is the annihilation of that ego and not an experience of a place in the body. It is only in reply to the immature people who – not able to have even an intellectual understanding (paroksha jnana) about the nature of Self, which shines alone as the one, non-dual thing, unlimited by (indeed, absolutely unconnected with) time and space, unlimited even in the form ‘Brahman is everywhere, Brahman is at all times, Brahman is everything’ (sarvatra brahma, sarvada brahma, sarvam brahma) – always raise the question, “Where is the seat for Self in the body?”,that the sastras and sometimes even Sri Bhagavan had to say: “… two digits to the right (from the centre of the chest) is the heart.”* Hence, this heart–place (hridaya-stanam) Is not the ultimate or absolute Reality, The reader may here refer to ‘Maharshi’s, Gospel’, Book II, chapter IV, ‘The Heart is the Self’ (8th edition, 1969, pages 68 to 72; 9th edition, 1979, pages 72 to 76).

*It is worth noting that the mention of the location of the heart ‘two digits to the right from the centre of the chest’ is not included in ‘Ulladhu Narpadhu’ (the main forty verses), where the original and direct teachings of Sri Bhagavan are given, but only in ‘Ulladhu Narpadhu Anubandham’ (the supplementary forty verses), since this is merely and of the diluted truths which the sastras condescendingly reply in concession to the weakness of immature aspirants. Moreover, these two verses, 18 and 19, are not original compositions of Sri Bhagavan, but only translations from a Malayalam work named ‘Ashtanga Hridayam’, which is not even a spiritual text, but only a medical one. It should also be noted here that these two verses do not at all recommend, nor even mention, the practice of concentrating the attention on this point in the body, two digits to the right from the centre of the chest. Indeed, in no place – neither in His original works, nor in His translations of others’ works, nor even in any of the conversations with Him recorded by devotees – has Sri Bhagavan ever recommended this practice (for meditation upon the right side of the chest or upon any other part of the transient, insentient and alien body is nothing but an attention to a second person, an object other than ‘I’), and when asked about it, He in fact used to condemn it (see ‘Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi’, number 273).

Thus, attending to oneself in the form ‘Whence am I?’ is enquiring into the ego, the ‘rising I’, But, while enquiring ‘Who am I?’, there are some aspirants who take the feeling ‘I’ to be their ‘being’ (existence) and not their ‘rising’ ! If it is taken thus, that is attention to Self. It is just to understand clearly the difference between these two forms of enquiry that the difference between our ‘rising’ and our ‘being’ has been explained earlier in this chapter, Just as the correct meaning of the term ‘meditation upon Brahman’ (brahmadhyanam) used by the sastras up till now is explained by Sri Bhagavan in the last two lines of the first benedictory verse of ‘Ulladhu Narpadhu’ to be ‘abiding in the Heart as it is’ (that is to say, abiding as Self is the correct way of meditating upon it), so also, the correct meaning of the term ‘Self-enquiry’ (atma-vichara) is here rightly explained to be ‘turning Selfwards’ (or attending to Self).

In either of these two kinds of enquiry (‘Who am I’?’ or ‘Whence am I ?’), since the attention of the aspirant is focused only on himself, nothing other than Self (atman), which is the true import of the word ‘I’, will be finally experienced. Therefore, the ultimate result of both the enquiries, ‘Whence am I ?’ and ‘Who am I ?’, is the same! How? He who seeks ‘Whence am I?’ is following the ego, the form of which is ‘I am so-and-so’, and while doing so, the adjunct ‘so-and-so, having no real existence, dies on the way, and thus he remains established in Self, the surviving ‘I am’. On the other hand, he who seeks ‘Who am I ? drowns effortlessly in his real natural ‘being’ (Self), which ever shines as ‘I am that I am’, Therefore, whether done in the form ‘Whence am I?’ or ‘Who am I ?’, what is absolutely essential is that Self-attention should be pursued till the very end. Moreover, it is not necessary for sincere aspirants even to name before-hand the feeling ‘I’ either as ego or as Self, For, are there two persons in the aspirant, the ego and Self? This is said because, since everyone of us has the experience ‘I am one only and not two’. we should not give room to an imaginary dual feeling – one ‘I’ seeking for another ‘I’ – by differentiating ego and Self as ‘lower self’ and higher-self’

“ … Are there two selves, one to be an object known by the other? For, the true experience of all is ‘I am one’ !”

‘Ulladhu Narpadhu’, verse 33

– asks Sri Bhagavan.

Thus it is sufficient if we cling to the feeling ‘I’ uninterruptedly till the very end. Such attention to the feeling ‘I’, the common daily experience of everyone, is what is meant by Self-attention. For those who accept as their basic knowledge the ‘I am the body’ – consciousness (jiva Bhava), being unable to doubt its (the ego’s) existence, it is suitable to take to Self-attention (that is, to do Self-enquiry) in the form ‘Whence am I?’, On the other hand, for those who instead of assuming that they have an individuality (jiva bhava) such as ‘I am so-and-so’ or ‘I am this’, attend thus, ‘What is this feeling which shines as I am?’, it is suitable to be fixed in Self-attention in the form ‘Who am I ?’ What is important to be sure of during practice (sadhana) is that our attention is turned only towards ‘I’, the first person singular feeling.

– Sri Sadhu Om

The Path of Sri Raman, Chapter 7

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Here to Now and Behind

We begin from Here, where we are. We are in the particular. We are completely identified with all that we perceive. We see thoughts and consider them our own; we sense and believe the body to be our self. We sense emotions and think they are us. We say I am happy or I am sad.

So from here we bring attention to sensing and become aware that sensing appears in our consciousness. Everything that we notice appears in our consciousness and yet we are aware of all things. By being aware of all that is in consciousness we are out of the particular. Only that which is on a higher plane can perceive. We are in a way, above and beyond all that we sense and yet it is in us. We have been identified with the sensing – we move now to the identification with the Awareness of sensing.

In this awareness of sensing we notice sensation around the heart space. We pay attention to our breathing. We see that we can only perceive one object at a time. If we are paying attention to our breathing we are not able to give attention to the thoughts that are dancing just on the periphery. It is almost as if our attention is retreating from dispersion out into the particular and coming back home to our heart. It seems that all experiencing is a projection from this heart. Staying here with the heart we notice that the energy that was occupied in the head is drawing down into the heart. We can almost feel it slide down into the heart. Perhaps down through the back of the head, down the spine and into the heart cavity. This beingness we sense in our heart is nourishing, it is mothering, it is loving, it is welcoming. It is Now and we rejoice.

We realize that this being is indivisible. It is undifferentiated. It is Individual and we are aware of it in us, in our consciousness. All of this experiencing is still happening within the space of non-experiencing, otherwise how could we possibly have perception? There must be a background on which the perceiving can manifest. This background, this unmanifest, this not-knowing, this unborn mind is our home in the absolute. We can never know it directly but can only infer it. It can never be an object of our awareness because it Is awareness. It is the ultimate subject. It is not divided although all multiplicity springs forth from this Oneness. This Awareness is never for a single moment not here. We cannot – not be in it.

This Awareness is our own true nature. If we remember the One to which all appears, if we understand that this is our one true abode and refer back to this unknowingness, this unborn mind, this original face; then it pulls us, it calls us back home. The pulling out into experience falls away and we  rejoice, first in our beingness of the heart, and then even that experience leaves as we are rejoined from whence we came – back to Behind.


This post is from a collection of essays, stories, insights and poems that have occurred to me along the Way titled Here to Now and Behind.


O-theism is Religion-less Religious-ness.

It is the No Religion of Whole religion.

O-theism is the understanding that there is no God separate from existence. It is the understanding that God is the Beingness which is experienced when one is at-one knowingly with the whole of existence.

It is the understanding that this Beingness is the potential of all human beings and that it is the identification with a fictitious entity (ego) which prevents the realization of this potential.

O-theism is the understanding that there have been many masters who have attained that Beingness and have expressed that experience in the language and culture in which they lived. Their experience is One but their expressions are many.

It is the perennial philosophy. It is the Heart of the teachings of all the Awakened Masters including Krishna, Lao Tzu, Mahavir, Mohammed, Zarathustra, Guru Nanak, Buddha and Christ.

O-theism is the religion-less of the Sufis, Tao, Advaita, Tantra, Yoga and Zen.

It is the religious-ness of Ramakrishna, Ramana Maharshi, Meher Baba, Krishnamurti and Osho.

O-theism is the religion of Enlightenment.

It is the ground in which Theism, Atheism and Deism dissolve.

O-theism is the end of theism. It is All-theism and No-theism, hence O-theism.

Two Hundred Torches Can Give Fire to Millions – Osho

Beloved Osho,

You have just been saying that the words of the Master become mere words after the Master is gone. What will happen after you are gone?

Do you think my words are not already dead for you? First, think of that. The master is there, his words are there, but are those words alive for you? If they are alive for you, don’t be worried. You know the secret.

It is not the words. The master can be there and the words can be dead. So why can’t it happen the other way around? – The master is dead, but the words are still alive. It all depends on you. It is not a question of the master’s life or death, but how you relate to those words.

Yes, it is simpler when the master is there, only in one way. Because those words are spoken, they carry some flavor of the master’s heart. They carry a few beats of the master’s heart towards you. It is simple in this way. But on the other hand, when the master is alive, perhaps the words will never become alive to you, because you start taking the master for granted. Then the words are dead.

It happened in the Second World War that Adolf Hitler declared that he was going to destroy the Tower of London. Millions of people rushed towards the tower – they had passed the tower thousands of times in their lives, but had never taken the trouble to see it. People come from all over the world to see the Tower of London, but Londoners take it for granted. The moment Hitler said he was going to destroy it, suddenly those people who had lived their whole lives in London became aware that the Tower of London could not be taken for granted anymore. They rushed to see it before this madman, Adolf Hitler, destroyed it.

The master is alive – but the disciple can take him for granted. You can take me for granted. Then those words are already dead, because your aliveness is not available. If you are capable of being alert, alive, responsive, it makes no difference: the master may be dead, but his words will go on resounding in you. Even the written words, which are dead, can become alive in you; you just have to open your heart.

The question is not of the master’s life and death, the question basically is of your response.

So don’t be worried about when I am gone. Those who are missing me now will be missing me then too – no loss. Those who are living my message now, they will go on living it. And if they go on living it, they cannot help but spread it. I am not depending on books – all the religions have depended on books – I am depending on you!

George Gurdjieff used to say – very sadly, of course – that if even two hundred people are enlightened, they can make the whole world full of light, full of life. Just two hundred people can transform the whole character of humanity. He could not manage it, but what he said is true.

I am going to manage it! I will not leave you unless I have made enough people enlightened so that they can make the whole world afire, alive. I am depending on you, not on any books. Those books may be helpful in some way to bring people to you, but my word will be throbbing in your heart; only then can you help anybody who comes to you.

And it is so simple. I have more than half a million sannyasins in the world, and more than one million people who are just on the borderline – a little push and they will be sannyasins. One million more who are lovers but cannot drop their camelhood….

On this big a scale, a worldwide scale, nobody has worked before. Gautam Buddha remained confined to the small state of Bihar in India – not even the whole of India. India has thirty states;

Buddha remained confined to one space, one state. He did great work, but it was impossible to transform the whole quality of consciousness on the earth. The same is true about Jesus, Moses – anybody who has been trying.

For a simple reason I have been able to contact millions of people around the world: I am not confined to any tradition. I am not burdened by the past, I am completely weightless. So anybody who is burdened – and who is not burdened? – becomes interested in me, particularly the young people who are fed up with all the nonsense that is being taught in the churches and the synagogues, in the temples, in the mosques.

All these people, these churches, synagogues and mosques, are trying to bridge the gap. You have heard the phrase “generation gap.” Between you and the church, between you and the synagogue, there is not just a generation gap; there is a gap of hundreds of generations. And in trying to bridge it, they are proving themselves buffoons, because truth never compromises. It cannot – with whom will it compromise? Compromising truth means compromising with lies.

And all these people have become afraid that young people are no longer interested; they don’t come to the synagogue, they don’t come to the church, so something should be done that can attract young people. Their whole business is going down.

I have heard about three rabbis…. And by the way, don’t let me drift. Whenever I come across the word “rabbi” I immediately associate it with rubbish. These three rabbis were meeting, discussing, talking about great things. One rabbi said, “My synagogue is the most modern, because we allow people to smoke in the synagogue. There is no harm in it.”

The second rabbi said, “This is nothing, my synagogue is even more modern: we even allow people to make love in the synagogue. What is wrong with it?”

The third rabbi said, “This is nothing. My synagogue is the most avant-garde.”

The two rabbis said, “Just tell us what you have done.”

He said, “My synagogue remains closed for Jewish holidays!”

They are trying hard, but it is just foolishness. They cannot catch hold of the new spirit of man.

I don’t give you any tradition.

I don’t give you any scripture.

I don’t give you any discipline.

Those are all non-essentials. I simply concentrate my whole work on making you more conscious. Consciousness is the key to transform the whole of humanity.

And yes, Gurdjieff is right: if even two hundred people are aflame, enlightened, the whole world will become enlightened, because these two hundred torches can give fire to millions of people.

Those people are also carrying torches, but without any fire. They have everything, just the fire is missing. And when fire passes from one torch to another, the first torch is not losing anything at all.

The enlightened consciousness is an infinite reservoir: it can give to you and yet it remains the same. Its quantity does not decrease, because it is not a question of quantity at all; it is a question of quality. Qualities can be shared without losing anything.

You can love as many people as you want – that does not mean one day you will go bankrupt, and you will have to declare, “Now I have no love.” You cannot go bankrupt as far as love is concerned. Yes, you can go bankrupt as far as money is concerned. Money is a quantity; love is a quality. What to say of enlightened consciousness? It is the highest quality possible; there is nothing higher than that.

Don’t be afraid, worried that if I am gone, then what will happen to my words. I will not be gone before I have sown the seeds of those words in you. They are not mine! They are nobody’s. They are coming out of existence itself – I am simply a vehicle. You can become a vehicle. Everybody is capable of becoming a vehicle. Hence, I am not depending on old strategies; they have all failed. I am depending on living human beings.

And that is the only way to save humanity without becoming a savior, to save humanity without creating in them greed for heaven and fear of hell. The only way to save humanity is to give them some taste of what it means to be enlightened, a little fragrance, so they can feel the invisible.

And I am absolutely certain, utterly happy, that I have got the right people: people who are going to be my books, my temples, my synagogues. This is the reason I call this the first religion, because it depends on living human beings, not on dead holy scriptures, traditions, beliefs.

I am giving you the taste of my being, and preparing you to do the same, on your part, to others. It all depends on you, whether my words will remain living or will die. As far as I am concerned, I do not care.

While I am here, I am pouring myself into you. And I am grateful that you are allowing it to happen. Who bothers about the future? There is nobody in me who can care about the future. If existence can find me as a vehicle, I can remain assured that it can find thousands of people to be its vehicle. I am simply giving you a little opportunity to become vehicles of the whole.


From The False to the Truth, Chapter 16.

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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Teilhard de Chardin’s Three Steps plus Three – Osho

Teilhard de Chardin believes that ‘the evolution of consciousness depends on three steps.  And Chardin is one of the most important Christian thinkers of this century. But still he remains confined to Christianity; he cannot soar higher than Christian boundaries. These are the three steps that he talks about. Ordinarily, consciousness is simple, innocent. After that there are three steps. First he talks about complexity. He says ‘Consciousness grows through complexity.’

That is true. The original mind is absolutely simple, its taste is one, it has no duality. And because there is no duality there is no possibility of dialogue, argument. And because there is no possibility of argument and dialogue, there is no possibility of understanding. With the conflict, with friction, one evolves. So from one, man becomes dual; from unity, duplicity: from duplicity, triplicity: from triplicity, multiplicity. That’s how man goes on growing – complication.

Man’s consciousness is one in the original state, then it becomes many. Through the many… the growth; that is the Hegelian concept of growth, and Marxian too. Hegel calls it ‘the dialectical process’: thesis creates its antithesis, antithesis and thesis join into a synthesis, and the synthesis becomes a thesis and creates its antithesis. And this is how it goes on.

You cannot grow if your consciousness is unitary. It has to create a conflict in itself. With the conflict, energy is created. Conflict creates energy, friction creates energy. You strike two stones and fire is born. You strike two dry woods and fire is possible. You rub your hands and electricity is born. All energy is created through friction. So the original human consciousness has to become divided, has to become split, has to become dual. And the more evolved a mind man has, the more fragments he will have. So a thinker is almost a crowd. He is not one, he is not two, he is not three, he is many.

The second state Chardin calls ‘concentration’, because once the unity is lost and man has become many, there arises chaos and one loses one’s identity. One does not know who one is, then an identity is needed, a self is needed, an ego is needed to hold all these fragments together. Otherwise they will start falling apart and you will not be able to survive – hence the ego.

Ego is an effort to create a kind of unity inside yourself. The natural unity is lost. Now you have to create an unnatural, synthetic unity. The ego is a synthetic self, a created self, a managed self. One part of your being becomes the master and forces other parts to be slaves. A kind of government arises inside you.

Complexity creates energy. Concentration creates a possibility to use that energy; otherwise there will be no use for it. Energy will be there, and energy will kill you. It will be too much and it will be in so many directions. All those directions have to be focused in one direction, the whole energy has to be channelised into one. This is what Chardin calls ‘concentration’; unification around a centre; a self is born, ego is born, discipline is born.

And the third he calls ‘direction’. Once the ego is there, once you have a kind of self, a kind of unity – although managed, but still a unity – then the goal is possible. You can become an arrow, you can have a target in the future.

These three steps Chardin thinks are enough to explain human consciousness. They are not. They are important but not complete.

The Hindu vision of life is far more complete. Chardin’s vision is linear: unity, then complexity, then concentration, then direction. And the direction goes on and on, the arrow goes on and on and on, and there is no end to it. It is linear. The arrow goes on for infinity, it never comes back.

This is not true. This is logical, but not natural.

The Hindu vision is circular. Hindus say everything moves in a circle not in a line. Nature moves in a circle, seasons move in a circle, stars move in a circle, man’s LIFE moves in a circle. Everything natural moves in a circle. The circle is the way of nature. The linear is just a concept of the mind. The line does not exist in nature. If you are aware of non-Euclidean geometry then you will know.

Euclid believes in line; non-Euclidean geometry says there is nothing like line in existence. The line also is part of a bigger circle, that’s all. No line is straight, and no line can be straight – you cannot draw a straight line. If you draw a straight line, that simply means you are sitting on a circular earth and drawing a straight line. Go on drawing the line from both ends go on drawing it, and you will find one day that the line has become a circle around the earth. So that small straight line was just a part of a big circle.

Hindus say it is circular. To me, the Hindu concept is far more true than the Christian concept of linear progress. But still, my own suggestion is a little different to both. My suggestion is: spiral – neither linear nor circular; evolution is a spiral. In that way both are joined together. In a spiral the progress moves as if it is moving in a line, because it never comes to exactly the same point again.

Christ never becomes Adam again, because Adam was ignorant and innocent, and Christ is innocent and fully aware. He never comes back to Adam, exactly to Adam. So the Hindu concept misses something. But in another sense he becomes Adam again because the innocence is the same, just that now it is fully aware. Then it was not aware, then it was asleep, now it is alert. In a sense Christ becomes Adam again because it is the same innocence. So Hindus are right. And in a sense Christ never becomes Adam again, because it is luminous innocence. In that sense Christians are right. But they are only half-half right.

To have the vision of the full truth, I would like to call evolution a spiral. It comes back to the original point but never on the same plane – on a higher plane. It comes again and again but always on a higher plane. If you have been trekking in the mountains you know what I mean. You go on a path; the path moves around the mountain. Again you come to the same point, the same rocks, the same valley, the same trees, but a little higher. It is a spiral.

To make it a spiral, I would like to add three more steps to it. Chardin says: complexity, concentration, direction. These three more steps have to be added. The first is: awareness, meditation. Concentration is just the beginning. Concentration is not relaxed, it is tense. One cannot concentrate twenty-four hours a day; one will go mad. So concentration can never become natural, but one can meditate twenty-four hours a day. One can live in meditation. It can become natural, it can become like breathing. It can be relaxed.

Concentration is focused consciousness. Meditation is just aware consciousness. For example, if you are listening to me, you can listen in a concentrated way. That will tire you, that will exhaust you. If you are listening very, very tensely so that you don’t miss a single word, then it will be tiring. But you can listen in a meditative way. That means you are relaxed and open, vulnerable, that’s all. You will not be tired. Listening for one and a half hours, rather than being tired, you will be enriched, rejuvenated. You will feel more energy afterwards than before, and you will feel more flow in your being. So the fourth thing has to be awareness, meditativeness, openness.

Concentration is directional, meditation is non-directional. Concentration has an object, a content. Meditation has no object, no content; it is just an opening. You are listening to me, a bird starts singing – that too you listen to, a train passes by – that too you listen to. You are not listening to me. All is included. You are open from all the sides, not only open to me. This is a higher stage of evolution than concentration is: it is de-concentration.

And the fifth I call playfulness. Christianity has no idea of playfulness, and Chardin has no idea of playfulness. ‘Direction’, ‘goal’, ‘purpose’ – that is very business-like, tiring, and makes man sad and serious. Something like playfulness has to be added, because a really grown-up person is capable of play. A really grown-up person is sincere but not serious. Seriousness is a kind of illness because seriousness will create tension in you; it will never allow you to celebrate. Only playfulness can become celebration and joy.

And there seems to be no space for joy in Chardin’s chart – nothing of playfulness. Complexity, concentration, direction – good as far as they go, but they don’t go far enough. And they don’t go into creating a happy, celebrating human being . And without celebration what is the purpose? All purpose leads to a purposeless play. You work, but you work finally to relax. You work hard, just so that you are able to play. You work five days, so that at the weekend you can rest on the beach. All purpose leads to purposeless play. So the fifth I call playfulness, non-seriousness, non-purposiveness, celebration, joy.

And sixth I call egolessness. Ego is needed – because one falls into a chaos, and a synthetic self is needed. But that self is synthetic, plastic, it is not real. It has to be dropped one day. Use it, go beyond it, and throw it! One has to come to egolessness; one has to forget that one exists separately from existence. In that forgetfulness, in that dropping of the ego, one becomes Adam again in a totally new way. One becomes Christ – again unity, again simplicity, again innocence, but now luminous this time. You are twice-born.

This way one again comes back to the original simplicity, the original face. But it is higher than the first originality, hence I call it spiral. It is primal innocence, but not just primal innocence. It has immense light in it, it is not dark. It is not primitive; it is the highest point of consciousness. It is divine innocence. What Plotinus calls ’the One’ – this is the One. First the One was not aware of itself, now the One is aware of itself. God is born in you.

In Adam God was a seed; in Christ God has become a flowering. The seed has come to its full manifestation.

This is the difference between the child and the sage. Adam is the child, Christ is the sage. They both are alike and yet not alike at all. Something similar and something absolutely different: similarity in innocence, dissimilarity in awareness, luminosity. Or you can call the first state ‘nature’, and the second state ‘God’. When nature realises itself, it becomes God. When nature recognises itself, it becomes God. The beginning and the end have to be the same in some way and yet not the same in some other way. The alpha has to be the omega, and the omega has to be the alpha; and yet they have to exist on totally different planes. Adam is body, Christ is soul; Jesus is mind – a bridge just in between the two polarities.

– Osho

Taken from I Say Unto You, Vol. 2, Chapter Nine

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