Whole Life is Yoga – Osho

Sri Aurobindo says somewhere that the whole life is yoga – and it is so. Everything can become a meditation. And unless everything becomes a meditation, meditation has not happened to you.

Meditation cannot be a part, a fragment. Either it is – and when it is you are wholly in it – or it is not. You cannot make a part of your life meditative. That is impossible, and that is what is being tried everywhere.

You can become meditative, not a part of you; that is impossible because meditation is a quality of your being. It is just like breathing: you go on breathing whatsoever you are doing. Irrelevant of what you are doing, you go on breathing. Walking, sitting, lying, sleeping, you continue breathing. You cannot arrange it in such a way that sometimes you breathe and sometimes you don’t breathe. It is a continuum.

Meditation is an inner breathing, and when I say “an inner breathing,” I mean it literally; it is not a metaphor. Just as you are breathing air you can breathe consciousness, and once you start breathing consciousness in and out you are no more just a physical body. And with that start, beginning with a higher breathing – a breathing of consciousness, of life itself, as it were – you enter a different realm, a different dimension. That dimension is metaphysics.

Your breathing is physical; meditation is metaphysical. So you cannot make a part of your life meditative. You cannot meditate in the morning and then forget it. You cannot go to a temple or to a church and meditate there and come out of your meditation as you come out of the temple. That is not possible, and if you try it you will be trying a false thing. You can enter a church and you come out of it, but you cannot enter meditation and come out of it. When you enter, you have entered.

Wherever you go, now meditation will be you. This is one of the basic, primary, elemental facts to be remembered always. Secondly, you can enter meditation from anywhere because the whole life is in a deep meditation.

The hills are meditating, the stars are meditating, the flowers, the trees, the elements are meditating, the very earth is meditating. The whole life is meditating, and you can enter it from anywhere; anything can become an entrance. This has been used. That is why there are so many techniques; that is why there are so many religions; that is why one religion cannot understand another – because their entrances are different. And sometimes there are religions which are not known even by the name of religion. You will not recognize certain persons as religious because their entrance is so different.

For example, a poet. A poet can enter meditation without going to any teacher, without going to any temple, without in any way being religious, so-called religious. His poetry, his creativity, can become an entrance; he can enter through it. Or a potter who is just creating earthen pots can enter meditation just by creating earthen pots. The very craft can become an entry. Or an archer can become meditative through his archery, or a gardener, or anyone can enter from anywhere.

Whatsoever you can do can become a door. If the quality of awareness changes while you are doing something, it becomes a technique. So there can be as many techniques as you can imagine.

Any act can become a door. So the act, the technique, the way, the method, is not primary, but the quality of consciousness that you bring to the act is the basic thing.

Kabir, one of India’s greatest mystics, was a weaver, and he remained a weaver even when he attained. He had thousands and thousands of disciples, and they would come and they would tell him, “Now stop your weaving. You don’t need it. We are here and we will serve you in every way.” Kabir would laugh and he would say, “This weaving is not just weaving. I am making clothes – that is the outer act – but something goes on within me simultaneously that you cannot see. This is my meditation.” How can a weaver be a meditator through weaving? If the quality of the mind that you bring to weaving is meditative, then the act is not relevant; it is irrelevant.

Another mystic was a potter; his name was Gora. He worked on earthen pots, and he would dance and he would sing while he was making his pots. While he was making a pot on the wheel, as the pot would center on the wheel he would also center within himself. One would see only one thing: the wheel was moving, the earthen pot was emerging and he was centering the earthen pot. You were seeing only one centering. Another centering was happening simultaneously: he was also being centered. While centering the pot, while helping the pot to emerge, he was also emerging in the unseen world of inner consciousness. When the pot was created, that was not the real thing he was working on; he was also creating himself.

Any act can become meditative, and once you know how an act becomes meditative you can transform all your acts into meditation. Then the whole life becomes yoga. Walking on the street or working in the office or just sitting and not doing anything – just idling, or anything – can become meditation. So remember, meditation doesn’t belong to the act; it belongs to the quality you bring to the act.

-Osho

From The Book of Secrets, Chapter 39

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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Inward Revolution – Osho

On man’s path of evolution is it possible that at some time in the future humanity as a whole can attain enlightenment? At what point of evolution is man today?

With man, the natural, automatic process of evolution ends. Man is the last product of unconscious evolution. With man, conscious evolution begins. Many things are to be taken into account.

First, unconscious evolution is mechanical and natural. It happens by itself. Through this type of evolution, consciousness evolves. But the moment consciousness comes into being; unconscious evolution stops because its purpose has been fulfilled. Unconscious evolution is needed only up to the point where the conscious comes into being. Man has become conscious. In a way, he has transcended nature. Now nature cannot do anything; the last product that was possible through natural evolution has come into being. Now man becomes free to decide whether to evolve or not to evolve.

Secondly, unconscious evolution is collective, but the moment evolution becomes conscious it becomes individual. No collective, automatic evolution proceeds further than mankind. From now on, evolution becomes an individual process. Consciousness creates individuality. Before consciousness evolves, there is no individuality. Only species exist, not individuality. When evolution is still unconscious, it is an automatic process; there is no uncertainty about it.

Things happen through the law of cause and effect. Existence is mechanical and certain. But with man, with consciousness, uncertainty comes into existence. Now, nothing is certain. Evolution may take place or it may not. The potential is there, but the choice will rest entirely with each individual.

That is why anxiety is a human phenomenon. Below man there is no anxiety because there is no choice. Everything happens as it must. There is no choice so there is no chooser, and in the absence of the chooser, anxiety is impossible. Who is to be anxious? Who is to be tense? With the possibility of choice, anxiety follows like a shadow. Everything has to be chosen now; everything is a conscious effort. You alone are responsible. If you fail, you fail. It is your responsibility.

If you succeed, you succeed. It is again your responsibility. And every choice is ultimate in a sense.

You cannot undo it, you cannot forget it, you cannot go back on it. Your choice becomes your destiny.

It will remain with you and be a part of you; you cannot deny it. But your choice is always a gamble.

Every choice is made in darkness because nothing is certain.

That is why man suffers from anxiety. He is anxious to his very roots. What torments him, to begin with, is: to be or not to be? to do or not to do? to do this or to do that? ”No choice” is not possible. If you do not choose, then you are choosing not to choose; it is a choice. So you are forced to choose; you are not free not to choose. Not choosing will have as much effect as any other choice.

The dignity, the beauty and the glory of man is this consciousness. But it is a burden also. The glory and the burden come simultaneously the minute you become conscious. Every step is a movement between the two. With man, choice and conscious individuality come into existence. You can evolve, but your evolution will be an individual endeavor. You may evolve to become a buddha or you may not. The choice is yours.

So there are two types of evolution: collective evolution and individual, conscious evolution. ‘Evolution’ implies unconscious, collective progress, so it would be better to use the word ‘revolution’ in talking about man. With man, revolution becomes possible.

Revolution, as I am using the word here, means a conscious, individual effort toward evolution. It is bringing individual responsibility to a peak. Only you are responsible for your own evolution.

Ordinarily, man tries to escape from his responsibility for his own evolution, from the responsibility of freedom of choice. There is a great fear of freedom. When you are a slave the responsibility for your life is never yours; someone else is responsible. So in a way, slavery is a very comfortable thing.

There is no burden. In this respect, slavery is a freedom: freedom from conscious choice. The moment you become completely free, you have to make your own choices. No one forces you to do anything; all alternatives are open to you. Then the struggle with the mind begins. So one becomes afraid of freedom.

Part of the appeal of ideologies such as communism and fascism is that they provide an escape from individual freedom and a shirking of individual responsibility. The burden of responsibility is taken away from the individual; the society becomes responsible. When something goes wrong, you can always point to the state, the organization. Man becomes just a part of the collective structure. But in denying individual freedom, fascism and communism also deny the possibility of human evolution. It is a falling back from the great possibility that revolution offers: the total transformation of human beings. When this happens, you destroy the possibility of achieving the ultimate. You fall back; you again become like animals.

To me, further evolution is possible only with individual responsibility. You alone are responsible! This responsibility is a great blessing in disguise. With this individual responsibility comes the struggle that ultimately leads to choiceless awareness.

The old pattern of unconscious evolution has ended for us. You can fall back into it, but you cannot remain in it. Your being will revolt. Man has become conscious; he has to remain conscious. There is no other way.

Philosophers like Aurobindo have great appeal for escapists. They say that collective evolution is possible. The divine will descend and everyone will become enlightened. But to me that is not possible. And even if it appears possible, it is not worthwhile. If you become enlightened without your own individual effort, then that enlightenment is not worth having. It will not give you the ecstasy that crowns the effort. It will just be taken for granted – like your eyes, your hands, your breathing system. These are great blessings, but no one really values them, cherishes them.

One day you can also be born with enlightenment, just as Aurobindo promises. It will be valueless.

You will have much, but because it has come to you without effort, without toil, it will mean nothing to you; its significance will be lost. Conscious effort is necessary. The achievement is not as significant as the effort itself. Effort gives it its meaning; struggle gives it its significance.

As I see it, enlightenment that comes collectively, unconsciously, as a gift from the divine, is not only impossible but also meaningless. You must struggle for enlightenment. Through struggle, you create the capacity to see and feel and hold on to the bliss that comes.

Unconscious evolution ends with man and conscious evolution – revolution – begins. But conscious evolution does not necessarily begin in any particular man. It begins only if you choose it to begin.

If you do not choose it – as most people do not – you will be in a very tense condition. And present-day humanity is like this: nowhere to go, nothing to be achieved. Nothing can be achieved now without conscious effort. You cannot go back to a state of unconsciousness. The door has closed; the bridge has been broken.

The conscious choice to evolve is a great adventure, the only adventure there is for a human being. The path is arduous; it is bound to be so. Errors are bound to be there, failures, because nothing is certain. This situation creates tension in the mind. You do not know where you are, you do not know where you are going. Your identity is lost. The situation may even reach such a point that you become suicidal.

Suicide is a human phenomenon; it comes with human choice. Animals cannot commit suicide, because to choose death consciously is impossible for them. Birth is unconscious, death is unconscious. But with man – ignorant man, unevolved man – one thing becomes possible: the ability to choose death. Your birth is not your choice. As far as your birth is concerned, you are in the hands of unconscious evolution. In fact, your birth is not a human happening at all. It is animal in nature, because it is not your choice. Only with choice does humanity begin. But you can choose your death – a decisive act. So suicide becomes a definite human act. And if you do not choose conscious evolution, there is every possibility that you may choose to commit suicide. You may not have the courage actively to commit suicide but you will go through a slow, prolonged process of suicide – lingering, waiting to die.

You cannot make anyone else responsible for your evolution. To accept this situation gives you strength. You are on your way to growing, to evolving. We create gods, or we take refuge in gurus, so that we will not have to be responsible for our own lives, for our own evolution. We try to place the responsibility somewhere else, away from us. If we are not able to accept some god or some guru, then we try to escape from responsibility through intoxicants or drugs, through anything that will make us unconscious. But these efforts to deny responsibility are absurd, juvenile, childish. They only postpone the problem; they are not solutions. You can postpone until death, but the problem still remains, and your new birth will continue in the same way.

Once you become aware that you alone are responsible, there is no escape through any type of unconsciousness. And you are foolish if you try to escape, because responsibility is a great opportunity for evolution. Out of the struggle that is created, something new may evolve. To become aware means to know that everything depends on you. Even your god depends on you, because he is created by your imagination.

Everything is ultimately a part of you, and you are responsible for it. There is no one to listen to your excuses; there are no courts of appeal, the whole responsibility is yours. You are alone, absolutely alone. This has to be understood very clearly. The moment a person becomes conscious, he becomes alone. The greater the consciousness, the greater the awareness that you are alone. So, do not escape from this fact through society, friends, associations, crowds. Do not escape from it! It is a great phenomenon; the whole process of evolution has been working toward this.

Consciousness has come to the point now where you know that you are alone. And only in aloneness can you attain enlightenment. I am not saying loneliness. The feeling of loneliness is the feeling that comes when one is escaping from aloneness, when one is not ready to accept it.

If you do not accept the fact of aloneness, then you will feel lonely. Then you will find some crowd or some means of intoxication in which to forget yourself. Loneliness will create its own magic of forgetfulness. If you can be alone even for a single moment, totally alone, the ego will die; the “I” will die. You will explode; you will be no more. The ego cannot remain alone. It can exist only in relation to others. Whenever you are alone, a miracle happens. The ego becomes weak. Now it cannot continue to exist for long. So if you can be courageous enough to be alone, you will gradually become egoless.

To be alone is a very conscious and deliberate act, more deliberate than suicide, because the ego cannot exist alone, but it can exist in suicide. Egoistic people are more prone to suicide. Suicide is always in relation to someone else; it is never an act of aloneness. In suicide, the ego will not suffer.

Rather, it will become more expressive. It will enter into a new birth with greater force. Through aloneness, the ego is shattered. It has nothing to relate to, so it cannot exist. So if you are ready to be alone, unwaveringly alone, neither escaping nor falling back, just accepting the fact of aloneness as it is – it becomes a great opportunity. Then you are just like a seed that has much potential in it. But remember, the seed must destroy itself for the plant to grow. Ego is a seed, a potentiality. If it is shattered, the divine is born. The divine is neither ”I” nor ”thou,” it is one. Through aloneness, you come to this oneness.

You can create false substitutes for this oneness. Hindus become one, Christians become one, Mohammedans become one; India is one, China is one. These are just substitutes for oneness. Oneness comes only through total aloneness.

A crowd can call itself one, but the oneness is always in opposition to something else. Since the crowd is with you, you are at ease. Now you are not responsible any more. You would not burn a mosque alone, you would not destroy a temple alone, but as part of a crowd you can do it, because now you are not individually responsible. Everyone is responsible, so no one in particular is responsible. There is no individual consciousness, only a group consciousness. You regress in a crowd and become like an animal.

The crowd is a false substitute for the feeling of oneness. One who is aware of the situation, aware of his responsibility as a human being, aware of the difficult, arduous task that comes with being human, does not choose any false substitutes. He lives with the facts as they are; he does not create any fictions. Your religions and your political ideologies are just fictions, creating an illusory feeling of oneness.

Oneness comes only when you become egoless, and the ego can die only when you are totally alone. When you are completely alone, you are not. That very moment is the moment of explosion.

You explode into the infinite. This, and only this, is evolution. I call it revolution because it is not unconscious. You may become egoless or you may not. It is up to you. To be alone is the only real revolution. Much courage is needed.

Only a Buddha is alone, only a Jesus or a Mahavir is alone. It is not that they left their families, left the world. It looks that way but it is not. They were not negatively leaving something. The act was positive; it was a movement toward aloneness. They were not leaving. They were in search of being totally alone. The whole search is for that moment of explosion when one is alone. In aloneness there is bliss. And only then is enlightenment achieved. We cannot be alone, others also cannot be alone, so we create groups, families, societies, nations. All nations, all families, all groups are made up of cowards, of those who are not courageous enough to be alone.

Real courage is the courage to be alone. It means a conscious realization of the fact that you are alone and you cannot be otherwise. You can either deceive yourself or you can live with this fact.

You can continue deceiving yourself for lives and lives, but you will just go on in a vicious circle. Only if you can live with this fact of aloneness is the circle broken and you come to the center. That center is the center of divineness, of the whole, the holy. I cannot conceive of a time when every human being will be able to achieve this as a birthright. It is impossible.

Consciousness is individual. Only unconsciousness is collective. Human beings have come to the point of consciousness where they have become individuals. There is no humanity as such; there are only individual human beings. Each human being must realize his own individuality and the responsibility for it. The first thing we must do is to accept aloneness as a basic fact and learn to live with it. We must not create any fictions. If you create fictions you will never be able to know the truth. Fictions are projected, created, cultivated truths that prevent you from knowing what is.

Live with the fact of your aloneness. If you can live with this fact, if there is no fiction between you and this fact, then the truth will be revealed to you. Every fact, if looked into deeply, reveals the truth.

So live with the fact of responsibility, with the fact that you are alone. If you can live with this fact, the explosion will happen. It is arduous, but it is the only way. Through difficulty, through accepting this truth, you reach the point of explosion. Only then is there bliss. If it is given to you ready-made, it loses its worth because you have not earned it. You do not have the capacity to feel the bliss. This capacity comes only from discipline.

If you can live with the fact of your responsibility for yourself, a discipline will automatically come to you. By being totally responsible for yourself, you cannot help but become disciplined. But this discipline is not something forced upon you from the outside. It comes from within. Because of the total responsibility you carry for yourself, each step you take is disciplined. You cannot utter even one word irresponsibly. If you are aware of your own aloneness, you will be aware of the anguish of others also. Then you will not be able to commit a single irresponsible act, because you will feel responsible not only for yourself but for others also. If you can live with the fact of your aloneness, you know that everyone is lonely. Then the son knows that the father is lonely; the wife knows that the husband is lonely; the husband knows that the wife is lonely. Once you know this, it is impossible not to be compassionate.

Living with facts is the only yoga, the only discipline. Once you are totally aware of the human situation, you become religious. You become a master of yourself. But the austerity that comes is not the austerity of an ascetic. It is not forced; it is not ugly. The austerity is aesthetic. You feel that it is the only thing possible, that you cannot do otherwise. Then you renounce things; you become non-possessive.

The urge to possess is the urge not to be alone. One cannot be alone, so he seeks company. But the company of other people is not reliable, so he seeks, instead, the company of things. To live with a wife is difficult; to live with a car is not so difficult. So ultimately, possessiveness turns toward things.

You may even try to change persons into things. You try to mold them in such a way that they lose their personalities, their individuality. A wife is a thing, not a person; a husband is a thing, not a person.

If you become aware of your aloneness, then you become aware of the aloneness of others also. Then you know that to try to possess another is trespassing. You never positively renounce. Renunciation becomes the negative shadow of your aloneness. You become non-possessive. Then you can be a lover, but not a husband, not a wife.

With this non-possessiveness comes compassion and austerity. Innocence comes to you. When you deny the facts of life, you cannot be innocent; you become cunning. You deceive yourself and others. But if you are courageous enough to live with the facts as they are, you become innocent.

This innocence is not cultivated. You are it: innocent.

To me, to be innocent is all that is to be achieved. Be innocent, and the divine is always blissfully flowing towards you. Innocence is the capacity to receive, to be part of the divine. Be innocent, and the guest is there. Become the host.

This innocence cannot be cultivated because cultivation is always a contrivance. It is calculated.

But innocence can never be calculated; it is impossible.

Innocence is religiousness. To be innocent is the peak of true realization. But true innocence comes only through a conscious revolution; it is not possible through any collective, unconscious evolution.

Man is alone. He is free to choose heaven or hell, life or death, the ecstasy of realization or the misery of our so-called life.

Sartre said somewhere: “Man is condemned to be free.” You may choose either heaven or hell. Freedom means the freedom to choose either. If you can choose only heaven, then it is not a choice; it is not freedom. Heaven without the choice of hell will be hell itself. Choice always means either/or. It does not mean you are free to choose good only. Then there would be no freedom. If you choose wrongly, freedom becomes a condemnation; but if you choose rightly, it becomes bliss. It depends on you whether your choice turns your freedom into condemnation or into bliss.

The choice is totally your responsibility.

If you are ready, then from within your depths a new dimension can begin: the dimension of revolution. Evolution has ended. Now a revolution is needed to open you up to what is beyond.

It is an individual revolution, an inward revolution.

-Osho

From The Psychology of the Esoteric, Chapter One

Aurobindo, Krishnamurti and Ramana Maharshi – Osho

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Osho

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

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