The Whiskers of the Pebble – Osho

What is religion? It is not the howling of the wolves at the moon, but that’s what it has become to the masses. If the masses are right, then animals have a great religious sense – wolves howling, dogs barking at the moon, at the distant, at the faraway.

Paul Tillich has defined religion as the ultimate concern. It is exactly the opposite: it is the immediate concern, not the ultimate concern. In fact, the immediate is the only ultimate there is.

Religion is not a desire for the distant, a curiosity for the faraway. It is an inquiry into one’s own being.

That’s why Buddhism is not concerned with God at all. It is concerned with you, with your reality. It’s whole process is like peeling an onion. Buddhism continues to peel your reality; layer upon layer, it goes on destroying the illusions, the dreams. And just as happens when you peel an onion, ultimately only nothing is left in your hands. That nothing is the source of all. Out of that nothing all arises and slowly, slowly disappears back into that nothing.

Now physicists are coming very close to it. They call that nothing ‘the black hole’ – matter disappears into black holes, is utterly annihilated, and becomes nothing. Now, after black holes, there is talk in scientific circles about white holes too. Out of white holes, matter arises. It seems black holes and white holes are just two aspects of the same reality – like a door. On one side of the door is written ‘Entrance’; the other side of the same door is called the ‘Exit’.

When things appear out of the womb of nothingness, the door is called the white hole – white because it gives birth, white because life comes out of it. By calling it white we are appreciating it, we are valuing it. One day every-thing disappears back into the same door – then we call it black. We have always called death black. Man has always been afraid of the black, of the dark, of death.

But it is the same reality! From one side it is ‘black hole’, from the other side it is ‘white hole’. Buddha calls it sunyata.

There is every possibility that modern physics will come every day more and more close to Buddha. It has to come. It has to recognize Buddha’s insight into reality, because nobody else ever dared to call nothingness the source of all. How did Buddha stumble upon the fact? He was not a physicist. He was not working into the deepest reality of matter, but he was working into the deepest reality of his own psychology.

You have to be reminded of that also: Buddhism is not a metaphysics. Metaphysics is always a concern with the ultimate. Meta’ means beyond – beyond physics, beyond that which can be seen; beyond the earth, beyond the visible, the tangible, the sensuous. Metaphysics means always the faraway, the distant reality, the God.

Buddhism is basically purely a psychology; it is not concerned with metaphysics. Its concern is with the reality of the mind, how the mind functions, what constitutes the mind. And it goes on penetrating deeper into the layers of the mind, and finally comes to the realization that deepest, at the bottom core, there is nothingness.

Buddha was not believed by people, because who can believe in nothingness? Who wants nothingness in the first place? Modern physics is also puzzling people, driving them crazy. But reality is as it is; whether you like it or not is not the question. Your liking or not liking is not going to change it. Your liking and disliking can only keep you in illusions. Reality has to be seen as it is. And to be capable of seeing that is all that is needed to become religious: the courage to see reality in its naked truth, in its nakedness, undisguised, uncovered, undressed.

And once you have seen reality as it is, once you have had a glimpse of the real man, a great transformation happens of its own accord – that very insight transforms you, transmutes you. You are never again the same, because all illusions disappear. Seeing the reality, how can you continue to delude yourself? How can you continue to dream? How can you continue in your prejudices? How can you go on keeping false opinions? How can you carry on with doctrines and philosophies and scriptures? Seeing the reality, all simply disappears, only reality is there. And to be with that reality is liberation.

Jesus is right when he says: Truth liberates. Truth is liberation. There is every possibility that Jesus learnt the secrets of the truth through Buddhist masters. There is every possibility that before he started his work in Israel, he was in India, in Nalanda, with Buddhist masters. Nalanda was one of the most ancient Buddhafields, a great university of monks. Never before and never after has something like that ever existed again.

I am hoping to create something like that again, on a wider scale, a bigger scale. Nalanda was a great experiment, an experiment with truth, an experiment to see truth as it is. Ten thousand monks continuously meditated, worked, penetrated, with no prejudices, with no a priori ideas. They were not bent upon proving anything; they were real seekers.

The unreal seeker is one who is bent upon proving something from the very beginning. The unreal seeker is one who, says, “I am in search of God” – one thing he has accepted, that God exists.  Without knowing? If he knows, then why search? If you don’t know, then how can you search for God? Who knows? – God may exist, may not exist. The search is already based on an a priori belief.

In Nalanda, those ten thousand monks were not searching for God, they were not searching for any heaven. They were not searching in reality for something a priori. They were simply searching into their own being with no idea of what they were searching for. Their search was pure. They were just looking into reality . . . to see what is there. And because they were not preoccupied by any idea, they stumbled into nothingness, they came to know nothingness.

If you are preoccupied by some idea, then you are bound to create the illusion of your own idea in that nothingness, and that nothingness is capable of supporting any idea. Any dream that you are carrying in you can be projected on the screen of nothingness. If you are searching for Krishna, you will find him, and it will be just a projection. If you are searching for a Jewish God, you will find. If you are searching for a Hindu God, you will find. Whatsoever you search for you will find, but it will not be truth and it will not liberate you. It will be your imagination.

Remember, this is one of the most important things in life, that if you start a search with a fixed idea, a fixed attitude, you are bound to find it – and then there is a vicious circle. When you find it you think, “Of course, it is because I have found it.” Then it enhances your belief even more, then you start finding it more, and so on and so forth . . . it becomes a vicious circle. The more you believe, the more you find it; the more you find it, the more you believe. And you go on pouring reality into a dream, and one can go on wasting lives together.

Search without any idea – that is Buddha’s message. Look, just clean your eyes and look. Don’t look for some-thing in particular, just look, a pure look into things, into the suchness of things. The eyes have to be clean and pure, otherwise they can project; even a small particle of dust and it will show on the screen of nothingness. Just a little liking, disliking, a little choice, and you will create reality.

Buddha’s approach is such an absolute experiment – simple once you understand, not complicated. But if you don’t understand, you can go on deluding yourself. […]

The Buddhist approach has been to look into reality without any idea so that reality can reveal itself. Allow reality to reveal itself; don’t enforce anything upon it. All other religions have been enforcing something or other – hence they go on missing. Their work becomes metaphysical; in fact, their work becomes a kind of autohypnosis. Buddhism de-hypnotizes man. Buddha’s work is de-hypnosis: how to drop all kinds of hypnosis, all kinds of suggestions given by the society, by the people. And when you are utterly silent, with no conditioning, truth becomes known. That truth liberates.

If it rain, let it rain;
If it rain not, let it not rain;
But even should it not rain,
You must travel
With wet sleeves.

Now the sutras:

One very precious word in Buddha’s approach towards life is samata. Samata means equanimity, equilibrium, balance, choicelessness. Don’t move to the extremes, avoid extremes.

Pain and pleasure are two extremes – don’t choose. Don’t avoid either and don’t cling to either. Just remain in the middle of it, watching, looking at it, unattached. Pain comes, let it come – you just be a watchful consciousness. You just be awareness. There is a headache, you just watch it. Don’t say no to it, don’t start fighting with it; don’t deny it, don’t avoid it. Don’t try to engage yourself somewhere else so you are distracted from it. Let it be there: you simply watch. And in watching it, a great revolution happens.

If you can watch it without like and dislike, suddenly it is there but you are out of it, you are no more in it. You are standing there unbridged to it. Choicelessness unbridges you from all kinds of moods, from all kinds of minds. That is samata.

Pleasure comes, let it come. Don’t cling to it. Don’t say, “I would like to have you for ever and ever.” If you cling to pleasure, then you will avoid pain. And don’t go to the other extreme: don’t start denying pleasure, don’t start escaping from pleasure, because that is the same. If you start escaping from pleasure, you will start clinging to pain. That’s what ascetics do.

The indulgent person clings to pleasure, avoids pain. And the ascetic person avoids pleasure and clings to pain. Both approaches are wrong; in both you lose balance. Buddhism is neither indulgence nor asceticism. It does not teach anything – it simply says watch!

And that’s what Jesus goes on repeating again and again: Watch! Be watchful! Keep alert, keep awake.

You try it! This is an experiment in psychology – nothing to do with God. And you will be surprised and immensely benefitted. The day you can see that you are neither pain nor pleasure is a great day, is the greatest day – because from then onwards things will be different.

If it rain, let it rain…
If there is pain, let it be so.
If it rain not, let it not rain

If there is no pain, let it be so. If there is pleasure, let it be so. But you don’t get identified with anything.

But even should it not rain,
You must travel
With wet sleeves.

But remember one thing: even if your life has been of convenience, comfort, pleasure, and there have not been great pains, great miseries, then too you must travel with wet sleeves. Why? Because still you will become old, still you will have to die one day. So one can live a very pleasant life, but old age is coming, and death is coming. Death cannot be avoided; there is no way to escape from it; it is inevitable. So whether you lived a painful life or you lived a pleasant life will not make much difference when death comes. And death is coming.

Death has come the day you were born. In the very idea of birth, death has entered in you.

I have heard a very beautiful anecdote about one of the most famous Zen masters, Bankei:

Bankei had a terrible fear of death from his earliest age. When he was a small child, his mother created the fear of death in him. He says that at the age of three, his mother, as a punishment, constantly frightened him with death. Not only that: sometimes, because Bankei had committed something which was not right, she pretended that she had become dead. She would lie down with closed eyes and stop her breath, and the small child would cry and weep around her and would call her, “Come back! And I will never do such a thing again.” Only then would she start breathing.

So from the very childhood the fear of death had entered into him. He was constantly afraid. Maybe that’s why when he was young he became interested in Zen – because Zen people say there is no death. He entered a monastery and way overdid the austerities. Whatsoever was said, he overdid it, out of the fear of death. He wanted to see that there is no death; he wanted to overcome death, he wanted to conquer it. He practiced zazen sitting for such long periods at a time that the places where he sat became covered with sores and boils. He became so ill, he nearly lost his life! Then he withdrew for a few months to recuperate.

It was during a feverish period of his convalescence that he had his first satori. And this consisted of an instantaneous realization that he could not die for the simple reason that he had never been born! The crux of the matter was that he had never been born.

Now, Bankei knew as well as you know and everybody knows that his body emerged from his mother’s womb, that his body had been born. Yet he realized that he had never been born.

With the idea of birth, the idea of death arises. They go together, aspects of the same coin. Unless you get rid of the idea of birth, you will not get rid of the idea of death.

That’s why Zen people insist: Go deep into your being and see your face that you had before birth. If you can have one small glimpse of that original face which you had before birth, then death has disappeared. Attached to birth you are going to die – don’t be attached to birth, then you need not be afraid of death. Watch birth and you will be able to watch death too.

And the greatest experience of life is to die watching death. But you have to prepare for it. If you cannot even watch a headache, if you cannot even watch a small pain in the stomach, if you cannot watch these small things, you will not be able to watch death.

Buddhism says: Watch! Let every moment of life become an experience in watchfulness – pain, pleasure, everything; love, hate, everything; good, bad, everything. Go on watching. Let one taste spread on your being: the taste of watchfulness, and samata arises out of it. One becomes utterly balanced in the middle of the polarities.

In that balancing . . . just like a tightrope walker walks balanced on the tightrope. He remains in the middle, does not lean to the left or to the right; or whenever he finds himself leaning to one side, he immediately balances himself. Between pain and pleasure, day and night, birth and death, go on balancing . . . and then that very balancing will give you an insight of the reality you are.

That reality has never been born. This body has been born; this body is going to die . . .

Another Zen master, Bokoju, was asked by a man . . . Bokoju was ill, old, just on the verge of death, and this stranger came and asked, “Master, where will you be when you are dead?”

And Bokoju opened his eyes and said, “I will be in the grave! All my four limbs raised towards the sky.”

A strange answer. And you will miss the point if I don’t remind you. When Bokoju is saying, “I will be lying in my grave with all my four limbs raised to the sky,” what is he actually saying? He is saying, “The body will be in the grave and I will be watching it lying in the grave with four limbs raised to the sky. I will still be watching, I will still be a watcher. I have always been a watcher. The body was born and I was watching. The body became young and I was watching. And the body became old and I was watching. And one day it will die and I will be watching. I am my watchfulness.”

This Buddha calls samasati – right awareness.

If it rain, let it rain;
If it rain not, let it not rain;
But even should it not rain,
You must travel
With wet sleeves.

So don’t be deceived by your comfortable, convenient life – because death is coming to disrupt all, to destroy all. Prepare yourself!

And the only preparation is balance.

Look at the cherry blossoms!
Their colour and scent fall with them,
Are gone forever,
Yet mindless
The Spring comes again.

Life repeats itself mindlessly – unless you become mindful, it will go on repeating like a wheel. That’s why Buddhists call it the wheel of life and death – the wheel of time. It moves like a wheel: birth is followed by death, death is followed by birth; love is followed by hate, hate is followed by love; success is followed by failure, failure is followed by success. Just see!

If you can watch just for a few days, you will see a pattern emerging, a wheel pattern. One day, a fine morning, you are feeling so good and so happy, and another day you are so dull, so dead that you start thinking of committing suicide. And just the other day you were so full of life, so blissful that you were feeling thankful to God that you were in a mood of deep gratefulness, and today there is great complaint and you don’t see the point why one should go on living. And tomorrow again that blissful moment will come. The cherry blossoms will come again, and there will be fragrance and the singing of birds, and the sunlit days . . . and again the cloudy days, and the dark nights of the soul. And it goes on and on, but you don’t see the pattern.

Once you see the pattern, you can get out of it. Once you see the pattern; that it goes on and on mindlessly, it does not need you . . . People ordinarily think that when they are angry, somebody has created the anger in them. That is utterly wrong! Even if you were alone and there was nobody, you would have been angry in that moment. That has something to do with your inner wheel, with your inner periodicity, inner rhythm – it has nothing to do with somebody outside.

The outside is just an excuse, because it is so ugly to think, “I am creating my anger myself.” The excuse feels good, it relieves you of a burden. Then someday, meeting a friend, you feel so happy and you think, “The coming of the friend has made me so happy” – that too is false. Even if you were sitting alone in that moment, you would have been happy.

That is one of the great realizations that comes to people who move into isolation for a few days. That’s a good meditation, to move into isolation for a few weeks and just to be alone for a few weeks. You will be surprised! Out of nowhere . . . one day you are feeling good – nobody is there and nobody has done anything to you. And one day you are feeling so bad. One day you are dancing, another day you are crying. And then you can see that you create your own states.

Once this is seen you stop throwing responsibilities on others and life becomes a different life. Otherwise, we are all throwing our responsibilities on others. We are making others feel guilty: “It is because of you that I am angry or sad.” And naturally the others have to accept it because they are doing the same thing themselves. And they have to accept it for another reason too, because sometimes they are praised because they make people happy too.

Once you know that you can’t make anybody happy, you have never made anybody happy, and nobody can make you happy and nobody can make you unhappy – once this insight has become settled in your heart, you will never be throwing responsibility on anybody. All struggle, futile struggle, disappears. Then you know that you have an inner wheel that goes on moving. Sometimes one spoke is on top, sometimes another spoke comes on top.

And it moves mindlessly, remember. So the only way to get out of it is mindfulness. It is a robot; it is a mechanical thing; it is an automaton. So all meditations are nothing but de-automatization. All the processes that have become automatic in you have to be de-automatized. Anything that de-automatizes helps immensely.

For example, you walk at a certain pace. Buddha told his disciples: Walk slowly; change the pace. Just walk very slowly. And suddenly you will be surprised: if you walk slowly, you become aware of your walking. In fact, you can walk slowly only if you remain aware. The moment you lose awareness, you will gather speed; then you will become again an automaton.

Buddha’s meditations are to make you aware about life’s activities. Eating, eat with full awareness; chew with awareness of what you are doing. Walking, each single step has to be taken with full awareness of what is happening, what you are doing. Not verbally! but there has to be a consciousness behind: “I am raising my left foot” – not that you have to repeat it, “I am raising my left foot.” That is stupid. There is no need to repeat it. But you can watch it: “I am chewing. I am standing under the shower. The water is cool. It is too hot and the body is perspiring.” Not that you have repeat these words: you have just to be watchful. Then slowly, slowly a new integration happens in you, a mindfulness arises. That mindfulness can take you out of the wheel – nothing else.

Look at the cherry blossoms!
Their colour and scent fall with them,
Are gone forever,
Yet mindless
The Spring comes again.

How many times has it happened to you? You had fallen in love with a woman or with a man, and then there was great frustration and great misery, and you suffered and there was anguish, and you thought you were finished for ever – never again! And after just a few days, again the spring comes, again you are feeling love blossoming in you, again you are falling into the same rut and routine. Again you are saying the same stupid things to another woman. Again you are whispering those sweet nothings, and you are hearing those sweet nothings. And again you are in a dream world, and you have completely forgotten the old experience.

And this will happen again and again! The spring goes on coming. Don’t think you are very much different from a cherry tree. You are angry – and this is so about all your moods – you are angry and you feel the fire of it and the poison of it and the destructiveness of it, and you suffer. And you decide, “No more again. It is ugly and it is foolish and it is a sheer wastage of energy. So why should I be in anger again?” And you decide, and you decide very strongly, “This is the last time. Now I am going to avoid.” And one day, mindlessly, it comes again. Just a small thing triggers it, and you are again on fire, again red, again doing destructive things. And later on you will remember. You will become mindful, but always later on. Then it is of no sense, no meaning. It is impotent.

Mindfulness means in the moment. Everybody is wise when the moment has passed, remember this. Really wise are those who are wise in the moment. When something is happening – you are sad – this is the moment to become so watchful that you are unbridged from sadness, that you are disconnected from sadness; that sadness is there, you are here, and there is no connection. You are no more identified. You are simply seeing it.

You are not sad, you are the seer. Then you are wise.

When sadness has gone, then you think, “It was not good to become sad. It was so trivial, so foolish; there was no meaning in it. Next time I am not going to become so sad. There is no point.” But you will become sad again because awareness can be practiced only in the moment. This repentance is not on the right track.

Everybody repents, and things go on happening the same way they have always been happening. There is such a vicious circle that sometimes you think you are doing the opposite and you are not really doing the opposite but the same thing.

An angry person can decide, “I will never be angry,” and can go on repressing anger. Then by repressing anger, one day he has so much anger that it is uncontrollable, it explodes. If he had not repressed, he may not have been so angry. Now he is more angry because he tried not to be angry.[…]

This happens. You can go on thinking that you are doing something else, something contrary. But if you are mindless, something else is going to happen.

Your life is not lived by you – it is lived by a very mindless process. You are not really living it: you are being lived by a mindless existence. You are born, you are young, you become old; you have emotions, ideas – and they all are happening in you just like the cherry blossoms. And you go on repeating the same, year in, year out; you go on moving in a wheel. To see it, to see it totally, to see it as it is, is Buddha’s way of becoming aware.

The vicious circle of birth and death has to be broken, but it can be broken only if you start looking into things which happen to you in a detached way, in a non-passionate way. What scientists call ‘a detached observation’ is really a Buddhist discovery.

Scientists have been trying this only for three hundred years – in their labs they simply watch, without any prejudice, without for or against. They simply note down the facticity of it. But this is an ancient Buddhist meditation: the same way one has to watch one’s own mind, one’s own mind’s functionings, structures, and slowly, slowly you start becoming aware of a wheel that goes on moving inside you. And you are not moving the wheel; it moves on its own. The spell can be broken only if in this mechanical process of life something of awareness penetrates.

De-automatize yourself.

Buddhism is the shaved part of the saucepan,
The whiskers of the pebble,
The sound that accompanies
The bamboos in the picture.

Still Buddhism is not an ‘ism’, it is not a philosophy. It does not give you any idea of what reality is – because once the idea is given to you of what reality is like, you immediately jump upon it, you start clinging to it. And you will make reality like your idea, you will create it.

Buddhism simply takes all ideas away from you, it is negative. It does not give you any positive notion. It does not say what truth is: it only says what truth is not. It eliminates, it goes on eliminating. It is very severe. It does not allow you any nook and corner to cling to. It takes all, everything that you possess away from you. Only then one thing is left, which cannot be taken away – that is your awareness. Then uncontaminated awareness is left; you become a mirror. In that mirror the reality is reflected. So Ikkyu says:

Buddhism is the shaved part of the saucepan,
The whiskers of the pebble,
The sound that accompanies
The bamboos in the picture.

So Buddhism as an ‘ism’ is as false as The sound that accompanies

The bamboos in the picture, or as false as The whiskers of the pebble. As an ‘ism’ Buddhism is false.

Then what is it? If it is not a philosophy, then what is it?

It is just an approach towards reality, an opening. It is not a belief system. It is utterly devoid of beliefs; it negates beliefs. It is not a positive philosophy. And that is the beauty of it – because all positive philosophies are nothing but creations of the mind.

And people are very much interested in positive philosophies. They appeal – because they enhance your mind, they nourish your mind. They give you great ideas how to live your life, how to achieve more, how to become more, how to be enlightened, and all that.

Buddhism simply says: Just drop your ideas and you are enlightened. Just drop your mind and you are divine.

But Buddha was very, very careful even about saying that, because people are hankering so much to cling to something. He was very careful about making even a single statement positively. If you ask him, “What will happen when all has disappeared and one has become a mirror?” he says, “There will be no pain”; but he never says, “There will be bliss.” Never for a single moment, for a single time does he become positive.

People used to insist to him, because they had heard it down the ages that when the ultimate happens you will be blissful. And Buddha says, “You will not be miserable” – that’s all. “Why don’t you say,” they would ask him, “that we will be happy and blissful?” And he would say, “If I say that you will be happy, then it is never going to happen – then you will search for happiness! And you will fall into new dreams and new imaginations, heaven and paradise and so on and so forth. And you will create your own ideas of what happiness is. And all that you know is misery. So I say only: There will be no misery – and let me keep absolutely quiet about what there will be. You just drop misery and see what is.”

It didn’t appeal to ordinary, mediocre minds. The mediocre mind wants something to possess; he wants some keys which can open new doors to new treasures. Buddha simply takes all the keys out of your hands. He leaves you utterly alone . . . but in that utter aloneness, something immense happens, something infinite happens, something unimaginable happens, something inexpressible happens. And the first condition for it to happen is that you should not think about it, that no idea should be given to you about it – otherwise it will never happen because the idea will prevent it.

Buddhism is the shaved part of the saucepan,
The whiskers of the pebble,
The sound that accompanies
The bamboos in the picture.

Then what is Buddhism? Just a gesture, just a painted picture. There is no sound in it, no wind is blowing. Just Indian ink is there and nothing else – no sound, no wind. You just imagine sound and wind, you imagine movement – nothing is moving there. So people have created Buddhism out of their own imagination.

The religion that exists in the name of Buddhism is just a painted religion. Buddha never delivered this thing to the world. It is a creation of the people; because people cannot live with nothingness they created something.

What I say to you, you may not hear it, it may be too much for you. You may hear something which I have not said at all, because that you can manage. You may hear a few fragments. You may delete something, you may add something; you may create something out of what I am saying; you may create something out of it which is absolutely yours.

That’s how Buddhism has happened. That’s how Christianity has happened. That’s how all the religions have happened. The original expression has been lost in interpretations. What exists in the name of Buddhism is not what Buddha had said. What Buddha had said caul be experienced only if you become a Buddha – there is no other way.

What I am saying to you can be experienced only in the same state of mind, in the same state of awareness. It is impossible to convey it. Once it leaves one state of consciousness and enters into another kind of state, it is transformed, it is translated, it becomes polluted, it is never the same again.

If you can also become silent, quiet, unprejudiced, with no opinion in your mind, then things can happen. But people carry opinions in their minds – such opinions! amazing opinions!

Just the other day I was reading an article by Ashoka. Now he feels doubtful about my enlightenment because sometimes I look at the clock. “How can an enlightened person look at a clock? Can’t he know what time it is? And if he can’t even know what time it is, what else can he know?” And this type of thing continues. It is not only in Ashoka’s mind – in many people’s minds, because minds are minds.

But you have not looked at it without prejudice. You have some idea of how an enlightened person should be. You have some idea – in that idea it is implied that he will know without looking at the clock what time it is. The reality is just the contrary.

You may be able to know what time it is without looking at the clock, but an enlightened person cannot – because for him time has disappeared. For him there is no more time! For him there is only eternal now. Nothing moves. All has stopped. His clock has stopped! Now there exists no calendar in him anymore. He has to look to know what time it is. You can feel the time because your clock, inside clock, is working; you can have a certain inference about what time it must be. And within minutes you will be right; at the most, within ten minutes you will be right. Your mind can calculate. You know what time is; you know how much it feels when one hour passes by.

But to the enlightened consciousness, nothing passes. All simply is . . . and always is. There is no way to infer what time it is. Hence, I have to look at the clock again and again.

Sometimes Vivek becomes very much puzzled, because just five minutes before I had looked at the clock and I look again. And she says, “Just five minutes before you had looked, and you are looking again.” And I can understand her puzzlement: anybody can infer, any child can infer, that only five minutes have passed. But nothing is passing for me. Even for the day I have to inquire what day today is, what date today is.

But you have your mind, your idea, and naturally you can look only from your mind and from your idea. You will go on missing that way. You have to drop your prejudices; you have to drop all ideas. Why bother how an enlightened person should be when an enlightened person is with you? Why not look directly? Rather than having an idea, why not look directly?

You have a certain idea how a rose should be. Maybe you have never seen a black rose, and you think that a rose has to be only red. And there is a black rose, and you will say, “This is not a rose because a rose has to be red, has to be rosy. This is not a rose! It is not rosy – it is black. How can it be a rose?”

Drop the idea. Come close. Smell the flower. Sit silently with the flower. Let its fragrance give you the message. Let it have a communion with you! and you will know. And that will be far better, far truer. Otherwise, this goes on happening.

Buddha was there, and what he was saying people were not listening to – they were listening to something else. They were translating. Please, don’t translate me; otherwise, sooner or later I will be just The whiskers of the pebble, the sound that accompanies the bamboos in the picture.

Don’t create a picture! While the reality is here, why can’t you have a contact with the reality? Why can’t you bridge yourself? What is preventing you? A priori prejudices, opinions that you have gathered.

A Christian comes, and he looks at me and he wants to find Christ in me. And if he can’t find Christ he says, “This man can’t be enlightened!” A Buddhist comes, he looks for Buddha in me. A Jain comes, he looks for Mahavir in me. And if he can’t find . . . and he cannot find, because I am myself.

This rose flower is black, that rose flower is yellow, another rose flower is red – there are thousands of rose flowers. Don’t be too much concerned with the color, with the shape, with the form. But the roseness is the same, that flowering is the same.

There were people in Buddha’s time who followed Jain philosophy. They would look at him, and because he was not naked they would think he was not yet enlightened – because Jains have the idea that when a person becomes enlightened he drops all clothes. It is a beautiful idea, but clothes don’t mean clothes literally. He drops all clothes, he becomes nude, utterly nude, but not literally. But who is going to prevent people from being literal? And Buddha was not nude, so he was not an enlightened person.

Buddha was one kind of rose flower. Jesus was another kind. Bodhidharma, Buddha’s disciple, was a third kind. Buddha was silent and Bodhidharma was laughing. But I say to you: the taste of Bodhidharma’s laughter was the same as Buddha’s silence. But if you have seen Buddha sitting silently under his Bodhi Tree, you will not believe in Bodhidharma because he will be rolling on the floor. Such mad laughter! And you will say, “What is happening? This man must be mad – how can he be enlightened? An enlightened person always sits under a Bodhi Tree and never looks at a clock!”

Your ideas continuously interfere. You can miss this opportunity. It all depends on you. You can use this opportunity. You can be transformed by this opportunity . . .

The puppet-player hangs them
Round his neck, not his heart;
He can take out a devil,
He can take out a buddha.

Buddha has said that mind is a magician. All that it creates is magic work. You must have seen our sannyasin magician, Avinash. He can produce things out of empty boxes . . .  Mind is a conjurer. Once you have a certain idea in the mind, it becomes a seed and the seed starts growing, and soon it will become a reality for you. […]

Buddha says mind is a conjurer; it creates illnesses, it can create cures. Mind creates all kinds of illusions – beauty and ugliness, success and failure, richness and poverty . . . mind goes on creating. And once the idea settles in you, your whole life energy functions to create it, to make it a reality. Every thought becomes a thing, and every thing in the beginning was only a thought and nothing else. You live in a kind of hypnosis.

Buddha says this hypnosis has to be broken, and no other religion has tried so hard to break this hypnosis. Man has to be de-hypnotized. Man has to be made aware that all is mind: pain and pleasure both, birth and death both. All is mind.

And once this has been seen absolutely, the conjurer disappears . . . and then what is left is truth. And that truth liberates.

The puppet-player hangs them
Round his neck, not his heart;
He can take out a devil,
He can take out a buddha.

A tremendously important statement. You can become a Devil, you can become a Buddha – it is all mind game. You can become a sinner, you can become a saint; you can become a criminal, an Adolf Hitler, or you can become a great mahatma – and it is all mind game. In both the ways it is mind playing.

Then who is a real Buddha? If the Devil is a mind thing and the Buddha is a mind thing, then who is a real Buddha? The real Buddha is one who is no more the mind, who has come to see all the games of the mind and has retired from all the games of the mind. That is renunciation, that is sannyas: retiring from all games of the mind, playing no more new games.

Zen people say Buddha was never born, never lived, never uttered a word, never died, never attained enlightenment – and they are right. And obviously wrong too, because Buddha was born, he lived for eighty-two years, he is a historical person, he is not a myth only. He has left immense marks on the sense of time. He was born, he became enlightened, and he uttered millions of words. For forty-two years continuously he was teaching. These are obvious facts.

When Zen people say: Buddha was never born, never lived, never uttered a word, never died, never attained enlightenment, they are not denying these historical facts. Remember it. They are uttering something of more value. They are saying: Yes, he said many things but he never uttered a word – his real reality remained silent. Yes, he was born to a certain mother, to a certain father, in a certain place, but that birth was only a mind phenomenon, a dream that he lived through. But in his reality he was never born.

And, in reality, you are not born either. And in reality he never died, because how can you die if you are not born? Who can die? Who is there to die? And, of course, when you are not born and you cannot die, how can you become enlightened? Who is there to become enlightened? There is no one; there is nobody to become a Buddha.

This is Buddhahood, this is enlightenment: seeing the fact that there is nobody, that the house is utterly empty, that there has lived nobody ever, that we were only playing games of the mind, that we were creating shadows, that we were fast asleep and dreaming things . . . then all disappears.

When in the morning you wake up, it is not only that the bad dreams were wrong or false – the good dreams were also false. Whether you dream in the night that you were a thief or you dreamt that you were a yogi doesn’t matter in the morning – both are false. Whether you dreamt that you were Adolf Hitler or you dreamt that you were a Gautam Buddha doesn’t matter in the morning – when you are awake, all is finished. Gone is Adolf Hitler, gone is Gautam Buddha – all is gone. And what is left has always been there as the substratum. That eternal, that formless, that attributeless, that nirguna, that conditionless, is your reality. On that conditionless all kinds of conditions have been imposed; on that unconditional a thousand and one conditions have been put together. Those conditionings together are called the mind. And the only way to get out of the mind is to see the mind, to be aware of it.

Slowly, slowly, the more you become aware of the dream, the dream starts dissipating, the dream starts receding back. When awareness is perfect, dream has disappeared. Then you are neither a Buddha nor a man nor a woman, neither this nor that. Who are you then? – nothing can be said about it. Only one thing can be said about it: A glimpse of the real man, and you are in love, and you are love.

-Osho

From Take It Easy, Discourse #7

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

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

Has Anyone Seen Osho?

Understanding the phenomenon called “Osho” has proved strangely elusive. Perhaps that is inevitable because at root Osho represents the greatest potential paradigm shift in the history of humanity. “Seeing” this is the first step.

The first major misunderstanding is the meaning of Osho. A little over a year before he leaves the body, he announces that he was dropping all names and would like to be addressed as “the beloved friend.” Then later, when the people around him found this too difficult, he offers to accept the name “Osho,” if everyone “votes” for it. Which everyone did.

The only statement we have from Osho about the meaning of his name is in a message he dictated that was to be put inside all the books which had been transcribed from his talks, and which now had the “wrong” name on. He dictates the following message, that “his name is derived from William James’ word ‘oceanic’ which means dissolving into the ocean.  “Oceanic” describes the experience, he says, but what about the experiencer?  For that, we use the word “Osho.” And finally, he later makes the comment in his room that Osho “was not his name, but a healing sound derived from William James’ oceanic.”

What is the relevance of all this you might ask? Well, the more you listen to what he is actually saying, the more you discover that he has carefully anticipated a time when he would no longer be present, a time when the traditional ideas of an “Indian guru” or “master” – who leaves his disciples behind when he leaves the body – would naturally be projected onto his work.

In contrast to this view, we discover that he proposing something totally different:

“In the first place, I am not a guru.

“That is a dirty word. Because all gurus have been just exploiting people in the name of spirituality.

“I don’t belong to that gang. And I am not an Indian in the sense that I don’t believe in nationalities. I simply believe that the whole earth is one.” 1

About his being a Master, Osho talks about Buddha’s declaration that Maitreya, the friend, will return in twenty-five centuries. He explains the significance of this:

“What he meant was that the ancient relationship between the master and the disciple would become irrelevant in twenty-five centuries. It was his clarity of perception – he was not predicting anything – just his clarity to see that as things are changing, as they have changed in the past and as they go on changing, it would take at least twenty-five centuries for the master and disciple relationship to become out of date. Then the enlightened master will be only the friend.

“I had always wanted not to be a Master to anybody. But people want a Master, they want to be disciples; hence, I played the role. It is time that I should say to you that now many of you are ready to accept me as the friend…

“It is exactly twenty-five centuries after Buddha’s death…. It is going to change the very flavor of our whole movement. And you have to rise up so that what I want the movement to become, it becomes. So that the dream is realized.

“Don’t let me down. Okay?” 2

And perhaps most penetratingly, Osho specifically deals with how he would like to be remembered:

“I would simply like to be forgiven and forgotten. There is no need to remember me. The need is to remember yourself!

“People have remembered Gautam Buddha and Jesus Christ and Confucius and Krishna. That does not help. So what I would like: forget me completely, and forgive me too — because it will be difficult to forget me. That’s why I am asking you to forgive me for giving you the trouble. Remember yourself.” 3

And on another occasion when asked whether he would like to be remembered, as a mystic, a spiritual leader, a philosopher? He replies, “Just a nobody. I would like it to be as if I had never been.”

And even when specifically addressing the people around him, he continuously insists that they have to understand this work is not about him, it is about them:

“You must learn to work without me.

You cannot be here always, you will have to go far away; you cannot hang around me forever, you have other work to do. You have come from different countries all over the world; you will have to go. For a few days you will be here with me, but if you become addicted to my physical presence, then rather than being a help it may become a disturbance, because then when you go away you will miss me. Your meditation here should be such that it can happen without my presence; then wherever you go the meditation will not be in any way affected.

“And this too has to be remembered: I cannot always be in this physical body with you; one day or another the physical vehicle has to be dropped. My work is complete as far as I am concerned. If I am carrying this physical vehicle, it is just for you; someday it has to be dropped.

“Before it happens you must be ready to work in my absence, or in my nonphysical presence, which means the same. And once you can feel me in my absence you are free of me, and then even if I am not here in this body the contact will not be lost.

“It always happens when a buddha is there: his physical presence becomes so meaningful. Then, when he dies, everything is shattered.” 4

So, the fundamental paradox emerges. We imagine there is someone out there called Osho who is going to change us for the better. Then we discover that Osho is doing nothing but holding up a mirror so we can see ourselves. As he puts it:

“My approach to your growth is basically to make you independent of me. Any kind of dependence is a slavery, and spiritual dependence is the worst slavery of all.

“I have been making every effort to make you aware of your individuality, your freedom, your absolute capacity to grow without any help from anybody. Your growth is something intrinsic to your being. It does not come from outside, it is not an imposition; it is an unfolding.

“All the meditation techniques that I have given to you are not dependent on me – my presence or absence will not make any difference – they are dependent on you.

“It is not my presence, but your presence that is needed for them to work. It is not my being here but your being here, your being in the present, your being alert and aware that is going to help.” 5

And the essential ingredient of all these meditations has nothing to do with the outside. As he says so often, the key is to “look in” and rediscover the witness, the experiencer, “Osho” – on the inside.

So, how does all this fit together? Firstly, Osho is basically putting humanity on the couch and unraveling its every madness. He surgically dissects all that is insane in the world around us and how those outer lunacies are simply expressions of our own inner schizophrenia. And vice versa. He takes all our inner distortions and shows how these create the outer barbarity that passes for “civilization.” And at every turn, he explains – and demonstrates with his presence – the fundamental medicine for the disease, meditation.

Turning the world around on a dime was never going to be easy, or quick.

Perhaps that is why he says that he “would be contemporary in two centuries.” Long after his listeners were dead and gone.

Osho always starts with exactly what existence offers him. And that is you and me, his listeners on any particular day. And unless he could entertain us, intrigue us, connect with us in some way that kept us sitting there long enough to hear his real message of meditation, we would miss the real reason for his speaking.

But the more successful he was at this, the more his listeners become attracted to him, the longer we sit with him, came all the usual dangers that we would become “addicted to him.”

No matter how often he would explain that he was just a device, a finger pointing to the moon, that we should not become attached to the finger but look at the moon….

What to do? Not an easy finger to let go of. No matter how many times he would describe himself like a window frame, whose only function was to allow us to see the stars beyond…. No matter how many times he would explain that the answer lay within not without, the temptation to keep looking out, at him in particular, remained the ultimate pitfall.

Osho is clear that this same pitfall has destroyed every previous attempt at provoking consciousness. In fact, Osho describes two previous “quantum leaps” in this process. The first, twenty-five centuries before Buddha, happened around Adinatha, an ancient Jaina, inner explorer whose efforts “got lost in a desert of austerities and self-torture.” Osho explains, “This was the first quantum leap: God was disposed of.” But Adinatha “did not drop organization. And because there was no God, the organization created rituals.”

So people ended up looking outwards not inwards.

The second quantum leap occurred around Buddha.

“It is Buddha’s insight to see that God has been dropped; now the gap should be filled, otherwise the gap will destroy man. He puts in meditation – something really authentic, which can change the whole being. But he was not aware – perhaps he could not be aware because there are things you cannot be aware of unless they happen – that there should be no organization, that there should be no priesthood, that as God is gone religion should also be gone. But he can be forgiven because he had not thought about it and there was no past to help him to see it, it came after him.

“The real problem is the priest, and God is the invention of the priest.

“Unless you drop the priest, you can drop God, but the priest will always find new rituals, he will create new gods.” 6

Despite Buddha insisting, “be a light unto yourself,” the Buddhists end up looking outwards, and upwards, and not inwards.

So, Osho proposes the next step, the third quantum leap:

“My effort is to leave you alone with meditation, with no mediator between you and existence.

“When you are not in meditation you are separated from existence and that is your suffering. It’s the same as when you take a fish out of the ocean and throw it on the bank – the misery and the suffering and the tortures he goes through, the hankering and the effort to reach back to the ocean because it is where he belongs. He is part of the ocean and he cannot remain apart.

“Any suffering is simply indicative that you are not in communion with existence, that the fish is not in the ocean.

“Meditation is nothing but withdrawing all the barriers, thoughts, emotions, sentiments, which create a wall between you and existence. The moment they drop you suddenly find yourself in tune with the whole; not only in tune, you really find you are the whole.”

Osho continues about what happened to Adinatha and Buddha’s work, and how to avoid these failures in future:

“Buddha, seeing what had happened to Jainism, that it had become a ritualism, dropped God. He dropped all rituals and single-pointedly insisted on meditation, but he forgot that the priests who had made rituals in Jainism are going to do the same with meditation. And they did it, they made Buddha himself a God. They talk about meditation but basically, Buddhists are worshippers of Buddha – they go to the temple and instead of Krishna or Christ, there is Buddha’s statue….

“The priests had to create the statue – God was not there, ritual was difficult, around meditation ritual was difficult. They created a statue and they started saying – in the same way all religions have been doing – have faith in Buddha, have trust in Buddha, and you will be saved.

“Both the revolutions were lost. I would like that what I am doing is not lost. So I am trying in every possible way to drop all those things which in the past have been barriers for the revolution to continue and grow.

“I don’t want anybody to stand between the individual and existence.

“No prayer, no priest, you alone are enough to face the sunrise, you don’t need somebody to interpret for you what a beautiful sunrise it is.” 6

Or as he put it more bluntly on another occasion:

“It is such an absurd effort to force living human beings to worship the dead rather than finding the deeper layers of life within themselves. Giving them teddy bears outside, consolations – ugly consolations, degrading consolations.…” 7

And:

“As far as I am concerned, I am simply making every effort to make you free from everybody — including me — and to just be alone on the path of searching.

“This existence respects a person who dares to be alone in the seeking of truth. Slaves are not respected by existence at all. They do not deserve any respect; they don’t respect themselves, how can they expect existence to be respectful toward them?

“So remember, when I am gone, you are not going to lose anything.

“Perhaps you may gain something of which you are absolutely unaware. Right now I am only available to you embodied, imprisoned in a certain shape and form. Right now you have to come to me. When I am gone, where can I go?

“I will be here in the winds and in the ocean; and if you have loved me, if you have trusted me, you will feel me in a thousand and one ways.

“In your silent moments, you will suddenly feel my presence. Once I am unembodied, my consciousness is universal.” 5

If you thought Osho’s analysis of the state of the world was radical, including his insights about sex, power, the family, education, the environment, democracy, the state, politics, religion…. If you thought that his insight that all the human stupidities you read about in the newspapers every day are simply a projection of all our personal stupidities was radical…. Then you haven’t heard the half of it. His proposal for how the individual can change him or herself is even more radical. The “third quantum leap” in the history of consciousness is the basic understanding of we can also affect radical change by dropping all those same stupidities which keep the world so retarded.

If Osho is right, and the mess of the world around us is in our hands, then instead of always looking to the priests and the politicians, to the media and the pundits, and all the other people trying to brainwash us to believe that they know what they are doing and have all the answers – now we know the solution is in our hands. The choice is ours. In the process, of course, we realize why all those “influencers,” the ones who benefit from the status quo and will do anything to resist change, all want to persuade us not to look for Osho. If we do, we will be able to happily ignore those apologists for what they call “civilization” – and they will have to look for a job!

And if like most of us, you haven’t really seen Osho yet, now you know where he suggests we look.

-Prem Amrito MD

From Osho Times

To continue reading and see all available formats of these talks:

Osho, The Last Testament, Vol. 3, Talk #5 – This Moment Is Enough for Me
Osho, The Last Testament, Vol. 3, Talk #25 – Religion, Religiousness, and Religio
Osho, The Transmission of the Lamp, Talk #29 – Just like Ripe Fruit
4 Osho, A Bird on the Wing, Talk #1 – Empty Your Cup
5 Osho, Beyond Enlightenment, Talk #11 – Harmony: The Birthplace of Love
6 Osho, The Last Testament, Vol. 5, Talk #16
7 Osho, Isan: No Footprints in the Blue Sky, Talk #5 – Empty Your Mind

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

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

This Very Place the Lotus Paradise – Osho

Man lives in illusion. Man lives through illusion. Man lives for illusion. In short, man lives because of illusion. Hence the fear of truth. Nobody wants truth, although everybody goes on seeking for it. That seeking is a deception, that seeking is an avoidance. To seek truth means to avoid truth.

It has to be understood – how the seeker goes on avoiding truth. To seek means to look far away, to seek means to look somewhere else, to seek means to go on a trip. To seek means to postpone – to seek means it will happen tomorrow or the day after tomorrow, it is not happening right now. It is not here, it is there. It is not this, it is that.

Man goes on living in illusion. But to live in illusion one needs to avoid truth, because if truth comes it will shatter all your illusions and all your so-called life and all your so-called love. Truth looks like a calamity. And Friedrich Nietzsche is right in a sense when he says: Please don’t give truth to humanity. Otherwise, you will destroy people’s joy, you will destroy their enthusiasm, you will destroy their gusto. Don’t give truth to humanity, otherwise all that they have will disappear. Because all that they have is a kind of dream. Don’t wake humanity, otherwise the dreams will be shattered. And they may be seeing beautiful dreams – or hoping to see, somewhere, sometime.

That’s why Christ is crucified, Socrates is poisoned, Buddha is stoned. They bring truth to people who have become almost illusory. They bring light to people who live in darkness and dream in darkness. And their dreams depend on darkness – when somebody brings light into the darkness the darkness disappears and the dreams and the desires.

One feels hurt by a Buddha or a Christ. The Christ looks not like the saviour but like the enemy. Otherwise, why should you crucify Christ? There is no other reason. The basic reason is: he uproots you, he shatters you. This has to be understood very deeply. And when you live in illusion, you search for truth. That is a double deception, so that you can go on telling yourself and consoling yourself that ‘I am searching. Look what great efforts I am making, how much I am putting my energy into the search – look!’

The search for truth arises out of your lie. It is the lie that puts you on the search for truth. It is a protection for the lie, it is the way of the lie to survive. It says: Go and search for truth. It is there far away in some distant land. You will have to travel, and the travel is long and the travel is not going to be finished soon. It will take lives and lives, it will take millennia, but go! Go on searching, one day you will find it. The lie gives you hope, it gives you a future, it gives you future dreams. Your God is somewhere far away. It has to be far away, because close by He will be dangerous. […]

But in your very destruction is the possibility of a new birth. Out of the ashes the new is going to be born. The myth of the phoenix is not a myth, it is a metaphor for man’s rebirth. You have to die first to be reborn. […]

But if you come close to me – and initiation means coming close, initiation means coming as close as possible – you will be burned. You will be burned to ashes. You will disappear.

But that is the only real hope. If you disappear as you are, you will be born as you really are. Only the disappearance of the lie that you have become can be the birth of truth. And truth is not far away, it is just hiding within you. And you are clinging to the lie. Your personality is the lie. And because of the personality you cannot move towards the essence. The personality is taught by the society; the society creates lies. Lies are very, very convenient. Lies function like lubricants, lies make life smooth. You see somebody and you smile. And the smile is a lie – because it is not coming from your heart, it is just painted there on the lips. You have created it, you have managed it, it is a kind of exercise of the lips. But it lubricates relationship, the other man starts smiling.

If you are true, if you are as you are, it will be difficult, the relationship will become difficult. Psychologists say that if every person starts revealing what is in his heart, friendship will disappear from the earth, love will disappear from the earth. That is true. It will be impossible to find friends if you simply say what is in your heart. If you say what is in your heart your beloved will leave you and your lover will leave you.

You go on keeping it in the heart, and you go on playing something which is not really there – you do something else, just the opposite. You may be angry but you smile. You may be hurt but you smile. You may be boiling within but you smile. You may want to scream but you go on singing. You may want to do something else but it is not feasible, it is not practical, it is not the right thing to do.

The society creates this persona, this mask around you, this personality.

There are three you’s in you. You-1 – that is the personality. The word personality comes from a Greek root ’persona’. In the Greek drama they used to use masks, and the voice would come from the mask. ’Sona’ means voice, sound, and ’per’ means through the mask. The real face you don’t know – who the real actor is. There is a mask, and through the mask comes the voice. It appears as if it is coming from the mask, and you don’t know the real face. The word ’personality’ is beautiful, it comes from Greek drama.

And that’s what has happened. In the Greek drama they had only one mask. You have many. Masks upon masks, like layers of an onion. If you put one mask away there is another, if you put that away there is another. And you can go on digging and digging and you will be surprised how many faces you are carrying. How many! For lives you have been collecting them. And they are all useful, because you have to change many times. You are talking to your servant, you cannot have the same face that you have when you talk to your boss. And they may be both present in the room: when you look at the servant you have to use one mask and when you look at your boss you have to use another mask. You continuously change. It has almost become automatic – you need not change, it changes itself. You look at the boss and you are smiling. And you look at the servant and the smile disappears and you are hard – as hard as the boss is to you. When he looks at his boss, he smiles.

In a single moment you may be changing your face many times. One has to be very, very alert to know how many faces one has. Innumerable. They cannot be counted.

This is your first you, the false you. Or call it the ego. It has been given to you by the society, it is a gift from the society – from the politician and the priest and the parent and the pedagogue. They have given you many faces just to make your life smooth. They have taken away your truth, they have given you a substitute. And because of these substitute faces you don’t know who you are. You can’t know, because the faces change so fast and they are so many, you cannot trust yourself. You don’t know exactly which face is yours. In fact none of these faces is yours.

And the Zen people say: Unless you know your original face you will not know what Buddha is. Because Buddha is your original face. You were born as a Buddha and you are living a lie.

This social gift has to be dropped. That is the meaning of sannyas, initiation. You are a Christian or a Hindu or a Mohammedan, that face has to be dropped. Because it is not your own face – it has been given to you by others, you have been conditioned for it. And you have not even been asked, you have not even been requested. It has been imposed forcibly, violently.

All parents are violent and all educational systems are violent. Because they don’t take any note of you. They have a-priori ideas, they already know what is right. And they put the ‘right’ on you. You squirm, you scream inside, but you are helpless. A child is so helpless and so delicate, he can be molded in any way. And that’s what the society does. Before the child becomes strong enough it is already crippled in a thousand and one ways. Paralyzed, poisoned.

The day you want to become religious you will have to drop religions. The day you want to relate to God you will have to drop all ideologies about God. The day you want to know who you are, you will have to drop all the answers that have been given to you. All that is borrowed has to be burnt.

That’s why Zen has been defined as: ‘Direct pointing to the human heart. Seeing the nature and becoming Buddha. Not standing on letters. A separate transmission outside the scriptures.’ A separate transmission outside the scriptures: the Koran cannot give it to you, neither can the Dhammapada nor the Bible nor the Talmud nor the Gita. No scripture can give it to you. And if you believe in the scripture you will go on missing truth.

Truth is in you. It has to be encountered there. ‘Seeing the nature and becoming Buddha. Direct pointing to the human heart.’ You are not to go anywhere. And wherever you go you will remain the same, so what is the point? You can go to the Himalayas; it is not going to change anything. You will carry all that you have with you. All that you have become, all that you have been made, you will carry all your artificiality. Your synthetic faces, your borrowed knowledge, your scriptures, will go on clinging inside you. Even sitting in a cave in the Himalayas alone you will not be alone. The teachers will be there around you, and the priests and the politicians and the parents and the whole society. It may not be so visible but it will be there inside you crowding you. And you will remain a Hindu there or a Christian or a Mohammedan. And you will go on repeating words like parrots. It will not change, it cannot change. […]

Wherever you go you will be yourself. Even in Heaven or in the Himalayas. You cannot be otherwise. The world is not outside you; you are the world. So wherever you go you take your world with you.

The real change has not to be of place, the real change has not to be outside, the real change has to be inner. And what do I mean by real change? I don’t mean that you have to improve upon yourself, because improvement is again a lie. Improvement means you will go on polishing your personality. You can make it immensely beautiful – but remember, the more beautiful it is, the more dangerous, because the more difficult it will be to drop it.

That’s why it happens that sometimes a sinner becomes a saint. But your so-called respectable people never become. They cannot become – they have such valuable person-alities, so much decorated, polished, and they have put so much investment in the personality, their whole life has been a kind of polishing. Now it is too costly to drop those beautiful personalities. A sinner can drop it, he has no investment in it. In fact he is fed-up with it, it is so ugly. But how can a respectable person drop it so easily? It has been paying him so well, it has been such a profit. It has been making him more and more respected, he is going higher and higher, he is reaching the pinnacle of success. It is very difficult for him to stop going on this ladder of success. It is a non-ending ladder, you can go on and on for ever. […]

When you are succeeding in the world it is difficult to stop. When you are becoming richer it is difficult to stop, when you are becoming famous it is difficult to stop. The more refined personality you have, the more it clings to you.

So I am not saying that you have to improve upon yourself. All the great masters, from Buddha to Hakuin, nobody has said to improve. Beware of the so-called ’improvement books’. The American market is full of those books: beware. Because improvement is not going to lead you anywhere. It is not a question of improvement, because by improvement the lie will be improved. The personality will be improved – will become more polished, will become more subtle, will become more valuable, will become more precious – but that is not the transformation. The transformation comes not by improvement but by dropping the personality utterly.

The lie cannot become the truth. There is no way to improve upon the lie so that it becomes the truth. It will remain the lie. It will look more and more like the truth but it will remain the lie. And the more it looks like the truth, the more you will be engrossed in it, rooted in it. The lie can look so much like the truth that you can even become oblivious of the fact that it is a lie.

The lie tells you: Search for the truth. Improve your character, your personality. Search for the truth, become this, become that. The lie goes on giving you new programs: Do this, and then everything will be good and you will be happy for ever. Do this, do that. This has failed? Don’t be worried, I have other plans for you. The lie goes on giving you plans, and you go on moving in those plans and wasting your life.

In fact the search for truth also comes out of the lie. That will be hard to understand but it has to be understood. The search for truth comes from the lie itself. It is the lie’s way to protect itself – it gives you even the search for truth, now how can you be angry with your personality? And how can you call it a lie? It propels you, it enforces you, it pushes you to search for truth.

But the search means going away. And truth is here, and the lie pushes you to go there. And truth is now, and the lie says ‘then’ and ‘there’. The lie always speaks either of the past or of the future, it never speaks of the present. And the truth is the present. This very moment! It is herenow. That’s what Hakuin means when he says:

This very place the lotus paradise,
This very body the buddha.

So the first ‘you’ is the lie, the act. The pseudo-personality that surrounds you. The public face, the phoniness. It is a fraud. The society has imposed it upon you and you have become a cooperator with it. You have to drop your cooperation with the social lie. Because only when you are utterly nude are you yourself. All clothes are social. All ideas and all identities that you think you are, are social – given by others. They have their motives to give those ideas to you. It is subtle exploitation.

The real exploitation is not economic or political, the real exploitation is psychological. That’s why all the revolutions up to now have been failures. Hitherto, no revolution has succeeded. The reason? Because they have not looked at the deepest exploitation which is psychological. They only go on changing superficial things. A capitalist society becomes communist, but it makes no difference. A democracy becomes dictatorial, a dictatorial society becomes democratic, it makes no difference. These are just superficial changes, like a whitewash, but the structure remains deep down the same.

What is the psychological exploitation? The psychological exploitation is that nobody is allowed to be himself. That nobody is accepted as himself or herself. That nobody is respected. How can you respect people if you don’t accept them as they are? If you impose things upon them and then you respect, you respect your own impositions. You don’t respect them as they are, you don’t respect their nudity. You don’t respect their naturalness, you don’t respect their spontaneity, you don’t respect their real smiles and real tears. You respect only phoniness, pretensions, actions. Their actings you respect.

This you-1 has to be utterly dropped. Freud helped much to make humanity aware of the pseudoness of personality, of the conscious mind. His revolution ii far deeper than the revolution of Marx, his revolution is far deeper than any other revolution. It goes deep, although it does not go far enough. It reaches to the second you, you-2. It is the repressed you, instinctive you, unconscious you. It is all that the society has not allowed, it is all that the society has forced inside your being and locked in there. It comes only in your dreams, it comes only in metaphors, it comes only when you are drunk, it comes only when you are no more in control. Otherwise, it remains far away from you. And it is more authentic, it is not phony.

Freud has done much to make man aware of it. And the humanistic psychologies and particularly growth groups, encounter and others, have helped tremendously to make you aware of all that is screaming inside you, all that has been repressed, crushed. And that is your vital part. That is your real life, natural life. Religions have condemned it as your animal part, they have condemned it as the source of sin. It is not the source of sin; it is the source of life. And it is not lower than the conscious. It is deeper than the conscious, certainly, but not lower than the conscious.

And nothing is wrong if it is animal. Animals are beautiful, so are trees. They still live naked in their utter simplicity. They have not yet been destroyed by the priests and the politicians, they are yet part of God. Only man has gone astray. Man is the only abnormal animal on the earth – otherwise all animals are simply normal. Hence the joy, the beauty, the health. Hence the vitality. Have you not seen it? When a bird is on the wing have you not felt jealous? Have you not seen it in a deer running fast into the forest? Have you not felt jealous of the vitality, of the sheer joy of energy?

Children: have you not felt jealous? Maybe because you feel so jealous, that’s why you go on condemning childishness. You go on condemning. Montague is right when he says that instead of telling people ‘Don’t be childish’ we should start telling people ‘Don’t be adultish’. He is right, I agree. A child is beautiful, the adult is what ugliness is. He is no more a flow; he is blocked in many ways. He is frozen, he is dull and dead. He has lost zest, he has lost enthusiasm, he is simply dragging. He is bored, he has no sense of mystery. He never feels surprised, he has forgotten the language of wonder. Mystery has disappeared for him. He has explanations, mystery is no more there. Hence he has lost poetry and the dance and all that is valuable and all that gives meaning and significance to life, all that gives flavor to life.

This second ‘you’ is far more valuable than the first. That is where I am against all the religions, that is where I am against all the priests, because they cling to the first, the superficial most. Go to the second. But the second is not the end – that is where Freud falls short. And that is where humanistic psychology also falls short – goes a little deeper than Freud but still does not go deep enough to find the third.

There is a third ‘you’, you-3. The real you, the original face, which is beyond you-1 and you-2, both. The transcendental. The Buddhahood. It is undivided pure consciousness. The first you is social, the second you is natural, the third you is divine. Or, if you want to use Hakuin’s terms, the first you is the physical body, the second you is the bliss body, and the third you is the essential body. These are the three bodies of Buddha.

And remember, I am not saying that the first is not at all useful. If the third exists then the first can be used beautifully. If the third exists, the second can be used beautifully. But only if the third exists. If the center functions well then the periphery too is okay, then the circumference too is okay. But without the center, only the circumference, is a kind of death.

That’s what has happened to man. That’s why in the West so many thinkers think that life is meaningless. It is not. It is only because you have lost touch with your source from where meaning arises.

It is as if a tree has lost its contact with its own roots. Now no flowers come. Now the foliage starts disappearing, the leaves fall and no new leaves arrive. And the juice stops flowing, the sap no more exists. The tree becomes dead, the tree is dying.

And the tree may start philosophizing, the tree may become existentialist, a Sartre or somebody else, and the tree may start saying that there are no flowers in life. That life has no flowers, that there is no fragrance, that there are no more any birds. And the tree may even start saying that it has been always so, and the ancients were only befooling themselves that there are flowers – they were imagining. ‘It has always been so, the spring has never come, people have only been fantasizing. These Buddhas and these Jinas, they have been simply imagining, fantasizing, that flowers bloom and there is great joy and birds come and sunlight. There is nothing. All is darkness, all is accidental, and there is no meaning.’ The tree can say it.

And the real thing is not that there is no meaning, not that there are no more flowers, not that flowers don’t exist, not that fragrance is fantasy, but simply that the tree has lost contact with its own roots.

Unless you are rooted in your Buddhahood you will not bloom. You will not sing, you will not know what celebration is. And how can you know God if you don’t know celebration? If you have forgotten how to dance how can you pray? If you have forgotten how to sing and how to love then God is dead. Not that God is dead. God is dead in you, only in you. Your tree is dry, the sap has disappeared. You will have to find roots again. Where to find these roots? Roots have to be found here and now. That is the whole message of Hakuin’s song of meditation. Before we enter into the song, a few things.

A man can seem to be the sum total of his days, of all that he does from the beginning to the end. But this is not the true man. What you do is just on the periphery. What you feel goes a little deeper. What you are is really at the roots. A man is not the sum total of his acts. A politician IS the sum total of his acts, because he lives only on the circumference. That’s why it is easy to write history about the politicians. It is difficult to write history about Buddhas, because they live at such depth where we cannot reach them. They live in such eternity that time takes no record of them. They exist in such a transcendental way that they leave no traces on the earth. They are like birds in the sky: they fly but no footprints are left.

Politicians leave footprints. They live in the mud, in the dirt, they drag themselves in the mundane reality. They leave many footprints; they leave much bloodshed behind them. A Buddha exists as if he has never existed. He exists so absently, he exists like a space, empty space.

Remember, a man is not a sum total of his actions. And if he is, he is not yet a man; he is just a fiction, he is living in illusion. You are not what you do. So don’t be too much concerned with your doing, start going deeper into being. That’s why all meditations are basically a way to sit silently – so silently that all action stops. On the physical plane, on the mental plane, action stops, thought stops. Because thought is also action on the mental plane – you are doing something. When all doing disappears and you are simply there, just there, a presence, then the meditation has happened.

Sitting silently, doing nothing, the spring comes and the grass grows by itself.

That is the meaning of the word ‘zazen’. ‘Za’ means sitting doing nothing. And ‘zen’ means: in that sitting when you are not doing anything you fall upon yourself, you encounter yourself, you see yourself. That is zen, dhyana, meditation. The word ‘zazen’ is beautiful. ’Sitting and looking into yourself’ – that is the meaning of it.

Man is more than the sum total of his acts, his thoughts, his feelings. Behind the acts, thoughts and feelings there is another man – that which is, that which essentially IS. But many seldom if ever show themselves in their essential being. Very few ever reach to that point of their essential being-hood, to their very ground of being. Those who reach, only they know that life is a benediction. A sheer joy, eternal celebration.

But if you remain on the surface, you know only misery, nothing else. Agony, nothing else. Let me say it in this way: You-1 knows only misery and agony. You-3 knows ecstasy of being and joy of being. And You-2 neither knows ecstasy nor knows agony. It knows pleasure/pain, it is just in the middle. Ecstasy is exceeding joy without any bounds to it, infinite joy. Agony is infinite misery, no bounds to it. Just between the two exists the animal and the child. It knows play, it knows pleasure/pain. It knows neither agony nor ecstasy. It does not know infinity.

If the child moves towards the first, which society forces him to do, he will know agony. If he finds somebody who can help to move him towards the third, he will know ecstasy. To find a master is nothing but to find a man who has known his essential being, so that he can help you to go towards your own essential being.

A master is not to be followed, a master is not to be imitated, a master is only to be understood. In that very understanding is the revolution.

A man’s true life is the way in which he puts off the lie imposed by others on him. Stripped, naked, natural, he is what he is. This is a matter of being, and not of becoming. The lie cannot become the truth, the personality cannot become your soul. There is no way to make the non-essential the essential. The non-essential remains non-essential and the essential remains essential, they are not convertible. And striving towards truth is nothing but creating more confusion. The truth has not to be achieved. It cannot be achieved, it is already the case. Only the lie has to be dropped.

All aims and ends and ideals and goals and ideologies, religions and systems of improvement and betterment, are lies. Beware of them. Recognize the fact that as you are, you are a lie. Manipulated, cultivated, by others. Striving after truth is a distraction and a postponement. It is the lie’s way to hide. See the lie, look deep into the lie of your personality. Because to see the lie is to cease to lie. No longer to lie is to seek no more for any truth – there is no need. The moment the lie disappears, truth is there in all its beauty and radiance. In the seeing of the lie it disappears and what is left is the truth.

To see the lie of striving after truth is to fall into an eternal silence. A stillness comes when you see the lie of your personality. There is nothing more to do. Hence the stillness – what can you do?

Just the other night, a sannyasin was saying ‘What can I do? Whatsoever I do, I fail. What can I do?’ There is nothing really to be done. Doing is not going to help, doing will be again the same rut. Only being is going to transform you, not doing. So when one fails again and again and again, only then the insight arises that ‘Doing is never going to lead me anywhere.’ The day that sword has hit you – that ‘Doing is not going to lead me anywhere’ – what will you do? Nothing is left to do.

In your utter helplessness, the surrender. And silence and stillness. This is the silence that transforms – not the silence that somehow you impose upon yourself by repeating a mantra or doing TM; that is not the real silence, that is a created silence. Any silence that you manage to create will belong to the personality. It will not be of much use, it will not go deeper than that – how can your doing go deeper than you? When you have utterly failed, when you have seen your ultimate failure and you have seen that there is no possibility and no hope for you to succeed, what will you do in that silence? You will just be there. All has stopped. The mind no more spins any thoughts.

And in that very moment the door opens. And that silence is being, that silence is Buddha.

This stillness is not the opposite of action, it is not brought about by will or by withdrawal from the world. One cannot withdraw from the world; one is the world. The want to escape keeps us imprisoned – because the wish to be without desire is still desire, and the will to be still is disturbance. You cannot will your silence, will is the base of all disturbance. Will has to disappear. You can only see into the futility of it. Doing, willing, improving, bettering yourself, achieving, reaching – all these words are just projections of the lie.

When the lie has been seen in its totality . . . the illumination, the enlightenment.

Now Hakuin’s sutras.

The pure land paradise is not far.

Zen people call the state of no-mind ‘the pure land paradise’. So please don’t interpret it in Christian ways. Paradise, to a Christian, is somewhere there in the sky. For a Buddhist, particularly for a man like Hakuin, it is the state of no-mind.

The pure land paradise is not far.

Stop thinking and you are there. And in fact that is the Biblical meaning of the parable of Adam’s expulsion. He has not been expelled, there is nobody to expel him. He has only eaten the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge – he has become a mind. The more knowledge you accumulate, the more of a mind you become. Adam has become knowledgeable, he has become a mind, and that is the expulsion from the paradise. If he can drop his mind he will suddenly find himself again in the paradise, and he will also find that he has been always there. Even when he was thinking he had lost it, it was not lost. It was only forgotten. He became too much obsessed with knowledge, that’s why it was forgotten.

The day the child starts becoming knowledgeable he loses paradise. Each Adam loses it again and again. And don’t think that it happened once in history, and we are suffering for that ancient Adam. No. It has happened to our life – to each life, to each child. For a few months the child lives in the Garden of Eden. He knows nothing. Without knowing, he is a no-mind – he simply exists moment to moment, he has no worries. When he feels hungry, he cries, when he feels satisfied, he falls asleep. When he is happy, he smiles, when he is angry he screams. But he has no ideas about anything. He neither praises a smile nor condemns screaming. He neither feels shy about crying and weeping nor feels very good that he has been a good boy today. He knows nothing about all this nonsense. He knows nothing good, nothing bad, he makes no distinctions. He lives utterly one with reality. And whatsoever happens, happens; there is no rejection.

But by and by he will become knowledgeable, he will start learning things. The day he starts learning things he is trapped by the snake. Now he has started eating the fruit of the tree, sooner or later the paradise will disappear. Beaches will be there but no more beautiful. Butterflies will be still floating in the wind but for the child they don’t exist anymore. What exists is arithmetic, geography, history. Flowers still bloom but they don’t bloom for the child any more, he is too much into his homework. Once in a while still he hears the bird singing on the window, but only once in a while. And the whole society tries to drag him away from that.

The teacher will say ‘Look here at the blackboard! What are you doing there? Concentrate on me!’ The child was concentrating. The birdcall was so beautiful outside the window, the child was in concentration, utter concentration. This teacher has distracted him; now he has to look at the blackboard. And there is nothing to look at it, just a blackboard. But by and by we will manage to distract the child.

The expulsion is not by God but by the society. The society drags each Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden. And once you have become too much of the head it is very difficult to enter back into that purity, that pure land paradise. Zen masters say, just like Jesus said: Unless you are like small children you will not enter into the kingdom of God.

A Christian missionary went to a Zen master and started reading the Sermon on the Mount. The Zen master listened and he said ‘Whosoever has said it must be very close to Buddhahood.’ The Zen master had never heard about Christ, he had never read the Bible, but he said ‘Whosoever has said it must be very close to Buddhahood.’ And when the missionary read ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God’ the Zen master said ‘Now stop. Now there is no more to read. Now there is no need to read any more. Whosoever has said it is a Buddha.’

‘Poor in spirit’ means empty of mind. ‘Poor in spirit’ means empty – all thoughts have disappeared. Then you are again back in paradise.

The pure land paradise is not far.

It is just there! Beating in your heart. Your each breath goes and touches the pure land paradise, each moment. You live from it. Every night when you fall asleep and dreams disappear, you are in it again. That’s why in the morning you feel so fresh, again young, rejuvenated. You have been on a short trip to the pure land paradise.

When in reverence this truth is heard even once,
He who praises it and gladly embraces it
Has merit without end.

Hakuin says ‘When in reverence this truth is heard even once.’ The question is not of hearing the truth many times. If you hear even once, if you have understood it even for a single moment in deep trust and reverence, it is yours forever. Doubt distracts. Doubt does not allow you to understand, doubt does not allow you to see it. Listen in reverence, in love. Be en rapport.

That is the way to be with a master – be en rapport, be bridged. But small things, very small things, distract you. Very small things which mean nothing – but you are distracted by those small things, and doubt arises. And doubt becomes a cloud and you become blind.

. . . In reverence this truth is heard even once,

It is enough.

How much more he who turns within . . .

Even hearing the truth is a deliverance. ‘How much more he who turns within’ – who not only hears it but looks within and sees it . . .

And confirms directly his own nature,
That his own nature is no-nature . . .

When you look deep into yourself you will not find anything there obstructing your vision. It is pure space. Your nature is no-nature. It is emptiness, sunyata.

Such has transcended vain words.

Only when you look into your nature . . . and find nothing. You only find an empty infinity there. Words will not have any meaning any more, you have transcended words. You have looked into your nature and now you know no word can explain it, no word can define it, no word can even indicate it. All scriptures become meaningless.

The gate opens, and cause and effect are one . . .

When you look inside yourself and there is no content, and the no-nature has been felt and you have seen your inner sky . . .

The gate opens, and cause and effect are one.

And the source and the goal are one. Now you are not to go anywhere, you have come to your source. And to be at the source is to be at the goal. To be at the beginning is to be at the end.

Straight runs the way – not two, not three.
Taking as form the form of no-form,
Going or returning, he is ever at home.

And once you have seen the form of no-form, once you have seen the thought of no-thought, once you have seen the nature of no-nature, you are a totally new being. What happens . . .

Going or returning, he is ever at home.

Then wherever you are, you are at home. In the prison you are at home, in the temple you are at home, in the shop you are at home, in the Himalayas you are at home, in the marketplace you are at home. You are simply at home. once you have seen your center, your essential being, your Buddhahood, has been glimpsed. Then wherever you are you are at home, because all is your home. Then there is no need to leave the world.

Zen people are not against the world. They say: To be against the world is still to be attached to the world. To go to the opposite extreme is not transformation. When you no more choose between two extremes, you settle in the middle. And the middle is the way.

Straight runs the way – not two, not three.

It is a simple way – one.

Going or returning, he is ever at home.
Taking as thought the thought of no-thought,
Singing and dancing, all is the voice of truth.

Then whatsoever you do, you express truth. Whatsoever. Eating, you express truth. Walking, you express truth. When a Zen master hits a disciple he is expressing truth. When Kabir sings he is expressing truth, when Meera dances she is expressing truth. Jesus expresses truth dying on the cross, and Krishna expresses truth singing on his flute. Whatsoever you do, there is no way to avoid expressing truth. You are truth. The lie has been dropped.

Singing and dancing, all is the voice of truth.
Wide is the heaven of boundless samadhi,
Radiant the full moon of fourfold wisdom.
What remains to be sought?
Nirvana is clear before him,
This very place the lotus paradise,
This very body the buddha.

Remember the word ‘This’.

This very place the lotus paradise

And once you have known your source, wherever you are, you are in the lotus paradise.

This very place the lotus paradise,
And this very body the buddha.

And whatsoever you do – whatsoever, without any conditions – is the expression of truth.

I have heard a beautiful story about Roshi Taji, a great Zen master.

As Roshi Taji approached death, his senior disciples assembled at his bedside. One of them, remembering the roshi was fond of a certain kind of cake, had spent half a day searching the pastry shops of Tokyo for this confection which he now presented to Roshi Taji. With a wan smile the dying roshi accepted a piece of the cake and slowly began munching it. As the roshi grew weaker, his disciples leaned close and inquired whether he had any final words for them.

‘Yes’ the roshi replied.

The disciples leaned forward eagerly. ‘Please tell us!’

‘My, but this cake is delicious!’ And with that he died.

Meditate over it. What a man! What manner of man! A Buddha. Each act and each word and each gesture becomes the expression of truth. In that moment only that was true, the taste of the cake. In that moment anything else would have been false, untrue. If he had talked about God, that would not have been true. If he had talked about nirvana, that would not have been true. In that moment the taste on his tongue was still alive. In that moment that was his authentic gesture.

He said ‘My, but this cake is delicious.’ This cake.

This very place the lotus paradise,
This very body the buddha.

Zen people talk about four wisdoms.

Wide is the heaven of boundless samadhi,
Radiant the full moon of the fourfold wisdom.

The first wisdom is called ‘the wisdom of the mirror’. When there is no thought you become a mirror. This is the first wisdom, becoming like a mirror. The second wisdom is called ‘the wisdom of sameness’. When you become a mirror without any thought, all distinctions in the world disappear. Then it is all one. Then the rose and the bird and the earth and the sky and the sea and the sand and the sun are all one, it is one energy.

When you are a mirror – the first wisdom – the second wisdom arises out of the first: the wisdom of sameness. Duality disappears. And out of the second arises the third wisdom, the wisdom of spiritual vision. When you have seen that all over the world it is one energy, then only can you see inside yourself that you are also that energy. Then the seer and the seen become one, the observer and the observed become one. That is the third wisdom, the wisdom of spiritual vision. Buddha has a special word for it, he calls it dhamma chakkhu – the eye for truth, or the truth-eye. The spiritual vision opens – what yogis call ‘the third eye’. What Christ also calls ‘the one eye’, when two eyes become one. Dhamma chakkhu opens, the wisdom of spiritual vision is attained.

And out of the third arises the fourth, the wisdom of perfection. When you have seen that all is the same, and when you have looked within and seen that without and within are also the same, you have become perfect. In fact, to say that you have become perfect is not true, you have always been perfect. Now it is revealed to you – it is only a revelation. In that moment one knows . . .

This very place the lotus paradise,
This very body the buddha.

-Osho

From This Very Body the Buddha, Discourse #6

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

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

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

There is Only One Watcher – Osho

You can watch the mind because you are not the mind.

That is the whole reason to watch it: To become aware that you are separate.

Existentially, no problem arises because you cannot watch this watcher. You have come to the very end of the rope; in the very first step you have completed the journey.

Logically, you can manage to create the problem. Watcher one watches the mind; watcher two watches the watcher number one . . . and then go on ad absurdum. Don’t make it a puzzle. That will be risking your own possibility of becoming aware.

It is not a logical conclusion.

Logic has no dominance over existence.

There is only one watcher; you cannot go behind it. If you can go behind it, then it was not the watcher, it was part of the mind — mind was befooling you. A part of the mind can watch the other part. But if you have become completely unidentified with the mind and you are simply a watcher — not a thinker, not part of the mind in any way — you have come to the end of the rope in the very beginning. There is no beyond it; however you try, you will not be able to go beyond it, you will always remain the same watcher.

It is the experience of the meditators — they have all tried — that perhaps behind the watcher, they may find some other watcher. But the watcher as a word creates the problem. It is not watcher; it is really watching. It is a process; it is complete in itself. You cannot jump out of it and watch it. You are it, so you cannot go behind yourself.

It is possible to watch the mind because you are not the mind, so you can step back and have a look at the mind. And this stepping back and having a look at the mind, is the greatest transformation that can happen to man. Freed from mind, you are freed from all that was binding, imprisoning, enslaving — your miseries, your sufferings, your desires, your fears.

The watcher has no disease; the watcher is simply a mirror, reflecting. And the miracle of the process is that the more you become clearly distinct from the mind, the mind starts disappearing. That is the elimination.

Mind exists with your support; it has no source of nourishment other than your support. And the support you can give to the mind is of identity; you have to become one with the mind. Then mind as a parasite goes on living. But the moment you are separate from the mind, the parasite dies. You can see it disappearing just like smoke, into thin air. Only watching remains.

You cannot watch it, you are it.

You know it, but you don’t watch it; you feel it, but you don’t watch it; you live it, but you don’t watch it, because you cannot go behind it. It will be still the same watcher.

It is good that existence is not logical; otherwise, there would have been no buddhas, no awakened people. There would have been number one, number two, number three . . . There are unending numbers, and the whole process would become tedious. But the process does not exist; it is only mind that can create the problem and can stop you from going into existential experience.

So to eliminate you is the only way, Rashid. To illuminate you, to make you enlightened, the only way is to kill you, to kill you as an identity with the mind.

As the mind is left — like a snake leaves its old skin and slips out of it — you have done the whole pilgrimage from darkness to light, from the finite to the infinite, from death to deathlessness.

-Osho

From The Invitation, Discourse #8, Q1

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

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

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

All Beings are from the Very Beginning Buddhas – Osho

I was thinking what should I give to you today? Because this is my birthday, I was incarnated into this body on this day. This is the day I saw for the first time the green of the trees and the blue of the skies. This was the day I for the first time opened my eyes and saw God all around. Of course the word ‘God’ didn’t exist at that moment, but what I saw was God. I was thinking what should I give to you today? Then I remembered a saying of Buddha: sabba danam dhamma danana jnati – the gift of truth excels all other gifts. And my truth is love.

The word ‘truth’ looks to me a little too dry and desert-like. I am not in much tune with the word ‘truth’ – it looks too logical, it looks too ’heady’. It gives you the feeling of philosophy, not of religion. It gives you the idea as if you have concluded – that you have come to a conclusion, that there has been a syllogism behind it, argumentation and logic and reasoning. No, truth’ is not my word, love’ is my word. Love is of the heart. Truth is partial, only your head is involved. In love you are involved as a totality – your body, your mind, your soul, all are involved.

Love makes you a unity – and not a union, remember, but a unity. Because in a union those who join together remain separate. In a unity they dissolve, they become one, they melt into each other. And that moment I call the moment of truth, when love has given you unity. First, love gives you unity in your innermost core. Then you are no more a body, no more a mind, no more a soul. You are simply one – unnamed, undefined, unclassified. No more determinate, definable, no more comprehensible. A mystery, a joy, a surprise, a jubilation, a great celebration.

First, love gives you an inner unity. And when the inner unity has happened the second happens on its own – you are not to do anything for it. Then you start falling in unity with the whole beyond you. Then the drop disappears in the ocean and the ocean disappears into the drop. That moment, that moment of orgasm between you and the whole, is where you become a Buddha. That moment is the moment Buddhahood is imparted to you. Or, better, revealed to you – you have always been that, unaware.

My word is love. So I say: My beloved ones, I love you. and I would like you to fill the whole world with love. Let that be our religion. Not Christianity, not Hinduism, not Islam, not Jainism, not Buddhism, but love. Love without any adjective to it. Not Christian love – because how can love be Christian? It is so stupid. How can love be Hindu? It is ridiculous. Love is simply love. In love you can be a Christ. in love you can be a Buddha – but there is no Buddhist love and there is no Christian love.

In love you disappear, your mind disappears. In love you come to an utter relaxation. That’s my teaching to you, I teach love. And there is nothing higher than love.

Then I thought I should give you something beautiful on this day. And I remembered Hakuin’s Song of Meditation. It is a very small song, but a great gift. Hakuin is one of the greatest Zen masters. His song contains all: all the Bibles and all the Korans and all the Vedas. A small song of few lines, but it is like a seed – very small, but if you allow passage to it to your heart, it can become a great tree. It can become a Bodhi tree – it will have great foliage and much shade and thousands of people can sit and rest underneath it. It will have big branches and many birds can come and have their nests on it.

See: I have become a tree. You are the people who have come to make their nests on my tree. You can also become this. Everybody should become this – because unless you become this you will go on missing your fulfillment. Unless you become a great tree which has come to its foliage, flowers and fruits – which is fulfilled – you will remain in discontent. Anguish will go on gnawing in your heart, misery will linger around you. Bliss will be only a word, signifying nothing. God will be just gibberish.

When you have fulfillment then there is grace and then there is God. In your fulfillment you come to realize the benediction of existence.

This is a song of meditation. Hakuin has called it ‘song’ – yes, it is a song. If meditation is without a song it is do and dead – it does not beat it does not breathe. It is a song and a dance: sing it and dance it. Just don’t think upon it – then you will miss the messages you will miss its content. You will find this song and its meaning only when you are singing and dancing. When the music of life has overtaken you, has possessed you.

Hakuin’s song is so small and yet so vast, it is unbelievable. How can a man condense so much truth and so much love and so much insight into so few words? But Hakuin was a man of few words, a man of silence. For years he would not speak at all, and then he would speak a word or two.

Once the Emperor of Japan invited him to deliver a sermon in the palace. And the queen and the king and the prime minister and the ministers and the high officials and the generals, they all had gathered with great respect to listen. Hakuin came, stood there for a single moment, looked around, and left the hall. The king was puzzled. He asked his prime minister, ‘What is the Matter with this man? We had come to listen.’ The old prime minister said, ‘This is the greatest sermon that I have ever heard. He has said it! You had asked him to come and teach you about silence. He has taught it! He stood there in silence, he was silence. What more do you ask? What more do you demand? He was pure silence, standing there for those few seconds. He was utter silence. He was silence, throbbing, pulsating. But you were looking to hear some words.’

But about silence nothing can be said. And all that is said about silence will be wrong. How can you say anything about silence? To say something will be falsifying it. That’s why Lao Tzu says Nothing can be said about Tao – and if something is said, in the very saying of it, it has become untrue. Tao is silent. But that silence is not the silence of a cemetery. It is the silence of a garden where trees are alive breathing and yet there is utter silence. It is not a dead silence; it is an alive silence. Hence, he has called it ’The Song of Meditation’.

Buddha says: My approach to reality is not of belief but of seeing. His religion has been qualified as ‘Ihi passika: Come and see.’ Not as ‘Come and believe.’ Buddha says ‘Come and see: Ihi passika.’ It is here, present – you just come and see. He does not require you to believe. He is the only great teacher in the world who dropped belief – and with dropping belief he transformed religion from a very low childish stature to a very mature thing. With Buddha religion became young. Otherwise it was childish. It was a kind of belief – belief is superstition, belief is out of fear. And belief is blind. Buddha has given eyes to religion. He says: See, and there is no need to believe. And when you have seen then it will not be a belief, it will be knowing.

In this song of Hakuin you will see the way of seeing – how to open the eyes. Because truth is always there, has been always there. It is not that the truth has to be produced. Buddha says: Yatha bhutam – It is! It is already there, it is confronting you! It is in the east, it is in the west, it is in the north, it is in the south. It surrounds you – it is without and it is within. But you will have to see it: Ihi passika. Your eyes are closed, you have forgotten how to open them.

Meditation is nothing but the art of opening your eyes. The art of cleansing your eyes. the art of dropping the dust that has gathered on the mirror of your consciousness. It is natural, dust gathers. Man has been traveling and traveling for thousands of lives – dust gathers. We are all travelers, much dust has gathered – so much so that the mirror has completely disappeared. There is only dust upon dust, layers and layers of dust, and you cannot see the mirror. But the mirror is still there – it cannot be lost, because it is your very nature. If it can be lost then it will not be your nature. It is not that you have a mirror: you ARE the mirror. The traveler is the mirror – he cannot lose it, he can only forget it. At the most, forgetfulness.

You have not lost your Buddhahood. Buddha hood means the mirror clean of dust. The mirror again fresh, again reflecting, again functioning – that’s what Buddhahood is. Buddha hood means a consciousness which has become awakened. The sleep is no more and the dreams are no more and the desires have disappeared. The dust gathers, it is natural. But you cling to the dust – your desire functions like a glue.

And what is your desire? That has to be understood. If you have understood your desire you have understood all. Because in the understanding of desire, desire ceases. And when desire ceases, suddenly you have a totally new feel of your being; you are no more the old. What is the desire? What are you searching? What are you seeking?

Happiness. Bliss. Joy. That’s what you are seeking. And you have been seeking for millennia, and you have not found it yet. It is time, the right time, to think again, to meditate again. You have been seeking so hard, you have been trying so hard – perhaps you are missing just because you are trying? Maybe it is trying that keeps you away from happiness? Let us think over it, brood over it. Give a little pause to your search, recapitulate.

You have been searching for many lives. You don’t remember other lives, no need – but in this life you have been searching, that will do. And you have not found it. And nobody has ever found it by searching. Something is wrong in the very search. In the search naturally you forget yourself; you start looking everywhere, everywhere else. You look to the north and to the east and to the west and to the south, and in the sky and underneath the seas, and you go on searching everywhere. And the search becomes more and more desperate, because the more and more you search and you don’t find, great anxiety arises – ’Am I going to make it this time, or am I again going to miss it?’

More and more desperation, more and more misery, more and more madness. You go nuts. And the happiness remains as far away as ever – in fact it recedes farther away from you. The more you search, the less is the possibility to get it. Because it is inside you.

Happiness is the function of your consciousness when it is awake. Unhappiness is the function of your consciousness when it is asleep. Unconsciousness is your mirror burdened with great dust and luggage and past. Happiness is when the burden has been dropped and the mirror has been found again. And again your mirror can reflect the trees and the sun and the sand and the sea and the stars. When you have again become innocent, when you again have again become innocent, when you again have the eyes of a child – in that clarity you are happy.

I was reading a few lines of Michael Adam. They are beautiful.

‘Perhaps trying even makes for unhappiness. Perhaps all the din of my desiring has kept the strange bird from my shoulder. I have tried so long and so loud after happiness. I have looked so far and wide. I have always imagined that happiness was an island in the river. Perhaps it is the river. I have thought happiness to be the name of an inn at the end of the road. Perhaps it is the road. I have believed that happiness was always tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow. Perhaps it is here. Perhaps it is now. I have looked everywhere else.

‘So: here and now.’

But here and now is clearly unhappiness. Perhaps then no such thing as happiness. Perhaps happiness exists not, it is just a dream created by an unhappy mind. Certainly it cannot be as I unhappily imagine it. Here and now there is not happiness. So happiness is not. I need not therefore waste myself on what is not. I can forget about happiness then; I can cease to care and instead concern myself with something that I do know, can feel and fully experience. Happiness is an idle dream: now it is morning. I can awaken and stay with unhappiness, with what is real under the sun this moment. And now I see how much of my unhappiness came from trying to be happy; even I can see that trying is unhappiness. Happiness does not try . . .

‘At last, I am here and now. At last, I am what I am. I am unpretending, at ease. I am unhappy – so what? . . . But is this what I ran from? Is this really unhappiness? . . . ’

Think over it, meditate over it.

‘And when I cease to try to be happy or anything else, when I do not seek anymore, when I do not care to go anywhere, get anything, then it seems I am already arrived in a strange place: I am here and now. When I see that I can do nothing, that all my doing is the same dream, in the moment that I see this, my mind the old dreamer and wanderer is for the moment still and present.’

Naturally. If you are not searching, not seeking, not desiring, not dreaming, for a moment the mind falls into a silence. It is still. There is nothing to hanker about, nothing to make a fuss about, nothing to expect and nothing to be frustrated about. For a moment the mind stops its constant chasing. In that moment of stillness you are in a strange place, you are in a strange space, unknown, never known before. A new door has opened. For the moment the mind is still and present.

‘For the moment, here and now, the real world shows, and see: here and now is already and always all that I had sought and striven after elsewhere and apart. More than that: I have hunted after shadows; the reality is here in this sunlit place, in this bird-call now. It was my seeking aster reality that took me from it; desire deafened me. The bird was singing here all the while. . . .

‘If I am still and careless to find happiness, then happiness it seems is able to find me. It is, if I am truly still, as still as death – if I am thoroughly dead, here and now.’

Happiness suddenly jumps upon you. When desire disappears, happiness appears. When the striving is no more, for the first time you see who you are. That knowing is what Buddha means: Come and see – Ihi passika. From where is he calling you: ‘Come and see’? He is calling you from your desires. You have gone far away from your home, you have lost your home base. You are not where you appear to be. Your dream has taken you to faraway worlds – imaginary; illusory, your own creation.

Zen people have a special word for meditation, they call it ‘fu-sho’. Fu-sho means ‘unproduced’. You cannot produce it, you cannot do anything to bring it. You have to be passive, in a state of non-doing – then it comes. Then it comes suddenly, from nowhere, from the blue. And in that coming, in that shower of silence and stillness, is the transformation. It is nothing special, Zen people say. How can it be special? It is everybody’s nature, so how can it be special? It is utterly ordinary, everybody has it. You may know, you may not know – that is a different thing – but you have it. Not for a single moment have you missed it. Not for a single moment has it been taken away from you. It has been there, lying and lying and waiting for you to come back home.

Another word Zen people use for meditation is ‘wu-shi’. It means ’nothing special’ or ‘no fuss’.

Now this song of Hakuin.

All beings are from the very beginning Buddhas.

This one sentence is enough. It is the beginning and the middle and the end. It is all. The alpha and the omega.

All beings are from the very beginning Buddhas.

You are Buddhas. Never for a single moment have you been otherwise. You cannot. You cannot really go away from your Buddhahood, you can only dream. You can only dream that you have gone away, but while dreaming you will still remain here now. This is impossible, to lose your Buddhahood, because God is involved in everything and every being. And when Hakuin says, ‘All beings are from the very beginning Buddhas,’ don’t think that he is talking only of human beings. Animals are included, so are included the birds and the trees and the rocks. All that is, is included.

The English word ‘being’ comes from a Sanskrit root ‘bhu’. Bhu means ‘that which grows’. All that grows is God. The trees grow, the birds grow, the rocks grow. All that grows is God. And everything grows in its own pace. Remember, the root of ‘being’, the word ‘being’, is BHU. It simply means that which breathes, that which grows, that which has life – howsoever rudimentary, howsoever primitive. All is included.

All beings are from the very beginning Buddhas.

And what is the meaning of a Buddha? ‘Buddha’ means a consciousness that has come back to itself – is no more wandering in dreams, is no more thinking of the future, is no more thinking of the past. A consciousness that is not possessed by memories or possessed by imagination. A consciousness that has got rid of the past and rid of the future, a consciousness that has only present. A consciousness that lives in the moment, utterly here now. Alert, awake, radiant.

All beings are Buddhas. Zen people call this single sentence ‘The Lion’s Roar’. It is. In a single stroke Hakuin has delivered you, has saved you from yourself. There is no more salvation needed. A single statement is enough to release you from all bondage. You are a Buddha. But remember you are not a Buddha in any special sense. Everybody is – your dog and your cow and your buffalo and your donkey, everybody is! So don’t take it in an egoistic sense, that ‘I am a Buddha’. Don’t make it ambitious, don’t go on an ambition trip. ALL is Buddha. Life is Buddha, being is Buddhahood, existence is Buddhahood.

Just think of it. One of the greatest statements ever made:

All beings are from the very beginning Buddhas.

Hakuin has finished in one sentence. The remaining song will be a repetition, really. The remaining song will be for those who cannot understand the first statement. It is said, when Hakuin was writing this song and he wrote his first sentence – ‘All beings are from the very beginning Buddhas’ – one of his disciples was sitting there and he said, ‘Stop now. Now there is no more to say.’ He left the room, the disciple left the room. He said, ‘Now there is no point. You have finished in the first sentence – this should be the last sentence!’

But still the song is beautiful. It will help you from different directions to come to the same truth. It will help you to see the point from different vantage points, from different windows. You will see the same Buddha sitting, from every window of the temple. But it is good, because from some window there may be more light falling on the Buddha, from some window the green of the trees may be reflected in the Buddha’s face, from some other window a star may be looking at the Buddha, from some other window something else – a bird may be sitting and singing a song.

All beings are from the very beginning Buddhas.

The universe is made of the stuff called ‘God’. So God is not in the end. God is in the beginning, in the middle, and the end. Only God is. But let me remind you, when I use the word ‘God’ I mean godliness.

It is like water and ice:
Apart from water, no ice,
Outside living beings, no buddhas.

Hakuin says: It is like water and ice. There is no difference between water and ice, and yet a sort of difference. If you have gone to the market to purchase ice, you will not purchase water. You will purchase ice – you will insist. If somebody says, ‘Take this water,’ you will say, ‘I have come for the ice.’ There is a sort of difference. But not much, not really – only on the surface. The ice will melt and will become water, and the water can become frozen and can be turned into ice. They are two phases of one phenomenon.

You are like ice and Buddha is like water. You are frozen, he has melted. And let me repeat: There is no other alchemy then love to help you melt. Love melts, because love is warmth. People melt only in love. When they are not in love they become cold, and in the cold they freeze. And you must have watched it, even in your small ways. When you are loving you are flowing. When you are flowing you are glowing. When you are loving you expand. When you are not loving you shrink. When you are loving you have warmth around you. When you are not loving you are surrounded by a cold wind – you are freezing, and anybody who comes close to you will freeze.

There are people, if they look at you with their cold eyes you will feel a shivering. And there are people, when they look at you with their warmth, with their love, you suddenly feel this is your home. There are eyes which give you the feeling of being at home, and there are eyes which stare at you and make you aware that you are a stranger here.

Apart from water, no ice,
Outside living beings, no buddhas.

So Buddha hood is nothing but a state of merger. Frozen Ness is gone. Your definition has disappeared. You are no more limited, you are no more confined. At the deepest core, you are no more. Because if you are then there will be some kind of frozenness in you. If you are then you cannot be flowing – something will be hindering and something will be stuck and something will be obstructing. When you are not at all . . . That’s why when two lovers are in deep embrace there are not two persons. There is only one energy, revolving. When two lovers are really in deep embrace there comes a moment, the woman forgets whether she is woman or man and the man forgets whether he is man or woman. If that moment has not come then you have not loved.

In deep love you disappear. Still something is there, a kind of presence – but nobody is present. There is no center as frozen ice, there is no self. That’s why Buddha has very much insisted that your self is the root cause which is hindering you from being a Buddha. The feeling that ‘I am’ makes you ice, icy and cold. If this feeling ‘I am’ disappears, there is no problem. Ice will melt.

It is like water and ice:
Apart from water, no ice,
Outside living beings, no buddhas.

The Buddhist doctrine talks about Buddha’s three bodies. They have to be understood. The first body is called the body of truth, the universal body, the divine body. You can call it God. The second body is called the bliss body – the bridge between the first and the third. You can call it the soul. And the third body is the physical body.

You know only your physical body. You have not known your second body, the bliss body. And unless you know the second body you will not be able to know the third, the deepest – your universal body, your cosmic body, your Buddha body.

This is the Buddhist trinity – the father, the son and the holy ghost. Or, this is the Buddhist trimurti – the three faces of God. Buddha says everybody has these three bodies. The first, the physical, is very frozen. The second is in a state of liquidity. And the third is vaporous. First the ice has to melt into water and then the water has to evaporate. Have you watched? The ice has definition, boundaries; the water has no definition, no boundaries. You pour the water into any jug, into any pot, it takes the shape of the pot. It is non-resistant, it is non-aggressive, it does not fight. It is liquid, it adjusts.

The man of compassion and love is like water, he adjusts. He has no resistance, he does not enforce his form on anybody. He accommodates, he is accommodative, he is spacious.

And then the third, when the water has evaporated and has disappeared and become invisible. Now you cannot even pour it into a pot. It has become part of the sky, it has moved into the eternal, into the infinite.

These are the three states of water, and these are the three states of consciousness too. You have become too gross because you have become too much identified with your first body. As if a man has be fooled himself in believing that the walls of his house are his house. The walls of the house are not the house, you have to go a little in. You have to find the innermost core of your being – and that innermost core is invisible. That innermost core is almost like emptiness.

The first body is essence, the second body is form, the third body is action. People who live only in the physical body live only in doings – what to do, what not to do. Their whole life is just swerving, swaying, between this and that. Their life consists of doing; they don’t know anything else.

The second body is of form. A man starts seeing glimpses of non-action. That’s what happens in meditation – when you are sitting silently doing nothing, great joy arises. From nowhere, for no cause. You don’t know from where it is coming but great joy arises, as if out of nothing. Miraculously, magically. This is the second, the form. The joy takes form.

And then there is the third. If you go on following and go on moving inwards, one day you reach to the essence. That, Buddha calls the body of truth. There, no action and no no-action. All has disappeared, the whole duality has disappeared, you have come to the very essence of existence. That essence is liberating. That essence is nirvana. And you are not to go anywhere to find it, you are carrying it all along.

All beings are from the very beginning buddhas.
It is like water and ice:
Apart from water, no ice,
Outside living beings, no buddhas.
Not knowing it is near, they seek it afar. What a pity!

And if you go on seeking afar for that which is near, you will go on missing. Nobody is at fault. Before you go into the four comers of the world to search for it, first go into yourself. If you don’t find it there, then you can go anywhere you like. But people don’t go within, they start by without. And the without is vast – you can go on and on, you can search all over the earth. And people are searching. People come to me and they say, ‘We have been searching for our whole lives. And we have been to here and there, and we have been to Japan and to Ceylon and to Burma and to Thailand, and we have travelled all over the East. And we have not found it yet.’

The East is within you! It is not in Thailand, it is not in India. And you will not find it anywhere. At the most, if you accidentally come across an enlightened man, he will throw you to yourself. Not that he will give it to you. Nobody can give it to you. It is already there; there is no need to give it.

And because in the modern world communication has become easy, traveling has become easy, people are becoming even more mad. They go jumping from one city to another, from one airport to another airport. They are driving themselves crazy. And to reach home you need not enter into any aeroplane, into any train, into any car. You only need to enter into yourself. And ticket less – no ticket is needed. And nobody is there to debar you; it is your territory.

I have heard:

A party of Americans happened to arrive at Mount Vesuvius during one of its more spectacular eruptions. ‘Say!’ exclaimed one of the Yanks in an awed tone, ‘doesn’t that beat all Hell!’ ‘Sapristi!’ said the Italian guide. ’How you Americans-a travel!’

Now even Hell is in danger, afraid of the tourists.

People go on searching and seeking for something which needs no search, which can be found only when search stops. And I am not saying that you strive to stop it – then again you have started it. If you strive to stop it, then you have missed the point. You have just to see the point of it, that striving will take you away from you, that striving will create more and more tension. Seeing the fact – Ihi passika. Seeing this, striving disappears and there is suddenly a stillness. In that stillness the first glimpse will come of bliss. You will enter into your second body. And when you have entered into the second body then it will be more and more easy, very lucid, to slip into the central most core – the essential body, the body of truth.

Once you have tasted something of your inner bliss then you have the vision where to really search for, where to go now. Disappear into your innermost being and you will find it. Seek, and you will miss. Don’t seek, and find.

Not knowing it is near, they seek it afar. What a pity
It is like one in the water who cries out for thirst;
It is like the child of a rich house
Who has strayed away among the poor.

And has forgotten that he is rich – may have become a beggar. You are rich, infinitely rich. You are all emperors and empresses, gods and godesses. Just recognize. Don’t get too much into begging – and desire creates the beggar. Even a man like Alexander is a beggar, because the desire is there. A man like Napoleon is a beggar, because the desire is there. See the richest people of this earth and you will see just beggars and nothing else. And sometimes it happens, you come across a beggar and you see the emperor sitting there under the tree – having nothing, trot possessing anything.

Just possess yourself and you have possessed all. Be the master of yourself and you have become the master of all. Possessing things, you will remain a beggar. And people go on changing but not really transforming. You possess one thing, then you start possessing another thing, then you possess a third thing. Sometimes you start possessing other-worldly things, but nothing changes. Just form changes. Somebody possesses money and somebody starts possessing virtue. Now it is the same, not much difference. […]

I am not saying start striving to stop striving, otherwise you will simply change the name of your madness and you will remain the same. You will just change the label of your neurosis. There are people who are greedy for money and there are people who are greedy for God. It makes no difference at all, they are the same people. Greed is greed. It makes no difference about what greed is, for what greed is. Greed is greed.

Just see the point that striving is meaningless, that going anywhere is meaningless. Not because I am saying it – you have to see it: Ihi passika. You have to see it, you are not to believe it. Believing won’t help; believing is just a whitewash on the surface. Seeing brings transformation.

It is llike one in the water who cries out for thirst . . .

Hakuin says: You are crying for happiness, and you are like a fish in the water crying for water and crying, ‘I am thirsty.’ You have it! And you are begging everywhere.

It is like the child of a rich house
Who has strayed away among the poor.
The cause of our circling through the six worlds
Is that we are on the dark paths of ignorance.
Dark path upon dark path treading,
When shall we escape from birth-and-death?

What is the dark path of ignorance? Looking outward. The farther you look, the more darkness. Because the light burns inside you. Looking closer and closer, and there is more light. That’s why we call a Buddha ‘enlightened’ – he has come to know and realize his light. It is a perpetual light – without any fuel it is there, it cannot be exhausted. Suns will be exhausted and the moons will be exhausted and the stars will be exhausted. But the light that burns inside you as consciousness is inexhaustible. It is eternal. […]

That’s why Buddhas go on giving you whatsoever they have attained, go on shaking. Because the beauty of it is in sharing. That’s why Hakuin has sung this song. That’s why I am here, sharing my being with you, my joy with you, my celebration with you. It is something that has to be shared to keep it alive. It is something that has to be given. The more you give it, the more you have of it.

Never be a miser in your love and in your understanding. Share it. And you will have more and more of it. Don’t hoard it, otherwise you will miss it. One day you will find it has disappeared and there is nothing but stink left. Instead of fragrance there will be stinking. Share your love with everybody and anybody. Don’t make conditions to your love. And the best way to share is to share your understanding, to share your meditation.

Hakuin is doing that in this song. He’s sharing his Buddhahood. What he has known, he is singing about it, he is praising it. He is making it clear to people who have not yet attained but CAN attain. Maybe somebody hears the song, somebody is struck by it, stabbed in the very heart by it. It is a lion’s roar: somebody may be awakened out of his sleep.

The cause of our circling through the six worlds
Is that we are on the dark paths of ignorance.
Dark path upon dark path treading,
When shall we escape from birth and death?

Birth means getting attached to the physical body. Death means the frustration of that attachment to the body. Getting free of birth and death means getting free of the physical body. But how can you be free from the physical body? Unless you know the second body you will not be free from the physical body. So it is not a question of being free from the physical body; the basic question is how to enter into the second body. Once you are in the second you are free from the first. And once you are in the third you are free from the second too.

That’s why you don’t see Buddha laughing. Not that he didn’t laugh, but he has not been shown as laughing. Because in the third body, the body of truth, even bliss is meaningless. First, the body, the physical body, is the body of misery. Attached to the physical body you remain miserable. The second body is the body of bliss. Once you reach to it, all misery disappears, you are blissful. But bliss is the opposite of misery – part of duality. The body of truth goes beyond both, it is transcendental. Misery has disappeared, so what is the point of keeping bliss? When there is no misery, there is no point in bliss. When poverty has disappeared what is the point of holding richness? Even that can be dispossessed.

When all duality disappears – pleasure and pain, happiness, unhappiness, day and night, life and death – then for the first time you are in God.

The Zen meditation of the Mahayana
Is beyond all our praises.
Giving and morality and the other perfections,
Taking of the name, repentance, discipline,
And the many other right actions,
All come back to the practice of meditation.

Hakuin says: All that has been done in the name of religion down the ages, can be reduced to one single thing, and that is meditation – dhyana. And what is dhyana? Becoming aware of your physical body – the first dhyana, the first step of meditation. Becoming watchful of your physical body. Watch yourself walking, watch yourself eating, watch yourself running, talking, listening. Watch. And through watching you will see you are different from the physical body. Because the watcher cannot be the watched, the observer cannot be the observed, the seer cannot be the seen, the knower cannot be the known.

Watch the physical body, and the second body will arise. It is there – but you will start feeling. You will start recognizing it, it will start penetrating you. This is the first step of meditation: watch the physical body. Then the second step, and the last, is: watch the bliss body. Watch your ecstasy. And then you will suddenly see, the watcher cannot be the watched. ‘Ecstasy is there, but I am far away from it. Bliss is there, but I am the knower of it.’

Then you start getting into the third body, the body of truth. Then you become a pure witness – sakshin. And that is liberation. Hakuin says it happens through meditation that you discover, or rediscover, your Buddhahood.

By the merit of a single sitting
He destroys innumerable accumulated sins.
How should there be wrong paths for him?

And just in a single sitting it can happen. Hakuin does not preach the gradual path, Hakuin preaches the sudden path. It can happen in a single moment. It can happen now. You need not postpone it for tomorrow. Who knows? Tomorrow may never come. It never comes, really. It can happen this very moment. If your awareness is lucid, if your awareness is there, clear, crystal-clear, it can happen this very moment. This very sitting, and you can become a Buddha. And nobody is hindering the path except yourself. Nobody is the enemy except yourself, and nobody is the friend either.

By the merit of a single sitting
He destroys innumerable accumulated sins.

Hakuin says: Don’t be worried about sins and your past karma. In a single sitting of meditation, all that can be burnt. The fire of meditation is so potential, it can burn your whole past in a single moment. There is no need to be worried about past karma – ‘I have done some bad, so I have to suffer. I have done something, so I have to go to Hell.’ If you want to go, you will have to go! But these are all rationalizations that you are trying to find. If you wish, it is your wish – it will be fulfilled. This existence is very obliging. It goes on obliging – if you want to go to Hell, it supports. It says, ‘Go! I am all with you.’

But if you decide that ‘Enough is enough, and I have suffered enough,’ a single moment of meditativeness is enough to burn all your millions of past lives and millions of future lives too. You are released.

Start meditating. First on the body. Then on your inner feelings of bliss, joy. And go moving inwards. And one day the song of Hakuin will burst forth in you too. You will flower. And unless you flower you have not lived, or lived in vain. You are here to bloom. And unless you bear much fruit and much flowers you will go on missing the meaning of life.

People come to me and they ask, ‘What is the meaning of life’ As if meaning is there somewhere sold in the market. As if meaning is a commodity. Meaning has to be created. There is no meaning in life. Meaning is not a given thing; it has to be created. It has to become your inner work. Then there is meaning – and there is great meaning.

Love and meditate and you will attain to meaning. And you will attain to life, and abundant life.

-Osho

From This Very Body the Buddha, Discourse #1

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

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

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

I Am Not Your Shepherd – Osho

Can a true rebel be a disciple of a master, or must he be simply a friend of the master?

A rebel needs no master. If he needs a master, he is not a rebel. A rebel is a master unto himself. Rebellion is his religion, and there is no other religion for him.

To follow a master, and at the same to think yourself a rebel, is a contradiction in terms.

A rebel can only be a friend. A rebel can learn from all the sources available, but a rebel cannot be a follower. He cannot be a believer. A rebel cannot afford a master. He has chosen his individuality, his freedom, and he is not going to be enslaved by any master.

That’s why I go on insisting to you that I am not your master, because I don’t want anybody to be enslaved. It is a psychological slavery: whatever I say you believe, whatever I do you believe – and still you think you are a rebel?

To be a rebel needs guts.

Yes, you can be my friends – and I am available to you: whatever I know, whatever I have experienced, is always available to you. And I don’t ask anything for it – your trust, your surrender, your faith, no! I cannot be inhuman to any human being.

In the past, your so-called masters have all been inhuman to you. What does it mean when Jesus says, “I am the savior”? What does it mean when he says, “I am the shepherd and you are the sheep”? What more humiliation do you want? And still there are millions of Christians who think that they are sheep, and their shepherd is hanging on the cross.

I am not your shepherd; you are not my sheep.

A rebel is a beautiful human being. A sheep? – you have fallen far below being human. Have you seen sheep? They always move in a crowd – so close to each other, rubbing their bodies against each other. They cannot move alone. No sheep is a rebel – they feel comfortable and cozy only in a mob.

Only lions move alone. Lions don’t move in a crowd – they are rebels. I would like you to be lions, not sheep.

I am not your master; you are not my disciples. You love me – that’s enough. I love you and respect you, and respect your freedom. In this freedom and love, if something can transpire and transform you, that will be beautiful. But nobody was the master and nobody was the slave.

This is not a religion, this is a love affair; and in love, nobody is a master. This is the highest that can be possible. And I would like you to live at the highest peak of human growth.

There is not much difference between me and you, a very little difference: you are asleep, I am awake. But that is not much of a difference. You can be awake any moment. I was also asleep one day. If I can be awake, why can’t you be? The capacity to sleep proves the capacity to be awake.

You can sleep only if you can be awake. Stones don’t sleep, because they cannot be awake.

All that is needed is just a little shaking, a little cold water thrown into your eyes. That’s what I am doing every day, day in, day out. Once in a while you open your eyes too, but old habits die hard; then you close them again. Once in a while you hear me too, but then you pull the blanket over yourself again. Just human – just a little bit more rest, just a little bit more of a beautiful golden dream.

And naturally, sometimes you get angry at me because I am disturbing your dream. But I am not angry. Even if you pull up your blanket again, turn to the other side, start snoring again, I am not going to leave you. I know that you are not dead – you can pull up the blanket, you can move to the other side. So it is very close; just a little more effort and you will be awake.

I am not your savior, just a friend who knows both the states: the state of sleep and the state of being awake. And I feel that you are missing such a great joy, of opening your eyes and seeing the sunrise, and the birds singing, and the fresh morning air. And I feel compassion for you, that you are unnecessarily wasting your time in dreaming, while real life is waiting for you.

So remember it: there is no question of anybody being your master. These masters have exploited you enough! It is time to stop this exploitation. An authentic human being cannot reduce you to a sheep. If there is any sin, Jesus has committed it, and that was making you sheep, and posing as your savior.

And when he was being caught, just a few minutes before, his disciples asked, “What about us?” He said, “I will be coming soon to deliver everybody who has faith in me from all suffering and misery. And I will take you to the house of my father in paradise.”

Two thousand years have passed, and that guy has not been seen since then. How long can you stretch the word “soon”?

And I can say, with categorical certainty, that he is not going to come back again. He could not save himself! – how can he save the whole humanity?

He died in tremendous doubt. At the last moment he shouted, looking at the sky, “God, my father, have you forsaken me?” He was expecting a miracle – naturally. He was believing himself to be the only begotten son of God. The only begotten son is being crucified, and God – sitting on a white cloud with angels playing on their harps – does not come to save him? Jesus died shaken. His faith was only that of a crackpot, it was not authentic experience.

I do not expect anything; nobody can disappoint me. I don’t have any God – I am happy just being myself.

Remember one thing: if there is a God, then you are all slaves, and freedom is impossible. The first principle of rebellion is that there is no God, no savior, no prophet, no messenger; you are alone, and you have to learn to depend only on yourself. That brings independence. And independence is such a joy, is such a beauty, is such a maturity, is such a flowering, that nothing more is needed.

You feel so contented, so fulfilled, and the whole existence becomes your paradise.

It is not a question of going into paradise. It is a question of going within yourself, reaching to your very center of being, which changes your perspective. This very existence becomes paradise. They are the same trees, the same birds, the same people, and yet they are no longer the same because you are no longer the same. Now you are not dreaming; now you are awake.

For the awakened one, this existence is paradise. Every moment it is paradise. And when I say this, I am not saying it according to any holy scripture. There are no holy scriptures, there are only books.

I am saying it out of my own experience, out of my own authority. I am ready to share with you. And it is not something that can be sold or purchased. Only in deep friendship, in love, does the transfer, the transformation happen.

You are all rebels.

Only rebels can have a contact with me.

And I would like you to be a rebel always.

I respect your rebellion. It would be so ugly for me to have five thousand sheep around me. Even if I become the shepherd, what would be the joy from it?

I want five thousand rebellious spirits, five thousand burning torches, lights unto themselves – and then to be amongst you is a joy.

-Osho

From From Bondage to Freedom, Discourse #16, Q2

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

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

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

Neither Licentiousness nor Repression – Osho

Do you profess licentiousness in life?

I don’t profess anything. I simply clarify things to you, I don’t profess. I am not giving you any ideology; I am only giving you insight. Take note of the difference. An ideology has to be professed; an insight has to be imparted. I simply make things clear to you, I simply help you to clarify things. I am not giving you a dogma. I am not giving you a theory that will solve all your problems – there is none. I am simply telling you: Open your eyes, become more aware. And that awareness will help you in every kind of difficulty, in every kind of problem. That awareness will be like a light in the dark night. And wherever you go that light will remain with you, you will be able to see. I don’t give you a theory. You have depended too much on theories. Theories are cheap because they don’t require any transformation on your part. Dogmas are very easy to accept. Then you have an idea which you go on trying to fit everywhere in your life, and you start depending on the idea.

That dependence on the idea makes you more and more blind. If you are a Christian, you are blind, if you are a Hindu you are blind, if you believe in any dogma you are blind. Because only blind people believe.

A blind man believes in light. But a man who has eyes, he does not believe in light, there is no need.

He knows light – why should he believe? You don’t believe in light, you don’t believe in the sun, you don’t believe in these trees, you know. But a blind man, he believes that trees are green, that the rainbow has seven colors, that the sun rises in the morning and sets in the evening, that there are colors in the world. A deaf man believes in sounds; you don’t believe. Belief is an ugly word.

I help you to see. That’s what Buddha says: ‘Ihi passika – Come and see.’ You see the difference? Jesus says ‘Come and follow me.’ Buddha says ‘Come and see.’ Both are enlightened – but Jesus must be talking to a very low level of consciousness, he has to say ‘Come and follow me.’ ‘Follow me’ means believe. Buddha must be talking to highly evolved conscious people, he says ‘Come and see.’ There is no question of following anything, there is no question of believing in anything. He just says ‘I have seen – come and see through my eyes. Just come close to me and see through my window. Maybe that will give you an insight and you can open your own window.’

I also say to you: Ihi passika – Come and see. Seeing is a totally different matter. I don’t teach anything; I am not a teacher. In fact I destroy teachings. I don’t help you to learn anything, in fact I help you to unlearn. You have already learned too much.

But the question is relevant. Many people interpret me in that way, they think I am professing licentiousness. I am neither professing licentiousness nor am I professing repression I am simply helping you to see a saner way of life. Licentiousness is insane, as much insane as repressiveness. Christianity created a very repressive atmosphere in the West. That has created licentiousness. For your sinners, your saints are responsible. The world will never be without sinners unless it decides to be without saints. The saint creates the sinner, the saint cannot exist without the sinner. They are partners, they are together.

The Vatican has some deep support for the playboy. If you are repressive, you will create pornography. If you are repressive, people will start finding ways and means to go to the other extreme. Because normality is not allowed. Life has been forced to be either white or black – either be a saint or be a sinner. The priests have not allowed you the possibility that there is something else too. Life really is grey. It is neither black nor white. Black and white are two extremes of grey, but life remains grey.

I am neither teaching licentiousness nor repressiveness. I am simply helping you to become sane.

It is your life; it is nobody else’s life. And you have to be sane about it, otherwise you will miss the great opportunity, the great blessing, the great gift of God. Don’t be repressive, otherwise one day, in this life or in some other life, you will become licentious. And don’t be licentious, otherwise in this life or in some life you will become repressive. The pendulum goes that way. The pendulum has to stop in the middle. And have you watched? If the pendulum stops in the middle, the clock stops. When the mind stops in the middle, time stops. When the mind stops in the middle, the world stops. And in that silence, one knows God.

But listening to me – and you are all carrying a thousand and one repressions – you listen through the screen of your repressions, and you interpret that it is licentiousness. Your unconscious is too full of repressions. I am not teaching anything like that, I am simply saying to be a man is enough. You need not be a saint and then you will not need to be a sinner. Be natural. Don’t interfere with your nature, don’t mold it into pattern. Don’t be ideological and don’t be always hankering to be somebody else. Don’t hanker for betterment, just be natural and relax into your being. And whatsoever is natural is good.

This is the meaning of Tao, this is the meaning of Zen. But you have your repressed unconscious.

And when you hear me, naturally you hear from the repressed unconscious. That repressed unconscious immediately gives colors, changes meanings, interprets.

I have heard:

A Cockney was in great difficulties over which of his two girlfriends he should marry. One was called Margaret and the other Maria. The first was rich but very ugly, and the second was poor but immensely beautiful. So he was divided. The head was saying ‘Marry the rich girl and then you will have no problems. And what is ugliness? You will become accustomed to it. And even beauty is so fragile – today it is there, tomorrow it may not be there. And if you get even the most beautiful woman, after a few days you become accustomed to it and the beauty disappears. It is only a question of a few days. Marry the rich girl.’ But the heart was longing for the beauty. And he was going nuts.

A friend said to him ‘Ere, Bert, why don’t you go to Lourdes?’

‘Lourdes?’ said Bert. ‘Where’s that?’

‘It’s in France’ said his friend. ‘It’s a sort of shrine where people go to get cured. But maybe you could find the answer to your problem there – you know, a sort of miracle from heaven!’ So Bert saved up and went over to Lourdes. A week later he was back, and his friend asked him how he had got on. ‘Great!’ said Bert. ‘I got the answer all right. I went into the big church place – and there, up at the altar, was a statue of Our Lady of Lourdes with a big banner next to it, saying “Ave Maria”.’

So he married Maria, the beautiful girl.

When you hear, it depends on you what color you will give it to it. You are already too full of repressions, you are ready to become licentious – so when you hear me you interpret it as licentiousness. It is nothing of the sort. Be very careful with me.

I have heard:

It was some time since Patrick and Michael had met, so Michael was anxious to hear if there had been any addition to Patrick’s family.

‘Not one’ answered Patrick very sadly. ‘We’ve still got the four.’

‘Still four?’ said Michael. ‘Are you at the birth-control or something?’

‘Not exactly’ replied Patrick. ‘You see, it’s all to do with this new hearing-aid.’

‘What do you mean – this new hearing-aid?’

‘Well, you see, when Bridget and I would get to bed, I’d say to her “Darling, is it sleep or what?” And Bridget would reply “What?” And we would make love. But now, with this new hearing-aid of hers, when I say to her “Well, dear, is it sleep or what?” she just turns on her side and says “Sleep” and off she goes.’

That ‘what’ . . . You already have an idea, and the interpretation follows. Listen to me directly, just put your mind aside.

That’s why so many therapy groups are being run here. Just to help you to put your mind aside. Just to help you to see your unconscious, to help you to cathart your unconscious, to vomit it. So that you can become more and more empty and can listen to me through your emptiness. Otherwise, you are carrying so much rubbish, rubbish of the ages. You have been going through so many ideals, ideologies, you have accumulated so much nonsense. And when you hear me, that nonsense comes in-between.

I am neither for repression nor for licence, they are both aspects of the same coin. The whole coin has to be thrown into the Ganges. You have to become natural, you have to accept all that you are.

In that acceptance is flowering. All is good that God has given to you. How can it be otherwise? – it is a gift from God.

So listen to me, not through your thoughts, your prejudices. Listen to me without your prejudices, just put the mind aside. While listening to me don’t go on interpreting, while listening to me get en rapport with me. Don’t be in a hurry to conclude; that hurry is harmful. You are in such a hurry to conclude, you want to achieve some results so fast, that’s why you go on missing many things. There is no hurry and there is no need to conclude right now. While listening to me, first listen totally.

And then later on you can think about it. If you have listened rightly then your thoughts will not be able to distort the meaning, they will not be able to distract you. Once you have listened rightly, without any interpretation, without any thinking about it, then later on you can bring your whole mind to it. There will be no problem, you will have followed what I have said to you. Otherwise, while listening to me you are continuously thinking by the side. While you are listening to me you are thinking – many thoughts are going, rushing in and out. They are very, very dangerous. Then whatsoever conclusion you arrive at through them will be your conclusion, will not be mine.

But it feels good to throw the responsibility on me. You have become so disrespectful towards yourself that you always throw the responsibility on somebody else. You have forgotten that you are responsible to yourself. Only you. All that happens to you and all that is going to happen to you is going to happen through you. You are wholly and solely responsible for your life. Nobody else is the savior.

And you cannot throw your responsibilities on me. If you want to be licentious be licentious. I am nobody to interfere – who am I? If you want to be repressive, be repressive. But don’t impose meanings on what I say.

-Osho

From This Very Body the Buddha, Discourse #9, Q3

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

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

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

By Itself Nothing has Existence – Nisargadatta Maharaj

Questioner: As I listen to you, I find that it is useless to ask you questions. Whatever the question, you invariably turn it upon itself and bring me to the basic fact that I am living in an illusion of my own making and that reality is inexpressible in words. Words merely add to the confusion and the only wise course is the silent search within.

Maharaj: After all, it is the mind that creates illusion and it is the mind that gets free of it. Words may aggravate illusion; words may also help dispel it. There is nothing wrong in repeating the same truth again and again until it becomes reality. Mother’s work is not over with the birth of the child. She feeds it day after day, year after year until it needs her no longer. People need hearing words, until facts speak to them louder than words.

Q: So we are children to be fed on words?

M: As long as you give importance to words, you are children.

Q: All right, then be our mother.

M: Where was the child before it was born? Was it not with the mother? Because it was already with the mother it could be born.

Q: Surely, the mother did not carry the child when she was a child herself.

M: Potentially, she was the mother. Go beyond the illusion of time.

Q: Your answer is always the same. A kind of clockwork which strikes the same hours again and again.

M: It can not be helped. Just like the one sun is reflected in a billion dew drops, so is the timeless endlessly repeated. When l repeat: ‘I am, I am’, I merely assert and re-assert an ever-present fact. You get tired of my words because you do not see the living truth behind them. Contact it and you will find the full meaning of words and of silence — both.

Q: You say that the little girl is already the mother of her future child. Potentially — yes. Actually — no.

M: The potential becomes actual by thinking. The body and its affairs exist in the mind.

Q: And the mind is consciousness in motion and consciousness is the conditioned (saguna) aspect of the Self. The unconditioned (nirguna) is another aspect and beyond lies the abyss of the absolute (paramartha).

M: Quite right — you have put it beautifully.

Q: But these are mere words to me. Hearing and repeating them is not enough, they must be experienced.

M: Nothing stops you but preoccupation with the outer which prevents you from focussing the inner. It cannot be helped; you cannot skip your sadhana. You have to turn away from the world and go within, until the inner and the outer merge and you can go beyond the conditioned, whether inner or outer.

Q: Surely, the unconditioned is merely an idea in the conditioned mind. By itself it has no existence.

M: By itself nothing has existence. Everything needs its own absence. To be, is to be distinguishable, to be here and not there, to be now and not then, to be thus and not otherwise. Like water is shaped by the container, so is everything determined by conditions (gunas). As water remains water regardless of the vessels, as light remains itself regardless of the colours it brings out, so does the real remain real, regardless of conditions in which it is reflected. Why keep the reflection only in the focus of consciousness? Why not the real itself?

Q: Consciousness itself is a reflection. How can it hold the real?

M: To know that consciousness and its content are but reflections, changeful and transient, is the focussing of the real. The refusal to see the snake in the rope is the necessary condition for seeing the rope.

Q: Only necessary, or also sufficient?

M: One must also know that a rope exists and looks like a snake. Similarly, one must know that the real exists and is of the nature of witness-consciousness. Of course it is beyond the witness, but to enter it one must first realise the state of pure witnessing. The awareness of conditions brings one to the unconditioned.

Q: Can the unconditioned be experienced?

M: To know the conditioned as conditioned is all that can be said about the unconditioned. Positive terms are mere hints and misleading.

Q: Can we talk of witnessing the real?

M: How can we? We can talk only of the unreal, the illusory, the transient, the conditioned. To go beyond, we must pass through total negation of everything as having independent existence. All things depend.

Q: On what do they depend?

M: On consciousness. And consciousness depends on the witness.

Q: And the witness depends on the real?

M: The witness is the reflection of the real in all its purity. It depends on the condition of the mind. Where clarity and detachment predominate, the witness-consciousness comes into being. It is just like saying that where the water is clear and quiet, the image of the moon appears. Or like daylight that appears as sparkle in the diamond.

Q: Can there be consciousness without the witness?

M: Without the witness it becomes unconsciousness, just living. The witness is latent in every state of consciousness, just like light in every colour. There can be no knowledge without the knower and no knower without his witness. Not only you know, but you know that you know.

Q: If the unconditioned cannot be experienced, for all experience is conditioned, then why talk of it at all?

M: How can there be knowledge of the conditioned without the unconditioned? There must be a source from which all this flows, a foundation on which all stands. Self-realisation is primarily the knowledge of one’s conditioning and the awareness that the infinite variety of conditions depends on our infinite ability to be conditioned and to give rise to variety. To the conditioned mind the unconditioned appears as the totality as well as the absence of everything. Neither can be directly experienced, but this does not make it not-existent.

Q: Is it not a feeling?

M: A feeling too is a state of mind. Just like a healthy body does not call for attention, so is the unconditioned free from experience. Take the experience of death. The ordinary man is afraid to die, because he is afraid of change. The jnani is not afraid because his mind is dead already. He does not think: ‘I live’. He knows: ‘There is life’. There is no change in it and no death. Death appears to be a change in time and space. Where there is neither time nor space, how can there be death? The jnani is already dead to name and shape. How can their loss affect him? The man in the train travels from place to place, but the man off the train goes nowhere, for he is not bound for a destination. He has nowhere to go, nothing to do, nothing to become. Those who make plans will be born to carry them out. Those who make no plans need not be born.

Q: What is the purpose of pain and pleasure?

M: Do they exist by themselves, or only in the mind?

Q: Still, they exist. Never mind the mind.

M: Pain and pleasure are merely symptoms, the results of wrong knowledge and wrong feeling. A result cannot have a purpose of its own.

Q: In God’s economy everything must have a purpose.

M: Do you know God that you talk of him so freely? What is God to you? A sound, a word on paper, an idea in the mind?

Q: By his power I am born and kept alive.

M: And suffer, and die. Are you glad?

Q: It may be my own fault that I suffer and die. I was created unto life eternal.

M: Why eternal in the future and not in the past. What has a beginning must have an end. Only the beginningless is endless.

Q: God may be a mere concept, a working theory. A very useful concept all the same!

M: For this it must be free of inner contradictions, which is not the case. Why not work on the theory that you are your own creation and creator. At least there will be no external God to battle with.

Q: This world is so rich and complex — how could I create it?

M: Do you know yourself enough to know what you can do and what you cannot? You do not know your own powers. You never investigated. Begin with yourself now.

Q: Everybody believes in God.

M: To me you are your own God. But if you think otherwise, think to the end. If there be God, then all is God’s and all is for the best. Welcome all that comes with a glad and thankful heart. And love all creatures. This too will take you to your Self.

-Nisargadatta Maharaj

From I Am That, Chapter #39, By Itself Nothing has Existence.

You can read more from Nisargadatta Maharaj here.

You can read more from U.G. Krishnamurti here.

Being a Light Unto Myself – Dayanand Bharati

A lot of water has flowed down the Ganga since that article about the addiction. I had transcended alcohol addiction and sobriety then. It is not quite correct that “I” had transcended them. Transcendence happened after “I” had failed absolutely, completely. Only through the power of awareness and watching, both had disappeared in a blaze of grace never to be seen or heard of again.

The first true transformation had happened in my life. It was real. It was a miracle. I was in awe, and the mind still cannot comprehend it, even now, because he was left out of the loop. I mean something that was such a strong destructive habit for almost half my life, suddenly just gone, evaporated like it never existed from one moment to the next. This was a key experience; I knew this key could be used to transcend the mind itself, and not just part of it.

Many changes happened right after this transformation. I was filled with love and gratitude. All doubt about myself was erased from my mind forever. I knew that truth existed. It was clear confirmation that transcendence is possible − I had experienced it − even on just this small scale of the personal mind, the impact was mind blowing, literally. I had been on the right path, I was not in some kind of spiritual illusion about myself, because even in all that time I had been with my master, I never had an experience that confirmed that I was on the right path, never proof, except his acceptance of me and my love and trust for him. Of course many other things happened on the emotional and mental plane but never this final proof, this dropping into another dimension, this falling out of polarity. But now this was it, the first real transformation made it all real. I was free now of all unconscious layers, free of the hidden influences that had directed this life so far.

I was conscious of myself as part of existence and no longer part of society. I was free of all the games society plays. I had nothing to do with it anymore; there was nothing I wanted from the outer world. Therefore, anxiety dropped away immediately, replaced by a natural trust in existence.

I was loved, accepted and embraced by life, I was ultimately worthy to be alive. I looked at myself now, not anymore at others. I had asked my whole life, the other, the woman, the mother image to confirm me, give me worth and value, love me, or the lover, to satisfy me, give me bliss and fulfillment. But I was asking a mirror image, there was nobody in this reflection, only my own projections, nobody really there, only the reflection echoing back, asking the same from me. As if when I look in my bathroom mirror and ask, “Do you love me?” What will happen?  Will the reflection say, “Yes!” No, the reflection will say, “Do you love me?” There was no other!

To me, this is best described by a small anecdote my beloved master Osho told once. I don’t recall in which discourse so I write it as I remember it. My master had a friend who had a butcher shop in his village. (It must be a made up story. No Jain, even an enlightened one, ever walks into a butcher shop.) Anyway, he liked the man and he dropped in occasionally to say hello. One day just before closing time, my master stopped by and asked how his day was. The butcher said he had had a great day today, “I sold all my meat except for this chicken here.”

That very moment, the shop door burst open and a customer rushed in, “Ahh, glad I made it. I have some friends over for dinner today and need a chicken.” The Butcher winked at my master and put the chicken on the scale, “$5.00 please,” he said. “Hmmm,” said the customer, “Do you have a bigger one?” Without hesitation the butcher walked back in his storeroom with the chicken, made some noise and came back with the same chicken. He slapped it on the scale and said, “This one will be $7.” “Tell you what,” said the customer, “I will take them both.”

Now, there is only one chicken. My master said there is always only one chicken. Asking for both will reveal the truth! That there is not two! Being alert, watching, looking, inquiring is asking for both.

Love this story!

The Steps that Led to Transcendence

I want to elaborate on the steps that led to this transcendence because this is a key that can be applied to transcend any duality. And, it can be used by anyone.

Before the transformation from getting drunk and trying to control it, I had always believed I was going in a straight line, from this point to that, from unhappiness to happiness, from addiction to sobriety, from dependence to independence. And to get there I just had to try hard enough, give it my all and one bright sunny day . . . it will happen. I will arrive at my final destination. I will be free, sober, happy, loved, enlightened. And when it didn’t happen, as I had hoped, the reverse attitude kicked in, no matter how hard I try, I will never make it. I will be never be free, sober, happy, loved, enlightened. But in the struggle to be free of the drunkard, I became aware that I was not going in a straight line at all. I became aware of the circle, going from negative to positive and back again to negative, from addict to anti-addict back to addict . . . from unhappiness to happiness back to unhappiness, round and round . . .

If I follow a straight road and keep going and going, I will eventually drive around the planet and arrive exactly where I am now. The same with the mind. Previously, I had never been aware of this fact, because the opposite was always hidden in the unconscious, half of the globe hidden in the dark night.

The invisible road appears non-existent, that is why it looks like it is a straight line. A half circle looks like a straight line going from dawn to dusk, from here to there. The other half is dark, unconscious, hidden, but somehow, through watching my mind and by trying, digging myself out of myself hopelessly, I had brought eventually light to that dark hidden part. I suddenly saw the whole mind. I stood apart. I saw the full circle not just a half. I became aware that they are one whole, one dynamic and not two separate things.

It changed everything!

If you make a circle, the end and beginning meet – only then is the circle complete. If you become a circle, whole, total, in you will meet the beginning and the end. You will be the very source of the world and you will be the very climax of the world. You will be both the alpha and the omega. And unless you become that, something is incomplete; and when something is incomplete you will remain miserable. The only misery that I know is being incomplete. The whole being tends to be complete, needs to be complete, and the incomplete becomes a torture. The incompletion is the only problem. And when you become complete, the end and the beginning meet in you. God as the source and God as the ultimate flowering meet in you.

-Osho, The Hidden Harmony, Discourse #4.

It is not that the mind saw that, he cannot, he is not able to look around the full circle, around the whole globe. The mind, just like the eyes, can always only see half, the front or the back, the up or the down. The eyes can never see front and back, up and down, at the same time. That is the limitation of the mind and body.

Only awareness can see all, no, not see, be all, rooted at the center with full awareness of all that is. Being aware of that, I could not be in illusion anymore that one day I will be fulfilled, that this mind would one day arrive at the destination of one side only, and stay there. There was no destination. A circle has no end, no arrival point, it just goes round and round, on and on, like the horses on a merry-go-round.

Understanding this clearly, the turning in happened, the “letting go” happened, the transformation happened. Addict and anti-addict evaporated into awareness, into the heart of being, because reaching anywhere was not possible. Choice was not possible. Choice was an illusion.

I would never reach one side because there is no one side. There are always two sides, like breathing in and breathing out. There cannot be only breathing in, or only breathing out. But the mind believes that this is possible, that is the illusion.

I would never attain fulfillment of any of my desires because they are all based in duality. There was no love waiting for me at the end of the tunnel, or security, or happiness. There were always both waiting for me. Love and hate, happiness and unhappiness, life and death. If I am in love unaware, hate is waiting in the basement for its turn, because love is based on hate and vice versa. They are each other’s contrast. How would I know what love is if I did not know hate, its opposite?

Seeing this, understanding this, choice was now irrelevant. I would always end up at the opposite again sooner or later. The illusion that I was going somewhere, that I was growing, winning, that one day I would arrive at my goal, was only an illusion, and that I will be condemned forever, lost in eternal despair was also only one side of the coin. It is like a chess player suddenly becomes aware that he is actually playing against himself, his own mirror image.

I became aware that I was 100% addicted to alcohol. I wanted to get drunk, escape, forget, period. And I was aware that I wanted 100% to get rid of the addiction, be free of it, period. And both identifications where mine. I was the only player in this game. I was aware of the player opposite as myself. I was my own enemy, my own competitor. I competed against myself, tried to win against myself.

But now the light was on. I saw who I was playing against, and I knew the next move I would make because the opponent was me, myself, my own mind. I played from now on with an open deck of cards, like playing poker with all the cards face up. You know exactly the next card coming up. The game is meaningless. There is no game anymore because the game consists in not knowing what card will be next; will it be a winner or a loser? That day, the game of playing and winning against the world collapsed because it was all me, my projection. I was the world and I was the individual because I projected me onto the world. The world was me, my projection.

The mind got it too! Once a fact is known, it cannot be reversed. Once a child knows by experience that fire burns, it will know it for life and not touch fire again. Once the mind knows 100% it is not possible to get fulfillment outside, it will cooperate and stop reaching out.

The mind itself inside of me did not collapse yet, only the mind going out, playing with the world, getting, desiring, escaping. Resisting the outside was now meaningless. I did not project the images in my mind onto the outside anymore, but the images themselves where still intact.

The conditioned mind fell onto itself. I was the center now and the world was the periphery. Before, I had no center. I was kicked around like a ping-pong ball on the periphery. I became a light onto myself; I could see where I was going.

Now I had a center. I was “in” but the center was again divided in itself, inside, into its own duality.

. . . .if you are wise, intelligent, and you know how to contain the opposites together in a deep friendly embrace, then thesis opposed by antithesis will create a new phenomenon in your being: synthesis. On a higher plane you will arise. In a deeper way you will be united. And then again, the synthesis functions as a thesis, creates its antithesis, and again, on a higher plane, synthesis. It goes on and on, waves upon waves, higher and higher. There are planes upon planes, and one can go on reaching. The ultimate plane is the total synthesis of your life. All conflict disappears – is not dropped, but disappears of its own accord.

 -Osho, The Secret of Secrets, Discourse #29. 

For me, the addiction to alcohol was the catalyst that pushed me into awareness, but it can be anything that the mind is addicted to. The mind is basically in its essence addiction.

What I am pointing to in this writing is that any duality can be transcended with deep inquiry and awareness.

The conditioned mind, acquired in this life, had been erased. But the ancient mind, the totality of the mind with its roots in the beginning of time, had not yet. But it opened the door to “The final ultimate synthesis.”

In deep gratitude to my beloved master Osho.

-Dayanand Bharati

See a related post How I Came to One-Mind.

I am Taking Notes on Your Heart

The following is an excerpt from Anando’s book, Osho: Intimate Glimpses.

What happened in these sessions?

‘I am writing notes on your heart,’ Osho said softly, as his finger traced seemingly random patterns on my chest. Once rubbing hard, he said, ‘Take note, Anando, this will be a signature for centuries to remember.’

‘I am doing telegraphy on a heart.’

‘What a notebook, that breathes! I can only write on a notebook that breathes.’

‘I am writing my notes in flesh and bones.’

‘I am writing notes to one who is crying.’

‘I am taking notes on your heart. Can’t you understand, Anando? Take note.’

I didn’t understand.

The ‘note’ giving was happening in a series of dental sessions in the last years Osho was in the body. There were 115 sessions altogether that I was present for, from May 1988 through to September 1989. Each one lasted around an hour, sometimes longer.

I was in in the most privileged position I could imagine, sitting at the right side of my master opposite his chest, in contact with his body. But it wasn’t always fun. Or easy. At times, that gentle finger on my heart became a fist and thumped so hard that it almost knocked me off the stool I was perched on. Three thumps, each accompanied by a single word said so forcefull that it penetrated to my very core. ‘Just! . . . Be! . . . Here!’

He told us that the dental sessions were just an excuse to work on the few of us present. ‘I am trying even in my difficulties to work on everyone of you, although I pretend that you are working on me.’

‘Am I a patient? I wonder. A doctor surrounded by patients.’

He loved us in a way none of us had ever been loved before, but he did not spare our egos. And he didn’t hesitate to expose our unconscious blind spots. It was master laser surgery—precise, and massively uncomfortable.

That was the point of course—to shake us out of our comfort zones, to expose the unconscious blind spots that attached us to our identities and ran our lives. It was what we had all come to him for, but when it was actually happening, I was not at all sure I wanted it.

‘You are the fortunate ones who can be so close to my consciousness,’ he said. Well, when we were in his line of fire, I am not so sure we did feel fortunate. I certainly didn’t, in those precise moments.

He knew he had only a short time left in the body and he said he was determined to work on us until the last moment. ‘Perhaps after my death too, I will have to work on all of you. One day I will have to leave the body. I am just hanging around. You have all loved me and I don’t want to leave you in the middle. My work is finished as far as I am concerned.’

He had a couple of basic themes in these sessions. At one time or another, all of us were told to watch our unconscious desire to be wanted, our unconscious asking to be needed by him. He said it was basically a problem with the female mind, but at times he said both the men—Amrito and Geet—were also asking to be needed. Another favorite theme was reminding us to be present (or rather, reminding us that we were not present). And reminding us that our place was our place, and we couldn’t change with anyone else—we could only be our own individual selves.

Then he hit our individual selves.

‘I am,’ he said with a chuckle, ‘ultimately your master. I know each of you to your very heart.

The devoted doctor sitting on the floor at his feet was often asked to stand up, and then immediately told to sit down again. Just like that, for no reason. ‘You are a scholar . . .’ Osho sometimes told him, which was about the biggest insult imaginable in our milieu. Osho also chuckled at what he called Amrito’s constant stumbling. And he commented on his drinking. (Amrito was somewhat partial to gin and tonic.)

The dentist, who was of course somewhat nervous and tense trying to do his most perfect work, was tortured for exactly that. He was focused on being a dentist, but Osho was being a master. So the dentist’s ego was hit over and over. Fortunately, Geet was also a devoted disciple.

Osho would constantly drive Geet to the point of frustration by refusing to comply with his requests to ‘Open’ or ‘Bite’, and then say to him, ‘Geet you are working with anger. Can you see your anger?’ Or, ‘Please do your job perfectly. You are not.’ Or, ‘Just do the best, Geet. I don’t settle for the small, the mediocre.’

He also worked on the fear and caution of Geet and the dental assistants, Ashu and Nityamo, constantly prodding them to increase the level of the nitrous gas, whatever the cost to his own life. He said he wanted to test them to see if they were ready to go to their maximum. ‘I wanted to test Devageet. I am still saying, Devageet, don’t be worried about death.’

He hit Ashu for being hard like Stalin, and Nityamo for not being present or for fear of going to her maximum.

His strongest hits, however, were reserved for Shunyo and myself. He honed in on the collective unconscious of women—the need to be loved and needed.

‘I am hard because I love you . . . I may say things that may hurt. I say them because I love you, and I want you to be individuals on your own. This whole idea of “wanting” is slavery, but man has forced the condition on women for thousands of years. But I am also determined to destroy this conditioning, at least in a few women.’

At first, he started on Shunyo, saying continually, ‘Yes, I love you. So stop asking.’ She of course had been silent, like all of us. But he said he could hear her asking over and over, ‘Do you love me?’ and it was driving him crazy. He kept sending her out of the room, and I have to confess I felt relieved that it was her and not me. However, having finally banished her from the sessions, he then started on me.

‘Just wait, Anando. Your turn will come. I am not even finished yet with Shunyo. I want you even to be finished by yourself. Just Be! Burn! Just be a flame.’

As I was stubborn, however, it took me quite some time to get the point. ‘Can’t you read your own unconscious mind?’ he asked me. Well, the answer was that at that time I couldn’t.

In fact, it took a massive hammering . . .

I am ashamed to admit it, but as soon as he started saying that now he could hear me also unconsciously asking whether he loved me, I just got up and left the room. Why wait to be thrown out? I thought. I was much too proud. I was immediately called back in, but not before I had had a glimpse of my unbelievable arrogance and pride. But Osho was amazingly patient. And compassionate.

But don’t think for a minute that compassion meant pity—no way. He was determined to crack this deep unconscious pattern, something he said had been in the collective unconscious of women for centuries.

I was still being resistant. My whole identity was built around my belief that I was independent and didn’t need anyone. But, as I realized later, that was just a protection, a cover-up for a longing for love that I felt I didn’t deserve and would never get.

At the time, however, I didn’t appreciate being told that I was also asking to be loved. In fact, I was so pissed off about having that particular layer of my unconscious uncovered that I became quite rebellious, and it wasn’t until Osho threw me out of his house for a day that I was ready to look at the matter seriously.

What happened is that Shunyo and I were told to pack up and leave Osho’s house because our unconscious asking was driving him crazy. Leave our privileged room in Lao Tzu House? That finally got my attention. During the move, which had to happen immediately, I finally touched the deep vulnerability and need he had been speaking about.

I was humbled—no, more than humbled; I was completely dismantled. I felt pieces inside me shattering, without the faintest idea of what was going on. There was just a feeling of a deep shift inside and at the end—fortunately and like a blessing—a beautiful peace. A few minutes later, I was unpacking in my new room, Amrito came with the message we could move back into his house.

In the dental sessions, Osho generally had his eyes closed. So I took advantage and closed mine also, unless he was speaking. However, occasionally he would open his eyes and if he saw that  my eyes were closed he would laugh and say with a chuckle, ‘Anando, again meditating’—obviously knowing that I was dozing rather than meditating. Once he said, ‘Anando, don’t close your eyes while I am alive.’

I remember the last week he was in the body, when either his doctor or I were always with him, twenty-four hours a day, as his body was so fragile that he used to fall. He was mostly lying in bed with his eyes closed. I was on the ‘night shift’, and after accompanying him to and from his evening Namaste in Buddha Hall and putting him to bed, I would lie there in the darkened room with him.

It was very tempting to fall asleep, as I had done earlier in the year, when Osho first became too frail to be on his own. It sounds like a very privileged position to be in (and of course it was), but every hour or half hour throughout the whole night Osho would ask, ‘Anando, are you awake?” Previously, this had disturbed me and finally made me really annoyed, as I never got any sleep, and in fact, that was why I had told Osho for the second time that I couldn’t do that job anymore. But in those last nights of Osho’s being in the body—even though I was personally in denial that he was dying—something made me stay awake, and I was always very happy to be able to answer, ‘Yes, Osho, I am awake,’ without any of my old annoyance.

And I really was happy to be in that strange dark situation with him. Previously I used to think about the sleep I thought I needed, or the people I wanted to see, but in those last days, it was enough just to be there.

After he left the body, I was so grateful that those last vestiges of my resistance had completely melted away in that final period. What amazing compassion Osho had to ask me to come and be with him every night for that last week even though I had said ‘No’ to that role before. I can imagine how devastated I would have felt if he had left and I was still unconsciously resisting him. In fact, a friend said Amrito told her that Osho had specifically called me back to the night shift in that last week because he knew he was leaving the body.

-Anando

From Osho: Intimate Glimpses, ppg. 36-39 and is available from Osho: Intimate Glimpses.

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