Meetings with Two Remarkable Men

Ajja and U.G. together in Bangalore
Ajja and U.G. together in Bangalore

Preamble

When Amido and I were on Koh Phayam, Thailand, in 2004 we met a New Zealand couple named Ross and Karyn. They had a bungalow next to ours. We had never spoken until after the tsunami that hit on December 26, which seemed to bring a lot of people together. There was a strange sense of oneness with everyone experiencing this huge swell that went all around the Indian Ocean. You could literally feel and see the interconnectedness. Anyway we struck up a friendship and found that we had many common interests, one of them was U.G. Krishnamurti. None of us had spent any time with him but we were all interested in doing so. I was particularly concerned with seeing him before he died.

A year later we ran into Ross in Bangkok. He and Karyn were on their way to India, as were we. We talked about Goa and keeping in touch to communicate if we found a spot we really liked. A couple of emails later and they were at Arambol Beach, Goa, and recommended the place, so we made plans to meet up.

On our arrival in Arambol, we were walking into the village with our backpacks and wondering how we would find them when from the other direction Ross appeared on his way to some shop. We spent a couple of breakfasts sharing information and stories over very large bowls of fruit muesli at the Buddha’s Smile restaurant.

Ross and Karyn met an English guy who had visited every guru he could learn about in India and kept a very well-documented address book. He told Ross and Karyn that of gurus he had seen the two that really affected him were U.G. and a 90 year old sage named Ajja. They proceeded to relate the story that this fellow had told them.

It went like this: He spent quite some time at Ajja’s ashram in Karnataka near Mangalore and he kept wanting to speak with Ajja. He was continually told to go to the mediation hall. Finally, he was sitting in the hall and became tremendously angry and just couldn’t handle the experience anymore, so he grabbed his bag and walked down the drive to leave. As he was leaving, he looked back at Ajja and saw Ajja watching. And that was the end of his time there. But this experience somehow really affected him.

When I heard the story I knew right away that I wanted to meet this man, Ajja. Karyn also shared with us an interview that Ajja had given to Andrew Cohen published in What is Enlightenment? Ross also told us that U.G. was going to be in Bangalore in February. This fellow had given them the contact information, but they were sworn to secrecy, so didn’t feel comfortable sharing the details of the information that had come from him. They said that once they arrived they would contact us and in that way it would be their information and not this other fellow’s.

We didn’t stick around very long in Arambol, as nice as it was; we wanted to go straightaway to Ajja’s ashram.

Bhagavan Arabbi-Nithyanandam

We phoned the ashram from Mangalore, an hour and a half away by bus, to ask if we could come. The woman on the phone told us to come right away and we would be in time for lunch. When we arrived Ajja was meeting with some Indians on his porch and we were told to hurry up and we could meet him. So we took off our hiking boots and dropped our packs as quickly as we could and had just enough time for a Namaste and then were told we could meet with him later. Lunch was being served in the dining hall. The food that was served at the ashram was simple and fabulous.

After lunch we were given a room. But very soon after our arrival Amido and I needed to be separated because there were a few other visitors coming. Amido shared a room with a lovely Swedish woman named Ingrid and I bunked (although there was no bed or mattress) with an Indian man who would be arriving later.

Besides Ingrid there were a couple of other foreigners, a German named Hans who had been coming regularly for a couple of years, an Israeli named Giri who was together with a lovely English woman named Thea. In addition, Giri’s brother was visiting along with a friend and his wife and daughter.

Later in the afternoon, an Indian doctor named Satish, who took care of organizing darshans with Ajja, paid us a visit. He wanted to get some background from us and learn why we were there. He asked us to clarify our questions if we had any so as to make better use of our time with Ajja. He said that he would talk with Ajja and let us know when it was time to see him.

In the meantime Amido and I made use of the meditation hall and participated in the chanting and other activities. I found that Dr. Satish’s question about whether I had any questions a particularly powerful engine for my inquiry. The question was – did I have a question? This whole process of wanting to see Ajja seemed to be one of the primary teaching methods for westerners.  We heard many stories of westerners wanting to see Ajja and being told to go to the meditation hall. To most it seemed like some kind of punishment. For Amido and I, from the very beginning, we enjoyed our time spent there and really used the opportunity to explore deeply.

In the afternoon at tea time, the doctor came and told Amido and I that there were some Indians coming to visit Ajja later and we could try and tag along. He wasn’t sure if Ajja would allow us to stay or not. It seemed that it wasn’t something that he could just ask Ajja. When Satish informed us of his plan the other westerners present overheard and the lights went on in their minds. This would be a good opportunity for them too.

When the time came, all of us foreigners filed on to the porch for darshan with Ajja. Ajja came and sat down and immediately said you, you, you, etc. to all the foreigners, go to the mediation hall. Amido and I went right away and used that opportunity to explore all the feelings that were aroused. We were joined by Ingrid and Hans but the others didn’t come.

So again it was an opportunity to explore the question about a question. And when I sat with that for some time I found that I did have a question. I was aware of a sense of awareness which somehow I could physically relate to the area at the back of my head. And I was also aware of an energy, a sense of being that I would say somehow related to the area around my heart. My question became – what is the relationship between these two? It was not very long after formulating this question that it was answered in my meditation.

It seemed that the awareness of awareness was not an activity, there was no movement. But the energy that I felt around the heart was active, not static. What seemed to happen was the awareness gave attention to the energy and with this attention the energy became less active. It gradually settled and when it completely settled it felt as if it was absorbed by the awareness. That is the best way that I can describe what took place. In that merging, that joining, that absorption there were no more questions. The question was answered in dissolving. And in that dissolving of the question there was light and bliss.

Our time passed wonderfully at the ashram and we found that there was some strange connection between Ajja and U.G. Almost everyone at Ajja’s had been to see U.G. In fact we learned that a couple of years earlier, Ajja, on two occasions, had been taken to the house where U.G. was staying in Bangalore. The first time, Ajja sat next to U.G. but they never said a word to each other. When Ajja left and was in the car ready to drive away, U.G. went outside and namasted to Ajja. The second time, Ajja sat next to U.G. and spoke for some time. Apparently it was the rare occasion when U.G. actually let someone else speak. Ajja spoke Kanada, so only the local Indians could understand but during that time U.G. was silent.

Thea was present during this meeting and it was the first time that she met either Ajja or U.G. and she met them both together. Thea continued to have a very strong connection with both Ajja and U.G. and would shuttle back and forth between Puttur and Bangalore. Several of U.G.’s close friends in Bangalore were regular visitors at Ajja’s ashram. Because of this we had no difficulty getting all the information necessary for a visit with U.G. In fact we were getting messages at the ashram as to the exact arrival of U.G. in Bangalore.

Daily, we participated in “chores” around the ashram in the morning and also any other time we were asked to help out. Thea was the one who assigned jobs in the morning and in the afternoon someone might come and ask for help with some other task. It invariably involved doing a very menial task with the utmost awareness. Because the ashram was so small, one was often within sight of Ajja who would sit on his porch and oversee all the activities. And Ajja’s presence was so strong that one was almost bowled over with the present moment. It was difficult ‘not’ to be in the moment. His presence created a very powerful Buddhafield.

One day Amido, Ingrid and I, were asked to help with some cleaning. Ajja had left the ashram and we were to help with the cleaning of the tile floor in his house. He had a very modest room but it was full of consciousness. There was “that something” the same that I had felt whenever I had been in Osho’s living quarters, a certain sensing, clarity, presence, to be honest not unlike the heightened awareness accompanying some of my past LSD experiences.

Sunday was the day that many Indian visitors came. It was the day that even the foreigners could count on spending time in Ajja’s presence. On the Sunday that we were there, we all went into the original house on the property which was a hut the musician lived in. It was small but there was a second story. The Indians and Ajja were downstairs and all of us foreigners were upstairs just above Ajja. Bhajans were sung, music was played and it was a lovely time. Finally Ajja asked for one of us foreigners to sing a song. I went blank, not a song came to mind but Thea, bless her heart, sang The Lord of the Dance. It was really extraordinary, because she is one of the most ethereal persons I have ever met, and in the beginning her singing was rather meek and then you could sense her taking courage and finding her power through the singing.

The following day was some kind of special day, it was a full moon and musicians were coming and there was going to be quite a celebration. We sang and danced out on the ground in front of Ajja’s porch. He came out and encouraged both the musicians and us dancers. There was a performance where two speakers enacted a conversation regarding Rama and his shooting of Vaali with an arrow from behind.  After the music and performance a great meal was served. The whole event was wonderful.

Earlier in the day we had been asked what our plans were and without thinking I said we would leave the following day. It was going to be a week, and we had experienced so much, especially with the coming evening celebration it seemed appropriate for us to move on. In addition, we now knew that U.G. was in Bangalore and we wanted to go and see him.

The next morning, Dr. Satish came to visit us and said he would see what arrangements could be made for us to have darshan with Ajja before we left, but nothing was guaranteed. To be honest, Amido and I were so overflowing with the whole week it really didn’t matter if we would be able to have darshan or not. Of course it would be nice but we would be happy whatever happened.

Hans had made arrangements and was planning to see Ajja that day as well. He was going to take his camera to have a photo taken with Ajja. We packed our things and prepared ourselves to leave after lunch. Sometime before lunchtime, a woman named Kavita came and said “the two people who are leaving today should come now.” I ran and told Amido and we were ready. I saw Hans on the way and told him what Kavita had said. He was not leaving that day so stayed behind. Kavita took us over to the porch. We sat in front of Ajja and Kavita translated questions of where we were from and our background. While sitting with Ajja, the whole group sang Bhajans. Ajja turned to us and asked us to sing a song we knew. Because of the experience on the day of Thea singing, we had at least thought of a song that we both knew just in case. It was one of the celebration songs from the Poona Ashram, Asalaam Aleikum. 

The words are as follows:

May the love we share here spread its wings

And fly across the earth and sing

Its song to every soul that is alive

May the blessings of your grace Bhagwan

Be felt by everyone and may we

All see the light within, within, within

 

Asalaam aleikum, Aleikum asalaam

Asalaam aleikum, Aleikum asalaam

Asalaam aleikum, Aleikum asalaam

While we were singing, I experienced what I had seen in Thea when she sang. In the beginning there was a hesitancy but we continued through it and then a power took over and one just rode with it. Ajja smiled and asked where we had learned the song and we told him at Osho’s ashram and he said that it was related to his name. Ajja is just a nickname which means uncle but his name is Bhagavan Arabbi-Nithyanandam. The Arabbi is related to Islam. He has joined the two together like so many Sufis of India.

At the end of the singing, Ajja said that we were very clean and didn’t have a lot of thoughts. I said that it was because we had spent a lot of time with Osho, and Ajja said that we had done a lot of work. I responded, “so not a lot more digging.” He said that now we needed to stabilize. He asked if we had any questions and we said no, (my questioning had dissolved days before). Eventually I piped up that yes there was one question, “Could I take a photo of him?” He agreed and had someone take a photo of Amido and me with him. After our time with Ajja, an Indian man, Sudarshan had some questions. When they were answered he had more questions. Eventually, Ajja turned to Amido and me and said, “Look, this couple has no questions and you are here with me every day and you have so many questions.”

Dr. Satish came and reminded Ajja that Hans was still waiting and so he was called over. He had his photo taken with Ajja and we all sang more Bhajans and then ate some ice-cream. We must have spent close to an hour with Ajja and it was truly glorious. We said our Namastes.

After lunch, Sudarshan was the one, when everyone was having their nap, who stayed around and made arrangements for a rickshaw for us. He wanted to make sure that it came and the driver knew where to take us. We had been bonded in the sweetness of Ajja’s Darshan. And then it was time to bid farewell. It had been one extraordinary week.

U. G. Krishnamurti

We had a hard time finding a room in Bangalore when we arrived late at night. Everywhere was full because one, it was the wedding season and two, there was a big “Art of Living” gathering in the city, with many visitors both Indian and western. In fact we had to resort to calling an Indian (Shiva) who we had met at Ajja’s and had given us his phone number. We stayed at his apartment that night and left early in the morning. Shiva, his wife and mother were going to London that day.

After finding a place the next morning, we made our way to Chandrashekar’s home courtesy of some very elaborate directions and a map. When we walked through the door the first people we saw were Ross and Karyn. We entered the living room where everyone was gathered and watching a video on the television. We sat down on the floor without really surveying the room. In fact I had been wondering where U.G. was when I realized he was sitting on the sofa watching the video of himself.

Soon the video was off and U.G. was telling stories. This is what his meetings consisted of at this point–gossiping with friends. Ingrid was there too. She had come from Ajja’s ashram and was sitting on the sofa next to U.G. We had tried to warn her about U.G., that he wouldn’t behave as she might expect an Indian holy man to act. He was throwing around the word bitch quite a bit and she looked uncomfortable.

It was a very informal arrangement and people would come and go at will. Because we were the new arrivals, U.G. directed some attention to us. Ingrid left and I suggested Amido move to the sofa where she sat enjoying being in his presence. When he learned that I was from the States he directed all of his stories about the States towards me.

It really was quite an interesting experience. First of all, there was the heightened sense of presence, that same presence that I have experienced with Osho, Jean Klein, the 16th Karmapa, J. Krishnamurti and also with Ajja. That presence was at the core, at the center. If you came out of that center you could get caught up in the whirlwind that blew around his words. He used language that could easily throw you off your center. And it was not just the words but the energy had an appearance of anger at times, and yet if you stayed in the center it was love.

We only visited over two days but even in that short time heard some stories so many times that I could finish them off myself. It was interesting to watch those that have spent a lot of time with U.G. They seemed to rest there at the center.  Others would get caught up in what he was saying. That can be seen on some U.G. forums where people actually believed what he was saying about J. Krishnamurti or Osho. To me, he was just shocking people out of their conditioning, but he also seemed cognizant of how far he could go without really hurting someone. He seemed sensitively outrageous.

We learned that many of our sannyasin friends had become very close to U.G. We met some at the house and learned of others that had been hosting U.G.’s stay in Palm Springs. We said our goodbyes to Ross and Karyn who were staying on. I was so happy that we had managed to meet U.G. before he left the planet. As it turned out, this was his last visit to Bangalore. When we bid him farewell, it was namaste and I felt that we had connected with an old friend. The entire time he was so welcoming and loving in his unique way.

Postscript

The following year we returned to India with the intention of visiting Ajja and then going on to Bangalore to see U.G. again. He was scheduled to be in Bangalore in February just like the previous year. As it turned out we arrived at Ajja’s ashram the day after he left the body.

We were able to take part in the ceremonies involved with the Samadhi, one of which was maintaining a chant through the night by taking shifts. Ajja was not cremated but buried in a traditional lotus Samadhi position. He had supervised the building of the structure to house the Samadhi all through the previous year. On top of the marble tomb a granite block was placed that had a small hole above Ajja’s head. We took part in the last day of the ceremony, chanting around the Samadhi through the night. We spent only two days at the ashram this time because we could sense the ashram had a lot of adjustments to make and we didn’t want to be in the way.

The first day we arrived at the ashram, we learned that on January 31st in Italy U.G. had fallen in his bathroom and couldn’t get up. He wasn’t eating, he wasn’t drinking water and he wasn’t passing urine. This information was coming to Srinath at the ashram who was in contact with Mahesh Bhatt, the longtime friend of U.G.

On February 1st, Ajja had a stroke. He was hospitalized in Puttur. After some days the doctor said that they couldn’t do anything for him there and so he was transported in an ambulance to Mangalore.

We were told that when U.G. heard about Ajja he said, “I don’t want to breathe, I don’t want to eat, I don’t want to be in this body.”

Ajja left his body on March 12th and on March 14th we heard from Srinath that U.G. had sent everyone away and that it seemed he would be going soon too. We left the ashram and continued on our travels. We later learned that U.G. left his body on March 22nd. No one ever seemed to know the nature of this strange connection between Ajja and U.G but it was a blessing to have met them both.

-purushottama

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

A link to Ajja’s website.

Read an interview with Ajja.

See a video of Ajja.

For more posts on Ajja.

To read more from Ajja.

To read more of U. G. Krishnamurti .

The Nectar of Immortality – Nisargadatta Maharaj

nisargadatta_250Maharaj:

If one obtains and relishes the nectar of the Lord’s feet, the charan-amrita, the mind can be conquered. This means that the mind will no longer hold sway over us; its mastery imposed from childhood will no longer oppress us. This is called manojaya—victory over the mind. But this is made possible only with His Grace. Without Grace, we cannot relish the nectar.

However, only a true devotee, a bhakta, a god, can obtain the charan-amrita. But who and what is this devotee? It is nothing else but the consciousness, the sense of being, the knowledge that “we are,” which has appeared unknowingly and spontaneously in us. The consciousness is the charan-amrita, the nectar of the Lord’s feet.

The entire cosmos in its vibrant, stirring movement is represented by the consciousness, the feet of the Lord, and the whole universe is the body of the consciousness. But what is its relationship with all beings? It dwells in the core of all beings as the knowledge “I am,” the love “to be,” the charan-amrita.

One who drinks the nectar of the Lord’s feet is a true devotee. He abides in the knowledge “I am.” He is godly. Thus, when one sips continuously this nectar by witnessing the consciousness or the sense of being, one’s mind, which assesses and differentiates persons observed as males and females, gradually removes itself from the focus of attention, leaving the consciousness in its innate glory.

But how can such a state be attained? Only if one totally accepts the knowledge “I am” as oneself with full conviction and faith and firmly believes in the dictum “I am that by which I know ‘I am’.” This knowledge “I am” is the charan-amrita. Why is it called amrita--the nectar? Because, it is said, by drinking nectar one becomes immortal. Thus, a true devotee, by abiding in the knowledge “I am” transcends the experience of death and attains immortality. But so long as the mind remains unconquered, the experience of death is inevitable.

Although my talks go on and on with many visitors, my standpoint remains unchanged. Why? Because my standpoint is stabilized at the charan-amrita. It stays put in the consciousness, the source of concepts and language. Out of it emanates the language from its subtlest formation to the grossest vocal expression, as para, pashyanti, madhyama, and vaikhari.

If you could just give up all other spiritual efforts and disciplines and absorb yourself in relishing the charan-amrita, by abidance in the consciousness, the mind will release you from its clutches. At present, you meekly accept whatever the mind dictates as your own. If the mind goes into silence, where and what are you?

Once you subside into the consciousness, the factual state of Reality shall be revealed to you with the knowledge that will emanate out of you intuitively. like spring water. This will enable you to discern not what is real and unreal, but most importantly, to realize what “I am.”

What am I for myself alone? What is this life? Once these questions are resolved intuitively and the Reality emerges, the mind cannot predominate any longer. However, functioning of the mind will go on, but the quality of its functioning will be totally different. One who has attained such a state of the mind remains unaffected by any happenings, since the blabberings of the mind can have no effect. And who could be that one? Surely not an individual who is trapped in the mind-shell. But that one is the knowledge “I am”–the consciousness.

It is said that we should break off the shackles that attach us to the body and the world. What does that mean? Whatever is seen and perceived is at the bodily or worldly level. An attachment is developed with objects perceived, and then we identify with a body as ourselves and claim the objects as our own. Attachment is the nature of the mind, and it obstinately persists in these attachments. But if you drink the charan-amrita by stabilizing in the consciousness, everything will be resolved and you will be enlightened. You need not go to anybody to clear your doubts.

While doing my normal chores and singing bhajans in praise of God and so on, to you I appear to be deeply involved in these activities. But actually I remain apart from myself, bereft of the body and mind sense, and then witnessing of the activities happens to Me. I wonder if you have marked this! Many persons are related to me in some way or another. Although seemingly I hobnob with them, I am apart from them. For myself, I have fully realized what “I am,” and right now it is absolutely clear to me what and how ‘I am.” But what these persons think “they are,” only they know. They presume to have acquired knowledge, to have reached a spiritual status higher than others…and so forth. This is bound to be, because they are still slaves to their mind. In my case, it cannot happen. I have totally imbibed the nectar of the Lord’s feet–the  consciousness.

At present, all communications and functionings happen through the medium of the nectar–the consciousness. And what is this medium? It is the knowledge “I am.” It is represented by Lord Vishnu, the highest god who reclines blissfully on the coils of the serpent, sheshashayi, and hence is known as sheshashayi-Bhagavan.

Well it is nice to have such talks, but to imbibe and realize their essence is very difficult indeed. Why? Because you firmly believe that you are the body and live accordingly, while entertaining fond wishes that you will achieve something good in the world, and later still better. These expectations are primarily based on the misconceived notion that you are the body. This wrong identification, however, dissolves in the nectar of the Lord’s feet, when you totally subside in the consciousness and lose your individuality.

Dissolution of individuality is not possible without devotion to the Master–guru-bhakti–which in other words is again the consciousness, the guru-charan-amrita. Abidance in the consciousness removes all past and future problems, and stabilizes one in the present–Here and Now.

Consciousness is the sense of knowingness “I am” without words, and it appeared unknowingly and unsolicited. It is the manifest universal life force and, therefore, cannot be individualistic. It extends inside and outside, like the brilliance of a diamond. You see a dream-world inside you and a perceptible world outside you, provided the consciousness prevails. From the body level, you may say inside and outside the body, but from the standpoint of consciousness, where and what is inside and outside? Only in the realm of knowingness “I am”–the consciousness–can a world be, and so also an experience.

Hold on to this knowingness “I am,” and the fount of knowledge will well up within you, revealing the mystery of the Universe; of your body and psyche; of the play of the five elements, the three gunas and prakritipurush; and of everything else. In the process of this revelation, your individualistic personality confined to the body shall expand into the manifested universe, and it will be realized that you permeate and embrace the entire cosmos as your “body” only. This is known as the “Pure Superknowledge”–shuddhavijnana.

Nevertheless, even in the sublime shuddhavijnana state, the mind refuses to believe that it is a non-entity. But as one subsides in the consciousness, one develops a firm conviction that the knowledge “you are”–the sense of your being–is the very source of your world. This knowledge alone makes you feel “you are” and the world is. Actually, this manifest knowledge, having occupied and permeated the cosmos, dwells in you as the knowledge “you are.” Hold on to this knowledge. Do not try to give it a name or a title.

Now coming to a very subtle situation, what is it in you that understands this knowledge “you are”–or from your standpoint “I am,” without a name, title or word? Subside in that innermost centre and witness the knowledge ” I am” and just be. This is the “bliss of being”–the svarupananda.

You derive pleasure and happiness through various external aids and processes. Some like to enjoy good food, some like to see a picture, some get absorbed in music…and so on. For all these enjoyments some outside factors are essential. But to abide in the “bliss of being” no external aids are required at all. To understand this, take the example of deep sleep. Once you are in deep sleep, no aids or treatments are called for and you enjoy a quiet happiness. Why? Because in that state identity with a body as male or female is totally forgotten.

Some visitors ask me, “Please show us a path that will lead to Reality.” How can I? All paths lead to unreality. Paths are creations within the scope of knowledge. Therefore, paths and movements cannot transport you into Reality, because their function is to enmesh you within the dimension of knowledge, while the Reality prevails prior to it. To apprehend this, you must stay put at the source of your creation, at the beginning of the knowledge “I am.” So long as you do not achieve this, you will be entangled in the chains forged by your mind and get enmeshed in those of others.

Therefore, I repeat, you stabilize at the source of your being and then all the chains will snap asunder and you will be liberated. You will transcend time, with the result that you will be beyond the reach of its tentacles and you shall prevail in Eternity. And this sublime state can be attained only by drinking ceaselessly the nectar of the guru’s sacred feet–the guru-charan-amrita. It is a state of ecstatic beatitude–the self subsiding blissfully in the Self. This ecstasy is beyond words; it is also awareness in total quietude.

The quintessence of the talk is clear. Your most important asset is the “knowledge” that “you are” prior to emanation of mind. Hold on to this “knowledge” and meditate. Nothing is superior to this, not even devotion to a guru–guru-bhakti–or devotion to God-Ishwara-bhakti.

Nisargadatta Maharaj – January 25, 1980

from The Nectar of Immortality. 1987 Joseph Nauwelaerts

For more posts on Nisargadatta Maharaj see:   https://o-meditation.com/category/nisargadatta-maharaj/

To read more from Nisargadatta Maharaj see:   https://o-meditation.com/jai-guru-deva/some-good-books/downloadable-books/nisargadatta-maharaj/

Meditate on This – Osho

Your last words at this morning’s discourse were ‘Meditate on this.’ What do you mean? How does one who only knows how to think about things learn to meditate on things?

Knowing what thinking is, is the beginning of knowing what meditation is. Thinking is the negative part; meditation is the positive part. Thinking means mind in turmoil; meditation means mind in silence. But the turmoil is the beginning of silence, and only after the storm there is silence.

If you can think, then you are capable of meditation. If a man can be ill, then he can be healthy. Health becomes impossible only when you cannot even be ill. Then you are dead. Only a corpse cannot fall ill. If you can fall ill, then there is still hope. Then you are still alive.

And so is the case with thinking and meditation. Thinking is mind which is ill–not at ease, not reconciled with itself, disturbed, fragmented, divided. Meditation means the division is no more, the fragments have disappeared into oneness–you are at ease, at home.

It is the same mind. Divided, it becomes thinking; undivided, it becomes meditation. If you can think, then you are capable of meditation, although meditation is not thinking. Thinking is an ill state of affairs, a pathology. But one can transcend it, and the transcendence is easy; it is not as difficult as you think. The difficulty comes because you don’t really want to go into meditation. Because in meditation not only is thinking going to disappear, you also are going to disappear. Only an ill man is, a healthy man disappears. In health you are not; you exist only in illness, you exist only in pain, in suffering, in hell. You can’t exist in heaven, because to feel one’s existence means to feel pain.

Have you ever not observed it? When you have a headache, then you have a head. When the headache disappears, the head disappears too. If your body is perfectly healthy and everything is running smoothly, humming smoothly, you don’t feel the body at all: you become bodiless. In the ancient Indian scriptures, health is described and defined as bodilessness: you don’t feel your body. How can you feel your body if it is not ill? Onlhy illness creates knowledge; self-consciousness is created by it, self is created by it.

So meditation is not difficult if you really want to go into it. It is the simplest thing possible–the most simple, the most primal. In your mother’s womb you were in meditation. There was no distracting thought; you were not thinking about anything, you simple were. To regain that state of womb is what meditation is all about. When you see a person meditating, what do you see? He has disappeared into the womb again, he has made his whole body like a womb and he has disappeared into it. Buddha sitting under the Bodhi Tree…what is he doing? He has moved back to the source. He is not there. There is nobody sitting under the Bodhi Tree. That’s waht a Buddha means: There is nobody sitting under the Bodhi Tree.

When Jesus goes to the mountains away from the multitude, where is he going? He is going inwards, he is trying to make contact again with the original source, because from that original source is rejuvenation. From that original source there is again freshness, vitality, and the waters of life are flowing again–one is bathed, one is resurrrected.

In the world thinking is needed.  In your inner being thinking is not needed.  When you are communicating with somebody, thought is a must.  When you are just communing with your self, what is the need of thought?  Thought will be a disturbance.

Try to understand why thinking is needed and what thinking is.  When there is a problem thinking is needed to solve it.  You have to go round about, look from every angle of the problem, think of all possible solutions.  And then there are many alternatives, so one has to choose which one is the right one.  And there is always the possibility of error, and there is always fear and anxiety–that is natural and still no guarantee that you are going to succeed in finding the solution.  One gropes in the darkness, one tries to find a way out of it.  Thinking is the confronting of a problem.  In life there are millions of problems, and thinking is needed.

I am not saying thinking is not needed.  But when you relate with the outside, it is needed.  But when you are facing your own being, it is not a problem, it is a mystery.  And let it be very clear what a mystery is.  A problem is something that can be solved; a mystery is something that cannot be solved by its very nature.  There is no way out of it, so there is no question of finding the way.

You are a mystery.  It is never going to be solved, because you annot go behind yourself, how can you solve it?  You cannot stand outside yourself and tackle yourself as a problem, so how can you solve it?  Who is going to solve whom?  You are the solver, and you are the problem, and you are the solution.  There is no division at all.  The knower and the known and the knowledge are one–this is the mystery.

When the knower is different from the known, then there is a problem.  Then there is something objective there.  You can think of a way out, you can find out something which becomes knowledge.  But inside yourself you are facing the eternal–the beginningless, the endless–you are facing the ultimate.  You cannot think.  If you think you will miss.  Only through non-thinking you will not miss.  You can only see into it–with awe, with great wonder.  You can go into it deeper and deeper, you can dive into it.  You can go on digging, and the more you dig, the more you will understand that this is a mystery to be lived not a problem to be solved.  So thinking is irrelevant .  And when thinking is irrelevant, there arises meditation.

The failure of thinking is the arousal of mediation.

Science is thinking, religion is meditation.  If you think about God, it is philosophy, it is not religion.  If you live God, then it is religion.

If you are looking at a lotus flower and thinking about it, then it is science, philosophy, aesthetics.  But if you are simply looking at the lotus flower. . .the look is pure, uncontaminated by any thought, and the lotus flower is not thought to be a problem but just a beauty to be experienced . . . you are there, the lotus flower is there, and there is nothing in between–just empty, nobody is standing between you and the flower–it is meditation.  Then the flower is not outside you, because there is nothing to divide as the in and the out.  Then the lotus flower is somehow within you and you are somehow within the lotus flower.  You melt into each other; divisions are lost, boundaries become blurred.  The lotus starts touching your heart, and your heart starts touching the lotus.  There is communion.  It is meditation.

Whenever thought is not functioning, it is meditation.  Listening to me, sometimes it becomes meditation to you.  I say ‘sometimes’ because sometimes you start thinking and then you lose track.  When you are just listening, not thinking at all about  what is being said–neither for nor against, not comparing with your past knowledge, not tbeing greedy to accumulate it for your future use, not trying to justify, rationalise, not doing anything at all . . .I am here, you are there, and there is a meeting.  In that meeting is mediatation.  And then there is great beauty.

You ask me:  Your last words at this morning’s discourse were ‘Meditate on this.’

Yes.  Whether I say it or not, that is my message every day, in the beginning, in the middle, in the end–that’s what I am saying:  Meditate on this.  Meditate.

The English word ‘meditation’ is not very adequate for what we mean by dhyana is the East; ‘meditation’ again carries some idea of thinking.  In English, ‘meditation’ means to think about, to meditate upon something.  Dhyana does not mean to meditate upon something.  Dhyana simply means to be in the presence of something, just to be in the presence.  If you are in the presence of a tree, it is meditation on the tree.  If you are in the presence of the stars, then it is meditation on the stars.  If you are in the presence of me, then it is a meditation.  And when you are alone, and you feel your own presence, that is mediation.

From dhyana came the Chinese word ch’an; from ch’an came the Japanese word zen.  They are all derivations of dhyanaDhyana is a beautiful word. It is not translatable into English, because English has words like ‘meditation’, ‘contemplation’, ‘concentration’–they all miss the point.

‘Concentration’ means concentrating on one thing.  Meditation is not a concentration, it is an absolutely de-concentrated state of consciousness–it is just the opposite.  When you concentrate there is a tension, you start focusing, there is effort.  And when you concentrate on one thing then other things are denied, then you are closed for other things.  If you concentrate on me, then what will you do with this plane passing by, and the noise?  Then you will close your mind to it, you will focus on me, you will become strained because you have to deny this roaring aeroplane.  A bird starts singing–what will you do?  You will have to close yourself.  That’s what is being taught in the schools and the colleges and the universities.  It is concentration.

Meditation is not concentration, it is just openness, alertness, presence.  You are listening to me, but your are not listening to me exclusively.  You are simply listeneing.  And the aeroplane goes roaring by–you listen to that too.  And the bird starts singing, and you listen to that too.  And there is no division; you don’t choose.   All that happens in the surroundings is accepted: it becomes part of your listening to me.  Your listening is not exclusive, it is inclusive of all.

So concentration is not meditation.  Then the word ‘meditation’ itself is not meditation, because in meditation somebody meditates on Jesus, somebody meditates on the Bible, somebody meditates on God.  Again it is not meditation.  If there is a God as an object and Jesus as an object, then there is a distinction between the knower and the known:  there is duality.  And in duality there is conflict, and in conflict there is misery.  In non-duality conflict disappears; and when conflict disappears, hell disappears.  Then there is joy.

So meditation is not ‘meditating upon something’, meditation simply means a different quality of your inner being. In thinking your mind goes on weaving, spinning thoughts. In meditation your mind is simply silent, utterly silent, not doing anything at all–not even meditation! Not doing anything at all. Sitting silently, doing nothing…and the grass grows by itself. The spring comes, and the grass grows by itself.  Meditation is a natural state of silence. It is not contemplation either.

In contemplation you think about ‘high thoughts’, spiritual things–not mundane things, not about the market, not about the family, but high values, truth, beauty, bliss. But you contemplate on these. You try to think about these high values of life–then it is contemplation.

But meditation is not even that. Meditation is a state of stillness. And this state of stillness has not to be forced, because it cannot be forced. If you force it, it will not be the right stillness. If you force it, you will be there forcing it; it will not be natural, it will not be spontaneous. So what has to be done?

One has to understand the ways of thinking. One has to understand the stupidity of thinking. One has to understand that thinking creates conflict, division, struggle, that thinking fragments you, that in thinking you start falling apart. One has to see what thinking does to you. In that very seeing arises meditation. In that very understanding, suddenly you feel breezes of silence coming to you. For a moment everything becomes still, utterly still, a standstill. And the taste of it will bring more of it. And by and by you will know the knack of it. Meditation is a knack. It is not science, it is not even art–it is a knack. You have to learn it slowly, slowly, through your own experience. So when I say ‘Meditate on this’ I mean don’t think upon it. Just close your eyes, be in silence. Let it be there.

For example, Jesus’ story: Jesus and the woman of Samaria are standing at that well, Jacob’s well, and Jesus is asking ‘Give me some water to drink’–the dialogue that ensues, just let it be there.

And you be utterly silent in front of this parable. Let this parable be like a lotus flower–it is. Just let it be there, throbbing, pulsating with a beating heart. Let it become alive in front of you, and then become silent. What can you do? You can only be silent. Let this drama be enacted in front of you. In deep silence you see it, and that will reveal to you the meaning of it. And that will reveal to you all the dialogues that have happened between any enlightened person and the disciple. And it will become not only a Jesus parable, it become a parable between you and me too.

It is happening every day. That’s what I mean when I say ‘Meditate upon this.’

-Osho

From I Say Unto You, Vol. 1

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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The Absolute Being is ‘What Is’ – Ramana Maharshi

Ramana_Maharshi_faceSwami Yogananda with four others arrived at 8.45 a.m. He looks big, but gentle and well-groomed. He has dark flowing hair, hanging over his shoulders. The group had lunch in the Ashram.

Mr. C. R. Wright, his secretary asked: How shall I realise God?

M.: God is an unknown entity. Moreover He is external. Whereas, the Self is always with you and it is you. Why do you leave out what is intimate and go in for what is external?

D.: What is this Self again?

M.: The Self is known to everyone but not clearly. You always exist. The Be-ing is the Self. ‘I am’ is the name of God. Of all the definitions of God, none is indeed so well put as the Biblical statement “I AM THAT I AM” in EXODUS (Chap. 3). There are other statements, such as Brahmaivaham, Aham Brahmasmi and Soham. But none is so direct as the name JEHOVAH = I AM. The Absolute Being is what is – it is the Self. It is God. Knowing the Self, God is known. In fact God is none other than the Self.

D.: Why are there good and evil?

M.: They are relative terms. There must be a subject to know the good and evil. That subject is the ego. Trace the source of the ego. It ends in the Self. The source of the ego is God. This definition of God is probably more concrete and better understood by you.

D.: So it is. How to get Bliss?

M.: Bilss is not something to be got. On the other hand you are always Bliss. This desire is born of the sense of incompleteness. To who is this sense of incompleteness? Enquire. In deep sleep you were blissful: Now you are not so. What has interposed between that Bliss and this non-bliss? It is the ego. Trace the source of the ego. Then the ego is lost and Bliss remains over. It is eternal. You are That, here and now….That is the master key for solving all doubts. The doubts arise in the mind. The mind is born of the ego. The ego rises from the Self. Search the source of the ego and the Self is revealed. That alone remains. The universe is only expanded Self. It is not different from the Self.

D.: What is the best way of living?

M.: It differs according as one is a Jnani or ajnani. A Jnani does not find anything different or separate from the Self. All are in the Self. It is wrong to imagine that there is the world, that there is a body in it and that you dwell in the body. If the Truth is known, the universe and what is beyond it will be found to be only in the Self. The outlook differs according to the sight of the person. The sight is from the eye. The eye must be located somewhere. If you are seeing with the gross eyes you find others gross. If with subtle eyes (i.e., the mind) others appear subtle. If the eye becomes the Self, the Self being infinite, the eye is infinite. There is nothing else to see different from the Self.

He thanked Maharshi. He was told that the best way of thanking is to remain always as the Self.

Ramana Maharhsi

from Talk 106, Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi. Sri Ramanasramam.

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A Sacred Life – J. Krishnamurti

KrishnajiWhere there is the activity of the self, meditation is not possible. This is very important to understand, not verbally but actually. Meditation is a process of emptying the mind of all the activity of the self, of all the activity of the “me.” If you do not understand the activity of the self, then your meditation only leads to illusion, your meditation then only leads to self-deception, your meditation then will only lead to further distortion. So to understand what mediation is, you must understand the activity of the self.

The self has had a thousand worldly, sensuous, or intellectual experiences, but it is bored with them because they have no meaning. The desire to have wider, more expansive, transcendental experiences is part of the “me,” the self. When you have such experiences, or visions, you must be able to recognize those experiences, or those visions, but when you can recognize them, they are not new, they are projections of your background, or your conditioning, in which the mind delights as though they are something new. Don’t agree, but see the truth of it, then it is yours.

One of the demands, urges, desires of the mind, the self, is to change “what is” into “what should be.” It doesn’t know what to do with “what is” because it cannot resolve “what is,” therefore it projects an idea of “what should be,” which is the ideal. This projection is the antithesis of “what is,” and therefore there is a conflict between “what is” and “what should be.” That very conflict is the blood and the breath of the self.

Another activity of the self is the will to become, the will to change. Will is a form of resistance in which we have been educated from childhood. Will has become extraordinarily important to us, economically, socially, and religiously. Will is a form of ambition, and from will arises the desire to control–to control one thought by another thought, one activity of thought by another activity of thought. “I must control my desire”: the “I” is put together by thought, a verbal statement as the “me” with its memories, experiences. That thought wants to control, shape, deny, another thought.

One of the activities of the self is to separate itself as the “me,” as the observer. The observer is the past, all the accumulated knowledge, experience, memories. So the “I,” the “me,” separates itself as the observer from the “you,” the observed. “We” and “they.” We the Germans, the communists, the Catholics, the Hindus, and they the heathens, and so on, and so on. As long as the activities of the self–as long as the “me” as the observer, as the controller, as will; the self demanding, desiring experience–exist, meditation becomes a means of self-hypnosis, an escape from daily life, an escape from all the misery and problems. As long as those activities exist, there must be deception. See the reality, not verbally, but actually, that a person who is inquiring into meditation, who wants to see what takes place, must  understand all the activities of the self.

Meditation is the emptying of the mind of the activity of the self. And you cannot empty the mind of the activity of the self by any practice, by any method, or by saying “Tell me what to do.” Therefore, if you are really interested in this, you have to find out for yourself your own activity of the the self–habits, the verbal statements, the gestures, the deceptions, the guilt that you cultivate and hold on to as though it were some precious thing instead of throwing it away, the punishments–all the activities of the self. And that demands awareness.

Now, what is being aware? Awareness implies an observation in which there is no choice whatsoever, just observing without interpretation, translation, distortion. And that will not take place as long as there is an observer who is trying to be aware. Can you be aware, attentive, so that in that attention there is only observation and not the observer?

Now listen to this. You have read that statement: awareness is a state of mind in which the observer with its choice is not. You hear that statement. You immediately want to put it into practice, into action. You say, “What am I to do? How am I to be aware without the observer?”  You want an immediate activity–which means you have not really listened to that statement. You are more concerned with putting that statement into action than with listening to the statement. It is like looking at a flower and smelling the flower. The flower is there, the beauty, the color, the loveliness of it. You look at it and pick it up and begin to tear it to pieces. And you do the same when you listen to the statement that in awareness, in attention, there is no observer, that if the observer is, then you have the problem of choice, conflict. You hear that statement and the immediate reaction of the mind is, “How am I to do it?” So you are more concerned with the action of what to do about that statement than with actually listening to it. If you listen to it completely, then you are breathing the perfume, the truth of it. And the perfume, the truth, acts, not the “me” that is struggling to act rightly. Have you got it?

So, to find out the beauty and the depth of meditation, you have to inquire into the activities of the self, which is put together by time. So you have to understand time.

Please listen to this. Listen, don’t do anything about it, just listen. Find our if it is false or true. Just observe. Listen with your heart, not with your beastly little mind.

Time is movement, both physically and psychologically. Physically to move from here to there needs time. Psychologically, the movement of time is to change “what is” into “what should be.” So thought, which is time, can never be still because thought is movement, and this movement is part of the self. We are saying thought is the movement of time. Thought is the movement of time because it is the response of knowledge, experience, memory, which is time. So thought can never be still. Thought can never be new. Thought can never bring about freedom.

When one is aware of the movement of the self in all its activities–as ambition, seeking fulfillment, in relationship–out of that comes a mind that is completely still. Not that thought is still–you understand the difference? Most people are trying to control their thoughts, hoping thereby to bring quietness to the mind. I have seen dozens of people who have practiced for years trying to control their thoughts, hoping to have a mind that is really quiet. But they don’t see that thought is a movement. You may divide that movement as the observer and the observed, or the thinker and the thought, or the controller and the controlled, but it is still movement. And thought can never be still: if it is still it dies, therefore it cannot afford to be still.

If you have gone deeply into all this, into yourself, then you will see that the mind becomes completely still–not enforced, not controlled, not hypnotized. And it must be still because it is only in that stillness that a totally new, unrecognizable thing can take place. If I force my mind to be still through various tricks and practices, shocks, then it is the stillness of a mind that has struggled with thought, controlled thought, suppressed thought. That is entirely different from a mind that has seen the activity of the self, seen the movement of thought as time. The very attention to all that movement brings about the quality of mind that is completely still, in which something totally new can take place.

Meditation is the emptying of the mind of all the activity of the self. Now, will it take time? Will the emptying, or rather–I won’t use that word emptying, you will get frightened–can this process of the self come to an end, through time, through days, through years? Or has it to end instantly? Is it possible? All this is part of your meditation. When you say to yourself, “I will gradually get rid of the self,” that is part of conditioning, and you enjoy yourself in the meantime. When you introduce the word gradually, that involves time, a period, and during that period you enjoy yourself–all the pleasures, all the feelings of guilt which you cherish, which you hold on to, and the anxiety which also gives you a certain sense of living. And to be free of all that you say, “It will take time.” That is part of our culture, part of our evolutionary conditioning. Now will psychologically putting an end to the activities of the self take time? Or does it not take time at all, but rather the release of a new kind of energy that will put all that aside instantly?

Does the mind actually see the falseness of the proposition that it needs time to dissolve the activities fo the self? Do I see clearly the falseness of it? Or do I see intellectually that it isn’t quite right, and therefore I go on with it! If I see the falseness of it actually, then it has gone, hasn’t it? Time is not involved at all. Time is needed only when there is analysis, when there is inspection or examination of each broken piece that constitutes the “me.” When I see the whole movement of this as thought, it has no validity, though man has accepted it as inevitable. Then because the mind sees the falseness of it, it ends. You don’t go too close to the edge of a precipice unless you are rather unbalanced, insane, and then you go over; if you are sane, healthy, you stay away from it. The movement away from it doesn’t take time, it is an instant action because you see what would happen if you fell. So in the same way, if you see the falseness of all the movement of thought, of analysis, of the acceptance of time, and so on, then there is the instant action of thought as the “me” ending itself.

So a religious life is a life of meditation, in which the activities of the self are not. And one can live such a life in this world every day. That is, one can live a life as a human being in which there is constant alertness, watchfulness, awareness, an attentive mind that is watching the movement of the self. And the watching is watching from silence, not from a conclusion. Because the mind has observed the activities of the self and sees the falseness of it and therefore the mind has become extraordinarily sensitive, and silent. And from that silence it acts. In daily life.

Have you got it? Have we shared this together? Because it is your life, not my life. It is your life of sorrow, of tragedy, of confusion, guilt, reward, punishment. All that is your life. If you are serious you have tried to untangle all this. You have read some book, or followed some teacher, or listened to somebody, but the problems remain. These problems will exist as long as the human mind moves within the field of the activity of the self; that activity of the self must create more and more and more problems. When you observe, when you become extraordinarily aware of this activity of the self, then the mind becomes extraordinarily quiet, sane, healthy, holy. And from that silence our life in everyday activity is transformed.

Religion is the cessation of the “me,” and action born of that silence. That life is a sacred life full of meaning.

J. Krishnamurti

From the public talk at Saanen on July 29, 1973. Krishnamurti Foundation Trust, Ltd

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The Ending of Inquiry as an Intellectual Movement – Vimala Thakar

You see for yourself that every movement of the mind of the mind, the ‘Me’, the ‘I’ is mechanistic – whether it moves in the direction of society, of politics, of economics or in the direction of sex – the movement is mechanistic. You understand that the mental movement now is irrelevant. The perception, the observation brings the ‘I’ consciousness to this point: that my movement corrupted by the content, is bound to be mechanistic, is bound to refer to concepts and is bound to create a new measurement to measure the divine. My movement can be only relevant on the conceptual level but it is irrelevant for further inquiry.

The inquiry as a movement of the ‘I’ has served its purpose. It has seen its own limitations and therefore it stops. The relaxation of the mental effort, the relaxation of the mental movement as a fact has to happen within. Because of the inner urge to learn and to live – which is a non-rational, non-calculated urge – because of that urge the ‘ I’ consciousness is now willing, is now inclined to stop moving.

Up til now, the inquiry was with the help of an effort, now the inquiry will enter the dimension of effortlessness. Silence is effortlessness. Silence is effortless alertness. So the ‘I’ consciousness says ‘I am not going to observe. My observation brought me to the fact of the mechanistic nature of my movement, so I stop.’ Does the stopping take place in your life? The integrity and the genuineness of inquiry requires this questioning of oneself. Have we ever allowed that movement to stop, to discontinue? Not when you are sitting in your room but when you are moving through relationships. Has one ever experimented with the present absolutely, defenselessly? “Defenselessly” means without the defence of the past. The past is a kind of defense, and its movement is like security.

Now the psyche is filled with Silence, not filled with thoughts, concepts, ideas, theories and conclusions. You know, all that is gone. Now the emptiness of consciousness is filled with Silence. One says it is filled with silence because silence is an energy. If you had heard the speaker some time ago you might have heard the words “energy gets stimulated in silence, the new energy of Intelligence gets stimulated in silence.” No! As it was pointed out earlier, the speaker is growing, is learning. Life is infinite and till the last breath the learning shall continue so there may be changes in expression. I say silence is energy.

The moment you allow your movement, the movement of the Ego to discontinue, not out of any tension, pressure, but out of understanding, then relaxation takes place. If that relaxation takes place, then the emptiness of consciousness is filled with Silence. That energy is uncorrupted, unmutilated, unfragmented, unindividuated. Now observation or perception takes place out of the emptiness of consciousness, out of that silence. The energy of silence perceives through the eyes. The energy of silence listens through the ears. That energy is not an indentity like ‘Me’, the ‘Ego’. If fills your whole being. There is an observation without the observer.

Observation without the observer is the state of wholeness of perception and wholeness of responses.

Inquiry moved from the theoretical to the practical, where it was still a movement of the ‘I’ consciousness. That movement has stopped – again a quantum jump. Now observation becomes a movement of the spontaneity. When the cool breeze that comes and soothes your body and relaxes you completely, is there someone who is blowing the breeze towards you? It’s a movement of the breeze, it’s natural. So observation as a dimension of your whole life becomes a movement of the spontaneity, of that wholeness.

Inquiry as a movement of the mind has stopped. You see if the state of observation, the dimension of observation is allowed to open up in your being then inquiry as an intellectual movement, as a mental movement, as a movement of investigation by the ‘I’ consciousness, exploration by the ‘I’ consciousness has ended.

Vimala Thakar

from What Is Meditation? 1998 Vimal Prakashan Trust

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I AM is the Gate – Osho

This is a follow-up to the last post – Jesus was a Buddha.

Osho addresses the often quoted statement by Jesus.

Jesus saith unto him, I AM the way, the Truth, and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.

This statement is of immense importance, and has been tremendously misunderstood by Christians, misinterpreted. This statement has become a protection for the priest, for the dogmatist, for the demagogue. Christians have taken it to mean that nobody ever comes to God unless he comes through Christ – that means Jesus, son of Mariam. Nobody comes to God unless he comes through Jesus. They have meant, or they have interpreted it in such a way, that Christianity becomes the only right religion. All other religions become wrong. All other religions are against God – only Christianity.

Jesus saith unto him, I AM the way, the Truth, and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.

What does he mean? These priests and the missionaries and the Christians who go on converting the whole world to Christianity, are they right? Is their interpretation right? Or has Jesus something else? He has something UTTERLY else.

In the Bhagavad Gita also there is a statement which Hindus go on misinterpreting. Krishna has said to Arjuna… And almost the same quality of closeness existed between Arjuna and Krishna as between Jesus and Thomas – the same relationship. And the same flowering had happened, and the same statement had bubbled up out of that relationship. Krishna said to Arjuna: SARVA DHARMAN PARITYAJYA MAMEKAM SHARANAM VRAJA: Drop all religions, forget about all religions and come to my feet, because it is only through me that one reaches to God.

Now Hindus are happy with this statement. Krishna has said so clearly: Forget all religions. Drop all kinds of other religions and hold unto me. Hold to my feet – MAMEKAM SHARANAM VRAJA. Come to my feet; they are the bridges to God – the only bridges.

Both statements happened in the same kind of situation. Arjuna must have been very very close when Krishna said this. And so is the case with Thomas – he must have been very close. Christ must have been showering like flowers on Thomas when he said this. You will need that loving understanding of a Thomas, only then will you be able to understand the meaning of this. You will need that loving intimacy of an Arjuna, only then will you be able to understand the statement of Krishna. Both are the same, both mean the same – and both have been misinterpreted.

The misinterpretation comes from the priest and the politician – those who try to convert religion into organisational, political strategies.

Jesus saith unto him, I AM the way

I AM… That has to be understood. It does not mean Jesus, it simply means the inner consciousness: ’I am’ – the inner life. This consciousness inside you, which you call ’I am’, this ’I am’ is the only way. If you can understand this ’I am’, what it is, what this consciousness is, you have found the way. It has nothing to do with Jesus, it has nothing to do with Krishna. When I say to you ’I am the gate’ it has nothing to do with me! That I AM is the gate. The gate is within you, the way is within you, the truth is within you. You have to understand who this is calling himself ’I am’ within you, what this consciousness is, what it consists of.

If you can go into your consciousness, if you can feel, see, realise the nature of your consciousness, that is the way. Meditation is the way – not Christ, not Krishna, nor Mohammed. Who am I? – this question will become the way.

Raman Maharshi is right when he says that only one question is relevant: Who am I? Go on asking this question, let this question become a fire in you. Be aflame with it! Let every cell of your body and your being, and every fibre of your existence pulsate, vibrate with it. And let this question arise from the deepest core: Who am I? And go on asking; don’t accept any answer that is given by the mind. You have been reading the Upanishads, and in the Upanishads they say ’You are God’. And your mind will say ’Why are you asking again and again? I know the answer: You are God. And keep quiet!’ Or if you are a Christian and have been reading the Bible again and again, you know: The kingdom of God is within you. So, ’Who am I?’ – ’The kingdom of God. Now keep quiet!’

No answer from the head has to be accepted. No answer from the.memory has to be accepted. No answer from knowledge has to be accepted. All answers have to be thrown in the whirlwind of the question ’Who am I?’ A moment comes when all answers have gone and ONLY the question remains, alone like a pillar of fire. You are afire with it! You are just a thirst, a passionate quest: ’Who am l?’ When the question has burned all the answers, then the question burns itself too, it consumes itself. And once the question has also disappeared, there is silence. That silence is the answer. And that is the door, the gate, the way, the truth.

Please be careful. When Jesus says I AM THE WAY, he means the one who calls himself I AM within you is the way. It has nothing to do with Jesus. Just by holding the feet of Jesus you are not going to go anywhere. Just by praying to Jesus you are not going to go anywhere. Listen to what he is saying.

Each Master throws you back to yourself, because ultimately God is hidden in you as much as in the Master. You are carrying your light within yourself. You just have to turn back, you have to look inwards.

I AM the way, the Truth

Yes. In your very consciousness is the truth. When you become fully conscious you become the full truth. When you are absolutely conscious, it is not that you face truth as an object, you ARE the truth, it is your subjectivity, it is you. That’s what Upanishads say: TATWAMASI: Thou art that.

…… and the Life…

Three things Jesus says: It is the life – I AM, consciousness, awareness. This is life – the life that you know, the ordinary life. Then the second: I AM THE WAY – the way that joins the ordinary life with the extraordinary life, the way that joins Adam with Christ, the way that joins body with soul. And the third thing: I AM THE TRUTH. Jesus has said all the three things.

You are that right now, because I AM THE LIFE. And you have the way too, hidden behind you, within you: I AM THE WAY. And you are the ultimate goal too, the destiny. You are the beginning and the middle and the end. You are Adam, Jesus and Christ.

no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.

No man has ever entered into God unless he has entered into his consciousness, until he has entered into his ’I am’-ness. This is the meaning. This is the meaning of Krishna, and this is the meaning of Christ. This is the meaning of all the Masters.

Osho

From I Say Unto You, Vol. 2., Chapter Nine

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