Right Initiation Cannot be Given – Osho

In spiritual quest, deeksha, initiation, holds a very important place. Its special ceremonies are carried out under special conditions. Buddha and Mahavira used to give initiation. How many types of initiation are there? What is their significance and use and why are they needed?

A little talk on initiation will be useful. For one thing, deeksha, initiation, is never given; initiation takes place, it is a happening. For example, a person stays with Mahavira and it takes years for his initiation to take place. Mahavira tells him to stay, to be with him, to walk with him, to stand in such a way, to sit in such a way, to meditate such a way. Then a moment comes when the person is fully prepared. Then Mahavira is only the medium. Perhaps it is not proper even to say that he is the medium – rather, in a very deep sense he remains only a witness and initiation takes place in front of him.

Initiation is always from the divine, but it can happen in the presence of Mahavira. Now the person to whom it is happening sees Mahavira in front of him, but the divine he cannot see. It happens to him in front of Mahavira so naturally he becomes grateful to Mahavira – and this is fitting also. But Mahavira does not accept his gratitude. He can only accept his gratitude if he acknowledges that he initiated him.

So there are two types of initiation. One is that which happens and which I call ”right” initiation, because in this you establish your relationship with the divine. Then your journey through life takes a new turn: you become someone else now; you are no longer the same that you were; everything within you is transformed. You have seen something new. Something new has happened to you, a ray has entered you, and now everything within you is different.

In the real initiation the guru stands aside like a witness and he can confirm that initiation has taken place. He can see the full process but you see only half. You can only see what is happening to you; he sees that from where the initiation takes place. So you are not a complete witness of the happening; all you can say is that a great transformation has taken place. But whether initiation has taken place or not, whether you have been accepted or not, that you cannot say for certain.

Even after you are initiated you will still wonder, “Have I been accepted? Have I been chosen? Have I been accepted by the divine? Can I now take it that I am his? On my part I have surrendered, but has he taken me to him?” This you cannot know at once. You will come to know after some time, but this interval can be long also. So the second person, whom we call the guru, can know this because he has watched the happening from both the sides.

Right initiation cannot be given, nor can it be taken. It comes from the divine; you are merely the recipient.

Now the other type of initiation, which we may call false initiation, can be given as well as taken.The divine is completely absent there; there is only the guru and the disciple. The guru gives, the disciple takes, but the third, real factor is absent.

Where there are only two present – the guru and the disciple – the initiation is false. Where three are present – the guru, the disciple and he from whom it takes place – everything changes. This giving of initiation is not only improper but also dangerous, fatal, because in this illusion of initiation right initiation cannot take place. You will merely live under the illusion that initiation has taken place.

A seeker came to me who had been initiated by someone. He said, “I have been initiated by such and such a guru and I have come to you to learn meditation.”

I asked him, “Why then did you take initiation? And if you did not even attain meditation, what have you obtained from your initiation? All you received is clothes and a name. If you are still seeking meditation, then what is the meaning of your initiation?”

The truth is that initiation can only happen after meditation. Meditation after initiation has no meaning. It is like a man who proclaims that he is healthy and still he knocks at the physician’s door and asks for medicine. Initiation is the acceptance obtained after meditation. It is a sanction given of your acceptance – a consent. The divine has been advised of you and your entrance into his realm has happened. Initiation is only a confirmation of this fact.

Such initiation is now lost, and I feel it should be revived again: initiation where the guru is not the giver and the disciple is not the recipient – and the giver, God. This can be; this should be. If I am a witness to someone’s initiation I do not become his guru. Then his guru is the divine. If he is grateful it is his business. But to demand gratefulness is senseless and to accept it is meaningless.

Gurudom, the web of the so-called gurus, was created by giving a new form to initiation. Words are whispered in the ears, mantras are given, and anybody initiates anyone. Whether he himself is initiated is also not certain; whether the divine has accepted him is not known. Perhaps he too has been initiated in the same manner. Someone had whispered into his ears, he whispers into someone else’s, and this one in his turn will whisper into someone else’s ears again.

Man creates lies and deceptions in everything – and the more mysterious a happening the more deceptions there are, because there is nothing substantial to show as proof.

I intend carrying out this method also. About ten or twenty people are preparing for it. They will take initiation from the divine. The others who are present will be the witnesses, and their work will be to confirm whether the initiation has been accepted by the divine; that is all. You will experience but you will not be able to recognize at once what has taken place. It is so unfamiliar to you, how will you recognize that the thing has happened? Confirmation can be made by the presence of the enlightened one. This alone is the basis of its evaluation.

So the supreme guru is the paramatman – existence. If the gurus in between would step back initiation would be easier, but the intermediary guru stands fixed. His ego exults at making a god of himself and displaying himself. Many kinds of initiations are given around this ego. They have no value, however, and in terms of spirituality they are all criminal acts. If some day we should start punishing spiritual criminals, these should not go unpunished.

The unsuspecting seeker takes it for granted that he has been initiated. Then he goes about with pride that he has received his initiation, that he has received his mantra, and that all that was to happen has happened to him. So all his search for the right happening stops.

When anyone approached Buddha he was never initiated immediately; sometimes it took years. Buddha would keep on postponing by telling him to perform this practice and that. Then, when the moment came, he would tell him to stand up for initiation.

There were three parts to Buddha’s initiation. One who came for it went through three types of surrender. First he said, “I surrender unto Buddha – Buddham sharanam gachchhami.” By this he did not mean Gautam Buddha; this meant surrendering himself to the awakened one.

Once a seeker came up to Buddha and said, “I surrender unto buddha.” Buddha listened and remained silent.

Then someone asked him, “This man says, ’I surrender unto buddha,’ and you were only listening to him?”

Buddha replied, “He is not surrendering to me, he is surrendering to the awakened one. I am a mere excuse. There have been many buddhas before me, there will be many after me. I am just an excuse. I am just a peg. He is surrendering himself to the awakened one, so who am I to stop him? If he surrenders to me I shall certainly stop him, but he has said three times that he is surrendering himself unto the awakened one.”

Then there is the second surrender which is still more wonderful. In this the person says, “I surrender myself to the assembly of the awakened ones – sangham sharanam gachchhami.” Now what does this assembly mean? Generally the followers of Buddha take it to mean Buddha’s assembly, but this is not the meaning. This assembly is the collective gathering of all awakened ones. There is not only one Buddha who has become awakened; there have been many buddhas before and there will be many buddhas after who will awaken. They all belong to one community, to one collectivity. Now the Buddhists think this term means an association of Buddhists, but this is wrong.

The very first invocation, in which Buddha explains that the seeker surrenders himself to the awakened one and not to him as a person, makes everything clear. The second invocation makes it all the more clear. In this the person offers himself to the community of awakened ones.

First he bows down to the awakened one who is right there in front of him. As he is right there it is easy to approach him, to talk to him. Then he surrenders himself to the brotherhood of the awakened ones that have awakened since long and whom he does not know, and to those who will awaken in the future and whom he does not know. He surrenders to all of them and he proceeds a step further towards the subtle.

The third surrender is to dhamma – religion. The third time the seeker says, “I surrender unto the dhamma – dhammam sharanam gachchhami.” The first surrender is to the awakened one, the second is the brotherhood of the awakened ones, and now the third surrender is to that which is the ultimate state of awakening – to the dhamma. That is, to our nature, where there is no individual, no community; where there is only the dhamma, the law. He says, “I surrender unto that dhamma.”

When these three surrenders were completed then only the initiation was recognized. Buddha was only a witness of this happening. This was not a matter of mere repetition. When these three were completed – and Buddha could see whether they had been completed – only then was the individual initiated. Buddha remained a witness to the happening.

So later on also Buddha would tell the seeker, “Do not believe what I say just because I am an awakened one; do not believe what I say just because I am famous or because I have many followers or because the scriptures confirm it. Now only believe what your inner understanding tells you.”

Buddha never became a guru. At the time of his death, when he was asked for his final message, he said, “Be a light unto yourself. Do not go after others; do not follow others. Be a light unto yourself. This is my last message.”

Such a person as Buddha cannot be a guru. Such a person is a witness. Jesus has said many a time, “On the final day of judgment I shall be your witness.” In other words, on the last day Jesus will testify, “Yes, he is a man who had striven to become awakened. This man wanted to surrender to the divine.” This is talking in symbols. What Christ meant to say is also this: “I am your witness, not your guru.”

There is no guru; therefore, beware of the initiation where someone becomes your guru. The initiation where you become immediately and directly connected with the divine is a unique initiation.

Remember, in this initiation you have not to leave your house and go away, you have not to become either a Hindu or a Mohammedan or a Christian, nor are you required to be tied to someone. You remain where you are in your full freedom; the change will take place only from within.

In the false type of initiation you will be tied to a religion: you will be a Hindu or a Mohammedan or a Christian. You will be a part of an organization. Some belief, some religious order, some dogma, some person, some guru, will catch hold of you and they will kill your freedom.

That initiation which does not bring freedom is no initiation. That initiation which gives you absolute freedom is alone the right initiation.

-Osho

From In Search of the Miraculous, V.2, Discourse #21

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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.

Osho on Deeksha and the Three Gachchhamis

In spiritual quest, deeksha, initiation, holds a very important place. Its special ceremonies are carried out under special conditions. Buddha and Mahavira used to give initiation. How many types of initiation are there? What is their significance and use and why are they needed?

A little talk on initiation will be useful. For one thing, deeksha, initiation, is never given; initiation takes place, it is a happening. For example, a person stays with Mahavira and it takes years for his initiation to take place. Mahavira tells him to stay, to be with him, to walk with him, to stand in such a way, to sit in such a way, to meditate such a way. Then a moment comes when the person is fully prepared. Then Mahavira is only the medium. Perhaps it is not proper even to say that he is the medium – rather, in a very deep sense he remains only a witness and initiation takes place in front of him.

Initiation is always from the divine, but it can happen in the presence of Mahavira. Now the person to whom it is happening sees Mahavira in front of him, but the divine he cannot see. It happens to him in front of Mahavira so naturally he becomes grateful to Mahavira – and this is fitting also. But Mahavira does not accept his gratitude. He can only accept his gratitude if he acknowledges that he initiated him.

So there are two types of initiation. One is that which happens and which I call “right” initiation, because in this you establish your relationship with the divine. Then your journey through life takes a new turn: you become someone else now; you are no longer the same that you were; everything within you is transformed. You have seen something new. Something new has happened to you, a ray has entered you, and now everything within you is different.

In the real initiation the guru stands aside like a witness and he can confirm that initiation has taken place. He can see the full process but you see only half. You can only see what is happening to you; he sees that from where the initiation takes place. So you are not a complete witness of the happening; all you can say is that a great transformation has taken place. But whether initiation has taken place or not, whether you have been accepted or not, that you cannot say for certain.

Even after you are initiated you will still wonder, “Have I been accepted? Have I been chosen? Have I been accepted by the divine? Can I now take it that I am his? On my part I have surrendered, but has he taken me to him?” This you cannot know at once. You will come to know after some time, but this interval can be long also. So the second person, whom we call the guru, can know this because he has watched the happening from both the sides.

Right initiation cannot be given, nor can it be taken. It comes from the divine; you are merely the recipient.

Now the other type of initiation, which we may call false initiation, can be given as well as taken. The divine is completely absent there; there is only the guru and the disciple. The guru gives, the disciple takes, but the third, real factor is absent.

Where there are only two present – the guru and the disciple – the initiation is false. Where three are present – the guru, the disciple and he from whom it takes place – everything changes. This giving of initiation is not only improper but also dangerous, fatal, because in this illusion of initiation right initiation cannot take place. You will merely live under the illusion that initiation has taken place.

A seeker came to me who had been initiated by someone. He said, “I have been initiated by such and such a guru and I have come to you to learn meditation.”

I asked him, “Why then did you take initiation? And if you did not even attain meditation, what have you obtained from your initiation? All you received is clothes and a name. If you are still seeking meditation, then what is the meaning of your initiation?”

The truth is that initiation can only happen after meditation. Meditation after initiation has no meaning. It is like a man who proclaims that he is healthy and still he knocks at the physician’s door and asks for medicine. Initiation is the acceptance obtained after meditation. It is a sanction given of your acceptance – a consent. The divine has been advised of you and your entrance into his realm has happened. Initiation is only a confirmation of this fact.

Such initiation is now lost, and I feel it should be revived again: initiation where the guru is not the giver and the disciple is not the recipient – and the giver, God. This can be; this should be. If I am a witness to someone’s initiation I do not become his guru. Then his guru is the divine. If he is grateful it is his business. But to demand gratefulness is senseless and to accept it is meaningless.

Gurudom, the web of the so-called gurus, was created by giving a new form to initiation. Words are whispered in the ears, mantras are given, and anybody initiates anyone. Whether he himself is initiated is also not certain; whether the divine has accepted him is not known. Perhaps he too has been initiated in the same manner. Someone had whispered into his ears, he whispers into someone else’s, and this one in his turn will whisper into someone else’s ears again.

Man creates lies and deceptions in everything – and the more mysterious a happening the more deceptions there are, because there is nothing substantial to show as proof.

I intend carrying out this method also. About ten or twenty people are preparing for it. They will take initiation from the divine. The others who are present will be the witnesses, and their work will be to confirm whether the initiation has been accepted by the divine; that is all. You will experience but you will not be able to recognize at once what has taken place. It is so unfamiliar to you, how will you recognize that the thing has happened? Confirmation can be made by the presence of the enlightened one. This alone is the basis of its evaluation.

So the supreme guru is the paramatman – God only. If the gurus in between would step back initiation would be easier, but the intermediary guru stands fixed. His ego exults at making a god of himself and displaying himself. Many kinds of initiations are given around this ego. They have no value, however, and in terms of spirituality they are all criminal acts. If some day we should start punishing spiritual criminals, these should not go unpunished.

The unsuspecting seeker takes it for granted that he has been initiated. Then he goes about with pride that he has received his initiation, that he has received his mantra, and that all that was to happen has happened to him. So all his search for the right happening stops.

When anyone approached Buddha he was never initiated immediately; sometimes it took years. Buddha would keep on postponing by telling him to perform this practice and that. Then, when the moment came, he would tell him to stand up for initiation.

There were three parts to Buddha’s initiation. One who came for it went through three types of surrender. First he said, “I surrender unto Buddha – Buddham sharanam gachchhami.” By this he did not mean Gautam Buddha; this meant surrendering himself to the awakened one.

Once a seeker came up to Buddha and said, “I surrender unto buddha.” Buddha listened and remained silent.

Then someone asked him, “this man says, ‘I surrender unto buddha,’ and you were only listening to him?”

Buddha replied, “He is not surrendering to me, he is surrendering to the awakened one. I am a mere excuse. There have been many buddhas before me, there will be many after me. I am just an excuse. I am just a peg. He is surrendering himself to the awakened one, so who am I to stop him? If he surrenders to me I shall certainly stop him, but he has said three times that he is surrendering himself unto the awakened one.”

Then there is the second surrender which is still more wonderful. In this the person says, “I surrender myself to the assembly of the awakened ones – Sangham sharanam gachchhami.” Now what does this assembly mean? Generally the followers of Buddha take it to mean Buddha’s assembly, but this is not the meaning. This assembly is the collective gathering of all awakened ones. There is not only one Buddha who has become awakened; there have been many buddhas before and there will be many buddhas after who will awaken. They all belong to one community, to one collectivity. Now the Buddhists think this term means an association of Buddhists, but this is wrong.

The very first invocation, in which Buddha explains that the seeker surrenders himself to the awakened one and not to him as a person, makes everything clear. The second invocation makes it all the more clear. In this the person offers himself to the community of awakened ones.

First he bows down to the awakened one who is right there in front of him. As he is right there it is easy to approach him, to talk to him. Then he surrenders himself to the brotherhood of the awakened ones that have awakened since long and whom he does not know, and to those who will awaken in the future and whom he does not know. He surrenders to all of them and he proceeds a step further towards the subtle.

The third surrender is to dhamma – religion. The third time the seeker says, “I surrender unto the dhamma – Dhammam sharanam gachchhami.” The first surrender is to the awakened one, the second is the brotherhood of the awakened ones, and now the third surrender is to that which is the ultimate state of awakening – to the dhamma. That is, to our nature, where there is no individual, no community; where there is only the dhamma, the law. He says, “I surrender unto that dhamma.”

When these three surrenders were completed then only the initiation was recognized. Buddha was only a witness of this happening. This was not a matter of mere repetition. When these three were completed – and Buddha could see whether they had been completed – only then was the individual initiated. Buddha remained a witness to the happening.

So later on also Buddha would tell the seeker, “Do not believe what I say just because I am an awakened one; do not believe what I say just because I am famous or because I have many followers or because the scriptures confirm it. Now only believe what your inner understanding tells you.”

Buddha never became a guru. At the time of his death, when he was asked for his final message, he said, “Be a light unto yourself. Do not go after others; do not follow others. Be a light unto yourself. This is my last message.”

Such a person as Buddha cannot be a guru. Such a person is a witness. Jesus has said many a time, “On the final day of judgment I shall be your witness.” In other words, on the last day Jesus will testify, “Yes, he is a man who had striven to become awakened. This man wanted to surrender to the divine.” This is talking in symbols. What Christ meant to say is also this: “I am your witness, not your guru.”

There is no guru; therefore, beware of the initiation where someone becomes your guru. The initiation where you become immediately and directly connected with the divine is a unique initiation. Remember, in this initiation you have not to leave your house and go away, you have not to become either a Hindu or a Mohammedan or a Christian, nor are you required to be tied to someone. You remain where you are in your full freedom; the change will take place only from within.

In the false type of initiation you will be tied to a religion: you will be a Hindu or a Mohammedan or a Christian. You will be a part of an organization. Some belief, some religious order, some dogma, some person, some guru, will catch hold of you and they will kill your freedom.

That initiation which does not bring freedom is no initiation. That initiation which gives you absolute freedom is alone the right initiation.

-Osho

From In Search of the Miraculous, Discourse 21

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.

 

Path of Will or Path of Surrender? – Osho

Osho, last night you spoke about witnessing as a method; other times I have heard you speak about becoming a thing totally, being totally involved in any given situation. Usually, I am at a loss as to which of these two to follow: Whether to stand back and witness in a detached way or become something totally – for example, when there is anger or love or sadness. Are these not two opposite paths? Are they both for different kinds of situations or for different types of people? When should one do which?

There are two basic paths – only two. One is of surrendering and another is of willing: the path of surrender and the path of will. They are diametrically opposite as far as going through them is concerned. But they reach to the same goal; they reach to the same realization. So we have to understand a little more in detail.

The path of will starts with your witnessing Self. It is not concerned with your ego directly – only indirectly. To start witnessing, to be aware of your acts, is directly concerned with awakening your inner Self. If the inner Self is awakened, the ego disappears as a consequence. You are not to do anything with the ego directly. They cannot both exist simultaneously. If your Self is awakened, the ego will disappear. The path of will tries to awaken the inner center directly. Many, many methods are used. How to awaken the Self? We will discuss that.

The path of surrender is directly concerned with the ego, not with the Self. When the ego disappears, the inner Self is awakened automatically. The path of surrender is concerned with the ego immediately, directly. You are not to do anything to awaken your inner Self. You are just to surrender your ego. The moment ego is surrendered; you are left with your inner Self awakened.

Of course, these both will work in opposite directions, because one will be concerned with ego and one will be concerned with Self. Their methods, their techniques, will be opposite – and no one can follow both. There is no need to and that is impossible also. Everyone has to choose.

If you choose the path of will, then you are left alone to work upon yourself. It is an arduous thing. One has to struggle – to fight – to fight with old habits which create sleep. Then the only fight is against sleep, and the only ambition is for a deep awakening inside. Those who follow will, they know only one sin, and that sin is spiritual sleepiness.

Many are the techniques. I have discussed some. For example, Gurdjieff used a Sufi exercise. Sufis call it “halt”. For example, you are sitting here, and if you are practicing the exercise of “halt” it means total halt. Whenever the teacher says “Stop!” or “Halt!” then you have to stop totally whatsoever you are doing. If your eyes are open, then stop them there and then. Now you cannot close them.

If your hand is raised, let it be there. Whatsoever your position and gesture, just be frozen in it. No movements! Halt totally! Try this, and suddenly you will have an inner awakening – a feeling. Suddenly you will become aware of your own frozenness.

The whole body is frozen, you have become a solid stone, you are like a statue. But if you go on deceiving yourself, then you have fallen into sleep. You can deceive yourself. You can say, “Who is seeing me? I can close my eyes. They are becoming painful.” You can deceive yourself – then you have fallen into sleep. No – deception is sleep. Don’t deceive yourself, because no one else is concerned. It is up to you. If you can be frozen for a single moment you will begin to see yourself as different, and your center will become aware of your frozen body.

There are other ways. For example, Mahavir and his tradition have used fasting as a method to awaken the Self. If you fast, the body begins to demand, the body begins to overpower you. Mahavir has said, “Just witness – don’t do anything. You feel hungry, so feel hungry. The body asks for food – be a witness to it, don t do anything. Just be a witness to whatsoever is happening.” And it is a deep thing.

There are only two deep things in the body – sex and food. Nothing is more than these two, because food is needed for individual survival and sex is needed for race survival. Both are survival mechanisms. The individual cannot survive without food and the race cannot survive without sex. So sex is food for the race and food is sex for the individual. These are the deepest things because they are concerned with your survival – the most basic things. You will die without them.

So if you are fasting and just witnessing, then you have touched the deepest sleep. And if you can witness without being identified or bothered – the body is suffering, the body is hungry, the body is demanding and you are just witnessing – suddenly the body will be different. There will be a discontinuity between you and the body; there will be a gap.

Fasting has been used by Mahavir. Mohammedans have used vigilance in the night – no sleep!

Don’t sleep for a week and then you will know how sleepy the whole being becomes, how difficult it is to maintain this vigilance. But if one persists, suddenly a moment comes when the body and you are torn apart. Then you can see that the body needs sleep – it is not your need.

Many are the methods to work directly to create more awareness in yourself, to bring yourself above your so-called sleepy existence. No surrender is needed. Rather, one has to fight against surrender. No surrender is needed, because this is a path of struggle not of surrender. Because of this path, Mahavir was given the name “Mahavir”. “Mahavir” means “the great warrior”. This was not his name. His name was Vardhaman. He was called Mahavir because he was a great warrior as far as this inner struggle is concerned. He had no Guru, no Master, because it is a lonely path. Even to take somebody’s help is not good – it may become your sleep.

There is a story: Mahavir was fasting and remaining silent for years together. In a certain village some mischievous people were disturbing him, harassing him, and he was on a vow of silence.

He was beaten so many times because he would not speak and he remained naked – completely naked. So the villagers were at a loss to understand who he was. And he would not speak! And moreover he was naked! So from one village to another village he would be thrown out, made to leave the village.

The story says Indra, the King of gods, came to him and said to Mahavir, “I can defend you. It has become so painful. You are being beaten unnecessarily, so just allow me to defend you.”

Mahavir rejected the help. Later on, when he was asked why he rejected the help, he said, “This path of will is a lonely path. You cannot even have a helper with you because then the struggle loosens. Then the struggle becomes partial. Then you can depend on someone else, and wherever there is dependence sleep comes in. One has to be totally independent; only then can one be awake.

This is one path, one basic attitude.

All these methods of witnessing belong to this path. So when I say, “Be a witness.” it is meant for those who are travelers on the path of will.

Quite the opposite is the method of surrender. Surrender is concerned with your ego, not with your Self. In surrender you have to give up yourself. Of course, you cannot give the Self; that is impossible.

Whatsoever you can give is bound to be your ego. Only the ego can be given – because it is just incidental to you. It is not even a part of your being, just something added. It is a possession. Of course, the possessor has also become possessed by it. But it is a possession, it is a property – it is not you.

The path of surrender says, “Surrender your ego to the Teacher, to the Divine, to a Buddha.” When someone comes to Buddha and says, “Buddham Sharanam Gauchhami” – I take shelter at your feet. I surrender myself at Buddha’s feet,” what is he doing? The Self cannot be surrendered, so leave it out. Whatsoever you can surrender is your ego. That is your possession; you can surrender it. If you can surrender your ego to someone, it makes no difference to whom – X, Y or Z. The person to be surrendered to is irrelevant in a way. The real thing is surrendering. So you can surrender to a God in the sky. Whether He is there or not is irrelevant. If a concept of the Divine in the sky can help you to surrender your ego, then it is a good device.

Really, yoga shastras say that God is a device to be surrendered to – just a device! So you need not bother whether God is or not. He is just a device, because it will be difficult for you to surrender in a vacuum. So let there be a God, and you surrender. Even a false device can help. For example, you see a rope on the street and you think that it is a snake. It moves like a snake. You are afraid, you are trembling, you are running. You begin to perspire, and your perspiration is real. And there is no snake – there is just a rope mistaken for a snake.

The yoga sutras say that God is a just a device to be surrendered to. Whether God is or is not is not meaningful; you need not bother about it. If He is, you will come to know through surrender. You need not be bothered about it before surrender. If He is, then you will know; if He is not, then you will know. So no discussion, no argument, no proof is needed. And it is very beautiful: they say He is a device, just a hypothetical thing to which you can surrender yourself, to help you surrender.

So a Teacher can become a god; a Teacher is a god. Unless you feel a Teacher as a god, you cannot surrender. Surrendering becomes possible if you feel that Mahavir is a god, Buddha is a god. Then you can surrender easily. Whether a Buddha is a god or not is irrelevant. Again, it is a device, it helps.

Buddha is known to have said that every truth is a device to help; every truth is just a utility. If it works, it is true. And there is no other basis for calling it true or untrue – if it works, it is true!

On the path of surrender, surrendering is the only technique. There are many techniques on the path of will, because you can make many efforts to awaken yourself. But when one is just to surrender, there are no methods. […]

These are completely, diametrically opposite standpoints. But just in the beginning and while on the path – they reach to the same thing. Either surrender your ego – then you have not to do anything. You have to do only one thing: surrender your ego. Then you have not to do anything. Then everything will begin to happen. If you cannot surrender then you will have to do much, because then you are on your own to fight, struggle.

Both paths are valid, and there is no question of which is better. It depends on the person who is following. It depends on your type. […]

The path of will is just like naturopathy – you have to depend upon yourself. No help! The path of surrender is more like allopathy – you can use medicines.

Think of it in this way: when someone is ill, he has two things – an inner, positive possibility of health and an accidental or incidental phenomenon of disease, illness. Naturopathy is not concerned with illness directly. Naturopathy is directly concerned with a positive growth of health. So grow in health! Naturopathy means growing in health positively. When you grow in health, the disease will disappear by itself. You need not be concerned with disease directly.

Allopathy is not concerned with positive health at all. It is concerned with the illness: destroy the illness and you will be healthy automatically.

The path of will is concerned with growing in positive awareness. If you grow, the ego will disappear – that is the disease. The path of surrender is concerned with the disease itself, not with positive growth in health. Destroy the disease – surrender the ego – and you will grow in health.

The path of surrender is allopathic and the path of will is naturopathic. […]

-Osho

From The Ultimate Alchemy, V.1, Discourse #16, Q2

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation 

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Be a Light Unto Ourselves

Why did Osho change the traditional order used for the Three Jewels? At first, I wondered if it was just a mistake that Sheela had made when introducing us to them, but later I found discourses in which Osho referred to them in the order that was presented to us.

Buddham Sharanam Gachchhami – I take refuge in the Awakened One

Sangham Sharanam Gachchhami – I take refuge in the Community of the Awakened One

Dhammam Sharanam Gachchhami – I take refuge in the Ultimate Teaching of the Awakened One

Traditionally they are said with Dhammam preceding Sangham. Each of us will have our own insight as to why he changed them, but regardless of why, this is the order his work has operated on me.

First it was I bow down to the Buddha, to the Master. This is the easiest. Who cannot but bow down to the Master once the Master is met? For me this is what took place in what we refer to as Poona One. It was all Him. He gave us meditations. He gave us daily discourses. He guided us through our personal issues during darshan. He then began working on us in energy darshans and finally introduced us to Satsang.

Sangham Sharanam Gachchhami was more difficult and for some almost impossible. To surrender to the commune is much more arduous because often it means saying yes to stupidity. But it is that saying yes to stupidity that is intelligence because one understands that it is transformative. It is surrender. Surrender means putting aside the conditioning and saying yes. This then lessens the grip that the conditioning has on oneself. In fact, it lessens the grip of oneself. One can let go of conditioning only with awareness. One does not say yes because of a need for appreciation, a hunger for position or power, but in the understanding that it is here the transformation takes hold. It is here awareness is strengthened and the ego begins to lose its grip.

When I saw Osho take off in the plane from the runway at Rajneeshpuram, I knew at that moment I would never see him again. This was the beginning of Dhamma, the ultimate truth of the Awakened One. What does it mean to surrender to the ultimate truth? It is when one starts being the teaching. One starts living the understanding in one’s own light.

The beginning of living the understanding didn’t immediately start at that moment of watching the plane take off; it took a little time. I was still involved with the distribution of Osho’s books. We had to move the books to Colorado and set up distribution anew. And then because of conflict with the organization, I moved further and further away, until finally I was standing on my own. The call of the inner guru was heard.

For the first time the spark of inquiry was lit. Up to that point, I had meditated but it was witnessing phenomena: sensations, thoughts, or feelings. Now, the consciousness was seeking its source. This is what I believe to be conversion. It is here that surrender to Dhamma begins. To me this means Self-Inquiry. It is the movement from seeking to inquiring. It is the movement from the outer guru to the inner guru. Up to this point, one is living on borrowed bliss. From this point on, one is relying on one’s own light of understanding that has been lit by Buddha, strengthened by Sangha, and is now being stabilized in Dhamma.

This does not mean that one is no longer open to the understanding being expressed through the Masters; on the contrary one is more open than ever. And once the contact with the inner guru is established, there is no fear whether some teaching is valid or not, because it is seen from one’s own understanding. There is clarity. The understanding is experienced for oneself; it is acted upon. Even more accurately, it can be said that the understanding itself, the seeing itself, is the acting, is the transformation. It is in the fire of this Being Understanding that the “me” is consumed, impression by impression, “Gathe gathe para gathe parasam gathe. Bodhi svaha!” (Gone, gone, gone beyond, gone altogether beyond. O what an awakening all-hail!)

Everyone passes through the Three Jewels at their own pace. What is important is that we don’t linger too long on the way and that we continue, until finally, we are living the Dhamma, being a light unto ourself.

Postscript – It occurs to me that there are many who reading “Be a light unto ourselves” will think that it is ironic for those of us who have lived with a master, who have lived as part of a commune, to place importance on being a light unto ourselves.

To those, I would say that is precisely what drew us to the flame. We had become aware that until we were capable of separating ourselves from this conditioning, we would not be that light. We had already discovered that our minds were filled with conditioning – by our parents, the society, the churches, the politicians, and the schools.

We could also see that anyone who has not managed to extricate themselves from that conditioning is simply incapable of being their own light because it is through that conditioning, that mind, which one sees the world, acts and reacts. Is it any wonder that we live in a world in conflict? And we found that meditation is the means of brain washing (de-conditioning). Meditation is not a learning, rather an unlearning, which in the end uncovers the original face.

-purushottama

Be ye lamps unto yourselves,
be a refuge to yourselves.

Hold fast to Truth as a lamp;
hold fast to the Truth as a refuge.

Look not for a refuge in anyone beside yourselves.

And those, who shall be a lamp unto themselves,
shall betake themselves to no external refuge,
but holding fast to the Truth as their lamp,
and holding fast to the Truth as their refuge,
they shall reach the topmost height.

Buddha’s Farewell Message to Ananda

 

Bodh Gaya

This is from the collection of stories, essays, poems and insights that is compiled to form the book From Lemurs to Lamas: Confessions of a Bodhisattva. Order the book Here.

 

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