Oh Shiva, What is Your Reality? – Osho

First let us understand the questions, what Devi is asking.

Oh Shiva, what is your reality? Why this question? You can also ask this question, but it will not carry the same meaning. So try to understand why Devi asks, Oh Shiva, what is your reality?  Devi is in deep love. When you are in deep love, for the first time you encounter the inner reality. Then Shiva is not the form, then Shiva is not the body. When you are in love, the body of the beloved falls away, disappears. The form is no more and the formless is revealed. You are facing an abyss. That is why we are so afraid of love. We can face a body, we can face a face, we can face a form, but we are afraid of facing an abyss.

If you love someone, if you really love, his body is bound to disappear. In some moments of climax, of peak, the form will dissolve, and through the beloved you will enter the formless. That is why we are afraid – it is falling into a bottomless abyss. So this question is not just a simple curiosity: Oh Shiva, what is your reality?  

Devi must have fallen in love with the form. Things start that way. She must have loved this man as a man, and now when the love has come of age, when the love has flowered, this man has disappeared. He has become formless. Now he is to be found nowhere. Oh Shiva, what is your reality? It is a question asked in a very intense love moment. And when questions are raised, they become different according to the mind in which they are asked.

So create the situation, the milieu of the question in your mind. Devi must be at a loss – Shiva has disappeared. When love reaches its peak, the lover disappears. Why does this happen? This happens because really, everyone is formless. You are not a body. You move as a body, you live as a body, but you are not a body. When we see someone from the outside, he is a body. Love penetrates within. Then we are not seeing the person from the outside. Love can see a person as the person can see himself from within. Then the form disappears.

A Zen monk, Rinzai, attained his enlightenment, and the first thing he asked was, “Where is my body? Where has my body gone?” And he began to search. He called his disciples and said, “Go and find out where my body is. I have lost my body.”

He had entered the formless. You are also a formless existence, but you know yourself not directly, but from others’ eyes. You know through the mirror. Sometime, while looking in the mirror, close your eyes and then think, meditate: if there was no mirror, how could you have known your face? If there was no mirror, there would have been no face. You do not have a face; mirrors give you faces. Think of a world where there are no mirrors. You are alone – no mirror at all, not even others’ eyes working as mirrors. You are alone on a lonely island; nothing can mirror you. Then will you have any face? Or will you have any body? You cannot have one. You do not have one at all. We know ourselves only through others, and the others can only know the outer form. That is why we become identified with it. […]

Devi asks Shiva, Oh Shiva, what is your reality?  – who are you? The form has disappeared; hence the question. In love you enter the other as himself. It is not you answering. You become one, and for the first time you know an abyss – a formless presence.

That is why for centuries together, centuries and centuries, we were not making any sculptures, any pictures of Shiva. We were only making Shivalina – the symbol. The Shivalinga is just a formless form. When you love someone, when you enter someone, he becomes just a luminous presence. The Shivalinga is just a luminous presence, just an aura of light.

That is why Devi asks, what is your reality?

What is this wonder-filled universe? We know the universe, but we never know it as wonder-filled. Children know, lovers know. Sometimes poets and madmen know. We do not know that the world is wonder-filled. Everything is just repetitive – no wonder, no poetry, just flat prose. It doesn’t create a song in you; it doesn’t create a dance in you; it doesn’t give birth to the poetry inside. The whole universe looks mechanical. Children look at it with wonder-filled eyes. When the eyes are wonder-filled, the universe is wonder-filled.

When you are in love, you again become like children. Jesus says, “Only those who are like children will enter my kingdom of God.” Why? Because if the universe is not a wonder, you cannot be religious. The universe can be explained – then your approach is scientific. The universe is either known or unknown, but that which is unknown can be known any day; it is not unknowable. The universe becomes unknowable, a mystery, only when your eyes are wonder-filled.

Devi says, what is this wonder-filled universe? Suddenly there is the jump from a personal question to a very impersonal one. She was asking, what is your reality? and then suddenly, what is this wonder-filled universe?

When form disappears, your beloved becomes the universe, the formless, the infinite. Suddenly Devi becomes aware that she is not asking a question about Shiva; she is asking a question about the whole universe. Now Shiva has become the whole universe. Now all the stars are moving in him, and the whole firmament and the whole space is surrounded by him. Now he is the great engulfing factor – “the great encompassing.” Karl Jaspers has defined God as “the great encompassing.”

When you enter into love, into a deep, intimate world of love, the person disappears, the form disappears, and the lover becomes just a door to the universe. Your curiosity can be a scientific one – then you have to approach through logic. Then you must not think of the formless. Then beware of the formless; then remain content with the form. Science is always concerned with the form. If anything formless is proposed to a scientific mind, he will cut it into form – unless it takes a form it is meaningless. First give it a form, a definite form; only then does the inquiry start.

In love, if there is form then there is no end to it. Dissolve the form! When things become formless, dizzy, without boundaries, everything entering another, the whole universe becoming a oneness, then only is it a wonder-filled universe.

What constitutes seed? Then Devi goes on. From the universe she goes on to ask, what is this wonder-filled universe? This formless, wonder-filled universe, from where does it come? From where does it originate? Or does it not originate? What is the seed?

Who centers the universal wheel? asks Devi. This wheel goes on moving and moving – this great change, this constant flux. But who centers this wheel? Where is the axis, the center, the unmoving center?

She doesn’t stop for any answer. She goes on asking as if she is not asking anyone, as if talking to herself.

What is this life beyond form pervading forms?

How may we enter it fully, above space and time, names and description?

Let my doubts be cleared. The emphasis is not on questions but on doubts: Let my doubts be cleared! This is very significant. If you are asking an intellectual question, you are asking for a definite answer so that your problem is solved. But Devi says, Let my doubts be cleared. She is not really asking about answers. She is asking for a transformation of her mind, because a doubting mind will remain a doubting mind whatsoever answers are given. Note it: a doubting mind will remain a doubting mind. Answers are irrelevant. If I give you one answer and you have a doubting mind, you will doubt it. If I give you another answer, you will doubt that also. You have a doubting mind. A doubting mind means you will put a question mark to anything.

So answers are useless. You ask me, “Who created the world?” and I tell you “A” created the world. Then you are bound to ask, “Who created ‘A’?” So, the real problem is not how to answer questions. The real problem is how to change the doubting mind, how to create a mind which is not doubting – or, which is trustful. So Devi says, let my doubts be cleared. […]

The doubting mind is the problem. Devi says, “Do not be concerned with my questions. I have asked so many things: What is your reality? What is this wonder-filled universe? What constitutes seed? Who centers the universal wheel? What is life beyond form? How can we enter it fully above time and space? But do not be concerned with my questions. Let my doubts be cleared. I ask these questions because they are in my mind. I ask them just to show you my mind, but do not pay much attention to them. Really, answers will not fulfill my need. My need is… let my doubts be cleared.”

But how can the doubts be cleared? Will any answer do? Is there any answer which will clear your doubts? Mind is the doubt. It is not that the mind doubts, mind is the doubt! Unless the mind dissolves, doubts cannot be cleared.

Shiva will answer. His answers are techniques – the oldest, most ancient techniques. But you can call them the latest also because nothing can be added to them. They are complete – one hundred and twelve techniques. They have taken in all the possibilities, all the ways of cleaning the mind, transcending the mind. Not a single method could be added to Shiva’s one hundred and twelve methods. And this book, Vigyana Bhairava Tantra, is five thousand years old. Nothing can be added; there is no possibility to add anything. It is exhaustive, complete. It is the most ancient and yet the latest, yet the newest. Old like old hills – the methods seem eternal – and they are new like a dewdrop before the sun, because they are so fresh.

These one hundred and twelve methods of meditation constitute the whole science of transforming mind. We will enter them one by one. We will try to comprehend first intellectually. But use your intellect only as an instrument, not as a master. Use it as an instrument to understand something, but do not go on creating barriers with it. When we will be talking about these techniques, just put aside your past knowledge, your knowing, whatsoever information you have collected. Put them aside – they are just dust gathered on the road.

Encounter these methods with a fresh mind – with alertness, of course, but not with argumentation.


From The Book of Secrets, Discourse #1

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

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

Shiva’s 112 Meditation Techniques

Following are the 112 meditation techniques, Vigyan Bhairava Tantra, that Shiva gave to his partner Devi (Shakti).

These techniques are the basis for Osho’s The Book of Secrets.

I have numbered them in the order that Osho gave them. The entire discourse series contains 80 discourses. The even number discourses were answers to questions. The techniques were given in odd numbered discourses after the first which was an introduction. Usually more than one technique was described in each of the discourses.

On the following list, the numbers in brackets at the end of the technique, for example (#3-1), signify the discourse number and which technique in that discourse. Some of them have links to posts of the discourses in which Osho describes the techniques.

  1. Radiant one, this experience may dawn between two breaths. After breath comes in (down) and just before turning up (out)—the beneficence. (#3-1)
  2. As breath turns down from down to up, and again as breath curves from up to down—through both these turns, realize. (#3-2)
  3. Or, whenever in-breath and out-breath fuse, at this instant touch the energy-less, energy-filled center. (#3-3)
  4. Or, when breath is all out (up) and stopped of itself, or all in (down) and stopped – in such universal pause, one’s small self vanishes. This is difficult only for the impure. (#3-4)
  5. Attention between eyebrows, let mind be before thought. Let form fill with breath essence to the top of the head and there shower as light. (#5-1)
  6. When in worldly activity, keep attention between two breaths, and so practicing, in a few days be born anew. (#5-2)
  7. With intangible breath in center of forehead, as this reaches heart at the moment of sleep, have direction over dreams and over death itself. (#5-3)
  8. With utmost devotion, center on the two junctions of breath and know the knower. (#5-4)
  9. Lie down as dead. Enraged in wrath, stay so. Or stare without moving an eyelash. Or suck something and become the sucking. (#5-5)
  10. While being caressed, sweet princess, enter the caress as everlasting life. (#7-1)
  11. Stop the doors of the senses when feeling the creeping of an ant. Then. (#7-2)
  12. When on a bed or a seat, let yourself become weightless, beyond mind. (#7-3)
  13. Or, imagine the five-colored circles of the peacock tail to be your five senses in illimitable space. Now let their beauty melt within. Similarly, at any point in space or on a wall—until the point dissolves. Then your wish for another comes true. (#9-1)
  14. Place your whole attention in the nerve, delicate as the lotus thread, in the center of your spinal column. In such be transformed. (#9-2)
  15. Closing the seven openings of the head with your hands, a space between your eyes becomes all-inclusive. (#11-1)
  16. Blessed one, as senses are absorbed in the heart, reach the center of the lotus. (#11-2)
  17. Unminding mind, keep in the middle—until. (#11-3)
  18. Look lovingly at some object. Do not go to another object. Here in the middle of the object—the blessing. (#13-1)
  19. Without support for feet or hands, sit only on the buttocks. Suddenly, the centering. (#13-2)
  20. In a moving vehicle, by rhythmically swaying, experience. Or in a still vehicle, by letting yourself swing in slowing invisible circles. (#13-3)
  21. Pierce some part of your nectar-filled form with a pin, and gently enter the piercing and attain to the inner purity. (#13-1)
  22. Let attention be at a place where you are seeing some past happening, and even your form, having lost its present characteristics, is transformed. (#15-1)
  23. Feel an object before you. Feel the absence of all other objects but this one. Then, leaving aside the object-feeling and the absence-feeling, realize. (#15-2)
  24. When a mood against someone or for someone arises, do not place it on the person in question, but remain centered. (#15-3)
  25. Just as you have the impulse to do something, stop. (#17-1)
  26. When some desire comes, consider it. Then suddenly, quit it. (#17-2)
  27. Roam about until exhausted and then, dropping to the ground, in this dropping be whole. (#17-3)
  28. Suppose you are gradually being deprived of strength or of knowledge. At the instant of deprivation, transcend. (#19-1)
  29. Devotion frees. (#19-2)
  30. Eyes closed, see your inner being in detail. Thus see your true nature. (#21-1)
  31. Look upon a bowl without seeing the sides or the material. In a few moments become aware. (#21-2)
  32. See as if for the first time a beauteous person or an ordinary object. (#21-3)
  33. Simply by looking into the blue sky beyond clouds, the serenity. (#23-1)
  34. Listen while the ultimate mystical teaching is imparted. Eyes still, without blinking, at once become absolutely free. (#23-2)
  35. At the edge of a deep well look steadily into its depths until – the wondrousness. (#23-3)
  36. Look upon some object, then slowly withdraw your sight from it, then slowly withdraw your thought from it. Then. (#23-4)
  37. Devi, imagine the Sanskrit letters in these honey-filled foci of awareness, first as letters, then more subtly as sounds, then as most subtle feeling. Then, leaving them aside, be free. (#25-1)
  38. Bathe in the center of sound, as in the continuous sound of a waterfall. Or by putting the fingers in the ears, hear the sound of sounds. (#25-2)
  39. Intone a sound, as a-u-m, slowly. As sound enters soundfulness, so do you. (#27-1)
  40. In the beginning and gradual refinement of the sound of any letter, awake. (#27-2)
  41. While listening to stringed instruments, hear their composite central sound; thus omnipresence. (#27-3)
  42. Intone a sound audibly, then less and less audibly as feeling deepens into this silent harmony. (#29-1)
  43. With mouth slightly open, keep mind in the middle of the tongue. Or, as breath comes silently in, feel the sound HH. (#29-2)
  44. Center on the sound a-u-m without any a or m. (#29-3)
  45. Silently intone a word ending in AH. Then in the HH, effortlessly, the spontaneity. (#31-1)
  46. Stopping ears by pressing and the rectum by contracting, enter the sound. (#31-2)
  47. Enter the sound of your name and, through this sound, all sounds. (#31-3)
  48. At the start of sexual union keep attentive on the fire in the beginning, and so continuing, avoid the embers in the end. (#33-1)
  49. When in such embrace your senses are shaken as leaves, enter this shaking. (#33-2)
  50. Even remembering union, without the embrace, transformation. (#33-3)
  51. On joyously seeing a long absent friend, permeate this joy. (#33-4)
  52. When eating or drinking, become the taste of food or drink, and be filled. (#33-5)
  53. O lotus-eyed one, sweet of touch, when singing, seeing, tasting, be aware you are and discover the ever-living. (#35-1)
  54. Wherever satisfaction is found, in whatever act, actualize this. (#35-2)
  55. At the point of sleep, when the sleep has not yet come and the external wakefulness vanishes, at this point being is revealed. (#35-3)
  56. Illusions deceive, colors circumscribe, even divisibles are indivisible. (#35-4)
  57. In moods of extreme desire, be undisturbed. (#37-1)
  58. This so-called universe appears as a juggling, a picture show. To be happy, look upon it so. (#37-2)
  59. O beloved, put attention neither on pleasure nor on pain, but between these. (#37-3)
  60. Objects and desires exist in me as in others. So accepting, let them be transformed. (#37-4)
  61. As waves come with water and flames with fire, so the universal waves with us. (#39-1)
  62. Wherever your mind is wandering, internally or externally, at this very place, this. (#39-2)
  63. When vividly aware through some particular sense, keep in the awareness. (#39-3)
  64. At the start of sneezing, during fright, in anxiety, above a chasm, flying in battle, in extreme curiosity, at the beginning of hunger, at the end of hunger, be uninterruptedly aware. (#41-1)
  65. The purity of other teachings is an impurity to us. In reality, know nothing as pure or impure. (#42-1)
  66. Be the unsame same to friend as to stranger, in honor and dishonor. (#43-1)
  67. Here is the sphere of change, change, change. Through change consume change. (#43-2)
  68. As a hen mothers her chicks, mother particular knowings, particular doings, in reality. (#45-1)
  69. Since, in truth, bondage and freedom are relative, these words are only for those terrified with the universe. This universe is a reflection of minds. As you see many suns in water from one sun, so see bondage and liberation. (#45-2)
  70. Consider your essence as light rays from center to center up the vertebrae, and so rises livingness in you. (#47-1)
  71. Or in the spaces between, feel this as lightning. (#47-2)
  72. Feel the cosmos as a translucent ever-living presence. (#47-3)
  73. In summer when you see the entire sky endlessly clear, enter such clarity. (#49-1)
  74. Shakti, see all space as if already absorbed in your own head in the brilliance. (#49-2)
  75. Waking, sleeping, dreaming, know you as light. (#49-3)
  76. In rain during a black night, enter that blackness as the form of forms. (#51-1)
  77. When a moonless rainy night is not present, close eyes and find blackness before you. Opening eyes see blackness. So faults disappear forever. (#51-2)
  78. Wherever your attention alights, at this very point, experience. (#51-3)
  79. Focus on fire rising through your form from the toes up until the body burns to ashes but not you. (#53-1)
  80. Meditate on the make-believe world as burning to ashes, and become being above human. (#53-2)
  81. As, subjectively, letters flow into words and words into sentences, and as, objectively, circles flow into worlds and worlds into principles, find at last these converging in our being. (#53-3)
  82. Feel: my thought, I-ness, internal organs – me. (#55-1)
  83. Before desire and before knowing, how can I say I am? Consider. Dissolve in the beauty. (#55-2)
  84. Toss attachment for body aside, realizing I am everywhere. One who is everywhere is joyous. (#57-1)
  85. Thinking no thing will limited-self unlimit. (#57-2)
  86. Suppose you contemplate something beyond perception, beyond grasping, beyond not being – you. (#59-1)
  87. I am existing. This is mine. This is this. O beloved, even in such know illimitably. (#59-2)
  88. Each thing is perceived through knowing. The self shines in space through knowing. Perceive one being as knower and known. (#61-1)
  89. Beloved, at this moment let mind, knowing, breath, form, be included. (#61-2)
  90. Touching eyeballs as a feather, lightness between them opens into heart and there permeates the cosmos. (#63-1)
  91. Kind Devi, enter etheric presence pervading far above and below your form. (#63-2)
  92. Put mindstuff in such inexpressible fineness above, below and in your heart. (#65-1)
  93. Consider any area of your present form as limitlessly spacious. (#65-2)
  94. Feel your substance, bones, flesh, blood, saturated with the cosmic essence. (#67-1)
  95. Feel the fine qualities of creativity permeating your breasts and assuming delicate configurations. (#67-2)
  96. Abide in some place endlessly spacious, clear of trees, hills, habitations. Thence comes the end of mind pressures. (#69-1)
  97. Consider the plenum to be your own body of bliss. (#69-2)
  98. In any easy position gradually pervade an area between the armpits into great peace. (#71-1)
  99. Feel yourself as pervading all directions, far, near. (#71-2)
  100. The appreciation of objects and subjects is the same for an enlightened as for an unenlightened person. The former has one greatness: he remains in the subjective mood, not lost in things. (#73-1)
  101. Believe omniscient, omnipotent, pervading. (#73-2)
  102. Imagine spirit simultaneously within and around you until the entire universe spiritualizes. (#75-1)
  103. With your entire consciousness in the very start of desire, of knowing, know. (#75-2)
  104. O Shakti, each particular perception is limited, disappearing in omnipotence. (#75-3)
  105. In truth forms are inseparate. Inseparate are omnipresent being and your own form. Realize each as made of this consciousness. (#75-4)
  106. Feel the consciousness of each person as your own consciousness. So, leaving aside concern for self, become each being. (#77-1)
  107. This consciousness exists as each being, and nothing else exists. (#77-2)
  108. This consciousness is the spirit of guidance of each one. Be this one. (#77-3)
  109. Suppose your passive form to be an empty room with walls of skin—empty. (#79-1)
  110. Gracious one, play. The universe is an empty shell wherein your mind frolics infinitely. (#79-2)
  111. Sweet hearted one, meditate on knowing and not-knowing, existing and not-existing. Then leave both aside that you may be. (#79-3)
  112. Enter space, supportless, eternal, still. (#79-4)

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

Osho’s discourses on the meditation techniques of Vigyan Bhairava Tantra

Here you can find one hour meditations based on Osho’s The Book of Secrets. They consist of alternating periods of Osho’s words and silence.

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.