A Total Response of His Emptiness – Osho

If there is absolute emptiness inside an enlightened one, then how is it that he seems to be making decisions, discriminating, liking this or disliking that, saying yes or no?

This will really look a paradox. If an enlightened one is simply emptiness, then for us it becomes a paradox. Then why does he say yes or no? Why does he choose? Why does he like some things and dislike other things? Why does he talk? Why does he walk? Why does he live at all?

For us this is a problem; but for the enlightened one it is not a problem. Everything is done out of emptiness. The enlightened one is not choosing. It looks like choice to us but the enlightened one simply moves in one direction – that direction comes from the emptiness itself.

It is just like this. You are walking. Suddenly a car comes in front of you and you feel that an accident will happen. You don’t decide what to do. Do you decide? How can you decide? There is no time. A decision will take time. You will have to ponder and think, weigh up the pros and cons, decide whether to jump this way or that. You don’t decide. You simply jump. From where does that jump com? Between the jump and you there is no thinking process. Suddenly you become aware that the car is in front of you and you jump. The jump happens first. Then later on you can think. In that moment you jump through hastiness; your whole being jumps without any decision.

Remember, decision is always of the part, it can never be of the whole. Decision means that there was a conflict. One part of your being was saying, “Do this,” another part was saying, “Don’t do this.” That’s why the decision was needed. You had to decide, argue, and one part had to be pushed aside. That’s what decision means. When your totality is there, there is no need to decide. There is no alternative. An enlightened one is total within himself, total emptiness. So whatsoever comes out, it comes out of his totality, not out of any decision. If he says “yes” it is not a choice: there was no “no” to be chosen, there was no alternative. “Yes” is the response of his total being. If he says “no”, then “no” is the response of his total being. That’s why an enlightened man can never repent.

You will repent always. Whatsoever you do, it makes no difference – whatsoever you do, you will repent. If you want to marry a woman, if you decide “yes”, you will repent, if you decide “no”, you will repent. Because whatsoever you decide is a partial decision, the other part is always against. If you decide, “Yes, I will marry this woman,” one part of your being is saying, “Don’t do this, you will repent.” You are not total.

When difficulties arise…. They are bound to arise because when two different persons start living together, difficulties are bound to arise. There will be conflicts, there will be a struggle to dominate, there will be power politics. Then the other part will say, “Look! What did I say? I was insisting that you shouldn’t do this, and you have done it.” But that doesn’t mean that if you had followed the other part, there would have been no repentance. No! The repentance would have been there, because then you would have married some other woman, and the conflict and the struggle would have happened. Then the other part would go on saying, “I was saying marry the first woman. You have missed an opportunity. A heaven is lost, and you are married to a hell.”

You will repent, whatsoever the case, because your decision cannot be total. It is always against a part, and that part will take revenge. So whatsoever you decide, if you do good you will repent, if you do bad you will repent. If you do good, then your mind, the other part, will go on saying that you have missed an opportunity. If you do bad, then you will feel guilty. An enlightened being never repents. Really, he never looks backwards. There is nothing to look backwards at. Whatsoever is done is done with his totality.

So the first thing to be understood is that he never chooses. The choice happens to his emptiness; he never decides. That doesn’t mean that he is indecisive. He is absolutely decisive, but he never decides. Try to understand me. The decision happens in his emptiness. This is how his whole being acts: there is nothing more to it. If you are walking and a snake crosses your path, you jump suddenly – that’s all. You don’t decide. You don’t consult a master and a guide. You don’t go to look into books in the library about what to do when a snake crosses the path – how to do it, what the technique is. You simply jump. And remember, that jump is coming from your total being, it has not been a decision. Your total being has acted that way. That is all. There is nothing more to it.

To you it seems as if an enlightened one is choosing, deciding, discriminating, because you are doing that every moment. And you cannot understand something which you have not known at all. An enlightened one happens to be doing things without any decision, without any effort, without any choice – he is choiceless. But that doesn’t mean that if you give him food and stones, he will start eating stones. He will eat the food. To you it will look as if he has decided not to eat the stones, but he has not decided. That is simply foolish. It doesn’t occur to him. He eats the food. This is not a decision – only an idiot person would decide whether to eat stones or food. Stupid minds decide; enlightened minds simply act. And the more mediocre the mind, the more effort has to be made for a decision.

That’s what worry means. What is worry? There are two alternatives and no way to decide between them – and the mind goes on, one moment this side, another moment that side. This is what worry is. Worry means you have to decide and you are trying to decide, but you cannot decide. So you are worrying, puzzled, moving in vicious circles. An enlightened one is never worried. He is total. Try to understand this. He is not divided, he is not split, there are not two beings in him. But in you there is a crowd: not only two, there are many, many persons living in you, many voices, just a crowd. An enlightened one is a deep unity, he is a universe. You are a “multiverse”. This word “universe” is beautiful. It means one – “uni”. You are a “multiverse”, there are many worlds in you.

The second thing to be understood is that whatsoever you do, before doing it, there is thinking, thought. Whatsoever an enlightened person is doing, there is no thinking, no thought. He is doing it.

Remember, thinking is needed because you have no eyes to see. Thinking is a substitute. It is just like a blind man groping his way on a path with a stick. A blind man can ask people who have eyes how they grope, what type of sticks they use to grope their way on the path. And they will simply laugh; they will say that they don’t need sticks. They have eyes. They simply see where the door is, they need not grope for it. And they never think about where the door is. They see and they pass through it. But a blind man cannot believe that you can simply pass through a door. First you will have to think about where the door is. First you will have to inquire. If someone is there you will have to ask where the door is. And even if the direction is given, you will have to grope for it with your stick – and then too there may be many pitfalls. But when you have eyes, if you want to go out, you simply look… you don’t think about where the door is, you don’t decide. You simply look, the door is there, you pass through it. You never think that this is a door – you simply use it and you act.

The same is the situation with unenlightened minds and enlightened minds. An enlightened mind simply looks. Everything is clear. He has a clarity. His whole being is light. He looks around and he simply moves, acts – he never thinks. You have to think because you don’t have eyes. Only blind men think; they have to think because they don’t have eyes. They need substitute eyes, and thinking provides that.

I never say that Buddha or Mahavira or Jesus are great thinkers. That would be just nonsense. They are not thinkers at all. They are knowers, not thinkers. They have eyes, they can see, and through their seeing they act. Whatsoever comes out of a Buddha comes out of emptiness, not out of a mind filled with thoughts. It has come out of an empty sky. It is the response of emptiness.

But for us it is difficult because nothing comes to us in that way. We have to think about it. If someone asks a question, you have to think about it. And even then you can never be certain that whatsoever you are saying is the answer. A Buddha answers; he doesn’t think. You question him, and the emptiness simply responds. That response is not a thought-over thing. It is a total response. His being behaves that way. That’s why you cannot ask for consistency from a Buddha. You cannot. Thought can be consistent; a thinker is bound to be consistent – but an enlightened person cannot be consistent, because each moment the situation changes. And each moment things come out of his emptiness. He cannot force. He cannot think. He does not really remember what he said yesterday. Every question creates a new answer. And every question creates a new response. It depends on the questioner.

Buddha enters a village. One man asks, “Is there God?” Buddha says, “No.”

In the afternoon, another man asks, “Is there God?” Buddha says, “Yes.”

Then in the evening, a third one asks, “Is there God?” Buddha remains silent. In just one day: in the morning, no; in the afternoon, yes; in the evening, silence – neither yes nor no.

Buddha’s disciple, Anand, became puzzled. He had heard all three answers. In the night when everyone had retired, he asked Buddha, “Can I ask you a question? Just in one day you have answered one question in three ways, not only differently, contradictorily. My mind is puzzled. I cannot sleep if you don’t answer. What do you mean? In the morning you say yes, in the afternoon no, in the evening you remain silent. And the question was the same.”

Buddha said, “But the questioners were different. And how can different questioners ask the same question?” This is really beautiful, very deep. He said, “How can different questioners ask the same question? A question comes out of a being; it is a growth. If the being is different, how can the question be the same? In the morning when I said yes, the man who was asking was an atheist. He had come to get my confirmation that there is no God. And I could not confirm his atheism, because he was suffering because of it. And because I could not be a part in his suffering, and I wanted to help him, I said, “Yes, God exists.” That’s how I tried to destroy his so-called atheism. In the afternoon, when the other person was there, he was a theist and he was suffering through his theism. I couldn’t say yes to him because that would have been a confirmation – which he had come for. Then he would go and say, ‘Yes, whatsoever I was saying is right. Even Buddha says so.’ And the man was wrong. I could not help a wrong man in his wrongness so I had to say no to destroy whatsoever he is, to shatter his mind.

And the man who came in the evening was neither. He was a simple, innocent man and he was not asking for any confirmation. He had no ideology; he was really a religious person. So I had to be silent. I said to him, “Be silent about this question. Don’t think about it.” If I had said yes, it would have been wrong because he was not there to find a theology. If I had said no, it would have been wrong, because he was not to be confirmed in any atheism. He was not interested in thoughts, in ideas, in theories, doctrines, no; he was a real religious man. How can I utter any word before him? I had to be silent. He understood my silence. When he went away, his religiousness had deepened.”

Buddha said, “Three persons cannot ask the same question. They can formulate it in a similar way – that is another thing. The questions were all “Does God exist?” Their formulation was the same, but the being from where the question was coming was totally different. They meant different things by it; their values were different; their associations with words were different.”

I remember, once it happened that Mulla Nasruddin came back to his house one evening. The whole day he had been involved in a football match. He was a fan. IN the evening when he entered the house, his wife was reading a newspaper, and she said, “Look, Nasruddin, there is something for you. It is reported here that a man has given his wife in return for a season ticket for the football matches. You are also a fan, a mad fan, but I cannot conceive that you would do the same. Or would you? Could you exchange me just to get a season ticket for the football matches?”

Nasruddin thought hard, and then he said, “Of course I would not – because it is ridiculous and criminal. The season is half over.”

Every mind has its own orientation. You may use the same words but because you are different, those same words cannot be the same.

Then Buddha said another thing, and that is even more significant. He said, “Anand, why are you disturbed? You were not a party. You should not listen, because not a single answer was given to you. You should remain indifferent, otherwise you will go mad. Don’t move with me because I will be involved with many, many types of persons. And if you listen to everything that is not said to you, you will get confused and crazy. You just leave me. Otherwise remember to listen only when I speak to you; at other times don’t listen. Whatsoever I say is not your business. It was not said to you and it was not your question at all. So why should you be worried? You were not related. Someone asked, someone else replied. Why are you unnecessarily worried about it? If you have the same question, ask, and then I will answer. But remember, my answers are not to the questions, but to the questioners. I respond. I look at the man, I see through the man, the man becomes transparent – and this is my response. The question is irrelevant; the questioner is relevant.”

You cannot ask for consistency from an enlightened person. Only unenlightened, ignorant persons can be consistent, because they don’t have to look. They just follow some ideas. They carry dead ideas, consistently. For their whole life they will carry something and they will remain consistent to it. They are stupid, that’s why they can remain consistent. They are not alive. They are dead.

Aliveness cannot be consistent. That doesn’t mean that it is wrong – aliveness is consistent, but very deeply, not on the surface. Buddha is consistent in all the three answers, but his consistency is not in the answers – his consistency is in his effort to help. He wanted to help the first man. He wanted to help the second man. He wanted to help the third man. For all three, compassion was there, love was there. He wanted to help them – that is his consistency. But it is a deep current. His words are different, his answers are different, but his compassion is the same.

So when an enlightened person speaks, answers, that answer is a total response of his emptiness, of his being. He echoes you, he reflected you, he is a mirror. He has no face of his own. Your face is mirrored in his heart. So if an idiot comes to meet a Buddha, he will meet an idiot – Buddha is just a mirror. And that man will go and spread the rumor that Buddha is an idiot. He has seen himself in Buddha. If someone sensitive, understanding, mature, grown up comes, he will see something else in Buddha: he will see his own face. There is no other way – you go on seeing mirrors in persons who are totally empty. Then whatsoever you carry is your interpretation.

It is said in old scriptures that when you reach an enlightened person, remain totally silent. Don’t think, otherwise you will miss the opportunity of meeting him. Just remain silent. Don’t think. Absorb him, but don’t try to understand him through your head. Absorb him, drink him, allow your total being to be open to him, let him move within you, but don’t think about him – because if you think, then your mind will be echoed. Let your total being be bathed in his presence. Only then will you have a glimpse of what type of being, of what type of phenomenon you have come in contact with.

Many came to Buddha. They came and went. They carried their own opinions, and they went out and they spread them. Very few, really very few, understood – and that is how it should be, because you can understand only according to you. If you are ready to melt and change and be transformed, only then can you understand what an enlightened person, what an enlightened being is.

-Osho

From The Book of Secrets, Discourse #80, Q2

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

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

The Emptiness and the Unknown are One – Osho

In meditation, when the ‘I’ drops temporarily and an emptiness is created within, after it a frustration is felt when that emptiness is not filled by the entry of the unknown. How can one learn to live with that emptiness?

Emptiness is the unknown. Don’t wait and don’t hope that something is going to fill the emptiness. If you are waiting, hoping, desiring, you are not empty. If you are waiting that something, some unknown force, will descend upon you, you are not empty – this hope is there, this desire is there, this longing is there. So don’t desire for something to fill you. Simply be empty. Don’t even wait. Emptiness is the unknown. When you are really empty the unknown has descended upon you. It is not that first you become empty and then the unknown enters. You are empty, and the unknown has entered. There is not a single moment’s gap. The emptiness and the unknown are one.

In the beginning it appears to you as emptiness; that is only appearance, because you have always been filled by the ego. Really, you are feeling the absence of the ego; that’s why you feel empty. First the ego disappears – but the feeling that the ego is no more creates the feeling of emptiness. Just the absence… something was there, and now it is not there. The ego has gone, but the absence of the ego is felt. First the ego will disappear, and then the absence of the ego will disappear. Only then will you be really empty. And to be really empty is to be really filled.

That inner space which is created by the absence of the ego is the divine. The divine is not to come from somewhere else; you are already that. Because you are filled with the ego you cannot realize it, you cannot see it, you cannot touch it. A filmy barrier of the ego prevents you.

When the ego has dropped, the barrier has dropped. The curtain is no more there. Nothing is to come; whatsoever is to come is already there. Remember this: that nothing new is going to come to you. Whatsoever is possible is already there, actual. So the question is not of achieving; the question is only of discovering. The treasure is there, just covered – you uncover it. When he became a realized man, Buddha was asked so many times, ‘What have you gained? What have you achieved?’

Buddha is reported to have said, ‘I have not achieved anything. Rather, on the contrary, I have lost myself. And that which I have achieved was already there, so I cannot say I have achieved it. I was unaware of it. Now I have become aware. But I cannot say I have achieved it. Rather, on the contrary, now I wonder how it was possible that I didn’t know it before. And it was always there just by the corner – just a turning was needed.’

The divinity is not a future. Your divinity is the present. It is here and now. This very moment you are that – unaware, not looking in the right direction, or not tuned to it, that’s all. A radio is there: the waves are passing right now, but if the radio is not tuned to a particular wave, the wave is unmanifest. You tune the radio and the wave becomes manifest. A tuning is needed.

Meditation is a tuning. When you are tuned, that which is unmanifest becomes manifest. But remember, don’t desire, because the desire will not allow you to be empty. And if you are not empty nothing is possible, because the space is not there, so your own unmanifest nature cannot be revealed. It needs space to be revealed. And don’t ask how to live with emptiness. That is not the real question. Just be empty. You are not yet empty.

If once you know what emptiness is, you will love it. It is ecstatic. It is the most beautiful experience possible to mind, to man, to consciousness. You will not ask how to live with emptiness. You are asking that as if emptiness is something like a misery. It appears so to the ego. The ego is always afraid of emptiness, so you ask how to live with it as if it is some enemy. Emptiness is your innermost center. All the activity is on the periphery; the innermost center is just a zero. All the manifest is on the periphery; the deepest core of your being is the unmanifest vacuum.

Buddha has given it a name – shunyata. It means nothingness or emptiness. That’s your nature, that’s your being, and out of that nothingness everything comes, and everything goes back to it. That emptiness is the source. Don’t ask to fill it, because whenever you ask to fill it you will create more and more ego – ego is the effort to fill the emptiness. And even this desire that now something must descend upon you – a god, a divinity, a divine power, some unknown energy – this is again a thought. Whatsoever you can think about God is not going to be God; it is simply going to be a thought.

When you say the unknown, you have made it the known. What do you know about the unknown? Even to say that it is the unknown, you have known some quality about it – the quality of its being unknown. The mind cannot conceive the unknown. Even the unknown becomes known, and whatsoever the mind says is going to be just a verbalization, a thought process. God is not the word ‘God’. The thought of God is not God. Ans when there is no thought, only then will you come to feel and realize what it is. Nothing else can be said about it. It can only be indicated. And all indications are erroneous because they are all indirect.

This much can be said – that when you are not…. And you are not, only when there is no desire, because you exist with desire. Desire is the food through which you exist. Desire is the fuel. When there is no desire, no longing, no future, and when you are not, that emptiness is the fullness of existence. In that emptiness the whole existence is revealed to you. You become it.

So, don’t ask how to live with emptiness. First be empty. There is no need to ask how to live with it. It is so blissful – the deepest bliss it is. When you ask how to live with emptiness, you are really asking how to live with oneself. But you have not known yourself. Enter more and more into it.

In meditation sometimes you feel a sort of emptiness; that is not really emptiness. I call it just a sort of emptiness. When you are meditating, for certain moments, for a few seconds you will feel as if the thought process has stopped. In the beginning these gaps will come. But because you are feeling as if the thought process has stopped, this is again a thought process, a very subtle thought process. What are you doing? You are saying inside, ‘The thought process has stopped.’ But what is this? This is a secondary thought process which has started. And you say, ‘This is emptiness.’ You say, ‘Now something is going to happen.’ What is this? Again a new thought process has started. Whenever this happens again, don’t become a victim of it. When you feel a certain silence is descending, don’t start verbalizing it, because you are destroying it. Wait – not for something – simply wait. Don’t do anything. Don’t say, ‘This is emptiness.’ The moment you have said, you have destroyed it. Just look at it, penetrate into it, encounter it, but wait – don’t verbalize it. What is the hurry? Through verbalization the mind has again entered from a different route, and you are deceived. Be alert about this trick of the mind.

In the beginning it is bound to happen, so whenever this happens again, just wait. Don’t fall in the trap. Don’t say anything – remain silent. Then you will enter, and then it will not be temporary, because once you have known the real emptiness you cannot lose it. The real cannot be lost; that is its quality.

Once you have known the inner treasure, once you have come in contact with your deepest core, then you can move in activity, then you can do whatsoever you like, then you can live an ordinary worldly life, but the emptiness will remain with you. You cannot forget it. It will go on inside. The music of it will be heard. Whatsoever you are doing, the doing will be only on the periphery; inside you will remain empty.

And if you can remain empty inside, doing only on the periphery, whatsoever you do becomes divine, whatsoever you do takes on the quality of the divine because now it is not coming from you. Now it is coming directly from the original emptiness, the original nothingness. If then you speak, those words are not yours. That’s what Mohammed means when he says, ‘This Koran is not said by me. It has come to me as if someone else has spoken through me.’ It has come out of the inner emptiness. That’s what Hindus mean when they say, ‘The Vedas are not written by man, they are not human documents, but the divine, the God himself has spoken.’

These are symbolic ways of saying something which is very mysterious. And this is the mystery: when you are deeply empty, whatsoever you do or speak is not from you – because you are no more. It comes from the emptiness. It comes from the deepest source of existence. It comes from the same source from which this whole existence has come. Then you have entered the womb, the very womb of existence. Then your words are not yours, then your acts are not yours. It is as if you are just an instrument – an instrument of the whole.

If emptiness is felt only momentarily, and then it comes and goes like a flash, it is not real. And if you start thinking about it, even the unreal is lost. Not to think in that moment takes great courage.

It is the greatest control I know. When the mind becomes silent and when you are falling empty, it takes the greatest courage not to think, because the whole past of the mind will assert. The whole mechanism will say, ‘Now think!’

In subtle ways, indirect ways, your past memories will force you to think – and if you think, you have come back. If you can remain silent in that moment, if you are not tempted by the mechanism of your memory and mind…. This is the real Satan – your own mind which tempts you. Whenever you are falling empty, the mind tempts you and creates something to think about – and if you start thinking, you are back.

It is said that when one of the great masters, Bodhidharma, went to China, many disciples gathered around him. He was the first Zen master. One disciple, who was to become his chief disciple, came to him and said, ‘Now I have become totally empty.’

Bodhidharma slapped him immediately and said, ‘Now go and throw this emptiness also! Now you are filled with emptiness – throw this also. Only then will you be really empty.

You understand? You can be filled by the idea of emptiness. Then it will hover on you, it will become a cloud. He said, ‘Throw this emptiness also, and then come to me.’ If you say you are empty, you are not empty. Now this word ‘empty’ has become meaningful and you are filled with it. The same I say to you – throw this emptiness also.

-Osho

From The Book of Secrets, Discourse #56, Q1

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

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

The Goal Comes to You – Osho

What is Joshu’s single note? This is the single note – emptiness. This is the lotus flower that Buddha transmitted to Mahakashyap. And this is what all of the Buddhas have been teaching through the ages – be empty. The ego wants to be All. The All happens, but it happens through emptiness, and therein lies the difficulty, the impossibility of it. You can become perfect, but if perfection is the ideal, then you will miss it. You can become perfect through being totally empty. That seems inconceivable for the mind, because the mind says: To be perfect one has to make much effort, to be perfect one has to create an ideal in the future, and one has to make effort to reach the goal. The goal happens.

Perfection comes to man, man need not go there. The goal comes to you. Nobody has ever gone to the goal. It has always been otherwise; the goal comes to you when you are empty. And to be empty is just the opposite, just the opposite of all efforts towards perfection, because perfection means you would like to be God himself. Perfection means you would like yourself eternally, infinitely, spread all over. Emptiness is just the opposite – you have to destroy yourself utterly. Not even a trace should be left behind. When your house is empty, the guest comes. When you are no more, the goal has been attained.

So don’t make perfection your goal, the goal happens indirectly. You be empty, and you have created the situation for it to come. Because nature abhors emptiness, nothing can remain empty. If you empty yourself completely, you will be filled by the Unknown. Suddenly, from all directions the Divine rushes towards you. You have created the situation; it has to be filled. When you are not, God is.

So remember, there cannot be any meeting between you and God. There has never been, and there will never be. When you are not, God is; when you are, God is not. They both cannot be together.

Here you disappear, and suddenly the Total, the Perfect, the Whole appears. It has always been there. But you were filled by yourself so much that there was no space for it to come in. It was all around, but you were not empty.

You are just like a house without doors – just walls and walls and layers and layers of walls. And remember, a house is in fact not the walls but the doors. Lao Tzu says: What is a door? – A door is nothing, it is an emptiness; and from the door you enter. The wall is something, the door is nothing.

And have you observed that the house is not the walls but the emptiness within? The very word ‘room’ means emptiness, space. You don’t live in the walls, you live in the space, in the emptiness.

All that exists, exists in emptiness. All that lives, lives in emptiness.

You are not your body. Within your body, just like within your house, space exists. That space is you. Your body is just the walls. Think of a person who has no eyes, no ears, no nose, no windows, no doors in the body – he will be dead. Eyes and ears and nose and mouth, they are the doors, they are emptinesses. And through that emptiness, existence enters into you. The outer and the inner meet, because the outer space and the inner space are not two things, they are one. And the division is not a real division.

It is just like, you can go to the river, and you can fill an earthen pot with water. When the water is moving in the earthen pot, the river outside and the water inside the pot are the same. Only an earthen wall exists, and even that earthen wall is porous; water is continuously flowing out and in.

Your body is also porous; existence is continuously flowing in and out. What is your breathing? – It is existence coming in and going out. And scientists say, millions of holes in the skin are continuously breathing in and out. You are porous. If your whole body is painted thickly, and only the nose is allowed to remain open, you can go on breathing, but within three hours you will be dead. Because the whole body breathes – it is porous. Existence continuously renews you.

And inside who are you? Inside is an emptiness. When one realizes this emptiness, the ego simply disappears – it is a myth, it is a dream, it is a fallacy. Because you have never looked within, you have created a false ego.

There is a necessity, because no man can live without a center. And you don’t know your own center. So the mind creates a false center; that false center is the ego. When you move inwards and look for the ego, you will never find it there. The deeper you go, the more you will laugh because the ego is not there. You are not there. Sometimes, just close your eyes and look for the ego. Where are you? Who are you? And emptiness surrounds you from everywhere; nobody is there inside. And this moment is the most beautiful and ecstatic moment possible when you feel that there is no ego.

When there is no ego, you are empty. And when you are empty, the Divine rushes towards you. You have created the situation.

-Osho

From Returning to the Source, Discourse #2

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.

The Vertical Ascendance of a Sadhaka – Vimala Thakar

The following dialog took place between Vimala Thakar and Yoga teachers from all over the world in Mount Abu, Rajasthan, India on the 11th of September, 2000.

Question:  What are the most difficult obstacles that a sadhaka has to overcome during his spiritual path?

It becomes very difficult to break the silence and touch the space with words; words feel very shy to encroach upon the emptiness of silence.  The science of consciousness, atma vidya has been the field of study, investigation, exploration, experimentation and verification through the act of living in Ancient India.  Naturally all the literature about atma vidya, adhyatma -Spirituality is in ancient Sanskrit language, so the students of yoga come across the Sanskrit words and terms when they study Yoga Sutras or Mantra Yoga, Tantra Yoga etc.

You have used the term “sadhaka” in your collective question.  But the investigation does not begin with sadhana.  Investigation begins first on the theoretical, academic, verbal level.  One has to know with the help of words about what one is going to do as sadhana.  .

This phase of investigation, this study through travelling, through reading books, through seminars, you may call it intellectual sadhana, but we call it jignasya the urge to enquire, and one who does that is jignasu.

When a person living In Europe and America or outside Asia comes to know through scriptures on Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism or even Islam, when the person comes to know that there are different ways of living, where freedom from the prison-house of thought and from the clutches of the mind is possible, then the desire for liberation is born in the heart.  When he knows through that verbal investigation that a different way of living is possible, that people have lived that way, that it is possible for anyone and everyone to be liberated from the grip of the mind and the prison-house of thought structure, then the desire for liberation is born in the heart.  The desire for liberation is called mumuksha – the desire for moksha.   Moksha is liberation.  Mukti, moksha, these are the Sanskrit terms.  One who has the desire for moksha is called mumushu.

So the jignasu becomes mumukshu.  First he only wanted to know; now he says I have known that It IS possible, so why should I continue living as a slave of the thought and the mind.  If there is a consciousness beyond, if there is a life beyond, well let me explore.  So jignasu becomes a mumukshu; a person charged with the flame of enquiry, of exploration.  So he turns to those who have taken the pilgrimage, those who have followed the path of liberation and freedom.  He comes across such persons, sees their lives and he says that I want to educate myself in that way of freedom, in that life style of freedom, so he becomes a sadhaka.

A sadhaka is one who launches upon the extensive project of education, learning, discovery.  Sadhana is the process of education, the process of learning, a personal discovery of truth.  One who does that sadhana is called sadhaka.  So jignasu; mumukshu; sadhaka.  When the process of education is gone through at the physical level, at the verbal level, at the mental level, at cerebral level, and in the movement of daily relationships, then he becomes a siddha.  The education is completed, now it is mature.  Sadhana – sadhaka and then siddha.

Because you have asked the question and have used the term sadhaka one must know the background.  Sadhana, sadhaka is the third phase.  After verbal investigation, comes the phase where one is charged with the desire for liberation from mind and thought.  If that desire is not there, if the urge is not there, then one does not become a Sadhaka.  The Sadhana is for mukti, moksha, liberation, enlightenment.  That is the top priority; that is the first priority.  The person is willing to do anything and everything for that discovery of freedom and living in freedom.  So the Sadhaka is the student of life, learning and educating himself.  If the urge for liberation is not there, then you may do yoga asanas and pranayama for 20 years, they will give you health, they will give you symmetrical body, it is a physical and cultural education, very necessary -but that by itself does not lead you to freedom from the mind.  Yamah-Niyamah will give you a disciplined life, even pratyahara can give you a disciplined life.  There will be a disciplined life at the physical level, at the verbal level.  You will be speaking Truth -Sat yam, you will be non-violent –ahimsa, there will be shaucham– cleanliness at the physical, the mental and the verbal level and modesty, humility.  So the yamahs and niyamahs will create a very orderly, disciplined person.  Asanas, pranayama will change the quality of physical life and bring about a different freshness in body-brain complex but that by itself is not the totality of sadhana, it is only a part.

Many people have a misconception when they turn to Yoga; they think that yoga asanas, pranayama and yamah – niyamah, will naturally lead them to dhyanam and samadhi.  But that is a different education because with yamah- niyamah, asana-pranayama, pratyahara, dharana you have to exercise the physical, the verbal, the mental, the cerebral, you have to make an effort, you have to create an order in the chaos, in the disorder.  The “You”, the centre, the monitor is there, the method and techniques of doing away with disorder and creating order:  that is there.  Yamahs and niyamahs give you direction for the asanas, which must be done correctly, a Mantra has to be pronounced correctly, in the proper accent, intonation, punctuation, and articulation.  Even in dharana, the science and the art of concentration, there is still something to learn – concentrate on the breath, concentrate on the movement of breath, concentrate on an idol, concentrate on the flame of a candle and so on, there is the centre, the knowledge, the direction of effort, the methodology of effort.

People find it easy up to there.  Education can go on smoothly up to the step of dharana, if the person is really sincere and really very serious about changing the way of living.  It is an alternative way of living.  It is an alternative culture.  It is an alternative dynamics of relationship with your body, with nature, with human beings with non-human species.  It is a holistic change in the way of living, up to that it is comparatively easy and many serious, sincere students of spirituality in the various countries of the world have taken the journey up to there, but then comes the point of dhyanam or meditation.

You say what is the most difficult obstacle?  I will not call it obstacle, but a difficult point that you have to cross.  If you convert it into an obstacle it can become an obstacle, otherwise it is something that you have to cross, to go over.  What happens is, up to Dharana, the ‘I’, the self, the me, the Ego, the Monitor whatever you call it, can assert itself, can make an effort, can see the result, the product, the result of its effort in time, it can even manipulate the result, so it is satisfied -I have done this, I have progressed.  And naturally through yoga asanas, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, the dormant energies in the body, in the biological organism, in the psychological structure which were not tapped before, they are stimulated.  The manifestation of those activised powers is called vibhuti.  Siddhi, vibhuti.  So up till there, the enthusiasm of the ‘l’, the ‘Me’ is tremendous, because it is doing something, it is getting something, it can measure it, people can see what you have achieved and you can teach it to others.  But then comes the point of dhyanam, where the mind and the brain are to be educated in relaxation of all movement – that is the difficult point.  The body has to be steady, the speech has to go back into its source, and the mental movement and the movement of the brain have to voluntarily discontinue.  You cannot make them stop, because you are a part of that, you are a part of the past, of the thought structure, the conditionings, you are one of it, you are its product so you can not change it, the ‘You’, the monitor which up till now has been very active has to voluntarily discontinue its movement.

The difficult part comes now of educating the mind and the brain to voluntarily discontinue its movement in every direction.  If you tell the mind there is nothing to know, nothing to experience, nowhere to go, no experiencing, it runs back into the past.  Wants to chew into the memories of the past pleasure, of the past pain, or it wants to jump towards the future that is unborn, that is not here.  It does not give up easily its addiction to motion.  It has been moving, changing itself, changing others, getting something.  It has been busy with the acquisitive movement- acquire knowledge, acquire money, acquire experience, acquire powers, and people acknowledge you, you get social respectability and you can earn money by teaching them.

This part of self-education is a very tough part, because there is no doing.  You have to be with yourself whether you sit down, you stand up, and you walk.  No books, no reading, no knowing, no experiences.  One requires tremendous patience with the cerebral organ, which has been sharpened.  It has been made very sharp and sophisticated and you have purified it through your Yamah -Niyamah etc.  It is very sensitive:  one hundred times more sensitive than any of your electronic gadgets.  So when you sit down with yourself or spend some days with yourself, you notice that immeasurable velocity, that tremendous, fantastic momentum with which the thoughts come and go, the emotions come, the memories come up and the Seer has to be there just seeing it, not looking at it.  Looking is the activity of the monitor, the ‘I’, the ‘Me’, the mind.  Seeing is the energy principle of your life.  You don’t see because you want to see, but because you can’t help it.  It IS an involuntary action.  It is not a movement like thinking, feeling, willing.  It is an instantaneous action.  So be with oneself, be with the total human past contained in your body, not even to watch it, to observe it, but just be in the state of seeing.  The seeing, the hearing goes on but you are not listening.  You listen to something when you have a motivation, but hearing goes on, you can’t help it, if you are awake, the auditory nerves respond to the sound, the optical nerves respond to the light, to the shape, to the colour of the objects.

To be in that austere state of seeing is the toughest part.  When the seen, that is the past, the known, the conditioned gets exposed to that seeing energy it gets exhausted, that is to say, the seen energy is not unlimited, it is vast, it is gigantic, but it has had a beginning and it can have an end.  One needs patience in educating oneself for being in the state of seeing without looking, without listening, without comparing, without evaluating, without passing a value judgement on what is seen.  Nobody will know, but you go on doing that inwardly.  So no value judgement, no comparison, no seeking pleasure out of it, no feeling pain out of it.  The seeing is unrelated to that which is seen.  It is not a relationship, it is co-existence of the seeing energy and the seen energy -the drashta, drashtutvam and drishya.

The body, the movement of the pranas, your breathing, the movement of the mind, the movement of the brain -all these are seen, they are not your existential essence, they are not the essence of your being.  The seeing energy is the essence, which you might call atman and chaitanya.  You might give a variety of names to it, It is just an energy, where seeing and understanding are rolled into one.  It is a perceptive sensitivity.  Looking is an activity, a joint activity of the mind and the optical nerves, but seeing is unrelated to that which is seen, because one did not want to see it, wish to see it, expect to see it, it is there, therefore it is seen.  That is the toughest part, but if that is gone through, then the seen and the seeing energy subside into their sources and there is maunam or silence or emptiness.

So the seeing and the seen are replaced by infinite silence of emptiness.   It is still tougher to be in that state if at all a sadhaka has patience and humility to be in the state.  Nothing happens, no experiences, you come out of silence after 2 or 3 hours and somebody asks you” what were you doing?”  “I don’t know, nothing”. But you were sitting there with your closed eyes for 3 hours, what happened?”  “Nothing.”  “What did you get out of it?”  “Nothing.”

The immeasurableness and indescribable-ness of that emptiness!  How can you describe emptiness? You can describe an object.  So the ‘I’ consciousness, the Ego that had gone voluntarily into discontinuity jumps back.  It wants to claim and say “I have had an experience of silence”.  The ‘I’ can never have that experience, the ‘I’ can have experience of quietness, of abstinence from speaking, it can have an experience of non-motion but silence is something that cannot be experienced.  Nothing happens to the chemical or metabolic or nervous system.

What is the obstacle on the path of a sadhaka? – This nothingness and nobody-ness.  To go through that period of solitary silence is difficult especially for those who are living in big cities, they have jobs, they have families.  Unless they move away from their working place and family atmosphere for some time this education from the doer, the experiencer to the Seer, from the Seer into the Silence and then into Meditation, this education cannot happen.  Devoting an hour a day while living in the family, while working at a job is easy, that can be done, but for the revolution to happen, for the mutation to take place, the Silence has to crystallise.  It is only when the silence crystallises as the normal dimension of consciousness that the mutation, the quantum jump into the state of dhyanam occurs.  It is not the result of any human effort.  You cannot bring it about as the result of your action.  It occurs, it happens if this period of being merged into or being immersed into the ocean of Emptiness is gone through.

You may call it in your language the most difficult obstacle.  As I see it, it is a tough phase in education, because it is going beyond mind, it is going beyond brain into another dimension of consciousness -dhyanajam anashayam (Patanjali Yoga Sutras IV.  6). Out of meditation is born a chitta which has no content of thought, emotion, feeling, which has no past, which has no conditionings. The prakrit chitta disappears with meditation and dhyanajam chittam anashayam emerges.  Chitta, which is emptiness, emptiness as a dimension of consciousness, gets born.  In the beginning it lasts for say few hours and when you are busy in movement of relationships you feel it is slipping out, because that is a period of puberty from one dimension to the other -a touch and go, it slips back into the mental or the cerebral, it becomes aware of it, again gets back into the mental or the cerebral, it becomes aware of it, again gets back into the meditative dimension and then there is a growth into samadhi, the dimension of invincible equipoise, invincible peace, invincible relaxation.  No action can damage the relaxation.  No speaking for hours can affect the inner state of silence and no relationships which one has to go through in society can even touch the solitude of the consciousness.

So it seems to me that the tough period begins in sadhana or the difficult period or obstacle period, begins when one is busy educating oneself in dhyanam.

There is a very well known sadhaka poet in India, he is still living, he wrote to me that it is better to be in the dimension of the known where you know how to handle thought, emotions, reactions, defence mechanism, patterns of behaviour.  It is much better to be there and safer to be there, than to get transported into the unknown where everything is unknowable.  So the idea of psychic security, by which one has lived, has a strong hold over one.  Even in the study of Yoga, in the subconscious there is that sense of security with the known – the known place, the known people, and the known activities

Meditation –dhyanam is a romance with the unknown.  I do not know if I have responded to your question, but this being the last meeting of this year, I thought:  let me share with you the journey from jignasa to sadhana – sadhana as a process of education –self-education, mutual education, group education.  How you do it is secondary, but it is an educational process.  Not academic education, which gives you a degree and a job at the end of it.  At the end of this education there is the maturity of samadhi, it is the consummation of human growth.  It is not an acquisitive movement but it is a movement of constant discovery of the different nuances of truth and reality, a discovery of the different nuances and shades of that cosmic energy which is playing even in your body.

-Vimala Thakar

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