Forget All About the World – Osho

Many times in my meditation I asked you not to show me directly the tremendous tragedy that is happening on Earth today, as I know I could never tolerate such suffering. Yet I’m sensing this all the time, even with my buffers. I know you are the light for this whole planet, and knowing this carries such a responsibility. I would be so grateful to hear you speak to me on helping, knowing I can’t help, and the angst of feeling helpless—and also of relaxing when feeling such a state of urgency. 

Prem Kaveesha, I can understand your anguish about the whole of humanity, about this planet earth; because every day we are coming closer and closer to a disaster.

It is because the disaster is coming very close; even with your buffers you cannot forget it – and it hurts. And it hurts more because you feel you cannot help; you cannot do anything. It is simply beyond the capacity of any individual to prevent this calamity, this disaster, this global suicide that seems to be almost certain. But I have a way of my own.

You feel helpless because you think in terms of helping other people to understand, and that is an impossible job. The world is so big, and people are so full of violence that it seems the calamity is not coming from outside, but it is the accumulated violence in people themselves that is going to explode this earth.

But don’t think in terms of helping. Then you will not feel helpless and you will not feel tense. I don’t feel helpless, I don’t feel tense, I don’t feel any anguish – and I am more aware of it than you can be – because my approach is not of helping anybody, but just for you to raise your own consciousness to the highest peak possible… of which you are perfectly capable.

If we can create only two hundred enlightened people in the world, the world can be saved.

Kaveesha was born in a Jewish family, hence she will understand a beautiful story. In the Old Testament it is mentioned that there were two cities, Sodom and Gomorrah, and both became sexually perverted. In Gomorrah, homosexuality was so prevalent, and in Sodom people had fallen even lower in their perversion: they were making love to animals. Hence, the English word “sodomy” – it comes from the city of Sodom. And God decided to destroy those two cities completely.

He destroyed those two cities completely – and it is very strange that those two cities had the same population as Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were destroyed by man, but the Old Testament story is that God destroyed those two sexually perverted cities. What I am going to tell you is a Hassidic story based on the Old Testament version of the destruction by God of two sexually perverted cities.

Judaism has blossomed in its totality in Hassidism. Hassidism is a rebellious, and essentially religious, phenomenon. All the religions have given to the world something beautiful – although those religions were against that something beautiful – except Christianity.

Mohammedanism has given Sufism, although Mohammedans have killed Sufis. Buddhism has given Zen, although Buddhists don’t accept Zen as an authentic teaching of Gautam Buddham. Hinduism has given Tantra, but Hindus are very much against Tantra – and that is their very truth. It is a very strange thing… and the same is the situation with Judaism.

Hassidism is a small, rebellious phenomenon within the world of Judaism. The man who founded Hassidism was Baal Shemtov. He also relates the story and you can see the beauty and the difference. Somebody asked him, “What do you think about Sodom and Gomorrah?”

And Baal Shem said, “That story is not written in its completion. I will tell you the whole story.” And he said, “When God declared that he was going to destroy these two cities, one Hassid, a mystic, approached God and asked him, ‘If in these cities there are one hundred people who have experienced you, what will you do with these one hundred people? Are you going to destroy them too, with the whole cities?’

“For a moment God was silent and then he said, ‘No. If there were one hundred awakened souls in these two cities, because of those one hundred people these two cities would be saved; I would not destroy them.’

“The Hassid mystic said, ‘If there were only fifty, not a hundred? Will you destroy these cities, and those fifty awakened people?’

“Now God saw that he had been caught by the mystic. He said, ‘No, I cannot destroy fifty awakened people.’ And the Hassid said, ‘I want you to know that there is only one man who is awakened; six months he lives in Sodom and six months he lives in Gomorrah. What do you say about it? – Will you destroy the cities?’

“God said, ‘You are a very cunning fellow. Who is this man?’ He said of course, ‘I am.’”

And God could not deny him because it is not a question of quantity, it is a question of quality: one awakened person or one hundred awakened persons. The awakened person cannot be destroyed by existence, because the awakened person is the longest dream of existence itself, the deepest longing of existence itself – to reach to the stars.” And Baal Shem said that Sodom and Gomorrah were never destroyed.

Jews are angry about Baal Shem, that he is just inventing this story; the whole story is written in the Old Testament. The Jews don’t accept the Hassids as authentic Jews. In the same way, everywhere the really religious person will be condemned by the so-called religious.

Whether Baal Shem invented the story or whether he was telling the true story, I am with him. In the first place a God who believes in destruction is not a God. A God who cannot transform people from their perversions is not a God. Baal Shem is not only saving those two cities, he is also saving God’s godliness: his compassion, his love, his understanding.

Kaveesha, forget all about the world. You become the one Hassid, the one mystic. And if we can create around the world just two hundred enlightened people…. That number is also exactly like Baal Shem’s Hassid. When he started talking with God, negotiating, it was only a question of two cities.

The world has become big and it is a question of the whole world – so I am starting negotiating with two hundred. But I want to tell you that even two enlightened people will be enough, and the world will be saved; because existence cannot destroy its own ultimate flowering.

So you forget about the world; otherwise it will create unnecessary anxiety and will destroy your own awakening, which is the only possibility to save the world.

Anybody who wants to help the world should forget about the world and concentrate upon himself. Raise your consciousness to such a height that existence has to think a second time whether to destroy this world or to save it.

The masses as they are don’t matter; existence will not care about them. In fact, existence would like this whole humanity – this rotten humanity – to be destroyed, so that evolution can start from scratch again. Something has gone wrong….

But if there are a few enlightened people, they are far weightier than billions and billions of people on the earth. Existence cannot destroy the world – not only because of those few people who are enlightened; but because of their enlightenment, the unconscious masses also become valuable, because it is from these unconscious masses that those Himalayan peaks have arisen. They were also unconscious yesterday, today they are conscious. And existence is very patient: if it sees that unconscious people can become fully conscious, then this great mass of people, which is absolutely unconscious, also has a possibility.

I depend on the individuals, not on the collectivity. The collectivity is so rotten that it will be an act of compassion to destroy it. But we have to prove that out of this unconscious, almost dead humanity, a few lotuses can blossom. Then, just given time, perhaps more lotuses will be coming. Some may be just buds, some may be just in the seed; but even if there is one man who is enlightened, with him the whole of humanity becomes valuable, because that man shows the hope that every man is capable of the same miracle.

So, Kaveesha, forget about helping. You cannot help; nobody can help. But you can become a mystic, a Hassid, and you can argue with God, that “I am here; are you going to destroy me? And these people who are somnambulists, walking in their sleep – I was also one of them. That is my yesterday. These people should be given their tomorrows. There is every possibility that every human being can become a Gautam Buddha.”

This is the only way to save this beautiful planet earth.

-OSHO

From The Rebellious Spirit, Chapter 14

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

Osho's mulshree tree

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.

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The Music of the Sea – Osho

I have heard a story:

Thousands of years ago, a town which had many temples dedicated to the gods was drowned beneath the sea.

The bells of those drowned temples are still ringing. It may be that the tidal waters make them ring, or maybe they keep ringing because the fish strike them as they swim here and there. But whatever the reason is, the bells are still ringing even today, and even today, their sweet music can be heard from the seashore.

I also wanted to hear that music, so I went in search of that shore. After several years of wandering, I finally found it. But all I could hear was the loud tumult of the sea. The sound of the waves crashing on the rocks resounded again in that lonely place, but there was no music nor were the temple bells ringing. I kept listening intently but on the shore nothing could be heard except the sound of breaking waves.

Even so I waited there. In fact, I had forgotten the way back and now that unknown, lonely seashore seemed destined to witness the end of my life. And by and by, even the thought of listening to the bells disappeared. I settled down on the beach.

Then one night, I suddenly heard the bells of those submerged temples ringing, and their sweet music began to fill my life with joy.

On hearing the music I awoke from my sleep, and since then I have not been able to sleep again. Now someone is constantly awake within me, sleep has vanished forever, and my life has been filled with light—because where there is no sleep, there is no darkness.

And I am happy. In fact, I have become happiness incarnate, because how can sadness exist when music from God’s temple can be heard?

Do you also want to go to that that seashore? Do you also want to hear the music of those underwater temples? Then let us then go, let us move within ourselves. The heart is the sea, and in its depth is found the city with the underwater temples.

But only those who are, in every way, calm and alert will be able to hear the music of those temples. How can this music be heard when there are the loud conflicts of thought and desire? Even the desire to hear this music becomes an obstacle to discovering it.

-OSHO

From Earthern Lamps, Chapter One

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

earthern-lamps

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.

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This Time of Crisis – Osho

It has been said that in times of great stress—social, economic, religious—that great good is possible. Is this formulation reflective of what we are in Poona experiencing in your presence?

Yes, a time of crisis is a very valuable time. When everything is established and there is no crisis things are dead. When nothing is changing and the grip of the old is perfect, it is almost impossible to change yourself. When everything is in a chaos, nothing is static, nothing is secure, nobody knows what is going to happen the next moment—in such a chaotic moment—you are free, you can change. You can attain to the innermost core of your being.

It is just like in a prison: when everything is settled it is almost impossible for any prisoner to get out of it, to escape from the prison. But just think: there has been an earthquake and everything is disturbed and nobody knows where the guards are and nobody knows where the jailer is, and all rules have dissolved, and everybody is running on his own—in that moment if a prisoner is a little alert he can escape very easily; if he is foolish, only then will he miss the opportunity.

When the society is in turmoil and everything is in crisis, a chaos pervades—this is the moment, if you want, you can escape from the prison. It is so easy because nobody is guarding you, nobody is after you. You are left alone. Things are in such a shape that everybody is bothering about his own business—nobody is looking at you. This is the moment. Don’t miss that moment.

In great crisis periods, always, much enlightenment has happened. When the society is established and it is almost impossible to rebel, to go beyond, not to follow the rules, enlightenment becomes very, very difficult—because it is freedom; it is anarchy. In fact it is moving away from society and becoming individual. The society doesn’t like individuals: it likes robots who just look like individuals but are not individuals. The society doesn’t like authentic being. It likes masks, pretenders, hypocrites, but not real persons because a real person is always trouble. A real person is always a free person. You cannot enforce things on him; you cannot make a prisoner out of him; you cannot enslave him. He would like to lose his life, but he would not like to lose his freedom. Freedom is more valuable to him than life itself. Freedom is the highest value for him. That’s why in India we have called the highest value moksha, nirvana; those words mean freedom—total freedom—absolute freedom.

Whenever society is in turmoil and everybody is tending his own business—has to tend—escape . In that moment the doors of the prison are open, many cracks are in the walls, the guards are not on duty… one can escape easily.

The same situation was at the time of Buddha, twenty-five centuries before. It always comes in a circle; the circle completes in twenty-five centuries. Just as a circle completes in one year—again summer comes back, one year’s circle and the summer is back—there is a great circle of twenty-five centuries. Every time after twenty-five centuries, the old foundations dissolve; the society has to lay new foundations. The whole edifice becomes worthless; it has to be demolished. Then economic, social, political, religious—all systems—are disturbed. The new is to be born; it is a birth pain.

There are two possibilities. One, one is the possibility that you may start fixing the old falling structure: you may become a social servant and you may start making things more stable. Then you miss, because nothing can be done: the society is dying. Every society has a life-span and every culture has a life-span. As a child is born and we know the child will become a youth, will become old, and will die—seventy years, eighty years, at the most a hundred years—every society is born, is young, becomes old, has to die. Every civilization that is born has to die. These critical moments are moments of the death of the past, the old; moments of the birth of the new. You should not bother; you should not start supporting the old structure—it is going to die. If you are supporting, you may be crushed under it. This is one possibility: that you start supporting the structure. That is not going to work. You will miss the opportunity.

Then there is another possibility: you may start a social revolution to bring the new. Then, too, again you will miss the opportunity, because the new is going to come. You need not bring it. The new is already coming–don’t bother about it; don’t become a revolutionary. The new will come. If the old is gone nobody can force it to remain, and if the new is there and the time has reached and the child is ripe in the womb, the child is going to be born. You need not try any Caesarian operation. The child is going to be born; don’t bother about it. Revolution goes on happening by itself; it is a natural phenomenon. No revolutionaries are needed. You need not kill the person; he is going to die himself. If you start working for a social revolution—you become a communist, a socialist—you will miss.

These are the two alternatives in which you can miss. Or you can use this time of crisis and be transformed, use it for your individual growth. There is nothing like a critical moment in history: everything is tense and everything is intense, and everything has come to a moment, to a peak, from where the wheel will turn. Use this door, this opportunity, and be transformed. That’s why my emphasis is for individual revolution.

-OSHO

yoga-a-new-direction-v-5From Yoga: A New Direction, Chapter Ten (previously published as Yoga:The Alpha and the Omega, V. 5)

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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Just Witnessing

In July of 1985 Osho began giving interviews with members of the press from around the world. In one of the first interviews, with ABC Good Morning America’s Ken Kashiwahara, he spoke on the very essence of his teaching on meditation. 

You say the whole world is a mess. What is it that you’re trying to create in man, in the world?

I’m simply saying that there is a way to be sane. I’m saying that you can get rid of all this insanity created by the past in you.

How?

Just by being a simple witness of your thought processes. That’s my method of meditation. It is not a prayer because there is no God to pray to. It is simply sitting silently, witnessing the thoughts passing before you. Just witnessing – not interfering, not even judging, because the moment you judge you have lost the pure witness. The moment you say this is good, this is bad, you have already jumped into the thought process. It takes a little time to create a gap between the witness and the mind. Once the gap is there, you are in for a great surprise: you are not the mind, you are the witness, a watcher.

This process of watching is the very alchemy of real religion, because as you become more and more deeply rooted in witnessing, thoughts start disappearing. A moment comes when there is no thought at all. You are, but the mind is utterly empty. That is the moment of enlightenment. That is the moment when for the first time you become unconditioned, sane, a really free human being.

-OSHO

From The Last Testament, V.1, Chapter One

the-last-testament-v-1

Osho’s words 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.

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Difficulties for Spiritual Seekers, Before and After Enlightenment – Baba Purnanand Bharati

Baba Purnanand Bharati
Baba Purnanand Bharati

Since the day of my enlightenment in 1979, my way of sharing with spiritual seekers has changed many times.  I have been learning from Osho, but also from you, watching what happens to you day by day.

In the first part of these 35 years I have been sharing all my energy with the seekers who were coming to me, helping them to achieve quickly a spiritual experience, a satori or a stage of enlightenment. But I learned that it is not the best way to help you. Why? The first problem is that sometimes, if you have a Satori before the purification of your unconsciousness in meditation is deep enough, you may get scared. And if you are scared, it will take time for you to have the same experience again. It is better to grow slowly but safely, step by step.

For me it happened in a different way. I had many satoris every day and I was scared, but I was completely fed up of living my life as unenlightened, my lust for life was almost exhausted. And Osho was calling me inside….

One day, with my total will power I faced the fear, and crossed the point of no return.
But for most of the seekers, it is better to go slowly into new experiences.

Hence now I am working through continuity in meditation, making sure that you develop a good understanding before high experiences happen to you. In daily meditation you are facing the fear of disappearing little by little, and slowly, slowly you are learning how to overcome it. It needs patience, you will have to go through ALL your unconscious mind with awareness. But this path is very safe, if you are ready to work honestly you will all have good results. .

And one day, you will be ready to face the point of no return, and you will cross the border that separates from eternal bliss….

The second main reason why my working with people changed in the course of the years, is that many seekers attained with me some early stage of enlightenment, but they wanted immediately to be Masters, and their spiritual growth stopped.

It is necessary to understand the great mystery of enlightenment. Enlightenment comes in three stages. Self realisation, Being realisation and Non-being realisation, also called Nirvana.

We can be Masters only in the last stage, not before. Only in the last stage we attain to the understanding of the Great Mysteries of Existence.

In the first two stages we can share our energies with other seekers, that is helpful to them, but we should not give them advice and guidelines because we don’t understand deeply what is happening to them yet.

The person who has attained to the first two stages of enlightenment will simply feel that what has happened to him will happen to everybody, more or less in the same way and with the same techniques.

But this is totally false, because every human being is unique and in his unique stage, so his spiritual path is also unique. These complex and subtle differences are comprehended only in Nirvana, the space where the Great Mysteries are attained.

So what is the right attitude to have when you meet the seekers in the two stages of enlightenment? You can meditate with them, their spiritual presence is helpful.
But don’t listen to them, their understanding of your inner world is still very limited.

And remember, they can be very supporting to your meditation but you cannot disappear with them, because they are not yet disappeared themselves. Disappearing happens in Nirvana.

But what happened, many seekers attained with me the first two stages of enlightenment, and they started working with other seekers as they were already Masters. That’s not true, the Master appear only after Nirvana.

Their mistake is natural, after many lives of suffering and darkness, suddenly now they feel blissful, and vast as they are an infinite consciousness …. It is a natural mistake, it happens to everybody in the beginning.

At this point, only if you feel deep gratitude to your Master, if you remain trusting and surrendering to him you will proceed to the final and complete enlightenment.

That is what happened to me. I remained even more trusting and surrendering to Osho than before, my gratitude became immense! In this way Osho could guide me all the way to the final stage.
I wrote a letter to Osho, saying:

“I am nothing, you are nothing , and nothing is nothing ! What is happening now ?”
Osho answered: “Remain open and available, and many more mysteries will be shown unto you…”

And that’s what happened. Even now after 35 years I am still understanding more and more mysteries every day. But I am watching the seekers that have attained with me to some stage of superconsciousness, they are not experiencing trust and openness.

The reason is that their unconscious was not fully clean when their enlightenment happened, there was still some ego, to somebody greed, or lust, desire for recognition and other sicknesses. Traces of these unconscious forces are still there and influence them.

That’s why in the last years I have changed my way of working. Now my priority is to completely clean your unconscious mind before anything can happen. In long meditation camps, I spend most of my time with you sitting in silence. You will have to be very patient and trusting, I will guide you through a complete purification.

I have a commitment with you: before I dissolve in Existence, I will lead you to a very safe place inside yourself.

-Baba Purnanand Bharati

Just Around the Corner – Osho

Enlightenment is not a device. All devices are for enlightenment, but enlightenment itself is an absolute reality. You think it is now miles away while before it used to be just around the corner. That was a device – to make you feel that it is just around the corner. It is certainly miles away, but those miles are very relative – they depend upon the intensity of your longing. They can be longer, they can be shorter; you can go on for lives searching for it, and you can find it today.

You have to understand the idea of relativity. Those miles are not a reality in themselves – they depend on you. If your longing is just lukewarm, then those miles are very long – perhaps too long.

Perhaps it may not be possible for you to reach it. But if your longing is a flame in your heart and you are afire with it, it is a question of life and death, then those miles miraculously become very short – sometimes so short that a master can say, “You can have it right here and now,” and they disappear completely.

[…]

You have to purify your consciousness, you have to deepen your meditation, you have to make your lovingness unconditional. And you have to move beyond the mind, beyond the body, to a point within yourself which is the center of your being, which is going to become enlightened. For that a very deep desire is needed, a desire for which you can risk everything, a desire for which you can be ready to die.

Then enlightenment is just by the corner… even the corner is too far away. Perhaps to the man of total longing, enlightenment is just within him; hence I say it is a relative phenomenon, it is very elastic. Those miles can be long, those miles can be very small – ultimately it all depends on you.

-OSHO

From The Rebel, Chapter Three

The Rebel

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.

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Will, Witnessing and Suchness – Osho

You have talked about how the subtle body can be separated from the physical body using one’s willpower. Can the subtle body of a seeker who follows the discipline of witnessing, or that of a seeker who follows the discipline of tathata, suchness, be separated without exercising the will?

To follow the discipline of witnessing requires a great resolve. Following the discipline of tathata requires even greater resolve. It is the greatest resolution ever. When a man determines to live like a witness, that in itself is a great resolution. For example, a man decides he will not eat. He resolves to remain hungry for the day. Another man decides he will eat, but instead of watching himself eat, he will eat watchfully. This is a more difficult resolution.

It is not too difficult to give up food. The truth is, for those who have plenty to eat, it is easy to go without food for a day or two. That’s why in an affluent society the cults of dieting and fasting become popular. For example, in America the idea of dieting has become very popular. People immediately become attracted to naturopathy.

When people have enough to eat, the idea of fasting once in a while appeals to them. It seems to make one feel lighter and more cheerful. In fact in a poor society, staying hungry may be a kind of use of one’s willpower. But in an affluent society it’s a matter of convenience. Actually, if food becomes sufficiently available throughout the world, fasting will turn out to be a necessity for everyone. People will have to remain with empty stomachs once in a while. But witnessing is a very difficult thing.

Let’s understand it this way. For instance, you make a decision that you won’t walk, that you will remain seated in the same chair for eight hours. Now this is not a big thing. You decided not to walk, so you are not walking. Someone else decides he will walk for eight hours — this is not a big thing either, because since he decided to walk, he is walking. But witnessing means you’ll walk, and at the same time you will also know that ‘you’ are not walking. What does witnessing mean? It means you’ll walk as well as know that it is not ‘you’ who is walking — that ‘you’ are simply witnessing the act of walking. This is a much more subtle resolution, a supreme resolution indeed.

Tathata, suchness, is the supreme most resolution; it’s the ultimate resolve. There is no determination higher than this. Even the resolve to enter death voluntarily is not so great a resolve really. Tathata means accepting things as they are. In a way, even the resolve to die voluntarily has its roots somewhere in non-acceptance. That is, we want to know what death is; we want to verify whether death actually occurs or not.

Tathata means, if death appears we will die; if life remains we’ll continue to live. Neither are we concerned with life, nor with death. If darkness falls we’ll stay in the dark; if the light appears we’ll settle with light. If something good comes to us we’ll receive it; if something bad befalls us we’ll bear it. Whatsoever happens, we are willing to accept it — we deny nothing. Let me explain this to you with an example.

Diogenes was passing through a forest. He walked around naked — had a beautiful body. It seems quite possible man must have started wearing clothes in order to cover his ugliness. This seems highly possible. We are always interested in hiding the ugly parts of our body. But this man Diogenes was a very handsome man. He lived naked.

So as he was passing through the forest, four men engaged in the business of capturing and selling slaves saw him. They figured if they could capture this man — good looking, strong, powerful – they may receive a good price for him. But they felt very apprehensive and couldn’t find any way to capture him without risking their lives.

Somehow, they tried and managed to surround him. Diogenes stood in the middle, calm and unperturbed. He asked, “What do you want to do?” The men were very surprised. They took out chains. Diogenes stretched out his hands. Full of fear and with trembling hands, the captors began to chain him.

Diogenes said, “No need to tremble. Come; let me tie the chains for you.” He helped them put on the chains. The men were simply flabbergasted.

After having chained him firmly, they said, “What sort of a man are you? We are putting you in chains and you are helping us! We were afraid this might lead to some fighting and trouble.”

Diogenes said, “You are having fun chaining me, I am having fun in being chained. Where is the need for any trouble? It’s great! Now tell me, where do we go from here?”

The men said, “We feel very embarrassed in telling you that we are in the business of slavery. We’ll now take you to the marketplace and put you up for sale.”

Diogenes said, “Good, let’s go.” He took off with great excitement and began walking even faster than the captors.

They said, “Please slow down a little. What’s the hurry?”

Diogenes said, “Now that we are going to the marketplace, why not reach in time?”

So finally they reached the marketplace. It was very crowded. Those who had come to buy slaves turned their eyes toward Diogenes. They had rarely seen a slave of this quality, because he looked more like an emperor. A huge crowd gathered around him. He was made to stand on the platform where the slaves were auctioned. Raising his voice, the auctioneer said, “Here is a slave for sale. Come forward and name your price.”

Diogenes said, “Shut up, you fool! Ask these men, did I walk in front, or did they? Did they tie the chains on me or did I let them tie the chains on me?”

His captors said, “The man is right. Left to ourselves, we don’t believe we could have captured him. And indeed he walked ahead of us so fast that we could not keep pace with him — we had to practically run behind him. So it is not correct to say we have brought him to the marketplace. The truth is, we have followed him to this place. And it is not right to say we have made him a slave. The fact is, this man agreed lo become a slave, we didn’t make him.”

Diogenes said, “Stop talking nonsense you fools, and let me do my own auctioneering! Besides, this man’s voice is not loud enough, no one will be able to hear him in this large crowd.”

So Diogenes raised his voice and said, “A master has come here for sale. Anyone interested in buying him should come forward.” Someone from the crowd asked, “You call yourself a master?”

Diogenes said, “Yes, I call myself a master. I tied the chains on my own. I have come here on my own, willingly. I stand here for sale of my own free will. And I shall leave whenever I choose to leave. Nothing can happen against my will, because whatsoever happens I make that my will.”

Diogenes is saying, “Whatsoever happens, I make that my will.” This man has indeed attained to tathata, suchness. What it means is: whatever goes on, he is ready for it. He resists nothing at all. In no way can you defeat him, because he will already be a defeated man; you cannot beat him because he will readily allow you to hurt him; you cannot subjugate him because he will readily submit. You can’t do anything to such a man, because no matter what you do, he will not resist. This is indeed a demonstration of a truly supreme resolve.

So tathata is the ultimate will. One who has attained tathata has attained God. Therefore, the question is not whether a seeker who follows the discipline of witnessing, or one who follows the discipline of tathata would attain the same as a seeker who attains by following the discipline of will. It is already attained by him without any problem.

The discipline of will is the most elementary. The discipline of witnessing is of the intermediary kind, and tathata is the ultimate sadhana, the ultimate discipline. So start with the practice of will, take a voyage through witnessing, and reach ultimately to tathata, suchness. There is no conflict among the three.

Please explain the difference between witnessing and tathata.

In witnessing, the duality is present. The witness finds himself separate from that which he experiences.

If a thorn pricks his foot, the witnessing man says, “The thorn has not pricked me, it has pricked my body — I am only the knower of it. The piercing has occurred at one place, while the awareness of it is present somewhere else.”

So in the mind of a witness there exists a duality, a separation between the experiencing of an event and the actual occurrence of it. Therefore, he cannot rise up to the state of advaita, nonduality. And this is why the seeker who stops at the level of being a witness, a watcher, remains confined to a kind of dualism. He ultimately divides the existence into conscious and unconscious. Conscious means the one who knows, and the unconscious means that which is known. So eventually he is bound to end up dividing existence into purusha and prakriti.

Both of these words, purusha and prakriti, are highly significant. Perhaps the true meaning of prakriti may not have occurred to you, prakriti doesn’t mean ‘nature’; in fact, there is no word for prakriti In English. Prakriti means that which was in existence before everything came to be — pra-kriti. Prakriti does not mean srishti or nature, because srishti means that which exists after creation. The word prakriti means that which was before creation.

The word purusha is also very meaningful. The equivalents of such words are extremely difficult to find in any other language of the world, because all these words are born out of very special experiences. You know what pur means; pur means the city. For example, Kanpur, Nagpur. So pur indicates the city, and the one who resides in the city is the purusha. The human body is like a town, a city, and there is someone who resides in it — he is the purusha. Prakriti, therefore, is the pur, and the one who lives in it – – separate, unattached — is the purusha.

So the witness comes as far as the separation of purusha and prakriti. He will set them apart as two entities — the conscious and the unconscious, and a distance will be created between the knower and the known.

Tathata is even more remarkable — the ultimate. Tathata means, there is no duality. There is neither a knower nor is there anything to be known. Or, in other words, the knower is the known. Now it is not that the thorn is hurting me and I am aware of it; or that the thorn and I are separate from each other. It is not even that it would have been better if the thorn had not pierced me, or that it would be good if the thorn came out — no, there is nothing of this sort. Now, everything is accepted: the presence of the thorn, the pricking of it, the awareness of being pricked by it, the experience of pain — everything. And they are different parts of the same thing. Therefore, I am the thorn. I am the very occurrence of pricking. I am the awareness of this occurrence. I myself am the very realization of this all — I am all of this.

That’s why there is no going beyond this ‘I’, my very being. I cannot think, “It would have been better if the thorn had not pricked me” — how can I? For I am the very thorn, the pricking of it, and the knowing of being pricked as well. Nor can I think, “It would be good if the thorn didn’t prick me,” because that would be tantamount to tearing myself apart from my very own being.

Tathata is the ultimate state there is. In that state, whatsoever is, is. It’s a state of the ultimate acceptance of that-which-is. It contains no distinctions. But one cannot reach tathata without having been first a witness. However, one can stop at the level of witnessing, if he so desires, and choose not to arrive at tathata. Similarly, without the use of will, one cannot attain the state of witnessing. Although, having gained willpower, one may wish to stay there and not come to the point of witnessing.

One who stops with attaining firmness of resolve would of course become very powerful, but he won’t be able to attain wisdom. And therefore, the ability to make a resolve can be misused, because wisdom is not required to attain it. One will surely gain a lot of power, but that is precisely why he can abuse it.

The entire black magic is a product of willpower. One who practices it gains a lot of power, but he lacks wisdom totally. He can end up using that power without any discrimination.

A man of will becomes filled with power. It is difficult to predict right away what use he will make of it.  He can obviously put it to bad use. Power in itself is neutral. Nevertheless, it is necessary — whether one intends to use it for good or for evil. And as I see it, rather than remaining a weakling, it is better if one uses his power for evil purposes — for the simple reason that one who commits an evil act now may someday use the same power for a good cause. One who cannot do evil can never do good either. That’s why I say it’s better to be powerful than to be impotent and a wimp.

So a man of power can set out on the path of good as well as evil. It is better to follow the course of goodness, because if followed rightly, it will bring you to the state of witnessing. You won’t end up as a witness if you follow the course of evil; rather, you will simply wander around within the confines of your willpower. Then you will get into mesmerism and hypnotism, tantras and mantras, witchcraft and voodooism. All kinds of things will crop up, but they won’t lead you on a journey toward the soul.

This is becoming lost. The power will indeed be there, but gone astray. If the power is put on the course of goodness, it is sure to give rise to the witness within you, and ultimately that power can be used to know and attain oneself. This is what I call the course of goodness. By the course of evil I mean controlling, possessing, enslaving the other. This is what black magic is. Making use of the power for the purpose of attaining oneself, knowing who am I, what am I, and living authentically, is moving in goodness. And it will indeed lead one toward becoming a witness.

If the urge to attain the state of witnessing is satisfied with the knowing of oneself, the seeker reaches up to the fifth body and stops there. However, if the urge is further intensified, one discovers that he is not alone, he contains everything; that the sun and the moon and the stars, the rocks, the soil, the flowers are all part of him; that his very being, his existence incorporates all the rest. If the seeker proceeds with such an intense feeling, he reaches tathata.

Tathata, suchness, is the ultimate flowering of religion, it is the supreme achievement. It is total acceptance. Whatsoever happens, one is open and agreeable to it. Only such an individual can become totally silent, because even a little bit of resentment can prolong the restlessness. One’s restlessness and tension will continue to remain if he carries even a small degree of complaint. Even the slightest idea, “It didn’t happen the way it should have,” and the tension will continue to persist.

The experience of supreme silence, the experience of the greatest freedom from tension, and that of the ultimate liberation is possible only in the state of tathata. However, only a man of will can eventually attain the state of witnessing, and only his going deeper into witnessing can bring him to the state of tathata. One who has not yet known what being a witness means can never know what total acceptance is.

One who hasn’t realized that he is separate from the thorn which is pricking him is not yet ready to know that the thorn is a part of him. In fact, one who comes to experience the separateness of the thorn can take the next step of feeling one with the thorn as well.

So tathata is the fundamental principle. Among all the spiritual disciplines discovered all over the world, tathata is the greatest. That’s why one of Buddha’s names is Tathagat. It would be good to have some understanding of what this word tathagat means. It will be useful in comprehending the meaning of tathata.

Buddha has used the word Tathagat for himself. He would say, for instance, “Tathagat said….” Tathagat means thus came, thus gone. Just as a breeze comes and goes away without any purpose, without any meaning. Just as a breath of air enters your room and goes out — without any reason. So the one whose coming and going away is as unmotivated, as desireless as the breeze, such a being is called Tathagat. But who would come and go like a breeze?

He alone can pass like a breeze who has attained to tathata. Only he to whom the coming and the going makes no difference can move like a breeze. If he needs to come, he comes; if he needs to go, he goes — the same as Diogenes did. It made no difference to him whether people put him in chains or did not put him in chains. Diogenes said later on, “Only one who is prone to be a slave can be nervous about becoming a slave. Since no one can make me a slave, why should I be afraid I might be taken as a slave?

One who carries even the slightest anxiety that he may be turned into a slave, he alone will remain in fear of it. And one who has such a fear is indeed a slave. Since I happen to be the lord and master myself, you can never enslave me. Even in chains, I am the master, and will remain so in your prison as well. It makes no difference where you throw me; I still remain the lord and master. My mastership is total and complete.”

So the journey consists of this: from will to witness, and from witness to tathata.

-OSHO

From And Now and Here, Chapter 15

And Now and Here

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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