I have held the following events close to my heart over the years. I relate them to you now because they may have some connection with the beautiful revelations of Swami Siddharth at darshan several evenings ago. The events may not be described as momentous, but they have significance of their own, and I bring them before you in grave humility and from the depths of my being.
I was thirty-two years old. By then I had four babies, and was kept tied to the house. To keep my spirit alive, I was taking on a correspondence course. On the day of your enlightenment, my husband was out, the babies were asleep. I was drawing a life study of my left hand; suddenly the room was filled with a shimmering light – no light was ever like it. I could see nothing but the light. I do not know how long it was there; I only knew that something tremendously significant had occurred. It left me breathless.
When my husband came home, I tried to explain what had happened, but there were no words to describe it so we did not discuss it. I had to wait another thirty-two years before the truth of that event became clear.
I had been taking a theater class with seventeen year olds, two of who came to me distressed, with feelings of helplessness because they had seen a film depicting the effects of a nuclear war. I took their pain home with me. Once inside the door, I threw myself face downwards on the floor, arms outstretched. I was in an empty dark space, opening myself to existence for some kind of answer. I was there for a long time. Later I went into my bedroom and lay on my back on the bed. Suddenly the same white shimmering light enveloped me; the room seemed to disappear, and after a few moments the head and shoulders of the man came into the light, his eyes towards me. Soon the head and shoulders of the woman appeared in profile in front of his left shoulder, her hands cupped together in front of her and against her breast. Into her hands came a small child. All was encompassed in this light. I cannot say how long they were there, but then they and the light were gone. I was panting as if I had been running.
I knew that the first light thirty-two years before had been Osho’s light as it filled the world and was available to all those to receive it. I was now ready to receive him.
I knew that the second event brought me to the one who was the truth of our time.
The first reality was when I was thirty-two and you were twenty-one, the light was your enlightenment and it filled the universe.
The next day, my sannyas friend – who was doing some work for me – observed a great change in me. It was not long before I was at the feet of my beloved Master.
I write these things because this light within us cannot be hidden. I bow down to the ultimate truth of the enlightened one.
My beloved Master and friend, I realize these events may seem small beside the others that are revealed to you at last; but they are brought to you from my loving heart.
Jivan Mary, the path of spiritual realization knows no differences in experiences.
There are not big, significant experiences and small, insignificant experiences. All experiences on the path are exactly of the same significance, because each experience takes you a step deeper into reality, deeper into yourself, deeper into existence.
Your first experience of suddenly encountering a white, shimmering light, and after thirty-two years you came to know that it was the day I had become enlightened…. You are not alone in experiencing that; perhaps ten persons more have related the same experience to me. And naturally they were amazed, and there was no clue available to them. Only later on, years afterwards, it became clear to them that there seemed to be some correspondence between my enlightenment and their experience.
There were great distances between me and all these people.
But as far as man’s spiritual being is concerned, space and distances do not matter at all. If you are open, if you are available, if you are receptive, then one man becoming enlightened… the experience, the vibration, the light goes around the whole earth. Wherever there are people who can receive it, who can welcome it, who can take it in…. They will not only see a shimmering white light – that is the outer manifestation – there is something more hidden behind it. In their seeing, their being has taken a quantum leap.
They will never be the same as they were before. The experience of the light has drawn a line, a discontinuity in their life. Something new has entered: they have become available to the beyond; they are no longer only psychological human beings. Something of the spirit has come up out of the darkness, just like an iceberg – a part is above the water, one-tenth. Most of the iceberg is still underneath the water, but a revolution has started.
Your second experience is of even deeper mystery. It is also connected with the first experience.
The first experience was my enlightenment. You shared it, you participated in the celebration. You were a welcomed guest.
The second experience is indicative of my whole philosophy: I have gone beyond enlightenment, something new is born. Enlightenment has been, up to now, the ultimate.
It is not the ultimate any more.
I have broken the ice. I have opened a small door – a new birth, of a new man, of a new humanity, of a new future.
Enlightenment will always remain of tremendous value, but up to now it was the end. Now it will be again a beginning of a new journey.
This breakthrough has immense implications. A few are worth remembering. One, the old idea of enlightenment was partial. It was partial in the sense that all the religions of the world have emphasized the fact that the man has to renounce the woman, to renounce the world, renounce all the pleasures of the world. He has to become an ascetic – in reality he has to become a self-torturer, because to cut man from woman is the beginning of torture.
Man and woman are part of one whole; they are not opposites, they are complementaries.
My emphasis is: no more renunciation, no more self-torture, no need to create a painful, miserable life for yourself.
The woman is not against the man.
The new humanity has to create the right atmosphere where men and women are friends, fellow travelers, making each other whole. The journey becomes a joy, the journey becomes a song, the journey becomes a dance.
And if men and women in total harmony can give birth to children, those children will be the ‘superman’ we have been dreaming about for thousands of years. But the superman can be created only out of the harmonious whole of man’s and woman’s energy. Then he will be born enlightened.
In the past, people had to seek enlightenment. But if a child is born out of a couple who are in total harmony, in absolute love, he will be born enlightened. It cannot be otherwise. Enlightenment will be his beginning; he will go beyond enlightenment from the very first step. He will seek new spaces, new skies.
Your second experience is indicative of my whole philosophical approach.
I am bound to be condemned by the old religions. I cannot even complain against them. I accept it, it is just natural – because I am trying to bring a totally new religious experience into the world. And with the new religious experience there is bound to be a new world, a new humanity, new eyes to see and new hearts to feel.
Jivan Mary, you are blessed that, far away from me, you experienced my enlightenment and you also experienced my transcendence of enlightenment. You are absolutely ripe; mature, to explode into the beyond, the unknowable, the ecstatic existence.
You are old, but only in the body. Your heart is younger than the so-called young generation. You have not just grown old, you have grown up, you have matured.
And I can say it without any hesitation: this is going to be your last life. You will not die without experiencing your immortality, your eternity.
It is very difficult to predict any such thing, because there are so many hazards. One can go astray from the very last step – just one step more and he would have arrived home, but one can go astray.
There is a Sufi story.
A king, who was not just a king, but also an enlightened human being, was talking to the court astrologer. He told the astrologer, “Your science is the most difficult one. Predicting anybody’s behavior, future, is almost an impossibility, because on each step there are crossroads, and one never knows where the person will start moving and changing. And life is so accidental and everything is in darkness; people are unconscious.”
But the astrologer said, “No, that is not so.”
The king said, “Then you will have to prove it by experiment. I know a beggar who sits just in front of the palace….”
In front of the palace there was a beautiful, big river, and the beggar used to come across the bridge to sit in front of the palace. And certainly he was the richest beggar; he was the royal beggar. And he was a very strong man – he had made it clear to all the beggars of the capital that this place belonged to him; nobody should ever try to enter here.
You may not know that beggars go on doing this. You may not be aware that you belong to some beggar, that no other beggar can approach you; you are a possession of some beggar.
In one of the cities where I used to go, I always used to find a beggar at the railway-station and I would give him one rupee. One time I went there, the beggar was not there. A young man was standing there. I said, “What happened? What happened to the old man?”
He said, “I am his son-in-law.”
I said, “Son-in-law? But where is the old man?”
He said, “He has given the railway station as a dowry to me. Now it belongs to me.”
Only then did I become aware that we may not know at all who the beggar is who possesses us, our house, our street… nobody knows. That is their decision amongst themselves; there are divisions.
So the palace of the king was the kingdom of the beggar. And the king said, ”Tomorrow when this beggar comes towards the palace, we will put a golden pot full of gold coins in the middle of the bridge. He comes so early that he is almost the first man to cross the bridge, and he will get hold of the pot and all the money that the pot contains.”
And the astrologer and the king and their other friends were waiting and watching from the palace. The beggar came, but they were all surprised: he was coming with closed eyes, with a walking stick to find the way. He was not blind; he had never been seen with a walking stick.
The astrologer said, “This is strange.”
And the beggar certainly missed the pot, because the bridge was big, and he was walking with closed eyes.
He reached the palace.
The king called to him, “What is the matter? You are not blind.”
He said, “No, I am not blind.”
”And you have never carried a walking stick.”
He said, “Never.”
“What happened today?”
He said, “Just this morning when I was coming out of my home, the idea arose in me that if I should become a blind man – anything can happen in this world; people become blind – will I be able to find my way to the palace? So I said, ‘It is better to try.’ I am not blind, but it is better to try, as a rehearsal, in case I become blind.”
The king said to the astrologer, ”Do you see my point? This man passed by the pot full of gold. But an idea in his mind… ‘If some day I become blind, it is better to have some rehearsal beforehand.’ And it is a coincidence that he has chosen today to practice it.”
It is very difficult to predict that somebody is going to become enlightened, because people have slipped from the very last step – they were just at the door of the temple and they turned back… some idea….
But about Jivan Mary, I am saying she is going to make it in this life. Her experiences show the purity of her heart. She is not a woman of the mind. And her purity has been growing, and death cannot be so cruel. She is going to become enlightened any day… but certainly before her death.
She should go on just as simply, as ordinarily, as humbly as she has been going up to now. She should not start thinking that she is going to become enlightened; otherwise the idea has entered, and can distract.
She should not bother about enlightenment or no-enlightenment. She is perfectly good as she is, and she should continue in her humbleness, in her love, in her purity, in her compassion.
Enlightenment will come on its own accord. She is not to desire it, she is not to expect it.
From The Osho Upanishad, Discourse #41
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See a related post: The Enlightenment of Govind Siddharth