The Lover Becomes the Beloved – Osho

He is Brahma, he is Shiva, he is Indra. He is indestructible, the supreme, the self-luminous.

He alone is Vishnu, he is prana, his is sun, fire, he is moon. He alone is all that was and all that will be, the eternal.

Knowing him one goes beyond the sting of death; there is no other way to reach complete freedom.

Experiencing one’s own self in all beings and all beings in the self, one attains the highest brahman, and not by any other means.

-Kaivalya Upanishad

The reality is unknown; the reality is unnamed. The reality is, but indefinable. It is; it is felt. We are part of it; we encounter it everywhere. Wheresoever you move, you move in reality; you live every moment in it; you participate in it every moment. It is not something different from you, you are not something different from it, but still you cannot name it, you cannot pinpoint it, you cannot give it a label. What is it?

This is a problem for a religious mind. It is not a problem for a philosophical mind; the philosopher can say it is existence, naked, pure – it is absolute. For a Heidegger it is not a problem; he can call it simple “is-ness,” being. For a Shankara it is not a problem; he can call it the supreme, the absolute, the brahman. But these are not basically religious types.

For a religious person it becomes a problem, because unless he can name it, he cannot be related to it; unless he can personify it, he cannot feel the relatedness. The intimacy is impossible with a pure “is-ness.” An intimate relationship is not possible with something absolute, with something just like a concept. Being, brahman – how can you feel related with being, with brahman, with “is-ness,” with existence? Relationship is only possible when you personify it. That is the basic difference between philosophical speculation and religious search.

Religion is in search of an intimate relationship with existence; it is not only speculation. For a religious man it is going to be life itself. Philosophy seeks in terms of knowledge, religion in terms of love. When you are seeking in terms of knowledge, you can be an observer, an onlooker. But you are not a participant, you are not deep in it – you are just an outsider. A philosopher is basically an outsider; he goes on thinking, but from without. He will not enter into a deep relationship. He will not get involved; he will not be committed. But religion is nothing if it is not a commitment; religion is nothing if it is not an intimate love relationship. So how to change existence into a love object? This sutra is concerned with this.

This sutra says that he is nameless, but we cannot deal with a nameless. He is nameless, obviously, but we must give a name to it; otherwise, we cannot feel related. And to feel related is a great transformation. Not only is the divine nameless, everything is nameless. A child is born a nameless phenomenon, with no name – but if you don’t give a name to him, he will be unable even to live. If no name is given to him, it will be impossible for him to move. Not only that, but others will not be able to understand him; he himself will not be able to understand himself. Even to understand oneself, one has to be addressed, given a name; otherwise, one cannot even think about oneself – who he is. Of course, this name is just a false label, but it helps.

This is one of the mysteries of life: even falsities help, even untruths help, even dreams help, even illusions help. So a person who is bent upon destroying every illusion, every falsity, every untruth, may prove harmful. One has to remember: something may be false, but don’t destroy it. Let it be there, it has a utility. But the utility should not become the truth. Utility must remain a utility, it must not become the truth.

Man cannot feel in deep relationship with the divine, with existence, unless he names it. Many names are possible – it will depend on the man who is naming. Thousands and thousands of names have been given to him. In India we have a book, Vishnu Sahastranam – a thousand names of Vishnu. The whole book consists only of names – nothing else, just names. It is a very beautiful book, consisting only of names, but in its own way showing that the phenomenon is nameless. Only because of that, thousands of names are possible.

So you can name the divine any way. Call him whatsoever you like, but call him. The emphasis should be on the call, not on the name. Call him Rama, call him Hari, call him Krishna, call him Christ; call him any name – but call! Let there be a deep invocation. Use any name. That name is just artificial, but it will help.

Make any image, but make it. The making is significant. Any image will do, but remember that this is just an artificial help; a technical use must be made of it. In this way also, India has tried many, many experiments – particularly Hindus. They make their idols of mud. Stone came only later on, with Buddhists and Jains; otherwise, Hindus were satisfied with mud images. Stone is a more substantial thing, more permanent; it gives a permanency to a thing. A mud idol is just as impermanent as anything in the world. Hindus tried to make their idols only of mud, so that they remembered: this is just an artificial phenomenon made by us. And they insisted that it must be dissolved soon after.

A Ganesha is made, worshiped, everything done – called, prayed, invoked – and then they go and throw it into the sea. This is very symbolic. This means: this image was just an artificial thing. We created it, we used it; now the use is over and we throw it. Hindus are the least idol-worshipers in the world, but everywhere they are known as the idol-worshipers. They are the least, because they are so courageous to throw away their idols so easily, and with such a celebration. They go to throw their idols into the sea with such a celebration. The throwing is as necessary as the creating.

With the stone idols things changed. No stone idol should be there. Clay idols are beautiful, because even if you are not going to destroy them, they will destroy themselves. Sooner or later, you will become aware that this was just something made for a particular purpose. The purpose is solved, now the artificial help can be dissolved with a thankfulness, with a celebration. No country, no religion, no race, has been so courageous with its idols. Really, sometimes strange things happen.

Hindus are the least idol worshipers, and Mohammedans the most – and they have not worshiped at all. They have not made any idol. Not even a picture of Mohammed is available – not even a picture. How did he look? They have persistently denied any picture, any idol, any image. Not only have they denied them for themselves, they have destroyed others’ also. Others’ images, others’ idols they have destroyed – with a very good wish. Nothing is wrong in it, because they feel idol worship is harmful – harmful to a religious man. It must not be in between; God must be faced directly, immediately. There should be nothing in between – a very good wish, but it proved dangerous!

It proved dangerous; they went on destroying; they destroyed much that was beautiful – much. They destroyed Buddhist monasteries, Hindu temples, Hindu idols, Buddha’s images – they destroyed. All over Asia they destroyed, with a very good wish that nothing should remain between man and God. But they became too concerned with idols. Idol-destroying became their sole religious practice.

This is worship in a negative way – too much concentration on idols; idols became too significant for them. This is how life is strange. I call Hindus the least idol-worshipers, because they can throw away their idols any time the purpose is solved. They use them, but the idols can never use the Hindus; Hindus can use the idols. Mohammedans are so against, yet so concerned; so against but still so attached. They turn really into negative idol-worshipers. Create an image, create any name, create anything that you feel can help you move towards the divine. All names belong to him.

Old Mohammedan names – old, and still Mohammedans are orthodox and old . . . All old Mohammedan names are names of Allah. All old Hindu names – but now all names are not old – are names of Rama. Not only have we tried to give God a thousand names, we have tried to give everyone a name which really belongs to God. This is symbolic. Every name is God’s name, and every name – to whomsoever it belongs – indicates a god.

This sutra says:

He his Brahma, he is Shiva, he is Indra. He is indestructible, the supreme, the self-luminous. He alone is Vishnu, he is prana. He is sun, fire, he is the moon.

He is everything. Call him moon, call him sun, call him Vishnu – call him anything. Whatsoever you call him, remember that the call – the heartfelt call, the prayerful mood – is important. The name is just a device to help you to call him.

He alone is all that was and all that will be, the eternal.

Knowing him one goes beyond the sting of death;

Knowing him one goes beyond the sting of life and death – why? This has to be understood. Why, if you can understand him, why will you go beyond life and death? – because life and death belong to the ego. If you say he is everything that was, if you say he is everything that is, if you say he is everything that ever will be, that means you are not. That means he is and you are not; that means the ego is not – and only the ego is born and only the ego is to die. If he is everything, then he is birth, he is death, he is life. Then how can you conceive of yourself as being born, and as dying?

Birth and death are just two poles of your ego – the feeling that “I am.” If you drop this feeling, then birth is not the beginning and death is not the end. Then something always was, before you were born. Really, you are a continuity, a continuity of the whole past; and when you die, nothing is dying – only the continuity changes, takes a turn. Around the corner the continuity will continue. But if you begin to feel between birth and death that you are, then you will die, then you will have to feel the suffering of dying.

Remember that you are a continuity. The whole universe is involved in you; you are not alone. No man is an island, no man is alone and separate. The world exists as a net, as an interconnection, as inter-relatedness. The whole world exists as one. You are organic to it; you belong to it.

If this feeling comes to you. Knowing him one goes beyond the sting of life and death; there is no other way to reach complete freedom. And unless you are a non-ego, there is no way to attain complete freedom. Ego is the slavery, ego is the suffering, ego is the anguish. Ego is the anxiety, the tension, the disease. So unless there is egolessness . . . and egolessness and God-consciousness mean the same thing. If you become God-conscious, you will become I-unconscious. If you are I-conscious, then you cannot be God-conscious. This is focusing. If you are focused on the ego, the whole universe goes into darkness. If you are focused on the whole universe, the “I” simply disappears. “I” is a focusing of all the energy on a limited link of an unlimited continuity – one link. One link of the whole chain is the ego. Remember the whole continuity.

It will be good if we can think in this way. Could I exist if something had been different in the universe? – I could not exist. Even a millennium before, if something had been different from what it was, I would not be here, because the whole universe is a continuity. Whatsoever I am saying . . . if a Buddha had not been there in the past, or a Jesus had not been there in the past, I couldn’t say this. The whole universe is a continuity. A single event missed in the past would make the whole universe different. And when I say a Buddha, you can understand. But I say, even if a single tree had not been there in the universe, I would not be here.

The whole universe exists as a continuity; it is an intermittent phenomenon. We are here because the universe was such that we could be here. The whole past was such that this meeting becomes possible. Something missing, and the whole thing will change. This feeling of eternal continuity in the past, of eternal continuity in the future, will dissolve the ego completely. You are not; you are just a part – a part which cannot exist alone.

Then the destiny of the whole universe becomes your destiny, then you have no separate individual destiny. That is what is meant by saying one goes beyond life and death. If you have no individual destiny, the whole destiny of the universe is your destiny. Then who is going to die? And who is going to be born? And who is concerned? Then a total acceptance explodes, a total acceptance comes. A tathata, a total acceptance happens. This is freedom; this is ultimate freedom. Now you cannot feel any limitation.

The universe has never felt limitation. You feel it because you separate yourself. I will die as an individual, but I cannot die as a universe. The atoms in my hand will be there; my eyes will be there as someone else’s eyes; my heart will be there as someone else’s heart. I will exist in the trees, in the stones, in the earth, in the sky – I will be there as a universe. I will not be there as myself. My consciousness will be there as someone else’s consciousness. Or even it may not be someone else’s consciousness . . . just a cloud floating in the sky, or just a silence, or just a drop in the ocean. As myself I am going to die, but not as a universe.

This remembrance, this realization is the only freedom – the only and the ultimate. Unless this happens, you are a slave. You will go on feeling limitations, you will go on feeling boundaries, you will go on feeling that this is going to be death, this is going to be birth, this is going to be pain, this is going to be suffering. To create, or to go on believing in individual destiny, is irreligion. The beginning of the feeling that “I am not an individual destiny – destiny belongs to the universe, I belong to the universe” – is the beginning of freedom, is the beginning of religion.

Religion is the search for total freedom. And unless the freedom is total, it is not freedom at all.

Experiencing one’s own self in all beings in the self, one attains the highest brahman, and not by any other means.

This is what I mean by being aware of a universal destiny: by dissolving one’s individual, petty destiny one begins to feel then that he is everything – all. All penetrates into oneself, and one’s own existence penetrates all. Really, it is saying simply that boundaries dissolve.

The observer becomes the observed.

The knower becomes the known.

The lover becomes the beloved.


From That Art Thou, Discourse #25

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from  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 and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from and

Meditation is Objectless – Osho

By meditating upon the lord Parameshwar, consorted by mother Uma, the highest lord, the all-powerful, the three-eyed, and the ever silent, the meditator reaches Him who is the source of all manifestation, the witness of all, and who is beyond ignorance.

-Kaivalya Upanishad

Meditation is object-less. If you use any object, then it is not meditation; it becomes thinking. It becomes contemplation; it becomes reflection, but not meditation.

This is the most essential point to be understood. This is the essence of a meditative state: that it is object-less. Only consciousness is there, but not conscious about anything.

Consciousness without being conscious of anything – this is the nature of meditation. But this may create a very depressed mood; this may create pessimism in the mind. It is so difficult to throw even a single thought out of the mind – how can one conceive of being totally thoughtless? It is so difficult to get rid of one object of the mind, that it is inconceivable how to be totally object-less; how to be just a mirror, how to be just conscious without being conscious of anything.

We are never conscious without being conscious of anything – something is always there. And there are some psychologists, some schools of psychology, who say that it is impossible to be conscious without any object. Consciousness to them means consciousness of something. Something must be there; otherwise, we will go to sleep; otherwise, we will become unconscious. But yoga says that ordinarily this is right: as far as the ordinary mind is concerned, if there is no object the mind will go down into sleep, slip down into unconsciousness.

We also are aware of it. If you are thinking something in the night, then sleep becomes impossible, because if some object is present in the mind then you cannot drop into sleep, into unconsciousness. So if you are thinking, then you cannot go to sleep; you go to sleep only when thinking has ceased. When thinking has ceased but there is no sleep, only then will you understand what is meant by meditation – but we never know any moment like that. When thoughts cease, thinking ceases, sleep takes over. You are not even aware when sleep has come; you become unconscious.

This is what hypnosis uses as a technique. Hypnosis – any method of hypnotism, any method – uses only this technique: to fix the mind somewhere on one object so intensely that the mind becomes bored of one object. This is the tendency of the mind – mind needs novelty; something new every moment, then it feels alert. If you are in a situation where you have to be aware of only one thing repeatedly then the mind feels bored, and boredom becomes the gate to sleep. So hypnotism uses it. It will give you any object to concentrate on, to concentrate your total consciousness on; then you will feel bored, by and by sleepy, and then sleep will take over. The very word hypnosis means induced sleep. So sleep can be induced if mind is devoid of thoughts.

But yoga says that this is right as far as the ordinary mind is concerned, but this is not right for a meditative mind. Through meditation, mind takes on a new quality, and it becomes possible to be conscious without thoughts. But it is difficult, and to take the jump is arduous.

In Zen there are two schools: one is known as the sudden enlightenment school, and another as the gradual enlightenment school. The sudden school says that any enlightenment is sudden. You have to take a jump from thought to no-thought, from ignorance to knowledge, from sleep to enlightenment. You have to take a sudden jump. But there are very few followers of the sudden school; there cannot be, because it is inconceivable.

There is another school which is known as the gradual enlightenment school. There are many, many followers of it, because the moment one says “gradual,” we are at ease – now we can do something. And in steps, gradually, in degrees we can proceed. In a sudden phenomenon there is no time, so you cannot postpone – you cannot say tomorrow. If the phenomenon can happen suddenly, this very moment, then your mind cannot excuse itself; there is no basis to postpone it. With a gradual school you can say, “Okay, we will try in this life, and if not in this life, then in another life. Gradually we will reach the peak. One step, second step – by steps we will reach to the ultimate.” Then you have to divide.

But this Upanishad belongs to neither. This is neither sudden nor gradual. This Upanishad takes a middle way. It says: It is difficult to take a sudden jump, and it is tedious and long to think in terms of degrees. Then you can go on thinking in infinite degrees. So this Upanishad says: Only one step is enough – neither sudden nor gradual. Only one step – only one step in between. To be object-less, to be thought-less and conscious is the goal. Only take one step: from many thoughts to one thought, and from one thought to no-thought. This one thought is suggested in this sutra.

This sutra says:

By meditating upon the lord Parameshwar, consorted by mother Uma, the highest lord, the all-powerful, the three-eyed, and the ever silent, the meditator reaches Him who is the source of all manifestation, the witness of all, and who is beyond ignorance.

From the world to the ultimate, take any image of God as a single step. This will look strange because we think of God as the ultimate. But the Upanishads never think of God as the ultimate. They say,

“God is a step towards the ultimate.” And they always use for the ultimate the term brahman, the absolute. God, Ishwara, Parameshwara, is just a step towards the ultimate. God is not the ultimate end. God is just to be used as a technical help for the jump into the ultimate abyss.

Use God as a jumping board from the worldly mind to the ultimate abyss.

This image of God used as a technical help is very typical and strange, because ordinarily the religious mind feels that God is to be achieved. But yoga says, “God is also just a technical help.” That’s why there are systems of yoga which are godless – for example even Buddha’s system. Buddha never talks about God – he discarded God. He created other steps; he discarded God. Mahavira never, never uses the word “God.” He discarded it – he used other techniques as jumping boards. But the ultimate remains the same: Hindus call it brahman, Buddhists call it nirvana, Jainas call it kaivalya. The ultimate remains the same: God is used as a technical help. Any imagery, any symbolism can be used. But it must be such a symbol that when you have used it, you are capable of discarding it.

Buddha has told a parable. He says:

Some villagers crossed a stream by boat. But then they thought, “This boat has helped us so much; otherwise, to cross the stream was impossible. So we must not discard this boat.” Then they carried the boat on their heads into the town.

Then the whole village gathered and everyone began to ask, “What is the matter? Have you come to sell this boat in the town? or why are you carrying it? The boat seems so old – just a ruin. Who will purchase it? And we have never seen anyone carrying a boat on the head. Why are you carrying it?”

So they said, “This boat is not ordinary; this has helped us to cross the stream. Without this, it would have been impossible to come to this village, so we cannot be ungrateful to it. Now we will have to carry it.”

Buddha always used this parable, and he said, “Every technique, every symbol, every ritual is just a vehicle. The moment you have crossed the stream, discard it. Don’t go on carrying it; otherwise, you will be just stupid.”

We can understand that those villagers were stupid, foolish. But as far as religious vehicles, techniques, boats are concerned, everyone carries them continuously. If I give you a name “Rama” as a japa, as a repetitive method for your meditation, then one day it is bound to happen that you will come to me and say, “Now I feel very blissful with this mantra. Now I am more at peace, more relaxed. Now I am more fresh, now I am less disturbed, now I am less tense. So now what more to do?”

And if I tell you to drop this name now that you have crossed the stream . . . now that you have come to the other shore, now drop this name also, then you will feel disturbed. I have advised many, and when I say to them, “Drop this,” they say, “What are you telling us? How can we drop this? It is inconceivable. We cannot do this. And this seems profane – how can we? This is a very holy name, and this has helped us so much that we cannot discard it.”

No ordinary person – even a Ramakrishna . . . Ramakrishna used the name of Mother Kali as a mantra continually, for years. He achieved much through it, but not the ultimate. He became silent, he became purified, he became holy; he became everything that we can conceive of a religious man. He became totally a religious man – but still a discontent within, still a desire, the desire for the ultimate. He had not reached the end.

Then he met a Vedanta teacher, Totapuri. And he said to Totapuri, “I have reached a very deep silence but still something is missing; I feel it, something is missing. So what to do now?” So Totapuri said, “Now drop the name of Mother Kali. Drop it – you are carrying the vessel; you are carrying the boat. You have crossed the river; now don’t carry this boat.” Ramakrishna was absolutely disturbed. He said, “What are you telling me? – A person like you, a renowned teacher – what are you telling me? To drop the name of Mother Kali? This is simply irreligious, unholy! What are you telling me? Don’t tell me such things!” He began to perspire; he began to tremble – a person like Ramakrishna.

Totapuri laughed and he said, “I knew this. You will feel much disturbed, your whole base has to be destroyed. You have made it a foundation; hitherto this has been your base. Now this has to be destroyed; otherwise, you cannot go further.”

For three days Ramakrishna wept, because he had heard such irreligious words. He couldn’t speak to anyone; he just closed his door, wept; cried, “Mother! Mother!” and wept. And Totapuri would come and knock at the door, and would say, “Ramakrishna, come to your senses. Drop this name.”

After three days, fasting, weeping, Ramakrishna came out, and he said, “If you say, I will do it. But first let me go to the Mother and ask her permission. I cannot do it would her permission.” This is how a boat can become so meaningful . . . and don’t laugh at it; even if you are in the state of Ramakrishna, this will happen.

Ramakrishna went to ask the Mother – of course permission was given, because deep down Ramakrishna himself felt that now this name is the only obstacle. If it drops, consciousness will be totally pure; there will be no disturbance. But he couldn’t utter it, he couldn’t say it. He went to Mother – there was no one; this was his own deep-down unconscious which gave the permission. He asked the Mother . . . If one goes in a very devoted way, continuously, to feel in an image the divine presence, one’s own deep unconscious becomes projected. And even from the image, things can come which are just being put there by oneself. It was his own unconscious; it was his own deep existence which responded. So permission was given. He came back, of course, weeping, because the conscious was still clinging, clinging to the name. His own unconscious was ready. He was totally purified, and this last step was to be taken – had to be taken, it was a must!

So the unconscious allowed him, but the conscious began to feel guilty again. He came back. Totapuri said, “Don’t feel any guilt. When the Mother herself has allowed, now you drop it.” So Ramakrishna sat before Totapuri, closed his eyes, went into deep meditation. Tears were flowing. Hours pass and Totapuri goes on saying, “Now drop it! Don’t continue!” And Ramakrishna is continuing. Tears are flowing; he is weeping and trembling. He cannot stop.

He opens his eyes and says, “It seems impossible. I cannot stop. It seems it is absolutely impossible to stop! How can I myself drop the name? It is my heart of hearts. How can I drop it? This is just . . . it seems suicidal, as if I am killing myself. I cannot.” And poor Totapuri insists, “Try again, try again.”

Then Totapuri says, “This is the last, and I will not remain here for a single moment longer. I am not going to remain here; I will leave this place. So try again, only one.” And he brought a piece of glass, and he said, “When you are meditating and when I feel that the image of Kali has come into your consciousness as an object, I will cut your forehead on the third eye spot with this piece of glass. And when I cut your forehead, you cut the image inside.”

Ramakrishna said, “But how can I cut it? And with what? How can I cut it and with what? There is no weapon!”

Totapuri said, “If you can create an image, so alive, by imagination, why can you not create a sword? You have created the image of Kali so loving, so radiant, so alive, so why not create a sword? You are so capable a man – imagine a sword and then cut it! Otherwise, I am going to leave and you will not find me again.”

And Totapuri was a a rare man; to miss that man was to miss for lives. And Ramakrishna knew this, that this was the only man who could help; otherwise, one would have to wait, for lives even. And one is not certain that even after waiting for many lives, a man like Totapuri will be there. So Totapuri stood, and he said, “Now I’ll leave. You try.”

Ramakrishna closed his eyes – he was weeping, he was crying, screaming; and then Totapuri cut his head. And in a single stroke, Ramakrishna dared – this is the most daring thing – he dared: he cut the image within. The image broke into two. Tears stopped, crying stopped. And Ramakrishna began to laugh and Ramakrishna began to dance. And Totapuri said, “Now I am leaving. Just tell me in one sentence what has happened.”

So Ramakrishna opened his eyes and said, “The last barrier has dropped.” And Totapuri disappeared.

Ramakrishna tried and tried for many years to find the man again, to give him thanks, but Totapuri was not found again.

So don’t laugh. This middle step can become a barrier, or it can become a jumping board – it depends on you. Use any image, but remember continuously that this is just a technical help.

Remember continuously that this has to be dropped. If you can remember it, then you can use any method, any technique, any image, any help. It is artificial, but for our minds – which cannot take a sudden jump – it helps.


From That Art Thou, Discourse #24

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from  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 and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from and

This State of No Thought is Meditation – Osho

Thus, by meditation, they achieve the ultimate reality, which is unthinkable, unmanifest, the one of endless forms, the ever-auspicious, the peaceful, the immortal, the origin of the creator, the one without a beginning, a middle and an end, the only one, the non-dual, the all-pervading, the consciousness, the bliss, the formless, the wonderful.

-Kaivalya Upanishad

This sutra is basically concerned with meditation: What is to be attained by meditation? What is meditation, and for what does it stand?

The Hindi word for meditation is dhyana; the connotation is very different. By meditation, one thing is meant in English; by dhyana something else is meant. So first we must understand the basic difference between these two words. Meditation is not a right translation, because by meditation thinking is implied. When we say someone is meditating, it means someone is thinking about something. In meditation an object is implied. In dhyan, no-object is a basic condition. By dhyan is meant a meditative mood without any object.

Objects must cease, mind must become just a pure mirror – a mirroring, not mirroring anything – just a mirror without any object in it, a pure mirror. By dhyan, this purity of the mind is indicated.

So first, no object should be in the mind. Mind must remain alone without thinking about anything – with no thought, just a consciousness, just an awareness, just an alertness. This alertness without any object is meditation.

So go on dropping objects. Even if one has to use some object as a help to withdraw other objects from the mind, that one object has to be dropped ultimately. Unless that is dropped, it is not meditation.

For example, there are many thoughts in the mind. You can use a mantra; so now there are not many thoughts, just one thought. You can use a name – Rama, Krishna, Jesus, Maria, anything. You go on repeating, “Rama, Rama, Rama, Rama.” Between two “Ramas” no gap should be left, because only from that gap a thought enters. If your “Ramas” go on overlapping each other there will be no gap for any thought to enter. Now you have a mind with one thought. It is still not meditation, it is still thinking – thinking one thought. Ultimately this “Rama” has to be dropped. When you have become attuned with one thought and other thoughts are not entering the mind, then drop it and remain without thought. Many thoughts have been dropped except one; then drop the one, so you come to a state of no-thought.

This state of no-thought is meditation.

This is dhyana, this is pure consciousness.

In this pure consciousness is achieved that which is known as Brahman. This sutra is concerned with the definition of that indefinable.

It cannot be defined, because definition needs something which becomes impossible with the ultimate reality – definition needs comparison. You cannot define anything without comparing it. That divine is non-dual; it is one, so no comparison is possible. How to define it?

Can you say that the divine is man, or woman? You cannot say, though many religions have defined it in that way. Some religions are man-oriented, so they define God as father. Some religions are woman-oriented, so they define God as mother. But He cannot be defined, because “man” and “woman”… these words are relevant in human language; they become irrelevant for the whole universe. The whole universe is neither male nor female. How to define it? What to say about it?

The moment we use any word to define it, it looks absurd, because every human word implies the contrary also. If you say, “He is light,” then where to put darkness? Then what is darkness? Either you will have to deny darkness absolutely from divine nature, or you will have to imply it somewhere; He must comprehend darkness also. So what to say about Him? – light or darkness? If you say both, they become meaningless. He is both, and He is not both. That is the problem; that’s why He cannot be defined. Every word implies duality: the polar opposite must be there to make the word meaningful. Every word, with the total existence, becomes meaningless.

But this sutra tries to define the indefinable – this is only an effort, it never succeeds. But it has to be made. Even in its unsuccessfulness it helps, it indicates. It may not be able to define the divine; it is capable of indicating it.

Wittgenstein has said somewhere, “There are experiences which cannot be said, but which can be shown.” And he is right. There are experiences – you cannot say what they are, but still, you can indicate them. This sutra is an indication.

Some terms have been used; one is: thus by meditation they achieve the ultimate reality, which is unthinkable – which cannot be thought. Why? – because thinking is not, is not something. It is a process of the known; it never leads to the unknown. The unknown is always beyond thinking: You can think something you know; how can you think something which you don’t know?

And then the whole of thinking becomes absurd. If you can think only that which you know, what is the use of it? You know already, so what is the use of thinking it? If only the known can be thought, then the whole process becomes circular: it leads nowhere, you go on in a circle. You know and you think; and you think and you cannot think the unknown. So you go on in a circle – mind works in a circle.

The mind never achieves anything from the unknown. So mind must cease, thinking must cease; this circle must be broken! You must come to a standstill: not thinking, not thinking at all. And the moment you are in a no-thinking state, suddenly you enter the unknown.

It is not only unknown but unknowable also, because even if you have known it, you cannot make it known to others. By your being, they may feel it – by your movements, by your gestures, by your eyes, by your very presence, they may feel it – but still you cannot make it known to them. You may create a thirst in them for it, but you cannot give them a definition. You may lead them towards it, but you cannot make it known to them – unless they know themselves.

This knowing of the unknown is basically, foundationally, an individual affair. It can never be made collective. You cannot go to it en masse. Alone one has to reach it; alone one has to drop oneself. Alone one has to enter it; alone one encounters it. It becomes known to you, but you cannot make it known to others.

That is the basic difference between science and religion.

A scientist discovers something, and then the discovery becomes that of the whole of humanity. But a religious mystic discovers, and the discovery remains his own. It never becomes a collective phenomenon. A Jesus knows, a Boehme knows, an Eckhart knows, but they are helpless; they cannot make it a common property. It cannot become an object of common knowing; humanity remains in the some grip of ignorance. Each one has to approach it by oneself.

The opening is individual; that’s why it is not only unknown by unknowable. And for one reason more, and that reason is still deeper: even if one comes to know it, one never knows it totally. Even when one comes to know it, no one knows it totally! So the unknowable is infinitely unknowable.

Even if you are satisfied, even if your thirst is no more, the infinite unknowability remains – that’s why it is mysterious. And it is good, and it is beautiful that it is so. Because if you can know the divine totally – if the very moment the divine has been known, you have known it totally – it becomes meaningless.

Anything known totally becomes a thing. Anything known totally creates boredom. Anything known totally will again create a new thirst to know something else.

But once the divine is known, no desire to know anything remains – because you can go on in your knowing . . . deeper, deeper, deeper, infinitely deeper; the abyss is endless. You have a beginning in it, but no end. You drop into it, and then you go on dropping, and there comes no substratum, no bottom where you can stand again and say, “Now the dropping has ended.”

This is the mystery. That’s why this sutra says: the formless, the wonderful . . . the mysterious – God is a mysterium. And when I way a mysterium, I mean that you can know it, but still you cannot say, “I have known it.” You can only say, “I have dropped into it”; you can only say, “I have ceased to be”; you can only say, “Now I am no more and He is.” But you cannot say, “I have known it.”

For one reason more it remains unknowable: because the knower is lost. The moment you enter the divine you don’t enter as a knower; you enter as a drop of water entering the ocean. You become one with it. The knower is not separate, so how can you say, ”I have known it”? How can you say that “I am,” still? You are not; only He is.

This is one of the riddles of religious experience: when the knower is lost, the known is known. When the knower is lost, only then knowledge happens.

Kabir has said, “I was searching and searching and searching. Now He is found but the searcher is not. Now He is there but where is Kabir?” The seeker is no more. There has never been a meeting between the seeker and the sought. Never a meeting! – because the two cannot be together. The seeking ends only when the seeker is lost, and only then the sought is found. You are, then He is not. When you are not, then He is; there is no meeting – or you can call this the meeting. This is the riddle of religious experience.

. . . which is unthinkable, unmanifest, the one of endless forms, the ever-auspicious, the peaceful, the immortal, the origin of the creator, the one without a beginning, a middle and an end, the only one, the non-dual, the all-pervading, the consciousness, the bliss, the formless, the wonderful . . . is known through meditation.

These are just indications, and every indication is a negative. Remember that – every indication is a negative. He is unthinkable – you cannot think about it. He is formless – he is without forms. He has no beginning, no middle, no end. He is non-dual – not two. All these are negatives.

Why use so much negativity for such a positive phenomenon as God? He is the positivity; He is the only positive force. Then why use so many negatives? – without form, without the other, everything – everything that has been used to indicate Him, has remained always negative. Why?

There are reasons. The moment you use a positive word, you create a limitation. If I say that He is beautiful, then the ugly is denied. If I say that He is light, then the darkness is denied. If I say that He is good, then the evil is denied. Whatsoever I say positively will deny something.

To use a negative term is to say that He is so infinite that we cannot use any positive term, because positivity becomes a limitation. We cannot say, “He is one”; rather, it is good to say, “He is not two.” It is better to say that He is not two; then He is left totally without any positive demarcation. If we say, “He is one,” then we have encircled Him.

In meditation, the deeper you go, the more deeply you will come to the positive. But when you want to express it, more and more you will have to use negative terms. The ultimate in using negative terms is Buddha. He has used for this ultimate experience the word nirvana. Nirvana simply means cessation. He has not used moksha, liberation, because it is positive; it says something. He has not used brahmalok; it is positive, it says something. He has not used bliss, consciousness – these are positive. He has simply said, nirvana – cessation of everything, nothingness. And he is right, absolutely right. In meditation you will achieve a positive experience. But when you are expressing it, you will have to use absolute negatives.

If we can create a world consciousness about this use of negatives, there will be no fight between religions. Every fight is because a religion has used something positive. This is strange, but one has to understand it. If you use the negative, then two negatives are never in conflict; but if you use two positives, then two positives are always in conflict.

For example, if Islam says that He is one, and Hinduism says that He is all, one begins to feel some conflict somewhere. Use negatives, and then there is no conflict. If you say that He is not two, then He can be both – He can be one and He can be all. When I say He is not two, I don’t deny that He is not all – He can be all. “He is not two” – He can be all. “He is not two” – He can be one. In saying He is not two, both ends – one and all – are implied. If religions are created around negatives, there will be less fight and more understanding.

In the West, all the three religions which have come out of Jewish mystics have all used positives. Christianity, Islam, and the Jewish religion have all used positives. That is one of the reasons they are mostly fighting religions – too much fighting, too much arrogance. They have never used negatives; they have used positive terms. A linguistic factor has created so much violence . . .

All the Indian religions have used negatives, more and more negatives. And Buddhism is exceptional; Buddhism has used absolute negatives. That’s why Buddhism has been one of the most non-fighting religions.

If you use a negative term to indicate the divine, there is no fight. If you use a positive term, a fight is bound to happen. Someone using another… then two positives are always in conflict. Two negatives are never in conflict. That’s why one other strange phenomenon can be understood: Two theists will always be in a fight, but two atheists will never be in a fight, so there are three hundred types of theists in the world, but only one type of atheist.

What is the reason? An atheist anywhere is the same. What is the reason? – the negative, because he stands only with one statement: that there is no God. So how can there be many types of no- Gods? Only one type, one negative, implies everything. The negative is a universal thing: an atheist anywhere – in Tibet, in Germany, in Japan, in China, anywhere – an atheist is simply an atheist. He stands on a negative.

But theists differ. village to village, neighborhood to neighborhood, theists differ. There are so many brands, and so many types, and so many creeds. Why? The moment you use a positive you have defined an area, and all else is excluded. Unless theists also begin to use negatives more, there will not be a universal religion. If theism also bases itself on a negative definition of the divine, then there can be a universal brotherhood.

Meditation leads you to all. But never define it as positive; always define it as nothingness. […]


From That Art Thou, Discourse #23

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from  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 and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from and

Meditate on the Untainted – Osho

They have undisturbed space, resting in a comfortable posture, clean and pure, with the neck head, and body in one line, held erect, in a mental attitude of sannyas, having controlled all the senses, saluting one’s own teacher, guru, devotedly, meditate within the lotus of the heart; the untainted, the pure, the clear and the transparent, the griefless principle of devotion.

-Kaivalya Upanishad

Meditation is a very complex phenomenon. It looks simple; it is not. It is a science, a complete science in itself. It is bound to be, because meditation means a deep mutation of your total being. The whole being has to be transformed, so it is obviously going to be a complex affair.

Man is a complexity; the mutation is bound to be also a complex thing. Some basic elements must be understood. One: your body – your body must be in a deep cooperation; otherwise, meditation will be unnecessarily difficult. Your body must be in such a state that it helps, not hinders. As it is ordinarily, it is a deep hindrance. Your body goes on hindering you; it becomes an obstacle, and if you want to transform, you must purify the body first. And by purifying the body many things are meant. First, you must not be identified with it; that is the first and the most basic impurity.

One must not be identified with one’s body. One must remain in a beyondness, in a transcendence. Neither one should think, “I am the body,” nor one should think, “I am in the body.” Rather, one should remain in a constant remembering: “I am something beyond the body – neither one with it, nor in it, nor within it, but beyond.” Constant remembrance that “I am beyond my body” gives a different dimension to your whole being. Try it, constantly! You are moving, walking, sleeping – whatsoever the state – remember constantly that you are as if something is hovering over the body, beyond the body. Not in it, not within it, not one with it, just something beyond, moving with the body, living with the body, enveloping the body.

Think of it this way. Ordinarily we think, “I am enveloped by the body.” That’s why the word “body” – body means that in which we are embodied. We are within and the body is without: “Body is a casket, a house, and I am in it. Change the thing totally, upside down. Let the body be in and you be out – beyond the body, hovering, enveloping.

If you can change this attitude from yourself being within, to yourself being beyond, you will feel a sudden change: your body will become light; all the heaviness will be gone and your body will become something with wings. You will feel that now you can fly; you can go now, any moment, beyond the forces of gravitation. Try it! From this very moment, begin to think that the body is within, and you are without, encompassing it. And then the body is purified. Why? – because identity becomes impossible. You can identify only with something which is greater than you. No one identifies himself with something which is lesser; identification is always with the greater. You are within a very small point and the body is big and great and everything; that’s why you begin to be identified. Let yourself be the greater one, and let the body be just a minor thing. You will never be identified with it.

Secondly, if you are within, you will have limits; if you are without, you become unlimited. If I am within my body, then I am encircled by my body, I have a finitude, a limitation. If I am beyond my body, then there is no limitation; then I am not only beyond my body, I am beyond all. Then there is no ending to it – then suns will rise in me, stars will move in me, creations will come in me and go out and will cease – then I become the whole universe. Body becomes the center – just a minor center, an atomic existence – and I become the whole universe, encompassing it.

Heidegger has used this word “encompassing.” It is beautiful – encompassing. Feel it, try it, imagine it, and you will come to a new understanding of your own being. When I say imagine it, I say it consideredly. Really, this feeling that “I am the body” is just an imagination. This feeling that “I am in the body” is also just an imagination. Because the society has taught you, this imagination has become unconscious.

For example, I would like to tell you: Many cultures, in different ages, different religions, different thinkings, have considered the body center to be in different places. For example, as far as this contemporary world is concerned, more or less everyone thinks that he is somewhere in the head – not in the legs, not in the hands, not in the belly. If someone insists and asks you, “Where are you? Point it out!” Then you will begin to feel something in the head; you are in the head. But ask a Japanese and he will say that he is in the belly, not in the head – because the whole of Japanese culture has always thought that the spirit lives in the belly. So if you think with your head, the Japanese think with their belly – they say, “We think with our belly.” They say, “The belly must be strong. The belly is the center.” But there have been other cultures – some cultures think that the heart is the center. Then if that culture has been imposed on you, you begin to think that the heart is the center. Really, these are just imaginative identifications.

In a sense, the spirit is nowhere in the body; it encompasses it. Or, it is everywhere in the body and everywhere outside of the body. If any center is maintained in your imagination, the body becomes impurified, burdened with the center – tense, diseased. Let there be no center in the body; let yourself be outside, just encompassing the body. And then the body becomes fresh, young, flowing, liquid, an energy – without any burdened feeling upon it. Then the body cooperates. This light feeling of the body becomes a basic source of help for meditation.

Not only the body, but your heart also must be prepared for meditation to flower in it. Unprepared, much energy is wasted unnecessarily. Prepare the heart.

This sutra says you can prepare the heart by throwing all the impurities out of it. But instead, we go on accumulating. You can forget if someone has helped you, but you cannot forget if someone has harmed you. You can forget something which has been a bliss, but you cannot forget something which has been a suffering. We go on accumulating negatives; these negatives become the impurities for the heart. Everyone goes on accumulating negatives. If someone is friendly to you for years, and for a single moment is not friendly, then all that friendship will go down and that moment of unfriendliness will become the most significant thing – and you will remember it.

This attitude must be changed. One must go on accumulating positives and throwing out negatives; then the heart becomes purified. Go on accumulating positives. Never accumulate anything negative; it is not going to help you, it is going to destroy you.

Someone has been angry to you: don’t remember it. What to do? – one has to remember something – find something positive. Someone is angry – why be so much concerned with the anger? Why not be concerned with the phenomenon of anger? There are some people who are beautiful only when they are angry – why not look at the beauty of it? Even if they are not beautiful, everyone when he is angry, is vital. Why not look at the vitality, the energy, the aliveness, the radiance of it?

Why be so much concerned with anger? Why not be concerned with the phenomenon? Something is happening – a beautiful phenomenon in itself, a very radiant phenomenon – energy expressing, alive. Why not look at it in that way? Why not look – when someone is angry – why not look at yourself? What happens to you when someone is angry? If you are also angry then he has won, you are defeated. Why not be victorious? Why not be indifferent? Look at the anger, look at it as if you are looking at a psychodrama – someone is playing a role and you are just a witness. Why not be a witness? And then you will feel grateful to the person who has been angry with you. If you can be a witness when someone is angry, you will feel grateful, because he has given you a situation in which you could know your own mastery.

Whenever someone was with Gurdjieff, he would create many situations. He would create unnecessary situations in which someone would become angry, so angry that everyone would feel that he was going to explode. And then suddenly Gurdjieff would tell him, “Now be aware! Now be a witness to it!” – and everyone would begin to be a witness. Anger becomes a situation, an object to be studied, and that person himself who is angry feels a sudden change, because it has become a study project. Now it is not anger, it has become a drama. So why not look at a thing from the positive, with something to learn from it? Why go on accumulating the negative? This is just a habit – it is not inevitable; it is not.

Buddha could send his disciples to the burning places, to cemeteries to look at dead bodies, to contemplate death, to meditate on death: The body is burning – the dead body is there – it is burning. And Buddha would send his disciples there, to sit there and meditate on death. And meditating on death, the disciple would soon come to realize a different quality of life which never dies. Then he would come dancing, singing, to Buddha – from the dead body burning in the cemetery, he would come running, dancing – why? he should come sad, sorrowful, depressed, dead himself in a way. But he has not accumulated the negative even from a dead body. He has accumulated something positive. He has been meditating on death, and if you meditate on death you become more and more aware of life. He comes running, dancing, grateful – grateful to Buddha, grateful to the dead man also.

Why go on accumulating the negative? – we go on; that’s just a wrong habit. Change it! Always look at the positive, and soon you heart will be purified. Negativities are the diseases of the heart. It begins to feel sore, and then the whole of life will become just a suffering, because you live through your own heart. You go on accumulating negatives; then you have to live through this negativity; then everything becomes just a suffering, a long suffering – meaningless, purposeless, leading to nowhere.

This is suicidal. A negative attitude is suicidal. Purify the heart by looking at the positive. Find everywhere something which can become a cherished accumulation in the heart. When I say, now remember, remember the face which was angry at you in the past – remember the face. Feel the beauty of it, and the whole thing suddenly changes. Someone was abusing you… remember the past, and feel when someone abuses; feel the energy, feel the aliveness, and everything changes – it is up to you.

The body must be purified by encompassing it. The heart must be purified by a positive foundation given to it, negatives denied. Be negative only to negatives, and then, then you can meditate.

On what is one to meditate? – the untainted, the pure, the clear, and the griefless.

Meditate on the untainted.

What is untainted? – only the sky, space is untainted. Meditate on space, pure space, and you will become like it. Whatsoever one meditates on one becomes.

Meditate on purity.

Everyone has felt somewhere a glimpse of purity . . . a flower, a virgin – anywhere. Many moments are there when one begins to feel purity. Meditate on purity . . . a flower, a virgin – anything. Meditate on purity and you will become pure. Whatsoever one meditates on one becomes.

The clear, the transparent – meditate on any transparency. A silent lake – you can look to the very bottom, everything clear; a glass window – so pure, so clear that even you don’t see the glass, that the glass is there. Meditate on any transparency, and you will become transparent, you will become clear.

The griefless – meditate on the griefless . . . anything which is blissful, which is a beauty-tude. We go on meditating on grief; we go on meditating on grief continually. We go on meditating on suffering, then we become part of it. Meditation is the way to make oneself just like the object of the meditation.

Remember a Buddha, a griefless one. Remember a Krishna, a joyous one. Remember anything – a Chaitanya dancing, a Meera singing. Remember anything – a cloud passing in the sky, dancing, rays of the sun coming to you. Remember anything which is blissful to you. Meditate on it and you will become blissful. Don’t continue to meditate on things which you would not like to be like. We go on meditating on wrong things.

Everyone is a meditator, remember. It is not that there are a few people who meditate. Everyone meditates, no one can be without meditation. So what is the difference between a meditator and a non-meditator? The difference is not of meditation, the difference is only of objects. The difference is only of objects. Someone is meditating on sex – he becomes sexual. Someone is meditating on anger – he becomes angry. Someone meditating on some sad event, he becomes sad. Everyone is meditating.

Only Mahavira has divided meditation into four types. Really, this is strange because Mahavira alone has divided meditation into four parts. Many divisions are there, but nothing like Mahavira’s, because Mahavira divides two such things, two such types which no one would like to call meditation. The first he calls raudradhyan – anger meditation. The second he calls artadhyan – suffering meditation. No one has named these. The third he calls dharmadhyan, and the fourth he calls shukladhyan. Dharmadhyan – religious meditation; and shukladhyan – the purest meditation. But he calls all four meditation. The first two, anger meditation and suffering meditation – no one will call these meditation.

If someone is angry, have you felt that he is in a deep meditation? Everything has gone out of his mind, only one point of anger remains. He is focused, the whole world has dropped. Really, when someone is in anger, he is not in this world at all. He is not looking at you, he is not looking at anything; he is not even aware that the whole world exists – only anger exists.

When someone is suffering, deeply suffering – some loved one has died – then he is not aware of anything, only of his own suffering. His suffering encompasses him. Only now the suffering is there, everything has become just illusory. He is in a deep meditation, of course, of the wrong type.

Everyone meditates. The difference is: someone meditates on wrong objects, and someone meditates on right objects. Meditate on some blissful moment. Meditate on something you would like to become like, then meditation becomes a mutation. First, wrong objects are to be dropped, then ultimately right objects are also to be dropped.

When there is no object, and only a meditative consciousness remains, you have achieved the ultimate.


From That Art Thou, Discourse #22

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from  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 and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from and

Master of Your Own Mind – Osho

Those who have purified the mind by the practice of sannyas and yoga, and those who have come to understand the exact meaning of the spiritual science indicated in the Upanishad’s Vedant, they in the end become capable of attaining brahmalok – the world of brahman. And liberating themselves from everything, they strive to achieve immortality.

Kaivalya Upanishad

The basic problem before a spiritual seeker is not how to know, but how to be. Knowing is not the problem, it is easy. The real problem is how to be, how the being should be strengthened. Knowing can grow easily; knowing has its own ways of growing. But knowing is a parasitic growth.

Knowing grows in the memory, and memory is just mechanical. That’s why we now have mechanical devices which can be fed with memory – we have computers, and a computer is more efficient than any human brain. A computer can do anything that a human brain can do – and a computer can do many more things which a human brain cannot do. Sooner or later, human memory is going to be replaced by mechanical devices. A mechanical device can do whatsoever your mind is doing, and more efficiently, and in less time. A computer can do a mathematical problem in seconds for which you would need an Einstein, or a person of the caliber of Einstein, to work on for at least three months.

Mind is just a mechanical device. It can grow – you go on feeding it with knowledge, with information, and it can grow. You may not be aware of it, but nothing comes out of your mind which has not been put in it before – nothing. Nothing comes out of your mind which is original. In that way, nothing is original as far as mind is concerned; everything is just repetition. Mind is the most repetitive mechanism. You have to feed it, give it something: it will reproduce it. Not a single thought comes to you which is your own – it has been given to you by society, by education, by study, but always it has been given to you. At the most you can make new combinations, that’s all. Nothing more can be done with the mind. This is one growth, a parasitic growth at the cost of your being. By being, I mean the consciousness with which you are born. And by mind, I mean all the accumulation that has come to your consciousness through society, through education, through culture. You are not born with a mind; you are born with a consciousness. Mind is a later growth. That’s why if a person is not taught, if a person is not educated, then he has a lesser mind, a poor mind. If no language is taught to you, you will know no language. If nothing is taught to you, you will know nothing. Mind is a social growth.

Consciousness is part of you, but mind is not part of you; mind is given to you. The whole process of social cultivation, of social imposition, is to produce a mind in you. That’s why a Christian mind is different from a Hindu mind – because a Hindu society is feeding something and a Christian society is feeding something else. A Mohammedan mind is totally different from a Hindu, or a Christian, or a Jaina mind. But a Hindu consciousness or a Mohammedan consciousness or a Christian consciousness, are not different.

Really, a consciousness cannot be called Christian or Hindu or Mohammedan – but minds are. So unless you go beyond your society – you are imprisoned in your upbringing. This mind, which the society gives to everyone . . . it is a necessity; a society has to give it to you. It is good as far as it goes, but it must not become an imprisonment. A moment must be attained where you are freed from your own mind. Then mind begins to work as a mechanical thing in you; you can use it but you are not identified with it.

Of course one has to use language, one has to use mathematics, one has to know history and geography and everything. But it must not be identified with your consciousness. You must remain a witness to it. You must remain separate, unidentified, different from your own mind. This is what meditation means: how to be not identified with the mind – how to create a space between yourself and your own mind. It is difficult because we never make any separation. We go on thinking in terms that the mind means me: mind and me are totally identified. If they are totally identified, then you will never be at peace; then you will never be able to enter the divine, because the divine can be entered only when the social has been left behind.

When whatsoever the society has given you has been renounced, only then you enter the divine, because only then, you enter pure consciousness. Mind is an overgrowth; it must be put aside. By renunciation, I mean renunciation of the social. And your mind is nothing but a social by-product, it depends on your society.

This mind can go on growing. Then you grow in knowledge; go on studying, go on learning new things, more things, and your mind goes on growing. And a mind is infinitely capable to grow; yet scientists cannot say to what extent this mind can grow. It can go on growing, the process seems infinite. It has so much potentiality – seventy million cells working in the mind, and a single cell can have millions of bits of information in it. A single cell of the mind can have so much information stored in it, and the mind has seventy million cells in it. We are not using even a single cell’s capacity – ordinarily, we are not using a single cell’s capacity – and we have seventy million cells. And each cell seems to be capable of infinite accumulation of information. The mind seems to be infinite in its own way – and it is not you! It is just something which has been given to you.

It is useful, it is utilitarian; that’s why we become identified with it. One has to use one’s mind constantly, and one has to use it so constantly that there is no gap. You don’t remember any moment when you were not your mind, that’s the problem: to remember it, and to create a space, a gap, when you are not your mind. You are yourself and mind is just a device which can be used or not used, and you are the master to choose whether to use it or not.

Ordinarily, the mind is the master and you have to follow it. The mind gives you something to think about and you have to think about it. The mind gives you some dream and you have to dream it. And the mind goes on . . .  And sometimes even if you say to your mind, “Stop!” it is not going to stop, it is not going to listen to you at all. Because you have cooperated with it so much, and you have given it your energy and identification so much, that the mind doesn’t remember your mastery at all. You are just a slave.

Meditation means to create a gap so that you can become master, master of your own mind. And mastery means that you are not identified.

I can order my hand to do anything – to move or not to move. Why? – because I am not identified with the hand; otherwise, who is going to order and who is going to be ordered? I can order my hand to move; it moves. But if my hand begins to move and I say, “Stop!” and it is not stopping, what does it mean? It means only one thing: my order is impotent because of too much identification with the hand. The hand has become a master in its own right – it goes on moving. It says, “I am not going to follow your order at all.”

This has happened with the mind. The mind goes on working in its own way; no order can be given to it. There is no intrinsic impossibility – it is only because you have never ordered it, so it doesn’t know that you are the master. The master has remained so silent, has remained so hidden, that the slave has begun to feel himself the master.

If one goes on growing in this mind, one goes on more and more hidden deep down. And the mind becomes such a great thing, it is difficult to assert your consciousness. That’s why a very ordinary villager with a lesser mind, is with more consciousness. An ordinary person – not very educated, not knowing much – has always, of course, less mind but more consciousness. So sometimes a person who has more mind may behave very foolishly, because he has less consciousness. A person who has a developed mind can work very wisely, behave very wisely if the situation is such that the mind knows what to do and what not to do. Then he can behave, work, do anything very efficiently. But any new situation in which the mind is not aware, and he will be stupid, he will behave stupidly.

A villager — an uneducated person, a primitive, with less mind — will behave more consciously in a new situation, because for him new situations are occurring daily, every moment. With no developed mind, he has to work with his consciousness. That’s why the more the world has grown knowledgeable, the less wise it has become. It is difficult not to produce a Buddha, not because we are more ignorant, but because we know more. It is difficult to produce a Jesus, not because anything is lacking — on the contrary, something has grown too much. Knowledge has grown too much, and if knowledge grows too much, the being begins to feel poor.

We value a person because of what he has: knowledge, wealth, power. We never value a person for what he is. If I am a powerful man, then I am valued; if I am a wealthy man, then I am valued; if I am a man of knowledge, then I am valued – but never simply for what I am. If wealth is lost, then my influence will be lost; if knowledge is lost, the my influence will be lost; if power is lost, my influence will be lost, because I was never valued for what I am. Something which I have – having has become so important, and knowledge is a subtle having.

Being means: the purity of my inner existence, nothing added by the outside – neither wealth, nor knowledge, nor anything else – just my inner consciousness in its purity.

This is what I mean, what this Upanishad means by the growth of being. This being can be achieved only by two methods: renunciation – sannyas – and yoga, the science of positive growth. One must renounce identification: one must come to know that I am not the body, I am not the mind. One must renounce all that which is mind, but I am not. One must come to the center point which cannot be renounced.

A Western thinker, Rene Descartes, begins his theosophical speculation with doubt, and he goes on doubting. He goes on doubting everything that can be doubted. He was a very keen penetrating intellectual; really, he was the father of modern Western philosophy. He goes on doubting everything, he makes it a point that “I will not stop doubting unless a moment comes and I encounter something which cannot be doubted. If I can doubt, I will continue to doubt, unless I stumble upon some fact which is indubitable.” So God can be doubted very easily. It is difficult to have faith; it is very easy to doubt, because for doubt you have only to say no. Nothing else is needed.

“No” is a very non-involving word. If you say yes, you are committed. If I say “Yes, God is,” then I cannot remain the same. If I say, “No, God is not,” I will continue to be the same. “No” is the easiest word in a way: you say it, you are not involved, you remain outside. If you say yes, you are involved. You have come in; now you are committed. To say no to anything is very  easy, because then you need not prove anything. If you say yes then you have to prove it – and proofs are, of course, very difficult. Even if things are, proofs are very difficult. Time is. We know time is, everyone feels time is – but can prove that time is?

Saint Augustine says, “Don’t ask about time, because when you don’t ask, I know it is. When you ask, I begin to hesitate – whether it is or not? And if you persist, I become doubtful.” Can we prove time? It is; everyone knows it is. We cannot prove it.

Can we prove love? Everyone knows it is. Even if one has not felt love, one has felt very deeply its absence. Love is felt – either as a presence of absence, but no one can prove it. So anyone can say, “Love is not,” and you cannot disprove their statement.

Descartes goes on denying, doubting: God is denied, then the world itself is denied – even the world which is here and now. You are here, but I can doubt; it may be just a dream to me. And how can I tell the difference whether it is a dream or not? – because sometimes I have dreamt about talking to people. And when I was dreaming and talking, those who were present were as real as you are – and really, in a way more real, because in a dream you cannot doubt. But if you are really present, I can doubt: it may be just a dream, you may not be there at all, but just a dream, a dream happening to me. And I am dreaming that you are, and I am talking to you, to my dream construct. How can I prove that you are really there? There is no way. There is no way to prove that you are. I can touch you . . . but I can touch someone in a dream, and even in dream I can feel someone’s body.

It is difficult – really, in a way, impossible to make a distinction between reality and dreaming. That’s why Berkeley says that this whole world is just a dream, or a Shankara says that this whole world is just a dream. They can say it and they cannot be disproved.

So Descartes says, “This world is not. It is only a thought, a dream. God is not.” Then he goes on denying everything. Ultimately, he comes to himself, and then he begins to thin “whether I am, or not.” Now there is a fact which cannot be denied, because even if all is dreaming, someone is needed to dream. Even if everything is dubitable, someone is needed to doubt. Even if Descartes says “I am not,” this statement has to be made by someone – even to doubt, he is needed. Then he says, “Now I have come upon a point which indubitable. I can doubt everything, but I cannot doubt myself. If I doubt, the doubt proves me. So he gives a very meaningful formula: He says, “Cogito ergo sum. I think – I doubt – therefore I am.”

This “I-am-ness” must be broken apart from mentation, from mind, one has to renounce all that can be renounced – just like Descartes who says, “I must doubt all that can be doubted, unless I come to a point which cannot be doubted.” Just in the same way, one has to continue renouncing – renouncing all that which can be renounced, unless you come to a point which cannot be renounced.

You cannot renounce your being; all else can be renounced. All else you can say, “This I-am.” All that you can say, “This is I,” you can renounce. You can say, “No, this is not I-am. This body, I am not; this world, I am not, this thought, I am not; this thinking, I am not.” Go on, go on denying. Then comes a moment when you cannot deny more. Simple “I-am-ness remains. Not even “I-am-ness,” but only “am-ness.” That “am-ness” is the existential jump.

This is the first part of the sutra: renunciation, sannyas.

So sannyas is a negative process. One has to go on eliminating: “This is I-am-not.” Go on – “This, that, I am not.” This is renouncing, a negative process, elimination. But this is only a part: you have renounced whatsoever you are not; then you have to grow that which you are – that is yoga; that needs the positive, of growth. That is yoga. Now you have to grow that which is in you. How to grow it? – we have been discussing that – by faith, by devotion, by meditation, by practices, bodily and other. That is yoga.

Sannyas plus yoga means religion. Renounce that which you are not, and grow in that, create in that, which you are. Only by such negative and positive processes in a deep harmony, the brahma, the ultimate, is achieved.


From That Art Thou, Discourse #21

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

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In the Cave of the Heart – Osho

Neither by work nor by progeny nor by wealth, but by renunciation alone immortality is attained.

Higher than heaven the ultimate truth abides in the cave of the heart, shining, and the sincere seeker attains.

Kaivalya Upanishad

For religion, death is the basic problem – not life, because life is. Life is not a problem; you have it, you are it. But death is a problem. Death is not here and yet is here. Death has not occurred to you, yet it has occurred all around; it will occur to you. Life is the present; death is the future. The present is never the problem – the future is the problem, because future has to be tackled, because future has to be encountered, because future has to be transcended. So man is always face to face with death, not with life.

That’s why animals have no religion, because they cannot imagine death; they cannot conceive of death. They live, they die, but death is never a problem for them. It is never comprehended, it is never conceived, it is never encountered as a problem in their consciousness. They don’t know death – they are alive or they are dead, but they don’t know death. When is death known? How is death known? Death is known – you are alive, you are not dead, but there is death somewhere in the future.

A dead man has no problem with death, he is already dead. Then death is not a problem. Alive, death faces us somewhere, just around the corner, waits for us. This waiting death – this constant awaiting, somewhere near, just any moment it can happen – is the problem. So man goes on fighting it, and the whole of life becomes just a fight with death. The whole of life is just wasted – just wasted in arranging, in making securities – in defense against death.

We cannot be alive, because there is death. We cannot live, we cannot live authentically because death will not allow us to live. How can you live when there is death? When you are going to die, how can you live peacefully? How can you live blissfully? Then every step in life is just a step towards death. Then any movement is a movement towards death, or any movement is a movement of your death coming towards you.

Religion has death as the problem – what to do about it? We are doing many things – through wealth, through science, through health, through protection, through medicine, through philosophy, through theology – we are creating many different measures for how to be deathless. We are creating many things, but everything proves futile, meaningless, absurd. Death comes, and every arrangement is just proved futile. It has always been so and it will always be so, because death is not really just in the future, it is also in the past.

The moment one is born, death is born within him. Death is not only in the future – if it were only in the future then it could be avoided, but it is part of the past. It is just a process of the same thing which we call birth. Birth is the beginning of death – or, death can be said to be just an ending of the process of birth. So your birth day is also your death day. The beginning is the end, because every beginning implies its end. Every beginning has its end as a seed. If death is just in the future, then it can be avoided. It is not; it is part of you, it is here and now – just in you, progressing, growing.

Death is not a fixed point somewhere; it is a growth within you; it is growing constantly. When you are fighting it, it is growing. When you are feeding it, it is growing. When you are escaping from it, it is growing. So whatsoever you do, one thing is constantly going on – that is, you are dying. Whatsoever you do – you are asleep, you are relaxing, you are working, you are thinking, you are meditating – whatsoever you do, one thing is certain: death is growing constantly, continuously. It doesn’t need your help; it doesn’t need you cooperation. It doesn’t care about your defenses; it goes on growing. Why? – because it has come into being with your birth; it is part of birth. So death cannot be escaped in the ways man and the human mind have always tried.

This Upanishad says that death can be escaped, but you can become deathless. You can know something which is immortal, which will never die. So how to know it? Where to search for it, and how to discover it? Because every effort that we know is just meaningless, irrelevant.

The Upanishad says: Don’t fight with death; rather, know that which is life. Don’t try to escape from death; rather, try to enter that which is life. The very flame of life must be entered. Don’t create the sort of life which is negative; don’t go on trying to avoid death – this is negativity. Be positive and try to know what is life. Really, death is not against life. In the dictionary it is; in existence it is not. Death is not against life; death is against birth.

Life is something else. Life is before birth, life is born. Birth is a phenomenon which happens in life.

Birth is not the beginning of life – if birth is the beginning of life, that means you were born dead. Birth is not the beginning of life – life precedes birth. Life is presupposed, it is before birth – because life is there, birth happens.

Life comes first, then there is birth.

You are, even when you are not born.

You are born because you were there before.

And the same is the case with death. If you are before birth, then you will be after death, because that which is before birth is bound to be after death. Life is something which happens in between birth and death, and beyond birth and death.

We must think of life as a river: in this river one point is known as birth, another point is known as death, but the river continues. The river continues beyond death. The river was continuing before birth. This riverlike life must be penetrated – only then we can know that which is deathless. Of course that which is deathless is bound to be birthless . . . but our whole focus is just misguided. Our whole focus is on how to escape death, now how to know life. It is against death, not for life.

This is the only flaw, and because of this we can never know the deathless. We will go on, continue, constantly searching, discovering new methods, new techniques, new ways of how to escape death. And then death will be coming – and death will come.

Know life.

Jesus has said, “Search for life, for more life. Don’t be satisfied with that which is with you as life. Search more, find out more, find in more – go for more life. We are for less death; we are not for more life; the whole focus is turned towards death.

It is like this: If there is darkness, you can do two things – either you can begin to fight with darkness to destroy it, or you can begin to search for light, which is quite a different search. You can fight darkness directly, but then you will be defeated. And darkness will be victorious – not because it is stronger than you, not because you are powerless against it. No, darkness is not powerful, you are not powerless – but darkness is just an absence, and you cannot fight any absence.

Darkness is simply not. You cannot fight it, and if you fight it you will be defeated – not because it is powerful, but because it is not. How can you fight something which is not? A darkness means nothing; it means simply absence of light. So if you fight darkness, then you continue for millennia; you will never win. And the more you are defeated, the more you will search for new methods to fight it. The more you are defeated, the more you will feel impotent, and darkness will feel like something very potent. You will think that you have to find something which can be more powerful than darkness. The whole of logic is fallacious; you can continue it and you will move in a vicious circle. The more you will be defeated, the more you will be frustrated, the more you will fight with new means – and again you will be defeated.

The defeat is not concerned with your power or powerlessness at all.

The defeat is because you are fighting something which is not.

The same is the case with death. Death is not something positive, it is just absence of life. When life goes somewhere else, death occurs. Death is just the going of something; it is not something which comes to you. Death is not something which comes to you; rather, it is only that life goes somewhere else. The river of life begins to flow somewhere else, and death occurs – death is just an absence.

The light is not, darkness happens; the light comes, darkness is not there. So find the light, find life; don’t fight with death, don’t fight with darkness. Don’t be negative; be positive. And by positive, I mean always search for something which is present; never go on any search for something which is absent – you will never find it.

Death happens daily, but no one has encountered it, no one has known it. No one can know it, because how can you know it? You are life – how can you know it? Darkness is there, but the sun has never known it – how can he know it? The moment the sun is there, darkness is not; so they have never encountered each other – they cannot, that is impossible.

If you bring light into a dark room, do you think your light will encounter darkness? The moment light is there, darkness is not. So only one can be; both cannot be together – either darkness can be there or light can be there. Light has not known darkness, darkness has not known light, because darkness is simply the absence. So how can light know its own absence? If it is to know, then it must be present. And if it is not present, only then is the absence there – but then light cannot know it.

You cannot encounter your own absence – how can you encounter it? Death is your absence. When you are absent, death occurs. So allow me to tell you this way, that death is a social phenomenon, not individual. No individual dies – individual rivers continue somewhere else. But when from this crowd the individual river moves somewhere else, then for this crowd someone has died; for this crowd, someone has become absent.

If my friend dies, it means he dies for me; not for himself. Death is a phenomenon which happens to me, not to him. How can it happen to him?

Life cannot face death; life is a movement which has moved somewhere else, so WE face it. Death is a social phenomenon; it is not an individual phenomenon. No one has died ever – but everyone dies, we know everyone dies, because someone becomes suddenly absent.

We are here. If I become suddenly absent, I will die – not for me, but for you. For you I will be absent. How I can be absent from myself? – it is impossible.

The Upanishads say, don’t fight death, it is fighting absence; rather, search for the presence which is in you. Who is present in you? – find out. What is present in you which you call life? What is there which you call life? From where does it come in you? What is the center, the source of it? Go deep into yourself and find the source. The Upanishad says, this source is hidden in the heart.

This source of life is hidden in the heart.

Go in your heart and find the original source.

Once you have known that source then there will be no death for you. Then there will be no fear, then there will be no problem. Once you have known life itself, you have become immortal. You are unconsciously, unknowingly, unaware. Everyone is immortal. Nothing dies, nothing can die – but everyone feels the fear. This fear also comes because of the society, because we see – now today “A” has died and tomorrow “B” will die, and yesterday “C” has died. Then we become aware: “I am going to die.” I am going to die – this fear grips the mind because death occurs in a society.

Think of it in this way: If you are alone and you have never known any death, will death be a problem for you? If you are alone on an island, have never known any death, never heard about it – will you be aware of death at all? Will you be able to conceive that you are going to die? How can you conceive? – it is a social thing; the society teaches you death. The society shows you that death happens. Alone, you will never be able to know it; alone, you cannot even imagine it. Alone, the very word “death” will be meaningless. And in a certain, subtle way, everyone is deeply aware of this. That’s why, howsoever you become aware of death in others, somewhere deep down you continue to think that you are not going to die. Deep down everyone thinks, “Death may occur to anyone else but it is not going to occur to me.” That’s why so many deaths are occurring yet we continue; we continue to live; otherwise, we would be paralyzed, totally paralyzed. A single death occurring and we would be paralyzed. But somewhere deep down one knows: “It may have occurred to him, but it is not going to occur to me.” Everyone goes on deep down believing in something in himself as immortal . . . it is very unconscious; otherwise, there would be no fear.

The Upanishads say, make it conscious. Go deep down and know it very consciously: something that is life in you, that flame, will continue; that flame is not going to die.

How to go into the heart? How to penetrate it? – the Upanishad say, by renunciation. Renounce every outward-going effort, all that leads you outward. All that becomes a vehicle for your consciousness to move outward – renounce it. In the deep inactivity of renunciation, you will come to the center.

For example, how does the mind move outward? It moves for wealth, it moves for prestige, it moves for power. Any movement means a deep desire for something outside, a deep desire for something which doesn’t belong to you inside, but belongs to the objective world. Any desire for any object in the world is a movement outward. Renounce this movement. Even for a single moment, if you can renounce all outward-going movements, you will be in. This means that this in-coming doesn’t need anything to be done directly. It needs something to be done indirectly.

Don’t move outward and you will find yourself in the heart, in the cave of the heart.

Mind moves with desires, outwards. Then it can continue, continue, and go on and on – to the very end of the world it can go. Don’t move with any desires. Desirelessness is the method to come in, and desirelessness is meditation. Do not desire anything. Even for a single moment, if you are in a desireless moment, you will find yourself in. And then you can encounter the flame of life which is immortality, which is non-dying, which has never been born and will not die. Once known, there will be no fear of death. And when there is no fear of death, only then you can live authentically. Then your life will have a different quality altogether. It will be aware, it will be alive, it will be fresh. It will be blissful, it will be a deep ecstasy, a continuous ecstasy.

With no fear, with no longing, with no desire, there will be no pain. There will be no suffering there will be no anguish. With no desire you fall into a deep abyss of ecstasy. This is what is known in the Upanishads as the brahmalok, the world of the divine.

We live in a world of material things, mm? This is outward-going movement. When consciousness comes in, we penetrate a different world, the world of the divine. With outward movement there is suffering; with inward movement there is peace and bliss. It doesn’t mean that one who moves inward will not be able to move outward; he will be more able, more capable. But now he will move with his whole “in-ness,” now he will move in the outward world but untouched by it. Now he will move, but constantly rooted in himself. He will not be uprooted from himself. Now he can go anywhere, but he will be rooted in himself.

This rootedness in oneself is the source of all bliss that is possible.


From That Art Thou, Discourse #20

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

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

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The Door to Sankhya is Open – Osho

There are two things in this sutra: the cave of the heart opens for one who knows, or, one whose heart opens will know. We will enter deeply into both.

How to know the divine? How can this knowing happen? Throughout these talks on the Kaivalya Upanishad, many times I have said that there is only one way to awaken this knowing – and that is that all your actions must happen with awareness, with consciousness. There is no other way to grow towards knowing. People think that the way to knowing is in the scriptures, in doctrines, in words – but this is not the way to grow in knowing. In this way you will only increase your memory, and there is a difference between knowledge and memory.

Memory is when something known by others has been passed on to you; you have borrowed it. Knowing is something that you have experienced in yourself – it is your own, it is individual. When you say that someone is a man of knowledge, that such and such a person has immense knowledge, what you usually mean is that the person has a tremendous amount of information, a big pool of memory. He knows the scriptures by heart, he has memorized the Gita, he has crammed the Vedas. But this is not knowledge, this is memorizing – and to memorize is not something very precious. It is mechanical. Even machines can memorize. Soon only machines will have memories, and man will leave this work to the machines.

True knowledge, knowing, is a very different phenomenon: it is to know directly, it is your own realization. It is your own experience, your own seeing; it is something that you have lived and tasted yourself. It is your own, not information given by somebody else. True knowledge is self-realization, direct. There are no scriptures or doctrines in between. So studying is not the way to grow in knowing. The way to grow in knowing is awareness. The more aware you become in your actions, the more your knowing will grow, will awaken. Awareness means that whatsoever you do, you do it with such intensity and meditativeness that there is no unconsciousness left in it at all.

Try this small experiment sometime, then you will understand how deep your unconsciousness is. Look at the second hand on your watch and decide that for one full minute you will consciously go on looking at it. One minute is not such a big thing; the second hand will just make one full circle and you will consciously go on looking at it.

Let me explain the meaning of consciousness to you so that the experiment becomes easy: you will not forget the moving second hand for one minute, and you will keep on seeing it moving ahead, ahead, ahead…sixty seconds will complete one minute. You will be surprised to discover that in sixty seconds, you will miss at least three times! You will forget what you were watching. Some other thought, some other idea will enter your mind and your mind will have strayed at least three times. It is difficult for you to focus your awareness even for twenty seconds! Then you will come to know how deep your unconsciousness is, because you will not be able to watch the second hand with remembrance and awareness even for twenty seconds. The second hand will go on moving, you will forget for a moment or so, and then again you will remember that you have forgotten. By then the second hand will have moved a few seconds ahead, and during that time your awareness will have wandered off to somewhere else.

Whatever work you are doing, try to do it with awareness. There is no need to make a separate time for this experiment. If you are eating, eat consciously, chew consciously. Nobody will ever know that you are doing some spiritual discipline. The spiritual practices of sankhya are not noticeable: nobody will know if someone is doing them or not. The spiritual practices of yoga are obvious, because they involve outer activity. Sankhya’s activity is within. Breathing is happening – just become aware of it. Buddha has put much emphasis on this.

Buddha has placed much emphasis on this: that whether a man is walking, sitting, lying down or rising, one thing that is constantly present there like a heartbeat is his breathing. So why not watch the breathing itself? When the breath goes in, be aware of it; when the breath goes out, be aware of it. Don’t miss it, don’t let a single breath happen unconsciously. It will not be long before you find that your realization is growing. As your awareness of your breath grows, so will your realization. If you can put aside even one hour out of twenty-four hours to watch your breath coming in and going out, without any interruption, then the door of sankhya will be very close by. It is just a matter of pushing it slightly, and it will open.

Buddha has based his whole teaching on watching the breath – anapanasatiyoga, the discipline of watching the breath coming in and going out. Buddha used to say that if a bhikshu, a monk, could manage only this, he would need to do nothing else. It might seem to be a very small task to you, but when you look at the second hand on your watch and miss it three times in one minute, you will realize how difficult this process of watching your breath can be. But if you begin, then someday the end will also come. If you begin, then someday you will also experience.

This is an internal process. It is much more difficult than chanting Rama-Rama, because to chant Rama-Rama your awareness is not needed. A man can go on chanting Rama-Rama mechanically, his awareness is not needed at all. And it can happen that he can go on doing all his other work and also chanting Rama-Rama. He is not aware of his chanting: it goes on automatically, mechanically. So if someone wants to chant Rama-Rama, two things are involved: one is his chanting, and the other is his awareness of the chanting. Only then is it beneficial, otherwise it is useless.

Many people are doing chanting, and it is simply useless. Their chanting has made them even more retarded in their intelligence, it has not enhanced it. It has not helped their knowing, it has retarded it. This is why you may often notice that these people who chant Rama-Rama and who even wear clothes printed all over with the words Rama-Rama, are a little stupid. Their wisdom does not seem to be growing, it seems to be getting rusty. It is bound to get rusty, because intelligence, the perception involved in intellect, grows with awareness and shrinks with each action done in unawareness – and you are doing all your actions in unawareness. You just add your chant of Rama-Rama to it and that also becomes an unconscious act.

Instead of adding any new activity, it is better to bring awareness to the activities that you are already doing. Even if you have been chanting Rama-Rama, bring awareness to it. No matter what you do, decide one thing: that you will go on making efforts to do it with awareness. You may fail today, you may fail tomorrow, but don’t be worried, because in every failure is hidden the seed of success.

And if your awareness continues and a constant impact happens, one day you will suddenly discover that you are able to perform any action with total awareness. On the day you succeed in being aware, the door to sankhya is open. Nothing else is needed. No other external action is needed – one simply enters the inner sanctum of the heart. Then you will know your inner witness, because awareness is the witness.

When you do something with awareness, you become a witness. You are no more a doer. Whenever you do something in unawareness you become a doer, you are no more a witness. Whatsoever you do with awareness…. You may be eating your food: eat with awareness and you will no more be an eater, you will become a watcher of the act of eating. You may be walking on a path: walk with awareness and you will not be the walker, you will become a witness, a watcher of the one who is walking.

So if your awareness goes on growing, the witness will also go on growing in you. And when the witness in you is totally free of the doer, the outer shell of the doer breaks open and the witness sprouts forth.


Excerpted from Flight of the Alone to the Alone, Discourse #17

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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You can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

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Awareness and Effort – Osho

For me, there is no earth, water, fire, air or sky. Only the one who has realized the godliness which dwells in the cave of the heart, which is formless, which is beyond the web of illusion, which is the witness to the whole and which is beyond existence and non-existence, will know my pure and godly nature.

Thus ends the Kaivalya Upanishad.
Om, Shantih Shantih Shantih.

The most significant thing to be understood in this sutra is that only one who becomes capable of knowing the formless, the witness to the whole – which is beyond both existence and non-existence – will know the God that lives in the cave of the heart. One must either first become the ultimate witness, and then he will enter the cave of the heart; or first enter the cave of the heart and then he will become the ultimate witness. Either the one who knows the ultimate reality will enter the cave of the heart, or the one who enters the cave of the heart will be able to know the ultimate reality – these are the only two ways. This is why there are only two disciplines for man’s spiritual search.

India has recognized only two disciplines that lead to knowing the truth of life. One is called Sankhya. Sankhya means that if you realize the ultimate reality, then you will enter the cave of the heart. The other is called yoga. Yoga means that if you enter the cave of the heart, then you will come to know the ultimate reality.

Sankhya is direct knowing. Yoga is an effort, a doing. Sankhya says that nothing has to be done; it only has to be realized. Yoga says that much has to be done and only then can realization happen. Both are right, and both can also prove to be wrong. It all depends on you, on the seeker. If a seeker can ignite the fire to know so totally that his ego is burned to ashes, and only the fire to know is left, then nothing else needs to be done. If there is only knowing and there is no knower, if there is no nucleus of ego left within the seeker – only knowing, only awareness, only consciousness – then nothing needs to be done. In this penetrating fire, everything else will happen on its own. Just to see is enough, just to become more aware is enough. To go on growing in awareness is enough. If awareness grows, if wakefulness flowers, that is enough.

But this happens very rarely, only to one in tens of millions. When this happens, it is the result of the efforts of many, many lifetimes. But whenever the phenomenon of Sankhya happens to someone, that person experiences that awareness is enough, that all has happened just through awareness. He has also lived an endless number of lives, and in those many lifetimes he has moved with an endless number of streams of effort.

Sankhya has always spoken against yoga. It is bound to be so, because when the state of Sankhya happens to someone, he feels that nothing else needs to be done – just to be totally aware is enough. But for someone who is unconscious, simply to become totally aware is very, very difficult. Someone whose sleep has broken can say, “Nothing was needed to be done. I simply woke up and saw the light!” But for someone who is asleep – not only asleep, but drunk, almost in a coma; who has taken poison and has become unconscious – you can go on shouting, “Wake up! Wake up! All that you need is to wake up! Just wake up out of your sleep and that is enough. Nothing else needs to be done and you will know the truth!” – But he cannot even hear your shouts. Someone who is drunk from alcohol will first have to clean his whole system of it. Someone who is unconscious will first have to be revived so that he can at least hear what you are saying. At least what you are saying about him opening his eyes needs to reach him.

This is why this concept of Sankhya, although true, does not help. It is only sometimes that someone has a mind-set for Sankhya, and he goes on speaking in the Sankhya way. My own mind structure has been of Sankhya. For fifteen years I went on saying that nothing needs to be done, that just to become aware is enough. Continuously saying this to people, I realized that they are incapable of hearing it. They are not just asleep, they are unconscious. And even if they understand, their understanding is only intellectual, only on the surface. They hear the words, the teaching, and they even start repeating those same words and teachings, but no transformation happens in their lives.

Then I saw that Sankhya is like a flowering – and when a flower blooms, you have no remembrance of its roots at all. The roots are hidden in the darkness, under the earth; they don’t even come to your mind. But for years the roots are growing, the tree is growing, and only then does the flower bloom. Perhaps the flower can say, “Simply to bloom is enough. One just has to bloom; and the fragrance begins to spread everywhere on the winds. What else needs to be done?” The blooming of the flower is the result of a long process – but when the flower blooms, the process is forgotten. When the flower blooms the process remains hidden. When the final fruition happens, then all else, the whole long journey, is forgotten in its shadow.

I began to feel that only once someone’s flower has already bloomed is it okay to say, “All that is needed is for the flower to bloom.” But to go on saying this to someone whose flower has not yet bloomed can be dangerous, because then that man will not even do what little he could have done to care for the roots. He will not even do what little he might have done to nurture the plant, to take care of the plant. Now he will also think in his mind that, “Simply to flower is enough, so I will!” and he will not be able to flower because the flowering is part of a long process. That long process is called yoga.

This is the mistake that Krishnamurti has been making for his whole life: he is telling people that nothing needs to be done. People even understand it, but it is the kind of understanding that instead of destroying ignorance, only hides it. People start to think that nothing has to be done, so they even stop doing what little they might have done. This is why the flower that Krishnamurti says can bloom does not bloom, and the people who listen to him fall into a tremendous dilemma.

So many of his longtime listeners – people who have been listening to him for thirty years or forty years – come to me and say, “We are in a great difficulty. We have heard this idea so much that there is nothing to do. Now even if we want to do something, we can’t. The moment we do something, we immediately remember that doing is futile and that the flower blooms without doing anything; it blooms through non-doing, through effortlessness; there is no need for any spiritual practice. This idea has gone so deep within us that now we can’t do anything at all! We have also stopped doing what we used to do, and by not doing anything at all we have not had even a glimpse of what Krishnamurti says will happen through non-doing. The flower has not bloomed at all.”

The problem has gone even deeper, because they never reached to the same state as a tree reaches when its flowers bloom on their own. Perhaps there are only roots, or their tree has just sprouted, or the branches and leaves have just begun to grow. Now they are not ready to do anything, either to water the plant or even to put a fence around the plant to protect it. Now they no longer actively try to grow towards the sun. Their beings are restless and their flowers don’t bloom, but deep down the flower wants to bloom. The pain in their being is the pain of the flower that wants to bloom – but they have been told that there is nothing to do.

So on one side there is this problem in the approach of Sankhya, that it talks about the ultimate flowering. On the other side, yoga creates a different problem: yoga searches deeply for the roots in the soil, for the water and the sun, but the danger is that you become lost in all the techniques and rituals of yoga. The flowering that you have been doing the rituals for is forgotten, and the rituals themselves take over so much that you begin to feel as if these rituals are your very life. The rituals and practices have become a habit.

Patanjali has mentioned the Eightfold Path of Yoga, and the last three points are dharana, conception, dhyana, meditation and samadhi, enlightenment. These three are the really significant ones, and the other five are the basic steps that lead to them. Samadhi, enlightenment, is the flower, and the other seven are the tree. But often yogis go on doing body postures and pranayama, breath exercises, for their whole lives. They go on doing these same things for their whole lives: they forget the flower of samadhi completely and these rituals become an end in themselves. The means becomes the goal; the path itself starts to become the destination.

The mistake of Sankhya is that the goal becomes all-important, as if no path is needed. And the folly of yoga is that the path becomes so important that even if the goal has to be abandoned in favor of the path, it is done. Even if God were to stand in front of a man who is obsessed with rituals, he would ask God to wait until he has finished doing his rituals! This idea that on the path of yoga rituals are everything misleads thousands of people. The mistake of Sankhya rarely happens, because people with a Sankhya personality are rarely born. Not many people fall into that trap.

Krishnamurti spoke for his whole life, but I don’t think that there are more than five thousand people in India who really hear or understand him. And these five thousand are also the same people who have been listening to him regularly, for the past thirty years – but there seems to be no transformation in their lives. Yes, they accumulate some words, like transformation or words of this sort, and they just start repeating those words. But they always feel the pinch, that the real thing has not happened within them yet; their flower has not bloomed yet.

The danger in yoga is even greater, because whenever people on the Earth become interested in religion, most of them immediately become interested in some activity, in some techniques. It is natural – because man does not achieve anything in life without activity, so naturally he thinks that religion will also have to be an activity. They approach religion in the same way that they approach money. If God is what they seek, that too will have to happen only by doing something. This is how most people think. But the other side of this danger is that man becomes so obsessed with these rituals and the mind enjoys the rituals so much that it becomes difficult to let them go. They lose sight of the destination and the path becomes a trap.

So what can be done to experience the cave of the heart? I say that instead of taking sankhya and yoga as two separate disciplines, take them as two parts of one discipline: take yoga as the beginning part and sankhya as the end part. Take yoga as the tree and Sankhya as the flower. I join the two together for you: sankhya-yoga.

You will certainly have to do something, because as you are, nothing can happen unless you do something. But also, keep in mind that if you remain stuck only in doing, then too, nothing will happen. Much will have to be done, and at a certain moment, all doing will simply have to be dropped. It is like someone climbing a ladder: he climbs it, but then he also leaves it. When someone takes medicines, when the disease is cured he stops taking them; or when someone walks on a path, when he arrives at his destination he leaves the path.

It is not right to say that then he leaves the path, because in reality, the meaning of a path is that you have to go on leaving it at each step – this is the exact meaning of a path. To get closer to your destination you have to go on leaving the path. One has to go on abandoning the path each day so that the destination will keep coming closer. When I say that your destination will come closer as you walk on the path, it means that it comes closer as you constantly leave the path behind. If you have walked one step ahead, it means that you have left one step of path behind you, and this has also brought the destination one step closer.

You have to walk on a path, you have to accept a path, but you also have to let go of it; only then will you come closer to the destination. But people find it easier to get stuck with one of these two. You say, “If I have to abandon the path, why walk on it in the first place?” This is the mistake of Sankhya. Or the other way that makes sense to you is, “Why let go of something that I have already started? Once I start, I should go on forever. I will go on holding on to it and never let go of it.” This is the mistake of yoga.

If both ways – Sankhya and yoga – are in the seeker’s awareness, the cave of the heart can be found very easily.


Excerpt from Flight of the Alone to the Alone, Discourse #17

You can read a related post at: The Door to Sankhya is Open.

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