The Great Dance of Suchness – Osho

Brahman is well known by the name Tatvanam – that – so it is to be meditated upon as Tatvanam – that. All beings love him who know Brahman as such.

“Sir, teach me the Upanishad.”

“The Upanishad has been imparted to you. We have, verily, imparted to you the Upanishad relating to Brahman.”

Of the Upanishad, tapas – austerities; daman – self-restraint; and karma –dedicated work; form the support. The Vedas are its limbs, and truth its abode.

One who realizes it – knowledge of Brahman – thus destroys sin and is well established in Brahman, the infinite, the blissful and the highest.

The word god is not God, because the ultimate cannot have a name. It is nameless – because names are given by others. A child is born. The child is born nameless, then a name is to be given. That name doesn’t come from the inner source of the child’s consciousness. It comes from without. It is a label – useful, utilitarian, but artificial. The child will become a victim. He will identify himself with this name, which is given, which really doesn’t belong to him.

But who will give a name to the Brahman? There are no parents, no society, no ‘other’. And what is the use when the Brahman alone is? A name is needed because you are not alone. You need to be categorized, named, defined, so that others can call you, remember you. If you are alone on the earth, you will not need a name. And Brahman is alone, so who will give him a name? There is no other and there is no utility in it either.

So that is the first thing to be understood and very basic to the Upanishad – because all the religions have given certain names. Hindus have given thousands of names. They have a book, Vishnu Sahastranam – God’s one thousand names. The whole book consists only of names. Christians, Mohammedans, Hindus, all have given certain names to God to make prayer possible. The name remains false but how are you going to call the divine? How are you going to invoke him? How are you going to relate yourself to him? You need a name for the divine, but the Upanishads are not ready to give a name.

The Upanishads are the purest teaching possible; they do not make any compromise. They do not make any compromise for you. They are rigorous, very hard and they try to remain totally pure. So what do the Upanishads call Brahman? They simply call him Tat – that. They do not give him a name. ‘That’ is not a name; ‘that’ is an indication. And there is a great difference. When you do not have a name, then you indicate and say “That.” It is a finger pointing toward the unknown. ‘That’ is a finger pointing toward the unknown, so the Upanishads call him Tat.

You may have heard one of the most famous sentences of the Upanishads: Tat-vam-asi – That art thou. You are also the Brahman, but the Upanishads go on calling him ‘that’. Even to say calling him is not good because the moment we use he, him, the ultimate becomes a person. The Upanishads do not say that he is a person; he is just a force, energy, life, but not a person. So they insist on calling him Tat – that. That is the only name given by the Upanishads to the ultimate.

Many things are implied, of course. One: if there is no name, or if Tat, that, is the only name, prayer becomes impossible. You can meditate on that, but you cannot pray. The Upanishads really do not believe in prayer; they believe in meditation. Prayer is something addressed to a person. Meditation is simply sinking, drowning, within yourself. The person is somewhere outside you but that, the Brahman, the ultimate force, is within you. You need not relate to it as the other; you can simply drown yourself inwardly. You can simply sink within yourself and you will find that – because “That art thou.”

To take Brahman as the other is false for the Upanishads. Not that the other is not Brahman: everything is Brahman; the other also, the outer also, is Brahman. But the Upanishads say that if you cannot feel him within, it is impossible for you to feel him without – because the nearest source is within; the without is far away. And if the nearest has not been known, how can you know the faraway, the distant? If you cannot feel him in yourself, how can you feel him in others? It is impossible.

The first step must be taken within. From there the Brahman, that, is nearest. You are that. To say nearest is false; there is not even that much distance – because even when someone is near there is distance. Nearness shows a certain distance; nearness is a sort of distance. He is not even near you – because you are that. So why go wandering without? He is in the home. You are looking for the guest and he is the host. You are waiting for the guest to come, and he is already the host. He is you.

So the first implication is: for the Upanishads there is no prayer; there is meditation. Prayer is a relationship between two, just like love. Meditation is not a relationship between two. It is just like surrender. Meditation is going withinwards, surrendering yourself unto yourself – not clinging to the periphery but sinking deep to the center. And when you are at your center you are in that – Tat, Brahman.

The second implication: when the Upanishads call him that, it means he is not the creator; rather, he is the creation – because the moment we say, “God is the creator,” we have made him a person. And not only have we made him a person: we have divided existence into two – the creator and the created. The duality has entered. The Upanishads say that he is the creation. Or to be more accurate, he is the creativity – the very force of creation.

I always like to illustrate this point by the phenomenon of dance. A painter paints but the moment he has painted his picture, the painter is separate from the picture. Now the painter can die, and the picture will remain. Or you can destroy the picture but by doing that the painter will not be destroyed – they are separate. Now the picture can exist for centuries without the painter. The painter is not needed. Once painted, it is finished; the relationship is broken.

Look at the dancer! He dances but the dance is not separate; it cannot be separated. If the dancer is dead, then the dance is dead. Dance is not separate from the dancer; the dance cannot exist without the dancer. And the dancer cannot exist without the dance either because the moment there is no dance, the person may be there, but he is not a dancer.

God’s relation to the world, for the Upanishads, is that of dance and the dancer. Hence, we have pictured Shiva as Nataraj, the dancer. A very deep meaning is there – that this world is not something secondary that God has created, then forgotten about and become separate from. The world is not of a secondary order. It is as much of the first order as the divine himself because this world is just a dance, a leela, a play. It cannot be separated.

Calling Brahman That says all that is is Brahman, all that is, is he – the manifested and the unmanifested, the creation and the creator. He is both.

The word that – Tat – also has a very subtle meaning. Buddha has used that meaning very much and Buddhists have a separate school of teaching just based on this word. Buddha has called that suchness, he has called it tathata; hence Buddha’s name, Tathagata – the man who has achieved suchness, who has achieved That.

This word suchness is very beautiful. What does it mean? If you are born, Buddha will say, “Such is the case that you are born.” No other comment. If you die, he will say, “Such is the case – you die!” No other comment, no reaction to it; things are such. Then everything becomes acceptable. If you say, “Things are such that now I have become old, ill; things are such that I am defeated; things are such that I am victorious; things are such . . .” then you don’t claim anything, and you don’t feel frustrated because you don’t expect anything. Such is the nature of things. Then one who is born will die, one who is healthy will become ill, one who is young will become old, one who is beautiful will become ugly. Such is the nature of things.

Unnecessarily you get worried about it; this suchness is not going to change because of your worry. Unnecessarily you get involved in it; your involvement is not going to change anything. Things will go on moving in their own way. The suchness, the river of suchness, will go on moving in spite of you. Whatsoever you do makes no difference; whatsoever you think makes no difference. You cannot make any difference in the nature of things.

Once this feeling settles within your heart, then life has no frustration for you. Then life cannot frustrate you, then life cannot disappoint you. And with this feeling of suchness a subtle joy arises in your being. Then you can enjoy everything – you are no more, really. With the feeling that “Such is the nature, such is existence, such is the course of things,” your ego disappears.

How can your ego exist? It exists only when you think that you can make certain changes in the nature of things. It exists only when you think that you are a creator – you can change the course, you can manipulate nature. This very moment, when you think that you can manipulate nature, ego enters, you become egoistic. You start functioning and thinking as if you are separate.

Someone asked Rinzai, “What’s your sadhana – what’s your meditation?”

So he said, “No meditation. When I feel hungry, I feel hungry, and I go begging. When I feel sleepy, I fall asleep. When sleep is gone and I feel awake, I am awake. I have no other sadhana – no other meditation, no other practice. I move with things as they are. When it is hot, I move into the shadow of a tree; the very nature moves towards shadow. When it becomes cold under the shadow of a tree, I move under the sun – but I am not doing anything. Such is the nature of things.”

Look at the beauty: he says, “Such is the nature of things. When feeling hungry, I go begging – not that I go begging . . . such is the nature of things. The hunger goes begging. Not that I move from the hot sun towards the shadow of a tree – such is the nature of things. The body moves and I allow it all to happen, and I am happy because I allow everything to happen. Nothing can make me miserable.”

Misery enters into you because you start interfering, you become resistant. You don’t allow the suchness to move; you start creating blocks for it. You want to change the course of things, then misery enters.

Someone gives you respect, honors you – you feel elated. You think something very great is within you and now it is being appreciated. It was always there – that was your feeling – but now people have become recognizant, now people have become more understanding so they can recognize the greatness of your being. But then dishonor follows… and such is the nature of things, that dishonor follows honor, it is the shadow of it. It is just the other part, the other aspect of the same coin. And when it follows you feel dejected, you feel depressed, you feel like committing suicide. The whole world has gone wrong around you; the whole world has become inimical to you.

The person who understands the nature of things will enjoy both. He will say, “Such is the nature of things, that people honor me. And such is the nature of things, that dishonor follows honor, defeat follows victory, happiness is followed by unhappiness, health is followed by disease – such is the nature of things! Youth is followed by old age and birth is followed by death – such is the nature of things!”

So whatsoever is the case, if you can feel it is so and nothing else is possible, then that which is possible happens. It is always happening – that which is possible. And that which is impossible is never happening. And if you start asking for the impossible, you are trying to move against the nature of things. The philosophy of suchness or that, thatness, is simply this statement: “Do not try for the impossible; move with the possible and you will never be unhappy.” Bliss happens to those who can move with a feeling of suchness.

Buddha became old and his followers thought, “Buddha should not become old. A buddha becoming old?” The followers could not conceive of this because followers have their own fantasies. They think Buddha is not part of the nature of things. They think he must not die, that he must always remain young. So Ananda said to Buddha, “It is very depressing that now old age is settling upon you. We never imagined that you, one who has become awakened, one who has realized the ultimate, should become old.”

Buddha said, “Such is the nature of things. For everyone, whether a buddha or non-buddha, enlightened or ignorant, the nature of things is the same – equal. I will become old and I will die, because whosoever is born will die. Such is the nature of things.” Ananda is unhappy; Buddha is not. Ananda is unhappy because he is expecting something impossible, against the nature of things.

When Shri Aurobindo died, the whole ashram of Shri Aurobindo was not ready to accept the fact that Aurobindo could die. They couldn’t believe it. The followers all over the world were surprised that Shri Aurobindo could die. For a few months this was the rumor – that he will resurrect again. And for a few days they tried to preserve the body. This was the rumor around the circle of his followers – that he is in deep samadhi, in deep meditation, and he has not died. But after three days, the body started deteriorating and a bad smell started coming out of it. He was really dead. Such is the nature of things.

Nature is a great equalizer; it makes no distinctions. And it is good that it doesn’t make any distinctions. It is not partial. If you are awakened, the only change will be this – that you will accept this suchness. If you are ignorant, the only difference will be this – that you will go on resisting, fighting with the suchness. This is the only difference – the only, I say. And this difference is great, the greatest, because the moment you realize that things move in their own way, that nature has its own law, its own order, you are freed from it. Not that it will change its laws for you, but that you will have changed, your attitude will have changed. You will say, “Such is the nature of things.”

Brahman is the ultimate nature of things, the very suchness. With this comes total acceptance. In total acceptance, suffering disappears. Suffering is your resistance, suffering is your nonacceptance. You create your own suffering. Bliss is always available but because of your attitudes you are not available to it. Now we will enter the sutra.

Brahman is well known by the name Tatvanam – that – so it is to be meditated upon as Tatvanam – that. All beings love him who know Brahman as such.

Brahman is well known by the name that – Tat – so it is to be meditated upon as Tat – as that. Do not meditate upon him as a person. Then your imagination will have entered. There is no person there. Do not meditate upon him as sagun – with attributes. That is not the teaching of the Upanishads. Do not conceive of him in some form. Just remember him as that.

But this is very difficult. How do you remember him as that? You can remember him as Krishna, as Rama, as Christ, as Buddha, but how can you remember him as that? The very concept of ‘that’ shatters your mind. It will stop. If you remember him as that, as the suchness of things, as this great cosmos – and all is implied in it – your mind will stop through shock. You cannot think about that – or can you? You can think about Krishna because you can picture, you can imagine, that he is playing on his flute or he is dancing and his girlfriends, gopis, are dancing around him – or can you picture him making love to Radha?

You can picture him but how to picture ‘that’? There is no flute, there are no girlfriends, there is no dance. There is nothing to be pictured. How can you imagine that? Imagination stops. If you really try to conceive of that, through that very effort mind will stop and you will enter meditation. This that is just like a Zen koan. That which cannot be conceived – if you try to conceive of it your mind will stop and stopping of the mind is meditation.

The very effort to meditate on that is absurd. You cannot meditate upon that: there is nothing to meditate upon; there is no object. That is not an object. But if you try hard, in the very effort . . . because you cannot meditate upon it . . . Not that you will succeed in meditating upon that – in the very effort, in the very failure that you cannot think about it, thinking will stop . . . Because thinking has no goal it cannot move with that and when thinking stops you are in meditation.

It is not that Tat, the Brahman, will appear before you; it is not that you will come to know and realize the truth in front of you – no! The moment your thinking has stopped, you have become that, you have fallen into it. The wave has disappeared into the ocean. And this disappearing always happens within because you fall from there. The wave disappears in the ocean. you are that. Meditating upon that, you will become that.

The Upanishads go on saying that one who knows the Brahman becomes the Brahman; one who meditates upon him becomes him: he becomes that.

Brahman is well known by the name that, so it is to be meditated upon as that. All beings love him who know Brahman as such.

And the person who comes to know Brahman as that, as the suchness of existence, all beings naturally fall in love with him.

Why does this happen? You suddenly feel love arising within your heart and flowing toward the person who has come to attain suchness. Why does it happen? It is not that it is necessarily so; you can even hate such a person because hate is a form of love. But you cannot be indifferent to such a person, that is the point. If such a person is there, either you can love him or hate him, but you cannot be indifferent. Hate is possible because hate is the opposite form, the reverse, of love. It is just love doing shirshasan – standing on its head. But you cannot be indifferent.

Why does love happen? Why does hate happen? And why is indifference not possible? Because the very being of such a person touches your heart deeply. It goes on playing on your heart; your heart becomes a musical instrument. Just the presence of such a person stirs something within you. The very presence of such a person makes your own ‘that’ alive. It becomes a magnetic force, and your own sleeping Brahman feels its sleep disturbed. Your own sleeping Brahman opens his eyes and looks at this awakened Brahman and a love or hate happens.

If you are receptive, surrendering, trusting, then love will happen. If you are doubtful, skeptical, non-surrendering, egoistic, then hate will happen. But indifference is impossible. You cannot conceive of Buddha moving in a town and someone being indifferent. Either love or hate is bound to happen. But both are relationships; you will start being related.

Love says, “I am ready to move with you.” Hate says, “Do not pull me. I am not ready to surrender; I will resist.” Love says, “I am ready to follow you and fall with you.” Hate says, “I cannot surrender my ego. And just because I cannot surrender my ego I will hate you, because the moment I love the surrender will happen.” And sometimes it happens that when you are in love with a person you may not be so deeply related as when you hate him.

There is one anecdote I have heard: one rishi got angry with someone. He was so angry that he cursed the man. The curse was terrible, and this man would have to be born again and again and suffer. The man fell down at the feet of that rishi and asked forgiveness. But a curse cannot be reversed. The rishi said, “Now nothing can be done to reverse the curse. You will have to pass through it. Only one thing can be done. If you remember God’s name, then the curse will not have such a terrific effect upon you. You will remain detached; you will not suffer so much. But you will have to pass through suffering.”

So the man asked, “Tell me the secret of remembering the name so that I may not forget it.”

Then the rishi said, “Then hate God. Do not love – because love can forget, but hate cannot. Hate God, and go on cursing and cursing him, swearing against him. Just by cursing him you will remember him.”

Love may forget; hate cannot forget. Love can forget because love, by and by, becomes one with the object of love. Hate is a constant vigilance; you have to protect yourself. The pull is there – a buddha is pulling you – you have to struggle. If you lose for a single moment, if you are forgetful for a single moment, you will be in the current. So you have to be constantly alert. Hate is just a love relationship in the reverse order.

A person who happens to be enlightened will attract you – either your love or your hate. But one thing is certain: you cannot be indifferent to him, because he has gone so deep that his depth will resonate within you, will resound, reflect. His depth will call your depth. He will become an invocation. It is not that he will do something: just his being, just his very being, will do something – no effort on his part.

Just looking at a flower, you say, “Beautiful!” Something has happened within you. It is not that the flower has done anything; the flower is completely unaware that you are passing. But you say, “Beautiful!” When your heart says that something is beautiful, something has happened within your heart; the flower has touched you deep down. You see the full moon in the night and suddenly you become silent. The depth, the beauty, the grace, has touched you.

Similar is the case here: when a person who has achieved Brahman, who is enlightened, touches you, it is deeper than any flower can touch. It is deeper than any full moon can touch, it is deeper than anything in the world can touch you because the feeling of Brahman is the deepest, the ultimate core, the very ground. Just by being near such a person you are changed.

Hence so much insistence in India just to be near the master – just to be near the master! The very nearness goes on changing you because the depth calls your depth, the inner silence calls your inner silence, the bliss invokes your bliss. The very presence of a master is seductive. He goes on changing you, transforming you.

“Sir, teach me the Upanishad.”

Now speaks the disciple. Up to now the master was speaking, and now the disciple asks the first and the last question – the only question. This is beautiful . . . because he was simply waiting. You must not have even been aware that there was a disciple. Only the master was speaking, as if the disciple was not. He must have been just ears and eyes; he has not interrupted at all. Now, in the last moment, he asks for something:

“Sir, teach me the Upanishad.”

The word upanishad means the esoteric teaching, the hidden teaching, the secret teaching. Upanishad means the secret path, the secret key – the esoteric, the hidden, the unknown. Upanishad means the mystery. Asks the disciple: “Sir, teach me the Upanishad.”

And the master says,

“The Upanishad has been imparted to you. We have verily imparted to you the Upanishad relating to Brahman.”

Here there is a very subtle and delicate point to be understood. The master has been teaching, talking, and the disciple must have been intensely, intellectually alert, aware, to understand whatsoever was said. And all that can be said has been said. All the knowledge relating to Brahman has been imparted. All that can be verbalized, all that can be spoken has been spoken.

And the student asks, the disciple asks, “Now teach me the Upanishad, the secret of secrets. What is the meaning of it?”

And the master says, “The Upanishad has already been imparted to you.” The master is talking – this is on one level – and while the disciple is engaged in listening, on another level the secret is being imparted.

That is why the disciple is not aware: he is intellectually engaged. His attention is on the words but deep down something else is being transferred. And that transfer is the secret: that is the real Upanishad. But that cannot be said. It is a transfer without words, a communication without language.

Bodhidharma, one of the greatest masters India has ever produced, went to China. It is said about him that he came to China with a scripture that didn’t exist – with a scripture that didn’t exist! He transferred the scripture without transferring anything at all. He must have been a past master in communicating things, silently, without words.

He used to sit looking at the wall; he would never look at his audience. Just his back would be toward you. He would never look at you; he would just look at the wall. And many people would ask Bodhidharma, “What type of way is this? What type of manners? What type of man are you? We have never seen anyone looking at the wall and we have come to listen to you.” Bodhidharma used to say, “When the right man comes, I will turn toward him. And the right man is one who can understand me in silence. I am not interested in you at all.”

And then one day a right man came, and that right man said to Bodhidharma, “Turn toward me; otherwise, I will cut off my head.”

So Bodhidharma turned immediately and said, “So you have come? Now sit in silence and I will impart.”

Not a single word was uttered in imparting and the other was made a master. And Bodhidharma disappeared. He had said, “I was waiting for this man for nine years.” And the other became a master but not a single word was used.

There are layers in your being. The uppermost layer, the most superficial, understands language, and the deepest understands silence. And masters have to create devices. These teachings, verbal teachings, are just devices. I have just been talking to you . . .

One young man came to me just the other day and he said, “You are very contradictory. You go on saying nothing can be said and you go on talking every day continuously for three hours in the morning and in the evening. You are very contradictory. You say nothing can be said about that and yet you go on saying.”

He is right, I am contradictory. Nothing can be said about that, and still I go on saying something. This something is just to catch your attention on one level so that on another level something can penetrate in silence.

The master says, “The Upanishad has already been imparted to you, and you are saying, “Teach me, sir, the Upanishad.” And what have I been doing all the time?” But the disciple was engaged intellectually. He is not yet aware what has happened to him. The news has not yet reached to his intellect. It will take time.

So it happens. While you are here you may not have understood me but that doesn’t make any difference. If there has been a contact in silence, it will take time for you to realize that something has happened within. The news will take time because intellect is very far away from the deepest center of you. If something happens there, you will not become aware. Rather, I will become aware first. So I go on looking at you while you are meditating, just to feel what is happening – because you are not yet able to feel what is happening. It will take time. The message will come one day; it will travel; it will pass through all the centers and layers. And then it will come to your mind and then you will recognize – but it may take years.

Someone very near to me was saying just the other day, “You have not done anything for me, and I have been with you for two years.” The news has not yet reached. It will take time.

The master says:

“The Upanishad has been imparted to you. We have verily imparted to you the Upanishad relating to Brahman.”

Of the Upanishad, tapas – austerities; daman – self-restraint; and karma – dedicated work; form the support. The Vedas are its limbs and truth its abode.

In short, the master defines what the Upanishad calls tapas. Tapas means effort – intense effort. When you bring your total energy to any effort it becomes tapas – any effort! If your total energy is brought to it, it becomes tapas.

While doing meditation, if you withhold yourself it is not tapas. You are just making an effort which is so-so, on the surface. You are not deep in it, not moving in it totally. When you move in it totally, it creates heat; hence, the name tapas. Tapas means heat. When you move totally in any effort, it creates heat within you. Exactly that: it creates heat, and that heat changes many things chemically. You become a different being. You become a different person through tapas because that heat changes you chemically. It makes a different type of personality for you.

Gurdjieff used methods of tapas very much in this age. He would give some method to you, and he would say, “Bring your total effort to it. Not a single fragment should be left behind to watch it. Bring yourself totally in it, become the effort.” And you may be surprised that any effort . . .

Gurdjieff would say to someone, “Go into the garden and dig a hole and bring total effort into the digging. Forget the digger completely; become the digging.” And the man would go, and he would dig and he would dig. The whole day he would have been digging. Then Gurdjieff would come and throw all the mud back and he would say, “This was useless. Start again tomorrow morning.”

And the man would start again the next morning and this would go on for days and days. And he would come every evening and he would throw the mud back, and he would say, “Start again.”

When the digger becomes the digging, when there is no one left behind, when the whole being has moved into effort, it becomes tapas; it becomes a subtle heat.

The master says tapas and daman. Daman is self-restraint, not suppression. This word daman has been very wrongly used. It is not suppression; it is self-restraint. And there is a deep difference.

While doing meditation, while standing in silence, you may feel a sneeze coming. You can suppress it, you can start fighting with it, then it is suppression. But if you simply remain indifferent, if you do not do anything about it, if you do not suppress and you do not express, if you do not do anything about it and you simply remain indifferent, this is self-restraint. You remain in yourself. You don’t move towards the sneeze to do anything.

If you move to express it, you have come out of yourself. If you move to suppress it, again you have come out of yourself. You simply remain in yourself as if the sneeze is happening to someone else – you are not concerned. You don’t suppress it, you don’t fight with it. You simply remain indifferent, a witness. That is self-restraint.

Suppression is easy because you are allowed to do something. Self-restraint is very difficult because you are not allowed to do anything. You are to remain passive, a non-doer, non-active, simply watching.

. . . Tapas, daman and karma – dedicated work – form the support. These three

things form the support of the secret teaching, of the Upanishad. Dedicated work – all karma, all action, is not karma. When a karma is dedicated; when a karma is egoless; when a karma becomes a sort of prayer, a meditation; when a karma is only outwardly a karma and inwardly something else is reaching toward the divine; then it is karma – then it is dedicated work.

For example, you are serving an old man or an ill man. If you can make it a meditation, if you can make it a prayer; if you can see the divine, ‘that’, in that old, ill man; if you serve not to achieve anything, you serve to be in deep meditation – in this moment your service becomes meditation. Then it becomes karma. If you want to achieve anything out of it, it will create a chain of cause and effect.

If you want this old man – he may even be your father – to have property, a bank balance, if your eyes are on the bank balance, then it is not karma. But the bank balance can be there in many shapes: you may be serving this old man to achieve heaven; that again is a bank balance. You may be serving this old man because you have been taught that service leads to God; then again it is a sort of bank balance. You are not here. Your mind is somewhere else.

When karma is totally here and now, when your mind is not moving anywhere else into the future, then it doesn’t create any chain. In this very moment it becomes a meditation.

These three – tapas – austerities; daman – self-restraint; and karma – dedicated work, form the support. The Vedas are its limbs.

Veda is a beautiful word: it simply means knowledge. Whatsoever has been known about the Brahman, wherever, it is all Vedas. So I call The Bible a Veda and I call the Koran a Veda; to me there are thousands and thousands of Vedas. And whenever a person becomes enlightened, whatsoever he says is a Veda. So the Vedas are not only four. The word Veda comes from vid; vid means to know. And wherever this knowing is accumulated, wherever this knowing is symbolized, it becomes a Veda.

The Vedas are its limbs and truth its abode.

These three things have to be remembered: make intense effort so that an inner heat is born and changes you chemically; be in a self-restraint so that you become more self-centered, unmoving, unwavering, centered, rooted; and make your work a karma – a dedicated prayer, a meditation. Try to know all that has been known before. Not that through it you will come to truth but all that will become a help. It can also become a barrier if you become too much attached to it. Otherwise, it will be a help, an indicator.

Ultimately truth is the abode – and truth means that. And that comes to you when you live a life of suchness.

One who realizes it – knowledge of Brahman – thus destroys sin and is well established in Brahman, the infinite, the blissful and the highest.

-Osho

From The Supreme Doctrine, Discourse #16

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God Is Existence – Osho

What sight fails to see, but what sees sight – know thou that alone as Brahman, and not this that people worship here.

What hearing fails to hear, but what hears hearing – know thou that alone as Brahman, and not this that people worship here.

What prana does not reveal, but what reveals prana – know thou that alone as Brahman, and not this that people worship here.

This century started with a very strange declaration. The declaration was made by Friedrich Nietzsche. He said, “God is dead, and hence man is totally free from now on.” The declaration looked very strange the moment it was made but it proved prophetic. And, by and by, it became the base of the modern mind.

Really, for the modern man, God is dead. It is not that God is dead: if God can be dead then nothing can be alive, because by God we mean the essential, eternal life, the very ground of existence. But for modern man God is dead. Or, we can say in another way that modern man is dead toward God. The relationship has broken; the bridge is no longer there. Whether you believe or disbelieve, it makes no difference. Your belief is superficial; it doesn’t go very deep.

Your disbelief is also superficial. When belief itself is superficial, how can disbelief go very deep? When theists are very superficial, how can atheists be very deep? When the yes itself has lost its meaning, how can the no carry any meaning? All the meaning that atheism can carry comes from the depth of theism. When there are people who can say with their total being yes to God, only then does the no become meaningful. It is secondary.

God is dead, and with God even the disbelief is dead. Belief is dead and with it the disbelief is also dead. This century and the modern mind are, in a way, in a very peculiar situation. It has never been so before. There have been persons who were theists who really believed that God exists. There were persons who were really atheists and who believed with the same intensity that God does not exist. But the modern mind is indifferent: it doesn’t care. Whether God exists or not, it is irrelevant. No one is interested in proving it one way or the other.

Really, this is the meaning of Nietzsche’s declaration that God is dead. You do not care even to deny him. You do not care even to argue against him. The bridge is simply broken. We have no relationship with him – neither for nor against. Why has this happened? Why has this phenomenon become so prominent in the modern mind – this indifference? We will have to seek the causes.

The first cause is that we have always been thinking of God as a person. To think about God as a person is false, untrue, and that idea had to die. The idea that God is a person – controlling, managing, creating, maintaining – is false. God is not a person. The idea became so significant because of our minds. Whenever we think about something, either we can think of it as a thing or as a person. Only two alternatives are open: when something exists, then it must either be a thing or a person.

We cannot think, we cannot imagine, that things and persons are both manifestations of something deeper – hidden. The same force becomes a thing; the same force becomes a person. But the force itself is neither. God, taken as – a person, is dead. The concept is dead, and the concept had to die because as a person God cannot be proved. And taken as a person, he doesn’t solve any problem. Rather, on the contrary, he creates more – because if God is a person, then why is there evil in the world? He must be allowing evil; he must be cooperating with it. Then he becomes an evil person.

Andre Gide has said somewhere, “It is difficult for me to conceive that God exists as good. But I can conceive that God exists as evil, as Satan, because there is so much evil in the world, so much suffering, so much pain, so much anguish.” He cannot imagine that God is managing this whole affair. There must be something like a devil in charge of it, a supreme devil. God must be good; otherwise, what type of God is he? A basic goodness must be there. But as the world appears, it seems that God is devilish and not good – that he is playing with evil, and somehow it appears he is enjoying this whole suffering and torturing.

If God is a person, then there are two alternatives open: either he will become a devil, or we will have to deny that he exists. And the second is better. God as a person had to die because it became impossible to conceive him as good. But the concept was wrong; it was anthropocentric. We conceived of God as a supreme man, as a superman. God was conceived of as a magnified person like ourselves. We only magnified man.

In The Bible it is said that God created man in his own image, but this is said by man. The real thing is just the reverse: man created God in his own image. This man’s image had to disappear. And it is good that this type of God is dead, because with that concept of God removed, we can start a fresh inquiry into what God is.

The Upanishads are totally different. They never say God is a person; that is why they have a relevance for the modern mind. They do not say that God is a person. They say that God is the very ground of being, not a person. God is existence, not existential. This distinction is subtle but try to understand it.

A thing exists, a man exists, a woman exists, a person exists, but they can go out of existence. Whatsoever exists can become nonexistent – it is implied. Whatsoever exists can go out of existence. But existence itself cannot go out of existence. So we can say the chair exists, we can say the house exists, because they can go out of existence. But we cannot say that God exists.

God is existence – it is not that God exists; God is simply synonymous with existence. Really, to say that God is, is to repeat. God means is. It is bad language to say God is, because the very isness is God. God means is – isness. To say God exists is wrong. God is existence. Or God is just another term for existence. Existence never dies, never goes out of existence. Forms come and go, forms change. Nothing is permanent in the world of forms. So the Upanishads say nama and rupa – name and form – they are the world, and that which is beyond name and form is God. But what is beyond name and form? Existence itself is beyond name and form.

The Upanishads think of God not as a person but as existence itself – as the very ground of existence, namarupaateet – beyond name, beyond form. What is beyond name and beyond form? There are trees around this house; they exist. There are hills beyond those trees; they exist. You are here; you exist. In the trees, in the hills, in you, what is common? Form is not common: you have a different form; the trees have a different form, and the hills have an altogether different form. The names are not common, the forms are not common. What is common? That common denominator will be God. You exist, trees exist, hills exist. Existence is common: everything else is just accidental. The essential is that you exist, the trees exist, the hills exist. Existence is common. That existence is God.

But the Upanishads never became very popular. They cannot become popular, because if God is existence, then for you all meaning is lost – because then how to relate to existence? If God is a person, a father, a mother, a brother, a beloved, you can relate, you can think of relationship. But how to relate with existence? Existence is so pure, so abstract. How then do you pray to it? How do you call it? How do you cry and weep before it? No one is there.

Because of this human weakness, the Upanishads never became very popular. They are so true that they cannot become very popular. To make truth popular is almost impossible because the human mind will not take it as it is. The human mind can only think, “If God is a person, then we can relate.” That is why there is so much influence of bhakti cults – of devotional cults. One needs to pray, to be in devotion, to surrender, and a person is there so it becomes easy. You can pray, you can talk, you can communicate. Of course, there is no one there, but for you it becomes easy. If you can imagine that someone is listening to your prayer, it becomes easy for you to pray.

No one is listening. There is just abstract existence which has no ears to listen, no eyes to see you, no hands to touch you. But it will be difficult for you to pray. Because of this difficulty, man always thinks that God is a person. Then everything becomes easy, but everything becomes wrong. It becomes easy on the one hand, but it goes wrong on the other hand.

So that God is dead, and there is no possibility to revive him, no possibility to give blood or a heartbeat again to him. He is really dead. That God cannot be introduced again in the world. We have passed that moment. The human mind has become more mature; the childish attitude toward God cannot be there again. But it is a hangover. We still go on thinking in terms which are dead. We still go on picturing him although all name and form has dissolved.

The Upanishads have a relevance now. Five thousand years ago they were before their time. When this Kenopanishad was written, it was before its time; now the time has come and the Kenopanishad can be understood. The Upanishads can be understood because God as a person is no more there. Now God can exist only as an impersonal existence.

But there will be difficulties because then you will have to change everything: your whole religion will have to be changed, because the center disappears. For the old religion the center disappears, and with a new center a new type of religion will arise – a new religious attitude.

Hence, my insistence is on meditation not on prayer. Why? – because prayer needs a person, meditation needs no person there. You can meditate without there being a person to listen to you, because meditation is not prayer; it is not addressed to anyone. It is just something you are doing without someone else being there. It is not a relationship.

If God is dead, then prayer has become meaningless. Only meditation can become meaningful.

When you pray, you pray to someone. When you meditate, you simply meditate. When you pray, prayer is dual – dualistic: you are there and someone else is there to whom the prayer is addressed. Meditation is nondualistic – advaita; there is no one else. It is not a relationship at all. You are alone. And the more you enter this aloneness, the more you enter meditation.

Meditation means the capacity to be alone – not only to be alone, but to enjoy the very aloneness; to become so alone that the other disappears completely – the other is not there; to become so alone that you start falling within yourself. The abyss opens, and you go on falling within yourself. When you fall within yourself, sooner or later the form will be lost, the name will be lost, because they exist only on the surface. The deeper you drown the more you come nearer to God – God as existence, not as a person.

So this is the distinction. If you are praying God is outside, you and that God is dead. Now that outside God is no more. You can go on thinking about him, that he is somewhere there in heaven, in the skies, but you yourself will feel this is childish. There is no one there. That God has been escaping from every abode.

Once, in the days of the Rigveda, he was living just near in the Himalayas, because the Himalayas were unapproachable. He used to live on Kailash. But then men entered there, so he had to fly from there to where he could not be found. Then he made his abode on the stars, on the moon. But now man has also reached the moon, and now he is not there. Sooner or later, man will be everywhere, and God will be nowhere, because where can he hide? Nothing is unapproachable now, or everything will become approachable sooner or later. He has no place to hide. That concept cannot exist anymore. God as a person is not to be found there. And it is good because now you can turn from prayer to meditation.

Really, prayer is childish. In a way it is neurotic, because you create a God in your imagination and then you start praying to it. And you can become so hallucinatory that you will start answering your prayer from the side of the God. Then you really have gone mad. Then you are not in your senses. You can do it; many people have done it and they are known as great saints. They were ill, because with God only silence is possible. When you become silent you cannot relate to the other; you fall within yourself. God has now come to be a force within. He is not a person without; he is now a force within.

There is one beautiful story in the old Indian literature. It is said it happened that God created the world, and then he used to live on earth. It was his own creation, so he enjoyed it and lived with men and animals and trees. But he was in a great difficulty, because the whole day he was disturbed and even in the night he was not allowed to sleep, because people would go on complaining: “This is wrong, that is wrong; why have you done this, why not do it this way?” Everyone would come to advise him and give suggestions.

He got so fed up that he called a council of his wise deities, wise counselors, and he asked them, “Find a place for me to hide from my own creation, because they will kill me, or I will commit suicide. Every single moment they come to advise me, and they keep saying, ’Do this and do that; this is wrong, and this must not be done,’ and their opinions are so contradictory that if I follow them the whole thing will become a mess.”

So someone suggested, “You go to the Himalayas. Hide there on Gourishankar, Everest.”

“But” God said, “you cannot see further ahead. Someday Tensing and Hillary will come there, and it is only a question of a few hours.” For God it is only a question of a few hours, so he said, “This will not do.”

Then someone suggested, “Go to the moon.”

“But” he said, “you don’t know. Only a few minutes more and men will be there.”

Then one old, wise counselor came to him and said in his ear, “It will be better that you hide in man himself. There he will never try to enter.”

And it is said that God accepted the suggestion, and from that moment he has not been troubled at all.

Now the moment has come to trouble him there. And only through meditation can you enter there, not through prayer, because prayer goes on believing that he lives somewhere – on the moon, on Everest; prayer goes on trying to locate him outside. Meditation completely washes away the whole concept that he is outside, or that he can be prayed to, or that he can be talked to, or that you can relate to him. No, you can simply move within yourself. And the deeper you move, the deeper you are moving in him. But this meeting will be in silence because he is not the other. He is you – he has been hiding as you.

If you can follow me, if you can understand the distinction between prayer and meditation – God as a person and God as existence – then it will be easy to follow this sutra:

What sight fails to see, but what sees sight – know thou that alone as brahman, and not this that people worship here.

What sight fails to see . . . because if he is without, you can see him. Then the sight cannot fail to see. Then ways and means can be found, and you can see him if he is without. But he is not there. That is why the sutra says: What sight fails to see. You cannot see him; there is no way to see. Whatsoever you do you cannot see him. But people have seen him, so what to say about them? What to think of them? They have seen!

There have been Christian mystics who say they have seen Jesus standing before them. There have been Hindu devotees who say they have seen Krishna playing on his flute. There are other types of devotees all over the world. Someone sees him as Rama, someone sees him as Krishna, someone sees him as Jesus, someone as Mary… and they go on seeing.

This Upanishad says, What sight fails to see – then they must have been imagining. Beautiful imaginings, very deeply satisfying! When you see Jesus standing before you, you are filled with a deep contentment, with deep satisfaction. But it is still a dream – beautiful, but a dream. A vision that you have created, a vision that you have desired, a vision that you have longed to see. And whatsoever you long to see you are capable of seeing, because the human mind can create any imagination and give it reality. That is the capacity of the human mind. You can create a dream and you can make it real.

Of course, it will be real only for you, no one else. So when you see Jesus you cannot make him a vision for others also. If your friends ask you, “Allow us also to see your vision,” you cannot help. You cannot do anything because a dream has a peculiar quality: it cannot be shared. You can dream your dream, I can dream my dream – but you cannot enter into my dream, I cannot enter into your dream. A dream is the most private thing in the world. Everything can be made public, but dreams cannot be made public.

Howsoever you love your friend, your wife, your husband, howsoever intimate you are, you cannot enter into each other’s dreams. That remains private. And the same is the case with visions such as your seeing Jesus. No one else can share this experience. You will walk with him on the street, and everyone will see you walking alone; that is a private dream of your own.

I have heard one anecdote . . .

It happened once that a girl, a young girl, dreamt that a very beautiful prince came riding on a horse. He picked her up, kissed her deeply, and then rode away with her. The horse was running fast, and the girl asked the prince, “Where are you leading me? Where are you taking me away to?”

The prince said, “It is your dream – you tell me. It is your dream, and you will have to tell me where I am to lead you to. You tell me!”

When you are seeing a vision of Jesus or Krishna, really you have only divided your own mind into two parts: one which has become the devotee and the other which has become the God. And if you ask Krishna, “Where are you leading me?” he will say to you, “It is your dream. You tell me.”

But when I say it is a dream, I am not condemning it, I am simply stating a fact. It is beautiful. You can enjoy it! There is nothing wrong – what is wrong with enjoying a dream, a beautiful dream? You can enjoy it. The problem arises if you start thinking it is reality. Then you are moving on dangerous terrain; then be aware. The mind can project anything.

Go to any madhouse and see. There you will see everyone talking to someone who is not present; everyone is talking and answering also. Every man there has become split. They go on seeing visions, they go on seeing projections. And those projections appear so real to them that we have to put them in madhouses because now they cannot be relied upon. They have lost contact with reality and are now in contact only with the dream world.

That is what a madman means: he has lost contact with reality. With fact there is now no contact; only with his own fiction is there contact. He lives in his own private world. He is not living with you in the real world, he is not a part of it. You cannot convince a madman that he is wrong. That is impossible! He may confuse you, but you cannot confuse him. And if you live a long time with a madman, you may go mad yourself.

I have heard it happened once that an emperor became mad. He had a passion for playing chess, so some psychologist suggested that if a great chess player went on playing chess with him, this might relax his mind. He was still interested in chess. The whole world had become nonexistent; only chess had remained as a link to the real world. So the greatest champion was called, and that champion played chess with that mad emperor.

For one year this continued – he was playing chess with the mad emperor. And in the end, it happened that the emperor became okay, but the chess player became mad. He traveled back to reality and the poor man who was playing chess with him became mad.

If you live with a madman for one year, it will be difficult for you not to become mad. He will confuse you, but you cannot confuse him. He is beyond that. You cannot touch him, because he lives in his own private world. You cannot enter that world. It is impossible to enter into his private world. And you cannot convince him that he is wrong. Wrong and right, true and false, are the distinctions of the real world. In the dream world nothing is wrong, nothing is right. Whatsoever is, is right by its own right; just by being there it is right.

There are religious madnesses, there are secular madnesses. People can go mad in two ways – a secular way and a religious way. When you go mad in a religious way, people will respect you because they think you have achieved something. So remember, do not go mad the secular way; whenever you want to go mad, don’t go the secular way, always try the religious way. Then people will respect you – but only in the East. It is now no longer so in the West: whatsoever the type, they will call you mad.

Whenever you are projecting a reality through your own mind, you are creating an illusion around yourself and then you can see. The Upanishads are so realistic. They say you cannot see: What sight fails to see, but what sees sight. You cannot see him through the eyes, but he can see your eyes because he is hidden behind you. Your eyes are just in front of him. He is you; he can see your eyes. But you cannot see him through the eyes. He is hidden behind all your senses so he can see your senses.

If you go deep into meditation, you can see the inner core of your body, the inner wall. This has been a strange happening, because in the West it is only three hundred years since medical science came to know about the inner structure of the body – and that too by dissection. By cutting the body, analyzing the body, dissecting the body, Western medical science came to know about the inner structure of it.

But for the East it has been a strange phenomenon. Yogis and tantrikas have always known it, and they never dissected a single body. They know how many nadis, how many nerves there are. They have completely determined how the whole inner body functions – but they never dissected a body, they were not surgeons. How did they come to know about it? They came to know it through a totally different way. They became so meditatively silent within that in that silence they became detached from the body. They became just an awareness inside. Then they started to see what is inside.

You know your body only from the outside. This is peculiar because you live inside and yet you have not observed it from the inside. It is as if you live in a house, and you go around and around it never coming to know it from within – how it looks from within. Your body has two surfaces. There is the outer surface which we are aware of because we can see it through the eyes, touch it with the hands. Then there is the inner surface of the body for which the eyes and the hands cannot be used.

If you can simply become alert and silent, detached, you will come to know the inner surface. Then you can see your eyes, and then you can hear your ears, and then you can touch your hands, and then you can know your body. But your body cannot know you.

This is what the sutra says:

What sight fails to see, but what sees sight – know thou alone as brahman, and not this that people worship here.

Except for your body, there is no temple to enter and search in. There is no mosque and no church where God abides – he abides in you. If you can enter and fall back upon your center of consciousness, know that alone to be the Brahman – to be the ultimate, to be the real, to be the existence, and do not fall a victim to all that which is worshipped by people here.

People go on worshipping their own imaginations, people go on worshipping their own creations. Then fashions change and when fashions change, imagination changes. Then you have to create new idols, new images, new places of worship. Hence, so many religions on the earth; otherwise, it is absurd. How can there be so many religions? If truth is one how can there be so many religions?

Science is one but why is religion not one? Why is science not Christian science, Hindu science, Mohammedan science? It is not possible because science deals with fact. And if you deal with fact, then there can be only one science because fact is not a private thing. If you come upon a fact, then everyone has to accept it; there is no other way. You cannot go on denying it. And if you deny science, it will be at your own loss. If physics comes to know a law, then you cannot say, “I am an Indian and I cannot believe a man who is discovering a law in England. How can I follow an Englishman or a Chinese? We are of different nations; our cultures are different.” You cannot say that. A physical law is a physical law. It makes no difference who discovers it. Once discovered it is universal.

Science is one, but why is religion not one? If it is also the ultimate law it must be one – more one than science because science deals only with outer facts and religion deals with the inner truth. Why should it be so? There are three hundred religions – how is it possible?

These three hundred religions exist because of fiction, dream, not because of truth. They can exist because they are your creations, not your realizations. You create your own mode of worship; you create your own temple. Your religions are artistic creations, not scientific realizations – artistic creations! You paint your own religion, and you like your paintings and you cannot think that any other’s painting is better than your own. You like it, so you go on fighting that your painting is supreme; no one else can paint such a thing. All else is secondary. You can tolerate others’ paintings if you are a good man. You can tolerate others with a patronizing attitude thinking, “They are a little stupid, foolish. Just wait. They will come to the right thing.”

Christians go on waiting that Hindus will come to their senses and they will become Christians. Hindus go on waiting for these foolish Christians thinking that someday or other they will be converted, they will become Hindus. How can they escape the truth? And Jainas go on thinking that all the followers of Krishna and Christ are following untrue masters. How can they follow a false master for so long? Some day or other they will come to the right master, Mahavira. They will follow him. Everyone goes on thinking inside that he is right and everyone else is wrong.

This happens because for the masses religion is imagination. They have their own imaginations; they have painted their own world. It is artistic. Nothing – is wrong with it. You decorate your house in your own way; it is good. Who is there to say that it is wrong? It is no one’s right. You decorate your house in your own way, but you do not fight about decoration. You do not say, “My decoration is the ultimate truth.” Everyone else is allowed to decorate his house in his own way.

You are doing the same thing with your mind. You decorate it with your own images, worship, prayer, your own Bibles, your own Gitas. You go on decorating your inner world and then you become part of it, you live in it. This is illusory.

The sutra says: That alone is Brahman which you realize when you transcend the senses, when you go behind the senses, when you can see the eyes, when you can hear the ears, when you can touch the hand from within.

That alone know as brahman, and not this that people worship here. What hearing fails to hear, but what hears hearing – know thou that alone as brahman, and not this that people worship here. What prana does not reveal, but what reveals prana – know thou that alone as brahman, and not this that people worship here.

All the temples are false, all the mosques are false, all the churches are false. I am not condemning them; I am simply stating a fact – because they are creations of the imagination. I do not say destroy them; I say enjoy them – but do not think that this enjoyment is leading you toward the ultimate. Enjoy the creations. It is a good game; nothing is wrong with it. People are going to the movies; people are going to dancehalls. Why should they not be allowed to enjoy a religious fantasy? In their temples, in their mosques, in their gurudwaras, they should be allowed – they are free! And it is better to have a religious fantasy than not to have – anything. But do not think that you are realizing the Brahman there; you cannot. He is not there, so you cannot do anything. You can enjoy yourself. – You can enjoy your fantasy, your dream world.

If this is understood, then temples can exist. They are beautiful, artistic creations but do not be lost in them. Go there, but do not be lost there. Go on remembering that whatsoever is worshipped by the people is not the real Brahman, because the real Brahman is hidden in the worshipper. This is the emphasis. When I worship, I am there, and the object of worship is there. Where is Brahman? – in the object of worship or in the worshipper? The emphasis of the Upanishads is: it is in the worshipper, not in the object of worship. The object of worship is secondary; it is created by the worshipper. The value of what you feel there is projected by you; it is given by you. It is a gift to the object from you.

You can put a round rock in your house and you can worship it as Shiva – it is shivalinga. And the rock was lying in the street or just on a riverbed for millions of years. No one worshipped it; no one knew that this is Shiva. The river never cared; the animals passed by it, they never looked at it. And suddenly you transform the rock. Suddenly the rock becomes an object of worship, sacred, and now no one can touch it. And people were walking over it. Their feet touched it for centuries. Now suddenly you create a pedestal. You put the rock there. You say that this is Shivalinga, that this is the symbol of the god Shiva, and then you worship, and you feel very good.

Nothing is bad about it. The rock is beautiful and if you enjoy, then enjoy. But remember, the rock is simply a rock and Shiva is your creation. You have projected him; you have made that rock into a Shiva. The god is created by you; the rock is not even aware. And if the rock could see you, it would laugh: “This man has gone mad. What are you doing worshipping me?” The worshipper – creates the worshipped, the devotee creates the god.

The Upanishads say that there you will not find the real, you will only find the imagined. Move, rather, into the worshipper; penetrate into the worshipper. Forget the objects of worship and just try to know who is this worshipper – who is this who is worshipping? Who is this who is praying? Who is this who is going to the temple? And if you can find out who this is who worships, you have found the Brahman.

I have heard that once it happened that a Zen master, Huang Po, was delivering a sermon. Suddenly a man stood up. The man said, “I have been listening and listening for years, and everyone says, ‘Know thyself,’ but I don’t follow the meaning. What do you mean by knowing thyself? Please try to explain it to me in simple terms. I am not a very learned man; I do not know the jargon. Simply state the thing. What do you mean by ‘Know thyself’?”

Huang Po said, “If you cannot follow the jargon, then I will not use language.” He said to the people who were listening, “Make way, so that I can reach that man.” Huang Po came down from his rostrum and walked to the man. The man became a little afraid, uneasy, because he never thought there was any need to come so near. Is this man going to attack? And Huang Po looked very aggressive – he was a man like a lion. So the man became afraid, and others also became uneasy about what was going to happen. And they knew about Huang Po. Sometimes he had slapped, sometimes he had thrown an inquirer out of the door, and sometimes he had beaten . . . So what is going to happen? There was silence, dead silence; no one was breathing.

Then Huang Po came near. He took the collar of that man in his hand, and he said, “Close your eyes.” So the man, just out of fear, closed his eyes. There was total silence. The man closed his eyes, and then Huang Po said, “Now know who is there.” So the man stood there, the whole hall silent, no one was breathing, and Huang Po just stood there . . .

The man closed his eyes. He must really have been a simple, innocent man. He closed his eyes and he tried to find out who he is. He searched and searched and searched, and time went on.

Then Huang Po asked him, “Now open your eyes and tell me who you are.”

The man opened his eyes. His eyes were totally different; the quality had changed. The man began smiling, then he bowed down to touch the feet of Huang Po and he said, “I never thought you would throw me upon myself, but I was thrown. Now do not ask me because I cannot say. I am not a learned man. But now I will never ask who I am. I have known it.”

The Upanishads are trying to throw you to yourself. Forget the object of worship . . . just move within. And how can you move within? It is easy to forget the object of worship, but it is difficult to move within because there are objects still in the mind which go on clinging around you. Whenever you close your eyes, there is a world of imagination around you: dreams go on floating, images come up, thoughts move in a procession. Again, you are in a world. The world of things is no more there, but the world of thoughts is there. Unless this world of thoughts also ceases, you cannot know the worshipper.

And how will it cease if you go on cooperating with it, go on creating it? You cannot destroy the world of things because you never created it. Remember, – you cannot destroy the world of things. How can you destroy the hills, the earth, the moon, the stars? You cannot destroy them because you never created them! But you can destroy the world of thoughts because you are the sole creator there. No one else has helped you. You alone have done the whole work.

Thoughts exist because you cooperate with them. Do not cooperate – this is the only technique. Be indifferent. Just look at them without loving them, without hating them, without condemning them, without appreciating them, without saying they are good, without saying they are bad. Do not say anything; do not take any attitude. Just be indifferent, an onlooker.

The clouds are floating in the sky. You sit under a tree, and you just see – the clouds floating; you do not take any attitude. You do not say, “Why are these clouds floating? They should not,” or “They should.” You do not take any attitude. You just simply become an observer, and you look at the clouds passing in the sky.

In the same way look at the thoughts passing in the inner sky. Do not take any attitude. The moment you take an attitude you have started cooperating. The clouds in the outside sky will not disappear if you do not take any attitude, but the clouds in the inner sky will disappear. They only exist because of you. If you are indifferent, they simply go. They are invitees. You may know it or you may not know it – they are guests you have invited before.

It has been very long ago, and you have forgotten that you have invited them. It may have been in some other life that you invited them. But nothing happens to your inner world uninvited. Each thought has been invited, and now it comes and still you give energy to it. You can give energy in two ways. If you are against it you will also give energy. In both ways the thought will feed upon it.

There is only one way to be disconnected, and that is to be indifferent. Buddha has called it upeksha. He said if you are indifferent to the process of thoughts, they will disappear.

Insist on being indifferent. Do not take any attitude, do not choose. Just remain a witness, and they will disappear. And when they disappear, suddenly the worshipper is revealed: suddenly you are revealed to yourself. That revelation alone is Brahman, and not this that people worship here.

-Osho

From The Supreme Doctrine, Discourse #6

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