Death is There and yet I am Still Here – Osho

What I wish to say is that it is essential to see death, to understand it, to recognize it. But this is possible only when we die; one can only see it while dying. Then what is the way now? And if one sees death only while dying, then there is no way to understand it — because at the time of death one will be unconscious.

Yes, there is a way now. We can go through an experiment of entering into death of our own free will. And may I say that meditation or samadhi is nothing else but that. The experience of entering death voluntarily is meditation, samadhi. The phenomenon that will automatically occur one day with the dropping of the body — we can willingly make that happen by creating a distance, inside, between the self and the body. And so, by leaving the body from the inside, we can experience the event of death, we can experience the occurrence of death. We can experience death today, this evening — because the occurrence of death simply means that our soul and our body will experience, in that journey, the same distinction between the two of them as when the vehicle is left behind and the traveler moves on ahead.

I have heard that a man went to see a Mohammedan fakir, Sheikh Fareed, and said, “We have heard that when Mansoor’s hands and legs were cut off he felt no pain… which is hard to believe. Even a thorn hurts when it pricks the foot. Won’t it hurt if one’s hands and legs are cut off? It seems that these are all fantastic stories.” The man also said, “We hear that when Jesus was hanged on the cross he did not feel any pain. And he was permitted to say his final prayers. What the bleeding, naked Jesus — hanging on a cross, pierced with thorns, hands stuck with nails — said in the final moments can hardly be believed!”

Jesus said, “Forgive these people, they don’t know what they are doing.” You must have heard this sentence. And the people all over the world who believe in Christ repeat it continuously. The sentence is very simple. Jesus said, “O, Lord, please forgive these people, because they know not what they are doing.” Reading this sentence, people ordinarily understand Jesus is saying that the poor people didn’t know they were killing a good man like him. No, that was not what Jesus meant. What Jesus meant was that “These senseless people do not know that the person they are killing cannot die. Forgive them because they don’t know what they are doing. They are doing something which is impossible — they are committing the act of killing, which is impossible.”

The man said, “It is hard to believe that a person about to be killed could show so much compassion. In fact, he will be filled with anger.”

Fareed gave a hearty laugh and said, “You have raised a good question, but I will answer it later. First, do me a little favor.” He picked up a coconut lying nearby, gave it to him and asked him to break it open, cautioning him not to break the kernel.

But the coconut was unripe, so the man said, “Pardon me, I cannot do this. The coconut is completely raw, and if I break open the shell the kernel will break too.”

Fareed asked him to put that coconut away. Then he gave him another coconut, one which was dry, and asked him to break that one open. “Can you save the kernel of this one?” he asked.

And the man replied, “Yes, the kernel can be saved.”

Fareed said, “I have given you an answer. Did you understand?”

The man replied, “I didn’t understand anything. What relation is there between a coconut and your answer? What relation is there between the coconut and my question?”

Fareed said, “Put this coconut away too. There is no need to break it or anything. I am pointing out to you that there is one raw coconut which still has the kernel and the shell joined together — if you hit the shell, the kernel will also break. Then there is the dry coconut. Now how is the dry coconut different from the raw coconut? There is a slight difference: the kernel of the dry coconut has shrunk inside and become separated from the shell; a distance has occurred between the kernel and the shell. Now you say, even after breaking open the shell, the kernel can be saved. So I have answered your question!”

The man said, “I still don’t get it.” The fakir said, “Go, die and understand — without that you cannot follow what I am saying. But even then you will not be able to follow me because at the time of death you will become unconscious. One day the kernel and the shell will be separated, but at that moment you will become unconscious. If you want to understand, then start learning now how to separate the kernel from the shell — now, while you are alive.”

If the shell, the body, and the kernel, the consciousness, separate at this very instant, death is finished. With the creation of that distance, you come to know that the shell and the kernel are two separate things — that you will continue to survive in spite of the breaking of the shell, that there is no question of you breaking, of you disappearing. In that state, even though death will occur, it cannot penetrate inside you — it will occur outside you. It means only that which you are not will die. That which you are will survive.

This is the very meaning of meditation or samadhi: learning how to separate the shell from the kernel. They can be separated because they are separate. They can be known separately because they are separate. That’s why I call meditation a voluntary entry into death. And the man who enters death willingly, encounters it and comes to know that, “Death is there, and yet I am still here.”

-Osho

From And Now and Here, Discourse #1

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

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

Resources to Nourish Our Inner World

During these extraordinary times when many of us are self-isolating or in quarantine we have a unique opportunity to gather our energies and explore and nourish our inner world.

We are extremely fortunate that there are so many resources at our fingertips, here are a few.

Enjoy and Be Well!

Reading:

Osho reading library

OshoWorld discourse PDF’s

Osho Books hardcopy

Ramana Maharshi resources

O-Meditation Sangha posts

O-Meditation downloads

Listening:

Osho.com audio downloads

OshoWorld audio downloads

O-Meditation downloads

The entire J. Krishnamurti audio collection

Meditating:

Osho Active Meditation CD’s

Osho Book of Secrets Meditations

Osho No-Mind Meditations

 

Unless You Take Individual Responsibility, You Cannot Grow – Osho

Not counting the discourses, is twenty minutes of meditation a day enough to see me along the path and lead me to experience the satyam, shivam, sundram you are pointing us towards?

Vimal, first you cannot be allowed not to count the discourses, because your meditations cannot happen without these discourses. These discourses are the foundations of your meditation. I am crazy but not that crazy that I should go on speaking four hours a day if it does not help you in meditation! Do you think I am trying to distract you from meditation?

And then you are such a miser, Vimal. I never thought you were so miserly that just twenty minutes in twenty-four hours… not even twenty-four minutes!

You have missed my basic standpoint completely. I don’t want you to think of meditation within limits; I want meditation to become your very life. In the past this has been one of the fallacies: you meditate twenty minutes, or you meditate three times a day, you meditate five times a day – different religions, but the basic idea is that a few minutes every day should be given to meditation.

And what will you do in the remaining time? Whatever you will gain in twenty minutes… what are you going to do in the remaining twenty-three hours and forty minutes? Something anti-meditative, and naturally your twenty minutes will be defeated. The enemies are too big, and you are giving too much juice and energy to the enemies and just twenty minutes for meditation. No, meditation in the past has not been able to bring a rebellion in the world because of these fallacies.

These fallacies are the reasons I want you to look at meditation from a totally different standpoint.

You can learn meditation for twenty minutes or forty minutes – learning is one thing – but then you have to carry whatever you have learned day in, day out. Meditation has to become just like your heartbeat.

You cannot say, “Is it enough, Osho, to breathe for twenty minutes every day?” – The next day will never come. Even while you are asleep you continue breathing. Nature has not left the essential functions of your body and life in your hands. Nature has not trusted you, because if breathing were in your hands you would start thinking how much to breathe and whether it is right to breathe while you are sleeping. It looks a little odd doing two things together – sleeping and breathing. Breathing seems to be a kind of disturbance in sleeping. But then the sleep will be eternal!

Your heartbeat, your blood circulation are not under your control. Nature has kept everything that is essential in its own hands. You are not reliable; you can forget, and then there is no time even to say, “I am sorry, I forgot to breathe. Just give me one chance more!” Even that much opportunity is not there.

But meditation is not part of your biology, your physiology, your chemistry; it is not part of ordinary natural flow. If you want to remain just a human being for eternity, you can remain there. Nature has come to a point of evolution where more than this is not needed: you are perfectly capable of reproducing children and that’s enough. You will die, your children will continue. Your children will carry on the same stupidities that you were doing. Some people will be coming into the congregation, into the churches; some other idiot will be giving sermons, and the whole thing will continue – don’t be worried.

Nature has come to a point where now, unless you take individual responsibility, you cannot grow. More than this nature cannot do. It has done enough. It has given you life, it has given you opportunity; now how to use it, it has left up to you.

Meditation is your freedom, not a biological necessity. You can learn in a certain period of time every day to strengthen meditation, to make it stronger – but carry the flavor of it the whole day.

First, while you are awake – the moment you wake up, immediately catch hold of the thread of remaining alert and conscious, because that is the most precious moment to catch the thread of consciousness. Many times in the day you will forget – but the moment you remember, immediately start being alert. Never repent, because that is a sheer wastage of time. Never repent, “My God, I forgot again!”

In my teachings there is no place for any repentance. Whatever has happened is gone, now there is no need to waste time on it. Catch hold again of the thread of awareness. Slowly, slowly you will be able to be alert the whole day – an undercurrent of awareness in every act, in every movement, in everything that you are doing, or not doing. Something underneath will be continuously flowing.

Even when you go to sleep, leave the thread only at the last moment when you cannot do anything because you are falling asleep. Whatever is the last thing before you fall asleep will be the first thing when you wake up. Try it. Any small experiment will be enough to prove it. Just repeat your own name while you are falling asleep: half awake, half asleep, go on repeating, “Vimal, Vimal, Vimal.” Slowly, slowly you will forget repeating, because the sleep will grow more and more and the thread will be lost. It is lost only because you are asleep, but underneath your sleep it continues. That’s why in the morning when you wake up and just look around, the first thing you will remember will be “Vimal, Vimal.” You will be surprised: Why? What happened? You slept eight hours, but there has been an undercurrent.

And as things become deeper and clearer, even in sleep you can remember that you are asleep.

Sleep becomes almost a physiological thing and your spirit, your being, becomes a flame of awareness, separate from it. It does not disturb your sleep; it simply makes your sleep very light. It is no more the sleep of the old days, when your house was on fire and you went on sleeping – that was almost like a coma, you were so unconscious.

Your sleep will become thin, a very light layer, and your inside will remain alert. Just as it has been alert in the day, it will be even more alert in the night, finally, because you are so silent, so relaxed. The whole nuisance world becomes completely silent.

Patanjali, the first man in the world to write about meditation, says that meditation is almost like dreamless sleep, but with only one difference. In dreamless sleep you are not aware; in samadhi, in the ultimate state of meditation, there is just a little difference – you are aware.

Vimal, you can continue to learn, to refresh for twenty minutes every day, to give more energy and more roots – but don’t be satisfied that that’s enough. That’s how the whole of humanity failed.

Although the whole of humanity has tried in some way or other, so few people have been successful that many people by and by stopped even trying, because success seems to be so far away. But the reason is that just twenty minutes or ten minutes won’t do.

I can understand that you have many things to do. So find time – but that time is not meditation; that time is only to refresh yourself, and then again you will have to work, earn, do your job, and a thousand and one things. Just remain alert whether it is still there inside or it has disappeared.

This continuity then becomes a garland of twenty-four hours. Only then, Vimal, will you be able to experience satyam, shivam, sundram – not before it.

A lion was walking through the forest taking a poll to determine who was the greatest among all the wildlife animals. When he saw the hippopotamus, he inquired, “Who is king of the forest?”

“You are,” said the hippopotamus.

Next he met a giraffe. “Who is king of the forest?” he inquired.

“You are,” said the giraffe.

Next he met the elephant. He gave him a good rap on the knee and said, “And who is the king of the forest?”

The elephant picked him up in his trunk and swung him against the tree. As the lion slid down, brushing himself off, he said, “You don’t have to get so mad just because you don’t know the right answer.”

Vimal, unfortunately I know the right answer. I will not get mad at you, but certainly I will tell you where you are wrong and where you are right.

First, sitting with me in these discourses is nothing but creating more and more meditativeness in you. I don’t speak to teach something; I speak to create something. These are not lectures; these are simply a device for you to become silent, because if you are told to become silent without making any effort you will find great difficulty.

That’s what Zen teachers have been telling their disciples: “Be silent, but don’t make any effort.”

Now, you are putting the person into such a difficult fix: Don’t make any effort and be silent…. If he makes any effort he is wrong – and there is no way to be silent without making any effort. If it were possible to be silent without any effort there would have been no need of any master, there would have been no need of teaching meditation. People would have become silent without any effort.

I have gone as deep into Zen efforts as possible. They have been working for almost fourteen centuries, since Bodhidharma. They are one of the greatest groups in the world, totally devoted to a single thing, and that is meditation. There is no other experiment anywhere which has been done for so long a time continuously. But still there are not many Zen masters.

Yes, there are more masters in the stream of Zen than in any other stream in the world, but still they are very few compared to the people who have been working. I have been searching out what was the basic mistake – and this is the basic mistake, Vimal: those Zen masters told them the right thing, but not in the right way. I am making you aware of silences without any effort on your part. My speaking is for the first time being used as a strategy to create silence in you.

This is not a teaching, a doctrine, a creed; that’s why I can say anything. I am the most free person who has ever existed as far as saying anything is concerned. I can contradict myself in the same evening a hundred times, because it is not a speech, so it has not to be consistent. It is a totally different thing, and it will take time for the world to recognize that a tremendously different experiment was going on.

Just in a moment, when I became silent, you become silent…. What remains is just a pure awaiting.

You are not making any effort; neither am I making any effort. I enjoy to talk. It is not an effort.

I love to see you silent.

I love to see you laugh.

I love to see you dance.

But in all these activities, the fundamental remains meditation.

-Osho

From Satyam Shivam Sundram, Discourse #28

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

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

Prayer is a Consequence of Real Meditation – Osho

I want to pray to God. Please teach me the way.

Don’t bother God, He’s got his own problems. Don’t you see whatsoever He creates dies? Keep your problems to yourself. Why should one want to pray to God? God does not need your prayers. You may be in need of those prayers, but they will not be anything more than vocalizing your desires, your demands, expressing your complaints. That’s what people are doing in the name of prayer – complaining and complaining and complaining, and saying “Things should not be like this.” Trying to help God to become a little more wise.

No, prayer is not needed, what is needed is meditation. Meditation has no reference to God. Meditation transforms you; it takes no account of God. And you don’t know about God in any way – how will you pray to something unknown, something x-y-z? In what language are you going to pray to God? You don’t know Him at all. And there are people who say “By praying to God you will come to know Him.” But prayer presupposes as a requirement, basic requirement, that you should know, only then can you pray. You should know, only then can you love. How can you love an unknown God? Your prayer will be formal; it will be nothing but a cliché.

Meditation is a totally different dimension. Kabir will suggest meditation, Buddha has suggested meditation, I suggest meditation. Meditation is a different approach – it has nothing to do with God, it has something to do with you, with your mind. It has to create a silence within you, a deep utter silence. In that utter silence you will start feeling the presence of God.

Prayer is a consequence of real meditation. Only a meditator can pray – because he knows, because he feels, because now God’s presence is not just an argument, not a logical thing, but something experienced, something lived. And then prayer is no more a complaint. Then prayer is a surrender, then prayer is pure love – no desire attached to it, no conditions. It is sheer gratefulness.m

Let prayer come after meditation. Meditate. Meditation will prepare your heart, it will cleanse you. It will cleanse you of your thoughts, it will throw out all the rubbish that you have been carrying in your head for ages, for lives; it will make space for prayer to happen. Meditation is like preparing a ground for a rose bed: prayer is like a rose. First you have to prepare the ground – you have to remove the weeds, you have to change the soil, you have to throw out all the stones. Meditation prepares the bed. And only in a prepared bed can you plant roses. Otherwise weeds will overrun your roses and weeds will exploit the whole soil and your roses will not get much – they will be poor roses. And if there are stones in the ground the growth of the roses will be stunted.

First prepare the ground, then prayer happens on its own accord. Prayer is something that you cannot do. Meditation is something that you can do, because it has something to do with your mind – it is your mind, you can do something with it. Prayer has something to do with God. God is beyond, far away, one does not know where. What is His address? What is His name? Where to send these prayers? So you can go on praying to empty skies and deep down you know that this is all futile. But maybe… perhaps it works, perhaps it doesn’t work, but it costs nothing, so one goes on praying.

First prepare yourself in meditation. Meditation means a thoughtless silence, a thoughtless awareness. Peace. When that peace is there, one day prayer bursts forth. You simply see a bud opening in your being, your heart becomes a flower and there is much fragrance. That fragrance is prayer. You bow down. Now God is no more far away, He is very close by – you are bridged by your flowering.

Prayers done without meditation are formal, foolish. Prayers done without meditation are meaningless – a sheer wastage of time and energy and life. I teach you meditation. And prayer cannot be taught. When meditation has happened, one day you stumble upon prayer. Prayer is grace. Meditation can be of effort, but prayer happens effortlessly.

Forget about prayer and forget about God; you have first to do great work upon yourself. Be absolutely concerned with only one thing: how to drop the mind. In the dropping of the mind is all – prayer will arise. Prayer is a reward to a meditator; it is a consequence.

About this, the Eastern mystics are very clear – from Patanjali to Krishnamurti, they all teach meditation. And the reason is that the work has to be with the human mind. Prayer means a dialogue with the universal mind. Wait, be patient, first be capable of that dialogue. And then you need not go anywhere – when you are silent you hear that still small voice within your heart. In fact the dialogue is always started by God from the other side. You cannot start the dialogue, you can only be receptive; on your end a great receptivity is needed. And the moment you are ready, suddenly something is connected and the bell starts ringing. But the call comes from the other side.

It is God who calls Adam “Where are you? Where are you hiding?”

When Adam committed his sin, his mistake – when he ate the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge – he became very much afraid of God. God had prohibited it; now he had betrayed, he had been disobedient. He started feeling guilty. And God started searching for him – and he was hiding behind this bush and that, and God was shouting all over the Garden of Eden “Adam, where are you?”

Since that day, God has been calling and you are hiding behind this bush or that.

You need not have any prayer. You only need a silent heart which can hear the shouting God, the call of God. He is calling you, you need not call Him. Just be a deep receptivity. That’s what meditation is all about, it makes you receptive. In that receptivity you start hearing God talking to you. Real prayer is when God talks to you, unreal prayer is when you talk to God.

-Osho

From The Revolution, Discourse #2

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

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

An Experiment in Awarefulness

Ultimately, we are told, meditation is samadhi, total relaxation in total awareness. And we have heard, “The kingdom of God is within,” “Be a light unto yourself.” But for most of us this is not our experience at this moment. It is only theoretical, philosophical, hypothetical.

So in order to determine the validity of such statements we have to take them only as a hypothesis and we have to experiment scientifically.

All meditation techniques are scientific experiments to discover our own inner landscape; they are tools to remove the tensions that prevent a natural relaxed state and to return unawareness into its natural state of awakened consciousness.

To be able to enter into this scientific experiment we must first put all the hypotheses aside. We have to look without prejudice and see for ourselves.

We begin by entering the inner body. We know the outer body it is the body that we see in the bathroom mirror and mistakenly think that is who we are. It is the body that is an image in our mind made up of what everyone else has said about it or how we imagine others see us.

But to enter the inner body we must sense the body from the inside. We scan the body from the inside and discover any points of tension and make them objects of our awareness. We sense the body’s interiority and discover its wholeness as an object which appears within awareness.

With this strengthened awareness we watch the breath. We watch and follow the breath through its journey in and out of the body. We don’t try to manipulate the breath but just watch its movements. In watching the breath closely we discover the turning points where breath moves from out to in and from in to out. In watching the totality of the movement of breath as an object we discover that it too appears within awareness.

Next we listen, first to the sounds around us. And second to the thoughts passing by and finally to our feelings.  We listen to the sounds around us without rejecting them, without judging them. We watch the movements of the mind without judging, without analyzing, without rejecting and without grasping. We feel the emotions and subtle moods, again, without judging, without analyzing, without rejecting and without grasping. And by this listening we find that both the objects of sound, thought and feelings appear within awareness.

With each of these steps we feel that awareness has been strengthened when the reality is that the identification, the unawareness has been reduced revealing the underlying naturalness of awarefulness. Slowly, slowly we begin to bask more and more in this awarefulness without objects.

By our own scientific inquiry we have shined the light unto ourselves and discovered that indeed the kingdom of God is within.

Now it is up to us to bring this awarefulness into our daily life, chopping wood, carrying water.  And in those times that it seems difficult to be aware we can return to any of the steps of this experiment whenever we wish and rebuild our awarefulness.

-purushottama

More from the collected and uncollected posts of Prem Purushottama

Grace and Effort – Osho

Does one attain to meditation through God’s grace?

It will be useful to understand this thing, because it has led to lots of misunderstandings and mistakes. A good number of people have thought that if meditation is attained through God’s grace then there is no need to do anything, and they did not do a thing. You are grievously mistaken if you mean by God’s grace that you don’t have to do anything.

Another misunderstanding that flows from it is that God’s grace is not equally available to everybody, that some persons receive more of it and others less. But in fact, no one is God’s chosen one; no one is his favorite. And if even God has his favorites then there is no hope for justice in the world. If you mean by God’s grace that God is kind to some and unkind to others then you are wholly mistaken.

But the statement that one attains to meditation through God’s grace is quite correct in another sense. Really it is not the statement of those who have yet to attain to meditation. It is the statement of the enlightened ones – those who have attained to it. It is so because when it happens, when one comes to it, the efforts he had made seem to be utterly irrelevant. In the context of the attainment, which is so immense, the efforts look so petty that one simply can’t say that he came to it through them. When one comes to it he feels so overwhelmed with its immensity that he says, “How could it have happened through my efforts? What had I done to find it? What price had I paid? What had I staked on it? Did I have a thing that I could have offered? Nothing.” When God’s bliss showers on anyone he just exclaims, “It is through thy compassion, O Lord, it is through thy grace, that I come to thee! Otherwise it was beyond me, impossibly beyond me.”

But remember that this is the statement of the blessed ones, the enlightened ones. If the unenlightened, the initiates cling to it they will be misled forever. Efforts are essential; one must make efforts.

The happening of meditation or enlightenment or whatsoever you call it is like opening the doors of a house in darkness to let in the sun. Although the sun has risen in the east, if we keep the doors of our house shut we will be always in the dark. And if we open the doors and wait, the sun will come in on his own. No other effort is needed to bring the sun in; we cannot put him or his light in a container and take it to our house. He comes on his own accord. The irony is that while our efforts cannot bring him, they can certainly keep him out, prevent him from coming. If we shut the doors or close our eyes, even the sun will be powerless to do anything. We can keep the sun out of our houses, we are capable of stopping the sun; but we are not capable of ushering him in. Only let the door open, and he will come in. And when the sun is in, we cannot say that we brought him in, we cannot take that credit. We can only say that it was his kindness that he came into our house. And we can only say that we were merciful to ourselves that we did not shut our doors.

Man can only be an opening, a door for God to come in. Our efforts only open the door; his coming depends on him, on his compassion. And his compassion is infinite, it is forever present at every doorstep. But what can he do if he finds many doors closed to him? God knocks at every door and goes back when he finds the doors shut. And we have closed our doors so firmly. So whenever he comes and knocks, we rationalize it, we explain it away in so many ways, and we remain content with it.

I would like to tell you a story that I love to tell. There is a great temple with a hundred priests to look after it. One night the chief priest went to bed and dreamed that God has sent word that he will visit their temple the next day. He did not believe it, because it is difficult to come across people who are more disbelieving than the priests. He did not believe his dream for another reason, too. People who trade in religion never come to believe in religion. They only exploit religion, which never becomes their faith, their truth. No one in the world is more faithless than one who turns faith into a means of exploitation. So the chief priest could not believe that God would really this temple.

The priest had never believed in such things, although he had been a priest for long years. He had worshipped God for long and he knew that God had never visited his temple even once. Each day he had offered food to God, and he knew that he had in reality offered it to himself. He had also prayed to God every day, but he knew well that his prayers were lost in the empty sky, because there was no one to hear them. So he thought that the message was not true, it was just a dream, and a dream rarely turns into a reality.

But then he was afraid, too, lest the dream should come true. At times what we call a dream turns into a reality and a reality as we know it proves to be a dream. Sometimes what we think to be a dream really becomes a reality. So the chief priest ultimately decided to inform his close colleagues about his last night’s dream. He said to the other priests, “Although it seems to be a joke, yet I should tell you about it. Last night I dreamed that God said that he would visit us today.” The other priests laughed and they said, “Are you mad that you believe in dreams? However, don’t tell others about it; otherwise they will take you to be crazy.” But the head priest said, “In case he should come, we should be prepared for it. There is no harm if he does not turn up, but if at all he comes, we will not be found wanting.”

So the whole temple and its premises were scrubbed, washed and cleaned thoroughly. It was decorated with flowers and flags and festoons. Lamps were lit and incense burned. Perfumes were sprayed and every kind of preparation made. The priests tired themselves out in the course of the day, but God did not turn up. Every now and then they looked up the road, they were disappointed, and they said, “Dream is a dream after all; God is not going to come. We were fools to believe so. It was good that we did not inform the people of the town; otherwise they would have simply laughed at us.”

By evening the priests gave up all hope, and they said, “Let us now eat the sumptuous food cooked for God. It has ever been so: what we offer to God is consumed by us in the end. No one is going to turn up. We were crazy enough to believe in a dream. The irony is that we knowingly made fools of ourselves. If others go mad, they can be excused, because they don’t know. But we know God never comes. Where is God? There is this idol in the temple; it is all there is to it. And it is our business, our profession to worship him.” And then they ate well and went to bed early as they were tired.

When it was midnight a chariot pulled up at the gate of the temple, and its sound was heard. One of the sleeping priests heard it and thought that it was God’s chariot. He shouted to others, “Listen friends and wake up. It seems he, whom we expected all day, has arrived at long last. The noise of the chariot is heard.” The other priests snubbed him saying, “Shut up, you crazy one. We have had enough of madness all through the day, now that it is night let us sleep well. It is not the sound of a chariot, but the rumblings of the clouds in the skies.” So they explained the thing away and returned to their beds.

Then the chariot halted at the gate, and someone climbed the steps of the temple and knocked at its door. And again one of the priests woke up from sleep and shouted to his associates, “It seems the guest has arrived whom we awaited the whole day long. He is knocking at the door.” The other priests berated him as they had done with the first. They said, “Are you not crazy? Won’t you allow us to sleep? It is just the dash of winds against the door and not a knock of a caller.” So they again rationalized and went back to their beds.

The next morning they woke up and walked to the gates of the temple. And they were astounded to see a few footprints on the steps of the temple. Surely enough someone had climbed them during the night. And then they noticed some marks of a chariot’s wheels on the road, and there was now no doubt at all that a chariot had arrived at the gate in the night. And strangely enough the footprints on the steps were absolutely uncommon and unknown. Now the priests burst into tears and fell down and began to roll on the ground where the chariot had halted. And soon the whole village was at the temple’s gates. Everybody in the crowd asked with bewilderment, “What is the matter?” The priests said, “Don’t ask what the matter is. God knocked at the door of our temple last night, but we rationalized everything. We are now damned. He knocked at the door and we thought that it was the flapping sound of the winds. His chariot came, and we thought that it was the rumble of thunder in the sky. The truth is that we did not understand anything. We only explained them away, because we wanted to enjoy our sleep.”

God knocks at every door. His grace visits every home. But our doors are shut. And even when we hear a knock we immediately rationalize it and explain it away. In the old days they said that “A guest is God”. There is a slight mistake in this maxim. The truth is that God is the guest. God is waiting as a guest at our doorsteps, but the door is closed. His grace is equally available to all. Therefore don’t ask whether one attains through his grace; one attains through his grace alone. And as far as our efforts are concerned, they are a help in opening the door, in removing the hurdles from the way.

When he comes, he comes on his own accord.

-Osho

From In Search of the Miraculous, Discourse #6, Q1

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

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

Two Difficulties on the Path of Meditation – Osho

What are the difficulties on the path of meditation and how can we overcome them?

There are only two difficulties on the path of meditation: one is the ego. You are continuously prepared by the society, by the family, by the school, by the church, by everybody around you, to be egoistic.

Even modern psychology is based on strengthening the ego. The whole idea of modern psychology, modern education, is that unless a person has a very strong ego he will not be able to struggle in life, where there is so much competition that if you are a humble man anybody will be able to push you aside. You will always remain backward. You need a very strong steel ego to fight in this competitive world. Then only can you become a success in any field. It may be business, it may be politics, it may be any profession – you need a very assertive personality. Our whole society is geared to produce an assertive personality in the child.

From the very beginning we start telling him, “Come first in your class.” And when the child comes first in the class, everybody praises him. What are you doing? You are feeding his ego from the very beginning. You are giving him a certain ambition: “You can become the president of the country; you can become the prime minister of the country…” And he starts the journey with these ideas. His ego goes on becoming bigger and bigger as he succeeds.

In every way the ego is the greatest disease that can happen to man. If you succeed, your ego becomes big – that is a danger, because then you will have to remove a big rock which is blocking the path. Or if the ego is small – you have not been successful, you have proved to be a failure – then your ego will become a wound. Then it hurts, then it creates an inferiority complex. Then too it creates a problem: you are always afraid to enter into anything, even in meditation, because you know you are a failure, you are going to fail. That has become your mind because everywhere you have failed. And meditation is such a great thing, you cannot succeed.

If you enter into meditation with this idea that failure is bound to happen and that is your destiny, that is your fate, then of course you cannot succeed. So if the ego is big it prevents; if the ego is very small it becomes a wound, then too it prevents. In each case the ego is one of the problems.

The second problem… and after stating both the problems I will tell you how to get rid of them. It is not difficult, but first you have to understand the problem in all its complexity….

The second hindrance on the path of meditation is your constantly chattering mind. You cannot sit even for a single minute. The mind goes on chattering: relevant, irrelevant, meaningful, meaningless… thoughts go on. It is a constant traffic and it is always rush hour. Whenever you close your eyes there are so many thoughts running in all directions, that if you sit down for ten minutes and write down whatever is going on in your mind – without any editing, because you are not going to show this to anybody, so don’t be worried…! Close the door, lock it from inside so that nobody comes in, and just write exactly what goes on in the mind for ten minutes. And after ten minutes read it.

And you will be surprised: “Is it my mind or has somebody gone mad?” Just because you have never looked at it, you have never thought about what is going on.

And if you try, as many people try, because studying books on meditation they think that if you can stop the thoughts by chanting a mantra or the name of God then perhaps the mind can be vacated from thoughts… The books are mostly written by people who have never meditated. I know many people who have written books on meditation. They came to me to ask how to meditate, and I said, “But in my library I have your book.”

They said, “Yes, we studied a few books on meditation and wrote the book just to help others.”

I said, “But first you should have tried what you have written. If you cannot help yourself, on what grounds do you think you can help others? You may have destroyed many people’s peace of mind.”

And there are so-called teachers of meditation who will also give you a mantra, that chanted, chanted fast, or any name… Close your eyes, do a certain ritual, take a bath, sit in a lotus posture, start the meditation, and go on as fast as you can – faster and faster, repeating the same name, “Krishna, Krishna, Krishna…” Do it as quickly as possible. After five to seven minutes, you will be in a state of what is scientifically known as autohypnosis. It is not meditation, but it does no harm. After ten to twelve minutes, when you come out of it you will feel a certain peace, a certain well-being; you will feel good, but this is not meditation.

I am not against it if you are trying to do it only to feel good. You can do it, but don’t think that by doing it you are going to realize your godliness. That is not possible because this is simply a deliberately created sound sleep. When you repeat a certain word continuously, fast, the mind has no way to go on chattering. You don’t give it any gap to put its thoughts into. Your chanting is so fast that the mind has to remain almost in a situation of a crossroads where the policeman has stopped the whole traffic. Your continuous chanting creates the situation of a policeman stopping the whole traffic, but the traffic is still there, it has not gone; in fact, more traffic has gathered on all the roads.

And the moment you come out of meditation your mind will have such a rush as it has never had – naturally, because all the traffic that you have stopped will have to pass. This is not meditation.

One more thing before I tell you what exactly is the problem with the mind. A few teachers of meditation – and particularly in this part of the world, in the East – are saying, “Keep your mind fixed on something. Start from something outer – a black dot on the wall – and then slowly, slowly close your eyes, and with closed eyes look at the black dot.”

And if you have been staring at the black dot for a few minutes, naturally with closed eyes you will see the black dot. Just the impression takes time to disappear. It is the negative of the positive black dot; it is part of the science of photography. It is the negative that you have created inside. Now look at this negative black dot and if you can continue looking at it, the same thing will happen after five to seven minutes – auto-hypnosis. You will feel good, and that is the danger. Because you feel good, afterwards you feel a certain well-being; you think you are on the right path – not necessarily.

And these things are also not easy – chanting continuously for five to seven minutes is not easy. A few thoughts will enter in and disturb it.

Keeping your mind fixed on one dot is also not easy. Thoughts may come, move across and disturb you.  And if you ask your teachers they will say, “This is your past karma; you will have to wait.” There is no question of past karma, your method is simply wrong.

If you are learning to ride a bicycle and you go on falling again and again, and you ask somebody and he says, “It is because of your past karma…” It is simply that you don’t know how to ride the bicycle. It has nothing to do with past karma or past life. You simply need the right technique.

I have heard of a story….

A man was very much interested to attain miraculous powers. Wherever he went they said, “First you have to learn meditation. Without meditation you cannot have miraculous powers.”

Finally, he found a very wise old man about whom he had heard, “He is the greatest meditator alive, but you will have to serve him and not to be in a hurry. You just serve him; whenever the time is right he will give you the meditation and his blessing. You should not ask for it.”

The poor man served the man for one year and he was getting tired: “This is too much. The second year has begun and the old man still says, ‘No sign.’” He was getting fed up and thinking of running from that temple. The day he was thinking to run, the old man said, “Listen. I was waiting for the right time, but you cannot wait. The time is not right, but because of your hurry I will give you the method. It is very simple and very suited to you.”

The man said, “My Lord, my God!” He touched his feet. He said, “I was waiting for this day. I am a fool for having such bad thoughts about you. Just forgive me.”

He said, “Don’t be worried about it. This is the method; you go home” – he had written on a small piece of paper just a small mantra and he gave him that. “This is the mantra. You have to chant it for ten minutes. Just remember one thing: while chanting, don’t let any monkey come into your mind.”

The man said, “You must be mad! Monkeys have never come into my mind. In my whole life not a single monkey has come into my mind – why should a monkey come into my mind?”

The old man said, “I don’t know, but this is the condition that goes with this mantra.”

The man said, “There is no problem.” But he was worried. As he was coming down the steps of the temple, he already started seeing monkeys. He would close his eyes – and there were the monkeys.

He said, “My God! I have not even started!”

He went home. He took a good bath and sat in padmasana. But as he closed his eyes, and before he could start the mantra, the monkeys started coming – not one! In a line… giggling…!

The man said, “What happened?” He tried hard, but by the morning he was utterly tired. He went to the master. He said, “Take your mantra back. If this is the condition then I cannot fulfill it ever because of those monkeys. There is not one – you had said one – I don’t know how many there are.

I have been counting – they go on coming! And I am going mad! I simply don’t want any miraculous power, and I don’t want any meditation. I simply want to go home. Just help me to get rid of the monkeys. I am giving your mantra back – but who knows about the monkeys?”

If you try forcibly to keep something out of your mind, it is bound to come. This is a universal law.

Seeing the false methods, understanding that the mind is a constant process of thought, I want to explain to you something very simple, without any conditions. All that you have to do… no special posture is needed; whether you have taken a bath or not does not matter. It does not mean that at a certain time, at a certain place you should do it. No, you can do it anywhere, any time. I want it to be so easily possible for you that it mixes with your ordinary life and you don’t have to take some time out of your life specially given to meditation.

The process is witnessing.

The thoughts are moving in the mind – you have nothing to do with those thoughts. You are not to prevent them, you are not to chant a mantra, you have just to be a watcher. You have just to see that thoughts are passing, and you are standing by the side of the road looking at the traffic, unconcerned. Whether a bullock cart passes or an elephant passes or a camel passes… it doesn’t matter. You don’t have to make any judgment. You are just sitting by the side watching the whole scene.

It takes a few days, because of your old habit to make judgments. Something comes, you say, “This is very good” – and you have lost your capacity of being a watcher, you have already given judgment.

Something comes and you say, “This should not come, this is evil” – you have already fallen back.

Good or evil, beautiful or ugly, you are separate. You are the witness, you are just a mirror. Anything that passes by does not affect the mirror at all. Something good – the mirror reflects. Something bad – the mirror reflects. When they have gone, the mirror is as empty as ever.

Your consciousness is a mirror, and your consciousness is neither good nor bad. Your consciousness may have lived thousands of years, but not even a scratch is possible on your consciousness. It only reflects; its function is reflection. That’s why I say the divine between you and me is the same – there is no difference at all. I just have recognized that the witnessing is a pure mirror, eternally pure – and you get identified, you forget. […]

Once you get the knack of witnessing without judgment you will be surprised: the moment you are utterly a witness all the thoughts disappear. There is simply a plain white screen and no thoughts.

This is the first experience, that you have come to the door of meditation. Just go on looking at the white screen. Don’t do anything. Consciousness has a nature – if it cannot find any object which prevents it, then it goes round and comes back to you.

In existence everything moves in a circle. Remember that: nothing moves in a straight line. If there is no obstacle, the consciousness comes back to its own source. And the consciousness coming back to one’s own source, for the first time sees who is there, who has always been there. That is your real being.

You can call it godliness, you can call it divineness, you can call it truth. Any name will do because it has no name; it is a nameless reality. But once it is realized then there is nothing else left. You have attained to the ultimate flowering of your being. This is enlightenment.

So put your ego aside – whether it is big or small, don’t be worried – and just be a witness to your mind. Wait and be patient. Don’t be in a hurry. It may take a few days for you to get the knack. It is a knack! It is not an art!

If it was an art, it would have been very simple to teach, but because it is a knack you have to try. Slowly you get it.

How do you learn to swim? It is not an art. If it was an art you could have learned it in your bedroom. Just on your bed you could have done all the exercises that are prescribed in the book. But it is not an art; you have to go to water. And you will have to face death a few times, but that is part of the progress. Each time you face death, each time you learn something – the knack slowly comes to you. Within two or three days you will be able to swim.

One Japanese professor of psychology is trying to teach six-month-old children to swim, and he has succeeded. Then he tried with three-month-old children, and he has succeeded. Now he is trying with the newly born, and I hope that he succeeds. There is every possibility because it is a knack. It does not need any other kind of experience, age, education… it is simply a knack.

And if a six-month-old or a three-month-old baby can swim, that means we are naturally endowed with the idea of how to swim. We just have to discover it. Just a little bit of effort and you will be able to discover it.

The same is true about meditation… more true, than swimming. You just have to make a little effort.

And if you don’t succeed, don’t be worried. You are losing nothing – just a little rest.

And whenever you are going to sleep you can try – just lying in bed, or in the morning when you are awake, wait for a minute. Give it a try and then wake up. While taking a shower you can try it, because it is a question of witnessing.

You can witness anything, and anywhere.

There are one hundred and twelve methods of meditation, exhaustive. No more methods can be added to them. And these one hundred and twelve methods are written by Shiva himself perhaps ten thousand years ago. The name of the book is Vigyana Bhairava Tantra. It simply describes one hundred and twelve methods, each method in two lines.

I have tried all the methods, and the most surprising experience was that the basic thing in each of the methods is witnessing. Their strategies differ, but their soul is just witnessing.

So I have reduced the one hundred and twelve methods of Shiva into a single method. I am giving you the essential method which no meditation can afford to drop – it is the most essential. You can add any other structure to it, but I have dropped the whole structure. I am giving you the very soul of meditation. You just try, give it a chance. And if I can succeed, I don’t see why you cannot succeed.

Millions have succeeded in the past. We have just forgotten completely the greatest science of discovering ourselves. It has to be rediscovered and it has to be again spread all over the earth if we want the world to be saved, if we want the world not to be destroyed.

One of my professors, Doctor S.K. Saxena, loved me very much. Most days I used to stay with him instead of in the hostel, because he would not allow me to go to the hostel.

I asked him, “Why do you insist…? Because I am of no use to you – I simply sit in the garden and meditate.”

He said, “That is the reason I want you to be here. I am getting old, I have never meditated. Most of my life I have been a professor in America. I have never given any thought to meditation.”

Despite this, he had written for his doctoral thesis a book, History of the Evolution of Consciousness. He said to me, “When you are here I feel something settling in me. When you sleep in my house” – he lived alone – “I have a better sleep. I don’t know why, but just your presence somehow helps me to be more together.”

I said, “I can tell you why. But rather than depending on me, why don’t you start meditating?”

And by chance, today it happens that his son is present in the audience. S.K. Saxena is dead. I received a message that he wanted to see me before he died. He wanted that I should be present by his side when he died. But I received the message after he had died, months after. Perhaps he wanted to die in the same peaceful silent atmosphere that he had found around me. I feel sad for him, sorry for him, that what he could have attained himself he unnecessarily depended on somebody else for.

Meditation is something that is your birthright. Claim it! Make it a decision, a commitment that whatever happens, you will not die before you have attained to a meditative state. It is only a question of a firm determination. And if you can attain to meditation, your life will become real life, and your death will become a door to the divine.

It will no longer be a death; it will no longer be an end. It will just be freedom from the body and entering into the universal, unlimited, infinite.

Okay?

-Osho

From The Sword and the Lotus, Chapter Eight

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

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