Mind as a Master is a Disaster – Osho

When I listen to your discourses, you take me on an indescribable journey. If afterwards someone asks me about what you have said, I hardly remember. But when people ask me personal questions, answers are coming out of my mouth which astonish me the most. Osho, am I becoming a parrot of your words?

Listening to me is less like listening and more like drinking. Although it is a verbal communication, that is only the superficial part of it. Hidden beneath it is the real communion where meanings are absorbed and words are forgotten.

You cannot become my parrot – at least while I am alive.

It is impossible to become my parrot. You will go crazy! My words are so full of contradictions that the poor parrot will be crushed under those contradictions. And it is a sure signal that you are not becoming a parrot because you don’t remember my words. The parrot only remembers words, but whatever is being communicated to you is absorbed.

It has to become part of your blood, your bones, your marrow – not part of your memory. Unless it becomes your blood, your bones and your marrow, it cannot transform you.

And the transformation is happening. You are aware of it, that in answering a personal question or responding to a situation, something comes out of you that is not yours. You are surprised even by your own words – because listening silently, not paying attention to the words but to the wordless message contained in them, you are slowly, slowly moving your very consciousness.

You will not become more knowledgeable here. You will become a new man, a man who knows the meaning of life, a man who has experienced the great benediction of silence and serenity. His actions are bound to reflect his consciousness.

And if you cannot remember my words, don’t be worried about it. You are nourished by the meaning, and it is the meaning that will change you, your actions, your responses. It is not the power of the words that transforms anybody. There is no need to be afraid, you are on the right track.

One thing has to be understood: you remember only things which you have not understood. Things that you have understood need not be remembered – they will act, they will be in your eyes. They will be in your gestures, they will be in your life, they will be in your love, they will be in everything that you do; but they will not be part of your memory system. They are far higher than the memory because they don’t belong to the mind.

Mind is the lowest part of your consciousness. It is good enough as far as the world is concerned, but it is not of any use if you are thinking to go on an inner pilgrimage. You will have to leave that mind behind. Its whole training is for the outside world. It will create all kinds of hindrances if you start moving inwards.

It is a trained outsider.

So it is good that words are not being caught by your memory system. Your listening is so total that the words go directly to your very being, to your consciousness – they don’t need the mechanism of the mind.

The mechanism of the mind is good as far as the objective world is concerned but in the inner, in the interior of your being, mind has no entry. Mind has never entered into the innermost core of any human being in the whole of history; the very nature of its functioning prohibits it. It is by nature, extrovert. The moment you start moving inwards, you are separating from your mind system, you are leaving it behind. Now you are moving on the wings of consciousness.

If what I am saying to you is becoming a reality in your life, who cares whether you remember my words or not? It is perfectly right not to remember them; any remembrance of the words will be an obstruction. Let only pure meaning spread to the deepest core of your being where words have no access, where only wordless meaning is able to enter.

A bishop, thinking to convert a Zen master – because he saw thousands of disciples, he thought it better if this old man were converted; then naturally all these disciples would be converted too. With great respect he approached the master. He had brought with him THE HOLY BIBLE. He opened the chapter containing the Sermon on the Mount. He wanted to show the Zen master the best of Jesus and if he agrees… and it is very difficult to disagree with the Sermon on the Mount. The argument inside his mind was that it is very difficult, almost impossible, to disagree with the Sermon on the Mount unless you have a superb, logical mind, something parallel to the genius of Friedrich Nietzsche – then perhaps you may be able to disagree.

Nietzsche is the only man in the whole of history who has disagreed with Jesus, and not on weak points but on the strongest. The ordinary way is to find loopholes, weaknesses, and hammer on them. If you cannot find them, create them – nobody is so much interested in going to the original sources to look.

The world lives on newspapers.

Jesus says “Man cannot live by bread alone.” I say to you, a man can live without bread but not without the newspaper. The newspaper is his whole wisdom. These are people who cannot argue against Jesus, Zarathustra or Lao Tzu.

For example, Jesus says, that God is love, God is just, always fair, always compassionate. The Old Testament’s God is a very angry God – never forgiving, never forgetting; nobody is going to avoid the punishment for his evil acts. The concept of Jesus’ God seems to be far more refined.

Loving, just, fair, compassionate… it seems to be closer to the human heart. But Friedrich Nietzsche criticizes it and his criticism is foundational and crucial. He says, “You cannot say God is love because wherever love is, hate is and if your God knows no hate, he cannot know love. How will he find it out that this is love? To define love, a certain experience of hate is needed. To define silence, noise is needed. To define beauty, ugliness is needed. You are alive because every day many people are dying and you can see the distinction. If nobody was dying, you would not even be able to imagine what life is.”

His criticism is very psychological. He is saying that you are taking one part, one side of a coin, and leaving the other side. This is impossible. You cannot have a coin with only one side. You can go on making it thinner but the other side will remain – either both or none.

Nietzsche says Jesus’ God is nothing but the completion of the Jewish concept of God. He was anger, he was hate, he was rage. Jesus has taken the other side of the coin, but both are halves and God is whole. If there is any God, he can only be whole. Jesus says, ”If somebody slaps you don’t be angry, but with humbleness give him the other cheek also.” It is such a beautiful idea, but a man like Friedrich Nietzsche has an insight and maturity which the common masses cannot have. His criticism is one of the examples of the highest reaches of logic.

Nietzsche says, “If somebody hits me on one of my cheeks, I am not so inhumane as to give him my other cheek. That is egoistic. It is trying to prove that ‘you are just an ordinary human being

– I am a messiah, a messenger of God. I forgive you and if you enjoy hitting me, you can hit me more.’ Nietzsche’s point is that you are reducing the other person to utter humiliation. Nobody in two thousand years’ history has raised this question.

Nietzsche says, “If somebody hits me, I will hit him as hard as I can because I am just as human as you are. I don’t want to prove myself holier than you, higher than you, superior to you. I respect your humanity and I accept your challenge. You have slapped my face. You have given the challenge to me.”

He is saying that Jesus’ idea is disrespectful. And certainly if you look deep into its psychology, you will find it is insulting. You are not accepting the other man as a man equal to you. He is an ignorant man, unenlightened. You are awakened. You are creating a distance between yourself and the person who has slapped you.

Nietzsche says, “I cannot create that distance. That distance is nothing but fulfillment of a very subtle kind – and fulfillment not of your being but only of your ego.”

But this bishop thought that by reading from the Sermon on the Mount, the old man was bound to be convinced that Jesus was as enlightened as Gautam Buddha. He read two lines and the old man said, “That’s enough. Whoever has written these will become enlightened in some future life but as far as this life is concerned, forget all about it.”

The bishop said, “But the lines are so beautiful – each word a diamond unto itself.”

The Zen master said, “It is not a question of words. While you were reading, I was also listening to the gaps. The man was articulate as far as words are concerned but the gaps expose him completely. What he is saying is only mind stuff, it is not his experience. But the man is good. Don’t be worried; in some future life he will become an enlightened person.”

Look – life is not a difficult matter. It becomes a problem when your life wants to go one way and your mind drags you in another and you are in a conflict, torn apart. You can go to neither side… because half of you is trying to go in another direction.

Life becomes absolutely simple once you start functioning from something that is higher than your mind. In the beginning for any seeker the whole search is to find a space above the mind.

Once you have found a small space above the mind, all dualism disappears, all tensions, all anxieties disappear. And strangely enough, the mind which was never in your control, suddenly surrenders itself to you.

Mind as a master is a disaster.

Mind as a servant is a beautiful gift of nature. You just have to find the master – and it is not far away.

It is just above the mind.

Only one step.

-Osho

From Sermons in Stones, Discourse #9

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

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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.

-Kenopanishad

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

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

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