Buddha and the Knotted Handkerchief – Osho

I am reminded of a story. Gautam the Buddha one day comes into his morning discourse; ten thousand sannyasins are waiting for him, just like every day. But today there is something surprising.

Everybody is puzzled and looking at each other, because Buddha is coming with a handkerchief, it is very costly – perhaps some king has presented it to him.

But he does not accept that kind of thing, so everybody is looking, thinking, what is the matter?

And why should he bring it just in his hand ahead of himself almost saying to everybody, “Look, look well”? And then he comes and sits; and keeping the handkerchief in his hand, says to his sannyasins, “Look very carefully.”

They all look. There is nothing to look at, just a beautiful silken handkerchief.  And then Buddha starts putting knots in the handkerchief; he puts five knots in it. There is immense silence… everybody is simply watching what he is doing. Then Buddha asks them, “Is this the same handkerchief the same that I had brought with me, or is it a different handkerchief?”

Sariputta, one of his chief disciples, stands up and says, “Why are you joking with us? You have never done such a thing. This is the same handkerchief.”

Buddha says, “Sariputta, think once again – because the handkerchief that I brought had no knots, and this has five knots. How can this be the same?”

Sariputta could see the point. He said, “I am sorry. I do understand. Although it is the same handkerchief now it is in a very knotted condition – such as a man in anguish. He is the same man; a man in suffering is the same man but in knots.”

Buddha said, “Exactly right. That’s what I want to show to you: that the man who is in suffering is not different from Gautam the Buddha. I am just a handkerchief without knots. You are a handkerchief with five knots.” Of course Buddha has his philosophy of five basic problems that trouble man: violence, greed, untruthfulness, unawareness, and the ego. You can find many more knots; these are just the main ones according to him.

Secondly he said, “I would like to ask you one thing more. I am trying to open these knots. Look at me – will this help to open the knots?” He pulled both the ends of the handkerchief; the knots became smaller and tighter. Somebody shouted, “What are you doing? This way those knots will never open. Such fine silk and you are pulling so hard! The knots are becoming so small that it will become almost impossible to open them again.”

Buddha said, “You can understand about this handkerchief so clearly – can’t you understand yourself? Can’t you see yourself in the same, understanding way? Have you been pulling your knots or not? Otherwise why do they go on becoming smaller and smaller, and tighter and tighter?

”A child is loose, relaxed. Look at the old man, just knots and knots. Certainly, whatever you are

doing is wrong. You are pulling the handkerchief. You are trying hard; your intention is good, you want to open the knots. You are taking much trouble – but your doing is your very undoing. You are making things more and more complicated, worse and worse. And the more complicated they become, the harder you pull, because you think, what else to do?”

Buddha asked, “Then I would like to ask you, what do you suppose I should do?”

One monk stood up and he said, “I would like to come close, and first I would like to see how the knots have been put together.”

Buddha said, “That’s a scientific way. Before you can undo something, you have to know how it has been done, because if you know how it has been done, you have already known all that is needed to undo it; you have just to reverse the process.”

The monk looked at the handkerchief and he said “The knots have been done in such a way that if we relax the handkerchief and allow the knots to become looser rather than tighter, and help them to become loose, it is not going to be very difficult. They are simple knots.”

Buddha gave the handkerchief to him and the man opened the knots one by one. Buddha said,

”Today’s sermon is finished. I am not going to speak anymore today. Just go and meditate about your knots, and how you have managed to make them so tight. And just do the reverse.”

Any small problem, just look at it, at how you have been trying to solve it and it goes on becoming worse and worse. Certainly in your doing there is something which is becoming a  nourishment to it rather than a killer. You are not poisoning it; you are nourishing it, feeding it. And don’t try to work on so many knots together. Just choose one small knot, the smallest you can find in yourself; by smallest, I mean the most insignificant.

People have the tendency to choose the most significant; even when they are choosing to solve their problems, they choose the greatest problem first. Now, that is simply foolish. Just become a little aware, alert. Start from the small things, very small things.

In one sermon Buddha was speaking, and a man sitting in front of him was moving his toe continuously. Buddha was not like me; otherwise he would have stopped him immediately. He tolerated it, tolerated it, tolerated it – but it was too much, because the man was just in front of him and he went on, went on, went on.

At the end Buddha said, “What is wrong with your toe?” The moment he said, “What is wrong with your toe?” the man stopped. Buddha said, “This is what is wrong with your toe: you are not aware of it. You were not doing it, it was happening almost unconsciously. It is just a habit; you must be doing it everywhere you are sitting. Now it goes on doing it by itself knowing that the master needs it. The master is not even aware that it is happening, because the moment I asked you about it, it stopped immediately. That means the moment your awareness went to the toe there was a complete break.”

Now, start with such small things which have not much investment in them. People start with their ego – they want to become egoless. Now, you are taking on such a big problem. You are so small, and the problem is so big, that you are going to fail.

In fact that’s why you have chosen the big problem, because you want to fail, you don’t want to succeed. Perhaps this too is the way of the ego, to choose the biggest problem. You are no ordinary man trying to change small things here and there; when you want to change, you want to change the real problem. Perhaps this is the ego coming in from the back and deceiving you.

Now choose something very insignificant, which makes not much difference. But the beauty is,

the smallest problem has the same properties as the biggest problem, the same ingredients as the biggest problem and the same solution as the biggest problem.

All problems are one problem.

If you can solve a small problem – dissolve it, get rid of it, be finished with it – you know the master key.

Now you can go on opening all the locks in your house. And there is not going to be any trouble.

The basic key is awareness.

And while solving a small problem, you are starting to learn the ABC of awareness.

Choose something meaningless with no investment; it will be easier to work with. And once you have worked with it, you will be surprised: you have the secret, the whole secret of your puzzled, knotted life.

Solve it, then man is born in you. Before that, you are only a problem.

-Osho

Taken from the series From Misery to Enlightenment, chapter 19.

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

Both audio and pdf files can be downloaded from Osho World.

Seeing From Behind – Jean Klein

The following is an excerpt from a dialog held at Joshua Tree, California, May 25, 1995

What do you mean by seeing from behind?

You feel yourself behind and look from behind, hear from behind. It gives you a new quality. First you must know how to see yourself from behind, and then you will know yourself in front.

Does feeling from behind take you out of the forebrain?

Yes. You don’t feel yourself located in the object. You have the sensation of expansion behind you. You are not identified with the object. You have the feeling that the perceiver is behind you, that you are no longer stuck to the object. Body, senses and mind are all objects, objects that need a perceiver to be known. A perceiver can never be known, only what is perceived can be known.

When you knowingly say, “I am not the body, senses and mind, because these do not exist on their own, they need consciousness to be known,” you become integrated; it gives you enormous distance. Then you perceive and live with the surroundings free from psychological involvement. You see facts as they are, free from bad and good. This is whole seeing, global seeing. You know when you are psychologically involved in daily life. But here there is no interpretation, there is only seeing facts as they are. It is important to see how this way of living, this way of seeing, this way of touching, acts on you, how you feel. Then you have a functional relation with your surroundings, also aesthetic and ethical. You see the truth, you see the beauty, you see the functional. Our seeing mainly refers to the ego. You do not see the situation in its verite. When you are appropriate to the situation, then you observe what is aesthetic, ethical and functional. It belongs to you, but this doesn’t mean it is appropriated to your ego. You are taken by the seeing. One can say it is not you who sees it, it is the seeing who sees it.

Taken From The Book of Listening. Non-Duality Press 

To read more from Jean Klein see:  https://o-meditation.com/category/jean-klein/

Enlightenment is Popping Up Everywhere – Osho

The following was excerpted from Glimpses of a Golden Childhood:

The day my Nani became enlightened, I remember – I have noted it down, it will be somewhere – it was the sixteenth of January, 1967. I say without hesitation that she was my first sannyasin; and not only that, she was my first enlightened sannyasin.

You are both doctors, and you know Doctor Ajit Saraswati well. He has been with me for almost twenty years, and I don’t know anybody else who has been so sincerely with me. You will be surprised to know he is waiting outside… and there is every possibility that he is almost ready to be enlightened. He has come to live here in the ashram. It must have been difficult for him, particularly as an Indian, leaving his wife, his children, and his profession. But he could not live without me. He is ready to renounce all. He is waiting outside. This will be his first interview, and I can feel that this is going to be his enlightenment too. He has earned it, and earned it with great difficulty. To be an Indian and to be totally with me is not an easy job…

The following day Osho continues:

…The first words that Ajit Saraswati uttered to me last night were, “Osho, I never expected that I would ever make it.” Of course those who were present thought he was talking about coming to live in the ashram. And that too is in a way true, relevant, because I remember the first day he came to see me twenty years ago. He had to ask permission from his wife just to see me for a few minutes. So those who were present must have understood, naturally, that he had never expected to move in, leaving his wife and children and a very good business. Renouncing all, just to be here with me… in a true sense of renunciation. But that was not what he meant, and I understood.

I said to him, “Ajit, I am also surprised. Not that I never expected it; I had always expected it, hoped and longed for this moment, and I am happy that you have come.”

Again, the others must have thought I was talking about his coming here to live. I was talking about something else, but he understood. I could see it in his eyes, which have been becoming more and more childlike. I saw that he had understood what coming to a Master really means. It means coming to one’s self. It cannot mean anything else other than self-realization. His smile was absolutely new.

I had been worried about him: he was becoming more serious every day. I was really concerned, because to me seriousness has always been a dirty word, a disease, something far more cancerous than cancer can ever be, and certainly far more infectious than any disease.

But I breathed a great sigh of unburdening; a load disappeared from my heart. He is one of those few people that if I had to die without them becoming enlightened, then I would have had to turn the wheel again, I would have had to be born again. Although it is impossible to turn the wheel… and I know nothing of the mechanics of turning a wheel, particularly the wheel of time. I am not a mechanic, I am not a technician, so it would have been very difficult for me to turn the wheel again… and it has not moved since I was twenty-one.

Twenty-eight years ago the wheel stopped, now everything must be rusted. Even if you poured oil on to it, it would not help. Even my sannyasins could do nothing about it – it is not the wheel of a Rolls Royce. It is the wheel of karma, of action, and the consciousness implied in every action. I am finished with it. But for a man like Ajit, I would have tried to come back again whatever the cost.

I am determined that I will leave this body only when at least one thousand and one of my disciples are enlightened, not before that. Raj Bharti, remember it! It is not going to be difficult – the basic work has been done – it is just a question of a little patience.

Gudia just said as I was coming in, on hearing that Ajit had become enlightened, “It is strange, Enlightenment is popping up everywhere.” It has to pop up everywhere, that’s my work. And those one thousand and one people are almost ready to pop at any moment. Just a little breeze and the flower opens… or the first ray of the sun and the bud opens her heart to it – just anything. Now, what was it that helped Ajit?

In these twenty years that I have known him, I have always been loving towards him. I have never hit him – there has never been a need. Even before I said anything to him, he received it already. Before saying, he heard it. In these twenty years he has been following me as closely as it is possible. He is my Mahakashyapa.

What caused the thing last night? It was just because he had been thinking of me every moment. The moment he saw me, all that thinking disappeared – and that was the only thinking that had been surrounding him, like a cloud. And I don’t think that he understood the exact meaning of his words!

It takes time. And the words come so suddenly. He just said, as if in spite of himself, “I had never expected, Osho, that I would be able to make it.”

I said, “Don’t be worried. I was always certain it was going to happen sooner or later, but it was going to happen.”

He looked a little puzzled. He was talking about coming and I was talking about happening. Then, just as if a window opened and you see – just like that – a window opened and he saw. He touched my feet with tears in his eyes and a smile on his face. To see tears and smiles mixing and merging is beautiful. It is an experience in itself…

…He has been, without interfering in any way, present, just around the corner, waiting, only waiting. Such trust is rare, although with me there are thousands of sannyasins with the same kind of reverence. Knowing it or not, that does not matter; what matters is the presence of reverence.

Ajit Saraswati has a Hindu background, so naturally it is easier for him to have that kind of reverence, trust. But he was educated in the West; perhaps that is why he could come close to me. A Hindu background and a western scientific mind. Having these two things together is a rare phenomenon, and he is a unique man.

And, Gudia, more are to follow. Yes, they are going to pop! Here, there, and everywhere. They have to pop quickly because I don’t have much time. But the sound of a man popping into existence is not the sound of pop music, it is not even classical music; it is pure music, not capable of being classified… not even to be heard but only to be felt.

Now, do you see the nonsense? I am talking of a music that has to be felt and not heard. Yes, that’s what I am talking about; that’s what enlightenment is. All becomes silent, as if Basho’s frog had never jumped into the ancient pond… never, never… as if the pond has remained without any ripples, forever reflecting the sky, undisturbed.

This haiku of Basho is beautiful. I repeat it so many times because it is always so new, and always pregnant with a new meaning. It is for the first time that I am saying that the frog has not jumped, and there is no plop. The ancient pond is neither ancient nor new; it knows nothing of time. There are no ripples on its surface. In it you can see all the stars more glorified, more magnificent, than they are in the sky above. The depth of the pond contributes immensely to their richness. They become more of the same stuff dreams are made of.

When one pops into enlightenment, then one knows the frog had not jumped… the ancient pond was not ancient. Then one knows what is.

-Osho

From Glimpses of a Golden Childhood, Chapter 16

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

You can read the entire book online at Osho Library.

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Maitreya: Where Trust and Meditation Meet – Osho

This is a special evening, because one of us has left for the other shore. Swami Anand Maitreya was certainly a man of tremendous courage. He met me sometime near 1960. He had already been a member of parliament for twelve years and he was very close to the first prime minister of India, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. But the moment he heard me he simply dropped his whole political career.

Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru tried to persuade him, saying, “There is every chance for you to become the chief minister of your state.” — He was from Bihar, the land of Buddha.

But Maitreya said, “I want one thing understood clearly: ambition is hell and I am not going to look back; politics is finished for me. All ambitions are finished for me.” And since then he has been with me.

He has never asked a single question. He has never doubted, his trust was absolute. In these years, thousands of people have come to me; many have been lost, but he remained unwavering. He could not conceive how people can find contradictions in my statements.

Sometime in 1984 Maitreya became enlightened, but he had chosen to remain silent, so he remained silent. He did not even tell me what had happened to him. But the day it happened I called a small meeting of a few sannyasins in Rancho Rajneesh in America. I declared that there were going to be three special committees: one of Mahasattvas, the great beings who are destined to become enlightened in this very life; the second of Sambuddhas, who have already become enlightened; and the third of Bodhisattvas, who will also become enlightened … but perhaps they will take a little longer than the other two categories, but certainly before their death.

Because I had included Maitreya’s name, he was shocked. He wanted to keep it completely to himself, not to say anything about enlightenment to anybody. As he left the meeting, he told a few people outside, “It is very strange, I have not said — I have been trying to hide it – but somehow he has seen it. And not only has he seen it, he has declared me enlightened.”

And his response was truly a response of great love. He said, “Osho is really a rascal.”

All these years before his enlightenment and after his enlightenment, he just remained absolutely ordinary, with no ego, with no desire, with no greed.

Just before I came back to Poona, Maitreya told me in Bombay, “I have got ten thousand rupees in a post office deposit in Patna, Bihar; that’s all I have, but now I will not need it.”

Certainly he was becoming aware that his time of departure was coming closer. And he transferred the money to Neelam for the ashram. He died without anything, any possessions.

And he slipped very slowly, very silently, from sleep into eternal sleep.

I am saying this evening is special, because one of us has moved from the world of mortals to the world of immortals. He will not be born again. He has attained to the freedom and the liberation we have been talking about.

This is a moment of great celebration and rejoicing. It happens very rarely. In millions of people perhaps one comes to this silent explosion of light and disappears into the ocean of consciousness that surrounds existence.

I would like these talks to be dedicated to Swami Anand Maitreya, who slipped from sleep into eternal sleep. But he was not asleep! He has gone in full awakening. He has gone with full awareness. You will keep him in your memories because he has shown the path to you, too. He lived joyously, although he had nothing, and he died peacefully, blissfully.

That’s what attaining to one’s destiny means. Those who live in misery and die in misery go on missing their destiny. They are failures, and because they have failed so many times, they become accustomed to failing again and again. But even if one person amongst you succeeds, it is your success, too. He has proved that what we have been talking about is not mere philosophy — it is an authentic path to self-realization.

Maitreya will be missed. Just the other night, when I last saw him, I had a certain strange feeling … as if he is going to depart very soon. And this feeling happened to many other people too; it was as if he was gathering himself and preparing for the eternal pilgrimage. He has gone the way a man should go — joyously, ecstatically.

You have to remember that his whole experience was based on two things: one, that he has fallen in trust with me … It is a strange language that I am using. You may not have ever heard the phrase ‘falling in trust’. Falling in love happens every day. Falling in trust happens only once in a while.

And secondly, not for a single moment since he has met me has he missed entering into meditation as much as possible. His death was not an end to life, but the ultimate culmination of a tremendous trust and meditativeness. Where trust and meditation meet, one attains to one’s potential in its whole glory and splendor.

-Osho

From The Great Master Ta Hui, Chapter Six

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.

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Being God

It is time for humanity to grow up and take responsibility for its own divinity, time to stop shifting the responsibility onto some other. We are divine and we need to start acting like it.

The second coming of Christ is Christ coming out in each of us. The coming of Maitreya is Maitreya’s coming out in all of us. Every part of the globe has been reached by the teachings of His emissaries now it is our time to step up to the plate.

Nietzsche was right when he said God is dead. The god of the past is dead and we can celebrate his passing. Now is the time for the living god, God in the living. We are the representatives and it is a tremendous responsibility. We must prepare ourselves. We must clean ourselves of confusion and childish thinking. Meditation is the cleaning tool.

We do not need intermediaries standing between the divine and ourselves. Jesus said the Kingdom of God is within, then why are we looking without. Buddha said “Be a light unto yourself” then why are we searching for a lamp. We find the way by walking. There is no path to follow. We will be making the path with each of our steps. But we must start walking. We have to take courage.

We have to bring home, reel in, and withdraw all of the projections we have made to create a God. We are the creator. Let’s bring that entire energy home and let it start living as God.

God is here and now as us Being God. Hallelujah. Amen.

-purushottama

This post is from a collection of essays, stories, insights and poems that have occurred to me along the Way titled Here to Now and Behind.

Why Meditation? – Osho

What is the best way to encourage people in meditation?

The first thing: for a patient to go to the doctor you must make him realize that he is sick; otherwise there is no need to go to the doctor.

So the people you want to encourage into meditation: first you have to make them aware that they are frustrated, perhaps for so long that they have forgotten that they are sad. They cannot remember when they laughed from their very hearts. They have become robots – they do things because they have to be done but there is no joy in doing them.

They are living an accidental life. Their birth is accidental, their marriage is accidental, their children are accidental, their job is accidental. Their life has no sense of intrinsic growth and direction. That’s why they cannot feel like rejoicing.

So first you have to make them aware where they are – and almost everybody is in the same situation. Death is coming close – you cannot even rely on your being here tomorrow. And your life is an absolute desert – it has not found any oasis, it has not felt any meaning, any significance – and death may destroy all possibilities in the future.

So first you have to make them aware of their meaningless, accidental, frustrated life. They know it, but they try to suppress their knowing in many ways, because to know it continuously is a torture. So they go to the movies to forget it. They go to parties, they go to picnics, they drink alcoholic beverages; they do everything – just to somehow not remember the reality of their life, their hollowness, futility.

This is the most important part – to remind them. And once a person remembers all this, then to lead him towards meditation is a very simple thing, because meditation is the only answer to all the questions of man. It may be frustration, it may be depression, it may be sadness, it may be meaninglessness, it may be anguish: The problems may be many but the answer is one.

Meditation is the answer.

And the simplest method of meditation is just a way of witnessing. There are one hundred and twelve methods of meditation, but witnessing is an essential part of all one hundred and twelve methods. So as far as I am concerned, witnessing is the only method. Those one hundred and twelve are different applications of witnessing.

The essential core, the spirit of meditation is to learn how to witness.

You are seeing a tree: You are there, the tree is there, but can’t you find one thing more? – that you are seeing the tree, that there is a witness in you which is seeing you seeing the tree.

The world is not divided only into the object and the subject. There is also something beyond both, and that beyond is meditation.

So in every act… and I don’t want people to sit for one hour or half an hour in the morning or in the evening. That kind of meditation is not going to help, because if you meditate for one hour, then for twenty-three hours you will be doing just the opposite of it.

Meditation can be victorious: witnessing is such a method that can spread over twenty-four hours of your day.

Eating, don’t get identified with the eater. The food is there, the eater is there, and you are here, watching. Walking, let the body walk but you simply watch. Slowly, the knack comes. It is a knack, and once you can watch small things….

This crow, crowing… you are listening. These are two – object and subject. But can’t you see a witness who is seeing both? – The crow, the listener, and still there is someone who is watching both. It is such a simple phenomenon. Then you can move into deeper layers: you can watch your thoughts; you can watch your emotions, your moods.

There is no need to say, “I am sad.” The fact is that you are a witness that a cloud of sadness is passing over you. There is anger – you can simply be a witness. There is no need to say, “I am angry.” You are never angry – there is no way for you to be angry – you are always a witness. The anger comes and goes; you are just a mirror. Things come, get reflected, move – and the mirror remains empty and clean, unscratched by the reflections.

Witnessing is finding your inside mirror.

And once you have found it, miracles start happening. When you are simply witnessing the thoughts, thoughts disappear. Then there is suddenly a tremendous silence you have never known. When you are watching the moods – anger, sadness, happiness – they suddenly disappear and an even greater silence is experienced.

And when there is nothing to watch – then the revolution. Then the witnessing energy turns upon itself because there is nothing to prevent it; there is no object left. The word “object” is beautiful. It simply means that which prevents you, objects you. When there is no object to your witnessing, it simply comes around back to yourself – to the source. And this is the point where one becomes enlightened.

Meditation is only a path: the end is always Buddhahood, enlightenment. And to know this moment is to know all.

Then there is no misery, no frustration, no meaninglessness; then life is no longer an accident. It becomes part of this cosmic whole – an essential part. And a tremendous bliss arises that this whole existence needs you.

Man’s greatest need is to be needed. If somebody needs you, you feel gratified. But if the whole existence needs you, then there is no limit to your bliss. And this existence needs even a small blade of grass as much as the biggest star.

There is no question of inequality. Nobody can substitute for you. If you are not there, then existence will be something less and will remain always something less – it will never be full. That feeling – that this whole immense existence is in need of you – takes all miseries away from you.

For the first time, you have come home.

-Osho

From Light on the Path, Chapter One

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.

Your Real Being, the Master – Osho

In the mind, in the process of thinking, there is so much energy. How can we use that energy in a creative and constructive way?

The question is very complex. It sounds simple, but it is not simple.

You are asking: The mind is full of energy, how to use this energy in a creative and constructive way?

Who is going to use this energy?

If mind itself is going to use this energy, it can never be creative and can never be constructive.

That is what is happening all over the world. That is what is happening in science. The whole misery of science is that mind is using its energy. But mind is a negative force; it cannot use anything creatively, it needs a master. Mind is a servant. Do you have a master?

So to me the question is… meditation brings the master in. It makes you fully aware and conscious that the mind is your instrument. Now, whatever you want to do with it you can do. And if you don’t want to do anything with it, you can put it aside and you can remain in absolute silence.

Right now you are not the master – even for five minutes. You cannot say to the mind, “Please, for five minutes, just for five minutes be silent.” Those will be the five minutes when mind will be faster, rushing more than ever – because it will have to show you who is the master.

There is a famous story in Tibet. A man wanted to learn the art of miracles, so he served a saint who was thought to be a knower of all the secrets. He served the saint day in, day out; he closed his business. The old saint told him again and again, “I don’t know anything. You are unnecessarily wasting your business, and you are becoming a burden to me because whenever I look at you…. Twenty-four hours a day you are sitting here, on my head, and I don’t know any miracles. What to do?”

The man said, “You cannot avoid me so easily. I have heard that you have been hiding those secrets. But if you are stubborn, I am also stubborn. I will die sitting here, but I will learn the secret.”

Finally the saint said, “Listen. This is the mantra” – it was not much, it was a simple mantra – “Just repeat Om, Om, Omkar and all the secrets of all the miracles will be available to you as you become more and more attuned with the mantra.”

The man rushed towards his home. While he was going down the steps of the temple the saint said, “Wait! I have forgotten one thing. After taking the bath, when you are sitting to chant the mantra, remember not to let any monkey enter into your mind.”

That man said, “You must be getting senile! In my whole life no monkey has ever entered into my mind. Don’t be worried.”

He said, “I am not worried. It is just to make you aware, so you don’t come later on and tell me that a monkey disturbed everything.”

The man said, “There is no fear about the monkeys. Everything has entered into this mind, but a monkey? I don’t remember this at all, not even in a dream.”

But as he started moving towards his house he was amazed; monkeys started appearing on the screen of his mind – big monkeys, giggling. He said, “My God!” He tried to push them away, “Get out! Get lost! I don’t have anything to do with monkeys, and particularly today!” But he was surprised that it was not one monkey, it was a vast line; they were coming from all sides.

He said, “My God, I had never thought that in my mind so many monkeys are hidden. But first let me take a bath.” But it was so difficult to take a bath because continually he was shouting “Get out! Get lost!”

Finally his wife knocked on the door – “What is the matter? Who is inside the bathroom? Are you alone?”

He said, “I am alone.”

“But then why are you shouting so loudly, get out, get lost?”

He said, “About these monkeys….”

The woman said, “You have gone mad. What monkeys? There are no monkeys here; keep quiet.”

He said, “Strange. This woman has never been so hard on me, but in a way she is right because there is nobody in the bathroom. But to say that they are in my head looks even worse.”

He sat in his worshipping place, but the monkeys were inside. He closed his eyes; they were sitting all around him. He said, “I have never thought that monkeys are so interested in me. Why are you bothering me? A few are inside the mind, and if I close my mind, a few are sitting all around me. They push me from this side and from that side, and giggling! I am a silent man, and this is not gentlemanly behavior.”

And again the wife looked into his worshipping place and she said, “With whom are you talking?”

He said, “My God, now I have to explain something which I do not understand myself. Just don’t you disturb me tonight. Tomorrow morning I will go and I will see that old man.”

The whole night he took showers many times, rubbed the soap as much as he could to clean himself, but there was no way. In fact, the bathroom was so full of monkeys that to make his way into the bathroom was difficult; to come out of the bathroom was difficult. And when he came back to his worshipping place they were sitting all over – even in his place a big monkey was sitting chanting Om, Om, Om.

That man said, “I cannot wait for morning.” It was midnight. He rushed to the temple, woke up the old man and told him, “What kind of mantra have you given to me?”

He said, “I have told you, that was the condition. That’s why for so many years I have not told it to anybody – because that condition is unfulfillable. You simply drop this idea of miracles, and the monkeys will disappear.”

The man said, “Just… I have come for that. I don’t want any miracles, I don’t want any secrets. Just please help me to get rid of these monkeys because they are sitting all over the place, and if I open my shop tomorrow they will be sitting all over the shop. I am a poor businessman. I got into the wrong business; this is not my business. You do your business but please, if you can help me….”

The saint said, “There is no problem. If you drop the idea of miracles those monkeys will disappear. They are the guardians of the miracles.”

If you try even for five minutes to stop thinking, more thoughts will rush in than ever – simply to show you that you are not the master. So first one has to get the mastery, and the way to become the master is not to say to the thoughts, “Stop.” The way to become the master is to watch the whole thought process.

If the man had simply watched the monkeys, had allowed them to giggle, had allowed them to do whatsoever they were doing; if he had been simply a witness, those monkeys would have gone – seeing that this man seemed to be absolutely indifferent, not interested at all.

Your thoughts have to understand one thing: that you are not interested in them. The moment you have made this point you have attained a tremendous victory. Just watch. Don’t say anything to the thoughts. Don’t judge. Don’t condemn. Don’t tell them to move. Let them do whatsoever they are doing, any gymnastics let them do; you simply watch, enjoy. It is just a beautiful film. And you will be surprised: just watching, a moment comes when thoughts are not there, there is nothing to watch.

This is the door I have been calling nothingness, emptiness.

From this door enters your real being, the master.

And that master is absolutely positive; in its hands everything turns into gold.

If Albert Einstein had been a meditator, the same mind would have produced atomic energy not to destroy Hiroshima and Nagasaki but to help the whole of humanity to raise its standard of living. Without meditation the mind is negative, it is bound to be in the service of death. With meditation the master is there, and the master is absolute positiveness. In its hands the same mind, the same energy, becomes creative, constructive, life affirmative.

So you cannot do anything directly with the mind. You will have to take a little roundabout way; first you have to bring the master in. The master is missing, and for centuries the servant has been thinking he is the master. Just let the master come in, and the servant immediately understands. Just the presence of the master and the servant falls at the feet of the master and waits for any order, for anything the master wants to be done – he is ready.

The mind is a tremendously powerful instrument. No computer is as powerful as man’s mind – cannot be, because it is made by man’s mind. Nothing can be, because they are all made by man’s mind. A single man’s mind has such immense capacity: in a small skull, such a small brain can contain all the information contained in all the libraries of the earth, and that information is not a small amount.

Just one library, the British library, has so many books that if we put those books in a line side by side they will go three times around the earth. And a bigger library exists in Moscow, a similar library exists in Harvard; and there are similar libraries in all the big universities of the world. But a single human mind can contain all the information contained in all these libraries. Scientists are agreed that we may not be able to make a computer comparable to the human mind which can be put in such a small space.

But the result of this immense gift to man has not been beneficial – because the master is absent and the servant is running the show. The result is wars, violence, murders, rape. Man is living in a nightmare, and the only way out is to bring the master in. It is there, you just have to get hold of it. And watchfulness is the key: just watch the mind. The moment there is no thoughts, immediately you will be able to see yourself – not as mind, but as something beyond, something transcendental to mind.

And once you are attuned with the transcendental then the mind is in your hands. It can be immensely creative. It can make this very earth paradise. There is no need for any paradise to be searched for above in the clouds, just as there is no need to search for any hell – because hell we have created already. We are living in it.

I have heard that a great politician died. Naturally, he was afraid that he would be taken to hell. He knew his whole life: it was absolutely criminal and nothing else. It is impossible without crimes to succeed in getting political power. In going higher on the ladder of power, you have to crush, kill, destroy – you have to do everything. But if you succeed then you are forgiven, nobody remembers that you have done anything wrong. And he was a successful politician. But as he was dying he was afraid; he remembered his whole past, and he was certain that “I am going to hell. Now nothing can help. Those political tricks will not be helpful here.”

But when he opened his eyes he was in front of heaven. He could not believe it. He asked the angels who had brought him there, “There seems to be some mistake, some bureaucratic mistake. This is heaven and you have brought me here?”

“This is, certainly. And there is no mistake, you have earned it.”

The man said, “What are you talking about? I have done everything wrong that can be done.”

They said, “We know, but your whole life you lived in hell, and now to send you to hell again will not be justified. Moreover, our hell will look very old-fashioned. You have been living in a very ultramodern hell, and we don’t want to feel ashamed. Our hell is very ancient, our methods of torture are very ancient, and you have refined everything so well that in fact you will laugh – ‘Is this hell?’ So the only way… even God was puzzled. You are three days late. You must have died three days ago, but it took three days for God to make the decision about where to take you. Finally we decided, ‘It is better to take him to heaven, because hell he has lived enough.’”

People still go on thinking that hell is somewhere down underneath the earth – and you are living in it, this is the beauty – and heaven is somewhere above.

You can change this hell into heaven if your mind can be under the guidance of the master, of your self nature. And it is a simple process….

But don’t try directly with the mind; otherwise you will be getting into trouble. One can even get into insanity. If you try to put your mind energy into creative directions – you are not capable even of stopping it for one moment and you are trying to put it into a creative dimension – you will go crazy. You will have a nervous breakdown.

Don’t touch the mind. First just find out where the master is. It is a complicated mechanism. Let the master be there, and the mind functions as a servant so perfectly.

In the East we have done this. Gautam Buddha could have become Albert Einstein without any difficulty; he has a far greater genius. But his whole life was concerned with transforming people, with awareness, with compassion, with love, with blissfulness.

-Osho

from The Osho Upanishad, Chapter Four

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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