The Cloud Which Showers Virtue – Osho

One who is able to maintain a constant state of desirelessness, even towards the most exalted states of enlightenment, and is able to exercise the highest kind of discrimination, enters the state known as ‘the cloud which showers virtue’.

One who is able to maintain a constant state of desirelessness even towards the most exalted states of enlightenment

Patanjali calls it paravairagya: the ultimate renunciation. You have renounced the world: you have renounced greed, you have renounced money, you have renounced power; you have renounced everything of the outside. You have even renounced your body, you have even renounced your mind, but the last renunciation is the kaivalya renunciation of kaivalya itself, of moksha itself, of nirvana itself. Now you renounce even the idea of liberation, because that too is a desire. And desire, whatsoever its object, is the same. You desire money, I desire moksha. Of course, my object is better than your object, but still my desire is the same as yours. Desire says, “I am not content as I am. More money is needed; then I will be contented. More liberation is needed; then I will be contented.” The quality of desire is the same; the problem of desire is the same. The problem is that the future is needed: “As I am, it is not enough; something more is needed. Whatsoever has happened to me is not enough. Something still has to happen to me; only then can I be happy.” This is the nature of desire: you need more money, somebody needs a bigger house, somebody thinks of more power, politics, somebody thinks of a better wife or a better husband, somebody thinks of more education, more knowledge, somebody thinks of more miraculous powers, but it makes no difference. Desire is desire, and desirelessness is needed.

Now the paradox: if you are absolutely desireless – and in absolute desirelessness, the desire of moksha is included – a moment comes when you don’t desire even moksha, you don’t desire even God. You simply don’t desire; you are, and there is no desire. This is the state of desirelessness. Moksha happens in this state. Moksha cannot be desired, by its very nature, because it comes only in desirelessness. Liberation cannot be desired. It cannot become a motive because it happens only when all motives have disappeared. You cannot make God an object of your desire because the desiring mind remains ungodly. The desiring mind remains unholy; the desiring mind remains worldly. When there is no desire, not even the desire for God, suddenly He has always been there. Your eyes open and you recognize Him.

Desires function as barriers. And the last desire, the most subtle desire, is the desire to be liberated. The last, subtle desire is the desire to be desireless. 

One who is able to maintain a constant state of desirelessness, even towards the most exalted states of enlightenment, and is able to exercise the highest kind of discrimination…

Of course, the ultimate in discrimination will be needed. You will have to be aware – so much so that this very, very deep desire of becoming free of all misery, of becoming free of all bondage, even this desire does not arise. Your awareness is so perfect that not even a small corner is left dark inside your being. You are full of light, illuminated with awareness. That’s why when Buddha is asked again and again, “What happens to a man who becomes enlightened?” he remains silent. He never answers. Again and again he is asked, “Why don’t you answer?” He says, “If I answer, you will create a desire for it, and that will become a barrier. Let me keep quiet. Let me remain silent so I don’t give you a new object for desire. If I say, ‘It is satchitananda: it is truth, it is consciousness, it is bliss,’ immediately a desire will arise in you. If I talk about that ecstatic state of being in God, immediately your greed takes it. Suddenly, a desire starts arising in you. Your mind starts saying, ‘Yes, you have to seek it, you have to find it. This has to be searched. Whatsoever the cost, but you have to become blissful.’” Buddha says, “I don’t say anything about it, because whatsoever I say, your mind will jump on it and make a desire out of it, and that will become the cause, and you will never be able to attain it.”

Buddha insisted that there is no moksha. He insisted that when a man becomes aware, he simply disappears. He disappears as when you blow out a lamp and the light disappears. The word “nirvana” simply means blowing a lamp out. Then you don’t ask where the flame has gone, what has happened to the flame; it simply disappears – annihilated. Buddha insisted that there is nothing left; when you have become enlightened everything disappears, like the flame of a lamp put out. Why? – Looks very negative – but he does not want to give you an object of desire. Then people started asking, “Then why should we try for such a state? Then it is better to be in the world. At least we are; miserable – but at least we are; in anguish – but we are. And your state of nothingness has no appeal for us.”

In India, Buddhism disappeared; in China, in Burma, in Ceylon, in Japan, it reappeared, but it never appeared in its purity again because Buddhists learned a lesson: that man lives through desire. If they insist that there is nothing beyond enlightenment and everything disappears, then people are not going to follow them. Then everything will remain as it is; only their religion will disappear. So they learned a trick, and in Japan, in China, in Ceylon, in Burma, they started talking of beautiful states after enlightenment. They betrayed Buddha. The purity was lost; then religion spread. Buddhism became one of the great religions of the world. They learned the politics of the human mind. They fulfilled your desire. They said, “Yes… Lands of tremendous beauty, Buddhalands, heavenly lands where eternal bliss reigns.” They started talking in positive terms. Again people’s greeds were inflamed, desire arose. People started following Buddhism, but Buddhism lost its beauty. Its beauty was in its insistence that it would not give you any object for desire.

Patanjali has written the best that it is possible to write about the ultimate truth, but no religion has arisen around him, no established church exists around him. Such a great teacher, such a great Master has remained really without a following. Not a single temple is devoted to him. What happened? His Yoga Sutras are read, commented upon, but nothing like Christianity, Buddhism, Jainism, Hinduism, Mohammedanism, exists with Patanjali. Why? – Because he will not give any hope to you. He will not give any help to your desire. 

One who is able to maintain a constant state of desirelessness, even towards the most exalted states of enlightenment, and is able to exercise the highest kind of discrimination, enters the state known as ‘the cloud which showers virtue’. 

Dharma megha samadhi: this word has to be understood. It is very complex. And so many commentaries have been written on Patanjali, but it seems they go on missing the point. Dharma megha samadhi means: a moment comes when every desire has disappeared. When even the self is no more desired, when death is not feared, virtue showers on you – as if a cloud gathers around your head, and a beautiful shower of virtue, a benediction, a great blessing…. But why does Patanjali call it ‘cloud’? – One has to go even beyond that; it is still a cloud. Before, your eyes were full of vice, now your eyes are full of virtue, but you are still blind. Before, nothing but misery was showering on you, just a hell was showering on you; now, you have entered heaven and everything is perfectly beautiful, there is nothing to complain about, but still it is a cloud. Maybe it is a white cloud, not a black cloud, but still it is a cloud – and one has to go beyond it also. That’s why he calls it ‘cloud’.

That is the last barrier, and of course it is very beautiful because it is of virtue. It is like golden chains studded with diamonds. They are not like ordinary chains; they look very ornamental. They are more like ornaments than chains. One would like to cling to them. Who would not like to have a tremendous happiness showering on oneself, a non-ending happiness? Who would not like to be in this ecstasy forever and ever? But this too is a cloud – white, beautiful, but still the real sky is hidden behind it.

There is a possibility from this exalted point to still fall back. If you become too attached to dharma megha samadhi, if you become too much attached, you start enjoying it too much and you don’t discriminate that “I am also not this,” there is a possibility that you will come back.

In Christianity, Judaism, Mohammedanism, only two states exist: hell and heaven. This is what Christians call heaven, what Patanjali calls dharma megha samadhi. In the West, no religion has risen beyond that. In India we have three terms: hell, heaven and moksha. Hell is absolute misery; heaven is absolute happiness; moksha is beyond both: neither hell nor heaven. In Western language, there exists not a single term equivalent to moksha. Christianity stops at heaven – dharma megha samadhi. Who bothers anymore to go beyond it? It is so beautiful. And you have lived in so much misery for so long; you would like to remain there forever and ever. But Patanjali says, “If you cling to it, you slip from the last rung of the ladder. You were just close to home. One step more, and then you would have achieved the point of no return – but you slipped. You were just reaching home and you missed the path. You were just at the door – a knock and the doors would have opened – but you thought that the porch was the palace and you started living there.” Sooner or later you will even lose the porch, because the porch exists for those who are going into the palace. It cannot be made an abode. If you make an abode of it, sooner or later you will be thrown out: you are not worthy. You are like a beggar who has started to live on somebody’s porch.

You have to enter the palace; then the porch will remain available. But if you stop at the porch even the porch will be taken away. And the porch is very beautiful, and we have never known anything like that, so certainly we misunderstand – we think the palace has come. We have lived always in anxiety, misery, tension, and even the porch, even to be close to the ultimate palace, to be so close  to the ultimate truth, is so silent, so peaceful, so blissful, such a great benediction, that you cannot imagine that better than that is possible. You would like to settle here.

Patanjali says, “Remain aware.” That’s why he calls it a cloud. It can blind you; you can be lost in it. If you can transcend this cloud – Tatah klesa-karma-nivrttih – Then follows freedom from afflictions and karmas.

If you can transcend dharma megha samadhi, if you can transcend this heavenly state, this paradise, then only… then follows freedom from afflictions and karmas. Otherwise, you will fall back into the world. Have you seen small children play a game called ludo, ladders and snakes? From the ladders they go on rising, and from the snakes they go on coming back. From point ninety-nine, if they reach a hundred they have won the game, they are victorious. But from point ninety-nine there is a snake. If you reach ninety-nine, you are suddenly back, back into the world.

Dharma megha samadhi is the ninety-ninth point, but the snake is there. Before the snake takes hold of you, you have to jump to the hundredth point. Only then, there is abode. You have come back home; a full circle.

-Osho

From Yoga: The Path to Liberation, Chapter Nine (previously published as Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, V.10)

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

I have split the last sutra discourse from the Yoga series into three posts. This is the second of three. The first one is The Virtuous Circle and the third is You Are the Abode of the Ultimate.

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.

The Virtuous Circle – Osho

Visesa-darsinaatma-bhava-bhavanavinivrttih.

When one has seen this distinction, there is a cessation of desire for dwelling in the atma, the self.

Buddha has called the ultimate state of consciousness anatta – no self, non-being. It is very difficult to comprehend it. Buddha has said that the last desire to drop is the desire to be. There are millions of desires. The whole world is nothing but desire objects, but the basic desire is to be. The basic desire is to continue, to persist, to remain. Death is the greatest fear; the last desire to be dropped is the desire to be.

Patanjali in this sutra says: when your awareness has become perfect, when viveka, discrimination has been achieved, when you have become a witness, a pure witness of whatsoever happens, outside you, inside you…. You are no more a doer, you are simply watching; the birds are singing outside… you watch; the blood is circulating inside… you watch; the thoughts are moving inside… you watch – you never get identified anywhere. You don’t say, “I am the body”; you don’t say, “I am the mind”; you don’t say anything. You simply go on watching without being identified with any object. You remain a pure subject; you simply remember one thing: that you are the watcher, the witness – when this witnessing is established, then the desire to be disappears.

And the moment the desire to be disappears, death also disappears. Death exists because you want to persist. Death exists because you don’t want to die. Death exists because you are struggling against the whole. The moment you are ready to die, death is meaningless; it cannot be possible now. When you are ready to die, how can you die? In the very readiness of dying, disappearing, all possibility of death is overcome. This is the paradox of religion.

Jesus says, “If you are going to cling to yourself, you will lose yourself. If you want to attain yourself, don’t cling.” Those who try to be are destroyed. Not that somebody is there destroying you; your very effort to be is destructive because the moment the idea arises: “I should persist,” you are moving against the whole. It is as if a wave is trying to be against the ocean. Now the very effort is going to create worry and misery, and one moment will come when the wave will have to disappear. But now, because the wave was fighting against the ocean, the disappearance will look like death. If the wave was ready, and the wave was aware: “I’m nothing but the ocean, so what is the point in persisting? I have been always and I will be always, because the ocean has always been there and will be always there. I may not exist as a wave – wave is just the form I have taken for the moment.

The form will disappear, but not my content. I may not exist like this wave; I may exist like another wave, or I may not exist as a wave as such. I may become the very depth of the ocean where no waves arise….”

But the innermost reality is going to remain because the whole has penetrated you. You are nothing but the whole, an expression of the whole. Once awareness is established, Patanjali says, “When one has seen this distinction, that ‘I am neither this nor that’, when one has become aware and is not identified with anything whatsoever, there is a cessation of desire for dwelling in the atma, in the self.” Then the last desire disappears, and the last is the fundamental. Hence, Buddha says, “You can drop desiring money, wealth, power, prestige – that’s nothing. You can stop desiring the world – that’s nothing – because those are secondary desires. The basic desire is to be.” So people who renounce the world start desiring liberation, but liberation is also their liberation. They will remain in moksha, in a liberated state. They desire that pain should not be there. They desire that misery should not be there. They will be in absolute bliss, but they will be. The insistence is that they must be there.

That’s why Buddha could not get roots into this country which thinks itself very religious. The most religious man who was born on this earth could not get roots into this religious country. What happened? He said, he insisted, to drop the basic desire of being: he said, “Be a non-being.” He said, “Don’t be.” He said, “Don’t ask for liberation because the freedom is not for you. The freedom is going to be freedom from you; not for you, but from you.”

Liberation is liberation from yourself. See the distinction: it is not for you; liberation is not for you. It is not that liberated you will exist. Liberated, you will disappear. Buddha said, “Only bondage exists.”

Let me try to explain it to you.

Have you ever come across health? You have been healthy many times, but can you say what health is? Only disease exists. Health is non-existential; you cannot pin-point it. If you have a headache you know it is there, but have you ever known the absence of headache? In fact, if there is no headache the head- also disappears. You don’t feel it anymore. If you go on feeling your head, that simply shows that there must be a certain tension inside, a certain stress, a strain. A sort of headache must be there continuously. If your whole body is healthy, the body disappears. You forget that the body is. In Zen, when meditators sit for many years, just sitting and doing nothing, a certain moment comes when they forget that they have bodies. That is their first satori. Not that the body is not there; body is there but there is no tension, so how to feel it? If I say something you can hear me, but if I’m silent how can you hear me? Silence is there – it has much to communicate to you – but silence cannot be heard. Sometimes when you say, “Yes, I can hear the silence,” then you are hearing some noise. Maybe it is the noise of the dark night, but it is still noise. If it is absolutely silent, you will not be able to hear it. When your body is perfectly healthy, you don’t feel it. If some tension arises in the body, some disease, some illness, then you start hearing. If everything is in harmony and there is no pain and no misery, suddenly you are empty. A nothingness overwhelms you.

Kaivalya is the ultimate health, wholeness, all wounds healed. When all wounds heal, how can you exist? The self is nothing but accumulated tensions. The self is nothing but all sorts of diseases, illnesses. The self is nothing but desires unfulfilled, hopes frustrated, expectations, dreams – all broken, fractured. It is nothing but accumulated disease, that you call ‘self’. Or take it from another side: in moments of harmony you forget that you are. Later on, you may remember how beautiful it was, how fantastic it was, how far-out. But in moments of real far-outness, you are not there. Something bigger than you has overpowered you; something higher than you has possessed you; something deeper than you has bubbled up. You have disappeared. In deep moments of love, lovers disappear. In deep moments of silence, meditators disappear. In deep moments of singing, dancing, celebration, celebrators disappear. And this is going to be the last celebration, the ultimate, the highest peak – kaivalya.

Patanjali says, “Even the desire to be disappears. Even the desire to remain disappears.” One is so fulfilled, so tremendously fulfilled that one never thinks in terms of being. For what? – you want to be there tomorrow also because today is unfulfilled. The tomorrow is needed; otherwise you will die unfulfilled. The yesterday was a deep frustration; today is again a frustration; tomorrow is needed. A frustrated mind creates future. A frustrated mind clings with the future. A frustrated mind wants to be because now, if death comes, no flower has flowered. Nothing has yet happened; there has only been a fruitless waiting: “Now, how can I die? I have not even lived yet.” That unlived life creates a desire to be.

People are so much afraid of death: these are the people who have not lived. These are the people who are, in a certain sense, already dead. A person who has lived and lived totally does not think about death. If it comes, good; he will welcome. He will live that too, he will celebrate that too. Life has been such a blessing, a benediction; one is even ready to accept death. Life has been such a tremendous experience; one is ready to experience death also. One is not afraid because the tomorrow is not needed; the today has been so fulfilling. One has come to fruition, flowered, bloomed. Now the desire for tomorrow disappears. The desire for tomorrow is always out of fear, and fear is there because love has not happened. The desire to always remain simply shows that deep down you are feeling yourself completely meaningless. You are waiting for some meaning. Once the meaning has happened, you are ready to die – silently, beautifully, gracefully.

“Kaivalya,” Patanjali says, “happens only when the last desire to be has disappeared.” The whole problem is to be or not to be. The whole life we try to be this and that, and the ultimate can happen only when you are not.

When one has seen this distinction, there is a cessation of desire for dwelling in the atma, the self.

The self is nothing but the most purified form of the ego. It is the last remnant of strain, stress, tension. You are still not perfectly open; something is still closed. When you are completely open, just a watcher on the hill, a witness, even the death desire disappears. With the disappearance of this desire, something absolutely new happens in life. A new law starts functioning. You have heard about the law of gravitation; you have not heard about the law of grace. The law of gravitation is that everything falls downwards. The law of grace is that things start falling upwards. And that law has to be there because in life everything is balanced by the opposite. Science has come to discover the law of gravitation: Newton sitting on a bench in a garden saw one apple falling – it happened or not; that is not the point – but seeing that the apple was falling down, a thought arose in him: “Why do things always fall downwards? Why not otherwise? Why doesn’t a ripe fruit fall upwards and disappear into the sky? Why not sideways? Why always downwards?” He started brooding and meditating, and then he discovered a law. He came upon, stumbled upon a very fundamental law: that the earth is gravitating things towards itself. It has a gravitation field. Like a magnet, it pulls everything downwards.

Patanjali, Buddha, Krishna, Christ – they also became aware of a different fundamental law, higher than gravitation. They became aware that there comes a moment in the inner life of consciousness when consciousness starts rising upwards – exactly like gravitation. If the apple is hanging on the tree, it does not fall. The tree helps it not to fall downwards. When the fruit leaves the tree, then it falls downwards.

Exactly the same: if you are clinging to your body you will not fall upwards; if you are clinging to your mind you will not fall upwards. If you are clinging to the idea of self, you will remain under the impact of gravitation – because body is under the impact of gravitation, and mind also. Mind is subtle body; body is gross mind. They are both under the impact of gravitation. And because you are clinging to them you are not under the impact of gravitation, but you are clinging to something which is under the impact of gravitation. It is as if you are carrying a big rock and trying to swim in a river; the rock will pull you down. It won’t allow you to swim. If you leave the rock, you will be able to swim easily.

We are clinging to something which is functioning under the law of gravitation: body, mind. “Once,” Patanjali says, “you have become aware that you are neither the body nor the mind, suddenly you start rising upwards.” Some center somewhere high in the sky pulls you up. That law is called ‘grace’.

Then God pulls you upwards. And that type of law has to be there, otherwise gravitation could not exist. In nature, if positive electricity exists, then negative electricity has to exist. Man exists, then the woman has to exist. Reason exists, then intuition has to exist. Night exists, then the day has to exist. Life exists, then death has to exist. Everything needs the opposite to balance it. Now science has become aware of one law: gravitation. Science still needs a Patanjali to give it another dimension, the dimension of falling upwards. Then life becomes complete.

You are a meeting place of gravitation and grace. In you, grace and gravitation are crisscrossing. You have something of the earth and something of the sky within you. You are the horizon where earth and sky are meeting. If you hold too much to the earth, then you will forget completely that you belong to the sky, to the infinite space, the beyond. Once you are no more attached with the earth part of you, suddenly you start rising high.

When one has seen this distinction, there is a cessation of desire for dwelling in the self.

Tadahiviveka-nimnam kaivalya-pragbharam cittam.

Then the mind is inclined towards discrimination, and gravitates towards liberation.

A new gravitation starts functioning. Liberation is nothing but entering the stream of grace. You cannot liberate yourself, you can only drop the barriers; liberation happens to you. Have you seen a magnet? – small iron pieces are pulled towards it. You can see those small iron pieces rushing towards the magnet, but don’t be deceived by your eyes. In fact, they are not rushing, the magnet is pulling them. On the surface it appears that those iron filings are going, moving towards the magnet.

That is just on the surface. Deep down, something just opposite is happening: they are not moving towards the magnet, the magnet is pulling them towards itself. In fact, it is the magnet which has reached them. With the magnetic field it has approached them, touched them, pulled them. If those iron filings are free, not attached to something – not attached to a rock – then the magnet can pull them. If they are attached to a rock, the magnet will go on pulling but they will not be pulled because they are attached.

Exactly the same happens: once you discriminate that you are not the body, you are no more bound to any rock, you are no more in bondage with earth. Immediately, God’s magnet starts functioning. It is not that you reach to God. In fact, God has already reached you. You are under His magnetic field, but clinging to something. Drop that clinging and you are in the stream. Buddha used to use a word srotaapanna: falling into the stream. He used to say, “Once you fall into the stream, then the stream takes you to the ocean. Then you need not do anything.” The only thing is to jump into the stream. You are sitting on the bank. Enter the stream and then the stream will do the remaining work. It is as if you are standing on a high building, on the roof of a high building, three hundred feet or five hundred feet above the earth. You go on standing, the gravitation has reached you, but it will not work unless you jump. Once you jump, then you need not do anything. Just a step off the roof… enough; your work is finished. Now the gravitation will do all the work. You need not ask, “Now what am I supposed to do?” You have taken the first step. The first is the last step. Krishnamurti has written a book, The First and the Last Freedom. The meaning is: the first step is the last step because once you are in the stream; everything else is to be done by the stream. You are not needed. Only for the first step is your courage needed.

Then the mind is inclined towards discrimination, and gravitates towards liberation.

You start moving slowly upwards. Your life energy starts rising high – an upsurge. And it is unbelievable when it happens because it is against all the laws that you have known up to now. It is levitation, not gravitation. Something in you simply starts moving upwards, and there is no barrier to it. Nothing bars its path. Just a little relaxation, a little unclinging – the first step – and then automatically, spontaneously, your consciousness becomes more and more discriminative, more and more aware.

Let me tell you about another thing. You have heard the word, the phrase: ‘vicious circle’. Let us make another phrase: ‘virtuous circle’. In a vicious circle, one bad thing leads to another. For example, if you get angry then one anger leads you to more anger, and of course, more anger will lead you to still more anger. Now you are in a vicious circle. Each anger will make the habit of anger more strong, and will create more anger, and more anger will make the habit still more strong, and on and on. You move in a vicious circle which goes on becoming stronger and stronger and stronger.

Let us try a new word: virtuous circle. If you become aware, what Patanjali calls vivek, awareness; if you become aware: vairagya. Discrimination creates renunciation. If you become aware, suddenly you see that you are no more the body. Not that you renounce the body; in your very awareness the body is renounced. If you become aware, you become aware that these thoughts are not you.

In that very awareness those thoughts are renounced. You have started dropping them. You don’t give them any more energy; you don’t cooperate with them. Your cooperation has stopped, and they cannot live without your energy. They live on your energy, they exploit you. They don’t have their own energy. Each thought that enters you partakes of your energy. And because you are kaivalya willing to give your energy, it lives there, it makes its abode there. Of course, then its children come, and friends, and relatives, and this goes on. Once you are a little aware, vivek brings vairagya, awareness brings renunciation. And renunciation makes you capable of becoming more aware. And of course, more awareness brings more vairagya, more renunciation, and so on and so forth. This is what I am calling the virtuous circle: one virtue leads to another, and each virtue becomes again a ground for more virtue to arise. “This goes on,” Patanjali says, “to the last moment” – what he calls, dharma megha samadhi. We will be coming to it later on. He calls it ‘the cloud of virtue showering on you’. This virtuous circle, vivek leading to vairagya, vairagya leading to more vivek, vivek again creating more possibilities for vairagya, and so on and so forth – comes to the ultimate peak when the cloud of virtue showers on you: dharma megha samadhi.

In breaks of discrimination, other pratyayas, concepts, arise through the force of previous impressions.

Still, though, many intervals will be there. So don’t be discouraged. Even if you have become very aware and in sudden moments you feel the pull, the upward pull of grace, and in certain moments you are in the stream, floating perfectly beautifully, with no effort, effortlessly, and everything is going and running smoothly, still there will be gaps. Suddenly you will find yourself standing again on the bank just because of old habits. For so many lives you have lived on the bank. Just because of the old habit, again and again the past will overpower you. Don’t be discouraged by it. The moment you see that you are again on the bank, again get down into the stream. Don’t be sad about it, because if you become sad you will again be in a vicious circle. Don’t be sad about it. Many times the seeker comes at very close quarters, and many times he loses the track. No need to be worried; again bring awareness. This is going to happen many times; it is natural. For so many millions of lives we have lived in unawareness – it is only natural that many times the old habit will start functioning. Let me tell you a few anecdotes.

The boss was full of confidence as he approached the reception desk at a large hotel with his secretary and signed the register as Mr. and Mrs.

“Double or twin beds?” enquired the clerk.

He turned to his secretary and asked casually, “Would a double be alright, darling?”

“Yes, sir,” she answered.

“Yes, sir,” the wife was saying to the husband! – but just the old habit of being a secretary, continuously saying, “Yes sir, yes sir, yes sir.” Habits become very ingrained, and they catch hold of you in such a way that unless you are very, very watchful, you will not even suspect.

It happened: An indignant schoolteacher rang the local police station to complain that a crowd of young hooligans had chalked four-letter words all over her front door. “And what is more,” she concluded, “they have not even spelled them right!”

A school teacher is just a school teacher. She is complaining against the four-letter words, but the basic complaint is that they have not even spelled them right. Continuously correcting the spelling of children….

In breaks of discrimination, other concepts arise through the force of previous impressions.

Many times you will be pulled back, again and again and again. The struggle is hard, but not impossible. It is difficult, it is very arduous, but don’t become sad and don’t become discouraged.

Whenever you remember again, don’t be worried about what has happened. Let your awareness again be established, that’s all. Continuously establishing your awareness again and again and again will create a new impact inside your being, a new impression of virtue. One day, it becomes as natural as other habits.

-Osho

From Yoga: The Path to Liberation, Chapter Nine (previously published as Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, V.10)

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

I have split up the last sutra discourse from the Yoga series into three posts. This is the first of three. The second one is The Cloud Which Showers Virtue and the third is You Are the Abode of the Ultimate.

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.

You Are the Abode of the Ultimate – Osho

Then follows freedom from afflictions and karmas. That which can be known through the mind is very little compared with the infinite knowledge obtained in enlightenment, when the veils, distortions, and impurities are removed. 

Just a few sutras back, Patanjali said that the mind is infinitely knowledgeable, the mind can know infinitely. Now he says that that which can be known through the mind is very little compared with the infinite knowledge obtained in enlightenment.

As you progress higher, each state is bigger than the first state that you have transcended. When one is lost in his senses, the mind functions in a crippled way. When one is no more lost in the senses and no more attached to the body, the mind starts functioning in a perfectly healthy way. An infinite apprehension happens to mind; it becomes capable of knowing infinities. But that too is nothing compared to when mind is completely dropped and you start functioning without mind. No medium is now needed. All wheels disappear and you are immediate to reality. Not even mind is there as an agent, as a go-between. Nothing is in between. You and the reality are one. The knowledge that comes through mind is nothing compared to the knowledge that happens through enlightenment.

Having fulfilled their object, the process of change in the three gunas comes to an end.

For the enlightened person the whole world stops, because now there is no need for the world to go on. The ultimate has been achieved. The world exists as a situation. The world exists for your growth. The school exists for learning. When you have learned the lesson, the school is no more for you; you have graduated. When somebody attains enlightenment, he has graduated from the world. Now the school no longer has any function for him. Now he can forget about the school, and the school can forget about him. He has gone beyond, he has grown. The situation is no longer needed.

The world is a situation: it is a situation for you to go astray and come back home. It is a situation to be lost in and then come back. It is a situation to forget God and then remember Him again.

But why this situation? – Because there is a subtle law: if you cannot forget God, you cannot remember Him. If there is no possibility to forget Him, how will you remember, why will you remember? That which is always available is easily forgotten. The fish in the ocean never knows the ocean, never comes across it. He lives in it, is born in it, dies in it, but never comes to know the ocean. There is only one situation when the fish comes to know the ocean: when it is taken out of the ocean. Then suddenly it becomes aware that this was the ocean, his life. When the fish is thrown on the bank, on the sand, then she knows what ocean is.

We needed to be thrown out of the ocean of God; there was no other way to know Him. The world is a great situation to become aware. Anguish is there, pain is there, but it is all meaningful. Nothing is meaningless in the world. Suffering is meaningful. The suffering is just like the fish suffering on the bank, in the sand, and making all efforts to go back to the ocean. Now, if the fish goes back to the ocean she will know. Nothing has changed – the ocean is the same, the fish is the same – but their relationship has tremendously changed. Now she will know, “This is the ocean.” Now she will know how grateful she is to the ocean. The suffering has created a new understanding. Before also she was in the same ocean, but now the same ocean is no more the same because a new understanding exists, a new awareness, a new recognition.

Man needs to be thrown out of God. To be thrown into the world is nothing but to be thrown out of God. And it is out of compassion, out of the compassion of the whole that you are thrown out, so that you try to find the way back. By effort, by arduous effort you will be able to reach, and then you will understand. You have to pay for it by your efforts, otherwise God would be too cheap. And when a thing is too cheap, you cannot enjoy it. Otherwise, God would be too obvious. When a thing is too obvious you tend to forget. Otherwise, God would be too close to you and there would be no space to know Him. That will be the real misery, not to know Him. The misery of the world is not a misery;

it is a blessing in disguise because only through this misery will you come to know the tremendous blissfulness of recognizing, of seeing face to face… the divine truth. 

Having fulfilled their object, the process of change in the three gunas comes to an end.

The whole world of the three gunas: sattva, rajas, tamas, comes to an end. Whenever somebody becomes enlightened, for him the world comes to an end. Of course, others go on dreaming. If there are too many fish suffering on the bank, in the hot sand, in the burning sun, and one fish tries and tries and jumps into the ocean, again back home, for her, or for him, the hot sun and the burning sand and all the misery has disappeared. It is already a nightmare of the past; but for others, it exists.

When a fish like Buddha, Patanjali, jumps into the ocean, for them the world has disappeared. They are again back in the cool womb of the ocean. They are back again, joined, connected to the infinite life. They are no longer disconnected; they are no longer alienated. They have become aware. They have come back with a new understanding: alert, enlightened – but for others the world continues.

These sutras of Patanjali are nothing but messages of a fish who has reached home, trying to jump and say something to the people who are still on the bank and suffering. Maybe they are very close to the ocean, just on the border, but they don’t know how to enter into it. They are not making enough effort, or, are making them in the wrong directions, or, are simply lost in misery and have accepted that this is what life is, or, are so frustrated, discouraged, that they are not making any effort. Yoga is the effort to reach to that reality with which we have become disconnected. To be reconnected is to be a yogi. Yoga means: re-connection, re-union, re-merging. 

Kramaha, the process, is the succession of changes that occur from moment to moment, which become apprehensible at the final end of the transformations of the three gunas.

In this small sutra Patanjali has said everything that modern physics has come to discover. Just thirty or forty years ago, it would have been impossible to understand this sutra because the whole quantum physics is present, in seed form, in this small sutra. And this is good, because this is just the last-but-one. So Patanjali summarizes the whole world of physics in this last-but-one sutra: then, the (meta) physics. This is the essential physics. The greatest insight that has come to physics in this century is the theory of quantum.

Max Planck discovered a very unbelievable thing. He discovered that life is not a continuity; everything is discontinuous. One moment of time is separate from another moment of time, and between the two moments of time there is a space. They are not connected; they are disconnected. One atom is separate from another atom, and between the two atoms there is great space. They are not connected. This is what he calls ’quanta’: distinct, separate atoms not bridged with each other, floating in infinite space, but separate – just as you pour peas from one carton into another and the peas all fall, separate, distinct, or, if you pour oil from one container into another, the oil falls in a continuity.

The existence is like peas, separate. Why does Patanjali mention this? – Because he says, “One atom, another atom: these are two things the world consists of. Just between the two is the space. That is what the whole consists of, the God. Call it space, call it brahma, call it purusa or whatsoever you like; the world consists of distinct atoms, and the whole consists of the infinite space between the two. ”

Now physicists say that if we press the whole world and press the space out of it, all the stars and all the suns can be pressed into just a small ball. Only that much matter exists. It is really space. Matter is very rare, here and there. If we press the earth very much, we can put it into a matchbox. If all the space is thrown out, unbelievable! “And that too, if we go on pressing it still more,” Patanjali says, “then even that small quantity will disappear.” Now physicists say that when matter disappears it leaves black holes.

Everything comes out of nothingness, plays around, disappears again into nothingness. As there are material bodies: earth, sun, stars, there are, just similar to them, empty holes, black holes. Those black holes are nothingness condensed. It is not simply nothingness; it is very dynamic – whirlpools of nothingness. If a star comes by a black hole, the black hole will suck it in. So it is very dynamic, but it is nothing – no matter in it, simply absence of matter; just pure space, but tremendously powerful. It can suck any star in, and the star will disappear into nothingness; it will be reduced to nothingness. So ultimately, if we try, then all matter will disappear. It comes out of a tremendous nothingness, and it drops again into a tremendous nothingness: out of nothingness, and back into nothingness. 

Kramaha, the process – the process of quantum – is the succession of changes that occur from moment to moment which becomes apprehensible at the final end of the transformations of the three gunas.

This the yogi comes to see at the final stage, when all the three gunas are disappearing into black holes, disappearing into nothingness. That’s why yogis have called the world maya, a magic show.

Have you seen a magician producing a mango tree within seconds, and then it goes on growing; and not only that – within seconds mangoes have appeared… out of nothing? It is just illusory; he creates illusion. Maybe he sends deep messages to your unconscious. It is just like deep hypnosis. He creates the idea, but he visualizes his idea so deeply and he impresses it on your unconscious so deeply that you also start seeing it as he wants you to see it. Nothing is happening. The tree is not there, the mango is not there. And it is possible, just out of great imagination, to create a mango tree, and mangoes come. Not only that, but he can pluck one mango and give it to you and you will say, “Very sweet.”

Hindus call the world maya, a magic show. It is God’s imagination. The whole is dreaming, the whole is projecting.

You go to a movie: on a wide screen you see a great story being enacted, and you see that everything seems to be continuous, but it is not. If the film is moved a little slower, you will see that everything is discontinuous – quanta. One picture goes, another comes, another goes, another comes, but between two pictures there is a gap. In that gap you can see the real screen. When the pictures are moving very fast, they create an illusion of movement. Of course, a movie film is not a moving film. It is as static a photograph as any other. The movement is illusory because those static photographs are running after each other so fast, the gap between them is so small, that you cannot see the gap. So everything looks as if it is continuous.

I move my hand: to show this hand moving in a film, thousands of pictures will be needed of each state of stasis – from this point to this, from this point to this, from this point to this. The one simple movement of the hand will be divided into thousands of small static movements. Then all those pictures move fast: the hand seems to be moving. It is an illusion. Deep down, between two pictures, it is a white screen, empty.

Patanjali says, “The world is nothing but a cinematograph, a projection.” But this understanding arises only when one achieves to the last point of understanding. When he sees all gunas stopped, nothing is moving, suddenly he becomes aware that the whole story was created by illusory movement, by fast movement. This is what is happening to modern physics.

First they said when they had come to the atom, “Now this is the ultimate; it cannot be divided anymore.” Then they also divided the atom. Then they came to electrons: “Now it cannot be divided anymore.” Now they have divided that too. Now they have come to nothingness; now they don’t know what has come. Division, division, division, and a point has come in modern physics where matter has completely disappeared. Modern physics has reached via matter, and Patanjali and the yogis have reached to the same point via consciousness. Up to this last-but-one sutra, physics has reached. Up to this last-but-one sutra, scientists can have an approach, an understanding, a penetration. The last sutra is not possible for scientists, because that last sutra can be achieved only if you move through consciousness, not through matter; not through objects, but directly through subjectivity.

Purusartha-sunyanam gunanam pratiprasavah kaivalyam Svarupa-pratistha va citi-sakter iti. 

Kaivalya is the state of enlightenment that follows the reemergence of the gunas, due to their becoming devoid of the object of the purusa. In this state, the purusa is established in his real nature which is pure consciousness. Finish.

Kaivalya is the state of enlightenment that follows the remergence of the three gunas… when the world stops, when the process, the kramaha of the world stops, when you become able to see between two moments of time and two atoms of matter, and you can move into space, and you can see that everything has arisen out of space and is moving back into space; when you have become so aware that suddenly the illusory world disappears like a dream, then kaivalya. Then you are left as pure consciousness – with no identity, with no name, no form. Then you are the purest of the pure. Then you are the most fundamental, the most essential, the most existential, and you are established in this purity, aloneness.

Patanjali says, “Kaivalya is the state of enlightenment that follows the remergence of the gunas, due to their becoming devoid of the object of the Purusa. In this state the Purusa is established in his real nature.” You have come back home. The journey has been long, torturous, arduous, but you have come back home. The fish has jumped into the ocean which is pure consciousness.

Patanjali does not say anything more about it, because more cannot be said. And when Patanjali says, “Finish; the end,” he does not only mean that the Yoga Sutras finish here. He says, “All possibility to express ends here. All possibility to say anything about the ultimate reality ends here. Beyond this is only experience. Expression ends here.” And nobody has been able to go beyond it – nobody. Not a single exception exists in the whole history of human consciousness. People have tried. Very few have even reached to where Patanjali had reached, but nobody has been able to go beyond Patanjali.

That’s why I say he’s the alpha and the omega. He starts from the very beginning; nobody has been able to find a better beginning than him. He begins from the very beginning and he comes to the very end. When he says, “Finish,” he’s simply saying expression is finished, definition is finished, description is finished. If you have really come with him up to now, there is only experience beyond.

Now starts the existential. One can be it, but one cannot say it. One can live in it, but one cannot define it. Words won’t help. All language is impotent beyond this point. Simply saying this much: that one achieves to one’s own true nature – Patanjali stops. That’s the goal: to know one’s nature and to live in it – because unless we reach to our own natures we will be in misery. All misery is indicative that we are living somehow unnaturally. All misery is simply symptomatic that somehow our nature is not being fulfilled, that somehow we are not in tune with our reality. The misery is not your enemy; it is just a symptom. It indicates. It is like a thermometer; it simply shows that you are going wrong somewhere. Put it all right, put yourself right; bring yourself in harmony, come back, tune yourself. When every misery disappears one is in tune with one’s nature.

That nature Lao Tzu calls tao, Patanjali calls kaivalya, Mahavir calls moksha, Buddha calls nirvana. But whatsoever you want to call it – it has no name and it has no form – it is in you, present, right this moment. You have lost the ocean because you have come out of your Self. You have moved too much in the outer world. Move inwards. Now, let this be your pilgrimage: move inwards.

It happened: A Sufi mystic, Bayazid, was going on a pilgrimage to Mecca. It was difficult. He was poor and somehow he had managed the travelling expenses by begging for years. Now he was very happy. He had almost the necessary money to go to Mecca, and then he travelled. By the time he reached near Mecca, just outside the town he met a fakir, his Master. He was sitting there just under a tree, and he said, “Oh fool, where are you going?” Bayazid looked at him; he had never seen such a luminous being. He came near him and the man said, “Give me whatsoever you have! Where are you going?” He said, “I am going to Mecca for a pilgrimage.” He said, “Finish. There is now no need; you just worship me. You can move around me as many times as you like. You can do your parikrama, your circumlocution, around me. I am Mecca.” And Bayazid was so filled with this person’s magnetism that he gave all his money, he worshipped. Then the old man said, “Now go back home”; and he went back home.

When he went into his town people gathered and said, “Something seems to have happened to you. So really it works, going to Mecca works? You are looking luminous, so full of light.” He said, “Stop this nonsense! One old man met me – he changed my whole pilgrimage. He says, ‘Go home,’ and since then I have been going home, inwards. I have arrived. I have arrived, I have reached to my Mecca.”

The outer Mecca is not the real Mecca. The real Mecca is inside you. You are the temple of God.You are the abode of the ultimate. So the question is not where to find truth, the question is: how have you lost it? The question is not where to go; you are already there – stop going.

Drop from all the paths. All paths are of desire, extensions of desire, projections of desire: going somewhere, going somewhere, always somewhere else, never here.

Seeker, leave all paths, because all paths lead there, and He is here.

Purusartha-sunyanam gunanam pratiprasavah kaivalyam Svarupa-pratistha va citi-sakter iti.

-Osho

From Yoga: The Path to Liberation, Chapter Nine (previously published as Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, V.10)

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

I have split the last sutra discourse from the Yoga series into three posts. This is the last of three. The first one is The Virtuous Circle and the second one is The Cloud Which Sh0wers Virtue.

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.

The Centre is the Master

One friend asks how a person should find the internal centre that is mentioned by Lao Tzu and develop its hunger.

Sit with your eyes closed and think, “Where is the centre of my body?” We live through our body, but it is an unfortunate fact that we do not give any thought to the centre of our body. We are completely ignorant of the pivot on which the body functions. Many people believe the head to be the centre of all body functions because it is in the brain that all activities seem to take place.

The fact is, however, that the brain forms much later. When the child is conceived, there is no brain and yet life functions. But that which is formed later, cannot be the centre. People who are emotional, like most women, artists, poets, feel the centre to be the heart because whatever these people have known and experienced — love, beauty and the like — are things that have had a direct impact on their heart. That is why, when people talk of love, their hand inadvertently goes to their heart. So those who are emotional take the heart to be the centre of the body.

But the heart does not beat until the child takes its first breath. The child hears the mother’s heart beat within. Therefore, the sound “tick-tick” causes not only children but also adults to fall asleep. The sound of water dripping, or the ticking of a watch, induces sleep. Doctors say that the ticking of a clock is a very good tranquilizer. The heart in the embryo does not function like a heart and yet the child is alive.

Therefore, the heart also is not the centre. Lao Tzu says, “The navel is the centre and not the heart or the brain.” The child is joined to the mother by its navel. The first glimpse of life comes through the navel. This is scientifically correct.

So, search within. Lao Tzu says, “Keep searching within and bring your consciousness to the level of the navel centre. That is the first step of sadhana.” When the authentic centre and the centre of your understanding become one, you will become a united, integrated whole. When the centre of your mind, the centre of your consciousness and your authentic centre concentrate and converge into a single focus, you will find that your life has changed. You are now a new person altogether.

Lao Tzu’s disciples have, for ages, been carrying out a simple experiment to prove that you cannot grow unless you locate your centre within. The experiment is this. Take two small tanks of equal dimensions. Fill them with water. Insert an iron rod in the middle of one tank, leaving the other as it is. Put two identical fish and put one in each tank. Given the same conditions and the same diet, you will be surprised to find that the fish in the tank with the iron-rod in the centre develops quickly, whereas the growth of the fish in the other tank, which is without the central rod, is slower. The fish in the former tank swims around and around the rod, while the fish in the second tank has no centre. It swims here and there listlessly in the absence of a centre and is also more prone to illness.

This experiment has been religiously carried out by the followers of Lao Tzu for hundreds of years and it has always been found that the fish in the tank with the centre rod has always been well-developed and healthy, whereas the fish in the other tank was stunted in growth and unhealthy.

The followers of Lao Tzu maintain that a person who succeeds in locating his centre finds his consciousness revolving around and around this centre. It is only then that his consciousness begins to develop. Those who do not find their centres remain stunted and lifeless, like the fish in the second tank, because they have no centre, no base around which they can revolve and develop. They cannot find their direction: where they should go, what they should do. By revolving round the same circumference, the consciousness develops.

Lao Tzu says: “Your consciousness becomes concentrated when it discovers the navel centre. Then it begins to revolve around it.” Lao Tzu says: “When you walk, keep your attention on the navel. When you sit, keep your mind on the navel; when you get up, be aware of the navel. Do what you will, but let your consciousness always move around the navel.” Become a fish and go round and round the navel, and you will soon discover a new, powerful consciousness arising within you. The results are wondrous!

There are many experiments you carry out. You are sitting on a chair. Now, Lao Tzu says your way of sitting on the chair is wrong, therefore, you get tired. He says, “Do not sit on the chair.” This does not mean you are not actually to sit on the chair; that you should sit on the ground. Lao Tzu says, “Sit on the chair but do not put your weight on the chair. Put all your weight on the navel.”

You can carry out the experiment right away. It is only a matter of emphasis. When we put all our weight on the chair the emphasis is in the chair. The chair becomes the all in all. You are merely like a coat hanging on a peg. If the peg breaks, you fall down, like a coat which has no centre of its own and which depends on the peg for its centre. Lao Tzu says you will tire yourself this way because you are not acting like an animate, conscious being and are depending entirely on an inanimate object.

Lao Tzu says: “Sit on the chair but be fixed at your own centre at the navel.” Hang everything on the peg of the navel. Hours will go by and you will find no sign of fatigue. If a man begins to live by hanging his consciousness on the peg of the navel-centre, all mental-fatigue vanishes. A unique freshness pervades his mind, a serene calmness flows within him and he gains a self-confidence which only those who have found their centre attain.

So the first step in this sadhana is to find your centre and to continue your efforts till the consciousness reaches not only the navel but two inches below the navel. Then one should begin to keep this centre always in mind. When one breathes in, this centre should rise up; when one breathes out, this centre should go down. Then, a constant japa begins: the rising of the centre with the incoming breath and the falling of the centre with the outgoing breath. If this becomes a conscious act, it yields great results. This is very difficult of course in the beginning, because remembrance is the most difficult thing to do. Constant remembrance is even more difficult. You might say, “That is not such a difficult thing at all. I can recollect the name of a person even after six years!” This is not remembrance. This is recollection smriti.

Understand the difference. Recollection means you know something; you pass it on to your memory for recording. The memory stores this information and reproduces it on demand. Remembrance smaran means, constant, non-stop remembering. Try it a little: Observe the rising and falling of your abdomen as the breath comes and goes for just five minutes. After two seconds you will find that you have forgotten. You have started to do something else. Then you will be perturbed. You could not concentrate for even two seconds? The respiration was going on as usual; the abdomen also rose and fell accordingly, but you were not there. Then again bring back your remembrance.

If you strive continuously, your remembrance will increase — second by second. When you find that you can observe the breath constantly without a simple break for three minutes — and this short interval of three minutes will seem like three year — then you will find that you have begun to experience the centre correctly. Then you will feel the body to be separate from the centre.

This centre is the centre of energy. One who is united to this centre, reaches infinite exaltation because he is constantly receiving infinite energy. So, keep a constant remembrance of the navel centre and let your consciousness revolve around it constantly. That is the temple. Keep circling around this temple. Whatever the state within you — whether there is anger or hatred, jealousy or misery or happiness — whatever the state, your first duty is to return to the navel. Then do whatever you wish.

Someone gives you news of the death of a loved one. Go back to the navel. Then let the news go within you. “Then,” Lao Tzu says, “No one’s death will cause a blow to the mind.” You may not have observed, or perhaps you have or maybe you realised later on, recollecting the incident — that whenever you have been given news of great joy or sorrow, the first effect has always been on the navel. You are walking on the road, or cycling, or going in a car, and suddenly an accident occurs. The first impact is on the navel. It begins to tremble. Then, the whole body begins to tremble.

Lao Tzu says, “Whenever anything happens, go back first to the navel centre.” Your first work is remembrance of the navel. Then, do what you like. Then happiness will not make you mad with joy, and sorrow will fail to make you unhappy. Then your centre will stand apart from the happenings that take place on the periphery. Then you remain the witness only. Yoga says, “Practice the sadhana of witnessing.” Lao Tzu says. “Remember the navel centre constantly and the witness state will result by itself.”

You will step outside of birth and death the day you become conscious of your navel centre, because this centre arises before birth and is the only thing that remains after death, when all else is lost. So he who knows and recognizes his navel centre, knows that there is no birth for him nor death. He becomes beyond birth and death.

Keep constant remembrance. Seek the centre and keep incessant remembrance smaran. The first thing is to find the centre, second is to keep on remembering it, and third is to remember the frequent loss of the remembrance. “This is going to be rather difficult however. People come to me and say, “I try to keep my attention on the nabhi, the navel, but I cannot. What should I do?”

To this I say: Keep attention on the fact that you have lost attention. Make it a part of your meditation. Be attentive to inattention also: don’t let it pass unnoticed by you. Whenever you slip, be conscious of the slip and you will go back to remembrance, the current of meditation will join the mainstream again.

Now, the last thing. When the remembrance is complete and the centre becomes clear to you — when you experience the centre — then surrender everything to the centre. Say to the centre, “You alone are the master. Release me!” This surrender is easy.

Surrender is very difficult until the centre is experienced. People say, “Surrender to God,” but we have no knowledge of God. How is surrender to an unknown entity possible? And even if God is known, you still remain the owner of your surrender. If you feel sometime that God is not to your taste, you will withdraw your surrender. We are the givers and we are the withdrawers — what can God do? But the surrender that can be withdrawn is no surrender; in fact, it was never surrender.

Lao Tzu’s method is different. Lao Tzu says: “The day the centre is known and felt, you begin to understand and experience that the centre is the master that does not need your assistance. The breath comes and goes; sleep comes, then awakening; birth happens, then death. The current of life flows on from the centre, without your help.” Then the question of surrendering does not arise because surrender just happens.

So the third and last stage of sadhana is to experience the surrender to the centre. Then there is no way for the ego to save itself. In the state of such surrender a person reach s the highest attainment.

-Osho

From The Way of Tao, Vol. 2, Chapter 7

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

Many of Osho’s books are available online from Amazon.com and in the U.S. from OshoStore-Sedona and Osho Here and Now.

 

Hara, the Third Eye and Zen – Osho

I heard you say that the center of our Buddhahood is at the hara  point inside the body. Is there also a sleeping buddha energy in our hearts and in the third eye? 

Do we all have the same potential of remembering, each one with his or her unique expression of creativity? 

Please comment. 

The hara center is the source of all your energy. It can grow just like a tree grows from the roots into different branches.

According to a different calculation of Patanjali, the energy can be divided into seven centers, but the original source remains the hara. From the hara it can go up.

The seventh center is in the head, and the sixth center is what you call the third eye. The fifth center is in our throat, and the fourth center is exactly in the middle: the heart. Below the heart there are three centers, above the heart there are three centers. But all these seven centers grow like a tree from the original source of the hara. That’s why, in Japanese, suicide is called hara-kiri. People don’t cut their throats, they don’t cut their heads. They simply pierce a small knife into the hara center – just exactly two inches below the navel – and the person dies. And you will not know at all that somebody has committed suicide. Just the energy is released from the body, the source is opened.

I am trying to take you to the very original source. From there, it is up to you to bring your energy into any center you want.

Between the first center, the hara, and the seventh center in the head, the energy can move just like the energy moves into different branches of a tree – from the roots to the uppermost flowering. The hara is the source. When it blossoms, it reaches suddenly to the seventh center, piercing your heart, your throat, and at the seventh center it blossoms as a lotus. Man is also a flowering tree.

These are different ways of looking at things. Patanjali’s yoga is one of the ways; Zen is a totally different approach. To me, Zen seems to be more scientific, while Patanjali seems to be more intellectual and philosophical. Zen begins from the very source.

The buddha is not lying anywhere else other than in the hara; he is not lying in the heart. The energy can be brought to the heart, then the expression will be love. The energy can be brought to the third eye, then you will be able to see things which are not ordinarily visible – auras of people, auras of things, a certain kind of X-ray energy that goes deeper into things. If the same energy moves into the seventh center, according to Patanjali, samadhi is attained – you become enlightened.

But these are different calculations. Rather than talking about samadhi, I would rather encourage you to enter into the source of energy from where everything is going to happen. I don’t like to talk about the flowers much, because that talk will remain simply conceptual. My approach is more pragmatic.

I want you to experience your sleeping energy. And the moment you reach there, it awakens. It sleeps only if you are not there. If your awareness reaches to the source, it wakes up, and in its waking is the Buddhahood. In its waking you become for the first time part of existence: no ego, no self, a pure nothingness.

People are afraid of the word ‘nothingness’. In the second question that fear is clear.

The second question is:

Though you have infused the sutras with life and humor, for me, Zen remains the stark beauty of the desert, and I long for something else.

Why can’t I drop the idea that my way is not via emptiness, but fullness? I still carry this longing for some kind of union, a melting outwards rather than dissolving into nothingness inside.

With whom are you going to melt outside? You don’t know even who you are. And who has told you that Zen is a “stark beauty of the desert”? Zen is perhaps the most beautiful path, full of flowers, songs, joy and laughter.

But the idea of nothingness creates a certain fear of dissolving into a desert. It is just your mind that makes the difference between emptiness and fullness. In realizing either, you will be realizing the other too, because they are two aspects of one thing, of one phenomenon which can either be called nothingness, or can be called fullness.

Zen has chosen rightly to call it nothingness, because fullness can give you misunderstandings. The moment you think of fullness you start imagining. The moment you think of melting into someone outside, immediately a God, a paradise, a heaven, and all kinds of imaginations arise. And those imaginations will prevent you from going anywhere.

I am not helping your imagination at all. I am trying to uproot your imagination in every possible way. I want to leave you without images, in utter silence, in nothingness, because that is the only way to attain fullness.

When the dewdrop disappears in the ocean, it is not that it becomes nothing. Yes, it becomes nothing but it also becomes the ocean. In its disappearing as a dewdrop, on the other side it is also becoming the whole ocean. So the fullness and nothingness are not two things, only two concepts of the mind, but in reality, only two ways of saying one thing. Emptiness, or nothingness, is better because it does not allow any imagination to arise.

Fullness is dangerous. If rightly used there is no problem. Fullness will also dissolve God, and paradise, and heaven and hell, and incarnation. But mind is capable of using the idea of fullness in a way that it cannot use the word ‘nothingness’. To prevent the mind from using the word ‘fullness’ and preventing you from realizing the reality, from Gautam Buddha onwards the word ‘nothingness’ has been chosen. But nothingness is not absence; nothingness is not dead. Nothingness is fullness, but so full that you cannot define it, and you cannot make a limit or a boundary to it.

Unbounded fullness and nothingness, in experience, mean exactly the same. But for the beginner, the word ‘fullness’ is dangerous – and everybody is a beginner.

Begin with something which is less capable of taking you astray from reality. Fullness can be used only by a master who knows that nothingness and fullness are synonymous. But for the beginner it is dangerous, because for him fullness means something opposed to nothingness. If ‘fullness’ is synonymous with ‘nothingness’, then there is no problem. Then the desert becomes the ocean, then there is only beauty and song and dance.

Nothingness gives the idea to the mind that everything will be lost. You will be lost, but the truth is, the moment everything is lost, including you, you have gained the whole universe – all the stars within you, and the vast universe inside your heart. It is not losing anything, so don’t be worried about nothing.

The questioner goes on:

Is this just my refusal to grow up? Am I fooling myself? Are we all to embrace the Zen Manifesto no matter what ‘type’ we feel we are?

There is no question of type. All types are just superficial. At the innermost core there is only one existence. The Zen Manifesto is not for a particular type, it is for all – for men and for women, and for black and white, and for Hindu and Mohammedan, and for Christian and Buddhist. It does not matter what kind of conditioning you have been brought up in, Zen is simply a technique of entering into your veryness. The entrance is so deep that nothing remains, and all is found.

Gurdjieff has written a book, All and Nothing. I would like to withdraw the word ‘and’, because all is nothing; there is no question of ‘and’. Whatever type you are – introvert, extrovert – it does not matter, you are all part of the same existence. And when you relax into existence, all your differences disappear; only oneness remains. You can call that oneness whatever you like, but basically it is nothingness. You can give it any color; you can call it by any name, but don’t start calling it by another name from the beginning, because that can take you astray. Somebody may think that he can call it God, then he will start worshipping a God which is man manufactured.

For the beginner, nothing is the most secure path to avoid the mind playing games. Nothing is beyond the reaches of the mind, so it cannot play games with it. But anything else you name it, mind is capable of playing games with it.

The whole effort of meditation is not to allow the mind to play games. It has been playing games for centuries. One has to come to the point of seeing all the games of the mind: all the gods, all the messiahs, all the prophets, all the religions, all the philosophies.

Existence is available to a silent being, not to the learned, not to the well informed, not to the scholar. It is available to the innocent, and meditation is a way of becoming innocent again. Getting back your childhood, being reborn, knowing nothing, a silence, a joy, a blissfulness arises which is indestructible, which is eternal.

-Osho

From The Zen Manifesto: Freedom from Oneself, Chapter Seven

The Zen Manifesto

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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Go Beyond Through Experiencing – Osho

Is the quality and expression of one’s enlightenment richer, deeper and more creative if one allows oneself to complete one’s worldly trips, rather than dropping them in the name of spirituality?

Certainly! How can you drop if you have not lived your life totally? If you have not known sex, how can you drop it? It will linger, it will surround you in subtle ways; it will become an undercurrent in your unconscious. How can you drop anger if you have not lived it?

Nothing can be dropped without experiencing it in totality. Only total experience helps you to go beyond.

The spirituality that comes without experiencing life is impotent. That is the difference that I want to bring to your consciousness. That kind of spirituality has existed on the earth down the ages… and that’s why man is so ugly. It is because of that kind of spirituality. It has made you repressed; it has not transformed you. It was against this, against that – against everything! It was against life, it was anti-life. It has not allowed you to live your life joyously – to see, to feel, to experience, and to go beyond through experiencing.

Knowledge liberates – not the knowledge that you gather from scriptures, but the knowledge that comes through experience. You become angry again and again and again… and you start feeling the foolishness of it, the utter ridiculousness of it, the poisonousness of it, the destructiveness of it. One day the fruit is ripe – not that you decide: ”I will never be angry” – but just the fruit is ripe and it falls of its own accord. And anger disappears as if it had never existed in you; it simply evaporates.

Live your life. Live a life of variety, a multi-dimensional life, and you will be richer. And, naturally, when a man has lived in all the dimensions of his life and comes to enlightenment, his experience is going to be richer. At least his expression is going to be richer.

And finally: you can only come to enlightenment when you have lived truly. Those who think that they have come to enlightenment without living life are only deceiving themselves and nobody else. They are carrying the whole world in them – unlived, it remains there. Seeds they are carrying.

Patanjali divides samadhi, enlightenment, into two types: samadhi with seed and samadhi without seed. What he calls sabeej samadhi – samadhi with seed – is when you have not lived and subtle desires are still hankering to be fulfilled. You have repressed the seed but it is there, and it will assert itself when the right season arrives. When the spring comes, it may start sprouting again.

You can repress your sex for your whole life, but even at the moment of death it may assert itself.

Repression is not revolution. Revolution is through experience. Maturity is through experience.

Enlightenment is ultimate maturity, beyond which there is none else. How can you find a shortcut to it? – there is none. You have to go through the whole life… tasting its sweetness and its bitterness, feeling its agonies and its ecstasies, watching its ups and downs, the sunlit peaks and the dark nights in the valley, the sadness and the joy of it – all has to be lived.

You have to be a sinner and a saint! One who is only a saint is a poor saint, and one who is only a sinner is a poor sinner – you have to be saintsinner or sinnersaint. You have to live all that God makes available to you. You have to live it unconditionally. And then one day… the quantum leap, the enlightenment.

-Osho

Excerpt from Walk Without Feet, Fly Without Wings and Think Without Mind, Chapter Four  

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

Here you can listen to the discourse excerpt Go Beyond Through Experiencing.

An 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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The Four Spheres of Teilhard de Chardin and The Heart Sutra – Osho

Teilhard de Chardin divides human evolution into four stages. The first he calls geosphere, the second, biosphere, the third, noosphere, and the fourth, christosphere. These four stages are immensely significant. They have to be understood. Understanding them will help you to understand the climax of the Heart Sutra.

The geosphere. It is the state of consciousness which is absolutely asleep, the state of matter. Matter is consciousness asleep. Matter is not against consciousness; matter is a state of consciousness asleep, not yet awakened. A rock is a sleeping Buddha; one day or other the rock is going to become a Buddha. It may take millions of years—that doesn’t matter. The difference will be only of time, and time does not matter much in this eternity. That’s why in the East we have been making statues out of stone—that’s very symbolic: the rock and the Buddha are bridged through a stone statue. The rock is the lowest and Buddha is the highest. The stone statue says that even in stone is hidden a Buddha. The stone statue says that Buddha is nothing but the rock come to manifestation; the rock has expressed its whole potential.

This is the first stage: geosphere. It is matter, it is unconsciousness, it is sleep, it is pre-life. In this state there is no freedom, because freedom enters through consciousness. In this state there is only cause-and-effect. Law is absolute. Not even an accident is possible. Freedom is not known. Freedom enters only as a shadow of consciousness; the more conscious you become, the more free. Hence Buddha is called a mukta—utterly free. The rock is utterly in bondage, fettered from everywhere, from all sides, in all dimensions. The rock is soul in imprisonment; Buddha is the soul on wings. There are no longer any chains, any bondages, any imprisonments; no walls surround Buddha. He has no borders to his being. His being is as vast as existence itself. He is one with the whole.

But in the world of the geosphere, cause-and-effect is the only dhamma, the only law, the only Tao. Science is still confined to the geosphere, because it still goes on thinking in terms of cause-and-effect. Modern science is a very rudimentary science, very primitive, because it cannot conceive of anything more than matter. Its conception is very limited, and hence it is creating more misery than it solves. Its vision is so finite; its vision is so tiny, small, that it cannot reconcile itself with the totality of existence. It is looking from a tiny hole and thinks that’s all. Science is still confined to the geosphere. Science is still in bondage, it has not yet got wings. It will get wings only when it starts moving beyond cause-and-effect.

Yes, little sparks are there. The nuclear physicist is entering into the world which is beyond cause-and-effect, crossing the boundary. Hence, the principle of uncertainty is arising, arising with great force. Cause-and-effect is the principle of certainty: you do this and this is bound to happen. You heat the water to a hundred degrees and the water evaporates—that’s cause-and-effect. The water has no freedom. It cannot say, “Today I am not in the mood, and I am not going to evaporate at a hundred degrees! I simply say no!” No, it cannot say that; it cannot resist, it cannot fight against the law. It is very law-abiding, very obedient. Some other day, when the water is feeling very happy, it cannot say, “You need not bother too much. I am going to evaporate at fifty degrees. I am going to oblige you.” No, that is not possible.

The old physics, the old science, had no glimpse about the principle of uncertainty. The principle of uncertainty means the principle of freedom. Now, little glimpses are happening.

Now they are not so certain as they used to be. Now they see that at the deepest, in matter too there is a certain quality of freedom. It is very difficult to say whether the electron is a particle or a wave: it behaves both ways, sometimes this way, sometimes that way. And there is no way to predict it. It is a quanta. And not only that—its freedom is such that sometimes simultaneously it behaves like a wave and like a particle. That is utterly impossible for the old scientist even to conceive or understand. Aristotle would not be able to understand it; Newton would not be able to understand it. That is impossible to see. That is saying that something is behaving like a line and a dot simultaneously; it is illogical. How can something behave like a dot and a line? Either it is a line or it is a dot.

But now the physicist is starting to have glimpses of the innermost core of matter. In a very, very roundabout way they are stumbling on one of the greatest factors of life: freedom.

But in the geosphere it doesn’t exist. It is sushupti.

The word sushupti means absolute sleep—not even a dream stirs. The rocks are not even dreaming, they cannot dream. To dream they will have to be a little more conscious. The rock is simply there. It has no personality; it has no soul—at least not in actuality. It cannot even dream; its sleep is undisturbed. Day, night, year-in, year-out, it goes on sleeping. For millennia it has slept, and for millennia it will sleep. Not even a dream disturbs it.

In yoga we divide consciousness into four stages. They are very, very relevant to de Chardin’s division. The first is sushupti, deep sleep. The geosphere corresponds to that. The geosphere is more like death than like life. That’s why matter appears to be dead. It is not. It is waiting for its life to grow, it is like a seed. It appears dead: it is waiting for its right moment to explode into life. But right now it is dead. There is no mind. Remember, in the last stage also there will be no mind again. A Buddha is in a state of no-mind, and the rock is also in the state of no-mind. Hence the significance of a stone statue: the meeting of two polarities. The rock being in a state of no-mind means the rock is still below mind. Buddha is in a state of no-mind: that means Buddha has gone beyond mind. There is a similarity, just as there is a similarity between a child and a saint. The child is below mind, the saint is beyond mind. The rock will have to go through all the turmoil of life the Buddha has passed through. He has gone and gone and gone, and gone beyond, utterly beyond. But there is a similarity: he again exists in a state of no-mind. He has become so fully conscious that the mind is not needed. The rock is so unconscious that the mind cannot exist. In the rock the unconscious is absolute; hence the mind is not possible. In the Buddha the consciousness is absolute and the mind is not needed. Let me explain it to you; it is one of the most important things to learn, to understand.

Mind is needed only because you are not really conscious. If you are really conscious, then there is insight, there is no thinking. Then you act out of insight, you don’t act out of your mind. Mind is not needed then. When you see a thing as true, that very seeing becomes your action.

For example, you are in a house and the house is on fire. You see it—it is not a thinking. You simply see it, and you jump out of the house. You don’t wait, you don’t ponder, you don’t brood over it. You don’t inquire, you don’t consult books, you don’t go to ask somebody’s advice about what to do.

You are coming from an evening walk, and just on the road you come across a snake. You jump! Before any thinking enters, you jump. It is not out of thinking that you jump, it is out of insight. The great danger is there—the very danger makes you alive, intense, conscious, and you take the jump out of consciousness. It is a no-mind jump.

But these moments are rare in your life because you are not yet ready to live your consciousness intensely and totally. For Buddha, that is his normal way. He lives so totally that the mind is never needed, never consulted.

The first sphere, the geosphere, is a no-mind sphere. There is no self, obviously, because without the mind the self cannot exist. Again, in the fourth, there will be no self – because without the mind how can the self exist? The mind needs to function out of a center; hence it creates the ego, the self. The mind has to keep itself in control; the mind has to keep itself in a certain pattern, order. It has to hold itself. To hold itself it creates a center, because only through the center can it keep control. Without a center it will not be able to keep control. So once the mind comes in, ego is on the way. Sooner or later the mind will need the ego.

Without the ego the mind will not be able to function. Otherwise who will control, who will manage, who will manipulate, who will plan, who will dream, who will project? And who will be there to be referred to as a constant thing?—Because the mind goes on changing. One thought after another… it is a procession of thoughts. You will be lost if you don’t have any ego: you will not know who you are, and where you are going, and for what.

In the geosphere there is no mind, no self, and no time. It is below time. Time has not entered yet. The rock knows no past, no present, no future. And so is it the case with Buddha. He also is beyond time. He knows no past, no present, no future. He lives in eternity. In fact that is the real meaning of being in the present. Being in the present does not mean that space which is between past and future. In the dictionary that is the meaning given: the space between past and future is called the present. But that is not the present. What kind of present is this? It is already becoming past; it is going out of existence. This moment, if you call it ‘present’, the moment you have called it ‘present’ it is already gone into the past; it is no longer present. And that moment you were calling ‘future’—the moment you called it ‘future’ it has become the present and is moving towards becoming a past. This present is not a real present.

The present that is between past and future is just part of past and future, of the time procession.

The present that I talk about, the now that I talk about, or the Buddha talks about, or Christ when he says, “Don’t think of the morrow. See the lilies in the field—they toil not, they spin not, and look how beautiful they are. How incredibly beautiful! Even Solomon was not so beautiful arrayed in all his glory. Look at the lilies of the field…” Those lilies are living in a kind of nowness; they don’t know the past, they don’t know the future.

The Buddha knows no past, no future, and no present. He knows no division. That’s the state of eternity. Then the now is absolutely there. There is only now, and only here, and nothing else. But the rock is also in that state—unconscious, of course.

The second sphere is the biosphere. It means life, pre-consciousness. The first sphere was matter, the second sphere is life: trees, animals, birds. The rock cannot move, the rock has no life anywhere, not visible anywhere. The tree has more life, the animal still more, the bird still more. The tree is rooted in the ground, cannot move much. It moves a little bit, sways, but cannot move much; it has not that much freedom. A little freedom is certainly there, but the animal has more freedom. He can move, he can choose a little more freedom–where to go, what to do. The bird has even a little more freedom—it can fly. This is the sphere called the biosphere, the life sphere. It is pre-consciousness; just rudimentary consciousness is coming into being. The rock was absolutely unconscious. You cannot say the tree is so absolutely unconscious. Yes, it is unconscious, but something of the consciousness is filtering in, a ray of consciousness is coming in. And the animal is a little more conscious.

The first state corresponds with Patanjali’s sushupti—deep, deep sleep. The second state corresponds with Patanjali’s swabana, the dream state. Consciousness is coming like a dream.

Yes, dogs dream. You can see—you can watch a dog asleep and you will see he is dreaming.

In dream sometimes, he will try to catch flies. And sometimes you will see he is sad, and sometimes you will see he looks happy. Watch a cat, and sometimes she is jumping on a mouse in her dream, and you can see what she is doing in the dream—eating the mouse, cleaning her mustache. You can watch the cat: dream has entered, things are happening in the world of consciousness. Consciousness is surfacing. Cause-effect is still predominant, but not so much as in a rock. A little freedom becomes possible, and hence accidents start happening. The animal has a little bit of freedom. He can choose a few things, he can be temperamental: he can be in a good mood and be friendly towards you; he can be in a bad mood and will not be friendly towards you. A little bit of decision has come into his being, but a very little bit, just the beginning. The self is not yet integrated. It is a very loose self, hodgepodge, but it is coming up. The structure is taking shape, the form is arising.

The animal is past-oriented; it lives out of the past. The animal has no idea of the future—it cannot plan for the future, it cannot think ahead. Even if sometimes it thinks ahead, that is very, very fragmentary. For example when the animal is feeling hungry it can think ahead, a few hours ahead–that he will get food. He has to wait. But the animal cannot think about one month, two months, three months into the future. The animal cannot conceive of years; it has no calendar, no time concept. It is past-oriented. Whatsoever has been happening in the past it expects to happen in the future too. Its future is more or less the same as the past; it is a repetition. It is past-dominated. Time is entering through the past; self is entering through the past.

The third sphere is the noosphere; mind, self-consciousness arises. The first was unconsciousness, the second was pre-consciousness, the third is self-consciousness.

Consciousness comes, but there is a calamity with it—the self. It cannot come otherwise; the self is a necessary evil. Consciousness comes with the idea of ‘I’. Reflection starts, thinking starts, personality comes into existence. And with mind comes future orientation: man lives in the future, animals live in the past.

Developed societies live in the future; undeveloped societies live in the past. Primitive people still live in the past. Only civilized people live in the future. To live in the future is a higher state than to live in the past. Young people live in the future, old people start living in the past. Young people are more alive than old people. New countries, new cultures, live in the future. For example, America lives in the future, India lives in the past. India goes on carrying five thousand, ten thousand years of past. It is such a burden, it is so difficult to carry it, it is crushing, but one goes on carrying it. It is the heritage, and one is very much proud of the past.

To be proud of the past is simply an uncivilized state. One has to reach into the future; one has to grope into the future. The past is no more, the future is going to be—one has to prepare for it.

You can watch it in many ways. The Indian mind is thrilled only by past events. Still, people go on playing the drama of Rama every year, and they are very thrilled. Thousands of years have passed and they have been playing the same drama again and again and again, and again they will play it. And they are very thrilled. They were not so thrilled when the first man walked on the moon; they were not so thrilled as they were and have always been thrilled by the drama of Rama. They know the story, they have seen it many times, but it is their heritage; they are very proud of it.

You will be surprised to know that there are Hindu mahatmas and Jaina mahatmas in India who have been trying to prove that man has not walked on the moon, that the Americans are deceiving. Why?—Because the moon is a god. How can you walk on the moon? And there are people who listen to them and follow them.

A Jaina monk came to see me once in Gujarat and he said, “Support me… and I have got thousands of followers!” And he did have. And the whole thing, the theme of his life, was that the Americans have been deceiving, that those photographs are all photographic tricks that have been produced, that those rocks that have been brought from the moon have been brought from Siberia or from somewhere on the planet. Nobody has ever gone and nobody can ever go to the moon, because in the Jaina shastras, in the Jaina scriptures, it is written that the moon is a god. How can you walk on God? This is past-orientation. This is very deadening.

That’s why India cannot grow, it cannot evolve, it cannot progress. It is stuck with the past.

With the noosphere, with mind, self-consciousness, reflection, thought, personality, future-orientation comes into being. And the more you start preparing for the future, the more anxious, of course, you become. So Americans are the most tense people, restless. Indians are very restful, so restful that they don’t have any efficiency at all. Do you know that when Indians change an electric bulb, three Indians are needed? —One to hold the bulb and two to turn the ladder. Very restful people, relaxed; they don’t suffer from any anxiety, they don’t know what anxiety really is.

Anxiety enters with the future, because you have to plan. You cannot just go on repeating the old ways of your life. And when you do something new there is a possibility of a mistake, more possibility of a mistake. The more you try the new, the more anxious you become. That’s why, psychologically, America is the most disturbed country, India the most undisturbed.

Animals don’t have anxiety. To live in the past is a lower state of mind—of course more comfortable, more convenient. And the Hindu mahatmas go on saying to the world, “Look how peaceful we are. No neurosis exists. Even if we starve, we starve very, very silently. Even if we die, we die very, very acceptingly. And you are going mad!”

But remember, progress comes through anxiety. With progress there is anxiety, there is trembling—of going wrong, of doing something wrong, of missing the point. With the past there is no problem: you go on repeating it. It is a settled past, the ways of it are perfectly known. You have traveled on them; your parents have traveled on them, and so on and so forth, backwards to Adam and Eve. Everybody has done it; there is no possibility of going wrong. With something new, anxiety, fear, fear of failure enters.

This third sphere, the noosphere, is the sphere of anxiety, tension. If you have to choose between the second and the third, choose the third, don’t choose the second. Although there is no need to choose between the third and the second, you can choose between the third and the fourth; then choose the fourth. Always choose the higher.

Remember, when I condemn the Indian mind, I am not condemning Buddha and I am not condemning Krishna. They have chosen the fourth: they are also at rest, they are also relaxed—but their relaxation comes from dropping time itself, not by living in the past. They are utterly relaxed; they have no anxiety, no neurosis. Their mind is a calm, ripple less lake – but not by choosing the second but by choosing the fourth; not by remaining below mind but by going beyond mind. But that’s how things go.

People have seen Buddha in India, and they have seen the silence, and they have seen the benediction of the man, and they have seen the grace, and they have seen that life can be lived in such relaxation… why not live such a life? But they have not made any effort to go to the fourth stage. On the contrary, they relapsed from the third and settled in the second stage. It gives something like Buddha’s silence; but it is ‘something like’, it is not exactly that. It is always easier to settle in the past and become more convenient and comfortable. Buddha has not settled with the past; he has not even settled with the future. He has not settled with time itself—he has dropped time, he has dropped the mind that creates time. He has dropped the ego that creates anxiety.

Indians have chosen to drop the future because that seems to create anxiety: “Future creates anxiety? You can drop the future.” Then you will slip back, you will relapse into the previous state. Drop the ego, and then you go beyond.

The third sphere is like what Patanjali calls wakefulness. The first is sleep, the second is dream, the third is wakefulness—your wakefulness of course, not the wakefulness of a Buddha. Your so-called wakefulness: eyes are open but dreams are roaming inside you; eyes are open but sleep is there inside you. You are full of sleep even when you are awake. This is the third state. And it is always helpful; if you become tired of the day, you fall into a dream—it gives you relaxation. Then you fall into deep sleep; it gives you even more relaxation. In the morning you are again fresh. You fall backwards to become restful because that is what you know already, and that is there in your system; you can go into it.

The fourth state has to be created; it is not in your system. It is your potential but you have never been in it before. It is arduous; it is going upstream, uphill. The fourth state is the christosphere—you can call it the Buddhasphere, it means the same thing; you can call it the

Krishnasphere, it means the same. With the third state there is kind of freedom, a pseudo-freedom, the freedom known as choice. This has to be understood, it is of great importance.

At the third stage you simply have a pseudo kind of freedom, and that freedom is the freedom of choice. For example, you say, “My country is religiously free.” That means you can choose: you can go to a church or to a temple, and the country and its law will not create any trouble for you. You can become a Mohammedan or a Hindu or a Christian—you can choose. ‘The country is free’ means you can choose your life, where you want to live, what you want to do, what you want to say. The choice of expression, the freedom—that you can say whatsoever you like, that you can do whatsoever you like, that you can choose any religious or political style; you can be a communist, you can be a fascist, you can be a liberal, you can be a democrat, and all that nonsense. You can choose. It is only a pseudo-freedom. Why do I call it pseudo freedom?—Because a mind which is full of thoughts cannot be free.

If you have lived for fifty years and your mind has been conditioned by your parents and the teachers and the society, do you think you can choose? You will choose out of your conditioning. How is it going to be a choice? First, you have been conditioned.

It is like when you hypnotize somebody. You can take somebody to Santosh, our hypnotist, and he can hypnotize him and tell him, “Tomorrow morning you will go to the market and you will purchase a certain kind of a cigarette, a certain brand.” He can suggest this to that person in deep hypnosis. Tomorrow morning he will get up and he will not have any idea that he is going to purchase a certain brand of cigarettes in the market, because the conditioning has entered into the unconscious, has been put in the unconscious. His conscious mind is unaware. He will not even have any idea of why he is going to the market. But he will find some rationalization: he will say, “Let us go shopping today.” Why today? He will say, “This is my freedom. Whenever I want to go I will go. Who are you to prevent me? This is my freedom.” And he’s unaware, completely unaware that this is not freedom at all. And he will go to the market with the idea that he is free, and he may not even think for a single moment that he’s going to purchase a certain brand of cigarettes. Then suddenly he comes across a shop and he says to himself, “Why not purchase a packet of cigarettes? You have not smoked for so long.” And he is thinking that he is thinking it! And he goes to the shop and he says, “Give me this brand of cigarettes, 555.” Why not Panama? Why not Wills? Why not Berkeley? He will say, “This is my choice! I am free to choose!” And he will purchase 555, and he remains free—at least in his idea. He’s not free, he has been conditioned.

You have been conditioned as a Hindu, a Christian, as a Mohammedan, as an Indian, as a Chinese, as a German—how can you be free? You have been conditioned by your parents, by your society, by your neighborhood, by your school, college, university—how can you be free? Your freedom is pseudo. It is bogus—it only gives you the feeling of freedom and makes you happy; otherwise there is no freedom in it. When you go to the church are you going out of your freedom? When you go to the Hindu temple are you going out of your freedom? Look into it and you will find it is not out of freedom; you were born in a Hindu family.

Sometimes it can happen—you were born in a Christian family and still you want to go to a Hindu temple. That too is a conditioning—a different kind. Maybe your parents were too Christian, too much, and you could not absorb that much nonsense. There is a limit. You became antagonistic, you started rebelling against it; you became a reactionary. They used to pull you to the church. And they were powerful, and you were a small child, and you could not do anything; you were helpless. But you were always thinking, “I will show you.” The day you became powerful you stopped going to church.

Now this idea, “I will show you,” has been implanted by their obsession with the church. It is again hypnosis—in the reverse order, but it is still hypnosis. You are reacting, you are not free. If you want to go to church you will not be able to go, you will find yourself pulling away. You will not go because this is the church your parents used to take you to. You cannot go to this church; you will become a Hindu. You will start doing things which your parents had never wanted you to do just to show them. This is reaction. The first is obedience, the second is disobedience, but there is no freedom in either.

And one thing more: it is not only a question of conditioning that you are not free. When you choose between two things—maybe nobody has conditioned you about those two things; there are millions of things for which you have not been conditioned at all. When you choose between two things your choice is out of confusion, and out of confusion there can be no freedom. You want to marry this girl or that—how are you going to choose? You are confused.

Every day I receive letters from people: “I am torn apart between two women. What should I do? This woman is beautiful bodily, in proportion, has very, very beautiful eyes, a kind of charm; the body is vibrant, radiant, alive— but psychologically she is very ugly. The other woman is psychologically beautiful, but physically ugly. Now what to do?” And you are torn apart.

I have heard about a man who was thinking to marry. He was in love with a woman, but she was very poor. She was beautiful, but she was very poor. And another woman was in love with him who was very rich but very ugly. But one thing was beautiful in her too—her sound, her voice. She was a great singer.

Now he was torn apart. The beautiful woman had not that voice, that singing voice; and he was a lover of music. She had a beautiful face, but form was not so important to him as voice.

And then he was poor, and he wanted a woman who brings much money with her so there would be security; he could go into his music totally, wholeheartedly, so he need not worry about money and things like that. He wanted to devote his whole life to music. That woman had two things: the money and a beautiful voice—but she was utterly ugly. It was very difficult to look at her, her face was repulsive. The poor woman was beautiful, but her voice was ordinary and she had no money. So if he chose that woman he would have to drop his love affair with music. He would have to become a clerk in some stupid office, or a teacher or something. And then he would not be able to devote himself to music. Music needs total devotion, music is a very jealous mistress—it does not allow you to go anywhere, it wants to absorb you utterly, totally. So he was torn apart. And finally his love for music won, and he married the ugly woman.

He came home, they went to sleep. The dark nights were okay because he was not looking at the woman, so there was no problem. But in the morning, when the sunrays filtered in and he was awake, and he looked at the face of the woman, it was so repulsive. He shook the woman hard and said, “Sing! Sing immediately! Sing immediately!” —Just to protect himself from that ugliness.

People write to me: “We are torn apart between two women, or between two men. What should we do?”

This confusion arises because you are motivated. There is a motivation: money, music, security. There is no love; that’s why you are torn apart. If love is there, intense love is there, passionate love is there, then there would be no choice. That passion itself would decide. You would not be choosing, you would not be torn apart. But people are not that intelligent and not that intense. They live very lukewarm, so-so; they don’t live intensely; their lives have no fire.

Real freedom happens only when your life becomes so total in each moment that there is no need to decide; that totality decides. Do you follow me? —the totality itself decides. You are not facing two alternatives: whether to marry this woman or that. Your heart is totally with one. There is no motive so you are not divided, and there is no confusion. If you decide out of confusion you will create conflict. Confusion will take you into deeper confusions. Never decide out of confusion.

That’s why Krishnamurti goes on talking about choicelessness. Choicelessness is freedom.

You don’t choose, you simply become totally intense. You just become absolutely alert, aware, attentive.

For example, you are listening to me: you can listen in a lukewarm way — half asleep, half awake, yawning, thinking a thousand and one things, planning, the last night still hanging around you, hangovers of a thousand and one types—and you are listening too. Then there is a question of whether I am telling the truth or not. If you are passionately listening, if you are utterly here-now, that very passion will decide. In that intensity you will know what truth is. If I say something which is true; it will immediately strike in your heart. Because you will be so intelligent, how can you miss it? Your intelligence will be so alert, how can you miss it? And if there is something which is not true, you will see it immediately. The vision will come, immediate. There will be no decision on your part: “Should I follow this man or not?” That is out of confusion. You have not listened, you have not seen me.

See the point of it! With truth you need not agree or disagree. The truth has to be heard totally, with sensitivity, that’s all. And that very sensitivity decides. You see, you immediately feel the truth of it. In that very feeling you have moved into truth—not that you agreed or disagreed; not that you were convinced by me, converted by me. I’m not converting anybody; truth converts. And truth is not a belief, and truth is not an argument; truth is a presence. If you are present you will feel it. If you are not present you will not feel it.

So on the third stage, the noosphere, there is pseudo-freedom. Out of confusion, you decide; hence confusion goes on growing. Confusion brings conflict, because there are always two sides in you—to do this or to do that, to be or not to be. And whatsoever you decide, the other side will remain there and wait for its time to take revenge. Freedom happens only at the fourth stage.

The christosphere is the fourth. With the christosphere, no-mind comes into existence—the no-mind of a Buddha, of a Christ, not of a rock. With the fourth comes consciousness, without a center, with no self in it; just pure consciousness with no border to it, infinite consciousness. Then you can’t say “I am conscious.” There is no ‘I’ to it, it is just consciousness. It has no name and no form. It is nothingness, it is emptiness. With this consciousness, thinking is not needed; insight starts functioning, intuition starts functioning. Intellect lives on tuition. Others have to teach you—that’s what tuition is. Intuition nobody has to teach you: it comes from within, it grows out of you, it is a flowering of your being.

This is the quality of consciousness called meditation, intuition, insight, consciousness without a center, timelessness; or you can call it the now, the present. But remember, it is not the present between past and future; it is the present in which past and future have both dissolved.

De Chardin calls it ‘the omega point’, Buddha calls it nirvana, Jainas call it moksha, Christ calls it ‘God the Father’. These are different names. This whole sutra is concerned with the movement from the third to the fourth, from the noosphere to the christosphere, from intellect to intelligence, from self-consciousness to no self-consciousness. The third is like waking, ordinary waking, and the fourth is what Patanjali calls turiya, ‘the fourth’. He has not given it any name, and that seems to be very beautiful. Call it ‘christosphere’, and it looks Christian; call it ‘Krishnasphere’, and it looks Hindu; call it Buddhasphere, and it looks Buddhist. Patanjali is very, very pure; he simply calls it ‘the fourth’. That contains everything. He has not given it a particular name. For three he gives names because they have forms, and wherever form is, name is relevant. The formless cannot have any name—turiya, ‘the fourth’.

This whole Prajnaparamita Sutra is about the movement from the third to the fourth. Sariputra is at the peak of the third: the noosphere—reflection, thinking, self-consciousness. He has traveled to the uttermost into the third; he has reached the maximum of it. There is no more to it. He’s standing on the boundary line.

-Osho

Excerpted from The Heart Sutra, Chapter Nine

The Heart Sutra

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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