Learn Waiting, Pure Waiting – Osho

At times I feel like I can just sit silently and wait for eternity – and other times like sobbing with the futility of sitting outside a gate I cannot even see – frozen between action and inaction. Does one miss by demanding? Is impatience a lack of trust?

One misses only by demanding. Demanding means that will is still there: you would like to have things your own way, you are still deciding how things should be. Then, naturally, if things are not like that, impatience arises; and if the demands are not fulfilled… frustration, anger, rage. And if it goes on and on, sooner or later you lose interest. You start thinking ‘This is impossible. All this talk about enlightenment, nirvana is impossible.’ You start finding ways of escaping from it; of getting back into the world, into the meaningless trivia, the mundane, the mediocre; of getting occupied – at least one is occupied, one has no time to think that things are futile. Sitting and waiting, again and again the idea arises ‘What are you doing here?’ The door has not opened yet – not only that, but you don’t know whether the door exists or not. The door is there just in front of you, but because of the demanding mode of your mind you cannot see it. The demanding mode of the mind keeps you blind. The door opens only for those who are in a non-demanding mode. Demand means imposing your will on existence.

And the existence is not willing for that. And it is good that it is not willing for that; otherwise, just as you are neurotic, the whole would go neurotic. So many wills imposing themselves upon existence, and if the existence were to yield to each and everybody’s desire… Just think what would happen: the whole would start falling into parts. There would be so many contradictory demands on it that those demands would drive it mad. If God is still sane the only reason is that nobody’s demands are ever fulfilled; nobody’s demand is ever even heard.

Prayers reach to him only when they are non-demanding. If there is even a hidden demand somewhere, that very demand makes the prayer so heavy that it cannot leave the earth. When there is no demand then it is weightless, then it can rise; then the gravitation has no effect on it, then it can go to the highest, to the deepest core of existence.

Only those prayers are heard which are nothing but jubilations, ‘alleluia’, for no particular reason. Only those prayers are heard which are nothing but thanks.

And, remember it, a mind which is entangled in thinking never comes to the point where thanking can happen. Thinking becomes a bar, a hindrance, to thanking. Either you can be thinking or you can be thanking, but you cannot be both together. Thanking arises out of non-thinking, and a demanding mind cannot afford to be non-thinking. He has to think, he has to work out… He has a demand that has to be fulfilled – he is after it, he is chasing it, he is putting everything at stake.

God is absolutely deaf to the prayers which demand, but God is absolutely open to the prayers which have no demand.

Krishna Gopa, you ask: At times I feel like I can just sit silently and wait for eternity – and other times like sobbing with the futility of sitting outside a gate I cannot even see – frozen between action and inaction.

Those are the great moments, when you are frozen between action and inaction. Remain frozen. Don’t do anything, just remain in that moment. You are on the verge of a new birth. If you can wait, a new life will arise – what Taoists call wei wu wei, action without action. And that happens only when you are frozen between action and inaction, if you choose you miss that birth. If you can remain frozen, don’t choose – so what? Remain in that moment. It is arduous for the mind because the mind starts feeling suffocated, the mind says ‘Do something, something has to be done. Anything will do, but do something. Don’t remain frozen here, you will die.’ You are not dying, the mind is dying, the ego is dying. The ego says ‘Do something – at least meditate, chant the name of God, pray. Do something.’ And if you do something, you have moved into action again.

These are rare moments, Gopa, when there is no action and no inaction, and you are frozen. Not that you are lethargic, so there is no inaction; you have energy, but the energy is not going anywhere because there is no goal left. The energy is simply there like a reservoir rising higher and higher, becoming greater and greater. You are ready to explode into something, into something absolutely new, of which you cannot even dream. You are on the verge of a new mode of life: action in inaction. Then a new activity starts in which you are not the actor, in which you are only a vehicle, a passage.

But I know those moments are hard, I have passed through those moments just as you are passing. One thing only can I say to help you: that they pass. But great patience is a must. Don’t be impatient, the impatience comes from the mind. The mind starts saying ‘Do something! Become occupied with something!’ because mind cannot exist without occupation, mind IS occupation. When there is no occupation there is no mind; suddenly you are silent, suddenly you arrive at the primal awareness. That’s what Buddhists call ‘Buddha-nature’. There is nothing to do, nothing to think; you are, but your being is just a pure mirroring, watching, waiting. And not waiting for something in particular because you don’t know where the gate is, you don’t know what is going to happen. So it is not a question of waiting for something; if you wait for something, you wait for Godot.

Waiting has to be pure. Enjoy waiting for itself, for its own sake. Don’t you see the beauty of just waiting – the purity of it, the benediction of it, the innocence of it – just waiting, not even capable of answering for what? See the point of it: pure waiting, not knowing what is going to happen. If you know what is going to happen that will be supplied by your past, it will be a continuity with the past; it will not be new. Maybe modified, but it will be again the same thing, it will be a repetition. How can you know what is going to happen? You have not known it before so how can you even imagine it?

Finding that there is no way to imagine the future, no way to imagine the unknown, the known ceases, all ideas in the mind disappear – ideas about God, ideas about samadhi, enlightenment. All disappears; in that disappearance is enlightenment. Never think for a single moment that your idea of enlightenment is going to be fulfilled. How can you have any idea of enlightenment? And whatsoever idea you have is going to be wrong.

When enlightenment happens, you will be surprised. You had read all the scriptures, and it wasn’t mentioned anywhere. It can’t be mentioned. You will be surprised. You have been hearing me year in, year out, and I had never mentioned it. I am trying, but it can’t be done in the very nature of the case. I am trying to do it in a thousand and one ways, but they are only indications… But when you arrive at the reality of it, when it explodes in you, then you will know that no Buddha has ever been able to say it. And then you will know that nobody is ever going to say it. It has remained unuttered.

And it is good that it has remained unuttered; otherwise, it would never be a new phenomenon to anybody. Millions of Buddhas have happened and they have talked about it and talked about it; you already know about it – and then it happens. It may be just something known, then it will not be a break-through, it will not be a discontinuity, it can’t be utterly new and radical.

It is utterly new and utterly radical.

So, waiting has to be with no idea for what. A real waiter cannot answer the question for what he is waiting; he can only shrug his shoulders, he can say ’I don’t know.’ But one thing is certain: that waiting is infinitely beautiful, waiting is infinitely joyous. When the whole turmoil disappears and it is all silence, it has a beauty of its own.

You ask me: Does one miss by demanding?

Certainly, absolutely. Demand has to be dropped.

Is impatience a lack of trust?

Yes, certainly, absolutely. Impatience simply means you can’t trust existence, you have to do something. You can’t just sit there and trust that it will happen when you are ripe; that when spring comes, the grass will grow of its own accord. You cannot trust; you have to pull the grass from the earth. You cannot wait like a farmer who has thrown his seeds into the soil and they have disappeared, and now he does not know anymore where they are, whether they are going to grow into plants, whether they are ever going to ripen.

Think of a farmer. He has lost the seeds that he had. He waits, he silently waits; he trusts, he trusts nature. ‘Soon the clouds will be coming, soon there will be great greenery all around and the seeds will start sprouting. They will become alive, they will come out of their slumber, they will again like to see the sun and the rain – it is going to happen.’ He trusts, it is just trust.

A meditator is a farmer. And, of course, he has to trust the ultimate nature of existence. Wait. Waiting is like a seed, waiting is the seed, the seed of enlightenment. If you can wait in its time – and you cannot decide the time – in its season, and you don’t know in what season… Because it differs, it differs from individual to individual.

Mahavir became enlightened on an absolutely dark night when there was no moon; Buddha became enlightened on a full-moon night. Once a Jaina came to me and he asked ’Why this difference? Is there something in it? Why did Mahavir become enlightened on a dark night with no moon? Why did Buddha become enlightened on a full-moon night? They are polar opposites. It is not just accidental; Buddha and Mahavir are polar opposites – contemporaries, but polar opposites. Mahavir is a man who struggles, who goes as deeply as possible in the will, by the will. He surrenders only at the last moment. His whole journey is a struggle; hence he is called Mahavir; the word means ‘the great warrior’. He is a warrior: his path is that of sankalpa, that of struggle, will, war. He goes on refining his will, he goes on and on sophisticating his will, making it more subtle, more purified. He has to surrender it – finally one has to surrender it – but he surrenders it only at the last moment when he has done all that he can do. Buddha is a totally different person: the man who arrives through let-go, the man who arrives through relaxing, the man who arrives not by fighting but by yielding.

They are totally different people; they will have different seasons of ripening, different seasons of blooming, different times. And nobody can say beforehand; it is unpredictable when your season will come, when it will be spring for you. One has to wait and one has to trust. Impatience is lack of trust.

Gopa, you have a subtle ego lurking somewhere in your unconscious. You have to become aware of it – that ego creates the problem, that ego surfaces again and again and you start demanding and you become impatient. And that is not your true nature. If it were your true nature I would have told you to become a warrior. Your real nature, your intrinsic quality, is not that of a warrior but of a lover.

But people are like that: divided, split. A part of your mind wants to fight, but the major part wants to relax. That’s why it happens that at times, you say, I feel like I can just silently sit and wait for eternity… That is your true nature – listen to it, get more and more into that – that is your real space, that is where your kingdom is. You have to explore this region more and more, you have to go into it. And when you start going into it and you start enjoying it and you start feeling that you can wait for eternity, the other part becomes worried. It is an intruder, a foreigner in your being; it is not your true being. That starts intruding, interfering; it comes and creates problems for you.

… and other times like sobbing with the futility of sitting outside a gate I cannot even see – frozen between action and inaction.

Avoid the other part. When I am saying avoid it, I am not saying repress it. If you repress it, it will become more and more powerful. By avoiding it I mean neglect it, ignore it, don’t nourish it anymore, don’t care about it. If it comes, take note of it but don’t get involved in it. Keep yourself aloof. Just know that it is an intruder.

I have looked in your eyes deeply, Gopa, in your being deeply. This is my reading about you: that you will come through love not through demanding, that you will come through relaxation not through willing, that you will come through waiting not through fighting. So you have to nourish that which is really your nature and you have to stop nourishing that which is not your real nature.

And how to decide what is your real nature? Whenever you are moving into your real nature you will feel happy, you will feel blissful. That is the criterion, remember it always. So whatsoever gives you joy, serenity, calmness, coolness – whatsoever makes you more centered – is your true nature.

That has to be nourished more and more, more care has to be taken about it; you have to pour your energies into it. And whenever you feel sad, depressed, angry, restless, that is not your real nature. You have to slowly, slowly disassociate yourself from this. Keep yourself aloof – just as when an uninvited guest comes to your home. It is an uninvited guest. And if you go on feeding both, you will get more and more into a kind of split; that’s how people become schizophrenic.

Learn waiting, pure waiting.

Martin Heidegger has said that pure waiting is openness, just openness – not in a particular direction, not toward a particular object, not for something special; just opening – opening to all the sides, to the whole of existence – a multi-dimensional opening. No object is consciously sought, you are not desiring anything; you are just waiting, open, for the unknown to happen, for the indefinable to happen. That’s God: the indefinable, the unknown and the unknowable. And the secret key to invite it is just to be in an open state, waiting with a throbbing heart, certainly, waiting with great love, but not knowing for what; waiting with great poetry in your being, waiting with a song, but not knowing for whom, for what.

This is sannyas, my sannyas. This is the space I would like all of you to enter.

Openness is the absence of single-perspective perceiving and thinking. Thinking is always one-dimensional; it moves in one direction; it is concentration. Waiting is meditation, not concentration. And if you have read in books and heard the so-called religious people saying again and again that ‘meditation is concentration’ you have to uncondition yourself about it; that is utter nonsense. Concentration is thinking; it is to move systematically into a certain thought, in a certain direction; it is directed, it is addressed. Concentration can only lead you towards the known – in a more systematic way of course, in a more scientific way of course – but only to the known. It is from the known to the known, it is never a revolution, it is never a quantum leap. It is from one conclusion to another conclusion, it is a refinement of the same thing, it is continuity.

Meditation is non-dimensional or multi-dimensional; it is overflowing in all directions. It is not directed towards any object, hence there is no demand, no desire. And how can there be thinking? Being is there, certainly, presence is there; you are there, very much you are there, but just like a sky without clouds, a mirror without dust – pulsating, alive, vital, open, waiting for the unknown. You can’t have any idea of it. That’s why I say if you are a Christian you will miss, because then you have an idea of God. If you are a Hindu, you will miss – then you have already concluded how God is. If you are a theist or an atheist you will miss, because you have already decided without experiencing.

Just wait without getting into any doctrine, any sect, any scripture. Just wait without thought. And let it happen! Obviously, great trust will be needed, and that is the function of being with a Master: to imbibe trust. What are you doing here sitting with me? Imbibing trust, learning how to be open. Sometimes you may be surprised why I go on talking every day. This is just a device to help you become more receptive: when you are listening to me you become more receptive. Listening has to be a kind of receptivity. Listening, you become open, you become all ears.

Have you watched one thing? Eyes are male, ears are female, that’s why eyes can offend. Have you ever heard of anybody’s ears offending you? They cannot offend. Eyes can rape; they are male, aggressive, violent. A man can look at you in such a way that he has violated you, that he has transgressed. Eyes can be used like swords; they are not just receptive, they are projective, they project. Ears can’t project, they simply receive, they are just open.

Talking to you every day is a message. The message is not in the content of my talk, the message is in the situation that it creates. The message is: become ears, become feminine, become open. Ears are just open, and you cannot even close them – nature has not provided for it. Eyes can be open or closed. Even while you are asleep the ears remain open – there is no other way, nature has not provided for it – they are pure opening. You may have heard again and again in the Jewish scriptures, Christian scriptures, Mohammedan scriptures, in the Vedas, that God has ‘been heard’.

Mohammed heard the Koran; he couldn’t see where it was happening from, who was saying it. And the prophets in ancient Israel had been hearing – they could not see, but they could hear. If you ask the psychoanalyst, he will say that these people are just neurotic, crazy; they have gone mad. But it is a symbol, and the followers have missed the meaning of it and the antagonists are missing the meaning of it. The message is only this: that God has entered in you through the feminine part of you, the ear.

The question is valid: if nothing can be said about truth, then why talk? Nothing can be said about truth, that is true; still, Buddhas have been talking so then there must be something else in it. That something else is this: just sitting by my side for one and a half hours, slowly, slowly a radical change happens in you. And you can see the shift. If you become a little more aware you will see the shift of your consciousness from the eyes towards the ears: from men you become women. Suddenly, the moment you start listening to me, you are no more male. And only those who shift like that listen.

For one and a half hours remaining continuously with me in a listening mode – open, receptive, non-interfering, non-projective – a great transfer is happening. They are just a device, these words: you become open, and my energy starts flowing in you. Imbibe it, digest it – the taste of it is trust – and more and more trust will arise. This kind of waiting is healing, stilling, strengthening.

Martin Heidegger comes very close to the Zen approach. Once he was asked ‘Then what in the world am I to do?’ Somebody asked him – he was talking about waiting and waiting and waiting, and naturally the question arose ‘Then what am I to do?’ He said ‘We are to do nothing but wait.’ But that is the greatest thing one can d0. Waiting is the greatest art – no craft is higher than that. It needs great courage, trust, great awareness, great love; it needs many things, only then one can wait.

Look into me, feel me, and learn how to wait. And one day, when the waiting has come to its optimum, it will happen. That’s how it has always happened.

-Osho

From The Sun Rises in the Evening, Discourse #2

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

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The Last Word in Meditation – Osho

What is prayer? 

It is a tremendously significant question because I do not have a God, but I still have some place for prayer in my vision, in my approach.

Prayer ordinarily is towards the concept of a God. I do not think that is a right kind of prayer, because in the first place it is based on a belief. You don’t know God, you have only heard about him. And you have heard from people who have heard it from somebody else. It is simply a hearsay. How can you love someone you do not know exists or not?

Prayer is love.

Prayer is gratitude.

Prayer is thankfulness.

My sannyasins can pray to existence itself. To the sunrise or to the sunset, or to the sky full of stars, or to the earth, to the mountains, to the rivers… they can pray to this existence which is their experience. It is not a belief; we are part of it.

Now prayer can be possible only if your life has become so beautiful, so blissful, that you feel a gratitude, a thankfulness towards existence. So prayer is not for everybody, it is only for those who have succeeded in meditation. It is the last word in meditation.

When you have come to know the silence of existence, when you have experienced life itself, when you have experienced the unspeakable, when you are drowned in the beatitude of your meditation, the last word is a wordless gratitude, a thankfulness.

It has to be of the heart. You need not say anything, because in such moments whatever you say will be a disturbance. It has to be simply of the heart.

Your heart should be full of gratitude – “Existence has been compassionate to me that it has allowed me to come out of misery, it has allowed me to experience the ultimate of consciousness and I am grateful to its compassion. Without its help it was not possible for me alone to reach to this beautiful space.”

So prayer is possible only for meditators –that too, when they have succeeded. It is a gratefulness; it is a thank you to existence.

Okay, Arun?

-Osho

From The Sword and the Lotus, Discourse #14

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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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Prayer is a Consequence of Real Meditation – Osho

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Osho

From The Revolution, Discourse #2

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

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Awareness is a Pure Presence – Osho

The essence of the religion of Buddha is awareness. There is no prayer in it, there cannot be — because there is no God. And there cannot be any prayer in it because prayer is always motivated. Prayer is a form of desire, a form of lust.

Prayer has deep down hidden in it the very cause of misery. The cause of misery is that we are not contented as we are. The cause of misery is that we would like a different type of life, a different situation, a different world, and the world that is before us pales down before our imagination. The cause of misery is imagination, desire, hope. And in prayer all the causes are present, so there is no possibility for prayer in Buddha’s religion. Only awareness is the key. So we have to understand what awareness is.

When you pray, you ask for something. When you meditate, you meditate upon something. But when you are aware, you are simply centered in your being. The other is not important at all.  The other is irrelevant. You are simply aware.

Awareness has no object to it. It is pure subjectivity. It is a grounding in your being, it is a centering in your being. Standing there inside your being, you burn bright. Your flame is without any smoke. In your light the whole life becomes clear.

In that clarity is silence. In that clarity, time ceases to be. In that clarity, the world disappears. Because in that clarity there is no desire, no motivation. You simply are… not wanting anything whatever. Not wanting any future. Not wanting any better world. Not wanting heaven, moksha. Not wanting God. Not wanting knowledge, liberation. You simply are.

Awareness is a pure presence, a centered consciousness. Buddha’s whole effort is how to make you centered, grounded, a flame without smoke, a flame which knows no wavering. In that light, everything becomes clear and all illusions disappear and all dreams become non-existential. And when the dreaming mind stops, there is truth.

-Osho

From The Buddha Said, Discourse #13

The Buddha Said

Also published in The Discipline of Transcendence V.3, Discourse #3

The Discipline of Transcendence, V.3

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

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

First Become Joyous – Osho

So love this life, and don’t think of THAT. THAT always brings misery, because that brings conflict. Let THAT come through THIS! You love the woman, you love the man… Let God come through that love, let God center you when you are in a state of orgasm. Eat, enjoy the food; let God come to you as a taste. Listen to music, get lost in it, and let God come to you as sound, as harmony. Let God descend on you slowly, slowly, without any hankering to catch hold of him, without any efforts to possess him in your hands. Just open yourself as much as possible – to the trees, to the birds, to the rains, to the sun, to the sands. Open yourself wherever you are, absorb, and gratitude will arise, and that gratitude will become your prayer. And you will not know towards whom this gratitude is arising. When you don’t know towards whom this gratitude is arising, it is towards God. When you know that it is towards God, you don’t know a thing. Then it is the Christian God, or the Hindu God, or the Mohammedan God – and these are not God.

God is basically hidden. Nobody knows his name. The Jews were right never to spell his name. The name of Yahweh was not allowed to be pronounced, because how can we pronounce his name? – We don’t know his name. His whereabouts are unknown. Nobody has ever seen him. Whosoever has seen him has gone into him and disappeared forever; nobody has come back. Nobody knows where he is, who he is. But still, when life is flowing, when life has a flow to it and a dance to it, one feels gratitude. Gratitude comes first and God comes second, not otherwise.

People are trying to bring God first. First they create God, and that is their created God, man-made, home-made, manufactured. Then they bow down to their own manufactured statues. This is utterly stupid – a man bowing down to a statue he has made himself, or has purchased from the market. God is not for sale anywhere! And nobody has seen his face: nobody can make his statue. And nobody knows where he is: overhead, behind, in front, right, left – nobody knows.

But gratitude arises… just as fragrance arises out of a flower and goes on, not knowing where, unaddressed; so, in the same way – unaddressed – arises gratitude. That is prayer, real prayer, and you start feeling God in your heart. Because of this gratitude, because of this prayerfulness, because of this thankfulness enlightenment is not far away. First, become joyous! And Jesus goes on saying it, but nobody listens. He says again and again: Rejoice! Rejoice! I say again rejoice!

-Osho

Excerpt from I Say Unto You, V.2, Discourse #6

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

 

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

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

In Prayer You Are Not – Osho

What is prayer?

Deva Tatva, prayer is one of the indefinables, because prayer is the fragrance of love.

Even love is indefinable. Love is a flower, tangible, you can see it, you can touch it, you can smell it, you can feel it. You can close your eyes and you can touch the texture of the flower, the softness of it, you can see the beauty of it; it is visible. But prayer is the fragrance released to the winds, offered to the sky. It becomes even more indefinable because you cannot see it, you cannot touch it.

You can only have a very subtle relationship with it, not one of words, not one of philosophy, not one of theology—only the silence of your heart, the utter silence of your heart, can have a little glimpse of it, of what it is.

What goes on in the name of prayer is not prayer; it is desire disguised. You go to the temple or to the church and you pray to God; your God is part of your imagination. Your God is not true God; it is a Christian God, it is a Hindu God, it is a Mohammedan God. And how can God be Christian, Hindu or Mohammedan? It is a God that you have created, or your priests on behalf of you. It is a toy, it is not true.

Bowing down before a statue made by man, manufactured by man — and you think you are in prayer? You are simply being stupid, you are simply showing utter ignorance. This statue has been purchased in the marketplace, and God is not a commodity and God cannot be made. It is God who has made us—how can we make God? But we are worshipping, praying to man-made Gods.

And what are your prayers? They are also your desires. You want this, you want that; you are trying to use God as a means. You have been told certain prayers from your very childhood and you have crammed it all; you have been forced to cram it. It has become a habit, a mechanical routine; you go on repeating it but your heart is not in it. Your prayer is a corpse, it breathes no more.

Yes, when Jesus called God ‘Abba’ he meant it. When you call God ‘Father’ you don’t mean anything. And between ‘Abba’ and ‘Father’ there is a great difference. ‘Father’ is an institution, legal, social; ‘Abba’ is a heart-to-heart relationship. Jesus looked at existence as the source of our life.

A disciple asks Jesus, “What is prayer?” Jesus falls on his knees and starts praying. The disciple says, “I am asking what prayer is, I am not asking you to pray!” And Jesus says, “There is no other way. I can pray, you can participate. I invite you to be a part of my prayer. I cannot say what prayer is, but I can go into prayer – because prayer is a state of being, not something that you do.”

Leo Tolstoy has written a beautiful story:

Three men became very famous saints in Russia.

The highest priest of the country was very much disturbed—obviously, because people were not coming to him, people were going to those three saints, and he had not even heard their names. And how could they be saints?—Because in Christianity a saint is a saint only when the church recognizes him as a saint. The English word ‘saint’ comes from ‘sanction’; when the church sanctions somebody as a saint, then he is a saint. What nonsense! that a saint has to be certified by the church, by the organized religion, by the priests—as if it has nothing to do with inner growth but some outer recognition; as if it is a title given by a government, or a degree, an honorary degree, conferred by a university.

The high priest was certainly very angry. He took a boat because those three saints used to live on the far side of a lake. He went in the boat. Those three saints were sitting under a tree. They were very simple people, peasants, uneducated. They touched the feet of the highest priest, and the priest was very happy. He thought, “Now I will put them right—these are not very dangerous people. I was thinking they would be rebels or something.”

He asked them, “How did you become saints?”

They said, “We don’t know! We don’t know that we are saints either. People have started calling us saints and we go on trying to convince them that we are not, we are very simple people, but they don’t listen. The more we argue that we are not, the more they worship us! And we are not very good at arguing either.”

The priest was very happy. He said, “What is your prayer? Do you know how to pray?”

They looked at each other. The first said to the second, “You say.” The second said to the third, “You say, please.”

The priest said, “Say what your prayer is! Are you saying Our Lord’s Prayer or not?”

They said, “To be frank with you, we don’t know any prayer. We have invented a prayer of our own and we are very embarrassed—how to say it? But if you ask we have to say it. We have heard that God is a trinity: the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. We are three and he is also three, so we have made a small prayer of our own: ‘You are three, we are three: Have mercy on us!’ ”

The priest said, “What nonsense! Is this prayer? You fools, I will teach you the right prayer.” And he recited The Lord’s Prayer.

And those three poor people said, “Please repeat it once more, because we are uneducated, we may forget.”

He repeated it and they asked, “Once more—we are three, repeat it at least three times.”

So he repeated it again, and then very happy, satisfied, he went back in his boat.

Just in the middle of the lake he was surprised, his boatman was surprised: those three poor people were coming running on the water! And they said, “Wait! Please one more time—we have forgotten the prayer!”

Now it was the turn of the priest to touch their feet, and he said, “Forget what I have said to you. Your prayer has been heard, my prayer has not been heard yet. You continue as you are continuing. I was utterly wrong to say anything to you. Forgive me!”

Prayer is a state of simplicity. It is not of words but of silence.

Martin Buber, the great Jewish philosopher, has said that prayer is an I/thou relationship.

It is not. He does not know anything about prayer. An I/thou relationship? In prayer there is no I and in prayer there is no thou. A prayer is not a dialogue between I and thou; a prayer is a merger. The I disappears into the thou, the thou disappears into the I. There is nobody to say anything and there is nobody to say anything to.

The river disappearing into the ocean is prayer. The dewdrop slipping from the lotus leaf into the lake is prayer. Seeing the early morning sun and you are silent, and something starts rising in you too—that is prayer. A bird on the wing, and you are on the wing; you forget that you are separate—that is prayer. Wherever separation disappears, prayer appears. When you become one with the whole of existence, that is prayer.

Ego is a state of no-prayer: egolessness is a state of prayer. It is not a dialogue, it is not even a monologue. It has nothing to do with words; it is wordless silence. It is an open, silent sky; with no clouds, no thoughts. In prayer you are not Hindu or Christian or Mohammedan. In prayer you are not: in prayer God is.

-Osho

From Be Still and Know, Discourse #4

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

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

 

God Is Existence – Osho

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Then someone suggested, “Go to the moon.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I have heard one anecdote . . .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is what the sutra says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Osho

From The Supreme Doctrine, Discourse #6

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

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