Master of Your Own Mind – Osho

Those who have purified the mind by the practice of sannyas and yoga, and those who have come to understand the exact meaning of the spiritual science indicated in the Upanishad’s Vedant, they in the end become capable of attaining brahmalok – the world of brahman. And liberating themselves from everything, they strive to achieve immortality.

Kaivalya Upanishad

The basic problem before a spiritual seeker is not how to know, but how to be. Knowing is not the problem, it is easy. The real problem is how to be, how the being should be strengthened. Knowing can grow easily; knowing has its own ways of growing. But knowing is a parasitic growth.

Knowing grows in the memory, and memory is just mechanical. That’s why we now have mechanical devices which can be fed with memory – we have computers, and a computer is more efficient than any human brain. A computer can do anything that a human brain can do – and a computer can do many more things which a human brain cannot do. Sooner or later, human memory is going to be replaced by mechanical devices. A mechanical device can do whatsoever your mind is doing, and more efficiently, and in less time. A computer can do a mathematical problem in seconds for which you would need an Einstein, or a person of the caliber of Einstein, to work on for at least three months.

Mind is just a mechanical device. It can grow – you go on feeding it with knowledge, with information, and it can grow. You may not be aware of it, but nothing comes out of your mind which has not been put in it before – nothing. Nothing comes out of your mind which is original. In that way, nothing is original as far as mind is concerned; everything is just repetition. Mind is the most repetitive mechanism. You have to feed it, give it something: it will reproduce it. Not a single thought comes to you which is your own – it has been given to you by society, by education, by study, but always it has been given to you. At the most you can make new combinations, that’s all. Nothing more can be done with the mind. This is one growth, a parasitic growth at the cost of your being. By being, I mean the consciousness with which you are born. And by mind, I mean all the accumulation that has come to your consciousness through society, through education, through culture. You are not born with a mind; you are born with a consciousness. Mind is a later growth. That’s why if a person is not taught, if a person is not educated, then he has a lesser mind, a poor mind. If no language is taught to you, you will know no language. If nothing is taught to you, you will know nothing. Mind is a social growth.

Consciousness is part of you, but mind is not part of you; mind is given to you. The whole process of social cultivation, of social imposition, is to produce a mind in you. That’s why a Christian mind is different from a Hindu mind – because a Hindu society is feeding something and a Christian society is feeding something else. A Mohammedan mind is totally different from a Hindu, or a Christian, or a Jaina mind. But a Hindu consciousness or a Mohammedan consciousness or a Christian consciousness, are not different.

Really, a consciousness cannot be called Christian or Hindu or Mohammedan – but minds are. So unless you go beyond your society – you are imprisoned in your upbringing. This mind, which the society gives to everyone . . . it is a necessity; a society has to give it to you. It is good as far as it goes, but it must not become an imprisonment. A moment must be attained where you are freed from your own mind. Then mind begins to work as a mechanical thing in you; you can use it but you are not identified with it.

Of course one has to use language, one has to use mathematics, one has to know history and geography and everything. But it must not be identified with your consciousness. You must remain a witness to it. You must remain separate, unidentified, different from your own mind. This is what meditation means: how to be not identified with the mind – how to create a space between yourself and your own mind. It is difficult because we never make any separation. We go on thinking in terms that the mind means me: mind and me are totally identified. If they are totally identified, then you will never be at peace; then you will never be able to enter the divine, because the divine can be entered only when the social has been left behind.

When whatsoever the society has given you has been renounced, only then you enter the divine, because only then, you enter pure consciousness. Mind is an overgrowth; it must be put aside. By renunciation, I mean renunciation of the social. And your mind is nothing but a social by-product, it depends on your society.

This mind can go on growing. Then you grow in knowledge; go on studying, go on learning new things, more things, and your mind goes on growing. And a mind is infinitely capable to grow; yet scientists cannot say to what extent this mind can grow. It can go on growing, the process seems infinite. It has so much potentiality – seventy million cells working in the mind, and a single cell can have millions of bits of information in it. A single cell of the mind can have so much information stored in it, and the mind has seventy million cells in it. We are not using even a single cell’s capacity – ordinarily, we are not using a single cell’s capacity – and we have seventy million cells. And each cell seems to be capable of infinite accumulation of information. The mind seems to be infinite in its own way – and it is not you! It is just something which has been given to you.

It is useful, it is utilitarian; that’s why we become identified with it. One has to use one’s mind constantly, and one has to use it so constantly that there is no gap. You don’t remember any moment when you were not your mind, that’s the problem: to remember it, and to create a space, a gap, when you are not your mind. You are yourself and mind is just a device which can be used or not used, and you are the master to choose whether to use it or not.

Ordinarily, the mind is the master and you have to follow it. The mind gives you something to think about and you have to think about it. The mind gives you some dream and you have to dream it. And the mind goes on . . .  And sometimes even if you say to your mind, “Stop!” it is not going to stop, it is not going to listen to you at all. Because you have cooperated with it so much, and you have given it your energy and identification so much, that the mind doesn’t remember your mastery at all. You are just a slave.

Meditation means to create a gap so that you can become master, master of your own mind. And mastery means that you are not identified.

I can order my hand to do anything – to move or not to move. Why? – because I am not identified with the hand; otherwise, who is going to order and who is going to be ordered? I can order my hand to move; it moves. But if my hand begins to move and I say, “Stop!” and it is not stopping, what does it mean? It means only one thing: my order is impotent because of too much identification with the hand. The hand has become a master in its own right – it goes on moving. It says, “I am not going to follow your order at all.”

This has happened with the mind. The mind goes on working in its own way; no order can be given to it. There is no intrinsic impossibility – it is only because you have never ordered it, so it doesn’t know that you are the master. The master has remained so silent, has remained so hidden, that the slave has begun to feel himself the master.

If one goes on growing in this mind, one goes on more and more hidden deep down. And the mind becomes such a great thing, it is difficult to assert your consciousness. That’s why a very ordinary villager with a lesser mind, is with more consciousness. An ordinary person – not very educated, not knowing much – has always, of course, less mind but more consciousness. So sometimes a person who has more mind may behave very foolishly, because he has less consciousness. A person who has a developed mind can work very wisely, behave very wisely if the situation is such that the mind knows what to do and what not to do. Then he can behave, work, do anything very efficiently. But any new situation in which the mind is not aware, and he will be stupid, he will behave stupidly.

A villager — an uneducated person, a primitive, with less mind — will behave more consciously in a new situation, because for him new situations are occurring daily, every moment. With no developed mind, he has to work with his consciousness. That’s why the more the world has grown knowledgeable, the less wise it has become. It is difficult not to produce a Buddha, not because we are more ignorant, but because we know more. It is difficult to produce a Jesus, not because anything is lacking — on the contrary, something has grown too much. Knowledge has grown too much, and if knowledge grows too much, the being begins to feel poor.

We value a person because of what he has: knowledge, wealth, power. We never value a person for what he is. If I am a powerful man, then I am valued; if I am a wealthy man, then I am valued; if I am a man of knowledge, then I am valued – but never simply for what I am. If wealth is lost, then my influence will be lost; if knowledge is lost, the my influence will be lost; if power is lost, my influence will be lost, because I was never valued for what I am. Something which I have – having has become so important, and knowledge is a subtle having.

Being means: the purity of my inner existence, nothing added by the outside – neither wealth, nor knowledge, nor anything else – just my inner consciousness in its purity.

This is what I mean, what this Upanishad means by the growth of being. This being can be achieved only by two methods: renunciation – sannyas – and yoga, the science of positive growth. One must renounce identification: one must come to know that I am not the body, I am not the mind. One must renounce all that which is mind, but I am not. One must come to the center point which cannot be renounced.

A Western thinker, Rene Descartes, begins his theosophical speculation with doubt, and he goes on doubting. He goes on doubting everything that can be doubted. He was a very keen penetrating intellectual; really, he was the father of modern Western philosophy. He goes on doubting everything, he makes it a point that “I will not stop doubting unless a moment comes and I encounter something which cannot be doubted. If I can doubt, I will continue to doubt, unless I stumble upon some fact which is indubitable.” So God can be doubted very easily. It is difficult to have faith; it is very easy to doubt, because for doubt you have only to say no. Nothing else is needed.

“No” is a very non-involving word. If you say yes, you are committed. If I say “Yes, God is,” then I cannot remain the same. If I say, “No, God is not,” I will continue to be the same. “No” is the easiest word in a way: you say it, you are not involved, you remain outside. If you say yes, you are involved. You have come in; now you are committed. To say no to anything is very  easy, because then you need not prove anything. If you say yes then you have to prove it – and proofs are, of course, very difficult. Even if things are, proofs are very difficult. Time is. We know time is, everyone feels time is – but can prove that time is?

Saint Augustine says, “Don’t ask about time, because when you don’t ask, I know it is. When you ask, I begin to hesitate – whether it is or not? And if you persist, I become doubtful.” Can we prove time? It is; everyone knows it is. We cannot prove it.

Can we prove love? Everyone knows it is. Even if one has not felt love, one has felt very deeply its absence. Love is felt – either as a presence of absence, but no one can prove it. So anyone can say, “Love is not,” and you cannot disprove their statement.

Descartes goes on denying, doubting: God is denied, then the world itself is denied – even the world which is here and now. You are here, but I can doubt; it may be just a dream to me. And how can I tell the difference whether it is a dream or not? – because sometimes I have dreamt about talking to people. And when I was dreaming and talking, those who were present were as real as you are – and really, in a way more real, because in a dream you cannot doubt. But if you are really present, I can doubt: it may be just a dream, you may not be there at all, but just a dream, a dream happening to me. And I am dreaming that you are, and I am talking to you, to my dream construct. How can I prove that you are really there? There is no way. There is no way to prove that you are. I can touch you . . . but I can touch someone in a dream, and even in dream I can feel someone’s body.

It is difficult – really, in a way, impossible to make a distinction between reality and dreaming. That’s why Berkeley says that this whole world is just a dream, or a Shankara says that this whole world is just a dream. They can say it and they cannot be disproved.

So Descartes says, “This world is not. It is only a thought, a dream. God is not.” Then he goes on denying everything. Ultimately, he comes to himself, and then he begins to thin “whether I am, or not.” Now there is a fact which cannot be denied, because even if all is dreaming, someone is needed to dream. Even if everything is dubitable, someone is needed to doubt. Even if Descartes says “I am not,” this statement has to be made by someone – even to doubt, he is needed. Then he says, “Now I have come upon a point which indubitable. I can doubt everything, but I cannot doubt myself. If I doubt, the doubt proves me. So he gives a very meaningful formula: He says, “Cogito ergo sum. I think – I doubt – therefore I am.”

This “I-am-ness” must be broken apart from mentation, from mind, one has to renounce all that can be renounced – just like Descartes who says, “I must doubt all that can be doubted, unless I come to a point which cannot be doubted.” Just in the same way, one has to continue renouncing – renouncing all that which can be renounced, unless you come to a point which cannot be renounced.

You cannot renounce your being; all else can be renounced. All else you can say, “This I-am.” All that you can say, “This is I,” you can renounce. You can say, “No, this is not I-am. This body, I am not; this world, I am not, this thought, I am not; this thinking, I am not.” Go on, go on denying. Then comes a moment when you cannot deny more. Simple “I-am-ness remains. Not even “I-am-ness,” but only “am-ness.” That “am-ness” is the existential jump.

This is the first part of the sutra: renunciation, sannyas.

So sannyas is a negative process. One has to go on eliminating: “This is I-am-not.” Go on – “This, that, I am not.” This is renouncing, a negative process, elimination. But this is only a part: you have renounced whatsoever you are not; then you have to grow that which you are – that is yoga; that needs the positive, of growth. That is yoga. Now you have to grow that which is in you. How to grow it? – we have been discussing that – by faith, by devotion, by meditation, by practices, bodily and other. That is yoga.

Sannyas plus yoga means religion. Renounce that which you are not, and grow in that, create in that, which you are. Only by such negative and positive processes in a deep harmony, the brahma, the ultimate, is achieved.

-Osho

From That Art Thou, Discourse #21

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

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A Divine Abode

In my leaving darshan I told Osho I wanted to open a meditation center in Kansas City and he gave the name Devalayam. Devalayam means ‘divine abode.’ I bought a couple of series of discourses on cassette tape and several books and the center was on its way.

It was difficult at first returning to Kansas City. I was seeing friends I had passed through so much with and yet I felt myself to be in a very different place than when I had left three years earlier. Of course, there was a bit of the missionary in me who wanted to share as much as possible. I didn’t find much interest in hearing about Osho, even from my good friend that had first heard about Meher Baba with me many years ago on the Country Club Plaza.

I remember very clearly saying to myself, “Okay Bhagwan, I give up, you take over.” Very soon after giving up, I was sitting at some kind of spiritual gathering outdoors on grass in my orange clothes and mala when this guy sat down beside me. He was interested in whatever it was I was into. He was in a therapy group and had heard of Osho.

I found a house, or I should say a house found me, for a center. The house had some orange in it. I don’t remember if it was in the wallpaper, paint, or carpet, but it spoke loud and clear this was the house for Devalayam. Soon afterwards this fellow I had met moved in. We were holding meditations both at a local church gym and at the house. A small group was forming. In the daytime I drove school buses with a Yogi Bhajan Sikh.

One night around midnight the doorbell rang. Mark had forgotten his key. I opened the door stark naked. He had brought an older woman home who was interested in listening to some discourses of Osho. They came in and I set her up with a few discourses and she stayed through the night until sunrise, listening. Her name was Joyce Schlossman. She was the ex-wife of a very successful car dealer in Kansas City, Schlossman Ford. Joyce was in the same group as Mark and wanted to be a therapist herself.

Soon after I got the house, I was on my way to visit another old friend and passed by the Nelson Adkins Museum of Art. I saw a Chinese girl teaching Tai Chi on the grass. When I passed by again on my return trip she was still there, so I stopped and asked if she was taking students and she gave me the details of a new class that would be starting soon. Before long, Mark, myself, and another member of the Sikh community, who by the way had their center just two blocks up the street from Devalayam, were learning Tai Chi from Pearl. Pearl was nineteen at the time and a student at the Kansas City Art Institute. I had been smitten the first moment I saw her flow in Tai Chi.

Another therapist called to find out about the meditations. He had read Only One Sky (Tantra: The Supreme Understanding) and was very impressed. He had a practice down on the Plaza and was into the Baha’i movement. Soon there was a growing group which I tended to. I would go down to the Plaza once a week and have a raw vegetable lunch with Cliff the therapist and counsel him. Rather ironic really – me, this high school dropout twenty-six-year-old dressed in orange clothes counseling this white haired, highly respected psychologist during his lunch hour.

Mark took sannyas pretty early on and was making plans to go to Poona. Joyce soon became Ma Prem Kaveesha and I gave her a mala at Devalayam. Kaveesha had other friends that would come to the center and buy books and tapes and sometimes I would make house calls and deliver the goods. Kaveesha’s best friend was Joyce Price. Coincidentally, Joyce was the mother of Donna Price who had visited me in Madagascar. Joyce did not, however, like Osho and in fact resented the fact he had somehow taken her best friend away.

Soon another young fellow started attending the meditations regularly, and before too long moved into the house when Mark (now Prakash) left for Poona. He also took sannyas and became Sanmarg. Sanmarg left for Poona just a short while before I left in the spring. I never saw him again, but years later I saw news of his father. He had been estranged from his father when he was living at the house. His father, John Testrake, was a TWA pilot and in 1985 was the pilot of Flight 847. There is a famous photo of him being held hostage by terrorists with a gun to his head on the tarmac at the Beirut airport.

I continued my Tai Chi lessons with Pearl for months and gave her a copy of one of Osho’s books No Water, No Moon. She had it for months and never said a word about it, so finally I asked her if she was enjoying it, and she was. I had not talked to her about Osho in all that time. Finally, after months of my surrendering to her Tai Chi tutelage, I asked her out. Our first date was to a performance by Marcel Marceau, which was interesting because she said she felt comfortable with me speaking very little. We enjoyed the time mostly in silence.

Kaveesha had gone off to Poona, and while there Osho had told her she would be his Tantra leader. When Kaveesha returned, she shared her energy and her presence with many others, and a few more of her people took sannyas.

Spring happened and Pearl and I were living together. Pearl took sannyas and was given the name Ma Prem Sagara* (ocean of love). We made plans to go to India together. It would be an overland trip through Europe, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and into India.

Cliff, the psychologist, had decided to go to Poona to take sannyas. We hoped to meet up there but I had no idea when Sagara and I would actually arrive. Prakash had come back from Poona and would take over the center as well as my car.

So in a little less than nine months, and after letting go of my own ideas, a center was flourishing in the heartland.

*Many years later Sagara would receive a new name, Sumati (wisdom).

-purushottama

This is from the collection of stories, essays, poems and insights that is compiled to form the book From Lemurs to Lamas: Confessions of a Bodhisattva. Download a PDF or order the book Here.

 

Surrender is Understanding – Osho

My surrender is goal-oriented. I’m surrendering in order to win freedom, so it is not real surrender at all. I’m watching it, but the problem is: it is always “I” who is watching. Therefore, every realization out of that watching is reinforcement of the ego. I feel tricked by my ego.

You have not understood what surrender is.

The first thing to remember about surrender is: you cannot do it; it is not a doing. You can prevent it from happening, but you cannot manage for it to happen. Your power about surrender is only negative: you can prevent it, but you cannot bring it.

Surrender is not something that you can do. If you do it, it is not surrender, because the doer is there. Surrender is a great understanding that, “I am not.” Surrender is an insight that the ego exists not, that, “I am not separate.” Surrender is not an act but an understanding.

In the first place you are false, the separation is false. Not for a single moment can you exist separate from the universe. The tree cannot exist if uprooted from the earth. The tree cannot exist if the sun disappears tomorrow. The tree cannot exist if no water is coming to its roots. The tree cannot exist if it cannot breathe. The tree is rooted in all the five elements – what Buddhists call skandhas, the five groups we were talking about the other day. Avalokita . . . when Buddha came to the transcendental vision, when he passed through all the stages, when he passed through all the rungs of the ladder and came to the seventh – from there he looked down, looked back – what did he see? He saw only five heaps with nothing substantial in them, just emptiness, shunyata.

The tree cannot exist if these five elements are not constantly pouring energy into it. The tree is just a combination of these five elements. If the tree starts thinking, “I am,” then there is going to be misery for the tree. The tree will create a hell for itself. But trees are not so foolish, they don’t carry any mind. They are there, and if tomorrow they disappear, they simply disappear. They don’t cling; there is nobody to cling. The tree is constantly surrendered to existence. By surrendered it means it is never separate, it has not come to that stupid idea of the ego. And so are the birds, so are the mountains, so are the stars. It is only man who has turned his great opportunity of being conscious into being self-conscious. Man has consciousness. If consciousness grows, it can bring you the greatest bliss possible. But if something goes wrong and consciousness turns sour and becomes self-consciousness, then it creates hell, then it creates misery. Both alternatives are always open; it is for you to choose.

The first thing to be understood about ego is that it exists not. Nobody exists in separation.

You are as much one with the universe as I am, as Buddha is, as Jesus is. I know it, you don’t know it; the difference is only of recognition. The difference is not existential, not at all! So you have to look into this stupid idea of separation. Now if you start trying to surrender you are still carrying the idea of separation. Now you are thinking, “I will surrender, now I am going to surrender” – but you think you are.

Looking into the very idea of separation, one day you find that you are not separate, so how can you surrender? There is nobody to surrender! There has never been anybody to surrender! The surrenderer is not there, not at all – never found anywhere. If you go into yourself you will not find the surrenderer anywhere. In that moment is surrender. When the surrenderer is not found, in that moment is surrender. You cannot do it. If you do it, it is a false thing. Out of falsity only falsity arises. You are false, so whatsoever you do will be false, more false. And one falsity leads to another, and so on and so forth. And the fundamental falsity is the ego, the idea, “I am separate.”

You ask: “My surrender is goal-oriented.”

The ego is always goal-oriented. It is always greedy; it is always grabbing. It is always searching for more and more and more; it lives in the more. If you have money it wants to have more money; if you have a house it wants to have a bigger house; if you have a woman it wants to have a beautiful woman, but it always wants more. The ego is constantly hungry. It lives in the future and in the past. In the past it lives as a hoarder – “I have this and this and this.” It gets a great satisfaction: “I have got something” – power, prestige, money. It gives a kind of reality to it. It gives the notion that, “When I have these things, I must be there.” And it lives in the future with the idea of more. It lives as memory and as desire.

What is a goal? A desire: “I have to reach there, I have to be that, I have to attain.” The ego does not, cannot live in the present, because the present is real and the ego is false – they never meet. The past is false, it is no more. Once it was, but when it was present, ego was not there. Once it has disappeared, is no longer existential, ego starts grabbing it, accumulating it.

It grabs and accumulates dead things. The ego is a graveyard: it collects corpses, dead bones.

Or, it lives in the future. Again, the future is not yet – it is imagination, fantasy, dream.

Ego can live with that too, very easily; falsities go together perfectly well, smoothly well.

Bring anything existential and the ego disappears. Hence the insistence of being in the present, being here-now. Just this moment… If you are intelligent there is no need to think about what I am saying; you can simply see into it this very moment! Where is the ego? There is silence, and there is no past, and there is no future, only this moment . . . and this dog barking. This moment, and you are not. Let this moment be, and you are not. And there is immense silence, there is profound silence, within and without. And then there is no need to surrender because you know you are not. Knowing that you are not is surrender.

It is not a question of surrendering to me, it is not a question of surrendering to God. It is not a question of surrendering at all. Surrendering is an insight, an understanding that, “I am not.” Seeing, “I am not, I am a nothingness, emptiness,” surrender grows. The flower of surrender grows on the tree of emptiness. It cannot be goal-oriented.

The ego is goal-oriented. The ego is hankering for the future. It can hanker even for the other life, it can hanker for heaven, it can hanker for nirvana. It doesn’t matter what it hankers for – hankering is what it is, desiring is what it is, projecting into the future is what it is.

See it! See into it! I’m not saying think about it. If you think about it you miss. Thinking again means past and future. Have a look into it – avalokita! – look into it. The English word look comes from the same root as avalokita. Look into it, and do it right now. Don’t say to yourself, “Okay, I will go home and do it.” The ego has entered, the goal has come, the future has entered. Whenever time enters you are falling into that falsity of separation.

Let it be here, this very moment. And then you suddenly see you are, and you are not going anywhere, and you are not coming from anywhere. You have always been here. Here is the only time, the only space. Now is the only existence. In that now, there is surrender. “My surrender is goal-oriented,” you say; “I’m surrendering in order to win freedom.”

But you are free! You have never been unfree. You are free, but again there is the same problem: you want to be free, but you don’t understand that you can be free only when you are free from yourself – there is no other freedom. When you think about freedom, you think as if you will be there and free. You will not be there; there will be freedom. Freedom means freedom from the self, not freedom of the self. The moment the prison disappears the prisoner also disappears, because the prisoner is the prison! The moment you come out of the prison, you also are not. There is pure sky, pure space. That pure space is called nirvana, moksha, liberation.

Try to understand rather than trying to achieve.

“I am surrendering in order to win freedom.”

Then you are using surrender as a means, and surrender is the goal, is the end unto itself. When I say surrender is the goal, I’m not saying that surrender has to be achieved somewhere in the future. I’m saying that surrender is not a means, it is an end unto itself. It is not that surrender brings freedom, surrender is freedom! They are synonymous, they mean the same thing. You are looking at the same thing from two different angles.

“So it is not real surrender at all.”

It is neither real nor unreal. It is not surrender at all. It is not even unreal.

“I am watching it, but the problem is it is always ‘I’ who is watching. Therefore every realization out of that watching is a reinforcement of the ego. I feel tricked by my ego.”

Who is this ‘I’ you are talking about who feels tricked by the ego? It is the ego itself. The ego is such that it can divide itself into fragments, into parts, and then the game starts. You are the chaser and you are the chased. It is like a dog trying to catch hold of its own tail, and goes on jumping. And you look and you see the absurdity of it – but you see the absurdity, the dog cannot see it. The more he finds it is difficult to catch hold of the tail, the more he becomes crazy, the more he jumps. And the faster and the bigger the jump, the more the tail jumps faster and bigger also. And the dog cannot conceive what is happening: he’s such a great catcher of everything, and this ordinary tail, and he cannot catch hold of it?

This is what is happening to you. It is ‘I’ who is trying to catch, and who is the catcher and the caught both. See the ridiculousness of it, and in that very seeing be free of it.

There is not a thing to be done – not a thing, I say, because you are already that which you want to become. You are Buddhas, you have never been otherwise. Seeing is enough.

And when you say that, “I am watching,” it is again the ‘I’. Watching, the ‘I’ will be created again, because watching again is an act, there is effort involved. You are watching – then who is watching? Relax. In relaxation – when there is nothing to be watched and nobody as a watcher, when you are not divided into a duality – there arises a different quality of witnessing. It is not a watching, it is just passive awareness; passive, I say – remember. It has nothing aggressive in it. Watching is very aggressive: effort is needed, you have to be tense. But be non-tense, relaxed. Just be there. In that consciousness when you are simply there, sitting doing nothing, the spring comes and the grass grows by itself.

That is the whole Buddhist approach: that anything that you do will create and enhance the doer – watching also, thinking also, surrendering also. Anything that you do will create the trap. Nothing is needed to be done on your part. Just be . . . and let things happen. Don’t try to manage, don’t try to manipulate. Let the breeze pass, let the sunrays come, let life dance, and let death come and have its dance into you too.

This is my meaning of sannyas: it is not something that you do, but when you drop all doing and you see the absurdity of doing. Who are you to do? You are just a wave in this ocean. One day you are, another day you will disappear; the ocean continues. Why should you be so worried? You come; you disappear. Meanwhile, for this small interval, you become so worried and tense, and you take all the burdens on your shoulders, and you carry rocks on your heart – for no reason at all.

You are free this very moment!

I declare you enlightened in this very moment. But you don’t trust me. You say, “That’s right, Osho, but just tell us how to become enlightened.”

That becoming, that achieving, that desiring, goes on jumping on every object that you can find. Sometimes it is money, sometimes it is God. Sometimes it is power, sometimes it is meditation – but any object, and you start grabbing it. Non-grabbing is the way to live the real life, the true life, non-grasping, non-possessing.

Let things happen, let life be a happening, and there is joy, there is rejoicing – because then there is no frustration, ever, because you had never expected anything in the first place. Whatsoever comes is good, is welcome. There is no failure, no success. That game of failure and success has been dropped. The sun comes in the morning and wakes you, and the moon comes in the evening and sings a lullaby and you go to sleep. Hunger comes and you eat, and so on and so forth. That’s what Zen masters mean when they say: When hungry, eat, when sleepy, sleep, and there is nothing else to do.

And I’m not teaching you inaction. I’m not saying don’t go and work, I’m not saying don’t earn your bread, I’m not saying renounce the world and depend on others and become exploiters; no, not at all. But don’t be a doer. Yes, when you are hungry you have to eat, and when you have to eat you have to earn the bread – but there is nobody doing it. It is hunger itself that is working; there is nobody else doing it. It is thirst itself that is taking you towards the well or towards the river. It is thirst itself moving; there is nobody who is thirsty. Drop nouns and pronouns in your life and let verbs live.

Buddha says: The truth is that when you see a dancer, there is no dancer but only a dance. When you see a river, there is no river but only rivering. When you see a tree, there is no tree but only treeing. When you see a smile, there is nobody who is smiling, there is only smile, smiling. When you see love, there is nobody who is a lover but only loving. Life is a process.

But we are accustomed to thinking in terms of static nouns. That creates trouble. And there is nothing static – all is flux and flowing. Flow with this, flow with this river, and never be a doer. Even when you are doing don’t be a doer. There is doing but there is no doer. Once this insight settles in you there is nothing else.

Enlightenment is not something like a goal that has to be attained. It is the very ordinary life, this simple life that surrounds you. But when you are not struggling, this ordinary life becomes extraordinarily beautiful. Then trees are greener, then birds sing in richer tones, then everything that is happening around is precious . . . then ordinary pebbles are diamonds.

Accept this simple, ordinary life. Just drop the doer. And when I say drop the doer, don’t become a dropper! Seeing into the reality of it, it disappears.

-Osho

From The Heart Sutra, Discourse #2

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

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

Sannyas is Like a Funnel

Sannyas like so many words in India has layers and layers of meanings.

Sannyas is like a funnel. At the top of the funnel and on the periphery are being part of a larger group, the personal love affair with a Master etc. and at the bottom of the funnel, the spout, is initiation into ones own being. Here at the spout all of the outer edge of the funnel is pouring down into the spout.

We have been blessed in this life to have been initiated by our Master into sannyas and so should not squander this opportunity. Sannyas is a door. It is not a conveyor belt. It is not that we just step on the conveyor belt like at an airport and we are deposited at our gate. No it requires us to be vigilant as to what is continuously taking us out through that door. It is not a door that we need to pass through. It is a door which we already are passing through all the time. We pass through the door in search of happiness. But through sannyas we become aware of the door itself and by doing so we discover that it is indeed a door opening into freedom but to our surprise we discover that we have been passing through the wrong side. We have been going out of the door instead of remaining in.

From its very beginning till the very end sannyas is an initiation. It is an initiation into the whole, an initiation into our very own being which for most of us was beyond our experience. Sannyas gave us a taste of life outside of the confines of the ego-mind. Sannyas gave us a glimpse of our dissolution from which we would be reborn living consciously as part of the whole.

Some of us were first attracted by the teachings that were conveyed through one of the hundreds of Osho books or perhaps we heard a discourse. Some of us were attracted by the crazy community that we encountered when we were drawn into the net. And certainly all of us were attracted by the center of that cyclone, Osho, who we saw as a beautiful, amazing and mysterious presence.

But slowly, slowly those attractions began to reveal to us what truly lies at the center of sannyas. We find that each of those attractions began to point to our very own dissolution. The dissolution of separate waves into the ocean of existence.

Sannyas is a movement from the periphery to the center. On the periphery we find community, being a part of something greater than ourselves. On the periphery we are attracted to celebration which we see as dance, song and play. We are attracted to a presence that we see as some kind of mysterious being outside of ourselves which too is on the periphery.

And as we move into these aspects of sannyas we discover that there is less and less of what we began with. We find that more and more of the baggage of conditioning that we came with slowly, slowly starts dropping away. And in this sannyas from time to time we find moments when we find ourselves standing in awareness without any confines of ego-mind. We experience glimpses of life without the shackles of self-identification.

Because Osho has made sannyas so accessible we were able to enter into a land in which we may never have journeyed otherwise. Because of the community that he surrounded himself with, because of the mind-blowing being of truth from which he serenaded us, and because of his simple beauty and grandeur we were able to embark on the greatest journey of all. We were able to begin the return journey to our very own being.

Sannyas is an invitation to make the return journey. It is initiation into our very own being.

-purushottama

More from the collected and uncollected posts of Prem Purushottama.

I am Not a Person – Osho

Dear Osho, I love you. In a Sannyas Magazine you said that you are not a person.Then what are you?

The question is from Prem Bindiya. She is a small girl, ten years old.

Bindiya, nobody is a person, although everybody believes that he is a person. Nobody can be a person, because we are not separate. We are like waves in the ocean. No wave has a personality.

Yes, it has a form, but it is not separate from the ocean. It is one with the ocean, you cannot separate it from the ocean. You cannot take the wave away from the ocean; it will disappear, it will not be a wave at all. It can only be a wave in the ocean, with the ocean. It is not separate, it is part of the dance of the ocean. It has no personality. Yes, it has a certain individuality because it is different from other waves – unique it is! – But it is not separate from the existence. And it is not separate from other waves either, because they are all joined together in one ocean.

When I say I am not a person, Bindiya, I simply mean I am not separate from existence. I am one with the trees and one with the rocks and one with the earth and one with the sky. I am a presence not a person, and so are you, and so is everybody else. To believe in the person is to believe in the ego.

And I can understand your question: this is how every child is being brought up, for centuries. Your question is relevant.

You say, “I love you. But if you are not a person, the how can I love you?” 

We have been told that we can love only persons. The truth is just the opposite: you cannot love the person. Persons can only fight, persons can only be in conflict, because wherever two egos are, there is conflict, a constant war – sometimes hot, sometimes cold, but the war continues.

Sometimes the warriors are tired so they maintain a certain peace. Whenever they are back again and their energy is there again, they start fighting.

You can see it happening with all kinds of lovers – a continuous fight, a kind of intimate enmity, together and yet not together. Why is this fight there? – Because of two egos. Two persons are there, and of course each person wants to dominate.

The ego is a deep desire to dominate. The ego is a deep desire that says, “I am special, higher, bigger, greater than you.” And both are trying to do the same. Conflict is necessary, inevitable. Love cannot exist in such a state.

Love exists between two presences, not between two persons. Then there is no conflict; there is great harmony, melody, music, rhythm. When there are no more egos and both feel one with existence, they can be one with each other.

Bindiya, love is possible only when you disappear. I have disappeared, and my work here is now to help you to disappear too.

You ask me, “ Then what are you?”

I am not a person, I am a presence. I am a nobody. I am a kind of nothingness, emptiness. The host has disappeared, and the disappearance of the host has made the Guest appear. I am not, God is.

I cannot love you, but I am love. You can partake as much as you like, you can drink out of me as much as you like. I cannot be in a love-relationship with you because relationships exist only between egos. But I can share. It will be a relating, not a relationship. It will not be static, it will be a flow. And it will have no motivation in it: I love you because I am love. There is no motivation, no desire to get anything back from you. It is enough that you accepted my love.

And I know this time, just two days ago, Bindiya had come to see me. She has come back after a long time, and I could see great love in her eyes. I had to call her close, I had to hold her face in my hands and pour my love into her eyes. She is a small sannyasin, but because she is small she is still capable of receiving. Because she is small, still uncontaminated, still unpolluted, still uncorrupted, something natural is still there.

And you are fortunate, Bindiya, that you have become a sannyasin so early – now nobody will be able to corrupt you. Now you will become able to protect yourself against this corrupted society, against all kinds of corruptions. The church corrupts, the state corrupts, the educational system corrupts. You have become a sannyasin at the right time. You will be able to see all the games that are being played around you. You will become more and more intelligent, more and more loving, and less and less a person.

Those who are really with me are on the way of disappearing, evaporating. Just as in the early morning sun the dewdrops start disappearing… that is the way for the disciple to disappear when he is in a close love-relationship with the Master.

-Osho

From The Guest, Discourse  #14

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.

Like a Wildfire in the West – Osho

For some time I have been feeling that you are in a hurry. What is that hurry and why?…

I am in hurry for three reasons: first, no matter how much time one has, one will always find it insufficient. Always, any amount of time and energy would be insufficient – because the work is as big as the sea, and the energy and the time one has are like the hollow of one’s palm. Even if one is a Buddha or a Mahavira, a Krishna or a Christ, the effort cannot be greater than the hollow of the palm, and the expanse of the work is as vast as the sea.

This is only ordinary haste, which is usual. But there is haste for another reason too. Some time periods move slowly so that the time appears not to be moving at all. As we look to our historical past, we will find that time used to move very slowly. Then there are some eras that move fast, in which everything seems to be moving at a high speed. Today we are in such a fast-moving era. Everything is moving at a high speed, and nothing seems to remain steady or stable. If religion continues to move at its ancient slow speed, it will lag behind and die.

In the old days, even science moved slowly. For ten thousand years the bullock cart remained the same. The bullock cart remained a bullock cart and the blacksmith used the same old tools.

Everything moved as slowly as a river moving on non-sloping plains. You would not know at all that anything was moving. Banks of such rivers still remain here and there.

In such times, religion also moved slowly. There was a sort of harmony in that movement, and science and religion both were in step with each other. But now religion moves slowly while science and other things are moving at a faster pace. Given these conditions, if religion lags behind and walks hesitantly, then it is no wonder people are not able to keep in step with it. For this reason also there is hurry.

Looking at the speed at which the world’s knowledge about matter is increasing and the speed at which science is making great strides, religion should actually remain somewhat ahead of science and achieve a higher speed – because whenever religion lags behind science it causes great harm. Religion should remain a little ahead to guide, because an ideal must always remain a little ahead; otherwise the ideal becomes meaningless. The ideal should always be ahead of achievement and should remain beyond it. This is the fundamental difference between these two.

If we look back at the era of Ram, religion was always ahead of him. If we look to the modern era, man is always ahead of religion. Nowadays only that person can become religious who is very backward. There is a reason for this: it is only because such a person alone is able to keep in step with religion. Today, the more progressive a person is, the farther he is from religion, or else his relationship with religion will remain only formal – will be just for show. So religion must remain in the forefront.

If we look back to the time of Buddha or Mahavira, it will be very surprising to know that those who had the best minds in their times were religious. But in our civilization, if we look to the modern religious man, he has a lesser intelligence. In those days, those who were the leaders, those who had reached the top, were religious people. And now, those who are rustic, rural and backward are religious. The more intelligent minds of our times are not religious. This means that religion is not able to march ahead of man. For that reason also I am in hurry.

Another reason for being in a hurry is that these are times of emergency, of crisis. For example, when you are going to a hospital, your footsteps have a faster pace than when you are going to your shop. The speed you use to go to a hospital is that of an emergency or a crisis. Today, the state of things is almost as if some religion is not able to create and put forth a strong vigorous movement it is possible that the entire humanity may be annihilated.

It is a time of emergency, like that of being admitted to a hospital. It is possible that the patient may die before reaching the hospital or before any medicine can be administered or by the time the disease is diagnosed, but the ill effects of this prevalent condition are not affecting any religious thinkers. Instead, they are affecting the younger generations of the entire world, and they have hit the younger generations of the developed nations the hardest.

If American parents tell a son to study for ten years in a university so that he may get a good job, the son retorts by asking whether there is a guarantee that he will live for ten years. The parents do not have the answer. In America, there is little trust in tomorrow. Tomorrow cannot be trusted; it is not certain whether there will even be a tomorrow. Therefore, there is a desire to enjoy today as much and as fast as one can.

This is not accidental. It is like a patient who is lying on his deathbed and may die any moment. The whole humanity is becoming like that. There is a hurry, because if the diagnosis is slow there can be no quick remedy. Therefore, I am in a hurry that whatever is to be done should be done fast.

About my statement that I will move from town to town: I have by now, in one sense, already done that work. I have in mind some people; now it is a matter of working on them. But the difficulty is that it would be better if instead of my keeping them in mind they keep me in mind. And as long as I do not come into their minds, nothing can be done.

But I have started this work also. My going and coming or my staying are all for the purpose of doing something. After preparing some persons, I want to send them out in two years to various towns. They will go. Not one hundred but ten thousand persons will be prepared. These persons of crisis are as full of potential as they are of dangers. If time is properly utilized, great potentialities are developed; otherwise the result is calamity.

Many persons can be prepared. This is a time for enterprise, and many people can be prepared for a jump into the unknown. It will happen. I have told you about the outer state of things. But whenever an era of destruction appears near, there will be many a soul that will have reached the last stretches of development on the inner plane. Such souls only need a push, and with just that they will take the jump.

Ordinarily, when death is felt to be coming nearer, it can be seen that one begins thinking about what is beyond death. Every individual begins to become religious in such a situation where death is drawing nearer to him. The questioning about what is beyond begins at the approach of death.

Otherwise, one’s life remains so much engaged that such a questioning does not arise. When a whole era approaches a near-death condition, then millions of people begin to think inwardly about what is beyond. This situation can also be utilized; it has great potentialities.

Therefore, I will slowly confine myself to a room: I will stop coming and going. Now I will work on those who are in my mind. I will prepare them and send them out. The moving from place to place, which I cannot do myself, I will be able to do by sending out ten thousand people.

For me, religion is also a scientific process, so I have in my mind a complete scientific technique for it. As people become ready, the scientific technique will be passed on to them. With the help of that technique, they will work upon thousands of people. My presence is not needed for that. I was required only to find such people who could carry out that purpose. Now I shall be able to give work to them.

It was necessary to evolve certain principles; that has been done by me. The work of the scientist is over. Now the work is for the technicians. A scientist completes the work, like Edison discovering electricity and inventing an electric lamp. Thereafter, it is the work of the electrician to fix the bulb. There is no difficulty in that.

Now I have an almost complete picture of the work to be done. Now, after giving people the concept and getting them to do the technique, I will send them out as soon as they become ready. All this is in my mind, but the potentialities are not seen by all. Most people see only the actualities. Seeing the potentialities is a different task, but I can see them.

The conditions that were existing in one small area of Bihar during the time of Mahavira and Buddha can come about very smoothly within the next few years on a global scale. But an absolutely new type of religious person will have to be prepared, a new type of sannyasin will have to be born, a new type of yoga and meditation system will have to be devised. All this is ready in my mind.

As I come across people they will be given these things, and they will further pass along the same to others. There is a grave risk, however, because if the opportunity is lost it will cause great harm. The opportunity must be utilized because such a valuable time as exists today can hardly come again. From every angle, the era is at its climax or peak. Hereafter, there will only be anticlimax. Now America will not be able to progress further; it will only undergo disintegration. The civilization has touched its peak, and now it will disintegrate. These are the last years.

We have not noted that India disintegrated after Mahavira and Buddha. After them, that golden crest could not be touched again. People ordinarily think that this happened due to Mahavira and Buddha, but in fact the case is just the opposite. Actually, just before disintegration begins, persons of the caliber of Mahavira and Buddha are able to work, not before that – because just before disintegration, everything is in disorder and just on the point of crumbling.

Just as death faces an individual, so now death shows its dark face before the collective consciousness of an entire civilization. And that civilization’s collective mind becomes ready to go deep into the realms of religion and the unknown. That is why it was possible that in a small place like Bihar fifty thousand sannyasins could move along with Mahavira.

This can repeat itself again; there is a complete possibility for it. I have a complete plan and a blueprint in my mind for this. In one sense, my work of finding the people I wanted is near about complete. Also, they do not know that I have found them. Now I have to give work to them by preparing them and sending them out to spread the message.

As long as it was my work, I knew what I had to do and I was doing it with comparative ease. But now I have to give work to others; now I cannot remain in that ease. I have to hurry up. This is another reason for my hurry. I therefore want to make it clear to all friends that I am in a hurry, so they should also hurry up. If they keep on at the speed with which they are walking, they will not reach anywhere. If they see me in a hurry, then perhaps they will also pick up speed; otherwise not.

Jesus had to do this. Jesus said to the people that the world was very soon coming to an end. But people were so foolish that it was very difficult for them to understand. Jesus said that before their very eyes everything would be destroyed, that it was time for them to make a choice, and that those who did not change then would never get a chance to do so later. Those who heard and understood him became transformed, but most of the people went on asking when that hour would strike.

Now, after two thousand years, some Christian scholars, priests and theologians sit back and think that it seems as if Jesus had made some mistake – because up until now that day of judgment has not arrived: Jesus had said that the event of world destruction would happen before their very eyes – while he was there – that the day of reckoning would come and that those who missed would miss forever. But that time has not come yet.

Was this the mistake of Jesus or have we misunderstood him? Some say that he made such a great mistake because he did not know anything about the matter, and therefore there may have been many other things about which Jesus did not know. Still others say that there is something wrong in our interpretation of the scriptures. But none of these people know that there are deep reasons and a calculated purpose behind what people like Jesus say. By saying these things, Jesus created an atmosphere of emergency in which many people became transformed.

People become transformed only during emergencies. If one knows that one can transform tomorrow or even the day after, he will not do anything today; he will postpone it for tomorrow or the day after. But if he knows that there is no tomorrow, then that capacity for transformation comes into being.

In a way, when civilizations are on the verge of disintegration tomorrow becomes uncertain. One is not sure of the next day. Then the today has to be so compact that it can complete all that has to be done. If one has to enjoy, he has to do it today. If he has to surrender and renounce, that too he has to do today. Even if one has to destroy the ego or transform, that also must be done today.

So in Europe and America, a positive, decisive mentality has come into being that whatever one wants to do must be done today: “Forget the worries of tomorrow. If you want to drink, drink; if you want to enjoy, enjoy; if you want to steal, steal. Whatever you want to do, do it today.” On the material plane, this has happened.

I want this to happen also on the spiritual plane. This can run parallel to what is happening on the material plane. I am in a great hurry for this idea to dawn. It is definite that this idea will come from the East. Only Eastern winds could carry it to the West, and the West will jump into it with full vigor.

There are particular places suitable for the rise and growth of certain things. All types of trees cannot grow in all countries. There are particular roots, a particular kind of land, a particular climate and particular water required for the growth of certain things. Similarly, all types of ideas also cannot arise everywhere, because different roots, land, climate and water are necessary for these as well.

Science could not develop in the East. For that tree there are no roots in the East. Religion could develop in the East because for that the East has deep roots. The climate, the land and the water – everything required for its growth – are available in the East. If science has come to the East, it is only from the West. If religion goes to the West, it will be only from the East.

Sometimes there is an exception to this. For example, Japan, a country of the East, can challenge any country of the West in science. But it is interesting to note that Japan only imitates; it cannot be original. But it imitates in such a way that even the original looks pale before it. But still, it is imitation. Japan does not invent anything. If Japan makes a radio, it can outwit America in doing so, but it has to copy the basic one. Japan will be very skillful in copying, but the seed will come from Western countries. It will sow the seed and bring up the plant carefully, but it will never have original seeds of its own.

With religion also, America can outshine and surpass the East. Once the seed of religion reaches there, America will outdo the East in its growth. But all the same, this will be imitation. The initiative, the first step in this matter, lies in the hands of the East.

That is why I am in a great hurry in planning to prepare people in the East who could be sent to the West. The spark will catch like a wildfire in the West, but it has to come from the East.

-Osho

From Dimensions Beyond the Known, Discourse #4

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

 

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

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

Existence is Made out of Joy – Osho

How can I know if detachment or indifference is growing within? 

It is not difficult to know. How do you know when you have a headache and how do you know when you don’t have a headache? It is simply clear. When you are growing in detachment you will become healthier, happier; your life will become a life of joy. That is the criterion of all that is good. Joy is the criterion. If you are growing in joy, you are growing, and you are getting towards home.

With indifference there is no possibility that joy can grow. In fact, if you have any joy, that will disappear.

Happiness is health, and, to me, religion is basically hedonistic. Hedonism is the very essence of religion. To be happy is all.

So remember, if things are going right, and you are moving in the right direction, each moment will bring more joy — as if you are going towards a beautiful garden. The closer you come, the air will be fresher, cooler, more fragrant. That will be the indication that you are moving in the right direction. If the air becomes less fresh, less cool, less fragrant, then you are moving in the opposite direction.

The existence is made out of joy. That is its very stuff. Joy is the stuff existence is made of. So whenever you are moving towards becoming more existential you will be becoming more and more full of joy, delight, for no reason at all. If you are moving into detachment, love will grow, joy will grow, only attachments will drop – because attachments bring misery, because attachments bring bondage, because attachments destroy your freedom. But if you are becoming indifferent…. Indifference is a pseudo coin,  it looks like detachment, but it only looks like detachment. Nothing will be growing in it. You will simply shrink and die.

So go and see: there are so many monks in the world — catholic, Hindu, Jaina, Buddhist — watch them. They don’t give a radiant feeling, they don’t have the aura of fragrance, they don’t look more alive than you are; in fact, they look less alive, crippled, paralyzed. Controlled of course, but not in a deeper, inner discipline; controlled but not conscious; following a certain conscience that society has given to them but not yet aware, not yet free, not yet individuals. They live as if they are already in their grave, just waiting to die. Their life becomes morose, monotonous, sad — it is a sort of despair.

Beware. Whenever something goes wrong there are indications in your being. Sadness is an indicator, depression is an indicator; joy, celebration is also an indicator. More songs will happen to you if you are moving towards detachment. You will be dancing more and you will become more loving. Remember, love is not attachment, love knows no attachment, and that which knows attachment is not love. That is possessiveness, domination, clinging, fear, greed — it may be a thousand and one things, but it is not love. In the name of love other things are parading, in the name of love other things are hiding behind, but on the container the label ‘love’ is stuck. Inside you will find many sorts of things but not love at all.

Watch. If you are attached to a person, are you in love? Or are you afraid of your aloneness, so you cling? Because you cannot be alone you use this person so as not to be alone. Then you are afraid. If the person dies or moves somewhere else or falls in love with someone else then you will kill this person and you will say, ‘I was so much attached.’ Or you may kill yourself and you will say, ‘I was so much attached that I cannot live without her or without him.’ It is sheer foolishness. It is not love, it is something else. You are afraid of your aloneness, you are not capable of being with yourself, you need somebody to distract you. And you want to possess the other person, you want to use the other person as a means for your own ends. To use another person as a means is violence. Immanuel Kant has made it one of his fundamentals of moral life. It is. He used to say that to treat a person as a means is the greatest immoral act there is. It is. Because when you treat another person as a means — for your gratification, for your sexual desire, for your fear, or for something else — when you use another person as a means, you are reducing the other person to be a thing, you are destroying his or her freedom, you are killing his or her soul.

The soul can grow only in freedom. Love gives freedom. And when you give freedom, you are free, that’s what detachment is. If you enforce bondage on the other, you will be in imprisonment on your own accord. If you bind the other, the other will bind you; if you define the other, the other will define you; if you are trying to possess the other, the other will possess you. That’s how couples go on fighting for domination for their whole life: the man in his own way, the woman in her own way. Both struggle. It is a continuous nagging and fighting. And the man thinks that in some ways he controls the woman and the woman thinks that in some ways she controls the man. Control is not love.

Never treat any person as a means. Treat everybody as an end in himself, in herself — then you are a religious person. Then you don’t cling, then you are not attached. You love but your love gives freedom — and, when you give freedom to the other, you are free.

Only in freedom does your soul grow. You will feel very, very happy. The world has become a very unhappy thing. Not because the world is an unhappy thing, but because we have done something wrong to it. The same world can become a celebration.

You ask, how can I know if detachment or indifference is growing within? 

If you are feeling happy, if you are feeling happy with whatsoever is growing,  more centred, more grounded, more alive than before, then go headlong into it. Then there is no fear. Let happiness be the touchstone, the criterion — nothing else can be the criterion. Whatsoever the scriptures say is not a criterion unless your heart is throbbing with happiness; whatsoever I say cannot be the criterion for you unless your heart is throbbing with happiness.

The moment you were were born, a subtle indicator is placed within you. It is part of life that you can always know what is happening, you can always feel whether you are happy or unhappy. Nobody asks how to know whether he is happy or unhappy. Nobody has ever asked. When you are unhappy, you know; when you are happy, you know. Then it is an intrinsic value. You know it, you are born knowing it, so let that intrinsic indication be used and it will never falsify your life.

But if you look in the scriptures there is danger, because for the person who wrote a certain book it may have been a growth, but it may not be a growth for you. He felt happy. Mahavir felt very happy with fasting; Buddha never felt so happy with fasting. So what to do? To whom to listen? Both are perfect beings. If you listen to Buddha there is a possibility that you will start distorting your own feelings; if you listen to Mahavir, there is the same possibility. Krishna lived in the world, loved many women, enjoyed himself. He was a totally different man, perfectly happy. He was always singing and dancing. He had his own feeling — maybe his feeling suits you or not.

So never try any outer criterion; never try the outside criterion for your inside otherwise there is a danger you may falsify your inner mechanism, the intrinsic mechanism. Listen to your heart.

I am here not to give you any criterion but to make you aware of your own criterion, just to make you aware of your own intrinsic awareness. Feel — and it is so clear that nothing else is needed to help it.

-Osho

From Dang Dang Doko Dang, 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.

The Nameless One

An ancient story:
Once there was a Master who understood the ways of mind better than most, who understood the myriad ways that his disciples could destroy his teaching after he was gone. He did everything he could to insulate the teaching from distortion and calcification.

Nearing the end of his life, he created a device in order to allow the great battle over his name to play out within the first generation of disciples. One of his last teachings was that the essential nature is – no-name/no-form. He dropped his name completely. But this created problems for those who would continue to publish the books and recordings of his years of talks. So, he allowed himself to be referred to as “The Nameless One.” And soon there was great work in changing all the books from his old name to being authored by “The Nameless One.” Soon his disciples would chant in great fervor, “Hail to ‘The Nameless One.’” From a distance, one could not help but see the irony. Certainly, it was much more difficult the closer one was.

After the Master left the body, the situation slowly began to change. Little by little cracks appeared within the unity of his community. For utilitarian purposes, the organization charged with carrying on the work of publishing his teachings, was forced into the absurd position of copyrighting the name “The Nameless One” in order to preserve the integrity of his talks. Otherwise, anyone would be able to publish whatever they wanted in the name of “The Nameless One.”

And slowly over time, those within the organization began to believe in the actual existence of the name “The Nameless One” which they were trying to protect. They wanted to also trademark “The Nameless One” so that no one would be able to do anything in the name of “The Nameless One” without their permission, all the while failing to see the absurdity of the situation.

Having been schooled in awakening by the Master, the disciples were not ones to dutifully abide by the proclamations of the organization. They now began to argue, question, and challenge the authority to control the use of the name of “The Nameless One.” Within no time there were court cases and great public debate all concerning using the name of “The Nameless One.”

Soon, discussion and debate developed over even the meaning of “The Nameless One.” One camp proclaimed that it meant “the One without a name” and another camp declared that it meant that “there is no name for the One.”

Over time, these divisions became more and more pronounced. There were even personal attacks on the character of each of the camps. And each camp sincerely believed that they were doing what “The Nameless One” would have wanted them to do.

This great battle went on for years without pause until one day without explanation a few of the disciples in their meditation saw the absurdity of the quarrel. And in those moments of insight, the entire conflict just disappeared. Slowly, slowly this awakening began to spread throughout the community, and soon the lawsuits disappeared, the hostility towards each other evaporated, and the members were once again pursuing the realization of their own “Nameless One.”

In the following generations, the divisions never arose again having played out so completely within the first generation of disciples. Oh, what a genius this Master is.

-purushottama

This is from the collection of stories, essays, poems and insights that is compiled to form the book From Lemurs to Lamas: Confessions of a Bodhisattva. Download a PDF or order the book Here.

Sannyas is Eternal – Osho

What do you foresee as the future of your sannyas movement? Do you see it as prospering, even when you’re not here?

Sannyas movement is not mine. It is not yours. It was here when I was not here. It will be here when I will not be here.

Sannyas movement simply means the movement of the seekers of truth. They have always been here.

Of course, they have been always tortured by the ignorant masses: killed, murdered, crucified, or worshipped.

Remember: it is the same whether you crucify or you worship. Both are the ways how to get rid of those people. One is crucifixion, another is worship. Worship is more cultured. We say you are an incarnation of God, we will worship you. But we will not do what you say. How can we do? We are ordinary human beings. You were extraordinary — either you were a prophet sent by God, or a messenger, or the only begotten son of God, or you were a reincarnation of God — you could do miracles. We have created all kinds of miracles, only for one reason. To create a distance between us and the people who have been seeking the truth and the people who have ultimately found the truth. We were not ready to go with them. There were only two ways: either to kill them, destroy them, so we can forget them and forgive them.

They were a disturbing element, a nuisance. We were asleep and having such beautiful dreams and a Gautam Buddha comes and starts shaking you and tells, “Wake up!” Naturally you get angry.

There have always been a line of seekers of truth… I call it sannyas. It is eternal. It is sanatan. It has nothing to do with me.

Millions of people have contributed to it. I have also contributed my own share. It will go on becoming richer and richer. When I am gone there will be more and more people coming and making it richer. The old sannyas was serious. I have contributed to it a sense of humor. The old sannyas was sad. I have contributed to it singing, dancing, laughing… I have made it more human.

The old sannyas was somehow life-negative. I have made it life-affirmative. But it is the same sannyas. It is the same search. I have made it richer. I have made it more grounded in the world because my whole teaching is `be in the world, but don’t be of the world.’

There is no need to renounce the world. Only cowards renounce it. Live in the world, experience it. It is a school. You cannot grow in the Himalayas. You can only grow in the world.

Each step is an examination. Each step you are passing through a test. Life is an opportunity.

I will be gone. That does not mean that the sannyas movement will be gone. It does not belong to anybody.

Just as science does not belong to Albert Einstein. Why the search for truth should belong to somebody? To Gautam Buddha? To J Krishnamurti? Or to me? Or to you?

Just as science goes on growing and every scientific genius goes on contributing to it and the Ganges goes on becoming bigger and wider — oceanic; in the same way the inner world needs a science. The objective world has a science. The inner world needs a science and I call sannyas the science of the inner world. It has been growing but because it goes against humanities attachments, ignorance, superstitions, so-called religions, churches, priests, popes, shankaracharyas… these are the enemies of the inner search because the inner search needs no organization.

Sannyas movement is not an organization: that is why I call it `movement’. It is individual. People join. I had started alone and then people started coming and joining me and slowly, slowly the caravan became bigger and bigger. But it is not an organization. I am nobody’s leader. Nobody has to follow me. I am grateful that you have allowed me to share my bliss, my love, my ecstasy. I am grateful to you. Nobody is my follower, nobody is lower. There is no hierarchy. It is not a religion. It is pure religiousness. The very essence. Not a flower, but only a fragrance. You cannot catch hold of it.

You can have the experience of it, you can be surrounded by the perfume, but you cannot catch hold of it.

Religions are like dead flowers you can find in Bibles, in Gitas… When they were put in the Bible they were living, they were fragrant, but now it is only a corpse. All holy books are corpses, dead flowers and nothing else.

Truth, the living truth, has to be discovered by each individual by himself. Nobody can give it to you.

Yes, somebody who has achieved it can transpire a thirst in you, a tremendous desire for it. I cannot give you the truth, but I can give you the desire for it.

I cannot give you the truth, but I can show you the moon… please don’t get attached to my finger which is indicating the moon. This finger will disappear. The moon will remain and the search will continue.

As long as there is a single human being on the earth the flowers of sannyas will go on blossoming.

-Osho

From The Last Testament, V.6, Chapter 15

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

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

What is Rebellion – Osho

What is rebellion? And what is the difference between reaction and the action of the rebellious man?

The first thing to be understood is the difference between rebellion and revolution.

Revolution is an organized effort to change the society forcibly, violently. But the trouble is, you cannot change the society through violence, because it is violence that is the very life current of the society. That’s why all the revolutions have failed. And there is no possibility of any revolution succeeding, ever.

Rebellion is individual, nonviolent, peaceful. It is out of love. Rebellion is not against something, but for something. Revolution is against something, but not for something. Revolution is so much engaged in being against, it forgets for what all this fuss is being made. It is anger. But anger cannot create a better society. Rebellion is not oriented against the society, but is oriented towards a new man, a new humanity.

Revolution is fighting with the past.

Rebellion is meditating for the future.

I said rebellion is out of love, silence, understanding, compassion – all the qualities that make man divine. Revolution is based on all the qualities that make man again an animal. Because rebellion is individual, there is no need of any struggle, of any fight. The society will not even be bothered by one individual being different than others. But even single individuals meditating, loving, hoping for a new sunrise, can create the possibility of a new society. Their very presence will be enough to transform others. Their love cannot fail – love never fails. Their understanding, their intelligence, their compassion are bound to succeed.

But rebellion has not been tried. Revolution seems to be easier, because against such a big society you need a big organization. But the moment you become organized you become the same type of society. You become just a reflection of what you are opposing. You stand before a mirror: the reflection in the mirror is your reflection, although it is opposed to you.

So just being opposed does not mean that you are really different; the methods are the same. The old society depends on violence; the revolutionaries depend on violence. The old society depends on enslaving people; the revolutionaries depend on the same. The old society depends on beliefs; revolutionaries also depend on belief. It makes no difference whether your belief is in the “Holy Bible” or in “Das Kapital.”

And one thing very significant to remember: if the revolutionaries are going to win they have to be more violent than the old society, more cunning, more clever, more political, more cruel; otherwise they cannot win. So, in fact, in the name of revolution more violence is becoming victorious, more cruelty is becoming victorious; more slavery, more submissiveness is demanded by the revolutionary party. You can see it happen in all the revolutions.

The Russian revolution has been the greatest revolution. The czars who ruled Russia were cruel, were violent – the very idea of ruling over somebody is violent. The communists dethroned the czar, but they could manage to do it only because they proved more violent. Nineteen members of the czar’s family were simply butchered, and one of the members, the youngest, was only a six-month old child. He had not done any crime against anybody – for what was he being punished? Just because he belonged to the royal family? Was that his responsibility? They wanted to destroy the whole family so there would be no possibility of any royal blood of the czars in the future. But the people who did it certainly showed a heartlessness.

Joseph Stalin became the leader of the revolutionaries. Stalin was not his real name, “Stalin” was given to him by the people. It means “man of steel.” And certainly he proved to be a man of steel, with no heart. He killed almost one million people after the revolution. Just suspicion was enough; there was no need for any trial, for any investigation. The communist party suspects that somebody is against the revolution – there is no proof, but the man has to be immediately destroyed.

The Russian revolution has proved one thing absolutely: that czars were never so violent; they had never killed one million people. And the society was not so deeply enslaved – that’s why the communist revolution was possible.

Now in Russia no revolution is possible, people are completely enslaved. Even to think against the status quo today is betraying the religion of communism. People are even afraid if they dream anything against the government. They don’t tell the dream to their wives, to their children, because nobody knows…. The system that came into force after the revolution is such that husbands are spying on their wives, wives are spying on their husbands, children are spying on their parents.

Almost everybody is spying on everybody else. And these people are rewarded. If a child comes to the communist party office and informs that his parents have been saying something against the government, he is rewarded. He is sent to a better school, given a better scholarship. Of course, his parents disappear.

Now there is no possibility to revolt against the communist regime in Soviet Russia. No freedom of expression, no freedom of getting together, no freedom of thinking – is this revolution? It is going backwards.

Rebellion is a spiritual phenomenon.

It is not against the society as such; it is simply the intelligence that shows that this society is dead, that this society is incapable of giving birth to a new human being, that it is spent, that it is almost on the verge of global suicide. It needs compassion; it does not need anger.

The rebel can do only one thing…. He is not going to organize, because the moment you organize you have to follow the same patterns as the society you are going to oppose; and you have to follow the same language, the same patterns, structures, that the society has practiced for so long.

There is an ancient Chinese saying: “To have a bad friend is not as bad as to have a bad enemy.”

Looks strange, but it has great meaning in it – because if you have an enemy, then sooner or later you will have to follow his tactics and strategies to fight with him; there is no other way. If you want to be victorious you have to be far ahead of him in his own methods. Hence, I always say, friends you can choose without much consideration, but enemies have to be chosen with great consideration, because they are going to change your character.

The rebel has no enemy. He simply has a vision that the old is finished. It need not be fought against, it is dying itself. Fighting with it is to give it life. Just ignore it. It is already on the deathbed; it will die of its own accord. Don’t give it energy by fighting.

The rebel can do only one thing: he can transform himself into the new man, he can become his own vision. That is the only proof that his vision is not a dream. The rebel starts transforming his vision into a reality.

I want you all to be rebellious.

That’s why I don’t believe in organization. I don’t want you to be another religion, another ideology, because that will be simply a repetition of the old patterns. You can be together without any conditions, without any bondage, just out of sheer friendship; no ideology dominating you, but just pure love – because you are on the same path, discovering yourself, finding out whether the vision of a new man can become a reality or not. You can help each  other, you can support each other, you can encourage each other.

There are moments when encouragement is needed, because to change – and to change totally – is not an easy job. Many times the mind wants to fall back into its old patterns, old habits; therefore, the commune.

The commune is not an alternative society. It is not another organization: it is something totally new.

It is a loving togetherness of fellow travelers who are all working on themselves. But five thousand people all working on themselves creates an atmosphere of great encouragement – you are not alone. And if five thousand people are trying, there is hope. You can see people ahead of you, you can see people behind you – on all the rungs of the ladder. That makes it clear that human beings just like you are carving the way, changing themselves. It becomes an individual challenge for you not to be a coward and fall back into old habits. You cannot fall back into old habits, because five thousand people are watching you and they are very optimistic about you. They have great hopes for you; they see that the sunrise is not far away.

Yes, it is very dark right now, but to find the light you need not go back. To find light you have to go forward. The darker the night, the closer is the morning; and a few have reached the morning. You can see the sunlight in their eyes; you can see the flowers of their being blossoming. You can feel the fragrance that is released. So it is only a question of a little more patience, a little more courage.

But rebellion remains individual. Rebels can live together; they can create an atmosphere, a milieu, a buddhafield where awakening becomes easier. But they are not organized; they are not bound to any belief. They are free individuals; out of their free choice they have joined these seekers of the sunrise.

You ask me, “What is the difference between reaction and action as far as the rebellious person is concerned?”

The rebellious person has no reaction; he has only action. The revolutionary has only reaction; he does not have any action. The difference is significant.

Just a few days ago I received a letter from an old woman who is the president of the Atheists’ Association of America. She must be the oldest atheist in the whole world, because I used to know in India one man, Gora, who was her follower, and he was old himself. She has opened, in many countries, associations for atheists.

On some television she must have listened to my words – that there is no God – and she was immensely happy. She wrote the letter to say, “You are certainly a man of great courage. Although I am very old, I would like to come and see you, meet you, talk to you.”

I told Hasya to write to her that she is welcome, but she must understand that I am not an atheist: “If she is coming here thinking that I am an atheist because I have declared there is no God, then she will be disillusioned. It is better to make it clear.”

To me, atheism is reaction, reaction against theism. There are people who believe in God, millions of people; a few people react to it, and they start disbelieving in God. This is a reaction.

You can check it very easily by a simple method. If all the theists disappear, if there is no theism at all in the world, can atheists exist? They were secondary, they were simply a reaction. When there are no religions and nobody is saying there is God, what is the point of disbelieving in God? You will look a little silly. With the death of theism, atheism will die automatically. That means it was only a shadow, it was not a reality in itself. A reaction is a shadow.

When I say there is no God, I am not saying that I disbelieve in God; even for disbelief, God has to be. Whether you believe or disbelieve, that is your approach, but for both God is needed. For the theist he is needed, for the atheist he is needed. I am simply saying there is no God, has never been. All theists and all atheists are wrong. Those who believe are wrong, and those who disbelieve are wrong.

I don’t think that old woman will come. I would love her to come, because in her whole life she may not have met a man who is neither theist nor atheist. Because there is no God, there is no point in being either one.

I think it is simply stupid: if there is no God, then a person wasting his whole life establishing atheist associations all over the world – this is sheer wastage of one’s life. If there is no God, then why bother? But no, this has become her whole life. But just denying, just disbelief cannot make anybody blissful.

And my statement that there is no God is an action, not a reaction. I am not speaking against anybody; I am simply giving expression to my own experience. I have searched for him within myself, and I have not found him.

I have found, instead, godliness.

I have found eternal consciousness.

I have found immortality.

I have found eternal light – but no God.

I don’t think this woman has ever thought of looking inwards. She is simply fighting with the theists.

Those theists are idiots; in fighting with them you are bound to become an idiot. Reaction cannot take you farther than those you are reacting against. The revolutionary is reactionary. He is against the society; he is against its economic structure, he is against its political way. He is against so many things – his whole life is negative. It depends on being against this, against that, against thousands of things – there are so many no’s in his life. But you cannot live a life of benediction, bliss, out of thousands of no’s.

A single yes is far more powerful than a thousand no’s. The no is empty. It shows your anger, it shows your violence, it shows your destructiveness, but it does not show that you have anything creative that you are going to contribute to life and existence.

Action means, something not related to anything but coming out of your own silence, out of your own spontaneity.

The rebel knows no reaction, he knows action. Action means yes.

The rebel creates; he gives birth to himself. He becomes a new man, he heralds a new age. He opens himself to all possibilities, he allows himself unknown dimensions. Not against anybody – it is simply a growth, just like a rosebush is growing. Do you think it is growing against the rocks? Do you think it is growing against anybody? It is growing, not as a reaction; it is growing because growth is its nature. It is growing to blossom, to bring its potential to actuality. It is a process of actualization.

Action means the process of actualization. Reaction is simply hate, anger, jealousy, violence, destructiveness. Those are not the qualities to be valued. So, in my vision, the revolutionary has no value, only the rebel. And you can see….

Socrates is not a revolutionary, he is a rebel. Gautam Buddha is not a revolutionary, he is a rebel. Heraclitus is not a revolutionary, he is a rebel. And these are the greatest heights humanity has reached.

Revolutionaries are on the same ground as those whom they are opposing. They have to be on the same ground to fight with them. The rebel is not fighting against anybody. The rebel is making himself free so that he can grow, grow to his own destiny. The rebel has a beauty; the revolutionary is a political, social criminal. The rebel is the only holy man, he is sacred.

But the moment you start organizing rebellion you change its character, it becomes revolution. It is no longer the same thing. That’s why I had to insist again and again…. The tendency to organize is very deep rooted, because it is millions of years old. And to be alone needs guts.

To be alone… but you can be together with people who are also trying to be alone. Your togetherness is just a friendship of two fellow travelers. There are no conditions. It does not make you a Christian, a Hindu, a Buddhist. You remain yourself, the other remains himself.

And this is the only respect expected of sannyasins: do not destroy the dignity of the other person.

He is as valuable in existence as you are. There is no need to impose your ideas on anybody. Who are you? What authority have you got to impose your ideas on others? You can share, you can tell, you can expose your heart. And if the other feels that something falls in tune with him, and chooses it, it is his decision, not your imposition.

Revolutionaries are trying to impose their ideas on others. They are doing the same thing as the old religions have been doing. That’s why I categorize communism as one of the religions; there is no difference. It does not matter that communism does not believe in God, because there are older religions which do not believe in God: Buddhism does not believe in God, Jainism does not believe in God. So that is not a problem. A religion is something that you try to impose on others. It is an effort to convert people, it is always missionary.

A rebel is never a missionary, he is always a friend. He can invite you to his innermost being and, if you see something that suits you, that is helpful to you, that is going to nourish you, make your search easier, you can choose it. But it is out of your freedom – nobody is converting you.

That’s how it should be in the commune. Whatever I say to you, you need not believe it. You have just to be available to it, so that you can decide. The decision has to be yours. And if it suits you, suddenly if it rings a bell in your heart, then I am no longer responsible for it: the bell is ringing in your heart. But if it doesn’t suit you, my love for you remains the same, because it is not based on converting you.

And, in fact, each individual has to be unique. That is the prerogative of human beings – to be unique. And all the religions, all the political ideologies, they have all tried to destroy that privilege.

I want to encourage your privilege. On no account should your individuality be interfered with.

Your freedom is absolute, and the highest value.

-Osho

From From Bondage to Freedom, Discourse #37

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.

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