Rain Falling Softly on Earth – Osho

You tell me to float, but my body is so heavy with a dead-weight mind that I feel I will drown if I float. So I keep swimming in panic.

Floating is a totally new way of life. You are accustomed to fight; you are accustomed to swim upstream. The ego feels nourished if you fight with something. If you don’t fight, the ego simply evaporates. It is very essential for the existence of the ego to continue fighting. This way or that, in worldly matters or in spiritual matters, but go on fighting. Fight with others or fight with oneself, but continue the fight. The people you call worldly are fighting with others; and the people you call spiritual are fighting with themselves. But the basic thing remains the same.

The real vision arises only when you stop fighting. Then you start disappearing because without fight the ego cannot exist for a single moment. It needs constant pedaling. It is just like a bicycle. If you stop pedaling, it has to fall; it cannot continue for long — maybe a little while because of the past momentum. But your cooperation is needed for the ego, to keep it alive, and the cooperation is through fight, resistance.

When I say to you to float I mean that you are such a small, tiny part of the cosmos it is absolutely absurd to fight with it. With whom are you fighting? All fight is basically against God, because he surrounds you. If you are trying to go up current, you are trying to go against God. If he is flowing downwards to the ocean, go with him.

Once you start floating with the river, you will have a totally different quality arising in you. Something of the beyond will descend. You will not be there; you will become just an emptiness — tremendous emptiness, a receptivity. When you fight you shrink, when you fight you become small, when you fight you become hard. When you don’t fight — you surrender, you open, like a lotus opening its petals — then you receive. Unafraid you start moving, moving with life, moving with the river.

The question is: “You tell me to float, but I am afraid if I float I will drown.” It is good if you drown because only the ego can be drowned, not you. When you are fighting, in fact the ego is fighting with your innermost core. You will drown. But by that drowning, for the first time you will be able to float, for the first time you will be. Choose and you choose the ego. Be choiceless, let life choose for you, and you become egoless. Choose and you always choose hell. Choice is hell. Don’t choose. Let this prayer of Jesus resound in your hearts, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done.” Let him do for you.

Drop yourself, drown yourself. Disappear from that plane of being. And then suddenly you are no longer human; you are superhuman. Your whole life will become a life of beatitude. Let me tell you one anecdote.

One unfortunate soul arrived at the doors of hell and was interviewed by old Nick himself “Which group would you like to join?” he asked with a leer.

What do you mean — group?” asked the new arrival.

“You see,” said the devil, “we have all sorts of torments here, and we allow people to choose their own. We believe in democracy, and we are not dictatorial — and there is no emergency going on. It is for you to choose. It is for eternity, remember one thing — mind this — so you must choose carefully. I will take you on a tour.”

So the devil took him through hell. One group was wallowing in slime and being perpetually eaten by maggots, another group was constantly being prodded with red-hot tridents, another group was being stretched on racks, etc., etc., and the new arrival was feeling very despondent.

Then the devil led him to one group in which all the inhabitants were standing up to their waists in a particularly evil-smelling cesspit and drinking cups of tea.

“This does not look too bad,” he thought to himself, “I will choose this group,” he said to the devil.

“You are sure?” asked Satan. “Remember, you can’t change your mind, and it is forever and forever and forever.”

“No, I am quite sure — this will do me,” said the newly damned.

“Very well,” said the devil, “in you go.”

And just as the wretched soul jumped into the pit, a whistle blew and a voice called out: “All right, everybody! Tea break’s over — stand on your heads!”

If you choose, you choose hell. Choice is hell. That’s how you have created your hell all around you — by choosing. When you choose you don’t allow God to choose for you.

Krishnamurti goes on insisting for choicelessness. That is just one end of the whole story. The other end is: if you arc choiceless God chooses for you. That is only half of the story — become choiceless — just the beginning. The moment you are choiceless life continues. You will not be there — life will continue. And you are nothing but a hell. Once you don’t stand between you and God he chooses. He has been always choosing for you. There is a proverb which says, “Man proposes and God disposes.” The reality is just the opposite: “God proposes and man goes on disposing.”

Once you have felt that beatitude of non-choosing and floating with him, you will never choose again. Because whenever you choose you choose hell, and whatsoever you choose you choose hell.

So I would like you to drown — drown with my blessings.

When Jesus says that those who cling to themselves will lose themselves, and those who are ready to lose will gain, he means exactly the same thing. When Sufis say, “Die before your death, and then you will become deathless,” they mean the same.

The death of the ego happens only through surrender. People come to me and they ask, “How not to be egoistic?” But you cannot do anything to be non-egoistic. Whatsoever you will do will make you again egoistic. You can try, discipline the ego, but you cannot be non-egoistic because whatsoever you do enhances the ego. The moment you become a doer, in whatsoever way…. You may try to be humble, but if it is your humbleness, practiced, disciplined by you, then deep down in your humbleness the ego will remain crowned, and it will go on saying, “Look. How humble I am.”

I have heard about one man who went to see Adler, the great psychologist who coined the word “inferiority complex.” The man was psychoanalyzed. After a few months and much effort, Adler told him, “Now you are cured.” The man said, “Yes, I also feel that I am cured. Now I am the one who has the most beautiful inferiority complex in the world — the best inferiority complex in the world.”

Inferiority complex, and the most beautiful and the best? It is possible; it happens every day. You can become egoistic about the inferiority complex also. You can have-a superiority complex about an inferiority complex also. Man is so ridiculous.

Go to religious people and see their faces. They show all signs of humbleness, but you will have to go a little deeper, deeper than their skin, to know them. Deep down the ego is very happy, feeling that “Nobody is more humble than me.” If you say to a religious man, “I have found a man who is more humble than you,” he will be hurt. He will feel insulted, it is impossible; nobody can be more humble than him. But that is the whole effort of the ego — nobody has a better house than me, nobody has a better car than me, nobody has a better face than me, nobody has better knowledge than me. In that comparison and feeling better is the ego.

You cannot do anything to change it. You can simply see the point that nothing is needed on your part. And once you drop it — or rather it will be better to say: once in your deep understanding it drops — you are open to life. Then life starts flowing through you, like a cool breeze in an open room. You are like a windowless room: all doors,-windows closed, no ray of light enters in you, no new breeze passes through you. You are caved in within yourself, closed. And of course if you start feeling suffocated it is natural.

But I know it is difficult to allow yourself to drown. It takes time. Just a few glimpses will be needed. Sometimes float, don’t swim, and just feel the river taking you over. Sometimes just sit in the garden, don’t choose. Don’t say what is beautiful, what is ugly. Don’t divide; just be there present to everything. Sometimes move in the marketplace, not saying, not condemning, not appreciating. In many ways learn how just to be, without any evaluation. Because the moment you evaluate you have chosen. The moment you say this is good, you are saying, “I would like to have it.” The moment you say this is bad, you say, “I don’t want it; I would not like to have it.” The moment you say this woman is beautiful, you have desired. The moment you say this woman is ugly, you have already felt repulsion. You are already caught in the duality of good and bad, beautiful and ugly; and the choice has entered in you.

Subtle are the ways of the ego. One has to be very alert.

And once you know — once even for a single moment the ego is not there, you are not creating it — suddenly all doors open, and from everywhere, from all directions, life rushes towards you. That rush is very fragile. If you are not alert you will not be able to see it, you will not be able to feel it. God’s touch is very delicate. Great sensitivity is needed to feel it.

Just the other day I was reading a small poem of Huub Oosterhuis.

“God does not send us his word
like a great torrent of water
raging in tempest and flood
sweeping us blindly along
but like a glimpse of the sun
or a green branch in the winter,
rain falling softly on earth:
this is how God comes to us. ”

… rain falling softly on earth: this is how God comes to us.”

In deep surrender, sensitivity, awareness, suddenly you are full of something which you had never known before. It has always been there, but you were too gross to know it. It has always been there, but you were too occupied in fighting, in the ways of the ego, that you couldn’t look back and feel it. It was always there, but you were not present. It was always waiting for you, but you had forgotten how to come back home. Dropping the ego is the way back home.

So drown yourself. That’s the whole art I am teaching you here. If I am teaching anything, I am teaching you death, because I know only through death is resurrection.

-Osho

From Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, V.9, Chapter Two

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 online from Amazon.com and in the U.S. from OshoStore-Sedona and Osho Here and Now.

Feel First Your Own Feeling – Osho

This morning you spoke of the need to be responsible, to not lean on others, to be alone.

I see I have been taking sannyas as an excuse to avoid these things – Asking you all the time what to do, calling on your presence when I am sad and lonely, imagining you are with me, filling all the emptiness. I feel irresponsible and confused again about what sannyas is.

You will always feel confused if you lean on somebody else because then the understanding will not be yours, and understanding cannot be borrowed. So you can befool yourself a little while. Again and again the reality will erupt and you will feel confused. So the only way to avoid confusion is not-rationalization. The only way to avoid confusion is to stand on your own feet, to be alert, to be aware. Don’t postpone awareness. Whenever you start leaning on somebody, you are avoiding awareness — and you have been taught and conditioned for it from the very beginning. The parents, the peers, the society, the educationists, the politicians, they all go on trying to condition you in such a way that you always depend on others. Then you can be manipulated, then you can be dominated. Then you can be exploited and oppressed, then you can be reduced to being a slave. You lose your freedom.

This conditioning is there. When you come to me you come with that conditioning, of course; there is no other way. And immediately your mind starts functioning from your conditioning: you start leaning on me. But I am not going to allow you that. I will push you again and again, throw you again and again to yourself. Because I would like you to stand on your own understanding. Then it will be something of the permanent, then you will never be confused.

Confusion comes in…. I say something to you, you start believing in it — but it is not your vision, it is not your perception. Tomorrow in life something happens and you are in a difficulty. The difficulty arises because you have learned by rote — you have memorized me. Now you will try to respond through this borrowed understanding. Life changes every moment. My understanding of this moment will not be of any help to you the next moment. My understanding of this moment cannot be made a permanent reference. And if you take it verbally, intellectually, mentally, and you carry it with you, you will again and again be confused; because life will always sabotage your so-called understanding.

Life trusts only real understanding. Real means your own, authentic, that arises from you.

I am not here to give you knowledge, I am not here to give you theories. That’s what has been done for centuries, and man has remained as ignorant as ever. I am here to make you alert to the fact that hidden behind you, within you, is a source of light. Tap that source. Let that light bum bright within you. And then you have something alive. Then whatsoever problems come in life, you will not tackle them from your past knowledge. You will tackle them in the present. You will face them with your present understanding.

Whatsoever I say will always become past. The moment I have said, the moment you have heard, it has already gone into the past. And life goes on changing; it is a constant movement. It knows no stopping, it knows no rest. Again and again you will feel confused.

And with me also there is a problem. The next moment you will ask the same question, and I will never answer the same again. Because I respond. I don’t answer, I don’t remember my old answers — I respond. Your question is there, I am here, I respond again. And if you go on collecting my answers: not only confused, you will become mad. Because you will not find any harmony in them, any consistency in them. They are inconsistent. What can I do. Life is inconsistent. If I am to be true to life, I have to remain inconsistent in my statements. If I want to be true to my statements, then I betray life. And I would like to remain true to life. I can betray my past, but I cannot betray the present. I can go against my statements, but I cannot go against the present life, this moment.

So confusion will arise. Someday I will say something, and I will say something else some other day. If you compare, if you try to make a consistent whole out of my statements, you are going to be in trouble, in deep trouble. Don’t do that. You just listen to me. And don’t learn my answer; learn my response. Don’t be bothered with what I say. See the way I say it. See the way I respond to a situation, to a question. The answer is not important, but my alive response is.

And if you can learn the alive response, you become responsible. My meaning of the word “responsibility” is totally different from the dictionary meaning. In the dictionary responsibility seems something like a duty, a commitment, as if you are responsible to somebody else. The word is almost dirty. The mother goes on saying to the child, “You are responsible to me, remember.” The father goes on saying to the son, “You are responsible to me, remember.” The society goes on saying to the individuals, “You are responsible to us, to the society, remember.” And your so-called images of God, they also go on telling people, “You are responsible to us… to me.”

When I use the word “responsibility” I mean your aliveness, responding aliveness. You are not responsible to anybody else except your own being, this moment. You are responsible to be responsible. To respond with an open heart, with vulnerability. Not with closed fists but with open hands. Not hiding and holding something. Opening yourself completely, in deep trust with life. Not trying to be clever and cunning. Then you float with life moment to moment… your response will change because life is changing.

Sometimes it is hot and you cannot sit outside in the sun and you would need a shelter. Sometimes it is too cold and you cannot sit under the shelter and you would like to sit under the sun. But nobody is going to say to you that you look very inconsistent: “The other day you were sitting in the shelter, and now you are sitting under the sun? Be consistent! Choose! If you want to sit in the sun, then sit consistently in the sun.” You will laugh at this absurdity, but this is what people have expected of you in life.

Everything is changing around you. Don’t get fixed ideas; otherwise you will be confused. And don’t listen to what others say; listen to your own heart. I have heard:

What mankind had feared for generations finally happened: a nuclear reaction ran out of control and the entire globe exploded, killing every living thing in it.

Naturally, at the Pearly Gates there was terrible confusion, what with so many souls arriving at the same time, so St. Peter decided to try and sort out the grades by putting up various notices behind which the appropriate souls could form queues.

One sign read Bosses Only, and another read Men Who Were Under Their Wives’ Thumbs. Behind the Bosses Only sign was one solitary soul, whereas under the other sign was a queue stretching right to the Milky Way.

St. Peter, curious, said to the solitary soul, “How is it that you are the only one here?”

“I don’t know — the wife told me to stand here,” was the reply.

Sometimes it is the wife, sometimes it is the husband, sometimes it is the father, sometimes the mother — sometimes the guru. Somebody is telling you to stand here, and you don’t know why. Make sure why you are standing there.

Listen. It is a little complex. Even if you decide to follow somebody, listen to your heart, as to whether you want to follow. I am not saying don’t follow anybody, because if your heart says follow, then what will you do? But listen to the heart, feel your own feeling first because ultimately you are responsible to your heart. Everything else is secondary; you are primary. You are the center of your world.

If you choose to follow me or if you choose to be initiated by me, if you choose to surrender to me, feel first your own feeling. Otherwise you will again and again be confused, and again and again you will start thinking, “What am I doing here?” You will start thinking, “Why have I taken sannyas? Why?” Don’t take it because somebody else is saying to. Feel it. Then the confusion will never arise. Then it cannot arise; then there is no question of confusion.

Confusion is a wrong functioning. If you function from your center, confusion never arises. If you function from somebody else’s center, the confusion is bound to arise continuously — and people are functioning from others’ understandings, from advisers, experts. They are living through them. People have completely left their lives in others’ hands.

Feel it, wait for the feeling to arise. Be patient, don’t be in a hurry. And if you have felt your feeling well, then you will have a deep root, and that root will make you strong, and that root will not allow any confusion to settle around you.

-Osho

From Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, V.9, Chapter Two

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 online from Amazon.com and in the U.S. from OshoStore-Sedona and Osho Here and Now.

What is Surrender? – Osho

What is surrender? I used to think I knew. Now it is a mystery.

Prem Prabhat, the false knowledge de-mystifies existence; the true knowledge re-mystifies it. Knowing, if authentic, makes life more of a mystery than it has ever been before. Knowledge certainly covers your eyes with dark clouds, creates a wall of thick smoke, and you start feeling you know. In fact, you are going deeper into ignorance. To be knowledgeable is to be more ignorant than even the ignorant ones.

The Upanishads have a tremendously significant statement. They say: The ignorant man is lost in darkness, but the knowledgeable is lost in deeper darkness than the ignorant – because the knowledgeable lives in an “as if” world. He thinks he knows, but he knows not. He only believes; he has not seen. He believes in God, he believes in love, he believes in surrender, but belief is always a cover-up. Your wound is covered, but it is not healed that way. In fact, the more you cover it, the less is the possibility of its ever being healed. Expose it to the sun, to the wind, to the rain – expose it to the healing forces that surround you.

Mahavira standing naked under the sky is simply saying, making a silent statement: “Be naked! Drop all your clothes! Don’t hide! ” And we are not only wearing clothes on the body – they are not that important – we are wearing clothes and clothes, layers and layers of knowledge, which are really hiding our truth from ourselves.

To be really naked before God is to know, but that knowing is totally different from knowledge. It is closer to feeling than to knowledge. It is closer to love than to logic. It is closer to experiencing than to believing. It is existential.

The blind man believes in light; the man of eyes sees it. And when there is seeing, no question of believing arises only the blind believe; the seers have no need to believe – they know! But to know life is to know that it is unknowable. To know life is to know that it is an unfathomable mystery, immeasurable.

The word “matter” means the measurable; it comes from ”measure.” Science is wrong because it thinks that life can be measured, fathomed, de-mystified. Knowledge believes that life can be divided into two departments: the known and the unknown. That which is known today was unknown yesterday; that which is unknown today will become known tomorrow. The unknown will go on receding; the unknown will go on disappearing. The known will go on becoming bigger and bigger, and one day all will be known.

The Buddhas, the awakened ones, have divided life into three planes: the known, the unknown and the unknowable. The known and the unknown are not different, not very different. They belong to the same category: they are measurable. That is the world of matter. The unknowable is the world of life, consciousness, love, light, truth, God.

It is beautiful, Prem Prabhat, that you say: What is surrender? I used to think I knew. Now it is a mystery.

This is the beginning of real knowing, when all life becomes a mystery, when you come to a state of not knowing at all – agnosia in the words of Dionysius…. Or remember the words of Socrates: I know only one thing, that I know nothing. Or the words of the Upanishads; the Upanishads say: The person who thinks he knows, knows not; the person who knows he knows not, knows.

To enter into the unknowable is the greatest adventure, the greatest ecstasy, but one feels afraid; one feels that one is losing something. You can lose only that which you have not got. Let me repeat. You can lose only that which you have not got. You can never lose that which you have got; there is no way to lose it, that which you have got. If your knowledge has disappeared, that simply means it was not real knowing.

Now is the beginning – Athato Brahma Jigyasa – now begins the enquiry into God.

Surrender is the quantum leap from mind to no-mind, from ego to egolessness. And in a single step the whole journey is contained. It is not a long journey from you to God, it is a single-step journey. It is not a gradual phenomenon; it is not that slowly, slowly, gradually you come to the divine. It is a quantum leap! One moment you were in darkness and the next moment all is light. All that is needed is to put the ego aside.

Zusya, the great Hassid mystic, was dying. His old uncle came to see him and said, “Zusya, have you made peace with God?”

Zusya opened his eyes, laughed, and said, “How many times have I said to you that I have never been in conflict with him? I have never fought with him, so why should I make peace with him? For what? There is no reason for it! I have always been at peace with him.”

Nobody had ever seen him praying – there was no need for him to pray. Nobody had ever seen him going to the synagogue – there was no need for him to go! No one had seen him reading the scriptures – there was no need for him to. He had done the real thing: he had put his ego aside.

And the moment you put the ego aside, the curtain disappears. God is not hidden, only your eyes are closed. Open your eyes!

Surrender means opening your eyes. Surrender means dropping a false idea that “I am separate from the whole.” It is a false idea, so in fact you are not dropping anything.

You are calculating wrongly: you are doing some arithmetic, two plus two is four, but you are putting five. The moment you realize that two plus two is NOT five but four, are you dropping something? Are you renouncing something? Are you losing something? Will you feel that it is a loss? – it was five and now it is only four. No, it is not a loss because it was never five; it was ALWAYS four. When you were thinking it was five, then too it was four. Not even for a single moment was it five. You were in a delusion.

Ego is a hallucination. You are not separate from the whole – trying to be, of course, hence the whole misery. Trying to do something which is not possible, which is impossible, is bound to create misery. Misery is unnatural; it is your invention. Misery does not exist; it is your hallucination. It is a nightmare created by you. It is your great work!

Bliss is natural. Bliss is the very nature of the way things are. Aes Dhammo Sanantano, says Buddha: bliss is the way things are. But you are trying to be something which is not possible: you are trying to be separate, you are trying to be an island, and you belong to the continent, the vast, infinite continent of God or godliness.

Surrender means seeing that “I am not separate” – just SEEING that ”I am not separate.” Nothing is surrendered, nothing is dropped; just a nonsense idea, a dream is no more there because you are awake.

Two young couples had decided to spend their honeymoon at the same hotel. The first morning the two young men came into the hall at the same time and met at the elevator.

One turned to the other and said, “Say, where’s your wife?”

“Oh, she’s in her room, smoking. Where’s yours?”

“Oh, she’s hot too, but she’s not smoking!”

Just a misunderstanding.

An Irishman, on the night that his wife was confined in childbirth, went out a bit prematurely to celebrate the addition to his family, with a few chosen cronies. He did not return home to his family until three o’clock in the morning.

He was barely in the house when the nurse rushed up and uncovered a bundle of blankets, showing the bewildered Irishman triplets. At this very moment the clock struck once, twice, three times.

“One, two, three… sure, an’ I could count ’em myself, small thanks to ye,” Pat addressed the clock solemnly. “An’ one thing more – I’ll be thanking the good God I didn’t come home at twelve!”

Ego is a state of blindness, of drunkenness, of dreaming. Just waking up is surrender. Either wake up and surrender happens, or surrender and you are awake. They are two sides of the same coin.

But the moment you are awake, the whole becomes a mystery. Suddenly all knowledge evaporates like dewdrops in the early morning sun. For the first time your eyes are full of wonder like a child. It IS a second birth! In India we have called the man who comes to know the mystery of existence, dwij – twice-born.

Jesus says to Nicodemus, “Unless you are born again you will not enter into my kingdom of God.” He also says, “Unless you are like a child you will not enter into my kingdom of God.” What does he mean? He simply means that a rebirth is needed. The way you have lived is the way of the ego. You have to drop that whole life-style. You have lived believing that you are separate from the whole.

It is like a leaf on the tree believing that it is separate from the tree, although believing makes no difference in reality – it is still part of the tree. But its belief will create much misery for it because the moment the leaf starts believing “I am separate,” it starts dreaming of separate aspirations of its own. It starts thinking in terms of achieving something. It becomes ambitious; it has to reach some goals. It starts deciding its own goals – which are not possible, because when the wind comes and the whole tree sways and dances, this small leaf wants NOT to dance. Now there is frustration. It HAS to dance with the whole tree.

Hence the proverb: Man proposes and God disposes. God really never disposes. The problem is you, the problem is in you; the problem is in your very proposal. The leaf is proposing that I want to be still, and the whole tree is dancing. Now, it is not possible. The leaf of course will think the leaf proposes and the tree disposes. And then what can the tree do? The tree is part of the earth, of the sky, of the sun. The tree cannot exist without the sun, without the wind, without the rain – it is part of it. What can the tree do? The wind is blowing; it is swaying with the wind. The tree is part of a bigger phenomenon. Everything is part of something bigger. Ultimately we are part of one organic unity; we are rooted in existence.

But our whole effort, our whole education, our whole so-called religion, culture, they all give us the idea that “You are separate.” Even the so-called religion which goes on talking about dropping your ego on the one hand, on the other hand goes on nourishing and feeding your ego. ”Be virtuous and you will be respected,” they say. You will be respected, remember. ”Be virtuous, be knowledgeable, and you will be respected – not only here but even after death, in the other world too. You will go to paradise, to heaven. And those who are not virtuous will fall into hell.” As if we are separate!

Buddha has said: “The moment I became enlightened, the whole existence became enlightened with me.” Now, there is something of tremendous significance in it. What does he mean by this statement? Certainly you are not enlightened, but he is saying, “The moment I became enlightened I came to know that I am not separate. And if I am enlightened, the whole existence is enlightened, because there is no separation anywhere, there is no demarcation. Either the whole is enlightened or I am not enlightened; there is no other possibility.”

And Buddha is right; the same is my experience. I see you all as enlightened – not only you but the trees and the mountains too. The whole existence is enlightened! But man has one privilege: he is free to choose, he is free to believe. He is free to forget who he is, he is also free to remember it.

Think over the word “remembering.” It really means becoming part again of the whole, becoming a member again of the family that existence is: “re-member.” It means that we suddenly learn the language that we had forgotten. It is like a name forgotten: you see somebody on the road, you recognize him, you feel that you know who he is, but you cannot remember his name. You have forgotten, although you can remember this much: that you have known him before. You say, “His name is just on the tip of my tongue.” But if it is on the tip of your tongue, then why is it not coming? You feel absolutely certain; the name is just on the tip of your tongue. And then you try hard: the harder you try, the more difficult it becomes, because whenever you try to do something very hard you become tense, you become closed. Your consciousness becomes narrower and narrower. And it becomes more and more difficult in such tension, in such anxiety, to remember.

Then you drop the whole project, thinking that it is not possible. You forget all about it. You start listening to music or you go into the garden and you sit under a tree, or you start doing something else, sipping tea or talking to somebody… and then suddenly from nowhere the name surfaces.

This is the whole secret of enlightenment: it happens in relaxation, it happens in a deep state of rest. Surrender means relaxing. Ego means tension, carrying a load of anxiety, and unnecessarily.

I have heard that one woman, an old woman, was traveling on a bus, and she was trembling and continuously asking what stop it was.

The stranger sitting by her side said, “Relax, don’t be worried. The conductor will go on announcing what stop it is, and if you are too worried I will call the conductor. You can tell him where you want to get off so he can keep a note of it. And you relax!”

He called the conductor and the woman said, “Please remember. I don’t want to miss my stop. I have to reach somewhere very urgently.”

The conductor said, “Okay, I will make a note of it, although even without your asking I will be announcing it. But I will make a note of it and I will come to you particularly and tell you whenever your stop comes. But you relax. Don’t be so worried about it!”

She was perspiring and trembling and looked so tense. So she said, “Okay, you note it down – the bus terminus.”

Now if it is the bus terminus, why should you worry? How can you miss it? There is no way of missing it!

The moment you rest, the moment you relax, you know that existence is already going, moving, reaching towards higher peaks. And you are part of it. You need not have separate ambitions. You need not think of yourself in terms of a person. You are not a person.

This is surrender: relaxing, resting, dropping all private goals, dropping the whole achieving mind, all the ego projections. And then life is a mystery. Your eyes will be full of wonder; your heart will be full of awe. And to me that is authentic religiousness: wonder and awe. The man who is full of wonder and awe is the only religious person – not the Christians, not the Hindus, not the Mohammedans. They are too full of knowledge; they are too full of rubbish, junk. They are simply repeating scriptures like parrots.

Hindus go on reciting the Gita. Of course, if you go on reciting the Gita you will become acquainted with words, but not with meanings. You can go on repeating them for millions of lives, but the moment of understanding will never come. In fact, the more you repeat, the more mechanical you become. The more you repeat, the more you lose the quality that can bring you closer to awakening. Repetition helps you to fall asleep.

That’s the whole secret of lullabies. Every woman knows it, every mother knows it. She simply sits by the side of the child, tucks him underneath the blanket, and starts a monotonous lullaby – just one line again and again and again. Of course the child falls asleep – he HAS to fall asleep. It is so boring! He wants to escape somewhere and there seems to be no way out, so he escapes into his sleep. The lullaby is the ancient most form of hypnosis.

And there are methods for grown-ups too, for example Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s Transcendental Meditation. It is just a lullaby – a little sophisticated. It is meant for grown-ups, for adults. It is a process of auto-hypnosis. The mother is no more there and your wife certainly is not going to sing a lullaby to you. She can freak out, but she cannot sing a lullaby! She can throw pillows at you, but she cannot sing a lullaby! She will say, “I am not your mother!” And you cannot ask her either, “Please sing a lullaby,” because that will hurt your male chauvinist ego.

So you start repeating a mantra. It has to be in some dead language which you don’t understand – Sanskrit, Arabic, Latin, Greek, Chinese, anything that you don’t understand. If you understand you will not get into it. If you understand, doubts will arise. If I say, “Just repeat ’Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola’,” you will repeat it two or three times, and then you will say, “What nonsense I am doing!” But a Sanskrit mantra is just like “Coca-Cola,” nothing special in it. But you don’t understand so you believe that there must be some secret in it, some great mystery in it, and you go on repeating it. You are singing a lullaby to yourself; soon you will fall into sleep.

Transcendental Meditation and methods such as it have become more important in the West for the simple reason that the West is losing the art of how to fall asleep. People are suffering from sleeplessness more and more; they have to depend on tranquillizers. Transcendental Meditation is a non-medicinal tranquillizer. And nothing is wrong if you know that you are using it as a tranquillizer, but if you think that you are doing something religious then you are stupid. If you think this is going to lead you to meditation you are a fool, an utter fool, just a simpleton.

It is not going to take you into meditation because meditation means awareness. It is taking you towards just the opposite of awareness: it is taking you towards sleep. I am not against sleep – a good sleep is a healthy thing. And I prescribe TM for all those who suffer from sleeplessness, from insomnia. It is perfectly good, but remember that a good sleep has nothing spiritual about it. It is good for the body, it is good for the mind too, but it has nothing to do with the spiritual dimension. The spiritual dimension opens up only when you are awake, fully awake. And the only way to be awake is to drop all sleep and all dreaming.

The ego is the center of all your sleep and all your dreaming. If you can put the ego aside… seeing that it is a false thing, why go on carrying it? – put it aside. In fact, there is no need to put it aside – seeing that it is false; it drops of its own accord. And the moment it drops a tremendous explosion happens in you. For the first time you are awake, fully awake, totally awake. There is no unconscious in you, there is no darkness in you. All becomes light; hence the word “enlightenment.” You are pure light, made of light, eternal light. And when you open your eyes and look at existence, the whole existence is made of light!

This is the only point on which physicists and mystics agree, the only point where science and religion meet. Physicists say matter is made of light – electrons in their jargon; mystics say, in a more simple way, that everything is made of light. This is the only meeting-point, but from this meeting-point much more is possible. It can become the triggering-point for a deep communion between science and religion in the future. It is pregnant with immense possibilities.

But neither the mystics have recognized the point yet nor the physicists. One can forgive the physicists because they exist on a lower level, they exist in the valley. But one cannot forget and forgive the mystics: they are on the top of the hill, they are on the peaks – from there they can have a more inclusive view of things, from there they can see far more; the valley is included in their vision. The physicist may not be able to see the peak. He may be too occupied with material, objective investigations. He may be looking at the earth too much; he may not look at the peak at all. He may even be afraid of the peak.

There is an Arabian saying that camels don’t like to go near the mountains, that’s why they exist in the deserts. Obviously, no camel would like to go to a mountain, because seeing a mountain for the first time he feels utterly humiliated. In the desert HE IS the mountain! Standing by the side of a mountain he is just like an ant, utterly reduced, disgraced. His ego feels hurt.

Man does not want to look at the peaks. That’s why persons like Friedrich Nietzsche say God is dead – not that God is dead, but Nietzsche is an egoist. The very idea that God exists is not acceptable to him, because if God exists then the camel is standing by the side of the Himalayas. Then who is Nietzsche? Then nobody is anybody in particular. Then you have to drop the ego; then you cannot go on carrying it. It becomes utterly futile, foolish. It is better to kill God. Nietzsche is speaking for your egos; he represents your egos.

I have heard that somewhere on the earth there are two graves with two tombstones. On one is written: “God is dead,” signed “Friedrich Nietzsche”; and on the other is written: “Nietzsche is dead,” signed, “God.”

But it is too late: Nietzsche went mad. That is the logical consequence of going to the very end of the ego. He is very representative: he represents the contemporary mind, the twentieth-century mind. He is far more representative of this age than anybody else. One hundred years ahead of you he had said God is dead – and now everybody feels it. You may not say so because you may not have the courage to go to the logical end of your argument, but that’s what is really happening in smaller degrees to everybody; the difference is only of degrees. Nietzsche is a stubborn person: he follows the track to the very end, where the road ends; he goes to the very point where the abyss has to be encountered… and he goes mad.

More and more people are going mad, more and more people are becoming insane, more and more people need psychotherapy. More and more people are just on the brink, for the simple reason that that is ego’s ultimate result: you go insane, you go mad. Surrender’s ultimate result is: you go sane. In fact, for the first time you know what sanity is, what wholeness is, what health is. Your wounds are healed. It is a mystery.

It is a good beginning, Prem Prabhat. Don’t shrink back. Go on moving into the mysterious. It is the mysterious which will melt you, merge you like a river moving into the ocean. It is the mysterious which will transform you and will make your darkness luminous. It is the mysterious which will open your one-thousand-petalled lotus of consciousness. Allow it to happen.

People are very much afraid of the mysterious, because the mysterious means the unknowable – not only the unknown but the unknowable. People are even afraid of the unknown, what to say about the unknowable? The religious person needs guts; it is only for the courageous few. Religion is not for the cowards.

Religion is not a mass phenomenon; it is not for the crowds. The crowds can only be Christians, Hindus, Mohammedans; the crowds can never be religious. Only very courageous people like Jesus, Zarathustra, Lao Tzu, Buddha – only very courageous people can be religious. It is not for the cowards.

Cowards create a pseudo religion for themselves, a toy religion; they go on playing with it. They go every Sunday to the church and they think it is enough – a Sunday religion! The church is not more than a club. A few people go to the Rotary Club, a few people go to the Lions Club, a few people go to the church. It is not very different – it is a social affair. It is something formal. It is good: it functions like a lubricant; it makes you more adjusted to the crowd. The crowd feels good that you belong to it, you feel good that you belong to the crowd. The church is just a meeting-place where you talk sweet nothings – beautiful things, but they are meant only for the church. They don’t change your life; they don’t transform you. In fact, they prevent transformation.

Encountering the mysterious is the beginning of religion, the beginning of God.

You are blessed, Prem Prabhat. Go on. Buddha says: Charaiveti, charaiveti – go on, go on. Never stop, because life is a constant movement, a continuum, a process. It is not a noun, it is a verb.

-Osho

From Guida Spirituale, Chapter 14

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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On Meher Baba and Krishnamurti – Osho

My observation has been this: that Krishnamurti is surrounded by the most egoistic people of this world, and the reason is because there is a safe place – no need to surrender, no need to drop your ego, no need to follow anybody. Your ego feels very strengthened and your ego feels that many rationalisations are given to you. So you protect yourself with those rationalisations.

His compassion is infinite, but it has not worked. My feeling is that if a person is egoless no guru is needed. But this is the paradox of life that the only people who become interested in the teaching that ’no guru is needed’ are the egoists. If a person is an egoist, then the guru is a must. But the egoists never come to a person to surrender. This is the problem, the dilemma. The egoist becomes interested in the teaching of Krishnamurti and the non-egoist becomes interested in the teaching of Meher Baba.

For the non-egoist there is no need for the guru because the whole need consists in cancelling your ego – the guru is nothing but a cancellation of your ego. You surrender unto somebody’s feet and you say ’Now I will listen to you and I will not listen to myself. Now my will is surrendered and your will will be my will. Now even if you tell me to jump into the abyss I will jump without thinking about it. Now I am no more the controller of my life. You will control.’ This is a way, just a way, to drop the ego. If the ego is there, then a guru is a must, because the guru is just a device. If the ego is not there, then the guru is not needed at all. When you are ill, the medicine is needed. When you are not ill, the medicine is not needed at all.

Krishnamurti is talking to ill people and telling them that the medicine is not needed. And only those people who are afraid of taking the medicine come to him, and they are the people who are most in need of medicine. If the people who surrounded Meher Baba were with Krishnamurti there would be no trouble – much would happen. But they never go to Krishnamurti, they go to Meher Baba. They are egoless people, they can surrender. And the people who are surrounding Krishnamurti, had they gone to Meher Baba would have been tremendously benefited… but they never go. This is how life is – a dilemma: the ill avoid the doctor and the healthy go to the doctor.

-Osho

Excerpt from Tao: The Pathless Path, V.1, Chapter 12, Q4

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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Deeksha Is My Device – Osho

You want us to be individuals, but during work in the ashram we have to be very disciplined. Discipline and individualism—are they not diametrically opposite?

I would like you to be individuals, but not individualists. And there is a great difference. The individualist is not an individual yet. The individualist who believes in individualism is only an egoist. And to be an egoist is not to be an individual. Just the contrary: the individual has no ego, and the ego has no individuality.

The ego is such an ordinary phenomenon — everybody has it! There is nothing special about it, there is nothing unique about it. Everybody has the ego. It is so common! The uncommon thing is egolessness.

Only an egoless consciousness attains to individuality. And by individuality I simply mean the literal meaning of the word: individual means indivisible, individual means integrated; individual means one who is not many, who is not a crowd, who is not multi-psychic; one who has attained to unity, one who has become a crystallized being. Gurdjieff uses the word ‘crystallization’ for individuality. But the basic requirement for crystallization is to drop the ego, because ego is a false entity. It won’t allow you to be real; it won’t allow you to be authentically real. It won’t allow you to grow. It is false, it is a deception, it is an illusion. You are not separate from existence, but the ego goes on pretending separation.

And the other word that you have used in the question also has to be understood: discipline. Discipline does not mean anything imposed upon you. Nothing is imposed in this commune. If you enter this commune it is at your own choice. The doors are open — you can leave any moment. In fact, entry is difficult and we make every possible effort to help you to leave. Nobody is hindered from leaving, although every possible effort is made to hinder you from entering. Entry is very difficult.

If you choose to become part of this commune it is your decision — your readiness to commit yourself, to be involved.

Out of this decision a discipline arises. You can choose to get out of the commune, but once you are in the commune it means that you have taken a responsibility. And it is only through responsibility that one grows. By fulfilling one’s responsibility totally, growth becomes possible.

There are a few people here, only a few, who go on trying to deceive the commune. They are simply befooling themselves; nobody is befooled! They don’t want to work; they try to avoid it in every possible way. They find excuses, they even fall ill just to avoid work. But this is so stupid! You have entered the commune to work upon yourself. You have entered the commune to make a concentrated effort to become an integrated individual. You have entered the commune for your spiritual growth, for enlightenment. And if you avoid…and that seems to be the real question behind the apparent question.

You say, “Individualism and discipline — are they not diametrically opposite?”

They are not! An individual is always a disciplined phenomenon. One who is not disciplined is not an individual; he is just a chaos, he is many fragments. All those fragments are functioning separately, even in opposition to each other. That’s how people are ordinarily: one part of the mind going to the south, another part going to the north; one part saying one thing, another part opposing it. You know it! I am simply stating a fact — you can observe it. One part says “Do this.” Another part immediately says “No!” Something says “Yes,” and something immediately destroys it by saying “No.”

This is your situation! You are not an individual in such a situation, when you cannot even say a total yes or a total no? Your no is always halfhearted and your yes too — and you think you are an individual?

An individual means one who can function as a totality, as an organic unity. How are you going to become an organic unity? It can only be through conscious discipline.

That’s what Buddha is saying again and again: perseverance, effort, a conscious, deliberate effort to grow — and total effort, not lukewarm. You have to boil at a hundred degrees. Yes, sometimes it is painful, but it all depends on you, on how you interpret it. If you really want to grow it is not painful — it is tremendously pleasant. Each step deeper into discipline brings more and more joy, because it gives you more and more soul, being.

Discipline means readiness to learn; hence the word ‘disciple’, they come from the same root. Who is a disciple? — One who bows down, surrenders, and is ready to learn. And what is discipline? — The readiness, the openness, the vulnerability, to learn.

Entering into this commune you are entering into a buddhafield. It is a surrender, it is a trust! I am here to make you individuals, but you will have to pass through many, many devices. Many fires you will have to pass through, many tests. Only then, slowly, slowly, will you be welded into one unity. And you have remained a multiplicity for so long, for so many lives, that unless concentrated effort is made, unless you are attacked from every nook and corner, unless your sleep is broken in every possible way, you are shaken and shocked, the individual is not going to be born.

The work that is happening in the commune is not really what it appears from the surface. It is something else — it is a device! We have to use devices.

Somebody comes to me and wants to become part of the commune, and I say to him, “Go to Deeksha.” Deeksha is my device! I have given her total power — and I have given her total power because she is so loving, so soft, so caring. She wounds people, but she heals also. By one hand she hammers, by the other she consoles. She is a device.

And when I say to you, “Go and work with Deeksha,” and she shouts at you and in every possible way she provokes you, it is discipline to watch — not to act in your old ways, as you have always acted. And she is so motherly that it is very simple to react to her as you have been reacting to your own parents. It is very simple that she will create a reaction in you that your mother creates in you. Mothers are intolerable creatures — and Deeksha is a perfect mother!

I know, it is difficult — but growth is difficult. Many more devices are going to be created. You will be sent to many dimensions. No corner of your being has to be left undeveloped, otherwise you will become lopsided.

And the first principle of discipline is surrender. Apparently it looks contradictory, because that’s what you have been told: that if you surrender, then you are no longer an individual. And I say to you, if you cannot surrender you are not an individual. Only an individual can surrender. Surrender is such a great phenomenon, only a man of great will can surrender. It is the ultimate in will. To drop your will is bound to be the ultimate in will. To put yourself aside, absolutely aside, and to say to something such a total yes — which your mind resists, your old habits resist….

And sometimes you are right — and that’s where the whole beauty lies. You are right, and still you have to surrender to something which does not appear at all right logically.

Deeksha is crazy! You may be far more intellectual, far more rational — but you have to surrender to Deeksha. Her craziness is her quality — that’s why I have chosen her. I have got many more rational people: I could have chosen a Ph.D. who would have convinced you that he is right. But when you are convinced and you follow, it is not surrender. When you are not convinced at all, you see the apparent stupidity of a certain thing, and still you surrender, that is a great step, a great step of getting out of your past.

This commune is a lab, this commune is an alchemical process. You come here as a crowd and I have to weld you into unity. Much hammering is going to happen, and you will come out of this whole process as pure individuals.

Discipline is the way to create individuality. But remember: to be an individual is not to be an individualist. Individualism is an ego trip. And the people who believe in individualism are not individuals, remember — remember well. Deep down they know they are not individuals, hence they create a facade of philosophy, of logic, of argument, because deep down they don’t feel they are individuals. They pretend on the outside that they are individuals — they believe in individualism. Believing in individualism is not becoming an individual. Belief is always false.

When you are an individual you need not believe in individualism. When it is a truth of your being, belief is not needed. Belief is needed only to cover things: you don’t know about God and you believe in God. The believer is an atheist. He may be a Christian, a Hindu, a Mohammedan, a Buddhist, it doesn’t matter: a believer is an atheist. He does not know about God, and still he believes. That means he is even trying to deceive God! He is a hypocrite, he is a parrot. […] The believer is a parrot. The believer knows nothing. The believer is an atheist in disguise. He is trying to befool himself, the world and even God.

The man who believes in individualism is not an individual. The man who is really an individual need not believe — he knows it, so what is the point of believing? Belief is always needed in ignorance, and individualism is a belief. To be an individual is an experience! Individualism is very cheap, but to be an individual needs arduous discipline. It needs great perseverance, work, watchfulness. It comes only out of years of effort in awareness, in meditation.

And whatsoever is happening here in this commune is nothing but different ways to introduce you to meditation. In the kitchen, in the carpentry shop, in the soap workshop, in the boutique — whatsoever is happening, apparently it looks as if it is the same ordinary thing as happens everywhere else. It is not. If you go and see the carpenters working, of course they go on working like any other carpenters anywhere else — but with a different quality. That quality cannot be seen. You will have to become a participant, only then will you slowly feel it. That quality is of trust, love.

My sannyasins are here because they love me, for no other reason. They are simply here with me to be here with me. For the sake of being here with me they are ready to do anything. But whatsoever they are doing is only the outer part. You will see the body of the work but you will not be able to see the spirit of the work. For that you will have to become a participant.

And, it seems that you are still a spectator. Maybe you are working in the commune, but still you have not become a participant — otherwise such a question would have been impossible.

-Osho

Excerpt from The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Volume 1, Chapter Six  

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

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We Surrender the Wrong Thing – Osho

I love to hear you call us your friends. Why is it both exciting and challenging?

It has many implications.

It was twenty-five centuries ago that Gautam Buddha said as a departing message to his disciples before he died: “I will come back after twenty-five centuries. My name will be Maitreya.”

Maitreya means the friend. And why should it be the name of Buddha? – Because the spiritual evolution of man has passed through many stages. Its ultimate stage is where the master and the disciple should be just friends… because the whole idea of the master and the disciple is based on a subtle spiritual slavery. The disciple surrenders. The master provides all kinds of devices so that the disciple disappears as an ego. But there are dangers.

The danger is – and it is not only theoretical; the danger is very practical, and it has happened almost all over the world throughout the centuries – that instead of the ego disappearing, the individual disappears and the ego remains. Instead of disappearing, it becomes very subtle; it becomes holy, it becomes religious, it becomes spiritual.

The individual disappears in surrender – and that was not the purpose. The individual has to become more individual, more independent, more himself. The ego has to disappear – it is a false entity deceiving everybody as your true self. And unless the false is discredited, the true cannot appear.

In the death of the false is the beginning of the true. Surrender is simply a device so that the ego can be dropped and you can become yourself. But this is the trouble, that with humanity you cannot be very predictable. There is almost a possibility that everything will fail, so deep is the ignorance of man, so deceptive is his own mind. And he is so caught up with his own chains that he thinks they are ornaments; he does not want to throw them. They have been with him so long that he has become identified with them.

Man has forgotten who he truly is. He has almost become auto-hypnotized with a certain idea about himself, and he carries that idea his whole life without knowing that it is not he but only his shadow. And you cannot fulfill your shadow. A shadow is non-existential – you cannot make anything out of it. Your effort will simply destroy your whole life; hence the device of surrender.

But again man’s ignorance is there: he surrenders, but he surrenders the wrong thing. He saves the ego, which was to be surrendered, and he surrenders the individuality, which was to be saved. And he starts feeling himself to be a spiritual being just by becoming a disciple, an initiate. And if by chance he has come across a great master, he starts projecting himself as a great disciple of a great master.

Gautam Buddha’s whole life’s experience was that finally the device of surrender has to be dropped, because in the majority of cases it has not been of any help, it has been a hindrance. This was his whole life’s experience – seeing people changing the color of their ego. From a worldly ego it becomes an otherworldly ego; from a materialistic ego it becomes a spiritualistic ego – which is far more dangerous. The first one was very gross; it was easy to see it and to catch hold of it. The second is more difficult because it is more subtle, it will elude you.

Hence Buddha’s last message was: “When I come back again, I will come not as a master to you, and you will not be a disciple to me; I will come as a friend. And you have to rise to the standard of being a friend of a Buddha.” A great challenge to the whole tradition of initiation, to the whole relationship of master and disciplehood. He could see that it has helped once in a while but in most cases it has blocked people’s growth.

And we can see that he was right. There are millions of people in the world who think they are religious, they are spiritual, they are saints, they are great spiritual beings. All that is nothing but feeding the ego. They have gone far away from their real being.

One thing is to be remembered: Gautam Buddha cannot come back. He has said, “I will be coming back.” That’s purely symbolic – he cannot come back. A man of that stature, a being who has reached to the ultimate experience of existence cannot come back; it is just not possible in the very nature of things. He cannot take another form, another body. He cannot be born again in the womb of a mother; he cannot become again flesh and bones. Once you have reached the state of being where you realize yourself as pure consciousness, it is no longer possible for you to be born again.

So when Buddha says, “Next time when I come back…” it has to be understood only symbolically. All the Buddhists of the world have been waiting – they are waiting unnecessarily. They will never find Gautam Buddha back in the body again. And if they can find him back in the body again, then he was not a real Buddha in the first place. This is the dilemma: he can be born again only if he was not a Buddha, if he was not yet awakened.

Once you are awakened, you cannot dream again; you can dream only in sleep. You cannot dream again – and all our lives are just dreams and we are fast asleep.

The Buddhists have missed the symbolic meaning. When Gautam Buddha said, “When I will be coming back,” he simply meant the next time when there is an awakened man – and the quality of two awakened men doesn’t differ. There is not even a bit of difference. So he is perfectly right in saying, “I will come back.”

In fact, each time a man is awakened, Buddha will be coming back in this sense – that it is the same consciousness again. Again the same flower has blossomed, and the same fragrance and the same message! He sees it, that within twenty-five centuries man will be capable of taking the Buddha as a friend.

It is a great challenge, because when you accept the Buddha as a friend, there are two possibilities: either you have to pull the Buddha down to the state where you are, or you have to rise to the state where the Buddha is. The challenge is that you cannot pull the Buddha back down to the state where you are; that is simply impossible. You cannot in any way bring him down to the darkness and to the depth and to the blindness where you live. You will have to rise to his sunlit peaks. It is a tremendous challenge.

And in rising to become capable of really being a friend of the awakened one, you will have to drop many things on the way – those same things which were expected to be dropped by surrender. You will have to drop all kinds of burdens. The higher you go, the less burdened you will have to be. At the highest peak of consciousness you reach just naked, like an innocent child – not even with clothes. Even that is too much of a burden.

I have called you my friends… the same challenge.

And exactly after twenty-five centuries, Gautam Buddha is not back in one sense, but is back in another sense. Whenever, wherever anybody becomes awakened, it is the same taste, the same sweetness, the same joy, the same bliss, the same silence.

Can you tell any difference between the light of two candles? Light is simply light – to which candle it belongs is immaterial. Its function is to destroy darkness – that’s the only meaning of light.

So whoever becomes light has now the responsibility to raise humanity from the old, traditional way of surrendering to a master, because that has created many kinds of spiritual slaveries around the world. It has not enlightened man, it has darkened his soul.

The very effort of becoming a friend… and something starts changing in you, because you are trying to reach the moon. The moon cannot come to you, but you can reach the moon. The moon can give the invitation. The moon can call your very being – provoke you, challenge you, inspire you – but it cannot come to you. You have to travel the whole path.

And it is easier and it is simpler when the master is a friend, because now between you and the master the relationship is of love.

Friendship is the purest love.

It is the highest form of love where nothing is asked for, no condition, where one simply enjoys giving. One gets much – but that is secondary, and that happens of its own accord.

To create a state of love between the master and the disciple means we are avoiding the device of surrender; instead we are making the disciple responsible. Surrender becomes, in most of the cases, an irresponsibility… because the disciple thinks, “I have surrendered to the master – now it is his responsibility to change me, to transform me, to take me to the heights where he belongs.” He starts thinking in terms of the master as the savior, that “I have found the savior; now I will believe and have faith in him and he is to save me.”

That’s what all the religions of the world are doing. They have found the savior, and they have dropped all their responsibility. Now it is the duty of Jesus or Krishna or Buddha to take you in their arms and carry you into the highest state of being.

Now, this is not possible. Nobody can take you to the ultimate; you will have to go on your own, alone. The master’s function is not to save you: his function is to show you the path. You have to save yourself.

Except for you there is no one who can become your savior.

People have never thought about it: The moment you think somebody else can save you, you are becoming dependent on somebody else. And dependence is not the right way to reach to the high peaks of consciousness, independence – total independence – freedom. You are cutting your wings with your own hands, and now you will not be able to fly to the moon.

The moment you think of your master as a friend, you save him from the responsibility of being your savior, and you save yourself by becoming responsible, by taking the whole path – its difficulties, its beauties, its anguishes and its ecstasies… accepting everything with tremendous responsibility.

You are alone, and alone you have to seek and search. And only in your ultimate aloneness will you find it. The master can only show you the path. He is only a finger pointing to the moon. He is certainly a great friend because what he is indicating to you is the greatest bliss in life.

Existence moves in two ways. One is the horizontal way, like a straight line moving from A to B, from B to C, up to X Y Z. You start becoming more and more alive.

Perhaps at point A you were just a stone. Yes, there is some kind of life in the rocks too, because they grow. The Himalayas are still growing higher, every year one foot. They are still young and still full of energy to go higher. They are the highest mountains in the world – seem to be inexhaustible in energy, as if they want to touch the stars.

I was born near a mountain which is the oldest mountain in the world, Vindhyachal. It came out of the ocean at the very beginning – the first mountain in the world. It is the oldest; ancient… it has stopped growing for millions of years. It is so old that there is a beautiful story about it.

One great sage was going to deliver his message towards the south – Vindhyachal is just in the middle of India – and for the old sage to cross the mountain was really difficult. Seeing the difficulty of the old sage, Vindhyachal bent down, just as if somebody were touching your feet, and allowed the way to the sage. And the sage said, “Remain as you are, because I will have to come back again, and by that time I will be even older. So please wait for me!” But the sage never came back; he died in the south, so Vindhyachal is still bent.

I have been to the place where the sage went; it is still bent like an old man. But it is the most ancient; nothing grows, it has come to a full stop. But it did grow sometime in the past.

The Himalayas are the newest mountains, the latest mountains in the world to have come out of the ocean. They are still growing, becoming higher and higher. Even rocks grow, so don’t think they don’t have life; but the life is very dormant, very deeply asleep – not even a dream, just darkness and deep sleep. But it is still life, maybe the most primitive – at point “A” of a horizontal line.

So there in the horizontal line is man. And there are men ahead of you, but they are not higher than you. There is Albert Einstein – he is ahead of you, you may perhaps be miles back, but it is the same line… a linear progress. The difference between you and him may be miles, but it is the same road. Even if somebody reaches the very end of the line, reaches Z, then too he becomes at the most Zorba the Greek.

I have loved the name “Zorba the Greek” for so many reasons. One is because Z is the last letter in the alphabet. He is the Z; he is the end of the line. He is more alive than any man, but his aliveness does not make him higher than you. His aliveness is more like a wild animal – innocent but ignorant; full of energy, vitality, but blind, with no eyes to see. Yes, he can dance, but his dance will not have anything of divineness in it. It will be tremendously powerful but it will remain earthly.

The horizontal line moves on the earth. You can become at the most Zorba the Greek, but your unconsciousness will still be your life; you will still be groping in darkness. You will still be unaware that there is another dimension also – the vertical dimension.

The vertical dimension moves from A to a higher A. It goes on moving higher, but it remains the same energy, A becoming purified, becoming more conscious, becoming more alert; ultimately becoming fully conscious. It does not move from A to B, from B to C; it simply moves from A1 to A2, to A3, to A4. At point A4 something happens that we call the awakened one.

Life moving horizontally remains simply life; life moving vertically becomes consciousness.

It becomes consciousness, it becomes a new phenomenon. Horizontal life always has a goal to it, it is goal-oriented. When you are at B, your eyes are focused on C. When you are at point B, you are not there at all; either you are thinking of point A that you have left behind – your past, all your yesterdays, your memories – or you are projecting into the future: B, C, E… up to Z, a whole long line of goals.

Your mind is either in the yesterdays or in the tomorrows, but it is never here-now. You are never where you are; you are always somewhere else, where you are not.

This is the whole tension of the human mind, that it is always absent where it is actually present, and it is present where it is not actually present – and cannot ever be present in any possible way.

If you are at point B, you are at point B: you can only think of C, you can imagine it. You can have memories of the past and you can have imaginations of the future – but you are in the present.

The vertical line moves from the present. First you have to be here-now. Wherever you are, you have to be exactly there – no memories, no imagination – and suddenly there is a transformation, because when there is no memory, no imagination, all your energy is accumulated in this small moment. And this moment is so small, it cannot contain it. That’s what brings transformation.

It brings an explosion, like an atomic explosion. The present moment explodes: suddenly life becomes consciousness. You start moving upwards, from consciousness to superconsciousness, from superconsciousness to the collective superconsciousness, from the collective superconsciousness to cosmic superconsciousness. And that is A4: cosmic superconsciousness is the state of the awakened person, the Buddha.

To be the friend of the awakened master means to transform the very quality of your life, to change its dimension from the horizontal to the vertical. It is a beginning of living in the moment – suddenly you will find Buddha is not so far away, he is just very close to you – only three steps, and he is the fourth.

In the East we have called that state “the fourth.” We have not given it any name; we have given it a number, not a name. We have called it turiya; turiya means the fourth. This is the only experience which has not been given a meaningful name but only a number. It is significant.

Why did they give it a number? – Because no word can explain it. It is such a mysterious experience that all words fail, all explanations become meaningless. Nothing can be said about it; only silence can give you a taste of it. Hence no specific name has been given to it, but only a number to indicate that in this world names cannot enter.

Wherever you are on the horizontal line, there are millions of things ahead of you to achieve, and whatever you can achieve, still there will be millions of things to achieve. So everybody remains a beggar – everybody without exception. Wherever he is, he remains a beggar, for the simple reason that he is never fulfilled. There is much more that is ahead of him, there is much more that others have.

Even the greatest king, even the greatest rich man, even the greatest, most knowledgeable person cannot claim everything because there are millions of things. The king may be the greatest king, he may be Alexander the Great, but in many things he is a poor man.

When Alexander the Great met Diogenes, a naked sage – just looking at Diogenes, he felt jealous. Alexander the Great, who has conquered the whole known world, feels jealous of a naked man, for the simple reason that that naked man seems so contented, such a peace surrounds him! He has nowhere to go, he has nothing – and yet it seems he has everything. And Alexander cannot forget Diogenes – he remembers Diogenes again and again.

He cannot forget, because that man was far richer, and there is no way… you can conquer the whole world but you cannot become Diogenes. And Diogenes laughed when Alexander met with him, and he told him, “You are unnecessarily feeling jealous, because whatever I have got, you can have it – just drop this race of conquering the world. You will die exhausted, spent, and you will die a beggar.”

And Alexander died when he was only thirty-three – spent, because continuously fighting; he burned himself out too quickly. And the day he died – because he remembered Diogenes saying, “You will die a beggar” – he told his prime minister and his generals, ”This is my last will, and take care that it should be fulfilled. My hands should be hanging out of the casket. When you carry my dead body to the graveyard, my hands should be hanging out.”

“But,” they said, “This is not done! A strange kind of thing you are asking. And people will ask us, ‘Why are his hands hanging out?’ – Because it has never been done before. What are we going to say to them?”

Alexander said, “Tell them that my hands are empty. I came with empty hands and I am going with empty hands – I am dying a beggar. Diogenes was right. Let the whole world know that I spent myself, burned myself out, unnecessarily rushing after shadows.”

Yes, he became a world conqueror but he could not have even the peace and the silence of a naked beggar who had nothing. Gautam Buddha at least used to have a begging bowl….

Diogenes also had a begging bowl, but one day he was rushing to the river – he was feeling thirsty – with his begging bowl, to fill it with water and drink it. Just by his side a dog was running; it got there before Diogenes and started drinking directly from the river.

Diogenes said, “My God, this dog is far ahead of me! He does not even need a begging bowl; he has defeated me – I am finished with my begging bowl!” He dropped the begging bowl in the river and started drinking water the way the dog was drinking. That was his last possession; after that he never possessed anything.

A man who had nothing in the world, not even a begging bowl – which a beggar is allowed to have – still he made emperors jealous. Just looking at his eyes, just the light in his eyes… the very sparkle of the man was stunning. The silence of the man and his small statements, but with such great meaning….

Alexander, leaving him, asked, “Can I do anything for you? I am really impressed; I have never come across a man like you. I would love to do something; you say anything and it will be done.” And Diogenes said, “Just stand to one side because I am taking a sunbath and you are blocking my sun.”

Diogenes was sitting on a bank in the sands, naked, taking a sunbath. And he said, “It would be very kind of you if you can just stand a little to one side – that’s more than enough. What else do I need? I have got everything.”

The man who says, “I have got everything,” is not speaking of the things of this world – because

Diogenes had nothing of this world. He is speaking of another dimension, of another richness, of another kingdom: he is talking about “the fourth.” He is talking about a vertical growth.

To be a friend of the awakened master is a great challenge. But the distance is not far; you have just to change your dimension. If you go on moving on the horizontal line, then you will be moving farther and farther away from the master and his state of mind, his consciousness. To be a friend you have to turn and become vertical-just the way a tree grows: vertical, higher – not flowing like a river, which is horizontal.

Every person has the potential at every moment to change the dimension of his life. It is simply a decision, a commitment – not to anyone else but to your own self. It is just a decision: that “I have accepted the master, the awakened being, as my friend – now I have to prove it.” Nobody else can do it for you, only you will have to prove it.

It is certainly a most exciting experience… to come closer and closer to the master’s being, and to come to the experience of the fourth state of consciousness. Then suddenly all the mysteries of existence are available to you. All the questions disappear. Then suddenly you are the answer.

There is no question mark, there is no quest; you are not going anywhere anymore – you have arrived. It was so close; it was within you – and you have been carrying it all along for many, many lives; you had just never looked at it. It was your treasure, and it was for you only. It has been waiting for many lives within you. It will wait for eternity because nobody else can claim it.

Any moment it is yours – you have just to decide to turn from the goal-oriented, ambitious world where you are always looking for more and more. And you are capable of getting more and more, but your dissatisfaction remains, your desire for more continues. There never comes a point when you can say that now the desire for more has disappeared. The more you have, the more you want; the desire goes on growing more.

An ancient parable is that a king had a masseur, a poor man, who used to come to massage the king every day; he was the best masseur in the capital. He used to get just one gold coin every day, and that was more than enough. He lived like the richest man in the world. In those days, a gold coin every day… no care for tomorrow. He was the happiest man, the king never found him sad – and the king was always sad because there were so many problems and no way to solve them, and they were continuously increasing, and the enemies and the wars… problems upon problems.

And this man had nothing but… he gets only one coin every morning, and that’s all. And he does not go anywhere else – his work is finished in the morning, then the whole day he enjoys. He used to play on the flute – he used to live just in front of the king’s palace in a small hut. In the middle of the night when the king was overburdened with all his worries, the masseur would be playing on his flute. In the full-moon night when everything was beautiful, the king was just anxiety and nothing else.

He was very jealous of this masseur, because this poor man got only one coin every day from him and he was enjoying life like a king; and the king could not even enjoy life like the masseur.

He asked his prime minister, who was a wise old man, “What is the secret? I can’t understand why he is so joyful, always singing, playing the flute, and always happy. And whenever he comes I have never seen any sadness in the man, not even the shadow of it.”

The prime minister said, “You wait just a few days.” In the night the prime minister threw a bag full of ninety-nine gold coins into the masseur’s house.

In the morning, when he was getting up and getting ready to go to the king, the masseur found the bag. He was puzzled. He counted the coins and he said, “My God, ninety-nine coins! What am I going to do with so many coins? – one is more than enough.”

But he became worried. That day he was not so happy as every other day. The king said, “What is the matter?”

He said, “Nothing; it is just that I have got into trouble. Somebody has thrown a bag of ninety-nine coins into my house, and since I counted those coins in that bag my whole life is destroyed. It is just this morning that my whole life has been ruined, because I am worried. I have never been worried.”

The king said, “But why should you be worried?”

He said, “I am worried because I am thinking that it will be good now to save one coin today; I am going to try to make one hundred exactly. Today I am going to remain hungry because I cannot eat, I cannot purchase my food. And today you will not be listening to my flute because a hungry man cannot play on the flute. And the idea persists, that it will be good to make the number exactly one hundred.” And since that day the man was a different man.

The old prime minister told the king, “Now do you know the secret? Up to now he had no desire for more; now there is a problem. When he has one hundred he will think that now if he can save one more, he will have one hundred and one. And now he is in a vicious circle; he will never be out of it. Those ninety-nine coins have destroyed his whole life; he will remain miserable. Now you will see him every day becoming more and more miserable.”

The world of “more” is the world of the ordinary man. The world of not going after the more, not going after any goal ahead of you but just looking in the moment where you are, who you are, and taking a plunge into the presentness of your consciousness – this is the only revolution, and the only religion, and the only spirituality there is. And it is so close, only three steps. And it all depends on you.

To be the friend of the master means you have accepted the challenge: that you will rise above yourself, and you will go on rising until you reach the point where you are synonymous with the consciousness of the master. Only then is the pilgrimage of the friendship with the awakened one fulfilled.

It is the greatest challenge, but once accepted, it brings you to the greatest blessing possible to human beings.

I would love not to be your master, but just to be your friend, and give you the challenge. I cannot come to the valley of darkness, but you can come to the world of stars and light.

I can call you, invite you, challenge you, provoke you. I can show you the way – but you will have to walk. Nobody else can walk on your behalf. And that’s what for centuries we have been hoping: somebody else will do it for us. That’s why it has not happened; it has happened only to a few people who have walked themselves. The whole humanity has remained in misery because they have been waiting for the savior to come.

The savior never comes. He is always there at the sunlit peaks, calling. It is not the same person always; the person goes on changing, but there is always someone on the sunlit peaks calling you forth. It is the same voice. The face may be different, the body may be different, but it is the same source. All the Buddhas are the same; their message is the same, their mission is the same. Their language may differ but their indications are always to the same path.

Move from the past and the future to the present. Bring your whole energy to the present moment; and the present moment is so small that you need not do anything else – just that much energy in that small moment is bound to explode. That explosion becomes light, and you are suddenly moved one step ahead, from conscious to superconscious. Then you know – because it is the same step and it is the same movement.

If you have taken one step…. The ancient sages of China have a proverb: “One step is half the journey” – because if you have taken one step, the journey is finished really, because you know now the secret of how this one step has been taken. Now go on gathering your energies more and more in the present, again and again, and there will be bigger explosions.

The fourth explosion and you are no more – and you are for the first time, both together. You are no more as an ego, and you are for the first time as an individual. You are no longer a separate personality in existence; you are no longer a dewdrop, you are the whole ocean. And each step is such a joy that the very joy goes on taking you further and further. Only the first step is difficult; then there is nothing difficult. You have the master key in your hands.

-Osho

From Light on the Path, Chapter Nine

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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Path of Will or Path of Surrender? – Osho

Osho, last night you spoke about witnessing as a method; other times I have heard you speak about becoming a thing totally, being totally involved in any given situation. Usually I am at a loss as to which of these two to follow: Whether to stand back and witness in a detached way or become something totally – for example, when there is anger or love or sadness. Are these not two opposite paths? Are they both for different kinds of situations or for different types of people? When should one do which?

There are two basic paths – only two. One is of surrendering and another is of willing: the path of surrender and the path of will. They are diametrically opposite as far as going through them is concerned. But they reach to the same goal; they reach to the same realization. So we have to understand a little more in detail.

The path of will starts with your witnessing Self. It is not concerned with your ego directly – only indirectly. To start witnessing, to be aware of your acts, is directly concerned with awakening your inner Self. If the inner Self is awakened, the ego disappears as a consequence. You are not to do anything with the ego directly. They cannot both exist simultaneously. If your Self is awakened, the ego will disappear. The path of will tries to awaken the inner center directly. Many, many methods are used. How to awaken the Self? We will discuss that.

The path of surrender is directly concerned with the ego, not with the Self. When the ego disappears, the inner Self is awakened automatically. The path of surrender is concerned with the ego immediately, directly. You are not to do anything to awaken your inner Self. You are just to surrender your ego. The moment ego is surrendered; you are left with your inner Self awakened.

Of course, these both will work in opposite directions, because one will be concerned with ego and one will be concerned with Self. Their methods, their techniques, will be opposite – and no one can follow both. There is no need to and that is impossible also. Everyone has to choose.

If you choose the path of will, then you are left alone to work upon yourself. It is an arduous thing. One has to struggle – to fight – to fight with old habits which create sleep. Then the only fight is against sleep, and the only ambition is for a deep awakening inside. Those who follow will, they know only one sin, and that sin is spiritual sleepiness.

Many are the techniques. I have discussed some. For example, Gurdjieff used a Sufi exercise. Sufis call it “halt”. For example, you are sitting here, and if you are practising the exercise of “halt” it means total halt. Whenever the teacher says “Stop!” or ”Halt!” then you have to stop totally whatsoever you are doing. If your eyes are open, then stop them there and then. Now you cannot close them.

If your hand is raised, let it be there. Whatsoever your position and gesture, just be frozen in it. No movements! Halt totally! Try this, and suddenly you will have an inner awakening – a feeling. Suddenly you will become aware of your own frozenness.

The whole body is frozen, you have become a solid stone, you are like a statue. But if you go on deceiving yourself, then you have fallen into sleep. You can deceive yourself. You can say, “Who is seeing me? I can close my eyes. They are becoming painful.” You can deceive yourself – then you have fallen into sleep. No – deception is sleep. Don’t deceive yourself, because no one else is concerned. It is up to you. If you can be frozen for a single moment you will begin to see yourself as different, and your center will become aware of your frozen body.

There are other ways. For example, Mahavir and his tradition have used fasting as a method to awaken the Self. If you fast, the body begins to demand, the body begins to overpower you. Mahavir has said, “Just witness – don’t do anything. You feel hungry, so feel hungry. The body asks for food – be a witness to it, don’t do anything. Just be a witness to whatsoever is happening.” And it is a deep thing.

There are only two deep things in the body – sex and food. Nothing is more than these two, because food is needed for individual survival and sex is needed for race survival. Both are survival mechanisms. The individual cannot survive without food and the race cannot survive without sex. So sex is food for the race and food is sex for the individual. These are the deepest things because they are concerned with your survival – the most basic things. You will die without them.

So if you are fasting and just witnessing, then you have touched the deepest sleep. And if you can witness without being identified or bothered – the body is suffering, the body is hungry, the body is demanding and you are just witnessing – suddenly the body will be different. There will be a discontinuity between you and the body; there will be a gap.

Fasting has been used by Mahavir. Mohammedans have used vigilance in the night – no sleep!

Don’t sleep for a week and then you will know how sleepy the whole being becomes, how difficult it is to maintain this vigilance. But if one persists, suddenly a moment comes when the body and you are torn apart. Then you can see that the body needs sleep – it is not your need.

Many are the methods to work directly to create more awareness in yourself, to bring yourself above your so-called sleepy existence. No surrender is needed. Rather, one has to fight against surrender. No surrender is needed, because this is a path of struggle not of surrender. Because of this path, Mahavir was given the name “Mahavir”. “Mahavir” means “the great warrior”. This was not his name. His name was Vardhaman. He was called Mahavir because he was a great warrior as far as this inner struggle is concerned. He had no Guru, no Master, because it is a lonely path. Even to take somebody’s help is not good – it may become your sleep.

There is a story: Mahavir was fasting and remaining silent for years together. In a certain village some mischievous people were disturbing him, harassing him, and he was on a vow of silence.

He was beaten so many times because he would not speak and he remained naked – completely naked. So the villagers were at a loss to understand who he was. And he would not speak! And moreover he was naked! So from one village to another village he would be thrown out, made to leave the village.

The story says Indra, the King of gods, came to him and said to Mahavir, “I can defend you. It has become so painful. You are being beaten unnecessarily, so just allow me to defend you.”

Mahavir rejected the help. Later on, when he was asked why he rejected the help, he said, “This path of will is a lonely path. You cannot even have a helper with you because then the struggle loosens. Then the struggle becomes partial. Then you can depend on someone else, and wherever there is dependence sleep comes in. One has to be totally independent; only then can one be awake.

This is one path, one basic attitude.

All these methods of witnessing belong to this path. So when I say, “Be a witness.” it is meant for those who are travellers on the path of will.

Quite the opposite is the method of surrender. Surrender is concerned with your ego, not with your Self. In surrender you have to give up yourself. Of course, you cannot give the Self; that is impossible.

Whatsoever you can give is bound to be your ego. Only the ego can be given – because it is just incidental to you. It is not even a part of your being, just something added. It is a possession. Of course, the possessor has also become possessed by it. But it is a possession, it is a property – it is not you.

The path of surrender says, “Surrender your ego to the Teacher, to the Divine, to a Buddha.” When someone comes to Buddha and says, “Buddham Sharanam Gauchhami” – I take shelter at your feet. I surrender myself at Buddha’s feet,” what is he doing? The Self cannot be surrendered, so leave it out. Whatsoever you can surrender is your ego. That is your possession; you can surrender it. If you can surrender your ego to someone, it makes no difference to whom – X, Y or Z. The person to be surrendered to is irrelevant in a way. The real thing is surrendering. So you can surrender to a God in the sky. Whether He is there or not is irrelevant. If a concept of the Divine in the sky can help you to surrender your ego, then it is a good device.

Really, yoga shastras say that God is a device to be surrendered to – just a device! So you need not bother whether God is or not. He is just a device, because it will be difficult for you to surrender in a vacuum. So let there be a God, and you surrender. Even a false device can help. For example, you see a rope on the street and you think that it is a snake. It moves like a snake. You are afraid, you are trembling, you are running. You begin to perspire, and your perspiration is real. And there is no snake – there is just a rope mistaken for a snake.

The yoga sutras say that God is a just a device to be surrendered to. Whether God is or is not is not meaningful; you need not bother about it. If He is, you will come to know through surrender. You need not be bothered about it before surrender. If He is, then you will know; if He is not, then you will know. So no discussion, no argument, no proof is needed. And it is very beautiful: they say He is a device, just a hypothetical thing to which you can surrender yourself, to help you surrender.

So a Teacher can become a god; a Teacher is a god. Unless you feel a Teacher as a god, you cannot surrender. Surrendering becomes possible if you feel that Mahavir is a god, Buddha is a god. Then you can surrender easily. Whether a Buddha is a god or not is irrelevant. Again, it is a device, it helps.

Buddha is known to have said that every truth is a device to help; every truth is just a utility. If it works, it is true. And there is no other basis for calling it true or untrue – if it works, it is true!

On the path of surrender, surrendering is the only technique. There are many techniques on the path of will, because you can make many efforts to awaken yourself. But when one is just to surrender, there are no methods.

One day a man came to Ramakrishna. He wanted to donate one thousand gold coins to Ramakrishna. Ramakrishna said, “I don’t need them, but when you have taken such a big burden from your house to Dakshineshwar, to my hut, it will not be good to carry it back again.  Mm? – It will be unnecessary. So just go to the Ganges and throw it in.”

The man, of course, was in a very deep difficulty, great difficulty. What to do? He hesitated, so Ramakrishna said, “You have donated them to me, now they do not belong to you. I order you! Go to the Ganges and throw them!” So he had to.

He went to the Ganges but did not return. One hour passed. Ramakrishna asked someone, “Where has that man gone? Go and find out!” So some disciples went and he was brought back. Ramakrishna asked, “Such a long time? What were you doing?”

So the persons who had gone to find him said, “He was counting them and throwing one piece at a time – one, two, three – one thousand pieces. He would look at a gold coin, count it and then he would throw it.” So Ramakrishna said, “What nonsense! When one is to throw, there is no need to count. When one accumulates, there is a need to count; you have to know how many coins you have. But when you have gone to throw them, why waste time in counting? You can just throw!”

Surrendering is throwing the ego. There is no counting and there are no methods. You just throw it. It itself is the technique. On the path of surrender, surrender is the path and surrender is the technique. On the path of will, will is the path and there are many techniques to work it out.

But surrender is simple in a way. You throw it! The moment you throw your ego – and only the ego can be thrown – suddenly you become aware, aware of your inner center. You reach the same point, but through a very diverse path.

One thing more to be understood and that has been asked: whether to be aware or to be lost in something. Whenever I talk of surrender, I talk of being lost in something. A Meera dancing: she is not aware that she is dancing – she has become the dance. There is no gap. She has surrendered her ego completely. There is dancing – she is not aware; she is completely lost in it. When you are absorbed totally then you are in surrender – absorbed totally. But only the ego can be absorbed – only the ego! And when the ego is absorbed, the Self is there in its total purity.

But that is not the concern. On the path of surrender that is not the concern! Meera is not concerned with awareness, with consciousness – no. She is concerned with being completely unconscious in the Divine dance or in the Divine song – with being lost totally in it. To lose oneself totally…. That which cannot be lost will be there, of course, but it is not the concern.

On the path of will, ego is not the concern – the Self is. On the path of surrender, the Self is not the concern. Remember this difference of emphasis, this difference of focusing. That’s why there is so much controversy, so much controversy, between a devotee and a yogi, a bhakta and a yogi.

The yogi is on the path of will and the bhakta is on the path of surrender, so they speak totally different languages. There is no bridge. The yogi is trying to be, and the bhakta is trying not to be. The yogi is trying to be aware and the bhakta is trying to be totally lost.

Of course, they are bound to speak diametrically opposite languages, and there is much controversy, much argument. But those arguments and those controversies do not really belong to a real devotee or to a real yogi: they belong to scholars, to academicians. Those who think about devotion and about yoga, they go on discussing problems – and then there is no meeting point because that meeting point is reached only through experience. If you stick to the terms and the jargon used, then you will be confused.

A Chaitanya, a bhakta, cannot speak the language of Mahavir. They don’t belong to the same path. They reach to the same point ultimately, but they never travel the same path. So their experiences of the path are bound to be different. The ultimate ecstasy will be the same, but that cannot be said; that is the problem. The ultimate experience will be the same, but that is inexpressible. And whatsoever is expressible is just experiences on the path, and they are found to be difficult and opposite.

A Mahavir will become more and more centered on the path, more and more one Self and Chaitanya will be less and less oneself on the path. He will go on throwing himself unto the Divine feet. To Mahavir it will look like suicide, and to Chaitanya, Mahavir’s path will look a very egoistic thing.

Mahavir says there is no God, so don’t surrender. Really, Mahavir denies God only to make surrender impossible. If yoga proposes God as a device, Mahavir proposes no God, again as a device – a device on the path of will. If there is God, then you cannot proceed on the path of will. It is difficult, because if there is a God then something is more potent than you, more powerful than you. Then something is more high than you, so how can you be authentically your Self?

Mahavir says, “If there is a God, then I am bound to be always in bondage, because something is always above me. And if you say God has created the world and God has created me, then what can I do? Then I am just a puppet in his hands. Then where is the will? Then there is no possibility of will. There is only a deep determinism. Then nothing can be done.” So Mahavir dethrones God just as a device on the path of will. “There is no God,” Mahavir says. ”You are the God and no one else is the God, so there is no need to surrender.”

Chaitanya uses going to the Divine feet – sharanam – as the basic religious effort. But Mahavir says asharanam – never to go anybody’s feet. Of course, sharanam and asharanam – to go and surrender to the Divine feet, and never to go to anybody’s feet because no feet except your own are Divine – these are completely, diametrically opposite standpoints. But just in the beginning and while on the path – they reach to the same thing. Either surrender your ego – then you have not to do anything. You have to do only one thing: surrender your ego. Then you have not to do anything. Then everything will begin to happen. If you cannot surrender then you will have to do much, because then you are on your own to fight, struggle.

Both paths are valid, and there is no question of which is better. It depends on the person who is following. It depends on your type. Every path is valid, and there are many sub-paths, branches.

Some branches belong to the path of will, some to the path of surrender. Paths, sub-paths – everything is valid. But for you not everything can be valid; only one thing can be valid – mm? – For you individually. So don’t get into confusion that: “Everything is valid so I can follow everything.” You cannot follow! You have to follow one path. There is no Truth; there are truths. But for you, one truth has to be chosen.

So the first thing for the seeker is to determine to what type he belongs, what he is, what will be good for him, and what his inner inclination is. Can he surrender? Can you surrender? Can you efface your ego? If that is possible, then simple surrender can do. But it is not so simple – very difficult. To efface the ego is not so simple. To put someone higher than you, to put someone as a God and then surrender – very difficult! Nietzsche has said: “I would like to be in hell if I can be the first there. I would not like to be in heaven if I am put second to anyone there. To be in hell is good if one can be the first.”

Bayazid was a great Sufi mystic. He had a big monastery and many seekers from many parts of the world would come to him. One day a person came and he said, “I want to be here in your monastery. I want to be one of your inmates.”

Bayazid said to the man, “We have two types of inmates: one type who are disciples, another type who are teachers. To which would you like to belong?”

The person had come to find Truth. He said, “Give me a little time to think about it.”

So Bayazid said, “There is no need – you have thought about it. Tell me!”

So he said, “It will be better if I can belong to the group of teachers.”

He had come to seek, but he wanted to belong to the group of teachers, not to the disciples. So Bayazid said, “That second group – of teachers – doesn’t exist in my monastery Mm? – That was just a trick. So you can go. Your path is of the disciples, those who can surrender. So you are not for us and we are not for you.”

The man said. “If that is the case, then I can belong to the disciples.”

So Bayazid said, “No, there is no possibility. You will have to go.”

If you can surrender, you can be a disciple. On the path of will, you are the teacher and you are the disciple. On the path of surrender, you are the disciple. And sometimes this is really arduous.

Ebrahim, a king of Balkh, came to a Sufi Teacher and said. “I have renounced my kingdom – now accept me as your disciple!”

The Teacher said, “Before I accept you, you will have to pass through a certain test.”

Ebrahim said, “I am ready – but I cannot wait, so test me.”

The Teacher said, “Go naked and make a round of your capital. And take one of my sandals and go on beating on your head with it.”

Those who were sitting there were just aghast. An old man said to the Teacher, “What are you doing to that poor man? He has renounced his kingdom. What more do you demand? What are you saying? And I have never seen such things before! Not even you have demanded such things before!”

But the Teacher said, “This has to be fulfilled. Come back, and only then will I think about making you my disciple.”

Ebrahim undressed, took a sandal, began to beat on his head, and passed through the city. He came back, and the Teacher bowed down to Ebrahim and touched his feet. He said, “You are already Enlightened.”

And Ebrahim said, “I myself feel a sudden change. I am a different person. But how, miraculously, have you changed me? The whole city was laughing – I was just mad.”

This is surrender. Then surrendering is enough. It is a sudden method, it can work in a moment, it can explode you in a moment.

On the surface it looks easy – that one has not to do anything, just to surrender. Then you do not know what surrendering means. It can mean anything. If the Teacher says, “Jump into the sea!” then there should be no hesitation. Surrendering means, “Now I am not – now you are. Do whatsoever you like.”

In Egypt there was a mystic, Dhun-Nun. When he was with his Teacher, he came to ask a certain question. The Teacher said, “Unless I say to you, ‘Ask,’ don’t ask, and wait.” For twelve years Dhun-Nun was waiting. He would come daily in the morning – the first man to enter the hut of the Teacher. He would sit there. Many, many others would come to ask and they would be answered. And the Teacher didn’t say to anyone again, “Wait!” It was too much. And that man Dhun-Nun was waiting – for twelve years. He was not allowed to ask. So that was the first thing he uttered, “I want to ask a certain question,” and the Teacher said, “You wait – unless I tell you to ask, you cannot ask. Wait!”

For twelve years he waited. The Teacher wouldn’t even look at him; the Teacher wouldn’t even give any hint that he was going to let him ask. He completely forgot that Dhun-Nun exists. And Dhun-Nun waited day and night for twelve years. Then one day the Teacher moved to him and said, “Dhun-Nun – but now you need not ask. You had come to ask a certain question. Now I allow you, but I think now you need not ask.”

Dhun-Nun bowed, touched the Teacher’s feet and said, “You have given me answer enough.”

What had happened to Dhun-Nun? You cannot wait twelve years unless you have surrendered totally. Then doubts are bound to arise – whether you have become a madman, whether he has forgotten you completely. And to no one else was the Teacher saying “Wait!” For twelve years, thousands and thousands of people would come and ask and he would answer. And this would go on continuously, day after day, and the man waited. It was a total trust. The Teacher said, “Now you need not ask.”

And Dhun-Nun said, “There is no question left. These twelve years, what a miracle you did with me! You did not even look at me. What a miracle! You did not even give a hint!”

Surrender means total trust. Then you are not needed. If you cannot give total trust, if you cannot surrender, then the only way is the path of will. But don’t be confused. I know so many people going around and around confused. They would like something to happen to them just like what happens on the path of surrender, but they are not ready to surrender. They would like to behave like a man of will and would like something to happen as it happens on the path of surrender.

Only yesterday I received a letter, and I receive many letters like that. The letter-writer says, “I want to learn much from you. But I cannot accept you as my Guru. I want to come and live with you, but I cannot become your disciple.” What is he saying? He wants to gain something just like one gains in surrender, but he wants to be intact as far as his will is concerned. This is impossible! One has to choose – and everything is just a device.

Two or three days ago, some friends came and they said to me, “People call you God – why do you accept it?”

I told them, “It may be helpful to them. It is not your concern.” They couldn’t understand because for them everything is a fact. Either it is or it is not. To me, everything is a device.

If someone has come to me to surrender, then a certain device is needed for him. And if someone has come not to surrender, then that device is useless for him, it is meaningless. But be clear about what you are and what you are trying to find out and how you want to find it out. Can you give up your ego? Then no need of awareness. Then you need a deep absorption. Be absorbed – dissolve! Don’t be. Forget! Rather than remembering, forgetting. Mm? – I told you that Gurdjieff said remembering is the method. For Meera, for Chaitanya, forgetting is the method: not SMRITI – not remembering; but VISMRITI – forgetting. Forget yourself completely, efface yourself completely!

And if that is not possible for you, then make every effort to be awake. Then don’t lose yourself in anything – not even in music. Mohammed was totally against music only because of this: on the path of will, music is a hindrance because you can forget yourself in it. So don’t forget yourself in anything, don’t lose yourself. But then use techniques to be more and more awake, more and more alert, more and more attentive, more and more conscious.

And remember one thing: you cannot do both. If you are doing both, then you will be very much confused – and your effort will be wasted, and your energy will be unnecessarily dissipated. Choose, and then stick to it. Only then can something happen. It is a long process and arduous. And there are no shortcuts. All the shortcuts are deceptions. But because everyone is lethargic and everyone wants something without doing anything, many shortcuts are invented. There is no shortcut!

It is reported that Euclid, who invented geometry, was also a teacher of Alexander. Euclid was teaching Alexander mathematics, particularly geometry. Alexander said to Euclid, “Don’t go on with this long process. I am not an ordinary student. Find some shortcut!” Euclid didn’t return again. One day passed, two days, three, one week. Alexander inquired.

Euclid wrote a note saying: ‘There are no shortcuts. Whether you are an emperor or a beggar, there are no shortcuts. And if you desire some shortcut, then I am not your teacher. Then you need someone who can deceive you. I am not your teacher. So find someone else. Someone will come up who will say, ‘No, I know the shortcut.’ But in knowledge there are no shortcuts. One has to go the long way.”

So don’t be deceived, and don’t think that if you combine both paths then it will be good for you – no. Every system is perfect in itself, and the moment you combine it with something else, you destroy the organic unity in it.

There are many, many persons who go on talking about a synthesis of religions – which is nonsense! Every religion is a perfect, organic whole. It need not be combined with anything else. If you combine, you destroy everything. There may be similarities in the Bible and the Koran and the Vedas, but these are superficial similarities. Deep down they each have a different organic unity of their own.

So then if one is a Christian, one should be one hundred percent a Christian. And if one is a Hindu, one should be one hundred percent a Hindu. A fifty percent Hindu and a fifty percent Christian is just insane. It is just like fifty percent ayurvedic medicine and fifty percent allopathic medicine. The person will go insane. There is no synthesis between “pathies”, and every religion is like a “pathy”. It is a medicine. It is a science – every technique!

Because I have mentioned medicine, it will be good to finish, to conclude, that the path of will is just like naturopathy – you have to depend upon yourself. No help! The path of surrender is more like allopathy – you can use medicines.

Think of it in this way: when someone is ill, he has two things – an inner, positive possibility of health and an accidental or incidental phenomenon of disease, illness. Naturopathy is not concerned with illness directly. Naturopathy is directly concerned with a positive growth of health. So grow in health! Naturopathy means growing in health positively. When you grow in health, the disease will disappear by itself. You need not be concerned with disease directly.

Allopathy is not concerned with positive health at all. It is concerned with the illness: destroy the illness and you will be healthy automatically.

The path of will is concerned with growing in positive awareness. If you grow, the ego will disappear – that is the disease. The path of surrender is concerned with the disease itself, not with positive growth in health. Destroy the disease – surrender the ego – and you will grow in health.

The path of surrender is allopathic and the path of will is naturopathic. But don’t mix both; otherwise you will be more ill. Then your effort to be healthy will create more problems for you. And everyone is just confused. One goes on thinking that if you use many, many “pathies”, of course, mathematically, you should gain health sooner. Mathematically, logically, it may seem so, but it is not so really. You may even become an impossible case.

-Osho

From The Ultimate Alchemy, Volume 1, Chapter 16

Ultimate Alchemy, V. 1

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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