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, Vol. 1, Discourse #6

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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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, Discourse #9

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, Vol. 1, Discourse #16

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