Remembering Nisargadatta Maharaj- David Godman

The following is from an interview with David Godman.

Harriet: You say that Maharaj never visited other teachers because he no longer had any doubts. Did he ever talk about other teachers and say what he thought of them? 

David: He seemed to like J. Krishnamurti. He had apparently seen him walking on the streets of Bombay many years before. I don’t think that Krishnamurti noticed him. Afterwards, Maharaj always spoke well of Krishnamurti and he even encouraged people to go and see him. One day Maharaj took a holiday and told everyone to go and listen to Krishnamurti instead. That, I think, shows a high level of approval.

The most infamous teacher of the late 1970s was Osho, or Rajneesh as he was in those days. I once heard Maharaj say that he respected the state that Rajneesh was in, but he couldn’t understand all the instructions he was giving to all the thousands of foreigners who were then coming to India to see him. Although the subject only came up a couple of times while I was there, I got the feeling he liked the teacher but not the teachings. When Rajneesh’s foreign ‘sannyasins‘ showed up in their robes, he generally gave them a really hard time. I watched him throw quite a few of them out, and I saw him shout at some of them before they had even managed to get into his room.

I heard a story that he also encountered U. G. Krishnamurti in Bombay. I will tell you the version I heard and you can make up your own mind about it. It was told to me by someone who spent a lot of time with U. G. in the 1970s.

It seems that Maurice Frydman knew U. G. and also knew that he and Maharaj had never met, and probably didn’t know about each other. He wanted to test the theory that one jnani can spot another jnani by putting them both in the same room, with a few other people around as camouflage. He organised a function and invited both of them to attend. U. G. spent quite some time there, but Maharaj only came for a few minutes and then left.

After Maharaj had left Maurice went up to U. G. and said, ‘Did you see that old man who came in for a few minutes. Did you notice anything special? What did you see?’

U. G. replied, ‘I saw a man, Maurice, but the important thing is, what did you see?’

The next day Maurice went to see Maharaj and asked, ‘Did you see that man I invited yesterday?’ A brief description of what he looked like and where he was standing followed.

Then Maurice asked, ‘What did you see?’

Maharaj replied, ‘I saw a man Maurice, but the important thing is, what did you see?’

It’s an amusing story and I pass it on as I heard it, but I should say that U. G.’s accounts of his meetings with famous teachers sometimes don’t ring true to me. I have heard and read his accounts of his meetings with both Ramana Maharshi and Papaji, and in both accounts Bhagavan and Papaji are made to do and say things that to me are completely out of character.

When Maharaj told Rudi that he had no interest in visiting other teachers, it was a very true statement. He refused all invitations to go and check out other Gurus. Mullarpattan, one of the translators, was a bit of a Guru-hopper in the 1970s, and he was always bringing reports of new teachers to Maharaj, but he could never persuade him to go and look at them. So, reports of meetings between Maharaj and other teachers are not common. Papaji ended up visiting Maharaj and had a very good meeting with him. In his biography he gives the impression that he only went there once, but I heard from people in Bombay that Papaji would often take his devotees there. He visited quite a few teachers in the 1970s, often when he was accompanying foreigners who had come to India for the first time. It was his version of showing them the sights. They would never ask questions; they would just sit quietly and watch what was going on.

Harriet: What was Maharaj’s attitude to Ramana Maharshi and his teachings? Did you ever discuss Bhagavan’s teachings with him? 

David: He had enormous respect for both his attainment and his teachings. He once told me that one of the few regrets of his life was that he never met him in person. He did come to the ashram in the early 1960s with a group of his Marathi devotees. They were all on a South Indian pilgrimage tour and Ramanasramam was one of the places he visited.

With regard to the teachings he once told me, ‘I agree with everything that Ramana Maharshi said, with the exception of this business of the heart-centre being on the right side of the chest. I have never had that experience myself.’

I discussed various aspects of Bhagavan’s teachings with him and always found his answers to be very illuminating.

He asked me once, ‘Have you understood Ramana Maharshi’s teachings?’

Since I knew he meant ‘Had I actually experienced the truth of them?’, I replied, ‘The more I listen to Maharaj, the more I understand what Bhagavan is trying to tell me’.

I felt that this was true at both the theoretical and experiential levels. His explanations broadened and deepened my intellectual understanding of Bhagavan’s teachings and his presence also gave me experiential glimpses of the truth that they were all pointing towards.

I have to mention Ganesan’s visit here. V. Ganesan is the grandnephew of Ramana Maharshi and in the 1970s he was the de facto manager of Ramanasramam. Nowadays, his elder brother Sundaram is in charge. Ganesan came to visit Maharaj for the first time in the late 1970s. As soon as he arrived Maharaj stood up and began to collect cushions. He made a big pile of them and made Ganesan sit on top of the heap. Then, much to everyone’s amazement, Maharaj cleared a space on the floor and did a full-length prostration to him.

When he stood up, he told Ganesan, ‘I never had a chance to prostrate to your great-uncle Ramana Maharshi, so I am prostrating to you instead. This is my prostration to him.’

From Remembering Nisargadatta Maharaj: Harriet interviews David Godman, page two.

You can read more from Nisargadatta Maharaj here.

Life is Aware of Itself – U.G. Krishnamurti

ug003mThe following is a conversation between U. G. Krishnamurti and David Bohm, recorded in Saanen, Switzerland in 1968. Also present were Mrs. Bohm, David Barry and Valentine.

U.G.: From quite a young age I had this question about religious people and religious experiences. What is there behind or beneath these religious beliefs and practices? And most of the guys I met were frauds, in the sense they didn’t have this real thing in them. You see, I myself went through all kinds of experiences—all within the field of thought. These religious people and mystics didn’t have the real touch of the ‘source’ or the ‘origin’—except perhaps Ramana Maharshi and Krishnamurti.

Not that I have what he has. There is nothing there. But is it the same? Perhaps it can’t be different. I don’t know, the question doesn’t interest me. However, this must be the base—the religious experience is not the thing—which is something beyond thought. The thought can never penetrate here. It is that state where the action takes place. But I have no way of knowing what is happening at that time. But there seems to be some kind of awareness—that is the difference between sleep and this state. Something is aware of something else. The Hindu religious thinkers say the immensity is aware of its own immensity, or that is aware of that. I would simply say life is aware of itself.

The body is in a state of quiet, of relaxation, which you can call bliss, truth, love, god or reality or anything you like, but it is not that, because there is nobody looking at it. I look at that (microphone) and I can bring out the word and say it is a microphone. But here, for this state of being, there is no word you can find to describe it. So the words bliss, love, god, truth, are all inadequate to express this state of being. Here there is no difference between life and death. The continuity (of the self) is gone once and for all.

Bohm: What do you say of time?

U.G.: There is no time, no space. When there is thought, there is time. Thought is time and thought is space.

As long as I am looking at something, there is space—but space of and by itself—because I have what you call Vistavision, I see much more. The eyes take in completely the hundred peer cent of what is there. They say the eye cuts off ninety-eight per cent and takes in only two per cent, but here, since there is no choice of any kind, the eyes take in the whole thing.

But the space that thought creates is different. The moment you say the Palace Hotel (in Gstaad), there is a space. When I close my eyes there is no space at all. Light is the part of the whole space, and the light inside has no frontiers. But to say that I am the space is not correct (laughs).

(To illustrate the point, UG picks up a visor.) This is the social consciousness, the mind, the world, this is the enclosure, this is the eye I have built through the years. Every human cell carries the knowledge built from thousands of years; rather, the whole fourteen million years of the past is embedded in the individual. So the human being is not different from the social consciousness. And what has happened in me is that this whole built-up consciousness somehow and by some process-not through any sadhana or effort or one’s volition—has knocked itself off.

When the explosion takes place, the whole structure of thought collapses. This is not an ordinary thing. It is like a nuclear explosion and it affects the whole human consciousness. It is not just once, but a series of explosions and there is a fallout which affects the human consciousness. This seems to be the only way we can affect the world, by bringing about a structural change within oneself. You can never look at thought. The thought splits itself into two, and one thought or image looks at the other. Only when you step out of the whole structure built over millions of years, you can look at thought, but it has no content. Thought has been a part of the human consciousness right from the beginning. There is this expression in the Bible: In the beginning was the word and word as the flesh. Actually it means matter. Thought is matter and at the same time it is sound and this has been in existence through centuries.

The thinker has no existence; he is an artificially created, built-up thing. He has taken possession of the body and has dominated for centuries… but somehow, here, he has been displaced. He is not there anymore. What you are left with are the body and thought. What is this thought? Here, they are only words, factual memory without psychological content. Only now, after you step out of the social and individual consciousness, there is a possibility of looking at thought. When thought comes, there is a disturbance in awareness and , once you look at it, this very awareness destroys it. There is no scope for the thought to take roots here and bring the thinker in. It is just there in the background for your use and when there is a need you use it and discard it. Sometimes the old memories come, but when you become aware of them, they disappear. The braid becomes tight and they cannot penetrate and take root.

Bohm: As thought comes in it disturbs the awareness, you say. Can we discuss the root of thought, but you say you don’t know.

U.G.: You see, when you put the question, first I am in the state of not-knowing; I really don’t know what mind is. If the exploration of the question should begin, the thinker has to come in and the thought process develops.

All right, let us take an example from the field of science. As long as we were caught up in the Newtonian physics nobody could break through. But Einstein, somehow and by some process, realized the inadequacy of Newtonian thought and that itself acted as a breakthrough. Now we connect them and we know that without Newtonian physics Einstein’s theories would never have come into existence. And now we can see that the process (Newtonian thought) had come to an end, but not actually, rather it caught the experience and created another thought structure. This kind of revolution is within the structure of thought. It could be a mystical experience or a path-breaking discovery and this brings about the changes or conversions. However, all experiences in any field are within the field of thought. A mystical experience can change the individual consciousness. The whole way of looking at life changes and it’ll be like wearing new glasses. Everything you look at, every activity is different, but still within the field of thought. Even bringing the mind to a quiet state is not the end of the mind. That could, at best, be the first loosening process of this whole structure. Every cell has a memory of its own. So the whole human body has to change for this to happen. This silence is of a different quality and kind.

So, you see, it is difficult to answer the question.

Bohm: I also wanted to ask, ‘What is the origin of the continuity of thought?’

U.G.: There is no continuity.

Bohm: If the awareness doesn’t wipe out thought…

U.G.: That means the ‘I’ is there and he carries on. But when the ‘I’, the thinker is absent, there is no continuity and thoughts just come and go and never take root and bring the thinker into operation.

Bohm: But you use thoughts in order to communicate, which it seems you want to.

U.G.: (Laughs) I may not even want to. But I am beginning to feel that even without communicating there is a possibility of being silent in some corner, no matter where, and these fallouts perhaps will affect in their own way. I don’t know; but there is another difficulty for me. I have no way of expressing myself—the whole of my past is wiped out and that past included Krishnamurti. So the Krishnamurtian lingo—if I may use that word—is of no value at all. I can’t use that language. I don’t even know what he is talking now, except the few phrases which are fresh.

The easiest thing would be to fall back on such a lingo. All the religious teachers used the then available literature, they used words like god, beyond, immortal, heavenly and such expressions. In our times Ramana did the same. He read texts of Hinduism in order to understand what he had come into and that coloured his mode of expression and he fell back on the Hindu terminologies to explain things. It must be said to the credit of Krishnamurti that he has come out with this strikingly original approach and has developed a new mode of expression which is very vital. But then there are and were hundreds of Hindu scholars who have tried to strike a new path, use new words or terminologies. So where do all these take one? To me all that seems inadequate. Perhaps it helps others.

This is not a new discovery, not something that comes from outside. When the whole process comes to an end, the search comes to an end, not that you arrive at a point or a destination. The self, the seeker disappears and what is left is the body and the senses operating in an extraordinary way. So—how am I going to create new words to talk about this? I can’t. I have to use the inadequate words we have.

Bohm: But the same words can function differently in different persons.

U.G.: It would be interesting to find out. But, you see, the person who comes here can bring me out. I can’t come prepared. It depends upon the person I am talking to. And one of the difficulties I have is that most of the people who come here are all full of Krishnamurti’s ideas. I am always confronted with this, or if I go to India, There they come with the Hindu terminologies. Anyway, they have to bring me out. Perhaps in this process something will come out.

From The Biology of Enlightenment: Unpublished Conversations of U.G. Krishnamurti after He Came into the Natural State (1967-71), pages 109-113.

Aftermath – From U.G. Krishnamurti: A Life – Mahesh Bhatt

‘The uniqueness of the individual cannot express itself because of the stranglehold of the experiences of others.’ U.G.

U.G. refers to the events that happened to him during the summer of 1967 as the ‘calamity’:

‘I call it a calamity because from the point of view of one who thinks this is something fantastic, blissful and full of beatitude, love, or ecstasy, this is physical torture; this is a calamity from that point of view. Not a calamity to me but a calamity to those who have an image that something marvelous is going to happen… I can never tell myself or anybody that I’m an enlightened man, a liberated man, or a free man, or that I am going to liberate mankind.’

On the eighth day he was sitting on the sofa and suddenly, in his words: ‘There was a tremendous outburst of energy—tremendous energy shaking the whole body and along with the body, the sofa, the chalet and the whole universe—shaking, vibrating. You cannot cause that movement… Whether it was coming from outside or inside, from below or above, I didn’t know—I couldn’t locate the spot. It lasted for hours and hours… There was nothing I could do to stop it; I was totally helpless. This went on for days.’ Then for three days U.G. lay on his bed, his body contorted with pain—it was, he says, as if he felt pain in every cell of his body. Similar outbursts of energy occurred intermittently throughout the next six months, whenever he lay down or relaxed. ‘It’s a very painful process. It’s a physical pain—it has a form, a shape of its own. It is like a river in spate. The energy that is operating there does not feel the limitations of the body; it is not interested; it has its own momentum. It is not an ecstatic, blissful beatitude and all that rubbish!’

U.G. explains that thought had controlled his body to such an extent that when that control loosened, the whole metabolism went agog. Then the movement of his hands changed. They started turning backwards. ‘That is why they say my movements are mudras.’ Certain hormonal changes started occurring in his body. Now he didn’t know whether he was a man or a woman. Suddenly there was a breast growing on the left side of his chest. It took three years for his body to finally fall into a new rhythm of its own. Here U.G. questions the value of this description for the world. Reading about it may be dangerous because people may try to mimic the outward manifestations of the process. People have a tendency to simulate these things and believe that something is happening to them.

His friends observed swellings up and down his torso, neck and head, at those points called chakras. These swellings of various shapes and colors came and went at regular intervals. On his lower abdomen, the swellings were horizontal, cigar-shaped bands. Above the navel was a hard, almond-shaped swelling. A hard, blue swelling, like a large medallion, in the middle of his chest was surmounted by another smaller, brownish-red, medallion-shaped swelling at the base of his throat. These two ‘medallions’ were as though suspended from a varicolored, swollen ring—blue, brownish and light yellow—around his neck, as in the pictures of some Hindu gods. There were other similarities: his throat was swollen to a shape that made his chin seem to rest on the head of a cobra, as in the traditional images of Shiva. Just above the bridge of the nose was a white lotus-shaped swelling. All over the head the small blood vessels expanded, forming patterns like the stylized lumps on the heads of some statues of the Buddha. Like the horns of Moses and the Taoist mystics, two large and hard swellings periodically appeared and disappeared. The arteries in his neck, blue and snake-like, expanded and rose into his head.

U.G. says that his body is affected by everything that is happening around it: Whatever is happening there is also happening here—there is only the physical response. This is affection. You can’t prevent this, for the simple reason that the armor that you have built around yourself is destroyed; so it is very vulnerable to everything that is happening. In his discussions with medical doctors, U.G. learned that the ductless glands are located in exactly the same spots where the Hindus speculated that the chakras were. The thymus gland, it is said, is very active when one is a child. Therefore, children have extraordinary feelings. When they reach the age of puberty, the gland becomes dormant—at least that’s what the scientists say. When this sort of an explosion takes place within the body, which the scriptures refer to as being born again, that gland is automatically activated so that all the extraordinary feelings are there again. ‘Feelings are not thoughts, not emotions; you feel for somebody. If somebody hurts himself there, that hurt is felt here—not as a pain but there is a feeling. You automatically say, “Ouch!”‘ There is an incident in U.G.’s life which illustrates this. He was once staying at a coffee plantation in South India. For some reason a mother started beating her child. She was angry and she hit her child so hard that the child almost turned blue. Somebody then asked U.G., ‘Why did you not interfere and stop her?’ U.G. answered, ‘I was standing there. I was puzzled: “Whom should I pity, the mother or the child?” Both were in a awkward situation: the mother could not control her anger, and the child was so helpless. Then I found all marks corresponding to the marks of the beatings on my back. So I too was a victim of that beating.’ U.G. says that this was possible because consciousness cannot be divided. ‘With this affection, there is no question of your sitting in judgment on anyone.’

Here is another incident: It was some time during the mid-Seventies that U.G. was visiting the hill country in North Goa. Many of his friends from Bombay were with him. One morning a group of people visited him. They were sitting together at the foot of a hillock. Valentine came to join the group. But when she found that the path was steep and slippery, she decided to go back to her cottage.

Then a discussion arose among the people there about what each would have done if Valentine had slipped and fallen. U.G. said nothing. After a while Valentine came back and ventured down the path to join the group. She did indeed slip and fall. No one got up or did anything to help her, not even the person behind her. U.G. pointed out to them that they did nothing even though each of them had said they would help her. One of the members of the group asked U.G., ‘How come you yourself did nothing to help then?’ U.G. replied, ‘I never said that I would give her a helping hand. If, however, you want to see for yourself how I myself was involved in that event…’ and he rolled up the leg of his trouser. They found scratches on his knee similar to those found on Valentine’s knee. Everybody was stunned. U.G. said that there was no significance to these occurrences.

U.G. says that the ‘third eye’, also called the ajna chakra, is the pituitary gland. When once the interference of thought is gone, the function of thought is taken over by this gland: it is this gland, and not thought, that gives the instructions or orders to the body. That is why they probably call it ajna (command) chakra. U.G. says that there is a built-in armor created by thought, which prevents us from being affected by things: Since there is nobody here who uses thought as a self-protective mechanism, thought burns itself up. It undergoes combustion, ionization. Thought is, after all, a vibration. So when this ionization of thought takes place, it throws out, and sometimes it covers the whole body with, an ash-like substance… There is tremendous heat in the body as a result of this. One of the major reasons why U.G. express the ‘calamity’ in pure and simple physical and physiological terms is that it has no psychological or mystical content or religious overtones. Such a thing, U.G. says, must have happened to many people. It is not something that one could especially be prepared for. There is no purificatory method or sadhana necessary for such a thing to happen. Narayana Moorty says that if he had to reduce U.G.’s teaching to one sentence it would be the following: ‘Consciousness is so pure that whatever you are doing in the direction of purifying that consciousness is adding impurity to it.’ U.G. says:

Consciousness has to flush itself out: it has to purge itself of every trace of holiness and of every trace of unholiness, of everything. Even what you consider ‘sacred’ and ‘holy’ is a contamination in that consciousness. Yet it does not happen through any volition of yours. When once the frontiers are broken—although not through any effort or volition of yours—then the floodgates are open and everything goes out. In that process of flushing out, you have all these visions. Suddenly you yourself, the whole consciousness, takes the shape of the Buddha, Jesus, Mahavira, Mohammed or Socrates—only of those who have come into this state; not of great men or leaders of mankind. One of them was a colored man. Then a naked woman with breasts and flowing hair. I was told that there were two saints here in India—Akkamahadevi and Lalleswari—they were women, naked women. Suddenly you have these two breasts and flowing hair. Even the organs change into female organs.

But still there is a division there—you, and the form that your consciousness has assumed, the form of the Buddha, say, or Jesus Christ, or God knows who. The situation there is: ‘How do I know I am in that state?’ But that division cannot stay long; it disappears and something else comes along. Probably the same thing happened to so many hundreds of people. This is part of history: so many rishis, some Westerners—monks—and so many women. All that people have experienced before you is part of your consciousness. I use the expression, ‘The saints go marching out.’ They run out of your consciousness because they cannot stay there any more because all that is impurity, a contamination there.

This flushing out of everything good and bad, holy and unholy, sacred and profane, has got to happen. Otherwise your consciousness is still contaminated, still impure. After that you are put back into that primeval, primordial state of consciousness. Once consciousness has become pure, of and by itself, then nothing can touch it, nothing can contaminate it any more. All the past up to that point is there but it cannot influence your actions any longer.

U.G. saw these visions for three years after the ‘calamity’. He says that the most puzzling and bewildering part of the ‘calamity’ was when the sensory activities began their independent functioning. He says that there was no coordinator linking up the senses. That presented a problem to Valentine. ‘We’d go for a walk and I’d look at a flower and ask her, “What’s that?” She’d say, “That’s a flower.” I’d take a few more steps, look at a cow and ask, “What’s that?” Like a baby, I had to relearn everything. Not actually relearn. All the knowledge was in the background and never came to the forefront.’

Valentine didn’t know what to make out of what was going on. She consulted a leading psychiatrist in Geneva. The psychiatrist told her that unless he saw the person he couldn’t be of help. He asked her to bring U.G. over. But U.G. declined because he knew that something extraordinary had happened inside him. His difficulty was that the people who came to see him didn’t seem to understand the way he was functioning and he didn’t seem to understand the way they were functioning. ‘How can we carry on a dialogue? Both of us have to stop. I am talking like a raving maniac. The difference is only a hair’s breadth. That is why I say you either flip or fly at that moment of calamity.’

Reproduced here are a couple of the most frequently asked questions concerning U.G.’s ‘calamity’. These questions, in a way, also sum up what U.G. himself has to say on this topic:

Q: Are even those who ‘realized’ different from one another?

U.G.: Yes, because their background is different. The background is the only thing that can express itself. What else is there? My expression of it is the background: how I struggled, the path I followed, how I rejected the path of others–up to that point I can say what I did or did not do… Such an individual is different, not only from you, but from all the others who are supposed to be in this state, because of his background.

Q: Although everyone who is supposed to have undergone this ‘explosion’ is unique, in the sense that each one is expressing his own background, there do seem to be some common characteristics.

U.G.: That is not my concern; it seems to be yours. I never compare myself to someone else.

Summing up the account of the happenings surrounding his ‘calamity’, U.G. says: And that’s all there is to it. My biography is over… There is nothing more to write about and there never will be. If people come and ask me questions, I answer. If they don’t, it makes no difference to me… I have no particular message for mankind, except to say that all holy systems for obtaining enlightenment are nonsense and that all talk of arriving at a psychological mutation through awareness is rubbish. Psychological mutation is impossible. The natural state can happen only through biological mutation. The incredible physiological changes continued to occur for years.

U.G. was so bewildered by what had happened to him that he did not speak for a year after the ‘calamity’. He had to practically learn to think and talk all over again, so complete was his mutation. After a year or so he had regained most of his communicative powers. Yet he did not say much. ‘What is there to say after a thing like this?’ he asked. One day the answer came in a flash: ‘I’ll say it exactly the way it is.’ Except for a year’s break in the late Sixties, U.G. has been speaking tirelessly ever since. Of all this U.G. now says: I did not know what was happening to me. I had no reference point at all. Somehow I died and came back to life, free of my past. This thing happened without my volition and despite my religious background. And that is a miracle. It cannot be used as a model and duplicated by others.

-Mahesh Bhatt

From: U. G. Krishnamurti: A Life

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Appa Deepo Bhava – Osho

The first question.

Osho, how can I become a light unto myself?

These were the last words of Gautam the Buddha, his parting message to his disciples: “Be a light unto yourself.”  But when he says, “Be a light unto yourself,” he does not mean to become a light unto yourself. There is a great difference between being and becoming.

Becoming is a process, being is a discovery. The seed only appears to become the tree; that is an appearance.  The seed already had the tree within itself, it was its very being. The seed does not become the flowers. The flowers were there unmanifest, now they are manifest. It is not a question of becoming, otherwise a pebble could become a flower. But that doesn’t happen. A rock cannot become a rose; that doesn’t happen because a rock has no potential to become a rose. The seed simply discovers itself through dying into the soil: dropping its outer shell, it becomes revealed in its inner reality.

Man is a light in the seed. You are already buddhas. It is not that you have to become buddhas; it is not a question of learning, of achieving. It is only a question of recognition–it is a question of going within yourself and seeing what is there. It is self-discovery.

You are not to become a light unto yourself, it is already the case. But you don’t go in, your whole journey is outward. We are being brought up in such a way that we all become extroverts. Our eyes become focused on the outside. We are always seeking and searching for some goal “there,” far away. The farther the goal, the more challenging it appears to the ego. The more difficult it is, the more attractive it appears. The ego exists through challenges; it wants to prove itself. It is not interested in the simple, it is not interested in the ordinary, it is not interested in the natural, it is interested in something which is neither natural, nor simple, nor ordinary. Its desire is for the extraordinary. And the reality is very ordinary, it is very simple.

The reality is not there but here, not then but now, not outside but in the innermost sanctum of your being. You have just to close your eyes and look in.

-Osho, Walking in Zen, Sitting in Zen, Chapter 13

The last words of Gautam Buddha were, appa deepo bhava: Be a light unto yourself. And those words were said to his chief disciple, Ananda, who had been with him for forty-two years, just like a shadow, non-stop, day out, day in. But he had not become enlightened. And many others who had come afterwards had become enlightened.

Buddha said, “That is the barrier. You think I can make you enlightened – that’s why these forty-two years have gone by and you have not attained. Perhaps after my death, within twenty-four hours you may become enlightened. For these forty-two years there was a hope that I would do something. Nobody can do anything. Be a light unto yourself.”

-Osho, Razor’s Edge, Chapter 12

This statement of Gautam Buddha is one of the milestones in the history of human growth: Appa deepo bhava – be a light unto yourself. Nobody before him was courageous enough to say this. They were all trying to say, “We are the light, follow us. Be surrendered to us and whatever we say never doubt it.” These people were not really for human freedom, human integrity, they destroyed all self-respect in man, they reduced him to a slave, a spiritual slave.

Gautam Buddha has brought a great revolution to the world. He says, “Be a light unto yourself” – because there is no other light. You are not to surrender to somebody because every surrender is slavery, and spiritual surrender is the greatest of all because it is so subtle. The chains are so invisible that you may never become aware of it, and the imprisonment is not something outside you, it is something imposed on the very being of your interiority. You are carrying your prison wherever you go, whatever you do.

-Osho, Sword and the Lotus, Chapter 19

The last words of Gautam Buddha on the earth were, “Be a light unto yourself. Don’t be bothered about what others say, don’t be bothered about traditions, orthodoxies, religions, moralities. Just be a light unto yourself.”Just a small light is enough, and you can go on with that small light for ten thousand miles without any difficulty. Your light may be falling only four feet ahead of you – just go on moving. As you move, the light will be moving ahead, and if you can see four feet ahead, that’s enough. You can go as far as you want. You can go on an eternal pilgrimage with just a small light of your own.Don’t live on borrowed light.Don’t live on borrowed eyes.

Don’t live on borrowed concepts.

Live according to your own light, and your life will be, each and every moment, a greater joy, a greater blissfulness, a greater ecstasy.

-Osho, The Great Zen Master Ta Hui, Chapter 10

Buddha says nobody can deliver you. You have created the mess, you have to sort it out. Nobody has created it, so nobody can deliver you either. Your bondage is created by you, so only you can come out of it. Hence his last statement on the earth was: Be a light unto yourself. This is a totally different dimension: Be a light unto yourself. The buddhas only show the way, but you have to work upon your being; you have to work hard to discover your innermost core.

-Osho, Wild Geese and the Water, Chapter 8

Buddha’s last words to his disciples were: Be a light unto yourself. And how can you be a light unto yourself? Go beyond the body, the mind, the heart. Find the center of your being and suddenly there is light. It is already there, it is already burning bright. It is your very being; you just have to discover it.

-Osho, Dhammapada V. 12, Chapter 5

The last words of Gautama the Buddha on the earth were: Be a light unto yourself. Do not follow others, do not imitate, because imitation, following, creates stupidity. You are born with a tremendous possibility of intelligence. You are born with a light within you. Listen to the still, small voice within, and that will guide you. Nobody else can guide you, nobody else can become a model for your life, because you are unique. Nobody has there been ever who was exactly like you, and nobody is ever going to be there again who will be exactly like you. This is your glory, your grandeur – that you are utterly irreplaceable, that you are just yourself and nobody else.

-Osho, Dhammapada V. 2, Chapter 9

But if you want to end this whole nonsense that has persisted down the ages for so many lives, the same repetitive wheel of birth and death moving; if you want to stop it, then the other, the way of the intelligent person, the way of the wise…be a light unto yourself.

-Osho, Dhammapada V. 2, Chapter 9

In the same way, Krishnamurti is also contained in Buddha. Krishnamurti is Buddha’s latest edition, the freshest – in today’s language. But the difference is only of language. Krishnamurti is just an elaboration of Buddha’s ultimate sutra: “Be a light unto yourself.” A commentary on this sutra – deep, profound, tremendously vast, immensely significant – but he is just an elaboration.” These were Buddha’s last words on this earth. Before leaving his body he had given this essential sutra, poured his whole life’s treasure, his whole life’s experience, into this one small sutra.

-Osho, Die O Yogi Die, Chapter 1

Don’t search for any light outside. The last words of Buddha were, “Be a light unto yourself. Be a lamp unto yourself.” Don’t search for light anywhere else; the light is already there, the fire is already there. Just probe a little deeper into your being. Inquire. Maybe much ash has gathered around the fire…just probe deep inside, and you will find the spark again. And once you have found a single spark inside yourself, you will become a flame soon, you will be a fire – a fire that purifies, a fire that transforms, a fire that gives you a new birth and a new being.

-Osho, The Sun Rises in the Evening, Chapter 3

The last message on his deathbed was…Ananda, his chief disciple asked “Bhagwan, give us your last message.” And he said “Ananda, appa deepo bhava: become a light unto yourself. There is no other light, so don’t look into the sky, don’t look at me. There is no other light. Be a light unto yourself. Your own intelligence has to become your light, depend utterly upon yourself – no other dependence, no shelter anywhere, no refuge.”

-Osho, I Say Unto You V. 1, Chapter 2

It is good that religious experience has to be experienced individually. Nobody can lead you there. People can indicate the way and those indications are very subtle. Don’t take them literally. Buddha said, “Be a light unto yourself.” He is saying, “Remember, my truth cannot be your truth, my light cannot be your light. Imbibe the spirit from me, become more thirsty from me. Let your search be intense and be totally devoted to it. Learn the devotion of a truth-seeker from me but the truth, the light, will burn within you. You will have to kindle it within you.”

-Osho, Ancient Music in the Pines, Chapter 4

The master said, “Buddhas can only show the way, but you have to travel alone – and with your own light. Be a light unto yourself.”

-Osho, Nirvana the Last Nightmare, Chapter 5

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

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

A Visitor from Beyond the Mind

Dada with Amido while staying at our Boulder house in 1993.

Sometime in the early 90’s, my friend Santap moved to Boulder, Colorado, and after settling in, made arrangements to bring Dada Gavand, a teacher that he had spent some time with in California, to town. He was sponsoring the visit and Dada would be staying with Santap in his mountain home. Dada’s visit coincided with my own inward turn and interest in self- inquiry as a spiritual practice. I read his books and very much appreciated his keen insight. They were prodding me in.

Santap needed some help with the organizing and I was happy to assist. Dada primarily taught through one-on-one interviews but he did do a few public talks. Santap spread the word of Dada’s upcoming visit and organized a list of interested people for the interviews. Together we set up a public talk.

Dada did not enjoy the cold. He was arrived from somewhere warm but was going to be staying in the Rockies at about 9,000 feet in the fall. Amido and I offered to host Dada down in town if he wanted, but he liked to stay with people he knew.

Amido and I had an interview together and this meeting with Dada was very helpful for me. Up to that point I was still thinking of “going inside” as a journey, as a movement through some imaginary inner space. I don’t remember the exact words that were said but there was shift and I understood for the first time that “going inside means not going at all.” This was a major insight. Dada recognized that a shift had happened and later suggested to Santap that he would like to spend half of his time in Boulder with us.

It was a complete joy to be with him in the house even at the ninety-degree requested temperature. One thing I found interesting was that we would be sitting and chatting around the dinner table and suddenly some kind of shift would happen. The atmosphere would change and there would be a palpable silence. It was almost as if a presence had descended or the entire room had been lifted to a higher dimension and he would then speak as the spiritual teacher and even his speaking mannerisms would alter. He began to use the first person plural and say “we” rather than “I” in those moments.

Dada’s story is quite unique. He had been part of the Theosophical Society and known U.G. Krishnamurti before either one of them experienced their transformations. They met up after those experiences and it was at the urging and even help of U.G. that Dada set off for the States. Dada had also spent time with Meher Baba and J. Krishnamurti.

His teaching has the directness of Krishnamurti combined with the heart of being of Meher Baba. The following is from his book Towards the Unknown, beginning on page 57:

The imaginative and fragmentary mind
can never discover
that dynamic, effervescent energy
of eternal, timeless quality.
The mind is the product of time.
Whereas Godhood is timeless divine.

 The dead past cannot contact
the living present.
Time cannot contact the timeless.
Shadow cannot contact light.
Contracted polarity cannot contact enormity.

He continues on page 62:

At the cost of your own life force
the mind is misusing energy,
scattering it everywhere
in a very clever and subtle way,
in petty little pursuits
and self-intoxicating drives.

And page 63:

By close and alert watching
of all the movements of body and mind,
you will discover that
the constant ripples of thought
on our life energy
are the cause of disquiet.

He concludes with page 68:

You cannot meet God through the mind,
nor experience the timeless through time.
Thought cannot meet the omniscient.
The eternal cannot touch the transient.

Only with freedom from thought
and from mental cravings and ambitions
does the energy become
whole, tranquil and pure.

Such inner purity and humility
will invite the hidden divinity.

The pure consolidated energy,
with its silence and fullness within,
awaits in readiness to meet the divine,
to experience that which is beyond the mind.

 There across the region of time,
beyond the frontiers of the mind,
within the sanctuary of silence
resides the supreme intelligence,
your Lord, the timeless divine.

At the end of his stay Santap and I took Dada to the airport. I was, of course, sad to see him go; such a sweet friendliness had surrounded us. We said goodbye and Dada boarded the plane with his carry-on. He believed in carrying his own baggage even in his late 70’s.

A few years later, after Amido and I had moved from Boulder to Crestone , Colorado, we talked to Dada on the phone with the idea of bringing him there but it wasn’t to be. And in 2007, while traveling in India we emailed his contact person, thinking perhaps we would visit but he was in silence and not accepting visitors. Dada left his body in 2012.

Thank you Dadaji.


This post is from a collection of essays, stories, insights and poems that have occurred to me along the Way titled Here to Now and Behind.

There is a website maintained for Dada at

To see more from Dada look here.


O-theism is Religion-less Religious-ness.

It is the No Religion of Whole religion.

O-theism is the understanding that there is no God separate from existence. It is the understanding that God is the Beingness which is experienced when one is at-one knowingly with the whole of existence.

It is the understanding that this Beingness is the potential of all human beings and that it is the identification with a fictitious entity (ego) which prevents the realization of this potential.

O-theism is the understanding that there have been many masters who have attained that Beingness and have expressed that experience in the language and culture in which they lived. Their experience is One but their expressions are many.

It is the perennial philosophy. It is the Heart of the teachings of all the Awakened Masters including Krishna, Lao Tzu, Mahavir, Mohammed, Zarathustra, Guru Nanak, Buddha and Christ.

O-theism is the religion-less of the Sufis, Tao, Advaita, Tantra, Yoga and Zen.

It is the religious-ness of Ramakrishna, Ramana Maharshi, Meher Baba, Krishnamurti and Osho.

O-theism is the religion of Enlightenment.

It is the ground in which Theism, Atheism and Deism dissolve.

O-theism is the end of theism. It is All-theism and No-theism, hence O-theism.

Seeing From Behind – Jean Klein

The following is an excerpt from a dialog held at Joshua Tree, California, May 25, 1995

What do you mean by seeing from behind?

You feel yourself behind and look from behind, hear from behind. It gives you a new quality. First you must know how to see yourself from behind, and then you will know yourself in front.

Does feeling from behind take you out of the forebrain?

Yes. You don’t feel yourself located in the object. You have the sensation of expansion behind you. You are not identified with the object. You have the feeling that the perceiver is behind you, that you are no longer stuck to the object. Body, senses and mind are all objects, objects that need a perceiver to be known. A perceiver can never be known, only what is perceived can be known.

When you knowingly say, “I am not the body, senses and mind, because these do not exist on their own, they need consciousness to be known,” you become integrated; it gives you enormous distance. Then you perceive and live with the surroundings free from psychological involvement. You see facts as they are, free from bad and good. This is whole seeing, global seeing. You know when you are psychologically involved in daily life. But here there is no interpretation, there is only seeing facts as they are. It is important to see how this way of living, this way of seeing, this way of touching, acts on you, how you feel. Then you have a functional relation with your surroundings, also aesthetic and ethical. You see the truth, you see the beauty, you see the functional. Our seeing mainly refers to the ego. You do not see the situation in its verite. When you are appropriate to the situation, then you observe what is aesthetic, ethical and functional. It belongs to you, but this doesn’t mean it is appropriated to your ego. You are taken by the seeing. One can say it is not you who sees it, it is the seeing who sees it.

Taken From The Book of Listening. Non-Duality Press 

To read more from Jean Klein see: