Samyama: A Synthesis of Consciousness – Osho

What is samyama? That has to be understood. Samyama is the greatest synthesis of human consciousness, the synthesis of three: dharana, dhyan, samadhi.

Ordinarily, your mind is continuously jumping from one object to another. Not for a single moment are you in tune with one object. You go on jumping. Your mind goes on constantly moving; it is like a flux. This moment something is in the focus of the mind, next moment something else, next moment still something else. This is the ordinary state of mind.

The first step out of it is dharana. Dharana means concentration – fixing your whole consciousness on one object, not allowing the object to disappear, bringing again and again your consciousness on the object so that the unconscious habit of the mind of continuous flux can be dropped; because once the habit of continuous change can be dropped, you attain to an integrity, to a crystallization. When there are so many objects moving continuously, you remain so many. Understand it. You remain divided because your objects are divided.

For example, you love one woman today, another woman tomorrow, another woman the third day. That will create a division in you. You cannot be one; you will become many. You will become a crowd. Hence the Eastern insistence to create a love in which you can remain for a longer period, as long as possible. There have been experiments in the East in which a couple has remained a couple for many lives together. Again and again the same woman, the same man: that gives an integrity. Too much change erodes your being, splits you. So if in the West the schizophrenia is becoming almost a normal thing, it is not something to be wondered at. It is not strange; it is natural. Everything is changing.

I have heard that one film actress in Hollywood got married to her eleventh husband. She came home, introduced the new dad to the children. The children brought a register, and they said to the dad, “Please sign it, because today you are here, tomorrow you may be gone; and we are accumulating the signatures, autographs, of all our dads.”

You go on changing houses; you go on changing everything. In America the average limit of a person’s job is three years. The job is also continuously changing. The house – the average limit of a person staying in one town is also three years. And the average limit of marriage is also three years. Somehow three years seems to be very important. It seems if you remain the fourth year with the same woman there is fear that you may get settled. If you remain in the same job more than three years there is fear that you may get settled. So people go on; they have become almost vagabonds. That creates divisions inside you.

In the East we tried to give a job to a person as part of his life. A man was born in a Brahmin house: he remained a Brahmin. That was a great experiment to give stability. A man was born in a shoemaker’s house: he remained a shoemaker. The marriage, the family, the job, the town–people were born in the same town and they would die in the same town. Lao Tzu remembers, “I have heard that in the ancient days people had not gone beyond the river.” They had heard dogs barking on the other side, the other shore. They had inferred that there must be a town because in the evening they had seen smoke rising – people must be cooking. They had heard dogs barking, but they had not bothered to go and see. People were so harmoniously settled. 

This constant change simply says that your mind is feverish. You cannot stay longer at anything; then your whole life becomes a life of continuous change – as if a tree is being uprooted again and again and again and never gets the right time to send its roots deep down into the earth. The tree will be alive only for the name’s sake. It will not be able to bloom, not possible, because before flowers come, the roots have to settle.

So, concentration means bringing your consciousness to one object and becoming capable of retaining it there – any object. If you are looking at a rose flower, you continuously look at it. Again and again the mind wanders, goes here and there; you bring it back. You tame the mind – you tame the bull. You bring it back to the rose. The mind goes again; you bring it back. By and by, the mind starts being with the rose for longer periods. Once your mind remains with the rose for a long period, you will be able for the first time to know what a rose is. It is not just a rose: God has flowered in it. The fragrance is not only of the rose; the fragrance is divine. But you never were en rapport with it for long.

Sit with a tree and be with it. Sit with your boyfriend or girlfriend and be with him or her, and bring yourself again and again. Otherwise, what is happening? Even if you are making love to a woman, you are thinking of something else – maybe moving in a totally different world. Even in love you are not focused. You miss much. A door opens, but you are not there to see it. You come back when the door is closed again.

Each moment there are millions of opportunities to see God, but you are not there. He comes and knocks at your doors, but you are not there. You are never found there. You go on roaming around the world. This roaming has to be stopped; that’s what is the meaning of dharana. Dharana is the first step of the great synthesis of samyama.

The second step is dhyan. In dharana, in concentration, you bring your mind to a focus: the object is important. You have to bring again and again the object in your consciousness; you are not to lose track of it. The object is important in dharana. The second step is dhyan, meditation. In meditation the object is not important anymore; it becomes secondary. Now, the flow of consciousness becomes important – the very consciousness which is being poured on the object. Any object will do, but your consciousness should be poured in a continuity; there should not be gaps.

Have you watched? If you pour water from one pot to another, there are gaps. If you pour oil from one pot to another, there are not gaps. Oil has a continuity; water falls discontinuously. Dhyan means, meditation means, your consciousness should be falling on any object of concentration in a continuity. Otherwise it is flickering. It is constantly flickering; it is not a continuous torch. Sometimes it is there, then disappears; then again is there, then disappears; then again is there. In dhyan you have to make it a continuity, an absolute continuity.

When consciousness becomes continuous, you become tremendously strong. For the first time you feel what life is. For the first time, holes in your life disappear. For the first time you are together. Your togetherness means the togetherness of consciousness. If your consciousness is like drops of water and not a continuity, you cannot be really there. Those gaps will be a disturbance. Your life will be very dim and faint; it will not have strength, force, energy. When consciousness flows in a continuous, river like phenomenon, you have become a waterfall of energy.

This is the second step of samyama, the second ingredient; and then is the third ingredient, the ultimate, that is samadhi. In dharana, concentration, the object is important because you have to choose one object amidst millions. In dhyan, meditation, consciousness is important; you have to make consciousness a continuous flow. In samadhi the subject is important: the subject has to be dropped.

You dropped many objects. When there were many objects, you were many subjects, a crowd, a poly-psychic existence – not one mind, many minds. People come to me and they say, “I would like to take sannyas, but….” That “but” brings the second mind. They think they are the same, but the “but” brings another mind. They are not one. They would like to do something and, at the same time, they would not like to do it – two minds. If you watch you will find many minds in you – almost a marketplace.

When there are too many objects, there are too many minds corresponding to them. When there is one object, one mind arises – focused, centered, rooted, grounded. Now this one mind has to be dropped; otherwise you will remain in the ego. The many has been dropped; now drop the one also. In samadhi this one mind has to be dropped. When one mind drops, the one object also disappears because it cannot be there. They always are together.

In samadhi only consciousness remains, as pure space.

These three together are called samyama. Samyama is the greatest synthesis of human Consciousness.


Excerpt from Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, V.8, Chapter One

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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The Vertical Ascendance of a Sadhaka – Vimala Thakar

The following dialog took place between Vimala Thakar and Yoga teachers from all over the world in Mount Abu, Rajasthan, India on the 11th of September, 2000.

Question:  What are the most difficult obstacles that a Sadhaka has to overcome during his spiritual path?

It becomes very difficult to break the silence and touch the space with words; words feel very shy to encroach upon the emptiness of silence.  The science of consciousness, Atma Vidya has been the field of study, investigation, exploration, experimentation and verification through the act of living in Ancient India.  Naturally all the literature about Atma Vidya, Adhyatma -Spirituality is in ancient Sanskrit language, so the students of Yoga come across the Sanskrit words and terms when they study Yoga Sutras or Mantra Yoga, Tantra Yoga etc.

You have used the term “sadhaka” in your collective question.  But the investigation does not begin with Sadhana.  Investigation begins first on the theoretical, academic, verbal level.  One has to know with the help of words about what one is going to do as Sadhana.  .

This phase of investigation, this study through travelling, through reading books, through seminars, you may call it intellectual sadhana, but we call it JIGNASYA the urge to enquire, and one who does that is JIGNASU.

When a person living In Europe and America or outside Asia comes to know through scriptures on Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism or even Islam, when the person comes to know that there are different ways of living, where freedom from the prison-house of thought and from the clutches of the mind is possible, then the desire for liberation is born in the heart.  When he knows through that verbal investigation that a different way of living is possible, that people have lived that way, that it is possible for anyone and everyone to be liberated from the grip of the mind and the prison-house of thought structure, then the desire for liberation is born in the heart.  The desire for liberation is called Mumuksha – the desire for Moksha.   Moksha is liberation.  Mukti, Moksha, these are the Sanskrit terms.  One who has the desire for Moksha is called MUMUKSHU.

So the JIGNASU becomes MUMUKSHU.  First he only wanted to know; now he says I have known that It IS possible, so why should I continue living as a slave of the thought and the mind.  If there is a consciousness beyond, if there is a life beyond, well let me explore.  So JIGNASU becomes a MUMUKSHU; a person charged with the flame of enquiry, of exploration.  So he turns to those who have taken the pilgrimage, those who have followed the path of liberation and freedom.  He comes across such persons, sees their lives and he says that I want to educate myself in that way of freedom, in that life style of freedom, so he becomes a SADHAKA.

A Sadhaka is one who launches upon the extensive project of education, learning, discovery.  SADHANA is the process of education, the process of learning, a personal discovery of truth.  One who does that sadhana is called SADHAKA.  So JIGNASU; MUMUKSHU; SADHAKA.  When the process of education is gone through at the physical level, at the verbal level, at the mental level, at cerebral level, and in the movement of daily relationships, then he becomes a SIDDHA.  The education is completed, now it is mature.  SADHANA – SADHAKA and then SIDDHA.

Because you have asked the question and have used the term SADHAKA one must know the background.  SADHANA, SADHAKA is the third phase.  After verbal investigation, comes the phase where one is charged with the desire for liberation from mind and thought.  If that desire is not there, if the urge is not there, then one does not become a Sadhaka.  The Sadhana is for Mukti, Moksha, liberation, enlightenment.  That is the top priority; that is the first priority.  The person is willing to do anything and everything for that discovery of freedom and living in freedom.  So the Sadhaka is the student of life, learning and educating himself.  If the urge for liberation is not there, then you may do Yoga Asanas and Pranayama for 20 years, they will give you health, they will give you symmetrical body, it is a physical and cultural education, very necessary -but that by itself does not lead you to freedom from the mind.  YAMAH- NIYAMAH will give you a disciplined life, even Pratyahara can give you a disciplined life.  There will be a disciplined life at the physical level, at the verbal level.  You will be speaking Truth -Sat yam, you will be non-violent -Ahimsa, there will be Shaucham- cleanliness at the physical, the mental and the verbal level and modesty, humility.  So the Yamahs and Niyamahs will create a very orderly, disciplined person.  Asanas, Pranayama will change the quality of physical life and bring about a different freshness in body-brain complex but that by itself is not the totality of Sadhana, it is only a part.

Many people have a misconception when they turn to Yoga; they think that Yoga Asanas, Pranayama and Yamah – Niyamah, will naturally lead them to Dhyanam and Samadhi.  But that is a different education because with Yamah- Niyamah, Asana-Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana you have to exercise the physical, the verbal, the mental, the cerebral, you have to make an effort, you have to create an order in the chaos, in the disorder.  The “You”, the centre, the monitor is there, the method and techniques of doing away with disorder and creating order:  that is there.  Yamahs and Niyamahs give you direction for the Asanas, which must be done correctly, a Mantra has to be pronounced correctly, in the proper accent, intonation, punctuation, and articulation.  Even in Dharana, the science and the art of concentration, there is still something to learn – concentrate on the breath, concentrate on the movement of breath, concentrate on an idol, concentrate on the flame of a candle and so on, there is the centre, the knowledge, the direction of effort, the methodology of effort.

People find it easy up to there.  Education can go on smoothly up to the step of Dharana, if the person is really sincere and really very serious about changing the way of living.  It is an alternative way of living.  It is an alternative culture.  It is an alternative dynamics of relationship with your body, with nature, with human beings with non-human species.  It is a holistic change in the way of living, up to that it is comparatively easy and many serious, sincere students of spirituality in the various countries of the world have taken the journey up to there, but then comes the point of DHYANAM or meditation.

You say what is the most difficult obstacle?  I will not call it obstacle, but a difficult point that you have to cross.  If you convert it into an obstacle it can become an obstacle, otherwise it is something that you have to cross, to go over.  What happens is, up to Dharana, the ‘I’, the self, the me, the Ego, the Monitor whatever you call it, can assert itself, can make an effort, can see the result, the product, the result of its effort in time, it can even manipulate the result, so it is satisfied -I have done this, I have progressed.  And naturally through Yoga asanas, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, the dormant energies in the body, in the biological organism, in the psychological structure which were not tapped before, they are stimulated.  The manifestation of those activised powers is called VIBHUTI.  SIDDHI, VIBHUTI.  So up till there, the enthusiasm of the ‘l’, the ‘Me’ is tremendous, because it is doing something, it is getting something, it can measure it, people can see what you have achieved and you can teach it to others.  But then comes the point of DHYANAM, where the mind and the brain are to be educated in relaxation of all movement – that is the difficult point.  The body has to be steady, the speech has to go back into its source, and the mental movement and the movement of the brain have to voluntarily discontinue.  You cannot make them stop, because you are a part of that, you are a part of the past, of the thought structure, the conditionings, you are one of it, you are its product so you can not change it, the ‘You’, the monitor which up till now has been very active has to voluntarily discontinue its movement.

The difficult part comes now of educating the mind and the brain to voluntarily discontinue its movement in every direction.  If you tell the mind there is nothing to know, nothing to experience, nowhere to go, no experiencing, it runs back into the past.  Wants to chew into the memories of the past pleasure, of the past pain, or it wants to jump towards the future that is unborn, that is not here.  It does not give up easily its addiction to motion.  It has been moving, changing itself, changing others, getting something.  It has been busy with the acquisitive movement- acquire knowledge, acquire money, acquire experience, acquire powers, and people acknowledge you, you get social respectability and you can earn money by teaching them.

This part of self-education is a very tough part, because there is no doing.  You have to be with yourself whether you sit down, you stand up, and you walk.  No books, no reading, no knowing, no experiences.  One requires tremendous patience with the cerebral organ, which has been sharpened.  It has been made very sharp and sophisticated and you have purified it through your Yamah -Niyamah etc.  It is very sensitive:  one hundred times more sensitive than any of your electronic gadgets.  So when you sit down with yourself or spend some days with yourself, you notice that immeasurable velocity, that tremendous, fantastic momentum with which the thoughts come and go, the emotions come, the memories come up and the Seer has to be there just seeing it, not looking at it.  Looking is the activity of the monitor, the ‘I’, the ‘Me’, the mind.  Seeing is the energy principle of your life.  You don’t see because you want to see, but because you can’t help it.  It IS an involuntary action.  It is not a movement like thinking, feeling, willing.  It is an instantaneous action.  So be with oneself, be with the total human past contained in your body, not even to watch it, to observe it, but just be in the state of SEEING.  The seeing, the hearing goes on but you are not listening.  You listen to something when you have a motivation, but hearing goes on, you can’t help it, if you are awake, the auditory nerves respond to the sound, the optical nerves respond to the light, to the shape, to the colour of the objects.

To be in that austere state of seeing is the toughest part.  When the seen, that is the past, the known, the conditioned gets exposed to that seeing energy it gets exhausted, that is to say, the seen energy is not unlimited, it is vast, it is gigantic, but it has had a beginning and it can have an end.  One needs patience in educating oneself for being in the state of SEEING without looking, without listening, without comparing, without evaluating, without passing a value judgement on what is seen.  Nobody will know, but you go on doing that inwardly.  So no value judgement, no comparison, no seeking pleasure out of it, no feeling pain out of it.  The seeing is unrelated to that which is seen.  It is not a relationship, it is co-existence of the seeing energy and the seen energy -the DRASHTA, DRASHTUTVAM AND DRISHYA.

The body, the movement of the pranas, your breathing, the movement of the mind, the movement of the brain -all these are seen, they are not your existential essence, they are not the essence of your being.  The seeing energy is the essence, which you might call ATMAN and CHAITANYA.  You might give a variety of names to it, It is just an energy, where seeing and understanding are rolled into one.  It is a perceptive sensitivity.  Looking is an activity, a joint activity of the mind and the optical nerves, but seeing is unrelated to that which is seen, because one did not want to see it, wish to see it, expect to see it, it is there, therefore it is seen.  That is the toughest part, but if that is gone through, then the seen and the seeing energy subside into their sources and there is MAUNAM or silence or emptiness.

So the seeing and the seen are replaced by infinite silence of emptiness.   It is still tougher to be in that state if at all a Sadhaka has patience and humility to be in the state.  Nothing happens, no experiences, you come out of silence after 2 or 3 hours and somebody asks you” what were you doing?”  “I don’t know, nothing”. But you were sitting there with your closed eyes for 3 hours, what happened?”  “Nothing.”  “What did you get out of it?”  “Nothing.”

The immeasurableness and indescribable-ness of that emptiness!  How can you describe emptiness? You can describe an object.  So the ‘I’ consciousness, the Ego that had gone voluntarily into discontinuity jumps back.  It wants to claim and say “I have had an experience of silence”.  The ‘I’ can never have that experience, the ‘I’ can have experience of quietness, of abstinence from speaking, it can have an experience of non-motion but silence is something that cannot be experienced.  Nothing happens to the chemical or metabolic or nervous system.

What is the obstacle on the path of a Sadhaka? – This nothingness and nobody-ness.  To go through that period of solitary silence is difficult especially for those who are living in big cities, they have jobs, they have families.  Unless they move away from their working place and family atmosphere for some time this education from the doer, the experiencer to the Seer, from the Seer into the Silence and then into Meditation, this education cannot happen.  Devoting an hour a day while living in the family, while working at a job is easy, that can be done, but for the revolution to happen, for the mutation to take place, the Silence has to crystallise.  It is only when the silence crystallises as the normal dimension of consciousness that the mutation, the quantum jump into the state of DHYANAM occurs.  It is not the result of any human effort.  You cannot bring it about as the result of your action.  It occurs, it happens if this period of being merged into or being immersed into the ocean of Emptiness is gone through.

You may call it in your language the most difficult obstacle.  As I see it, it is a tough phase in education, because it is going beyond mind, it is going beyond brain into another dimension of consciousness -Dhyanajam anashayam (Patanjali Yoga Sutras IV.  6). Out of meditation is born a Chitta which has no content of thought, emotion, feeling, which has no past, which has no conditionings. The “Prakrit chitta” disappears with meditation and Dhyanajam chittam anashayam emerges.  Chitta, which is emptiness, emptiness as a dimension of consciousness, gets born.  In the beginning it lasts for say few hours and when you are busy in movement of relationships you feel it is slipping out, because that is a period of puberty from one dimension to the other -a touch and go, it slips back into the mental or the cerebral, it becomes aware of it, again gets back into the mental or the cerebral, it becomes aware of it, again gets back into the meditative dimension and then there is a growth into Samadhi, the dimension of invincible equipoise, invincible peace, invincible relaxation.  No action can damage the relaxation.  No speaking for hours can affect the inner state of silence and no relationships which one has to go through in society can even touch the solitude of the consciousness.

So it seems to me that the tough period begins in Sadhana or the difficult period or obstacle period, begins when one is busy educating oneself in DHYANAM.

There is a very well known Sadhaka poet in India, he is still living, he wrote to me that it is better to be in the dimension of the known where you know how to handle thought, emotions, reactions, defence mechanism, patterns of behaviour.  It is much better to be there and safer to be there, than to get transported into the unknown where everything is unknowable.  So the idea of psychic security, by which one has lived, has a strong hold over one.  Even in the study of Yoga, in the subconscious there is that sense of security with the known – the known place, the known people, and the known activities

Meditation –DHYANAM is a romance with the unknown.  I do not know if I have responded to your question, but this being the last meeting of this year, I thought:  let me share with you the journey from JIGNASA to SADHANA – sadhana as a process of education –self-education, mutual education, group education.  How you do it is secondary, but it is an educational process.  Not academic education, which gives you a degree and a job at the end of it.  At the end of this education there is the maturity of Samadhi, it is the consummation of human growth.  It is not an acquisitive movement but it is a movement of constant discovery of the different nuances of truth and reality, a discovery of the different nuances and shades of that cosmic energy which is playing even in your body.

-Vimala Thakar

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The Last Barrier to Realization – Jean Klein

I have often heard it said that without the help of Yoga, metaphysical realization can be very difficult. What do you think about it?

To begin with Yoga is a harmonization of the body, to prevent it from being an impediment to spiritual research. It is also a set of techniques tending to the ending of all mental activity. It is a method of voluntary effort and systematic purification, leading to a state of mental stillness (Samadhi).

Samadhi can be experienced as bliss or emptiness. In the case of bliss, it remains in the world of duality. In the case of emptiness, it is the last stage of duality, but it does not throw it off. The emptiness of Samadhi takes place when the object has reached its ultimate simplification. One might say that it is pure object, without any qualification whatsoever, an object which is object and nothing else. This is why it is a barrier, the last barrier, to realization. Sooner or later, Samadhi experienced as emptiness, will reveal its duality and the longing for unity will appear.

This meeting with emptiness is something absolutely new and it may easily be mistaken for realization. Then there occurs a tendency to settle in this emptiness which one has learnt to produce. It is comforting to pacify the ego and to taste this emptiness. But one should not mistake the taste of a silent mind with the experience of which I am speaking. This taste is still an object, it has to be abandoned, the last step has to be taken, for the Yogi who does not awaken to the Experience, is in a situation which, from a certain point of view, may be considered worse than that of the ordinary man. Indeed, when he returns from the state of Samadhi to find those usual objects which had been temporarily eliminated by a voluntary technique, he runs the risk of rediscovering them with an increased virulence.

Samadhi experienced as joy is in fact a state in which one enters and from which one emerges. Sooner or later its insufficiency is felt. The man who leaves this joy, falls back into the world of objects. He has no precise memory of his experience which, since it belongs to a supra-mental reality can leave no mental trace (memory), but nevertheless he remains in a state of shock, of exaltation, of longing which is a source of confusion. Such is the result of the Yogic path.

In the direct path we, by discrimination, come to the conviction that ultimate reality lies beyond any physical or mental framework. As a sideline, we make use of Yoga to loosen certain knots, or do away with certain disturbances. But we never lose sight of the non-dual background.

Liberation is not reached by subservience to certain more or less strict rules, but by knowledge which wipes out time, space, cause-and-effect. A return to ignorance is now excluded.

-Jean Klein

From Be Who You Are, page 40-41  

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Spontaneously Ejected from Time and Space – Jean Klein

What inspired you to go to India?

An inner need, an urge to find peace, to find the center where you are simply yourself—free from all stimulation. All that I’d read about traditional India, especially ancient India, led me to feel that present-day India might still reflect the ancient wisdom, that it might be a society centered in truth. Of course it’s dangerous to think you can adopt another culture, but my going to India was not in search of a new belief, religion or culture. I was aware that I would not find what I was looking for by assuming a new way of living or point of view. From the beginning I was convinced that there is a core of being which is independent of all society, and I felt the urge to explore this conviction.

So you were not looking for a teacher?

No, I was not looking for anything specific but, arriving in India, in a completely new environment, I was left with no referenced to anything in my previous experienced. In this suspension of evaluation I was catapulted into an openness, a receptivity to everything. And I was astonished to meet so soon the man who later became my teacher. You can’t look for a teacher. The teacher finds you in your awareness.

This inner need, the eagerness for freedom—must it be very strong?

The urge to freedom must be tremendous. But it cannot be learned or acquired. It comes through self-inquiry. In self-inquiry there appears a fore-feeling, an intimation of reality, and it is this fore-feeling which brings up a tremendous ardour. It can make you sleepless!

When you inquire, you may first feel a lack. You may not know what kind of lack it is and you will go in many directions in the hope of filling it. As each direction is attained there may be a moment when there’s no longer a lack and the desire it brings. For a moment you are in peace. But because you are not aware of this desirelessness, you fixate on the object, the so-called cause of your satisfaction, and of course eventually it loses its charm and once again you are hungry. You will travel down many of these dead-ends, like a hunting dog who cannot find the scent and runs around frantically. But these cul-de-sacs of experience bring you to a kind of maturity, because inevitably you will question more deeply all the happening and their transience. It’s a process of elimination. You must inquire, inquire like a scientist, into your life. Take note that whenever you attain what you want you are in desirelessness itself where the initial object, the supposed cause of your desirelessness, is not present. See that this desirelessness is really causeless and it is you who are attributing causes to it.

At a certain point of maturity you will suddenly be attracted by the scent of reality and your running around in all directions, your dispersion, will cease. Spontaneously, you will be oriented. Your whole perspective will change. The scent lures you and gives you a fore-taste of reality, the fore-feeling, and this brings up the tremendous urge we spoke of.

Would you speak ore about this fore-feeling? Exactly what is it?

The fore-feeling comes from what is fore-felt. It is the reflection of truth. It is the spontaneous orientation when dispersion becomes one-pointed. The ego becomes more transparent and in this transparency the energy that was fixed by the ego in objects of dispersion is transferred to orientation. When the fore-feeling is there, give your whole heart to it. You must be very alert, very watchful, because the forgetting, which is our conditioning, is very strong.

Did suffering play any part in propelling you into the path?

It depends how you understand suffering. Suffering as an idea, a concept, can never bring you to the knowing of yourself. But the direct perception of suffering is, like all objects, a pointer to your Self. What was important for me were those moments when I faced myself and found a lack of fulfillment; this produced the dynamism to explore more deeply. In a certain way when you really feel this lack without conceptualizing it, it is great suffering—but it is not the kind of suffering caused by a robbery, losing a job, a broken marriage death, and so on. Of course these difficulties lift you out of a kind of complacency, a habitual way of living. They wake you up to interrogate, to inquire, to explore, to question suffering itself.

Make suffering an object. In complete surrender to the perception, light comes up. You must understand that by surrender I don’t mean a fatalistic acceptance or a kind of psychological sacrifice. Real surrender is letting go of all ideas and allowing the perception, in this case suffering, to come to you in your openness. You will see that it does not “go away,” as is the case with psychological acceptance—where the energy fixed as suffering is merely shifted to another area—but it comes to blossom within your full attention. You will feel it as free energy, energy that was previously crystallized. Thus surrender is not a passive state. It is both passive and active, passive in the sense of letting go as with Meister Eckhart’s “Poor Man,” and active in that it is a constant alertness.

Did you practice yoga to come to deeper levels of surrender and alertness?

The word practice generally means habit. We must use it only in the sense of becoming more and more aware of body and mind. We must see that the body is a field of fear, anxiety, defense and aggression. However, the emphasis must not be on the body but on presence, on listening. What is important is to become acquainted with the field of tensions and see that the constantly interfering I-image is not separate from this field but belongs to it. When this is clear, tensions finds no accomplice, the perception is freed, and energy integrates in its totality. The traditional approach is through listeing to the body, not mastering it. Dominating the body is violence. But one can sweep the floor or wash the dishes and be in listening. It makes no difference.

Exploring the body brought me to deeper layers of relaxation and this relaxation brought about the cessation of repetitive patterns in the body and mind. In welcoming the body I became more and more aware of the feeling of letting go, so in this way the yoga participated in the fore-feeling of reality. But it only led me to where I no longer emphasized the object, the body, but the ultimate subject. Yoga brings you to a kind of alertness, a tranquility, and a tranquil body reflects a tranquil mind. But of course you can come to the peaceful body-mind without yoga!

If yoga is not in itself the teaching, what is?

The teaching points directly to what is not teachable. The words, the actions, are a crutch and this support gradually loses its concreteness until suddenly one day you find yourself in the non-state which cannot be taught. The formulations are symbols, pointers, and ultimately you do not see the symbol but that to which it points.

When the teaching lost its concreteness for you and there was this shift in emphasis from the object-symbol to the subject, that to which the symbol points, how did your life change?

The old patterns of thinking and acting—of false identification with the body—having lost their concreteness, no longer had any hold. It was that reduction from dispersion to orientation we spoke of a strengthening of the fore-feeling of truth. It became more and more present and less conceptual. This being understanding gave a new direction to my life. Everything was perceived in a new way. I became more discerning, and although I made no voluntary changes, many things that had occupied places in my earlier life just dropped away. I had been lured by names and forms as I strove for having and becoming, but with the orientation of energy there came a new order of values. You must not interpret this as adopting a new morality of any kind. Nothing was added or given up. I just became aware of the “clearness,” sattvas, and a transformation spontaneously followed from this awareness.

My Master explained to me that this light, which seemed to come from outside, was really light reflected by the Self. In my meditations I was visited by this light and attracted by it and it gave me greater clarity in action, thinking and feeling. My way of listening became unconditional, free from past and future. This unconditional listening brought me to a receptive alertness and as I became familiar with this alertness it became free from all expectation, all volition. I felt an establishing in attention, an unfolding in fullness to awareness.

Then a complete change occurred one evening on Marine Drive in Bombay. I was watching flying birds without thought or interpretation, when I was completely taken by them and felt everything happening in myself. In this moment I knew myself consciously. The next morning I knew, in facing the multiplicity of daily life, that being understanding was established. The self-image had completely dissolved and, freed from the conflict and interference of the I-image, all happenings belonged to being awareness, the totality. Life flowed on without the cross-currents of the ego. Psychological memory, like and dislike, attraction and repulsion, had vanished. The constant presence, that we call the Self, was free from repetition, memory, judgment, comparison and appraisal. The center of my being had been spontaneously ejected from time and space into timeless stillness. In this non-state of being, the separation between “you” and “me” vanished completely. Nothing appeared outside. All things belonged in me but I was no longer in them. There was only oneness.

I knew myself in present happening, not as a concept but as a being without localization in time and space. In this non-state there was freedom, full and objectless joy. There was pure thankfulness, thanking without an object. It was not an affective feeling, but a freedom from all affectivity, a coldness close to warmth. My Master had given me an understanding of all this, but now it had become a bright and integrated truth.

-Jean Klein

From The Ease of Being, Prologue 

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The Door to Sankhya is Open – Osho

There are two things in this sutra: the cave of the heart opens for one who knows, or, one whose heart opens will know. We will enter deeply into both.

How to know the divine? How can this knowing happen? Throughout these talks on the Kaivalya Upanishad, many times I have said that there is only one way to awaken this knowing – and that is that all your actions must happen with awareness, with consciousness. There is no other way to grow towards knowing. People think that the way to knowing is in the scriptures, in doctrines, in words – but this is not the way to grow in knowing. In this way you will only increase your memory, and there is a difference between knowledge and memory.

Memory is when something known by others has been passed on to you; you have borrowed it. Knowing is something that you have experienced in yourself – it is your own, it is individual. When you say that someone is a man of knowledge, that such and such a person has immense knowledge, what you usually mean is that the person has a tremendous amount of information, a big pool of memory. He knows the scriptures by heart, he has memorized the Gita, he has crammed the Vedas. But this is not knowledge, this is memorizing – and to memorize is not something very precious. It is mechanical. Even machines can memorize. Soon only machines will have memories, and man will leave this work to the machines.

True knowledge, knowing, is a very different phenomenon: it is to know directly, it is your own realization. It is your own experience, your own seeing; it is something that you have lived and tasted yourself. It is your own, not information given by somebody else. True knowledge is self-realization, direct. There are no scriptures or doctrines in between. So studying is not the way to grow in knowing. The way to grow in knowing is awareness. The more aware you become in your actions, the more your knowing will grow, will awaken. Awareness means that whatsoever you do, you do it with such intensity and meditativeness that there is no unconsciousness left in it at all.

Try this small experiment sometime, then you will understand how deep your unconsciousness is. Look at the second hand on your watch and decide that for one full minute you will consciously go on looking at it. One minute is not such a big thing; the second hand will just make one full circle and you will consciously go on looking at it.

Let me explain the meaning of consciousness to you so that the experiment becomes easy: you will not forget the moving second hand for one minute, and you will keep on seeing it moving ahead, ahead, ahead…sixty seconds will complete one minute. You will be surprised to discover that in sixty seconds, you will miss at least three times! You will forget what you were watching. Some other thought, some other idea will enter your mind and your mind will have strayed at least three times. It is difficult for you to focus your awareness even for twenty seconds! Then you will come to know how deep your unconsciousness is, because you will not be able to watch the second hand with remembrance and awareness even for twenty seconds. The second hand will go on moving, you will forget for a moment or so, and then again you will remember that you have forgotten. By then the second hand will have moved a few seconds ahead, and during that time your awareness will have wandered off to somewhere else.

Whatever work you are doing, try to do it with awareness. There is no need to make a separate time for this experiment. If you are eating, eat consciously, chew consciously. Nobody will ever know that you are doing some spiritual discipline. The spiritual practices of sankhya are not noticeable: nobody will know if someone is doing them or not. The spiritual practices of yoga are obvious, because they involve outer activity. Sankhya’s activity is within. Breathing is happening – just become aware of it. Buddha has put much emphasis on this.

Buddha has placed much emphasis on this: that whether a man is walking, sitting, lying down or rising, one thing that is constantly present there like a heartbeat is his breathing. So why not watch the breathing itself? When the breath goes in, be aware of it; when the breath goes out, be aware of it. Don’t miss it, don’t let a single breath happen unconsciously. It will not be long before you find that your realization is growing. As your awareness of your breath grows, so will your realization. If you can put aside even one hour out of twenty-four hours to watch your breath coming in and going out, without any interruption, then the door of sankhya will be very close by. It is just a matter of pushing it slightly, and it will open.

Buddha has based his whole teaching on watching the breath – anapanasatiyoga, the discipline of watching the breath coming in and going out. Buddha used to say that if a bhikshu, a monk, could manage only this, he would need to do nothing else. It might seem to be a very small task to you, but when you look at the second hand on your watch and miss it three times in one minute, you will realize how difficult this process of watching your breath can be. But if you begin, then someday the end will also come. If you begin, then someday you will also experience.

This is an internal process. It is much more difficult than chanting Rama-Rama, because to chant Rama-Rama your awareness is not needed. A man can go on chanting Rama-Rama mechanically, his awareness is not needed at all. And it can happen that he can go on doing all his other work and also chanting Rama-Rama. He is not aware of his chanting: it goes on automatically, mechanically. So if someone wants to chant Rama-Rama, two things are involved: one is his chanting, and the other is his awareness of the chanting. Only then is it beneficial, otherwise it is useless.

Many people are doing chanting, and it is simply useless. Their chanting has made them even more retarded in their intelligence, it has not enhanced it. It has not helped their knowing, it has retarded it. This is why you may often notice that these people who chant Rama-Rama and who even wear clothes printed all over with the words Rama-Rama, are a little stupid. Their wisdom does not seem to be growing, it seems to be getting rusty. It is bound to get rusty, because intelligence, the perception involved in intellect, grows with awareness and shrinks with each action done in unawareness – and you are doing all your actions in unawareness. You just add your chant of Rama-Rama to it and that also becomes an unconscious act.

Instead of adding any new activity, it is better to bring awareness to the activities that you are already doing. Even if you have been chanting Rama-Rama, bring awareness to it. No matter what you do, decide one thing: that you will go on making efforts to do it with awareness. You may fail today, you may fail tomorrow, but don’t be worried, because in every failure is hidden the seed of success.

And if your awareness continues and a constant impact happens, one day you will suddenly discover that you are able to perform any action with total awareness. On the day you succeed in being aware, the door to sankhya is open. Nothing else is needed. No other external action is needed – one simply enters the inner sanctum of the heart. Then you will know your inner witness, because awareness is the witness.

When you do something with awareness, you become a witness. You are no more a doer. Whenever you do something in unawareness you become a doer, you are no more a witness. Whatsoever you do with awareness…. You may be eating your food: eat with awareness and you will no more be an eater, you will become a watcher of the act of eating. You may be walking on a path: walk with awareness and you will not be the walker, you will become a witness, a watcher of the one who is walking.

So if your awareness goes on growing, the witness will also go on growing in you. And when the witness in you is totally free of the doer, the outer shell of the doer breaks open and the witness sprouts forth.


Excerpted from Flight of the Alone to the Alone, Chapter 17

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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.


From The Ultimate Alchemy, Volume 1, Chapter 16

Ultimate Alchemy, V. 1

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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