A DOWNLOADABLE E-MAGAZINE Vol III * March 2010 * Issue III Meditation leads to Ultimate Flowering
Introducing various Masters & Dimensions of Spiritual Sojourn
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ENLIGHTENMENT is freedom from one’s self
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EDITORIAL This March issue highlights the concept of enlightenment. Enlightenment, though it is Sanskrit in origin, it is essentially Buddhist and specifically Zen in its flavour. Hindus have not been known to seek enlightenment as is the case with the Chinese and Japanese masters. Hindus have stopped at the mere attainment of samdhi – the trans-conscious state of turiya as it is aptly called. Enlightenment is viewed as something mysterious and magical. Yet it is the most simple of phenomenon. It is our very natural selves and not some other worldly experience. In fact we are already enlightened; it is just that we are too afraid to be aware of it. Masters are really mirrors to reflect our original face. It is this face that we are too scared to see so we put on many masks to hide our true reality. The deception has even befooled us. We think we are this deception now and forget that we are Buddhas in mortal garb. So much so that when the masters say you are Buddhas we rebel and crucify him. We make enlightenment a super human and super divine attainment. Enlightenment is not even a simple attainment. Enlightenment is not an attainment at all. Enlightenment is dropping all desire for attainment. Be still and know. Not that being still you will then know. The very stillness is knowing. It is one and the same. Just being still is knowing. This is enlightenment. When you come in contact with that dimension which is the very source of your creation, either you can melt and merge with it, you can become one with it, or you can sit and watch like a spectator. The choice is yours.
“Beyond enlightenment is only beyondness. Enlightenment is the last host. Beyond it, all boundaries disappear, all experiences disappear. Experience comes to its utmost in enlightenment; it is the very peak of all that is beautiful, of all that is immortal, of all that is blissful – but it is an experience. Beyond enlightenment there is no experience at all, because the experiencer has disappeared. Enlightenment is not only the peak of experience; it is also the finest definition of your being. Beyond it, there is only nothingness; you will not come again to a point which has to be transcended. Experience, the experiencer, enlightenment -- all have been left behind. You are part of the tremendous nothingness that is infinite. This is the nothingness out of which the whole existence comes, the womb; and this is the nothingness in which all the existence disappears. Beyond enlightenment you enter into nothingness. Experience disappears, experiencer disappears. Just pure nothingness remains, utter silence.” – extracted from Beyond Enlightenment by OSHO. I use the extract verbatim from OSHO as it explains fully what enlightenment is and what is beyond enlightenment. The concept of beyond enlightenment was first introduced to the West by Paul Reps in his story of the Ten Bulls. It is a Taoist story and gives the first insight into beyond enlightenment. The story was not understood until OSHO gave his insights to the world about it. And for this we remain forever grateful.
ATISHA Chandragarbha – to – Atisha http://www.zshare.net/audio/73020865fe36b804/ Atisha attained the knowledge of emptiness and became aware of pure human nature. He learned of the freedom all sentient beings have, a freedom from physical attachments and mental bondage. Buddhist narratives recount one story in which Atisha comes across a women alternately crying and laughing. Confused with her behavior, he inquires about her condition, and she responded: [O]ne’s own mind has been a Buddha from the beginning. By not knowing this, great complications follow from such a small base of error for hundreds of thousands of sentient beings. Not being able to bear the suffering for so many beings, I cry. And then, I laugh because when this small basis of error is known—when one knows one’s own mind—one is freed.
AtiśhaDipankaraShrijnana (980-82 – 1052-54 C.E.), a Buddhist teacher from the Pala Empire who, along with KonchogGyalpo and Marpa, became one of the major figures in the establishment of the Sarma lineages in Tibet after the repression of Buddhism by King Langdarma (GlangDarma). Atisha is one of the rare masters. He is rare in the sense that he was taught by three enlightened masters in addition to 157 masters that he acquired. It has never happened before. Also it is very rare that a master is trained by three masters. Atisha is a gift from India to Tibet just as Bodhidharma is India’s gift to China.
pulling him there. In the Himalayas he attained. It was there in Himalayas that Atisha became enlightened and then he never came back to India. He moved towards Tibet, his love showered on Tibet. He transformed the whole quality of Tibetan consciousness. He was a miracle – worker; whatsoever he touched was transformed into gold. He was one of the greatest alchemists the world has ever known.
But the moment his love became active he started moving towards Tibet, as if a great magnet was
Atisha is really very scientific. First he says: Take the whole responsibility on yourself. Secondly he
Atisha introduced ‘Seven Points of Mind Training’ as the fundamental teaching that he gave to Tibet. Tibet is infinitely indebted to Atisha.
says: Be grateful to everyone. Now that nobody is responsible for your misery except you, if it is all your own doing, then what is left? It has happened in my case. My birth was chosen to be in the company of a Naqshbandi Sheikh Sufi Brij Mohan Lal for the continuation of my work and the journey of transformation. Many things from the previous birth that were left incomplete needed to be completed and made available to humanity. In this family there were three masters. There was tremendous opportunity for transformation and the continuation of the work. Because of the time that was chosen for the birth I could not be born to the parentage of Sufi Brij Mohan Lal and Shakuntala Devi that I aspired the most. Still I considered my grandmother as my mother sub consciously. It happens when a master enters death consciously he has freedom to choose his parents in the next life. Since I could not be born to this parentage the sheikh choose his daughter Gyatri and son – in – law Lakshmi Sahai as my parents. This way I remained under his care and also the doors of salvation were open for my biological parents. At the time I was born my parents were totally overwhelmed by the consciousness of the Sheikh couple. At the age when Taoshobuddha was only eight months old the Sufi master transferred the Secrets of the Golden Flower or the Mind Seal of a Buddha onto me. From 1951 until 1955 I remained under the spiritual care of NaqshbandiBrij Mohan Lal. It was during this period every night I slept with him and participated in various stages of meditations. It was there the inward journey continued. This infused everything into unconscious layer to surface as the inward journey continues. After 1955 I was put under the care of other Naqshbandi Masters Sufi Shakuntala Devi and Sufi OnkarNath and others. In this company surfaced all that was infused in the unconsciousness to the surface? The company of these masters proved as catalyst. Not only these masters other masters were equally instrumental in training. To be a disciple of three enlightened masters is simply unbelievable. One enlightened master is enough. Atisha reminded me of my birth as he was taught by three enlightened masters. This story
has a metaphorical significance also. And it is both true and historical too. Atisha, a Buddhist monk credited with reforming Tibetan Buddhism, had a life similar to Shakyamuni Buddha, although he lived nearly fifteen centuries after Buddha. Born into a royal family in the city of Vikramapura, Southeast Bengal, Atisha’s parents groomed him to inherit the kingdom from his father. Vikramapura had been one of the early centers of Buddhism, serving as the center for Buddhist culture. Although Atisha had a lengthy career as a teacher at the Buddhist College, Vikramasila, his life purpose led him to Tibet. After making a dangerous two year journey over the Himalaya Mountains to Tibet at an elderly age, Atisha spent the remaining years of his life reviving Tibetan Buddhism. He lived until seventy – two years old, having devoted fifteen years to his work in Tibet, entered death in 1052 C.E.
Childhood and Renunciation of Princely Life In eastern India, in the land of Jahor, in the city of Bangala, in the Golden Banner Palace, lived King Kalyana the Good and Queen Prabhavati the Radiant. The royal palace was crowned with thirteen golden roofs, one set atop the other, and magnificently adorned with 25,000 golden banners. It was surrounded by countless parks, pools, and beautiful gardens. The kingdom was as rich as the ancient, opulent dynasties of China. His father KalyanaShri presided as the king of Bengal and his mother was Prabhavati. The royal couple had three sons, Padmagarbha, Chandragarbha, and Shrigarbha. It was this second prince, who grew up to become our illustrious teacher, Atisha (Jo-borjedPal-ldan A-tisha) (982-1054 CE). One of three royal brothers, Chandragarbha came to be known as Atisha. When he traveled to Tibet and encountered the king Jangchub Ö (Byang Chub Od), he received the name of Atisha, a Tibetan reference to peace.
Atisha, born in 980 - 82 C.E. in Vajrayogini village, in Bikrampura, the northeastern region of Bengal (located in modern day Bangladesh), lived to the age of seventy - two. The year 980 also saw a major power shift in Bengali politics as the resurgent Pala dynasty seized control of the region, disposing of the incumbent Kamboja rulers. Atisha was born into royalty, his royal status possibly stemming from one of those two contemporaneous contending powers. The city of Vikramapura, Atisha birth place, served as the capital of the ancient kingdoms of Southeast Bengal, present day Munshiganj District of Bangladesh. An early center of Buddhist cultural, academic, and political life, Vikramapura still celebrates its heritage today. Similar to Shakyamuni Buddha, Atisha had been born into royalty; the palace of his childhood aptly named the Golden Banner Palace. It had a golden victory banner encircled by countless houses and there were great numbers of bathing – pools encircled by 720 magnificent gardens, forests of Tala trees, seven concentric walls, 363 connecting bridges, innumerable golden victory banners, thirteen roofs to the central palace and thousands of noblemen. Traditional accounts often describe the prince’s birth as an auspicious or promising episode. For example, when Atisha had been born ‘flowers rained down upon the city of Vikramapura, a rainbow canopy appeared, and the gods sang hymns which brought joy to all the people.’ The image of flowers falling from the sky appears in the episode of Shakyamuni Buddha’s attainment of Enlightenment, and the emergence of a rainbow canopy symbolizes the reincarnation of a Bodhisattva. Most importantly, the arrival of Atisha brought certain happiness to sentient beings. The effect of Atisha’s birth corresponds directly with the Buddhist concept of dedicating one’s life to the uplifting and enlightenment of all conscious beings. When Atisha was eighteen months old, his parents held his first public audience at the local temple, Kamalapuri. Without any instruction, he prostrated to the venerable objects inside and spontaneously recited, ‘Because of the compassion of my parents, I have attained a precious human
life rich with the opportunity to view all you great figures. I shall always take from you my safe direction (refuge) in life.’ People from all over the region gathered to witness his appearance. When Atisha learned from his parents of the crowd’s status as his own subjects, he prayed that they may “be possessed of merit like that of his parents, rule kingdoms that reach the summit of prosperity, be reborn as sons of kings and be sustained by holy and virtuous deeds.” When introduced to his royal subjects outside, he prayed to realize his fullest potential in order to satisfy their every need. He also prayed to be able to take the robes of a spiritual seeker who has renounced family life, never to be proud, and always to have compassionate sympathy and loving concern for others. This was most extraordinary for such a young child. Such an interpretation of Atisha’s first public appearance, found in Buddhist texts and historical accounts, strongly reinforces two critical components of Buddhist philosophy. The story conveys Atisha as a spiritually advanced and relatively enlightened individual at only eighteen months old. As such, the prince acquired enough merit through virtuous actions in previous lives to become a venerated prince and enlightened one. Atisha’s kindness towards his subjects and non – attachment towards his family gives evidence of his state of enlightenment. Mirroring the life of Shakyamuni Buddha, the young prince displays a natural capacity for swift learning and the practice of Dharma even at a young age. He had become “well – versed in astrology, writing and Sanskrit” by the age of three. And by the age of ten he was “able to distinguish between the Buddhist and nonBuddhist doctrines”, and would eventually become a master of the teachings of Mahayana, Hinayana, and Vajrayana Buddhism under the guidance of over 100 different instructors. As time went Atisha’s wish to enter the religious life strengthened, but his parents identified him as the brightest of their sons and natural successor to power. At eleven years old, surrounded with the luxuries and extravagance of royalty, Atisha’s parents sought to find a bride for the prince among the kingdom’s nobility.
As Atisha grew older, his wish to become a mendicant monk increased even stronger, but his parents had different expectations. Of their three sons, he was the brightest, and the auspicious omens at his birth helped convince them that he should be the royal successor. Therefore, when the boy reached eleven, the customary age for marriage at that time, they made elaborate preparations for him to take a bride. On his wedding eve, the Buddha-figure (yidam) Tara appeared to Atisha vividly in a dream. She told him that for 500 consecutive lives he had been a mendicant monk and therefore not to have any attraction for the transitory pleasures of this world. She explained that an ordinary person caught up in them would be relatively easy to rescue, like a goat trapped in quicksand. But, as a royal prince, he would be as difficult to extract as an elephant. The boy told no one about this dream, but on other grounds cleverly excused himself from this marriage. Having firmly resolved to find a spiritual teacher, but telling his parents he wished to go hunting, Atisha now left the palace with 130 horsemen. First, he met in the forest the holy Jetari, a man of the brahmin priestly caste who was living as a Buddhist recluse. From him, the young Atisha formally accepted a safe direction in life and took the bodhisattva vows. This holy man then sent him to the sequestered monastic university of Nalanda and the spiritual master Bodhibhadra. Atisha immediately set off with all his horsemen and there, from Bodhibhadra, he again received the bodhisattva vows and teachings. He was next directed to the great Vidyakokila for further instruction and then on to the famous Avadhutipa. This latter master advised the boy to return home, treat everyone respectfully, but try to see the drawbacks of such a luxurious life and then report back. Atisha’s parents were delighted to see him and thought at last he would settle down, take a wife, and prepare for his future rule. However, Atisha informed them that he had in fact gone in search of a spiritual teacher. He confessed that all he wished was to lead a quiet, contemplative life and had
come for permission to take leave of his princely duties. Shocked at his words, his parents tried to dissuade him from leaving but all in vain. They said he could combine both lives and offered to build sequestered monasteries near the palace and let him study, feed the poor and so on. They pleaded with him not to return to the forest. But, Atisha told them he had not the slightest attraction to royal life. ‘To me,’ he said, ‘this golden palace is no different from a prison. The princess you offer is no different from a daughter of the demons, the sweet food no different from the rotted flesh of a dog, and these satin clothes and jewels are no different from rags from the garbage heap. From this day onwards, I am determined to live in the forest and study at the feet of the master Avadhutipa. All I ask is for some milk, honey, and brown sugar and I shall take my leave.’ There was nothing his parents could do but consent to his request and so Atisha returned to the forest with these provisions and an embarrassingly large entourage of royal attendants as they insisted to accompany him. Avadhutipa now sent the young prince to the master Rahulagupta, on the Black Mountain, to enter the practice of tantra. Atisha arrived with all his horsemen and told this vajra master how he had studied with many teachers, but still was unable to shake off his bondage to royal life. Rahulagupta conferred upon him his first empowerment, which was into the practice of Hevajra, a Buddha – figure with which to bond his mind. He then sent him back to the palace with eight of his disciples, four male and four female, dressed scantily in the bone ornaments of mahasiddhas, great adepts with actual attainments. For three months, Atisha stayed in the environs of the palace with these strange new companions, behaving in a completely unconventional and outrageous manner. In the end, his parents were forced to give up all hopes for their precious son. Thinking him to have gone mad, they gave full permission for him to leave with his rather unsavory-looking friends and be gone once and for all.
Studies in India and the Golden Isle Atisha immediately ran back to his master Avadhutipa and now, from the age of twenty – one to twenty – five, studied intensively the Madhyamaka middle way outlook of reality. During this period, he also studied with many other highly accomplished teachers and became extremely well versed in all systems of tantra practice. In fact, he became rather proud of his erudition and felt he was rather clever with these hidden measures to protect the mind and that he had mastered all their texts. But then, he received a pure vision of a Dakini, a celestial maiden whose movements are unimpeded by ignorance, who held in her arms many volumes on the everlasting streams of such tantra systems. She told him, ‘In your land, there are only a few such texts, but in our land there are so many.’ After this, his pride was deflated. One day, he decided to go off and devote all his energies to the tantra practices in order to realize his fullest potential in his very life. His vajra master, Rahulagupta, then appeared in a dream and advised him not to do so and desert everybody, but to become a mendicant monk. He should continue in this manner with steady practice and achieve perfect enlightenment in its due course of time. Thus, at the age of twenty – nine, Atisha received from the stable elder, Shilarakshita, the robes of a spiritual seeker who has renounced family life and was given the name DipankaraJnana, ‘He Whose Deep Awareness Acts as a Lamp.’ During his first two years after taking robes, Atisha studied at the Monastic University of Odantipuri with the great Dharmarakshita, the author of the famous lojong (blo-sbyong, mindtraining) text for cleansing our attitudes, The Wheel of Sharp Weapons. They focused on all the Hinayana or modest-minded measures to take as a vehicle leading to liberation, but Atisha was always dissatisfied. He longed for the fastest way to realize his fullest potential.
His vajra master Rahulagupta told him, ‘It does not matter how many pure visions you receive, you must train to develop caring love, compassionate sympathy, and a bodhichitta aim totally dedicated to benefiting others and to achieving enlightenment.’ He advised him to commit himself wholeheartedly to the Buddha – figure Avalokiteshvara, to bond his mind closely with him and work to become enlightened so that he could best free everyone from samsara, uncontrollably recurring existence. Only with this achievement would he realize his fullest potential. At Vajrasana, the Vajra Seat, at modern Bodh Gaya, while circumambulating the great stupa relic monument for honoring the Buddha, Atisha heard two statues whispering to each other in a niche overhead. One asked the other, ‘If you wish to achieve Enlightenment as quickly as possible, in what should you train?’ ‘A totally dedicated heart of bodhichitta’ was the reply. And while circumambulating the cupola of the monument, a statue of Buddha, the Vanquishing Master Surpassing All, spoke to him saying, ‘O mendicant monk, if you wish to realize your fullest potential quickly, train in love, compassion, and bodhichitta.’ At that time, the most famous master holding the complete teachings on how to develop bodhichitta was Dharmamati, the Sublime Teacher from Suvarnadvipa, the Golden Isle. Thus, with a group of 125 learned monks, Atisha set off on a ship of merchants bound for the Golden Isle, modern Sumatra. In those days a long ocean voyage was not an easy affair and they had a particularly difficult passage with storms, whales, and losing their way. It took thirteen arduous months to complete their journey, but Atisha remained undaunted throughout. When they finally landed, Atisha did not go at once to the famous master, but stayed instead for a full two weeks with a group of this master’s disciples. He prodded them over and again for information about their teacher and insisted on his full biography. This shows us the importance of thoroughly examining a spiritual master and checking his or her qualifications before going to study.
Meanwhile, this Sublime Teacher from the Golden Isle had heard of the arrival from India of the learned scholar and his mendicant companions on their spiritual quest. He assembled his own community of monks for the welcome and when Atisha arrived, they performed together many formal ceremonies auspicious for the future. He also presented Atisha with a Buddha statue and predicted that one day he would tame the minds of the people of the northern Land of Snow. Atisha stayed in the Golden Isle for twelve years, avidly training with this master. First, he studied A Filigree of Realizations (mNgon-rtogsrgyan, Skt. Abhisamaya-alamkara) the Triumphant Maitreya’s guideline instructions for fathoming the Omniscient One’s Sutras of Far-reaching Discriminating Awareness (Sher-phyin-gyimdo, Skt. Prajnaparamita Sutras). He then gradually received the full teachings on extensive behavior from the lineage of Maitreya and Asanga, as well as those of the special lineage on exchanging selfishness for concern with others, which the bodhisattva Shantideva, a spiritual son of the Triumphant, had received directly from the ennobling, impeccable Manjushri himself. After Atisha gained, through these methods, a fullrealization of a bodhichitta aim, he returned to India at the age of forty – five and resided thereafter mostly at the sequestered monastic university of Vikramashila. All in all, Atisha studied with 157 great teachers, but he had such exceptional reverence for this magnificent teacher from the Golden Isle and the measures he imparted that tears would well in his eyes whenever he mentioned or heard his name. When later asked by his Tibetan disciples if this display of emotion meant that he favored one of his teachers above all others, Atisha replied, ‘I make no distinctions among all my spiritual mentors. But because of the kindness of my sublime master from the Golden Isle, I have gained peace of mind and the dedicated heart of a bodhichitta aim.’
Spiritual Training Atisha’s response shows the youth’s commitment to the pursuit of enlightenment. On the eve of his
wedding, Atisha encountered the Vajrayana goddess, Tara, who continued to guide him throughout his lifetime. Tara explained to the prince that in his past lives he had been a devout monk. He should resist the pleasures in the world. If not, Tara continued, then ‘as an elephant sinks deeply into the swamp, [he], a hero, [would] sink in the mire of lust.’ Tara’s appearance symbolizes the prince’s realization of his own karmic potential. With that revelation in mind, Atisha renounced his kingdom, family, and position to find a spiritual teacher. He gave his parents the excuse of going on a hunting trip. Atisha made the acquaintance of the brahminJetari, a Buddhist recluse and renowned teacher. Jetari taught the young man three things: 1) Taking refuge in the Three Jewels of Buddha, 2) Dharma and Sangha, and 3) bodhichitta, described as the mind – oriented aspiration towards enlightenment with the intent of benefiting all sentient beings. Upon educating the young Atisha in the basic principles of Mahayana Buddhism, Jetari advised that he go to Nalanda, a Buddhist center for learning in northeastern India. In Nalanda, Atisha received once again brief instruction regarding the Bodhisattva vows under the spiritual guide Bodhibhadra, who in turn advised him to seek out a teacher renowned for his perfect meditation of perceiving emptiness, Vidyakokila. Atisha attained the knowledge of emptiness and became aware of pure human nature. He learned of the freedom all sentient beings have, a freedom from physical attachments and mental bondage. Buddhist narratives recount one story in which Atisha comes across a women alternately crying and laughing. Confused with her behavior, he inquires about her condition, and she responded: [O]ne’s own mind has been a Buddha from the beginning. By not knowing this, great complications follow from such a small base of error for hundreds of thousands of sentient beings. Not being able to bear the suffering for so many beings, I cry. And then, I laugh because when this small basis of error is known—when one knows one’s own mind—one is freed.
Having been a noble and wealthy, Atisha’s attainment of freedom took on a greater challenge. Upon completing his training for meditations on nothingness and emptiness, Atisha studied with Avadhutipa, a Vajrayana master. He required the prince to first consult the Black Mountain Yogi. The Black Mountain Yogi tested Atisha. First, he cast a lightning bolt in Atisha’s direction as he approached. He then granted the prince thirteen days of instruction, teaching him the Hevajra lineage and bestowing him with the code name Indestructible Wisdom. Finally, the Black Mountain Yogi insisted that before Atisha continue in his studies that he gains permission from his parents to formally renounce royal responsibility, summoning eight naked yogis and yoginis to escort the prince back to Vikramapura. Returning to the royal palace, Atisha’s parents and subjects believed he had gone mad during his jungle refuge. He explained to his parents that he renounced wealth and luxury in his life to repay his parents and fellow beings. Remembering the signs that accompanied the prince’s birth, Atisha’s mother willingly gave her consent, approving her son’s decision to pursue the Dharma. Atisha’s father proved harder to convince and, like the Shakyamuni Buddha’s own father, only agreed after a determined effort. With his parent’s approval, Atisha went back to Avadhutipa to continue his studies, learning the Madhyamaka middle way and various tantra practices. During his training, he had a slight of pride in his accomplishments. His teacher reminded him that he knew relatively little through the visit from a dakini in a vision. Atisha’s humility returned overnight and he continued towards the path of enlightenment. Atisha studied almost all Buddhist and non – Buddhist schools of his time, including teachings from Vishnu, Shiva, and Tantric Hinduism. He also studied music and logic by the age of twenty – two. The Lineage of the Profound Action transmitted by Maitreya/Asanga, Vasubandhu; the Lineage of Profound View transmitted by Manjushri/Nagarjuna, Chandrakirti; and the Lineage of Profound Experience transmitted by Vajradhara/Tilopa, Naropa number foremost
among Buddhist lineages he studied, practiced and transmitted.
DipankaraShrijnana Another time, a contending voice confronted Atisha as he prepared to practice his tantra. The Black Mountain Yogi appeared to him in a dream, advising him to take his time through steady practice to achieve the enlightenment. Rather than extend all his powers at once, the Black Mountain Yogi warned, he should endeavor to become a ‘spiritual seeker who has renounced family life,’ a monk. In his twenty – ninth year, the great Shilarakshita ordained Atisha a monk. He received a new name of DipankaraShrijnana, meaning ‘He Whose Deep Awareness Acts as a Lamp.’ Even as a monk, DipankaraShrijnana yearned for the fastest and most direct means of attaining perfect enlightenment. He made a pilgrimage to Bodhgaya and, while walking around the great stupa there, he had a vision of two materializations of Tara. One asked the other to name the most important practice for attaining enlightenment. The other replied that ‘the practice of bodhichitta, supported by loving kindness and great compassion is most important.’ Atisha dedicated himself to the understanding and practice of bodhichitta from that time. At the age of 31, the monk arranged for a perilous journey, traveling for thirteen months to Sumatra to study under the reputable SuvarnadvipiDharmarakshita, known in Tibetan as Serlingpa a master of bodhichitta. Under the guidance of Dharmarakshita, Atisha remained on the island of Sumatra for twelve years studying bodhichitta. After over a decade of intensive training, Dharmarakshita advised Atisha to ‘go to the north. In the north is the Land of Snows.’ Dharmarakshita referred to Tibet, a region with a Buddhist tradition forever changed after the arrival of AtishaDipankaraShrijnana.
Sumatra and Tibet Before journeying to Tibet, Atisha returned to India. He earned fame as a debater, on three
occasions defeating non – Buddhist extremists in debate. When he came into contact with what he perceived to be a misled or deteriorating form of Buddhism he would quickly and effectively implement reforms. Soon enough he received appointment to the position of steward, or abbot, at the venerable Buddhist College Vikramasila, established by the King Dharmapala of Bengal. Atisha’s return from Sumatra and rise to prominence in India coincided with a flourishing of Buddhist culture and the practice of Dharma in the region. Atisha’s influence contributed to those developments. As Dharmarakshita had predicted, Buddhism in Tibet desperately needed resuscitation. Some Tibetans, for example, believed that ‘ethical self-discipline and tantra were mutually exclusive and that enlightenment could be achieved through intoxication and various forms of sexual misconduct.’ The politically unstable rule of King Langdarma had suppressed Tibetan Buddhism’s teachings and persecuted its followers for over seventy years. A new king by the name of Lha Lama YesheYod proved a strict believer in Dharma, sending his disciples to learn and translate some of the Sanskrit Buddhist texts. Nagtso, who studied Sanskrit Vikramasila College, numbered among them. He pleaded with Atisha to come teach the Dharma in his homeland. Atisha declined the offer to come reintroduce the Buddha’s teachings in Tibet. He considered himself too old for the rigorous trip and had much unfinished work at the monastic college. On the evening after he turned Atisha down, Tara appeared to him saying that his trip to Tibet would be astoundingly successful. He would greatly honor and assist the Tibetans, find a dedicated disciple, and further contribute to the spread of Dharma. He would live in the task until seventy two years old.
Tibet There has never been any doubt about Atisha’s undertaking in Tibet. Prophecies of his departure began with Dharmarakshita in Sumatra, following Atisha to his vision of Tara. During his travels across the perilous Himalayas, the Tibetan scholar
Nagtso ‘vaguely realized that […] miraculous manifestations assisted me in an uninterrupted flow.’ Nagtso referred, whether he knew it or not, to Avalokitesvara's continual assistance throughout his trip to Vikramasila. Atisha’s twoyear journey to Tibet may be interpreted within the Buddhist tradition as a fulfillment of destiny. In Tibet, Atisha first stayed at Ngari. The King supported his work to bring Buddha’s teaching to the people. During the three years Atisha spent in this town, he wrote what became the main body of his teaching, ‘A Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment’, and met the disciple Tara, Dromtonpa. According to JamgonKongtrul, when Atisha discovered the store of Sanskrit texts at PekarKordzoling, the library of SamyeAtisha said: ‘that the degree to which the Vajrayana had spread in Tibet was unparalleled, even in India. After saying this, he reverently folded his hands and praised the great dharma kings, translators, and pandits of the previous centuries.’ After staying for thirteen years in Tibet, Atisha died in 1052 C.E., in a village called Lethan, near Lhasa. The site of his last rites at Lethan has turned into a shrine. However his ashes were brought to Dhaka, Bangladesh on June 28, 1978, and placed in ‘DharmarajikaBauddhaVihara.’
Writings Atisha wrote, translated and edited more than two hundred books. He discovered several Sanskrit manuscripts in Tibet and copied them. He translated books from Sanskrit to Tibetan. He also wrote several books on Buddhist scriptures, medical science and technical science in Tibetan. Dipankara wrote several books in Sanskrit, but only their Tibetan translations survived. Seventy – nine of his compositions have been preserved in Tibetan translation in the Tengyur (bstan-sgyur). His most notable books are: 1. Bodhi-patha-pradipa, 2. Charya-sanggraha-pradipa; contains kirtan verses composed by Atisha. 3. Satya-dvayavatara
4. Bodhi-sattva-manyavali 5. Madhyamaka-ratna-pradipa 6. Mahayana-patha-sadhana-sanggraha 7. Shiksa-samuchchayaAbhisamya 8. Prajna-paramita-pindartha-pradipa 9. Ekavira-sadhana 10. Vimala-ratna-lekha: a Sanskrit letter Nayapala, king of Magadha.
This could happen because all these three masters were great friends. They had started their search together; while they were on the way they had remained together, and when they attained they were still together. to
Legacy Atisha stands as an important figure in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition for several reasons. First, he refined, systematized, and compiled an innovative and thorough approach to bodhichitta known as ‘mind training’ (Tib. lojong). He conveyed that teaching through A Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment, and other texts. Atisha established the primacy of bodhichitta for the Mahayana tradition in Tibet. Atisha lived his teaching. Second, after King Langdarma’s intolerant reign, the monastic Buddhist tradition of Tibet had been nearly wiped out. Atisha’s closest disciple, Dromtönpa, became the founder of the Kadam School, which later evolved into the Gelug, as one of the four main school of Tibetan Buddhism. The Kadam/Gelug proved central to monasticism and the lojong teachings, incorporating into the other three schools—-the Nyingma, Kagyu, Sakya—-as well. Third, Atisha mobilized his influence in India to reform corrupt practices and to reform Buddhism, the native country of the Shakayumi Buddha. For those reasons, Atisha remains a central figure in the history and religious study of Buddhism. The three masters that Atisha remained with for many years were: first, Dharmakirti, a great Buddhist mystic. He taught him no-mind, he taught him emptiness, he taught him how to be thoughtless, he taught him how to drop all content from the mind and be contentless. The second master was Dharmarakshita, another Buddhist mystic. He taught him love, compassion. And the third master was YoginMaitreya, another Buddhist mystic. He taught him the art of taking the suffering of others and absorbing it into your own heart: love in action.
Atisha became a disciple of Dharmakirti. Dharmakirti said to him, ‘I will teach you the first principle. And for the second you go to Dharmarakshita, and for the third to YoginMaitreya. This way you will know all the three faces of the ultimate reality, the three faces of God – the trinity, the TRIMURTI. And this way you will learn each face from the person who is the most perfect in it.’ These are the three ways people reach to the ultimate. If you reach through emptiness you attain the other two also, but your path remains basically that of emptiness – you know more about emptiness, so emptiness will be emphasized in whatsoever you teach. That is what happened in Buddha’s case. He had attained through emptiness, hence his whole teaching became emptiness-oriented. There is no God in Buddha’s teaching, because God is a thought, content, an object. God is the other, and Buddha had attained by dropping the other. Buddha had attained by emptying his mind totally, hence there is no place for God, no place for anything at all. His path is the purest VIA NEGATIVA. That was also the case with Dharmakirti. He was the perfect master of emptiness, a master par excellence of emptiness. And when Atisha had learned how to be empty, the master said, ‘It will be better for you to go to Dharmarakshita for the next step, because he has attained from a totally different path. Just as you can reach Everest from different sides, he has reached from a totally different path, the path of compassion. I can also teach you the path of compassion, but my knowing about that path is only known from the top.’ ‘I have reached through the path of emptiness. Once you reach the top, you can look down at all the paths, they are all available to your vision. But to follow a path in its different dimensions, to follow a path in all its details, small details, is a
totally different thing.’ And to look at it from a helicopter or from the mountain – top is certainly a different vision; it is a bird’s – eye view. And Dharmakirti said, ‘If there had been nobody available here, I would have taught you the other too. But when a man like Dharmarakshita is just here, my neighbor, living in another cave just nearby, it is better you go to him.’ First one has to become empty, utterly empty. But you have not to cling to emptiness; otherwise your life will never know the positive expression of religion. Your life will miss the poetry, the joy of sharing; you will remain empty. You will have a kind of freedom, but your freedom will be only freedom from, it will not be freedom FOR. And unless a freedom is both – freedom from and freedom for – something is missing, something is lacking; your freedom will be poor. Just to be free from is a poor kind of freedom. The real freedom starts only when you are free for. You can sing a song and you can dance a dance and you can celebrate and you can start overflowing. That's what compassion is. Man lives in passion. When the mind disappears, passion is transformed into compassion. Passion means you are a beggar with a begging-bowl; you are asking and asking for more and more from everybody; you are exploiting others. Your relationships are nothing but exploitations -- cunning devices to possess the other, very clever strategies to dominate. When you are living in the mind, in passion, your whole life is power politics. Even your love your social service, and even your humanitarian works, are nothing but power politics. Deep down, there is a desire to be powerful over others. The same energy, when the mind is dropped, becomes compassion. And it takes a totally new turn. It is no longer begging; you become an emperor, you start giving. Now you have something – you had it always, but because of the mind, you were not aware of it. The mind was functioning like darkness around you, and you were unaware of the light within. The mind was creating an illusion of being a beggar, while all the time you had been an emperor. The mind was creating a dream; in reality you never needed
anything. All had already been given. All that you need, all that you can need is already the case. God is within you, but because of the mind its dreaming, and desiring you never look within, and you go on rushing outwards. You keep yourself in the background, your eyes are turned towards the outside, and they have become focused there. That is what the mind is all about: focusing the eyes on the outside. And one has to learn how to be unfocused from there how to make them loose, less rigid, and more liquid, so that they can turn inwards. Once you have seen who you are, the beggar disappears. In fact it had never existed. It was just a dream, an idea. The mind is creating all your misery. With the mind gone, misery is gone too, and suddenly you are full of energy. And the energy needs expression, and sharing. It wants to become a song, a dance, and a celebration. That is compassion: you start sharing. These ‘Seven Points of Mind Training’ are the fundamental teaching that he gave to Tibet. Atisha is one of those great gifts. Tibet is infinitely indebted to this man. These seven points, the smallest treatise you can find, are of immense value. You will have to meditate over each statement. They are the whole of religion condensed: you will have to unfold each statement. They are like seeds, as they contain much. It may not be apparently so, but the moment you move into the statements deeply, when you contemplate and meditate and start experimenting with them, you will be surprised. You will be going into the greatest adventure of your life. Mind training (In Tibetan: blos. byong, pronounced ‘lojong’) is any method that implants a set of ideas, perspectives, and experiences that work to dismantle habituated patterns of behavior, emotion, and perception. The mind training presented here plants the seed of compassion and nurtures its growth into the tree of awakening mind (bodhichitta) until it blossoms into presence and the effortless activity that helps
others to wake up and be present in their lives, too.
The three masters that Atisha remained with for many years were:
How does mind training work?
First: Dharmakirti, a great Buddhist mystic. He taught him no-mind, emptiness, how to be thoughtless, and how to drop all content from the mind to be free from any content.
Mind training works like two sticks rubbed together to make fire. One stick consists of the perspectives and discipline of mind training; the other is composed of the projections and dynamics of habituated patterns in you. Practice generates friction that causes both sticks to burn up.
Taking and sending Taking and sending (In Tibetan: gtong.len, pronounced ‘tonglen’) is a specific technique used in mind training to undermine the pattern of self – centeredness that characterizes pattern – based experience. It is based on the more general technique of mentally exchanging one’s experience with the experience of others. Taking and sending provides a simple effective method to carry this intention into all aspects of one's life. Where does mind training come from? Serlingpa or Dharmakirti, Atisha, and Chekawa The tradition of Mahayana mind training begins in India, probably around 200-300 C.E. It was certainly in full flower by the time of Shantideva, who makes extensive use of it in his Bodhicharyavatara. The technique of taking and sending itself is usually traced to Serlingpa (Dharmakirti), a master who lived in Indonesia. Atisha received instruction from him in both mind training and taking and sending and brought these teachings to Tibet in the 11th century. Mind training was originally a secret transmission, taught only to students who had a proven capacity and sincerity for practice. ChekawaYesheDorje (1102-1176) for whom the practice had special significance, composed the seven points and taught them openly.
Second master was Dharmarakshita, another Buddhist mystic. He taught him love, compassion. Third master was YoginMaitreya, another Buddhist mystic. He taught him the art of taking the suffering of others and absorbing it into his own heart: love in action. This could happen because all these three masters were great friends. They had started their search together; while they were on the way they had remained together, and when they attained they were still together. Atisha became a disciple of Dharmakirti first. Dharmakirti told Atisha, ‘I will teach you the first principle. And for the second you go to Dharmarakshita, and for the third to YoginMaitreya. This way you will know all the three faces of the ultimate reality, the three faces of God -- the trinity, the TRIMURTI. And this way you will learn each face from the person who is the most perfect in it.’ And in fact two masters are not separate from one another. To be a master implies one has reached to the very source of creation. This is what enlightenment means reaching the source and dwelling there as well. However after enlightenment the master chooses a particular field to operate and since our eye is of the outer world we see the difference between masters.
Inviting Atisha to Tibet After Atisha’s return to India, he protected and upheld the Triumphant One’s hallowed Dharma by three times defeating in formal debate nonBuddhist extremists. Within the Buddhist fold, he established many institutes of learning wherever he traveled, and whenever he saw signs of degenerate or misinformed practices, he would
immediately reform them. His fame spread throughout India. Because of his compassion and insight, he was revered as the crowning jewel of the erudite masters. He conferred the greatest benefit, however, on the people of Tibet, the Land of Snow. Although the Buddha Dharma had been brought to Tibet several centuries earlier through the efforts primarily of Guru Rinpoche Padmasambhava (GuruRin-po-che Pad-ma ‘byung-gnas) and several others, this early flowering suffered a great setback due to repression by King Langdarma (Glang-dar-ma) (863 – 906 CE). Few practitioners were left and afterwards many points were no longer properly understood. Many felt that the practices of ethical self-discipline and tantra were mutually exclusive and that enlightenment could be achieved through intoxication and various forms of sexual misconduct. Others believed that likewise contradictory were the teachings of Hinayana and Mahayana, leading respectively to liberation and enlightenment. Saddened by this degenerate condition, the Tibetan king Yeshey-wo (Ye-shes ‘od) wished very strongly to invite a learned master from one of the great monastic centers of India to come to Tibet and clarify the confusion. Not knowing specifically of Atisha, he sent twenty – one young men to study Sanskrit and locate a suitable master. All but two died of the heat. Unable to invite anyone, but having learned the language, the new translators Rinchen-zangpo (Rin-chenbzang-po) (958 – 1051 CE) and Legshay (Legs-bshad) returned to the king and informed him about Atisha. As soon as he heard his name, the king decided that this Atisha was the person who was needed. Wasting no time, he sent a second party of nine, headed by Gyatsonseng (rGyabrtson-‘grussengge), with much gold to invite this master. But the eight companions died as well and, unable to bring Atisha, Gyatsonseng stayed on in India. When news of this second failure reached Yeshey-wo, he decided to lead an expedition himself to collect more gold for yet another party. But on this mission, he was captured on the Nepalese border by the rival King of Garlog (Gar-log, Qarluq), who wished to prevent the further spread of Buddhism in Tibet.
King Yeshey-wo’s nephew, Jangchub-wo, was informed either to give up this mission to India or to raise an amount of gold equal to the size of his uncle in order to secure the hostage’s release. The nephew traveled about the kingdom, but was only able to collect gold equal to the King’s torso and limbs. He could not raise the additional gold for his head. When the Garlog ruler demanded the full measure of ransom, the nephew requested permission to see his uncle. He was taken to a dark prison cell enclosed by iron bars. There he explained the situation to his uncle, who was in chains and very frail, and said he would continue to search for the remaining gold. ‘Do not give up hope,’ he told his uncle, ‘for I shall raise the ransom. I could wage war with this Garlog king, but many would be killed. Buying your freedom seems best.’ ‘My dear nephew,’ the aged King replied, ‘I never expected you to have such compassion and wisdom. I am pleased that you understand the evils of violence, but now you must forget about me. Instead, use all the gold you have collected to invite to Tibet the great master Atisha. I have died countless times in previous lives, but I am sure I have never before sacrificed myself for the Triumphant One’s Dharma. Now I am very happy to do so. Whomever you send to India, please have him tell Atisha that I have given my life for the welfare of my subjects and the Dharma so that he could be brought to Tibet. Although I have not had the fortune to meet him this lifetime, I have fervent hopes that I can in the future.’ The nephew submitted to his uncle’s command and departed, nearly overcome by grief. Jangchub-wo, now became King of Tibet. He decided that the best person he could send on this third mission would be the translator Nagtso (Nagmtsho Lo-tsa-ba), who had already been to India several times. The new king invited him to the palace and, insisting that the translator sit on the royal throne, pleaded with him. ‘My uncle died so that Atisha could be invited to Tibet. If his wish is not fulfilled, the troubled people of this land will surely fall into terrible rebirths. I beg you to save these unfortunate beings.’ The young king then broke down and wept. Nagtso had no choice but to
accept and brave the hardships of yet another journey to India. The translator set off with 700 gold coins and six companions. The King escorted them for several days and, before taking his leave, reminded Nagtso to tell Atisha, ‘This is the last of the gold in Tibet and my uncle was the last of Tibet’s great men. If he has any compassion for others, he must come. If the barbarians of Tibet have such concern for the Dharma and he has none, then Buddhism has indeed weakened and there is no hope!’ The King then turned back to his palace. On the way to India, the delegation met a young boy who asked the purpose of their journey. When told, he was very pleased and said, ‘You will be successful in your quest if you always recite this prayer, ‘I make obeisance to and take safe direction from Avalokiteshvara. I request that the Triumphant One’s Dharma flourish in Tibet.’ When asked who he was, the boy said they would find out in due time. Eventually, the travelers reached the sequestered monastic university of Vikramashila late one night and camped at the gates. In a room above, lived Gyatsonseng, the Tibetan who had led King Yeshey-wo’s second mission. When he heard voices speaking his native tongue, he looked down with great surprise and, seeing the party camped below, asked why they had come. The Tibetans excitedly related their story, and even disclosed that the purpose of their mission was, in fact, to bring Atisha himself back to Tibet. Gyatsonseng warned them not to reveal their aims so openly. He advised them to leave their gold with the boy posted at the gate and come to see him in the morning. The travelers did so and the small boy told them to rest and to trust him. Early the next day, the lad woke them and asked why they had come. When they told him everything, the boy said crossly, ‘You Tibetans talk too much! You must keep this quiet. Otherwise, there will be much interference. Important things should never be done in haste, but always slowly, carefully, and in secret.’ He then returned their gold coins and led them into the enormous monastic grounds.
The party met an old man who greeted them and asked where they were from and why they had come. Again, they made no attempt to hide anything and the old man scolded them, ‘If you continue indiscreetly like this, you will never accomplish your goal. Tell your mission only to Atisha.’ He then offered to show them to Gyatsonseng’s room. Although he walked slowly with a cane, no one could keep up with him, for he too, like the small boys before, was an emanation of Avalokiteshvara, overseeing their mission. Now the Tibetans decided on a plan of action. Gyatsonseng told them to say they had come to study Sanskrit. ‘Our chief abbot, the elder Ratnakara, is Atisha’s superior and regards him very highly. If he hears of your real purpose, he will make sure you never even meet Atisha.’ The next morning, they reported to the Abbot and presented him with half their gold coins. They told him that in the past many of their countrymen had come to India seeking to invite to Tibet such erudite masters as Atisha. However, they had come to study and become learned themselves. The venerable elder was greatly relieved and said, ‘By all means do that. Do not misunderstand. It is not that I have no compassion for Tibet, but Atisha is one of our most highly realized masters, especially in terms of his bodhichitta. If he does not remain in India, there is no hope for the Buddha’s teachings to be preserved in their birthplace.’ The Abbot, however, was still highly suspicious of these foreigners and prevented them from meeting Atisha. The Tibetans, convinced that their ploy had worked, began to attend classes and bided their time. After several months, an important monastic ceremony was held. As everyone was required to attend, the travelers hoped that at last they would catch a glimpse of Atisha. As they watched and waited, many great masters made their entrance. Some, like the famous Naropa, came surrounded by a huge retinue. Others were preceded by attendants bearing flowers and incense. Finally, Atisha arrived. He was dressed in old tattered robes, with the chapel and storehouse keys tied to his waist. The Tibetans were sorely disappointed with his unimpressive appearance and asked Gyatsonseng if they could invite one of the other
more glamorous masters instead. Gyatsonseng told them, ‘No, Atisha has a very special close bond with Tibet and, despite his appearance; he is the one you must bring back.’ Finally, a secret meeting was arranged. Nagtso presented Atisha with the gold coins piled high on a round mandala offering plate and told him the history of how the hallowed Dharma had degenerated in Tibet. Relating the story of King Yeshey-wo’s sacrifice and repeating the words of both the uncle and nephew, Nagtso pleaded with him to come. Atisha told them they were very kind and that he had no doubt that those Tibetan kings were in fact bodhisattvas. He was aware of the problems and sincerely respected the King for his sacrifice, but they must try to understand he was getting on in years and had many responsibilities as keeper of the monastery’s storehouse. He hoped it would be possible to come and returned their gold for the journey home. ‘Meanwhile,’ he told them, ‘I must consult with my personal yidam.’ That night, Tara appeared to Atisha in a pure vision and told him his journey would be a complete success. He would benefit the Tibetans enormously and would find among them a disciple with an especially close bond to him. This would be an upasaka, a man with lay vows, and he would spread the Dharma even further. ‘But,’ she told him, ‘if you remain in India, you will live to be ninety – two, whereas if you go to Tibet your lifespan will be seventy – two years.’ Atisha now felt confident to go with the Tibetans and that it was worth the sacrifice of twenty years of his life if he could truly benefit others. He would have to find some clever means to obtain leave from his shrewd abbot. First, he asked permission to make pilgrimages to the east, south, and west of Vikramashila. This was granted and he visited a number of holy places. He then asked to make a similar journey to the north, but the Elder, sensing his hidden motive, refused. The Tibetan delegation was thrown into great despair and decided the only hope was to tell the Abbot the entire truth. The stable Elder pretended to be angry, and the Tibetans immediately fell to
their knees and pleaded for forgiveness. ‘My reasons for not wishing to give you Atisha are the same as before,’ the Abbot began, ‘but because the need of Tibet is so great, I am willing to let him remain in your land for three years. However, you must promise to return him to India after that time.’ Overwhelmed with joy, the Tibetans pledged their word.
Reforming and Revitalizing the Dharma in Tibet Thus, at the age of fifty – three, Atisha set out on the long journey to the Land of Snow. On route, the translator Gyatsonseng fell ill and died. In grief, Atisha declared, ‘Now my tongue has been cut out!’ Then Nagtso humbly bowed before him and said, ‘Please do not worry. Although my Sanskrit is not perfect, it will surely improve. There are others as well who maybe can serve you.’ In Nepal, they met the great eye opening translator Marpa (Mar-pa Lo-tsa-ba) (1012 – 1099 CE), who was on his way to India for the third time. Atisha invited him to be his interpreter, but Marpa excused himself by saying, ‘It was my teacher’s wish that I visit India three times. Now, I must make this final journey.’ They also met the aged translator Rinchen-zangpo, but he too was unable to help. ‘As you can see by the white hair on my head,’ he said, ‘I am very old. I have worked all my life without ever the chance for doing intensive practice.’ Thus, Atisha went on, forced to rely on Nagtso’s limited skills. After two years of travel, the party finally arrived in Upper Tibet (sTod, western Tibet) at the city of Ngari (mNga’-ri), the capital of Yeshey-wo’s kingdom. Both the householders and the monks formed a grand procession and invited Atisha to stay at the nearby sequestered monastery. The Indian master was overjoyed at this enthusiasm for the Triumphant One’s teachings and was greatly surprised at the number who had taken the robes of a spiritual seeker. Many learned people came from all over Tibet. He was so impressed with the profundity of their questions concerning the Sage Buddha’s sutras and tantras that he wondered why they had gone to so much trouble
to invite him when there were already so many masters. However, when he quizzed them back as to how these two sets of preventive measures formed an integral whole, they were unable to answer. Atisha now knew the purpose of his mission. One day, King Jangchub-wo requested a teaching for the people of Tibet. ‘We do not want one on measures that are so vast and profound we shall be unable to adopt them,’ he said. ‘What we need is something that will tame our minds and enable us to deal with our everyday impulsive behavior (karma) and its results. Please teach us the measures you yourself take.’ Atisha was so enchanted by the simplicity and sincerity of the King’s request that in later years he referred to him as ‘my excellent disciple.’ Had he been asked for advanced empowerments into tantric deity systems or for practices conferring special powers, he would have been far less pleased. Thus, he spent three years at Ngari giving discourses later compiled into ‘A Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment’ (Byang-chub lamgyisgron-ma, Skt. Bodhipathapradipa). This became the prototype for all future texts on this subject. The points he always emphasized in his talks with the people earned him the nicknames, ‘Sublime Teacher of Safe Direction (Lama Refuge)’ and ‘Sublime Teacher of Impulsive Behavior and Its Results (Lama Cause and Effect).’ He was very pleased with this and said, ‘Even hearing such names might prove beneficial.’ Throughout this time, Atisha kept watch for his future chief disciple, the Tibetan layman prophesied by ennobling, impeccable Tara, but he had still not appeared. One day, the Indian was invited to a patron’s house for lunch and, as he was a strict vegetarian, was served traditional toasted barley cakes (tsampa). When he left, he asked for a few extra pieces and some butter. At that very same moment, the reveredDromtonpa (‘BromstonrGyal-ba’i ‘byung-gnas) (1004 – 1064 CE), the awaited upasaka layman, arrived at Atisha’s house. He asked the attendants, ‘Where is my sublime Mahayana guru?’ They replied, ‘Atisha is having
lunch with his patron. If you wait here, he will return shortly.’ Dromtonpa could not wait. Instead, he ran quickly toward the patron’s house. Atisha and Dromtonpa met in one of the streets. Although they had never seen each other before, there was an immediate mutual recognition because of their close bond from previous lives. Dromtonpa made prostration and Atisha, offering him the barley cakes, said, ‘Here is your lunch. You must be very hungry.’ The layman ate the cakes and used the butter to make a butter - lamp offering to his newly found spiritual master. From that time onwards, he offered such a lamp each night without fail. After Atisha had been in Ngari three years, he set out with the translator Nagtso for the return to India. But, a war on the Nepalese border prevented their passage. Nagtso became extremely anxious since now it appeared impossible for him to keep his promise to the Abbot of Vikramashila. Atisha immediately calmed his fears by saying, ‘It is useless to worry about a situation that is beyond your control.’ Greatly relieved, Nagtso wrote the Abbot a letter, explaining how their good intentions had been thwarted. As partial recompense for his absence, Atisha sent with it a copy of ‘A Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment’. He also requested permission to stay in Tibet for the remainder of his life. They then returned to Ngari. Nowadays, the publication of a book is a relatively simple commercial transaction. At the time of Atisha, however, before a manuscript could be printed, it had to pass a rigid examination by a committee of scholars, presided over by the local king. If the work were found lacking in any way, it would be tied to the tail of a dog and dragged through the dust. While the author, instead of reaping praise and fame, would suffer a humiliating loss of reputation. Atisha’s text was subjected to this same scrutiny and the committee unanimously agreed to its outstanding worth. The presiding king was even moved to remark that it would not only benefit the
ignorant Tibetans, but the sharp-minded Indians as well. When the Abbot of Vikramashila read the text, he wrote to Nagtso the translator, ‘I have no more objections to Atisha’s remaining in Tibet. What he has written has benefited us all. I merely ask that he now compose and send us his own commentary to it.’ This is how Atisha’s own explanation of the difficult points of this important text (Byang-chub lam-gyisgron-ma’idka’-‘grel) came to be written.
Nyetang(sNye-thang) near Lhasa, and five in various other places until his death in 1054 CE at the age of seventy-two as prophesied by Tara. Atisha’s body was embalmed and enshrined at Nyetang and, two years later (1056 CE), the revered layman Dromtonpa established the sequestered Radreng Monastery (RvasgrengrGyal-ba’idben-gnas), the most important center of the Kadam (bKa’-gdams) tradition which passed on his master’s lineages.
Soon, Dromtonpa invited Atisha to travel further north to Central Tibet (dBus) and visit Lhasa. On the way, they stopped at Samyay (bSam-yas), the first monastery built in Tibet. Atisha was very impressed by the library’s Sanskrit and Tibetan collections and said that he did not think that so many Sanskrit Buddhist texts existed even in India at that time.
Nagtso the translator recalled that not once during the long time they had been together had Atisha ever said or done anything unpleasant. Teaching an integrated path of sutra and tantra, the great Indian master accomplished the enormous task of reforming and revitalizing the spread in Tibet of the Triumphant One’s complete Dharma. In fact, it is due to his kindness that these hallowed measures have survived in their original form.
Altogether, Atisha spent seventeen years in the Land of Snow: three in Ngari, nine in
ZEN IS JUST ZEN. There is nothing comparable to it. It is unique -- unique in the sense that it is the most ordinary and yet the most extraordinary phenomenon that has happened to human consciousness. It is the most ordinary because it does not believe in knowledge, it does not believe in mind. It is not a philosophy, not a religion either. It is the acceptance of the ordinary existence with a total heart, with one's total being, not desiring some other world, supra-mundane, supra-mental. It has no interest in any esoteric nonsense, no interest in metaphysics at all. It does not hanker for the other shore; this shore is more than enough. Its acceptance of this shore is so tremendous that through that very acceptance it transforms this shore -- and this very shore becomes the other shore: This very body the buddha; This very earth the lotus paradise. Hence it is ordinary. It does not want you to create a certain kind of spirituality, a certain kind of holiness. All that it asks is that you live your life with immediacy, spontaneity. And then the mundane becomes the sacred. Zen goes beyond Buddha and beyond Lao Tzu. It is a culmination, a transcendence, both of the Indian genius and of the Chinese genius. The Indian genius reached its highest peak in Gautam the Buddha and the Chinese genius reached its highest peak in Lao Tzu. And the meeting...the essence of Buddha's teaching and the essence of Lao Tzu's teaching merged into one stream so deeply that no separation is possible now. Even to make a distinction between what belongs to Buddha and what to Lao Tzu is impossible, the merger has been so total. It is not only a synthesis, it is an integration. Out of this meeting Zen was born. Zen is neither Buddhist nor Taoist and yet both. To call Zen "Zen Buddhism" is not right because it is far more. Buddha is not so earthly as Zen is. Lao Tzu is tremendously earthly, but Zen is not only earthly: its vision transforms the earth into heaven. Lao Tzu is earthly, Buddha is unearthly, Zen is both -- and in being both it has become the most extraordinary phenomenon.
Ah, This! Talks on Zen Stories - OSHO
ASTAVAKRA MAHA GITA Ashtavakra is a unique man of truth. He speaks the truth just as it is. He is not concerned about the listener. He does not even care whether his listener will understand or not. To accept Ashtavakra you have to drop yourself - unconditionally. And to understand Ashtavakra you will have to descend into the depths of meditation.
nd for meditation Ashtavakra does not ask us to sit and chant ‘Ram, Ram.’ He says that anything you do will not be meditation. How can there be meditation when there is a doer? As long as there is doing, there is illusion. As long as the doer is present, the ego is present. Ashtavakra says becoming a witness is meditation. Then the doer disappears; you remain only as watcher, nothing but the observer. When you are nothing but the observer then only is there darshan, or seeing; then only is there meditation, then only is there wisdom.
says becoming a witness is meditation. Then the doer disappears; you remain only as watcher, nothing but the observer. When you are nothing but the observer then only is there darshan, or seeing; then only is there meditation, then only is there wisdom.
Ashtavakra is not for synthesis - he is a man of truth. He speaks the truth just as it is, without any artifice or coloring. He is not concerned about the listener, he does not care whether his listener will understand or not. Such a pure expression of truth has never happened anywhere before, nor has it ever happened again.
Osho says, “One very great mystic of India I have spoken on him for almost half a year continuously. His name was Ashtavakra. And what he has written is tremendously important; each sentence has so many dimensions to be explored, but the man himself was in a very difficult situation.”
No one is concerned with Ashtavakra, because to accept Ashtavakra you are going to have to drop yourself - unconditionally. You cannot bring yourself along. Only if you stay behind can you come near him. If you really want to understand Ashtavakra you will have to descend into the depths of meditation. No commentary, no interpretation will be of any help. And for meditation Ashtavakra does not ask us to sit and chant ‘Ram, Ram.’ He says that anything you do will not be meditation. How can there be meditation when there is a doer? As long as there is doing, there is illusion. As long as the doer is present, the ego is present. Ashtavakra
And the sannyasin is one who is dead even while he is alive. But the person who is dead while he is alive will be alive when he is dead. Ashtavakra says, Rest in yourself, and you will attain all. Because resting in yourself you will know who you are.
Ashtavakra -- the name was given to him, because he was almost like a camel. In eight places he was distorted in the body. One leg was longer, one arm was shorter, and his back was bent. In eight places he was distorted. That is how he was born, with a crippled, distorted body. But even in a crippled and distorted body the soul is as beautiful as in the most beautiful body. The legend says one day his father was reciting certain Sutra as finished a voice came from his wife’s womb – you are reciting these wrong. This angered the sage and he cursed the unborn child to be crippled even when he was still unborn. It is also said when he became enlightened, his body was too rigid to change with his inner
change. His eyes started showing something of the beauty, but the whole body was in such a mess. “It is one of the strangest things in India that on every book written by any prominent mystic there have been hundreds of commentaries, but nobody has commented before me on Ashtavakra. And he must be at least five thousand years old. For five thousand years nobody has bothered to look into his statements, which are so significant”, says Osho. But his inner enlightenment, his inner understanding could not change his outer appearance. And yet for those who are going deeper into themselves, the outer does not matter. They would have seen even in Ashtavakra tremendous beauty, but it would not have been of the outer circumference, but of the center. Most often the inner change changes the outer, if the outer is not too rigid. But the outer never changes the inner. You need to have eyes, going deep into people’s beings, which is possible only if you are going
inwards yourself. The deeper you go into yourself the deeper you can look into other people’s beings. And then a totally new world opens its doors. Just a few days ago I was talking about Ashtavakra. Yes, he is exactly like Lao Tzu; he also praises the quality of sublime laziness. He calls it ALASISHIROMANI - The emperor of laziness, a great king of laziness, the highest peak of laziness. But remember, inactivity inclusive of energy, and vitality. And not a single effort has to be made, because in the effort so much energy will be wasted that you will be less radiant. And God comes to you only when you are optimally vital, and at the peak that you cannot be any more vital. At that peak you meet the divine. Your highest energy comes closest to God’s feet; God’s lowest energy is closest to man’s highest energy, and there is the communion. Ashtavakra was the master of King Janaka who was the father of Sita in RamCharitManasa. The story how Janaka assumed Ashtavakra as his master is unique.
The first thing to remember here is: to be with me means you disconnect yourself from your past, whatsoever it is -- your initiation, your Master, your church, your religion. Unless you disconnect yourself you can't be with me. To be with me you have to be reborn; you have to be a new being, utterly fresh as the dewdrops in the early sun. Less than that won't do. You have to pass through fire. And it is very difficult to pass through fire, because one can see that the familiar is disappearing and the promised is far away. The Promised Land may be, may not be, and the familiar is going out of your hands. And the mind says, "It is better to have half the bread that you already have than to lose it for the whole bread which you don't have, which is only a promise." A Master is only a promise: a promise of something that can happen, a promise of your potential becoming actual, a promise of a flowering. But right now you are only a seed, and the seed cannot believe in the promise; it is very difficult for the seed to believe in the promise. The seed would like to remain a seed and yet be a flower. So we go on clinging to the familiar beliefs, systems of thought, ideology. And still we want to be reborn! It is like a child who wants to cling to the womb and yet wants to be born. That is impossible. Either he has to be in the womb and die in the womb -- because after nine months to be in the womb is going to be sure death -- or he has to take the risk, the adventure, of going into the unknown. Ah, This! Talks on Zen Stories - OSHO
‘Kamal Posh’ a prelude to Sufism
ufism is indeed a path of love. The Sufi is a traveller on the path of love. A wayfarer journeying back to God through the mysteries of the heart is a Sufi. A Sufi views the relationship to God as that of lover and Beloved. Sufis are therefore known as lovers of God. The journey to God takes place within the heart. Indeed for centuries Sufis have been travelling deep within themselves, into the secret chamber of the heart where Lover and Beloved share the ecstasy of union of formless to formless. Sufism is the ancient wisdom of the heart. It is not limited by time or place or form. It always was and it always will be. There have always been lovers of God, long before they were recognized as Sufis. The path of seeking God within have always existed even before man has discovered the path as Sufism. There is a story about a group of mystics, a band of lovers of God, who were called the ‘Kamal Posh’. ‘Kamal Posh’ actually means blanket wearer. Their only possession was a blanket which they wore as a covering during the day and used as a blanket at night. As the story goes they travelled throughout moving from prophet to prophet but no one could satisfy them. Every prophet told them to do this or to do that and this did not satisfy them. Then one day, at the time of Muhammad, the Prophet was seated together with his companions when he said that in a certain number of days the men of the Kamal Posh would be coming. So it happened that on the specified day this group of Kamal Posh visited the Holy prophet. And when they were with him, he said nothing, and the people of Kamal Posh were completely satisfied. Why were they satisfied? When the Holy Prophet invoked love in their
hearts, and love began to overflow, what dissatisfaction can there be? The ‘Kamal Posh’ recognized that Muhammad knew the mysteries of the heart. They stayed with the Prophet and were assimilated into Islam. According to this story the Kamal Posh became the mystical element of Islam. And later these wayfarers came to be known as Sufis, perhaps in reference to the white woollen blanket, ‘sûf,’ which they wore, or as an indication of their purity of heart, ‘safâ’, for they were also known as the pure of heart. Over the centuries Sufism spread throughout the Islamic world and beyond, with most Sufis being strict followers of Islam, though some were persecuted by the Islamic orthodoxy as well. In the early days of Sufism very little was written down; there were just luminaries, saints, friends of God, wali, who lived their own spiritual passion, and their deepest devotion. One such saint was Râbi'a, a woman who was born in the eighth century into slavery, but whose owner was so impressed by the intensity of her devotion that he gave her freedom. She became known for stressing the love that exists between the mystic and God. Always looking towards God, she cared for nothing that might distract from or interfere with this relationship. She was once asked, ‘Do you love God?’ ‘Yes,’ Rabia replied. ‘Do you hate the devil?’ ‘No, my love of God gives me no time to hate the devil’ was the reply of Rabia. Like many early Sufis Râbi’a practiced severe renunciation and austerities. The great ninthcentury saint BâyezîdBistâmî also practiced
severe mortification, but he stressed that the real renunciation was of the lower self: I shed my ‘self’ (nafs) as a snake sheds its skin, then I looked at myself and behold! I am He. Through the subjugation of the lower self, or ego, the lover realizes his essential unity with the Beloved. Bâyezîd expressed his experience of unity with intoxicated utterances that could be considered heretical: Praise be to Me, how great is My majesty! BâyezîdBistâmî was known as belonging to the school of intoxication, as was the tenth-century mystic al-Hallâj, who passionately exclaimed the oneness of lover and Beloved: I have become the One I love, and the One I love has become me! We are two spirits infused in a (single) body. Al-Hallâj’s seemingly blasphemous statements, including the famous ‘anâ'l-Haqq’ (I am the AbsoluteTruth), cost him his life on the gallows of Baghdad. But through his death he became immortalized as the prince of lovers, as the one who was prepared to pay the ultimate price for love, his own blood. In contrast to these intoxicated Sufis, al-Junayd of Baghdad advocated the state of sobriety. Junayd stressed the state of fanâ, the annihilation of the ego, and unlike alHallâj, whom he supposedly rejected from his circle as a madman; Junayd felt that it was dangerous to speak openly of mystical experiences. The early Sufi mystics lived their mystical passion. Their teaching was their life and although their sayings were collected by their followers there was no mystical doctrine. But by the twelfth century Sufi teachings began to be organized into a mystical system. In 1165 one the greatest exponents of metaphysical doctrine, Ibn 'Arabî, was born in Spain. The core of IbnArabî’s mystical teaching is known as ‘Wahdat al-Wujûd,’ unity of being. Ibn 'Arabî replaced the idea of a personal God with a philosophical concept of Oneness. Only God exists. He is the One underlying the many and is
also the many. He is the cause of everything, the essence of everything, and the substance of everything: He is now as He was. He is the One without oneness and the Single without singleness. He is the very existence of the First and the very existence of the Last, and the very existence of the Outward and the very existence of the Inward. So there is neither first nor last; no outward or inward, except Him, without these becoming Him or His becoming them. By Himself He sees Himself, and by Himself He knows Himself. None sees Him other than He, and none perceives Him other than He. His veil, that is phenomenal existence, is a part of His oneness. There is no other and there is no existence other than Him. Because there is no one other than He, through knowing our self we come to know God. ‘He who knows himself knows his Lord.’ This is not a philosophical concept but a mystical experience. ‘When the mystery of realizing that the mystic is one with the Divine is revealed to you, you will understand that you are no other than God and that you have continued and will continue. When you know yourself, your ‘I-ness’ vanishes and you know that you and God are one and the same.’ Fanâ, the loss of one’s ‘I-ness,’ is a state of realizing one’s essential oneness with God. Nothing becomes God or even unites with God because everything is He. The greatness of Ibn 'Arabî is not in the originality of his idea, instead in formally organizing ideas that until then, had only been expressed orally. The theory of Wahdat alWujûd, unity of being, was already part of Sufi metaphysics. Later Sufis valued the work of the greatest sheikh for systematizing what they regarded as the real essence of Sufism. Ibn 'Arabî became known as ‘the pole of knowledge,’ JalâluddînRûmî came to be known for one of the world’s greatest writings on mystical love. Four years after Ibn 'Arabî's death in 1240, Rûmî, a theology professor, was walking home from school when he met a ragged dervish, Shams Tabrîz. According to one story Rûmî fell at
Shams' feet and renounced his religious teaching when the dervish recited these verses from Sanâ'î'sDiwân: If knowledge does not liberate the self from the self then ignorance is better than such knowledge. Shams Tabrîz was the spark that ignited the fire of divine love within Rûmî, who summed up his life in the two lines: And the result is not more than these three words: I burnt, and burnt, and burnt. Shams had awakened in him a fire that could only be satisfied with union, with the ecstatic loss of the self in the presence of the Beloved. ‘Shams’ was the divine sun that lighted Rûmî's life. But one day Shams disappeared, possibly murdered by one of Rûmî’s sons who was jealous of his father’s intense love for the wandering dervish. Without Shams, Rûmî was consumed with grief, lost alone in the ocean of love. But from the terrible pain of outer separation and loss was born an inner union as he found his
beloved within his own heart. Inwardly united with Shams, the theology professor was transformed into Love’s Poet. Rûmî knew the pain of love and the deepest purpose of this fire within the heart, how it empties the human being and fills him with the wine of love: Love is here like the blood that flows in my veins and skin. He has annihilated me and filled me only with Him. His fire has penetrated all the cells of my body and now only my name remains; the rest is Him. Rûmî became the poet of lovers, expressing the crazy passion of the soul’s yearning for God. Rûmî's words, though spoken centuries ago, continue to linger in the soul of every lover, every wayfarer who seeks to follow this passion that is in the innermost core of our being, as the pathway in the soul that leads back to the Beloved. His major work, the ‘Masnavi’, became known as ‘The Quran in Persian.’ And today he is the world’s most popular poet, who speaks of the need for love. We have to hear these stories of divine love, and also hear from a master of love how the heart can sing, cry, and burn with passion for God.
THE REAL MAN OF ZEN IS NOT HUMBLE in the ordinary sense of the word. He simply says whatsoever is the case. This is the case! Chao Chou is simply stating a truth. He is not saying anything about himself, remember. He is simply stating a fact: "THIS state -- this state of no-mind in which I am higher, higher among human kings and higher among Kings of Dharma also -- because it is the highest state." Once Ramakrishna was given a painting by a great painter -- a painting of Ramakrishna him portrait. Ramakrishna took the painting, bowed down to the painting, touched the feet -- his own feet, it was his own portrait! The painter was puzzled: "Is that man really mad?" The disciples were puzzled. One disciple asked, "Paramahansadeva, what are you doing, touching your own feet?" Ramakrishna said, "Right! You should have reminded me before. I should not do such a thing. What will people think? They will think I am mad! But the truth is, I completely forgot that this is my picture -- I could only see the ultimate state of consciousness. This is a portrait of SAMADHI, not of Ramakrishna. Ramakrishna is irrelevant! It could have been Buddha's picture, it could have been Krishna's picture, it could have been Jesus' picture. It is just an accident that it is mine. It doesn't matter. "But the painter has been able to catch hold of something very subtle; he has been able to depict something which is indescribable. And I could not resist myself -- I had to bow down, I had to touch the feet."
Ah, This! Talks on Zen Stories - OSHO
INNER SILENCE - BASIC EXPERIENCES:
he lover longs to go far beyond the mind and the ego, to be absorbed in love’s limitless ocean. Drowning the mind within the heart, we wait to be taken, to be absorbed in love’s emptiness. However, this complete giving of oneself takes time, patience, and practice. The initial stages of meditation are often the work of stilling the mind and the emotions, creating an empty space where we can be attentive to love and listen to the voice of our Beloved. He reveals Himself to those who love Him, and it always comes as an act of Grace. The work of the lover is to be waiting, always listening for His call. ‘Catching the divine hint’ is an important Sufi practice in which we learn to be continually attentive to our Beloved in order to serve Him. But only too easily does the clamor of the world deafen us and the noise of our own mind distracts us. In order to hear the guidance that comes from within, we need to attune our self to the frequency of the heart and be sensitive to the still, and the small voice of the Self. We need to learn to focus our attention on the inner world and cultivate stillness. Shiblî tells a story of going to see the Sufi master, Nûrî, and seeing him sitting in meditation so motionless that not even one hair moved. He asked Nûrî, ‘From whom did you learn such deep meditation?’ Nûrî replied, ‘I learned it from a cat waiting by a mouse hole. The cat was much stiller than I.’ Within the silence of the heart, the attention of the lover is receptive, waiting for the Beloved. Meditation is a state of receptivity which is a container of communion with God. Later the lover learns to carry this state of inner attention at all times, always keeping an inner ear attentive to the voice of the Beloved, always receptive to His hint. But in the early stages of the path it can be difficult to hear His voice when we are engaged in the activities of our outer life. We need the sacred space of meditation to withdraw into silence and keep our attention focused on the heart. Meditation also attunes us to the higher
frequency of the divine hint, for the hint from God is ‘faster than lightening.’ Through the continual practice of meditation, the mind is purified and disciplined, made more accessible to the voice of the Beloved. At the beginning we have to learn the art of listening, the art of being inwardly present, attentive and empty. We have to learn to be silent, because listening is born out of inner silence. It is only in silence can we catch the voice of our Beloved. We can also learn to ask, to seek guidance for our self or others. Immersed in the silence of the heart we can speak more directly to the source, ask without the distortions and disturbances of everyday consciousness. And in this silence, surrendered to the emptiness, we are receptive to any answer that may be given. Often we sit in meditation and even when we ask there is neither guidance nor hint and we remain alone in the empty space of our listening. But the listening of the heart is always an act of love. It is coming together, even when nothing is heard. Listening is a wisdom so easily overlooked. It is feminine, receptive, and hidden. However, our culture values only that which is visible. But Rûmî knew how central a part it plays in our loving and in our wordless relationship with our Beloved. Make everything in you an ear, each atom of your being, and you will hear at every moment what the Source is whispering to you, just to you and for you, without any need for my words or anyone else’s. You are - we all are – the beloved of the Beloved, and in every moment, in every event of your life, the Beloved is whispering to you exactly what you need to hear and know. Who can ever explain this miracle? It simply is. Listen and you will discover it every passing moment. Listen and your whole life will become a conversation in thought and act between you and Him, directly, wordlessly, now and always. Through our meditation we learn the art of being silent, receptive, empty, and attentive. We learn to listen with the inner ear of the heart which is attuned to the voice of our Beloved. Surrendering the mind
in meditation, we also learn to give our self to a reality that is not limited by reason, and this helps us to unconditionally follow the divine hint. Immersed in love, the mind becomes more malleable, less crystallized, and learns to accept a higher authority that does not follow its laws of logic. Meditation floods the mind with light and love, changes its texture, making it more accessible to the wisdom and guidance that come from a dimension of oneness. The lover is the servant of the Beloved, and it is within the heart that He makes known His needs. When the ego and mind have become subservient to love, we are able to be attentive to Him whom we love. In being attentive to the heart we are able to fulfil the deepest purpose of our being, to ‘be here for Him.’ There was a ruler who had a servant for whom he cared more than his other servants. None of them was more valuable or more handsome than this one. The ruler was asked about this, so he wanted to make clear to them the superiority of this servant over others in service. One day he was
riding with his entourage. In the distance was a snow – capped mountain. The ruler looked at that snow and bowed his head. The servant galloped off on his horse. The people did not know why he galloped off. After a while he returned with some snow, and the ruler asked him, ‘How did you know I wanted snow?’ The servant replied, ‘Because you looked at it, and the look of the sultan comes only with firm intention.’ So the ruler said, ‘I accord him special favor and honor, because for every person there is an occupation, and his occupation is observing my glances and watching my states of being attentively.’ Meditation prepares us for the work of servant hood. It attunes us to the higher frequency of His hint, and takes us into the inner chamber of the heart where lover and Beloved commune. Meditation helps us to live in His presence and follow His will.
So, Sudarsho, you have to understand two things. One: the variety, the difference, and love the variety and love the difference.... Mohammedans have been trying to convert the whole world to one religion; Hindus have been trying to do the same, Christians have been doing the same, Buddhists have been doing the same. The whole effort is to make all the world similar, so there are all Christians and Christians. It will be a poor world where no temple exists and no mosque, where there are only churches and churches, and the same prayer and the same scripture and the same silly Pope...it won't be good! It is beautiful that there are three hundred religions in the world; more are needed. In my vision, each person should have his own religion. There should be as many religions as there are people. Only then this conflict, this continuous conflict, will stop, this fight between religions will stop: when everybody has a religion and it is something unique like your signature, like the print of your thumb -unique. Then there will be no problem, no conflict; nobody will try to convert anybody. You don't try to convert people saying, "Make your signature just as I do." In fact, if somebody does it you will inform the police: "This man is trying to imitate me." Religion should be a personal, intimate phenomenon. But there are people who want to change the whole world into Christianity or communism. They want to make the whole world Catholic or Mohammedan or Hindu. Mohammedans say there is only one God and only one prophet of God, that is Mohammed. Then God seems to be very poor -- just ONE prophet? Can't he create more prophets? Mohammed has not exhausted all the possibilities; nobody can exhaust them, neither Buddha nor Jesus. They are all unique peaks, but no peak can exhaust all the peaks. The Himalayas have their own beauty, but it is different from the beauty of the Alps; and the Alps have their own beauty, but it is different from the beauty of the Vindhyas. Each mountain has its own beauty, each peak has its own beauty, and it contributes to the richness of the world.
Ah, This! Talks on Zen Stories - OSHO
DHYANA, SAMADHI and ENLIGHTENMENT
he regular practice of meditation prepares a place for the lover and Beloved to meet. Within the heart the lover and Beloved are always united, but in order to realize this both ego and mind have to be drowned in love. The ego’s world of separation is dissolved in the currents of love that are activated through the meditation of the heart. Technically the act of focusing on the feeling of love within the heart activates the heart chakra, the psychic center which experiences and generates love. The heart chakra comes in motion and begins to spin. This generates a greater feeling of love and one feels more love, which further helps to still the mind. As the mind becomes more still the heart spins faster, which, like a chain reaction, further stills the mind. Eventually love completely overwhelms the mind. This is the first stage of Dhyana, the complete abstraction of the senses. The experience of Dhyana rarely happens during the first practice of meditation. It may take months, even a few years to reach this stage. Then when we initially experience Dhyana it is usually for a split second, and the mind does not even know it was absent. For a moment the mind dips into the infinite and there is little or no conscious awareness of what has happened. Just for a moment we were not present. Gradually the mind goes for longer periods, which can seem like sleep; because this is the nearest equivalent we have ever known to this mindless or no – mind state. But it is not sleep, and if one is observant one sees that coming out of Dhyana has a different quality than waking from sleep. There can be a sense of being or clarity different from the ‘fuzziness’ of sleep. Or we emerge with
sweetness within the heart, softness, tenderness, or deepened feeling of longing. Sometimes it can seem that one is gradually returning as if from a great distance. In fact during the state of Dhyana the individual mind is thrown into the universal mind. One is merged into the source. But the mind does not take easily to this loss of control. Often it fights back, generating all sorts of thoughts. It can also evoke fear, patterns of anxiety, and even panic. For most of our life the mind has been dominant, and now it is losing its control. Sometimes, just before it is about to dip into the state of Dhyana, the mind becomes frightened because now it is reaching the experience in which it does not exist. It may pull us back from the brink. And we are caught again in the grip of its self – generating thoughts. But through perseverance the energy of love triumphs, and gradually the mind becomes used to this transition, and surrenders to its own non – existence. Dhyana is the first stage in the meditation of the heart. There are different levels of Dhyana as the lover is immersed deeper and deeper into a reality beyond the mind. More and more one feels the peace, stillness, and deep sense of well – being that comes from being immersed somewhere where there is no duality, or the limitations of the mind and the senses. For a few minutes, maybe an hour each day, one is allowed to merge into a vaster reality, where the problems that surround us so much cease to exist. Dhyana is the process that changes the level of awareness. The states of Dhyana gradually lead to the states of Samadhi, where a higher level of consciousness is awakened. Dhyana is the first stage after transcending the thinking faculty
of the mind. And from the point of view of the intellect it must be considered as an unconscious state. It is the first step beyond consciousness as we know it, which will lead eventually, by easy degrees, into the state of Samadhi, the SuperConscious state. The highest stages of Dhyana are gradually transformed into the lower stage of Samadhi, which is still not completely conscious. The higher state of Samadhi represents a Total awakening of one’s own divinity. The states of meditation slowly change. The heart is activated and the energy of love slows down the mind. The mind loses its control and individual consciousness is lost, at first for an instant and then gradually for longer periods of time. The lover becomes absorbed, drowned in the ocean of love. Then in this state of unconsciousness a higher level of consciousness begins to awaken. At first there may be a sense of being not an ego identity, because this ‘being’ is not separate, but contains everything within it. It is our true, unique self that is not separate from the whole. This awakening sense of being may be accompanied with peace or bliss. This is the peace that belongs to the Absolute, the bliss that is the sheath of the soul (AnandamayaKosha or Bliss Sheath). The difficulty of describing the experiences of Samadhi is that they belong to a different level of reality, beyond the mind and its quality of distinction. This is a dimension of unity in which different states interpenetrate. In Samadhi we begin to experience our true nature which is a state of oneness. We are what we experience. Gradually we glimpse, and are infused with, the all – encompassing unity and energy of love that belong to the Self and underlie all life. And this oneness is not a static state; instead a highly dynamic state of being that is constantly changing. Also our experience of it changes. No two meditations are the same and our experience becomes deeper and richer, more and more complete. On this plane of unity everything has its own place and fulfils its real purpose. Here the true nature of everything that is created is present as an expression of divine oneness and divine glory. In the outer world we experience only a fragmented sense of our self and our life.
Here everything is complete and we come to know that everything is just as it should be. Each wayfarer will have his/her own experiences as one glimpses the oneness and the true nature of divinity. There are also different levels of reality beyond the ego. In different states of meditation one can be taken to these different levels. There is the plane of pure consciousness, Buddhi, (or the ‘higher mind’) which functions without the limitations of duality. This clear light of consciousness, undistorted by ego or desires, sees things in their real nature, in which their true purpose is revealed. Here the knower and the knowledge are one, in a knowing that belongs to our inner nature and its interconnectedness with all of life. Here the knowledge that we need is instantaneously accessible. For most people this quality of ‘knowing’ is experienced as intuition, in which we suddenly know something without any process of thought. Pure consciousness is also a state of being in which awareness is present in its essential nature the individual is a state of awareness. And then the wayfarer can travel deeper, drowned into the limitless ocean of love, which can seem like nothingness to the mind, but a nothingness that loves and cares for you with infinite tenderness. The love that is experienced beyond the mind is total and intoxicating beyond all borders and limitations. The love that belongs to the outer world becomes just a pale, distorted reflection of this real love on the level of the soul. One is loved so completely and one realizes it was always like this only one has forgotten it. And this love and bliss become deeper and richer. The oneness of lover and Beloved, the meeting, merging, dissolving in love ‘like sugar in water,’ can only be hinted at. Kabir says, ‘It cannot be told by the words of the mouth. It cannot be written on paper. It is like a dumb person who tastes a sweet thing. It cannot be explained.’ Awakening from these states, dazed and bewildered, one would gladly give everything for just another sip of this intoxicating wine. And then further, beyond the realm of the known, is the realm of non-being, the frontier from which no news returns. Here all traces of the lover are
absorbed, and one returns from these states knowing nothing except that one was taken. This is the true resting place of the mystic. In the words of 'Abdu'l-QâdirGîlânî: Then the pilgrim returns home, to the home of his origin that is the world of Allâh’s proximity, that is
where the home of the inner pilgrim is, and that is where he returns. This is all that can be explained, as much as the tongue can say and the mind can grasp. Beyond this no news can be given, for beyond is the unperceivable, inconceivable, indescribable.
KRISHNA the experiment in consciousness ‘No understanding can come from the level of consciousness that seeks such understanding.’ Krishna is the Assurance – the experiment in human consciousness, that man can remain, like a lotus in mud, untouched and unattached while living amidst the throes of relationship.
rishna is an experiment in human consciousness. For the ﬁrst time in the long history man has attempted a great and bold experiment through Krishna. For the ﬁrst time, through Krishna, man has tested fully his own strength and intelligence. It has been tested and found that man can remain, like a lotus in water, untouched and unattached while living in the throes of relationship. It has been discovered that man can be loving and compassionate even on the battle ﬁeld. He can continue to love with his whole being while wielding a sword in his hand. Krishna signifies this. That is why we proclaim Krishna is an experiment in human consciousness. To understand the deeper aspects of life the first thing that is necessary is change in the level of consciousness. Man is consciousness. Consciousness creates a plane for the man to operate with. Consciousness is both fixed and variable. Every individual has a range of consciousness to operate in day to day life. Such is ordinary level of consciousness. And Albert Einstein says ‘No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.’ Such is ordinary life. When it comes to scripture and deeper aspects a different level of consciousness is needed. Each scripture is created from a level of consciousness that is much higher than ordinary level of consciousness. Do you think that your level of consciousness and that of sage Ved Vyas, who created Bhagwat Gita; or Sage Sookdev who created Bhagwat Purana; or Sage Valmiki who wrote the first portrayal of the life of Rama as ‘Ramayana’; or Tulsidas who composed the epic ‘Ram Charit Manas’ is the same. Or from
your level of consciousness you can understand the works of these scriptures. In that case you will give your own interpretations. This is the reason there are so many interpretations of Bhagwat Gita. Shankar has his plane which differs from that of Gandhiji. Lokmanya Tilak, Acharya Vinoba Bhave, Annie Besant, Swami Chinmayanand all represent a plane of consciousness from where they have looked into this scripture. In one of the compositions Mira says I have looked at you from different planes of consciousness. Each psycho center or chakra creates a plane of consciousness like a window and when you look at the horizon from a window the perspective will differ. Each of these planes has bondages. It is only when your consciousness has reached the Sahasrar or the thousand petal center that there is no variation in the level of consciousness. At this plane there is oneness, harmony and ananda. Mira continues although I have looked at you from different levels yet still I have not known your totality. And the composition continues. Mhare jnm mr[ sawI wane nhI< ibsê idn ratI Waa< deOya ibn kl n pft hE ja[t merI DatI ^<cI cF cF p<w inhaê raey raey A<ioya< ratI To understand Bhagwat Gita the first thing that is necessary is to bring about a change in your level of consciousness. This requires a certain discipline of a different nature. This is called Sadhana. This uplifts your level of consciousness and then not only you understand the epic instead it becomes your realization.
So is the case with Krishna. There is a vast difference between your level of consciousness and that of Krishna. Krishna is anand. Krishna is harmony. Krishna is oneness. Contrary to this you have experienced love in only in fleeting moments of unconsciousness. There is no trace of anand, harmony or oneness. Your life is that of chaos, despair, and misery. From this level you cannot understand Krishna. You would have known the story of six blind men who went to venture into the concept of an elephant. Each one of these got hold of one part or the other of elephant as feet, trunk, ears, and tail and used that part to describe the elephant. The part cannot describe the whole. And this is what is being done in the name of scriptures, inner growth, and transformation by the baser intellect. With this in mind I will overflow Krishna as a symbol of oneness. It is the prerequisite from the level you are. In the absence of all this, religious custodians have created a myth of a different kind around Krishna. You can understand a being but not a myth. Then it was easy to create a dichotomy between you and Krishna. It is declared that Krishna is an incarnation and you are a sinner. The two consciousnesses are different. In the beginning it is not possible for your level of consciousness to change or your plane of understanding but it is easy for a man of awareness to come down to your level of consciousness yet still maintain his flight and then holding your hands take you to his plane of consciousness. This is transformation. Through Bhagwat Gita Sage Veda Vyas explains the strategy that Krishna has used to bring about transformation in Arjuna. This is Gita Dhyana Sadhana. With this in mind let us look into the life of Krishna first and then the Bhagwat Gita as the strategy of the master for transformation. My effort through this work is to make this scripture your realization and for this Bhagwat Gita as Dhyan Sadhana is needed. Krishna is utterly incomparable, as he is so unique. Krishna happened at a time of history many
centuries ago that it is not possible for human mind to conceive of Krishna in any way. We created a myth around him and thus made Krishna impossible to understand. Firstly, his uniqueness lies in the fact that although Krishna happened in the ancient past but he belongs to the future. Man has yet to grow to that height where he can be a contemporary of Krishna. He is still beyond man’s understanding. Krishna continues to puzzle us. Only in some distant future, may be humanity will be able to understand Krishna and appreciate his virtues. And there are good reasons for it. The most important reason is that Krishna is the only being in entire history of human consciousness who reached the pinnacle of religiosity. And yet he is not at all serious or sad, or in tears. To you the chief characteristic of a religious person makes him a somber, serious and melancholic one who is vanquished in the battle of life. In the entire history of human consciousness it is Krishna alone who remains dancing, singing and laughing. Religions of the past were all life – negative and masochistic in nature. Sorrow and suffering are considered as great virtues. If you set aside Krishna’s vision of religion, each religion of the past presented a sad and sorrowful image. A laughing religion or a religion that accepts life in its totality is yet to take birth. And in a way it is good that all old religions are extinct. Also along with them, the old God, and all concepts too are dead. It is conceived of Jesus that he never laughed. It is therefore his sad look and the image of his physical form on the cross that became the focal point of Christianity and the attraction for people who are themselves unhappy and miserable. In a deeper sense both Mahavira and Buddha are against life too. But there is a difference. They are in favor of some other life in another world. Thus they support a state of liberation from this life. Each religion, up to now, has divided life into two parts. One part is denied while the other is accepted. Krishna alone accepts the life in its wholeness. Acceptance of life in its totality has attained full fruition only in Krishna. That is why
India held him to be a ‘Total Incarnation of God’, while all other incarnations were considered as imperfect and incomplete. Even Rama is described as an incomplete incarnation of God. But through Krishna, Godliness manifests in its pristine totality. And there is a reason for saying so. The reason is that Krishna has accepted and absorbed everything that life offers.Albert Schweitzer made a signiﬁcant remark in the criticism of the Indian religion. He said that the religion of this country is all life negative. This remark is correct to a large extent, if Krishna is left out. However it is incorrect as far as Krishna is concerned. If Schweitzer had tried to understand Krishna he would have never made such a remark. But it is unfortunate that we did not allow Krishna to inﬂuence our life in a broad way. He remains a lonely dancing island amidst the vast ocean of sorrow and misery that is human life. Krishna remains a small oasis of celebration in the ocean of sadness and negativity; suppression and condemnation that we really are. Krishna could not inﬂuence the whole spectrum of our life. And for this we alone are to be blamed. Krishna is not in the least responsible for it. In fact humanity was not worthy to have him imbibe it. Human mind divides and has looked at life in fragments. This brought dialectical thinking. The religious man denies the body and accepts the soul. And what is worse, this creates a conﬂict or a dichotomy between the body and spirit. Mind denies this world, and accepts the other world, and thus creates a state of hostility between the two. Naturally human life will remain sad and miserable if we deny the body. Remember essence of life – health and vitality; sensitivities and beauty, and all its music – has its source in the body. So a religion that denies and therefore, denounces the body is bound to be anemic and ill, it has to be lackluster. Such a religion is going to be as lifeless as a dry leaf fallen from a tree. And the people who follow such a religion, and allow themselves to be inﬂuenced and conditioned by it, will be as anemic and prone to death as these leaves are. Krishna alone accepts the body in its totality. And he accepts it not in any one selected dimension
instead in all its dimensions. Apart from Krishna, Zarathustra is another. It is said Zarathustra was born laughing. Every child enters life crying. Only one child – Zarathustra, in the entire history laughed at the time of his birth. This implies that a happy and laughing humanity is yet to be born. And it is only a joyful and laughing humanity that can recognize and accept Krishna. The advent of Freud brought a new outlook to the world of religion that is not going to be the same as it was before him. Freud therefore, stands as a watershed between the religions of the past and the religion of the future. With Freud a great revolution has taken place and man’s consciousness has achieved a breakthrough. We shall never be the same again after Freud. A new peak of consciousness has been reached. This brought a new understanding, a new perspective, and a new vision of life. And it is essential to understand it rightly. The old religions taught suppression as the way to God. Man was asked to suppress everything – his sex, his anger, his greed, his attachments – and then alone would he ﬁnd his soul, would he attain to God. This war of man against himself has continued long enough. And in the history of thousands of years of this war, only a handful of people, have attained to God. So in a sense we lost this war, because down the centuries billions of people died without discovering their souls, or without realizing God. Undoubtedly there must be some basic ﬂaw or a fundamental mistake in the very foundation of these religions. It is as if a gardener has planted a number of trees and out of them only one tree ﬂowers – and yet we accept his scripture on gardening on the plea that at least one tree has blossomed. But we fail to take into consideration that this single tree might have been an exception to the rule and it might have blossomed not because of the gardener, instead on its own. The rest of the thousand trees, that did not blossom, bear ample proof of the failure of the gardener. The success of religion, or let us say the success of the gardener, can be acclaimed only when all of the thousand trees with the exception of one or two, attain ﬂowering. Then the blame could be laid at the foot of the one tree for its failure to bloom.
Then it could be said that this tree remained barren in spite of the gardener. With Freud a new kind of awareness has dawned on man. To him suppression is wrong. Suppression brings with it nothing but self – pity and anguish. If a man ﬁghts with himself he can only ruin and destroy him. If my left hand ﬁghts with my right hand, neither is going to win. And in the end these will certainly destroy me. While my two hands ﬁght with one another, it is only I that will be destroyed in the process. That is how, through denial and suppression of his natural instincts and emotions, man became suicidal and killed himself. Krishna alone seems to be relevant to the new awareness, or the new understanding that came to man in the wake of Freud and his ﬁndings. It is so because in the whole history of the old humanity Krishna alone is against any kind of repression. He accepts life in all its facets, climates and colors. He alone does not choose. Instead he accepts life unconditionally. He does not reject love. Being a man he does not run away from women. As one who has known and experienced God, he alone does not turn his face from war. He is full of love and compassion, and yet he has the courage to accept and ﬁght a war. At the core of his heart Krishna is utterly non – violent, yet still he plunges into the ﬁre and fury of violence when it becomes unavoidable. He accepts the nectar, and yet he is not afraid of poison. Life is acceptable in its totality. In fact, one who has experienced the deathless will be free of all fears of death. One who knows the secret of non – violence will not fear violence. What kind of non – violence is it that is scared of violence? And how can the spirit, or the soul, fear the body and run away from it? And what is the meaning of God if man cannot embrace the world in its totality? Krishna accepts all duality, and the dialectics of life altogether and in the process transcends duality. Transcendence is not possible so long as you are in conﬂict, or as long as you choose one part and reject the other. Transcendence is only possible when you choicelessly accept both parts together, or you accept the whole.
That is why Krishna is signiﬁcant for the future. And his signiﬁcance will continue to grow with the passage of time. When the glow and the glamor of all other god men and messiahs have dimmed, when the suppressive religions of the world have vanished, Krishna’s ﬂame will be heading towards its peak, or the pinnacle. It will be so because, for the ﬁrst time, man will be able to comprehend him, understand him and imbibe him. And it will be so because, for the ﬁrst time, man will really deserve Krishna and his blessings. It is really arduous to understand Krishna. It is easy to understand that a man should run away from the world if he wants to ﬁnd peace, but it is really difficult to accept that one can ﬁnd peace in the thick of the marketplace. It is understandable that a man can attain to purity of mind if he breaks away from his attachments, but it is really difficult to realize that one can remain unattached and innocent in the midst of relationships and attachments. It is difficult that one can remain calm and still live at the very center of the cyclone. There is no difficulty in accepting that the ﬂame of a candle will remain steady in a place that is secluded from winds and storms, but how can you believe that a candle can keep burning steadily even in the midst of raging storms and hurricanes? So it is difficult even for those who are close to Krishna to understand him. Krishna is an experiment in human consciousness. For the ﬁrst time in the long history man has attempted a great and bold experiment through Krishna. For the ﬁrst time, through Krishna, man has tested fully his own strength and intelligence. It has been tested and found that man can remain, like a lotus in water, untouched and unattached while living in the throes of relationship. It has been discovered that man can be loving and compassionate even on the battle ﬁeld. He can continue to love with his whole being while wielding a sword in his hand. Krishna signifies this. That is why we proclaim Krishna is an experiment in human consciousness. It is this paradox that makes Krishna difficult to understand. Therefore, people who have loved and worshipped Krishna have done so by dividing him
into parts. Humanity has worshipped his different fragments, according to individual liking. No one has accepted and worshipped Krishna in its entirety. No one has embraced him in his totality. Poet Surdas sings superb hymns of praise to the Krishna’s childhood – ‘Bal Krishna’. Surdas’ Krishna never grows up, because there is a danger with a grown – up Krishna which Surdas cannot accept. There is not much trouble with a boy Krishna ﬂirting with the young women of his village, but it will be too much if a grown – up Krishna does the same. Then it will be difficult to understand him. Krishna of Surdas never grows beyond infancy. After all, we can understand something on our own plane. However there is no way to understand something on a plane other than ours. Raskhan sang the songs of a youthful Krishna dancing with the milkmaids on the bank of river Yamuna. So for their adoration of Krishna, different people have chosen different facets of his life. Those who love the Bhagwat Gita will simply ignore the Bhagwat Purana, because the Krishna of the Gita differs from the Krishna of the Bhagwat Punana. So too those who love the Bhagwat will avoid getting involved with the Gita. While the Krishna of the Gita stands on a battle ﬁeld surrounded by violence and war, the Krishna of the Bhagwat is dancing, singing and celebrating. There is seemingly no meeting – point or harmony whatsoever between the two. There is perhaps no one like Krishna, no one indeed who can accept and absorb in himself all the contradictions of life. Day and night; summer and winter; peace and war; love and violence; and life and death – all walk hand in hand with him. That is why everyone who loves Krishna has chosen a particular aspect of Krishna’s life that appealed to him and quietly dropped the rest. Gandhi calls the Gita his mother, and yet he cannot absorb it, because his creed of non – violence is in conﬂict with the grim inevitability of war as seen in the Gita. Gandhi ji looks for the ways to rationalize the violence of the Gita. He says the war of Mahabharata is only a metaphor that it did not
actually happen. This war, Gandhiji says over and over again, represents the inner war between good and evil that goes on inside a man. The Kurushetra of the Gita, according to Gandhi, is not a real battle ﬁeld located somewhere on this earth, nor is the Mahabharata an actual war. It is not that Krishna incites Arjuna to ﬁght a real Mahabharata. Mahabharata only symbolizes the inner conﬂict and war of man, and so it is just a parable. Gandhi has his own difficulty. The way Gandhi’s mind is, Arjuna will be much more in harmony with him than Krishna. A great upsurge of non – violence has arisen in the mind of Arjuna, and he seems to be strongly protesting against war. He is prepared to run away from the battle ﬁeld and his arguments seem to be compelling and logical. He says it is no use ﬁghting and killing one’s own family and relatives. For him, wealth, power and fame, acquired through so much violence and bloodshed, have no value whatsoever. He would rather be a beggar than a king, if kingship costs so much blood and tears. He calls war an evil and violence a sin and wants to avoid it at all costs. Naturally Arjuna has a great appeal for Gandhi. How can he then understand Krishna? Krishna very strongly urges Arjuna to drop his cowardice and ﬁght like a true warrior. And his arguments in support of war are beautiful, rare and unique. Never before in history have such unique and superb arguments been put forward in favor of ﬁghting. Only a man of supreme non – violence could give such support to war. Krishna tells Arjuna, ‘So long as you believe you can kill someone, you have not discovered soul. And unless you experience soul you are not a religious person. So long as you think that one dies, you do not know that which is within us. You have not experienced that which has never died and will never die. If you think you can kill someone you are under a great illusion. You are betraying your ignorance. The concept of killing and dying is materialistic. Only a materialist can believe so because he has experienced only matter. There is no dying, no death for one who really knows. So Krishna exhorts Arjuna over and over again in the Gita, ‘This is all play – acting. Both killing and dying is only a drama or play or Leela.’
In this context it is necessary to understand why we call the life of Rama a characterization, a story, a biography, and not a play, or a ‘leela’. It is because Rama is very serious. But we describe the life of Krishna as his ‘leela’ because Krishna is not serious at all. Rama is bounded, he is limited. He is bound, by his ideals and principles. Scriptures call him the greatest idealist. Rama is circumscribed by the rules of conduct and character. He will never step out of his limits. Instead he will sacriﬁce everything for his principles, and his character. Krishna’s life, on the other hand, accepts no limitations. It is not bound by any rules of conduct, it is unlimited and vast. Krishna is free, limitlessly free. There is no ground he cannot tread. There is no point where his steps can fear and falter. Also there is no limits he cannot transcend. And this freedom, this vastness of Krishna, stems from his experience of self – knowledge. It is the ultimate fruit of his enlightenment. For this reason the question of violence has become meaningless in Krishna’s life. Now, violence is just not possible. And where violence is meaningless, non – violence loses its relevance too. Nonviolence has meaning only in relation to violence. The moment you accept that violence is possible, non – violence becomes relevant at once. In fact, both violence and non – violence are two sides of the same coin. And it is a materialistic coin. It is materialistic to think that one is violent or non – violent. He is a materialist who believes he can kill someone, and he too is a materialist who thinks he is not going to kill anyone. One thing is common to them: they believe someone can be really killed. Spirituality rejects both violence and non – violence. Spirituality accepts the immortality of the soul. And such spirituality turns even war into a play. This is the reason I love Krishna that he has made life a play. I will say no more about the non – violence and spirituality of Gandhiji. Spirituality or religion accepts, and unreservedly accepts, all the dimensions of life. It accepts sex and attachment together; relationship and indulgence; love and devotion; yoga and meditation; and everything that life encompasses.
And the possibility of the understanding and acceptance of this philosophy of totality is growing every day – because now we have come to know a few truths we never knew in the past. Krishna, however, has undoubtedly known them. For instance, we now know that the body and soul are not separate. They are two poles of the same phenomenon. The visible part of the soul is known as the body, and the invisible part of the body is called the soul. God and the world are not two separate. There is absolutely no conﬂict between God and nature. Nature is the visible, the gross aspect of God, and God is the invisible or the subtle aspect of God. There is no such point in the cosmos where nature ends and God begins. It is nature itself that, through a subtle process of its dissolution, turns into God. And it is God himself who, through a subtle process of his manifestation, appears as nature. Nature is manifest God, and God is unmanifest nature. And this is what ‘adwait’ means. Adwait implies the principle of one oneness without the other. We can understand Krishna only if we clearly understand this concept of adwait. Adwait implies that only one is – one without the other. There is nothing else except oneness. You can call him God or Brahman or what you like. Adwait is not a philosophy or a sermon to be delivered. It is a realization deep within the precincts of one’s being and then living life guided by this awareness. We also have to understand why Krishna is going to be increasingly signiﬁcant for the future and how he is going to become closer and closer to man. It will be so, because the days when suppression and repression is ruled out and all roost are gone are approaching. After a lengthy struggle and a long spell of inquiry and investigation we have learned that the forces we have been ﬁghting are our own forces. In reality we are those forces, and it is utter madness to ﬁght them. We have also learned we become prisoners of the forces we oppose and ﬁght, and then it becomes impossible to free ourselves from them. And now we also know that we can never transform them if we treat them as inimical forces,
if we resist and repress them. For transformation everything has to be accepted in its totality. It is total acceptance that sets the trends of transformation. For instance, if someone ﬁghts with sex, he will never attain to brahmacharya or to celibacy in his life. There is only one way to celibacy and that is through the transformation of the sex energy itself. There is no need to ﬁght with the energy of sex. On the contrary, we should understand it and cooperate with it meditatively. We need to make friends with sex rather than make an enemy of it. This is what we have been doing for so long. The truth is, we can only change our friends. There is no way of changing those we treat as enemies. It simply does not arise. There is no way to even understand our enemies. It is just impossible. To understand something it is essential to be friendly with it. Let us clearly understand that what we think to be the lowest is the other pole of the highest. The peak of a mountain and the valley around its base are not two separate things. They are part and parcel of the same phenomenon. The deep valley has been caused by the rising mountain, and in the same way the mountain has been possible because of the valley. One cannot be without the other. Or can it? Linguistically the mountain and the valley are two, but existentially they are two poles of the same existence. Nietzsche has a very signiﬁcant maxim. He says a tree that longs to reach the heights of heaven must have its roots deep to the bottom of the earth. A tree that is afraid to do so should abandon its longing to reach the heavens. Really, the higher a tree the deeper its roots go. If you want to ascend to the skies you will have to descend into the abyss as well. Height and depth are not different things. They are two dimensions of the same thing. And their proportions are always the same. Human mind has always wanted to choose between the seeming opposites. He wants to preserve heaven and do away with hell. He wants to have peace and escape tension. He desires to protect good and destroy evil. He longs to accept light and deny darkness. He craves to cling to pleasure and to shun pain. His mind has always
divided existence into two parts and chosen one part against the other. And from choice arises duality, which brings conﬂict and pain. Choice brings pain. And choicelessness transcends pain into bliss. Krishna symbolizes acceptance of the opposites together. Krishna symbolizes dissolution of opposites. And he alone can be whole who accepts the contradictions together. One who chooses will always be incomplete. He will remain less than the whole, because the part he chooses will continue to delude him and the part he denies will continue to pursue, haunt and hang around him. He can never be free of what he rejects and represses. The mind of the man who rejects and represses sex becomes increasingly sexual. So a culture, a religion that teaches suppression of sex ends up creating nothing but sexuality. It becomes obsessed with sex. Total acceptance is the way. You choose non – violence, violence will hang around you. And even in reality you will be violent within. This has created two words masochism, and sadism. Up to now we have stubbornly denied the Krishna who accepts life in its totality. We accept him only in fragments. But now it will be quite possible to accept him totally. With the advent of Freud and others humanity is beginning to understand that it is the energy of sex itself that is transformed into the highest kind of celibacy, through the process of its upward journey to the sahasrar – the ultimate chakra in the head. Yoga calls this transcendence of energy from Mooladhar to Sahasrar as Kundalini. We are beginning to learn that nothing in life has to be denied its place and given up. We have to accept and live life in its totality. And he who lives wholly attains to life’s wholeness. And he alone is holy who is whole. This is what I call KRISHNA YOGA. The YOGA OF ONENESS! Therefore I say that Krishna has immense signiﬁcance for our future. And that future, when Krishna’s image will shine in all its brilliance, is increasingly close. And whenever a laughing, singing and dancing religion comes into being it will certainly be the flowering of KRISHNA YOGA.
Bayazid Bistami Bayazid of Bistami is a Naqshbandi Sufi Sheikh. When a Sufi mystic, Bayazid, was dying, people who had gathered around him -his disciples -- were suddenly surprised, because when the last moment came his face became radiant, powerfully radiant. It had a beautiful aura.
become capable of celebrating death itself, remember, you have missed life. The whole life is a preparation for this ultimate. - The Art of Dying, Chapter #1 Bayazid of Bistam, one of the greatest names amongst the Sufis. - Just Like That, Chapter #8
Bayazid was a beautiful man, and his disciples had always felt ar aura around him, but they had not known anything like this; so radiant. They asked, 'Bayazid, tell us what has happened to you. What is happening to you? Before you leave us, give us your last message.'
Sufism is the path of intense love, passionate love. As Bayazid has said, "The duration of Bayazid's life of asceticism was only three days. On the first day he renounced the world, on the second day he renounced the other world, and on the last day he renounced himself. " - The Secret, Chapter #17
He opened his eyes and he said, 'God is welcoming me. I am going into his embrace. Goodbye.' He closed his eyes, his breathing stopped. But at the moment his breathing stopped there was an explosion of light, the room became full of light, and then it disappeared.
Bayazid says that it is the nature of the master to change others; it is not an effort. Nothing is being done by the master, simply his presence.... And if he appears to do something, that appearance is just a trick because you cannot understand the language of nondoing. You can only understand the language of effort. So he creates a language for you. Even if you cannot understand his language, he can understand your language very well. Even if you cannot understand him, he can understand you very well.
When a person has known the transcendental in himself, death is nothing but another face of God. Then death has a dance to it. And unless you
LAU TZU The most beautiful company is when you can be with someone as if you are alone. See the insight of Lao Tzu: . . . when you can be with someone as if you are alone, when he allows you so much silence and so much freedom that you are absolutely alone, as if actually alone. His presence is not a hindrance. His presence, in fact, enhances your aloneness, and enriches it as well.
Artistâ€™s imagination of Lau Tzu
ao Tzu is a totally unique being. His is Enlightened Taoist Master. His enlightenment is passive in nature. Lau Tzu was sitting. A leaf fell from the tree. Tossing and turning with the wind the leaf came to the ground and settled. With this something settled in lau Tzu and he became enlightened. He will not say anything yet still you will be transformed. His Silence speaks. Lao Tzu is not like Mahavir. He is not mathematical at all. Yet still he is very, very logical in his madness. He has a mad logic! When we penetrate into his sayings you will begin to feel it. It is not so obvious and apparent. He has
logic of his own. His logic is of absurdity, of paradox, and the logic of a madman. He hits hard. Lau Tzu and Confucius were contemporaries. I have heard that once Confucius went to meet Lau Tzu. Confucius was very famous thinker and philosopher. He was very reputed. Confucius decided to visit Lau Tzu along with his disciple. He heard that Lau Tzu was sitting in cave by himself so he decided to have a dialogue with him. It was snowing. When Confucius reached the cave he decided to go alone. So he stopped his disciples from accompanying him. When Confucius reached in the cave he found Lau Tzu
was sitting alone in a dark cave. Confucius told Lau Tzu the purpose of the visit that he had come to have a dialogue. At this Lau Tzu is reported to have told him to go ahead and say all that he have to say. At this Confucius enquired what about you. At the Lau Tzu reported to have responded there is no one here to speak.
There is no other scripture like the ‘TAO TE CHING’ for the simple reason that each single word in it is immensely pregnant, not only with the unknown but also with the unknowable. Words have been used only as indicators, milestones showing the way, telling you to go ahead, not to stop there.
Confucius ran out of the cave and he was sweating. On a cold winter night Lau Tzu sitting all by himself made Confucius frightened. He ran out of the cave and never went to meet Lau Tzu. When his disciples enquired all he said, that man is dangerous. Nothing more is available about the meeting. This account is given by the disciples of Confucius.
One of the greatest sayings of Lao Tzu is: The most beautiful company is when you can be with someone as if you are alone. See the insight of Lao Tzu: . . . when you can be with someone as if you are alone, when he allows you so much silence and so much freedom that you are absolutely alone, as if actually alone. His presence is not a hindrance; his presence, in fact, enhances your aloneness, and enriches your aloneness as well.
To understand Lao Tzu’s logic you will have to create eyes. It is very subtle. It is not the ordinary logic of the logicians. It is the logic of a hidden life, a very subtle life. Whatsoever he says is on the surface absurd; deep down there lives a very great consistency. One has to penetrate it and has to change his own mind to understand Lao Tzu. So Lao Tzu is just a spokesman of life. If life is absurd, Lao Tzu is absurd. If life has an absurd logic to it, Lao Tzu has the same logic to it. Lao Tzu simply reflects life. He does not add anything to it, or choose out of it. He simply accepts whatsoever it is. Lao Tzu is one of those few masters who have tried to say the truth as exactly as it is humanly possible. He has made tremendous effort to bring the inexpressible to the world of expression, to bring the wordless experience within the confinement of small words. The words we know are mundane. They are meant for ordinary day-to-day use. And the experience that happens in absolute silence is absolutely beyond them. But still it has to be expressed because if not expressed, at least hinted at. Lao Tzu’s words are fingers pointing to the moon. Don't cling to the fingers. Forget the fingers and look at the moon, and great insight will descend upon you.
Lao Tzu is a luxury, a let-go. Remember the ‘I’s’ he is a luxury, a let-go. If you can afford, it will be beautiful. If you cannot afford, it simply creates a desire and a frustration and nothing else: a desire, of how things would be if you could take the jump. A tremendous desire arises. You feel him so near in your desire, but you cannot take the jump because the courage is not there; and, suddenly, he is so far away, like a star. Frustration falls on you. If we wish to understand Lao Tzu, we shall have to set aside your way of thinking. If we approach Lao Tzu with our view-point, our words, our preconceived notions, it will be difficult to decide whether he is right or not. Set aside your views and concepts. Then only will you understand him. Then you shall be able to judge whether he is right or wrong, but not otherwise. Just to comprehend is an obstacle because our way of thinking is one thing and Lao Tzu’s is just the opposite. It is as if we discern things by our sense of touch whereas he uses his eyes and sees Or as if we use our eyes and he uses his ears. Then the language becomes different. Lau Zi or Tzu (老子 Lǎozi, also spelled Lao Tzu, Lao Tse or Lao Tze in Wade-Giles), was a famous Chinese philosopher and an Enlightened Taoist Master.He lived in approximately the 4th century BC, amidst the Hundred Schools of Thought and Warring States Periods. He is credited with
writing the seminal Taoist work, the ‘Tao Te Ching.’ The name Lau Zi is an honorific title. Lau (老) means ‘venerable’ or ‘old’. Zi (子) is translated literally as ‘boy’.However it was also a term for a rank of nobleman equivalent to viscount, as well as a term of respect attached to the names of revered scholars. Thus, ‘Lau Zi’ can be translated roughly as ‘the old master’. Lau Zi’s personal name was Lǐ Ěr (李耳), his courtesy name was Boyang (伯陽), and his posthumous name was Dān, (聃) which means ‘Mysterious’. Lau Zi is also known as: Elder Dan (老聃) Senior Lord (老君) Senior Lord Li (李老君) Senior Lord Taishang (太上老君 Tàishàng Lǎojūn) Taoist Lord Lao Zi (老子道君) In the Li Tang Dynasty, in order to create a connection to Lau Zi as the ancestor of the imperial family, he was given a posthumous name of Emperor Xuanyuan (玄元皇帝), meaning ‘Profoundly Elementary;’ and a temple name of Shengzu (聖祖), meaning ‘Saintly/Sagely Progenitor.’ Lau Tzu is traditionally regarded as the founder of Daoism, intimately connected with the Daodejing and ‘primordial’ (or ‘original’) Daoism. Popular (‘religious’) Daoism typically presents the Jade Emperor as the official head deity. Intellectual (‘elite’) Daoists, such as the Celestial Masters sect, usually present Lau zi (Laojun, ‘Lord Lao’) and the Three Pure Ones at the top of the pantheon of deities. The story of Lau zi has taken on strong religious overtones since the Han dynasty. As Daoism took root, Lau zi was recognized as a god. Belief in the revelation of the Dao from the divine Lau zi resulted in the formation of the Way of the Celestial Master, the first organized religious Daoist sect. In later mature Daoist tradition, Lau zi came to be seen as a personification of Dao. He is said to have undergone numerous
‘transformations’, or taken on various guises in various incarnations throughout history to initiate the faithful in the Way. Religious Daoism often holds that the ‘Old Master’ did not disappear after writing the Daodejing, but rather traveled to India to reveal the Dao.
Early life Little is known about Lau Zi's life. His historical existence is strongly debated as is his authorship on the ‘Tao Te Ching’. Tradition says he was born in Ku Prefecture (苦縣 Kǔ Xiàn) of the state of Chǔ (楚), which today is Lùyì County (鹿邑) of Henan province, in the later years of Spring and Autumn Period. Some legends say he was born with white hair, which is given as an explanation for his title, which can be read as ‘the old child’. According to the tradition, Lau Zi was an older contemporary of Confucius and worked as an archivist in the Imperial Library of the Zhou Dynasty court. Confucius intentionally or accidentally met him in Zhou, near the location of modern Luoyang, where Confucius was going to browse the library scrolls. According to these stories, Confucius, over the following months, discussed ritual and propriety, cornerstones of Confucianism, with Lau Zi. The latter strongly opposed what he felt to be hollow practices. Taoist legend claims that these discussions proved more educational for Confucius than the contents of the libraries. Afterwards, Lau Zi resigned from his post, perhaps because the authority of Zhou’s court was diminishing. Some accounts claim he travelled west on his water buffalo through the state of Qin and from there disappeared into the vast desert. These accounts have a guard at the western-most gate convincing Lau Zi to write down his wisdom before heading out into the desert. Until this time, Lau Zi had shared his philosophy in spoken words only, as was also the case with Socrates, Jesus, Buddha and Confucius (whose Analects were most likely compiled by disciples). Lau Zi's response to the soldier's request was the ‘Tao Te Ching’.
There are many controversies concerning Lau Zi’s life. These include:
they are a testament to the impact of Lau zi on Chinese culture.
1. The discussion requested by Confucius might have been fabricated by Taoists to make their school of philosophy sound superior to Confucianism. 2. The actual author(s) of Tao Te Ching might have created a fictitious character so the origin of the text would look more mysterious, thus making it easier to popularize. 3. Arguments have been put forth that Lau Zi was a pseudonym of Dan, Prefect of the Grand Scribes (Tài Shǐ Dàn, 太史儋); or of an old man from Lai, a prefecture in the state of Qí (齊); or of some other historical person.
Traditional accounts state that Lau zi grew weary of the moral decay of city life and noted the kingdom’s decline. According to these legends, he ventured west to live as a hermit in the unsettled frontier at the age of 160. At the western gate of the city, or kingdom, he was recognized by a guard. The sentry asked the old master to produce a record of his wisdom. This is the legendary origin of the Daodejing. In some versions of the tale, the sentry is so touched by the work that he leaves with Lau zi to never be seen again. Some legends elaborate further that the ‘Old Master’ was the teacher of the Buddha, or the Buddha himself.
Popular legends say that he was conceived when his mother gazed upon a falling star, stayed in the womb for 62 years, and was born when his mother leaned against a plum tree. He accordingly emerged a grown man with a full grey beard and long earlobes, which are a symbol of wisdom and long life. In other versions he was reborn in some thirteen incarnations since the days of Fuxi; in his last incarnation as Lau zi he lived to nine hundred and ninety years, and traveled to India to reveal the Dao. According to popular traditional biographies, he worked as the Keeper of the Archives for the royal court of Zhou. This reportedly allowed him broad access to the works of the Yellow Emperor and other classics of the time. The stories assert that Lau zi never opened a formal school, but he nonetheless attracted a large number of students and loyal disciples. There are numerous variations of a story depicting Confucius consulting Lau zi about rituals. According to legends, Lau zi leaves China on his water buffalo. Many of the popular accounts say that Lau zi married and had a son named Zong, who became a celebrated soldier. A large number of people trace their lineage back to Laozi, as the emperors of the Tang Dynasty did. Many of the lineages,if not all, may be inaccurate. However,
By the mid-twentieth century, a consensus had emerged among scholars that the historicity of Lau zi was doubtful or could not be proved and that the Daodejing was ‘a compilation of Taoist sayings by many hands originating in the - 4th century.’ Alan Watts (1975) held that this view was part of an academic fashion for skepticism about historical spiritual and religious figures, arguing that not enough would be known for years, or possibly ever, to make a firm judgment.
His work Lau Zi’s famous and the only work, the ‘Tao Te Ching’, has been enormously influential in China. The book is a mystical treatise covering many areas of philosophy, from individual spirituality to techniques for governing societies. He believed in ‘Tao’ (pinyin: Dào), which translates as ‘the Way’, and implies an unnamable inherent order or property of the universe. He believed in the concept of wu-wei, or ‘action through inaction’. Many would say that this does not mean that one should sit around and do nothing; but rather, that actions taken in accordance with Tao are easier and more productive than actively attempting to counter the Tao. Lau Zi believed that violence should be avoided when possible, and that military victory was an occasion to mourn the necessity of using force
against another living thing, rather than an occasion for triumphant celebrations. Lau Zi also indicated that codified laws and rules result in society becoming more difficult to manage. Although Lau Zi does not have as deep an influence as Confucius does in China, he is still widely respected by the Chinese. Confucius and Lau Zi are the best-known Chinese philosophers in the Western world.
Daodejing or Tao Te Ching Lau zi is traditionally regarded as the author of the Tao Te Ching (Daodejing), though its authorship has been debated throughout history. It is said Lau Tzu never wrote anything during his life time. Whenever he was asked to write he refused. At the end of his life he decided to leave for Himalayan Mountain for the last life riding water buffalo. When Lau Tzu reached the last check post to cross over from China over to the mountain he was stopped by the security guard. Lau zi meets Yinxi. Lau zi’s relationship with the guardian of the western pass, named Yinxi (Wade Giles Yin Hse), is the subject of numerous legends. It is Yinxi who asked Lau zi to write down his wisdom in the traditional account of the Daodejing’s creation. The story of Lau zi transmitting the ‘Daodejing’ to Yinxi is part of a broader theme involving Lau zi the deity delivering salvific truth to a suffering humanity. Regardless, the deliverance of the Daodejing was the ultimate purpose of his human incarnation. Folklore developed around Lau zi and Yinxi to demonstrate the ideal interaction of Taoist master and disciple. The guard told Lau Tzu that he will allow him to leave only if he writes something. Lau Tzu had only one night to write something. It was there Lau Tzu wrote ‘Tao Te Ching’. Lau zi’s magnum opus, the Daodejing, is one of the most significant treatises in Chinese
cosmogony. As with most other ancient Chinese philosophers, Lau zi often explains his ideas by way of paradox, analogy, appropriation of ancient sayings, repetition, symmetry, rhyme, and rhythm. The Daodejing, often called simply the Lau zi after its reputed author, describes the Dao (or Tao) as the mystical source and ideal of all existence. It is unseen, but not transcendent, immensely powerful yet supremely humble.Tao is the root of all things. According to the Daodejing, humans have no special place within the Dao, being just one of its many (‘ten thousand’) manifestations. People have desires and free will (and thus are able to alter their own nature). Many act ‘unnaturally’, upsetting the natural balance of the Dao. The Daodejing intends to lead students to a ‘return’ to their natural state, in harmony with Dao. Language and conventional wisdom are critically assessed. Taoism views them as inherently biased and artificial, widely using paradoxes to sharpen the point. Lau zi encouraged a change in approach, or return to ‘nature’, rather than action. Technology may bring about a false sense of progress. The answer provided by Laozi is not the rejection of technology, but instead seeking the calm state of ‘wu wei’, free from desires. This relates to many statements by Lau zi encouraging rulers to keep their people in ‘ignorance’, or ‘simple-minded’. Some scholars insist this explanation ignores the religious context, and others question it as an apologetic of the philosophical coherence of the text. It would not be unusual political advice if Lau zi literally intended to tell rulers to keep their people ignorant. However, some terms in the text, such as ‘valley spirit’ (gushen) and ‘soul’ (po), bear a religious context and cannot be easily reconciled with a purely ethical reading of the work. ‘Wu we’, literally ‘non-action’ or ‘not acting’, is a central concept of the Daodejing. The concept of wu wei is very complex and reflected in the words’ multiple meanings, even in English translation; it can mean ‘not doing anything’, ‘not forcing’, ‘not acting’ in the theatrical sense,
‘creating nothingness’, ‘acting spontaneously’, and ‘flowing with the moment.’ It is a concept used to explain ‘ziran’, or harmony with the Dao. It includes the concepts that value distinctions are ideological and seeing ambition of all sorts as originating from the same source. Laozi used the term broadly with simplicity and humility as key virtues, often in contrast to selfish action. On a political level, it means avoiding such circumstances as war, harsh laws and heavy taxes. Some Taoists see a connection between wu wei and esoteric practices, such as the ‘sitting in oblivion’ (emptying the mind of bodily awareness and thought) found in the ‘Zhuangzi’. According to esoteric adherents, the book contains specific instructions for Daoist adepts relating to ‘qigong meditations’, and in veiled preaching the way to revert to the primordial state. This interpretation supports the view that Taoism is a religion addressing the quest of immortality. Also a seventh century work, ‘Sandong zhunang’ (‘Pearly Bag of the Three Caverns’), provides one account of their relationship. Laozi pretended to be a farmer on reaching the western gate, but was recognized by Yinxi, who asked to be taught by the great master. Lau zi was not satisfied by simply being noticed by the guard and demanded an explanation. Yinxi expressed his deep desire to find the Tao and explained that his long study of astrology allowed him to recognize Lau zi’s approach. Yinxi was accepted by Laozi as a disciple. This is considered an exemplary interaction between Daoist master and disciple, reflecting the testing a seeker must undergo before being accepted. A would-be adherent is expected to prove his determination and talent, clearly expressing his wishes and showing that he had made progress on his own towards realizing the Tao. The Pearly Bag of the Three Caverns continues the parallel of an adherent’s quest. Yinxi received his ordination when Lau zi transmitted the Daodejing, along with other texts and precepts, just as Taoist adherents receive a number of methods, teachings and scriptures at ordination.
This is only an initial ordination and Yinxi still needed an additional period to perfect his faith, thus Lau zi gave him three years to perfect his Dao. Yinxi gave himself over to a full-time devotional life. After the appointed time, Yinxi again demonstrates determination and perfect trust, sending out a black sheep to market as the agreed sign. He eventually meets again with Lau zi, who announces that Yinxi's immortal name is listed in the heavens and calls down a heavenly procession to clothe Yinxi in the garb of immortals. The story continues that Lau zi bestowed a number of titles upon Yinxi and took him on a journey throughout the universe, even into the nine heavens. After this fantastic journey, the two sages set out to western lands of the barbarians. The training period, reuniting and travels represent the attainment of the highest religious rank in medieval Taoism called ‘Preceptor of the Three Caverns’. In this legend, Lau zi is the perfect Daoist master and Yinxi is the ideal Taoist student. Laozi is presented as the Tao personified, giving his teaching to humanity for their salvation. Yinxi follows the formal sequence of preparation, testing, training and attainment.
Lau-Tzu and the Tao Te Ching By many accounts, Lau-Tzu developed his philosophy in a time of political turmoil. As we will observe, many philosophers develop their positions in response to the world they are born into. Sometimes understanding their world helps us to understand their philosophical position. This is especially significant in contrast to the Western philosophers who ask things like, ‘What is truth?’ Eastern philosophers, seeing war among their people, instead asked, ‘What is the way?’ The Asian sages were often concerned with both a philosophy and how that philosophy could be actualized in their society. In the Tao Te Ching, Lau-Tzu uses short sayings and poetry to express several ideas, one of them being that of the Tao, or the way. One of the primary teachings of the Tao Te Ching—is that the ‘Tao cannot be expressed in words’. The Tao
is something greater. Words can help us understand it, but the Tao goes beyond. Lau-Tzu is expressing a truth here that later philosophers also struggled with: the problem of language. Language cannot fully represent the world. On the other hand, the Tao is still behind everything; it underlies the very words that tell us it is greater than words. In this sense, language is useful because it can lead us in the right direction. But whatever word you use to represent the Tao will not be the actual Tao. This is expressed in the first line of the Tao Te Ching: â€˜The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao.â€™
Yin/Yang and Inaction (Wu Wei) Lau Tzu based his actions on the two opposing forces: Yin and Yang. Since people of his time were fighting for control (Yang), Lau Tzu proposed the opposite (Yin), or the way of inaction (wu wei). Contrary to what it seems, this does not mean literally doing nothing! It means that, rather than attempt to gain direct control over our environment, we should take subtle indirect actions. It is more like the active and passive forces. The two must neutralize one another. So, for example, if some teenagers leave beer cans on the beach, we should not lecture them, instead we should simply pick up the beer cans and put
them in a recycling bin. This certainly does sound crazy, and there have been numerous objections to this philosophy throughout the years. Would inaction have worked against Hitler? Then again, consider the fighting between democrats and republicans in United States or the Congress and the Opposition in India. This is what Lau-Tzu was responding to: two opposing forces bickering with each other. Could the way of inaction help? It can almost be thought of as a correction mechanism. If there is too much yang, the yin will come back in and balance things out. And if there is too much yin, then more yang will be needed for balance. Why should we try so hard to achieve one outcome or another? Lau-Tzu wondered. The universe will correct itself, so we should just follow the path of wu wei. Consider the power and the glory of one of the longest enduring empires in human history: Rome. Rome fell eventually. Or consider wu wei on a less grand scale. Consider wu wei in conversation. When a conversation gets heated (too much yang), what is the best solution? Sometimes it is best just to shut up, to stop talking. Step back and re-assess the situation. You can't always change the other person's mind and to continue talking is to add too much fuel to the fire. Military leaders often have an understanding of inaction. You have to know the right times to fight, and the right times to not act at all.
Changing worldly desires into other-worldly desires is the last strategy of the mind to keep you captive, to keep you a prisoner, to keep you in bondage. So the first path is not really a path but a deception -- but a very alluring deception. In the first place, it is SELFcultivation. It is not against the ego; it is rooted in the refinement of the ego. Refine your ego of all grossness, then you become a self. The ego is like a raw diamond: you go on cutting it and polishing it and then it becomes a Kohinoor, very precious. That is your idea of "self," but it is nothing but ego with a beautiful name, with a spiritual flavor thrown in. It is the same old illusory ego. The very idea that "I am" is wrong. The whole is, God is -- I am not. Either I can exist or God can exist; we cannot both exist together -- because if I exist, then I am a separate entity. Then I have my own existence independent of God. But God simply means the total, the whole. HOW can I be independent of it? How can I be separate from it? If I exist, I destroy the very idea of totality.
Ah, This! Talks on Zen Stories - OSHO
Enlightenment simply means an experience of your consciousness that is unclouded by thoughts, emotions, and sentiments! When the consciousness is totally empty, there is something like an explosion, an atomic explosion. Your whole insight becomes full of a light which has no source and no cause. And once it has happened, it remains. It never leaves you for a single moment; even when you are asleep, that light is inside. And after that moment you can see things in a totally different way. After that experience, there is no question in you. ‘The day I became enlightened’ simply means the day I realized that there is nothing to achieve, there is nowhere to go, and there is nothing to be done. We are already divine and we are already perfect—as we are. No improvement is needed, no improvement at all. God never creates anybody imperfect. Even if you come across an imperfect man, you will see that his imperfection is perfect. God never creates any imperfect thing.
ou ask me: What happened when you became enlightened? I laughed, a real uproarious laugh, seeing the whole absurdity of trying to be enlightened. The whole thing is ridiculous because we are born enlightened, and to try for something that is already the case is the most absurd thing. If you already have it, you cannot achieve it; only those things can be achieved which you don't have, which are not intrinsic parts of your being. But enlightenment is your very nature. I had struggled for it for many lives—it had been the only target for many many lives. And I had done everything that is possible to do to attain it, but I had always failed. It was bound to be so—because it cannot be an attainment. It is your nature, so how can it be your attainment? It cannot be made an ambition. Mind is ambitious for money, power, and prestige. And then one day, when it gets fed up with all these extrovert activities, it becomes ambitious for enlightenment, for liberation, for nirvana, and God. But the same ambition has come back. Only the object he changed. First the object was outside, now the object is inside. But your attitude, your approach has not changed; you are the same person in the same rut, in the same routine. ‘The day I became enlightened’ simply means the day I realized that there is nothing to achieve, there is nowhere to go, and there is nothing to be done. We are already divine and we are already
perfect—as we are. No improvement is needed, no improvement at all. God never creates anybody imperfect. Even if you come across an imperfect man, you will see that his imperfection is perfect. God never creates any imperfect thing. I have heard about a Zen Master Bokuju who was telling this truth to his disciples, that all is perfect. A man stood up—very old, a hunchback—and he said, ‘What about me? I am a hunchback. What do you say about me?’ Bokuju said, ‘I have never seen such a perfect hunchback in my life.’ When I say ‘the day I achieved enlightenment,’ I am using wrong language—because there is no other language, because our language is created by us. It consists of the words ‘achievement,’ ‘attainment,’ ‘goals,’ ‘improvement’ ‘progress,’ ‘evolution.’ Our languages are not created by the enlightened people. And in fact they cannot create it even if they want to because enlightenment happens in silence. How can you bring that silence into words? And whatsoever you do, the words are going to destroy something of that silence. Lao Tzu says: The moment truth is asserted it becomes false. There is no way to communicate truth. But language has to be used; there is no other way. So we always have to use the language with the condition that it cannot be adequate to the experience. Hence I say ‘the day I achieved my
enlightenment.’ It is neither an achievement nor mine. Yes, it happens like that! Out of nowhere suddenly the darkness, suddenly the light, and you cannot do anything. You can just watch. I laughed that day because of all my stupid ridiculous efforts to attain it. I laughed on that day at myself, and I laughed on that day at the whole of humanity, because everybody is trying to achieve, everybody is trying to reach, and everybody is trying to improve. To me it happened in a state of total relaxation as it always happens in that state. I had tried everything. And then, seeing the futility of all effort, I dropped…I dropped the whole project, I forgot all about it. For seven days I lived as ordinarily as possible. The people I used to live with were very much surprised, because this was the first time they had seen me live just an ordinary life. Otherwise my whole life was a perfect discipline. For two years I had lived with that family, and they had known that I would get up at three o'clock in the morning, then I would go for a long four- or five-mile walk or run, and then I would take a bath in the river. Everything was absolutely routine like. Even if I had a fever or I was ill, there was no difference: I would simply go on the same way. They had known me to sit in meditation for hours. Up to that day I had not eaten many things. I would not drink tea, coffee, I had a strict discipline about what to eat, what not to eat. And exactly at nine o’clock I would go to bed. Even if somebody was sitting there, I would simply say ‘Goodbye’ and I would go to my bed. The family with whom I used to live, they would inform the person that ‘Now you can go. He has gone to sleep.’ I would not even waste a single moment in saying, ‘Now it is time for me to go to sleep.’ When I relaxed for seven days, when I dropped the whole thing and when on the first day I drank tea in the morning and woke up at nine o’clock in the morning, the family was puzzled. They said, ‘What has happened? Have you fallen?’ They used to think of me as a great yogi. One picture of those days still exists. I used to use only one single piece of cloth and that was all. In the day I would cover my body with it, in the night I would use it as a blanket to cover myself. I slept on a bamboo mat. That was my whole comfort—
that blanket, that bamboo mat. I had no other possessions. They were puzzled when I woke up at nine. They said, ‘Something is wrong. Are you very ill, seriously ill?’ I said, ‘No, I am not seriously ill. I have been ill for many years, now I am perfectly healthy. Now I will wake up only when sleep leaves me, and I will go to sleep only when sleep comes to me. I am no longer going to be a slave to the clock. I will eat whatsoever my body feels like eating and I will drink whatsoever I feel like drinking.’ They could not believe it. They said, ‘Can you even drink beer?’ I said, ‘Bring it!’ That was the first day I tasted beer. They could not believe their eyes. They said, ‘You have completely gone down. You have become completely unspiritual. What are you doing?’ I said, ‘Enough is enough.’ And in seven days I completely forgot the whole project, and I forgot it forever. And the seventh day it happened—it happened just out of nowhere. Suddenly all was light; and I was not doing anything, I was just sitting under a tree resting, enjoying. And when I laughed, the gardener heard the laughter. He used to think that I was a little bit crazy, but he had never seen me laugh in that way. He came running. He said, ‘What is the matter?’ I said, ‘Do not be worried. You know I am crazy— now I have gone completely crazy! I am laughing at myself. Do not feel offended. Just go to sleep.’ I am reminded of the fateful day of twenty-first March, 1953. For many lives I had been working— working upon myself, struggling, doing whatsoever can be done—and nothing was happening. Now I understand why nothing was happening. The very effort was the barrier, the very ladder was preventing, and the very urge to seek was the obstacle. Not that one can reach without seeking. Seeking is needed, but then comes a point when seeking has to be dropped. The boat is needed to cross the river but then comes a moment when you have to get out of the boat and forget all about it and leave it behind. Effort is needed, without effort nothing is possible. And also only with effort, nothing is possible. Just before twenty-first March, 1953, seven days before, I stopped working on myself. A moment comes when you see the whole futility of effort. You have done all that you can do and nothing is happening. You have done all that is humanly possible. Then what else can you do? In sheer helplessness one drops all searches.
And the day the search stopped, the day I was not seeking for something, the day I was not expecting something to happen, it started happening. A new energy arose—out of nowhere. It was not coming from any source. It was coming from nowhere and everywhere. It was in the trees and in the rocks and the sky and the sun and the air—it was everywhere. And I was seeking so hard, and I was thinking it is very far away. And it was so near and so close. Just because I was seeking I had become incapable of seeing the near. Seeking is always for the far, seeking is always for the distant—and it was not distant. I had become far-sighted, I had lost the near-sightedness. The eyes had become focussed on the far away, the horizon, and they had lost the quality to see that which is just close, surrounding you. The day effort ceased, I also ceased. Because you cannot exist without effort, and you cannot exist without desire, and you cannot exist without striving. The phenomenon of the ego, of the self, is not a thing, it is a process. It is not a substance sitting there inside you; you have to create it each moment. It is like pedalling bicycle. If you pedal it goes on and on, if you do not pedal it stops. It may go a little because of the past momentum, but the moment you stop pedalling, in fact the bicycle starts stopping. It has no more energy, no more power to go anywhere. It is going to fall and collapse. The ego exists because we go on pedalling desire, because we go on striving to get something, because we go on jumping ahead of ourselves. That is the very phenomenon of the ego—the jump ahead of yourself, the jump in the future, the jump in the tomorrow. The jump in the non-existential creates the ego. Because it comes out of the nonexistential it is like a mirage. It consists only of desire and nothing else. It consists only of thirst and nothing else. The ego is not in the present, it is in the future. If you are in the future, then ego seems to be very substantial. If you are in the present the ego is a mirage, it starts disappearing.
The day I stopped seeking…and it is not right to say that I stopped seeking, better will be to say the day seeking stopped. Let me repeat it: the better way to say it is the day the seeking stopped. Because if I stop it, then I am there again. Now stopping becomes my effort, my desire, and desire goes on existing in a very subtle way. You cannot stop desire; you can only understand it. In the very understanding is the stopping of it. Remember, nobody can stop desiring, and the reality happens only when desire stops. So this is the dilemma. What to do? Desire is there and Buddhas go on saying desire has to be stopped, and they go on saying in the next breath that you cannot stop desire. So what to do? You put people in a dilemma. They are in desire, certainly. You say it has to be stopped—okay. And then you say it cannot be stopped. Then what is to be done? The desire has to be understood. You can understand it, you can just see the futility of it. A direct perception is needed, an immediate penetration is needed. Look into desire, just see what it is, and you will see the falsity of it, and you will see it is non-existential. And desire drops and something drops simultaneously within you. Desire and the ego exist in cooperation, they coordinate. The ego cannot exist without desire. So too desire cannot exist without the ego. Desire is projected ego, and ego is introjected desire. Ego is the expression of unfulfilled and unborn desire. They are together as two aspects of one phenomenon. The day desiring stopped, I felt very hopeless and helpless. No hope because no future. Nothing to hope because all hoping has proved futile, it leads nowhere. You go in rounds. It goes on dangling in front of you, it goes on creating new mirages, it goes on calling you, ‘Come on, run fast, you will reach.’ But howsoever fast you run you never reach. That’s why Buddha calls it a mirage. It is like the horizon that you see around the earth. It appears but it is not there. If you go it goes on running from you. The faster you run, the faster it moves away. The slower you go, the slower it moves away. But one thing is certain—the distance between you and the horizon remains absolutely the same. Not even a single inch can you reduce the distance between you and the horizon? You cannot reduce the distance between you and your
hope. Hope is horizon. You try to bridge yourself with the horizon, with the hope, with a projected desire. The desire is a bridge, a dream bridge—because the horizon exists not, so you cannot make a bridge towards it, you can only dream about the bridge. You cannot be joined with the non-existential. The day the desire stopped, the day I looked and realized into it, it simply was futile. I was helpless and hopeless. But that very moment something started happening. The same started happening for which for many lives I was working and it was not happening. In your hopelessness is the only hope, and in your desirelessness is your only fulfillment, and in your tremendous helplessness suddenly the whole existence starts helping you. It is waiting. When it sees that you are working on your own, it does not interfere. It waits. It can wait infinitely because there is no hurry for it. It is eternity. The moment you are not on your own, the moment you drop, the moment you disappear, the whole existence rushes towards you, enters you. And for the first time things start happening. Seven days I lived in a very hopeless and helpless state, but at the same time something was arising. When I say hopeless I do not mean what you mean by the word hopeless. I simply mean there was no hope in me. Hope was absent. I am not saying that I was hopeless and sad. I was happy in fact, I was very tranquil, calm and collected and centered. I was hopeless, but in a totally new meaning. There was no hope, so how could there be hopelessness. Both had disappeared. The hopelessness was absolute and total. Hope had disappeared and with it its counterpart, hopelessness, had also disappeared. It was a totally new experience—of being without hope. It was not a negative state. I have to use words—but it was not a negative state. It was absolutely positive. It was not just absence, a presence was felt. Something was overflowing in me, and overflooding me. And when I say I was helpless, I do not mean the word in the dictionary-sense. I simply say I was selfless. That is what I mean when I say helpless. I have recognized the fact that I am not, so I cannot
depend on myself, so I cannot stand on my own ground—there was no ground underneath. I was in an abyss…bottomless abyss. But there was no fear because there was nothing to protect. There was no fear because there was nobody to be afraid. Those seven days were of tremendous transformation, total transformation. And the last day the presence of a totally new energy, a new light and new delight, became so intense that it was almost unbearable—as if I was exploding, as if I was going mad with blissfulness. The new generation in the West has the right word for it—I was blissed out, stoned. It was impossible to make any sense out of it, what was happening. It was a very non-sense world— difficult to figure it out, difficult to manage in categories, difficult to use words, languages, explanations. All scriptures appeared dead and all the words that have been used for this experience looked very pale, anaemic. This was so alive. It was like a tidal wave of bliss. The whole day was strange, stunning, and it was a shattering experience. The past was disappearing, as if it had never belonged to me, as if I had read about it somewhere, as if I had dreamed about it, as if it was somebody else's story I have heard and somebody told it to me. I was becoming loose from my past, I was being uprooted from my history, and I was losing my autobiography. I was becoming a non-being, what Buddha calls Anatta. Boundaries were disappearing, distinctions were disappearing. Mind was disappearing; it was millions of miles away. It was difficult to catch hold of it, it was rushing farther and farther away, and there was no urge to keep it close. I was simply indifferent about it all. It was okay. There was no urge to remain continuous with the past. By the evening it became so difficult to bear it—it was hurting, it was painful. It was like when a woman goes into labour when a child is to be born, and the woman suffers tremendous pain—the birth pangs. I used to go to sleep in those days near about twelve or one in the night, but that day it was impossible to remain awake. My eyes were closing; it was difficult to keep them open. Something was very imminent, something was going to happen. It was difficult to say what it was—maybe it is going to be my death—but there was no fear. I was ready for it. Those seven days
had been so beautiful that I was ready to die, nothing more was needed. They had been so tremendously blissful; I was so contented, that if death was coming, it was welcome. But something was going to happen—something like death, something very drastic, something which will be either a death or a new birth, a crucifixion or a resurrection—but something of tremendous import was around just by the corner. And it was impossible to keep my eyes open. I was drugged. I went to sleep near about eight. It was not like sleep. Now I can understand what Patanjali means when he says that Sleep and Samadhi are similar. Only with one difference— that in Samadhi you are fully awake and asleep also. Asleep and awake together, the whole body relaxed, every cell of the body totally relaxed, all functioning relaxed, and yet a light of awareness burns within you…clear, smokeless. You remain alert and yet relaxed, loose but fully awake. The body is in the deepest sleep possible and your consciousness is at its peak. The peak of consciousness and the valley of the body meet. I went to sleep. It was a very strange sleep. The body was asleep, I was awake. It was so strange— as if one was torn apart into two directions, two dimensions; as if the polarity has become completely focused, as if I was both the polarities together…the positive and negative were meeting, sleep and awareness were meeting, and death and life were meeting. That is the moment when you can say 'the creator and the creation meet.’ It was weird. For the first time it shocks you to the very roots, it shakes your foundations. You can never be the same after that experience; it brings a new vision to your life, a new quality. Near about twelve my eyes suddenly opened—I had not opened them. The sleep was broken by something else. I felt a great presence around me in the room. It was a very small room. I felt a throbbing life all around me, a great vibration— almost like a hurricane, a great storm of light, joy, ecstasy. I was drowning in it. It was so tremendously real that everything became unreal. The walls of the room became unreal, the house became unreal, my own body became unreal. Everything was unreal because now there was for the first time reality.
That is why when Buddha and Shankar say the world is Maya, a mirage; it is difficult for us to understand. Because we know only this world, we don't have any comparison. This is the only reality we know. What are these people talking about— this is Maya, or illusion? This is the only reality. Unless you come to know the really real, their words cannot be understood, their words remain theoretical. They look like hypotheses. Maybe this man is propounding a philosophy—‘The world is unreal’. When Berkley in the West said that the world is unreal, he was walking with one of his friends, a very logical man; the friend was almost a sceptic. He took a stone from the road and hit Berkley’s feet hard. Berkley screamed, blood rushed out, and the sceptic said, ‘Now, the world is unreal? You say the world is unreal?—then why did you scream?’ This stone is unreal?—then why did you scream? Then why are you holding your leg and why are you showing so much pain and anguish on your face. Stop this? It is all unreal. Now this type of man cannot understand what Buddha means when he says the world is a mirage. He does not mean that you can pass through the wall. He is not saying this—that you can eat stones and it will make no difference whether you eat bread or stones. He is not saying that. He is saying that there is a reality. Once you come to know it, this so-called reality simply pales out, simply becomes unreal. With a higher reality in vision the comparison arises, not otherwise. In the dream; the dream is real. You dream every night. Dream is one of the greatest activities that you go on doing. If you live sixty years, twenty years you will sleep and almost ten years you will dream. Ten years in a life—nothing else do you do so much. Ten years of continuous dreaming—just think about it. And every night and every morning you say it was unreal, and again in the night when you dream, dream becomes real. In a dream it is so difficult to remember that this is a dream. But in the morning it is so easy. What happens? You are the same person. In the dream there is only one reality. How to compare? How to say it is unreal? Compared to what? It is the only reality. Everything is as unreal as everything else so there is no comparison. In the morning when you open
your eyes another reality is there. Now you can say it was all unreal. Compared to this reality, dream becomes unreal. There is an awakening—compared to that reality of that awakening, this whole reality becomes unreal. That night for the first time I understood the meaning of the word Maya. Not that I had not known the word before, not that I was not aware of the meaning of the word. As you are aware, I was also aware of the meaning—but I had never understood it before. How can you understand without experience? That night another reality opened its door, another dimension became available. Suddenly it was there, the other reality, the separate reality, the really real, or whatsoever you want to call it—call it god, call it truth, call it Dhamma, call it Tao, or whatsoever you will. It was nameless. But it was there—so opaque, so transparent, and yet so solid one could have touched it. It was almost suffocating me in that room. It was too much and I was not yet capable of absorbing it. A deep urge arose in me to rush out of the room, to go under the sky—it was suffocating me. It was too much! It will kill me! If I had remained a few moments more, it would have suffocated me—it looked like that. I rushed out of the room, came out in the street. A great urge was there just to be under the sky with the stars, with the trees, with the earth…to be with nature. Immediately as I came out of the room the feeling of suffocation disappeared. It was too small a place for such a big phenomenon. Even the sky is a small place for that big phenomenon. It is bigger than the sky. Even the sky is not the limit for it. But then I felt more at ease. I walked towards the nearest garden. It was a totally new walk, as if gravitation had disappeared. I was walking, or I was running, or I was simply flying. It was difficult to decide. There was no gravitation, I was feeling weightless—as if some energy was taking me. I was in the hands of some other energy. For the first time I was not alone, for the first time I was no more an individual, for the first time the drop has come and fallen into the ocean. Now the whole ocean was mine, I was the ocean. There was no limitation. A tremendous power arose as if I could do anything whatsoever. I was not there, only the power was there.
I reached to the garden where I used to go every day. The garden was closed, closed for the night. It was too late; it was almost one o’clock in the night. The gardeners were fast asleep. I had to enter the garden like a thief climbing the gate. But something was pulling me towards the garden. It was not within my capacity to prevent myself. I was just floating. That is what I mean when I say again and again ‘float with the river, but do not push the river'. I was relaxed I was in a let-go. I was not there. It was there; call it god—god was there. I would like to call it it, because god is too human a word, and has become too dirty by too much use, has become too polluted by so many people. Christians, Hindus, Mohammedans, priests and politicians—they all have corrupted the beauty of the word. So let me call it it. It was there and I was just carried away…carried by a tidal wave. The moment I entered the garden everything became luminous, it was all over the place—the benediction, the blessedness. I could see the trees for the first time—their green, their life, their very sap running. The whole garden was asleep, the trees were asleep. But I could see the whole garden alive, even the small grass leaves were so beautiful. I looked around. One tree was tremendously luminous—the Mulshree tree. It attracted me, it pulled me towards itself. I had not chosen it, god himself has chosen it. I went to the tree, I sat under the tree. As I sat there things started settling. The whole universe became a benediction. It is difficult to say how long I was in that state. When I went back home it was four o'clock in the morning, so I must have been there by clock time at least three hours—but it was infinity. It had nothing to do with clock time. It was timeless. Those three hours became the whole eternity, endless eternity. There was no time, there was no passage of time; it was the virgin reality— uncorrupted, untouchable, immeasurable. And that day something happened that has continued—not as continuity—but it has still continued as an undercurrent. Not as a permanency—each moment it has been happening again and again. It has been a miracle each
moment. That night…and since that night I have never been in the body. I am hovering around it. I became tremendously powerful and at the same time very fragile. I became very strong, but that strength is not the strength of a Mohammed Ali. That strength is not the strength of a rock, that strength is the strength of a rose flower—so fragile in his strength…so fragile, so sensitive, so delicate. The rock will be there, the flower can go any moment, but still the flower is stronger than the rock because it is more alive. Or, the strength of a dewdrop on a leaf of grass just shining; in the morning sun—so beautiful, so precious, and yet can slip any moment. So incomparable in its grace, but a small breeze can come and the dewdrop can slip and be lost forever. Buddhas have a strength which is not of this world. Their strength is totally of love…Like a rose flower or a dewdrop. Their strength is very fragile, vulnerable. Their strength is the strength of life not of death. Their power is not of that which kills; their power is of that which creates. Their power is not of violence, aggression; their power is that of compassion. But I have never been in the body again I am just hovering around the body. And that’s why I say it has been a tremendous miracle. Each moment I am surprised I am still here, I should not be. I should have left any moment, still I am here. Every morning I open my eyes and I say, ‘So, again I am still here?’ Because it seems almost impossible! The miracle has been continuity. Just the other day somebody asked a question—‘Osho, you are getting so fragile and delicate and so sensitive to the smells of hair oils and shampoos that it seems we will not be able to see you unless we all go bald.’ By the way, nothing is wrong with being bald—bald is beautiful. Just as ‘black is beautiful’, so ‘bald is beautiful’. But that is true and you have to be careful about it. I am fragile, delicate and sensitive. That is my strength. If you throw a rock at a flower nothing will happen to the rock, the flower will be gone. But still you cannot say that the rock is more powerful than the flower. The flower will be gone because the flower was alive. And the rock—nothing will happen to it because it is dead. The flower will be gone because the flower has no strength to destroy. The flower will simply
disappear and give way to the rock. The rock has a power to destroy because the rock is dead. Remember, since that day I have never been in the body really; just a delicate thread joins me with the body. And I am continuously surprised that somehow the whole must be willing me to be here, because I am no more here with my own strength, I am no more here on my own. It must be the will of the whole to keep me here, to allow me to linger a little more on this shore. Maybe the whole wants to share something with you through me. Since that day the world is unreal. Another world has been revealed. When I say the world is unreal I don't mean that these trees are unreal. These trees are absolutely real—but the way you see these trees is unreal. These trees are not unreal in themselves—they exist in god, they exist in absolute reality—but the way you see them you never see them; you are seeing something else, a mirage. You create your own dream around you and unless you become awake you will continue to dream. The world is unreal because the world that you know is the world of your dreams. When dreams drop and you simply encounter the world that is there, then the real world happens. There are not two things, god and the world. God is the world if you have eyes, clear eyes, without any dreams, without any dust of the dreams, without any haze of sleep; if you have clear eyes, clarity, perceptiveness, there is only god. Then somewhere god is a green tree, and somewhere else god is a shining star, and somewhere else god is a cuckoo, and somewhere else god is a flower, and somewhere else a child and somewhere else a river—then only god is. The moment you start seeing, only god is. But right now whatsoever you see is not the truth, it is a projected lie. That is the meaning of a mirage. And once you see, even for a single split moment, if you can see, if you can allow yourself to see, you will find immense benediction present all over, everywhere—in the clouds, in the sun, on the earth. This is a beautiful world. But I am not talking about your world; I am talking about my world. Your world is very ugly, your world is your world created by a self, and your world is a projected world. You are using the real world as a
screen and projecting your own ideas on it. When I say the world is real, the world is tremendously beautiful, the world is luminous with infinity, the world is light and delight, it is a celebration, I mean my world—or your world if you drop your dreams. When you drop your dreams you see the same world as any Buddha has ever seen. When you dream you dream privately. Have you watched it?—that dreams are private. You cannot share them even with your beloved. You cannot invite your wife to your dream—or your husband, or your friend. You cannot say, 'Now, please come tonight in my dream. I would like to see the dream together.' It is not possible. Dream is a private thing, hence it is illusory, it has no objective reality.
That meditation cannot be created by human effort. Human effort is too limited. That blessedness is so infinite. You cannot manipulate it. It can happen only when you are in a tremendous surrender. When you are not there only then it can happen. When you are a no-self— no desire, not going anywhere—when you are just ‘herenow’, not doing anything in particular, just being, it happens. And it comes in waves and the waves become tidal. It comes like a storm, and takes you away into a totally new reality. But first you have to do all that you can do, and then you have to learn non-doing. The doing of the non-doing is the greatest doing, and the effort of effortlessness is the greatest effort.
God is a universal thing. Once you come out of your private dreams, it is there. It has been always there. Once your eyes are clear, a sudden illumination—suddenly you are over flooded with beauty, grandeur and grace. That is the goal that is the destiny. Let me repeat. Without effort you will never reach it, with effort nobody has ever reached it. You will need great effort, and only then there comes a moment when effort becomes futile. But it becomes futile only when you have come to the very peak of it, never before it. When you have come to the very pinnacle of your effort—all that you can do you have done—then suddenly there is no need to do anything anymore. You drop the effort. But nobody can drop it in the middle; it can be dropped only at the extreme end. So go to the extreme end if you want to drop it. Hence I go on insisting: make as much effort as you can, put your whole energy and total heart in it, so that one day you can see—no effort is going to lead me anywhere. And that day it will not be you who will drop the effort; it drops on its own accord. And when it drops on its own accord, meditation happens. Meditation is not a result of your efforts, meditation is a happening. When your efforts drop, suddenly meditation is there…the benediction of it, the blessedness of it, and the glory of it. It is there like a presence…luminous, surrounding you and surrounding everything. It fills the whole earth and the whole sky.
Your meditation that you create by chanting a mantra or by sitting quiet and still and forcing yourself, is a very mediocre meditation. It is created by you; it cannot be bigger than you. It is homemade, and the maker is always bigger than the made. You have made it by sitting, forcing in a yoga posture, chanting 'rama, rama, rama' or anything—'blah, blah, blah'—anything. You have forced the mind to become still. It is a forced stillness. It is not that quiet that comes when you are not there. It is not that silence which comes when you are almost non-existential. It is not that beatitude which descends on you like a dove. It is said when Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan River, god descended in him, or the holy ghost descended in him like a dove. Yes, that is exactly so. When you are not there peace descends in you…fluttering like a dove…reaches in your heart and abides there and abides there forever. You are your undoing, you are the barrier. Meditation is when the meditator is not. When the mind ceases with all its activities—seeing that they are futile—then the unknown penetrates you, overwhelms you. The mind must cease for god to be. Knowledge must cease for knowing to be. You must disappear, you must give way. You must become empty, then only you can be full. That night I became empty and became full. I became non-existential and became existence. That night I died and was reborn. But the one that was reborn has nothing to do with that which died, it is a discontinuous thing. On the surface it looks
continuous but it is discontinuous. The one, who died, died totally; nothing of him has remained. Believe me, nothing of him has remained, not even a shadow. It died totally, utterly. It is not that I am just a modified transformed, and modified form, transformed form of the old. No, there has been no continuity. That day of March twenty-first, the person who had lived for many many lives, for millennia, simply died. Another being, absolutely new, not connected at all with the old, started to exist. Religion just gives you a total death. Maybe that is why the whole day previous to that happening I was feeling some urgency like death, as if I am going to die—and I really died. I have known many other deaths but they were nothing compared to it, they were partial deaths. Sometimes the body died, sometimes a part of the mind died, sometimes a part of the ego died, but as far as the person was concerned, it remained. Renovated many times, decorated many times, changed a little bit here and there, but it remained, the continuity remained. That night the death was total. It was a date with death and god simultaneously. Enlightenment is nothing but your becoming light, your inner being becoming light. Perhaps you are aware that the physicists say that if anything moves with the speed of light, it becomes light—because the speed is so great that the friction creates fire. The thing is burned, there is only light. The material disappears, only immaterial light remains. Enlightenment is the experience of an explosion of light within you. Perhaps your desire to be enlightened is moving with the speed of light, like an arrow, so that your very desire, your very longing becomes a flame, an explosion of light. There is nobody who becomes enlightened, there is only enlightenment. There is only a tremendous sunrise within you. You must have come across hundreds of mystics describing it as if suddenly thousands of suns have risen within you. That is a common expression in the mystic's language, in all languages, in different countries, in different races.
Enlightenment simply means an experience of your consciousness unclouded by thoughts, emotions, and sentiments. When the consciousness is totally empty, there is something like an explosion, an atomic explosion. Your whole insight becomes full of a light which has no source and no cause. And once it has happened, it remains. It never leaves you for a single moment; even when you are asleep, that light is inside. And after that moment you can see things in a totally different way. After that experience, there is no question in you. Enlightenment means fully conscious, and aware. Ordinarily we are not conscious and not aware. We are doing things either out of habit or out of biological instincts… Just as Freud's conscious mind, unconscious mind, and Jung says collective unconscious mind, I say there is a superconscious mind and collective conscious mind. To reach to the collective conscious mind they are going to the roots and I am going to the flowers. But they're all interconnected and all the devices and matters are to discover in you, something which is simply watchfulness. For example, I can watch my body—certainly I am not the body. I can watch my hand: it is hurting, but I am not the hurt—I am the watcher. I can watch my thoughts, then I am not the thought. I am the watcher and I can watch even the watcher. That is the moment beyond which you cannot go and enlightenment comes. Enlightenment is simply that you become so conscious, so full of light, that it starts overflowing your life, your being. You can impart it. When one is enlightened one is conscious, but one is not conscious of consciousness. One is perfectly conscious, but there is no object in it. One is simply conscious, as if a light goes on enlightening the emptiness around it. There is no object. There is nothing the light can fall upon. It is pure consciousness. The object has disappeared; your subject has flowered into totality. Now there is no object—and hence, there can be no subject. The object and subject both have disappeared. You are simply conscious. Not conscious of anything, just conscious. You are consciousness. He is not conscious about enlightenment; he is simply conscious. He lives in consciousness, he
sleeps in consciousness, he moves in consciousness. He lives, he dies in consciousness. Consciousness becomes an eternal source in him, a non flickering flame, a non wavering state of being. It is not an attribute, it is not accidental; it cannot be taken away. His whole being is conscious. What is enlightenment? Coming to understand, coming to realize that you are not the body. You are the light within; not the lamp, but the flame. You are neither body nor mind. Mind belongs to the body; mind is not beyond body, it is part of the body—most subtle, most refined, but it is part of the body. Mind is also atomic, as body is atomic. You are neither the body nor the mind—then you come to know who you are. And to know who you are is enlightenment…. Enlightened means you have realized who you are. Enlightenment simply means becoming aware of yourself. Ordinarily, a man is awake to everything around him, but is not aware who is awake and aware of all the things around. So we remain on the periphery of life and the canter remains in darkness. To bring light to that centre, consciousness to that centre is what enlightenment is. It is just being absolutely centered in yourself, focusing all your consciousness upon yourself as if nothing else exists; only you are. Just be natural so that you can remain in tune with existence. So that you can dance in the rain and you can dance in the sun and you can dance with the trees, and you can have a communion even with the rocks, with the mountains, with the stars. Except this, there is no enlightenment. Let me define it: Enlightenment is to be in tune with existence. To be in tune with nature—the very nature of things—is enlightenment. Against nature there is only misery—and misery created by yourself. Nobody else is responsible for it. It will be difficult logically to understand it. It is something to be experienced. Since the moment I found the ego evaporating from me, I have not felt part of the universe, but the universe itself. And yes, I have found many moments when I am bigger
than the universe—because I can see the stars moving within me, the sunrise happening within me, all the flowers blossoming within me. When I roam the lofty mountains I feel like my soul is raised on high and covered like the peaks in never melting caps of snow. And when I descend into the valleys I feel deep and profound like them and my heart fills with mysterious shadows. The same thing happens at the edge of the sea. There I merge with the surging waves; they pound and roar within me. When I gaze at the sky I expand. I become boundless, unlimited. When I look at the stars, silence permeates me; when I see a flower the ecstasy of beauty overwhelms me. When I hear a bird singing, it's song is an echo of my own inner voice, and when I look into the eyes of an animal I see no difference between them and my own. Gradually my separate existence has been effaced and only God remains. So where shall I look for God now? How shall I seek him? Only he is; I am not. I was in the hills, and what they wanted to tell me was transmitted through their silence. The trees, the lakes, the rivers, the brooks, the moon and the stars were all speaking to me in the language of silence. And I understood. The words of God were clear to me, I could only hear him when I became silent. Not before. I cannot be other than compassionate; I am just helpless. It has nothing to do with you, it is just the only possibility for me. The day I came to know myself, I lost many things and I gained a few things. Of the things that I have gained, the most important of them is compassion. So it is irrespective of who is the receiver: a coconut tree or you, it does not matter. I can only look with compassion. My eyes don't have anything else and my heart doesn't have anything else. The day you realize yourself, your very being becomes love. It is no longer a relationship, it is no longer addressed to anyone in particular; it is simply overflowing in all directions and all dimensions. And it is not something on my part, that I am doing it. Love cannot be done. And the love that is done is false; it is only pretension…. It is just my heartbeat, my love is my life; nobody is excluded from it. It is so comprehensive that it can contain the whole universe…you too.
You ask me: Is the process of enlightenment the same for everyone? Enlightenment is a very individual process. Because of its individuality, it has created many problems. First: there are no fixed stages through which a person necessarily passes. Every person passes through different phases, because every person in many lives has gathered different kinds of conditionings. So it is not the question of enlightenment. It is the question of the conditionings that will make your way. And everybody has different conditionings, so no two persons' paths are going to be the same. That's why I insist again and again there is no superhighway; there are only footpaths. And that too, not ready-made, not that you find them already there and you have just to walk on them— no. As you walk you make them, your very walking makes them. It is said that the path of enlightenment is like a bird flying in the sky: it leaves no footprints behind it, nobody can follow the footprints of the bird. Every bird will have to make its own footprints, but they disappear immediately as the bird goes on flying. The similar is the situation, that is why there is no possibility of a leader and a follower, that is why I say these people—like Jesus, Moses, Mohammed, Krishna—who say that ‘You just believe me and follow me,’ do not know anything about enlightenment. If they had known, then this statement was impossible, because anybody who has become enlightened, knows that he has not left any footprints behind; now saying to people ‘Come and follow me,’ is just absurd. So what happened to me is not necessary for anybody else to pass through. It is possible that one may remain normal and suddenly become enlightened. It is like here there are fifty people: if we all go to sleep, everybody will have his own dream; you can't have a common dream. That is impossibility. There is no way to create a common dream. Your dream will be yours, my dream will be mine, and we will be in different places, in different dreams. And when we will wake up, I may wake up at a certain stage in my dream; you may wake up at a certain stage in your dream. How they can be the same?
Enlightenment is nothing but awakening. For the enlightened person, all our lives are just dreams. They may be good dreams, they may be bad dreams; they may be nightmares, they may be very nice and beautiful dreams, but all the same they are dreams. You can wake up any moment. That is always your potentiality. Sometimes you may an effort to wake up, and you find that it is difficult. You may have had dreams in which you are trying to shout but you cannot shout. You want to wake up and get out of the bed, but you cannot, your whole body is paralyzed, as if. But in the morning you wake up and you simply laugh at the whole thing, but at the moment when it was happening, it was not a thing to laugh at. It was really serious. Your whole body was almost dead, you could not move your hands, you could not speak, you could not open your eyes. You knew that, now you are finished. But in the morning, you simply don't pay any attention to it, you don't even reconsider it, what it was. Just knowing that it was a dream, it becomes meaningless. And you are awake, then whether the dreams were good or bad does not matter. The same is the situation about enlightenment. All the methods that are being used are simply somehow to create a situation in which your dream is broken. How much you are attached with the dream will be different, individual to individual. How much deep is your sleep will be different, individual to individual. But all methods are just to shake you so that you can wake up. At what point you will wake up does not matter at all. So my breakdown and breakthrough is not going to be for everybody. It happened that way to me. There were reasons why it happened that way. I was working alone on myself, with no friends, no fellow travellers, no commune. To work alone, one is bound to get into many troubles, because there are moments which can only be called nights of soul, so dark and so dangerous. It seems as if you have come to the last breathe of your life, that this is death, nothing else. That experience is a nervous breakdown. Facing death and nobody to support and nobody to encourage, and nobody to say, ‘Not to be worried, this will pass away,’ that ‘This is only a nightmare, and the morning is very close. Darker the night, the
closer is the sunrise. Do not be worried.’ Nobody around whom you trust, who trusts you—that was the reason for the nervous breakdown! But, it was not harmful. It looked harmful at the moment, but soon the dark night was gone, and the sunrise was there. The breakdown has become the breakthrough. To each individual it will happen differently. And the same is true after enlightenment: the expression of enlightenment will be different…. Enlightenment is a very individual song—always unknown, always new, and always unique. It comes never as a repetition. So never compare two enlightened persons, otherwise you are bound to do injustice with one or the other, or both. And do not have any fixed idea. Just very liquid qualities should be remembered. I say liquid qualities, not very determinate qualifications. For example, every enlightened person will have a deep silence—almost tangible. In his presence, those who are open and receptive will become silent. He will have a tremendous contentment, whatever happens makes no difference to his contentment. He will not have any question left, all questions have dissolved—not that he knows all answers, but all questions have dissolved. And in that state of utter silence, no-mind, he is capable of answering any question with tremendous profundity. It needs no preparation. He himself does not know what he is going to say, it comes spontaneously; sometimes he himself is surprised. But that does not mean that he has answers inside himself, ready-made. He has no answers at all. He has no questions at all. He has just a clarity, a light that can be focused on any question, and all the implications of the question, and all the possibilities of its being answered, suddenly become clear…. But the enlightened man has no answers, no scriptures, no quotation marks. He is simply available; just like a mirror, he responds, and he responds with intensity and totality. So these are liquid qualities, not qualifications. So do not look on small things that what he eats, what he wears, where he lives—those are all irrelevant. Just watch for his love, for his compassion, for his trust. Even if you take advantage of his trust, that
does not change his trust. Even if you misuse his compassion, cheat his love that does not make any difference. That is your problem. His trust, his compassion, his love remains just the same. His only effort in life will be how to make people awake. Whatever he does, this is the only purpose behind every act: how to make more and more people awake, because through awaking he has come to know the ultimate bliss of life. and why he became a master. If people have become enlightened before thirtyfive, then they have survived longer than others, because the body was younger, stronger, and it was not on the decline; it still had a potential to grow. They absorbed the shock, but the shock had shaken everything. I was never sick before I became enlightened; I was perfectly healthy. People were jealous of my health. But after enlightenment, suddenly I found that the body had become so delicate that doing anything became impossible. Even going for a walk—and I was running before that, four miles in the morning, four miles in the evening, running, jogging, swimming. I was doing all kinds of things…. But after enlightenment, suddenly and very strangely, the body became absolutely weak. And it is almost unbelievable—I could not believe it, my father's sister's family, who I was staying with, could not believe it. It was more of a surprise to them because they knew nothing about enlightenment. I suspected there was some connection but they had no idea what had happened: all the hairs on my chest became white, just in one night! And I was twenty-one! I could not hide it—because it is a hot country, India, and I used to only have on a wrap-around lunghi the whole day, so my chest was always naked. Everybody in the house became aware of this and was wondering what had happened. I said, ‘I myself am wondering what has happened.’ I knew that the body had certainly lost its stamina. It had become fragile, and I lost my sleep completely. I have been asked again and again why Ramakrishna died of cancer. I know why he died of cancer: he must have become absolutely vulnerable to any disease. And if it was only
Ramakrishna we could think it was just an exception; but Maharshi Raman also died of cancer. That looks strange, that within one hundred years two enlightened people of the highest order died of cancer. Perhaps they lost all resistance to disease. I can understand from my own situation, I lost all resistance to diseases. I had never suffered from what you call allergies. I loved perfume so much, and I had never suffered because of it. I had beautiful flowers in all my houses where I lived; and India has such flowers I think no other country has—with great fragrance…. There are plants, for example a certain flower, "queen of the night"—you can have just one plant, and the whole house will be full of fragrance; and not only your own house, the neighboring houses too will be full of fragrance. And there are many other flowers—champa, chameli, juhi—which are immensely full of fragrance. I always had those flowers around me, and I never suffered from any allergy. But after enlightenment I became so allergic that just the body-smell of somebody was enough to give me a cold, the sneezes; and the sneezes triggered something in my chest. I started coughing, and coughing triggered another process; I started having asthma attacks which were absolutely unknown to me. I had never thought that these things would happen to me. But I was aware of what was happening. My consciousness and my body had fallen apart; the connection became very loose. The body’s resting became impossible, and when you have not rested for many days, then you become vulnerable to all kinds of infections. You are so tired, you cannot resist. And if for years you cannot have any rest, then naturally you lose all resistance…. My feeling is that because enlightenment is the last lesson of life, there is nothing more to learn, you are unnecessarily hanging around. You have learnt the lesson—that was the purpose of life—so life starts losing contact with the person. And most of these people have died immediately; the shock was so much. And death is not a calamity to them; it is a blessing, because they have attained whatsoever life was to give. But to live after enlightenment is really a difficult affair. The most important thing is that one loses contact with his
inactive mind, and it becomes impossible to have any contact. The moment you are silent, immediately the energy moves to your transcendental awareness. You are aware, even when you are doing something, saying something. The flame is not that strong, because your energy is involved in some activity. But when you are not doing anything, then suddenly the whole energy immediately shifts to the highest point. It is tremendously blissful; it is great ecstasy, but only for consciousness, not for the body. Nobody has ever explained exactly what the situation is. I think there may have been a fear that if you explain it to people—they are already not making any effort towards enlightenment—and if you say it is possible that enlightenment may become your death, they may simply freak out! ‘Then why bother about enlightenment? Then we are good as we are—at least we are alive! Miserable, but we are alive.’ If your body becomes vulnerable, fragile, nonresistant to any kind of disease, that may also give them the argument: ‘This is not good; it is better not to bother about such things. It is better to be healthy and have no diseases, rather than having enlightenment and then suffer a fragile body and all its implications.’ Perhaps that may have been the reason that it has never been talked about. But I want everything to be made clear. I don't want to leave anything about enlightenment, its process, as a secret. It is good for people to know exactly what they are doing and what can be the result. If they do it consciously, knowingly, it will be far better. And those who are not going to make any effort, only they will find excuses; they were not going to make any effort anyway. For those of you who are going to make the effort—even if death comes, it will be a challenge, an adventure, because you have attained whatever life could deliver to you, and then life slipped away. The first thing I did after my enlightenment, at the age of twenty-one, was to rush to the village where my grandmother was, my father’s village…. Immediately after my enlightenment I rushed to the village to meet two people: first, Magga Baba, the man I was talking about before. You will
certainly wonder why…. Because I wanted somebody to say to me, ‘You are enlightened.’ I knew it, but I wanted to hear it from the outside too. Magga Baba was the only man I could ask at that time. I had heard that he had recently returned to the village. I rushed to him. The village was two miles from the station. You cannot believe how I rushed to see him. I reached the neem tree…. I rushed to the neem tree where Magga Baba sat, and the moment he saw me do you know what he did? I could not believe it myself—he touched my feet and wept. I felt very embarrassed because a crowd had gathered and they all thought Magga Baba had now really gone mad. Up till then he had been a little mad, but now he was totally gone, gone forever…gate, gate—gone, and gone forever. But Magga Baba laughed, and for the first time, in front of the people, he said to me, ‘My boy, you have done it! But I knew that one day you would do it.’ I touched his feet. For the first time he tried to prevent me from doing it, saying, ‘No, no, do not touch my feet anymore.’ But I still touched them, even though he insisted. I didn't care and said, ‘Shut up! You look after your business and let me do mine. If I am enlightened as you say, please don't prevent an enlightened man from touching your feet.’ He started laughing again and said, ‘You rascal! You are enlightened, but still a rascal.’ I then rushed to my home—that is, my Nani’s home, not my father’s—because she was the woman I wanted to tell what had happened. But strange are the ways of existence: she was standing at the door, looking at me, a little amazed. She said, ‘What has happened to you? You are no longer the same.’ She was not enlightened, but intelligent enough to see the difference in me. I said, ‘Yes, I am no longer the same, and I have come to share the experience that has happened to me.’ She said, ‘Please, as far as I am concerned, always remain my Raja, my little child.’ So I did not say anything to her. One day passed, and then in the middle of the night she woke me up. With tears in her eyes she said, ‘Forgive me. You are no longer the same. You may pretend but I can see through your pretence. There is no need to pretend. You can tell me what has happened to you. The child I used to know is dead, but someone far better and luminous has taken his place. I cannot call you my own anymore, but that does not matter. Now you
will be able to be called by millions as theirs, and everybody will be able to feel you as his or hers. I withdraw my claim—but teach me also the way.’ This is the first time I have told anybody. My Nani was my first disciple. I taught her the way. My way is simple: to be silent, to experience in one's self that which is always the observer, and never the observed; to know the knower, and forget the known. My way is simple, as simple as Lao Tzu’s, Chuang Tzu’s, Krishna’s, Christ’s, Moses’, Zarathustra’s…because only the names differ, the way is the same. Only pilgrims are different; the pilgrimage is the same. And the truth, the process, is very simple. I was fortunate to have had my own grandmother as my first disciple, because I have never found anybody else to be so simple. I have found many very simple people, very close to her simplicity, but the profoundness of her simplicity was such that nobody has ever been able to transcend it, not even my father. He was simple, utterly simple, and very profound, but not in comparison to her. I am sorry to say, he was far away, and my mother is very very far away; she is not even close to my father’s simplicity. You will be surprised to know—and I am declaring it for the first time—my Nani was not only my first disciple, she was my first enlightened disciple too, and she became enlightened long before I started initiating people into sannyas. She was never a sannyasin. And I have to confess, after Magga Baba he (Shambhu Babu) was the second man who recognized that something immeasurable had happened to me. Of course he was not a mystic, but a poet has the capacity, once in a while, to be a mystic, and he was a great poet…. I understand him, so when I say that although he was not an enlightened master, not a master in any way, I still count him as number two, after Magga Baba, because he recognized me when it was impossible to do so, absolutely impossible. I may not even have recognized myself, but he recognized me. After my enlightenment, for exactly one thousand, three hundred and fifteen days* I tried to remain
silent—as much as it was possible in those conditions. For a few things I had to speak, but my speaking was telegraphic. My father was very angry with me. He loved me so much that he had every right to be angry. The day he had sent me to the university he had taken a promise from me that I would write one letter every week at least. When I became silent I wrote him the last letter and told him, ‘I am happy, immensely happy, ultimately happy, and I know from my very depth of being that I will remain so now forever, whether in the body or not in the body. This bliss is something of the eternal. So now every week, if you insist, I can write the same again and again. That will not look okay, but I have promised, so I will drop a card every week with the sign ‘ditto.’ Please forgive me, and when you receive my letter with the sign ‘ditto,’ you read this letter.’ He thought I had gone completely mad. He immediately rushed from the village, came to the university and asked me, ‘What has happened to you? Seeing your letter and your idea of this ‘ditto,’ I thought you were mad. But looking at you, it seems I am mad; the whole world is mad. I take back the promise and the word that you have given to me. There is no need now to write every week. I will continue to read your last letter.’ And he kept it to the very last day he died; it was under his pillow. The man who forced me to speak—for one thousand, three hundred and fifteen days I had remained silent—was a very strange man. He himself had remained silent his whole life. Nobody heard about him; nobody knew about him. And he was the most precious man I have come across in this, or any of my lives in the past. His name was Magga Baba…. Once in a while, particularly on cold winter nights, I used to find him alone; then he would say something to me. He forced me to speak. He said, ‘Look, I have remained silent my whole life, but they do not hear, they do not listen. They cannot understand it; it is beyond them. I have failed. I have not been able to convey what I have been carrying within me, and now there is not much time left for me. You are so young, you have a long life before you: please do not stop speaking. Start!’ It is a difficult, almost impossible job to convey things in words, because they are experienced in a wordless state of consciousness. How to convert
that silence into sound? There seems to be no way. And there is none. But I understood Magga Baba’s point. He was very old, and he was saying to me, ‘You will be in the same position. If you don't start soon, the inner silence, the vacuum, the innermost zero, will go on pulling you inwards. And then there comes a time when you cannot come out. You are drowned in it. You are utterly blissful, but the whole world is full of misery. You could have shown the way. Perhaps somebody may have heard, perhaps somebody may have walked on the path. At least you would not feel that you have not done what was expected of you by existence itself. Yes, it is a responsibility.’ I promised him, ‘I will do my best.’ And for thirty years continually I went on and on talking on every subject under the stars. *Note: Between 1981 and 1984, Osho observed a period of silence lasting 1,315 days. Osho has indicated that while Magga Baba encouraged him to teach, he warned Osho not to declare his enlightenment as this would create antagonism. Osho did not publicly acknowledge his enlightenment until 1971. My experience is that once you are enlightened, you are so full, just like a rain cloud, you want to shower. The moment I was fulfilled, the moment I was blessed by truth, of course I wanted it to be shared; and it was natural that I would share it with my father, with my mother, with my brothers, with my sisters, whom I had known longer than anybody else. And I shared it. I am just a storyteller. From my very childhood I have loved to tell stories, real, unreal. I was not at all aware that this telling of stories would give me articulateness, and that it would be of tremendous help after enlightenment. Many people become enlightened, but not all of them become masters— for the simple reason that they are not articulate, they cannot convey what they feel, they cannot communicate what they have experienced. Now it was just accidental with me, and I think it must have been accidental with those few people who became masters, because there is no training course for it. And I can say it with certainty only about myself.
When enlightenment came, I could not speak for seven days; the silence was so profound that even the idea of saying anything about it did not arise. But after seven days, slowly, as I became accustomed to the silence, to the beatitude, to the bliss, the desire to share it—a great longing to share it with those whom I loved was very natural. I started talking with the people with whom I was in some way concerned, friends. I had been talking to these people for years, talking about all kinds of things. I had enjoyed only one exercise, and that was talking, so it was not very difficult to start talking about the enlightenment—although it took years to refine and bring into words something of my silence, something of my joy. The greatest problem that a mystic has even greater than attaining his experience, is how to express it. If somebody becomes enlightened it is not necessary that he will be able to become a Master—or even a teacher. He may know, but he may not be articulate enough to lead others to the same experience. That is a different art. It was easy for me to speak because I started speaking before I became enlightened. Speaking became almost a natural thing to me before I became enlightened. I have never learned any oratory, never been to any school where oratory is taught. I have never even read a book on the art of speaking. From my very childhood, because I was argumentative and everybody wanted me to keep silent…. In the family, in the school, in the college, in the university, everybody was saying to me, ‘Do not speak at all!’ I was expelled from many colleges for the simple reason that teachers were complaining that they could not complete the syllabus, the course for the year, because ‘this student leads us into such arguments that nothing can be completed.’ But all that gave me great opportunity and made me more and more articulate. It became just a natural thing to me to argue with the neighbors, to argue with the teachers, to argue on the street— anywhere. Just to find a man was enough and I will start some argument…. I loved it, just the way I love it now! So when I became enlightened it was not difficult for me. It was very easy. So everybody is not necessarily
going to be a Master or a teacher. That is a totally different art. From my very childhood, as long as I remember, I have been arguing, fighting. Of course, a child will fight and argue in a child's way, but from my very childhood I have never been ready to accept anything without being rationally convinced about it. And I found very soon, very early in life, that all these people with very big heads—professors, heads of the departments, deans, vicechancellors—are just hollow. You just a scratch a little bit, you find nothing inside. They don't have any argument for what they have been thinking is their own philosophy. They have borrowed it, they have never discovered it on their own. So I have been continuously fighting, and in this fighting I have been sharpening my own argument. I don't have a philosophy of my own. my whole function is deprogramming, so whatever you say, I will destroy it. And I never say anything, so I never give any chance to anybody to destroy it. My purpose is to deprogram you, to clean you, to uncondition you and leave you fresh, young, innocent. And from there you can grow into a real, authentic individual—otherwise you are just a personality, not individuality. A personality is borrowed, it is a mask. And my whole effort is how to help a person to be authentic, to be himself, naked. You ask me: Is it your supreme ability to communicate that makes you the master of masters. The situation of the world has changed dramatically. Just three hundred years ago, the world was very big. Even if Gautam Buddha had wanted to approach all human beings, it would not have been possible; just the means of communication were not available. People were living in many worlds, almost isolated from each other. That has a simplicity. Jesus had to face the Jews, not the whole world. It would not have been possible, sitting on his donkey, to go around the world. Even if he had managed to cover the small kingdom of Judea, that would have been too much. The education of people was very confined. They were not even aware of each other's existence. Gautam Buddha, Lao Tzu in China, Socrates in Athens—they were all contemporaries but they had no idea of each others. That's why I say that before the scientific
revolution in the means of communication and in the means of transportation, there were many worlds, sufficient unto themselves. They never thought of others, they had no idea even that others existed. As people became acquainted more and more with each other, the world became smaller. Now a Buddha will not be able to manage, nor Jesus nor Moses nor Confucius. They will all have very localized minds and very localized attitudes. We are fortunate that the world is now so small that you cannot be local. In spite of yourself, you cannot be local; you have to be universal. You have to think of Confucius, you have to think of Krishna, you have to think of Socrates, you have to think of Bertrand Russell. Unless you think of the world as one single unit, and all the contributions of different geniuses, you will not be able to talk to the modern man. The gap will be so big—twentyfive centuries, twenty centuries…almost impossible to bridge it. The only way to bridge it is that the person who has come to know should not stop at his own knowing, should not be contented to only give expression to what he has come to know. He has to make a tremendous effort to know all the languages. The work is vast, but it is exciting—the exploration into human genius from different dimensions. And if you have within yourself the light of understanding, you can create, without any difficulty, a synthesis. And the synthesis is not only going to be of all the religious mystics—that will be partial. The synthesis has to include all the artists—their insights—all the musicians, all the poets, all the dancers—their insights. All the creative people who have contributed to life, who have made humanity richer, have to be taken into account. And most important of all is scientific growth. To bring scientific growth into a synthetic vision with heart and religion was not possible in the past. In the first place there was no science—and it has changed a thousand and one things. Life can never be the same again. And nobody has thought ever of the artistic people, that their contribution
is also religious. In my vision it is a triangle— science, religion, art. And they are such different dimensions, they speak different languages, they contradict each other; they are not in agreement superficially—unless you have a deep insight in which they all can melt and become one. My effort has been to do almost the impossible. In my university days as a student, my professors were at a loss. I was a student of philosophy, and I was attending science classes—physics, chemistry and biology. Those professors were feeling very strange; "You are here in the university to study philosophy. Why are you wasting your time with chemistry?" I said, "I have nothing to do with chemistry; I just want to have a clear insight into what chemistry has done, what physics has done. I don't want to go into details, I just want the essential contribution." I was rarely in my classes, I was mostly in the library. My professors were continually saying, ‘What are you doing the whole day in the library?—because so many complaints have come from the librarian that you are the first to enter the library, and you have to be almost physically taken out of the library. The whole day you are there. And not only in the philosophical department, are you roaming around the library in all the departments which have nothing to do with you.’ I said to them, ‘It is difficult for me to explain to you, but my effort in the future is going to be to bring everything that has some truth in it into a synthetic whole and create a way of life which is inclusive of all, which is not based on arguments and contradictions, which is based on a deep insight into the essential core of all the contributions that have been made to human knowledge, to human wisdom.’ They thought I would go mad—the task I have chosen can lead anyone to madness, it is too vast. But they were not aware that madness is impossible for me, that I have left the mind far behind; I am just a watcher. And the mind is such a delicate and complicated computer. Man has made great computers but none is yet comparable to the human mind. Just a single human mind has the capacity to contain all the libraries of the world. And just a single library—the British Museum library—has books, which if you go on making them like a wall, one by
one, they will go three times round the earth. And that is only one big library. Moscow has the same kind of library—perhaps bigger. Harvard has the same kind of library. But a single human mind is capable of containing all that is written in all these books, of memorizing it. In a single brain there are more than a billion cells, and each single cell is capable of containing millions of pieces of information. Certainly one will go mad if one is not already standing out of the mind. If you have not reached the status of meditation, madness is sure. They were not wrong, but they were not aware of my efforts towards meditation. So I was reading strange books, strange scriptures, from all over the world; yet I was only a watcher, because as far as I was concerned, I had come home. I had nothing to learn from all that reading; that reading was for a different purpose, and the purpose was to make my message universal, to make it free from local limitations. And I am happy that I have succeeded in it completely…. Because you love me, you call me ‘master of masters.’ It is out of your love. As far as I am concerned, I simply think of myself only an ordinary human being who was stubborn enough to remain independent, resisted all conditioning, and never belonged to any religion, never belonged to any political party, never belonged to any organization, never belonged to any nation, any race. I have tried in every possible way just to be myself, without any adjective; and that has given me so much integrity, individuality, authenticity, and the tremendous blissfulness of being fulfilled. But it was the need of the time. After me, anybody trying to be a master will have to remember that he has to pass through all the things I have passed through; otherwise, he cannot be called a master. He will remain just localized—a Hindu teacher, a Christian missionary, a Mohammedan priest—but not a master of human beings as such. After me it is going to be really difficult to be a master. My father used to send me money, and that money helped me to purchase as many books as possible. Now, the library you see—it has one hundred and fifty thousand books. Most of them were purchased with his money. All the money he gave me went into purchasing books, and soon I was receiving scholarships—and all that money went into books.
I must have seen thousands of books, and perhaps no other man in the whole world can claim to know more about books than I know. But in this whole experience of thousands of books I have never come across another book which can be compared in any way with P.D.Ouspensky’s Tertium Organum. Tertium Organum means the third canon of thought. He gave this name to this great and incomparably unique book because there have been two other books in the past: the first was written by Aristotle, and he called it the first Organum, the first principle of thought; and the second was written by Bacon, and he called it Novum Organum, a new canon of thought. Then Ouspensky wrote Tertium Organum, the third canon of thought, and he declared just in the beginning of the book that ‘although I am calling it the third canon of thought, it existed before the first canon of thought ever existed.’ This book contains so many mysteries that each page, almost each paragraph, each sentence seems to be so pregnant with meaning…This is the only book… I used to love underlining my books, that's why I have never been interested in reading books from any library. I cannot underline a book that has been borrowed from a library; I cannot put my stamp on it. And I hate to read a book which has been underlined by somebody else, because those lines which have been underlined stand out and they unnecessarily interfere in my own conception, my own flow. This is the only book which I started underlining and I recognized after a few pages that every line has to be underlined. But I could not be unjust to the book. All my books in the library are underlined. Knowing perfectly well after a few pages that this book can be left not underlined, but that will be unjustified…so I had to underline the whole book. In Jabalpur there was one beautiful place where I was an everyday visitor; I would go for at least one or two hours. It was called the Thieves’ Market. Stolen things were sold there, and I was after stolen books because so many people were stealing books and selling them and I was getting such beautiful books. I got Gurdjieff's first book from that Thieves’ Market, and Ouspensky’s ‘In
Search of the Miraculous’ from that Thieves’ Market. The book was fifty rupees; from there I got it for half a rupee, because in the Thieves’ Market, books are sold by weight. Those people, they do not bother about whether it is Ouspensky, Plato, or Russell. Everything is all rubbish; whether you purchase old newspapers or you purchase Socrates, it is the same price. I had collected in my library thousands of books from the Thieves’ Market. Everybody used to ask me, ‘Are you mad or something? Why do you go continually to the Thieves’ Market?—because people do not go there. To be associated with the Thieves’ Market is not good.’ I would say, ‘I do not care. Even if they think that I am a thief, it is okay.’ To me the Thieves’ Market has been the best source—even books which were not in the university library I have found in the Thieves’ Market. And all those shopkeepers were selling stolen books, and every kind of stolen thing. In India, in every big city there is a Thieves’ Market. In Bombay there is a Thieves’ Market where you can find everything at just throw-away prices. But it is risky because it is stolen property. I once got into trouble because I purchased three hundred books from one shop, simultaneously, in one day, because a whole library of somebody’s had been stolen. Just for one hundred and fifty rupees, three hundred books! I could not leave a single one. I had to borrow money and immediately rush there, and I told that man, ‘No book should go from here.’ Those books had seals with a certain man’s name and address, and finally the police came. I said, ‘Yes, these are the books, and I have purchased them from the Thieves’ Market. In the first place this man is almost ninety years old—he will be dying soon.’ The police inspector said to me, ‘What are you arguing about?’
I said, ‘I am simply making things clear to you. This man is going to die sooner or later; these books will be rotten. I can give you these books, but you have to give one hundred and fifty rupees to somebody, because I have borrowed the money. And in fact you cannot catch me because that shopkeeper is there; he will be a witness for me that the books were sold to him. Now, he cannot go on remembering who is selling him old newspapers, and old books; he does not know who has brought them. So first you have to go to that man and find the thief If you find the thief get one hundred and fifty rupees from him or from anywhere you want. These books are here, and they cannot be in a better situation anywhere else. And that ninety-year-old man won't be able to read them again, so what is the fuss?’ The inspector said, ‘You sound sane, logical, but these are stolen books…and I cannot go against the law.’ I said, ‘You go according to the law. Go to the place from where I have purchased them—and I have purchased them, I have not stolen them. That shopkeeper has also purchased them, he has not stolen them. So find the thief.’ He said, ‘But on the book there is a seal and the name.’ I said, ‘Do not be worried—next time you come there will be no seal and no name. First you find the thief, and then I am always here, at your service.’ And as he went away I tore one page from each, the first empty page which means nothing, and I just signed the books. From that day I started signing my books, because it might have come in handy someday if my books were stolen—at least they had my signature and the date. And because I had taken out the first page, I would sign on two or three pages inside also, in case my books were stolen, but they never were. My professors used to ask me, ‘You are reading day and night, but why are you so averse to the textbooks?’ I said, ‘For the simple reason that I do not want the examiner to see that I am a parrot.’ And fortunately that helped me.
Enlightenment is when all hope disappears. Enlightenment is disappearance of hope. Enlightenment is not any achievement instead an understanding. Enlightenment simply means an experience of your consciousness that is not clouded by thoughts, emotions, and sentiments! When the consciousness is totally empty, there is something like an explosion, an atomic explosion. Your whole insight becomes full of a light which has no source and no cause. And once it has happened, it remains. It never leaves you for a single moment; even when you are asleep, that light is inside. And after that moment you can see things in a totally different way. After that experience, there is no question in you.
nlightenment means fully conscious, and aware. Ordinarily we are not conscious and not aware. We do things and act either out of habit or out of biological instincts… Just as Freud's conscious mind, unconscious mind, and Jung says collective unconscious mind, I say there is a super conscious mind and collective conscious mind. To reach to the collective conscious mind they are going to the roots and I am going to the flowers. But they're all interconnected and all the devices and matters are to discover in you, something which is simply watchfulness. For example, I can watch my body—certainly I'm not the body. I can watch my hand: it's hurting, but I'm not the hurt— I'm the watcher. I can watch my thoughts, then I'm not the thought. I'm the watcher and I can watch even the watcher. That is the moment beyond which you cannot go and enlightenment comes. Enlightenment is simply that you become so conscious, so full of light, that it starts overflowing your life, your being. You can impart it. When one is enlightened one is conscious, but one is not conscious of consciousness. One is perfectly conscious, but there is no object in it. One is simply conscious, as if a light goes on enlightening the emptiness around it. There is no object. There is nothing the light can fall upon. It is pure consciousness. The object has disappeared; your subject has flowered into totality. Now there is no object—and hence, there can be no subject. The object and subject both have disappeared. You are simply conscious. Not conscious of anything, just conscious. You are consciousness.
Enlightenment is not an achievement. Enlightenment is an understanding that there is nothing to achieve. No degrees! No honors! No certificates! Nothing that your world of cognition understands is enlightenment. Enlightenment is finding that there is nothing to find. Enlightenment is to come to know that there is nowhere to go. Enlightenment is the understanding that this is all. Life is perfect, that this is it. Enlightenment is not an achievement, it is an understanding that there is nothing to achieve, nowhere to go. You are already there -- you have never been away. You cannot be away from there. God has never been missed. Maybe, you have forgotten and that is all. Maybe you have fallen asleep, this is the reason. Maybe you have gotten lost in many, many dreams, that is all. However you are there. God is your very being. So the first thing is, never think enlightenment a goal to be achieved at some latter time. It is not. It is not a goal; it is not something that you can desire. And if you desire it you will not get it. In desiring a thousand and one things, by and by you come to understand that all desire is futile. Each desire lands you in frustration; each desire again and again throws you into a hole. This has been happening for millions of years but again you start hoping, again you start thinking that this new desire that is arising, sprouting in you, will maybe lead you to paradise. That this will
give you what you have longed for, that it will fulfil you. Again and again hope arises. Enlightenment is when all hope disappears. Enlightenment is disappearance of hope. There is nothing to worry when I say that enlightenment is a state of hopelessness. Hoplessness is not negative. Hope arises no more; desire is created no more. Future disappears. When there is no desire, there is no need for the future. Both past and future disappears. The canvas of the future is needed for the desire. You paint your desires on the canvas of the future. When there is nothing to paint, why should you carry the canvas unnecessarily? You drop it. When there is nothing to paint, why should you carry the brush and the color unnecessarily? They come from the past. The canvas comes from the future while the color and brush and technique, all comes from the past. When you are not going to paint you can throw away the canvas, you throw away the brush, and the colors too then suddenly you are here now. This is what Buddha calls Chittakshana â€“ a moment of awareness, a moment of consciousness. This moment of consciousness can happen any moment. There is no special time for it, there is no special posture for it, and there is no special place for it. It can happen in all kinds of situations. It has happened in all kinds of situations. All that is needed is that for a single moment when there should be no thought, no desire, and no hope. In that single moment, the lightning.... One day Chikanzenji was mowing down the weeds around a ruined temple. When he threw away a bit of broken tile it clattered against a bamboo tree. All of a sudden he was enlightened. Where at he sang: Upon the clatter of a broken tile All I had learned was at once forgotten. Amending my nature is needless. Pursuing the task of everyday life I walk along the ancient path. I am not disheartened in the mindless void. Wheresoever I go I leave no footprint For I am not within color or sound. Enlightened ones everywhere have said: â€˜Such as this is the attainment.â€™
This poor monk, Chikanzenji, had been working for at least thirty years. He was a hard seeker. Also he was a very, honest and sincere and serious seeker. He practiced all that was told to him. He visited many masters, and lived in many monasteries. He did all that was humanly possible. He practiced yoga, he practiced Zazen. He did this and that but all to no avail. Nothing was happening; in fact, his frustration was growing more and more. The more the methods failed, the more and more frustrated he became. He had read all the Buddhist scriptures. It is said about this Chikanzenji that he had all these scriptures in his room, and he was constantly reading, day and night. And his memory was so perfect he could recite whole scriptures. But still nothing happened. Then one day he burned his whole library. Seeing those scriptures in the fire he laughed. He left the monastery, he left his master, and he went to live in a ruined temple. He forgot all about meditation, all about yoga, and all about practicing this and that. He forgot all about virtue, sheela, discipline, and he never went inside the temple to worship the Buddha. But he was living in that ruined temple when it happened. He was mowing down the weeds around the temple not a very religious thing to do. He was not doing anything specific, just taking the weeds out. When he threw away a bit of broken tile, it clattered against a bamboo tree and in that moment, Chittakshana, the moment of awareness, happened. In that very clattering of the tile against the bamboo, a shock, a jerk happened and his mind stopped for a moment. In that very moment he became enlightened. How can one become enlightened in one single moment? One can indeed, because one is enlightened already one just has to recognize the fact. It is not something that happens from the outside, it is something that arises from the inside. It has always been there but you were clouded, you were full of thoughts. Chikanzenji burned all the scriptures. That was symbolic. Now he no longer remembered anything. Now he had forgotten all searches. Now he no
longer cared. Unconcerned, he lived a very ordinary life. He was no longer even a monk. He had no pretensions anymore or ego goals. Remember, there are two kinds of ego goals: the worldly and the otherworldly. Some people are searching for money while others are searching for power, prestige, and pull. Some people are searching for God, moksha, nirvana, and enlightenment. However the search continues. And who is searching - the same ego. The moment you drop the search, you drop the ego also. The moment there is no seeking, the seeker cannot exist. Just visualize this poor monk who was no longer a monk instead living in a ruined temple. He had nowhere else to go. He was just clearing the ground maybe to put some seeds there for vegetables or something. He came across a tile, threw it away, and was taken unawares. The tile clattered against the bamboo tree and with the sudden clattering, the sudden sound, he becomes enlightened. Upon the clatter of a broken tile the monk said all I had learned was at once forgotten. Enlightenment is a process of unlearning. It is utter ignorance. But that ignorance is very luminous and your knowledge is very dull. That ignorance is very alive and luminous, and your knowledge is very dark and dead. He says, All I had learned was at once forgotten. In that moment he knew nothing. In that moment there was no knower, in that moment there was no observer. Just the sound alone was there. And one is awakened from a long sleep. And he says, amending my nature is needless. That day he felt that he was just struggling unnecessarily. Amending my nature is needless. You need not amend yourself. You need not improve yourself! Beware of all those who go on telling you to improve yourself, to become this or to become that, to become virtuous. Who go on telling you that this is wrong, do not do it; that this is good, do it; that this will lead you to heaven and this will lead you to hell. Those who go on telling you to amend your nature and improve upon yourself are very dangerous people. They are one of the basic causes for your not being enlightened.
Nature cannot be amended. It has to be accepted. There is no way to be otherwise. Whosoever you are, whatsoever you are, that is how you are and that is what you are. It is a great acceptance. Buddha calls it Tathata, a great acceptance. Nothing is there to be changed. How can you change it, and who is going to change it? It is your nature and you will try to change it? It would be just like a dog chasing its own tail. The dog would go crazy. But dogs are not as foolish as man. Man goes on chasing his own tail, and the more difficult he finds it the more he jumps and the more he tries and the more and more bizarre he becomes. Nothing has to be changed, because all is beautiful and that is enlightenment. All is as it should be, everything is perfect. This is the most perfect world, this moment lacks nothing. The experience of this is what enlightenment is. Enlightenment is finding that there is nothing to find. Maybe you are lost in many dreams. That is all but you are already there. God is your very being. So the first thing is, do not think about enlightenment as a goal, it is not. It is not a goal. Also it is not something that you can desire. And if you desire it you will not get it. In desiring a thousand and one things, by and by you come to understand that all desire is futile. Each desire lands you in frustration. Each desire again and again throws you into a hole. This has been happening for millions of years but again you start hoping, again you start thinking that this new desire that is arising, sprouting in you, will maybe lead you to paradise. Life is wasted in the pursuit of longing. You think this will give you what you have longed for, and that it will fulfill you. Again and again hope arises. Enlightenment is when all hope disappears. Enlightenment is disappearance of hope. When there is nothing to paint, why should you carry the brush and the color? They come from the past. The canvas comes from the future and the color and brush and technique, and all that, comes from the past. When you are not going to paint you throw away the canvas, you throw away the brush, you throw away the colors -- then suddenly you are here now. This is what Buddha calls
chittakshana -- a moment of awareness, a moment of consciousness. This moment of consciousness can happen any moment. There is no special time for it, there is no special posture for it, there is no special place for it -- it can happen in all kinds of situations. It has happened in all kinds of situations. All that is needed is that for a single moment there should be no thought, no desire, and no hope. In that single moment, the lightning.... What is enlightenment? Coming to understand, coming to realize that you are not the body. You are the light within; not the lamp, but the flame. You are neither body nor mind. Mind belongs to the body; mind is not beyond body, it is part of the body—most subtle, most refined, but it is part of the body. Mind is also atomic, as body is atomic. You are neither the body nor the mind—then you come to know who you are. And to know who you are is enlightenment…. Enlightened means you have realized who you are. Enlightenment simply means becoming aware of yourself. Ordinarily, a man is awake to everything around him, but is not aware who is awake and aware of all the things around. So we remain on the periphery of life and the center remains in
darkness. To bring light to that center, consciousness to that center is enlightenment. It is just being absolutely centered in yourself, focusing all your consciousness upon yourself as if nothing else exists; only you are. Just be natural so that you can remain in tune with existence. So that you can dance in the rain, you can dance in the sun and you can dance with the trees, and you can have a communion even with the rocks, with the mountains, and with the stars too. Except this, there is no enlightenment. Let me define it: Enlightenment is to be in tune with existence. To be in tune with nature—the very nature of things—is enlightenment. Against nature there is only misery—and misery created by yourself. Nobody else is responsible for it. It will be difficult logically to understand it. It is something to be experienced. Since the moment I found the ego evaporating from me, I have not felt part of the universe, but the universe itself. And yes, I have found many moments when I am bigger than the universe—because I can see the stars moving within me, the sunrise happening within me, all the flowers blossoming within me. This is enlightenment. Drown in the silence and the dance of it.