The alchemy of enlightenment
SINCE MY CHILDHOOD, I HAVE SEEN YOU AS A BUDDHA, EVEN BEFORE YOUR ENLIGHTENMENT I SAW YOU AS A BUDDHA -- THE SAME SERENITY, THE SAME NATURAL GLOW, THE SAME SPONTANEITY, THE SAME LOVE, THE SAME COMPASSION, THE SAME CAREFREENESS, THE SAME BLISSFULNESS AS IT IS TODAY.
I HAVE SEEN MANY OF YOUR PHASES, AND I SAY AGAIN AND AGAIN THAT YOU WERE A BUDDHA BEFORE YOUR ENLIGHTENMENT.
THE STORY OF YOUR ENLIGHTENMENT IS A DEVICE FOR US, IS A BEAUTIFUL ASSURANCE FOR US.
I AM IMMENSELY GRATEFUL. I FEEL FORTUNATE THAT YOU SHOWERED YOUR LOVE AND COMPASSION ON ME FROM THE BEGINNING. YOU HAVE HELPED ME AT EACH STEP, AT EACH TURNING POINT OF MY LIFE. YOU CHANGED MY LIFE, YOU FILLED MY LIFE WITH LOVE AND JOY, YOU GAVE ME IMMENSE CLARITY, YOU MADE ME FREE.
I BOW DOWN TO YOU. BUDDHAM SHARANAM GACHCHHAMI, BUDDHAM SHARANAM GACHCHHAMI, BUDDHAM SHARANAM GACHCHHAMI.
Narendra, you are almost right. But remember my emphasis on the word almost.
And this is true not only about me, this is true about everybody else too: Everybody is by nature a divine being, an awakened soul, a Gautam Buddha, who has just fallen asleep for a while, has just forgotten himself for a moment and is lost in dreams, beautiful dreams of ambition, desire, success... to be someone special in the world, to leave footprints behind.
The moment your dream is broken, your sleep is gone, suddenly you are in for a great surprise, perhaps the greatest surprise: that the treasure you have been looking for is within you, that the paradise you have been searching for is within you, that there is no God who can drive you out of the Garden of Eden because the Garden of Eden is your very being. At the most you can forget it but you cannot lose it. And once you recognize it, then life becomes really hilarious; you can laugh at your own efforts and endeavors, at your whole past that you have spent in searching for it.
And the goal of your search was not away from you, not even close to you. You were the goal, the seeker was the sought.
And everything that you have done before you became enlightened, everything that you have been before you became aware of your tremendous beauty, of your eternal life, will take a different meaning after your enlightenment. To you and to those who are close to you, the enlightenment will make such a great difference.
Narendra has known me since he was a child. But if I had not become enlightened he would not have asked me this question or raised this question to himself. Even the very idea of buddhahood might not have happened to him; he would have known me as a friend, he would have known me as a loving companion.
It is the enlightenment that changes the meaning of all his experiences, gives them a new color, a new light, a new luminosity. The same incidents start having a totally new meaning.
I can understand your question, Narendra. Now you look backwards, but because now you know my enlightenment you can easily conclude that I was always enlightened, that I was born enlightened; otherwise those incidents of love, care, understanding would not have taken such a colorful and meaningful significance. That's why I say you are almost right.
I myself can look retrospectively... then everything starts taking on a new meaning. It would not have had the same meaning. It is the alchemy of enlightenment that everything has become pure gold, that small and meaningless things have taken wings and have become great.
I will give you a few examples which could not have been understood in the same way they have been understood; there was no possibility, no hope.
One of my teachers was very perfectionistic, a great disciplinarian, a very beautiful man.
Every year he started his class with the same introduction, because the students were new; he introduced himself by saying that, "It is better that I should make clear to you what kind of man I am, so you are not in the dark and you don't do anything without understanding the nature of the teacher. First: I don't believe in headaches, stomachaches, no. Anything that you cannot prove and anything that I cannot check by myself will not be an excuse to take a holiday or to go home. You can have a fever, I can feel your fever.
So remember it -- I simply don't believe in headaches and stomachaches because there is no proof. Even a physician has to rely upon the patient, that he has a headache -- he may be lying, or he may be in illusion. What is the guarantee? How do you know that you are right?"
I said, "This is strange; this is going to be difficult" -- because those were simple excuses to escape from any class, to say that "I have a strong headache and I want to go home."
He used to go every evening for a walk. Just by the side of the school there was a beautiful road, covered from both sides with big trees, mango trees.
I said, "Things have to be settled from the very beginning."
So I climbed up into a tree, high up, and waited for this teacher -- he was a Mohammedan, his name was Rahimuddin. He came exactly on time... He was very precise in everything; at exactly the same time each day he used to pass by that tree.
I dropped a big mango on his head. He said, "Ahhhh!" and looked up. And he saw me there.
I said, "What is the matter? What has happened?"
For a moment there was silence. He said, "Come down."
I came down.
He said, "You have proved that there is something like a headache, but don't tell anybody. If you have a headache, you just raise one finger and I will give you a holiday.
If you have a stomachache, you need not prove it to me -- you just raise two fingers, because you seem to be dangerous!"
He was a bachelor, an old man; he had never married. He lived a very beautiful life, had a small cottage, a garden.
And he was very famous for one strange thing -- because he had enough money, unmarried, no children, no wife.... He had three hundred and sixty-five suits of clothes, one for each day; then for the whole year that suit of clothes would not be used again.
Naturally every husband was jealous.
He said, "I live alone. I sleep outside in the garden, and I don't want any proof for stomachache! -- so one is enough. You have given me the proof that you are capable, so when you have a stomachache raise two fingers and I will understand. But this is an agreement between us: that you will not tell anybody else that headaches or stomachaches exist."
I said, "I am not worried about anybody else. My problem is solved because I want things from the very beginning to be clear, just like you do."
He said, "You have made it very clear -- it is still hurting! I have been a teacher thirty years and nobody ever thought of this idea. I will remember you for my whole life."
It was a small incident, and would have been forgotten -- but when people started coming to me many years after this incident he started telling people, "I knew beforehand that this boy was going to be someone extraordinary."
People asked, "How did you come to know? -- and you never mentioned it before."
He said, "I had almost forgotten it; just now, as his name is becoming known around the world and people are coming to him from all over the world, I remembered. And now that incident has a totally different meaning. Because for my whole life I was introducing every class in the same way and nobody ever tried anything. And this was the only one -- a singular instance -- who proved to me that a headache had to be accepted. I knew it that very day."
In 1970 I went to that village for the last time. He had become very old. Hearing that I was there, he came to see me. I said, "I was going to come to you. You are too old, you should not have bothered to walk almost two miles."
He said, "I am feeling so happy. Seeing you it still hurts, but now I feel a certain pride that you were my student."
Now the whole thing takes a different color, it becomes a pride. Otherwise, if I had turned out to be a thief or a criminal, then the same incident would have been a proof: "I knew from the very beginning that this boy was going to be a criminal, that sooner or later he would murder somebody."
Retrospectively you always look at things in a way you would not have looked at them if life had moved in a different direction -- the same things. The same things would not have given you the same indications.
By the way, I would like to remind you that all autobiographies are false because they are all written retrospectively. A man becomes a Mahatma Gandhi and then he writes his autobiography in the light what he has become. He starts looking at things in the past when he was not Mahatma Gandhi, and everything now has to fit with Mahatma Gandhi.
There has to be a logical connection, a coherence. So it is as if you are reading a novel backwards -- things will be totally different.
All autobiographies are fictions. They should not be categorized separately in any library.
The science of librarianship should understand a simple fact: that every autobiography is a fiction.
For example the day Mahatma Gandhi's father died he was with his father massaging his feet, and the doctors had said that this was going to be the last night; there was no hope that this man would ever see the sunrise, before sunrise he would be gone. In the middle of the night, Mahatma Gandhi was massaging his father's feet, but he was thinking of his wife.
The father was dying. It was an absolute certainty that this was his last night, and he had fallen asleep. Seeing that he was asleep, Mahatma Gandhi slipped silently into his wife's room, and while he was making love to his wife, his father died. And suddenly the whole house was awake. He heard the noise -- "What is the matter?" And he could not forgive himself, that even for one night he could not remain away from his wife when the death of his father was absolutely certain.
If he had not become a famous man, a world-famous man, this incident would not have carried any importance; perhaps he himself would have forgiven it, forgotten it -- just an ordinary incident.
But writing his autobiography, he connects it with the great mahatma that he became.
And this is all fiction -- he says that he became concerned about celibacy because of this incident. He started thinking of brahmacharya, celibacy, because of this incident. This is not true, but he has to fit the incident into the life of a mahatma. And it fits perfectly well; anybody reading it will feel that there seems to be a certain connection. But it is not true, because all his four sons were born after this incident. So he cannot deceive me. He is deceiving himself, he is deceiving his followers, he is deceiving the historians. But if this was the cause of his becoming a celibate, then he would have remained without any children. All four sons were born after this incident, so this incident has nothing to do with celibacy.
But in his mind -- and in anybody's mind who is reading Mahatma Gandhi -- it seems relevant, that perhaps the shock was too much, as if "I am guilty of the death of my father. I could have stayed a few more minutes, but my lust, my sexuality proved to be more powerful than my love and respect for my father. And my wife was going to remain with me for my whole life, but my father was going to disappear that very night into darkness and into the unknown and there would not be another meeting again."
I have read many autobiographies, and I have seen how people when they look backwards look with the eyes that they have now, and with all the experience they have accumulated meanwhile. With all this experience, with these new eyes, the meaning of the incidents starts changing.
Narendra, you have been with me from your very childhood.
If I had not become what I have become, you would have remembered me as loving, as friendly, but you would have never thought I was born as a buddha -- that idea arises now. It is my enlightenment that gives you the feeling that, "My God, he was always loving." But it was not the same love.
In a sense, the dewdrop and the ocean are both water. But a dewdrop is a dewdrop, and an ocean is an ocean.
What you had seen in me was only a dewdrop. Now that dewdrop looks like an ocean because now you are seeing the ocean. It is exactly as if you see the Ganges in the Himalayas at Gangotri -- it is just a small stream. You could not even hope that it would ever reach the ocean, it is so small. Hindus have placed a marble face of a cow there, and the Ganges falls from the mouth of the cow, it is such a small stream. You will find millions of streams in the Himalayas which are far bigger.
But if you see the same Ganges near Calcutta, in Gangasagar -- Gangasagar means the `ocean of Ganges' -- it has become so big, so vast, so immense that it is difficult to think of it as a river; it looks oceanic. To connect the two is very difficult. The Ganges in Gangotri could have been one of those millions of streams which disappear in the forest, in the desert, and nobody would have remembered it. But because this stream became Gangasagar... retrospectively, looking backwards, even standing at the source where the stream is so small, you have the feeling of vastness, of potentiality, of all the possibilities that it is going to become. You cannot see it just like a small stream; it is the stream that is going to become Gangasagar.
Each autobiography is fictitious; small incidents with no meaning in themselves suddenly start having meaning in the context of the person that has come to be.
Essentially it is true: everybody is a buddha, and naturally I am not an exception. Please don't exclude me out. But this buddhahood is only a seed, and out of millions of seeds perhaps one seed comes to blossom. It indicates that every seed can come to blossom. It is a tremendous encouragement to every human being.
In this sense your seeing me as a born buddha is right, but don't forget your responsibility. It means you have to prove it too -- that you are also a born buddha.
Maybe you started growing a little late.
And in the eternity of time, what is "late"?
There are only seven days. Choose any day, but start.
I am not interested at all to convert anybody to my ideology -- I don't have any. Secondly, I believe that the very effort to convert anybody is violence, it is interfering in his individuality, in his uniqueness, into his freedom.
So my function is not that of a teacher, not that of a prophet, not that of a savior, not that of a messenger. My function simply is that of a reminder. I want just to be a mirror to you so that you can see your original face.
And if you can see a buddha in me, there is no difficulty in seeing the buddha in you too - - maybe a little lazy, a little sleepy, a little gone off the track.
But a buddha is a buddha. It does not matter whether his nuts and bolts are a little loose, we will fix them.
One's buddhahood is one's essential nature.
I don't want you to worship buddhas, I want you to become buddhas.
That is the only right worship.
If you love, become it.
GAUTAM BUDDHA, MAHAVIRA, J. KRISHNAMURTI WERE TRAVELING FROM ONE PLACE TO ANOTHER FOR THEIR WHOLE LIVES. IT WAS REPORTED ABOUT J. KRISHNAMURTI THAT BEFORE HE LEFT INDIA FOR CALIFORNIA FOR THE LAST TIME HE TOLD SOMEONE THAT IF THE DOCTOR IN CALIFORNIA SAID, "NO MORE TRAVEL, NO MORE TALK," THEN ALL WOULD BE FINISHED; HE WOULD BE GONE IN FOUR WEEKS -- AND THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED.
OSHO, WHAT IS THE INSIGHT OF ALL THE MASTERS WHO WERE TRAVELING ALL THE TIME AND DIDN'T STAY IN ONE PLACE LIKE RAMAN MAHARSHI?
Raman Maharshi is a mystic, but not a master.
The mystics have never traveled because the mystics are not making any effort of any kind to transfer their experience to others. They have decided that what they have experienced is untransferable, that it cannot be communicated.
So the mystics all through the ages have remained in one place. What is the point of moving around, going from village to village or country to country -- for what?
The mystic's experience is expressed in the ancient saying that "The well remains in its own place; it is the thirsty who should go to the well, the well cannot go to the thirsty."
Buddha, Mahavira, Bodhidharma, Shankara, Nagarjuna, Mohammed, Jesus, J.
Krishnamurti, they were all traveling, going continuously....
Mohammed has countered the proverb about the well and the thirsty, and countered it in such a beautiful way. He says, "If the mountain cannot come to Mohammed, then Mohammed will go to the mountain."
These are masters....
Not that they are against the mystics; basically they agree that it is difficult, almost impossible to communicate, to say anything about the truth, about self-realization. It is beyond words, beyond language; they agree on that point.
But still the masters say that some indirect ways can be always tried, and there is no harm.
There is no direct way of translating the inner experience into the outer languages, but ways can be found, devices can be created in which something may be said, may not be said, but may be heard.
The emphasis is not that the truth can be said. On that, the mystics and the masters agree:
it cannot be said.
But the masters disagree with the mystics on one point: that it may not be said but it can be heard -- through the eyes of the master, through the presence of the master, through his love, through his compassion, through his silence, just being with him. Nothing is said, but somebody's heart may start dancing, a song may arise.
In the presence of the master, the disciple may become aware that the ordinary human life is not all there is; there is something more. Even to make them aware that there is something more -- greater peace, deeper silence, overflowing ecstasy -- perhaps they may start searching for it, perhaps they may become seekers. And what is the harm? If nobody listens, then too the effort is worth making.
The mystic and the master both have the same experience, but they have different views about its transfer -- and both seem to be right.
My own understanding is this: that the mystics are of a more ordinary variety. They come from the categories of human beings who are not articulate, who are not poets, who are not painters, who are not musicians, who are not dancers. They come from the common masses.
And the master is more articulate, more talented. If he cannot say, he will paint; if he cannot say, he will sculpt; if he cannot say, he will dance; if he cannot say, he will sing -- and singing, dancing, painting or any other creative art may become a vehicle for that which language is not capable of.
And there are people who are articulate with language too; they can speak in such a way that through the words they can send the wordless message to you. The words will be only the packages; the content will be the wordless. The words will be only the containers. But for that, a very articulate person is needed, who can use language in such a way that it becomes music, that it becomes poetry, that it becomes silence... that it becomes not only that which it says but also that which remains unsaid.
Language can become a vehicle -- now the emphasis will be on those who are listening.
Much will depend on those who are listening.
So the basic function of the master is first, to create disciples who can understand the wordless through the words... who can sit in silence but can become filled with immense serenity. Just in the presence of the master, something can start opening up in them -- as if the sun has risen and the birds start singing; nobody informs the birds that it is sunrise.
There are no alarm clocks for poor birds, but just the light... the darkness is gone, the night is over, and there is a celebration all over nature. Flowers suddenly start opening, there is fragrance all over.
The mystic has achieved, is fulfilled, has completed his journey. But he is not a very talented genius.
The master is doing overtime. His work is finished, but his genius, his talents demand expression.
J. Krishnamurti said, "If I have to follow the doctor's advice and not speak and not travel then I cannot live more than four weeks." And within exactly four weeks he died. His work was complete; now he was living only for others. And if even that cannot be done then what is the point of being here unnecessarily? His boat had arrived long ago. He had been delaying his departure -- somebody may listen, somebody may hear, somebody may be touched. But if he cannot speak and cannot travel, then there is no reason at all for him to go on breathing. He is not an idiot.
Why did he say four weeks? -- because it is just the old momentum. For breathing and heartbeats to slow down and disappear, it takes nearabout three to four weeks. And the older the man, the longer time it takes. If he had been younger, it may have been just one week.
It is a very strange phenomenon -- it is because the younger person's heart runs fast, it can exhaust the momentum quickly. The older man is already slow; his heart has become accustomed to a slow pace so it will take three to four weeks.
To be a mystic is rare, but to be a master is very rare.
And to be a successful master... you will have to come to me!
WHENEVER I AM IN A SILENT SPACE I HEAR A SOUND -- SOMETHING LIKE `AUM' OR HUMMING. I LOVE THIS RHYTHMIC, SWEET, UNENDING SOUND.
IN CERTAIN ACTIVITIES TOO, WHEN I AM TOTAL AND SILENT, THIS LISTENING HAPPENS.
IS IT OKAY TO LISTEN AND ENJOY THIS SOUND, OR IS IT A PROJECTION OR DAYDREAMING?
PLEASE GUIDE ME.
First thing to remember: you should not repeat any sound as a mantra, as a chanting, because when you repeat you create -- then it is your mental projection.
If you are simply silent and you hear a certain humming, then it is the sound of existence.
That humming has been heard for centuries by meditators. That humming has been given a special name in the East, OM. It is not exactly OM but it is something similar.
It has to be remembered that in Sanskrit -- which is the oldest language in the world, the mother language of all civilized languages in existence -- they don't write OM in letters.
They have made a special symbol for it just to create a distinction, to indicate that it is not something to do with language, it is beyond language, and it is not part of the Sanskrit alphabet.
The way it is written is only with a symbol, and that symbol can be used by any language.
Sanskrit has no monopoly over it because it is not part of the alphabet of Sanskrit. It has been heard....
Jainas, Buddhists, Hindus -- they differ in their theology on every single point, but they all have heard the sound OM. There is no question of differing; it is not a hypothesis and it is not a theory propounded by somebody.
Anybody who becomes utterly silent... it is the silence itself singing, it is the song of silence.
Hence about OM Hindus, Jainas and Buddhists all agree. They begin their scriptures with "om," they end their scriptures with "om" because that is the universal sound.
This has created a problem -- and there are many problems of a similar type -- because all the mystics in this country and in the far East have heard the sound OM. The people who read the scriptures start thinking that, "If OM is the sound of the nature of existence itself, then if we repeat `om' we will be able to hear it soon." It is logical, but it is not realistic.
If you repeat it, you will never hear the real thing; you will go on repeating, and you may start hearing your own repetition.
In Tibet, where the greatest work has been done on this "soundless sound," as they call it, they have made a special instrument. It is a certain kind of metal pot made with special proportions of different metals, and a small rod -- again made of different proportions of different metals. You put the rod against the rim of the pot, and you move it fast and it creates a certain humming. That is something closer to the existential sound than OM.
In every lamasery in Tibet you will hear that sound -- somebody, some lama is continuously making it. When he leaves, then somebody else... twenty-four hours a day that sound is created, but that is a man-made sound. It is similar, but it is not the same.
Hindus in India have fallen into the same fallacy. They have made `om' their most significant mantra; just repeat it continuously inside so your whole being is filled with the sound of "om, om, om." You are deceiving yourself; this is your sound.
So if you are not creating it, then there is no need for any anxiety.
If the moment you become silent you hear it, then it is a tremendous blessing. It means you have gone very deep into the existential world of serenity.
But don't try to deceive existence. You can go on chanting "om" your whole life; it is meaningless, it has nothing to do with existence. With existence you have to be a listener, absolutely passive, relaxed, in a let-go. Don't impose yourself. You are the only barrier, your impositions are your only sins. Just remain utterly passive in a non-doing witnessing, listening to whatever is happening, allowing it to happen.
It is perfectly good, and of great significance. On the path, if you start hearing OM, you are accepted, you are welcomed. You need not seek anywhere, you have found the door.
Just relax more, and leave everything in the hands of existence... a total trust and a complete passivity.
Your absence is the presence of godliness.
The moment you are not, the miracle has happened.
THE OTHER NIGHT YOU POINTED OUT THAT JESUS, MARX AND FREUD WERE PERHAPS THE WORLD'S GREATEST BUSINESSMEN.
ON OCCASION I HAVE HEARD YOU CALL YOURSELF AN OLD JEW.
OSHO, WHAT IS YOUR BUSINESS?
Milarepa, I am a silent partner.
SINCE SANNYAS IN 1981 PEOPLE HAVE CONTINUALLY BEEN SEEING JESUS CHRIST IN ME! WHAT HAVE I TO DO WITH THIS GUY?
Satsanga, it is dangerous. You cut off your beard! Otherwise, they will cut off your head!
Jesus! -- they see Jesus Christ in you? Then crucifixion is not far away. The first thing out of this hall you cut your beard, and if they recognize you even then, keep a small board hanging on your neck that says, "I am not Jesus Christ."
You have to make it clear; otherwise your life is in danger.