That - The Universal Religion

Fri, 17 October 1972 00:00:00 GMT
Book Title:
Osho - Finger Pointing to the Moon
Chapter #:
pm in Mt. Abu, Rajasthan, India
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[NOTE: This is a translation of the Hindi series ADHYATMA UPANISHAD. This version is the final edit pending publication.]




God has been addressed by many names. Man has established a variety of relationships with God.

Somewhere he is the father, somewhere mother, somewhere lover, somewhere beloved, somewhere friend and somewhere something else - in this way man has tried to establish many, many different relationships with the ultimate truth. But the Upanishads are alone on this whole earth in calling God only 'that', tat, and thus not establishing a relationship of any kind.

This needs to be understood properly. This is a very deep insight. Out of love we may call God 'father' or 'mother', but in so doing there is less of understanding and more of foolishness. No matter what relationship we establish with God it is foolishness. Why? Because there is one inevitable factor in a relationship - there must be the presence of two persons. A relationship cannot be constituted without two. I am there and my father is there - both are necessary; I am there and my mother is there - both are necessary. No such relationship with God is either right or possible where we can relate by remaining two. With God, it is possible to be related only through losing ourselves, not through remaining as separate entities.

All the relationships of this world are maintained only by remaining separate entities. The relationship with God is established only by merging with God, by losing oneself in God, by being one with God. This is of great complexity. For a relationship, two are required, so we can even say that no relationship can ever be established with God. If two are a must for a relationship, then no relationship can be established with God because the very meeting with God is possible only when the two disappear as two and the one remains.

Kabir has said, "I had set out in search for you but I could not find you. I disappeared in the very search, then you were found. The one who had set out in search for you... as long as he was there, there was no meeting with you; when in the process of seeking you were not found but the seeker disappeared, then the meeting happened."

It only means that man never meets God, because as long as the man is there, there is no God; and when God is there, the man is not there. The two never meet.

So none of the relationships of the world are applicable to a meeting with God. We make a mistake by thinking this way.

A father can be met without losing ourselves, losing oneself is not a condition for meeting; a mother can be met without losing ourselves, losing oneself is not a condition for meeting. But to lose oneself is a basic condition for meeting God. Relationships take place between two, but the relationship with God takes place only when there is one, not two. So this relationship is just the opposite.

The Upanishads did not address God as father or as mother - they did not establish any human relationship. Sociologists say that the establishment of all human relationships is anthropocentric, man-centered. Man goes on imposing himself upon everything. Let us understand this view of man being anthropocentric, because modern psychology and sociology are highly influenced by this word and attach a great value to it.

Whatsoever a man sees, he projects himself in it. If the moon is clouded over, we say, "The moon's face is hidden behind a veil." Neither there is any face nor is there any veil. But man, by nature, projects his experiences on everything. If there is an eclipse of the moon we say, "Her enemies Rahu and Ketu have swallowed the moon, they are after the moon."

Man can think only in man's language. We also go on projecting ourselves on all that we see around us. We address the earth as the mother; it is a projection. We address the sky as the father; it is a projection. If we look deeply, we shall find that whatever relationships man has with the universe, he has imposed his own image and structure on all of them.

Freud says that the whole issue of God is in fact a substitute for the father.

When a child is born he is helpless, weak and insecure; the father protects him and brings him up.

The little child grows in his shadow, he takes the father to be the superpower; there is none bigger than him in the world. So small children are often seen to be discussing amongst themselves as to whose father is the more powerful. Every child claims that his father is the biggest, and every child feels this way - that what can there be bigger and more powerful than his father? All power is in his father's hands.

In childhood, the child takes support from his father to grow. His confidence, trust, respect, all are endowed in his father. If while holding his hand his father walks through fire, the child will accompany him laughing, because wherever his father is going there cannot be any danger for him. Neither have any doubts nor has any distrust arisen in the child's mind yet. His father is still absolutely trustworthy. But as the child grows, this trust will start falling apart. Slowly the weaknesses of the father will become visible to him.

As the child grows he will be able to understand a little, and the very first weakness that he will come to see is that in ninety out of a hundred occasions the mother is more powerful than the father, on ninety to ninety-nine occasions out of a hundred. All his father's pomp and show, all his strutting is outside his house - he enters the house a little afraid, a little meek. This will be the first crack in the child's trust. As he grows up and begins to understand things, he sees that his father also has a boss and that he trembles before her.

This trust that had been imposed on the father in childhood now shifts away from the father, leaving a gap. It is this same trust that, according to Freud, one imposes on a God - an imaginary father - so that the mind does not have a gap. So man calls God the father, the supreme father, the most powerful of all.

Remember, whatever qualities a child ascribes to his father are exactly the same qualities religious people ascribe to God. And just as children fight amongst themselves to settle whose father is greater, the Hindus, Mohammedans and Christians fight to prove their god to be the greater. Now, how can a god be greater? These are all childish ideas. But the very imposition of fatherhood upon the concept of God is childish; it is born out of the child's mind.

So Freud went so far as to say that as long as children are brought up with their father it is very difficult for them to get rid of God. God is nothing but another form of father. There seems to be some truth in it, because in matriarchal societies, where the mother is supreme and the father is secondary, God is not addressed as the father but as the mother. It reveals the truth of the matter.

For example, the worshippers of mother goddess Kali accept God in the form of mother, not in the form of father. These worshippers of Kali are from a matriarchal society where the mother is prime, and the father is secondary. Such societies are still existent on the earth, and in these societies the concept of God is that of a mother, not of a father.

This supports Freud's idea a little that concepts are formed in childhood - and the moments of childhood are valuable, because whatever patterns are formed in the mind during that period, whenever there is any loss of them one feels restless. It becomes necessary for the person to compensate for those losses. And man goes on trying his whole life to complete the patterns created in his childhood.

From this you should take note of one more interesting thing. In the societies where the family system has been uprooted - for example, as has happened in America where the roots of the family system are pulled out, where the children care for neither the father or the mother, nor do the mother or the father care much about the children; where the relationship between the family members has become weak - in those societies the concept of God also becomes weak.

Where the family system totters the God also totters; there spreads atheism. In the societies where the father's power is very strong and where the father's orders are supreme and discipline is ensured, atheism is not born. And the conclusions that Freud derives from all this are true, but only half. There is truth in his conclusion that to see the father in God is an attempt by man to fill a psychological emptiness. But when Freud says that God is nothing more than this, this is where he is mistaken.

Man may call earth the mother - this is something to do with the man, but because of this the earth does not cease to be what it is. Man may call God father, mother or anything whatsoever. This may be an extension of his family, his childhood or his mind, but God on whom this extension is done does not become a falsity because of it. What names we give it depends on us, but its existence does not depend on us.

Had Freud known about the Upanishads he would have been in difficulty, because the Upanishads do not create any relationship with God. Had Freud read the Upanishads the story of modern psychology would have been different. But Freud was an honest man. Had he even a slight inkling that there is some tradition of thought, philosophy, experience which does not establish any kind of relationship with God and which uses a most impersonal word tat, 'that' - where God is 'that', and there cannot be any other more impersonal address - Freud would have surely been amazed. 'That' means no name has been given, only a hint. 'That' is not a name, it is only an indication, a pointing finger.

Certainly this tat cannot be born out of any shortcomings of childhood. One may think of mother, one may think of father - but that? It has nothing to do with the psychology of childhood. In fact it has nothing to do with psychology as such. It has to do with the experience of those who have gone beyond mind, who have gone beyond man.

These words manushya and mun, man and mind, should also be understood. In this country we have called man manushya. He has been called so because he is surrounded by mun, the mind, because he is living in mind, because he is solely mind-oriented and derives nourishment from the mind. The English word man is also the derivative of the Sanskrit word mun, meaning mind.

Mun, mind, is man. Where mind is transcended, the manhood is also transcended. These are the statements of those who transcended man, who transcended mun, the mind, and hinted at 'that'.

But there are several things in it worth considering. A father can be worshipped, but how would you worship 'that'? A temple of 'father' can be built, a temple of 'mother' can be built, but how would you build a temple of 'that'? How can you make a temple of 'that'? or can you? One can make idols of man, woman, mother, father, but how can an idol of 'that' be made? There are no scriptures more iconoclastic than the Upanishads, though not a word has been said by them against worshipping idols. This too is worth understanding.

Mohammedans have been busy breaking idols just because Mohammed said, "There can be no idol of 'that'." Mohammed's statement is similar to that of the Upanishads, that there can be no idol of 'that'. Mohammedans seem to believe that the idol of 'that' cannot be made but that the idol of 'that' can be broken! How can that be broken which cannot be made in the first place? So one group of mad people are busy making idols and another group of mad people are busy breaking idols.

It is very interesting to see that the iconoclast is also nothing but a worshipper of idols. One who goes to break the idol also believes in idols, at least he believes them to be worth taking the trouble of breaking. He believes in the idol at least that much. Where is the difference? One goes to place offerings of flowers on the head of the idol, another goes to break the head of the idol with a hammer.

It is hammers and chisels with which the idols are made and it is also hammers and chisels with which the idols are broken. There is not much difference between the belief of the two - both believe that there is some importance in the idol. The idol-worshipper believes it to be of importance, the iconoclast believes it to be of importance. Sometimes the iconoclast attaches more importance, because while the idol-worshipper never risks his life in the making of the idol, the iconoclast risks his life for breaking it. The iconoclast puts his life at stake in breaking an idol when the Koran says, "There can be no idol of 'that'." Whose idol are you breaking then?

The Upanishads are neither idol-worshippers nor iconoclasts. The vision of the Upanishads has gone far beyond form, shape and idol. This is why they said, tat, 'that'. What idol can be made of 'that'? No, no idol can be made of 'that'. 'That' is not a form. Is there any form or shape of 'that'?

'That' is not a form, 'that' is formless. Even the word that is formless. If anybody wants to give a form to 'that', it cannot be done. What is tat,'that'? It is only an indication, as if somebody points a finger and says, 'that'!

Wittgenstein is an amazing modern thinker. He is one of those who gave birth to this century's greatest logic. Wittgenstein, in his important book Tractatus Logicus, which is one of the three or four most important books written in this century, writes that there are things which cannot be said but still they can be shown. Nothing can be said about them but they can be indicated.

The Upanishads only indicate towards God, they say nothing. 'That' is just an indication. There are many things implied in this indication, take note of this fact. One implication is that no relationship can be established with 'that'. This is why the Upanishads do not call it 'thou', because with thou it is possible to establish the relationship of 'I'.

Wherever there is thou there will be 'I' also. Thou cannot exist without 'I'. As soon as I call somebody thou, 'I' has entered in, 'I' has made its presence there. It is in reference to 'I' that somebody is thou, and it is in reference to thou that I am 'I'. 'I' and thou exist simultaneously. 'That' is alone. There is no necessity of the other to exist with 'that'. 'That' does not produce any indication of the presence of someone else.

Whenever we say thou, then whosoever has been addressed comes on the same level as we are.

'I' and thou stand side by side. When we say 'that', no relationship is being formed on our level.

Where is 'that'? Whether it is above, below or within us, nothing of that sort is revealed. With deep insight the Upanishads have called God 'that'.

Let us understand this sutra now.



Tvam, thou, you.... As soon as we call anyone thou, tvam or you, we have already accepted a boundary. This other is seen by us as a separate entity. This entity has a form, a body; you cannot call a bodiless entity thou. You cannot look at the sky and call it thou, it does not mean anything.

How could you say thou to the sky? No relationship comes into being. There is such an expanse, without limits; no relationship of thou seems to arise. The relationship of thou arises only where there is some form. But God is even more expansive than the sky, the sky itself is just one event in God. With such a God the relationship of thou is not feasible because while standing before God there is no remembrance of 'I', that I am. One who still feels that 'I exist' shall not be able to see God. The very 'I' is the impediment, the veil.

As long as there is 'I', I will see everywhere only thou. Any relationship with the formless is not possible; relationship is only possible with the form.

Remember, take this as a fundamental principle. What I am, how I am, where I am - my relationships can only be possible within these contexts. If I believe that I am the body, any relationship will happen only with those who also believe they are body. If I believe that I am mind, my relationships will happen only with those who also believe that they are mind. If I believe that I am consciousness, my relationships will only be possible with those who believe they are consciousness. If I want to establish a relationship with God, I also have to become formless and void like God where there is not even a trace of 'I', because 'I' attributes form. Only when all is void in me will I be able to connect with void. Only when I become formless internally will I be able to connect with the formless outside.

There is no other way but to become like the one with whom one wants to connect. There is no other way but to become like the one whom you are seeking.

There are two words: 'that' and thou. The embodied soul we call thou - the consciousness which is encaged in the body, that is limited by the body. And that consciousness which is all pervading - beyond all the limits and is limitless - we call 'that'. To the dewdrop we say 'you' and to the ocean we say 'that'. To the atom, to the tiny atom we say 'you' and to the whole we say 'that'.

Why is there so much insistence of the Upanishads on tat, 'that'? The Upanishads do not have the expectation for you to just begin worshipping and praying to God. Nor do they have the expectation for you to just be a devotee of God. The Upanishads expect you to become God yourself. Let this difference be properly understood.

The ambition of the Upanishads is ultimate, absolute; no higher ambition than this has ever been born in the world. The Upanishads are not satisfied just by your worship, prayer or devotion to God.

They say that as long as you do not become God the ultimate truth is not perceived. They say that until you become God your destiny is not fulfilled.

'That' means that we are not to establish a relationship of worship or devotion with God - no relationship can be established with 'that' anyway - we are to drop all relationships. In the end we shall drop ourselves also, so that there remains no one to relate and therefore no relationships can be possible. Ultimately we will become only that which we have been addressing as 'that'.

The matter does become difficult to understand, because ordinarily our concept of religion is of worship and prayer, reverence and devotion. The Upanishads' concept of religion is not at all that of worship, devotion and prayer but of the uncovering and unveiling of 'that' which is hidden within every individual.

The Upanishad is a science of religion. Just as science searches for the truth hidden within matter, just as science breaks matter, splits it into atoms and tries to discover the energy hidden within it and the laws which govern it, in the same way the Upanishads enter into every atom of the consciousness and discover what the laws of consciousness are, how consciousness is moving in the world and how it is static, how consciousness is hidden and how it is manifest.

This Upanishad is using the language of science. If a scientist discovers atomic energy, he does not say that this atomic energy is his mother or father, he does not establish a relationship with it. It is a law that he has discovered, there is no question of establishing a relationship with it. He does not develop a language of attachment around it. And if science did develop a language of attachment, it would cease to be science. Attachment, relationship, are non-scientific and they would pervert the truth. So a scientist will have to look at the truth maintaining his distance and neutrality; it is not a question of creating a close personal relationship.

The Upanishads too speak the language of science: they say 'that'. They do not establish a relationship, they keep themselves separate and apart. When the Upanishads say 'that', we do not even notice who is speaking. When somebody says, "God is the supreme father," we know who is saying it - somebody whose desires about their father have remained unfulfilled, somebody whose son-hood has remained incomplete, somebody who has not received the love of father or mother, or somebody who has received so much love that it has caused indigestion. But certainly the person saying this is one who has suffered some kind of abnormality in the relationship with his father. But when one says 'that', nothing is noticed about the speaker, nothing is revealed about the speaker.

The indication is most impersonal and hence very valuable. And the moment we call it 'that', all disputes end.

It is very interesting: if we call God 'that', how will Hindus and Mohammedans fight? What difference can there be between the 'that' of a Christian and a Hindu? If the Christians, Mohammedans and Hindus all call God 'that', there can be no fight amongst the three. No matter what word is used for 'that' - tat or that, it does not make any difference - still there can be no fight. But when a Mohammedan calls it one thing, a Hindu calls it something else, a Christian calls it something else, or when they call it father, the concept immediately alters and adapts for each.

It is a matter worth reflecting on. Freud said that when a person calls God the father, if he searches within himself he will find his father's image in his concept of God. He is bound to find it. When you call God the mother, your mother will appear. What is your concept of mother? With a little refinement, purification, cleansing, painting to it, you can turn your concept of mother into God.

Diderot, a French philosopher, has made a subtle joke. He has said that if horses were to conceive of their God it would have the looks of a horse! No horse can conceive of their God having the face of a man - this is certain, this we know. When a negro pictures God he will have short bushy hair - it ought to be so! Its lips will be like those of negroes, and the skin will be dark, black. When the Chinese paint the face of God it will have high cheekbones, because "Our God and not looking Chinese - how is it possible?"

It is our concept that we will project. Can an Englishman ever conceive of a black god? There is no such possibility. Do you see the Hindu imagination in their gods? Rama, Krishna... all are swarthy.

To the Hindu mind the swarthy color has been a symbol of great beauty - of course it will be so! Do you see their features? The concept of beauty that the Hindu mind has is bound to be projected on Rama and Krishna. It ought to be so.

You may have observed that the ears of Rama, Krishna, Christ and Mohammed are not very big, they are small. But if you have seen the statues of Buddha and Mahavira, you will find that the ears are so long as to touch their shoulders. The Buddhists and the Jainas believe that the tirthankaras have ears long enough to touch their shoulders. The whole reason for this seems to be that probably the ears of the Jainas' first tirthankara may have been very long, touching his shoulders - and that has become a continuing concept.

There is no reason to believe that all the twenty-four tirthankaras may have had long ears touching their shoulders. But once a concept has taken root, the statues are made according to that concept and not according to the individual whose statue is being made. If you see the statues of all the twenty-four tirthankaras you would not be able to tell which one is of Mahavira, which is of Parshvanatha and which is of Neminatha. All the twenty-four statues look the same. They can only be identified by seeing the specific symbol engraved at the base of each statue.

A concept is agreed upon and then we move and live according to that. All our gods are created out of our concepts, but there can be no concept created about 'that'. So the day there is a universal religion in the world, that day the Upanishads will be understood rightly for the first time. That day we will understand that the Upanishads have, for the first time, used a scientific language and have left aside the cobwebs of the anthropocentric language of man.


This sutra is a little difficult. "God has the attribute of illusion and the embodied soul has the attribute of ignorance." Call it attribute or call it disease.

"God has the attribute of illusion." We need to penetrate this understanding. This is rather complex and subtle; let us try to understand it. There have been many, many apprehensions in man's mind.

Let us understand some of the apprehensions, and then we can move into the sutra.

One difficulty that has always been there for any reflective man is that if one accepts God, it becomes very difficult to accept this world; if we accept God, it becomes very difficult to explain this world. For example, if God has created this world why is it so full of disease, misery, pain and sin? If God has created this world, what is the need to put man in such ignorance? Man cannot be held responsible for all this, only God remains responsible.

A few days back one Christian priest came to see me. I asked him what work he was engaged in.

He replied, "We are busy fighting sin." I said, "Sin! Where did this sin come from?" He said, "It is created by the Devil."

So far he was at ease. Normally nobody inquires deeper into such matters, because in doing so embarrassing situations may arise. I asked him, "Who created the Devil?" Then he felt a little uneasy, because now the matter was problematic. He was afraid that if he says that God created the Devil then it becomes difficult, because if God created the Devil, and the Devil created sin, what is this vicious mess all about? Doesn't God possess enough intelligence not to create the Devil? And even if God mistakenly created the Devil, where is the difficulty if you and I mistakenly commit a sin? And if sin is created by the Devil, and the Devil is created by God, and we commit sins, who is responsible?

We are just victims, unnecessarily victimized. We have nothing to do with it. God creates us, God creates the Devil, the Devil creates the sins, we commit the sins - where in this whole circle do we become responsible? Neither we create God, nor do we create the Devil, nor do we create sin - and we are unnecessarily suffering in this mess.

The priest became a little restless. Christianity has no answer for it. It is difficult to find the answer with any of these people because it is too problematic. Or some people... for example, Zarathustrians believe, as Zarathustra says, that God and the Devil are two elements. Nobody created anybody, both are eternal. Now in this belief the danger becomes even greater because if both are eternal then neither of the two can ever win or lose. God and the Devil will go on fighting.

And who are you - are you the battlefield where they are fighting? Neither of the two can win or lose because both are eternal.

Zarathustrians are also in difficulty if they don't believe them both to be eternal and say that the Devil can be defeated, because then the question arises: How come he has not been defeated so far? So many centuries have passed and he has not yet been defeated. And where is the guarantee of his defeat in the future? In fact, the situation seems to be just the opposite - that the Devil is winning.

For him to be defeated is a faraway dream; the Devil seems to be winning every day.

You will be surprised to know that recently, in 1970, in California, America, a new church has been registered under the name The First Church of the Devil. It has its followers and an archbishop, and they have printed their own bible and announced, "We have had enough time to experience that God is being defeated and the Devil is winning."

What is said appears to be right. If we look at the world, their statement does not seem to be wrong.

The followers of the Devil win and the followers of God get defeated. The followers of the Devil occupy high positions, and the followers of God wander here and there.

You can try it out yourself - now even the followers of God have learned the trick. They chant the name of God, but get things done through the Devil; they have understood who really wins. In the final calculation it is the Devil who wins. But the fear also lurks in the mind that perhaps, by some mistake, God may win! So they keep chanting the name of God also: Rama, Rama, Rama. They try to remain sitting in both boats - all prudent people are like that. When there is a need they take work from the Devil, and when there is no need and they have free time, they turn their prayer beads to please God. A sort of compromise is maintained, a sort of balance. And then also, who knows who will win in the end.

If the world gives any indication, it is of the Devil winning. The victory of God is not seen anywhere.

Neither good seems to be on the increase nor does evil seem to be on the decrease. Neither the light seem to be increasing nor does the darkness seem to be decreasing.

So there is trouble in believing the Devil to be eternal. And if one believes that he is not eternal, that the Devil will finally be defeated - no matter how much he wins in the intervening period, that in the end he will be defeated - what is the assurance for it? Where is the guarantee of such a happening? One who is winning now - why should he be defeated in the end? There seems to be no consistency or logic in the belief that the one who is winning all along will suddenly be defeated in the end.

This has remained an enduring question for mankind. Different religions have attempted different methods to solve this problem of duality, but nothing is solved. The concept of the Upanishads seems the least erroneous of them all in comparison - just the least erroneous, but not totally right.

But if it is weighed against all the other concepts, the Upanishads' idea seems to be the most correct - not altogether correct, just the most correct.

The Upanishads say that there is no opposition between God and the world: there is no Devil, and there is no power opposing God. How then is this world created? The Upanishads say that God is not creating this world by creating some opponent to do the job. In the very being of God, in the very glow of God - which they call maya, the illusion - in the very shadow of God - which they also call maya, the illusion - the world is, just as a person stands and his shadow is naturally formed. There is no solid existence of a shadow: a sword cannot cut it, fire cannot burn it, water cannot drown it.

Try as you may, it still exists. It does not have a real existence, yet the shadow is. It walks behind you; if you run, it runs after you, if you stop, it stops.

The Upanishads say that whenever something exists, it also has its shadow. And the latest researches in science and psychology also support this fact. Let this be understood. Nothing exists without a shadow. Whatever is, it creates its shadow. If there is Brahma, the absolute reality, it will have its shadow, too. That shadow they call maya, the illusion. The shadow of the absolute reality is this world.

Jung, a great psychologist, did a great deal of research on this reality from a different dimension and he found that every man also has a shadow existence, a shadow personality. You should also understand this because you too have your shadow existence.

You are a good man, peaceful and patient, and you do not become angry. But one day suddenly, on some minor matter, you become so outrageously angry that it is beyond your own understanding as to what is happening and who is doing this. The matter itself is not so serious that it calls for any anger, and you are not a person who is used to becoming angry - you do not become angry even about big, serious matters! But today, about this minor matter, you are in a rage.

That is why people often say afterwards, "It happened in spite of me. I was not intending it and it happened." Why? How did it happen? You were not intending to do it, then how did it happen?

Sometimes you do not intend to say a certain thing and it pops out of your mouth. You simply did not want to say it and it spurted out of your mouth. You repent afterwards that, "I had never thought I would say it; I had taken the decision not to say it, and yet I blurted it out!"

Jung says that you have a shadow personality of your own in which everything that you deny within you goes on accumulating. Sometimes finding some opportunity, in some weak moment finding some crack in the system, the shadow personality manifests itself.

Because of this shadow personality, a serious disease known as 'split personality' is a subject of study in psychology. A man is divided into two parts. Sometimes it so happens that there become two distinct personalities in the man - it seems there are two men within one. The man says one thing and does another, there is no coordination; he is one man in the morning and another in the evening. His saying, his being - nothing can be quite relied upon. He himself is afraid as to what he is doing and what he is saying, there is simply no harmony. It is as if there are two persons within him. Sometimes he is very peaceful, sometimes very agitated; sometimes silent, sometimes very talkative - he is just split into two parts.

There are thousands of such mad persons in thousands of madhouses. Their sickness is that suddenly they have completely lost one personality and have become a different person. Till yesterday he was Rama, then suddenly something happened - an accident, or he fell and injured his head - and he became Rahim. Now he simply does not remember that he was Rama; he does not recognize his father, his mother, or his wife. Now he declares himself to be Rahim and gives a totally different account of his life which has nothing whatsoever to do with this family - not even an acquaintance.

What has happened? In the accident the main personality of the man was pushed into the background due to the shock of the impact and his shadow personality has become active, so he has changed his name and everything else.

This assuming of a shadow personality is reversed also by shock treatment. Sometimes when the person is cured he again becomes Rama, the previous person, and his whole behavior changes back to the original personality.

This shadow personality is hidden within every person. If we describe this in the Upanishadic language, it is the ignorance, avidya, that is tied to every person - it is his shadow personality. Just as it is illusion, maya, that is tied to Brahma, the supreme reality - that is its shadow personality.

This illusion is not in opposition to Brahma, it is its very shadow, an essential part of its being. This world is not the enemy of Brahma, it is the shadow of the very existence of Brahma. If we try to understand this in the language of science it may become easier to grasp, otherwise it is not easy to grasp at all.

In 1960, one scientist was awarded a Nobel prize for the discovery of anti-matter. This is a very strange word: anti-matter. The discovery by this man is that in this world there is matter and also there is its opposite, anti-matter.

Everything has its opposite. Nothing in this world exists without its opposite. For example, if there is light, there is darkness; if there is life, there is death; if there is heat, there is cold; if there is man, there is woman. The whole world exists through dualities. Can you conceive of a world where there are only women and no men? It is impossible. Can you conceive of a world where there are only men and no women? It is impossible. The coordination is so deep that when children are born there are one hundred and fifteen boys born and only one hundred girls; but by the age of fifteen, fifteen boys have died and the proportion of boys and girls is equal.

Biologists say that because boys are weaker than girls nature has to give birth to more boys, because by the age of fifteen, the marriageable age, fifteen of the boys would be dead.

You may be surprised to know that according to biology woman is stronger than man. Man's strength is muscular; he can lift a bigger rock but he cannot bear greater pain. A woman's strength is in her forbearance, so women are able to withstand diseases better. And it is necessary, because the greatest forbearance is required in childbirth, and she carries the child for nine months.

If man had to give birth to a child he would have committed suicide long ago. You would not find a single man in the world. Carrying a child for nine months within you - just try carrying a child even for nine days on your shoulders, even for nine hours, even for nine minutes! It is a difficult affair.

And then the labor, the delivery pains! Nature makes woman capable of bearing that much pain.

She is strong, firm. Her strength is of a different type. She cannot fight, she cannot run very fast, but because of this do not take her to be weak. The dimension of her strength is different. She has greater capacity.

So by the age of fifteen years, the proportion of boys and girls evens out. This proportion is maintained in the whole world. During wars, more boys get killed - certainly, because boys go to the battlefield. Thus the percentage of women increases. And after the time of war the birth-rate of boys increases and that of the girls decreases. Who may be planning all this? And how does all this come about?

During the first world war hundreds of thousands of people were killed. During the first two to three years of the postwar period, the birth-rate of boys noticeably increased and that of the girls decreased. Later on the ratio of their birth-rates settled down to normal. This triggered some thinking. The same thing repeated itself again after the second world war. Then it was realized that nature keeps on balancing the opposites from within.

You need never think that some day on this earth there will be only light and no darkness. This cannot happen. Darkness and light will always remain balanced.

The discovery of anti-matter is based on this same principle that the world is a balance of opposites.

So if there is matter, what is opposite to it? And the concept of the physicists is very complex. For example, if a stone is kept on a table, it is seen by us. When it is taken away, nothing is seen there in its place.

Now imagine that on that table there is a hollow space exactly in the shape of the stone. When the stone is removed, that hollow space still remains there and that hollow space is the anti-matter. So far nobody has seen it, but the man has received his Nobel Prize. And the reason he can receive the Nobel Prize is that he cannot be proved wrong, because when everything in this world has its opposite, it is necessary that matter must also have its opposite, which may be hidden somewhere nearby it. It may be seen, it may not be seen, but in principle there is no other alternative but to accept it.

Maya is the shadow of Brahma. Neither Brahma can be there without maya, nor can maya be there without Brahma. And it is on a vast scale that maya is the shadow of Brahma. You could call it the anti-Brahma. On the smaller scale of man ignorance is the shadow. Ignorance is maya on the scale of a man.

Around you exists ignorance. Now what can be done about it? It is there along with man. How to give up ignorance? And if this is destiny, if there is an arrangement in the universe that the opposites will be there and if even Brahma has not been able to drop maya, if even the supreme existence is surrounded by maya, how would we, tiny little individuals, be able to drop ignorance? Brahma is not able to drop maya, so how will we be able to drop ignorance? And if we are unable to drop ignorance, then all endeavor of religion becomes meaningless.

No, we can drop ignorance, but let the process be understood. We can drop ignorance only when we are willing to disappear. If we are not willing to disappear, ignorance cannot disappear - the duality will continue. Either both will remain or both will go. If I say that I want to survive but I also want to destroy the ignorance, then ignorance will never be destroyed, it is your shadow. It is like saying that I want to remain but I want my shadow to disappear. It will never disappear.

There is only one way and that is I can disappear so that the shadow disappears, hence so much emphasis on the effacement of the ego. If I disappear my shadow will disappear. When I disappear my shadow also disappears, and I merge and become one with Brahma - not as an 'I' but as a void. What might be happening to my ignorance? When I disappear, when I merge in Brahma, my ignorance merges into the maya. I disappear into Brahma, the ignorance disappears into maya.

Whenever I am created I emerge out of Brahma, and ignorance emerges out of maya. Ignorance is our small share of maya given to us, small portions of the land of maya assigned to us.

Maya, ignorance, brings misery and pain. This is why we want to be rid of it. Might it not be giving pain to Brahma? Might Brahma not be wanting to be rid of it? By Brahma is not meant a person but this vast, infinite existence. Might it not be in pain? Might it not be wanting to be rid of it? We feel pain, we want to be rid of it; won't Brahma be wanting to be rid of it also?

On the level of Brahma there is a total acceptance. On the level of Brahma the existence of maya is accepted, there is no denial of it. There is no denial of it, so there is no pain either. On our level there is pain; if we also accept, there is no pain.

When I hurt my hand, the pain is not due to the hurt but due to my idea that the hurt should not have come to me. If I accept that I should have been hurt, that the hurt was bound to happen, that to be hurt is one's destiny, then there would be no pain. The pain is in the opposition, in nonacceptance.

The pain is because we are not able to accept it. Some of us do accept - such as a Janaka, or a Krishna - they accept. Krishna accepts everything. And with acceptance, without doing a thing, ignorance becomes maya, Krishna becomes Brahma.

This is the difference between the paths of Krishna and Buddha or Krishna and Mahavira. Mahavira destroys himself so that ignorance is destroyed. Krishna neither destroys himself nor his ignorance, he simply accepts. Mahavira destroys ignorance by destroying himself; Krishna becomes Brahma itself through acceptance, at once, because when Brahma is not destroying maya and accepts it, Krishna also accepts it.

For this reason we have called Krishna a total incarnation. There is no nonacceptance there and hence there is totality. Even the slightest nonacceptance and there is no totality.

This is why we have never called Rama a total incarnation. We cannot, because in Rama's mind there are many nonacceptances, many limitations, many limiting concepts. In the story of the Ramayana a washerman says that he doubts Sita's morality because she was stolen away by Ravana. Rama hears of this and is not able to bear this questioning of his wife's morality... a washerman, and questioning his wife's character! Is there a shortage of fools in the world? Anybody may say anything. And it is not certain that washermen in Rama's time would have been very wise people.

But even if a washerman may say, "I have doubts about Sita," and may say to his wife, "You have stayed away overnight, I therefore will not allow you to enter my house - I am not like Rama".... For so many days Sita was forced to stay at Ravana's palace before Rama defeated him and brought her back home. This taunt by the washerman, "What do you think I am? I am not like Rama," was told to Rama and it hurt him deeply, created a thorn in his heart.

Rama has no total acceptance of things. He could not bear the idea of a blot on his name, on his character. He could remove Sita, he could throw her out, because he could not accept this stigma.

So the Hindu mind never called Rama a total incarnation. It called him maryada purushottam, the moral superman; amongst human beings there has been no man of greater morality.

But remember, a moral superman... amongst human beings! But there is a limit! He is very pure, but the emphasis on purity is so much that there is a fear of impurity. But Krishna is a different type of person; he has no fear of any defamation whatsoever. It is as if he makes an effort to try and become more and more defamed. What might be the difference?

There is no nonacceptance in Krishna. Whatsoever is, is fine. So incredible phenomena took place in Krishna's life. Exactly the same phenomena happened as is happening in the infinity between Brahma and maya. As if the infinity descended in a smaller form on the smaller stage of man, and around it happened the smaller play of maya. In Krishna there was a total acceptance.

When ignorance is accepted, it is not necessary to destroy it. Where there is no acceptance, ignorance will have to be destroyed. But there is only one way of destroying it and that is in destroying one's own self. Then only will it be destroyed.

So the path of Mahavira and Buddha is arduous. It is of shearing, smashing, destroying the ego. All has to be smashed, destroyed, one by one, from the roots, only then will the shadow be destroyed and one will be rid of it.

The path of Krishna is that of acceptance. Nothing is to be destroyed anywhere. But this one is not easy either. It appears easy, but searched deeply perhaps it may prove to be even more difficult because mind never agrees to acceptance. Mind says, "This should be, that should not be"; "This is how it should be, that is how it should not be" - mind just goes on chattering about what should be, what should not be. Mind goes on dividing.

There are only two paths in the world. One path is to destroy both and the other path is to accept both. Liberation comes on either path.


ON ABANDONING THE TWO.... I told you there are two paths for abandonment. One path is: you cease, the ignorance ceases. The second path is: agree, accept, drop the idea of going beyond what is - do not think of making even the slightest change in it as it is. Then too what remains is the perpetually true, conscious and blissful supreme reality.

Enough for today.

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Masonic secrecy and threats of horrific punishment
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From Entered Apprentice initiation ceremony:

"Furthermore: I do promise and swear that I will not write,
indite, print, paint, stamp, stain, hue, cut, carve, mark
or engrave the same upon anything movable or immovable,
whereby or whereon the least word, syllable, letter, or
character may become legible or intelligible to myself or
another, whereby the secrets of Freemasonry may be unlawfully
ob-tained through my unworthiness.

To all of which I do solemnly and sincerely promise and swear,
without any hesitation, mental reservation, or secret evasion
of mind in my whatsoever; binding myself under no less a penalty
than that

of having my throat cut across,

my tongue torn out,

and with my body buried in the sands of the sea at low-water mark,
where the tide ebbs and flows twice in twenty-four hours,

should I ever knowingly or willfully violate this,
my solemn Obligation of an Entered Apprentice.

So help me God and make me steadfast to keep and perform the same."