Letters to Ma Yoga Sohan
Letters written between 1964 and 1965.
THESE FIVE LETTERS, SELECTED FROM MORE THAN 100 WRITTEN BY OSHO TO MA YOGA SOHAN FROM 1964 TO 1965, HAVE BEEN PRINTED IN THE HINDI PUBLICATION, PATH KE PRADEEP. AN ADDITIONAL TWENTY LETTERS HAVE ALSO BEEN TRANSLATED FOR THE BOOK, A CUP OF TEA.
(OTI 16 JULY 1990)
Choosing between truth and oneself, the one who chooses truth finds truth and his own being. And the one who chooses himself loses both.
Man has to lose himself before he becomes the truth. No one moves into truth without I paying this price. One's very existing is the barrier. One's very self veils the truth. The only obstruction is this vision... this seeing the world from the confined vision of "ego." Except this "ego vision,"
nothing separates man from the truth. Becoming the "I" is man's downfall. He falls down only in the gravitation of the "I", and only in losing the "I" does he rise above, into this blessed existence. To be the "I" is to be lower. To become the "no-I" is to rise above.
But what appears like losing I is in reality not losing - it is gaining. The identity which you will lose is not your identity - it is only a dream, and the identity you find when you lose it is the truth.
When it completely loses itself within the earth, the seed sprouts and becomes a tree.
Beloved Sohan, One finds life only from knowing that which is inside one's being. One who doesn't know this is surrounded every moment by death and the fear of death.
A sadhu was asked by his friends, "If wicked people attack you, what will you do?" He said, "I will go sit inside my own strong fort." This conversation reached the ears of the enemies. Then one day the enemies surrounded him while he was alone and said, "O sadhu! Please tell us, where is your strong fort?" The sadhu began laughing and then, placing a hand on his heart, said, "This is my fort.
No attack can ever be made on it. The body can be destroyed, but that which is inside cannot be.
This is my very fort. My only security is to know my way there. "
The person who doesn't know this strong fort his entire life is insecure. His life is surrounded by enemies every moment. Such a person has not yet found a shelter for peace and security. And those who search outside for that shelter, search in vain, because it is inside.
Only by being established in your being does the real acquaintance with life happen, because the periphery which is outside this center is created by death.
Man is born in slavery. We are born as slaves unto ourselves. We come into the world with chains of desire. Very subtle chains bind us.
Slavery comes with birth. It is given by nature. We don't have to earn it. Man finds himself enslaved.
But freedom has to be earned. Only those who strive and struggle for it attain it. One has to pay the price for freedom. Whatever is valuable in life cannot be gotten free of cost. To acquire slavery from nature is not a misfortune. The misfortune is not to earn freedom. To be born a slave is not bad, but to die only as a slave is certainly bad. Nothing brings significance and fulfillment in life unless you achieve your inner freedom. Those who are imprisoned by desires, those who have not known the free sky of awakening, they have life, but they remain deprived of knowing life. There is no difference between the lives of birds imprisoned in cages and souls Lying imprisoned in desires. One enters into the world of real life only when intelligence is free of desire.
If you want to know the divine, master yourself. Winning the divine kingdom is not for those who are defeated by themselves.
If one's eyes are open, then this whole life is a school. And one who is hungry to learn, learns from every person and from every situation. And remember, one who does not learn in this way, learns nothing in life. Emerson has said, "Each person I meet is better than me at one thing or another. I can learn something from him."
I remember a story. It happened in Mecca. A barber was giving someone a haircut. Just then the Sufi fakir, Junnaid, came in and said, "Can you cut my hair in the name of Allah?" Just hearing Allah's name, the barber said to his regular customer, "Friend, please just wait a little, I cannot cut your hair right now. I have to attend to that fakir for allah. Allah's work comes first." After this he cut Junnaid's hair with great love and devotion, then respectfully bade him farewell.
A few days later when someone had given Junnaid money, he went to give some to the barber. But the barber wouldn't take any money, saying, "Have you no shame? You had said to cut your hair in the name of Allah, not for money!"
And his whole life Junnaid used to say to his disciples, "It was from a barber that I learned unselfish love and devotion."
Even in the lowest, vast messages are hidden. One who knows how to uncover them, becomes wise. Move with awareness in life and every experience brings intelligence. One who remains unconscious, returns even the light that comes to his door.
If you want to attain the divine, Learn to die. Have you not seen that when the seed dies, it becomes a tree?
Someone went to visit a Baul mystic. He was absorbed in singing his song. Neither his eyes seemed to be seeing this world, nor did it feel as if his soul was present. He was somewhere else - in some other world, in some other form. When his song stopped, and it seemed his consciousness was returning, the visitor asked, "How do you feel liberation can be attained?" The sweet-spoken mystic said. "Only by means of death. "
I said this to someone yesterday. He asked, "By death?" I said, "Yes, by death while living. Only one who dies to everything else, awakens and becomes alive to the divine."
There is no art greater than learning to die while living. I call that art: meditation. One who lives as if he is dead will certainly know whatever is essential in life.