Every enlightened man has all the flavors of truth
I DON'T UNDERSTAND WHY ENLIGHTENED MASTERS ARE CRITICAL OF EACH OTHER. ARE THEY NOT ALL WORKING TOWARDS THE HIGHER GOOD?
ARE THEY NOT DIFFERENT FLAVORS OF THE SAME TRUTH?
Anand Varuni, the question you have asked is almost impossible to answer for the simple reason that you are not enlightened yet. You don't know the ways of the enlightened ones. You don't know their devices, you don't know their methods; hence the misunderstanding.
An ancient story may help you.... In a great city there were two big sweet shops, and one day the owners of both the shops for some reason started fighting with each other. Naturally, they had no other way to fight so they started throwing sweets at each other. And the whole city gathered and people were enjoying the sweets that were falling on the street.
When two enlightened masters criticize each other it brings tremendous joy to those who can understand. Its taste is just unbelievable. They are not enemies, their fight is not of the ego. Their fight has a totally different context.
They fight because they know one thing: that the goal is one, but the paths are many. And each master has to defend his path, knowing perfectly well that the other paths are as valid as his. But if he starts saying that all the paths are valid, he will not have the impact, the influence on his people.
The journey is long and he needs absolute trust.
He is not a philosopher propounding a system of philosophy. His basic concern is that your commitment to the path should be total. To make it total he condemns all other paths, he criticizes all other ways. It is just out of compassion for you. He knows the people on the other path will also reach; and he knows that out of compassion the master on the other path has to criticize him, has to criticize his ways.
This is just a simple methodology to protect the disciple from influences that can take him astray.
And the mind is very, very clever in going astray. If all the paths are valid, then what is the necessity of commitment? If all the paths are valid, then what is the necessity of being total?
If all the paths are valid, then why not travel all the paths, why not go on changing, enjoying different ways, different methods, different sceneries? Each path will pass through different lands: there are paths that will go through the desert, and there are paths which will go through the mountains, and there are paths which will pass through beautiful, flowering trees.
But if you travel some time on one path and then you change the path, you will have to start again from ABC. Whatever you have learned on one path is invalid on another path, and if you go on keeping it within you it is going to create tremendous confusion. You are already in a great mess; no master wants you to be more confused!
Your mind always wants change. It does not know devotion; it loves fashions, its interest is always in some novelty. So it will go on moving from one path to another path, becoming more and more confused because each path has its own language, each path has its own unique methods, and each master is going to defend his path against all the other paths.
If you move on many paths you will collect contradictory arguments; you will become so much divided you will not know what to do. And if it becomes your habit to change paths - because the new has a certain attraction for the mind - you will move a few feet on one path, a few feet on another path, but you will never complete the journey.
One day Jalaluddin Rumi took all his students, disciples and devotees to a field. That was his way to teach them things of the beyond, through the examples of this world. He was not a theoretician, he was a very practical man. The disciples were thinking, "What could be the message, going to that faraway field... and why can't he say it here?"
But when they reached the field, they understood that they were wrong and he was right. The farmer seemed to be almost an insane man. He was digging a well in the field - and he had already dug eight incomplete wells. He would go a few feet and then he would find that there was no water.
Then he would start digging another well... and the same story was continued. He had destroyed the whole field and he had not yet found water.
The master, Jalaluddin Rumi, told his disciples, "Can you understand something? If this man had been total and had put his whole energy into only one well he would have reached to the deepest sources of water long ago. But the way he is going he will destroy the whole field and he will never be able to make a single well. With so much effort he is simply destroying his own land, and getting more and more frustrated, disappointed: what kind of a desert has he purchased? It is not a desert, but one has to go deep to find the sources of water."
He turned to his disciples and asked them, "Are you going to follow this insane farmer? Sometimes on one path, sometimes on another path, sometimes listening to one, sometimes listening to another... you will collect much knowledge, but all that knowledge is simply junk, because it is not going to give you the enlightenment that you were looking for. It is not going to lead you to the waters of eternal life."
Masters enjoy tremendously criticizing others. If the others are really enlightened, they also enjoy being criticized. They know that the purpose of both is the same: to protect the vagrant mind of the disciple, to keep him on one track, they have to deny that there is any other path anywhere that can lead you except this one.
This is not said out of an egoistic attitude; this is said out of love. This is simply a device to make you committed, devoted. The journey is long, the night is long, and if you go astray you can go on round and round for eternity without finding anything.
But in your unconscious state of mind, in your unenlightened space of being, the question seems to be relevant. You are asking, Varuni, "I don't understand why enlightened masters are critical of each other."
Don't bother why they are critical about each other; you will understand it when you become enlightened. Before that it is none of your business! If enlightened people enjoy criticizing, they must have some reason of their own, and you are not in a state to understand.
Gautam Buddha, one of the most famous enlightened persons in human history had eight contemporaries who were enlightened in the same small state of Bihar in India. Even the name 'Bihar' came about because eight enlightened masters were continuously wandering, finding their people, searching for those who could fall in tune with them. Bihar means wandering; the name has come from those eight enlightened people - and they were condemning each other like anything.
Two out of the eight have left traditions which are still alive. One was Gautam Buddha; the other was Vardhamana Mahavira. Gautam Buddha has left the great tradition of Buddhism. Mahavira has left another tradition, Jainism. Both were in the same space, but immensely critical of each other - no agreement on any single point.
It happened many times that they were in the same city. Once it happened that they were staying in the same caravanserai. Half of the serai was occupied by Gautam Buddha and his disciples and half of the serai was occupied by Mahavira and his disciples. It has been traditionally asked why they did not meet. Neither the Buddhists have the answer, nor do the Jainas. Both were enlightened; it would have been tremendously beautiful that they should have met.
But I know why they did not meet: they did not want their disciples to be confused. Gautam Buddha's approach was not that of a warrior, but that of an utterly relaxed human being. Mahavira had a totally different approach, of utter austerity, of great discipline, of arduous effort; the way of the warrior was his way. Mahavira, in comparison to Gautam Buddha, was an extremist.
Gautam Buddha insisted on the middle way: Avoid all extremes. Just be exactly in the middle and you are right. Every extreme is dangerous because it excludes the other extreme, and the truth should not exclude anything. The truth should be inclusive of all. So just be in the middle and both the extremes become like the two wings of a bird and the bird is just in the middle. You can use both the extremes to fly across the sun to the farthest star.
But Mahavira's standpoint was that unless you choose a single dimension of effort and unless you are totally devoted to it, without being worried that you are becoming extremist... Only from the extreme point can you jump into the beyond.
Now, both are right. But if a person who has never followed any path hears that both are right, he will be simply confused. Before your enlightenment you have to choose. After your enlightenment you are absolutely free to declare that all paths lead to the same place. But while you are leading people on the path you have to be consistently insistent that except this path everything else has to be completely forgotten.
You have to be one-pointed, just like an arrow moving towards the target, not bothering about other arrows moving from different angles, different aspects. If the arrow starts thinking of different angles and different aspects it is not going to reach the target. It will be lost in utter confusion.
People who have followed Mahavira have arrived and people who have followed Gautam Buddha have also arrived. If you ask me, what brings them home is totality, absolute dedication, unconditional commitment. It does not matter on which path you are, these conditions will have to be fulfilled.
In fact, the path does not matter at all. What matters are these three conditions: if you can fulfill these three conditions, even the wrong path will lead you to the right goal. And if you cannot fulfill these three conditions, the path may be absolutely right - you are not going anywhere!
And, Varuni, one thing more has to be understood: this I was saying about the enlightened ones, but there are many who are simply fake. You cannot make the distinction.
Just a few days ago I received a big letter from one of my very learned sannyasins, Swami Doctor Amrito. He has many Ph.D.s and D.Litt.s, and has written many books. He has written eight books about me. Now there is some man in Holland who talks as if he is enlightened, and many sannyasins are going to him. My international secretary, Ma Prem Hasya, seeing the situation has announced in all the newspapers that the man is fake and sannyasins should not go there.
Amrito himself was going there, so he was very much shocked because he was also thinking that the man seems to be enlightened. And I know that man cannot be enlightened even without knowing him, because I know his master. I don't know that man; I know his master. He used to live in Bombay and once I went just to have a look at him.
He was known as Beedie Baba, because he was continuously smoking Beedies. Great enlightenment! - except that, I could not see any indication of enlightenment, only a great chainsmoker.
This Dutch man became his follower. He was surrounded with a few uneducated, uncultured Indians... because he used to smoke beedies and talk about the ultimate. In India every village has one or two idiots doing the same business. This is the country of idiots and enlightened ones!
But for centuries the enlightened people have talked and the idiots have gathered all the beautiful words. It is very easy to talk about the ultimate, brahma, and quote a few statements from the scriptures. Every Indian is a spiritualist - but just on the surface. Deep down I have not seen more materialist people in the world anywhere - so much greed, so much ambition, so much repressed lust, and on the surface, a parrotlike spiritual talk.
The Indian consists not of one person, but two. The real population of India is not nine hundred million, it is double that, because each Indian is two Indians! One is the real, which is hidden in darkness, and one is the unreal, which goes on repeating beautiful phrases.
The Western seekers don't have any understanding about these parrots, so when they hear great words about which their tradition knows nothing... Their minds are conditioned by a very poor Christianity, mundane, ordinary, which does not have great philosophical flights.
But in India you can talk to anybody and you will be surprised that everybody knows about reincarnation and everybody is afraid of death. Strange! - if you know about reincarnation, why should you be afraid of death? Indians are the most cowardly people in the whole world. And when I say this I have absolute evidence for it. There is no other country in the world which has been enslaved for two thousand years continuously.
Why did India remain enslaved for two thousand years? A country which knows about reincarnation, which knows that the soul is eternal, which knows that you cannot be killed... But this knowledge is only parrot knowledge; when the time comes, this knowledge is not of any help.
Small tribes have ruled over this big, vast continent, because nobody wants to get into trouble unnecessarily. And because for centuries this country has been hearing beautiful words, tremendous revelations, everybody has become by and by saturated with them. So he is capable of rationalizing everything, even slavery.
For twenty centuries the Indian scholars, the Indian saints were even rationalizing the state of slavery - that it is a fire test of your patience, of your trust in God, of your nonviolence. And behind these beautiful words there was nothing but cowardliness. Because the Indians are afraid of being killed, that's why they don't kill others. It is dangerous. If you start killing others, you have to risk your life too. The Indians have chosen not to fight and they have made a great philosophy out of it, of "nonviolence". It is protective of their cowardly souls.
They are the most poor people in the world: half of the population is starving and any day in the coming thirteen years, five hundred million people are going to die in this country. But still they will go on rationalizing that it is fate, it is destiny, that everything is in the hands of God. Not even a leaf on a tree moves without God's orders; everything happens according to God. If he wants us to be slaves, what can we do? If he wants us to be poor, what can we do? If he wants us to have more and more children, what can we do?
The rich go on becoming richer and the poor go on producing more and more children.
Even the poorest beggar knows more about metaphysics, about great ideologies... And when the Western man comes - he may be well educated but his education is of science, his education is of logic, his education makes him a great intellectual. But in the heart he remains very naive. Then any Beedie Baba, any idiot can make a great impact on him.
This Dutch man lived for months together with Beedie Baba. He does not mention his well-known name, Beedie Baba; he mentions only his legal name, Nisargadatta Maharaj. He has written many books on Nisargadatta Maharaj; he has made Nisargadatta famous all over the world. I have looked through those books - sheer nonsense.
Now Amrito has written to me, "Osho, you have to tell Hasya to withdraw her statement, because I have seen this Dutch man and to me he looks enlightened."
Enlightened people don't look enlightened, they are enlightened! And poor Amrito, this is not for the first time... He gets caught anywhere; it has happened many times. And he is going round and round. He met another idiot's follower; that idiot was Muktananda, and he had an American follower, Baba Free John. Now he has changed his name, because now he declares himself enlightened and he has dropped any connection with Muktananda. Now he has become Da Free John.
And Amrito went there and inquired of me, "Can I write a book on Da Free John?"
I said, "Amrito, if your whole life is just to write about any idiot you come across, then don't waste your time in Holland - come to India, and you will find so many people. Go on writing."
He has written about Sri Aurobindo, he has written about J. Krishnamurti, he has written about Da Free John, he has written about me, and now he is caught up with this other Dutch fellow.
"If this is going to be just your profession, to write, if you are some kind of spiritual journalist, then it is okay. But this is not going to lead you towards enlightenment."
He became very confused. It was bound to happen, because when he read my statement about Sri Aurobindo - that he was not enlightened - Amrito was shocked. Now, what can I do about it? I know he was not enlightened and he was befooling people. He was declaring to people - and that was the only attraction, because thousands of people around the world became interested in Sri Aurobindo for a single reason.
He was telling people, "Up to now there have been enlightened people, self-realized people; they have attained to immortality. But now I have come to bring a new experience to the world and that experience is physical immortality. Spiritual immortality many have attained; I have brought the whole alchemy of making you physically immortal."
Naturally all kinds of people who are afraid of death immediately became interested - and these kinds of statements have a beauty. Naturally, you cannot contradict Sri Aurobindo while he is alive; he is the proof that he is immortal. And you cannot contradict him when he dies, because whom to contradict!
One day he died. And, one of my friends was also there in his ashram. "For three days," he told me, "it was not declared to the world that Sri Aurobindo had died." They kept it as a secret, because this would shatter all the following and the whole business.
But how long can you keep a dead body? And they were thinking and believing in the ashram of Sri Aurobindo that he had gone deep in samadhi; he would come back. But instead of coming back, his whole body started stinking. When the body started stinking, then they became worried: "It seems the fellow is gone!"
Then they declared to the world, "Sri Aurobindo has gone so deep in his samadhi that the doctors are saying he is dead."
So they have made a beautiful marble grave for him and they are still waiting - many have left but a few idiots are absolutely impossible - they still believe that one day he will knock from inside. He has gone in search for the alchemy for his disciples to become physically immortal.
Then there was a woman who was really running the ashram. She was a film actress from France, and she had become attracted to the idea of immortality. Women will be very much attracted to it, particularly film actresses whose professional life is very short, just five to seven years. Before that they are extras, after that again they are extras. Naturally they want physical immortality, and if in the middle of youth they can become physically immortal, they can remain always on the top of the list of celebrities.
This French actress became the mother of the ashram. After Sri Aurobindo died, while she was alive she managed the false and absolute lie of Aurobindo. She said, "He has gone in search of a few missing links. But I am here; I am immortal"... and by coincidence she lived almost a hundred years.
So naturally she created the idea in many that perhaps she was the chief disciple and Aurobindo had made her immortal. But one day she also popped off.
And when I told Amrito, "Don't get into all this nonsense," he said, "I had never thought about all this." But he goes on from one person to another person. Just curiosity... seems to be unquenchable curiosity.
Varuni, it is not only enlightened people criticizing other enlightened people; they have also to criticize those who are not enlightened and are pretending to be so. It is absolutely a necessity that the false should be exposed. That too is part of compassion, so you don't get caught up with the false.
And you are asking, "Are they not all working towards the higher good?"
You cannot understand anything about the people who are enlightened. They are not working at all - neither for higher good nor for anything else. They are simply delighting and sharing their love, their light, their life, everything they have, their blissfulness and their peace and their silence. And this is simply a delight, it is not a work. They are not working for some higher good; they are the highest good themselves, there is no need for them to work for any higher good. This is Christian language.
I have told you that the man who is enlightened is satyam, shivam, sunderam. He is the very truth itself; he is not working for any other truth. He is godliness himself; he is not working for any other good. And he is beauty himself; he is not trying to lead you towards some beauty. He is present.
You can drink out of his well and be absolutely contented, right now, this very moment.
A man of enlightenment is no longer interested in the future. There is no future as far as he is concerned; everything is always in the present. Existence is always in the present. His whole joy is not to lead you towards some good, but just to bring you back to yourself - because all that is beautiful, all that is good and all that is great is within you, not anywhere else.
And finally, Varuni, you are asking, "Are they not different flavors of the same truth?"
By the very nature of the situation you cannot ask the right question. And I am compelled to give you the right answer although you are asking the wrong question:
Every enlightened man has all the flavors of truth. It is not that one enlightened man has one flavor, another enlightened man has another flavor; this one has a different perfume, that one has a different perfume...
The moment you are enlightened truth blossoms in you with all the flavors together simultaneously.
Every enlightened man is complete and perfect in himself. There is nothing missing in him.
It will be good for you, rather than asking about enlightened people and worrying about what they are doing and why they are doing it... The simple way is: become enlightened and you will know!
Between enlightenment and the state of unenlightenment, it is a very long distance call. And languages are different: something is said, something else is heard - and this has been going on for centuries, misunderstanding upon misunderstanding.
The phone rang at the maternity hospital and an excited voice at the other end of the line said, "Send an ambulance quickly. My wife Maureen is about to have a baby!"
"Calm down," replied the nurse. "Tell me, is this her first baby?"
"No," said Paddy, "this is her husband speaking."
Paddy was very, very ill indeed, so Maureen sent for the doctor. After a brief examination the doctor announced that Paddy was dead.
"I am not," said Paddy from his bed.
"Be quiet," said Maureen. "Do you think you know better than the doctor?"
"My wife, Bridget," Sean confided to Paddy, "is an angel."
"You are lucky," said Paddy, "my wife Maureen is still alive."
Hymie Goldberg was having his first session with the psychoanalyst.
"Do you cheat on your wife?" asked the shrink.
"My God," said Hymie, "who else could I cheat on?"
A Californian psychiatrist was driving along in his car, when he saw a man lying on the sidewalk. He stopped his car and got out. It turned out the man had been mugged and left for dead.
"Quick," said the shrink, "tell me who did this to you; he needs help immediately!"
An Indian businessman who had made millions after a childhood of poverty was on his deathbed giving advice to his son.
"Listen, son," he said, "I owe my success to two principles - honesty and wisdom. Honesty is if you promise to deliver some goods, no matter what happens, even if it means bankruptcy, deliver!"
"I will try to remember, father," replied the boy. "And what about wisdom?"
"Wisdom is simple, my boy," continued the father. "Never make any promises."
From the place you are, don't be worried about the actions of people who are existing on a totally different plane. If you really want to understand them, reach to the same consciousness and you will understand without fail.
I have been acquainted with almost all the enlightened people who have lived on the earth. My whole life I have been searching in every nook and corner of the earth, and a few things have emerged out of my research into the enlightened being.
They are absolutely perfect in all dimensions possible, with all flavors, and it is a sheer necessity for them to criticize others knowing perfectly well that the people they are criticizing will understand their compassion. They may have moved through different paths; they have moved. It is almost like a mountain: you can move from different directions, you can choose different pathways, you will have different experiences on the way. But when you reach to the top it is the same experience, absolutely the same sweetness, the same fragrance.
But if you belong to the category of the arhatas you may remain silent, without criticizing anybody, because you don't have any followers. Therefore arhatas - there are two categories of people who have achieved enlightenment; one is called the arhata. The literal meaning of the word is one who has conquered.
The second is the bodhisattva; the literal meaning is one who has awakened. The ultimate experience is the same, whether you are an arhata or a bodhisattva. But there are differences in their actions and in their words.
Arhatas have remained silent; naturally there is no question of criticizing anybody. They have never asserted any truth, they have never tried to manifest any of their experience. They have never bothered that somebody may be there who can be helped. They never become saviors of anybody.
They have a very small boat; only one can sit in their small boat, and they go to the further shore alone. Because they don't have disciples, there is no question of any criticism. They are the silent ones.
But the bodhisattvas are people of immense compassion. The arhatas in comparison look a little hard, unconcerned about others who are struggling in darkness and death. Bodhisattvas are tremendously interested in giving you a hand and pulling you up from your ditch and putting you on the right path. And of course the right path is the path that they have followed; that is the only path they know exactly. They don't know about any other path, because they have never followed it.
And it is absolutely correct to make it completely certain to the disciple that this is the only path, so he does not go astray.
By the time the arhatas and the bodhisattvas reach to the peak, they experience the same light and the same bliss and the same ecstasy. But the arhatas still remain silent. Bodhisattvas still remain concerned about people who have been left behind on the path.
There is a beautiful story about Gautam Buddha, who was a bodhisattva: When he reached the gate of paradise, there was great celebration because never before had such a great enlightened being reached paradise. He had a beauty of his own, a grace that was incomparable, and a compassion that was infinite.
The doors were wide open, there was celebration in paradise. But the story is that Gautam Buddha refused to enter paradise, on the grounds that he had left many on the way; he would stand at the gate until the last human being had entered the gate. He would be ultimately the last.
The story says that he is still standing outside the gate, waiting for his disciples and devotees whom he has promised... He cannot go against his promise.
Gautam Buddha criticized the seers of the VEDAS, he criticized the seers of the UPANISHADS, he criticized Mahavira, he criticized everybody that he could find - Krishna, Rama, all the Hindu gods.
Continuously for forty-two years he was criticizing every old scripture, every old prophet, every old savior.
But he was not an enemy of anyone. He was criticizing all those people so that you could be unconditioned, so that you could be freed from the clinging with the past which cannot help you.
When a living enlightened being is present, he cannot allow you to remain clinging with the dead, which can only be a weight on your heart but cannot become wings for your freedom.
It needs tremendous insight and meditative understanding to have a little glimpse of the world of the enlightened person. I have criticized many: only a few of them were enlightened; most of them were simply frauds. The frauds have to be absolutely exposed to humanity.
Even those who were enlightened have become only a tradition, a convention, a dead belief. You have to be freed from their grip also, because they cannot help you, they can only hinder your path.
They can become your chains, but they cannot become your freedom.
I can become your freedom.
I am your freedom.
When I am gone I hope there may still be courageous people in the world to criticize me, so that I don't become a hindrance on anybody's path. And those who will criticize me will not be my enemies; neither am I the enemy of those whom I have criticized. The working of the enlightened masters just has to be understood.
You should remember only one word, and that is compassion - compassion for you, compassion for all those who are still not centered in their being, who are still far away from themselves, who have to be called back home.