When the archer is perfect
WHEN YOU LEAVE THE HALL EVERY DAY, LOOKING AT ALL OF US, I FEEL SO BATHED AND SOAKED IN YOUR LOVE AND RADIANCE. WHEN YOU WERE DANCING WITH US, I EXPERIENCED THE MOST BEAUTIFUL, JOYFUL, AND ECSTATIC MOMENTS WITH YOU. I COULD NOT IMAGINE THERE COULD EVER BE MORE. BUT NOW, WHEN YOU GENTLY WALK OUT, FACING US, THE FEELING INSIDE OF ME IS SO VAST, SO MUCH MORE THAN ANYTHING BEFORE, THAT I FEEL TOTALLY OVERWHELMED BY PRECIOUS LOVINGNESS. COULD YOU EXPLAIN WHAT IS HAPPENING?
Prem Turiya, there is a music which has no sounds, and there is a dance which has no movement. They are the highest expressions of grace.
While dancing, singing, rejoicing, you were feeling ecstatic, and you could not have believed that anything more is possible. Now, you are experiencing still the same dance, just the movements have been taken out, the same music, only the sounds have been dropped. It is a purification of the ecstasy. That's why you feel something higher is being experienced.
I have always loved a Chinese story about an archer who was the greatest archer in the whole land. He went to the emperor saying that the whole country should be made aware that if anybody wants to contest with him, he's available. "If nobody turns up, then you have to declare me the champion of archery." The emperor knew the man, and he knew his art, his archery, and he knew there was nobody else who could even come close to him. His art was perfect; he never missed a target. So the emperor was willing to declare him the champion of archery in the whole land of China.
Just at that moment, his old prime minister prevented him saying, "Wait a minute, because I know a man who lives far away in the mountains. Unless this archer goes to that old man, and that old man certifies that he should be declared the champion, you should wait. You should not be in a hurry, because that old man is not only the champion of this land, he is the champion of the whole world, although he's a non-competitive man, non-ambitious, and people don't know about him. Send this archer first to get a certificate from that old man." And he gave the directions where the old man would be found.
The archer could not believe that anyone could be better; he was one hundred percent successful in hitting the bulls eye exactly in the middle, he never missed the target. It was inconceivable for him that anybody could be a better archer! But there was no way.... The emperor told him to go to the mountains, and bring a certificate.
It was a difficult journey. The old man lived on a very high peak of the mountain, alone.
He was really very old, almost ancient, and he had no bow, no arrows. He was just sitting under a tree. The archer asked, "Are you the man who is the greatest archer in the world?"
The old man said, "Perhaps, because on this mountain nobody else lives. But I can't be certain because I have never been competitive. As far as archery is concerned, for twenty years I have not touched the bow, have not seen the arrows. In fact, I have lost track where they are. But what is the problem? Why have you traveled so far?"
The young man said, "I knew it before that this would be an unnecessary journey! A man who has not touched the bow for twenty years, and who has even forgotten where his bow and his arrows are...."
Still, because of the emperor's requirement, he said to the old man, "I want to be declared the champion of the art in the whole country, and the emperor has sent me to get your certificate."
The old man said, "That is not difficult. But seeing a bow with you, and the arrows, makes me suspicious that you are an amateur because the old saying is: `When the musician becomes perfect, he throws away his musical instruments; when the archer becomes really an archer, perfect in his art, he breaks down his bow, and throws the arrows.' They are good to begin with, but one has to transcend technique at a certain moment. You will have to pass two tests: one is, do you see that protruding rock over the valley?"
There was a long rock, very low, protruding over a very deep valley, thousands of feet deep. The old man said, "Go to that rock, to the very end. The test is to stand at the very end, with half your feet hanging over the rock, with just the front part, your toes, on the rock. If you can stand there without any trembling, you have passed the first test."
The man said, "My God! But what kind of archery is this? This is sure death!"
But the old man said, "I will go first to show you the way it has to be done."
He could not believe his eyes. The old man went to the very end of the protruding rock; and he stood there with half the feet on the rock, over the valley thousands of feet deep.
And there was not even a small wavering or trembling. He called the young man, "Now, come on, and stand by my side."
The young man tried just one step on the rock. As he looked downward, such fear overwhelmed him... he fell on the ground, trembling, perspiring. He could not reach the end -- he was only at the beginning of the rock.
The old man said, "What is the matter? Come on, have courage. If you are so fearful and trembling inside, your archery cannot be of great value, because it is your hands which will take the bow and it is your hands which will take the arrows; it is your heart which has to be used in it. This fear... try, make an effort."
He started crawling on all fours. Standing and moving on that rock, he found impossible.
Those thousands of feet were so dangerous; just a single wrong step and you will never be found. You will be broken into bits and pieces and thrown over the whole valley.
But he could reach by crawling only to the middle. He said, "More than that, I cannot do."
The old man laughed. He came back, supported the man to stand up, and took him back to the tree. He said, "I had said you are just an amateur; otherwise there is no need of this bow and these arrows. Now, look at me: when the archer becomes perfect his eyes become arrows, his very being becomes the bow."
He looked at a flying flock of twelve cranes, and they all fell down on the earth. He said, "If you can make even a single bird fall down on the earth, just with your eyes, I will certify you."
The young man said, "That is impossible. How can one do it?"
The old man said, "I have just done it, and not one, twelve cranes are just dead, lying before you."
The young man said, "You are right; I am simply an amateur. I would like to be accepted as a disciple; I would like to learn archery."
The old man said, "That sounds right. Be here."
After ten years, the old man said, "Now you can go back, but don't go to the emperor; go home. The day you suddenly realize, seeing your bow hanging on the wall, that you cannot recognize it, that is the day you can go to the emperor."
The emperor was becoming very old, and he enquired again and again from his prime minister, "What happened to that young man?"
The prime minister said, "He has reached the old man; I have been watching. He's learning, he has reached his home, and now he's waiting for the sign to come."
The emperor said, "I am becoming very old."
One day, a few years after coming home, the man looked at the bow hanging on the wall, and enquired of his son, "What is that object?"
The son said, "Have you gone mad? It is your bow, those are your arrows."
He said, "Bow? Arrows? Am I an archer?"
The son said, "Are you laughing at me, or kidding me? or just going senile?"
He said, "No, the time has come. I have to go to the emperor."
The son asked, "For what?"
He said, "To be declared the champion of archery in the land."
He went to the emperor. The prime minister said, "Have you brought the certificate?"
He said, "I am the certificate."
They were sitting in the garden. He looked at a bird flying faraway in the sky, almost invisible. But as he looked at the bird, the bird came falling to the feet of the emperor.
The emperor said, "Is this archery or some kind of magic?"
The man said, "I don't know, but this is what that old man has taught me: that if you are a perfect archer, you don't need the bow, you don't need the arrows; your eyes are enough.
If you are a perfect musician, you don't need instruments; your silence is music enough."
It is a beautiful story, very ancient, almost three thousand years old. Lao Tzu used to tell the story to his disciples, and that was twenty-five centuries ago. The story must have been far older.
As you become more and more in tune with me, just being here with me, there is music, there is dance. Your ears will not hear it, and your eyes will not see it, but you will feel it; your being will be soaked with it.
Every art has to reach to a point where technologies are dropped. Every meditation has to reach to the point where methods are dropped. They are good for the beginners, for learning the ABC's, but when you have reached to the point of XYZ, they are of no use.
Silently, you are filled with music.
Without moving, you are dancing.
Without any thought, any feeling in you, there is just pure grace, gratitude arising out of you, just like fragrance arising out of a lotus flower.
One has to reach to this point. Only then one is fulfilled. Only then, one has attained his destiny.
THOSE OLD MASTERS MADE DISCIPLESHIP LIKE SITTING IN A DENTIST'S WAITING ROOM, FULL OF ANCIENT MAGAZINES AND WITH A BORED, OLD GOLDFISH SWIMMING ROUND AND ROUND IN A BOWL. YOU HAVE KNOCKED OUT THE WALLS, REMOVED THE ROOF, AND DO YOUR SURGERY OUT IN THE SUNLIGHT WHILE WE ALL WATCH, LAUGHING AND DANCING, BARELY ABLE TO WAIT FOR OUR TURN TO BE ON THE TABLE. THE MASTERS WHO FOLLOW YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE ONE HELL-OF-A JOB BECAUSE YOU HAVE SET A WHOLE NEW STANDARD OF BEHAVIOR; NOT ONLY THAT, YOU KEEP ON RAISING IT.
IT SEEMS IMPOSSIBLE, BUT IT GOES ON GETTING MORE AND MORE. I HAVE HEARD YOU SAY THAT ENLIGHTENMENT IS THE SAME FOR EVERYONE, BUT YOU SEEM TO BE GETTING MORE JUICE OUT OF IT THAN ANYBODY I HAVE EVER HEARD ABOUT. WILL YOU SPEAK ABOUT THE MASTERS WHO WILL FOLLOW YOU?
Devageet, it is true I am getting more juice out of enlightenment then anybody else who has ever become enlightened on the earth, for the simple reason that to them, enlightenment was a serious search for God, or for self.
To me, seriousness is sickness. To me, enlightenment is not a serious search, but a playful, joyful wandering into the unknown.
In the past, all the enlightened people were goal oriented. I am not. To me, the pilgrimage itself is the goal -- every moment enjoying the sun, the moon, the trees, the mountains, the rivers, the surprising turns in life; but enjoying them with intensity and totality, squeezing all the juice out of them.
The day you become capable of squeezing all the juice out of any moment of life, so that not even a single drop of juice is left behind, you are enlightened.
Enlightenment is not a goal somewhere far away.
It is something that you have to live every moment.
Unenlightenment is a way of living -- unconscious, groping in the dark. Enlightenment is also a way of living... enjoying, if it is day, what the day brings the flowers, the trees, the sun rays or if it is night, the silence and its music, the depth of darkness, the beauty and vastness of darkness. There is no question of groping. When it is night, you enjoy the night; you are not even thinking of the dawn. When it is day, you enjoy the day, not bothering even about the full-moon night.
Living each moment as if this is the first and the last moment is the way of enlightenment.
In the past, the masters were very serious. They made the life of the seeker very arduous, torturous, unnecessarily -- perhaps those ages should be called the dark ages of the soul.
We have reached the dawn. A delightful, relaxed laughter is possible for my people, which has never been allowed in the past. We have grown up; we have come to a certain maturity.
I am the end of an old tradition, and the beginning of a new line, a new category.
You are asking me to speak about the masters who will follow me. Who bothers? I am utterly concerned with the present. Whether any master follows or not is not my concern.
That's why I am absolutely without any worry, without any tension, without any thought, and without any dream.
I am being condemned all over the world. Everyday, Neelam and Anando bring news clippings from all over the world; people who don't know anything about me are unnecessarily freaking out. But as far as I am concerned, nothing makes even a dent in my consciousness.
Utter lies are being written about me. Just the other day there was news from Madras, in a Tamil magazine, that because of my teachings hundreds of women are running naked in California -- because I teach that man is born naked and it is his birthright to be naked.
And many of these women who are running naked in California are pregnant. I really enjoyed it! My teaching is bringing fruit.
Some other day, in a Hebrew magazine, there was a very serious article alerting the Israelis that my next target is Israel, that I am going to come to Israel. First I will become converted into a Jew, and then I will declare myself as the reincarnation of Moses; everything is planned, I am just waiting for the right time. I used to think there is a limit to lies, but I was wrong. There is no limit.
I am not at all concerned about the future. This moment is enough unto itself. I am enjoying it, you are enjoying it, and through us, the whole existence is feeling the ecstasy.
We have been showering the existence with more flowers than any communion that has ever existed on the earth.
One night, Hymie brought home a dozen roses for his wife. "How lovely, dear," she said.
"What is the occasion?" "I want to make love to you," he said simply enough. "Not tonight, dear. I have a headache," she whined.
The next night, Hymie came home with a big box of chocolates, and repeated his desire to make love. "Not tonight, lovely, I am awfully tired," said the wife.
Every night of the week, Hymie brought something, but each time his wife's answer was categorically, "No!" Finally, one night, he came home with six black kittens with little red balls around their necks, and handed them to his wife. "How adorable, Hymie," she exclaimed. "But what are they for?" "They, my dear, are the six pallbearers for your dead pussy."
Who cares about masters and disciples in the future? Right now, a joke is so enlightening!
You all are going to become enlightened -- if you don't become serious. You all are going to become great masters if you start collecting holy jokes -- because you will need them!
A Chinaman complains to his doctor of his being constipated. The doctor prescribes a strong laxative. However, a few days later, the Chinaman returns. "Have you had a movement yet?" asks the doctor.
"No, sir, me no move-ee, me no move-ee."
So the doctor doubled the dose of laxative.
Two days later, the Chinaman returns and reports no progress with his movement, so the doctor triples the prescription.
"Come back in three days," says the confounded doctor.
Three days later, the doctor greets the Chinaman. "Well, have you had a movement yet?"
"No, sir, me no move-ee yet. We move-ee tomorrow, though. House full of shit!"
THE OTHER MORNING IN DISCOURSE, YOU SHOWERED YOUR LOVE AND GRACE ON US SO BEAUTIFULLY THAT I COULDN'T CONTAIN MYSELF. MY TEARS WERE FLOWING, AND I FELT AS IF BEING LIFTED UP. IT WAS AS IF THERE WAS NO ME, BUT SOME FEELING OF THE BEYOND. AFTER YOUR TALK, I WAS IMMENSELY SAD WHEN I SAW THAT I WAS COMING BACK TO THE PERSON CALLED ME. I EVEN BECAME VERY BITCHY TOWARDS MY LOVER, ALTHOUGH I FELT VERY RELAXED.
I WONDERED THEN WHETHER IT IS MY CHOICE TO COME BACK TO MY FORMER STATE. OSHO, IS IT MY DECISION TO RETURN FROM THAT SOMETHING I CALL BEYOND? IS IT POSSIBLE THAT IF I CHANGED MY WHOLE ATTITUDE TOWARDS NORMAL DAY-TO-DAY LIFE, I COULD REMAIN IN THAT BEAUTIFUL, OPEN, AND RELAXED SPACE? COULD YOU PLEASE TALK ABOUT OUR RESPONSIBILITY TOWARDS OURSELVES?
Lokita, every mountain has its own valleys, and every great experience of the beyond will be followed by a valley experience. You have to learn to enjoy the valley experience too.
Nobody can remain permanently in a certain stage of experience, and it is good and fortunate because if you are experiencing the beyond continuously, it will create only boredom and nothing else. Even to be with God twenty-four hours... how long can you tolerate it? You will need a few holidays to be with the devil!
Life is a dialectical phenomenon.
Life is always moving from one extreme to another extreme. Most of us don't want to be troubled by all these changes. We want a certain beautiful state, and to remain in it permanently forever. But then you will be dead, and that beautiful space will not stay beautiful long enough; you have to lose it again and again to keep it fresh, to keep it beautiful.
It is perfectly normal and natural that one moment you feel ecstatic, and another moment you fall into darkness. But nothing is wrong in darkness. The sunlit peaks have their own beauty, but the dark valleys have their own peace, and their own silence, their own depth, their own coolness.
Don't ask of life to be permanent at a single experience. Allow life to take you into all its dimensions. Just remember one thing: Whatever life offers to you, enjoy it. That is the golden key to transform every experience into a spiritual beatitude... not permanency but a flux, a river-like flow. Sometimes it is mountainous, and sometimes it is the plains; sometimes it is the ocean, sometimes it is moving into the clouds, and sometimes it is again raining. Accept the whole circle of life. In this acceptability is your authentic religiousness.
But I am not saying that after experiencing something beyond yourself, the next thing is to become bitchy to your poor lover, Niskriya. He's such a nice fellow, so silent, so centered in himself. I can understand that such fellows can create bitchiness in women -- just their very centeredness, their very silence, irritates women; they want to pull them down. But remember Niskriya is not the one to be pulled down. You can be bitchy, but he will just look at you through his glasses and go back to his work, just feeling amazed -- what kind of woman is this? But, Niskriya, all women of this kind, their greatest problem is to tolerate a man who is centered and silent and doing his own thing. They will poke their nose... Unless they interfere with you, unless they make you irritated, they will not find peace of heart.
Lokita, you are in a difficult position. Your bitchiness will not bring any joy to you; it will only bring frustration. But feeling something beyond yourself, there is no need to take revenge on poor Niskriya. He's the only marble Gautam Buddha here. Even I cannot laugh because of him. One just has to be respectful when you are sitting before a Gautam Buddha....
Perhaps your problem, Lokita, is that you are the girlfriend of a Gautam Buddha. Nobody suffers more in the world than the girlfriend of a Gautam Buddha, because you can be bitchy but he will simply be a witness.
The Jewish mothers meet in the marketplace. They are all proud of their sons, and want to brag about them.
The first one says, "Ah, my son is always so very gentle and polite with my husband and me."
The second one says, "Ah, my dear, my son is so very, very sweet with me. He does the shopping for me, he cleans my house, and each day he brings me flowers."
The third one says, "Ah, my son is much sweeter than that. Each time he goes to see his psychoanalyst, he only speaks of me."
When you are coming down from an experience beyond yourself, you would like poor Niskriya to talk about you. He cannot do that. He is simply not that kind of man. You have gone beyond the "me", and you would like somebody to remind you of it. Don't expect it from Niskriya. Even your bitchiness will not help.
After coming back from the beyond, be silent. Enjoy this coming back; there is nothing wrong in it. Don't feel guilty, and don't ask for any support. The spiritual path is absolutely alone. Boyfriends and girlfriends are not allowed together; they have to go separately.
So whenever you touch a height, enjoy the height; whenever you touch the bottom, enjoy the bottom. One thing should remain continuously flowing in you -- the enjoyment.
Giggle within yourself when you are beyond yourself, and giggle within yourself when you are within yourself -- but giggling should continue. Make life a laughter when great things are happening, and when nothing is happening, laughter should continue.
Laughter should be the running thread of the garland of flowers of all your ecstasies and experiences of the beyond. They will change, but one thread of laughter can continue within you.
Laughter is almost the shrine of the witness.
Within the laughter, you will always find the watcher. And to become a watcher without discontinuity, without gaps, is all that is meant by enlightenment.
But don't interfere with enlightened people like Niskriya. When I first saw him in Kathmandu I immediately picked him up. He is such a silent man, never interfering with anybody -- except with my air conditioners, because they make noise, and he is a perfect photographer; that noise disturbs his photography.
I have kept watchers so he does not interfere with my air conditioners, but sometimes, when there is nobody else here, he puts them down half. Last night, he succeeded. He is not concerned that I will be suffering with hot air, his concern is his photography. But I don't blame him; everybody just has to watch him, that he never comes near my air conditioners!
Lokita, particularly for you, the instruction is that when you want to be bitchy with him, put my air conditioners on full!
The Golden Future