Between these two dreams...
I'VE ALWAYS BEEN FASCINATED BY THE STATE OF BARDO AS DESCRIBED IN ANCIENT TIBETAN SCRIPTURES. COULD YOU SAY SOMETHING ABOUT THIS?
Bardo is a simple method but with great significance. Only people who have meditated a little bit in their lives can be benefited by it, and Tibet was one of the countries where almost everybody was devoting some time to meditation - just to be alone, silent, not doing anything, just witnessing. If such a person does not achieve enlightenment in his life, and death intervenes, then bardo is used.
Such a man has achieved a certain opening of the door. He has not entered in, but he has at least tried; he has knocked on the door. He has a certain receptivity, and at the time of death he is absolutely willing to go into a state of meditation. Now there is nothing to be afraid of. Death has already come; he can risk everything. And bardo is a certain soft method of hypnosis... just the way I am using it. Listening to me you become quiet, silent.
The bardo is suggestions to the dying person: "Now be silent. Leave this life consciously. Rather than death taking it away from you, relax your hold; don't be defeated by death, don't struggle. Just drop all your attachment. This world is finished for you, and this life is finished for you. There is no point in holding on to it; in holding on to it you will be fighting with death. You cannot win, and a very significant possibility will be missed.
"Simply let go of everything on your own accord. Relax, and accept death without any antagonism as a culmination of life, as a natural phenomenon. It ends nothing. Remain conscious and watch what is happening - how the body starts becoming more and more distant from you, how the mind starts falling into pieces as if a mirror has fallen and broken into pieces, how your emotions, sentiments, moods... everything that made your life starts disappearing."
It is the end of a dream. That is the fundamental point in bardo, that you have lived a dream that you call life, a seventy-year-long dream. It is coming to an end. You can weep for the spilled milk and miss the opportunity... because within seconds you will be entering into another womb, into another dream.
Between these two dreams just a few seconds are available for you to be alert and awake, and if you can manage this alertness you have conquered death, you have conquered dreaming. You will be entering into another womb consciously; you will be leaving this body consciously, entering into another body consciously.
You will be able to remember the death, the dream you had lived, in the coming life, which will make you alert not to get into the same rut - again chasing the same stupid desires, getting caught in the same jealousies, fighting for the same meaningless respectabilities. It will keep you alert that you have done it before. Everything ends in death and this too will end in death.
So bardo is reminding you that what is disappearing was a dream. It is very easy when death is coming to see your life as a dream. What else can it be? It is just as if you are waking up in the morning.
The whole night you have lived so much, so many dreams - you may have lived years in the night - but bardo reminds you that it was a dream. It has to be done by a very evolved being - a lama, a master - and he insists that it is time to realize that it was a dream: you are not dying, only the dream is broken.
And while you are being shifted from one dream to another... the gap is of tremendous importance because in that gap there is no dream, there is simple clarity, absolute clarity, awareness. So the second point to be reminded of is: don't miss the gap.
And the third thing: don't miss the entry into the womb. Then you have accomplished something which people need lives to work on.
The person is just falling into deep silence and death is descending. He is listening to these words from someone he has loved, he has trusted, from someone he cannot imagine deceiving - only then is it meaningful. It won't work from just anybody. The bardo is available, all the instructions are available, but it is possible only through someone whom you have respected, honored, trusted, loved.
In this critical moment a small doubt about what the person is saying will destroy the whole thing - then the bardo has been futile. But if you don't miss and you follow the instructions, you are laying a foundation for a new life which will be a totally different life. It will be your last life, because anybody who is dying consciously, who uses the gap to have a taste of absolute purity, enters into the womb alert, is born alert. His enlightenment is guaranteed by nature: he has the seed, the foundation.
So bardo is a simple process, but it can be helpful only to those who have meditated a little, who have been with a master, who have once in a while tasted the silence, the presence, and the beauty of being in the moment. They become capable.
Bardo is the greatest contribution Tibet has made to the world. Tibet has not contributed anything else. It is a poor country, far away from the world - the roof of the world - unapproachable. Even today it is very difficult to reach Tibet.
Tibet developed meditation through Buddhist influence and finally became the only country in history where everybody was meditating, where meditation was a normal phenomenon. Every family had to give at least one of its members - someone who was ready - to a monastery, to meditate totally.
So from every family at least one member went from each generation.
Almost the whole country of Tibet became a monastery. Just as Russia has become a concentration camp, Tibet became a monastery. There were hundreds of monasteries in the mountains, in beautiful places. Every family had contributed someone who was truly interested in seeking. It was the only place where people were encouraged to go on the search; it had become part of the style of the whole country.
And those who were not in the monasteries were also meditating as much as they could manage, so by the time of death, bardo was possible for everybody. There were many masters available, many evolved beings available who could repeat those instructions - and everybody had a master of his own. It was a totally different world.
In this century many beautiful things have been destroyed but Tibet is at the top. Tibet has been destroyed by a communist invasion from China. Monasteries have been changed into schools, into hospitals, and monks have been forced to work in the fields. Even to mention the word "meditation"
became a crime. And it was not hurting anybody: the country was so aloof, so cut off from the world.
But it has been destroyed, and I don't think there is any possibility to recover its beauty, its grandeur.
That is impossible because now there are roads joining it to Pakistan, to China. Now buses are moving, now airports are there and planes are coming and going. The army is there. It has become a military base for China. It has lost its golden age.
Soon it will be difficult to find a person who is capable of listening to bardo instructions and almost impossible to find a person who can give those instructions. They will be in the books; they are available now in all the languages. They are simple instructions but they can be improved, and I have the idea to improve them because they are very ancient and very crude. They can be polished.
Much can be added to them, more dimensions can be given to them. But the basic thing is that the people should be meditative. My people are meditative, and it will be part of our basic work to revive the bardo in a more refined form so we can use it for our people.
Tibet is no longer the same Tibet. But we can create the situation, the psychology, where bardo - or something like bardo but even far more evolved - can help people. It is a beautiful process. Just as Japan has brought Zen from Buddhist sources of meditation, Tibet has brought, from the same Buddhist sources of meditation, bardo. These are their immortal contributions.
When nuclear weapons are forgotten, still these discoveries will have the same significance.
YESTERDAY WHEN SOMEBODY ASKED ME WHY I WAS WITH YOU I REALIZED THAT I HAD NO ANSWER THAT WOULD MAKE ANY SENSE. TO SIMPLY SAY BECAUSE I LOVE YOU SEEMED FACILE AND TOTALLY INADEQUATE TO DESCRIBE THE AWESOME EXPERIENCE OF BEING WITH YOU. AND I AM NOT WITH YOU FOR ANY INTELLECTUAL REASON, NOR AM I ESPECIALLY ESOTERIC OR EVEN VERY RELIGIOUS. IN FACT, AS A DISCIPLE, I AM RATHER LOUSY. BUT I AM INDELIBLY STUCK ON YOU LIKE THE TINIEST SPECK OF AN IRON FILING ONTO THE MIGHTIEST MAGNET IN THE WORLD. BELOVED OSHO, CAN YOU EXPLAIN THIS PHENOMENON?
The question is from Anando. It is difficult to describe to people why you are with me. Anything that you can say, you will feel is inadequate, facile, superficial, does not do justice; and if you don't say anything, that is also embarrassing. Something has to be said.
And it becomes more difficult when there is no rational explanation, and you are not with me for any particular philosophical, rational doctrine. If you are not with me for any religious intentions, then naturally you feel that you cannot answer the question.
But to me this is important, that you should not be able to answer the question. If you are able to answer the question your relationship is certainly superficial. You can call it love, but everybody is loving; people are falling in love and falling out of love, and this is such a mundane affair. It has associations which have made the word very earthly.
And it is good that you are not here out of any particular intellectual conviction, because I am not an intellectual man; that you are not here for any religious reason, because I have left religion far behind. But you can, without giving a very particular answer, explain the whole situation just the way you have put the question.
Whoever asks you, explain the whole situation: "This is the situation. Now you figure out what kind of relationship this is." Why should you be embarrassed? Let the person who is asking the question feel embarrassed. Let him think it over, let him waste his night... what to make out of it, what kind of relationship this is. But you be truthful.
Your question is absolutely the answer. Just say exactly what you have written in your question to the person. "This is the situation; now you figure it out. I am unable to figure it out; perhaps I am too involved. You are outside. It is possible you may be able to figure out what it is. If you can find out, tell me so I also can have an answer for others."
The more mysteriously you are related to me, the more it will become difficult for you to answer.
But there is no need for any answer. You simply explain the situation: "This is the situation and I don't know what word can be the right word to explain this whole situation." This will be authentic, sincere. You will not feel inadequate, you will not feel embarrassed. In fact the other person will feel embarrassed that he asked such a question, that it was not nice to ask such a question, that it was crude, primitive. There is a possibility of a relationship which no word can describe - and that's what is happening between me and you.
You can simply say, "I don't know but I can describe the whole situation." And this will be helpful for that person too, to come across a relationship which is so vast that it cannot be confined to a word, so far away from ordinary language that to pull it into language is to be violent. Perhaps you may help him to feel something just by describing your whole situation sincerely and authentically.
Your question is your answer.
I HAVE HEARD YOU SAY THAT WE ARE AFRAID TO COME CLOSE TO YOU, BUT HOW CAN WE COME CLOSE? ALSO, I ASSUME THAT WHEN YOU GAVE ME A NAME I WAS PURE NOISE AND A CROWD INSIDE. NOT SO LONG AGO I STARTED TO FULLY RECOGNIZE AT LEAST FIVE TOTALLY DIFFERENT PEOPLE TAKING OVER INSIDE AT DIFFERENT TIMES. ONE OF THEM IS LIKE A DEFIANT, REBELLIOUS, STRONG, RAGING, REVENGEFUL VIRGIN GREEK WARRIOR- GODDESS; ANOTHER IS A VERY INSECURE, VULNERABLE, SOFT, LOVING, HURT LITTLE GIRL. THERE ARE OTHERS, BUT THESE ARE THE EXTREMES. HOW, AMONGST THEM, CAN I RECOGNIZE THE REAL ME, THE INDIVIDUAL?
It is not only your situation, it is everybody's situation. And five is not the number - you are a crowd, a multitude. Just you have to look more closely, more deeply, and you will find many people within you. And they all pretend at times to be you. When you are angry, a certain personality possesses you and pretends that this is you. When you are loving, then another personality possesses you and pretends that this is you.
It is not only confusing to you, it is confusing to everybody who comes in contact with you because they cannot figure it out. They themselves are a crowd.
In each relationship there are not two persons getting married but two crowds getting married. There is going to be a great war continuously, because rarely will it be, just by accident, that your loving person is in charge and the other's loving person is in charge. Otherwise you go on missing: you are loving, but the other is sad or angry or worried. And when he is in a loving state, you are not in the same. And there is no way to control these personalities, they move on their own accord.
Gurdjieff has a story:
A master had a palace in the mountains and dozens of servants, and he told the servants that he was going for a pilgrimage: "It may take a year, it may take two years, it may take three years, or I may come back without completing the journey. I might come back from the middle, any day. So be ready every day as if I were coming back that day. The house has to be in the condition that I like.
Don't think, ?Now it is three years before he will be coming so why bother? For three years enjoy the rest.' I can come any day, and I may take three years or ten years or I may never come back. But as far as you are concerned, remember I can come any day. All these possibilities are there."
The servants were in a great difficulty. If he had told them a fixed date it would have been so easy to rest, to enjoy. Each servant was on duty one hour in every twenty-four hours; round the clock
somebody had to be on guard. So one person was on duty for one hour, and another person for another hour. And years passed. In fact they forgot completely that the master was going to come, it was such a long time.
The world was wild in those days and a pilgrimage was dangerous. In fact people used to go on a pilgrimage only when they thought that death was near and now there was no danger because they were going to die anyway. Very few people ever returned from a pilgrimage. The servants started thinking, "So many years have passed: perhaps he is dead and we are unnecessarily bothering."
They became lazy, but this routine continued because a deep suspicion was still there: "Who knows?
Someday he may come."
Meanwhile, anybody who used to pass by the gate would ask, "What a beautiful palace! Who is the master of this house?"
And the servant on duty would say, "Who else? I am. I am the master of this beautiful palace."
But people were becoming a little puzzled because each time there was a different master. The duties kept changing: round the clock each person was only on duty for one hour. The next time you came, you would meet another person and he would also claim that he was the master.
Thinking that the master is dead, there is no harm in claiming to be the master; in fact now they are the master. The master had no son, no relation, nothing; he was a man alone. The servants started using his clothes, they started using his things; they really became convinced that he is dead and his death means they are the masters.
Then one day the master appeared, and the scene was worth seeing! People were throwing off their clothes, running naked to find their own clothes... it was a chaos.
And the master asked, "What is going on?"
They said, "We want to be forgiven. Because you had not come for so many years we thought that you were not going to come back. And we are fools - uneducated, stupid people. We started using your things and we started claiming to be masters. Of course everybody was the master for only one hour. To avoid clashes, fights, we decided that while you are on duty as the guard, you are the master; your orders will be followed, but only in that hour. After that hour you are just a servant; the other person is the master."
Gurdjieff used to say that this story is symbolic of our inner world.
There are many personalities - not only five, a real multitude - and they go on rotating. It is a kind of Rotary Club. In a Rotary Club, just to avoid competition, every member becomes the president in rotation. Next year another one... Everybody is hoping that his number is coming, and nobody feels bad about anybody becoming the president; it is only a question of one year and somebody else will be the president. They are all presidents in fact.
There is a certain rotation inside you, and if you go on watching... Don't interfere with these personalities because that will create more mess, more confusion. Just watch, because watching
all these personalities you are going to become aware that there is also a watcher which is not a personality, before whom these personalities come and go.
In your question you feel that there are five personalities, but who is looking at these five? Must be the sixth! It is not a personality, because one personality cannot watch another personality.
This is something very interesting and very basic: one personality cannot watch another personality, because those personalities don't have any soul. It is like your clothes. You can go on changing your clothes, but your clothes cannot know that they have been changed, that now other clothes are being used. You are not the clothes, so you can change them. You are not a personality; that's why you can become aware that there are five personalities or twelve personalities or innumerable personalities.
This also makes one point very clear: there is something which goes on watching this whole game of personalities around you. And this is you.
So watch those personalities but remember that your watchfulness is your reality. And if you can remain watchful of the personality, those personalities will start disappearing; they cannot live. They need identification to remain alive. If you are angry, it needs you to forget to watch and become identified with anger; then anger has life. But if you are simply watching, then anger has no life; it is already dead, dying, disappearing.
So remain more and more concentrated in your watchfulness and all these personalities will disappear. And when there is no personality left, then your reality - the master - has come home.
Then you behave sincerely, authentically. Then whatever you do, you do totally, fully. You never repent; you are always in a rejoiceful mood.
YOU HAVE GIVEN ME SANNYAS AND THIS BEAUTIFUL DIMENSION OF LIFE, CONTINUOUSLY SHOWERING YOUR COMPASSION AND LOVE. I FEEL AS IF I DON'T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT MEDITATION OR THE INNER JOURNEY - I'M A HOPELESS CASE. PLEASE THROW SOME COLD WATER ON MY FACE AND WAKE ME UP FROM THIS DEEP SLEEP.
You do not have to remind me, because that's what I am doing continuously - throwing ice cold water in your face. But for you to be awake, only cold water is not enough; you can even start enjoying it, turn over and pull the blanket up and go to sleep again.
Our sleepiness is deep. It is almost like a coma, but it will be broken. You need not be worried that you do not know what meditation is. You just hang around. One day you will stumble upon it even in your sleep. Just go on groping and you will find the door - because the door is there and I am making every effort to reach you.
However deep the sleep, however deep the coma you may be in, I am trying to reach you in a thousand and one ways. You will understand only when you are awake what I have been doing to reach you.
There is always some way, some small window, because you cannot live closing all the windows and all the doors: you will die. Then it will not be sleep, it will not be a coma, it will be simply death.
You need some fresh air, so some window is open.
For example, if we all go to sleep in this room, and you are all fast asleep, snoring, and I simply shout, "Maneesha!" only Maneesha will hear it; nobody else will hear it. Strange, because the sound has hit the ears of everybody, but only Maneesha wakes up and asks, "What is the matter? Why I am wanted in the middle of the night?"
Deep in the unconscious the name has reached, because from very early childhood some name has been given to you. Or if you have become a sannyasin, then this has been a second childhood; a name has been given to you and that name has made a certain way to your unconscious. Even in sleep you know it is your name. Nobody else will wake up, nobody else will be disturbed by it, just the person whose name has been called.
So don't be worried about meditation. While sitting with me you are having some taste of it without knowing it.
Don't be worried about consciousness. While looking at me, watching me, you are feeling something of consciousness. Some doors are loosening, opening. It takes a little time. And there is no hurry, there is eternity available. All that you need is patience and everything that is needed will happen to you.
YESTERDAY A VISITOR TO OUR HOUSE COMMENTED THAT WE ALL HAVE UNUSUALLY SHINY EYES. I HAVE HEARD MANY OTHERS SAY THE SAME. WHY DO YOUR SANNYASINS HAVE SHINY EYES?
Because they are my sannyasins, they reflect my eyes, they reflect me. Their heartbeat reflects my heart. As you become silent, as you become more alert, your eyes will have a different shine; otherwise ordinarily people's eyes are just sleepy, no shine. Their faces look as if they are drugged or they are half awake. What they say does not seem to be coming from any authority. Their gestures are dead. Their whole life is partially lived.
To be a sannyasin means to live life totally and intensely. In that intensity your eyes will be affected the most.
In India, Jainism has two sects. The differences are very small but in some way very significant.
One sect worships Mahavira's statue with eyes closed and the other sect worships him with eyes open. Now this is not so much of a difference that you should create different temples and fight continuously, argue, write commentaries. But in some places it becomes very hilarious.
The Jaina community is a small community and they make their temples really beautiful; perhaps they have the most beautiful temples. But there may not be enough money for one sect to make the
temple, so both the sects make the temple together. The temple is the same, the scriptures are the same, the statue is the same - the only problem is about the eyes. And they have found a strategy:
half the day one sect worships and half the day the other sect worships.
The statues are made of marble. Now you cannot make marble statues with eyes which can open when you want and can close when you want - at least in the East it is not possible. In the West perhaps we can manage some technical arrangement, some electrical arrangement. You push a button and the eyes open; you push another button and the eyes close. But the conflict is almost twenty-five centuries old, and there was no such technology. Now they have found a way: they have made separate open eyes of gold which they simply stick on the closed eyes.
Sometimes it becomes a problem because there are problem people: somebody who worships Mahavira with closed eyes has his time up to twelve, but he goes on worshipping, praying, and the others are waiting. It is too much. Finally they decide that the time has passed; it is too much and this man is just creating trouble, so they start putting on the open eyes... And that is highly objectionable: "I am worshipping Mahavira with closed eyes and you are putting on eyes which are open. You have disturbed my worship!"
Sometimes there are cases in the courts. The temples are locked, and for years nobody can worship because the court cannot decide whether Mahavira actually meditated with open eyes or with closed eyes. Both present their scriptures, and both are equally ancient. There seems to be no way.
In one place this conflict had been going on for almost twenty years. I was visiting the college there for their annual function. I was going to give a speech to the students. Both parties came to me and said, "Something has to be done. Twenty years... and Mahavira is under the locks of the police.
There seems to be no way. What do you say?"
I said, "Perhaps both scriptures are right. As far as meditation is concerned, he must have meditated with closed eyes. But he was not meditating twenty-four hours a day; he was going to beg for food, to give a talk to his disciples... And a man who has been meditating for so long must have such beautiful eyes, so shiny, just flames, that a few people must have become impressed by his open eyes. So I don't see that there is any conflict.
"My suggestion is that rather than making one statue in the temple, make two statues - one with open eyes, one with closed eyes. And it is such a simple matter that I cannot understand that for twenty years the supreme court could not decide, and you idiots could not decide that it is only a question of purchasing one statue more. Make this statue with open eyes. And whoever wants to worship can worship one or the other. And if somebody wants to worship both there is no harm, because it is the same man who is sitting with closed eyes and who is sitting with open eyes."
But for twenty-five centuries they have been fighting on such a small point. There must be something in it - and that something is that the orthodox have a fixation on the closed eyes and the unorthodox, who were impressed by his eyes and the magnetism of his eyes, want the eyes to be open.
So when somebody asks you why you have such shiny eyes, just say because you are a sannyasin.
Everything within you has to become shiny. Everything within you has to become a light, radiant.