God is also seeking you

Fri, 3 March 1987 00:00:00 GMT
Book Title:
The Razor's Edge
Chapter #:
am in Chuang Tzu Auditorium
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Question 1:



Sat Vijaya, it is absolutely true that just as you are seeking God or truth or the beloved, he is also seeking you. The search is never one-sided. And any search that is one-sided is never going to be fulfilled. But your question is, "Can I wait for him to find me?" - then he will also wait to search for you.

Search has to be from both sides; otherwise both sides will be waiting. Existence has a balance about everything. Your waiting is not enough; your longing, your search is categorically needed.

One of the Sufis' sayings is: if you take one step towards God, he takes one thousand steps towards you. But at least one step on your side is absolutely necessary. And your one step is far more important than the one thousand steps of God, because by "God" is not meant any person; by God is meant the intelligence of this whole universe, the consciousness of the whole universe.

You have a very small proportion of consciousness. Your one step is far bigger than the one thousand steps of God, because existence has infinite intelligence. So waiting alone won't do. Just waiting is a state which is not alive; there has to be tremendous longing, a thirst from every pore of your being. Unless God becomes a question of your life and death, the meeting is not possible.

Almost everybody will be prepared to wait - that means on your laundry list, God is the last item, when you have done everything of the world. And that is not possible, even in eternity; something or other will be left undone. God has to be your first priority. It has to become a kind of haunting in your heart. Breathing in, breathing out, there has to be a rememberance: whatever you are doing is nonessential, and the essential part is to go deep down in meditation.

Never think of God as someone outside you. That is a wrong beginning - because where will you search for him? The outside is so vast; you don't have the address or the phone number. In the infinity of existence, in which direction will you search for him? How will you find that you are on the right path? Millions of paths... how are you going to choose? What will be the criterion?

Because of this misconception that God is outside, religions became organized around priesthood, around a holy book, around certain dogmas - because that at least gives you some feel for where you have to search: you have to go to the church, you have to do a certain prayer, you have to go to the synagogue, you have to find your path in the holy scriptures. The idea of God outside has led the whole of humanity into tremendous confusion.

He is within you. Better will be if I say: He is your within, your very interiority, your very center of being. You are on the periphery of your individuality. Move inwards.

First you will meet the thoughts. Don't get involved in them, just ignore.... Buddha has used the word upeksha, ignoring, as a certain guaranteed method; otherwise you are going to get caught in the net of thoughts. Don't fight, just go on your way as if mind is empty. And if you can ignore the mind it becomes empty.

The more attention you pay to the mind, the more nourishment you give to the thoughts. If you can pass the boundary of the mind without disturbing - and it is not an arduous thing, just a little knack of ignoring - then you will come into the world of feelings, emotions, moods, which are more subtle than the thoughts. You have entered from the mind and its territory into a deeper area of your being, the heart.

Continue the same method, ignore your sentiments, emotions, moods, as if they don't belong to you. As you pass the boundary of the heart you enter the boundary of your own being. That is the temple of God. And the moment you enter the temple, certainly he takes those one thousand steps towards you.

Those one thousand steps are symbolic. He comes towards you as light, as the very essence of beauty, as blissfulness, as silence, as peace. And he comes with so much force, almost like a flood, that you are drowned in it.

You will find God, but you will have to lose yourself; that is the price. It is not much. How much do you think your cost-price is? In fact, any animal in the world is more costly than man. When man dies, nobody is ready to purchase him. When an elephant dies, then thousands of rupees.... When any animal dies, even the dead animal has some utility. It is only man who dies, and all that you can do is either burn him or bury him - just to get rid of him. Rather than bringing some money to you after death he withdraws ome money from your pocket. So there is no need to be afraid if you are lost, drowned, because in the temple of God only one can exist - either you or he. Duality is not possible there, because duality is conflict. And the experience of God is that of immense harmony.

That harmony can be achieved only if you allow yourself to be drowned in the flood that comes from all sides - of joy, of bliss, of ecstasy. The feel of dying in the flood of God is the most exquisite and the most sweet experience - the last, the highest, the greatest; there is nothing beyond it.

But it is not going to happen by just waiting. You will have to go inside your own being. He is present there always; he is your life, he is your all. You are just a small ray of light from that immense source.

So when you get drowned in him, it is just that the ray has returned back to the sun. One has come home.

If God is understood the way I am telling you.... And I am not a thinker; it is not my hypothesis, it is my experience. I have passed through that death and I have found that it appears to be death from one side, but from the other side it is resurrection. You disappear as a small creature and become a vast creativity. You don't lose anything and you gain everything.

But the organized religions don't want you to be aware of this fact, because their whole business depends on an outside God. Then the priest is needed, the temple is needed, the mosque is needed, the church is needed; then the HOLY BIBLE is needed, then some interpreters are needed, and then all the millions of priests around the world become your mediators with a fictitious God somewhere in the sky.

The Vatican pope has declared it a sin to confess directly to God; you have to confess to the priest.

And of course it has to be a catholic priest - only he is authorized to have a direct communication with God. You cannot pray directly, you cannot ask forgiveness directly.

Do you see the cunningness, the meanness, the whole strategy of exploitation? The priest becomes more important than God himself. On the one hand these people go on calling you children of God, and on the other, children cannot directly communicate with their father; a priest is needed as a mediator. The reality is, there is no God outside; it is the invention of the priest. And he has invented a great business. For centuries he has been exploiting men, whether they are Hindus or Mohammedans or Christians or Jews - it does not matter.

There is only one thing every religion insists: that a direct relationship with God is not possible. They don't give any reasons why. I have seen trees praying directly to God; the rivers and the mountains and the stars don't have any priests, the flowers and the birds don't have any priests. Do you think this whole existence except man is not related to God? It is more related to God than man. It is only man who has gone astray.

Have you ever heard in any religion, in any country, a story that God expelled a few trees out of the garden of Eden? Or a few animals, or a few birds? It is only man who is expelled. The story is significant. It simply means that the whole of existence is rooted in God. Only because man has a thinking mind, he has wandered far away. Mind is capable of wandering anywhere - you can be sitting here and your mind may be wandering somewhere in America or somewhere in Germany, or somewhere in Japan, or maybe on the moon.... There are all kinds of lunatics.

It is very rarely that you are here, very rare to be in the place where you are. Your mind is always wandering somewhere else. It is never here, it is never now. This wandering mind has taken you away from your own inner being. And this has become a great opportunity for exploitation. All over the world, like mushrooms, priests and religions and holy books have appeared.

There are three hundred religions in the world. They differ on every point except one point, and that is, the priest is an absolute necessity. Any intelligent person can see that these religions are not for you, these religions are for the priesthood. They are parasites - catholic parasites, protestant parasites, Hindu parasites, they come in all sizes and all shapes!

My effort here is to make you free from the chains of the priesthood. The moment you are free from the chains of the priesthood, you are no longer Christian, no longer Hindu, no longer Jew. You are simply and purely human beings. You have already come very close to your home; the priest was distracting you.

An ancient story says that the old devil is sitting under a tree, having his morning tea, and a young disciple comes running, very much disturbed. He says, "What are you doing? You are sitting here, drinking tea, and our whole business is in difficulty. One man on the earth has found the truth!"

The old guy laughed. He said, "You are too young, you don't know all the secrets. Don't be worried, my people have reached there." The young disciple could not believe his eyes, could not believe his ears. He said, "I am coming from there, I have not seen anyone of our people."

The old devil said, "There is no need to send our people. I have created the priests. And they are surrounding the man. Now they have become a wall between the man and the people. Whatever the man says, the priest will interprete it and distort it.

"Truth has been found many times," said the old devil, "but while priests exist, truth will be found and lost again, because the priests immediately start interpreting, making organized religions around the truth - churches, temples, mosques - and the truth is lost in their interpretations, in their commentaries.

"What commentaries can they make? They don't know the truth. Truth needs no commentary, it is pure experience. Either you know it or you don't know it. there is no third position. That's why I'm so much at ease. Just sit down and have a cup of tea."

The story is significant. Beware of the priests, beware of organized religions, beware of others telling you what is truth. Nobody can tell it to you. You will have to find it yourself.

And it is so close to you that you have not to go on a faraway journey. You have to go in silence, in profound peace, beyond words and beyond feelings, and suddenly you find the temple of consciousness. And as you enter into it you disappear.

Only God is. That is your authentic reality.

God is your very soul.

Question 2:





Gayan, Ikkyu is one of the most important Zen masters of Japan. There are many stories about him which can open new doors for you to contemplate and meditate. This is the first story about his childhood, when he was not a master yet but used to serve another master.

He was doing small little things for him. But a man who is going to become enlightened has from the very beginning a clarity, a sharpness and an intelligence that people with great effort cannot even attain in their old age.

This story is beautiful. Ikkyu was very clever as a boy. The man who is going to become enlightened is bringing with him from his past life almost ninety-nine percent of his enlightenment. Just a small part was left and death came over him. Such people die consciously. And because they die consciously they know that death is a reality only from the outside; as far as the inner experience is concerned, it is just a changing of the house. Life continues.

Even in the mother's womb the man who is going to become enlightened shows indications of intelligence. This seems unbelievable, but the Buddhists, the Jainas - two great authentic paths which have produced more enlightened people in the world than any other religion - both have this idea that when a child is in the mother's womb he gives indications that he is not an ordinary unconscious child.

Scriptures describe exactly how he gives indications: He gives certain dreams to the mother. He is one with the mother's body; he can project certain dreams.

And for thousands of years the East has been looking into the phenomenon of enlightenment. For example, the white elephant is a very rare quality. Perhaps not one of you has seen a white elephant - except in language. When you want to condemn something you say, "It is a white elephant, I don't want it. It is unnecessarily expensive." The child in the mother's womb, who is going to become enlightened in this life, gives her again and again the dream of a white elephant.

Upon that, the Buddhists agree, the Jainas agree - because they both have worked hard to find what kind of indications the conscious death of a person will bring to the mother into whose womb he has entered.

There are many other dreams upon which they have agreed - because they have been repeated so many times, and it has been only when the person was going to become enlightened. So it is not only cleverness, it is consciousness. I will not say it is just cleverness. Cleverness is ordinary; it is available to anybody. There are thousands of boys and girls who are clever.

Whoever has written the story, Gayan, has no idea of enlightenment; otherwise this word would not have been used. It shows consciousness, it shows awareness.

"His teacher had a precious teacup." Remember again, it is not said in the story that his Master had a precious teacup - because the esoteric traditions of all mystery schools make a distinction between the teacher and the master. The teacher simply teaches you philosophies, theologies - he transfers to you the knowledge that is contained in the scriptures - but he himself is not enlightened.

He is a knowledgeable person, a learned person. But it is not his own experience.

"His teacher had a precious teacup." In China, in Japan they have made it a great art. Just yesterday one of my sannyasins from Spain brought me a very precious Chinese teacup. It is antique; it was produced in the thirteenth century - very fragile, but very beautiful. To have lived so long with such fragileness - it is very thin.... And because the tea ceremony has become a religious phenomenon in China and Japan, all monasteries have beautiful tea ceremony temples - in the garden, surrounded by ponds, beautiful trees, birds, swans, peacocks.

And the tea ceremony is a religious phenomenon; it is not something mundane. The way you drink tea is a mundane thing. The way tea is served in a Zen monastery is sacred. And to transform the mundane into the sacred is a great art.

You have to leave your shoes outside. You sit inside in a circle, listening to the samoar making its sound, the boiling water, the birds singing outside, the breeze bringing fragrances of flowers.

Nothing is spoken; it is a meditation.

And the hostess will bring rare antique cups which may have existed for hundreds of years. They have survived so long because they are being taken with such respect and reverence in the hands.

And the tea is poured.... Then people don't just start drinking the tea. First they will smell the aroma, and then slowly, slowly, as if they are doing a prayer they will sip the tea. And because the cups and everything are sacred, they can survive for hundreds of years.

Our cups are far stronger, thicker, but are broken so soon. You cannot find in any other country cups a thousand years old, still in use and young and fresh. In silence the tea is sipped. And they all bow down - the hostess bows down to the guest. With care, with love they put their cups back. And slowly, slowly the guests depart. Not a single word is uttered, only gestures.

This is symbolic of a certain deep insight that if you want, your whole life can become a sacred phenomenon. If tea drinking can become sacred, then why should anything else remain mundane?

In the world, people who don't understand Zen... even making love is not sacred; it is something ugly, full of guilt, condemnation. People are loving each other because of a biological urge, not as a spiritual act of meeting with your beloved.

I have always thought, whenever I have come across any reference about the tea ceremony, that my people should create a love ceremony. It should not be a hit and run affair. You should have a temple, a love temple in your house, where nothing else is done. You go there only to play music, to dance, to sing, to burn incense. And love has not to be made deliberately. You are just listening to music and dancing and singing, and the whole room is full of fragrance, the incense. And if love happens spontaneously, not a cerebral thing that you have been thinking about... it is thinking that makes it ugly. If it is pure spontaneity it becomes the greatest prayer you can find in human life - the most precious meditation.

I call it a love ceremony.

Ikkyu happened to break this cup and was greatly perplexed. He was a small child, and those cups are very fragile. Hearing the footsteps of the teacher he held the pieces of the cup behind him.

When the master appeared, Ikkyu asked, "Why do people have to die?" This is not cleverness, this is great intelligence. Why do people have to die?

"This is natural," explained the older man. "Everything has to die and has just so long to live." Ikkyu, producing the shattered cup added, "It was time for your cup to die." He has made an accident into a profound experience. By bringing death into it, first he has stopped the mouth of the teacher - now he cannot say anything. If everything has its time and then it has to die, he has to accept that the precious cup has died.

But it is not just a story. Ikkyu, when he himself became a master, used to tell about this incident many times - that death is a natural phenomenon, that one should not be worried about it, and one should not be sad about it. Anything that one can be sad about is a life unlived.

You go on dragging yourself without living - that is unfortunate. You are vegetating; you are not singing the songs that you have come to sing, you are not dancing the dance that is lying in your potential, fast asleep; you are not bringing your intelligence to its highest peak.

You will be surprised that even our so-called great geniuses only use fifteen percent of their intelligence. Eighty-five percent of their intelligence remains unused. And this is about our great geniuses - talented people use nearabout ten percent, and the common masses use not more than seven percent. One wonders, if people were using their intelligence to its full, the world would be a totally different place - far more alive, far more rich, far more beautiful.

The only thing that one should be sad about is that you are not living, but just passing time. Death is not something to be sad about - if it comes to a fulfilled life, if it comes to a life as a crescendo, its climax, it has a beauty of its own.

I want my people to live totally, and to live intensely, to burn their life's torch from both ends together.

If they can manage to live a total and intense life in each of their acts, their death will be something of a greater beauty than their life has ever been - because death is the highest peak, the last touches of the painter on the painting. That's why I have been saying that death should be celebrated just as life should be celebrated. Both are natural, both are gifts.

Life is tiring; a time comes when you are spent. Death comes as a great help. It is nothing but relaxation, a deep relaxation. And it is not the end, it is only the beginning of a new life. If you think of it as an end, you will feel miserable - think of it as a beginning of a new life. Just a little difference of emphasis, and your whole experience changes its color, its beauty. Where there was sadness there will be joy, and where there were tears of misery, pain, anguish, there will be tears of fulfillment, contentment, blissfulness. The same tears with a new meaning, the same tears with a new music; the same death, but with a totally different taste.

When Ikkyu died himself, he collected all his disciples and asked them," Just tell me some new way of dying, because I am not interested in imitation. People die on their beds; I don't want to die on the bed." The bed is the most dangerous thing - 99.9 percent of people die there, beware! So whenever you go to bed, remember: This place is very close to the graveyard. His disciples knew that he was a crazy man - now, whoever has ever bothered about how one dies? People simply die....

Ikkyu asked, "Has somebody a suggestion?"

One man said, "You can die sitting in the lotus posture." Ikkyu said, "That is not new. Many other masters have died in that posture. Suggest something new, novel!"

One man said, "You can die standing." Ikkyu said, "That looks a little better." But a disciple objected; he said, "Although it is not well known, I know one Zen master who has died standing. So you will be number two." Ikkyu said, "Then reject it. Suggest something new. I want to be first!"

One of his disciples suggested, "Then there is only one way. You die standing on your head, in a head stand, shirshan. Nobody has ever tried it." Ikkyu said, "That is right. That suits me! I am so grateful to you." He stood on his head and died.

Now the disciples were in trouble. They knew what to do when somebody dies on a bed - that his clothes have to be changed, that he has to be given a bath, new clothes have to be put on him, and then he is taken to the funeral - but what to do with this man who is standing on his head? He has not even fallen, and he is dead!

They tried in every possible way to find out whether he was dead or alive. He was dead, but there was no precedent, so they didn't know what procedure should be followed.

Somebody said, "I know his elder sister, who is also a Zen mystic. She lives in a nearby monastery.

And he was always respectful to her. I will call her, perhaps she can say something. It is better to enquire before we do anything wrong."

The sister came, and she was very angry. She came and she said, "Ikkyu, you have been your whole life mischievous; at least in death, behave! Just lie down on the bed!" And Ikkyu jumped up and lay down on the bed and died. And the sister simply went out. She did not bother that he had died.

In the East it is not thought good to not follow the order of your elders, and particularly at such a moment. The disciples were amazed, because they had tried everything - the heart was not beating, the pulse was not there, they had moved a mirror in front of his nose, and there was no shadow of vapor. What had happened?

As the sister shouted at him, he immediately jumped, and just like an obedient child lay down on the bed and died! Even death is a game. And the sister did not even wait for the funeral.

To those who know that life is eternal, death means nothing. It is the death only of your physical body, not of your consciousness. And particularly a man like Ikkyu is not going to be reborn; he will not be again encaged in another body. He will be moving into the eternity, into the ocean of the consciousness of the whole existence. It is a moment of celebration.

Question 3:



Anand Shobha, you are saying, "I came here confused, not knowing who I am. For many days, sitting near you I have heard my heart asking and your voice answering. Every day you have heard my words and my questions. Now I sit in your presence, my heart is quieter, sometimes just a jump of joy, a desire to dance or to give you a hug, nothing else... no questions, no answers, no problems.

Am I sleeping again?"

No, Anand Shobha. You were sleeping before, when you were full of confusion, when you had no idea of who you are, when there were so many questions to be asked, so many answers to be received - that was the time of your sleep. As your heart became quieter, your awakening came closer.

Now you say, "Sometimes just a jump of joy, a desire to dance or to give you a hug, nothing else...

no questions, no answers, no problems."

You are blessed, because the confusion has gone, the clouds have disappeared and the sun is shining bright. When there are no questions and no problems you cannot be asleep; it happens only when you are alert and awake. So it is not that you are falling asleep. You were asleep, and you have come out of it.

Now rejoice, dance, sing as a gratitude to existence. What else can we do to show our gratitude?

Words are useless, because existence does not understand any language. It understands only your joy, your blissfulness, your ecstasy... not in words, but in your experiencing them.

So don't hold back. This is the only way and the only possibility, to dance so madly that the dancer disappears and only the dance remains. And existence will understand it. Sing so totally that the singer is not left behind, but is completely drowned in the song, becomes the song itself. And existence will understand it. Existence has its own existential language - this is the existential language.

I have heard about two generals, after the second world war, sitting in a restaurant in London. One was a German and the other was an Englishman. The German general was saying to the English general, "I cannot figure it out, why we got defeated in the second world war. We were more powerful, and we had been winning for five years continually. What went wrong?"

The English general laughed. He said, "Nothing went wrong, just one small thing you forgot. And that is, our British armies were always going to the field, to the front, after praying to God, 'Lord, give us victory.' The Lord was with us. Our prayers proved more powerful than all your power."

It was time for the German general to laugh. He said, "You must be stupid. Do you think we were not praying? We were also praying, and the Lord was with us continually for five years."

The English general said, "In what language were you praying?" The German said, "Of course in the German language."

The British general said, "That is the problem. God does not understand German! Except English, he does not understand any other language."

But this is the attitude of all the races, of all the countries of the world. Jews think God knows only Hebrew, Hindus think God knows only Sanskrit, and Mohammedans know that God knows only Arabic.

But I would like to tell you that God does not know any of these languages. These are all manufactured by man. God understands only that which he has made. He understands these birds and they are not speaking English, nor German. God understands even the silence of the trees, the fragrance of the flowers, the song of a river descending from the mountains, the eternal peace that reigns in the Himalayas. These are the languages that God understands.

You be silent, you be joyful, you sing a song, you become a dance. I am not saying dance, I am saying become a dance, and your prayer has reached to the farthest source of existence.

There was one Sufi mystic, Jabbar. The English word gibberish comes from Jabbar, because he used absolutely absurd language. It was not a language at all. He went on inventing any sound, any word, anything. Nobody could understand what he was saying. It was just like small children playing, when they start learning to speak - making any sounds - even the sound makes them happy. And many times his disciples said, "Why do you bother? You go on inventing sounds, words that do not exist in any language, in any dictionary...."

But mystics are mystics. He never changed his idea. People used to think that soon nobody would come to listen to him. But they were amazed, he had more disciples than any other contemporary mystic. And people were puzzled: what is happening?

What was happening was something really great. Listening to Jabbar, your mind had nothing to do. You could not interpret, you could not say, "It is right, it is wrong." You didn't know what it was.

Naturally, listening to him your mind stopped - that this man is mad and you cannot figure it out, what it is. No comma, no semicolon, no full stop; he simply went on and on. He must have been very inventive.

And he enjoyed it very much. He would laugh as if he had been telling a joke, and again he would start. The gathering of his disciples increased, because just sitting near him, listening to his gibberish, their minds became silent. And that was the purpose, that was his device. And when their minds became silent, they were in meditation.

The moment the mind becomes silent, your whole consciousness is clean, pure. And that cleanliness, that pureness is your godliness. Many more people have understood God through Jabbar's gibberish than through great learned scholars. I have never heard that anybody has experienced God by great learning.

But Jabbar must have been a very unique man. It is very unfortunate that there was no way of recording in those days; otherwise whatever he was saying could have become one of the holiest scriptures. Nobody would have been able to understand it - but you don't have to understand anything, you have just to be silent, you have just to be absent.

So any way, either singing or dancing, whatever makes you absent, immediately you will be filled with God's presence. Suddenly you will become aware of your own inner light.

The last words of Gautam Buddha were, appo deepo bhavo: Be a light unto yourself. And those words were said to his chief disciple, Ananda, who had been with him for forty-two years, just like a shadow, non-stop, day out, day in. But he had not become enlightened. And many others who had come afterwards had become enlightened.

So he was crying, sitting by the side of Buddha, saying, "You are leaving us." Buddha declared, "I am going to die today. As the sun sets, I will withdraw my consciousness from my body and dissolve into the universal."

Ananda burst into tears. He said, "What will happen to me? I have been with you for forty-two years and I am yet unenlightened; and now you are going. And you are going forever, you are not going to return in any other body, so there is no question of meeting you again."

Buddha said, "That is the barrier. You think I can make you enlightened - that's why these forty-two years have gone by and you have not attained. Perhaps after my death, within twenty-four hours you may become enlightened. For these forty-two years there was a hope that I would do something.

Nobody can do anything. Be a light unto yourself."

Those were his last words. As he died, Ananda did not move from the place, and within exactly twenty-four hours he became enlightened. He could have become enlightened any day. Those forty-two years he was hoping that as he was the chief disciple of Gautam Buddha, he need not do anything.

But the death of Buddha came as such a shock that his whole mind stopped. The other disciples were worried that he may go mad. He had loved Gautam Buddha so much, and he was an elder cousin-brother to Gautam Buddha. And he had followed him, serving him... he may go mad. And the way he was sitting - almost frozen, like a statue. They thought that it was intolerable for him to see Gautam Buddha dead.

But what had actually happened was, Ananda had not gone mad, Ananda had also died with Gautam Buddha. His mind stopped the moment Buddha stopped breathing.

In this nothingness, in this silence, he became aware of what Buddha had said as his last message.

He saw his own inner flame, his own inner light. And after twenty-four hours, the first thing he did was, he laughed.

Somebody asked, "Why are you laughing?" He said, "I am laughing because I was waiting for Gautam Buddha to do something, and the thing I was waiting for had been always inside me. I could have turned inwards any moment and it was mine."

Anand Shoba, this is a blissful moment for you. Don't hold back. Be total in your dance, be total in your joy, be total in your blissfulness. It is the moment of awakening. It is your dawn.

Okay, Vimal?

Yes, Osho.

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