Tearing down, breaking up

From:
Osho
Date:
Fri, Date: Fri, 28 June 1988 00:00:00 GMT
Book Title:
The Language of Existence
Chapter #:
2
Location:
pm in Gautam the Buddha Auditorium
Archive Code:
N.A.
Short Title:
N.A.
Audio Available:
N.A.
Video Available:
N.A.
Length:
N.A.

BELOVED OSHO,

A MONK ONCE ASKED UMMON, "WHEN NOT A THOUGHT ARISES, CAN THERE BE ANYTHING WRONG?"

UMMON REPLIED, "MOUNT SUMERU!"

ANOTHER MONK ASKED UMMON, "WHEN ALL MENTAL ACTIVITY IS AT AN END, HOW IS IT?"

UMMON SAID, "BRING THE BUDDHA HALL HERE, AND WE'LL WEIGH IT TOGETHER!"

THE MONK SAID, "AREN'T YOU GETTING AWAY FROM THE POINT?"

UMMON EXCLAIMED, "KWATZ!" AND THEN SAID, "YOU PLUNDERER OF VACUITY!"

ON ANOTHER OCCASION, UMMON WAS ASKED, "HOW ABOUT WHEN THE WORD IS UTTERED THAT EXPRESSES ALL THINGS?"

UMMON SAID, "TEARING DOWN, BREAKING UP."

Maneesha, you have heard a tremendously meaningful statement: TEARING DOWN, BREAKING UP.

I will go through your whole anecdote but I'm bringing the conclusion first, because it is the very essence of Zen. It tears down everything that you think you are. It breaks up everything that you think you are. It shatters everything that you have ever thought to be identified with and then what is left ...

Just a pure silence, a nobody.

To find this nobodiness is the ultimate peak of experience, of existence.

A MONK ONCE ASKED UMMON - Ummon being one of the great masters - "WHEN NOT A THOUGHT ARISES, CAN THERE BE ANYTHING WRONG?"

The question is absolutely absurd, because if no thought arises how can there be anything right or wrong? They are both thoughts.

When no thought arises you simply are.

The sky is without any clouds.

But just like all intellectuals of the world, the questioner is asking without understanding, without experiencing. The question is coming out of intellect, not out of inner experience. Out of inner experience such a question cannot arise.

When there is no thought, nothing arises - neither good nor bad, neither right nor wrong. One simply rejoices in oneself. But because he has asked, UMMON REPLIED, "MOUNT SUMERU!"

I will have to explain to you ... Mount Sumeru is a mythological mountain in paradise. It is all gold.

Our Himalaya is nothing in comparison to it; it is millions of times bigger, just pure gold. It is a mythology, it is not a fact. But the mythology has a certain meaning, that's why Ummon replied, "When there is not a single thought, you have entered into paradise. You will be facing Mount Sumeru, the golden peaks spread from end to end over the whole universe."

Mount Sumeru is accepted by Buddhist mythology, Hindu mythology, Jaina mythology - all the three religions born in this country have accepted the story of Mount Sumeru. It will be good for you to understand what is the purpose of Mount Sumeru. The purpose is that only chakravartins - and a chakravartin is an emperor who has conquered the whole world - are allowed to sign their names on Mount Sumeru when they enter into paradise.

One great emperor died with a great desire, because there is nothing greater than signing your signature on Mount Sumeru. It was the tradition of those times that the wife of a man who died would commit sati, and the kings used to have many wives, not just one. All the wives had to commit sati - sometimes a hundred women, sometimes five hundred women. Krishna had sixteen thousand women! So it was a massacre; whenever an emperor died, hundreds of living women ....

When this emperor reached the gates of heaven with his hundreds of wives who had died with him on the funeral pyre, the gatekeeper said to him, "You take these instruments and sign on Sumeru, but don't take anybody else with you."

The emperor said, "These are all my wives, and what is the point of signing on Sumeru if there is nobody even as a witness? I want all my wives to be with me to see it."

The gatekeeper laughed and he said, "I have been here ... for generations we have been the gatekeepers. Before me, my father and before him, his father ... as long as existence, our family has been on this gate. And everyone on this gate has given the same advice that I'm giving to you. You will be thankful for it. If you insist, I will allow - but then don't be offended."

The emperor could not understand, but perhaps the gatekeeper knows more about things ... He went alone and was simply amazed at the gatekeeper's compassion. Because he could not find a small place anywhere on Mount Sumeru to make his signature. All over there were signatures and signatures and signatures.

The meaning is clear: "You are not the only one. Millions of emperors have passed before you."

He said to the gatekeeper, who was with him, "This is very humiliating. I used to think I would be the only emperor who is going to sign. And this whole mountain, miles and miles ... there is no space for a signature!"

The gatekeeper said, "Do one thing - another advice that we have been giving since my ancestors.

Here is the instrument. Remove somebody's name and put your name. And this is not new; this has been happening for centuries as far as I know, my father knew, my father's father knew. You have to remove somebody's name and create space for your signature."

The emperor said, "But that takes all the joy out of it. Somebody will come and remove my name."

The gatekeeper said, "That, of course, is going to happen. It is up to you."

This is the failure of success. Ultimate success brings ultimate failure. And this story may be not a fact; the Sumeru Mountain range does not exist anywhere, but all these three religions have accepted it for the simple reason to show you: Don't run after the ego. Your ego can take you at the most to the Sumeru Mountains; and then you will see you have wasted your whole life, just to remove somebody's name. What is the joy of being the greatest celebrity in the world?

One great philosopher, Rousseau, wrote in his autobiography that, "When I was not known to anybody, I was hankering to be known to the whole world. That was the only desire and the only dream, to be known by the whole world. I never thought of what I was going to do then. And now that I have become world famous it is such a failure. I am so ashamed that now I want to hide from people, because they gather everywhere, wherever I go. I am not left even for a single moment without a crowd. I have to hide in my own house. In this house I used to dream about becoming a famous celebrity, and now I have become famous and my eyes are filled with tears at my stupidity.

I wasted my whole life in becoming famous and now I am trying to hide from the same people I wanted to be known to."

Ummon's reply simply means that if thinking ceases and you are still asking for something, then you are only asking for a dream, a golden dream, a paradise, a Sumeru Mountain. The fact is, the moment thought ceases, you disappear too.

And in that disappearance you can hear the solitary cuckoo, the birds chirping, the great silence raining on you with great blessings.

You don't need any Sumeru Mountain.

Listen to the cuckoo ... particularly because this series is dedicated to a solitary bird, a cuckoo in the forest.

ANOTHER MONK ASKED UMMON, "WHEN ALL MENTAL ACTIVITY IS AT AN END, HOW IS IT?"

The same question, asked by millions of people down the centuries. Rather than entering into yourself and finding the silent space, people have been intellectualizing, philosophizing. It is certain that this monk who is asking Ummon, "WHEN ALL MENTAL ACTIVITY IS AT AN END, HOW IS IT?"

is a stupid intellectual - as all intellectuals are stupid. When all mental activity has ceased, there is just pure space, a peace that passeth understanding.

UMMON SAID, "BRING THE BUDDHA HALL HERE, AND WE WILL WEIGH IT TOGETHER!"

The Buddha Hall is in every Zen monastery, where the monks gather to hear the master. Ummon must be sitting in the garden under some tree by the side of some lake. He said, "Before I can answer, it is better to bring the Buddha Hall here, so that the whole assembly of the Buddha Hall together can weigh what remains when mind ceases."

THE MONK SAID, "AREN'T YOU GETTING AWAY FROM THE POINT?" Bringing the Buddha Hall ... "You are asking something impossible! And I have asked a simple question - what is the need of the whole assembly? Between two of us, we can weigh what remains after there is no mental activity."

UMMON EXCLAIMED, "KWATZ!"

KWATZ! is a Zen stick. When the master has not the stick with him, this is a substitute for it. He shouts, "Kwatz!" With that shout he is hitting you to understand a simple thing:

No question, no answer ... just be.

But the poor monk seems to have not understood. The masters have been shouting from mountaintops and the questioners, curious, are still deep down in the dark valleys - almost deaf and blind, they can neither see nor hear.

UMMON SAID, "YOU PLUNDERER OF VACUITY!"

ON ANOTHER OCCASION, UMMON WAS ASKED, "HOW ABOUT WHEN THE WORD IS UTTERED THAT EXPRESSES ALL THINGS?"

UMMON SAID, "TEARING DOWN, BREAKING UP."

KWATZ! It is a sound, found by Zen, that shatters your mind. At least for a moment you simply remain silent, amazed. Because it is not language. You have not expected it. But it shatters you and that is the whole purpose of a master - to destroy the disciple so that the disciple himself can rise as a master of himself. Only pseudo masters go on forcing disciplehood on people. The authentic ones initiate you just in order to destroy you, because unless you are destroyed you will never be your real self. You will always remain a persona, a personality.

Persona is the root from where the word 'personality' comes. In Greek drama the persona was used.

It was a mask. You can hear the sound, but you cannot see the face of who is behind it. You can see that in the root, sona is sound. So you hear the sound but you don't see the face.

Out of that has come the word 'personality'. It means you see people hiding behind all kinds of garbage. Somebody thinks he is the president of his country. Somebody thinks he is the prime minister. Somebody thinks, "I'm the most beautiful person." But all the presidentship withers away, the premiership is wavering just like a bamboo in a strong wind, ready to fall any moment. And the beauty of today will be tomorrow just a faded painting.

Personality is not you.

That which changes with time is not you. Hence, remember the distinction between personality and individuality. Individuality is your real, authentic being, not given to you by anyone. You have been it forever and you will be it forever. Everything can be thrown away - TEARING DOWN, BREAKING UP - still you are, as a consciousness. There will be no I, no ego, but a beautiful awareness. And this is the great experience that makes someone a buddha.

In this very moment, you all are buddhas. But what to do? You go on forgetting.

But I am also very adamant, I will go on reminding you. You can escape but I will follow. I will come into your dreams, I will haunt you wherever you are. Because once I have taken you into the field of my love, you can be anywhere; my work on you continues. And my work is to cut out of your block of marble a Gautam Buddha.

Koko wrote:

THE WORD AT LAST,

NO MORE DEPENDENCIES:

COLD MOON IN POND,

SMOKE OVER THE FERRY.

He's just giving expression to the inexpressible.

THE WORD AT LAST - that is what he is saying about Ummon's statement, "Tearing down, breaking up." THE WORD AT LAST. Ummon has said it.

NO MORE DEPENDENCIES:

COLD MOON IN POND,

SMOKE OVER THE FERRY.

Even the most beautiful words indicating the experience are nothing but a reflection of the moon in the cold water of a lake, or smoke over the ferry.

Fumon commented:

MAGNIFICENT! MAGNIFICENT!

NO ONE KNOWS THE FINAL WORD.

THE OCEAN BED'S AFLAME,

OUT OF THE VOID LEAP WOODEN LAMBS.

This has been a tradition in Zen, not to speak in prose but to speak in poetry if at all you decide to speak. Because poetry comes closer to the experience than prose.

Maneesha has asked a question:

IS THERE A WORD IN THE END?

Maneesha, neither is there a word in the beginning nor in the end. It is always silence, eternal silence. Words are very small, they cannot contain it.

Question 1:

She has asked:

I HAVE UNDERSTOOD YOU TO SAY THAT IN THE BEGINNING WAS NOT THE WORD, BUT SILENCE. IS NOT SILENCE THE BEGINNING, THE END, AND THE CONTINUUM BETWEEN BEGINNING AND END?

Yes, a thousand times yes. I have been speaking about the Bible, which says, "In the beginning, there was the word." Now that is sheer nonsense. How can the word be of itself? Somebody has to utter it. And what is a word if there is nobody to understand it? It becomes just a sound. But what is a sound if there is nobody to hear it?

Certainly the Bible is wrong. In the beginning was silence, in the middle it is silence, in the end it is silence.

Silence is the very soul of existence.

Before we enter the silence, because it is an arduous journey to be in your very innermost core - arduous and unknown and forgotten - a few laughs will prepare you. I am using laughter to create a preparation for you to dive deep into silence. After laughter, it is simpler.

Ace psychiatrist, Dr. Feelgood, is waiting impatiently for the first patient of the day. Then in walks a beautiful young brunette.

Feelgood suddenly pounces on her, rips off her clothes and makes wild, passionate love to her.

When he is finished, he stands up and says, "So, that takes care of my problem - now, what is yours?"

"Our great athlete, Ivan Ivanovitch," says the Russian radio announcer, "has just smashed all existing records for the two-hundred-yard dash, the high jump, the long jump, the mile run, the five-mile run, and the marathon. He overcame a blizzard, a range of mountains and complete lack of water.

Unfortunately, our great athlete's performance was in vain. He was captured and brought back to Russia!"

Kowalski is not feeling well, so he goes to visit Dr. Bones. Bones gives him an examination, makes a few tests and then says, "Mr. Kowalski, you are a very sick man. In fact I would say that you have only two weeks to live."

"I see," says the Polack. "Is it okay with you, Doc, if I take the last two weeks of July?"

Whenever Ronald Reagan gives a speech, his wife Nancy is always sitting nearby. And always, just as Ronald stands up to speak, Nancy passes him a small note.

Everyone is curious to know what is written on the note, but no one dares to ask. Then one day, the note falls out of Reagan's pocket, and Ed Meese picks it up. He sees that only one word is written on it, "KISS."

"That is amazing," says Meese. "You have been married for forty years, and still Nancy sends you a kiss before every speech you make."

"You don't know Nancy," snaps Reagan. "That message does not says 'Kiss,' it says 'K-I-S-S,' which means, 'Keep it short, stupid.'" Now, Nivedano give the beat and everybody goes into gibberish, making any sound, any craziness ... just throw it out. Clean your mind.

Give the beat.

(Drumbeat)

(Gibberish)

Nivedano ...

(Drumbeat)

Everybody becomes absolutely silent.

No movement, be frozen.

Close your eyes and go in.

This silence ... and who cares for the Sumeru Mountains?

This silence ... and who cares for any paradise?

This singing and dancing moment in the deepest being, the eternal silence.

No birth, no death.

The whole secret in your hands.

To catch hold of this silence ... Nivedano ...

(Drumbeat)

Everybody dies.

Die totally, at least.

Let the body breathe, let the heart beat ...

You just go in.

This is the Way of the Bird, this is the song of the solitary cuckoo.

This benediction is the only religion.

Remember it every moment of your life.

In every action this silence should remain as an undercurrent.

Nivedano ...

(Drumbeat)

Come back rejuvenated, more alert, more conscious, more integrated, more individual.

Just a glory unto yourself.

Love yourself.

You are a unique splendor.

Be thankful and grateful to existence.

Okay, Maneesha?

Yes, Osho.

Can we celebrate?

Yes!

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From Jewish "scriptures":

Abodah Zarah 36b. Gentile girls are in a state of niddah (filth)
from birth.