Author: Osho

Osho

On Guru Nanak Dev
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On Guru Nanak Dev

Philosophy is a game for people who are not thirsty. Religion is the journey of those who are thirsty. Therefore philosophy plays with words; not so religion. Religion takes cognizance of the hints the words give and follows them. When the quest is for the lake, what can the word lake do? When the search is for life, the word life alone sounds hollow. Let us understand a little about a profound question facing the philosopher. A tourist comes to India and he is given a map of India. What is the relationship between India and the map? If the map is the same as India then it must be as vast. If it is exactly like India, it would be useless, because you couldn’t carry it in your car, much less put it in your pocket. If it is not like India, how can it still be useful? The map is a symbol. It is not like India and yet by means of its lines, it conveys useful information about India. You may roam the whole of India without ever seeing a map of India. Wherever you go you will find India; the map is nowhere to be seen. But if you have the map with you and understand it and use it, the journey will be made easier. By either keeping the map in your pocket, or by looking at the map and never leaving your room, you will not learn a great deal. Both together make for the fullest understanding of the experience. Religious people the world over hold the maps to their chests as if the maps were the actuality, the totality. Scriptures, holy books, images, temples — all contain hidden pointers that keep the maps from being just a burden. The Hindu is carrying his load of maps, the Mohammedan his, the Christian his. The maps have become so numerous that the journey is now almost impossible, so weighted down are you by maps. The maps should be short, abridged, and they are not to be worshipped in themselves, but to be utilized on the journey. Nanak drew his essentials from both the Hindu and the Mohammedan religions. He cannot be called Hindu nor Mohammedan; he is both or neither. It was very difficult for people to understand Nanak. There was a saying: “Baba Nanak is the king of the fakirs. He is the guru of the Hindus and the saint of the Mohammedans.” He is both. Of his two special disciples, Mardana and Bala, one was Hindu and the other a Mohammedan. Yet Nanak has no place in the Hindu temple or in the Mohammedan mosque. Both doubt his position and do not know where to place him. Nanak is the confluence of the two rivers, of Hinduism and Islam. He harvested the essence from both. Therefore the Sikh is neither Hindu nor Mohammedan; they must be both or none since their religion arises out of their junction. Now it is difficult to understand this confluence; when there is a river on the map it is clear-cut, but here two rivers have become one. Some words relate to Islam while others reflect Hinduism, and together they became hazy, but gradually the fog clears when you enter into the experience. If you keep Nanak’s words on your chest as you do other scriptures, it becomes like any other holy book — and we do find the Sikh worshipping his words as if they were the guru. Is it not astonishing how we repeat our mistakes? Nanak went to Mecca. The priests there told him to be careful not to point his feet toward Kaaba while he slept. As the story goes, Nanak’s reply was that they should turn his feet where God was not, and, it is said, the holy stone of Mecca turned wherever they turned his feet. The symbolism means only this: wherever you turn your feet, there God is. Where will you put your feet if He is omnipresent? I was invited to the Golden Temple at Amritsar. When I went they stopped me at the entrance saying I must cover my head before entering the place of God. I reminded them of the incident with Nanak at Kaaba and asked them, “Does it mean that right here where I stand with my head uncovered, there is no God, no temple?” We keep on repeating our mistakes. I further asked, “Then please show me a place where I can be without a head-covering. And don’t you remove your turbans while bathing, and while sleeping? Then isn’t that also an affront to the Lord?” Man’s foolishness is the same everywhere. Whatever Buddha says, his followers paint with their own brush to suit them. And so also with Nanak. The same web is woven once a master has pronounced his words, because man’s foolishness has not changed, nor has his deafness improved. He hears, but he draws his own individual conclusions which he then follows accordingly, never putting into practice what he actually hears. Nanak says, no matter how many songs are sung about the Lord, nobody has covered it completely. Different people sing different songs because there are many paths to reach Him. However antithetical their songs may seem there is no contradiction anywhere because they all contain the same message. The Vedas say exactly what the Koran says, but the method by which Mohammed reached is different from Patanjali’s approach. Buddha also says the same thing but his method is entirely different. Infinite are the gates to His abode. Whichever way you go leads to His gate. Once arrived you can begin to define the gate through which you entered, and describe the path you have trodden. Another person will likewise describe his own door and his road. Besides, it is not only the path that differs, but your understanding, your perception, your emotional attitude all play a significant part. When a poet enters a garden, he sings in ecstasy; an artist would paint a picture; if a flower-merchant comes along, he will think in terms of sale and profit; a scientist will analyze the flowers or soil to find out their chemical composition and why they grow; a drunk will be oblivious to the beauty around him, he will not even know that he went through a garden. Whatever you see passes through the windows of your own eyes which impose their own color on everything. Says Nanak: Some sing the praise of His power — He is all powerful, omnipotent. Some sing of His benefaction and munificence — He is the supreme giver. Some sing of the glory of His attributes, His beauty — He is the most beautiful. Some call Him Truth, some call Him Shiva, some call Him the beautiful.” Rabindranath has written: “I found Him in beauty.” This says nothing of God; rather, it tells of Rabindranath. Gandhi says: “For me, He is truth — truth is God.” This speaks of Gandhi rather than of God. Rabindranath is a poet; for a poet God resides in beauty, supreme beauty. Gandhi was no poet, he is practical, and it is natural that such a mind sees God as truth. From the point of a lover — He is the beloved. How we see Him reflects our insight. He is everything simultaneously and also — none of these. In this context Mahavira’s reflection is wonderful. He says, “Unless and until your sense of vision drops, you cannot know Him.” For whatever you will know, you will know through your own seeing; it will be your view of knowing. Mahavira calls his method no-view. Seeing only occurs when all vision drops. But then you will lapse into silence, because how will you speak without a viewpoint? When you are freed of your vision, you will become like Him; because you will be so extensive, so comprehensive, you will be one with the open skies. How will you speak? You will no longer be separate unto yourself, but one with the absolute. A viewpoint means that you stand apart from what you see; to have a viewpoint means that you are separate from Him. Therefore Nanak says that all the viewpoints are correct but none is complete; when the partial is proclaimed as complete and perfect, the illusions begin. Any sect or organization claims one particular incomplete vision as perfect. One sect stands against another, whereas all sects are different aspects of religion, and no one sect is a religion. If we were to amalgamate all possible sects that have been, that are and that will be, then religion would be born. No sect on its own can be called religion. The word for sect in Hindi, sampradaya, also means the path, that which takes you to the goal; whereas religion, dharma, means the destination. The destination is one, the paths, many.   Our deepest gratitude to Osho
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Katha

A Borrowed Light

There is a very famous zen story about a disciple who had come to see his master. The master lives on a hilltop in a dense forest. It is evening, the sun is setting, and the disciple thinks many times to leave the master and go back because he has to pass through miles of forest and hilly track to reach his village. But the presence of the master is so enchanting that he cannot gather courage to leave him, so he lingers on. And when it is almost midnight, the master says, ‘Now it is time — you should go.’ He looks outside — it is dark, there is no moon, so he hesitates. To pass through the woods on such a dark night is dangerous. Seeing that the disciple is apprehensive, the master asks, ‘What is the problem? Why are you afraid?’ The disciple says, ‘Master, it is so dark outside and there is no moon in the sky. I feel afraid.’ So the master takes a candle, lights it and gives it to him, and says, ‘You can take this candle with you.’ When the disciple is about to go out of the door, the master blows the candle out. Suddenly there is darkness, darker than before, and silence. The disciple says, ‘Master, I don’t understand.’ And the master says, ‘There is no need to understand. Be a light unto yourself. My light is not going to help you. A borrowed light is not going to help you. You will have to find your own light. The night is dark, life is dark and there is danger and risk at every step.’ Suddenly something dawned on the disciple at that moment— his first satori. The disciple said, ‘Master, now I don’t understand at all. First it was possible for me to make some effort to understand, but now I don’t understand at all!’ The master laughs, and in the dark night the laughter spreads all over the hilly track and the master says, ‘Now there is absolutely no need. I see that something has happened. I understand what has happened, but I cannot say it to you. I know you cannot understand it but when it happens next time, you will understand. ‘But remember, once you understand it, it will be a dead thing; then throw it away. When you understand a thing, it becomes knowledge. When you don’t understand, it remains learning; in learning, there is an opening..’ The Great Nothing: A Darshan Diary With gratitude to Osho For more stories from Osho
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Katha

Yayati And God Of Death

There is a beautiful story, a great parable, in the Upanishads: One of the great kings, Yayati, was dying. He was a hundred years old, ripe enough to die — one should be ready by that time — but not grown-up enough; the seed of renewing life was not yet burnt. So when death came, Yayati fell at the feet of Death — a great king, a great conqueror! — and he said to Death, “Spare me only one hundred years more. I don’t ask for more, just one hundred years more. And it is nothing for you, you can do it. All my desires are still unfulfilled because I had never thought about you. I was simply preparing and preparing. I have not enjoyed my life. Now that everything is ready — I have conquered the whole world, I have all the riches, the most beautiful women, the most intelligent and courageous sons, the best army in the world, everything is settled, all enemies killed — I was just thinking to relax and enjoy. Is this the time to come? All these hundred years have been spent simply in preparing for these moments. Spare me just one hundred years more so that I can live to my heart’s content.” Death laughed and said, “I am ready to spare one hundred years more to you, but I will have to take one of your sons because I have to go with somebody who resembles you; if not you, at least one of your sons. I can’t go empty-handed, I have to give the account to my boss himself. He will ask, ‘Where is Yayati?’ What am I going to say? Such a thing has never been done before, but I feel sorry for you. Just ask one of your sons.” Yayati had a hundred sons; he must have had a hundred wives too. He asked his sons. The oldest was eighty, but he started looking downwards, was not ready to say yes. Why should he? He had lived only eighty years; if his father is not contented with a hundred years, how can he be contented with only eighty years? At least twenty years more he is entitled to live. In those days, the story says, people used to live a hundred years. Why should he die a premature death, an untimely death? And this old fellow has lived enough! He did not want to hurt the old man so he didn’t say anything, he kept quiet. The father was very much shocked; he used to think that his sons were ready to sacrifice themselves. But in this world nobody is ready to sacrifice himself for anybody else. He looked around. His sons also started looking at each other, meaning “Why don’t YOU go?” The youngest, who was only twenty years old, stood up and he said, “I am ready. Take me with you, I am coming with you.” Even Death felt sorry for the boy. Death came close to the young man and said, “Are you a fool or something? Your other brothers — one is eighty, one is seventy-five, one is seventy, sixty, sixty-five, fifty — these people are not ready to go and you are the youngest, you have not lived at all. Why are you ready to go?” The young man said, “If my father could not live in a hundred years, if my eldest brother could not live in eighty years, if my other brothers… nobody has been able to live, then the whole project is nonsense. I don’t want to waste time. If I have to die it is better to die now. Why wait for eighty years? If THESE people have not been able to manage, it is absolutely certain it is unmanageable. And let my father try a hundred years more.” Death tried to convince him, but he wouldn’t listen. Death had to take him away. After a hundred years, Death came back and the situation was the same. Again Yayati fell at his feet and started crying and weeping and he said, “I know that now I should be ready, but nothing is fulfilled yet; all the desires are the same. I have LIVED all the desires, I cannot say that I have not lived them, but nothing is fulfilled. I want more! Now that I have lived a hundred years a new desire has arisen — I want more! I want to live at least one time more, a hundred years more, just one time more.” And this went on happening again and again. When Yayati became one thousand years old and Death came, he was just going to fall at his feet. Death said, “Wait — enough is enough! Can’t you see the point, Yayati? Are you so blind? You have lived one thousand years, and you have been doing the same things again and again. You have done nothing new in these one thousand years, and still you want more? Can’t you see the simple point that mind lives in the more, it goes on asking for more? There is no end to it. Now you come with me — I am not going to listen anymore. Now even my boss is feeling angry with me. He says, ‘This is too much! This man has been given too much time.’ But I also wanted to try — let us see what you can make out of one thousand years. You have not made any progress, you are exactly in the same place, going in circles.” Osho – Dhammapada : The way of the Buddha With gratitude to Osho For more stories from Osho
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Katha

Temple In a Brothel

The great mystic, Rabia of Basra, was immensely beautiful. And a beauty not of this world. Once a rich young man from Iran comes to Basra. He asks people, “Is there anything that is out of the way, something special here?” “Yes,” they all tell him. “We have the most beautiful woman of the world!” The young man naturally becomes interested and he asks, “Where can I find her?” And they all laugh and say, “Well, where else?… in a brothel!” That repulses the rich young man, but finally he decides to go. And when he gets there, the matron asks for an exorbitant fee. He pays the fee and is ushered in. There, in a silent and simple room, a figure is praying. What beauty she has! He has never seen such beauty and grace, not even in his dreams. Just to be there is a benediction, and the prayerful atmosphere starts affecting him. He forgets about his passion. He is entering into another kind of space. He is drugged. He is turned on to God. An hour passes and he intensely feels he is in a temple! Oh, such joy and such purity! He goes on feasting on her beauty. But it is no more the beauty of a human being – it is God’s beauty. It no more has anything to do with the body – it is utterly other-worldly. And then Rabia opens her eyes, those lotus eyes, and he looks into them, and there is no woman in front of him – he is facing God. And this way the whole night passes, as if it were only a moment. The sun is rising and its rays are coming through the windows, and he feels it is time to go. He says to Rabia, “I am your slave. Tell me anything, anything in the world that I can do for you.” She says, “I have only one little request.” He asks, “What is it?” Rabia says, “Never tell anybody what you have seen and experienced here. Allow the people to come to me – this beauty is nothing but a trap set for them. I use it as a door for them to enter God. Please, promise me that you will never tell others what you have experienced here tonight. Let them come to a whore and a brothel, because otherwise they will never come to me.” “Oh!” he says, “So this is the secret of this city. The whole city clamours after your beauty, yet nobody tells me about his experience.” Rabia laughs and says, “Yes, I extract the promise, this promise, from all of them.” Rabia used her beauty as a trap. Buddha used his words as a trap. Krishna used his flute as a trap. Meera used her dance as a trap. Osho: Walk Without Feet, Fly Without Wings and Think Without Mind With gratitude to Osho For more stories from Osho
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Footsteps Of The Thoughts
Katha

Footsteps Of The Thoughts

I am reminded of one of the most beautiful stories that I have come across in my life. A king in Japan sends his son to a mystic, to a master, to learn awareness. The king was old. And he said to the son, “Put your total energy into it because unless you are aware, you are not going to succeed me. I will not give this kingdom to a man who is asleep and unconscious. It is not a question of father and son. My father has given it to me only when I attained awareness. I was not the right person, because I was not his eldest son, I was his youngest son. But my other two brothers, who were older than me, could not attain. “The same is going to happen to you. And the problem is even more complicated because I have only one son: if you do not attain to awareness, the kingdom is going into somebody else’s hands. You will be a beggar on the streets. So it is a question of life and death for you. Go to this man; he has been my master. Now he is very old, but I know that if anybody can teach you, he is the man. Tell him, `My father is sick, old, can die any day. Time is short, and I have to become fully aware before he dies; otherwise I lose the kingdom.’” A very symbolic story too: If you are not aware, you lose the kingdom. The king’s son went to the old master in the mountains. He said to the master, “I have been sent by your disciple, the king.” The master was very old, older than his father. He said, “I remember that man. He was really an authentic seeker. I hope you will prove to be of the same quality, of the same genius, of the same totality, of the same intensity.” The young prince said, “I will do everything.” The master said, “Then start cleaning in the commune. And remember one thing — that I will be hitting you at any time. You may be cleaning the floor and I may come from the back and hit you with my stick, so be alert.” He said, “But I have come to learn about awareness….” The master said, “This is how you will learn.” One year passed. In the beginning he was getting so many hits every day, but slowly slowly he started becoming aware. Even the footsteps of the old man… he might be doing anything — howsoever absorbed in the work, he would become immediately aware that the master was around. The prince would be ready. After one year the master hit him from the back while he was deeply involved in talking with another inmate of the ashram. But the prince continued to talk, and still he caught hold of the stick before the stick could reach his body. The master said, “That’s right. Now this is the end of the first lesson. The second lesson begins tonight.” The prince said, “I used to think that this was all. This is only the first lesson? How many lessons are there?” The old man said, “It depends on you. The second lesson is that now I will be hitting you while you are asleep, and you have to be alert in your sleep.” He said, “My God. How can one be alert in sleep?” The old man said, “Don’t be worried. Thousands of my disciples have passed through the test. Your father has passed through the test. It is not impossible. It is difficult, but it is a challenge.” And from that night he was getting hit six times, eight times, twelve times in the night. Sleep was difficult. But within six months he started feeling inside himself a certain awareness. And one day when the master was just going to hit him, with closed eyes he said — “Don’t bother. You are too old. It hurts me; you are taking so much trouble. I am young, I can survive these hits.” The master said, “You are blessed. You have passed the second lesson. But up to now I have been hitting with my wooden staff. The third lesson is that now I will start hitting, from tomorrow morning, with a real sword. Be alert! Just a moment of unconsciousness and you are finished.” Early in the morning the master used to sit in the garden, just listening to the birds singing… the flowers opening, the sun rising. The prince thought, “Now it is becoming dangerous! A wooden stick was hard, difficult, but it was not going to kill me. A real sword….” He was a swordsman but he was not given any chance to protect himself; only awareness was going to be his protection. An idea came to his mind: “This old man is really dangerous. Before he starts his third lesson, I would like to check whether he himself can pass the third test or not. If he is putting my life at risk, I cannot allow him to do it without checking whether he is worthy of it or not.” And these were only thoughts that he was thinking lying down in his bed; it was a cold morning. And the master said, “Come out of your blanket, you idiot! Do you want to hit your own master with a sword? Feel ashamed! I can hear the footsteps of your thoughts… drop the idea.” He had heard. Nothing was said to him, nothing was done to him. Thoughts are also things. Thoughts also, while moving, make sounds, and those who are fully alert can read your thoughts. Even before you have become aware of them, they can become aware of them. The prince was really ashamed. He fell at the feet of the master and he said, “Just forgive me. I am really stupid.” But because it was a question of a sword, a real sword, he became aware of everything around him, even his own breathing, his heartbeat. Just a small breeze passing through the leaves, a dead leaf moving in the wind, and he was aware. And the master tried a few times but found him always ready. He could not hit him with the sword because he could not find him unconscious, unalert. He was just alertness. It was a question of death — you cannot afford to be anything but alert. In three days’ time the master could not find a single moment, a single loophole. And after the third day he called him and told him, “Now you can go and tell your father — and this is the letter from me — that the kingdom is yours.” Awareness is a process of being more and more awake.  With gratitude to Osho This story is from The Osho Upanishad
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A Man On The Hilltop
Katha

A Man On The Hilltop

There is a very famous Zen story: A man was standing on a hilltop. Three persons saw him; they started arguing about him, about what he was doing there. One said,  ‘He must have lost his cow — I know that man — and he must be looking for his cow from the hilltop.’ And the second said, ‘I cannot agree, because when one is looking for something one does not stand like a statue, unmoving; one moves, looks this way and that. But he is just standing like a Buddha-statue. He is not looking for something — he is waiting. Maybe a friend has come with him for a morning walk and is left behind and he is waiting for him to come.’ The third said, ‘I disagree, because when somebody waits for somebody who has been left behind, once in a while he looks back to see whether he has come or not. But that man is not looking back at all; he is not even moving. He is not waiting. My feeling is that he is meditating.’ They could not agree on what that man was doing so they decided to go to the man and enquire. The first man said, ‘Are you looking for your cow?’ The man said, ‘No, I am not looking for anything.’ The second said, ‘Then I must be right: you must be waiting for your friend who has been left behind?’ The man said, ‘No, I am not waiting for anybody.’ The third said, ‘Then I have to be right — now there is no other alternative left — you must be meditating.’ And the man said, ‘No, I am not meditating either.’ Then all three asked ‘Then what are you doing?’ He said, ‘I am just standing.’
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To Marry A Beautiful Woman
Katha

To Marry A Beautiful Woman

There is a beautiful Buddhist story in China. In a certain town a very beautiful young lady suddenly arrived out of the blue. Nobody knew from where she came; her whereabouts were completely unknown. But she was so beautiful, so enchantingly beautiful, that nobody even thought about where she had come from. People gathered together, the whole town gathered – and all the young men, almost three hundred young men, wanted to get married to the woman. The woman said, “Look, I am one and you are three hundred. I can be married only to one, so you do one thing. I will come again tomorrow; I give you twenty-four hours. If one of you can repeat Buddha’s Lotus Sutra, I will marry him.” All the young men rushed to their homes; they didn’t eat, they didn’t sleep, they recited the sutra the whole night, they tried to cram it in. Ten succeeded. The next morning the woman came and those ten people offered to recite. The woman listened. They had succeeded. She said, “Right, but I am one. How can I marry ten? I will give you twenty-four hours again. The one who can also explain the meaning of the Lotus Sutra, I will marry. So you try to understand – because reciting is a simple thing, you are mechanically repeating something and you don’t understand its meaning.” There was no time at all – only one night – and the Lotus Sutra is a long sutra. But when you are infatuated you can do anything. They rushed back, they tried hard. The next day three persons appeared. They had understood the meaning. And the woman said, “Again the trouble remains. The number is reduced, but the trouble remains. From three hundred to three is a great improvement, but again, I cannot marry three persons, I can marry only one. So, twenty-four hours more. The one who has not only understood it but tasted it too, that person I will marry. So in twenty-four hours try to taste the meaning of it. “You are explaining, but this explanation is intellectual. Good, better than yesterday’s, you have some comprehension, but the comprehension is intellectual. I would like to see some meditative taste, some fragrance. I would like to see that the lotus has entered into your presence, that you have become something of the lotus. I would like to smell the fragrance of it. So tomorrow I come again.” Only one person came, and certainly he had achieved. The woman took him to her house outside the town. The man had never seen the house; it was very beautiful, almost a dreamland. And the parents of the woman were standing at the gate. They received the young man and said, “We are very happy.” The woman went in and he chit-chatted a little with the parents. Then the parents said, “You go. She must be waiting for you. This is her room.” They showed him. He went, he opened the door, but there was nobody there.  It was an empty room. But there was a door entering into the garden. So he looked – maybe she has gone into the garden. Yes, she must have gone, because on the path there were footprints. So he followed the footprints. He walked almost a mile. The garden ended and now he was standing on the bank of a beautiful river – but the woman was not there. The footprints also disappeared. There were only two shoes, golden shoes, belonging to the woman. Now he was puzzled. What has happened? He looked back – there was no garden, no house, no parents, nothing. All had disappeared. He looked again. The shoes were gone, the river was gone. All that remained was emptiness – and a great laughter. And he laughed too. This Buddhist story says that he was led slowly, slowly. The woman was the Master. The woman is symbolic of the Master. She led him slowly, slowly. First, recite the sutra; Second, understand intellectually; Third, give a sign that you have lived it. These are the three stages. Then she led him into no-thingness. As Retold by Osho
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