OSHO: Spiritual Growth and Enlightenment …

OSHO OSHO TALKS: silence shared in words OSHO International Foundation presents: OSHO: Spiritual Growth and Enlightenment Source: The Last Testament Volume 3 # 16 This talk is complete in itself. These discourses are the foundations of your meditation. Sitting with me in these discourses is nothing but creating more and more meditativeness in you. I don’t speak to teach something — I speak to create something. These are not lectures — these are simply a device for you to become silent — OSHO You have often said that no improvement is needed, no goal is there to be achieved. And you have also spoken about how, in the buddhafield, a person can be helped by those who are further along the path, and can help those who are a few steps behind them. Are there different stages of spiritual growth? And if so, can you talk to us about them, and how people in these different stages can be helpful to each other? In one sense, it is indivisible reality. Because what it is on the first step, so it is on the last step. It is pure witnessing. But on the first step, you are witnessing only the activities of the body. On the second step, you are witnessing the activities of the mind. On the third step, you are witnessing the activities of the heart. And on the fourth, you are simply witnessing your witnessing itself. So if you look at witnessing, it is just the same reality — indivisible. But if you look at the objects of witnessing, then you can divide it into steps. So the person who is witnessing only his bodily activities can be immensely helped by the person who has passed that stage, and is witnessing his mind, thoughts, dreams, imaginations — all the activities that the mind is capable of. The person who is on the third stage can help both — the first stage person and the second stage person, because now he is witnessing very subtle moods, feelings, emotions — very fine, very subtle, very slippery. And the person who has come to the fourth and the last can help all the three. The help is a kind of encouragement. First, he can explain to you that whatever hindrances you are feeling are natural. He has experienced them himself, so don’t be worried. Go on working on them, however hard they look. They may be rocks, and your witnessing may be as soft as water, but in the long run, the water wins and the rock simply disappears into sand. At the first glance it seems that there is no way for the water to win. How can it win over the rock? But finally, that’s what happens. Just somebody who has seen it happen has to help you, that “Don’t be discouraged by the rock, it’s strength. It is nothing before the water. ” Lao Tzu used to call his way the watercourse way — a beautiful name, so soft, so liquid, no rigidity. You can put it into any form. It is always ready, gives no resistance. You put it in a bottle, it takes the shape of the bottle. You put it into a jar, it takes the shape of the jar, with no resistance at all. Such a non-resistant element finally destroys the rock. But somebody has to say to you, “I have faced the same situation. Don’t be discouraged. The rock will disappear, will have to disappear. That is the way of existence.” So as far as objects are concerned, you can divide the way into three steps: the body, the mind, the heart. The fourth happens on its own accord. Nobody can do it. If you can fulfill three steps totally and completely, suddenly: a quantum leap. You find yourself at the very center of your being. The seer is there, but there is nothing to see. The awareness is there, but there is nothing to be aware of. When awareness has nothing to be aware of, it turns upon itself. It becomes its own object. And this is what we call realization. You have known thousands of things; for the first time, you know your knowing. You have been conscious of many things; for the first time you become conscious of consciousness itself. You have arrived home. So remember, whenever I say that it is indivisible, I mean witnessing. And whenever I say that people can be more advanced, less advanced, I mean their objects of witnessing… they can be gross, can be subtle, can be very subtle — or there may be nothing as an object. That is the moment of revolution, and that’s the only revolution there is. It opens the doors of all the mysteries of existence. It allows you to feel the deathlessness, the eternity. It gives you the taste of pure existence. Yes, it is a taste — that’s why there is no way to say it, no way to explain it — one can only experience. Your emphasis has always been that every human being has the birthright to become enlightened, that it is nothing special. However, not many people claim this birthright, or are even interested in it. Why not? Is there some ingredient, some quality which makes some people more interested in the inquiry than others? Just because it is the very birthright of every human being, it prevents people. It gives no challenge. The ego has no interest in it. It is your birthright. It is not something that the ego can brag of. It would like to go to the moon, which is not your birthright. Howsoever silly it will be, but it would like to go to Everest. That is not your birthright, but the ego gets interested only in things which make you superior, higher, special, famous, celebrities. The ego is not interested in something which you are carrying, from the very birth, with yourself. It is interested in extraordinary things. The more difficult the job, the more the ego becomes interested in it. And enlightenment is the easiest thing in existence, the most natural thing. Hence, ego has no interest in it. This is how the problem arises. The moment a child is born, nobody is interested in the child’s nature, his potential, his possibilities of growth. Nobody is interested in the child’s birthright. Everybody is interested in making of the child something very special — an Alexander the Great, a Beethoven, a Picasso, an Albert Einstein, a Mao Zedong — somebody who is going to be in the history. Everybody — your mother, your father, your teachers, your priests — all are helping you to move away from yourself as much as possible. And this distance is the strength of your ego. The farther you are from yourself, the bigger is your ego. I remember I was in a very beautiful place, Ajanta. The whole mountain has been cut, perhaps it must have taken thousands of years, and thousands of artists, sculptors. These caves are Buddhist, so Buddhists must have done that. Just before you go into the forest and into the caves, in the city, a small place, I was finding somewhere to stay. Because there are so many caves — and I am not a tourist who can go within half an hour and come back — so I wanted to stay for a few days, because each cave may take days for me…. If the cave has taken hundreds of years to make — the carvings, the statues of thousands of meditators — then it is not that you just go in and have a look and you are finished. It is not a tourist place. You have to be in that cave one day, two days, three days to be acquainted with its vibe. It must be still vibrant with those thousands of meditators who had worked for hundreds of years. Generations of meditators… and they have not just painted like modern painters, they have made those statues with a certain specific aim in mind: that they will convey to people something which cannot be said in words. Otherwise, there are so many scriptures, what is the need to carve these beautiful statues in different postures, lotuses, flowers. Seems to be a sheer waste of time. So I was looking where to stay, and then I came across a small temple. I went in and I asked the priest, “If you allow me to leave my luggage here, and — it will be very kind of you — if you can allow me to sleep here for two-three days, because in your town there is no hotel.” The priest said, “But nobody stays here. People come and within an hour, or two hours at the most, they are gone.” I said, “I am not a tourist. I am one of those who have carved these statues. ” The man looked at me as if I am mad! He said, “My God! Then it is okay, you can leave your luggage in the temple.” As I entered the temple, on the door of the temple there was a sentence — that’s why I remembered it — a very famous quotation from the Vedas, that “The king is respected in his own country, but the enlightened one is respected in the whole world. So strive to become enlightened.” I asked the priest, “Please remove this sentence from here. You have spoiled the whole thing. ‘A king is respected in his own kingdom.’ The emphasis is on respect. ‘The enlightened one is respected in the whole world, so strive for it.’ You are making enlightenment also an object for the ego. Who cares about respect except the ego? And ego is the only barrier which does not allow a man to become enlightened. So if a person is trying to become enlightened to be respected all over the world, it is impossible that he will become enlightened, ever.” But I can understand; whoever made that sutra must be aware that unless you make enlightenment an object of the ego, nobody is even going to try. I can understand his idea, that make enlightenment so respectable, far better than becoming a world conqueror, that the ego becomes interested in it. But whoever made the sutra is a fool. He does not know that if ego is interested in becoming enlightened, then there is no possibility for enlightenment. The only barrier is the ego. So, whether one becomes respectable or not, whether anybody knows or not, whether your name is written in golden letters in the history or not does not matter. Only then, when respectability does not matter at all and you are perfectly happy just being yourself, your very ordinary self…. The phenomenon is very simple, that’s the trouble. It is your birthright: that’s why nobody seems to be interested in it. If it was far away, as the moon is, then many idiots would have been trying to reach there. But it is within you. You are carrying it day in, day out, wherever you go it is there with you, within you. Even while you are committing a crime, a murder, it is there. If you can witness your murder, you will become enlightened. It does not matter what you are doing. What matters is: are you doing it as a witness? Perhaps as a witness you cannot murder, you cannot commit a crime. But that is a separate story. Witnessing you have brought with your birth. But the society, the educational system, the family, all are trying to make you ambitious. My father never knew — he had eleven children — he never knew which child is attending, studying, in which school, in which class, and whether he has passed this year or failed. He never inquired. Even for our progressive report, we had to tell him, that “You have to sign it.” And he will say, “You could have signed it yourself — my signature is so simple. But I will sign.” And he will sign without reading whether I have passed, failed, any recommendations from the teacher, from the principal? He will not read it. When I topped the university, that was the first time I told him, “You will be happy to know… you know me, that I am good for nothing, but by some coincidence I have topped the whole university and received the gold medal.” He became very serious. I said, “It is not some crime that I have committed. You need not be so serious.” He said, “No, I am serious, because that simply means in your whole university, if you can top the university then the people who are studying there must be far worse than you! That makes me serious. I was thinking only you are good for nothing. This proves that your whole university is just good for nothing. And you topped — that means you are at least better.” I said, “That’s true. I never thought about it, otherwise I would not have told you. I thought you will be happy.” To get such a father is very difficult. He never imposed any ambition on me. If some of my brothers failed in a class and they came home crying and weeping, he will say, “Don’t cry and weep. What is the matter? It simply means in two years you will become far more stronger and far more wiser than you can become in one year. And what is the loss? And what is the hurry? If you cannot come out of the school one year earlier, there is no problem. You can take your time, you can fail as many times as you want. One thing is certain, the more you remain in one class, the wiser and stronger you will become — nothing is lost. Don’t unnecessarily cry and weep.” The principal will come just to console my father that, “It is not our fault that your son has failed, but he never pays any attention to the studies. He is continuously interested in games, and almost always he is absent. So you just tell him to be present. He is intelligent, there is no problem about it. But my father will say, “But what is the problem? Let him play, let him not be attentive. Let him not be present, what is the hurry? I am still alive. He can take his time: one year, two years, three years, as much as he wants. He will come out far more mature, and failure is also a great experience in life. In life you cannot succeed in everything. So this is good, he will know some taste of failure and will be able to absorb it in his life. There is no need to be worried and no need to console me. Nothing has gone wrong.” But to find this kind of parents is very difficult. Ordinarily they are all ambitious people, and because they cannot fulfill their own ambitions, they project their ambitions on their children. They wanted to become something special, they could not become — at least their son will become. I used to know a very famous politician, Seth Govinddas. He had a very ambitious mind and wanted to become not less than prime minister of India. And the man who became the first prime minister of India, they were both friends, and very intimate friends. Both have been together in jails, both have come from very rich families. The father of Jawaharlal Nehru, Motilal, in one of his speeches has said, “I have two sons. One is Jawaharlal, another is Govind Das.” Naturally, he was thinking to become the prime minister. If he cannot become the first prime minister, then after Jawaharlal, his must be the second chance. But he could not manage even to become a cabinet minister. He could not manage even to become a governor, a chief minister of a state. He had tried everything, but he was not basically a politician — very simple, almost a simpleton. So the desire was there, burning his heart. He had two sons, and he was trying hard that they should become what he has missed. And he had all the connections, political, so he helped his first son to become a deputy minister. He was hoping that soon he will become minister, then he will move to the cabinet of the central government, and then he will become a prime minister. If he has not been able to become the prime minister, at least he can claim to be the father of a prime minister, which is far better. But the son died as a deputy minister in a state council. He was only thirty-six when he died. But ambition is such a thing that this old man tried to commit suicide, because with the death of the son all his ambitions have failed again. I told him: “You have another son. Give him a try. You have all the best connections in the country, from the lowest to the highest. It is just very easy for you.” And suddenly I could see his eyes shine again, as if life returned to him. He said, “Yes, I had never thought about it. I was simply thinking to die, because what is the point of living? I missed, my son has died.” So he managed for his second son to enter into the same post — he became the deputy minister. But neither of his sons had the ability to be politicians. They were his sons, just as stupid as he was, perhaps a little more. And you will be surprised that the second son also died. And the man was now seventy-five or seventy-eight, and this was too much of a shock. Again he started talking about suicide. His wife phoned me and said: “You come. Last time you had done something and he dropped the idea of suicide. Now you do something, again he is talking of suicide.” I said, “Don’t be worried. People who talk of suicide never commit suicide. People who commit suicide are those who never talk about it. But I will come.” I went. He was sitting again in the same posture, and I said to him: “If you want to commit suicide, commit! Why do you harass the whole family by talking about it?” He said this, “Everybody, the mayor of the city, the chief minister, all have come to console me. Indira Gandhi’s telegram has come.” And he was sitting with a pile of telegrams from all the ministers, and governors and — India has thirty states — and chief ministers — and he was showing them to everybody who was coming. I told him, “You don’t seem to be interested in the death of the son. You are more interested in these telegrams.” Just one man has not given him a telegram, and about that he was feeling very hurt. He was one of his old colleagues, but then later on they became enemies in politics. He joined another party, and became a chief minister. Only he had not, so he was continuously telling to everybody, “Only Dwarka Prasad Mishra… his telegram has not come. And I have made the man.” And it is true, if you think that Dwarka Prasad lived in Govind Das’ house, financially was supported by him. But it is not true that he has made the man. That man was capable on his own to reach to the post, to any post. He was a very ambitious, very cunning, very clever man. He used him, he used all his friendships with all the great politicians. And I said, “You are so much interested in telegrams, and you are not interested in the death of your son. Can you understand that you have lived your whole life in ambition? You failed, your first son died, your second son died, but your ambition — it continues. You are ready to commit suicide but you are not ready to drop the ambition. As if ambition is far more valuable than life!” And I said, “If you just want to project your ambition on somebody, then why not your son-in-law?” He said, “You are a genius, certainly! I never thought about my son-in-law.” He had only one daughter and two sons. And because he was so rich the daughter was living with him, and the son-in-law was also living with him. I said, “He lives with you. He is just like a son to you. Make arrangements, make him deputy minister in the cabinet somewhere and see whether he dies or not! Then we will think… Why have these two sons died? It seems they were not capable to withstand the political pressures, challenges, worries. And they were both young and there was no need to die so soon. And there was no reason except that politics proved poisonous to them. Let us try this one.” And he tried. And this time things went well. The man became deputy minister and Seth Govind Das died! And the moment he died, his son-in-law was thrown out of the ministry, because he was just taken in because of his pressure, that he will commit suicide. So all the politicians had known him throughout his whole life. And he had been in the freedom struggle, and he was known as “father of the parliament.” He was the only man in the whole world, except Winston Churchill, who has been a member of parliament so long, continuously from 1916 to ’78, continuously, without a break. So he was known as father of the Indian parliament. Everybody knew him and everybody was obliged in many ways to him. But the moment he died, the son-in-law was thrown out. I said, “This is far better, because if you were thrown out before, again he would have striven to commit suicide.” And he was not capable of committing suicide either, because still ambition was there, some hope, from some corner. All the parents are ambitious. The whole educational system is ambitious. All the religions are ambitious. They are all promising and giving hope to people that their ambitions will be fulfilled after death. That’s why people are missing something which is very simple, which needs no ambition, which needs no ego, which needs no effort, which needs a simple, very simple understanding — just a little clarity, a little intelligence, and your whole life is transformed. The whole earth can become enlightened. Just, we have to change the educational system, we have to change the organized religions of the world, we have to change the political structures of the society. And we have to allow every child his way. Whatever he wants to become, let him become. Even if he turns out to be a beggar, he will be far more fulfilled than when forced to be a king. He will not be happy to be a king, that will not go according to his heart. Let something happen according to his heart. If he wants to play guitar, let him play guitar. He will not become Yehudi Menuhin — how many people can become Yehudi Menuhin? But there is no need for everybody to become Yehudi Menuhin. He can play and enjoy. If he enjoys himself without disturbing the neighbors, there is no problem. I have heard that a man who was practicing Indian classical music, his neighbor came to him and said, “Tonight we are going to have a party. Can we have your harmonium?” He said, “There is no problem, you can take the harmonium.” Just after a few minutes the neighbor’s wife came, and said, “It doesn’t look good, but we don’t have a set of tablas. Can we have your tablas?” He said, “Yes, you can have. But when is the party going to begin?” The wife said, “What party?” The man said, “But your husband has taken the harmonium and he was saying, ‘We are going to have a party so some music will be happening.”‘ The wife said, “To be true, tonight we want to sleep. Music is happening too much! So he had taken the harmonium, then we remembered you may start playing on the tabla. I have come to ask for the tablas because what will we do with only the harmonium? — tablas are also needed. There is no party. Just for so many days we have not been able to sleep. Just once in a while, let us have sleep.” So if you are not disturbing your neighbors, there is no problem. You can play your guitar, your sitar. You can play anything you want, and even if you don’t become famous — I don’t understand what it is going to give to you, becoming famous. Twenty people know you, what are you getting? Two hundred people know you, you will be getting ten times more, but what are you getting with twenty? Two thousand people know you, then you will be getting still more, but what are you getting with twenty? Just think of that: the whole world knows you, but what will you be getting out of it? Just start with twenty and go on multiplying and you will be clearly able to perceive that it is simple nonsense. Ambition is a very stupid game in which there is no victory, only defeat. Only defeat because you will never become what you are born to become. And you will never know your birthright, the ultimate bliss of being enlightened. Often you have spoken about your rebellious childhood and how it gave you such freedom, how you insisted on discovering your own individuality. How did you know the need to rebel at this early age? What about those people who didn’t have the courage to rebel and who had a hampered childhood? Is a rebellious childhood necessary for enlightenment? No, not necessary. A man can become enlightened without having a rebellious childhood, but nobody can become enlightened without becoming rebellious before it. If one is fortunate enough to be rebellious in his childhood, enlightenment will be coming sooner. I became enlightened when I was twenty-one. Gautam Buddha became enlightened when he was forty-two, because up to his twenty-ninth year he had never rebelled against his father’s wishes. At the age of twenty-nine, he had to rebel, because he could see that these twenty-nine years have gone just without any meaning. Because the astrologers have said to his father that he should not be allowed to see a dead body, a sick man, an old man, a sannyasin. And he was the only son of his father, and born at his very old age, so the whole kingdom belonged to Gautam Buddha. And the father was very much afraid because the astrologers said, “If you don’t manage rightly there is every possibility he may renounce the world and may become a seeker of truth. If he remains in the world and becomes the king, then there is a possibility he may even become the king of the whole world, he has such a great potential. Either he will become the great conqueror of the world — in Sanskrit it is called chakravartin — or he will become an enlightened one… between these two. And we cannot say right now what will happen, but if you can manage to avoid a few things from his knowledge, then he will never renounce the world. Bring the most beautiful girls of the kingdom. Keep him surrounded with the girls, with music, with dance, with wine, with good food. Make beautiful palaces for him for different seasons in different locations. In summer he should be in a cold region. In winter he should be in a warmer place. So make three palaces.” Because India has very clear cut three seasons: summer, winter, rains. And the father was so rich, he managed beautiful palaces. The gardeners were told that he should not see even a pale leaf or a dead leaf. No idea should get into his mind that things get old or things die. For twenty-nine years he lived almost a prisoner in utter luxury. The rebellion came because he was going to open the ceremony, annual ceremony of the entire kingdom, some kind of Olympic Games for youth. On the way in his golden chariot, he saw an old man for the first time in his life. He asked the charioteer, “What has happened to this man?” The charioteer said, “I cannot speak a lie to you. But what has happened to this man happens to everybody — he has become old.” Immediately Gautam Buddha asked, “That means it is going to happen to me also?” He was at his prime of youth, a beautiful young man. The charioteer said, “I would like it not to happen to you, but nature cannot be changed. It is just the law of nature. One who is born will become old, it cannot be prevented.” And then came a dead man’s body being carried to the crematorium. And Buddha said, “What is happening?” The charioteer said, “This happens after old age. This is the last stage. After this nothing happens. This man is dead.” Buddha had not even heard the word death. And then he saw a sannyasin, who was just following the dead man’s body. And he said, “This man looks strange — shaven head, orange clothes, with a begging bowl in his hand — I have never seen such a type. What is his profession?” The charioteer said, “He has renounced all professions. He is a sannyasin. He is a seeker of truth. Realizing that life becomes one day death, he wants to know, ‘Is there something within us which does not die, or does everything die?’ He’s on an immense journey, a search for himself, his eternity.” Buddha said to him, “Return the chariot back to my palace. I’m not going to open, inaugurate the function — because I have already become old, I am already feeling as if I am dying and suffocating. You just take me back home. I have been deceived.” And this was the first time a great rebellion was born in his mind. That very night he escaped from the palace. But twenty-nine years were lost. He could have become enlightened long before. But one thing is certain: whether one is rebellious in his childhood or not, nobody becomes enlightened before it being preceded by a rebellious approach. Because he will have to fight against the conditioning of the society, he will have to rebel against the beliefs of the society. He will have to rebel against his own ego, against his own ambitions. Rebellion is certainly a necessary part. It cuts you from the ordinary social world, and makes you an individual. Rebellion is the fire, passing through which one gains freedom, individuality, integrity. And only after that one can relax and be oneself, be simple, be innocent. It is a new birth. And then enlightenment is not far away. Hindrances removed, enlightenment is always there. It is your birthright. You’ve said that your sannyasins live individual lives in freedom. Doesn’t everyone live an individual life? What is the difference that makes a person a sannyasin? Is it meditation? There are many things that make a person a sannyasin. One is a deep frustration with life as it is available in the ordinary world; a sense of meaninglessness in whatever one is doing. A despair that one does not know even who he is — a deep anguish that “Life is slipping out of my hands. Death can happen any moment, and I have not even started the journey yet.” These are the first circles of a necessary milieu that makes one seek and search for someone who may have a different quality of life, who may have found some meaning, who may have reached the oasis. While you are in the desert, somebody may have found the sources of living waters. And if one looks around, one is always bound to find someone. And it is not a question of any intellectual conviction. Just the meeting of… such a person, and there is an instant communion. One knows, one cannot give any explanation why, but one knows that this is the man. It is not of the head, otherwise reason could have been supplied. It is something of the heart, almost a love affair. Once you have found a man whom you can think of as one who has arrived — any name you can give it — who is enlightened, awakened, simply one who has no more any problems, no anxiety, no anguish, no boredom — one’s every breath is full of joy, one’s every moment is a rejoicing. This synchronicity makes you ask and inquire about the way — call it meditation, the journey towards one’s own self, the search for meaning, for truth. This meeting is very significant. It ignites something in you. Something that was dormant in you suddenly becomes active. The presence of this man is enough, it is a catalytic agent, and you start flying with him into new dimensions of being. I had started alone, and then people went on coming and my caravan began to become bigger and bigger and bigger. Then everything becomes totally different, because now you are no more zombies. The whole world is full of zombies, sleeping people, somnambulists. Now something has awakened in you, and that something is enough as a seed. It will grow, it will come to fruition, to flowering. And when so many people gather around such a man, naturally there arises a commune. All this happens without any planning — I had never thought of any commune. I have never thought even about teaching anybody anything. I was fulfilled and happy. But you cannot avoid — something like a magnetic force pulls potential people around you. And soon it is going to become a vast ocean. And then the work becomes very easy, because all these people are at different points in the journey and they start helping each other. They become sharers of my work, they relieve me of much work. They start helping each other. The commune becomes almost many bodies and one soul. Everybody’s growth somehow helps your growth. Everybody’s enlightenment is going to help everybody else’s enlightenment. It is a kind of invisible sharing of energies. So communes are immensely important, otherwise it is very difficult: how can I help millions of people? And the world needs now more and more communes. People can come here, have a little taste of what it is all about, go back to their own commune and spread the fragrance. So this place has already become a world capital of all the mystics, of all the seekers of truth. It was for many reasons that I declared that it is not a religion, not an organization — because I want it to remain a very liquid, free, flowing, energy… not solid, rocklike, but like a breeze. So we can start these vibrations around the earth and all our communes can become both receivers and broadcasters. If we can create around the earth a circle of conscious energy, that is the only hope for the world, for the new man. Otherwise, this century is going to see the end of all life on this earth. But we are taking the challenge, and I don’t think that death is more powerful than life, that hate is more powerful than love, that nuclear weapons are more powerful than mystic experiences. We have to prove it — and I am certain that we are capable of proving it. Source: ‘The Last Testament Vol 3 # 16’ Copyright OSHO International Foundation, Switzerland. OSHO ® is a registered TM. For more information: www.osho.com

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