Osho on Subhuti
Subhuti was one of the ten principle disciples of Buddha. He was born in a wealthy family. In Buddhism he is considered as ‘worthy of gifts.’ As after hearing Buddha he became his follower and went to forest and started meditating and achieved love and kindness. It is believed that due to his mastery in love and kindness, any gift offered to him bore the greatest merit for the donor, thus earning him the title of foremost in being “worthy of gifts”.
Osho says A master is one who has become enlightened, but one desire is left. That desire is not a trouble in becoming enlightened — to help others to become enlightened — but you will still be attached to the body. Only one stream, all sources cut, but one bridge is there. There were other enlightened persons, but the key could not be given to them; it had to be given to Mahakashyap, because he had an inner desire to help — his past karmas. He could become a tirthankara; he could become a perfect master. And he did well. Buddha’s choice was perfectly right — because there was one other of Buddha’s disciples who could have been given the key. His name was Subhuti. He was as silent as Mahakashyap, even more. It will be difficult for you — how silence, how perfection, can be more — but it is possible. It is beyond ordinary arithmetic. You can be perfect, and you can be even still more perfect, because perfection has growth, it goes on growing infinitely. Subhuti was the most silent man around Buddha, even more than Mahakashyap. But the key could not be given to him because he was so silent. It will be difficult now: you are entering a very complex phenomenon. In the first place, he would not laugh, and the key could not be given to him because he would not laugh. He was not there. He was so silent, he was not there to laugh, he was not there to contain or not to contain. Even if Buddha had called, “Subhuti, come!” he would not have come. Buddha would have had to go to him.
Osho further says When you are not, the whole existence feels ecstatic and celebrates; flowers shower on you. They have not showered yet because you ARE, and they will not shower until you dissolve. When you are empty, no more, when you are a nothingness, SHUNYATA, suddenly they start showering. They have showered on Buddha, on Subhuti, on Nansen; they can shower on YOU — they are waiting. They are knocking at the door. They are ready. Just the moment you become empty, they start falling on you.
SUBHUTI WAS ONE OF BUDDHA’S DISCIPLES. HE WAS ABLE TO UNDERSTAND THE POTENCY OF EMPTINESS — THE VIEWPOINT THAT NOTHING EXISTS EXCEPT IN ITS RELATIONSHIP OF SUBJECTIVITY AND OBJECTIVITY.
ONE DAY, WHEN SUBHUTI WAS SITTING UNDER A TREE IN A MOOD OF SUBLIME EMPTINESS, FLOWERS BEGAN TO FALL AROUND HIM. ‘WE ARE PRAISING YOU FOR YOUR DISCOURSE ON EMPTINESS,’ THE GODS WHISPERED TO HIM. ‘BUT I HAVE NOT SPOKEN OF EMPTINESS,’ SAID SUBHUTI. ‘YOU HAVE NOT SPOKEN OF EMPTINESS, WE HAVE NOT HEARD EMPTINESS,’ RESPONDED THE GODS. ‘THIS IS TRUE EMPTINESS.’
AND BLOSSOMS SHOWERED UPON SUBHUTI LIKE RAIN.
Yes, it happens. It is not a metaphor, it is a fact — so don’t take this story metaphorically. It is literally true… because the whole of existence feels happy, blissful, ecstatic when even one individual soul achieves the ultimate. We are part of the whole and the whole is not indifferent to you, cannot be. How can a mother be indifferent to a child — her own child? It is impossible. When the child grows the mother also grows with him. When the child is happy the mother is also happy with him. When the child dances, something in the mother also dances. When the child is ill the mother is ill. When the child is miserable the mother is miserable… because they are not two, they are one. Their hearts beat in a rhythm.
The whole is your mother. The whole is not indifferent to you. Let this truth penetrate as deeply as possible in your heart, because even this awareness that the whole feels happy with you will change you. Then you are not alienated, then you are not a foreigner here. Then you are not a homeless wanderer, then this is a HOME. And the whole mothers you, cares about you, loves you. So it is natural that when somebody becomes a buddha, when somebody reaches the ultimate peak, the whole existence dances, the whole existence sings, the whole existence celebrates.
Literally true it is. It is not a metaphor, remember; otherwise you will miss the whole point. Blossoms shower, and then they go on showering — they never stop.
The blossoms that showered for Buddha are still showering. The blossoms that showered for Subhuti are still showering. You cannot see them, not because they are not showering but because you are not capable of seeing them.
Existence goes on celebrating infinitely for all the buddhas that have happened, for all the buddhas that are happening, and for all the buddhas that will happen — because for existence, past, future and present don’t exist. It is a continuity. It is eternity. Only the now exists, infinite now.
They are still showering, but you cannot see them. Unless they shower for you, you CANNOT see them; and once you see them showering for you, you will see that they have been showering for every buddha, for every enlightened soul. The first thing:
existence CARES what happens to you. Existence is continuously praying that the ultimate should happen to you. In fact you are nothing but a hand extended by the whole to reach the ultimate. You are nothing but a wave coming from the whole to touch the moon. You are nothing but a flower opening, so that the whole is filled with fragrance through you.
If you can drop yourself, those flowers can shower this very morning — this very moment. Gods are always ready, their hands are always full with flowers. They simply watch and wait. Whenever somebody becomes a Subhuti, empty, whenever somebody is absent, suddenly the flowers start showering. This is one of the basic facts. Without it there is no possibility of trust; without it there is no possibility of your ever reaching the truth. Unless the whole helps, there is no possibility for you to reach — how can you reach? And ordinarily, our minds think just the opposite. We think of the whole as the enemy, not as the friend, never as the mother. We think about the whole as if the whole is trying to destroy us. We look at the whole through the door of death, not through the door of birth. It looks as if the whole is against you, fighting you, not allowing you to reach your goals and aims, not allowing you to be fulfilled. Hence you go on constantly warring with it. And the more you fight, the more your misconception proves to be true — because if you fight, your own fight is reflected through the whole.
The whole supports you, remember. Even when you fight, the whole supports you; even when you fight and you are wrong, the whole supports you. This is a second truth to be understood well. If you don’t understand, it will be difficult for you to proceed further. Even if you fight with the whole, the whole supports you — because the whole cannot do anything other than support. If you go wrong, still the whole cares about you. Even if you go wrong, the whole moves with you. If a child goes wrong, the mother still cares. If the child becomes a thief and is ill, the mother will still care. She cannot give poison to the child. If the child goes completely wrong, astray, the mother will still pray for him…And Jesus said whenever it happens that a shepherd is coming back home and a sheep is lost, he leaves all the sheep in the forest, in the dark night, and goes to search and seek for the lost one. And when the lost sheep is found, he carries the lost sheep on his shoulders and he rejoices and he comes back home feeling very happy, because one who was lost has been found. Whenever it happens — we are all lost sheep — whenever a sheep is found again, the shepherd rejoices. Flowers start showering.
Deities, gods, are not persons in the East, they are natural forces. Everything has been personified just to give a heart to it, a heartbeat — just to make it more caring. So Hindus, Buddhists, they have converted all the natural forces into gods, and they are right!
When Subhuti attained to emptiness, gods started showering. And the meaning is very beautiful: the sun is a god for Hindus and Buddhists, the sky is a god; every tree has its own god, deity. The air is god, the earth is god. Everything has a heart — that is the meaning. Everything feels — that is the meaning. Nothing is indifferent to you — that is the meaning. And when you attain, everything celebrates…
It is said that whenever Buddha passed through a forest, trees would start blossoming even when it was not the season for them. It has to be so! Man can err in recognizing Buddha but how can trees err? Man has a mind and the mind may miss, but how can the trees miss? — they don’t have any minds, and when a buddha walks in a forest they start blossoming. It is natural, it has to be so! It is not a miracle. But you may not be able to see those flowers, because those flowers are not really physical. Those flowers are the FEELINGS of the trees. When Buddha passes the tree trembles in a different way, throbs in a different way, is no longer the same. This is the meaning. The whole cares for you, the whole is your mother. Now try to understand this parable — one of the best.
SUBHUTI WAS ONE OF BUDDHA’S DISCIPLES.
Buddha had thousands of disciples. Subhuti was just one of them, nothing special about him. Really nobody knows much about Subhuti, this is the only story about him. There were great disciples, well known, famous — great scholars, princes. They had big kingdoms, and when they left them and renounced and became disciples of Buddha, they had a name around them. But flowers didn’t shower on them. Flowers chose this Subhuti who was just one of the disciples, nothing special about him. Only then do flowers shower; otherwise you also can become special around a buddha — and you can miss! You can feel egoistic about being near a buddha too, you can create a hierarchy; you can say, ‘I am not an ordinary disciple, I am something special. I am just next to Buddha. Others are just ordinary, a crowd, but I am not a crowd; I have a name, an identity of my own. Even before I came to Buddha I was somebody’ — and they remain somebody.
Sariputta came to Buddha. When he came it was with five hundred disciples of his own. He was a master — of course an unenlightened master, knowing nothing, and still feeling that he knew because he was a great scholar. He knew all the scriptures. He was born a brahmin and a very talented one, a genius. From his very childhood he was known for his great memory — he could memorize anything. Only once he had to read a scripture, and it was already memorized. He was known all over the country; when he came to Buddha he was somebody. That somebodiness became the barrier. These gods seem to be very irrational — they have chosen a disciple, Subhuti, who was just one in the crowd, nothing special about him. These gods seem to be crazy! They should have chosen Sariputta, he was the man to be chosen. But they have not chosen him. They have not chosen Ananda, Buddha’s cousin-brother, Buddha’s shadow continuously for forty years — for forty years, not for a single moment was he away from Buddha. He slept in the same room; he moved with Buddha, continuously by his side. He was the most well known person. All the stories that Buddha told he starts by telling them to Ananda. He says, ‘Ananda, it happened this way’; ‘Ananda, once it happened.’ ‘Ananda’ and ‘Ananda’ and ‘Ananda’ — he goes on repeating his name. But these gods are crazy, they have chosen Subhuti — a nobody!
Remember, only nobodies are chosen — because if you are somebody in this world you are nobody in the other world. If here you are a nobody, you become somebody in the other world. Values differ. Here, gross things are valued; there, subtle things are valued. And the most subtle, the subtlest, is NOT TO BE. Subhuti lived in the crowd — nobody even knew his name — and when this news came that flowers were showering on Subhuti everybody wondered, ‘Who is this Subhuti? We never heard about him. Has it happened by some accident? Have the gods chosen him wrongly?’ — because there were many who were higher in the hierarchy. Subhuti must have been the last. This is the only story about Subhuti.
Try to understand it well. When you are near a great master be a nobody. Gods are crazy, they will chose you only when you are not. And if you try to be, the more you succeed in being somebody, the more you will miss. This is what we are doing in the world and this we start doing around a buddha also. You crave for riches. Why? — because with riches you become someone. You crave for prestige and power. Why? — because with power and prestige you are not ordinary. You crave for learning, scholarship, knowledge. Why? — because with knowledge you have something to be proud of.
But gods will not chose you that way. They have their own way of choosing. If you are yourself beating your drum too much, there is no need for gods to shower flowers on you — you are throwing flowers upon yourself; there is no need. When you stop being proud about anything suddenly the whole existence starts being proud of you. Jesus says, ‘Those who are first in this world will be the last in the kingdom of my God, and those who are last will be the first.’…In this world, because egos exist, all valuations belong to the ego. In the other world, the other dimension, valuation belongs to egolessness. Hence Buddha’s emphasis on no-selfness — ANATTA. He said, ‘Don’t even believe “I am a soul” because that too can become a subtle ego. Don’t say “AHAM BRAHMASMI — I am Brahma, I am the ultimate self.” Don’t say even that, because the I is very tricky. It can deceive you. It HAS deceived you for many many lives. It can go on deceiving you. Simply say “I am not” and remain in that NOTNESS, remain in that nothingness — become empty of the self.’ One has to get rid of the self. Once the self is thrown away, nothing is lacking. You start overflowing and blossoms start falling on you.
SUBHUTI WAS ONE OF BUDDHA’S DISCIPLES. Remember, ONE OF.
HE WAS ABLE TO UNDERSTAND THE POTENCY OF EMPTINESS.
He was just one of many, that’s why he was able to understand the potency of emptiness. Nobody talked about him, nobody knew about him. He walked with, he followed Buddha on many many paths in his travels. Nobody knew that he was also there; if he had died nobody would have become aware. If he had escaped nobody would have known, because nobody ever knew that Subhuti was there. He knew, by and by, being nobody, he knew THE POTENCY OF EMPTINESS. What is the meaning of it? … Because the more he became a nonentity, the more he felt that Buddha was coming closer to him. Nobody else was aware, but Buddha was aware. Everybody wondered when these flowers showered on him, but it was not a surprise to Buddha. When it was reported to him that something had happened to Subhuti, Buddha said, ‘I was waiting. Any moment it was going to happen, because he has erased himself so much; any day it was going to happen. There is no surprise in it for me.’
HE WAS ABLE TO UNDERSTAND THE POTENCY OF EMPTINESS
– by being empty! You don’t know the power of emptiness. You don’t know the power of being totally absent within. You know only the poverty of the ego. But try to understand. With ego have you ever felt really powerful? With ego you always feel impotent…Ego has never felt powerful. It only dreams of power, it thinks of power, it contemplates on power — but those are simply dreams and nothing else. And dreams are there just to hide the impotence that is within you. But dreams cannot hide the reality. Whatsoever you do, from here or from there, from a loophole, again the reality comes in and shatters all dreams. Ego is the most impotent thing in the world. But nobody realizes it, because it goes on asking for more, it never gives you a space to look at the situation. Before you become aware, it pushes you further and further somewhere. Always the goal is somewhere near the horizon. And it is so near you think, By the evening I will reach. The evening never comes; the horizon remains always at the same distance. The horizon is an illusion; all the goals of ego are just illusions. But they give hope, and you go on feeling, ‘Some day or other I will become powerful.’ Right now you remain powerless, impotent, inferior, but in the future, in the hope, in the dream, you become powerful. You must be aware that many times, just sitting on your chair, you start daydreaming: you have become the emperor of the whole world or the president of the United States, and immediately you start enjoying it. Everybody looks at you, you have become the focal point of everyone’s attention. Even that dream gives you exhilaration, intoxication. If you dream that way, you will walk in a different way.
This is how it is happening to everybody: your potency remains in the dreams, YOU remain impotent. The truth is just the opposite: when you don’t seek, it comes; when you don’t ask it is given; when you don’t hanker it is there; when you don’t go to the horizon, suddenly you realize that it has been always yours — you never lived it. It is there inside, and you seek it outside. It is there within you and you go without. You are carrying it: the suprememost power, the divine itself, is in you. And you are looking here and there like a beggar.
HE WAS ABLE TO UNDERSTAND THE POTENCY OF EMPTINESS.
Just being empty, you will understand — there is no other way of understanding. Whatsoever you want to understand, be that, because that is the only way. Try being an ordinary man, nobody, with no name, no identity, with nothing to claim, with no power to enforce on others, with no effort to dominate, with no desire to possess, just being a nonentity. Try it — and see how powerful you become, how filled with energy and overflowing, so powerful that you can share your power, so blissful that you can give it to many, to millions. And the more you give, the more you are enriched. The more you share, the more it grows. You become a flood.
This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune.
Discourse Series: And The Flowers Showered
Chapter title: Flower shower
31 October 1974 am in Buddha Hall
Osho has spoken on Mystics like Dadu, Farid, Gurdjieff, J. Krishnamurti, Kabir, Nanak, Meher Baba, Patanjali, Swami Ram Teerth, Rumi, Sahajo, Sai Baba, Saraha, Socrates, Tilopa, Zarathustra, Nagarjuna and many more in His discourses. Some of these can be referred to in the following books/discourses:
- Sermons in Stones
- Come Come Yet Again Come
- The Hidden Splendor
- Beyond Enlightenment
- The New Dawn
- The Sword and The Lotus
- The Fish in the Sea is Not Thirsty
- Socrates Poisoned Again After 25 Centuries
- Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, Vol 1
- The Path of Love
- The Book of Wisdom
- The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 5
- The Fish in the Sea is Not Thirsty