Osho on Satsang and Commune
SINCE YOU WERE OBSERVING SILENCE DURING THE PERIOD OF THE OREGON COMMUNE, HOW DID YOU PARTICIPATE IN THE BUILDING OF THE COMMUNE? AND WAS A COMMUNE OF THIS TYPE YOUR NECESSITY, OR THE NECESSITY OF YOUR DISCIPLES, OR THE NECESSITY OF THE SOCIETY AT LARGE?
First, I was not participating at all. This will be a little difficult to understand — that things are possible without participating in them. For example, in the morning the sun rises and the birds start singing. The sun is not a participant: it is not in any way doing anything to the birds, it is not provoking them to sing. The flowers open up — the sun is not a participant. Scientists had to find a new word for this, and that word is synchronicity. It means that the very presence, not the participation, of the sun makes it possible for the birds to sing, for the flowers to blossom.
So I will say I was not participating at all; it was a synchronicity. I was present in my silence — more so — and my presence helped my people to create the commune. I had discussed the commune for many years, I had given the whole vision, but when it was being built I did not take any active part in it. I was just a presence.
So I cannot use the word participation, but I can use the word synchronicity. And that word is in many ways significant, it opens many new doors, many new meanings. It is possible just to look in somebody’s eyes without saying anything — he has not heard anything, and yet something has transpired. I have not said, he has not heard, but something has happened. In ancient India we used to call it satsang. The master would simply be present, — people would sit by his side. Something out of his silence would start changing their hearts, opening their beings.
We have known it and we have used it in many ways. Just like satsang, is the word darshan. Somebody goes to see a master…. Now, what is the point of seeing a master? The West up to now has been almost incapable of understanding what it means, just to go and see Gautam Buddha. Unless he speaks, says something, does something, unless there is some communication, it is pointless just to see him — you can see his picture, you can see his statue. But now they are realizing their mistake. The picture is dead, the statue is dead.
Gautam Buddha is a living presence of tremendous power, of great love, of immense silence, and the East was absolutely right that there is no need for any communication in words. Just to see this man is a transforming experience, as if you have taken a shower. You cannot see what is radiating from the man; it is not visible to the physical eyes. And you cannot hear the music of the man, because it is not available to the physical ears. But it is there and if you are receptive, open, available, humble enough, nonresistant, then miracles are possible.
One man, a great philosopher, came to Buddha and asked a series of questions. All the questions were significant, and he wanted Buddha to answer them. He had been to many philosophers and he had argued, but nobody had been able to satisfy him. Buddha listened to his questions and instead of answering him, asked him, “To how many people have you asked these questions?”
He said, “To hundreds — to anyone who is known as a master, as a saint, as a sage. I have traveled all over the country and no one has been able to satisfy me. My questions remain exactly the same as they were the day I started the journey.”
Buddha said, “Then listen to me. If I answer them you will not be satisfied; I will also be added to those hundreds of people. But if you really want the answers then you will have to do one thing: for two years simply sit silently by my side and just be. After two years I will ask you to repeat your questions.”
Before the man could say anything one old disciple, Mahakashyapa, started laughing loudly.
The stranger asked, “Why is he laughing?”
Mahakashyapa said, “I am laughing because the same thing happened with me. I had come with questions and he told me to sit silently for two years. I sat silently for two years by his side — all my questions disappeared, all my thoughts disappeared. I became completely a new man. After two years he asked me about the questions and I said, ‘Forgive me, I don’t have any questions. Your silence has silenced them all. I don’t have any answer either, but I am immensely fulfilled.’ I laughed because if you want to have the answers, this is the time; insist on them now. But if you want satisfaction then wait for two years — but you won’t get any answers. The questions will disappear.”
And this was the usual practice of Buddha, to tell people to sit silently.
For thousands of years in the East people have been going to masters, to sages, just to see them. That is the meaning of darshan. Any materialist is bound to ask, “What can you gain just by seeing a man?” You can gain immensely. It depends on two things: whether the man has something that radiates, whether the center of his being is absolutely silent, whether he has achieved himself, whether he has come home. And second, are you a little bit receptive to unknown, invisible radiations?
I was silent for three and a half years in the commune. I was emphatically silent at that time because I never wanted to interfere with what people were doing. I never wanted to actually participate. I had given the vision to them; now I wanted to give them my energy. Vision they had, energy they needed — and that energy is not something visible, not something measurable. So I had no participation, but there was a synchronicity. They were joined with me in my silence. I was part of them in my silence. Whatever they were doing, in a very subtle way they were my hands, they were my eyes, and I was all over without ever being physically present anywhere.
The second thing you ask: “Was it your necessity?”
I don’t have any need, any necessity. As far as I am concerned, I am fulfilled. If this moment I die, I will die with absolute contentment. Nothing is incomplete. I will not ask even for a single second to complete something. It was certainly for my disciples, the people who have loved me, who have gone a long way with me. They needed a place, an energy field rather; five thousand meditators together… it makes a difference. In science they have a parallel. They say that at a certain point quantitative change becomes qualitative change. For example, up to ninety-nine degrees the water remains water. One degree more, one hundred degrees, and the water changes; it evaporates. The addition was a quantity, but the change is qualitative.
One man can meditate, but if five people meditate together, there is a qualitative strength. And if five thousand people are meditating together, there is an aroma of energy. It is just like a great current which one alone may not be able to cross, but which five thousand people together can cross easily.
It was for my sannyasins, and for those in the greater society who were interested.
There are millions of people in the world who are frustrated, who are living in misery, who have everything they need and yet something is missing. Their misery is not of hunger, it is not of poverty; their misery is something spiritual.
So I wanted this commune to become a model — and we have communes around the world in other countries on the same model, functioning in the same way.
So for anybody who feels some spiritual thirst, there is a possibility for him to come to the commune. Just the way universities function they exist for everybody; but if you are not interested then they are not for you. If you are interested, if you have a thirst for knowledge, the university is available. These communes were spiritual universities for anybody who was feeling a gap in his life and was becoming aware that material things alone are not going to fill it; that something more, something from the above, something higher is needed. These communes could become for him universities where he could learn meditation, learn how to uncondition his mind, learn how to make his love a purity and come to his own innermost center.
So it was not my necessity, but it was certainly the necessity of my sannyasins and it was certainly an open door for anybody who was seeking, searching.
This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune.
Discourse Series: The Last Testament, Vol 5
Chapter title: None
10 December 1985 am in Kulu/Manali, India
Osho has spoken on ‘Commune, master, disciple, energy, satsang’ in many of His discourses. More on the subject can be referred to in the following books/discourses:
- And The Flowers Showered
- A Bird on the Wing
- The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 3, 6, 8, 10, 12
- From Bondage to Freedom
- Beyond Enlightenment
- Light on the Path
- The Osho Upanishad
- Zen: The Path of Paradox, Vol 1, 2, 3
- Beyond Psychology
- The Last Testament, Vol 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
- The Fish in the Sea is Not Thirsty
- From the False to the Truth
- Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, Vol 1, 2, 6, 9
- The Transmission of the Lamp
- The Book of Wisdom