Faith: Love with Reverence
Osho on Bayazid
Born in 804 CE, Bayazid Bistami was a PersianSufi from north-central Iran. Known to future Sufis as Sultān-ul-Ārifīn (“King of the Gnostics”), Bistami is considered to be one of the expositors of the state of fana the notion of dying in mystical union with Allah. Bayazid was famous for “the boldness of his expression of the mystic’s complete absorption into the mysticism.” Many “ecstatic utterances” have been attributed to Bistami, which lead to him being known as the “drunken” or “ecstatic” (Arabic: سُكْر, sukr) school of Islamic mysticism. Such utterance may be argued as, Bistami died with mystical union and the deity is speaking through his tongue. Very little is known about the life of Bistami, whose importance lies in his biographical tradition, since he left no written works. The early biographical reports portray him as a wanderer but also as leading teaching circles.
Once, Sahl at-Tustari sent a letter to Bayazid which read: “Here is a man who drank a drink which leaves him forever refreshed.” Bayazid replied: “Here is a man who has drunk all existences, but whose mouth is dry and burn with thirst.” When Bayazid died, he was over seventy years old. Before he died, someone asked him his age. He said: “I am four years old. For seventy years I was veiled. I got rid of my veils only four years ago.”
Osho says, “When a Sufi mystic, Bayazid, was dying, people who had gathered around him — his disciples — were suddenly surprised, because when the last moment came his face became radiant, powerfully radiant. It had a beautiful aura. Bayazid was a beautiful man, and his disciples had always felt an aura around him, but they had not known anything like this; so radiant. They asked, ‘Bayazid, tell us what has happened to you. What is happening to you? Before you leave us, give us your last message.’ He opened his eyes and he said, ‘God is welcoming me. I am going into his embrace. Goodbye.’ He closed his eyes, his breathing stopped. But at the moment his breathing stopped there was an explosion of light, the room became full of light, and then it disappeared. When a person has known the transcendental in himself, death is nothing but another face of God. Then death has a dance to it. And unless you become capable of celebrating death itself, remember, you have missed life. The whole life is a preparation for this ultimate.”
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SURRENDER AND BLIND FAITH OR BELIEF?
MANY THINGS HAVE TO BE UNDERSTOOD. First, the difference between faith and belief, and second, the difference between surrender and faith. Belief is always blind and cannot be otherwise. Belief, as such, is blind. No belief is possible if you can see, because belief means you don’t know and still you believe. If you know, there is no need of belief. Something you know, you know. There is no need to believe in it. The need for belief comes only when you don’t know. Belief is part of ignorance. I am here. If you know it, there is no need to believe in it Belief is unnecessary; knowledge needs no belief. If you believe in something it means you don’t know and yet you think you know. Someone says he believes in God. It means he has not known God yet. That’s why he believes. But the belief creates such an attitude within him that he begins to feel that he knows.
Someone asked Shri Aurobindo, “Do you believe in God?” He said, “No.”
The man was bewildered. He couldn’t conceive, he couldn’t imagine, that Aurobindo would say no to the question. He said, “What are you saying? Are you an atheist?”
Aurobindo still said, “No.”
The man said, “Why are you creating a puzzle? You say you don’t believe in God and then when I ask if you are an atheist you again say no. What do you mean? You are contradicting yourself.”
Shri Aurobindo said, “Wait a little. You aren’t allowing me to say anything more than no. As soon as I say no, you start asking other things. Wait a little. I was saying that I don’t believe in God because I know him. Because I know him I don’t believe in him. He is. This is not a belief. This is my knowledge, my knowing.”
Knowledge comes from seeing, and belief is blind. Belief, as such, is blind. Even to say ‘a blind belief is unnecessary, because belief means blind. It is just a repetition.
Then what is faith? Faith is also blind, but in a different sense. Faith is blind in a different sense because it has its own way of seeing. It is not seeing through reason; it is seeing through the heart. Knowledge is based on reason. Belief is also based on reason. Knowledge and belief are both in the head. Knowledge has eyes and belief is blind, but both belong to the head, to the intellect. Belief is intellectual. Faith is emotional, intuitive, of the heart. It has its own eyes, but those eyes are not of reason; they are like the eyes of love. People say that love is blind. It is, because it doesn’t have rational eyes. But it has its own eyes, and better ones. The heart has its own reasons and they are better than rational reasons. Faith is trust; it is not belief. Faith is trust, deep love, trusting love.
And the difference, belief is always in some idea, ideology, faith is always personal. It is not in some idea but in some person. You can say, “I believe in God” — God is an idea. You cannot say, “I believe in Jesus”; you can only say, “I have faith in Jesus.” It is a personal love affair; it is a deep trust. Faith means faith in someone. Belief means belief in something. Faith is a deep, personal relationship. It has its own eyes, eyes of the heart. There are basic differences. Reason is analysis, reason is argument, reason is an intellectual process. The heart synthesizes. It is not analytical, it is not argumentative. It is intuitive.
What is intuition? When you fall in love with someone, what happens? Can you give any reasons why you have fallen in love with a particular person? Why? Why is Majnu in love with Laila? It is reported that because of the anguish of Majnu, the king of the country became very worried. Majnu was weeping, crying, moving from street to street looking for Laila, his beloved. Laila’s father had moved from the city because of Majnu. He was not willing for them to be together; he was against it. Even the king heard about the love affair, and the weeping and crying and anguish of Majnu.
He is reported to have called Majnu to the palace. He said, “You are stupid. I have seen your Laila. She is just an ordinary girl. Why are you making a fool of yourself? Look at these girls” — he had called twelve beautiful girls, the most beautiful in the city. He said to Majnu, “Choose any one of them. Laila is nothing compared to any of these girls.”
Majnu said, “But how can you see Laila? To see Laila you need Majnu’s eyes. You cannot see her. You must have missed her, because Laila is incomparable. There has never been a woman like her and never will be. But I understand you. Laila can be seen only through Majnu’s eyes. You cannot see her. That is why she may have looked ordinary to you — because you don’t have my eyes.”
This is intuitive, of the heart. When you fall in love with someone, you don’t have any rational grounds. That’s why we call it ‘falling’ — falling from the head. No one says that someone has risen in love with someone. ‘Fallen’ — because we live in the head and the heart is below. When someone is in love he has fallen from the head, he has gone mad. Why do you fall in love? What are the reasons? No mathematics is involved, no logic. You need not be an Aristotle to fall in love. Just to be Majnu is enough.
When you fall in love what has happened? You have felt something. You have felt something so deeply that your total personality is involved in it, not only your head. Your body, your heart, your soul, everything is involved in it — your totality.
This involvement is not something that can be calculated by you. It has happened to you. It is a happening; it is not a doing on your part.
Faith is just like love, with one difference. In love, you are both on an equal level, on the same level. Faith is love with a person who is higher than you. It is love with reverence — deeper than love, higher than love, but love is there. Those who gathered around Buddha were in love, in deep love with the man. Not only in love. Reverence was also there. Love plus reverence is equal to faith.Faith is something that one should not miss. Belief is just ordinary. It is good not to get involved in beliefs because they make you a Hindu, a Mohammedan, a Christian. They make you divided; they make the whole earth a conflict. Beliefs create fight, struggle, wars. Belief divides. It is good not to have beliefs. But to have faith is a deep experience. Faith will not divide you with anyone; it will unite you with someone. Belief will not unite you with anyone; it will simply divide you with everyone. Ideas, ideology, is divisive. Faith is unitive.
Have faith. That means: be ready to fall in love with someone, with deep reverence.
And then, surrender. What is surrender?
To surrender is to be ready for faith. Surrender means to be yielding, to allow faith to happen. It means to be receptive, to be unguarded, to be vulnerable, open.
If you come in contact with a Buddha, with a master, yield to him. Don’t resist him because you are resisting yourself, you are fighting against yourself. If you resist a master you are not allowing him to work; you are not helping him to help you. You are creating problems, unnecessary anxieties, unnecessary barriers. You already have too much nonsense. Don’t create more barriers. The master will have to do much work upon you as you are, even if you have surrendered. If you are nonsurrendering, you are creating unnecessary troubles and it will become impossible to help you. You are working against yourself.
Don’t be against yourself — that is what is meant by surrender.
Yield, allow, cooperate, so that something can be done and you can be transformed.
The master, the guru, is a person with whom you are in deep love and faith and reverence. It is not just a relationship; it is a deep creativity. He can create you, he can transform you, he can give you a new birth. But then, you will have to be ready to pass through many things. Many unknown paths will have to be travelled, many unknown doors will have to be passed, many unknown locks will have to be opened. If you are not in a deep surrender, you will not move into this unknown territory; you will resist. You need a deep trust so that when the master moves into the unknown you can follow him like a shadow. Surrender means a deep yes-attitude to the master — never say no. If you say no, you have taken yourself in your own hands. If you say yes, you are in his hands.
I will tell you one anecdote:
There was a great master, a Sufi master. A disciple came to him. This disciple became very famous later on. The disciple’s name was Bayazid.
Bayazid came to his master. The master looked into his eyes and said, “Remain silent.” He had not even uttered a single word; the disciple had not said anything, he had not even been introduced. This was the first thing the master said. He looked into the eyes of Bayazid, the young man, and said, “Remain silent.”
Bayazid thought, “He may be occupied. I will wait.” But this waiting lasted for twelve years. How could Bayazid speak when the master said to remain silent? So he remained with his master for twelve years, not speaking a single word. Many came and went in these twelve years, crowds came and went. Bayazid was there, just waiting, waiting. It was a long, long wait — twelve years. And because the master had said, “Don’t speak. Remain silent,” of course he would not speak to anyone else either. He was totally silent.
By and by, thoughts dropped. If you don’t use them, they drop. By using them, you give them energy and fuel. Finally, thinking stopped. After twelve years of no speaking, no talking, just waiting, the mind dropped. Suddenly one day….
The first time Bayazid had come, the master had looked into his eyes. After twelve years, he again looked info Bayazid’s eyes and said, “Now there is no need to speak” — as if this was the second sentence, connected with the first; as if there had been no twelve years of waiting in between and he was still speaking: “Remain silent. Now there is no need to speak.” But there was a gap of twelve years between these two sentences!
Bayazid laughed. The master said, “Now, you can go and teach others. You are ready. You have become a master in your own right.”
People asked the old master again and again, “How did this happen? This young man was not doing anything and now you say he has become a master in his own right. He was just waiting here, wasting time. He looks stupid, dull. He has not even uttered a single sentence; he may be dumb. He goes on sitting and sitting; he’s just lazy. What are you saying? How can it be that he has become a master in his own right when he has not practiced anything?”
The master said, “But he need not practice anything. He didn’t need to. He simply surrendered, and I could work.” He said, “Then there was no need on his part to do anything else. A total yes was enough on his part. Then I entered him and worked. For these twelve years I have been working. He was simply allowing.”
This is what surrender means. Allow. Relax your ego. Then, much is possible. Otherwise, you go on destroying yourself, doing many things against yourself.
This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune.
Discourse Series: The New Alchemy: To Turn You On
Chapter title: Catharsis and Meditation: Steps on The Path
15 February 1973 pm in Anandshila
Osho has spoken on Sufi Masters and Mystics Al-Hillaj-Mansoor, Farid, Junnaid, Rabiya Al Adabiya, Jalaladdin Rumi, Sarmad, Omar Khayyam and many more in His discourses. Some of these can be referred to in the following books/discourses:
- Be Still and Know
- Come Come Yet Again Come
- The Perfect Master, Vol 1, 2
- Beyond Enlightenment
- The New Dawn
- The Sword and The Lotus
- Om Shantih Shantih Shantih
- And the Flowers Showered
- The Razor’s Edge
- The Revolution
- Sufis: The People of the Path, Vol 1, 2
- The Empty Boat
- Light on the Path
- Tao: The Three Treasures, Vol 2
- Zen: The Quantum Leap From Mind to No-Mind