Gibberish: A Way to No-Mind
Osho on Gibberish
I CAME HERE CONFUSED, NOT KNOWING WHO I AM. FOR MANY DAYS SITTING NEAR YOU I HAVE HEARD MY HEART ASKING AND YOUR VOICE ANSWERING. EVERY DAY YOU HAVE HEARD MY WORDS AND MY QUESTIONS. NOW I SIT IN YOUR PRESENCE, MY HEART IS QUIETER. SOMETIMES JUST A JUMP OF JOY, A DESIRE TO DANCE OR TO GIVE YOU A HUG, NOTHING ELSE… NO QUESTIONS, NO ANSWERS, NO PROBLEMS. OSHO, AM I SLEEPING AGAIN?
Anand Shobha, you are saying, “I came here confused, not knowing who I am. For many days, sitting near you I have heard my heart asking and your voice answering. Every day you have heard my words and my questions. Now I sit in your presence, my heart is quieter, sometimes just a jump of joy, a desire to dance or to give you a hug, nothing else… no questions, no answers, no problems. Am I sleeping again?” No, Anand Shobha. You were sleeping before, when you were full of confusion, when you had no idea of who you are, when there were so many questions to be asked, so many answers to be received — that was the time of your sleep. As your heart became quieter, your awakening came closer.
Now you say, “Sometimes just a jump of joy, a desire to dance or to give you a hug, nothing else… no questions, no answers, no problems.” You are blessed, because the confusion has gone, the clouds have disappeared and the sun is shining bright. When there are no questions and no problems you cannot be asleep; it happens only when you are alert and awake. So it is not that you are falling asleep. You were asleep, and you have come out of it.
Now rejoice, dance, sing as a gratitude to existence. What else can we do to show our gratitude? Words are useless, because existence does not understand any language. It understands only your joy, your blissfulness, your ecstasy… not in words, but in your experiencing them. So don’t hold back. This is the only way and the only possibility, to dance so madly that the dancer disappears and only the dance remains. And existence will understand it. Sing so totally that the singer is not left behind, but is completely drowned in the song, becomes the song itself. And existence will understand it. Existence has its own existential language — this is the existential language.
I have heard about two generals, after the second world war, sitting in a restaurant in London. One was a German and the other was an Englishman. The German general was saying to the English general, “I cannot figure it out, why we got defeated in the second world war. We were more powerful, and we had been winning for five years continually. What went wrong?”
The English general laughed. He said, “Nothing went wrong, just one small thing you forgot. And that is, our British armies were always going to the field, to the front, after praying to God, ‘Lord, give us victory.’ The Lord was with us. Our prayers proved more powerful than all your power.”
It was time for the German general to laugh. He said, “You must be stupid. Do you think we were not praying? We were also praying, and the Lord was with us continually for five years.”
The English general said, “In what language were you praying?” The German said, “Of course in the German language.”
The British general said, “That is the problem. God does not understand German! Except English, he does not understand any other language.”
But this is the attitude of all the races, of all the countries of the world. Jews think God knows only Hebrew, Hindus think God knows only Sanskrit, and Mohammedans know that God knows only Arabic. But
I would like to tell you that God does not know any of these languages. These are all manufactured by man. God understands only that which he has made. He understands these birds and they are not speaking English, nor German. God understands even the silence of the trees, the fragrance of the flowers, the song of a river descending from the mountains, the eternal peace that reigns in the Himalayas. These are the languages that God understands. You be silent, you be joyful, you sing a song, you become a dance. I am not saying dance, I am saying become a dance, and your prayer has reached to the farthest source of existence.
There was one Sufi mystic, Jabbar. The English word gibberish comes from Jabbar, because he used absolutely absurd language. It was not a language at all. He went on inventing any sound, any word, anything. Nobody could understand what he was saying.
It was just like small children playing, when they start learning to speak — making any sounds — even the sound makes them happy. And many times his disciples said, “Why do you bother? You go on inventing sounds, words that do not exist in any language, in any dictionary….”
But mystics are mystics. He never changed his idea.
People used to think that soon nobody would come to listen to him. But they were amazed, he had more disciples than any other contemporary mystic. And people were puzzled: what is happening? What was happening was something really great.
Listening to Jabbar, your mind had nothing to do. You could not interpret, you could not say, “It is right, it is wrong.” You didn’t know what it was. Naturally, listening to him your mind stopped –
that this man is mad and you cannot figure it out, what it is. No comma, no semicolon, no full stop; he simply went on and on. He must have been very inventive.
And he enjoyed it very much. He would laugh as if he had been telling a joke, and again he would start. The gathering of his disciples increased, because just sitting near him, listening to his gibberish, their minds became silent.
And that was the purpose, that was his device. And when their minds became silent, they were in meditation. The moment the mind becomes silent, your whole consciousness is clean, pure. And that cleanliness, that pureness is your godliness. Many more people have understood God through Jabbar’s gibberish than through great learned scholars. I have never heard that anybody has experienced God by great learning. But Jabbar must have been a very unique man. It is very unfortunate that there was no way of recording in those days; otherwise whatever he was saying could have become one of the holiest scriptures. Nobody would have been able to understand it — but you don’t have to understand anything, you have just to be silent, you have just to be absent.
So any way, either singing or dancing, whatever makes you absent, immediately you will be filled with God’s presence. Suddenly you will become aware of your own inner light. The last words of Gautam Buddha were, appo deepo bhavo: Be a light unto yourself. And those words were said to his chief disciple, Ananda, who had been with him for forty-two years, just like a shadow, non-stop, day out, day in. But he had not become enlightened. And many others who had come afterwards had become enlightened. So he was crying, sitting by the side of Buddha, saying, “You are leaving us.” Buddha declared, “I am going to die today. As the sun sets, I will withdraw my consciousness from my body and dissolve into the universal.”
Ananda burst into tears. He said, “What will happen to me? I have been with you for forty-two years and I am yet unenlightened; and now you are going. And you are going forever, you are not going to return in any other body, so there is no question of meeting you again.”
Buddha said, “That is the barrier. You think I can make you enlightened — that’s why these forty-two years have gone by and you have not attained. Perhaps after my death, within twenty-four hours you may become enlightened. For these forty-two years there was a hope that I would do something. Nobody can do anything. Be a light unto yourself.” Those were his last words. As he died, Ananda did not move from the place, and within exactly twenty-four hours he became enlightened. He could have become enlightened any day. Those forty-two years he was hoping that as he was the chief disciple of Gautam Buddha, he need not do anything.
But the death of Buddha came as such a shock that his whole mind stopped. The other disciples were worried that he may go mad. He had loved Gautam Buddha so much, and he was an elder cousin-brother to Gautam Buddha. And he had followed him, serving him… he may go mad. And the way he was sitting — almost frozen, like a statue. They thought that it was intolerable for him to see Gautam Buddha dead. But what had actually happened was, Ananda had not gone mad, Ananda had also died with Gautam Buddha. His mind stopped the moment Buddha stopped breathing. In this nothingness, in this silence, he became aware of what Buddha had said as his last message. He saw his own inner flame, his own inner light.
And after twenty-four hours, the first thing he did was, he laughed. Somebody asked, “Why are you laughing?” He said, “I am laughing because I was waiting for Gautam Buddha to do something, and the thing I was waiting for had been always inside me. I could have turned inwards any moment and it was mine.”
Anand Shoba, this is a blissful moment for you.
Don’t hold back. Be total in your dance, be total in your joy, be total in your blissfulness.
It is the moment of awakening. It is your dawn.
This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune.
Discourse Series: The Razor’s Edge
Chapter title: God is also seeking you
3 March 1987 am
Osho has spoken on ‘gibberish, silence, meditation, consciousness’ in many of His discourses. More on the subject can be referred to in the following books/discourses:
- The Secret
- Zen: The Quantum Leap From Mind to No-Mind
- This, This, A Thousand Times This: The Very Essence of Zen
- The Zen Manifesto: Freedom From Oneself
- The Path of the Mystic
- The Hidden Splendor
- Sermons in Stones
- Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, Vol 1, 2
- I Say Unto You, Vol 2
- The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 11, 12
- From Bondage to Freedom
- Sat Chit Anand
- Zarathustra: The Laughing Prophet