Go anywhere, Go totally

Osho on Surrender and Totality



You can never be absolutely sure about a guru, and that is not needed. What is needed is that you should be absolutely sure about yourself. How can you be sure about a master? You exist on two different levels, two different states of mind. Whatsoever you can see, whatsoever you can understand, whatsoever you can interpret, will not be of much use — and there is more possibility of your going wrong than right. But there is no need, so don’t be worried about it.

You have to be sure about yourself, about your search, and if you are sure about yourself then you can devote yourself to a master totally. Remember, the totality of surrender is not going to come from the surety about the master; it is going to come from your own surety, your own totalness. The master is bound to remain paradoxical for you unless you yourself become enlightened, because only the same can understand the same. Only when you have become a Buddha will you be able to understand Buddha — never before.

When you have become a christ, when Christ is known to you, you can understand; never before. Christ is bound to remain a mystery, and a mystery means paradox. Christ will appear to you as irrational, not because he is irrational but because he is supra-rational, he is beyond reason — and you don’t know anything about beyond reason. At the most you can think he is below reason, he is not rational. And the ways of a master are so secret that sometimes he will create a situation in which he will not allow you to be sure about himself, because if you can be absolutely sure about the master then your surrender is meaningless. Then what is the meaning of it? When you are absolutely sure of the master then it is a bargain, then you cannot do anything else other than surrender. When you are uncertain, then surrender is a device; in your uncertainty, hesitation, still you decide. That decision changes you.

The more mysterious a master, the more is the possibility of transformation through surrender. If the master is known to you, just as two plus two makes four, then there is no mystery. Sufi masters particularly will create rumors about themselves, so the new ones who come to them can only enter not because they are sure about the master, but because they are sure about their search — and they are ready to take a risk.

Why do you want to be sure about the master? — because you don’t want to take the risk. Your mind is a business mind. When a master is something mysterious….

One old woman came from England to see Gurdjieff. She had heard Ouspensky, Gurdjieff’s disciple, and Ouspensky was a mathematician, a logician. He was not a master, he was not enlightened, but he was a perfect rationalist and he could explain Gurdjieff better than Gurdjieff himself. Gurdjieff would have remained unknown to the world if there had been no Ouspensky. He was nowhere near Gurdjieff, but he could think in a logical way, express in a logical way. He was professionally a mathematician. Many people were attracted to Ouspensky, and when they were attracted to Ouspensky they would start thinking about going to Gurdjieff — and then they would return frustrated, disappointed.

One old woman became very much impressed by Ouspensky, and then she went to see Gurdjieff. Within just a week she was back, and she told Ouspensky, “I can feel that Gurdjieff is great, but I am not certain whether he is good or bad, whether he is evil, devilish, or a saint. I am not certain about that. He is great — that much is certain. But he may be a great devil, or a great saint — that is not certain.” And Gurdjieff behaved in such a way that he would create this impression. Alan Watts has written about Gurdjieff and has called him a rascal saint — because sometimes he would behave like a rascal, but it was all acting and was done knowingly to avoid all those who would take unnecessary time and energy. It was done to send back those who could only work when they were certain. Only those would be allowed who could work even when they were not certain about the master, but who were certain about themselves.

And to surrender to a Gurdjieff will transform you more than surrendering to Ramana Maharshi, because Ramana Maharshi is so saintly, so simple, that surrender doesn’t mean anything. You cannot do otherwise. He is so open — just like a small child — so pure, that surrender will happen. But that surrender is happening because of Ramana Maharshi, not because of you. It is nothing as far as you are concerned. If surrender happens with Gurdjieff, then it has happened because of you, because Gurdjieff is in no way going to support it. Rather, he will create all types of hindrances. If still you surrender, that transforms you. So there is no need to be absolutely sure about him — and that is impossible — but you have to be sure about yourself.

Just today one friend came to me and said about himself, “I am just fifty-fifty: fifty percent with you and fifty percent with Subud” — a very good Indonesian technique of meditation. So, “I am fifty-fifty, divided.”

I asked him, “What do you mean by fifty-fifty?” and told him one anecdote.

It happened once that Mulla Nasruddin owned a hotel. Then he was arrested and brought to the court of the town, because he was caught mixing horsemeat in chicken cutlets. But he confessed and he said, “I have been committing this crime,” and he pleaded guilty.

The magistrate asked, “Nasruddin, will you tell me what the proportion was? How much horsemeat were you mixing into how many chicken cutlets?”

Nasruddin said, very truthfully, “Fifty-fifty.”

But the magistrate was not convinced so he asked, “What do you mean by fifty-fifty, Nasruddin?”

Nasruddin said, “It is so obvious. Fifty-fifty means fifty-fifty — one horse to one chicken.”

So it is not certain. What do you mean by fifty-fifty? Your mind is confusion, but division will not help, a divided mind will not be of much help. Go to Subud or come to me, but be a hundred percent. And that hundred percentness is needed about you — not about me, or about Bapak Subud, or about anybody else. You must be a hundred percent here, then work becomes possible.

What to do? Your mind is cunning — clever you call it, but it is cunning. It calculates, it cannot take a risk. That’s why you have been wandering for so many lives. You were near Buddha, you were near Jesus, you have seen Mohammed — you have seen many masters, but you bypass them just because of your cleverness.

Your cleverness is your stupidity. Even with a Buddha you calculate — and what can you calculate? Life is such a mystery; it cannot be explained in terms of logic. And a person like Buddha is so mysterious that whatsoever you come to conclude will be wrong, and by the time you have concluded Buddha will have changed. By the time you have come to a decision, Buddha is not the same — because Buddha is a river, a riverlike phenomenon, flowing. Conclusion will take time, and you will miss. Religion is for those who are like gamblers, who can take risks. If you are a gambler then something can happen, but if you are a businessman then nothing is possible. Be certain about your search. If you are really in search, then don’t be afraid. And I say again: even with a master who is false, pseudo, you are not going to lose anything.

It happened that one of the Tibetan mystics, Marpa, was in search of a master. He reached a master who was not really a master, who was a pseudo-teacher, who was not himself enlightened. Marpa asked him, “What am I supposed to do?”

The pseudo-master said, “You will have to surrender to me. Surrender totally.”

Marpa said, “Surrendered! I am surrendered. Now what is to be done?”

Other disciples became jealous, because this Marpa seemed to be a dangerous man: immediately, without arguing, without discussing, he said, “I have surrendered. Now tell me, what is to be done?” He would become the leader, he would become the chief disciple — he had already become it. He had just arrived, and they had been serving the master for many years, and he had superseded them. They became jealous, and they said to the master, “This is not easy; surrender is such a difficult thing. For many years we have been working, and yet we have not surrendered totally. This man seems to be deceiving. So we must examine whether the surrender is true or not.”

The master asked, “How can it be examined and tested?”

So they said, “Tell him to jump from this hill into the valley. If he jumps, then he is surrendered. If he doesn’t jump, then he is deceiving.” In both ways they were thinking that they were going to be the winners. If he jumped he would be dead; if he didn’t jump he would be thrown out of the ashram.

But they didn’t know Marpa — he simply jumped. And they were wonderstruck. He jumped — and then he was sitting in the valley! So when they reached him they could not believe it; even the master could not believe that this could happen. So he thought, “It must have been just an accident that he is saved.”

He asked Marpa, “How did it happen?”

He said, “I don’t know. You must know; I have surrendered to you. Now it is up to you. I don’t know what has happened — but a miracle has happened. You have done this!”

The master knew well that he had not done anything — he did not know any ABC — this must have been by accident. So another situation had to be created. Then they saw a house that was on fire, so they said, “Enter!” Marpa entered immediately. The whole house burned, and they could not know what had happened until the fire disappeared. Then they went inside. All over the place everything was burned, everything was destroyed and Marpa was sitting in meditation, not even perspiring. So the master asked, “Marpa, how did you do it again?” He said, “I don’t know, master. It is you. And my trust is growing; you are a miracle!”

But it is possible that even an accident can happen a second time, improbabilities are also possible. So they thought, “It has to be tried again, a third time.” So they told Marpa to walk on a river. The river was in flood and they said, “Walk on water!” And Marpa walked. When Marpa was walking and was just in midstream, the master thought, “It seems as if I am doing something, because how can this happen? It must be my power.” He thought, “If just by surrendering to me Marpa can walk on water, why cannot I walk?” So he started walking — and he was drowned. No one has ever heard about what happened to that master, but Marpa became enlightened.

So it is not a question of the master, it is a question of your totality. Even with a pseudo-master you can become enlightened. And the reverse is also true: even with an enlightened master you may remain ignorant. Remember, my emphasis is on you. That’s why I never say: Don’t go to Sai Baba, or: Don’t go to Bapak Subud. That is immaterial. Go anywhere. Go totally.


This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Mt. Abu, Rajasthan, India

Discourse series: Vedanta : Seven Steps to Samadhi

Chapter #5

Chapter title : In deep patience

13 January 1974 pm in Mt. Abu, Rajasthan, India


Osho has spoken on Surrender, disciple, master, totality, devotion, life, enlightenment, religion in many of His discourses. More on the subject can be referred to in the following books/discourses:

  1. And The Flowers Showered
  2. Beyond Enlightenment
  3. A Bird on the Wing
  4. The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha
  5. From Bondage to Freedom
  6. Hari Om Tat Sat
  7. Light on the Path
  8. The Osho Upanishad
  9. The Perfect Master
  10. The Secret
  11. Sufis: The People of the Path
  12. Vigyan Bhairav Tantra
  13. Zen: The Path of Paradox
  14. The Book of Wisdom
  15. Ecstasy – The Forgotten Language
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