Osho on Enlightened Saint Paltu
Paltu Das [1710-1780] was born in Nanga-Jalalpur, Uttar Pradesh. He lived in Ayodhya, the sacred city of Hindus. He was a grocer by profession, and later became a saint of great repute. Rajas, Maharajas, Nawabs and Brahmin Pundits came to his cottage, situated in woods, to pay their respect to him.
Paltu Das was a great poet. Some scholars compare him, as ‘Second Kabir’. His eloquent poetry freely uses images drawn, from his daily life and work, creating often paradoxical, beautifully crafted, and powerful works, in the form of Dohes, Bhajans and Shabads. He taught universal mystic path of love, meditation on ‘Inner Name’, and devotion to a ‘Living Spiritual Master’.
During his lifetime he was critic of orthodox religious practices, and fearlessly denounced the rituals and customs of organized religion, and for his bold utterances he was persecuted, and ‘burnt alive’ by the religious authorities.
Osho has dedicated many discourse series in Hindi on paltu’s poems and have referred to them quite a few times during other discourse series as well and has praised them very much.
When you are industrious you are functioning as a body-mind mechanism. When you are utterly relaxed you are functioning as a spirit — no more body, no more mind — because the body can work, the mind can work. They know how to work, they are biological machines. The mind goes on working twenty-four hours a day. Even though the work is not needed, even in sleep it goes on working. That is the only way it knows how to be: functioning continuously is its very core, very substance. And so is the case with the body: the body also continuously works. Even when you are lying down and resting, the body is doing a thousand and one things: the food is being digested, the dead cells are being thrown out of the body, the breathing continues, the blood is being purified; millions of processes really are continuously there. Since the conception in the mother’s womb till the grave, the body continues to work. And the case is the same, more or less, with the mind.
I am not against work. Work is beautiful if you know something which is beyond work, if you know something which comes only when you are in a state of no-effort. In the state of no-effort the beyond descends into you. Slowly slowly it sinks in you, goes to your very center: you are in communion with God. This communion is real meditation. Meditation cannot be attained through any effort, but only through effortlessness. The West has completely forgotten the ways of being effortless.
It knows how to work, how to produce, it knows how to become: it has completely forgotten the language of being. Becoming is understandable, being is simply incomprehensible. The same is happening in the East unfortunately: the East is turning West. It is learning the ways of the West, naturally, because the West has become rich, affluent; it has all kinds of gadgets. The East is very jealous and poor and suffering; it wants to have all the money that the West has, and all the mechanisms and all the technology. So even in the East the man who works hard, is industrious, is now being praised.
In fact for a Buddha to exist is becoming more and more impossible. In Russia one cannot become a Buddha — the communist party won’t allow that much rest. He will be thought anti-communist, bourgeois, dangerous to the society. Meditation is not allowed. There are a few people who are interested in me in Russia, but they have to listen to my tapes while hiding themselves so that nobody should come to know. They read my books but those books are moving underground. Just two days before, I received a letter: twenty-five persons want to become sannyasins; a whole group in a town has become involved with me. They have made their own malas, their own lockets, but they cannot wear them, they are hiding their malas… It has become almost impossible in Russia to talk about meditation. What to say about being a Buddha?
And the whole art of meditation is the art of remaining effortless, of being so quiet, so tranquil, so relaxed, that there is not even a ripple. Your consciousness is a completely silent lake, and in that silent lake the whole sky is reflected, with all the stars, with the moon, with the trees on the bank… You become a mirror. So you have to go into a new dimension: beyond being industrious. I am the lazy man’s guide! Industry is good if you are moving into the world. I teach how to be non-industrious. A perfectly balanced person will be industrious when he is working in the world, and absolutely effortless when he is moving inwards. And he will have a kind of balance; he will have both the capacities. He will not become attached to one alternative, he will be capable of shifting and moving easily. He can work, he can play; he can be hard, he can be soft. He can be as hard as a rock and as soft as water. When these two things are together — when we have made the opposites complementaries in our being — we attain to the highest peak of synthesis.
I am not for the western way of life — it is too industrial — and I am not in favor of the eastern way of life — it is too introvert, too lazy… I am for a synthesis between East and West. And that’s what is happening in this commune: people are working, but playfully; people are working, but work is worship. People are working but with a relaxed attitude and approach. So this has to be remembered and this has to be learned — this is going to be your target: how to be effortless, how to just be.
Life has to be a love song; if it is not, it is not life at all, it is only a slow death.
It is dragging. One exists but one does not live. Life becomes a life only when your heart starts singing songs of love, when a poet is born in you and when a love affair starts with existence. That’s what sannyas is all about: it is a love affair with existence. It is not a philosophical effort to understand what it is all about, it is not a head trip. It is not trying to figure out the mysteries of life and existence — no, not at all. It is simply a love affair. We are not concerned with knowing what it is; we are concerned with living it whatsoever it is — XYZ. Our concern is to live it in its totality, because ultimately that is the only way to know it.
Hence, all creative activities are helpful: singing, dancing, music, poetry, sculpture, acting. All kinds of creative activities are good because they help your love energy to flow, your heart opens up more when you are creative. So whatsoever you do, do with the touch of creativeness.
Innovate, bring something new into being. It is not a question of whether you succeed or not; the only thing that is significant is that you tried. Even if the song is never completed, it doesn’t matter — you tried, and that’s the real thing. The very effort to transform your life into a song is the transformation. It is not a question of success and failure, achievement or non-achievement: it is not a competitive business. Even to fail on the way towards God is better than to succeed in the ways of the world.
A love affair is a blind affair — love is blind, blind in the eyes of logic.
Just this morning I was talking about a saint, Paltu. He has a tremendously beautiful sutra. He says that only those who are blind will be able to understand what I am saying. It is far more significant than what Jesus says. Jesus says: If you have eyes to see, see; if you have ears to hear, hear.
Paltu seems to go deeper than Jesus. He says: Only those who are blind will be able to see what I mean. Although both mean the same thing; when Jesus says, if you have eyes to see, and when Paltu says, if you are blind, both mean the same thing. Jesus is not concerned with the so-called eyes with which we see the world; he also is concerned with the eyes of the heart, but the way Paltu says it is far more beautiful.
He says: If you are logically blind, if you are blind in the eyes of logic and intellect, only then will you have eyes of the heart to see. But he does not mention that — he says: Just be blind. That means, just be in love, and love is the only way to know God.
This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune.
Discourse name: Don’t Let Yourself Be Upset by the Sutra, rather Upset the Sutra Yourself
Chapter title: None
24 September 1979 pm in Chuang Tzu Auditorium
Osho has spoken on Mystics like Dadu, Daya, Farid, Gurdjieff, J. Krishnamurti, Kabir, Lalla, Magdalen, Mallibai, Meera, Nanak, Patanjali, Rabiya, Raman Maharishi, Rumi, Sahajo, Sai Baba, Saraha, Socrates, Teresa, Tilopa, Valmiki, Zarathustra and many more in His discourses. Some of these can be referred to in the following books/discourses: