Hyakujo The Everest of Zen 06

Sixth Discourse from the series of 9 discourses - Hyakujo The Everest of Zen by Osho.
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Once a Taoist, happening to pass by Hyakujo’s monastery, asked, “Is there anything in the world more marvelous than the forces of nature?”
Hyakujo replied, “There is.”
“And what is that?” the Taoist inquired.
Hyakujo said, “The power of comprehending those natural forces.”
The visitor asked, “Is cosmic vitality the Tao?”
Hyakujo responded, “Cosmic vitality is cosmic vitality. The Tao is the Tao.”
The Taoist said, “If so, they must be two different things?”
Hyakujo said, “That which knows does not proceed from two different persons.”
The exasperated Taoist replied, “What is wrong and what is right?”
Hyakujo replied, “Wrong is the mind that attends to externals; right is the mind that brings externals under control.”
Maneesha, listening to these dialogues and anecdotes, the more important thing should not be forgotten. This is not a school or a university. You are not here learning any knowledge. You are being transformed, awakened. All these sutras are meant only to wake you up, to catch your attention – which is vibrating continuously, moving around thousands of things – to make it absolutely here is the whole purpose of all these sutras.
This is possible only if you are only listening and not interpreting, listening and not making judgments, listening and not saying, “Yes, this is right; no, this is not right…” You don’t have to say anything. That is not the point of the whole process. The point is that you can be just a listener without any judgment. That prepares you for your meditation.

Maneesha has brought these dialogues,
Once a Taoist…
In the first place nobody can be a Taoist. Tao is neither a religion nor a philosophy. It is simply the purest understanding of meditation where everything disappears, including you. Then what remains is Tao. Buddha will call it dhamma; you can call it truth, consciousness, beauty. But all these words denote one oceanic feeling of awareness in which you are not separate from the cosmos. But the difficulty with man is, he makes everything into an “ism.”
So when Lao Tzu died, people started making an ism. And his whole life he had been teaching that there is no ism, no philosophy, no theory. You have to drop all these mind activities. You have to attain to a silent and empty space. That is Tao.
Nobody can be a Taoist, so from the very beginning, we know that the questions are going to be wrong. Of course you can answer rightly to wrong questions – and that’s what Hyakujo is going to do.
Once a Taoist, happening to pass by Hyakujo’s monastery, asked, “Is there anything in the world more marvelous than the forces of nature?”
Hyakujo replied, “There is.”
But being a follower of a certain dogma, his eyes are as blind as any Hindu, any Mohammedan, any Christian’s eyes are. He could not understand that there could be anything more marvelous than the forces of nature. He is forgetting himself completely. Anybody could have said that the seer is far more marvelous than the seen. The knower is more marvelous than the known, because the known is just an object. The knower shows a different quality of consciousness. He is alive, not only alive, but consciously alive.
“And what is that?” the Taoist inquired.
Hyakujo said, “The power of comprehending those natural forces.”
What I have said to you, the seer, the witness, the watcher – that’s what Hyakujo is calling the power of comprehending the natural forces. That is more marvelous. That is the ultimate splendor.
The visitor asked, “Is cosmic vitality the Tao?”
Hyakujo responded, “Cosmic vitality is cosmic vitality. The Tao is the Tao.”
The Taoist said, “If so, they must be two different things?”
Hyakujo said, “That which knows does not proceed from two different persons.”
The exasperated Taoist replied, “What is wrong and what is right?”
Hyakujo replied, “Wrong is the mind that attends to externals; right is the mind that brings externals under control.”
In a more contemporary way a few things have to be noted first. The visitor is not intrinsically concerned, urgently concerned with what he is asking. His questions are scattered, they are not in one sequence. He gets one answer, drops it as if he has understood. But his next question has no relation to the first. If he had understood, there would not have been another question.
One question is enough for the man of intelligence. And if the intelligence is ultimate and meditative, not even one question is needed. Nothing is said, and everything is heard in the empty heart of the disciple. But he is not a disciple – just a visitor, a curiosity-monger. People simply go on collecting knowledge from different sources and then they brag as if they know all these things. You can see this – his interest is not at all to understand what he is asking. He asks, “What is more marvelous in existence than natural forces?”
Hyakujo’s answer is absolutely perfect: it is the seer who comprehends, who witnesses the existence. Just by the sheer nature of witnessing, it is higher than the witnessed. If he had understood the point, there was no more to ask. But he went on asking. The visitor asked, “Is cosmic vitality the Tao?” Now this has no connection with the first question. This shows that he has collected the answer, is not bothered what it means…just words. And now he will repeat those words to anyone as if they are his own. He is in a hurry to ask another question, and the first is not dissolved yet. With the first dissolving he will also dissolve.
On the path there are not answers, simply the disappearing of the questions. What the master says makes the question disappear, makes the question irrelevant, out of context, meaningless. He clears the space, so you can see also the same clarity that is his own. He wants to share his clarity and he removes your questions by answers. He is not interested either in answers or in questions. He answers only just to remove the question. But if a person is not a person on the path of seeking, it does not matter. He may have removed one question to the side…he brings another…. He does not see the point.
The visitor asked, “Is cosmic vitality the Tao?” Neither does he know cosmic vitality, nor does he know Tao. This is where intellectuals get lost, in words. Words are a far more thick forest than you can find anywhere else. Apparently it seems to be perfectly right to ask a question, “Is cosmic vitality the ultimate life? The same as the Tao?” But the question is arising out of curiosity, not out of inquiry. It does not matter if you don’t answer. What I mean by urgency is, it matters that we should find our life source, the cosmic vitality.
Hyakujo responded, “Cosmic vitality is cosmic vitality. The Tao is the Tao.”
Now immediately in any ordinary mind the question will arise: Are they two? Is the path and the goal two? The path is the path; the goal is the goal – but they are not two. The path is only the extension of the goal. The goal is only the end point of the path. Hyakujo is not saying they are two. He is simply saying, the path is the path and the goal is the goal. Don’t make any decisions before you have followed the path. At the end point of the path you will find the goal. And then suddenly, you will realize their absolute oneness.
The Taoist said, “If so, they must be two different things?”
A very ordinary mediocre mind can say that. In front of a master, one has to think twice what he is asking.
Hyakujo said, “That which knows does not proceed from two different persons.”
You can follow only one path. There may be many paths – just like a mountain peak, you can climb it from one side or the other side. And there can be a thousand paths moving to the ultimate peak, but as paths they are different from other paths. Some paths may be moving through a desert, and some paths should be moving through lush green trees. As paths they are different, but when they will reach to the end, there will be an explosion of understanding that everything leads to the ultimate.
Some take a little more time, some take a little less time; some are arduous, some are very relaxed…it is your choice. Move from anywhere towards your life source. You will reach to the same point that any buddha has ever reached. The ultimate experience is not either yours or mine, it is simply the ultimate experience of all consciousnesses who move towards the inner source.
The exasperated Taoist replied…
He was exasperated because he could not understand what was being said.
“What is wrong and what is right?”
He thought it is better to ask a very simple question and then see what this man answers: “What is wrong and what is right?” Nothing can be more simple apparently, but deep down, it is one of the most significant questions.
Hyakujo replied, “Wrong is the mind that attends to externals…”
The mind in subjugation, the mind in slavery to objects – that is wrong. When you change the whole status, and the mind is no longer under the control of the objective world, but becomes a master in his own right, it is right.
Ordinarily we think that right and wrong are judgments – somebody is doing something, and you feel it is not right, or it is right. In our common understanding right and wrong have become parts of our judgmental approach, but to those who know, to those who have arrived, right and wrong have a totally different meaning.
Mind can function as a master, mind can function as a slave. Now, ordinarily nobody thinks right and wrong has something to do with this, but basically mind in slavery of the objective world is wrong. Then whatever you do is wrong. And when the mind is freed from objective slavery, it becomes empty. That empty mind becomes a showering – a master. It is no longer a slave. That is the only right. Then out of this situation, whatever arises, out of this space, whatever responses are produced – they are right. So right is not a judgmental question, it is a question of where you are and what your state is: Is your consciousness the master, or is it easily enslaved by anything?
I am reminded of a Sufi master, Junnaid…
He himself was a very simple man and would not have become world famous except for Al Hillaj Mansoor, his disciple who was crucified. He used to say, the question of right and wrong is the question concerning your consciousness. If you are conscious, then whatever you do, is bound to be right. If you are unconscious, then whatever you do is wrong. The world may appreciate it differently.
For example, a man may donate, give to charities and everybody will say, “How nice, how great, how righteous, how virtuous is this man.” If you look into his mind, he is giving to all these charities in order to make a special place in God’s bank, so when he reaches the pearly gates, he should be welcomed with angels, and he will have all the comforts. What he is giving, is nothing compared to what he is exploiting. Perhaps one percent…and he becomes a great virtuous man – and ninety nine percent he is exploiting the same people.
Unless one is conscious, absolutely a pillar of consciousness, it is very difficult to do right. Because you are not right, how can the flowers of right arise out of you? So the question to the authentic master changes the whole area. It is not your activity, it is your consciousness. What you do is irrelevant – from where comes the doing? Consciousness or unconsciousness – that is the decisive factor.
Zen has brought a totally different outlook. It is not a morality. It does not emphasize your actions. The emphasis is on you. You are doing right things for wrong reasons. That will not make them right. Somebody is afraid of hell, and out of fear, he goes to church every Sunday. It is a bother…listening to the priest, the same Old Testament and the same old garbage which he has listened to so many times. So most of the church goers simply have a good morning sleep in the churches. It is a very religious sleep.

A man used to snore in a church….
The bishop was worried, he took the man aside and told him, “I am not against sleeping, and sleeping is not an irreligious activity, but snoring is a little too much.”
The man asked, “Is snoring irreligious?”
He said, “No, I am not saying that snoring is irreligious. I am simply saying that because of your snoring the whole congregation cannot sleep, and that creates many difficult problems. I have only three sermons which I have been giving my whole life. Nobody listens – what is the point? To be original and to find new material…And nobody has ever objected – that is absolute proof that nobody has ever listened. They were all fast asleep. And it is good for me too…unnecessary trouble. And in fact, those three sermons are also not written by me. Those are the three sermons of the previous preacher who has retired. He gave them to me and told me, ‘These are enough. Don’t bother to take much trouble. The whole congregation comes to the church to have a good morning sleep. Just don’t let anybody snore.’
“You are the most prominent member of the church. Snoring is killing me. If people start listening, it will not be long…it will be only three weeks, before they will come to know that ‘this fellow has been repeating the same record.’ So please, just for God’s sake, sleep as deep as you can, but don’t snore.”

All the religions have been action oriented. Don’t do this, don’t do that – they are all commandments. The question is not of your doing, the question is of your being. Be in a conscious state, then do whatever comes out of your spontaneity – and it is right. If it does not come as a spontaneous conscious response, then even if the whole world says it is good, it is not good. The ultimate criterion is not the action. The ultimate criterion is the origin.
The mind is capable of doing both. It can be a slave, as it is to millions of people. Very rarely is the mind completely free from objects, desires, anger, and just a simple empty space, no-mind.
So we can say it in this way: if you act through mind, it is wrong; if you act through no-mind, it is right.

A haiku by Basho:
Birth of art –
song of rice planters,
chorus from nowhere.
If you are utterly silent, then everything that happens in that silence, takes a new color. It becomes the birth of very art. “Song of rice planters” – it is not much of a music. Poor rice planters, just to keep them engaged, they are singing in chorus. But a man of silence, immediately makes or gives a glamour to the ordinary stones. “Song of rice planters, chorus from nowhere.” As far as he is concerned he is utterly silent, so he wonders from where this chorus is coming. The whole existence has become a chorus, a beautiful symphony. Our lives can be lived as music, as poetry, as art…as mystics. Those are the right ways to live our lives. Right, because to live those styles, you will have to find your origin first.

Maneesha has asked:
What is the urge to understand?
Maneesha, the urge to understand comes from your very nature. The mystery of existence wants you to become a shareholder. The mystery of existence does not want you to stand outside, but to come inside the temple. It is too hot outside, it is perfectly cool inside.
The urge to understand is absolutely a part of intelligence. Intelligence wants to know, who is there within me; from where comes my love, my tears, my laughter? One does not want to remain ignorant of his own house.
The urge to understand is the only hope for man. If there is no urge to understand, there will not be any mysticism, and there will not be any poetry; there will not be any music, there will not be any dance. There will be only a deep sadness, a suicidal sadness, that what is the point of going on living because the urge to understand, the meaning of life is missing. But fortunately the urge is not something to be learned from somebody else. The urge is there in you. You may have repressed it as much as you want, but in the right season, in the right time, in the right moment, if you encounter a man who knows, suddenly the urge will surface. That is one of the criteria of meeting a master.
People have asked me again and again, “How to decide that we have met the master?” If meeting a man, you suddenly feel that you would also like to be in the same space, in the same joy, in the same song, the urge to understand has arisen. This urge makes you a disciple, and a disciple is just the beginning of a master. The disciple is the seed and the master is the flowers.
Now it is Anando’s time….

Olga Kowalski is chatting to her friend, Rosa, over a cup of coffee.
“If you ask me,” says Olga, “the television is a stupid invention.”
“Why is that?” asks Rosa, munching on a cookie.
“Well,” says Olga, “all it is, is crime – or sex!”
“Really?” replies Rosa.
“I’m sick of it,” says Olga. “Whenever I switch the TV on at night, all I see is violence!”
“Then why don’t you switch it off?” suggests Rosa.
“Well if I do that,” replies Olga, “then Kowalski wants to have sex!”

Gorgeous Gloria goes to see Robin Meany, the show business agent, and asks him to see her act.
Gloria places a large orange on the floor, and then begins to do a sensational strip to music. When she is completely naked and the music reaches its climax, Gloria suddenly sinks to the floor, legs wide apart, on top of the orange. And when she rises again, the orange has disappeared.
“That is fantastic!” cries Robin. “A real knockout! I can get you a job in a Paris night club, starting tomorrow.”
“No, not Paris,” says Gloria, nervously. So Robin gets her a job in Berlin instead.
Two weeks later, Robin calls Gloria on the phone. “Good news!” he says. “I have bookings for you in Hamburg, Rome, Cairo and Paris.”
“No! Not Paris,” says Gloria.
“What the hell is the matter with Paris, for Christ’s sake,” snaps Robin.
“Well, you see,” says Gloria, “in Paris, my mother does the same act with a water melon!”

Kowalski and Zabriski are walking down the street in New York, and Zabriski is saying how much he hates Italians.
“Greasy wops,” he grumbles, “always making a noise. And talk about stupid…! I wish they would all go back to Italy!”
In the middle of this outburst, the two Polacks walk around a corner. They run smack into Old Luigi, who is playing loudly on a violin, with a little monkey dancing beside him.
Luigi really looks the part. He is dressed in an old greasy, spaghetti-stained coat. He has a gold earring in one of his ears, and he is playing his violin and singing in Italian at the top of his voice.
Kowalski is astonished when he sees Zabriski pull out his purse and put a dollar bill in the little monkey’s outstretched cap.
“What did you do that for?” asks Kowalski, when they have walked on. “I thought you hated Italians.”
“I do,” admits Zabriski, “but they are so cute when they are young!”





Be silent…close your eyes…feel your body to be completely frozen…
Gather all your consciousness as an arrow in search of the center of your being. Go inwards with no fear – it is your own territory.
At the very end of your arrow you will find yourself as a buddha, fully awakened. This is the first step. Once you have become the buddha completely, the second step is to go beyond.
Let even the buddha disappear.
Only silence and an infinite sky remains.
This is your home.
You are no more, but you have found the home.
The dewdrop has disappeared into the ocean.
Thousands of flowers blossom.
Suddenly from nowhere the music is heard. You find all around you a pulsating life energy, almost in a dance – and you are part of it.
Gather as many flowers and fragrances as possible. Gather the awareness that has arisen in you. You have to carry your awareness moment to moment in your daily life, waking or asleep.
This is the only transformation I know of which makes the dewdrop the ocean or vice versa – which makes the ocean disappear into the dewdrop.

To make it more clear, Nivedano…


Just watch….
The body is not you, the mind is not you.
You are simply a witness, no judgment, no evaluation, but a pure silent witnessing like a mirror.
This is your buddhahood.
There is no greater joy in existence than to be a buddha. There is no greater beauty, no greater grace, no greater blessing than to be a buddha. Here life comes in all its colors – the whole rainbow.
The evening was already beautiful, but your witnessing has made it a great splendor, a majestic moment. It has given to it a magical quality. Soon Nivedano will be calling you back. Bring all these qualities with you. Don’t leave them behind.



Slowly gracefully come back, renewed by the process, refreshed by the process.
Sit down for a few moments like a buddha. I am using the word like so that you don’t freak out…otherwise you are the buddha.
Can we celebrate the ten thousand buddhas?

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