I Am That 13

Thirteenth Discourse from the series of 16 discourses - I Am That by Osho.
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Absolute and relative –
He who knows these two together,
through the relative leaves death behind
and through the Absolute gains immortality.

The threshold of Reality is veiled by golden light.
Reveal it, O Lord, for my dharma is to know the Truth.

O Lord of Light, the knowing one,
the golden guardian, giver of life to all,
spread apart thy rays, gather up thy brilliance,
that I may perceive thy finest and most splendrous nature,
that cosmic spirit which lies at thy heart.
For I myself am That!

Let my breath merge with the cosmic breath,
may my body be as dust,
Remember, O mind, remember what has been done.

Remember, O mind, remember what has been done.

O Agni, show us the right path,
lead us to eternal freedom,
thou who knowest all.
May we not be diverted from our goal,
for with all devotion we submit ourselves to Thee.

purnam adah
purnam idam
purnat purnam udachyate
purnasya purnam adaya purnam evavashisyate

That is the whole.
This is the whole.
From wholeness emerges wholeness,
Wholeness coming from wholeness,
wholeness still remains.
The greatest contribution of the seers of the Upanishads is that they have made this world and the other world synonymous. They have dropped the idea of the mundane and the sacred. That represents the absolute, the ultimate, the further shore. This represents the immediate, the herenow, this shore. Both are one because: That is the whole. This is the whole. There is no distinction at all.
The ordinary religions live by condemning this world, and by condemning this world they praise the other world. The Upanishads have a totally different approach, they praise this world with all its beauty, splendor; through praising this world they praise the other world. This approach is life affirmative.
The Upanishads are in tremendous love with life. They don’t teach renunciation, they teach rejoicing. They would have agreed with Jesus when Jesus says again and again to his disciples, “Rejoice! Rejoice! I say again to you rejoice!” The Upanishads have a very aesthetic approach toward life – not the approach of an ascetic but the approach of a poet, a painter, a musician, a dancer. Their approach is in no way pathological.
But that vision has completely disappeared. Instead of that ecstatic vision of life, for three thousand years humanity has lived with a very sadomasochistic idea: torture yourself and teach others so that they can also torture themselves, because that’s the only way to make God rejoice. This is really a condemnation of God, as if God is a torturer, as if he enjoys people being in pain and anguish.
Even today we go on praising the ascetic attitude. The person who tortures himself becomes a great saint. If he fasts, starves his body, lies down on a bed of thorns, stands naked in the cold, sits in the hottest season surrounded by fire, then we have great respect for him.
This respect simply shows that our minds are in a very ill state. We are not for health, for wholeness, for joy, for bliss. We are suicidal, murderous. And in the name of religion great suicide has been committed. The whole of humanity has become suicidal.
To understand these last sutras of the Upanishad, remember one thing: to the Upanishads, the beyond is not against the world, it is an intrinsic part of it. The beyond is also the within of the world; it is not far away, it is deep down here and now. Just as a river needs both the banks, life needs both this and that.
When you look at a river you see two banks, but if you dive deep into the river you will find those two banks are not separate; underneath the river they are joined together, they are one. In the same way this and that are one. They appear divided, but that is only an appearance, don’t be deceived by it. Dive deep so that you can find the ultimate unity.
The so-called masochists, ascetic saints, have been talking of advaita, oneness, but that seems to be only talk, just lip service because the way they behave, the way they live, simply shows duality. They renounce the world. If the world is illusory, why renounce it? What is there to renounce? Nobody renounces one’s dreams. When you wake up in the morning you don’t make a great declaration to the world that “I have renounced all my nighttime dreams!” When you wake up, you simply know those dreams were not part of reality, they were just fantasies of the mind. There is nothing to renounce, they have evaporated by themselves. And if you insist on renouncing the dreams, that simply shows that you are still dreaming. Now your dream is that of renouncing the dreams – a new dream. The old dreams are replaced by a new dream.

Somebody is trying to conquer the world, a man like Alexander, and somebody else is trying to renounce the world, a man like Shankara. But both are agreed upon one point: that the world exists. Shankara says it is unreal. If it is unreal, then where are you going, then why you are renouncing it, then why this insistence, this emphasis? The whole emphasis proves just the contrary of what is emphasized.
When I was a student, one of my professors in the university always used to talk about his bravery, fearlessness, so much so that not even a single day passed by when he would not mention in some way or other that he was a brave man. I listened for at least two, three months, and then I stood up and asked him, “Insisting every day that you are a great, brave man, simply shows that there must be some cowardice in you, otherwise why this insistence? To whom are you trying to prove? We are not asking whether you are a coward or a hero. We have not come here to inquire about your bravery or your cowardice, whatsoever it is, we are not interested in it. Why do you go on insisting?” And from any reference, from any context he would jump to the conclusion, as if he was always just looking for any excuse to prove that he was a brave man.
He was shocked. He called me home in the night and told me, “You are the first person who has made me aware of a certain fear in me. I am really a man who is full of fears. I am not trying to convince you – in fact, by talking to you I am trying to convince myself. And I am thankful,” he said, “although when you said it for the first time before others I was shocked, angry, enraged. But later on when I thought about it calmly, quietly, I realized the fact of it.”
The people who go on emphasizing the world is illusory are simply trying to prove to themselves that it is illusory, but they know it is not. They are trying to create a great smoke around themselves that it is illusory, worth renouncing: “It is worthless, there is no meaning in it!” But why this insistence? If there is no meaning in it, there is no meaning in it. If it is illusory, it is illusory. You need not say it.
These so-called saints have written so many books proving that the world is illusory. These saints have been talking about the illusoriness of the female body, that it is ugly, it is not beautiful: “Just look within the skin, it is nothing but bones, blood, pus, mucus.” Whom are they trying to prove these things to? Why this continuous insistence? There seems to be a great attraction in them for the woman’s body. They are trying to create defenses.
The Upanishads never say a single word against the world and that seems to be a more truthful vision. The world is there, it is real. Of course its reality is relative and that’s a fact, everybody knows its reality is relative. You love a woman today, tomorrow you may not love. Today it had seemed to you that you would love her forever, and tomorrow all that idea has simply evaporated. Just a day before you were ready to die for her, and a day after you are ready to kill her!
It is a relative world, nothing is permanent here that is true. Everything is changing, flux-like, it is momentary. But that does not mean that it is unreal, that it is illusory. Even though it is momentary it is true, it is real. It has a relative reality.
The other world, the beyond, the absolute, has a totally different kind of reality, it is non-relative. But both are real. The relative and the absolute are two aspects of the same reality. Watch a river, in one way it goes on changing, in another way it is the same river. Watch your mind, the mind goes on changing – every moment something new comes, something old dies – but in another way your consciousness, your watcher, is the same. You can experience both these things within you, the mind is a relative reality and your consciousness is an absolute reality.
You go to see a movie. The screen remains the same, but the scenes on the screen go on changing. Both are real. The scenes are there for a moment and then they are gone, but the screen remains the same. Because of the scenes you cannot see the screen. When the scenes stop, the projector stops, suddenly the screen is there utterly empty. That is the experience of the absolute: it is emptiness, just a white screen; nothing moves, nothing changes. It is eternal, timeless. But the world of time, the world of change is also part of it.
Remember the metaphor of the wheel and the axle: the axle is absolute and the wheel is relative. But the wheel needs the axle, without the axle the wheel cannot move – on what will it move? And the axle needs the wheel, without the wheel it won’t be an axle at all. They are complementary, not antagonistic.
This and that are two aspects of the same coin.
The sutras:
Absolute and relative –
He who knows these two together,
through the relative leaves death behind
and through the Absolute gains immortality.
See the point: one who knows these together! The Upanishad is not saying know the absolute and renounce the relative. It is saying know them together in their togetherness. Only then is your knowing whole, only then is your knowing total. The person who turns away from the world remains as lopsided as the person who remains in the world and forgets the beyond. Both are partial, and to be partial is to be ill because then you cannot have your whole being, only a fragment. And to only have a fragment is to suffer, is to be miserable.
Hence my observation is that the worldly people suffer in one way and your so-called spiritual people suffer in another, but both suffer. Suffering comes from the partial truth. Bliss is the fragrance of the whole.
Bliss comes only when you live life in its totality. The totality includes this and that and it does not make any hierarchy. That is not higher than this, that is hidden in this. This is the visible part of that, and that is the unmanifest part of this. This is the body of that and that is the soul of this.
You can see within yourself the body and the soul are living in absolute harmony. In the same way God and his existence are living in deep harmony, there is no conflict. The conflict is created by your so-called religious people. They have created all kinds of unnecessary struggles.
Hence true religion will be closer to the Upanishads than to Shankaracharya, than to Mahavira. It will be far closer to the Upanishads. This Isa Upanishad is the very essence of the whole Upanishadic philosophy of life.
Absolute and relative – He who knows these two together through the relative leaves death behind and through the Absolute gains immortality. The absolute cannot be known by any method, it cannot be known by any teaching, it cannot be known by any scripture. The absolute cannot be known as an object of knowledge because it is the very center of your innermost core, it is the foundation of all your knowing. Hence it cannot be known as the known. No method will help, no teaching will help, no philosophy will be of any support in fact, they will hinder. To know the absolute, one has to drop all doctrines, all philosophies, all ideologies, all methods.
Just the other day somebody had asked, “Is it possible to find God by practicing Yoga?” God cannot be found by practicing anything – neither Yoga nor Tantra nor Zen nor Tao. God cannot be known by practicing anything whatsoever. Who will practice? All practices are confined to the mind and the mind practicing something means the mind is strengthened more and more through the practice, the mind is exercising and becoming stronger. Every practice strengthens the mind, and the mind belongs to the relative, it is the very foundation of the relative.
You can practice Yoga: you will have a better body, a better mind, you will have a better memory, you will have a longer life; all these things are possible. If you go deep into practicing Yoga you may even start having few miraculous powers, siddhis, because you will discover subtle forces of the mind and the body which are not ordinarily available, which are not functioning. You will come across many new energies which you have never suspected.
Psychologists say a major part of the brain is not functioning, and they are puzzled because if it is not functioning then why is it there? It seems to have no purpose and nature never creates anything without any purpose – it must have some purpose. But psychology has not yet been able to find any purpose and psychology may not be able to find it. Unless Yoga, Tantra, Zen, Tao and all these methodologies of reviving subtle energies of the mind are included in scientific research work, psychology may not be able to find any function.
Even physiology has not found functions for a few things, hence they are ready to remove your appendix every time because it has no function. The doctors are ready to remove your tonsils any moment because they don’t seem to have any function – as if nature can grow something in you that really has no function. Then why should your appendix exist at all? Ordinarily – physiology is right and psychology is right – they don’t have any function; but if you enter the world of Yoga you will be surprised even your appendix has a function, your tonsils have a function, and the major part of the brain which is nonfunctioning starts functioning.
You can start reading other people’s thoughts. This will be done by a new center in the mind, the old centers cannot do it. You can even start projecting your thoughts into other people’s minds, they will think they are thinking those thoughts. In fact, you are flooding their minds by your thoughts. You can have great powers of deceiving, they will not be able to see how you are doing it – they will not be able to see how you are materializing a Swiss watch out of the air. You just know one simple technique – how to prevent them from knowing what is happening just in front of their eyes.
But all these things have nothing to do with knowing God, the ultimate; all these thing are part of the relative: magicians can do it, hypnotists can do it, mesmerists can do it and there are many ways to find out these secrets. These are not very spiritual things, in fact only non-spiritual egoists become interested in these things.
The absolute is found only when you have dropped all knowledge: all scriptures are burned, all theories are rejected, the mind itself is put to sleep; then the absolute emerges. It is your very nature. When all the clouds have disappeared the sun shines forth.
But methods can help to get rid of the relative. They can help you to become more powerful as far as the body is concerned, the mind is concerned. They can also help you to get rid of the relative, they can help to remove the barriers. When I am talking to you, that’s exactly the purpose of my talking to you – to help you to get rid of the relative. All the methods of Yoga, Tantra, Zen, and Tao are negative – negative in the sense they don’t give you the absolute, but they help you to be finished with the relative.
The sutra says: …through the relative one leaves death behind and through the Absolute one gains immortality. You can see the point – death represents all that is relative and immortality represents all that is absolute. Death represents time, change; and the absolute represents eternity.
In Sanskrit we have the same word for both time and death. We call death kal and time also kal. Sanskrit may be the only language in the whole world that has the same name for time and death. That’s why it can be said truthfully that Sanskrit is the only language transformed by the insight of the seers, all other languages have remained ordinary. For ten thousand years, thousands of people in the East have become enlightened, and they have changed the very structure of Sanskrit language. They have given it the color of their enlightenment, they have made words luminous, they have given those words new meanings, which cannot be given by unenlightened persons. Now to call time and death by the same name is a great insight. It is not a question of knowing linguistics, it is a question of experiencing something tremendously valuable. Time and death are the same. To live in time means to live in death, and the moment time disappears, death disappears. So when you are utterly silent, when no thought moves in your mind, time disappears; you cannot have any idea what time it is. And the moment time disappears and the clock of your mind stops, suddenly you enter the world of the timeless, the eternal world, the world of the absolute.
Jesus is asked by a seeker… It is not reported in the New Testament, but it is part of the Sufi tradition. A seeker asks Jesus, “What will be the most significant thing in your Kingdom of God?” And the answer is amazing. Jesus says, “There shall be time no longer. That will be the most significant thing in my Kingdom of God – there shall be time no longer. There will be no past, no future; there will be only present.”
And let me tell you that present is not part of time. Of course ordinarily in the schools, colleges and the universities you have been told and taught, and your dictionaries go on saying again and again that time has three tenses: past, present, and future. That is absolutely wrong – wrong according to those who know. The past and the future are time, but the present is not time, the present belongs to eternity. The past and the future belong to this – the world of the relative, change. Between the two penetrates the beyond, the transcendental, and that is the present. Now is part of eternity.
If you live in time, death is bound to happen. In fact, to say “bound to happen” is not right – it is already happening. The moment a child is born he starts dying. It takes seventy, eighty years to die, that’s another matter. He dies, slowly, miserly, in installments, a little bit every day, every hour. He goes on dying, dying, dying… Then the process is complete after seventy years or eighty years. When you say that somebody has died today, don’t be misguided by your statement, he has been dying for eighty years, today the process is complete.
There is an ancient Chinese tradition in the Taoist school. It seems to be the only tradition in the whole world where, when a child is born the family cries, they weep because the birth is nothing but an arrow moving toward death. They don’t celebrate it, they feel very sad. Another being has entered the world of death, how can you celebrate it?
If one wants to celebrate, then death is the right thing to celebrate. One person has completed the process of dying and perhaps he may not be born again; perhaps he has entered the beyond, or at least this death process has ended. Maybe he will start another death process, but that is in the future and we don’t know anything about it. Celebrating birth is ignorance, celebrating death is understanding.
…through the relative one leaves death behind… If you use the methods of meditation you will leave the mind behind, and the mind is both the source of time and death. The mind is time. The mind is death. One aspect of the mind is time, another aspect of the mind is death. Through meditation, through watching the mind, you can leave death behind.
But this is only a negative process, the Upanishads call it neti neti – neither this nor that, the process of elimination. “I am not this – the body, the mind. Then who am I?” First eliminate the nonessential, put it aside, and go on eliminating all that is nonessential until only the essential is left. And what is essential? How will you decide that only the essential is left? When there is nothing left to be denied, nothing left to be eliminated. Go on emptying your house throw all the furniture out. When there is nothing left to be thrown out, then a great revelation happens, you gain immortality; the absolute arises in you in all its beauty and splendor, in all its ecstasy. It over-floods you, it starts radiating; it starts reaching even to others who are available, receptive, vulnerable.
The threshold of Reality is veiled by golden light.
Now the Isa Upanishad reminds the seeker to be aware. When you enter the world of absolute reality you will come across a golden veil, very beautiful, so beautiful that many have become enchanted and stopped there.
The threshold of Reality is veiled by golden light. All darkness disappears and there is such a golden light, so psychedelic, you have never experienced anything like it. You think you have come home. Wait, beware, this is just the light that surrounds reality. You have to penetrate this light to reach the very center of reality. When you come close to a flame, the flame is surrounded by golden light. Remember, the golden light radiates from the flame, but the golden light is not the flame itself. When you look at the sun you see a golden light radiating from the sun. We are far away from the sun; it takes ten minutes for sunlight to reach us, and ten minutes for light is a long distance because light travels by tremendous speed, ultimate speed. Scientists say that that is the last, more speed is not possible. Light travels 186,000 miles in one second – in one minute, 60 times more. In ten minutes, 600 times more. It is far away, but we can see the light, the rays are reaching us.
Remember, these rays are coming from the sun, but these rays are not the sun itself. If you want to reach the sun you will have to go beyond these rays. This sun is nothing compared to other suns, which are far bigger. Even this sun is not a small sun, it is sixty thousand times bigger than the earth, and this is a very mediocre sun in the universe. There are greater suns than this, millions of times bigger.
In the night when you see stars you think they are very small – you are wrong. They are very far away, that’s why they look small; they are far bigger than the sun, but their distance is almost unbelievable. The closest sun next to this sun is four light years away, the rays from that sun reach us in four years; from this sun it takes ten minutes, from that sun it takes four years, and that is the closest. There are suns from where it takes millions of light years for the sunlight to reach us, and there are a few suns conceived by the physicists whose light has not reached the earth yet, since the earth was made. And there is a possibility that there may be suns even farther away whose light will never reach the earth because in the meanwhile the earth will disappear. It came into being, for millions of years it existed, the light was traveling and traveling with that tremendous speed of 186,000 miles per second. By the time the light reaches, the earth would have died, that light will never reach the earth.
But all these suns, great suns, are nothing compared to the ultimate reality. Kabir says, “The moment I penetrated my innermost core, I found as if suddenly millions of suns had risen” – not one, millions of suns. Naturally, the Upanishadic seers are making you aware:
The threshold of Reality is veiled by golden light. And the light is so beautiful, so blissful, that you can be caught in the net of it and you can start thinking you have arrived. Many scriptures of the world say God is light. The people who have said that have misunderstood, they have thought the golden light as God itself.
God is neither light nor darkness, he is both and beyond. Unless you reach that ultimate which is always beyond the duality, transcendental to duality, go on remembering you have not come home yet. Go on inquiring, go on exploring.
The Upanishadic seer prays to God:
Reveal it, O Lord, for my dharma is to know the Truth.
The Upanishads start in meditation and end in prayer. This is the right sequence. Nobody can start with prayer because if you start with prayer, your prayer will be false, it cannot be true. You will be asking for some ordinary things – money, power, prestige – because that is where you are. Your prayer will be part of your mind, and the mind is full of desires, hence your prayers will be full of desires and demands.
Go and listen to people who are in prayer in the temples, in the churches. What they are asking?

Even a man like the great Emperor Akbar used to pray for more money, more power. Once a great Sufi mystic, Farid, went to see him. He had never gone to Akbar. Akbar used to come to see him. Farid lived very close to Delhi, and Akbar had tremendous respect for Farid. He had asked him to come to the palace, but Farid would laugh at the whole idea and he would say, “You can always come whenever you want. Why bother me?”
But one day the villagers where Farid lived asked him, “We don’t even have a school in our village, and the great emperor comes to you. You can just give him a hint and immediately it will happen. You can just say that we need a school.”
Farid said, “If I have to ask something from him, then it is better I should go.” And he went to see Akbar.
When he reached Akbar’s palace he was well received, everybody knew about him. Akbar was in his small prayer house that he had made inside his palace. He ritually did all the five prayers every day, as a Mohammedan is required to do. He was doing his morning prayer. Nobody was allowed to enter the shrine when Akbar was praying, but the guards did not prevent Farid, they could not think of preventing him.
He went in, he stood behind Akbar. Akbar was one of the greatest emperors who has ever lived on the earth. India has known only two great emperors: one was Ashoka, another was Akbar. They had the greatest kingdoms possible – the richest men of all the ages. And Farid was shocked. Akbar was not aware that Farid was standing behind – nobody, not even his wife, was allowed to enter. So he was just praying to God, talking to God, unaware of the fact that somebody was listening.
As he ended his prayer he raised his hands toward the sky and said to God, “Give me more money, more power, more kingdom.”
Farid was shocked: “This man has so much, and still he is begging.”
He turned away. He immediately left the shrine. But as he was going down the steps, Akbar saw him. He rushed, fell unto his feet and said, “Why have you come? You could have asked me to come! And now why are you leaving?”
Farid said, “I had come to make a small request, but seeing that you are still a beggar I thought it is not right to make the request. My villagers had asked you for a small school, but now I cannot ask because that means you will become a little less rich than you are; a little bit of money will have to be put for the school. No, I cannot ask you. Moreover, if you are asking God, I can ask God myself. Why should I ask through you, through your agency? But,” Farid said, “I had never thought of asking anything from God, that’s why I am such a fool that I came to you. But you have opened my eyes. I have been praying my whole life, but the idea never happened to me that one should ask anything.”

Prayer can be of two types. One: the ordinary prayer that is being done all over the world; Hindus, Mohammedans, Christians, all are doing it. They have not transcended the mind, so their prayer is full of their desires.
To attain real prayer, first you have to become silent, first you have to pass through the alchemy of meditation. Meditation helps you to get rid of the mind, and when there is no mind you can pray, but that prayer will have a totally different quality to it.
This is the prayer: Reveal it, O Lord, for my dharma is to know the Truth. The seer is saying, “I have done whatsoever I could do: I have meditated, practiced Yoga, watched my mind, I have dissolved the mind, eliminated all that was stupid in me, mediocre in me, unintelligent in me. But from all that effort I have attained only the golden light, your veil. Now unless you remove it, nothing is possible. Whatsoever I could do, I have done – my doer is finished, my doing is finished. I have come to the very end of my tether, now my road ends here. Now only you can take me further ahead.”
Prayer begins only when you have done everything that you can do, then your prayer has authenticity. It means, “Now what can I do? Everything that was possible for me I have done, and this is what I have attained: great light, great benediction, great bliss. But still I feel that this is just the outermost part of your being. Now only you can help.”
You can ask for help when you have done all that you can do, not before that. Prayer comes only after meditation.
That’s why I don’t teach prayer to you, I teach meditation because I know only after meditation is prayer possible. And the beauty is that if you have meditated well, prayer comes on its own accord, there is no need to teach it. Just as a flower opens and the fragrance is released, exactly like that when meditation is happening, the fragrance of prayer comes on its own accord, it simply happens. Then the prayer can be only one: Reveal it, O Lord, for my dharma is to know the Truth.
The word dharma is untranslatable, that’s why the translator has left it as it is. Ordinarily dharma is translated as religion, which is wrong, absolutely wrong. Religion is a very ordinary thing; religion means a creed, a theology, a theory, a hypothesis, a doctrine. Dharma means your innermost nature, swabhav your self-nature. Dharma means your deepest longing for truth, your ultimate thirst for being. It is there in everybody’s center. It is a seed, it can become a flower.
Two things have to be done. The first is the meditative part, it will help the plant to grow, it will help the buds to arrive. And then you have to pray, the second part is prayer. If you start forcibly opening the buds you will destroy the whole beauty, you will destroy the fragrance, even the possibility of fragrance. Then you have to pray: Reveal it, O Lord, for my dharma is to know the Truth.
My deepest longing is to know the truth, the ultimate truth, the naked truth and nothing else. I don’t want this golden light. I cannot be contented with this. Your veil is beautiful – of course it is your veil, hence it is beautiful – and something of you is radiating out of the veil, but I want to see you in your absolute nudity, I want to see you unveiled. Hence reveal, unveil O Lord, and this only you can do, I cannot do. I have come so far that I can see your veil, but more than that is beyond me.
Prayer is significant only when you have done all that you are capable of, then your prayer has a sincerity.
O Lord of Light, the knowing one,
the golden guardian, giver of life to all,
spread apart thy rays, gather up thy brilliance,
that I may perceive thy finest and most splendrous nature,
that cosmic spirit which lies at thy heart.
For I myself am That!
O Lord of Light… Remember, God is the lord of light but not light itself, he is also the God of darkness. He is the lord of this and that both. He is the lord of both the shores of life. O Lord of Light, the knowing one, the golden guardian, giver of life to all, spread apart thy rays…
The prayer is now: “Allow me to see you as you are: …spread apart thy rays… Give me little bits of windows, doors: spread apart thy rays… so I can have a few spaces to enter you. Otherwise, your rays are so beautiful they can prevent me, I can get allured by them, I can become hypnotized by them. I am in a danger – if you don’t help me, I will think I have come to the very end.”
…gather up thy brilliance… See the prayer: …gather up thy brilliance… Don’t shine so much because I cannot even open my eyes – how can I see you? …gather up thy brilliance… Help me – withdraw your brilliance. Gather up your rays so that I can see you, so that I can: …perceive thy finest and most splendrous nature… And I want to see you because I am not separate from you. Unless I know you I will not be able to know myself.
…that cosmic spirit which lies at thy heart. For I myself am That! I am that. This is the ultimate statement of the Upanishads: I am that! This “I” does not mean the ego, this “I” simply means your pure existence, without any ego in it. It is more amness than I-amness. There is no “I” in it, it is pure existence. One simply is.
The moment you are without the ego, just utterly empty of the ego, without the self, just pure consciousness with no idea of any “I” at the center of it, then you are that, then there is no difference.
That’s what al-Hillaj Mansoor was crucified for. If he had been in India we would have loved and respected him as an Upanishadic seer, but he was killed. He declared: “Ana’l haq – I am the truth!” Mohammedans could not tolerate him, that was too much. Anybody declaring, “I am the truth,” seemed to them that it was sacrilegious, that it was against their religion, that it was egotism, that this man is saying that “I am God.” Truth means God. “Ana’l haq – I am the truth, the ultimate truth!” But they could not understand, they could not see. They were unable to feel Mansoor’s being.
He was not saying that al-Hillaj Mansoor is the truth. He was saying al-Hillaj Mansoor is no more, and what is left now is the truth. When he was saying, “I am the truth,” in fact he was saying, “I am no more, only the truth is.”
The words of the mystics have to be very cautiously understood, otherwise there is every possibility of misunderstanding. The Upanishads say: “Aham Brahmasmi – I am God, I am absolute, I am the ultimate truth.” But it has nothing to do with “I.” In fact, they are trying to convey something that is not conveyable. They are saying, “I am not, now only God is. Hence I say I am God.” Now God is speaking, they are no longer speaking. For I myself am That!
Let my breath merge with the cosmic breath…
This is the prayer, only after meditation is it possible. Let my breath merge with the cosmic breath…
I should not be in any way separate from the whole. I should breathe with the whole. I should dance with the whole. This is ultimate let-go. Ordinarily we are continuously pushing the river, fighting the river, trying to go upstream. Hence, we are miserable because we cannot win, we are bound to fail.
You cannot win against the whole; you are just a part, such a tiny part, trying to win against the whole. It is sheer stupidity. But you can win – you can win with the whole, not against the whole. You can win if you merge with the whole. You can be a conqueror.
That’s why we have called Mahavira the jina, the conqueror. Why have we called him the conqueror? – for the simple reason he dissolved himself with the whole, he merged with the whole. His breathing was no longer separate, his heartbeat was no longer separate. His heartbeat and the heartbeat of the universe were in deep rhythm, they were in tune, there was a great communion happening.
Let my breath merge with the cosmic breath,
may my body be as dust…
Forget my body – I know I am no longer in it. Please just think of me as consciousness. This is the prayer.
Remember, o mind, remember what has been done.
This is a very significant sutra, hence the Isa Upanishad repeats it:
Remember, O mind, remember what has been done.

Remember, O mind, remember what has been done.
The first statement – Remember, o mind, remember what has been done – means remember what has been done by others to you. They have made you identified with the body. As the child is born we start conditioning the child, as if the child is nothing but the body. Hence we separate the boys from girls. We insist again and again that a girl has a feminine body and the boy has a masculine body. Directly, indirectly, we emphasize the fact so much that it becomes a conditioning. Anything repeated again and again becomes a conditioning. The woman becomes identified with the body and the man becomes identified with the body.
Then we start emphasizing a new identity with the mind, with ambitions, desires. We go on and on stuffing our children with all kinds of nonsense. We want them to become great, famous, wealthy, powerful, presidents, prime ministers, this and that. Nobody seems to be concerned to tell them, “You are neither the body nor the mind – you are something transcending both.” Our whole education is miseducation because of this, and it is a long process. Almost one third of your life is wasted in education – twenty-five years. When you come back from the university as a PhD, one-third of your life has gone down the drain. And they have conditioned you to be a body and to be a mind.
Remember, o mind, remember what has been done. Remember all that has been done to you by others so that you can uncondition yourself.
Remember, o mind, remember what has been done. Why this repetition? They both have different meanings. The first meaning is remember what has been done by others to you. The second meaning is remember what has been done by yourself to you. The others are not the only culprits, you have done much to yourself too. You have participated, you have accepted, you have never rebelled, you were very obedient to all kinds of superstitions.
If your parents said, “You are a Hindu,” you became a Hindu. You never said, “Why?” You never asked a question. Your parents said, “You are a Jain,” and you became a Jain, without ever inquiring, without ever asking. You were ready to be a slave, slavery was very acceptable to you.
So remember that too, what you have done to yourself. You have betrayed yourself, you have not been true to yourself, you have been false. Even when you wanted to say no, you have said yes because it was comfortable, convenient. When you wanted to rebel you obeyed because rebellion can lead you into danger, obedience is respectability. When you wanted to cry and weep you still smiled.
You have been false to yourself, you have not lived an authentic life. You have not been true. You have been wearing masks upon masks, you have never asserted your original face. You have never dared to be just yourself. You have never risked. You were always ready to bow down to authorities, they may be religious or political. You were always ready to be enslaved by the establishment: it may be Christian, it may be Hindu, it may be Buddhist; it does not matter. Even people you respect very much are basically slaves.
Just the other day I was reading a letter from a Protestant Christian. He has written a letter to Mother Teresa of Calcutta because now Mother Teresa is thought to be one of the great saints in the world. Since she won the Nobel Prize, she has become one of the most respectable persons in the world. This Protestant Christian went to Mother Teresa’s orphanage where she collects children from beggars, abandoned children, poor children, and he wanted to adopt a child. That’s what Mother Teresa has been doing her whole life: collecting orphans and then giving them to families, and she has been respected for that.
But he was asked whether he is Catholic or not. He said, “I am a Protestant.” He was refused – he could not adopt a child. He had to be a Roman Catholic. He was very much puzzled. This woman is thought to be a great saint, one of the greatest servants of the society, but the whole service and the whole mission is basically a Catholic strategy to convert people into Catholicism. It is a trick, a political trick. All those orphanages are not really for orphans, they are to increase the number of Roman Catholics. They have nothing to do with beggars, it is a political game. Even a Protestant – he is also a Christian – cannot be allowed to adopt a son. All those children are going to the Catholics, so Catholics go on becoming more and more, so they have larger numbers in the world. This is a way of converting, exploiting poor people, exploiting their poverty.
Even Mother Teresa is nothing but an agent of the Catholic Church. Your so-called saints, although they are thought to be saints, still belong to certain churches, religions, sects; they have not gone beyond. They cannot say, “I am just human.” They cannot simply say, “I belong to the universe – not to the Catholic Church or to the Protestant Church or to Hindus or to Buddhists – I belong to the cosmos.” They are not in tune with the cosmic breath.
She is dancing according to the dictates of the Roman Catholic Church. She is dancing to the tune of the Vatican, of the Pope. And even in India people think she is a great saint. They write letters to me, “Why don’t you do something like Mother Teresa?” Should I start converting people to the Roman Catholic Church? But behind beautiful facades ugly things are hiding.
All these Christian missionaries serving poor people and the ill and the sick have nothing to do with poor people or sick people. Their whole effort is how to purchase people through bread, through butter, through medicine, through better hospitals – just how to purchase people through money, how to make more Catholics in the world.
Somebody converts people through the sword, somebody converts through money, and somebody simply goes on torturing their children, crippling, paralyzing their intelligence.
So: remember, o mind, remember what has been done to you by others, and also remember what has been done to you by yourself because others can do it to you only if you allow them to do it. I know small children cannot do anything, they cannot rebel, they are helpless. They have to depend on their parents, and because of their helplessness they are exploited.
Children are the most exploited people in the world, and the misery is, their own parents are doing tremendous harm. They may be thinking that they are doing something good, something great, they may be thinking that they are helping their children to become good people. But what Christians, Hindus and Mohammedans have done to the world? The whole history is full of blood because of these religions. Man has not been able to become one, humanity has remained divided, and continuous wars, crusades… Kill each other in the name of God, in the name of religion. And when you kill anybody in the name of religion you are not a murderer. If you are killed in the name of religion, your paradise is absolutely certain. People have been bribed to kill and to be killed.
If a parent really loves his child, he will not condition the child in any way. He will help the child to inquire on his own, to become a seeker.
The Upanishads don’t belong to Hindus. Remember! The same cannot be said about the Koran; the Koran belongs to the Mohammedans. The same cannot be said about Ramayana; Ramayana belongs to the Hindus. The same cannot be said about the Bible; the Bible belongs to the Christians. But one thing can be absolutely categorically said about the Upanishads: they don’t belong to the Hindus, Mohammedans Christians – to anybody; their whole approach is cosmic, it is holistic.
O Agni, show us the right path,
lead us to eternal freedom,
thou who knowest all.
May we not be diverted from our goal,
for with all devotion we submit ourselves to Thee.
O Agni… Agni means fire. The translator has also left it untranslated for the simple reason that to translate it just as fire will give you a wrong impression, a wrong idea. Agni is a metaphor and metaphors become more difficult to translate, they have something poetic in them. Literally it means fire, but the metaphor is of the fire within you, the fire of a deep, intense, passionate longing for truth, the fire of longing to be with the beloved, to be one with the cosmos.
Buddha’s last statement on the earth was, “Be a light unto yourself” – and this is the last sutra of the Isa Upanishad: “O fire, o my fire, my inner fire, my longing to be one with my beloved …show us the right path. Now nobody can lead me, only my inner passion for truth can guide me. No outer person can be of any help.”
The master can help you to get rid of the relative, there the function of the master ends. Then you have to depend on your own inner insight, your own intuition, and that insight is called the fire. It is fire because it burns and consumes you as a separate entity, as an individual. It reduces you to nothingness. It is fire, but out of this fire a totally new life is born.
…show us the right path, lead us to eternal freedom… Only this fire can lead you to the eternal freedom. When you are consumed completely, when you are free of yourself, then you are absolutely free. Remember these two expressions: freedom of the self and freedom from the self. The second is the meaning of absolute freedom, not the first. Freedom of the self again simply means the ego has come from the back door. Freedom from the self itself is total freedom, absolute freedom. When you are not, you are really free.
It is a paradox; when you are, you are in bondage because your mind is a bondage, your ego is a bondage. When you are not, your imprisoned splendor is released.
Thou who knowest all. May we not be diverted from our goal… Now this prayer has to be a constant fragrance to the seeker, “My Lord, help me not to be diverted” because as you enter the inner world, greater treasures are revealed. And there is every possibility you may stop somewhere and you may think that it is the end. The danger becomes more and more as you go deeper because greater riches, greater wealth, greater kingdoms become yours. And you have lived in such poverty that anything can enchant you.
There is a beautiful parable…

A mystic used to live under a tree, and he saw for years a woodcutter coming every day, an old man. The whole day he would cut wood and sell the wood, and then too it was difficult to feed himself, his wife and children.
One day the mystic asked the woodcutter, “Will you listen to me?”
The woodcutter used to respect the mystic. In the early morning when he came he would bow down to the mystic, and then by the evening he would take the wood back home, he would again bow down to the mystic.
The mystic said, “Listen, don’t waste your life cutting wood. Just go a little ahead and you will find a copper mine, and that will be enough. Do one day’s work and it will be enough to keep your family perfectly comfortably, conveniently, for seven days, and there will be no need for you to work every day.”
The man did not believe. What can this mystic know about the copper and the mines? He had never seen him leave his tree. “He is always sitting there under the tree with closed eyes – what can he know?” But then he thought, “What am I going to lose? Let me give it a try.”
He went ahead and found a copper mine, and he was immensely pleased. Now he worked only one day and for the remaining week there was no need to work. It was enough to feed his family, not only to feed but even invite guests, friends. And all were surprised that he had become suddenly rich.
One day the mystic said, “You are such a fool! Just go a little ahead and you will find a silver mine – and one day’s work, and for six months you need not work at all.”
The woodcutter was perfectly happy with the copper mine, and he did not believe this mystic – again! But he said, “For the first time he turned out to be right. Who knows? Let me give it a try!”
He found the silver mine, and he was immensely happy. One day he will come and for six months he will disappear, and he lived in luxury for those six months.
One day he was coming, and the mystic said, “But you are just a fool! Just go ahead a little bit more and you will find a gold mine!”
Now this was too much! The woodcutter could not believe that this could be his fate – impossible! But again he was seduced by the idea – he went and found the gold mine. Now he became so rich that for years he would not come, and even if he came, he would not bother even to bow down to the mystic. “Who cares about this fool? He just goes on sitting under the tree, and he knows where the gold mine is, still he has not bothered…”
One day the mystic called him and he said, “You don’t come to see me any more, you don’t bow down to me, but, still, I am now getting old and I cannot wait anymore. Just a little ahead there is a diamond mine – and why are you wasting your time with gold? You can find diamonds!”
And the man found the diamonds, now for years he would not come. And one day the mystic sent a message saying, “Come quickly because I am on my deathbed and I have to reveal to you the last secret.”
He could not believe – what could be more than diamonds? That is the end! There can be nothing, there cannot be anything more. But he came. He asked, “What is the matter? Now you are again trying to tell me to go ahead?”
He said, “Yes, because if you go a little bit ahead you will find a treasure which is inexhaustible. This mine will be exhausted soon.”
The woodcutter said, “I don’t believe you anymore. And I am perfectly happy – why should I go? And if you know that there is some inexhaustible treasure, why do you go on sitting under this tree?”
The mystic said, “That inexhaustible treasure is within me, and that’s what I have called you for, to tell you just go a little ahead. If you go a little ahead you will find yourself, and that’s the real treasure.”
But it was too much for the poor woodcutter even to understand. He laughed at the whole idea and he said, “You must have gone crazy! I am perfectly happy.”
The mystic died. After many years the woodcutter thought – his death was also coming closer – “Maybe he was right, I should go a little further.” He went a little further and he found such a beautiful forest that he wanted to sit under a tree. And it was so silent that he wanted to close his eyes. And it was so tremendously peaceful that he started sinking within himself. And he found the treasure the mystic was talking about, but it was found within himself.

The seer of the Isa Upanishad is saying: May we not be diverted from our goal…
Unless you have found your ultimate being you have not found anything, remember. And go on praying to God that we should not be diverted: …for with devotion we submit ourselves to Thee. Meditation is effort, prayer is surrender. Meditation is your doing, prayer is becoming available to God; whatsoever he wants to do with you, you are ready. It is submission, it is devotion, but devotion comes only after meditation.
purnam adah
purnam idam
purnat purnam udachyate
purnasya purnam adaya purnam evavashishyate

That is the whole.
This is the whole.
From wholeness emerges wholeness.
Wholeness coming from wholeness,
wholeness still remains.
Enough for today.

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