Isan No Footprints in the Blue Sky 07

Seventh Discourse from the series of 8 discourses - Isan No Footprints in the Blue Sky by Osho.
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On one occasion, two Zen monks came from a rival community and, arriving at Isan’s monastery, commented: “There is not a man here who can understand Zen.”
Later, when all the monks were out gathering firewood, Kyozan saw them both resting. He picked up a piece of firewood and said to the two: “Can you talk about it?”
Both were speechless, at which Kyozan commented: “Do not say that there is no one here who can understand Zen.”
When Kyozan got back to the monastery, he said to Isan, “Today, I exposed two Zen monks.”
“How?” Isan asked, and Kyozan told him of the exchange.
Isan commented: “I have now exposed you as well.”
Maneesha, the Zen encounter is not that of words. The zencounter is a communion in silence. When two Zen masters meet, whoever speaks first has fallen from his status. Days may pass by, they may eat together, they may look around at the beauty in the sunset and in the morning and in the starry night, but nobody is going to say a single word. Not saying a single word and remaining just a mirror…
The mirror never says anything about the reflection, neither does the lake. The moon may be beautiful, the moon is reflected; the lake should dance with joy.
Similar is the case with consciousness. At its ultimate peak, words are left far below, as if you have risen above the clouds. The moment you bring any word in, you have spoiled the whole communication.
Zen is the only teaching in the world which discards absolutely words, language, scripture. This small anecdote will show it to you. It does not seem to have much meaning on the surface, but in the depths it has all the meaning that truth can have, that beauty can have, that God can have.
The anecdote is simple. Zen does not believe in complexity, in unnecessary linguistic jargon. It points to the fact directly, without even taking the help of words because words can never help you. In fact the word is the barrier. Remove the word, allow the no-word, no-mind state, and everything is as crystal clear, as clean as it has been since eternity. Just your eyes were clouded with words, your minds have gathered so much rubbish, which you call religious. In fact, all rubbish is religious, and vice versa.
The function of Zen is just like a sword; to cut all this rubbish in a single blow, without hesitation, and the whole sky is yours, the whole expanse of the universe is yours.
On one occasion, two Zen monks came from a rival community and, arriving at Isan’s monastery, commented: “There is not a man here who can understand Zen.”
There were rival monasteries of Zen. It started the day Buddha died: thirty-two schools immediately arose, and all those thirty-two schools were saying something essentially true – but it was incomplete truth. Perhaps it is not possible in language to say the whole truth. It has so many facets – you can cover only one facet and it is so engrossing, so enveloping that you forget that this is not the whole truth; you have just touched a corner.
After Gautam Buddha’s death, the first thing the monks were concerned about was to collect all the incidents, sayings, parables, for the future centuries – but they could not agree with each other. Amongst them were one hundred enlightened monks and even they were not ready to agree with each other. The ultimate outcome was thirty-two schools, and then branches and sub-branches… Buddhism became a vast tree of much foliage.
So don’t think that rival monasteries are enemies to each other. The word rival will give you a wrong impression. Rival monasteries are simply saying that “This is the way we have found the truth.” They are not saying that your way is right or wrong. They are not saying anything about your way. And it was a great educational method: masters even used to send their disciples to the rival masters, simply for the sake, “You should know that truth has other aspects too. I have no monopoly over it.”
This is a very different and very compassionate effort. Ordinarily in the world, the Christian will not send his disciples to learn from a Mohammedan Sufi, or a Buddhist monk. It is already accepted that “We have got the truth. If anybody else proclaims he has got the truth, he is wrong.” Christianity and Hinduism, Mohammedanism and Judaism, have fallen very low. You can proclaim your truth, but you cannot claim a monopoly over truth and everybody is claiming a monopoly.
The Christian can accept that Buddha may have realized truth, “but our way is far better, far shorter.” He is simply conceding because he wants a coexistence in the world. Coexistence accepts the rival but does not allow the rival the same superiority as he goes on carrying in his own heart: others are also good, but not so good.
Zen has taken a very different approach from the very beginning, more human, more existential, more truthful. Zen does not want the truth to adjust with itself; it wants itself to be adjusted to truth. The man of Zen is ready to give everything – he is ready to throw all his conditionings, all his scriptures, all his statues. And he is aware that truth is such a big phenomenon that nobody can claim its totality.
We are accustomed to Aristotelian logic – which is a very poor logic because it allows only yes or no. It is simple, clear. If somebody asks you, “What do you think about God?” either you say, “Yes, God is,” or you say, “No, God is not.” Alas, reality is not so simple.
Gautam Buddha’s logic has four divisions, not two. If you ask Buddha about God, his logic is fourfold. He will say, “Yes, God is”; “No, God is not”; “Yes and no both,” and the fourth, “Anirvachana – that which cannot be said.”
Now, this will look very confusing; you will not be able to get any right direction where to go. Yes or no or both, or that which cannot be said…
Mahavira went even further. His logic is the ultimost – sevenfold logic. Yes, no, both, that which cannot be said – these four are accepted by Buddha. Mahavira goes a little deeper: yes and that which cannot be said; no and that which cannot be said, and the seventh, just the unsayable.
These differences are very indicative. They show that these people are not concerned about philosophy, they are more concerned to bring as much truth to you from as many sides as possible. That’s why the last point is always anirvachana – that which cannot be said. You have to go to the place within you where no word can ever reach, and from that point you cannot bring any explanation. You can bring an experience. You will be transformed, you will be reborn, but you cannot bring a philosophy from there. You will be a new being, a new joy, a new laughter. New flowers will blossom in you, but all that you can do is sing, dance, play on your flute. Words are the lowest as far as expression is concerned.
On one occasion, two Zen monks came from a rival community and, arriving at Isan’s monastery, commented: “There is not a man here who can understand Zen.” Obviously, the ordinary mind always thinks, “I am superior, I am more intelligent. I have more of truth.”
Later, when all the monks were out gathering firewood, Kyozan saw them both resting. He picked up a piece of firewood and said to the two: “Can you talk about it?”
Both were speechless, at which Kyozan commented: “Do not say that there is no one here who can understand Zen.”
You cannot even explain wood on fire; what can you say about firewood?
One of the most important philosophers of this century, G. E. Moore, has written a book, What Is Good? He was concerned his whole life with the meaning of good. His final conclusion is – after two hundred and fifty pages of long discussions about good – the conclusion at the end is that good is indefinable.
That’s what Buddha is saying: anirvachana. That means indefinable. That is what Mahavira is saying: avyakhya – indefinable.
But after two hundred and fifty pages of very complex argumentation, at the very end Moore says that you cannot define anything. For example if somebody asks you, “What is yellow?” what are you going to say? You will say, “Yellow is yellow,” but that is not much of an answer.
You will be left speechless as you come closer to reality. Even words like yellow become indefinable. Firewood? What can you say about it? What can you say that has not been said before?
The two monks remained: …speechless, at which Kyozan commented: “Do not say that there is no one here who can understand Zen.” Take your words back.
When Kyozan got back to the monastery, he said to Isan,
the master,
“Today, I exposed two Zen monks.”
“How?” Isan asked, and Kyozan told him of the exchange.
Isan commented: “I have now exposed you as well.”
This is the point to be understood – because Kyozan himself is on the way, he has not reached. What does he know about enlightenment? What does he know about exposing a person’s ignorance? And if you start exposing people and come with pride that you have done a great service…
He had come to master Isan to be praised. But Isan could not be deceived so easily. Isan said to him: “I have now exposed you as well.” You are as stupid as those two monks. Neither they know what silence is, nor do you know what silence is.
And truth is an absolutely silent state of being, so silent that you almost disappear, so silent that you become simply an awareness. No body, no mind – all are left behind; there is just a small flame of awareness in the beautiful silence surrounding you. Nothing can be said about it.
Just a few days ago, you must have heard firecrackers all around. People don’t understand, they have forgotten why we have these fireworks, firecrackers. On this night Mahavira had become enlightened. And Mahavira is an exception because all the buddhas had become enlightened on the full-moon day; Mahavira became enlightened on the no-moon night. Nothing can be said except thousands of candles in praise of Mahavira. All over the country millions of candles – it is the Festival of Lights.
If somebody asks you, “What is truth?” show him your silence. Show him your fragrance, show him your love. Share with him your presence.
It is said about Lao Tzu…

He used to go every morning for a walk in the mountains. A neighbor asked him, “Can I come with you?”
Lao Tzu said, “The road does not belong to me. But if you want to come with me, then there is a condition: you cannot speak a single word.”
And the neighbor managed. He gained enough insight just by following into the deep forest in silence. Just the presence of Lao Tzu slowly, slowly became more and more intimate. Soon he understood why Lao Tzu had put the condition “no talk,” because talk would have disturbed this great benediction, this great blissfulness that was arising from both the hearts – these small flames, this radiation of light.
But one day the neighbor asked Lao Tzu, “A friend has come to stay with me for a few days. Can I bring him also with me?”
Lao Tzu said, “With the same condition.”
But the friend was not aware that it was not to be taken casually. He kept silent as far as he could, but there were many moments when he was just going to say something and prevented himself. But when the sun started rising, it was so beautiful – and the songs of the birds – that he could not contain it. He forgot the condition and he said, “What a beautiful morning!”
It was not much, but Lao Tzu looked at his neighbor. And back home Lao Tzu said, “Your friend cannot come with me. He talks too much.”
The neighbor said, “He has only spoken one single sentence in two hours: ‘What a beautiful morning!’”
Lao Tzu said, “You only hear what he has said, you don’t hear what he is talking inside and controlling. Because of him my whole morning has been contaminated. And if he feels the morning is beautiful… Are we blind? We can also see the morning is beautiful; what is the point of saying it? To whom is he talking?”
There are moments when you suddenly feel an expansion of consciousness. It may be listening to great music, to great poetry, or seeing a great painting, or just meditating, sitting silently, doing nothing.
Nobody can surpass Basho – no poet in the whole world, in any language – when he says, “Sitting silently, doing nothing, the spring comes and the grass grows by itself.”
Just learn to be silent, not a single ripple in your consciousness, and you are a buddha. This small barrier of language is the only barrier. Otherwise, everybody is a buddha. Hence I say that it is very simple to be a buddha.
One day, seeing that the barrier is only language, I dropped it. And if spring comes for Basho, it comes for me too. If the grass grows by itself, then why bother? I simply settled in my buddhahood.
There is no need to make any effort; all efforts are to destroy effort, to tire you, to bring you to a moment when you completely drop dead, tired – “Enough of it!” That is the moment when a new life source, a new starry night, new roses start blossoming around you.
Soseki wrote:
All worries and troubles
have gone from my breast,
and I play joyfully
far from the world.
For a person of Zen,
no limits exist.
The blue sky must feel
ashamed to be so small.
Only a man of Zen, only a man of enlightenment can say that.
The blue sky must feel
ashamed to be so small.
Your consciousness becomes so vast and in that vastness, in that oceanicness, who cares about trivia, whether your tie is tied rightly or wrongly? Who cares about small things? And all our worries are about small things. You have never worried about anything great. Just look back and you will not find a single thing about which you can say, “It was great that I worried about it” – just very small things.

Mulla Nasruddin used to purchase shoes which were too tight for him, one size too small. He was continually complaining and grumbling to everybody, “I will die with these shoes!”
People said, “Why don’t you change them?”
When he came the next time to the shoe store to change them, he again asked for the same size. The shoemaker said, “Are you mad or something? That shoe is always going to give you problems.”
Mulla Nasruddin said, “There is a great philosophy in it. I have so many problems; this shoe keeps me busy and all other worries become small. I have to manage to walk in these shoes. The only way I know to avoid those other worries is to create a bigger worry. This is so simple. And in the night when I come home and I take the shoes off… Boy, what a relief! This shoe is my only hope to find some relief in life.”

Maneesha has asked:
Does the time that you are away from us have a significance of its own in your work with us?
Maneesha, everything that is happening here has its own significance. You have to learn my presence and you have to learn my absence, and you have to come to a point where presence or absence don’t matter. You are not going to be tied to my presence.
That’s why Gautam Buddha said to his disciples, “If I come in your meditations, immediately cut off my head. Don’t cling to me, otherwise I will become a barrier.”
And the love between a disciple and a master is the most intimate, is the ultimate. You have to learn my absence; you have to rejoice my absence the same way as you rejoice my presence because I cannot remain here forever. And don’t postpone it because any day…
My work is absolutely complete as far as I am concerned. If I am still carrying on, it is just out of my love for you. But you have to learn from my absence because the days of my presence will be shorter. Every day the days of my presence will become shorter; my days of absence will be longer.
I am not going to come again in the body; this is the last time. You have to become as silent, as loving, as meditative with me or without me. The difference between my absence and my presence should be completely lost.

Maneesha has asked another question:
The story of Buddha mechanically brushing away the fly is puzzling. Was it still possible for him to do something without being conscious, sometimes mechanical? I thought once one was enlightened, one could not help but be conscious in all that one did, twenty-four hours a day.
Maneesha, you have raised a right question.
I have spoken with Buddhist monks in their assemblies. The head of the Buddhists in India, Anand Kausalyayan, was very puzzled by the story because it is not written anywhere. But even he could not ask the right question. He asked me, “Where is it written?”
I said, “That does not matter. You can write it!”
But he said, “The story is beautiful, makes the point of mechanical behavior and conscious behavior very clearly.” But even he could not ask the right question.
Your question is far more significant. I was hoping someday somebody would ask. It is true that once a buddha, you are always a buddha. Then how do I explain the story?
This was a device for Ananda, who was following him. Even on the first occasion he was not mechanical, he just acted mechanically – with full consciousness. And then he stopped and again moved his hand. Ananda said, “What are you doing? The fly is gone.”
Buddha said, “The first time I did it mechanically; that was wrong. I continued to talk with you. I should have been more conscious and aware, more graceful, more loving in shooing the fly. That’s what I am doing now. The fly is not there, but what I should have done – and I missed the situation – I am making up for it.”
As far as I know, Buddha could never be mechanical. He acted mechanically for the sake of Ananda to make the clear distinction between the conscious act and the unconscious act. And he made it really beautifully. But it is not in Buddhist scriptures. What to do? The story is so beautiful that it should be.
I have written it in my book on the Dhammapada. After all, Buddha has not written anything. Anybody writing anything is writing after Gautam Buddha – somebody one day after, somebody one year after. I am writing twenty-five centuries after! And a living river should move on to new territories, new pastures. The moment it stops flowing it becomes stagnant and dead.

Now comes the time for Sardar Gurudayal Singh. He has been waiting so long and now he has come in his full glory, with the rainbow turban. I was worried whether I would see him. But he is a very stubborn guy: he is sitting in his place with his great turban, waiting for his time.

Pope the Polack has a terrible problem: he wets his bed. He gets so embarrassed by this habit that he goes to see Doctor Feelgood, the psychiatrist, in the hope of a cure.
“Sit down, your holiness,” says Feelgood, “and tell me all about it.”
“Well,” says the Polack pope, “every night, when I go to sleep, I dream about this little red devil with horns and a tail, who says to me, ‘Pope, now it is time to do a pee-pee.’ And then, when I wake up, I find that I have wet my bed.”
“That is very interesting,” says the shrink, “but very simple to cure. Next time this little red devil comes into your dreams and tells you to urinate, just say, ‘No, devil! I don’t need to pee. I don’t want to pee – so I won’t!’”
“Great idea!” says Pope the Polack, and he thanks Feelgood and goes back to the Vatican. Sure enough, that night, when the Polack is asleep, the little red devil with horns and a tail comes into his dreams and says, “Hey, Pope, now it is time to pee-pee.”
But the pope says, “No, devil – I don’t need to pee. I don’t want to pee – so I won’t!”
“Aha!” says the devil. “So you don’t want to pee-pee? Okay then – tonight you can do ka-ka!”

Father Finger and Old Father Fungus are trying out some new communion wine after Holy Mass in the church one night. An hour and two bottles later, they are feeling great, so Father Finger suggests that they go for a ride to the park.
Off they go, Father Finger driving on his moped, carrying Old Father Fungus on the back – both of them utterly drunk. They are speeding and weaving along the city streets like two little bats out of hell, when Father Finger holds up both his hands and shouts out, “Look! No hands!”
Just then they swerve past Police Officer Muldoon, who is cruising slowly along on his motorcycle.
When the cop pulls the two priests over, he smells the wine, and pulls out his notebook and pencil. “That will be a fifty dollar fine, Father,” says Muldoon. “Your hands were not on the handlebars and you are drunk.”
“But, officer!” slobbers Father Finger, “I was praying, so God took over the driving.”
“Okay,” smiles the cop, writing on his paper, “then that will be a one hundred dollar fine – for driving with three drunks on a moped!”

Farmer Meadow-Muffin’s young son Cyril comes running into the farmhouse one day, crying. His arms and legs are covered in bee stings.
“What happened to you?” asks Farmer Meadow-Muffin.
“Well, Dad,” howls Cyril, “I was just walking through the cow field, past the beehive, when all the bees flew out and stung me!”
“Nonsense!” says the farmer. “Bees don’t sting for no reason. You must have been fooling around with their hive.”
“No, Dad, really,” sobs Cyril. “I was just walking past and they all flew out and stung me!”
“You are lying!” says Farmer Meadow-Muffin. “And to prove it, you can tie me naked to that apple tree next to the beehive and leave me there for the rest of the day. And by the evening I bet you that not one bee has stung me.”
“Okay, Dad!” says Cyril, brightening up. And then he ties his naked father to the tree and goes off to play.
All through the day, Cyril hears his father shouting and screaming, but he leaves him there to teach him a lesson. That evening, Cyril goes along to release his father.
“What was all that shouting about, Dad?” he chuckles. “Did you get stung badly?”
“Not one bee touched me!” snaps Meadow-Muffin. “But you see that baby cow there? All day long she thought I was her mother!”






Be silent. Close your eyes. Feel your body to be completely frozen.
Now, look inward with your total consciousness, and with an urgency as if this is your last moment of life.
Your center of being is not far away. Just all that you need is a total urgency.
Deeper and deeper, like a spear… The deeper you go into your being, the deeper you are going into existence.
This moment you are a buddha, and to be a buddha is to attain the ultimate potential of your being. The seed comes to blossom in a blue lotus.
This very body the buddha, this very earth the lotus paradise.
Remain a witness. That is the only thing that is eternal in you. Everything is mortal except witnessing. Witnessing is another name of buddha.

To make it more clear, Nivedano…


Relax, but remain a witness. You are not the body, you are not the mind; you are pure consciousness. And soon you will find you don’t have any limits.
This Buddha Auditorium becomes a lake of consciousness without ripples.
Gather as many flowers that are blossoming in the invisible around you, as much fragrance… And remember that this buddha has to come slowly, slowly onto the circumference of your life, in your ordinary day-to-day work. Then even that work becomes meditation. Anything done with awareness is meditation.
Before Nivedano calls you back, gather as much of this pure space as possible. Bring with you the dance of it, the music, the poetry.



Come back, but show even in your coming back a grace, a beauty, a silence. Sit for a few moments remembering the experience you have gone through.
You have to become a buddha in your day-to-day affairs, twenty-four hours. Living or dead, you have to be a buddha. Only the buddha does not die.
To be a buddha is your destiny.
There is no other blessing that goes higher.
There is no other ecstasy that goes wider.
There is no other blissfulness that goes deeper.
Meditation is the only revolution in the world. All other revolutions are fake.

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