Just Like That 01

First Discourse from the series of 10 discourses - Just Like That by Osho.
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A man came to Libnani, a Sufi teacher, and this interchange took place.

Man: I wish to learn. Will you teach me?
Libnani: I do not feel that you know how to learn.

Man: Can you teach me how to learn?
Libnani: Can you learn how to let me teach?
Truth cannot be taught…but it can be learned. And between these two sentences is the key of all understanding. So let me repeat: truth cannot be taught, but it can be learned – because truth is not a teaching, not a doctrine, not a theory, a philosophy, or something like that. Truth is existence. Truth is being. Nothing can be said about it.
If you start saying something about it you will go round and round. You will beat around the bush, but you will never reach the center of it. Once you ask a question about you are already on the path of missing it. It can be encountered directly, but not through about. There is no via media. Truth is here and now. Only truth is. Nothing else exists. So the moment you raise a question about it the mind has already moved away. You are somewhere else, not here and now.
Truth cannot be taught because words cannot convey it. Words are impotent. Truth is vast, tremendously vast, infinite. Words are very very narrow. You cannot force truth into words, it is impossible. And how is one going to teach without words?
Silence can be a message. It can convey, it can become the vehicle. But then the question is not of the master’s concern to teach it. The question is of the disciple’s to learn it.
If it was a question of teaching, then the master would do something.
But words are useless – nothing can be done with them. The master can remain silent and can give the message from every pore of his being – but now the disciple has to understand it. Unaided, without any help from the master, the disciple has to receive it.
That’s why in the world of religion teachers don’t exist, only masters. A teacher is one who teaches, a master is one who IS. A teacher is one who talks about the truth, a master is truth himself. You can learn, but he cannot teach.
He can be there, open, available – you have to drink him, and you have to eat him. You have to imbibe him. You have to become pregnant with him. You have to absorb.
A master is one who has become the truth and is available for all those who are ready to absorb him; hence Jesus says to his disciples: Eat me. Truth can be eaten; it cannot be taught. You can allow it to reach you, but it cannot be forced on you.
Truth is absolutely nonviolent, it will not even knock at your door – even that much will be too much aggression.
If you allow, if you are receptive, it is all there. If you are closed, if you are not receptive, for millions of lives you may search for it and you will go on missing it. And it has always been there, it has always been the case. Not even a single step was needed. Not even the opening of the eyes was needed. Not even a single movement toward it was needed. It was already there: you had to be receptive.
Truth cannot be taught, but still, you can learn it. So the whole art depends on how to become a disciple.
Humanity is divided in three parts. One part, the major part, almost ninety-nine percent, never bothers about truth. It remains oblivious. It is completely asleep. It has no inquiry. It lives a somnambulistic life. The question of, What is truth? never arises. This is the greater part of humanity.
They live in ignorance, completely unaware that they are ignorant, not only unaware that they are ignorant – they may be thinking and dreaming that they know.
In fact this is part of their sleep, that they think they know. And what is the need to learn? To destroy the need to learn, this is the best thing to do: to go on feeling that you already know. Then there is no question of learning, no need to become a disciple. You are satisfied, in your grave. You are dead.
This is the greater part of humanity. Even if you approach people of this fragment and tell them about truth, they will laugh. They will say you are talking nonsense. Not only that, they will deny that there is anything like truth or God or nirvana. If you give them the message of an enlightened being they will say there never existed such a being, and he cannot exist: “We are the whole of humanity.”
Somebody asked Voltaire about the origin of religion, and Voltaire is reported to have said, “Religion was born when the first charlatan met the first fool on the earth.” In the encounter of the charlatan and the fool, religion was born. This has an element of truth in it. It is true in a sense, but it is true not about religion, but about pseudo-religion.
Religion is born, not between a charlatan and a fool – pseudo-religions are born that way – religion is born between a master and a disciple. Religion is born between a being who has attained and a being who is authentically in search to attain it. Religion is born between truth and a disciple.
But the first part of humanity remains completely unaware, blissfully unaware, because when there is no inquiry, no search, they live a comfortable life of no effort. They go on falling down. They never rise high, they never reach the peaks. And they don’t know. They not only don’t know, they never dream that there are peaks of experience, heights of ecstasies.
They remain almost like animals: eating, sleeping – and confined to such things. A life of routine, moving like a wheel; they are born, they live, they give birth to others, and they die. And the wheel goes on moving: they are born again, the same thing is repeated again and again, ad nauseam.
Then there is the second part of humanity: a few, who inquire. But they don’t know how to learn. They search, but they don’t understand that this search needs an inner transformation, only then it becomes possible. An inner mutation is needed.
In this dimension, learning is not like other learnings. You can learn chemistry, physics, mathematics, without any change in your consciousness. There is no need to change your consciousness; as you are, you can learn. But religion is a learning in which a basic requirement is: First change your consciousness.
Even before the learning starts you have to be prepared for it. A long preparation is needed, otherwise learning cannot start.
The second part inquires, but is not ready, so it goes on round and round in theories, hypotheses, human mental projections, inventions of articulate people, verbalizations, philosophies, metaphysics – there are thousands of theories available for this type of person.
He can choose – the market is vast, and he can go on changing from one theory to another, because no theory can give you the right thing. Theories can’t give, so you get fed up with one theory, then you choose another; you get fed up with one teacher, then you move to another teacher – and people go on, they become wanderers.
I come across the second type of people every day. They have been to this ashram, they have been to that, they have been to this teacher and to that, and they have been moving from one to another: nothing satisfies. But they are not aware that it is not a question of the teacher, it is the basic preparation that they are lacking. They are not yet ready to be disciples, and if you are not ready to be a disciple, how can you find the master? Tradition has it that when the disciple is ready the master appears on his own accord. You need not even search for him, he will come. Whenever a disciple is ready, the master will appear immediately. You go on searching for him, and he never appears. Something is wrong within you. Something within you frustrates the whole effort. You are not ready.
You cannot meet a master on your conditions, you have to fulfill his conditions. And they are eternal, they have never changed, they remain the same. One has to learn how to be a disciple.
This second part of humanity becomes a wandering mass of inquirers. They never gain much. They become rolling stones, which never gather any moss. They move on…rolling.
Then there is a third part – very rare human beings, exceptions, the cream of humanity.
That third part is those who seek, who inquire; but the inquiry is not intellectual, the inquiry is total. The inquiry is not like learning any other subject; the inquiry is so total that they are ready to die for it, they are ready to change their whole being for it. They are ready to fulfill all conditions. Even if death is a condition, they are ready to die. But they want to learn what truth is, they want to be in the world of truth; they don’t want to live in the world of lies and illusions and dreams and projections.
This third type can become a disciple. And only this third type, when they have attained, can become masters.
That’s why I say truth cannot be taught but it can be learned. But then the whole thing depends on you.
A master exists – you have to be in the presence of the master completely empty of yourself. That is the meaning of death. A disciple comes and dies before the master. That’s what surrender means.
He comes and leaves himself outside the door. Where he leaves his shoes, he leaves himself there also. He comes to the master completely empty. In that very emptiness, truth is possible. In that very emptiness the master starts flowing. The master becomes like a tremendous waterfall, falling into the valley of the disciple. From his peaks of being he reaches to the bottommost depth of the being of the disciple. And remember, he is not doing anything, it simply happens. When the valley is ready the waterfall happens of its own accord. The being of the master starts flowing toward the disciple.
It is not something that the master is doing, it is not something the disciple is doing – nobody is doing anything. The master is present to the disciple, and the disciple is present to the master, and the phenomenon happens of its own accord. It is a jump of the flame of the master into the heart of the disciple. But that needs to remain open, and the disciple needs to remain empty – just the receiving end.
That’s why I say again and again that the art of disciplehood is the art of being a feminine consciousness: receptive, allowing, not creating barriers, not closing doors, not trying to be safe and secure. Trusting.
Trust is the word. And in trust, truth happens. To trust is to be ready to learn. Yes, trust is the word. To trust is to be a disciple.
If you are still thinking, then you are still in control. You have not surrendered. If you are still saying this is right and that is not right, then your mind is there, then you belong to the second part of humanity, not to the third.
Now, let me divide these three parts again from a different direction. The first part of humanity has doubt as its soul, and the doubt is so strong that it is almost like a trust in doubt, believing in disbelief. It is so strong because the first part of humanity – the greater part – the major part, never doubts its own doubt. It trusts doubt.
If you are so much in doubt, so certain in doubt, you will be completely closed. Not even a single window will be open. To be a disciple is very very far away; even to become a student is difficult then. Even the idea that somebody knows more than you is impossible for you to entertain.
This part remains foolish, stupid. It is a stonelike part, dead, with no life, because unless energy is moving continuously into the unknown, you can’t have life.
When every day you move into the unknown, only then you are alive, throbbing. Your heart is beating. You are growing. Growth is always from the known into the unknown.
The second part of humanity inquires; its doubt is shaken. But its trust is not yet grounded. No more is it part of the greater humanity, it has moved away from them a little bit – even that little bit is too much to allow them to go back – but it is still in limbo, just hanging in the middle. It has no trust.
The first part trusts too much in doubt, the second part has come to doubt its doubt, but a trust is not born. The third part is trusting in trust. The trust is absolute. The people of the second part will call you blind. Your shraddha, your trust in trust, will appear to them as blindness. The first part of humanity will call you mad. Your trust will look just like madness. How can a person who thinks believe so totally? It is impossible. But to the third part, to whom trust has happened, the blindness will be the only capacity to see. And madness will be the only sanity.
These three different humanities have different languages. They don’t communicate with each other – it is almost impossible. It is just like when you are talking to somebody who does not know your language, and you don’t know his language – at the most through gestures a little communication is possible, but not much.
Sufis say that only the third part of humanity can learn. Sufi masters are very choosy. It is very difficult to be accepted by a Sufi master, very very difficult. They create all sorts of obstacles around them.
First, they live in such an ordinary way that you cannot suspect that here is a master. They live in absolutely ordinary ways. For example, the master may be a blacksmith or a shoemaker or a carpet maker or a butcher or a carpenter – just the very ordinary world. You cannot suspect that the man who makes your shoes and repairs your shoes is a master. He won’t allow any suspicion; that is the way he protects himself from those who are not ready but think themselves ready. From intruders he protects himself in this way.
You will never see a Sufi master going to the mosque or the temple – to any public place – to pray. No, he prays when everybody is fast asleep, in the midnight. Even his wife may not suspect that this man has attained. No, this is part of the Sufi method – not to allow anybody to know.
Jesus must have lived with some Sufis in Egypt. He carries a few of their teachings in The Bible. One of them is: Whatsoever you do with your right hand, don’t allow your left hand to know about it. This is a Sufi tradition: Live completely in the dark, so nobody knows and intruders don’t come, pseudo-seekers don’t knock, and foolish people don’t trespass on your time and your energy.
Then second, if somehow you come to know about a Sufi master, years you will have to wait with him – as an apprentice, not for meditation. If he is a shoemaker, you will have to learn shoemaking for years. And they are hard taskmasters. Sometimes ten, twelve years will pass and you will be simply working on shoes and preparing shoes, and the question should never be raised, unless the master himself asks, “What have you come for? What do you want?”
He will watch you. He will be with you. In that togetherness something will grow, by and by, through very indirect methodology – for example, shoemaking. It is a meditation because the disciple is told to do only the thing that is given to be done; no thinking is allowed.
And remember this, if you work with your hands there is much possibility for the mind to remain vacant. If you work with the mind, then there is less possibility of course because the mind will have to think.
Sufis work with their hands – carpet making, shoemaking, carpentry, or anything whatsoever, but with their hands. Hand and head are the two poles, and if your energy is moving through the hands, the head by and by subsides. And if for years, twelve years – such a long time! – you are simply working with the hands, you completely forget the head. There is no need of it. The head becomes nonfunctioning, and that is what is needed for a disciple: the head must be in a nonfunctioning state. Thinking should stop. The mind should become like a no-mind. Not filled with thoughts, dreams, ideas. Completely empty.
While the disciple is an apprentice, working on shoemaking, the master goes on watching what is happening in his head. Is the energy completely moving into the hands?
Now physiologists agree that if you work with the hands, the same energy moves from the head. The energy is the same. Your right hand is joined with your left brain, your left hand is joined with your right brain. Try this: whenever you feel that there is too much thinking, and you cannot stop it, rub both your hands fast, make them hot by rubbing, and suddenly you will feel the head has stopped, the energy is moving in the hands.
People who cannot sleep – this is the best medicine for them yet known, better than any tranquilizer. Just close your eyes and rub your hands, and feel them getting warmer and warmer and warmer – and through rubbing they will get warmer – and you put into your imagination also that they are getting warmer. When the hands are warm, the head becomes cool. These are the two polarities.
Hands should be warm, and the head should be cool. But when there is too much thinking, the head will be warm and the hands will be cool. That is unhealthy. You are going toward madness. A moment will come when the head starts functioning on its own, unconnected with the whole body. That is what madness means: a part has become autonomous, a part has become dictatorial.
Zen masters in Japan always go on working with the hands. Sufi masters in Mohammedan countries always go on working with the hands. Doing something with the hands is always beautiful. It brings your head energy down into the body.
If you continue for years to work with the hands you become headless. The physical part of the head remains, but the energy part, the thinking part, disappears; you become headless.
For years a disciple has to be with the master. Difficult unless you trust, because who knows whether this man is a master or not? Who knows whether he has attained or not? How to judge? But if you trust, by and by an inner affinity with the master happens, an inner affinity, just as it happens sometimes with lovers, but rarely, because lovers never surrender. They talk about it, they say they have surrendered, but they never surrender. In fact through surrender they may be trying to manipulate the other, the surrender may be just a trick. The fight continues in lovers.
Rarely, but sometimes it happens, if two lovers are really in love, an affinity happens. Somewhere they become one. A bridge comes into existence. The bodies remain two, but their inner flames come so close that they become one. Rarely it happens in love; and only for moments – again the flames go apart, come again together, go apart. It continues to be so. But between a disciple and a master, when this closeness happens it goes on growing closer and closer and closer, and a moment comes when only two bodies exist: somewhere in the inner world the beings are no more two. The jump, the leap of the flame has happened.
To learn from a master is to learn how to be with him. To learn from a master is to learn how not to be with yourself.
Religious learning is a totally different dimension than other learnings, other disciplines. In other disciplines you remain the same. And you start accumulating information. You want to learn about geography – you go to a teacher and you learn. You remain the same, only information goes on increasing. You become more and more knowledgeable, but your being, your quality of being, your state of being remains the same.
When you come to learn religion, or truth, then it is different: it is not accumulation of information, it is not an increase in your knowledge; it is a growth in your being. Not that you will know more, but that you will be more. Not that your memory will be more disciplined, no, but your being, your very being will become more still and silent, blissful.
Religion is the learning of being. And all other learnings are just training for memories. All other disciplines give you knowledge. Religion gives you knowing, not knowledge; knowing, the capacity to see, the tremendous energy to be. This difference has to be understood, then you will be able to understand this small dialogue – but very potent.
A man came to Libnani, a Sufi teacher, and this interchange took place.

Man: I wish to learn. Will you teach me?
The man emphasizes his wish. That is necessary, but not enough. You may wish, that doesn’t show that you are ready. Your wish may be just a dream, your wish may be founded on wrong reasons, your wish may have no willpower behind it, it may be impotent. Your wish may be the wish of a beggar – and truth is not possible for a beggar. Your wish may be just childish. By accident you may have come upon the idea that one needs truth, that one needs to know God.
A wish is very feeble unless it becomes a burning desire – what Sri Aurobindo calls abheepsa. Abheepsa means such an intense burning desire that you are completely absorbed by it. Nothing of you is left behind. It is not a part of you that desires, it is the whole of you that desires. The desire has become your being. Then it is abheepsa. It is a total desire in which everything is surrendered.
A wish is just a ripple on the surface of the mind. You are passing on the road and a beautiful Rolls Royce passes by: a wish comes in the mind that you also would like to have a Rolls Royce. You see a beautiful woman – and a wish arises. A wish is just a ripple on the surface – and truth is not open for those who come to it in such a feeble way. Truth demands you in your totality.
Truth is like a woman: it wants to possess you totally. Truth won’t tolerate any competitor, it is jealous. If you think that you have a hundred wishes, and one wish is for truth, then you are not ready for truth. When the hundred wishes disappear and only one wish remains, when all the wishes disappear in one wish, it becomes abheepsa.
It becomes a burning desire, a total desire – your whole being aflame, afire – and you are ready to risk anything and everything.
The man said: I wish to learn.
Learning is not possible if you simply wish. It happens every day that people come to me, they talk about God and meditation and this and that, and if I don’t answer them immediately they ask something, if I go on talking about something else, within seconds they have forgotten that they had come to ask about God. It is just a wish, a whim in the mind, not rooted. Otherwise, if you are thirsty and you come and you ask about water, and I talk about other things, those other things won’t quench your thirst; rather, on the contrary, your thirst will grow while I am talking about other things. Whenever I start you will say again, “Give me a glass of water, I am thirsty.” And if I go on talking about other things your thirst will grow meanwhile. When I stop again you will say, “I will die! Give me a glass of water!”
But you come and you talk about God, and you say you would like to know about God, and I ask about your health and how is your wife, and how are your children? – and you have forgotten about God. Then you remain with me for one hour and you never mention anything about God again.
It was not a thirst, just a vagrant wish, just a vagabond wish with no roots in you. Just a ripple on the surface, a breeze passed. You were passing on the road and you saw a sannyasin. The orange robe – and a wish came into the mind: you would also like to know what this sannyas is. You had never thought about it before, never dreamed about it before, it has never been a desire – just, you saw a sannyasin and suddenly the orange robe created a wish in you. A breeze passed and created a ripple, and you would also like what these mad orange people are doing.
And what is meditation? You come to me, and you ask about meditation. But you don’t mean it. You ask and you don’t mean it. You think it is as if I can give you meditation and you will carry it home just like any other commodity from the market.
Meditation will need long preparation. Meditation will change you completely.
One woman came to me – she belongs to one of the richest families in India – and she said she would like to meditate, but she wants to know, if she meditates, is it going to create some trouble in her life?
I asked, “What type of trouble do you mean?”
She said she had a husband and children and a big family. If she meditated, would it create a rift? – because the husband was not interested in meditation at all. Not only not interested, he was against it: “And I have come to you without his knowledge. I can secretly meditate, but I want to be certain that it will not disturb my family life in any way.”
Another woman was with her who had followed her. She said, “What are you saying…because meditation will make you better! You will be more silent, more happy – how is that going to disturb your life? Your life will become better!”
I listened. Then the woman said, “Yes, if this is going to be so, I am ready.”
I told her, “This is not going to be so, because whether you become good or bad it makes no difference: you change, and the relationship will be in disturbance.”
Sometimes I have watched: if you become bad it doesn’t affect your relationship so much as when you become good, because when you become better the other ego is hurt more.
If a husband starts meditating the wife’s ego is hurt more – her husband is going beyond her, and he is moving away from her. He may become more silent, so that when his wife is angry he may not react – but that will create more anger. The wife will think, “What does he think about himself? Has he become a saint?”
She will try to bring you down, back where you were before. Your anger is known to her but your silence is unfamiliar, you look strange. You don’t look like her husband. You are a totally different man, and if you go on rising higher in meditation, you become more and more independent – the wife feels she is being left behind. That cannot be tolerated.
If a husband becomes a drunkard it is okay, nothing much is wrong. On the contrary, deep down the wife may feel good because she appears better than the husband, and she can teach and preach and moralize, and whenever the husband comes she can create guilt in him, that he is a drunkard – “and you are killing me and the children and the whole family! What are you doing?” She feels good if you are bad, because it is always a comparative feeling. A drunkard can be tolerated. If a husband starts going to prostitutes, that can be tolerated. But if the husband starts meditating, becomes religious, that is intolerable, that is impossible to tolerate. It hurts, it hurts deeply.
I told the woman, “As far as I know, if you meditate it is going to create trouble. You will become silent, you will become happy, more blissful, more contented, but your husband will feel left behind. A gap will arise between you. The planes will become different. You will move farther away.”
Then the wife said, “Then wait. Then I don’t want any meditation, any silence, any prayer, no. I am happy in my life, I don’t want to disturb it.”
This is a wish. You would like to have something without disturbing your life in any way. You cannot have anything valuable without disturbing your life in any way, that is impossible. In fact, the greater the phenomenon, the more is going to be the disturbance, the more is the risk. If you want God you will be ready to lose all. If you want to become a disciple you will have to surrender all that you have. In that surrender is the only possibility, the possibility of a transfer of being.
I have been telling you again and again the story of Buddha and Mahakashyapa, but it has multidimensional meanings. It is said Buddha sat one morning under the tree, with a flower in his hand. He was going to give a sermon, and the monks waited – ten thousand bhikkhus waiting and waiting, and it was getting hotter, and the sun had risen high, and Buddha was silent and looking at the flower. Then suddenly one disciple by the name of Mahakashyapa started laughing loudly, a good belly laugh.
Everybody looked at Mahakashyapa: Has he gone mad? This morning seems to be strange; Buddha has never done this – he has always come and talked. Today he has come with a flower and he is sitting and looking at the flower as if he has forgotten all the ten thousand disciples who are there.
And then, look! Now this Mahakashyapa was laughing – and nobody had ever heard him laugh, he was such a silent man. In fact nobody had ever known him. This was the first time that he had done something publicly. He was so silent, unassuming; he lived like a shadow. Nobody ever felt his presence even. He was absolutely nonaggressive, because when you try to let your presence be felt, that is violence. You are trying to attract attention. This man nobody knew. What has happened to him? He has gone mad!
Buddha looked, called Mahakashyapa near him, gave him the flower, and told him, “Whatsoever I could give through words I have given to others, and that which cannot be given through words – I give it to you, Mahakashyapa.”
In Zen they call it a transfer beyond scriptures, a transfer beyond words.
What was given to Mahakashyapa? Still they go on asking in Zen monasteries, still Buddhists go on pondering over it. Twenty-five centuries have passed since that morning, and great philosophers have pondered over it: What happened that morning? What was transferred? It was not a transfer of a flower, a flower is just a symbol. It was a transfer of the whole being of Buddha to Mahakashyapa. Not that Buddha entered into Mahakashyapa; he remained himself. It is just – you bring one lighted lamp near another which is not lighted; suddenly the flame jumps from the lighted lamp to the unlighted lamp. The lighted lamp remains the same, nothing has been lost, not even a bit, but a new light has come into being. It is a leap, a jump of truth – that had happened that morning.
Buddha gave the flower as a symbol. The flower has remained a symbol in India of the absolute flowering of consciousness. A lotus flower means when the consciousness has flowered absolutely, and the fragrance has been released into the cosmos. That morning Buddha jumped, the flame of Buddha jumped into Mahakashyapa. This is how truth is transferred.
Just wishing for it cannot be of much help. You have to desire it, you have to desire it so deeply that you become the desire, just a fire, a desire, a burning flame of desire. Be near a master and be a burning flame of desire to know, and suddenly one day it happens: a transfer beyond scriptures, a transfer beyond words, a transfer from being to being, not from mind to mind. That’s what Buddha said: “Whatsoever can be said through words, I have given it to others, a transfer from mind to mind, and that which cannot be said, I give it to you, Mahakashyapa” – a transfer from being to being. Others were students, Mahakashyapa was a disciple. Mahakashyapa became the second buddha.
The man said: I wish to learn…
This is a very feeble thing. You can learn geography, chemistry, and other such nonsense, by wishing to learn. People learn even without wishing, people learn even against their wish. Look at the children; they are forced to go to school against their wish, they never wish to go, they have been forced – even they can learn. They come out of the universities with PhD’s and they never had any wish to learn. Now they have become doctors, PhD’s, DLitt’s, they will become professors and they will teach others who have no wish to learn.
As far as worldly knowledge is concerned even without a wish it can be learned, but as far as religious knowing is concerned even with wishing it is not possible. The wish has to become a burning desire, abheepsa.
In English there is no word like abheepsa. It means when only the desire is left, nothing else. Even the one who desires is no more there, he is also part of the desire. When the desire is not part of you but you have become part of the desire, then it is abheepsa.

I wish to learn, said the man. Will you teach me?
A master cannot be asked in this way. It is not a question of the master’s will to teach; he is always ready to teach. It is not a question of his willing or not willing; he is the teaching. Even while he is sitting silently, he is teaching. He is breathing silently – he is teaching. He is moving – he is teaching. He is eating his food – he is teaching. He is asleep – he is teaching. A master is a continuum of message. He is teaching.
Once it happened: A man came to a Zen master and asked to be taught. The master said, “Okay. You be here, and I will teach you.” The man remained for one, two, three hours, then his patience came to an end.
Many people were coming and going. Many people were asking many questions – the master had many disciples, a great monastery, and he was talking to people, teaching people, giving them methods, solving their problems – and the man was sitting in the corner. He became very impatient, almost feverish.
When he could get a time he said, “Wait. I have been here for three hours and you have not taught me anything!”
The master looked at him and said, “What have I been doing the whole time? People came, they asked me questions, I answered. There was teaching in it – not in the answer but in the answering. You should have watched how I answered. People came, they greeted me, I responded. There was teaching. And sometimes people came and they simply sat by my side in silence, and I was silent, they were silent – there was teaching for you. What have I been doing for these three hours, you fool! I have been teaching you.” But the man was at a loss. He couldn’t understand what type of teaching this was.
A master does not teach, he is the teaching. His whole being is a message, a continuous message. The way he moves his eyes, the way he gestures, the way he looks at you – something is there continuously being conveyed. And if you cannot see you are blind.
It is not a question to ask a master: Will you teach me? That is what he exists for. His own work is fulfilled, his own work done. As far as he himself is concerned now there is no need to breathe anymore, everything is finished. If he lingers a little while on the shore, it is for you; otherwise his ship has arrived. In fact, the ship has been waiting long. If he lingers a little while more on the shore it is for you. It is to teach. It is to share that which he has attained. It is not a question of asking a master, “Will you teach me?” Rather, on the contrary, one has to ask, “Am I ready to be taught?”
Libnani said:
I do not feel that you know how to learn.
When you come to a master it is not a question of what you say. He does not bother to listen to you, what you say. He feels what you are. You may say, “I wish to learn,” or you may say, “I desire to learn,” or you may say, “I am burning with desire and I am ready to surrender….”
This happens. People come to me and they say, “Accept us, we are totally at your disposal. Whatsoever you want to make of us, make. We are surrendered.” They touch my feet. And if I say to them, “Then become a sannyasin, be initiated,” they say, “That is difficult. It will be very very difficult to move in orange robes in the market.” And just a moment before the man was saying, “I am at your disposal, surrendered, and whatsoever you want to make of me you can.” He is not ready even to change his dress, and he was saying that he allows me to change his being!
He is not aware of what he has said just a moment before. People are talking in their sleep, drunk. They don’t know what they are saying. They may be touching my feet, but they don’t know what they are doing – because if it is just a gesture, a polite gesture, it is meaningless. If it is just a mannerism, it carries no significance. But if it is real, authentic, then it can become a transforming force.
But if immediately I say, “Change your clothes,” they are afraid. And if I say, “Change your being,” how will it be possible for them?…because if just changing the clothes creates trouble in the market, when you change your being you will be constantly in trouble. Wherever you go you will be constantly in trouble because you will be an outsider. You will belong to a different world, and nobody will feel familiar to you. Even your own people will become separate and fall apart, they will not be able to understand you, you will become a foreigner in your own home. You will be an outsider and people will avoid you, they will not come near you. They will be afraid, because your disease can be infectious.
One need not ask a master; one has to be just in the presence of the master. In India we use the word darshan. That means just to be in the presence of the master. Don’t say anything – he can know without your saying, and whatsoever you say may not be true about you because you are so fragmentary. One fragment says something, another fragment says something else – you are a crowd, you are not one. This moment you say something, the next moment you change. You are a confusion, a chaos.
When you are near a master, you just put yourself in his presence and leave it to him to decide what type of man you are and what is possible for you. Let the master decide – don’t say anything.
Libnani said: I do not feel…You say that you wish but I can feel you – I do not feel that you know how to learn. You are incapable. You don’t have the receptivity. You don’t have that feminine being which can learn. You are not open. I can see – you are closed from everywhere, not even a keyhole from where something can enter…all windows closed, all doors closed.
When you are closed you have different vibrations around you. Even from miles a master can feel whether the man who is coming is closed or open. An open being has a different quality: weightlessness, as if he doesn’t walk; he flies, as if gravitation has no effect on him. He is no more part of the earth.
An open being is totally different. When you come to a master, and if you are open, you are ready to learn.
This man must have been closed. He had come to learn but he was not ready to open. How can you learn if you are not open? A mind filled with prejudices, concepts, theories, scriptures, knowledge, is not capable of learning. To learn one has to unlearn first. Unlearning is the way of learning.
Whatsoever you know, you have to drop it; a clean slate is needed. You are filled too much; too much knowledge you carry already in your head. This man must have been a scholar or something, a pundit. He may have known the Koran, may have crammed it completely, could have repeated it by memory.
The master said, “I feel that you don’t know how to learn. You have come to me but you have not come to me. You have carried all your luggage – rubbish, rot, inside the mind. Throw it out!” Only then is there the possibility that you can learn something.
A man came to Ramana Maharshi and said, “I have come from very far, somewhere in Germany, and I have come to learn from you.” Ramana said, “Then you go elsewhere, because here we teach unlearning. Learning is not our way. You go elsewhere.”
He may have been a German scholar, he may have known the Vedas, Upanishads, it may have been because of his learning that he became interested in Ramana. Reading the Upanishads, the desire arises to find a man who knows. Moving through the pages of the Vedas one becomes enchanted, charmed, magnetized, hypnotized. One starts seeking a man who is a seer of whom the Vedas talk, a man of the caliber of the seers of the Upanishads – a man who knows. He may have come because of the scriptures.
But you don’t know the man who knows. He is always against scriptures. Scriptures may lead to him, but he will tell you to drop all scriptures. The ladder through which you have come – he will say, “Throw it! Now that you have reached me there is no need for Vedas and Upanishads and Korans; you drop them! Now I am here, alive.”
Jesus says: I am truth, no need to bring scriptures here. Ramana said, “Then you go elsewhere, because here we teach unlearning. If you are ready to unlearn, be here. If you have come to learn more, then this is not the right place. Then go somewhere else – universities exist for learning. When you come to me, come to unlearn. This is a university for unlearning, a university to create no-mind, a university where whatsoever you know will be taken away.”
All your knowledge has to be dropped so that you become knowing, so you get a perfection, a clarity, so that your eyes are not filled with theses, or theories, with prejudices, concepts; so your eyes have a clarity, an absolute clarity and transparency, so that you can see. The truth is already there. It has always been there.
Said Libnani: I do not feel that you know how to learn.
Man: Can you teach me how to learn?
Must have been a very logical man. He reacts logically. He says, “Okay, if you think I am not ready to learn, then teach me how to learn.” Can you teach me how to learn?
With logic this is the problem: the problem remains the same. Libnani says: I do not feel that you know how to learn. The man gives a logical reply. If he had been a man of understanding, not of logic, he would have closed his eyes. He would have looked within, he would have watched around his own being and self: “What does Libnani say? He says he feels that I do not know how to learn” – he should have observed his own being.
If he was a man of understanding then he would have meditated on it. He would have said to Libnani, “I will go and meditate over it, what you have said. You have said a great truth. Already you have started teaching me. I have already learned something – that I don’t know how to learn! I already know at least this much. This can become a good beginning. I will go and I will meditate over it. It is such a potent truth that you have said to me. You have felt rightly. Let me now watch myself to understand whatsoever you have said to me.”
But no, the man must have been a logical man; not a man of understanding but a man who knows, knowledgeable. He argues the point like a lawyer. He says, “This is an argument.” He says, “Okay, if you feel that I don’t know how to learn, can you teach me how to learn?” Again the emphasis is on the master: “Can you teach me?” The emphasis has not shifted a single bit.
He goes on thinking that truth is something to be taught, and Libnani is emphasizing the fact that truth is something to be learned. And that is their polarity. Very subtle. He has missed the point. He again says the same thing: Can you teach me how to learn?
Libnani: Can you learn how to let me teach?
The emphasis remains the same on both sides. Again Libnani says: Can you learn how to let me teach?
Truth cannot be taught. But it can be learned. And if you think that it can be taught you will go on wandering and wandering and wandering. You may meet many teachers and masters, but you will not meet truth because from the very beginning you have taken a wrong step. The emphasis should be that truth can be learned. The emphasis is on the disciple, and if the disciple is ready, the master appears.
And what is disciplehood? It is openness. It is receptivity. It is a welcoming attitude. It is trust.
Have you ever watched a roseflower? In the evening when the sun is setting and the day is over and the roseflower has had its day and now it is time to dissolve, the petals of the roseflower start falling, slowly, toward the ground, with no hesitation. A rose petal, so delicate, but so strong, doesn’t hesitate about where it is falling, where it is going, whether there is any earth to find, to rest, to go to sleep, to die – or is it falling in a bottomless abyss? Who knows? But no hesitation. So soft, so delicate, but so strong, not any uncertainty, not any clinging to the flower anymore. The time has come. It simply leaves the flower and falls to the ground.
A Sufi master used to say to his disciples: Simply trust. Do not the petals flutter down just like that?
When you come to a master be like a rose petal. Fall into the master, fall unto the master just like that – as a rose petal falls toward the earth unhesitating, absolutely in trust that the earth must be there – to rest, to die, with no effort of its own. The very gravitation of the earth does the work – it has just to trust. If it trusts, it doesn’t cling to the plant, it just trusts and flutters down.
Simply trust! That is what disciplehood is. Do not the petals flutter down just like that?
Enough for today.

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