Kabir: The Christ of the East

Osho on Enlightened Mystic Poet Kabir

THE gods of the past are dead. And they cannot be revived again. They have become irrelevant to human consciousness; they were created by a very immature mind. Man has come of age. He needs a different vision of the gods, he needs a different kind of religion. He needs to be freed from his yesterdays, because only then can the tomorrow become possible. The old has to die for the new to be. It is good that the old gods are gone — but it is difficult for humanity to say goodbye to them. Humanity has become too familiar with them. They have been a great consolation and comfort and convenience, they have been a sort of security. Dropping them one feels frightened, scared. Mind wants to remain with the known because the known is the familiar, the trodden. Mind is always afraid to move into the unknown. The unknown on the one hand challenges, attracts, on the other hand creates fear. It is unpredictable, one cannot know beforehand what will be the outcome. And mind is always orthodox, it is conventional. Mind is a convention, mind is traditional, mind is tradition. So the problem is always there — mind clings with the past and life wants to go into the future, and there is a constant tug of war between mind and life.

Those who choose mind remain dead. Those who choose life against mind are the salt of the earth.

It is not only that the gods of the yesterdays are dead, the very concept of a personal god has no more any meaning. In the future there will not be gods, there will not even be one god, there can only be godliness. Try to understand it.

God cannot have a form in the future, and if you insist on the form there will be no religion. Only a formlessness can be conceived — a quality, not a person; an energy, not a being. Not God but godliness. Not any particular religion — Christianity, Hinduism, Islam — but only religiousness. Those who can see this can have a great transformation in their lives. Those who can see the point that God has to be dropped in favor of godliness and religions have to disappear in favor of religiousness, they are the people of the future. And I am talking only to those people who belong to the future.

I am not interested in the dead, I am not interested in the graveyards. And the graveyards can be beautiful… but that is not the point, they are still graveyards.

Life is an adventure. An ongoing adventure, a continuous adventure into the unknown. That’s where logic and life part ways. Logic remains with the old. Logic cannot have any leap, it doesn’t allow any quantum leap — by its very nature it cannot allow it. It has to move step by step, it has to follow the premises. The conclusion is nothing but something that was contained in the premises and has become manifest; it is nothing new. Logic never arrives at the new, it only makes the old manifest. It makes the old understood, it makes the old clear, it makes the old transparent. But it never arrives at the new. It cannot, because for the new there is no context in the old. That’s why it is new, because it has no roots in the old. It is utterly new. It comes from nowhere, it comes out of nothingness. It has no support from the past. That’s why I call it a quantum leap. It doesn’t move step by step, it doesn’t move by argumentation. It is not a syllogism, it is a song. And it bursts forth in your being if you allow it. It is mysterious. It cannot be explained, because all explanations come from the past. It remains unexplained. But that’s the beauty of it, the mystery of it, the wonder of it, the awe of it. It is an Aha! experience. You can have it but you cannot make a theory out of it. The moment you make the theory you have converted life into death, you have reduced life into death.

The moment you try to analyze something — and explanation means analysis, dissection — you destroy its organic unity. You see a rose flower, it is there in all its beauty — but unexplained, unexplainable. It is there to be loved, to be celebrated. You can have a dance around it, you can sit in silence with it, and there will be great joy and great insight; But your mind demands explanations. Your mind says ‘What is the meaning of this rose flower?’ There is none. It is beyond meaning. You want to have an explanation — why does it exist, for what? And you are losing track of its reality, you are getting absorbed in the mind which comes from the past. You may compare it now with other flowers that you have known. Or you may dissect it, you may try to get into its reality by logic. By the time you understand it — you can understand its chemistry, not its poetry — by the time you have understood its chemistry, by the time you have some explanations for it, it is gone. The flower is no more. You have a few chemicals in your hands — they are not the flower. They may have been the constituents of it but they are not its organic unity. And a flower is not just a sum total of its parts, it is more than the sum total’ of its parts.

That’s what I mean by poetry. When something is more than the sum total of its parts it is poetry. You cannot reduce the whole to its parts, because the whole has something which the parts can never have — it has an organic unity. You cannot grasp it, you cannot hold it in your hand, you cannot put it down into a theory, you cannot write a scientific paper about it. It is beyond grasp, it is very elusive. The more you chase it, the more you will miss it. You have to enjoy it to know it truly, you have to love it to know it truly. But love never gives any explanation. It gives great insight, great intuition, it brings a great vision to you. But there is no explanation. You cannot create a doctrine, a dogma. The future is going to belong to those who can have poetry of the heart. The past was too logical. Even the so-called religious people were nothing but logicians. In the garb of theology they were spinning and weaving logic, in the name of God they were creating philosophy. The highest form of the religion of the past was philosophy, and the lowest form was superstition. And both are false. One needs a poetry of religion, a mysticism.

Kabir is a harbinger, a herald of the future, the first flower that heralds the spring. He is one of the greatest poets of religion. He is not a theologian, he does not belong to any religion. All religions belong to him, but he is vast enough to contain all. No particular religion defines him. He is a Hindu and a Mohammedan and a Christian and a Jaina and a Buddhist. He’s a great beauty, a great poetry, a great orchestra. And the man was utterly illiterate. The man was a weaver, a poor man. In India he is rare — Buddha was the son of a king, so was Mahavira, so was Rama and so was Krishna.

India has been always interested too much in riches — notwithstanding what its leaders go on saying to the world, that it is spiritual. It has been too materialistic, and not even honest about it. Even when Indians talk against material things they are materialists. If they praise Buddha they praise because he renounced the kingdom — the value is still in the kingdom. Because he renounced such wealth, that’s why he’s worshipped.

Kabir is rare, he is a poor man. In Kabir, for the first time a poor man is recognized as a man of God. Otherwise it was a monopoly of kings and princes and rich people.

Kabir is the Christ of the East. Christ was also illiterate — the son of a carpenter — and Christ also speaks in the same way as Kabir.

They have great similarities. They belong to the same earth, they are very earthy, but both have great insights. Unsophisticated they are, uncultured, uncivilized. Maybe that is the reason why their sayings are so potent. Their wisdom is not that of the universities, they have been never to any school. Their wisdom comes from the masses, their wisdom is out of their own experience. It is not learned, it is not scholarly, they are not pundits and rabbis. They are ordinary people. In Kabir, in the East, for the first time a poor man has come to declare the beauties of God. It is very difficult for a poor man to declare the grace of God, it is very difficult for a poor man to be religious. This is my understanding — that if you find a rich man and not religious, then he is stupid. A religious consciousness is bound to happen if you are rich. Much awareness is not needed for it, your very riches will prove to you the futility of this world. If you have all, you have to become religious, that is inevitable — because when you have all you will be able to see, even a stupid person will be able to see, great intelligence is not needed, that ‘I have got all, and I have nothing inside me.’ If this does not happen to a rich man then he is really very very foolish, utterly stupid.

To be religious for a poor man is very difficult, great intelligence is needed — because a poor man has nothing. To see that the world is meaningless is very difficult when you are poor. You have not experienced the world — great insight is needed to see that which you don’t have, to see its futility. Because of that, my appreciation for a Christ or a Kabir is far more than for a Buddha or a Mahavir.

They had all; they went through the world. Buddha had all the beautiful women of his kingdom available to him. If he became aware that there is nothing in physical beauty, that it is a dream, it is natural. He had all the luxuries possible to a man twenty-five centuries ago. If he became alert that they don’t satisfy, much intelligence is not needed for it. They don’t satisfy — the actual experience proves that they don’t satisfy, that the discontent remains the same.

But for a Kabir or a Christ it is very difficult. They are not kings, they are poor people; even their necessary needs are not fulfilled. There is every possibility of hoping and dreaming and desiring. To see that the world is meaningless will need a great genius. So

Kabir is illiterate but a man of great intelligence — of eyes so penetrating that he can even see the futility of that which he has not got. He can SEE it without having it in his own hands, his perception is so clear. He brings the first glimpse of a future religion. The future religion will not be of ritual. There will not be much worshipping but there will be much celebration. And in fact to celebrate is the only real worship. There will be much singing and much dancing, but not offered to any god in particular, just offered to existence itself. A pouring of the heart, a communion of the heart. Dance itself is enough, it need not be for somebody. The song in itself is enough, it need not be addressed. The prayer in itself is enough, it need not be done in a temple or a church or a mosque. In fact it need not be done at all, just a prayerful heart is enough. And it will be a religion which will not be confined by any doctrine, by any dogma — a religion which will not supply a philosophy but will certainly give you the vision of a different dimension of reality.

Remember, Kabir is a rebel. And I make a great distinction between a rebel and a revolutionary. A revolutionary is not much of a revolutionary. A revolutionary is against something, he is an extremist. The orthodox, the conventional, the traditional, is the rightist; the revolutionary is the leftist — but they are part of the same game. Just like the right hand and the left hand belong to the same man, the rightist and the leftist belong to the same mind…The orthodox people are foolish and the revolutionaries are not very intelligent either. They go on doing the same thing on opposite poles. But those poles are of the same energy, the same kind of mind.

Religion is not revolutionary, it is not orthodox, it is rebellion. These new dimensions are nowhere on the right or on the left, these new dimensions are up. Up is an entirely new framework whose very premises and goals transcend the conventional right and left. Left or right, they are all conservative, they are all down. Rebellion is an up dimension; it is neither right nor left. It is a totally new kind of energy, moving upwards; it has a different vision of life.

Kabir believes in the up dimension. What is up? The past is down, the old is down, the familiar is down. The unfamiliar, the unknown, the mysterious, is up. Be up. Never belong to the dimension of the down. That’s where people are. Christians and Hindus and Mohammedans and Jainas and Buddhists, they go on living just as if crawling on the earth. They don’t fly. Religion gives you wings to go into the infinite.

Listening to the sutras of Kabir, remember it. He will be very very shocking, he will shatter your mind. Out of his compassion he will destroy, he will create a kind of emptiness in you — because only in that emptiness God is: God as godliness. Only in that emptiness is meditation, and only in that emptiness do you start seeing for the first time. Nicholas of Cusa has pointed out that the word for God ‘Deus’ comes from ‘theory’. ‘Theory’ is a beautiful word from which ‘theory’ comes. ‘Theory’ has become very ugly, but ‘theory’ is beautiful — it simply means ‘I see.’ Religion gives you eyes, it is simply a clarity. Remember, clarity does not give you explanations — but it makes you able to live, it makes you able to love. Clarity does not give you meanings but it gives you significance. Again, they are different things. A meaning is a mind thing, a significance is a life experience — it is existential.

I have heard, Albert Einstein used to say ‘Religion without science is blind, and science without religion is lame.’ With a little change, I would like to agree — but that little change has much to say. Einstein says ‘Religion without science is blind.’ That is not right. Rather, ‘Religion without science is lame, and science without religion is blind’ — because religion gives eyes. It gives insight into reality, it gives insight within and without. Yes, it is true — without science religion is lame, it cannot walk. You can see it in the East, the East is lame — actually lame. And the West is blind, actually blind. Science gives energy, power, speed, technology, but it does not give you insight into what to do with it. It gives you insight only into matter, but not insight into your own being. So the insight into matter goes on becoming greater and greater technology, and you don’t know what to do with it. And when technology is there you have to do something with it. Science gives power without giving you wisdom, that is the danger. And religion gives you wisdom without giving you power, that is the danger. In the East, people have eyes but no power to do anything.

The future will have a new kind of synthesis happening: science and religion meeting and merging into each other. Then man will not be lame and man will not be blind. Kabir’s approach will give you many glimpses of the future, what kind of religion is possible. It may shock you many times, it may be disturbing to you many times. But remember, all growth is painful — and with Kabir you can grow immensely. Kabir is not interested in giving you any answers — because he knows perfectly well there is no answer. The game of question and answers is just a game — not that Kabir was not answering his disciples’ questions; he was answering, but answering playfully. That quality you have to remember. He is not a serious man; no wise man can ever be serious. Seriousness is part of ignorance, seriousness is a shadow of the ego. The wise is always non-serious. There can be no serious answers to questions, not at least with Kabir — because he does not believe that there is any meaning in life, and he does not believe that you have to stand aloof from life to observe and to find the meaning. He believes in participation. He does not want you to become a spectator, a speculator, a philosopher.

He says: Jump into life! Become part of it, throb with it. And then you will know — although you will never be able to transfer your knowledge through words to anybody else. Truth is not transferable. But you will become truth and you will be a light in this dark night of life and you will become a path into this jungle of life. Many will have insights in your presence, you will be a catalytic agent, but you will not be able to give ready-made answers.

There can be no serious answers to questions about the meaning of life, for to ask about life is to stand back from life and pretend one is not it. And from there you have taken a false step from the very beginning. And the first step wrong, and all your steps will be wrong. Questions at best are a form of play and may be enjoyed as such. And there are no right answers, only light ones. Let me repeat it: And there are no right answers, only light ones, given and taken lightly by those who know that they play. That is the game between a master and a disciple. Whatsoever Kabir is saying has not been written — it is addressed to his disciples. This is a spontaneous outpouring of his heart. He was a singer, he was a poet: somebody would ask something and he would sing a song spontaneously. And nobody has ever sung such songs.

The enlightened man is not other than the fool. Remember, while moving in the company of Kabir, that the enlightened man is not other than the fool. What makes a man enlightened is the realization that he is as a fool. ‘My mind is that of a fool’ says Lao Tzu. Kabir will agree perfectly, totally. ‘How empty it is’ says Lao Tzu ‘ — as empty as the mind of a fool.’ Emptiness takes nothing seriously, raises no one thing up over another. Worshipping nothing, it celebrates all.

Kabir is a celebrant. He celebrates all — all colors of life, the whole rainbow of it. What he is going to say to you is not philosophy but pure poetry. It is not religion but a hand beckoning, a door half opened, a mirror wiped clean. It is a way back home, a way back to nature. Nature is God to Kabir — the trees and the rocks and the rivers and the mountains. He does not believe in the temples and the churches and the mosques, he believes in the living reality. God is there, breathing, flowering, flowing. And where are you going? You are going to a temple, man-made, to worship an idol, again manufactured by man, in his own image. Kabir calls you back from the temples and the mosques: What are you doing there? He calls you back to celebrate life…

Don’t try to possess life — that’s what the ego goes on doing. Don’t try to grab it, allow yourself to be possessed by it. Be overwhelmed by it, be flooded by it, and you will know. And you will know so deeply that you will never be able to say ‘I know.’ You will know so intimately that you will not be able to reduce it to knowledge. Only superficial things can be reduced to knowledge. The profounder a truth, the harder it is to reduce it to knowledge. The knowledge seems so pale, and truth is so alive. Knowledge is bloodless, heartless. And truth is the beating of the heart and the circulation of the blood and the breathing of the air, and love, and dance.


This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune. 

Discourse Series: The Revolution

Chapter #1

Chapter title: A Hand Beckoning

11 February 1978 am in Buddha Hall


Osho has spoken on Mystics like Sai Baba, Dadu, Farid, Gurdjieff, J. Krishnamurti, Kabir, Nanak, Patanjali, Rumi, Sahajo, Saraha, Socrates, Tilopa, Valmiki, Zarathustra and many more in His discourses. Some of these can be referred to in the following books/discourses:

  1. Sermons in Stones
  2. Come Come Yet Again Come
  3. The Hidden Splendour
  4. Beyond Enlightenment
  5. The New Dawn
  6. The Sword and The Lotus
  7. The Fish in the Sea is Not Thirsty
  8. Socrates Poisoned Again After 25 Centuries
  9. Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, Vol 1
  10. The Path of Love
  11. The Book of Wisdom
  12. The Divine Melody
  13. The Guest

Spread the love

1 Comment

  • Someshwar H
    Someshwar H
    Posted June 21, 2022 5:49 pm 0Likes

    Thanks and love to you Master Osho♥🙏🌷

Leave a comment