Marpa: A Childlike Purity
Osho on Enlightened Tibetan Mystic Marpa
When it comes to the height of innocence, Tibetan Enlightened Mystic Marpa’s name could not be missed. He is so beautiful in his extraordinarily ordinary personality. As Osho says Marpa is one of the greatest tibetan mystics… one of the rare geniuses. You cannot count more than ten of his equal in the whole world.
Not even ten, He is one of the rarest personality that existed. His trust on existence was utmost, without a shred of doubt. As explained by Osho, Somebody once said to Marpa, “Do you believe in Milarepa? If so then jump into this fire!” Immediately he jumped! People ran from all sides to extinguish the fire knowing that Marpa had jumped into it. When the fire was put out they found him sitting there in a buddha posture laughing hilariously!They asked Marpa, “Why are you laughing?” He said, “I am laughing because trust is the only thing that fire cannot destroy.”
Even his own teacher Milarepa kept Marpa higher than himself. Osho talks about “The Book of Marpa”, It is the great work of Marpa, the Tibetan mystic. Even his followers don’t read it; it is not meant to be read, it is a puzzle. You have to meditate over it. You have just to look at it and then suddenly the book disappears — its contents disappear, and only the consciousness remains. Marpa was a very strange man. His master Milarepa used to say, “Even I bow down to Marpa.” No master has ever said that, but Marpa was such.
What is moral and what is immoral?
As far as religion is concerned, innocence is moral and cunningness is immoral. To be innocent is enough.
That childlike innocence is the purity. That purity become AAWAHANAM — invocation. We have distorted everything — every word. Every word has become just ugly. When you say that someone is pure, what do you mean? Just find out the meaning and you will find very ugly things. By “someone is pure”, what do you mean? Innocence? Never — because innocence can be dangerous! Innocence may not fit into your pattern! Really, it will not fit. How can it fit? You cannot persuade it, you cannot force it, you cannot bribe it. And the society depends on force, on bribery, on persuasion, on punishment, on appraisal, on fear, on greed. So we say that if you do this, you will get this.
Many, many have asked Buddha, “If we follow you, what will we get?” And Buddha says, “Nothing.” So how can you follow this man? He says, “Nothing.” We are always out to get something. Even from a Buddha we want to get something — promises: “If you promise us this, then we can do this.” Then it becomes logical to us, relevant. Buddha says, “Be pure, and you get nothing.” Then why be pure? Then it is better to be impure. At least then we are getting something. Buddha says that you have not got anything. You are only in the illusion of getting and you will never get.
So I say just be pure and forget getting, because unless you forget getting you cannot be pure. If you have to get something, you have to be cunning and calculating. You have to be violent, you have to be greedy, and you have to be always in the future — never here. Then you can never remain at home. You are always abroad, somewhere else, always on a journey.
To be desireless, pure, is to have a deep understanding of the futility of all that we have been doing, of all that we are.
The moment this purity is there, invocation happens. Then you have called, then you have asked and invited. Then in the very deepest core of Existence, your invitation has penetrated. Now, suddenly, you feel that you have been taken over: someone has come into you. Now you are possessed by something else which is more than you. Something infinite, something more vital, has come. You have been taken over; you are flooded. For this flooding is the invocation. Of course, you have to be open, otherwise this flooding will not happen.
And an innocent mind is always open; a cunning mind is always closed. A cunning mind is always in defense. A cunning mind always thinks in terms of enmity, competition, because if you are to get something then you have to be a competitor.
Everyone is. Everyone is out to get, and you have to get also. Then you have to be a competitor, and this is a very tough competition. So you have to be violent, cunning, closed, defensive. Then you cannot be flooded by the Divine. You are so narrow, so closed, that the flood cannot come to you.
A pure heart, a desireless heart, is not competitive, not concerned for the future, not against anybody, not for anybody, with no calculations, with no desire to get, with no achieving mind. A pure heart is here and now, open, with no defense. When I say with no defense, I mean that even if death comes, he is open. If you are not open for death, you will never be open for the Divine. If you are afraid of death, you will be afraid of the Divine.
But this is strange, because whenever we are afraid of death we always go to the Divine to pray. So all those who are praying in mosques, in temples, in churches, are really not praying: they are just afraid of death. They are making arrangements with the Divine in order that they should not be afraid. Their prayer is based on fear and their gods are just created out of fear.
If the mind is innocent, you can be like a child playing with a snake. Now he is open for both: death can come and he is open; he can play with death. The Divine can come and he is open; he can play with the Divine. Death and the Divine are, in a subtle way, one. If you are not open to death you will never be open for the Divine, and a person who is concerned with desires is always afraid of death. You must see the relationship: a person who is concerned with desires — is desirous, is out to get something — is always afraid of death. Why? Because desire is in the future and death is also in the future, and it may be that death comes first and desire is not fulfilled. Remember this: desire is never in the present; death is also never in the present. No one has died in the present. Can you be fearful of death here and now? No, because either you are alive or dead. If you are alive here and now, there is no death; and if you are already dead, there is no fear. So you can only fear death in the future. Desires have a planning for the future and death may disturb everything, so we are fearful of death.
No animal is afraid of death because no animal has plannings for the future. There is no other reason than this: no plannings for the future. The future is not, so death is not! Why be afraid of death if there is no planning for the future? Nothing is to be disturbed by death. The more you have planned, the greater the plans, then the greater the fear. Death is not really a fear that you will die, but a fear that you will die unfulfilled. It may not be possible to carry desires to their fulfillment, and death may come any time. If I am to die unfulfilled, of course, there is fear: “I am as yet unfulfilled. I have not known a moment of fulfillment, and death may come, so I have lived in vain. I have been a futility, just a uselessness. I have lived without any fulfillment, without any peak, without any moment of truth, beauty, peace, silence. I have just lived in futility, meaninglessness, and death may come any moment.” Then death becomes a fear.
If I am fulfilled, if I have known that which life can allow one to know, if I have felt what living really is, if I have known a single moment of beauty and love and fulfillment, where is the fear of death? Where is the fear! Death can come. It cannot disturb anything, it cannot destroy anything. Death can only destroy the future. For me the future is now nothing. I am content this very moment. Then death cannot do anything. I can accept it; it may even prove to be a bliss. So one who is open to death can be open to the divine. Openness means fearlessness. Innocence gives you openness, fearlessness, a vulnerability with no defense arrangements.
That is invocation. And if you are just in that moment when even death can come to you — and you receive it, embrace it, welcome it — then you have invoked the Divine. Now death will never come: only the Divine will come. Even in death, death will not be there now — only the Divine.
Marpa, a Tibetan mystic, is dying. Everyone is weeping and Marpa shouts, “Stop! On such a moment of celebration, why are you weeping? I am going to meet the Divine — He is just here and now.” And he laughs and he smiles and he sings the last song, and everyone goes on weeping because no one can see the Divine there — everyone is seeing death.
Marpa says, “The Divine is here and now. Why are you weeping? Such a moment of celebration! Such a moment of festivity! Sing and dance and enjoy! because Marpa is going to meet the Friend. The Divine is here just now. I have waited long and now the moment has come. Why are you weeping?” Marpa cannot understand why they are weeping; they cannot understand why Marpa is singing. Has he gone mad? Of course, for us he has gone mad. Death is there and it seems that he has gone mad. Marpa is seeing something else. Marpa was really one of the most open flowerings of humankind.
When Marpa comes to his teacher, the teacher says, “Faith is the key.”
So Marpa says, “Then give me something to try my faith. If faith is the key, then give me something to try my faith.”
They are sitting on a hill and the teacher says, “Jump!” and Marpa jumps. Even the teacher thinks he will die. Many, many followers are there, and they think that he is just mad — that they will not even find a piece of his bones.
They rush down, and Marpa is sitting there singing and dancing. The teacher asks, “What has happened?” It seems like a coincidence. The teacher thinks silently in his mind that it is just a coincidence: “Why? This is impossible! How did this happen? It is a coincidence, so I must try him in some other ways.” Then many ways are tried.
The teacher tells Marpa to go into a burning house. He goes, and he comes out without even being touched by the flames. He is ordered to jump into the ocean, and he jumps. There are many, many trials and the teacher cannot say now that this is just a coincidence, so he asks Marpa, “What is your secret?”
“My secret?” says Marpa. “You told me faith is the key, so I took your word for it!”
The teacher says, “Now stop because I am afraid. Anything may happen.”
Marpa says, “Now anything can happen because I just took your word. Now if you are yourself wavering, I cannot take it. I thought faith was the key, but now it will not work. So please don’t order me again. Next time I will die, so don’t order me again!”
This is purity — childlike purity. In Tibet, Marpa is known as Marpa the Faithful — just childlike faith. So the story is told that Marpa became the teacher of his own teacher, and his teacher bowed down and said, “Now give me the key of faith because I don’t have any. I was just talking! I have only heard that faith is the key, so I was just talking. Now you give it to me.” So Marpa became the teacher of his own teacher. Marpa’s mind is pure, innocent, non-calculating. There is not a single moment of calculation and cunningness. He does not even see how deep is the abyss. He does not ask the teacher, “Am I to take what you say literally, verbally, or is it just a metaphor, or are you just saying something in mystical language? Am I to jump, really, or do you mean some inner jump?” With no calculation, no cunningness, he jumps. The teacher says, “Jump,” and he jumps; there is no gap between the two. A single moment’s gap, and there is calculation. A single moment’s gap, and you have calculated. This purity opens you; you become an opening. That is the invocation.
This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune.
Discourse Series: The Ultimate Alchemy, Vol 1
Chapter title: Desirelessness: An Opening to the Unknown
17 February 1972 pm in Bombay, India
Osho has spoken on Mystics like Dadu, Daya, Farid, Gurdjieff, J. Krishnamurti, Kabir, Lalla, Magdalen, Mallibai, Meera, Nanak, Patanjali, Rabiya, Raman Maharishi, Rumi, Sahajo, Sai Baba, Saraha, Socrates, Teresa, Tilopa, Marpa, Naropa, Valmiki, Zarathustra and many more in His discourses. Some of these can be referred to in the following books/discourses:
- Sermons in Stones
- Come Come Yet Again Come
- The Hidden Splendor
- Beyond Enlightenment
- The New Dawn
- The Sword and The Lotus
- The Fish in the Sea is Not Thirsty
- Socrates Poisoned Again After 25 Centuries
- Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega
- The Path of Love
- The Book of Wisdom
- Beyond Psychology
- My Way: The Way of the White Clouds