Jetsun Milarepa was a Tibetan siddha, who was famously known as a murderer when he was a young man, before turning to Buddhism and becoming a highly accomplished Buddhist disciple. He is generally considered one of Tibet‘s most famous yogis and spiritual poets, whose teachings are known among several schools of Tibetan Buddhism. He was a student of Marpa Lotsawa, and a major figure in the history of the Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism. He is also famous for the feat of climbing Mount Kailash.
Osho tells a story about milarepa and says It is reported about one great mystic, Milarepa: When he went to his Master in Tibet, he was so humble, so pure, so authentic, that other disciples became jealous of him. It was certain that he would be the successor. And of course there was politics, so they tried to kill him. One day they said to him, “If you really believe in the Master, can you jump from the hill? If you really believe, if the trust is there, then nothing — no harm is going to happen.” And Milarepa jumped without even hesitating for a single moment. They rushed down because it was almost a three-thousand-foot deep valley. They went down to find his scattered bones, but he was sitting there in a lotus posture, very happy, tremendously happy. He opened his eyes and said, “You are right; trust saves.”
Milarepa was a mystic who lived in Tibet. One day a young man came to him and said, “I want to attain some powers. Please give me a mantra.” Milarepa said, “We don’t have any mantras. We are mystics. Mantras are for magicians, for jugglers — go to them. We don’t have any mantras — why should we need powers?” But the more Milarepa refused, the more the young man thought that there must be something there — why else should he refuse? So he kept returning to Milarepa again and again.
Great crowds always gather around the saints who drive people away with sticks or throw stones at them. The crowds think that the saint must have something special otherwise he would not be driving people away. But we don’t realize that attracting people through an advertisement in a newspaper or through throwing stones at them, is the same trick. The propaganda is the same. And the second way is more manipulative and cunning. When people are driven away by someone throwing stones, they don’t understand that they are actually being attracted. This is a subtle way of doing it. And the people do come although they have no idea that they have been seduced.
The young man thought that perhaps Milarepa was trying to hide something so he started coming everyday. In the end Milarepa got fed up so he wrote him a mantra on a paper and said, “Take this. Tonight is the night of no moon. Read this five times during the night. If you read it five times, you will get the power you want. Then you will be able to do whatever you want to do. Now go and leave me alone.” The young man grabbed the paper and turned round and ran. He did not even thank Milarepa. But he had not descended the steps of the temple when Milarepa called after him, “My friend! I forgot to tell you one thing. There is a certain condition attached to this mantra. When you read it, you should not have any thoughts in your mind about a monkey.” The young man said, “Don’t be worried, I have never had such a thought in my whole life. There has never been any reason to think of a monkey. I have to read this only five times. There is no problem.”
But he made a mistake. He had not even descended to the bottom of the steps when the monkeys started coming. He became very scared. He closed his eyes and there were monkeys inside; he looked outside and even where there were no monkeys, he saw some! It was already night, and every movement in the trees seemed to be a monkey. It seemed that monkeys were everywhere. By the time he got home he was very worried because up until then he had never thought about monkeys. He had never had anything to do with them. He took a bath, but while he was bathing the monkeys were with him. His whole mind was obsessed with only one thing — monkeys. Then he sat down to read the mantra. He picked up the paper, closed his eyes — and there was a crowd of monkeys inside teasing him. He became very much afraid, but still he persevered the whole night. He changed his positions; he tried to sit in this way, in that way, in padmasana, in siddhasana, in other different yoga postures. He prayed, he bowed, he begged; he cried out to anybody to help him get rid of these monkeys. But the monkeys were adamant. They were not ready to leave him that night.
By the morning the young man was almost mad with fear and he realized that the mantra power could not be attained so easily. He saw that Milarepa had been very clever, he had put a difficult condition on him. Milarepa was crazy! If there was going to be a hindrance because of the monkeys then at least he should not have mentioned them. Then perhaps the mantra power could have been attained. In the morning he went back to Milarepa crying and said, “Take your mantra back. You have made a big mistake! If monkeys were a hindrance in using this mantra, then you should not have mentioned them. I never usually think of monkeys but the whole of last night the monkeys chased me. Now I will have to wait for my next life to attain this mantra power because in this life this mantra and the monkeys have become united. Now it is not possible to get rid of them.”
The monkeys had become united with the mantra. How did they become united? His mind insisted that the monkeys should not be there and so the monkeys came. Whenever his mind tried to get rid of the monkeys, the monkeys appeared. Whenever his mind tried to escape from the monkeys the monkeys came.
To forbid is to attract; to refuse is to invite; to prevent is to tempt. Our mind has become very sick because we don’t understand this simple point.
We don’t want to be angry — then anger comes like a monkey. We don’t want to be sexual — then sex appears like a monkey and gets a grip on our being. We don’t want greed, we don’t want ego — and they all come. But whatever we want — spirituality, religiousness, enlightenment — doesn’t seem to come. That which we don’t want, comes, and that which we try to get, never appears. All this perversion happens because of not understanding this simple point of the mind.
The second thing to remember is that
there is no need to insist on what should be in the mind and what shouldn’t. We should be ready to watch whatever appears in our mind without making any choices and without any conditions. In this way we can begin to see what the mind is in reality. The simple fact of the contradictory nature of the mind is well understood by advertisers around the world, but religious leaders have not understood it at all.
Propagandists all over the world understand this fact but the people teaching in society have not understood it. When a movie is advertised ‘For Adults only’, children go to see it with a few paise worth of false moustache sticking on their faces. The advertisers know that to attract children it is necessary to use the words ‘For Adults Only’ on the advertisement. There are women’s magazines ‘for women only’. Nobody reads them except men, women never read them. I enquired about it and found out that most of the buyers are men! And when I asked the agents about the magazines they sell in the market, they said, “Women buy ‘women only’ magazines once in a while but usually they buy magazines for men only.” The advertisers understand what attracts man’s mind but neither the religious leaders nor the teachers of morality have understood it yet.
They still go on teaching people stupidities like “Don’t be angry, fight with the anger”. A person fighting with his anger and trying to escape from it will be obsessed with anger his whole life. He can never be free from it. Only a person who is interested in knowing his anger face to face and not fighting it, gets free of it.
The second point is to
drop all the feelings of conflict and struggle with any state of the mind. Just create a feeling of wanting to know, to understand — “I should understand what my mind is.”
One should enter the mind with this kind of simple feeling. That is the second point. And the third point is not to make any judgment about whatever arises in the mind.
Don’t make any judgement about what is bad or what is good. Badness and goodness are two sides of the same coin. Wherever there is badness, there is goodness on the other side. Wherever there is goodness, there is badness on the other side.
A bad person is hidden inside a good person and a good person is hidden inside a bad person. A good person has the good side of his coin upwards and the bad side downwards. So if a good person becomes bad then he proves to be worse than the most bad person. And if a bad person becomes good then a good person seems pale in comparison. In a bad person the goodness has been completely hidden — only the badness shows. If he changes and becomes a good man then other good people will look pale next to him. A very fresh and hidden force of goodness arises from within him. Valmiki or Angulimal are good examples. They were very bad people who one day became good and they outshone all other saints with their goodness. A good person and a bad person are not different; they are two sides of the same coin. But a sage is a third kind of person — inside him there is neither goodness nor badness. The coin disappears altogether.
A sage is not a good man nor a gentleman nor a saint. A wicked man is always hidden inside a gentleman and a gentleman is always hidden inside a bad man. A sage is absolutely a third type of phenomenon. He is beyond both good and bad; he has no relation to either one. He has entered a totally different dimension where there is no question of good and bad.
This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune.
Discourse name: The Inner Journey
Chapter title: The ways to encounter the mind
4 February 1968 am in Ajol Meditation Camp
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 Splendour
- 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