Nirvana The Last Nightmare 04

Fourth Discourse from the series of 10 discourses - Nirvana The Last Nightmare by Osho.
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Once, Nansen decided to visit a village, but was very surprised to find that preparations had been made to welcome him.
Nansen said to the village head, “It has been my custom never to let anyone know beforehand about where I am journeying to. How could you know that I was coming to visit your village today?”
The village head replied, “Last night, in a dream, the god of the soil-shrine reported to me that you would come to visit today.”
Nansen replied, “This shows how weak and shallow my spiritual life is that it can be foreseen by visions!”
Maneesha, before discussing your sutras I have to discuss something about Nansen’s way of tackling things, his methodology. Sometimes he looked very puzzling, would make contradictory statements on purpose. Unless you understand that, it will be difficult to find any rationality in the sutras you have brought to me. And reason is the only thread by which, for the present, you can grasp something of the beyond.

On one occasion, the governor, Lu Hsuan, said to Nansen, “What if I told you that a man had raised a goose in a bottle, watching it grow until one day he realized that it had grown too large to pass through the bottle’s neck? Since he did not want to break the bottle or kill the goose, how would he get it out?”
A strange puzzle which cannot be solved rationally. Whatever you do – either you will have to destroy the bottle or the goose – you cannot save both. But the goose and the bottle are only metaphors of your witnessing self and your body.
Your body is the bottle and your consciousness is the goose. And nobody ever wonders how the consciousness entered the body and how the consciousness can come out of it. The consciousness is universal, vast, infinite in all dimensions. And the body is so small, just like a small bottle. How is this being managed by existence? It is a miracle that the physical, the material contains within it the non-material, the spiritual.
The governor was asking the question in the Zen tradition. This is an old story; perhaps every master has to work on it.
Nansen shouted, “Governor!.” For a moment the governor completely forgot that he was a governor and Nansen just a beggar as far as possessions are concerned. And nobody should shout at the governor the way he was shouting. The question he has asked does not require…He forgot all. The shout was so sharp like a sword.
In a single blow, as he shouted, “Governor!,” and the governor said, “Yes, master,” Nansen said, “The goose is out!”
A very strange way of solving the problem. The governor showed his consciousness, expressed his consciousness. This consciousness is not hindered by the body; it can come out, it can go in. The body is not a barrier; the body is a barrier only to material things. But the non-material exists in a different dimension. It can enter the body without stirring anything in the body, without even touching the body. Nowhere in your life does your consciousness ever touch your body, whatever you do. Your consciousness simply remains a witness, far away on the hills as if….
Just think you are standing before a mirror. The question is how your reflection entered the mirror. The mirror has no space to contain you, but certainly you are standing in the mirror. But if you watch carefully, you are standing in front of the mirror and watching your reflection in the mirror. The mirror is perfectly capable of reflecting, but it cannot contain you.
Neither the body contains the spiritual element in you, nor the spiritual element contains the body. The spiritual element is just a mirror. It can at the most reflect the body, the mind; but it is always beyond, it is always out. That’s what Nansen means, “The goose is out!.” He shouted, “Governor!” and the governor said, “Yes, sir!” The governor is not asleep, he is perfectly awake.
In this awareness you are not the body and you are not in the body. You are beyond, you are out. The goose is out. Different masters have worked on this small anecdote about the goose. But Nansen seems to be the best.

Maneesha has brought the sutra:
Once, Nansen decided to visit a village, but was very surprised to find that preparations had been made to welcome him.
Nansen said to the village head, “It has been my custom never to let anyone know beforehand about where I am journeying to. How could you know that I was coming to visit your village today?”
Why was he so insistent that nobody should know beforehand? The reason was that he wanted people to recognize what had happened to Nansen, the illumination.
Unless they recognize it by themselves, he will pass the village. He won’t stay in the village; it is not yet ready for buddhas. People are fast asleep. They cannot see the invisible and they cannot understand the eternal. Their noses are closed, their eyes are closed, their ears are closed. They don’t have the sensitivity for the subtle, for the inner. They cannot experience the fragrance of one who has arrived home.
That was the reason he would never allow anybody to know where he was going. Even his companions were not aware where he was going; suddenly he would take a turn. They might imagine that this road leads to that place, and before reaching that place he would turn.
His whole effort was to find out the people who can just by his presence feel something ringing in their hearts. He wanted to commune with receptive people. The world is vast, full of absolutely non-receptive people, people whose hearts have become so hard that nothing reaches to them. They hear and yet they miss because they cannot listen. While they are hearing, their mind is doing a thousand and one things.
Even if a buddha passes in front of them, it is not certain that they will recognize. To recognize a buddha is to have some sensibility, some sensitivity. Just as to recognize the sun you need eyes, to recognize a buddha you also need a certain quality, a clarity, a transparency.
And unless you recognize, there is no point in the master wasting time on non-receptive people. Perhaps next life they may be able to receive; perhaps this is not the right time for them – not ripe, their season has not come. A buddha can influence only a very few chosen people, for the simple reason his influence is not of the mind; it is not an argument that convinces you. He will not even say, “I am a buddha.” He would like you to recognize. From there the journey starts, the right point of departure.
That’s why Nansen did not want anybody to know that he was coming to their place. If they knew already without recognizing his buddhahood, just traditionally because he is well-known – thousands of monks follow him – they would also mechanically, robot-like worship him. This would be unnecessarily wasting Nansen’s time and perpetuating blind, orthodox, traditional ways.
He wanted to enter into a village as a stranger and see whether anybody could recognize him. And people used to recognize him who had not ever seen him. Just seeing him something would go through them like lightning. A heart would start dancing in a new tune. They would know that, “This man although he looks like everybody else is very far away from us.”
His consciousness was overwhelming. It showered on people, if they were receptive, like a rain cloud. But he was not ready to shower blindly, the way the rain cloud showers. It does not care whether it is showering on the stones, on the fields, on the good soil; it has no care. A cloud is blind, it is simply heavy with rain and wants to get rid of it wherever the opportunity arises. When there is enough coolness, its vapor becomes water, it showers. Nansen wanted to shower like a rain cloud, but not like a blind rain cloud. He did not want to shower on stones where nothing would grow. He would shower on the right soil where it was possible for something to happen.
He alone in the whole history of Zen has used this method. Masters ordinarily inform a village that they are coming, so people are prepared. But Nansen has his own unique personality. If people are prepared, there is every danger that they will traditionally pay their respect and will not understand anything about who has visited them. He never allowed anyone to know.
But this time it happened.
The village head replied, “Last night, in a dream, the god of the soil-shrine reported to me that you would come to visit today.”
Nansen replied, “This shows how weak and shallow my spiritual life is that it can be foreseen by visions!”
He was a very honest man. Anyone in his place would have felt tremendous ego, “Even gods declare my coming.” But on the contrary he said, “This shows how weak and shallow my spiritual life is that it can be foreseen by visions, by imaginary gods which are your creation, that you have seen in your dreams that I was coming.” This perception through the vision or dream may have made anyone who was not authentically spiritual rejoice and declare, “Look! Even gods make declarations and predictions for me.” But Nansen said, “This shows how shallow and weak my spirituality is that you can read it even in your dreams.”
One of the most important qualities of a religious man is his honesty about himself, his humbleness, his egolessness. He is as if he is not. He does not feel gratified by appraisal, he does not feel any superiority in his spirituality. But the ordinary religious people find trivia to fulfill their egos.
I have heard there were three institutions belonging to Christians of different sects. One day three churchmen, walking in the early morning, just by chance met on the crossroad. They welcomed each other and they bragged. One who belonged to the Baptist college said, “Your monasteries are good, but you cannot beat us in our scholarship. Our students are the most scholarly.”
The second one was a Catholic. He said, “You are right; it is true your students are very scholarly. But scholarship has nothing to do with spirituality. Real spirituality is discipline, asceticism; on that point you cannot beat us. Our monks are the most ascetic, the most disciplined.”
The third one from a Protestant monastery said, “That is all nothing. As far as humbleness is concerned we are the tops.”
Even humbleness can be used to fulfill the ego. And in the name of religion all kinds of stupidities are being perpetuated because they fulfill the ego. For example, the Catholic abbot has said that nobody can beat their monks – as if it is an ego game! Nobody can win in ascetic disciplines. But it is true; compared to anybody else the Catholic monk is the most masochistic. He tortures himself so much, just to be praised by people.
I am reminded of a story. A young man entered a Catholic monastery. He was told by the abbot, “I have to warn you this is a Catholic monastery. Great discipline is needed; for example, you are allowed to speak only once in seven years.
The man said, “I have come with great decision. Every discipline I am ready to follow.” But he was not aware what was going to be his fate. He entered his cell and found that there was no mattress. Now he cannot speak. For seven years he has to wait for the mattress. He said, “My God, I will not survive seven years in this cold weather. Outside snow is falling. There is no mattress, just a small blanket.” But he had promised and it had become an ego-point. He remained for seven years, suffering.
When seven years had passed he was very happy; he went to the abbot and he said, “By God’s grace I have survived. There is no mattress in my cell.”
The abbot said, “The mattress will be sent. You go back, and for seven years no more complaints.” The poor fellow had not complained for seven years!
The mattress came, but the mattress was big; the room was not that big, and the door was very small, so while pushing the mattress in, the workers broke the glass of the window. Somehow they fixed the mattress, but the window was broken.
He had suffered through cold, now he started suffering from rain. Water would come directly into the cell where he was sitting covered with his tattered blanket. Seven years again before the glass can be fixed in the window! After seven years he went to the abbot, and the abbot said, “Again? Have you got a complaint again?”
He said, “It is not a complaint. But for seven years I have suffered from the rain. Those workers broke my window. It was better without a mattress – I had become accustomed – but to remain always afraid of rain….
The abbot said, “Your window will be repaired, but don’t come again in this life with any complaint.”
But the situation remained the same: the workers came to fix the glass; he could not speak, and those idiots pulled out the mattress, so that they could work comfortably on the window and fix the glass. They fixed the glass and left the mattress out. Again the situation was the same – in fact, worse.
Now seven years looked really…next life perhaps he would be able to say, “My mattress is out.” He tried to pull it in, but there was no way, it was too big. And the abbot had said, “Now in this life you have complained enough. You have done nothing else since you came – complain, complain.”
These people think that they are doing something spiritual. Stupidity has many names; one of them is spirituality. Zen is not at all interested in decorating the ego. On the contrary its whole effort is how to empty you, how to make nothing of you, not something.
From my very childhood, my relatives, my neighbors, my well-wishers used to say, “The way you are growing, you will end up as nothing,” because I used to sit for hours silently by the side of the river. And people became so accustomed, they would not even ask what I was doing, because I was not doing anything at all.
But their prophecy was right. I ended in nothing. But that is the greatest blessing if you can end up being nothing. Good for nothing…only out of that nothingness blossom thousands of roses.
Humbleness is not practiced and cultivated by Zen. It is a simple outcome, a by-product of deep meditations. As you go deeper, you start forgetting that the whole world is struggling to become something, somebody special – more riches, more power. Everybody is trying to make history and you are disappearing almost like smoke in the sky. But those who can disappear just like smoke in the sky leaving no trace behind, no footprints behind, they are the only ones who come to know the splendor of existence, the beauty of this universe, and the truth and the divinity; which are just the beginning of great mysteries.
Doors upon doors go on opening for the humble one. And he remains simply a watcher. That is the ultimate. You don’t possess anything in a sense, and in another sense you possess the whole universe; but there is no possessiveness. You have entered into the essentials, into the eternal mystery of life and death, and you have found one thing, that everything changes except the witness in you. The witness is the only permanent phenomenon.
Even the Himalayas have come and will disappear. One day there was no Himalaya; it is not very old; it is a very new mountain. In Rig Veda the ancientmost book of the Hindus, Himalaya is not mentioned. It is impossible not to mention Himalaya. It seems that Himalaya grew after Rig Veda, because Himalaya is not referred to at all in the Rig Veda when other small mountains are – Vindhyachal, Satpura – rivers too, small in comparison to those in the Himalayas.
Lokmanya Tilak, a Hindu scholar from this city, Pune, argued against all the scholars who were trying to prove that Rig Veda is only five thousand years old. He argued that Rig Veda is at least ninety thousand years old with two arguments: one was that Himalaya is not referred to at all while small mountains are referred to. There is no reason not to refer to Himalaya. Himalaya must have grown after Rig Veda.
And the people who wrote Rig Veda had come from Mongolia. All the civilized nations of the world have come from Mongolia; Mongolia was the origin, particularly of Aryan races. Negroes have not come from Mongolia, nor the South Indians. But the Germans, the North Indians, the English, the French, the Italians, the Norwegians, the Swedish, the Swiss, the Greeks, they have all come from one original source, Mongolia, because all their languages have a certain percentage of Sanskrit.
Coming from Mongolia you have to pass the Himalaya. And to pass the Himalaya is not a small thing. It seems impossible, if Himalaya was there and the Aryans passed the Himalaya, for them not to mention anything about it.
Lokmanya Tilak’s argument has a validity. But even more valid is his description of a constellation of stars mentioned in the Rig Veda that also happened ninety thousand years ago. That constellation of stars is described in absolute detail, so it is not something you cannot imagine. It has not happened since then, but it may happen again sometime – although perhaps millions of years will pass before the stars will come into that constellation again.
These two arguments were so valid that they have not been answered by any Christian missionary, because all Christian missionaries were trying to push Rig Veda as close to us as possible. The reason was because according to the Christian Bible the world was created just four thousand and four years before Jesus Christ. It must have been certainly a Monday and January, but not far away from us, just six thousand years. So they have to fix everything into that framework of six thousand years. They give as much rope to Rig Veda as possible, five thousand years. They cannot accept that Rig Veda was written ninety thousand years before, because that would disturb their whole Bible.
But the Bible is not an argument; there are thousands of other proofs that the Bible is wrong. This earth itself according to scientific measurements has been in existence for four million years. On the Himalayas skeletons of sea animals have been found, sixty thousand years old. That shows that some time between sixty thousand and ninety thousand years ago Himalaya came out of the ocean; otherwise the ocean animals cannot reach in any way to the tops of Himalaya, they cannot travel from the great Indian Ocean, which is the closest. There is no way for sea animals; they don’t have legs, they cannot reach to the tops just to die there and create trouble for historians.
The authentic religions are not concerned with such matters; such matters belong to science. Anything objective belongs to science. Religiousness is absolutely subjective; it belongs to your inner depths, and the deeper you go into your inner depths, the more and more you find an empty sky. But this empty sky contains all the buddhas. This empty sky of your being is your ultimate experience. Nobody has gone beyond it, the blessing of it, the benediction of it, the fulfillment of it. A tremendous at-ease with existence…you have come home.
Nansen says, “how shallow and weak my spiritual life must be that people can see it in their visions, in their dreams!” Very honest, fully aware of the great possibilities of falling into the paths of ego…this made him a great master. Those who followed him he never called “followers” because that is again an ego-trip.
Teachers who have many followers think they are great teachers, just because of the numbers. Numbers are important in politics but are not important in your spiritual growth. It is possible a buddha may be without any follower; that simply shows his height is so much that nobody can see that far. And a clever, parrot-like scholar or pundit or a rabbi may have a great following, because people can understand whatever he says. It is not coming from the beyond; it is coming from his mind, hence your mind can comprehend it very easily.
Nansen has not followers but fellow-travelers. He is the first one who used the word fellow-travelers, moving towards the same center of life together. There is no question of master and disciple.
That does not mean that the disciples had no respect for Nansen. On the contrary they had more respect because he never asked for respect. There are things, if you ask, you will never get, and if you don’t ask, you will be showered with. He never asked for any gratitude or any respect. He never said, “I am the master and you are the disciple.”
That created a totally different kind of commune. And he was loved and respected more than any master for the simple reason he was so humble, so undemanding and so sharing of his empty heart. And the freedom of humbleness…you may not have thought about it but ego can never have any freedom, it depends on others.
Sitting on a Himalayan peak alone, can you think of yourself as a great man? But the Pope can think himself a great man because he has six hundred million Catholic followers. No religious head has that many followers. This is the way of politics not of religion.
And the ways of the ego are so subtle that…I have heard about a saint who was living alone in the deep mountains. A traveler came to him. Just passing by, the traveler thought to give him a visit. He thought there must be many followers, but there was no one; he was alone.
The stranger said to him, “People in the world who have many followers think they are great. But I think they are all egoist, they are using numbers rather than rupees as a support to their ego.”
The old saint smiled and he said, “I am the only one who has no followers. I am the only one, remember!” So subtle are the ways of ego. Even this becomes the same trip; there is no difference. Humbleness has to remember that ego always comes to the back door if you throw it from the front door. And in your life there are many doors, many of which you are not even aware of. When you are fully aware and your house is full of light, the shadow of the ego will not be able to enter.
But it is not a question of cultivation. I have seen in temples written in golden letters that if you are humble you will be respected by all. Strange advice! Then one becomes humble just to be respected by all. You cannot cultivate these qualities because to cultivate any quality you need some goal, some greed. Humbleness comes as a by-product, not as a goal. When you are deep in your meditation, feeling absolutely nothing, just witnessing emptiness, humbleness comes on its own.
Nansen was certainly a man of great understanding, but this understanding is not scriptural, scholarly; this understanding has grown through his meditations. For thirty years he was continuously meditating; for thirty years he was just sitting and watching inside. Slowly slowly thoughts disappeared, dreams disappeared. All dust settles. The sky within becomes absolutely clean and clear. For thirty years he did not come out of the mountains.
It was governor Lu Hsuan who persuaded him, “It is enough. Thirty years you have meditated. Now it is time, you should come down to the plains and share your experience.” Hsuan’s persuasion worked because it reminded Nansen what great treasures he had got in his emptiness. There are millions of people who are living like beggars although inside them there are such majestic, such mysterious treasures. He agreed with Hsuan and came down to the plains. Immediately thousands of people deeply interested in searching for their self surrounded him. His monastery was one of the biggest monasteries in Japan.

Sekiso, a Zen poet, has written:
You climb Mount Hiei on
ladders of cloud;
I walk out of Kyoto with
a bamboo stick –
a thousand miles apart
like the stars of the north.
This is our one chance to remind
each other that we are friends.
He is saying, it does not matter in what century, in what place you become enlightened. The moment you become enlightened, you become contemporary to all the enlightened ones of the past and the future. There is a kind of brotherhood of those who reach to the ultimate peak of awakening.

Maneesha has asked a question:
In the life of a disciple is there a point of no return?
Maneesha, I will have to explain to you. There are three categories which you can find around the master: the student, which is the shallowest – he has come to accumulate some knowledge; he will never go inside; he will simply take notes, become a great scholar, knowledgeable – the second is the disciple who does not accumulate the knowledge but practices it, finding out whether it has any truth in it or not – “Is this only a philosophy or an authentic spiritual experience?” – and the third is the devotee who has become one with the master.
Your question is, In the life of a disciple is there a point of no return? In the life of a devotee there is a point of no return, but a disciple can go back. A disciple is still separate from the master. A disciple still keeps a certain distance; in fact he is afraid to come too close. A master is fire. Coming too close means to be burned, burned the way you are; all that is false will be burned and only the pure gold will remain. The disciple keeps himself a little faraway.
The student is absolutely faraway. He has nothing to do with the master; he just has to collect fragments of knowledge and go on his way. The disciple is in between the student and the devotee.
The disciple can go away, but the devotee has merged himself in the fire. The Upanishads say that the master is a death: to come too close to him you will have to die as you are. Of course you will be reborn; the Upanishadic statement is only half, the master is a death and a resurrection. But one has to have much courage to die. You never know whether you will be resurrected or not. A great trust is needed that this death is the death of the superficial and the false, and when the false and the superficial have died, there will arise your true individuality, your twenty-four carat gold. So your question is right about the devotee, Maneesha, but not about the disciple.

Now something serious…
Fred Frump walks into the pub and orders a beer and a whiskey. He drinks the beer, and then pours the whiskey into the top pocket of his coat.
“Give me another beer, and another whiskey,” says Fred, wiping his lips.
The bartender does, and the same thing happens. Fred drinks the beer, and dumps the whiskey into his coat pocket. This goes on several more times, and finally the puzzled bartender asks, “Hey, what’s the big idea?”
“None of your business,” says Fred, drunkenly. “And don’t be so nosy – or I will punch you in the nose!”
Just then, a mouse pops his head out of Fred’s coat pocket and shouts, “And that also goes for your goddam cat!”

Chester and Betty Cheese are having some trouble with their sex life. Betty always has a headache when Chester wants to make love. So Chester sends her to Doctor Feelgood, the psychiatrist, for treatment.
“It is simple to cure,” says the shrink. “Whenever you feel a headache coming on, just sit on the edge of your bed, and repeat over and over, ‘I have not got a headache, I have not got a headache.’”
Betty is doubtful about this, but the very next night, she sits on the edge of her bed, and tries it out. And it works. So for the next few weeks there is sexual harmony in the Cheese household.
But then, Chester gets a problem. He can’t get his machinery hard anymore. So Betty sends him to Doctor Feelgood.
And sure enough, for the next few weeks there is no stopping Chester – he has got the strength of a bull.
But he has one new habit, which annoys Betty. Every night, he insists on going to the bedroom ten minutes before her.
So, one night, she sneaks upstairs behind Chester, and looks through the keyhole. There is Chester, sitting on the edge of the bed, repeating over and over, “She is not my wife….”

Pope the Polack and Cardinal Rump are having a terrible argument in the pope’s private chambers. The noise and screaming is so bad that half of the Vatican comes to put their ears to the door, to listen to what is going on.
“Just drop dead!” screams Cardinal Rump.
“Go to hell!” cries the Polack, at full volume.
Kiss my ass!” shouts back the cardinal.
“Oh!” says the Pope with surprise. “So now you want to be friends!”






Be silent. Close your eyes, feel your body to be completely frozen. And now look inwards with absolute urgency as if this moment is the last moment of your life.
Go deeper – the center is not far away – just one single step. Deeper and deeper because at the center you are the buddha. At the center your lotus blossoms, you feel for the first time blessed, blessed just to be, for no reason at all.

The greatest experience of life is to experience your buddhahood, and buddhahood simply means witnessing. Watch your body, watch your mind and remember you are neither. You are just a pure witness, a mirror in which everything reflects.
Clouds come and go, months come and go. Eternity is your nature, only you remain; everything moves from death to birth, from birth to death – just a circle of movement, but within the circle the center is absolutely immobile.

To make it more clear, Nivedano…


Relax. Just watch the body, the mind and be only a witness. You are not supposed to do anything. Just be a witness. A mirror does not do anything when it reflects you. Just be a mirror-like witness.

The evening was beautiful on its own. But the ten thousand buddhas disappearing into a silent witnessing have made it very golden.
So many flowers start showering on you, so much joy that you have never known before. Such serenity, such beauty as you have never dreamt about. But it is your nature.
Collect as many flowers, as much fragrance as you can before Nivedano calls you back. You have to bring your buddhahood with you from the center to the circumference. You have to constantly remember in your actions, words, silences that you are a buddha. And this will become the greatest possibility of transformation, from mortality into immortality, from the false to the true.



Come back. But come back as buddhas, with the same grace, with the same silence, without any hurry. Sit down for a few moments just to recollect the space you have been in, the path that you have traveled forward and backward. This is the track that you have to continuously move on. The deeper this track becomes, the more your buddhahood becomes clear. I don’t want anybody to be a Buddhist. I want everybody to be a buddha.

Can we celebrate the ten thousand buddhas?

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