Nirvana The Last Nightmare 09

Ninth Discourse from the series of 10 discourses - Nirvana The Last Nightmare by Osho.
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Nansen once went into the garden and, seeing a monk there, threw a piece of broken tile at him and hit him. When the monk turned his head, Nansen lifted up one leg. The monk made no response. Nansen returned to the temple and the monk followed him and asked to be taught, saying “The master just threw a piece of tile at me and hit me. Did he not do this as a means of arousing me?”
Nansen said, “How about raising the leg?”
The monk was silent.

On another occasion, a monk came and stood before Nansen with folded hands. Nansen said, “A great layman!”
The monk clasped his hands.
Nansen said, “A great monk!”
Maneesha, there exists in world literature nothing comparable to Zen anecdotes. They are so pregnant with meaning that even a child can understand them, although even the oldest person may not understand them. To understand these anecdotes you have to learn the whole language of Zen. It has a world of its own.
It speaks of course in your languages but it gives a totally new color, a totally new meaning to the same old words or gestures. Most often it speaks in gestures. People who are outside the stream of Zen will find it a little eccentric, crazy, but it is utterly sane; just its meaning has to be explained to you. The people who have been studying and meditating in Zen don’t need any explanation; they immediately pick up the gesture. But that is not true about the people outside the Zen circle. This anecdote is a beautiful illustration.
Nansen once went into the garden and, seeing a monk there, threw a piece of broken tile at him and hit him. When the monk turned his head, Nansen lifted up one leg.
Now there is something Nansen wants to convey through the gesture, but the monk missed.
The monk made no response. Nansen returned to the temple and the monk followed him and asked to be taught, saying “The master just threw a piece of tile at me and hit me. Did he not do this as a means of arousing me?”
Nansen said, “How about raising the leg?”
The monk was silent.
The gesture is ancient. The monk turned only halfway when he was hit, he turned halfway and looked at the master. That’s why the master raised one leg. He is saying, “Turn totally; halfway will not do. Halfhearted you cannot enter into yourself. Have a complete about-turn.” That was the meaning of raising one leg: “You are doing it, but very halfheartedly.”
There are things which can be done halfheartedly. In the whole world whatever we are doing, nothing requires your total being to be involved in it. But as far as the inner pilgrimage is concerned your total being is needed. Nothing has to be left behind. You have to gather your whole consciousness. In that very gathering you are coming closer to the center.
Right now we are living on the circumference, completely forgetful about the center, yet the center is the source and the center is the goal. At the very center of your being is the connecting link with the universe. There you are not you. At the very center you disappear, there only remains a pure consciousness, a fragrance.
People are afraid to go in, for the simple reason they can feel, unconsciously of course, that they can exist only as personalities on the circumference. If they go deeper into their own being, they will have to leave their personalities, their egos, their respectabilities; all that they have gathered will have to be left. They will have to go alone as consciousness, pure consciousness.
And the ultimate fear of dissolving oneself into the universe…When a river reaches to the ocean, they say that it stops for a moment, thinks twice, looks backward – all those beautiful valleys and the mountains – hesitant, fragile, afraid to take a jump into the ocean, because that jump means you will not be anymore. But that is only half the truth. That jump also means that you will become the ocean.
I have told you about a great Indian mystic, Kabir. In his youth he wrote a small poem in which he said, “When I reached to my very center I felt as if a dewdrop has slipped from the lotus leaf into the ocean.” It was a beautiful statement. But at the time of his death, he called his son and told him, “Change it please because now I know more. That was my first acquaintance with the ocean. And I had felt at that time that the dewdrop had disappeared in the ocean. Please change it; write down that the ocean has disappeared in the dewdrop. Now I can speak with authority.”
The fear is one-sided. You have not taken into account the whole realization.
Nansen hit the monk with the tile. Nansen was the man who started hitting, slapping, beating, just to wake you. We are according to Zen half asleep, half awake. Our waking is not authentic and total. We are almost somnambulists, sleeping, and also working with closed eyes, and if you become more watchful, you will see it in yourself that many of your actions you are doing like a robot; you have done them so many times.
George Gurdjieff used to say that man’s mind has the function of a robot. In the beginning you have to learn, you have a little awareness. Once you have learned something, you don’t need any awareness; once you have learned something, it is transferred to the robot part of your mind. Then it becomes computerized; then you can go on sleeping and the mind will go on working.
Nansen’s starting to hit monks is very symbolic; because if somebody is hit for no reason, naturally for a moment he wakes up. For a moment he comes out of his thick crowd of thoughts, because it is so unreasonable. If it had been reasonable it would not have disturbed; the man would have rationalized why Nansen did it.
But because he could not rationalize – there was no reason, he has not done anything wrong; he is simply working in the garden, and the master suddenly takes a broken tile and hits him hard – the mind stops for a moment.
He turned to look at the master; at that moment the master raised one leg. That he could not understand. The master is saying, “You have turned only half; turn totally, and turn in, not towards me. I’m just an object outside.”
No authentic master wants his disciples to turn towards him, because that is taking them away from their own selves. Only the false master, the pseudo master, tries to get people to look up to him, to surrender to him, to be dedicated to him, to be devoted to him; his whole concern is that the disciples’ consciousness should be arrowed towards him.
This is the only way of finding out whether the master is authentic or pseudo. The authentic master tries in every possible way to turn you inwards. Everything outside is objective: it will never give you an insight into your subjective reality; it will never allow you to know your interiority, which is your temple, where is hiding your buddha, where you will reach to the highest point of consciousness.
On another occasion, a monk came and stood before Nansen with folded hands. Nansen said, “A great layman!”
A layman is not a disciple but has deep gratefulness, respectfulness towards those who have arrived, who have reached to the point of ultimate explosion. Folded hands in the East are the symbol of respectfulness. It also represents humbleness.
Nansen said, “A great layman!”
The monk clasped his hands.
Nansen said, “A great monk!”
On the surface all these statements look irrational, absurd. What the monk is saying by clasping his hands is, “My hands are not dead, they are not like a statue. My love and my gratitude is alive. You should not call me just a layman, I am a fellow traveler.” The movement of the hands signifies that the hands are not made of stone or wood, they are alive.
And Zen is the religion of the people who worship only life, no stone gods, no statues, no God in the heaven. All those are fictions for Zen. Zen loves this life in total affirmation. For Zen there is nothing more to existence than this life; you just have to go deeper into it, where space and time are both left behind, where you enter into the transcendental. Zen has no god, Zen has no prayer; there is nobody to whom to pray. Zen is absolutely concerned with the inner, not with the outer.
All of the religions are concerned with the outer: a god somewhere above the clouds. Zen laughs at such gods. Man has created them out of fear: man needs a protection, he feels alone, he feels afraid of death, he needs a protector god. All the gods are fictions; but they have a certain utility: they console. Zen does not believe in consolation, it believes in realization.
And if you want to know what life is…from the outside you can only know the surface. Only digging deep into your own being will you be able to know life from within and the moment you know life from within your whole existence becomes a dance, a joy, a bliss, a gratitude to existence. Zen has a totally different approach to any other religion. As far as I’m concerned, Zen is the only religion, others are pseudo substitutes.
Nansen has thousands of disciples. One of the disciples, Sekiso, wrote a small poem:
A violent storm beats against it
but it never moves at all.
Wild and solitary,
sharp and full of power,
it soars like a bird’s feather.
I give my assent only to one
who has climbed to the summit.
Walking, sitting, lying down,
he does everything as though
he were out for a stroll.
A beautiful piece, describing exactly the state of a man who has reached to the sunlit peaks of consciousness. Everything for him is just playfulness, as if he has gone for a walk in the morning, as the sun is rising; just a morning walk: no goal, he can turn anywhere, he’s not going anywhere, no purpose, just the sheer joy of the morning and the cool breeze, and the rising sun, and the singing birds, and the opening flowers, and the fragrant air. But no purpose of his own, no goal of his own, just a sheer joy.
Unfortunate are the people who never look to the sunrise, to the sunset, to a starry night. These are all non-utilitarian things, and such people are so much concerned with money, power. Their whole concern is with small and mediocre things.
In Zen, nature in all its forms: whether it is raining, or there is a thundercloud, or lightning, whether it is morning, or evening, or a deep night when everything becomes silent…Zen goes on watching all this, witnessing all this. For the man who has found the witness, this whole existence becomes an immense wonder.
Sekiso said, A violent storm beats against it, against the witness, but it never moves at all; the witness has never moved. It is the only immovable part in the world. Everything moves and changes; only one thing never changes, that which is hidden inside you at the center.
Heraclitus said, “You cannot step twice in the same river.” But unfortunately in the West, philosophers, theologians, the so-called religious people have never inquired about the witness. If I meet Heraclitus somewhere – and one never knows, in this vast universe I may meet him – I would like to tell him, “It is true you cannot step twice in the same river because the river is continuously moving. But you have forgotten one thing, you have forgotten yourself.”
The same witness can step in thousands of rivers. The changing rivers don’t change the witness. A mirror can reflect thousands of things; those reflections don’t change the mirror. Reflections come and go without leaving a trace behind, no footprints, just the mirror. And this mirror has been the search of the East. When I say “witness,” I mean a mirror-like quality of your consciousness, which simply reflects.
A violent storm beats against it
but it never moves at all.
Wild and solitary,
sharp and full of power,
it soars like a bird’s feather.
I give my assent only to one
who has climbed to the summit.
Walking, sitting, lying down,
he does everything as though
he were out for a stroll.

Maneesha has asked:
The poems or haikus that you talk about each evening sound so contemporary – as though they were written about you and your disciples. Yet they have come to us from centuries earlier.
Is that an attribute of the truth, that it resonates with all people everywhere, in any age, who are seeking it?
Maneesha, every art can be described either as objective art or as subjective art. Subjective art you will find everywhere; it comes from your feelings, from your heart, from your mind in paintings, in poetry, in music.
But objective art comes from the emptiness of your heart; you just become a flute, a hollow bamboo and the universe sings through you. Your only credit is that you don’t create any hindrances, you simply allow the universe to flow through you. With you being in a let-go and allowing the universe to flow through you, objective art is created.
There is not much objective art in the world, because before objective art can be created you have to become a hollow bamboo; and you are so solid, your ego is so stubborn. Before creating objective art, you have to be so humble, almost nobody. In your absence there comes a great universal flood. That flood can become poetry, a painting, music, a dance, a sculpture. Thousands of dimensions are available, you just allow it. These haikus are objective art; they are not composed, they have flown through a silent, empty heart.

I have told you about the great English poet Coleridge. When he died he left forty thousand poems incomplete. His whole life his friends insisted to him, “Why don’t you complete them? Just one line is missing, otherwise this will be a great poem.”
He said “You don’t understand me. I don’t write, I don’t compose, I am in the hands of the universe. When it comes, it comes. When it stops, it stops. I have no way of adding anything or editing out anything.”

A strange incident happened when Rabindranath Tagore was given the Nobel Prize. He was given the Nobel Prize for a small book of poems, Gitanjali, “Offering of Songs.” Originally the book was written in Bengali which was his mother tongue; then he translated it into English. But he was hesitant because it might not be so beautiful as in his own mother tongue.
So he asked a great missionary who was here in India, Andrews, “Will you take a look and if you find anything grammatical, linguistic that is wrong in it, just please help me so I can change it ?”
Andrews was a very learned missionary. He looked through the poem and he was very much impressed. But at four points he said, “If you change these four words, it will be as complete as it can be.” Rabindranath changed those four words.
Rabindranath’s friend, a great poet himself, Yeats, called a poets’ gathering in which Rabindranath was to recite Gitanjali for the first time in London. Everybody was impressed. It is a tremendously beautiful book; there exist only a few books in world literature which can be compared to it.
But Yeats himself looked a little concerned. He said to Rabindranath, “Everything looks right; only, at four words something has gone wrong.”
And those were the four words that Andrews had put in. Yeats got those four words exactly and told him that, “There the flow seems to be stopped, somebody else has entered in, knowledgeable…perhaps your own words may not have been grammatical. That does not matter, that is the freedom of the poet to open his heart, not to bother about grammar and not to bother about rules of language. You just put your words.”
And Rabindranath changed his words in place of Andrews,’ and Yeats said ,”Now I feel the flow is complete, there are no stumbling blocks.”

That was also Yeats’ own experience, that whenever a poem descends from beyond, and you are only at the receiving end, if you try to improve upon it, it loses its mystery, its miracle. It becomes human; it loses its quality of being divine.
Maneesha, haikus don’t belong to time. No objective art belongs to time; it is forever, because it comes from beyond the mind, from eternity itself. That’s why you feel as if these haikus are written for you. These incidents have happened for you. This will be forever so; as long as man goes on searching for inner truth these haikus will remain contemporary, these anecdotes will not become out-of-date.
Before you go for your morning stroll…just to let you know that you have to come back…I’m already condemned all over the world – just be kind to me – because I go on forcing you to go in, to go in. And if you really go in, you are gone! So as far as I’m concerned I will tell you to go slowly, and remember to return. I’m sending you with a return ticket!

It is the nurse’s day off, so Doctor Bones sticks his head into the waiting room and says, “Who’s next?”
“Me, doc,” says Kowalski, standing up.
“What is your trouble?” asks Bones.
“I’ve got a pain in my prick,” replies Kowalski.
Bones grabs Kowalski by the arm and drags him into his office.
“Never do that again!” he cries. “Especially when my waiting room is full of people. Next time, just say that your nose or your eye is troubling you!”
A couple of weeks later, Kowalski comes back. It is the nurse’s day off again, so Bones sticks his head out of his surgery, and asks, “Who’s next?”
“Me, doc,” says Kowalski, standing up.
“What’s the trouble?” inquires Bones.
“My nose is bothering me, doc,” replies Kowalski.
“What’s wrong with it?” asks Bones.
“Well, doc,” says Kowalski, “I can’t piss out of it!”

This joke always reminds me about a shankaracharya who was speaking in Bombay. A lady was sitting in the front, very rich, with a small child. And the child was continuously telling her, “I want to piss! I wanna piss!” And the shankaracharya was very much annoyed because he was talking about great things. And everybody was laughing and suppressing their laughter, but the boy was very insistent: “You allow me, otherwise I will piss here! It is coming so strong!”
Finally the shankaracharya had to end his sermon more quickly. He took the lady aside, and told her, “You have to teach some culture to the child. He disturbed the whole spiritual sermon.”
The woman asked, “What can I do? He always insists on coming with me. And he cannot sit for too long. So this question of, ‘I wanna piss!’ always comes.”
The shankaracharya said, “You should tell him that whenever you feel that you want to piss, don’t use the word piss. Just say, ‘Mom, I want to sing.’ And then you can take him away to the bathroom; nobody will know what ‘singing’ is.”
A few months later the shankaracharya was staying in that lady’s house itself. And just by coincidence the lady said to the shankaracharya, “Some relative has died. I and my husband have to go immediately and we may not be back by the morning. And the child is accustomed to sleep with me or with his father. So if you don’t mind, can he sleep with you?”
The shankaracharya said, “There is no problem, he can sleep with me.”
But in the middle of the night the problem came. The child nudged the shankaracharya and said, “I wanna sing!”
The shankaracharya said, “You idiot, in the middle of the night, you wanna sing?! You disturb my sleep and you will disturb other people’s sleep. Just keep quiet and go to sleep!”
But after a few minutes the boy nudged the shankaracharya again, and he said, “I’m trying my best, but the singing is coming very fast!”
The shankaracharya said, “I have never seen a singing that is coming so fast that you cannot wait for the morning.”
He said, “My God, till the morning! I cannot wait for even one minute! Just tell me, can I sing or not?!”
The shankaracharya thought for a moment. There was nobody else to inquire what to do, so he said, “You do one thing. You sing very silently into my ear, so nobody is disturbed. Then be satisfied!”
The boy said, “If you say so I will do it! But don’t say anything about it to anybody! Not to my mother, not to my father. Otherwise, I will get beaten!”
He said, “Why will you get beaten? Are you simply singing or doing something else?”
He said “Pure singing!”
So the shankaracharya gave him his ear, and the boy “sang” in his ear! The shankaracharya jumped up! He said, “You idiot! This is singing?!”
He said “You have forgotten. It was you who suggested to my mother that instead of ‘I wanna piss,’ I should say ‘I wanna sing.’ And now you are changing.”
Then the shankaracharya remembered, and he said, “My God, I will never change anybody’s word again.”
Changing words is dangerous!

A group of American tourists are about to enter the Limerick Hotel in Ireland, when suddenly the revolving door spins around and out shoots Old O’Grady.
O’Grady takes off, racing around the car park of the hotel making a noise like a car engine. He runs around changing gears, honking the horn, making hand signals, and then goes roaring off down the street.
One of the American tourists drops his camera and turns to Seamus, who is leaning against the side of the hotel.
“What was that all about?” asks the tourist.
“Oh,” replies Seamus, “that was Old O’Grady. He is a little eccentric, and he always ‘drives’ around like that when he has had a few drinks.”
“Well,” snorts the tourist, “why don’t you try to stop him?”
“Now why should I want to do that,” asks Seamus, “when he pays me five dollars every week to wash the car?!”

Little Alice is walking down the beach one day when she sees Chester Cheese lying on the sand with only a newspaper covering his machinery.
Little Alice looks at the snoozing Chester for a while, with great curiosity. Finally, unable to resist, she shakes Chester awake and says, “Hey, mister. What is that thing moving underneath your newspaper?”
Chester, groggy and blinking his eyes, looks at Little Alice and mumbles, “Oh, that is my pet bird.”
Chester falls back asleep while Alice stands there and watches the mysterious, moving newspaper.
Finally, she cannot wait any longer, so she goes up to Chester and peeks under the newspaper. The next thing Chester knows, he wakes up in hospital with his machinery in bandages, and in terrible pain.
“What happened?” he moans to the nurse.
“Perhaps,” replies the nurse, “you should ask this little girl. She came in with you.”
Chester looks at Little Alice. “So?” he asks. “What happened?”
“Well,” says Alice firmly. “I decided to take a look at your pet bird, but as soon as I lifted up the newspaper and started to play with him, he jumped up and spat at me.
So I grabbed him, twisted his neck, crushed his eggs, and stomped on his nest!”

Now Nivedano…





Be silent. Close your eyes, and feel your body to be completely frozen.
Now, look inwards. Gather all your consciousness as a spear. Move towards the center of your being. At the center are all the secrets of life. The center is beyond birth and beyond death.
Metaphorically we call the center the buddha, the awakened one. At this moment, you are all buddhas. And remember, to be a buddha does not mean to be a Buddhist.
It is not a question of following anyone. It is not a question of conversion. It is a question of awakening to your own depths, to your own center.
Your ordinary life is lived on the circumference. Meditation means to move from the circumference to the center. And this center is not only yours. It is the center of the whole universe.
We are separate on the circumference; at the center we are one, one oceanic reality. This oneness brings tremendous blessing, a great silence, a deep blissfulness.

Deeper and deeper. The deeper you go, the closer you are to the universal center. Without any fear go on, till you feel the buddha arising in you.
One has not to become a buddha; the buddha is our very nature. We are born with it. We are carrying it within our very soul. Everybody is pregnant with a buddha. It is only a question of discovering, only a question of remembering, who you are.

To make it more clear, Nivedano…


Relax. Just watch the body lying there, the mind lying there. You are not the body nor the mind but just a witness, a mirror-like, reflective watchfulness. This witnessing is the greatest contribution the East has made to the world. Everything dies, everything changes, only this witnessing remains.

Thousands of flowers, thousands of colors, stars are showering on you.
The evening was beautiful in itself. But ten thousand buddhas have made it majestic, a splendor, a miracle.
Particularly in these days, to reach to your own center has become very difficult because nobody tells you, nobody educates you, that your real treasure is within you not without you. The god is not above the clouds, the god is hidden in your consciousness. Your consciousness is god itself.
Drink from this source as much as you can, get drenched with the joy and the fragrance because you have to bring it back.
Meditation is not something that you do for a few minutes, it is something that you have to continue the whole day. Doing everything, your buddhahood should remain an undercurrent, a deep awareness, alertness, consciousness in your gestures, in your actions, in your silences.



Come back. But show the quality, even in coming back, of a graceful buddha.
Slowly, peacefully, joyously, with a dancing heart sit down for a few moments, just to recollect the place you have been, the path you have trodden. You have to go on this path every day deeper and deeper.
You have to become acquainted with your buddha as much as possible, so you can bring him from the center to the circumference.
When all your actions and all your gestures, words and silences become that of a buddha, you have arrived home.

Can we celebrate the ten thousand buddhas?

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