Religion of Devotion and Awareness
November 30th will be celebrated as the birthday of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the first Guru of the Sikhs. The birthdays of the 10 Sikh Gurus are celebrated by the Sikhs worldwide as GurPurab. The GurPurab celebrations commence 2 days prior to the birthday with a 48-hour non-stop reading of the Guru Granth Sahib (the holy book of the Sikhs) in the Gurudwara. And on the birthday, morning processions begin from the local Gurudwara that go around the block and are joined by joyful devotees singing hymns in praise of the Guru.
Osho has spoken at length on Guru Nanak in His discourses. The book Ek Omkar Satnam (in Hindi) is dedicated to Guru Nanak. Its English translation is available as The True Name Vol.1-2.
Osho says When Nanak attained to Samadhi, Sikhism was born. The word ‘Sikh’ is beautiful, it is derived from the word ‘shishya’ meaning disciple. If one knows how to be a disciple, the Master is revealed everywhere. The real question is of discipleship. This is why Nanak called his disciples Sikhs.
Learn to be a shishya, and even a stone wall will become a master.
Devotion is love overflowing. Even when there is nobody, it is overflowing — to things, to tables, to chairs, to walls. It is just overflowing; it is not a question of to whom. And this you have to understand.
It is a fundamental law of my religion: As awareness grows, simultaneously love grows. They cannot remain separate, they move together. If you can grow in love, you will grow in awareness. If you grow in awareness, you will grow in love.
It is easier to grow in awareness because there are very definite, scientific ways to grow in awareness. With love it is difficult, because it is a very slippery thing, it slips out of your hand. Awareness you can hold tight. But don’t be worried: if you are growing in awareness, simultaneously your love will always keep on the same level as your awareness. This is my experience.
I never say a single thing which is not my experience. I have not ever seen in me a single inch of difference between awareness and love. Just let your awareness go higher, and love immediately moves to the same level. They always keep the same level. When awareness is at its peak, love overflows; and that overflowing love is devotion. And when love and awareness are there, are you just going to sit and not do anything? Perhaps once in a while there will be a man like me who will simply sit and do nothing; but most probably everybody is going to do something. And that something will come out of awareness and love. I call that act, worship.
Whatever you do – you cook food, you clean a floor, you chop wood — whatever you do, your awareness and your love is showering. It is worship.
No mantra is needed, no prayer is needed, no God is needed. In my religion there is a place for devotion. There is a place for worship. But there is no place for God at all.
I am keeping everything that is essential and discarding everything that is non-essential. The priesthood was interested in the non-essential because that non-essential could be used for exploitation. The essential cannot be used for exploitation. The essential will destroy the priesthood immediately. If your awareness grows and your love becomes devotion, one thing is certain: you will not be a Jew, you will not be a Hindu, you will not be a Mohammedan. Your awareness cannot allow such stupidities. Your love, your devotion, will not allow you to go to a temple, to a mosque, to a gurudwara, to a synagogue, to a church, because it is simply idiotic, just Oregonian. There is no point in going anywhere. Wherever you are, your devotion is flowing.
Wherever a religious man sits: There is the temple. There is the church. There is the synagogue.
A small, beautiful story…. The founder of Sikhism, Nanak, was one of those beautiful people for whom I have immense love. He was a simple man. He had just one disciple, and that too because he loved to sing. All his teachings were delivered in singing, spontaneous singing — not like a poet composing — and his disciple would play on a simple instrument just to give some music to what the Master was saying. Nanak traveled — he is the only Indian teacher who traveled outside India too. Mahavira and Buddha never went outside their state, Bihar, not even all over India. Shankara went all over India but not beyond India’s boundaries. Nanak is the only exception; he went to Arabia. He reached Mecca, where the sacred shrine of the Mohammedans is, the black stone, Kaaba…
Nanak reached Kaaba. Mohammedans could not believe it because they could see that he was a great teacher, but when night came he slept, keeping his feet towards the Kaaba. That is very disrespectful. The keepers came and said to him, “You being a great teacher, this behavior seems to be very unlikely. You come from India where people know how to be respectful, and yet you are keeping your feet towards our sacred stone? You are hurting our feelings. To us this stone represents God, to us this stone IS God; so please turn your feet in the opposite direction.”
Nanak said, “I knew you would come, hence my feet are towards the Kaaba. Now you want me to turn them in the opposite direction?” They said yes. Nanak said, “You do that – but remember, YOUR God may be just confined to this stone, MY God is not so confined. Wherever you move my feet He is there.”
The story — which must be just a story — is that they moved his feet, but wherever they moved his feet the Kaaba moved. This must be a story because stones, even if they have fallen from the sky, are after all stones. And man hasn’t that much sensitivity: you can’t expect from a stone that it will move. But the story is beautiful. It simply says that wherever you are, if you are full of awareness and devotion the temple is there, the shrine is there. In fact your overflowing love creates a shrine around you. You move with it wherever you go.
Bodhidharma was asked, “If you are thrown into hell, will you resist?”
He laughed and said, “For what? — because wherever Bodhidharma is, there is the lotus paradise. I will be immensely happy because my entry into heaven or into hell is exactly the same. I am Bodhidharma. If I enter into hell, hell will be immediately transformed into a heaven. I would prefer to go to hell, because otherwise who will transform it?”
My religion has devotion as part of awareness. The meaning of devotion is of love, not towards a God, but towards all that is. My religion has worship; but then worship is not a certain chanting of mantras, prayers, Ave Marias…. Worship is your creativeness with a heart full of love and a being overflowing with awareness. And then whatsoever you do is worship. Or if you happen to be a man like me, lazy, then not — doing is your worship. I have never felt for a single moment that I am not a worshipper. My worship is just not to do anything: Just to sit silently, doing nothing. And the grass grows by itself…
and real grass!
This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune.
From Personality to Individuality
Chapter title: God — the phantom fuehrer
9 January 1985 pm in Lao Tzu Grove
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: