Surrender and Awareness


Deva Suli,


Life is paradoxical: day/night, birth/death, summer/winter, love/hate, and so on ad infinitum.

If a person thoroughly understands this, he will agree and not worry. In other words, he knows when he loves that soon he will hate; therefore, he will laugh when he is going uphill, and weep when he is going downhill. He will realize the paradox of life, that he cannot be perfect and he cannot be consistent either. Our idea is to be consistent and to have absolutely clear situations, but it is impossible — it is too one-sided, and we are not one-sided. We are infinite; we contain both the poles in our being, and both the poles have to be lived. Hence, if you surrender you become a light unto yourself. If you become a light unto yourself, you become capable of surrendering.

It was constantly a question before Buddha — constantly, because he used to say to his people: Be a light unto yourself. That is his statement: APPO DIPO BHAVA — be a light unto yourself. That was his constant teaching, the undercurrent of all his teachings. And still he was teaching people surrender. When people came to be initiated they would have to declare a triple surrender: BUDDHAM SHARNAM GACHCHHAMI — I come, I surrender myself to Buddha’s feet; SANGHAM SHARNAM GACHCHHAMI — I surrender to the commune of the sannyasins; DHAMMAM SHARNAM GACHCHHAMI — I surrender to the fundamental law of life, LOGOS, TAO, DHAMMA.

These three surrenders would make a person a disciple — and Buddha’s whole teaching was: Be a light unto yourself. So he was asked again and again, “There is a contradiction! On the one hand people surrender to you, on the other hand you go on saying to them: Be a light unto yourself.” And yet there is no contradiction — they are complementaries. This is how life works.

Life is so vast that it CONTAINS contradictions, and yet those contradictions are not enemies, not opposites. They are complementaries and they help each other. In fact, without the one the other will not be possible.

Suli, surrender will help freedom, and freedom will make you capable of surrender. Don’t choose one, otherwise you will remain half. Never choose one pole, otherwise you will always remain half — and to remain half is to remain split. You have to be a whole, you have to be one piece. Always remember to choose the whole paradox, and then you will be at ease. Then great silence and great bliss will arise out of your totality. The total is musical, it is a symphony.


This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune. 

Discourse Series:

Philosophia Perennis, Vol 2

Chapter #9
Chapter title: There’s No God Till You’ve Met Him
8 January 1979 am in Buddha Hall


Osho has spoken on ‘light, life, awareness, freedom, surrender’ in many of His discourses. More on the subject can be referred to in the following books/discourses:

  1. Bodhidharma: The Greatest Zen Master
  2. From Misery to Enlightenment
  3. From Bondage to Freedom
  4. The Invitation
  5. Sufis: The People of the Path, Vol 1
  6. The Path of the Mystic
  7. The Messiah, Vol 2
  8. The Zen Manifesto: Freedom From Oneself
  9. The Ultimate Alchemy, Vol 1
  10. Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, Vol 2
  11. The Book of Wisdom
  12. Beyond Psychology
  13. Zen: Zest, Zip, Zap and Zing
  14. Guida Spirituale
  15. Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, Vol 2
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