Surrender: The Disappearance of Duality

Birthday of Russian communist leader Leon Trotsky

Leon Trotsky was a Russian communist leader, revolutionary, and politician alongside Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin in the early 1900s. Born on 7 November 1879, he spent the majority of his life fighting for his life due to ill-fated associations with various parties. Trotsky played a key role in the 1917 October Revolution and the Civil War in Russia leading the Red Army to victory. While he attempted to gain power over Stalin in the political hierarchy, Trotsky eventually lost his support and was forced to flee the country – the remainder of his life spent in exile.

Trotsky believed that the long-term effects of socialist revolutions were dependent on the revolutions of other nations. According to him, an isolated economic system was a pipe dream and could not be a permanent solution – an opinion that did not sit well with Stalin. Trotsky wrote in abundance against Stanilism in his final years, expressing his views on communism and permanent revolution, and contributing to the Marxist theory. He was assassinated in 1925 in Mexico – his house now presented as the Leon Trotsky House Museum.

Osho mentions Trotsky while speaking about the changes in history, “It happens every day that history is changed. In this century when Joseph Stalin came to power, he changed the whole history of revolution in Russia. Leon Trotsky’s pictures were removed from everywhere, from all photographs. His name was removed from all history books. He was so completely removed that if anybody wanted to search he would not have found a single reference anywhere that this man, Leon Trotsky, had ever existed. And he was one of the most important men of the revolution, next only to Lenin. Stalin was nobody, not at all important. But when he came into power and murdered Leon Trotsky he changed the whole history.

And then again it happened. When Stalin died and the power came to other people they changed the history again. Now Stalin exists no more. In Russian history books Stalin exists no more, not even in footnotes. It is as if he never happened. This has been happening down the ages always. People go on changing the history. When they are in power they change the history. And whosoever is in power manages to have the certain kind of history that he wants to have. So the whole of history is bunk. It has nothing to do with truth, it is all false. It is as fictitious as any fiction.

Osho Says…..




There is a great difference. Not only a difference:

obeying and surrender are diametrically opposite. Listen well. If you are surrendered then there is no question of obeying. Then my voice is your voice; you don’t obey it. Then I am no more separate from you. If you are not surrendered, then you obey it, because my voice is separate from yours. You manage to obey, you enforce a certain discipline on yourself. There must be some greed behind it. You must be looking for some result. So you obey, but deep down you remain separate. Deep down the resistance goes on continuing. Deep down you are still fighting with me.

In the very word ‘obey’ there is resistance. Obeying is ugly. Either surrender or be on your own. Obeying is a compromise: you don’t want to surrender, one thing; and you are not confident to remain on your own, another thing. So you compromise. You say: I will remain on my own, but obey. I will listen to you, whatsoever you say, and will find ways and means to obey it. Surrender is a totally different thing. There is no duality in surrender.

When a disciple surrenders to a master, they have become one; that moment the duality has disappeared. Now the master is no more thought of as separate, so who is going to obey and who is going to obey whom?

“Why does so much reaction come against discipline?”

Because the surrender has not yet happened. Otherwise, discipline is beautiful; there is nothing like discipline. If surrender has happened, then you don’t enforce discipline, it comes spontaneously. When I say something to you, and you are surrendered, you hear my voice as your own. In fact, you will see immediately that this is what you wanted to do, but you were not clear about it. You will be able to understand that I have told you something about which you were groping in the dark. You had a certain feel for it, but things were vague — I have made them clear for you. I have spoken for you. I have brought your own heart’s desire to you. In surrender that is going to happen. Then what is the point of calling it ‘obeying’? It is not obedience. In obedience, a certain conflict is hidden.

I have heard one anecdote:

One man had been having trouble with a teenage son, so he sent him out to a cattle ranch operated by an old friend. After the youth had been working on the ranch a couple of months, he asked about his progress.

“Well,” said the rancher friend, “he’s been working good. Already he speaks cow language.”

“Sounds all right.”

“But,” said the old cowman seriously, “he ain’t learnt yet to think like a cow.”

That’s the difference. Once you start thinking like a cow then there is no question of any obedience, disobedience. Once you start thinking like me, then there is no question, then there is no problem, no conflict, no struggle, no effort. In fact you are not following me, you are following yourself. In deep surrender this happens. Ordinarily,

people have a very wrong notion about surrender, particularly in the West. Surrender is a deeply Eastern concept. People think that in surrender your individuality will be lost. Absolutely wrong, one hundred percent wrong. In surrender your personality is not lost. In fact in surrender your personality for the first time becomes clear; because if you surrender, you surrender the ego, not the personality, not the individuality. Just the wrong notion that you are somebody… you drop that notion. Once that notion is dropped, you are at ease, you grow; your individuality remains intact, in fact grows bigger and bigger. Of course there will not be the feeling of ‘I’, but a tremendous growth will happen.

If surrender is not there, then millions of questions arise about how to obey.

I was called to a seminar; many universities’ vice-chancellors and chancellors had gathered there. They were much worried about the indiscipline in the schools, colleges and universities, and they were much worried about the new generation’s disrespectful attitude towards the teachers. I listened to their views and I told them, “I see that somewhere the very basis is missing. A teacher is one who is respected naturally, so a teacher cannot demand respect. If the teacher demands respect, he simply shows that he is not a teacher; he has chosen the wrong profession, that is not his vocation. The very definition of a teacher is one who is naturally respected; not that you have to respect him. If you have to respect him, what type of respect is this going to be? Just look: ‘have to respect’ — the whole beauty is lost, the respect is not alive. If it has to be done, then it is not there. When it is there, nobody is conscious about it, nobody is self-conscious about it. It simply flows. Whenever a teacher is there it simply flows.”

So I asked the seminar: “Rather than asking students to respect the teachers, you please decide again — you must be choosing wrong teachers, who are not teachers at all.”

… I have heard:

A woman complained to her doctor: “You just don’t know how bad I feel. Why, I can’t even eat the things you told me not to!”

Once you say to somebody: Don’t do this! a deep desire arises to do it. Don’t eat this — a deep desire arises to eat it. Mind functions always negatively; the very function of the mind is to negate, to say no. Just watch yourself, how many times you say no in the day, and reduce that quota. Watch yourself, how many times you say yes — increase that quota. And by and by you will see just a slight change in the degrees of yes and no, and your personality is changing basically. Watch how many times you say no where yes would have been easier; there was no need really to say no. How many times you could have said yes, but either you said no or you kept quiet. Whenever you say yes, it goes against the ego. The ego cannot eat yes; it feeds itself on no’s. Say: No! No! No! and within yourself arises great ego.

Just go to the railway station: you may be alone at the window to purchase a ticket, but the clerk will start doing something, he will not look at you. He is trying to say, “No.” He will at least make you wait. He will pretend that he is very busy, he will look into this register and that. He will force you to wait. That gives a feeling of power, that he is no ordinary clerk — he can make anybody wait.

It happened just in the beginning days of Soviet Russia, when Leon Trotsky was the war minister there. He was very strict with rules, discipline, this and that. There was going to be a great meeting of the Communist Party, and he was in charge to issue passes. He completely forgot that he also needed a pass to enter the hall. When he went there the policeman who was standing at the gate stopped him. He said, “Where is your pass?”

Leon Trotsky said, “Don’t you recognize me?”

He said, “I recognize you perfectly well — you are our war minister. But where is your pass?”

Trotsky said, “Look at the other passes you are holding in your hands. They are signed by me.”

The policeman said, “Maybe, but this is the rule, that nobody can enter without a pass. So go back home and find a pass.”

Leon Trotsky has written in his diary, “I could see how powerful he was feeling that day — saying no to the war minister, making him feel tiny.”

People go on saying no. The child says to the mother: Can I go outside and play? and immediately, without thinking for a single moment, she says: No! Politics! What is wrong in being outside, going outside and playing? And the child is going to go; the child will insist, and he will go into a tantrum, and then mother will say, “Okay, you can go.” This could have been done in the first place, in the very beginning, but even a mother cannot lose an opportunity to say no.

The first thing that comes to your mind is no. Yes is almost difficult. You say yes only when you feel absolutely helpless and you have to say it. Just watch it! Make yourself a yea-sayer; drop no-saying, because it is the poison of no on which the ego feeds itself, nourishes itself. A religious man is one who has said yes to existence. Out of that yes, God is born. Yes is the father of God. That yes attitude is the religious attitude.

But remember: I don’t insist on obeying. Either be with me totally, or don’t be with me at all. Compromise is not good, compromise kills. Compromise will make you lukewarm, and nobody can evaporate from that state. Compromise comes out of fear. Take courage: either be with me or don’t be with me — but don’t be in a limbo. Otherwise, one part of your mind will go on saying: I have to follow, I have to do this, and another part will go on saying: No, why should I do it? And this constant conflict within yourself dissipates energy, it is destructive. It will poison your whole being.


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

Discourse series: The Search

Chapter #2

Chapter titles: Dropping the Why

2 March 1976 am in Buddha Hall


Osho has spoken on many politicians and rulers like Abraham Lincoln, Lenin, Mao Tse Tung, Jawaharlal Nehru, Kennedy, Stalin, Gorbachev, Churchill, Roosevelt, Alexander, Napoleon, and more in His discourses. Some of these can be referred to in the following books/discourses:

  1. From Bondage to Freedom
  2. From Ignorance to Innocence
  3. The Path of the Mystic
  4. From False to Truth
  5. From Misery to Enlightenment
  6. Zen: Zest, Zip, Zap, Zing
  7. Beyond Psychology
  8. Live Zen
  9. The Invitation
  10. Communism and Zen Fire, Zen Wind
  11. The Book of Wisdom
  12. The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 3
  13. The Golden Future
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