The Heart Sutra 02

Second Discourse from the series of 10 discourses - The Heart Sutra by Osho.
You can listen, download or read all of these discourses on oshoworld.com.

The first question:
Sometimes while just sitting, the question comes up in the mind: What is truth? But by the time I come here I realize that I am not capable to ask. But may I ask what happens in those moments when the question arises so strongly that had you been nearby I would have asked it. Or if you had not replied, I would have caught hold of your beard or collar and asked, “What is truth, Osho?”
That is the most important question that can arise in anybody’s mind, but there is no answer for it. The most important question, the ultimate question, cannot have any answer; that’s why it is ultimate.
When Pontius Pilate asked Jesus, “What is truth?” Jesus remained silent. Not only that, the story says that when Pontius Pilate asked the question, “What is truth?” he did not wait to listen for the answer. He left the room and went away. This is very strange. Pontius Pilate also thinks that there cannot be an answer for it, so he didn’t wait for the answer. Jesus remained silent because he also knows it cannot be answered.
But these two understandings are not the same, because these two persons are diametrically opposite. Pontius Pilate thinks that it cannot be answered because there is no truth; how can you answer it? That is the logical mind, the Roman mind. Jesus remains silent not because there is no truth, but because the truth is so vast, it is not definable. The truth is so huge, enormous, it cannot be confined in a word, it cannot be reduced to language. It is there. One can be it, but one cannot say it.
For two different reasons they behaved almost in the same way: Pontius didn’t wait to hear the answer, he already knew that there is no truth. Jesus remains silent because he knows truth, and knows that it cannot be said.
Chidvilas has asked this question. The question is absolutely significant. There is no question higher than that, because there is no religion higher than truth. It has to be understood; the question has to be analyzed. Analyzing the question, trying to understand the question itself, you may have an insight into what truth is. I will not answer it, I cannot answer it; nobody can answer it. But we can go deep into the question. Going deep into the question, the question will start disappearing. When the question has disappeared you will find the answer at the very core of your heart – you are truth, so how can you miss it? Maybe you have forgotten about it, maybe you have lost track of it, maybe you have forgotten how to enter into your own being, into your own truth.
Truth is not a hypothesis, truth is not a dogma. Truth is neither Hindu nor Christian nor Mohammedan. Truth is neither mine nor yours. Truth belongs to nobody, but everybody belongs to truth. Truth means that which is: that is exactly the meaning of the word. It comes from a Latin root, verus. Verus means: that which is. In English there are a few words which are derivations of the Latin root verus: was, were – they come from verus. In German, war – that comes from verus. Verus means that which is, uninterpreted. Once the interpretation comes in, then what you know is reality, not truth. That is the difference between truth and reality. Reality is truth interpreted.
So the moment you answer the question, “What is truth?” it becomes reality; it is no longer truth. Interpretation has entered it, the mind has colored it. And realities are as many as there are minds; there are multi-realities. Truth is one because truth is known only when the mind is not there. It is mind that keeps you separate from me, separate from others, separate from existence. If you look through the mind, then the mind will give you a picture of truth. That will be only a picture, a photograph of that which is. And of course, the photograph depends on the camera, on the film used, on the chemicals, on how it has been developed, how it has been printed, who has done it. A thousand and one other things enter in; it becomes reality.
The word reality is also beautiful to understand. It comes from the root, res; it means thing or things. Truth is not a thing. Once interpreted, once the mind has grabbed it, defined it, demarked it, it becomes a thing.
When you fall in love with a woman there is some truth – if you have fallen absolutely unaware, if you have not “done” it in any way, if you have not acted, managed, if you have not even thought about it. Suddenly you see a woman, you look into her eyes, she looks into your eyes, and something clicks. You are not the doer of it, you are simply possessed by it, you simply fall into it. It has nothing to do with you. Your ego is not involved, at least not in the very, very beginning, when love is virgin. In that moment there is truth, but there is no interpretation. That’s why love remains indefinable.
Soon the mind comes in, starts managing things, takes possession of you. You start thinking about the girl as your girlfriend, you start thinking of how to get married, you start thinking about the woman as your wife. Now these are things; the girlfriend, the wife – these are things. The truth is no longer there, it has receded. Now things are becoming more important. The definable is more secure, the indefinable is insecure. You have started killing, poisoning the truth. Sooner or later there will be a wife and a husband, two things. But the beauty is gone, the joy has disappeared, the honeymoon is over.
The honeymoon is over at that exact moment when truth becomes reality, when love becomes a relationship. The honeymoon is very short, unfortunately – I’m not talking about the honeymoon that you take. The honeymoon is very short. Maybe for a single moment it was there, but the purity of it, the crystal purity of it, the divinity of it, the beyondness of it – it is from eternity, it is not of time. It is not part of this mundane world, it is like a ray coming into a dark hole. It comes from the transcendental. It is absolutely appropriate to call love God, because love is truth. The closest that you come to truth in ordinary life is love.
Chidvilas asks: “What is truth?”
Asking has to disappear; only then do you know.
If you ask, “What is truth?” what are you asking? If I say A is truth, B is truth, C is truth, will that be the answer? If I say A is truth, then certainly A cannot be the truth: it is something else that I am using as synonymous with truth. If it is absolutely synonymous, then it will be a tautology. Then I can say, “Truth is truth,” but that is silly, meaningless. Nothing is solved by it. If it is exactly the same, if A is truth, then it will mean truth is truth. If A is different, is not exactly truth, then I am falsifying. Then to say A is truth will be only approximate. And remember, there cannot be anything approximate. Either truth is or it is not. So I cannot say A is truth.
I cannot even say, “God is truth,” because if God is truth then it is a tautology – “Truth is truth.” Then I’m not saying anything. If God is different from truth, then I am saying something, but then I am saying something wrong. Then God is different, then how can he be truth? If I say it is approximate, linguistically it looks all right, but it is not right. “Approximately” means some lie is there, something false is there. Otherwise, why is it not a hundred percent truth? If it is ninety-nine percent truth, then something is there which is not true. And truth and untruth cannot exist together, just as darkness and light cannot exist together – because darkness is nothing but absence. Absence and presence cannot exist together, truth and untruth cannot exist together. Untruth is nothing but the absence of truth.
So no answer is possible, hence Jesus remained silent. But if you look at it with deep sympathy, if you look into the silence of Jesus, you will have an answer. Silence is the answer. Jesus is saying, “Be silent, as I am silent, and you will know” – not saying it in words. It is a gesture, it is very, very Zen-like. In that moment when Jesus remained silent, he comes very close to the Zen approach, to the Buddhist approach. He is a buddha in that moment. Buddha never answered these questions. He had eleven questions listed: wherever he would move his disciples would go around and declare to people, “Never ask these eleven questions of Buddha” – questions which are fundamental, questions which are really significant. You could ask anything else, and Buddha was always ready to answer. But don’t ask the fundamental, because the fundamental can only be experienced. And truth is the most fundamental; the very substance of existence is what truth is.
Go into the question. The question is significant, it is arising in your heart: “What is truth?” – a desire to know that which is, is arising. Don’t push it aside, go into it. Chidvilas, whenever it happens again, close your eyes, go into the question. Let the question become very, very focused – “What…is…truth?” Let there arise a great concentration. Forget everything, as if your whole life depends on this simple question, “What is truth?” Let it become a matter of life and death. And don’t try to answer it, because you don’t know the answer.
Answers may come – the mind always tries to supply answers – but see the fact that you don’t know, that’s why you are asking. So how can your mind supply you an answer? The mind knows not, so tell the mind, “Keep quiet.” If you know, then there is no need for the question. You don’t know, hence the question.
So don’t be befooled by the mind’s toys. It supplies toys: it says, “Look, it is written in the Bible. Look, it is written in the Upanishads. This is the answer. Look, this is written by Lao Tzu, this is the answer.” The mind can throw all kinds of scriptures at you: the mind can quote, the mind can supply from the memory. You have heard many things, you have read many things; the mind carries all those memories. It can repeat in a mechanical way. But look into this phenomenon: the mind knows not, and all that mind repeats is borrowed. And the borrowed cannot help.

It happened at a railway crossing. The gates were closed, a train was to pass, and a man was sitting in his car, waiting for the train to pass, reading a book. A drunkard who was sitting just by the side of the gate came close, knocked on the air-conditioned car’s window. The man opened the window and said, “What can I do for you? Do you need any help?”
And the bum said, “Yes, for two days I have not eaten anything at all. Can you give me two rupees? That will be enough for me, just two rupees.”
The man laughed and said, “Never borrow and never lend money,” and showed the book to the bum and said, “Shakespeare – Shakespeare says so. Look.”
The bum pulled out of his pocket a very dirty paperback and said to the man, “You sonofabitch – D. H. Lawrence.”

Beware of the mind. The mind goes on quoting, the mind knows all without knowing at all. The mind is a pretender. See into this phenomenon: this I call insight. It is not a question of thinking. If you think about it, it is again the mind. You have to see through and through. You have to look deeply into the very phenomenon, the functioning of the mind, how the mind functions. It borrows from here and there, it goes on borrowing and accumulating. It is a hoarder, a hoarder of knowledge. Mind becomes very knowledgeable, and then whenever you ask a question which is really important the mind gives a very unimportant answer to it – futile, superficial, rubbish.

A man bought a parrot from a pet shop. The shop-owner assured him the bird would learn to say hello within half an hour. Back home he spent an hour “helloing” to the parrot, but not a word from the bird.
As he was turning away in sheer despair, the bird said, “Number engaged.”

A parrot is a parrot. He must have heard it in the pet shop. And this man was going on and on, “Hello, hello, hello,” and the bird was listening, and waiting for him to stop. Then he could say, “Number engaged!”
You can go on asking the mind, “What is truth, what is truth, what is truth?” And the moment you stop, the mind will immediately say, “Number engaged” or something. The mind will give you an answer. Beware of the mind.
The mind is the Devil, there is no other Devil. And it is your mind. This insight has to be developed – of looking through and through. Cut the mind in two with a sharp blow of the sword. That sword is awareness. Cut the mind in two and go through it, go beyond it! And if you can go beyond the mind, through the mind, and a moment of no-mind arises in you, there is the answer – not a verbal answer, not a scripture quoted, not in quotation marks, but authentically yours, an experience. Truth is an existential experience.
The question is immensely significant, but you will have to be very respectful toward the question. Don’t be in a hurry to find an answer, otherwise some rubbish will kill the question. Don’t allow your mind to kill the question. And the way of the mind to kill the question is to supply answers, unlived, unexperienced.
You are truth! But it can happen only in utter silence, when not a single thought moves, when the mind has nothing to say, when not a single ripple is in your consciousness. When there is no ripple in your consciousness, your consciousness remains undistorted. When there is a ripple, there is a distortion.
Just go to a lake. Standing on the bank, look down at your reflection. If there are waves, ripples on the lake, and wind is blowing, your reflection is shaky. You cannot figure out what is what – where is your nose and where are your eyes – you can only guess. But the lake is silent and the wind is not blowing and there is not a single ripple on the surface; suddenly you are there. In absolute perfection, the reflection is there. The lake becomes a mirror.
Whenever there is a thought moving in your consciousness it distorts. And there are many thoughts, millions of thoughts, continuously rushing, and it is always rush-hour. Twenty-four hours a day it is rush-hour, and the traffic goes on and on, and each thought is associated with thousands of other thoughts. They are all holding hands and linked together and interlinked, and the whole crowd is rushing around you. How can you know what truth is? Get out of this crowd.
That’s what meditation is, that’s what meditation is all about: a consciousness without mind, a consciousness without thoughts, a consciousness without any wavering – an unwavering consciousness. Then it is there in all its beauty and benediction. Then truth is there – call it God, call it nirvana, or whatsoever you like to call it. It is there, and it is there as an experience. You are in it and it is in you.
Use this question. Make it more penetrating. Make it so penetrating; put everything at stake so that the mind cannot befool you with its superficial answers. Once the mind disappears, once the mind is no longer playing its old tricks, you will know what truth is. You will know it in silence. You will know it in thoughtless awareness.

The second question:
My surrender is goal-oriented. I'm surrendering in order to win freedom, so it is not real surrender at all. I'm watching it, but the problem is: it is always “I” who is watching. Therefore every realization out of that watching is a reinforcement of the ego. I feel tricked by my ego.
You have not understood what surrender is. The first thing to remember about surrender is: you cannot do it, it is not a doing. You can prevent it from happening, but you cannot manage it to happen. Your power about surrender is only negative: you can prevent it, but you cannot bring it.
Surrender is not something that you can do. If you do it, it is not surrender, because the doer is there. Surrender is a great understanding that, “I am not.” Surrender is an insight that the ego exists not, that, “I am not separate.” Surrender is not an act but an understanding.
In the first place you are false, the separation is false. Not for a single moment can you exist separate from the universe. The tree cannot exist if uprooted from the earth. The tree cannot exist if the sun disappears tomorrow. The tree cannot exist if no water is coming to its roots. The tree cannot exist if it cannot breathe. The tree is rooted in all the five elements – what Buddhists call skandhas, the five groups we were talking about the other day. Avalokita… When Buddha came to the transcendental vision, when he passed through all the stages, when he passed through all the rungs of the ladder and came to the seventh – from there he looked down, looked back. What did he see? He saw only five heaps with nothing substantial in them, just emptiness, shunyata.
The tree cannot exist if these five elements are not constantly pouring energy into it. The tree is just a combination of these five elements. If the tree starts thinking, “I am,” then there is going to be misery for the tree. The tree will create a hell for itself. But trees are not so foolish, they don’t carry any mind. They are there, and if tomorrow they disappear, they simply disappear. They don’t cling; there is nobody to cling. The tree is constantly surrendered to existence. Surrendered means it is never separate, it has not come to that stupid idea of the ego. And so are the birds, so are the mountains, so are the stars. It is only man who has turned his great opportunity of being conscious into being self-conscious. Man has consciousness. If consciousness grows, it can bring you the greatest bliss possible. But if something goes wrong and consciousness turns sour and becomes self-consciousness, then it creates hell, then it creates misery. Both alternatives are always open; it is for you to choose.
The first thing to be understood about ego is that it exists not. Nobody exists in separation. You are as much one with the universe as I am, as Buddha is, as Jesus is. I know it, you don’t know it; the difference is only of recognition. The difference is not existential, not at all! So you have to look into this stupid idea of separation. Now if you start trying to surrender you are still carrying the idea of separation. Now you are thinking, “I will surrender, now I am going to surrender” – but you think you are.
Looking into the very idea of separation, one day you find that you are not separate, so how can you surrender? There is nobody to surrender! There has never been anybody to surrender. The surrenderer is not there, not at all – never found anywhere. If you go into yourself you will not find the surrenderer anywhere. In that moment is surrender. When the surrenderer is not found, in that moment is surrender. You cannot do it. If you do it, it is a false thing. Out of falsity only falsity arises. You are false, so whatsoever you do will be false, more false. And one falsity leads to another, and so on and so forth. And the fundamental falsity is the ego, the idea, “I am separate.”
You say: “My surrender is goal-oriented.” The ego is always goal-oriented. It is always greedy, it is always grabbing. It is always searching for more and more and more; it lives in the more. If you have money it wants to have more money; if you have a house it wants to have a bigger house; if you have a woman it wants to have a more beautiful woman, but it always wants more. The ego is constantly hungry. It lives in the future and in the past. In the past it lives as a hoarder – “I have this and this and this.” It gets a great satisfaction: “I have got something” – power, prestige, money. It gives a kind of reality to it. It gives the notion: “When I have these things, I must be there.” And it lives in the future with the idea of more. It lives as memory and as desire.
What is a goal? A desire: “I have to reach there, I have to be that, I have to attain.” The ego does not live, cannot live in the present, because the present is real and the ego is false – they never meet. The past is false, it is no more. Once it was, but when it was present, ego was not there. Once it has disappeared, is no longer existential, ego starts grabbing it, accumulating it. It grabs and accumulates dead things. The ego is a graveyard: it collects corpses, dead bones.
Or, it lives in the future. The future is not yet – it is imagination, fantasy, dream. Ego can live with that too, very easily; falsities go together perfectly well, smoothly well. Bring anything existential and the ego disappears. Hence the insistence of being in the present, being herenow, just this moment. If you are intelligent there is no need to think about what I am saying; you can simply see into it this very moment! Where is the ego? There is silence, and there is no past, and there is no future, only this moment – and this dog barking… This moment, and you are not. Let this moment be, and you are not. And there is immense silence, there is profound silence, within and without. And then there is no need to surrender because you know you are not. Knowing that you are not is surrender.
It is not a question of surrendering to me, it is not a question of surrendering to existence. It is not a question of surrendering at all. Surrendering is an insight, an understanding that, “I am not.” Seeing, “I am not, I am a nothingness, emptiness,” surrender grows. The flower of surrender grows on the tree of emptiness. It cannot be goal-oriented.
The ego is goal-oriented. The ego is hankering for the future. It can hanker even for the other life, it can hanker for heaven, it can hanker for nirvana. It doesn’t matter what it hankers for – hankering is what it is, desiring is what it is, projecting into the future is what it is.
See it! See into it! I’m not saying think about it. If you think about it you miss. Thinking again means past and future. Have a look into it – avalokita! – look into it. The English word look comes from the same root as avalokita. Look into it, and do it right now. Don’t say to yourself, “Okay, I will go home and do it.” The ego has entered, the goal has come, the future has entered. Whenever time enters you are falling into that falsity of separation.
Let it be here, this very moment. And then you suddenly see you are, and you are not going anywhere, and you are not coming from anywhere. You have always been here. Here is the only time, the only space. Now is the only existence. In that now, there is surrender.
“My surrender is goal-oriented,” you say; “I’m surrendering in order to win freedom…” But you are free! You have never been unfree. You are free, but again there is the same problem: you want to be free, but you don’t understand that you can be free only when you are free from yourself – there is no other freedom. When you think about freedom, you think as if you will be there and free. You will not be there; there will be freedom. Freedom means freedom from the self, not freedom of the self. The moment the prison disappears the prisoner also disappears, because the prisoner is the prison! The moment you come out of the prison, you also are not. There is pure sky, pure space. That pure space is called nirvana, moksha, liberation.
Try to understand rather than trying to achieve.
“I am surrendering in order to win freedom…” Then you are using surrender as a means, and surrender is the goal, is the end unto itself. When I say surrender is the goal, I’m not saying that surrender has to be achieved somewhere in the future. I’m saying that surrender is not a means, it is an end unto itself. It is not that surrender brings freedom, surrender is freedom! They are synonymous, they mean the same thing. You are looking at the same thing from two different angles.
“…so it is not real surrender at all.” It is neither real nor unreal. It is not surrender at all. It is not even unreal.
“I am watching it, but the problem is it is always “I” who is watching. Therefore every realization out of that watching is a reinforcement of the ego. I feel tricked by my ego.” Who is this “I” you are talking about who feels tricked by the ego? It is the ego itself. The ego is such that it can divide itself into fragments, into parts, and then the game starts. You are the chaser and you are the chased.
It is like a dog trying to catch hold of its own tail, and it goes on jumping. And you look and you see the absurdity of it – but you see the absurdity, the dog cannot see it. The more he finds it is difficult to catch hold of the tail, the more he becomes crazy, the more he jumps. And the faster and the bigger the jump, the more the tail jumps faster and bigger also. And the dog cannot conceive what is happening: he’s such a great catcher of everything, and this ordinary tail, and he cannot catch hold of it?
This is what is happening to you. It is “I” who is trying to catch, and who is the catcher and the caught both. See the ridiculousness of it, and in that very seeing be free of it.
There is not a thing to be done – not a thing, I say, because you are already that which you want to become. You are buddhas, you have never been otherwise. Seeing is enough.
When you say, “I am watching…” it is again the “I.” Watching, the “I” will be created again, because watching is again an act, there is effort involved. You are watching – then who is watching? Relax. In relaxation – when there is nothing to be watched and nobody as a watcher, when you are not divided into a duality – there arises a different quality of witnessing. It is not a watching, it is just passive awareness; passive, I say – remember. It has nothing aggressive in it. Watching is very aggressive: effort is needed, you have to be tense. But be non-tense, relaxed. Just be there. In that consciousness when you are simply there, sitting doing nothing, the spring comes and the grass grows by itself.
That is the whole Buddhist approach: that anything that you do will create and enhance the doer – watching also, thinking also, surrendering also. Anything that you do will create the trap. Nothing is needed to be done on your part. Just be, and let things happen. Don’t try to manage, don’t try to manipulate. Let the breeze pass, let the sunrays come, let life dance, and let death come and have its dance in you too.
This is my meaning of sannyas: it is not something that you do, but when you drop all doing and see the absurdity of doing. Who are you to do? You are just a wave in this ocean. One day you are, another day you will disappear; the ocean continues. Why should you be so worried? You come, you disappear. Meanwhile, for this small interval, you become worried and tense, and you take all the burdens on your shoulders, and you carry rocks on your heart – for no reason at all.
You are free this very moment!
I declare you enlightened in this very moment. But you don’t trust me. You say, “That’s right, Osho, but just tell us how to become enlightened.” That becoming, that achieving, that desiring, goes on jumping on every object that you can find. Sometimes it is money, sometimes it is godliness. Sometimes it is power, sometimes it is meditation – but any object, and you start grabbing it. Non-grabbing is the way to live the real life, the true life, non-grasping, non-possessing.
Let things happen, let life be a happening, and there is joy, there is rejoicing – because then there is no frustration, ever, because you had never expected anything in the first place. Whatsoever comes is good, is welcome. There is no failure, no success. That game of failure and success has been dropped. The sun comes in the morning and wakes you, and the moon comes in the evening and sings a lullaby and you go to sleep. Hunger comes and you eat, and so on and so forth. That’s what Zen masters mean when they say: “When hungry, eat, when sleepy, sleep, and there is nothing else to do.”
I’m not teaching you inaction. I’m not saying don’t go and work, I’m not saying don’t earn your bread, I’m not saying renounce the world and depend on others and become exploiters; no, not at all. But don’t be a doer. Yes, when you are hungry you have to eat, and when you have to eat you have to earn the bread – but there is nobody doing it. It is hunger itself that is working; there is nobody else doing it. It is thirst itself that is taking you toward the well or toward the river. It is thirst itself moving; there is nobody who is thirsty. Drop nouns and pronouns in your life and let verbs live.
Buddha says: “The truth is that when you see a dancer, there is no dancer but only a dance. When you see a river, there is no river but only rivering. When you see a tree, there is no tree but only treeing. When you see a smile, there is nobody who is smiling, there is only smile, smiling. When you see love, there is nobody who is a lover but only loving. Life is a process.”
But we are accustomed to thinking in terms of static nouns. That creates trouble. And there is nothing static – all is flux and flowing. Flow with it, flow with this river, and never be a doer. Even when you are doing don’t be a doer. There is doing but there is no doer. Once this insight settles in you there is nothing else.
Enlightenment is not something like a goal that has to be attained. It is the very ordinary life, this simple life that surrounds you. But when you are not struggling, this ordinary life becomes extraordinarily beautiful. Then trees are greener, then birds sing in richer tones, then everything that is happening around is precious. Then ordinary pebbles are diamonds.
Accept this simple, ordinary life. Just drop the doer. And when I say drop the doer, don’t become a dropper! Seeing into the reality of it, it disappears.

The third question:
Is there a difference between the shunyavada of Nagarjuna and avyakritopadesh, the unspoken and the undefinable teaching of Lord Buddha?
There is no difference at all. If a difference appears to be there, that is only because of the formulation. Nagarjuna is a great philosopher, one of the greatest of the world. Only a few people in the world, very few, have that quality of penetration that Nagarjuna has. So, his way of talking is very philosophical, logical, absolutely logical. Buddha is a mystic, not a philosopher. His way of saying things is more poetic than philosophical. The approach is different, but Nagarjuna is saying exactly the same thing as Buddha. Their formulation is certainly different, but what they are saying has to be understood.
You ask, “Is there any difference between shunyavada…” Shunyavada means the theory, the philosophy of nothingness. In English there is no word which can be equivalent, appropriately equivalent, to shunya. Shunya means emptiness; but not negative, a very positive emptiness. It means nothingness, but it does not mean simply nothingness; it means no-thing-ness. Shunya means void, void of everything. But the void itself is there, with utter presence, so it is not just void. It is like the sky which is empty, which is pure space, but which is. Everything comes in it and goes, and it remains.
Shunya is like the sky – pure presence. You cannot touch it although you live in it. You cannot see it although you can never be without it. You exist in it; just as the fish exists in the ocean, you exist in space, in shunya. Shunyavada means that everything arises out of no-thing.
Just a few minutes ago I was telling you the difference between truth and reality. Reality means the world of things, and truth means the world of no-thing, nothing – shunya. All things arise out of nothing and dissolve back into nothing.
In the Upanishads there is a story:

Svetaketu has come from his master’s house, back to his parents. He has learned all. His father, Uddalaka, a great philosopher, looks at him and says, “Svetaketu, go outside and bring a fruit from yonder tree.”
He goes out, brings a fruit. And the father says, “Break it. What do you see in it?” There are many seeds in it. And the father says, “Take one seed and break it. What do you see in it?”
And he says, “Nothing.”
And the father says, “Everything arises out of this nothing. This big tree, so big that one thousand bullock carts can rest underneath it, has arisen out of just a seed. And you break the seed and you find nothing there. This is the mystery of life – everything arises out of nothing. And one day the tree disappears, and you don’t know where; you cannot find it anywhere.”

So does man: we arise out of nothing, and we are nothing, and we disappear into nothing. This is shunyavada.
And what is Buddha’s avyakritopadesh, the unspoken and the undefinable teaching? It is the same. He never made it so philosophically clear as Nagarjuna has made it. That’s why he has never spoken about it. That’s why he says it is indefinable; it cannot be brought to the level of language. He has kept silent about it.
You know the Flower Sermon?

One day Buddha comes with a lotus flower in his hand and sits silently, saying nothing. And the ten thousand disciples are there, the ten thousand bhikkus are there, and they are waiting for him to say something, and he goes on looking at the lotus flower. There is great silence, and then there is great restlessness too. People start becoming fidgety – “What is he doing? He has never done that before.”
And then one disciple, Mahakashyapa, smiles.
Buddha calls Mahakashyapa, gives him the lotus flower, and says to the assembly, “What can be said I have said to you, and what cannot be said I have given to Mahakashyapa.”

This is avyakritopadesh, this is the indefinable message. This is the origin of Zen Buddhism, the transmission. Something was transmitted by Buddha to Mahakashyapa, something which is nothing; on the visible plane nothing – no word, no scripture, no theory – but something has been transmitted. What?
The Zen monks have been meditating on this for two thousand five hundred years: “What? What was transmitted? What exactly was given?” In fact, nothing has been given from Buddha to Mahakashyapa; Mahakashyapa has certainly understood something. He understood the silence, he understood the penetrating silence. He understood that moment of clarity, that moment of utter thoughtlessness. He became one, in that moment, with Buddha. That’s what surrender is. Not that he was doing it: Buddha was silent and he was silent, and the silences met, and the two silences dissolved into each other. And two silences cannot remain separate, remember, because a silence has no boundary, a silence is unbounded, a silence is simply open, open from all sides. In that great assembly of ten thousand monks there were two silences that day – Buddha and Mahakashyapa. The others remained outside. Mahakashyapa and Buddha met: that’s why he smiled – because that was the greatest sermon that Buddha had ever preached. Not saying a single thing and he had said all, all that could be said – and all that could not be said, that too.
Mahakashyapa understood and laughed. In that laughter Mahakashyapa disappeared totally, became a buddha. The flame from the lamp of Buddha jumped into Mahakashyapa. That is called the “transmission beyond scriptures” – the Flower Sermon. It is unique in the history of human consciousness. That is what is called avyakritopadesh: the unspoken word, the unuttered word.
Silence became so substantial, so solid; silence became so real, so existential; silence became tangible in that moment. Buddha was a nothing, Mahakashyapa also understood what it means to be a nothing, to be utterly empty.
There is no difference between Nagarjuna’s shunyavada and Buddha’s unuttered message. Nagarjuna is one of the greatest disciples of Buddha, and one of the most penetrating intellects ever. Only very few people – once in a while, a Socrates, a Shankara – can be compared with Nagarjuna. He was very, very intelligent. The uttermost that the intellect can do is to commit suicide; the greatest thing, the greatest crescendo that can come to the intellect is to go beyond itself – that’s what Nagarjuna has done. He has passed through all the realms of intellect, and beyond.
The logical positivists say that nothing is merely an abstraction. In the various instances of negative assertions – for example: this is not sweet, I am not healthy, I was not there, he did not like me, etcetera, etcetera – negation has no substance of its own. This is what the logical positivists say. Buddha does not agree, Nagarjuna does not agree. Martin Heidegger, one of the most penetrating intellects of the modern age, does not agree.
Heidegger says there is an actual experience of nothing. It is not just something created by language; there is an actual experience of nothing. It is inseparably bound up with being. The experience that attests to this is that of dread. Kierkegaard, the Danish philosopher, also asks, “What effect does nothing produce?” and answers, “It begets dread.”
Nothing is an actual experience. Either you can experience it in deep meditation, or when death comes. Death and meditation are the two possibilities of experiencing it. Yes, sometimes you can experience it in love too. If you dissolve into somebody in deep love you can experience a kind of nothingness. That’s why people are afraid of love – they go only so far, then panic arises, then they are frightened. That’s why very few people have remained orgasmic – because orgasm gives you an experience of nothingness. You disappear, you melt into something and you don’t know what it is. You go into the indefinable, avyakrit. You go beyond the social. You go into some unity where separation is no longer valid, where ego does not exist. And it is frightening, because it is deathlike.
So it is an experience, either in love, which people have learned to avoid – so many go on hankering for love, and go on destroying all possibilities for it because of the fear of nothingness – or, in deep meditation when thought stops. You simply see there is nothing inside, but that nothing has a presence; it is not simply absence of thought, it is presence of something unknown, mysterious, something very huge. Or, you can experience it in death, if you are alert. People ordinarily die in unconsciousness. Because of the fear of nothingness they become unconscious. If you die consciously… And you can die consciously only if you accept the phenomenon of death, and for that one has to learn, prepare for the whole life. One first has to love to be ready to die, and one has to meditate to be ready to die. Only a man who has loved and meditated will be able to die consciously. And once you die consciously then there is no need for you to come back, because you have learned the lesson of life. Then you disappear into the whole; that is nirvana.
The logical positivists look very logical, but they miss something – because reality is far more than logic. In ordinary experience we come only to what they say: this chair is here, this will be removed, then you will say there is no chair there. It simply indicates absence – the chair has been removed. These are ordinary instances of nothingness: there was once a house and then it has been dismantled, it is no longer there. It is only an absence.
But there are nothingnesses deep inside your being, at the very core. At the very core of life, death exists. Death is the center of the cyclone. In love you come close to that, in meditation you come close to that, in physical death also you come close to that. In deep sleep, when dreams disappear, you come close to it. It is very life-giving, it is life-enhancing. A man who cannot sleep deeply will become ill, because it is only in deep sleep, when he dies into his deepest depth, that he regains life, energy, vitality. In the morning he is again fresh and full of zest, gusto – vibrant, again vibrant.
Learn to die! That is the greatest art to be learned, the greatest skill there is.
Heidegger’s standpoint comes very close to Buddha’s, and his language is very modern, that’s why I’m quoting him. He says: “Every being, so far as it is a being, is made out of nothing.” There is a parallel Christian doctrine too – very neglected, because Christian theologicians cannot manage it, it is too much. The doctrine is creatio ex nihilo: the creation is out of nothing.
If you ask the modern physicist he will agree with Buddha: as you go deeper into matter, things start disappearing. A moment comes, when the atom is divided, that thing-hood completely disappears. Then there are electrons, but they are not things anymore, they are no-things. It is very difficult to understand. But physics, modern physics, has come very close to metaphysics – because it is coming closer and closer to reality every day. It is approaching through matter, but coming to nothing. You know matter no longer exists in modern physics. Matter is just an illusion: it only appears, it is not there. The solidity of it, the substantiality of it, is all illusion; nothing is substantial, all is flux and energy. Matter is nothing but energy. And when you go deeper into energy, energy is not a thing, it is a no-thing.
Death is the point at which knowledge fails, and we become open to being – that has been the Buddhist experience down the ages. Buddha used to send his disciples, when somebody had died, to see the body burning on the funeral pyre: “Meditate there, meditate on the nothingness of life.” Death is the point at which knowledge fails, and when knowledge fails, mind fails. And when mind fails, there is a possibility of truth penetrating you.
But people don’t know. When somebody dies you don’t know what to do, you are very embarrassed. When somebody dies it is a great moment to meditate.
I always think that each city needs a Death Center. When somebody is dying and his death is very, very imminent he should be moved to the Death Center. It should be a small temple where people who can go deep in meditation should sit around him, should help him to die, and should participate in his being when he disappears into nothing. When somebody disappears into nothing great energy is released. The energy that was there, surrounding him, is released. If you are in a silent space around him, you will go on a great trip. No psychedelic can take you there. The man is naturally releasing great energy; if you can absorb that energy, you will also kind of die with him. And you will see the ultimate – the source and the goal, the beginning and the end.
“Man is the being by whom nothing comes into the world,” says Jean-Paul Sartre. “Consciousness is not this or that object, it is not any object at all; but surely it is itself? No,” says Sartre, “that is precisely what it is not. Consciousness is never identical with itself. Thus, when I reflect upon myself, the self that is reflected is other than the self that reflects. When I try to state what I am, I fail, because while I am speaking, what I am talking about slips away into the past and becomes what I was. I am my past and my future, and yet I am not. I have been the one, and I shall be the other. But in the present, there is nothingness.”
If somebody asks you, “Who are you?” what are you going to say? Either you can answer out of the past, which is no more, or you can answer out of the future, which you are not yet. But who are you right in this moment? A nobody, a nothingness. This nothingness is the very core, the heart – the heart of your being.
Death is not the ax that cuts down the tree of life, it is the fruit that grows on it. Death is the very substance you are made of. Nothingness is your very being. Attain to this nothingness either through love or meditation, and go on having glimpses of it. This is what Nagarjuna means by shunya. This is what Buddha transferred that day when he delivered the Flower Sermon. This is what Mahakashyapa understood when he laughed. He saw nothingness, and the purity of it, the innocence of it, the primal innocence of it, the radiance of it, the immortality of it – because nothingness cannot die. Things die; nothingness is immortal, eternal.
If you are identified with anything, you will suffer death. But if you know that you are death, how can you suffer death? Then nothing can destroy you; nothingness is indestructible.
A Buddhist parable narrates that the king of hell asked a newly arrived spirit whether during life he had met the three heavenly messengers. And when he answered, “No, my Lord, I did not,” he asked whether he had ever seen an old man bent with age, or a poor and friendless sick man, or a dead man?
Buddhists call these three “the messengers of God”: old age, sickness, death – three messengers of God. Why? – because only through these experiences in life do you become aware of death. And if you become aware of death and you start learning how to go into it, how to welcome it, how to receive it, you are released from the bondage, from the wheel of life and death.
Heidegger says, and so does Søren Kierkegaard, that nothingness creates dread. That is only half of the story – it creates dread because these two people are just philosophers.
If you ask Buddha, Mahakashyapa, Nagarjuna, if you ask me, death looked at only partially creates dread; looked at absolutely, totally, it frees you from all dread, from all anguish, from all anxiety, it frees you from samsara. If you look partly then it creates fear that you are going to die, that you will become a nothing, that soon you will disappear. And naturally you feel nervous, shaken, uprooted. If you look at death totally, then you know you are death, you are made of it. So nothing is going to disappear, nothing is going to remain. Only nothingness is.
Buddhism is not a pessimistic religion as has been thought by many people. Buddhism is the way to get rid of both optimism and pessimism, to get rid of duality.
Start meditating on death. And whenever you feel death close by, go into it through the door of love, through the door of meditation, through the door of a man dying. And if some day you are dying – and the day is going to come one day – receive it in joy, benediction. If you can receive death in joy and benediction, you will attain to the greatest peak, because death is the crescendo of life. Hidden in it is the greatest orgasm, because hidden in it is the greatest freedom.
Death is making love to existence, or existence making love to you. Death is cosmic, total orgasm. So drop all ideas that you carry about death – they are dangerous. They make you antagonistic to the greatest experience that you need to have. If you miss death you will be born again. Unless you have learned how to die, you will go on being born again and again and again. This is the wheel, samsara, the world. Once you have known the greatest orgasm, then there is no need; you disappear, and you remain in that orgasm forever. You don’t remain like you, you don’t remain as an entity, you don’t remain defined, identified with anything. You remain as the whole, not as the part.
This is Nagarjuna’s shunyavada, and this is Buddha’s unspoken message, the unspoken word. They are both the same.

The last question:
I am afraid of taking sannyas, although I am immensely attracted. I am afraid because of my husband. I don't think he will be able to understand it.
You are not very respectful toward your husband. Do you think he’s stupid or something? Why should he not be able to understand it? If he loves you, he will understand it. Love is understanding. If he does not love you, then whether you take sannyas or not, he’s not going to understand you.
The second thing: if he does not understand your sannyas, it is his problem. You have to live your life. Never compromise, otherwise you will miss much. Never compromise! If you feel like becoming a sannyasin, become a sannyasin. Take the risk. If he loves you there is no problem, he will understand – because love gives freedom. If he does not love you then there will be difficulty because he will feel you are getting out of his possession, you are becoming independent, you are trying to be yourself. But to bow down to such expectations is suicidal. That is his problem. You have to live your life, he has to live his life. Nobody should try to impose things on the other.
But my feeling is that you must also be imposing things on him, that’s why you are afraid. If you are not imposing anything on him, you can be independent. But it is a mutual arrangement: people are slaves to each other, and whenever you make a slave of somebody, remember, you are making somebody your master too. It is a mutual arrangement. You must be trying to manipulate your husband, you must be trying to force things upon him, you must be making him a cripple. Now you want to be independent, and deep down you are afraid that if you become independent, he will assert his independence too. Then he would like to go his own way, and that you cannot afford. That is the real fear.
But if you don’t do something that you like, that you wanted to do, that you wanted to be, you will never be able to forgive him. And you will take revenge, and you will be angry, and you will be in a rage – because you will constantly think you wanted to become a sannyasin, and it is only because of this man that you did not. You will feel caged, imprisoned. Nobody likes being imprisoned. Then one hates the person who is the cause of your imprisonment, then one tries to take revenge in subtle ways. That will destroy your marriage.
Never create such a situation in which you cannot forgive the other. Only two independent persons can forgive each other. Slaves cannot forgive. And who knows, it may help him too, in some way.
I was reading an anecdote the other day:

Two explorers met in the wilds of the Amazon. The following exchange took place:
First explorer: “I came out here because the urge to wander is in my blood. Civilization sickens me. I like to see nature in its primitive form. I would like to plant my footprints where no human being has ever gone before. How about you? Why did you come out here?”
Second explorer: “My wife has become Osho’s sannyasin, and she is doing Dynamic Meditation in the morning and Kundalini in the evening – that’s why!”

But good! If your husband goes to the Amazon and becomes an explorer, this is giving him a good opportunity to do something.
Enough for today.

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