The Master is only a Door

Osho on Master-Disciple Relationship



Chaitanya Kabir, I would like to give you much more! But the real cannot be given in words.

The real can be conveyed only through gestures, through silence, through presence. And sometimes even silence is not adequate enough; even presence, at the ultimate peaks, fails. The ultimate cannot be given in any possible way.

I go on talking to you, but it is not that which I would like to say. That which I would like to say to you cannot be spoken, and that which can be said is not really the thing that I would like to say to you. It is the ancient dilemma, the dilemma of the mystic. He knows, but he cannot say it; and whatsoever he says is not what he knows.

Lao Tzu says: The tao cannot be said, and if you say it, it is no more tao. Read instead of tao, “dhamma,” and it becomes the statement of Buddha. Read instead of tao, “truth,” and it becomes a statement of Socrates. The truth cannot be said — it is so vast! — but efforts have to be made. In those very efforts, a few people who are vulnerable, open, intelligent, may be able to have a little glimpse — a faraway glimpse, of course — but that glimpse will become a seed in them and will start growing. And what I have to say to you is inexhaustible, hence I can go on speaking. For these five years I have been speaking nonstop, and yet I have not said anything — not even a single word has been said! Hence I can go on speaking, because it can never be said.

One can ask, “Then why speak at all?” There is a reason to it: I have caught so many of you through speaking! If I was just sitting silently here, yes, a few people would have been here, but very few, because silence is a difficult phenomenon, the most difficult to understand. It needs tremendous intelligence; not only intelligence, it needs a certain silence in you too. Then only, two silences can commune. And the world does not teach you to be silent; it teaches you words, language.

I have to use words and language so that you become caught in the net. Once you are caught and cannot escape, then you will have to listen to my silence too. And once you have understood my words, you will start feeling the silence that surrounds those words. Those words are born out of silence; they carry something of silence in them, some fragrance around them.

But what I have been saying to you is only the most rudimentary; it is for the beginners. As you grow in understanding, as your silence deepens, my contact with you will be more and more of silence. Even while I am speaking, you will listen to the intervals between the words and you will read between the lines. You will not be so much concerned with the words, but with the wordless. You will be more concerned with the origin of it all.

Two hippies were crossing the Atlantic by steamship. They were out on deck, looking at the ocean, and one said, “Man, look at all that water out there!”

“Yeah, man,” the second, farther-out cat replied. “And just think, like that is only the top of it.”

Only the superficial, the surface, can be talked about; the depths remain hidden. But the surface can become an invitation. Chaitanya Kabir, my words are only invitations — invitations towards my being, invitations towards my presence. Hence, those who come here and remain non sannyasins are bound to go empty-handed. They will accumulate a few words, they will become a little more knowledgeable; philosophically they will become a little enriched, but their being will remain the same. They will know more but they will not be more. Unless you become committed, unless you become involved, unless you risk all that you have, you will remain concerned only with the words.

The deeper your commitment, the greater is the possibility of moving towards the depths, because to move towards the depths is possible only when you are ready to die — die as an ego, die as a person. And that’s exactly what transpires between the master and the disciple:

the master is no more an ego; the disciple also slowly slowly becomes a non-ego, a nonentity, a nobody… and then they merge and meet, then they melt into each other.

I have chosen a flag for the new commune. The flag is of two colors: white and orange. The white represents the master, the orange represents the disciple. And the flag has a full moon on it as a symbol. The full moon represents enlightenment. Enlightenment is light, but not like the sun; it is not hot, it is cool — it is like the moon.

Enlightenment is not masculine but feminine, because enlightenment is a gift from God. You cannot be aggressive about it, you have to be just receptive, available, open, like a womb; hence the moon. And the moon is half red and half white; that represents the meeting and merger of the master and the disciple. The master is in the disciple, hence the moon is half red; and the disciple is in the master. The master and disciple are not two.

When they become one, when it is no longer a dialogue, when there is no question of I and thou, when the I and thou disappear into one unity, then silence is understood, then presence is understood. And then inexhaustible sources open up for you. Then you are moving into the ocean, the river is falling into the ocean.

These words are only invitations. Come along with me! These words are just to prepare you so that you can take a jump into the ocean.

It needs guts, it needs daring, because jumping into the ocean means disappearing as you have known yourself up to now, losing your old identity. It is a loss in the beginning — but not really, because the river loses itself as a river but becomes the ocean. It is a gain. The disciple losing himself in the master becomes a master; he attains to his true identity. And the master is only a door: from the master he moves into God himself. That’s why in the East, the master is conceived of as a god.

That is very difficult for non-Easterners to understand, why the master is conceived of as a god…

because he is the door into the divine.

Chaitanya Kabir, I can understand your wonder. You say, “Ah rarest one, how is it that you give so much?” But from my side I am not giving you so much, for two reasons. One is that you have to be prepared before you can be given. You can be given only as much as you can accept, digest. You can be given only that much which can become your blood, bones and marrow; more than that will cause indigestion, which will not be helpful to you but will be harmful. And I would like to give you much more, but in the very nature of things it cannot be given. I am utterly helpless. I can shout, I can go on calling to you, “Come closer!”… because if you come closer, slowly slowly, my energy field will start vibrating with YOUR energy field. And when my heart and your heart are pulsating with the same beat, in the same rhythm, then the real communion has started.

But it is happening, slowly slowly. A few of you are coming closer, dropping your egos. A few of you are becoming more and more silent. A few of you are daring the ultimate, are getting ready to take a jump into the ocean from where no return is possible. Things are happening, but they take time. And such an energy field has not existed for centuries; so many things have to be worked out from ABC. Such an energy field existed while Buddha was here. Such an energy field existed with Bodhidharma in China. Such an energy field existed with Zarathustra in Iran. Such an energy field existed with Jesus in Jerusalem. But for centuries this phenomenon has disappeared from the world, and man has become too much worldly, too much interested in trivia, in the superficial, in the meaningless. Even if he goes to God, he goes for meaningless things. He does not go for inner transformation, he does not go to die and to be reborn.

You are here to die and to be reborn. Much is happening… much more is going to happen. As you become more and more ready, I will be showering more and more. And it is inexhaustible because it is not mine, it has nothing to do with me. I am just a vehicle, a hollow bamboo. I am simply available to existence: whatsoever song it wants to sing through me, I am ready to sing it. I am simply a medium.

Use this opportunity as much as you can, because such doors open only once in a while and it is very easy to miss them. For stupid things one can miss them, and you can rationalize your stupidity easily.

Beware, be watchful….


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

The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 7

Chapter #8

Chapter title: Man: only a possibility

18 December 1979 am in Buddha Hall


Osho has spoken extensively about the ‘master-disciple relationship’. More on this subject can be found in the following books/discourse titles:

  1. The Book of Wisdom
  2. Come follow to you Vol.4
  3. Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega Vol. 2, 3, 6
  4. From Personality to Individuality
  5. From the False to the Truth
  6. Beyond Enlightenment
  7. Light on the Path
  8. The Osho Upanishad
  9. The Secret
  10. Tao: The Pathless Path, Vol 1, 2
  11. Zen: The Diamond Thunderbolt
  12. The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 3
  13. Zen: The Path of Paradox, Vol 3

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