The Oceanic Being

Narada Jayanti

Today is the birthday of an enlightened Hindu sage Narada, who used to travel around the world, singing and playing music on his simple musical instrument “EKTARA”. He appears in number of Hindu texts explaining small stories with a message. He was an intimate devotee of Lord Vishnu and thus his path was the path of devotion.

Osho chose ‘NARADA NHAKTI SUTRA’ at the second number, in the book ‘Books I have loved’ and he says second book I choose is Narada’s BHAKTI SUTRAS. His sutras begin with “athato bhakti jigyasa — now the inquiry into love….” To inquire into love is the greatest exploration, the greatest inquiry. Everything else falls short, even atomic energy. You can be a scientist even of the caliber of Albert Einstein, but you don’t know what real inquiry is unless you love. And not only love, but love plus awareness… then it becomes inquiry into love, the most difficult task in the world. Let me repeat, it is the most difficult task in the world — love with awareness. People fall in love; people become unconscious in love. Their love is only biological, it is gravitation. They are pulled down towards the earth. But Narada is talking about a totally different love: love as meditation, as awareness. Or in scientific terms, love as levitation, against gravity. Leave gravitation for the graves; levitate, arise! And when one starts rising to love, flying towards the stars, that is athato bhakti jigyasa.”

Narada was a saint traveller; with his devotion towards existence and his knowledge and the beautiful music and poems he had always tried to convey the message of ‘oneness with existence.’

Osho has spoken on Narada many times and he has said somewhere that A musician, a poet, and a very beautiful man, Narada, who always, even while moving, continued to play on a very simple musical instrument — and remember, the more simple the instrument the more difficult it is to create great music out of it. He used to carry a simple instrument, an ektara — a one-stringed sitar. It is easy when there are many strings to create music, because you can create different notes on different strings. The ektara has only one string — that is the meaning of ektara. Ek means one; tara means string. It has become almost the symbol of Narada. You will not find a statue or a painting of him without his ektara. He was a master musician, and a great poet — and perhaps the only man in India who knew the hilariousness of existence, who used to laugh…

Osho Says……

My effort with you is to bring you out of this constant conditioning that you are part of a crowd — no, you are just yourself. And you are not sheep, you are lions. And that’s where you can see the difference between Jesus and Gautam Buddha. Gautam Buddha used to say that whenever a person becomes initiated into meditation, enters his own soul — where nobody else can enter, where he is going to be absolutely alone — there arises in him the lion’s roar. Buddha is giving dignity to you, he is transforming you from the world of sheep into the glory of being a lion. I want my people to be lions. You can be together — not as a crowd, but as a gathering of lions; each one separate and individual, allowing space for everybody else.

It is because of people like Jesus — who are beautiful, in many ways —  that the world is suffering all kinds of oppression, exploitation. Because what can a sheep do? No one has ever heard of any revolution happening in a crowd of sheep. They are very obedient to the crowd. They are very obedient to the shepherd. The shepherd is not going to save them; he has already destroyed them. And to call himself a shepherd and all other human beings just sheep, shows a deep-rooted ego — not enlightenment, where ego disappears, when one is but there is no “I”, no ego, no longing to be superior and holier than others. The misunderstandings in Kahlil Gibran are deeply connected with the misunderstandings of Jesus Christ. He loved Jesus, his language reflects Jesus, his statements reflect Jesus, although he is far more poetic. Far more beautiful is his way of expression — but never be deceived by the expressions, howsoever beautiful they are. Dissect all those beautiful expressions and you will not find anything within them. Or, what you will find will be only darkness, misunderstanding, ignorance.

The people who have been in search of truth have always gone in aloneness. And the people who want to find the meaning of life have always gone into themselves, where nobody else can enter. Aloneness outside… aloneness inside… and you have come to a point where you can roar like a lion.

Of course, millions of sheep are going to be annoyed with you, because they cannot roar like a lion and they cannot soar like an eagle. They have been told just to believe in the crowd in which they have accidentally been born. A person who remains part of a crowd never attains his true individuality. He remains fake. You have heard the expression, which exists in almost all languages: A sheep hiding itself in a lion’s skin. These kinds of sayings are not out of the wisdom of centuries, they are out of the ignorance of centuries. I would like to put the proverb right: The truth is that you are a lion forced to live in the skin of a sheep. And there is no need, and there is no place where you have to knock to find the blessed one. Yes, there is a space where the blessed one is already waiting for you — and it is within you. Neither Jesus nor anybody else can lead you there — only you. If you revolt from being a sheep and gather courage to roar like a lion and to move like a lion, you will be the blessed one.


This is the beauty of Kahlil Gibran, that although he falls again and again, he gets up….He lived almost his whole life in America, where the motto of every American is: Try and try and try again! And the poor fellow is doing the best he can, but he falls — and you have to remember this, and you have to be very mindful, very alert, when you are reading Kahlil Gibran or anybody else. A great calamity has happened to humanity. A idea has become settled in the minds of people that if someone is right, he is always right, and if someone is wrong he is always wrong. If somebody is a saint he is always a saint — day out, day in; and if somebody is a sinner he is always a sinner — day out, day in. This is not the reality. Even sinners have moments when they are saints, and even saints go for a holiday. This calamity goes back to Aristotle, the father of Western logic, because he accepts only two categories: either you are right or you are wrong. He forgets that there is a possibility of many positions between right and wrong. He has also forgotten the simple fact that you may be right in one thing and wrong in another thing.

But it needs tremendous awareness — and particularly with people like Kahlil Gibran, whose words are hypnotizing. They are almost like a lullaby; they are very soothing, even if they are wrong. You become so impressed by them, you lose all your interest in being alert, aware, watchful.

Like the ocean is your god-self… This is true. Your being is not confined to your bones. Your being is not confined to the bag of skin in which you are living — you call it your body. Your being is as vast as the ocean. All the rivers of the world go on bringing every kind of rubbish, crap, dirt, dust, because they have been passing through thousands of miles. And for millions of years they have been falling into the ocean, but the ocean remains undefiled. This is a truth to be remembered. It should be written in letters of gold.

You have done all kinds of actions, good and bad. You have been right and wrong, you have seen all the days and all the nights of your life, you have been to the temples and you have been to the prostitutes — but your being remains undefiled, just as the ocean. You are so vast… these small things don’t matter at all in the last reckoning. Hence I say to you, never judge anybody by any small action that he has done. Somebody has stolen, somebody has murdered, somebody has lied — these are small actions. Don’t judge the man and his whole life on the basis of a small action. And remember the ultimate truth — that whatever you do, your innermost core remains undefiled. There is no way to pollute your being, to corrupt your soul.

Within a second… if you become aware of your inner being, you will be surprised: “I was condemned by everybody, I was condemning myself, but my real being has remained untouched. It is always virgin, always pure.”

I would like to tell you a beautiful story. There was a man, thousands of years before. His name was Balmiki; his profession was robbery. And if needed, he had no hesitation in killing people. If they resisted giving him their money, their valuable things, he had no hesitation for a single moment to kill them. He was a strong man. At that time he was not known as Balmiki, he was known as Balya Bhil — the bhils are aboriginal, primitive tribes. And who would call Balya Bhil “Balmiki”? — because Balmiki means the same, but becomes respectable. He was a robber and a murderer, and everybody knew it. It was very rare that people would pass through the forest where he lived. The road had almost become unusable, because whoever passed that way was going to be robbed or killed.

A musician, a poet, and a very beautiful man, Narada, who always, even while moving, continued to play on a very simple musical instrument — and remember, the more simple the instrument the more difficult it is to create great music out of it. He used to carry a simple instrument, an ektara — a one-stringed sitar. It is easy when there are many strings to create music, because you can create different notes on different strings. The ektara has only one string — that is the meaning of ektara. Ek means one; tara means string. It has become almost the symbol of Narada. You will not find a statue or a painting of him without his ektara. He was a master musician, and a great poet — and perhaps the only man in India who knew the hilariousness of existence, who used to laugh….

When he was leaving, people told him: “Don’t go — otherwise you will lose your ektara. That Balya does not care who you are, and if you try to save your ektara you will lose your head. Better is to follow another route, although that route is a little longer.”

Narada said, “If I had not known I might have gone by the other route, but now it is a challenge, between Balya and Narada. I would love to see this man, who has made you all cowards, so afraid. Just a single man, and the whole traffic on the road has disappeared. Must be a lion, living in the forest… and thousands of people used to pass on this road. Now nobody goes there; the road is closed — not for repair!”

Narada went, because he trusted in music more than in the murderousness of a man. What kind of music it is that cannot transform the murderous animal instinct in a man? Balya heard the music — it was enchanting, it had a magic. And when he saw Narada alone — with no weapons, with no possessions, just one ektara … the man was even more beautiful than his music. It has to be so, because the creator of anything is always greater than his creation; the creation cannot be greater than the creator. For the first time Balya felt hesitant, indecisive whether to let this beautiful man pass. But to make an exception would not be right — this was his fame, that nobody could pass on that road without being robbed or killed.

So he warned the great musician and seer: “I pray to you, go back. If you don’t go back I will have to take your possessions, whatever they are. If you resist you may lose your life. And I don’t want to do anything with you — neither do I want to take your instrument nor do I want to deprive you of life. And don’t say later on that I did not warn you.”

But Narada went on playing on his ektara. And rather than going on the road he came and sat by the side of Balya, who was sharpening his sword. Narada said, “You are a beautiful man; but why do you do such a thing?”

He said, “What else can I do? I don’t have any education; I am an untouchable, the lowest and most condemned class of the Hindus. I cannot go to a temple, I cannot go in the city — but I have to look after my wife, my old mother, my father, my children.”

Narada said, “If that is the case, I would like to go to your home and ask everybody — you are committing things which are inhuman. Who is going to be punished for them? You are committing all those things for your old mother and father — ask them, `Will you share my punishment too?’ Ask your wife, ask your children: `Whatever I am doing I am doing for you — are you going to share my punishment?”‘

Balya laughed, and he said, “You seem to be very clever and cunning! I will go home and you will disappear. Nobody can cheat Balya.”

Narada said, “There is no question of cheating. You can tie me with a rope to a tree — and you know nobody comes here; I will wait. And whatever you want to do after, you can do. But first bring me the answer.”

He had never thought about it. He went home. He asked his father, mother, his wife, his children — nobody was ready to share the punishment. They said, “That is not our business. It is your responsibility to take care of your family; we are not concerned with how you are taking care. What you are doing is totally your responsibility.” It was a great shock. He could not believe that the parents he loved so much, the wife he loved so much… his own children, for whom he was committing all kinds of crimes… flatly refused: “It is your duty to take care of us. The question of sharing in your punishment does not arise.”

He came back with tears in his eyes, untied Narada, touched his feet, and said, “Just by a single question you have transformed me. I don’t have a family. If they cannot share my punishment they don’t love me — I was living in an illusion. They loved all the money that I was bringing to them, but when the question of punishment was raised not a single one answered that `I will share with you.’ Now I don’t have any family.”

And he threw his sword away in the forest and asked Narada, “Initiate me so that one day I can also feel the same music and the same poetry and the same joy that I see on your face.”

Narada said, “Much is not needed — just the name of God. You have to start chanting the name of God, RAM.”

Remember — this is very confusing in a way — this is not the same name as I discussed before, the king, Rama, who behaved with his wife in a very primitive, crude, ugly way. Ram is older than the Rama I discussed with you — in fact he was named Rama because the name ram existed before him. It is the Hindu equivalent of God.

Narada said, “This will do: sit silently and repeat, ram, ram, ram, so that all that goes on in your mind slowly slowly is replaced by Ram. And this is the beauty of it — that once it has replaced everything, it also disappears. In the same way you light a candle… the flame is not possible without the candle but slowly slowly, first the flame will burn the candle, and once the candle is finished the flame will disappear automatically.”

This is something very significant. So he said, “You do simple things. Don’t get involved in any complex thing because you are a simple man, a courageous man. And after a few months I will be coming back to see what is happening. If some other help is needed I will always be available to you.”

But he was uneducated, aboriginal, a primitive man — uncivilized, uncultured. He started with trust — because this kind of simple person is always trusting. He started repeating, RAM… RAM… RAM… RAM… And Narada had told him, “Go on repeating faster and faster — don’t leave any gap between two RAM’S.”

The poor fellow got into trouble. If you repeat, “ram, ram, ram…” and he was uneducated, he had never heard the name. So he got mixed up; he started repeating “Mara, Mara, Mara…” ram means God, but if you repeat it, two Ram’s join — and the change is possible for an uneducated man. Mara means “dying, dying, dying…”

But in a way it is significant, the story. If you really want to achieve the state of godliness, the death of your ego is absolutely necessary. So although it was just a mistake, when after three months Narada came back, Balya was a transformed being. He was radiating light, pulsating the whole atmosphere with a new energy. Even Narada felt defeated. His whole life he had been repeating, chanting, singing the name of God, playing on his musical instrument, but his gain had not been as much as Balya’s. He was almost a light unto himself. Around him an aura of light… Narada could not call him Balya again, because that would be disrespectful. He changed Balya into Balmiki, and told him, “You have done a miracle, because the same name I have been repeating for my whole life and just in three months you have left me far behind. It will take lives for me to catch hold of you.”

He said, “I have not done anything except whatever you have told me. I have been repeating, `mara, mara, mara…”‘

Narada said, “My god! I never told you that — I told you ram.”

He said, “I am an uneducated man, absolutely unaware of any religion or anything. My whole life has been just of robbery and murder. I forgot — instead of ram the order changed; the M of ram came ahead of R. Forgive me.”

Narada said, “There is no need to forgive you. You are so innocent: without any greed, without any desire to be rewarded in heaven, even repeating mara, mara, you are a new man. Don’t be worried. You continue — whatever you have been doing is right.”

“But,” he said, “how can it be? What about my acts of murder? Because I cannot count so I cannot say how many people I have murdered. What about my robberies?”

Narada said to him, “Forget it all. You have reached the ocean of your being. It is radiating all over; even a blind man may be able to see it or, at least feel it — the joy, the fragrance. And don’t think at all about what you have been doing. Those are small acts. Small rivers, muddy, dirty, have fallen into the ocean, and the ocean is never made dirty by these rivers. It remains undefiled.”




All that you need is wings, courage to be alone in the vast sky, with no guide, with no map, with no roads, with no signposts, with no milestones. It needs only courage and wings, and the whole sky is yours.


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

Discourse Series: The Messiah, Vol 1

Chapter #20

Chapter title: Crime: a crowd psychology

18 January 1987 am in Chuang Tzu Auditorium


Osho has spoken on Mystics like Dadu, Daya, Farid, Gurdjieff, J. Krishnamurti, Kabir, Lalla, Magdalen, Mallibai, Meera, Nanak, Patanjali, Rabiya, Raman Maharishi, Rumi, Sahajo, Sai Baba, Saraha, Socrates, Teresa, Tilopa, Valmiki, Zarathustra and many more in His discourses. Some of these can be referred to in the following books/discourses:

  1. Sermons in Stones
  2. Come Come Yet Again Come
  3. The Hidden Splendour
  4. Beyond Enlightenment
  5. The New Dawn
  6. The Sword and The Lotus
  7. The Fish in the Sea is Not Thirsty
  8. Socrates Poisoned Again After 25 Centuries
  9. Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega
  10. The Path of Love
  11. The Book of Wisdom
  12. Beyond Psychology
  13. My Way: The Way of the White Clouds

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