The Osho Upanishad 01

First Discourse from the series of 44 discourses - The Osho Upanishad by Osho.
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Could you please explain exactly what the work of the mystery school is?
My beloved ones…
You are blessed to be here today, because we are starting a new series of talks between the master and the disciple.
It is not only a birth of a new book, it is also a declaration of a new phase. Today, this moment: 7:00 p.m., Saturday, the sixteenth of August of the year 1986 – one day this moment will be remembered as a historical moment, and you are blessed because you are participating in it. You are creating it; without you it cannot happen.
Books can be written, can be dictated to a machine, but what I am going to start is totally different. It is an upanishad.
Long forgotten, one of the most beautiful words in any language, a very living word, upanishad means sitting at the feet of the master. It says nothing more: just to be in the presence of the master, just to allow him to take you in, in his own light, in his own blissfulness, in his own world.
And that’s exactly the work of a mystery school.
The master has got it. The disciple also has got it, but the master knows and the disciple is fast asleep. The whole work of a mystery school is in how to bring consciousness to the disciple, how to wake him up, how to allow him to be himself, because the whole world is trying to make him somebody else.
There, nobody is interested in you, in your potential, in your reality, in your being. Everybody has his own vested interest, even those who love you. Don’t be angry at them; they are as much victims as you are. They are as unconscious as you are. They think what they are doing is love; what they are really doing is destructive. And love can never be destructive.
Either love is or is not. But love brings with it all possibilities of creativity, all dimensions of creativity. It brings with it freedom, and the greatest freedom in the world is that a person should be allowed to be himself.
But neither the parents nor the neighbors nor the educational system nor the church nor the political leadership – nobody wants you to be yourself because that is the most dangerous thing for them. People who are themselves cannot be enslaved. They have tasted freedom, you cannot drag them back into slavery.
So it is better not to allow them to taste freedom, their own being, their potential, their possibility, their future, their genius. Their whole life they will grope in darkness, asking for guidance from other blind people, asking for answers from those who know nothing about existence, who know nothing about themselves. But they are pretenders – they are called leaders, preachers, saints, mahatmas. They themselves don’t know who they are. But these cunning people are all around, exploiting the simple, the innocent, poisoning their minds with beliefs of which they themselves are not certain.
The function of a mystery school is that the master – speaking or in silence, looking at you or making a gesture, or just sitting with closed eyes – manages to create a certain field of energy. And if you are receptive, if you are available, if you are ready to go on the journey of the unknown, something clicks and you are no longer the old person.
You have seen something which before you had only heard about – and hearing about it does not create conviction but creates doubt, because it is so mysterious. It is not logical, it is not rational, it is not intellectual. But once you have seen it, once you have been showered by the energy of the master, a new being is born. Your old life is finished.
There is a beautiful story:

A great king, Prasenjita, had come to see Gautam Buddha. And while they were conversing, just in the middle, an old Buddhist sannyasin – he must have been seventy-five years old – came to touch the feet of Gautam Buddha. He said, “Please forgive me. I should not interrupt the dialogue that is going on between you two, but my time… I have to reach the other village before sunset. If I don’t start now I will not be able to reach there.” The Buddhist monks don’t travel at night.
“And I could not go without touching your feet because one knows nothing about tomorrow; whether I will be able to again touch your feet or not is uncertain. This may be the last time. So please, both forgive me. I will not delay your conversation.”
Gautam Buddha said, “Just one question: how old are you?” Strange, out of context.
And the man said, “I am not very old – just four years.”
King Prasenjita could not believe it – a seventy-five year old man cannot be four years old! He might be seventy, he might be eighty, there is no problem. It is difficult to judge; different people grow old at a different pace. But four years old is too much! In four years, nobody can grow to be seventy-five years old.
Buddha said, “Go with my blessings.”
Prasenjita said, “You have created a problem for me by asking an unnecessary question. Do you think this man is four years old?”
Buddha said, “Now I will explain it to you. It was not unnecessary, it was not without a proper context. It was for you that I was asking him – really I was creating a question in you – because you were talking nonsense. You were asking stupid questions. I wanted some relevant question to come out of you.
“Now, this is relevant. Yes, he is four years old because our way of counting age is from the day a person allows the master, allows his total being to be transformed, not holding back anything. His seventy-one years were simply a wastage; he has lived only four years. And I think you will understand that your sixty years have been sheer wastage unless you are reborn. And there is only one way to be reborn, and that is to come in contact, in deep communion with someone who has arrived. Then the real life begins.”

A mystery school teaches how to live. Its whole science is the art of living. Naturally it includes many things – life is multi-dimensional. But you must understand the first step: being totally receptive, open.
People are like closed houses – you cannot find even a single window open, no fresh breeze passes through those houses. Roses are standing outside but cannot release their fragrance into the house. The sun comes every day, knocks on the doors, and goes back; the doors are absolutely deaf. They are not available for fresh air, they are not available for fresh rays, they are not available for fresh perfumes, they are not available for anything. They are not houses, they are graves.
An upanishad contains in itself the whole philosophy of a school of mystery.
The upanishads don’t belong to Hindus; they don’t belong to any other religion either. The upanishads are the outpourings of absolutely individual realized beings to the disciples. There are four steps to be understood.
First, the student: he comes to a master but never reaches a master; he reaches only a teacher. It may be the same man – but the student is not there to be transformed, to be reborn, he is there to learn a little more knowledge. He wants to become a little more knowledgeable. He has questions but those questions are just intellectual, they are not existential. They are not his life concern, it is not a question of life and death. This type of person may go from one master to another master, collecting words, theories, systems, philosophies. He may become very proficient, he may become a great pundit, but he knows nothing.
This is something to be understood. There is a knowledge: you can have as much as you want, yet you will remain ignorant. And there is an ignorance which is really innocence: you do not know anything, but still you have come to the place where everything is known. So there is a knowledge which is ignorant, and an ignorance which is wisdom.
The student is interested in knowledge. But sometimes it happens: you may come to a master as a student, just out of curiosity, and you may be caught in his charisma, you may be caught by his eyes, you may be caught by his heartbeat. You had come as a student but you are turning to the second stage – you are becoming a disciple.
The student unnecessarily goes from one place to another place, from one scripture to another scripture. He collects much, but it is all garbage. Once he comes out of the cocoon of studentship and becomes a disciple, then the wandering stops; he is getting in tune with the master. He is being transformed without his knowing. He will know only later on that things are changing. The same situations that he had faced in the past he faces now with a totally different response.
Doubts are disappearing, rationality seems to be a child’s game. Life is much more, so much more that it cannot be contained in words. As he becomes a disciple he starts hearing something which is not said – between the words, between the sentences, in the pauses when the master suddenly stops but the communication continues.
A disciple is a great improvement upon the student.
In the past, in the days of the Upanishads, those mystery schools that existed in India were called gurukuls. A significant word – it means “the family of the master.” It is not an ordinary school, a college or a university. It is not a question of just learning; it is a question of being in love. You are not supposed to be in love with your university teacher. But in a gurukul, where the Upanishads flowered, it was a family of love. The question of learning was secondary, the question of being was important. How much you know is not the point; how much you are is the point. And the master is not interested in feeding your bio-computer, the mind. He is not going to increase your memory because that is of no use; that can be done by a machine, and the machine can do it better than you.

I have heard about a computer. The computer was fed with all kinds of astrological knowledge. And the scientist who worked on the computer for years, filling it with all the possible knowledge of astrology, naturally wanted to ask the first question himself, and he wanted to ask a question which was really difficult.
Apparently it was a simple question: he asked the computer, “Now you are ready. Can you tell me where my father is?”
The computer said, “It is better if you don’t know.”
He said, “What? Why should it be better if I don’t know?”
The computer said, “Don’t insist. But if you want to know, it is not my problem. Your father has gone fishing.”
The man said, “Nonsense. My father has been dead for three years. So my whole work is wasted!”
And the computer laughed. It said, “Don’t be sad, your work is not lost. The man who died three years ago was not your father. Go and ask your mother! Your father has gone fishing, he must be coming back. He is your neighbor.”

But even a computer can do things which the human memory can’t do. A single computer can contain a whole library. There is no need for you to read; you can just ask the computer and it will give the answer. And it is only very rarely that things will go wrong – if the electricity goes off or the battery runs down.
The master is not interested in making you into a computer. His interest is in making you a light unto yourself, an authentic being, an immortal being – not just knowledge, not what others have said, but your experience.
As the disciple comes closer and closer to the master, there comes another point of transformation – the disciple becomes, at one point, a devotee. There is a beauty in all these steps.
To become a disciple was a great revolution, but nothing compared with becoming a devotee. At what point does the disciple turn and become a devotee? He is nourished so much by the energy of the master, by his light, by his love, by his laughter, just by his sheer presence – and he cannot give anything in return. There is nothing that he can give in return. A moment comes when he starts feeling so immensely grateful that he simply bows down his head to the feet of the master. He has nothing else to give except himself. From that moment he is almost a part of the master, he is in a deep synchronicity with the heart of the master. This is gratitude, gratefulness.
And the fourth stage is that he becomes one with the master.

There is a story about Rinzai. He was living with his master for almost twenty years, and one day he came and sat in the seat of the master. The master came; he looked at Rinzai sitting in his seat. He simply went and sat where Rinzai used to sit. Nothing was said, but everything was understood. Everybody was puzzled – “What is happening?”
Finally Rinzai said to the master, “Are you not offended? Have I insulted you? Have I shown ungratefulness in any way?”
The master laughed. He said, “Now you have become a master. You have come home; from the student to disciplehood, from disciplehood to devotion, and from devotion to mastery. I am immensely pleased that now you can share my work. Now I need not come every day; I know somebody else is there with the same aura, with the same perfume.
“In fact you have been very lazy. This should have happened three months ago; you cannot deceive me. For three months I have been feeling that this man is unnecessarily holding my feet – he can sit on the seat, and for a change I can hold his feet. It took three months for you to gather courage.”
Rinzai said, “My God, I was thinking nobody knew about it, that it was just inside me. And you are giving me the exact date of when it started. Yes, it has been three months. I have been lazy and I have not been courageous enough. I was always thinking ‘This is not right, it doesn’t look right.’”
The master said, “If you had waited one more day I was going to hit you on your head. Three months is enough time to decide, and you were not deciding. And existence has decided.”

An upanishad is a mystery school. And we are entering into an upanishad today.
I was a teacher in the university. I left the university for the simple reason that it stops at the first step. No university requires you to become a disciple; the question of being a devotee or a master simply does not arise. And there are temples which, without making you a student or a disciple, simply enforce devotion on you – which is going to be false, without roots. And there are devotees in churches all over the world, in synagogues, in temples: not knowing anything about disciplehood, they have become disciples, they have become devotees.
A mystery school is a very systematic encounter with the miraculous. And the miraculous is all around you, both within and without. Just a system is needed. The master simply provides a system to enter slowly into deeper waters, and ultimately to enter a stage where you disappear into the ocean; you become the ocean itself.

If the search is to know who I am, I must be taking a wrong turn. Through witnessing, I am losing all the ways I had of defining myself: I'm not what I do, I'm not the personality who does them. I feel as if I know less and less who I am; I don't seem to have a permanent face anymore. I feel more like a cloud – spacious and light – than anything else. Would you please say something?
It is not a wrong turn. You are on the right path. Your personality, your actions, your thoughts, your mind, your emotions – none of them is your reality. So naturally one who goes in search of himself finds himself in this strange position, that every day he becomes less and less instead of becoming more and more.
The logical mind says, “What are you doing? You have been searching for yourself and all that is happening is that you are losing all those things that you used to think were yourself. You must be taking a wrong turn. Come back! The old way was better. You could collect more thoughts and become more. You could cultivate a better personality, more polished. You could rise in the world of ambitions and you would have been something – a president, a prime minister, a celebrity.” That seems to be the right path to the logical mind.
But remember, the logical mind is continually going to deprive you of the right direction. The right direction is bound to be that you will become less and less, because all that is false will be understood as false. A moment will come when you will know that everything is false. You are just a witness, at the most, a point of witnessing. But this is only half the journey.
Before knowing the truth, one has to know the false – because we live in the false. So we have to know it, we have to drop it, and we have to be empty of the false, utterly empty, so that the truth of our being can fill the space. There will be a gap, a very small gap, but it will look like eternity.
When the false leaves you and the real comes in there is a little gap, a fragment of a second. But because of the emptiness it looks as if eternity has passed. And those are the moments when the master, when the family of the master, can be of immense help. Just the presence of the master is enough proof: “Don’t get frustrated. Learn to wait and learn to be patient. If it can happen to one man, it can happen to all.”
And the family will provide every support, because each one of them will be at a different stage. Somebody will be in just the same position as you are; somebody may have passed beyond it, and just holding his hand you will feel the warmth, the love, the compassion. Just being in the school – which is full of the presence of the master – will give you courage.
It was not without purpose that mystery schools were opened. The reason was that alone the journey becomes very arduous at many points.
I am reminded of a story of Gautam Buddha:

He is traveling with his disciple, Ananda. They are tired. They want to reach the next town before sunset; they are rushing as fast as possible. But Buddha has become old, and Ananda himself is older than Buddha. They are worried that perhaps they will have to stay in the forest for the night, they will not be able to reach to the nearby town.
They ask an old man, a farmer who is working in his field, “How far is the town?”
And the old man says, “Not very far. Don’t be worried. It is just two miles, at the most. You will reach.” Buddha smiles. The old man smiles.
Ananda could not understand: “What is going on?”
Two miles have passed. There is no town yet, and they are more tired. An old woman is collecting wood and Ananda asks her, “How far is the village?”
And she says, “Not more than two miles. You have nearly reached, don’t be worried.” Buddha laughs. The old woman laughs.
And Ananda looks at both: “What is this laughter?”
And after two miles still there is no town. They ask a third man, and again the same question and the same situation. And Ananda drops his bag and he says, “I am not going to move anymore. I am so tired. And it seems we are never going to cross these two miles. Three times we believed, but one question arises in my mind continually…”
Living with Buddha for forty years – he has learned how to live with such a man, not to ask him unnecessary questions. But he said, “Now if it is unnecessary or necessary, I don’t care. One thing you have to tell me – why were you laughing when that old man said, ‘Two miles, just two miles – you have not to go more than that’? And again you laughed with that old woman, and she also smiled, and again with the third person the same thing happened. What was this laughter? What was transpiring between you people? You don’t know them, they don’t know you.”
Buddha said, “Our profession is the same. When I laughed, they laughed, they understood that this man belongs to the same kind of profession, where you have to keep people encouraged: ‘Just two miles, just a little more.’”
He said, “For my whole life I have been doing that. People finally reach, but if you tell them from the very beginning, ‘fifteen miles,’ they will drop then and there. But by two miles and two miles they will pass two hundred miles. And I laughed at those people because I know this village, I have visited this village. I know it is not two miles. But I kept quiet because you were so eager to know how far it was. I knew that we were not going to make it. But what was the harm? You could ask them.
“You can understand a deep phenomenon of human psychology. These people are compassionate people: they were not lying, they were simply encouraging you. The first old man pushed you two miles, the second old woman pushed you two miles. The third man also pushed you two miles; you just needed a few more people and you would reach the town! But now you have dropped your bag. It is okay, we can stay here under this big tree. The town is still not two miles!”

The mystery school helps you not to be alone in a search which is basically lonely, helps you to keep courage in a search which is unpredictable.
But the master, his authority, his love – you cannot believe that your master would be lying. But there are even higher values. If I can help you to reach to the ultimate goal by just lying a little I will not hesitate, I will lie – because I know you will forgive me; not only forgive me, you will be grateful that I lied for you. If I had told you the truth, perhaps you would have stopped.
The journey is long, it is tedious. Everything has to be dropped, taken away. This is possible only when somebody you love, somebody you are devoted to, somebody you trust, says, “Don’t be bothered. The things that you are dropping are not real, and unless you drop them you will not find the real.” All that is unreal has to be dropped. You have to come to a point of utter nakedness where you don’t have anything – no personality, no name, no fame, no face – because all faces are different masks that you have been using on different occasions.
You can see it. Just sit by the side of the road, see the people on Juhu Beach. You can tell from far away whether a couple is married or not. How can you say? The married man looks as if he has been beaten the whole day, and is now somehow trying to reach home and fall on his bed and forget the whole nightmare. But he cannot show that face to his wife. When he looks at his wife he smiles, runs to bring the ice cream – although he is cursing in his mind, “This woman is a hell!” But he is presenting ice cream to the hell, or bhelpuri.
But if he is with somebody else’s wife then you can see – his eyes have a shine, he looks younger. He looks beautiful, he looks so energetic. You can just sit down and note the people who are passing – who is married and who is unmarried, who is going with somebody else’s wife. Different masks…
When you are with your beloved you have one face; when you are with your wife you have a different face. Strange. When you are with your master, the boss, you have one face; when you are with your servant you have another face.
With the boss you go on moving your tail – which does not exist at all, but it moves. With your servant you don’t behave as if he is a human being. Have you ever said to your servant, “Good morning” or “Good night”? No, the servant is not human. He can go on passing through your room and you don’t even take note of it that anybody has passed.
These masks will fall down, and behind these masks is just your skeleton. It creates fear. But behind the skeleton is your real face, your original face. But you will have to pass through all this agony before you can feel ecstasy. Everybody wants to feel ecstasy, but nobody wants to go through the agony. Agony is the price – you will have to pay for it. Alone it will be very difficult, but when there is a school and many people are passing through different phases they can help each other.
And every mystery school can exist only in one way, and that is that they have a living master. Once the living master is gone the mystery school disperses. That’s why you don’t see mystery schools becoming religions.
There were mystery schools around Gautam Buddha, but that mystery school dispersed. What is now known as Buddhism has nothing to do with his mystic teachings. It is the knowledgeable people, the students, the scholars, the researchers, who have combined all his teachings, compiled, edited them. They have done a great job, but the soul is missing.

It happened on Charles Darwin’s last birthday. He was very old, everybody was thinking that perhaps this was the last birthday, so all the friends and colleagues gathered to celebrate it. The children of the neighborhood also wanted to contribute to the celebration – and they did a great job.
Charles Darwin’s whole life was spent in studying insects, animals, birds, because he was in search of how evolution has happened and what the stages are.
The children played a trick on him. They caught many kinds of insects, cut those insects into different parts and made a new insect – somebody’s head, somebody’s legs, somebody’s body – no such insect exists anywhere. They glued it perfectly well, made it ready, and when the party was on they entered, placed the insect before Charles Darwin and said, “People are afraid that you are not going to live long. We are also afraid, because you have not studied this insect up to now. There is no reference to this insect in your books.”
He looked at the insect; he could not believe it. He had never come across such a thing! And these neighborhood boys, where did they get it from? Then he looked from this side and that side, and those children were hilarious…
And they asked, “Can you tell us the name of this insect?”
He said, “Yes. It is a humbug.”

All religious scriptures are humbugs – perfectly glued. And those who don’t have any experience of truth of their own cannot find what is missing in them – because to find what is missing you must know it.
A mystery school comes into existence with a master, and disappears. And that’s how it should be.
In nature, in existence, everything that is real… A roseflower opens itself in the morning and by the evening it is gone. Only plastic flowers remain; they remain forever.
Becoming part of a mystery school is a great benediction. It is very difficult to find a mystery school, to find people who are searching and not imposing themselves on each other, but only helping each other if there is the need. If there is no need, even help can become a hindrance.
You are absolutely on the right path. You have not taken any wrong turn. Just go on dissolving all that is false. It is beautiful to feel like a cloud, beautiful to feel like just a witness.
These are the moments, the interval. Night has gone, the sun will be rising soon. Make these gaps as beautiful as possible – full of silence, full of gratitude, gratitude to the existence that has given you the chance, gratitude toward all those who have helped. And wait.
Wait is a key word. You cannot force existence to do things. You have just to wait. In the right moment things happen. You have sown the seeds, you are watering the garden; now wait. Any hurry is dangerous. Everything, to grow, takes its time. Only falsities can be manufactured quickly, in an assembly line. But realities grow, and growth needs time.
And the inner growth is the greatest growth in the whole of existence.

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