The Osho Upanishad 05

Fifth Discourse from the series of 44 discourses - The Osho Upanishad by Osho.
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I have no idea about what “right awareness” is. How to judge that I am going in the right direction?
There is no right awareness, because there is no possibility of wrong awareness. Awareness is right. So first drop the wrong question. Once you are asking a wrong question to yourself you cannot get the right answer.
Don’t ask what is right awareness. Simply ask what is awareness. Your question gives the fallacious impression that you know what awareness is, that the only thing that you don’t know is what is right awareness and what is not right awareness. Erase that fallacy completely from your mind.
Awareness is simple, very innocent. Everyone has it, so it is not a question of achievement. One wrong question leads to another wrong question: first you ask what right awareness is, then you ask how to achieve it. You already have it. When you see the sunset, are you not aware? When you see a roseflower, are you not aware? You are aware of the beautiful sunset, you are aware of the beautiful rose; all that is needed is that you become aware of your awareness, too. That is the only thing that has to be added, the only refinement.
You are aware of objects. You have to be aware of your subjectivity. When you are looking at a sunset, you are so absorbed in the beauty of the sunset that you completely forget that there is a greater beauty which is making it possible for you to know the beauty of the sunset – it is your awareness. But your awareness is focused on an object – the sunset, the sunrise, the moon. Drop the object and just remain engulfed in pure awareness, in silence, in peace. Just be alert.
I am reminded of one of the most beautiful stories that I have come across in my life:

A king in Japan sent his son to a mystic, to a master, to learn awareness. The king was old. And he said to the son, “Put your total energy into it because unless you are aware, you are not going to succeed me. I will not give this kingdom to a man who is asleep and unconscious. It is not a question of father and son – my father has given it to me only when I attained awareness. I was not the right person because I was not his eldest son, I was his youngest son. But my other two brothers, who were older than me, could not attain.
“The same is going to happen to you. And the problem is even more complicated because I have only one son: if you do not attain to awareness, the kingdom is going into somebody else’s hands. You will be a beggar on the streets. So it is a question of life and death for you. Go to this man; he has been my master. Now he is very old, but I know that if anybody can teach you, he is the man. Tell him, ‘My father is sick, old, can die any day. Time is short, and I have to become fully aware before he dies; otherwise I lose the kingdom.’” A very symbolic story too: if you are not aware, you lose the kingdom.
The king’s son went to the old master in the mountains. He said to the master, “I have been sent by your disciple, the king.”
The master was very old, older than his father. He said, “I remember that man. He was really an authentic seeker. I hope you will prove to be of the same quality, of the same genius, of the same totality, of the same intensity.”
The young prince said, “I will do everything.”
The master said, “Then start cleaning in the commune. And remember one thing – that I will be hitting you at any time. You may be cleaning the floor and I may come from the back and hit you with my stick, so be alert.”
He said, “But I have come to learn about awareness.”
The master said, “This is how you will learn.”
One year passed. In the beginning he was getting so many hits every day, but slowly, slowly he started becoming aware. Even the footsteps of the old man… He might be doing anything – howsoever absorbed in the work, he would become immediately aware that the master was around. The prince would be ready. After one year the master hit him from the back while he was deeply involved in talking with another inmate of the ashram. But the prince continued to talk and still he caught hold of the stick before the stick could reach his body.
The master said, “That’s right. Now this is the end of the first lesson. The second lesson begins from tonight.”
The prince said, “I used to think that this was all. This is only the first lesson? How many lessons are there?”
The old man said, “It depends on you. The second lesson is that now I will be hitting you while you are asleep, and you have to be alert in your sleep.”
He said, “My God. How can one be alert in sleep?”
The old man said, “Don’t be worried. Thousands of my disciples have passed through the test. Your father has passed through the test. It is not impossible. It is difficult, but it is a challenge.”
And from that night he was getting hit six times, eight times, twelve times in the night. Sleep was difficult. But within six months he started feeling inside himself a certain awareness. And one day when the master was just going to hit him, with closed eyes he said – “Don’t bother. You are too old. It hurts me; you are taking so much trouble. I am young, I can survive these hits.”
The master said, “You are blessed. You have passed the second lesson. But up to now I have been hitting with my wooden staff. The third lesson is that now, from tomorrow morning, I will start hitting with a real sword. Be alert! Just a moment of unconsciousness and you are finished.”
Early in the morning the master used to sit in the garden, just listening to the birds singing, the flowers opening, the sun rising. The prince thought, “Now it is becoming dangerous! A wooden stick was hard, difficult, but it was not going to kill me. A real sword…” He was a swordsman but he was not given any chance to protect himself; only awareness was going to be his protection.
An idea came to his mind: “This old man is really dangerous. Before he starts his third lesson, I would like to check whether he himself can pass the third test or not. If he is putting my life at risk, I cannot allow him to do it without checking whether he is worthy of it or not.” And these were only thoughts that he was thinking lying down in his bed; it was a cold morning.
And the master said, “Come out of your blanket, you idiot! Do you want to hit your own master with a sword? Feel ashamed! I can hear the footsteps of your thoughts. Drop the idea.” He had heard. Nothing was said to him, nothing was done to him.
Thoughts are also things. Thoughts also, while moving, make sounds, and those who are fully alert can read your thoughts. Even before you have become aware of them, they can become aware of them.
The prince was really ashamed. He fell at the feet of the master and he said, “Just forgive me. I am really stupid.”
But because it was a question of a sword, a real sword, he became aware of everything around him, even his own breathing, his heartbeat. Just a small breeze passing through the leaves, a dead leaf moving in the wind, and he was aware.
The master tried a few times but found him always ready. He could not hit him with the sword because he could not find him unconscious, unalert. He was just alertness. It was a question of death – you cannot afford to be anything but alert.
In three days’ time the master could not find a single moment, a single loophole. And after the third day he called him and told him, “Now you can go and tell your father – and this is the letter from me – that the kingdom is yours.”

Awareness is a process of being more and more awake.
Whatever you are doing, you can do it like a robot, mechanically. Just watch: the way you are walking, is it alert or just a mechanical habit?

A man was brought to me and he was really in a great mess because he was a professor and he walked like a woman – which is a miracle. It is not easy to walk like a woman, because to walk like a woman you need a womb. Only the womb helps you to move in a certain way, otherwise you cannot. But by some freak of nature he was walking this way from his very childhood. And because everybody was laughing and telling him that this was bad, he was trying hard not to move like that. But the more he made the effort, the more it became impossible. It became a deep-rooted habit.
He was a talented person, a good teacher. And in the university he was a laughingstock wherever he would go. Whoever would see him walking was bound to laugh – “Look at this man!” He was given psychoanalytic treatment, he was taken to other therapists; nothing worked. Somebody suggested me. His parents brought him to me and I said, “Do one thing. In front of me, consciously, try to walk like a woman.”
He said, “What are you saying? That is my problem!”
I said, “Forget the problem. Simply walk in front of me, with full consciousness, with as much grace as possible, like a woman.”
He looked at his parents. He said, “Where have you brought me? I want to get rid of it, and this man seems to be a trainer!”
But the parents said, “There is no harm, just try. Who knows? He has some secret idea behind it – try.”
Forced, he tried – and he could not walk like a woman because now he was trying to walk consciously. He was surprised, he could not believe it. He said, “My whole life I was trying not to walk like a woman but it was an unconscious effort, because people were laughing.”
I told him, “If you want to get rid of it, wherever you go remember: you have to walk consciously like a woman. In the university, in the city, in any club – wherever you go, walk consciously like a woman.”
After three years he met me and he said, “In these three years it has not happened. I have been trying my best.”
I said, “Go on trying, because in that very effort is your alertness.”

People come to me – they want to drop smoking and they have tried thousands of times. And again, after a few hours the urge is so much their whole body, their whole nervous system is asking for the nicotine. Then they forget all the religious teachings that “You will fall into hell.” They are ready, because who knows whether hell exists or not? But right now they can’t live in this hell; they can’t think of anything else but cigarettes.
I have told these people, “Don’t stop smoking. Smoke consciously, lovingly, gracefully; enjoy it as much as you can. While you are destroying your lungs, why not destroy them as beautifully and gracefully as possible? And these are your lungs; it is nobody else’s business. And I promise you there is no hell – because you have not harmed anybody, you have just harmed yourself; and you have paid for it. You are not stealing cigarettes, you are paying for them. Why should you go to hell? You are suffering already.”
Somebody is suffering from tuberculosis. The doctors are telling somebody, “Stop; otherwise cancer is absolutely certain to happen to you, you are preparing the ground.” What more hell? But when you have decided to do it and when you cannot restrain yourself from doing it, then do it aesthetically, consciously, religiously. They will listen to me and will think, “This man must be mad. What is he saying – religiously?”
And I will teach them how to take the packet from the pocket consciously, slowly. Open the packet, take the cigarette consciously – watch, look around. It is such a beautiful thing! You love it so much, you should give it a little time, little attention. Then light it; watch the smoke, be alert as the smoke goes inside you. You are doing a great job: pure air is available free; to pollute it you are wasting money, hard-earned – enjoy it to the full. The warmth of the smoke, the smoke going in, the coughing – be alert! Make beautiful rings, they all go toward heaven. You cannot go to hell; even your smoke is going to heaven, how can you go to hell? Just enjoy it. And I forced them: “Do it in front of me so I can be satisfied.”
They will say, “It looks so awkward. It looks so stupid, what you are saying.”
I said, “This is the only way, if you want one day to be free from this urge.” And they will do it, and they will say to me, “This is strange, that for the first time I was only a watcher. I was not smoking – perhaps the mind, perhaps the body – but I was simply watching it.”
I said, “You have got the key. Now be watchful, and smoke as much as you can because the more you smoke the more watchful you will be. Smoke in the day, smoke in the night, in the middle of the night when you wake up. Don’t miss the chance, smoke. Don’t bother about your doctors, your wife; don’t bother about anybody. Just take care of one thing: remain alert. Make it an art.”
And hundreds of people have found that the urge disappeared. The cigarette is gone, the cigar is gone. Even the desire… Looking back, they cannot believe that they were in such bondage. And the only key to get out of the imprisonment was awareness. You have the awareness; it is just that you have not applied it. So apply it so it becomes more and more sharp. Without application it has gathered dust.
In any act – walking, eating, drinking – whatever you are doing, make it a point that side by side a current of awareness will always remain running. And your whole life will start having a religious fragrance.
And all awareness is right, and all unawareness is wrong.

The mind warns me that it will cease helping me to feel that I fit with society, and will expose the feelings of guilt within me if I choose to go the way of awareness. It also gives convincing arguments about going for truth and taking risks, but I don't really have the guts to face unpleasantness. Osho, can you comment?
Your question has many implications. The first is: everybody has guts. You are not allowed to use them from the very beginning. The whole society wants to make you a coward. Cowards are very much needed because the society is interested in making you slaves.
Your parents are interested that you should be obedient – your guts may not allow you to be obedient. Your teachers want you to accept everything that is said by them without any questioning – your guts may raise questions. Your priests want you to believe, to have faith – your guts may create doubts. All the vested interests are against the courageousness which is naturally part of your being.
Nobody is born a coward. Cowards are manufactured. Every child is brave. I have not come across a single child who is not brave. What happens? Where does this quality disappear?
The same child, when he comes out of the university, is a coward. Your whole teaching, your whole religion, your whole society, all your relationships – the husband does not want the wife to have guts; neither does the wife want the husband to have guts. Everyone wants to dominate everybody else. Naturally, the other person should be reduced to a coward. It is a very strange phenomenon that a woman will destroy the courageousness of her husband. And then she cannot love the man, because a woman loves courage.
We have made life so complicated. We are living in such an unconscious way. No woman wants her husband to be a coward, but every woman is going to reduce him to a coward. Then she is caught in a dilemma: she wants her husband to be a hero, but a hero outside the house, not inside the house. But this is not possible. Inside the house he has to function like a mouse, and outside the house he has to function like a lion. And people are managing, and everybody knows everybody’s story – because it is the same story.
Parents are very happy with an obedient child. I have never been an obedient child – and my family was a joint family, a big family; uncles, aunts, so many people under one roof. Whenever there would be guests or important people they would try to send me out. They would tell me, “Go, anywhere!” They would introduce other children who were obedient – my brothers, my sisters – and I would come exactly at the right time to introduce myself to the guest: “These people are forgetting; I am the eldest – and there is a code language between these people and me.”
My father would look here and there, “Now what?”
And the person was bound to ask, “What code language?”
I said, “The code language is, that whenever I might have to introduce myself these people send me out. That means certainly somebody is coming, somebody important enough – and naturally, I have to come in the middle, at the right time, to introduce myself. These people don’t have guts to introduce me.”
What was their problem? Their problem was that everybody was obedient. They would say, “It is night” and the children would say, “It is night.” And I would see that it was not night, it was day. Now there were only two ways: either to listen to my own intelligence, or to be respected, honored as an obedient child.

There was a small piece of land between my house and a temple. Legally, my father had all the papers of the land. Technically, in the courts, he was going to win the case. But in reality the land belonged to the temple; it was just because of the stupidity of the priest that he gave all his papers to my father. I knew the whole story, and when the case started I told my father, “I am coming to the court to tell the reality: technically you have the papers in your hand, but in reality the land belongs to the temple. I will not allow you to win the case.” I was not more than thirteen. So I said, “Perhaps the court may not accept me because I am not yet adult, so I have persuaded my grandfather – I am bringing him with me.”
My father said, “You should not interfere in these things. You should concentrate on your studies, go to school.”
I said, “I am doing those things, but whatever else is happening… If I see that something wrong is going to happen, I am the last person not to interfere. Withdraw the case.”
I brought my grandfather and I told my father, “You can ask your father too. Your son is against you, your father is against you, because we both know what the truth is.”
And then my grandfather said, “However disobedient he may be, however rebellious he may be, what he is saying is true and I am going with him. Withdraw the case otherwise you will lose the case and lose face too, because your son will be testifying in the court against you, your father will be testifying against you in the court.”
He had to withdraw the case and give the land to the temple.
He was angry for many days. I said, “There is no need to be angry. You should be happy that you have a son who has guts, even against you. If it is a question of truth, he will choose the truth; he will not go with you. You can depend on me. And rather than rejoicing, you are being angry.” But this is how things are.

In my school, to wear a cap was compulsory. I don’t have anything against the cap, I love it – but because it was compulsory I went the first day without a cap. The teacher said, “It is the first day; perhaps you don’t know, the cap is compulsory. Without a cap you cannot come to the school.”
I said, “I am going to come to the school. When I was admitted there was no condition that I have to come with a cap. I can even come naked and you cannot prevent me. I have been admitted, not my clothes.”
The teacher said, “You seem to be crazy. Naked?”
I said, “Yes, tomorrow.”
He took me immediately to the principal. He said, “You tackle him, he seems to be very strange. I have just asked him to bring a cap because the cap is necessary.”
The principal said, “What is the trouble? Why are you not complying with a certain rule, a discipline?”
I said, “I am ready to follow any discipline which is based on reason, not compulsion. You will have to prove that the cap has something to do with intelligence. As far as I know… In India the Bengalis don’t use a cap and they have the best intelligence in the country. And the Punjabis have the worst intelligence, if they have it at all. You have to prove it to me. I have come to the school to be more intelligent, to be more rational, to be more mature. In what way is your cap going to help me?
“And what precedent is there? Gautam Buddha had no cap, Mahavira had no cap, Krishna had no cap. Why should I be forced into something which has no meaning? Tell me the meaning and I will follow it. But I cannot follow anything compulsory. Who are you to make a rule without understanding the psychology of the rule? Why are you using the cap? Has it helped you in any way?”
The principal said, “We never had anybody raise such questions. Can you please give me some time to think it over?”
I said, “I can give you as much time as you want. I will be seven years in this school, without a cap. And I don’t know – it can become a movement. Others” – there were two thousand students – “may start dropping their caps, I don’t know. If they have any intelligence they should.”
By the time I left the school the cap had disappeared because he never could find the answer.
And the day I left the school… I went to the university, and came back after one year to visit my village. The cap was back, compulsory. I went to the principal; I said, “This is absolute ugliness. You could not answer me. For seven years two thousand students did not use the cap; you could not prevent it. And now that I have left the school, the cap is back – because these people don’t ask questions, they are simply obedient because it is a rule. But you should have at least this much responsibility, that if you cannot prove anything in support of a certain rule, the rule should be removed. But you have been cunning” – as if he was waiting somehow till I got out of the school.

Those seven years must have been long – because it was not only one thing, there were a thousand other things in those seven years. But I have never been mischievous. If I disobeyed anything I had reasons to disobey, and I was ready to obey it if I was convinced intelligently.
But the whole society kills your guts. So this is the first thing about your question: drop this idea that you don’t have guts. You have been told again and again that you don’t have guts, and you have believed it. It is only a question of dropping a certain conditioning and you will find a tremendous upsurge of energy which is repressed in you – and that energy will be needed for the transformation.
Second thing: you say, “My mind says that if you go in search of truth, if you meditate, if you become a seeker, you will not fit with the society.” The mind is not saying anything wrong. The mind is simply saying something factual; you will not fit in the society. But to fit in the society is not a value. Only idiots fit. The more you have intelligence the more you are unfit.
All great artists, scientists, philosophers, mystics, poets, painters – they are all misfits. And to find a man who is a misfit is to find a man of beauty, of courage, of intelligence, a man who is ready to stand alone against the whole world. The very situation brings out the best in him.
He functions at the highest level of being, he functions at the optimum – he has to function because the whole world is against him. He is alone facing the whole world; he cannot afford to be lousy, to be sleepy. He cannot afford to be middle class. He has to sharpen his intelligence, sharpen his being. This fight between him and the world is going to give him tremendous qualities.
In the whole history of man you can count on your fingers the names of those who have fought against the world. And the very fight has made them a light unto themselves.
If you want to fit with the world you have to compromise, and all compromise is wrong. It is ugly, it is unspiritual, it is against your own self. All compromise, without exception, degrades your humanity, humiliates you. The man of no compromise has an integrity. You can kill him but you cannot kill his spirit. You can destroy him but you cannot destroy his vision, his truth.

Socrates was ordered to be killed by poisoning, and the chief justice who gave the order was feeling guilty – because Socrates was an innocent man. His only crime was that he was himself and he would not compromise. And in a good world, in a better world, in a more human world, this should be one of the best qualities of man: not to compromise. Those who are ready to compromise will not be counted as human beings, but as cattle.
The chief justice was feeling a little guilty. So he said to Socrates, “Because of the majority of the judges” – and it was not much of a majority, only one man’s majority – “we have to give you poison.”
Socrates said, “You need not feel guilty, because you are not killing me, you are killing yourself. Let me remind you that your name will be remembered only because you ordered Socrates to be poisoned; you have not done anything else in your life. My name will continue to be remembered as long as man has the urge, the desire to know the truth, to know himself, to know the mysteries of existence. You cannot kill me. You are simply killing yourself, and you are condemning yourself before the whole of mankind that is going to come.” And his prophecy has proved right.

Your mind says you will become a misfit. And on the other hand, your mind insists and convinces you that unless you go on the search for truth, your life is a wastage. So you are in a difficulty, because you don’t understand the nature of the mind.
The nature of the mind is dialectical, it is opposed to itself. On each and every point, mind is never unanimous – it cannot be. By its very nature it is always divided, a house divided against itself. So on the one hand it will say one thing, on the other hand it will say just its opposite. And this is how mind creates tension, this is how mind creates anxiety, this is how mind creates anguish. You cannot do anything. If you do one thing the other part says, “What are you doing? You will become a misfit.” If you listen to this part, thinking that “I don’t want to be unfit, I am not ready to be crucified or to be poisoned or to be stoned to death,” then the other part says, “You are not man enough. You are a coward.” You can neither go this way nor you can go that way. You are always on the crossroads, and the mind says all kinds of things.
It is simple that you have presented only two sides; mind can say many things contradicting each other, and supporting each with reasoning. That’s how people go mad. Mind is the ground of madness, where madness grows. It is where one becomes schizophrenic. For example your question can create schizophrenia in you – whatever you do will be wrong because the other part will go on teasing you, “Listen. You are going wrong. You will become unfit. Then don’t tell me that I did not warn you, I told you everything beforehand. Don’t be stupid. Come back!” If you go back, the other part starts saying, “So after all you are a coward, no guts, afraid of being a misfit. Then what is the point of your living? If you cannot even search the truth of your own being, what is the point of your living?” This is the situation of the mind about every question.

I was a student, and the man who had founded the university, Harisingh Gaur, was still the vice-chancellor. We became friends, because I used to go for a morning walk on a lonely street early in the morning before sunrise and he also used to go on the same street, alone. We were the only persons, so naturally… It started with saying “Good morning” to each other. By and by we started walking together. He started asking about me, what subject I was studying, what I was doing, and slowly, slowly the distance of age disappeared. He started inviting me for tea after the walk. And he became interested in my ideology, because whenever I saw that he was saying something which I could not accept I simply rejected it and produced every possible argument against it. He loved it.
He said, “You should not have joined philosophy.” He himself was a legal man, he was a world-famous law expert. He said, “You should have gone into law because you, without knowing law, argue with me and I can see that if we were in a court you would win.”
But I said to him, “It is just a mind game. I can argue for, I can argue against; mind is ready for both.”
He said, “Strange… That reminds me of one of the incidents in my own life.” He was fighting a very big case in the Privy Council for the Maharaja of Jaipur. But he was a drunkard, and the night before he must have drunk too much at a party. So the hangover was there, and he forgot which party he was a counselor for. In the Privy Council he started arguing against the Maharaja of Jaipur.
The maharaja could not believe it. Doctor Gaur’s assistant was pulling at his coat, but he would not listen, he would take his coat back… He was finishing the maharaja completely, and he was supposed to fight for him! And the other party, the Maharaja of Udaipur, was also puzzled; he was not leaving anything for them. Their counsel was also worried about what he was going to say: “This man is mad, he’s drunk, but he is giving beautiful arguments.”
But as lunchtime came he became a little more sober. He came out; his assistant said – and the Maharaja of Jaipur had tears in his eyes – he said, “What have you done?”
Doctor Gaur said, “What is the matter? Everybody looks as if something strange has happened.”
The maharaja said, “What can be more strange? We have hired you and you are arguing against us. You have finished our case.”
He said, “Don’t be worried, there is still time. After the lunch hour I will see.”
After the lunch hour he started by saying, “Whatever I have said before the lunch hour was just preparing the ground: these are the arguments my opponents may produce. Now I am going to argue against each argument that I made before the lunch hour.” And by the evening he had destroyed all the arguments that he had produced before the lunch hour.
When the privy council chief asked the Udaipur maharaja’s counsel, “Do you want to say anything?” he said, “There is nothing left, because all that I could say he said it better, and he has already destroyed it. The case is over.” Doctor Harisingh Gaur was victorious in the case.
And he said to me, “I can understand that mind is a prostitute. It has no devotion to anything – whoever pays more, it is ready to go with the person.”

Your question cannot be solved within the mind. Whatever you do, the mind keeps a balance. If you increase arguments on one side, the mind will increase the arguments on the other side, and there will always remain a balance. Inside the mind there is no solution. But if you can get out of the mind and just be a witness that is the solution. The mind disappears with all its dialectics, with all its dualisms.
Watching the mind, being aware of the mind – without choosing any side, choicelessly being aware – that is the secret. And slowly, slowly mind subsides, and there is immense emptiness. In that emptiness you will find the way.
I cannot give you the way, nobody can give you the way. Only your emptiness, only your nothingness becomes the way. Nothingness instead of mind is the way.
If you remain in the mind you can only go mad – that is the ultimate possibility, the ultimate evolution of the mind. If you don’t want to go mad, then you will remain simply middle class. And by middle class, I mean compromising here, compromising there, a little bit listening to this part, a little bit listening to that part – shattered in fragments, never having an individuality, never having a soul.
So don’t try to find an answer within the mind. That’s where the whole philosophy of the world is engaged, without any conclusion; thousands of years of discussions, arguments, and no conclusion at all. And the people who have simply moved out of the mind have immediately arrived to the conclusion.
Mind is not the way. No-mind is the way. Mind leads to madness. No-mind leads to ultimate buddhahood, ultimate awakening.

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