The Osho Upanishad 11

Eleventh Discourse from the series of 44 discourses - The Osho Upanishad by Osho.
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Lately I find that I am desperately trying to find something to do, or learn something in order to give myself an identity, knowing perfectly well that this is a trap of the mind. Why is it so painful and shocking to not have any identity, to be nobody?
The psychology of the crowd is the problem. Your whole upbringing teaches you to be identified as a certain personality. Nobody is worried about who you are; everybody is putting different labels on you. And that is a very easy job, because the search for your own self can be done only by you; nobody else can do it on your behalf.
The child comes into the world utterly innocent, a blank sheet of paper. He does not know even his own signature. We have to teach him his name, which is a fiction; and with this fiction every individual starts as a novel. One fiction leads to another. The whole life becomes fictitious, and we have to cling to it because that’s all we have got. Otherwise there is utter emptiness, nothingness, abysmal. We will be lost.
A story will help you:

A man had lost his way in the mountains and could not reach the village. The sun went down. Darkness covered the whole mountain; the path was very narrow, but to remain in the mountains was dangerous – wild animals… So he was slowly moving: perhaps he might get out of the mountainous region, but his feet slipped on a rock. He was hanging onto the rock – underneath was absolute darkness, abysmal.
What do you want? Can you tell that man, “Let go of that rock, it is useless. Why are you holding it?” He is not really holding the rock, he is avoiding the nothingness. That is the only alternative: to leave the rock and disappear into nothingness.
It was a cold night, and as it became colder his hands became numb with cold. A point came in the middle of the night when he could not hold onto the rock anymore – not that he did not want to, but his hands were almost frozen. He could not move his fingers. Finally he had to let go of the rock in despair, in utter despair. It was only a question of six hours more, and the morning would have been there and he could have found some way.
But in a single split moment the whole story takes a new turn. Here he felt great despair as his hands became incapable of holding onto the rock, but the moment the rock was no longer in his hands, he was standing on the ground!
But in the darkness you cannot see the ground. All those six hours that he suffered, he suffered unnecessarily. The ground was not more than six inches away from him.
But in darkness, those six inches are infinite.

You have been given a false identity. The real identity can be discovered only by you. So nobody is at fault; and you cannot throw your responsibility on your parents, on your teachers, on the society, on anybody. It is just the way things work. You are also not responsible, so don’t feel guilty either. Don’t make others guilty, and don’t feel guilty yourself; this is the way nature works.
You begin with a false identity because it is given to you by others, and slowly, slowly more and more fictions are added to it. Each opinion expressed about you becomes you. Somebody says you are beautiful and it is not just an opinion, it becomes part of you. And if many people say you are beautiful, you accept the idea, it is gratifying. You enjoy it, you magnify it. Somebody says you are intelligent; you never deny it. You may have never shown any intelligence in your life, but when somebody says, “You are so intelligent,” you never deny it. It is so satisfying, such a consolation. Now you would like to do something to maintain the fiction, because the fiction needs nourishment.
It is a strange phenomenon. You loved a woman, or a man, and before the honeymoon you were telling the woman, “You are the most beautiful woman in the world.” And the woman did not even object to it – that “You have not seen all the women in the world so how can you say it?” But it is so sweet, who cares about logic and reason and rationality? You have given a fiction to her; now she has to feed that fiction continuously.

A man was killing two flies in his air-conditioned apartment. How they managed to enter it…? Finally, he killed both and he told his wife, “I have killed both – both the male and the female.”
The wife said, “What are you saying? How did you come to know which fly was a female?”
He said, “It was easy. She was sitting on the mirror for three hours; only a female can do that. The male was reading the newspaper. I cannot make any other distinction, but I can see that their actions indicate certain ideas. For three hours she was sitting on the mirror, looking from this side to that side. And that idiot fellow was reading that same old newspaper for three hours. He went from the top to the bottom, and again from top to bottom.”

Each fiction needs nourishment. That’s why you want to do something; only then can you proclaim that you are somebody. And you want to do something in the best way possible, because it is through your doing that you are going to reach the heights of your ego.
It is not a coincidence that painters, poets, actors, political leaders – all kinds of people who have a certain celebrity about them, some fame – are very egoistic.
It is very rare to find a poet who is humble, and if a poet is humble he will give birth to an upanishad. But it is very rare to find a poet who is humble. A poet is no ordinary man; he is extraordinary. You cannot do what he can do. His ego… Although he is creative, because of his ego his creativity remains of the lowest kind, mundane.
And sometimes if the ego is too much, it can become insane. You can see insanity in the paintings of Picasso and other modern painters, because their egos are touching the stars. Naturally when the ego is so powerful that means the false, the fictitious, has almost become the real. You have forgotten the real completely. If by chance you suddenly meet yourself in your reality you will not recognize it. You can recognize only your unreal self, which we call personality, ego, identity – your somebodiness.
And people who cannot find rightful means to nourish their egos try to find unrightful means. Then somebody will “be the greatest thief.” The question is not whether he is a thief or a saint; being a thief or being a saint is immaterial. What matters is being the greatest.
There are people who cannot do either, neither the rightful way nor the wrongful way, who are just middle class, mediocre – but they also want to declare that they are somebody, and they find easy means.
You can do it. Just cut off half of your mustache – the whole of Mumbai will know within three days who you are. People will even start asking for your signature, your autograph. People are doing that.
In Europe there is now a fashion. People are cutting off half of their mustache, half of their hair, and not only cutting them but painting them – green hair, red hair, yellow hair – and half the skull is completely plain! And they are not idiots. They are just normal people. But what else to do in such a competitive world, where every area needs immense effort – and then too you cannot be first in the queue.

The Sufi story about Mulla Nasruddin is that he went to listen to a great sage and sat at the very back. But he was feeling very hurt – the saint was sitting on a high stage…
Nasruddin started telling jokes to the people around him – and his jokes are really juicy. People started turning toward him more and more. By and by the saint found that everybody’s back was toward him. He said “What is the matter? What is going on? What kind of a meeting is this? Who is this fellow?”
Nasruddin said, “My name is Mulla Nasruddin. And it does not matter where I sit; wherever I sit, that is the place of the president. You can sit as high as you want, but if Nasruddin is present nobody is higher.”
He could not tolerate it, that this man was sitting there like a king. Something had to be done. The situation could not be simply tolerated. And he managed – just by telling jokes. People started turning toward him – laughter, giggling. Slowly it spread and the whole audience moved. Only the saint was sitting there – at the back of the meeting!
Nasruddin used to teach. He was a Sufi master; he had his own disciples. They were going on a pilgrimage, and as they left their campus they had to pass through the main city. And he said to his students, “Listen, I don’t want any trouble. And whatever happens to other people, that is their business. You have to be silent and quietly following me.”
They said, “Naturally we are going to follow you. Why are you saying all this to us? We are not concerned with the street and the shopkeepers – they are doing their thing. We have nothing to do with them.”
He said, “You will have… But you are not allowed to do anything.” The students could not understand what was going to happen, but soon they understood.
As Mulla Nasruddin rode on his donkey they all felt that it was going to be really great trouble – because he was sitting backward. Now to follow such a man… First, he is sitting on a donkey, and you have to admit to people that he is your master. Secondly, he is sitting the wrong way: his back is where his front should be, and his front is where his back should be.
And sure enough, businesses stopped; customers, shopkeepers gathered. Everybody was laughing and everybody was asking, “What is the matter with this man? Whenever he comes into the city there is some trouble with him. Now he is not doing anything to anybody so you cannot say… It is his donkey, and he has the absolute birthright to sit any way he wants to sit, but why should he do this? This is not done.” And the students are feeling very embarrassed to be followers of such a man.
Finally one student gathered courage and asked, “Master, please let us know the secret: Why are you doing all this? You are becoming a laughingstock, you are making us a laughingstock.”
Nasruddin said, “First thing: I will explain to you afterward the reason why I am sitting in this way. But the basic thing is, Nasruddin cannot pass through any street without being recognized.”
Even Mohammedan women were turning aside their veils and looking. There was not a single person around; whoever heard that this was happening rushed to the street, everything stopped.
Nasruddin said, “This is how I love it. This is the basic, real reason. Now I come to philosophy: the philosophical reason is that if I sit in the normal way, my back will be to your face. That is insulting. And I am a master, no ordinary teacher; I cannot insult my disciples.
“The other way is: to avoid this situation you should move ahead of me, but then your back will be toward me. That is even worse. The disciples are insulting the master; this cannot be allowed. Now tell me, what should I do? This is the only scientific solution to the problem: I am facing you, you are facing me. Neither I am insulting you nor are you insulting me.
“And as far as the donkey is concerned, he is absolutely indifferent; how I sit does not matter. He himself is a philosopher. He does not mind – it is my business how I sit. He has to carry the load; the load will remain the same. This is the philosophical reason, but this is only for the idiots. The real thing I have told you: Nasruddin cannot go anywhere without being recognized as somebody special.”

You want to do something, to be somebody, and you are asking why one is afraid to be nobody. It is because you don’t know that the darkness of nobodiness is not a death, it is authentic life. It is your true life, it is how you were born – without name, without caste, without religion, without country.
You were born as nobody and you will die as nobody. And between these two points of nobodiness you remain nobody, just deceiving yourself that you are this and you are that.
And because the whole society is of the same kind of people – they are together in the same conspiracy – we are all deceiving each other because we want to be deceived by others. We say to people, “You are great” because we want to listen to them say, “You are great.”

When I was a student in the university one of the professors told me… Knowing about me, that I can be a nuisance, he wanted to make some contact, some friendship before his course started. He met me in the garden and he told me, “You are a very intelligent person.”
I said, “Stop all this nonsense. How can you know that I am an intelligent person? You are meeting me for the first time; you have not seen me doing anything. But one thing I can say, that you are stupid.”
He said, “But I am a professor in the university and you are going to be my student. You should learn etiquette.”
I said, “If I am intelligent, that is enough etiquette. If you are stupid, you will have to learn etiquette. Why, in the first place, have you approached me? I can see fear in your eyes, I can see trembling inside you. Just look down and look at your pajama trouser – it is trembling.” And he looked, although the pajama was not trembling.
I said, “That proves the point. The pajama is more courageous than you! You looked! You believed because you know that inside you are trembling, perhaps the pajama is also trembling.” But pajamas are utter idiots; they don’t know fear.
And I said to him, “About-turn!”
He said, “You are strange. You are going to be my student!”
I said, “Don’t be worried. Anybody who is going to be my professor is going to be in trouble. You just rest, relax, get ready before the course starts. Do some physical exercise. Stand on your head to give it a little more nourishment.”
He said, “My God, I have not said anything and you are bombarding me!”
I said, “You said everything the moment you said, without any reason, ‘You are a very intelligent person.’ I can understand this much: that it was a bribe. I don’t accept bribes.”

But everybody accepts them. There is a mutual understanding in the whole society that, “You say good things about us, we will say good things about you.”
When somebody dies, in every society of the world it is customary, conventional, not to say anything bad about the dead man. You will think that perhaps it is a cultural standpoint; it is not. To not say anything bad about a dead man is really out of fear. It arose in the past when people thought the dead person was going to become a ghost: “He is hearing, he is around; don’t say anything bad about him.” Alive, there was the possibility of fighting with him; now he is a ghost you are absolutely helpless.

In one town it was such a difficulty. One politician died. He was a very cunning, shrewd politician, and the whole town was against him. Everybody knew that it was difficult to find a worse kind of man: he was the most corrupted. And then the time came that something good had to be said about him.
All the elders of the town looked at each other – “You say something” – because there was nothing good to say about him. They knew his whole life; there was not a single thing. Finally one young man stood and he said, “This man has five brothers. In comparison to the remaining four, he was an angel.”
The remaining four were absolute devils – he said something good about him.

People are talking about each other, giving ideas to each other. And you have to do something so that you can attract comments, so that you can attract awards, so that you can attract a Nobel Prize.
One of my sannyasins is a Nobel Prize winner. He told me, “I was not so interested in winning the Nobel Prize. My whole interest was that only a Nobel Prize winner can propose another name for a Nobel Prize and I wanted to propose your name. And that was my only desire, that if I could get a Nobel Prize then I would be a proper person.”
He received the Nobel Prize and immediately, that same day, he talked to the president of the Nobel committee, gave a few books of my discourses to him and said, “If this man does not get a Nobel Prize it is an insult to the Nobel Prize.”
And the president said, whispered in his ear, “Never mention this man’s name in the committee; because you have got a Nobel Prize you can mention his name, but you could never get the votes. Nobody is going to support his name. I have read all these books, and most probably every Nobel Prize winner has read all these books, but nobody will mention his name. It is dangerous to be associated with him, to be so deeply associated that you propose his name for the Nobel Prize.”
He was shocked. He said to me, “I could not believe my own ears. And all joy that I had because I had become a Nobel Prize-winning economist disappeared. It was sheer politics; there was no question of judging quality. The whole question was how it was going to affect the political atmosphere. And the president said to me, ‘That man is dangerous. You should not mention his name; otherwise you will be condemned.’”
So one goes on accumulating fictions about and around. That’s why you want to do something, something special. People have been doing that kind of thing for thousands of years.
Somebody is standing naked in the cold, snow falling, and he becomes well-known. I know one man who used to stand in the river, the water up to his neck; he broke all records – for seventy-two hours continuously he stood there. I asked him, “But what is the point? How is the world better because you stood in the river for seventy-two hours? Have you made the world a little more beautiful, a little more juicy? Have you brought a little more song and dance to the world?”
He said, “Who cares about the world? As far as I am concerned now I am the most famous man around this area, and that was my purpose.”
Every twelve years in Prayag we have a great gathering of people, perhaps the biggest gathering in the world, Kumbh Mela. Thousands of naked Hindu monks march toward the Ganges. At the right moment, determined by the astrologers, they have the traditional right to enter into the Ganges; they have to be the first.
I was surprised by one fact – because these thousands of naked monks who come to the gathering at Prayag are never seen again. I had been searching for where these thousands of people disappeared to, and I was in for a surprise. The surprise was that they live in temples, in ashrams, but there they use clothes. They come naked to the Ganges only because it is the traditional right of the naked monk to be the first. Clever! And the whole year they are using clothes, and nobody bothers about them, but when they come naked in a long procession people are falling at their feet. Thousands of people are so much desiring to touch their feet, or at least the dust on which the naked monks’ procession has passed. Even the dust has become divine.
And what is the contribution of these people? In what way have they made the world better? Why are they recognized? – just a stupid thing: because they are standing naked. Just because you cannot stand naked; you feel a little ashamed. They are professionals. They do it every time there is a gathering; this is their profession. And you can see from their faces that they are the most mediocre and ordinary people.
You want to do something, but all that it will bring is opinions, good or bad. It will give you a certain identity; you are afraid of being without identity.
And this is the most significant step toward the ultimate, the absolute, toward your own self: to drop the false identity and enter into darkness, trusting. You trust nature for everything essential, and it is strange – you cannot trust in this small thing.

I know one man who could not sleep because he was afraid that if he slept and breathing stopped, then what? Only one man have I come across. The whole family was trying to convince him, “Don’t be an idiot. We all sleep.”
He said, “That I know, but my question is that if it stops I will not be able to do anything.”
He was brought to me by his parents and they said, “This idiot has got some idea, some original idea! He cannot sleep; he sits. He has disturbed the life of the whole family, because you cannot sit the whole night in silence. So he does this, he does that; he opens this window, he closes that door. He does not allow anybody else to sleep – in fact that’s what the purpose of opening windows and doors is. He is driving everybody mad. And logically we don’t know how to convince him. He says, ‘If my breathing stops, then…?’”
I said to that man, “You are perfectly right, but I ask you: if while you are awake your breathing stops then what you will do? What can you do? Where will you be? When the breathing has stopped, you will not be here to do anything.”
He said, “I have not seen this side of it. That’s true.”
“Now,” I said, “what are you going to do? Neither can you remain awake nor can you be asleep; in either case the question is the same. So just be normal. When the breathing stops, it stops. You cannot do anything.”
He said, “True. I have understood; it is pointless, unnecessary trouble.”

You believe, you trust, you have a tremendous faith in existence. Every night you go on sleeping without bothering whether the breathing will continue or not. Breathing is still visible – your blood circulation, your heartbeat, the whole functioning of digestion – it is not dependent on you. Once you have swallowed something you are not supposed to do anything; existence takes over. For everything that is essential in your life you depend totally on your trust in existence. And this nonessential thing – a bogus personality which others have made around you – you cannot come out of it.
It is a simple insight that you will have to come out of this somebodiness and you will have to go through a passage of nobodiness. Only then will you discover your real self – which is not identity, which is your reality. And to find it is to find everything worth finding.
But you have to take a little risk – and it is not a great risk. Borrowed ideas…

I used to talk with one of my professors. He was not convinced by me that the whole personality is borrowed. He was a healthy man. He is still alive, retired, an old man. I said, “I will prove it.”
I went to his wife and told her, “You have to do me a favor, a small favor.”
She said, “What is the matter?”
I said, “When Professor S.S. Roy gets up in the morning, the first thing you have to say is, ‘What is happening? Why are you looking so pale?’ and remember exactly what he says in response. It is better if you write it down so you don’t forget. I want the exact words.”
I said to the gardener, “When he comes out, you just drop your work and hold him and say, ‘What has happened? You are looking so weak; I thought you were going to fall. Could you not sleep the whole night? Your body seems to have a fever.’”
The gardener said, “But without fever… He will throw me out of service!”
“You don’t be worried. That is my guarantee: you will be promoted, you don’t be worried. You just do what I am saying.”
And the wife of the professor was there and she said, “Yes, he is right. You don’t be worried; you just do what he is saying.”
And I told him, “Write down on this piece of paper whatever Professor Roy says, his exact words.”
And so on I went, to the post office nearby where he used to meet the postmaster – they were great friends, both were Bengalis – all the way up to the department of philosophy. It was almost one mile. He used to walk; he loved walking.
And I told the peon in front of the department, “You have to just pick him up.” He was a wrestler-type of man; I said, “You have just to pick him up and lay him down on the bench.”
He said, “What are you saying? Are you crazy or something? I have small children, I have a wife, an old father and mother. This kind of thing… And what is the purpose?”
I said, “You don’t be worried. He will be in such a position that this is what is going to be needed.”
He said, “But how have you come to know?”
I said, “You don’t be worried, this is beyond you. Later on I will explain everything to you. And it is my guarantee that no harm is going to happen to you.”
He said, “But your guarantee does not mean anything – you may change tomorrow! You are a strange fellow. You are telling the peon to behave in such a way with the professor that it will be almost a wrestling competition – because if I forcibly put him on the bench, he is going to resist. And if he is going to resist, I am not going to take it either; I am a very angry man. If he hits me or anything, I am going to hit him.”
I said, “Whatever happens let it happen, because I know he cannot hit you. He is in a very feverish condition and is not listening to his wife, to his friends, to anybody. He is coming staggering. He may fall on the floor, break his bones; then you will be responsible.”
He said, “No, I don’t want him to break his bones.”
“Then,” I said, “you immediately pick him up. Whatever he says, you remember – and this is the paper… As you put him inside the office on the bench you write down what he has said, and I will be coming later on to collect all the papers.”
Just behind him, I started collecting the papers. To the wife he said, “Pale? You must be mad. I had a perfectly beautiful sleep, I am a hundred percent healthy. Something must be wrong in your eyes; you should go to the optician. Pale? – I have suspected for a long time that you need glasses.”
He came out, and the gardener took hold of him and said, “Master, what is the situation, what is happening? Your body is burning, you have fever. Have you slept in the night or not? You would have fallen if I had not stopped.”
He said, “I could not sleep the whole night. And really, the body is burning. But I am going to the department because my record is that I have never been absent. So at least I will go. Tell the head of the department and ask him to bring me back home in his car. I don’t have energy to walk one mile, but I have to.”
As he went out the postmaster said, “Mister Roy, it seems you have grown ten years older. But what has happened?”
Professor Roy said, “I don’t know what has happened. Something certainly has happened. And I was angry at my poor wife; she was absolutely right. How do I look?”
The postmaster said, “Just like a ghost, absolutely pale.”
He said, “My God! Should I go to the department or not?”
The postmaster said, “That is your record, your lifelong record – don’t break it, go. You can manage. I cannot certify that you will be able to come back again. The situation has gone so far down that if you can manage to breathe for one mile more it will be a great achievement. About coming back, I don’t know.”
And you could see him coming, like a drunkard…
He passed a few more stages where he was checked, and he gave his statements. And when he reached the department the peon just picked him up. He said, “What are you doing?”
The peon said, “What am I doing? I am doing what I am supposed to do – lie down!”
He immediately followed the instructions of the peon: “Close your eyes, and I will put a cloth soaked in water over them. You are burning and hot with fever – it must be 108 degrees, not less than that.”
Professor Roy said, “You are right. I am seeing things that I have never seen. It seems the bench is flowing up – sannipat, delirium. It happens when the fever reaches beyond 105 degrees.” And he had a fever of 108 degrees according to the peon, who knew nothing about what 108 degrees is!
And then I came with all the papers I had collected and I told him, “Please go through these papers.”
He said, “This is not the time; just a few moments are left. If you have something to say, say it; or just put your hand on my head and sit by my side – but no more papers. What papers?”
I said, “You don’t understand; these are not examination papers or anything. These are the papers I have collected behind you.”
He immediately sat up. He said, “But what papers?”
I showed him: “To the wife you denied that you are sick, denied that you had a fever. You said that you slept perfectly well, that you are a hundred percent healthy, that you suspected the wife’s eyes and you wanted her to go to the optician. These are the papers, and this is the end result – you are lying down on the bench. For what?”
And he actually had a fever! I said, “I will take you back home. But it was simply because of your insistence that I had to prove that people’s minds are made by the opinions of others.”

People can die just because of the opinions of others; people can live a long life just because of the opinions of others. We are so false.
This is not our true reality.
Have the courage to get out of the jungle of the opinions of your whole life. Just in the passage you will have to be, for a moment, nobody – and then you are all, everybody. And that freedom of being all and universal and eternal, that’s the goal of all real seekers.

I am a first-grade student in the subject of witnessing. Whenever I am listening to you talking about watching, witnessing, something in me feels so thrilled, excited, joyful, and a big “Ah!” comes up. Recently I have heard you talk about watching the witness. Yet I'm already happy and grateful for the few moments a day when I remember my hands, my body, having a little distance from my thoughts and emotions. Could you please start with the ABC on this subject?
The phenomenon of witnessing has no ABC or XYZ. It is a simple phenomenon; it is a single step. It is one process.
You can watch the body; the watching is the same. You can watch the mind – the object has changed, but the watching is the same. You can watch the emotions – again objects have changed, but the process of watching is the same. You can watch the watcher – a tremendous quantum leap, but still the subject is the same; only the object has changed.
Now watchfulness itself is being used as an object, and you have stepped behind watchfulness; you can watch it. And you cannot go beyond this watchfulness. You have come to the very end of your inner core.
So you are going perfectly right. Enjoy it, rejoice in it. More and more silence and peace will be coming your way, more and more blissfulness and benediction. There is no end as far as rewards are concerned, because they are all along the way. From the beginning to the very end, each step brings a new space – but it is the same step.
The journey of one thousand miles is done by a simple step, one step. You cannot take two steps at one time. Step after step, just a single step can be stretched to ten thousand miles or to infinity.
Watchfulness is a simple step. There is no alphabet in it. There are no beginners in it – there are no amateurs and no experts in it. Everybody is in the middle, always in the middle. You are moving perfectly right. Just go on.

In these rare moments of love and gratefulness, every desire inside me stops, and I feel complete. Can you say more about how love and gratefulness stop my desiring mind?
You are one energy. This is something basic to be remembered. It will help in many doubtful moments, in many questioning moments.

A man came to Junnaid, a Sufi mystic, and asked him, “What do you say about predetermination, kismet, fate, and the freedom of man? Is man free to do whatever he wants to do? Or is he simply a puppet in the hands of an unknown puppeteer, who simply dances the dance that the puppeteer chooses?”
Junnaid is one of the few beautiful mystics. He shouted at the man, “Raise up one leg!”
The man was a very rich man; Junnaid knew it. All the disciples, the whole school knew about it – and he had shouted so loudly and so rudely, “Raise one leg up!” And the rich man had never followed anybody’s orders; he had not gone there to follow orders. And he could not conceive even a far-off, far-fetched, off-the-wall relationship between his question and this answer. But when you are facing a man like Junnaid you have to follow him. He raised his right leg.
Junnaid said, “That is not enough. Now raise the other, too.”
Now the man was at a loss, and angry also. He said, “You are asking absurdities! I had come to ask a philosophical question – that you simply dropped without answering. You asked me to raise one leg, I raised my right leg. And now you are asking me to raise the other, too. What do you want? How can I raise both legs?”
Junnaid said, “Then sit down. Have you received the answer to your question or not?”
The man said, “The answer to my question has not been given yet. Instead you have been training me in this parade!”
Junnaid said, “See the point: when I said, ‘Raise one of your legs,’ you had the freedom to choose either the right or the left. Nobody was determining it, it was your choice to raise the right leg. But once you had chosen the right leg you could not choose the left too. It is your freedom that has determined the fact of your bondage. Now your left leg is in bondage.”

Man is half free and half in bondage, but he is free first. And it is his freedom, how he uses his freedom that determines his bondage. There is nobody sitting there writing in your head or making lines on your palms. Even an omnipotent God must be tired by now, doing this stupid thing of making lines on people’s hands. And so many people are coming. Writing in everybody’s head what he is going to be, where he is going to be born, when he is going to die, what disease, what doctor is going to kill him… All these details!
Either God must have gone mad doing all this work – just think of yourself if you have to do this kind of work, and for no reason – or he must have committed suicide. Even if he were mad he would have to do his work; so for a few days he may have been mad while he made this humanity, and then he committed suicide – because he does not want to see the world evaporate because of nuclear weapons. But he has written those nuclear weapons in your heads; he is responsible.
Nobody is responsible, and there is no God. These are our strategies to throw responsibility into others’ hands.
You are free, but each act of freedom brings a responsibility – and that is your bondage. Either call it bondage, which is not a beautiful word, or call it responsibility. That is what I call it. You choose a certain act – that is your freedom – but then the consequences will be your responsibility.
I am against Krishna’s idea. He says to Arjuna, in the Gita, that “Only the action is in your hands; the result is in God’s hands.” That kind of split is absolutely illogical, absurd. Action is in your hands and the result will be in God’s hands: this is very tricky. This is the strategy of the priesthood.
Otherwise, the simple fact is that the act is yours and the responsibility is yours. Action and its effect, cause and effect, are connected together, you cannot divide them.
But why was Krishna dividing it? He was just representing the priesthood. For thousands of years the priesthood has been confronting a simple problem which they cannot solve. They see criminals, sinners becoming successful, rich. They see simple people, innocent people being crushed, exploited, oppressed, and still religion goes on saying, “Be simple, be innocent.”
Then the question arises: if innocence and simplicity are never rewarded, only corruption, cruelty, violence are rewarded, then why be simple? To avoid this dilemma they had to create a false theology: that it is because of their past lives’ actions that those people are enjoying success, fame; now God is giving them rewards.
But why is God so lazy, so lousy? It seems that there is also some kind of Indian bureaucracy, so that the files move from one life into another life. If it is true, then bribery must exist there; just with the file, a hundred-rupee note, and then Ghanshyamdas Birla enters into heaven and the poor innocent man without a hundred-rupee note is thrown into hell. You have to pass something under the table, otherwise the file does not move over the table. It moves according to how many notes move underneath the table – otherwise why should it take such a long time? No, in existence things are immediate.
I am in absolute agreement with the idea of science that cause and effect are together. As far as the cause is concerned, you are free. But then you should remember: the effect is decided by you, by your cause. In fact you are free in that too; it is an outcome of your freedom.
Take life in a very simple, non-theological way and you will be surprised: there are no problems. It is a mystery, but not a problem. A problem is that which can be solved; a mystery is that which can be lived but can never be solved.
Meditation is nothing but an exploration of the mystery – not an explanation, not a search to find the solution to it, but an exploration. To dissolve into it slowly, slowly, just as a ripple disappears into the ocean – this disappearance is the only religiousness that I know of. All else is nonsense.
Listening to me should not be just a listening; it should be a drinking. Only then is there a possibility of understanding. And once it becomes your understanding then it remains with you whether you are with me or not. Then wherever you are – sitting by the side of the ocean or under a tree or under the stars – it is with you.
My whole effort is to give you a taste of something that can start growing within you and can make you whole and complete. That’s the feeling that has come to you, that while listening to me, feeling love, feeling silence, you feel a completion; everything is perfect. And all desires disappear, because there is no need.
When there is completion, what are you going to desire? Desire is always out of incompletion. Your whole energy is so fulfilled and so contented that it needs nothing.
There are only two types of people in the world: the beggars and the emperors. Those who live in desires are beggars; those who live in completion – of silence, peace and love – are the emperors.

Last time I saw you in Pune, you smiled at me and you sent me one of your unforgettable glances. Somehow, deep down I knew that this was the last time I would see you. I was ready to live without your physical presence, I was ready to live without your morning discourses, but that smile… Oh Osho! In that moment my heart was crucified by the most unbearable pain ever felt in my life, and I thought: “Oh my God, I can live without his presence, but how, how in heaven can I live without this smile? I can't, I certainly can't. I will die without it!” And suddenly, at the bottom of the agony I heard a voice inside my heart. It sounded like your voice saying, “Just see! If you can just see, you will realize that all of the existence is smiling at you twenty-four hours a day, in the same way, exactly the same way!” For all these years I've been whispering this secret to myself, every morning, every evening, but now I want to say it loudly. Would you kindly allow me to reveal the secret, the gift for which I will be eternally grateful to my master?
There is no need to ask me.
It is nice of you that you asked, but when the urge has come to say the secret loudly then don’t wait for anything, not even for my approval. Just say it – because it is neither mine nor yours; it belongs to the whole.

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