The Osho Upanishad 17

Seventeenth Discourse from the series of 44 discourses - The Osho Upanishad by Osho.
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Once again, I was sitting in Holland minding my own business when I heard you had landed in Mumbai. It took me three days to decide I had to come and see you, be with you, hang out in your presence. Catching up with you has been quite an adventure. I had no question before I arrived, but before I leave I have two questions. First, how is your health? Second, could you please tell me what your plans are exactly so that I and my friends at The Humaniversity don't have to worry about you.
I understand your concern about my health. That is not only your concern, that is the concern of all those who love freedom, truth, individuality.
It is not just a question about my health. It is a question that in a world where everybody is living in a traditional, blind, absurd way, even to talk about truth is dangerous. It is dangerous because all the vested interests want humanity to remain retarded so that the human mind does not evolve to its ultimate potential, because once there are individuals of the caliber of Socrates, Lao Tzu, Gautam Buddha, then there is no possibility of any exploitation, physical or psychological; no possibility of any oppression, no possibility of enslaving the human soul. And all the politicians need slaves, and the priests need slaves. They don’t want humanity to blossom and to release its fragrance to the winds, to the sun, to the moon. They want you just to produce more money for them, more power for them, more slaves for them, more population for them.
Hence your concern about my health is not just an ordinary concern. Physically, I have been put into every possible situation so that an indirect death can happen, because down the ages the politicians and the priests have learned one thing: that crucifying is not helpful.
If they had not crucified Jesus there would have been no Christianity. Poisoning Socrates has not been helpful; it is because of the poisoning that Socrates remains and will always remain in the memories of humanity as a genius, a man who has helped the evolution of man’s intelligence immensely. Without his poisoning, perhaps we would have forgotten him. They have learned one thing: that if you want to kill Jesus again then it has not to be a crucifixion, it has to be indirect – as if it is an accident, as if it is a natural death.
That’s what they did with me in America. Ronald Reagan and his government tried in different ways to kill me, but never directly. I was surprised, because as I was arrested… The arrest was illegal, there was no arrest warrant because there was no reason to issue an arrest warrant. The people who arrested me could not even show any cause. I said, “Even verbally it will do – why am I arrested?” The answer was twelve loaded guns pointed at me.
I was not allowed to inform my attorney, because they were worried: if the attorney comes then immediately the first question is bound to be, “Where is the arrest warrant?”
And I heard the US marshal whispering in the ear of the driver who was to take me to the jail, “Remember, do whatever you want to do but don’t do it directly. The man is known worldwide, and the whole news media is watching. If anything happens to him it will be a condemnation of American democracy.”
In twelve days I was changed from one jail to another jail, and each time I was transferred from one jailer to another jailer the same message was whispered, “Do everything, but be careful; it has to be indirect.” I was wondering what they wanted to do – and what they wanted to do so indirectly that the world should not know – but it was not long before I came to understand what they meant by “doing it indirectly.”
The first night in jail I was given a steel bench, without any mattress. They knew my back is in a bad condition, that I could not lie down on that steel bench. Neither can I sit the whole night; they would not supply even a pillow just to support my back. They refused – “That’s all you can get.”
The whole night I was sitting. Sleeping was out of the question. Sitting was difficult; my back was hurting tremendously. And in the morning when they took me to the court… I have never seen such driving.
I am myself a reckless driver. In my whole life I have committed only two crimes, and those were speeding. But it was not speeding, it was a totally new kind of driving. The US marshal himself was driving. He would drive the car at full speed, beyond the limits, and then suddenly stop for no reason at all, just to give me a jerk. My hands were cuffed, my legs were chained – and they had instructions where to put a chain on my waist, exactly where my back is giving me the trouble. And this would happen each five minutes: suddenly fast, suddenly stopping, just to give as much pain to my back as possible. And nobody could say, “You are harming him.”
I just said to the marshal, “You are a unique driver – but remember, I enjoyed the whole drive.” And he took me for almost one hour. I thought perhaps this was the distance from the jail to the court. The court was underneath the jail: the jail was on the upper story and the court was on the lower story. There was no need of any car, I had just to go in an elevator, and it was not even one minute’s distance. This one-hour tour was just to give me as much pain as possible, to break the vertebrae of the backbone.
The marshal had to leave for some other work, so when the court was finished his assistant simply took me by the elevator to the jail. Then I came to know that that one-hour drive was simply a device; there was no need. When I saw him I told him, “You take a real interest in the health of your prisoners. That one-hour, open-air drive, and with such a unique way of driving – I will remember it.”
For three days continually, the court continued to meet, just on the question of bail. Basically my arrest was illegal; the question of bail does not arise. The question was, why I had been arrested without an arrest warrant. But whenever my attorney tried to raise the question, the magistrate simply stopped the attorney. And the government attorney continued for three days making all kinds of efforts, which were so stupid. His effort was that bail should not be granted, and the grounds were that I am an immensely intelligent man – one of the grounds for not giving me bail. Secondly, I have thousands of friends – the second reason for not granting bail. These are my crimes: that I have intelligence, that I have friends. The third was that the people who love me have immense resources of money, so any amount of money is not enough for my bail because the money will be provided.
This is so strange. This means no rich person can be allowed bail, no intelligent person can be allowed bail, no person who has friends can be allowed bail – these are crimes.
And he himself felt that what he was saying was so absurd that finally he said – his last statement in the court was that “I have not been able to prove anything; still I ask the magistrate that bail should not be given.” In one sentence he is saying that he has not been able to prove anything against me, still he wants the magistrate not to grant me bail. And the bail was not granted.
Even the jailer, who was hoping that I would be released – because there were no grounds, and the things that were talked about were so idiotic – told me, “I feel immensely hurt. I have never seen such injustice in my life. First they don’t have any grounds for arresting you and the magistrate won’t allow your attorney to argue the point, to present the case. Secondly, they don’t have any argument for not granting bail.” But the jailer said to me, “I know the reason is that the magistrate has been pressured.”
She was a woman, and she wanted to become a federal judge. And she had been given orders from Washington: “If you allow the bail then you will live a magistrate and you will die a magistrate. If you don’t allow the bail, your promotion to a federal judge is absolutely certain.”
Why did they want this? Because the distance between the place they arrested me, North Carolina, and the court in Oregon was only five hours, six hours by plane. And that’s what they promised, that “Within six hours we will produce you in Oregon, from where we have been asked to arrest you. So it is up to them to grant bail or not.”
It took them twelve days, not six hours; one hour became two days long. And I had to pass through five jails. They would tell me, “We are taking you to the airport,” and they would take me to another jail.
I asked them, “At least you can be honest. If you are taking me to another jail, I cannot do anything about it. I will come with you. Why do you say that you are taking me to the airport, and we end up in another jail?”
In each jail they tried different ways to affect my life. In one jail they put me into a cell with an inmate who was dying with an infectious disease. For the six months since this man had come, the cell was never given to anybody else; he had lived alone because the doctor had said that anybody living with him was bound to catch the disease. And I was, in the middle of the night, given that cell. The doctor was present, he did not object; the jailer was present, the marshal was present. The man, who was just dying – I heard later on that he died on the third day after I left the jail – could not speak, he had become so weak. He wrote on a small piece of paper, “Osho, I have been seeing you on the television. I know that these people want to kill you, that is the reason they have put you in this cell. Don’t touch anything. Just stand near the door and knock on the door till they come, and force them to change your cell because I am dying, and I don’t want you to catch my disease. For six months they have not given this cell to anybody – and you are not even a prisoner.”
It took one hour of me knocking on the door, and then the jailer appeared and the doctor appeared. I said to the doctor, “What has happened to your tongue? For six months you have been saying that nobody should be given this cell. Why have you remained silent?” He was just embarrassed. I said, “You are a medical man. You have taken the oath of Hippocrates in your medical college before you got your degree, that you will serve life, not death. And this is not serving life.”
He said, “I am sorry, but orders from above. I am a poor doctor, I cannot disobey; just excuse me.” And immediately my cell was changed.
They were giving me medicines – which I never took. I accepted them and threw them in the wastepaper basket because I had no need for those medicines. I told them, “My problem is my back, which you are destroying” – because the same kind of driving continued from one jail to another jail, it was pre-planned; from jail to airport, from airport to jail, the same kind of driving continued for twelve days – “and for my back there is no medicine. What are you giving me medicine for? For my allergies? I have allergies, but for my allergies you have made every arrangement.”
In every jail they had put all the heavy smokers in the same cell where they put me. So for twenty-four hours a day people were smoking – because they knew that I am allergic to smoke, dust, perfume, any kind of smell. They managed in every way to destroy my body. And I asked, “What are these medicines for?” Certainly those medicines would have made me sick.
I know that in the Soviet Union they have done the same with three Nobel Prize winners. Those three Nobel Prize winners – and they are all geniuses – refused the government. The government wanted them to refuse the Nobel Prize, and they said they could not refuse the Nobel Prize because it is a worldwide recognition of their work. They were arrested immediately and they were given medicines and injections.
One scientist was given injections and medicines so that he could not sleep. For twenty-one days they would not allow him to sleep. In twenty-one days if you cannot sleep… And they were also giving him medicines which destroy the small cells in the brain. Then they produce the man in the court and say that he is mad. First they made him mad, then they produced him in the courts and said that he was mad. The court asked him, “What is your name?” and he would not speak because he had lost the power of speech. That’s what they were trying to do for twenty-one days continuously, to destroy his power of speech – one of the best speakers in the Soviet Union.
In one jail they told me, “If you don’t like to take medicines orally we can give you injections.”
I said, “Never. Don’t touch my body. If you touch my body, if anything happens to me, you will be responsible. It is up to me to take medicine or not. I am not sick, I don’t need your medicines. And the problems that I have, you don’t give any medicine for – for that you have created exactly the situation in which my problem will increase.”
In every jail I was put in a place where two television sets were on for twenty-four hours a day at full volume. Sleep was impossible. And the whole place was full of smoke; I could not breathe.
They did everything they could. And when they could not manage to destroy me in any way, the final thing was to put a bomb under my chair. It was just that the bomb was compassionate toward me – they could not fix the time; it was a time bomb. I had gone to the court and they were not clear at what time I would be back. They had calculated rightly that the court would be closed at five, so they placed the bomb accordingly. But I came nearabout three o’clock, because there was no question… They had a list of one hundred and thirty-six crimes that I had committed, and they knew that all was fiction, and if it went to trial the government of America was going to lose the case. The government would not have liked to lose the case, a case against a single individual. So before the court started they asked my attorneys for negotiations. It is rare, because when you are fighting against the government you ask for negotiations, not the government. When the government asks for negotiations it means it has no valid grounds, no proof of any crimes. They simply used blackmail.
The attorney general of America told my attorneys, “To be frank, we don’t have any proof of any crime, so we don’t want the trial to happen. And we don’t want the government to lose the case either; it is a question of prestige. So we have a solution: if Osho accepts two crimes out of one hundred and thirty-six, then we will drop the trial. For those two crimes he will be punished, and the case is finished. If you insist on going to trial because you know that you will win, we have to make it clear to you: first, if you don’t accept these two crimes we are not going to allow the judge to grant bail. And the case can be prolonged for twenty years; for these twenty years Osho will be in jail. And anyway, if we see that we are losing the case we can finish the man” – clear-cut blackmail.
My attorneys came with tears in their eyes, “We have never in our whole lives” – and they were the topmost attorneys of America – “we have never seen such a case, where they themselves say that they don’t have any crimes, any evidence against you. They propose that you accept two crimes and the case is finished; if you don’t accept the crime then they are threatening to prolong the case for twenty years and they will not give you bail. And there is every possibility that if they see that they are going to lose the case they can kill you. But they will not in any way want the world to know that they have lost a case against a single individual.”
So my attorneys said, “We are asking you against our conscience – just please accept those two, because there seems to be no way. If you are twenty years in jail your movement will be destroyed, your sannyasins will be destroyed, your commune will be destroyed. And we cannot hope that you will come out of the jail alive; they want to be victorious at any cost.” So the case was finished.
I said to my attorneys, “Don’t be worried. I never take anything seriously. There is no harm; I will accept that I have committed these two crimes. And outside the court, in front of the world press conference, I will say that I have lied, and that I had to lie because there was no other way – the American government forced me to lie, under oath that I will speak the truth. So don’t be worried, I will manage.”
As I accepted, the case was finished within three minutes. That’s why I reached the jail to take my clothes before the time that they had fixed on the bomb.
I can understand not only your concern about my health – it is a concern of millions of my people around the world. They have come to love me so deeply that this body is their body, my life is their life.
I am perfectly okay. As far as I am concerned, my consciousness is concerned, it cannot be better than it is. But about the body I can only say that up to this moment it is perfectly okay; I cannot say anything about tomorrow. America wants to kill it; they are ready to give half a crore rupees, five million rupees, to any professional killer – and there are people everywhere who would like to kill me. It is really a wonder that they have not succeeded up to now. And I am without any defense: I am absolutely defenseless.
You are asking about my program. I have never thought about tomorrows, and now it has become even more difficult – because I may propose but America disposes. I don’t believe in God; I have to believe in Ronald Reagan.
I have been in twenty-one countries searching for a base from where I can start my work again, but America is almost insane. I have not done anything wrong to America, they have done everything wrong to me – and that is what is creating their insanity, because I am exposing them. They have not replied to a single thing, because whatever I am saying is the truth. What happened to one hundred and thirty-six crimes? Even if I accept two… I have to be punished for one hundred and thirty-four; the trial cannot be dismissed so easily. One hundred and thirty-four crimes – what more do you need? It was enough to give me at least one thousand years in jail, so at least for four or five lives in the future I have to be in jail! They are not in a position to say it; their desire is that I should be silenced.
In twenty-one countries… My plane would arrive, and just following my plane the American plane would arrive. And before my people had approached the government, the American ambassador had already reached the president, the prime minister, and blackmailed them. It is not that they were saying to them that I am a criminal, because then they would have to prove what crime. They were blackmailing these countries; they were simply saying, “We will stop giving loans to you. So you can choose: either Osho has to be thrown out of the country immediately, or you have to pay the past loans” – which are billions of dollars. “And we will stop loans for the future” – which are again billions of dollars – “which we have agreed to give to you.” Now, all those countries are in economic slavery; nobody can take that much risk. Moving through twenty-one countries, it was the same story again and again.
So I cannot say anything about the future. I know my sannyasins are concerned, and their concerns are real. In their own countries they are trying hard, but the government is not ready to listen to any intelligent thing. The government functions in a totally different way: the government listens to its vested interests.
Now the American government is pressuring the Indian government that I should not be allowed to make a commune here. The government has started doing harm – I am receiving summonses from different parts of the country, which are politically motivated. The only reason for all those summonses is that somebody’s religious feelings are hurt. So I have to be present in the court – in the south, in Bengal, in Kashmir – just to harass me, from one part to another part of the country, and from one court to another court. I will win all those cases. I have won all the cases of the same nature in the past, because whatever I have said is a truth. And if it hurts you, leave that religion because I am not making up that fact, that fact is in your scriptures.
And, in fact, those facts are against the constitution of India. Rama pouring melted lead into a sudra’s ears because he has heard the Vedas; hiding behind a bush where he has heard brahmins chanting the Vedas, and that is such a sin that both his ears are destroyed. Now, this is… If I mention it, it hurts the Hindu mind. Then don’t be a Hindu! It is strange, because it is in your scriptures; I am not creating it. And it is against the constitution; Rama is committing a crime. If I say that a man who can commit such an inhuman act cannot be a divine person, I am simply stating a fact. If it hurts you, it is your problem.
And I have been winning many cases. Just the other day I have won one case in Patna; a few days before, another case in Bengal. But they can harass me. Now the parliament has sent… I have said that the politicians are retarded, that their mental age is not more than fourteen years; this insults the parliament. It does not insult the parliament, it simply praises the parliament: what a great parliament – we have given our leadership to innocent children, all saints, because these retarded people cannot commit anything criminal.
They have sent three notices to me. I have answered, and I hope they ask me to come to the parliament because I want to show them that this is simply a fact. You can inquire of the psychologists: the average mental age of all human beings is fourteen. You will have to prove that your members of parliament are not average; the burden is on you to prove it. I am a trained psychologist. I was a professor of psychology for nine years; I have the right to test all your members and prove that they are not above fourteen. If I am proved wrong, I am ready for any kind of punishment; but if I am proved right, then this whole parliament should be behind bars.
But they will not call me. They know they cannot face me. I know all of them. They don’t have any intelligence or any courage. But they can do things in an indirect way. So a gang of fanatic, chauvinistic people in Mumbai is provoked by the politicians from Delhi: “Make the threat, burn the house. Throw stones.” This they can do, but this will simply prove what I was saying – that they are mentally retarded. If they are not, then they should simply invite me.
I am not insulting anybody. If you are sick, if you have a headache and the doctor says that you have a headache, does it mean that you have been insulted? Are you going to court because your feelings are very much hurt by this doctor, his saying that you have a headache?
I am simply stating a fact, that fourteen is the average age of all human beings. And I don’t think your parliament has superhuman beings. You will have to prove it. Forty years of Indian independence proves what I am saying, it does not disprove what I am saying. They can burn the house, but that will simply prove that I was right: they behave like stupid idiots.
So it is difficult to say where I will be tomorrow, in what country, in what city. Even my sannyasins have proposed an idea that perhaps I will have to go to an ocean liner because at least the ocean, after twelve miles, belongs to nobody. It is possible that I may have to live on a ship, because European parliaments have decided that my jet plane cannot land at their airports. It is not a question of my entry into their country; just for refueling, my airplane cannot land at their airports. One country refused to allow my airplane to fly over its sky.
Do you think you are living in a sane world? In this insane world anything is possible, and one has to live moment to moment and face the reality.
So I cannot give you a fixed program. I can simply say to you that I will fight for freedom, for the expression of freedom, for individuality – for you, and for all those who want to live a sane life. Whatever form that struggle takes, and wherever I have to go for that struggle, I will continue the struggle.

In every situation, if I say to you within me, “Thank you, Osho,” something happens. This creates some distance from my mind, I become more and more weightless, I begin to float, to fly. I don't know where I will go. But please let me say again and again and now, “Thank you, Osho.”
It happens sometimes that you suddenly stumble upon a beautiful phenomenon. That’s what has happened when inside you say, “Thank you, Osho.”
It is not only words, it is a gratefulness felt by every fiber of your being – it is gratitude. That’s why you suddenly feel weightless; all the burdens of the mind – worries, tensions – disappear. You feel as if you can float into the sky like a cloud. You have stumbled on a technique without knowing that it is a technique.
It is a Tibetan method. It has been used for at least two thousand years. In a Tibetan monastery – you will be surprised if you visit – every lama, whenever he comes across the master during the day working in the field, working in the garden, he simply bows down, puts his head on the master’s feet and says, “Thank you, master.” That is inside, that is not really in words. It is a feeling, a thankfulness.
Sometimes it happens that in a day the disciple may come across the master a dozen times. A dozen times he will do the same; and slowly, slowly he becomes aware that those moments are the most precious. He starts seeking the master. Then the master says to such disciples, “Now there is no need to actually touch my feet. Wherever you are, just bow down in my direction with the same feeling of gratefulness and you will have the same experience.”
This is a new discovery – at first they were thinking that something is happening because of the master; now they know something is happening because of themselves. The whole focus has changed. The moment they discover that it is their own gratefulness, then the master says, “Now don’t bother about the direction. All directions are the same. Bow down – bow down in any direction; just remember the feeling.” And they are surprised: it is not even the direction of the master; all directions are the same.
Finally the master says, “There is no need of bowing down every time unnecessarily. It is only a question of feeling. Standing, sitting, sleeping, in any posture of the body, if you can feel the gratefulness, then you will feel that weightlessness, the silence, and the immense sweetness, all over your being.”
You have found some method on your own; rejoice. Enjoy it. Enjoy it more and more, so slowly, slowly there is no need to say it at specific moments. It becomes just your very life – sitting, walking, doing a thousand and one things, but the gratefulness remains inside. It is not gratefulness toward someone in particular. The master is just an excuse. Just for the beginners it is good, because without an excuse they will feel a little awkward. Standing in an empty room and saying “Thank you” will look a little awkward. So it is just for the beginners that the master becomes an excuse – although when you are touching the feet of the master and saying “Thank you, master” you are saying it in an empty room. The master is emptiness.
Use it more and more, so slowly it becomes a natural phenomenon, like breathing. And it will bring tremendous experiences to you.

Many of your sannyasins were happy to hear from you that you are our friend, but it was a great shock for me. My beloved master, will you say something about the master-disciple relationship?
It is a little complex. You will have to be very attentive to understand it.
The master can say, “I am your friend.”
The disciple cannot say it. The disciple will say, “No, you are my master.”
But there are people who are disciples unwillingly, they would rather be masters. In fact they have accepted being disciples as a bridge, so that one day they can become masters – but their goal is to be a master. So when I declared that I am your friend, these people who were unwillingly disciples, were immensely happy, and the real disciples were shocked.
Nirvano came crying to me, “No, Osho, don’t say such things. I cannot conceive myself as being your friend. Just to be your disciple is too much.” And this was happening to many – the authentic disciples were shocked. The phony disciples enjoyed it very much; in fact they wanted it, they were waiting for it.
If I had said to them, “I am your disciple, you are the master,” they would have rejoiced even more. That’s what they really want – because to be a disciple means to drop your ego, and it is the most difficult thing. So people at the most hide it. Instead of dropping, they simply hide it; and whenever there is a chance it comes up again.
If the master says, “I am holier than you” he is not a master. He is still in the same ego trip which you are in. He is a politician, not a religious man. A religious man cannot conceive himself as holier or higher. The religious man has simply disappeared; there is nothing but pure emptiness. It cannot be compared. The real master can only say, “I am your friend – just to hold your hand, to pull you out of your darkness, to bring you on the path.”
The real disciple, even though he becomes enlightened, remains a disciple.

It is said about Mahakashyapa, the first patriarch of the great tradition of Zen Buddhism… He was a disciple of Gautam Buddha, and when he became enlightened Buddha sent him to wander, to go to those who are thirsty, who are in need – “Spread the word, share what you have gained.”
Mahakashyapa said, “You tricked me. If you had said it before, that after enlightenment I would have to leave you, I would have left enlightenment! Because enlightenment is my nature, I can attain it any time I want. But this is your last life, and I will not find these feet again. The whole eternity is there for enlightenment, but once you disappear then there is no way to find you. Where am I going to see you, to hear you, to touch you? You tricked me badly.”
Gautam Buddha said, “But I have to do it. I cannot reach every thirsty person. You are my hands, you are my eyes. Now you are my being. Go – I will be with you.”
Mahakashyapa said, “With one condition: that you will not die without me. I have to be present. Secondly, I have to be kept informed of which direction you are moving in so that every day I can bow down in that direction. Although you will be far away – I will not be able to see you – perhaps you may be able to see me. And it does not matter whether I see you or not; what matters is that you have not forgotten me. It does not matter whether you are in my eyes or not; what matters is that I am in your eyes. Give me these two promises and I will go.”
Buddha said, “You are asking strange things, because it will be difficult to keep you completely informed every day of where I am, where I am going. Secondly, about death – to promise you that I will die only when you are present, I will have to make certain arrangements with death too – that death has to wait. You are putting me in a strange business! I have never asked anybody anything, and now you are forcing me to ask death, ‘Wait a little, let Mahakashyapa come.’”
But Mahakashyapa was very adamant. He said, “Then I am not going.”
He went, because Buddha promised him; but it was a trouble. Every day he had to be informed of what direction Buddha was in. And morning and evening he would bow down on the earth, tears of joy in his eyes – just dust in his hands, but he would touch it as if he were touching the feet of Buddha. People would say to him, “Mahakashyapa, you yourself are now a master. It doesn’t seem right for you to behave like a disciple.”
Mahakashyapa’s answer was, “As long as Gautam Buddha is alive I cannot be the master, I can only be the disciple – because to be a disciple is so beautiful; under the shade of the master it is so cool, it is so protected. When Buddha dies, of course I will be a master – under the hot sun: there will no longer be any shade over me.
“Don’t prevent me, and don’t ask this question again and again – because you don’t understand that being a disciple is not in any way less than being a master. The whole question is of being total. If you are totally a disciple, you have all the glories and all the blessings and all the benediction that a master has; there is no difference at all. It is a question of totality. And how can I forget even for a single moment my gratitude to this man Gautama the Buddha, without whom I would have been still groping in the dark? He came into my life as a song, as a dance, as a light. He transformed me, he gave me a new birth, he made me eternal.”
And the day Gautam Buddha died, the first thing was to call Maha-kashyapa. He told his disciple, Ananda, “Find Mahakashyapa immediately, because I don’t want to ask death – I have never asked anybody. But this Mahakashyapa… If he does not come before the sunrise tomorrow I will have to ask death to wait.”
Many followers rushed in all directions to find Mahakashyapa. He was found, he came in the right time. Buddha smiled and he said, “I knew it, that you would not let me down, that you would not force me to ask death to wait. Now death can come. Mahakashyapa has come.”
Buddha died in Mahakashyapa’s lap; his head was in Mahakashyapa’s lap. That was a rare phenomenon, because Buddha had ten thousand disciples present at that moment. Among those ten thousand at least one hundred were enlightened. Why was Mahakashyapa chosen? The question went around, “Why has Mahakashyapa been chosen?”
Sariputra, another enlightened disciple of Gautam Buddha, said, “He is the only one who has become a master but has not left his discipleship. The remaining ninety-nine have become masters and forgotten about discipleship. He is richer; he is a disciple and he is a master. He has much more than anybody else present here.”

And it is not surprising that Mahakashyapa became the source of one of the greatest traditions, which is still alive: Zen – which has given to the world more enlightened people than anything else.

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