The Osho Upanishad 25

TwentyFifth Discourse from the series of 44 discourses - The Osho Upanishad by Osho.
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Why can't I hear you? Am I deaf?
You are not deaf. You hear me, but you are not listening. And you don’t know the distinction between hearing and listening. Anybody who has ears can hear, but it is not necessary that he will be able to listen. For listening, something more is necessary than just having ears: a certain kind of silence, a serenity, a peace – the heart standing behind the ears, not the mind.
It is the mind which makes you almost deaf, although you are not deaf – because the mind is constantly chattering, it is a chatterbox.
Just sometimes sit in your room, close your doors, and write down whatsoever comes into your mind just to see what goes on in it. Don’t edit it – because you are not going to show it to anybody, so just write down exactly what comes to your mind. You will be surprised: just within ten minutes you will see that you are not sane; your mind is the mind of an insane person. Just somehow you are managing, covering it up, not allowing anybody to know what goes on inside you. And you have become experts, so much so that it is not only that you don’t allow others to know what goes on in your mind, you yourself don’t see it. It goes on, yakkety-yak, yakkety-yak.
Because of this constant mind, making noise… Although you are not deaf, you cannot listen. You can hear. Listening needs a silent communication.
The words that I am speaking to you are ordinary words, you know them. I do not like to use any kind of jargon. But in another sense the words I am using are extraordinary because they are coming from a depth, from a space within me. And certainly they are carrying with them some perfume, some fragrance of that space. If you are silent, the word becomes inessential and the fragrance that it is carrying becomes essential. If the fragrance reaches you, you have listened.
The beauty of listening is that you don’t have to think about it. If it is coming out of truth, it carries truth with it; you feel the truth. If it is just mind stuff – not coming from experience, but is just bookish – you will not find the fragrance in it.
But you have to be so alert, so silent, that you don’t miss that which surrounds the word. The fragrance is its validity, its logic, its philosophy. And if there is no fragrance, then it is just a dead flower like you sometimes find in Bibles, in the Bhagavadgita. People keep roses, dry roses in a Bible, with no fragrance, with no life.
When you simply hear, if one hundred persons are here there are going to be one hundred versions, because the mind immediately starts interpreting – what does it mean? The mind is blind. It cannot see, it can only grope in the dark. Groping in the dark is called “thinking.” One hundred people sitting here will have heard one hundred meanings.

One English historian, Edmund Burke, was writing the history of the world. His effort was to write a complete history of the whole world since the very beginning, not leaving anything out. He had wasted almost fifty years writing it, thousands of pages, and one day, suddenly in the afternoon when he was writing, he heard a great noise behind his house. He opened the window and saw a crowd. He inquired, “What is the matter?”
Somebody said something, somebody else said something else… He came out. A man had been murdered, and there were as many stories as there were people present. Somebody was saying that he committed suicide, somebody was saying he had been murdered, somebody was saying it was just an accident; somebody was saying that he was a man with heart disease, that it was heart failure because twice he had already suffered an attack and this time he was certain to die.
Edmund Burke could not believe it, that just behind his house he could not be certain about a fact. The dead man was lying there, it was not fiction. But how the death had happened… Perhaps it would never be decided. “And I am writing a book about thousands of years past, and trying to prove that it is factual.” It was such a revelation that he went in and burned all those thousands of pages.
His colleagues, his students – he was a professor – were all shocked. They said, “What have you done? Fifty years of such concentrated work!”
He said, “It was all just rubbish. If I cannot decide about something which has happened just behind my house, then deciding about Adam and Eve is just foolish.” A great historian – but he dropped history, he resigned from his post. He said, “All history is bunk.”

One evening Gautam Buddha was speaking to his disciples, and this was his everyday evening sermon. After the sermon he used to say to his disciples, “Now, go; and before going to sleep, don’t forget your real work” – and that real work was meditation.
But that night one thief was there listening, one prostitute was there listening. The thief said, “My God, this man is dangerous. He is saying ‘Before going to sleep, don’t forget to do your work.’ It is time, I must go.”
The prostitute thought, “I am sitting so far away, and how did this fellow recognize me – that my work starts in the night?”
The thief went to steal. The prostitute went to her work. The sannyasins went to meditate.

Buddha had said only one thing: “Don’t forget the work,” but the interpretation is going to be yours. The final decision is going to be yours. The word cannot decide for you; you have to decide what it means.
When you are only hearing, your mind is standing there scrutinizing, screening… Now it is an established psychological fact that the mind only allows a certain percentage of information to reach you, there is a censor. And the mind has created very clever ways to censor things: it allows that which fits with your conditioning, and it simply does not allow that which goes against your conditioning. It makes you hear that which fits with you; it lets anything that is not fitting with your conditioning slip by, it does not pay attention to it. It does not take it in.
Hearing is not the right method to be with a master. It is good in a school, in a college, in a university; listening is not needed. But to be with a master hearing is not needed, listening is needed. Your interpretations should not hinder what is being said from reaching to your heart – because those words are carrying delicate messages. Your interpretation is going to destroy that delicate message; you should not think whether it is right or wrong.
I am not saying that you should accept it – there is no question of acceptance. I am simply saying you should neither accept nor not accept. You should be just a mirror reflecting whatsoever is the case. The master is saying something; let it reach to the heart. And let the heart decide, not the mind.
The mind is always wrong, and the heart is always right, because mind knows only logic, the heart knows love. Let love be decisive – and love has never been wrong, and logic has never been right.

The father of logic, Aristotle, who created the whole science of logic, wrote in his book that women have fewer teeth than men – because that was the prevalent idea in Greece. It was part of a bigger idea, that women cannot have anything equal to men. How can they have equal teeth? It was a natural corollary.
Aristotle had two wives; it would have been so simple just to say to Mrs. Aristotle I or Mrs. Aristotle II, “Please let me count your teeth.” But logic is very prejudiced. He did not bother with that.
And strange, for a whole two thousand years in Europe the belief continued. There are so many women, almost equal in number, sometimes more than men – because men are killed in war, armies are finished, so sometimes the number of women is more than men. But no man ever bothered. And what is stranger is that no woman ever tried to count her own teeth and raise her voice that “This is nonsense! Men and women both have an equal number of teeth!”

Mind has no eyes; it simply lives in a dark hole – groping, inventing, believing, but never coming to know anything.
The heart has a totally different approach: it simply knows. Its knowing is intuitive, not intellectual. It cannot give arguments, it cannot give proofs. But when it knows, it knows absolutely; it can give for its knowledge its own life.
No logician will be ready to be crucified for his logical knowledge. Have you ever heard of any logician being crucified? Have you ever heard of any philosopher being poisoned? He will change his philosophy. He will say, “Don’t bother, I am ready to change my philosophy. It does not matter whether this philosophy is right or that philosophy is right.”
But you cannot change Jesus, and you cannot change Socrates, and you cannot change Sarmad, and you cannot change al-Hillaj Mansoor. They are ready to die – because their knowing is of the heart, there is no question of its being wrong. There is no doubt anywhere; it is indubitable.
To be with a master, you need to learn how to listen. Hearing is not enough.
It is a mystery to open the doors for listening, because everywhere only hearing is needed. In the marketplace, in the universities, in the churches, only hearing is needed. Listening is something out of this world; only lovers know something of it, only poets know something of it. Only mystics know the whole miracle and the whole magic of it.
And the master is only a door. Once you have started listening to him you will be able to listen to the sound of the running water, you will be able to listen to the wind passing through the pine trees. You will be able to listen to the music of silence in the dark night, you will be able to listen to the music of the birds in the early morning. You will start listening to so many things that you will be in a state of immense amazement that this world was available to you – and so close – but you were not available to this world.
As far as I am concerned, right listening is the only way to be religious, because right listening makes you wonder about everything around you: the whole existence becomes a mystery, poetry, a song, a dance.
Gone are the days of misery, anguish, tension, death. You have entered on the path of eternal benediction.

The other night you told the story of the Buddha and his disciple, Ananda. Ananda had thought that the Buddha had given contradictory answers concerning the existence of God to three different questioners. When challenged on this by Ananda, the Buddha had retorted, “The answers were not for you. Why do you listen to answers not intended for you!”
Osho, when we sit with you, we listen to many answers to questions we have not asked. How should we listen?
There are a few significant things to be understood. One: you may not have asked the question; still it may be yours, because human beings are not suffering in unique ways – their misery is the same, their problems are the same. Somebody has the guts to ask; somebody cannot gather the courage, because to ask means to expose your ignorance.
So when I am answering questions asked by someone, it does not mean that it is not your question. If I were in Buddha’s place I would not have said to Ananda, “Why are you disturbed?” In fact the very disturbance shows that those questions were also bothering him; otherwise there was no need for him to be worried.
Buddha said to him, “Those questions were not your questions. Why did you listen?”
I would not have said that. That’s where I differ from every master in the world. I would have said to Ananda, “All those questions were your questions. Those people were courageous enough to ask. And you are a coward; you have found a beautiful excuse. So without exposing your ignorance, you want me to answer your questions. You will have to ask.”
And it is not that the atheist is totally atheist – mind is never total in anything. The atheist carries the theist in him, the theist carries the atheist in him, and both are just believers. Neither of them knows exactly what is the truth.
In fact, as I see it, there is not a single question which can be asked which is not yours too. Any question asked by any human being is going to be a question of all human beings, whether you are aware of it or not. You may be unconscious of it; perhaps it is not the right time for you, perhaps you may ask a year later. Perhaps you have repressed the question so deeply that you have become completely oblivious to whether it exists in you or not.
But let me repeat: There is not a single question which is not yours too.
All human beings are part of a continent, nobody is an island. Maybe somebody has become conscious of a certain problem due to certain circumstances.

Gautam Buddha himself was not aware of life’s basic questions up to the age of twenty-nine. When he was born, the astrologer said to the old king, Shuddhodana – Buddha was born in the king’s old age – “You have a rare son. Either he will become a chakravartin emperor” – a chakravartin is one who rules over the whole world – “or he will become a sannyasin. There are only two possibilities.” All the astrologers were agreed on the point, and the king was very much worried.
The king said, “Then suggest to me how I can prevent him from becoming a sannyasin.” Each father has the same problem, each husband has the same problem, each wife has the same problem.
Those astrologers said, “If you don’t want him to become a sannyasin, then make arrangements – luxurious, comfortable, so that he never becomes aware that there is pain, there is anxiety. Fulfill all his desires so that he never comes across a desire which remains unfulfilled and creates frustration. Don’t let him taste despair. Bring all the beautiful girls of the kingdom, let him be surrounded by beautiful women so he is continually indulging in beauty, in luxury. Make beautiful palaces for him, different palaces for different seasons so he never comes to know that there is summer, that there are rains, that there is cold winter.
“Never allow him to see any old man, any dead body. Even in his gardens the dead leaves, dying flowers, should be removed in the night so when he comes for a walk in the morning he never sees anything dying or dead, because once he becomes aware of death then the question can arise in his mind, that ‘If things die, one day I will have to die.’”
The king said, “Everything will be done. I have the facilities, don’t be worried.”
This advice was given by the so-called wise people. To me they are not wise, they are otherwise! It was because of their advice that he had to renounce the kingdom one day, because for twenty-nine years he was kept in such a controlled atmosphere – not a dead leaf, not a withering flower – that when he came to know, it was such a great shock.
He was going to participate in the youth festival; he had to inaugurate it. Roads were closed; whenever he had to pass, the roads were always closed. Traffic was stopped, nobody could pass. People had to keep their doors closed – he should not see anybody who is ugly. But that day, when he was going to inaugurate… The story is beautiful.
The masters who have died were watching, and they saw that a great master was being prevented. Something had to be done. They were not real people who passed by on the road; they were dead masters, just playing a drama to wake up Gautam Buddha to the reality of life.
First he saw an old man coughing, his back bent.
Buddha asked his charioteer, “What has happened to this man?”
Now another master had entered into the charioteer; otherwise the charioteer would have lied. Rather than the charioteer, the master spoke: “This happens to everybody.” And he waited…
And immediately Gautam Buddha said, “Is it going to happen to me too?”
The charioteer said, “I feel bad saying it, but I cannot say an untruth: you are not excluded. It is going to happen to you too.”
Buddha became sad. He had seen only beautiful girls, flowers, music, dances, alcohol. He was kept drunk, enjoying for twenty-four hours a day.
And then another four people were carrying a dead body. And Buddha said, “What happened to this man, and why are they carrying him on their shoulders?”
And the master within the charioteer said, “This is the second stage, after the first one that you have seen just now. After that, one dies.”
Buddha said, “My God, this too is going to happen to me?”
And as they were talking, another master came in beautiful red robes, a radiant face, a tremendous aura around him – a sannyasin. And Buddha said, “Who is this man?”
And the master within the charioteer said, “This man is a sannyasin. He became aware, before the first man did, that life is going to disappear into old age, old age is going to lead to death, and death to the funeral pyre. He became so concerned that he left the world, went into silence in search of something which is deathless, which is immortal. And he has found it – you can see it.”

Buddha had seen the most beautiful women, the most beautiful young people, but this was beauty of a totally different order. It was not just physical, it was as if some rays were radiating from the man, as if he was surrounded by a cloud of light. And the way he walked, the grace… Buddha said to the charioteer, “Just turn the chariot back. I am no longer young and I am not going to inaugurate the youth festival. Any other idiot can do it. You just take me back. My whole life has changed. Unless I find the deathless, unless I find the eternal in me, I will not rest for a single moment.” That very night he escaped into the mountains in search of himself.
I said that those wise people were not wise, because if he had been brought up in the ordinary way – as every child is being brought up – he would not have been shocked so much. Then he would have seen from the very beginning that people die, that people are old, that people are ugly.
If the King Shuddhodana had asked me, I would have said to him, “Keep him surrounded with old people coughing continuously, having tuberculosis, cancer. Open hospitals around him: find all the ugly women and make them nurses. Train him – make a funeral pyre near the palace and announce in the capital that nobody is to be burned anywhere else, everybody has to be burned here. So from the very beginning he would start seeing that people get old, then they die, then they are burned.” He would have, by the time he was twenty-nine, grown enough shock absorbers; that’s how we all have grown.
Those so-called wise people gave great advice, but they had no understanding of psychology.
Buddha himself had the same questions. For six years he was going from one teacher to another teacher asking the same questions. But he was not an ordinary seeker. He was not satisfied by verbal knowledge, he wanted experience, and those teachers only gave him borrowed knowledge.
He went on and on, and finally he understood it: you cannot find the truth in this way; you have to look within yourself. Nobody else can give it to you.
He dropped all knowledge that he had learned: that was his real renunciation. The first renunciation of the kingdom was not of much value. But even the Buddhists don’t talk about the second renunciation when he dropped all knowledge – scriptural, holy – and just entered into his own aloneness.
Without any guide, without any map, he found himself. Hence his first words after his enlightenment were: “Appa deepo bhava, be a light unto yourself.”
Ananda was suffering with all those questions, and when Buddha said, “They were not your questions, why should you have listened to them?” – still the coward in him did not allow him to say, “They were my questions too.”
Every question that I am answering may be asked by a particular person; it may be, in his context in this moment, significant to him. It may not be significant to you – but it can be significant any day, any moment. It may be lying unconscious in you.
I am answering you all. I am answering those questions which you are asking, and I am also answering those questions which you are not asking.
It is not a question of your asking. I know what are bound to be, inevitably, the questions of an unconscious human being, because I have been through the same dark night.

In the last couple of months I feel so clearly that not only had we to make an incredible jump, but I also feel that a vast and indefinable change happened to you. Is there any truth in this?
Existence knows only one thing which is unchanging, and that is change.
I am alive. Only dead people don’t change. I have been changing every moment.
You were not perceptive of the change that is my very life because you were not changing; you were dead. Now you have come alive, you have taken a quantum leap, and only now can you understand my continuously changing, riverlike existence. I am not a lake, but a river.
But to understand anything, you have to be sensitive to it. I was changing before too – but you were dead. It is as if you are asleep here and I am walking in the room, and then you wake up and you say, “Osho, a great change has happened in me, a quantum leap from sleep to wakefulness. And what I see is that not only have I changed – you are continuously moving in the room.”
I was moving even when you were asleep, but because you were asleep you could not feel my change. Now you know the taste of change, the beauty of change, the joy, the playfulness, the life, the dance of change, and because you know it, you can see it in me.
My whole approach is that existence is a constant change.
All the religions of the world and all the philosophies of the world have been propounding a permanent God who does not change.

When I was a student in the university one of my professors was Doctor S. S. Roy. He was an expert, a world-famous expert on Bosanquet and Bradley and Shankara. His thesis on Bradley and Shankara was recognized and praised tremendously all over the world by philosophers. Bradley and Shankara both agree on one point: that the ultimate, the absolute, the brahman is unchanging, it is always the same.
He had just received his doctorate, and he was full of Bradley and Bosanquet and Shankara. The first day… S. S. Roy was the person who invited me to his university, because he had listened to me in university debates and he had loved me for years. And he was saying to me, “When you have graduated, then you have to do your post-graduation at my university, wherever I am. I don’t want to miss a student like you.” And he made every arrangement for me – a scholarship, all kinds of fellowships, he did everything that can be done.
But the very first day he got into a conflict. I said, “I cannot agree with this idea, because your ‘absolute’ is dead.”
He said, “What do you mean dead?”
I said, “If it is not changing, if it is not growing, if nothing is happening anymore and will never happen anymore, then can you say it is alive? New leaves will not come on the tree, new flowers will not come, new branches will not come; new foliage will not be there. Springs will come and go – and your absolute is simply a dodo, not God. It has to change.”
He said, “My God, I have written a whole thesis, devoted five years; it has been appreciated…” But he was a sensible man. He said, “I cannot deny your point. You give me time. Tomorrow I will answer you.”
I said, “You can have as much time as you need, but remember: anything that is not changing cannot be alive. And I don’t want an existence which is dead.”
I told him that day, I remember, that once a beautiful woman, a very rich woman, asked Picasso to paint a portrait of her. And she was willing to give anything he wanted; money was no question at all. Picasso was always reluctant about portraits because his paintings are such that you cannot expect him to make a portrait. He can make a portrait but you cannot find where the nose is, and where the mouth is and where the eyes are; everything will be in a mess. But the woman was giving him so much money, so just for a change he made a portrait, only once in his life, which was recognizable as a woman – and a beautiful portrait.
And when it was finished the woman came and she said, “I love it. The money you have asked of me is nothing. I will give you double.” And then she saw a picture of Picasso hanging by the side of the portrait, a photograph. She looked at the photograph. It was done by a great photographer, and she said, “This is your photograph? – so beautiful.”
And Picasso said, “No, this is not me, because if it were me I would have kissed you. I am here on this side; that side is only a picture which is unchanging, which cannot kiss, which cannot come out of the frame, which will remain the same. I will grow old, I will die. This picture will remain there; it will not grow old and it will not die, because it is not alive.”
I told Professor S. S. Roy, “Your absolute, Shankara’s, Bradley’s and all other philosophers’ absolutes and religious peoples’ gods are just portraits, or photographs. Then they can remain static. If they are living, then spring will come, birds will sing, new leaves will grow, new flowers will blossom, and the river of existence will continue.”

It has been thought that once you become enlightened then you have reached the optimum of your growth. I say to you, it is all nonsense. If people have stopped there, it was their fault. It is really a beautiful place to stop, and after a long journey it is a tremendous relaxation to stop – but the road goes on ahead.
I have not stopped, I have gone beyond it – perhaps the first crazy man to go beyond enlightenment, because nobody goes beyond; at least in the past, nobody has tried.
But to me, the journey itself is the end, so there is no stopping, no final stop, no terminus.

My mother is utterly in love with you. My father is really jealous because he is afraid of losing his second woman to you. In my family, which is really huge, there are so many different opinions and feelings about you, like the shades of the rainbow. Even though I am the only sannyasin, there are so many people participating in your life, and so entangled – watching every step and what is happening next. Osho, don't you have many more disciples or people you work with, than only those who took sannyas?
There are many grades. The sannyasins are the foremost, the spearheads.
There are semi-sannyasins who are a little wishy-washy: morning sannyasin, evening not. That’s how the mind works, like a pendulum, from one corner to another corner they go on moving. But not for long – sooner or later they have to decide.
And they cannot decide to remain not sannyasins, because one thing becomes certain to them: that they have been for their whole lives non-sannyasins – what have they gained? And if they continue to remain non-sannyasins they are not going to gain anything – no ecstasy, no excitement. Just for a change it is good to give a chance for a new style of life; your old style has failed.
So it depends on their courageousness. If they are courageous, they decide soon; if they are not so courageous, they decide a little later; but finally they are going to become sannyasins.
Then in the third grade are the sympathizers. They are in love with me, but they are so much involved in life and its entanglements that they feel that taking a jump into sannyas will be very disruptive, drastic. But in a way they are better than the second grade. They are not wishy-washy; their sympathy is solid. They are with me, and any opportunity… And there are opportunities every day. Somebody’s wife escapes with someone, somebody’s husband simply disappears. Somebody’s father dies, somebody’s mother is found to have cancer – there are opportunities and opportunities.
They have to decide that death is not very far away. And death gives you no information, no indication. It simply comes and takes you away. It does not even wait for you to complete your work – “Then why should I wait if death does not wait?” And sannyas is nothing but a struggle against death; it is a confrontation against death. So those sympathizers, tomorrow or the day after tomorrow, are going to take the drastic step of becoming sannyasins.
And then there is a fourth grade: semi-sympathizers. They are in real difficulty. Their heart is with me, their mind is not. They are suffering and split, and if they don’t decide something they are going to be schizophrenic. And most of them, rather than being schizophrenic, would prefer to be sannyasins; sannyas will make them whole.
So, in your family there are all these four grades, and you have to help all those poor fellows.
Your father is naturally jealous: his daughter is gone, now his wife is going. Just whisper in his ear, “Why don’t you jump before her? That is more manly than to be jealous – that is a feminine quality. Just be ahead of her. And as far as losing women is concerned: don’t be worried, because there are so many women that the men are afraid.” Perhaps my people are the only people in the whole world where men are chased by women. This is great evolution! Everywhere else women are chased by men – they enjoy the play – and this has been always so. They never run so far, they are always within your grasp, but they keep you huffing and puffing.
But here the situation is totally different. Here the women are watching – somebody will be huffing and puffing. Nobody is huffing and puffing; people are simply sitting, doing nothing – they think that spring comes and the grass grows by itself. And it really happens: spring comes, women come by themselves. So why bother going here and there? Just sit silently! If meditation can bring you the ultimate, then just poor women…
Just whisper in your father’s ear – and he is a German, he will jump immediately. He has to be a sannyasin before your mother. Make it a point to him, “It will be a shame, a shame on the whole German race if you are behind your wife. Be ahead!”

Is your big smile the only answer?
I think you have found it!

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