The river has become the ocean

You said enlightenment is individual, but does individuality remain after enlightenment?

No. Individuality does not remain after enlightenment, but enlightenment is individual. You will have to understand it. A river falls into the ocean. When it has fallen the river has disappeared – there is no individuality of that river left, but only an individual river falls into the ocean. You fall into the ocean of enlightenment as an individual: you cannot take your wife with you or your friend with you – there is no way. You go alone. Nobody can take anybody.

How can you take anybody? When you meditate you meditate alone. The moment you close the eyes and you become silent, everybody has disappeared – the wife, the friend, the children. The nearest are also no longer near; the closest are farthest now. In your deep silence, inner collectedness, you alone exist. This aloneness will fall into the ocean.

So, enlightenment is individual. Of course, after enlightenment individuality disappears; there is no individuality. So remember this: you cannot go en masse; you cannot go as an organization; you cannot go as a sect. You cannot say, “Come on all Christians,” or “Come on all Hindus. I am going to enlightenment and I will take all the Hindus with me.” Nobody can take anybody else. It is absolutely alone. And that’s the beauty of it, the purity of it. In your absolute aloneness you fall into the oceanic nirvana. Just a moment before, you were a river; just a moment before, you were an individual – the very peak of individuality, a Buddha – and just a moment afterwards nothing exists. You are no longer a river; you have become the ocean. Now you cannot even say, “I am.” The ocean is; the river has disappeared.

You can say it in two ways: that the river has disappeared – one way, the Buddhist way; or you can say the river has become the ocean – another way, the Vedanta way. But both are the same. The river has become the ocean,” or, “The river has disappeared; only the ocean is,” are only ways of saying the same thing.

Osho, Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, Vol 5, Ch 2, Q 3

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