The Secret 01

First Discourse from the series of 21 discourses - The Secret by Osho.
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A man came to Bahauddin Naqshband, and said, “I have traveled from one teacher to another, and I have studied many paths, all of which have given me great benefits and many advantages of all kinds.
“I now wish to be enrolled as one of your disciples, so that I may drink from the well of knowledge, and thus make myself more and more advanced in the tariqa, the mystic way.”
Bahauddin, instead of answering the question directly, called for dinner to be served. When the dish of rice and meat stew was brought, he pressed plateful after plateful upon his guest. Then he gave him fruits and pastries, and then he called for more pulau, and more and more courses of food, vegetables, salads, confitures.
At first the man was flattered, and as Bahauddin showed pleasure at every mouthful he swallowed, he ate as much as he could. When his eating slowed down, the Sufi Sheik seemed very annoyed, and to avoid his displeasure, the unfortunate man ate virtually another meal.
When he could not swallow another grain of rice, and rolled in great discomfort upon a cushion, Bahauddin addressed him in his manner:
“When you came to see me, you were as full of undigested teachings as you now are with meat, rice, and fruit. You felt discomfort, and because you are not accustomed to spiritual discomfort of the real kind, you interpreted this as a hunger for more knowledge. Indigestion was your real condition.
“I can teach you if you will now follow my instructions and stay here with me digesting by means of activities which will not seem to you to be initiatory, but which will be equal to the eating of something which will enable your meal to be digested and transformed into nutrition, not weight.”
The man agreed. He told his story many decades later, when he became famous as the great teacher Sufi Khalil Ashrafzada.
La ilaha il’Allah: there is no god but God. This is the fundamental essence of the way of the Sufis. This is the seed. Out of this seed has grown the bodhi tree of Sufism. In this small proclamation, all that is valuable in all the religions is contained: God is and only God is.
This statement makes God synonymous with existence. God is the very isness of all that is. God is not separate from his creation. The creator is in his creation; there is no duality, there is no distance, so whatever you come across is God. The trees and the rivers and the mountains, all are manifestations of God. You and the people you love, and the people you hate, all are manifestations of God.
This small statement can transform your whole life. It can change the very gestalt of your vision. The moment one recognizes that all is one, love arises on its own accord. And love is Sufism.
Sufism is not concerned with knowledge. Its whole concern is love, intense, passionate love: how to fall in love with the whole, how to be in tune with the whole, how to bridge the distance between the creation and the creator.
The so-called organized religions of the world teach a kind of duality – that the creator is separate from the creation; that the creator is higher than the creation; that there is something wrong with creation, it has to be renounced. Sufis don’t renounce, they rejoice. That’s what I am teaching you here: rejoice!
My sannyas is a way of rejoicing, not a way of renunciation.
Rumi has said:
If you are not one with the beloved,
And if you are in union,
This assembly is a Sufi assembly. You are my Sufis, the Sufis of the new age. I am introducing you to the world of love. I am initiating you into the ways of love.
Sufis talk about two kinds of love. One they call muhabbat; it means the ordinary love, lukewarm, momentary, partial. One moment it is there, another moment it is gone. It has no depth, no intensity. You call it passion, but it is not passionate. It is not such a flame which can burn you. You don’t become aflame with it; it remains something under your control. You don’t become possessed by it, you don’t lose yourself in it. You remain in control.
The other kind of love, the real love, the authentic love, Sufis call ishq. Ishq means love with total intensity. One is lost in it, one is possessed by it. One goes mad in it.
I have heard…

The great Sufi master Ruzbihan was once on the roof of his khanigah while in a state of wajd. The khanigah is the place where Sufis meet. It is a temple of love. It is a temple of madness, of utter rejoicing. This is a khanigah. No other god than love is worshipped, no other prayer than love is preached. In a khanigah, only those who are becoming aflame with love, who are on the verge of madness are invited.
Ruzbihan was on the roof of his khanigah while in a state of wajd. Wajd is a moment when you are not and God is, a moment of absolute harmony. A window opens and you can see the whole sky, you are no longer confined within the walls of your body and mind. For a moment, lightning happens and all darkness disappears. Wajd is a momentary samadhi, a glimpse, a satori. It comes and goes. Slowly, slowly, it establishes itself.
But even to know God for a moment is of immense beauty and benediction. Even to know for a single moment that you are not separate from existence, that there is no ego, that all is one – la ilaha il’Allah – even to know this just as a passing experience, just like a breeze that comes and is gone… By the time you become aware of it, it is no longer there, but it has been there. It has refreshed you, rejuvenated, resurrected you.
Ruzbihan was on the roof of his khanigah in a state of wajd, in a state of oneness with existence. It happened that a group of young people was passing by in the alley below, playing musical instruments and singing. They were singing:
O heart,
in the neighborhood
of the Beloved
there is no wailing,
nor are the roof, door,
or windows of her house guarded.
If you are ready to lose your soul,
get up and come now, for the field is empty.
They were completely unaware of Ruzbihan. They were just singing. They were even unaware of what they were singing, what they were saying. It is a Sufi provocation, it is a Sufi song. The moment Ruzbihan heard it: “If you are ready to lose your soul, get up and come now, for the field is empty” – and he was in a state of wajd, of unity, oneness, unio mystica – his ecstasy was such that he was not there in that ecstasy at all. When Ruzbihan heard this, something possessed him, something from the beyond, and he flung himself from the roof, whirling and turning in the air, to the ground below.
Upon witnessing this, the group of young people cast away their instruments, left their former ways, entered the khanigah, and became Sufis.

What happened to that group of young people? For the first time, they saw ecstasy, wajd, love, madness for God. For the first time, they came across a man who could risk his very life. This is ishq. Ishq means you are ready to lose your life for your love. Ishq means love has become a higher value than life itself.
Hence the people who are in love are thought to be mad by people who have not known love, are thought to be blind by people who have not seen through the eyes of love. The intellectual condemns the ways of love, he is afraid. Love is dangerous. To go through the heart is risky because the heart is non-calculative, illogical.
Just remember this man, this madman Ruzbihan, jumping from the roof of the khanigah just because a few people were singing a song. They said, “If you are ready to lose your soul, get up and come now, for the field is empty” – and he jumped, without hesitating for a single moment. This is madness. The calculative mind is going to condemn it. But he was not hurt. He was so drunk, he was not even aware of what was happening. Nothing was happening to him because he was not there: as if God jumped through him. He was possessed by God, he was utterly drunk.
Seeing him coming from the roof, turning, whirling in the air… They had seen many dervishes, whirling dervishes, but not a man like this. And when he came onto the ground, he was so innocent, he was so silent, his joy was such that seeing him, just seeing him, was enough for them to renounce their old ways. They threw down their instruments, entered the khanigah, and became Sufis.
That’s how you have become Sufis with me. You have also jumped from your roofs. To become a sannyasin is a quantum leap, it is a non-calculated step. It is only for the mad ones. But God is only for the mad ones. Those who calculate remain part of the marketplace. Calculation keeps you in the world.
One needs to be in such love that one is ready to risk all. That love is called ishq. You have all known muhabbat, the so-called ordinary love, which is just an emotion, a sentiment, superficial. One day you are in love, another day you are in hate. One day you love the person and you are ready to die for the person, and another day you are ready to kill the same person. One moment you are so nice, so beautiful, another moment you are so nasty, so ugly to the same person. This is not ishq. Ishq has depth. This is only circumference. This is just a mask, this is part of your personality. Ishq, passionate love for God, is not of the personality. It is of the essence. It comes from your center. From the very ground of your being, it arises and possesses you. It is not within your control; on the contrary, you are in its control. Yes, you are drunk, and you are mad.
Sufis have found ways and methods of how to create ishq. That is the whole Sufi alchemy: how to create ishq in you, how to create such passion that you can ride on the wave of it, and reach the ultimate.
It is said about Majnu…

The story of Majnu and Laila is a Sufi story, a great love story. No other love story can be compared with it. There are many in the world, almost every country has its own love stories, but nothing compared to Laila and Majnu because it has a Sufi message in it. It is not just an ordinary story of muhabbat, it is the story of ishq.
It is said that Majnu decided one day that, seeing Laila, he had seen all that was worth seeing, so what was the use of keeping his eyes open anymore? He decided that whenever Laila would come he would open his eyes, otherwise he would remain blind because there was nothing else worth seeing.
For months Laila could not come – the parents were against, the society was against – and Majnu waited and waited under the tree where they used to meet, with closed eyes. Days passed, weeks and months passed, and he would not open his eyes.
And the story says God took compassion on him. He came to Majnu and said, “Poor Majnu, open your eyes. I am God himself. You have seen everything in the world, but you have not seen me. Look who is standing before you.”
Majnu is reported to have said, “Get lost. I have decided only to see Laila, nothing else is worth seeing. You may be God, but I am not concerned. Just get lost, don’t disturb me.”
Shocked, God said, “What are you saying? I have never come to anyone on my own. Seekers and devotees pray and search and practice – then too it is very, very difficult to see me – and I have come on my own; you have not even asked for me. I am coming just as a gift, and you are rejecting?”
And Majnu said, “If you really want to be seen by me, come as Laila because I cannot see anything else. Even if I open my eyes I cannot see anything else. I look at a tree and Laila is there. I look at the stars and Laila is there. Laila is in my heart and she has possessed my whole heart, so whatever I see, I see through my heart. I am sorry, but there is no possibility because there is no space left in my heart for anything else. I am sorry. Excuse me, but go away. Don’t disturb me.”

This is ishq. Even God… Yes, even God can be renounced. When you love, when you really love, there are no conditions. It is unconditional. You love for the sheer joy of it. And love is absolute – it knows no wavering, it knows no hesitation.
Sufism is a great experiment in human consciousness: how to transform human consciousness into ishq. It is alchemy.
And this is what I am doing here with you. You may be aware, you may not be aware of it, but this whole experiment is to create in you as much love energy as possible. Man can be transformed into pure love energy. Just as there is atomic energy discovered by physics, and a small atom can explode into tremendous power, each cell of your heart can explode into tremendous love. That love is called ishq. Sufism is the path of love.
Remember that it is a path, it is not a dogma. Mohammedans have a particular word for dogma: they call it shariat. Dogma, doctrine, religion, morality, philosophy, theology, all are contained in shariat. Sufism is not a shariat, it does not depend on books. Sufis are not people of books. Sufism is a tariqat: a methodology, a technique, a science, a path, a way to truth, to haqiqat, to that which is. Remember the difference between shariat and tariqat.
Theology thinks about God. That is the very meaning of theology; it consists of two words, theo and logy: logic about God, contemplation, thinking, philosophizing, speculation about God. Sufism does not think about God because, Sufis say, how can you think about God? Thinking is utterly inadequate. You can think about the world, but you cannot think about God. You can only be in love with God, so it is not a theology, but it is a method. It is an experiment in your consciousness, an experiment to transform it from gross energy into subtle energy, from material energy into divine energy.
Tariqat is the way by which the Sufi comes into harmony with the whole. And two things are the basic requirements to follow this method. One is faqr: faqr means spiritual poverty, simplicity, egolessness. When Jesus says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit,” he is talking exactly about faqr. It does not mean poverty, it means spiritual poverty. Even a king can be spiritually poor, and even a beggar may not be. If the beggar is egoistic he is not spiritually poor, and if the king is egoless he is spiritually poor. Spiritually poor means there is nobody inside; utter emptiness, a silence prevails. This poverty has nothing to do with outer poverty. Outer poverty can be easily imposed; that is not going to help. An inner poverty is needed.
If you follow faqr, if you slowly, slowly dissolve the idea of separation from existence, the ultimate result is fana. Fana means a state of nonbeing, what Buddha calls nirvana. You simply disappear, but your disappearance is the appearance of God. If you are in the state of fana, then suddenly, out of the blue, another state is born; that is called baqa. Baqa means being. Sufism is the bridge between fana and baqa. First you have to be dissolved as an ego, then you are born as God. The dewdrop has to disappear as a dewdrop, into the ocean; this is fana. But the moment the dewdrop falls into the ocean, it becomes the ocean; that is baqa.
Nonbeing is the way to being, and love is the most adequate method to disappear.
That’s why millions of people have decided not to love. If you decide in favor of the ego, you will have to remain loveless. Love and ego cannot go together. Knowledge and ego go together perfectly well, but love and ego cannot go together, not at all. They cannot keep company. They are like darkness and light: if light is there, darkness cannot be. Darkness can only be if light is not there. If love is not there the ego can be, if love is there the ego cannot be. And vice versa, if the ego is dropped, love arrives from all directions. It simply starts pouring in you from everywhere.
Just as nature abhors a vacuum, God also abhors a vacuum. You become a vacuum, and God rushes into you.
The first thing is faqr, and the second thing is zikr. Faqr means spiritual poverty, egolessness, simplicity, dissolving the idea of “I.” And zikr means remembrance. Disappear as a person, then presence is left. In that presence, remember God, let God resound in you – la ilaha il’Allah. Let this remembrance arise in your nothingness. In that purity of nonbeing, let there be only one music heard – la ilaha il’Allah. Repeat it, sway with it, dance with it, twirl, turn, whirl, and let this music fill you. Each cell of your body should start repeating la ilaha il’Allah, la ilaha il’Allah, la ilaha il’Allah.
And you will be surprised; it creates a kind of drunkenness. The very sound of this mantra is such; it is one of the most potential mantras ever invented by man, discovered by man. Just repeating it, you will find that something inside you is becoming psychedelic, something in you is changing. You are becoming light, you are becoming love, you are becoming divine. And not only you will feel it, even others will feel it.
Meditate on these beautiful words of Nurbakhsh:
Those who suffer for you sit waiting for relief. They have renounced themselves, their hearts, and religion. In good faith your lovers have traveled the road of loyalty.
Now sit waiting on your threshold, pure of heart. The beggars sit in the royal court of your grace, hearts content, needs fulfilled. Your dependents, they have nothing to do with worldly kings, but prefer to sit in total poverty within your kingdom.
Worshippers of your wine circle the cask, take up the glass and sit there, no longer questioning, serene. Afflicted, wounded by you, they judge their souls worthless.
Why then should they sit waiting for medicine? In God’s house God’s men cannot sit negligent, like you false pretenders.
Light shines to the highest heavens from the gathering of the Sufis, wild ones, sitting for God, by God, in God.
A very significant statement by a great mystic, Nurbakhsh. He says, wherever Sufis are: “Light shines to the highest heavens from the gathering of the Sufis, wild ones, sitting for God, by God, in God.”
If only God is, then Mansoor was right when he declared: “Ana’l haq” – I am the reality, I am the truth! Then the Upanishads are right when the seers declared: “Aham brahmasmi” – I am the absolute! Buddha is right when he declared: “Not only have I become enlightened, but the moment I became full of light I saw the whole existence as enlightened. I declare the whole existence as enlightened. You may not be aware, but I can see the light in you.”
That’s the function of a master: to see the potential, to see that which can become at any moment actual, and to help to make it actual. You are gods in disguise.
And when I said this is a Sufi assembly, I meant it literally. See this silence, this grace, this benediction that is showering on you? See this stillness? See this faqr? In this moment there is no ego in you, but only a pure silence. The personality has disappeared, there is only presence, and the light rises to the highest heavens. Wherever the wild ones meet, the mad ones meet, wherever there is simplicity and love, and wherever there is prayer, zikr, remembrance of God, this miracle happens. You may not be able to see it. It is happening. You will have to become tuned to this miracle that is happening here.
I am not just teaching you about God. I am not interested in giving you knowledge about God. I am sharing my God with you, it is a sharing. I want to challenge your God, which is asleep inside you, to provoke it. And that is the work Sufis have been doing down the ages, provoking the potential into the actual.
Khwaja Esmat Bokhari says:
This is no Kaaba
for idiots to circle.
Nor a mosque
for the impolite to clamor in.
This is a temple of total ruin.
Inside are the drunk, from pre-eternity
to the Judgment Day,
gone from themselves.
The Sufis call their assemblies “temples of total ruin” – kharabat – because you have to die, you have to disappear. When real Sufis meet, there is nobody to meet. The Sufi assembly is utterly empty of persons. Only God is. It is a kharabat, a temple of ruin. Very revolutionary words of Bokhari: “This is no Kaaba for idiots to circle.”
I also say the same about this assembly: “This is no Kaaba for idiots to circle” – hence idiots are very angry with me – “nor a mosque for the impolite to clamor in.” This is not a place for the mob and the crowd. This is a place only for the chosen ones, only for those who are ready to die in their love, only for those who are ready to risk all in their search for God.
This is a temple of total ruin – kharabat. If you come close to me, remember: you are going to die.
Mohammed has said, “Die before you die.” That is a Sufi statement: die before you die. Death is coming, death will take you away, but that will not be a voluntary death. It will not be a surrender. You will be forced to die. A Sufi dies voluntarily, he dies in love. He does not wait for death to come, love is enough to die in. And to die in love is beautiful because to die in love is to go beyond death. Listen to Mohammed: “Die before you die.”
If you can die here with me… I am a dead man. I have died. And all that I am teaching you is an art of dying so that you can move into the state of fana: you disappear. If you fulfill that condition of disappearing, God immediately rewards you with baqa – being descends in you – and that being is eternal.
The door that you have to pass through is the door of love because only a lover is ready to die voluntarily. Nobody else can die voluntarily, only a lover – because the lover knows that death is not death, but the beginning of an eternal pilgrimage.
We are not creating a Kaaba here for idiots to circle, not a mosque for mobs to clamor in. We are creating a scientific energy field, where your energies can be transformed into their optimum potential. When a man is really aflame with love, God has happened. Only with the happening of God can you be contented, and can you be blissful. Only with the happening of God does misery disappear, and do hells become nonexistent.
God is already the case! But you have not been able to gather courage enough to die in love. Sufism will persuade you, will seduce you to die in love.
A Sufi mystic says:
l thought of you so often
that I completely became you.
Little by little you drew near,
and slowly but slowly I passed away.
If you remember God… And to remember God means to see God in the trees and the birds and the people and the animals. Wherever life is, look for God, wherever existence is, search for God because only God is – la ilaha il’Allah. So he can be found anywhere. He has to be found everywhere. Don’t look for God as a person, otherwise you will go on missing.
That’s why millions of people search for God but go on missing. They are searching for a certain image. God has no image, God is not a person. God is this wholeness, this totality. So don’t start looking for a certain personage, otherwise you will never find him – and not finding him, you will start thinking there is no God. You started from a wrong vision.
Because God has been thought of as a person, there are so many atheists in the world. The atheists are there because of your so-called religious people. The so-called religious people talk about God as if God is a person, and they cannot prove him. They create a climate in which atheism naturally flowers. Almost half of the earth has become atheist. All the communists are atheists, and the remaining people are only so-called religious, they are ready to turn to atheism any moment.
Do you know? Before the Russian revolution, Russia was one of the most religious countries of the world. It was as religious as India is. And just after the revolution, within five years, all religions simply disappeared. What kind of religion was this, which took only five years to disappear? And when the atheists came into power, people simply surrendered to atheism. That religion was false, it was pseudo.
The same is going to happen in India. Any day this country will become irreligious; just let the irreligious people come into power, and all the temples and all the gurdwaras and all the mosques will start disappearing because this religion is not real religion.
In fact, the very idea of God as a person creates doubts in you. How many hands has he? What kind of face? Is he black or white? Does he look like a Chinese or an American? What height? Old or young? Man or woman? How many faces has he? A thousand and one questions, and not a single question is answerable – because you have taken the very first thing wrongly. God is not a person at all. God is this impersonal existence.
Keep this continuously in your heart – in Sufism, God is synonymous with existence, synonymous with isness; the suchness of existence is God – and then things will become easier for you to understand.
Now the story:
A man came to Bahauddin Naqshband, and said, “I have traveled from one teacher to another, and I have studied many paths, all of which have given me great benefits and many advantages of all kinds.”
Bahauddin is one of the greatest Sufi masters ever. He is of the same status as Buddha, Krishna, Mohammed, Christ. Naqshband means “a designer”; he was a designer, and this story is a design. He used to create situations because people can only be taught through real situations. And he was one of the greatest designers.
Gurdjieff learned his devices from the Order of Naqshbandis, the followers of Bahauddin Naqshband. They are still called Naqshbandis: “The Designers.” No other school of human transformation has created so many devices. Bahauddin used to say that people are so asleep that if you simply talk with them they will listen, and yet they will not listen. They will only hear, and they will not listen. And even if they hear, the meaning that they will give to you and your words will be their own. They have to be brought to actual situations. People are so asleep, they have to be hit by actual realities; only then can something penetrate their thick, dense, insensitive, unintelligent heads.
A man came to Bahauddin Naqshband, and said, “I have traveled from one teacher to another…” There are many people who go on traveling from one teacher to another, from one philosophy to another philosophy, from one school to another school, and these people think they are gathering much knowledge. They are gathering just rubbish. Knowledge cannot be attained in this way. A rolling stone gathers no moss. A spiritual seeker has to be in an intimate love relationship with a master. It is a delicate phenomenon, it takes time. You cannot just go from one door to another; you will remain a beggar. Yes, you can collect some information, but all that information inside you will become chaotic because each school has its own methods, and those methods are perfectly right in that school, in that particular milieu. They have been designed by masters, there is a pattern which has to be followed. Those methods cannot be mixed by other methods, with other methods.
If a person goes from one teacher to another teacher thinking that this way he is going to accumulate much knowledge, he will go neurotic because all those methods are right in their own context, but without the context they are dangerous. And the context exists with the master because only the master is fully aware of what is being done.
A few people come here, and they will watch and they will try to collect a few fragments, and then they think they will try on their own. They are doing something very dangerous. I would like them to be alert, to beware: these methods can be dangerous without the context. The context exists in me, and the context exists here in the total situation that is being created. You have to be here to know something which can be beneficial. And you have to be very, very patient because these things cannot be delivered to you like goods, and these things take time.
The love that exists between a master and a disciple is not like a seasonal flower. That love needs long, long periods of intimacy. The disciple needs to be in immediate contact with the master as long as possible. Only then slowly, slowly something dawns on his consciousness; slowly, slowly a ray starts penetrating him.
Now, this man is like almost all so-called seekers. “I have traveled” – he said to Bahauddin Naqshband – “from one teacher to another, and I have studied many paths.” Now this is foolish, this is utterly foolish. You need not study many paths, one path is enough to follow. Why waste time studying paths? Follow, travel. If you want to go to the Himalayas you don’t study all kinds of roads, you simply choose one and you follow it. Why waste time? Life is very short. Nobody knows, tomorrow may be the end. One cannot go on throwing time and energy into unnecessary things.
If you come across a master and you feel, “Yes, this is my home,” then be drowned. Then forget that any other methods exist, that any other paths exist. Then let love possess you. Only then, slowly, slowly, patiently waiting, something starts growing.
It is like a child growing in the womb. If the mother is not ready to wait for nine months, the child will not grow. And the child that grows between a master and the disciple may take more than nine months – nine years, ninety years? One never knows because with each disciple it is going to be different. It depends on the pace of the disciple.
But this man is a representative of the so-called seekers. They go from one teacher to another, studying all paths.
“…all of which have given me great benefits,” – he said – “and many advantages of all kinds.” That is all nonsense, that is just consolation. You are collecting dregs. You are begging, and a few pieces from here and a few pieces from there, just dregs. You have never been an invited guest to any master’s world. And one has to earn it, to become an invited guest to a master’s table. One has to pay for it, it is not cheap.
People come here also. They do one group and they are finished. They say they have learned, and now they are going somewhere else. For two, three days they have done meditations, and they think that they have known what meditation is. Now they will go somewhere else to learn some other methods. These are stupid people.
And these people create neuroses for themselves and for others too – because when they start gathering too much, they start advising others. Sooner or later these kinds of people become teachers on their own. The world is in too much of a chaos because of false teachers. And who is a false teacher? The false teacher is one who went from one teacher to another, never stayed anywhere, never got rooted in any path, but has gathered much information, has become knowledgeable. Now he can teach. All that he teaches is gibberish, but he can enjoy teaching it, it is very ego-fulfilling. He is the knower, and the other is ignorant. It is very gratifying.
Beware of these pitfalls, they are on every seeker’s path. And one can always convince oneself that many have been the benefits, many advantages. Man’s ego is such that he cannot confess that he has been foolish.

Just a few days ago, a man took sannyas. He is a Jaina, has followed Jaina monks for many years. He is an old man. After taking sannyas, he asked, “Should I start your meditations, or can I continue my meditation that I have been doing for at least thirty years?” I looked into the man; there was not even a trace of meditation.
I asked him, “How have those meditations been? Have they been of some help, have you been growing through them? Have you become silent, blissful, contented? Are you fulfilled? Has some light penetrated you through those meditations? Have you become aware of that which is?”
He said, “Yes. They have been of great benefit. I have learned much, I have grown through them.”
So I said, “Then it is okay, continue your old meditations. There is no need. But why have you taken sannyas?”
He said, “I thought maybe something more, or maybe something is missed, although I have been doing perfectly well on my own, but maybe something more can be gathered.”
I said, “Continue with your old meditations. Ask only when you see that they have not given you anything. I will not tell you to do my meditations before that.”
And the next day he wrote a letter: “I am sorry. I could not sleep the whole night. What a fool I am. Nothing has happened. And how was it that I could say in front of you, ‘Yes, much has happened’? I was thinking,” he wrote, “that even if I say that much has happened, you would still say to me to do your meditations, but you simply said okay, then continue. Then I pondered over it. I went back, looked into my past, and those thirty years have been a wastage. Really, that’s why I have come to you to take sannyas. But my ego would not permit me to say that I have been stupid continuously for thirty years, doing some unnecessary things, meaningless things.”

This has been happening to many people. Whenever people who have been doing something in their past come, they always pretend that much has happened. It is so difficult for the ego to confess.
But when you come to a master you have to be true. If you are not true to your own master, where else are you going to be true? And how can the master help you if you are untrue? I could see that the man was almost a desert. Not even a single flower had bloomed in him, he had not known anything of the spring, but still he said what he said.
Watch. This man is in everybody. This ego is hiding in everybody’s being. It goes on pretending.
This man said, “Yes, many kinds of benefits and advantages have happened…”
“I now wish to be enrolled as one of your disciples, so that I may drink from the well of knowledge, and thus make myself more and more advanced in the tariqa, the mystic way.”
Bahauddin, instead of answering the question directly, called for dinner to be served.
This is a design. In the modern age, Gurdjieff designed many things, exactly on the same lines as Bahauddin. The people who are not aware of the designs of a master will not be able to understand at all.
For example, a man would come to Gurdjieff who has never eaten meat, and Gurdjieff would force him to eat meat. Now, just think of a vegetarian. He would simply escape; he would ask, “What kind of religion is this?”
But by giving you meat, Gurdjieff wants to disturb your whole status quo, your whole chemistry because only in a disturbed state can your reality be known; otherwise you are too cunning. If a nonvegetarian comes to Gurdjieff, he will say, “Wait. For thirty days be a vegetarian, and then for three days fast, and then I will start to work on you.” Gurdjieff is neither for vegetarianism nor against; he is a designer.
He would give parties for his disciples, particularly to new disciples, and would prepare many kinds of foods, and then all kinds of alcoholic beverages. And this would continue almost to the middle of the night, eating and drinking. And when everybody was utterly unconscious, then he would watch. Then he would sit silently, would go to people and watch – because people are so cunning that unless they are drowned in a drug, they will not reveal their truth.
The man who was just pretending to be a celibate, when he was drunk, started to flirt with the woman who was sitting by his side. He was a celibate, and he was pretending that he was a monk and he had remained celibate – he was a brahmachari – but once he was drowned in alcohol, he forgot all celibacy, all brahmacharya. His reality surfaced.
The woman who was pretending to be very elegant, ladylike, sophisticated, cultured, holier-than-thou, far above ordinary human beings… Once she was under the impact of alcohol, she was just the opposite; she started to behave almost like a prostitute.
Gurdjieff would watch his disciples only when they were unconscious. And once he knew their situation, then he knew. Then he would not bother with what they said, he would start working on what they were.
Bahauddin, instead of answering the question directly, called for dinner to be served. This is one of the Sufi methodologies: they never answer directly. Their work is indirect because you have become so cunning that there is no way to change you directly. You have to be hit from the back door.
When the dish of rice and meat stew was brought, he pressed plateful after plateful upon his guest. Then he gave him fruits and pastries, and then he called for more pulau, and more and more courses of food, vegetables, salads, confitures.
At first the man was flattered…
That’s what happens when you start gathering knowledge: you are flattered, you start thinking that now you know, you become very, very egoistic. You don’t know a thing, but the knowledge that you have gathered gives you a false impression, as if you know. And slowly, slowly you forget that “as if” completely, you become knowledgeable. You start pretending to others and finally to yourself. You deceive others in the beginning, and then you are deceived by the impression that you create in others. When others start thinking that you know, you start believing it. How can so many people be wrong? If so many people think that you know, you must be knowing. Alone you may have doubts, but when you gather many disciples, the doubts disappear. “So many people believe in me, I must be right.” First deceive others, and then be deceived by those who are deceived by you. It is a mutual arrangement.
At first the man was flattered, and as Bahauddin showed pleasure at every mouthful he swallowed…
Bahauddin was creating a perfect situation. That’s what happens if you go to the so-called teachers. They will be very happy when they see that you have started learning, that you have started repeating like parrots; they will be very happy. When they see that you are repeating them, they will be gratified, their egos will be more fulfilled. Then they have many people who have become “his master’s voice,” who have become imitators.
They will be very happy, just as parents are happy when they see their children are growing to look just like them. If somebody says, “Your boy looks just like you,” the father is gratified. He may be stupid and the boy may look stupid and just like him, but that is not the question. He is very gratified that he will not leave the world alone. He will leave this child in the world to remind it that he has been here; he is going to leave a signature on the world. And every parent tries to mold the child in just his own image. Down the ages that’s what parents have been doing with children.
Children are the most exploited class in the world, and utterly helpless. There seems to be no way to help them to get out from the imprisonment that parents create for them in the name of love, in the name of the children’s welfare, for their future. And all that is being done is that the parents are trying to leave replicas in the world, imitators in the world. That is what their parents had done to them, and so on, so forth. It must go back to Adam and Eve; they created children in their own image. The Bible says God created man in his own image. He is the father, he must have created children in his own image. Then Adam and Eve must have created in their own image, and it has gone on and on.
So you are not only a carbon copy. You are a carbon copy of carbon copies, of carbon copies. The original seems never to have existed.
Then it is no wonder if you are in misery because only an original person can be in bliss – because truth brings bliss. You are false.
But a teacher will be very happy when he looks at his disciples and they start repeating what he is saying. He pats them. That’s what Naqshband was doing with this poor man.
At first the man was flattered, and as Bahauddin showed pleasure at every mouthful he swallowed, he ate as much as he could.
And just to satisfy the so-called teachers, people go on accumulating knowledge as much as they can.
When his eating slowed down…
But there is a limit to everything.
…the Sufi Sheik seemed very annoyed…
That’s what happens with teachers. They are happy only up to the point you are swallowing, repeating. When you are really fed up, literally fed up, and you are too full and on the verge of vomiting, they start becoming annoyed: “So you have stopped growing.” And then out of fear, out of their annoyance, out of their anger, you will try a little more, whatever you can manage.
…the Sufi Sheik seemed very annoyed, and to avoid his displeasure, the unfortunate man ate virtually another meal.
When he could not swallow another grain of rice, and rolled in great discomfort upon a cushion, Bahauddin addressed him in this manner…
Now he has created the perfect situation. Now even the most mediocre mind will be able to see the point.
“When you came to see me, you were as full of undigested teachings as you now are with meat, rice, and fruit. You felt discomfort, and because you are unaccustomed to spiritual discomfort of the real kind, you interpreted this as a hunger for more knowledge. Indigestion was your real condition.”
Now he has created a condition to hit the point deep into the heart. He has hammered this situation. He has created the exact situation in which the man was, but only now can he understand. It could have been said, but then he would not have understood.
Let me remind you of a Zen story. The paths of Zen and the Sufis are not very different. Their methods are different, but their working is very similar. Zen masters also create situations; of course, their path is of meditation, not of love, and Sufism is the path of love, not meditation. But let me add one thing more, otherwise you will misunderstand.
If you follow the path of meditation, love comes as a shadow, and if you follow the path of love, meditation comes as a shadow. They are always together; if you can manage one, the other has been managed without managing it. But as far as devices, designs are concerned, Sufis and Zen masters are alike.

A professor of philosophy went to a Zen master, Nan-in, and he asked about God, about nirvana, about meditation, and so many things, and the master listened silently – questions and questions and questions.
Then he said, “You look tired. You have climbed this high mountain; you have come from a faraway place. Let me first serve you tea.” And the Zen master made tea.
The professor waited. He was boiling with questions.
And when the master was making tea and the samovar was singing and the aroma of the tea started spreading, the master said to the professor, “Wait, don’t be in such a hurry. Who knows? Even by drinking tea your questions may be answered – or even before that.”
The professor was at a loss. He started thinking, “This whole journey has been a waste. This man seems to be mad. How can my question about God be answered by drinking tea? What relevance is there? This man is a madman. And it is better to escape from here as soon as possible because who knows how and what he is going to do next. And he says, ‘Even before that, who knows, your questions may be answered.’”
And that’s how it happened. The professor could not escape either because he was also feeling tired, and it was good to have a cup of tea before he started descending the mountain.
The master brought the kettle, poured tea in the cup, and went on pouring. The cup was full, and the tea started overflowing in the saucer, but he went on pouring. Then the saucer was also full – just one drop more and the tea would start flowing onto the floor – and the professor said, “Stop! What are you doing? Are you mad or something? Can’t you see the cup is full? Can’t you see the saucer is full?”
The Zen master said, “That’s the exact situation you are in. Your mind is so full of questions that even if I answer, you don’t have any space for the answer to go in. But you look like an intelligent man. You could see the point, that now even a single drop more of tea and it would not be contained by the cup or the saucer; it would start overflowing onto the floor. And I tell you, since you entered this house, your questions are over-pouring onto the floor, overflowing all over the place. This small hut is full of your questions. Go back, empty your cup, and then come. First create a little space in you.”

To create space is meditation. The master had created a perfect situation.
Bahauddin has done it in a similar way. He says, “You were in great discomfort, exactly like the discomfort that you are suffering from now, but you thought that discomfort was there because of your spiritual thirst. You were suffering, but you thought that suffering was just because you wanted more knowledge, that you were suffering because you didn’t have enough knowledge.
“You were suffering because you already had more than enough! You were suffering from overburdening, you were suffering from undigested knowledge. But you thought your suffering was because you needed more knowledge and you didn’t have enough, hence the suffering. You misunderstood your discomfort.
“This is exactly your situation. Now the situation is in the body, but it has been in your inner being for many years, maybe your whole life. You have suffered from indigestion.”
Remember, knowledge has also to be digested. Only then does it become wisdom. If you go on eating and you cannot digest it, it will not become your blood, your bones, it will not become your marrow. It will become a problem. You will gather weight; you will become heavy, dull. You will not become more intelligent through it, you will become more stupid. You will lose awareness, you will become more unconscious. You will become more like a rock. You will become stagnant. You will lose your flow.
said Bahauddin,
“…was your real condition.
“I can teach you if you will now follow my instructions and stay here with me digesting by means of activities which will not seem to you to be initiatory, but which will be equal to the eating of something which will enable your meal to be digested and transformed into nutrition, not weight.“
Eating is right if it gives you nourishment. It is wrong if it only gives you weight. Eating is right if it gives you vitality, eating is wrong if it just makes you heavy. It is meaningless. To be heavy is not to be vital. The vital person is not heavy, he is light, he is almost weightless. He moves on the earth, but his feet never touch the earth. He can fly any moment. Gravitation has no effect on him.
Bahauddin is saying, “But you will have to fulfill a few things, only then can I teach you.” A real master can teach you only if you fulfill certain conditions. On your part that shows that you are ready to receive.
Many people ask me, “Why can’t we be here without being sannyasins, and learn?” I say, “You can be here, and whatever you can learn you can learn, but unless you are an insider you will not be able to receive the grace that I am making available to you.” By being a sannyasin you simply show a gesture: “My doors are open for you. I am ready to become a host for your energy. Come and be my guest.” That’s what sannyas is, and that’s what a Sufi needs to be.
“I can teach you if you will now follow my instructions and stay here with me…” Now, there are many people here also…
Just a few days ago, a sannyasin came and he asked, “What groups should I do?” and I suggested some. He dropped out of the first group. He thought that I had not understood his real condition, that I had given him a wrong group: “This is not for me.” I had given him two other groups. He never went – because if the first was wrong, naturally the other two were also going to be wrong. Then he inquired, “What should I do? Because I feel the groups that you have given me are wrong. Can I choose my own groups?” I said, “Okay, you can choose your own groups.”
Now he has chosen his own groups, but he is disconnected from me. Now he is alone. He is a sannyasin, but only on the surface.
Yes, I gave him the first group knowing perfectly well that it was not for him. But that’s what the design was. Can he trust me, just for three days being in a group? Can he trust me? Yes, it was true that the group was not meant for him. It was just something to create a situation. The situation was that he started feeling discomfort in the group, and could not tolerate it even for three days – could not even trust me for three days. Had he trusted, he would have shown that he was a real disciple.
Now, he is a sannyasin, but just because he is in orange clothes and has a mala. The contact with me is no longer there. I cannot find him, his doors are closed. Now he will be here but without me, and all that he will do he could have done anywhere else. Now he wants to do the Encounter group. He could have done Encounter anywhere else.
If he is not with me he will not be available to Teertha’s energy either because Teertha, the Encounter group leader, has no other energy. He simply functions as my energy. He is in that state where he has become just a vehicle. He is no more. He is in the state of fana, the disciple has disappeared in him. Now he simply functions as me. His hands are my hands, his energy is my energy. He is just a passage. If this sannyasin is not available to me, he will not be available to Teertha either.
You could have done an Encounter group in the United States, in England, in Europe, anywhere. You will miss the special quality of the Encounter group that is available here. It is a totally different phenomenon that is happening here. This Encounter group is not led by a group leader, the group leader does not exist. He is just a functionary, just a hollow bamboo. It is my song that filters through him to you.
There is no need to come here if you cannot follow my instructions. And these are small instructions. If I send you into some more difficult task you will escape. You could not just do a three-day Intensive Enlightenment group. What kind of search is this? You don’t have any passion for truth, and you don’t have any understanding of the workings of a master.
Do you see this chair I am sitting on? Just four days ago, I ordered Asheesh and Veena to prepare it specially for the Sufi lectures. They have worked day and night. They could complete the chair only at one o’clock in the night, just a few hours ago. They could have thought, “Why could he not have said so a few days before, why just four days before?” But they enjoyed it, they understood the design. And they went higher and higher in energy. Last night when they completed the chair, they were almost on a psychedelic trip! As they moved in surrender… It was difficult to complete it in four days, but they did.
The chair was not the question at all. It was a naqshbandi, it was a design. They learned something out of it: if you surrender, you can go high. The deeper you go in surrender, the higher you go in consciousness. They could have said that it was not possible. They would have missed – and they would have never known what it was meant for. But I am happy that Asheesh and Veena both understood the point. They went into it in deep trust; they thought that when I said four days, then it must be possible, and they poured their total energy into it.
When you pour your total energy into anything in trust, it becomes meditation. It brings ecstasy. Last night they must have moved into a kind of wajd, a glimpse.
When you are with a master you have to be very, very conscious because each and every thing is managed in such a way that it helps your spiritual growth.
“I can teach you if you will now follow my instructions…” – said Bahauddin – “and stay here with me digesting, by means of activities which will not seem to you to be initiatory…” And many times… For example, how is preparing a chair concerned with sannyas? And how is it concerned with meditation? Can’t I speak on Sufism on another chair? We have many chairs. How is it concerned with Sufism? If you think about it, it is utterly irrelevant. But that is not the point at all. If you think that way, you will miss the whole point.
Bahauddin says, “You may not understand that what I am saying to do is initiatory in any way.” “…but which will be equal to the eating of something which will enable your meal to be digested and transformed into nutrition, not weight.”
If you are suffering from indigestion, just a tablet that can help digestion… It may not appear to you how it is going to help because you don’t understand the inner chemistry of the body. But you have to follow the instruction of the master. That’s what trust is all about. And sometimes masters ask impossible things, but blessed are those who can go into even impossible things. The more impossible a thing is, the greater is going to be your maturity through it, attainment through it, enlightenment through it.
The whole point is that the food should become nutrition, nourishment, not weight. Whatever the master is giving you has to become wisdom, not knowledge. Knowledge is weight, wisdom is nourishment. Knowledge is intellectual, your memory is just overflowing with information. Wisdom is not part of your memory, wisdom becomes spread all over your being. You need not remember your wisdom; knowledge has to be remembered. Wisdom need not be remembered at all, it is you. Knowledge remains separate; if you don’t remember, you will forget. Wisdom you cannot forget, it is you. Remembrance is not needed, hence it never creates weight.
When Buddha speaks it is not a weight on him. When I am speaking to you it is not a weight on me. No effort is there, it is utterly effortless. It is a sharing. I am not trying to teach you something, but simply overflowing toward you.
Wisdom is natural, like digested food which has become your vitality. Knowledge is unnatural, is destructive, like undigested food which is hanging, burdening your chemistry.
The man agreed. He told his story many decades later, when he became famous as the great teacher Sufi Khalil Ashrafzada.
He himself became a great master in his own time, but he could become that only because he agreed. The same I say to you: if you agree with me, sooner or later great light will be released from you. You will become a light unto yourself and not only unto yourself, but for others also. You will become a lighthouse for all those who are wandering in darkness. But the first requirement is agreement with me with no hesitation, with no condition from your side, an unconditional trust. Then this miracle is possible in your life too.
La ilaha il’Allah.
Enough for today.

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