This A Thousand Times 14

Fourteenth Discourse from the series of 15 discourses - This A Thousand Times by Osho.
You can listen, download or read all of these discourses on oshoworld.com.

Ungo Doyo was the chief disciple of Tozan. When he first met Tozan, he was asked, “What is your name?”
He answered, “Doyo.”
Tozan said, “Tell me transcendentally!”
Ungo replied, “Speaking transcendentally, my name is Doyo.”
Tozan said, “When I saw my master, my answer was no different.”
Ungo remained with Tozan many years. Tozan never had less than one thousand, five hundred disciples, of whom twenty-eight were enlightened.

After Ungo had realized his own enlightenment and became a master, a monk asked him a question.
Ungo said, “You are a fool!”
The monk said, “So are you!”
“What is the meaning of fool?” asked Ungo.
The monk danced.
Off he went, and Ungo praised him, in his absence, saying, “After all, everybody is out to get something, though of course Zen-getting is a no-getting.”

On another occasion, an official said to Ungo: “The world-honored one had a secret message. Mahakashyapa did not keep it a secret. What is this secret word of Buddha?”
Ungo called to him, “Your honor!”
He answered, “Yes?”
Ungo said, “You understand?”
“No,” he replied.
Ungo said, “If you don’t understand, that is Buddha’s secret word; if you do, that is Mahakashyapa’s not keeping it a secret.”
Maneesha, it will be very difficult to understand this small anecdote without going back twenty-five centuries to Gautam Buddha and Mahakashyapa.
It must have been an assembly like this – utterly silent and waiting for Gautam Buddha to come. He was going to give his morning sermon, as usual – but he was late that day. Waiting became intense… Also there was some fear: “Has some accident happened? Why isn’t he on time? In his forty-two years of teaching he has never missed, even on one occasion. Why is he late?”
But it was no ordinary gathering of spectators. These were people who were seeking and inquiring about their own being, and perhaps they thought, “This is one of the ways of Gautam Buddha – for us to learn how to wait silently, without asking.”
And very unexpectedly, Gautam Buddha appeared with a roseflower in his hand. It was such an extraordinary event because Buddha had never come the way he came that day. He had always come with empty hands. Holding a beautiful roseflower… Everybody must have thought – if you had been present you would have thought – “Perhaps he is going to say something about the rose.”
But he was not a poet. He was not a painter. What could he say about the rose? And he did not talk either. He simply sat in his place and went on looking at the roseflower, making everybody almost crazy. What has happened to him? This is the time to speak to the commune and he is looking at the roseflower without even uttering a single word. There is a point of waiting… People became very impatient. One could feel the impatience all around.
At this moment, Mahakashyapa, who had never spoken a word before nor after, laughed loudly. He had been a disciple of Gautam Buddha for twenty years. He had never asked a question. He used to sit under a special tree; it had almost become his monopoly. Nobody ever sat under that tree. Everybody knew: “Mahakashyapa will be coming, his place has to be left.”
But his place was very strange. He was a prince before he renounced his kingdom – just like Gautam Buddha – well educated and cultured in all the ways of religion and philosophy. But it is strange that for twenty years he had been just sitting there, not asking even a single question.
And suddenly today, when everybody is impatiently waiting for Buddha to speak, this strange fellow Mahakashyapa starts laughing. He had not even laughed for twenty years.
This incident is the beginning of a very special branch of mystics called Zen.
Mahakashyapa was called by Gautam Buddha to come close to him. Buddha offered the roseflower to him and the sermon was over.
Without a single word being uttered, something was transferred; something as beautiful as a roseflower can represent – invisible, perhaps, like the fragrance of a rose. Mahakashyapa bowed down, touched his feet, took the rose on his head and went back to his tree. And the whole audience of ten thousand monks simply watched this drama.
Buddha left his seat. Ananda, who used to declare Buddha’s coming, or the subject on which he was going to speak, announced that the sermon was over.
Since that day, for twenty-five centuries those who have been interested in Gautam Buddha and his teachings have been asking again and again, “What has been transferred? What was it that Buddha gave to Mahakashyapa? And why did Mahakashyapa laugh?”
Mahakashyapa is accepted as the first Zen master: Gautam Buddha has opened a new dimension of search, where not words are needed, but silence; where you can say only without saying, where to say anything is to miss. Yes, you can laugh, you can dance because while you are laughing, in its totality mind stops, time stops and your whole being melts into one unity, into one organism. Otherwise you are a crowd: one hand is going to the south, your other hand is going to the north, your head is scattered into thousands of pieces…
But a good belly laugh, and everything comes back, and suddenly you are united. Laughter is the beginning of Zen.
And Mahakashyapa laughed at the impatience of people – because Gautam Buddha had never given as much as he was giving that day in his silence. He is simply saying: “Watch, be a witness. Don’t say a word. Just be, and this very moment you are enlightened.”
After this background, it will be easy for you to understand the anecdote that Maneesha has placed here.
Ungo Doyo was the chief disciple of Tozan. When he first met Tozan, he was asked, “What is your name?”
Remember that in Zen, language is used in a totally different way than it is used commonly. “What is your name?” does not mean that your name is being asked. “What is your name?” means “Who are you? Are you here?” It is a question not about an arbitrary name, it is a question about the eternal consciousness within you. Have you found it?
He answered, “Doyo.”
Tozan said, “Tell me transcendentally!”
Don’t use any words!
You have to understand what is meant by transcendentally. Can you see that my finger, without saying anything, is pointing? Can you look into my eyes and see the silence of them?
I am also holding the whole existence in my hand; not just one roseflower, but all the roseflowers that have ever blossomed or will ever blossom. Do you see them? Can you see in a single rose all the roses of the past and all the roses of the future?
To see transcendentally means seeing not with your mind but with your being. In other words: when language stops, when mind stops and you are just a silence, a pure space, then you can do any act spontaneously, and that will be speaking transcendentally.
Ungo replied, “Speaking transcendentally, my name is Doyo.”
Tozan said, “When I saw my master, my answer was no different.”
Ungo remained with Tozan many years. Tozan never had less than one thousand, five hundred disciples, of whom twenty-eight were enlightened.
In this part of the anecdote he is saying, “You are not different from me. Just as you are unenlightened today, I was also unenlightened when I reached my master. My answer was not different from yours. It was as ignorant as yours, it was as unconscious as yours. You are still using words.”
After Ungo had realized his own enlightenment and became a master, a monk asked him a question.
Ungo said, “You are a fool!”
The monk said, “So are you!”
“What is the meaning of fool?” asked Ungo.
The monk danced.
Existence has to be experienced without intellectual verbalization. A dance will do because in a dance you are total. The real dancer forgets himself; only the dance remains and the dancer disappears. This is transcendence.
It may happen in many ways. A singer can sing to such intensity and totality that he is no longer there, only the song… And the transcendence has happened.
A poet, a painter, a musician, a carpenter – it does not matter what you are doing. But if you are doing it without your mind interfering…

I have told you about one of the greatest dancers of this century, Nijinsky. He was a problem, particularly to physics and other branches of science. When he used to dance, there were moments he would jump so high that it is not possible according to physical calculations; gravity will not allow that much. It was not only that he went beyond gravitation when he danced, when he came back, he did not follow the way things fall back toward the earth. He came like a feather, very slowly, with no hurry.
It seemed as if he was coming back on his own, was not being pulled magnetically by gravitation. He was asked again and again, “How do you do it?”
He said, “Don’t ask me how I do it, because I am puzzled myself. Whenever I have tried it, I have not been able to do it. When I forget myself – when there is no Nijinsky and the dance takes over, the dancer melts into the dance – perhaps gravitation loses its magnetism. But I can only say this much: that whenever it has happened, I was not. And whenever I have tried, it has never happened.”

This is what is meant by transcendental. Your absence is transcendental. Your egolessness is transcendental.
Doyo’s answer was factual: it was his name. But names are just labels, you can change them. You are not born with a name, neither are you going to die with a name. Nameless you come, like a breeze, and nameless you disappear into the unknown. All names are arbitrary – they are good for post offices, they are good for the marketplace. They are a necessity, but the necessity is utilitarian, it is not transcendental.
If you want, you can drop your name and you can say, “I don’t have any name.” There is no problem in dropping the name. It is just a fiction, made of the same stuff as dreams are made of.
Tozan said, “Please tell it transcendentally!”
But to say anything transcendentally is first to understand transcendence as an experience.
Ungo said, “Speaking transcendentally, still my name is Doyo.”
Tozan said, “When I saw my master, my answer was no different. I was as ignorant as you are, as unconscious as you are, as fast asleep as you are.”
After Ungo had realized his own enlightenment and became a master, a monk asked him a question.
Ungo said, “You are a fool!”
The monk must have been a man of great understanding because he replied, “You are also a fool!”
Innocence is not knowledgeability. The fool is closer to the experience of innocence than the man of knowledge. The man of knowledge is full of rubbish, borrowed. The fool at least is free from any borrowed knowledge; he is himself.
This is the uniqueness of Zen, that it would rather like you to be a fool than to be a great scholar, knowledgeable – a rabbi, a pundit – because these people are ruling the whole humanity and its past, they have destroyed all the innocence of man.
Zen would love even a fool, if he is innocent, if he can say, “I do not know” That’s what has been happening in this dialogue.
Ungo said, “You are a fool!” Ordinarily, anybody would have been offended to be called a fool. But Zen speaks a totally different language. Its vibe is different, its world is different. Rather than being offended, he simply said, “So are you!” Neither I know, nor you know.
Not knowing, just being, is the conclusion of Zen. Knowing is for the mind, not knowing is of the heart. And as your not knowing goes deeper, it reaches to your very being.
Socrates, in the last moments of life told his disciples, “When I was young I thought I knew too much. As I became a little more mature, I became aware that my knowledge is so little and the area of ignorance is immense. But now, before dying, I can say to you that I do not know anything at all. I am dying just like a child, unscratched.”
That is the meaning of Kabir’s statement: “Jyun ki tyun dhari dinhin chadariya – the way you have given me life, I am returning it back to you, unscratched, unspoiled.” The same innocence that belongs to the first day should remain your whole life, throbbing within you.
Then you will know the poetry of existence, then you will know the aesthetics, the beauty that surrounds you. Then you will know that which cannot be known, which cannot be said, but still can be felt, still can be lived.
Ungo asked,
“What is the meaning of fool?” asked Ungo
The monk danced.
A very authentic answer: stop bothering with the words, now come to reality. His dance is the answer of his innocence. It is unfortunate that even poets become egoists. It is unfortunate that musicians, painters, sculptors become egoists. These are the people who should be the mystics. But rather then entering into the innocence of their poetry, their music, their dance, they also enter into the race of politics, being somebody special.
Zen is for those who are ready to be nobodies, who are ready to be just a silence. But that silence opens the door to all the splendors that are hidden within you. Out of that silence your dance will have a totally different quality: your poetry will have a totally different nuance, your music will not be your music. You will become just like a hollow bamboo and the universe will sing through you.
Unless you are just like a hollow bamboo and the universe can sing through you, you are just mediocre. You are just a composer of words, you are not in the hands of existence, you are afraid. You are defending yourself, you are on an ego trip. Everybody is.
Somebody is riding on ladders to reach to power, somebody is accumulating money, somebody is choosing a different dimension. But the goal is the same: “I should be recognized.”
You need not be recognized. You have to realize, not be recognized. If recognition comes on its own, that is another matter; that is just like a shadow. It is not your goal, it follows you. You don’t run after it.
The monk danced.
And off he went, and Ungo praised him, in his absence, saying, “After all, everybody is out to get something, though of course Zen-getting is a no-getting.”

On another occasion, an official said to Ungo: “The world-honored one had a secret message. Mahakashyapa did not keep it a secret. What is this secret word of Buddha?”
I have told you the story of Mahakashyapa. Another incident in the life of Buddha will explain this to you.

He is passing through the forest, Ananda is with him. It is time for the leaves to fall. The whole forest is full of leaves, fluttering, dancing in the wind under the sun. The trees are standing naked.
Ananda asked Buddha, “I did not have time to ask because somebody else was always there, and I did not want to interrupt. At this moment we are alone; I want to ask one thing. Have you said everything to us that you know? Are you keeping some secrets?”
Buddha bent down, took a few dead leaves in his hand and said to Ananda, “What I have said is equivalent to these few leaves, and what I have not said is equivalent to all the dry leaves of this vast forest. But I am not keeping a secret – it cannot be said. Those who will understand what I have said, perhaps may find it themselves – they are bound to. I have only shown the way. I have not said a single word about the goal.”

This occasion again comes when Ungo is asked by an official,
“The world-honored one…
Gautam Buddha
…had a secret message. Mahakashyapa did not keep it a secret.
Because Mahakashyapa laughed, shared his experience. Buddha was silent, everybody else was silent. Mahakashyapa could not resist sharing the beauty of silence, the joy of silence, and laughed loudly.
Hence in Zen tradition it is said: Buddha had many secrets, but Mahakashyapa opened them to the world.
Ungo called to him, “Your honor!”
He was a government official.
He answered, “Yes?”
Ungo said, “You understand?”
“No,” he replied.
Ungo said, “If you don’t understand, that is Buddha’s secret; if you do, that is Mahakashyapa’s not keeping it a secret.”
It is a beautiful anecdote for anybody who is really longing to know the innermost secret of one’s own being and the existence to which we belong.
As far as my comment on this anecdote is concerned, I want you to know there is no secret. Everything is as open as the sky, just you are closed.
A blind man can say, “The sun is keeping the light a secret.” A deaf man can say, “All these poets who have gathered here are not reciting their poetry.” Your deafness, your blindness, your unawareness, does not make existence a secret. It is shouting from every star, from every mountain peak, from every flower, in thousands of ways.
It is not a secret, you don’t have to search for it. You have just to be silent within yourself and it is there, throbbing in your heartbeats. Remember, your heartbeats are the heartbeats of the whole life system. They are the heartbeat of existence itself.
That is my whole work here.
I don’t have any philosophy to teach and I don’t have any dogma, any creed, any theology, any religion. I am not a preacher. I am simply trying to indicate that you are it.
Maneesha has asked a few questions. First:
To be told that truth is a secret makes me feel that truth is an exclusive club to which one only gains entrance by having some inexplicable qualification.
But I don't sense that you have some secret you are keeping from us. If anything my own secretiveness is what is in the way.
Is there anything you can say that I might understand?
Every moment I am giving you the rose that Gautam Buddha gave to Mahakashyapa; with my whole being, with my presence. There is no secret at all; both my hands are open, I am not holding my fists.
But there are investments which would like what you call “exclusive clubs.” The Hindu pundit thinks that truth is only in the Sanskrit scriptures.
One very young and alert man, Swami Ramateertha, who had gone to the West, around the world, was loved by thousands of people. He was a man of rare quality. He thought that before coming back home, it would be right for him to first go to Kashi, the capital of Hinduism. But he was not aware that a great disaster was awaiting him.
In Kashi, they have the secret council of Hindu scholars. He was asked to present himself before the council, and the first question that was asked by the chairman was, “Do you understand Sanskrit?”
Of course he did not. He was born near Peshawar; his whole education was Persian, Arabic, Urdu. Sanskrit was not known to him at all. But Sanskrit is not needed to know the truth, otherwise Socrates could not know it, Pythagoras could not know it.
But this is the attitude of all the religions. Jesus was crucified for many reasons. One of them was that he was not a rabbi, he was not a scholarly Jew. He was just a poor carpenter’s son, and was claiming to be a prophet. The learned people have a vested interest in keeping secrets. And in their scriptures there is nothing.
Just look at those scholars: in their lives there is nothing – no song, no beauty, no dance, no laughter. They are just like dry wood. Have you ever seen a pundit dancing innocently? A rabbi or a pope? They know much but they don’t know the inner space of innocence.
It is not a secret, Maneesha. It becomes a secret if you are asleep. If you don’t enter into your own being it becomes a secret. Nobody can prevent you except yourself, and nobody can give it to you except yourself.
Her second question is:
Last night's discourse was like being aboard Noah's Ark. Your voice was an anchor as we sat so still and silent, literally in the center of the cyclone. It was an amazing example of how existence is right with us – though I have heard that one bamboo sustained multiple fractures.
Maneesha, that bamboo – and one other tree which was brought by sannyasins from Brazil – were both very proud people. They needed, they deserved, multiple fractures. Otherwise, there are hundreds of bamboos around you and they were as silent with you in the rains and the thundering clouds and the winds… Nothing has happened to them.
You should watch carefully. The bamboo who had multiple fractures and the tree from Brazil… It was a proud tree. But pride is not the name of the game we are playing here.
It is perfectly good; we will take care of the bamboo. And I hope he has learned why he has got multiple fractures. When the winds came and the clouds thundered and the rain was too much… If a bamboo does not move with the wind and the rain and dance, it is going to get fractures. That bamboo must have stood against the rains, against the winds; and whoever stands against nature will find himself totally broken, will find himself, sooner or later, in a hospital.
It is always the ego that gets fractured. Your being is untouchable. Nothing can harm your being, not even death.
Before we enter into our daily meditation, the bamboos are waiting for a few laughs. They may not understand the language but they can understand your laughter.

Moishe Finkelstein is dozing in his armchair in the Finkelstein Funeral Home one afternoon. The phone rings and Moishe picks up the clock and puts it to his ear.
“Hello,” says Moishe sleepily.
Then the phone rings again and Moishe puts down the clock and talks to the phone instead. It turns out that the Democratic Dodo Political Party has booked an entire hotel in town for their conference, and that in room 213, one of their delegates has died.
Moishe throws a coffin in the back of the hearse and drives downtown.
Half an hour later, Moishe calls the manager’s office to confirm that the job is done, and that the occupant of room 312 has been removed.
“You idiot!” shouts the manager, “I said room 213! Was the man in 312 dead also?”
“He said he wasn’t,” replies Moishe calmly, “but you know what liars these politicians are.”

Rajiv Gandhi, the Indian prime minister, Francois Mitterand, the French president, and Ronald Reagan from America, are sitting alone together after a conference.
“I have a problem,” says Gandhi, “and I need your help. I have twenty personal bodyguards, and I know for certain that one of them is a Chinese spy. But which one?”
Mitterand and Reagan nod sympathetically and then the Frenchman says, “I have a similar problem. I have twenty mistresses and I know for sure that one of them is unfaithful. But which one?”
“That’s nothing,” says Ronald Reagan, “I have twenty people in my cabinet. One of them, I know, is intelligent. But which one?”

Old man Finkelstein and his friend Grandpa Funkenburger are having a few drinks with their dinner. “You know,” says Fink, “when I was thirty, my erection was so strong, I could not bend it at all, even with both my hands.”
Funk nods his head appreciatively.
“When I reached forty,” continues Fink, “I could bend it just a little bit, but only with a great deal of effort. At fifty, I could bend it a little more. And now that I am sixty, I can easily bend it in half.”
The two friends keep sipping their drinks.
“It is just amazing, Funk,” continues Fink, “I wonder how much stronger my hands are going to get?”

Rubin and Klopman, two old friends, meet in the street one day. “How is everything?” asks Rubin.
“It could be worse,” replies Klopman, “My house burned down with everything in it.”
“Oh!” says Rubin, “that is terrible”
“Well, not terrible,” replies Klopman, “The insurance paid me double what is was worth.”
“Why, that is wonderful,” exclaims Rubin.
“Not wonderful,” replies Klopman, “My wife died in the fire.”
“That is terrible,” says Rubin.
“Not terrible,” replies Klopman, “You see, I married again and the new wife is much better than my old one.”
“That’s wonderful,” says Rubin.
“Not wonderful,” replies Klopman, “because my wife goes visiting with my neighbor who is quite a good-looking guy and she spends the night there quite often.”
“That is terrible,” says Rubin.
“Not terrible,” replies Klopman, “because my neighbor has a really beautiful wife who comes to stay with me!”
“So things with you are wonderful,” says Rubin.
“Not wonderful, not terrible,” replies Klopman, “it could be worse.”

Now, Nivedano, give the first beat and everybody goes into gibberish as totally as possible.
The beat…



Nivedano, the beat…


Now, everybody goes into absolute silence. Close your eyes, no movement. Just be in.

This. This. A thousand times this is the very essence of Zen.
Catch hold of this and God is in your hands.
In this moment, you all have become temples of God.



Now, fall dead.
Just let the body breathe and you simply be now and here.
Go deeper, deeper.
Don’t be the bamboo who got multiple fractures.
Go deeper, to the very roots of your being.

Now, Nivedano…


Come back to life.
Fresh and young.
Listen… Even the bamboos are happy,
celebrating your silence.
These blessed bamboos wait every day for this moment to be with me.
In silence, the whole existence is one ocean.

Spread the love