Watcher on the Hill
Fariduddin Masud was a 12th-century Punjabi Sunni Muslim preacher and mystic who went on to become “one of the most revered and distinguished … Muslim mystics” of the medieval period. He is known reverentially as Baba Farid or Shaikh Farid by Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus of the Punjab Region, or simply as Farīduddīn Ganjshakar. Fariduddin Masud was born in 571 AH in Kothewal, 10 km from Multan in the Punjab region. He was a Sunni Muslim and was one of the founding fathers of the Chishti Sufi order. Baba Farid received his early education at Multan. Once his education was over, he moved to Delhi, where he learned the Islamic doctrine from his master, Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki. He later moved to Hansi in Haryana.
Baba Farid, as he is commonly known, has his poetry included in the Guru Granth Sahib, the most sacred scripture of Sikhism, which includes 123 (or 134) hymns composed by Farid. Hazrat Baba Fariduddin reached the pinnacle of spiritual glory through extremely hard “Mujahedas” and persistent “Riyazaat” in order to gain complete mastery over the Nafs (apptetive soul). It is reported that Baba Farid, under his Pir-o-Murshid’s command, performed many awe-inspiring ‘Mujahedas’ (strivings) which drained his vitality although he persevered through spiritual nourishment and determination. Hazrat Baba Fariduddin fasted daily throughout his life and yet he regularly maintained his nightly programme of prayers and devotion. So great was his spiritual vitality that he never gave up fasting even when he was sick. Baba Farid died of Pneumonia on the fifth day of the month of Muharram, CE 1266.
Osho says “Two mystics in India had a meeting for two days. The disciples of both were immensely interested to hear them speak with each other, they wanted to know how two enlightened men communicate. One was a Mohammedan Sufi mystic, Farid; the other was Kabir, one of the greatest mystics India has known. They hugged each other, they laughed with each other; they wept in joy, in ecstasy, with tears in their eyes, but they did not speak a single word for two days. The departure time came and the disciples of both were really freaking out. Two days of concentrated waiting and they did not utter a single word! But they remained controlled as the mystics departed and Kabir came to lead Farid up to the boundary of his village. Again they hugged, again they laughed, again they cried, but those tears were of immense ecstasy. As they left each other the disciples of both erupted, almost enraged. They asked Kabir, “What happened to you? You go on talking to us — it is not that you are silent — why did you remain silent for two days?” And the same question was posed to Farid. The answer of both the mystics was almost the same. Kabir said, “You don’t understand. The moment I saw him, within my heart I said, `My God, he has reached where I have reached. There is nothing to say — he knows it all — but we can rejoice in each other’s illumination.’ And that we did.” And Farid said to his disciples, “You don’t understand. Whoever would have spoken a single word would have proved that he knows nothing. The moment I saw Kabir, I said within my heart, `My God, I used to think I was the only one around here. This man has reached long before — so beautiful, so luminous, so mysterious, such a miracle.’ All that I could do was rejoice with him — with laughter, with tears, with hugging … but words would have been absolutely out of place.” There are three possibilities: the man who knows can speak to those who don’t know; the man who does not know can even speak to the man who knows; two men who do not know, can go on talking till infinity. But the fourth possibility of speaking does not exist: two men who know are bound to fall into silence. Their celebration will be of silence.”
WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME THAT I CANNOT SEE WHAT YOU ARE SHOWING TO ME?
There is only one thing wrong with everybody, not only with you. That is a universal problem; it has nothing to do with individuals. It is the mind — the mind keeps your vision closed.
Mind means your past, your memories, your prejudices, your conditionings; whatsoever you have been told, taught, educated — all that functions as a barrier. It does not allow you to see clearly, it does not allow you even to listen what is being said. The moment you hear something, immediately it turns into something else; passing through your mind it is distorted. Unless you put your mind aside you cannot see. And that is a universal problem: it cannot be avoided.
Each society has to give a certain mind to the children. The children cannot be left without minds, otherwise they will not be able to cope with life, they will not be able to survive. It is absolutely necessary that a certain kind of education should be given to them, but whatsoever education is given to them becomes a barrier to their inner vision. It is a necessary evil. The function of religion is to undo what the society has to do out of sheer necessity.
I am not telling you not to use your mind. Use it when it is needed, but remain capable of putting it aside when it is not needed.
Being here with me, being a Sannyasin being in this Buddhafield you can put the mind aside, you can face me in total nudity.
And only then there is a possibility to hear that which is said and to see that which is shown to you. It is difficult, arduous, because we have become so identified with the mind; we are so close to the mind that there seems to be no space between us and the mind. We don’t know what is what, where our consciousness begins and the mind ends.
They have got mixed into each other, intertwined, intermingled; their boundaries have become confused.
There is no definite, clear-cut separation between consciousness and mind. Learning to watch your thought processes will help you to create the space. Watching creates distance from your mind. The watcher becomes slowly slowly distant from the watched; the observer and the observed start moving farther and farther away from each other. Soon the watcher is on the hilltop and the watched is in the dark valley far below, and the distinction is so clear, then there is no problem at all.
Education is a necessity, unavoidable; mind is a necessity, unavoidable. But there comes a moment in your life when something higher than the mind is needed, when you need to transcend the mind, when you go beyond it. That is the whole process of meditation. Listening to me THROUGH the mind is bound to create more problems for you rather than solving them, because whatsoever I say will be heard with so many prejudices that by the time it reaches to you it is no more the thing that was said…What I am saying to you is something that you have never known before, is something absolutely unknown to you. It is something mysterious; you cannot figure it out by your own calculations. You have to be more aware so that your prejudices don’t interfere, so that your old ideas don’t come in, otherwise you will immediately jump upon conclusions. And mind is very stupid, it is never intelligent. Mind is never original — it cannot be by its very nature — it only goes on and on repeating the old junk that it knows already; it cannot see anything new. If you come across something absolutely new you will simply miss it; you will not be able to see it or you will see something which is not there at all…
Vishva, you will have to forget your language if you want to understand my language. You will have to forget yourself if you want to be in tune with me. That much risk you will have to take. That’s why people who are very knowledgeable when they come here are absolutely incapable to understand anything, not because they are ignorant but because they are knowledgeable. The Hindu comes here to listen me quote the Vedas; instead I quote a joke. He is shocked. He wanted to hear RICHAS to be repeated from the Vedas and the Upanishadas: that’s what he has been expecting. His expectation is so much that he cannot understand what is happening here. If I had quoted from the scriptures he would have relaxed, he would have felt that he has understood, simply because he would have thought that I am supporting his ideas. He comes here not to understand something new, he comes here to be strengthened, supported, nourished in his own beliefs. He will go very happy if I am supporting his ideas. And one thing is absolutely certain: his ideas have not helped him at all, otherwise there was no need to come here. To come here and still hanker to be supported simply shows the stupidity.
If your ideas are right you need not come here; you live your ideas, you practice them. You have lived according to your ideas and you have reached nowhere. Your Vedas have failed. Your Upanishads have become just a parrot-like phenomenon in you. You go on repeating beautiful words. If you have come here to get some support, some props for your falling ego, for your disintegrating ego, then you have come to a wrong place. Then listening to me he will be shocked; he will immediately close himself. He will become almost blind and deaf…
I am not here to support you, I am here to dismantle your mind. You need hammering in many ways…Vishva, you must be carrying some knowledge within you — drop your knowledge. This is not a place to carry your knowledge. This is not a place where you can gather more information, where you can become more learned. This is a place to become more innocent, and then things will start happening very easily. If you are carrying some subtle ideas deep down in your unconscious, then you are always looking — maybe not consciously, maybe not very deliberately, but always looking — to be supported, nourished. And if something is not supporting, it hurts, it wounds, and immediately you shrink back, you withdraw from me. And this thing goes on happening every day. People come close to me, they withdraw; they come close to me, they withdraw again. This game goes on happening until finally they realize the whole stupidity and wastage of time…
You ask me, Vishva: WHAT’S WRONG WITH ME THAT I CANNOT SEE WHAT YOU ARE SHOWING TO ME?
Nothing specially wrong with you, just the same human problem: the problem of the mind. If you are intelligent you can put it aside immediately, right now. All that is needed is an intelligent grasp, just a single moment’s glimpse, and you are out of it — because the mind is not holding you, you are holding the mind.
It happened: A man came to Sheik Farid, a Sufi mystic, a great Sufi mystic and a very strange man. The man said, “How can I get out of my chains, my attachment, my ideas, my prejudices?” Farid had his own way of answering things. Rather than answering to the person he simply ran to a pillar which was nearby, clung to the pillar and started shouting, “Save me from the pillar!” The man could not believe what is happening — is he mad or something? And he was shouting so loudly that people started coming from the street in. A crowd gathered and they asked, “What is the matter with you? Have you gone crazy? You are holding the pillar, not the pillar holding you. You can leave it!” And the man also said, “I had thought that this man is a man of great understanding and he seems to be just a madman! I had asked a very subtle question, a very spiritual question which has always been asked by seekers: how to get out of my attachments with ideas things people? And rather than answering me he simply jumped and clung to the pillar and started shouting, ‘Save me from the pillar!'”
Farid looked at the man and he said, “If you can understand this, then you don’t need any answer. Go home and ponder over it. If the pillar is not holding me, neither your chains are holding you — you are holding them. I can leave the pillar — look I am leaving the pillar and I am saved! You also leave…”The man must have been really intelligent — he understood. There was a shock for a moment, the way the question was answered, but in that very shock he could see the point. It penetrated to his very heart. He touched the feet of Farid and said, “It is finished! I have asked the same question to many mahatmas, to many saints, and they gave me great discourses on it, and nothing happened. And your mad effort to answer me has immediately transformed something in me. Now I am not going back to my old world, I am going to be with you. I have found the man I was searching all my life. I needed a man like you who can hit me so hard, who could show me my stupidity.”
Vishva, you can drop your mind this very moment because the mind cannot hold you. Mind is just a mechanism, a machine; you can get out of it any moment. But you have invested so much in it that YOU cling to IT, and then you go on asking how to get out of it. The doors are open; there is nobody preventing you. You can come out of it! But rather than coming out of it you simply go on asking, “How to come out of it?” There is no question of “how”.
Whenever anybody asked Gautam Buddha, “How to come out of my misery?” he always used to say that, “If your house is on fire, will you ask anybody how to come out of it? Will you wait for some learned answer? Will you consult scriptures? Or you will jump? If the door is not open, if the door is also aflame, you will jump from the window. You will not even bother that jumping out from the window will look a little odd. If you are in your bath room taking a bath and you are naked, you will not even bother to wrap around a towel; you will simply run out naked. And you will not think that this is not mannerly, against etiquette, running out naked; you won’t bother at all. If you understand that the house is on fire you will find the way. But you are simply talking, talking how to get out of misery; you are not aware of the misery.”
If one is really aware of the misery, nobody can prevent you. And there is no need to postpone. Postponement means that you have a very mediocre mind. The intelligent person acts immediately because who knows about the next moment? The tomorrow never comes.
This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune.
Discourse series: Tao: The Golden Gate, Vol. 2
Chapter title: Save me from the Pillar
29 June 1980 am in Buddha Hall
Osho has spoken on Sufi Masters and Mystics Al-Hillaj-Mansoor, Junnaid, Rabiya Al Adabiya, Jalaladdin Rumi, Sarmad, Omar Khayyam and many more in His discourses. Some of these can be referred to in the following books/discourses:
- Be Still and Know
- Come Come Yet Again Come
- The Perfect Master, Vol 1, 2
- Beyond Enlightenment
- The New Dawn
- The Sword and The Lotus
- Om Shantih Shantih Shantih
- And the Flowers Showered
- The Razor’s Edge
- The Revolution
- Sufis: The People of the Path, Vol 1, 2
- The Empty Boat
- Light on the Path
- Tao: The Three Treasures, Vol 2
- Zen: The Quantum Leap From Mind to No-Mind