Witness is Ultimate

Birthday of 30th US President Calvin Coolidge

Calvin Coolidge was an American lawyer and politician who served as the 30th president of the United States from 1923 to 1929. After the 5 year term he deliberately didn’t participate in further election and Osho has praised his decision in few of his discourses.

Despite his reputation as a quiet and even reclusive politician, Coolidge made use of radio as a new medium to reach public and made radio history several times while president. He made himself available to reporters, giving 520 press conferences, meeting with reporters more regularly than any president before or since. Also Coolidge was the only president to have his portrait on a coin during his lifetime

Osho says….


If God is also known, Kabir is asking, then is the knower of God greater than God? If God is also known, then the knower is certainly greater, then the witness is certainly greater. Some enlightened men put self-knowledge above God; they consider it greater than God. Mahavira did, for example.

Mahavira said the soul was supreme. And so, in the final analysis, only the knower remains. God is also known, so He too cannot be greater than the knower. It is a very subtle thing to understand that everything vanishes at the moment one attains the highest knowing, at the moment one achieves the ultimate knowledge. Sansara vanishes, and the creator of sansara also disappears. Existence disappears too, and only consciousness, only pure consciousness — the seer, the witness, the soul or whatsoever name you want to call it — remains. The knower is certainly greater; consciousness is undoubtedly greater.

At the final moment, consciousness becomes God. When the devotee reaches this final stage he becomes God, he himself becomes BHAGWAN. Now everything is smaller. Whatsoever is known — all experience — becomes small, and the experiencer is the greater. All perceptions, all things seen become insignificant, and once and for all the seer, the witness, is ultimate.


Kabir asks if Brahma who created the universe is great, or if the great existence in which Brahma himself was born is greater.

Ultimately, the original source is greater. And that original source is hidden within you. Kabir is indicating this fact, that no one is greater than you. And how small and insignificant you consider yourself to be! You are the ultimate, the finality. Nothing is beyond you or above you.

Yet how small you think you are!

And it is because you think of yourself as so small that the ego is born in you. The ego is born in you because you do not want to believe you are so small. And so you claim you are big. All such assertions are false. And yet the inquiry that underlies these claims is very significant, very meaningful indeed. Indirectly you are asking, “How is it I am willing to be so small?” The innermost consciousness within you is unwilling to be small and so you make false claims. You have no idea of what truth is and so at times you say, “See how much wealth I have! See how learned I am! Look, I have renounced this! Look, I have renounced that!” But you do not realize what you are saying. All this egoistic talk is false. You are in fact greater than God; you are greater than BHAGWAN. You are the ultimate.

This feeling that you will not be at ease until you have become the ultimate, until you attain to the highest state, pervades every particle of your being. You hanker after significant positions, but ultimately find them all to be useless. Whenever you attain to a particular position, you immediately find it to be insignificant.

There was a very famous American president named Coolidge. He once fought for election and won; he became president. He was very popular, and unlike most politicians he was a man of saintly character. He was also a man of very few words. It was difficult to make him talk; he liked to be quiet, to remain silent as much as possible. A lady once invited Mr. Coolidge to dinner and made a bet she would extract at least four words from him. She went on talking for a long time but Coolidge remained silent. Finally, she pressed him to say something. He answered, “I don’t know.” He only uttered three words. She could not even get four whole words out of him!

Another time Coolidge was strolling up and down in front of the White House. A stranger to Washington stopped him and asked who lived in that huge house. He answered, “No one lives here. People just come and go. It isn’t a house, it’s a tavern.” It was only afterwards the stranger realized that the man himself lived in the White House that he had spoken to the president of America himself. Coolidge was that kind of man.

When his first term as president was over, his friends and followers requested he stand for election once again. They said success was assured. Coolidge replied, “No further now.” Why? His words were wonderful. He said, “There can be no further promotion. I have been president once. Now there is no post higher. What is the point? Now I know that this position, this status, brings no contentment either.”

No matter what you obtain, it will not satisfy you. You will not be satisfied until you attain to the ultimate. There is no contentment until you achieve God. God is your original source; God is your nature.


This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune. 

Discourse Series: The Great Secret

Chapter #8

Chapter title: Why go to others?

18 January 1975 am in Buddha Hall


Osho has spoken on many politicians and rulers like Abraham Lincoln, Lenin, Mao Tse Tung, Jawaharlal Nehru, Kennedy, Coolidge, Stalin, Churchill, Roosevelt, Alexander, Napoleon, and more in His discourses. Some of these can be referred to in the following books/discourses:

  1. From Bondage to Freedom
  2. From Ignorance to Innocence
  3. The Path of the Mystic
  4. From False to Truth
  5. From Misery to Enlightenment
  6. Zen: Zest, Zip, Zap, Zing
  7. Beyond Psychology
  8. Live Zen
  9. The Invitation
  10. Communism and Zen Fire, Zen Wind
  11. The Book of Wisdom
  12. The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 3
  13. Zen: The Path of Paradox, Vol 1
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