The Touch of the Master
THERE WAS ONCE A SUFI WHO WANTED TO MAKE SURE THAT HIS DISCIPLES WOULD, AFTER HIS DEATH, FIND THE RIGHT TEACHER OF THE WAY FOR THEM.
HE THEREFORE, AFTER THE OBLIGATORY BEQUESTS LAID DOWN BY LAW, LEFT HIS DISCIPLES SEVENTEEN CAMELS, WITH THIS ORDER:
'YOU WILL DIVIDE THE CAMELS AMONG THE THREE OF YOU IN THE FOLLOWING PROPORTIONS: THE OLDEST SHALL HAVE HALF, THE MIDDLE IN AGE ONE-THIRD, AND THE YOUNGEST SHALL HAVE ONE-NINTH.'
AS SOON AS HE WAS DEAD AND THE WILL WAS READ, THE DISCIPLES WERE AT FIRST AMAZED AT SUCH AN INEFFICIENT DISPOSITION OF THEIR MASTER'S ASSETS. SOME SAID, 'LET US OWN THE CAMELS COMMUNALLY.' OTHERS SOUGHT ADVICE AND THEN SAID, 'WE HAVE BEEN TOLD TO MAKE THE NEAREST POSSIBLE DIVISION.' OTHERS WERE TOLD BY A JUDGE TO SELL THE CAMELS AND DIVIDE THE MONEY; AND YET OTHERS HELD THAT THE WILL WAS NULL AND VOID BECAUSE ITS PROVISIONS COULD NOT BE EXECUTED.
THEN THEY FELL TO THINKING THAT THERE MIGHT BE SOME HIDDEN WISDOM IN THE MASTER'S BEQUEST, SO THEY MADE ENQUIRIES AS TO WHO COULD SOLVE INSOLUBLE PROBLEMS.
EVERYONE THEY TRIED FAILED, UNTIL THEY ARRIVED AT THE DOOR OF THE SON-IN-LAW OF THE PROPHET, HAZRAT ALI.
HE SAID, 'THIS IS YOUR SOLUTION. I WILL ADD ONE CAMEL TO THE NUMBER. OUT OF THE EIGHTEEN CAMELS YOU WILL GIVE HALF -- NINE CAMELS -- TO THE OLDEST DISCIPLE. THE SECOND SHALL HAVE A THIRD OF THE TOTAL, WHICH IS SIX CAMELS. THE LAST DISCIPLE MAY HAVE ONE-NINTH, WHICH CAMEL -- IS LEFT OVER TO BE RETURNED TO ME.
THIS WAS HOW THE DISCIPLES FOUND THE TEACHER FOR THEM.
SUFISM depends absolutely on the concept of the Master. Without the Master there is no Sufism. Sufism does not believe in the books, it believes in the living Master. One has to come to somebody who has come to know by himself. The books may contain great wisdom, but there is no way to decode it. If you decode it, you will decode it according to your mind. That will falsify the book.
Islam is known as the religion of the book -- the Koran. Hinduism is also known as the religion of the book -- the Veda. And so is the case with Christianity. The word 'bible' simply means the book.
But Sufism insists that the book cannot help you. No hook can help you. Sufis of course have a book which they call The BOOK OF THE Books, hut it is empty. Nothing is written in it -- not even a single word. That is their attitude about books -- that although many things will be there, for you it will remain empty, because you can read only that which you know.
Just the other day I heard somebody ask Mulla Nasruddin, 'Why did Jesus say "Blessed are the poor in spirit"?'
Mulla thought for a while and then said, 'Blessed are the poor in spirit for they have no money to buy booze.'
Another time somebody asked Mulla Nasruddin, 'And what is the eleventh commandment?'
He said, 'Thou shalt not get caught.'
Your mind will become your master when you are reading a book, and the mind is the problem. This mind can continue perfectly well with a book. The book is dead. The mind has to interpret, comment, decide what the meaning is. So when you are reading a book, you are reading your own mind in an indirect way. The book goes on throwing you back to yourself.
You may become very learned but you will never become a man who really knows. You will know many things about God but you will never know God. And you will know many things about truth but you will never know truth. And to know ABOUT IS just meaningless. To know is the thing, not to know ABOUT. To know about means you have missed. But the books can give you a very, very strong feeling that you know; without knowing at all you can have the feeling that you know -- and that will become your greatest barrier to knowing. That will become a China Wall around you; your bridges will be broken. How to bridge? How to connect7 How to attain to this connection with the divine?
The divine seems so far away; the divine seems almost impossible. The God is not obvious; the God is not close by. You look all around and the existence seems to be almost empty of God. That's what Martin Heidegger says -- 'I have not found a single thing in the world which I can call sacred.'
From the ordinary standpoint he is right. Where can you find the sacred? The sacred is missing -- not because the sacred is not there, but because you don't know how to feel the sacred. You have not yet evolved that intuitive capacity that can feel the sacred. God is far away; the world is very close by. Matter is all around and you never come across the spirit. Hence religion remains just a theory, it neVer becomes an experience.
Sufism believes that you can approach God only through a Master.
A Master is one who can become a via media, who will bee just between you and the divine -- a door through whom you can have a glimpse. He knows -- not as knowledge but as experience. His experience has transformed him, transfigured him, transported him to another world. A- Master lives in two realities together, a Master is a paradox. One of his feet is in the world, his other foot is in God. From one side he is just like you and from another side he is just the opposite of you. A Master is a paradox. Through the paradox of the Master you will be able to reach the divine; there is no other way.
So the first step for a seeker is to fall in love with a Master, to seek a Master. If you can find a Master, half the journey is over. In fact, the most arduous part is over. To find the Master is the basic requirement of becoming a Sufi. Sufi seekers travel tor thousands of miles in search of a Master, in search of the man with whom they can feel in tune, with whom they can vibrate into the unknown, with whom they can take the first step beyond the known.
So the first thing, the first and the most important thing, is to find a Master. Sufis say that the greatest blessing of life is to be with a Master. If you are not with a Master, you have missed the whole opportunity. Then you live with the non-essential; then you never come in contact with the essential. And the only way to come in contact with the essential is to be connected with someone who is in contact.
It is almost like.... Have you seen somebody in a circus or in a carnival, or in an exhibition sitting on an electric chair? The chair looks ordinary. You can't see that the chair is an electric chair, vibrating with electricity. And you can't see -- because it is not visible to the eyes -- that the man's whole body is electrified. But if you touch the man, you get a shock. The man who is sitting on the electric chair is electrified. You cannot see, but if you touch you are immediately connected with electricity.
So is the case with a Master. He's electrified by the divine. It may not be visible to those who are just spectators; it may become an experience only for those who come close and touch.
Once you have touched a Master or the Master has touched you, something that has never been in your consciousness has happened. And from that knowing there is no way to fall back. I t is irreversible. And once you have felt it, then you know it is. And then you can see the same flame in the trees and in the rivers and in the people. Maybe it is not so clear, maybe it is clouded, hidden behind smoke, asleep, but it is the same whether asleep or awake, hidden behind a cloud of smoke or burning brightly with no smoke. It is the same flame. Once you have touched a Master or you have been touched by a Master...
Michelangelo painted the Day of Creation in the Sistine Chapel. He changed the whole story, the biblical story. And even the people who were making the Sistine Chapel, who were financing it, and the pope -- even they could not detect that he had done something utterly new, something which is not in the Bible.
The Bible says that God created Adam. He created Adam with mud, humus -- hence the word 'human'. And then God breathed into the nostrils of Adam -- he breathed life. Now Michelangelo must have thought -- I was looking in his diaries, there are many references. -- he must have thought for many days, 'To paint this will look a little awkward. God breathing into the nostrils of Adam? It will look a little awkward to paint it.' So he changed it. He painted one of his most famous paintings: God touching Adam, not breathing. There is just God's finger there from the unknown. God is high in the heaven, in the clouds; Adam is on the earth. A finger just comes and touches Adam. and that touch makes him alive.
Nobody thought that he had changed the whole story. It is not so in the Bible -- not by touch but by breathing into him was Adam made alive. But Michelangelo was a student of Sufism. He was deeply interested in Sufism, and he must have come across the idea of the touch of the Master -- that the disciple becomes alive by the touch of the Master.
Yes, it is a touch. It is the jump of a flame from one lamp to another lamp. Once you have felt it -- and it is a feeling, there is no way of describing it -- once you have felt it, you have become aware of the sacred. Then it is all over, then only it is.
So Sufis say that the greatest blessing of life is to find a Master -- one who knows, one who sees, one who is. You ARE only when you are in God -- before that you are just empty, before that you are a house without a Master, before that you are just a dwelling where nobody dwells, before that you only think that you are, but you are not. You are very momentary, you are bubble-like. You don't have any integrity, you don't have any centre, you don't have any soul.
Gurdjieff, who was immensely impressed by Sufi ideas, who was, in fact, a Sufi Master, introduced a very new concept into the Western mind. In fact, nobody had talked about it in that way before. Gurdjieff introduced the idea that you have no soul. The soul has to be created. Don't remain placid, smug, and don't remain confident that you have a soul. All the great religions have told you that you have a soul, that it is already there -- but Gurdjieff introduced a very new insight. He said that the soul is not there; there is only a possibility of it. You can have it, but you may miss it. There is no certainty about it. You have to create it. Yes, if you want, you can create it, but don't take it for granted. Don't think that it is already there inside you.
This is a Sufi insight. Sufis say that only the Master is. You are not. One who has seen God exists for the first time. You exist only when you confront God. You exist only when God looks into your eyes and you look into his eyes. You exist only when you are touched by God and you touch God. Before that, your existence was just an emptiness, a dark night of the soul. It was just a stumbling, a hoping, a waiting. It was very insubstantial; it was dreamstuff. It had no reality in it.
A Master is one who is REALLY there. He has presence. He has a kind of radiance. And you can find it and you can observe it. Sometimes just sit near a hotel or by the side of the road and watch people passing by. Start looking for one thing: can you make a distinction? Most people walk like empty shells -- and they are many, they are the majority -- but sometimes you come across a person who has a kind of presence. You can observe that he is surrounded by an aura, you can feel that he has magnetism. You may have unknowingly observed sometimes that while you were sitting with a few friends, another person comes and suddenly the whole company becomes alive -- as if the coming of this new man infuses you with life. Just a moment before, all was dull, you were sad, you were just dragging, talking -- talking rubbish. One has to talk. You were passing time. Then a man or a woman enters and suddenly there is a radiance; everything flares up, everything heightens, everything is turned on. Nobody is off. A man of presence has entered.
It happens rarely, because men of presence are rare. It is very rare to find two men of presence in one company, it is very rare. But whenever a man of presence is there, it is loud and clear. If you are even a little bit alert you can see the quality. The empty man exhausts you. If you are sitting by the side of the empty man, he is a parasite. His emptiness pulls your energy into himself, and there it disappears. He is like a black hole.
Physicists say there are black holes in space. If anything comes into the area of the black hole it will be simply sucked in and it will disappear out of existence. A black hole is a star which has collapsed, collapsed into itself. And a star is a big thing. This earth is very small. The sun is sixty thousand times bigger than the earth and our sun is a very, very mediocre star. There are suns -- stars -- which are a million times bigger. When a star collapses, dies -- everything has to die, whatsoever is born has to die -- when a star dies, it collapses into itself towards its centre. It has great gravitation. Because of the gravitation everything is sucked in. It creates a great negative atmosphere around itself and whatsoever comes close by will be sucked in.
Einstein has said that even sunlight, even sunrays coming closer, will not be able to get back. Now ordinarily it is very difficult to keep the sunlight caught; it will be reflected. But from a black hole it will not be reflected, it will simply be caught and will disappear. Anything that comes too close to the black hole will simply go out of existence.
A man who is empty is a small black hole. That's why you sometimes feel very tired by meeting a certain person. You avoid him. Even to say hello to him on the road is tiring. Just by passing him he takes something of you, a lump of energy disappears. You are poorer by just saying hello to that man or seeing that man. He is an empty, negative space. Whosoever comes by, he sucks. These people are tiring people, exhausting people, parasitical.
Just the opposite is the case when a man has presence. When a man has presence he is showering energy. He has too much energy. He is overflowing with energy. Whenever you come close to such a man you are blessed. Suddenly you feel the shower. You are close by a waterfall. You feel cool, you feel tranquil, you feel vital. You feel a kind of power and also a kind of poetry arising in you -- all together. You would like to be with this man again and again. Just to be in the vicinity of this man is life-enhancing.
The man of presence spreads his energy all around. He is reaching people and he has something to give. He is a giver. He is an emperor. That's why in the East we have called sannyasins 'swami'. 'Swami' means a Master -- one who has something to give, one who is not a beggar.
A person who is empty, who has no soul yet, is a beggar. He is constantly begging, he is a begging bowl. He will take something from you. If you go into a crowd, and you have any understanding about your life and the way energy functions, you will always feel that you come home a little less than you went. A chunk of your being has been taken by the crowd. The crowd is always tiring, exhausting, because in crowds you will not find a man of presence; you will find only people who are absent, only people who ate sleepy, only people who are empty.
The Master is a man of presence. He has utter authenticity, a substantial being, he has soul. This soul has to be created -- you are just a dwelling. You have to provoke the guest to come, you have to invite the guest to come. The house is ready but the guest has not come yet.
Sufis say, 'How are you going to learn the ways of being present unless you are in the presence of a man who is present?' That's what a Master is. A Master is not a teacher; a Master is a magnetic force, a magnetic field of positive energy, of presence.
Sufis say that whenever you come to the Master you have BARAKA, YOU have grace. That is the meaning of the Hindu SATSANGA -- being in the presence of the Master to receive his grace. He is giving, and you are not obliged when you receive his grace, because even if you had not been there he would have given. Even if nobody had been there he would have given -- that is just natural. As rivers flow, as a flower opens and the fragrance is released, so is it the natural thing with a Master. He has bloomed and the fragrances are released to the winds. Whether somebody will receive them or not, that is not the point. If somebody can receive them, he will be blessed; if nobody receives them, then too the Master will go on showering. He does not shower especially for you -- he cannot help it, he has to shower. Just as light goes on showering from a lamp, and fragrance from a flower, so is the case with a Master.
Sufis are right. They say that a Master is one who knows, one who sees, one who is. That has to be remembered: one who is. To come into the presence of one who is, is the first step on the path. Before that, all is futile; before that, all is frustrating. The fulfilment starts only when you have become connected with one who is fulfilled. And this relationship between a Master and a disciple is a love affair; it is not a rational thing. It is more of feeling than of thinking.
So those who think too much may go on missing. Only those who feel can connect. Remember, this shift has to happen: from thinking you have to go to feeling. Feeling is closer, closer to something in you that is called intuition. Thinking is the farthest point from intuition. Thinking is a kind of tuition. You have been taught by others -- that is tuition. Something that has not been taught to you and blooms in you, that is intuition. Nobody has taught you -- no school, no university, no college. Nobody has said anything about it to you. It explodes in you -- that is intuition. You need not go anywhere, you only need to go inside yourself. Feeling is closer to intuition.
I don't expect the impossible. I don't say just be intuitive -- that you cannot do. Just now if you can do one thing -- move from thinking to feeling -- it will be enough. Then from feeling to intuition it is very easy. But to move from thinking to intuition is very difficult. They don't meet, they are polarities. Feeling is just in the middle. From feeling, thinking and intuition are at the same distance. If you go this way you reach thinking; if you go that way you reach intuition.
In feeling both meet and merge. Something of thinking remains in feeling and something of intuition too. Then you can choose.
To find a Master means to have a change in your mind -- you have to become more feeling. If you go to a Master with all kinds of thoughts, those thoughts will not allow you to be there. The thoughts will not function as bridges, they will function as walls.
People are so alone because they don't create bridges, they create walls -- and then they suffer. And the walls are created by you. When you are searching for a Master, remember that you have to change from thinking to feeling. When you come to a man whom you can feel as a presence.... Even if you are very caught up in your thinking, the presence will be felt. It is such a vital thing that you will feel it -- but then you have to allow it and you have to slip more and more into the feeling space so you can be more and more in contact with the presence that is there. Once the contact starts happening, then it takes you on the greatest journey of your life, the greatest adventure, the greatest ecstasy.
The first step, Sufis say, is to come into the presence of one who is present. Before that, all is frustration; before that, there is no life. Only after that is there life. Life starts only when you are connected with a Master. Before that, it was only a dream, a mirage. Before that, it was only thoughts and thoughts and thoughts, a desert land. Only feelings bloom; thoughts never bloom. Thoughts are very unproductive, uncreative, because they are borrowed. They are never original. Not a single reality can be created by thought; not a single reality can be discovered by thought. Thought is very impotent. All that is known is known by feeling; all that is discovered is discovered by feeling; all that is created is created by feeling.
The second step is surrender... and then there are no more steps. The whole path is covered in just two simple steps: one is coming in contact with someone who is in contact with God, and the second is to surrender to him. Sufis say that two simple steps are enough. In two steps the journey of millions of miles is finished. The first is the most arduous. Once you have come into the presence, by and by you will start surrendering. You cannot resist long. The real thing is to come in contact.
Sometimes it happens that you don't come in contact, and you surrender. Then your surrender is false, then your surrender is from the mind, then your surrender is just pseudo. Then you are pretending that you have surrendered. but you have not surrendered. It is just a strategy -- you want to exploit the man of presence. There is no way to exploit him. You want to gain something. You think, 'Okay, if surrender is the condition, I will surrender.' But your surrender cannot be surrender. Surrender has to happen, you cannot do it, you cannot will it. It you will it, you can take it back. If you do it, you can undo it. Surrender is a happening.
So go step by step. And there are only two steps. First be suffused with the presence of a Master, be drunk -- and then a surrender comes on its own. You start feeling that you are bowing down. Don't be in a hurry. Sometimes it happens that you do things in a hurry -- in this age particularly, hurry is one of the problems. Everybody is in a hurry, wants to do everything fast and soon. So if you come to a Master and you hear that surrender is needed, you are ready to surrender. You say, 'Why not? Let us see. If something happens, good; if nothing happens, there is nothing to lose.' But this surrender won't help. This is not the surrender Sufis are talking about, that's why they say it is the second step, not the first. The first is to be in the presence of the Master.
There is a sannyasin, Praghosh, who goes on writing to me again and again -- 'Why, Osho? You look very ordinary to me.' I have not answered him yet but now the right moment has come to answer. I don't LOOK ordinary, I AM ordinary. But what is his problem? I'm not worried by my ordinariness, I'm immensely happy with it. So why is Praghosh in trouble? His trouble is that he wants me to be very, very extraordinary -- a man of miracles or something. Some nonsense is in his mind. He wants me to be stupid -- to produce ash or Swiss watches or do some miracles. He is in search of a magician, not of a Master.
This search is of the ego. He wants me to be very extra-ordinary so that his ego can feel very good that it has surrendered to an extraordinary man. If by my touch I cure people, if by my touch I make dead people alive, then Praghosh will be very happy: this is the man to surrender to. But then you will not be surrendering to me. It will be your ego-trip. You will feel very good and satisfied that you are the disciple of such an extraordinary man.
Sufis don't believe in miracles. They think they are stupid and only stupid people are attracted towards miracles. A Master is ordinary. A Master is a normal man -- a regular. A Master is so ordinary that he has no kind of ego in him. All extra-ordinariness is a kind of ego. A Master is simply nobody. His ordinariness is a nobodiness. Only people who suffer from infer-iority seek extraordinariness. If one has come home there is no search for extraordinariness, there is no search for speciality. To be ordinary is so extraordinarily beautiful.
But I can understand his trouble. He wants to have an ego trip through me. So he is disturbed -- Osho is not doing any kind of miracles. He is a sannyasin, but what kind of surrender is this? This is not surrender. He has not even come into my presence yet, he has not yet got what I call that 'connectivity'. He has not been touched by me and he has not touched me yet. And he is a sannyasin. He must have been in a hurry. He should have waited a little.
Just the other day his woman came -- Urmi, his woman. And she was crying and she was saying, 'What to do, Osho? Praghosh puts me on such a high pedestal. He almost thinks of me as if I am a goddess, and then he makes me feel guilty because I am a human being. He expects me to be a goddess, and if I don't behave like a goddess, then he makes me feel guilty.' While she was relating her misery and story I was thinking, 'So he is doing that to you too.' That's what he wants to do with me and to me. He wants to put me on a high pedestal -- to be a miracle man or something extraordinary that doesn't happen.
Once he has put me on a high pedestal he will be in control. Then he will be powerful over me because he will have the control. If he wants to take me off the pedestal -- it is his pedestal, he can. That's what he is doing to his woman too. First he puts her on a high pedestal and then he tortures her. He becomes powerful.
How the ego goes on playing tricks! You have to watch. On the surface it looks just the opposite -- that he is such a humble man, and he puts his woman in such a high place that she is a goddess. You will think he is very humble. He is not. He is very tricky; he is being very political. And he may not be consciously doing it; it may be just his unconscious ego trip. Once you have put the woman up as a goddess, you are powerful. Then she cannot be human, then you can find faults with her, and then she will be afraid of you. Afraid, because you can put her down any time. That is what he wants to do with me too.
First he wants to put me on a high pedestal, then he becomes powerful. Now see the game. Even the disciple wants to become powerful over the Master. If I am ordinary, then he is no longer powerful, then he cannot put me anywhere lower than I am. I am just on plain ground -- where can he put me down to? Then he has no power. Otherwise he can come and say, 'Osho, you are so high, don't do this, don't say that.'
I have been watching this. For these twenty years I have come in contact with millions of people and this has been one of my observations -- that everybody wants to control the Master. People come to me and they say, 'You should not say this because that will bring your image down. You should not say this.'
An Indian came just a few days ago and he was saying, 'You should not talk about homosexuality, even if somebody has asked the question. And even if it is not wrong, you should not say so, otherwise people will think you are in support of homosexuality.' He was saying that this would tarnish my image.
People have been suggesting all kinds of things to me during these past twenty years: you should not do this. you should not say this. I used to stay in Jaina families. They would tell me, 'You should not eat in the night because if you eat in the night and somebody comes to know, they will wonder what kind of saint you are.' Now if I want to be on their pedestal 1 have to be hungry!
I stayed in one ashram -- Vinoba's ashram -- and I got up at six. Vinoba got up at three. So his disciples came to me and they said, 'What are you doing? You should get up at three, otherwise people in this ashram will wonder what kind of saint you are -- because we have become accustomed to seeing the saint get up at three.'
I said, 'Don't think that I am a saint -- I am going to sleep up to six. What you think about me is of no value. I'm not going to disturb my sleep just to be your saint. Forget about it.'
'You should not do this, you should hot be that, you should not say that, you should not comment on this' -- so many advisors. And they all think they love me, and they all think they are followers, disciples. They are just helping their Master to have a good public image. And they go on saying, 'We don't say that you are wrong. We are just saying it because of the public image.'
Now this Praghosh wants to put me on a high pedestal, then he becomes powerful. then if I want to remain on the high pedestal I have to look to Praghosh. Where is Praghosh? Otherwise I will not be on that high pedestal. Who will put me that high? Remember, Praghosh, expecting me to be extraordinary is just your ego. You want to be a disciple of an extraordinary man, then your ego will feel very, very enhanced, fulfilled.
I am ordinary, and I am absolutely ordinary. I don't look ordinary -- that is again a trick. He is asking me 'Why do you look so ordinary?' He is not saying 'You are ordinary.' He cannot believe that I am ordinary. Maybe I'm just pretending to be ordinary, then there is some hope for him. Some day or other I will show my extraordinary miracles. Praghosh, you are hoping against hope. It is not going to happen. I am simply ordinary. It is not that I am pretending or playing a game of being ordinary. I am ordinary. And because I am ordinary there is a possibility for you to surrender. And I'm not going to do anything that can give you any notion that I am extraordinary, I am not going to do anything. Only then will your surrender be true.
If you can surrender to an ordinary man, the ego will disappear. Sufis have never done miracles. Sufis have always been very, very ordinary people. That is one of the basics of Sufism -- because the Master exists to help you surrender and he can help you to surrender only when he is nobody. If he is somebody then being connected with him will make you feel somebody. You will feel good that you are no ordinary person -- you are connected to an extraordinary person, so you are extraordinary.
Connected to a nobody -- that's what surrender is. And through surrender you will come to see that the ordinary life is so full of beauty and benediction. These trees are ordinary and these birds are ordinary and this sky is ordinary and this earth is ordinary, and God is ordinary. There is no ego, so who bothers to be extraordinary? Existence is ordinary but this ordinariness is so beautiful; it is a beautitude. And to be ordinary is to be religious.
Those who are here with me and who are really connected with me will know what I am talking about. Why this hankering for the extraordinary? There must be some kind of inferiority complex in Praghosh, so he's seeking some superior being. If he cannot be superior, at least he can be the follower of a superior being. But it is an urge coming out of an inferiority complex. In surrender you surrender all -- your inferiority complex, your superiority complex, your ego, your humbleness -- you surrender all. A surrender has to be total. You put yourself in a bundle and you throw it at the feet of the Master and you say, 'I disappear from this moment.' And from that moment there is no question.
How can there be a question from that moment? Then you don't question the Master. It is finished. Question before you surrender as much as you want to question, but once you have surrendered, there is no need. And if the questioning still continues, if you are still suspicious and doubtful, then the surrender has not happened.
The first step is to come in contact with a Master, and the second is surrender. And then, Sufis say, the whole journey is complete.
How to find a Master? Not by thought, of course. By thinking, you go on keeping yourself in the same rut. in the same old rut, in the past. By thinking, you remain old, you stop all possibilities of being new. And watch, you are constantly thinking, there is a constant chattering inside -- the internal talk. Even while you are listening to me -- look in for just a second -- the chattering continues, there is a constant internal talk.
This internal talk divides you from reality. Once this internal talk disappears, even for a few moments, you are one -- one with reality, one with the Master, one with the beloved, one with God. Whenever you want to be one with something -- with your woman, with your man, with your Master, with your God, with the existence -- whenever you want to be one with something, in a unison, this internal talk has to disappear. That is the only barrier.
Without dropping internal talk, you cannot find a Master. The question arises in many people's minds: 'How to find a Master?' You will have to learn ways to be silent. And when you come into the presence of somebody who is present, sit silently. Collect yourself together, calm down, don't think -- because thinking is an activity -- just be. It will be difficult, but if you try, then for a few moments it will happen. They will be very, very small moments, just intervals; they come and they go. But even in that interval, like a flash, something will descend on you. You will be connected, disconnected, connected, disconnected, but it will happen. And once you have touched somebody who is, for even a single moment, you will know the taste of it. Even a drop of it will give you the taste of it. And then all other tastes start disappearing; then that taste becomes your only taste. Then all desires start converging into one desire -- how to be with this man and how to be totally with him? And every day it goes on growing. One day suddenly you find you are surrendered. Yes, one day you find you are surrendered. It takes you unaware, you were not planning to surrender -- it has happened.
Internal talk is the way of the old self, is the way to remain hung-up with the past, is the way to remain in the ego. And you are constantly thinking, day in, day out. It is always there like an undercurrent. Once it is broken, you fall into the world of intuition.
Intuition is hiding there just behind this layer of internal talk, so learn how to be without internal talk. That is the way to find a Master. And it will be easier for you to learn sitting by the side of the sea, looking at the roaring waves -- when there is nothing much to think about, and you can just go on looking. Lying down on the grass looking at the sky, in the night looking at the stars, watching the trees -- there is nothing much to think about. There is no need to think about stars. They are there, so beautifully there, you can just be with them.
Learn first to be with nature, because nature is silent. It does not respond, it knows no language. So you will be able to fall below the level of internal talk. And then start searching, then start looking for people who have a presence. When you come near a person who has a presence you will suddenly see that you are infused with energy, you are vibrating with a new rhythm. A dance has entered you. Each cell and fibre of your being is pulsating. You are very close to something immense, something incredible.
It is said of Buddha that on the day he became enlightened he started feeling a few hours before that that day something immense was just around the comer. It was driving him crazy. He could not figure out what it was, but something was there around the comer, something was going to happen. That urgency became very, very penetrating. At the last moment, just a few hours before he became enlightened.... It was almost like a pregnant woman. Her nine months are over and any moment it is going to happen, the child is going to happen. But the pregnant woman knows, she has a visible symptom -- the child is there kicking inside her belly. But when you are going to be reborn into Buddhahood, into satori, samadhi, nothing is visible. And something is kicking in the belly.
Buddha was sitting underneath the tree where he became enlightened and a woman offered him some sweets in a bowl. He ate the sweets and went to the river to wash the bowl. And it was coming, it was everywhere, he could feel it. It became so urgent that he did something which he had never done before. He put the bowl in the river and he said, to no one in particular, to existence itself, 'If something is going to happen, give me some indication. Don't drive me crazy.'
Buddha did not believe in any God so he could not address God. He was not talking to anybody in particular, he was simply talking to existence, or talking to himself. 'Give me a visible indication. Let this be the indication: if this bowl starts flowing upstream then I will be satisfied that something is going to happen -- because it is so heavy on me.' And the story is beautiful. The story says that the bowl started floating upstream. Within seconds it disappeared upstream. Then Buddha was satisfied. Then he rested underneath the tree. 'Yes, it is going to happen.' And by the morning it had happened.
This is just a parable. Don't take it literally. Don't think that the bowl really started floating upstream. It simply says that to be connected with God is as absurd a phenomenon as a bowl floating upstream. It is against all the so-called laws, against the law of gravitation. It is against all the so-called laws that we are aware of. It is a new phenomenon, it is a new law functioning. Things are upside-down. What has never happened before is going to happen. The consciousness was always empty; now it is going to be fulfilled. The consciousness was always going outwards; now the consciousness is going inwards. That is the meaning of the bowl floating upstream. The consciousness was always going low, downwards; now it is rising high, upwards; that is the meaning of the bowl floating upstream. A new law penetrates.
To be connected with a Master is the beginning of a new world, a new universe. For that you will have to sacrifice the old. And to sacrifice the old, nothing else is needed -- only the internal talk has to be sacrificed. That keeps you a captive in the old reality. That is the world that has to be dropped, that is the world that has to be renounced. And that is what surrender is. When you have seen something new which you have never seen before, when you have felt the presence of a man who IS, who is a man of God, then this is what is needed: you surrender your internal talk, you bow down.
In the East this has been symbolic -- the disciple puts his head at the feet of the Master. It is just symbolic, it has nothing to do with your physical head. It is simply symbolic. The head is the symbol of thinking, of mind. The disciple puts his mind at the Master's feet and he says, 'Now you take care.' And the Master takes care.
In fact, when you surrender to a Master you have nothing to surrender. Never think for a single moment that you have done something great. In fact, the Master has been really compassionate that he accepted you, because now the responsibility will be his. That is the meaning of this story.
THERE WAS ONCE A SUFI WHO WANTED TO MAKE SURE THAT HIS DISCIPLES WOULD, AFTER HIS DEATH, FIND THE RIGHT TEACHER OF THE WAY FOR THEM.
Not only while he is alive will he help you, the Master will even make provisions for when he is gone. He will make arrangements, because those who have trusted in him should not be left in the middle. This Sufi Master is just on his deathbed. A few disciples have arrived, a few have reached, but many are still struggling.
Now remember that many disciples of this Master must have arrived. Why couldn't they function as teachers? To know is one thing, but to help others to know is quite another. Not every enlightened person is a Master and not every teacher is enlightened. There are people who are good teachers, great teachers, they can teach beautifully. They can be very articulate people with an immense capacity to teach or make things clear, but they may not have known themselves. Then all that they are trying to teach is borrowed and dead. And there are people who may have known, but are not capable of teaching -- because teaching has nothing to do with just knowing.
For example, you may have seen a beautiful sunrise, but that does not mean that you can paint it, that you can come home and paint it for your children and show them that this was the beautiful morning you have seen. And it is possible that if you describe that beautiful morning to somebody who has not seen it and who is a painter, he can paint it without seeing it. And his painting will be better than your painting. Your painting will be nothing. It will not give any idea of what you have seen or what you are talking about.
The same is the case with the inner journey. There are teachers who have not heard but who are articulate people; and there are Masters who have known but who are not articulate. The rare phenomenon is when a Master is a teacher too, when an enlightened person is articulate too. He has known it and he has the ability, the art, to help others know it.
This Sufi was dying. There must have been a few of his disciples who had become enlightened, but they were not teachers. So he must have been worried -- what is going to happen to those who are in the middle? The Master must provide. He must find a way for them to find a Master.
Now Sufis work in very, very strange ways, but they know how to work. The Master could have said, 'Go to Hazrat Ali' -- Hazrat Ali was the son-in-law of Mohammed. 'Go to Ali,' he could have said. It would have been so easy. But that would not have been right. He wanted them to find him themselves -- because when you find something yourself, it has immense value. When somebody says something and you do it, it is no longer so valuable. Then you are doing your duty.
If when the Master is dying he says, 'When I am dead you go to Hazrat Ali,' you will follow the old man. You will say, 'We will have to go to Hazrat Ali.' You may like Hazrat Ali, or you may not like Hazrat Ali -- it will be a kind of obligation, a duty. Then the whole point will be missed. The Master wants you to seek the new Master. The Master wants you to grope in the dark, so that when you have found, you have the feeling that you have found. This is one of the most important things to remember.
Those people who found Mohammed were immensely profited. But now there are millions of Mohammedans. They have not found Mohammed themselves, their fathers told them. It has not been their own search. Now they are just so-so, lukewarm Mohammedans -- as there are lukewarm Christians. The first disciples who had searched for Jesus and found him were thrilled. They had really found something on their own. Their whole life was transformed. But now your father says, 'Christ is the saviour. Christ saves. He is the salvation. You go to Christ.' And he takes you to the church. You go reluctantly, because nobody likes anybody else's truth. That is a basic arrangement in life. It is built-in -- that nobody likes anybody else's truth because anybody else's truth is a lie to you.
So the Master could have said 'Go to Hazrat Ali' -- it would have been easier. Ali was there in the same place and he was a well known man, one of the rarest followers of Mohammed; a man of great insight. The Master could have said, 'I am dying, now it will be difficult for you to walk on the path that you were following with me. You go to Ali, he will help.' But that would have missed the basic thing: the Master has to be found. You have to take a risk, you have to search, you have to surrender. It would have been too secure. From the old man you would have heard and you would have said, 'Okay. So when you are dead we will go to Ali.' It would have been simple, but of no help.
So the old Sufi created a device -- a very strange one.
HE THEREFORE, AFTER THE OBLIGATORY BEQUESTS LAID DOWN BY LAW, LEFT HIS DISCIPLES SEVENTEEN CAMELS, WITH THIS ORDER...
He must have been a wandering dervish with camels. He must have been wandering all over the country with his disciples. He leaves seventeen camels with the order:
'YOU WILL DIVIDE THE CAMELS AMONG THE THREE OF YOU IN THE FOLLOWING PROPORTIONS: THE OLDEST SHALL HAVE HALF, THE MIDDLE IN AGE ONE-THIRD, AND THE YOUNGEST SHALL HAVE ONE-NINTH.'
Now this is very strange and absurd, illogical -- but Masters are illogical, they are not much worried about logic. He used it as a device. It was something that could not be done mathematically.
AS SOON AS HE WAS DEAD AND THE WILL WAS READ, THE DISCIPLES WERE AT FIRST AMAZED AT SUCH AN INEFFICIENT DISPOSITION OF THEIR MASTER'S ASSETS.
They were amazed. They must have become a little doubtful, because what kind of arrangement has he made? Seventeen camels: half to be given -- so one camel will have to be cut up. Then one third has to be given -- so a few camels will have to be murdered. How can you divide alive animals in this way? This is so absurd. The idea must have come to them, 'Had the man gone senile or mad? He was so old, maybe he had lost all ideas about how to figure things out.' This was so absurd, so blatantly absurd. Doubt must have arisen; they must have been puzzled. that was the device. The Master wanted them to be puzzled. Now watch, you will be surprised. You may not have understood that point.
Before you can choose another Master, the old Master has to be lost -- otherwise how can you choose a new Master? The old man had made a perfect device. It was so absurd that they would laugh. They would say, 'This old man was finished, so it is better that he is dead and we are free. It is good now to search somewhere else. If this man had been alive we would still have been clinging to him, and he has gone mad.' The Master condemned himself so that they wouldn't go on hanging on to the past Master and his memory, so that the past was closed, the chapter was finished. They could start a new chapter in their lives.
SOME SAID, 'LET US OWN THE CAMELS COMMUNALLY.'
Now logic entered; now they started thinking about what to do. The order cannot be fulfilled as it was so they would have to find a way. Now interpretations, thinking entered. The order was simply absurd.
Somebody suggested, 'LET US OWN THE CAMELS COMMUNALLY.' They were trying to find a way out.
OTHERS SOUGHT ADVICE AND THEN SAID, 'WE HAVE BEEN TOLD TO MAKE THE NEAREST POSSIBLE DIVISION.'
So somebody, a wise man, a knowledgeable man, must have suggested, 'It is simple. Make the nearest possible division. Don't be foolish. You are not to cut the camels up, just the nearest possible, the approximate, will be right.'
But remember, Sufis don't believe in approximate truth. They are very exact people. They mean what they say and they say what they mean.
First the disciples had thought amongst themselves that it was better to own the camels communally. That was the closest -- to own them communally. Then they went to ask somebody. Now things started going farther and farther away from the Master's intention. Some said,
'MAKE THE NEAREST POSSIBLE DIVISION.' OTHERS WERE TOLD BY A JUDGE TO SELL THE CAMELS AND DIVIDE THE MONEY...
Now things have become very, very worldly-wise. This is perfectly okay. Why bother? You can divide the money. Sell the camels.
... AND YET OTHERS HELD THAT THE WILL WAS NULL AND VOID BECAUSE ITS PROVISIONS COULD NOT BE EXECUTED.
This is the farthest. Some people said, 'It is not possible. Drop the whole idea. The will is null and void because it cannot be done in the first place.'
Now there are so many interpretations. The disciples started thinking. When a Master gives you an order, it is not to be thought over; it has to be listened to, it has to be meditated upon, not contemplated. Otherwise you will miss the message. You have to meditate over it, you have to keep it in your womb, you have to sleep on it. You have to keep it there inside you and wait -- just wait, keep it inside. Remember it and wait. Don't start interpreting. Your interpretations are your interpretations and are going to be meaningless. And they are not only meaningless, they can be harmful also.
A man jailed for twenty years kept his sanity by befriending an ant that used to share his cell. He even made a two-storey home for him in a matchbox. To while away the hours the convict made a tiny guitar, and in five years he taught the ant to sing and play the guitar. In the long winter evenings the ant was of great consolation, giving recitals and concerts for his benefactor.
In another five years the convict had taught the ant to dance and by his twelfth year he was also an accomplished uillean pipe player.
As the day of his release approached, the convict began to realise that he had in his possession the greatest television performer ever known. He would be rich, famous....
On the day of his release, the ex-convict rushed to the nearest pub to celebrate his liberty. He ordered a pint and while he drank it he produced the matchbox, shook the ant onto the counter of the deserted bar and asked for a tune. The ant rose to the occasion with a lovely rendering of THE HEART BOWED DOWN. He was powerful. His owner, so overcome with joy, called over the barman and nodded towards the ant.
'What do you think of that?' he said.
Whereupon the barman raised his hand, brought it down on the counter and killed the ant.
'Sorry about that, sir,' he said, 'it is the hot weather.'
Now the barman had his own interpretation. He did not look at this ant. It must have been an everyday thing -- somebody, a customer, would call and would say, 'Look at the ant on the table, and he would kill it and say, 'It is the hot weather.'
Now he has killed one of the most precious ants. That's what happens when you bring your interpretations in.
The Master left a great device through which the disciples were going to find their new Master. But the interpretations would kill the ant. all the things that were suggested to them were against the will. And nobody had even an inkling of an idea about what the Master really meant.
An old Irish Catholic lady was lying on her deathbed. The priest was called to issue the last rites. The priest took her hand and said, 'Now Mary, you know where you are going, don't you?'
'Yes, Father,' she said.
'And you have been good all your life, not sinned, said your prayers every day and been a pious woman?'
'Ah yes, Father, I have always been a good Catholic,' said Mary.
'Then I have a question to ask you, Mary, before you go to meet St. Peter. Are you ready to answer, Mary?' said Father Patrick.
'Oh yes. Father. ask me anything.'
'Well Mary, what I want to know is, do you want a white lining to your coffin, or a purple lining?'
'What is the difference, Father?' said Mary.
'Well,' said the Father, 'if you have really been a good woman, not lusted, committed adultery, never stolen, envied, been greedy, or used the name of the Lord in vain, and been a good Catholic, you shall have a white lining to your coffin. But, if you have been a sinner, lusted, committed adultery, been greedy, vain, envious, stolen or used the Lord's name in vain and been a bad Catholic, you will have to have a purple lining to your coffin. Now what I want to know is, what colour will you be wanting in your coffin?'
Mary closed her eyes, thought for a moment and said, 'Well Father, I would like a white lining with a little dash of purple here and there.'
Your interpretations are going to be reflections of your mind. Whatsoever you say reflects you. So when a Master gives you a device, you are not to think about it -- otherwise you will miss it. Thinking is the sure way to miss it. You have to meditate upon it. And meditation does not mean thinking, it simply means keeping it in your awareness, just keeping it there, not forgetting it -- that's all. Sitting silently, keeping it there, not forgetting it -- that's all. Not doing anything positive about it, just letting it be there. And sooner or later something will open inside you and you will have a vision. And that vision will be the meaning of the device. Your internal talk will have to disappear to know the meaning. If your internal talk continues...
Not only did the disciples think about it themselves, they went to ask other people. Now that was foolish. What has a judge to do with it? It is not a legal matter. In fact, it is not a will. The Master is not concerned with the camels and how they are to be divided. How can a Master be concerned with such non-essential things?
Then they went to a lawyer. Now how is a lawyer concerned with it? It has nothing to do with the law. It has nothing to do with this ordinary world. They must have gone to wise people -- so-called wise people -- wise in the ways of the world: clever, cunning, calculating. They suggested all these things, but the disciples were fortunate that they didn't get involved in any interpretation.
THEN THEY FELL TO THINKING THAT THERE MIGHT BE SOME HIDDEN WISDOM IN THE MASTER'S BEQUEST, SO THEY MADE ENQUIRIES AS TO WHO COULD SOLVE INSOLUBLE PROBLEMS.
Then they came upon one thing, stumbled upon one thing: that the problem seemed to be insoluble. Whatever solutions were given didn't seem to be pertinent, adequate. No solution seemed to fit the situation perfectly. The problem seemed to be insoluble, and it became more insoluble as they collected advice from people. So now one idea arose in their consciousness: they should seek somebody who could solve insoluble problems. That's what Zen people call a koan, an insoluble problem. It can be solved, but it is not solved by logic and reasoning. It is solved by intuitive energy. It is solved by silence, not by words, not by figures. It is solved by utter silence. Now they were coming closer to the point. So they started looking for the man who could solve insoluble problems.
Now Sufis are known to solve insoluble problems. In fact, all great problems are insoluble because life is a mystery, it cannot be solved. And Sufis are interested in the mystery, not in solving it. All religious people, all religious search, is concerned with the insoluble.
First they went to the magistrate, the lawyer, the mayor, and people like that. Then they became aware that the problem seemed to be insoluble and no solution seemed to be adequate. So they thought, 'We must go to somebody who is interested in insoluble problems, in the mystery of life.'
EVERYONE THEY TRIED FAILED, UNTIL THEY ARRIVED AT THE DOOR OF THE SON-IN LAW OF THE PROPHET, HAZRAT ALI.
HE SAID, 'THIS IS YOUR SOLUTION. I WILL ADD ONE CAMEL TO THE NUMBER. OUT OF THE EIGHTEEN CAMELS YOU WILL GIVE HALF -- NINE CAMELS -- TO THE OLDEST DISCIPLE. THE SECOND SHALL HAVE A THIRD OF THE TOTAL, WHICH IS SIX CAMELS. THE LAST DISCIPLE MAY HAVE ONE-NINTH, WHICH IS TWO CAMELS. THAT MAKES SEVENTEEN. ONE -- MY CAMEL -- IS LEFT OVER TO BE RETURNED TO ME.'
Now Sufis say that your problems cannot be solved as they are unless the Master adds something of his being to you. That is the meaning of the whole story.
There are seventeen camels. You are those seventeen camels. there is no way to solve anything unless you come to a man of compassion who is not only ready to solve your problem but is ready to be involved with you -- that is the meaning. The story is tremendously beautiful.
They had gone to many people but nobody had thought that one camel could be added -- and once the camels are eighteen in number, things become simple, they become divisible.
The Master is one who is ready to get involved with you. When you surrender to a Master, he opens all his doors to you, he is available to you, he becomes involved with you. You are committed to him, he is committed to you. You surrender nothing. You don't have anything to surrender. You surrender only that which you don't have, and the Master starts giving you that which he has.
Now these people came with a problem. The problem in itself was insoluble, but Hazrat Ali solved it. And the device was that he added one of his camels to their camels. So the first thing to be remembered is that a Master is one who can give his being to you, who can become associated with you, who can come to you and hold your hand, who can make your problem his problem, who does not think from the outside as a spectator, who becomes a participant.
When you come to me with your problems, never think for a single moment that I am standing there like a wise man, aloof, away, and advising you -- not for a single moment. I get involved with you, I become you, I stand in your shoes. Your problem becomes my problem; only then can I be of any help. Unless I become you, I cannot help you. Unless I become you, I cannot even understand you -- what to say about help? Unless your problem starts becoming my problem, unless I am surrounded by your problem, there is no way to solve it. That is the difference between a therapist and a Master.
A therapist stands outside. He brings his expertise, his knowledge to help you. A Master? -- he does not bring any expertise, he has none. He does not bring any knowledge to help you, he has none. He brings his being, he brings his knowing. He lends you his eyes. He lends you his eyes, not his knowledge. He lends you his vision, his clarity, his transparency. He becomes you for a moment. Those who have loved me will understand it. While talking to them I become so involved with their problem that they are almost an observer. It becomes my problem. And whenever it becomes the problem of the Master, help arises. That's why the disciple's utter surrender is needed, so that the Master can come and have a deep meeting with your being.
HE SAID, 'THIS IS YOUR SOLUTION. I WILL ADD ONE CAMEL TO THE NUMBER. OUT OF THE EIGHTEEN CAMELS YOU WILL GIVE HALF -- NINE CAMELS -- TO THE OLDEST DISCIPLE. THE SECOND SHALL HAVE A THIRD OF THE TOTAL, WHICH IS SIX CAMELS. THE LAST DISCIPLE MAY HAVE ONE-NINTH, WHICH IS TWO CAMELS. THAT MAKES SEVENTEEN.
And then comes the last beautiful thing:
ONE -- MY CAMEL -- IS LEFT OVER TO BE RETURNED TO ME.'
-- because whatsoever the Master gives to you always goes back to him. You are transformed between the Master's coming to you and his going back. But whatsoever is given goes back to the Master, because in the very nature of things it cannot be given. It can be only loaned, at the most. It is his being. How can he give it to you? The being cannot be given, he can only loan it to you for a moment. But even in that single moment, things become clear, and then whatsoever is the Master's, goes back to him.
This is one of the most beautiful parables sufis have invented. First the Master gives to the disciple, then the disciple's problems are solved, then whatsoever is given comes back to the Master. The Master gives you his being, transforms you through it, you become luminous, and he does not lose anything -- because whatsoever is his comes back to him. That" why the Master can go on giving to millions and nothing is lost.
Many times there are questions from you, 'Osho, now you have so many disciples, so many sannyasins, in the thousands. It will be difficult for you to help us.' Not at all, because it is not something that can be divided. I can give my vision to as many people as are ready to take it and receive it, and yet it remains intact. It always comes back to me. You cannot take it away. Numbers don't matter. One or one million, it makes no difference. Remember this. Only one who is ready to get involved with you can solve your life problems. Outsiders cannot solve them. The Master has to become your inside.
And remember that when you have arrived home -- sooner or later -- and your light is lit and your flame is burning bright, don't be a miser. Remember, you will not be losing anything. You can go on giving to as many people as you want and you will not lose anything. It is not possible to lose. That which is yours you cannot lose, only that which is not yours can be lost. Money can be lost, stolen, divided. Naturally, if a father has four sons then four sons will divide the money. If he has sixteen then sixteen will divide the money. And the more sons he has, the poorer the sons will be.
But not so with a Master. A Master can have a million disciples or ten million disciples. It does not make any difference. It does not make the disciples poor, remember -- because the Master can go on giving to everybody, nothing is lost. So when you become Masters in your own right -- you will become Masters one day -- then don't be misers. Share it! The more you share the more you become beloved by God.
Next: Chapter 10, Out of the Mud and the Mire, The first question
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