Chapter 16: Surprise Me!

Question 1



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The first question

Question 1




YOU FOOL! That is the surest way to find God -- one cannot miss. The Master is only a window. The Master simply opens into God, just as the window opens into the sky. What you see in the Master is not of the Master himself -- he is no more. What you see through the window is not of the window; it is of the sky, the stars, the sunrise, a bird on the wing, the flowers. Whatsoever you see through the window has nothing to do with the window; the window is only an opening. The Master is only a way.

If one can surrender, if one can trust the Master, one has surrendered to God, one has trusted God. And sooner or later one is bound to come out under the sky. One will remain grateful to the Master forever because without the window there was no sky, there were only walls. But one has to go through the Master and go beyond. One should not cling to the window; the window frame should not become a hindrance.

Hence the perfect Master is one who helps you to surrender THROUGH him to God, not to him. Of course, in the beginning it appears as if you are surrendering to the window because you don't have any other acquaintance with the sky; you may even start worshipping the frame of the window. That is what has happened again and again in the history of human consciousness.

Buddha is a window, so is Mahavira, so is Christ, so is Mohammed. But then you forget about the sky. You close your eyes and you start worshipping the window. You have missed the point.

I am not to be worshipped.

The real Master's work is to become gradually useless for the disciple. Buddha says: If you meet me on the way, kill me immediately. The Master would not like to stand between you and the divine, and if the Master wants to stand between you and the divine he is not a Master at all. If he teaches you clinging, then he is teaching you the world; if he teaches you unclinging, then he teaches you God.

The function of a Master is really a very delicate one, because he has in the beginning to help you to surrender to him knowing the danger; but the risk has to be taken. As the disciple comes closer, as he becomes a devotee, the Master helps him to understand the point.

The beginning of disciplehood is not its end. The beginning is bound to be a little false for the simple reason that you live in a world of lies. You understand only the language; you don't understand that which is beyond language; hence you have to be spoken to in words. Now to speak in words to persuade you to be silent is a very paradoxical work! You understand relationship; you don't understand love.

The Master first helps you to create a relationship between himself and you, and slowly slowly he withdraws himself; as you become capable he withdraws. He helps you to become free of him.

But the misunderstanding can happen in two ways. One is that you may start clinging to the Master, you may start worshipping the Master; you may forget completely that he was just a finger pointing to the moon. The finger has not to be worshipped. Of course it has to be understood -- and forgotten -- so that you can LOOK at the moon. If you cling to the finger, who is going to look at the moon? If you become obsessed with the finger, who is going to look at the moon?

This is one calamity. It has happened so much that . man like J. Krishnamurti has moved to the other extreme He is constantly afraid of this calamity, naturally, because so many times it has happened that he is afraid it may happen again with him. So from the very beginning he says that there is no need for a Master, that there is no need to be a disciple. Now he is being misunderstood, because only the egoist becomes interested in him -- only the egoist, who is incapable of surrender, who is incapable of trust, who is absolutely obsessed with his own ego. He finds Krishnamurti very appealing. He says, "This is the right man! You need not surrender, you need not trust, you need not follow. You are absolutely free. There is no question of dropping anything; you remain yourself." Now he clings to his ego.

This is another calamity. And Krishnamurti has emphasized the point so much that people have started clinging to the idea of non-clinging. He has scared people.

If the disciplehood does not happen, then there is no question of killing the Master or going beyond the Master, because in the first place there has been no Master.

Krishnamurti's listeners will never be able to go beyond the Master because they have never gone THROUGH the Master. They will remain surrounded with their own ego walls; they will remain imprisoned in their ego.

And many Krishnamurti lovers have come to me, asking me, "What to do? -- because we have been listening to him for years -- nothing happens! We understand whatsoever he is saying is true, but then we are the same." Nothing is going to happen because happening is possible only if you are ready to go through this paradox. You are to begin with the Master but not to end with the Master.

The Master is like a ladder: you use it, then a moment comes when you have to drop the ladder; you don't cling to it.

The Master is like a boat. That's what Buddha has said: the Master is like a boat. You go from this shore to the other shore, but then you get out of the boat. You feel grateful to the boat, you may even thank the boat, but you need not carry the boat on your shoulders.

Buddha again and again has told the story of five fools who were carrying a boat on their shoulders, and Buddha saw them, and a crowd gathered. And Buddha asked, "What is the matter? Why are you carrying the boat?" And they were perspiring, and the boat was heavy and big.

They said, "This boat has helped us. We were on the other shore. If this boat was not available, the wild animals would have eaten us, but this boat saved us. Now how can we leave this boat? We have to carry it. It is our very life!"

Now this boat has become dangerous.

If they had listened to Krishnamurti they would not have entered in the boat itself. Then wild animals would have been very happy. They used the boat, that's perfectly good, but there is no need to carry the boat on your shoulders your whole life.

In the past, the first extreme has happened: the fingers pointing to the moon became objects of worship. Mohammedans, Christians, Hindus, Jainas, Buddhists -- all have done the wrong thing. Now statues are there and people are worshipping. Krishnamurti has moved to the other extreme.

MY approach is exactly in the middle. I teach you to surrender and THEN go beyond surrender. When the ego is dropped, then you can be yourself, NOT before it. When you are no more you can be yourself. Remember, being yourself has nothing to do with the idea of self; being yourself is closer to no-self than to self. It is a state of nothingness, SHUNYATA. It is utterly empty of the ego.

Use the ladder, but don't carry it. Use the boat. When you have reached the other shore it is time to get out of it.


This is the beginning of devotion. But I have to go on reminding you that I am only a window, a door. Be thankful, be grateful, but go beyond. My work is to help you to become part of the whole.

Just the other day I have received another letter from Somendra. He has understood. He has tremendous intelligence; hence I was hoping that sooner or later he will understand the point. And just the other day I was talking about him because I had received a letter a day before. this letter will be useful for you. Somendra writes:

Beloved Osho,

I have been listening to your tapes these last days and find myself in a state of shock. I suppose that is what being with a Master is like. Everything seemed to be going so beautifully, and I felt so innocent and happy and of such help to others -- and now this! All the stuffing knocked out of me -- which shows only that it was there. I am grateful. After all, that is what you are there for: to show us what is there inside but hidden.

I can't afford to let you go again. It is obvious that only through you and your love can I really be free. So I try and open my heart to you and my ears too at this distance, and trust that you can find your way through this deeply hidden nonsense of mine.

Never have I knowingly acted out of a need for personal aggrandizement, though that may have been there. Only ignorance of the deeper and more unknown truths has led me astray, if I have wandered. Please forgive me for that, and this I know you can and will do.

Whatever the program is I am on, it is arranged ahead and already until next May. If it is at all worthwhile in your eyes, but it is of no real importance, just a jolly LEELA. I will come instantly at your bidding any time. Nothing, hopefully, will ever cause me again to leave you in my heart, though there is always the risk for someone like me of losing contact with his own heart. If you lead me back, beloved friend and Master, I will endeavor to follow again as best as a stumbling sannyasin can.

I love you with all my heart and will try to be more and more aware of the fear that keeps me from you and that oneness of love.

Namaste. And I touch your sweet feet.


He had gone astray, but he is back. And when he really comes physically back, give him a good welcome. Celebrate his coming!

Jesus talks about the prodigal son. A man had two sons. One was very faithful to the father, utterly devoted to the father. The other was a problem. He was always creating trouble. Finally the father decided -- he was getting old -- to divide the property and separate the two sons. The elder one remained with him and the younger one the moment he got the money, left the father, left the village, went to the big city, spent all the money in gambling, in drinking, with the prostitutes.

Within a few years all was lost; he became a beggar. He had come as a rich man and now he was begging. One day while he was begging, suddenly he was reminded, "Why can't I go back to my father? At least he can accept me as a servant. He has many servants, my brother has many servants. I am no more a worthy son -- that I cannot claim, 'Accept me back as a son' -- but I can go and beg, 'Accept me as a servant.' At least that will be far better than begging from strangers and getting insulted again and again, humiliated."

He sent a message, "I am coming home." He sent a message, "Accept me just as a servant. I am no more worthy to be accepted as a son."

The father was rejoiced. The moment he heard that he was coming that evening, he arranged for a big feast, a great celebration.

His elder son was in the fields, in the gardens working the whole day; he had not known what was happening at home. Somebody told him, "Look, this is unfair! You have been always obedient, always followed your father's footsteps, you have in every way helped the old man, but never has a celebration happened for you, no feast was given for you. And now that your brother is coming back -- he has lost all the money in gambling, prostitution, drinking -- that vagabond is coming back, and your father is arranging a feast. Sweets are being prepared; the whole village has been invited because the son is coming back, back home.

Of course, the elder brother was angry, enraged. He rushed home. He shouted for the first time at his father: "What is this? I have always been obedient with you, always serving you, always following you. I have never said no to you, and never was a feast given for me, never a celebration! You have not been fair! And for that no-good son of yours you are giving a feast? Do you know what he has been doing there?"

The father wept; tears came to his eyes. He said, "You don't understand. You have been with me. I know your love, your trust, your surrender, and my love has always been showering on you. But he had gone astray. Now that he is coming back he needs to be received well so he can gain his dignity back, so he can again feel part of the family, so he can again feel the love, so he does not feel a stranger, so he does not feel that he has done anything wrong, so he does not feel guilty. To remove his guilt this feast is arranged. You don't have any guilt, hence no feast is needed. Every day is a feast for you! Every day I have showered my love.

"But if he is not received well, not welcome, he will feel that he is back home, but this is no more his home. He has sent the message 'Accept me only as a servant.' He has to be accepted as a son, not as a servant. And what does it matter that he had gone astray? What matters is that he is coming back!"

In India we have a proverb: A man who gets lost in the morning and comes back home by the evening is not called lost.

It is natural.

And the father said, "You know perfectly well that if a  shepherd comes home with all his sheep and counts them  and finds that they were a hundred and they are now only ninety-nine -- one sheep is lost somewhere in the jungle -- he leaves all the sheep, goes back in the dark night, to search for the lost sheep. And when he finds the lost sheep he is rejoiced, and he brings the lost sheep back home on his shoulders because the one who had gone astray who had fallen into danger, is back. It is almost a new birth."

So I say to you, when Somendra comes... I have given him the message "Finish all your programs that you have booked and then come back home." When he comes, receive him.

This can happen to anybody because this is how the mind functions, the ego functions. The ways of the ego are subtle.

The work of the Master is first to destroy your ego; and your unconscious will try to protect it. Once your ego is destroyed then the second step, the second phase of the work begins: to help you to stand on your feet. The second phase is not so difficult; the first phase is very difficult, because to drop the ego hurts very much. For millions of lives you have carried it; it has become almost your identity. That's how you know yourself. That is functioning as your being. It is not a real center, it is a false center, but it has become so powerful that the real is hidden behind the false.

You have forgotten your original face, and the Master has to pull your mask. It hurts, because it is no more a mask; it has become almost like skin. It is not just like clothes; it cannot be dropped so easily. Your skin has to be peeled. It hurts, it certainly hurts! And everybody will try to protect it in some way.

Hence Somendra's going astray is of immense value to all of you. This can happen to anybody -- your ego functions in such ways.

The numbskull who has asked the last question yesterday, "Osho, do you get your own jokes?" -- now this can happen to him. He seems to be very egoistic. The question simply shows aggressiveness, ego, nothing else. He is trying to show that he is very intelligent. He is not aware of what he is saying, what he is asking.

This can happen to anybody. Everybody is capable of going astray. And the first part of the work is to help you not to go astray, to bring you back home again and again. And once your ego is finished, then the second phase begins: to help you to stand on your own feet.

Krishnamurti's work will remain futile because the first phase he has completely dropped; he starts with the second phase. And then there are others who only work with the first phase and they never start the second. For example, Sri Aurobindo: he works only with the first phase. Then there is danger.

Krishnamurti is aware of that danger -- in fact, too much, unnecessarily too much aware of that danger. The danger is there, but one has not to become focused on it. It has to be accepted and one has to pass through it. He starts with the second phase; now you cannot start with the second phase. If the boat has not been used you remain on the other shore; you cannot move. If the ladder is not used you cannot go on the higher plane. And he starts talking about the higher plane. The foundation is not laid and he starts creating the temple; the temple can never be made.

And there are people like Sri Aurobindo who make the foundation, but the foundation becomes the temple.

MY work is total; it is organic. I have to lay down the foundation and also to raise the temple.

Krishnamurti is reacting against the past fallacies. I know what has happened to Buddha, Mahavira, Krishna, Mohammed, and I know also what has happened to Krishnamurti. So I am working in a different way: I am trying to remain exactly in the middle, not going to any extreme. Hence I will be misunderstood by everybody; by people who start with the first and never go to the second phase I will be misunderstood because of my second phase, and I will be misunderstood by people who never do the first phase and start with the second.

Just a few days ago, Amrito went to see Krishnamurti and for one and half hours Krishnamurti went on hammering him: "Drop this idea of being a disciple, of being somebody with a Master -- drop this idea. Drop sannyas. Be free!"

And Amrito listened lovingly, felt his compassion -- he IS a man of great compassion, great love -- but finally he said, "You ARE right, but I would like to fall out of this relationship not in a hurried way but like a leaf which is ripe and falls from the tree without making any noise, without any effort, like a leaf falling from the tree effortlessly. "

Krishnamurti wouldn't listen to it. He said, "Immediately you do it!"

And Amrito said, "That I cannot do immediately because still I am not ready. If I drop the Master right now I will remain in my ego. First let my ego disappear through the Master and then I know my Master is capable of helping me to fall like a leaf silently, even without a whisper."

And when this happens the miracle is complete, the journey is complete.

Sheela, it is good that you love to be with me. This is the first phase of the work. Right now, no need to bother about God -- right now it is good. Be totally involved with me, be totally surrendered, and then the second work is to be done by me. Then I will start helping you to go beyond the door, to go into the beyond.

Surrender is only a way to freedom. It takes away only that which you have not got in the first place and it gives you that which you have already got, but have forgotten all about.


Next: Chapter 16: Surprise Me!, Question 2


Energy Enhancement                Enlightened Texts                Desiderata                 Guida Spirituale



Chapter 16






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