Was Shiva the Real Adiyogi or Is that Sadhguru’s Nonsense?

Recently, a 112 foot Adiyogi statue was unveiled in Isha Foundation, Coimbatore by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The beautiful statue was designed by Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev as a credit to the first yogi and as an inspiration for the world. But who is the actual first yogi revered by yogic tradition? Was it really the mystical Lord Shiva or someone else? Sadly, the original Adi yogi has been forgotten and has been replaced by a carelessly spun story by Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev.

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Let me first quote the story as it is narrated by Sadhguru.

Story of AdiYogi as narrated by Sadhguru

“When we say “Shiva,” there are two fundamental aspects that we are referring to. The word “Shiva” literally means “that which is not.” On another level, when we say “Shiva,” we are referring to a certain yogi, the Adiyogi or the first yogi, and also the Adi Guru, the first Guru, who is the basis of what we know as the yogic science today.

In the yogic culture, Shiva is not seen as a God. He was a being who walked this land and lived in the Himalayan region. As the very source of the yogic traditions, his contribution in the making of human consciousness is too phenomenal to be ignored. This predates all religion.

Over 15,000 years ago, Adiyogi appeared in the upper regions of the Himalayas. No one knew where he came from or what his origins were. He just came and went into intense ecstatic dance upon the mountains.

People saw that he was experiencing something that nobody had known before, something that they were unable to fathom. So they gathered around him wanting to know what it was. But no one had the courage to go near him because he was so intense, like a blazing flame of fire. So they waited, hoping something would happen. Some people waited for months and left and Only seven hardcore seekers stuck on. These seven were insistent that they must learn from him, but Shiva ignored them. They pleaded and begged him, “Please, we want to know what you know.”

At last after 84 years of intense sadhana,he decided to become a Guru. On a full moon day which is known as Guru Pournami because the Adiyogi transformed himself into the Adi Guru – the first Guru was born on that day. He took the seven disciples to Kantisarovar and started a systematic exposition of yoga in a scientific manner. He began propounding the whole mechanics of life to these seven people, not intellectually as a philosophy, but experientially. He explored every nut and bolt of creation with them. He brought forth yoga as a technology with which every human being can evolve himself.

The transmission went on for a long period of time. After many years, when it was complete and had produced seven fully enlightened beings, who are today celebrated as the Sapta Rishis, Adiyogi sent each one of them to different parts of the world. One went to Central Asia. Another went to North Africa and the Middle East, where certain schools exist even today. Another went to South America, and that is one culture that imbibed it in a deep way and made something big out of it. One went to East Asia.

One stayed right there with Adiyogi. Another one came to the lower regions of the Himalayas and started what is known as Kashmiri Shaivism. Another one went south into the Indian Peninsula. This one is very important for us because he is Agastya Muni. Of the seven Sapta Rishis, Agastya Muni has been the most effective in terms of bringing the spiritual process into practical life, not as a teaching, philosophy or a practice, but as life itself. It is the benefit of what he did that the Indian people are still enjoying because he produced hundreds of yogis who were like fireballs.” and it goes on.”

First, it looks like Sadhguru has mixed two different stories and made them into one story. I don’t mean that Sadhguru would have intentionally done that. Regardless of whether someone is enlightened or not, human memory has its limitations. Sadhguru probably heard these stories long time ago and due to memory errors, he might have made the two stories into one, which narrates something that never happened. I don’t blame Sadhguru, but the blind followers who simply take whatever Sadhguru says as correct.

I think it is important to make a few things clear. Let me first discuss who this Shiva is and a story from mythology that talks about Dakshinamurthy. Then I will talk about the real Adi yogi, who initiated 8 sages and sent them to different parts of the world.

Who is Shiva?

First, the word ‘Shiva’ doesn’t mean ‘that which is not’, as said by Sadhguru. I have no idea how he came up with such a meaning. The word ‘Shiva’ means ‘auspicious’, which has always been used as an adjective in Vedas. The word has been used for many deities, not just Rudra, the earliest form of Lord Shiva that we know today. It was just a word used to honour someone. Slowly, the word ‘Shiva’ got associated with the Vedic deity Rudra.

Second, mythology is not history. The stories in mythology might have been created for various reasons: to convey deep mystic teachings in the form of a story, to help people to develop devotion for a personified form of the ultimate truth as an aid towards self-realization, to entertain people etc. A puranic story always has multiple contradictory versions, each of them created by people to glorify their own favourite personal God.

Sadhguru has many times indicated that this Adiyogi is the same as Dakshinamoorthy. But the story of Dakshinamoorthy and the story of the Adiyogi who sent 8 rishis to different parts of the world are two entirely different stories.

Let me narrate a puranic story. When Lord Brahma was doing his work of creation, he created many sons from different parts of his body. Four of his sons named Sanaka, Sanatana, Sanandana and Sanatkumara were born from the mind of Brahma. These four people became Brahmacharis against the wish of their father. It is also said that Brahma became very angry because of that, and out of anger Rudra, the earliest form of Shiva was born.

But in Shaivite traditions, it is said that these four people approached Shiva who then assumed the form of Dakshinamoorthy to teach them. He taught them about Self-realization using chin mudra that symbolically shows how a person realizes the ultimate truth. That was all his teaching! According to the story, he just taught the essence of all the scriptures by a small gesture. Note that this applies to all traditions, not just Yoga. Most of the Indian schools of thought like Advaita, Yoga, and Samkya have the same essence even though they use different terminologies.

There are different stories associated with these four kumaras. Some of them are contradictory. Each purana has its own version. So, it is very clear that Dakshinamoorthy is a pure form created for devotion and sadhana, not a historical being who walked on the earth. And Dakshninamoorthy was not shown as teaching traditional Yoga at all. He is clearly not the Adiyogi of the yogic tradition. But this is not to deny the significance of Dakshinamoorthy in anyway. He is a great symbolic representation of enlightenment.

Who is the real Adiyogi?

During 200 BC or 300 BC, a great yogi called Nandhi natha lived in mount Kailash. He was a real human being who walked this planet and was the guru of the great Patanjali. He initiated 8 disciples (Sanatkumar, Sanakar, Sanadanar, Sananthanar, Shivayogamuni, Patanjali, Vyaghrapada, and Tirumular) and sent them to various parts of the world including central Asia to spread Advaita Shaivism. The whole Yogic tradition goes back to Patanjali whose Guru was Nandi natha. Nandi Natha also composed a poem with 26 verses called Nandikeshvara Kashika.

Even today, the Nandhi natha yogic tradition regards Nandi natha as the Adiyogi. A school of this lineage called Adi Natha does regard Shiva as the first yogi, but that was just a title given to Nandinatha, since Shiva means ‘auspicious’.

Tirumular, a well known Tamil saint and the disciple of Nandhinatha was actually the one sent by Adi yogi to south India to spread this school (not Agasthiya). Shiva sending sage Agasthiya to South India to balance the earth was just another puranic story and even that story doesn’t say that he was sent to south India to teach Yoga, as Sadhguru narrates.(Again, this is not to deny the significance of Agasthiya; He was a great Siddha who made great contribution to the world).

Vigyan Bhairav Tantra – 112 techniques for Yoga

Sadhguru also says that Adiyogi statue is 112 feet high and this is to represent the 112 techniques given by Lord Shiva. These 112 techniques are from Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, which is claimed to be a part of ancient Kashmir Shaivaite text called Rudrayamala. It was composed by an unknown author sometime around 8th century AD as a form of imaginary conversation between Shiva and Shakthi.

So, this Vigyan Bhairav Tantra is in no way related to the Adiyogi  Nandhi natha or a historical man called Shiva. The whole text of Vigyan Bhairav Tantra was actually popularized by Osho all over the world. Vigyan Bhairav Tantra is a very rare text which was translated to English by Paul Reps based on the commentary given by Swami Lakshman Joo Raina, a self-realized mystic of Kashmir Shaivism. The translation of Paul Reps was used by Osho to give his own commentaries.

The credit of popularizing Vigyan Bhairav Tantra goes to these three people:  Lakshman Joo, Paul Reps and Osho. Without them, not many people would have known about this valuable text.

As I already mentioned in my previous article ‘The Journey of a Seeker’, Sadhguru uses so many anecdotes, information, views and ideas given by Osho but never gives him credit. Osho was a honest and courageous man who created a great worldwide awareness about self-realization. He was the first man to popularize the fact that there is nothing wrong for a self-realized man to live a normal life with all the luxuries of the world. If Osho didn’t have the courage to own 92 Rolls Royces and still claim enlightenment, we wouldn’t be accepting Sadhguru owning a helicopter or playing golf. It is easier to accept Sadhguru now because we have already seen Osho like this. Osho did all the ground work but the poor man doesn’t get the credit.

The Adiyogi statue looks beautiful, there is no question. But he didn’t build this statue to give credit for whoever the adiyogi was. It is simply a statue of Lord Shiva built to attract crowds and tourists. If Sadhguru is the kind of man who gives credit to people, then he would have given credit to Nandhi Natha (the actual Adi yogi) and Osho already.

The Journey of a Seeker – My Story

In this post, I am going to talk about my spiritual journey and the two most influential people in my life, Osho and Sadhguru. I am going to walk you through the journey of my life and give you accurate description of the changes that I went through in my sadhana. Then I will provide an honest unbiased review of both Sadhguru and Osho. Finally, I will put the concept of spiritual enlightenment in a scientific perspective and try to explain it using the terminology of academic psychology.

My Spiritual Journey – Me to Me

Early years

I grew up in a Hindu family which required me to believe in a personal God and his family of Gods. My grandparents taught me that God had a family with children who had God relatives. I was asked to pray to them to have my wishes granted and threatened to be punished by God if I was morally wrong. My early childhood days were spent in listening to stories of mythology and singing devotional songs. I showed more devotion than any of the other children of my age in my neighborhood. Eventually, I began to fall in love with all these heavenly beings and had a deep desire to see them with my physical eyes. I was told that it was possible if I prayed enough.

In those early days, I have watched movies in which devotees performed Tapas (penance) to get a vision of God and to get their boons granted. They were shown to be sitting or standing with closed eyes in various positions for years with no food and water so that they can have such visions. Seeing those people in movies, I too tried to imitate them. I used to sit with closed eyes for fifteen to thirty minutes every day when I was seven years old. Unknowingly, I had tried to do my first meditation this way.

I had learnt to read very early in my life. When I was seven years old, I could read and understand stories in children’s magazines written in Tamil. This was going to help to me to learn some advanced topics in the years to come. The same year, I was also taught in school about Buddha. I was taught that Buddha attained enlightenment under a bodhi tree and I had no idea what it meant.

Introduction to Ramakrishna

When I was about nine years old, I happened to read the book ‘Gospel Of Ramakrishna’. Ramakrishna Paramhamsa was the guru of Swami Vivekananda. He was considered to be enlightened but was not as famous as Vivekananda. I was fascinated about the trances that Ramakrishna used to go through, a state in which he was immersed in divine bliss with no consciousness of the outside world. The trances are called Samadhis. I also read about the unbelievable stories of how he used to have visions of Goddess Kali and talk with her. His words were filled with pearls of wisdom. One thing he insisted was to stay away from women and gold. He considered the desires for women and gold to be the common obstacles to spiritual enlightenment. The Indian word for spiritual enlightenment is Moksha, the event which frees an individual from the cycle of birth and death and makes him to be directly united with God. This concept is same as salvation or the union with God in Christianity.

Reading this book increased my desire to see God in a physical form. Ramakrishna used to say that if somebody shed tears in the desire to see God, then he would definitely see God in this lifetime and attain liberation (enlightenment).Reading this, I immediately shed tears after shutting myself in the pooja (worship) room.

I was also impressed about the fact that Ramakrishna followed Christianity and Islam to see if they also led to the same goal of Samadhi. He was able to get the same results by doing sadhana in Christian and Sufi paths.

Exposure to Yoga and other concepts

After a year, I started reading a book about Yoga and came to know about Ashtanga yoga, the eight limbs of Yoga in the path of attaining Samadhi. Samadhi is the highest goal of Yoga but it required years and years of practising meditation, doing asanas and pranayamas (exercises manipulating the breath). I tried to do meditation often but ended up fighting with my thoughts and had no success in concentration. After seeing continuous failures in getting my mind to focus on a single object, I finally gave up the confidence that I could do it.

Then I started reading Bhagwad Gita and Periya Purnam (A collection of stories of 63 enlightened devotees of Lord Shiva). I had also read a few mythological books including Skanda Purana and Shiva Purana. I also read texts about Vedanta and self-inquiry but I could not understand them. Finally, I started to believe that God is one, formless but can show himself to devotees in the form they worship.

When I read more about science, I understood that many of the things which are in the religious domain are not accepted by science. One day I thought, ‘May be I should do something to create a bridge between science and religion’. I always dreamed of becoming a scientist when I was a child. I believed that if religion is approached in a scientific way, we can discover many things.

Teenage Years

During my teenage years, I developed depression and inferiority complex. I had trouble in forming friendships and I saw myself as unworthy. But I had a lot of ambitions. I had mastered the art of writing poetry in Tamil in classical metres like venba, asiriyappa, virtutham etc. I was known as a good poet and orator in my school, by the time I was 14 years old. Even though I had inferiority complex, I had absolutely no stage fear. But my depression deepened in the coming months and I began to show some abnormal behaviour in school. I used to shut myself in a classroom and cry without any reason. I also developed a crush on a girl and started convincing myself that it is love. I lived far away from reality and had developed a fantasy prone and neurotic personality. I clearly showed the traits of bipolar disorder. I used to be known as the most brilliant student in my class. But the depressive phases and my so called ‘love’ had made me to seek more time in solitude.  After recovering from depression to some extent and finishing my tenth grade, I wrote hundreds of poems about love, life and God during the summer vacation. By this time, I had also formed an image of an ideal self, a self that I wanted to be. Everybody has an actual self and an ideal self. The less they overlap with each other, the more anxiety they feel. My actual self and ideal self didn’t seem to even touch each other.

First, I wanted to be seen as normal by people and conform to the standards of society. I wanted to develop my social skills and interact with people with confidence. Then I wanted to be known as an accomplished poet or an author in the future. Finally, I wanted to marry the girl I loved and live happily ever after. Before I die, I wanted to make sure that my name is registered in the history. That was my ideal self. I realized I had to work really hard to achieve my goals.

Also, when I looked back on what I read about Yoga and attaining Samadhi, I realized that was not going to be possible. How can I ever stop my desire for money, women and other things? After all, everyone is striving for well being. If I stop going for things that will increase my well being, then what else I would do to bring myself lasting happiness? I realized that spirituality is not for me.

College years

I lived away from my parents when I was studying in a polytechnic college in Chennai. I initially stayed in a hostel but due to pathological ragging that was done by seniors in the hostel, I moved to a room shared with other students. I faced a lot of issues during those times but I have just made the long story short. I had chosen to study chemical technology but unfortunately in a few months I realized that it was not the subject I wanted to study. So, for the first year and a half, I did not score well in the exams.

In the fourth semester I took a decision. I decided to dedicate myself to studies, accomplishing my goals and showing ultimate devotion to God to earn his grace. I also tried to be morally perfect in every aspect. If God chooses to show his grace to people who are moral and devotional, then it should happen to me. So, I pushed myself to the extreme. The life for the 6 months was very intense and I gave my 100% in everything, in every moment of life.

During mid December of that year, I started to walk 2 kilometres in the morning at 4 am everyday to a nearby temple and pray for about an hour. Then I would walk back to my room. I did the same thing in the evening and I continued this for a month.

Here is the gist of my prayers: “Dear God.. you know me very well and you are aware of what I can do and what I cannot do. I am trying all I could do to change myself, work hard and also be a good person. But I have difficulty in controlling my impulses and exercising self-control. Why did you create me like this, with this kind of genetics? Please show me the way.. I don’t know what else to do. I have what you have given me as my available resources.. You gave me this body, you gave me these tendencies.. How can I alone be responsible to correct those tendencies and be a good, kind, hardworking person? You gave me the environment and genetic factors that made me neurotic, selfish and irresponsible. I tried my best and I am not able to change that. Is it fair if you punish me for something that I don’t have full control over? Please be kind and help me”..

I literally used to have a mental conversation with God everyday in the temple. In the mean time, I started analyzing my thoughts and behaviors seriously. Every time I behaved in a negative way, I sat and analyzed what went wrong. I made my thought process conscious and engaged in a deep contemplation every day.

In the mean time I started to wonder how much control an individual has over one’s behavior. Consider the following facts:

  • People with low levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter produced by the nervous system, are predisposed to show impulsive activity and emotional aggression.
  • People who have high levels of testosterone are more likely to show aggressive behavior.
  • A brain tumor caused an individual to be sexually abusive towards girls. Once the tumor was removed, he became normal.

These psychological findings show that a person’s behaviour is highly influenced by hereditary factors, hormonal levels, other biological factors and the environment. They can even affect self control. So, somebody’s moral behaviour is not completely under his or her control.

“So, If God created me like this, is it fair for the God to punish me for the behaviour that is simply the result of my biology? Also, what kind of God he is if he chooses to favour the people who prays to him? I am willing to change and trying my best, so what is stopping from God to help me?”

I used to put these questions to God when I prayed. I reasoned with him a lot and I told him I really had no idea what to do more than what I was doing then. Whatever the problem was, I asked God to fix it. If it seemed impossible for any reason, I asked him to take my life and give me eternal peace.

When it came to studies, I made sure I dedicated a few hours each day. I pushed myself too hard and started to bite off more than I could chew, in all aspects. I remained alert about my thought patterns and behaviors and constantly monitored myself. I could manage all this until the end of the semester. After that, there was no way I could continue doing what I was doing. The grip that I had over myself began to loosen and I started losing my self control.

I did really well in the exams that semester. I had got the third highest score among my peers. But I had expected to come first. I did all I could do for this. I obviously worked harder than others but I still couldn’t reach my goal. My ideal self appeared to be so far away. I felt restless, anxious and unhappy.

In the next 6 months, I experienced a tremendous fear of loss. I started to get thoughts like, ‘what if I lost everything I have, What if I become a beggar?’…. I didn’t resist those thoughts, instead I waited to see what those thoughts are up to. Whatever bad situation that I imagined, I made myself mentally strong to face it. I told myself ‘I can face anything in my life!’… One of my favorite proverbs those days was ‘Hope for the best but prepare for the worst’..

I gradually started questioning everything in my life.. What is the purpose of this life after all? Why should I continue to live? Everything seemed to be meaningless. My rational mind started to question the existence of God. When I dug deeper into my mind, it seemed as if nothing had any purpose. There seemed to be no way to fulfill the expectations of mind. I thought I would rather die instead of having to suffer with my immature, neurotic and unpredictable personality.

Then I thought, ‘If I have decided to end this life now, then I have a freedom of doing anything I like… I can die at any minute when it seems to be impossible to live any longer.’… The idea that death is an open choice all the time gave me a sudden sense of freedom and peace. ‘Let me let this life going and see what happens’ I thought.

Introduction to the books of Osho

I got a membership in a nearby library later that year, in my fifth semester. That is where I saw a book by Osho. I had heard about him before but had no idea who he was and what he taught. So, I borrowed that book and began to read.

The first thing that caught my attention was what he said about meditation. He said that trying to concentrate and fighting with thoughts generate more and more thoughts as a result. He made very clear that meditation was not concentration. He suggested a new technique for meditation which was to witness my thoughts non-judgmentally, as an observer. He taught to observe my thoughts as if I had nothing to do with them. I was kind of already doing this and I felt it very easy and doable.

Next, he said that God is not a person. There is no personal God. ‘That is what I thought’, I said to myself. He told that there is Godliness, which is the very essence of life, which is the very essence of who I am.

Third, He made very clear what ego is. One of the things that both shocked me and sounded true was the fact that even trying to be humble can be a subtle way for ego to show superiority over others. We tend to think we are more humble than others and that kind of gives us a humble ego. He made me aware that ego tries to find meaning in everything and attaches itself to it. It makes me to define myself with concepts and always makes me in a constant pursuit of enhancing itself. It maintains a story, the story of ‘me’ and makes us constantly to be identified with it and protect it all the time. He also revealed that cutting of the identification with this self-concept created by ego is enlightenment. It is just realizing our own nature which is hidden behind the veil of ego. That is what Buddha realized under Bodhi tree. That is what Ramakrishna found in Samadhi. That is what every individual is searching for. That true nature of yours is what people actually call God. God is not somebody who is sitting in the heaven, watching you and granting your true nature. Everybody has a potential to realize their true nature.

I realized that a new door was opened for me. A new possibility of attaining complete fulfilment in my life has been just revealed to me. I found it to be refreshing, exciting and illuminating. I continued to read many books of Osho and became addicted to it. In one of his books, he revealed his own story of enlightenment and how it happened to him.

(I will explain my own criticisms about Osho later in this post. I am listing whatever happened in a chronological order)…

Here is a list of facts and teachings revealed by Osho, a gist of what I understood from many books I read after that:

  • As you start witnessing your thoughts and be alert each and every moment, you will start noticing gaps between thoughts. The gaps will get bigger and you will soon be able to witness your unconscious patterns, emotions, moods and subtle sensations. Gradually your thoughts will reduce and you will come to a point where there is absolute stillness. Then suddenly, when you are least expecting anything to happen, enlightenment happens.
  • Then you realize you are what you have been searching for. Your true nature which is beyond space and time is revealed to you which leaves you absolutely blissful and content.
  • If you try to become a morally good person, it leads to suppressing your desires. Then you will become hypocrite. You will be a good person at the periphery, but in the center all those tendencies that cause immoral behavior will exist and erupt at anytime. But once you are enlightened, you will naturally be a good person.
  • The presence of an enlightened person radiates peace and love, and has the ability to quieten your mind. If you get to live near an enlightened person, your spiritual progress will naturally accelerate.
  • Love is another path to enlightenment. You can either start with witnessing or love.
  • If you pay attention to what you are doing and witness everything that happens inside you, than anything that you do is a meditation. Simple things like walking, eating will become a meditation if you are mindful, alert and witness every thought, sensation and activity that happens. It is important to have a non judgemental attitude.
  • When you live moment to moment like this, you will simply do what is required at the given moment. Preoccupation with past and future disappears. There will not be even necessary to make plans for the future. You will be absolutely satisfied with whatever the present moment brings to you.
  • He gave a controversial discourse series called ‘From Sex to superconciousness’ in which he said being mindful during sex can be a good meditation and become a doorway for enlightenment.
  • He insisted that there is no need to renounce the world to be spiritually enlightened. One can become enlightened by living a normal life as a householder.
  • Phrases like ‘achieving enlightenment’ or ‘becoming enlightened’ are actually wrong because we are already what we are looking for. We just have to realize or uncover that. He made very clear that words can be misleading and they are just like a finger pointing to the moon.

There are many other strange facts that he revealed in different discourses. He has given many examples of enlightened people who can leave their body at will. If they want to die, they will just shed their body like shedding their clothes. In one discourse he said that an enlightened person has an aura of 24 miles radius and anybody who is sensitive within that 24 miles radius will feel the effect of his presence.

He has talked about his past lives. In many of his early talks, he talked about various things regarding reincarnation, the time it takes for a soul to take a new womb, karma etc. He said that dreams during sleep will completely disappear after enlightenment.

He also mentioned in a couple of discourses that most of the time, enlightenment and death happen at the same time. Many people, when they get enlightened, immediately leave their body due to the extreme shock that they go through in their body.

I noticed a style in Osho. Osho had a tendency to exaggerate things. When he narrated an event that happened in the life of somebody who was enlightened, he often made his own screenplay and dialogues and made the story very dramatic. So, If somebody copies and rephrases what he said, it will be very obvious to people who have read many books of Osho’s discourses.

Also, he said many times that what he talks in his discourses is not at all important. His discourse is simply a device to silence our minds and make us receptive to his presence. Once we are receptive and available to his presence, then it can directly work on the seekers to progress in the path. He insisted more on a silent transmission than the content of his talks.

He also insisted that enlightenment should not be seen as a goal. That is a subtle way of ego entering through the backdoor. Enlightenment is not an achievement; it is simply uncovering our true nature. Everybody has the potential for it. But a desire for enlightenment can also be a hindrance in getting it.

He has contradicted himself many times and has openly admitted it. Life is full of contradictions. So, there is no way to explain about reality in a completely logical way. Sometimes it is natural for his statements to seem like contradictions. But whenever somebody asked about a contradiction, he often explained it to prove that in fact there was no contradiction.

Osho was very creative in his way of talking. His talks were filled with anecdotes, jokes, harsh criticisms against many popular people, repetitive statements and sometimes pointless gossip. He gave commentaries on Upanishads, Bhagwad Gita, Buddhist texts, Zen, Sikhism, Christian mysticism, Sufism and many more. He made very clear that all these paths lead to the same goal and explained the true essence of these paths.

Witnessing – Phase 1

As soon as I started reading Osho, I have also begun to put his witnessing meditation into practise. His witnessing meditation is an age old technique which is called Sakshi Bhav in Vedanta, Shikantaza in Zen and Sati (Mindfulness) in Buddhism. In the recent years, science has found substantial evidence for the role of mindfulness meditation in decreasing stress and increasing well being.

Soon, I went to my native place for my semester holidays and I got enough solitude to practice witnessing. A month earlier, I was practicing his other meditations like dynamic meditation, gibberish meditation and more. I created my own therapy based on his various meditation techniques and I do believe that it resolved a lot of unconscious issues.

As I progressed in my witnessing meditation, I started feeling calmer and peaceful. The thought process gradually slowed down. I continued to do it every day with great involvement. One day, when I was staring at the ceiling witnessing my thoughts, there was a brief moment of stillness with no thoughts. There was an absolute clarity and peace of mind that I had never encountered before. For the first time, I realized that I can exist without thoughts. It gave me a clear and firm knowledge that thoughts are not me.

This was like a Eureka moment. An immediate excitement followed that gave me a new strength and peace which continued for the next six months. I went back to college for the final semester, which is the happiest period that I had in the entire three years. This momentary realization was a confirmation that there is something indestructible. I interpreted it as a glimpse of my essential nature. Osho used to call this Satori.

After this, I was able to concentrate on a single task for hours and be immersed in it. Recently, as I began to learn psychology, I realized that there is a name for this. It is called ‘flow’. Flow is the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. In essence, flow is characterized by complete absorption in what one does. These states were very common and occurring everyday when I was immersed in a task. During those states, there was no feeling of my individual existence. It was as if I had disappeared.. There was just pure awareness, focus and a sense of being alive.

I felt that the complete flowering of enlightenment is very near. But I also remembered Osho saying that there will be many beautiful moments that you will pass through. Don’t make any of those moments your home. Just keep going. You may feel that you have arrived but it is not necessarily so.

I talked to one of my close friends regarding this and I started to explain him about the beauty of meditation. I also told him that I felt like I might be enlightened soon. But I was wrong. After about six months, the initial excitement of this Eureka moment faded. But the feeling that there is something indestructible and everyday occurrence of flow continued and never stopped.

As I continued to read Osho’s books, I felt very unfortunate that there was no enlightened master like Osho at present time that I could meet and ask my questions. I felt that if there was someone like him around, then he could guide me on my spiritual path.

Encounter the enlightened – The First Satsang With Sadhguru

In January 2003, I saw a wall post regarding a satsang at Marina beach, Chennai. It was titled ‘Encounter the enlightened’ in Tamil with the photograph of a man with a long beard. He looked like Osho. I saw the name ‘Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev’ printed in the wall post. It was to be held on January 22, 2003. As soon as I saw it, I made up my mind to go there.

It was a beautiful evening at Marina beach with thousands of people gathered. Sadhguru spoke about many things which were similar to what Osho had said about enlightenment. He spoke in Tamil flavored with Kannada accent, sounding like the dialect of actor Rajinikanth. Most of his views were matching with the views of Osho. When he gave us instructions for a guided meditation, he asked everyone to focus in the middle of one’s eyebrows. I remember him saying ‘Just keep a slight focus in between your eyebrows, but don’t concentrate’. This instantly reminded me of Osho. ‘So, there is someone here who is enlightened’, I told myself. But it seemed almost impossible to approach him as he was already quite popular.

He spoke about his foundation called Isha Foundation based in Coimbatore which conducts Yoga programs all over the state. At the end of the satsang, his book ‘Encounter the enlightened’ in Tamil was on sale. But I had no money to buy it. I returned home with mixed feelings; A happiness on having seen another modern day enlightened Guru and a disappointment for not being able to buy that book.

After finishing my course in Polytechnic, I noticed a weekly article in Anantha Vikatan authored by Sadhguru, with a title in Tamil that translates to ‘Desire for everything!’.. This again reminded me of Osho’s advice saying that we should not repress our desires. At the same time, another clean shaved guy with the name Nithyananda showed up with his own article in Kumudham which introduced him as another enlightened modern day Guru! But for some reason, he didn’t quite appear enlightened to me, may be because he didn’t have any beard J..

My Career in BPO and My First Isha Yoga program

After spending a few months at home reading books by Osho and searching for a job, I started working. After working in two different companies in various profiles, I finally got a job with good salary in a call center in Chennai. I started earning money, made new friendships, faced a lot of ups and downs and changed four different companies in about 5 years time. I had stopped reading spiritual books and went ahead with life. Finally, I saw an announcement for Isha Yoga program which was to be conducted in Anna University for two weeks. (or one week, I don’t remember). I enrolled in the program with my friend.

I had a good time over the whole program. We were given detailed information about Isha and its activities for social welfare. I also came to know more about Dhyanalinga, which is said to give you the same effect that you will get in the presence of an enlightened guru. They said that if one sat in front of Dhyanalinga and closed his eyes, he would automatically become meditative. According to Sadhguru, the Dhyanalinga has all the seven chakras that a human being has. It has been consecrated in such a way that the energy and peace that radiates from Dhyanalinga is the same as the energy and peace radiated in the presence of someone who is enlightened. We were taught a kriya called shambhavi mahamudra, which had to be practiced twice a day. At the end of the Isha Yoga program, I immediately enrolled for the upcoming next level program called Bhava Spandana. It was a three day residential program in Isha Yoga centre, Coimbatore.

I arrived in Isha Yoga centre in the evening on the first day of Bhava Spandana. We were asked to submit our mobile phones, bags and money as there will not be any contact with the outside world for three days. I went to the dome of Dhyanalinga for the first time and meditated for fifteen minutes. To be honest, I just felt a normal relaxed state and stillness and nothing much in the presence of Dhyanalinga. The atmosphere was definitely conducive for meditation but I felt nothing more than how I would usually feel when I meditated in my home or room. May be I was not receptive enough or maybe the effects of the linga are overrated…  But usually, according to Sadhguru and Osho, trying to figure out such things with our rational mind is not going to work. Their usual argument is, our logic cannot figure out something that is beyond logic. But I had an immense trust on Sadhguru. So, I was confident that I was on the right way.

I felt very insecure on the first night of Bhava Spandana. I felt like I had been disconnected from the outside world. But the next morning, the insecurity disappeared. I participated in all the meditations in BSP with 100% intensity. Some of the meditations involved action and were similar to the concept of dynamic meditation by Osho. The feelings of oneness and peace I felt there was not new to me since I had already experienced that with my witnessing meditation. But the three days were very beautiful and the overall experience was good.

After the BSP program, I came back to Chennai and my regular routine started again. A lot of things happened in my life then which gave me extreme suffering. I used to become emotionally dependent on certain people that I liked a lot; If the people I liked didn’t give me the same attention to me, it made me to suffer and become anxious. That was exactly what was happening in those days. It took a few months for me to become alright again.

Exploring Spirituality further

I had bought two books by Sadhguru, ‘Encounter the enlightened’ and ‘Mystic’s musings’. The book Mytic’s Musings was about many things that any rational person would never want to believe in. But I had no problem with that because of the trust I had in Sadhguru. I always remembered what Sadhguru said, ‘Don’t believe me or disbelieve me! Don’t come to a conclusion about anything by yourself. Be ready to say I don’t know and be a seeker’… Osho has said the same thing many times. It has always been my own approach to life too.  I finished reading those two books and watched a lot of videos of Sadhguru’s talks.

I continued my meditations and I had many peak experiences. Peak experiences were described by psychologist Abraham Moslow as “rare, exciting, oceanic, deeply moving, exhilarating, elevating experiences that generate an advanced form of perceiving reality, and are even mystic and magical in their effect upon the experimenter”. In the mean time, I read the teachings of Ramana Mahirishi. I also came to know about Eckhart tolle and his awakening experience. I read three of his books, ‘The Power of now’, ‘A New Earth’ and ‘The Stillness speaks’.

I came across the teachings of another Indian guru named Poonjaji. Soon I discovered that there are many people who claim to be enlightened, especially in the west. Some of them I read about were Gangaji, Andrew Cohen, Ramesh Balsekar, Mooji, Joan Tollifson etc. I read their testimonies about the awakening experiences. Are each of one of them really enlightened or they just had some peak experiences and glimpses of their reality? There seemed to be no way to find out. Can we really draw a single line called ‘Enlightenment’ in someone’s life which is the ultimate line after which there is no progress further? Is everyone who claims to enlightened talk about that same line? I emailed a couple of these people and got answers too. They said that their enlightenment was a gradual process and not something that occurred in the single moment as Osho described. They also didn’t have a totally thoughtless mind, ability to leave the body at will or memories of previous incarnation. Did Osho exaggerate the effects of enlightenment by saying that there would be no thoughts or did these people just conclude that they were enlightened with no basis to support their claim? I had no answers to these questions.

I had already integrated Karma Yoga, Gnana Yoga and Bhakthi yoga in my life and made my life itself a sadhana. Every moment was an opportunity for me to explore the depths of unconsciousness and clear out the clouds which were hiding my own reality. The concepts of Advaita taught me ‘acceptance’. I learnt to accept the life as it is.

My Marriage and the life after

I got married in December 2008. The first two years of my marriage were spent in a lot of conflicts and quarrels between me and my wife. I became addicted to alcohol and started drinking twice or thrice a week. I started learning about PHP programming, chess tactics, astronomy, photoshop and many other things. Photography became my new hobby. Nothing much happened in my life those days. I used to go to Ramana Mahirishi’s ashram in Tiruvannamalai with my wife whenever I got a chance and spend time in meditation.

Two years later, I moved to my own native place, Tirunelveli and got a job there. I spent my time in learning, writing articles and trying out new things on the internet. New interests always popped up and got me going. The moments of flow helped me to stay on focus.

After another two years, I moved to Coimbatore. I started exploring places nearby. I climbed mountains and hills on weekends and took pictures. I enjoyed trekking in various places of Nilgiris. I had stopped drinking alcohol and started experimenting with cannabis. It seemed to be a magic herb. It enhanced my creativity, focus and compassion. We had no kids and there were no big responsibilities. I used to visit Isha Yoga centre occasionally but wasn’t thinking much about enlightenment or spirituality. I didn’t think anything about the future or the past. Living in the present moment was quite satisfying but there was still something incomplete in me which was yearning for fulfillment.

On May 5, 2014, I climbed the Velliangiri mountains. It is a holy mountain near Coimbatore. Isha Yoga centre is right at the foot of the mountains. Sadhguru himself had spent time there and he had said that many enlightened people left their bodies there and their energy can be still felt in the mountains. There was no one to accompany me to trek the mountain so I went all by myself. I started walking uphills at about 7:30 AM and reached the summit by 1:30. The mountain is very steep and difficult to climb. The view from the top is amazing. I had the darshan of the linga in the summit, took rest for about 30 minutes and started walking downhill. I took many photographs and finally reached the bottom at about 7:30 PM. The experience was wonderful.

The Major ‘Change’ – Is it Enlightenment?

The trip to Velliangiri mountains triggered the seeker in me and I decided to go deep in meditation as much as I could. I started paying attention to every moment, every thought and every sensation. I made very clear to me that whatever I observe, perceive, think, experience and know is not me. I witnessed all the passing emotions and moods as a passive observer.

I went to Isha yoga centre every week, took bath in Theerthakund and meditated for an hour. I spent almost half of the day there. In the office, my nature of job was to talk to the customers over the phone during the whole night and answer their questions. I became deeply involved in the present moment and enjoyed my work. I soon stopped thinking about many things in the external world. I noticed my thoughts slowing down leaving a peaceful, clear stillness in the large gaps between each thought. Very soon, I started feeling intense euphoria at times which lasted for hours. The quality of my work increased, the clarity in my voice and speech increased and I started to feel waves of bliss in my head. It was like a cool breeze flowing in my head.

Soon, I stopped my interactions with other people. It was not my conscious decision but happened automatically. I couldn’t believe that all these things were happening to me. I didn’t feel any intense negative emotion or anxiety but almost the whole day at my work was filled with bliss and peace. Soon, the psychological boundaries between me and the world started to disappear. I started getting a lot of attention and I was pretty sure that something tremendous was happening.

I went to attend Sadhguru’s darshan that happened in the Isha ashram on June 18th and 19th, 2014. I felt one with the whole universe during the entire satsang. The feeling of oneness with the world was then continuous. Whatever I did seemed to happen without much of my conscious will. Everything I did was spontaneous like a river flowing down the hills. The doer in me seemed to have completely disappeared and everything seemed to be happening out of cosmic will instead of my own will.

It was a huge blessing. Every day at work, I felt tremendously happy and satisfied. For the first time in my life, I felt complete and fulfilled. I wondered, ‘Is it really possible for me to suffer ever again?’… I felt like the king of the whole world.

I went to another satsang that was held on July 12, 2014 (Guru Purnima day). I remember getting on the bus feeling so light as if I had no weight on the body. Everything seemed to be so transparent. During the entire satsang, I was immersed in my Self. That night while I was lying on my bed, there was a sudden clarity. It seemed that my search was over. There was nothing else to achieve and nothing more to do to make me complete.

The days after the change

The excitement and the wave of bliss were gradually reduced in the days to come. Though I no longer felt the waves and breeze of bliss in my head, being peaceful and complete has been the normal state of my mind from those days of transformation to till date.

Though I had no doubt that the journey as a human being in my life was over and it wouldn’t matter if I die at any moment, the transformation didn’t exactly fit into the description of enlightenment as implied by Osho and Sadhguru. When I thought about it later after the next two years, I noted down my observation of the changes it had made in my thinking, well being and my way of life:

  • Self image is no longer important to me.
  • My past no longer plays a role in giving me a mental identity in my mind.
  • I cannot think about future the same way I did before. In a sense, I seemed to have lost the sense of time. I don’t and can’t rely on an event in the future for satisfaction.
  • I stopped feeling that there is an ‘other’. The psychological boundaries between me and the world disappeared. A lot of concepts in Psychology doesn’t seem to apply to me or relevant to me. For example, I no longer felt the psychological self-consciousness and cognitive dissonance.
  • Emotions like sadness and fear seems to have disappeared. But I continue to show the sign of a sudden fear in my facial expression and bodily movements. (For example, if a moving vehicle suddenly comes close to me enough to hit me, I respond to it in the usual way. But it doesn’t have the same impact on my mind as it did before. May be it is so subtle but I don’t usually feel fear or sadness)
  • I continue to feel angry when I am disturbed by others. As a person, I always used to be high in neuroticism and easily angered ever since I was a child. It seemed to a genetic factor. It makes sense to assume that meditation or an awakening experience doesn’t mysteriously change a person’s genetics. But the factors that will make me angry were reduced completely. I could easily change my mood from being angry to being normal.
  • It is not like feeling continuous bliss and being drugged all the time. But there is always a peace and fulfillment and there is no longer a feeling that something is incomplete.
  • The thoughts have not completely disappeared but they have been tremendously reduced. My thinking is usually not about the past or the present. For example, at any moment I may be thinking ‘May be there is life on one of the moons on Saturn’, or ‘How come humming birds are really too small? They are cute’… I hardly think about me.
  • There is absolutely nothing paranormal. I don’t have any memories of past life and have never seen a damn aura in my life.
  • Biological drives like food and sex motivates my behavior as usual. But motivation theories like expectancy theory or goal setting theory doesn’t seem to apply for me much. I am not driven to do something because I will get something as a result in three months time. I have to remember to consciously involve myself to do it. But I will do something to get a bottle of brandy to drink this evening. These days I have developed a conscious practice of planning ahead and thinking about doing things which are necessary for the future. The drawback with that is, I may completely forget to do it.

Also, while some changes obviously occurred as an immediate result of the transformation, some changes are gradual and still occurring within me. It took a long time to learn to live with this transformed personality and there were challenges that I faced. It is hard to put it in language, because in one way or the other, it will be misleading.

I continue to learn by my experience with this new phenomenon (in fact, people will say that it is not a new thing, it is just a person’s real essence which was and will be always present. That is true… But it is still gives a new outlook. The way it affects our behavior and our experiences is new).

I went through a great deal of suffering after this transformation when I lost my job in the next two years.  That is long story and I don’t want to go into that in detail now. I had to find a new job, had no money and depended on my parents for a couple of months. During those days, I actually missed my old job and the people. Then I realized that I had a subtle attachment with that environment which was not obvious. It took a while for things to settle down. But it was only temporary and soon it became like nothing actually happened. I have written more about what happened in the next three years after awakening in this post: Spiritual Enlightenment – Is it a Myth or Real?

 

   Osho and Sadhguru – What I noticed about them

Osho – A second look

So if this transformation is not enlightenment, then there must be another shift which is going to happen. But is that really true or enlightenment has been simply exaggerated and over rated than it really is?… Many stories of enlightenment from the west are same as my transformation. So, according to them, I am enlightened but according to Sadhguru and Osho, I am not.

This is something to figure out to prevent people from being misled. Scientific research about enlightenment is the only way to go about it. It is interesting to note that, Osho himself was completely not free of ego. To be exact, his need to feel superior seemed to be still there after enlightenment.

Let me give you some obvious examples:

  1. In the initial years, Osho regarded Nostradamus as simply a crazy man. This is what he said about his predictions:

“Nostradamus can be interpreted in any way you want. The sentences are not clear, the grammar is not correct. The words are such that you can fit them into any context you want”.

But just read what he said about the same man later, when it seemed like Nostrademus predictions about a great future teacher fit with Osho:

“Just a few days ago, I was seeing one of the most significant books to be published in this century, ‘Millenium’. It is a deep research into Nostradamus and his predictions. Eighty thousand copies were published – which is very rare – and they were sold within weeks. Now a second publication, a second edition, is happening in America, another is happening in England, and the book is being translated into many other languages – Dutch, German….

Nostradamus was a great mystic with an insight into the future. And you will be surprised to know that in his predictions, I am included. Describing the teacher of the last days of the twentieth century, he gives eight indications. Krishnamurti fulfills five, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi fulfills three, Da Free John fulfills four – and I was amazed that I fulfill all eight.

In this book ‘Millenium’, they have made a chart of the teacher about whom Nostradamus is predicting – that his people will wear red clothes, that he will come from the East, that he will be arrested, that his commune will be destroyed, that flying birds will be his symbol, that his name will mean moon…. Three hundred years ago that man was seeing something that fits perfectly with me – my name means “the moon.” And in their chart they have declared me the teacher of the last part of the twentieth century.”

Obviously, when Osho found this as boosting his superiority, he regarded the same man as mystic.

  1. Initially Osho didn’t criticize S.N Goenka and even asked his disciples to attend a Vipassana retreat by Goenka. But once Osho heard that Goenka in an interview had said that Osho was his student before, Osho started criticizing S.N Goenka so harshly.
  2. Osho always considered J.Krishnamurti as enlightened. When he heard that J.K had criticized him recently, Osho immediately reacted to it in his next discourse. He said that J.K was just in the border of enlightenment and is not enlightened yet. He also made the same statement in his last book Zen Manifesto.

Also, you will find a significant difference between what Osho has said in his early talks in India and the talks he gave in America. Even though Osho had his own rationalizations on that, anyone who carefully observes this difference can notice many things which clearly indicate that a lot of what Osho said about enlightenment could be just his opinions and exaggerations but may not be facts.

Osho had a really nasty habit of labeling people he criticized as stupids and idiots. His natural defense mechanism would usually come into play when he tried to rationalize things like this as “It is a device. I am just trying to shock you people”. But I don’t agree that many of the things that he calls as device were really consciously devised by Osho to help people towards their spiritual progress. It is pure rationalizing, one of the defense mechanisms of ego that you can observe in any human being. But I did believe that those were genuine devices when I was reading those hundreds of books of Osho. Some of them could be, but not all of them.

Many people who know Osho are probably aware that nitrous oxide was used during dental sessions with Osho. He dictated three books under the influence of Nitrous oxide. If you read those books, you will certainly notice that nitrous oxide did influence his clarity and thought process. But Osho has said that a drug will not impact an enlightened person’s alertness and consciousness in anyway. Also, it is more likely that Osho became addicted to Nitrous Oxide even though he denied it. That affected his thinking process a lot. When you read the books of his talks in the US, you will notice that those talks were just repetitive and pointless ramblings.

My assumption is that behavior, personality and opinions greatly vary between enlightened people because they still retain their genetics and even old habits. A person who was a jerk before enlightenment can retain some of those tendencies after enlightenment and a person who was like a sage before enlightenment may look like an absolute and perfect sage after enlightenment.

But they are just my assumptions. If you ask me ten years later, I may have a different answer. I am more inclined now to approach enlightenment in scientific way. For science, both skepticism and open-mindedness are necessary and important.

Osho’s Influence in the world

Osho definitely made a great contribution to the world. He brought spiritual enlightenment from the heights of great sages to the valley that most of the people in the world live in. He created awareness about enlightenment and showed to people that there is really a way to reduce a great deal of unnecessary suffering in the daily life.

Osho influenced many people who we believe today as enlightened. I can smell that influence in many books written by gurus who are alive today.

sadh

Image credit: https://twitter.com/DerekBaconART

How Osho influenced Sadhguru

Sadhguru has never endorsed Osho, even though he has talked about a lot of other mystics. In Mystic Musings, he claimed that most of what he knows came as a direct transmission from his guru. But it is certain that a lot of what he knows also came from Osho.

Enlightened people certainly share the same knowledge and experience of reality. So, in those aspects they can certainly rely on their own experience even though it may appear that one person might have copied the ideas of another person. But it doesn’t apply to everything. A lot of what Sadhguru knows seems to have come from the books by Osho. But I wonder why he never gives him credit.

Here are a few examples..

  1. Here is an anecdote given by Sadhguru:

“When you sit in front of a living Guru, you have many problems, judgments, likes and dislikes, because invariably you end up looking at his personality. People have left their Gurus for all kinds of frivolous things. This happened with J. Krishnamurti, a realized being and very wonderful man. There was a certain lady who was very close to him and deeply involved with his work. She was always around him and traveled to many places with him. Once when he was in Amsterdam, Holland, he went into a shop to buy a tie for himself. He was so meticulous about choosing a tie, because he was very conscious about everything and also what he wore. He could throw the tie away if he wanted to, but when he wears it, he wants it to be in a certain way. So he went into the shop and spent nearly four hours picking out one tie. He pulled out every tie in the shop, looked at it, put it on, and then said, “No.” It took him four hours to select just one tie. This woman watched and watched and watched, and as minutes passed, in her mind his enlightenment receded. She thought a man who could be so concerned about what kind of tie he wears couldn’t be enlightened, and she left him. Many such stupid things are done because of your judgments.”

Source: http://www.dhyanalinga.org/difference_qa.htm

How did Sadhguru came to know about this incidence? There is absolutely only one way he could have known this. You cannot find this information anywhere except in Osho’s talks. Osho knew this because the lady herself told Osho about this incident. You can find this anecdote from the book ‘The Book of Wisdom’ by Osho.

Here is a link to that excerpt:

http://oshosearch.net/Convert/Articles_Osho/The_Book_of_Wisdom/Osho-The-Book-of-Wisdom-00000012.html

  1. Sadhguru once told a story that supposedly happened when Aristotle met Heraclitus. Heraclitus was trying to empty the ocean with a spoon. You can read the whole story here:

    http://isha.sadhguru.org/blog/li…

    But Aristotle lived between 384–322 BC and Heraclitus lived between c. 535 – c. 475 BC. There is no way that this meeting took place.. Obviously, it seems there is some mistake…

    How did Sadhguru know about this anecdote?

Obviously, you cannot find the story of Aristotle meeting Heraclitus, except in a book of Osho. The story is from the book ‘Hidden Harmony’ – Chapter 5, by Osho.

Here is the link: http://www.osho.com/iosho/library/read-book/online-library-look-aristotle-flower-51daeb6a-147?p=5ae86f113210d477f5542e2c5aa6a6e5

So, did Osho make up this story? No… The story actually happened in St. Augustine’s life. Osho simply mismatched the names because memory doesn’t work perfectly all the time.

  1. In the same link, you can find Sadhguru criticizing the statement “I think, therefore I am” made by Rene Descartes.

But as far as I know, the first person who ever criticized this statement in the context of spiritual enlightenment was Osho. And, Osho actually made a mistake in interpreting Rene’s statement.

Just by reading that statement, anyone can misinterpret that as “Thought is the basis of existence, you cannot exist if you don’t have thoughts’….

But that is not what Rene Descartes intended to say. He said that you can doubt any belief or concept but you cannot deny your own existence. The doubt implies that there is a doubter. A doubter has to exist to doubt. If you don’t exist, you cannot doubt, and you cannot think. So, if you think, that actually means you exist. That is what he meant by saying ‘I think, therefore I am’.

Here is more clear interpretation of the statement that I found in a forum:

“I think, therefore I am” is a crude mistranslation of Descartes’s proposition. It misrepresents the essence of Descartes’s philosophy because most philosophers now regard the process of thinking as a kind of invisible mechanical action (i.e. stimulus-response).

Historians, philosophers and many scientists have repeated this mistranslated phrase for more than three hundred years. But Descartes’s meant something entirely different, as can be seen when “cogito ergo sum” is read in context.

The Latin word, cogito can mean “I think”, “I know” or “I am aware”; ergo always means “therefore” in any context. However, sum can mean “I am” or “I exist”. To suggest that, “I know, therefore I am” would be wrong as it’s possible to accept wrong knowledge as correct.

If you read Descartes’s Philosophical Writings in context, it becomes obvious that he was concerned with awareness rather than with thinking or knowing and with existence rather than being.

Properly translated, Descartes’s phrase should therefore read: “I am aware, therefore I exist” – a subjective rather than a mechanistic generalization. No machine can be self- or globally aware, no matter how many sensors are attached to it.

In fact, the philosopher Spinoza translated cogito ergo sum as “I am conscious, therefore I exist”. Even that’s wrong, although it’s closer to the truth than the usual lazy mistranslation which has unfairly earned Descartes’s the reputation of being a crude reductionist.

It’s true that he stated the obvious: that physiological functions are pseudo-mechanical. But he also insisted that man was much more than a machine because of his subjective awareness of the self and of the universe.”

How will a teacher find out if a student has copied another student? If both made the exact same mistake, then one person must have copied another.

Sadhguru simply used Osho’s example without realizing that Osho himself has interpreted it in the wrong way.

  1. Sadhguru once said that seventy percent illness are created by the mind..

http://isha.sadhguru.org/blog/video/the-symptoms-of-an-ill-mind/

Is it a fact? How did he come up with 70%.. Why not 72%? Why not 80%…

Because, Osho also said the exact same thing: http://www.osho.com/read/featured-articles/body-dharma/the-mind-and-disease-hypnosis-and-health

  1. Read the following excerpt from Sadhguru:

“So, this is…this whole idea of right and wrong, good and bad is all human nonsense. Existence is not human centric. They have always told you… many religions of the world have been going about telling people “You are made in God’s own image” and once you are in God’s own image naturally the place that you live They believed this for a long time, isn’t it? Even now they are insisting. You’ve heard of this guy Copernicus? Copernicus was one of the first guys who came and said, “Earth is not the center of the universe; not only not the center of the universe, it is not even the center of the solar system.” And he promptly died. That’s not bad thing; it’s a good thing because the next man after him, when he uttered the same thing the local church decided to skin him alive. They wanted to peal his skin off and the skin would not cooperate. So, they decided to burn him alive. The next significant man who has uttered the same thing was Galileo; he said the same thing. Then they got ready with the skin peelers. Then he said, “No, no, no, no; earth is the center of the universe and the cosmos. What is my problem? (Laughter) As you say earth is not only the center of the solar system and not only the center of the universe; it is the very center of the cosmos. Anyway I do not know what is the center of the cosmos, you want to assume. I want to save my skin. That much I know.” (Laughs)

So, today science has proved to you that definitely earth is not the center of the solar system, in the universe you are just a miniscule. Tomorrow morning if you and your planet disappears, if it evaporates nobody is going to miss it. Hmm? The whole solar system evaporates tomorrow morning it will be just a small vacant place that nobody is going to miss in the existence, nothing is going to happen. Yes? God won’t come rescuing you. It’ll just pooff it will go. This is a good thing. This whole idea that I am made in the image of God has left man so crude and he has been walking upon this planet so wantonly without any concern for any other life on this planet, simply because he believes he is in the image of God. If you knew that your life is as significant or as insignificant as that of an ant – it is actually.”

–  From http://isha.sadhguru.org/blog/video/are-you-looking-for-solace-or-a-solution/

Now read this excerpt from Osho and you will find that the above excerpt is the exact rephrase of what Osho said. It sounds almost like Sadhguru had just read this before coming to the discourse:

“Human beings have thought of God in human terms. It is natural. We have said that God created man in His own image. If horses could think they would deny this: they would say that God created horses in His own image. Because man has created the philosophy, he has made himself the center.

Even God must be in our image. He must have created us in His own image. Man’s ego has asserted these things. This is not knowledge, this is not knowing – this is simply an anthropocentric feeling.

Man feels himself to be the center. We have thought that the earth is the center of the universe and man is the center of creation. These conceptions are false imaginations, dreams of the human ego. God has not created anybody in His own image because the whole is His image. The trees, the earth, the stars; the animals, men, women – everything that exists is His image, not just man.

Then too, we have divided the world into good and evil. The world is not so divided: good and evil are our evaluations. If man did not exist on the earth there would be neither good nor bad. Things would exist, things would be there, but there would be no evaluation. The evaluation is man’s: it is our imposition, it is our projection.”

–  From ‘The Eternal Quest’ by Osho

  1. Both men surprisingly had the same views about nations:

“Someday, we must overcome the idea of a nation. Such a silly idea – someone draws a line and that becomes so immensely important. These boundaries have become meaningful only because there is such inequity in the world. If there was no inequity, if for example, Mexico and the United States both had the same level of economic prosperity and wellbeing, would one side be guarding the borders with guns, barbed wires and all that, and would the other side be digging tunnels to get here? No. Whoever wants to go in either direction could do so – no one would care. But in our lifetime, we may not see the abolishment of national borders. Europe has done reasonably well, but it looks like they are beginning to step back from the European Union because those who have, do not want to share with those who do not have.”

By Sadhguru – From http://isha.sadhguru.org/blog/lifestyle/does-it-matter-where-you-live/

Osho said the same thing:

“NATIONS HAVE BECOME out of date – but they go on existing and they are the greatest problem. Looking at the world with a bird’s eye view, a strange feeling arises that we have everything – just we need one humanity.

For example, in Ethiopia people were dying – one thousand people per day – and in Europe they were drowning billions of dollars worth of food in the ocean.

Anybody looking from the outside will think humanity is insane. Thousands of people are dying and mountains of butter and other foodstuff is being drowned in the ocean. But Ethiopia is not the concern of the Western world. Their concern is to save their economies and their status quo. And to protect their economic structures, they are willing to destroy food which could have saved the lives of thousands of people.

Problems are worldwide – solutions have also to be worldwide.

And my understanding is absolutely clear, that there are things somewhere where they are not needed, and somewhere else the very life depends on them. A world government means looking at the whole situation of this globe and shifting things where they are needed.

It is one humanity. And once we think of one world, then there is only one economy.”

  • From ‘Hari Om Tat Sat’ by Osho

http://oshosearch.net/Convert/Articles_Osho/Hari_Om_Tat_Sat/Osho-Hari-Om-Tat-Sat-00000005.html

  1. Here are a couple of comparisons as well:

Sarada giving the knife to vivekananda:

http://oshosearch.net/Convert/Articles_Osho/Early_Talks/Osho-Early-Talks-00000010.html

http://isha.sadhguru.org/blog/sadhguru/masters-words/stories-swami-vivekananda-life-inspired/

Alexander and immortality:

Osho https://oshostories.wordpress.com/2012/05/09/alexander-and-immortality/

Sadhguru http://isha.sadhguru.org/blog/yoga-meditation/history-of-yoga/when-alexander-chased-immortality/

  1. Have you heard about a story told by Sadhguru about Ramakrishna’s obsession over food to keep his body alive? Try as much as you can to find out the source of the story and you can only find this story in Osho’s talks. I have read in many places Ramakrishna liked certain fruits and sweets. But the conversation between Sarada and Ramakrishna regarding the obsession over food and Ramakrishna saying that it is necessary to keep his body alive seems to be just an imaginary incident created by Osho. Even if it was true, it is highly unlikely that both Osho and Sadhguru somehow independently got access to this information which is not found in any other sources.

I have all three volumes of ‘Gospel of Ramakrishna’ which is the most honest account of Ramakrishna’s life incidents. When you read the book, you will feel like watching a movie. Everything that happened was exactly recorded by the author and there is not even a single place where it is mentioned that he had an obsession over food and he was often checking the kitchen to find out what is cooking. But Ramakrishna always used to ask for a glass of water which was necessary for him to come out of Samadhi.

9. Sadhguru narrates a story of Svetaketu in a podcast:

Svetaketu and the Cows

But you can’t find this story of Svetaketu as narrated by Sadhguru in Upanishads… Because it seems that the story is a mixture of two different stories from Chandogya Upanishad, one story is of Svetaketu (His father questions him if he has known that which cannot be known) and the other is the story of Satyakama (the one who is sent to forest with 400 animals)..

So, how did Sadhguru come up with this story? You guessed it. Osho made this mistake of mixing up the two stories:

http://www.osho.com/iosho/library/read-book/online-library-supreme-svetaketu-taught-78d59dde-9b0?p=867d5652b07d80469abc69481a91e28f

10. Sadhguru says in a discourse that there are two paths :

“Fundamentally, on any Spiritual path, there are only two types of spiritual processes in the world – the path of Samadhi and the path of Pragna”

This is actually a Buddhist distinction, but usually the terms Samatha and Vipassana are used, instead of pragna and samadhi, respectively. Osho was the one who used these terms when talking about this distinction. Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev also used the same terminology and even gave the same examples given by Osho.

Check my post here: https://nellaishanmugam.wordpress.com/2017/02/24/path-of-samadhi-and-pragna-talks-by-sadhguru-and-osho/

So, It is very obvious that Sadhguru has read books of Osho and greatly influenced by him. I respect Sadhguru a lot for all the phenomenal work that he is doing for this world. But while he is taking a lot of effort to give credit to Adiyogi, why did he fail to give credit to Osho? He hasn’t even talked about him in his discourses.

                                             Spiritual enlightenment and Science

We think we are rational human beings. But unfortunately it is not so. Every human being’s thinking is naturally biased, which is a nature’s way of helping human survival. We must consider all the cognitive biases that can happen when people interpret their own enlightenment. Cognitive bias can influence our logical thinking in various ways. No matter how intelligent a person is, he is not free of cognitive bias. I used to believe that enlightenment destroys the bias, but if you observe the enlightened people and their talks, you will find out it is not true.

Many reports of spiritual enlightenment are self-reports. The individuals who go through a spiritual experience and shift their centre from self-concept to their being, they often try to conform to the believed standards of enlightenment. It is natural, because a human being as a social animal wants to conform to the standards of society. Conformity is studied by social psychologists.

Only a few people have revolted against the conventional standards and proposed some new standards. Osho is an example. But still, they don’t completely ignore all the standards as they cannot completely avoid conformity, which is a human tendency when it comes to social behaviour.

For example, almost all enlightened people agree with existence of Karma.. Sure, we all know that natural laws exist. But Karma is not explained as a natural law all the time. They imply that something from an individual continues to another new born individual and affects him. But did they really come to that conclusion with some knowledge that they gained out of their own experience and interpreted that knowledge in unbiased way or are they simply repeating what has been said? Is the role of collective unconsciousness (Carl Jung) understood falsely as the role of karma?

Some people report that they remember their previous reincarnation. But you also need to know that there is something called ‘False memory’ which is a psychological phenomenon wherein a person recalls something that did not occur.

Interestingly, when scientists did research about reincarnation, they analyzed reports of past life memories from various people and found that most of the people who report such memories come from the eastern part of the world. The obvious reason is the fact that reincarnation is a belief which mostly comes from the East. So, obviously when they have false memories, they associate it with reincarnation. While false memories are not intentional, some people are also likely to intentionally make up such stories.

How about seeing auras? Can it be Synesthesia? (a neurological phenomenon that causes cross wiring of senses)..

I am not saying that all these claims of seeing auras or remembering past lives cannot be real.. It could be. I am just suggesting all the possibilities. When it comes to science, you have to be both open minded and skeptic. But people are usually inclined more towards believing or completely denying.

But I assume that there is certainly a link between enlightenment and neural plasticity. Scientists now believe that mindfulness meditation can rewire the brain. An enlightened brain could be a completely rewired brain that inhibits the activity of sympathetic nervous system when there is no need. SNS is supposed to be activated when an animal feels that there is a threat for life. If a lion is chasing the deer, then SNS of the deer activates its fear and makes it to run fast. But as human beings evolved from being an animal to human, the SNS gets activated even for trivial issues and makes human beings to suffer. Rewiring the brain through meditation or self-inquiry may be the way to get rid of this human suffering.

The most reasonable way to study enlightenment is to study the brains of enlightened people. Scientists can observe many things from techniques like fMRI and PET scans. They have been already studying the brains of mediators but only a couple of so called enlightened people have volunteered to have their brains studied.

 

Upaya and Crazy Wisdom – Devices Used by Enlightened Mystics

Osho has talked about devices that he used to help people come out of their unconsciousness. A device can be a lie, a strange behavior or anything else that is employed by a Guru; A device thus employed can even give an impression to people that the Guru is not enlightened. Also, the same may be used by a fake Guru to justify his actions. This gets very tricky and adds to the difficulty of recognizing an enlightened person.

Let me quote from the Wikipedia article about it so that you can understand how a device works:

Upaya (Sanskrit: upāya, expedient means, pedagogy) is a term used in Mahayana Buddhism to refer to an aspect of guidance along the Buddhist Paths to liberation where a conscious, voluntary action is driven by an incomplete reasoning about its direction. Upaya is often used with kaushalya (कौशल्य, “cleverness”), upaya-kaushalya meaning “skill in means”.

Upaya-kaushalya is a concept emphasizing that practitioners may use their own specific methods or techniques that fit the situation in order to gain enlightenment. The implication is that even if a technique, view, etc., is not ultimately “true” in the highest sense, it may still be an expedient practice to perform or view to hold; i.e., it may bring the practitioner closer to the true realization in a similar way. The exercise of skill to which it refers, the ability to adapt one’s message to the audience, is of enormous importance in the Pali Canon.[1]

This doctrine is sometimes used to explain some of the otherwise strange or unorthodox behavior or ‘crazy wisdom‘ (Tib.: yeshe chölwa) engaged in by some Buddhists and exemplified in the conduct of the Tibetan Mahasiddha. Skillful means may theoretically be used by different buddhist groups to make many seemingly proscribed practices, such as violence, theft, and sexuality be employed as skillful. The use of harsh violence to one’s disciples has occasionally been used as a way of opening their eyes to the nature of self and suffering; an example is the story of a Zen priest who ended a conversation with a disciple by slamming shut a door on the disciple’s leg, fracturing the leg and, according to the story, causing a deep insight in the disciple. There are a number of other stories of Buddhist saints and bodhisattvas taking part in fairly eccentric and unusual behaviors in the practice of skillful means.

In the book ‘I am That’, Osho gave an answer to a question from seeker, where he explains how this works:

OSHO,

CAN AN ENLIGHTENED PERSON BE WRONG? THIS REFERS TO WHAT YOU TOLD US ABOUT
J. KRISHNAMURTI, WHO KEEPS ON SAYING THAT ONE DOES NOT NEED A MASTER, WHICH
IS ACTUALLY NOT RIGHT PLEASE COMMENT.

Prem Pantha,

AN ENLIGHTENED person can never be wrong. Neither J. Krishnamurti is wrong, but he never considers the situation in which you are. He considers only the space in which he is, and that freedom is part of enlightenment.

The enlightened person has reached the highest peak of consciousness; his abode is on Everest.

Now it is his freedom to speak according to the peak, the sunlit peak where he is, or to consider the people who are still in the dark valley, who know nothing about the light, for whom the peak of the Everest is only a dream, only a perhaps”. This is the freedom of the enlightened person.

Krishnamurti speaks in terms where he is.

I speak in terms where you are, I consider you, because if I am speaking to you, you have to be taken in consideration. I have to lead you towards the highest peak, but the journey will begin in the

dark valley, in your unconsciousness. If I talk about my experience, absolutely inconsiderate of you, I am right, but I am not useful to you.

An enlightened person is never wrong, but he can be useful or he can be useless.

J. Krishnamurti is useless! He is perfectly right; about that there is no question, because I know the peak and what he is saying is certainly true – from the vision of the peak. Those who have arrived, for them the journey becomes almost a dream phenomenon. For those who have not arrived the journey is real, the goal is just a dream. They are living in two different worlds. When you are talking to a madman you have to consider him; if you don’t consider him you cannot help him.

Once a madman was brought to me. He had this crazy idea that one afternoon when he was sleeping, a fly has entered his mouth. And because he used to sleep with open mouth, nobody can deny the possibility. And since then he was very much disturbed because the fly was roaming inside him, jumping inside him, moving in his belly, going to his bladder, circulating in his bloodstream, sometimes in his head, sometimes in his feet. And of course he could not do anything because he was continuously occupied, obsessed with the fly.

He was taken to the psychoanalysts and they said, “This is just in your mind – there is no fly! And no fly can move in your bloodstream, there is no possibility. Even if a fly has entered it must have died! And now six months have passed; it cannot be alive inside you.”

He listened, but he could not believe it because his experience was far more solid. He was taken to the doctors and everybody examined him and they did everything, but finally they will say, “It is just a mental thing. You are imagining.” He will listen what they were saying, but he could not trust because his experience was far more certain than their words.

His family brought him to me as a last resort. The man was looking very tired because he was being taken to one person, then to another, then all kinds of physicians – allopaths and homeopaths and naturopaths – and he was really tired. In the first place the fly was tiring him, and now all these “pathies”, medicines. And everybody was insulting him – that was his feeling, that they were saying that he was just imagining. Is he a fool or he is mad, that he will imagine such a thing? They were all humiliating him – that was his feeling.

I looked at the man and I said, “It is so clear that the fly is inside!”

For a moment he was puzzled. He could not believe me, because nobody has said that to him – because nobody has considered him. And they ALL were right and I was wrong – there was no fly, but the madman has to be considered.

And I said, “All those fools are just wasting your time; you should have come first here. It is such a simple thing to bring the fly out; there is no need to bother. Medicines won’t help – you are not ill.

Psycholanalysis will not help – you are not crazy.”

And immediately he was a changed man! He looked at his wife and said, “Now what do you say?

This is the right man,” he said, “who really knows. And all those fools were trying to convince me that there is no fly. It is there!”

I said to him that, “It is simple – we will take it out. You lie down.”

I covered him with a blanket and told him to keep his eyes closed and “I will do some mantra, some magic, and we will bring the fly out. You just keep quiet so that the fly sits somewhere. Otherwise the fly is continuously running – where to catch it?”

He said, “That looks logical. I will keep absolutely still!”

And I said, “Don’t open your eyes. Just remain silent, breathe slowly, so the fly settles somewhere, so we can catch hold of it!”

Then I rushed into the house to find a fly. It was a little bit difficult because for the first time I was trying that, but finally I succeeded – I could get a fly in a bottle. And I came to the man, I moved my hand on his body, and I asked him, “Where the fly is?” And he said, “In the belly.” And I touched the belly and I said, “Of course it is there!” And I convinced him that I perfectly believe in him and then I uncovered his blanket and showed him the fly.

And he said to the wife, “Now see! And give this bottle to me; I will go all to those fools and take all the fees that they have taken from me! I have wasted thousands of rupees, and all that they did was they told me I am mad! And now I don’t feel the fly anywhere, because it is in the bottle!”

He took the bottle, he went to the doctors.

One of the doctors who knew me, he came to see me. He said, “How you managed? Six months a fly can live in the body? And that man has taken his fee back from me, because he was making such a fuss that I said, ‘Better give it back to him!’ And he proved that he was right!”

I said, “It is not the point who is right.”

Gautam the Buddha defines truth as “that which works”. This is the ancientmost pragmatic definition of truth: “that which works”! All the devices are truth in this sense: they work; they are only devices.

The Buddha’s work is UPAYA; UPAYA exactly means device.

Meditation is an UPAYA, a device. It simply helps you to get nd of that which you have not got in the first place – the fly: the ego, the misery, the anguish! It helps you to get free of it, but in fact it is not there. But it is not to be told…

And Krishnamurti has been doing that: he has been telling crazy people that the fly does not exist and you don’t need any doctor. I say to you: the fly exists and you need the doctor! Because just by telling to you that the fly does not exist is not going to help you at all.

For thousands of years you have been told the ego does not exist. Has it helped you in any way?

There have been people who have told, in this country particularly, that the whole world is illusory, MAYA, it does not exist, but has it helped India in any way? The true test is there: whether it has helped, whether it has made people more authentic, more real. It has not helped at all. It has made people more deeply cunning, split, schizophrenic; it has made them hypocrites.

All the religions have done this, because they don’t consider you. And you are far more important than the ultimate truth, because the ultimate truth has nothing to do with y ou right now. You are living in a dreamworld; some device is needed which can help you to come out of it. The moment you are out of it, you will know it was a dream – but a person who is dreaming, to tell him that it is all dream is meaningless.

Have you not observed in your dreams that when you are dreaming it looks real? And every morning you have found that it was unreal. hut again in the night you forget all your understanding of the day – again the dream becomes real. It has been happening again and again: every night the dream becomes real, every morning you know it is false, but that knowing does not help. In the dream one can even dream that this is a dream.

And that’s what has happened in India: people are living in maya, deeply in it, and still talking that “This is all maya.” And this talk too is part of their dream; it does not destroy the dream. In fact it makes the dream more rooted in them, because now there is no need to get rid of it – because it is a dream! So why get rid of it? It does not matter.

In a subtle way all the religions have done this: they have talked from the highest peak to the people for whom that peak does not exist yet. The people are living in darkness, and you go on telling them that darkness has no existence. It is true – darkness has no existence, it is only the absence of light – but just by saying to people that darkness has no existence is not going to bring light in.

That’s what Krishnamurti is doing; it has been done by many people. Nagarjuna did it – Krishnamurti is not new, not at least in the East. Nagarjuna did it: he said, “Everything is false. The world is false, the ego is false, nothing exists. Because nothing exists you are already free. There is no need for any meditation, there is no need for any Master. There is no need to find out any device, strategy, technique, because in the first place there is no problem. Why go on looking for solutions? Those solutions will create more problems; they are not going to help.”

Nagarjuna did it; before Nagarjuna, Mahakashyap did it, and it has been a long tradition. Zen people have been saying the same thing for centuries. Krishnamurti never uses the word “Zen”, but whatsoever he is talking is nothing but Zen – simple Zen.

Zen says no effort is needed, nothing has to be done. When nothing has to be done, what is the need of a Master? – because the Master will tell you to do something. Nothing has to be done – what is the need of the scriptures? – because the scriptures will tell you to do something, to know something. Nothing has to be done, nothing has to be known. You are already there where you are trying to reach.

And I know this is true, but to talk about this ultimate truth to people who are living in tremendous darkness is futile .

Prem Pantha, no enlightened person can ever be wrong, but only few enlightened persons have been of help. The majority of enlightened people have been of no help at all, for the simple reason because they never considered the other.

In fact, George Gurdjieff used to say, “Don’t consider the other.” It was one of his basic teachings:

“Don’t consider the other. Just say what is absolutely true.” But the absolute truth is truth only when experienced; people are living in relative truth.

My approach is different from Krishnamurti’s. I know that one day you will come to that point where nothing is needed – no Master, no teaching, no scripture – but right now the scripture can be of help, the methods can be of help, and certainly a living Master can be of immense help.

The function of the Master is to give you that which you already have and to take away that which you don’t have at all.

 – From ‘I am That – Talks on the Isha Upanishad’ by Osho

Path of Samadhi and Pragna – Talks by Sadhguru and Osho

As I have mentioned in one of my earlier posts, there are many similarities between what Osho said and what Sadhguru said. Here is another example of such similarity, where both men say that there are only two paths in spirituality; the path of Samadhi and the path of Prajna. Both men use the same examples for the two paths, Ramakrishna and Buddha respectively.

(This is actually a Buddhist distinction, but usually the terms Samatha and Vipassana are used, instead of pragna and samadhi, respectively. Osho used different terminology when talking about this distinction. Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev also used the same terminology and even gave the same examples given by Osho, which is another indication of the fact that Sadhguru has read or listened to the talks of Osho… I have explained it more in my articles The Journey of a Seeker – My Story and  Sadhguru on Osho – The Two Diamonds to Discover your Inner Self! )

This clears many things up for spiritual seekers. And also, It is very good to read both explanations which makes things more clear.

First, Let us look at Sadhguru’s talk about Samyama:

Now, when we say Samyama – It is a state where your awareness has reached a point – where you clearly know – when I say “Know”, knowing is always thought in terms of “Oh! I – Know”. It is not that knowing, you are fully aware that you are not the body, you are not the mind, you are not the world. Your body is separate, the mind is separate – these are the three things that you are always getting identified with. You get identified with the body, the mind, the surroundings around you – this is the trap.

If you are in Samyama, the body will be there, mind will be there, world will be there but you are not part of all these three things. If you are free from all these three things, there can be no suffering. If you are in the body, body can suffer, if you are in the mind, mind can suffer, if you are in the world, world can make you suffer. If you are not in any of these three things, you are outside of these three things, this is your Mukthi – That is the aim of Samyama. It is the height of awareness, where your witnessing has separated everything. If your witness is sharp enough – it will slice off the body, it will slice off the mind, it will slice off the world – it will leave you free from all these things. In what way it is connected to Samadhi? It is not connected to Samadhi. It is a way of bypassing all Samadhis.

Fundamentally, on any Spiritual path, there are only two types of spiritual processes in the world – the path of Samadhi and the path of Pragna. Pragna means the path of awareness; Samadhi means the path of dissolution. Samadhi – there are various types of Samadhis. Mainly in the tradition, they classify Samadhis into 8 forms, some 14, some 18 and it goes on. Samadhi is like a prize – it is a gift nature gives you for doing so much Sadhana. Now, nature gives you a break – when you are in Samadhi, you are blissful. You are free from everything. Nature offers you a bottle of drink and says, OK, you have done so well, so drink this and be happy. So drink this and you are fine for sometime, but once you come back, almost everything is the same. It leaves you transformed to some extent, but still you are not free from everything. However, whichever Samadhi you are going through, it is the same. All Samadhis we are talking about, 8 or 16 or whatever type – they all belong to Savikalpa or Savi Tarka Samadhi.

All these things involve certain qualities – they are good. It is just like by doing good Karma, people go to heaven. Heaven means it is a small escape that a man has in the process of life and death because of good karmas, he gets a break, where he is blissful. Different levels of bliss are available; there are different levels of heaven – different grades of heaven. You want to call it as heaven or different dimensions of life or different levels of consciousness, whatever. Samadhi is one more heaven. When you are alive, nature gives you a little bit of heaven because you have been so good, this is a prize offered to you. But a person who is in a hurry to reach the goal should not take these Samadhis. Samadhis are very beautiful, very transforming. Also very transforming for the atmosphere. It is beneficial for people around us when we go into Samadhis. The whole atmosphere gets charged because one person is in Samadhi, as many of you have witnessed.

But, I would not consider even the Samadhi state as real growth – it is only a prize that nature has offered to you. If you want you can enjoy it or you can just leave it and go on. Initially, these prizes that are being offered to you are precious to you. But as days go by and everyday you start getting prizes, then prize becomes meaningless. The first medal that you got in school or college, that is very valuable, you put it in the showcase. Suppose you become a big sportsman and you get thousands of them, then all over your house it will be there. You will throw it somewhere and go because you got many and the same happens to this also. A person who earns too many Samadhis, after sometime does not want any more Samadhis – that is one way. Or another person who is going on seeking more Samadhis, wants to remain there for longer and longer. Deep attachment will arise to this state that you want to be in this state always, because it is blissful. It is like being in the lap of God. It is like going back to the lap of existence where nothing can touch you, where you are free from everything. It is like a child getting addicted to the mother’s lap – that is the Samadhi state.

A person who is walking in the path of Pragna wants to bypass Samadhis. The path we prescribe for people is Pragna, but this person’s (Sadhguru) presence becomes Samadhi. That is what is happening here. What is happening here now, in the normal sense, you cannot categorize it in any way, you cannot describe it in any particular way because so many things are mixed up here – which is not usual, which is not normal in any other place. This you can see because the path we have chosen is scientific in a particular way, but this person (Sathguru) presence is of a totally different nature. This person speaks one way but his presence is completely different. Because of this contradiction the possibility of growth is much better, at the same time the possibility of confusion is also much greater – because the situation is like that.

If you talk to this person (Sadhguru), he talks very logically. Everything he speaks, nobody can deny, because it is pure logic, nobody can disagree with us – isn’t it? But fundamentally what I do with my energies is not at all logical, it is totally illogical – these two things are diametrically opposite, these are two different paths. Normally one person does not follow these two paths at the same time. Here we have chosen both because our energies come from one source but our understanding comes from the present society’s needs.

Today, if we do not talk science, you cannot do what we are doing. But if you do not carry these energies, you still cannot do what we are doing. So this is a combination of these two things – we are not consciously mixing how much of this, how much of that, we have just allowed them to flow whichever way it flows. Let Shiva decide, we are not deciding. Whichever way it flows, that way it flows. But this is a rare situation here two things are happening at once – where Samadhis are possible and the highest state of Pragna is also possible. But our focus, our work is toward Pragna – our work is towards awareness and not towards Samadhi, but Samadhis will invariably happen in this place because our energies are like that.

When we are talking about Samyama, that level of awareness – it is a way of bypassing all Samadhis. I am not saying Samadhi is bad, it is a beautiful state to be, it is a wonderful thing to happen to any person. But when a man is in a hurry, he does not gather his prizes and go. Suppose your house catches fire, now you are not concerned about gathering your this, that and all. Whatever is life saving, that you gather and run or you do not gather anything – you just run. With clothes or without clothes, you run, because life is of paramount importance and everything else is secondary. Right now, the situation is like that. We do not bother to gather these prizes, otherwise we can gather many here – many prizes have come our way. We can very easily gather, we can go into Samadhis, enjoy and attract more and more people. We do not have to teach yoga, so much of your breath you do not have to waste. You do not have to build this ashram, people will come and build a huge temple for you, everything they will do. With Samadhi, nature gives you a prize, society also will confer prizes upon you.

With Pragna it is not like that, but it is a path on which one can steadily progress. There will be no distractions – it is little round about but it is steady. Fundamentally why these two things have been separated is – see, whatever process of growth that we do is ultimately to dissolve the nonsense we have gathered in our unconscious mind, in the form of karmas. In Pragna, all these unconscious layers are made conscious – you take it into your conscious and dissolve. That is something you do out of your awareness – this is “Being a light unto yourself”.

Now in Samadhi state, you go into the state of unconsciousness where you reach the very bottom of unconsciousness, you do not bother to dissolve them. Normally people who are walking in the path of Bakthi are the people who go into Samadhi states very easily. Now he has not taken on himself, he has said everything is Shiva, everything is somebody. So in his unconscious, simply because of the intensity of his experience, he moves to the very bottom, he reaches to the other side unconsciously.

Pragna is a much longer process, much more laborious, but here you know whether you are walking forward or backward. One step backward, and immediately you know – it slaps you and tells you. In Samadhi path, you do no know whether you are going forward or backward. After a long time you look back and see only then you know. Till then you really do not know whether you are really progressing or retarding. On the path of Samadhi your dependence on whatever – your Guru, your ideal or deity is too much. On the path of Pragna your dependence is little.

So, for today, for modern day people, for modern minds, Pragna is a better way. If you want examples, for Pragna and Samadhi, two great masters have walked these paths. Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, the Samadhi path and Gauthama Buddha, the Pragna path.

Here is the Osho’s version from the book “Nansen : The point of departure”:

Before we go into the answer of Obaku, you have to understand the meaning of samadhi and prajna. 
It is a very intricate and complex question. Samadhi can be understood watching Ramakrishna. That 
will give you the basic symptoms which can be observed from the outside. 

Ramakrishna used to go into samadhi for hours. Once for six days he was in samadhi. And samadhi 
to him and to his followers - and there is a great tradition from Patanjali, five thousand years old, 
which believes in samadhi - means to become perfectly unconscious. To every outsider he was 
almost in a coma; to the psychologist he had gone deeper into the unconscious layers of the mind. 
And there was no way to bring him back. 

Automatically, whenever his consciousness surfaced again, he would become aware. And whenever 
he came out of this samadhi, this deep coma-like unconsciousness, he would weep and cry, ’’Why 
have you taken away that great beauty, that great bliss, that great silence that I was experiencing. 
Time had stopped, the world was forgotten, I was alone and everything was at its perfection. So why 
have you taken it away?” He was asking the question to existence. ’’Why don’t you let me continue 
it?” 


Now, Buddha himself would not consider it a samadhi. His samadhi means prajna, and prajna 
means awareness. You have to become more and more conscious, not unconscious; just two 
polarities, samadhi and prajna. Prajna is perfect awareness of your being. And samadhi in 
Ramakrishna’s case means absolute oblivion. Nobody has gone into the deeper search for what 
exactly is the difference deep inside. 

Both talk about great blissfulness, both talk about eternity, truth, beauty, goodness as their ultimate 
experience. But one is completely unconscious - you can cut his hand and he will not know - that 
much unconsciousness; and Buddha is so conscious that before sitting on the floor, first he will look 
to see if there is any ant or anything that may be killed by his sitting there. In his every act he showed 
immense awareness. 

I have told you the story that one day passing through a street in Vaishali, a fly came and sat on 
his head. He was talking to Ananda about something. So just automatically the way you do it, he 
simply waved his hand. Then he suddenly stopped talking to Ananda and again waved his hand. 
Now there was no fly. 

Ananda said, ’’What are you doing? The fly has gone.” 

He said, ’’The fly has gone, but I acted unconsciously. I waved my hand automatically like a robot. 
Now I am moving as I should have moved, with full consciousness, awareness.” 

So these seem to be two polarities. Both have become a point of great debate as to who is right, 
because the experience they talk about is the same. My own experience is that mind can be crossed 
from both ends. One tenth of the mind is conscious, nine tenths of the mind is unconscious. Just 
think of mind: the upper layer is conscious and nine layers are unconscious. Now mind can be 
passed from both the ends. You cannot pass from the middle, you will have to travel to the end. 

Ramakrishna passed the mind by going deeper and deeper into the unconscious layers. And when 
the final unconscious layer came, he jumped out of the mind. To the world outside he looked as if 
he was in a coma. But he reached to the same clear sky although he chose a path which is dark, 
dismal; he chose the night part of consciousness. But he reached to the same experience. 

Buddha never became unconscious in this way. Even walking he was stepping every step 
fully conscious and gracefully, every gesture fully conscious, gracefully. He transformed his 
consciousness to such a point that unconscious layers started becoming conscious. The final 
enlightenment is when all unconscious layers of the mind have become conscious. He also jumps 
out of the mind. 

Both samadhi and prajna are no-mind states, going outside the mind. So the experience is the 
same but the path is different, very different. One is the white path of light that Buddha followed; one 
is the path of darkness that Ramakrishna followed. And it is obvious that the people who cannot 
understand both, who have not followed both the paths and come to the same experience, are going 
to debate and discuss to no end. 

One will say that Ramakrishna’s samadhi is a coma, that he has lost consciousness. Another will 
say that because Buddha never goes into Ramakrishna-like samadhi, he does not know anything 
about samadhi. But my experience is, both know the samadhi, both know the prajna. Ramakrishna 
first knows samadhi and out of samadhi prajna is born. Buddha knows first prajna and then out of 
prajna samadhi is born. It is only a question of understanding that existence is always contradictory, 
made of opposites - night and day, life and death. 

Ramakrishna’s path is of unconsciousness. Nobody has deliberately considered the point. And 
Buddha’s path is of pure light, of continuous awareness. Even in sleep Buddha sleeps consciously.

Akshi Upanishad – Seven Steps to Samadhi

Akshi Upanishad is one of the minor Upanishads in Hinduism, which lists seven major steps to Samadhi. A detailed commentary on this Upanishad was given by Osho, which has been published as ‘Vedanta – Seven Steps to Samadhi’.

The following is the translation of the second part of the Upanishad, the major part, which deals with all the seven steps leading a seeker towards liberation, as it appears on the book by Osho:

surya_the_hindu_sun_god_asian_art_museum_san_francisco

Image source:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akshi_Upanishad#/media/File:Surya_the_Hindu_sun_god_Asian_Art_Museum_San_Francisco.jpg

 

Step 1-Yog

The sun god said:
I shall now explain to you this most rare knowledge, upon the attainment of
which you will become free while yet dwelling in this body. See in all beings
the Brahman, who is one, unborn, still, imperishable, infinite, immutable
and conscious; so seeing live in peace and bliss. Do not see anything except
the self and the supreme. This state is known as yoga.
Rooted thus in yoga, carry out your deeds.

The mind of one who is thus rooted in yoga gradually withdraws
from all desires, and the seeker feels blissful while engaging himself
each day in meritorious acts. He has no interest whatsoever
in the contrary efforts of the ignorant.
He never betrays the secrets of one to another;
And he occupies himself solely with lofty deeds.
He performs only such gentle acts as do not disturb others. He fears sin and
does not crave any self-indulgence. He utters loving and affectionate words.
He lives in the company of saints and studies the scriptures. With complete
unity of mind, speech and action he follows them. Seeking to cross
the ocean that is the world,
he cultivates the above-mentioned ideas. And he is called a beginner,
one performing his preliminaries. This is called the first stage.

Step 2- Vichar bhoomika

Now follow the traits of seekers of the second stage,
Called the stage of thought.
He lives in the care of learned men who explain best what
listening, remembering, right conduct, contemplation –

dharana – and meditation are. Having acquired knowledge of such
scriptures as are worth listening to, he efficiently discriminates
between what is duty and what is not, and he knows well the division
between a word and the thing it symbolizes.
His mind does not suffer from an excess of conceit, pride, greed and
attachment, although externally they are apparent to some extent.
He gives up his external impurities as a snake casts off its slough.
Such a seeker acquires the actual
knowledge of all these things with the grace of the scriptures,
the guru, and the sages.

Step 3 Asansarga

After this the seeker enters the third stage of yoga
which is known as nonattachment. He fixes his mind unwaveringly
on the meaning of scriptural words.
He lives in the monasteries, ashrams, of saints well established
in austerities. He occupies himself with the discussion of the
scriptures and sleeps on a rocky bed. Thus it is that he lives his life.
Because he has attained peace of mind, the man of good conduct
spends his time in the enjoyment of pleasures that come naturally to
him from his excursions into the forest.
He remains detached however, from the objects of desires.
Through the ritual of meritorious deeds and the cultivation of right
scriptures, he attains that clarity of vision which sees reality.
On completing this stage,
the seeker experiences a glimpse of enlightenment

There are two kinds of nonattachment:
The ordinary and the sublime.
That attitude of nonattachment to the objects of desire in which the
Seeker knows that he is neither the doer nor the enjoyer,
Neither the restrained not the restrainer, is called ordinary
Nonattachment. He knows that whatever faces him in this life
Is the result of the deeds of his past life.
Whether in pleasure or in pain, he can do nothing.
Indulgence is but a disease and affluence of all kinds a storehouse of
Adversity. Every union leads inevitably to separation.
The ignorant suffer the maladies of mental anxiety.
All material things are perishable, because time is constantly
Devouring them. Through the understanding of scriptural precepts,
One’s faith in material things is unrooted
And one’s mind freed of them.
This is called ordinary nonattachment.


When thoughts like: “I am not the doer, my past deeds are the doers,
Or God himself is the doer,” cease to worry the seeker,
A state of silence, equilibrium and peace is attained.
This is called sublime nonattachment.

Step 4 Swapna

The first stage, to which contentment and bliss
Impart sweetness, springs from the innermost recesses of the seeker’s
Heart, as if nectar has issued forth from the heart of the earth.
At the inception of this stage the innermost recess
Becomes a field for the coming of the other stages.
Afterwards the seeker attains the second and third stages.
Of the three, the third is the highest, because on its attainment all
The modifications of will come to an end.
One who practices the three stages finds his ignorance dead,
And on entering the fourth stage
He sees everything, everywhere, equally.
At that moment he is so strongly embedded in the experience of
Nonduality – advaita – that the experience itself disappears.
Thus, on attaining the fourth stage
The seeker finds the world as illusory as a dream.
So while the first three stages are called waking ones,
The fourth is dreaming.

Step 5 Sushuptipad

On the attainment of the fifth state, the mind of the seeker ceases,
like clouds in an autumn sky, and only truth remains.
In this stage, worldly desires do not arise at all.
During this state all thoughts of division in the seeker are stilled
and he remains rooted in nonduality.
On the disappearance of the feeling of division, the fifth stage,
known as the sushuptapad – sleeping –
draws the enlightened seeker into its nature.
He is perpetually introverted and looks tired and sleepy,
even though externally he continues his everyday activities.

Step 6 Bhavshunya or JivanMukta stage

On the accompaniment of this stage, the desire-free seeker enters
the sixth one. Both truth and untruth, both egoism and egolessness
and all sorts of mentations cease to exist in this state,
and rooted in pure nonduality, the seeker is free from fear.
As the entanglements of his heart dissolve, so all his doubts drop.
This is the moment when he is completely emptied of all thought.
Without attaining nirvana, he is in a nirvana-like state
and becomes free while yet dwelling in the body.
This state is like that of the motionless flame of a lamp.
and then comes the seventh stage.

Step 7 Videhmukta

In this seventh stage, the stage of videhamukti,
liberation while living in the body is achieved. This stage is totally silent
and cannot be communicated in words.
It is the end of all stages, where all the processes of yoga come to their
conclusion. In this stage, all activities – worldly, bodily and scriptural –
cease. The whole universe in the form of the world – viswa,
intelligence – prajna, and radiance – tejas, is just aum.
There is no division here between speech and the speaker.
If however any such division remains, the state has not been attained.
The first sound ‘a’ of aum, stands for the world,
the second ‘u’ for radiance and the third ‘m’ for intelligence.


Before entering samadhi, the seeker should contemplate on aum most
strenuously, and subsequently he should surrender everything, from gross to
subtle to the conscious self. Taking the conscious self as his own self,
he should consolidate this feeling: I am eternal, pure, enlightened, free,
existential, incomparable, the most blissful Vasudeva and Pranava himself.


Since the whole visible world comprising a beginning, a middle and an end,
is sorrow-stricken, he must renounce everything
and merge into the supreme. He should feel that he is blissful,
taintless, without ignorance, without appearance,
inexpressible in words, and that he is Brahman,
the essence of knowledge.

Do Enlightened/Self Realized People Get Angry?

People have so many different ideas about how an enlightened person must behave. Some have an image of an ascetic begging in the streets; Some may think that enlightened person should always behave like a Buddha, warm and kind. People have different opinions, ideas and measuring scales and they think that they can recognize an enlightened person using these ideas that they have in mind.

Before I jump into the discussion about enlightened people getting angry, let me give you an excerpt from one of the talks from Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev regarding what I said:

“When you sit in front of a living Guru, you have many problems, judgments, likes and dislikes, because invariably you end up looking at his personality. People have left their Gurus for all kinds of frivolous things. This happened with J. Krishnamurti, a realized being and very wonderful man. There was a certain lady who was very close to him and deeply involved with his work. She was always around him and traveled to many places with him. Once when he was in Amsterdam, Holland, he went into a shop to buy a tie for himself. He was so meticulous about choosing a tie, because he was very conscious about everything and also what he wore. He could throw the tie away if he wanted to, but when he wears it, he wants it to be in a certain way. So he went into the shop and spent nearly four hours picking out one tie. He pulled out every tie in the shop, looked at it, put it on, and then said, “No.” It took him four hours to select just one tie. This woman watched and watched and watched, and as minutes passed, in her mind his enlightenment receded. She thought a man who could be so concerned about what kind of tie he wears couldn’t be enlightened, and she left him. Many such stupid things are done because of your judgments.”

– From http://www.dhyanalinga.org/difference_qa.htm

The above example from J.Krishnamurti’s life has also been said by Osho. In this post, I have also included the talk where Osho quotes this incident. Osho says that the lady then came to him to take sannyas but Osho refused to give her sannyas because of this.

Now, let us move on to the question “Do Enlightened/Self Realized People Get Angry?”

The answer is “Yes”..

Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev has talked about Sadhguru Sri Brahma who he was in his previous lifetime. He was not nice to people at all.

“Sadhguru Sri Brahma was not a nice guy. He never called anyone by name – he only said, “Eh!” “Eh” was the one name for everyone. People were terrified of him, just because of the way he was. But at the same time, they loved him immensely. That is the beauty of contradictions.”

“People saw him as godlike, but they were terrified of him, because he seemed to be always angry. He was not angry with anyone – he was simply ferociously intense. Sadhguru Sri Brahma was like fire – simply on.”

From http://isha.sadhguru.org/blog/yoga-meditation/history-of-yoga/sadhguru-sri-brahma-seventh-hill/

Another example would be none other than J.Krishnamurti. Here is the excerpt from ‘The Book of Wisdom’, a collection of talks given by Osho between 11/02/79 to 10/03/79. As I said, Osho also talks about the same incident, Krishnamurti buying a tie in a mall:

“Seeker:  You have said that Krishnamurti can get angry. How is that possible, as in enlightenment there is no one there to be angry?

Osho:   Henk Faassen, in enlightenment there is nobody there to get angry, and there is nobody there not to get angry either. So whatsoever happens, happens. Krishnamurti does not get angry the way you get angry. Everything with an enlightened person happens on a totally different plane. His anger comes out of his compassion. Your anger comes out of hate, aggression, cruelty. He becomes angry — sometimes he starts pulling his hair out, he hits his own forehead — but out of compassion.
Just think, for fifty years or more he has been teaching a certain kind of truth to the world, and nobody understands him. The same people gather each year to listen to him — the same people.

Once he was talking in Bombay… somebody reported this to me, and the person who reported it to me is an old lady, older than Krishnamurti. She saw Krishnamurti when he was a child, she has seen him and listened to him for fifty years. And because she is a little deaf, very old, she sits in the front on a chair. And for fifty years Krishnamurti has been saying that there are no methods for meditation, that meditation is not needed at all. Just be in the present and live your life, that’s enough meditation, no other technique is needed….

For one and a half hours he poured his heart out, and at the end the lady stood up and asked, “How to meditate?” Now, what do you suppose he should do? He hit his head.

This is not your anger. This is so unbelievable! He is tired of this lady, but this lady is not tired of him. She comes to every talk to listen to him, and asks the same stupid questions.

When I say Krishnamurti can get angry, I don’t mean, Henk, that he can get angry like you get angry. His anger is out of compassion. This situation is unbelievable! He wants to help this lady and he feels so helpless. He tries this way and that. His message is very simple, singular, one-dimensional. For fifty years he has been saying only a single word. In essence his whole teaching can be printed on one side of a postcard. He has been saying it in as many possible ways as one can invent, but it is the same citadel that he attacks from the north, from the south, from the west, from the east. And still people go on listening to him and go on asking the same old foolish questions.

He certainly gets angry. And when a man like Krishnamurti gets angry, he is pure anger. Many in India have felt very disappointed with Krishnamurti because he gets angry. They have a certain concept that a buddha should not get angry. They go with a prejudice. And when they see that Krishnamurti can get angry, they are disillusioned, “So this man is not a buddha, he has not become enlightened yet.”

I say to you that he is one of the most enlightened persons who has ever walked on this earth. Still he can get angry, but his anger comes out of compassion; it is condensed compassion. He cares about you, so much so that he becomes angry. This is a totally different quality of anger.

And when he becomes angry he is real anger. Your anger is partial, lukewarm. Your anger is like a dog who is not certain how to behave with a stranger. He may be a friend of the master, so he wags his tail; he may be an enemy, so he barks. He does both together. On one hand he goes on barking, on the other hand he goes on wagging his tail. He is playing the diplomat, so whatsoever the case turns out to be, he can always feel right. If the master comes and he sees that the master is friendly, the barking will stop and his whole energy will go into the tail. If the master is angry with the intruder, then the tail will stop completely, and his whole energy will go into barking.

Your anger is also like that. You are weighing up how far to go, how much will pay; don’t go beyond the limit, don’t provoke the other person too much.
But when a man like Krishnamurti becomes angry he is pure anger. And pure anger has a beauty because it has totality. He is just anger. He is like a small child, redfaced, just anger all over, ready to destroy the whole world.

That’s what happened to Jesus. When he went into the great temple and saw the moneychangers and their tables inside the temple, he was in a rage. He became angry — the same anger that comes out of compassion and love. Singlehanded, he drove all the moneychangers out of the temple and overturned their boards. He must have been really very angry, because driving all the moneychangers out of the temple singlehanded is not an easy thing.

And reports say — I don’t know how far they are right, but reports say that he was not a very strong man. Reports say that he was not even a very tall man; you will be surprised, he was only four feet six inches. And not only that — on top of it he was a hunchback. I don’t know how far those reports are true, because I don’t want to go to court! But it is there in the books, ancient books, very ancient books.

So how did this hunchback, four feet six inches high, drive out all the moneychangers singlehanded? He must have been pure rage!
Indians are angry about that. They cannot trust that Jesus is enlightened — just because of this incident.

People have their prejudices, their ideas. Rather than seeing into reality, rather than looking into an enlightened man, they come ready with so many concepts, and unless he fits them he is not enlightened. And let me tell you, no enlightened person is going to fit with your unenlightened prejudices; it is impossible.

It happened, a lady came to me. She had been a follower of Krishnamurti for many years, then a small thing disturbed the whole thing and the whole applecart was upturned. The thing was so small that I was surprised. There was a camp in Holland where Krishnamurti holds a camp every year, and the woman had gone there from India. Nearabout two thousand people had gathered from all over the world to listen to him. The next morning the lectures were going to start, and the woman had gone shopping. And she was surprised, Krishnamurti was also shopping. An enlightened person shopping? Can you believe it? Buddha in a supermarket? And not only that — he was purchasing a necktie. Enlightened people need neckties? And not only that — the whole counter was full of neckties and he was throwing them this way and that, and he was not satisfied with any.

The woman watched, looked at the whole scene, and fell from the sky. She thought, “I have come from India for this ordinary man who is purchasing neckties. And even then, of thousands of neckties of all colors and all kinds of material, nothing is satisfying to him. Is this detachment? Is this awareness?”
She turned away. She didn’t attend the camp, she came back immediately. And the first thing she did was to come running to me, and she said, “You are right.”
I said, “What do you mean?”
She said, “You are right that it was useless wasting my time with Krishnamurti. Now I want to become a sannyasin of yours.”
I said, “Please excuse me, I cannot accept you. If you cannot accept Krishnamurti, how can I accept you? Get lost! … Because here you will see far more disappointing things. What are you going to do with my Mercedes Benz? So before it happens, why bother? What are you going to do with my air-conditioned room? Before it happens, it is better that you go and find some Muktananda, etcetera. You have not been able to understand Krishnamurti, you will not be able to understand me.”

People like Krishnamurti live on a totally different plane. Their anger is not your anger. And who knows that he was not just playing with those ties for this stupid old woman? Masters are known to devise things like that. He got rid of this stupid old woman very easily.”

– From “The Book of Wisdom” by Osho

To conclude, it is not possible to find if somebody is enlightened based on their outward behavior. Some of their behavior may come from their genetics, as they still live with the same body after enlightenment.

The Presence of a Master or Guru

When you are on a spiritual journey, you are very lucky when you find an authentic Guru who can guide you. If the Guru is not realized himself, it is like a blind man guiding blind men, which has been used as an example by many masters. But if you do happen to find a real Guru, then his presence helps you more than what he actually says by words. His very presence acts as a catalyst.

In our Indian tradition, we have been so fortunate to have many realized beings like Ramana Maharishi, J.Krishnamurti, Ramakrishna, Osho and thousands of realized beings who lived many centuries before, like Buddha, Shankara and Mahavira. We are also very lucky to have Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, a realized mystic and yogi who is alive with us today. With his tremendous work , wisdom and vision, he has also consecrated Dhyanalinga, which has the same power of a Guru’s presence.

What is so special about being in the presence of a Guru or Dhyanalinga? Here are some excerpts from Osho and Sadhguru:

BELOVED OSHO, SITTING WITH YOU IN DISCOURSE AND HEARING YOU TALK ABOUT ENLIGHTENMENT AND SILENCE, I FEEL IMMENSELY BLESSED, SOMETIMES ALMOST TOUCHING THIS SPACE OF COMING HOME, AND SILENCE COMES TO MY MIND. BUT AS SOON AS YOU LEAVE THROUGH THE DOOR AND THE MUSIC STOPS, IMMEDIATELY THE CHATTERING INSIDE STARTS AGAIN. FOR ME IT IS MUCH MORE DIFFICULT TO BECOME SILENT WHEN I AM MEDITATING ALONE, BUT SO EASY IN YOUR PRESENCE. IS THIS NATURAL IN THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN A MASTER AND A DISCIPLE?

Deva Anuragini, it is very natural. Being in the presence of a master, silence happens on its own accord. Just as in the deep Himalayas, where the snow is eternal and the silence almost ancient… just sitting there under a tree, you start feeling, falling in tune with the immensity that surrounds you.

To be in the presence of the master is even more deep-going. Because what is the meaning of being in the presence of the master? It is being with someone you love, someone you trust; someone with whom you are ready to go into the unknown. Being in this climate, you forget your trivial matters; and forgetting comes easy, not by your effort.

The master is silent and silence is contagious.

His heart slowly slowly brings you also into a synchronicity. You start beating with his heart, in the same rhythm.

This is a beautiful experience in itself, but it is only a lesson on the path; it simply gives you a glimpse. Silence has to come to you in your aloneness, then it is your own. Otherwise, silence in the Himalayas belongs to the Himalayas; you are simply overwhelmed. And the silence in the presence of the master belongs to the master; you are simply touched. That’s why, as soon as you are left alone to yourself, your old mind is back; it has just been waiting by the side. It comes with a vengeance.

You have to understand one thing: that the presence of the master simply gives you an indication that you are capable of silence, that mind is not your master. That it is not an impossibility; that you can have a little taste of it. Whilst being alone, remember it: that the mind is just a servant mechanism.

Watch it; it is very ancient, and your silence is very new. Your silence is almost like a roseflower and your chattering mind is like a rock, very ancient, very old. It can crush the roseflower at any moment unless you are aware, unless you learn one lesson — that mind may go on, yakkety-yak, chattering, but you should not become part of it.

Certainly you are not the mind, just as you are not the body. You are within the body, within the mind, but your center is separate from the cyclone. It has a totally different quality to it. Silence, stillness is just natural to it; it is its flowering

             – The Invitation, Chapter 6 by Osho

BELOVED OSHO, IN ALL THE YEARS WITH YOU I FELT MEDITATIONS SIMPLY ‘HAPPENED’ TO ME. THEN IN THE LAST TIME WHEN I WAS AWAY FROM YOU I FELT THIS WAS NOT ME, BUT YOUR GRACE OVERFLOWING TOWARDS ME. FOR THE FIRST TIME I SAW THAT I NEEDED TO GIVE MEDITATION A PRIORITY IN MY LIFE OR IT WOULD NOT HAPPEN. NOW, MELTING IN YOUR PRESENCE AGAIN, EVERYTHING I COULD EVER DESIRE IS HERE.OSHO, WHAT HAPPENS TO THE DISCIPLE WHEN ONE IS WITHOUT THE MASTER?

There are only two possibilities when the disciple is not with the master.

One is that he goes back to the zero where he had been before he met the master.

The second is, seeing that if without the master things that were happening in his presence are not happening, it simply means that his presence has not become an intrinsic part of your being.

The master need not be outside you.

In fact, he is always inside you, and if you can remember it – ”The master is inside me”…. And the master is not asking much, just a small place, a small bedroom with an attached bathroom.

Once you start feeling yourself as carrying the master within yourself, everything that was happening in the presence of the master not only continues but grows a thousandfold. Because it was the master outside, there was a distance. Now there is no more distance; even the distance has disappeared. You are not alone.

It is only a question of how much you love, of how deep is your devotion, of how great is your disciplehood.

   –  The Osho Upanishad, Chapter 27

Last night you spoke of satsang and the importance of the disciple’s proximity to the guru. Does this mean physical proximity? Is the disciple who lives at a great physical distance from the guru at a loss?

Yes and no! Yes, a physical closeness is necessary in the beginning because you cannot understand anything else right now, as you are. You can understand the body; you can understand the language of the physical. You exist at the physical, so yes, a physical closeness is necessary – in the beginning.

And I say no also because as you grow, as you start learning a different language which is of the non-physical, then physical closeness is not necessary. Then you can go anywhere. Then space doesn’t make any difference. You remain in contact. Not only space, but time also doesn’t make any difference. A Master may be dead, you remain in contact. He may have dropped his physical body, you remain in contact. If a trust happens, then time and space both are transcended.

Trust is the miracle. You can be in closeness with Mohammed or Jesus or Buddha right now if trust is there. But it is difficult! It is difficult because you don’t know how. You cannot trust a living person, how can you trust a dead? If trust happens, then you are close to Buddha right now. And for persons who have faith, Buddha is alive. No Master ever dies for those who can trust. He goes on helping; he is always there. But for you, even Buddha is there physically, standing behind you or in front of you, just sitting by your side, you are not close to him. There may be vast space between you. Love, trust, faith, they destroy space, time, both.

In the beginning, because you cannot understand any other language, you can understand only the language of the physical, physical closeness is necessary – but only in the beginning. A moment will come when the Master himself will send you away. He will force you to go away because that too becomes necessary – you may start clinging to the physical language.

Gurdjieff almost always, all his life, will send his disciples away. He will create such a miserable situation for them, then they will have to leave. It will be impossible to live with him. After a certain point, he will help them to go away. He will force really them to go away, because you should not become too much dependent on the physical. The other, the higher language, must develop. You must start feeling close to him wherever you are, because body has to be transcended. Not yours only, the Master’s body has also to be transcended.

But in the beginning it is a great help. Once the seeds are sown, once they have taken root, then you are strong enough. Then you can go away, and then you can feel. Just going away, the contact is lost – then the contact is not much importance. Trust will grow, further you go away. Trust will grow more, because wherever you are on the earth you will feel the Master’s presence continuously. The trust will grow. He will be helping you now through hidden hands, invisible hands. He will be working upon you through your dreams, and you will feel constantly, like a shadow, he is following you.

But that is a very developed language. Don’t try it from the very beginning because then you can deceive. So I will say, move step by step. Wherever trust happens, then close your eyes and follow blindly. Really, the moment trust happens you have closed your eyes. Then what is the use of thinking, arguing? Trust has happened and trust will not listen to anything now.

Then follow and remain close unless the Master himself sends you away. And when he sends you away then don’t cling. Then follow. Follow his instruction and go away, because he knows better. And what is helpful he knows.

Sometimes, just near the Master, it may become difficult for you to grow – just like under a big tree a new seed will have many difficulties to grow. Under a big tree, a new tree will become crippled. Even trees take care to throw their seed far away so that the seeds can sprout. Trees use many tricks to send the seed away; otherwise they will die, they fall down just under the big tree. There is so much shadow. No sun reaches there, no sun rays reach.

So a Master knows better. If he feels that you should go away, then don’t resist. Then simply follow and go away. This going away will be coming nearer to him. If you can follow, if you can silently follow without any resistance, this going away will be a coming nearer. You will attain a new closeness.

–  Osho, Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, Vol 1, Ch 2, Q 5

Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev talks about the presence of a master:

Questioner: To grow spiritually, is it necessary to be in the physical presence of a Guru?

Being in the physical presence of somebody is needed because your perception is still so dependent on what you hear and see. Unless you see with your eyes that there is somebody sitting there, your perception does not open up.

Many people are actually not mature enough to be in the physical presence of a Guru because if you are in the Guru’s physical presence, your judgments about him will not stop.

You will watch the way he eats, the way he drinks, the way he speaks, the way he mixes with people, what he does, what he does not do. From this, you will helplessly form opinions. The more opinions you create within yourself, the less receptive you become. This is one reason why a lot of Gurus always kept themselves out of reach of their disciples. Once in a way they appeared but the rest of the time, they were only available to two or three people around.

They did not do this because they had an allergy for people or because they thought they were too big to mix with people. It is just that, this was their device. They knew, if people ate, slept and walked around with them normally, people would miss their whole aspect and would just get entangled with the Guru’s personality.

So being in the Guru’s physical presence can be a blessing but can also be a big barrier because then, you will helplessly make your opinions about him and miss the whole dimension of who he is.