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.
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:
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.
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