Oshodham & Osho World Galleria : Online Magazine - Feb 15 - March 15, 2013
Enlightenment is Not Imitation
Enlightenment is Always Original

It depends, it depends on the individual. There cannot be any dogmatic statement about it because each individual is so unique. When Basho becomes enlightened he starts singing poetry, poems; Buddha has never done that. When Krishna becomes enlightened he starts dancing, singing; Mahavir has never done that. When Mahavir becomes enlightened he keeps silence for many years, remains absolutely silent, not a ripple is allowed; Meera has not done that. When she becomes enlightened, she dances from village to village, she sings the glory of God. It is very difficult to make a dogmatic statement.

There have been people who renounced life when they became enlightened and went to the Himalayas, moved as far away from the society as possible. There have been people who became enlightened and came back to the world, even if they had been in the Himalayas, and started living with people again. There have been people who remained emperors even when they became enlightened. Zen Masters go on living very ordinary lives; it is very difficult even to recognize. If you don't have eyes to penetrate them, you will not recognize them.

It is said about a great Zen Master, Rinzai.... The emperor came to see him. He was cutting wood just in front of the ashram. The emperor asked, "Where is your Master?" Rinzai said, "He is inside." Now of course, the emperor thought he must be inside the ashram, so he went inside the ashram. Rinzai ran in another door and sat on the Master's chair with closed eyes. When the emperor reached, he recognized: "This man seems to be exactly like... just like the woodcutter." He said, "What is the matter? Who are you? Are you trying to befool me, or are you a madman?" Rinzai said, "But I have told you, he is inside, and you didn't understand me. Because you did not understand me, I had to run and I had to sit on this chair. Maybe you can understand only superficials. I was ready then and there to reveal myself, but you didn't wait. Yes, I am the Master, now what do you want? And don't waste much time, because much wood is still left to be cut and chopped."

Zen Masters live very ordinary lives: they chop wood, they carry water from the well, they prepare food in the kitchen. It is very difficult to see them unless you have eyes. They don't live any sort of extraordinary life, because they say, "The very search to be extraordinary is egoistic." Just to be ordinary is the real attitude of a religious man. And remember, the urge to be extraordinary is very ordinary. There is nothing extraordinary about it because everybody wants to be extraordinary. To be ordinary is very extraordinary -- because who wants to be ordinary?

So it is very difficult, and I will not give you a criterion to judge by because those criteria have been very destructive and harmful. Once you have a dead criterion with you, you will miss many real people, and you will be deceived by many pseudo people. Whosoever can fulfill that criterion will look like he is enlightened.

For example: Mahavir became enlightened; he became naked. Now, anybody can stand naked; there is nothing special about it. Any madman can do that. And you can go to visit a nudist club - they are not all Mahaviras. Buddha became enlightened; he was sitting in a particular posture, the lotus posture. You can sit in a lotus posture. If you are Eastern, then it is very simple; if you are Western, then six months' practice, but that's all. You can sit in a lotus posture, but that will not make you a Buddha. You can imitate very easily; that's how imitators are there all over the world. Go and see a Jain monk: he imitates perfectly, but nothing else is there.

Enlightenment is always new, fresh - it is not an imitation, it is not a carbon-copy; it is always original. So I cannot tell you exactly how he will behave, but I can tell you how to imbibe. If there is somebody who has something of the unknown around him - a mystique - then, how to imbibe? Drop all considerations, all mental considerations. Don't ask that he should be 'like this'; just be with him. Just sit with him in silence. be open to him. If he has become enlightened, suddenly you will see a throb within you that you have never known before: your energy will start rising. You will see a great silence arising in you, and a great bliss, drop by drop, reaching your innermost core of being.

An enlightened person, if allowed to enter into you, will give you self-evident proofs. But those are not intellectual proofs; they are not arguments of mind. He argues with his whole being. His argument is that of his presence - so allow his presence and don't carry any criterion. If you are a Jain you will miss Buddha; if you are a Jain you will miss Krishna; if you are a Jain you will miss Christ. If you are a Christian you will miss Mahavir. You will carry an idea, a fixed pattern. Don't carry any fixed pattern. If you feel that somebody is there who is livelier than you, more radiant than you, more understanding than you, more compassion overflowing from his being, then just be in his presence. That's what we call Satsang: just be in his presence. If he has arrived, you will feel a sudden pull in your being -- you are being pulled towards some unknown center. And you will feel tremendous beauty, bliss. blessings showering on you. That will be the only criterion; but for that you have to be ready.

Ordinarily, people ask, "Give us some objective criterion." There is none. The criterion can only be if you are open. What is the criterion to know whether this flower is a rose or not? The only criterion is to open your eyes, open your nostrils, smell it, let it reach your being; only that will reveal. But if you don't have eyes and you have lost your sense of smell, then it will be very, very difficult for you to know whether it is a rose or something else. It may be just a plastic rose or a paper rose; it can deceive you.

So I will not give you any description of the objective reality, of what happens - it is individual, unique, always different, never the same -- but I can give you a subjective way to feel.

I have heard....

A maddened Roman swordsman came into the village cutting down men, women, and children, and terrifying everyone. Arriving at the doors of a Zen monastery, he smashed down the door with the hilt of his sword. Striding up to the Master who was sitting in ZAZEN, he raised his sword and was just about to kill him, when something of the Master's stillness reached him. And angrily he shouted, "Don't you realize that standing in front of you is a man who can cut you in two without the blink of an eye!"

The Master quietly said, "Don't YOU realize that sitting in front of you is a man who can be cut in two without the blink of an eye? So go ahead. Don't be restricted by my silence; do whatsoever you have decided to do." But the silence had reached the madman. The silence of the Master had touched his heart; now it was impossible.

So just be open.

Even if you are a madman, and open, you will recognize enlightenment wherever it is, in whatsoever form it has taken. And even if you are a great philosopher, intellectual, very rational to the core, if you don't allow yourself to imbibe the spirit of silence and bliss, you will miss. You have to be very, very open. You have to be in a let-go - and then the evidence comes so strongly. It is so certain that you can deny everything, but you cannot deny a man of enlightenment - it is impossible. You may not be able to prove it to others - because there is no way to prove - but for you, the thing is settled. And once it is settled for you, once you have been in contact with an enlightened man, a bridge has been created. Now you can never be the same again. The very phenomenon that you could recognize a man of enlightenment is enough to start the foundation of you own enlightenment. It is enough to give you a new direction, a new being, a new birth.
The Beloved, Ch. 2, Ch. 10, Vol. 2