A man came to Junnaid, a Suﬁ mystic, and asked him, ”What do you say about pre-determination, kismet, fate, and the freedom of man? Is man free to do whatever he wants to do? Or is he simply a puppet in the hands of an unknown puppeteer, who simply dances the dance that the puppeteer chooses?”
Junnaid is one of the few beautiful mystics. He shouted at the man, ”Raise one leg up!”
The man was a very rich man; Junnaid knew it. All the disciples, the whole school knew about it – and he had shouted so loudly and so rudely, ”Raise one leg up!” And the rich man had never followed anybody’s orders; he had not gone there to follow orders. And he could not conceive even a far off, far-fetched, off-the-wall relationship between his question and this answer. But when you are facing a man like Junnaid you have to follow him.
He raised his right leg.
Junnaid said, ”That is not enough. Now raise the other, too.”
Now the man was at a loss, and angry also. He said, ”You are asking absurdities! I had come to ask a philosophical question – that you simply dropped without answering. You asked me to raise one leg, I raised my right leg. And now you are asking me to raise the other, too. What do you want? How can I raise both legs?”
Junnaid said, ”Then sit down. Have you received the answer to your question or not?”
The man said, ”The answer to my question has not been given yet. Instead, you have been training me in this parade!”
The master said, ”But you were free. In the beginning you could have taken the left foot up. See the point: when I said, ‘Raise one of your legs’ you had the freedom to choose either the right or the left. Nobody was determining it, it was your choice to raise the right leg. But once you had chosen the right leg you could not choose the left too. It is your freedom that has determined the fact of your bondage. Now your left leg is in bondage.
I had not said anything. You decided. You took the right foot up. In your very decision you made it impossible for the left foot to be lifted up. Don’t bother about fate, kismet, God. Just think of simple things. Any act that you do prevents you from doing some other act that goes against it. So every act is a limitation. Man is half free and half in bondage, BUT HE IS FREE FIRST.“
In the story it is so clear. In life it is not so clear because you can’t see one foot on the earth and one foot in the air. But each act, each decision is a limitation.
And it is his freedom, how he uses his freedom, that determines his bondage. There is nobody sitting there writing in your head or making lines on your palms. Even an omnipotent God must be tired by now, doing this stupid thing of making lines on people’s hands. And so many people are coming… writing in everybody’s head what he is going to be, where he is going to be born, when he is going to die, what disease, what doctor is going to kill him. All these details!
Either God must have gone mad doing all this work – just think of yourself, if you have to do this kind of work, and for no reason– or he must have committed suicide. Even if he were mad he would have to do his work; so for a few days he may have been mad, while he made this humanity, and then he committed suicide – because he does not want to see the world evaporate because of nuclear weapons. But he has written those nuclear weapons in your heads; he is responsible.
Nobody is responsible, and there is no God. These are our strategies to throw responsibility into others’ hands.
You are free, but each act of freedom brings a responsibility – and that is your bondage. Either call it ‘bondage’, which is not a beautiful word, or call it ‘responsibility’. That is what I call it.
You choose a certain act – that is your freedom – but then the consequences will be your responsibility.
”Only the action is in your hands; the result is in God’s hands.” That kind of split is absolutely illogical, absurd. Action is in your hands and the result will be in God’s hands: this is very tricky. This is the strategy of the priesthood.
Otherwise, the simple fact is that the act is yours and the responsibility is yours. Action and its effect, cause and effect, are connected together; you cannot divide them.
I am in absolute agreement with the idea of science that cause and effect are together. As far as the cause is concerned, you are free. But then you should remember: the effect is decided by you, by your cause. In fact, you are free in that too; it is an outcome of your freedom.
Take life in a very simple, non-theological way and you will be surprised: there are no problems. It is a mystery, but not a problem. A problem is that which can be solved; a mystery is that which can be lived but can never be solved.
Meditation is nothing but an exploration of the mystery – not an explanation, not a search to ﬁnd the solution to it, but an exploration…. To dissolve into it slowly slowly, just as a ripple disappears into the ocean; this disappearance is the only religiousness that I know of. All else is nonsense.
You are totally free before deciding, but once you have decided, your very decision, your very choice brings in a limitation. Nobody else is imposing the decision; it is the nature of things — you cannot do contradictory things together simultaneously. And it is good you cannot; otherwise… you are already in chaos…you would be in greater chaos if you were allowed to do contradictory things together. You would go mad.
This is simply an existential safety measure.
If you want to remain totally free, then don’t choose. That’s where the teaching of choiceless awareness comes in. Why the insistence of the great masters just to be aware and not to choose? Because the moment you choose, you have lost your total freedom, you are left with only a part. But if you remain choiceless, your freedom remains total.
So there is only one thing which is totally free and that is choiceless awareness. Everything else is limited.
You love a woman — she is beautiful but very poor. You love riches — there is another woman who is very rich but ugly, disgusting. Now you have to choose. And whatever you choose, you will suffer. If you choose the beautiful girl, she is poor; and you will always repent that you missed all those riches unnecessarily — because the beauty after a few days’ acquaintance is taken for granted, you don’t see it. And what will you do with beauty? You cannot purchase a car, you cannot purchase a house, you cannot purchase anything. Now beat your head with your beauty — what you will do?
So the mind starts thinking that the choice was wrong.
But if you choose the disgusting, ugly woman, you would have all that money can purchase: a palace, servants, all gadgets, but you will have to tolerate that woman — not only tolerate but to say “I love you.” And you cannot even hate her, she is so disgusting; even to hate, one needs somebody who is not disgusting — because hate is a relationship. And you cannot enjoy those cars and the palace and the garden, because the disgusting face of that woman will be constantly following you. And she knows that you have not married her, you have married her riches. So she is going to treat you like a servant, not like a lover. And this is the truth: you have not loved her. Then you will start thinking it would have been better to have a poor house, ordinary food — at least the woman was beautiful, you would have enjoyed her. You have been an idiot to choose this.
Whatever you choose you will repent because the other will remain and haunt you.
If one needs absolute freedom then choiceless awareness is the only thing.
And when I say instead of revolution go for rebellion, I am bringing you closer to a complete whole. In revolution you are bound to be divided, either from something or for something. You cannot have both together because they need different expertise.
But in rebellion both qualities are combined together.
When a sculptor makes a statue, he is doing both; he is cutting the stone — destroying the stone as it was — and he is, by destroying the stone, creating a beautiful statue that was not there before.
Destruction and creation go together, they are not divided. — Rebellion is whole.
My whole effort is to give you a taste of something that can start growing within you and can make you whole and complete. That’s the feeling that has come to you, that while listening to me, feeling love, feeling silence, you feel a completion; everything is perfect. And all desires disappear, because there is no need. When there is completion what are you going to desire? Desire is always out of incompletion. Your whole energy is so fulﬁlled and so contented that it needs nothing.
There are only two types of people in the world: the beggars and the emperors. Those who live in desires are beggars; those who live in completion– of silence, peace and love – are the emperors.
Osho: The Osho Upanishad: CHAPTER 11. FROM SOMEBODY TO NOBODY… A JOURNEY FROM FICTION TO REALITY Q 3. (Excerpts)
Osho: The Transmission of the Lamp: CHAPTER 42. REALITY IS FAR RICHER THAN IMAGINATION Q 2 (Excerpts)
Just check if life is easy or difficult,
people appear to be distressed, just check.
The dichotomy of life is beautifully captured in this evergreen qawaali “mein eedhar jaoon ya udhar jaoon?” sung by Mohd Rafi, Asha Bhosle, Manna Dey, in the film “Palkhi” (1967). Music composed by Naushad and lyrics by Shakeel Badayuni.