Crossing the river

Osho says, “I will not tell you to drop the ego. I am fully aware how cunning the ego is. It can even play the game of dropping itself, and you can say, ”Look, I am the humblest person in the world, the most egoless.” It has come in from the back door again; now you are the humblest, the most egoless – but you have to be somebody special and extraordinary.

I only say to you: if you try to drop it, it will come in from the back door. Just try to understand its games, that’s enough. Just try to see how many games it can play, in how many ways it can deceive you. Just be alert. And if you are aware of all the possible ways of the ego, it disappears just like darkness disappears when you bring a lighted candle in. And you start looking with the candle where the darkness is. And you go on looking… and wherever you go it is not… wherever you go it is not.

When the light is there, the darkness disappears. It is not that darkness escapes; darkness does not exist at all. It is only an absence of light.

Ego is just like darkness; it has no existence of its own. It is only the absence of awareness. So I don’t say drop the ego, I say watch it. Be watchful, observe it – and you will find it in so many layers that you will be surprised. The politician is a gross egoist. The saint may be a very subtle egoist. He is in more danger than the politician, because the gross can be caught very easily. I know both. I know the grossest politician and I know the subtlest saint, and I know all the categories in between. I have met all these people.

My whole life’s work is to find out the basic problem of humanity. And once we know the basic problem of humanity, it is not difficult at all to dissolve it. In fact, in the very finding it dissolves, because your awareness becomes a light unto itself.

I cannot say I am a messiah, I cannot say I am the avatara, because I know those are subtle ego games. All that I can say is: I am just as ordinary as anybody, or as extraordinary as everybody.

In existence, the smallest blade of grass has the same significance and the same beauty as the greatest star. There is no hierarchy. There is nobody higher, nobody lower.

I am not against anybody. But my basic work is to expose before you all the diseases, the bondages, so that you are not caught in them, so you can remain free, so you can have a merger with existence, without any barrier. And ego is the only barrier. It can come in so many ways that unless you are really alert it will deceive you. It can become so subtle – almost like a shadow – that it will follow you, and you will not be aware of it.

I would like to tell you a small story. Two monks, Buddhist monks, are returning to their monastery; they come to a ford. The current is very powerful. It is a hilly place. A young, beautiful girl is waiting there, waiting for somebody to help her to cross. She is afraid to enter alone.

One monk, who is the older one of course… because he is older, he walks ahead – all games of the ego. If you are older, you have to walk ahead; younger monks have to walk a little back. They cannot walk parallel to the older monk; of course, they cannot walk ahead. And these are the people who are talking continuously of dropping the ego! Even physical age is used to fulfill a certain ego.

The older monk comes first. The young girl asks him, ”Bhante” – Bhante is the Buddhist equivalent of ’reverend’ – ”Bhante, would you help me; just hold my hand? I am afraid, the current is so strong and perhaps it may be deep.”

The old man closes his eyes – that’s what Buddha had said to the monks: that if you see a woman, particularly if she is beautiful, close your eyes. But I am surprised: you have already seen her, then you close your eyes; otherwise how can you determine she is a woman, and beautiful? You are already affected, and now you close your eyes. And remember, with closed eyes the beautiful woman will become even more beautiful – she will become a dream girl. And Buddha had said, ”Don’t talk, don’t touch a woman” – because just talking, you may get caught; touching, you may forget that you are a monk. So he closes his eyes and enters the ford without answering the woman. You see the ugliness of it.

And these people are saying, ”Help, serve”and that poor girl was simply asking, ”Hold my hand, just for a few seconds, so I can pass the ford.” And the man closed his eyes.

Then the second, younger monk comes. The girl is afraid, but there is nothing else to call upon: the sun is setting, soon it will be night. She cannot go back, the town is far away. She has to go ahead, then only can she reach her home before it becomes too dark. But how to pass this ford? So under compulsion she asks the young monk, ”Bhante, will you please hold my hand? The ford seems to be deep and the current strong… and I am afraid.”

The monk says, ”It is deep, I know, because we pass through it every day. On the other side is our monastery, so to beg food we have to come to this side to the village. It is deep, and it is good that you have not entered alone, otherwise you would have gone with it. And just holding hands won’t do; you just sit on my shoulders and I will carry you to the other side.”

The young girl jumps on his shoulders; he carries her to the other side. When they are just in the middle of the ford, the old monk remembers that a younger fellow is coming behind, and he is too young and too new, he may get caught in the devil’s net – the woman is the devil’s net. Perhaps it is the devil himself standing in the form of a young, beautiful girl. He opens his eyes, and what he sees he cannot believe: the young monk is carrying the beautiful girl on his shoulders. Now he is tremendously angry, shaking with anger.

The young monk leaves the girl on the other shore and follows the older monk towards the monastery. When they reach the monastery door – it must have been two or three miles from the ford – on the steps the older monk stands and says to the young one, ”You, fellow, you have committed a sin and I am going to report to the Buddha that not only you touched a woman, not only you talked with her, you carried her on your shoulders. You should be expelled from the community; you are not worthy of being a monk.”

The young man simply laughs and says, ”Bhante, it seems although I have dropped that girl three miles back, you are still carrying her on your shoulders. Three miles have passed, and you are still bothered by it?”

This is what happens if you start fighting with anything – it may be sex, it may be ego, it may be greed, it may be fear, it may be anger, whatsoever – if you start fighting with it. And how will you drop it? Other than fight, how are you going to drop it? You will push hard but where will you push it? Anything pushed goes deep down into your own unconscious. And anything in the unconscious is far more powerful than in the conscious, because conscious is only one part; the unconscious is nine times bigger than that. And in the conscious mind at least you are aware what is there. In the unconscious mind it is so dark, you don’t know what is there; and it is nine times bigger, more powerful. It can take over your conscious effort any moment.

Now, what is happening to this old monk? Many things at the same time. The girl was beautiful; he has missed a chance. He is angry. He is jealous. He is full of sexuality. He is what he is saying the younger one is – really in a mess. The younger one is completely clean. He took the girl over and left her on the other shore, and that’s that, the thing is finished. But the younger monk must have been of tremendous awareness.

This is a deep insight. You can carry things which you are not carrying; you may be burdened by things which are not there; you may be crushed by things which don’t exist.

The old monk is on the path of repression. The young monk is a symbol of an effort towards transformation – because transformation accepts the woman, the man, the other. Because transformation has to happen through the other, the other will participate in it. Suppression, repression, rejects the other, is against the other. The other has to be destroyed.

This story is beautiful. The new monk is the way. Don’t become the old monks, become the new. Accept life as it is and try to be alert. This young monk must have remained alert while carrying the girl on his shoulders. And if you are alert, what can the girl do?

That awareness is my teaching. Never fight with greed, ego, anger, jealousy, hatred – all those enemies that the religions have been telling you, ”Fight with them, crush them, kill them. You cannot kill them, you cannot crush them, you cannot fight with them; all that you can do is just be aware of them.

And the moment you are aware, they are gone. In the light, the darkness simply disappears.

Osho: From Unconsciousness to Consciousness: CHAPTER 8. WILL-TO-POWER: THE CANCER OF THE SOUL

आप के बा’द हर घड़ी हम ने
आप के साथ ही गुज़ारी है …………………..गुलज़ार

aap ke ba.ad har ghaḌī ham ne
aap ke saath hī guzārī hai …………………….GULZAR

Have spent every moment with you, after you left.


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