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Osho on Chaitanya Mahaprabhu

Questioner: To Chaitanya Mahaprabhu the world and god were both separate and together; it is called achintya bhedabhedavad, i.e. the principle of unthinkable difference and unity together. Does this principle fit with your principle of the axle and the wheel?

Osho - It is going to fit for sure. Among the lovers of Krishna, Chaitanya's name is the most outstanding.

In the term achintya bhedabhedavad, the word achintya -- which means the unthinkable is precious. Those who know through thought will say that either matter and spirit are separate or they are one and the same. Chaitanya says they are both one and separate. For example, the wave is both one with and separate from the ocean at the same time. And he is right. The wave is separate from the ocean, and so we call it by a different name -- the wave. And it is virtually one with the ocean, because it cannot be without it, it comes from it. Therefore the wave is both separate and inseparable from the ocean.

But all this is within the realm of thinking; one can mentally think out that the wave and ocean are different and the same together. But Chaitanya adds another word to it, another dimension -- that is achintya or unthinkable. And this word is very significant. He says that if you come to know through thinking that the world and God, matter and spirit are both separate and inseparable, this realization is worth nothing. Then it is nothing more than an idea, a concept, a theory. But when a seeker comes to it without thinking, without word, when he realizes it in a state of no-mind, beyond thought, then it is his experience. Then it is worthwhile; it is real, and great.

It is good to go into this question of thinking and that which is beyond thinking. What we know through thought is Known only in words and concepts. And what we know by living it, by experiencing it, is a realization beyond words. This is what Chaitanya means by calling it the unthinkable; it is beyond mind, beyond word and thought.

Someone wants to know what love is and he reads huge scriptures on love. Perhaps on no other topic has so much been written as pundits have written on love. There is a huge amount of literature on love in the form of poetry and epics and philosophical treatises. He will become knowledgeable about love, he can write great treatises on love, yet in reality he will not actually know what love is.

There is another person who has not read a word about love, but has experienced it, lived it. What is the difference between this man and the one who has gone through a huge pile of literature on love? This man knows love through experiencing; the other man knows it through words and concepts. Experiencing is always unthinkable, it does not happen through thinking; in fact, it happens before thinking. Experience precedes thought, and thought follows experience. Experience comes first and thought follows it by way of its expression. That is why Chaitanya says that unity and separateness of the world and God is beyond thought.

When Chaitanya says this is unthinkable, he means much more than what meets the eye. Meera will say it is unthinkable, but she was never given to serious thinking -- she was through and through a woman of feelings. But as far as Chaitanya is concerned, he was a great logician, renowned for his sharp mind and brilliant logic. He had scaled the highest peaks of thinking. Pundits were afraid of entering into argument with him. He was incomparable as a debater; he had won laurel after laurel in philosophical discussions.

Such a rational intellect, who had indulged in hair splitting interpretations of words and concepts throughout his life, was one day found singing and dancing through the streets of Navadeep. Meera, on the other hand, had never indulged in pedantry and scriptures; she had nothing to do with logic. She was a loving woman; love was in her blood and bones. So it was no wonder when she walked through the streets of Merta with a tanpoora in her hands, dancing and singing hymns of love. It was just natural.

But Chaitanya was her opposite; he was not a man of love, and he turned to love and devotion -- which was a miracle. This one-hundred-and-eighty-degree turn in his life demonstrates the victory of love over logic. He had defeated all his contemporaries with his logic, but when he came to himself he found it to be a self-defeating discipline. He came to a point where the mind lost and life and love won. Beyond this point one can only go with life and love.

That is why I said that among people who walked the path of Krishna, Chaitanya is simply extraordinary, incomparable. When I say so I am aware of Meera, who loves Krishna tremendously. But she does not come near Chaitanya. It is unthinkable how a tremendously logical mind like Chaitanya could come down from his ivory tower, take a drum in his hands, and dance and sing in the market place. Can you think of Bertrand Russell dancing through the streets of London? Chaitanya was like Russell -- out and out intellectual. And for this reason his statement becomes immensely significant. He makes his statement that reality is unthinkable not with words, but with a drum in his hands -- dancing and singing through the streets of his town, where he was held in great respect for his superb scholarship. It is in this way that he renounces mind, renounces thinking and declares that, "Reality is beyond thought, it is unthinkable."

Chaitanya's case demonstrates that they alone can transcend thinking who first enter into the very depth of thinking and explore it through and through. Then they are bound to come to a point where thinking ends and the unthinkable begins. This last frontier of mind is where a statement like this is born. That is why Chaitanya's statement has gathered immense significance; it comes after he crosses the last frontier of mentation. Meera never walked on that path; she came to love straight away. She cannot have the profundity of Chaitanya.

Source - Osho Book "Krishna: The Man and His Philosophy"

Osho on : Bodhidharma, Dadu, Diogenes, Gorakh, Guru Nanak Dev, Hakim Sanai, Mahavira, Meera, Sahajo, Sarmad

Osho Stories on: Baal Shem, Diogenes, Naropa, Rabia, Ramanuja, Shirdi Sai Baba

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