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Question - Why Do Sufis Deliberately Disguise and Hide Themselves?

Osho - Because they want their energies to be used rightly, because they are creative people. They are not interested in name and fame, they are not interested in anything else; they are only interested in giving a new life to people who are desiring God, longing for God. Why should they waste their time and energy?

There are many kinds of people in the world. A few are curious people, they come just out of curiosity, they waste time. Then there are a few who come with enquiry. They are better than the curious people, there is some possibility that they may grow, but that is only a possibility. Then there is a third kind who is really a seeker, who is ready to stake his life, who is ready to lose something for it, who is ready to pay the price for it.

The Sufi will work with the third person, he will remain available to the second kind of person, and he will become absolutely invisible to the first kind of person – the curious. The Sufi is very economical about his energy. He knows he cannot exist here for long, his days are counted. In those few days that he will be here on the earth.... An enlightened person will not be coming back again, he is here for only a short time – even if it is thirty, forty, or fifty years it is a very short time if you look at the eternity of time. What is fifty years compared to the eternal procession of time? He will be here for only a few days, a few months, a few years. And he can work on only a few people. If he becomes surrounded by curious people his energies will be wasted. Then he will be sowing his seeds in a desert. That will be foolish, stupid.

Sufis are not stupid people, they are very wise people. They know how to use their energies – that’s why they deliberately disguise and hide themselves. And small things become helpful. This has been my own method. Whenever I see that a certain kind of people has become too much around me and I want to drop them – just a single hint, just a single hint, and they disappear.

Once it happened that I was surrounded by many Jainas, just because of my birth – the accident of my birth. I was born in a Jaina family, so naturally Jainas were interested in me. Not in me – they were interested in a Jaina. They were happy that here was a Jaina who had become enlightened. They were not interested in me or in my enlightenment, they felt a kind of ego trip. Then it became too much; they were wasting too much energy and too much time. So I delivered one talk – ’From Sex to Superconsciousness’ – and they all disappeared.

Just a single talk and they all disappeared. Then I didn’t see them. And since then, for fifteen years, I have not seen them. Then by and by many Gandhians started coming around. And I saw that again a desert was growing. These are the weeds; you have to be constantly uprooting them. You cannot rest if you are really interested in the garden and the rose flowers – and the orange people are my roses. If you are really interested in the rose flowers you will have to constantly uproot the weeds. They will come again and again.

Gandhians gathered. Then with just a few statements against Gandhi they left me. It is so easy to become invisible to people. Now I don’t exist for them at all. I am almost not. They have forgotten all about me. Weeds have to be dropped. A Master has to become invisible again and again to certain kinds of people so that he and his energies remain available to those who are really seekers.

What do I mean when I say real seekers? I mean one who is ready to stake whatsoever is needed to stake, who does not just have an ’itch’ in his head, who is not only curious but whose problem is that of life and death. Even if I demand that your life will be needed, if you are seeker you will say, ’I am available. Take this life but give me God. If by giving my life, God can be attained, then I am happily ready.’ Life is worthless for a seeker; everything is worthless – except truth.

That’s why Sufis are constantly in hiding. And remember, this is only half the story. On one side they constantly go on hiding themselves, on another hand they go on making themselves available to those who are in search. The other part has not been discussed much. That other part is very essential. In fact, the first part is necessary only for the other part, otherwise what is the use of becoming invisible? If you simply become invisible to all people then you are almost dead, then you are in your grave. So you have to become invisible from one side – to people who are not the right people – and you have to become more and more visible to those who are in search. These both go together in a kind of balance.

I don’t move in Poona, you will never see me on Poona streets, I don’t go anywhere. I am not interested in the masses. I have simply disappeared from the world. I have created my own small world – an alternative society. Soon the days are coming closer w hen I will establish my own small world absolutely, where every person will be a seeker – only a seeker will be allowed in. And then that small commune will become invisible to the whole world, then we will disappear into ourselves, and we will start working something into the deepest realm of being. One has to drop many things to go in. One has to gather one’s total energy to go in.

Source - Osho Book "Sufis: The People of the Path, Vol 1"

Related Osho Discourses on Sufi's
Why do the Sufis say that man is a Machine?
The Sufi is not an escapist. He is utterly against escapism

To seek God is to seek the impossible. By seeking you cannot find it

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