Osho on Sri Aurobindo
Question - Beloved Osho, Sri Aurobindo declared that
there is something beyond that which Buddha calls Enlightenment. His
whole aspiration was dedicated towards opening a Door for this New Step
in human evolution. Beloved Osho, what could not happen with Aurobindo,
Is it happening with you?
Osho - Sri Aurobindo is a strange case. He knows
everything about enlightenment, but he is not enlightened.
He is one of the greatest scholars of this age, a genius; vast is his
knowledge. But his knowing is nil. He knows about the scriptures, and he
knows better than anybody else. His interpretation is profound, very
logical, but heartless. It is dead; it is not coming out of his own
This is one of the great problems for all seekers of truth: one can get
lost in knowledge without knowing anything about the reality.
He knows all the theories, all the philosophies, but he is just a blind
man who knows everything about light but has not seen the light himself.
And it is possible to remain in a deception for your whole life --
because you know so much, and people start worshipping you, people start
believing you. And belief has its own psychology: if many people believe
in you, you are bound to believe in yourself.
I have often told a small story about a great journalist who died and
reached the doors of heaven.
The doors of heaven and hell are not far apart; they are just opposite
each other. The distance is not much, and naturally one would like to
enter heaven. So he knocked on the door. The doorkeeper opened a small
window in the door and asked, "What do you want?"
He said, "I am a great journalist. I have just died, and I want to
The doorkeeper said, "I am sorry but I have to refuse you -- because we
have a quota; we can have only twelve journalists in heaven. That quota
has been filled for centuries -- for centuries, no new journalist has
entered. And anyway, even those twelve are utterly useless because
nothing happens in heaven. They tried to publish a newspaper, but only
one issue appeared -- because there are only saints here -- no murder,
no suicide, no crime, no politics, no struggle for power... no change
ever happens; everything is eternally the same. From where can you get
"And," the doorkeeper said, "you must have heard the definition of news:
when a dog bites a man it is not news, but when a man bites a dog it is
news. So nothing sensational happens here, no love affair... When people
get bored, they read the first issue that was published centuries ago.
"You should go to hell. Every moment tremendous things happen there. All
the active people of the world, all the creative people of the world are
there -- painters, musicians, poets, actors, dancers, thieves,
murderers, rapists, psychoanalysts, philosophers -- you will find every
"Heaven is monotonous. Only dull, dead saints -- skeletons. Their only
quality is that they don't do anything. So just go to hell and enjoy.
You will find everything that you may have missed on earth -- because
for centuries upon centuries, all the juicy people have collected there.
In fact, I myself want to go... but once you get into heaven, you cannot
escape. So I am stuck here. My suggestion is that you just go."
But journalists are stubborn people. He said, "I have a suggestion, and
I think you must be compassionate enough to do it for me. Just give me
twenty-four hours' entry. If I can convince one of the journalists
inside to go to hell then you can put me in the quota; twelve
journalists will remain twelve."
The gatekeeper said, "It is unheard of, there is no precedent. But I
cannot say no to you. Go in, have a try. But remember, after twenty-four
hours.... I am taking a risk. After twenty-four hours, come back."
After twenty-four hours he came back. In those twenty-four hours he had
created a rumor among all the journalists: "A big newspaper is going to
be started in hell and there is great need for editors, sub-editors,
story writers, all kinds of journalists. The salaries are great. So what
are you doing HERE?"
After twenty-four hours when the journalist came to the gate, the
gatekeeper said, "Go back. You cannot go out now."
The journalist said, "Why not?"
The gatekeeper said, "I have kept my word, and you have to keep your
word. You were very convincing. All twelve journalists have gone. I
tried hard to explain that `This is just a rumor; don't spoil your
heaven.' But they wouldn't listen."
The man himself had created the rumor, but he had started thinking
perhaps there was something in it; otherwise twelve persons wouldn't go
to hell for no reason.
He said, "Just open the door!" He was convinced by others being
And this happens to millions of people.
When you see that seven hundred million people are convinced that
Catholic Christianity is the only religion, it is difficult to say that
those seven hundred million people can be wrong. The sheer number has
That's why all the religions go on trying to increase their numbers.
They have their methods to increase their numbers because the more you
increase the numbers the more you convince those who are not in your
fold that they are wrong and you are right. Your sheer majority is an
argument; it validates anything you say.
Sri Aurobindo was a great intellectual, a very convincing, rational
philosophical genius. He convinced many people, and those many people
convinced him that he was enlightened.
He knows nothing of enlightenment. It is true that there is something
more in existence than the enlightenment Gautam the Buddha achieved. But
it is Gautam the Buddha himself who, for the first time in the world,
indicated the possibility of the beyond. Naturally, nobody else can say
that there is something beyond -- unless they reach that boundary.
So when Sri Aurobindo says there is something more than the
enlightenment of Gautam Buddha, he is hiding the fact that it was Gautam
Buddha himself who was the first man in the whole of history to say that
"This is not all; there is something beyond."
Buddha says -- and you can see the sincerity of the man -- that "A man
who has entered the path, srotapanna, who has entered the stream that
leads to the ocean, is millions of times more respectable than anybody
else, just because he has entered the path in search of the truth. He
has not found, but just the urge, just the effort, the first step, and
he has become millions of times more honorable than all your respectable
generals, kings, emperors and world conquerors.
"The person who has reached the point from which he will not turn back,
anagamin, is millions of times more honorable than the srotapanna, than
the one who has entered the stream. And the man who has become
enlightened, who has become a buddha, is millions of times more
honorable than the person who has reached the point of no return."
The point of no return is something worth understanding.
Many people start the search and then drop out. It is arduous, it is
moving into the unknown; nobody knows whether there is anything like
enlightenment or just a fiction created by a few people like Gautam
Buddha. Perhaps they are not lying, perhaps they themselves are deceived
-- who knows? There is no guarantee.
So many start, but very few remain. Most of them return to the world.
Sooner or later, finding that they are going into an unknown territory
without a map, without any guide, they start feeling crazy. Because the
whole world is going in a totally different direction, and they are left
alone. Their whole strength was in the crowd. Alone, a thousand and one
doubts arise. Alone, one starts feeling that millions of people cannot
be wrong, "And I am alone, thinking that I am right -- I must be getting
Anagamin is one who has come to a point from where he cannot return. He
is not enlightened but he has seen, from far away, the possibility. He
has not reached the peak; he is still in the dark valley. But he can see
the sunlit peak; it is a reality, it is not a fiction. Now there is no
force in the world which can make him go back.
Buddha says, "But the one who has become enlightened is millions of
times more honorable than the person who has reached the point of no
And here is the sincerity of the man -- he says: "The man who has
transcended buddhahood, who has gone beyond enlightenment, is millions
of times more honorable than anyone who is enlightened." He is not
claiming that he has gone beyond; he is simply saying "I can see from my
place that faraway star."
And he was the first to see that faraway star: beyond enlightenment.
Sri Aurobindo is not sincere. He never quotes this passage, which was
his duty to quote. He tries to convince his readers and followers that
he is working to open the door beyond enlightenment. He is not even
courageous enough to declare himself... to say that he is enlightened.
He never declared that. But only indirectly... he is assuming that you
will understand that he is enlightened because he is trying to open the
door beyond enlightenment. Naturally he must be enlightened, but he is
not saying it.
To declare it needs courage, not scholarship.
He gives a hint, as if he is enlightened and he is working for others so
that they can also go beyond enlightenment. They have not even reached
enlightenment. It is hilarious, the very idea that he is trying to open
the door... his whole life's aspiration.
All his aspirations were stupid.
This is stupid because others will need that door only if they have
become enlightened. First help people to become enlightened! Rather than
helping people to become enlightened, you are devoting your whole energy
to opening the door beyond enlightenment.
And it is not only on this point that he was talking nonsense, he was
talking nonsense on many points.
Another of his aspirations was physical immortality; he was working so
that man can become physically immortal. Naturally you will think he has
become physically immortal -- these are natural assumptions. And his
followers all over the world started spreading the great news, the good
news, that Sri Aurobindo had become physically immortal: "Now he is
trying to find the right techniques so that every human being can become
physically immortal." And then one day he died.
One of my friends was living in Sri Aurobindo's ashram. I phoned him
immediately and asked him, "What happened?"
But such is blindness... he said, "Here in the ashram everybody was
shocked. But the mother of the ashram told us that he has simply gone
into a long samadhi. He is not dead; it is part of his project to find
immortality. He has found all, but just for the last, missing link he
has to go into deep samadhi, to dive deep into the ocean." And he told
me that everybody believed it!
For three days they did not cremate his body or bury his body because
they believed that he would be coming back. But in three days the body
started stinking. Then they became afraid that if the news spread that
the body was stinking...
The man was dead, he was not going to come back. After three days they
put his body into a marble grave.
Still they did not burn his body because he might come back at any
moment. The really faithful ones still believe that one day he will come
back. And the whole belief shifted towards the mother -- she was the
co-partner in the business of finding immortality for humanity. And it
looked as if she had found it, because she lived for almost a century.
It seemed probable; perhaps she had found it. And she was saying that
she was going to live forever.
Now this is the beautiful thing about spirituality: I can say to you
that I am going to live forever and tomorrow I can die -- who are you
going to argue with?
And one day the mother died. Again the same thing: they waited for three
days, and when the body started stinking, she was put into another
marble grave next to Sri Aurobindo. And the faithful ones still sit
beside the graves every day, waiting for them to return. Slowly slowly,
the number of faithful ones is lessening. The hope is turning into
hopelessness, into despair. Perhaps they have not yet found the missing
It is enough that man has an immortal soul, an immortal consciousness,
an immortal life principle.
But Sri Aurobindo was obsessed with the idea that he had to bring some
original contribution to the spiritual progress of humanity. That the
human soul is immortal is as ancient an experience as humanity itself.
Even the VEDAS, five thousand years old, declare man as amritasya putrah
-- "you are sons of immortality." Something new, something original...
and this was a great original idea, that your body can be immortal.
One cannot conceive how intelligent people can get caught up in such
Sri Aurobindo was a child, he became a young man, he became old. If the
human body is immortal, then you will have to say at what age it is
going to be immortal. As a child? As a young man? As an old man? Or as a
dead man? The last seems to be the only possibility.
"As a dead man, the human body is immortal" -- and certainly it is,
because all the elements of the human body disperse into nature. Nothing
is going to die, everything is going to merge -- the earth into earth,
the water into water, the air into air... all the elements will go to
their sources. In that sense the human body has always been immortal.
Not only the human body -- buffaloes, donkeys, monkeys, everybody is
immortal. It does not need a Sri Aurobindo to declare that his body is
Gautam Buddha is the rarest human being in that he recognizes that there
is still something more, he has not reached the end of evolution.
In Japan, they had a beautiful collection of paintings called "Ten Zen
Bulls." It is a series of paintings depicting the whole story of the
In the first, a man is looking here and there... his bull is lost. You
see forest all around, ancient trees, and the puzzled man standing there
looking, and he cannot see the bull.
In the second painting, he looks a little happier because he has seen
the bull's footprints. It is the same painting, the same forest. Just
one thing he has discovered in this painting and that is, he has seen
the bull's footprints, so he knows where he has gone.
In the third painting he moves and sees the backside of the bull --
because it is standing by the side of a tree, and the man is behind him
-- so he looks... and just the backside is shown in the painting.
In the fourth he has reached the bull; he sees the whole bull.
In the fifth he has caught hold of the bull by the horns.
In the sixth he is riding on the bull. It is difficult, the bull is
trying to throw him off.
By the eighth he is returning home, the bull is conquered.
In the ninth the bull is back in the stall and the man is playing on a
In the tenth, there is no question of the bull at all. The man is seen
in the marketplace with a bottle of wine, drunk.
Buddhists were very much embarrassed about the tenth painting. It does
not seem to be Buddhist at all -- and there is no connection, because
nine seems to be perfect; there is no need for the tenth.
So in the Middle Ages they dropped the tenth painting, and they started
talking of the nine paintings. Only recently has the tenth painting been
discovered again in the ancient scriptures with its description --
because each painting has a description of what is happening. The bull
is lost, your soul is lost -- the bull represents your soul, your
energy, your spirit. When the bull is found, you have become a realized
soul. You are singing a song on the flute -- that is the stage of
What about the tenth? That is the stage when you go beyond
enlightenment; you become ordinary again. Now there is no split between
this world and that, now there is no split between good and bad. Now all
opposites have joined together into one single harmony; that's what is
represented by the bottle of wine, a bottle of wine in the hands of a
Sri Aurobindo never talked about the Ten Bulls because that again would
have destroyed his originality. The paintings of the Ten Bulls are at
least fifteen centuries old.
The Buddhists in the Middle Ages were cowardly; they could not
understand the tenth.
But as far as I am concerned, I can see a natural growth from the ninth
to the tenth, from enlightenment to beyond enlightenment.
Enlightenment makes you special. That means something of the ego in some
subtle form still remains. Others are ignorant, you are a knower; others
are going towards hell, your paradise is guaranteed. These are the last
remnants of a dying ego. And when this ego also dies the buddha becomes
an ordinary human being, not knowing at all that he is holier than thou,
higher than thou, special in any sense -- so ordinary that even a bottle
of wine is acceptable. The whole of life is acceptable; the days and the
nights, the flowers and the thorns, the saints and the sinners -- all
are acceptable, with no discrimination at all.
This ordinariness is really the greatest flowering of human reality.
Sri Aurobindo will be remembered as a great philosopher -- should be
remembered as a great philosopher -- a man of tremendous insight into
words, scriptures; immensely articulate in bringing meanings,
interpretations to them; novel, original.... But he was not a man of
realization. And he is not sincere, he is not an authentic man.
He had a great desire to prove himself, to prove that he is greater than
Gautam Buddha. That was his ego.
To go beyond enlightenment is not to become greater than Gautam Buddha.
To go beyond enlightenment is to become an ordinary human being. To
forget all about enlightenment and all about great spiritual aspirations
and to live simply joyously, playfully... this ordinariness is the most
extraordinary phenomenon in the world.
But you will not be able to recognize him. Up to Gautam Buddha you will
be able to recognize, but as a person moves beyond Gautam Buddha, he
will start slipping out of your hands.
Those who have recognized him as
an enlightened being may remain aware of who he is, but those who come
new will not be able to recognize him at all, because he will be simply
a very innocent, ordinary human being -- just like a child collecting
seashells on the beach, running after butterflies, gathering flowers. No
division of body and soul, no division of matter and spirit, no division
of this life and that -- all that is forgotten; one has relaxed totally.
If Sri Aurobindo had known even the meaning of what it is to go beyond
realization, beyond enlightenment, he would not have even thought about
it. He was thinking that going beyond enlightenment is something greater
than Gautam Buddha. He was continuously in a inner jealousy, and of
course the jealousy was of Gautam Buddha.
And he wanted to come up with some original ideas so that he could prove
them, but he has not proved anything.
I respect Sri Aurobindo as a scholar -- but scholars are just scholars,
a dollar a dozen.
Philosophy of Physical Immortality and Christian Science
Osho on -
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi,
Muktanand & Franklin Jones
Satya Sai Baba,
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