Sunday, 23 January 2022

Pravachan - 19 - Acharya Rajneesh (Osho)


This Pravachan was delivered on 29 Sep 1976

Pravachan Audio link – Soundcloud –

Pravachan Transcript link –अष्%e2%80%8dटावक्र-महागीता-प्रव-19/

(Pravachan No 18 is a Question and Answer session. All even numbered pravachans are Q&A sessions. Therefore, these have been left out for the time being – these will be taken up after completion of all expositions of Ashtavakra Gita)

janaka uvAca |

hantAtmajnasya dhIrasya khElatO bhOgalIlayA |

na hi saMsAravAhIkairmUDhaiH saha samAnatA || 4 : 1 || 60 ||


yatpadaM prEpsavO dInAH SakrAdyAH sarvadEvatAH |

ahO tatra sthitO yOgI na harshamupagacchati || 4 : 2 || 61 ||


tajjnasya puNyapApAbhyAM sparSO hyantarna jAyatE |

na hyAkASasya dhUmEna dRSyamAnApi sangatiH || 4 : 3 || 62 ||


AtmaivEdaM jagatsarvaM jnAtaM yEna mahAtmanA |

yadRcchayA vartamAnaM taM nishEddhuM kshamEta kaH || 4 : 4 || 63 ||


AbrahmastambaparyantE bhUtagrAmE caturvidhE |

vijnasyaiva hi sAmarthyamicchAnicchAvivarjanE || 4 : 5 || 64 ||


AtmAnamadvayaM kaScijjAnAti jagadISvaram |

yadvEtti tat sa kurutE na bhayaM tasya kutracit || 4 : 6 || 65 ||


जनक उवाच ।

हन्तात्मज्ञस्य धीरस्य खेलतो भोगलीलया ।

न हि संसारवाहीकैर्मूढैः सह समानता ।। 4 : 1 ।। 60 ||


यत्पदं प्रेप्सवो दीनाः शक्राद्याः सर्वदेवताः ।

अहो तत्र स्थितो योगी न हर्षमुपगच्छति ।। 4 : 2 ।। 61 ||


तज्ज्ञस्य पुण्यपापाभ्यां स्पर्शो ह्यन्तर्न जायते ।

न ह्याकाशस्य धूमेन दृश्यमानापि सङ्गतिः ।। 4 : 3 ।। 62 ||


आत्मैवेदं जगत्सर्वं ज्ञातं येन महात्मना ।

यदृच्छया वर्तमानं तं निषेद्धुं क्षमेत कः ।। 4 : 4 ।। 63 ||


आब्रह्मस्तम्बपर्यन्ते भूतग्रामे चतुर्विधे ।

विज्ञस्यैव हि सामर्थ्यमिच्छानिच्छाविवर्जने ।। 4 : 5 ।। 64 ||


आत्मानमद्वयं कश्चिज्जानाति जगदीश्वरम् ।

यद्वेत्ति तत् स कुरुते न भयं तस्य कुत्रचित् ।। 4 : 6 ।। 65 ||


(In the book ‘Ashtavakra Samhita’ by Swami Nityaswarupananda, these 6 Slokas are given as Chapter 4; but, according to the transcript of the Pravachan, all these are given sequentially (60 - 65) – without any chapters. Accordingly, both the systems of numbering have been adopted here.)


Ashtavakra conducted a difficult (kaThin) test (parIkshA) of Janaka, who was like a just born (awakened) Knower of Self (Atma jnAnI), just now born (baby), just now become illuminated (kiraN). Janaka had hardly any time to come to grip (grasp the significance) (samhal) (of the situation). The waves of wonderment (AScarya) were still billowing. He has not been able to comprehend (bharOsA) whatever happened - it takes time to comprehend; the greater the event – unknown event – the more time it takes (to comprehend). Janaka was just then emotional (gad gad) – fresh waves were rising in his heart. He was not able to comprehend – not able to believe - whether, whatever happened, is real or not – whether it had indeed happened to him – whether it could happen so suddenly. Janaka –is as yet filled with deep (gahan) wonderment (ahObhAva), and Ashtavakra is conducting a harsh (kaThOr) test on him – like conducting examination of a new-born child. But there is grace (karuNA) in the harshness; it is in that harshness, that the whole future (bhavishya) of Janaka is dependent. And the test should be conducted only at that very moment (tatshaN) (of happening); otherwise, if there is any delay, then the freshness of knowledge (jnAn) might come to end (samApt), and then it will become difficult to conduct any test.

Try to understand this – when the knowledge is fresh, still fluid (taral), it could be reshaped (nayE rUp), it can be given a new framework (DhAncA) – like a fresh sprout (ankur) which can be bent (jhuk) anyway, given any direction; but when it becomes a tree, it is impossible to bend it – it will break. That is why, the right opportunity (avasar) is when the knowledge is born (arises); if it is delayed, then the surprise (AScarya) element would be over, and the knowledge would become set (ThOs) - fluidity (taral) lost; the fire (of knowledge) would become extinguished (vilIn); the lava that was flowing out, would solidify (jam) and become rock (patthar). Then, testing is very difficult, it would be a waste, because, then, he (guru) has to pull it (the structure) down (tOD phOD). That is why Ashtavakra did not wait for even a moment – even while Janaka was still in a state of wonderment, he started testing him.

In these Sutras, Janaka gives reply (uttar). Janaka is disclosing the state of his heart – the reply is very unique. Janaka is not at all angry; if he becomes angry (krOdh) or depressed (udvigna), he would have failed. It is not a matter of what Ashtavakra spoke, and how the test was conducted, but (it is about) whether he (Janaka) should look at the grace (karuNa) or the harshness (kaThOr) (of the test). If he (Janaka) sees harshness (in the test), then he would have forgotten the grace; that would mean that the ego (ahaMkAr) of Janaka is not yet dead – only ego recognises harshness. Where ego is gone (lost) (khO), then, only grace is felt (jnAt). Then, even if the guru places a sword (talvAr) on the neck (gardan), it would seem (feel) like a flower garland (hAr). Then even if the guru kills the disciple, he (disciple) would be ready for that.  Death at the hands of guru – what could be more auspicious than that? What better life could there be? It would be a guru’s greatest compassion (anukampA) that he beheads the disciple, so that he becomes free from the cage. Even if the guru bestows death, if there is no ego, then only grace would be felt (seen) (darSan); even if the guru gives life-beyond-death (mahA jIvan), if there is ego, the disciple would doubt  (sandEha) it.

A thousand doubts could arise in the mind of Janaka. The first doubt could be – ‘am I doubted?’ If such a doubt arises, then conviction (SraddhA) (of the disciple) is lost (khO); then, dialogue (saMvAd) between guru and disciple would get disrupted, the bridge would be broken. The second doubt could be – is Ashtavakra envious (IrshyA) of me? Whether seeing the advent (prAdurbhAva) of knowledge in me, has he become envious of me? Whether seeing the revolution happening (so fast) in the life of disciple, is there irritation (jalan) in his mind? If such a feeling (bhAva) arises, then the disciple is no longer disciple; then, considerable (thousands of miles of) distance has developed between guru and disciple. Then, it would become impossible to convey each other’s thoughts. Then, they have would belong to different worlds.

No such doubts arose (in the mind of Janaka) - that guru is doubting him, or envious of him; Janaka did not try to justify (paksha) himself. Otherwise, normally, when such doubts, of being tested, arise, one gets ready to secure (justify) (surakshA) his position; he advances arguments, starts disputing (vivAd), advances a lot of theories (siddhAnt) to justify himself. If Janaka had tried to justify himself, then he would have been proved wrong. A desire to justify oneself arises, in one’s subconscious (acEtan), when one inwardly knows that he is wrong. The notion of self-justification (Atma rakshA) arises only when one knows that he is wrong, because of the fear that others might come to know (of his being wrong), so that his inner secrets are not disclosed, so that the guru does not lift the screen and make him look naked (nagna). Janaka did not have such thoughts.  

If you hear the Sutra of Janaka, you would be wonder struck (cakit). The test was very harsh (kaThOr) and guru’s eyes were sharp like the sword’s edge (dhAr); the guru did not show even a little mercy (raham) – he was merciless (bEraham); he (guru) knocked utmost, he knocked at all the doors, so that he (Janaka) is not able to escape. He (Ashtavakra) closed the door of enjoyments (bhOg) first, then the door of renunciation (tyAg); he did not leave any scope for escaping. Guru tightened (grip) utmost, from all sides; there was no possibility of darkness existing inside Janaka; otherwise, these Sutras would not have come out. There was no scope for any darkness.

Janaka gave such a reply, wherein there is absolutely no notion of self-protection (justification), wherein there are no lines (saraNI) of argument (tark). It is not correct to say that it was a reply – whatever reply he gave, was indeed an echo (prati-dhvani), not a reply. Guru had placed a mirror (darpaN) in front of him (Janaka), and Janaka showed (opened) his heart in front of the mirror; these Sutras are the ones seen in the mirror. He did not try to hide under a veil (OT); he did not express any doubt by way of astonishment; he did not bring any arguments. Janaka gave reply, as if guru had not tested him at all.


janaka uvAca |

hantAtmajnasya dhIrasya khElatO bhOgalIlayA |

na hi saMsAravAhIkairmUDhaiH saha samAnatA || 4 : 1 || 60 ||

First Sutra – Janaka says – ‘Oh! (hanta) A serene person (dhIr purusha), a knower of Self (Atma jnAnI), playing (khEl) the game of enjoyments (bhOga lIlA), can never (kadApi) be equated (barAbarI) with those foolish (mUD) people who carry (haul) (DhOnA) the World (samsAr) on their heads (sir)’.

The very first word – ‘Oh’ (hanta) – in this, he has poured out (uNDEl) his whole conviction (SraddhA). ‘hanta’ is a very lovely word. The full form of the word is found in Jainism – ‘arihant’; in Buddhism, the form is ‘arhat’. Hindus use the short form ‘hanta’. The meaning of ‘hanta’, ‘arihant’, ‘arhat’ is - ‘one who has conquered his enemies (Satru) – desire (lust) (kAma), anger (krOdha), greed (lObha), infatuation (mOha), enjoyments (bhOga), renunciation (tyAga), this world (iha lOka) and the other world (para lOka)’; ‘one who has conquered (vijaya) all his aspirations (AkAnkshA), one who has attained (upalabdha) the state beyond all aspirations (nishkAnkshA) – he is ‘arihant’.

Janaka makes the declaration (udghOshaNA) by addressing Ashtavakra as ‘arihant’, showing his total conviction (SraddhA). There is no greater word than this in the language. Arihant means ‘bhagavan’, the last stage of consciousness (caitanya), beyond which there is nothing. Whatever is to be removed, has been removed; whatever is to be felled (girAnA), has been felled; whatever is to be erased (miTAnA), has been erased; whatever is to be won (jItnA), has been won. Now, there is nothing left – he has become an ocean of pure consciousness. Such a state is called ‘arihant’.

There are many more valuable meanings for the word ‘hanta’, but we use it in only one way, in the ordinary language. When someone kills himself, we say ‘Atma hantA’. ‘hanta’ means, one who has erased himself, one who has ended himself, in whom, there is no ‘I’ – ego (ahaMkAr), one who has totally finished (samApta) himself, in whom, even his outline (rUp rEkhA) – name, address – is not left, one who has become like void (SUnyavat), one who has become the Great Sunya (mahA SUnya), one who has attained liberation (nirvANa), one who has killed himself (suicided) (AtmaghAt).

What you call suicide (AtmaghAt) is not really suicide – it is only the killing of the body (SarIr). If someone kills himself by shooting, we should not call it ‘suicide’, because ‘AtmA’ does not die, the ego does not die. The fact is that only because of his ego that he erased his own body; ego was feeling hurt (cOT), there was pressure (dAb), it appeared difficult for him to survive, he was becoming insolvent (divAlA), his wife has run away, he has become defeated (parAjit), he has lost the election – therefore he committed suicide. We should not call it ‘Atma hatyA’, but ‘killing (hatyA) of body (SarIr) (dEha). But, the mind and ego are still there. He will take birth, it will not take much time; he will be born in some other body.   

 But, Knower of Self (jnAnI) is, in fact, one who has killed himself (Atma hantA). He erases himself – totally. On his ‘being’ erased, it is then, ‘being’ of paramAtmA. When you get lost, only then the Lord comes into ‘being’. Then, you are not there, but only the Lord. Your meeting with Lord will never happen; you will keep wandering till the time you are searching for Him, because till the time you keep searching, you will remain ‘you’ only.

Yesterday, a youth came from England and told me – ‘I have come to meet you; I have a lot of faith in Jesus, I believe in Jesus totally. Can you make my faith more firm (dRD)? Can you make my faith more strong (mazbUt)? If so, I am ready to become renunciate (sanyast)’. I told him – ‘Then, I should make it clear to you, because, to make one’s faith more strong, means making yourself strong (mazbUt). You think that you have faith in Jesus, but, is there any use for you with Jesus? You (really) want that your faith should become strong. Until all your states of mind (bhAva) of ‘I’ are erased, you can have no relation (sambandh) with Jesus. If you leave it me, my whole effort would be to get rid of your faith totally, because, you are standing on the support of your faith. When all your supports are taken down, when you yourself fall down – wherever you fall, there itself you have been put on the cross – there, your relation with Christ begins. Till you are a Christian, there can be no relation with Christ. If you leave it to me, I shall get your Christ totally erased from you, because you are full of your Christ. When you are finished, when your Christ, your Christianity, your Church, your scriptures are finished, and you – the foundation of all – get lost, then whatever manifests (prAdurbhAva) – whether you want to call it Christ, Buddha or Jin – you may call it by whatever name – it is just a name. Neither the name of Jesus was Christ, nor Buddha’s name was Buddha, nor Mahavir’s name was Jin – they are the names of state (avasthA) of consciousness (caitanya) – the name ultimate state. Jin means, one who has won over. Buddha means, one who is awakened. Christ means ‘one who has gone through Cross’ and yet did not die – one who has gone through death and attained the Ultimate Life (mahA jIvan). The cross has pierced through, and yet nothing has been lost; whatever is eternal, it remained, whatever is useless, has been lost. One who died on the Cross was Jesus – one who remained after Cross, he is Christ – that is the story of (Christ) reborn (punarujjIvan).

‘hanta’ means one who has wiped out himself, erased himself, who has choked (ghONT) his ego by his own hands – choked the throat. Then, we remain as limitless (asIm), as infinite (ananta), as eternal (SASvat) – ever living (sanAtan).

Janaka did it right, when responding (to Ashtavakra); by using the word (hanta), he has said it all. He said it all – ‘you will not be able to deceive (dhOkA) me, you will not be able make me annoyed; no matter how many tests you conduct on me, I will not forget that you are the attained One (pahunc); because of your harshness (kaThOr), I cannot think that you might have envy (IrshyA) towards me; when you are not all there, where is question of envy, where is question of ego, where is the question of harshness?

Therefore, he used ‘hanta’ as the first word. And in that word, he said it all; the remaining portion of Sutra is the amplification (vyAkhyA); in the remainder of Sutra, he had expanded the subject.

hantAtmajnasya dhIrasya khElatO bhOgalIlayA |

na hi saMsAravAhIkairmUDhaiH saha samAnatA ||

‘O hanta, A serene person (dhIr purusha), a knower of Self (Atma jnAnI), playing (khEl) the game of enjoyments (bhOga lIlA), can never (kadApi) be equated (barAbarI) with those foolish (mUD) people who carry (haul) (DhOnA) the World (samsAr) on their heads (sir)’.

(Janaka) did not take the testing in his individual (vyaktigat) capacity (rUp). Let us see the response. In the response, he did not say – ‘you are comparing ‘me’ with ignorant (ajnAni) people’. He did not bring in ‘me’ therein. He did not at all raise ‘I’; he did not associate ‘me’ there. The response is totally impersonal (nirvaiMyaktik). He says - A serene person, a knower of Self, playing the game of enjoyments, can never be equated with those foolish people who carry (haul) the World on their heads’.

Both – knower of the Self and the ignorant – are there in the World – they are standing in the market (bAzAr); but there is difference in their standing. Maybe the place (where they stand) is same, but their condition (sthiti) is different. The ignorant is carrying (the weight) on his head, but the knower of Self, has made it a bundle and put it down on the chariot (rath). Again, I shall relate the story, because telling it again and again is very important.


An Emperor is returning, sitting in his chariot, after hunting trip. On the way, he sees a beggar carrying a bundle on his head. He seats him (beggar) in the chariot, telling that he would drop him wherever he wants to go. He sat down in the chariot shuddering (sakapakAtA) – very frightened. He is not even able to express his hesitation to sit in the chariot, for the fear of annoying the emperor. He was sitting in the throne (in the chariot) by shrinking (sikuD) himself, frightened such that, because of him, it (the seat) should not become dirty. ‘Me – a petty person – to sit in the King’s chariot!’ But, he was carrying the bundle on his head. After sometime, the Emperor tells him – ‘you, idiot, keep the bundle down; why are you carrying it on your head?’ He said – ‘No, Maharaj, is it something small that you have shown pity and seated me in the chariot? And, to keep the bundle also in the chariot, no Sir? This will be too much. That will be ill-mannered (aSishTAcAr). Agreed that I am a petty person, but I have this much intelligence. I shall carry the bundle on my head only, whatever you say. I have sat down here, that is more than enough – actually, I should not have sat down. I sat down fearing that you might get annoyed. My legs are made for walking. I am a poor man, this chariot is not for me. I feel very uncomfortable. Therefore, let me keep the bundle on my head. Should I burden your chariot further – no, it is not possible for me’.

Now, you are seated in the chariot, whether you keep the bundle on the head or on the chariot – both are same. Janaka says – ‘Knower of Self is seated in the chariot, so also the ignorant. The ignorant continues to keep the bundle on his head; the Knower of Self has put it down. ‘Knower of Self can never be equated with those foolish people who carry (haul) the World on their heads’. Why? Playing the game of enjoyments - For the Knower of Self, it has all become a game (lIlA), everything is just a play. He participates (sammilit) in the world like that of a game. He has no taste (ras) in it. In his mind, there is no (attitude of) partisan (paksha) or opponent (vipaksha). There is no like or dislike left in his mind.  He participates at the discretion (marzI) of Lord (prabhu). Those Sutras will come later. The world has become a game for him.

You can sit in your shop in two ways (Dhang). One way is that of ignorant – you think that the shop is your life (livelihood) (jIvan). The other way is that of Knower of Self wherein you know that it is a game; it is necessary; playing is essential, it is part of life, but it is just a game. Both are sitting in the shop. Both are sitting in the same position. But their state of mind is different. One is just a witness, because it is all a game. The other has become enjoyer; he has become the ‘doer’, because everything is very serious.

Ignorant takes the World seriously (gambhIr); but Knower of Self takes it laughingly – the distance necessary for a smile (muskurAhaT). When wife dies, ignorant leaves the dead body at the cremation ground, but he weeps, screams, shouts. Knower of Self also leaves the dead body at the cremation ground – a game has finished; one drama has come to end, the screen dropped, nothing happens by screaming and shouting. Inside, he is a witness – he remains so. His state of being the viewer (drashTA) has not been lost even for a moment. This is the difference.

 (It is considered that) a knower (jnAnI) is a knower only if he runs away from the World – if so, it would mean that he is taking the World seriously, that is why he is running away. He has not been able to look at the World – his sight has not become deep enough. He did not get into the interior of life. He did not understand that he is neither an enjoyer (bhOktA) nor a doer (kartA) – just a witness only.

In America, the first centenary of Lincoln was celebrated. A person played the part of Lincoln – for a whole year in the whole of America. He face was somewhat similar to that of Lincoln. He was given the role so that he can play the role of Lincoln. The troupe toured the whole of America for one whole year, in every town and village. That person was playing the role of Lincoln for a whole year. But, slowly, people started having doubt that there is some problem with the man. He would wear the clothes of Lincoln – it was essential to wear during the play – but he started wearing outside also. Even outside the stage, he would walk like Lincoln. Lincoln was limping a little – he also started walking with a limp. Lincoln used to talk with a little stutter. He also started talking with a stutter. People were wondering whether it is some joke. Initially, people thought that he is joking. But, then, people became serious, because he had assumed himself to have become Lincoln. After year, when he came home, he had totally become Lincoln. Having played the role for a whole year, he had forgotten that he was playing a role. He had assumed himself to be Abraham Lincoln. In regard to him, it had become a famous byword (lOkOkti) that he will not agree (to become normal) unless he is also shot dead – the way Lincoln was shot dead; unless he is also killed, he will not change. All sorts of cures, treatments were tried. He was shown to physicians, psychologists. All became tired trying to explain to him. When they were explaining to him, he would be sitting laughing. He would say – ‘you are talking very funny. Are you explaining to me that I am not Abraham Lincoln? Is your mind stable? What kind of deficiency you see in me?’ There was no deficiency in him; he had completed playing the role. He was walking, talking exactly like Lincoln; he had even grown beard exactly like him. Finally, they became tired of him; they said – ‘this is the limit; his belief has become very deep rooted’.

Then a new machine had been invented (IzAd) in America, which was used in the Courts, to detect a lie – ‘lie-detector’. They would make the persons (to be tested) to stand on the machine and would start asking questions. They, first, ask such questions for which wrong answers cannot be given – like, asking the time, by showing the clock. If the time is 8.30, he would say so – how can anyone say otherwise, when the clock is in front of you? They would ask him the colour – whether red or green; he would say ‘red’ – how can he tell a lie? They would keep a book in front of him and ask him whether it is Quran or Bible. He would say that it is Bible – how can he tell a lie? Like that, they ask five-six questions, in which it become inescapable to tell the truth, where there is no scope for lying. Underneath, the machine is making a graph – like a cardiogram – a similar graph is made. It tells that his heart rate is going normal. Then, suddenly, they ask him whether he stole; in his heart, a voice comes which says that he did, because he actually stole. But, there he slips (gaTak) and says ‘no’. The cardiogram machine underneath, records a shock, because, for the first time, he wants to tell something, but tells something; therefore, it got a shock. There is a conflict between heart-beat and breathing – there is a duel; and the duel is caught; there, he is caught.

Therefore, someone suggested that he (one who played role of Lincoln) should undergo lie-detector test. He was tested. All doctors who attended him, gathered; the family gathered. That person also got tired; because every day, everyone would explain to him. That day, having become tired of daily testing, he thought – ‘I am indeed Abraham Lincoln, but what can I do, because the people are not ready to believe me; let the people talk whatever; I will tell that I am not Lincoln, so that the matter is brought to end here’. He was made to stand on lie-detector; five six questions were asked for which he gave correct answer. Then they asked – ‘Are you Abraham Lincoln?’ He said – ‘No’. Underneath, the lie-detector indicated that he was telling a lie – such a strong conviction (bharOsA)! Though he is telling that he is not Lincoln, the lie-detector tells that he is Lincoln.

We are also in a similar state – through many lives. He played the role of Abraham Lincoln for one year only, but through many lives we have been ‘doer’ (kartA) and enjoyer (bhOktA). No lie-detector can catch this. Even if one is made to stand on lie-detector and made to say that he is witness, the lie-detector will tell that he is telling a lie. He is doer-enjoyer – not at all a witness. Our habits (Adat) have become so prolonged and ancient (prAcIn) – it has become archaic (purAtan) – it is going on for centuries.

When a person awakens (jAg) he does not run anywhere – where can he go? When awakened, only this much of difference is there – the difference is very small and very large – both simultaneously. This cannot be known to anyone at all – it is such a difference. If you stand in front of guru, there will be glimpse (jhalak) in his (guru’s) mirror; no one else will know at all. Probably, even your wife may not recognise, as to when you became a witness from doer. When – at which moment – at which second, that revolution took place – even your husband may not be able to recognise; even your children will not know. Even those who are very near to your heart, may not come to know, because this revolution is very subtle – subtlest of subtle. Such a fine (bArIk) revolution, either you know or your guru. No one else can recognise. Because, you will remain as it is. If you are shop-keeper, that day – after revolution – you will go to shop, sit there, do business as usual; then come back home and pet your children, you might bring flowers or ice-cream for wife – you will do all these. Everything will keep going normally. Maybe, things may go better than before, because a deep understanding is there now; now you would not like to give unnecessary trouble to others. But, inside, a revolution has taken place; now you are far – far away. Now, you are performing actions, but there is no seriousness (gambhIrtA); now it is a drama; now you are awake, and  ‘Ram Leela’ is going on; now you have come to senses (developed understanding) (hOS). This understanding can be recognised by another person of understanding only. That is why there is a need for a guru, because only guru can be (become) witness (sAkshI).

Janaka said – ‘A serene person, a knower of Self, playing the game of enjoyments, can never be equated with those foolish people who carry (haul) the World on their heads’.

You can see, in the reply, he did not bring in ‘I’; if even a little ignorance is left in him, he would have said thus – ‘what are you saying? Are you equating me with foolish people of world’? There could be minor difference (in what he said) – ‘you are equating me with foolish people of the world. I am Knower; knowledge has dawned in me’. No, he did not raise the topic at all. For one, in whom knowledge has dawned, his ‘I’ has become extinct (asta). There was no reason to raise the subject of ‘I’. Now, he talked straight on the doctrines (siddhAnta). He talked straight – about the Truth, about the Sutra.

hantAtmajnasya dhIrasya khElatO bhOgalIlayA |

‘O hanta, O arihant! A knower plays the game of enjoyments; he does not carry (DhOtA) them (on the head); the world is frolic-some (krIDA), it is not action (kRtya)’.

An ignorant person, even when playing a game, gets entangled (ulajh) in it, becomes serious (gambhIr). A knower, even while performing actions (kRtya), does not get entangled, he remains awake; he keeps in mind that ‘my nature (svabhAva) is that of witness (sAkshI) only’. The same thought (tune) (dun) – ‘I am witness’ - keeps running (playing) (in his mind) day and night (aharniS). The state – ‘I am witness’ – is always present in the background (pRshThabhUmi). Everything keeps happening – birth, death, failure, success, regard, disregard – all these keep happening; sometimes he is in a palace, sometimes in a hut (jhOpDI) – but the inner residing Knower continues to know that all these are just game, a play, a frolic.

Have you seen – you go for walk in the morning in the same path, you go to office in the afternoon, by the same path; the path is same, you are same, the trees standing on the side of the road, the Sun, the sky are same, your neighbours are same – everything is same; but when you go to office, there is a tension (tanAva) in your gait (cAl); then there is worry in your mind. When you go for walk in the morning, there is no worry, nor there is tension, because you are not going anywhere – it is just a play; when you go for walk, to breathe fresh air, you can return by any route, there is no destination as such, which is to be reached. You are not going for any particular place, you are going only for a walk. When you go for walk, there is joy (mauj); but when you are on any job, then the joy vanishes.

A knower makes all his actions into game, and an ignorant makes even a game into an action – only this much of difference. For a knower, even action becomes acting (abhinaya), but for ignorant, even acting becomes an action – he holds on to acting with seriousness. A knower does not hold on to anything in life, he does not leave away anything. There is no question of holding on or leaving. Whatever comes, whatever happens, he allows it to happen; he just keeps watching.


yatpadaM prEpsavO dInAH SakrAdyAH sarvadEvatAH |

ahO tatra sthitO yOgI na harshamupagacchati || 4 : 2 || 61 ||

‘Seeking (mAng) which position (pada), Indra and the other celestials (dEvatA), become miserable (dIna); a Yogi, even while being in that position, does not feel elated (harsh) – this is surprising (ahO)’.

Even Indra and other celestials, become miserable, seeking.....  to get more and more; even though they appear to possess all, yet, they seek; seeking does not stop; miserableness does not end; inferiority (complex) (hInatA) does not go away; even when one is in a great position, his inferiority remains – that he should get greater one, he should have a little more power, he should have a more expansive empire, the treasury should be more large – there is no end to it (seeking); an inferior, remains inferior.

‘Seeking which position, Indra and the other celestials, become miserable; a Yogi, even while being in that position, does not feel elated – it is surprising’.

O hanta, it is surprising that the Yogi is sitting there – in that supreme state (avasthA) seeking which celestials are becoming miserable; even then, (Yogi) does not feel elated; his entire inferiority has vanished (khO).

We must understand this – Till you feel happiness (sukhI), you might also become miserable (dukhI). Happiness – misery are together like day and night. You cannot have just one (of them). You might want to have only happiness (harsh) to be there, and misery to go away; you will not be able to do this - that there be only day, and no night at all. If you save day, night also will be there; if you save only happiness, misery will also be there; if you save birth, death will also be there; if you save friends, enemies will also be there; you will not be able to get out of duality (dvandva). The day you see that both are joined – two sides of the same coin – that day the whole coin will fall down (from your hand). Yogi is sitting in that position, which even the greatest celestials aspire for; yet, they never get happiness.

‘Even when he is situated in that position, he does not at all feel elated’. Why? Because, whatever is obtained in that position, was natural (svabhAva) to that position – what to feel elated about it? Whatever one was to get, that has been obtained; whatever one, mistakenly (bhUl) thought to have lost, that was got; it was never lost – what is there to feel elated? What kind of elation when obtaining one’s own belongings (sampatti)? Janaka says – ‘it is surprising that, even after obtaining everything, Yogi does not feel elated’; Yogi is never elated.

Do not consider elation (joy) (harsh) to be the meaning of bliss (Anand). Joy is a feverish (jvar-grast) condition; joy also makes you tired; you will not be able remain joyful for long. In joy also, there arise waves – like waves of worry, there are waves of joy (elation). Like the waves of misery, so also there are waves of joy; the difference is that you do not like the waves of misery – you like the waves of joy – that is all. But both are waves; in both of them the mind gets disturbed (vikshubdha); in both of them, the mind gets shattered (TUT), fractured (khaND); your integrity (akhaNDtA) is lost (scattered) (bikhar); your peaceful (SAnta) lake (jhIl) has become turbulent (khO); your mirror gets covered (Dhank) (by dirt).

tatra sthitO yOgI na harsham upagacchati ahO – Janaka says – ‘O Lord (prabhu)! It is surprising that, to attain which (position) - the whole world is running a race, people journey through life after life, search for eternity (ananta) goes on,  endlessly (ananta) – having attained that – even after being seated in that throne (siMhAsan) - Yogi does not know any joy. He continues to remain a witness. His state of witness is not lost even then (there). There are no waves at all. The sky remains clear – neither there are the clouds of misery nor joy – there is no cloud covering.’


tajjnasya puNyapApAbhyAM sparSO hyantarna jAyatE |

na hyAkASasya dhUmEna dRSyamAnApi sangatiH || 4 : 3 || 62 ||

‘One who has known that state (position) (pada), his interior (antaHkaraNa) is not touched (sparSa) by virtue (puNya) and vice (pApa) - like the sky (AkASa) is not affected by the smoke (dhUE) seen therein.’

Have you seen? You ignite the fireplace, and the smoke arises; the smoke spreads in the sky, but it does make the sky dirty, it does not even touch it. So much of clouds arise, all are smoke only; then, they vanish again. How many times clouds arose in the sky, and how many times they vanished – the sky does not become dirty; neither it (sky) becomes clean because of white clouds, nor it becomes dirty because of dark clouds.

Janaka says – ‘One who has known that state, his interior becomes like that of sky’.

Like the sky remains untouched and unaffected (kuArA) by smoke, similarly, the sky of witness-state (bhAva) of Knower, does not get clouded by anything. Its effulgence (prabhA), it inner flame (jyOti), burns without smoke. Neither palace makes him rich, nor hut makes him poor; even while seated in the throne, gold, therein, does not touch him; nor poverty (dIntA) touches him, even when roaming the streets like a beggar.


AtmaivEdaM jagatsarvaM jnAtaM yEna mahAtmanA |

yadRcchayA vartamAnaM taM nishEddhuM kshamEta kaH || 4 : 4 || 63 ||

‘That great souled one (mahAtmA) who has known the entire universe (jagat) as (one’s) Self (AtmA), who can stop that living (vartamAn) knower, from acting according (anusAr) to his will (spontaneously) (sphuraNA)?’

These all are unique Sutras. – ‘one who has become like the sky, which cannot be touched by smoke.....’; ‘that mahAtmA who has known the entire universe to be one’s Self.....’

Once the ‘I’ is gone, then there is no difference.  Once a fence (bAguD) is erected around your house, your neighbours have become different from you. Then, when you remove the fence, or destroy the fence, that very moment, the whole Earth has become one – Earth was always one, you have just removed the intervening fence.

‘I’ is the fence; we have drawn a border (sImA) – a lakshmaN rEkhA - of ‘I’ all around us, beyond which we do not go, nor we allow anyone else to enter inside. The day you erase this lakshmaN rEkhA, there is no inside or outside – inside and outside have become one; outside has become inside, inside has become outside. You made a house, raised a wall of bricks, then the sky has become outside, there is some sky inside. Any day you break down the wall, then, you cannot call the inside sky as inside, nor you can call the outside sky as outside. Inside and outside, in regard to the wall, is meaningful. But, when the wall has fallen down, where is inside and outside? How to call (anything) inside or outside? The moment the wall falls down, the inside and outside have also fallen. Only One remains.

‘That mahAtmA who has known the entire universe as (one’s) Self, who can stop that living knower, from acting according to his will?’

yadRcchayA vartamAnaM taM nishEddhuM kshamEta kaH – who is capable? How can anyone stop him?

One has to deeply understand the (meaning) of this Sutra. Janaka says – now, who can stop? When the ‘I’ has become one, who can stop? Whatever is happening, is happening; whatever will happen, will happen. Now, there is no one to stop; now, it is as one wishes. Whether you call it fortune (destiny) (providence) (bhAgya), law (vidhi), paramAtmA – whatever name you want to give it; now, whatever he makes you do, that will happen. Now, nothing of one’s own making will happen. ‘We’ are not there, we are gone; now, whatever happens, we will keep watching. If you keep me in the palace, we will remain there; if you snatch the palace, we will watch that - snatching of the palace.

There is story in the life of Janaka; a guru, after having failed to get one of his disciples into samAdhi, sent him to Janaka. One who is not able to proceed towards samAdhi, must have been very egotistical (ahaMkArI). He said – ‘Should I go to Janaka? Janaka will teach me? Let him first learn for himself, to become renunciate; he is staying in a palace; he is living in pleasure (rAg rang); what can he teach me? But, since you are asking me to go to him, I shall go, to obey the command of the guru’. He went (to Janaka), but not willingly, as if under compulsion (mazbUri), because he had to obey the command of guru, but he was stiff (akaD). When he reached the court of Janaka, there were frolics, music was being played, dancers were dancing, wine was being served, the courtiers were joyful (mast). Janaka was seated in the midst. He (the disciple) laughed. He said to himself – ‘I know beforehand; now he does not have even his own wisdom (bOdh). What is he doing sitting here? If he is a knower, then who is ignorant? Am I to learn from him? The situation seems to be reverse (ulti); I can teach him something’. Janaka got up and greeted him, and prostrated before him; he told him - ‘please take some rest. After taking rest, in the morning, you may ask your query (jijnAsA)’. He said – ‘what query? What have you thought of yourself? What kind of query? You think, I would ask you query?’ Janaka responded – ‘It is up to you, whether you want to query or not; just now, take some rest, have food’. Janaka made arrangements for food and rest. Janaka came to know clearly what that person’s problem (aDcan) is, and why his guru has sent him. He (the disciple) had got out of enjoyments (bhOg), he had become renunciate (tyAgI); it is difficult to take a person, given to enjoyments, towards meditation; but it is much more difficult with a renunciate. The problem of ego, in proceeding towards meditation, becomes much more strong (pronounced) in a renunciate – it becomes like steel; the ego of a renunciate becomes indestructible (stAlin); it is difficult to bend (jhukAnA) it. Janaka observed him. He washed the feet of the renunciate. He (the disciple) became stiffer; he thought to himself – ‘I know beforehand, what this fool will be able to make me understand? He is washing my feet. He himself is becoming eager to learn from me. In the morning, he will query me’. He slept peacefully, whatever little doubt he had in his mind – about learning something from Janaka - had also vanished; the ego derives a lot more pleasure in teaching others. Ego is not willing to learn. If one gets an opportunity to be a guru, the ego becomes willing immediately. It is very difficult to become a disciple; there are a lot of difficulties.

In the morning, Janaka woke him up coming to his door-step saying – ‘let us go for bathing, there is a river flowing behind (the palace), let us take bath there’. Both of them went for bath. The renunciate had nothing but two loin cloths – one he was wearing, and the other he kept at the bank. Janaka also went along with him. When they were bathing, the renunciate shouted – ‘Janaka, your palace is on fire; the whole palace is engulfed in smoke’. Janaka said – ‘why you say ‘my palace’? Just say, palace is on fire; what is mine in it? Neither we brought it along with us, nor will we take it back’. The renunciate said – ‘it is for you to worry or not about your palace. But, what happened to my loin cloth?’ He ran to fetch the loin cloth, because he had kept it on the wall of the palace. Subsequently, Janaka said to him – ‘Think of it, the palace is engulfed in smoke, and I am saying that I came (born) without the palace, and I shall go without it. Therefore, whether the palace is there or destroyed, what difference does it make? But, I notice that you could not become seer even for your loin cloth. Therefore, the question is not how much riches you have – whether it is in crores or just a cowrie (a petty coin) – but what is your attitude towards it – whether it is that of enjoyer or that of a witness’. It is said that the fire was set at the behest of Janaka. This was the teaching of Janaka for that idiotic (nAsamajh) rencunciate.

‘That mahAtmA who has known the entire universe as (one’s) Self, who can stop that living knower, from acting according to his will?’ Who can stop? There is none left. Janaka says – ‘now, I do not exist. O gurudev, whom are you testing? The one who could be tested, has already gone. Now, you cannot even say to me – ‘why are you doing so, why are you not doing so’ – because who is there to regulate (niyantraNa)? I am not there; now whatever happens, happens.’ This is the supreme state (avasthA).

Have you seen? Small children are not subject to sins; in the courts, they cannot be charged, they cannot be punished, because they do not have the wisdom (bOdh). There is no punishment for those who are insane (pAgal), because they do not have wisdom. Buddhas are not punished, because they have gone beyond wisdom. It is the in-between man who has problem (uljhan). Neither there is sin for persons below or above. You cannot call animals as sinners, because they should have the wisdom to incur sin. But, you also cannot call Buddha as sinner, because their wisdom is such, that they have become witness – there is no doership (kartA) in them.

I have heard – Mulla Nasruddin was basking in the Sun, in a wintry morning, outside his home. His son was doing homework; he was twisting his ears; he was abusing him. He was chiding him – ‘You rascal, which idiot has given birth to you – you, son of idiot (ullU)’. There was a Pandit in his neighbourhood. He heard the abuses; he thought that it is the ultimate nonsense; he is abusing himself – ‘son of idiot’? Pandit told Mulla – ‘whom are you abusing? You are abusing yourself’. Mulla said – ‘the abuse affects one who understands it; I do not understand, and he (referring to his son) is son of an idiot, what will he understand? You understand yourself as to whom the abuse is affecting’.  It is said that Pandit got up quickly and went inside his home. He said – ‘why should I get into this problem?’

Children, insane, animals and birds, plants – they have no sin, because they have no understanding. Then Buddha purush – Ashtavakra, Jesus, Mahavir – their wisdom is so deep (saghan) that they have gone beyond doership. For both – children etc and Buddha – there is no sin. Sin is only for in between people, like Pandit, who understands. You understand that you did, therefore, you become a sinner; you understand that you did, therefore, you earn merit (puNyAtmA). We understand that we are enjoyers, therefore, we become enjoyers; you understand that you did renounce, therefore, you are a renunciate. The day you understand that you did nothing – whatever is happening, just happens – that you are only a seer – that day neither you have sin nor merit, neither there is renunciation, nor there is enjoyment.

Therefore, Ashtavakra is talking of supreme Yoga – going beyond Yoga. In such a situation (avasthA), neither there is any law (vidhi), nor any prohibition (nishEdh).

Janaka said - AtmaivEdaM jagatsarvaM jnAtaM yEna mahAtmanA | ‘That great souled one, who has known the entire universe, as (one’s) Self...’

yadRcchayA vartamAnaM taM nishEddhuM kshamEta kaH –  ‘....How can he be stopped? What to stop? What to change?’

Desire (AkAnkshA) for change (badlAhaT) is indeed the desire of ego; performance (sAdhanA) is also a method (AyOjan) of ego; ritual (anushThAn) is also a process (prakriyA) of ego. That is why Janaka said – ‘you said that abode (adhishThAn), ritual (anushThAn), basis (AdhAr), shelter (ASraya) – all are problems (bAdhA); then, there is nothing left to do, because there is no doer. It does not mean that there are no actions (karma) – actions will go on; actions (karma) have their own flow (dhArA). The body will feel hunger, the body will ask for food. But there is this much of difference that you are aware that the body is feeling hunger, and food is to be given to the body. But, the hunger belongs to the body, and the satiation arising from eating food, also belongs to the body. You are seer (drashTA) for hunger and also satiation – you are seer in all conditions. Actions will continue. Action is law (vidhi), fate (destiny) (providence) (bhAgya) – action belongs to the entirety (samasta) – not that of individual (vyakti) – it is that of aggregate (samashTi). It is paramAtma who is acting (cal); thousands and thousands of actions are going on; whatever he wants to get it done by you, he will do so. But, now you know that you are not the doer – you are just an agency (nimitta). In this situation (sthiti), Janaka says – ‘who will stop? How to stop? Who is the one stopping? Who is to regulate (niyantraN)? Who will perform (sAdhanA)? Who will provide order (anuSAsan)?

That mahAtmA who has known the entire universe as (one’s) Self, who can stop that living (vartamAn) knower (jnAnI).....’

This word is to be considered – he says ‘vartamAn jnAnI’. Knower does not belong to the past (atIt); nor he belongs to the future (bhavishya); the happening (ghaTnA) of knowledge (jnAn) belongs to the present (vartamAn) – either it is ‘now’ or ‘never’. Whenever knowledge happens, it is ‘now’ (abhI), because only ‘now’ is the ‘existence’ (astitva). Whatever happened, has already happened; whatever is to come, is yet to come; the slender (patlI) thread (edge) (line) (dhAr) between both these (past and future) - a very fine (mahIn) line – line of life (jIvan), of awareness (cEtanA), of existence (astitva) – in that, ‘knowledge’ happens. The knower who is (in the) present, has to live with his will (sphuraNa) – (one’s) own (svata) will (spontaneity). That ‘will’ (spontaneity) comes from the omniscient (sarva); we do not generate it, nor we regulate (niyantraNa) it, nor are we the producers (janmadAtA), nor are we the regulators (niyantrak); that will (spontaneity) (sphuraNa) comes (of its own).

The birds are singing; flowers blossom in the trees – these all are happening of their own (svataH). This is cosmic (jAgatik) will (spontaneity) (sphuraNA). There is no ego in trees; they do not say that we are blossoming flowers. The same situation comes again when the circle (cycle) (vartul) is complete, and the individual attains Buddhahood, Arihant-hood, then the same state (daSA) comes.

You ask Buddha – ‘are you going?’ Buddha would say – ‘no, I am not all existing, how can I go? He, who ‘goes’ in everyone, is going; One who blossoms like a flower, One who is flowing like a stream of the river, One who is flying like a bird in the sky, One who has expanded (spread out) like sky (space) (AkASa) till infinity, he is going’. You ask Buddha – ‘are you speaking?’ He will say – ‘no, He is speaking’.

Kabir said – ‘We are the holes (pOgarI) of the flute (bAns); whatever is sung, we reveal (pragaT) it; we provide the path (mArg), we do not create hindrance (rukAvaT), we are just an agency (nimitta)’.

vartamAn jnAnI – one in whom, witness is awake, at the present moment. If you want, you can see it now; there is no hold up (rukAvaT). You can notice by becoming witness, now – things will go on (happening). The body will feel hunger; body will feel thirst; if it is Sunny, you will feel heat; if cold increases, you will feel cold; if you feed the body, it will feel satiated; if you wear warm clothes, cold will not be felt; if you sit in shadow, the heat will subside; actions will keep happening, but there will be no doer inside. You will not say – ‘I am worried, I am afflicted, I feel hunger’. You will say only this much – ‘now the body is hungry, let us give it something’.

When the body feels hunger, there is no action by you; it is natural (prakRti) that body feels hunger; if body feel heat, being in the Sun, it is paramAtmA who is feeling the heat (tap) – what action is there by you? If you are made to sit forcibly in the Sun, and made to feel the heat, then it is return of ego. If you say – ‘I will sit in the Sun, because I am a renunciate (tyAgI), if I do not experience heat, then, how is it austerity (tapaScaryA)? Therefore, we will torture the body’. If so, you have come in between as a regulator (niyantraNa). You did not allow things to happen of their own; if you allow things to happen on their own (svabhAvataH), then body will get up on its own.

Try this out – just try to flow with it; you will be surprised. You are sitting in the Sun, heat is felt – you just keep watching; suddenly, you will find that the body gets up and it moves towards shadow. You might say – ‘how can it (body) move without you moving it?’ Then, you are wrong. You do not know – you have never experimented (prayOg) it; if hunger is felt, then the body moves towards refrigerator – you are just watching; do not try to stop, nor you should make it move. This is a great formula – living spontaneously (sphuraNA); we should allow whatever happens – neither should we regulate what is auspicious and what is inauspicious; who are you? Neither you keep count of sins nor merit; whatever happens, let them keep happening, one should flow along with it.


AbrahmastambaparyantE bhUtagrAmE caturvidhE |

vijnasyaiva hi sAmarthyamicchAnicchAvivarjanE || 4 : 5 || 64 ||

‘Beginning with Brahma down to (paryant) ants (cINTI) - among the group (samUha) of four kinds of living beings (jIva) – only the knower (jnAnI) has the real (niScit) ability (sAmarthya) to stop (rOk) desire (icchA) and aversion (anicchA)’.

Desire and aversion – both stop for (with) a knower – enjoyment and renunciation. Desire, that is enjoyment, and aversion that is renunciation, like (pasand) and dislike (nApasand), both stop (with him). Because, knower says – ‘there is nothing which is our choice; whatever happens, happen of their own (svabhAvataH) – we just keep watching; we will let it happen; neither we shall bend (jhukA) it this way or that way – whatever happens of their own, we will let it happen.

Listen to this – let it spread out in your heart; let the effulgence of this reach your life breath (prANa). You will find it to be a great liberating thought. Whatever happens, we will let it happen; we will not object (nA nuc). Enjoyer (bhOgI) says – ‘more enjoyments’; even if hunger is satiated, he continues to consume; the body says – ‘stop’; bodily instinct (sphuraNA) says – ‘enough, no more’; but enjoyer keeps on consuming. There is no enjoyment in food; when the body says – ‘no more’, and you continue consuming, then it is enjoyment. Then there is renunciate (yOgI); the body says – ‘feeling hungry’; but renunciate says – ‘I am observing fasting, this is time for religious observances (paryushaNa); we are fasting, we cannot eat food; keep demanding, keep shouting’. When the body feels hunger, it is natural (naisargik); now you are applying force (jabardastI) – that is when ego comes in; there is ego in force; there is ego in violence (hiMsA). Violence is of two types – that of enjoyer and renunciate. People ask me – ‘why do you not teach renunciation (tyAg) to your ascetics (saMnyAsI)?’ It is very difficult. I teach my ascetics simplicity (ease) (sahajtA) – neither enjoyments nor renunciation. Eat only that much which your body instinctively (sphuraNA) demands; sleep only that much which your body instinctively feels; toil only that much, speak only that much, keep silent that much, which is natural; do not be unnatural (asahaj); wherever you are unnatural, then the balance (equilibrium) (santulan) is lost, and you lose asceticism (saMnyAs).

People may lose asceticism in two ways; the meaning asceticism is ‘equilibrium’ – total (samyak) poise (nyAs); being right in the middle – neither this way nor that way; renunciate cannot at all be ascetic – in the same way as an enjoyer cannot be an ascetic. Both of them are bent – ascetic is in between; being natural is his discipline (anuSAsan). To be in resonance (sphUrti) with paramAtmA is the only system (arrangement) (vyavasthA) of his life; that is his law (vidhi).

When someone asked Zen Fakir Bokoju – ‘what are you doing? What is your practice (sAdhanA)’? – He said – ‘when it is hungry, I have food; when feeling sleepy, I go to sleep’. The questioner was surprised – ‘is it something to be mentioned? Everyone does this? What is so great about it?’ Bokoju started laughing and said – ‘I have seen only very few people who do this; when you feel hungry, you just do not eat, but overeat; when you feel sleepy, you just do not sleep, but oversleep; either it more or less; less means renunciation; more means enjoyment; just right amount (samyak) – that is asceticism (saMnyAs) – only that much which is natural (sahaj).

If you proceed, holding on to the formula (sUtra) of ‘what is natural’ (sahaj), liberation (mOksha) is not far off. If you proceed, holding on to the formula of ‘what is natural’, samAdhi is not far off. “sAdhO, sahaj samAdhi bhalI” - (Kabir).

What Kabir calls as ‘sahaj samAdhi’ (natural samAdhi), the same is related by Janaka; he is submitting (nivEdan) before his guru. He says – ‘I have understood; you are provoking (uksAnA) me, but you will not be able to do so, because, what happened was factual (saccI) – I have (actually) seen it. Now, even if you divert (ghumAnA) it here and there, you will not be able to confuse (deceive) (dhOkhA) me. I have seen that I am witness, and things are happening spontaneously (sphuraNA); neither I am going to stop it nor I am going to make it happen. I have nothing to do with it; I am standing far away; when it is hungry, I shall eat; if feeling sleepy, I shall sleep’.

Once somebody asked Bokoju, as to what was his life style (jIvan caryA), before he attained knowledge. He said – ‘then, I was living in the hermitage of guru; I used to chop wood from the jungle and used to fill water from well’. He asked – ‘and now? When you yourself have become a guru, and also attained knowledge, what is your life style?’ Bokoju replied – ‘same, I bring chopped wood from jungle, and fill water from the well’. That man replied – ‘then what is the difference?’ Bokoju replied – ‘the difference has happened inside, not outside. The difference is known either to me or to my guru. There is no difference in the jobs; there is difference in meditation; actions are same as they were. Even now, I bring chopped wood, but now, I am not the doer (kartA); I fill water even now, but now I am not the doer; I remain witness. Actions keep going on.

vijnasya Eva icchAnicchA vivarjanE  hi sAmarthyam |

It is said – ‘The knower (jnAnI) has only one ability (sAmarthya) – that he becomes free of both desire (icchA) and aversion (anicchA); neither he says – ‘let it be so’, nor he says – ‘let it not be so’; he says – ‘whatever happens, it is alright with me; whatever happens, I shall keep watching; I am only a seer (drAshTA); therefore, whatever happens, it does not make any difference; whether it is success or defeat, it is alright; whether it is loss or victory, whether it is success or failure, both belong to you; now, I shall keep watching; I shall watch life; I shall watch death also’. Once the witness arises, then the whole life gets transformed – it is the wish of Lord (prabhu).

When Jesus was hanging on the cross, at the last moment, he said – ‘O Lord, what is this you are showing me? Have you abandoned me?’ But, he was astonished; he has understood the meaning of his own words; he thought – ‘what have I done? It has become a complaint. The meaning of my words is that, you are not fulfilling my wish; I have kept my wish above that of Lord; I am giving suggestion to the Lord; I have tried to regulate (niyantraNa) the Aggregate (sarva)’; therefore, he said – ‘No, pardon me Lord, it is my mistake; may your wish be fulfilled; just forget me; please do not take note of my words; just, may your wish be fulfilled – the wish of Lord’.

 ‘Lord’s wish’ – if you like the word ‘Lord’; if the word is not to your liking, there is no need for the word (Lord); it is just a word. Say ‘Wish of Aggregate’ (sarva kI icchA) or the ‘Wish of the Whole’ (samagra) or ‘Wish of the Existence’ (astitva). Whatever you want to say, remember this – ‘not the wish of individual’, but the ‘wish of Aggregate’. The World (saMsAr) is there till one lives according to one’s (individual) wish. When you start living as per wish of Aggregate (samashTi), then it is freedom (liberation) (mOksha). Liberation means liberation from self. Whatever is there, it is there; whatever will happen, let it happen. I will not come in between. Whatever objects (dRSya) one happens to see, we will see – if it is desert, then it is desert; if it is oasis, then it is oasis; I shall not get in between. Whatever happens, let it happen; whatever is there, let it be there; there is no other want, otherwise. This is the meaning of dissolution (visarjan) of desire and aversion, neither there is law, nor prohibition (nishEdh). A knower is neither a stone (kankar) of law (vidhi) or of prohibition (nishEdha) – he is not a slave (gulAm); knower does not recognise any discipline (anuSAsan) – he is merged in the ultimate discipline (sarvAnuSAsan).


AtmAnamadvayaM kaScijjAnAti jagadISvaram |

yadvEtti tat sa kurutE na bhayaM tasya kutracit || 4 : 6 || 65 ||

‘Rare is he who knows Self (AtmA) to be of the form (rUpa) of non-dual (advaya) and Lord of Universe (jagadISvara)....’ Someone very rarely (viralA), knows the Self to be of the form of non-dual and Lord of Universe. He does what he considers worthy of doing; he is never afraid of anything.’

Understand that, someone rarely, attains such a great (mahant) moment (ghaDI), where the drop is dissolved (lIn) in the Ocean; where he drowns his ego into the void (SUnya); where he drowns the limit (sImA) in the limitless (asIm). Someone, very rarely, does it; very fortunate is such a person; everyone must be so, but we do not allow it to happen; we are creating obstacles (aDangE); everyone must be so; it is the nature-ordained (svabhAva siddha) right (adhikAr) of everyone; but we create a thousand obstacles – we do not allow it to happen.

This is very funny – you will be surprised to hear that, whatever you want (to happen), you do not allow that to happen. There is no enemy other than yourself; you desire bliss, but you do not allow it to happen; because bliss happens naturally (sahajatA); you desire independence (svatantra), but you do not allow it to happen, because independence can happen only by becoming one with spontaneity (sphuraNA) of Aggregate (sarva); you do not like worry, you do not like unhappiness; but you keep making these, because there is worry and unhappiness in the struggle (sangarsh).

There is no worry or unhappiness in surrender (samarpaN) – you flow with the stream (dhAr); this Ganga is going to the Ocean; you flow with it; there is no need to steer (patvAr); leave the boat, break the steering; this Ganga is going towards the Ocean; do not flow against the current; do not make effort to reach Gangotri; otherwise, you will break; you will become unhappy and miserable. One who goes against (pratikUl) nature (prakRti), breaks; it is not that the nature breaks him, but (he breaks) just because he goes against himself; one who goes along with (anukUl) the nature, there is no scope for him to be broken. One who does not struggle, how would he lose? For one who does not desire victory (vijay), there is no defeat at all. Lose yourself – this Ganga is going, go along with it.

Hindus have made all their holy spots (tIrtha) on the banks of rivers; among the many reasons, one is that, the river be in front of you – remember that the river is flowing towards the ocean; we should never forget this idea (notion) (bhAva) that we should lose ourselves – like the river. The river does not do anything – it keeps flowing; there is no effort in the flow – there is no action; the river does not flow with the guidance of any map (nakSA); when Ganga originates at Gangotri, it has no map with it, as to where the ocean is. Without the map, it reaches the Ocean – all rivers reach the ocean; leave alone rivers, even small streams (jharnA) and canals (nAlA) also reach Ocean. They search for the path, without the help of any scriptures; they know only one trick (tarkIb) – not to flow in the opposite (ulTA) direction; do not flow towards height (UncAyI); keep flowing; wherever, there is a depression (gaDDA), fill it. The nature of water is to flow down – the river knows this to be its nature. Sitting on the banks of rivers, those Hindus performing penances (tapasvi), ascetics (saMnyAsi) and the wise (manIshi) – whatever name one may give – they learnt one truth (satya) – to become one flowing like a river – to reach the ocean; one who flows, always reaches (the destination).

‘Rare (kOI) is he who knows Self (AtmA) to be of the form (rUpa) of non-dual (advaya) and Lord of Universe (jagadISvara)....’ In order to know the form of Lord of Universe (jagadISvara), one has to fulfil one condition (Sart) – of losing one’s (own) form - that is the bargain (saudA). If you desire to save yourself (your form) and also know the Lord, it is impossible (asambhava) – that cannot happen. If you save yourself (your form), the Lord would be lost; if you lose yourself, then the Lord remains – now it is your wish. Do not think that one who loses himself in order to attain the Lord, makes a bad bargain. It is a bad bargain to save oneself, but lose the Lord; you saved stone, but lost the diamond. Whom you call ‘knowers’ (jnAnI), they have not made a bad bargain; they are intelligent (hOSiyAr); they left the stone, and saved the diamonds. What do you have, other than misery (dukh) and hell (nark)? Other than pain and worry, what else do you have? You are thorn (kANTA) which pricks one’s own chest. What will you do by saving it? One who surrenders (samarpaN) – that one rare person.....!


AtmAnamadvayaM kaScijjAnAti jagadISvaram |

yadvEtti tat sa kurutE

Only a rare person is able to know the Lord; he who knows, then, does not do anything; one who has surrendered himself, he does only that which he considers fit to be done; he has no preference of his own, after that. He does what the Lord makes him do.

na bhayaM tasya kutracit - One who has lost himself in the paramAtmA, he has no fear. Fear is there till you are fighting with the Aggregate (sarva); fear is natural because, you cannot win against the Aggregate; therefore, fear is natural; death is for sure; failure is bound to happen; your journey is a failure, right at the beginning itself. Who can ever win against the Aggregate? How can part (aMSa) fight with the whole (aMSI) and win? Therefore, one is afraid, one is trembling (kamp); how a small child, who fights with its father, can win? Then, when he holds on to the hand of his father, and goes along with him, how can he lose? What is the fear after you have become attuned (Ek svar) with the paramAtmA, when you have merged yourself with him, when you are in step with him; then where is the fear?

tasya bhayaM kutracit na – Scriptures say – ‘brahmavid brahmaiva bhavati’ – one who has known Brahman, he himself becomes Brahman. Then, where is the fear? Immediately on knowing, one becomes one with what one knows.

You have known only the petty (kshudra), and you have become petty; if you know the Grand, you will become the Grand. Your very knowing, is becoming one with that – what is known. brahmavid brahmaiva bhavati – and the scriptures also say – tarati SOkamAtmavit – and one who has known himself, he has gone beyond all grief; after that there is no fear for him, there is no unhappiness, there is no pain.

All the grief, all the pain, all fear, all the hell – are centred in the ego. Without the ego, all these get scattered like a pack of cards, in a gust of wind. A small gust of wind of knowledge (jnAn), a small gust of notion (bhava) of witness – and all the cards get scattered. 

Janaka did not give a direct reply; direct reply was not sought also. Janaka gave a very impersonal (nirvaiMyaktika) reply – and he gave that reply standing afar – as if he is not being tested. Because, the moment you feel that you are being tested, you have tension. If Janaka has tension, he would have failed in the test. He would have become impatient to save himself, to prove himself; and then, it would have become complicated (gaDbaD). He was not impatient at all, he did not have even a little worry. He stood so far away, as if someone else is being tested – as if Janaka had nothing to do with the test.

Many friends have asked the question – ‘why a guru conducts test? Does he not have this much capability to know whether it has truly happened to the disciple or not? Guru knows everything, then why should he conduct test’? Test is not simply a test alone; it a method of (ensuring) further progress. The questions which Ashtavakra asked, were not simply a test. Test means to verify (take stock) (kasnA) of whatever happened thus far. If it is simply a test, then it is a waste (vyarth). Whatever is known by Janaka so far, has been seen by Ashtavakra – there is no need for any test for that. Ashtavakra raised questions in regard to whatever has happened so far, to know what will be the future reaction of Janaka, so that it can be the foundation for future progress. Therefore, the test is two pronged – one that of the past (atIt), but that is only of minor (gauNa) nature; it has not much value; even Ashtavakra would have known it – he is able to directly perceive whatever has actually happened. But, by raising questions in regard to whatever has happened so far, he wanted to find out the reaction of Janaka; from whatever reply Janaka would give, the door for future could be opened.

There are both possibilities - if Janaka gives a wrong reply, the door of the past would have been closed – the door that was being opened, would have been closed. If the reply is correct, then the door which is already open, would have remained open, and also, further doors would have been opened; everything depends on the response of Janaka. What has so far happened with Janaka, in the presence of Guru, is clear; but it is not clear to anyone as to what would happen to him (in future). Whatever is to happen, has not happened so far. The future is still unknown (void) (SUnya) – it is shapeless (formless) (nirAkAr) - it has not taken shape so far. Everyone knows the past; Ashtavakra knows about the past (of Janaka) – more than what he (Janaka) himself would know. More than what Janaka can know about himself, Ashtavakra knows. Ashtavakra’s vision is more encompassing (ghir) and more deep; he can peep into his interior and see; there is no question about it. There is no big question about the past – question is about the future (bhavishya); there is no surety of the future. What will happen the very next moment, is not known, no one can predict. Life is not like a machine – life is supreme (param) independence (svatantratA). Things can come to halt while still happening, while still in the process. Having reached the last moment, man could still retrace (lauT).

From childhood, I had a hobby (Sauk) of jumping into the river from a height (UncAyI) – the greater the height, the more interesting it was. My friends, who were with me, were very concerned, because, if I am able to jump, and they are not able to do so, their ego would be hurt. But if they dare to jump, their life might be in danger. Sometimes, my friends would gather courage and run with me for taking a jump – from a height of thirty, forty or fifty feet. Subsequently, my interest had grown so much, that I used to take a jump into the river from railway bridge. That was very dangerous. A few would come running along with me and would stop just before taking a jump, but I would jump, and they would keep standing.

Once it happened so; there is a hilly spot near my village – Pachmarhi; there is a water fall (jal-prapAt); we went to jump there. I had one of my friends, who had jumped along with me many times before. The place was at a great height, and he was a little frightened. He somehow jumped, but, in between, got hold of the root of a tree and was hanging from there. It is not that he did not jump; he jumped, but he got hold a root of a tree and was hanging from there. I jumped into the water and when I looked up, I was surprised to find him hanging. It became very difficult to get him down.

Whatever has happened, Ashtavakra can see that; but, what is going to happen, there is no way of knowing about it. The future is shapeless (nirAkAr); it can happen, also it might not happen. Therefore, do not consider it to be only a test – it was a test alright, but it was  more than a test; it is to give direction to the future; it is a device to give shape to the future; it is a method of actualising (janma) the future. And, in the reply which Janaka gave, he definitely says that he had taken the leap – and it will continue to happen so (taking leap). Janaka’s reply was very clear that he had gone through the test successfully, and the journey towards future had also become clear, and new doors have opened.

Whatever guru does, he does it right. Such a question might arise in one’s mind, whether guru does not have this much capability to know whatever has happened. If such a question has indeed arisen in the mind of Janaka, he would have failed (cUk). Janaka could also have told – ‘Gurudev, you are all-knowing; are you taking my test? You open your eyes and look inside me; it might become clear to you’. No, Janaka did not do that also, because, if guru conducts test, there must be a secret in it. There must be some secret, which Janaka would not have known. But Janaka accepted the test quietly. It is essential that whatever test is conducted by guru, it should be accepted by the disciple; because, whatever is possible to make you understand, that must have been done already. There may be something which you have to do; this test is (creating) a situation; it is to find the status (sthiti) (of disciple) (in the given situation); guru generated a situation; how, in this situation, Janaka responds, what kind of echo arises in his interior – guru has given him (Janaka) an opportunity for checking the echo. From this, he can come to know of his past – that (past) can be known by guru even without the test - but, the future would be determined from this; a line will be drawn; potentiality (AyAm) would have become clear.

Such a question has been asked by many of my friends. I have not so far given them any response, because, I wanted that they should hear the response of Janaka first.  I have discussed about ‘nature’ (svabhAva) some time back; one of my friends came and asked a question whether it is also nature to be distressed (dukhI). I responded that, if the nature is to be distressed, then you have not come out successful (anuttIrNa); He asked – ‘what if one understands nature to be angry, and becomes angry’; I told him – ‘if nature becomes angry, then, it amounts to elephant passing through, but the tail getting stuck – like the whole head has been shaved, but the tuft (cOTI) is left out. Therefore, the whole elephant has passed through, but the tail got stuck; because of the tail, the total nature got stuck.’

No, the nature did not feel bad, it did not accept distress; it made effort to understand. If such effort continues, then, some day, not only the elephant, but even the tail would pass through. The nature did it right.

(Translator’s note – The above part of the pravachan, about nature – distressed and angry – is very esoteric. I heard the audio again. But, I am not very clear, whether, I have been able to convey the way Acharya would have desired it. Sorry for my shortcoming).

Hari Om Tatsat.

Pravachan - 19 - Acharya Rajneesh (Osho)

  This Pravachan was delivered on 29 Sep 1976 Pravachan Audio link – Soundcloud – Pravachan Transc...