Osho on Zen and Krishnamurti – J. Krishnamurti is Zen and Zen means no teaching

Question – Osho, you have spoken many times about Zen Masters, and today you said that J. Krishnamurti is Zen and Zen means no teaching. Can you explain this point?

Osho – Anand Alok, ZEN CERTAINLY MEANS no teaching at all, no doctrine. That s what J. Krishnamurti has been saying for fifty years or more. He never mentions the name Zen, but that does not make any difference; what he says is exactly, essentially the same.

But on one point there is a great difference. Zen says there is no teaching, truth cannot be taught. Nobody can give you the truth; truth has to be discovered within your own soul. It cannot be borrowed from the scriptures. It is not possible even to communicate it, it is inexpressible; by its very nature, intrinsically, it is indefinable. Truth happens to you in a wordless silence, in deep, deep meditation.

When there is no thought. no desire, no ambition, in that state of no-mind truth descends in you — or ascends in you. As far as the dimension of truth is concerned both are the same, because in the world of the innermost subjectivity height and depth mean the same. It is one dimension: the vertical dimension. Mind moves horizontally, no-mind exists vertically. The moment the mind ceases to function — that’s what meditation is all about: cessation of the mind, total cessation of the mind — your consciousness becomes vertical; depth and height are yours.

So either you can say truth descends. as many mystics like Patanjali, Badnarayana, Kapil and Kanad have said. It is avataran — coming from the heights to you. Hence whenever a person becomes self-realized he is called an avatara. Avatara means truth has descended in him; the word avatara simply means descending from the above, from the beyond.

But the other expression is as valid. Adinatha, Neminatha, Mahavira, Gautam Buddha, these mystics have said that truth does not come from the beyond, it arises from the deepest source of your being. It is not something coming down but something rising up, welling up.

Both expressions are valid to me, two ways of saying the same thing: that the dimension is vertical. Either you can talk in terms of height or in terms of depth. But truth never comes from the outside, so nobody can teach you.

As far as this point is concerned, Krishnamurti is absolutely Zen. Truth cannot be taught, cannot be transmitted. Zen Masters — Bodhidharma, Lin Chi, Bokuju, Baso — they all have been emphasizing one point: that Zen is transmission beyond scriptures, beyond words. On this point J. Krishnamurti is in absolute agreement with Zen.

But there is one thing more in Zen which is missing in J. Krishnamurti, and because of that he has utterly failed. He could have been of great help and upliftment to humanity, but he has utterly failed. In fact, I don’t know another name in the whole history of humanity who has so utterly failed as J. Krishnamurti. No other enlightened person has been such a failure. The other thing that is missing is the cause; it is a little bit delicate and you will have to be very attentive about it.

Zen says truth cannot be transmitted, hence it can only happen in a Master-disciple relationship. It cannot be taught so there is no question of a relationship between a teacher and a taught — because there is no teaching so there is no teacher and no taught. But it is a transmission. Transmission means heart to heart: teaching means head to head.

When the disciple and the Master meet, merge, melt into each other, it is a love affair, it is a deep, orgasmic experience, far more deeper than any love, because even lovers go on carrying their egos and egos are bound to clash, conflict. The Master and the disciple exist without egos. The Master’s ego has evaporated — that’s why he is a Master — and the disciple surrenders his ego to the Master.

And remember, by surrendering the ego the disciple is not surrendering anything in particular, because ego is just an idea and nothing else. It has no substance; it is made of the same stuff dreams are made of. When you surrender your dreams, what are you surrendering?

If you come to me and you say, “I offer all my dreams to you,” YOU are offering, but I am not getting anything! And you may be thinking that you are offering great dreams of golden palaces and beautiful women and great treasures… you are offering great dreams, but I am not getting anything.

When you offer your ego to the Master you are offering something as far as you are concerned, because you think it is very substantial. very significant. When you surrender you think you are doing something great. As far as the Master is concerned he is simply laughing at the whole thing, because he knows what is your ego — just hot air! nothing much to brag about.

But device, a simple device, can help immensely. It is a device. The Master says, “Surrender the ego.” When he says, “Surrender the ego,” he is saying, “Give me that which you don’t have at all but you believe that you have. Give me your belief — I am ready to take it. Let this excuse help you.” You may not be able to drop it on your own, but in love with the Master you may be able, you may gather courage to risk. Love encourages you to risk. In love you can go to any lengths. When you are in love with the Master and he says, “Give me your ego,” how can you say no?

To be with a Master means in a state of saying yes, yes, and again yes! It is an absolute yes, unconditional yes. So when he says, “Give me your ego,” you simply give your ego to the Master. To you it is very important; to him it has no meaning, no substance, no existence, but he accepts it.

The moment you drop your ego the meeting starts happening. Now two zeros start moving into each other. Two lovers enter into each other’s bodies; that is a physical phenomenon and the orgasm that happens is a physical thing. The Master and disciple are lovers of the spiritual plane: two zeros, two egoless beings enter into each other. In that merger something is transpired. Not that the Master gives you something, not that you take something, but because of the meeting something happens, out of the meeting something happens — something which is greater than the Master and greater than the disciple, something more than the meeting of these two, something transcendental.

That part is missing in Krishnamurti. He says truth cannot be taught, but he has missed the other point. Yes, it cannot be taught… but he is a logical person and that is his problem. He is trying to put his enlightenment very logically; he does not want to bring any illogicality in it, any paradox in it.

Now Zen people don’t bother about logic; they live the ultimate paradox. They go on saying there is no teaching and truth cannot be taught, and still Zen Masters are there and Zen disciples are there. And people have raised questions, skeptical people have always raised questions that: “What is this? On the one hand you say truth cannot be taught, and on the other hand why you initiate, why you accept people?” And the Zen Masters have always laughed, because this paradox cannot be explained. If you want to know it really you have to become a disciple, you have to become a participant, you have to become part of the mystery; only then you will have the taste of it. It is a taste; no explanation can help. If you have tasted sugar you know it is sweet, but no explanation can give you the idea of sweetness. If you have seen the light you know what it is, but to the blind man you cannot explain; it is utterly futile. Zen Masters have never bothered, hence their statements are very paradoxical.

One Zen Master, Ikkyu, was staying in a temple, just an overnight stay, but it was a cold night and he was shivering. In the middle of the night he got up and found one of Buddha’s statues, a wooden statue, and burned it, and was very happy with the fire and the warmth.

The priest of the temple, seeing the light and the fire inside the temple, could not believe what is happening. He was a little suspicious when he had allowed this Ikkyu to stay for the night in the temple, but he had not thought that he will do such a thing — “He will put the whole temple on fire!” He rushed in and he found he had burned one of the most beautiful statues of the Buddha. And he was, of course, angry and he shouted at Ikkyu that, “What you have done? And you think you are a Buddhist? And you are wearing the yellow robes of the Buddhist monk! And I have even heard that not only that you are a Buddhist monk, you are a great Master and you have many followers! And what have you done?” The statue was completely burned!

Ikkyu took his staff and started searching in the ashes for something. The priest asked, “What are you looking for?”
He said, “I am looking for Buddha’s bones.”
In the East we call the bones “flowers”. When a man dies we collect his bones after the body is completely burned; those bones are called “flowers”.
So he said, “I am looking for Buddha’s flowers.”
Even the priest could not resist laughing. He said, “You are crazy! How can you find flowers in a wooden statue?”

Now was the turn of Ikkyu to laugh, and he laughed and he said, “Then you are not so stupid as I thought! Bring… there are two more statues in the temple and it is still a long night. And why don’t you also join? It is so warm, and we will burn those two other statues also. When there are no bones in it, certainly it is not a real Buddha — just wood.”

The priest became so much afraid of this madman, he threw him out. It was dangerous to keep him inside the temple — he may burn other two statues! The temple had only three statues. In the morning when the priest opened the doors he saw Ikkyu bowing down just in front of the temple before a milestone. He had put a few flowers — must have gathered some wild flowers — he has put those flowers on the milestone and was going his morning prayers and meditations. And he was repeating the famous Buddhist mantra: “BUDDHAM SHARANAM GACHCHHAMI — I go to the feet of the Master, Buddha. SANGHAM SHARANAM GACHCHHAMI — I go to the feet of the commune of my Master. DHAMMAM SHARANAM GACHCHHAMI — I go to the feet of the ultimate truth that my Master realized.”

The priest came, shook him and said, “What are you doing? You are really absolutely mad! This is a milestone, this is not Buddha! You have burned a Buddha statue in the night, and now before a milestone you are doing your prayers and saying: BUDDHAM SHARANAM GACHCHHAMI, SANGHAM SHARANAM GACHCHHAMI, DHAMMAM SHARANAM GACHCHHAMI?”

Ikkyu said, “It is not a question whether it is a statue or not; the question is my heart. It is morning time, I am doing my prayer. Any excuse will do. In the night I burned one excuse — that was only an excuse, it was not Buddha. This is another excuse, and this is far simpler because I can find the milestone anywhere. I need not be dependent on any temple, on any statue.”
The priest said, “You are very illogical!”

And that’s what has been told to the Zen Masters down the ages — since the days of Mahakashyap. the first Zen Master, the first Patriarch, it has been again and again said that, “You are paradoxical. On the one hand you deny: that there is no teaching, on the other hand you become disciples, Masters. On the one hand you say there is no prayer, on the other hand you pray to Buddha.”

You have to be very very alert to understand the paradox. The prayer has to be out of your overflowing love; it has nothing to do with the statue or the stone. Those are just excuses. And Buddha is everywhere — to Buddhists Buddha means God. The stone is as much Buddha as the statue. The whole existence is full of Buddhahood, godliness, and the Master has experienced it.

The disciple accepts the Master so that he can come closer to him. In saying yes to the Master he becomes attuned to the Master. The word “attunement” is beautiful; it means “at-onement”. He becomes one with the Master. In that oneness something that cannot be given through words is transpired through the being — something like bringing an unlit candle close to a lit candle. There is a certain point when the unlit candle comes within that limit — suddenly the flame from the lit candle jumps into the unlit candle. The lit candle loses nothing at all, but the unlit candle gains infinitely.

Now the reverse process is happening: when the disciple comes to the Master he gives his ego and thinks he is losing much — and the Master gets nothing. When the Master gives something he gives infinitely, he gives his light. but he loses nothing; his light remains the same. From one lit candle you can light millions of candles, and the lit candle loses nothing at all although the unlit candles gain infinitely. This point is missing in J. Krishnamurti, hence whatsoever he is saying is Zen, but he is not doing Zen — saying but not doing.

I am saying and doing both, and only doing can bring fulfillment, flowering. Just saying is not going to help. Whether you say positively something about truth it is useless, or you say something negative about truth. Even saying that truth cannot he told is meaningless. What is The point for fifty y ears saying again and again that truth cannot be told? Then why bother? Say once “Truth cannot be told” and every day repeat “Ditto” — that’s enough — and go home! There is no point in saying it again and again. unless by saying it you are encouraging the people towards some other phenomenon.

Truth cannot be said, this is one part. The second part is: but truth can be transpired. It can be shared — not told but shared. And for that sharing the love affair of the disciple and the Master is a must; without it it is not possible.

Source – Osho Book “I Am That”

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