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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

OSHO-->What is Devotion?



WHAT IS DEVOTION?

Devotion is the ultimate stage of disciplehood.

A man ordinarily comes to a master as a student, curious, wanting to know more. If by chance it happens that the master is not only a teacher... Because a teacher is one who deals in information; with a teacher, you become taught.

With a master you are caught. It is no longer a question of giving you more information; on the contrary, the master starts cleaning you of all the information that you have collected before.

A master really washes your brain; it is a dry cleaning process. It brings you into a state of tabula rasa, nothing is written on you -- a pure consciousness which knows nothing. But as knowledge disappears, a strange phenomenon starts happening: you start feeling yourself more. You know less, but you are more. You start growing roots, you start growing wings, your being starts expanding.

I am reminded of a beautiful story.

A master had a monastery. There were two wings of the monastery and just in the middle was the master's home. He had a beautiful cat, and all the disciples loved the cat. One day the master had gone out. When he came back, both wings of the monastery were fighting over the cat: to which wing does the cat belong when the master is out, to the right wing or to the left wing? The master was amazed, seeing this stupidity.

He pulled out his sword and told the disciples, "Anybody from either wing should come out and give me an authentic answer that comes from the being, not from the mind. Then only can you save the cat; otherwise I am going to cut it in two and give half to the right wing and half to the left wing, because I don't want any kind of struggle here."

The disciples were very much shocked. Nobody wanted the cat to be killed -- but they knew their master. And nobody could manage to find an answer that was coming from the being; many answers were coming, but they were all from the head. And they knew that if they came with those answers, instead of the cat their heads would be cut! So everybody remained silent.

The cat was cut and given to both wings.

Sad and crying, they went back to their rooms, cottages, utterly shocked -- not only that the cat was killed... but five hundred disciples, and not a single one could come out with some authentic answer.

And then one disciple, who had gone out with the master and had stayed behind to so some work in the market, came back. He heard the story. He went to the master and slapped him as hard as he could.

The master said, "Good! If you had been here, the poor cat would have been saved. But now nothing can be done; the cat is dead."

The whole monastery was agog with this new situation -- that the disciple slapped the master, and the master had laughed and said, "It is unfortunate that you were not here; otherwise, the cat would have been saved."

This was the right answer. What a foolish thing the master was doing -- cutting the cat, who had done no harm, who was not responsible at all for the quarrel that was going on. The master needed a good slap! But to slap the master, one needs a disciple who has come to the point of devotion; otherwise it will be insulting. Anybody else hitting the master would have been an insult; in fact, nobody could even conceive of it.

Devotion is the ultimate flowering of discipleship.

When love is so deep, the respect is so immense that everything is forgiven, the disciple can slap the master and yet the master simply laughs -- because he knows his devotion. He knows that this slap has not come from a logical mind, it has come from a loving heart. It is as if with his own hand he has slapped himself -- no distinctions are there anymore. Even to say that the devotee is close to the master is not right, because closeness is still a distance.

The devotee is one with the master.

His oneness is something not of this world.


I will tell you another story --


because there is no other way to explain it.

A master is staying in a temple. The night is cold. And in Japan the statues of Buddha are made of wood. There are many statues in the temple, so he finds one big statue, starts a fire with it, and sits by the side of it enjoying the warmth of it, the crackling sound of the wood.

The priest of the temple suddenly hears the noise, and the light... he runs from his room to see what is happening. And what he sees he cannot believe. He has allowed this wandering master to stay just for the night and what has he done? The most beautiful statue of the temple... he is very angry.

The master says, "What is the problem? Why are you getting so angry? Just sit down. It is so cold, and here it is so warm; and Buddha is always helpful. Just come here."

The priest said, "I am not going to listen to this nonsense. You have burned the statue of our lord, of our god."

He said, "Is it so?" He took his staff and started poking in the ashes of the burned statue.

The priest said, "What are you doing?"

He said, "I am looking for the bones."

The priest said, "You must be mad. This is a wooden statue, there are no bones in it."

He said, "That settles the matter. You have so many statues, the night is long... just one more; just bring one more."

The priest said, "You simply get out of the temple! I will not allow you inside. I don't want to stay awake the whole night and watch you, because you are dangerous, you can burn other buddhas. You just get out."

"But," he said, "it has been proved that it was not a buddha. There are no bones in it." But the priest simply pushed him out of the temple and closed the door.

The master said, "Listen, it is too cold, and you have too many buddhas. It does not matter. In fact, you will have to worship less, and nobody is going to cut your salary. You are simply a priest, you don't understand anything."

But the priest would not open the doors. He said, "You simply get lost."

In the morning the priest opened the door, and could not believe... That master, that crazy old man who had burned the statue and was asking for another, was sitting by the side of the milestone. He had found some wildflowers and he had put those wildflowers on the milestone and he was worshipping: buddham sharanam gachchhami.

The priest came close. He said, "What are you doing?"

He said, "Just my morning prayer."

The priest said, "You seem to be really crazy! This is a milestone."



He said, "It doesn't matter. When you can make wood into a buddha, why can't I make a milestone into a buddha? It is only a question of putting a few flowers on top of it. And you don't see my devotion? I could burn the buddha because I love him and I know him; I know that the statue is just wood. And I can worship this milestone because I am not worshipping the milestone -- it is just an excuse, a stand for my flowers. And anyway I have to worship Buddha in the morning, and this milestone was so handy... just a sculptor is needed and he could make this milestone into a statue of Buddha, and then idiots like you would start worshipping it.

"I can see the Buddha hiding in the milestone. You will see it only when a sculptor cuts the stone and brings out the buddha who is encased inside the stone. I love him. And I knew that it was just wood, and the night was so cold... I have to take care of my inner buddha too. And when it is a question of taking care of my inner buddha, I can burn all the outer buddhas without any difficulty, because that is his teaching: appa deepo bhava -- be a light unto yourself. My buddha was shivering, and those wooden idiots were sitting -- no cold, no hot, they don't feel it at all. And you threw me out, a living buddha, because I burned a wooden buddha."

This is devotion.

Devotion has its own strange ways. It is not something rational, logical, something that can be explained to you. But it is something, if you go on growing from a student into a disciple, from a disciple into a devotee, and you come so close to the master that there is no distinction at all...


A third story which will help you:




Mahakashyap, one of Buddha's great devotees, had come to such a point that if Buddha had a headache Mahakashyap would have a headache. And before Buddha had said anything about his headache, Mahakashyap would call the physician: "Buddha must have a headache, because I have a headache."

And the physician said, "But if you have a headache that does not mean that Buddha should have a headache."

He said, "It does mean... "and he was always found to be right.

Just one day before the day he died, Buddha was saying to somebody, "Soon I will be coming to your city, Vaishali" -- one of the greatest cities of those days, and one of the cities where most of Buddha's lovers lived. In forty years' time Buddha passed almost twenty times through Vaishali.

To Varanasi he went only once. Asked why, he said, "Varanasi is so full of knowledge -- nobody is interested in being. It is a city of scholars and pundits; it is a sheer wastage of time." He never went back there again.

And to this man he was saying, "In a few days' time I will be coming to Vaishali."

Mahakashyap was sitting there. He said, "Don't believe him. He is not going to live long. As far as I am concerned, he is going to die within two days." Such empathy... it is not sympathy. In empathy you start feeling the same, exactly the same -- as if one soul in two bodies.

Buddha looked at Mahakashyap and said, "This is not right. You should not say such things."

Mahakashyap said, "But why unnecessarily give a promise that you are not going to fulfill?"

The man from Vaishali said, "Strange... Buddha is saying, `I am coming' and you are saying that he will not come. And you start arguing with each other!"

Mahakashyap said, "He is going to die the day after tomorrow, and if you don't believe me, remain here. It is just a question of a few hours." And Buddha died at exactly the time Mahakashyap had said.

The man from Vaishali had asked Buddha, "Why were you telling Mahakashyap not to say it?"

Buddha said, "I know I am going to die, he also knows -- but he is so one with me, it makes no difference to him whether I am alive or dead. But to you, my death will make your journey home unnecessarily miserable. Just out of compassion I was preventing him, but he won't listen to anybody. And because he is right, I cannot insist too much."

Buddha died in the morning -- and within just fifteen minutes, Mahakashyap died. That is devotion. Those hearts were beating together so much that it was impossible to carry on with only one heart; and the soul was gone, only the body had remained.

There were great disciples of Buddha, but nobody has the distinction of being a devotee except Mahakashyap. His death proved it -- while everybody was just preparing the funeral pyre, people were weeping and crying, Mahakashyap closed his eyes and was gone.

Devotion is the ultimate state of disciplehood -- when you become one with the master, when the dewdrop slips into the ocean and becomes one with it.

OSHO
Osho Upanishad,
Chp # 33, Q.2

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