Two Contradictions of a Great Master

You are sitting a written exam to see if you can get a place in the Oxford theology department.Here is your written question, your answer will be discussed later in your viva….

Please comment on these two major paradoxes of a famous modern teacher:

1)  Osho was an individual who denied being an individual.

In response to the question: “Who are you?” he replied:

“The person is non-existent, a non-entity. In fact there is no person, or there is only one person. Only God can be said to have a personality, becuase only god can have a centre.  We (human beings) have no centres at all”

2) Osho was a guru, who denied being a guru

“There should be disciples” Osho states “there must be disciples – but no gurus!”

Similarly, he asserted on this same principle, that although there was a great need for the disciple to be open and vulnerable to the work of a Master, once the disciple had realised that he or she was simply a participant in a GAME, the game of master and disciple, then one was flooded with the type of light that took one beyond master and disciple entirely.

Please elucidate


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42 Responses to Two Contradictions of a Great Master

  1. Lokesh says:

    1) Osho was an individual who denied being an individual.

    Then again, Osho often said that he was all for the individual.

    I have a close friend who for many years lived with Poonjaji. One day we were chatting and he said, “That is the mistake many people make about masters. Being enlightened does not mean you no longer have a personality, it is just that the identification with the personality is broken.”

    Osho declares, “We (human beings) have no centres at all.”
    This idea, concept, reality is very much in tune with Gurdjief. Most people are uncentred, but not everyone. Suggested reading: Gurdjief’s talks on the creation, concept, of man number 4. It is one thing to read about it, another thing entirely to live it, because it can take a lifetime.

    2) Osho was a guru who denied being a guru.
    Probably. Typical Osho mumbo jumbo.

    GURU: In Hinduism and Tibetan Buddhism, a personal spiritual teacher.
    The fact that Osho could deny being a guru is a strong indication of how at home he was with the absurd. The fact that thousands of sannyasins could sit at his feet, nodding in agreement with such absurdity streaming from his mouth, is a good indication of how over-the-top Osho’s particular brand of the master and disciple game was.

    On the other hand, I know what he meant when he denied being a guru.

    An interesting thread that brings with it the thought that the reason I no longer read Osho books, watch his videoed lectures etc is because that is not how I remember Osho. How I remember Osho is by coming in contact with the here and now. Osho contradicted himself countless times. I have no need to try and make sense of that, because it is all just heaps of words.

    If I need to hear words that are profound I go check out The Beedie Wallah, because he sticks to the pointless point. Osho’s words are all over the shop. Yes, in the beginning, Osho’s words were part of the lure. Now they mean very little to me. They served their purpose.

    • frank says:

      Osho n`est pas un guru.

      • frank says:

        Never really get that `man number 1-4′ type stuff. Like the enneagram reducing people to a few already decided types.

        This planet alone has produced billions of people, not one identical to another. All those fingerprints.

        The diplodocus and the kookaburra, billions and billions of stars,the gerenuk, the giant isopod, the blobfish, the yeti crab, each with its own unique being and intelligence.

        Every moment, every `thing` unique, and `wise` men reduce everything to 1-4?

        I`m not having it!

        • Lokesh says:

          Funny, I never went for the enneagram.
          Basic idea behind man number four is creating a central ‘I’ as opposed to the normal multiple personality that most call themselves ‘I’.
          Different strokes….

  2. shantam prem says:

    “Osho was”!
    Do Buddhists also write “Buddha was? Jesus was, Krishna, Mahavira were”!
    This was and is enough indication Osho as master lived his short span of shelf value as far as West is concerned. In India, in a small circle Osho is getting larger-than-life status.

    Personally, my theory is masters live through their disciples as great seeds live through their fruits as ordinary humans live through their children.

    Disciples create the aura of aliveness post-master´s demise. ‘Osho was a guru who denied being a guru’ is a clever marketing strategy the way big corporations use the tricks to avoid taxation.

    Osho was (is) a guru, but highly intelligent, a genius in his field which is full with mediocre types. His work is such one becomes even free from Him. If all of my Osho books are taken away, I don´t think I will miss them though I may miss my astrology books!

  3. madhu dagmar frantzen says:

    “sitting a written exam”, to “get a place in the Oxford Theology Department”, to “discuss” some of the inbuilt paradoxes any living phenomenon of socio-religious movements is simply inheriting, means for me, acknowledging to go for a failure (in the “exam”) beforehand; but there may be the possibility to dance any words as a fool, knowing to be a fool.

    In the Leela of Life, what would we do without the Fool?
    We would be thoroughly stuck, I guess.

    Other than you, Lokesh, I cherish the moments a quote from other living moments comes in into the chat, like with an Osho quote: the one then, few days ago, Arpana did contribute, and thank you for that, Arpana!

    As far as the topic (thread) ingredients are concerned, which deal with the paradoxes of a guru-disciple definement, I´d say that Osho was clearly the Master of the Paradoxes, challenging His disciples to the max.

    And that doesn´t stop until now-here. At least for me.

    Anybody having been present in His Presence surely knows that you could find at least (!) as many quotes contradicting those printed here in the thread (“exam”…), inviting for further efforts and further effortlessness on that Path of Love Life is (with all its failures!).

    Tan shared a glimpse with her experiencing the ´Fool´ inside and her laughter when meeting that.

    I experienced in such meeting an entrance in a ´Nobodyness´, where everything IS and yet no-body is (Master AND disciple disappearing in THAT). And since then, know about a recreational zone, so to say. Where all paradoxes melt and merge – or better said, are completely irrelevant.

    This knowing is sometimes haunting me, sometimes inviting me, and – if I am aware of it just now, or not, fighting it, or not – stays as a companion since.

    And just now, taking on the clothes of a Fool, to respond to an “exam”….

    With Love,


  4. simond says:

    Crikey, exams. Always put me in a bit of a panic. Afraid to get it wrong and to be seen to be a mistake.

    Following Professor Lokesh and Dr. Frank is a little intimidating as well. These are accomplished, cultured and formidable reviewers and the subject matter is highly esoteric and potentially a minefield.

    Q1. “The person is non-existent, a non-entity. In fact there is no person, or there is only one person. Only God can be said to have a personality, because only God can have a centre. We (human beings) have no centres at all.”

    I suggest he is referring to the point when you realise your personality is largely fake, because all your ideas, all your knowledge have failed you. You realise the past is a myth and you have been reduced to the simplicity of the here and now.

    From here personality and individuality have disappeared. And you are at one with God. Because God is the creator and you now realise you are the creator.

    This does not, however, mean that you stay with such a realisation. This state comes and goes. It’s always available when you require it but life is far more expansive.

    Alan Watts puts it rather well:
    “There is, as I have often noted, a widespread and wrong impression that anyone who sees through the illusion of the ego must become a self-effacing and anonymous personality, whereas my own feeling has always been that in order to be a real person you must know how to be a genuine fake. In other words, only those who can accept their own annihilation can have the courage to be true individuals. The rest are too tender with themselves, too scared of losing individuality.” (from ‘In My Own Way: An Autobiography’, by Alan Watts).

    Q2) Osho was a guru, who denied being a guru

    “There should be disciples,” Osho states, “there must be disciples – but no gurus!”
    This is one of his quotes that without context I find utterly unfathomable. Did he deny being a guru? Perhaps he was referring to an antipathy to being referred as a guru, in the same sentence as some of the other so-called teachers and gurus around. I can’t blame him for that.

    He certainly contradicted himself about the guru/disciple relationship. On the one hand, without complete surrender, etc. etc., he sounded like some boring eastern traditionalist. On the other, he reminded us time after time to follow our own path, be authentic and follow no one.

    I guess the contradiction is just part of the great paradox. We can always see everything from at least 2 points of view. There is always argument and counter argument.
    That is, until you realise the state beyond. Or as Professor Lokesh or Dr Frank might say, “until you realise it’s all bullshit.”

    Alternatively, is Osho just suggesting very simply that we are disciples? We are all learning, there is no end to the learning process. To know this is to remain humble and real, to know this keeps you pinned to the moment. The idea of guru might imply that learning is finished. And we are never finished….

    • shantam prem says:

      Simond, think in this way:
      If you and your girlfriend sign on a certain register, you will be called married! Maybe then you will know the difference between author and a master, reader and a disciple, consumer and a shareholder!

      Every relation is not the same fucking relation.

      Anyway, America showed Bhagwan in clear terms, not always you can have your cake and eat it too. When hunter gets trapped, contradictions melt away.

      • simond says:

        Sorry but your reply makes absolutely no sense to me. Your allusions or metaphors, or whatever they are, are a bit too complex for me.

        So please explain again, if you are able and willing.

        • shantam prem says:

          My point is being disciple one invests emotions & feelings, it becomes a kind of intimate affair; whereas my impression is your approach is very intellectual, quite analytical’ it is not bad, in the long run it is good as one does not get emotionally wounded or hurt, but there is no harm to keep the distinction in mind.

          It may look very childish after being in Sannyas for many, many years, but those who changed their name and hung locket of an Indian bearded man in their neck must have invested emotions, feelings, expectations etc. Otherwise, why one should do such highly childish yet degrading act?

          I don´t think Nature has given some extra cushion to such people generally called Swamis and Mas.

  5. shantam prem says:

    Think about a family where they discover old photos of their forefather. In one, man is wearing pullover, in second he is wearing a shirt and a cap. Family has spent many days to discuss in which season photos were taken!

    Think also about a chef who has famous cooking show for vegetarian meals but in private album one can see him enjoying meat. What does it mean? Is the chef vegetarian or non-vegetarian?

    In Hindi, a famous saying is, ‘Elephant has two sets of teeth: one for chewing, another for display (हाथी के दांत खाने के और दिखने के और).

    Such is the life!

  6. Prem says:

    1. So? Where is the contradiction?

    2. So? I don’t see the contradiction.

    • Lokesh says:

      That’s because you are enlightened, Prem. Namaste

      • anand yogi says:

        Perfectly correct, Prem!
        The contradiction that the unconscious baboons see is in their minds which are simply the mind!

        Remember the timeless words of Swami Bhorat:
        “Minds are as stupid as the people who have them.”
        Fortunately, Prem, you have left all that far behind, soaring gracefully miles above the unconscious masses and the spiritual dungheap dwellers of Sannyasnews who with their |ristotelian logic and dualistic mindfucks could never hope to achieve the heights of insight that such a great meditator as yourself has clearly reached!

        Osho said that very few sannyasins had understood his words, and it is indeed a great blessing to have one of those chosen and exalted few walking amongst us!

        With you and Shantambhai amongst our number, my feeling is that it may even be possible to avert the unconscious masses from committing global suicide and usher in a thousand year yuga of superconsciousness!

        Hari Om!

  7. shantam prem says:

    When one takes Osho in as intelligent way as He is, there is no contradiction. If you ask him about time during day, he will say, 11.50 AM. Same question 12 hours later will have the answer 11.50 PM.

    Followers, including follower-in-chief, commit very simple mistake: right product for the false need. You ask for tooth prick, priests give you earbuds!

    My grandfather was a primary school teacher. His observation was, “Mediocre pupils have heavy school bags.” Time has shown, sannyasins have more books in their head than any other religious group. Minutes ago, I have seen a banner at facebook, it shows how Osho words create churning in the belly!
    “Money should be dissolved. It has done tremendous harm to humanity – now it is time to say good-bye to it.” (Osho).

    • Arpana says:

      As Joe enters the house, his wife begins, “Where have you been? It’s after ten o’clock.”
      “Ah, nag, nag, nag,” he says in disgust, and goes to pour himself a drink.
      “The minute you come home,” snaps his wife, “you start drinking. Not even a hello for me!”
      “Ah, nag, nag, nag,” sighs Joe. Then he goes upstairs for a bath, telling his wife that he is expecting a phone call from the governor.
      While he is in the bath, the call comes – Wright has been pardoned. Joe’s wife decides to tell him the good news herself. As she enters the bathroom Joe is standing naked, bending over the tub.
      “Hey, Joe,” says his wife. “They are not hanging Wright tonight.”
      Joe snaps back, “Ah, nag, nag, nag!”


      ‘Dogen, the Zen Master: A Search and a Fulfilment’
      Chapter 5
      Chapter title: ‘The moon never breaks the water’
      29 July 1988 pm in Gautam the Buddha Auditorium

  8. satchit says:

    I don’t know if they understand the mystery of paradox in the theology department of Oxford. Maybe Kyoto would be the right place.

    Paradoxes are the road to the Divine, similar like koans. It is natural that the Master contradicts himself. But the melting with the Master happens only when the disciple contradicts himself too, this is the secret.

    “A disciple who denied being a disciple.”

    • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

      You conferred yesterday, Satchit:
      “I don’t know if they understand the mystery of paradox in the theology department of Oxford. Maybe Kyoto would be the right place.”

      Well, what to say about ´departments´ as discovery channels re mystery/ies? In my eyes, departments and common team workspaces are excluding mysteries by their very ´nature(s)´. When some of us heard “Life is a mystery to be lived, not a problem to be solved” it may have served/may serve as an encouragement to drop the mind and find way to a ´yes-saying attitude’ towards apparently inner and outer obstacles on the Path of Life. And the place where such is happening is always in the individual him/herself, neither in Oxford, nor Kyoto, nor Timbuktu…

      However, departments and researches have their merits – for sure. One department of Oxford University, I discovered, by strolling in the Net, when I was frustrated by reading our SN chat.

      It was the brief synopsis about an Oxford University Project: “Computational Propaganda Research Project, Working Paper 2017.11. Authors, Samuel C. Wooley & Philip N. Howard”
      (Recommendable for all those who want to sharpen their instincts about the manipulative forces and their effects and after-effects, when we open the mouth, so to say, with or without keyboards, to commun(e)-icate with each other).

      Well – yes, that didn´t come from the Oxford “Theology Department”; yet I´d say it’s not that far from that, as some might like to see it.

      In my good moments, I visit the timeless space of NOW, like now, playing on the keyboard like now, listen to the summer rain and the noise of the workers in the courtyard here, who are working in the garden, me – disappearing into the venture to reach other sentient Beings.

      And give that ´a GO´. Now.


      • satchit says:

        Yes, Madhu.

        “Life is not a problem but a mystery. For science life is a problem, but for religion it is a mystery. A problem can be solved, a mystery cannot be solved – it can be lived but it cannot be solved. Religion offers no solutions, no answers. Science offers answers; religion has none.”

        25th July 1973, Bombay, India.
        ‘The Book of the Secrets’, Volume V

    • anand yogi says:

      Perfectly correct, Satchit!
      You say: “the melting with the Master happens only when the disciple contradicts himself too.”

      Yes! Utterly correct!
      The disciple must parrot the master in all aspects!


  9. sw. veet (francesco) says:

    When Osho said these words I was not there to contextualise and make what he says understandable.

    Even though I would have an idea, imagining some people to whom he was referring.



    • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

      Hi Veet Francesco,

      I´m very concerned (listening to your chosen youtube add):
      No kind of variation adapting the plot of ´One Flew Over The Cuckoo´s Nest´ will change the frame of the game, I would say. Games one is truly fed with for ages and maybe even for lifetimes.

      It’s not important if you were present the one or other time, it’s your heartbeat of understanding that is important.

      You know (?) – at any time (!) (in the Sannyasin-Sangha…and everywhere elsewhere) there have been predecessors, elders, so to say, and anyone, simply anyone had/has to deal with that (Lokesh did, Parmartha did, Arpana did, I did, and so on, so on..).

      To stop comparing (in a competitive way) seems to be never-ending on a ´to do’ – or better said, ´let-go-of´ list. Until its accomplished.

      And then, what a relief. Promise.

      Let us take care (of this), Veet Francesco.


      • sw. veet (francesco) says:

        Dear Madhu,
        No competition, I look sympathetically to people who have gone through medication to reach meditation. I myself did or continue to do therapeutic groups, of Osho or Veeresh, planning, if I had the money, a workshop with Brad Blanton or an IFS session. With a difference.

        Therapy that in the past had to heal old wounds and reactivate lost ability, today provides me with new glasses, points of view from where to look at reality, whose essence is as elusive as light, a mystery. While I’m much more familiar with the dismay, sometimes the suffering, of those who suddenly lose or break glasses.

        Trying to understand what Osho says from a concise and contradictory phrase means, IMHO, to understand what glasses he is wearing.

        Often, he rhetorically uses the same of his interlocutor, and at some point of the speech he takes them away to let the light come in, without filters.

        That is a turning point, a sudden change in speech level, a paradox, a koan, a contradiction on a shared reality or an understandable description of a contradictory reality.

        Without knowing how one has arrived there, only speculations can be made. As in the case of a more or less faithful transcription of his words, such as the presence or not of quotation marks, to distinguish the language, which speaks of something, from the meta-language, which speaks of itself (Alfred Tarsky).

        Much simpler, I just liked the song and the video is fun.



      • Arpana says:

        The Darshan Diaries give an insight into this issue, which comes up more than a few times.

        In this first of the Darshan Diaries as well. Can’t recall where though:

        • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

          Thanks so much for the ´HammerontheRock´ link, Arpana.
          Came just in time for me.


        • sw. veet (francesco) says:

          Which one:
          “from medication to meditation”,
          “faithful transcription of his words”,
          “rhetorical using of the interlocutor’s point of view”?

          • Arpana says:

            If this question is for me, Sw. Veet (Francesco), read the book.

            • sw. veet (francesco) says:

              I am at 1200 metres elevation and the internet line is weak for bad weather.

              When the signal is better I will decide if I’ll download the book and find out what issue you refer to or phone to say ciao to mum.

          • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

            What about a plain and STRAIGHT response at this point, Veet Francesco? Just honouring your connection to the Vereesh troupe you claim to have, or that kind of ´Radical Truth´ (´Honesty’) stuff this Texan Buddhy (I googled) you are so fond of as a model is ´teaching?

            Looking forward to that.

            Just came home from a bike tour, having very much enjoyed the cool and strong summer winds – say, why not have some fresh air and movement in the SN/UK Chat too?


            • sw. veet (francesco) says:

              “What about a plain and STRAIGHT response at this point, Veet Francesco? Just honouring your connection to the Vereesh troupe you claim to have, or that kind of ´Radical Truth´ (´Honesty’) stuff this Texan Buddhy (I googled) you are so fond of as a model is ´teaching?”

              I would like to answer you, just tell me which point or which plain you’re talking about.

              It does not make much sense that you ask me to honour the supposed connection with therapeutic paths but then you omit to mention the connection with Osho from which I look at all the others. If you read in my previous comments it’s the only recurring claim, while others are so only in your imagination.

              • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

                Still on the mountain (1200 m), Veet Francesco?
                Internet connection functioning again?
                Phoned your mom?
                Or do you prefer to visit a FKK lake to chat with one of your male buddhies like Shantam Prem ?
                To then donate to the facebook world at large what some ‘peeping Tom´s` exchange, sexually and mentally distorted, brought as ´material´?

                Whatever the case, if you insist to be one of the only ´bravehearts´ here while others, like me, are only in ´imagination´, then in this moment my only request can be to ask you for further elaboration about what you mean by addressing me in particular: “then you omit to mention the connection with Osho from which I look at all the others.”

                Waiting for your fresh look on others, is me.


                • sw. veet (francesco) says:

                  Ah, ok, I understand now. It’s about dirty talking.

                  If I have a little signal after saying ciao to mom and downloading the book to find out the issue that Arpana talks about, I can devote you 5 minutes of this practice.

                  POST EDITED.

                • sw. veet (francesco) says:

                  What is she asking me or what does she mean here?
                  Which “POINT”?

                  “What about a plain and STRAIGHT response at this point, Veet Francesco? Just honouring your connection to the Vereesh troupe you claim to have, or that kind of ´Radical Truth´ (´Honesty’) stuff this Texan Buddhy (I googled) you are so fond of as a model is ´teaching?”

                  VF, at this point MEANS at this point or stage of the discussion/argument.

                  Madhu, WILL YOU ANSWER VF HERE, PLEASE?