Buddha is asked, is there a God?

Ananda, the chief disciple of Buddha said to him, “Master, the question is the same, but you answer so differently, you answer so contradictorily, that we have become puzzled, confused.”


Osho comments:

The Master says that although the question may be the same the answer cannot be the same the next moment. It will depend on a thousand and one things.

It used to happen to Buddha every day:

Somebody would ask, ’Is there a God?’ and he would say, ’No.’

Somebody else would ask, ’Is there a God?’ and he would say, ’Yes.’

And somebody else would ask, ’Is there a God?’ and he would keep silent.

And again somebody else would ask, ’Is there a God?’ and he would say, ’Don’t ask nonsense questions.’

In one day he gave a thousand and one answers to one question.

His chief disciple, Ananda, became very worried. He said, ’Master, the question is the same, but you answer so differently, you answer so contradictorily, that we have become puzzled, confused.’

Buddha said, ’I was not answering you, so you need not listen. Somebody asked a question and the answer was given to him, not to you. And the questioners were different, the time was different, the situation was different – how can the question be the same? One man who had asked, ”Is there a God?” was an atheist. He didn’t believe in God. I had to say yes to him, I had to shake him, shock him. I had to bring him out of his ideology, so I had to say yes. But it is not that God exists – it was a response to that man’s reality.

‘Then somebody said, ”Is there a God?” and because he was a believer and believed in God, I had to say no. I had to shake him and shock him too and bring him out of his sleep. If I had said yes to him, he would have gone home thinking that I agreed with him, that I also believed in the same way that he believed. Then his ideology would have been strengthened and any strengthened ideology is a danger. All ideologies have to be shattered, utterly shattered, so the mind becomes completely free from ideologies.

’I had to remain silent to another person, because he was neither a theist nor an atheist. His question was very simple and innocent. He had no ideology, so I did not need to shock him. He was a really silent man, so I kept silent. And he understood me. He understood the idea that about questions about God one should be silent. They are meaningless questions, there is nothing to be said about them.’

Quote by Osho from Tao: The Pathless Path – Talks on extracts from ‘The Book of Lieh Tzu’, Vol 2, Ch 7


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100 Responses to Buddha is asked, is there a God?

  1. Lokesh says:

    Osho declares, “All ideologies have to be shattered, utterly shattered, so the mind becomes completely free from ideologies.”

    Ideology is visionary theorising. Would it be correct to say that declaring that all ideologies have to be shattered utterly is an ideology?

  2. swamishanti says:

    I can see in the picture that Buddha is raised on the dais, with one hand up, one hand down.
    Next to him sits his begging bowl. He has a halo of light around his head.

    But in the background there is another figure, sitting in the full lotus, with a halo around his head. Who is this monk?

    • Parmartha says:

      Mahakashyapa , maybe?

    • Lokesh says:

      SS, a true visionary.

      • swamishanti says:

        There were other disciples of Buddha that were said to have become enlightened in his lifetime. Sariputta is a name that comes to mind. But that is a name I got from Osho.

        Depending on which strain of Buddhism the painting is taken from may give a clue. And there are many canons and scriptures.

        D.T.Suzuki compiled a lineage of masters that came from Buddha and it leads all the way to Japan in one of his books.

  3. shantam prem says:

    God is dead, Osho is the new god for those who listen talks given by Acharya Bhagwan!

    PS: For Osho, many times I use He instead of he. But for new god I cannot and won´t use capital G.

  4. shantam prem says:

    Historically speaking, this story of Buddha Osho has used dozens of times during his public speaking of three decades.

    Most probably it is one of the cooked stories by Osho describing his approach to spirituality: path of enquiry, sincerity, humility and no mumbo-jumbo of believing the utter nonsense kind of stuff.

    I wonder those who utter like “my master is master of the masters, there was no one like particular Buddha and there won´t be any particular Osho”, have read or listened this story.

    The master´s work is reduced to the empire of words for the simple reason that somewhere hero-worshipping popped in and the work got forgotten.

    PS: Someone will ask, “Shantam, what is “the work” in your opinion?” I know already what these multi-author readers think.

    • Kavita says:

      In any case, Shantam, about “the work”, what would “lazy bums” like you and me know?!

      • shantam prem says:

        Most probably, in general, “lazy bums” know better what is “the work” of their cult or spiritual sect´s founder.
        Reason: they have less burning ambition to spread the work therefore no energy to alter and contaminate.

        Question remains, What is “the work” of Osho?
        It must be more than few fitness techniques and inspirational oratory!

        • Kavita says:

          “therefore no energy to alter and contaminate.”! Really!

          He did what he did and that’s the end of it. Now lazy you & me with the others not so lazy are doing what we do, maybe only till we are alive.

        • satyadeva says:

          Shantam, this post of yours seems rather misguided.

          You’re far from being the sort of wise but somehow lazily ‘innocent’ character implied by your first parag:
          “Most probably, in general, “lazy bums” know better what is “the work” of their cult or spiritual sect´s founder.”

          Quite a claim there…

          And, as you often do, you put on to others what belongs to you…

          What about your own “burning ambition”, evident every day here for years, and occasionally indicated more fully on a more personal, self-serving way, as yesterday?:
          “As one of the trustees of Osho Foundation in case democratic set-up is established during my lifetime and old hats think about my services and passion….”

          This ambition, plus your self-confessed laziness, is an unattractive combination, geared to serve untruth. With one you are emotionally driven, just as much as any other ambitious-because-aggrieved person, eager and impatient to take every opportunity to impose your ‘message’, “to spread the work”; with the other, you cut corners and reduce your case to the level of repetitious sloganising, thereby doing plenty “to alter and contaminate”.

          Thus, you serve quantity over quality, the propagandist’s habitual ploy. Which undermines your credibility – and also your own clarity of perception, I suggest.

          Throughout your one-man campaign your contributions at SN have been ‘contaminated’ by your laziness, consistently sacrificing care for detail, fact checking and even making sense, in favour of hurriedly shooting off posts under the pretext that being ‘spontaneous’ is intrinsically superior to thinking through issues and presenting coherent arguments. (Not to mention the many times you’ve chosen to ignore criticism, usually when ‘cornered’, or even found ways to blame the other for daring to expose flaws).

          However sincere you are, however full of “passion”, continuously shooting yourself in the foot like that is most definitely not the sign of a man who knows “better what is “the work” of their cult or spiritual sect´s founder.” You clearly believe you are but I suggest that’s just delusions of grandeur.

    • Lokesh says:

      Oh, dear, Shantam’s speaking in tongues again.

  5. Parmartha says:

    People like Dominic think that the figures of Buddha and Jesus, and a whole string of others, may simply be the products of fiction.

    If so, that’s okay, some wisdom however can be found there, even if it maybe is just some commentator or even a fictionalist. They too can be the conduits of wisdom.

    This story of the Buddha happily reflects what Osho said just 35 years ago, so here we cannot say it is some fiction.
    It has wisdom in it.

    And it is important, when discussing with logicians and the modern standard-bearers of ‘consistency’, that they are reminded that those who choose to help human beings have to reach to all sorts of types of that species.

    • satyadeva says:

      “And it is important, when discussing with logicians and the modern standard-bearers of ‘consistency’, that they are reminded that those who choose to help human beings have to reach to all sorts of types of that species.”

      Good point, Parmartha, otherwise we’re left with the sort of narrow-minded dogmatism that surely defeats the whole purpose of the endeavour.

      It seems to me that masters and teachers criticise others in the same line of work, often enough harshly, chiefly in order to ensure they attract the sort of clientele who can benefit from their own teachings, not necessarily because they regard those other teachers as intrinsically misleading or useless.

      Also, that it’s one thing for them to make such criticisms and quite another for their students/disciples to do likewise, if ‘followers’ don’t realise that everything has its place and no single way suits everyone.

      • frank says:

        You two guys sound like ‘The Self-Righteous Brothers’ by Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse (remember them?)!

        “If I was having a quiet pint in the snug of my local boozer,”The Bertrand Russell” and enjoying a packet of pork scratchings while discussing the existence or non-existence of God and a logician came in and voiced his disagreement, I would say “Oy, No! I realise that you are a modern standard-bearer of consistency and I understand your proposition that for all propositions p, it is impossible for both p and not p to be true, or symbolically ∼(p · ∼p), in which ∼ means “not” and · means “and”; (2) either p or ∼p must be true, there being no third or middle true proposition between them, or symbolically p ∨ ∼p, in which ∨ means “or”; and (3) if a propositional function F is true of an individual variable x, then F is indeed true of x, or symbolically F(x) ⊃ F(x), in which ⊃ means “formally implies.”
        but I feel duty bound to remind you that some of us who are choosing to help human beings have to reach to all sorts of types of that species through the use of fantasy, fiction and paradox do not appreciate the sort of narrow-minded dogmatism that surely defeats the whole purpose of the endeavour!

        If he then proceeded to attempt to explain that another formulation of the principle of identity asserts that a thing is identical with itself, or (∀x) (x = x), in which ∀ means “for every”; or simply that x is x, then I would have no choice but to nut him!”

        “Very true.”

        • dominic says:

          Good point, Frank. It has wisdumb in it, whilst the nihilism of people like Dominic means nothing to me!

          Just to add, a priori, if what Buddha says is true, and the true is in utterance, it is either in the shortest utterance or in a long one. But it is not in the shortest one, for the shortest thing is partless, but the true is not partless. Nor is it in a long one; for that is non-subsistent given the fact that, when the first part of it is being expressed, the second part is not yet, and when the second part is being expressed, the first part is no longer. Therefore the true is not in utterance. In addition, if it is in utterance, it is either in one that signifies or in one that does not signify. But it could not be in one that does not signify anything, for how is it possible to apprehend as true an object that does not signify? It remains to say, therefore, that it is in one that signifies. Which is again impossible, for no utterance is capable as signifying as utterance!

          I hope that clears everything up. Mine’s a lager and a packet of crisps….

  6. Tan says:

    I love Buddha hair style. So cool! All the guys there look very stylish!
    I can’t see any woman. Maybe they all are homosexual. Maybe they hate women. The competition will be there! The young, handsome new arrivals wouldn’t look twice to Buddha if they meet a lovely woman around! Cheers!

  7. swamishanti says:

    Dipa Ma was a Buddhist Master who was said to have learned siddhis at the insistence of her teacher.

    She said she learned the time travel siddhi and she went back in time to sit with the Buddha in one of his lectures.

    • Tan says:

      Like Ozen Rajneesh from Mexico? While meditating in the Himalayas, he was in a pub in London at the same time?

      How cool is that? Any siddhi teacher around? Let me know and their prices as well. Cheers!

      • swamishanti says:

        Dipa Ma didn’t advocate the use of siddhis and dropped messing and walking through walls and stuff to pursue her enlightenment, as she mentions in this interview with Jack Engler:

        “Munindraji also said he trained you and Dipa to access the siddhis just to see if they were real.”

        “He did. We experimented with all of them. Once, for instance, I was able to walk into the room of a professor at Magadh University and have a conversation with him while one of his students was watching me meditate in Munindraji’s room. But siddhis aren’t important. Enlightenment brings purity and liberation and understanding. Siddhis often become a hindrance because they tend to inflate ego. I don’t have siddhi powers now. I could practise for them again, but it would take a long time…maybe three days, if I really practised. But it is so much more important to be practising for liberation.”

        Remember Angulimal? The Indian badman with a garland of people’s fingers around his neck, people who he had murdered. He had a garland of 990 fingers around his neck and he just wanted 10 more to make it 1000.

        According to some of the Buddhist texts, when he needed his last ten fingers he happened to come across Buddha, who is said to have held his hand out and stopped Angulimal from reaching him.

        Osho did the same thing at the airport with law enforcement officers in Charlotte, North Carolina, as they were about to handcuff him, sort of held his hand out and froze them until Amrito whispered, “Master, release them.”

        Osho easily could have told those officers that, “I’m not the guy you’re looking for”, and told them to just get back in their cars and drive back home, if he’d wanted to, and they would have obeyed him, but no, he just went with the flow.

        • Parmartha says:

          I have scepticism abut your Osho siddhi powers story, Shanti.

          If you could quote a police officer who arrested Osho and experienced what you say, then okay. But your story sounds like a fable that Osho devotees might well make up.

          • shantam prem says:

            Very true, Parmartha.
            Yesterday evening, when I read this fable about Osho I felt dizzy.

          • swamishanti says:

            Parmartha, I am exagerrating the story of what happened at the airport. I think what happened is that Osho put his hand out and stopped and confused just one guy, who was approaching him on the tarmac, for a moment.

            I think I got that story from Chetna’s(Shunyo’s) book, ‘Diamond Days with Osho’- but it’s in the garage. I’ll have to go down and try to find it.

            Also, I remember reading somewhere else recently, possibly a story on Oshonews, where Osho stopped someone in a similar way, and telling someone, “Don’t do that”. But I cannot remember the exact tale. Possibly something to do with the World Tour.

            Some versions of the story of Angulimal chasing Buddha say that Buddha used a siddha to stop Angulimal from reaching him. But Angulimal was changed by Buddha from the encounter and became a disciple.

            • swamishanti says:

              To my surprise, I managed to find the book, ‘My Diamond Days with Osho’ in my garage. I have not read the book for over fifteen years, but had a quick leaf through. The scene that I remember, where Osho stops someone who is about to handcuff him is not in the part where Chetana describes Osho`s arrest in North Carolina.

              However, I do have a good long-term memory and it may be that this occurred in another airport. Osho was stopped by police in lots of airports after all during his World Tour.

              Alternatively, it may be in another book.

              • swamishanti says:

                I figure I may have mixed up that story from someone else’s account. Juliet Foreman (Maneesha)? Or Veena, Geet or one of his other crew.

                Shunyo reports that the last thing Osho said to her on the 16th january, 1990 was, “The man is in the fourth row.” In mid-Dec., 1989, Osho had said that someone was chanting a mantra, and it was a deliberate attack. He could send the energy back double, but his reverence for life was total and he could not use any power destructively.

                They videotaped the fourth row of people and watched the film afterwards, looking for a suspect. But Osho said there was more than one person, and seeing how stressed they were becoming, told them to drop the search.

                Shunyo also recounts in her book how Osho used to call her into his room in the middle of the night, and sometimes ask for snacks. He told her she could write a book about him, and in August 1988 he called her in one night on his beeper system.

                Shunyo was worried that he might be having an asthma attack, but Osho told her to bring a notepad, and that he had something for her book.

                He then dictated thirteen names, and told her to write the names in a circle. In the centre of the circle was ‘Bhagwan’, and going round the circle clockwise the names were:
                “Jayesh, Avirbhava, Nityamo, Nirvano, Kavisha, Maneesha, Devageet, Neelam, David, Chetana, Hasya, Anando, Amrito”.
                He said, “Twelve can be named. The thirteenth remains unnamed. This has been my secret group. The secret group of thirteen. In the middle the unknown Bhagwan.”

                After that, he turned the light off and went to sleep.

            • Parmartha says:

              Thanks, Shanti, for your efforts.
              At least you seem to have a garage to put your gear, something I don’t have, but could be useful!

              I have the Maneesha books somewhere and will try to check her account.

              With the Buddha and Angulimal, I veer towards a Dominic on this, it’s so easy for those who write about such things to get caught up in fantasy and exaggeration, and even fiction.

              • satyadeva says:

                Agree re Buddha/Angulimal story. Even in our times, similar exaggerations and fantasies occur, eg in certain tales concerning Sai Baba, which I recall reading a lot of when I went to his ashram in ’96 (for a short holiday, out of curiosity), one of which relates that as a boy he somehow ‘miraculously’ reached the top of a high, steep cliff in just a few moments, something that normally took very much longer, leaving his friends gaping in astonishment at the bottom!

              • swamishanti says:

                Yes, I have recently moved to a place above three garages. One of them is mine and is indeed useful.

                I also wonder if Osho may have been losing his marbles a bit by that time.

                • swamishanti says:

                  I came across a couple of other books I hadn’t seen for years yesterday, Pantanjali’s ‘Yoga Sutras’ (with foreword by Sw Vivekananda), an interesting book, and ‘Biography of a Buddha’, another interesting story.

                  I wonder whether Maitreya melted his nervous system when he became enlightened, and whether sometimes enlightenment does make people a little cuckoo.

                  Not enough tests have been done on ‘enlightened’ cases yet, of course. Osho said somewhere that sometimes people die when enlightenment happens, the explosion is too much for the body to cope with. So Maitreya could have become crazy and heard God talking to him.

                  Alternatively, of course, that may not be the case and the God may have really been chatting to him. Like that other fellow, Neal Donald Walsh, ‘Conversations with God’.

        • swami anand anubodh says:


          Are you a ‘Star Wars’ fan?

          “Master, release them”…

          “I’m not the guy you’re looking for”…

  8. dominic says:

    It used to happen to God every day:
    Somebody would ask, “Is there a Buddha with a man-bun, an Osho with 100 rollers, a Jesus freak making miracles, a rolypoly hugging mummy, a Nozen comedian, 100 tantric sleazebags, 1000 shitsang teachers, and a partridge in a pear tree?“
    And he would say, “No. There is only me, GOD (aka Brahman, Source, whatever…). The rest is bollocks!”

    Then God’s chief angel asked God why he always gave the same answer, and God said, “Cos it’s the truth, now piss off.”

  9. shantam prem says:

    I hope detective angels of God or Existence are watching those people who are trying their best to be enlightened through all kinds of hooks and crooks with the feeling they will become hairs in the beard of God.

    I hope God changes his address regularly and also God uses Gillette!

  10. Vijay says:

    Every day I play ping-pong with God and have a sauna with the Devil. So many laughters!!!!!

  11. dominic says:

    Big P says, “People like Dominic think that the figures of Buddha and Jesus, and a whole string of others, may simply be the products of fiction.”

    Logically, a proposition is sound or not, irrespective of who said it, whether a mass murderer or an enlightened master.

    But wisdom requires some receptivity to proclaim it ‘wisdom’. If the author of this wisdom never existed or was a fraud, hypocrite, villain etc., would I still listen in the same way? Without trust in their integrity, my interest tends to wane.

    Having said that, many ‘teachers’ are in the middle, a mix of ‘good’ and ‘bad’, not so far gone to the ‘dark side’ that they provoke disgust, although many ‘devotees’ have difficulty holding that ambiguity and dissonance.

    Osho’s teaching stories are vehicles to endorse his philosophy. In this case, he is saying every patient needs a different medicine, and that “all ideologies have to be shattered, utterly shattered, so the mind becomes completely free from ideologies.” Is that true, or even possible?

    In any case, the subtext is another implied ideology that is being promoted: “Guru knows best”. The idea being that if you have an ‘issue’, a Guru is going to magically resolve it for you, with the ‘right’ answer.

    Most gurus employ a ‘didactic’ style rather than facilitative (i.e. supporting the client to find solutions to their own problems, thereby strengthening their own ‘inner guru’). It’s also how gurus themselves have been conditioned, by their guru and culture.

    The iconography of this scene oozes ideology! Firstly, it’s a boys’ club, no women allowed, while the myth of the enlightened master raised up on a dais with a supplicant is being promoted, and much else besides. It’s an emotive eidetic ideology that works on your subconscious. By constantly repeating these images and storylines it becomes true, but essentially it’s marketing!

    I’m on board with the idea “that all ideologies” (rigid belief systems) have to be questioned. In order to do this one’s critical thinking, as a tool, needs to be encouraged, not surrendered to a Guru, which is the slippery slope of just ‘dropping the mind’ and a recipe for totalitarianism.

    • Kavita says:

      !It’s also how gurus themselves have been conditioned, by their guru and culture.”

      Makes me think probably only the first man/woman was born without any conditioning, but whatever they did/happened is probably the basis of the rest of the humanity’s first ever conditioning.

      Then guilt/fear/greed for more wisdom/knowledge came which brought religion & guru into being.

      So now we have anti-guru to counter the guru.

      Whether it is a guru/anti-guru /any human, nobody can be without any conditioning, as conditioning is just a survival tool which has evolved over the years.

      Do what may, however much one thinks one is deconditioned, conditioning in a subtle form shall always be present!

      • dominic says:

        I agree, Kavita. We are hardwired as a species through evolution, then programming is added with the software of socialisation.

        One of the outstanding features of modern civilisation is our ability to question things, which speeded up in the West from the Greco-Roman, to the Renaissance, to the Enlightenment, through to the modern era. We are now one big global superbrain with all information available at a keystroke.

        Osho didn’t live in this period, and in many ways his style of guruing is old hat. When you realise how much of that older generation of gurus could get away with, so much spin and fake news, a reasonable person has to take a more nuanced and sceptical approach about gurudom.

        If one’s master has ‘left the body’ and hasn’t been replaced with another, you’re left with reliance on the inner guru. You continue to listen to others that might get your interest, but that overly reverential attitude to the guru and the community is gone. You are old enough and ugly enough, as they say, to return full circle to ‘be a light/joke unto yourself’. You might think that was Osho’s message in the first place. Good, then.

        Your reference to “first man/woman and guilt/fear/greed” resembles Christian creation myths, I don’t think that’s how evolution works.

        You’ll never be free of conditioning, but striving to be free of bad, false, outmoded or lazy conditioning is a continual worthy enterprise.

        • Kavita says:

          As regards to Osho, it’s quite paradoxical when I think of it now. I thought of him as an anti-guru guru when I came to Poona, that’s what attracted me to him. In any case, he had died by the time. So I have in that sense mostly relied on my inner master.

          Now when I think, I don’t think I would be able to deal with all the things that I have heard that his secretaries did, like asking sannyasins to sell off all that they owned & give the money to the Commune/Ashram. I guess I don’t have that much surrender in me & thank Existence for its timing!

          “You’ll never be free of conditioning, but striving to be free of bad, false, outmoded or lazy conditioning is a continual worthy enterprise.”
          I guess, somehow striving to live is/has been my only enterprise!

          Re your reference to “first man/woman and guilt/fear/greed” resembles Christian creation myths, I don’t think that’s how evolution works.”

          Dominic, could you, if possible, expand on this

          • dominic says:

            K, it’s a truism that ‘power corrupts’. Once revolutionaries get into power they often become dictators and create totalitarian regimes, worse than the previous one they were replacing. Whilst the less ruthless and ‘surrendered’ members of the new ideology tend to get ‘purged’.

            I mean, the myth of Adam and Eve is a Christian story, rather than how modern humans actually evolved, which is an ongoing exploration.

            “Then guilt/fear/greed for more wisdom/knowledge came which brought religion & guru into being.”

            I don’t know if there’s a correlation or causation there, and words like “guilt/fear/greed” carry quasi-religious overtones. Acquisition of more knowledge and wisdom would pre-select some tribes of humans or pre-humans to outperform others. The evolution of ‘mind’ and the prefrontal cortex has allowed humans to become the dominant, smartest species on the planet. We should never just ‘drop the mind’ (as if we could) unless we want to become vegetables controlled by others.

            Anyway, big topics! Namaste!

            • Kavita says:

              Actually, D, I am not talking about that Adam & Eve at all. I am talking about pre-religion days, when probably everything was free of all the words we associate with, like fear etc. Their 2nd generation probably were the first batch to get their conditioning/software, then with time, it all that went on to evolve & shall ever continue to.

              “Acquisition of more knowledge and wisdom would pre-select some tribes of humans or pre-humans to outperform others. The evolution of ‘mind’ and the prefrontal cortex has allowed humans to become the dominant, smartest species on the planet. We should never just ‘drop the mind’ (as if we could) unless we want to become vegetables controlled by others.”

              This I agree with.

              Btw, not really big topics if one has the time! Anyway, thank you & Namaste!

            • satyadeva says:

              “The evolution of ‘mind’ and the prefrontal cortex has allowed humans to become the dominant, smartest species on the planet. We should never just ‘drop the mind’ (as if we could) unless we want to become vegetables controlled by others.”

              Absolutely, Dominic, and this is just common sense, surely? Although everything has its place and ‘dropping the mind’ is apparently a prerequisite of entering deeper states of being, love and ‘Being’ itself.

              I suppose the emphasis on what looks like and often is a rabid anti-intellectualism stems from how we’ve all been ‘force-fed’ with ‘mind, mind, mind, think, think, think,’ at school and beyond, particularly in this western society that’s so spiritually ignorant.

              As usual, it’s ideally a matter of maintaining a balance, using the mind and its wonderful capacities, without letting it use us. Seems we’ve a long way to go….

              • Kavita says:

                I think the very idea of ideals creates all the imbalance; surely we’ve a long way to go!

                • satyadeva says:

                  Kavita, suggesting “it’s a matter of maintaining a balance” is not proposing an unattainable ideal, it’s meant to be more practical than that, a solution to an inharmonious, even dangerous situation for the individual and the collective.

                • Kavita says:

                  In fact, SD, looking at the current scene, there is more danger to the collective of the planet. Look how/what head of one government of a country like North Korea is doing in the name of maintaining balance & harmony for itself.

                • satyadeva says:

                  Of course, Kavita, it’s now a world collective crisis. But where do you think that sort of mentality originates if not from individuals who’ve surrendered their being to pathological beliefs and allowed themselves to be taken over by murderous paranoia?

                  The avowed North Korean quest for “balance and harmony” has nothing to do with seeing through the ‘dictatorship of the mind’, it’s just an extreme version, ie more and more of the same!

                • Kavita says:

                  I guess this is like the crux of mostly all matters, ‘whether the chicken came first or the egg’!

              • dominic says:

                Yes, SD, but how uncommon, common sense can be!

                ‘Mind’ should be a tool that we can use when needed, and let go of when not needed or to access “deeper states of being, love and ‘Being’ itself.”

                Fleeing from rationalism to what is often irrationalism and blind belief under the pretext of ‘dropping the mind’ is a pendulum swing that doesn’t serve either. As you say, holistic balance.

  12. shantam prem says:

    Is there a God?
    Maybe this little video brings some insights:
    Many of us may have already seen. For me it was first time yesterday. Just after watching, I have sent to all my whatsapp contacts, 58 in total; over whelming responses started coming. This is one video almost everyone has reacted to and many of them shared further.

  13. Parmartha says:

    Hello, Shanti,
    I have been able now to check Maneesha’s (Juliet Foreman’s) book, ’12 days that shook the world.’

    She was not actually with Osho on his flight to Charlotte, but she quotes Vivek at length who was. The only reference to the actual process of arrest is that Osho said no quietly to being handcuffed from behind. They then handcuffed him from the front.

    The police did treat him badly. They forced him to stand with his hands on the plane, and told him to spread his legs to be searched. He was unable to do that so they kicked his legs apart and searched him anyway.

    Overall, this may be an example of Chinese whispers indeed. If Osho had siddhi powers he never chose to exercise them as far as my reading of the incidents of his life.

    But I remain with an open mind, if you have any further evidence.

    • frank says:

      Me too.
      I could do a hell of a lot of siddhis if I wanted to.
      People say “Go on, Frank, show us your siddhis.”
      I say “Look, I`m just not that kind of yogi.”

      • swamishanti says:

        I was surprised by the Indians’ ability to communicate with cows, indeed they taught me how to talk to them and make them come to me and how to direct them away from me.

    • swamishanti says:

      I have read the tale of Osho momentarily stopping and confusing the officer but I cannot remember where.

  14. sannyasnews says:

    Ma Shantam Lani writes below somewhere on the Greece arrest: clearly another example of Osho behaving with good sense, and not resisting arrest, etc. No siddhis!

    Do you know, Shanti, of any other actual arrest which this stuff about siddhis may be being confused with?

    “I was actually in the house when Osho was arrested and saw how fearless he was. It was amazing to watch the whole thing. I remember Anando coming in the house saying, “Lock the doors and the windows, the police are coming.” They broke through a window to get into the house and I remember Osho said, “Just tell them I am getting dressed.”
    He was so easy about the whole thing.
    When he was being escorted out the front door and Mukta was arguing with the police – I will never forget him saying, “Mukta, silence, they don’t have heads.”
    He then got into the car and they drove him to the police station and finally to the airport (to which I didn’t go).”

    • swamishanti says:

      I read Shunyo’s account of the police barging into the villa in Crete, and apparently one of the policemen was getting angry and impatient and placed his hand on Osho’s wrist, and said, “We take you now!” and made as if to yank Osho out of his chair. But Osho just patted the policeman on his hand and said, “There is no need to use violencccce…” – and then the policeman’s eyes glazed over and he became more relaxed, and sat down like an obedient puppy.
      (‘Diamond Days with Osho’).

      I arrived on Crete just after he had been thrown out, I visited the villa where he stayed. One of the windows was boarded up where it had been smashed by the police.

      • Parmartha says:

        Thanks, Shanti.
        Difficult to know what you are saying.
        My impression of the arrest stories is that Osho was graceful, and actually very sensible.

        I don’t know why somehow or other this siddhi stuff has crept in.

        • swamishanti says:

          Yes, by all the accounts, Osho was always graceful. He was an excellent teacher, always telling his meditators to just watch and not to get involved in siddhis or other phenomena.

          Once he was asked if he could do miracles like Sai Baba.
          He answered that yes, he could do them, but the greatest miracle was that he didn’t do them.

          The thing about siddhis came up because I mentioned Dipa Ma, the Theravada Buddhist master and single mother, who was trained in the siddhis at a certain stage.
          There were many witnessness to these advents including from her daughter, Dipa, but she stopped all these practices and said that they involve ego.

          Later, she became a simple householder teacher whose key teaching was witnessing and vipassana.
          She died bowing before a statue of the Buddha.

          • Parmartha says:

            Thanks, Shanti, for the clarification and the post. I know nothing about Dipa Ma but will check her out.

            Thanks of course to Wikipedia. (I give money to Wikipedia from time to time and encourage others to do so. So great to have that facility, and without ads.).

  15. Parmartha says:

    Being in more than one place at a time, walking on water, disappearing and then reappearing some way away, and all the various siddhic lists that occur in Hinduism particularly, but also elsewhere, seem ‘magical’ to me.

    I remember Gurdjieff saying he could “kill a yak” at 100 metres, just by looking in that direction, which sort of made me laugh…

    In the ordinary manner of speaking, I don’t believe in such powers, though accept that some fellows may be able to ‘appear’ to have them in limited circumstances, and maybe by changing the senses of the perceiver.

    Many would want them to exist, as it suits their disempowered world view, and also makes them think that enlightenment comes with a whole host of ‘powers’.

    I don’t know, returning to the string, how important such powers are treated in Buddhism, or whether the Buddha himself ever alluded to them?

    Maybe Shanti knows?

    • frank says:

      All religions claim some super powers, don`t they?
      In Buddhism, the Tibetans are probably the biggest on siddhis.
      The eight basic siddhis in Tibetan Buddhism are the ability to…
      dwell in celestial realms while still alive.
      to overcome any hostile army.
      become invisible by blessing pills and holding them in your hand
      wear boots you have blessed, so you can walk around a lake in an instant.
      create a vessel that makes anything you put inside it, food or money, for example, inexhaustible.
      make spirits your servants so they follow your orders and accomplish the work of a million people in a single night.
      give yourself a lifespan as long as the sun and the moon, the strength of an elephant, the beauty of a lotus, and makes you feel as light as cotton wool whenever you get up from your seat.
      see things beneath the earth, such as treasures and so on when you apply balm to your eyes.

      The standard Hindu ones are:
      reducing one’s body even to the size of an atom
      expanding one’s body to an infinitely large size
      becoming infinitely heavy
      becoming almost weightless
      ability to be anywhere at will
      realizing whatever one desires
      supremacy over nature
      control of natural forces
      complete satisfaction
      knowing the past, present and future
      tolerance of heat, cold and other dualities
      knowing the minds of others and so on
      checking the influence of fire, sun, water, poison, and so on
      remaining unconquered by others
      being undisturbed by hunger, thirst, and other bodily appetites
      hearing things far away
      seeing things far away
      moving the body wherever thought goes
      assuming any form desired
      entering the bodies of others
      dying when one desires
      witnessing and participating in the pastimes of the gods
      perfect accomplishment of one’s determination
      orders or commands being unimpeded.

      Most of these activities/experiences will be recognisable to anyone who has practised or even read about lucid dreaming. Psychonauts will concur. Anyone keeping a dream diary or even remembering some dreams will note these kind of experiences as relatively commonplace.

      The belief that these states happened in the material 3D world rather than in ‘altered states’ was spread around either because the/lamas/brahmins/yogis/exponents of such activities distinguished less between dreaming and waking states, or just simply as a power grab. I suspect both are true to some extent.

      That power grab is alive and well in nuage and spiritual circles.
      Making magical claims, “sharing” experiences of satori, paranormal, supernatural lineages of masters, ramped-up chi energies etc. etc. is a standard way to create a sense of validation and authorisation around the claimer.

      In this sense, the real genius of the idea of siddhis is very human. It means you can have power over someone without having to threaten him physically: You don`t have to be a bigger monkey to get the other guy`s banana. Instead,you can create this metaphysical world out of altered or even imagined altered states that`s mighty impressive because you`ve got supernatural powers and he`s feeling a little bit powerless by comparison so he wants in, and hey presto! He gives you his banana willingly!

      It`s the oldest profession in the world. Bar none.

    • dominic says:

      It’s all gone Harry Potter!

      But the siddhis that my iphone can perform, wins the jackpot! I can disappear and then reappear, anywhere in the world. I can see into everything that is and was! I can also conjure up a large pizza, with extra toppings, to magically appear at my door. Beat that, Buddha!

      Or as Arthur C. put it, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

      Funny though, how rightly sceptical people are of siddhi ‘powers’, but talk about ‘enlightenment’ (the ultimate spiritual superpower) without blinking. That’s a real siddhi power, I don’t have!
      Happy new year!

      • Parmartha says:

        Funny, the powers that would have done humankind a lot of good are never mentioned. Like how to cure typhus, for example. Now that would have saved hundreds of thousands of lives! Just by getting rid of lice!

        And criminal and non-criminal alike. Newgate prison in London was notorious for the movement of the disease between the prisoners and the judiciary…something I always thought had a measure of ‘justice’ in it!

        Those sort of powers don’t seem to be on your iphone yet, Dominic, because all over the world people die of all sorts of curable diseases despite those with siddhic powers, and those with iphones also!

        All forms of enlightenment seem well under attack by those such as yourself, so that does not worry me.

        But just one question, didn’t you in the past harbour and even cherish in your inner self, the contact with the ‘enlightened’? If so, then sometimes I read some bitterness in your remarks towards those claiming such a state, and wonder if it is ‘sour grapes’ as your present self-judgement is that you had been fooled, and resent yourself therefore?

  16. dominic says:

    Ok…curing typhus, Newgate prison, how did we get there? Are you not feeling well, Parmartha? Not all siddhis are necessarily good. Maybe a siddhi sorcerer created typhus in a bad mood. Anyway, I asked Siri and she seemed to know all about the causes and cures for typhus, so there!

    “All forms of enlightenment seem well under attack by those such as yourself, so that does not worry me.”
    Sadly, in another time or culture, you could have had me burned at the stake for questioning orthodoxy. How dare I? Surely I must have psychological problems and be suffering from “sour grapes”.

    As with siddhis, the burden of proof, or the case for enlightenment, should be on those claiming it. What do you mean by it, do you believe in it? Are we supposed to take it on faith? A fair and legitimate topic for discussion, no?

    • satyadeva says:

      Dominic, you’re an excellent writer, articulate and entertaining, and at times you communicate a lot of sense. I have a few questions though…

      You say, “As with siddhis, the burden of proof, or the case for enlightenment, should be on those claiming it.”

      As far as I’ve understood from those who’ve said they’re enlightened, how about ‘enlightenment’ simply being…just being, here and now…with (as Buddha is said to have said) ‘nothing arising’, ie no problems, no anguish, no hopes, no fears, no ups and downs, no worries, no unnecessary thoughts, no emotional conflicts, no low, medium or high levels of self-torment – in short, ‘lightened’ of all those burdens we regard as thoroughly ‘normal’ and thus having no identification with any ‘self’ to spoil the direct experience of Life, which, apparently, is pretty damn good, so good that it’s actually impossible to do justice to it in words?

      I also hear that ‘enlightenment’ has to be lived, it’s an ongoing, ever-deepening process, certainly not just a case of a ‘big bang’ after which everything suddenly becomes ‘perfect’, however long the ‘preparation’ or ‘seeking’ might have been, as the individual’s system has to be informed, further ‘purified’ in the light of an ultimate realisation. (Btw, I understand that there are many layers of ‘realisations’ and it seems to me that many Satsang-givers might not have reached all that far – although very many times farther than me, of course).

      How do you suggest such people attempt to prove their ‘enlightenment’, Dominic? Isn’t the only real ‘proof’ simply seeing them and in perceiving the effect of their presence in oneself (plus seeing whether their words also have ‘the ring of truth’?).

      Nothing wrong with a healthy scepticism, of course, as we’ve recently agreed, but there are certain other questions that occur from what seems almost a sort of obsession on your part with wanting to undermine ‘teachers’ (almost similar to Shantam’s obsessive criticism of OIF, the Pune Resort and its management). Only you can know the answers, of course, I’m just giving my impressions.

      One being, given the time you seem to have spent with teachers, especially in Pune, and the vehemence of your criticisms that often enough borders on barely concealed rage, whether you feel, at some level, possibly even unconsciously, that you yourself have somehow ‘failed’, but, finding that unpalatable, put the responsibility onto ‘flawed’ or even ‘fake’ teachers (and some of their followers) who, according to you now, were only going to let you down anyway?

      Then one might even ask whether there’s some significant area(s) in your life that have remained unfulfilled, causing resentment, perhaps a sense of ‘life having let you down’, the anger about which might be conveniently transferred to ‘teachers’? (Rather like Shantam blames the Sannyas ‘powers-that-be’).

      Finally, perhaps all this ‘campaigning’ has the effect of you feeling an enhanced sense of ‘self’, that you are ‘someone’, unafraid to take a rebel stance, an ‘iconoclast’, one who ‘sees through it all’ and is unafraid to tell the world (as it were)? Which can, I imagine, be quite stimulating, if not addictive – such being the nature of the mind?

      • dominic says:

        Haha, SD, you and big P, the in-house ‘mental’ health professionals. What a gift you both have, for psychologising and deflecting away dissension. Pot, kettle…is there any more “barely concealed rage” in your Shantam hectoring? Luckily he has the hide of a rhino! It’s ok, we all have our monomanias!

        If my name was UG, lobbing anti-guru grenades, spraying bullets over Mclightenment’s lalaland, Parmartha would be lapping it up. “What a good interview!” he would say, and bend the knee!

        Back to our Socratic enquiry. There is no app for proof of enlightenment, as yet. Is there proof of lack of enlightenment? I think so, but it’s all very personal, like any relationship, even though the guru one comes pre-loaded with much fantasy and projection.

        Your descriptions of enlightenment are popular views, a lovely chilled-out buddha space with lots of reggae sauce – “Nuh worries, eva. Everyting is irie, mon!”

        If it’s just be here now, then it’s a practice of sorts. If it’s a permanent state of ‘unity consciousness’, an irreversible big bang experience, then it gets more problematic. That seems to be the way old-style gurus, like Osho (high on valium and nitrous oxide), promoted it. Modern satsang teachers are more evasive than that! In fact, ‘enlightenment’ has been dead for a while, ‘awakening’ is the new buzz word, more process than thing, and more leverage for teachers to be oh-so-human and flawed.

        The feel-good of a staged set-up, with all the psychodynamics involved, doesn’t tell us much about enlightenment. It may trigger some amazing experiences in you, but to imbue that person with the superpower of a permanent state of enlightenment seems a stretch.

        To sum up, it’s all hearsay and subjectivity and belief. At one time, people talked about the afterlife with much certainty. Thank ‘God’ people kept on questioning all the orthodoxies, even on pain of death. Now pass me the hemlock!

        • Lokesh says:

          Good post, Dominic.
          Btw, my closest neighbour is called Dominic, he’s a very contrary Frenchman and paints under the name of Dom Blonde. Like you, he is fun and makes a point of never agreeing with anyone, even if he does.

        • satyadeva says:

          As Swamishanti has indicated earlier today, I don’t think my views on ‘enlightenment’ (of course, a synthesis of what I’ve heard from those whom I regard as reliable sources) are necessarily as simplistically “popular” as you believe, Dominic. Perhaps you might re-read the fourth paragraph of my earlier post, where I suggest there are “realisations and realisations”, ie not just many of them but a hierarchy of levels of realisation, each one apparently having to be integrated into the individual’s life, which takes time.

          It’s highly likely, then, that many teachers claiming ‘enlightenment’ or ‘awakening’, ‘Satsang-givers’ who’ve emerged over the last decade or two, while a lot ‘further along’ than their audiences/readers/followers and therefore able to help, or greatly help, are themselves very much ‘in process’, teachers rather than masters, ie “awakened” but not having reached any ‘ultimate realisation’ and therefore possibly at times justifiably subject to the sort of criticisms that you like to bestow upon such people.

          Masters, on the other hand, I understand to have gone much further, right into ‘death’ and out the other side, knowing the secrets of life, death, love and God and able to communicate them to others. Sure they can make mistakes and are therefore not beyond criticism, but at least a degree of humility and self-insight into where you’re actually coming from might be worth considering before you start to gleefully put the boot in, eg considering whether the questions I asked about that (last three paragraphs of my earlier post) might be worth more than a contemptuous sneer.

          Attempting to undermine or destroy anyone and everyone who might show any hint of a ‘flaw’, belittling their work and its value to their people by putting it all down to “hearsay, belief…a staged set-up…fantasy, projection” comes across as verging on the fanatical rather than being a balanced sceptical response, and as I said before, I’m left wondering what’s actually behind such a virulent preoccupation.

          • frank says:

            “A hierarchy of levels of realisation”?
            Sounds a bit neat and tidy to me.
            Unlike the world, unlike the people in it.
            Like an army where everyone at any given moment knows which rank they have reached. And every body answers to the ultimate realisation, king of kings, master of masters, Major-General Barry McFuhrer!

            Existence is far more creative than that.
            The journey is horizonal. However fast you run, however hard you try, you look out in front of you and the horizon is still there.

            Honestly, is it any other way?

            And luckily, there are so many dawns that have not yet broken.

            • dominic says:

              “However fast you run, however hard you try, you look out in front of you
              and the horizon is still there….And luckily, there are so many dawns that have not yet broken.”

              Bloody hell, that’s poetry mate! Where did you nick that from?!

            • satyadeva says:

              Sure, Frank, you can highlight a phrase and pick it to pieces, but what do you or I actually know about it all anyway? By “a hierarchy of levels of realisation” I’m simply paraphrasing what I’ve heard and what seems plausible to me, ie that along the way there are “realisations and realisations”, in other words plenty of them, and some deeper than others, culminating, if you’re ‘lucky’, in seeing through death, the knowledge of immortality etc. etc.

              But also it seems that such a climacteric is ‘merely’ the end of the beginning, it all has to be integrated, lived, which takes quite a while, we’re told. And as you say, and as I noted in a recent earlier post, there’s apparently no ‘end’ to the process, it goes on expanding, ever deeper….

              • frank says:

                SD, you say:
                “I’m simply paraphrasing what I’ve heard and what seems plausible to me.”
                Just gossip, then!?

                Dom, the last line is from the Rig Veda. I`m going to recondition it a bit and then flog it on.
                As T.S. Eliot said: “Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal.”
                At least, that`s what I tried to explain to them when they caught me exiting the local bookshop with an anthology stuffed down the front of my trousers.

          • dominic says:

            SD, I think you’re attributing an exaggerated tone to my comments that isn’t there – e.g. “simplistically popular”, “contemptuous sneer”…and attacking that (straw man fallacy).

            Much of what you say reflects hearsay, speculation, e.g. “Masters, on the other hand, I understand to have gone much further” (appeal to authority fallacy).
            “Attempting to undermine or destroy anyone and everyone who might show any hint of a ‘flaw’.” (generalisation fallacy)
            Then, “verging on the fanatical…I’m left wondering what’s actually behind such a virulent preoccupation.” (ad hominem and appeal to motive fallacies) Even if you could prove that I’m a wicked sicko, the argument with specifics is the thing.

            Flawed or unflawed, giving our power and authority away to others is part of the collective conditioning. Not really a game I want to play anymore, certainly not on blind faith. Maybe you could share which teachers are currently floating your boat and why, especially including any of that tantric malarkey, otherwise it’s all very theoretical.

            And yes, a lot of what goes on, I believe, is woo-woo, trance induction, theatre of domination, infantile regression, projection etc., even if there is a carrot to be had. Perhaps I’m just a Quaker after all, more fond of circles than pyramids!

    • Parmartha says:

      There are certainly people who never use the word ‘enlightened’ or ‘awake’ who I would rate.

      You misunderstood, D, I am not at all against critical debate of those who actually make such a claim. That is what I mean, D, by saying there are those such as yourself who busy yourself fully in that direction. I think that is good, except that I wonder when it becomes an obsession, which seems to be in your case. There is no harm surely in looking at that? Maybe in the context of your own past?

      You yourself used to go nearly every winter for years to Poona, as I recall, and seemed to be much more a devotee than me. Maybe your motives for going were mixed, but I still felt at the time (perhaps mistakenly) that you were seemingly really into Osho?

      • dominic says:

        Who do you rate then, P, c’mon, Tony bl@@dy Parsons?!

        This is chatsang, I don’t know what I’m going to talk about, it depends on the topic.
        Let’s not remain stuck in the past, I know that’s difficult for you! Life moves on and we look back on the illusions and naivete of youth. I would never take sannyas now, knowing what I know, or align with any tradition or teacher. The emperor has no clothes!

        • satyadeva says:

          I might well be mistaken, but this at least sounds like The Revenge of the Self, who never got what he’d thought he’d get and what he imagines he was promised – and thinks he deserved. And responds in righteous rage!

          Well, I never got what I thought I’d get or imagined I’d get either. But if I hadn’t got what I did get I probably wouldn’t be alive to say so.

          • dominic says:

            SD, I cannot help but fail to disagree with you less!
            (N.B. Appeal to motive fallacy, a variation of ad hominem. You do it a lot, especially with Shantam! Trying to discredit someone’s argument by attacking the person or their motives).

            • satyadeva says:

              Well, Dominic, it seems to me that examining one’s own possible motives for such an unusual excess of concern is a prerequisite for those of us allegedly in the psycho-spiritual ‘game’.

          • Arpana says:

            SD wrote:

            “Well, I never got what I thought I’d get or imagined I’d get either. But if I hadn’t got what I did get I probably wouldn’t be alive to say so.”

            That is SO succinct. Almost an aphorism.
            Can relate to that so strongly. Kudos.

        • Parmartha says:

          There are a number of ordinary people who I rate who never stand in front of audiences and claim nothing.
          You seem frustrated. I am not a Tony Parsons fan.
          I suggest you change your paradigm.

  17. swamishanti says:

    I watched Mother Meera answering someone’s question recently about enlightenment.

    She said that when enlightenment truly happens then it is difficult to stay in the body and there is a strong pull to leave.

    When asked about ‘Awakening’, and people saying that they were ‘awake’, she said that this is something else, without elaborating.

    So I agree with SD’s hypothesis that most satsang teachers have had some degree of awakening, but full enlightenment, or Nirvina or Non-being, which cannot be described as there is no one there to articulate it as the Buddha described it, is rare.

    • frank says:

      MC Antiguru is in da house!

      Your brain is goin`funky
      you becomin` a satsang junkie
      you sittin’ in a line with nuage no-mind flunkies
      but your mind still jumpin’ upandown like a friggin; monkey
      you tryin’ to score the ultimate free
      but you skinny-dippin’ in a lunar sea
      with mind rubbish pilin’ up on the grounds of diminished responsibility
      if wakin’ up and goin’ back to sleep is your main ability
      time to beat a swift retreat
      stop sucking on enlightenment`s ancient teats
      or you gonna end up beating ya spiritual meat
      cos preacher teachers fleece sheep with they speech
      and nirvana stays well out of reach
      don’t sell your soul to a leech
      have some self-respect at least
      get down on the streetless street
      and learn a new game than trick or treat
      do something you already shoulda
      get strapped up on the road an` blow away a buddha.

    • Lokesh says:

      Leave to where exactly and who or what is it that wants to leave if there is nobody left to perform or undergo such a process?

  18. Parmartha says:

    Enlightenment is a Buddhist concept and should really stay within that tradition.
    Awakening is a word adapted by these satsang teachers to dodge out of that!
    There are certainly people who ‘teach’ who use neither.

    The main point is that sadly, words like that ‘divide’ the world between nearly all of us, and a few who somehow have gone beyond. I don’t really dig that.

    We are all human beings, and all can make mistakes, and that is a better starting point.

  19. Dominic says:

    “Enlightenment is a Buddhist concept and should really stay within that tradition.”
    Why? In any case, similar ideas are used in other traditions, hinduism (moksha), sufism, taoism, christian mysticism.

    Are you saying that you don’t dig the whole ‘enlightened master’ schtick, because it’s divisive, and that they (e.g. Osho, Buddha, Ramesh etc) are human beings who make mistakes? Does making ‘mistakes’ mean they are sometimes in an unenlightened state, e.g picking bad deputies, taking drugs, sleeping around, bullying, ‘losing it’, etc? Is ‘enlightenment’ therefore not a permanent state?

    • Parmartha says:

      The other mystical traditions, other than Buddhism, seem more sensible to me.

      Of course people can experience ecstatic states of bliss, union with God, etc. but the ‘continuance’ of such states – I don’t really buy.

      It may be that in a whole variety of traditions people get ‘free’ just before death, and that seems to me to be an appropriate timing!

      I prefer to say that I have found certain people ‘inspiring’ and good to hang around. Spiritual leadership does not have to include being free from mistakes!