There Are No Others…

Here, Lokesh explores the profound implications of this statement of Ramana Maharshi.

Osho spoke so much that his books supply a multitude of phrases that can be adapted into slogans. Be prepared, plan for a miracle….celebrate your existence etc. Osho said a lot of great things, many of which have stayed with me for decades. I came across something by Ramana that has stayed with me over the last few weeks. When someone asked the sage how to deal with others? he replied, “There are no others.”Such a simple answer and yet so profound.

There are no others. What exactly this means and why it is so profound to say such a thing forms the basis for this article.

Due to my explorations into the psychedelic realms during the sixties era I became aware at quite an early age that the physical world we inhabit is an illusion, smoke and mirrors, or to be more precise, an interplay of sound waves and light frequencies, like the Pink Floyd album cover, white light refracted through the prism of our sensory apparatus, our earth suit for viewing the grand illusion. We inhabit a perpetual miracle.

Experiencing such a revelation did not always sit easy on my shoulders. At times it was a bit of a nightmare. I needed help. I needed a guru, although I was pretty resistant to the idea in the early days. I arrived dazed and somewhat confused at Osho’s feet. Here was a man at ease, at peace, meanwhile host to the vision that everything in this world is an illusion. Like strawberry fields  nothing is real in the illusion, except for one thing: Love. Osho was overflowing with love…the one thing that is real, that we can identify with without being harmed, in fact be nurtured by it. Bingo! I had found the man to sort out the ball of confusion that represented my life at the time, or perhaps he found me. I have no idea how these things work, but they do.

Osho got to work on me from the word sannyas. He set me on the right path, the path of meditation. At times it was a trial by fire, at others a sojourn in heaven. I was healed. I became whole. Inevitably I became attached to Osho. I was clinging to the finger pointing towards the moon…I loved that finger….my precious, an external figure to validate my life.

Meanwhile, beyond my know and ken, invisible forces were at play that would influence me and slowly but surely bring me into the presence of the supreme guru…Life! I came to realize that it’s not the worship of a guru that is important but rather the depth of one’s sincerity that is crucial on the search for truth. When you personalize the source of your inspiration you have an outer guru. The guru dies and one still wants to worship the beloved master’s form, rather than the benign force of which he was a representative. In Osho’s case, say worshipping one of his empty chairs. Some might say a wee bit strange, seeing as how Osho heralded the dawn of the new man, not the return of the invisible man.

Future historians must also be taken into consideration. Imagine the confusion caused in the year 3535 were it to be discovered that a global cult of white-robed chair worshipers existed in the early twenty- =first century. Just as one day in the distant future archaeologists might unearth thousands of stone Buddha statues on the island of Ibiza and come to the conclusion that Buddhism once flourished there and thus form a completely wrong  hypothesis. It was 40°C today on island and the sun worshippers were out in force. Sun worship is the prevalent religion on Ibiza, not Buddhism. Pass  the holy suntan lotion.

On the other hand, when you turn within and seek the source life becomes the guru. The beauty of this is that it does away with institutions like ashrams, where sooner or later one becomes a prisoner of identification…one of our greatest pitfalls on the road to freedom. You are the real temple, the ashram where you entire life can become an expression of everything you learned from the masters, gurus, teachers you encountered on the great path of human existence.

The circle closes. The end is the beginning, and the beginning is the end. It was all for nothing, but what an extraordinary adventure to return to where it all began…the eternal now. It is the journey that counts. Everybody sees the world through the idea he has of himself/herself. As you think yourself to be, so you think the world to be. If you imagine yourself as being separate from others, the others will appear as separate from you.

An enlightened person sees absolutely no difference between their self and others, except in knowing their self as all.  The difference is only in the mind and as such is temporary. The enlightened were once just like you. One day you will be just like them and able to say with complete confidence, “There are no others.”

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32 Responses to There Are No Others…

  1. Arpana says:

    Lokesh proclaimed:
    ”An enlightened person sees absolutely no difference between their self and others, except in knowing their self as all. The difference is only in the mind and as such is temporary. The enlightened were once just like you. One day you will be just like them and able to say with complete confidence, “There are no others.”

    Seriously, Lokesh. How can you possibly know that?
    Stop being a parrot, Lokesh. I am really disapointed in you!!!
    You have started to give me the impression you have a bit of insight.
    Talk about let yoursef down.

    • simond says:

      One day, most likely in the very distant future, Arpana, you may look back at the negative, cynical,deeply distrustful and pained character that you are, and see how this aspect of your personality hurt no one else but you. It was indeed the source of your sadness, and your futile attempts to be someone more than you are.

      You see, enlightenment can happen to anyone, and your valiant seeking of it, and the elevation that you put onto Osho was the very reason why you fell so far behind, and feel so lost and without love. This realisation will be the cause of a new freedom for you, as you finally let go of your jealousy and hurtful envy.

  2. Lokesh says:

    Seriously, Arpana, you are taking what I write seriously when I, on the other hand, do not take my words seriously at all. I am just having a bit of fun, creating a new ingredient to stir into the SN stew, so that others, like yourself, can take a little enjoyment from coming up with what you believe is an appropriate response, even if the response is more of a reaction. It’s all good.

    As far as letting myself down goes, I do not see how that will come about seeing that I did not put myself in any kind of elevated position. Here on SN it was recently discussed how putting someone up on a pedestal is not a healthy move as it entails expectations. I believe that should include putting one’s self up on a pedestal. That way one can avoid having to live up to others’ expectations, even though ultimately the sages teach that there are no others.

    • Arpana says:

      I am reminded of a story.

      One Buddhist philosopher was brought to the court of a king. People said that he was one of the greatest logicians they had ever heard about. And he propounded the theory that everything is illusory, all is made of the same stuff that dreams are made of.

      But the king was a very pragmatic, practical man. He said, “Wait. Announce that all people should go into their houses and close their doors, shops should be closed, because our mad elephant is going to come out on the road.” And this Buddhist philosopher was left standing on the road, and he was crying and weeping and shouting, “Save me! Nothing is illusory — at least this elephant is not illusory.”
      And the elephant was really mad.

      Seeing his condition… the elephant was stopped from attacking him. The philosopher was brought back to the court and asked, “Now what do you say about your philosophy?”
      He said, “Everything is illusory.”
      The king said, “And the elephant?”
      He said, “The elephant is illusory, the philosopher who was crying and and weeping is illusory, and the king who has saved him is illusory — everything is illusory. But please don’t put me out there again — because it is a philosophy. I am ready to argue, but you cannot argue with a mad elephant. If you have any philosophers, you bring them and I will prove that everything is illusory.”

      Beyond Enlightenment
      Chapter #21
      Chapter title: The watermelon and the knife

    • Freedom and Licentiousness is not same-same, Lokesh – in my understanding at least, and the sages you quote here knew about it.

      You don´t know that – in my eyes when I read what you posted today.


  3. Arpana says:

    Seriously, Lokesh, you are taking what I write seriously when I, on the other hand, do not take my words seriously at all. I am just having a bit of fun, creating a new ingredient to stir into the SN stew, so that others, like yourself, can take a little enjoyment from coming up with what you believe is an appropriate response, even if the response is more of a reaction. It’s all good.

  4. satchit says:

    Certainly you can say there is only one energy, call it God or whatever. This Oneness creates different forms.

    From the viewpoint of this Oneness, there are no others.
    From the viewpoint of the forms, there are others that play with each other.

    Waves of the ocean that disappear sooner or later in the ocean again.

  5. simond says:

    As usual, an intelligent and thoughtful article from Lokesh, using as he generally does, his own experience and journey to explore, rather than quoting from others or using borrowed knowledge.

    The question he raised reminded me of another question, used in the Satori group, which I did many moons ago. The questions was “what is another?” At first glance a question which made little sense, until I started to ask all sorts of other questions about my relationship to life, to people and to my past. The environment of the 7 day course provided me with the means to explore these questions endlessly.

    It provided the opportunity by which I came to recognise how the “other”, was mostly the source of my doubt, fear and uncertainty. The “other“ was people, ideas and concepts. The other was always ‘outside’ of me, it had no real connection to whatever and whoever I was. I could never truly experience or know what another felt or thought. I was ultimately alone. As the consequences of this became clearer, so I felt moments of great isolation, and worry; insecure in myself as I was at this time. So much of our conditioning is based on consideration of others, it’s they who are the source of affection or disaffection towards me, whereas the I, or the self is of little value.

    I felt the fear of being truly alone, with all the feelings of isolation and separateness that appears to come with being alone. And the group allowed me to explore love and sex, man and woman, parenting and childhood, and all manner of issues that plague humanity.

    This conundrum or doubt is the source largely of our unhappiness and life’s great struggle. To be alone, so it seems, is to be reduced to a state of dark nothingness, without life, without meaning. It is essentially the existential question of our and all times.

    During the Satori group I became aware of this as a personal knowledge, and brought my simple understanding to the attention of others. I explained simply how there is only “Me” and everything else is a form of projection. The self is another form of projection, taught to us, to be true and real, when it is in fact, just a deeply profound idea, given to us by the ignorance of our fellow man and woman.

    As we come to terms with aloneness, so we realise the great freedom that Osho and others have realised and taught. Once I realise the profound separation and responsibility of my aloneness, so I find the freedom to truly care, to truly love, to truly live from my core, natural state of mind.

    • Lokesh says:

      Simond, your above post made me think of something I do most evenings before I hit the sack. I go outside and look up into the night sky. There is no light pollution and I often see our galaxy, the Milky Way. I ponder on what makes us feel important. We are little more than cells on a small planet, orbiting a relatively small sun in a galaxy hosting innumerable suns, some say 250 billion. There are perhaps two trillion galaxies in the universe. In light of that I find it difficult to take myself seriously. I am little more than nobody. The miracle is that I appear to somehow exist.

      I will go outside now, look up into the stars and go,”Wow!”

      • And in this infinite universe, we the followers of any guru live with this feeling, “Our guru is the new Last prophet, days begin when cock queeks at 4 in the morning.”

        On a human level, as a student of spirituality it is valid question whether the light claimed by religious and sect creators is really infinite or ends abruptly sometime in the course of life; for example, more sucker followers are around, faster it dims.

        “queeks”, Shantam? (crows, squeaks, or creaks neve?).

  6. Arpana says:

    Don Marquis: WARTY BLIGGENS.


    • Klaus says:

      “We are neither Irish – nor British: We are Scottish.” Glasgow Celtic fan at a EuroCup footballmatch

      ‘The Bricklayer’s Song’ – The Corries

      As a joke onto ourselves we could together write an adaptation for Sannyas people: ‘The Sannyasin’s Song’:

      Dear Osho, I write this note to you to tell you of my plight.
      For at the time of writing it I am not in a pretty shape.
      My body is all weak and pale, my face a dreary grey,
      And I write this note to say why I’m not in shape today.

      While working on some past life a few thoughts I had to clear.
      But tossing them around at such a speed was not a good idea.
      Woke-Man wasn’t very pleased, he is an awkward sod,
      He said I have to let them spin or stop them on the spot.

      (To be continued)

  7. “There are no others, we are all one, One world, one humanity, We the children of God” are mystical realities from a certain point in human brain and can also be induced by mind-altering drugs.

    In astrology, Neptune is a planet to create such feelings; no wonder religion was the only flavour during last 2500 years of Pisces Age.

    Bhagwan Shree, aka Osho, in the last was that mystic who was born on the twilight zone when ministry was changing from Pisces Age to Aquarius Age.

    “There are no others” won´t be able to create banking industry or judicial process.
    Accused and the victim are the same, two sides of the same coin.

    If there is no other, why Shantam or someone else can not be the chairman of Osho Foundation International?

  8. Klaus says:

    …or this one:

    “When awakened, we are Buddhas; when deluded, we are (ordinary) sentient beings…
    From the point of view of a Buddha, there are no beings to be liberated.”

    Now, that is something.

    Most of the time we argue from the state of a sentient human being as this is as what we are born: reflecting our sense of identification with body, mind, feelings, emotions, opinions etc.

    But sometimes we get glimpses of the bigger picture: 250 billion to 2 trillion universes beyond our earthly selves…

    Arguing for our limitations? Why not appreciate the vision of somebody and enjoy with her/him/whoever?
    “Argue for your limitations – and sure enough they are yours.”

  9. Other day a friend told me, Give Neo-Swamis, Ma or Mike, Money & they sing your song. They are the most unreliable witnesses.

    I think I can mix this mind-set with “There are no Others”.
    Because there are no others, so why to be in an inconvenient truth?

    When I look at the life of Ramana Maharishi, He seems to be highly integrated being. Once someone told me he did not want to renovate his simple ashram with the money of others. Who knows, money might be tinted.

    Naturally, there are others!

    Shantam, would ‘tainted’ be better than “tinted” (second-last paragraph)?

  10. Lokesh says:

    !Do you know this proverb, ‘A rolling stone gathers no moss’?”
    Perhaps Shanti is familiar with this proverb but I am not.
    Shantam, could you explain the proverb’s meaning? Does it have something to do with Mick Jagger?

  11. satchit says:

    “There are no others” is a device.
    It is neither true nor false.

    If it helps – good.
    If not – forget it!

  12. swamishanti says:

    I remember visiting Ramana Maharshi’s South Indian ashram down in Tiruvanamalai, and checking out the underground area in the nearby temple where the Maharishi meditated all day and was bitten by rats. I was into eating a traditional South Indian idli for breakfast in those days, just a couple of rice cakes with chutneys.

    I do remember wandering through the narrow streets and finding sweet shops with incredible displays of coloured cakes and confectionery and huge stacks of different sweets, the ones that are made with milk and sugar, and then wrapped in edible silver foil.

    Ramana Maharshi was quite a traditional man.
    As Mooji has said in an interview that is on YouTube , when he was with Pappaji he first encountered sannyasins and realised that they saw things in “a different way”.
    Now Mooji is doing the advaita ting in a different style to the Maharshi , with an ashram of his own mon, but enjoying the company of multiple girlfriends.

    Here’s one of Mooji’s vids on the ‘Song Of The Free’, the Advadhuta Gita:

    “Truly you are the unchanging essence of everything
    You are the unmoving unity
    You are boundless freedom.”

  13. Swamishanti,
    Do you know this proverb, ‘A rolling stone gathers no moss’?
    Sorry to say, your posts give this impression.

  14. swamishanti says:

    Yeah. I do gather some moss, actually.

    I do find a good two or three day water fast practised in the hot season acts as a factory reset button for the body. But I have found breaking the fast correctly is the key to maximum benefit.

    Pranayama works in a similar way, but I haven’t done that for a long time.

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