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.”