Osho replied – There is a way: you become master of yourself. Then you are the slave and you are the master. Then in a certain sense you are the slave – your body, your senses, your mind – and in a certain sense you are the master – your consciousness, awareness. Wherever a master exists the slave has to exist.

Up to now you have tried to become a master and create slaves around you.

Everybody is trying that, to become a master and to create somebody as a slave.

The husband tries to become the master and to force the wife to become a slave, and the wife is also trying in her own subtle, feminine ways to become the master and force the husband to become a slave. A subtle politics continues. All your relationships are subtle maneuvers: how to force the other to become the slave so that you can become the master. The whole effort is politics. I call a mind political who’s trying to become the master himself and trying to force others to become slaves.

Religion is a totally different dimension: you don’t force anybody else to become a slave; still, you become a master. You become both. Your body, your gross parts, your earth element, becomes the slave; your sky element becomes the master. A Buddha is both: master – superb; and slave – also superb. It is a meeting of your own slave and your own master, and then there is no conflict, because the body is your shadow. Once you say, “I am the master,” the body follows you. It has to follow; it is natural for it to follow.

In fact, when the body is allowed to become the master and you become the slave, it is a very unnatural state of affairs. It is as if the shadow is leading you.

You will fall in a ditch because the shadow has no consciousness; the shadow cannot be aware. The shadow is nonexistential, really. Your body is leading you: this is suffering. When you lead your body, suffering disappears; you start feeling blissful, at home, at ease.

Yes, the opposite is everywhere. If light is there darkness is there. If love is there hate is there. If a master exists a slave has to exist; otherwise how is the master possible? So the greatest thing that can happen to a man is: he becomes both – master and slave together. It is the greatest harmony possible.


Osho replied – It depends, because bondage is never in a situation, it is in the attitude. If you want to go away and cannot, then it is a bondage. If you don’t want to go away, the question doesn’t arise. The reverse is also true: you want to be here near me and you cannot, then going away is also a bondage. If you want to be near me and you can be easily, there is no problem; the question doesn’t arise. Bondage or freedom are attitudes. They are not in situations.

Do you follow me? If you want to be near me and some inner obsession goes on forcing, “Go away! Don’t be here,” you would like to be here but some demon inside goes on forcing, “Go away!” – that’s a bondage, going away is a bondage.

If you want to go away and some fear within you goes on insisting, “Don’t go away! If you go away you will lose the contact, you will lose the Master, the contact with the Master… don’t go away!” – A certain fear goes on forcing you to be here, and you want to go away – then it is a bondage.

So what is a bondage? Bondage is something which you have to do as an obsession, as a compulsion: you never wanted to do it and you have to do it. You have to go against your self, then it is a bondage – whatsoever it is. If you are just floating, it is what you always wanted to do and you are doing it with your total heart, your total being, it is freedom. Now let me state it as a paradox: if you are free as an obsession, in your freedom is bondage; if you are a slave with total acceptance, in your bondage is freedom. It depends. It is the attitude, not the situation. So only you can know about it, what it is.

If you want to go away, simply go away, float away. Don’t create any trouble. If you want to be here, be here. Then don’t create any trouble. But you are confused; you are always in conflict. You are not one, you are a crowd – that is the trouble. One part of you wants to be here; another part of you wants to go away. And when you are away, one part would again want to come back. And this goes on.

You have to decide something within you. You have to drop the conflict, the crowd. You have to be one. In your oneness is freedom; in your split state is bondage. When you are one, nobody can make you a slave – nobody! You can be thrown in an imprisonment, you can be chained, but you cannot be made unfree.

Your body may be chained: your soul will soar high. There will be no problem for it. How can your prayer be in bondage? How can your meditation be in a bondage? How can your love be in a bondage? How can your spirit be in bondage? In fact the very definition of the spirit is that which cannot be forced to be a slave.

But you don’t have any spirit. You are just a crowd, so many people inside with no unity. That’s the trouble. If you are here you will feel in bondage; if you go away you will feel in bondage. Wherever you go you will carry your inner conflict with you. So the question is not of being near me or away from me, that is not the question at all. The question is: to be here as a unity, or, to be away as a unity.

And I don’t say anything, that you should be here or you should go away – I have no “shoulds.” It is for you. If you can float with me, float. If you feel floating away from me will be beautiful, float away. Don’t pay any attention to me, just pay your whole attention to your inner being. Wherever it can float easily, wherever it can have its movement without any hindrance, let that be your goal.


Osho replied – There is no need to learn recognition, because all problems are unreal. Problems as such are unreal. When you are real, all problems disappear. When you are unreal, a thousand and one problems arise.

It used to always be the case that whenever a man would come to Buddha he would say, “Please, for one year don’t ask any questions. One year remain silent with me, flow with me. Allow me to work within you. Just open your doors and let the sun rays go in. For one year no problems, no questions; remain silent, meditate. After one year, you can ask.”

A certain man, a great seeker, had come one day. His name was Malingputta, a great brahmin scholar; with five hundred disciples he had come to Buddha. He had many questions, of course. A great scholar has to have many questions, problems and problems. Buddha looked at his face and said, “Malingputta, this is the condition – if you can fulfill it, only then can I answer. I can see layers and layers of questions all around your head. Wait for one year. Meditate, be silent. When your inner talk stops, when you are no longer chattering in the head, then you ask anything and I will answer. This is a promise.”

Malingputta was a little worried – one year, just to be silent, and then this man is going to answer; and who knows if those answers are right or not? So one year may be wasted completely. His answers may be just absurd. What to do? He was puzzled. He was hesitant to make the contract; it was risky.

And then, another disciple of Buddha, Sariputta, he started laughing (he was just sitting by the side) – a loud, mad laugh. Malingputta became more puzzled; he said, “What is the matter? Why is he laughing?”

Sariputta said, “Don’t listen to this man. He is a deceiver. He deceived me also. When I had come – you have only five hundred disciples – I had five thousand.”

He was a great brahmin, well known all over the country, a great teacher in his own name. “You may have a few thousand questions – I had millions. This man tripped me; this man said, ‘Wait for one year. Be silent, meditate, and then ask and I will answer.’ And after one year there was no question left, so I never asked, and he never answered. If you want to ask, ask right now! I have been in the same game. He befooled me.”

Buddha said, “I will stick to my promise. If you ask I will answer. If you don’t ask, what can I do?”

After one year, Malingputta meditated, meditated… became silent and silent and silent… inner talk disappeared, the inner chattering no more. He forgot completely about the year, that the year was finished. Who bothers? When the questions are not there, who bothers about the answers? One day, suddenly, Buddha asked, “Malingputta, this is the last day of the year. This is the day you had come here one year ago. And I had promised you that after one year whatsoever you ask I will be ready to answer. Now I am ready! Are you ready?”

Malingputta started laughing, and he said, “You befooled me also. That Sariputta was right. Now there are no questions; I cannot find any. The more I go in, the more I find there are no questions. So what can I ask? I have nothing to ask.”

In fact, if you are unreal there are questions and problems. They come out of your unreality – your dream, your sleep, creates them. When you become real, authentic, silent, total, they disappear.

This is my conclusion: that there is a state of mind, only questions exist, and there is a state of mind, only answers exist – and they never exist together. If you are still asking, you cannot receive the answer. I may go on giving it, but you cannot receive it. If the question has dropped within you, no need for me to give it: you have already received it. No question can be answered. A state of mind has to be achieved which is without questions. A nonquestioning state of mind is the only answer.

That’s what meditation is all about: to drop the questions, to drop the inner chattering. When the inner talk stops, infinite silence…. In that infinite silence, everything is answered, solved – not verbalized, simply solved. No problem exists. Problem was the attitude of a neurotic mind. Now the mind is no longer there, the neurosis gone… there are no questions. Everything is simple. There is mystery, but there is no problem. Nothing is solved, but nothing remains to be solved also. Everything is a mystery, a great wonder surrounds you; wherever you look, depth upon depth open in mystery. Not that you have the answer! No, you don’t have the question, that’s all. When you don’t have the question, the whole of life is available in its total mystery – and that is the answer.

Don’t ask how one can learn to recognize unreal problems as unreal. How can you recognize unreal problems? You are unreal. As it is, you are not yet. In your absence, all sorts of problems arise. When you become present they disappear.

Awareness is without problems and without questions. Unawareness is with questions and problems – and infinite questions, infinite problems. Nobody can solve them. Even if I answer you, you will create more questions out of the answer. It won’t be an answer, it will be simply an excuse to ask more questions.

Drop the inner chattering, and then see. In Zen they have a saying that nothing is hidden from the very beginning, everything is clear, but your eyes are closed.


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