THE VENERABLE MASTER SAID
THE SUPREME TAO IS FORMLESS . . .
From the very beginning Ko Hsuan wants you to know that Tao has no form. So you cannot make a statue of Tao, you cannot create a temple around Tao, you cannot create rituals; no priesthood is possible.
THE SUPREME TAO IS FORMLESS . . .
It is the universal law of existence. You cannot worship, you cannot pray. All your worship is foolish and all your prayers are unheard and will remain unheard. There is nobody to hear your prayers or to fulfill your prayers. Your prayers are your desires in a new form. Watch your prayers
– what they are. The garb is religious, the jargon is religious, but nothing has changed; the desires are the same. People are asking for money, power, prestige. Whatsoever you are asking for, you are asking for something wrong because there is nobody to give you anything. The very idea of getting by asking is absurd. Be utterly silent.
Tao is not the path of prayer, it is the path of meditation.
. . . TAO IS FORMLESS,
YET IT PRODUCES AND NURTURES
HEAVEN AND EARTH.
It does not mean that Tao is indifferent to you; it simply means you cannot worship it, you cannot pray to it. But it goes on nourishing you, you are nourished by it; it nurtures you. The whole breathes it. It is the heartbeat of the cosmos, but not a person.
THE SUPREME TAO HAS NO DESIRES . . .
So if you want to have a communion with Tao you will have to drop all desires. People simply go on changing their desires, but they basically remain the same. People go on changing their outer structures of life; they call it character. Somebody smokes, you may not smoke; then you start chewing gum. It is the same stupidity. Or you may stop chewing gum, then you start doing something else. But because you are the same, nothing is going to change. If you go to the moon you will do the same stupid things that you are doing here. Everything will be different and nothing will be different.
A couple has been captured by a flying saucer from Mars and are taken to the living room of the spacecraft. There they are received by a Martian couple, are offered green drinks, and begin chatting. After several drinks, everyone relaxes. The man from earth asks the Martians, "How do you procreate?"
"My wife and I will demonstrate for you," answers the Martian.
They go over to a refrigerator-like closet and the female picks up a bottle containing brown liquid and the husband picks up a bottle containing white liquid. They go over to a table where there is an empty jar. Each pours the liquid into the empty jar.
"Now we put the jar in this closet," explains the Martian, "and in nine months we will have another baby. How do you do it on Earth?"
So the earth couple demonstrates for the Martians. They take off their clothes and lie down on the floor with the man on top of the woman. As they are coming and going, they notice the Martians are laughing at them.
"What are you laughing at?" they ask.
"Excuse us," they answer, "but we find it very funny because that is the same way we make coffee!"
You can be here, you can be on the moon, you can be on Mars, you can change outer things
– it makes no difference. Either you will make love in a stupid way or you will make coffee in a stupid way, but you will do something stupid!
Unless intelligence arises in you, unless your unconsciousness is transformed into consciousness unless your darkness disappears and becomes
light . . .
THE SUPREME TAO HAS NO DESIRES
YET BY ITS POWER THE
SUN AND MOON REVOLVE IN THEIR ORBITS.
THE SUPREME TAO IS NAMELESS,
YET IT EVER SUPPORTS ALL THINGS.
I DO NOT KNOW ITS NAME . . .
These are immensely valuable words I DO NOT KNOW . . . That's how the people who know speak. The people who claim that they know are utterly ignorant. The real knower functions out of a state of not knowing.
Ko Hsuan says:
I DO NOT KNOW even ITS NAME
BUT FOR TITLE CALL IT TAO.
But we have to call it something. See the non-fanatic attitude. You can call it anything
– XYZ. Tao simply means XYZ. Just because we have to call it something, we call it Tao. If you choose some other name there is no problem.
So when Buddhists reached China they were surprised because Taoist mystics simply agreed with them. They said, "Perfectly right! We call it Tao, you call it dharma. It is the same thing, because we define Tao as nameless you define Dharma as nameless. We say Tao is formless, you say Dharma is formless, so there is no problem. We are only speaking different languages, but we are indicating towards the same truth."
That is one of the most beautiful things that has ever happened in history. When Buddhism reached China there was no conflict, no argumentation, no conversion, and yet Buddhists and Taoists met and mingled and become one, absolutely one. It has not happened in the history of Christianity or in the history of Judaism or in the history of Mohammedanism, their history is full of ugliness. It has happened only in the of tradition of Buddha and Lao Tzu: a very rare phenomenon
– no argumentation. They simply tried to understand each other and they laughed and they hugged and they said, "Perfectly true!"
A Christian missionary went to see a Zen Master and he started reading the beatitudes from the Bible. And he said, "Blessed are the meek for theirs is the kingdom of God."
The Master said, "Stop! That's enough. Whoever has said it is a Buddha!"
The missionary was utterly dumb. He had come to argue, he had come to convert. He had come to convince the Zen Master that Buddha is wrong and Jesus is right. And this man said, "Whosoever has said it
– I don't know who has said it – but whosoever has said it is a Buddha. There is no need to read more; that one sentence is enough. You can taste the ocean from anywhere, it tastes the same
– it is salty. This one sentence will do!"
The same happened in China. Buddhists went there and the whole of China became Buddhist without anybody converting anybody else. Because Taoism was so generous and Buddhism was so understanding; there was no question of converting. The whole idea of converting anybody is ugly, is violent. They never argued
– yes, they communed, they nodded at each other's understanding and they said, "Yes, that's true. That's what Lao Tzu also says. That's what Buddha has said in his own words."
And out of this meeting – which is the rarest in the whole of humanity – Zen was born. Out of the meeting of Buddha and Lao Tzu, out of the meeting of Buddha's insight and Taoist insight, out of the meeting of Dharma and Tao, Zen was born. Hence Zen is a rare flowering. Nowhere else has it happened that way
– so silently, without bloodshed, without a single argument. There was no question of argument; the difference was only of language.
This is how a truly religious person is. He is not a fanatic – he cannot be.
Ko Hsuan says:
I DO NOT KNOW ITS NAME
BUT FOR TITLE CALL IT TAO.
It is a nameless experience, but we have to call it something so we will call it Tao. That is arbitrary. If you have some other name
– God, LOGOS, DHARMA, truth, NIRVANA – you can choose from those names; they are all beautiful because it has no name of its own so any name will do.
My sannyasins have also to be in this attitude, this approach should be our approach. You should not be part of any dogma
– Christian, Mohammedan, Hindu. You should not belong to any church; that is all childish, political. A religious person is absolutely free from all dogma. Only in freedom understanding grows.
My sannyasins have to understand this approach towards life; this is very fundamental. Once you are rooted in it you will start growing. Great foliage will happen to you and great flowering and fulfillment.
– taken from Tao: The Golden Gate, Vol 1, by
Other "Lost and Found"
commentaries by Osho