Osho on difference between A Mystic
and A Master
Question - Beloved Osho, Please throw light on
the difference between a mystic and a master.
Osho - There is an ancient Tibetan parable. It says, "When one
hundred people try to reach the goal only ten ever start the journey;
and out of the ten only one reaches the goal." And those few people who
reach the goal are not capable of being masters. They are all mystics.
They have known, they have seen, they have realized, but they cannot
help anybody else towards the truth. They cannot explain their
The mystic and the master are in the same state of being, but the master
is articulate. He finds ways and means, devices, to indicate towards
that which cannot be brought into words.
The mystic is dumb. He has tasted the sweet; it is not that he does not
know that it is sweet. He is full of the sweetness, but he cannot say
anything about it, he is simply dumb.
The master is articulate.
And it is the greatest art in the world.
The painter brings something of beauty on the canvas, the sculptor
brings something of beauty in his works of art. The poet sings songs of
But the master tries to create a science to help people move into the
unknown way, towards the unknowable, without falling, without going
astray. It is difficult -- because he has to use words, and words are
very small; and what he is going to express through them is so vast, it
cannot be contained in them. He is trying to contain oceans in dewdrops.
But the miracle is that the masters have succeeded in something in which
success seems to almost impossible.
The mystic lives in his celebration, in his joy, in his inner music, but
he is an island.
The master is a continent.
Gautam Buddha used to say to his disciples from the very first day,
"Whatever you experience, however small, try to express it. Find out a
way to convey it. Even if you fail, that is not important; what is
important is that you tried -- and go on trying. By the time you become
enlightened, you will have learned some secrets which make the
difference between the mystic and the master."
The mystic is great, but is of no use to the universe. He is fulfilled.
As far as he is concerned he has arrived home, he has dissolved his ego,
he has become part of the universe, but the beauty that he has seen, the
blissfulness that he has experienced, the benediction that has showered
over him remains unshared.
And remember one thing: there are things, if they remain unshared they
remain imperfect. Only in sharing do they become perfect; only in giving
do you start getting more.
The mystic is closed. He has no doors, no windows. He blossoms, but his
fragrance is not released to the winds.
Actually the same experience happens to the master -- before being a
master he is a mystic -- but he is articulate. At the right moment when
the flower is blossoming, he opens the windows and the doors and allows
the fragrance to reach others. At the very moment when he is full of
light, he gathers around himself people who are thirsty. At the right
moment he is never alone; he is always surrounded by the seekers.
Every master has a caravan of his own -- his own people who have tasted
something of his being, who have drunk the wine of his joy, who are no
longer related in the ordinary ways of the world... some invisible,
mysterious connections are developing. Something is transpiring between
the master and the disciple which will finally dissolve the duality of
both and there will remain only oneness, a tremendous silence, a
profound peace, a great insight.
The master is rare, very rare.
The mystic also is rare, but not that very rare.
Many times you may come across a mystic and you will not understand
anything about him. Your heart will not beat faster, you will not feel
that something superhuman is close by because the mystic is closed. He
has a treasure, but between the treasure and you there is a thick wall.
The whole art of mastery is to make windows, doors, and to become a
People can enter into the master. He allows people to enter into him.
All his effort is somehow to bring you closer -- this is only the
beginning. And if you come closer to the master and enter into the
temple of the master, it becomes very easy for the master to enter your
temple. And only when the master and the disciple are capable of
entering into each other's being does the real religion happen.The real religion is not where you think it is.
The real religion is only in the master-disciple relationship.
The mystic has it, but he cannot give it; not that he does not want to
give it, he does not know how to give it. The master comes to experience
that the more he gives, the more he has it -- it is a new economics. In
the ordinary economics, the more you give the less you have.
A man stopped his beautiful car by the side of a beggar -- had to stop,
because he could not believe.... The face, the body, the posture, the
way the beggar was standing was not that of a beggar, it was that of a
king. Even the clothes, although now they had faded away, still they
carried the old memories; they were not the clothes of a beggar. And he
was begging. The man in the car thought, "Bad times..." and he took a
one-hundred rupee note and gave it to the beggar.
The beggar looked at the note and said to the man, "Please think twice."
The man said, "Why? Why should I think twice? I have enough."
The beggar said, "Soon you will be standing here where I am standing. I
also had enough, but this is the way.... What you are doing, I did; I
went on giving. One day all that I had disappeared. I still say, think
The ordinary economics is if you want more don't give -- collect, hoard.
The master comes to know a new economics: that the more you give the
more you have. Suddenly all the laws are functioning in a totally
different way. He enjoys sharing; he wants to bless the whole world.
The mystic also wants to share but is incapable; he has no means.
The master has means.
So mastery is a totally different phenomenon.
In the mystery schools it was part of the basic teaching that a few
disciples who were capable of expression were trained. Before they
became self-realized, they had to have become articulate enough. Nobody,
after becoming a mystic, can learn the art of expression; that is
impossible, it has not happened yet. It cannot happen because the man
who has known and seen all that is worth knowing and all that is worth
seeing, has gone beyond. Now to drag him back to learn the art of
expression is impossible.
In the mystery schools it was a basic rule: the master had to go on
watching for those disciples who showed the tendency, the talent, the
genius for expression. Even if their enlightenment had to be delayed,
let it be delayed. First they should be made articulate enough --
because once they became enlightened then there would be no way to teach
them the art of expression.
And it has been so. There are instances. One of the disciples of
Mahavira was immensely capable of expressing things which are very
difficult to express. His name was Goshalak. He was so articulate that
even in the commune of Mahavira, many had become his disciples. He spoke
so beautifully, so poetically, so authoritatively, that the idea was
bound to happen to his ego: he asked Mahavira, "You declare me as your
successor; otherwise, I am going to leave the commune with my
And he was not only a disciple.... Mahavira loved him, and was training
him so that one day he could become a mystic and a master at the same
time. But the crowd, and disciples -- who were basically disciples of
Mahavira -- were choosing Goshalak as their master. His ego got
Mahavira said to him, "You were going to be something more than you are
asking. A successor is not necessarily a mystic or a master. And I
cannot promise anything -- it is your own growth that will be decisive,
not my promise. This is not a business, that I can promise you that you
will inherit. It is not something that can be inherited."
Because he was refused his ego was hurt; he left the commune with five
hundred of Mahavira's disciples who thought that Goshalak was far more
advanced than Mahavira himself. Mahavira was very mathematical in his
expression, aphoristic -- he would speak in maxims which you had to
elaborate by your own experience -- while Goshalak had no experience but
was a perfect imitator. Even though he left with five hundred disciples,
it is remarkable how Mahavira responded to this.
Mahavira said, "In the coming creation...."
In the Jaina mythology creation is a circle. Just like day and night,
one creation is followed by another creation, and this goes on. Jaina
mythology is far more scientific than any other religion's. It has no
creator, because there is no creation. It is simply an autonomous
process: existence goes on creating itself again and again. And because
everything moves in circles, each circle has twenty-four tirthankaras,
Although Goshalak betrayed him, his response was that "Goshalak is going
to be the first tirthankara of the coming creation -- at the next
creation he is going to be the first tirthankara, because he has become
articulate enough. It is just that he is a little foolish. He does not
understand that what he is saying, he does not know anything about. He
has heard, he has not experienced.
"But he is a man capable of it. The day he becomes realized there will
be a great master, not just a mystic. Right now he is just making a
laughingstock of himself and of those who are following him. He knows
nothing. He talks too much. He talks well, he argues profoundly, but
there is no experienced content in it. But it is only a question of
time. One thing is certain: that whenever he realizes he will become a
"And I am happy that he has left, because this will give him more
chances to be articulate, to express. Because under a big tree, small
trees cannot grow -- and I am a big tree." Mahavira had ten thousand
disciples always following him, and millions of other disciples.
He said, "It is good that he has left me. This will give him a chance to
be more sharp, more expressive. And I hope that one day he also realizes
that what he is talking is just talk; inside he is empty."
So it is possible: A mystic is full inside but he cannot talk; and a
pundit, a scholar, a pope, a shankaracharya, an Ayatollah Khomeini --
these kinds of people who go on talking about God, about soul, about
religion -- have no experience at all.
It was just in Bombay twenty-five years ago; I had come for the first
time to this city. The man who invited me was a very rare man, rare in
the sense that there was not a single important person in India who was
not respectful towards that old man. And the reason was that that old
man... his name was Chiranjilal Badjate and he was the manager for
Jamnalal Bajaj. Jamnalal Bajaj had invited Mahatma Gandhi from Sabarmati,
Gujarat to his own place in Wardha, and had made a beautiful ashram for
He gave Gandhi a blank check; whatever he wanted to spend, whatever he
wanted to do with the money, he could do. He never asked, "Where does
the money go? What happens to it?" And because Mahatma Gandhi was in
Wardha, all the great freedom fighters in India, writers, poets, were
going to see Gandhi, to meet Gandhi. And for them Jamnalal Bajaj had
made a special guest house for five hundred people to stay together at
one time. Chiranjilal was his manager, so he was the link between
Mahatma Gandhi and Jamnalal Bajaj, Jawaharlal Nehru, Motilal Nehru,
Madan Mohan Malaviya. All these people were respectful towards the old
He was the man who invited me to Bombay.
I had spoken at a Jaina conference, and as I came down from the stage --
it was a cold night, he was covering himself with a blanket -- he threw
the blanket on the ground, took hold of me and asked me to sit down,
just to sit down for five minutes with him.
But I said, "Your blanket will become dirty."
He said, "Forget about the blanket -- you just sit down -- because I
don't have anything else." And I had no idea who this man was. He
introduced himself; then too I had no idea, just his name.
He said, "I am inviting you to Bombay for a conference, and you cannot
say no." Tears were in his eyes; he said, "In my whole I have heard life
all the great orators of this country, but I have never felt such deep
harmony as I have felt with you, although what you were saying was
against my conditioning. I am Mahatma Gandhi's follower. I am the
manager for Jamnalal, and I have lived my whole life according to
Mahatma Gandhi's principles -- and you were speaking against them. But
still somehow I felt you are right and I have been wrong."
And he must have been seventy years old, but with great courage to say,
"My seventy years were wrong"; and he had listened to me only for ten
minutes. "And you cannot say no. This conference is absolutely important
because I want you to be introduced to my friends in Bombay and then to
my friends all over India."
So I said, "I will come."
I knew nobody in Bombay, and somehow.... Because he was an old man with
thick glasses, in the night perhaps he could not see me perfectly well.
He described me to the organizers of the conference here, but somehow he
told them that I used a Gandhi cap. Just seventy years continuously
seeing Gandhi caps, Gandhi caps -- he had not seen anybody else without
a Gandhi cap -- so it must have been somehow completely fixed in his
I was standing at the door; all the passengers had left. At least
twenty-five people were running from this side to that side. They would
look at me from up and down, from down and up, and just as they saw my
head they would rush on. I said, "What is wrong with my head? Up to the
head they look as if things are going right, and the moment they see my
head they are simply gone!" But finally, I was the only passenger left,
and those were the only people left who had come to receive anybody.
One of them came to me and asked, "Have you not put on your Gandhi cap
I said, "Now I understand what the problem is. But who told you that I
have ever used a Gandhi cap?"
And Chiranjilal had got caught somewhere in the traffic. He was coming
running! -- a seventy year-old man. He said, "Yes! This is the man, but
where is the cap?"
I said, "You created this whole trouble. I am standing here for half an
hour these people are running all over the platform looking for the
Gandhi cap. If you had told me I would have put on a Gandhi cap! You
never mentioned it."
He said, "My God, just old age, and I must be getting senile -- just
seeing these Gandhi caps day and night... even in dreams I see people
with Gandhi caps! Even in my dreams I don't see people without Gandhi
caps, so just forgive me."
This man, a simple man, a loving man who had known all the great
thinkers of this century in India, leaders in different professions, but
he could feel immediately some synchronicity, as if the parts of a
jigsaw-puzzle had all fallen together in one piece and the puzzle had
disappeared. He had lived with Mahatma Gandhi for twenty, thirty years
and it had not happened.
There are people who can speak beautifully about the unknown, but if you
are a little alert you can see that their words are empty and they don't
touch your heart, they don't stir your being.
And there are mystics who are complete, whose journey has come to an
end. If you are very silent, very peaceful, perhaps the inability of the
mystic may not deter you; you may be able to feel the presence of
something superhuman -- but that will depend on you.
The master does not depend on you. He tries in a thousand and one ways;
that's how all the methodologies around the world have been developed.
All those methods that have been tried are just an approach to stir your
heart, to make you feel something -- the fire of the master's eyes, the
grace of his gestures, the wordless silence surrounding his words.
The mystics are beautiful beings, but they have not helped the human
consciousness to evolve.
The whole credit goes to the masters.
Source - Osho Book "The Osho Upanishad"
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