Osho on Atisha Meditation Sutras
Grasp the principle of two witnesses.
rely on just a happy frame of mind.
though you are distracted, if you can do it, it is still mind
observe the three general points.
inclination and then maintain it.
think about anything that concerns others.
first against the defilement that is greatest.
Abandon all hopes of results.
Grasp the principle of two witnesses.
It is one of the most important sutras, one of the very
fundamentals of inner alchemy. Let it sink deep in your heart.
It can transform you, it can give you a new birth, a new vision,
a new universe. It has two meanings; both meanings have to be
The first meaning: there are two kinds of witnesses. One kind is
the people that surround you. You are constantly aware that you
are being watched, witnessed. It creates self-consciousness in
you. Hence the fear when you are on a stage facing a big crowd.
Actors feel it, poets feel it, orators feel it -- and not only
the beginners but even those who have wasted their whole life in
acting. When they come on the stage a great trembling arises in
them, a great fear, as to whether they will be able to make it
With so many eyes watching you, you are reduced to an object.
You are no more a subjectivity, you have become a thing. And you
are afraid because they may not appreciate you. They may not
feed your ego, they may not like you, they may reject you. Now
you are in their hands. You are reduced to a dependent slave.
Now you have to work in such a way that you will be appreciated.
You have to buttress their egos, so that in response you can
hope they will buttress your ego. When you are with your friends
you are not so afraid.
You know them, they are predictable, you depend on each other.
But when you face the anonymous crowd, more fear arises. Your
whole being starts trembling, your whole ego is at stake -- you
can fail. Who knows? Your success is not guaranteed. This is the
first kind of witness. Others are
witnessing you, and you are
just a beggar. This is the situation in which millions of people
live. They live for others, hence they only appear to live, they
don't live in reality. They are always adjusting to others,
because they are happy only if others are happy with them.
They are compromising constantly, they are selling their souls,
for a simple reason -- so their ego can be strengthened, so that
they can become famous, well known. Have you observed something
of immense value, that whenever a poet, a novelist or a
scientist gets a Nobel prize, immediately after that his
creativity declines? No Nobel laureate has been able to produce
anything valuable compared to the things that he created before
he received it.
What happens? Now you have attained the goal of the ego, there
is no further to go, so there is no more need to adjust to
people. Once a book becomes famous the author dies. That's what
Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet. That's what happened
with Rabindranath's Gitanjali. And that is almost the rule, not
the exception. Once you are famous you stop compromising. For
what? You are already famous. And when you stop compromising,
people start neglecting you, ignoring you. Your whole creativity
was rooted in the desire of the ego; now the ego feels at rest,
all creativity disappears.
This is the situation in which ninety-nine point nine percent of
people live. You know only one kind of witness -- the other. And
the other is always anxiety-creating. Jean-Paul Sartre rightly
says, "The other is hell." The other does not allow you to
relax. Why do you feel so relaxed in your bathroom, in your
bathtub? -- because the other is not there. But relaxing in your
bathtub, if you suddenly become aware that somebody is looking
at you through the keyhole, suddenly all relaxation disappears.
You are tense again. You are being watched.
To create fear in people, down the ages, the priests have been
telling you that God is constantly watching you -- constantly
watching you, day in and day out. You may be asleep; he never
sleeps, he goes on sitting by the bed and watching. He not only
watches you, he watches your dreams and your thoughts too. So
you are not only going to be punished for your acts, but for
your dreams, for your thoughts, your desires and your feelings.
The priests created great fear in people. Just think of God
No moment, not even a single moment, is allowed when you can be
yourself. That was a great strategy for reducing people to
things. Why do we hanker for the attention of others? -- because
as we are, we are hollow. As we are, we are NOT. As we are, we
don't have a center of being. We are just noise, a crowd, a
house full of servants quarreling with each other because the
master is absent or fast asleep. We hanker for other people's
attention so that at least we can create a pseudo-center. If the
real is missing, at least we can depend on a pseudo-center.
It will give you an appearance of togetherness, it will make you
a person. You are not an individual -- individuality is the
fragrance of a really centered being, one who knows who he is.
But if you are not an individual, then at least you can be a
person, you can attain personality. And personality has to be
begged. Individuality is your innermost growth. It is a growth;
you need not beg it from anybody else, and nobody can give it to
Individuality is your unfoldment. But personality can be begged,
people can give it to you -- in fact, only other people can give
it to you. If you are alone in the forest you will not have any
personality, remember. You will have individuality but no
personality at all. If you are alone in the Himalayas, who are
you -- a saint or a sinner? There is nobody to appreciate you or
condemn you, there is nobody to make you famous or notorious,
there is nobody except yourself.
In your total aloneness, who are you? A
sinner or a saint? A very very famous person, vvip, or
just a nobody?
You are neither. You are neither a very very important person
nor a nobody, because for both the other is a must. The eyes of
others are needed to reflect your personality. You are neither
this nor that. You are, but you are in your reality; you are not
created by others. You are as you are, in your utter nudeness,
authenticity. This is one of the reasons why many people thought
it wise to escape from the society.
It was not really to escape from the society, it was not really
against society, it was just an effort to renounce the
personality. Buddha left his palace. He is not a coward and he
is not an escapist, so why did he leave the palace? Rabindranath
has written a beautiful poem about it. He left the palace; for
twelve years he roamed in the forests, practiced and meditated.
And the day of ultimate rejoicing came, he became enlightened.
Naturally, the first thing that he remembered was that he had to
go back to the palace to deliver the good news to the woman he
had loved, to the child that he had left behind, to the old
father who was still hoping that he would come back. It is so
human, it touches the heart. After twelve years he returned. His
father was angry, as fathers will be. His father could not see
who he was, could not see what he had become, could not see his
individuality which was so loud and so clear. The whole world
was becoming aware of it, but his father was blind to it.
He was still thinking about him in terms of the personality that
was no longer there, that he had renounced the day he left the
palace. In fact Buddha had to leave the palace just to renounce
his personality. He wanted to know himself as he was, not what
others were thinking about him. But the father was now looking
into his face with the eyes of twelve years ago.
He again said to Buddha, "I am your father, I love you --
although you have hurt me deeply and have wounded me deeply. I
am an old man, and these twelve years have been a torture. You
are my only son, and I have somehow tried to live so that you
could come back. Now you are back, take charge of the empire, be
the king! Now let me rest, it is time for me to rest. You have
committed a sin against me, and you have been almost murderous
towards me, but I forgive you and my doors are still open."
Buddha laughed. He said, "Sir, be a little more aware of whom
you are talking with. The man who left the palace is no more; he
died long ago. I am somebody else -- look at me!"
And the father became even more angry. He said, "Do you want to
deceive me? I don't know you? I know you more than you know
yourself! I am your father, I have given birth to you, in your
blood my blood circulates -- and I don't know you?"
Buddha said, "Still I pray, sir.... You have certainly given
birth to me. I came through you, that's true, but you were only
a vehicle. And just because somebody has come riding on a horse,
it does not mean that the horse knows the rider. I have passed
through the doors of your body, but that does not mean that you
know me. In fact, twelve years ago, even I did not know who I
was. Now I know! Look into my eyes. Please forget the past -- be
But the father was incapable. With his old eyes, full of tears
of anger and joy, he could not see what had happened to Buddha.
"What nonsense is he talking about, that he has died and is
reborn, that he is a totally different individuality? That he is
no more a personality, that he is an individuality?"
In dictionaries, "personality" and "individuality" are synonyms.
They are not synonymous in life. The personality is false, a
pretension, a facade. Individuality is your truth. Why do we
want many many people to give attention to us? Why do we hanker
for this? To create personality. And the more personality you
create around yourself, the less is the possibility of knowing
your individuality. And when Buddha went to see his wife, she
was even more angry. She asked only one question, a very
She said, "I have only one question to ask you. I have waited
for all these years, and I have only one question. The question
is simple, but be honest." She still thinks that Buddha can be
dishonest! "Be honest, be true, and just tell me one thing.
Whatever you have attained in the forest, was it impossible to
attain it here in the palace? Is God only in the forest and not
here in the marketplace?" Her question is of tremendous
Buddha said, "Yes, the truth is as much here as it is there. But
it would have been very difficult for me to know it here,
because I was lost in a personality -- the personality of the
prince, the personality of a husband, the personality of a
father, the personality of a son. The personality was too much.
I never left the palace really, I was only leaving my
personality behind so that there would be nobody to remind me
who I was, and I could answer the question 'Who am I?' on my
own. I wanted to encounter myself. I was not interested in
But everybody else is interested in others' answers. How much
you love it when somebody says, "You are so beautiful." Sarvesh
was saying to Mukta, "I feel a little lost." Naturally. He is
one of the best ventriloquists the world knows; he has lived the
life of a showman -- always on the stage, lights flooding him
from everywhere, thousands of people absolutely alert, watching
what he is doing with great appreciation. He has talent, genius,
and he has lived flooded with others' attentions.
Now naturally in this commune nobody comes to say to him, "Sarvesh,
you are great. Sarvesh you are this, you are that." He must be
feeling a little bit lost. That is a problem for people who are
public figures, it is very difficult for them to drop their
personality. But he is trying, and I am certain that he will
succeed. It is going to happen. On one hand he has hankered for
the attention of others, but sooner or later you become tired of
it too, because it is just artificial food.
Maybe it tastes good, maybe its flavor is beautiful, but it does
not nourish, it does not give you vitality. Personality is a
showpiece. It can deceive others, but it cannot deceive you, at
least not for long. That's why Sarvesh has come here, tired,
exhausted by all the attention. But old habit persists a little
longer. Sooner or later he will start enjoying himself, sooner
or later he will start enjoying his individuality. And the day
you can enjoy your individuality, you are free -- free from
dependence on others.
If you ask for their attention you have to pay for it in return.
It is a bondage. The more you ask people to be attentive towards
you, the more you are becoming a thing, a commodity, which can
be sold and purchased. That's what happens to all public figures
-- to politicians, to showbiz people. This is one kind of
witnessing; you want to be witnessed. It gives you
respectability, and in order to have respectability you will
have to create character and morality. But all that character
and all that morality is just hypocrisy.
You create it with a motivation, so that others can be attracted
towards you. If you want respectability you will have to be a
conformist, you will have to be obedient to the society and its
demands. You will have to live according to wrong values,
because the society consists of people who are fast asleep --
their values cannot be right values. Yes, but there is one
thing: you can become a saint. That's how thousands of your
saints are. They have sacrificed everything at the altar of
They have tortured themselves, they have been suicidal, but they
have gained one thing. They have become saints, people worship
them. If you want that kind of worship, respectability,
sainthood, then you will become more and more false, more and
more pseudo, more and more plastic. You will never be a real
rose. And that is the greatest calamity in life that can happen
to a man, to be a plastic rose and not to be a real rose. The
second kind of witnessing is totally different, just the polar
It is not that you hanker for others' attention; on the
contrary, you start paying attention to yourself. You become a
witness to your own being. You start watching your thoughts,
desires, dreams, motives, greeds and jealousies. You create a
new kind of awareness
within you. You become a center, a silent
center which goes on watching whatsoever is happening. You are
angry, and you watch it. You are not just angry, a new element
is introduced into it: you are watching it.
And the miracle is that if you can watch anger, the anger disappears
without being repressed. The first kind of saint will have to
repress it. He will have to repress his sexuality, he will have
to repress his greed. And the more you repress anything, the
deeper it goes into your unconscious. It becomes part of your
basement and it starts affecting your life from there. It is
like a wound that is oozing with pus, but you have covered it.
Just by covering it, you don't become healthy, it does not heal.
In fact by covering it you are helping it to grow more and more.
Your saints stink, stink of all kinds of repressions. The second
kind of witnessing creates a totally different kind of person.
It creates the sage. The sage is one who knows who he is, not
according to others. The sage is one who lives a life according
to his own nature, not according to others' values. He has his
own vision and the courage to live it.
The sage is rebellious. The saint is obedient, orthodox,
conventional, traditional, conformist. The sage is
nonconformist, nontraditional, nonconventional, rebellious.
Rebellion is the very taste of his being.
He is not dependent on others. He knows what freedom is, and he
knows the joys of freedom. The saint will be followed by a big
crowd. The sage will have only the chosen people who will be
able to understand him.
The sage will be misunderstood by the masses, the saint will be
worshipped. The sage will be condemned by the masses, maybe even
murdered. Jesus is crucified and the pope is worshipped. Jesus
is a sage and the pope is a saint.
The saint has character and the sage has consciousness. And
there is a tremendous difference. They are as different as the
earth and the sky. Character is imposed for some ulterior
motives -- to gain respectability in this world and to have more
and more heavenly pleasures. Consciousness has no future, no
motivation, it is a joy unto itself. It is not a means to some
end, it is an end unto itself. To be with a saint is to be with
an imitator. To be with a sage is to be with something true and
authentic. To be with a saint is to be with a teacher, at the
most. To be with a sage is to be with a master. These are the
Atisha says: Grasp the Principle of two
Witnesses. Avoid the first and plunge into the second. There is another
meaning to this sutra too. The other meaning is, first witness
the objects of the mind. This is a higher meaning than the
first. Witness the objects of the mind.
Patanjali calls it dhyana, meditation -- from the same word come
zen and CH'AN. Witness the objects, the contents, of the mind.
Whatsoever passes before you, watch it, without evaluating,
judging or condemning. Don't be for or against, just watch, and
dhyana, meditation, is created.
And the second is, witness the witness
itself -- and samadhi is created, satori is created, the
ultimate ecstasy is created. The first leads to the second.
Start watching your thoughts but don't stop there. When thoughts
have disappeared then don't think that you have arrived. One
more thing has to be done, one more step. Now watch the watcher.
Now just witness the witnessing.
Nothing else is left, only you are. Just suddenly become aware
of awareness itself, and then dhyana is transformed into samadhi.
By watching the mind, the mind disappears. By watching the
witness, the witness expands and becomes universal. The first is
a negative step to get rid of the mind. The second is a positive
step to get rooted in the ultimate consciousness -- call it God
or nirvana or whatever you wish.
The second sutra: Always Rely on Just a
happy frame of mind
If you are unhappy, that simply means that you have learned
tricks for being unhappy, and nothing else. Unhappiness depends
on the frame of your mind. There are people who are unhappy in
all kinds of situations. They have a certain quality in their
mind which transforms everything into unhappiness. If you tell
them about the beauty of the rose they immediately start
counting the thorns. If you say to them, "What a beautiful
morning, what a sunny day!" they will look at you as if they are
surprised by your statement.
They will say, "So what! One day between two dark nights! It is
only one day between two dark nights, so what is the big deal?
Why are you looking so fascinated?" The same thing can be seen
from a positive reference; then suddenly each night is
surrounded by two days. And then suddenly it is a miracle that
the rose is possible, that such a delicate flower is possible
among so many thorns. Everything is the same. All depends on
what kind of frame you are carrying in your head.
Millions of people are carrying crosses; naturally, obviously,
they are burdened. Their life is a drag. Their frame is such
that it immediately becomes focused on everything that is
negative. It magnifies the negative; it is a morbid approach
towards life, pathological. But they go on thinking, "What can
we do? The world is such."
No, the world is not such! The world is absolutely neutral. It
has thorns, it has roses, it has nights, it has days. The world
is utterly neutral, balanced, it has all. Now it depends on you
as to what you choose. If you have decided to choose only the
wrong, you will live in a wrong kind of world, because you will
live in your own chosen world.
That's how people create hell and heaven on the same earth. It
looks very unbelievable that
Buddha lived on this earth with the
same kind of people, and lived in paradise.
And you also live on the same earth with the same kind of
people, and you live in hell. Now, there are two possibilities.
The political mind says, "Change the world." The religious mind
says, "Change the frame of your mind." Religion and politics are
diametrically opposite. There is a possibility one day of a
meeting of science and religion. Sooner or later, science and
religion are bound to meet, because their approach is very
similar. Maybe the direction is different -- science searches
the outer, and religion the inner.
But the search, the quality of the search, is the same. The
spirit of the search is the same. But I don't see any
possibility that politics and religion can ever meet. Politics
always thinks the world is wrong; change the society, the
economic structure, this and that, and everything will be okay.
And religion says the world has always been the same and will
remain the same; you can change only one thing -- the context of
your mind, the space of your mind.
Always rely on just a happy frame of
mind. Let it become one of the fundamental rules of your life. Even if
you come across a negative, find something positive in it. You
will always be able to find something. And the day you become
skillful at finding the positive in the negative, you will dance
with joy. Try it, try the new vision of life. Think in terms of
optimism, don't be a pessimist. The pessimist creates hell
around himself and lives in it -- you live in the world you
Remember, there is not only one world, there are as many worlds
as there are minds in the world.
I live in my world, you live in your own world. They are not
only different, they never overlap. They are utterly different,
they exist on different planes. Atisha makes it a fundamental
rule for his disciples to live in a happy frame of mind. Then
you start turning each opportunity into a challenge for growth.
For example, somebody insults you. Now it is so clear that you
have been insulted, how can you practice a happy frame of mind
now? Yes, it can be practiced. Insult a buddha and you will
Gautam Buddha was insulted once. He was passing by a village,
and the villagers were very against him. It was impossible for
them to comprehend what he was teaching. Compared to the buddhas,
the whole world is always very primitive, very unsophisticated,
very stupid. The people gathered and insulted him very much.
Buddha listened very silently and then he said, "If you are
finished, can I take leave of you, because I have to reach the
other village, and they must be waiting for me.
If you are not finished, then when I return tomorrow morning you
can come again and finish your job."
One man from the crowd asked, "Have you not heard us? We have
been insulting you, abusing you. We have been using all kinds of
dirty words, anything that we can find."
Buddha laughed. He said, "You have come a little too late -- you
should have come ten years ago. Then I was in the same frame of
mind as you are; then I would have replied, and replied well.
But now this is simply an opportunity for me to be
compassionate, to be meditative. I am thankful to you that you
allowed me this opportunity. This is just a test -- a test of
whether or not I have anything of the negative lurking anywhere
in my unconscious mind.
"And I am happy to declare to you, friends, that not even a
single shadow of the negative has passed through my mind. I have
remained utterly blissful, you have not been able to affect me
in any way. And I am tremendously happy that you gave me such a
great opportunity. Very few people are as kind as you are."
This is how one should use situations, this is how a sannyasin
should use negative opportunities for inner growth, for inner
understanding, for meditativeness, for love, for compassion. And
once you have learned this happy frame of mind, this positive
vision of life, you will be surprised that the whole existence
starts functioning in a totally different way. It starts
mothering you. It starts helping you in every possible way, it
becomes a great friend. And to know this is to know God.
To know this, that existence mothers you, is to know God. There
is no other God -- just this feeling, this tremendous feeling,
this penetrating feeling, that the existence loves you, protects
you, helps you and showers many many blessings on you; that the
existence is graceful towards you, that you are not alienated,
that you are not a stranger, that this is your home. To feel
that "This existence is my home" is to know God.
Atisha's Sutra for
Osho Quotes on Witnessing
Osho discourse on How to Becomre
Aware in Actions
Osho on Dancing Totally and remaining Aware
Osho on three
ways of Doing Vipassana meditation
Osho Discourse on Difference in Witnessing
traditional method of Vipassana Meditation
Osho on S.N.
Goenka Vipassana Meditation Technique
Back to Vipassana Meditation