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Question: Please explain the difference between Following you and Surrendering to you

Osho - There is a great difference. Following me, you are still on the path of will; surrendering to me, the will has disappeared. Following me, you are important. You are. This is your decision to follow me. You can change your mind any moment you want; you can cancel your decision. Surrendered to me, you have disappeared. Now it cannot be cancelled. There is nobody to cancel it. Now there is no way to reverse it. Following there is no possibility that you may turn back. Surrendering, how can you turn back? It is irreversible. Following me, you are there, I am here. There is bound to be conflict.

Surrendering, you disappear. And when you disappear then you will be able to see that I have never been here. In your disappearance you will see the disappearance of the Master too. A Master is a Master only because he has already disappeared. He does not function as an ego. So to have real conflict with a Master is possible only when you also stop functioning as an ego – that is the meaning of surrender. The Master is without any ego. If you want to communicate with him, if you want to be in communion with him, if you want to be in deep love with him, you have to disappear. Only when you also become an emptiness will there be a meeting. When the disciple is not, suddenly all barriers disappear.


If you are, you go on defending. If you are, you go on choosing. If you are, then you will keep a certain space, protected, defended. You will keep a fence around you. You will go only so far. The moment you see that your identity is at stake, you will turn back. The moment you see that now you can be completely taken over, you will start moving away. You will go only to a certain extent, defending yourself, remaining yourself. This is not the way to be a disciple.

A follower is not a disciple. A follower is convinced through his intellect that whatsoever the teacher is saying seems to be logically right. It is convincing. It is intellectually satisfying. That’s what a follower is. A follower is from the head. And the disciple? A disciple is not intellectually convinced that the Master is right in what he says, the disciple is convinced that the Master is right – not in what he says but in what he is. It is a heart-to-heart approach. It is a dialogue – deeper than the head, two beings communing. The disciple surrenders.

And the beauty is – very paradoxical it is – the beauty is that when you surrender to a Master you become yourself for the first time. Because surrendering to the outer Master is really surrendering to the inner Master. Everybody is carrying God somewhere deep in the innermost cor of his being. God is present in you but you don’t know how to approach him. You have forgotten the ways and means of coming to your own inner reality. You have lost the key and locked the door. And for centuries you have never been in. You don’t know how to turn in. You have become paralysed. You can see only outside. Hence the outer Master is needed. The outer Master will only help you to go to your inner Master. The outer Master will become the door. You will have to go via the outer Master because you cannot go directly. If you can go directly there is no need for a Master.

A few people – very rarely it happens – go without a Master. Yes, sometimes it happens. Sometimes it happens that a person reaches directly into his being – but it is very rare. It is so ex-ceptional that it can be counted out, it is so exceptional that it only proves the rule. Hence no tradition – Sufi, Zen, Hassid – no tradition talks about it. They all insist that a Master is needed.

Why don’t they talk about it? Don’t they know? They know. It has happened. A few times it has happened down the centuries that a man has attained to his self without going via the outer Master; he has reached directly to his innermost core. But why don’t they say it? People think that Krishnamurti is talking about it for the first time; people think Krishnamurti is very original about it. That is not the case. All the Masters have known about it but they have not talked about it for a certain reason. The reason is that if it is told to you that you can go on your own, this very statement will become a barrier to your surrendering.

Only one in a million can go. What about the remainder? They will also think that they can go – what is the need to surrender? Their ego will exploit the idea. Their ego will say, ’Then it is perfectly okay. Why should I surrender to anybody? I can go myself. ’ To protect these fools it has never been said before. Krishnamurti is not saying anything new, it has been known always. It is one of the oldest, ancient-most truths that sometimes a rare person enters. But it is accidental, it cannot be made a rule. And to talk about it is dangerous because the egoist will fall upon it, will immediately jump upon it.

That’s why around Krishnamurti you will find all kinds of egoistic people. One who cannot surrender will sooner or later reach Krishnamurti. One who is not able to surrender, whose ego is really hardened, who does not want to surrender, will be very happy with Krishnamurti. Of course, that happiness is not going to change him.

Many people come to me. They say, ’We have been with Krishnamurti for thirty years, forty years. We have been reading and listening and whatsoever he says is perfectly true, what do you say about him?’ I say, ’He is saying the truth but he is talking to fools. It is the truth, but he should not have told it to you.’ They feel very offended. ’Why? If it is the truth then why should he not tell it to us? Forty years are lost and even maybe forty more lives in the future.’ I say, ’What have you attained?’ They become restless and they say, ’I have not attained anything. But is it not the truth?’ It is the truth but you are not ready for it.

A truth is truth only when you can use it. It has to be in such a way that it is helpful. Buddha has said that by ’truth’ only one thing is meant – that it works. If it works it is true, if it doesn’t work what is the meaning of calling it truth? It is inhuman. Krishnamurti’s truth has not worked. It cannot work. It can work only in a rare case. And the person with whom it can be of any use will not bother to come to Krishnamurti. Why should he bother? He can go directly. Why should he come via Krishnamurti? These people who are surrounding Krishnamurti are still in need of somebody and are still so egoistic that they cannot surrender.

So this is a good support for their ego... they need not surrender and they can have a Master. But you cannot have a Master without surrendering. Krishnamurti is a Master without disciples. Those disciples cannot surrender. His own teaching prohibits surrender. He has lived a very lonely life. And sometimes he gets very angry – angry that his whole life has been a wastage. Buddha helped thousands. Thousands became enlightened. Not only while he was alive, even when he was gone the chain continued, the silsila continued. The continuation has remained. Even now here and there a-flower blooms and bows down in deep gratitude towards Buddha – after two thousand five hundred years.

And Krishnamurti is a man of the same calibre as Buddha, is a man of the same intelligence as Buddha. Nothing is lacking. There is just this idea that the disciple need not surrender.... Even if it is a truth it is still dangerous. It has allowed only egoistic people to come around him; those who would like to surrender will not come to him because he won’t allow surrender. Those who don’t want to surrender and are still in search of a Master – they cannot depend on themselves and they cannot surrender – these people have gathered around him.

Now they are stuck. Krishnamurti is stuck with them and they are stuck with Krishnamurti.
Krishnamurti cannot say surrender.... The day Krishnamurti says surrender they will escape, because they are there only because he goes on saying there is no need to surrender to anybody. They are feeling very good, perfectly happy with this idea. Their ego need not be at stake. But nothing is happening. I have come across many – nothing is happening. They have become very, very intellectual, very refined intellectuals. They can talk a lot. They can discuss and argue a lot, but nothing has happened. No fragrance has happened. The ego won’t allow it.

You ask me: PLEASE EXPLAIN THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FOLLOWING YOU AND SURRENDERING TO YOU. One who is following me is not with me, remember. He is maybe using me but he is not with me. He may be choosing a few things from me but HE remains the decisive factor. Deep inside he is still defending himself. He may find a few bits and pieces of wisdom but they are not going to help. They will become a philosophy.

Only those who are surrendered to me are with me. And I can only be with those who are with me. If you are not with me it is impossible for me to be with you even though I would like to be. But it is impossible. It is not possible in the nature of things. Only if you are surrendered can I be with you; only then are you available, receptive.

That’s what sannyas is all about. Drop following and move into surrender. Sannyas is surrender. The day you take sannyas, if you have really taken it from your heart, you are no more. Then you become part of me or I become part of you. Then you breathe for me or I breathe for you. then you don’t think about yourself as a separate entity. And the paradox is that you don’t become dependent. For the first time you become independent individuals – because the ego is not the thing that makes you independent; ego is a prison, an ugly prison. When the ego has gone your flame burns bright for the first time.

Source- Osho Book "Sufis: The People of the Path, Vol 1"

Related Osho Discourses:
Osho on Disciple Receptivity
Osho - If you really want to Surrender, Surrender
Beloved Master, Where do Rebellion and Surrender meet?
Osho - What is the meaning of Surrender? How is Surrender?
On the path of surrender only one thing is required – you surrender
Osho - How can we know the difference between Surrender and Dependency

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