Osho on 'Who am I' Meditation

Question – Beloved Master, Who Am I ?

Osho – Narayano, it is a question to be made a meditation. It is not a question to be asked, it is a question to be contemplated — because nobody can answer it for you and nobody’s answer can become your answer. This is one of those questions which is not really a question but a mystery.

Yes, you can go on asking the scholars, and some stupid scholar will say, “You are God, you are soul, you are this and you are that, you are eternal consciousness, immortal being.” But do you think those words are going to have any meaning for you? They will be empty words. This is not a question to be asked, this is a question to be entered into.

Raman Maharshi made it his only meditation; that is the only meditation that he gave to his disciples — a very potent method. Just sitting silently, first ask verbally, “Who am I?” And then slowly slowly, let the words disappear and only a feeling remain, “Who am I?” — just a feeling. And finally let the feeling also disappear… a nonverbalized, nonemotionalized question mark.

Not that you are asking, “Who am I?” but you have become the question mark itself. Sitting silently, remaining this question mark, you will enter into your being, you will know. Knowing does not happen through scriptures, it cannot be taught. I know the answer, but my answer is MY answer; it cannot become your answer.

You can repeat it like a parrot, you can believe in it, but it will not transform you. No information ever brings any transformation. To ask this question is wrong: to contemplate this question is right. I cannot answer who you are, but I can say only this: start asking you own being, “Who am I?” and your mind will start supplying you with many answers.

If you are a Christian it will give Christian answers, if you are a Hindu it will give Hindu answers, if you are a Buddhist it will give Buddhist answers. All those answers are false. So go on saying, “NETI, NETI — neither this nor that.” Go on saying, “This is not the answer.”

Whatever answer is supplied by the mind is deceptive — beware! When you have destroyed all the answers given by the mind and the mind is empty and has no answers to give anymore, the answer will arise in you. When the mind ceases, the answer arises. It will not be in words, it will be an experience. Don’t ask me, Narayano, ask yourself. Sit silently whenever you can find time. But you must be asking others this question.

People go on, from one master to another master, asking the same questions, receiving the same answers. The question remains in its place; the answers make no difference. You must have asked this question of many people — your search is long. You have been to all the ashrams and they have all supplied you with answers, and still you are not satisfied.

When are you going to see the point, that no answer given by the outside can ever be satisfactory, it cannot give you contentment? Drop this question. Don’t ask it, because if you ask somebody, there are people who are going to answer. There are people who live on your questions — the pundits, the priests, the scholars, the professors — their whole business is to go on supplying answers to your questions.

And can’t you see the point, that no answer ever becomes your answer? It is time, start asking yourself. At least this question, “Who am I?” has to be asked in the deepest recesses of your being. You have to resound with this question. It has to vibrate in you, pulsate in your blood, in your cells. It has to become a question mark in your very soul. And when the mind is silent, you will know.

Not that some answer will be received by you in words, not that you will be able to write it down in your notebook that “This is the answer,” not that you will be able to tell anybody that “This is the answer.” If you can tell anybody, it is not the answer. If you can write it down in a notebook, it is not the answer. When the real answer happens, it is so existential that it is inexpressible. To ask others is stupid. To ask oneself is wise.

The circus had finished its final performance in the country town when one of its zebras took sick. The local veterinarian suggested rest for the beast, so the circus owner made arrangements to board it at a nearby farm. The zebra took to the new life by meeting all the animals of the barnyard.

He came across a chicken and asked, “I am a zebra, who are you?” “I am a chicken,” said the chicken. “What do you do?” asked the zebra. “I scratch around and lay eggs.” The zebra walked up to a cow. “I am a zebra. Who are you?”

“I am a cow,” said the cow. “What do you do?” asked the zebra.
“I graze in the field and give milk.”
The zebra met a bull next. “I am a zebra,” he said. “Who are you?”
“I am a bull.” “And what do you do?” asked the zebra.
“What do I do!” snorted the bull.
“Why, you silly looking ass — take off your pajamas and I will show you!”

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