Osho on Badarayana’s statement

Question – Beloved Osho, Is not the inquiry into ‘sachchidanand’ the same as badarayana’s ”athato Brahma jigyasa”?

Osho : Maneesha, Badarayana’s statement, ”athato brahma jigyasa” is one of the most potential statements ever made. It means, ”Now begins the inquiry into the ultimate.” It is the first statement in his BRAHMASUTRA: MAXIMS ABOUT THE ULTIMATE, one of the greatest mystic books in the world.

This is the first sentence of that strange book, but one of the most significant books that has ever been written. I call it strange because Badarayana is not much known in the world, although in India he is the only mystic on whose maxims thousands of commentaries have been written. Each of his statements is so pregnant with meaning that you can go on commenting on it in a thousand and one ways.

Still it seems something inexhaustible has remained behind. This is the only book which has commentaries, then commentaries on commentaries, then again commentaries on those commentaries. For almost two thousand years all the great geniuses of this great country have been in some way or other connected with Badarayana.

And still his name is not known in the world. Perhaps the reason is that nothing is known about him except the book. About his personal life absolutely nothing is known. Whether he was a historical person or not is very difficult to say. But one thing is certain, whoever wrote the book, whatever his name was, was certainly one of the greatest mystics of the world. So what is the problem calling him Badarayana?

The book is historical; it has existed for two thousand years and is one of the books – the only one – which has been spread through so many commentaries, in so many complexities, that almost every philosopher in India became involved in some way or other. There is no other book in the world which has been commented upon so much. It can mean only one thing: that his statements are almost mines of meaning.

You can go on digging and you will go on finding more and more, fresher sources of water, fresher sources of meaning and significance. Maneesha, sachchidanand is not equivalent to athato brahma jigyasa. Athato brahma jigyasa – ”Now begins the inquiry into the ultimate” – is the first step and sachchidanand is the last step. What begins as an inquiry … sachchidanand is not an inquiry, it is the ultimate result of the inquiry.

You have come to the conclusion. The statement of Badarayana is the beginning and sachchidanand is the end. They are not synonymous, although they are connected deeply with each other. Without the inquiry there is no possibility of realizing the conclusion. Hence Badarayana comes first. And this small statement has to be understood, because this is for every beginner. And as far as the ultimate is concerned one is always a beginner.

One is always coming close to it, closer and closer and closer, but something always remains inviting you, calling you forth, challenging you, a higher peak. You were thinking you have arrived but still there is something left. And this pilgrimage continues.

I have started saying that there is no goal, only the pilgrimage. In other words, the pilgrimage in itself is so divine, so holy, that to be bothered and to be anxious about the end of it can only mean one thing: that you are not interested in the journey, you are interested in the end of the journey.

You are not enjoying each moment of your pilgrimage. You are looking forward, ahead, for the time when you will have reached and then you will celebrate. And that is a wrong approach from the very beginning. Each moment is the journey and each moment is the goal.

You have to live as if you have already arrived, although you will never be in a moment when you can say, ”I have arrived.” You can only say, ”I am coming home. I can see the home coming closer and closer.”

But it is good that you never come. Once you have come, you come to a full stop, and life knows no full stops. Yes, colons, semicolons, commas, everything is allowed – but a full stop absolutely no, a hundred times no, because a full stop will mean that life has come to an end, life has come to the grave.

Life never comes to an end. It never terminates in death. It is an ongoing process. Hence, Badarayana’s statement has to be understood very lovingly and very deeply. Each word of it is pure gold. It is possible that one heart may be very fertile and it may bring thousands of flowers. And one heart may not be so fertile and it may not bring thousands of flowers but just one flower – very huge, very big.

Those thousand flowers will not be in any way competitive to this one flower. In numbers they may be many, but the beauty of this one flower has almost accumulated the whole beauty of thousands of flowers.

I had one gardener with me for many years while I was teaching in the university. I had a beautiful garden. And this old man I had chosen for a certain reason – he was somebody else’s gardener, some army officer’s gardener. He was winning every year the competition for growing the biggest roses.

I used to go to see because the whole city was involved in the competition. All the rich people – officers, bureaucrats, professors, doctors, those who could afford a garden – were participants. But I was not interested in the people who were participating. I was interested in finding out who the gardener was, because the poor gardener was not even mentioned when the trophy was given to the winner.

It was given to the owner of the garden. I was looking out for the gardener, because this army officer could not be a gardener himself – the poor gardener was not even there. I followed his car. I looked around his house, I watched, and I found the gardener was working.

When the army officer went in, he did not even tell the gardener, ”I have won the trophy because of you. In fact, it belongs to you.” He simply went into his garage and then into his house. I went into his garden. The old man, a poor man, was working. I asked him, ”Have you heard that your roses have been chosen as the best for this year?”

He said, ”Nobody has told me yet.”
I said, ”How much is this army officer giving you as salary?”
He said, ”Not very much.”
I said, ”Whatever he is giving, I will give you double. You can tell me later how much he is giving. You just bring whatever you have into my car and come with me.”

He said, ”But he is a dangerous man. He will search for me with his gun!”
I said, ”Don’t be worried, I am no less dangerous. You don’t worry.”
So I brought him into my own house and I told him, ”You start working, and every year I will not be going to the competition, you will be going. And all the trophies that you win will be in the house that I have given to you.”

He could not believe it. And he said, ”But what about the army officer?”
I said, ”I will take care of him. You need not be worried about it.”
And then I saw how he was winning. His whole art was never to allow any rosebush more than one flower. He would cut all the buds and leave only the biggest bud.

I asked him, ”What is the secret of it?”
He said, ”The secret is simple. The rosebush has a certain amount of juice. It can be distributed in a hundred flowers, but if you don’t allow it to be distributed it is bound to assert itself into one flower.”

I remained nine years in that university. For nine years continuously he was the winner. And his secret was just to allow one flower to grow. So it is possible … These are the uniquenesses I am talking about – that the same seeds in different hearts will bring different manifestations.

And that is how commentaries begin. The master dies. He had thousands of disciples who have listened to him. Now they start thinking, what is the significance of a certain statement or of a certain word? In the East it has been a very delicate affair. Not brutal logic, but a very subtle, very feminine art.

The word athato can mean ‘now’, it can mean ‘here now’, it can mean ‘from now’, it can mean ‘from this point onwards’. Because of these different meanings growing in different hearts, the whole meaning of the sentence will change. Just the first word will change the whole meaning. For example, to a man or a woman whose heart is the heart of a devotee, the heart of a lover, athato will mean, ”Enough of love; now begins the inquiry into the ultimate.

Enough of this world and its pleasures, now begins the inquiry into the ultimate.” To the logician, the same word will mean: ”Enough of logic, enough of rationality, enough of philosophy; now begins the real inquiry into the existential” – not into words, not into philosophical investigations, but into an existential experience.

To a poet it may mean: ”Enough of the poetry, enough of all that life I have lived up to now; the time has come to enter on the path in search of light, in search of the truth. I have sung songs of joy, I have sung songs of beauty.”

But a time comes when you are tired even of your own creativity – how long? Just as you become tired of the woman you loved so much, of the man you loved so much, you become tired of your creative dimension for which you would have sacrificed your life. A moment comes when it seems that you have been playing like a child, collecting seashells on the sea beach, or making castles of sand. Beautiful utopias, but it is enough!

You have not gained anything of the eternal, of the timeless, of the immortal. How long are you going to wait? Now is the moment to change the direction of all your genius and intelligence. Then athato will mean something different, different from what it can mean to a businessman, to what it can mean to a king. He has been on a power trip, he has conquered as much as he wanted, he is tired.

2 thoughts on “Osho on Badarayana’s statement, ”Athato Brahma Jigyasa””
  1. Osho has thrown up a schema for each one of us to explore
    in ones own special way the AHAM BRAHMOSI CONCEPT TR

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