Osho on Surrednering to a Guru

Question : Beloved Osho, Need one be absolutely sure about a Guru to become his disciple?

Osho : You can never be absolutely sure about a guru, and that is not needed. What is needed is that you should be absolutely sure about yourself. How can you be sure about a master? You exist on two different levels, two different states of mind. Whatsoever you can see, whatsoever you can understand, whatsoever you can interpret, will not be of much use – and there is more possibility of your going wrong than right. But there is no need, so don’t be worried about it.

You have to be sure about yourself, about your search, and if you are sure about yourself then you can devote yourself to a master totally. Remember, the totality of surrender is not going to come from the surety about the master; it is going to come from your own surety, your own totalness. The master is bound to remain paradoxical for you unless you yourself become enlightened, because only the same can understand the same.

Only when you have become a buddha will you be able to understand Buddha – never before. When you have become a christ, when Christ is known to you, you can understand; never before. Christ is bound to remain a mystery, and a mystery means paradox. Christ will appear to you as irrational, not because he is irrational but because he is supra-rational, he is beyond reason – and you don’t know anything about beyond reason.

At the most you can think he is below reason, he is not rational. And the ways of a master are so secret that sometimes he will create a situation in which he will not allow you to be sure about himself, because if you can be absolutely sure about the master then your surrender is meaningless. Then what is the meaning of it? When you are absolutely sure of the master then it is a bargain, then you cannot do anything else other than surrender.

When you are uncertain, then surrender is a device; in your uncertainty, hesitation, still you decide. That decision changes you. The more mysterious a master, the more is the possibility of transformation through surrender. If the master is known to you, just as two plus two makes four, then there is no mystery. Sufi masters particularly will create rumors about themselves, so the new ones who come to them can only enter not because they are sure about the master, but because they are sure about their search – and they are ready to take a risk.

Why do you want to be sure about the master? – because you don’t want to take the risk. Your mind is a business mind. When a master is something mysterious…. One old woman came from England to see Gurdjieff. She had heard Ouspensky, Gurdjieff’s disciple, and Ouspensky was a mathematician, a logician. He was not a master, he was not enlightened, but he was a perfect rationalist and he could explain Gurdjieff better than Gurdjieff himself.

Gurdjieff would have remained unknown to the world if there had been no Ouspensky. He was nowhere near Gurdjieff, but he could think in a logical way, express in a logical way. He was professionally a mathematician. Many people were attracted to Ouspensky, and when they were attracted to Ouspensky they would start thinking about going to Gurdjieff – and then they would return frustrated, disappointed.

One old woman became very much impressed by Ouspensky, and then she went to see Gurdjieff. Within just a week she was back, and she told Ouspensky, ”I can feel that Gurdjieff is great, but I am not certain whether he is good or bad, whether he is evil, devilish, or a saint. I am not certain about that. He is great – that much is certain. But he may be a great devil, or a great saint – that is not certain.”

And Gurdjieff behaved in such a way that he would create this impression. Alan Watts has written about Gurdjieff and has called him a rascal saint – because sometimes he would behave like a rascal, but it was all acting and was done knowingly to avoid all those who would take unnecessary time and energy. It was done to send back those who could only work when they were certain. Only those would be allowed who could work even when they were not certain about the master, but who were certain about themselves.

And to surrender to a Gurdjieff will transform you more than surrendering to Ramana Maharshi, because Ramana Maharshi is so saintly, so simple, that surrender doesn’t mean anything. You cannot do otherwise. He is so open – just like a small child – so pure, that surrender will happen. But that surrender is happening because of Ramana Maharshi, not because of you. It is nothing as far as you are concerned.

If surrender happens with Gurdjieff, then it has happened because of you, because Gurdjieff is in no way going to support it. Rather, he will create all types of hindrances. If still you surrender, that transforms you. So there is no need to be absolutely sure about him – and that is impossible – but you have to be sure about yourself.

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