Osho on Bravery

Question : You made me realise i was a coward and i accepted it and was happy. Now i am getting a feeling that i am becoming brave, and i am scared.

Osho : IT IS FROM RAJ BHARTI. He is an army man, and of course he used to believe that he is a brave man. But he may have entered the army only to have this feeling of being a brave man. He is a colonel so he has credentials; he can prove that he is brave. But I looked into him and I saw that he was a coward — and he was brave enough to accept it. He accepted it without any complaint, without any grudge. He accepted it totally. That was beautiful.

When he accepted it, that very moment I knew that now he would become brave — because this is the beginning of bravery. Only a brave man can accept that he is a coward. Cowards can never accept it. Cowards try to prove that they are brave.

I had one teacher who continuously tried to prove that he was a very brave man. I approached him and I said, “You stop this nonsense. You talk so much about bravery that I have a suspicion that you are a coward — and if you don’t stop it, I will create trouble.”
He said, “What do you mean?”

I said, “That you leave to me — but you STOP immediately, because I know you are a coward. I have seen you trembling in the class. When you enter the class you perspire — and you talk about bravery?! You immediately stop it! Otherwise, you will have to prove that you are a brave man, and it is going to be difficult.”

Not only did he stop, he simply disappeared. He resigned from his post. After a few years, when I was in the university, I came across him at a railway station. I said, “Where have you been?”
He said, “You are dangerous. I am really a coward — but when you said that I would have to prove my bravery and I started thinking about it, I said I better get out from here.”

Colonel Raj accepted it so simply, so innocently — that very moment he started becoming brave. This is the logic of life. It is a very absurd logic. A coward goes on trying to prove that he is brave; a brave man accepts even his cowardice. A violent man tries to become non-violent; a really non-violent man accepts all violence that is inside him.

A very sexual man goes on trying to become celibate; a real celibate accepts all the sexuality that is in him. A sinner goes on pretending to be a saint. A real saint is one who knows how many possibilities of getting into sin are still alive in him.

Now he says: “Now I am getting a feeling that I am becoming brave, and I am scared.”

Again you are getting into the old rut. When you were a coward you accepted that you were a coward and you started becoming brave. Now you have started feeling that you are brave and you are becoming cowardly — you are scared. See the logic of it.

Never claim that you are brave and you will remain brave. Never claim that you are beautiful and you will remain beautiful. Never claim that you are wise and you will remain wise. The moment you claim, you have fallen into the trap again.

The Upanishads say: The one who knows never says that he knows. The one who says he knows does not know. So see the game of the mind. Just watch. Don’t start believing that you are brave, otherwise you will become a coward again. But if you can watch this whole game, and you can remain just a witness, then cowardice, bravery, all disappear — and that which is left is the real you. It is neither. It is transcendental.

Source: Osho Book “The Discipline of Transcendence, Vol 3”

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