I have never said anything about a certain man, Goenka, who teaches the ancient Buddhist meditation method of vipassana. I am absolutely certain about the method, its rightness. Many of my sannyasins have practiced vipassana. I have practiced vipassana. It leads to the ultimate core of your being.
Goenka has been teaching vipassana. I have never criticized him, I have never even mentioned anything about him. Even a few of my sannyasins asked me if they could go and have a seven-day or twenty-one-day session with Goenka.
I said, “Just go, because vipassana is a perfect method. There are one hundred and twelve methods, vipassana is one of them. You go. And it does not matter who gives you the method.”
Many of his disciples have become my sannyasins, because vipassana is just one method. It is enough, but my attitude towards life is of abundance – if one method can give you so much, try some other method too, because they all move from different angles, pass through different sceneries, reach into different qualities.
Ultimately they reach to the center in the same way, but sometimes the way is even more beautiful than the goal. You can go through a desert; somebody else can go through beautiful gardens and reach the same spot. These one hundred and twelve methods are moving towards the same center, but they all have their beauties, their joys, their rejoicings.
So when people from Goenka came to me, they became aware that there are one hundred and twelve methods, so why be poor and just have one method? Why not be rich? I am all for richness in every dimension of life. Those sannyasins are still here.
In a newspaper Goenka has given an interview in which he talks about me, and says that I had gone to him to learn vipassana. I have not even seen his picture – and he says in the interview that he has taught me vipassana!
He must have thought that now that I have gone out of India, this small third-class weekly in which he is giving his interview is not going to reach me. Everything that is concerned with me is bound to reach me from all the countries, because everywhere my people are there, alert.
Now I feel sad that I allowed my sannyasins to go to this man. Perhaps he knows the method; he has been in Burma as a businessman, and in Burma vipassana is practiced just as in other religions people do prayer. It is a common thing, and the method is very simple. You need not do it, but you can be acquainted with the method.
Now it is absolutely clear that this man has never done what he has been teaching. A man who knows meditation will not lie so blatantly. I have never met him! In fact, before he came to India I was teaching meditation to people. My first book was published in 1960 when he was still in Burma, and nobody knew about him. And my first book is about vipassana!
I have not used the name vipassana because vipassana is a word from a dead language, Pali. Nobody speaks it. It was used in Buddha′s time, and when Buddhism disappeared from India, Pali – the language of the Buddhists – also disappeared.
Vipassana simply means witnessing. And that has been my whole life′s effort: to teach you awareness, witnessing, alertness, consciousness. I am using contemporary words.
And now this man says that he is my master, he taught me vipassana. One thing is absolutely certain: this man knows only the method, but he has never practiced it. And I feel sad that I allowed my people to go to him. But sometimes it is possible… the man may not have gone into meditation himself, but if he knows the method accurately, you may enter into meditation. The disciple may arrive when the master has not even started the journey.
This man, Goenka… I have never thought it worthwhile to say anything about him. Many of you must have been in his Vipassana camps…. Just a few days before I left America I received a newsletter in which he had made a statement about me. That amazed me – that was the beginning. I started looking into this man′s capacity, potentiality, realization. He made a statement that he had seen me and talked with me for hours in Madras. Now, I have been to Madras in India only once. That was twenty-five years ago, and I am absolutely certain that I have met nobody and talked with nobody for hours about Vipassana. Even the word Vipassana was not mentioned while I was in Madras for three days.
Seeing this statement gave me the idea that this man cannot be a meditator. If he can lie so easily…. Now Dulari has been in his camp, and after the camp she has been meditating, using the technique given by him, for ten hours a day.
I want Dulari to be alert. And particularly her husband should report to the police, because meditation – particularly Vipassana meditation – should not be done more than two hours. And those two hours have to be early in the morning; the best time is before sunrise. If somebody goes on meditating for ten hours, the ultimate consequence is going to be insanity. And there will be by-products also; for example, a man meditating for ten hours will lose his sleep completely.
Meditation is not something mechanical; hence there can be no technicians of meditation. Goenka is a technician: he knows exactly what is being done in the Burmese style of Vipassana, but he is not a man of meditation – he is not a man of enlightenment.
And now he has made teaching Vipassana his profession; now it is a business. He is still a businessman. He was a businessman in Burma; just the commodity has changed. He must have been selling something else; here he is selling the technique of Vipassana. And people are gullible. When they see that so many people are going, they start thinking perhaps they should also go.
Vipassana is one of the greatest meditations, but only in the hands of a master. In the hands of a technician it is the greatest danger. Either the man can become enlightened or the man can become mad; both possibilities are there, it all depends under whose guidance it is being done.
When the Ceylonese monk was sent to me I said, “I am not a Buddhist, and you have been under the guidance of Buddhist monks. What was the need for you to come to me?”
He said, “They have all failed. They have taught me, but they cannot cure me. And I am going crazy. I cannot sleep a single wink.”
When he told me this… Buddhist monks are not supposed to laugh, but I told him a joke. For a moment he was shocked, because he had come very seriously. I told him that a man in England, no ordinary man but a very rich lord, was asking another lord – with the English attitude, mannerism: “Is it right that you slept with my wife last night?” And the other lord said, “My friend, not a wink.”
Even the Buddhist monk laughed. He said, “You are a strange person. I have come from Ceylon and you tell me a joke! And I am a religious man.”
I said, “That′s why I am telling you a religious joke. If you stay with me I will tell you irreligious jokes too.”
I said, “Your problem is not curable by any medicine. Your problem is created by your Vipassana.”
He said, “Vipassana? But Vipassana was the meditation of Gautam Buddha; through it he became enlightened.”
I said, “You are not a Gautam Buddha, and you don′t understand that Vipassana done after sunset is very dangerous. If you do Vipassana for just two hours in the night, then you cannot sleep. It creates such awareness in you that that awareness continues the whole night.”
And if somebody is doing Vipassana for ten hours, almost the whole day, the sanity will give way. And then Goenka will not come to help, because he will not even be able to understand that this has happened because of Vipassana. And you cannot sue him in the court, because even the law does not understand that Vipassana can create madness in people.
My whole effort here is to keep you as non-serious as possible, for the simple reason that meditation, all kinds of meditation, can make you too serious and that seriousness will create a spiritual disease and nothing else.
Unless a meditation brings you more laughter, more joy, more playfulness, avoid it. It is not for you.
There are many people in the world who are becoming interested in meditation, but ninety-nine percent are in the wrong hands, and if you say this it hurts them.
Just today I have received a letter. The letter says, “The other night you spoke of Goenka′s Vipassana. You blamed Goenka for being a businessman and professionalist of Vipassana. Osho, I have experienced Vipassana here at the Poona ashram, and also Goenka′s Dhammpeeth at Igatpuri. I think your comment is wrong.”
And this is from a man, Anand Piyoosh, who has just become a sannyasin two days ago. In another letter before this, he says, “Due to uncertainty and indecisiveness of mind I have taken sannyas after twelve years. Due to this inability of mine I have suffered much. How can I get freed from it permanently? – Anand Piyoosh.”
It took him twelve years to decide to take sannyas, and it took him only twelve hours to find that I am wrong in what I have said about Goenka – no indecisiveness about this. And if Goenka was right, then what is the need of coming here? If Goenka can teach you meditation, then why are you wasting your time here, and my time and my people′s time? And if you have such an understanding that you can simply call me wrong, then this is not the place for you. What do you understand about meditation?
The difference between Goenka′s meditation and the meditation that is happening here is immense, and for you it will take at least twelve lives to understand the difference!
Goenka is only a technician. I am not a technician. I have never followed anybody, I have simply searched on my own. It was difficult, it was dangerous, but I went on searching my path alone, finding my own ways to reach to my being.
Goenka is just a poor follower of a twenty-five hundred year old tradition of Gautam Buddha. In twenty-five hundred years – carbon copies of carbon copies of carbon copies of carbon copies of carbon copies! Do you want to compare me with these carbon copies?
And if Goenka had understood meditation, he would have come here. His meditation would have shown him that something far higher than Gautam Buddha is in existence. Igatpuri is not far away from here… but the coward has no guts.
And if you are so clear about my statement being wrong, then you don′t understand anything of what is happening here. Here, all the meditations are just preparing the ground, just taking out the weeds, the grass roots, the wild growth, the stones – just cleaning the garden for me to sow the seeds. The people who are teaching meditation here, different kinds of meditation, are just preparing the ground. I am the gardener.
Goenka can prepare the ground, but from where is he going to find the rosebushes? He does not have the experience: he is not enlightened or awakened even in the ancient sense of Gautam Buddha. Just go to him and ask – has he the courage to say that he has the same consciousness as Gautam Buddha? And I say to you that I have left Gautam Buddha twenty-five centuries back.
My therapists, my people who are preparing meditations for you, are just doing the primary groundwork. They are just preparing the ground. The ultimate and final touch I have to give.
I have my own ways to sow the seeds in you: through my words, through my silences, through my eyes, through my gestures – just through my silence, just through my presence; it has a living field of energy.
And unless you have a living awakened being amongst you, all your therapies and all your meditations are just futile exercises; they won′t help much.
For Piyoosh I would like to say, Go back to Goenka. This is not the place for you. And you have to leave right now. I am tired of idiots of all kinds. For thirty years I have suffered from idiots and I have tolerated them, but now I have decided no idiot will be allowed here.
You took twelve years to decide to take sannyas; I don′t need even twelve seconds to take it away. You are no more a sannyasin. Return your sannyas papers, and you perfectly know the door. Just get out this very night, and never come here again. Go to hell – with anybody, Goenka, or find some other idiot. There are many in India.
I exist only for those who can understand me and who can be totally with me. A man who knows nothing about me, who just within twelve hours of his sannyas starts finding that what I am saying is wrong, certainly cannot be allowed to be here. A single rotten fish can destroy the whole lake. So you will be very compassionate to all these people by leaving this place forever.
And I am always surprised… if you have found Goenka to be right, then why are you here? When somebody finds something that is helping his growth, he remains there. And if you have found Goenka to be right and still you have not remained with him, how are you going to remain with me, whom you find wrong just within twelve hours?
No, don′t waste time. I am not interested in collecting crowds and retarded people. Just go to Goenka and tell him everything that I have said. And if he has guts, bring him here, so I can show you that he knows nothing about meditation as far as experience is concerned, that he knows nothing at all of what enlightenment is. All that he knows is a poor technique. But a technician is a totally different thing.
A technician can work with electricity, but that does not mean that he is Edison, that he has discovered electricity. Don′t ask the poor technician about electricity – don′t ask any question about its intrinsic character; don′t ask of what it consists – he is not an Edison. But he can do perfectly well: you don′t need Edison when one of your bulbs goes out; just any idiot can do that.
The same is the situation about meditation. There are technicians and there are realized people. Unless you find a realized being, all your efforts are in vain.
- Osho talks on Vipassana (audio, 43 MB – right click and ′save link as′)