31 July 2013

Why Masters Criticize Each Other

Beloved Osho

I do not understand why enlightened masters are critical of each other. Are they not all working towards the higher good? Are they not different flavors of the same truth?

The question you have asked is almost impossible to answer for the simple reason that you are not enlightened yet. You don’t know the ways of the enlightened ones. You don’t know their devices, you don’t know their methods; hence the misunderstanding. An ancient story may help you.... In a great city there were two sweet shops, and one day the owners of both the shops started fighting with each other. Naturally they had no other way to fight, so they started throwing sweets at each other. And the whole city gathered and people were enjoying the sweets that were falling on the street.

When two enlightened masters criticize each other it brings tremendous joy to those who can understand. Its taste is just unbelievable. They are not enemies, their fight is not of the ego. Their fight has a totally different context.

They fight because they know one thing: that the goal is one, but the paths are many. And each master has to defend his path, knowing perfectly well that other paths are as valid as his. But if he starts saying that all the paths are valid, he will not have the impact, the influence on his people. The journey is long and he needs absolute trust.

He is not a philosopher propounding a system of philosophy. His basic concern is that your commitment to the path should be total. To make it total he condemns all other paths, he criticizes all other ways. It is just out of compassion for you. He knows the people on the other path will also reach; and he knows that out of compassion the master on the other path has to criticize him, has to criticize his ways.

This is just a simple methodology to protect the disciple from influences that can take him astray. And the mind is very, very clever in going astray. If all the paths are valid, then what is the necessity of commitment? If all the paths are valid, then what is the necessity of being total?

If all the paths are valid, then why not travel all the paths, why not go on changing, enjoying different ways, different methods, different sceneries? Each path will pass through different lands; there are paths that will go through the desert, and there are paths which will go through the mountains, and there are paths which will pass through beautiful flowering trees.

But if you travel some time on one path and then you change the path, you will have to start again from ABC. Whatever you have learned on one path is invalid on another path, and if you go on keeping it within you it is going to create tremendous confusion. You are already in a great mess; no master wants you to be more confused!

Your mind always wants change. It does not know devotion; it loves fashions, its interest is always in some novelty. So it will go on moving from one path to another path, becoming more and more confused because each path has its own language, each path has its own unique methods, and each master is going to defend his path against all the other paths.

If you move on many paths you will collect contradictory arguments; you will become so much divided you will not know what to do. And if it becomes your habit to change paths – because the new has a certain attraction for the mind – you will move a few feet on one path, a few feet on another path, but you will never complete the journey.

One day Jalaluddin Rumi took all his students, disciples and devotees to a field. That was his way to teach them things of the beyond, through the examples of the world. He was not a theoretician, he was a very practical man. The disciples were thinking, “What could be the message, going to that faraway field... and why can’t he say it here?”

But when they reached the field, they understood that they were wrong and he was right. The farmer seemed to be almost an insane man. He was digging a well in the field – and he had already dug eight incomplete wells. He would go a few feet and then he would find that there was no water. Then he would start digging another well... and the same story was continued. He had destroyed the whole field and he had not yet found water.

The master, Jalaluddin Rumi, told his disciples, “Can you understand something? If this man had been total and had put his whole energy into only one well, he would have reached to the deepest sources of water long ago. But the way he is going he will destroy the whole field and he will never be able to make a single well. With so much effort he is simply destroying his own land, and getting more and more frustrated, disappointed: what kind of a desert has he purchased? It is not a desert, but one has to go deep to find the sources of water.”

He turned to his disciples and asked them, “Are you going to follow this insane farmer? Sometimes on one path, sometimes on another path, sometimes listening to one, sometimes listening to another... you will collect much knowledge, but all that knowledge is simply junk, because it is not going to give you the enlightenment you were looking for. It is not going to lead you to the waters of eternal life.”

Masters enjoy tremendously criticizing others. If the others are really enlightened, they also enjoy being criticized. They know that the purpose of both is the same: to protect the vagrant mind of the disciple. To keep him on one track, they have to deny that there is any other path anywhere that can lead you except this one.

This is not said out of an egoistic attitude; this is said out of love. This is simply a device to make you committed, devoted. The journey is long, the night is long, and if you go astray you can go on round and round for eternity without finding anything.


Gautam Buddha criticized the seers of the Vedas, he criticized the seers of the Upanishads, he criticized Mahavira, he criticized everybody that he could find – Krishna, Rama, all the Hindu gods. Continuously for forty years he was criticizing every old scripture, every old prophet, every old savior.

But he was not an enemy of anyone. He was criticizing all those people so that you could be unconditioned, so that you could be freed from the clinging with the past which cannot help you. When a living enlightened being is present, he cannot allow you to remain clinging with the dead, which can only be a weight on your heart but cannot become wings for your freedom.

It needs tremendous insight and meditative understanding to have a little glimpse of the world of an enlightened person. I have criticized many: only a few of them were enlightened; most of them were simply frauds. The frauds have to be absolutely exposed to humanity.

Even those who were enlightened have become only a tradition, a convention, a dead belief. You have to be freed from their grip also, because they cannot help you, they can only hinder your path. They can become your chains, but they cannot become your freedom.

I can become your freedom. I am your freedom.

When I am gone I hope there may be still courageous people in the world to criticize me, so that I don’t become a hindrance on anybody’s path. And those who will criticize me will not be my enemies; neither am I the enemy of those whom I have criticized. The working of the enlightened masters just has to be understood.

You should remember only one word, and that is compassion – compassion for you, compassion for all those who are still not centered in their being, who are still far away from themselves, who have to be called back home.


  1. Now I understand, why Osho said, Nisargadattas book "I am" would be total nonsense.

  2. Yeah, and also one of Nisargadatta's declarations to one of his students was to forget both him and his teachings.


  3. Man oh man ... Osho.

    So, if I read it right, he's saying that 'enlightened' (whatever that means) teachers criticize other enlightened teachers so that their students stick with them and don't stray. So in other words, he's saying that it's ok for enlightened teachers to say untruths, knowing that they are untruths, just to keep students on their paths and only their paths. Now there is nothing wrong with careful critiquing, but....

    It seems to me that in this day and age it's time to go past that kind of stuff, and for all (both teachers and students) to just focus on the truth of things.

    I'm suspicious of OSHO at best of times. I don't know what kind of Knowledge he had, but, looking at his life, I can't see that one can make a case that he was Wise.

  4. I think Osho's explination is bullshit. Most of these so called masters are businessmen trying to build a profitable enterprise. Their egos are so blown out of proportion, they can't see straight.


  5. Yet, if I remember correctly(and Ed would know if I was right or wrong with this), Osho was actually enlightened as bizarre as that sounds(or Robert considered him enlightened). I'd say he comes ACROSS as having an enlightened sort of presence but that's just an appearance and we already know how much they count for(i.e., "form is none other than emptiness and emptiness none other than form").


  6. They say Jim Jones had quite a "Presence" as well.


  7. I read these comments about Osho with a smile.

    If you only had the slightest idea of how an awakened being functioned you would know he was no fake.

    Everything he did was to destroy his student's misconceptions about what they were and what a guru's function was: always to destroy misconceptions.

    But most FB people never studied with any teacher the ten years or so that it takes to see this clearly in relation to their own guru. FB people tend to believe the most bizarre conceptions about gurus and how gurus are supposed to act and function.

    1. Ed, in your world, Osho was what you say. In mine, he had his students driving around in jeeps with machine guns mounted on them, terrifying old people in Eastern Oregon, breaking into their houses and threatening them, all because Osho and his people wanted to build their own city, complete with night clubs and casinos. It didn't take 10 years for them to devolve to this condition.

      I prefer seeing Osho in the light of what his teachings led to, including some say his death by poisoning at the hands of his own close students.

  8. So based on your comment, Ed, it only means that Osho could care less that he owned something like 29 Rolls Royces. Those could have merely been toys to him that he didn't take seriously; in fact they might not even have been his at all, so he would have laughed at the thougbt that one or more of his members had lavished themselves with the acquisition of those which the organization was making so much of. And then later when he became seriously ill, again he didn't get worked up over it because he realized he wasn't the body anyway.

    Or maybe I too have some misconceptions expressed above based on what I PERCEIVED him to be like?


  9. I knew the discussion about Osho would arise someday..

  10. Maybe Osho was an Avadhuta, a master, that behaves in a manner, ordinary people can't understand- , helping throgh that all people to grow or awaken.

    1. Charly....

      Yes, Stephen Wolinsky, a former student of Nisargadatta some thirty years ago and has come out with several DVD's about this and meditation technique states in one of the DVD's that a popular Avadhut(whose name eludes me I think was Nitayanda or close to that)lived in a state wherein he didn't even know that he was. That could really constitute Englightenment because then discovers the real truth behind the fiction of oneself as a separate being; the probem though(from the practical standpoint) was that this Avadhut who apparently had quite an influence on Nisargadatta was so "out there" was always naked and others close to him then had to find some kind of garment so he would then appear more shall we say, adjusted to the real world.

  11. The story about Nityananda is probably apocryphal. The film quotes Nisargadatta that he thought about Nityananda every day of his life. But my friend Sw. Shankaranada siad this is probably made up. Shankarananda was Muktananda' disciple, and Muktananda was Nityanda's.

    Let me ask you, why not knowing who you are would be such a high state? Anyone with moderate to severe Alzheimers would also not know who they are or where they are. That is millions of people.

    The presence of mind and memory is not problem after you have seen through the mind, seen it repetitive, mechanical nature, and that it has nothing to do with who you are.

    But you do have to see through the mind and understand how trivial it is compared the the greatness of your entire being.