Hindrances on the Path of Devotion

By Osho Shailendra on Jul 4, 2010, Posted on Jul 4, 2010


I would like to start with a moral story which Osho has narrated in his discourses. Some people were drinking wine and were chatting till late night in the bar. At the mid night when they came out of the bar, one of the friends said it is a lovely full moon night, why don’t we go at the river side and enjoy boating. With the stupor of wine that group reached at the river side. The boat was tied to the hook at the corner. They all sat into the boat and started rowing the boat. In the state of unconsciousness as a result of being drunk, in the merry mood they were singing and rowing the boat. Having fun in the full moon night, drunkenness, intoxication, singing songs continued while rowing the boat.

When few hours passed the day began to break and first rays of sun started falling on them. Birds started chirping, then one of the friends said that we are boating for very long; let us go back now. So let’s just check where we have reached so that we can move in the direction of the village. One friend came down and started laughing. His comrades asked ‘Why are you laughing?' He replied you too come down and even you will laugh. They all came out and all of them started laughing. Because at night due to their being drunk; they forgot to remove the rope from the hook. They were just rowing the boat on its place for very long but they reached nowhere.

Nearly this is the situation of maximum spiritual seekers. They think that they are moving ahead on the way of meditation, doing the journey of Samadhi. Our boat of consciousness is moving towards the destination and at the end we find that we have reached nowhere because we had forgotten to untie the hook.

Let us first see those points, where we have tied our own self. If you understand this clearly, only then you can do the journey of meditation, Samadhi and spirituality. Hard work alone won’t be of any use. I don’t say that there was any lacking in their efforts, but still they were unable to reach anywhere.

Let us review which types of hooks are there.

First Hook - Duality

First and foremost hook is the hook of division of things between two; between happiness and sadness, success and failure, love and hatred, richness and poverty, health and disease; birth and death which irritates us a lot; this divergence is the hook to which the boat of our life is tied. Some things excite us in a pleasant way and few things excite us in a painful way. The thing that makes us happy even that ties us and the thing that makes us sad even that tied us. The one whom we love, we are tied to that person till the end of life and so are we attached to the person whom we hate.

We get entangled to outer incidents and we can be free from them through Nirdwandita – non-duality, by understanding the nature of things where opposites are not contrary to each other but are complimentary to each other; they go hand in hand. When we consider success and failure to be one, victory and defeat to be one, only then can we become free from it.


Second Hook – Enmity or Hatred

Second hook is of Vairbhav – enmity. And the enmity is of two types. One is with the outer world and one is fighting within with oneself. Somebody says that I will destroy anger; some say I will devastate possessiveness, and I will sacrifice everything, he has developed inner conflicts. Thus, some are angry with the factors of the world and some with one’s own self. The hook of anger is associated with the hook of enmity. The inner journey has one of the biggest barriers, and that is of - Enmity.

It will be possible only when the energy of enmity is transformed to that of friendliness. No matter how much you row the boat; nothing is going to happen; you can get rid of it only through transforming it to positive.

Third Hook - Desire

Third hook is the hook of desire. For accomplishment of our desires we do Karma – efforts in the same direction. Remember well that karma is not the hook. If the karma is desire oriented then we are tied, then a chain of actions get inter-linked. There are actions which are free from the thread of desire. When the feeling of doer is not there, actions are done without being result oriented, like a joy. It makes us free. Now fruit is not important. Efforts are complete in themselves, breath is going on, heart is beating, let all the actions happen with the feeling that we are not the doer.

The tree is growing, cool breeze is going on; river is flowing. Air has no ego that I am going on, river does not have the ego that I am flowing and the tree does not know that I am growing. When all dealings of life become like this – in the direction of non-doer, it is a step ahead towards the path of freedom. Now we have understood one more obstacle and our boat is becoming freer.


Fourth Hook - Complaint

We will now understand the hook of complaint. Where we have complaint, let it be with some person, or with totality, let it be with God, or with some situation, all situations are finally the complaint against God. When you say that my son is not obedient, I am sad due to him, actually you are abusing God that why did you give birth to such child. Complaint towards anybody is complaint towards God. You are upset with God. Complaint is also one form of being upset, Oh, God, why is it so? Go to the temple, church and mosques and hear the prayer of the people. They use very sweet words, good appreciating statements but if you derive its meaning do you know what does it mean? It means that Oh, useless God, which kind of world have you made? Take some advice from me; I am intelligent. I will tell you what you should do and what you should not to?

You hear the prayers of devotees; they consider themselves as great devotees but there is no devotion at all. They are the greatest complainers, they are upset with everything. Things have not happened according to their wish. People come to me and say that we are in the search of God. I say you won’t attain Him. They ask why? I reply that he is neglecting and running away from you as he knows that you are a complaining person. If you will meet him then you will hold his neck and ask why did you make such world?

Duniya banana wale

Kya tere mann mein samayi

Kaheko duniya banayi.

In these lines of a song it is said –

O, the creator of this world, what came in your mind that you made this world?

We are tied to the hook of complaint. So what is the solution- Gratitude, being thankful for all that we have. Neither complaint with self nor with anyone will do. Some people are there who have left complaining against others but now they are harassing themselves that anyhow I will change myself, anyhow I will try to become such. Now they are after themselves; they dislike the way of their being. They are filled with inferiority. They hate themselves that I am a sinner; they are busy in changing themselves. The wickedness they used to do with others, now they have started doing with themselves. We call then as Mahatma. They are not great beings. They are lowest in the rung of ladder. First they used to trouble others now they are troubling themselves.

Be in gratitude towards others and also towards self. There is no need to live in inferiority, neither you are sinner nor you are criminal. Don’t have any complaint with yourself.

Somebody says ‘Mann mero bado harami.’ you are abusing yourself. You will get only two things to hear in the prayers – they appreciate God and abuse themselves. This is not a prayer. The real prayer will the gratitude, Oh, God, your world is amazing. Even I am a part of it, without any reason, I don’t have any right; it is all your grace, thanks a million times. And the hurdle of complaining nature is transcended.

Fifth: Character

Then the next hook is of character. If we are hypocrites we are tied in all directions. Being authentic frees us.

Understand it in this way that we are not alone in this world. There are other people as well. And where people are there, rules and discipline will definitely be there. If you are walking in a forest then it’s up to you that you walk to the right or left or in between; you can do whatever you wish because you are all alone. But if you are driving a car on a highway, then you will have to observe some rules. In India we keep left while walking, in America we keep right. One thing is sure that we have to move from one side, only then the traffic will be able to move. If everyone will move according to his own wish then nobody will be able to move. Nobody will be able to reach anywhere. Many accidents will occur; all will dash against each other. As we are the part of the same community we definitely have to observe some rules and discipline. Moving in accord with them creates harmony. Otherwise we will clash with everyone and we will get badly stuck in these clashes because the crowd is very large.

As far as your personal life is concerned you can live according to your wish, but where there is question of social life you will have to follow some rules. So a seeker silently follows the rules of the community. I remember that somebody asked Osho that you teach us revolutionary things. Should we all obey you? Osho said not at all. You are a seeker and I have reached. Your state is different from mine. I have attained which was supposed to be attained. Even if somebody kills me, nothing will happen to me. I have attained the treasure. Whatever life can give, I have attained that. I have attained ultimate grace. Now nothing can be snatched from me. I can speak about revolution. I don’t have any fear. I don’t want to have anything in future. I don’t have any ambition, any desire. I am completely contented. You are still a seeker. You have to attain something. You have to reach somewhere. If you will get engrossed in revolution, you won’t be able to attain your peace. You will have to follow the rules of the society. Don’t get involved in fighting with society. So silently follow the rule of disciple and order of the society. Don’t clash with society.

Society is very big and you are very tiny. Society will crush you. If you decide that we won't keep left, we will keep right, then one thing is sure that you won't reach home. You will reach hospital or grave yard. If the whole crowd is keeping left, then you can’t keep right. So don’t get wrangle with society for small things. There is no need to have fight with the rules which are known and prevalent in the current era. We are seekers. We have to conserve our life energy and convert it into some other direction. I call this as hook. If we get involved in all this fuss, we get tied to it. If that is the goal, alright, then you can go on fighting with the society. Then you will become revolutionary, but you won’t be able to attain your peace. You won’t be able to attain Samadhi. The one with whom you will fight, you get tied to that. Then those people will trouble you. So you yourself are creating a problem. Then all your energies will flow outside. Your inner self will not flower. You won’t be able to move inside.


Sixth: Wrong belief system

All I want to say is that if we have faith in beliefs which hamper our growth and progress and keep us rooted in our past – it’s a big obstacle. And such beliefs are within us then, even that is a hook. So Samyak Shradha – Right Trust– one which can open the door of our progress – we should have such trust. Here trust does not mean having faith on somebody else. Every person has faith but we have faith on wrong things.

Trust is not a hook but wrong faith is hook. Trust is our intrinsic nature. Trust should be on Truth, virtuous, beauty, faith on Satyam, Shivam, Sunderam, our faith should be such that we can move towards progress and move towards better, then our hook gets opened.

Last: Acceptance

And the last sutra is Samarpan or surrender. Ego is our hook to which we are tied. Even a spiritual person becomes egoist that I am not an ordinary person, I am a religious person, I am in search of God. Now even surrender that. Accept things as they are without any rejection.

So these are the hooks to which we are tied. I narrated to you all these in order to remind you that if you are tied to some hook, then remove it because we are going ahead for a subtle journey. These hooks won’t work there. It is necessary to get rid of them.

With such pure and clean heart full of gratitude and acceptance to the Existence flowers bhakti – Devotion.

-----Osho Shailendra
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