In the past people knew only one path, the path into which they were born. It was good to emphasize that this is the only way – to make their minds confident about it, trusting about it. But now this is not the situation at all. A Hindu reads the Koran, a Christian comes to India to seek guidance, a Mohammedan is aware of the Gita and the Vedas. All the paths have become known. Much confusion exists, and whosoever says that this is the only path is not going to help now because you know other paths are there. You also know that from other paths people have reached and are reaching. Hence I don’t emphasize any path.
You can take my help if you surrender, you can take my help if you don’t surrender – but you have to be clear about it. If you choose the path of surrender, then you have to follow me totally. If you choose that you are not going to surrender, then decide that. I can be a friend on the path, there is no need to make me a master. I can be just a friend on the path – or not even a friend. I can just be ….
You are searching and you meet somebody absolutely unknown, a stranger, and you ask him: Where is the river? Which path leads to the river? When he has spoken you thank him and you move. I can be just a stranger. No need even to be a friend, because with a friend also you get involved. You can take my help – my help is unconditional.
I don’t say: Do this, then I will help you. I don’t say: Surrender, only then will I help you. But this much I must say: Do whatsoever you like, but do it totally. If you are total, the transformation is closer. If you are divided, it is almost impossible.
The second question:
When Wakuan saw a picture of the bearded Bodhidharma, he complained: “Why hasn’t that fellow got a beard?”
Osho, why don’t you have a beard?
The tradition of Zen is really beautiful. Bodhidharma has got a beard, and a disciple asks: “Why has this fellow not got a beard?” The question is beautiful, but only a Zen disciple can raise it – because the beard belongs to the body, not to Bodhidharma. That fellow is beardless, because body is just an abode. The question looks absurd, but it is meaningful, and such questions have been asked many times.
Buddha talked continuously – morning, afternoon, evening, in this village, in that village, moving – forty years continuously talking. One day Sariputra asked: “Why have you remained silent? Why don’t you talk to us?” Patently absurd! Buddha laughed and said: “You are right.” And this man was talking – nobody has talked as much as Buddha. But Sariputra was right, because this talking happened only on the surface and Buddha did remain silent.
One Zen monk, Rinzai, used to say: “This man Buddha was never born, he never walked on this earth, he never died – he is just a dream.” And every day he would go to the temple and bow down before Buddha’s statue.
Then somebody said: “Rinzai, you are just mad! Every day you go on insisting that this man was never born, never died, never walked on this earth, and still you go to the temple and bow down.”