Individual Talk

Osho Audiobook - Individual Talk: Bodhidharma: The Greatest Zen Master #16, (mp3) - question, ignorance, bodhidharma


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The Courage to Say "I Don't Know"

Talk #16 of the Series, Bodhidharma: The Greatest Zen Master

"The sutras for this evening. Bodhidharma is facing the ultimate question which nobody has ever been able to answer. The ultimate question is ultimate because it cannot be answered. Every philosophy, theology, mysticism, finally comes to the ultimate question, and there is no answer for it.

"But even a man like Bodhidharma, a man of tremendous courage, intelligence, awareness, still has not the ultimate courage to say that there is no answer to this question. He tries – just as millions of philosophers, thinkers, mystics, have always tried but have always failed.

"He also tries as if there is an answer and he knows it, but whatever he says is not the answer and the question remains untouched. What he says is exactly what is written in the scriptures of the Buddhists."
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Osho International
104 mins
23.32 MB
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Osho continues:
"Here he is no longer responding to the question immediately, out of his own awareness; otherwise he would have simply laughed and recognized that there is no answer for it.

"I could have simply said, 'I don't know.' But to say, 'I don't know' needs the greatest courage in the world. Even Bodhidharma does not have that ultimate courage. But I have got it! I will not in any way try to camouflage – through philosophical jargon, or theological hypotheses – to hide the fact that there is no answer and create an illusion of an answer.

"Whatever Bodhidharma says here is only an illusion. He is trying his best to rationalize it, to support it from the scriptures. Perhaps he may have been able to pacify the disciples, but he cannot pacify me!

"First I will read the disciples' question. Their question is more important than the answer of Bodhidharma. Their question at least has a sincerity, an authenticity. Bodhidharma's answer is just to hide the fact that ultimate questions remain questions. This is the whole reason why we call the essential religion 'mysticism.' If everything can be answered, then there is no question of any mystery.

"Existence is a mystery because you can go on answering, but finally you cannot answer the ultimate question. And it is not far away; it soon comes up. You can answer all superficial things, but as you go deeper the ultimate question is coming closer. And the moment the ultimate question comes, I have not yet come across a single man in the whole history of mankind who has had the courage to say, 'I don't know.'

"The question:
You say that our true buddha-nature and all virtues have awareness for their roots. But what is the root of ignorance?
"From where does the ignorance come in? In other words, in other symbols which will be more easily understood.

"The religions that believe in God can go on answering questions up to the point where it is asked, 'Who created existence?' They have a ready-made answer: God created it. Now comes the ultimate question: 'Who created God?' Because if everything needs a creator, then God must need a creator."
In this title, Osho talks on the following topics:

question… ignorance… root… indefinable… inwards… intrinsic… relief… bodhidharma… godel… monroe

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