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Old November 24th, 2007, 01:18 AM
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Who Am I? Interesting Zen Story about Surrender & Freedom (Nirvana)

Quoted from Osho's commentary on Vigyan Bhairav Tantra

We live with the ego, in the ego, centered in the ego. I am without knowing who I am. I go on announcing, ”I am.” This ”I-am-ness” is false, because I do not know who I am. And unless I know who I am, how can I say ”I”? This ”I” is a false ”I”. This false ”I” is the ego. This is the defense. This protects you from surrendering.

You cannot surrender, but you can become aware of this defense measure. If you have become aware of it, it dissolves. By and by, you are not strengthening it, and one day you come to feel, ”I am not.” The moment you come to feel ”I am not,” surrender happens. So try to find out whether you are. Really, is there any center in you that you can call your ”I”?. Go deep down within yourself, go on trying to find out where is this ”I”, where is the abode of this ego.

Rinzai went to his master and he said, ”Give me freedom!” The master said, ”Bring yourself. If you are, I will make you free. But if you are not, then how can I make you free? You are already free. And freedom,” his master said, ”is not your freedom. Really, freedom is freedom from ‘you’. So go and find out where this ‘I’ is, where you are, then come to me. This is the meditation. Go and meditate.” So the disciple Rinzai goes and meditates for weeks, months, and then he comes. Then he says, ”I
am not the body. Only this much I have found.” So the master says, ”This much you have become free. Go again. Try to find out.” Then he tries, meditates, and he finds that ”I am not my mind, because I can observe my thoughts. So the observer is different from the observed – I am not my mind.” He comes and says, ”I am not my mind.” So his master says, ”Now you are three-fourths liberated. Now go again and find out who you are.”

So he was thinking, ”I am not my body. I am not my mind.” He had read, studied, he was well informed, so he was thinking, ”I am not my body, not my mind, so I must be my soul, my ATMA.” But he meditated, and then he found that there is no atman, no soul, because this atma is nothing but your mental information – just doctrines, words, philosophies.

So he came running one day and he said, ”Now I am no more!” Then his master said, ”Am I now to teach you the methods for freedom?” Rinzai said, ”I am free because I am no more. There is no one to be in bondage. I am just a wide emptiness, a nothingness.” Only nothingness can be free. If you are something, you will be in bondage. If you are, you will
be in bondage. Only a void, a vacant space, can be free. Then you cannot bind it.

Rinzai came running and said, ”I am no more. Nowhere am I to be found.” This is freedom. And for the first time he touched his master’s feet – for the first time! Not actually, because he had touched them many
times before also. But the master said, ”For the first time you have touched my feet.” Rinzai asked, ”Why do you say for the first time? I have touched your feet many times.” The master said, ”But you were there, so how could you touch my feet while you were already there? While you are there how can you touch my feet?” The ”I” can never touch anybody’s feet. Even though it apparently looks like it touches somebody’s feet, it is touching its own feet, just in a round-about
way. ”You have touched my feet for the first time,” the master said, ”because now you are no more. And this is also the last time,” the master said. ”The first and the last.”
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