Why are you called the Master of Masters?
Reverend Banana, Michael Potato Singh, Michael Tomato; dear gentlemen or ladies as the case may be… Because nobody has yet been able to decide whether these fellows are gentlemen or ladies.
It is a difficult question. I had to look in the Akashic records, and not in the past Akashic records – because it is not recorded there – but in the future Akashic records. This is a future story. Listen carefully.
It happened in Moksha, the ultimate resting place of the awakened ones. A journalist for the local newspaper, The Nirvana Timeless, was desperately seeking material to fill up the center page of the next edition which was due to appear in twenty-five hundred years. There was not much news around in Moksha, and soon he realized that he would have to make something up himself if the center page was not to be left empty again, as it had been for countless ages.
Finally, he hit on the idea of choosing which of the many Buddhas, Arhatas, Bodhisattvas, Christs, Kutubs and other enlightened beings abounding in the lotus paradise was the Master of Masters – in short, a spiritual Mr. Universe competition.
He summoned all the enlightened ones together and asked them to encapsulate in a short phrase the essence of their teaching, which would entitle them to the title of Master of Masters. There was, as usual, a deep silence which lasted a few hundred years. Finally a Zen Master stood forward and hit the journalist hard on the head. This was considered to be well deserved, but not very original.
Another hundred years passed and then a Sufi stood up and began to whirl. Unfortunately he was out of training, and after a couple of months he fell flat on his face, causing some merriment among the Hassidic Masters, who had been surreptitiously pouring oil on the floor to bring the uppity Arab down.
After some goading by Manjushree and Subhuti, Buddha slowly stood up and addressed the gathering in the following way: “There is no teaching and no one to be taught. There is no Master and nothing to master. Nothing can be said; there is no one to hear it.” Then he held up a flower and Mahakashyap giggled as usual. Many applauded the Buddha, but to the journalist it did not appear like the kind of news which would help him to sell his paper.
One after another the enlightened ones came forward to make their bids for the title. Moses gave a few new commandments. Bodhidharma stared at a wall for ninety years. Jesus made a mountain out of a molehill, and delivered a sermon from it. Diogenes displayed his suntan. Shiva and Parvati ran through one hundred twelve new positions they had invented. Gurdjieff drank twenty bottles of brandy, then walked on his hands on a tightrope over the plenum void, smiling with the left side of his face and grimacing with the right. Lao Tzu had a good belly laugh at all these antics. Mansoor would not stop shouting, “Ana’l Haq! Ana’l Haq!” and finally had to be put in a straitjacket and given a couple of valium. Vatsyayana gave himself a blow job to demonstrate existentially that sex and samadhi were manifestations of the same energy – and so on.
It proved impossible to choose which of the awakened ones was the Master of Masters, since even the journalist had attained to choiceless awareness long ago. But the day seemed saved when Teertha, a relative newcomer from England, stood up and declared with typical British diplomacy, “The greatest Master is the one who has yet to come.” Suddenly an Indian mahatma jumped to his feet and cried triumphantly, “Then that must be me – for I have been celibate for eighty-four million lives.”
By unanimous agreement the awakened ones decided that the mahatma’s samadhi was not yet “seedless”, and he was dispatched back to samsara to spill his seed once and for all.
Just as the mahatma disappeared from sight, Osho came out of his room, where he had been sitting all this time, and made his way towards a small marble podium in the corner of the hall. A deathly hush gripped the audience, and even Mansoor shut up. If a look of dread could be said to cloud those tranquil eyes, this is what happened to the gathering.
As Osho sat down and leaned towards the microphone, a cry arose from Mahavira, “Wait! Wait! We proclaim you Master of Masters! Now please go back to your room.”
Osho smiled innocently and left the hall. There was a sigh of relief.
The journalist turned to Mahavira in consternation: “I don’t understand. Why did he get the title? What did he do?”
“Nothing,” said Mahavira, “but last time he spoke here it took us seven hundred years to get him to stop, and send him to Poona!”
Enough for today.
Osho, Tao: The Golden Gate Vol. 2, Ch 10, Q 5