Subhuti was one of Buddha’s disciples.
he was able to understand the potency of emptiness
–the viewpoint that nothing exists except in its relationship of subjectivity and objectivity.
One day, when Subhuti was sitting under a tree
in a mood of sublime emptiness, flowers began to fall around him.
“We are praising you for your discourse on emptiness”,
the gods whispered to him.
“But I have not spoken of emptiness”,
“You have not spoken of emptiness, we have not heard emptiness”
responded the gods.
“This is true emptiness”.
And blossoms showered upon Subhuti like rain.
[…] Subhuti was one of buddha’s disciples. Remember: one of them.
He was able to understand the potency of emptiness.
He was just one of many, that’s why he was able to understand the potency of emptiness. Nobody talked about him, nobody knew about him. He walked with, he followed Buddha on many many paths in his travels. Nobody knew that he was also there; if he had died nobody would have become aware of it. If he had escaped nobody would have known, because nobody ever knew that Subhuti was there. He knew, by and by, being nobody, he knew the potency of emptiness.
What is the meaning of it? Because the more he became a nonentity, the more he felt that Buddha was coming closer to him. Nobody else was aware, but Buddha was aware. Everybody wondered when these flowers showered on him, but it was not a surprise to Buddha. When it was reported to him that something had happened to Subhuti, Buddha said, “I was waiting. Any moment it was going to happen, because he has erased himself so much; any day it was going to happen. There is no surprise in it for me”. He was able to understand the potency of emptiness by being empty! You don’t know the power of emptiness. You don’t know the power of being totally absent within. You know only the poverty of the ego.
But try to understand. With ego have you ever felt really powerful? With ego you always feel impotent. That’s why the ego says, “Make your empire a little bigger so that you can feel you are powerful: no, this house won’t do, a bigger house is needed; no, this much bank balance won’t do, a bigger bank balance is needed; no, this much fame won’t do, a little more”. The ego always asks for more. Why? If it is powerful, why go on asking for more? The very craving for more says, shows, that the ego feels impotent. You have a million rupees and you are impotent. The ego says, “No, one million won’t do, have ten million rupees”. And I tell you with ten million rupees you will be tenfold more impotent, that’s all. And then the ego will say, “No, this won’t do”.
[…] Ego has never felt powerful. It only dreams of power, it thinks of power, it contemplates on power; but those are simply dreams and nothing else. And dreams are there just to hide the impotence that is within you. But dreams cannot hide the reality. Whatsoever you do, from here or from there, from a loophole, again the reality comes in and shatters all dreams.
Ego is the most impotent thing in the world. But nobody realizes it, because it goes on asking for more, it never gives you a space to look at the situation. Before you become aware, it pushes you further and further somewhere. Always the goal is somewhere near the horizon. And it is so near you think, by the evening I will reach.
The evening never comes; the horizon remains always at the same distance. The horizon is an illusion; all the goals of ego are just illusions. But they give hope, and you go on feeling, “Some day or other I will become powerful”. Right now you remain powerless, impotent, inferior, but in the future, in the hope, in the dream, you become powerful.
[…] The truth is just the opposite: when you don’t seek, it comes; when you don’t ask it is given; when you don’t hanker it is there; when you don’t go to the horizon, suddenly you realize that it has been always yours, you never lived it. It is there inside, and you seek it outside. It is there within you and you go without. You are carrying it: the suprememost power, the divine itself, is in you. And you are looking here and there like a beggar.
He was able to understand the potency of emptiness.
Just being empty, you will understand; there is no other way of understanding. Whatsoever you want to understand, be that, because that is the only way. Try being an ordinary man, nobody, with no name, no identity, with nothing to claim, with no power to enforce on others, with no effort to dominate, with no desire to possess, just being a nonentity. Try it, and see how powerful you become! How filled with energy and overflowing! So powerful that you can share your power, so blissful that you can give it to many, to millions. And the more you give, the more you are enriched. The more you share, the more it grows. You become a flood.
Osho (1931-1990): Philosopher, Orator, Indian spiritual leader and founder of the osho movement. In his discourses he reinterpreted the traditional religious texts from the mystics and philosophers from around the world. Fragment taken from the book: …And the Flowers Showered: The Freudian Couch and Zen. India: Osho Media International. 2012. Talk: “Rain of Flowers”. 31st of October 1974.