Its purpose is to create a silence in you and a rhythm that is in tune with my rhythm. And slowly, slowly it starts happening by itself. You are not to do anything. You just have to be available, and then it will be almost like meditation. It may be Kundalini, it may be Dynamic, it may be Vipassana, it may be any meditation, but it will be the cream of it.

Only one man, Mahavira, is unique in this respect. In the whole of history he alone has said that if the disciple listens totally then he has nothing else to do – no meditation, no discipline, no yoga, nothing else. So he has said that there are two ways: one is the way of the monk and one is the way of the shravaka.

Shravaka means the listener. And certainly, according to him, the way of the listener is far higher, because if you can listen so intensely, so totally that it becomes a meditation in itself, that you don’t need to do anything…. The monk has to do much. But what a strange fate: even in Jainism the monk is higher than the shravaka.

Nobody has bothered to look into the phenomenon that the shravaka is naturally higher, and superior, because he needed to do nothing. He simply listened with his whole heart and became transformed. But in the world, the person who is doing ascetic practices, fasting, torturing himself…even in Jainism he became higher. And there is also a second reason – because the listener disappeared with Mahavira. Then, there was no other with whom he could attain just by listening.

Every follower of Mahavira is called shravaka now, and the monk still has the prestige because he works so hard. Perhaps he is the most ascetic out of all the religions, the most self-torturing – more than anybody else. Naturally he became higher. And shravaka completely lost its meaning: first, because there was nobody to whom he could listen – no man of the quality of Mahavira – and secondly, even if he listens to these monks, nothing happens. So naturally these monks are higher, he is lower. When I raised the question for the first time in a Jaina conference saying that the shravaka is higher than the monk, it was a shock because for twenty-five centuries nobody has said that.

Shravaka has lost its meaning; it has simply become the follower, the believer. Its meaning is the listener. Shravan means listening and shravaka means the listener, the right listener. But a master is needed. Or, if a man is intelligent enough, he can listen to the wind passing through the pine trees, and the effect will be the same, or the sound of water, the ocean waves continuously coming and splashing on the bank. If one sits silently and listens to their eternal coming, or one just sits outside and listens to birds, or anything that is happening…. Even in a crowd, if he simply listens to the crowd, without any judgment, as if he is listening to his master – because the question is not what you are listening to, it is that you are simply listening with your total being. And then it will bring a meditative state.

From Osho, The Path of the Mystic, Chapter 13

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