Description Reviews 0 The real significance of temples, holy places and statues and the original purpose of mantras, astrology and incense has all been lost over the years. As we no longer know how to use them as jumping boards into the ultimate truth, they have either been debased into the mythical trappings of religions and "new age" beliefs or mocked by skeptics. But, explains Osho, once we understand that a higher consciousness is still flowing in these ancient places, all we have to do is turn in and stand in the middle of this stream "with the sails of our consciousness" open. Then, in such places, the inner journey is easier and faster than anywhere else. And if we do not know either about the treasures or the locks, then what is left in our hands cannot even be called a key. It can only be a key if it opens a lock.
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Length: N. In the Pacific Ocean there is a small island, Easter Island, on which there are one thousand huge stone idols, all about seventy feet tall. The population of the island is just two hundred. When only two hundred people can live there, it was surprising to find such huge stone idols and as many as one thousand!
Five idols for every person! Those people would not have been able to make such huge idols even if they wanted to, because their lives are spent in taking care of their day to day needs. What could be the purpose of those idols? Who would have made them and why? Many questions arose for historians. In central Asia there is another place that is equally puzzling. The area seemed to be developed fifteen to twenty thousand years ago.
Only after the airplane was invented could we understand its use, could we understand that that place in central Asia must once have served as an airport.
I am telling you these things to convey to you the idea that we will not be able to understand the significance of places of pilgrimage until we ourselves realize the need to have them. When the idols of Easter Island were photographed from airplanes, it could be imagined that they were installed at certain geometrical points, in such a way that they could be seen from the moon on particular nights.
Those who have studied this subject think that we, in this century, are not the first people to look for life on other planets. Many times before experiments and attempts have been made to find animals and other forms of life on other planets so that communication could be established with them. Not only that, but beings from other planets also seem to have made contact with our earth. These twenty feet long idols are not meaningful in themselves, but when their whole pattern is observed from a plane there are indications of some signs and secret messages.
Those signs could only be read from the moon. But as long as we had not seen the idols from a plane we could not imagine their possible use; they were still then just idols. In the same way there are many things on this earth about which we will know nothing until our civilization investigates and sets up a similar situation again. Just three or four days ago, I was talking about a small iron box which was found in Tehran. It was kept in The British Museum for a long time, for many years it was just lying there.
Now it has been found to be a type of battery which was used in Tehran about two thousand years ago. It was beyond the imagination that in Tehran, two thousand years ago, such a battery existed. But now it is an established fact that it is a battery. If we had not invented the storage battery we would never have been able to imagine that that such a box could be a battery.
A tirtha, a sacred place of pilgrimage, is a unique invention, very deep and symbolic, made by an ancient civilization. But our present civilization has lost all knowledge about the significance of such places. Today visiting a place of pilgrimage is just a dead ritual for us. We just tolerate them, without knowing why places of pilgrimage were established, what their use was and who made them.
Whatever can be seen from the surface is not everything. There are some hidden meanings which are not visible from the outside. We should understand first that our civilization has lost the purpose and meaning of the sacred place of pilgrimage and so today people who go on a pilgrimage waste their time. Those who oppose the idea are also wasting their time, however right they seem to be, because they know nothing about such places.
Neither the people who visit the places of pilgrimage, nor those who oppose the idea know the purpose of them, so let us understand a few things about them There is a famous place of pilgrimage for Jainas known as Samved Shikhar. Twenty-two out of the twenty-four tirthankaras of the Jainas have died there, have left their bodies there. It all seems to have been pre-arranged; otherwise it is impossible that out of twenty-four, twenty-two should happen to die, with long periods of time between them, in the same place.
If we believe the Jainas there is a gap of one hundred thousand years between the first and the twenty-fourth tirthankara. That twenty-two of them died in the same place is worth thinking about.
The place of pilgrimage for Moslems is the Kaaba. Until the time of Mohammed, there were three hundred and sixty-five idols in Kaaba - a different idol for each day of the year. All these idols were removed or destroyed, but the central stone which was the center of the temple was not removed.
The history of Islam is only about fourteen hundred years old, but that black stone in the Kaaba is hundreds of thousands of years old. Another interesting fact is that the stone does not seem to belong to our earth. How did it come to earth? The only hypothesis we have is that it is part of a meteor.
Within twenty-four hours of the disintegration of a meteor, thousands of stone fragments fall to the earth. Many of these are burnt up before they reach the earth. At night when we see stars falling - these are not stars but meteors. Sometimes even huge stones manage to reach the earth; these stones are of a different composition. The stone at Kaaba is such a stone.
But some people who have gone deeper into this feel that such big stones could have been brought to earth and left here, just as our astronauts have left a few things from earth on the moon.
Whatever the astronauts have left on the moon will remain there safely, even if there is a nuclear war and life on this earth is destroyed. If ever some civilization reaches the moon, they will be very surprised to see those things we have left there. So the stone at Kaaba may not be part of a meteorite but may have been left by some inhabitants of another planet.
Perhaps it was once possible to establish a connection with those inhabitants through the medium of that stone. But now, only the worship of it has remained.
The science of how it might have been used as a means of communication is lost. An unmanned Russian spaceship became lost because its radio contact with the earth broke, so it was not possible to trace it.
Whether it was burnt up, destroyed, or is still somewhere in space is not known. But if it has landed on some planet, and if the inhabitants of that planet could repair the radio they could re-establish contact with the earth. Otherwise they might break it up, or store it in their museum. They may even be afraid of it, may wonder at it or they may even start to worship it. The Kaaba stone may be one such instrument sent out by spacemen from some other planet to establish contact with the earth.
I am telling you this only as an illustration to explain that a sacred place of pilgrimage was a means to establish contact, not with any living beings in space but with enlightened souls who once lived on this earth. A very deep and intense experiment on Samved Shikhar was made by the twenty-two tirthankaras, just as they were leaving their bodies.
On that mountain they tried to intensify and multiply the vibrations of their developed consciousness so that it would be easier for us to communicate with them.
It was thought that if so many souls of such consciousness left their body from the same place, a path between that place and another plane could be laid. And such a path has existed. The rainfall is not the same everywhere on earth: there are some areas of heavy rain, where it rains as much as five hundred inches, and desert areas where there is no rain or it is very scarce.
Similarly there are places which are very cold, where there is nothing but snow everywhere; and there are areas so hot that it is difficult to make ice. In the same way on the earth there are places with high density consciousness and low density consciousness.
Conscious attempts have been made to create areas of high consciousness, fields charged with human consciousness. They do not happen automatically, but are a result of the consciousnesses of powerful individuals. Twenty-two tirthankaras traveling to that one mountain, entering samadhi and leaving their bodies there, created a highly charged field of consciousness, in some special sense, at Samved Shikhar. It was intended that if someone sits there, chanting the special mantras given by those twenty-two tirthankaras, his journey in out-of-the-body experiences will immediately begin.
This is as scientific an experiment as any which takes place in a laboratory. The only reason for creating the places for pilgrimage was to experiment with creating powerfully charged fields of conscious energies, so that anyone could easily begin his inner journey.
There are two methods of making a boat move. One method is to open the sails at the right time in the direction of the wind and not use the oars; the other method is not to open the sails, but to help the boat move with the use of the oars.
The places of pilgrimage are places where a stream of consciousness is flowing automatically: you just have to stand in the middle of the stream where the sails of your consciousness open up and you begin your journey onwards. You will be able to travel far more easily and faster in such places than anywhere else, and alone. Elsewhere, you may unknowingly reach some negative place and open up your sails in the wrong direction: you may move further away from your destination and become lost.
For example, if you are sitting in meditation at a place which is full of negative emotions - where butchers are killing animals the whole day - there will be a great struggle and conflict in your mind. In meditation you become very receptive, open and vulnerable, so whatever is happening around you at that time enters you. So when you meditate it is always necessary to choose a place which will not take you in a wrong direction.
Whenever, during meditation, you have disturbing thoughts or find it difficult to be silent, move from such a place. You can sit in meditation in a jail too, but that requires a very strong individuality.
There are different methods to help you meditate in a jail: you create a line of demarcation over which negative forces cannot enter. But in a tirtha, a holy pilgrimage place, such a line is not necessary. In such a place you drop all resistance and open all your doors and windows.
There, positive energy is flowing in abundance. Hundreds of people have traveled into the unknown from there and have created a path. It is as if they have made a path by cutting down trees and removing the bushes blocking the path, so that those walking behind them find it easier to travel. On the religious path, efforts are made by the higher, stronger consciousnesses to help weaker people, in every way.
The place of pilgrimage was one such experiment. A place of pilgrimage is where the currents are flowing from the body towards the soul, where the whole atmosphere is charged; from where people have achieved samadhi, from where people realized their enlightenment.
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Alchemical Secrets of Places of Holy Pilgrimage