Osho on Siddhanta Vs Doctrine

Today I was listening to discourse number 9 from volume 2 of the series titled “The Discipline of Transcendence”. There is a reason why Osho is the Master of Masters …. he explains things in such a way that even a child would get it ! I am deeply grateful to technology that allows me to listen to Osho over headphones, its like he is speaking just to me. Therapeutic and deeply meditative.

The entire transcript of the discourse is available here – The Discipline Beyond Discipline.

These discourses are on the 42 sutras of Buddha. This excerpt is on the difference between a Siddhanta and a doctrine.

Doctrine or Siddhanta ?




The choice of the word ‘doctrine’ is unfortunate, but there are difficulties in translating. Buddha must have used the word SIDDHANTA. It has a totally different meaning. Ordinarily it is translated as doctrine; it should not be translated so. But the problem is that in the English language there is no equivalent to siddhanta. So I will have to explain it to you.

A doctrine is a consistent logical theory. A siddhanta has nothing to do with logic, theory, consistency. A siddhanta is a realization, a siddhanta is an experience. A doctrine is intellectual, siddhanta is existential. You can make a doctrine without being transformed by it. You can make a great doctrine without even being touched by it. But if you want to achieve a siddhanta you will have to be totally transformed, because it will be a vision of a totally different person.

The word siddhanta means the assertion of one who has become a siddha, one who has achieved, one who has arrived – his statement. You can be a great philosopher, you can figure out intellectually many things, you can systematize your inferences, and you can make a very consistent, logical syllogism which almost appears like truth, but is not truth. It has been manufactured by your mind. A doctrine is man-made; a siddhanta has nothing to do with man and his effort. A siddhanta is a vision – you come upon it.

For example, a blind man can think about light and can try to figure out what it is all about. He can even listen to great treatises on light and he can make a certain idea about it – what it is. But he will be as far away from light as he was before. He can even expound the doctrine about light, he can explain its physics, he can explain its structure. He can go deep into the constituents of light, he can talk about, he can write a Ph.D on it, a thesis. He can be declared a doctor by a university, because he has propounded a doctrine – but still he does not know what light is. He has no eyes to see.

A siddhanta is one which you have seen, which has been revealed to you, which has become your own experience, which you have encountered. A doctrine is almost imaginary, it is not real. A doctrine is almost always borrowed. You can hide your borrowing in many ways – subtle, cunning ways. You can reformulate, you can take from many sources and you can rearrange everything, but a doctrine is a borrowed thing – nothing original in it.

A siddhanta is absolutely original, new. It is your authentic experience. You have come to see what reality is. It is an immediate perception, it is a benediction, it is a blessing, it is a grace, a gift. You have arrived and you have seen what truth is.

The statement of a realization is siddhanta. Propounding a doctrine is one thing; giving expression to a siddhanta is totally different.

A doctrine is that which has happened to somebody else. You have heard about it. It has not happened to you – it is borrowed, dirty, ugly. A siddhanta is virgin.

A doctrine is a prostitute. It has been moving through many minds, through many hands. It is like dirty currency; it goes on changing its owner. A siddhanta is something absolutely fresh. It has never happened before, it will never happen again. It has happened to you. A siddhanta is deeply individual, it is a personal vision of reality.

What happened to Buddha is a siddhanta – what Buddhists propound is a doctrine. What happened to Christ is a siddhanta – what Christians talk about is a doctrine. What happened to Krishna is a siddhanta – what Hindus go on bragging about is a doctrine. What I am saying to you is a siddhanta – if you go and repeat it, it will be a doctrine. That’s why I say it is a very unfortunate choice of words to put into Buddha’s mouth.

What a beautiful word “Siddhanta” is … sometimes I wish we go back to Sanskrit being the main language of communication. Its scientifically proven to improve cognitive abilities so what do we stand to lose ?

Anyway at least Krishnan and I can make an effort to learn Sanskrit.

Thank you Master 🙏🏿

Buddha, Siddhanta

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