I am reminded of one of the greatest mystics, Ramakrishna. When asked by a logician, “What is truth? Do you have any argument, any evidence for it?” Ramakrishna laughed hilariously.
He said, “I am the argument, and if you cannot see in my eyes the proof and the evidence, you will not find it anywhere else. I am the only proof that existence is not dead, that existence is not only matter; that existence is not only available to science, that existence is much more than matter, that you are much more than the body, that you are much more than the mind.”
But this “much more” cannot be proved by any logician, any scientist. Only the mystic is the proof. He also cannot prove it by words, but only by his way of life. The way of life of the mystic is the only possibility of coming in contact with the divine, which is all around you. You are living in the very ocean of the divine, but the mystic becomes your first window through which you can see the non-material, the spiritual, the beyond.
Shivam is the mystic in action: his gestures, the music in his words, the poetry of his life, the light and the depths of his eyes. And whatever he does — whether he is chopping wood or carrying water from the well — you can see that there is a subtle difference. He is total in his every act, and that totality brings the third word, sundaram. Sundaram means beauty. So this is the mystic trinity: satyam, the truth; shivam, the good, the divine; and sundaram, the beauty.
You have seen the beauty of the flowers, you have seen the beauty of the stars, you have seen the beauty of a bird on the wing, you have seen beauties upon beauties of sunsets and sunrises. But the greatest beauty is to see the totality, the intensity of the mystic. That is the greatest flowering in existence — of consciousness itself. It is available only to those who are humble enough to receive it, who are not living a closed life of fear, of paranoia, but who are living a life of love with all the windows open. And they are ready to go with life wherever it leads.
These receptive souls are the only real seekers in the world. These receptive souls are blessed with their experience of sundaram: the beautiful rose that is opening in the heart of the mystic. These three words are so unique, so incomparable, there is nothing parallel to them.
Truth is the experience, shivam is the action that comes out of the experience, and beauty is the flowering of consciousness of the man who has experienced truth. These three are the ultimate reality for those who are on the mystical path.
This is a mystery school. All my effort is not to give you knowledge, but to take all knowledge away from you; to make you so innocent, just like a newly born child who is fully conscious, sensitive, alert, but knows nothing. His not knowing makes every child’s experience something that is available only to the greatest sages of the world.
To understand the psychology and the development of religious consciousness, I would like you to start with the child. It is the child’s experience that haunts intelligent people their whole life. They want it again: the same innocence, the same wonder, the same beauty. Now it is a faraway echo; it seems as if you have seen it in a dream. But the whole of religion is born out of the haunting of the childhood experience of wonder, of truth, of beauty, of life in its beautiful dance all around. In the songs of the birds, in the colours of the rainbows, in the fragrance of the flowers the child goes on remembering deep in his being that he has lost a paradise.
It is not a coincidence that all the religions of the world have this idea in their parables: that man once lived in paradise and somehow, for some reason, he has been expelled from that paradise. There are different stories, different parables, but signifying one simple truth. These stories are just a poetic way of saying that every man is born in paradise and then loses it.
The retarded, the unintelligent completely forget about it but the intelligent, the sensitive, the creative go on being haunted by the paradise that they had once known. And now only a faint unbelievable memory has remained with them. They start searching for it again.
Excerpt (courtesy Pan Macmillan India) from Satyam Shivam Sunderam: Truth Godliness Beauty by Osho