Question – Why do Zen monks have to have been living near their masters for ten, twenty, or even for forty years for the sudden enlightenment to happen?
Osho – Because of their stupidities. You can be enlightened in a single minute; you can wait for forty years. It depends how gross you are. You can wait for lives; it depends how much you cling to your ignorance. The Zen Master is not responsible that the disciple had to wait for forty years. The disciple is responsible. He must have been a very dull-headed man, a dullard; nothing penetrates in his mind. Or he may have been intellectually very clever, so whatsoever is said he creates an intellectual understanding around it — and misses the point that can be caught only from heart to heart. In a deep rapport, where heart and heart meet, the flower of understanding blooms.
So those who had to wait for forty years either must have been very foolish or very knowledgeable. Both are types of foolishness. They must have been either pundits or just idiots; both are the same.
Pundits miss more than idiots. Even an idiot sometimes can understand, can have understanding, because he is simple. He has no complex mind: if something penetrates it penetrates. But with a man of knowledge — a scholar, a logician, a theologian, a philosopher — there are subtle layers which are almost impossible to penetrate. If you are simple it can happen right now. If you are not simple you will have to wait; and then you have to understand what complexity is creating the problem.
You alone are responsible for whatsoever happens. The Master is just a presence. You can partake of him. He is just like a sun, a lamp of light: you can open your eyes and you can see, but if you don’t open the eyes, the lamp is not going to force you to open the eyes. Even the sun cannot do that. But always remember, if you are waiting it is because of you, either your cleverness or your stupidity. Drop both. That’s how one becomes a disciple — drop both your stupidity and your knowledge. When you drop both there is no barrier; you are vulnerable, you are open. In that opening the enlightenment is possible any moment.
Source – Osho Book “The Yoga, Vol5”