The first question.
Osho, how can I become a light unto myself?
These were the last words of Gautam the Buddha, his parting message to his disciples: “Be a light unto yourself.” But when he says, “Be a light unto yourself,” he does not mean to become a light unto yourself. There is a great difference between being and becoming.
Becoming is a process, being is a discovery. The seed only appears to become the tree; that is an appearance. The seed already had the tree within itself, it was its very being. The seed does not become the flowers. The flowers were there unmanifest, now they are manifest. It is not a question of becoming, otherwise a pebble could become a flower. But that doesn’t happen. A rock cannot become a rose; that doesn’t happen because a rock has no potential to become a rose. The seed simply discovers itself through dying into the soil: dropping its outer shell, it becomes revealed in its inner reality.
Man is a light in the seed. You are already buddhas. It is not that you have to become buddhas; it is not a question of learning, of achieving. It is only a question of recognition–it is a question of going within yourself and seeing what is there. It is self-discovery.
You are not to become a light unto yourself, it is already the case. But you don’t go in, your whole journey is outward. We are being brought up in such a way that we all become extroverts. Our eyes become focused on the outside. We are always seeking and searching for some goal “there,” far away. The farther the goal, the more challenging it appears to the ego. The more difficult it is, the more attractive it appears. The ego exists through challenges; it wants to prove itself. It is not interested in the simple, it is not interested in the ordinary, it is not interested in the natural, it is interested in something which is neither natural, nor simple, nor ordinary. Its desire is for the extraordinary. And the reality is very ordinary, it is very simple.
The reality is not there but here, not then but now, not outside but in the innermost sanctum of your being. You have just to close your eyes and look in.
-Osho, Walking in Zen, Sitting in Zen, Chapter 13
The last words of Gautam Buddha were, appa deepo bhava: Be a light unto yourself. And those words were said to his chief disciple, Ananda, who had been with him for forty-two years, just like a shadow, non-stop, day out, day in. But he had not become enlightened. And many others who had come afterwards had become enlightened.
Buddha said, “That is the barrier. You think I can make you enlightened – that’s why these forty-two years have gone by and you have not attained. Perhaps after my death, within twenty-four hours you may become enlightened. For these forty-two years there was a hope that I would do something. Nobody can do anything. Be a light unto yourself.”
-Osho, Razor’s Edge, Chapter 12
This statement of Gautam Buddha is one of the milestones in the history of human growth: Appa deepo bhava – be a light unto yourself. Nobody before him was courageous enough to say this. They were all trying to say, “We are the light, follow us. Be surrendered to us and whatever we say never doubt it.” These people were not really for human freedom, human integrity, they destroyed all self-respect in man, they reduced him to a slave, a spiritual slave.
Gautam Buddha has brought a great revolution to the world. He says, “Be a light unto yourself” – because there is no other light. You are not to surrender to somebody because every surrender is slavery, and spiritual surrender is the greatest of all because it is so subtle. The chains are so invisible that you may never become aware of it, and the imprisonment is not something outside you, it is something imposed on the very being of your interiority. You are carrying your prison wherever you go, whatever you do.
-Osho, Sword and the Lotus, Chapter 19
|The last words of Gautam Buddha on the earth were, “Be a light unto yourself. Don’t be bothered about what others say, don’t be bothered about traditions, orthodoxies, religions, moralities. Just be a light unto yourself.”Just a small light is enough, and you can go on with that small light for ten thousand miles without any difficulty. Your light may be falling only four feet ahead of you – just go on moving. As you move, the light will be moving ahead, and if you can see four feet ahead, that’s enough. You can go as far as you want. You can go on an eternal pilgrimage with just a small light of your own.Don’t live on borrowed light.Don’t live on borrowed eyes.
Don’t live on borrowed concepts.
Live according to your own light, and your life will be, each and every moment, a greater joy, a greater blissfulness, a greater ecstasy.
-Osho, The Great Zen Master Ta Hui, Chapter 10
Buddha says nobody can deliver you. You have created the mess, you have to sort it out. Nobody has created it, so nobody can deliver you either. Your bondage is created by you, so only you can come out of it. Hence his last statement on the earth was: Be a light unto yourself. This is a totally different dimension: Be a light unto yourself. The buddhas only show the way, but you have to work upon your being; you have to work hard to discover your innermost core.
-Osho, Wild Geese and the Water, Chapter 8
Buddha’s last words to his disciples were: Be a light unto yourself. And how can you be a light unto yourself? Go beyond the body, the mind, the heart. Find the center of your being and suddenly there is light. It is already there, it is already burning bright. It is your very being; you just have to discover it.
-Osho, Dhammapada V. 12, Chapter 5
The last words of Gautama the Buddha on the earth were: Be a light unto yourself. Do not follow others, do not imitate, because imitation, following, creates stupidity. You are born with a tremendous possibility of intelligence. You are born with a light within you. Listen to the still, small voice within, and that will guide you. Nobody else can guide you, nobody else can become a model for your life, because you are unique. Nobody has there been ever who was exactly like you, and nobody is ever going to be there again who will be exactly like you. This is your glory, your grandeur – that you are utterly irreplaceable, that you are just yourself and nobody else.
-Osho, Dhammapada V. 2, Chapter 9
But if you want to end this whole nonsense that has persisted down the ages for so many lives, the same repetitive wheel of birth and death moving; if you want to stop it, then the other, the way of the intelligent person, the way of the wise…be a light unto yourself.
-Osho, Dhammapada V. 2, Chapter 9
In the same way, Krishnamurti is also contained in Buddha. Krishnamurti is Buddha’s latest edition, the freshest – in today’s language. But the difference is only of language. Krishnamurti is just an elaboration of Buddha’s ultimate sutra: “Be a light unto yourself.” A commentary on this sutra – deep, profound, tremendously vast, immensely significant – but he is just an elaboration.” These were Buddha’s last words on this earth. Before leaving his body he had given this essential sutra, poured his whole life’s treasure, his whole life’s experience, into this one small sutra.
-Osho, Die O Yogi Die, Chapter 1
Don’t search for any light outside. The last words of Buddha were, “Be a light unto yourself. Be a lamp unto yourself.” Don’t search for light anywhere else; the light is already there, the fire is already there. Just probe a little deeper into your being. Inquire. Maybe much ash has gathered around the fire…just probe deep inside, and you will find the spark again. And once you have found a single spark inside yourself, you will become a flame soon, you will be a fire – a fire that purifies, a fire that transforms, a fire that gives you a new birth and a new being.
-Osho, The Sun Rises in the Evening, Chapter 3
The last message on his deathbed was…Ananda, his chief disciple asked “Bhagwan, give us your last message.” And he said “Ananda, appa deepo bhava: become a light unto yourself. There is no other light, so don’t look into the sky, don’t look at me. There is no other light. Be a light unto yourself. Your own intelligence has to become your light, depend utterly upon yourself – no other dependence, no shelter anywhere, no refuge.”
-Osho, I Say Unto You V. 1, Chapter 2
It is good that religious experience has to be experienced individually. Nobody can lead you there. People can indicate the way and those indications are very subtle. Don’t take them literally. Buddha said, “Be a light unto yourself.” He is saying, “Remember, my truth cannot be your truth, my light cannot be your light. Imbibe the spirit from me, become more thirsty from me. Let your search be intense and be totally devoted to it. Learn the devotion of a truth-seeker from me but the truth, the light, will burn within you. You will have to kindle it within you.”
-Osho, Ancient Music in the Pines, Chapter 4
The master said, “Buddhas can only show the way, but you have to travel alone – and with your own light. Be a light unto yourself.”
-Osho, Nirvana the Last Nightmare, Chapter 5
Copyright© OSHO International Foundation