Devotion is Not a Path – Osho

What is the path of devotion and does it have a place in your vision of the rebel?

Rafia, devotion is not a path. You don’t have to travel it. Devotion is a way of merging and melting into existence. It is not a pilgrimage; it is simply losing all the boundaries that divide you from existence – it is a love affair.

Love is not a path. Love is a merger with an individual, a deep intimacy of two hearts – so deep that the two hearts start dancing in the same harmony. Although the hearts are two, the harmony is one, the music is one, the dance is one.

What love is between individuals, devotion is between one rebel and the whole existence. He dances in the waves of the ocean, he dances in the dancing trees in the sun, he dances with the stars. His heart responds to the fragrance of the flowers, to the song of the birds, to the silences of the night.

Devotion is not a path. Devotion is the death of the personality. That which is mortal in you, you drop of your own accord; only the immortal remains, the eternal remains, the deathless remains. And naturally the deathless cannot be separate from existence – which is deathless, which is always ongoing, knows no beginning, no end.

Devotion is the highest form of love.

It is possible you may love one person, and love becomes so deep that slowly, slowly the very quality of love changes into devotion. Then that person becomes only a window for you to take a jump into existence. That is the situation of the master, as far as the rebel is concerned.

For my people I am not a savior, I am not a messiah. I am just a door, a bridge to pass on into the infinite.

India has a very strange city – perhaps there is no other city like it in the world – Fateh-pur Sikri. It was made by the great emperor Akbar. He wanted to make a special city for his capital. The whole city had to be totally fresh, a piece of art; and he was going to shift the whole capital from Delhi [Agra] to Fateh-pur Sikri. He was a very demanding man, and it had to be not an ordinary city; every house had to be a palace.

For forty years continuously the city was being built – it is surrounded by a beautiful lake – but it was never inhabited. This is the only city in the whole world which has such beautiful palaces, but nobody ever lived there because Akbar died before he could complete the project. The project was too big – to make a whole capital, absolutely fresh and new, out of a special stone; and all the houses, all the roads in a certain pattern with a certain meaning…. Thousands of artists from all over the world were called to work – stone-cutters, masons, architects.

Akbar had perhaps the greatest empire in the whole world in those days. Under Akbar, India was the greatest land; there was immense money available, but Akbar spent everything.

He wanted the capital to be complete before his death. But seeing that it seemed to be impossible, that the capital would take at least forty years more to be absolutely complete, he decided, “At least while I am alive, half of the capital – particularly the offices of the government and the special people – should move.”

A beautiful bridge was made across the lake to join it with the main road; the city was almost a small island inside the lake. Akbar asked his wise people to find a beautiful sentence to be engraved on the main gate of the bridge, to welcome any visitor to the city.

They searched and searched in all the scriptures, in all the literature of the world. It is strange that, although they were Mohammedans, they could find a sentence which was absolutely suitable only in the sayings of Jesus, as if it was being said specially to be engraved on the capital of Fateh-pur Sikri. The sentence is, “It is only a bridge. Remember, don’t make your house on it – it is a place to pass on.” It is a statement about life. Life is a bridge. Don’t make your house on it – it is a place to pass on.

Akbar loved the sentence. It is engraved on Fateh-pur Sikri’s main gate. But before any move could happen, he died. His son had been against the idea from the very beginning, for the simple reason that the whole treasury had been destroyed. Nothing else had been done, only a dead capital had been made – and Delhi [Agra] was doing perfectly well. There was no need, and in fact he had no money left to continue the project for forty more years, so the project was dropped; nobody ever moved. It became a monument, a great memory of the dream of a great king. But to me the most important thing is the sentence on the bridge.

That’s what a master is, for a rebel. That’s what love is, for a rebel. For a rebel, love and the master are synonymous. When his love becomes so deep with the master that he cannot think of himself as separate in any way, love has transformed itself into a new height. That height has been known as devotion.

Devotion is not a path. Devotion is only a love affair, purified to its ultimate state. Then whomsoever you love becomes a door, a bridge to the universal organic unity, the experience of your small identity dissolving in the ocean just like a dewdrop slipping from a lotus leaf.

-Osho

From The Rebel, Chapter 20

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from Osho.com, or you can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

Many of Osho’s books are available online from Amazon.com and in the U.S. from OshoStore-Sedona and Osho Here and Now.

Love is the Earth Where One Needs to be Rooted – Osho

If you are rooted in love, you are rooted. There is no other way to be rooted. You can have money, you can have a house, you can have security, you can have a bank balance; that will not give you rootedness. That is just a substitute, a poor substitute for love. It may increase your anxiety even more, because once you have physical securities, money, a social status, you become more and more afraid that these things may be taken from you, or you become more and more worried about having more and more of these things, because discontent knows no limit, and your basic need was of being rooted.

Love is the earth where one needs to be rooted. Just as trees are rooted in the earth, man is rooted in love.

Man’s roots are invisible, so anything visible is not going to help. Money is very visible, a house is very visible, social status is very visible. Man’s roots are invisible. Man is a tree with invisible roots. You will have to find some invisible earth – call it love, call it God, prayer – but it is going to be something like that…invisible, intangible, elusive, mysterious. You cannot catch hold of it. On the contrary, you will have to allow it to catch hold of you. You cannot have any grip on it.

On money you can have your grip; you can catch it in your hands – but then it cannot become your earth. That which you can possess will never become your earth. Only that which possesses you can become your earth.

Love possesses you. That is the attraction and that is the repulsion also. That is the paradox of love. It possesses you. It gives you life on the one hand, on another it kills you completely, utterly; it destroys you. On one hand there is the cross and on the other it gives you resurrection. But first one has to face the cross, then only is one reborn.

Love is your need as it is everybody’s need, and nobody can avoid it. Everybody has to come to settle accounts with the energy called love. So remember it. You can misinterpret it and can think, ‘If I have some bank balance, some security in the world, some physical way to live comfortably, no fear of the future…. Then you will be misinterpreting it. And if you waste a few years in this misinterpretation, those years are gone; you cannot get them back. And with those years, many possibilities of love, many opportunities of love, disappear.

-Osho

Excerpt from A Rose Is A Rose Is A Rose, Chapter 23

A Rose is a Rose is a Rose

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from Osho.com, or you can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

Many of Osho’s books are available online from Amazon.com and in the U.S. from OshoStore-Sedona and Osho Here and Now.

Speak to us of Love – Osho

Then said Almitra, speak to us of love.
And he raised his head and looked upon the people, and there fell a stillness upon them.
And with a great voice he said:
When love beckons to you, follow him, though his ways are hard and steep.
And when his wings enfold you yield to him,
though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.
And when he speaks to you believe in him,
though his voice may shatter your dreams as the North wind lays waste the garden.
For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you.
Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.
Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun,
So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth.
Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself. He threshes you to make you naked.
He sifts you to free you from your husks. He grinds you to whiteness.
He kneads you until you are pliant; and then he assigns you to his sacred fire,
that you may become sacred bread for God’s sacred feast.
All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart,
and in that knowledge become a fragment of life’s heart.
But if in your fear you would seek only love’s peace and love’s pleasure,
then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love’s threshing-floor,
into the season less world where you shall laugh,
but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears. 

The people who have realized the meaning of life have only spoken to those who can understand love, because love is the meaning of life. Very few people have realized that love is your very flame. It is not food that keeps you alive, it is love – which keeps you not only alive but gives you a life of beauty, truth, silence, and millions of other priceless things.

The world can be divided in two parts: the world where everything has a price and the world where price is meaningless. Where prices are no longer relevant, values arise. Prices are for things, for dead things.

Life does not recognize that which is dead. But such a simple truth, man goes on missing. He even tries to purchase love; otherwise there would not have been prostitutes. And it is not only a question of prostitutes. What are your marriages? – a permanent institution of prostitution.

Remember, only when you enter into the world of values – where no money, no power, no respectability is of any help – are you entering into authentic life. And the flavor of that life is love.

Because man is so much accustomed to purchasing everything, he forgets that the very effort to purchase something that cannot be purchased is a murder. A husband demands love from his wife because he has purchased her, and the same is true about the wife. But they are unaware that they are assassinating each other. They do not know: the moment price enters into love, love dies.

Love is very delicate, very sacred. In all of our relationships, we are trying to reduce the other person to a thing. A wife is a thing. If you have any intelligence, let her remain just a woman. A husband is no more alive. Allow him to remain in freedom because only in freedom can love flower.

But man, in his utter stupidity, has destroyed everything that is valuable. You even try to purchase God. How deep is your blindness? People who can afford it – remember the word “afford” – have temples in their houses. Statues can be purchased but whatever you do with those statues is sheer nonsense; a purchased statue can never become a living God. And not only do they purchase the statue, they also purchase a priest to do the worship.

I have seen priests running from one house to another house because they have to worship in at least ten or twelve temples; only then they can feed themselves. And the people who are purchasing even prayer, worship, think they are doing great virtuous acts. These are the sinners!

Your life will not have any flowers if it does not have something which is priceless. Do you have something in your life which is priceless?

People are selling even their lives. What are your soldiers? – And their number must be millions all around the earth. They have sold themselves. Their only function is to kill and be killed. But as far as I can see, that is not important; they have killed themselves the day they sold themselves. They may be still breathing, but just to breathe is not life. Trees breathe, vegetables breathe. Cabbages and cauliflowers breathe, but they are not alive and they know nothing of love. They have prices attached to them. Perhaps cabbages are cheaper, cauliflowers a little costly – because cauliflowers are nothing but cabbages with university degrees. But don’t do this to any human being.

And if you cannot purchase a thing you cannot possess it either. In your deep sleep, you even possess your children without ever becoming aware that the very possession – “This is my child” – is a murder. Children come through you, but they belong to the universe. You are just a passage.

But you make every effort that your child should have your family name, your religion, your political ideology. He should be just an obedient object.

When I was a student in the university, the government of India passed a resolution that unless you participate in the training for the army, your postgraduate degree could not be given to you. It was compulsory. I approached the vice-chancellor and I said, “I would love to remain without any postgraduate degree. I am not willing to participate in a training which is nothing but a very psychological process of destroying your consciousness, your life, and reducing you to just a number.”

In the army, when somebody dies, on the notice board it is declared, “Number Sixteen has fallen.” When you read this, that “Number Sixteen has fallen,” nothing happens to your heart because Number Sixteen has no wife, no children, no old mother, no old father to be taken care of. Numbers don’t produce children. This is a strategy. But if you see a name, you will suddenly feel sad. What will happen to the children, to the wife, to the old mother, to the old father who is just living to see his son coming back home? But he does not know that his son exists no more. He has become Number Sixteen. Number Sixteen can be replaced and will be replaced. Somebody else will become Number Sixteen.

You cannot replace a living human being… but a dead number? But it is not only the soldiers; if you look at yourself, in many ways you have allowed the crowd around you to make you a number. Even the people who say that they love you simply want to possess you, to exploit you. You are an object of their longings, of their desires.

Love is not available in the marketplace. For love, you will have to understand that existence is not a dead existence. It is full of light, overflowing with love but to experience that love, you have to be attuned with the world of values.

Almustafa did not answer some people. Perhaps they were not worth answering. They have lost their souls: somebody has become a governor, somebody has become a president. The presidents and the governors and the prime ministers – they don’t have any souls; otherwise it is impossible for a man like Josef Stalin to kill one million Russians. And these were not capitalists – Russia has never been so rich – these were poor people, but they wanted not to be possessed by anyone and they were rebelling against slavery. First the czars were killing them for centuries, but Stalin outdid all the czars.

But sometimes I think perhaps he killed only dead people. Adolf Hitler killed six million human beings – but perhaps it is not right to condemn him, because these six million people had lost their souls long before. Somebody had become a husband, somebody had become a wife, somebody had become a father, somebody had become a mother.

In the world of nature, a woman is just a woman – not a lady. A lady is a woman who is living a posthumous life. In nature, there are authentic men – raw, rooted in the earth – but you will not find your gentlemen. They are the hypocrites who have died long ago and are now just breathing, eating, dragging themselves from the cradle to the grave. If they were really alive, they would have known the secret that exists between birth and death.

Almustafa simply refused to answer those people – who may have been knowledgeable, who may have been rich, but their questions were phony. Their questions were American.

I must remind you: the word “phony” comes from America. It is derived from “telephone.”

When you are talking to someone on the telephone, have you observed the change? The voice is not the same, the tone is not the same, and no one knows whether on the other side there is another American or a ghost.

I have heard…. One great psychoanalyst was treating a super-rich billionaire. Although his fee was beyond the capacity of millions of people, for the super-rich it was nothing.

The rich man continued. A year passed and he would lie down on the psychoanalyst’s couch and would talk all kinds of absurd things… which are filled in your heads too; it is another thing that you keep them within, but in psychoanalysis you have to bring them out.

The psychoanalyst was getting bored but he could not get rid of the super-rich man because he was getting so much money from him. Finally, he found an American solution to it: He said to the rich man, “I have so many other patients and sometimes your session takes three hours, four hours, five hours. You have time, you have money. I have a humble suggestion to make. I will keep a tape recorder which will listen to you. My four or five hours will be saved and at night when I have time, I can listen to the tape.”

The rich man said, “Great!” 

The next day when the psychoanalyst was entering his office, he saw the rich man coming out. He said, “So quick? Are you finished?”

He said, “No, I have also brought my tape recorder. My tape recorder is talking to your tape recorder. Why should I waste five hours? When tape recorders can do it, what is the need of me coming every day?”

This is how, slowly, slowly, man becomes more and more mechanical. He says things, he lives a life, but it is all like a robot.

Dale Carnegie, one of America’s most famous philosophers – he would not be recognized as a philosopher anywhere else except in America – but his book, How to Win Friends and Influence People has sold second only to The Bible. And it is full of crap. He suggests that every husband, at least three or four times a day, should say to his wife, “Darling, I love you so much, I cannot live without you. I cannot conceive of myself without you.” Whether you mean it or not does not matter.

Do you see the phoniness? If you are in love, it is so difficult to say ”I love you,” because words fall short. And to repeat three, four times a mechanical routine… you don’t mean anything, you are just a grammaphone record. Perhaps the needle on the record is stuck: “Darling, I love you.” And the darling also answers, and deep inside both hate each other: “This is the woman who has destroyed my freedom. This is the man who has put me into a prison.”

Love is the highest value. That’s why Jesus could say, “God is love.” But his statement is two thousand years old. It needs some refinement; it needs to be made up-to-date. God is not love.

I say unto you: Love is god. And there is a vast difference between the two, although the same words are used. If God is love that simply means it is only one of the qualities of God. He may have many other qualities: he may be wise, he may be just, fair. He may be forgiveness.

But when you say “Love is god,” the statement is totally different. Then god itself becomes a quality of those who know how to love. Then there is no need to believe in God… because it is only a hypothesis. And it is up to you what to make of the hypothesis.

The Jewish God in the Old Testament says, “I am a very angry God, I’m very jealous. I am not nice! Remember, I am not your uncle! I cannot tolerate another God.” The Mohammedans have inherited the Jewish conception of God. That’s why they have been destroying statues and temples, beautiful pieces of art: because there is only one God and one holy book and one messenger, Mohammed. This is a fascist attitude, ugly, inhuman. What is the problem if there are millions of gods? The world will be far richer. Why are you stuck with one god?

Judaism, Christianity, Mohammedanism, all such religions which believe in one god believe in dictatorship, not in democracy. What is the problem?

Gautam Buddha is perhaps the first democratic religious person, who says that every man is a potential god and finally, all are going to blossom into godhood. This has a beauty.

Almustafa did not answer those people. Instead he cried, wept, tears came to his eyes because their questions were phony. They were asking simply to show others that they were knowledgeable. You know perfectly well the distinction between a knowledgeable question and an authentic quest. When you want to exhibit your knowledge, there is no quest in your heart. You are asking to show that you are not ignorant.

In fact, before asking the question, you already know the answer – not by your own experience, but borrowed….

A great philosopher in Gautam Buddha’s time came to see him. He brought his five hundred disciples with him. Buddha never refused anybody. Even at the last moment when he was dying, he asked if anybody had a question because “Now, I am going, my ship has arrived. And I don’t want it to be said by future generations that Gautam Buddha was alive and yet he did not answer an authentic question.”

Buddha asked the philosopher, “Is it your question or a quest?”

The philosopher said, “What is the difference?”

Buddha said, “The difference is unbridgeable, of the earth and the sky. A quest is a thirst. A question is a mind game. If you have a quest, I am ready to answer. But if it is only a question, don’t waste my time.”

Almustafa did not answer those people amongst whom he had lived for twelve years and who had never asked anything. But when Almitra, the woman who had recognized him on the first day in the city of Orphalese, asked – he answered. And he answered with such beauty, with such poetry, with such truth. Perhaps nobody else has answered that way – not even a person like Krishna, who answered his disciple Arjuna’s questions after questions.

Perhaps Arjuna’s questions are authentic, but Krishna’s answers are not. He is not concerned with the quest. His whole concern is political – somehow to persuade Arjuna to participate in the war. So he goes on answering in different ways which contradict each other and finally, when he finds that his answers are not convincing to Arjuna, he resorts to the last thing which any dictator is bound to fall upon.

Finally, he says, “It is God’s will that you should participate in the war.” It is strange that God is speaking to him and not to Arjuna directly. If I had been in the place of Arjuna, I would have said, “It may be God’s will for you – fight! But as far as I am concerned, it is God’s will not to fight but to renounce this whole nonsense of destroying and killing people and move deeper into the Himalayas to meditate.”

But he became afraid. If it is God’s will, he has to fight. He forgot a simple thing – why does God always need mediators? Why can’t he speak directly?

In fact, there is no God. These mediators are the most cunning people in the world. In the name of God, they are forcing their own ideas. Because they cannot force through their arguments, their final strategy is to bring God in.

I have wondered always: Is God your real question? Anybody’s? It is philosophical, intellectual, hypothetical – but what will you do if you meet God? And what is the point of meeting God? No, that is not the real quest of man.

Almitra does not ask Almustafa, “Speak to us of God.” No, she asks:

Speak to us of love.

It has to be noted that only a woman can ask about love. Man wants to know God or to become God. These are power trips. Love is not a power trip. Love is the only experience in which you become humble, simple, innocent.

And what does Almustafa say? Meditate over it. Each single word is of immense significance:

And he raised his head and looked upon the people…

Before answering, you have to look into the hearts of people – to see whether there is any stirring, whether love is their quest. Almitra has asked a very fundamental question; the most fundamental question. But what about the people, the crowd who have gathered there?

And there fell a stillness upon them. 

A great silence, because those were simple people, and as Almustafa looked around into their eyes, into their faces, there was a great silence. Those simple people really wanted to know what Almitra had asked about. Perhaps they were not articulate enough to ask the question; Almitra had become their voice. She represents their hearts. Seeing that….

And with a great voice he said:
When love beckons to you, follow him… 

Do not doubt, do not be skeptical, because love is beckoning you towards something you have not known. Although you have the seed… but the seed has not known its own flower. When love beckons to you, you are blessed; Follow him.

Though his ways are hard and steep.

Love is not just a bed of roses.

And when his winds enfold you yield to him…

Do not resist, do not be reluctant, do not go half-hearted. Don’t be wishy-washy.

Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.

And love certainly wounds people, but that wound is something like a surgical operation. You are carrying so much hate – that hate has to be destroyed. For a time you may feel a wound, an empty space where hate used to be.

And when he speaks to you believe in him…

He’s not saying believe in what he speaks, remember. He is saying when he speaks, believe in him. There is a very subtle distinction. If I am speaking to you, you can believe in what I am speaking – that will be from the head, and that is not going to help in any way because tomorrow somebody may speak against it, with better arguments, with more logic. Then you will shift.

Almustafa is saying believe in him, not what he is saying. This is a tremendously potential statement: Whenever a master speaks, do not be too much bothered about his words. If the words can only help you to believe in the authenticity of the master, they have done their work. When you believe in a person, it is from the heart. It is not an argument. When you believe in words, it is from the head. It is just an argument.

Life is not an argument, and love is not an argument. It is a meeting of two hearts, two beings – two bodies become one. That is what Almustafa is saying:

Though his voice may shatter your dreams…

It is going to shatter your dreams. It is going to shatter your sleep; it is going to shatter you.
Just believing in words will not shatter anything in you. On the contrary, you will become more
knowledgeable, your ego more decorated.

Though his voice may shatter your dreams as the North wind lays waste the garden.
For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you.

Never before has anybody spoken, in a single sentence, the whole alchemy of man’s transformation. Love will crown you but it will also crucify you. It will crucify you as you have been, your past, and it will crown you as you should be, your future. Love is both: a crowning and a crucifixion. Because of this, millions of people miss the glory of love. The crucifixion makes them afraid… and what is the point of being crowned if you are going to be crucified?

But you are not one, you are many. The real you will be crowned and the false personalities will be crucified, and these processes are going to happen simultaneously. On the one hand, death; on the other hand, a resurrection.

Even as he is for your growth so is he for pruning.

You have grown so many ugly things in your life. They have to be pruned – and that pruning is not against your growth. In fact, those ugly things that you have gathered around yourself – jealousy, domination, continuous effort to have the upper hand – will not allow you to experience love.

When I read that sentence, I remember my gardener, Mukta. She goes on pruning my trees. I know what she’s doing is right, because unless you prune them, they will not grow. But whenever she sees me – once in a while I come out of the room and she hides her garden scissors. Mukta, from today, there is no need to hide. But only prune that which is against the growth of the tree. Don’t prune according to your ideas of how the tree should be. Let the tree be itself. Give it freedom… and if a gardener cannot love his own trees, who is going to love? Prune whenever you see that this will help to bring more foliage, more growth, more leaves, more flowers.

I am not against pruning. I had told her not to do this because there was, six years ago, a beautiful creeper on the back fence of my garden. But it was wild, and Mukta is a Greek. Just to prune it, she named it “The Monster.” This is one of the strategies of human mind. Whenever you want to destroy something, first you give it a name – that becomes the argument for you. That poor creeper was not a monster. Yes, it was wild, but to be wild is not to be a monster. I am wild… but do you think you can prune me? I have not even cut a single hair of my beard – they are the originals. You all have unoriginal beards. I have never cut a single hair of my mustache. Just a few days ago, there was a question: “Osho, everything you say reaches my heart but one question remains: how do you manage to eat?”

I can understand his question – an unpruned mustache has almost covered my lips. That’s why I never come to eat with you. I always eat alone just to protect my original hair. It is a little difficult.

Even as he ascend to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun..

You will enjoy it when love reaches to your heights with tenderness, caressing your branches dancing in the wind and in the sun and in the rain. But that is only the half of it.

So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the Earth.

And you cannot choose one and avoid the other. Love is a solid phenomenon, it cannot be cut into fragments. Just as your heights need to be showered by love, your roots which are clinging to the earth have to be shaken, because every clinging is an imprisonment. Love would like to give you wings to fly – and with a clinging mind, with attachment, it is impossible to fly in the open sky. Just to cling to the earth, you have grown great roots going deep down so that nobody can shake you. It is out of fear, but fear is just the opposite pole of freedom.

Don’t cling to anything – not even to the person you love. Clinging will destroy the very love to which you were clinging. Don’t become a bondage.

I have heard….

A great freedom fighter had gone for a holiday in the hills. On the way, he stopped for a night’s rest in a small caravanserai. The owner of the serai had a beautiful parrot, and in accordance with his beauty, he had made a golden cage studded with diamonds. The owner also loved freedom, so he had taught the parrot only one word: “Freedom.” The whole day long the parrot used to call, “Freedom! Freedom!” and his voice would echo and re-echo in the valleys.

This freedom fighter thought, “This is strange. I know the owner; he’s my friend. I know his love for freedom – that’s why he has taught his parrot only one word, “Freedom.” But this is very contradictory. If he loves freedom, let the parrot be free. Even the golden cage studded with diamonds is not freedom.” So he waited. In the middle of the night the parrot again shouted, “Freedom! Freedom!” and in the silences around, the voice of the parrot echoed far and wide in the silences around.

The man came out. It was night and the owner was asleep. No one was around. He opened the door of the cage and waited… such a freedom-loving parrot, seeing the door open, will immediately fly into the sky. But instead of flying into the sky, the parrot clung hard to his golden cage.

But the freedom fighter was not a man to be defeated by a parrot. He put his hand inside the cage, pulled the parrot out… and while he was pulling the parrot out, the parrot was hitting his hand, scratching his hand and still shouting, “Freedom! Freedom!” His whole hand was full of blood, but he threw the parrot into the open sky on a full moon night. The hand was wounded, but he felt deeply contented that the parrot was free.

He went to sleep. In the morning he was awakened again by the same voice: “Freedom!” He said, “My god, he has come back!” He looked out. The door was still open and the parrot was inside.

Love will caress you. But it will also go deep down to your roots and shake them to make you free.

It is something to be remembered: most of us go on living in a contradiction. On the one hand we want freedom; on the other hand, we go on clinging to something. Freedom is a risk. In the cage, the parrot is safe, secure. In freedom, although he gains the whole existence, the whole sky, he loses the safety and the security.

But freedom is such a value; anything can be sacrificed for it. And love needs absolute freedom to grow. Only then can you make the whole sky your home. People afraid of insecurity, unsafety, choose just the word love but never experience it.

If you want to experience love, you will have to risk everything and all – all your clingings, all your future safeties. But instead of sacrificing clingings and safeties and securities, man in his deep sleep has sacrificed love and saved the security.

That is what your marriage is – love is sacrificed; security is there. Of course in marriage there is security, there is safety; there is a guarantee that tomorrow also the wife will be available to you, the husband will be taking care of you. But what about love? Then love becomes an empty word.

Be aware of empty words, and particularly words like love, which are higher than God – God is only a quality of love. Don’t go on carrying an empty container with no content in it. This is your misery, the misery of the whole humanity. Nobody loves.

Love is risky. I teach you to take all the risks, because even a single moment of love is equal to the whole eternity.

And a life without love may be immortal, but will be just a graveyard. Nothing will blossom. You will be secure – but what will you do with your security?

Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself.

But if you are clinging to something else, how can existence, or God, or love, gather you unto himself?

He threshes you to make you naked… 

because you are covered with so many fake personalities. Your face is not your original face. There are so many masks.

He threshes you to make you naked. He sifts you to free you from your husks.
He grinds you to whiteness.

The word “whiteness” has to be understood – it is not a color. The whole rainbow you can have, but you will miss two colors which you have become accustomed to – black and white. And why have all the mystics condemned the black and praised the white?

White is not a color but all the colors. If you mix all the colors of the rainbow, whiteness arises. So whiteness is basically a great synthesis of all the colors of life. And if you remove all the colors, then there is blackness. Blackness is negativity, blackness is no. Blackness is death.

Whiteness is positivity, whiteness is yes, whiteness is God. Whiteness is love. 

He kneads you until you are pliant; and then he assigns you to his sacred fire, that you may become sacred bread for God’s sacred feast.

All the religions of the world had been teaching people to fast. Almustafa is talking about the feast. Against all the religions, I am in agreement with Almustafa. Life is not a fasting, it is a continuous feast – a celebration, a festival of lights.

Love transforms your life into a festival of lights.

And unless your life becomes a feast and a festival, remember: you have not done the thing you have come for on this earth.

All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart,
and in that knowledge become a fragment of life’s heart.
But if in your fear you would seek only love’s peace and love’s pleasure,
then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love’s threshing-floor…

People want love but they don’t want to be prepared for all the threshing, the fire that they have to pass through. They think love is just pleasure. It is not. Love is far more: it is blissfulness, it is the ultimate benediction. But you will have to drop the fear.

The man who is full of fear will never know the sweet taste of love. And if you have not known love, you have not known anything: all your knowledge is useless, all your treasures are useless. All your respectabilities are useless.

Almustafa says rightly:

Then… Cover your nakedness and pass out of love’s threshing-floor, into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears..

You will never know anything in its wholeness, in its totality. You will laugh but your laughter will be superficial. You will weep but your tears will be crocodile tears. Your life will always remain just a potentiality, it will never become a reality. And you will live your life in sleep – unconscious.

-Osho

From Speak to us of Love (Reflections on Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet), Chapter One

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

Speak to us of Love

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from Osho.com, or you can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

Many of Osho’s books are available online from Amazon.com and in the U.S. from OshoStore-Sedona and Osho Here and Now.

Love is Very Unearthly – Osho

Love is always thankful. If love complains, then it is not love. Love basically is gratitude. Complaints arise when there are desires and they are not fulfilled; gratitude arises because all that is needed is already fulfilled. So much is given that more cannot be asked, then there is gratitude. Complaints arise because this has to be there and it is not and that has to be there and it is not. The desiring mind complains; the loving mind thanks.

That’s why one very fundamental thing has to be understood: love is not a desire, because desire is complaint, desire is ungratefulness. Love cannot be a desire; it is fulfillment. It has no demands, it does not ask for anything. It only gives, and gives out of thankfulness. Love is a sharing, not a desire. And people who think love is a desire go on missing; they will never know what love is. They will know passion but they will never know love. They will know lust but they will never know love.

Love is very unearthly. It is of the sky! Love exists in time but does not belong to time; it comes from eternity. Learn to become more and more grateful for small things. Just for the sheer joy of breathing, feel grateful to God . . . just for the sheer joy that you can see rainbows and flowers and the clouds. What more is needed? Just for the sheer joy that you can love and that you can be loved, be thankful, and out of that thankfulness a person becomes religious.

-Osho

Excerpt from The Open Door, Chapter 28

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from Osho.com, or you can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

Many of Osho’s books are available online from Amazon.com and in the U.S. from OshoStore-Sedona and Osho Here and Now.

The Lion’s Roar – Osho

All beings are from the very beginning Buddhas.

It is like water and ice:

Apart from water, no ice,

Outside living beings, no Buddhas.

Not knowing it is near, they seek it afar.

What a pity!

It is like one in the water who cries out for thirst;

It is like the child of a rich house

who has strayed away among the poor.

The cause of our circling through the six worlds

Is that we are on the dark paths of ignorance.

Dark path upon dark path treading,

When shall we escape from birth-and-death?

The Zen meditation of the Mahayana

Is beyond all our praise.

Giving and morality and the other perfections,

Taking of the name, repentance, discipline,

And the many other right actions,

All come back to the practice of meditation.

By the merit of a single sitting

He destroys innumerable accumulated sins.

How should there be wrong paths for him?

MY BELOVED ONES: I love you. Love is my message – let it be your message too. Love is my color and my climate. To me, love is the only religion. All else is just rubbish, all else is nothing but mind-churning dreams. Love is the only substantial thing in life, all else is illusion. Let love grow in you and God will be growing on its own accord. If you miss love you will miss God and all.

There is no way to God without love. God can be forgotten – if love is remembered, God will happen as a consequence. It happens as a consequence. It is the fragrance of love and nothing else. In fact there is no God but only godliness. There is no person like God anywhere. Drop all childish attitudes, don’t go on searching for a father. Divineness is, God is not. When I say divineness is, I mean whatsoever is, is full of God. The green of the trees, and the red and the golden – all is divine. This crow crying, and a bird on the wing. and a child giggling, and a dog barking – all is divine. Nothing else exists.

The moment you ask ‘Where is God?’ you have raised a wrong question. Because God cannot be indicated anywhere. He is not in a particular direction, He is not a particular thing, He is not a particular being. God is universality. Ask where God is not, then you have asked the right question. But for that right question you will have to prepare the soil of your heart. That’s what I mean by love – preparing the soil of your heart. If you are full of love, the world is full of God – they go parallel, they are part of one symphony.

God is the echo from the universe. When you are in love, the echo is there. When you are not in love, how can there be an echo? It is only you who are reflected again and again in millions of ways, it is you who are thrown back to yourself again and again. If you are in love, God is. If you are not in love, then what to say about God? – even you are not.

I was thinking what should I give to you today? Because this is my birthday, I was incarnated into this body on this day. This is the day I saw for the first time the green of the trees and the blue of the skies. This was the day I for the first time opened my eyes and saw God all around. Of course the word ‘God’ didn’t exist at that moment, but what I saw was God. I was thinking what should I give to you today? Then I remembered a saying of Buddha: sabba danam dhamma danana jnati – the gift of truth excels all other gifts. And my truth is love.

The word ‘truth’ looks to me a little too dry and desert-like. I am not in much tune with the word ‘truth’ – it looks too logical, it looks too ‘heady’. It gives you the feeling of philosophy, not of religion. It gives you the idea as if you have concluded – that you have come to a conclusion, that there has been a syllogism behind it, argumentation and logic and reasoning. No, ‘truth’ is not my word, ‘love’ is my word. Love is of the heart. Truth is partial, only your head is involved. In love you are involved as a totality – your body, your mind, your soul, all are involved.

Love makes you a unity – and not a union, remember, but a unity. Because in a union those who join together remain separate. In a unity they dissolve, they become one, they melt into each other. And that moment I call the moment of truth, when love has given you unity. First, love gives you unity in your innermost core. Then you are no more a body, no more a mind, no more a soul. You are simply one – unnamed, undefined, unclassified. No more determinate, definable, no more comprehensible. A mystery, a joy, a surprise, a jubilation, a great celebration.

First, love gives you an inner unity. And when the inner unity has happened the second happens on its own – you are not to do anything for it. Then you start falling in unity with the whole beyond you. Then the drop disappears in the ocean and the ocean disappears into the drop. That moment, that moment of orgasm between you and the whole, is where you become a Buddha. That moment is the moment Buddhahood is imparted to you. Or, better, revealed to you – you have always been that, unaware.

My word is love. So I say: My beloved ones, I love you, and I would like you to fill the whole world with love. Let that be our religion. Not Christianity, not Hinduism, not Islam, not Jainism, not Buddhism, but love. Love without any adjective to it. Not Christian love – because how can love be Christian? It is so stupid. How can love be Hindu? It is ridiculous. Love is simply love. In love you can be a Christ, in love you can be a Buddha – but there is no Buddhist love and there is no Christian love.

In love you disappear, your mind disappears. In love you come to an utter relaxation. That’s my teaching to you, I teach love. And there is nothing higher than love.

Then I thought I should give you something beautiful on this day. And I remembered Hakuin’s Song of Meditation. It is a very small song, but a great gift. Hakuin is one of the greatest Zen masters. His song contains all: all the Bibles and all the Korans and all the Vedas. A small song of few lines, but it is like a seed – very small, but if you allow passage to it to your heart, it can become a great tree. It can become a Bodhi tree – it will have great foliage and much shade and thousands of people can sit and rest underneath it. It will have big branches and many birds can come and have their nests on it.

See: I have become a tree. You are the people who have come to make their nests on my tree. You can also become this. Everybody should become this – because unless you become this you will go on missing your fulfillment. Unless you become a great tree which has come to its foliage, flowers and fruits – which is fulfilled – you will remain in discontent. Anguish will go on gnawing in your heart, misery will linger around you. Bliss will be only a word, signifying nothing. God will be just gibberish.

When you have fulfillment then there is grace and then there is God. In your fulfillment you come to realize the benediction of existence. This is a song of meditation. Hakuin has called it ‘song’ – yes, it is a song. If meditation is without a song it is do and dead – it does not beat it does not breathe. It is a song and a dance: sing it and dance it. Just don’t think upon it – then you will miss the messages you will miss its content. You will find this song and its meaning only when you are singing and dancing. When the music of life has overtaken you, has possessed you.

Hakuin’s song is so small and yet so vast, it is unbelievable. How can a man condense so much truth and so much love and so much insight into so few words? But Hakuin was a man of few words, a man of silence. For years he would not speak at all, and then he would speak a word or two.

Once the Emperor of Japan invited him to deliver a sermon in the palace. And the queen and the king and the prime minister and the ministers and the high officials and the generals, they all had gathered with great respect to listen. Hakuin came, stood there for a single moment, looked around, and left the hall. The king was puzzled. He asked his prime minister, ‘What is the Matter with this man? We had come to listen.’ The old prime minister said, ‘This is the greatest sermon that I have ever heard. He has said it! You had asked him to come and teach you about silence. He has taught it! He stood there in silence, he was silence. What more do you ask? What more do you demand? He was pure silence, standing there for those few seconds. He was utter silence. He was silence, throbbing, pulsating. But you were looking to hear some words.’

But about silence nothing can be said. And all that is said about silence will be wrong. How can you say anything about silence? To say something will be falsifying it. That’s why Lao Tzu says: Nothing can be said about Tao – and if something is said, in the very saying of it, it has become untrue. Tao is silent. But that silence is not the silence of a cemetery. It is the silence of a garden where trees are alive breathing and yet there is utter silence. It is not a dead silence, it is an alive silence. Hence he has called it ’The Song of Meditation’.

Buddha says: My approach to reality is not of belief but of seeing. His religion has been qualified as ‘Ihi passika: Come and see.’ Not as ‘Come and believe.’ Buddha says ‘Come and see: Ihi passika.’ It is here, present – you just come and see. He does not require you to believe. He is the only great teacher in the world who dropped belief – and with dropping belief he transformed religion from a very low childish stature to a very mature thing. With Buddha religion became young. Otherwise it was childish. It was a kind of belief – belief is superstition, belief is out of fear. And belief is blind. Buddha has given eyes to religion. He says: See, and there is no need to believe. And when you have seen then it will not be a belief, it will be knowing.

In this song of Hakuin you will see the way of seeing – how to open the eyes. Because truth is always there, has been always there. It is not that the truth has to be produced. Buddha says: Yatha bhutam – It is! It is already there, it is confronting you! It is in the east, it is in the west, it is in the north, it is in the south. It surrounds you – it is without and it is within. But you will have to see it: Ihi passika. Your eyes are closed, you have forgotten how to open them.

Meditation is nothing but the art of opening your eyes. The art of cleansing your eyes. the art of dropping the dust that has gathered on the mirror of your consciousness. It is natural, dust gathers. Man has been traveling and traveling for thousands of lives – dust gathers. We are all travelers, much dust has gathered – so much so that the mirror has completely disappeared. There is only dust upon dust, layers and layers of dust, and you cannot see the mirror. But the mirror is still there – it cannot be lost, because it is your very nature. If it can be lost then it will not be your nature. It is not that you have a mirror: you ARE the mirror. The traveler is the mirror – he cannot lose it, he can only forget it. At the most, forgetfulness.

You have not lost your Buddhahood. Buddha hood means the mirror clean of dust. The mirror again fresh, again reflecting, again functioning – that’s what Buddhahood is. Buddha hood means a consciousness which has become awakened. The sleep is no more and the dreams are no more and the desires have disappeared. The dust gathers, it is natural. But you cling to the dust – your desire functions like a glue.

And what is your desire? That has to be understood. If you have understood your desire you have understood all. Because in the understanding of desire, desire ceases. And when desire ceases, suddenly you have a totally new feel of your being; you are no more the old. What is the desire? What are you searching? What are you seeking?

Happiness. Bliss. Joy. That’s what you are seeking. And you have been seeking for millennia, and you have not found it yet. It is time, the right time, to think again, to meditate again. You have been seeking so hard, you have been trying so hard – perhaps you are missing just because you are trying? Maybe it is trying that keeps you away from happiness? Let us think over it, brood over it. Give a little pause to your search, recapitulate.

You have been searching for many lives. You don’t remember other lives, no need – but in this life you have been searching, that will do. And you have not found it. And nobody has ever found it by searching. Something is wrong in the very search. In the search naturally you forget yourself; you start looking everywhere, everywhere else. You look to the north and to the east and to the west and to the south, and in the sky and underneath the seas, and you go on searching everywhere. And the search becomes more and more desperate, because the more and more you search and you don’t find, great anxiety arises – ‘Am I going to make it this time, or am I again going to miss it?’

More and more desperation, more and more misery, more and more madness. You go nuts. And the happiness remains as far away as ever – in fact it recedes farther away from you. The more you search, the less is the possibility to get it. Because it is inside you.

Happiness is the function of your consciousness when it is awake. Unhappiness is the function of your consciousness when it is asleep. Unconsciousness is your mirror burdened with great dust and luggage and past. Happiness is when the burden has been dropped and the mirror has been found again. And again your mirror can reflect the trees and the sun and the sand and the sea and the stars. When you have again become innocent, when you again have again become innocent, when you again have the eyes of a child – in that clarity you are happy.

I was reading a few lines of Michael Adam. They are beautiful.

‘Perhaps trying even makes for unhappiness. Perhaps all the din of my desiring has kept the strange bird from my shoulder. I have tried so long and so loud after happiness. I have looked so far and wide. I have always imagined that happiness was an island in the river. Perhaps it is the river. I have thought happiness to be the name of an inn at the end of the road. Perhaps it is the road. I have believed that happiness was always tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow. Perhaps it is here. Perhaps it is now. I have looked everywhere else.

‘So: here and now.

‘But here and now is clearly unhappiness. Perhaps then no such thing as happiness. Perhaps happiness exists not, it is just a dream created by an unhappy mind. Certainly it cannot be as

I unhappily imagine it. Here and now there is not happiness. So happiness is not. I need not therefore waste myself on what is not. I can forget about happiness then; I can cease to care and instead concern myself with something that I do know, can feel and fully experience. Happiness is an idle dream: now it is morning. I can awaken and stay with unhappiness, with what is real under the sun this moment. And now I see how much of my unhappiness came from trying to be happy; even I can see that trying is unhappiness. Happiness does not try….

‘At last I am here and now. At last I am what I am. I am unpretending, at ease. I am unhappy – so what?. . . But is THIS what I ran from? Is this really unhappiness?. . .’

Think over it, meditate over it.

‘And when I cease to try to be happy or anything else, when I do not seek anymore, when I do not care to go anywhere, get anything, then it seems I am already arrived in a strange place: I am here and now. When I see that I can do nothing, that all my doing is the same dream, in the moment that I see this, my mind the old dreamer and wanderer is for the moment still and present.’

Naturally. If you are not searching, not seeking, not desiring, not dreaming, for a moment the mind falls into a silence. It is still. There is nothing to hanker about, nothing to make a fuss about, nothing to expect and nothing to be frustrated about. For a moment the mind stops its constant chasing. In that moment of stillness you are in a strange place, you are in a strange space, unknown, never known before. A new door has opened. For the moment the mind is still and present.

‘For the moment, here and now, the real world shows, and see: here and now is already and always all that I had sought and striven after elsewhere and apart. More than that: I have hunted after shadows; the reality is here in this sunlit place, in this bird-call now. It was my seeking aster reality that took me from it; desire deafened me. The bird was singing here all the while. . . .

‘If I am still and careless to find happiness, then happiness it seems is able to find me. It is, if I am truly still, as still as death – if I am thoroughly dead, here and now.’

Happiness suddenly jumps upon you. When desire disappears, happiness appears. When the striving is no more, for the first time you see who you are. That knowing is what Buddha means:

Come and see – Ihi passika. From where is he calling you: ‘Come and see’? He is calling you from your desires. You have gone far away from your home, you have lost your home base. You are not where you appear to be. Your dream has taken you to faraway worlds – imaginary; illusory, your own creation.

Zen people have a special word for meditation, they call it ‘fu-sho’. Fu-sho means ‘unproduced’.

You cannot produce it, you cannot do anything to bring it. You have to be passive, in a state of non-doing – then it comes. Then it comes suddenly, from nowhere, from the blue. And in that coming, in that shower of silence and stillness, is the transformation. It is nothing special, Zen people say. How can it be special? It is everybody’s nature, so how can it be special? It is utterly ordinary, everybody has it. You may know, you may not know – that is a different thing – but you have it. Not for a single moment have you missed it. Not for a single moment has it been taken away from you. It has been there, lying and lying and waiting for you to come back home.

Another word Zen people use for meditation is ‘wu-shi’. It means ‘nothing special’ or ‘no fuss’.

Now this song of Hakuin.

All beings are from the very beginning Buddhas.

This one sentence is enough. It is the beginning and the middle and the end. It is all. The alpha and the omega.

All beings are from the very beginning Buddhas.

You are Buddhas. Never for a single moment have you been otherwise. You CANNOT. You cannot really go away from your Buddhahood, you can only dream. You can only dream that you have gone away, but while dreaming you will still remain here now. This is impossible, to lose your Buddhahood, because God is involved in every thing and every being. And when Hakuin says, ‘All beings are from the very beginning Buddhas,’ don’t think that he is talking only of human beings. Animals are included, so are included the birds and the trees and the rocks. All that is, is included.

The English word ‘being’ comes from a Sanskrit root ‘bhu’. Bhu means ‘that which grows’. All that grows is God. The trees grow, the birds grow, the rocks grow. All that grows is God. And everything grows in its own pace. Remember, the root of ’being’, the word ’being’, is BHU. It simply means that which breathes, that which grows, that which has life – howsoever rudimentary, howsoever primitive. All is included.

All beings are from the very beginning Buddhas.

And what is the meaning of a Buddha? ‘Buddha’ means a consciousness that has come back to itself – is no more wandering in dreams, is no more thinking of the future, is no more thinking of the past. A consciousness that is not possessed by memories or possessed by imagination. A consciousness that has got rid of the past and rid of the future, a consciousness that has only present. A consciousness that lives in the moment, utterly here now. Alert, awake, radiant.

All beings are Buddhas. Zen people call this single sentence ‘The Lion’s Roar’. It is. In a single stroke Hakuin has delivered you, has saved you from yourself. There is no more salvation needed. A single statement is enough to release you from all bondage. You are a Buddha. But remember you are not a Buddha in any special sense. Everybody is – your dog and your cow and your buffalo and your donkey, everybody is! So don’t take it in an egoistic sense, that ‘I am a Buddha’. Don’t make it ambitious, don’t go on an ambition trip. ALL is Buddha. Life is Buddha, being is Buddhahood, existence is Buddhahood.

Just think of it. One of the greatest statements ever made:

All beings are from the very beginning Buddhas.

Hakuin has finished in one sentence. The remaining song will be a repetition, really. The remaining song will be for those who cannot understand the first statement. It is said, when Hakuin was writing this song and he wrote his first sentence – ‘All beings are from the very beginning Buddhas’ – one of his disciples was sitting there and he said, ’Stop now. Now there is no more to say.’ He left the room, the disciple left the room. He said, ‘Now there is no point. You have finished in the first sentence – this should be the LAST sentence!’

But still the song is beautiful. It will help you from different directions to come to the same truth. It will help you to see the point from different vantage points, from different windows. You will see the same Buddha sitting, from every window of the temple. But it is good, because from some window there may be more light falling on the Buddha, from some window the green of the trees may be reflected in the Buddha’s face, from some other window a star may be looking at the Buddha, from some other window something else – a bird may be sitting and singing a song.

All beings are from the very beginning Buddhas.

The universe is made of the stuff called ‘God’ . So God is not in the end. God is in the beginning, in the middle, and the end. Only God is. But let me remind you, when I use the word ‘God’ I mean godliness.

It is like water and ice:

Apart from water, no ice,

Outside living beings, no buddhas.

Hakuin says: It is like water and ice. There is no difference between water and ice, and yet a sort of difference. If you have gone to the market to purchase ice, you will not purchase water. You will purchase ice – you will insist. If somebody says, ‘Take this water,’ you will say, ‘I have come for the ice.’ There is a sort of difference. But not much, not really – only on the surface. The ice will melt and will become water, and the water can become frozen and can be turned into ice. They are two phases of one phenomenon.

You are like ice and Buddha is like water. You are frozen, he has melted. And let me repeat: There is no other alchemy then love to help you melt. Love melts, because love is warmth. People melt only in love. When they are not in love they become cold, and in the cold they freeze. And you must have watched it, even in your small ways. When you are loving you are flowing. When you are flowing you are glowing. When you are loving you expand. When you are not loving you shrink. When you are loving you have warmth around you. When you are not loving you are surrounded by a cold wind – you are freezing, and anybody who comes close to you will freeze.

There are people, if they look at you with their cold eyes you will feel a shivering. And there are people, when they look at you with their warmth, with their love, you suddenly feel this is your home. There are eyes which give you the feeling of being at home, and there are eyes which stare at you and make you aware that you are a stranger here.

Apart from water, no ice,

Outside living beings, no Buddhas.

So Buddha hood is nothing but a state of merger. Frozen Ness is gone. Your definition has disappeared. You are no more limited, you are no more confined. At the deepest core, you are no more. Because if you are then there will be some kind of frozenness in you. If you are then you cannot be flowing – something will be hindering and something will be stuck and something will be obstructing. When you are not at all…. That’s why when two lovers are in deep embrace there are not two persons. There is only one energy, revolving. When two lovers are really in deep embrace there comes a moment, the woman forgets whether she is woman or man and the man forgets whether he is man or woman. If that moment has not come then you have not loved.

In deep love you disappear. Still something is there, a kind of presence – but nobody is present.

There is no center as frozen ice, there is no self. That’s why Buddha has very much insisted that your self is the root cause which is hindering you from being a Buddha. The feeling that ’I am’ makes you ice, icy and cold. If this feeling ’I am’ disappears, there is no problem. Ice will melt.

It is like water and ice:

Apart from water, no ice,

Outside living beings, no buddhas.

The Buddhist doctrine talks about Buddha’s three bodies. They have to be understood. The first body is called the body of truth, the universal body, the divine body. You can call it God. The second body is called the bliss body – the bridge between the first and the third. You can call it the soul. And the third body is the physical body.

You know only your physical body. You have not known your second body, the bliss body. And unless you know the second body you will not be able to know the third, the deepest – your universal body, your cosmic body, your Buddha body.

This is the Buddhist trinity – the father, the son and the holy ghost. Or, this is the Buddhist triburti – the three faces of God. Buddha says everybody has these three bodies. The first, the physical, is very frozen. The second is in a state of liquidity. And the third is vaporous. First the ice has to melt into water and then the water has to evaporate. Have you watched? The ice has definition, boundaries; the water has no definition, no boundaries. You pour the water into any jug, into any pot, it takes the shape of the pot. It is non-resistant, it is non-aggressive, it does not fight. It is liquid, it adjusts.

The man of compassion and love is like water, he adjusts. He has no resistance, he does not enforce his form on anybody. He accommodates, he is accommodative, he is spacious.

And then the third, when the water has evaporated and has disappeared and become invisible. Now you cannot even pour it into a pot. It has become part of the sky, it has moved into the eternal, into the infinite.

These are the three states of water, and these are the three states of consciousness too. You have become too gross because you have become too much identified with your first body. As if a man has be fooled himself in believing that the walls of his house are his house. The walls of the house are not the house, you have to go a little in. You have to find the innermost core of your being – and that innermost core is invisible. That innermost core is almost like emptiness.

The first body is essence, the second body is form, the third body is action. People who live only in the physical body live only in doings – what to do, what not to do. Their whole life is just swerving, swaying, between this and that. Their life consists of doing; they don’t know anything else.

The second body is of form. A man starts seeing glimpses of non-action. That’s what happens in meditation – when you are sitting silently doing nothing, great joy arises. From nowhere, for no cause. You don’t know from where it is coming but great joy arises, as if out of nothing. Miraculously, magically. This is the second, the form. The joy takes form.

And then there is the third. If you go on following and go on moving inwards, one day you reach to the essence. That, Buddha calls the body of truth. There, no action and no no-action. All has disappeared, the whole duality has disappeared, you have come to the very essence of existence. That essence is liberating. That essence is nirvana. And you are not to go anywhere to find it, you are carrying it all along.

All beings are from the very beginning Buddhas.

It is like water and ice:

Apart from water, no ice,

Outside living beings, no buddhas.

Not knowing it is near, they seek it afar. What a pity!

 

And if you go on seeking afar for that which is near, you will go on missing. Nobody is at fault. Before you go into the four comers of the world to search for it, first go into yourself. If you don’t find it there, then you can go anywhere you like. But people don’t go within, they start by without. And the without is vast – you can go on and on, you can search all over the earth. And people are searching. People come to me and they say, ‘We have been searching for our whole lives. And we have been to here and there, and we have been to Japan and to Ceylon and to Burma and to Thailand, and we have travelled all over the East. And we have not found it yet.’

The East is within you! It is not in Thailand, it is not in India. And you will not find it anywhere. At the most, if you accidentally come across an enlightened man, he will throw you to yourself. Not that he will give it to you. Nobody can give it to you. It is already there; there is no need to give it.

And because in the modern world communication has become easy, traveling has become easy, people are becoming even more mad. They go jumping from one city to another, from one airport to another airport. They are driving themselves crazy. And to reach home you need not enter into any airplane, into any train, into any car. You only need to enter into yourself. And ticket less – no ticket is needed. And nobody is there to debar you; it is your territory.

I have heard:

A party of Americans happened to arrive at Mount Vesuvius during one of its more spectacular eruptions. ‘Say!’ exclaimed one of the Yanks in an awed tone, ‘doesn’t that beat all Hell!’

‘Sapristi!’ said the Italian guide. ‘How you Americans-a travel!’

Now even Hell is in danger, afraid of the tourists.

People go on searching and seeking for something which needs no search, which can be found only when search stops. And I am not saying that you strive to stop it – then again you have started it. If you strive to stop it, then you have missed the point. You have just to see the point of it, that striving will take you away from you, that striving will create more and more tension. Seeing the fact – Ihi passika. Seeing this, striving disappears and there is suddenly a stillness. In that stillness the first glimpse will come of bliss. You will enter into your second body. And when you have entered into the second body then it will be more and more easy, very lucid, to slip into the central most core – the essential body, the body of truth.

Once you have tasted something of your inner bliss then you have the vision where to really search for, where to go now. Disappear into your innermost being and you will find it. Seek, and you will miss. Don’t seek, and find.

Not knowing it is near, they seek it afar. What a pity!

It is like one in the water who cries out for thirst;

It is like the child of a rich house

who has strayed away among the poor.

And has forgotten that he is rich – may have become a beggar. You are rich, infinitely rich. You are all emperors and empresses, gods and godesses. Just recognize. Don’t get too much into begging – and desire creates the beggar. Even a man like Alexander is a beggar, because the desire is there. A man like Napoleon is a beggar, because the desire is there. See the richest people of this earth and you will see just beggars and nothing else. And sometimes it happens, you come across a beggar and you see the emperor sitting there under the tree – having nothing, trot possessing anything.

Just possess yourself and you have possessed all. Be the master of yourself and you have become the master of all. Possessing things, you will remain a beggar. And people go on changing but not really transforming. You possess one thing, then you start possessing another thing, then you possess a third thing. Sometimes you start possessing other-worldly things, but nothing changes. Just form changes. Somebody possesses money and somebody starts possessing virtue. Now it is the same, not much difference.

I have heard:

Early one Sunday morning, Farmer Giles looked out to see a flock of large black crows devouring his field of prize spring-cabbage.

In red anger he rushed out and began charging up and down the field manically, shaking his fists, tearing his hair, foaming at the mouth and screaming abuse of every known kind at the gouging birds.

The Reverend Goodbody, passing on his bicycle, was surprised by the sight and shocked to hear loud and violent cries of ‘Piss off, you thieving bastards! Piss off, you greedy black bastards!’ He stopped immediately and beckoned to the angry farmer.

Embarrassed and red-faced, Giles shuffled up with a humble ‘Good morning, Reverend.’

‘Now, this really won’t do, Giles,’ said the good vicar. ‘So early on the Sabbath, there might be ladies present. These fowl too are God’s creatures. If you wish them to vacate your property, do it with love and compassion. Say ”Shoo, shoo, shoo, shoo,” then the greedy black bastards will piss off!’

But what difference does it make? You and your priests, you and your so-called religious people, are all in the same boat.

I am not saying start striving to stop striving, otherwise you will simply change the name of your madness and you will remain the same. You will just change the label of your neurosis. There are people who are greedy for money and there are people who are greedy for God. It makes no difference at all, they are the same people. Greed is greed. It makes no difference about what greed is, for what greed is. Greed is greed.

Just see the point that striving is meaningless, that going anywhere is meaningless. Not because I am saying it – you have to see it: Ihi passika. You have to see it, you are not to believe it. Believing won’t help; believing is just a whitewash on the surface. Seeing brings transformation.

It is like one in the water who cries out for thirst . . .

 

Hakuin says: You are crying for happiness, and you are like a fish in the water crying for water and crying, ‘I am thirsty.’ You have it! And you are begging everywhere.

It is like the child of a rich house

who has strayed away among the poor.

The cause of our circling through the six worlds

Is that we are on the dark paths of ignorance.

Dark path upon dark path treading,

When shall we escape from birth-and-death?

What is the dark path of ignorance? Looking outward. The farther you look, the more darkness. Because the light burns inside you. Looking closer and closer, and there is more light. That’s why we call a Buddha ‘enlightened’ – he has come to know and realize his light. It is a perpetual light – without any fuel it is there, it cannot be exhausted. Suns will be exhausted and the moons will be exhausted and the stars will be exhausted. But the light that burns inside you as consciousness is inexhaustible. It is eternal.

Once upon a time there dwelt an old king in a palace. In the center of a golden table in the main hall, there shone a large and magnificent jewel. Each day of the king’s life, the stone sparkled more resplendently.

One day a thief stole the jewel and ran from the palace, hiding in the forest. As he stared with deep joy at the stone, to his amazement the image of the king appeared in it.

‘I have come to thank you,’ said the king. ‘You have released me from my attachment to Earth. I

thought I was freed when I acquired this jewel, but then I learned that I would be released only when I passed it on, with a pure heart, to another.

‘Each day of my life I polished that stone, until finally this day arrived when the jewel became so beautiful that you stole it, and I have passed it on, and am released.

‘The jewel you hold is Understanding. You cannot add to its beauty by hiding it and hinting that you have it, nor yet by wearing it with vanity. Its beauty comes of the consciousness that others have of it. Honour that which gives it beauty.’

That’s why Buddhas go on giving you whatsoever they have attained, go on shaking. Because the beauty of it is in sharing. That’s why Hakuin has sung this song. That’s why I am here, sharing my being with you, my joy with you, my celebration with you. It is something that has to be shared to keep it alive. It is something that has to be given. The more you give it, the more you have of it.

Never be a miser in your love and in your understanding. Share it. And you will have more and more of it. Don’t hoard it, otherwise you will miss it. One day you will find it has disappeared and there is nothing but stink left. Instead of fragrance there will be stinking. Share your love with everybody and anybody. Don’t make conditions to your love. And the best way to share is to share your understanding, to share your meditation.

Hakuin is doing that in this song. He’s sharing his Buddhahood. What he has known, he is singing about it, he is praising it. He is making it clear to people who have not yet attained but can attain. Maybe somebody hears the song, somebody is struck by it, stabbed in the very heart by it. It is a lion’s roar: somebody may be awakened out of his sleep.

The cause of our circling through the six worlds

Is that we are on the dark paths of ignorance.

Dark path upon dark path treading,

When shall we escape from birth-and-death?

Birth means getting attached to the physical body. Death means the frustration of that attachment to the body. Getting free of birth and death means getting free of the physical body. But how can you be free from the physical body? Unless you know the second body you will not be free from the physical body. So it is not a question of being free from the physical body; the basic question is how to enter into the second body. Once you are in the second you are free from the first. And once you are in the third you are free from the second too.

That’s why you don’t see Buddha laughing. Not that he didn’t laugh, but he has not been shown as laughing. Because in the third body, the body of truth, even bliss is meaningless. First, the body, the physical body, is the body of misery. Attached to the physical body you remain miserable. The second body is the body of bliss. Once you reach to it, all misery disappears, you are blissful. But bliss is the opposite of misery – part of duality. The body of truth goes beyond both, it is transcendental. Misery has disappeared, so what is the point of keeping bliss? When there is no misery, there is no point in bliss. When poverty has disappeared what is the point of holding richness? Even that can be dispossessed.

When all duality disappears – pleasure and pain, happiness, unhappiness, day and night, life and death – then for the first time you are in God.

The Zen meditation of the Mahayana

Is beyond all our praises.

Giving and morality and the other perfections,

Taking of the name, repentance, discipline,

And the many other right actions,

All come back to the practice of meditation.

Hakuin says: All that has been done in the name of religion down the ages, can be reduced to one single thing, and that is meditation – dhyana. And what is dhyana? Becoming aware of your physical body – the first dhyana, the first step of meditation. Becoming watchful of your physical body. Watch yourself walking, watch yourself eating, watch yourself running, talking, listening. Watch. And through watching you will see you are different from the physical body. Because the watcher cannot be the watched, the observer cannot be the observed, the seer cannot be the seen, the knower cannot be the known.

Watch the physical body, and the second body will arise. It is there – but you will start feeling. You will start recognizing it, it will start penetrating you. This is the first step of meditation: watch the physical body. Then the second step, and the last, is: watch the bliss body. Watch your ecstasy. And then you will suddenly see, the watcher cannot be the watched. ‘Ecstasy is there, but I am far away from it. Bliss is there, but I am the knower of it.’

Then you start getting into the third body, the body of truth. Then you become a pure witness – sakshin. And that is liberation. Hakuin says it happens through meditation that you discover, or rediscover, your Buddhahood.

By the merit of a single sitting

He destroys innumerable accumulated sins.

How should there be wrong paths for him?

And just in a single sitting it can happen. Hakuin does not preach the gradual path, Hakuin preaches the sudden path. It can happen in a single moment. It can happen now. You need not postpone it for tomorrow. Who knows? Tomorrow may never come. It never comes, really. It can happen this very moment. If your awareness is lucid, if your awareness is there, clear, crystal-clear, it can happen this very moment. This very sitting, and you can become a Buddha. And nobody is hindering the path except yourself. Nobody is the enemy except yourself, and nobody is the friend either.

By the merit of a single sitting

He destroys innumerable accumulated sins.

Hakuin says: Don’t be worried about sins and your past karma. In a single sitting of meditation, all that can be burnt. The fire of meditation is so potential, it can burn your whole past in a single moment. There is no need to be worried about past karma – ‘I have done some bad, so I have to suffer. I have done something, so I have to go to Hell.’ If you want to go, you will have to go! But these are all rationalizations that you are trying to find. If you wish, it is your wish – it will be fulfilled. This existence is very obliging. It goes on obliging – if you want to go to Hell, it supports. It says, ‘Go! I am all with you.’

But if you decide that ‘Enough is enough, and I have suffered enough,’ a single moment of meditativeness is enough to burn all your millions of past lives and millions of future lives too. You are released.

Start meditating. First on the body. Then on your inner feelings of bliss, joy. And go moving inwards. And one day the song of Hakuin will burst forth in you too. You will flower. And unless you flower you have not lived, or lived in vain. You are here to bloom. And unless you bear much fruit and many flowers you will go on missing the meaning of life.

People come to me and they ask, ‘What is the meaning of life’ As if meaning is there somewhere sold in the market. As if meaning is a commodity. Meaning has to be created. There is no meaning in life. Meaning is not a given thing, it has to be created. It has to become your inner work. Then there is meaning – and there is great meaning.

Love and meditate and you will attain to meaning. And you will attain to life, and abundant life.

-Osho

From This Very Body the Buddha, Chapter One   This Very Body The Buddha

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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Love, Grace and the Divine – Osho

Qualities of love and grace have been attributed to the Divine. Do these qualities exist? Can this be explained?

To say that the divine exists will not be right, because all that exists is divine. Each and everything exists; only the divine cannot be said to exist. The divine is existence. To be divine and to exist is to say the same thing in two different ways. So the quality of existence cannot be attributed to the divine.

Everything else can be said to exist because it can go into non-existence. I can be said to exist because I will go into non-existence. You can be said to exist because there were times when you were not in existence. But the divine cannot be said to exist because the divine is always there. Its non-existence is inconceivable. So existence cannot be attributed to the divine. I will say existence is divine or divineness means existence.

Nothing exists which is not divine. You may know it or not; it makes no difference as far as your divinity is concerned. If you know it, then you become existence, bliss. If you do not know it, you go on and continue in agony, but you are divine. When asleep, when ignorant, then too you are divine. Even a stone is divine, unknown to itself. Existence is divine. All those who try to prove that God exists do not know. This is sheer nonsense, to prove that God exists. Those who try to prove that God does not exist are in the same boat. No one will prove that existence exists. If you say it this way, if you ask me whether existence exists, the question will be absurd.

To me, when someone says that God exists, it means the same thing: existence exists. God and existence are equivalent: synonyms. Once you have become aware of what existence is, you will not call it existence. Then you will call it God. The moment one becomes aware of the total being that is, then you cannot use the word existence. You become more intimate with it, so you have to use a personal name. You call it God. To call existence God only means this and nothing else — that you can be in an intimate relationship with it. To call existence God means you can be in personal contact with it.

It is not something dead. It is not something to which you cannot be related. It is not something which is indifferent to you. When we say existence is God, we mean to say existence is intimately related with us. We are related with it; existence is not related to us. And it is not indifferent to us. But as far as the human mind is concerned, we do not know a more accurate word to use than God.

If you ask some orthodox Jew, he will not use the full word “God”. He will only use “G-D”; the “O” is dropped. Orthodox Jews will not use the full term “God”. They will only use “G-D”. If you ask them why do you use “G-D”, why is the “O” dropped, they say: “Whatever we say is always less than what is. So ‘O’ is dropped just to symbolize that we are using a word which cannot convey the whole, which cannot be totally comprehensive. So the ‘O’ is dropped.” “O” is symbolic of the zero, symbolic of perfection, symbolic of the totality, the whole, so the “O” is dropped Only “G-D” remains.

Whenever we use any word, it is never meaningful or comprehensive of the whole. It just indicates, not something about the divine, but about the human mind. If you say “existence”, then you use a term which is neutral. You can be indifferent to it and “existence” can be indifferent to you. When you use “existence” there cannot be a dialogue between you and existence. Then there is no bridge. But those who have known existence, they know there is a dialogue with everything that exists. You can be in an intimate relationship, in love. This possibility of dialogue, this possibility of relationship, this possibility of being in love, makes the term “God” more meaningful than “existence” But they mean the same.

So I will not say that the divine exists. I will say that all that exists is divine. Existence is divine. To exist is to be divine. Nothing is which is not divine. Nothing can be which is not divine. We may know it, we may not know it. We may be aware, we may not be aware. It makes no difference.

Another thing you asked is whether the qualities of love and grace can be attributed to God. Again, no qualities can be attributed to him because qualities can be attributed only if the contrary is possible. Otherwise they cannot be attributed. You can say “Someone loves me” because someone is capable of not loving. If he is incapable of not loving, you will never say that “He loves me.” Then to say that someone loves you carries no meaning. If I cannot be in love, I can only be in hatred. Then I can say “I love you.” If I am incapable of being in hatred, then the quality of love cannot be attributed to me. Love then is not a quality, but nature. And what is the difference between quality and nature?

A quality is something which can be in manifestation and which can be in non-manifestation. A quality is something of which you can be deprived. You can exist with the quality; you can exist without the quality. It is not your intrinsic existence. It is something attributed to you; it is something added to you. It is not your nature.

Nature is something without which you can never exist. So when someone says “God is loving”, he is not saying exactly the right thing. Jesus is right when he says, “God is love”, not loving. Then love becomes his nature, not a quality. It cannot be replaced. God can be love, love can be God, because love is the intrinsic nature of the divine.

Love is not something added. It cannot be. It is not possible to conceive of God without love. If you conceive of God without love, you are conceiving of a God who is not a God. To conceive of God without love is to conceive of a God without godliness, because the moment love is erased there is no godliness left behind. So again, I will not say that love is an attribute. Neither will I say that grace is an attribute. They are nature.

Somewhere Aesop has told us in a fable that by a riverside a scorpion requested of a turtle, “Please carry me to the other shore on your back.” The turtle says, “Do not be foolish. Do not think me to be stupid. You may sting me in the middle of the stream, and I will drown and die.” The scorpion said, “I am not foolish; rather, you are foolish because you do not know simple logic. I belong to the Aristotelian school. I am a logician. So I will teach you a simple lesson in logic, a simple solution. If I sting you and if you are drowned and dead, I will also die with you. So be sensible, be logical. I will not sting you. I cannot sting you.”

The turtle thought for a moment and then said, “Okay! It seems sensible. Hop on me and off we go.” And exactly in midstream the sting comes. They both are sinking down. Before the turtle dies it asks, “Where has your logic gone? You have done a very illogical thing, and you yourself said that this is simple logic, you will never do it, and now you have done it. Tell me before I die. Let me learn another lesson of your logic.”

The scorpion says, “It is not a question of logic at all. This is just my character, just my nature. I cannot be without it. I can talk about it. I cannot be without it. I am incapable, really.”

Something which you are incapable of doing or not doing indicates your nature. We cannot conceive of the divine as being non-loving or without grace. The love is always there; the grace is always there. We use two words — “love” and “grace” — because of our linguistic limitations. Otherwise, one word will do. Either you call it love or you call it grace.

We use two words because with love we always expect something in return — not with grace. Whenever we love someone, something in return is expected. It is always a bargain, howsoever subtle. Told or not told, made known or not made known, it is an inner bargain. Something is expected in return. That is why we use two words, “love” and “grace”, because with grace nothing is expected in return, and God never expects anything in return from us.

But as far as divine existence is concerned, love and grace are both one and the same. He is loving and that is his grace. He is always with his grace. That means he is loving. But these are not qualities which can be attributed to him. This is his nature. He cannot be otherwise. But we make distinctions because someone is known to have received grace; someone has become beloved to the divine. That again is a fallacious statement. God is always grace and always love. But we are not always in the receptive mood.

Unless we become receptive we cannot receive it. So when you are not receiving divine grace, it is not anything lacking on the part of the divine, but something like a barrier you are carrying. You are not receptive to it, you are not open to it, you are not vulnerable to it. God’s nature is to be graceful, to be grace itself. But as far as we are concerned, we are not naturally receptive. We are naturally aggressive. We are aggressive, and these are two different things.

If the mind is aggressive, then it cannot be receptive. Only a non-aggressive mind can be receptive. So all the qualities which carry any type of aggressiveness with them ought to be dropped, and one has to be just a door to receive. Just like a womb, one has to be in total receptivity. Then grace is always flowing and love is always flowing.

From everywhere grace is flowing. Every moment, everywhere, grace is flowing. It is the nature of existence, but we are not receptive. That is the nature of mind. Mind is aggressive. That is why I always insist that meditation means “no-mind”. Meditation means non-aggressive receptivity — openness. But logic can never be receptive. Logic is aggressive. You are doing something. Then you cannot be receptive. You can be receptive only when you are not doing.

When you are in a non-doing state, absolutely non-doing, simply existing, then you are open from all sides, and from everywhere comes the flow of grace. It is always coming, but our doors are closed. We are always escaping the grace. Even if it knocks on our doors, we escape.

There is a reason why we go on escaping: the moment mind is born, it is always safeguarding itself. Our whole training, our whole education, the whole culture of mankind is always so. Our whole mind, our whole culture, is based on aggression, competition, conflict. We have not yet become so mature as to learn the secret of cooperation — that the world exists in cooperativeness, not in conflict; that the other one, the neighboring one, is not just a competitor, but a complementary existence which makes me richer. Without him I will be lesser.

Even if a single individual dies in the world I am a bit lesser. The richness that was created by him, the richness carried into the atmosphere, in the hemisphere, is no more. Somewhere, something has become vacant. So we exist in a coexistence, not in a conflict. But the training of the mind, the collective unconscious, is always thinking in terms of conflict. Whenever someone is there, the enemy is there. The “enemy” is the basic assumption. You can develop your friendship, but that will be developed. The basic assumption is the enemy. Friendship can be added to the enemy, but the base is inimical, and you can never relax.

That is why you can never rely on your friendships: because at the base there is “enemy”. You have only made a fake friendship. You have added something artificially. But somewhere at the base you know always that there is enemy — the other is the enemy. So even with a friend you are not at ease. Even with your lover you are not at ease. Whenever there is someone, you are tense. The enemy is there. Of course, the tension becomes less if you have created a facade of friendship. It is less, but it is there.

This attitude has reasons as to why it has developed so — evolutionary reasons. Man has come out of the jungle. The whole evolution has seen so many stages, so many animal stages. Physiologically also, the body knows because the body is not yours. When I say “my body”, I am claiming something which cannot be claimed. My body has come through centuries of development. The basic cell is inherited. In my basic cell I inherit all that existed behind me. All the animals, all the trees, all that has existed, have contributed to my basic cell.

In my basic cell there is accumulated the whole experience of conflict, struggle, violence, aggression. Each cell carries the whole evolutionary struggle that has preceded. Physiologically also, mentally also, your mind has not evolved just in this life. It has come to you in a long journey. It may be even longer than the body itself. Because the body evolved on this earth, it cannot be more than forty million years old. It cannot be older than the earth.

But the first mind came from another planet. Mind has still deeper evolutionary experiences. And all those experiences make you violent and aggressive. One has to be aware of this total phenomenon. Unless one is aware, one cannot be free from his own past. And the whole problem is that one has to be free from his own past, and this past is something very great — incomprehensibly great.

All that has lived is still living with you. All that has been is still in you in seed, in potentiality. You come from the past, you are the past. This past-oriented mind goes on creating aggression, goes on thinking in terms of aggression.

So when religion says “Be receptive”, the advice goes unheard. The mind cannot think of how it can be receptive. Mind has known only one thing in which it has been receptive, and that is death, in which the mind has not been able to do anything. It could not act. The only thing that the mind has known in which it has to be receptive is death. So whenever someone says, “Be receptive,” somewhere in the shadows you feel death. If I say “Be receptive,” the mind will then say, “Then you will die. Be aggressive if you want to exist and survive. The fittest survives. The most aggressive one survives. If you are just receptive, you will die.”

That is why receptivity is never even understood — not heard, not understood. This receptivity has been said in so many ways. Someone says, “Surrender.” It means “Be receptive”. Surrender means do not be aggressive. When someone says “Be faithful”, it means “Be receptive”.

Do not be aggressive through your logic. Receive existence as it is. Let it come in. The mind cannot love because love means “Be receptive to someone”. Even in love we are aggressive. If you ask a friend, he will say love is nothing but a sort of violence — a mutual violence in which two partners have agreed to become involved. And when a friend says this, he is not just saying nonsense. He means it, and he knows something.

Whenever you are in a sexual act, whenever you are in intimate love, the actions that follow are just like fighting: you are fighting. If you go deep in any act which we know as love, if you go deep in it, you will find animal roots. Kissing can anytime become biting. If you go on kissing, if it goes deep, it will be biting. It is just a mind form. Sometimes lovers will say, “I want to eat you” — a very loving expression. Really, they try. Sometimes it goes deep, becomes intensive: then sex is just a fight.

So two partners, two sexual partners, will always alternate between love and fight. This will go on alternating. In the evening they are fighting, in the night they are loving, in the morning they are fighting, in the evening they are loving, in the night they are fighting. This circle will go on – fighting and loving, fighting and loving. If you ask D. H. Lawrence, he will say, “If you cannot fight with your lover, you cannot love.” The fight makes it intense. It is just creating a situation.

The human mind as it is, as it has come out of the past, cannot love because it cannot be receptive. It can only be aggressive. So it is not that you are loving: you always demand love. And even if you act loving, it is only to force the demand. There is a cunning logic. It is always demanding, “Give me love.” And if I give you love, that is only to demand, to make the demand forceful. The human mind cannot love.

So if you ask those who know, those who have really known love, if you ask Buddha, he will say, “Unless the mind dies, love cannot be born.” And unless there is love, you cannot feel grace; because only in love do you become open.

And you cannot love a particular individual because it is impossible to be open to a particular individual and closed to all. This is very difficult. This is one of the most impossible things to do. It is not possible at all.

If I say, “I love you,” it is just like saying this: that whenever you are beside me I breathe; otherwise I will not breathe. If this were the case, then another time you will come to me and you will find me dead. But breathing is not something which I can do and not do. Love is not something like that. But whatever is known to us as love is like that. That is why sooner or later a lover will find that the other’s love has gone dead, and both will know this. Both will know that there is no love now.

The more lovers know each other, the more unfortunate is the situation. The more they become acquainted with each other, the lesser is the hope and the more the disillusionment. They know that the love has gone dead. You so narrowed it, demanded so narrow a passage, that it could not be alive.

One has to be loving, not a lover. One has to be loving. This “loving” must come as an intensive, natural manifestation, not as something added as an attribute, as a quality. It must come as an inner flowering, not as something perfumed from without. This love can happen. One has to be aware of one’s total past. And the moment you are aware of your total past, that very moment you have transcended, you are beyond it, because that which is aware is not the mind.

That which becomes aware of the mind is the consciousness which carries no past with it — which is eternal, which is always in the “now”, which is always new, which is always here and now. That consciousness is known only when you become aware of your mind. Then you are not identified with your mind. There is a gap between you and your mind. You know this is the mind: this aggressiveness, this hatred, this whole hell, is the mind.

And this mind goes on continuing. This mind will go on continuing, unless you become aware. And this is a miracle: that the moment you become aware the continuity is broken. Now you will be, but not of the past. Now you will be of the moment — fresh, young, new. Then each moment you will die, and you will be reborn.

Somewhere St. Augustine says, “I die every moment.” One who has become aware of one’s whole mind and its whole process, the continuity, the past continuing itself and carrying on and forcing itself into the future — one who has become aware of this — will die each moment. Each moment the past will be thrown out. One will be fresh, new and young, ready to jump into the new moment that is coming on. Only this fresh consciousness, this young consciousness — eternally young — is receptive, is open. There are no walls to it, no boundary walls to it. It is completely open, just like space.

The Upanishads call it “the inner space of the heart”. There is a space, simply a space. That is consciousness, sakshi — the expression of awareness. This transcendence of the mind, of the past, makes you open and vulnerable from all sides, to all the dimensions. Then grace is falling on you from everywhere — from the trees, from the sky, from human beings, from animals, from everywhere. Even a dead stone is graceful then. You feel grace falling toward you.

Then you cannot say this is simply an existence. Then you say, “This is God.” This metamorphosis, this transformation of your own mind, this transformation of the dead mind into an eternally living consciousness, from the junk of the mind to the open sky of the consciousness, this transformation changes your attitude toward existence. Then the whole existence is just a flow of love — friendly, compassionate, loving, graceful. Then you are loved through thousands of hands.

So Hindu religion has created deities with a thousand hands. It means from everywhere is the hand. Nowhere can you go where the divine hand will not be upon you. Everywhere is the embrace. You can go everywhere. Now there is nowhere where the divine is not.

Nanak went to Kaaba: he was tired. When he reached the mosque, and he just put down his small bundle, whatever it was, and went to sleep. The priest was furious because his legs were toward the holy stone, so he dragged him out and said, “What foolishness are you doing here? You do not know even this much respect — that the legs should not be towards the holy stone. Are you an atheist?”

Nanak’s sleep was broken. He is sitting. He says, “Put my legs in that direction where God is not, and do not disturb me.” There is no direction where God is not, because the direction itself is divine, existence is divine. But you must be open to it.

This whole tragedy, this dilemma of the human mind, is that the mind is closed, the mind is closing, and this mind goes on searching for that which will be freedom. This mind is an imprisonment, and this imprisonment goes on seeking freedom. This is the whole tragedy of human existence.

This mind is a prison. It cannot find any freedom anywhere. It must die before freedom comes to you. But we have taken the mind as us. We are identified with it. This death of mind never happens to us, it never occurs to us.

Mind is something other than me. But we go on being identified with the mind. How then can you come out of the past if you have become identified with the past? The one who has forgotten that he is a prisoner is the most imprisoned, because there is no possibility of freedom then. But even that prisoner may become aware. An even greater prisoner is the one who has become one with the imprisonment, one with the prison, who has become identified. The walls of the prison are his body. The whole arrangement of the imprisonment is his mind.

Be aware; be conscious of your mind. And you can be because you are something different. The dream can be broken because you are not the dream. The dream is occurring to you, but you are not the dream. You can shatter this imprisonment and come out because you are not the imprisonment. But there is such a long association with the body and the mind.

And understand this well: that the body is new; each birth is new; each beginning is new. But the mind is old. It is continuing from your previous, your past births. That is why if someone says your body is ill, you are never angry. You feel that he is sympathetic to you. But if someone says your mind is mad, your mind is ill, you are mentally deranged, then you become angry. Then you do not feel he is sympathetic to you. He does not seem friendly.

With the body this is a new association, only of this birth. Other bodies have died with which you have been in association. And this body association is broken with each death. It has been broken so many times, that one thinks himself a body, even he is not identified with his body. So if his body falls ill, something else has fallen ill.

I was reading about an alcoholic’s life. He was sentenced so many times, and for the tenth time the same judge is sending him to jail. So the judge says in his judgment, “It is only the alcohol, the alcohol, the alcohol, which is the root cause of your problems.” The man says, “Thank you, sir. You are the only person who has not made me responsible. Everyone else says I am at fault. Everyone says, ‘You are at fault.’ You are the only man who understands me. Alcohol is at fault. I am not responsible at all.”

With the body, if there is some fault, you do not feel you are responsible. But if the mind feels some fault, then you feel that you are responsible. The identity is keen and deeper. It has to be, because the body is the outer layer of your being. The mind is the inner layer. It is the inner you. You can be more identified with it. It has been with you for so many lives. The mind is the old, always the old, the continuity. But you are not the mind. And this can be known, and there is no difficulty in knowing about it.

Just be a witness. Whenever the mind is working, just sit aside and see it — how it works. Do not interfere: do not come in. The coming in will again create the strength which makes the identity. Do not come in, do not say anything, do not be a judge. Just sit aside as if the traffic is passing on the road, and you are sitting by the side just looking. Do not make any judgment. And if even for a single moment you can sit aside and look at the mind’s traffic, the continuous traffic, you will see the gap — the gap between you and the mind. Then this gap can be made greater, wider, unbridgeable.

When the gap is such, when the interval is such, then there is no bridge. You have seen from all possible points that the circle of the mind is somewhere where you are not. You are always inside — somewhere else. When this is not a theory, but has become a fact, a realized fact, then you are open. Then you have jumped into an inner space, into the inner sky, into the inner space of the heart: you have jumped in. Now you are there and you are open.

You will know then that you have always been open. You have been sleeping in an open sky but dreaming that you are in prison, and thoughts are not any other substance than what dreams are made of. They are of the same stuff. In the day you call them thoughts and at night you call them dreams. But because they are transparent, identifying becomes easier. With anything transparent you can forget.

If there is a totally transparent glass between you and me, I will forget the glass. I will think that I am seeing you directly. It means that I become so totally identified with the glass that it is not there. My eyes and the glass have become one.

Thoughts are transparent — more transparent than any glass you can look through. They are not at all a hindrance then. That is why the identity becomes deeper. The transparency of thoughts is so close to you, you forget totally that there exists a mind which is always around you, always between you and the world, always — wherever you are: between you and your lover, between you and your friend, between you and your God, it is always there.

Wherever you go, your mind is a step ahead of you. It is not only that it follows you like a shadow. It is always one step ahead of you; it has reached before you. But you are never aware of it because it is so transparent. Whenever you are entering a temple, your mind has entered before you. When you are going to a friend, when you are embracing him, your mind has embraced before, and this you can know. Your mind is always rehearsing. That stepping ahead is always rehearsing. Before you speak, it is always rehearsing what to speak. Before you act, it is always rehearsing what to act. Before you do anything or do not do anything, it is rehearsing. The rehearsal is constantly going on. The rehearsal means that the mind is preparing itself before you, one step ahead. And that is a constant, transparent barrier between you and everything else that you will come across, that you will encounter.

Thus an encounter can never be real, authentic, because something else is always in between. Neither can you love, nor can you pray. You cannot do anything which requires the removal of this barrier, and the grace is not felt because the barrier is there, always surrounding you like a transparent shell. Grace, love or existence are not God’s attributes. They are divine nature. But we are not open to them. When someone is open, he becomes the receiver. But then too we will not say that he has become a receiver. The ego is competitive. We will say he has received grace. We are denying him anything. Now we say, “God has become graceful to him.”

It is good that we should say God is graceful, because now nothing exists except God. Once the barrier is not, nothing exists except God. Once the barrier is not, there is nothing upon which to stand the ego. One cannot say “I”, so he cannot say, “I have become capable of receiving grace.” He can only say “I” have received because “I” was not there. “I” was the barrier. So once “I” is not, he can always say, “It is due to God’s grace. What can I do? ‘I’ is no more.” It is right when he says so, but it is not right when we say so. We are again deceiving ourselves.

We are deceiving ourselves because we are not recognizing a great transformation. The ego will not let us recognize it. The ego will say, “God is graceful to him and not to me.” We create this very misguiding notion, that God is graceful to someone.

He is grace. If someone is ready to receive he is always giving. He is not even ready to give: He is giving. When you are not receiving, then too he is giving. When you are closed, then too he is raining His blessings are raining. Be open and know it. Be conscious and be open, and only then you can know what love is, what grace is, what compassion is. And they are one and the same thing. They are not different things. Basically, they are one and the same.

Only then can you know what prayer is. When the barrier is not, then prayer is not to ask for something. It is not begging. Then it is thanksgiving. So wherever there is a prayer which begs for something, the barrier is there. The begging is the barrier; the mind is the barrier.

Whenever there is a prayer which thanks for something, not even for something but thanks for all that is, whenever grace is received, you feel gratitude. On your part it is gratitude. On God’s part it is grace. On the receiver’s end it is gratitude. We have not known gratitude at all. We cannot know unless we know grace. We cannot be grateful unless we know grace. And this can be known.

Do not begin the search, do not begin an inquiry for the divine, because that is metaphysical and useless, and that has been going on for centuries. The philosophers have been thinking about what are the attributes of God. So there have been metaphysicians who will say that “This is the attribute of God and that is not.”

Someone will say he is attributeless — nirguna. Someone will say he is with attributes — saguna. But how can we know what we have not known ourselves? And how can we decide whether God is with attributes or without attributes, whether he is loving or not? Just by thinking we are going to decide it! This is not possible.

So metaphysics will lead us into absurdity. When human imagination becomes logical, then we think that we have achieved something. We have not achieved anything. Imagination is ours, and logic is ours. We have not known anything.

Always begin with yourself if you are to escape from metaphysics. And if you cannot escape from metaphysics you cannot be religious. Metaphysics and religion are opposite pillars. Do not begin with God at all. Always begin with your mind — where you are: always begin from there. If you begin from your mind, then something can be done. Then you can know something, then something can be transformed. Then it is within your capacity to do something. And if your capacity to do something with yourself is used completely, you will grow, you will expand, your barrier will be gone, your consciousness will be naked. Only then can you begin with the divine.

When you have begun, when you are in contact with the divine, then you know what grace is, what gratitude is. Grace is that which you feel showering upon you from everywhere, and gratitude is that which you feel within your heart, at the center of that inner space upon which the whole is showering his love, his compassion, his grace. Only then is it meaningful to say:

“Oh God” or “Hare Ram”. Otherwise our words are just words — not known from existence but only learned from language, learned from the scriptures.

So I will not say what the attributes of God are. As far as I am concerned, as far as I know, God has no attributes, but it does not mean that when we come in contact with him we will not feel his love; we will not feel his grace. It only means that these are not his attributes.  These are his nature. This is how he happens to be, and he cannot be otherwise. Even when you are close to him, even when you are standing just opposite to him, just giving your back to him, then too he is the same.

It is just like light: your eyes are closed; the light is there. It will not go into non-existence just for the sake that your eyes are closed. Open your eyes! The light is there; it has always been there. Begin with your eyes.

You can never think anything about light. How can you think? And any thinking, any contemplating, will be wrong. From the very beginning it will be wrong. You cannot think, you have not known. Thinking about that which is known can go on in circles. It can never touch the unknown. It can never conceive of the unknown. The unknown is not for thinking. That is why thinkers will go on denying God: because to them he is not known.

When someone says God is not, it is not that he is against God. It is only that he is the man who thinks. It is nothing else. He is not against God, because to be against God will have to be preceded by knowing him. He is not against God. One who knows cannot be against. One who has known, how can he be against? He cannot be. It only shows that he just goes on thinking. And thinking cannot conceive of the unknown, so he denies it.

Do not begin with God. That is a false beginning. It always leads to nonsense. So all metaphysics is nonsense. It goes on thinking about things about which nothing can be thought. It goes on giving statements about the existence about which no statements can be given. Only silence can be a statement about it. But if you begin with yourself, then much that is solid can be said. If you begin with yourself, then something scientific can be done. If you begin with yourself, then you begin with the right beginning.

Religion means to begin with oneself, and metaphysics means to begin with God. So metaphysics is madness — of course, with a method. All madmen are metaphysicians without method and all metaphysicians are mad but with methodology. Because of their methodology they seem to be talking sense, and they go on talking nonsense.

Begin with yourself. Do not ask whether God exists. Ask whether “I” exist. Do not ask whether love is an attribute of the divine. Ask whether love is an attribute of mine, whether I have ever loved. Do not ask about grace. Ask whether I have ever felt gratitude, because that is the pole which is just nearby, which is just a step from us. We can know it.

Always begin from the beginning. Never begin from the end because then it is no beginning at all. One who begins from the beginning always reaches the end and one who begins from the end does not even reach the beginning, because to begin from the end is impossible. You can just go on and on.

Make God not a metaphysical notion but a religious experience. Go inward. He is there always waiting for you. But then you have to do something with yourself. That doing is meditation; that doing is yoga. Do something with yourself. As you are, you are closed. As you are, you are dead. As you are, you are not in any dialogue. You cannot be in any dialogue with the divine, with the existence. So transform yourself. Open some doors, break open some spaces, make some windows, jump outside of your mind, your past. And then it is not only that you will know, but you will live. You will live with the grace of the divine, you will live with the love; you will be part of it, just a ripple of it. And once you have become a ripple of it, a wave of the divine, only then is there authentic divineness.

So I am not a metaphysician at all. You can call me an anti-metaphysician. Religion is existential. Begin from yourself; begin transforming your aggressive mind. Let it be just receptive.

I would like to tell you Buddha tried for six years continuously to know what the divine is. And it cannot be said that he left anything undone. He did everything that is humanly possible, even some things which seem humanly impossible. He did everything. Whatever was known up to his day he practiced. Whatever methods were taught to him, he became a master of them.

He went to all the gurus that existed in his time, to everyone. And whatever they could teach, he learned, he practiced, and then he said, “Anything more, sir?” And the guru said, “Now you can go, because all that I could give you I have given, and I cannot say, as I say in other cases, that you have not practiced. You have practiced. This is all that I can give.” Buddha said, “I have not known the divine yet.”

With each guru this happened. Then he left all the gurus. Then he invented his own methods. Continuously, for six years, he was in a struggle of life and death. He did everything that could be done. Then at last, he was so tired of doing, so deadly tired, that one day when he was taking his evening bath in the Niranjana River near Bodhgaya, he felt so weak and so tired that he could not come out of the river. He just clung to a root of a tree and a thought came to his mind: “I have become so weak; I cannot even cross this small river. How will I be alive to cross the whole ocean of the world? I have done everything and I have not found the divine. I have only tired my body.”

He felt that he was on the verge of death. At that very moment he felt that he had done everything, and now there was nothing to do. He relaxed, and new energy came upon him because of his relaxation. All that was suppressed through those six years flowered. He came out of the river. He felt just like a feather, a bird’s feather — weightless. He relaxed under the Bodhi tree.

It was a bright full-moon night. Someone came: a girl, a shudra-low-caste-girl named Sujata. The name shows that the girl must have been a shudra because to have the name “Sujata” means she has not come from a higher caste. Sujata means “well born”. She has promised the Bodhi tree to pay it some homage daily, so she had come with some sweets.

Buddha is there — tired, pale, bloodless, but relaxed, absolutely unburdened, and it is a full-moon night with nobody around. The girl, Sujata, felt that the deity of the tree has come to receive her homage. Had it been another day, Buddha could have refused. He would not rest in the night; he would not eat any food. But today he was totally relaxed. He took the food and he slept. This was the first night after six years that he really slept.

He was relaxed with nothing to do. Then there was no worry. There was no tomorrow even, because tomorrow exists only because one has to do something. If one has not to do anything, then there is no tomorrow. Then the moment is enough.

Buddha slept, and in the morning at five o’clock, when the last star was withering away, he is out of the sleep. He saw the last star disappearing, with no mind, because when you have nothing to do there is no mind. The mind is just a faculty for doing something. It is a technical faculty. No mind, nothing to do, no effort on his part, indifferent to whether he was alive or dead, he just opens his eyes and he begins to dance. He had come to that knowing to which he could not come through so many efforts.

Whenever someone would ask him how he achieved, he would say, “The more I tried to achieve, the more I was at a loss. I could not achieve. So how can I say I have achieved? The more I tried, the more I was involved. I could not achieve. The mind was trying to transcend itself, which was impossible. It is just like trying to be a father to yourself, just trying to give birth to yourself.”

So Buddha will say, “I cannot say I achieved. I can only say I tried so much that I was annihilated. I tried so much that any effort became absurd. And the moment came when I was not trying, when the mind was not, when I was not thinking. Then there was no future because there was no past. Both are always together. Past is behind; future is in front. They are always conjoined. If one drops, the other drops simultaneously. Then there was no future, no past, no mind. I was mindless, I was I-less. Then something happened, and I cannot say that this something happened in that moment. I can only say that this was always happening; only I was not aware. I cannot say that this happened in that moment. It was always happening, only I was closed. So I cannot say I have achieved something.”

Buddha said, “I can only say I have lost something — the ego, the mind. I have not achieved anything at all. Now I know that all that I have was always there. It was in every layer, it was in every stone, in every flower, but now I recognize it was always so. Only I was blind. So I have lost my blindness; I have not achieved anything, I have lost something.” If you begin with the divine, then you begin to achieve. If you begin with yourself, then you begin to lose. Things will begin to disappear, and ultimately you will disappear. And when you are not, the divine is with all its grace, with all its love, with all its compassion, but only when you are not.

Your non-existence is the categorical condition. For no one can it be relaxed. It is categorical; it is the absolute. You are the barrier. Fall down, and then you know. And only when you know, you know. You cannot understand it; I cannot explain it to you. I cannot make you understand it. So whatever I am saying, I am not saying anything metaphysical. I am only trying to show you that you must begin with yourself.

If you begin with yourself you will end with the divine, because that is your other part, the other pole. But begin from this bank. Do not begin from the other where you are not. You cannot begin from there. Begin from where you are, and the more you will go deep, the less you will be. The more you will know yourself, the less a self you will be. And once you have come to total understanding about yourself, you will be annihilated, you will go into non-existence, you will be totally negative — not. And in that not — in that total negation, you will know the grace which is always falling, which is always raining down from eternity. You will know the love which is always around you. It has always been, but you have not paid any attention to it. Be annihilated, and you will be aware of it.

-Osho

From I Am the Gate, Chapter Four  

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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God Is Existence Itself – Osho

Does God exist? How can there be so much evil and corruption in the world if God exists?

God is a mythical word, a mumbo-jumbo word that is the invention of the priesthood. Actually, to ask whether God exists is absurd. For those who know, God is existence, or existence is God.

Things exist, not God. A chair exists because a chair can go into nonexistence. To say that the chair exists is meaningful because its nonexistence is possible.

God is existence, the very isness. When we say God exists we create something out of the word God, then God becomes a thing. But God is not a thing, nor is God a person. That is why you cannot make him responsible for anything. Responsibility only comes when there is a personality, when there is someone who can be responsible.

God is not a person, he is pure existence. The word is misleading because the word personifies. It is better to use the word existence. The totality of existence is God.

So it cannot be asked whether God exists. That is like asking whether existence exists. Put this way – whether existence exists – the question becomes absurd. Obviously existence exists; there is no question about it. The question cannot even exist if there is no existence, nor can the questioner.

I would like to make it clear that when I say God, I mean existence as such. God is not a thing among other things, God is total thingness. To say that the table exists is the same as saying that the table is God. To say that you exist is the same as saying that you are God. God is the existence. God is isness, the quality of isness, the quality of existence.

First of all, God is not a thing. Secondly, God is not a person because the total cannot be a person. Personality is a relationship. Alone, totally alone, you will not be a person at all, you will be existence itself. That is why those who are seeking the divine tend to go into loneliness. In this way, they can cease to be persons and can become one with existence. Aloneness, absolute aloneness, is a step toward jumping into the abyss of existence.

God is not a person because there is nothing opposite to him, nothing distinct from him. God cannot say “I” because there is no other that exists as thou. He cannot be related to anyone. He is the whole, so all relationships exist in him and cannot exist beyond him.

So if God is not a person, there is no question of any responsibility. If evil exists, it exists. No one is responsible for it. The total cannot be responsible for it.

Responsibility implies that there is a person who can be responsible. A child of four cannot be taken to court because he is not yet a person and therefore cannot be held responsible for anything that he may have done. He is so innocent that even the sense of personality, the sense of ego, is not there. He is not responsible at all, because responsibility comes with ego. Existence has no ego at all – God has no ego at all – so you cannot make him responsible for any evil that exists.

But the human mind is very cunning. First we invent a personified God – we give God a personality – and then we make him responsible for what happens. We go on creating problems that are not problems at all but only linguistic fallacies. Ninety-nine percent of philosophy consists only of linguistic fallacies. If you call the totality, existence, you cannot make it responsible; but if you call it God, then you can make it responsible – only the word has changed.

Existence is non-personal, impersonal. But if God becomes a person, then you can ask, “Why is there evil?” The whole game is being played by you alone; God is not a party to it. When you give existence a name, a personal name, you create problems. These problems are not authentic problems; they are created problems, invented problems.

God means existence. I cannot say that God exists, because that would be a tautology. It would be just like saying: existence exists, or poetry is poetry. It means nothing, it defines nothing, it clarifies nothing, it explains nothing; it only repeats itself.

To me, God is existence, and existence is impersonal. It cannot be otherwise because the total cannot be a person. How can it be? In contrast to whom can it be an individual, a person? In contrast to whose ego can it create its own ego?

You become an ego because other egos exist. Psychologists say that the sense of ego develops in a child later than the sense of the other. First the child becomes aware of others, then he becomes aware of himself. The ego is a later addition.

You cannot become aware of yourself if there is no other. Without the other you cannot define yourself – your definition of yourself comes from the other. Others define you; they make you separate. By knowing others you come to feel your own boundaries. Then you know, “I am here, and I am not there.” Then you know, “This body is mine, and that body is not mine.” Then what is you is clearly defined – defined by other egos. If there were no other, you would never be aware of yourself as a person.

God cannot become an ego. He cannot say “I” because there is no thou: he cannot define himself. God is indefinable because a definition means a drawing of boundaries, and the total has no boundaries at all. The total means that which has no boundaries, the infinite.

We cannot conceive of the infinite – whatsoever is conceivable by the mind is finite. Even when we think about the infinite we conceive of it as a greater finiteness, never as the infinite. We cannot conceive of a boundaryless existence, but it is so nevertheless. Whether you can conceive of it or not makes no difference.

Mind cannot conceive of the indefinable, because mind requires definitions, clear-cut boundaries. That is why God, existence, cannot be understood by the mind.

God is the indefinable. Because we use the pronoun he for a person, we use he for God. But “he” is not correct, because by calling God he, he becomes a person. Still, there is no other way. If we call God it, it may seem better, but since we call things it, God also becomes a thing. Our language is not meant to express the indefinable, so the best we can do is use “he.” But he is not a person at all: he is a no-person, a non-ego. You cannot make him responsible.

If you say that something is bad – that there is evil or there is want – you are saying it to no one. No reply will be given to you from the universe, because as far as existence itself is concerned there is no evil. Evil depends on our attitudes; it depends on our moralistic definitions. For example, you may call someone ugly, but there is no ugliness in existence itself because there is no beauty. The distinction is human, it is not existential. You have made the definition: you have defined something as beauty and something else as ugliness. You have made the distinction and then you ask, “Why has God made ugliness?”

There is no way to decide what is good and what is bad. If there were no human beings on earth, would there be anything good or bad? There would be no good and no bad because goodness and badness are human distinctions, mental distinctions. If there were no human beings on earth would there be any flower that was ugly or any flower that was beautiful? There would only be flowers flowering; the distinction would not be there.

You say “this is evil” and “that is good.” But if, for example, Adolf Hitler’s mother had killed him during his childhood, would it have been good or bad? She would have been a criminal and they would have punished her for it. But now, looking back, we can say that it would have been a most moral act: by killing her child she could have saved the whole world.

No one can know the future. For us, every act is an incomplete act, every act is a fragment. We don’t know the whole so we cannot pronounce judgment on it.

It is just like a page torn from a novel – how can you make any judgment about the novel by reading just one page? You don’t know anything about the novel. This is just a fragment – it has no beginning or end. You will say, “I would like to read the whole story first. Nothing can be said about it otherwise. This page is not enough.”

Words such as good and bad are just expedient, utilitarian; they are not existential. We cannot exist without classifying things as either good or bad because otherwise society would be impossible.

This must be clearly understood. Definitions are not ultimate truths, they are relative. There is not a single act that cannot be considered good in some context. A good deed can be bad in one context and a bad deed may be good in another. If you are to make any final judgment you will have to know everything from the very beginning to the very end – everything in the whole of existence. But of course, this is impossible.

All our statements about good and bad, beauty and ugliness are nothing more than traffic regulations. We have to make them, but they are not ultimate truths. “Keep left” or “keep right” – it makes no difference. But no society can do both: either you have to keep right or you have to keep left. The rule is utilitarian; it is neither natural nor ultimate.

The road is absolutely unconcerned with whether you keep to the right or to the left, but traffic does require certain rules. When there is less traffic you do not have to make any rules; but the more confusing the traffic, the more rules will be needed. In a village there is no need for traffic rules, but in a big city rules are needed.

As society develops in a more complex way, a more clearly defined morality is needed; otherwise you will not be able to live. But these moralities, these conceptions of good and bad, are human expediencies.

When you ask how there can be corruption if God exists, remember: God is not involved at all. There are reasons for corruption, but God is not responsible, the total is not responsible. If responsibility is to be put anywhere, it is to be put on us. We have created a society in which corruption has become necessary because its very base is corrupt. Unless you change the very foundation of society there is bound to be corruption; there has always been corruption. Forms have changed, but the corruption has remained because we have not yet created a society in which corruption is impossible.

This situation is our creation; God is not involved in it at all. It is as much a human creation as this table, this sofa, this house. You cannot hold God responsible for this house or for this room’s being small and not large, or for this window’s facing west and not east. You never ask God, “Why did you build this window onto the east wall and not the west?” That would be nonsense – you know that it is some person who built the window into the east wall. God has never been asked about it, he is not a party to it.

In the same way you can ask why there is corruption, but you cannot make any reference to God. To ask why there is corruption is a pertinent question. But to talk about God in reference to corruption is impertinent. Our society has been made by us – we are the architects of it. And because the foundation of it is wrong, because the base upon which we have built all of society’s structures is not scientific, it is bound to be corrupt. It is a human problem. We can change it or we can prolong it – it depends on us.

For example, our whole education is ambition-oriented. Our whole society is ambitious and an ambitious society can never be anything but corrupt. If you create ambition in everyone, not everyone will be able to fulfill it. You may say that anyone can be president, but only one person can be president at any one time. When you teach that everyone can be president, ambition is created: if everyone can be president then why shouldn’t you be? But since only one person can be president, a mad rush begins. Every means will be used – even evil means will be used.

Ambition corrupts; the ambitious mind is bound to be corrupt. Ambition is the seed of insanity. Yet our whole education is ambition-oriented. Your father says, “Become someone!” and the fever is created – you become diseased. Only one person can be president, and thousands of people who will be unsuccessful are aflame with the same ambition. Then you cannot be sane – you become insane. Because so much tension is created you become corrupt: you will use any means to achieve your goal.

It is infectious. If you see that someone else is using corrupt means you know that if you don’t use them you will be left behind. So you have to use equally corrupt means. Then someone else sees you being unscrupulous, so he has to be unscrupulous. It becomes a question of survival. Nothing else is possible within this framework, this structure. If you look to the very roots of society you will see that corruption is a natural outgrowth of our conditioning, our education, our cultivation.

The complexity of our social structure is such that those who succeed can hide their corruption.

Corruption is seen only when someone fails. If you succeed no one will know that you have been corrupt; success will hide everything. You have only to succeed and you will become a pinnacle of goodness – you will become everything that is good, pure, innocent. That means you can succeed in any way you like, but you must succeed. Once you succeed, once you are successful, nothing that you may have done is wrong.

This has been true throughout history. A person is only a thief if he is a small thief. If he is a great thief, then he becomes an Alexander the Great, a hero. No one ever sees that there is no qualitative difference between the two, that it is only a quantitative difference. No one will call Alexander the Great a great thief because the measure of your goodness is success: the more successful you are, the more good. Means are only questioned if you are a failure; then you will be called both corrupt and a fool.

If this is the attitude, how is it possible to create an uncorrupt society? To ask a person to be moral in this immoral situation is to ask something absurd. An individual cannot be moral in an immoral society. If he tries to be moral, his morality will only make him egoistic and ego is as immoral and corrupt as anything else.

This situation is a human creation. We have created a society with a mad rush for wealth, power, politics; we go on supporting it, and then we ask why there is corruption. Where there is ambition, corruption will be the logical consequence. You cannot check corruption unless the whole basic structure that encourages ambition is destroyed.

Ambition even becomes manifest around a so-called saint. He will incite you to ambition in terms of comparison; he will say, “Become better than others. Be good so that you will go to heaven and be the beloved of the divine while others will be tortured in the fires of hell.” The poison of ambition can easily be used in order to make a person good.

But that is not really possible. A person may be ambitious and bad – that is natural, logical – but he cannot be ambitious and good. It is impossible. If a person wants to be good, he cannot think in terms of comparison, because the flowering of real goodness only comes when there is no comparison.

Comparison is the barrier because comparison creates ego, it creates violence. The moment you say, “I am more humble than you,” you have become violent. You have used a subtle, cunning method that thrusts a knife into the other; you have killed him. The weapon is lethal – and much more subtle than political or capitalist weapons. If you say, “I am better than others, I am more saintly than others,” then the object may be different, but you will be on the same ambitious track. Criminals and sinners are not the only ones who are corrupt; the so-called good people, the “saints,” are also corrupt – in a more subtle way.

Our whole society is corrupt. It creates sinners with ambition and saints with ambition. And they are interdependent, because both exist on the same axis: the axis of ambition. A person who understands this will drop out of society completely. He will be neither a sinner nor a saint – he will not fit himself into any category – and you will be at a loss to measure who he is, what kind of a person he is. We need a society that is non-ambitious.

God is not involved in it at all, but if you are ambitious, even God will become part of your ambition. You will pursue him, you will try to attain to God.

A person who is ambitious is never able to attain to God. He is never relaxed; he is never loving – because ambition is violence. And a person who is not at ease, who is not loving, who is not silent or peaceful, can never know what God is. God is not something that can be known intellectually, he is something that can only be felt.

When you are at ease, totally relaxed, going nowhere – when the mind is still and at peace with itself – then you know what existence is. Then you know the beauty and the bliss of existence. It is not beauty in contrast to ugliness; there is no contrast and there is no comparison. Rather, everything becomes beautiful – the very existence is beautiful. Then a cactus is as beautiful as a rose. Then individuality is beautiful; it is incomparable.

Then for the first time you begin to love. It is not a love that exists in contrast to hate because that kind of love can never really be love; it is bound to be a diluted form of hate, a non-intense form of hate. It is the opposite pole: love exists at one pole and hate exists at the other pole, and you go on wavering between the two. Your hate means less love. Your love means less hate.

You may ask how one can be beyond hate and love. You can only be beyond the duality of love and hate if you are no longer ambitious, if you are no longer tense, if you are relaxed – going nowhere, seeking nothing at all, just being. Then you know God and, simultaneously, you know love. Love is a byproduct of being in tune with the infinite; it follows just like a shadow, it is a consequence.

Buddha never searched for love; love just came to him. Jesus never thought about love; he lived love. The search for love cannot be direct – it is such a subtle perfume that you cannot search for it directly. It comes as a byproduct of the realization that everything is one, a byproduct of comprehending that God exists in your enemy and in your friend.

The moment you become aware that you are not separate from existence, from all that is, that you are a part of it – and not a mechanical part but an organic part, just as a whale is organically joined to the ocean and is one with it all the time, just as my hand is organically one with me – then you can know love.

You can become aware of it only when you are non-ambitious. Only a non-ambitious mind is religious. It makes no difference what your ambition is – whether it is wealth, power or fame, or even liberation or God – if you are ambitious, that means your mind is moving somewhere else, running after something else. It is always busy achieving; it is never just being that which it already is.

Ambition is tension, and tension is the barrier to encountering the divine. Once you encounter it, you are no more – the encounter cleanses you completely, the encounter devours you completely. Only then is there love. The death of your ego is the birth of love.

Ordinarily, we think of love in contrast to hate. But those who know always think of love in contrast to ego. The real enemy of love is not hatred – the real enemy of love is ego. In fact, hatred and love as we know them are two aspects of the same coin.

Love comes when you are not, when the ego is not there. And the ego is not there, you are not, when you are not ambitious. A non-ambitious moment is a moment of meditation. In a non-ambitious moment, when you are seeking nothing, asking for nothing, praying for nothing; when you are totally satisfied with what you are, not comparing yourself with anybody else – in that moment you touch the deep reservoir of the divine. You are not just in contact with it, you are deeply in it: you are one with it.

Then love flows. Then you cannot do otherwise; you can only be loving. Then love is not the opposite of hate. There is neither love as we have known it nor hate as we have known it; both have ceased. Now quite a different quality of love, in a very new dimension, grows in you.

This love is a state of mind, not a relationship. It is not related to anybody; it is not that you love someone; rather, it is that you are loving. The other is not, the loved one is not, you are just loving to whatsoever comes in contact with you. You are love; you live in love. It has become your perfume.

Love is there, the perfume is there, even when you are alone – like a flower on a lonely path. No one passes, but the flower is there with its perfume. No one is there to know, to enjoy, but the perfume goes on silently spreading because it is not addressed to anyone. The perfume is there because that is the manifestation of the innermost nature of the flower. The flower is blissful, and the perfume is part of its nature. There is no effort to spread it – it is effortless.

When ego is not, love comes as a perfume – as a flowering of your heart. Then it goes on spreading. It is addressed to no one, it is absolutely unaddressed. When love is not addressed, it becomes prayer. When it is addressed, it degenerates into sex; when it is unaddressed, it rises to prayer.

God or love or death are not problems to be solved – they are experiences to be passed through.  They are not questions that can be answered; they are quests that can either be realized or not. God cannot be made a question at all. Whenever you ask questions about God they are bound to be superficial. And the answers are even more superficial, because a question that is superficial can only be answered with an even more superficial answer.

God is an existential quest; an inquiry, not a question. So there is no readymade answer to the question: Does God exist? Those who give readymade answers to the question do not know anything at all. It cannot be said that God exists and it cannot be said that God does not exist.

Both answers are irrelevant, because no answer can touch the real problem.

The theologies of every religion have become superficial because they have simply become expert in supplying readymade answers: you ask, and the answer is supplied. But this has done a very subtle harm to the religious spirit. These things cannot be answered like that. You cannot ask someone, “What is love?” You cannot ask it! And if he answers, then he is in the same boat as you – neither of you knows.

We want answers because we are trying to escape from the suffering entailed in the process of love, in the process that is life, existence, God. We are riding safe vessels: we want to know so that we will not suffer. But suffering is birth; through suffering there is ecstasy. You have to pass through the dark night of the soul to come to the dawn. You cannot ask what dawn is. You have to pass through the dark night to know it.

God is a search, not a question, and a search cannot be answered. It has to be lived; you have to go into it deeply. You will have to be committed to it; you will have to throw yourself into it. That is what the fear is: throwing oneself into the unknown, the uncharted.

You are afraid, so you sit on the bank and ask questions. And, of course, there are always people who get pleasure out of answering you. To answer someone is ego-fulfilling: you know and the other does not, the other is ignorant and you are a knower. Then this mutual nonsense goes on: someone asks and someone will answer. Both are in ignorance because the problem cannot be solved on the bank. One has to go into unknown waters, and you cannot go into the unknown with readymade answers.

Readymade answers are a barrier to the unknown. One has to go into the unknown in total insecurity, not knowing anything. That is what is necessary – and nothing can be done about it. To jump into the unknown is to come upon the truth, the ecstasy. When you come upon the divine yourself, it is not simply an answer, it is a transformation: you become one with it.

You can never become one with any answer; an answer always remains separate in the memory. You can go on collecting answers and piling them up in the mind; then you know so many answers and yet the question remains the same – it is still not answered.

The question cannot be answered like that. It can only be answered through a mutation. When you encounter the divine directly, immediately – when the divine is before you and you are before the divine with no barrier in between – then you encounter the fire and you are transformed. Then you become one with the divine flame: you and the flame are not separate. Then you never ask, “What is God?” because you are not separate. Then you never answer the question, “What is God?” because you are not separate.

Those who have known have remained silent. They have talked, but they have not given any answer to the question; they have made no statement at all. They have pointed in a certain direction, but to point is not to make a statement, it is just a gesture. Because of the limitation of words, of language – because of the limitations of the human mind, questioning and answering – one can only indicate, one can only point in a particular direction.

God is a living encounter, not a question. And through God, love comes. But one can only come to know God when one is not ambitious. Be non-ambitious and you will know.

Do not define yourself by those who are behind, because no one is behind; or by those who are ahead, because no one is ahead. Do not compare yourself with anybody. You are alone. Only you are like you; no one else is like you. Just be what you are.

That doesn’t mean not to be active. Be active, but only because of yourself, not in comparison to others. Flower by yourself, not in comparison to others. With this attitude, when the mind is completely unmoving, something of the divine will lure you; you will have glimpses.

Once you know the bliss of such glimpses, you will know the nonsense, the absurdity, and the absolutely unnecessary misery of ambition. Then the mind stops by itself. It becomes completely still, silent, non-achieving. In this still moment, the jump comes. And after the jump, there is God. After the jump, there is love – love follows like a shadow.

-Osho

From The Great Challenge, Chapter Eight

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