Meditation, an Experiment with Death – Osho

Before we move into the meditation, let us understand a few things. First of all, you have to let yourself go completely. If you hold yourself back even a tiny bit, it will become a hurdle in meditation. Let yourself go as if you are dead, as if you have really died. Death has to be accepted as if it has already arrived, as if all else has died and we are sinking deeper and deeper within. Now only that which always survives will survive. We will drop everything else which can die. That’s why I have said that this is an experiment with death.

There are three parts to this experiment. The first is, relaxation of the body; second, relaxation of breathing; third, relaxation of thought. Body, breathing and thought — all these have to be slowly let go of.

Please sit at a distance from each other. It is possible that somebody may fall, so keep a little distance between yourselves. Move a little back or come a little forward, but just see to it that you don’t sit too close to each other; otherwise the whole time you will be busy saving yourself from falling over Somebody.

When the body becomes loose, it may fall forwards or backwards; one never knows. You can be sure of it only as long as you have a hold over it. Once you give up your hold on the body, it automatically drops.

Once you loosen your grip from within, who will hold the body? — it is bound to fall. And if you remain preoccupied with preventing it from falling, you will stay where you are — you won’t be able to move into meditation. So when your body is about to fall, consider it a blessing. Let go of it at once. Don’t hold it back, because if you do you will keep yourself from moving inward. And don’t be upset if someone falls on you; let it be so. If someone’s head lies in your lap for a while, let it be so; don’t be bothered by it.  

Now close your eyes. Close them gently. Relax your body. Let it be completely loose, as if there is no life in it. Draw all the energy from your body; take it inside. As the energy moves within, the body will become loose.

Now I will begin my suggestions that the body is becoming loose, that we are becoming silent…. Feel the body becoming loose. Let go. Move within just as a person moves inside his house. Move inside, enter within. The body is relaxing…. Let go completely… let it be lifeless, as if it is dead. The body is relaxing, the body has relaxed, the body has completely relaxed…

I take it that you have totally relaxed your body, that you have given up your hold over it. If the body falls, so be it; if it bends forward, let it bend. Let whatever has to happen, happen — you relax. See that you are not holding anything back. Take a look inside to be sure that you are not holding your body back. You ought to be able to say, “I am not holding back anything. I have let myself go completely.” The body is relaxed, the body is loose. The breath is calming down, the breath is slowing down. Feel it… the breathing has slowed down… let it go completely. Let your breathing go too, just give up your hold on it completely. The breath is slowing down, the breath is calming down…. The breathing has calmed down, the breathing has slowed down….

The breathing has calmed down… thoughts are calming down too. Feel it. Thoughts are becoming silent… let go…. You have let the body go, you have let the breathing go, now let thoughts go as well. Move away… move within totally, move away from thoughts also.

Everything has become silent, as if everything outside is dead. Everything is dead… everything has become silent… only consciousness is left within… a burning lamp of consciousness — the rest is all dead.

Let go… let go completely — as if you are no more. Let go totally… as if your body is dead, as if your body is no more. Your breathing is still, your thoughts are still — as if death has occurred. And move within, move totally within. Let go… let everything go. Let go totally, don’t keep anything. You are dead. Feel as if everything is dead, as if all is dead — only a burning lamp is left inside; the rest is all dead. Everything else is dead, erased. Be lost in emptiness for ten minutes. Be a witness. Keep watching this death. Everything else around you has disappeared. The body is also left, left far behind, far away — we are just watching it. Keep watching, remain a witness. For ten minutes keep looking within.

Keep looking inside… everything else will be dead outside. Let go… be totally dead. Keep watching, remain a witness…. Let everything go as if you are dead and the body on the outside is dead. The body is still, thoughts are still, only the lamp of consciousness is left watching, only the seer is left, only the witness is left. Let go… let go… let go totally…

Whatever is happening, let it happen. Let go completely, just keep watching inside and let the rest go. Give up your hold completely….

The mind has become silent and empty, the mind has become totally empty…. The mind has become empty, the mind has become totally empty. If you are still holding back a little, let that go also. Let go totally, disappear — as if you are no more. The mind has become empty… the mind has become silent and empty… the mind has become totally empty…

Keep looking inside, keep looking inside with awareness — everything has become silent. The body is left behind, left far away; the mind is left far away, only a lamp is burning, a lamp of consciousness, only the light is left burning….

Now slowly take a few breaths. Keep watching your breath…. With each breath the silence will go deeper. Take a few breaths slowly and keep looking within; remain a witness to the breathing also. The mind will become even more silent…. Take a few breaths slowly, then gently open your eyes. If anyone has fallen, take a deep breath first and then get up slowly. Don’t rush if you are unable to rise, don’t rush if you find it difficult to open your eyes…. First take a deep breath, then open your eyes slowly… rise very softly. Don’t do anything with a sudden movement — neither rising nor opening your eyes….

Our morning session of meditation is now over.

-Osho

From And Now and Here, Discourse #2

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

You can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

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Euthanasia Is Our Birthright – Osho

Euthanasia, or the freedom to choose your death, should be accepted as a birthright of every human being.

A limit can be put to it, for example, seventy-five years. After the age of seventy-five the hospitals should be ready to help anybody who wants to get rid of their body. Every hospital should have a place for dying people, and those who have chosen to die should be given special consideration and help. Their death should be beautiful.

Every hospital should have a teacher of meditation. The person who is going to die should be given one month and will be allowed… if he changes his mind he can go back, because nobody is forcing him. Emotional people who want to commit suicide cannot remain emotional for one month – emotionality can be momentary. Most of the people who commit suicide, if they had waited one moment longer, they would not have committed suicide at all. It is out of anger, out of jealousy, out of hatred or something that they forget the value of life.

The whole problem is that the politicians think accepting euthanasia means suicide is no longer a crime. No, it does not mean that. Suicide is still a crime.

Euthanasia will be with the permission of the medical board. One month’s rest in the hospital – every kind of help that can be given to the person to become calm and quiet… all friends coming to meet him, his wife, his children, because he is going on a long journey. There is no question of preventing him – he has lived long, and he does not want to go on living, his work is finished.

And he should be taught meditation in this one month, so that he can do meditation while death comes. And for death, medical help should be given so it comes like a sleep — slowly, slowly, side by side with meditation, sleep going deeper. We can change thousands of people’s deaths into enlightenment. […]

And euthanasia is becoming more and more a need, because with medical science progressing, people are living longer. Scientists have not come across any skeleton from five thousand years ago of a person who was more than forty years old when he died. Five thousand years ago the longest a person was going to live was forty, and out of ten children born nine were going to die within two years – only one would survive – so life was immensely valuable.

And Hippocrates gave the oath to the medical profession that you have to help life in every case. He couldn’t have known that a day could come when out of 10 children, all 10 would survive. Now that is happening. On the one hand, nine more children are surviving; and on the other hand, medical science helps people to live longer – ninety years, one hundred years is not rare. In developed countries it is very easy to find a ninety-year-old person or a one-hundred-year-old person. […]

In America, there are thousands of people in hospitals just lying in their beds with all kinds of instruments connected to them. Many are on artificial breathing machines. What is the point? There are many people dying on the streets, starving?

Thirty million people in America are on the streets without shelter, without food, without clothes, and thousands of people are taking up hospital beds, doctors, nurses – their work, their labor, medicines. Everybody knows they will die sooner or later, but as long as you can you should keep them alive.

They want to die. They shout that they want to die, but the doctor cannot help in that. These people certainly need some rights; they are being forced to live, and force is in every way undemocratic.

So I want it to be a very rational thing. Make it seventy-five or eighty years; then life is lived enough. The children are grown up… when you are eighty your children will be fifty, fifty-five; they are getting old. Now there is no need for you to be bothered and worried. You are retired; now you are simply a burden, you don’t know what to do.

And that is why old people are so irritable: because they don’t have any work, they don’t have any respect, they don’t have any dignity. Nobody bothers about them, nobody takes note of them. They are ready to fight and be angry and shout. These are simply their frustrations that are showing; the real thing is they want to die. But they cannot even say it. It is unchristian, it is irreligious – the very idea of death.

They should be given freedom, but not only to die; they should be given the freedom of one month’s training in how to die. In that training, meditation should be a basic part and physical care should be a basic part. They should die healthy, whole, silent and peaceful – slowly slipping deep into sleep.

And if meditation is joined with sleep, they may die enlightened. They may know that only the body is left behind, and they are part of eternity.

Their death will be better than ordinary death, because in ordinary death, you don’t have the chance of becoming enlightened. In special institutes for death where every arrangement is made, you can leave life in a joyous, ecstatic way, with gratitude.

Their death will be better than the ordinary death, because in the ordinary death you don’t have the chance of becoming enlightened. In fact more and more people will prefer to die in the hospitals, in the special institutes for death where every arrangement is made. You can leave life in a joyous, ecstatic way, with great thankfulness and gratitude.

I am all for euthanasia, but with these conditions.

-Osho

Excerpt from Socrates Poisoned Again After 25 Centuries, Discourse #1

Osho Times International/ Courtesy: Osho International

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 in the U.S. online from Amazon.com and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from Amazon.in and Oshoworld.com.

On Reincarnation – Osho

I want to say one thing to you: the whole idea of reincarnation is a misconception. It is true that when a person dies his being becomes part of the whole. Whether he was a sinner or a saint does not matter, but he had also something called the mind, the memory. In the past the information was not available to explain memory as a bundle of thoughts and thought waves, but now it is easier.

And that’s where, on many points, I find Gautam Buddha far ahead of his time. He is the only man who would have agreed with my explanation. He has given hints, but he could not provide any evidence for it; there was nothing available to say. He has said that when a person dies, his memory travels into a new womb – not the self. And we now can understand it, that when you are dying, you will leave memories all around in the air. And if you have been miserable, all your miseries will find some location; they will enter into some other memory system. Either they will enter totally into a single womb – that’s how somebody remembers one’s past. It is not your past; it was somebody else’s mind that you have inherited.

Most people don’t remember because they have not got the whole lump, the whole heritage of a single individual’s memory system. They may have got fragments from here and there, and those fragments create your misery system. All those people who have died on the earth have died in misery. Very few people have died in joy. Very few people have died with the realization of no-mind. They don’t leave a trace behind. They don’t burden anybody else with their memory. They simply disperse into the universe. They don’t have any mind and they don’t have any memory system. They have already dissolved it in their meditations. That’s why the enlightened person is never born.

But the unenlightened people go on throwing out, with every death, all kinds of misery patterns. Just as riches attract more riches, misery attracts more misery. If you are miserable, then from miles, misery will travel to you – you are the right vehicle. And this is a very invisible phenomenon, like radio waves. They are traveling around you; you don’t hear them. Once you have the right instrument to receive them, immediately they become available. Even before the radio was there, they were traveling by your side.

There is no incarnation, but misery incarnates. Wounds of millions of people are moving around you, just in search of somebody who is willing to be miserable. Of course, the blissful does not leave any trace. The man of awakening dies the way a bird moves into the sky, without making a track or a path. The sky remains empty. Blissfulness moves without making any trace. That’s why you don’t get any inheritance from the buddhas; they simply disappear. And all kinds of idiots and retarded people go on reincarnating in their memories and it becomes every day thicker and thicker.

Today, perhaps, it has come to the point to be understood and to be dissolved; otherwise it is too thick to allow you to live, to allow you to laugh.

Your own consciousness has no wounds.

Your own consciousness knows nothing of misery.

Your own consciousness is innocent, utterly blissful.

To bring you in touch with your own consciousness, every effort is being made to detract you from the mind. The mind contains all your misery, all your wounds. And it goes on creating wounds in such a way that, unless you are aware, you will not even find how it creates them. […]

I teach you the watcher.

The only way to get out of misery patterns, whether ancient or new, is witnessing. I say it is the only way, because nobody has escaped from the mind without becoming a witness. Just witness, and suddenly you will start laughing at your own misery. All our miseries are so superficial – and most fundamentally, they are all borrowed.

And everybody is giving his misery to everybody else he comes in contact with. People are talking continuously about their miseries, about their troubles, about their conflicts. Have you ever heard anybody talking about his joyous moments? About his dances and songs? About his silences and blissfulness? No, nobody talks about these things. People go on sharing all their wounds, and whenever you are talking about your misery to somebody, without your knowing, you are transferring a miserable pattern. The person may be thinking that he is only listening to you, but he is also catching the vibe of misery, the wounds.

When I said that you carry other people’s wounds, my statement meant that your own consciousness has no wounds. If everybody becomes alert, meditative, there will be no wounds in the world. They will simply disappear. They will not find any house, any shelter. This is possible. If it is possible for me, it is possible for everybody.

-Osho

Excerpt from The Zen Manifesto, Discourse #5

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 Viha Osho Book Distributors.

Death is Making Love with God – Osho

Is there a difference between the Shunyavada of Nagarjuna and Avyakritopadesh, the unspoken and the undefinable teaching of Lord Buddha? 

There is no difference at all. If a difference appears to be there, that is only because of the formulation. Nagarjuna is a great philosopher, one of the greatest of the world. Only a few people in the world, very few, have that quality of penetration that Nagarjuna has. So, his way of talking is very philosophical, logical, absolutely logical. Buddha is a mystic, not a philosopher. His way of saying things is more poetic than philosophical. The approach is different, but Nagarjuna is saying exactly the same thing as Buddha. Their formulation is certainly different, but what they are saying has to be understood.

You ask — the question is from Omanath Bharti — “Is there any difference between shunyavada…” shunyavada means the theory, the philosophy of nothingness. In English there is no word which can be equivalent, appropriately equivalent, to shunya. Shunya means emptiness; but not negative, very positive emptiness. It means nothingness, but it does not mean simply nothingness; it means no-thing-ness. Shunya means void, void of everything. But the void itself is there, with utter presence, so it is not just void. It is like the sky which is empty, which is pure space, but which is. Everything comes in it and goes, and it remains.

Shunya is like the sky — pure presence. You cannot touch it although you live in it. You cannot see it although you can never be without it. You exist in it; just as the fish exists in the ocean, you exist in space, in shunya. Shunyavada means that everything arises out of no-thing.

Just a few minutes ago I was telling you the difference between truth and reality. Reality means the world of things, and truth means the world of no-thing, nothing — shunya. All things arise out of nothing and dissolve back into nothing.

In the Upanishads there is a story:

Svetaketu has come from his master’s house, back to his parents. He has learned all. His father, Uddalaka, a great philosopher, looks at him and says, “Svetaketu, you go outside and bring a fruit from yonder tree.”

He goes out, brings a fruit. And the father says, “Break it. What do you see in it?” There are many seeds in it. And the father says, “Take one seed and break it. What do you see in it?”

And he says, “Nothing.”

And the father says, “Everything arises out of this nothing. This big tree, so big that one thousand bullock carts can rest underneath it, has arisen out of just a seed. And you break the seed and you find nothing there. This is the mystery of life — everything arises out of nothing. And one day the tree disappears, and you don’t know where; you cannot find it anywhere.”

So does man: we arise out of nothing, and we are nothing, and we disappear into nothing. This is shunyavada.

And what is Buddha’s avyakritopadesh, the unspoken and the undefinable teaching? It is the same. He never made it so philosophically clear as Nagarjuna has made it. That’s why he has never spoken about it. That’s why he says it is indefinable; it cannot be brought to the level of language. He has kept silent about it.

You know the Flower Sermon? One day he comes with a lotus flower in his hand and sits silently, saying nothing. And the ten thousand disciples are there, the ten thousand bhikkhus are there, and they are waiting for him to say something, and he goes on looking at the lotus flower. There is great silence, and then there is great restlessness too. People start becoming fidgety — “What is he doing? He has never done that before.”

And then one disciple, Mahakashyapa, smiles.

Buddha calls Mahakashyapa, gives him the lotus flower, and says to the assembly, “What can be said I have said to you, and what cannot be said I have given to Mahakashyapa.”

This is avyakritopadesh, this is the indefinable message. This is the origin of Zen Buddhism, the transmission. Something was transmitted by Buddha to Mahakashyapa, something which is nothing; on the visible plane nothing — no word, no scripture, no theory — but something has been transmitted. What?

The Zen monks have been meditating on this for two thousand five hundred years: “What? What was transmitted? What exactly was given?” In fact, nothing has been given from Buddha to Mahakashyapa; Mahakashyapa has certainly understood something. He understood the silence, he understood the penetrating silence. He understood that moment of clarity, that moment of utter thoughtlessness. He became one, in that moment, with Buddha. That’s what surrender is. Not that he was doing it: Buddha was silent and he was silent, and the silences met, and the two silences dissolved into each other. And two silences cannot remain separate, remember, because a silence has no boundary, a silence is unbounded, a silence is simply open, open from all sides. In that great assembly of ten thousand monks there were two silences that day — Buddha and Mahakashyapa. The others remained outside. Mahakashyapa and Buddha met: that’s why he smiled — because that was the greatest sermon that Buddha had ever preached. Not saying a single thing and he had said all, all that could be said – and all that could not be said, that too.

Mahakashyapa understood and laughed. In that laughter Mahakashyapa disappeared totally, became a Buddha. The flame from the lamp of Buddha jumped into Mahakashyapa. That is called the ‘transmission beyond scriptures’ — the Flower Sermon. It is unique in the history of human consciousness. That is what is called avyakritopadesh: the unspoken word, the unuttered word.

Silence became so substantial, so solid; silence became so real, so existential; silence became tangible in that moment. Buddha was a nothing, Mahakashyapa also understood what it means to be a nothing, to be utterly empty.

There is no difference between Nagarjuna’s shunyavada and Buddha’s unuttered message. Nagarjuna is one of the greatest disciples of Buddha, and one of the most penetrating intellects ever. Only very few people — once in a while, a Socrates, a Shankara — can be compared with Nagarjuna. He was very, very intelligent. The uttermost that the intellect can do is to commit suicide; the greatest thing, the greatest crescendo that can come to the intellect is to go beyond itself — that’s what Nagarjuna has done. He has passed through all the realms of intellect, and beyond.

The logical positivists say that nothing is merely an abstraction. In the various instances of negative assertions — for example: this is not sweet, I am not healthy, I was not there, he did not like me, etcetera, etcetera — negation has no substance of its own. This is what the logical positivists say. Buddha does not agree, Nagarjuna does not agree. Martin Heidegger, one of the most penetrating intellects of the modern age, does not agree.

Heidegger says there is an actual experience of nothing. It is not just something created by language; there is an actual experience of nothing. It is inseparably bound up with being. The experience that attests to this is that of dread. Kierkegaard, the Danish philosopher, also asks, “What effect does nothing produce?” and answers, “It begets dread.”

Nothing is an actual experience. Either you can experience it in deep meditation, or when death comes. Death and meditation are the two possibilities of experiencing it. Yes, sometimes you can experience it in love too. If you dissolve into somebody in deep love you can experience a kind of nothingness. That’s why people are afraid of love — they go only so far, then panic arises, then they are frightened. That’s why very few people have remained orgasmic — because orgasm gives you an experience of nothingness. You disappear, you melt into something and you don’t know what it is. You go into the indefinable, avyakrit. You go beyond the social. You go into some unity where separation is no longer valid, where ego exists not. And it is frightening, because it is deathlike.

So it is an experience, either in love, which people have learned to avoid — so many go on hankering for love, and go on destroying all possibilities for it because of the fear of nothingness — or, in deep meditation when thought stops. You simply see there is nothing inside, but that nothing has a presence; it is not simply absence of thought, it is presence of something unknown, mysterious, something very huge. Or, you can experience it in death, if you are alert. People ordinarily die in unconsciousness. Because of the fear of nothingness they become unconscious. If you die consciously… And you can die consciously only if you accept the phenomenon of death, and for that one has to learn for the whole life, prepare. One has to love to be ready to die, and one has to meditate to be ready to die. Only a man who has loved and meditated will be able to die consciously. And once you die consciously then there is no need for you to come back, because you have learned the lesson of life. Then you disappear into the whole; that is nirvana.

The logical positivists look very logical, but they miss something —because reality is far more than logic. In ordinary experience we come only to what they say: this chair is here, this will be removed, then you will say there is no chair there. It simply indicates absence – the chair has been removed. These are ordinary instances of nothingness: there was once a house and then it has been dismantled, it is no longer there. It is only an absence.

But there are nothingnesses deep inside your being, at the very core. At the very core of life, death exists. Death is the center of the cyclone. In love you come close to that, in meditation you come close to that, in physical death also you come close to that. In deep sleep, when dreams disappear, you come close to it. It is very life-giving, it is life-enhancing. A man who cannot sleep deeply will become ill, because it is only in deep sleep, when he dies into his deepest depth, that he regains life, energy, vitality. In the morning he is again fresh and full of zest, gusto — vibrant, again vibrant.

Learn to die! That is the greatest art to be learned, the greatest skill there is.

Heidegger’s standpoint comes very close to Buddha’s, and his language is very modern, that’s why I’m quoting him. He says: “Every being, so far as it is a being, is made out of nothing.” There is a parallel Christian doctrine too — very neglected, because Christian theologians cannot manage it, it is too much. The doctrine is creatio ex nihilo: the creation is out of nothing.

If you ask the modern physicist he will agree with Buddha: the deeper you go into matter, things start disappearing. A moment comes, when the atom is divided — thing-hood completely disappears. Then there are electrons, but they are not things anymore, they are no-things. It is very difficult to understand. But physics, modern physics, has come very close to metaphysics — because it is coming closer and closer to reality every day. It is approaching through matter, but coming to nothing. You know matter no longer exists in modern physics. Matter is just an illusion: it only appears, it is not there. The solidity of it, the substantiality of it, is all illusion; nothing is substantial, all is flux and energy. Matter is nothing but energy. And when you go deeper into energy, energy is not a thing, it is a no-thing.

Death is the point at which knowledge fails, and we become open to being — that has been the Buddhist experience down the ages. Buddha used to send his disciples, when somebody had died, to see the body burning on the funeral pyre: “Meditate there, meditate on the nothingness of life.” Death is the point at which knowledge fails, and when knowledge fails, mind fails. And when mind fails, there is a possibility of truth penetrating you.

But people don’t know. When somebody dies you don’t know what to do, you are very embarrassed. When somebody dies it is a great moment to meditate.

I always think that each city needs a Death Center. When somebody is dying and his death is very, very imminent he should be moved to the Death Center. It should be a small temple where people who can go deep in meditation should sit around him, should help him to die, and should participate in his being when he disappears into nothing. When somebody disappears into nothing great energy is released. The energy that was there, surrounding him, is released. If you are in a silent space around him, you will go on a great trip. No psychedelic can take you there. The man is naturally releasing great energy; if you can absorb that energy, you will also kind of die with him. And you will see the ultimate — the source and the goal, the beginning and the end.

“Man is the being by whom nothing comes into the world,” says Jean-Paul Sartre. Consciousness is not this or that object, it is not any object at all; but surely it is itself? “No,” says Sartre, “that is precisely what it is not. Consciousness is never identical with itself. Thus, when I reflect upon myself, the self that is reflected is other than the self that reflects. When I try to state what I am, I fail, because while I am speaking, what I am talking about slips away into the past and becomes what I was. I am my past and my future, and yet I am not. I have been the one, and I shall be the other. But in the present, there is nothingness.”

If somebody asks you, “Who are you?” what are you going to say? Either you can answer out of the past, which is no more, or you can answer out of the future, which you are not yet. But who are you right in this moment? A nobody, a nothingness. This nothingness is the very core, the heart — the heart of your being.

Death is not the ax that cuts down the tree of life, it is the fruit that grows on it. Death is the very substance you are made of. Nothingness is your very being. Attain to this nothingness either through love or meditation, and go on having glimpses of it. This is what Nagarjuna means by shunya. This is what Buddha transferred that day when he delivered the Flower Sermon. This is what Mahakashyapa understood when he laughed. He saw nothingness, and the purity of it, the innocence of it, the primal innocence of it, the radiance of it, the immortality of it — because nothingness cannot die. Things die; nothingness is immortal, eternal.

If you are identified with anything, you will suffer death. But if you know that you are death, how can you suffer death? Then nothing can destroy you; nothingness is indestructible.

A Buddhist parable narrates that the king of hell asked a newly arrived spirit whether during life he had met the three heavenly messengers. And when he answered, “No, my Lord, I did not,” he asked whether he had ever seen an old man bent with age, or a poor and friendless sick man, or a dead man?

Buddhists call these three ‘the messengers of God’: old age, sickness, death — three messengers of God. Why? — because only through these experiences in life do you become aware of death. And if you become aware of death and you start learning how to go into it, how to welcome it, how to receive it, you are released from the bondage, from the wheel of life and death.

Heidegger says, and so does Soren Kierkegaard, that nothingness creates dread. That is only half of the story. Because these two people are just philosophers, that’s why it creates dread.

If you ask Buddha, Mahakashyapa, Nagarjuna, if you ask me, death looked at only partially creates dread; looked at absolutely, totally, it frees you from all dread, from all anguish, from all anxiety, it frees you from samsara… because if you look partly then it creates fear that you are going to die, that you will become a nothing, that soon you will disappear. And naturally you feel nervous, shaken, uprooted. If you look at death totally, then you know you are death, you are made of it. So nothing is going to disappear, nothing is going to remain. Only nothingness is.

Buddhism is not a pessimistic religion as has been thought by many people. Buddhism is the way to get rid of both optimism and pessimism, to get rid of duality.

Start meditating on death. And whenever you feel death close by, go into it through the door of love, through the door of meditation, through the door of a man dying. And if some day you are dying — and the day is going to come one day — receive it in joy, benediction. And if you can receive death in joy and benediction, you will attain to the greatest peak, because death is the crescendo of life. Hidden in it is the greatest orgasm, because hidden in it is the greatest freedom.

Death is making love to God, or God making love to you. Death is cosmic, total orgasm.

So drop all ideas that you carry about death — they are dangerous. They make you antagonistic to the greatest experience that you need to have. If you miss death you will be born again. Unless you have learned how to die, you will go on being born again and again and again. This is the wheel, samsara, the world. Once you have known the greatest orgasm, then there is no need; you disappear, and you remain in that orgasm forever. You don’t remain like you, you don’t remain as an entity, you don’t remain defined, identified with anything. You remain as the whole, not as the part.

This is Nagarjuna’s shunyavada, and this is Buddha’s unspoken message, the unspoken word. They are both the same.

-Osho

From The Heart Sutra, Discourse #2

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.

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Your Aloneness Cannot be Destroyed – Osho

Death is always there. You may be unaware of it, but it is always confronting you with immediacy.

You cannot be certain of the next moment.

But we go on living – and nobody believes that he is going to die; it is always the other who dies. You have seen people dying, many people of all kinds – children, young people, old people – but you have never seen yourself dying. So obviously somewhere in your mind the idea persists that it is always the other who dies. But remember, those who are dead also had the same idea; for them you are the other. And one day you will be dying, and the people who will take you to the graveyard will not feel at all the immediacy of death.

It is always there – just like a shadow to you. From the very first moment of your birth you have been dying. It is a fallacy to think that death comes like an accident, suddenly when you are seventy, eighty, ninety. No. Death and life are together. The moment you are born you start dying.

But man is very clever in deceiving himself.

Each of your birthdays is an effort to forget that it is not your birthday, it is your death day; you have died one year more. But with flowers and candles and cakes, one forgets the immediacy of death.

It is always with you. Birth is the beginning of death. […]

This immediacy of death should wake you up. Now there is no more time for you to fool around, no time for you to deceive yourself. Death is just there waiting for you, and you are fortunate that you know it. Knowing of your death can become a transformation. […]

Otherwise people are always postponing; they will meditate tomorrow – and tomorrow never comes. And there are so many other things to do, you don’t have time for meditation. […]

But a man who is fully aware that now there is no way, that tomorrow is finished, all that you have in your hands is this moment…. […]

The time for meditation has come. Now you can forget those small, stupid things in which you were involved.

There are millions of people who are playing cards, watching football matches – not at all aware of what they are doing. And if you ask them, they say they are killing time. Great! Time is killing you, and you remain with the idea that you are killing time. How can you kill time? You have never even seen it. Your swords cannot cut it, even your nuclear weapons are unable to touch it. How are you going to kill time?

But time is killing you every moment.

The very closeness of death makes it possible for you to understand the deathless which is within you. That’s the whole art of meditation: to go within as deep as you can to the very center of your being. And you will be surprised, amazed that at the center of your being you are eternal. There is no death, there has never been any death. Nothing dies in reality, it only changes forms. […]

No help from the outside is available, you have to depend on your inside. You are left alone.

In fact everybody has always been alone.

From birth to death, the whole journey is alone.

You may be in the crowd, but your aloneness cannot be destroyed. It is there. You make every effort to camouflage your aloneness, but nobody has ever succeeded in it. A truth is a truth – you may postpone it a little bit…. Whatever has to be done has to be done now! […]

You cannot find a better time for meditation, at least in my commune. And don’t feel serious, because death is natural; what causes it is meaningless. Don’t be in a paranoia. In fact, rejoice that you are the chosen few; everybody else is in darkness about his death, you are not. And the very fact that you know death is coming is bound to create space for you to know yourself.[…]

And knowing your eternal being, knowing that you have been here always and you will be here always, is a tremendous revelation.

In that revelation is celebration.

-Osho

From From Death to Deathlessness, Discourse #21

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 in the U.S. online from Amazon.com and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from Amazon.in and Oshoworld.com.

Death is There and yet I am Still Here – Osho

What I wish to say is that it is essential to see death, to understand it, to recognize it. But this is possible only when we die; one can only see it while dying. Then what is the way now? And if one sees death only while dying, then there is no way to understand it — because at the time of death one will be unconscious.

Yes, there is a way now. We can go through an experiment of entering into death of our own free will. And may I say that meditation or samadhi is nothing else but that. The experience of entering death voluntarily is meditation, samadhi. The phenomenon that will automatically occur one day with the dropping of the body — we can willingly make that happen by creating a distance, inside, between the self and the body. And so, by leaving the body from the inside, we can experience the event of death, we can experience the occurrence of death. We can experience death today, this evening — because the occurrence of death simply means that our soul and our body will experience, in that journey, the same distinction between the two of them as when the vehicle is left behind and the traveler moves on ahead.

I have heard that a man went to see a Mohammedan fakir, Sheikh Fareed, and said, “We have heard that when Mansoor’s hands and legs were cut off he felt no pain… which is hard to believe. Even a thorn hurts when it pricks the foot. Won’t it hurt if one’s hands and legs are cut off? It seems that these are all fantastic stories.” The man also said, “We hear that when Jesus was hanged on the cross he did not feel any pain. And he was permitted to say his final prayers. What the bleeding, naked Jesus — hanging on a cross, pierced with thorns, hands stuck with nails — said in the final moments can hardly be believed!”

Jesus said, “Forgive these people, they don’t know what they are doing.” You must have heard this sentence. And the people all over the world who believe in Christ repeat it continuously. The sentence is very simple. Jesus said, “O, Lord, please forgive these people, because they know not what they are doing.” Reading this sentence, people ordinarily understand Jesus is saying that the poor people didn’t know they were killing a good man like him. No, that was not what Jesus meant. What Jesus meant was that “These senseless people do not know that the person they are killing cannot die. Forgive them because they don’t know what they are doing. They are doing something which is impossible — they are committing the act of killing, which is impossible.”

The man said, “It is hard to believe that a person about to be killed could show so much compassion. In fact, he will be filled with anger.”

Fareed gave a hearty laugh and said, “You have raised a good question, but I will answer it later. First, do me a little favor.” He picked up a coconut lying nearby, gave it to him and asked him to break it open, cautioning him not to break the kernel.

But the coconut was unripe, so the man said, “Pardon me, I cannot do this. The coconut is completely raw, and if I break open the shell the kernel will break too.”

Fareed asked him to put that coconut away. Then he gave him another coconut, one which was dry, and asked him to break that one open. “Can you save the kernel of this one?” he asked.

And the man replied, “Yes, the kernel can be saved.”

Fareed said, “I have given you an answer. Did you understand?”

The man replied, “I didn’t understand anything. What relation is there between a coconut and your answer? What relation is there between the coconut and my question?”

Fareed said, “Put this coconut away too. There is no need to break it or anything. I am pointing out to you that there is one raw coconut which still has the kernel and the shell joined together — if you hit the shell, the kernel will also break. Then there is the dry coconut. Now how is the dry coconut different from the raw coconut? There is a slight difference: the kernel of the dry coconut has shrunk inside and become separated from the shell; a distance has occurred between the kernel and the shell. Now you say, even after breaking open the shell, the kernel can be saved. So I have answered your question!”

The man said, “I still don’t get it.” The fakir said, “Go, die and understand — without that you cannot follow what I am saying. But even then you will not be able to follow me because at the time of death you will become unconscious. One day the kernel and the shell will be separated, but at that moment you will become unconscious. If you want to understand, then start learning now how to separate the kernel from the shell — now, while you are alive.”

If the shell, the body, and the kernel, the consciousness, separate at this very instant, death is finished. With the creation of that distance, you come to know that the shell and the kernel are two separate things — that you will continue to survive in spite of the breaking of the shell, that there is no question of you breaking, of you disappearing. In that state, even though death will occur, it cannot penetrate inside you — it will occur outside you. It means only that which you are not will die. That which you are will survive.

This is the very meaning of meditation or samadhi: learning how to separate the shell from the kernel. They can be separated because they are separate. They can be known separately because they are separate. That’s why I call meditation a voluntary entry into death. And the man who enters death willingly, encounters it and comes to know that, “Death is there, and yet I am still here.”

-Osho

From And Now and Here, Discourse #1

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You can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

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Death, the Gap and Jumping Out of the Wheel – Osho

In discourse the other night you said that at one’s death there is but a two or three second gap between which the soul travels from one body to the next. Master, you have said that your last life was seven hundred years ago. Where were you for all those years? 

Just here, in Uruguay! Where else could I be? The whole existence is available. When you are not in a body, you are just part of the whole existence without any partition.

The reason why I had to remain seven hundred years… A few people don’t get into the next life immediately. Either the person is so wicked, so animalistic, so murderous, like Adolf Hitler… He is not yet reborn because he needs a certain kind of womb which may not be available for thousands of years: he has to wait. Or if you have attained a certain evolved consciousness there is the same problem: you need a certain womb. Unless that is available, you cannot get another birth.

Ordinarily it is two or three seconds, because for the sleeping humanity the same kind of wombs are available. All day long millions of people are making love, and they are giving opportunities for new people to enter into a womb. So for the masses there is no problem; they don’t have to wait. It is almost instantaneous: as they leave one body, immediately some womb somewhere is ready. And they get into the closest womb.

By the way, if you are born in Germany, then for many lives you may be born in Germany for the simple reason that if you remain just part of the mass there is no reason to go far away to China or Japan and be born there. Just around you there are wombs ready to receive you.

In my experiments I have seen that people ordinarily continue in the same environment unless something starts growing in them and they cannot find the right womb in close proximity. Then they change. Then they move to different countries, to different races, to different peoples.

But in these extremes – either you are too cursed or too blessed – you will have to wait, because only once in a while a womb is ready for such a person. The father has to have certain qualities, the mother needs to have certain qualities, and only if their qualities are symmetrical with his own qualities can a certain soul enter. So it is not only that you carry your parents’ blood and your parents’ bones and your parents’ cells; there is something even deeper than that. You have certain qualities which are exactly those of your parents, but you have not acquired them from your parents – you had them, that’s why you got those parents.

Unembodied, you are just part of existence. It is difficult to explain to you where you are because “where” indicates a certain space; “when” indicates a certain time. But as you leave the body, you go beyond time and space both, so there is no way to say where you are. You are: time has stopped for you, space has disappeared for you.

You will remain in this state blissfully – if it is bliss that is preventing you from finding a new womb – or very miserably, if you are stuck because of misery, because of anguish, because of all the evil that you have done.

Adolf Hitler killed millions of people, at least six million people, and then he committed suicide himself – and all for no purpose. The whole thing was absolutely useless. Now to find parents of similar qualities, similar criminal minds, he will have to wait. But all this waiting will be an intense suffering.

My own understanding is that because of these situations, the idea of heaven and hell has arisen.

There is no hell and there is no heaven, just people who get stuck and cannot find a womb. If they are in anguish, misery, darkness, all the torture they have done to other people starts having its effects on them. They live in utter self-torture. And this is why the idea of hell has been created; otherwise there is no hell. But it has a meaning, a symbolic meaning.

Those seven hundred years were absolutely blissful for me, and I can say that anybody who has experienced that kind of bliss beyond time and space will naturally think he is in paradise. But there is no paradise; this existence is all. Either you are in the body… then you have a chance to evolve; without the body you cannot evolve. The body is a kind of school. It gives you all the situations for evolution. I know my seven hundred years were blissful, but I could not move ahead; it was frozen bliss. In that state there is no possibility to grow: you will remain at the same point until you are born again, and then you can start growing. A body is needed to grow.

Once you have attained the whole possibility of growth, the whole spectrum, there is no need for any evolution; you have come to the full point. Then you will not be coming back into the body. There is no need to come back to the school; you have learned everything. Now you can remain part of existence for eternity, with eternal bliss.

The body has to be respected, loved, because it is your vehicle for growth, for moving ahead.

Without it you cannot move. That’s why I am continuously surprised that the religions have created the idea that the body is something anti-spiritual. The body is what you want it to be: it can be anti-spiritual, it can be for spirituality. It is a vehicle: wherever you want to go it can take you; in itself it has no program. The body is very innocent and without any program.

The fact that all the religions have condemned the body has harmed humanity, because those who have condemned the body have stopped using the possibility of the body to take you to higher states.

On the contrary, they have started harming the body. They have been destructive to the body, and that is not going to help. They are destroying their own vehicle.

But it seems that the fact that people who have attained enlightenment have not entered into the body again has given a false idea to the priests, to the scholars – to those who don’t know and yet think they know. The idea has come to them that since you don’t enter into the body again after you become enlightened, that means that the body is not spiritual; it is anti-spiritual. You are in the body only because you are not enlightened, so fight with the body, torture the body, make yourself free of the body. But the methods they are using will not make them free of the body; they will get more entangled with the body. But nobody cares to look into all the implications of anything.

It is true that the enlightened person never enters the body, but the opposite is not true – that if you don’t enter the body you will be enlightened, or if you destroy the body you will be enlightened.

The very idea of destructiveness, torture, is unspiritual, and the person who can destroy himself can easily destroy anybody. If he can torture himself it is very easy for him to torture anybody.

Perhaps people like Adolf Hitler were your so-called saints in the past. They have tortured their bodies so much that now this is a reaction; the pendulum has moved to the other extreme: now they are torturing other people. Otherwise there is no reason why people should torture other people.

What enjoyment can they get in torturing other people? There must be some reason behind it – they have tortured themselves enough. So now it becomes a vicious circle: you torture yourself, then you are born in a body and you torture others; and because you torture others, you are born again in a body and you torture yourself.

The Hindustani word for the world is samsara. India has been very careful about its language: each word has its own philosophical background. Samsara means the wheel which goes on moving. The only way to jump out of the wheel is to be watchful, because watchfulness is already outside the wheel. If you become accustomed to watchfulness, you are suddenly out of the wheel. But if you get identified with anger, with jealousy, with love, with hate – with any kind of thing – then you are caught up with the wheel.

And the wheel goes on moving from one extreme to another. What is down will be up, what is up will be down – and there is no end to it unless somebody simply jumps out. And the only way to jump out is to become aware of your anger, of your love, of your hate, of your misery, of your joy. Just being watchful you are already out of the wheel – the goose is out.

-Osho

From The Path of the Mystic, Discourse #12

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 in the U.S. online from Amazon.com and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from Amazon.in and Oshoworld.com.

Death, a Blessing in Disguise – Osho

My friend, Chintan, is just starting six months of heavy chemotherapy. You have already sent him such beautiful messages for his meditation while passing through this. Now, Osho, do you have some jokes for him too? 

Prem Garima, Chintan is certainly passing through a difficult stage, but everybody has to finally pass through the difficult stage of death.

Only a meditator is capable of passing through it as if it is a joke. He can pass through it laughing and singing, because he knows that the fire cannot burn and the death cannot destroy him. There is no sword that can cut him.

He belongs to the eternal life.

Once a small glimpse of the eternity is achieved, there is no life which can be destroyed by anything. It can be removed from one form into another, but death cannot do more than that — just the changing of the house.

To the non-meditator death is the end, to the meditator, a beginning. It is a new beginning, a fresh beginning, freed from the old rotten body, the old mind. It is a resurrection; every death is a resurrection. But if you don’t know it, you will die unconsciously without experiencing the beauty of resurrection. If you can die consciously, death is only a door into a new life on a higher plane. But to die consciously, one has to live consciously. You cannot manage to die consciously without a long, meditative, conscious life. Only a conscious life is rewarded with a conscious death — it is a reward, but only to the conscious man. To the unconscious man, it is the end to all his efforts, ambitions, desires. There is only darkness ahead, not a single light and no possibilities left.

Death simply takes away the whole future.

Naturally, the unconscious man is immensely afraid and deeply trembling, knowing that death is coming closer every day. Since your birth the only thing that has been certain is death; everything else is uncertain and accidental. Only death is not accidental; it is an absolute certainty. There is no way to avoid it or dodge it. It will catch hold of you in the right moment at the right place.

I have always loved the beautiful Sufi story…

A king dreams in the night that a dark shadow is putting her hand on his shoulder. He looks back. He is horrified. It is just a dark shadow, but the shadow speaks and says, “There is no need to be worried. I have just come to inform you — it is not routine; you are a great king; it is an exception — otherwise I never come to inform anybody. I come without any information.”

The king said, “But who are you?”

The dark shadow laughed and said, “I am your death, and be prepared. Tomorrow, as the sun will be setting, I am going to come to you.”

Naturally, this nightmare woke him up. Even after he was awake, knowing well that it was only a dream, he was trembling and perspiring. And his heart was beating so loudly he could hear it himself. He immediately called the council of all his wise men, and particularly the royal astrologers, prophets, and told them the dream. He asked them the meaning of it — is it true that death is going to happen? The astrologers may be able to figure it out.

The wise men, the philosophers, the astrologers, the prophets, all started arguing about the dream.

Perhaps it was the first dream analysis! But they could not come to any conclusion, just as they cannot come to any conclusion today. All the dream analysts, the so-called psychoanalysts, differ in their interpretations. You take the same dream to all and you will get different conclusions about the dream. You will be more confused than ever.

And so was the situation of the king from the middle of the night till the morning; he became more and more confused because everybody was saying something different. And when the sun started rising, the old man who used to serve the king… He was not only a servant, he had helped the king from his very childhood. He had taken care of him, because his mother had died and his father had appointed the man to take care of the child because he was his most trustworthy bodyguard. So the king respected him almost like his father.

The old man said, whispered in his ear, “These great thinkers and philosophers and astrologers have argued for centuries and they have never come to any conclusion; do you think they will come to any conclusion within twelve hours? Forget it; that is not possible. These are the people who know only how to argue; they never come to any conclusion. They argue well but the question is not the beauty of the argument, the question is what is the conclusion of all your philosophies? There is no conclusion at all. No two philosophers agree with each other.”

The king asked him, “Then what do you propose?”

He said, “My understanding is let them discuss; there is no harm. But you take our fastest horse and get away as far as possible from the palace. It is dangerous to be at this place, for at least the coming twelve hours. After the sun has set, you can start turning back, but not before that.” It looked practical. The old man said, “These people can go on arguing; there is no need to stop them. If they come to any conclusion, I will follow you immediately. The best way is towards Damascus, another capital of another kingdom. So I will know where to find you, to give you their conclusion. I will come behind you.”

The king was convinced by the old man. He left all those great philosophers discussing, and slipped quietly out of the palace with the best horse he had. The whole day the horse was running as fast as possible. They did not stop to eat or even to drink water. It was not a time to think of water or food. And the horse seemed to be in a certain understanding that it was a very critical moment for his master.

They reached near Damascus, just outside the city, as the sun was setting. They stopped in a mango grove and as he was tying the horse to a tree, he patted it and he said, “You prove to be a great friend. You have never run so fast before; you must have understood my situation. And we have come hundreds of miles away.”

As the sun was setting he immediately felt the same hand on his shoulder from behind. The shadow was there and said, “I also have to thank your horse. I was worried whether you would be able to reach this place at the right time or not. That’s why I had come to inform you. This is the place destined for your death, and your horse has brought you right on time.”

Whether you run or you stay, it doesn’t matter, death comes. Death has started coming closer to you from the very moment you were born. In what form it comes does not matter. Bertrand Russell has said that if there were no death in the world, there would have been no religion. He has some great insight there: without death, who was going to bother about meditation? Without death, who was going to bother to know about the secret mysteries of life? One would have remained always concerned with the mundane and the worldly. Who would have turned inwards? There would have been no Gautam Buddha.

So death is not just a calamity, it is a blessing in disguise. If you can understand, if you have this much intelligence — that after birth, death is approaching every moment closer — you will not lose your time in trivia. Your priority will be to know what this life is before it ends: Who is living in me? What force? For every intelligent man and woman this is the priority. Everything else is secondary to knowing oneself.

Once you know yourself, there is no death.

Death was only in your ignorance.

In your meditative consciousness, death disappears just as darkness disappears when there is light brought in. Meditation brings the light in, and death is found to be the greatest fiction. It appears only from the outside that somebody is dying. From the inside nobody has ever died, and that is where your life source is.

Chintan is taking his death very joyously, very peacefully. He will die consciously. He is giving every indication that death cannot make him unconscious, cannot knock him unconscious. He will retain his consciousness, and he will have a laugh as he will be dying, because the whole world is living in an illusion.

Life is neither born nor dies.

It has been before birth; it will be after death. Birth and death both are small episodes in the eternal stream of consciousness and light.

Garima, you are asking for some jokes for him….

Giovanni bumps into his friend Alfredo on the streets of Rome, and notices that his friend is looking very depressed.

“How was your holiday in-a Miami Beach?” he asks.

“Mama mia,” replies Alfredo. “It was-a terrible. I go-a to Miami and check into-a bigg-a hotel. In-a the morning I go down to eat-a breakfast. I tell-a the waitress, ‘I wanna two pissis-a toast.’ She bring only one piss. I tell-a her, ‘I want two piss.’ She say, ‘Go to the toilet.’ “I say, ‘You no understand, I wanna two piss on-a the plate.’

“She say, ‘You better no piss on da plate, you sonna va bitch.’ I don’t even know the lady and she call me sonna va bitch!“Later I go eat at the bigga restaurant. The waitress brings me a spoon and knife but no fock. I tell-a her, ‘I wanna fock.’ She tell me, ‘Everyone wanna fuck.’ “I tell her, ‘You no understand. I wanna fock on-a da table.’

“She say, ‘You better not fuck on-a table, you sonna va bitch.’

“So I go back to my room in-a hotel and there is no shits on-a my bed. I call the manager and tell-a him, ‘I wanna shit.’ He tell me to go to the toilet. I say, ‘You not understand. I wanna shit on my bed.’

“He say, ‘You better not shit on-a bed, you sonna va bitch.’

“I go to the check-out desk and the man at the desk say, ‘Happy Holidays, Peace to you.’

“I say, ‘Piss on you too, you sonna va bitch, I gonna go back to Italy.’”

Just tell Chintan: Avoid Italy and go anywhere else.

-Osho

From The Invitation, Discourse #9, Q1

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 in the U.S. online from Amazon.com and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from Amazon.in and Oshoworld.com.

If You Can See Death, Death Cannot See You – Osho

I have heard one beautiful story. Once there was a great sculptor, a painter, a great artist. His art was so perfect that when he would make a statue of a man, it was difficult to say who was the man and who was the statue. It was so lifelike, so alive, so similar. An astrologer told him that his death is approaching; he is going to die soon. Of course, he became very much afraid and frightened, and as every man wants to avoid death, he also wanted to avoid. He thought about it, meditated, and he found a clue. He made his own statues, eleven in number, and when Death knocked on his door and the Angel of Death entered, he stood hidden among his own eleven statues. He stopped his breathing.

The Angel of Death was puzzled, could not believe his own eyes. It had never happened; it was so irregular. God has never been known to create two persons alike; he always creates the unique. He has never believed in any routine. He is not like an assembly line. He is absolutely against carbons; he creates only originals. What has happened? Twelve persons in all, absolutely alike? Now, whom to take away? Only one has to be taken away. Death, the Angel of Death, could not decide. Puzzled, worried, nervous, he went back. He asked God, “What have you done? There are twelve persons exactly alike, and I am only supposed to bring one. How should I choose?”

God laughed. He called the Angel of Death close to him, and he uttered in his ears the formula, the clue how to find the real from the unreal. He gave him a mantra and told him, “Just go, and utter it in that room where that artist is hiding himself among his own statues.”

The Angel of Death asked, “How is it going to work?”

God said, “Don’t be worried. Just go and try.”

The Angel of Death came, not yet believing how it is going to work, but when God had said, he had to do it. He came in the room, looked around, and not addressing anybody in particular, he said, “Sir, everything is perfect except one thing. You have done well, but you have missed at one point. One error is there.”

The man completely forgot that he is hiding. He jumped; he said, “What error?”

And Death laughed. And Death said, “You are caught. This is the only error: you cannot forget yourself. Come on, follow me.”

Death is of the ego. If the ego exists, death exists. The moment the ego disappears, death disappears. You are not going to die, remember; but if you think that you are, you are going to die. If you think that you are a being, then you are going to die. This false entity of the ego is going to die, but if you think of yourself in terms of nonbeing, in terms of non-ego, then there is no death – already you have become deathless. You have always been deathless; now you have recognized the fact.

The artist was caught because he could not disappear into nonbeing.

Buddha says in his Dhammapada: If you can see death, death cannot see you. If you can die before death comes, then death cannot come to you; and there is no need to make statues. That is not going to help. Deep down you have to destroy one statue, not to create eleven more. You have to destroy the image of the ego. There is no need to create more statues and more images. Religion, in a way, is destructive. In a way, it is negative. It annihilates you – annihilates you completely and utterly.

You come to me with some ideas to attain some fulfillment, and I am here to destroy you completely. You have your ideas; I have my own. You would like to be fulfilled – fulfilled in your ego – and I would like you to drop the ego, to dissolve, to disappear, because only then is there fulfillment. The ego knows only emptiness; it is always unfulfilled. By the very nature, by its very intrinsic nature, it cannot attain to fulfillment. When you are not, fulfillment is. Call it God, or give it a name Patanjali would like – samadhi – the attainment of the ultimate, but it comes when you disappear.

These sutras of Patanjali are scientific methods how to dissolve, how to die, how to commit real suicide. I call it real because if you kill your body that is unreal suicide. If you kill your self that is authentic suicide.

And that is the paradox: that if you die, you attain to eternal life. If you cling to life, you will die a thousand and one times. You will go on… you will go on being born and dying again and again and again. It is a wheel. If you cling, you move with the wheel.

Drop out of the wheel of life and death. How to drop out of it? It seems so impossible because you have never thought of yourself as a nonbeing, you have never thought of yourself as just space, pure space, with nobody there inside.

These are the sutras. Each sutra has to be understood very deeply. A sutra is a very condensed thing. A sutra is like a seed. You have to accept it deep down in your heart; your heart has to become a soil for it. Then it sprouts, and then the meaning.

I can only persuade you to be open so that the seed can fall right in place within you, so that the seed can move into the deep darkness of your non-being. In that darkness of your  non-being, it will start being alive. A sutra is a seed. Intellectually, it is very easy to understand it. Existentially, to attain to its meaning is arduous. But that’s what Patanjali would like, that’s what I would like.

So don’t just be intellectuals here. Get en rapport with me, get in tune with me. Don’t just listen to me; rather, be with me. Listening is secondary; being with me is primary, basic – just to be in my company. Allow yourself to be totally here-now with me, in my presence, because that death has happened to me. It can become infectious. I have committed that suicide. If you come close to me, if you are in tune with me even for a single moment, you will have a glimpse of death.

And, Buddha is right when he says, “If you can see death, death will not be able to see you,” because the moment you see death you have transcended death. Then there is no death for you.

-Osho

Excerpt from Secrets of Yoga, Discourse #1 (Originally published as Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, V.8).

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 Viha Osho Book Distributors.

Meditation: An Experience of Death in Life – Osho

The whole of life is yours. Love it, live it to the fullest. That’s the only way to get ready for death.

Then you can live death too, to its fullest; and it is one of the most beautiful experiences. There is nothing comparable to the death experience in life, except deep meditation.

So those who know meditation, they know something of death—that’s the only way to know before dying.

If I am saying there is no more significant experience in life than death, I am saying it, not because I have died and come back to tell you, but because I know that in meditation you move into the same space as death—because in meditation you are no more your physiology, no more your biology, no more your chemistry, no more your psychology. All those are left far away.

You come to your innermost center where there is only pure awareness. That pure awareness will be with you when you die because that cannot be taken away. All these other things which can be taken away, we take away with our own hands in meditation.

So meditation is an experience of death in life.

And it is so beautiful, so indescribably beautiful that only one thing can be said about death: it must be that experience multiplied by millions.

The experience of meditation multiplied by millions is the experience of death.

And when you pass on you simply leave your form behind. You are absolutely intact, and for the first time out of the prison of physiology, biology, psychology.

All the walls are broken and you are free.

For the first time you can open your wings to the existential.

-Osho

From Ignorance to Innocence, Discourse #5

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 in the U.S. online from Amazon.com and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from Amazon.in and Oshoworld.com.