Raja Stop the Wheel – Osho

Death is not the end but only the culmination of one’s whole life, a climax. It is not that you are finished but you are transported to another body. That is what the easterners call “the wheel.” It goes on turning and turning. Yes, it can be stopped, but the way to stop it is not when you are dying.

That is one of the lessons, the greatest lesson I learned from my grandfather’s death. He was crying, with tears in his eyes, and asking us to stop the wheel. We were at a loss what to do: how to stop the wheel?

His wheel was his wheel; it was not even visible to us. It was his own consciousness, and only he could do it. Since he was asking us to stop it, it was obvious that he could not do it himself, hence the tears and his constant insistence in asking us again and again, as if we were deaf. We told him, “We have heard you, Nana, and we understand. Please be silent.”

In that moment something great happened. I have never revealed it to anybody; perhaps before this moment was not the time. I was saying to him, “Please be silent” – the bullock cart was rattling on the rough, ugly road. It was not even a road, just a track, and he was insisting, “Stop the wheel, Raja, do you hear? Stop the wheel.”

Again and again I told him, “Yes, I do hear you. I understand what you mean. You know that nobody except you can stop the wheel, so please be silent. I will try to help you.”

My grandmother was amazed. She looked at me with such big, amazing eyes: what was I saying?

How could I help?

I said, “Yes. Don’t look so amazed. I have suddenly remembered one of my past lives. Seeing his death I have remembered one of my own deaths.” That life and death happened in Tibet. That is the only country which knows, very scientifically, how to stop the wheel. Then I started chanting something.

Neither my grandmother could understand, nor my dying grandfather, nor my servant Bhoora, who was listening intently from the outside. And what is more, neither could I understand a single word of what I was chanting. It was only after twelve or thirteen years that I came to understand what it was. It took that much time to discover it. It was bardo thodal, a Tibetan ritual.

When a man dies in Tibet, they repeat a certain mantra. That mantra is called bardo. The mantra says to him, “Relax, be silent. Go to your center, just be there; don’t leave it whatsoever happens to the body. Just be a witness. Let it happen, don’t interfere. Remember, remember, remember that you are only a witness; that is your true nature. If you can die remembering, the wheel is stopped.”

I repeated the bardo thodal for my dying grandfather without even knowing what I was doing. It was strange – not only that I repeated it, but also that he became utterly silent listening to it. Perhaps Tibetan was such a strange thing to hear. He may never have heard a single word in Tibetan before; he may not even have known that there was a country called Tibet. Even in his death he became utterly attentive and silent. The bardo worked although he could not understand it. Sometimes things you don’t understand work; they work just because you don’t understand.

No great surgeon can operate on his own child. Why? No great surgeon can operate on his own beloved. I don’t mean his wife – anyone can operate on his wife – I mean his beloved, who certainly is not his wife, and can never be. To reduce your beloved into your wife is a crime. It is of course unpunished by law, but nature itself punishes, so there is no need for any law.

No lover can be reduced into a husband. It is so ugly to have a husband. The very word is ugly. It comes from the same root as “husbandry”; the husband is one who uses the woman as a field, a farm, to sow his seed. The word “husband” has to be completely erased from every language in the world; it is inhuman. A lover is understandable but not a husband!

I was repeating the bardo though I did not understand its meaning, nor did I know where it was coming from, because I had not read it yet. But when I repeated it just the shock of those strange words made my grandfather silent. He died in that silence.

To live in silence is beautiful, but to die in silence is far more beautiful, because death is like an Everest, the highest peak in the Himalayas. Although nobody taught me, I learned much in that moment of his silence. I saw myself repeating something absolutely strange. It shocked me to a new plane of being and pushed me into a new dimension. I started on a new search, a pilgrimage.

-OSHO

From Glimpses of a Golden Childhood, Chapter 15

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

Glimpses of a Golden Childhood

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.

Bardo: Between These Two Dreams – Osho

I’ve always been fascinated by the state of bardo as described in ancient Tibetan scriptures. Could you say something about this?

Bardo is a simple method but with great significance. Only people who have meditated a little bit in their lives can be benefited by it, and Tibet was one of the countries where almost everybody was devoting some time to meditation – just to be alone, silent, not doing anything, just witnessing. If such a person does not achieve enlightenment in his life, and death intervenes, then bardo is used.

Such a man has achieved a certain opening of the door. He has not entered in, but he has at least tried; he has knocked on the door. He has a certain receptivity, and at the time of death he is absolutely willing to go into a state of meditation. Now there is nothing to be afraid of. Death has already come; he can risk everything. And bardo is a certain soft method of hypnosis… just the way I am using it. Listening to me you become quiet, silent.

The bardo is a suggestion to the dying person: “Now be silent. Leave this life consciously. Rather than death taking it away from you, relax your hold; don’t be defeated by death, don’t struggle. Just drop all your attachment. This world is finished for you, and this life is finished for you. There is no point in holding on to it; in holding on to it you will be fighting with death. You cannot win, and a very significant possibility will be missed.

“Simply let go of everything on your own accord. Relax, and accept death without any antagonism as a culmination of life, as a natural phenomenon. It ends nothing. Remain conscious and watch what is happening – how the body starts becoming more and more distant from you, how the mind starts falling into pieces as if a mirror has fallen and broken into pieces, how your emotions, sentiments, moods… everything that made your life starts disappearing.”

It is the end of a dream. That is the fundamental point in bardo, that you have lived a dream that you call life, a seventy-year-long dream. It is coming to an end. You can weep for the spilled milk and miss the opportunity… because within seconds you will be entering into another womb, into another dream.

Between these two dreams just a few seconds are available for you to be alert and awake, and if you can manage this alertness you have conquered death, you have conquered dreaming. You will be entering into another womb consciously; you will be leaving this body consciously, entering into another body consciously.

You will be able to remember the death, the dream you had lived, in the coming life, which will make you alert not to get into the same rut – again chasing the same stupid desires, getting caught in the same jealousies, fighting for the same meaningless respectabilities. It will keep you alert that you have done it before. Everything ends in death and this too will end in death.

So bardo is reminding you that what is disappearing was a dream. It is very easy when death is coming to see your life as a dream. What else can it be? It is just as if you are waking up in the morning.

The whole night you have lived so much, so many dreams – you may have lived years in the night – but bardo reminds you that it was a dream. It has to be done by a very evolved being – a lama, a master – and he insists that it is time to realize that it was a dream: you are not dying, only the dream is broken.

And while you are being shifted from one dream to another… the gap is of tremendous importance because in that gap there is no dream, there is simple clarity, absolute clarity, awareness. So the second point to be reminded of is: don’t miss the gap.

And the third thing: don’t miss the entry into the womb. Then you have accomplished something which people need lives to work on.

The person is just falling into deep silence and death is descending. He is listening to these words from someone he has loved, he has trusted, from someone he cannot imagine deceiving – only then is it meaningful. It won’t work from just anybody. The bardo is available, all the instructions are available, but it is possible only through someone whom you have respected, honored, trusted, loved.

In this critical moment a small doubt about what the person is saying will destroy the whole thing – then the bardo has been futile. But if you don’t miss and you follow the instructions, you are laying a foundation for a new life which will be a totally different life. It will be your last life, because anybody who is dying consciously, who uses the gap to have a taste of absolute purity, enters into the womb alert, is born alert. His enlightenment is guaranteed by nature: he has the seed, the foundation.

So bardo is a simple process, but it can be helpful only to those who have meditated a little, who have been with a master, who have once in a while tasted the silence, the presence, and the beauty of being in the moment. They become capable.

Bardo is the greatest contribution Tibet has made to the world. Tibet has not contributed anything else. It is a poor country, far away from the world – the roof of the world – unapproachable. Even today it is very difficult to reach Tibet.

Tibet developed meditation through Buddhist influence and finally became the only country in history where everybody was meditating, where meditation was a normal phenomenon. Every family had to give at least one of its members – someone who was ready – to a monastery, to meditate totally. So from every family at least one member went from each generation.

Almost the whole country of Tibet became a monastery. Just as Russia has become a concentration camp, Tibet became a monastery. There were hundreds of monasteries in the mountains, in beautiful places. Every family had contributed someone who was truly interested in seeking. It was the only place where people were encouraged to go on the search; it had become part of the style of the whole country.

And those who were not in the monasteries were also meditating as much as they could manage, so by the time of death, bardo was possible for everybody. There were many masters available, many evolved beings available who could repeat those instructions – and everybody had a master of his own. It was a totally different world.

In this century many beautiful things have been destroyed but Tibet is at the top. Tibet has been destroyed by a communist invasion from China. Monasteries have been changed into schools, into hospitals, and monks have been forced to work in the fields. Even to mention the word “meditation” became a crime. And it was not hurting anybody: the country was so aloof, so cut off from the world.

But it has been destroyed, and I don’t think there is any possibility to recover its beauty, its grandeur. That is impossible because now there are roads joining it to Pakistan, to China. Now buses are moving, now airports are there and planes are coming and going. The army is there. It has become a military base for China. It has lost its golden age.

Soon it will be difficult to find a person who is capable of listening to bardo instructions and almost impossible to find a person who can give those instructions. They will be in the books; they are available now in all the languages. They are simple instructions but they can be improved, and I have the idea to improve them because they are very ancient and very crude. They can be polished. Much can be added to them, more dimensions can be given to them. But the basic thing is that the people should be meditative. My people are meditative, and it will be part of our basic work to revive the bardo in a more refined form so we can use it for our people.

Tibet is no longer the same Tibet. But we can create the situation, the psychology, where bardo – or something like bardo but even far more evolved – can help people. It is a beautiful process. Just as Japan has brought Zen from Buddhist sources of meditation, Tibet has brought, from the same Buddhist sources of meditation, bardo. These are their immortal contributions.

When nuclear weapons are forgotten, still these discoveries will have the same significance.

-Osho

From The Path of the Mystic, Chapter Seven

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.

 

 

Something Belonging to Eternity – Osho

A few months ago my friend and I were visiting his dying father. Lots of people were around, his body was about finished. To most people he was indifferent, but when everyone left he suddenly opened his eyes and told us, “I feel like I have two bodies; one body is sick and the other is completely healthy.” We told him, “That’s right! The healthy body is the real you, so stay with that one.” He said, “Okay,” and closed his eyes. As we sat with him, the sick energy around the hospital bed changed. We couldn’t believe this new energy; it was as if we were in darshan with you… such beautiful silence. I felt a bit strange saying these words to someone who was really experiencing this. Whatever I said wasn’t really my experience, just something I’d thought about. After we left he improved for a while, went home and died peacefully in his bed.

Beloved Osho, even though I’ve been with you for ten years, I felt so ignorant in front of this man who was ready to let go of everything with such trust and clarity and peace.

Geeta, the experience that you went through always is possible when someone is dying. All that is required is a little alertness. The man who was dying was aware – not much awareness is needed for this experience.

At the moment of death your physical body and your spiritual body start separating. Ordinarily, they are so much involved with each other that you don’t feel their separation. But at the moment of death, just before death happens, both the bodies start getting unidentified with each other. Now their ways are going to be different; the physical body is going to the physical elements, and the spiritual body is on its pilgrimage onwards, to a new birth, in a new form, in a new womb.

If the person is a little alert he can see it himself, and because you said to him that the healthier body is you, and the body that is sick and dying is not you…. In those moments, to trust is very easy because it is happening just before the eyes of the person himself; he cannot identify with the body that is falling apart, and he can immediately recognize the fact that he is the healthier one, the deeper one.

But you could have helped the man even a little more – this was good, but not good enough. Even this experience of the man, of getting unidentified with the physical body, immediately changed the energy in the room; it became silent, peaceful.

But if you had learned the art of how to help a dying man, you would not have stopped where you stopped. A second thing was absolutely necessary to tell him because he was in a trusting state – everybody is, at the moment of death.

It is life which creates problems and doubts and postponements, but death has no time to postpone. The man cannot say, “I will try to see,” or, “I will see tomorrow.” He has to do it right now, this very moment, because even the next moment is not certain. Most probably he is not going to survive. And what is he going to lose by trusting? Death anyway, is going to take away everything. So the fear of trust is not there; time to think about it is not there. And a clarity is there that the physical body is getting farther and farther away.

It was a good step to tell him, “You are the healthier body.” The second step would have been to tell him, “You are the witness of both the bodies; the body that is dying is physical, and the body that you are feeling is healthy is psychological. But who are you? You can see both the bodies… certainly you must be the third; you cannot be one of these two.”

This is the whole process of the bardo. Only in Tibet have they developed the art of dying. While the whole world has been trying to develop the art of living, Tibet is the only country in the world which has developed the whole science and art of dying. They call it the bardo.

If you had told the person, “This is good that you have taken one step, you are out of the physical body; but now you have got identified with the psychological body. You are not even that; you are only awareness, a pure consciousness, a perceptivity….” If you could have helped the person to understand that he is neither this body nor that body, but something bodiless, formless, a pure consciousness, then his death would have been a totally different phenomenon.

You saw the change of energy; you would have seen another change of energy. You saw silence descending; you would have seen music also, a certain dancing energy also, a certain fragrance filling the whole space. And the man’s face would have shown a new phenomenon – the aura of light.

If he had taken the second step also, then his death would have been the last death. In the bardo they call it “the great death,” because now he will not be born into another form, into another imprisonment; now he will remain in the eternal, in the oceanic consciousness that fills the whole universe.

So remember it – it may happen to many of you. You may be with a friend or with a relative, your mother, your father. While they are dying, help them to realize two things: first, they are not the physical body – which is very simple for a dying man to recognize. Second – which is a little difficult, but if the man is able to recognize the first, there is a possibility of the second recognition too – that you are not even the second body; you are beyond both the bodies. You are pure freedom and pure consciousness.

If he had taken the second step, then you would have seen a miracle happening around him – something, not just silence, but something more alive, something belonging to eternity, to immortality. And all of you who were present there would have been overwhelmed with gratitude that this death has not been a time of mourning, but it has become a moment of celebration.

If you can transform a death into a moment of celebration, you have helped your friend, your mother, your father, your brother, your wife, your husband. You have given them the greatest gift that is possible in existence. And close to death it is very easy. The child is not even worried about life or death; he has no concern. The young man is too much involved in biological games, in ambitions, in becoming richer, in becoming powerful, in having more prestige; he has no time to think of eternal questions.

But at the moment of death, just before death is going to happen, you don’t have any ambition. And whether you are rich or poor makes no difference; whether you are a criminal or a saint makes no difference. Death takes you beyond all discriminations of life and beyond all stupid games of life.

But rather than helping people, people destroy that beautiful moment. It is the most precious in a man’s whole life. Even if he has lived one hundred years, this is the most precious moment. But people start crying and weeping and showing their sympathy, saying, “This is very untimely, it should not happen.” Or they start consoling the person, saying, “Don’t be worried, the doctors are saying that you will be saved.”

These are all foolishnesses. Even the doctors play a part in these stupid things. They don’t tell you that your death has come. They avoid the subject; they go on giving you hope. They say, “Don’t be worried, you will be saved,” knowing perfectly well that the man is going to die. They are giving him a false consolation, not knowing that this is the moment when he should be made fully aware of death – so acutely and so impeccably aware that pure consciousness is experienced. That moment has become a moment of great victory. Now there is no death for him, but only eternal life.

-Osho

From The Razor’s Edge, Chapter Three

The Razor's Edge

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.