Know it as the State of Vairagya – Osho

When desires do not arise even in the face of the objects of enjoyment, know it as the state of vairagya – non-attachment, desireless ness. And when the ego ceases to rise, know it as the highest state of knowledge.

When the moods that have become extinct do not arise again, that state is known as one of the indifference.

And the sage whose wisdom has become steady attains eternal bliss. One whose mind has dissolved into the supreme becomes innocent and inactive. And the moods of the mind then dissolve in the unity of the supreme self, and the purified individual self remains choiceless and in a state of pure consciousness.

This state is called wisdom, or pragya and one who has attained this wisdom throughout is called jivanmukta – one free in life itself.

One who has no egoistic feeling in respect of his body and the senses, and besides has ceased to think in terms of “me” and “mine” in respect to other objects, is called a jivanmukta.

When desires do not arise even in the face of the objects of enjoyment, know it as the state of vairagya – non-attachment, desirelessness. And when the ego ceases to arise, know it as the highest state of knowledge.

-Adhyatma Upanishad

Definitions about certain states of inner search, “in-search,” are helpful, because when you enter yourself, you are alone. You will need certain definitions, certain criteria so that you can feel inside what is happening – where you are.

In the in-search one is always alone. One needs certain criteria to feel where one is. And the inner world is uncharted, no map exists which can be given to you. And even if some maps exist, they don’t belong to you; they cannot be applicable to you. Buddha says something – that is about his own inner journey; that may not be your route at all. Really, it cannot be your route. Every individual enters into the inner world differently, uniquely, because every individual stands on a certain spot where no one else stands; every individual is unique. Buddha stands somewhere – you cannot stand on that spot. He starts his journey from there; every journey starts from where you are. So we have different routes to move on, no map can be helpful.

So this sutra is not going to give you a certain map, no. Just certain liquid definitions – you can feel your own path – and certain happenings inside, so that you know where you are, where you are moving, whether you are moving or not, whether you are nearing your goal or not.

First the definition of vairagya – because that is the entrance. Unless you are non-attached to the world you cannot enter inwards. Your back must be towards the world; only then your face is towards the inner center. So vairagya is the door – non-attachment to the world. What is the definition?

You can force yourself to be non-attached, you can force yourself in the about-turn. You can face the inner world forcibly, you can stand with your back to the world, but just your back to the world is not enough. Your mind may be still moving in the world.

It is not very difficult to go away, to leave, to renounce – it is not very difficult. You can escape to the Himalayas and the world is left far behind – but your mind will still be moving in the world. Non-attachment, vairagya means: When desires do not arise even in the face of the objects of enjoyment.

You can close your eyes; you don’t see anything. That is not vairagya, because with closed eyes you can continue desiring. Really, with closed eyes desires become stronger. With closed eyes the world is more charming than with open eyes. Really, if your eyes are open, sooner or later the world loses its charm. The more you penetrate it, the more you know it and see it, the attraction disappears. The attraction is in ignorance; with closed eyes it is more.

Non-attachment is authentic if your eyes are open and objects of enjoyment are there, and no desire arises in you. A naked, beautiful woman is before you and no desire arises. Tantra has used this sutra. Tantra is based on this sutra. Tantra says: Do not escape, because you cannot escape your mind. And the real problem is not the world of objects; the real problem is the mind. So wherever you go, you will be there, and you are the problem! How can you escape from yourself? Go anywhere, the mind will be there. You can escape from the world, but not from the mind, and mind is the real world. So tantra says, “Do not move away; rather go deep in the world, fully conscious, with open eyes, aware of the desires moving in you. Look at the world deeply.” Tantra has developed its own techniques. The tantra technique is that if someone feels sexual desire, then just enforcing brahmacharya, celibacy, will not do. If you force celibacy on someone, if he takes a vow that now he will remain celibate, he will simply suppress sexuality and nothing else. And suppressed sex is dangerous – more dangerous than ordinary sex. Then the whole mind will become sexual. The suppressed energy will move inside; it cannot go out, so it moves more inside. It creates grooves, it becomes cerebral; the whole mind becomes sexual. The sex center gathers more and more energy, and ultimately the whole body becomes a sex center.

Tantra says this is not the way to go beyond sex; this is stupid. Tantra has its own scientific techniques. Tantra says, “Okay, there is desire, there is sex – then move into sex, but move fully conscious.” That is the only condition: If you want to touch a beautiful body, touch, but remain conscious, alert that you are touching the beautiful body. And then when you are touching, analyze your touch – what is happening? Observe your touch – what is happening? If you can observe your touch, the touch becomes futile, absurd, stupid; nothing is happening. Nothing is happening.

So tantra has techniques . . . Look at a beautiful naked body; observe it, and observe what is happening inside you. The desire arises: observe the desire, and observe the naked body. And really with a naked body, with a full alert mind, sex is neither suppressed nor indulged; it simply disappears. It may look contradictory – but bodies have become so important only because of clothes. Clothes are deeply sexual. They give the bodies a charm, a hidden charm, a secret attraction which is not there at all. Bodies are just bodies. You hide them and the very hiding creates a desire to look at them, to see. Humanity has become so body-conscious only because of clothes. The clothes create a secret desire to unclothe, to undress. […]

Any desire becomes futile if you observe it, if you know it in its totality. Tantra says do not escape; rather, be aware and move into the objects of enjoyment, and one day suddenly all the objects lose their charm.

This sutra says this is the definition of vairagya:

When desires do not arise even in the face of the objects of enjoyment, know it as the state of vairagya – non-attachment, desirelessness.

And when the ego ceases to arise, know it as the highest state of knowledge.

This is the criterion for knowledge, wisdom – when there is no ego, when ego doesn’t arise.

Ego can arise in any situation. The ego is very subtle and its ways are very mysterious. On anything, ego can feed itself. You meditate and through your meditation your ego can be strengthened: “I am a meditator.” And the whole point is lost, the whole meditation is lost. “I am a religious man. I go to church every Sunday, never miss.” The ego has arisen. It has taken a religious shape, but the shape doesn’t matter. “I fast,” or “I take a certain food,” or “I do this or that” – any ritual. “I do yoga” – whatsoever. If you feel that your “I” is strengthened, know that you are not on the path of knowing, you are falling down into ignorance.

Go on observing whatsoever you are doing. Do one thing continuously: go on observing whether your ego is strengthened by it. If you continuously observe, observation is a poison to the ego, it cannot arise. It arises only when you are not observing, when you are unconscious, unaware, unattentive. Go on observing, and wherever the ego arises just be a witness to it. Know well that the ego is arising: “I am meditating, certain experiences are happening, and the ego feels good.” And the ego says, “Now you are on the path. Now you have known the inner light. Now the kundalini has arisen. Now you are extraordinary. Soon you are going to be a siddha – one who has achieved. The goal is now nearer.” Know well: with this feeling of the goal being nearer, you are missing the goal. This ego feeling good is a fatal disease.

This sutra says, when the ego doesn’t arise, it is the highest state of knowledge. When the feeling of “I” doesn’t arise, you are but there is no “I.”

We go on saying, “I am.” The man of knowledge rarely feels only “am,” not “I” – just “amness,” existence, being, with no “I” attached to it. “Amness” is vast, infinite; “I” is finite. “Amness” is brahman.

When there is no “I,” when there is only simple “amness,” when the “I” is dead, this state is known as the state of a jivanmukta – one who has achieved freedom in life, one who has achieved freedom while in the body, one who has known the infinite while alive.

You can also become a jivanmukta. The only problem is you. Throw it out, and you are. Nothing new is to be gained; the freedom is there hidden in you, but you are attached to the ego. That creates a boundary, a limitation. Look beyond the ego, and suddenly you enter another world. And it was always there, just to be seen, but our eyes have become fixed; we cannot move our eyes. We go on looking in one direction – the direction of the ego. The reverse is the dimension of the non-ego, and non-ego is the path.

One who has egoistic feeling in respect of his body and the senses, and besides has ceased to think in terms of “me” and “mine” in respect to other objects, is called a jivanmukta.

Egolessness is a great death. When you die only your body dies; when you attain mukti, freedom, your mind dies.

In the old scriptures the master, the guru, is known also as death: acharyo mrityu. The teacher is death, great death. He is, because through him your ego dies; he kills you. In a way he is death, and in a way eternal life, because when the ego is no more, for the first time you are.

Die to be reborn.

Jesus says, “Whosoever loses himself, attains, and whosoever clings to himself loses.”


From That Art Thou, Discourse #46

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from  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 and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from and

That Flame is Known as Knowing – Osho

This sutra is very significant for a sadhak, for a seeker.

Knowing is the fruit of non-attachment.

Desirelessness is the perfect knowledge. And the peace that flows from this experience of inner bliss is the proof of Desirelessness.

That which doesn’t happen in succession from among the above-mentioned steps indicates that the step preceding it has been fruitless.

To shun the objects of enjoyment is the highest contentment, and the bliss of self is itself incomparable.

-Adhyatma Upanishad

Many things have to be understood – and not only to be understood, but to be lived. The first is that knowledge is not knowing.

Knowledge and knowing are different dimensions. Knowledge is information. You can collect it, you can accumulate it; you can become a man of great knowledge, but that will not lead you to knowing.

Knowing is experience.

Knowledge is information. For example, you can know everything about God that has been said anywhere, anytime, by anyone. You can collect information about God through Krishna, Christ, Mohammed, Mahavira, Confucius, Lao Tzu, and thousands of others. You can collect in your mind all the scriptures of the world. You can become The Bible, you can become a Gita, you can become the Vedas, but you will remain the same. This knowledge is not going to affect you at all; you will remain unaffected. Knowledge will become something in the head, and nothing in the heart. The head will go on becoming bigger and bigger, but the heart will remain the same. And it may happen – unfortunately it happens – that as the head grows bigger, the heart is forgotten completely.

The heart is the center of knowing; the head is the center for knowledge. You know through the heart; you become a man of knowledge through the head. The head-oriented personality can know much without knowing anything. You know everything about God, but that doesn’t mean you know God. Because to know God, one has to die first – but to know about God, no transformation is needed, no inner transformation is needed. To know about God, you can know as you are – but to enter knowing you will have to be transformed first. You will not do as you are, you cannot be accepted as you are.

Knowing needs a deep transformation first.

Your totality will have to be rearranged; only then you enter knowing. You can know about love – poets have written, and generally those poets who have not known love at all, because their writing is just a substitute. If you know love, it is one thing; if you have not known love, it is different – the quality is different. The difference is not quantitative, it is qualitative.

Poets have written about love – you can collect all that knowledge. You can go on singing about love, you can become a master of the knowledge about love, you can write a Ph.D. thesis about love – but that doesn’t mean that you know love. To know love, libraries are not needed. To know love, a loving heart is needed; scriptures won’t do, a loving heart is needed.

This sutra says: Knowledge is not knowing. Don’t be deceived by knowledge; remember: Knowledge is not knowing. If you want to enter knowing, throw away all knowledge.

But how does one enter knowing? To enter knowledge is easy: there are schools, colleges, universities – the whole mechanism of knowledge is there. How to enter knowing?

Knowing is an individual effort; knowledge, a social effort. Society needs knowledge, because every generation which is dying has to impart knowledge to the coming generation. Teachers are the link; they go on giving knowledge to new generations, and knowledge goes on accumulating more and more. Society needs knowledge because society cannot function without knowledge.

The individual needs knowing, because the individual can never reach bliss unless he knows through his heart. Society is not interested in knowing. You will have to make an individual effort. What is that effort? These are the steps . . .

Knowing is the fruit of non-attachment. This looks absurd – “Knowing is the fruit of non-attachment” – vairagya.

This is a very beautiful Sanskrit word, vairagya. The word “non-attachment” carries the meaning, but just so-so. Vairagya means one who has turned away from the world, one who has known the futility of the world, one who has come to understand that you cannot achieve bliss through senses. Vairagya means: the outward search is futile; you have come to conclude this as your experience.

This conclusion cannot be transferred to you. If someone else is saying, “This world is futile,” this conclusion cannot become your conclusion. You will have to pass through experience, fully aware. Whenever you feel desire, move into desire fully aware and when you reach the fulfillment of the desire, know well what has happened – whether any hope has been fulfilled or just frustrated. Go on moving in desire, alert, and then you will come to understand that all desire is futile, all attachment is meaningless; it creates misery, it never creates any bliss. Vairagya means this conclusion reached through awareness, reached through experiencing – and knowing is the fruit of vairagya, of nonattachment.

Why? Why is knowing the fruit of non-attachment? Because when you are not attached to the world, suddenly you are thrown inside. There is nowhere to move; all outer directions have been stopped by that non-attachment. Now there is no dimension to move out – you cannot move without, so your consciousness for the first time returns home. It moves inside.

The Upanishads say there are eleven directions. Eight directions we know: north, east, west, et cetera, eight directions. The Upanishads say there are eleven directions: the eight directions we know; and two directions of going up and down, so they become ten. The Upanishads say there are eleven directions: ten going out; one coming in. When these ten directions have become futile, this is vairagya – but the energy has to move. Energy means movement; energy cannot be static. Ten directions – in which energy was moving and moving for millenia – have become futile; this is vairagya. Now you don’t want to move out. Suddenly the whole energy which was being dissipated without, begins to move within. And the more within it moves, the nearer the center, the energy becomes more and more one.

Make one circle, and then start from the circumference to move towards the center. You can draw many lines from the circumference to the center. Two lines drawn from this periphery, this circumference, to the center . . . as they come nearer the center, they will come closer and closer. They will come nearer and nearer, and at the center they will meet. When this energy which has been dissipated in ten directions, begins to move towards the center, all this energy goes in; all the flowing currents of energy come nearer and nearer. And at the center they meet and crystallize. That crystallization becomes a flame – that crystallization, that intense crystallization becomes a flame.

That flame is known as knowing.

By that flame, for the first time your world is enlightened.

Now there is no more darkness.

Now you move in light; now you have light inside.

Concentrated energy becomes light. Concentrated energy, crystallized energy, becomes inner light. That is known as knowing.

And desirelessness is the fruit of knowledge. The Sanskrit word is beautiful again: the word is uparati. Uparati means total relaxation. Knowledge is the fruit of vairagya. Knowing is the fruit of non-attachment, of energy not moving without. Knowing is the fruit of energy not moving without.

If there is no knowing, and you don’t attain the inner flame, then know well that your non-attachment has been false, pseudo. Knowledge, the flame, is inevitable if non-attachment has been real, authentic – not borrowed.

I say to you that knowing comes through non-attachment. So you can force yourself to be nonattached – that will be borrowed, and then knowing will not follow. Life is an authentic process; you cannot borrow anything from anyone. You have to live, you have to pass through, you have to move into experiences and attain. I say to you, “Knowing comes through vairagya.” So you try to be non-attached – that effort will not help. You will become a vairagi – you will become a “nonattached man,” but there will be no knowledge, no knowing. Your Vairagya, your non-attachment is a borrowed thing; it is not a conclusion in your life. It is just foreign to you… someone has said, it has entered into your mind, but your mind has not come to conclude it by itself.

So this sutra says that if knowledge is not following, then know well that the first step has been futile and pseudo, unauthentic. If knowledge comes, if the flame of knowing is there, then you will feel a deep relaxation. This is uparati – deep relaxation, existential, not physical, not mental – existential, total relaxation. What is meant by total relaxation, uparati? It means, energy moving nowhere – not even within.

First the energy was moving outward in ten directions. Then energy began to move inwards in one direction – but it was moving. Movement cannot be relaxed; movement creates its own strain, effort, struggle – any movement is a struggle. When this inner moving energy becomes a flame, there is no movement; all motivation is lost. Energy is for the first time not moving but just is. You are – going nowhere.

First the ten directions became futile; now the eleventh also has become futile. You are neither moving out nor in; you are not moving at all. This is total relaxation, this is uparati. Your existence has become relaxed. For the first time you are simply existence, nothing more – simply existence. If uparati, this total relaxation, does not follow knowing, then know well that the knowing was pseudo, false. Then you must have deceived yourself, you must have quoted scriptures. You must have borrowed knowledge and you must have deceived yourself that this was your knowledge.

We go on deceiving. Pundits are the great deceivers. But by repetition, continuously reading, they begin to feel that they know. They have not known, but they begin to feel that they know. This is auto-hypnosis. If you go on reading the Gita, The Bible, the Koran – go on, go on, go on for lives together – that constant repetition creates an auto-hypnosis. You begin to feel that you know. Really, you know too much! So it is bound to happen – this deception, this feeling that you know. You know everything! – really, if a Jesus is there to compete with you in an examination, he cannot compete. If Krishna himself is there to compete with a pundit, he is bound to be a failure; because a Krishna cannot repeat the same Gita again; it is impossible. Only a pundit can repeat it exactly as it is. For a Krishna, repetition is impossible. If he is going to say something, it will become another Gita, but the same Gita can never be repeated. He cannot remember what he said in Kurushetra to Arjuna, but a pundit can repeat it.

Knowing is not repetitive; knowledge is repetitive. Knowledge is mechanical repetition.

Knowing is existential experiencing.

So if your knowledge is not knowing but just knowledge, information, then uparati, total relaxation, will not follow. So, if total relaxation is there – if you find a person of knowing – he will be totally relaxed, like a child, totally. Even a child is not totally relaxed. He is like a flower – but even a flower is not totally relaxed, because a flower is moving, the energy is moving; a child is moving. Total relaxation is incomparable, unique. You cannot find any comparison.

And inner silence, inner peace, is the fruit of total relaxation. Inner silence – shanti – inner peace, is the fruit of total relaxation.

One who is totally relaxed becomes silent. Nothing happens in him now. There is no happening, because every happening is noise, every happening has its own noise. Now there is no experience inside, because every experience disturbs silence.

The man of total relaxation is absolutely silent.

Now nothing happens in him.

He is; simply he is.  No experiences now – no experiences, remember this.

You will not have visions, because visions are a disturbance. You will not see light, you will not hear sound; you will not be taking an interview with God. No experience. Silence means no experience now. Everything has fallen. You have become just existence – no knower, no known, no experiencer, no experience.

This is what is meant by silence.

If silence doesn’t follow total relaxation, uparati, then know well that the relaxation must have been a deception; it was not total. It may have been physical relaxation, it may have been psychological relaxation, but it was not total.

The relaxation was not spontaneous; you must have forced it.

We can force even relaxation. We can go on forcing things upon ourselves. We can force silence: you can sit like a buddha, like a buddha statue with closed eyes, just like stone – but you remain the same stupid man inside, it makes no difference. Forced, stupidity cannot go; you cannot force it out because who will force it out? The same stupid mind forcing itself; it becomes a vicious circle.

So you can find many stupid minds; particularly in India you can find them sitting like buddhas. They have just forced it, they have become like statues, but inside nothing has happened, because the silence is not there which is an inevitable consequence of total relaxation.

I am reminded . . .

Rinzai, one of the greatest Zen masters, used to ask whenever someone would come to him to be accepted as a disciple, “What do you want? For what have you come to me?” Generally, those seekers would reply, “We want to be like Gautam Buddha, Shakyamuni. We want to be like that.” So he would say, “Go away immediately, because we have one thousand stone Buddhas in our temple and we need no more. Go away immediately. Don’t come again. The house, this temple is already too crowded with Buddhas – one thousand.”

Rinzai lived in a temple where there were one thousand stone Buddhas. He would say, “Go away. There is no room, it is already crowded.” And he was a lover of Buddha; he revered Buddha like anything, but he said, “Just by sitting like a Buddha you will not become a Buddha. You can force yourself, but the spontaneous flame will not come that way. So try to be yourself; don’t try to be a Buddha.”

You can try to be a Buddha, but how can you try to be yourself?

Leave all effort, leave all trying to be someone else.

Then you will be yourself – and that being yourself is relaxation.

If you want to be a Buddha or a Jesus or a Krishna, you can never attain relaxation. The very effort to be someone else is strain, tension, anguish, conflict.

So if silence doesn’t follow, then know well your relaxation has been forced.

To shun the objects of enjoyment is the highest contentment. And the bliss of self is itself incomparable.

If you go through these four steps: vairagya, gyan, uparati, shanti – non-attachment, knowing, total relaxation, and the ultimate silence – then you achieve the incomparable self, the unique self that you are.


From That Art Thou, Discourse #42

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from  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 and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from and

The Virtuous Circle – Osho


When one has seen this distinction, there is a cessation of desire for dwelling in the atma, the self.

Buddha has called the ultimate state of consciousness anatta – no self, non-being. It is very difficult to comprehend it. Buddha has said that the last desire to drop is the desire to be. There are millions of desires. The whole world is nothing but desire objects, but the basic desire is to be. The basic desire is to continue, to persist, to remain. Death is the greatest fear; the last desire to be dropped is the desire to be.

Patanjali in this sutra says: when your awareness has become perfect, when viveka, discrimination has been achieved, when you have become a witness, a pure witness of whatsoever happens, outside you, inside you…. You are no more a doer, you are simply watching; the birds are singing outside… you watch; the blood is circulating inside… you watch; the thoughts are moving inside… you watch – you never get identified anywhere. You don’t say, “I am the body”; you don’t say, “I am the mind”; you don’t say anything. You simply go on watching without being identified with any object. You remain a pure subject; you simply remember one thing: that you are the watcher, the witness – when this witnessing is established, then the desire to be disappears.

And the moment the desire to be disappears, death also disappears. Death exists because you want to persist. Death exists because you don’t want to die. Death exists because you are struggling against the whole. The moment you are ready to die, death is meaningless; it cannot be possible now. When you are ready to die, how can you die? In the very readiness of dying, disappearing, all possibility of death is overcome. This is the paradox of religion.

Jesus says, “If you are going to cling to yourself, you will lose yourself. If you want to attain yourself, don’t cling.” Those who try to be are destroyed. Not that somebody is there destroying you; your very effort to be is destructive because the moment the idea arises: “I should persist,” you are moving against the whole. It is as if a wave is trying to be against the ocean. Now the very effort is going to create worry and misery, and one moment will come when the wave will have to disappear. But now, because the wave was fighting against the ocean, the disappearance will look like death. If the wave was ready, and the wave was aware: “I’m nothing but the ocean, so what is the point in persisting? I have been always and I will be always, because the ocean has always been there and will be always there. I may not exist as a wave – wave is just the form I have taken for the moment.

The form will disappear, but not my content. I may not exist like this wave; I may exist like another wave, or I may not exist as a wave as such. I may become the very depth of the ocean where no waves arise….”

But the innermost reality is going to remain because the whole has penetrated you. You are nothing but the whole, an expression of the whole. Once awareness is established, Patanjali says, “When one has seen this distinction, that ‘I am neither this nor that’, when one has become aware and is not identified with anything whatsoever, there is a cessation of desire for dwelling in the atma, in the self.” Then the last desire disappears, and the last is the fundamental. Hence, Buddha says, “You can drop desiring money, wealth, power, prestige – that’s nothing. You can stop desiring the world – that’s nothing – because those are secondary desires. The basic desire is to be.” So people who renounce the world start desiring liberation, but liberation is also their liberation. They will remain in moksha, in a liberated state. They desire that pain should not be there. They desire that misery should not be there. They will be in absolute bliss, but they will be. The insistence is that they must be there.

That’s why Buddha could not get roots into this country which thinks itself very religious. The most religious man who was born on this earth could not get roots into this religious country. What happened? He said, he insisted, to drop the basic desire of being: he said, “Be a non-being.” He said, “Don’t be.” He said, “Don’t ask for liberation because the freedom is not for you. The freedom is going to be freedom from you; not for you, but from you.”

Liberation is liberation from yourself. See the distinction: it is not for you; liberation is not for you. It is not that liberated you will exist. Liberated, you will disappear. Buddha said, “Only bondage exists.”

Let me try to explain it to you.

Have you ever come across health? You have been healthy many times, but can you say what health is? Only disease exists. Health is non-existential; you cannot pin-point it. If you have a headache you know it is there, but have you ever known the absence of headache? In fact, if there is no headache the head- also disappears. You don’t feel it anymore. If you go on feeling your head, that simply shows that there must be a certain tension inside, a certain stress, a strain. A sort of headache must be there continuously. If your whole body is healthy, the body disappears. You forget that the body is. In Zen, when meditators sit for many years, just sitting and doing nothing, a certain moment comes when they forget that they have bodies. That is their first satori. Not that the body is not there; body is there but there is no tension, so how to feel it? If I say something you can hear me, but if I’m silent how can you hear me? Silence is there – it has much to communicate to you – but silence cannot be heard. Sometimes when you say, “Yes, I can hear the silence,” then you are hearing some noise. Maybe it is the noise of the dark night, but it is still noise. If it is absolutely silent, you will not be able to hear it. When your body is perfectly healthy, you don’t feel it. If some tension arises in the body, some disease, some illness, then you start hearing. If everything is in harmony and there is no pain and no misery, suddenly you are empty. A nothingness overwhelms you.

Kaivalya is the ultimate health, wholeness, all wounds healed. When all wounds heal, how can you exist? The self is nothing but accumulated tensions. The self is nothing but all sorts of diseases, illnesses. The self is nothing but desires unfulfilled, hopes frustrated, expectations, dreams – all broken, fractured. It is nothing but accumulated disease, that you call ‘self’. Or take it from another side: in moments of harmony you forget that you are. Later on, you may remember how beautiful it was, how fantastic it was, how far-out. But in moments of real far-outness, you are not there. Something bigger than you has overpowered you; something higher than you has possessed you; something deeper than you has bubbled up. You have disappeared. In deep moments of love, lovers disappear. In deep moments of silence, meditators disappear. In deep moments of singing, dancing, celebration, celebrators disappear. And this is going to be the last celebration, the ultimate, the highest peak – kaivalya.

Patanjali says, “Even the desire to be disappears. Even the desire to remain disappears.” One is so fulfilled, so tremendously fulfilled that one never thinks in terms of being. For what? – you want to be there tomorrow also because today is unfulfilled. The tomorrow is needed; otherwise you will die unfulfilled. The yesterday was a deep frustration; today is again a frustration; tomorrow is needed. A frustrated mind creates future. A frustrated mind clings with the future. A frustrated mind wants to be because now, if death comes, no flower has flowered. Nothing has yet happened; there has only been a fruitless waiting: “Now, how can I die? I have not even lived yet.” That unlived life creates a desire to be.

People are so much afraid of death: these are the people who have not lived. These are the people who are, in a certain sense, already dead. A person who has lived and lived totally does not think about death. If it comes, good; he will welcome. He will live that too, he will celebrate that too. Life has been such a blessing, a benediction; one is even ready to accept death. Life has been such a tremendous experience; one is ready to experience death also. One is not afraid because the tomorrow is not needed; the today has been so fulfilling. One has come to fruition, flowered, bloomed. Now the desire for tomorrow disappears. The desire for tomorrow is always out of fear, and fear is there because love has not happened. The desire to always remain simply shows that deep down you are feeling yourself completely meaningless. You are waiting for some meaning. Once the meaning has happened, you are ready to die – silently, beautifully, gracefully.

“Kaivalya,” Patanjali says, “happens only when the last desire to be has disappeared.” The whole problem is to be or not to be. The whole life we try to be this and that, and the ultimate can happen only when you are not.

When one has seen this distinction, there is a cessation of desire for dwelling in the atma, the self.

The self is nothing but the most purified form of the ego. It is the last remnant of strain, stress, tension. You are still not perfectly open; something is still closed. When you are completely open, just a watcher on the hill, a witness, even the death desire disappears. With the disappearance of this desire, something absolutely new happens in life. A new law starts functioning. You have heard about the law of gravitation; you have not heard about the law of grace. The law of gravitation is that everything falls downwards. The law of grace is that things start falling upwards. And that law has to be there because in life everything is balanced by the opposite. Science has come to discover the law of gravitation: Newton sitting on a bench in a garden saw one apple falling – it happened or not; that is not the point – but seeing that the apple was falling down, a thought arose in him: “Why do things always fall downwards? Why not otherwise? Why doesn’t a ripe fruit fall upwards and disappear into the sky? Why not sideways? Why always downwards?” He started brooding and meditating, and then he discovered a law. He came upon, stumbled upon a very fundamental law: that the earth is gravitating things towards itself. It has a gravitation field. Like a magnet, it pulls everything downwards.

Patanjali, Buddha, Krishna, Christ – they also became aware of a different fundamental law, higher than gravitation. They became aware that there comes a moment in the inner life of consciousness when consciousness starts rising upwards – exactly like gravitation. If the apple is hanging on the tree, it does not fall. The tree helps it not to fall downwards. When the fruit leaves the tree, then it falls downwards.

Exactly the same: if you are clinging to your body you will not fall upwards; if you are clinging to your mind you will not fall upwards. If you are clinging to the idea of self, you will remain under the impact of gravitation – because body is under the impact of gravitation, and mind also. Mind is subtle body; body is gross mind. They are both under the impact of gravitation. And because you are clinging to them you are not under the impact of gravitation, but you are clinging to something which is under the impact of gravitation. It is as if you are carrying a big rock and trying to swim in a river; the rock will pull you down. It won’t allow you to swim. If you leave the rock, you will be able to swim easily.

We are clinging to something which is functioning under the law of gravitation: body, mind. “Once,” Patanjali says, “you have become aware that you are neither the body nor the mind, suddenly you start rising upwards.” Some center somewhere high in the sky pulls you up. That law is called ‘grace’.

Then God pulls you upwards. And that type of law has to be there, otherwise gravitation could not exist. In nature, if positive electricity exists, then negative electricity has to exist. Man exists, then the woman has to exist. Reason exists, then intuition has to exist. Night exists, then the day has to exist. Life exists, then death has to exist. Everything needs the opposite to balance it. Now science has become aware of one law: gravitation. Science still needs a Patanjali to give it another dimension, the dimension of falling upwards. Then life becomes complete.

You are a meeting place of gravitation and grace. In you, grace and gravitation are crisscrossing. You have something of the earth and something of the sky within you. You are the horizon where earth and sky are meeting. If you hold too much to the earth, then you will forget completely that you belong to the sky, to the infinite space, the beyond. Once you are no more attached with the earth part of you, suddenly you start rising high.

When one has seen this distinction, there is a cessation of desire for dwelling in the self.

Tadahiviveka-nimnam kaivalya-pragbharam cittam.

Then the mind is inclined towards discrimination, and gravitates towards liberation.

A new gravitation starts functioning. Liberation is nothing but entering the stream of grace. You cannot liberate yourself, you can only drop the barriers; liberation happens to you. Have you seen a magnet? – small iron pieces are pulled towards it. You can see those small iron pieces rushing towards the magnet, but don’t be deceived by your eyes. In fact, they are not rushing, the magnet is pulling them. On the surface it appears that those iron filings are going, moving towards the magnet.

That is just on the surface. Deep down, something just opposite is happening: they are not moving towards the magnet, the magnet is pulling them towards itself. In fact, it is the magnet which has reached them. With the magnetic field it has approached them, touched them, pulled them. If those iron filings are free, not attached to something – not attached to a rock – then the magnet can pull them. If they are attached to a rock, the magnet will go on pulling but they will not be pulled because they are attached.

Exactly the same happens: once you discriminate that you are not the body, you are no more bound to any rock, you are no more in bondage with earth. Immediately, God’s magnet starts functioning. It is not that you reach to God. In fact, God has already reached you. You are under His magnetic field, but clinging to something. Drop that clinging and you are in the stream. Buddha used to use a word srotaapanna: falling into the stream. He used to say, “Once you fall into the stream, then the stream takes you to the ocean. Then you need not do anything.” The only thing is to jump into the stream. You are sitting on the bank. Enter the stream and then the stream will do the remaining work. It is as if you are standing on a high building, on the roof of a high building, three hundred feet or five hundred feet above the earth. You go on standing, the gravitation has reached you, but it will not work unless you jump. Once you jump, then you need not do anything. Just a step off the roof… enough; your work is finished. Now the gravitation will do all the work. You need not ask, “Now what am I supposed to do?” You have taken the first step. The first is the last step. Krishnamurti has written a book, The First and the Last Freedom. The meaning is: the first step is the last step because once you are in the stream; everything else is to be done by the stream. You are not needed. Only for the first step is your courage needed.

Then the mind is inclined towards discrimination, and gravitates towards liberation.

You start moving slowly upwards. Your life energy starts rising high – an upsurge. And it is unbelievable when it happens because it is against all the laws that you have known up to now. It is levitation, not gravitation. Something in you simply starts moving upwards, and there is no barrier to it. Nothing bars its path. Just a little relaxation, a little unclinging – the first step – and then automatically, spontaneously, your consciousness becomes more and more discriminative, more and more aware.

Let me tell you about another thing. You have heard the word, the phrase: ‘vicious circle’. Let us make another phrase: ‘virtuous circle’. In a vicious circle, one bad thing leads to another. For example, if you get angry then one anger leads you to more anger, and of course, more anger will lead you to still more anger. Now you are in a vicious circle. Each anger will make the habit of anger more strong, and will create more anger, and more anger will make the habit still more strong, and on and on. You move in a vicious circle which goes on becoming stronger and stronger and stronger.

Let us try a new word: virtuous circle. If you become aware, what Patanjali calls vivek, awareness; if you become aware: vairagya. Discrimination creates renunciation. If you become aware, suddenly you see that you are no more the body. Not that you renounce the body; in your very awareness the body is renounced. If you become aware, you become aware that these thoughts are not you.

In that very awareness those thoughts are renounced. You have started dropping them. You don’t give them any more energy; you don’t cooperate with them. Your cooperation has stopped, and they cannot live without your energy. They live on your energy, they exploit you. They don’t have their own energy. Each thought that enters you partakes of your energy. And because you are kaivalya willing to give your energy, it lives there, it makes its abode there. Of course, then its children come, and friends, and relatives, and this goes on. Once you are a little aware, vivek brings vairagya, awareness brings renunciation. And renunciation makes you capable of becoming more aware. And of course, more awareness brings more vairagya, more renunciation, and so on and so forth. This is what I am calling the virtuous circle: one virtue leads to another, and each virtue becomes again a ground for more virtue to arise. “This goes on,” Patanjali says, “to the last moment” – what he calls, dharma megha samadhi. We will be coming to it later on. He calls it ‘the cloud of virtue showering on you’. This virtuous circle, vivek leading to vairagya, vairagya leading to more vivek, vivek again creating more possibilities for vairagya, and so on and so forth – comes to the ultimate peak when the cloud of virtue showers on you: dharma megha samadhi.

In breaks of discrimination, other pratyayas, concepts, arise through the force of previous impressions.

Still, though, many intervals will be there. So don’t be discouraged. Even if you have become very aware and in sudden moments you feel the pull, the upward pull of grace, and in certain moments you are in the stream, floating perfectly beautifully, with no effort, effortlessly, and everything is going and running smoothly, still there will be gaps. Suddenly you will find yourself standing again on the bank just because of old habits. For so many lives you have lived on the bank. Just because of the old habit, again and again the past will overpower you. Don’t be discouraged by it. The moment you see that you are again on the bank, again get down into the stream. Don’t be sad about it, because if you become sad you will again be in a vicious circle. Don’t be sad about it. Many times the seeker comes at very close quarters, and many times he loses the track. No need to be worried; again bring awareness. This is going to happen many times; it is natural. For so many millions of lives we have lived in unawareness – it is only natural that many times the old habit will start functioning. Let me tell you a few anecdotes.

The boss was full of confidence as he approached the reception desk at a large hotel with his secretary and signed the register as Mr. and Mrs.

“Double or twin beds?” enquired the clerk.

He turned to his secretary and asked casually, “Would a double be alright, darling?”

“Yes, sir,” she answered.

“Yes, sir,” the wife was saying to the husband! – but just the old habit of being a secretary, continuously saying, “Yes sir, yes sir, yes sir.” Habits become very ingrained, and they catch hold of you in such a way that unless you are very, very watchful, you will not even suspect.

It happened: An indignant schoolteacher rang the local police station to complain that a crowd of young hooligans had chalked four-letter words all over her front door. “And what is more,” she concluded, “they have not even spelled them right!”

A school teacher is just a school teacher. She is complaining against the four-letter words, but the basic complaint is that they have not even spelled them right. Continuously correcting the spelling of children….

In breaks of discrimination, other concepts arise through the force of previous impressions.

Many times you will be pulled back, again and again and again. The struggle is hard, but not impossible. It is difficult, it is very arduous, but don’t become sad and don’t become discouraged.

Whenever you remember again, don’t be worried about what has happened. Let your awareness again be established, that’s all. Continuously establishing your awareness again and again and again will create a new impact inside your being, a new impression of virtue. One day, it becomes as natural as other habits.


From Yoga: The Supreme Science, Discourse #9 (previously published as Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, V.10)

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

I have split up the last sutra discourse from the Yoga series into three posts. This is the first of three. The second one is The Cloud Which Showers Virtue and the third is You Are the Abode of the Ultimate.



An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from 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 and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from and

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