Osho is one of the best-known and most provocative spiritual teachers of our time. Osho, known for his revolutionary contribution to the science of inner transformation, continues to inspire millions of people worldwide in their search to define a new approach to individual spirituality that is self-directed and responsive to the everyday challenges of contemporary life. The Sunday Times of London has named him one of the ‘1,000 makers of the twentieth century’; the novelist Tom Robbins has called him ‘the most dangerous man since Jesus Christ’.
Nearly two decades after his death in 1990, the influence of his teachings continues to grow, reaching seekers around the world.
Osho’s teachings defy categorization, covering everything from the individual quest for meaning to the most urgent social and political issues facing individuals and society today.
In these talks, Osho describes his enlightenment experience …
Here Osho responds to the following questions:
What was the first thing that you did after you became enlightened?
Excerpts from these talks ..
I LAUGHED, a real uproarious laugh, seeing the whole absurdity of trying to be enlightened. The whole thing is ridiculous because we are born enlightened, and to try for something that is already the case is the most absurd thing. If you already have it, you cannot achieve it; only those things can be achieved which you don’t have, which are not intrinsic parts of your being. But enlightenment is your very nature.
I had struggled for it for many lives – it had been the only target for many many lives. And I had done everything that is possible to do to attain it, but I had always failed. It was bound to be so – because it cannot be an attainment. It is your nature, so how can it be your attainment? It cannot be made an ambition.
Mind is ambitious – ambitious for money, for power, for prestige. And then one day, when it gets fed up with all these extrovert activities, it becomes ambitious for enlightenment, for liberation, for nirvana, for God. But the same ambition has come back; only the object he changed. First the object was outside, now the object is inside. But your attitude, your approach has not changed; you are the same person in the same mt, in the same routine.
“The day I became enlightened” simply means the day I realized that there is nothing to achieve, there is nowhere to go, there is nothing to be done. We are already divine and we are already perfect – as we arc. No improvement is needed, no improvement at all. God never creates anybody imperfect. Even if you come across an imperfect man, you will see that his imperfection is perfect.
God never creates any imperfect thing.
I have heard about a Zen Master Bokuju who was telling this truth to his disciples, that all is perfect.
A man stood up – very old, a hunchback – and he said, “What about me? I am a hunchback. What do you say about me?” Bokuju said, “I have never seen such a perfect hunchback in my life.”
When I say “the day I achieved enlightenment,” I am using wrong language – because there is no other language, because our language is created by us. It consists of the words “achievement,”
“attainment,” “goals,” “improvement” “progress,” “evolution.” Our languages are not created by the enlightened people; and in fact they cannot create it even if they want to because enlightenment happens in silence. How can you bring that silence into words? And whatsoever you do, the words are going to destroy something of that silence.
Lao Tzu says: The moment truth is asserted it becomes false. There is no way to communicate truth. But language has to be used; there is no other way. So we always have to use the language with the condition that it cannot be adequate to the experience. Hence I say “the day I achieved my enlightenment.” It is neither an achievement nor mine.
[At this point there was a power failure: no light, no sound.] Yes, it happens like that! Out of nowhere suddenly the darkness, suddenly the light, and you cannot do anything. You can just watch.
I laughed that day because of all my stupid ridiculous efforts to attain it. I laughed on that day at myself, and I laughed on that day at the whole of humanity, because everybody is trying to achieve, everybody is trying to reach, everybody is trying to improve.
To me it happened in a state of total relaxation – it always happens in that state. I had tried everything. And then, seeing the futility of all effort, I dropped… I dropped the whole project, I forgot all about it. For seven days I lived as ordinarily as possible.
The people I used to live with were very much surprised, because this was the first time they had seen me live just an ordinary life. Otherwise my whole life was a perfect discipline.
For two years I had lived with that family, and they had known that I would get up at three o’clock in the morning, then I would go for a long four- or five-mile walk or run, and then I would take a bath in the river. Everything was absolutely routine. Even if I had a fever or I was ill, there was no difference:
I would simply go on the same way.
They had known me to sit in meditation for hours. Up to that day I had not eaten many things. I would not drink tea, coffee, I had a strict discipline about what to eat, what not to eat. And exactly at nine o’clock I would go to bed. Even if somebody was sitting there, I would simply say “Goodbye”
and I would go to my bed. The family with whom I used to live, they would inform the person that “Now you can go. He has gone to sleep.” I would not even waste a single moment in saying, “Now it is time for me to go to sleep.”
When I relaxed for seven days, when I dropped the whole thing and when on the first day I drank tea in the morning and woke up at nine o’clock in the morning, the family was puzzled. They said, “What has happened?
Have you fallen?” They used to think of me as a great yogi.
One picture of those days still exists. I used to use only one single piece of cloth and that was all. In the day I would cover my body with it, in the night I would use it as a blanket to cover myself. I slept on a bamboo mat. That was my whole comfort – that blanket, that bamboo mat. I had nothing – no other possessions.
They were puzzled when I woke up at nine. They said, “Something is wrong. Are you very ill, seriously ill?”
I said, “No, I am not seriously ill. I have been ill for many years, now I am perfectly healthy. Now I will wake up only when sleep leaves me, and I will go to sleep only when sleep comes to me. I am no longer going to be a slave to the clock. I will eat whatsoever my body feels like eating, and I will drink whatsoever I feel like drinking.”
They could not believe it. They said, “Can you even drink beer?” I said, “Bring it!”
That was the first day I tasted beer. They could not believe their eyes. They said, “You have completely gone down. You have become completely unspiritual. What are you doing?”
I said, “Enough is enough.” And in seven days I completely forgot the whole project, and I forgot it forever.
And the seventh day it happened – it happened just out of nowhere. Suddenly all was light; and I was not doing anything, I was just sitting under a tree resting, enjoying. And when I laughed, the gardener heard the laughter. He used to think that I was a little bit crazy, but he had never seen me laugh in that way. He came running. He said, “What is the matter?”
I said, “Don’t be worried. You know I am crazy – now I have gone completely crazy! I am laughing at myself. Don’t feel offended. Just go to sleep.”
You ask me, Ashu, What was the first thing that you did after you became enlightened?
Laughter. And that’s the thing that I have been doing since then. I cannot laugh before you while telling jokes because that destroys the jokes, but I laugh through you.
Mario staggers into his favorite bar and asks for a triple scotch.
“What happened to you?” the bartender asks.
“I am fucking mad!” Mario says. “It all started late last night. We had been working late and my secretary asked me to drive her home. When I turned on the ignition of my car, the key snapped off in my hand!”
“Oh, that would sure piss me off,” says the bartender.
“No, that didn’t get me mad,” says Mario. “We just took a cab, went up to her apartment and ate a little snack she prepared. Then she asked me if I would like to lie down with her a while.”
“And then?” asks the enthralled bartender.
“Well,” continues Mario, “as I unzipped my trousers my bloody fly got jammed and I couldn’t get my pants off!”
“Wow! That would really get me mad!” exclaims the bartender.
“Naw… That didn’t get me mad. We got into it soon enough, and there we were going at it good and strong when all of a sudden there was a key in the latch. ‘Quick,’ she said, ‘it must be my husband.
“Now that’s a real piss-off!” says the bartender.
“No,” says Mario, “that’s not what made me mad. I had to hide fast. In the cupboard and under the bed were obvious places, so I hung by my fingers out of the window. ‘
“And then?” says the bartender.
“Well, the husband bursts in and yells, ‘Where is that sonofabitch hiding?’ And without waiting for an answer he looks under the bed and in the cupboard and then he looks out of the window and sees me hanging by my fingers there with no clothes on.”
“And then?” says the bartender.
“Well, he runs to his cupboard and pulls out a nine iron from his golf bag and with a grin on his face jumps onto the window sill and starts teeing off on my finger-tips, one by one.”
“Jesus Christ! No wonder you are mad!” says the bartender.
“No! That’s not why I am mad!” says Mario. “It was only when he got down to the last finger that I looked down and realized that I was only twelve inches off the ground! That’s why I am mad!
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