Osho on Meditation and Compassion

Osho – Meditation is a flower and compassion is its fragrance. Exactly like that it happens. The flower blooms and the fragrance spreads on the winds in all directions, to be carried to the very ends of earth. But the basic thing is the blooming of the flower.

Man is also carrying a potentiality for flowering within him. Until and unless the inner being of man flowers, the fragrance of compassion is not possible. Compassion cannot be practiced. It is not a discipline. You cannot manage it. It is beyond you. If you meditate, one day, suddenly, you become aware of a new phenomenon, absolutely strange — from your being compassion is flowing towards the whole of existence; undirected, unaddressed, it is moving to the very ends of existence.

Without meditation, energy remains passion; with meditation, the same energy becomes compassion. Passion and compassion are not two energies, they are one and the same energy. Once it passes through meditation, it is transformed, transfigured; it becomes qualitatively different. Passion moves downwards, compassion moves upwards; passion moves through desire, compassion moves through desirelessness; passion is an occupation to forget the miseries in which you live, compassion is a celebration, it is a dance of attainment, of fulfillment…you are so fulfilled that you can share. Now there is nothing left; you have attained the destiny that you were carrying for millennia within you like an unflowered potentiality, just a bud. Now it has flowered and it is dancing. You have attained, you are fulfilled, there is no more to attain, nowhere to go, nothing to do.

Now what will happen to the energy? You start sharing. The same energy that was moving through the dark layers of passion, now moves with light rays upwards, uncontaminated by any desire, uncontaminated by any conditioning. It is uncorrupted by any motivation — hence I call it fragrance. The flower is limited but not the fragrance. The flower has limitations it is rooted somewhere in bondage. but fragrance has no bondage. It simply moves, rides on the winds; it has no moorings in the earth.

Meditation is a flower. It has roots. It exists in you. Once compassion happens, it is not rooted; it simply moves and goes on moving. Buddha has disappeared but not his compassion. The flower will die sooner or later — it is part of earth and the dust will return unto dust — but the fragrance that has been released will remain forever and forever. Buddha has gone, Jesus has gone, but not their fragrance. Their compassion still continues and whoever is open to their compassion will immediately feel its impact, will be moved by it, will be taken on a new journey, on a new pilgrimage.

Compassion is not limited to the flower — it comes from the flower but it is not of the flower. It comes through the flower, the flower is just a passage. but it comes really from the beyond. It cannot come without the flower — the flower is a necessary stage — but it does not belong to the flower. Once the flower has bloomed, compassion is released.

This insistence, this emphasis, has to be deeply understood, because if you miss the point you can start practicing compassion but then it is not real fragrance. A practiced compassion is just the same passion with a new name. It is the same desire-contaminated, motivation-corrupted energy and it can become very dangerous to other people — because in the name of compassion you can destroy, in the name of compassion, you can create bondage. It is not compassion, and if you practice it, you are being artificial, formal — in fact a hypocrite.

The first thing to be remembered continuously is that compassion cannot be practiced. It is this point where all the followers of all the great religious teachers have missed. Buddha attained compassion through meditation — now Buddhists go on practicing compassion. Jesus attained compassion through meditation — now Christians, the Christian missionaries, go on practicing love, compassion, service to humanity but their compassion has proved to be a very destructive force in the world. Their compassion has created only wars; their compassion has destroyed millions of people. They end up in deep imprisonments.

Compassion frees you, gives you freedom, but that compassion has to come only through meditation, there is no other way to it. Buddha has said that compassion is a by-product, a consequence. You cannot catch hold of the consequence directly, you have to move; you have to produce the cause, and the effect follows. So if you really want to understand what compassion is you have to understand what meditation is. Forget all about compassion; it comes on its own accord.

Try to understand what meditation is. Compassion can become a criterion as to whether the meditation was right or not. If the meditation has been right, compassion is bound to come — it is natural; it follows like a shadow. If the meditation has been wrong then compassion will not follow.

So compassion can work as a criterion as to whether the meditation has been really right or not. And a meditation can be wrong. People have a wrong notion that all meditations are right; It is not so. Meditations can be wrong. For example, any meditation that leads you deep into concentration is wrong — it will not result in compassion. You will become more and more closed rather than becoming open. If you narrow down your Consciousness concentrate on something, and you exclude the whole of existence and become one-pointed, it will create more and more tension in you. Hence the word ‘attention’. It means ‘at-tension’. Concentration, the very sound of the word, gives you a feeling of tenseness.

Source – Osho Book “Ancient Music in the Pines’

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