Osho on Meditation and Enlightenment

Question – Beloved Osho, watching the mind, it seems to me there is an infinite ocean of thoughts. Meditation gives me more peace and grounding, but hearing you speak about enlightenment — it seems to me far, far away. can you give me some advice?

Osho – Dhyan Jashan, enlightenment is as far away as you are from yourself; hence the distance differs from individual to individual. You are certainly in a difficult position: first, you are a German, and nobody has ever heard of any German becoming enlightened. Only one of my German sannyasins used to become once in a while enlightened, and again he understood, “What am I doing? It is not for me,” and he dropped the idea. That happened many times. Just now I have heard that he is washing dishes in a Zorba the Buddha restaurant. The person who told me about him had asked him, “What happened? You had become enlightened….”

He said, “Forget all about it. Five times I became enlightened, and then I dropped the whole idea. I am feeling far happier washing dishes in the restaurant.” What was happening was that whenever he would come here he would become unenlightened, and whenever he would go to Germany he would become enlightened. In Germany there was no question, no objection; nobody has even heard what it means, so in Germany it would be easier. Here it is a little difficult.

Secondly, you are really in a big dilemma: you are a liar! First a German, and then a liar makes things very complex — otherwise enlightenment is as easy as nothing else in the world. Everything needs some effort, except enlightenment. Everything needs you to go somewhere, everything needs you to do some climbing the ladder — except enlightenment.

Enlightenment is the easiest, because it is not an achievement. Don’t make a goal of it… that’s what is making it difficult for you. If you are feeling good and grounded in meditation, you are perfectly in the right direction. Just get all your ocean of thoughts settled. Let it become a lake without any ripples.

You drop the idea of enlightenment — it is none of your business. Meditation is going well; that means the tree is growing well, the flowers will be coming in their own time, in their own season. No tree is worried, no tree is concerned about why the flowers have not come yet; they always come in their own time.

All that you have to take care of is that the tree should not die, that it should be nourished, that it should have a good soil, that it should be watered, that it should have your love, your friendship. All you can do is nourish your meditation, become more and more grounded and centered. One day suddenly, from nowhere… the explosion.

You don’t have to go to enlightenment; it comes to you. In fact, even that is not right to say. It does not come either; it happens — and it happens from your innermost core. It is an explosion, just like the explosion of an atom. Atomic explosion comes from the innermost core of the atom. Enlightenment is the explosion of your innermost life center. Suddenly all darkness is gone! A light has descended upon you from every side, and a light that needs no fuel… a light that remains, that has come forever.

Nobody can become unenlightened; that is an impossibility, that’s a difficult task — even a German cannot do that. But enlightenment becomes a problem because you go on hearing me. I am the problem. I cannot stop talking about enlightenment, and that creates the desire in you and the longing in you. Just don’t listen to me! The moment I say “Enlightenment…” simply say, “It is not for us.” If you can avoid…

You cannot make me feel responsible for it, because I am helpless, I will continue to talk, I cannot talk about anything else. Whatever I say suddenly turns out to be something about enlightenment. Just watch…

A priest went to a ranch in order to buy a horse, and saw a beautiful one that he liked and asked if he could try it. “Sure,” said the rancher, “but I have to tell you something. That horse used to be owned by the bishop, and if you want the horse to move, you have to say, `Good Lord,’ and if you want him to stop, you have to say, `Amen.'”
“That’s okay,” said the priest and jumped up and said, “Good Lord.” The horse promptly moved off and then was seen galloping in the mountains. The priest was yelling, “Good Lord, good Lord.” and the horse was really moving.

But suddenly they were coming to the edge of the cliff and, in panic, stricken with fear, he yelled, “Stop, stop!” That did not work and then he remembered and shouted, “Amen.”
The horse stopped right on the edge of the cliff and, wiping his brow with his relief, the priest said, “Good Lord!”

Do you think Gautam Buddha could have made this story in any way connected with enlightenment? But I am just incurable. I see every element in it exactly leading to enlightenment. All that you need is the last “Good Lord”… finished!

There is no hurry. You are moving slowly, gradually, you are getting grounded, becoming centered, but listening to me your desire catches fire. It starts thinking, “If meditation is so beautiful, so silent, what will enlightenment be like?” And then it becomes a constant worry and a tension. It will not help you; it will even disturb your meditation.

But you should look at my trouble also. If I don’t talk about enlightenment, you are not going even to do meditation; if I talk about enlightenment, that disturbs meditation. Now you tell me the way…! So just be sane. Enlightenment comes — I can guarantee you it comes. It is not as though it is something that has not happened to many people. You have the potential for it, but you have to understand the whole process.

In the beginning the master goes on telling you all the beauties and all the blissfulness and all the ecstasies of enlightenment. He has to — otherwise who has time to meditate? Television is there, football matches are going on…. The world all around is so full of idiots doing all kinds of gymnastics: boxers are boxing, actors are acting — who has time for meditation, and for what?

If I don’t talk about enlightenment, then naturally you will ask me, “Why should I meditate?” And the moment I say “Enlightenment…” trouble arises. Then your mind is habitually making everything a goal, far away. Mind enjoys challenge, and enlightenment is not a challenge.

People even want to go to Everest. When Edmund Hillary, the first man who reached on top of Everest, was asked by the news media, “Why did you take such a risky step of going to the highest peak of the Himalayas?” His answer was really beautiful, an answer with great understanding.

He said, “It is not a question of my going. It is just because Everest is there, unclimbed, and I cannot tolerate it. It is not troubling me, it has nothing to do with me, but simply the idea that it remains unclimbed… hundreds of people have died trying to climb it, and it has become a challenge. I will risk my whole life.” You will not gain anything….

He reached to the top, looked all around, and felt embarrassed, because there was not even somebody to say “Hello, hi, Edmund Hillary, how are you?” — not even a single tree, not even a single bird, not even a single animal, nothing. Just miles and miles of eternal snow which has never melted… He did not remain there for more than two minutes; what is the point? Man may go to the moon, man may go to Mars, man may go some day to some star. They are challenging to the mind. Mind is very interested in any challenge: provoke it, and it will go.

But enlightenment is not a goal, it is not Everest, it is not the moon. It is you. You don’t have to go anywhere, not even out of your room. You don’t have to take a single step. You have just to be silent, unmoving, and it is there. It has always been there. So you should understand: the problem of the master is that he has first to talk about enlightenment to create a little interest, a little longing in you, and then he has immediately to make it clear to you that you should not make your longing attached to a goal. You have to find it just within yourself. No effort, no doing, no action… nothing is needed.

Dhyan Jashan, if you can simply remain meditating and enjoying the silence and the peace of it, you have done whatever is needed on your part. Now leave enlightenment to existence. Existence is not miserly; it is not exhausted because a few people have become enlightened. There is no quota, that only so many people can become enlightened. The whole world can become enlightened, everybody has the intrinsic potential; you just have to disconnect your meditation from any goal-orientation, from any motivation. It is not difficult if you understand: just a little intelligence…

But we live in a world where intelligence is not valued, where the mediocres rule, where the mediocres are the leaders… where the intelligent people simply get out of the crowd, they don’t want to be unnecessarily hassled and hustled in the crowd; they stand by the road and let the crowd pass. Once you become aware of the strangeness of the people around you, you will be surprised: how have you been missing it up to now?

Just today Neelam has brought a news which has been published by all the newspapers of India. The statement is from a man called Devahar Baba, who is worshiped by thousands of Hindus, thought to be a great saint. All his qualities for being a great saint are very peculiar. One is that for twelve years he was standing in the water day in, day out. He will eat standing up to his chest in the water, he will do everything there: that made him known nationwide, a great man. Somehow people persuaded him that “it is enough, twelve years…” Just out of compassion he came out of the river, and since then he has been sitting in a small hut made for him on a tree. These are his two qualifications for being one of the representatives of Hinduism.

His statement was just according to his qualifications. The statement was that the world can be saved, all problems can be solved, if only cow slaughter is stopped. Now his statement is being published by every newspaper without a single criticism — but my statement will not be published by anyone. Now this is sheer stupidity, not intelligence.

How can the world’s problems be solved by stopping cow slaughter? But in India it is a very common way of thinking…. Mahatma Gandhi used to think that if everybody starts spinning his own clothes, all problems will be solved. India is great in finding simple solutions! Now Maharishi Mahesh Yogi is saying that if people start learning yogic hopping, which he calls yogic flying, all problems will be solved. There will be peace, serenity, no war, no hunger.

And I am amazed that nobody criticizes them, nobody holds them by the neck and tells them, “You idiot!…” The world is suffering with so many complex problems, and you are suggesting that somebody sitting in the lotus posture, hopping, will solve all the problems. Nuclear weapons will disappear, communism will not be against capitalism, the Soviet Union will become a democracy, America will distribute all its wealth to the poor, the West will distribute all its products to the poor countries — just because a few idiots are sitting in the lotus posture and hopping. I cannot even conceive in my dream…

Perhaps that’s why I have stopped dreaming for thirty years. I have not dreamt for thirty years — what to dream? And if you call these people idiots, immediately somebody’s religious feeling is hurt. Immediately an arrest warrant… I have been summoned thousands of times — I have even forgotten the number — and how many times have they issued arrest warrants for the single reason that I have made some reasonable statement?

It is a very unreasonable, almost insane world in which you are living. If you can manage just to meditate, you have done more than is expected of the contemporary man. And your meditation is going good. Just go on saying, “Good Lord!” In meditation there never comes any cliff. You don’t have to remember “Amen” — there is no need.

Meditation slowly, slowly turns into your enlightenment. You suddenly become aware one day, Where is that darkness? where is that continuous rush of thoughts? where has the mind gone? Suddenly you are absolutely as hollow as a bamboo; but your hollowness is not empty — it is full of joy and full of rejoicing. You will dance for no reason at all, you will sing for no reason at all, songs that you have not composed, dances that you have not learned. They are just bubbling spontaneously in your consciousness. That is enlightenment, but don’t make it a goal. Meditation is enough. Everything else follows on its own.

Source – Osho Book “The Great Pilgrimage From Here to Here”

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