Osho on Bhishma

Osho – Man is afraid of freedom, and freedom is the only thing which makes you a man. So we are suicidal — destroying our freedom. And with that destruction we are destroying our whole possibility of being. Then having is good because having means accumulating dead things. You can go on accumulating; there is no end to it. And the more you accumulate, the more secure you are. When I say, “Now man has to move consciously,” I mean this, that you have to be aware of your freedom and also aware of your fear of freedom.

How to use this freedom? Religion is nothing but an effort toward conscious evolution, an effort how to use this freedom. Your volitional efforts are now significant. Whatsoever you are doing non-voluntarily is just part of the past. Your future depends on your volitional acts. A very simple act done with awareness, with volition, gives you a certain growth — even an ordinary act.

You go on a fast, but not because you have no food. You have food; you can eat it. You have hunger; you can eat. You go on a fast: it is a volitional act — a conscious act. No animal can perform this. An animal will go on a fast sometimes when there is no hunger. An animal will have to fast when there is no food. But only man can fast when there is hunger and food both. This is a volitional act. You use your freedom. The hunger cannot goad you. The hunger cannot push you and the food cannot pull you.

If there is no food, it is not a fast. If there is no hunger, it is naturopathy; it is not a fast. Hunger is there, food is there, and you are on a fast. This fasting is a volitional act, a conscious act. This will give you much awareness. You will feel a subtle freedom: freedom from food, freedom from hunger — really, deep down, freedom from the body, and still more deep down, freedom from nature. And your freedom grows and your consciousness grows. As your consciousness grows, your freedom grows. They are interrelated. Be more free and you will be more conscious; be more conscious and you will be more free: they are interdependent.

But we can deceive ourselves. A son, a daughter, can say, “I will rebel against my father so that I may be more free.” Hippies are doing that. But rebellion is not freedom because it is just natural. At a particular age, to rebel against parents is not freedom: it is just natural! A child who is just coming out of the womb of his mother cannot say, “I am leaving the womb.” It is natural.

When someone is sexually mature, it is a second birth. Now he must fight his parents, because only if he fights with his parents will he move further away from them. And unless he moves further away from them he cannot create a new family nucleus. So every child will go against his parents: this is natural. And if a child is not going against, it is a growth — because then he is fighting nature.

For example, you get married. Your mother and your wife are coming into conflict, which is natural — natural, I say, because for the mother it is a great shock. You have moved to another woman. Up to now you were wholly and solely your mother’s. And it makes no difference that she is your mother: deep down no one is a mother and no one is a wife. Deep down every female is a woman. Suddenly you have moved to another woman, and the woman in your mother will suffer, will become jealous. Fight and conflict are natural. But if your mother can still love you it is a growth. If your mother can love you more than she ever loved you now that you have moved to a new woman, it is a growth, it is a conscious growth. She is going above natural instincts.

When you are a child you love your parents. That is natural — just a bargain. You are helpless, and they are doing everything for you. You love them and you give them respect. When your parents have become old and they cannot do anything for you, if you still respect and love them, it is a growth. Any time natural instinct is transcended, you grow. You have made a volitional decision, so your being will grow and you will acquire an essence.

The old Indian culture tried in every way to make life such that everything becomes a growth. It is natural for a small child to respect his father, but it is unnatural to respect him when the father has become old, dying, unable to do anything for the child and is just a burden to him. Then it is unnatural! No animal can do that; the natural bond has broken. Only man can do that, and if it is done you grow. It is volitional. You grow with any volitional act, simple or complex.

I will tell you a story. In the “Mahabharat”, Bhishma’s father fell in love with a girl. He was very old. But even when you are old, to fall in love is natural. Even on the deathbed you can fall in love. The girl was ready, but the girl’s father made a condition. He said, “You have your son Bhishma.” Bhishma was young, just to be married. The girl’s father said, “Bhishma will inherit your kingdom, so make it a condition to me that if any son is born from my daughter to you, he will inherit the kingdom, not Bhishma.”

It was so unnatural for the father to tell Bhishma this. He was an old man; he could have died any day. But he was worried and he became sad, so Bhishma asked him, “What is the matter? Something is on your mind. What can I do, tell me?”

So he fabricated a story. Old men are very efficient. He said, “Because you are the only son, only one to me, and because no one can trust in nature, if you die or something happens, then who will inherit my kingdom? So I have talked with wise men and they say that it is better that I marry again so that I can get another son.”

So Bhishma said, “What is wrong in it? You marry.”
Then the father said, “There is a difficulty. I want to marry this girl, but it is the condition of her father that ‘Your son Bhishma should not inherit the kingdom. Only my daughter’s son should.’ ”
So Bhishma said, “It is okay with me. I give you my promise.”

Bhishma went to the man whose daughter was going to marry his father. He said, “I promise you, I will not inherit the kingdom.”
But that man was just a fisherman, very ordinary. He said. “I know. But how can you promise me? Your sons may create trouble. And we are just fishermen, very ordinary people. If your sons create trouble, we will not be able to do anything.” So Bhishma said, “I promise you: I will never marry. Okay?” Then the whole thing was finished.

This was very unnatural. He was a young man, and he never married, he never looked at a woman with any carnal desire. This became a growth. This created a subtle being, an integration, a crystallization. Then there was no need for any other SADHANA (spiritual practice). Only this fact was enough. He was crystallized. This promise was enough! He became a different man; he began to grow vertically. The natural horizontal line stopped. With this promise, everything stopped. There was no biological possibility now. Everything natural became meaningless.

But Bhishma is rare. With no spiritual practice, with no spiritual effort other than this, he attained the highest peak possible. So with any act, simple or complex, which is a conscious decision on your part without any instructive goading behind it, without any natural force forcing you to decide — if it is your decision, through that decision you are created. Every decision is decisive for your birth: you grow in a different dimension. So use any act, even very ordinary acts.

You are sitting: decide that “Now I will not move my body for ten minutes.” You will be surprised that though the body was not moving before, now the body forces you to move. You begin to feel many subtle movements in the body of which you were not even aware. Now the body will revolt. The whole past is behind it, and the body will say, “I will move.” The body will begin to tremble, there will be subtle movements, and you will feel many temptations to move. Your legs will fall asleep. They will go dead, and you will feel to scratch somewhere. Many things will be there. You were sitting without any movements previously, but now you cannot sit. But if you can sit even for ten minutes without moving, you will not need any other meditation.

In Japan they call “just sitting” the only meditation. Their word for it is “Za-zen”. “Za-zen” means just sitting. But then sit and do not do anything else. When a seeker comes to a Zen Master, the Master will say, “Just sit: sit for hours together.” In a zen monastery you will see many, many seekers sitting for hours together — just sitting, not doing anything. No meditation is given, no contemplation, no prayer. Just sitting is the meditation.

A seeker will sit for six hours without any movement, and when every movement falls down, withers away, when there is no movement — not only no movement, but no inner desire to move — you are centered, you are crystallized! You have used the very ordinary act of sitting for your volition, for your will, for your awareness.

It is very difficult. If I say to you, “Just close your eyes and do not open them,” many temptations will be there. And then you will feel very uneasy at not opening them, and you will open them. And you can deceive yourself that “I am not opening them. Suddenly they opened themselves; the eyes opened themselves. I was not aware.” Or, you can just deceive another way: you can have a small glimpse, a little glimpse, and then close your eyes.

If you can keep your eyes shut just as a volitional act, that will help. Anything can become a medium to grow, so contemplate on your habits. And whatsoever you do, do it volitionally. Anything, any habit can be used, any mechanical action can be used. Begin to do otherwise: change it, and then once you decide on something, do it — otherwise it may prove fatal.

It does prove so! If you decide something and do not do it, it is better not to decide, because that will give your will a very deep shock. And we are doing that. We go on deciding and not doing. Ultimately, we lose every possibility for will, and we begin to feel a deep will-lessness, a deep impotency, a deep weakness. And you decide about very ordinary things. Someone decides, “Now I am not going to smoke,” and the next day he is smoking. You may think, “What is wrong with it? It was my decision — and I am the master of my decisions, so I have changed it.”

You are not! You have changed because you are not the master. Smoking proves the master, not you. Smoking is more powerful than you. Then it is better not to decide — to go on smoking. But if you decide, then let this decision be final. Then never move from it. That will give you a growth.

Of course, every habit will fight with you, and your mind will say, “What are you doing? That is wrong!” Your mind will rationalize in many, many ways. I do not say smoking is wrong. I say deciding not to smoke and then to smoke is wrong. Even do the vice versa: if you decide to smoke, then smoke. Then do not stop. Then whatsoever happens — cancer or whatsoever — let it happen. If the whole world goes against it, let it: if you have decided to smoke, then smoke. Even at the cost of life, go on smoking. That will give you a growth.

So it is not a question of a cigarette or no cigarette, smoking or not smoking. Deep down it is a question of following a decision, of will, of a voluntary act. Whatsoever the object is, it is irrelevant, but decide and with small decisions you can create a great will — with very small decisions.

Just say, “I will not look out of the window for one hour.” It is a very, very small decision with no meaning — meaningless. Who will bother to see whether you look out of the window or not? And nothing is happening out of the window. But the moment you decide not to look out of the window, your whole being will revolt and would like to see, and the window will become the focus of the whole world. It is as if you are missing everything — something is going to happen there!

One day Mulla Nasrudin decided not to go to the market. It was just in the early morning at five o’clock. There was no question of the market. He just decided not to go! Then he began to think about the market. And he decided just because he remembered that every week, once a week, was market-day in the village. He thought, “Every week I go to the market uselessly with nothing to sell and nothing to buy.”

He was a poor man: “nothing to sell and nothing to buy”! He thought. “Why do I go to the market unnecessarily? Because everyone goes, and it is a market-day, a festivity in the village? Why should I go? Today I am not going although it is a market day.”

He decided early at five o’clock. Then he began to think about it: “What if something happens there? I should go in case something happens there.” So he worked it out, and he was fidgeting inside. And then, by six o’clock, he was in the market. There were still four or five hours for the market to open, for people to gather, but he was in the market sitting under a tree, just in the center of the market.

Someone asked Mulla Nasrudin, “Why are you sitting here so early?”
Nasrudin said, “It is a market-day, and I thought that if something happens and a large crowd is there, I may not get to the right point. So I am just sitting here in the center. If something happens, then I will be the first. And who knows? In this world, everything is possible.”

The market-place became very significant, the center of the world, and it became tempting just by the decision that “I am not going to the market, because every week I go uselessly with nothing to sell and nothing to purchase.”

The moment you decide, you will be tempted, and to transcend temptation is a growth. Remember, it is not suppression. It is not suppression! It is transcendence. The temptation is there: you do not fight it — you acknowledge it. You say, “Okay, you are there, but I have decided.” Try it for your meditation.

You are sitting, and when you sit for meditation many thoughts will come — uninvited guests. They never come ordinarily. When you meditate, only then do they become interested in you. They will come, they will crowd, they will encircle you. Do not fight with them. Just say, “I have decided not to be disturbed by you,” and remain still. A thought comes to you; just say to the thought, “Go away.” Do not fight! By fighting you acknowledge; by fighting you accept; by fighting you will prove weaker. Just say, “Go away!” and remain still. You will be surprised. Just by saying to a thought, “Go away!” it goes away.

But say it with a will. Your mind must not be divided. It must not be something like a feminine no. It must not be like that, because with a feminine no, the more forcefully it is said the more forcefully it means yes. It must not be a feminine no. If you say, “Go away,” then do not mean inside, “Come nearer.” Then let it be “Go away!” Mean it, and the thought will disappear. If you are angry and you have decided not to be angry, do not suppress it. Just say to the anger, “I am not going to be angry,” and the anger will disappear.

There is a mechanism. Your will is needed because anger needs energy. If you say no with full energy, there is no energy left for the anger. A thought moves because deep down a hidden yes is there. That is why a thought moves in your mind. If you say no, that yes is cut from the very root. The thought becomes uprooted. It cannot be in you. But then with the no or yes you must mean what you say. Then the no must mean no and the yes must mean yes. But we go on saying yes, meaning no; telling no, meaning yes. Then the whole life becomes confused. And your mind, your body, they do not know what you mean, what you are saying.

This conscious effort to decide, to act, to be, is now going to be the evolution for man. A Buddha is different from you because of this effort and nothing else. Potentially there is no difference. Only this conscious effort makes the difference. Between man and man, the real difference is only of conscious effort. All else is just superficial. Only your clothes are different, so to speak. But when you have something conscious in you, a growth, an inward growth which is not natural, but which goes beyond, then you have a distinct individuality.

Source – Osho Book “The Ultimate Alchemy, Vol2”

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