Osho on desire to misery

Question : Beloved Osho, you said that desire always creates misery. Then do the desires for good deeds, for religion, for god also create misery?

Osho : Desire itself leads you to misery; it does not make any difference what you desire. The object of desire can be anything – you may want money or you may want religion – desire is desire. Desire means that you are not satisfied, you are not contented where you are and as you are.

You think that if you get more money you will be satisfied, if you get more religion you will be satisfied. Desire means that you are dissatisfied and discontented. Desire is anguish born out of dissatisfaction. It does not matter what type of dissatisfaction it is, there is no satisfaction.

What you desire makes no difference. Some people are building a good house on this earth and some people are building a good house in heaven.

One day, as I was going along a road, a woman came and gave me a pamphlet in which was shown a picture of a beautiful building with a garden full of flowers and a stream. On it was written, ”Are you in search of a nice bungalow?”

Out of curiosity I turned it over and found that the bungalow was not of this earth, it was some propaganda from the Christian missionaries. That beautiful bungalow with the garden and the stream is in heaven! It was written in that pamphlet that if you want such a building in heaven then nobody can take you there except Jesus.

Even if you desire for heaven it is you who will desire. It is the extension of your mind – it will be in your language and in your colors. One day you should sit down and make a list of things which you want in heaven. You will be surprised to read the list: it will contain all the earthly things. You will want to have a Rolls Royce, you will want to have the most beautiful of the actresses, you will want the Taj Mahal.

Yes, make this list and read it to yourself. Don’t be afraid. You may tear it up afterwards. Do not show it to anyone. It will certainly reveal the things you want to possess! If God is ready to give you heaven and if he tells you to ask for anything, what will you ask for? Your desires will reveal to you that your heaven is nothing but the extension of your world here. It may be a little refined. Even in heaven you will ask for these very worldly things, but they will be permanent there; here they are temporary. The differences will be merely of details.

An actress becomes old here but in heaven she will always remain young, because in heaven women never become older than sixteen years of age. Urvasi was sixteen years old millions of years ago, and even now she is sixteen years old; she will always remain sixteen years old. This does not give any information about Urvasi; this reveals the desire of man. He desires that a woman should not become older than sixteen.

In heaven streams of wine are flowing; it is not sold in bottles, it is flowing in streams. You may have prohibition here, so what? You can swim in wine like a fish, you can drink as much as you like, because there there is no prohibition. If there are rules and regulations in heaven and if you have to take a license for alcohol then it is no freedom. No, t here is not even a policeman at the crossroads. Heaven is nothing but the network of your dreams.

Your desire for God is out of sheer misery, pain, disturbance of mind – the same reason people want money, the same reason people want fame and position. Then God is your ultimate achievement. And your so-called sadhus and sannyasins also say that God means the ultimate position. You will be surprised to understand the language of the sadhus and sannyasins.

They say, ”What is the use of money? It is definitely going to be snatched away from you sooner or later, so better to be in search of that currency which will never be snatched away from you.”

But if you analyze this language of theirs, then you will be amazed: one who is looking for the currency which will be snatched away is a sinner, is materialistic, is a debauched. He will go to hell because he is in search of temporal money. And those who are looking for the money not of this world are saints, virtuous.

What is the difference between these two? The only difference which seems to exist is that the one who is looking for the transient is not very clever, and the one looking for the intransient is more clever – more dishonest and cunning. When little children collect pebbles, you tell them not to be so silly; they should collect precious stones and diamonds. Your advice shows that the child is as yet very innocent and you have become worldly wise and very calculating.

I see that, compared to your so-called sadhus and sannyasins, the people you consider to be worldly are more simple and innocent. Your sadhus and sannyasins are more cunning and more dishonest because they are in search of unlimited, eternal wealth. But the desire is the same, there is no difference.

What I am saying is quite a different thing, what Shankara is saying is quite a different thing, what Buddha is saying is quite a different thing. They are not saying that you should desire the truth, that you should desire the divine; they are saying that when all desires disappear then the divine is attained. This is a different thing altogether: when all desires disappear then the divine is attained.

Therefore you just cannot desire the attainment of the divine, because that very desire will become the obstacle. When all the desires disappear without any condition – when there is no desire in the mind, when there is no passion – then only the divine remains. One cannot desire the divine. When desire is given up then godliness will be attained, but you cannot desire the divine. The very desiring of God is wrong. If you hope to get something in return for this then you will get nothing, then you have not understood the divine at all.

Godliness is the result of the disappearance of desire. But to attain it, if you deliberately give up all desires then you will not be able to attain. You cannot make any claims on him, you cannot become the claimant. This is not a business; it is a prayer of the divine. Try to understand this.

When there is no desire left in you, you say, ”I am satisfied as I am, I do not want anything else, I do not want to be anywhere else. It is sufficient for me to be here, I am fortunate.” And you sing and dance because you are in great happiness as you are. There is no desire; you have become an emperor, you are no longer a beggar. Then this emperor meets the ultimate emperor.

To meet the emperor you have to become the emperor. Only an equal can meet the equal. If you desire even God, that will lead you to misery. That is why you will find many fakirs in your temples and mosques who are unhappy and miserable. You are unhappy because you did not get money, you did not get fame, you did not get position. They are unhappy because they have not attained God yet. But the unhappiness continues.

Desire means misery, because desire does not get fulfilled. The nature of desire is unfulfillment. Buddha has said that desire cannot be fulfilled; it is not that you are not capable of fulfilling it, it is because its nature is unfulfillment. You may do anything but it is never fulfilled. It cannot be fulfilled. To get fulfilled is not its destiny. The moment a person understands that desire cannot be fulfilled, he does not desire the divine also.

He gives up all desiring, drops it, and in that moment of dropping he finds that the one he was looking for is within him. He could not see this because desire had made him blind. That is why Shankara says that the divine is within you. The day you come home after giving up all the running around, all the desire, when you sit down in your own home in a relaxed way with gratitude in your heart, you will hear a new music within you.

The music was always there but you could not hear it because of the noise of desire. It was a very subtle sound – it was going on day and night, but you were not at home and the divine was in your house. You never came home – you never found the time. You had a chain of desires to follow, one after another.

You just do not have the time to come back to your home and see the one who is living there. You do not have to go anywhere in search of the divine, you have to return to your own home, and that is pratyahar.

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