Osho on Desire for Enlightenment

Question – Beloved Master, Have i become enlightened? And if not yet, then when?
Osho – Enlightenment is not an object to be desired, it is not a goal to be achieved. And you will become enlightened only when you have forgotten all about it — otherwise, never. And it is not a question to be asked. Even if I say you have become enlightened, that won’t help.

The very question shows that you are still desiring. Enlightenment has become your greed. You may have been desiring other things before — money, respectability, power, prestige; now you are desiring enlightenment. The desire has moved to a different object, but it has not changed. The desire is still the same and desire is the problem. To desire anything is to remain unenlightened.

Let me tell you one anecdote… The doctor slapped the asylum patient on the back and said, “Well, old man, you’re completely cured. Run along and write to your family and tell them you’ll be back home in a couple of weeks, as good as new.”

He went off to write his letter. When he was licking the stamp, it slipped through his fingers and fell onto the back of a cockroach which happened to be passing at the time. Amazed, the patient watched the stamp zig-zagging across the floor, up the wall and right around the skirting-board and then under the door. After a while he tore up the letter. “Two weeks!” he said. “Hell!” I won’t be out of here for two lives.”

That stamp is your desire, and if you look behind the desire you will find the cockroach of your ego. And if you don’t look behind the stamp at the cockroach, even two lives won’t help — you will remain unenlightened. Enlightenment is not something that you have to achieve. It is your nature; you have just to remember it. Look into your games of the ego — subtle are those games. Just watch. Nothing is to be done, just see how ego goes on creating ambitions. And once you have seen all the ways of the ego the cockroach dies, the ego disappears, and you are there — as enlightened as you have always been. Enlightenment is your nature. It is not something to be achieved, it is already the case.

Source – Osho Book “The Divine Melody”

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