Osho on determination

Osho – One and only one moment of determination, of sankalpa, of complete determination is enough, whereas a whole life without it is nothing. Remember it is not time but determination that is the important thing. The achievements of the world are accomplished in the realm of time and those of truth in the realm of determination. Sankalpa, determination, must live in your sadhana.

So what shall I say to you today? We shall be separating tonight and I see that your hearts are already heavy at the prospect. It has only been five days since we all came together here in this lonely spot. Who thought of departure then? But don’t forget that parting is inherent in coming together. They are two sides of the same coin.

Although they appear to be different they always go together. Because they show up separately and on different occasions we are deluded into the false belief that they are not connected. But if you go a little deeper you will find that meeting is itself a parting, that happiness is also grief and that even birth itself is death. Indeed there is hardly any difference between coming and going – or rather, there is no difference at all. It is the same in life. You have hardly come when the process of going begins, and what appears to our minds to be staying on is merely a preparation for leaving.

Really, what is the distance between birth and death? The distance between them can be endless. If life, if this distance between birth and death, becomes a pursuit for self-realization, this distance can have no end to it at all. If life becomes a sadhana, a journey to self-realization, death can become moksha, liberation. While there is not much distance between birth and death, the span between moksha and death is infinite. That distance is as great as the one between body and soul, between a dream and the truth. That distance is much greater than all other distances put together. No two points are greater apart than moksha and death.

The illusion that ”I am the body” is death; the realization that ”I am the soul” is liberation, salvation, moksha. And your life is an opportunity for the realization of truth. If this opportunity for the realization of truth. If this opportunity is used properly and not wasted in vain, the distance between birth and death becomes infinite.

As well, there can be a great distance between your coming here and your departure – a tremendous distance, in just the few days we have spent here. Isn’t it possible you will not be the same when you return as when you came? Isn’t it possible you may return as entirely new and changed people?

If you want it, this revolution or transformation can take place in a moment. Five days are too many. If even five previous births have been too few, why talk of five days? Just one moment of will, of complete determination is enough. A whole life without determination is nothing. Remember that determination and time are the important things. The achievements of the world are made in time; those of truth, in determination. It is the intensity of sankalpa, of determination, that gives a fathomless depth and an infinite expanse to a moment. As a matter of fact, in the intensity of sankalpa time ceases to exist and only eternity remains.

Determination is the door to liberate you from time and unite you with eternity. let your determination be deep and intense. Let it pervade your every breath. Let it be in your memory, asleep or awake. Only through it can a new birth take place, a birth which knows no death. This is real birth. There is a birth, the birth of the physical body, that inevitably ends in death but I deo not call this real birth.

How can something that ends in death be the beginning of life? But there is another birth that does not end in death. It is the real birth. Its fulfillment is in immortality. It was for this birth I invited you here, and to this birth I have been calling you for the past few days. We gathered here for that very birth. But merely coming together here is of no value. If you become whole, if you become one and call from the thirst of your own being, then the determination of your entire being will take you into the presence of truth.

The truth is very near but you need determination, you need will to approach it. The thirst for truth is there in you but determination is necessary as well. This thirst becomes a sadhana only when it goes hand-in-hand with determination.

What does ”determination” mean?

A man once asked a fakir the way to attain God. The fakir looked into his eyes and saw thirst. The fakir was on his way to the river so he asked the man to accompany him and promised to show him the way to attain God after they’d bathed.

They arrived at the river, as soon as the man plunged into the water the fakir grabbed the man’s head and pushed it down into the water with great force. The man began to struggle to free himself from the fakir’s grip. his life was in danger. He was much weaker than the fakir but his latent strength gradually began to stir and soon it became impossible for the fakir to hold him down. The man pushed himself to the limit and was eventually able to get out of the river. He was shocked. The fakir was laughing loudly and he could not understand his behavior.

After the man had calmed down the fakir asked him, ”when you were under the water what desires did you have in your mind?” The man replied, ”Desires! there weren’t desires, there was just one desire – to get a breath of air.” the fakir said, ”This is the secret of attaining God. This is determination. And your determination awakened all your latent powers.”

In a real moment of intense determination great strength is generated – and a man can leave the world and enter truth. By determination alone one can pass from the world into truth; by determination alone one can awaken from the dream to the truth. At this time, at the hour of our parting, I want to remind you of this: determination is needed.
And what else? Determination is needed, plus continuity in your sadhana. Your sadhana must be continuous. Have you ever seen a waterfall coming down from the mountains? It is a continuous stream of water that can even break huge rocks. If a man constantly endeavors to break the rocks of ignorance, those rocks that seemed impossible to break in the beginning will one day turn to dust. And then the man will find his way.

The path is there to be found, without a doubt, but don’t try to locate one that’s ready-made. You have to find it yourself, by your own efforts. And what dignity this brings a man! How much to our credit it is that we attain truth by our own efforts! Mahavira wanted to convey this when he spoke of truth attained by labor.

The truth is not alms given in charity, it is an achievement. You need determination, continuous effort and one more thing: infinite patience. Truth is infinite, endless, and therefore in waiting for it infinite patience is necessary. God appears only after endless waiting. Those who have no patience cannot attain God. I wanted to remind you of this as well.

Finally, I am reminded of a story I will pass along to you. Although quite imaginary, it is perfectly true. An angel passed a spot where an old sadhu was sitting. The sadhu said to the angel, ”Please ask God how long it will take for me to attain moksha, to achieve liberation.”

Near the old sadhu a very young, newly-initiated sannyasin was living. He was sitting under a banyan tree. The angel also asked the young sannyasin if he wanted him to ask God about his moksha as well. But the sannyasin did not say a word. He was quiet, calm and silent.

After some time the angel returned. He said to the old sadhu, ”I asked God about your moksha. He says it will take three more births.” The old man grew furious and his eyes became bloodshot. He threw away his rosary and said, ”Three more births! It’s atrocious!”

Then the angel went to the young man and said to him, ”I also asked God about you. He said you will have to practice your sadhana for as many births as there are leaves on the banyan tree under which you are sitting.” The young sannyasin felt very happy and his eyes filled with tears of joy. He jumped up and began to dance. ”In that case I have attained! There are so many trees in this world and so many leaves on each of them! and if I will attain God in only as many births as there are leaves on this small banyan tree then I have almost attained him.”

This is how the crop of truth is harvested. And do you know the end of this story? The young sannyasin kept on dancing and dancing and that very moment he became free and attained to God. That moment of tranquil and infinite love and patience was everything. That very moment was emancipation. This I call infinite patience. And he who has infinite patience achieves everything here and now. This mental attitude itself is the final attainment. Are you willing to wait this long?
With this question I bid you farewell.

Source – from Osho Book “The Perfect Way’, Chapter name – TheFarewell, 8 June 1964 am

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