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Celebration is an Attitude October 2007
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Lose Your Ego And Bow Down

The Times of India, New Delhi
7th September 07

Celebration is an attitude. Even about misery you can take an attitude of celebration. For example: you are sad -- don't get identified with sadness. Become a witness and enjoy the moment of sadness, because sadness has its own beauties. You have never watched. You get so identified that you never penetrate the beauties of a sad moment. If you watch, you will be surprised at what treasures you have been missing. Look -- when you are happy you are never so deep as when you are sad. Sadness has a depth to it; happiness has shallowness about it. Go and watch happy people. The so-called happy people, the playboys and playgirls -- in clubs, in hotels you will find them, in theatres -- are always smiling and bubbling with happiness. You will always find them shallow, superficial. They don't have any depth. Happiness is like waves just on the surface; you live a shallow life. But sadness has a depth to it. When you are sad it is not like waves on the surface, it is like the very depth of the Pacific Ocean: miles and miles to it.

Move into the depth, watch it. Happiness is noisy; sadness has a silence to it. Happiness may be like the day, sadness is like the night. Happiness may be like the light, sadness is like darkness. Light comes and goes; darkness remains -- it is eternal. Light happens sometimes; darkness is always there. If you move into sadness all these things will be felt. Suddenly you will become aware that sadness is there like an object, you are watching and witnessing, and suddenly you start feeling happy. Such a beautiful sadness! -- a flower of darkness, a flower of eternal depth. Like an abyss without any bottom, so silent, so musical; there is no noise at all, no disturbance. One can go on falling and falling into it endlessly, and one can come out of it absolutely rejuvenated. It is a rest.

It depends on the attitude. When you become sad you think that something bad has happened to you. It is an interpretation that something bad has happened to you, and then you start trying to escape from it. You never meditate on it. Then you want to go to somebody: to a party, to the club, or put the T.V. on or the radio, or start reading the newspaper -- something so that you can forget. This is a wrong attitude that has been given to you -- that sadness is wrong. Nothing is wrong with it. It is another polarity in life.

Happiness is one pole, sadness is another. Blissfulness is one pole, misery is another. Life consists of both, and life is a ritual because of both. A life only of blissfulness will have extension, but will not have depth. A life of only sadness will have depth, but will not have extension. A life of both sadness and blissfulness is multi dimensional; it moves in all dimensions together. Watch the statue of Buddha or sometimes look into my eyes and you will find both together -- a blissfulness, a peace, a sad ness also. You will find a blissfulness which contains in it sad ness also, because that sadness gives it depth. Watch Buddha's statue -- blissful, but still sad. The very word 'sad' gives you wrong connotations -- that something is wrong. This is your interpretation.

To me, life in its totality is good. And when you understand life in its totality, only then can you celebrate; otherwise not. Celebration means: whatsoever happens is irrelevant -- I will celebrate. Celebration is not conditional on certain things: 'When I am happy then I will celebrate,' or, 'When I am unhappy I will not celebrate.' Celebration is unconditional; I celebrate life. It brings unhappiness -- good, I celebrate it. It brings happiness -- good, I celebrate it. Celebration is my attitude, unconditional to what life brings.

But a problem arises because whenever I use words, those words have connotations in your mind. When I say 'Celebrate', you think one has to be happy. How can one celebrate when one is sad? I am not saying that one has to be happy to celebrate. Celebration is gratefulness for whatsoever life gives to you. Whatsoever God gives to you, celebration is a gratitude; it is a gratefulness. I have told you and I will tell you again....

A Sufi mystic was very poor, hungry, rejected, tired of the journey. He went to a village in the night and the village wouldn't accept him. The village belonged to the orthodox people, and when orthodox Mohammedans are there it is very difficult to persuade them. They wouldn't even give him shelter in the town. The night was cold and he was hungry, tired, shivering with not enough clothes. He was sitting outside the town under a tree. His disciples were sitting there with great sadness, depression, even anger. And then he started praying and he said to God, 'You are wonderful! You always give me whatsoever I need.' This was too much. A disciple said, 'Wait, now you are going too far, particularly on this night. These words are false. We are hungry, tired, with no clothes, and a cold night is descending. There are wild animals all around and we are rejected by the town, we are without shelter. For what are you giving your thankfulness to God? What do you mean when you say, "You always give me whatsoever I need?"' The mystic said, 'Yes, I repeat it again: God gives me whatsoever I need. Tonight I need poverty, tonight I need being rejected, tonight I need to be hungry, in danger. Otherwise, why should He give it to me? It must be a need. It is needed and I have to be grateful. He looks after my needs so beautifully. He is really wonderful!' This is an attitude that is unconcerned with the situation. The situation is not relevant.

Celebrate, whatsoever the case. If you are sad, then celebrate because you are sad. Try it. Just give it a try and you will be surprised -- it happens. You are sad? -- start dancing because sadness is so beautiful, such a silent flower of being. Dance, enjoy, and suddenly you will feel that the sadness is disappearing, a distance is created. By and by, you will forget sadness and you will be celebrating. You have transformed the energy.

This is what alchemy is: to transform the baser metal into higher gold. Sadness, anger, jealousy -- baser metals can be transformed into gold because they are constituted of the same elements as gold. There is no difference between gold and iron because they have the same constituents, the same electrons. Have you ever thought about it, that a piece of coal and the greatest diamond in the world are just the same? They don't have any difference. In fact coal pressed by the earth for millions of years becomes a diamond. Just a difference of pressure, but they are both carbon dioxide, both constituted of the same elements.

The baser can be changed into the higher. Nothing is lacking in the baser. Only a rearrangement, a recomposition is needed. That is the whole of what alchemy means. When you are sad, celebrate, and you are giving a new composition to sadness. You are bringing something to sadness which will transform it. You are bringing celebration to it. Angry? -- have a beautiful dance. In the beginning it will be angry. You will start dancing and the dance will be angry, aggressive, violent. By and by, it will become softer and softer and softer, when suddenly, you will have forgotten anger. The energy has changed into dancing.

But when you are angry, you can't think of dancing. When you are sad, you can't think of singing. Why not make your sadness a song? Sing, play on your flute. In the beginning the notes will be sad, but nothing is wrong with a sad note. Have you heard, in the afternoon sometimes, when everything is hot, burning hot, fire all around, and suddenly from a mango grove you can hear a cuckoo start singing? In the beginning, the note is sad. She is calling her lover, her beloved, on a hot afternoon. Everything is fiery all around, and she is hankering for love. A very sad note, but beautiful. By and by, the sad note changes into a happy note. The lover starts responding from another grove. Now it is no more a hot afternoon; everything is cooling down in the heart. Now the note is different. When the lover responds, everything has changed. It is an alchemical change.

You are sad? -- start singing, praying, dancing. Whatsoever you can do, do, and by and by, the baser metal is changed into a higher metal -- gold. Once you know the key, your life will never be the same again. You can unlock any door. And this is the master key: to celebrate everything.

I have heard about three Chinese mystics. Nobody knows their names. They were known only as the 'Three Laughing Saints', because they never did anything else; they simply laughed. They moved from one town to another, laughing. They would stand in the market place and have a good belly laugh. The whole market-place would surround them. All the people would come, shops would close and customers would forget for what they had come. These three people were really beautiful -- laughing and their bellies waving. And then it would become an infection and others would start laughing. Then the whole market-place would laugh. They had changed the quality of the market. And if somebody would say, 'Say some thing to us,' they would say, 'We have nothing to say. We simply laugh and change the quality.' When just a few moments before, it was an ugly place where people were thinking only of money -- hankering for money, greedy, money the only milieu around -- suddenly these three mad people came and they laughed, and changed the quality of the whole market-place. Now nobody was a customer. Now they had forgotten that they had come to purchase and sell. Nobody bothered about greed. They were laughing and they w ere dancing around these three mad people. For a few seconds a new world opened.

They moved all over China, from place to place, from village to village, just helping people to laugh. Sad people, angry people, greedy people, jealous people: they all started laughing with them. And many felt the key -- you can transform.

Then, in one village it happened that one of the three died. Village people gathered and they said, 'Now there will be trouble. Now we have to see how they laugh. Their friend has died; they must weep.' But when they came, the two were dancing, laughing and celebrating the death. The village people said, 'Now this is too much. This is unmannerly. When a man is dead it is profane to laugh and dance.' They said, 'You don't know what has happened! All three of us were always thinking of who was going to die first. This man has won; we are defeated. The whole life we laughed with him. How can we give him the last send off with anything else? -- we have to laugh, we have to enjoy, we have to celebrate. This is the only farewell that is possible for the man who has laughed his whole life. And if we don't laugh, he will laugh at us and he will think, "You fools! So you have fallen again into the trap?" We don't see that he is dead. How can laughter die, how can life die?'

Laughter is eternal, life is eternal, celebration continues. Actors change but the drama continues. Waves change but the ocean continues. You laugh, you change and somebody else laughs, but laughter continues. You celebrate, somebody else celebrates, but celebration continues. Existence is continuous, it is a container. There is not a single moment's gap in it. But the village people could not understand and they could not participate in the laughter this day.

Then the body was to be burned, and the village people said, 'We will give him a bath as the ritual prescribes.' But those two friends said, 'No, our friend has said, "Don't perform any ritual and don't change my clothes and don't give me a bath. You just put me as I am on the burning pyre." So we have to follow his instructions.'

And then, suddenly, there was a great happening. When the body was put on the fire, that old man had played the last trick. He had hidden many fireworks under his clothes, and suddenly there was diwali! Then the whole village started laughing. These two mad friends were dancing, then the whole village started dancing. It was not a death, it was a new life.

No death is death, because every death opens a new door -- it is a beginning. There is no end to life, there is always a new beginning, a resurrection.

If you change your sadness to celebration, then you will also be capable of changing your death into resurrection. So learn the art while there is still time. Don't let death come before you have learned the secret alchemy of changing baser metals into higher metals. Because if you can change sadness, you can change death. If you can be celebrating unconditionally, when death comes you will be able to laugh, you will be able to celebrate, you will go happy. And when you can go celebrating, death cannot kill you. Rather, on the contrary you have killed death. But start it, give it a try. There is nothing to lose. But people are so foolish that even when there is nothing to lose, they won't give it a try. What is there to lose?

If you are sad, then I say celebrate, dance, sing. What are you to lose? At the most, sadness will be lost, nothing else. But you think it is impossible. And the very idea that it is impossible will not allow you to give it a try. And I say it is one of the most easy things in the world, because energy is neutral. The same energy becomes sadness; the same energy becomes anger; the same energy becomes sexuality; the same energy becomes com passion; the same energy becomes meditation. Energy is one. You don't have many types of energies. You don't have many separate pockets of energy where this energy is labelled 'sadness' and this energy is labelled 'happiness'. Energies are not pigeon-holed, they are not separated. There exists no watertight compartment in you. You are simply one. This one energy becomes sadness, this one energy becomes anger. It is up to you.

One has to learn the secret, the art of how to transform energies. You simply give a direction and the same energy starts moving. And when there is a possibility of transforming anger into bliss, greed into compassion, jealousy into love... you don't know what you are losing. You don't know what you are missing. You are missing the whole point of being here in this universe. Give it a try.

Live with the Image & the Reality

The Times of India, New Delhi
14 September 07

There is a famous saying: “I think, therefore I am.” Our thoughts determine our existence. This means we are nothing more than mind. Now let’s see what our mind is.

Our mind is an endless process of thoughts. When we go within to experience our consciousness, we encounter only thoughts. This collective existence of thoughts is what we call mind. We assume that our mind is our real self. We identify with it. The mind deceives us into believing that we are nothing more.

The mind can create any fiction and make us belief in it. The word ‘imagination’ is also derived from ‘image’. We imagine ourselves as a particular image. We live—and can die—for this image.

Psychiatrists counsel their clients to shed their mantel problems. These consultations go on for years without conclusion. In fact, most psychoanalysts suffer from these problems themselves. They complicate their own lives with endless mind games.

Freud and Jung were once talking of psychoanalysis. Jung had an idea. He said, “You have psychoanalyzed us al, but you yourself are still unpsychoanalysed. If you want, I can do it for you.”

Freud started trembling and said, “No, never! It will destroy my prestige.” Jung said, “Then it has destroyed your prestige already. If you are afraid, how can you say in front of us that others should not be afraid?”

Osho says: “Freud was afraid because he was carrying great repressions. He did great work in bringing sex into the human consciousness. He did the greatest service to humanity by destroying taboos against sex, but he himself wasn’t clear about sexuality. He was quite scared of death too. The very mention of death had made him faint a few times.”

Osho concludes: “It is not possible for you to expose yourself totally in front of anybody else. Far more revelatory than psychoanalysis would be meditation—exposing yourself in front of yourself. That is the only way to be utterly true, because there is no fear. The freedom from desire, from the unconscious brings a different kind of natural stillness that arises within your being and starts to overflow. Even others can feel it; it becomes tangible.”

In his discourse From The False To The Truth, Osho says: “Beyond mind, there is an awareness that is intrinsic. It is not given to you from outside. It is not an idea. No scientific experiment till now has found any centre in the brain that corresponds to awareness. The entire purpose of meditation is to make you aware of all that is ‘mind’ and ‘dis-identify’ yourself from it. That very separation is that greatest revolution that can happen to man.”

After this, you can act on only that which makes you more joyous, fulfils you, makes you content, turns your life in to a work of art. But this is possible only if the master in you is awake. Right now, the master is fast asleep. And the mind, the servant, is playing the master’s role. And the servant is created by the outside world; it follows the outside world and its laws.

—Swami Chaitanya Keerti

Don’t Turn Love Into a Relationship

The Times of India, New Delhi
21st September, 2007

Love comes like a strong breeze and carries away two lovers to unknown dimensions. Lovers go through an experience peak and then need to settle down. In the process, they start feeling bored, craving the same peak yet again and again. When they don’t reach it, they feel frustrated and fall into the ditch of misery.

Peaks in love are experienced when lovers open their wings to fly high into the sky of freedom and togetherness that they fell in each other’s company. But the moment they start they start clinging to each other and suppress freedom, love falls into an abysmal valley of misery. Then they wonder what happened to their love! The clinging starts clipping their wings, killing their love.

True love is unconditional, and based on an individual’s freedom. Two persons can be very loving together. The more loving they are, the lower the possibility of any relationship. The more loving they are, the greater the freedom between them. The more loving they are, the thinner the prospect of any demand, domination, expectation. Naturally then, there is no question of frustration.

Remember this: Don’t have any expectations. Love because love because love is your own inner growth. When you love, you call your spring of growth. When you love, you call your spring of growth closer. Your love will help you grow towards more light, more truth, more freedom. Love but don’t ever create a relationship!

A relationship is a part of the business world. A slight change in the situation, and it evaporates. It has no solidity. If love comes spontaneously, suddenly, like a fountain, asking for nothing in return, then it is one of the greatest treasures. Love is a fire. The purer it is, the better it burns all riddles, all problems. But love as a relationship creates problems, riddled with all sorts of undesirable things.

Remember this: Love is capable of destroying everything else, just don’t let it become a relationship. If you do, love will disappear and in its place will come politics and manipulation. Then, your problems will only increase.

Osho says: “I am against all kinds of relationships. For example, I don’t like the word ‘friendship’ but I love the word ‘friendliness’. Friendliness is a quality within you; friendship becomes a burdensome relationship.”

Osho elaborates: “Friendship is a relationship. You can be in that relationship with a few people. Friendliness is a quality, not a relationship. It has nothing to do with anybody else. It is basically your inner quality. You can be friendly with many, many people. You can be friendly even when you are alone. You cannot be in friendship when you are alone—the other is needed—but friendliness is a kind of fragrance. A flower blooms; nobody passes by, yet it is fragrant. It matters not whether anyone comes to know of it; being fragrant is its quality.

—Swami Chaitanya Keerti

OSHO’s teachings, in a brush stroke

The Times of India, New Delhi
27 September 2007, 0000 hrs IST , DEEPALI DHINGRA , TNN

OSHO’s niece Pratiksha Apurv tells TOI that her paintings express the inexpressible.

Spirituality can affect people in different ways. And for Pratiksha Apurv, niece and disciple of OSHO, it invoked the artist in her. Her painting exhibition which is on at the Jehangir Nicholson Gallery of Modern Art, showcases 40 paintings based on the theme of spirituality. “Everyone’s looking for peace in this world. And the message I want to convey through my paintings is that one should live for the moment but live with awareness,” says the 43-year-old painter

But Pratiksha did not start off as a painter. In fact, she had been designing clothes for the past 15 years. Then what made her realise that painting was her calling?

“I was not finding any satisfaction while designing clothes. I turned to painting then and felt like here I was creating something that was completely my own,” she says. Pratiksha has been painting for the past four years now but admits that she has not had any formal training.

“It just comes naturally to me,” she says, adding that she has been into meditation since her childhood and has taken sanyaas at the age of 11. And it is OSHO’s teachings that Pratiksha is trying to portray through her paintings. Her different observation of tone and colour create a mystery in her work. Even the abstract has a figure and figurative strokes that find their way towards eternity. Moments in deep experience of silence can be felt in the collection expressed through the depth of colours and a close-knit relationship between creator and structure.

Pratiksha’s first exhibition was held in Delhi in February, which was attended by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and received rave reviews from art critics.

In fact, he even complimented her by saying that her paintings compel one to think and offer a different vision. The exhibition in Mumbai is her second one. Pratiksha says, “Each of my painting is an effort to express the inexpressible and to offer a glimpse of ‘what is’ to any potential seeker regardless of their conforming to any stream of religion or path.”

Is Marriage Really the End of Love?

The Times of India, New Delhi
28 September 2007,

To marry or not to marry—that is the question. Osho would rather you didn’t—not until you found true love!

Socrates has a quarrelsome wife but when disciples asked him whether they should marry, he always advised them to. “If you are fortunate you’ll get a good wife. If you get a wife like mine, you’ll still be fortunate as she will help you become Socrates!”

But people like Socrates are rare. Most men cannot handle the misery, and either escape or get frustrated. The same goes for women as well. In her marriage, a woman may find the most terrible person who makes life hell for her. In fact, in most Indian marriages, women suffer more than men. What is the way out of this misery?

German politician Gabriele Pauli recently proposed that marriage contracts should be valid for seven years; after that couples who didn’t feel the proverbial itch could renew them, else walk away. This may sound radical but it isn’t.

People are divorcing faster today and most of the marriages in the so-called first world don’t last more than three years. Those that last have little life in them.

Love is like a real flower. It doesn’t live longer than it’s meant to. But when love is converted into marriage, it starts to lose its tenderness. It acquires a plastic nature; plastic lives for as long as wish it to but doesn’t pulsate with life. Love, like life, is always insecure. It cannot promise to be secures. It cannot promise to be forever. That’s why it is really very precious. One moment of real love is more valuable than an eternity of plastic life. But most people with deep insecurities go for a plastic marriage rather than wait for the real throbbing life of love, for they are scared to live alone.

Osho calls marriage the ‘coffin of love’. He says: “They all say that love is eternal, never dies. Absolutely wrong. Real love dies sooner than unreal love. Unreal love can live long; it is unreal, how can it die? If you ar pretending, you can pretend as long as you want to.”

Osho also tells us: “Love needs only one thing, and that is courage. Courage to die into the other, to drop your own identity, your ego. Millions have decided not to love, but then life is misery, life is hell.”

“If one really wants to live, one must be ready for insecurity, and love brings the greatest insecurity in the world because love cannot promise tomorrow. Love is of the moment, for the moment, in the moment. Love can only speak for this moment, not for the next; the next remains open, vulnerable, insecure.”

“Love may be, may not be. Love has no guarantee whatsoever. Which is why people choose marriage over love. Marriage is secure and safe, guaranteed by the law and the government and the society and the church—something they can depend upon. But in that very choice they commit suicide for they will never really live.”

“Live itself is insecure. Life knows nothing of security. Death is very secure, so those who are cowardly choose death instead of life. They choose the false and the plastic instead of the real. And those who are courageous, they choose the real. They go with it, wherever it may lead. They surrender to it. They are ready to go into the uncharted and the unknown and the unseen.” And they truly live…

—Swami Chaitanya Keerti