Be Happy

HAPPINESS IS UNBELIEVABLE. It seems that man cannot be happy. If you talk about your depression, sadness, misery, everybody believes it. It seems natural. If you talk about your happiness nobody believes you — it seems unnatural. Sigmund Freud, after forty years of research into the human mind, working with thousands of people, observing thousands of disturbed minds, came to the conclusion that happiness is a fiction: man cannot be happy. At the most, we can make things a little more comfortable, that’s all. At the most we can make unhappiness a little less, that’s all. But happy man cannot be. Looks very pessimistic — but looking at the modern man it seems to be exactly the case, it seems to be a fact.

Buddha says that man can be happy, tremendously happy. Krishna sings songs of that ultimate bliss — satchitanand. Jesus talks about the Kingdom of God. But how can you believe so few people, who can be counted on the fingers, against the whole mass, millions and millions of people down the centuries, remaining unhappy, growing more and more into unhappiness, their whole life a story of misery and nothing else? And then comes death! How to believe these few people? Either they are lying or they are deceived themselves. Either they are Lying for some other purpose, or they are a little mad, deceived by their own illusions. They are living in a wish-fulfillment. They wanted to be happy and they started believing that they were happy. It seems more like a belief, a desperate belief, rather than a fact. But how did it come to happen that very few people ever become happy? If you forget man, if you don’t pay much attention to man, then Buddha, Krishna, Christ, they will look more true. If you look at the trees, if you look at the birds, if you look at the stars, then everything is shimmering in tremendous happiness. Then bliss seems to be the very stuff the existence is made of. Only man is unhappy. Something deep down has gone wrong.

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Buddha is not deceived and he is not Lying. And I say this to you, not on the authority of the tradition — I say this to you on my own authority. Man can be happy, more happy than the birds, more happy than the trees, more happy than the stars — because man has something which no tree, no bird, no star, has. Man has consciousness! But when you have consciousness then two alternatives are possible: either you can become unhappy or you can become happy. Then it is your own choice! Trees are simply happy because they cannot be unhappy. Their happiness is not their freedom — they have to be happy. They don’t know how to be unhappy; there is no alternative. These birds chirping in the trees, they are happy! not because they have chosen to be happy — they are simply happy because they don’t know any other way to be. Their happiness is unconscious. It is simply natural.

Man can be tremendously happy, and tremendously unhappy — and he is free to choose. This freedom is hazardous. This freedom is very dangerous — because you become responsible. And something has happened with this freedom, something has gone wrong. Man is somehow standing on his head.

You have come to me seeking meditation.

Meditation is needed only because you have not chosen to be happy. If you have chosen to be happy there is no need for any meditation. Meditation is medicinal: if you are ill then the medicine is needed. Buddhas don’t need meditation. Once you have started choosing happiness, once you have decided that you have to be happy, then no meditation is needed. Then meditation starts happening of its own accord.

Meditation is a function of being happy. Meditation follows a happy man like a shadow: wherever he goes, whatsoever he is doing, he is meditative.

He is intensely concentrated.

The word ‘meditation’ and the word ‘medicine’ come from the same root — that is very significant. Meditation is also medicinal. You don’t carry bottles of medicines and prescriptions with you if you are healthy. Of course, when you are not healthy you have to go the doctor. Going to the doctor is not a very great thing to brag about. One should be happy so the doctor is not needed. So many religions are there because so many people are unhappy.

A happy person needs no religion; a happy person needs no temple, no church — because for a happy person the whole universe is a temple, the whole existence is a church. The happy person has nothing like religious activity because his whole life is religious.

Whatsoever you do with happiness is a prayer: your work becomes worship; your very breathing has an intense splendor to it, a grace.

Not that you constantly repeat the name of God  only foolish people do that — because God has no name, and by repeating some assumed name you simply dull your own mind. By repeating His name you are not going to go anywhere. A happy man simply comes to see God is everywhere. You need happy eyes to see Him…

Be an individual if you want to be happy. If you want to be happy, then start choosing on your own.

 There are many times when you will have to be disobedient — be! There are many times when you will have to be rebellious — be! There is no disrespect implied in it. Be respectful to your parents. But remember that your deepest responsibility is towards your own being.

Everybody is dragged and manipulated, so nobody knows what his destiny is. What you really always wanted to do you have forgotten. And how can you be happy? Somebody who could have been a poet is just a moneylender. Somebody who could have been a painter is a doctor. Somebody who could have been a doctor, a beautiful doctor, is a businessman. Everybody is displaced. Everybody is doing something that he never wanted to do — hence unhappiness.

Happiness happens when you fit with your life, when you fit so harmoniously that whatsoever you are doing is your joy. Then suddenly you will come to know: meditation follows you. If you love the work that you are doing, if you love the way you are living, then you are meditative.

Then nothing distracts you. When things distract you, that simply shows that you are not really interested in those things…

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We have been distracted into unnatural motivations: money, prestige, power. Listening to the cuckoo is not going to give you money. Listening to the cuckoo is not going to give you power, prestige. Watching the butterfly is not going to help you economically, politically, socially. These things are not paying, but these things make you happy. A real person takes the courage to move with things that make him happy. If he remains poor, he remains poor; he has no complaint about it, he has no grudge. He says: “I have chosen my way — I have chosen the cuckoos and the butterflies and the flowers. I cannot be rich, that’s okay! But I am rich because I am happy.”…

IF YOU CAN learn one thing with me, then that one thing is: Be alert, aware, about your own inner motives, about your own inner destiny. Never lose sight of it, otherwise you will be unhappy. And when you are unhappy, then people say: “Meditate and you will become happy!” They say: “Concentrate and you will become happy; pray and you will become happy; go to the temple, be religious, be a Christian or a Hindu and you will be happy!” This is all nonsense. Be happy! and meditation will follow. Be happy, and religion will follow. Happiness is a basic condition. People become religious only when they are unhappy — then their religion is pseudo. Try to understand why you are unhappy.

Many people come to me and they say they are unhappy, and they want me to give them some meditation. I say: First, the basic thing is to understand why you are unhappy. And if you don’t remove those basic causes of your unhappiness, I can give you a meditation, but that is not going to help very much — because the basic causes remain there.


This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune. 

Discourse name-

A Sudden Clash of Thunder

Chapter title: Only the Gold
Chapter #7
17 August 1976 am in Buddha Hall


Osho has spoken on gratitude, love, prayer, happiness, meditationin many of His discourses. More on the subject can be referred to in the following books/discourses:

  1. The Art of Dying
  2. The Beloved, Vol 1
  3. Beyond Enlightenment
  4. The Discipline of Transcendence, Vol 2
  5. From Personality to Individuality
  6. Guida Spirituale
  7. The Hidden Harmony
  8. Just Like That
  9. The Mustard Seed: My Most Loved Gospel on Jesus
  10. Zarathustra: A God That Can Dance
  11. The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha
  12. Vigyan Bhairav Tantra
  13. The Secret of Secrets
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