BUDDHA-KAYA — The Body of an Enlightened One

Osho on American Psychologist B. F. Skinner

Born in 1904, Burrhus Fredric Skinner was an American psychologist, inventor, behaviorist, author, and social philosopher in the 20th century. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1931 and went to the University of Minnesota and Indiana University to further accelerate his research. Skinner returned to Harvard as a tenured professor of psychology in 1948 where he stayed until his retirement in 1974. He wrote 21 books and 180 articles in his life, starting with The Behavior of Organisms in 1938. (tramadol)

Skinner believed free will to be a mirage – something that is not attainable – and viewed human behavior as a game of call-and-response. In his opinion, the behavior or actions of a human being completely depended on the consequences of previous actions – in this way, they could be controlled with the repetition of stimuli and subsequent reinforcement. Skinner developed various theories such as behavior analysis and operant conditioning and even invented devices to put them to test, such as the operant conditioning chamber (the Skinner box). He received a lot of criticism for his work, along with appreciation and awards; one of them being the Lifetime Achievement Award by AMA in 1990.

Osho mentions Skinner, “With Skinner, of course, there is no dignity and no freedom; with behaviourists there is no dignity and no freedom. That is the only difference between a spiritual approach about man and the materialistic approach about man. Spirituality believes that man has some transcendence. He can always do something which nobody could have predicted; he can always do something which even surprises himself.

For example, this sannyas is a quantum jump. You could not have predicted it, you had never dreamt about it. You have never thought about it, it was never an alternative in your life, but it is happening.

Let this be the beginning of many more happenings. Become more and more loose, fluid. That is the meaning of nihar.”

Osho Say…..



ONE DAY a lady came to Mulla Nasrudin’s school with her small child, her son. The lady asked Mulla to frighten the boy. He had become unruly and he would not listen to anyone. He needed to be frightened by some big authority. Of course, Mulla was a big authority in his village. He assumed a very frightening posture. His eyes were bulging, all fiery, and he began to jump. The lady felt, “Now it is impossible to stop the Mulla — he may even kill the boy.”

The lady fainted, the boy escaped, and Mulla became so frightened of himself he had to run out of the school. He waited outside and the lady came back. Then he entered, slowly, silently, seriously. The lady said, “Mulla, it is strange! I never asked you to frighten ME.”

Mulla said, “You do not see the real fact. It was not only you who was frightened; I myself was frightened of myself. When fear takes over, it destroys all. To start it is easy, but to control it is difficult. So I was the master when I started, but soon fear took over and it was the master and I was the slave; I could not do anything. And, moreover, fear has no favourites. When it strikes, it strikes all.”

This is a beautiful parable, one which shows a deep insight into the human mind.

You are conscious in everything just in the beginning, and then the unconscious takes over. The unconscious takes charge and the unconscious becomes the master. You can start anger, but you can never end it. Rather, the anger ends you. You can start anything, but sooner or later the unconscious takes charge; you are relieved of your duty. So only the beginning is in your hands, never the end. And you are not the master of the consequences that follow. This is natural because only a very small fragment of the mind is aware. It works just like a starter in your motor car. It starts, and then it is of no use; then the motor takes it over. It is needed only to start; without it, it is difficult to start. But do not go on thinking that because you start a certain thing you are the master.

This is the secret of this parable. Because you started, you begin to feel that you are the master. Because you started, you think you could have stopped. You may not have started, that is another thing, but once started soon the voluntary becomes the non-voluntary and the conscious becomes unconscious, because the conscious is just the upper layer, just the surface of the mind, and nearly the whole mind is unconscious. You start, and the unconscious begins to move and work.

So Mulla said, “I am not responsible for what has happened, I am not responsible! I am responsible only for starting, and it is you who told me to start. I started to frighten the boy, then the boy was frightened, then you fainted, then I was frightened, and then everything was a mess.” Everything is a mess in our lives also, with the conscious starting and the unconscious taking over every time. If you do not feel it, if you do not realize it, this mechanism, you will always be a slave. And the slavery becomes more convenient if you go on thinking that you are the master. It is difficult to be a slave knowingly, knowing that you are a slave. It is easy to be a slave when you go on deceiving yourself that you are the master — of your love, your anger, your greed, your jealousy, your violence, your cruelty; even your sympathy and your compassion. I say “your”, but it is yours only in the beginning. Just for a moment, just a spark is yours. Then your mechanism has started, and your whole mechanism is unconscious. Why is this so? Why this conflict between the conscious and the unconscious? And there is a conflict. You cannot predict even about yourself. Even you, your acts, are unpredictable to you, because you do not know what is going to happen, you do not know what you are going to do. You are not even aware of what you are going to do the next moment because the doer is deep in darkness. You are not the doer. You are only a starting point. Unless your whole mechanism becomes conscious, you will be a problem to yourself and a hell. There will be nothing but a long misery.

As I have been emphasizing daily, one can become whole in only two ways. The first is that you can lose the fragmentary consciousness, throw this fragment of the mind which has become conscious, into the dark unconscious, dissolve it, and you are whole. But then you are just like an animal, and that is impossible. Whatsoever you may do, it is not possible. It is conceivable, but not possible. You will be thrown forward again and again. That small part which has become conscious cannot become unconscious again. It is like an egg which has become a hen. Now the hen cannot move back to be an egg again. A seed which has sprouted has begun the journey to be a tree. Now it cannot go back; it cannot regress and become a seed. A child which has come out of the womb of his mother cannot now go back, no matter how pleasant the womb may be. There is no going backward. Life always moves in the future, never in the past. Only man can think of the past. That is why I say it is conceivable, but it cannot be actualized. You can imagine, you can think to go back, you can believe in it, you can try to go back, but you cannot go, that is an impossibility. One has to move forward. That is the second way to become whole.

Knowingly or unknowingly, one is moving every moment. If you move knowingly, then the speed is accelerated. If you move knowingly, then you do not waste energy and time. Then the thing can happen even in one life which will not happen in a million lives of your just moving unknowingly, because if you move unknowingly you move in a circle.

Every day you repeat the same, in every life you again repeat the same, and life becomes just a habit, a mechanical habit, a repetition. You can break the repetitive habit if you move knowingly. Then there is a breakthrough. So the first thing is to be aware that your awareness is of such a small measure that it works only as a starter. Unless you have more awareness than unawareness, more consciousness than unconsciousness, the balance will not change.

What are the hindrances? Why is this the situation? Why is this the fact? Why this conflict between conscious and unconscious? This must be considered.

It is natural. Whatsoever is, is natural. Man has evolved through millions of years. This evolution has created you, your body, your mechanism. The evolution has been a long struggle — millions and millions of experiences of failures, of successes. Your body has learned much; your body has been continuously learning things. Your body knows much, and its knowledge is fixed. It goes on repeating its own ways of behaving. Even if the situation has changed, the body remains the same. For example, when you feel anger, you feel it in the same way as any primitive man, you feel it in the same way as any animal, you feel it in the same way as any child. And this is the mechanism: when you feel anger, your body has a fixed routine, a ritual, a routine work to do. The moment your mind says “anger”, you have glands which begin to release chemicals into the blood. Adrenalin is released into the blood. It is a necessity because in anger you will have to strike or else you may be struck by your opponent. You will need more blood circulation, and this chemical will help more circulation to be there. You may need to fight or you may need to escape from a situation, to run away. For both cases, this chemical will help. So when some animal is angry, the body becomes ready to fight or to take flight. And these are the two alternatives: if the animal feels that he is stronger than the opponent, he will fight; if he feels that he is not the stronger one, he will escape. And the mechanism works very smoothly.

But for man the situation has become totally different. When you feel anger, you may not even express it. That is impossible for the animal. It depends on the situation. If it is against your servants, then you may express it. If it is against your master, then you may not express it. Not only that: you may even laugh or smile; you may even persuade your master, your boss, to think that not only are you not angry, but that you are very happy. Now you are confusing the whole mechanism of the body. The body is ready to fight, and you are smiling. You are creating a mess in the body. The body cannot understand what you are doing. Are you mad? It is ready to do one of two things which are natural: to fight or escape. This smiling is something new. This deception is something new. The body has no mechanism for it, so you have to force the smile without the chemical flowing in which helps you to smile, which helps you to laugh. There are now no chemicals to laugh. You have to force a smile, a false smile, and the body has released chemicals into the blood to fight. Now what will the blood do? The body has a language that it understands very well, but you are behaving in a very mad, insane way. Now a gap is created between you and your body…

The unconscious is doing one thing and the conscious goes on doing something else. You are divided. This gap has to be understood deeply. In your every act this gap is there. You are looking at a film, an erotic film: your sex is aroused. Your body is ready to explode into a sexual experience, but you are only seeing a film. You are just sitting on a chair and your body is ready for the sex act. The film will go on accelerating, it will go on pushing you. You are aroused, but you cannot do anything. The body is ready to do something but the situation is not, so a gap is created. You begin to feel yourself different, and there is a barrier between you and your body. Because of that barrier and because of this constant arousal and suppression simultaneously, this acceleration and braking simultaneously, this constant contradiction in your existence, you are diseased.

If you would fall back and be an animal, which is impossible, then you would be whole and healthy. This is a strange fact: animals are not ill in their natural state, but put them in a zoo and they begin to imitate human diseases. No animal is homosexual in its natural surrounding, in its natural state, but put animals in a zoo and they begin to behave absurdly: they begin to behave homosexually. No animal goes insane naturally, but in a zoo animals go mad. It has never been reported in the whole history of human understanding that any animal has committed suicide, but in a zoo animals can commit suicide. This is strange, but not strange really, because the moment man begins to force animals into a life which is not natural, then they become divided inside. A division is created, a gap is created, the wholeness is lost.

Man is divided. Man is born divided. So what to do? How not to create this gap and how to bring awareness to every cell of the body, to every nook and corner of your being? How to bring awareness? That is the only problem for all religions, for all of yoga and for all systems for Enlightenment: how to bring consciousness to your total being so that nothing is unconscious.

Many methods have been tried, many methods are possible, so I will talk about some methods for how every cell of your body can become aware. And unless you as a total being become aware, you cannot be in bliss, you cannot be in peace. You will continue to be a madhouse.

Each cell of your body affects you. It has its own working, it has its own learning, its own conditioning. The moment you start, the cell takes over and begins to behave in its own way. Then you are disturbed. “What is happening!” you wonder, “I never intended this; I never thought about it.” And you are right. Your desires may have been completely different. But once you give your cells, your body, something to do, it is going to do it in its own way, in its own learned way. Because of this, scientists — particularly Russian scientists — think that we cannot change man unless we change the cells. There is a school, a behaviouristic school of psychologists, which thinks that Buddha is a failure, that Jesus is a failure, that they are bound to be failures. There is nothing strange in it because without changing the very structure of the body, the chemical structure of the body, nothing can be changed. These behaviorists — Watson, Pavlov, Skinner — say that if a Buddha is silent, it only means that somehow he has a different chemical constitution and nothing else. If he is silent, if peace surrounds him, if he is never disturbed, never angry, it only shows that somehow the chemicals are lacking which create disturbance, which create anger. So Skinner says, “Sooner or later we will be able to create a Buddha chemically. There is no need of any meditation, there is no need of becoming more aware. The only need is to change chemicals.”

In a way he is right, but very dangerously right, because if certain chemicals are put out of your body, your behaviour will change. If certain hormones are introduced into your body, your behaviour will change. You are a man and you behave like a man. But it is not you who behaves like a man: it is only the hormones in you that make you behave like a man. If those hormones are changed and other hormones are introduced which belong to the feminine structure, you will behave like a woman. So it is not really your behaviour: it is hormonal behaviour. It is not you who is angry, but a certain hormone in you. It is not that you are silent and meditative; it is certain hormone in you. Skinner says, “That is why Buddha is a failure: because he goes on talking about things which are irrelevant. You say to a man, ‘Do not be angry,’ but he is filled with chemicals, hormones, which create anger.” So for a behaviourist, it is just as if a person is in a high fever — a one hundred and six degree fever — and you go on talking about beautiful things to him and say, “Be silent, meditate, do not be feverish!” It looks absurd — what can the man do! Unless you change something in his body, the fever will remain. Fever is created by a certain virus, certain chemical things. Unless that is changed, unless the proportion is changed, he will remain feverish. And there is no need to talk. It is absolutely absurd.

The same is with anger for a Skinner, for a Pavlov; the same is for sex. You go on talking about brahmacharya — celibacy — and the body is filled with sex energy, sex cells. That sex energy is not dependent on you. Rather, you are dependent on that energy. So you go on talking about brahmacharya, but nothing is possible by these talks. And they are right in a way, but still, only in a way. They are right that if the chemicals are changed, if every sex hormone is thrown out of your body, you will not be able to be sexual. But you will not become a Buddha. You will simply be impotent, incapable. You will lack something. Buddha is not lacking anything. Rather, on the contrary, something new has come to his life. It is not that he has no sex hormones. They are there. So what has happened to him? His consciousness has deepened, and his consciousness has entered even into the sex cells. Now the sex cells are there, but they cannot behave independently. Unless the center orders them to act, they cannot act. They will remain inactive. In an impotent person sex cells are not. In a Buddha they are there and more strong than in an ordinary person — stronger, because never used, not used. Energy is accumulated in them, they are bubbling with energy, but consciousness has penetrated into the cells now. Now the consciousness is not only a starting point: it has become the master.

Skinner may prevail in the coming days. He may become a very great force. Just like Marx suddenly became a great force for the outer economy of society, just like Marx, any day Pavlov and Skinner may become a very central force for the inner economy of the human body and the human mind. And they can prove whatsoever they say — they can prove it!

But the phenomenon has two aspects. You see an electric bulb. If you destroy the bulb, the light will disappear; it is not that the electricity will disappear. The same happens when you put off the current: the bulb is there intact, but the light will again disappear. So the light can disappear in two ways. If you destroy the bulb, electricity will be there, but because there is no medium through which to express it, it cannot become light. If your sex cells are destroyed, sexuality will be in you, but with no medium to express itself. This is one way. Skinner has experimented with many animals. Just by operating on a particular gland, a ferocious dog becomes Buddha-like. He sits silently, as if in meditation. You cannot tempt him to be ferocious again. Whatsoever you do, he will look at you without any anger. It is not that the dog has become a Buddha, nor is it that the inner mind has disappeared. It is there all the same, but the medium through which anger can be expressed is absent. This is impotency. The medium has disappeared, not the desire. If the medium is destroyed, when the bulb is not, you can say, “Where is your light and where is your electricity?” It is there, but now it is hidden.

Religions have been working from the other corner — not trying to destroy the bulb: that is stupid, because if you destroy the bulb then you will not even be aware of the current running behind. Change the current, transform the current, let the current move in a new dimension, and the bulb will be there intact alive, but with no light.  Skinner, I said, can prevail because he shows a very easy way. You are angry: you can be operated upon. You feel sexual: you can be operated upon. Your problems will be solved not by you, but by a surgeon — by someone else.

And whenever a problem is solved by someone else you have missed a very great opportunity, because when you solve it you grow. When someone else solves it, you remain the same. The problem can be solved through the body and there will be no problems — but you will also no longer be a human being. The religious emphasis is on transformation of consciousness, and the first thing is to create a greater force of awareness inside to help that awareness to spread.

This sutra is beautiful. It says, “To be established in the sun of awareness is the only lamp.”

The sun is very, very far away. Light takes ten minutes to travel to the earth, and light travels very fast — 186,000 miles per second. It takes ten minutes for the sun to reach the earth; it is very, very far. But in the morning the sun rises, and it reaches even to the flower in your garden. “Reach” has a different meaning. Just rays reach, not the sun. So

if your energy becomes a sun deep inside your center, if your center becomes a solar center, if you become aware, centrally aware, if your awareness grows, then the rays of your awareness reach to every part of your body, to every cell. Then your awareness penetrates every cell of the body. It is just like when the sun rises in the morning, everything begins to be alive on the earth. Suddenly there is light, and sleep disappears; the monotonous night disappears. Suddenly everything seems to be reborn. The birds begin to sing and they are again out on the wing, the flowers flower, and everything is alive again just from the touch, just from the warmth, of the sun’s rays. So when you have a central consciousness, a central awareness in you, it begins to reach to every pore, to every nook and corner; to every cell it penetrates.

And you have many, many cells — seventy million cells in your body. You are a big city, a big nation. Seventy million cells, and now they are all unconscious. Your consciousness has never reached them.

Grow in consciousness and every cell is penetrated.

And the moment your consciousness touches the cells, it is different. The very quality changes. A man is asleep; the sun rises and the man is awakened. Is he the same man who was asleep? Is his sleep and awakening the same? There was a closed, dead bud, and the sun has risen, and the bud opens and becomes a flower. Is this flower the same? Something new has penetrated. An aliveness, a capacity to grow and blossom, has appeared. A bird was just asleep, as if dead, as if just dead matter, but the sun comes up and the bird is on the wing. Is it the same bird? It is a different phenomenon. Something has touched and the bird has become alive. Everything was silent, and now everything is singing. The morning is a song. The same phenomenon happens inside the cells of a Buddha’s body. It is known as BUDDHA-KAYA — the body of an Enlightened One, of a Buddha.

It is a different body. It is not the same body as you have, not even the same body as Gautam had before he became a Buddha.

Buddha is just on the verge of death, and someone asks him, “Are you dying? Then where will you be?” Buddha says, “The body that was born will die. But there is another body — the buddha-kaya, the body of a Buddha, which is neither born, nor can it die. I have left that body which was given to me, that came to me from my parents. Just as a snake leaves the old body every year, I have left it. Now there is the buddha-kaya — the Buddhabody.” What does this mean? your body can become a Buddha-body.

When your consciousness reaches to every cell, the very quality of your being changes, becomes transmuted, because then every cell is alive, conscious, Enlightened. Then there is no slavery. You have become the master. Just by becoming a conscious center, you become a master.

This sutra says, “To be established in the sun of awareness is the only lamp.” So why are you taking an earthen lamp to the temple? Take the inner lamp! Why are you burning candles on the altar? They will not help. Kindle the inner candle! Become a Buddha-body! Let your every cell become conscious; do not allow any part of your being to remain unconscious.


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

Discourse Series: The Ultimate Alchemy, Vol 2

Chapter #3

Chapter title: The Lamp of Awareness

3 July 1972 pm in


Osho has spoken on notable Psychologists and philosophers like Adler, Jung, Sigmund Freud, Assagioli, Wilhelm Reich, Aristotle, Berkeley, Confucius, Descartes, Feuerbach, Hegel, Heidegger, Heraclitus, Huxley, Jaspers, Kant, Kierkegaard, Laing, Marx, Moore, Nietzsche, Plato, Pythagoras, Russell, Sartre, Socrates, Wittgenstein and many others in His discourses. Some of these can be referred to in the following books/discourses:

  1. The Hidden Splendour
  2. The Wild Geese and the Water
  3. This, This, A Thousand Times This: The Very Essence of Zen
  4. Nirvana: The Last Nightmare
  5. Beyond Enlightenment
  6. Beyond Psychology
  7. Dang Dang Doko Dang
  8. The Discipline of Transcendence
  9. The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha
  10. From Bondage to Freedom
  11. From Darkness to Light
  12. From Ignorance to Innocence
  13. The Secret of Secrets, Vol 1
  14. From Personality to Individuality
  15. I Celebrate Myself: God Is No Where, Life Is Now Here
  16. Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, Vol 4
  17. Zen: The Path of Paradox, Vol 1
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1 Comment

  • Someshwar H
    Someshwar H
    Posted June 17, 2022 7:16 pm 0Likes

    Yes Master!♥

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