Darkness is Eternal
Osho on Bhavbhuti
Bhavabhuti was a poet, playwright, and scholar residing in Padmapura in present-day Maharashtra during 8th century India. His plays were written and published in Sanskrit and were considered equivalent to Kalidasa’s works. Bhavabhuti’s work reflected various elements of ‘Arthashastra’ of Kautilya, as seen by similarities ingrained in characters and their ideas in a related context. He is believed to be a part of king Yashovarman’s entourage in Kannauj as a court poet.
Bhavabhuti’s written plays include Mahaviracharita, Malatimadhava, and Uttararamacarita. He depicted the early and later life of Rama in two of the plays, while Malatimadhava is a romantic drama based on Malati and Madhava’s love. The latter was a tale of love and horror combined in a way never matched in Sanskrit literature.
Osho mentions Bhavabhuti, “The idea of beauty has changed. Modern poetry is not beautiful in the same way as Shakespearian poetry is; it is not beautiful in the same way as Kalidas or Bhavabhuti, as Byron or Shelley. It is a totally different kind of beauty. Just our idea! If man disappears from the earth there will be nothing beautiful and nothing ugly. Weeds will be as valuable as roses; there will be no difference, there will be simple equality.
A master is one who has dropped all human ideas about things, hence he has no judgments. He lives in a nonjudgmental way. And can you see? — when you live in a nonjudgmental way you attain to great serenity, naturally; nothing disturbs you, nothing offends you, nothing attracts you, nothing infatuates you.
BEYOND JUDGMENT and you are BEYOND SORROW. Buddha says: If you really want to go beyond sorrow, go beyond judgment. But going beyond judgment means going beyond mind. Mind is judgmental; if you live in the mind it will keep you tethered to all kinds of judgments. If you drop the mind then suddenly the whole existence becomes available to you. For the first time you are unclouded.”
WE LONG EXCEEDINGLY TO DWELL IN THIS TRANSLUCENT DARKNESS, AND THROUGH NOT SEEING AND NOT KNOWING TO SEE AND TO KNOW HIM WHO IS BEYOND BOTH VISION AND KNOWLEDGE — BY THE VERY FACT OF NEITHER SEEING HIM NOR KNOWING HIM. FOR THIS IS TRULY TO SEE AND TO KNOW, AND, THROUGH THE ABANDONMENT OF ALL THINGS, TO PRAISE HIM WHO IS BEYOND ALL ABOVE ALL…
THESE words of Dionysius will look very absurd to you, but there is an undercurrent hidden somewhere that’s what I would like you to discover. And then you will be surprised: it is the same truth as Lao Tzu’s, as Buddha’s, as Zarathustra’s, as Jesus’. There is nothing different; it is just that the language, the jargon he uses is that of a theologian — out of necessity. He must have been surrounded by theologians. He may have come from a family of theologians. To become a bishop, the first bishop of Athens, seems to be a great honor. He must have been respected by the theologians; he must have many friends. Maybe for many generations his family was practicing the profession of the theologian, and he had become accustomed to talking in this way. Even though he became enlightened the old patterns may have continued, or knowingly he may not have dropped them.
WE LONG EXCEEDINGLY TO DWELL IN THIS TRANSLUCENT DARKNESS . . .
Nobody before him, particularly in the Christian tradition, had ever talked about the darkness of God. God had always been thought of as light. He is the first in the Christian world to introduce a new vision of God: as translucent darkness. It was dangerous because God had been thought of as pure light. Darkness is of the Devil, that’s why the Devil is always painted black. And God is just pure light, transparent light, light and nothing else.
WE LONG EXCEEDINGLY TO DWELL IN THIS TRANSLUCENT DARKNESS . . .
But I also feel that his choice is far better.
Light is a momentary phenomenon, darkness is eternal — as eternal as God. Light divides. It is light and I can see you all as different persons. If suddenly darkness descends you will all disappear in the darkness; all distinctions will be lost. Nobody will be rich, nobody will be poor. Nobody will be young, nobody will be old. Nobody will be a man, nobody will be a woman. Even if somebody is sitting there totally dead you will not know the distinction, who is dead and who is alive, who is a sannyasin and who is not a sannyasin. All distinctions will dissolve — darkness will overwhelm all distinctions; it will encompass you. Light cannot do that miracle, and in that way God is closer to darkness than to light.
Just to satisfy the Christian theological world he calls it translucent darkness, so they don’t feel too offended — translucent darkness, darkness which is full of light. If he had been free to say it he would have said simply darkness, pure darkness, unadulterated darkness. Why adulterate it with light? You can see it in Lao Tzu: whatsoever he wants to say he says. He says, “I see that everyone in the world seems to be very clear, thoughtful; there is clarity in people’s minds. I am the only one who is muddle-headed — because I cannot see distinctions. I am the only one who is unclear about everything. I am the only one for whom everything is vague, everything is melting and merging into everything else. I cannot define — I cannot say this is this and that is that.” He has the courage to call himself muddle-headed — no problem about it.
Darkness has depth, light is always shallow. Light is always finite, that’s why it is shallow; and darkness is in-finite, it is not shallow…
WE LONG EXCEEDINGLY TO DWELL IN THIS TRANSLUCENT DARKNESS . . .
Our only desire is to dwell in this darkness, in this infinity, in this distinctionless, unadulterated, abysmal darkness. We want to lose ourselves into it.
. . . AND THROUGH NOT SEEING AND NOT KNOWING TO SEE AND TO KNOW HIM . . .
The only way to see God is to stop seeing, and the only way to know God is to drop all knowledge, because your knowledge will be an interference. Your seeing will be your seeing; it will be a projection of your ego. You have to forget knowledge, you have to forget seeing. Ordinarily we think we see whatsoever is there. That is not true, that’s absolutely untrue…
And this you can experience in many ways. For example, if you go into a primitive aboriginal society… There are many such societies still alive in the world — in India there are.
I have been many times to Bastar, to one of the most ancient aboriginal tribes, which is now slowly being destroyed by the Christian missionaries. Of course, with good intentions — they are destroying it thinking they are helping. They are making hospitals, and they have introduced diseases which the tribe had never known before. Of course, when missionaries come they bring many things with them: modern diseases… They have introduced modern education — of course with good intentions, they want to educate people — but as people become educated they become cunning, dishonest.
In Bastar it has been on record… government records, British government records say that Bastar is the only place where no divorce has ever happened, and Bastar is the only place where no theft has ever happened, and Bastar is the only place where sometimes murders happen but the murderers come to the police station to report that “I have murdered such and such a man.” And they come walking hundreds of miles to the police station, otherwise the police would never come to know. Hundreds of miles of thick jungle and mountains they cross to come to the place where the police are available to inform; otherwise the police would never come to know that any murder has happened. And the murderers themselves come to inform them!
Such simplicity, such honesty — no theft, no cunningness, no deception, no exploitation. In Bastar there has never existed anything like taking interest on money; in fact, there exists no money at all, people only exchange things. In Bastar women are almost naked, just as men are almost naked. No man is interested in their breasts, no man at all. But when the missionaries come, their whole interest is in their breasts. And they have beautiful breasts — their womenfolk are very alive, wild and primitive, as alive as animals, and of course they have the same agility and the same flavor of wildness. But the missionary immediately becomes interested in their breasts. If you see a woman, your first interest is in her breasts. Why? Your mind has become somehow focused from the very childhood. In all civilized countries children are prohibited as much as possible by their mothers from feeding from the breast. Their mothers don’t like it because the more children feed from the breast, the more the breasts lose shape; they start hanging, they start looking ugly. So no mother wants the children to breast-feed. Naturally there is a reluctance; even if she has to feed them it is with reluctance not with love. And that reluctance creates a deep desire in the child to cling to the breast.
Now the whole human civilization suffers from that clinging: your whole poetry, great poetry — Byron, Shelley, Keats, Kalidas. Don’t think that it is only in the West, don’t think that Indian culture is very spiritual; in fact, Kalidas, Bhavbhuti, the great Indian poets, talk much more of breasts than any Western poet has ever talked. And you can go into Indian temples and see: the breasts seem to be too big. Go to Khajuraho, Konarak, Puri, and the breasts seem to be inventions; such big breasts do not exist. And these are not my creations, remember — I have not made these temples. They are thousands of years old, they are absolutely Indian: they represent Indian culture, Indian religion. And you will be surprised to know that in these sculptures all kinds of perverted sexuality is depicted. From where does this perversion come? Repression brings it. You see that which has been repressed, you see that which has been denied. You don’t see that which is.
Now scientists say that your eyes only allow two percent of information to pass through; ninety-eight percent of information is prevented outside. And the same is we about other senses too.
If we want to know the truth we will have to learn some new way. That’s what meditation is all about: not seeing, not knowing. That is meditation, agnosia, because that is the only way to see and to know him. If you want to know him, if you want to know the truth, you will have to unlearn all your ways — Christian, Hindu, Mohammedan, Jaina, Buddhist. All your ways of seeing and knowing — you will have to drop all that. You will have to be utterly empty, in a state of not-knowing, agnosia. Only then will you be able to see and know who he is:
… WHO IS BEYOND BOTH VISION AND KNOWLEDGE…
THE TRUTH is beyond your vision and your knowledge, because your knowledge is your knowledge; it is just ego-confined. And when ego itself is a lie, how can it give you the truth? A lie, says Murphy, is a very poor substitute for the truth, but the only one discovered so far. And the whole of theology is full of lies. The truth cannot be said, cannot be uttered, and still people go on talking about it. God has been talked about in millions of pages. About and about, around and around they go, in circles, never touching the center of the reality. That center can be touched not by thinking but only by meditation.
HE IS BEYOND BOTH VISION AND KNOWLEDGE — BY THE VERY FACT OF NEITHER SEEING HIM NOR KNOWING HIM.
So, remember. Many people come to me and say, “We want to see God.” Forget all about it if you want to see God you will never see him. You have to disappear. Kabir says, “I longed and I searched long for God, but I could not find him. Then one day I dropped that longing, that desire, that search, and since that moment he goes on following me. He is always with me. In fact, he has always been with me, but I was so occupied with searching that I never saw him.”
I call this the totally relaxed state of your being: when there is no search, no inquiry, no question, when you are so relaxed that you start falling deep within your own being. Soon you touch the rock bottom of it; from that touch great revelations happen. You are not inquiring about God, God starts inquiring about you…
FOR THIS IS TRULY TO SEE AND TO KNOW, AND, THROUGH THE ABANDONMENT OF ALL THINGS, TO PRAISE HIM WHO IS BEYOND AND ABOVE ALL.
Now he goes on taking detours. He goes on putting in a little bit of Christian theology, just to befool the fools.
… THROUGH THE ABANDONMENT OF ALL THINGS…
Now Christians will think he is talking about renouncing things. He is not talking about renouncing things. He is saying that the abandonment of things means that you don’t look at things as things; that is abandonment, not renunciation. When you renounce something you still think about it in the same old way. A man is greedy for money: he thinks money is very valuable, everything can be purchased through it. Then one day he comes to know that his whole effort was futile, nothing, that he has wasted his life. Realizing it, he renounces the money, he escapes from the world of money, but still he values money. Now he is thinking that by renouncing money he is going to attain truth. First he was thinking that by having money everything can be purchased; now he thinks that by renouncing money everything can be got, even truth. But the logic is the same; it has not changed a little bit — it is still the money. The focus is the money and the money is valuable. First he was accumulating it, now he is renouncing it, but he has not changed, his approach has not changed; money is still the target.
Dionysius says abandonment of all things. That is a totally different phenomenon.
The abandonment of things means don’t look at things as things, because all is full of God. Everything is so full, overflowing with God, that to call it a thing is not right. Nothing is dead, all is alive — of course, alive in different ways, but all is alive. Even a rock is alive. The man who has known God, knows the aliveness of existence and knows the falsity of death. And if death is false then there is not a single “thing” in the world.
Ordinarily we go on doing just the opposite: we reduce persons to things. When you
marry a woman… Before marriage she was a person, an independent person, and you were a person, an independent person; after marriage she becomes a wife, a thing, and you become a husband, a thing. The husband is not a person, the wife is not a person: the wife is something that has to be used, the husband is something that has to be used; they have become things, commodities. We reduce people to commodities, to things. And
the man of vision, of meditation raises things to persons. He even starts talking with things, with trees, with animals; he starts imparting personality to them… This is abandonment of things. Things disappear from the world; the world becomes full of beings.
This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Gautam Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune, India.
Discourse series: Theologia Mystica
Chapter title: A little taste of Buddhahood
17 August 1980 am in Buddha Hall
Osho has spoken on distinguished poets like Byron, Coleridge, D.H. Lawrence, Ghalib, Heinrich Heine, John Ruskin, Kahlil Gibran, Kalidas, Keats, Leo Tolstoy, Mark Twain, Milton, Oscar Wilde, Rabindranath Tagore, Ramdhari Singh Dinkar, Rumi, Rudyard Kipling, Shakespeare, Shelley, William Blake, Wordsworth and many more in His discourses. Some of these can be referred to in the following books/discourses:
- The Book of Wisdom
- The Sword and The Lotus
- Returning to the Source
- Light on the Path
- The Secret
- The Hidden Splendour
- The New Dawn
- Beyond Enlightenment
- Nansen: The Point of Departure
- From Misery to Enlightenment
- From the False to the Truth
- The Perfect Master, Vol 1
- I Am That