Enlightenment: Your Very Being
On 21st of March 1953 something immensely beautiful happened, something extraordinary, something for which existence also must be waiting to happen. A flower of love blossomed with never ending fragrance and beauty, a vast star had reached to its ultimate state of awareness, An ocean of rebel for truth boomed up with a silence at the center, Someone truly realized his own being in its utter purity. Oh Yes, the Master of Masters Osho got enlightened on this day.
That day must have been a biggest celebration, a festival for existence and we remember, celebrate, and feel the showering of blessings of the Master. This day is so meaningful for Osho sannyasis and lovers, at Oshodham and different places Osho lovers celebrate this festival with a great gratitude towards their master for continuously showering his unconditional blessings and for giving so many golden opportunities to find ourselves.
Someone had asked ‘WHAT HAPPENED TO RAJNEESH ON MARCH 21ST? DID HE ATTAIN SAMADHI WITH OR WITHOUT SEED?’ And Osho replied-
This is not only your question, this is mine also! Ever since, I have also been wondering what happened to this guy Rajneesh. On that night, one moment he was there, and next moment he was not there. And since then I have been looking for him within and without: not even a trace has been left behind, no footprints. If ever I get him, I will remember your question. Or, if it happens that you come across him somewhere, you can ask the question from my side also.
It is just like a dream. In the morning you are awake, you look around, you search for the dream in the sheets of the bed, under the bed, and it is not there. You cannot believe — just a moment before it was there, so colorful, so real, and suddenly it is not found at all, and there is no way to find it. It only appeared; it was not a reality, it was just a dream. One is awake and the dream has disappeared. Nothing happens to the dream. This is how Master had showered us with the understanding of enlightenment
WHEN I SEE YOU MY HEART EXPLODES, WHEN YOU DANCE I FEEL SO JOYOUS, WHEN YOU SPEAK I ENJOY IT IMMENSELY. SO OFTEN THESE DAYS, WITH ALL THE BLESSINGS YOU SHOWER UPON US, I FEEL SO OVERCOME. WHO NEEDS TO BE ENLIGHTENED, WITH SUCH AN EXQUISITE, OUTRAGEOUS MASTER LIKE YOU AROUND? I’M ENJOYING LIFE MORE THAN EVER BEFORE, AND I DON’T CARE ABOUT ENLIGHTENMENT. AM I BEING IRRESPONSIBLE OR DEPENDENT ON YOU BY NOT WANTING ENLIGHTENMENT? OR SHOULD I JUST KEEP ENJOYING YOUR BEAUTY, YOUR GRACE, AND THE IMMENSITY OF YOUR LOVE?
The first thing to be understood: you cannot want enlightenment. If you want it, you are not going to get it. Wanting is the greatest barrier, because wanting is of the mind — and enlightenment is the experience beyond mind. So it is good that you don’t care about enlightenment. Do you think I care? As far as I am concerned, you are enlightened, you are just not aware of it. Enlightenment is not something far away, a goal that you have to achieve; it is not that you have to compete with others, that you have to be fast and speedy.
Enlightenment is your very being. You are born with it, it is your inner luminosity. So the question of wanting takes you away from your being. Wanting means desiring. You can desire everything in the world, but you cannot desire enlightenment; because everything else is there outside you, but enlightenment is your very center of being. It is just that you are looking outward, so your own being is not in your consciousness.
The whole art of meditation is just to turn your consciousness inwards, so that you can become acquainted with yourself.
You are not yet introduced to yourself. You know what your name is — but you did not come with that name; that label has been put by others. You know you are a Christian, a Hindu, a Jew — but you were not born as a Hindu, as a Mohammedan, as a Christian. You were born as a deep and tremendous luminosity, innocence. You were born enlightened — but before you could become aware of it, people started putting all kinds of garbage on you. Before you could have a look inside, they turned your eyes outside and focused them on other things: “You have to become the greatest scientist in the world, you have to become the richest man in the world, you have to become the president.” They managed one thing: they took your attention from being and focused it on becoming.
Becoming is going away from being. The more you attain your desires, the farther away you are from yourself. And there is no end to becoming. Always there is a horizon calling you forth. Becoming is unending, so people go on running after shadows for their whole life. And where do they end up? In a graveyard — presidents and all. The ultimate attainment of all their efforts is the grave.
And the grave of a president and the grave of a beggar are not different.
In the East it has been a beautiful tradition that whenever anybody dies, he is burned. The grave is not made, he is not put in a grave but on a funeral pyre. It signifies that this man burned his whole life, this is the ultimate result. Becoming is burning. The funeral pyre is the goal that he has achieved — all his life burning for this thing, burning for that thing. He had not rested a single moment, he had not relaxed a single moment. The funeral pyre is very significant. The grave does not give that sense…The emperor dead and the beggar dead for the first time become communists — equal. Only in graveyards does communism exist in its authenticity: no hierarchy, nobody above you, nobody below you. There is nobody, in fact. And this is the whole story of becoming.
It is good that you don’t care about enlightenment, because your caring about it will destroy the whole thing. That will create a desire, that will create a longing. And enlightenment cannot be an object of your longing and desire. The basic fundamental of enlightenment is desirelessness.
Here you are enjoying, rejoicing, dancing, singing. Don’t be worried about enlightenment. Suddenly one day dancing or singing or listening to me, or just sitting in silence, you will become aware — “My God! I have always been enlightened!” That’s how it has always happened. That’s why down the centuries the first similarity enlightened people have shared, is: they have laughed loudly when they became enlightened. On other points they may differ, their philosophies may be different — someone may have one kind of theology, someone another kind — but as far as laughter is concerned, nobody in the whole history of humanity has become enlightened and not laughed!
Life is really so hilarious: you go on trying to find something which you have already — in fact, even if you want to become unenlightened, there is no way. So don’t think that you are being irresponsible. This is just the opposite; you are being, for the first time, responsible. You have dropped the idea of enlightenment. You are no longer interested in enlightenment. That’s a great step. And don’t be worried that you are perhaps becoming dependent on me, that without my help you cannot do it. I go on destroying every possibility of your becoming dependent on me. There were people who became dependent on my words. I stopped speaking for three-and-a half years just to get rid of those camels. They have moved, they are all in Santa Fe. But there are thousands of ways you can become dependent. And that’s the function of the master: not to make you dependent. He wants you to be totally free, independent individuals, having immense respect for your own integrity. And it comes by being joyous for no reason — dancing for dancing’s sake; singing as an intrinsic value, not singing in a competition to win the award; singing to enjoy, just the way birds sing in the morning.
You cannot ask those birds, “Why are you singing? Have you got the Nobel Prize? Or have you become the president of America? Have you found a treasure?” Nothing. Just the morning sun, the beginning of a new day, the fragrance of fresh flowers, the darkness disappearing and the whole sky becoming available again — suddenly the song bursts forth for no particular reason.
In fact, it is not right to say that the birds are singing. It will be better to say that singing is happening to the birds. It is simply coming out without any effort, it is not a doing. They are not rehearsing for it. They are not going to a music institute, nobody has ever taught them how to sing. They don’t bother whether their singing has any meaning in it. Sheer joy! And if you feel around me sheer joy — dancing, singing, rejoicing — that’s enough. Don’t be worried: your singing, your dancing, your joy will never become dependent on me. They are yours. Perhaps in the beginning you will think that it is because of me that you are rejoicing, but that fallacy will not last long. One day, suddenly, sitting in your own room, you may start dancing. In fact everybody does it in his bathroom already. In the room he is a little bit afraid what the neighbors will think. Sitting before the bathroom mirror, have you not made faces? You are again a child.
Soon you will discover my presence is only an excuse, because you cannot laugh without an excuse. That’s why. You need some excuse. The master is here — that is enough to rejoice. But just a little intelligence is needed. Rejoicing in itself is enough, it needs no reason. Soon sannyasins start finding that they can dance, they can sing, they can rejoice under the sky, under the stars, by the side of the river, on the mountain. The function of the master is, in the beginning, to give you an excuse, a reason, so that you don’t feel embarrassed. Otherwise, if suddenly in the outside world, walking on the street you start dancing, soon you will be in the hands of the police. You will be presented in a court: “This man has been dancing on the road, disturbing the traffic, and he does not say why he was dancing! Either he is mad, or some other reason has to be found.” You cannot do it in the outside world; that’s why I insist that all my sannyasins should start moving towards communes where nobody is going to ask why you are dancing. Perhaps, seeing you dance, they may start dancing themselves…
I said to you that what all the enlightened people of the world have experienced first was a great laugh. Buddha used to call it “the lion’s roar” because the laughter was so loud. It has to be, because for thousands of lives you have been searching for it and you never became aware who was searching for it! The searcher is the sought. The seeker is the goal. So don’t feel at all that you will become dependent on me. I won’t allow it. I go on saying things, doing things which disturb your dependence…It is good that the idea of enlightenment as a desired object is disappearing from you.
Don’t be worried, this is not irresponsible. And don’t be worried either that you will become dependent on me. You cannot, because I have not been here for thirty-two years! The day I realized my enlightenment — since then I have been absent. I laughed, and that was the last act. You cannot depend on me. I can manage to disturb your dependence in every possible way. Any day you can find me drunk on the streets near your disco. Anyway, I cannot walk straight. Wobbling is my way of walking — drunk or not drunk. But I can do anything for you! I can smoke Havana cigars. Sheela has kept a good stock — because any day I can ask. She has Havana cigars, Mexican cigars, and all kinds of beautiful things. I can do anything to destroy your dependence so don’t be worried, that is my responsibility.
You simply rejoice. You enjoy each moment. One day — that day cannot be predicted, because it is going to be different for everybody — whenever you are in a state of utter relaxation; after dancing, after singing, after listening to me, it can happen. It has happened in all kinds of strange situations.
This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune.
From Death to Deathlessness
Chapter title: Becoming is going away from being
22 August 1985 am in Rajneeshmandir
Osho has spoken on ‘enlightenment, meditation, laughter, rejoicing, dancing’ in many of His discourses. More on the subject can be referred to in the following books/discourses:
- Beyond Enlightenment
- The Osho Upanishad
- The Path of the Mystic
- From Death to Deathlessness
- Bodhidharma: The Greatest Zen Master
- From the False to the Truth
- The Discipline of Transcendence, Vol 3
- Hari Om Tat Sat
- Sat Chit Anand
- YAA-HOO! The Mystic Rose
- The Razor’s Edge
- The Messiah, Vol 1, 2
- Zarathustra: A God That Can Dance