Peace: A State of Let-go

International day of Peace

September 21 is observed as International Day of Peace around the world. It is an occasion for mankind to commit to Peace. The United Nations urges everyone to celebrate this day by spreading compassion, kindness and hope. The UN General Assembly has also unanimously voted in 2001 to observe this day as a period of non-violence and cease-fire.

The 2021 theme for the International Day of Peace is “Recovering better for an equitable and sustainable world”. As  we heal from the COVID-19 pandemic, we are inspired to think creatively and collectively about how to help everyone recover better, how to build resilience, and how to transform our world into one that is more equal, more just, equitable, inclusive, sustainable, and healthier. The pandemic has been accompanied by a surge in stigma, discrimination, and hatred, which only cost more lives instead of saving them: the virus attacks all without caring about where we are from or what we believe in. Confronting this common enemy of humankind, we must be reminded that we are not each other’s enemy. To be able to recover from the devastation of the pandemic, we must make peace with one another. And we must make peace with nature too.

Osho says heaven and hell are not geographical, they are psychological. And this is not a question to be decided on the day of Judgment. Heaven and hell are here and now. Every moment you go on wavering between heaven and hell. Every moment the door opens – Silence is the door. Inner peace is the door. Non-violence is the door. Love and compassion are the doors.

Osho says…..




peace is, for the rebellious man, his very light. It is his very aroma, his fragrance, the harmony of his heart, his at-oneness with existence. All conflicts of the mind are just memories of the past. The mind is no longer divided, split or schizophrenic. The mind has become an organic unity.

The ordinary man who has not tasted rebellion or religion — which to me are equivalent — is a house divided against himself. He is continuously fighting within and without. He is fighting for money, for power, for prestige, for respectability. His outside life is nothing but power politics. It is a continuous, ongoing warfare that ceases only when he stops breathing. The inner scene is not much different either, because the outer and the inner cannot be much different. They are part of one individual — the outside and the inside. Inside he is struggling against nature — his own nature, his own instincts, which some so-called wise men have condemned. He is blindly following their condemnation without any understanding of his own. Fighting with his own nature, he becomes crippled. The man who is fighting against his instincts — that is his body — is bound to fight against his intuition, which is his very soul.

The man who cannot find peace with his body cannot hope to find peace with his soul, because to find peace with the body is simple; to find peace with the soul is more subtle, more invisible.

Man is fighting with his full force against every inclination that existence has given to him — against his love, against his longing for truth — because the traditions go on teaching him, “You need not search for truth; it has already been found. You simply believe in it.” From your side, any search is a sign of revolt. You simply have faith — faith in Jesus Christ, faith in Mahavira, faith in Gautam Buddha — but never faith in yourself. All the religions are agreed on one point: that you should not trust yourself. You should be constantly conscious and alert against yourself. They have made you an enemy of yourself; hence, every moment a subtle underground struggle and conflict goes on within you. There is neither peace inside, nor is there peace outside.

Yes, sometimes you say, “I am living peacefully,” and sometimes you say, “I am feeling very upset.” But the difference between your peace and your being upset is not of quality but only of quantity, of degrees. What you call peace is a cold war. You are tired, exhausted; there is a limit to everything. You need a little rest to be ready to start the old game again. So sometimes you are in a state of cold war within and without, and sometimes you are in a hot war within and without. But the war continues; whether it is cold or hot makes no difference. You are never at peace, you cannot be. You have not prepared the ground for the flowers of peace to blossom. You don’t deserve it. Although you have the potential, although you could be worthy, you are not worthy — and remember the difference. It is within your hands, it is within your reach, but you have not even looked at it. You are looking away from it, at everything that disturbs it.

Diogenes, one of the most peaceful men the world has known, had asked Alexander the Great, who had come to see him, “Where are you going? What is your goal? What do you really want? For months I have seen all these armies passing by, and I go on wondering what could be the purpose of it all.” And Alexander said, “I want to conquer the world.”

Diogenes said, “Agreed, so then you have conquered the world, it is accepted — then what?”

Alexander felt a little embarrassed. Nobody has asked such a question in such a manner. But still he said politely, “Then I will relax.”

Diogenes laughed a belly laugh; the whole valley resounded with his laughter in the early morning. He looked at his dog — he had only one companion, a dog; they used to live together, they lived their whole life together. He looked at the dog and said, “Have you listened? Do you understand?” And Alexander could not believe that the dog nodded his head showing, “Yes, I understand.”

Alexander said, “I am amazed. What does he mean by nodding his head that he understands?”

Diogenes said, “The whole existence understands that if you really want to relax, who is preventing you? Why waste time in conquering the world? You are talking as if to relax — to be peaceful, to be meditative, to be silent, to enjoy the morning sun and the cool breeze — one first needs to conquer the whole world. Then peace will be very difficult. What about us poor people who have not conquered a single thing, who do not possess a single thing? But I am already relaxed, I am at peace; I am enjoying this moment to its fullest. And we have enough space” — there was the whole bank of a river, a wild river.

He said, “You can take any place… you choose. Here there is no question of conquering or invading. If you want this place where I am lying down, I can move a little, you can take it. If you want my dog’s place he can move, he is very understanding; he is no ordinary dog, he is a dog who has come to experience peace. That’s our bondage, our friendship, our love, our brotherliness. I don’t like to be in crowds of men because they don’t understand a thing. I like my dog, he is so understanding.” And the dog really moved away, wagging his tail and welcoming Alexander, “You can take this place.”

Alexander was never in such a difficult position. How to get out from there? — because the logic of Diogenes was absolutely clear.

If you want peace, relaxation, serenity, start now! Conquering the whole world is not a necessary condition for it… not even an unnecessary condition.

We are doing everything to disturb ourselves by our greed, our lust, our desire for more and more, our non-ending ambition to be at the top. Then what will you do at the top? What did Edmund Hillary do on Everest? He just looked stupid and embarrassed, standing alone on that peak for no reason at all. He had risked his life, knowing well hundreds of people had died before in the same effort; and all knew perfectly well there was nothing to be found — it is just eternal snow. But strange are the ways of man, strange is his craziness.

Just watch your desires, your longings, your ambitions and you will be able to see who is creating disturbances; otherwise peace is your nature…

for nine months in the mother’s womb you were in eternal peace.

Peace is the stuff the whole existence is made of.

It is only the stupidity of man that has disturbed everything around him, within him. And now he is looking for peace.

You are asking me, Raso, “What is peace for the rebellious man?”

Peace has only one taste, utterly delicious — the ultimate taste of existence itself. You just have to drop all that is disturbing, all that creates turmoil, all that creates tension, anxiety, anguish; you don’t have to achieve peace — remember. Peace is already there deep inside you. Peace is what you are made of. It is your very consciousness, your very being. But such is the utter insanity of men that they even start making peace their ambition, they start desiring peace. And this is the greatest dilemma for every man who is in search of himself. He has to understand the contradiction. You cannot desire peace, because desire is the disturbance. What you desire does not matter. You may desire peace or you may desire power, you may desire money or you may desire meditation, it doesn’t matter — because the nature of desire is always the same. It is a tension, its goal is in the future, and peace is in the present. Peace is not a tension. Peace is a non-tense, relaxed state of let go. There is not even the ambition of peace. There is no desire, no ambition, because one has understood the simple arithmetic — that every desire creates conflict, every ambition takes you away from yourself. The moment you drop all your desires and all your ambitions, you suddenly find you are sitting in peace within the temple of your being.

To describe our situation I will tell you a few stories:

No matter which girl he brings home, Tom finds disapproval from his mother. He asks his friend for advice. “Find a girl just like your mother, then she is bound to like her,” advises his friend.

So, after much searching, Tom finally finds the girl. “Just like you said,” he tells his friend. “She talks, dresses, and even looks like my mother, and just like you said, my mother liked her.”

“So,” asks his friend, “what’s happening?”

“Nothing,” says Tom, “my father hates her!”

How to find peace? If you find a woman just like your mother, it is absolutely certain your father will hate her, and he will veto your marriage.

“Will my husband be permitted to stay with me during the delivery?” Mary asked the doctor in the maternity ward.

“Ah, yes,” replied the doctor, “I also believe the father of the child should be present at its birth.”

“I don’t think that’s a good idea,” said Mary, “he and my husband don’t get along too well together.” Life is such a ridiculous drama. It will be simply a miracle if you can find anywhere something even resembling a faraway echo of peace.

Several members of the Golden Age Club were being asked, “Why do you think God has permitted you to reach the age of ninety-five?”

Without hesitation one wealthy old lady said, “To test the patience of my relatives.”

All old people are doing that everywhere in every family, just testing the peace of their relatives.

Hymie Goldberg looked very sad; his wife was sick, so he called the doctor. After examining Mrs. Goldberg, the doctor said to Hymie, “I am afraid it is bad news: your wife has only a few hours to live. I hope you understand there is nothing more to be done. Don’t let yourself suffer.”

“It is all right, doc,” said Goldberg, “I have suffered for forty years, I can suffer a few more hours. It is not a big problem.” People who are living together are suffering together. People are in love with each other or in hate with each other.

The findings of psychologists are that couples are nothing but intimate enemies. They both are sabotaging each other’s lives, pulling at each other’s legs, not allowing a single moment of peace. They are bringing up a thousand and one questions, and each question finally becomes a fight. The woman has a totally different kind of argumentation. She does not follow Aristotle; nobody knows whom she follows, what kind of logic she has, at what point she will suddenly start crying and weeping and tears will be coming. The man thinks, “My God, who would have thought?… I have simply given a rational answer, now what to do?” He has been reading books and consulting libraries about how to have a good married life, and he knows every argument. But one knows not what kind of logic this woman follows. Suddenly she starts shouting, throwing things — which is not at all logical. No book of logic suggests that you break plates and cups and saucers. But logic or not, seeing that the whole house is in an earthquake, it is better to accept defeat. It is not a question of logical victory; victory is always for the woman. You can have logic, she will have victory. This is a simple division. So the poor husband has the logic. Every morning with his umbrella by his side, keeping his logic, he goes to the office… just wondering if perhaps poets are right, that nobody understands the nature of women. In fact, there is nothing to understand. It is so simple: she does not know logic — nothing else! So she creates a nuisance. If you cannot bring a sensible argument, the best way is to shout and create a nuisance — as much as you can…

The poets who have been saying that nobody understands the nature of women are just idiots, nothing else. Women don’t know logic, but they know one thing — that the essential thing is not logic, the essential thing is victory. So the man goes on insisting on logical argument, and the woman goes on insisting on being victorious. She does not care about your logical arguments. But a man who is trying to be logical and sensible is bound to be afraid of many things — what will the neighbors think, what if the children wake up? So he is trying to calm the woman down, but she will calm down only if victory is hers; otherwise she will put everything at stake. But the man has to think about his prestige in the neighborhood, about his job.

(A WOMAN WHO IS PRESENT AT THE DISCOURSE STARTS LAUGHING — A VERY GUTSY LAUGHTER.) Now listen to this woman… why does she laugh? She must have remembered similar incidents. Every woman knows, more or less, but she must have seen a great drama!

A rebellious man first tries to understand the causes that are not allowing his natural flowering.This basic thing has to be remembered: peace is not a goal, peace is your intrinsic nature. So whatever is preventing your natural growth, that has to be dropped. If it is anger, jealousy, greed, ambition, desiring, then they are not worth anything. You are wasting a tremendous opportunity of finding an inexhaustible treasure of blessings, for stupid things which don’t have any significance. Drop them! It is not renunciation, it is simply understanding. It is not becoming a monk or an ascetic. It is simply becoming a more conscious man. The more conscious you are, the more peace will arise within the silences of your own heart. It has always been there, there was just no bridge between you and it. And you were running all around, all over the world, searching for it everywhere — except in your own house.


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

Discourse Series: The Rebel

Chapter #18

Chapter title: Every desire creates conflict

9 June 1987 pm


Osho has spoken on ‘peace, meditation, silence, let-go’ in many of His discourses. More on the subject can be referred to in the following books/discourses:

  1. Beyond Enlightenment
  2. The Golden Future
  3. The Hidden Splendor
  4. The Rebel
  5. The Invitation
  6. Socrates Poisoned Again After 25 Centuries
  7. The Zen Manifesto: Freedom From Oneself
  8. The Path of Love
  9. The Rebellious Spirit
  10. The Book of Wisdom
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