The Dhammapada Vol 10 01

First Discourse from the series of 13 discourses - The Dhammapada Vol 10 by Osho.
You can listen, download or read all of these discourses on oshoworld.com.

Thirty-six streams are rushing toward you!
Desire and pleasure and lust…
Play in your imagination with them
and they will sweep you away.

Powerful streams!
They flow everywhere.

Strong vine!
If you see it spring up,
take care!
Pull it out by the roots.

Pleasures flow everywhere.
You float upon them
and are carried from life to life.

Like a hunted hare you run,
the pursuer of desire pursued,
harried from life to life.

O seeker!
Give up desire.
Shake off your chains.

You have come out of the hollow
into the clearing.
The clearing is empty.
Why do you rush back into the hollow?

Desire is a hollow
and people say, “Look!
He was free.
But now he gives up his freedom.”
Gautama the Buddha’s whole religion can be reduced to a single word. That word is freedom. That is his essential message, his very fragrance. Nobody else has raised freedom so high. It is the ultimate value in Buddha’s vision, the summum bonum; there is nothing higher than that.
It seems very fundamental to understand why Buddha emphasizes freedom so much. God is not emphasized nor heaven is emphasized nor love is emphasized, only freedom. There is a reason for it: all that is valuable becomes possible only in the climate of freedom. Love also grows only in the soil of freedom; without freedom, love cannot grow. Without freedom, what grows in the name of love is nothing but lust. Without freedom there is no God. Without freedom what you think to be God is only your imagination, your fear, your greed. There is no heaven without freedom: freedom is heaven. And if you think there is some heaven without freedom, then that heaven has no worth, no reality. It is your fancy, it is your dream.
All great values of life grow in the climate of freedom; hence freedom is the most fundamental value and also the highest pinnacle. If you want to understand Buddha you will have to taste something of the freedom he is talking about.
His freedom is not of the outside. It is not social, it is not political, it is not economic. His freedom is spiritual. By “freedom” he means a state of consciousness unhindered by any desire, unchained to any desire, unimprisoned by any greed, by any lust for more. By “freedom” he means a consciousness without mind, a state of no-mind. It is utterly empty because if there is something, that will hinder freedom; hence its utter emptiness.
This word emptinessshunyata – has been very much misunderstood by people because the word has a connotation of negativity. Whenever we hear the word empty we think of something negative. In Buddha’s language, emptiness is not negative; emptiness is absolutely positive, more positive than your so-called fullness, because emptiness is full of freedom; everything else has been removed. It is spacious; all boundaries have been dropped. It is unbounded, and only in an unbounded space is freedom possible. His emptiness is not ordinary emptiness; it is not only an absence of something, it is a presence of something invisible.
For example, in emptying your room, as you remove the furniture and the paintings and the things inside, the room becomes empty on the one hand because there is no longer any furniture, or paintings, or ornaments, or anything at all left inside; but on the other hand, something invisible starts filling it. That invisibleness is roominess, spaciousness; the room becomes bigger. As you remove the things, the room becomes bigger and bigger. When everything is removed, even the walls, then the room is as big as the whole sky.
That’s the whole process of meditation: removing everything; removing yourself so totally that nothing is left behind, not even you. In that utter silence is freedom. In that utter stillness grows the one-thousand-petaled lotus of freedom. Great fragrance is released: the fragrance of peace, compassion, love, bliss. Or if you want to choose the word God, you can choose it. It is not Buddha’s word, but there is no harm in choosing it.
Meditate over these beautiful sutras:
Thirty-six streams are rushing toward you!
The number thirty-six is only a Buddhist metaphor; it stands for “many.” Many streams are rushing toward you. Each moment you are surrounded by a thousand and one desires, and they are all pulling you in different directions. You are a victim and you are falling apart.

A young man entered a hotel. He saw a very beautiful woman sitting alone in the corner drinking coffee. She was so beautiful and so attractive, the young man could not resist temptation. He went close to her and asked her, “Can I join you?”
The woman looked at him for a few seconds and said, “Do you think I am falling apart?”

But that’s exactly the case: everybody is falling apart, even that woman. If I had been in the place of that young man I would have said, “Yes. You need to be glued together.”
Everybody is falling apart. You are not one; you have become many, many fragments, and all the fragments are going in different directions. That’s why there is so much misery in your being, because when your parts, which are essentially your intrinsic parts, are being pulled in different directions you feel the pain of it. That’s what misery is: the pain of falling into different directions simultaneously, rushing into different directions simultaneously. That is what creates craziness, insanity.
Buddha says: Thirty-six streams are rushing toward you! Beware! Not only one but many streams are rushing toward you. And if you don’t take care, if you are not alert, you will be possessed by them. If you remain unconscious, if you remain sleepy, you will be defeated by those streams. Those streams are not basically your enemies. They are pure energy, and energy is always neutral. When you are awake, those streams become great creative energies for you; but when you are asleep those same streams are dangerous. They are rushing toward buddhas too, but in the hand of a buddha, dust turns into gold. The touch of awareness is alchemical. In your hands, even if by chance you come across gold, it turns into dust. You are so asleep that you impart your sleepiness to whatsoever comes to you.
Those thirty-six streams he is talking about are gifts of existence, gifts of great energy. It is coming from everywhere. Now, it depends on you whether you can transform those energies into a synthesis, whether you can transform those energies into an integrated whole, whether you can create an orchestra out of all those energies. Then you become a song, you create great music, your life becomes a melody.
But if you cannot transform those energies, then you will be a victim and you will be divided into many parts. You will lose all integrity. You will become a crowd; you will not be an individual anymore.
Thirty-six streams are rushing toward you!
Desire and pleasure and lust…
And so on, so forth. What is desire? Desire means greed for more. It is not fulfillable. It is impossible to fulfill the greed for more because that “more” has no limitation. “More” simply means an unlimited phenomenon. You have ten thousand rupees, you want one hundred thousand rupees. One day you get one hundred thousand rupees – now you want more. You want more and more and more. Whatsoever you get, the distance between you and your goal will remain the same; it is never reduced, not even by a single inch.
That’s why beggars are beggars, obviously, but emperors are also beggars. Both are still hankering for more. What is the difference? No difference as far as the quality of their consciousness is concerned. Of course, the beggar does not possess much and the emperor possesses much, but that is not the point. The distance between the beggar’s possessions and what he wants and the emperor’s possessions and what he wants is exactly the same. One is a poor beggar, the other is a rich beggar; that much difference you can make. But both are beggars all the same.
To be in the grip of “more” is to be really eccentric, off-center. If you can’t see it then you are not intelligent at all. It is such a simple phenomenon that just a little intelligence is needed to see it. In your whole life you have been trying and it is not that you have always failed; it only looks as if you have always failed. You have succeeded many times, but each time you succeed, your desire for more is projected again and you remain in the same position: miserable, unhappy, frustrated. If you don’t get what you want, you will be frustrated; if you do get what you want, you will be frustrated. It seems frustration is the destiny, the absolute destiny, of the unconscious man.

A psychiatrist was going around a mental hospital. He saw a man beating himself, pulling his hair, looking very suicidal. He was kept in a cell as he was dangerous. The psychiatrist asked the superintendent, “What happened to this man?”
The superintendent said, “He loved a woman, he loved her very much, but he could not get her. She married somebody else. Since then he has been in this state. He wants to commit suicide, he does not want to live. He says there is no meaning in life: ‘My meaning was in that woman. If I could not get that woman, that means my life is finished.’”
Feeling sorry for the man – he was young and beautiful – they moved ahead. They saw another cell and another man was inside it, and he was even more ferocious, very murderous.
The psychiatrist asked, “What has happened to this man?”
The superintendent said, “This is the man who married that same woman! Since he has married her he wants to kill her, and if he cannot kill her then he wants to kill somebody else instead, but he wants to kill and destroy. He wants to kill the whole world! That woman drove him mad.”

One is mad because he could not get her, the other is mad because he did get her. This is the whole history of every human being, more or less. It may not be so extreme, so you don’t see it, but the differences are only in degrees. The man in the grip of desire is bound to become insane.
Buddha says: pleasure… Pleasure means that you think the body is the only source of happiness. That is sheer stupidity. The body’s pleasures are very momentary; they are not real pleasures. But everybody is caught in the net of the body. We are born as bodies, but we need not die as bodies. If we die as bodies, our whole life will have been a sheer wastage. You have to grow up.
Remember: growing old is not growing up. Everybody grows old, but very few people, very rare people grow up. One who really grows up becomes a buddha. Growing up means you start becoming alert that bodily pleasures are momentary and they can change into their opposite very easily.
For example, you love eating and you can go on eating too much. Then it becomes a pain. It was pleasure in the beginning, but there is a limit to that pleasure. It is said of Nero that he used to have four physicians always with him. Even when he was going into war those four physicians used to accompany him. When Nero would eat, their whole work was to help him to vomit so that he could eat again. He used to love eating so much that he would eat twenty times, twenty-five times per day. You will call him mad, and he was mad.
Now, where is the pleasure in eating? Maybe there is a little pleasure of taste. On your tongue there are little buds which experience taste. They can be operated on very easily and then you will not feel anything at all. Then the whole pleasure of eating disappears. That’s what happens when you have a fever: your buds become dull, insensitive, so you eat but you don’t feel any taste. People are living to eat; there are very few people who eat to live. Millions are living only to eat.
Humanity can be divided into two types of mad people: one type is obsessed with food; another type is obsessed with sex, and there is a deep relation between the two. The person who is obsessed with sex will not bother much about food and the person who is repressive of sex will become obsessed with food.
Whenever a country is repressive of sex it becomes very obsessed with food. That’s what has happened in this country: for centuries it has been repressive of sex. That’s why Indians have been very inventive about food – new sweets, thousands of sweets. The world is completely unaware of all those sweets! And Indian food is so spicy that when a foreigner comes he cannot eat it; he cannot understand how people can eat it, it is so burning hot! Why such spicy food? It is repression of sex! If your sex is not repressed you will not eat such spicy food.
Just the other day I received two letters, one was from a Western sannyasin, Mudita. She says, “Osho, listening to you I feel great joy, but then suddenly I become horny.” She must have been brought up with Victorian ideas, with Victorian education, outmoded thoughts.
Another letter has come from Rekha, an Indian sannyasin. She says, “Listening to you, suddenly I had a great desire to eat spicy food.” Now, she is an Indian! An Indian woman cannot recognize even in herself that she is feeling horny, that is impossible. The whole desire has to move toward spicy food. But both are the same, there is no difference.
Food and sex have one thing in common. Food is needed for the individual’s survival; without food you will not survive. And sex is needed for the species’ survival; without sex the species will disappear.
Another phenomenon: the person who is living a natural life will not be obsessed with sex or with food. He will not be obsessed at all. But religions don’t allow that: you have to be obsessed with something or other. If you are not obsessed you will not go to the temples and the mosques and the churches and the synagogues. That is the very secret of their trade. This whole business of religion goes on and on with no sign of ever stopping, for the simple reason that you go on being obsessed with something or other.
The person who is obsessed with sex will be less selfish; the person who is obsessed with food will be more selfish, because that food means his survival and sex means survival of the species. It is better to be sexual and to be after sexual pleasures than to live just to eat.
This country has become very selfish for the simple reason that sex has been completely denied; brahmacharya – celibacy – has been propounded down the ages as one of the greatest values. And the ultimate result has been that everybody has become obsessed with food. Whenever people are obsessed with food they become selfish, obviously, because they are no longer interested in the species.
Immanuel Kant, one of the great thinkers of the world, says: “This to me is the fundamental criterion of all morality: any principle that destroys humanity if followed is immoral.” Now, what will Immanuel Kant say about brahmacharya? If brahmacharya is followed by the whole humanity it will destroy humanity. It will be a suicidal phenomenon. According to Immanuel Kant, brahmacharya is immoral; more immoral than stealing, more immoral than dishonesty, more immoral than breaking your promise, more immoral than anything.
I agree with Immanuel Kant, rather than with the whole Indian tradition. The criterion is this: you should think what the result will be if the principle is followed by everybody. It will be suicidal, it will be global suicide. There will be nobody left to be celibate anymore.
The same is true about the so-called old escapist sannyas which was renunciation: that too is immoral. If everybody follows the escapist idea and drops out and escapes to the Himalayas, the whole humanity will die.
In fact, your so-called mahatmas and saints live because you are in the world and you go on supporting them. If you are not in the world, if you are also in the Himalayas, following your saints and mahatmas, they will be at a loss. Who will feed them? Who will support them? They will have to commit suicide with their followers, and the Himalayas is a really beautiful site if you want to commit suicide, the best place in the world. If you could not live beautifully, at least you can die in a beautiful place. Your mahatmas are supported by the worldly people, yet they go on condemning the world. It is an immoral act. Escapism is an immoral act.
I agree with Immanuel Kant; his criterion has something really valuable about it. Pleasure means either the pleasure of the tongue, food – which is very childish – or the pleasure of sex, which is also very childish because you are not just the body, you are more than that.
Rise from pleasures to happiness. Happiness is psychological, pleasure is physiological. Listening to great music or reading great poetry or watching a sunset or just enjoying a morning walk and the wind passing through the pines and the music that it creates, the sound of running water, thrills you. Although it comes through the body, it reaches deeper than food or sex. It is more fulfilling. But that, too, is not the end because anything that is psychological is bound to be momentary.
Beyond happiness is bliss – which is of the spirit, which is a timeless phenomenon. You go beyond time, you go beyond both mind and body. Then you know who you are. Then you function from your center. For the first time you are not eccentric. You become centered, you are not off-center. For the first time you have roots in your being; and those roots connect you with existence, with the whole. You become holy only when you are blissful. But pleasure prevents you; it prevents you at the lowest.
I am not against pleasure, remember. I am not against anything. Everything has to be used as a stepping-stone for the ultimate peak. The body is beautiful and enjoying your food is good. Just don’t be obsessed by it. But if your saints are continuously condemning it, you will be obsessed by it.
Obsession is created by your so-called saints. Whatsoever they condemn becomes your obsession. In fact, the more they condemn, the more attractive it becomes, the more magnetic it becomes.
I am not against sex, but I would like you to go beyond it. Use it as a stepping-stone, use it as a ladder. It is beautiful in itself, but it is not the end, only the beginning. Don’t stop at the first chapter of your life; it has much more, much more hidden value that has to be discovered.
…and lust… Lust is even far below pleasure. Pleasure at least respects the other. If you love a woman, you love her company; you love a man, you respect the man. But in lust you don’t have any respect; you simply use the other. Lust is even more degraded than pleasure; it is falling below humanity. You are simply using the other as a means.
When you make love to a woman without any respect for her, what you are really doing is nothing more than masturbation. You are using the woman only to deceive yourself. There is no connection between you and her. When you go to a prostitute it is not pleasure; it is lust. You are paying, and love cannot be purchased; only bodies can be purchased.
Remember this: when you purchase a body it is a dead body; the soul is not there. The woman is somehow tolerating you because she needs money. She hates you from her very guts; she would like to kill you. But she is pretending to be very loving, very affectionate because she is being paid for it. With her closed eyes she thinks of other things; she simply tolerates you. You are using her as a means, and she is using you as a means. She wants the money, you want the body; it is a mutual exploitation.

Lloyd went to visit his favorite lady of the evening. He rang the bell and found there was no answer. Then he put on his glasses and read a note that was pinned to the door: “On vacation. Do it yourself.”

It is not more than that. It is a mutual masturbatory practice; it is ugly, it is not even pleasure. Buddha says, “All these streams are rushing toward you.”
Desire and pleasure and lust…
Play in your imagination with them
and they will sweep you away.
You are all full of imagination. Making love to your wife you are not making love to her; you may be thinking of Sophia Loren or Gina Lollobrigida, and she may be thinking of somebody else. Both are pretending, their imagination is somewhere else. If you could look into the minds of people who are making love you would be surprised. It is very rare to find only two persons in a single bed; you will find a crowd. At least four are absolutely certain. It is always group sex because their minds are fancying, fantasizing.
Even grown-up people – so-called grown-up people – are living in imagination. Not only children live in imagination; even old people live in imagination. People go on playing with toys, they never wake up. Their imagination continues to keep them asleep.

Once again we enter that handy vehicle, the time capsule, and journey back through the sexy sixties, the nifty fifties, the fighting forties, the dirty thirties, and on into the roaring twenties where we stop, hat askew and shirt-tails flying from that fast and breezy trip. We are at that point in time when the transplanting of monkey glands and other such operations for the restoration of male vigor were in vogue.
Surgery for the restoration of youth had just been performed on a seventy-year-old man who had hoped that, as a result, his chromosomes would henceforth be bouncing off the ceiling. As he came out from under the influence of the ether he began to weep bitterly.
Mrs. Bernstein, the attending nurse, bent over him.
“Mister, it is not necessary for you to feel worried,” she said kindly. “The operation was a big success. Take my word, when you leave here you will feel twenty years younger. Maybe more, who knows?”
But the poor old man only continued to wail, the tears coursing down his cheeks and losing themselves in his long white whiskers.
“Please don’t cry,” pleaded Mrs. Bernstein. “The pain will soon go away.”
“Who is crying from pain?” sobbed the patient. “I am afraid I will be late for school.”

Just look deep down inside yourself and you will find the child intact; it has not grown up. The ordinary mental age of every human being is not more than twelve. Physiologically you may be eighty; psychologically you are hanging around twelve. Hence, once in a while, you start behaving like a child, in spite of yourself. If you are pushed and pulled too much you forget that you are a grown-up person. The child is sitting there, covered by many experiences, but those experiences have not been digested; covered by much knowledge, but that knowledge has not become your wisdom because it has not been achieved through awareness. You have been collecting and accumulating it in your sleep, so you have accumulated much rubbish alongside. Yes, once in a while you may have picked up a diamond too, not knowing that it is a diamond but just another colored stone.
Play in your imagination with them and they will sweep you away. If you allow, desire and pleasure and lust and greed and anger and jealousy and possessiveness and violence and all these streams rushing toward you will sweep you away. Don’t play with them in your imagination; that is strengthening them, that is getting under their sway.
The miracle is that everybody can understand everybody’s imagination except his own. When somebody falls in love with somebody else you say, “How foolish!” Everybody thinks they have gone crazy. “Look at the face of that woman. She looks like a Picasso painting! And why is this man crazy about her? What does he see in her?” But when you fall in love, then it is totally different. She is a Cleopatra! Nobody else will agree with you; it is your imagination. And the same goes on and on in different layers, in different dimensions.
The nonsense that is written in your religious scriptures is absolutely right; it is scientific. The nonsense that is written in others’ scriptures is so clearly nonsense; there can be no question about it, no doubt about it. Hindus can see all kinds of stupidities in the Bible, and Christians see all kinds of stupidities in Hindu scriptures. But it seems to be really a miracle that no Hindu will see anything wrong in his own scriptures; everything is scientific. And not only does he think it is scientific, he tries to prove it.

Once a Hindu monk was brought to me. He came with many followers. One of his followers said, “He is a very great scholar; he has written many books. His whole effort in life has been to prove that Hinduism is the only scientific religion of the world.”
I said, “Can he give any example?”
He said, “You can ask anything and he will say why it is scientific.”
I asked him, “Why do Hindus cut all their hair but keep a small bunch – the choti – on the top of their heads?”
He said, “Simple! Have you ever looked at big buildings? They keep an iron rod there.”
I could not see the point immediately.
He said, “It is to protect the building from lightning. Hindus discovered it long ago: if you keep a choti – a little bunch of hair – standing up on your head, it saves you, protects you from lightning.”
Now, what nonsense he is speaking! But he is known as a great mahatma because he is helping your egos; he is proving that your religion is scientific. He had come to see me with all his disciples. They were all wearing wooden shoes, wooden chappals kharaoon – and making a great noise. The Hindus have been using those wooden shoes for centuries. It is really difficult because you have to hold them on with your toes, between your toes and they are heavy.
I asked him, “Why these shoes? What science is there?”
He said, “It keeps one celibate. The pressure of it is such that it keeps one’s sexual glands nonfunctioning.”
Great, just great!
I said, “Then India need not bother about population. Just give wooden shoes to everybody and let them all grow chotis so electricity does not affect them, sexuality does not affect them. They will all be saints. Such simple formulas!”
But Hindus think he is doing a great service to Hinduism. That’s how it is with all the religions. Your imagination is truth; others’ truth is only imagination.

A rabbi and a priest were discussing the differences between the Old Testament and the New. It was the priest’s contention that the New Testament gave more proof of divine cooperation because of all its purported miracles.
“Remember,” argued the priest, “our Lord walked on water, he raised the dead, he fed hundreds of people with a few loaves of bread and some little fishes, he changed water into wine, and he ascended bodily into heaven.”
“So what does that prove?” insisted the rabbi. “The Old Testament includes such miracles as parting the Red Sea, making the sun stand still, Moses ascending bodily to Mount Sinai to talk personally with God and to receive the Decalogue from the very hands of the Almighty.”
The priest nodded. “I believe in those miracles too,” he acknowledged. “But be honest about it – do you really think your miracles have as much substance as ours?”
The rabbi glared at him. “What is the matter with you?” he snapped crossly. “Can’t you distinguish between fact and fiction?”

Our fiction is a fact and your fiction is fiction! Your fact too is fiction. Beware of imagination, it can cloud your mind. It can destroy your capacity to see clearly. Hence I say, unless you drop being Hindus, Mohammedans, Christians, you will not be able to see clearly. Your imagination has been contaminated for centuries. All your ideas and ideologies have to be put aside so that your eyes can face, can encounter truth as it is.
Imagination keeps you asleep. If you come out of your imagination you start waking up.
Gurdjieff used to say to his disciples that the most important thing is to remember in a dream, “This is a dream.” But how to do it? It seems almost impossible. How to remember in a dream, “This is a dream”? But if you practice the Gurdjieffian method, one day you can remember it.
The method is simple. You have to go on remembering the whole day, whatsoever you see, “This is a dream.” Walking on the street, “This is a dream”; the dog barking, “This is a dream.” Go on remembering the whole day, “This is a dream, this is a dream.” It takes three to nine months for the idea to sink into your heart. Then one day, suddenly, in your dream you remember and you say, “This is a dream!” – and that is a moment of great illumination. Immediately, the dream disappears. The moment you say it is a dream, it disappears and you are awake, fully awake, in the middle of the night.
Of course, these trees and the people on the road are not a dream so they don’t disappear. You can go on saying, “This is a dream.” That was just a method to practice. But when you really remember in a dream that it is a dream, the dream disappears. The dream can exist only if believed; the dream disappears if you don’t believe in it. Our imagination is intoxicating.

Lend an ear to this exchange of dialogue, circa 1936, when Dr. William Goldman was professor of English at Brandeis University.
It was Graduation Day, and the father of one of the students had celebrated, not wisely, but all too well. He was in the parking lot adjacent to the university campus, peering owlishly at the cars, when Dr. Goldman appeared.
“Say, mister,” called the weaving celebrant. “is my car the one on the left or on the right?”
“Yours is the car on the right, sir,” replied the professor. “The car on the left is a subjective phenomenon.”

It does not exist – just a subjective phenomenon. That’s exactly the meaning of the Indian word maya: a subjective phenomenon, it does not exist. But if you believe, it exists. It depends on you. You can make it almost function as real. There are many things which don’t exist, but you believe in them and for you they are realities. You are surrounded by fictions – religious, spiritual, metaphysical. There are many fictions surrounding you, and you have to wake up from all of them.
Powerful streams!
Buddha says they are everywhere:
They flow everywhere.
These streams are powerful, and your sleep is so deep. It seems very difficult to wake up, but you can wake up. My own observation is that these streams are powerful only in the proportion that you are asleep. If you become less sleepy they are less powerful. If you become fully awake, their power disappears totally.

A drunk was passing a bus intersection when a large Saint Bernard dog brushed against him and knocked him down. An instant later a foreign sports car skidded around the corner and inflicted more damage.
A bystander helped the poor fellow up and said, “Are you hurt?”
“Well,” he answered, “the dog did not hurt so much, but that tin can tied to his tail nearly killed me.”

Now, when you are not in your senses you go on seeing things which are not there at all or you go on projecting things. The world becomes a screen and you live in a private world. That’s exactly the meaning of the word idiot: to live in a private world, to live in a subjective phenomenon. That’s the meaning of idiot.

After each drink at the local pub, Murphy took a small, furry kitten from his pocket, put it on the counter and stared at it. Finally the barman could no longer contain his curiosity and asked Murphy what he was up to.
“Well, you see, it is this way,” said Murphy. “So long as I can see one kitten it is all right. But when I see two of them I have to do something.”
“Like what?”
“I pick up the two of them, put them in my pocket and go home,” said the Irishman.

If you are intoxicated you will see the same world but in a different way. Your imagination will get mixed with it. You will not be able to make any distinction between what is fiction and what is fact. You will not have any power of discrimination. That’s exactly what makes these streams so powerful. They flow everywhere.
Strong vine!
If you see it spring up,
take care!
Pull it out by the roots.
So whenever you see some imagination arising in you, be alert. Don’t let it grow, don’t let it become a big tree. It will be far more difficult then for you to get rid of it because you may have become attached to it; you may have invested many things in it; you may have started liking its company; you may feel unsheltered without it. It is better to cut it from the very roots in the very beginning. The moment you see it arising in you, beware – beware means be aware …take care! Pull it out by the roots.
People go on changing. They don’t pull things out by their roots; they substitute one fiction with another fiction. That may give a relief for the moment, but it does not transform their life. Somebody is running after money, then he stops running after money; he starts running after power. Then he stops running after power and starts running after God or meditation or enlightenment. But he goes on running after something or other. He goes on substituting a new fiction for the old; the old no longer functions. He has seen it is fictitious, but he has not yet got the point that one has to uproot all imagination in one’s being.

Lovebirds are supposed to be so devoted to one another that if one dies the other dies of a broken heart. A woman who owned a very cute pair had a fire in the house and one of the lovebirds was suffocated. Right away the other bird began to pine. The woman wondered if there was not some way to keep it alive so she put a mirror in the cage.
The lovebird let out a joyous coo and cuddled up against the mirror, and lived for two years. It then died – of a broken mirror.

One can postpone, but don’t go on postponing. Your life is very precious. If one lovebird dies it is better to come to your senses rather than replace it by a mirror or by something else.
Pleasures flow everywhere.
You float upon them
and are carried from life to life.
Watch out. It is a risky phenomenon to remain too attached to your pleasures, to your imagination, because this is how you have been going from one life to another. The seed cause of birth and death is desire, imagination, hankering for more. Remember, you are feeling so discontented in life because of your imagination. The more imaginative you are, the more discontented you will feel.
Poets are very discontented people, so are painters, for the simple reason that they can imagine so well. They can imagine such a beautiful world that this world, in comparison, starts looking like hell. Ordinary people are not so discontented because they don’t have that much imagination. This world seems to be good enough for them.
When imagination simply disappears from you, this world – this very world – is the lotus paradise. It is because of your imagination that you go on condemning this world. And remember, your imagination will be with you even if you are taken by the back door into heaven. You will condemn it, you will find faults. You will find a thousand and one things which should not be. You will find loopholes, flaws. Even in paradise you are going to be miserable. And a man without imagination, without desire, will find paradise even in hell. It is not outside you that paradise or hell exist; they exist inside you.
If your mind is unclouded, if you can see clearly, you will find bliss showering everywhere. Each moment you will find paradise descending in you. Each moment you will find yourself surrounded by godliness. You need not go to Kaaba, you need not go to Kashi, you need not go anywhere. Godliness is coming to you in thirty-six streams, but because you are asleep that which could have been a blessing becomes a curse. Be aware and transform your curses into blessings. Just by being aware the transformation happens on its own accord.
Like a hunted hare you run,
the pursuer of desire pursued,
harried from life to life.
You think you are the pursuer, you think you are the hunter; that is not true. You think you are the possessor; that is not true. The possessor is really the possessed: your things start possessing you. Watch, and you will see the fact in your own life. Your things start possessing you: you don’t use them, they start using you. You are not a hunter, in fact you are hunted by your desires; those are the real hunters. You are running, pursuing shadows which you will never find. Who is pushing you from the back? Who is making you run? The real power is in the hands of your desire, imagination, in your unconsciousness.
O seeker!
Give up desire.
Shake off your chains.
One day Miss Tilly saw her big tomcat corner a cockroach in the kitchen. He was about to kill the bug when it addressed Miss Tilly: “Have your cat spare my life and I will grant you three wishes.”
“A million dollars?” asked the spinster.
“Granted!” said the roach, producing the money.
“I want to be young and beautiful!”
“You got it!” And she was.
“Now,” said Tilly, “turn my tomcat into a tall, handsome prince lying next to me in bed!” It was done.
“I am so happy!” she exclaimed.
“I am glad,” said the prince beside her. “But aren’t you sorry now you had me fixed?”

Even if your desires are fulfilled, something or other will be missing.
O seeker! Give up desire. Shake off your chains. The more you desire, the more you become imprisoned. People are imprisoned in things, people are imprisoned by wives and husbands, people are imprisoned by their power. People are creating so many prisons – prisons within prisons, boxes within boxes – and still they want to be happy, they want to be joyous. How can they be joyous? Their life is suffocating! And only they, themselves are responsible.

The kindly rebbetzyn asked, “Tell me, my good man, why do you drink all that whisky?”
“Madam,” replied the good man, “what else should I do with it?”

You don’t know what else you can do with your life. You know only how to create prisons. You know only how to create more misery. You have become really skillful! For centuries, for lives together, you have done only one thing: created chains, created misery, created pain for yourself and for others. You are sadomasochistic; that is your whole art. Either you will torture others or you will torture yourself, but you will torture. You don’t know that life can be a dance, a celebration. You can’t know it till you drop your desiring.
Desire exists like a cloud of smoke around you; you can’t see anything. And you go on giving more fuel, you go on creating more and more smoke around yourself. Your eyes are burning, your eyes are full of tears, you can’t see, but still you think what you are doing is going to help you to one day attain all the joys of life. What you are doing to yourself is only going to give you more pain, more misery, more suffering.
You have come out of the hollow
into the clearing.
The clearing is empty.
Why do you rush back into the hollow?
Once in a while, it happens to you that you come out of your black hole – the black hole of desiring – into the clearing. Once in a while you can see.
Right now many of you can see it, and a deep yes arises in you. You know perfectly well that you have been creating your misery, and you don’t want to. It is just that you have become very skillful in the art; you don’t know what else to do so you go on doing it. Without doing it you feel very empty – and you are very afraid of being empty.
For centuries emptiness has been condemned. Emptiness is beautiful. And the foolish people have been telling you, “The empty mind is the Devil’s workshop.” The empty mind is God’s workshop! The occupied mind is the Devil’s workshop.
But one has to be truly empty. Just being lazy does not mean that you are empty; not doing anything does not mean that you are empty. Thousands of thoughts are clamoring inside. You may be lazy on the outside, but inside much work is going on. Many walls are being created, new prisons are being prepared, so that when you get fed up with the old you can enter into the new. Old chains may break any time so you are creating new chains in case the old chains break; then you will feel very empty.
Once in a while it happens naturally, because it is your very nature to be free. So once in a while, in spite of yourself, seeing a sunset, suddenly you forget all your desires. You forget all lust, all hankering for pleasure. The sunset is so beautiful, so overwhelming, that you forget the past and the future; only the present remains. You are so one with the moment, there is no observer and no observed. The observer becomes the observed. You are not separate from the sunset.
You are bridged; in such a communion you come into a clearing, and because of the clearing you feel joyous. But then again you are back in the black hole, for the simple reason that coming out into the clearing you need courage to remain in the empty sky.
That’s what I call sannyas. This courage I call sannyas – not escaping but coming into the clearing, seeing the sky unclouded, listening to the songs of the birds without distorting. Then again and again you become more and more attuned with the emptiness and the joy of being empty. And slowly, slowly you see that emptiness is not just emptiness; it is fullness, but a fullness of which you have never been aware, a fullness of which you have never tasted. So in the beginning it looks empty; in the end it is full, totally full, overflowingly full. It is full of peace, it is full of silence, it is full of light.
You have come out of the hollow into the clearing. Sometimes while meditating it happens, sometimes while listening to music it happens, sometimes while dancing it happens, sometimes while just sitting doing nothing it happens. That’s what meditation is all about: allowing those moments to come more and more often, welcoming those moments, cherishing those moments, so that you become easily capable of coming out of the black hole. As you become accustomed to the clearing and the beauty of it and the blessing of it, you move less and less into the black hole. One day, suddenly you abandon the black hole; it is no longer your home. The clearing becomes your home, clarity becomes your home. That is the day of great rejoicing.
Desire is a hollow
and people say, “Look!
He was free.
But now he gives up his freedom.”
I can see it happening in you. Many times I see a certain person coming into the clearing and then moving again into the black hole.
This is what is happening to Somendra. He was coming into the clearing, he had tasted something of the clearing, but then the very experience of the clearing made him egoistic. It gave him a certain pious egoism. He started feeling special; hence, just the other day he was asking for recognition. He used to sit here in the third row; he wanted to sit in the first row. Now he has disappeared from the third row. He sits somewhere in the back, and there too he sits not facing toward me; his back is toward me! Moving into the black hole again.
This is happening to many people. Many people come into the clearing and then so easily they move into the black hole. In a way it seems logical because they have lived in the black hole so long. The experience is new and threatening and the black hole starts claiming them again and again.
This is happening to Turiya. She was coming into a clearing, and now moving into a black hole on her own accord. And the beauty of the whole thing is that when people start coming into the clearing they don’t thank me at all. They don’t write letters to me saying, “Thank you, Osho.” But when they start moving into the black hole they write great letters to me: “Why are you doing it to me? Why are you taking it away?” They had never thanked me. In the first place I had not given it to them, so how can I take it away? These things are not given or taken away.
These things, you have to understand, happen from your very center. You have to learn one very fundamental rule: when they happen there will be every possibility of moving back to the old pattern. You are so familiar with it, so accustomed to it, you have lived in it for so long; it seems so safe, secure, cozy, warm. And the clearing seems to be cold, vast, empty, insecure. But in the clearing is real security because in the clearing is eternity. That black hole is only your mind, a small mind. But you are familiar with the small mind.
You have to learn to love the unfamiliar, the unknown, and one day finally, the unknowable. Then you move into the mysterious more and more. Only then can you say one day, “I know nothing” – because existence is not knowable; it is a mystery, not to be solved. It is not a problem to be solved but a mystery to be lived, to be loved, to be shared.
Desire is a hollow and people say, “Look! He was free. But now he gives up his freedom.” And you are ready to give up your freedom, you are ready to give up anything. You are ready to give up your freedom for any toy. You don’t know the value of freedom.

When the daughter of an aristocratic French family announces her engagement to a black man, Big Sam, her parents decide they must try to stop the marriage.
They call Big Sam in and tell him that their daughter is used to every luxury and has to have the finest, largest house in Paris to live in. The black man draws himself up and announces, “When Big Sam loves, Big Sam buys,” and off he goes.
Sure enough, he buys the biggest and best house in Paris.
So the parents call him in again and tell him that their daughter longs for the largest, brightest diamond in all of France.
“When Big Sam loves, Big Sam gets,” says the groom-to-be, and off he goes, returning with the biggest, brightest diamond the parents have ever seen.
In the last-ditch attempt to stop the marriage, the girl’s father goes to see him privately, and tells him that to make their daughter happy he absolutely must have a prick that is twelve inches long.
The black man answers firmly, “When Big Sam loves, Big Sam cuts.”

Enough for today.

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