The Hidden Splendor 26

TwentySixth Discourse from the series of 27 discourses - The Hidden Splendor by Osho.
You can listen, download or read all of these discourses on oshoworld.com.

What is the aim of life?
Life has no aim other than itself, because life is another name for God himself. Everything else in the world can have an aim, can be a means to an end, but at least one thing you have to leave as the end of all but the means of none. You can call it existence. You can call it God. You can call it life. These are different names of a single reality.
God is the name given to life by the theologians and it has a danger in it because it can be refuted, it can be argued against. Almost half of the earth does not believe in a God. Not only the communists, but the Buddhists, the Jainas, and thousands of free thinkers are atheists. The name “God” is not very defensible because it is given by man and there is no evidence, no proof, no argument for it. It remains more or less an empty word. It means whatever you want it to mean.
Existence is better. All the great thinkers of this century are existentialists. They have dropped the word God completely. Existence in itself is enough for them. But to me, just as God is one extreme, so is existence another extreme, because with the word existence there is no indication that it may be alive – it may be dead. There is no indication that it is intelligent – there may be no intelligence. There is no indication that it is conscious – it may not have any consciousness.
Hence, my choice is for life. Life contains everything that is needed; moreover, it needs no proof. You are life. You are the proof. You are the argument. You cannot deny life; hence in the whole history of man, there has not been a single thinker who has denied life.
Millions have denied God, but how can you deny life? It is beating in your heart, it is in your breathing, it is showing in your eyes. It is expressing in your love. It is celebrating in a thousand and one ways – in the trees, in the birds, in the mountains, in the rivers.
Life is the aim of everything. Hence, life cannot have an aim other than itself. To say it in other words: life’s aim is intrinsic. It has it within itself to grow, to expand, to celebrate, to dance, to love, to enjoy – these are all aspects of life.
But up to now, no religion has accepted life as the aim of all our efforts, of all our endeavors. On the contrary, religions have been denying life and supporting a hypothetical God. But life is so real that thousands of years of all the religions have not been able even to make a dent in it, although they have all been anti-life. Their God was not the innermost center of life; their God was to be found only in renouncing life. It has been a very great calamity humanity has passed through: the very idea of renouncing life means respecting death.
All your religions are worshipers of death. It is not a coincidence that you worship only the dead saints. When they are alive, you crucify them. When they are alive, you stone them to death. When they are alive, you poison them and when they are dead, you worship them – a sudden change happens. Your whole attitude changes.
Nobody has gone deep into the psychology of this change. It is worth contemplating. Why are dead saints worshipped and living ones condemned? – because the dead saints fulfill all the conditions of being religious: they don’t laugh, they don’t enjoy, they don’t love, they don’t dance, they don’t have any kind of relationship with existence. They have really renounced life in its totality: they don’t breathe, their hearts no longer beat. Now they are perfectly religious! They cannot commit a sin. One thing is certain – you can depend on them, you can rely on them.
A living saint is not so reliable. Tomorrow he may change his mind. Saints have become sinners, sinners have become saints – so until they are dead, nothing can be said about them with absolute certainty. That is one of the basic reasons that in your temples, in your churches, in your mosques, in your gurdwaras, in your synagogues… Whom are you worshipping? And you don’t see the stupidity of it all, that the living are worshipping the dead. The present is worshipping the past.
Life is being forced to worship death. It is because of these anti-life religions that the question has arisen again and again down the ages: what is the aim of life? According to your religions, the aim of life is to renounce life, to destroy life, to torture yourself in the name of some mythological, some hypothetical God.
Animals don’t have any religion except life; trees don’t have any religion except life; stars don’t have any religion except life. Except man, the whole of existence trusts only in life; there is no other God and there is no other temple. There is no holy scripture. Life is all in all. It is the God and it is the temple and it is the holy scripture – and to live it totally, wholeheartedly, is the only religion.
I teach you that there is no other aim than to live with such totality that each moment becomes a celebration. The very idea of an aim brings the future into the mind, because any aim, any end, any goal, needs the future. All your goals deprive you of your present, which is the only reality you have. The future is only your imagination, and the past is just footprints left in the sands of your memory. Neither is the past real anymore, nor is the future real yet.
This moment is the only reality.
And to live this moment without any inhibition, without any repression, without any greed for the future, without any fear – without repeating the past again and again, but being absolutely fresh in every moment, fresh and young, unhampered by memories, unhindered by imaginations – you have such purity, such innocence, that only this innocence I call godliness.
To me, God is not someone who created the world. God is someone that you create when you live totally, intensely – with all your heart, not holding anything back. When your life becomes simply a moment-to-moment joy, a moment-to-moment dance, when your life is nothing but a festival of lights. Every moment is so precious because once it is gone, it is gone forever.
Living for any aim simply means you are not living in the present. Living for any heaven is simply greed. And you are missing the present, you are sacrificing the real that is in your hands at the feet of some imaginary heaven, for which no proof exists at all.
Or being afraid of hell. There are thousands of monks – Christians, Hindu, Buddhist, Jaina. They are all living out of fear and greed. It is strange that nobody sees a simple fact – that they are living for greed to enter heaven and to enjoy the heavenly pleasures, and they are living out of fear that they should not commit anything wrong; otherwise they will have to suffer hellfire for eternity. And these monks, to whatever religion they belong, are worshipped by you.
These are sick people, they need psychiatric treatment. They are so full of greed that this life is not enough for them, they need some heaven. And they are so afraid, so fear-oriented, that out of their fear they have created all kinds of hells. Of course, heaven is for those who will follow the path that they think is the path of virtue. And hell is for those who will not follow the path of virtue according to them.
Just a little look around, and you will be very surprised: the Hindu gods are not celibate, and according to Jainism or Buddhism, or Catholic theology, celibacy is the foundation of all virtue. What about the Hindu gods? According to Jainism and Buddhism, drinking any alcoholic beverage is a sin, but according to Christians, even on their holy days they drink alcohol. Even Jesus was drinking alcohol.
Not only that, Christians brag that Jesus did many miracles. One of them was turning water into wine. Turning water into wine is a miracle – or is it a crime? According to Jainism and Buddhism, Jesus is a meat eater, a drinker of wine; he is not following the path of virtue. Even Hindu gods, according to Jainism and Buddhism, are living the ordinary life of a householder. They are not celibate and they have not renounced life – they cannot be accepted as holy.
Just in the last part of the last century, Ramakrishna was worshipped by Hindus almost as a god, but being a Bengali, his food consisted mainly of rice and fish. According to the vegetarians, a man who is eating fish, destroying life for his food, is not even human, what to say about divine?
Looking from the other side, Christians cannot accept Gautam Buddha as a religious person because he never served the poor, he never opened institutions for the orphans like Mother Teresa does. He never opened hospitals for the sick. He was not concerned at all with human misery, poverty, sickness, disease. He was not in the service of God’s creation. He was a selfish man, just meditating, just enjoying his own being, just reaching higher peaks of consciousness. But his ecstasy is selfish – it is not in the service of those who are suffering.
Mahavira cannot be accepted as a religious man according to Christianity for the same reasons. These are all very selfish people. All meditators are selfish because they are more concerned about their own growth than they are concerned about the blind and the deaf and the dumb.
What is virtue? Who is going to decide? According to Mohammedanism, animals are created by God for man to eat. There is no question of violence; their very purpose is to be nourishment for humanity – so says the holy Koran. Now, no Eastern religion can accept Mohammedanism as a religion. Mohammed married nine wives. He was continuously fighting. His whole life was a life of war, although the word that he has for his religion is Islam and Islam means “peace.” But a strange man – his religion is peace and his whole life is nothing but violence. Even on his sword it was written, “Peace is my religion.” He could not find any other place to write it.
What is the path of virtue? No religion has been able to provide it – not even the criterion by which it can be judged. As far as I am concerned, I say to live joyously, contented, fulfilled, sharing your love, your silence, your peace, letting your life become such a beautiful dance that not only you feel blessed but you can bless the whole world – that is the only authentic path. Life is itself the criterion; everything else is nonessential.
And each individual is so unique that you cannot make a superhighway on which everybody has to travel to find the aim of life. On the contrary, everybody has to find his life without following the crowd, but following his own inner voice; without moving in a mob, but following a small footpath. That too is not created by anybody else, but you create it as you walk.
The world of life and consciousness is almost like the sky – birds fly but they don’t leave any footprints. As you live deeply, sincerely, honestly, you don’t leave any footprints and nobody has to follow you. Everybody has to follow his own, still, small voice.
My emphasis on meditation is so that you can hear your still, small voice – which will give you the guidance, the sense of direction. No scripture can give it to you. No religion, no religious founder can give it to you because they have been giving it to humanity for thousands of years and all their efforts have failed. They have only created retarded people, unintelligent people, because they insisted on believing. The moment you believe in someone, you lose intelligence. Belief is almost like poison to your intelligence.
I say to you not to believe in anyone, including me. You have to find your own insight, and then follow it. Wherever it leads is the right path for you. Whether anybody else is following that path or not is not the question. Each individual is unique and each individual life has a beauty in its uniqueness.
Your question is very significant, perhaps the ancient-most question. Man has asked it since the very beginning. And millions of answers have been provided but no answer has been successful. The question still remains. The question is still relevant. That means… Mohammed, Moses, Mahavira, Buddha, Krishna, Rama – what happened to their answers? Their answers have not satisfied anyone. The question bubbles up again and again, and it will continue to bubble up because it cannot be resolved by wrong answers. And they could not give the right answers because they were all anti-life. They were all escapists; they were afraid to live.
My answer is: life’s aim is life itself – more life, deeper life, higher life, but life always. There is nothing higher than life. And a reverence for life is a necessary corollary. If life’s aim is life, then reverence for life becomes your religion. Then respect other people’s life. Don’t interfere in anybody’s life, don’t try to force somebody to follow a certain path that you think is right. You can follow it, it is your freedom, but never impose it on anybody else.
The world does not need any organized religion. The world certainly needs religious people – but not Hindus, nor Mohammedans, nor Christians – the world simply needs individuals in search of deeper and richer life. Not God, not paradise, not heaven. Because as life becomes infinitely deep, it is the paradise; you have entered the kingdom of God. And the doors are within your own heart.
But people are blind, and tradition has been making them more and more blind. Tradition respects blind people, it respects people who don’t think, it respects people who never doubt. It respects people who are not skeptical. It wants people to be just obedient machines. Perhaps machines are, according to the traditional mind, the most religious people in the world because they never disobey.
As far as my insight is concerned, a man who is not rebellious cannot be religious – rebellious against the past, rebellious against organized religions, rebellious against all those people who want to dominate you. And they have found subtle ways to dominate you: “Our religion is the most ancient!” So what? That means your religion is the most rotten! But they are trying to make it “most ancient” so that you feel awe; if for ten thousand years nobody has disobeyed, there must be some truth in it.
Every religion uses the argument that it is very old, very ancient. Religions which are not very old naturally have to try the opposite argument; for example Sikhism, which is only five hundred years old, or Mohammedanism, which is only fourteen hundred years old. Their argument is that older religions are older versions of God’s message to man: “We are bringing the latest message of God to man.”
Hazrat Mohammed has said, “There have been other messengers before, but after me there will be no other messenger: I have brought the final version of the message.” Hence he could say, “There is only one God and one holy book, the Koran, and one holy messenger, Mohammed. After me, anybody who claims that he has a direct communication with God is committing the greatest sin possible.”
It happened in Baghdad once…

A man was brought to the Caliph’s court in Baghdad. The Caliph is the chief representative of the messenger of God, Hazrat Mohammed. Omar was at that time the Caliph in Baghdad and the man was brought because he was declaring that he had brought an even fresher version than Mohammed.
The Caliph said, “This is unforgivable, but you look so simple and so innocent: I will give you seven days to think it over, and you will simultaneously be punished as much as possible so that you come back to your senses. And after seven days, I will come to the prison myself to ask you, ‘What you think now?’”
After seven days, he went there. The man was naked, bound to a pillar, and he had been beaten continually for seven days. He had not been allowed to sleep, had not been given anything to eat. They had tortured him as much as possible. When Caliph Omar asked him, “What do you think now?” he said, “What do I think? When I was sent by God, he warned me: ‘Listen, my messengers have always been tortured.’ He was right. Your torture has proved that I am the messenger. Now there is no need of Hazrat Mohammed; I have brought the latest message from God.”
And at that very moment, from another pillar, another naked man who had been caught one month earlier because he had been declaring, “I am God”… For one month he had been tortured – he shouted from the other pillar, “Don’t believe this cheat! After Mohammed, I have not sent any messenger to the world. This man is a deceiver.”

You will think these people are mad but the same kind of people have become the founders of your religions. Perhaps these people were not very articulate, were not very intelligent, otherwise they might have created a new religion. Mahavira, the twenty-fourth tirthankara of the Jainas, declares that he is the last tirthankara; now there will be no other tirthankara…

I used to go to Wardha while traveling around India. In Wardha, there used to live a man, Swami Shakti Bakta. He was a learned man; he was a Jaina, very scholarly. And just joking with him, I told him, “You are so learned that you can easily declare yourself the twenty-fifth tirthankara of the Jainas.”
He said, “That idea has come many times to my mind too, but Jainas are not going to accept it.”
I said, “They never accepted Mahavira easily. There were eight other contenders, and it was a long, drawn-out fight in which Mahavira succeeded in convincing people that he is the twenty-fourth, the others were fake. So it all depends; if you have the ability, you may convince them.”
He said, “I have the ability.”
I said, “Then this is a good chance!” He declared himself the twenty-fifth tirthankara, and the Jainas expelled him. Then he was very angry with me, saying, “You destroyed my reputation!”
I said, “I was giving you the greatest respect possible, making you the twenty-fifth. You should have thought about whether you have guts enough. They are not going to accept so easily, against the statement of Mahavira: ‘After me there is going to be no tirthankara; my message is complete, entirely complete. Nothing can be added, nothing can be edited out; there is no need for the twenty-fifth.’ It was on your intelligence, arguments, scholarship that the whole thing depended. I am not to be blamed.
“Just look at it this way: if Jainas came to me and said, ‘You are our twenty-fifth tirthankara,’ I am not going to accept it because who wants to be twenty-fifth in a line? I am the first, otherwise forget all about it! You were stupid to accept the idea of being twenty-fifth, standing in a queue, the twenty-fifth. The moment you accepted it, that very moment I understood that now you would be in trouble. You cannot blame me.
“And you had told me that this idea had occurred to you many times. It was just that you had not the courage to say it, and because I supported it, you thought at least there is one person… I am still ready to support you, but you will have to fight for it.”
He said, “But how can I fight? They have expelled me.”
I said, “That is your business; you tried and you failed.”

All these religions have been doing the same: they closed the doors out of fear that somebody may come afterward and may change the structure of their religion, of their disciplines. And certainly it needs constant change because times go on changing. If Mahavira comes today, he himself will find that everything has changed. It was one thing to walk barefooted on mud paths – it is another thing to walk barefooted in the hot summer days in India on coal tar roads.
Jaina monks and nuns all have burned feet. And what are they doing? They put towels around their feet. Now I said, “This is stupid, because that is a kind of primitive shoe. Why can’t you purchase a shoe made of synthetic leather, in which no violence is involved? Or a rubber shoe in which no violence is involved, or a cloth shoe. That’s what you are trying to do, and it looks so awkward – towels around the feet, and then binding them with ropes. You look simply stupid.” But the trouble is, Mahavira will not allow any change to happen after him.
Life is not a static phenomenon. It is a flux, a riverlike flux; it needs constant change. It needs moment-to-moment awareness; otherwise you will be left behind. Not to be left behind is one of the most important steps for the growth of intelligence. The whole world is almost retarded, and the people who are responsible for your retardedness are the people you worship. They have stopped thousands of years ago and you are still following them. Meanwhile, everything has changed.

Coming home early from work one afternoon, a man found his wife naked in bed, breathing heavily and quite visibly distressed. “Honey, what is the matter?” he asks.
“I… I… I don’t know,” she cried, “I think maybe I am having a heart attack.”
The husband freaked, and rushed downstairs to call the doctor. He was in the middle of dialing the number when his young daughter rushed in and screamed, “Daddy, Daddy, there is a naked man in the closet!” The distraught husband threw down the phone, rushed up the stairs again and opened the closet door, only to find his best friend inside.
“For Christ’s sake, Ed,” the man shouted, “my wife is in the bedroom having a heart attack, and you have got to sneak around naked, scaring the kids!” Only retarded people are left in the world.

At the beginning of the Second World War, a Nazi officer is forced to share a compartment on a crowded train with a Jew and his family. After ignoring them for a while he says contemptuously, “You Jews are supposed to be so clever: where does this so-called intelligence come from?”
“It is from our diet,” says the Jew, “we eat a lot of raw fish heads.” Upon which he opens his basket and saying, “Lunch time!” he proceeds to hand out fish heads to his wife and children.
The Nazi, getting excited says, “Wait a minute, I want some!”
“Okay,” says the Jew, “I will sell you six for twenty-five dollars.”
The Nazi accepts and begins to chew. He almost throws up, but the children shout encouragement, “Suck out the brains, suck out the brains!” The Nazi is on his fourth head when he says to the Jew, “Is not twenty-five dollars a lot of money for six fish heads, which are usually thrown out as garbage?”
“See?” says the Jew, “It is working already!”

What is intelligence? Is it a state far beyond the mind and its limits? A kind of awareness of what the mind is, without belonging to it? Is meditation connected with intelligence? And is intelligence a potential that we all have, that simply needs to be awakened? Can we raise our consciousness with intelligence?
The question you have asked is of great significance: “What is intelligence? Is it a state far beyond the mind and its limits?” Yes. Intelligence is not of the mind; intelligence is one of the qualities of your being. But the mind is being used as a vehicle for it; hence the confusion. People think intelligence is of the mind – it comes through the mind. The mind is the instrument for its expression.
The mind itself is only a biocomputer. It has a memory system just as any computer has: you feed the memory system and the mind keeps the memory. But memory is not intelligence. Intelligence is the clear insight into things about which you don’t have any information. Memory can function only about those things which are known to you – but life consists of the known, of the unknown, and of the unknowable. As far as the known is concerned, memory is enough.
That’s what all your universities and all your educational systems are doing: they are simply feeding your memory with more and more information, and whatever is known to your memory system, you will answer immediately. That answer does not prove that you are intelligent. Intelligence is known only when you encounter the unknown, about which you don’t have any memory, any knowledge, any information beforehand. When you encounter the unknown, that is the point which is decisive. How do you respond? You can respond intelligently or you can respond stupidly.
For example, Germany is one of the countries where the population is decreasing. The government is worried because the population is decreasing by three thousand people every day, but meanwhile thirty thousand people are coming from other countries as immigrants into Germany. The government is afraid that within just a decade Germany will not be the land of the Germans. Their population is decreasing and immigrants are entering the country.

Here in India in 1947, when India became independent, the population of the country was four hundred million. Now the population of the country is nine hundred million – an increase of five hundred million people. Even in 1947 the country was poor, and Britain was in a hurry to give freedom to this country because soon Britain would be blamed for the poverty. The prime minister of England, Atlee, had sent Mountbatten to India with an urgent message: “Whatever happens, you have to give India freedom before 1948 – the deadline is 1948. Because we can see what is going to happen, and the whole blame will be on our heads – so be quick!”
And Mountbatten did really a quick job. He gave India freedom even before 1948 – in 1947, one year earlier. Atlee was very happy. And none of the Indian leaders even thought about what the hurry was. In 1942, Britain was not ready to give freedom to India; when India was ready to fight for freedom, Britain was not willing. Britain crushed India’s revolution in 1942 within nine days. And not a single Indian leader, including Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru, could see the point why Britain suddenly became so interested in giving them freedom. There was no revolution; after 1942, the Indian leaders had lost hope because their revolution had been crushed in nine days. This was the smallest revolution in the whole history of mankind!
And then suddenly out of the blue, Britain itself decides… If the Indian leaders had been intelligent, they could have seen that there was something unknown: you are not asking for freedom and they are ready to give it to you; what new factors have come into existence? But nobody bothered about it. They were simply happy because they were getting old and if freedom did not come soon, then it would not be in their lifetimes; perhaps their names would remain in the footnotes of history, but they would not be great leaders of the country.
They were so happy, like children, that freedom had come. But they never thought about it: has any empire, any imperialist country, ever, on its own, been in such a hurry to give freedom to the slaves, when the slaves are perfectly happy and no revolution is happening? And there was no possibility of any revolution for at least another twenty years.
The situation was clear, but it needed intelligence. There was no question of memory because the situation was new. India had grown to the point of four hundred million people, and Britain could see by the rate of growth that the country is going to die from hunger and starvation, and they did not want to be responsible for it.

I started saying in 1950 that India needed birth control, and I was condemned: “You are talking against religion. God sends the children – how can we prevent them?”
I argued with them: “When you fall sick, God sends the sickness – why do you call the doctor? If God wants you to be well, he will send the medicine too.”
They argued with me. The Shankaracharya of Puri himself argued with me: “Birth control methods are artificial.”
I asked him, “What do you mean by artificial?” He said, “They are not created by God.”
I said, “Do you think railway trains are created by God, airplanes are created by God? The medicines you are using are all artificial.”
And he had heavy glasses sitting on his nose. I said, “What about this – have you come from God’s house? Have you brought these glasses with your birth? God has given you eyes and you should stay with just your eyes – what is the need of having these heavy glasses? These are artificial. Everything else artificial is okay, but birth control methods cannot be used because they are artificial.”
He became so angry with me that he refused to speak from the same stage during a meeting, saying, “I cannot speak with this man on the same stage. Either he will speak or I will speak.”

I was telling them that soon they would be in trouble, but even today the government is afraid, the religious leaders are afraid. It goes against their memory system; otherwise, a small intelligence would be enough to show them.
Scientists are predicting that by the end of this century, India will have one billion people – that is one thousand million people, and that is the lowest estimate. The more progressive and more intelligent people have estimated that India will have one billion and eighty million people by the end of this century. Fifty percent of India is going to die by the end of this century, and when one in two people is going to die, what do you think about those who will be left living amongst corpses? Their situation will be worse than being dead. At least the dead will be at rest.
But to talk about birth control or the birth control pill goes against the memory, against the system, against the mind that has been told something for centuries but is not aware that a totally new situation has arisen. India has never been the most populated country – it was China. By the end of this century India will have gone ahead of China. China is behaving more intelligently.
But the really intelligent people you will find in Germany, in Switzerland, where the population is decreasing. Increasing the population is increasing death. The situation is new; it needs new methods to face it. Intelligence means the capability to respond to new situations. It comes from your being – mind is only a vehicle – a kind of awareness of what the mind is, without belonging to it. You are only intellectually thinking about it. But whatever you are saying, if it becomes your experience, it will transform your whole life.
Intelligence is the quality of the witness; it watches the mind and it gives direction to the mind. Right now, whatever you have in your mind has come from the outside. Intelligence comes from the inside. That used to be the basic meaning of the word education – it means “to draw out.” But what is being done in the name of education is just the opposite – it is “to stuff in,” to stuff in all kinds of nonsense. Nowhere are efforts being made that your intelligence should be drawn out. You have it already, it just needs a passage, a way.
And meditation creates that passage, that way. It makes your being the master and your mind just a servant. Memory is from the outside; intelligence is from your innermost sources, your very life, responding to situations.
“Is meditation connected with intelligence?” Meditation is connected with your being, and your being has many aspects: intelligence, blissfulness, grace, gratitude, prayer, love, compassion. Infinite is the treasure of your being. Intelligence is only one of the parts. “And is intelligence a potential that we all have, and that simply needs to be awakened? Can we raise our consciousness with intelligence?” Everybody is born with the same potential. Differences exist because we are not using our potential to the same extent.
You will be surprised to know that even a man like Albert Einstein, whom you can call an example of a genius, uses only fifteen percent of his potential. The people whom you think of as very talented use only ten percent of their potential. And the ordinary masses, the millions of people, use between five and seven percent. The world would be a totally different place if everybody was using a hundred percent of his potential, in different directions, in different dimensions.
Meditation can only make you aware of your potential, can make the passage in which your potential can grow and can find its expression. And nobody is devoid or unequal as far as intelligence is concerned. The inequality appears only because of our use: somebody uses it, somebody does not use it.

An American, a very devout Catholic, had tried for years to get a private audience with the pope. When his request was finally granted, he flew to Rome, and within the hour was kneeling before His Holiness. Kissing the ring after the pope had blessed him, the man said, “Your Holiness, I want you to know this has been the most inspirational experience of my life. I am deeply grateful. I would like to share my favorite story with you: there were these two Polacks…”
“Excuse me, my son,” the pope interrupted, a little offended, “are you aware that I am Polish?”
“Ah yes, Your Holiness, but don’t worry. I will tell it very, very slowly.”

Spread the love