Today is the birthday of an Italian polymath of high renaissance, who is widely considered one of the most diversely talented individuals ever lived. But he was initially popular for his painting skills. The great painting Mona Lisa was created by him. Yes he is Leonardo Da Vinci.
He also became known for his notebooks, in which he made drawings and notes on science and invention; these involve a variety of subjects including anatomy, astronomy, botany, cartography, painting, and paleontology. Leonardo is widely considered one of the greatest painters of all time. Mona Lisa is the most famous of his works and the most famous portrait ever made. The Last Supper is the most reproduced religious painting of all time and his Vitruvian Man drawing is also regarded as a cultural icon.
He also got respect for his technological ingenuity. He conceptualized flying machines, a type of armored fighting vehicle, concentrated solar power, an adding machine, and the double hull. Relatively few of his designs were constructed or even feasible during his lifetime. He is also sometimes credited with the inventions of the parachute, helicopter, and tank.
The extraordinary powers of inventions, the outstanding beauty and the broadness of mind of Leonardo di vinci, attracts the curiosity of people. One such aspect was his love for animals, likely including vegetarianism and a habit of purchasing caged birds and releasing them.
Osho says “Consciousness is being, compassion is feeling, creativity is action. My sannyasin has to be all the three simultaneously. I am giving you the greatest challenge ever given, the hardest task to be fulfilled. You have to be as meditative as a Buddha, as loving as a Krishna, as creative as Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci. You have to be all together simultaneously. Only then your totality will be fulfilled; otherwise something will remain missing in you. And that which is missing in you will keep you lopsided, unfulfilled. You can attain to a very high peak if you are one-dimensional, but you will be only a peak. I would like you to become the whole range of the Himalayas, not just a peak but peaks upon peaks!”
SHRUT does not mean just hearing, it means listening — and there is a difference. Sometimes you hear but you don’t listen — sometimes you are hearing because your ears are open and there is no way to close them. One can close one’s eyes but one cannot close one’s ears; they are simply open, so you hear. But only rarely do you listen. When you are there, totally there in your hearing, then it becomes listening. When one listens attentively, Lovingly. sympathetically, when there is no argument going on inside, when the mind is not wandering anywhere else, when there are no more thoughts moving in the mind, then hearing becomes listening. That is called SHRUT — right listening.
Kabir is saying ‘Slowly slowly, make yourself listen to Him.’ The right prayer is not to say anything to God. What have we to say to Him? What can we say to Him? The right prayer is to first prepare yourself to listen to Him, what He has to say to you. Become receptive, open, absorbing. Slowly slowly, make yourself listen to Him. And when you have become so silent, so utterly silent that you can hear whatsoever He has to say, listen: the sound of the ecstatic flute is heard. It is ALWAYS being played — the existence is full of His music. The wind blowing through the trees is His music, these birds are His music. All the sounds in existence are His music. But you have never been able to listen yet. You have heard, but you have not listened.
Kabir says: First become ears, be a silent listening — and only then will you be able to say something to Him. But people start their prayers by saying something to Him — that’s how prayers have gone wrong.
First listen; then you may have something to say to Him. What can you say then? A thank-you, a thankfulness, a gratitude. So real prayer consists of two parts. First, becoming silent, listening to God’s music. And second, a thankfulness. The real prayer demands nothing, asks for nothing, CANNOT ask, desires nothing. The real prayer is a desire less silence. And after that music has been heard what is there to say? A gratefulness, a gratitude, has to be expressed. Bring yourself, slowly slowly, to a silent listening. And then you will be able to say something to Him.
KABIR SAYS, ‘LISTEN TO ME, BROTHER, BRING THE FACE, SHAPE,
AND ODOR OF THE HOLY ONE INSIDE YOU.’
Become so receptive, become a womb, become feminine. The path of love is the path of the feminine. Whosoever follows it, man or woman, has to become feminine. The path of love is not aggressive, the path of love is not of active search and seeking; the path of love is a passive receptivity. One waits like a woman waits for the lover. One is a womb ready to become pregnant with God. Remember this metaphor of the womb. On the path of love you have to become a womb — utterly silent and passive, not doing anything, just being.
One who looks is not looking. In looking there is no one — looking is a state of emptiness, as listening is. Truly listening, we are nothing; truly looking, we are nothing. It is not a matter of doing, but of being. ‘The way to do is to be’ says Lao Tzu. The way to do is to be — no other doing is needed on the path of love. Just be; calm and collected, just be. Wait. Let your eyes be full of tears, let your heart be full of passion — but wait. Be aflame — but wait. There is no need to go anywhere, there is nothing to be done — just being. The way to do is to be. But this frightens people; emptiness frightens people.
I have heard, Pascal confessed: ‘The eternal silence of these infinite spaces terrifies me.’
That’s why people are so full of unnecessary things. They go on clinging to rubbish. ‘The eternal silence of these infinite spaces terrifies me.’
Without, there are infinite spaces, utterly silent. And within you there are infinite spaces, utterly silent. And between these two silences you go on creating noise. That noise keeps you separate from God. Let that noise disappear, and these two silences become one. In that becoming one, is the meeting with the Beloved.
Those who know will not be afraid, those who have tasted a little bit will not be afraid.
Leonardo Da Vinci said: ‘Amongst the greatest things which are to be found among us, the Being of Nothingness is the greatest.’
Buddha said the same thing again and again: To be nothing is to be all. To be totally empty is to be totally full.
A great Zen artist, Hakusai, at the end of a long life, joyously exclaimed ‘At last I do not know how to draw!’ This is knowing how to draw — this is responding from innocence, from a state of not-knowing. One starts living when one does not know how to live — as the grey seal in the blue wide way does not know how to swim, and the white gull, ignorant of how to fly, does not try nor worry whence and where and to what end it lives and flies and dies.
On the path of love, knowledge is not needed, but a state of innocence. Doing is not needed, practicing is not needed, but a state of loving. Eyes full of tears and the heart full of prayer — wordless prayer, silent prayer…
On the path of love there is no striving, no effort, no practicing of anything. No yoga postures, no religious rituals, but just an innocent heart unburdened of all knowledge, unburdened of all borrowed rituals. To see this is to cease to strive. Empty of every wish to be other than we are, we are already other than we were. All that the religions have reached after is already given in grace — if we will have the grace to see it. Yes, it is already given in grace. Only one thing is needed, a grace to SEE it.
On the path of love one simply relaxes and becomes graceful. A great dignity arises out of no-striving; a great calmness surrounds the bhakta, the devotee, the lover. The lover becomes utterly beautiful — something of the beyond starts filtering into him and through him. All that the religions have reached after is already given in grace — if we will have the grace to see it. There is nothing to be done but to see that there is nothing to be done, and no one to do it. Yes, remember, the doing creates the illusion that you are a doer. Doing stopped, the doer automatically disappears. And when there is no doing and no doer you have arrived; you have arrived home.
To see this is emptiness. All that the religions do to be rid of the self is like shouting at an echo to stop. The ego need not be dropped — stop doing, and it disappears of its own accord. In love, the ego melts and disappears. Trying to drop the ego is stupid — the more you try to drop it, the more you will find it. It is like shouting at an echo to stop — the more you shout, the more you will be echoed. You will be in a vicious circle.
The path of love knows no striving, no doing, no practicing, no discipline, no methodology. It knows tears, it knows passion, it knows a silent awaiting. God comes to you, you need not go to Him.
He has always been coming to you, He goes on knocking on your door. But you don’t listen, you are so full of your inner noise. He is everywhere but you don’t see — you are blind because of your beliefs. Let these beliefs go and let this noise disappear and God will find you. And when God finds you there is great celebration.
This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune.
Chapter title: It is Time Now!
17 February 1978 am in Buddha Hall
Osho has spoken extensively on ‘art, poetry, music, dance, painting’ and painters & poets like Picasso, Michael Angelo, Salvador Dali, Van Gogh, Byron, Bhavabhuti, Coleridge, Dinkar, D.H. Lawrence, Kalidas, Kahlil Gibran, Keats, Omar Khayyam, Milton, Yeats, Shelley, Tagore and many more in the course of His talks. More on this subject can be referred to in the following books/discourse titles: