The Science of Meditation

Osho on Witnessing



Yes. Pleasure and pain are not two things; happiness and sadness — just two sides of the same coin. That’s why every happiness can turn into sadness, every pleasure can turn into pain.

One Mohammedan emperor — who was a little bit crazy — loved a young woman and wanted her consent to marry him.

In Mohammedan marriages the priest asks the woman three times, “Are you, of your own accord, without being forced, ready to marry this man?” And the woman has to say yes three times. If she does not say it, the marriage is not possible. So even the Mohammedan emperor could not force any woman to marry him. He was persuading this woman, but she was not willing.

One day he went to see the woman and he found her in the arms of a young man. They were hugging each other with a great joy. I told you he was a little crazy…. He brought both of them to the court and ordered that they should be tied to a pole in a hugging position, and for twenty-four hours they had to hug each other.

Now, hugging for a few minutes is okay but twenty-four hours of hugging — and that too, while tied to a pole, no way to get away…. The pleasure changed into pain, into such intense pain — because in twenty-four hours’ time they pissed over each other, defecated. It was stinking. And after twenty-four hours they were released, but it is said that the young man escaped from the city and never came to see the woman.

The prime minister of the emperor said to him, “This is a strange kind of punishment, we have never heard of it.” The king said, “This is real punishment. Those two people are not going to see each other again. These twenty-four hours have been almost twenty-four lives for them!” Stinking and tied together, hugging was forgotten long ago. Now the only question was how to get free from the hands of this woman, and the woman was also thinking how to get free. But they were tied and they could not. Pleasure can be changed into pain.

This story has always reminded me why all the couples — almost all the couples in the world are in pain, in misery. They are tied together by marriage, which is for a longer period than twenty-four hours, and soon they start being fed up with each other. How long can you look at the same nose, and how long can you praise it? Soon, very soon, all the beauty of the woman disappears, all the greatness of the man, the heroship disappears. And they suddenly find that now they are tied together and the society makes it impossible to be free again. Their pleasure has turned into a lifelong misery. So these opposites are not opposites. The vice versa also happens: the miserable man by and by starts having a certain pleasure in his misery.

When I was a lecturer in the university, one woman was also a lecturer there, and her house was just in the middle between my house and the university campus. So I was forced to give her a lift every day. She was standing just at the door waiting for me.

In just a fifteen-minute drive, she would talk all about her miseries, pain, diseases; it was a daily routine. And I was wondering — she must have some imaginative power! One could not have so many diseases and so many sicknesses — and every day new?

Her husband was an advocate of the high court. One day I went to him and I asked, “Can you help me to understand your wife?”

He said, “You are asking me? She is only with you for fifteen minutes, and I have to live with her twenty-four hours a day!

“A small scratch and it is cancer…. And to argue with her….,” he said. “I am tired of arguing the whole day in the high court. But it is better in the high court: at least the other advocate is not going to scream and weep and make so much fuss that the whole neighborhood gathers. It is better to accept that it is cancer, knowing perfectly well that it is just that she has scratched her hand.”

He said to me, “Don’t listen to any of her diseases. I have taken her, I have been forced to take her to all kinds of specialists, and they all say that she has no disease, nothing; she is perfectly healthy.

“So I simply listen and accept whatsoever she says. And I know tomorrow she is going to change, so there is no hurry, no problem. I say to her, `Tomorrow we will go to the specialist; make the appointment.’ She just has to be postponed two, three days, and she will have another kind of disease.”

In the university library I always found her in the medical section of the library, always looking there. I told her, “Your subject is to teach music. I don’t think that there is any connection between medicine and music. I never see you in the music section of the library, you are always in the medical section.”

She said, “The reason is, I have to find the right names for my diseases.” She would find big Latin, Greek names of diseases, very impressive names. And if you did not believe her, she was very much hurt. If you believed her, supported her, you could see a smile on her face. Her misery, just imagined misery, had become a pleasure to her.

Now this woman is really a mental case. I told her husband, “All her diseases are false, that is true, but one disease I tell you: she is a mental case. You take her to some psychiatrist.”

He said, “You are right. We both will go, because living with her for twenty years I am also a psychiatric case. I suspect myself — have I gone mad, or what?”

All polar opposites are parts of each other. They are complementary and can change into each other. So your feeling is perfectly right: there is something beyond the polarities. And that’s what I call enlightenment.

Enlightenment has no polar opposite to it. Unenlightenment is not the polar opposite of enlightenment; it is only the absence of enlightenment. It is just like darkness and light. You ordinarily think they are opposites, but that is not true. Darkness simply does not exist, it is only the absence of light. If darkness has its own existence, then first you will have to bring the light in the room and then push the darkness out of the room; but it has no existence. The moment you bring the light in, the darkness is not found. Enlightenment is the light of your innermost core. Once you experience it, all darkness in your life disappears. Blissfulness also has no opposite to it. Truth also has no opposite to it. Anything that has not any opposite to it is part of the experience of enlightenment. It is beyond the polarities, far away from the polarities. You cannot change it into anything else. It is what it is.

Now, just don’t go on longing for it, because just longing will not help. Start the first step towards it, and the first step automatically leads you to the second step, the third step, and you are home. I call these three steps the whole science of meditation.

The first step is, become aware of your body. See it as if it is covering you like clothes. It is around you, but it is not you. That is the first step: to disidentify yourself with the body. The second step is to disidentify with your mind. Your thoughts are not you. There is a constant traffic. On the screen of the mind so many thoughts are moving, but you are not one of them. You are a witness, you are outside; you are seeing those thoughts moving. Anything that you can see is not you. That should be the criterion: anything you can witness is not you. You are the witness. And the third step is witnessing, watching your feelings, your moods. These three steps, and you are home.

Then there is only the witness, and nothing to be witnessed. You are there in your total glory, luminosity, and all around you there is pure nothingness. This is the state of the awakened one, the enlightened one. So when you do your gachchhamis and you say, “I go to the feet of the awakened one, His commune, His truth,” it is not a prayer, it is simply a reminder to yourself. And you are not going to the feet of anyone else: you are going to your own awakened self. If your master is awakened, he simply represents you. He is just a mirror in which you can see yourself. But you are going towards the discovery of the awakened one within yourself. And

when the disciple finds the master within himself, the journey is complete.


Listen to complete discourse at mentioned below link.

Discourse Series: From Death to Deathlessness – Chapter #36

Chapter title: Rise in Love

10 September 1985 am in Rajneeshmandir


Osho has spoken on Witnessing, meditation, enlightenment in many of His discourses. More on the subject can be referred to in the following books/discourses:

  1. Beyond Enlightenment
  2. Bodhidharma: The Greatest Zen Master
  3. Dang Dang Doko Dang
  4. From Death to Deathlessness
  5. The Great Pilgrimage: From Here to Here
  6. The Invitation
  7. Sermons in Stones
  8. Tao: The Three Treasures
  9. The Zen Manifesto: Freedom From Oneself
  10. Zen: The Path of Paradox
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