You are Enlightenment
Osho on Enlightenment
I HAVE BEEN YOUR SANNYASIN FOR ONE YEAR. I MEDITATE, WATCH, AND DO WHATEVER LOOKS TRUE TO ME; STILL A BIG PAIN ARISES.
BELOVED OSHO, HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO GET ENLIGHTENED, AND DOES THIS ENLIGHTENMENT REALLY EXIST?
Yoganand, existence is not a goal; you don’t have to cover a certain mileage. Existence is not there, it is always here. Existence cannot be described as that, but only as this. The moment you ask how long it will take, you are bringing many complications into it. First, there is no technique that can bring enlightenment — and “how” means technique. And when you say, “How long…” you are bringing time in also.
Existence knows nothing of time. It is always present. It has never been past and it will never be future. The moment you touch the reality of the present, the rose within your being opens its petals. You can call it anything — enlightenment, realization, being. But one thing is certain — it is never becoming. You cannot become enlightened. Either you are or you are not. Between the two, the distance is infinite. It is impossible to bridge that distance.
Those who have become enlightened have not achieved it, because it is not an achievement. They have not invented it, because it has nothing to do with imagination, with mind. They have never found it, because in the first place you have never lost it. You are enlightened this very moment. By asking the question, “How long will it take to get enlightenment?” you are postponing enlightenment. I am saying you are enlightened this very moment and you say, “This very moment? But I have a girlfriend, and we have just met. And I am finding so many problems which have to be solved: the rented bicycle is stolen.”…Yoganand,
enlightenment is not a desire — and you have to understand the difference between desire and longing. You desire money, you desire position, you desire power, you desire a thousand and one things. But when you feel thirsty, the thirst is not a desire; it is a longing which is coming from every cell of your being.
Lost in a desert…
A question was asked by a sannyasin to Alexander the Great… because Alexander declared himself to the sannyasin, “I am Alexander the Great.” The sannyasin was standing naked by the side of a river. He started laughing. He said, “I have never seen such a stupid man as you are, calling yourself `the Great’. Only those who are not great think, imagine, desire, proclaim their greatness. But those who are really great don’t even know that they are great. Greatness is in innocence. And what have you come to me for?” Alexander was shaken. He was not shaken by great armies; even mountains would not have prevented him from doing anything. But this naked man had such a strong being, such an aura and presence. And the way he told him, “You are stupid and you are still suffering from inferiority; hence you call yourself Alexander the Great. Just Alexander will do. But what is your purpose?”
Alexander said, “My teacher, Aristotle, in Greece, has asked me that when I come back from India, I should bring along a sannyasin.”
The old sannyasin laughed again. He said to him, “Just tell your so-called teacher that the sannyasin has nothing except himself — and your teacher himself also has that being. There is no need to bring it, to import it from somewhere. Just tell him to be silent and desireless, peaceful, looking inwards, and he will find me.”
Alexander could not understand the language. In fact, Aristotle was not a mystic. He was a logician, a great philosopher, but he never thought about the miraculous, about that, which is irrational but exists –
the mysterious, the unknown, but it is all around. It is without you and it is within you. And the first thing is to experience it within yourself, because that is the closest point. To say it in other words, Yoganand: You are enlightenment if you don’t desire anything — enlightenment included. If you are simply silent and desireless — no longing, no future, just this very moment is enough unto itself — the rose opens up its petals.
But instead of looking into yourself, you are looking far away somewhere, maybe in Jerusalem or maybe in Kashi or maybe in Tibet… somewhere enlightenment must be existing. How long will it take to reach there?
You are already there, where you want to reach. This is my whole teaching — that you are already that which you want to be. You have never been other than that.
It is an impossibility to be other than that which you are. Enlightenment is only a realization of the fact, an awakening and seeing the truth of one’s being, its beauty, its immortality. Thousands are the flowers that blossom in your being. Great is the music that goes on in your deepest silences of the heart. You may be sitting unmoving but existence goes on dancing within your heart. In every beat you can hear, you can feel — it is you. Nothing more can be said about it. You don’t have to go anywhere and you don’t have to do anything. Those are all strategies to keep you away from yourself.
But rather than looking into yourself you are asking, “And does this enlightenment really exist?” Desiring one year, meditating, watching, a great pain arises in you that “One year has passed and I have been doing so much and enlightenment has not arrived yet. Not even a knock on the door, not even some information about when Your Honor will be coming.” Naturally, a suspicion arises: “Am I sane? or just waiting for something which does not exist at all?”
Existence does not exist apart from you; hence you cannot find it. If you want to be enlightened, be enlightened. One day, I decided to be enlightened. Since then I have tried many times not to be enlightened; it does not work that way. So just to alert you: if you decide to be enlightened and you realize this very moment as your enlightenment, its silence, its beauty… then remember you cannot fall back! There is no way, no reverse gear. You cannot say, “Now for a few days I am going for a holiday.” Enlightenment knows no holiday. I have tried hard. Not even in sleep will it leave me. But who wants to leave it? Who wants to be other than enlightened?
Don’t use big words, because they are deceptive. Enlightenment, moksha, salvation, self-realization… all great words which make you feel that your hands are very small; their reach is not that big. And enlightenment seems to be such a faraway a star, you cannot hope… Perhaps some Gautam Buddha — and that too “perhaps” because who knows whether he was enlightened or just started telling people “I am enlightened.” Just like me. How do you know I am enlightened? Except that I started one day saying, “I am enlightened.” And since that day not even a doubt has arisen in me: just think it over, are you really enlightened? I have never looked at the fact again. And whenever you ask, I feel sad because I cannot do anything to make you enlightened. Except to shout in your ears that, “You are it! This is it!”
It is a reality not away from you, not separate from you, it is in your heartbeats, in your breaths, in your consciousness, in your very being. Once you drop big words, which scriptures and philosophers have invented, and become simple and humble and look inside yourself, it is here. It is in your laughter, it is in your songs, it is in your dances. Nobody can give it to you and nobody can take it away from you. And there is no way to find it because you have not lost it.
I have never agreed with Jesus Christ on the point. He says, “Seek and ye shall find it.” I disagree categorically, absolutely. I say, “Do not seek; otherwise you will never find it. Seek not and find.” Seeking keeps you away from finding it. It is in the seeker itself. So where are you going to seek?
Jesus says, “Ask and it shall be given to you.” Who is there to give it to you? And if it were something like a matter of begging a god who goes on hiding behind the clouds or somewhere in the stars like a thief… that’s what all the religions are doing, praying. It is not a question of asking. Do not ask. Just be silent and you are it. You are the answer. The answer is not going to come from anywhere else.
Jesus says, “Knock and the door shall be opened.”
And I say unto you: The doors have always been open. There is no point in knocking on an open door, and if you can knock, that means you are knocking on some wall. The door is open. I say unto you: The door is open, come in. Enter in. The existence is welcoming; there is no barrier. The whole existence is willing to be your host. Yoganand, because you are enlightened anyway… whether you accept it or not, that does not matter; I accept you as enlightened.
Even with your girlfriend you can be, because I don’t see that enlightenment can be disturbed by a girlfriend or by a rented bicycle or by your stupid-looking pajamas. Enlightenment has nothing to do with these things — that your bicycle is punctured. Do you think your enlightenment is also punctured?
“Good morning!” says Mendel Kravitz as he comes into Goldberg and Finkelstein’s tailors’ shop. “I came to this store because I don’t like to bargain.”
“Well, you have come to the right place,” says Hymie Goldberg.
“Right,” agrees Moishe, “We are strictly a one-price outfit.”
“Excellent,” says Mendel, “I like that checked suit in the window. How much will it cost?”
“Like we said,” says Moishe the Fink, “we don’t fool around with bargaining. So we are not going to ask you three hundred dollars for this suit, or even two-fifty.”
“Right,” agrees Hymie, “we’ll give you our best price: two hundred and thirty dollars.”
“Well,” says Mendel, “you guys are my kind of businessmen, and that’s exactly why I am here. I won’t fool about and offer you one-fifty for that suit, or even one-seventy-five. I will come right out and offer you two hundred dollars.”
“The suit is yours,” says Hymie, “for two hundred ten.”
“Okay,” says Mendel, “I will take it.”
There are people who don’t know what they are doing. Both are denying that they are bargainers and both are bargaining, and still both believe that bargaining is not happening! Such sleep is the only barrier, if you can call it a barrier. It is very thin. People don’t see it, that they go on doing it and still they deny it. And they will not see that their denial is absurd. Why are you seeking enlightenment, Yoganand, when I say you are enlightened? Just agree! What is the point of bargaining? You have come to the right place. Where else can you get enlightenment without bargaining? Just be a little intelligent.
This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune.
Discourse Series: YAA-HOO! The Mystic Rose
Chapter title: Enlightenment without bargaining
11 April 1988 pm in Gautam the Buddha Auditorium
Osho has spoken on ‘Enlightenment, awakening, self realization, moksha, salvation’ in many of His discourses. More on the subject can be referred to in the following books/discourses:
- Bodhidharma: The Greatest Zen Master
- Dogen, the Zen Master: A Search and a Fulfillment
- The Great Zen Master Ta Hui
- From Death to Deathlessness
- The Invitation
- From the False to the Truth
- Tao: The Three Treasures
- The Sun Rises in the Evening
- The Zen Manifesto: Freedom From Oneself
- Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega