Other Gurus and Etceteranandas
(This entire Chapter has been deleted in the new edition)
The first question:
Can You say something about death and the art of dying?
Deva Vandana, the first thing to be known about death is that death is a lie. Death exists not; it is one of the most illusory things. Death is the shadow of another lie -- the name of that other lie is the ego. Death is the shadow of the ego. Because the ego is, death appears to be there.
The secret of knowing death, of understanding death, is not in death itself. You will have to go deeper into the existence of the ego. You will have to look, watch, observe, be aware of what this ego is. And the day you have found that there is no ego, that there has never been -- it appeared only because you were not aware, it appeared only because you were keeping your own existence in darkness -- the day it is understood that the ego is a creation of an unconscious mind, the ego disappears and simultaneously death disappears.
The real you is eternal. Life is neither born nor dies. The ocean continues, waves come and go -- but what are waves? Just forms, the wind playing with the ocean. Waves have no substantial existence. So are we, waves, playthings.
But if we look deep down into the wave there is an ocean, and the eternal depth of it and the unfathomable mystery of it. Look deep down into your own being and you will find the ocean. And that ocean is; the ocean always is. You cannot say, "It was," you cannot say, "It will be." You can only use one tense for it, the present tense: it is.
This is the whole search of religion. The search is to find that which truly is. We have accepted things which really are not, and the greatest and the most central of them is the ego. And of course it casts a big shadow -- that shadow is death.
Those who try to understand death directly will never be able to penetrate into the mystery of it. They will be fighting with darkness. Darkness is nonexistential, you cannot fight with it. Bring light, and the darkness is no more.
How can we know the ego? Bring a little more awareness to your existence. Each act has to be done less automatically than you have been doing up to now, and you have the key. If you are walking, don't walk like a robot. Don't go on walking as you have always walked, don't do it mechanically. Bring a little awareness to it, slow down, let each step be taken in full consciousness.
Buddha used to say to his disciples that when you raise your left foot, deep down say "Left." When you raise your right foot, deep down say "Right." First say it, so that you can become acquainted with this new process. Then slowly slowly let the words disappear; just remember "Left, right, left, right."
Try it in small acts. You are not supposed to do big things. Eating, taking a bath, swimming, walking, talking, listening, cooking your food, washing your clothes -- deautomatize the processes. Remember the word deautomatization; that is the whole secret of becoming aware.
The mind is a robot. The robot has its utility; this is the way the mind functions. You learn something; when you learn it, in the beginning you are aware. For example, if you learn swimming you are very alert, because life is in danger. Or if you learn to drive a car you are very alert. You have to be alert. You have to be careful about many things -- the steering wheel, the road, the people passing by, the accelerator, the brake, the clutch. You have to be aware of everything. There are so many things to remember, and you are nervous, and it is dangerous to commit a mistake. It is so dangerous, that's why you have to keep aware. But the moment you have learned driving, this awareness will not be needed. Then the robot part of your mind will take it over.
That's what we call learning. Learning something means it has been transferred from consciousness to the robot. That's what learning is all about. Once you have learned a thing it is no more part of the conscious, it has been delivered to the unconscious. Now the unconscious can do it; now your consciousness is free to learn something else.
This is in itself tremendously significant. Otherwise you will remain learning a single thing your whole life. The mind is a great servant, a great computer. Use it, but remember that it should not overpower you. Remember that you should remain capable of being aware, that it should not possess you in toto, that it should not become all and all, that a door should be left open from where you can come out of the robot.
That opening of the door is called meditation. But remember, the robot is so skillful, it can even take meditation into its control. Once you have learned it, the mind says, "Now you need not be worried about it, I am capable of doing it. I will do it, you leave it to me."
And the mind is skillful; it is a very beautiful machine, it functions well. In fact all our science, together with all our so-called progress in knowledge, has not yet been able to create something so sophisticated as the human mind. The greatest computers in existence are still rudimentary compared to the mind.
The mind is simply a miracle.
But when something is so powerful, there is danger in it. You can be hypnotized so much by it and its power that you can lose your soul. If you have completely forgotten how to be aware, then the ego is created.
Ego is the state of utter unawareness. The mind has taken possession of your whole being; it has spread like a cancer all over you, nothing is left out. The ego is the cancer of the inner, the cancer of the soul.
And the only remedy, the only remedy I say, is meditation. Then you start reclaiming a few territories from the mind. And the process is difficult but exhilarating, the process is difficult but enchanting, the process is difficult but challenging, thrilling. It will bring a new joy into your life. When you reclaim territory back from the robot you will be surprised that you are becoming a totally new person, that your being is renewed, that this is a new birth.
And you will be surprised that your eyes see more, your ears hear more, your hands touch more, your body feels more, your heart loves more -- everything becomes more. And more not only in the sense of quantity but in the sense of quality too. You not only see more trees, you see trees more deeply. The green of the trees becomes greener -- not only that, but it becomes luminous. Not only that, but the tree starts having an individuality of its own. Not only that, but you can have a communion with existence now.
And the more territories that are reclaimed, the more and more your life becomes psychedelic and colorful. You are then a rainbow -- the whole spectrum; all the notes of music -- the whole octave. Your life becomes richer, multidimensional, has depth, has height, has tremendously beautiful valleys and has tremendously beautiful sunlit peaks. You start expanding. As you reclaim parts from the robot, you start coming alive. For the first time you are turned on.
This is the miracle of meditation; this is something not to be missed. The people who miss it have not lived at all. And to know life in such intensity, in such ecstasy, is to know that there is no death. Not to know life creates death; ignorance of life creates death.
To know life is to know there is no death, there never has been. Nobody has ever died, I declare, and nobody is ever going to die. Death is impossible in the very nature of things -- only life is. Yes, life goes on changing forms; one day you are this, another day you are something else. Where is the child you once were? Has the child died? Can you say that the child has died? The child has not died, but then where is the child? The form has changed. The child is still there in its essentiality, but now you have become a young man or a young woman. The child is there with all its beauty; it has been superimposed by new riches.
And then one day you will become old. Then where is your youth? Died? No, again something more has happened. Old age has brought its own crop, old age has brought its own wisdom, old age has brought its own beauties.
The child is innocent, that is his core. The youth is overflowing with energy, that is his core. And the old man has seen all, lived all, known all; wisdom has arisen, that is his core. But his wisdom contains something of his youth; it is also overflowing, it is radiant, it is vibrant, it is pulsating, it is alive. And it also has something of the child; it is innocent.
If the old man is not young also, then he has only aged, he is not old. He has grown in time, in age, but he is not grown-up. He has missed. If the old man is not innocent like the child, if his eyes don't show that crystal clarity of innocence, then he has not yet lived.
If you live totally, cunningness and cleverness disappear, and trust arises. These are the criteria to know whether one has lived or not. The child never dies but only is metamorphosed. The youth never dies, there is only a new mutation again. And do you think the old man dies? Yes, the body disappears because it has served its purpose, but the consciousness continues the journey.
If death was a reality, existence would be utterly absurd, existence would be mad. If Buddha dies, that means such beautiful music, such splendor, such grace, such beauty, such poetry, disappears from existence. Then the existence is very stupid. Then what is the point? Then how is growth possible? Then how is evolution possible?
Buddha is a rare gem, it happens only once in a while. Millions of people try, and then one person becomes a buddha -- and then he dies and all is finished, so what is the point?
No, Buddha cannot die. He is absorbed; he is absorbed by the whole. He continues. Now the continuity is bodiless, because he has become so expanded that no body can contain him except the body of the universe itself. He has become so oceanic that it is not possible to have small manifestations. Now he can exist only in essence. He can exist only as a fragrance, not as a flower. He cannot have a form, he can only exist as a formless intelligence of existence.
The world has grown more and more intelligent. Before Buddha it was not so intelligent, something was missing. Before Jesus it was not so intelligent, before Mohammed it was not so intelligent. They have all contributed. If you understand rightly, God is not something that has happened, but is happening.
God is happening every day. Buddha has created something, Mahavira has created something, Patanjali has created something, Lao Tzu, Zarathustra, Atisha, Tilopa -- they have all contributed.
God is being created. Let your hearts be thrilled that you can become a creator of God! You have been told again and again that God created the world.
I would like to tell you: we are creating God every day.
And you can see the changes. If you look in the Old Testament, the words that the God of the Old Testament utters look so ugly. Something seems to be very primitive. The God of the Old Testament says, "I am a very jealous God." Can you think of God being jealous? "Those who don't follow me should be crushed and thrown into hellfire. Those who don't obey me, great revenge will be taken on them."
Can you think of these words being uttered by Buddha? No, the concept of God is being polished every day. The God of Moses is rudimentary; the God of Jesus is far more sophisticated, far more cultured. As man becomes cultured, his God becomes cultured. As man has more understanding, his God has more understanding, because your God represents you.
The God of Moses is law, the God of Jesus is love. The God of Buddha is compassion, the God of Atisha is utter emptiness and silence.
We are searching for new dimensions of God, we are adding new dimensions to God, God is being created. You are not just a seeker, you are also a creator. And the future will know far better visions of God.
Buddha does not die, he disappears into our concept of God. Jesus melts into the ocean of our God. And the people who are not yet awakened, they also don't die. They have to come back again and again into some form, because the only possibility of being awakened is through forms.
The world is a context for becoming awakened, an opportunity.
Remember Atisha. He says, "Don't wait for the opportunity" -- because the world is the opportunity; we are already in it. The world is an opportunity to learn. It looks paradoxical; time is the opportunity to learn the eternal, the body is the opportunity to learn the bodiless, matter is the opportunity to learn consciousness, sex is the opportunity to learn samadhi. The whole existence is an opportunity. Anger is the opportunity to learn compassion, greed is the opportunity to learn sharing, and death is the opportunity to go into the ego and see "whether I am or I am not. If I am, then maybe death is possible." But if you find for yourself that "I am not," that there is pure emptiness inside, that there is nobody -- if you can feel that nobodiness inside you, where is death? What is death? Who can die?
Vandana, your question is significant. You ask, "Can you say something about death?" Only one thing, that death is not.
And you ask "... and the art of dying?" When there is no death, how are you going to learn the art of dying? You will have to live the art of living. If you know how to live, you will know everything about life and about death. But you will have to approach the positive.
Never make the negative the object of your study, because the negative is not there. You can go on and on and you will never arrive anywhere. Try to understand what light is, not darkness. Try to understand what life is, not death. Try to understand what love is, not hate.
If you go into hate you will never understand it, because hate is only the absence of love. So is darkness the absence of light. How can you understand absence? If you want to understand me, you have to understand me, not my absence. If you want to study this chair, this chair has to be studied -- not that when Asheesh has taken it away, you start studying the absence. What will you study?
Always be alert, never get hooked into anything negative. Many people go on studying negative things; their energies are simply wasted. There is no art of dying. Or, the art of living is the art of dying. Live!
But your so-called religious people have been teaching you not to live. They are the creators of death. In a very indirect way they have created death, because they have made you so afraid of living. Everything is wrong. Life is wrong, the world is wrong, the body is wrong, love is wrong, relationship is wrong, enjoying anything is wrong. They have made you so guilty about everything, so condemnatory of everything, that you cannot live. And when you cannot live, what is left? The absence, the absence of life -- and that is death. And then you are trembling, trembling before something which is not, which is your own creation. And because you start trembling in great fear of death, the priest becomes very powerful. He says, "Don't be worried, I am here to help you. Follow me. I will save you from hell and I will take you to heaven. And those who are within my fold will be saved, and nobody else will be saved."
Christians go on saying the same thing to people: "Unless you are a Christian you cannot be saved. Only Jesus will save you. The day of judgment is coming closer, and on the day of judgment, those who are with Jesus, he will recognize them, he will sort them out. And the others, millions and millions, will be simply thrown into hell for eternity. Remember, there is no escape; for eternity they will be thrown into hell."
And the same is the attitude of other religions. But out of fear people start clinging to something, whatsoever is available in the close vicinity. If you are accidentally born in a Hindu home or a Jaina or a Jewish home, you become a Jew or a Jaina or a Hindu, as the case may be. Whatsoever is available close by, the child starts clinging to it.
My approach is totally different. I don't say be afraid -- that is the strategy of the priest, that is his trade secret. I say there is nothing to fear, because God is in you. There is nothing to fear. Live life fearlessly, live each moment as intensely as possible. Intensity has to be remembered. And if you don't live any moment intensely, then what happens? Your mind hankers for repetition.
You love a woman, your mind hankers for repetition. Why? Why do you hanker for the same experience again and again? You eat certain food, you enjoy it, now you hanker for the same food again and again. Why? The reason is that whatsoever you do, you never do it totally. Hence something remains discontented in you. If you do it totally, there will be no hankering for repetition and you will be searching for the new, exploring the unknown. You will not move in a vicious circle, your life will become a growth. Ordinarily people only go on moving in circles. They appear to move, but they only appear to.
Growth means you are not moving in a circle, that something new is happening every day, every moment really. And when does that become possible? Whenever you start living intensely.
I would like to teach you how to eat intensely and totally, how to love intensely and totally, how to do small things with such utter ecstasy that nothing is left behind. If you laugh, let the laughter shake your very foundations. If you cry, become tears; let your heart be poured out through tears. If you hug somebody, then become the hug. If you kiss somebody, then be just the lips, then be just the kiss. And you will be surprised how much you have been missing, how much you have missed, how you have lived up to now in a lukewarm way.
I can teach you the art of living; that implies the art of dying, you need not learn it separately. The man who knows how to live, knows how to die. The man who knows how to fall in love, knows when the moment has come to fall out of it. He falls out of it gracefully, with a goodbye, with gratitude -- but only the man who knows how to love.
People don't know how to love, and then they don't know how to say goodbye when the time has come to say it. If you love you will know that everything begins and everything ends, and there is a time for beginning and there is a time for ending, and there is no wound in it. One is not wounded, one simply knows the season is over. One is not in despair, one simply understands, and one thanks the other, "You gave me so many beautiful gifts. You gave me new visions of life, you opened a few windows I might never have opened on my own. Now the time has come that we separate and our ways part." Not in anger, not in rage, not with a grudge, not with any complaint, but with tremendous gratitude, with great love, with thankfulness in the heart.
If you know how to love, you will know how to separate. Your separation will also have a beauty and a grace. And the same is the case with life; if you know how to live, you will know how to die. Your death will be tremendously beautiful.
The death of Socrates is tremendously beautiful, the death of Buddha is tremendously beautiful. The day Buddha died, in the morning he gathered all his disciples, all his sannyasins, and told them, "The last day has come now, my boat has arrived and I have to leave. And this has been a beautiful journey, a beautiful togetherness. If you have any questions to ask, you can ask them, because I will not be available to you physically anymore."
A great silence fell on the disciples, a great sadness. And Buddha laughed and said, "Don't be sad, because that's what I have been teaching you again and again -- everything that begins, ends. Now let me teach you by my death too. As I have been teaching you through my life, let me teach you through my death too."
Nobody could gather the courage to ask a question. Their whole life they had asked thousands and thousands of questions, and this was not a moment to ask anything; they were not in the mood, they were crying and weeping.
So Buddha said, "Goodbye. If you don't have any questions then I will depart." He sat under the tree with closed eyes and he disappeared from the body. In the Buddhist tradition, this is called "the first meditation" -- to disappear from the body. It means to disidentify yourself from the body, to know totally and absolutely, "I am not the body."
A question is bound to arise in your mind: had Buddha not known it before? He had known it before, but a person like Buddha then has to create some device so that just a little bit of him remains connected with the body. Otherwise he would have died long before -- forty-two years before he would have died. The day his enlightenment happened, he would have died. Out of compassion he created a desire, the desire to help people. It is a desire, and it keeps you attached to the body.
He created a desire to help people. "Whatsoever I have known, I have to share." If you want to share, you will have to use the mind and the body. That small part remained attached.
Now he cuts even that small root in the body; he becomes disidentified from the body. The first meditation complete, the body is left. Then the second meditation: the mind is dropped. He had dropped the mind long before; as a master it was dropped, but as a servant it was still used. Now it is not even needed as a servant, it is utterly dropped, totally dropped.
And then the third meditation: he dropped his heart. It had been needed up to now, he had been functioning through his heart; otherwise compassion would not have been possible. He had been the heart; now he disconnects from the heart.
When these three meditations are completed, the fourth happens. He is no more a person, no more a form, no more a wave. He disappears into the ocean. He becomes that which he had always been, he becomes that which he had known forty-two years before but had been somehow managing to delay, in order to help people.
His death is a tremendous experiment in meditation. And it is said that many who were present, just seeing him moving, slowly slowly.... First they saw the body was no more the same; something had happened, the aliveness had disappeared from the body. The body was there, but like a statue. Those who were more perceptive, more meditative, they immediately saw that now the mind had been dropped and there was no mind inside. Those who were even more perceptive could see that the heart was finished. And those who were really on the verge of buddhahood, seeing Buddha disappear, they also disappeared.
Many disciples became enlightened the day Buddha died, many -- just seeing him dying. They had watched him living, they had seen his life, but now came the crescendo, the climax. They saw him dying such a beautiful death, such grace, such meditativeness... seeing it, many were awakened.
To be with a buddha, to live with a buddha, to be showered by his love, is a blessing. But the greatest blessing is to be present when a buddha dies. You can simply ride on that energy, you can simply take a quantum leap with that energy -- because Buddha is disappearing, and if your love is great and your connection is deep, it is bound to happen.
It is going to happen to many of my sannyasins. The day I disappear, many of you are going to disappear with me.
Vivek again and again says to me, "I don't want to live a single moment when you are gone." And I say to her, "Don't be worried. Even if you want to live, you will not be able to." Just the other day, Deeksha was saying to Vivek, "Once Osho is gone, I am gone." That is true. But this is not only true about Vivek and Deeksha, this is true of many of you. And this is not something that you have to do, it will simply happen of its own accord. It will be a happening. But it is possible only if you allow total trust to happen.
While I am alive, if you allow total trust to happen, then you can move with me in my death too. But if there is a little doubt, you will think, "But I have still not done many things and I have to live my life. I know that it is sad that the master is leaving, and I know it would have been far better if he was alive, but I have many things to do, I have to live my life"... and a thousand and one desires. If there is a little doubt, it will create a thousand and one desires. But if there is no doubt, then the death of the master is the most liberating experience that has ever happened on this earth.
Buddha was very fortunate to have great disciples. Jesus was not so fortunate, his disciples were cowards. While he was dying they all escaped. While he was on the cross they escaped miles away, in fear that they might be caught. After three days, when the stone was removed from in front of the tomb where his body was kept, there was not a single one of the apostles; only Mary Magdalene the prostitute, and another Mary -- two women -- had gathered courage.
The disciples were afraid that if they went to see what had happened to the master's body or to take the master's body down, they might be caught. Only two women had enough love. When Jesus' body was taken down from the cross, then too, three women took the body down. All those great apostles were not there.
Jesus was not very fortunate. And the reason is clear: he was starting something new. In the East, buddhas have existed for millions of years. The Western concept of time is not right, the Western concept of time is very small, and it is because of Christianity that it is very small. Christian theologians have even calculated when the world was created -- the twenty-third of March. I was wondering, why not the twenty-first? God missed by only two days! On the twenty-third of March, four thousand and four years before Christ, the world was created. A very small idea of time.
The world has existed for millions of years. Now science is coming closer and closer to the Eastern concept of time. In the East, buddhas have existed for thousands and thousands of years, so we know how to be with a buddha -- how to live with him, how to trust him, and how to be with him when he is dying, and how to die with him.
Much of it has been forgotten, by courtesy of Christianity and Western education. The modern Indian is not Indian at all. It is very difficult to find Indians in India, almost impossible. Only once in a while do I come across an Indian. Sometimes it happens that people who are coming from faraway countries are far more Indian than the so-called Indians. Three hundred years of Western domination and Western education have made the Indian mind completely disoriented.
The Western mind is coming closer and closer towards understanding buddhas more than the Eastern mind itself does. And the reason is that the West is getting fed up with technology and science, is becoming more and more hopeless, and has seen that what science has promised, it has not been able to fulfill. In fact it has seen that all the revolutions have failed. And now there is only one revolution left -- the inner, the revolution of the individual, the revolution that is brought by inner transformation.
Indians are still hoping that with a little better technology, a little better government, a little more money, a little more production, things will all be perfectly okay. The Indian mind is hoping, it is very materialistic. The modern Indian is more materialistic than the people of any other country. The materialist countries are fed up with materialism. It has failed; they are disappointed and disillusioned.
So let me tell you, my sannyasins are more Indian. They may be Germans, they may be Norwegians, they may be Dutch, they may be Italians, French, English, Americans, Russians, Czechs, Japanese, Chinese, but they are far more Indian.
Journalists again and again come and ask, "Why don't we see more Indians here?" And I say, "They are all Indians! There are just a few foreigners -- just those few whom you think are Indians, just those few foreigners; otherwise they are all Indians."
To be an Indian has nothing to do with geography, it has something to do with an inner approach towards reality. Modern India has forgotten the ways of the Buddha, and has forgotten how to live with buddhas.
I am trying to reveal that treasure to you again. Let it sink deep in your heart. The first principle is the art of living. Be life-affirmative. Life is synonymous with God. You can drop the word god -- life IS God. Live with reverence, with great respect and gratitude. You have not earned this life, it has been a sheer gift from the beyond. Feel thankful and prayerful, and take as many bites of it as possible and chew it well and digest it well.
Make your life an aesthetic experience. And not much is needed to make it an aesthetic experience; just an aesthetic consciousness is needed, a sensitive soul. Become more sensitive, more sensuous, and you will become more spiritual.
Priests have almost poisoned your body into a state of death. You are carrying paralyzed bodies and paralyzed minds and paralyzed souls -- you are moving on crutches. Throw away all those crutches! Even if you have to fall and crawl on the ground, that is better than clinging to crutches.
And experience life in all possible ways -- good-bad, bitter-sweet, dark-light, summer-winter. Experience all the dualities. Don't be afraid of experience, because the more experience you have, the more mature you become. Search for all possible alternatives, move in all directions, be a wanderer, a vagabond of the world of life and existence. And don't miss any opportunity to live.
Don't look back. Only fools think of the past -- fools who do not have the intelligence to live in the present. And only fools imagine about the future, because they don't have the courage to live in the present. Forget the past, forget the future, this moment is all. This moment has to become your prayer, your love, your life, your death, your everything. This is it.
And live courageously, don't be cowards. Don't think of consequences; only cowards think of consequences. Don't be too result-oriented; people who are result-oriented miss life. Don't think of goals, because goals are always in the future and far away, and life is herenow, close by.
And don't be too purposive. Let me repeat it: don't be too purposive. Don't always bring in the idea, "What is the purpose of it?" because that is a strategy created by your enemies, by the enemies of humanity, to poison your very source of life. Ask the question, "What is the purpose of it?" and everything becomes meaningless.
It is early morning, the sun is rising and the east is red with the sun, and the birds are singing and the trees are waking up, and it is all joy. It is a rejoicing, a new day has happened again. And you are standing there asking the question, "What is the purpose of it?" You miss, you miss it totally. You are simply disconnected.
A roseflower is dancing in the wind, so delicate and yet so strong, so soft yet fighting with the strong wind, so momentary yet so confident. Look at the roseflower. Have you ever seen any roseflower nervous? So confident, so utterly confident, as if it is going to be here forever. Just a moment's existence, and such trust in eternity.
Dancing in the wind, whispering with the wind, sending out its fragrance -- and you are standing there asking the question, "What is the purpose of it?"
You fall in love with a woman and ask the question, "What is the purpose of it?" You are holding the hand of your beloved or your friend, and asking the question, "What is the purpose of it?" And you may still be holding hands, but now life has disappeared, your hand is dead.
Raise the question, "What is the purpose?" and everything is destroyed. Let me tell you, there is no purpose in life. Life is its own purpose; it is not a means to some end, it is an end unto itself. The bird on the wing, the rose in the wind, the sun rising in the morning, the stars in the night, a man falling in love with a woman, a child playing on the street... there is no purpose. Life is simply enjoying itself, delighting in itself. Energy is overflowing, dancing, for no purpose at all. It is not a performance, it is not a business. Life is a love affair, it is poetry, it is music. Don't ask ugly questions like, "What is the purpose?" because the moment you ask it, you disconnect yourself from life. Life cannot be bridged by philosophical questions. Philosophy has to be put aside.
Be poets of life, singers, musicians, dancers, lovers, and you will know the real philosophy of life: PHILOSOPHIA PERENNIS.
And if you know how to live... and it is a simple art. The trees are living and nobody is there to teach them. In fact they must be laughing; seeing that you have asked such a question, they must be giggling -- you may not be able to hear their giggle.
The whole existence is nonphilosophical. If you are philosophical, then a gap arises between you and existence. Existence simply is, for no purpose. And the person who really wants to live has to get rid of this idea of purpose. If you start living without any purpose, with intensity, totality, love and trust, when death comes, you will know how to die -- because death is not the end of life, but only an episode in life.
If you have known other things, if you have lived other things, you will be able to live death too. The real man of understanding lives his death as much as he lives his life, with the same intensity, with the same thrill.
Socrates was so thrilled when he was going to be given poison. The poison was being prepared outside his room. His disciples had gathered; he was lying on the bed ready, because the time was coming closer. At six o'clock, exactly as the sun sets, he would be given the poison. People were not even breathing, the clock was coming closer and closer to six o'clock, and this beautiful man would be gone forever. And he had not committed any sin. His only sin was that he used to tell the truth to people, that he was a teacher of truth, that he would not compromise, that he would not bow down to the stupid politicians. That was his only crime; he had not done any harm to anybody. And Athens was to remain poorer forever.
In fact, with the death of Socrates, Athens died. Then it never had the same glory again, never. It was such a crime, killing Socrates, that Athens committed suicide. Greek culture never reached such a height again. For a few days it continued, just echoes of Socrates -- because Plato was his disciple, just an echo. And Aristotle was Plato's disciple, an echo of an echo. Slowly slowly, as the echoes of Socrates disappeared, Greek culture disappeared from the world. It had seen days of glory, but it committed suicide by murdering Socrates.
His disciples were very much disturbed, but Socrates was thrilled, just as a small child when you take him to the exhibition is so thrilled by everything, each and everything is so incredible. He would get up again and again and go to the window and ask the man who was preparing the poison, "Why are you delaying? Now it is six o'clock!"
And the man said, "Are you mad, Socrates, or something? I am delaying just so that a beautiful man like you can stay a little longer. I cannot delay forever, but this much I can do. A little bit more, linger a little bit more! Why are you in such a hurry to die?"
Socrates said, "I have known life, I have lived life, I know the taste of life. Now I am so curious about death! That's why I am in such a hurry. I am pulsating with great joy -- the very idea that now I am going to die, and I will be able to see what death is. I want to taste death. I have tasted everything else, only one thing has remained unknown. I have lived life and known all that life can give. This is the last gift of life, and I am really intrigued."
The man who has lived, really lived, will know how to die.
Vandana, there is no art of death. The art of life is the art of death, because death is not something separate from life. Death is the highest peak of life, the Everest, the virgin-snow-covered sunlit Everest. It is the most beautiful thing in existence.
But you can know the beauty of death only if you know the beauty of life. Life prepares you for death. But people are not living at all; they are hampered in every possible way from living. So they don't know what life is, and consequently they will not know what death is.
Death is a lie. You don't end with it, you only take a turn. You move on another road; you disappear from this road, you appear on another road. If you are not yet awakened, not yet enlightened, then here you die, there you are born. You disappear from one body and you appear immediately in some womb, because millions of foolish people are copulating all over the world -- they are just waiting for you! And there are really so many that it is good that you die unconscious and you choose the new womb unconsciously. If it was a conscious choice, you would go crazy. How to choose? Whom to choose?
Unconsciously you die, unconsciously you are born into the closest possible womb that fits with you. One body is gone, and another is immediately formed.
But if you are enlightened.... And what do I mean by "enlightened"? I mean if you have lived your life with awareness, and you have reached the point of awareness where no dark spot of unconsciousness exists in you, then there is no longer any womb for you. Then you enter into the womb of God -- existence itself. That is liberation, moksha, nirvana.
The last question:
Morarji Desai once said that if he did set up a commission to investigate us, we would not like the results. If the government does set up a commission, is there any hope at all of its being really open, really impartial?
Krishna prem, politics can never be impartial, politics is partiality. Politics can never be unprejudiced, it is rooted in prejudice. So don't hope for much. It will be fun, that's all; we will enjoy the people who come with the commission. Enjoy it then -- if he appoints any commission and the people come here, enjoy it. Give them a feeling of your life that is happening here. Who knows, somebody may be turned on!
But don't trust politicians. The game with politicians is a dangerous game. Friendship is dangerous with them, enmity is dangerous with them. But it cannot be avoided. And what is happening here is so huge that politicians cannot remain out of it for long.
Just the other day, in the Indian parliament they discussed us again -- a long discussion. A phone call came from Delhi saying, "Send Krishna Prem, Madhura and the other press people, because now this is the only hot thing that people are talking about."
We are not interested in politicians, in politics -- not at all. But we cannot avoid them either. Politics is like the weather: whether you like it or not, it is going to affect you anyway.
It is known now why Nasser suddenly died of a heart attack.... He received a telephone call from Golda Meir, who told him, "Let's make love not war."
Now, whether you make love or you make war, with politicians it is going to be difficult going, tough going.
So, Krishna Prem, there is no need for any hope. In the first place, I don't think he is going to appoint a commission, for many reasons. One reason is, the other day in parliament somebody raised the question, "Why a commission only for Osho?" And a great shiver went through the whole parliament.
It is reported in the newspapers that the man suggested they appoint a commission to investigate Satya Sai Baba, Guru Maharaj-ji, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Muktananda, and other Etcetera Etceteranandas. They were very happy to have a commission investigate my place, my commune, but now there is fear. And that looks logical -- if you want to investigate one commune, then why not all? That is the first problem they will have to face.
Secondly, he would like to avoid, to escape from appointing the commission -- because who knows what will happen if the commission comes? The people who come and go back to him, they may report that all that appears in the newspapers is false, it is not the true picture. So many people have visited the ashram, and so many members of parliament have come, and whosoever has come has reported to him, "You are unnecessarily prejudiced. Something beautiful is happening, a meeting of East and West is happening."
So he is also afraid deep down. Who knows, the commission may report favorably -- then what is he going to do? Once the commission reports favorably, it will become a great problem for him. So he has found a very legal way to escape from appointing the commission. He says that I should write a personal letter to him asking that a commission be appointed to investigate me and my work. He knows perfectly well that for five years I have stopped writing personal letters.
And why should I write a personal letter? If the government wants to know what is happening, it is their work to find that out. If they have decided without investigating, then they are being undemocratic. If they say to the world, "We will not allow any television companies from Holland, from England, from Japan or from Australia to cover the work and the commune, because it will not represent the true Indian spirit and the true Indian image"; if they have decided it without investigating at all, then it is their duty to appoint a commission. Why should I ask them to appoint a commission? But this is a legal trick. He knows I don't write personal letters. For five years I have not done so, and I am not going to do it now.
And then he is worried also about something he said in parliament the other day. He said that he has not received any personal letter from me and it is always Yoga Laxmi, the managing trustee, who writes. And she writes, "Osho is only a guest in the commune, so how can we investigate a guest?"
But Laxmi is right, I am simply your guest. And I don't do anything, so what are they going to investigate? They can come and sit with me for twenty-four hours in my room; I don't do anything, there is nothing to investigate! The question is of the commune, the work that goes on in the commune: that has to be investigated.
But he is not interested in the commune. His interest basically is somehow to create a trap in which he can catch me -- because he knows if I am caught or if I am imprisoned, then the whole work will be destroyed easily. The other day in parliament he said it -- unconsciously it must have come out of him -- "Osho is the ashram, Osho is the commune. So we cannot investigate the commune unless he writes." And I am not going to write. I don't think politicians are of any worth, and I don't think they are worthy to investigate a religious commune.
In fact some day we should think of appointing a commission to investigate the politicians....
Three prime ministers of three great countries are sitting at a dinner party when all of a sudden a loud fart is heard coming from the seat where the lady host is dining. She is barely able to hold herself together when immediately from across the table the French prime minister stands up and in a loud firm voice exclaims, "Excuse me, messieurs-dames, but I must unexpectedly leave. I am not feeling well."
Grateful and relieved, the lady manages to regain her composure, when ten minutes later she lets another fart escape. Dismayed and blushing up to her ears, she watches how the English prime minister stands up and declares, "I am sorry, ladies and gentlemen, but I must retire early tonight. I am not feeling well."
The scene happens once more, and this time the Indian prime minister proudly stands up and says loudly, "Well now, ladies and gentlemen, it is my honor and my duty to go home."
I don't have any respect for these politicians and political leaders. I have respect for them as human beings, but not as politicians. Politics is the most ugly phenomenon on the earth, and politicians, the ugliest human beings. I have tremendous respect for human beings, but I can't have any respect for the ugly politics that goes on.
There is no need to have any hope. First, they will not appoint any commission, afraid that it may turn against them. And it is not going to be easy either; if they appoint a commission we are first going to give tough tests for the commission too, to find out whether they are really capable of investigating a commune. What do they know about it? What do they know about the therapies that are going on here? First they will be examined. A group of fifty therapists will examine them in every possible way. Unless we are satisfied that they are worthy to investigate, we won't allow them inside the gate.
First, they are not going to appoint a commission. He is afraid -- whom to appoint? Where are they going to find people who understand primal therapy, bioenergetics, encounter, psychodrama, psychosynthesis and psychoanalysis? And he is afraid that if he appoints somebody who understands these things, he will be in support of us. He can appoint a retired senile judge -- but he will not know anything about it, and that will be really hilarious.
I don't think he is going to, but if he does appoint a commission, enjoy it. Let them come, and have real fun with the whole thing. At least let them carry back some joy, some laughter, from here. What they report is irrelevant, because what happens almost always is this: before they come here, the report will already be ready. That's what happens. The report will be prepared by somebody else. But we are not interested in their reports.
I had only said to appoint a commission so that the government can have at least a show of democracy. It is utterly undemocratic to prevent media people reaching Poona. It is so undemocratic what they tell people -- now we even have letters in our possession. To one sannyasin, an Indian ambassador in America wrote, "If you want to go to Poona, then forget all about it; we are not going to give you any entry visa. But if you want to go to any other ashram, write, and we are ready to give it to you."
Just see the foolishness of the man -- writing it!
Now in Bombay, on the passports of sannyasins they are writing "This visa is not valid for Poona." So it seems Poona is no longer part of India. A tourist is entitled to tour the whole of India, except Poona! But why prevent people from coming to Poona? Just Koregaon Park would have been enough!
In every possible way, they are doing whatsoever they can do to hassle and hinder us. They have tried one thing that they are very clever at doing -- to find some flaw in our finances. They have not been able to do it. Sadly, the finance minister had to declare yesterday in parliament, "Their finances are absolutely okay and we could not find any flaw in them." So now they are at a loss as to what to do.
In fact there is nothing that they can find here which is being done against the law. But just their prejudices, their old rotten minds, their traditional minds.... They cannot believe that a phenomenon like me is even possible in India. But it is happening, and it is going to grow. It is growing. And the more they hinder it, the more it will grow. That is an inner logic of things: the more hindrances there are, and the more challenges, the more it is going to grow.
If Jesus had not been crucified, there would have been no Christianity. If one day the politicians decide to crucify me, I will be the happiest person in the world.
Enough for today.