The sound of the ocean reverberates in Osho’s words.
The real you is eternal. The ocean continues, the waves come and go.
“Look deep down into the ocean,” Osho said, and “you will find yourself, and the eternal depth and unfathomable mystery of it.” Osho said his name came from an understanding of the “oceanic” experience of a human’s spiritual seeking.
Osho, born Chandra Mohan Jain, was an Indian mystic and zen guru. A professor of philosophy in the 1960s in India, his outspoken criticism of religion, and controversial and provocative lectures earned him the title “sex guru.” After traveling to the U.S., and later being deported, twenty-one countries denied him entry. Some people considered him a danger to society. He criticized orthodox religion, described Gandhi as a masochist, and condoned birth control.
His ideas were radical to a new era, and he attracted wealthy followers seeking spiritual advice in exchange for their money. In 1969, when invited to speak at the Second World Hindu Conference, he radically exclaimed:
“Any religion which considers life meaningless and full of misery, and teaches the hatred of life, is not a true religion. Religion is an art that shows how to enjoy life.”
He encouraged his followers to live extravagant lives, rather than an ascetic lifestyle. He is recorded as having said that he was not to be worshiped, but regarded as a catalyst, “a sun encouraging the flower to open,” to provoke opportunities for self-observation and transcendence.
After fifteen years of discourse and lectures, Osho took a three and half year vow of silence, announcing that it was time “to speak his own truths.” According to Osho, every human being is a Buddha and every person possesses the capacity for enlightenment.
“The mind’s appeal to the past,” he said, “deprives human beings of the ability to live authentically in the present, causing them to repress genuine emotions and to shut themselves off from joyful experiences that arise naturally when embracing the present moment.”
He argued that psychological repression caused suppressed emotions to reemerge in different guises. A society that condemns sex, for instance, would result in a culture obsessed with sex.
Osho described meditation as not something that you can practice for 10 minutes a day, but as a state of mind to be achieved in every single moment. His teachings spoke of awakening from our cultural paradigms, beliefs, traditions, mechanical reactions to the world, to live organically, fresh and blissfully new in every waking moment, with an open mind.
During your meditation, he claimed:
“Let whatever is happening happen…Laugh, shout, scream, jump, shake—whatever you feel to do, do it!”
Then he would encourager the meditator to remain completely still and silent. Alas, a person closes his or her mediation with dancing, singing, playing, laughing and celebrating!
A correspondent once asked Osho for his “10 commandments.” Osho noted that he was against any kind of commandment, but “just for fun,” replied:
1. Never obey anyone’s command unless it is coming from within you also.
2. There is no God other than life itself.
3. Truth is within you, do not search for it elsewhere.
4. Love is prayer.
5. To become nothingness is the door to truth. Nothingness itself is the means, the goal and attainment.
6. Life is now and here.
7. Live wakefully.
8. Do not swim—float.
9. Die each moment so that you can be new each moment.
10. Do not search. That which is, is. Stop and see.
Just for fun, I reconstructed nine of my favorite Osho quotes to write my own 10 commandments. The last quote isn’t Osho, but I think that he would agree:
1. “The highest state of love is not a relationship at all, it is simply a state of your being. Just as trees are green, a lover is loving. They are not green for particular persons, it is not that when you come they become green. The flower goes on spreading it’s fragrance whether anybody comes or not, whether anybody appreciates or not. The flower does not start releasing its fragrance when it sees that a great poet is coming by ‘Now this man will appreciate, now this man will be able to understand who I am.’ And it does not close its doors when it sees that a stupid, idiotic person is passing there—insensitive, dull, a politician or something like that. It does not close itself – ‘What is the point? Why cast pearls before swine?’ No, the flower goes on spreading its fragrance. It is a state of being, not a relationship…”
2. “These three things are to be taken note of: the lowest love is sex—it is physical—and the highest refinement of love is compassion. Sex is below love, compassion is above love; love is exactly in the middle. Very few people know what love is. Ninety-nine percent of people, unfortunately, think sexuality is love—it is not. Sexuality is very animal; it certainly has the potential of growing into love, but it is not actual love, only a potential…. If you become aware and alert, meditative, then sex can be transformed into love. And if your meditativeness becomes total, absolute, love can be transformed into compassion. Sex is the seed, love is the flower, compassion is the fragrance. Buddha has defined compassion as love plus meditation. When your love is not just a desire for the other, when your love is not only a need, when your love is a sharing, when your love is not that of a beggar but an emperor, when your love is not asking for something in return but is ready only to give—to give for the sheer joy of giving—then add meditation to it and the pure fragrance is released. That is compassion; compassion is the highest phenomenon.”
3. “Falling in love you remain a child; rising in love you mature. By and by love becomes not a relationship, it becomes a state of your being. Not that you are in love—now you are love.”
4. “Drop the idea of becoming someone, because you are already a masterpiece. You cannot be improved. You have only to come to it, to know it, to realize it.”
5. “Creativity is the greatest rebellion in existence.”
6. “You become more divine as you become more creative. All the religions of the world have said God is the creator. I don’t know whether he is the creator or not, but one thing I know: the more creative you become, the more godly you become. When your creativity comes to a climax, when your whole life becomes creative, you live in God. So he must be the creator because people who have been creative have been closest to him. Love what you do. Be meditative while you are doing it—whatsoever it is.”
7. “Nobody is here to fulfill your dream. Everybody is here to fulfill his own destiny, his own reality.”
8. “Only those who are ready to become nobodies are able to love.”
9. “Enlightenment is the understanding that this is all, that this is perfect, that this is it. Enlightenment is not an achievement, it is an understanding that there is nothing to achieve, nowhere to go.”
10. “Chastity: The most unnatural of the sexual perversions.”
~ Aldous Huxley
Editor: Kate Bartolotta
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