Question – What does a person, a man or a woman, experience by following your religion? Do they become awake?
Osho – There is no promise. I never promise anything to anybody. I am here, available. I am ready to explain how one becomes awake and my work is finished there. Then it is up to you. If you fail, I will not be disappointed. If you succeed, you succeed, I don’t take the credit of it. So the success is yours, the failure is yours.
My only work is to give you a clear-cut idea how you can become more conscious; I call it meditation, working, walking, sitting. I don’t believe what others call meditation, that ten minutes or twenty minutes you do it and then just be your ordinary self for twenty-four hours and again for twenty minutes meditate. This is stupid. It is like saying to a person that every day in the morning twenty minutes breathe and then forget all about it, because you have to do many other things. And then next day morning you can breathe again.
To me meditation is exactly like breathing. So whatsoever you are doing and where ever you are do it more consciously. For example, I can raise this hand without any consciousness, just unconsciously, out of habit.
I have heard about two Jews walking by the side of the ocean. It was a cold morning and one Jew was keeping his hands in his pockets. It was really cold. And the other was continuously talking and saying and he was puzzled that the other man says only yes, no, but does not participate in conversation. This is not Jewish. Finally he asked, “What has happened to you? Have you changed your religion?” He said, “Whatever you want to say, you can say, but I am not going to take my hands out of the pockets.” But he said, “What that has to do?” He said, “A Jew cannot talk without his hands. I am not going to talk; it is too cold to take the hands out.”
But you can raise your hand with full awareness. And you can see the difference between the two. The act is the same: one is mechanical, another is full of consciousness and the quality is tremendously different. Try it, because it is a question of taste and experience. Walking, just try for few minutes to walk consciously; each step be alert and you will be surprised that the quality of your walk is totally different, it is relaxed. There is no tension and there is a subtle joy that is arising out of your relaxed walking. And the more you become aware of this joy, the more you would like to be awake. Eating, eat with awareness. People are simply throwing food into their mouths, not even chewing it, just swallowing it.
Thirty million people in America are suffering from overeating. Strange world we are living one thousand man are everyday dying in Ethiopia because they don’t have food, thirty million people are dying in America because they have too much food.These people who are suffering from obesity, fatness, cannot resist eating more and more. No doctor is going to help them, except if they become aware, while they are eating if they become aware. Few things happen as a by-product of awareness. Their eating will be slowed down. They will start chewing, because unless you chew your food you are putting unnecessary burden on your whole system. Your stomach has no teeth. Exactly one has to chew forty-two times each bite. Then anything that you are eating becomes liquid.
A man of awareness only drinks, because before he swallows he has changed that solid food into liquid. And the strange thing is when you are chewing forty-two times, you are enjoying so much the taste. One bite of an unconscious man gives forty-two time more taste to the conscious man. It is simple arithmetic: the unconscious man will have to eat forty-two bites just to have the same taste, and then he becomes fat, and still unsatisfied. Still he feels to eat more. The man of awareness eats only that much that his body needs. He immediately feels that now there is no need, the hunger is gone, he is content…. Doing anything, so my meditation is a totally different kind of approach. It has to be spread all over your twenty-four hours. Even falling asleep remain alert how sleep is descending on you, so slowly, so silently, but you can hear the steps. The darkness is growing, you are relaxing — you can feel the muscles, the body, the tense parts which are preventing the sleep — and soon you will see the whole body has relaxed and the sleep has come. But slowly, slowly, a great revolution happens. Sleep comes to you, but something deep inside you goes on remaining awake, even in sleep. So the situation is: you are asleep even when you think you are awake and I’m awake even when you think I’m asleep.
And unless a man becomes aware in his sleep he is not aware, not awake; that is the criterion.And there are so many by products that you can judge. Dreams disappear, because dreams need you to be completely unconscious. They come from the unconscious mind. But if you are conscious, they cannot come. Sigmund Freud would have been immensely enriched if he had come to a man like me who has no dreams. He would have puzzled also and he would have to change his whole idea of psychoanalysis. But he came only across people who were asleep. He himself was asleep — he had no idea of any spiritual awakening — otherwise he would have certainly realized that there is a space when man is conscious, just conscious, and there are no dreams at all.
If dreams disappear in the night, the second thing will happen to you: in the daytime, thoughts will disappear. That does not mean you will become incapable of thinking, that simply means you will not just go on thinking mechanically, unnecessarily. You will be capable of thinking if you want to think, otherwise you will be silent.And a man who can remain silent for hours is gathering energy so whenever he wants to think his thinking has some strength, some power, some tremendous energy.
The ordinary people’s thinking are just impotent, their thoughts are just vagrant… clouds floating in their mind. A man of meditation will find dreams disappear and then the sleep is beauty, incomparable. Then sleep becomes spiritual and to transform sleep into spirituality is religion. Then your whole day becomes a day of silence. You will talk but something deep down in you will remain a silent witness. So you will not say things which will unnecessarily create trouble for you and trouble for others. You will say only that which is absolutely needed. You will say only the truth, otherwise you will be capable enough to say, “I do not know.” You will not believe in anything. Either you will know it or you will not know it. Belief is a deception: you don’t know, yet you pretend as if you know. All these people in temples, in churches, in synagogues, what they are doing? Whom they are praying?
They don’t know God. Their priest does not know God. They don’t know that ever any prayer has been heard by anybody. They don’t know that ever any prayer has been answered by anybody. Still they are praying to a God….
There is a beautiful story in Leo Tolstoy. Three uneducated, illiterate villagers who used to live on a small island in a river, became famous all over the country as great saints. Now this was too much for the archbishop, because in Christianity you can be a saint only if the church certifies you to be a saint. In fact, the word saint comes from sanction. If the church sanctions you, certifies you, you are a saint. And without the arch-bishop signing, who has made these fools saints?
And their fame was far and wide — even from outside the country people started coming. Finally he decided to go and put these people right. He went into a boat, reached the small island. They were sitting under a beautiful tree, all three looking so happy. They were sitting naked, they had not even clothes. The archbishop went close to them. All the three touched his feet and said,
“Why you troubled yourself? You could have sent a message and we would have come to the church ourselves.”
Now the archbishop felt confident; up to now he was feeling a little nervous: three saints, and he himself knows nothing except that he has reached in a religious-political hierarchy, on the top. But now he was confident, and he said to those three people,
“That is what is your religion?”
They said, “We don’t know. Religion? Are there many religions?”
Those simple are asking a significant question. Only simple people can ask significant questions: `Are there many religions?”
They said, “We thought there is only one kind of religiousness. But you can teach us — if you feel just being religious is not enough — you can teach us. We are available. We are illiterate, ignorant people, so don’t please feel offended by our answers.”
The archbishop asked, “Okay, whatever your religion, what is your prayer? Certainly you must be Christian — because in Russia at that time, there was no other religion — you must be Christian. What is your prayer?”
They all looked at each other and they said, “You tell.” The second said to the third: “You tell it.” And the third said to the first three, “Better you tell it.”
The archbishop was getting angry that: “What is this nonsense? You cannot tell your prayer?” “This is the reality is: we don’t know how to pray and we don’t know what prayer is, but we have invented our own prayer. Hearing that God is a trinity and we are also a trinity, so we have made a simple prayer for ourselves. Please don’t feel offended. We pray whenever the moment feels like praying. In the early morning sun, when it is so beautiful on the lake, and the whole lake becomes gold, we feel like thanking existence. Our prayer is, `You are three, we are three, please have mercy on us. This is our prayer.”
The archbishop said, “This is absolute nonsense: You are three, we are three, have mercy on us. Who has ever heard of such a prayer?”
Those poor people said, “We are ready to learn.” So he gave them the official prayer. But it was a long prayer. By the time he ended, they said, “This is very difficult, because we have forgotten the beginning by the time you came to the end. You will have to repeat it. Please repeat it so we can remember the beginning.”
He repeated it, just the beginning, but they said, “Please go on, because now we have forgotten the end.”
Three times he repeated, then they could get hold of the prayer. They thanked the archbishop. He was very happy that he has put them right and now he can tell to people that, “Those are idiots and you are thinking them as saints.”
He went back into his boat. Just in the middle of the river he saw something unimaginable: those naked idiots were coming running on the water! He could not believe his eyes. He had never believed even that Jesus had walked on water; he knew deep down that this is all nonsense. He had never told anybody. As far as his sermons were concerned, he was trying to prove that Jesus could do anything. But these idiots are walking on water, running on water and they caught hold of the boat and said, “Please, just a moment. We have forgotten the prayer. Will you teach us again?” But this was enough for the archbishop. He touched the feet of those three idiots and said, “Your prayer is right, my was wrong. You just go and do your prayer. I unnecessarily interfered in your life; just forgive me. Seeing you walking on the water…. In fact, for the first time I have become a Christian. I had never believed that Jesus really walked on water.
“Religion is a very simple phenomenon. Theology has nothing to with religion. It makes things unnecessarily complex. Religion is a simple awareness of whatever you are doing, wherever you are. And when this awareness surrounds you always like a luminous aura you for the first time become aware of the universe — its beauties, its music, its eternal song. And to me that is the religious experience. In religious experience you don’t encounter a God. There is nobody there, just this pure existence. But it is all alive — these flowers, these birds on the wing, these stars — everything is alive, but because you are asleep you cannot experience the aliveness that surrounds you.
And we are not islands. No man is an island. We are part of this whole living, infinite continent. Those flowers are part of us just as we are part of them. Those faraway stars are within us as we are within the universe. That experience of unity, of at-onement, is liberation.
So my teaching is very simple: meditation is the key, becoming totally aware is the result. Experiencing oneness with the whole is the reward.
“You are three, we are three, have mercy on us.”
This is my trinity: meditation, awareness, oneness.
Source – Osho Book “The Last Testament, Vol2”