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Osho on Characteristics of Samadhi


Osho : First is: Oneness, at-one-ment. Duality disappears. The division between the known and the knower disappears. Fusion arises, confusion disappears. There are no longer two. But remember: the moment Buddha says there are no longer two, he is not saying there is one. He keeps utter silence about the one. He says to say only there are not two – because the moment you say one, you bring the two again. One is meaningless without the two. Not two – that’s all. The runner and the running are not there.

You and I are not there. The speaker and the listener are not there. Existence is an organic unity. There is no duality in it. It is all oneness, but Buddha never calls it one. He is very careful. He avoids all kinds of logical pitfalls. He is very, very alert not to fall into any logical fallacy. He will not say existence is one, because what will you mean by one if there are not two? The figure one is meaningful only with the figure two. Without the figure two, one will not mean anything at all.

If we say God is light, it can only be meaningful if darkness exists. Then the Devil becomes darkness. Without the context of the Devil and darkness, what will it mean – ”God is light”? It will not mean anything. Buddha simply says God is neither light nor darkness. God is not two. Truth is not two.

That is the first experience of samadhi, that by and by the twoness of life disappears. Why is the twoness created? It is created by these three egos. When I see THIS body as my body, then YOUR body becomes YOUR body. When I become attached to my form, YOUR form becomes alien – the other. The moment I see my body not as my body, the moment I see myself as formless, then the other also disappears. With the self disappears the other. Without the ’I’, the ’thou’ cannot exist. They exist together in a pair.

So the first characteristic of samadhi is : twoness in life disappears. A great harmony arises. It is ALL one – that is the meaning of fusion. Confusion arises because of the two. Then there is a clash, a continuous clash.

The second characteristic of samadhi is: ’orgasmicness’ – blissfulness, beatitude. Unless you come to this utter annihilation of all the egos, you will never be happy, you will never be blissful. Misery is a by-product of the ego. And because there are three egos, there are three kinds of misery: the physical misery, the psychological misery, and the spiritual misery. You may not have heard of the third kind – the spiritual misery. You may not have even thought about it as misery. But look: a man is poor and he wants to be rich. He is miserable. Everybody knows he is miserable.

And if you go to a religious priest he will say, ”Don’t be greedy. Money is just dirt, don’t bother about it. Blessed are the poor. You be contented with whatsoever you have.” But then the man starts trying to become a better musician, or a better poet, or a better painter. You will not be so much against him as you were when he was very greedy for money. If he was very greedy for politics and power and this and that, everybody would have condemned him.

But now if he wants to try to create a better painting, better art, write better poetry, nobody will be so much against him. But he will be in misery again. Now the misery will be more psychological. He wants to become a Shakespeare. It is the same game played on another plane. First he wanted to become a Rockefeller, now he wants to become a Shakespeare – but the becoming is there. If you go to a perceptive man, he will say this is the same greed asserting itself on another plane, on a deeper plane. Drop it. This is meaningless.

Even if you become a Shakespeare, nothing is attained. Shakespeare is as miserable as you are. Even if you create great works of art you will not be blissful. You can go and see great painters and musicians, and they are not blissful. So, you become Christ or Buddha – that is going to help. You become a Krishna. It is THERE that bliss exists! And then a person starts trying to become a Christ, or a Buddha.... This is creating spiritual misery. It is the same misery. Now it has penetrated even deeper, now it has gone to the third ego level – the spiritual.

Now nobody will condemn you – unless you come across a Buddha, nobody will condemn you! They will say you are a spiritual man. If you are crying and weeping and suffering because you want to attain to God, and you want to attain to samadhi and moksha and nirvana, who is going to condemn you? People will WORSHIP YOU. They will say, ”Look, what a great spiritual man is here! He does not hanker for money, he does not bother for fame. He simply cries and weeps for God. Here is a spiritual man.”

These are your so-called saints. But if you look deeply you will find they are spiritually miserable. Now, the problem is the same. First you wanted to become a Rockefeller, then you wanted to become a Shakespeare, now you want to become Buddha. But YOU WANT TO BECOME! Becoming persists. TANHA – becoming – persists. The desire to be somebody else continues. Now you want to become God! Nothing has changed. There are three kinds of misery because there are three kinds of ego.


When all the egos have been dropped, when there is no point in any desire left, when ALL your desires have failed.... Let me repeat it. In spirituality, in religion, only one who has utterly failed succeeds. It will look like a paradox. To fail UTTERLY with desire is to enter into the real world. As long as you have some hope to succeed somewhere, you will never enter the reality. Then your hope will go on dragging you away and away. The man who is not worried to become anything – not even Buddha....

Just the other day I was reading about a man who has been meditating for many years – almost fifty years. And he has become very, very old. He came to a Master and said to the Master, ”Fifty years! Don’t you think it is long enough? I have been meditating and meditating. Why have I not become a Buddha yet?”

The Master laughed and he said, ”Now that explains why you have not become a Buddha yet – because you want to become. Hence you go on missing. Now it explains everything!” If you want to become a Buddha you will never become, because a Buddha is one who has dropped all kinds of becoming, who is utterly happy in this moment – for no reason at all. He has nowhere to go, no goal to attain, no target. He has dropped the whole desiring mind with all its layers – layer upon layer.

The mind is like the onion: one layer, the physical; another layer, the psychological; another layer, the spiritual. One who has thrown all those layers, one who has peeled his onion utterly, and has come to the innermost core.... And do you know what the innermost core IS? It is empty. If you go on peeling the onion, finally you come to nothingness. Only nothingness is left in your hands. In the nothingness there is orgasmicness, there is bliss.

With becoming there is misery. If you want to become something you will be in pain, misery, anguish, anxiety. If you understand that there is nothing to become... you are already that. Whatsoever you are, you are! There is no way to improve upon it. There is no need to improve upon it. As you ARE  IS PERFECTLY OKAY. Your VERY ordinariness is utterly extraordinary. To realize this is to come to blessings. Then the whole existence starts showering blessings on you. It has been showering always, but because you were too much concerned with your own desires and becomings, you were not available to it, you were not open to it.

The third characteristic of samadhi is: illumination – great inner transparency, light and clarity. When all these egos disappear, all curtains disappear from your eyes, look becomes pure, innocent, transparency is attained. Then you simply see! And truth is so obvious. It is not hidden. It is not hiding somewhere, it is not avoiding you. It is not on some other planet – it is just in front of your nose. But your eyes are closed. When your eyes open and you have the transparency and the clarity to see... the obvious! Truth is the obvious.

And the fourth characteristic of samadhi is: rest, relaxation.
How can you rest with this constant hankering to become something! How is rest possible? You will remain tense. Rest is possible only when all goal-orientation has been dropped; when the achieving mind functions no more in you, there is rest, there is relaxation. Thought is mind in motion. No-thought is mind at rest. Samadhi is witnessing of both – transcendence. You have been running after things – you have seen that and the misery of it. Then you stopped, and you have seen the beauty of it, the rest, the relaxation.

You have seen both, and the one who has seen both suddenly transcends both. There is a relaxation which is no ordinary relaxation. You know some kind of relaxation: when you feel exhausted, you relax. But that relaxation is very rest-less. It is not cessation of becoming, it is just tiredness. You have been working, the whole day; in the night you have to fall into sleep – but your sleep will remain restless.

You will have many dreams and nightmares. And in sleep also you will continue to move; your mind will still go on spinning and weaving a thousand and one dreams. Ordinarily, what rest we know is just the other side of restlessness – tiredness, exhaustion. There is a new kind of relaxation. When you have seen the tiredness of desire and you have seen the rest of desirelessness, a totally new kind of relaxation arises.

THEN YOU ARE RELAXED BECAUSE YOU ARE NOT. YOU are relaxed because there is NOBODY to get tense! The very complex has disappeared. How can you be tense? There is nobody. You cannot create a knot inside you because you are not! You have simply disappeared. It is an emptiness inside you. You cannot create knots in emptiness.

The fifth characteristic of samadhi is : awareness – consciousness, seeing, knowing, witnessing; the fourth state the Hindus call TURIYA. This is what Ikkyu means when he says, ”LOOK, LOOK, LOOK.” And when he is asked, ”What do you mean by ’LOOK’?” He says, ”LOOK means LOOK.”  Have eyes open. Be alert, be mindful. See things as they are. Don’t create fictions, don’t project. You go to the movies.... Sometimes try one experiment. Sometimes try an experiment with a projector in your home.

You have to put the screen at a certain distance from the projector, then the projected pictures are clear. Then start bringing the screen closer to the projector.  Soon they start becoming blurred, they are no more clear. You cannot make any distinction as to what is what, which is which. Bring it still closer. Now it is impossible to make any sense out of which is the tree and which is the man and which is the dog and which is the car. All are diffused. Bring it still closer... the closer you bring it, the more distinctions are lost.

Then there comes a point when the screen has come very close to the projector: there is only white light left. Black shadows have disappeared... pure white light. When the beam leaves the projector, it is pure white light. the farther it goes, then it divides into black and white. A certain distance is needed to see the pictures clearly.In awareness, exactly this happens. When you become very very alert, you start looking very closely at reality, and distinctions start disappearing.

Trees are no more trees and rivers are no more rivers and mountains are no more mountains. ALL starts melting into one. Then you become even more aware. And the more clearly you see into things... the screen comes even closer. Then there is only pure white light – all the divisions have disappeared. That is what is called awareness. Then all the illusions of life are no more valid, there is only pure light – the light of awareness.

The sixth characteristic of samadhi is: deathlessness, timelessness, eternity. When you are not, how can you die? When there is no ego in you, how can you die? Many people used to ask Buddha in his lifetime, thousands of times the question has been asked: ”What will happen to you, Sir, when you die?” And Buddha always smiles and he says, ”There is nobody to die.” But he makes it clear that ”I am not saying that I am immortal. There is not nobody to be immortal either.”

Now our stupidity is such that first we think we will die, because the ego is there and we are afraid whether we will be able to keep it, protect it, or not. Then comes somebody who knows. And he says, ”Nothing dies.” Then we project another falsity: we start thinking we are immortal. But the basic error remains the same. First we were thinking ”we are going to die” – WE WERE and we were going to die. Still WE ARE – now we are not going to die. Buddha says: ”I am not going to die because I am not. It is not that I am immortal.

There is nobody to die, and there is nobody to be immortal. There is no self, so how is death possible?” This is a totally different standpoint! This is the difference between Vedanta and Buddha. This is the difference between Shankara and Buddha. And Buddha’s insight IS FAR MORE penetrating than Shankara’s. Shankara goes on saying, ”You are immortal because the soul is immortal. It cannot die – it is deathless.” Buddha also says that you will not die, but he never says that you are immortal.

He says, ”You will never die because you cannot die – in the first place you are not.”

To see it – that ”I am not” – is to drop both mortality and immortality. Time disappears. What is your immortality? It will be just an extension of time, more and more duration. What will it be? Seventy years you are going to live – seven hundred years? seven million years? but it will be just duration. What is your eternity? Nothing but a desire to cling, a desire to remain always. For what? Just a blind desire to cling to existence? Just a blind desire, a blind lust for life?

Buddha says: ”Why are you concerned with mortality and immortality?” Deep down, those who say they will die and those who say they will never die, both are the same, because both believe in the ego. The Charvakas, the materialists, say, ”We will die”; and the so-called spiritualists say, ”We will not die.” But BOTH are concerned with the ego. Buddha brings a new breeze into the human mind, into human consciousness. He says: ”You will not die – not because you are immortal – but because you ARE NOT! ” See the point of it! the radical change, the basic revolution of it! Deathlessness is part of the phenomenon of samadhi.

And the seventh is: infinity. Space disappears.
You are nowhere and yet everywhere. You are nobody and yet everybody.

from Osho Book " Zen: The Path of Paradox, Vol 3 "

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