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Osho on How to Live Rightly

Question: Beloved Master, Please Make me Understand what it is to Live Rightly?

Osho: There are two ways to live, to be, to know: one is of effort, will, ego; the other is of no effort, no struggle, but being in a let-go with existence. All the religions of the world have been teaching you the first way, to fight – fight against nature, fight against the world, fight against your own body, fight against the mind. Only then can you achieve the truth, the ultimate, the eternal. But it is enough proof that this will to power, this path of the ego, this fighting and war has utterly failed.

In millions of years, very few people have achieved the ultimate experience of life, so few that they only prove the exception, they don’t prove the rule. I teach you the second way: don’t go against the current of existence, go with it; it is not your enemy. Just as a person can try to go upstream, fighting with the river, soon he will be tired and he is not going to reach anywhere. The river is vast and he is a small part. In this vast existence, you are smaller than an atom. How can you fight against the whole? The very idea is unintelligent.

And you are produced by the whole – how can it be your enemy? Nature is your mother, it cannot be against you. Your body is your very life, it cannot be antagonistic to you. It serves you in spite of your continuous fight with it. It serves you when you are awake, it serves you even when you are asleep. Who goes on breathing? You are fast asleep and snoring. The body has its own wisdom. It continues to breathe, the heart continues to beat, the body goes on functioning without you. In fact, it functions better when you are not present.

Your presence is always a disturbance, because your mind is conditioned by people who have told you to be against it. I teach you a friendship with existence. I do not want you to renounce the world, because the world is ours. Nothing that exists is against you. All that you have to learn is the art of living – not the art of renouncing, but the art of rejoicing. It is only a question of learning an art and you can change the poison into nectar. On so many medicines you will find written, poison, but in the hands of a scientific expert the poison has become a medicine.

It does not kill you, it saves you. If you find that somewhere your body, nature, the world is against you, remember one thing: it must be your ignorance, it must be some wrong attitude. It must be that you don’t know the art of living. You are unaware that existence cannot be against you. You are born out of it, you live in it, it has given everything to you and you are not even grateful. On the contrary, all the religions have been teaching you to condemn it from the very beginning. Any religion that teaches you condemnation of life is poisonous.

It is anti-life, it is in the service of death; it is not in the service of you, it is not in the service of existence. But why does the question arise? All these religions went against nature. Why did they create a certain logic that unless you are against this world, you will never be able to achieve the other world, the higher one? Why did they make such a division between this world and that world? There is a reason to it. If this world is not to be renounced but lived in its totality, then the priest is no longer needed. If this world has to be fought, renounced, you have to repress your natural instincts.

Then of course, you are going to be in a sick state. Against nature you can never be healthy, you can never be whole. You will always be split and schizophrenic. Naturally, you will need somebody to guide you, somebody to help you – you will need the priest. Religion up to now has been the profession of the priest. It has nothing to do with God, it has nothing to do with the other world. It has just one purpose: how to exploit you, how to enslave you. And the priests have made the whole world into a vast slave camp.

There are different religions; they are simply different slave camps. When you get fed up with one slave camp, you enter into another thinking that perhaps there will be freedom, but you are only changing jails. A Christian becomes a Hindu, a Hindu becomes a Christian: perhaps for the time being he may think that there is freedom, because of the newness. But soon he will be surprised that he is again in chains. Although the chains have different colors, are made of different metals, he has again been encaged into a certain theology. His mind is programmed again into lies he is being asked to believe.

When he was a Hindu he was asked to believe that Rama is God, that Krishna is the perfect incarnation of God. Now he is a Christian – Rama and Krishna are no longer relevant, they are no longer gods – now Jesus Christ is the only begotten son of God. Just the language differs, but deep down it is the same bondage. Just the other day I rejected one question, seeing that it must have come from a Hindu. The question was: ”Mohammed has nine wives, eats meat, and his whole life is nothing but a continuous war – killing people; Jesus eats meat, drinks wine. Gautam Buddha is against wine; Mahavira is against wine, against meat. How can we decide who is the right savior?”

But he left out the Hindus – and his name is Hindu. He had not mentioned that Rama is always pictured, sculpted, with a bow and arrows. He is not nonviolent. He fought a war; he must have killed thousands of people. He has the guts to ask why Mohammed had nine wives, but he does not ask why Krishna had sixteen thousand wives. The very question of how one is to choose who is the right savior is basically wrong. If you understand me, you are the only savior for yourself. There is no question of choice. Whenever you will choose, you will choose something wrong. Choice is wrong, so it doesn’t matter whom you are going to choose.

You are always asking which prison to choose. This is painted white, this is painted blue, this is painted green... which prison to choose? But can’t you choose freedom? Have you decided to remain a slave forever, a prisoner? And I can see the cunning mind. You are only asking about other religions, not mentioning your own religion. All the religions are criminals, more or less. There may be a difference of degrees, but they are criminals, for the simple reason that they have been promising you something which they cannot deliver. Otherwise, the whole world would have been saved long ago. So many saviors have been around, and I simply wonder how you escaped from being saved!

Every religion has saviors, prophets, gods, and the followers are in the same misery. Misery is neither Mohammedan nor Christian, nor Hindu nor Buddhist. Misery is simply misery. And everybody in the world is in misery, in suffering, in anguish. They have believed for thousands of years, but their belief has not helped at all. It is time enough. You have to declare a certain maturity, and you have to say to these saviors and these prophets and their representatives, ”Enough is enough. Now close the doors of all your shops. We are not interested in being saved, we are interested in being totally alive.”

It is total living that is going to save you, and all these religions have been cutting your life: this is wrong, that is wrong...making your life more miserable, making your life nothing but a guilt, full of wounds. Naturally, when you are guilty, you go to the church, you go to the mosque, you go to the synagogue; you ask the priest, you ask the minister, you ask the rabbi to help you, because in your deep darkness – which they are responsible for creating – you are so helpless, you need somebody to protect you, somebody to help you, somebody to show you the light. You are in such a desperate need that you don’t ever think whether the priest knows anything more than you, or that he is just a paid servant.

It happened in Ramakrishna’s life....
One sudra woman – sudras are the lowest caste of Hindus, reduced almost to inhuman beings. Cows are more respected, and human beings are not even that much respected. The woman was a queen, but she was a sudra. She had enough money. She could not go to any temple, although she was the queen. And the story is not very old, just one hundred years old. She made a beautiful temple in Dakshineshwar, near Calcutta, so that she could worship. But then a problem arose: no priest was willing to worship in her temple. The temple also became untouchable.

The god inside the temple also became untouchable because an untouchable woman had made the temple – strange logic. The woman had not even touched the temple – and all the temples are made by untouchables. The bricks are made by them, everything that a temple needs for its construction is made by the lowest untouchable class, but no temple is untouchable. Even the statues of the gods are carved by untouchables – stonecutters – but those gods are not untouchables.

And this woman had simply used her money... Now can you say because the money comes from an untouchable, it becomes untouchable? Money passes through thousands of hands. That’s why it’s other name is currency – it is always moving, it is a current. The notes that you have in your pocket may have moved through thousands of hands. Many untouchable people, Mohammedans, Christians, may have touched them. They may be carrying all kinds of diseases, because people who have tuberculosis, who have cancer, who have AIDS, may have used them.

In fact, the whole system of currency is absolutely unhygienic and it should be changed. It is unscientific. You should have credit cards which belong to you and remain with you and that don’t change hands. Currency is simply ugly, and it may be spreading many diseases. But no medical experts are raising their voices against it. But in Dakshineshwar, Rani Rukmani Devi’s temple remained empty, because no brahmin was ready to worship in it. She searched all over Bengal, and this young man, Ramakrishna – he was only twenty years old – said, ”There is no problem. I will come.”

His whole society condemned him. People told him, ”You are destroying yourself. You will be expelled from brahmin status. You are falling down. You are becoming an untouchable.” He said, ”I don’t care, but I cannot see one god remaining unworshipped. I am ready to risk myself, but I cannot risk that poor god.” Against everybody – against his family, against everybody – he went, but he was a strange person. He started worshipping. Rani Rukmani was really a graceful woman, very wise. Even though the temple started with a priest, she never entered the temple.

She would always come, remain outside where people leave their shoes, sit there – and she was the queen – and just watch from the door, the worship, Ramakrishna dancing, singing... But the problem was that sometimes Ramakrishna would sing for hours and dance for hours. All the other people who had come would leave – he would continue alone. And sometimes he would not even open the doors of the temple, he would put a lock on the door. Rani Rukmani called him and asked, ”What is the matter? Sometimes you worship for hours.

I have heard that some days you worship the whole day, and sometimes for days you don’t open the temple.” He said, ”It is between me and my god. Nobody has to interfere. When he is graceful to me, I am graceful to him. When he starts behaving rudely, then I give him a lesson! Then I tell him, ‘Remain without food for two or three days and you will come to your senses.’ Rani Rukmani Devi said, ”What are you talking about? It is just a stone statue.” Ramakrishna said, ”If it was just a stone statue, I would not have lost my caste.

Against the whole society I would not have come. To me it is not.” Rani said, ”And I have also heard that the food you prepare to offer to the god – first you taste it. That is against all scriptures. You have to offer it first to the god, then it can be distributed to the devotees and then you can take it. But you are not supposed to taste it first.”

He said, ”You can take your temple and I resign from it, because I know perfectly – my mother used to taste first before she would give anything to me. And when I asked her why she was doing that, she said, ‘If it is not good, I will not give it to you.’ How can I do otherwise? I don’t care about your scriptures; I don’t know them. I have learned only from my mother that if there is love, love cannot give something which is not tasteful. First I have to taste it, and then only can I offer it.” Now this man, Ramakrishna, is expelled from Brahmanism, and you will not find another brahmin of the same status, of the same insight.

He was not there just to get some salary. He was there really to worship, and worship is a love affair. It knows no other rules except love. Love is decisive, not any other law. So it is not a question of whom you have to choose, the question is, are you going to love existence, are you going to love existence as divine? Then it does not matter in which religion you are born. All those things become unnecessary. You have found the essential core. And if you are going to decide, you will never be able to decide. For example, no Jaina is going to accept Christ as enlightened, for the simple reason that it is inconceivable according to the Jaina perception that any enlightened man will drink alcohol.

When you are enlightened, you have tasted the ultimate ecstasy – now what can alcohol give to you? Alcohol is for miserable people to forget their misery. Alcohol helps you to forget something. You want to forget misery and suffering, but nobody wants to forget blissfulness, ecstasy. If an ecstatic person drinks alcohol, he will forget all about it. No meditator is going to drink alcohol. That is simply illogical, unscientific. So no Jaina, no Buddhist, is going to agree that Jesus is enlightened. But on the other hand, the Christian also has questions, because Buddha neither served the poor nor helped the sick to become healthy, nor did Mahavira raise the dead back to life.

They had no concern at all for other people. According to the Christian attitude, these people are utterly selfish, they are simply meditating for their own enlightenment. While millions of people are dying, starving, or sick, they are not doing anything for them. How can these people be enlightened if they don’t have compassion, service, as their prayer? If they can’t serve others, it is certain they don’t see the divine in others. You will be caught into such difficult arguments that you will not be able to choose – but there is no need at all. The very need to choose is wrong.

Next Page Continued (Trust in nature that wherever it is taking you, there is your home)

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