Osho on How to Live
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
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
Any religion that teaches you condemnation of life is
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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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