Osho - Vegetarianism is of immense help in Meditation
Osho - Pythagoras' contribution to Western Philosophy
is immense. It is incalculable. For the first time he introduced
vegetarianism to the West. The idea of vegetarianism is of immense
value; it is based on great reverence for life. The modern mind can
understand it far better now we know that all forms of life are
interrelated, interdependent. Man is not an island: man exists in an
infinite web of millions of forms of life and existence. We exist in a
chain, we are not separate. And to destroy other animals is not only
ugly, unaesthetic, inhuman -- it is also unscientific. We are destroying
our own foundation.
Life exists as one organic unity. Man can exist only as part of this
orchestra. Just think of man without birds and without animals and
without fish -- that life will be very very boring; it will lose all
complexity, variety, richness, colour. The forests will be utterly
empty, the cuckoo will not call, and the birds will not fly, and the
water will look very sad without the fish. Life in its infinite forms
exists as one organic unity. We are part of it: the part should feel
reverence for the whole. That is the idea of vegetarianism. It simply
means: don't destroy life. It simply means: life is God -- avoid
destroying it, otherwise you will be destroing the very ecology.
And it has something very scientific behind it. It was not an accident
that all the religions that were born in India are basically vegetarian,
and all the religions that were born outside India are non-vegetarian.
But the highest peaks of religious consciousness were known in India and
nowhere else. Vegetarianism functioned as a purification. When you eat
animals you are more under the law of necessity. You are heavy, you
gravitate more towards the earth. When you are a vegetarian you are
light and you are more under the law of grace, under the law of power,
and you start gravitating towards the sky.
Your food is not just food: it is you. What you eat, you become. If you
eat something which is fundamentally based on murder, on violence, you
cannot rise above the law of necessity. You will remain more or less an
animal. The human is born when you start moving above the animals, when
you start doing something to yourself which no animal can do.
Vegetarianism is a conscious effort, a deliberate effort, to get out of
the heaviness that keeps you tethered to the earth so that you can fly
-- so that the flight from the alone to the alone becomes possible.
The lighter the food, the deeper goes the meditation. The grosser the
food. then meditation becomes more and more difficult. I am not saying
that meditation is impossible for a non-vegetarian -- it is not
impossible, but it is unnecessarily difficult. It is like a man who is
going to climb a mountain, and he goes on carrying many rocks. It is
possible that even when you are carrying rocks you may reach to the
mountain peak, but it creates unnecessary trouble. You could have thrown
those rocks, you could have unburdened yourself, and the climb would
have been easier, far more pleasant.
The intelligent person will not carry rocks when he is going to the
mountain, will not carry anything unnecessary. And the higher he moves,
the lighter and lighter he will become. Even if he is carrying
something, he will drop it. When Edmund Hillary and Tenzing reached
Everest for the first time, they had to drop everything on the way --
because the higher they moved, the more difficult it was to carry
anything. Even very essential things were dropped. Just to carry
yourself is more than enough.
Vegetarianism is of immense help. It changes your chemistry. When you
eat and live on animals.... The first thing: whenever an animal is
killed the animal is angry, afraid -- naturally. When you kill an
animal... just think of yourself being killed. What will be the state of
your consciousness? What will be your psychology? All kinds of poisons
will be released in your body, because when you are angry a certain kind
of poison is released into your blood. When you are afraid, again a
certain other kind of poison is released into your blood. And when you
are being killed, that is the utmost in fear, anger. All the glands in
your body release all their poison.
And man goes on living on that poisoned meat. If it keeps you angry,
violent, aggressive, it is not strange; it is natural. Whenever you live
on killing, you don't have any respect for life; you are inimical to
life. And the person who is inimical to life cannot move into prayer --
because prayer means reverence for life.
And one who is inimical to God's creatures cannot be very friendly
towards God either. If you destroy Picasso's paintings, you cannot be
very respectful towards Picasso -- it is impossible. All the creatures
belong to God. God lives in them, God breathes in them, they are HIS
manifestation, just as you are. They are brothers and sisters.
When you see an animal if the idea of brotherhood does not arise in you,
you don't know what prayer is, you will never know what prayer is. And
the very idea that just for food, just for taste, you can destroy life,
is so ugly. It is impossible to believe that man goes on doing it.
Pythagoras was the first to introduce vegetarianism to the West. It is
of profound depth for man to learn how to live in friendship with
nature, in friendship with creatures. That becomes the foundation. And
only on that foundation can you base your prayer, your meditativeness.
You can watch it in yourself: when you eat meat, meditation will be
found to be more and more difficult.
Buddha was born in a non-vegetarian family. He was a KSHATRIYA --
belonged to the warrior race -- but the experience of meditation slowly
slowly transformed him into a vegetarian. It was his inner
understanding: whenever he ate meat, meditation was more difficult;
whenever he avoided meat, meditation was easier. It was just a simple
You will be surprised to know that the greatest vegetarians in the world
have been Jainas -- but all their twenty-four Masters were born into
families of non-vegetarians. They were all warriors; they were brought
up as fighters. All the twenty-four Masters of the Jainas were
What happened? Why did these people who were brought up, conditioned
from their very beginning to eat meat, create one day the greatest
movement in the world for vegetarianism? Just because of their
experiments with meditation.
It is an unavoidable fact that if you want to meditate, if you want to
become thoughtless, if you want to become light -- so light that the
earth cannot pull you downwards, so light that you start levitating, so
light that the sky becomes available to you -- then you have to move
from non-vegetarian conditioning to the freedom of vegetarianism.
Vegetarianism has nothing to do with religion: it is something basically
scientific. It has nothing to do with morality, but it has much to do
with aesthetics. It is unbelievable that a man of sensitivity,
awareness, understanding, love, can eat meat. And if he can eat meat
then something is missing he is still unconscious somewhere of what he
is doing, unconscious of the implications of his acts.
But Pythagoras was not heard, not believed -- on the contrary, he was
ridiculed, persecuted. And he had brought one of the greatest treasures
from the East to the West. He had brought a great experiment -- if he
had been heard, the West would have been a totally different world.
The problem that has arisen today, that we have destroyed nature, would
never have arisen. If Pythagoras had become the foundation for the
Western consciousness, there would not have been these great World Wars.
He would have changed the whole course of history. He tried hard, he did
whatsoever HE could -- it is not his fault. But people are blind, people
are deaf; they can't hear a thing, they can't understand a thing. And
they are not ready to change their habits.
People live in their habits, mechanically they live. And he had brought
a message of becoming aware. Great meditative energy would have been
released in the West. It would have become impossible to produce Adolf
Hitlers and Mussolinis and Stalins. It would have been a totally
different world. But still the same old habit persists.
We cannot change human consciousness unless we start by changing the
human body. When you eat meat you are absorbing the animal in you -- and
the animal has to be transcended. Avoid! If you really want to go higher
and higher, if you really want to go to the sunlit peaks of your
consciousness, if you really want to know God, then you will have to
change in every possible way.
You will have to look all around your life. you will have to observe
each small habit in detail -- because sometimes a VERY small thing can
change your whole life. Sometimes it may be a very SIMPLE thing, and it
can change your life SO totally that it looks almost unbelievable.
Try vegetarianism and you will be surprised: meditation becomes far
easier. Love becomes more subtle, loses its grossness -- becomes more
sensitive but less sensuous, becomes more prayerful and less sexual. And
your body also starts taking on a different vibe. You become more
graceful, softer, more feminine, less aggressive, more receptive.
Vegetarianism is an alchemical change in you. It creates the space in
which the baser metal can be transformed into gold.
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