March 21 - the day Osho become enlightened


What it feels like to become enlightened
From the book: The Discipline of Transcendence by Osho

I am reminded of the fateful day of 21st March, 1953. For many lives I had been working ‒ working upon myself, struggling, doing whatsoever can be done ‒ and nothing was happening.

Now I understand why nothing was happening. The very effort was the barrier, the very ladder was preventing, the very urge to seek was the obstacle. Not that one can reach without seeking. Seeking is needed, but then comes a point when seeking has to be dropped. The boat is needed to cross the river but then comes a moment when you have to get out of the boat and forget all about it and leave it behind. Effort is needed, without effort nothing is possible. And also only with effort, nothing is possible.

Just before 21st March, 1953, seven days before, I stopped working on myself. A moment comes when you see the whole futility of effort. You have done all that you can do and nothing is happening. You have done all that is humanly possible. Then what else can you do? In sheer helplessness one drops all search.

And the day the search stopped, the day I was not seeking for something, the day I was not expecting something to happen, it started happening. A new energy arose ‒ out of nowhere. It was not coming from any source. It was coming from nowhere and everywhere. It was in the trees and in the rocks and the sky and the sun and the air ‒ it was everywhere. And I was seeking so hard, and I was thinking it is very far away. And it was so near and so close.

Just because I was seeking I had become incapable of seeing the near. Seeking is always for the far, seeking is always for the distant ‒ and it was not distant. I had become far-sighted, I had lost the nearsightedness. The eyes had become focussed on the far away, the horizon, and they had lost the quality to see that which is just close, surrounding you.

The day effort ceased, I also ceased. Because you cannot exist without effort, and you cannot exist without desire, and you cannot exist without striving.

The phenomenon of the ego, of the self, is not a thing, it is a process. It is not a substance sitting there inside you; you have to create it each moment. It is like pedalling bicycle. If you pedal it goes on and on, if you don’t pedal it stops. It may go a little because of the past momentum, but the moment you stop pedalling, in fact the bicycle starts stopping. It has no more energy, no more power to go anywhere. It is going to fall and collapse.

...

You cannot stop desire; you can only understand it. In the very understanding is the stopping of it. Remember, nobody can stop desiring, and the reality happens only when desire stops.

The desire has to be understood. You can understand it, you can just see the futility of it. A direct perception is needed, an immediate penetration is needed. Look into desire, just see what it is, and you will see the falsity of it, and you will see it is non-existential. And desire drops and something drops simultaneously within you.

Desire and the ego exist in cooperation, they coordinate. The ego cannot exist without desire, the desire cannot exist without the ego. Desire is projected ego, ego is introjected desire. They are together, two aspects of one phenomenon.

The day desiring stopped, I felt very hopeless and helpless. No hope because no future. Nothing to hope because all hoping has proved futile, it leads nowhere. You go in rounds. It goes on dangling in front of you, it goes on creating new mirages, it goes on calling you, 'Come on, run fast, you will reach.' But howsoever fast you run you never reach.

...

In your hopelessness is the only hope, and in your desirelessness is your only fulfillment, and in your tremendous helplessness suddenly the whole existence starts helping you.

It is waiting. When it sees that you are working on your own, it does not interfere. It waits. It can wait infinitely because there is no hurry for it. It is eternity. The moment you are not on your own, the moment you drop, the moment you disappear, the whole existence rushes towards you, enters you. And for the first time things start happening.

Seven days I lived in a very hopeless and helpless state, but at the same time something was arising. When I say hopeless I don't mean what you mean by the word hopeless. I simply mean there was no hope in me. Hope was absent. I am not saying that I was hopeless and sad. I was happy in fact, I was very tranquil, calm and collected and centered. Hopeless, but in a totally new meaning. There was no hope, so how could there be hopelessness. Both had disappeared.

The hopelessness was absolute and total. Hope had disappeared and with it its counterpart, hopelessness, had also disappeared. It was a totally new experience ‒ of being without hope. It was not a negative state. I have to use words ‒ but it was not a negative state. It was absolutely positive. It was not just absence, a presence was felt. Something was overflowing in me, overflooding me.

And when I say I was helpless, I don't mean the word in the dictionary-sense. I simply say I was selfless. That's what I mean when I say helpless. I have recognized the fact that I am not, so I cannot depend on myself, so I cannot stand on my own ground ‒ there was no ground underneath. I was in an abyss… bottomless abyss. But there was no fear because there was nothing to protect. There was no fear because there was nobody to be afraid.

...

The whole day was strange, stunning, and it was a shattering experience. The past was disappearing, as if it had never belonged to me, as if I had read about it somewhere, as if I had dreamed about it, as if it was somebody else's story I have heard and somebody told it to me. I was becoming loose from my past, I was being uprooted from my history, I was losing my autobiography. I was becoming a non-being, what Buddha calls anatta. Boundaries were disappearing, distinctions were disappearing.

Mind was disappearing; it was millions of miles away. It was difficult to catch hold of it, it was rushing farther and farther away, and there was no urge to keep it close. I was simply indifferent about it all. It was okay. There was no urge to remain continuous with the past.

By the evening it became so difficult to bear it ‒ it was hurting, it was painful. It was like when a woman goes into labour when a child is to be born, and the woman suffers tremendous pain ‒ the birth pangs.

I used to go to sleep in those days near about twelve or one in the night, but that day it was impossible to remain awake. My eyes were closing, it was difficult to keep them open. Something was very imminent, something was going to happen. It was difficult to say what it was ‒ maybe it is going to be my death ‒ but there was no fear. I was ready for it. Those seven days had been so beautiful that I was ready to die, nothing more was needed. They had been so tremendously blissful, I was so contented, that if death was coming, it was welcome.

...

I went to sleep. It was a very strange sleep. The body was asleep, I was awake. It was so strange ‒ as if one was torn apart into two directions, two dimensions; as if the polarity has become completely focused, as if I was both the polarities together… the positive and negative were meeting, sleep and awareness were meeting, death and life were meeting. That is the moment when you can say 'the creator and the creation meet.'

It was weird. For the first time it shocks you to the very roots, it shakes your foundations. You can never be the same after that experience; it brings a new vision to your life, a new quality.

Near about twelve my eyes suddenly opened ‒ I had not opened them. The sleep was broken by something else. I felt a great presence around me in the room. It was a very small room. I felt a throbbing life all around me, a great vibration ‒ almost like a hurricane, a great storm of light, joy, ecstasy. I was drowning in it.

It was so tremendously real that everything became unreal. The walls of the room became unreal, the house became unreal, my own body became unreal. Everything was unreal because now there was for the first time reality.

When Berkley in the West said that the world is unreal, he was walking with one of his friends, a very logical man; the friend was almost a skeptic. He took a stone from the road and hit Berkley's feet hard. Berkley screamed, blood rushed out, and the skeptic said, 'Now, the world is unreal? You say the world is unreal? ‒ then why did you scream? This stone is unreal? ‒ then why did you scream? Then why are you holding your leg and why are you showing so much pain and anguish on your face. Stop this? It is all unreal.

...

In a dream it is so difficult to remember that this is a dream. But in the morning it is so easy. What happens? You are the same person. In the dream there is only one reality. How to compare? How to say it is unreal? Compared to what? It is the only reality. Everything is as unreal as everything else so there is no comparison. In the morning when you open your eyes another reality is there. Now you can say it was all unreal. Compared to this reality, dream becomes unreal.

There is an awakening ‒ compared to THAT reality of THAT awakening, this whole reality becomes unreal.

That night for the first time I understood the meaning of the word maya. Not that I had not known the word before, not that I was not aware of the meaning of the word. As you are aware, I was also aware of the meaning ‒ but I had never understood it before. How can you understand without experience?

That night another reality opened its door, another dimension became available. Suddenly it was there, the other reality, the separate reality, the really real, or whatsoever you want to call it ‒ call it god, call it truth, call it dhamma, call it tao, or whatsoever you will. It was nameless. But it was there ‒ so opaque, so transparent, and yet so solid one could have touched it. It was almost suffocating me in that room. It was too much and I was not yet capable of absorbing it.

A deep urge arose in me to rush out of the room, to go under the sky ‒ it was suffocating me. It was too much! It will kill me! If I had remained a few moments more, it would have suffocated me ‒ it looked like that.

...

For the first time I was not alone, for the first time I was no more an individual, for the first time the drop has come and fallen into the ocean. Now the whole ocean was mine, I was the ocean. There was no limitation. A tremendous power arose as if I could do anything whatsoever. I was not there, only the power was there.

That's what I mean when I say again and again 'float with the river, don't push the river'. I was relaxed, I was in a let-go. I was not there. IT was there, call it god ‒ god was there.

I would like to call it IT, because god is too human a word, and has become too dirty by too much use, has become too polluted by so many people. Christians, Hindus, Mohammedans, priests and politicians ‒ they all have corrupted the beauty of the word. So let me call it IT. IT was there and I was just carried away… carried by a tidal wave.

...

It is difficult to say how long I was in that state. When I went back home it was four o'clock in the morning, so I must have been there by clock time at least three hours ‒ but it was infinity. It had nothing to do with clock time. It was timeless.

Those three hours became the whole eternity, endless eternity. There was no time, there was no passage of time; it was the virgin reality ‒ uncorrupted, untouchable, unmeasurable.

And that day something happened that has continued ‒ not as a continuity ‒ but it has still continued as an undercurrent. Not as a permanency ‒ each moment it has been happening again and again. It has been a miracle each moment.

...

But I have never been in the body again, I am just hovering around the body. And that's why I say it has been a tremendous miracle. Each moment I am surprised I am still here, I should not be. I should have left any moment, still I am here. Every morning I open my eyes and I say, 'So, again I am still here?' Because it seems almost impossible. The miracle has been a continuity.

Just the other day somebody asked a question ‒ 'Osho, you are getting so fragile and delicate and so sensitive to the smells of hair oils and shampoos that it seems we will not be able to see you unless we all go bald.' By the way, nothing is wrong with being bald ‒ bald is beautiful. Just as 'black is beautiful', so 'bald is beautiful'. But that is true and you have to be careful about it.

...

Since that day the world is unreal. Another world has been revealed. When I say the world is unreal I don't mean that these trees are unreal. These trees are absolutely real ‒ but the way you see these trees is unreal. These trees are not unreal in themselves ‒ they exist in god, they exist in absolute reality ‒ but the way you see them you never see them; you are seeing something else, a mirage.

You create your own dream around you and unless you become awake you will continue to dream. The world is unreal because the world that you know is the world of your dreams. When dreams drop and you simply encounter the world that is there, then the real world.

...

But right now whatsoever you see is not the truth, it is a projected lie. That is the meaning of a mirage. And once you see, even for a single split moment, if you can see, if you can allow yourself to see, you will find immense benediction present all over, everywhere ‒ in the clouds, in the sun, on the earth.

This is a beautiful world. But I am not talking about your world, I am talking about my world. Your world is very ugly, your world is your world created by a self, your world is a projected world. You are using the real world as a screen and projecting your own ideas on it.

When I say the world is real, the world is tremendously beautiful, the world is luminous with infinity, the world is light and delight, it is a celebration, I mean my world ‒ or your world if you drop your dreams.

When you drop your dreams you see the same world as any Buddha has ever seen. When you dream you dream privately. Have you watched it? ‒ that dreams are private. You cannot share them even with your beloved. You cannot invite your wife to your dream ‒ or your husband, or your friend. You cannot say, 'Now, please come tonight in my dream. I would like to see the dream together.' It is not possible. Dream is a private thing, hence it is illusory, it has no objective reality.

...

But first you have to do all that you can do, and then you have to learn non-doing. The doing of the non-doing is the greatest doing, and the effort of effortlessness is the greatest effort.

...

You are your undoing, you are the barrier. Meditation is when the meditator is not. When the mind ceases with all its activities ‒ seeing that they are futile ‒ then the unknown penetrates you, overwhelms you.

The mind must cease for god to be. Knowledge must cease for knowing to be. You must disappear, you must give way. You must become empty, then only you can be full.

That night I became empty and became full. I became non-existential and became existence. That night I died and was reborn. But the one that was reborn has nothing to do with that which died, it is a discontinuous thing. On the surface it looks continuous but it is discontinuous. The one who died, died totally; nothing of him has remained.

...

That night the death was total. It was a date with death and god simultaneously.

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