One of the most important things to be understood
about man is that man is asleep. Even while he thinks he is awake, he is
not. His wakefulness is very fragile; his wakefulness is so tiny it
doesnít matter at all. His wakefulness is only a beautiful name but
You sleep in the night, you sleep in the day - from birth to death you go
on changing your patterns of sleep, but you never really awaken. Just by
opening the eyes donít befool yourself that you are awake. Unless the
inner eyes open - unless your inside becomes full of light, unless you can
see yourself, who you are - donít think that you are awake. That is the
greatest illusion man lives in. And once you accept that you are already
awake, then there is no question of making any effort to be awake.
The first thing to sink deep in your heart is that you are asleep, utterly
asleep. You are dreaming, day in, day out. You are dreaming sometimes with
open eyes and sometimes with closed eyes, but you are dreaming - you are a
dream. You are not yet a reality.
Of course in a dream whatsoever you do is meaningless. Whatsoever you
think is pointless, whatsoever you project remains part of your dreams and
never allows you to see that which is. Hence all the Buddha's have insisted
on only one thing: Awaken! Continuously, for centuries, their whole
teaching can be contained in a single phrase: Be awake. And they have been
devising methods, strategies; they have been creating contexts and spaces
and energy fields in which you can be shocked into awareness.
Yes, unless you are shocked, shaken to your very foundations, you will not
awaken. The sleep has been so long that it has reached to the very core of
your being; you are soaked in it. Each cell of your body and each fiber of
your mind have become full of sleep. It is not a small phenomenon. Hence
great effort is needed to be alert, to be attentive, to be watchful, to
become a witness. If all the Buddha's of the world agree on any one single
theme, this is it - that man as he is, is asleep, and man as he should be,
should be awake. Wakefulness is the goal and wakefulness is the taste of
all their teachings. Zarathustra, Lao Tzu, Jesus, Buddha, Bahauddin, Kabir,
Nanak - all the awakened ones have been teaching one single themeÖ in
different languages, in different metaphors, but their song is the same.
Just as the sea tastes of salt - whether the sea is tasted from the north
or from the east or from the west, the sea always tastes of salt - the
taste of buddhahood is wakefulness.
But you will not make any effort if you go on believing that you are
already awake. Then there is no question of making any effort - why
And you have created religions, gods, prayers, rituals, out of your dreams
- your gods are as much part of your dreams as anything else. Your
politics is part of your dreams, your religions are part of your dreams,
your poetry, your painting, your art - whatsoever you do, because you are
asleep, you do things according to your own state of mind.
Your gods cannot be different from you. Who will create them? Who will
give them shape and color and form? You create them, you sculpt them; they
have eyes like you, noses like you - and minds like you! The Old Testament
God says, "I am a very jealous God!" Now who has created this
God who is jealous? God cannot be jealous, and if God is jealous then what
is wrong in being jealous? If even God is jealous, why should you be
thought to be doing something wrong when you are jealous? Jealousy is
The Old Testament God says, "I am a very angry God! If you donít
follow my commandments, I will destroy you. You will be thrown into
hellfire for eternity. And because I am very jealous," God says,
"donít worship anybody else. I cannot tolerate it." Who
created such a God? It must be out of our own jealousy, out of our own
anger, that you have created this image. It is your projection, it is your
shadow. It echoes you and nobody else. And the same is the case with all
gods of all religions.
It is because of this that Buddha never talked about God. He said,
"What is the point of talking about God to people who are asleep?
They will listen in their sleep. They will dream about whatsoever is said
to them, and they will create their own gods - which will be utterly
false, utterly impotent, utterly meaningless. It is better not to have
Thatís why Buddha is not interested in talking about gods. His whole
interest is in waking you up.
It is said about a Buddhist enlightened master who was sitting by the side
of the river one evening, enjoying the sound of the water, the sound of
the wind passing through the trees.... A man came and asked him, "Can
you tell me in a single word the essence of your religion?"
The master remained silent, utterly silent, as if he had not heard the
question. The questioner said, "Are you deaf or something?"
The master said, "I have heard your question, and I have answered it
too! Silence is the answer. I remained silent - that pause, that interval,
was my answer."
The man said, "I cannot understand such a mysterious answer. Canít
you be a little more clear?"
So the master wrote on the sand "meditation," in small letters
with his finger. The man said, "I can read now. It is a little better
than at first. At least I have got a word to ponder over. But canít you
make it a little more clear?" The master wrote again,
"MEDITATION." Of course this time he wrote in bigger letters.
The man was feeling a little embarrassed, puzzled, offended, angry. He
said, "Again you write meditation? Canít you be a little clear for
And the master wrote in very big letters, capital letters,
"M E D I T
A T I O N."
The man said, "You seem to be mad!"
The master said, "I have already come down very much. The first
answer was the right answer, the second was not so right, the third even
more wrong, the fourth has gone very wrong" - because when you write
"MEDITATION" with capital letters you have made a god out of it.
Thatís why the word God is written with capital íGí. Whenever you
want to make something supreme, ultimate, you write it with a capital
letter. The master said, "I have already committed a sin." He
erased all those words he had written and he said, "Please listen to
my first answer - only then I am true."
Silence is the space in which one awakens, and the noisy mind is the space
in which one remains asleep. If your mind continues chattering, you are
asleep. Sitting silently, if the mind disappears and you can hear the
chattering birds and no mind inside, a silence...this whistle of the bird,
the chirping, and no mind functioning in your head, utter silence...then
awareness wells up in you. It does not come from the outside, it arises in
you, it grows in you. Otherwise remember: you are asleep.
by Permission of Osho International
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