Archive for the ‘The Art of Dying’ Category

Audio for Art of Dying part 1 (click to play or right click to download)

Death is a door, it is not a stopping. Awareness moves but your body remains at the door – just as you have come here and left your shoes at the door. The body is left outside the temple, and your awareness enters the temple. It is the most subtle phenomenon, life is nothing before it. Basically life is just a preparation for dying, and only those are wise who learn in their life how to die. If you don’t know how to die you have missed the whole meaning of life: it is a preparation, it is a training, it is a discipline.

Life is not the end, it is just a discipline to learn the art of dying. But you are afraid, you are scared, at the very word death you start trembling. That means you have not yet known life, because life never dies. Life cannot die.

Somewhere you have become identified with the body, with the mechanism. The mechanism is to die, the mechanism cannot be eternal, because the mechanism depends on many things; it is a conditioned phenomenon. Awareness is unconditional, it doesn’t depend on anything. It can float like a cloud in the sky, it has no roots, it is not caused, it is never born so it can never die.

Whenever someone dies you have to be meditative near them, because a temple is just near and it is holy ground. Don’t be childish, don’t bring curiosities, be silent so you can watch and see. Something very very meaningful is happening – don’t miss the moment. And when death is there, why ask about it? Why not look at it? Why not watch it? Why not move with it a few steps?

From Osho, And the Flowers Showered, Chapter 5

Copyright © 2010 OSHO International Foundation, Switzerland. All Rights Reserved

Audio for Art of Dying part 2 (click to play or right click to download)

The first thing is that in this world, one who wants to know life must himself go through the experience of death. Except for this there is no other way.

To know life one has to learn the art of dying. And the one who is afraid of death will remain unacquainted with life also, because death is the innermost and the most mysterious center of life. Only those who enter into death consciously, with awareness and a welcoming heart, can know this life.

Everyone dies, but not everyone is able to know life just by dying. You have also died many times, and there is the fear that you will still be dying many times more. But death happens to you involuntarily: you do not want to die but you have to die. That is why death is a sorrow, a pain, an anguish. And the pain of death is so intense that the only way to bear it is to become unconscious. Hence, just before dying, you become unconscious, you go into a coma. Surgeons have discovered only recently that becoming unconscious is a way to avoid feeling intense pain – but nature has always known it. The mind goes into unconsciousness; consciousness is lost because of this fear and the pain of death.

You all die in unconsciousness. Many times you have died unconsciously, hence you have no memory of it. You have also been born many times, but unconsciously; and you have no memory of your birth either, so there is no question of remembering past births. This much is certain, that you have been born this time! – but you also have no memory of this birth.

To one whose death happens in unconsciousness, his birth also will happen in unconsciousness, because death and birth are simply two sides of the same coin. One who is unconscious on one side will be unconscious on the other side also. One who dies unconsciously is born unconsciously. That is why you have no memory of your birth. You have heard that you were born – your parents say so, your family says so. It is you who have been born but you don’t have any memory of your own birth. And everybody dies, but unconsciously. Hence you remain deprived of what can be learned from death.

Religion is the art of dying consciously. Religion is the science of entering into death in total understanding and awareness. And the person who enters death consciously, for him death disappears forever because by dying consciously he knows that he is not dying at all. Dying consciously, he knows that what is dying is the body – it is not more than when you discard old clothes – but his inner flame of consciousness is burning bright even in death; even the storm of death is unable to blow it out.

For the person who is awake and full of awareness in death, death does not exist. Death exists only for one who dies in unconsciousness. One who dies consciously, for him there is no death; for him, death becomes a door to the deathless, to the eternal.

From Osho, The Message Beyond Words, Chapter 1

Copyright © 2010 OSHO International Foundation, Switzerland. All Rights Reserved

Audio for Art of Dying part 3 (click to play or right click to download)

Once you are afraid of death you are bound to be afraid of life. That’s why I am talking about this Hasidic approach. The whole approach consists of methods, ways and means of how to die – the art of dying is the art of living also. Dying as an ego is being born as a non-ego; dying as a part is being born as a whole; dying as man is a basic step toward being born as a god.

But death is difficult, very difficult. Have you watched it? Except man, no animal can commit suicide. It is not possible for any animal even to think about committing suicide. Have you thought about it? Have you heard of any tree committing suicide, any animal committing suicide? No, only man, man’s intelligence, can make it possible that a man can commit suicide.

And I am not talking about ordinary suicide – because that is not really suicide, you simply change the body – I am talking of the ultimate suicide. Once you die the way I am teaching you to die, you will never be born again in life. You will disappear into the cosmos, you will not have any form anymore, you will become the formless.

I have heard:

The man was charged with trespassing on the farmer’s property and shooting quail. The Counsel for Defense tried to confuse the farmer.

“Now,” he asked, “are you prepared to swear that this man shot your quail?”

“I didn’t say he shot them,” was the reply. “I said I suspected him of doing it.”

“Ah, now we are coming to it. What made you suspect this man?”

“Well,” replied the farmer, “firstly, I caught him on my land with a shotgun. Secondly, I heard a gun go off and saw some quail fall. Thirdly, I found four quail in his pocket, and you can’t tell me them birds just flew in there and committed suicide.”

Only man is capable of committing suicide. That is the glory of man. Only man can be capable enough to think that life is not worth living, only man is capable enough to reflect that this life is simply futile. Ordinarily when people commit suicide, they don’t do it because they have understood life’s futility, they do it only because they have understood this life’s futility – and they are hoping that in another life somewhere else things will be better.

The spiritual suicide means that a man has come to understand that not only this life is futile, but life as such is futile. Then he starts thinking of how to get rid of being born again and again, how to get rid of getting into the tunnel of the body and of being confined and encaged; then he starts thinking of how to remain absolutely free without any form. This is what moksha is, this is what liberation is – or you can call it salvation.

From Osho, The Art of Dying, Chapter 6

Copyright © 2010 OSHO International Foundation, Switzerland. All Rights Reserved

Audio for Art of Dying part 4 (click to play or right click to download)

There are truths we come to know only by passing through them. The truth of death is one of these. But in order that one may know death, one needs to prepare while one is still alive. The preparation for death has to be done while one is still alive. One who fails to do so, dies a wrong death.

Living a wrong life may be forgiven, but dying wrongly can never be forgiven, because it is the ultimate point, it is the very quintessence, the finale of life. Some mistakes committed here and there in life may be overlooked, but a mistake at the last moment of life will become firmly and permanently established forever. And the interesting thing is, you can repent for the mistakes committed in life – they can be rectified – but there is no way one can rectify his mistake, repent and ask forgiveness for it after death. Death becomes the final seal. Hence, a life lived wrongly may be excused, but a wrong death cannot be.

Remember, how can one who has lived wrongly in the first place die rightly? After all, life is bound to come to an end; it is life which will ultimately reach a point from where it departs. In fact, whatsoever I was during my lifetime, I shall depart as the sum total of that at the final moment of death. At that moment everything in my life will stand before me cumulatively. At the moment of death I will be the sum of my whole life.

From Osho, And Now and Here, Chapter 12

Copyright © 2010 OSHO International Foundation, Switzerland. All Rights Reserved

Audio for Art of Dying part 5 (click to play or right click to download)

Of Voluntary Death

Many die too late and some die too early. Still the doctrine sounds strange: “Die at the right time.” Die at the right time: thus Zarathustra teaches. To be sure, he who never lived at the right time could hardly die at the right time! Better if he were never to be born! – thus I advise the superfluous. But even the superfluous make a great thing of their dying; yes, even the hollowest nut wants to be cracked. Everyone treats death as an important matter: but as yet death is not a festival. As yet, men have not learned to consecrate the fairest festivals. I shall show you the consummating death, which shall be a spur and a promise to the living. The man consummating his life dies his death triumphantly…. To die thus is the best death; but the second best is: to die in battle and to squander a great soul. But equally hateful to the fighter as to the victor is your grinning death, which comes creeping up like a thief – and yet comes as master. I commend to you my sort of death, voluntary death that comes to me because I wish it. And when shall I wish it? – he who has a goal and an heir wants death at the time most favorable to his goal and his heir…. Many a one grows too old even for his truths and victories; a toothless mouth has no longer the right to every truth. And everyone who wants glory must take leave of honor in good time and practice the difficult art of – going at the right time…. I wish preachers of speedy death would come! They would be the fitting storm and shakers of the trees of life! But I hear preached only slow death and patience with all “earthly things.” If one only remained in the desert and far from the good and just! Perhaps he would have learned to live and learned to love the earth – and laughter as well!… That your death may not be a blasphemy against man and the earth, my friends; that is what I beg from the honey of your soul. In your death, your spirit and your virtue should still glow like a sunset glow around the earth: otherwise yours is a bad death. Thus I want to die myself, that you friends may love the earth more for my sake; and I want to become earth again, that I may have peace in her who bore me. Truly, Zarathustra had a goal, he threw his ball: now may you friends be the heirs of my goal, I throw the golden ball to you. But best of all I like to see you, too, throwing on the golden ball, my friends! So I shall stay on earth a little longer: forgive me for it! …Thus spake Zarathustra. Death is the most misunderstood phenomenon. People have thought of death as the end of life. That is the first, basic misunderstanding. Death is not the end, but the beginning of a new life. Yes, it is an end of something that is already dead. It is also a crescendo of what we call life, although very few know what life is. They live, but they live in such ignorance that they never encounter their own life. And it is impossible for these people to know their own death, because death is the ultimate experience of this life, and the beginning experience of another. Death is the door between two lives; one is left behind, one is waiting ahead. There is nothing ugly about death; but man, out of his fear, has made even the word, death ugly and unutterable. People don’t like to talk about it. They won’t even listen to the word death. The fear has reasons. The fear arises because it is always somebody else who dies. You always see death from the outside, and death is an experience of the innermost being. It is just like watching love from the outside. You may watch for years, but you will not come to know anything of what love is. You may come to know the manifestations of love, but not love itself. We know the same about death. Just the manifestations on the surface – the breathing has stopped, the heart has stopped, the man as he used to talk and walk is no more there: just a corpse is lying there instead of a living body. These are only outer symptoms. Death is the transfer of the soul from one body to another body, or in cases when a man is fully awakened, from one body to the body of the whole universe. It is a great journey, but you cannot know it from the outside. From outside, only symptoms are available; and those symptoms have made people afraid. Those who have known death from inside lose all fear of death. Instead of death being an ugly and fearful thing, it changes into one of the purest, most silent, and most sublime experiences. You experience yourself for the first time without your prison, the body, an experience of absolute freedom…unhampered, uncaged. This kind of death can be known in many ways. One is the usual way – but then you will not be here to report about it. You are gone. You have experienced, but the experience has also gone with you. Fortunately, there are other ways in which you can experience exactly what death is, and yet remain alive. Love is one. In total love, when you are not holding anything back, a kind of death happens. You are no more body, you are no more mind, you are pure spirit. In meditation, the same experience happens of bodilessness, mindlessness, and yet of absolute consciousness, of absolute aliveness. That’s why lovers never feel afraid of death. If a lover feels afraid of death, that indicates he has not known love. The meditators never feel afraid of death. If the meditator feels afraid of death it means he has not gone deep into meditation. There is only one depth that has to be touched, whether through love or through meditation or through creativity. The depth is that you are no longer your physical body, and you are no longer your mental body either – just a pure awareness, a pure sky without any clouds, unbounded. Even a simple glimpse into it and death becomes a glorious experience. Zarathustra has a few very important things to say about it. Many die too late and some die too early. Still the doctrine sounds strange: “Die at the right time.” When he is saying, many die too late, he means they go on living meaninglessly, without any joy, without any song. Nothing blossoms in their life. It seems that they have simply forgotten how to die. They go on living, although life has no juice for them, no excitement, no ecstasy. But they are not brave enough to let the body drop. They live unnecessarily. They live like a burden on the earth. They live like parasites, uncreative, and not only uncreative but destructive, because they cannot live, they don’t know how to live. They are very jealous of those who are still singing, still dancing, still loving. They condemn all those who are living. The people who die too late are the condemners. They become saints, they become priests, they become holy, not because they are holy but because they are unable to live, and they don’t know how to die: they are in a limbo. And they have to find some excuse. And their excuse becomes a condemnation of the whole world. It is known about a Greek philosopher, Zeno, that he used to teach people that life is useless, meaningless, futile: the only intelligent thing a man can do is to commit suicide. Hundreds of his disciples committed suicide. He lived a long life himself; he died when he was over ninety. Somebody asked before he died, “How come your whole life you have been preaching to people that the only intelligent thing is to commit suicide? Why have you lived so long?” Zeno said, “I had to; otherwise, who would have told people that life is useless, meaningless. It was a torture to me, but still I went on living, just to save people from this meaningless, futile existence.” Great excuse! For himself to live, he finds an excuse. Remember it as a criterion: Whoever condemns life is crippled; has not developed a heart, has no roots; no flowers blossom in his being, and he cannot accept it that he is at fault. His revenge against life becomes renunciation. All the religions have been teaching, “Renounce life.” Who are these people who teach, “Renounce life?” They are the people who are not capable of living life, who don’t know the art of life. …and some die too early. Zarathustra does not mean that they actually die, he means that they go on living a posthumous life: they die at thirty and they are buried at seventy. For all those forty years, nothing happens in their life: it is utterly empty, a desert, where nothing grows and nothing is green. Not even a stream runs through their life with its songs, with its sounds. They are absolutely barren. Nothing is created by them, they don’t mother anything – a painting, poetry, music or dance. This is posthumous life. They died at thirty. The day you stop loving, the day you stop creating, the day you stop growing – in a metaphysical sense, you are dead. In a physical sense you may go on breathing, but your breathing cannot be synonymous with life. It is only vegetation: cabbages and cauliflowers, and the world is so full of cabbages and cauliflowers. Zarathustra says: Still the doctrine sounds strange; “Die at the right time.” One who has lived rightly, intensely and totally, is bound to die at the right time. His death is nothing but a ripening, a harvest. His death is nothing but a fulfillment. He lived so much, he loved so much, he used all his energy in being creative, he enjoyed so much, that a point comes where he wants to rest. His cup of life is full. There is no need to go on lingering on the earth. He has come to the place where he was destined to come. Die at the right time can be understood only by those who live, and live totally, without any inhibitions, naturally; not according to dead scriptures, but according to the living sources of their own being. They certainly reach a tremendous ecstasy of fulfillment; their death is a completion – the circle has become complete. Their death has brought them back to another birth. Unless you die at the right time, you will never experience the beauty of death. It will remain only a prejudice, an opinion, what you have heard people say about it. But you don’t have your own personal experience. For Zarathustra, death is the actualization of your whole potential. Now there is no point of being in the body. You can die joyously, with a smile on your face, with a tremendous mystery in your eyes. Your death will not be felt as untimely; almost 99.9 percent of deaths are untimely, either too late, or too early. The day Gautam Buddha died, early in the morning he said to his disciples, “It is more than enough. It is time for me to leave.” They could not understand what he meant; perhaps he meant to leave for another place. Buddha said, “You don’t understand, I mean I am going to leave the body. Find a beautiful place. I have lived beautifully, amongst the mountains, and with the trees and with the wild animals and the meditators.” He looked all around and he saw two saal trees, which are very beautiful trees, and very tall. They were almost like twins, standing side by side. Buddha said, “That place seems to be right. I will die there, just between these two saal trees.” The way he says it seems to be that death is simply a decision for him. For a man who has lived fully, death becomes a decision: it is up to him. Death does not come to him; he himself makes his body available for death. It is painful when death comes to you and takes away your body, and all your things are incomplete – your children are not grown up, your daughter was going to be married, your business was not going well. Death has knocked on your door, and you cannot welcome him. Even emperors cannot welcome death, because there is so much still to be invaded, conquered. Greed knows no limits. It goes on asking for more and more. That’s why death seems to be such an enemy. But to a man like Gautam Buddha it is simply a choice. He went between those two saal trees, sat there, and said to his disciples, “You will never see me again. This body has lived to its fullest; it needs to be retired; it needs to go into ultimate rest. But before I drop it, if you have any question, you should ask it. You may meet another awakened person…when and where is unpredictable.” But the disciples were crying. This was not a time to ask questions, and they said, “You have been answering for forty-two years, you have answered all our questions. You just relax, don’t be worried about us. You have shown us the path and we will follow it.” The story is beautiful: Buddha closed his eyes and said, “I have taken the first step – I am no more the body.” And then, “I have taken the second step – I am no more the mind. I have taken the third step – I am no more the heart. I have taken the fourth step – I have entered into my consciousness.” That very moment his breathing stopped, his heartbeat stopped. This is a totally different kind of death – so easy and so relaxed, so fulfilled, so grateful to existence. These are the same steps as those of meditation. That’s why I said, if you meditate you can experience death without dying: you can come back. It is a passage from the body to the mind, to the heart, to the being. Gautam Buddha died at the right time. But how many people can say that they are dying at the right time? It is never the right time. On all the graves you will find the inscription: “He died untimely.” You will not find a single grave with the inscription, “This man died timely.” Nobody would like that; even the dead person would stand up and say, “This is not right. You are condemning me to say that I died at the right time. I am dying and you are making a laughing stock of me.” But truthfully, dying at the right time is the most beautiful thing in the world. It is part of a long series of events in your life. To be sure, he who never lived at the right time could hardly die at the right time! You are alive. It is difficult to say anything about your death, whether you will die at the right time or not. But are you alive at the right time? Or are you continually missing the train? You always reach the platform when the train is gone; you see the last compartment leaving the platform. You are always either late, or too early, but never exactly at the right moment. The reason is that your mind either lives in the past…. Those who live in the past, in their memories, in all that dust that they have left behind on the road, they are always late. To be late becomes their routine, because they cannot be in the present, and to be at the right time means to be in the present. Then there are people who are living in the future. They are always planning for the tomorrows, what they are going to do tomorrow. They are always ahead of time. They have already missed the right time. This state of being in the past or in the future is so unconscious that almost everybody is divided into these two categories: the past-oriented and the future-oriented. It is very rare to find someone in the present, here, now. Only a person who lives every now, without being hindered by past or present or future, who simply lives in this very moment, not with an effort because the moment is very small – a slight effort and you are no more in it…. Unless you live very relaxedly you cannot live in the now. To live relaxedly, each moment of your life becomes so rich because you are totally there, every moment, with all your love, with all your intelligence, with all your being. Such a small moment becomes overflowing with your intelligence, with your love, with your very being. It becomes such a contentment. The secret is known; it is an open secret. You know that you always get only one single moment at a time. You don’t get two moments or three moments. If you can live one moment totally, you know the whole secret of life, because always you have only one moment, and you know how to live it. This kind of life is the only right life, and this kind of life can have a crescendo of a right death. Right death has to be earned by right living. But people are wandering everywhere – in the past, in the future, in memories, in dreams – just missing this small point that this present is the only life you have got. You cannot live your past, it is no more. You cannot live your future, it is not yet. Live that which is the only possibility: the present. In fact, past, future and present are divisions of our mind. Time knows only one tense and that is present. It is always present. Time knows only one place, and that is here. It is always now; it is never then. Those who don’t live at the right time cannot die at the right time either, because life and death are not separate. Either death will be an end of an unfulfilled life, of frustration, of despair, of anguish; or it will be a fulfillment of joy, of love, of gratitude, of prayer to the whole existence. Better if he were never to be born! …than not to learn the art of living, than not to reach to the right point of death. Zarathustra says: Better if he were never to be born! – thus I advise the superfluous. Those who don’t know life and don’t know death, are superfluous. They should not have been born; they have unnecessarily taken the trouble of being born. If you are born, if you are given the opportunity, then use it to its fullest. But even the superfluous make a great thing of their dying; yes, even the hollowest nut wants to be cracked. In fact, the more superfluous a man is, the greater the noise he makes: he wants to make his dying a great thing. He has missed life; only death has remained. I was very friendly with one chief minister, the first chief minister of Madhya Pradesh, an old man. He told me that his only prayer to God was that he should die as the chief minister. I said, “What will you gain by that? Death is death, whether you die as a beggar or as a chief minister.” He said, “You don’t understand. If I die as a chief minister my death will be celebrated as a royal state thing. There will be a few days of holiday; flags will be flown in my honor; my body will be carried on an army tank; and I will receive my last salutes from the soldiers.” I said to him, “It seems you have missed life; otherwise, who bothers when you are dead, whether your body gets salutes from soldiers, respects from flags, a royal reception, a week’s holiday in the government offices. What does it matter to you?” I have always remembered, although he became very old, he insisted on remaining the chief minister; and he remained the chief minister and he died as the chief minister. That was all that he was born for – to die as a chief minister, and all those eighty-five or ninety years in between were just empty. These are the superfluous – the presidents, the prime ministers. Have you ever thought about what is happening to Nixon, and what will happen to Ronald Reagan when he is no longer the president? He cannot be the president again; he has already lost it. People have forgotten Richard Nixon; people will forget Ronald Reagan. Once a person is in a prestigious post he clings to it; he does not want to be forgotten. You will be surprised to know: Before the Russian revolution the Prime Minister of Russia was a man named Karensky. He escaped when the revolutionaries took over the country and he lived in New York running a grocery store. He died in 1960, and up to 1960 nobody ever bothered that this grocery store owner, a poor man, was once one of the great prime ministers of one of the mightiest empires, Russia. Only when he died, a small news item appeared in the newspapers: “Karensky, who was the prime minister before the Russian revolution, has died.” Only his death made people aware that he was alive all this time. The superfluous man has no intrinsic value to his life. That’s why he needs something else to give it value – his money, his power, his prestige, something from the outside. Nothing from the outside can make your life richer; nor can it make your death richer. Only the inner, your interior being, your subjectivity, has the power to make your life a dance, and your death the last and the final and the greatest dance. Everyone treats death as an important matter: but as yet death is not a festival. Perhaps I am the only person, after the twenty-five centuries since Zarathustra, who has made death a festival. Only my people celebrate death; otherwise everywhere it is a mourning. Everywhere it has to be a mourning, because a life unfulfilled, unlived, a wastage…. What is there to celebrate? But if your life has been of love, of creativity, of sharing, of joy, if you have not left any part of your being unlived, your death needs to be a ceremony, a festival. As yet, men have not learned to consecrate the fairest festivals. I shall show you the consummating death, which shall be a spur and a promise to the living. The man consummating his life dies his death triumphantly. Death should be a triumph, a victory, a coming home. But for that you have to transform your whole life. You have to live differently – not like a Christian or a Hindu or a Mohammedan – but like a natural human being, without any fear and without any greed. Let this moment be enough unto itself. Don’t sacrifice it for something else in the future, and don’t waste it in remembering sweet past memories. Create this moment as sweet and as beautiful as you can; and this way, moment to moment, your life will become a garland of flowers. From Osho, Zarathustra: A God That Can Dance, Chapter 16 Copyright © 2010 OSHO International Foundation, Switzerland. All Rights Reserved

Audio for Art of Dying part 6 (click to play or right click to download)

Why do you prefer to call meditation the art of dying rather than calling it the art of growing?

Because I know your ego will like it very much if I called it the art of growing. The art of dying comes like a shock.

Let me tell you an anecdote.

One day Mulla Nasruddin saw a crowd gathered around a pond. A Moslem priest with a huge turban on his head had fallen into the water, and was calling for help. People were leaning over and saying, “Give me your hand, Reverend, give me your hand!” But the priest didn’t pay attention to their offer to rescue him. He kept wrestling with the water and shouting for help.

Finally Mulla Nasruddin stepped forward: “Let me handle this!” He stretched out his hand towards the priest and shouted at him, “Take my hand!” The priest grabbed Mulla’s hand and was hoisted out of the pond.

People were very surprised and asked Mulla for the secret of his strategy. “It is very simple,” he said. “I know this miser would not give anything to anyone, not even his hand. I know this miser would not give anything to anyone, so instead of saying, ‘Give me your hand’ I said, ‘Take my hand, your Reverence.’ And sure enough, he took it.”

I know you would like it to be called the art of growing. Then your ego would feel perfectly good: “So it is a question of growth; so I am going to remain and grow.” That’s what the ego always wants.

I have knowingly called it the art of dying. Meditation is the art of dying. Then your ego will be shocked.

And it is also truer to call it the art of dying, because your ego is not going to grow, your ego is going to die in meditation. These are the only two possibilities: either your ego goes on growing more, it becomes stronger, or, it disappears. If your ego goes on growing and becomes more and more strong, you are getting more and more into the mud. You are getting more and more into fetters, you are getting more and more into the imprisonment of it. You will be suffocated. Your whole life will become a hell.

The growth of the ego is a canceric growth. It is like cancer, it kills you. Meditation is not growth of the ego, it is death of the ego.

From Osho, The Art of Dying, Chapter 2

Copyright © 2010 OSHO International Foundation, Switzerland. All Rights Reserved

Audio for Art of Dying part 7 (click to play or right click to download)

And when you see that you have nothing to be saved, the fear of dying will immediately disappear – because who will die then? When there is nothing to be saved, then what is there to lose? The fear that something may be lost is based on the illusion that you have something. And you never even open the door and look in your house to see if there is something there. Perhaps it is because of this fear that you may see nothing there that you don’t look, because then you won’t be able to create even this great fuss of saving, of surviving, that you keep creating all the time. Then you will look very helpless. You may not have a safe deposit but you maintain a hubbub in case a theft occurs. That too creates an impression that something is there.

What is the fear of dying? Why is there so much fear in it? What will be lost in your dying? This is one of the deepest questions a seeker should be asking within himself: “If I die, what will be the loss? What will happen because of my dying? If I become nonexistent, what is this uneasiness in accepting that state of nonexistence?” – because there is no happiness in our existent state anyway. As I said earlier, there exists only a hope that perhaps some day there will be happiness. Whatever you are, you are in pain and misery with it; wherever you are, you are in pain and misery in it – and still you get anxious that you may lose it!

No, just die! Dying is the greatest art. And it is the one who has learned the art of dying who attains to the total celebration of life.

The moment you let go of yourself, the same moment all the life energies within you will be absorbed in a unique dance. As long as you are protecting yourself, the dance is not released because of the very protection. You are so much afraid that you cannot laugh. You are so much in fear that no flowers can bloom within you. You have gripped your own life with your own hands so tightly that your hands have become a death grip on your neck. You go on increasing the pressure in case you die – and this sense of dying you are feeling is because of your own hands. So a vicious circle is created.

A friend comes to me. He has a headache the whole day, so to get rid of the headache he drinks in the night. Because of the drinking, the headache next day begins early in the morning. Now what is to be done? When he meets me in the evening he says, “What to do? I will have to drink because there is this headache.” And when he meets me in the morning he complains: “How to get rid of this drinking? It brings a headache.”

This is exactly the situation of life. On one hand you create your own sufferings, on the other you want to be rid of the suffering. So what is this man’s desire now? I told him, “Your desire is that the drinking should continue but there should be no headache?”

He said, “You understand exactly my idea, this is exactly my desire.” But this is impossible.

Your desire too is similar, that you should remain and liberation should also happen. This is impossible. In your dying is the liberation. In your surviving is the bondage. You are the bondage, your not being is the liberation.

Enough for today.

From Osho, Nowhere To Go But In, Chapter 8

Copyright © 2010 OSHO International Foundation, Switzerland. All Rights Reserved

I too teach death.

Die, O yogi, die! Die, sweet is this dying.
Die this death that Gorakh embraced and awakened.

Gorakh says: I awakened it through dying.

You die too; you disappear too. Learn this art of dying. If you disappear, you can attain it. Someone who dies attains. Someone who wants to bargain for less than this is only deceiving himself.

We are starting off on a unique journey today. The statements of Gorakh are among those few rare statements in the history of mankind. Contemplate, understand, grasp, internalize, live…and let these sutras go on resonating within you.

Laughing, being playful – the knack of meditation.
Day and night, sharing divine inspiration,
He laughs, he plays, his mind untroubled.
This unwavering one is always with God.

Die, O yogi, die! Die, sweet is this dying.
Die this death that Gorakh embraced and awakened.

Enough for today.

From Osho, Die O Yogi Die, Chapter 1

Copyright © 2010 OSHO International Foundation, Switzerland. All Rights Reserved

Audio for Art of Dying part 9 (click to play or right click to download)

This is a temple of total ruin – kharabat. If you come close to me, remember, you are going to die.

Mohammed has said, “Die before you die.” That is a Sufi statement: die before you die. Death is coming, death will take you away, but that will not be a voluntary death. It will not be a surrender. You will be forced to die. A Sufi dies voluntarily; he dies in love. He does not wait for death to come, love is enough to die for. And to die in love is beautiful because to die in love is to go beyond death. Listen to Mohammed: die before you die.

If you can die here with me…I am a dead man. I have died. And all that I am teaching you is an art of dying so that you can move into the state of fana, you disappear. If you fulfill that condition of disappearing, God immediately rewards you with baka – being descends in you – and that being is eternal.

The door that you have to pass through is the door of love because only a lover is ready to die voluntarily. Nobody else can die voluntarily, only a lover, because the lover knows that death is not death, but the beginning of an eternal pilgrimage.

We are not creating a Kaaba here for idiots to circle, not a mosque for mobs to clamor in. We are creating a scientific energy field, where your energies can be transformed into their optimum potential. And when a man is really aflame with love, God has happened. And only with the happening of God can you be contented and can you be blissful. Only with the happening of God does misery disappear and do hells become non-existent.

God is already the case! But you have not been able to gather courage enough to die in love. Sufism will persuade you, will seduce you to die in love.

A Sufi mystic says:

l thought of You so often
that I completely became You.
Little by little You drew near
and slowly but slowly I passed away.

If you remember God…. And to remember God means to see God in the trees and the birds and the people and the animals. Wherever life is look for God, wherever existence is search for God, because only God is – La illaha ill Allah. So he can be found anywhere. He has to be found everywhere. Don’t look for God as a person, otherwise you will go on missing.

That’s why millions of people search for God but go on missing. They are searching for a certain image. God has no image; God is not a person. God is this wholeness, this totality. So don’t start looking for a certain personage, otherwise you will never find him, and, not finding him, you will start thinking there is no God. You started from a wrong vision.

From Osho, The Secret, Chapter 1

Copyright © 2010 OSHO International Foundation, Switzerland. All Rights Reserved

Audio for Art of Dying part 10 (click to play or right click to download)

The mystic dies voluntarily. The mystic dies before the actual death; he dies in meditation. Lovers know a little bit of it because fifty percent of love is death. That’s why love is very close to meditation. Lovers know something of meditativeness; unawares they have stumbled upon it. Lovers know silence, stillness. Lovers know timelessness, but they have stumbled upon it – it has not been their basic search.

The mystic goes into it very consciously, deliberately. Meditation is total death, voluntary death. One dies into oneself. Before death ever comes the mystic dies. He dies every day. Whenever he meditates he goes into death. He reaches to those heights, those depths, and, slowly, slowly, as meditation becomes natural, he starts living death. Then each moment of his life is also a moment of death. Each moment he dies to the past and remains fresh, because the moment you die to the past you become alive to the present.

He dies continuously and remains as fresh as dewdrops or lotus leaves in the early morning sun. His freshness, his youth, his timelessness, depend on the art of dying. And then when actual death comes he has nothing to fear, because he has known this death thousands of times. He is thrilled, enchanted; he dances! Joyously he wants to die. Death does not create fear in him; on the contrary, a tremendous attraction, a great pull.

And because he dies joyously he dies without becoming unconscious, and he knows the total secret of death. Knowing it, he has the master key that can unlock all the doors. He has the key that can open the door of God.

And now he knows that he is not a separate individual. The very idea of separation was stupid. The very idea of separation was there because he was not aware of death. You think yourself separate as an ego because you don’t know what death is. If you know death, the ego will evaporate. And the moment the ego evaporates you start feeling for the whole existence.

From Osho, The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol. 4, Chapter 7

Copyright © 2010 OSHO International Foundation, Switzerland. All Rights Reserved