Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Osho, born Chandra Mohan Jain, also known as Acharya Rajneesh and Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh NULL

Indian Mystic, Guru and Spiritual Teacher, Professor of Philosophy, advocated more open attitude toward sexuality

"When you love a person all fear disappears. And when you are afraid all love disappears."

"When ambition enters, creativity disappears -- because an ambitious man cannot be creative, because an ambitious man cannot love any activity for its own sake. While he is painting he is looking ahead; he is thinking, 'When am I going to get a Nobel Prize?' When he is writing a novel, he is looking ahead. He is always in the future -- and a creative person is always in the present."

"The whole society depends on creating ambition in you. Ambition means a conflict, ambition means that whatsoever you are, you are wrong -- you have to be somewhere else. Wherever you are, you are wrong -- you have to be somewhere else. A constant madness to be somewhere else, to be somebody else, is what ambition is."

"Love says respect the other as an end unto himself or herself; never use the other as a means. Nobody is a means for you, everybody is an end. But then ambition will flop, and our whole educational system depends on ambitiousness, our politics depends on ambition, our religions depend on ambition."

"Compassion is not against anger. When anger disappears, compassion is. Compassion is not to be fought for; it is not against passion. When passion disappears, compassion is. Compassion is your nature."

"Anger is active sadness; sadness is inactive anger. They are not two things. "

"Understanding transforms, it does not sublimate. If you understand, anger disappears and the same energy becomes compassion. Not that you sublimate: anger simply disappears, and the energy that was involved, invested in anger, is released and becomes compassion. When you understand hate, hate disappears and the same energy becomes love. Love is not against hate -- it is absence of hate."

"Only no-mind can be without any duality, because it is empty. The no-mind is choicelessness. The no-mind is pure awareness. It is just the empty sky."

"Consciousness means choicelessness, and to be choiceless is to be free from all desire, is to be free from all projection, is to be free from all imagination, is to be free from future."

"Creativity has nothing to do with any activity in particular -- with painting, poetry, dancing, singing. It has nothing to do with anything in particular. Anything can be creative -- you bring that quality to the activity. Activity itself is neither creative nor uncreative. You can paint in an uncreative way. You can sing in an uncreative way. You can clean the floor in a creative way. You can cook in a creative way. Creativity is the quality that you bring to the activity you are doing. It is an attitude, an inner approach -- how you look at things."

"Creativity has three layers; the ultimate is the mystic: he lives in a climate of creativity. The poet, once in a while, brings some treasures from the beyond; the scientist, also very rarely, but whenever he can visit the ultimate he brings something precious to the world. But one thing is certain -- mystic, scientist or poet, whatsoever comes into this world comes from the beyond. To bring the beyond is creativity. To bring the beyond into the known is creativity. To help God to be manifested in some form is creativity."

"Choice is bondage, choicelessness freedom. The moment you choose something, you have fallen in the trap of the world. If you can resist the temptation to choose, if you can remain choicelessly aware, the trap disappears on its own accord, because when you don't choose you don't help the trap to be there -- the trap is also created by your choice."

"Real freedom happens only when your life becomes so total in each moment that there is no need to decide; that totality decides. Do you follow me? -- the totality itself decides. You are not facing two alternatives: whether to marry this woman or that. Your heart is totally with one. There is no motive so you are not divided, and there is no confusion. If you decide out of confusion you will create conflict. Confusion will take you into deeper confusions. Never decide out of confusion."

"Needs can be fulfilled, desires never. Needs are natural, desires are perverted."

"Discontentment is human, contentment is divine. Animals know neither contentment nor discontentment; they simply go on living mechanically, unconsciously. It is the great privilege of human being to be aware of discontent. To be aware of discontent means there is a possibility to grow towards contentment. But very few people make any effort towards inner growth. Their whole life is rooted in a misunderstanding. They think that if they have a bigger house or more money or more power or more prestige they will be contented; that if they become famous, if their name is known all over the world, then they will be contented. That is sheer nonsense."

"Why do you dream? -- because there are so many desires unfulfilled, and to live with unfulfilled desires is painful. In dream you try to fulfill them; in dream you create a false feeling of fulfillment. Hence your dreams show much about you: what your desires are, what you want to become. But if you want to become anything in life, you are asleep. "

"Life is now and the desire takes you away, farther and farther away from now. And when we see that our life is misery we go on throwing the responsibility on others, and nobody is responsible except us."

"Future is your projection of unfulfilled desires. The more unfulfilled you are, the bigger a future you have. The more unfulfilled is your being, the richer the dreams you have of the future. But it is just in your mind."

"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."

"Breathing out is death, breathing in is life -- they are like two wheels of a bullock cart. You live by breathing in as much as you live by breathing out. The breathing out is part of breathing in. You cannot breathe in if you stop breathing out. You cannot live if you stop dying. The man who has understood what his life is allows death to happen; he welcomes it. He dies each moment and each moment he is resurrected. His cross and his resurrection are continually happening as a process. He dies to the past each moment and he is born again and again into the future."

"Meditation means getting out of the mind, looking at the mind from the outside. That's exactly the meaning of the word 'ecstasy': to stand out. To stand out of the mind makes you ecstatic, brings bliss to you. And great intelligence is released. When you are identified with the mind you cannot be very intelligent because you become identified with an instrument, you become confined by the instrument and its limitations. And you are unlimited -- you are consciousness."

"The word 'ecstasy' is beautiful; it simply means "standing out." Out of what? Standing out of your ego, your personality, your mind; getting out of the whole structure in which you have lived -- not only lived but with which you have become identified. Standing out of all this, just a pure witness, a watcher on the hills -- and everything is left deep down in the valley"

"Existence is only in the present. Mind is never in the present. In fact, the moment you are in the present, there is no mind in you, there is great silence. The whole sky of your inner being is without thoughts, without clouds. I call this the state of no-mind. Only in this state of no-mind do you meet existence. And that meeting is the ultimate ecstasy. Once you have tasted it, you will never bother about the future."

"Death is an organic, integral part of life, and it is very friendly to life. Without it life cannot exist. Life exists because of death; death gives the background. Death is, in fact, a process of renewal. And death happens each moment. The moment you breathe in and the moment you breathe out, both happen. Breathing in, life happens; breathing out, death happens. That's why when a child is born the first thing he does is breathe in, then life starts. And when an old man is dying, the last thing he does is breathe out, then life departs. "

"With effort, reach to effortlessness. With seeking, reach to a state of no-seeking. With mind, arrive at no-mind."

"Effortlessness means not doing anything, inactivity -- AKARMA. Effort means doing much, activity -- KARMA. Both have to be there. Do much, but don't be a doer -- then you achieve both. Move in the world, but don't be a part of it. Live in the world, but don't let the world live in you. Then the contradiction has been absorbed. Then you are not rejecting anything, not denying anything. Then the whole God has been accepted."

"The ego is goal-oriented. The ego is hankering for the future. It can hanker even for the other life, it can hanker for heaven, it can hanker for nirvana. It doesn't matter what it hankers for -- hankering is what it is, desiring is what it is, projecting into the future is what it is."

"The only way to achieve something in the interior world is let-go -- a kind of effortlessness, a relaxation. It is not a doing; it is nondoing. It is not action; it is inaction. And it seems difficult because everybody from the very beginning is told, "Do something; don't just go on sitting there! Something is always better than nothing." In the inner world these are not the laws. Nothing is better than everything."

"You will have to learn ways of relaxing in the present. Enlightenment is not an effort to achieve something. It is a state of effortlessness. It is a state of no-action. It is a state of tremendous passivity, receptivity. You are not doing anything, you are not thinking anything, you are not planning for anything, you are not doing yoga exercises, and you are not doing any technique, any method -- you are simply existing, just existing. And in that very moment... the sudden realization that all is as it should be. That's what enlightenment is!"

"I is a great prison. It is your slavery and bondage to the mind. The moment you enter beyond the mind, you are -- but you don't have any notion of being an ego, of being an I. In other words: the more you think you are, the less you are; the more you experience that you are not... the more you are."

"The goal is part of the desiring mind and bliss is a state of no-mind. Desiring is a barrier: non-desiring is the bridge. And all goals are egoistic because they are ambitions. Ambitions are shadows of the ego, and wherever ego is bliss is not. When the ego completely disappears, when not even a trace is left behind, bliss is found. Even to say that it is found is not exactly right, because it is our nature; we don't find it because we have never lost it in the first place. We have only become oblivious to it, we have become unconscious about it. We have gone into a deep sleep and we are dreaming all kinds of things. Because of our dreaming and sleep and unconsciousness, the bliss remains unexperienced. Otherwise it surrounds you."

"The greatest discovery in life, the most precious treasure, is of awareness. Without it you are bound to be in darkness, full of fears. And you will go on creating new fears -- there is no end to it. You will live in fear, you will die in fear, and you will never be able to taste something of freedom. And it was all the time your potential; any moment you could have claimed it, but you never claimed it."

""Freedom" means freedom from the mind. Then you are simply in a silence, and in that silence you melt, you merge with the whole. And to melt and merge with the whole is to be holy. Not by fasting, not by torturing, but by becoming one with the whole, one becomes holy."

"Desire is our imprisonment. The man who wants nothing, who is absolutely contented as he is, is free of all bondage. He has attained to ultimate freedom, nirvana -- and that is the goal of life. And it is only by attaining that freedom that you will know the significance of being, the song of being, the celebration of being. "

"Any conflict will create more barriers. If there is fear and you start doing something about it, then a new fear has entered: fear of the fear. It has become more complex. So the one thing to be done is, if fear is there, accept it. Don't do anything about it because doing will not help. Anything that you do out of fear will create more fear; anything that you do out of confusion will add more to confusion. Don't do anything."

"All meditations are nothing but efforts to bring you to the present. When you live in the present moment, with no past hanging around you, with no future projection, you are free from life and death, you are free from body and mind. You are free -- simply free -- you are freedom."

"Expectation brings frustration. Private ambitions bring failures."

"Desire means you are dragged out of the moment; that creates a tension, that creates anxiety, that creates hope. And then finally hope turns sour, becomes frustration. Each hope leads you into anguish. Buddha calls it the only impurity. Cut the roots of desire, live in the moment so totally, pull yourself out of the past and don't project yourself into the future. Let this moment be all and all. And your life will have such a purity, such a crystal-clear consciousness that right now you cannot imagine."

"If you expect anything out of love, or meditation, you will get only frustration, and negative emptiness will happen. If you love for the sheer joy of it, if you meditate for the sheer delight of it and you don't have any result in mind -- you are not goal-oriented -- then there comes an emptiness which is positive. You start feeling full. You start feeling, for the first time, that you ARE. Being is felt, and that being is tremendously beautiful, blissful. It is SATCHITANANDA: it is existence, it is consciousness, it is bliss."

"Sin is a technique of the pseudo-religions. A true religion has no need of the concept at all. The pseudo-religion cannot live without the concept of sin, because sin is the technique of creating guilt in people."

"In reality, everything is within; the outer is just a projection. Fear is within you; it is projected as a hell. Hell is just a projected image on the screen -- of the fear that is within you, of the anger, of the jealousy, of all that is poisonous in you, of all that is evil in you. Heaven is, again, a projected image on the screen -- of all that is good and beautiful, of all that is blissful within you."

"There is no failure in life. It all depends how you take things. If you are desiring too much -- you want to reach too high, and you cannot -- then there is frustration and failure. But if you are not desiring anything and you are perfectly happy wherever you are, life is moment-to-moment victory."

"One thing is certain: you can never become anything other than yourself, and unless you become yourself you cannot be happy. Happiness happens only when a rosebush grows roseflowers; when it flowers, when it has its own individuality. You may be a rosebush and trying to flower as lotus flower -- that is creating insanity. Erase the mind. And the way to erase it is not by fight: the way to erase it is just to become aware."

"Intelligence belongs to the watching consciousness; memory belongs to the mind. Memory is one thing -- memory is not intelligence. But the whole of humanity has been deceived for centuries and told indirectly that the memory is intelligence. Your schools, your colleges, your universities are not trying to find your intelligence; they are trying to find out who is capable of memorizing more. And now we know perfectly well that memory is a mechanical thing. A computer can have memory, but a computer cannot have intelligence. "

"Don't imitate. If you want to know who you are, please avoid imitation, that's a way of avoiding knowing yourself."

"The greatest adventure that can happen to a human being is the movement from mind to no-mind, the movement from personality to individuality. The no-mind has an individuality: the mind is social."

"What is understanding? -- understanding is pure intelligence. That pure intelligence is originally yours; you are born with it. Nobody can give you intelligence. Knowledge can be given to you, not intelligence. Intelligence is your own sharpened being. Through deep meditation one sharpens one's being; through meditation one drops borrowed thoughts, reclaims one's own being, reclaims one's originality, redaims one's childhood, innocence, freshness. Out of that freshness, when you act, you act out of understanding. And then the response is total, here-now; and the response is because of the challenge, not because of the past."

"Awareness means that whatsoever is happening in the moment is happening with complete consciousness; you are present there. If you are present when anger is happening, anger cannot happen. It can happen only when you are fast asleep. When you are present, immediate, transformation starts in your being, because when you are present, aware, many things are simply not possible. All that is called sin is not possible if you are aware. So, in fact, there is only one sin and that is unawareness."

"By thinking you cannot decide. It is not a question of deciding as a logical conclusion, it is a question of choiceless awareness. You need a mind without thoughts. In other words, you need a no-mind, just a pure silence, so you can see directly into things. And out of that clarity will come the choice on its own; you are not choosing. You will act just as a buddha acts. Your action will have beauty, your action will have truth, your action will have the fragrance of the divine. There is no need for you to choose."

"Live each moment as if you were going to die the next, and then there will be a great intensity and a great passion. You will be aflame with life. That being aflame is what being divine is to me."