Friday, May 30, 2008

Smoking and breastfeeding

A great Osho insight on The World No Tobacco Day.

Osho says, " Whenever you drop something by fight, it is never dropped. You will drop smoking by fighting and then you will start doing something else which will become a substitute."
There are some things people are compelled to do even if they know that it is definitely harmful to their health. For example, smoking. No amount of statutory warnings on the cigarette packs can stop people from smoking. Intellectually they may know that it is injurious to health but emotionally they need it. The body/mind unit craves the activity of smoke coming in and going out of the body. Those who try to drop this habit by taking vows are often unsuccessful. Here is an Osho remedy to this problem.

“Whenever you drop something by fight, it is never dropped. You can drop smoking by fighting, and then you will start doing something else which will become a substitute. You may start chewing gum, it is the same; You may start chewing pan, it is the same, there is no difference. You need something to do with your mouth -- smoking, chewing, anything. When your mouth goes on working, you feel at ease because through the mouth tensions are released. So whenever a man feels tense he starts smoking. Why is it that through smoking or chewing gum or tobacco tensions are released?
Just look at a small child. Whenever he feels tense he will put his hand in his mouth, he will start chewing his own hand. This is his substitute for smoking. And why does he feel good when his thumb is in his mouth? Why does the child feel good and go to sleep? This is the way of almost all children. Whenever they feel sleep is not coming they will put the thumb inside the mouth, feel at ease, and fall asleep. Why? The thumb becomes a substitute for the mother's breast, and food is relaxing. You cannot go to sleep on a hungry stomach, it is difficult to get sleep. When the stomach is full you feel sleepy, the body needs rest. So whenever the child takes the breast in his mouth, food is flowing, warmth, love. He is relaxed, he need not worry; tensions are relaxed. The thumb is just a substitute for the breast; it is not giving milk, it is a false thing, but still it gives the feeling.
When this child grows, if he takes his thumb in public you will think he is foolish, so he takes a cigarette. A cigarette is not foolish, it is accepted. It is just the thumb, and more harmful than the thumb. It is better if you smoke your thumb, go on smoking to your grave; it is not harmful, it is better. No harm is done but then people think you are childish, juvenile, then people think what you are doing is stupid. But there is a need so it has to be substituted.
And in countries where breast-feeding has stopped, more smoking will automatically be there. That's why the West smokes more than the East -- because no mother is ready to give her breast to the child because the shape is lost. So in the West smoking is increasing more and more; even small children are smoking.
Every child has been taken away from the breast prematurely, and that remains a wound. So all civilized countries are obsessed with breasts. Even an old man, dying, is obsessed with breasts, goes on searching for breasts.
This seems mad, and it is, but the basic cause is there -- children should be given the breast otherwise they will become addicted to it, the whole life they will be in search of it.
You cannot stop smoking directly because it has many related things, implications. You are tense, and if you stop smoking you will start something else and the other may be more harmful. Don't go on escaping problems, face them. The problem is that you are tense, so the goal should be how to be non-tense, not, smoking or not smoking.
Meditate. Relax your tensions into the sky, allow catharsis to happen.”

Excerpted from A Bird on the Wing

Saturday, May 24, 2008

1-Amrito with Jeffrey Archer in Osho's personal library
2- Jeffrey Archer watches the statue of Buddha. Sadhana and Amrito look on.

Jeffrey Archer visits Osho International Meditation Resort

The news breezed in that Jeffrey Archer, the celebrated writer, is going to visit the Osho International Meditation Resort on May 23rd at 9.30 am. By the wave of excitement generated by this news was enough to prove the author's popularity. And he did come at the appointed time.
Osho's personal physician, Dr. Amrito M D, and I showed Lord Archer around the beautiful premises of the meditation resort. The fact that Lord Archer broke into his busy schedule to see the world- famous campus while he was in Pune itself is enough to suggest a glimmer of interest. His publisher, Landmark Publishing House, who also publish Osho's books arranged his visit en route to Bangalore.
Lord Archer was particularly interested in who had replaced Osho as “the leader.” And when Dr. Amrito explained about the management team and that the decisions are made by consensus, Jeffrey was naturally skeptical. Because he said he is used to the concept of leadership, when it is one leader who tells the team what to do. So naturally he couldn’t understand how the Meditation Resort could continue to thrive without someone taking “Osho’s place.” But when he learnt that here meditation is the base of all activities he saw a possibility of different kind of decision making process.
When Mr Archer entered the book shop where about four hundred Osho titles in English and Hindi are displayed, he exclaimed, visibly impressed, "More books than mine!"
He found the concept of using meditation in daily life intriguing. "Do they use what they learn here when they get back to their awful lives?” asked Jeffrey. To which Amrito replied that this was perhaps the greatest misunderstanding people have of Osho. Osho was never interested in making some escapist Shangri La environment. For Osho, meditation was only relevant if it actually transforms our lives in the midst of our normal busy days.
And when Lord Archer commented that he didn’t know a religion that hadn’t started a war, he was pleasantly surprised to know that Osho had said that he wished his name was never associated with religion. That he describes himself as “irreligious, amoral, and atheistic.” Lord Archer was intrigued by the possibility that something like “meditation” or “consciousness” could happen without the trappings of religion. Hence Osho had dropped the word Ashram nearly twenty years before.
He was equally interested in Osho’s concept of Zorba the Buddha, someone whose feet were firmly on the ground, like Zorba the Greek, but whose hands could touch the stars, like Guatama the Buddha. And was amused that Osho had warned that if you have to chose between the two, always chose Zorba, because at least he might be come Buddha, whereas Buddha will never become a Zorba!
Jeffrey was attracted by the Olympic size swimming pool and the club meditation area of the meditation resort. Evidently, he had missed swimming in his hectic tour in India.
While leaving he remarked, " I am more puzzled than I came here." To which Amrito replied, "That is why it is called a mystery school."

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Love needs no scriptures

Karanji is the last refuge for lovelorn couples facing caste and religious barriers, reports Jaideep Hardikar from DNA newspaper.

“We are slowly gaining popularity as the place of love,” quips the chieftain of Karanji., “There is no place for caste here.”
The trend began nearly six years ago, when an inter-caste romance stoked tension and bad blood between people of the two castes. The village elders came together and convinced the couple’s parents into getting them married. A huge wedding and reception followed. Says a gram sabha member: “For us, it’s always a reason for celebration. It brings all of us together and keeps the spirit alive.”
Villagers contribute to the expenditure, make the arrangements collectively and join the party without fail.
This is an unusual incident in the country divided by caste and class; where love is still a taboo and a legal marriage is celebrated with great pomp and show.

Osho has raised his voice against this, “ If two people want to live together, they don't need any permission from any priest or any government. They need the permission of their hearts. And the day they feel that the time has come to part, again they don't need anybody's permission. They can part as friends, with beautiful memories of their loving days. Love should be the only way for men and women to live together. No other ritual is needed.”

The obvious question would be, ‘ What about the children? Who will look after them?’

Osho goes a step further and says, “The only problem in the past was what would happen to the children; that was the argument for marriage. There are other alternatives, far better. Children should be accepted not as their parents' property -- they belong to the whole humanity. From the very beginning it should be made clear to them: "The whole humanity is going to protect you, is your shelter. We may be together -- we will look after you. We may not be together; still we look after you. You are our blood, our bones, our souls."
“In fact, this possession by the parents of the children is one of the most dangerous things that humanity goes on carrying. This is the root of the idea of possessiveness. You should not possess your children. You can love them, you can bless them, but you cannot possess. They belong to the whole humanity. They come from beyond; you have been just a passage. Don't think more than that about yourself. Whatever you can do, do.
Every commune, every village should take care of the children. Once the commune starts taking care of the children, marriage becomes absolutely obsolete. And marriage is destroying your basic right to love.”
“If man's love is free, there will not be blacks and whites, and there will not be these ugly discriminations, because love knows no boundaries. You can fall in love with a black man, you can fall in love with a white man. Love knows no religious scriptures. It knows only the heartbeat, and it knows it with absolute certainty. Once love is free, it will prepare the ground for other fundamental rights.”
Sermons in Stones

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Buddha: One of the virgin souls on earth

An exquisite marble statue of Buddha at the entrance of Meera area at the Osho International Meditation Resort, Pune

Today is Buddha's enlightenment day. Osho has spoken beautifully about Gautama Buddha's life and has commented on his inimitable work: The Dhammapada. When Osho speaks on Buddha it feels as if Buddha himself is reborn and is elaborating on his words in the light of the contemporary world. Here is one excerpt from Osho's talks.

"Gautama Buddha is one of the most virgin souls, one of the very rare phenomena on this earth. The rarity is that Buddha is the scientist of the inner world -- scientist of religion. That is a rare combination. To be religious is simple, to be a scientist is simple -- but to combine, synthesize these two polarities is incredible. It is unbelievable, but it has happened.
Buddha is the richest human being who has ever lived; rich in the sense that all the dimensions of life are fulfilled in him. He is not one-dimensional.
There are three approaches towards truth. One is the approach of power, another the approach of beauty, and the third the approach of grandeur.
The scientific approach is the search for power . Science has made man very powerful, so much so that man can destroy the whole planet earth. For the first time in the history of consciousness man is capable of committing a global suicide, a collective suicide. Science has released tremendous power. Science is continuously searching for more and more power. This too is an approach towards truth, but a partial approach.
Then there are poets, mystics, people with the aesthetic sense. They look at truth as beauty -- Jalaludin Rumi and Rabindranath Tagore and others, who think that beauty is truth. They create much art, they create new sources of beauty in the world. The painter, the poet, the dancer, the musician, they are also approaching truth from a totally different dimension than power.
A poet is not like the scientist. The scientist works with analysis, reason, observation. The poet functions through the heart -- irrational... trust, love. He has nothing to do with mind and reason.
The greater part of religious people belong to the second dimension. The Sufis, the Bauls -- they all belong to the aesthetic approach. Hence so many beautiful mosques, churches, cathedrals, temples -- Ajanta and Ellora -- they were created by religious people. Whenever religious activity predominates, art is created, music is created, great painting is created; the world becomes a little more beautiful. It doesn't become more powerful, but it becomes more beautiful, more lovely, worth living.
The third approach is that of grandeur. The old Bible prophets -- Moses, Abraham; Islam's prophet Mohammed; Krishna and Ram -- their approach is through the dimension of grandeur... the awe that one feels looking at this vastness of the universe. The Upanishads, the Vedas, they all approach the world, the world of truth, through grandeur. They are full of wonder. It is unbelievably there, with such grandeur, that you can simply bow down before it -- nothing else is possible.
These are the three dimensions ordinarily available to approach towards truth. The first dimension creates the scientist; the second, the artist; the third, the prophets. The rarity of Buddha consists of this -- that his approach is a synthesis of all the three, and not only a synthesis but it goes beyond the three.
He is a rationalist. Any scientist will be immediately convinced of his truth. His approach is purely logical, he convinces the mind. You cannot find a loophole in him.
You need not be a religious person to be convinced by Buddha, that's his rarity. You need not believe at all. You need not believe in god, you need not believe in the soul, you need not believe in anything -- still you can be with Buddha, and by and by you will come to know about the soul and about the god also. But those are not hypotheses.
No belief is required to travel with Buddha. You can come with all scepticism possible. First he convinces your mind, and once your mind is convinced and you start travelling with him, by and by you start feeling that he has a message which is beyond mind, he has a message which no reason can confine. But first he convinces your reason.
Because of this rational approach he never brings any concept which cannot be proved. He never talks about god. H. G. Wells has said about Buddha, 'He is the most godly and the most godless man in the whole history of man.'
Because he has never talked about god, many think that he is an atheist -- he is not. He has not talked about god because there is no way to talk about god. "
Excerpted from Dhammapada The Way of the Buddha

Friday, May 16, 2008

Poetry of the Opposites

The common misconception is that you have to renounce the world to be able to meditate. This is why people go on postponing meditation but Osho has brought a very new insight. He says if you are silent in the jungle you are enjoying a reflected glory. The silence belongs to the jungle, not to you. His message is very practical. He doesn't let you escape.

Osho says: “Live in the market-place and create a Himalaya in the heart. Become silent in the noise. Remain a householder and yet be a sannyasin. That's why I emphasize so much that I don't want my sannyasins to renounce. Nothing has to be renounced. The way of renunciation is the way of the escapist, and the way of renunciation will make you attached to a polar phenomenon. That will not give you freedom. Freedom is in transcendence, and transcendence comes only when you live in the polar opposites simultaneously, together. So be in the world, but don't let the world be in you.
Love, and yet don't be lost in it. Relate, and yet be alone, utterly alone. Know perfectly well that all relationship is a game. Play the game and play it as beautifully as possible and as skilfully as possible. A game is after all a game and has to be played beautifully. And follow all the rules of the game, because a game cannot exist without rules. But remember always that it is just a game. Don't become attached to it. Don't become serious in it. Always allow the sense of humour to remain alive in you. Remain sincere but non-serious. And then, slowly slowly, you will see that the polarities are disappearing. Who is worldly, and who is other-worldly? You are both or neither.
The Secret of Secrets, Vol 1