One of the most important things to be understood about man (i.e., human beings) 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 doesn't matter at all. His wakefulness is only a beautiful name but utterly empty.
You sleep in the night, you sleep in the day - from birth to death you go on changing your patterns of slep, but you never really awaken. Just by opening the eyes don't 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 - don't 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 buddhas 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 has 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 buddhas 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 theme...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 makng any effort - why bother?
And you have created religions, gods, prayers, rituals, out of your dreams - your gods are as much part of your dreams as anythng 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 scupt 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 divine!
The Old Testament God says, "I am a very angry God! If you don't follow my commandments, I will destroy you. You will be thrown into hellfire for eternity. And because I am very jealous, don't 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 such gods."
That's why Buddha is not interested in talking about gods. His whole interest is in waking you up.
Osho on religion:
Religion is not what people understand it to be. It is not Chrisitianity, it is not Hinduism, it is not Mohammedanism. The so called religion is a dead rock.
I teach you not religion, but religiousness -- a flowing river, continuously changing its course, but ultimately reaching the ocean.
A rock may be very ancient, far more experienced, far older than any Rigveda , but rock is a rock, and it is dead. It does not move with the seasons, it does not move with existence; it is simply lying there. And have you seen any rock with any song, with any dance?
To me religion is a quality, not an organisation.
All the religions which exist in the world -- and they are not a small number, there are three hundred religions in the world -- are dead rocks. They don't flow, they don't change, they don't move with the times. And anything that is dead is not going to help you -- unless you want to make a grave, and then perhaps the rock may be helpful.
All the so-called religions have been making graves for you, destroying your life, your love, your joy, and filling your heads with fantasies, illusions, hallucinations about God, about heaven and hell, about reincarnation, and all kinds of crap.
God is not a person but an experience: the experience of bliss, of joy, of benediction. The idea of god as a person has been a calamity, a curse. The very idea has created the temples, the mosques, the churches and it has led man astray from true religion.
True religion can only be one -- and there are three hundred religions on the earth. True religion cannot
have any adjective to it -- Christian, Hindu, Mohammedan. Science is neither Christian nor Hindu nor
Mohammedan, how can religion be Hindu, Christian, Mohammedan? Science investigates the objective
reality, religion investigates the subjective reality.
Both are searching for the real, one in the external world, the other in the internal. If science cannot be Hindu or Mohammedan or Christian, then how can religion be? Religion is nothing but a quality -- religiousness.
I teach a religionless religiousness. And the whole thing depends on your dropping the idea of god as a
person. Otherwise if god is a person then you start worshipping, praying; then you start persuading him to do some favours for you and you go in an absolutely wrong direction. No worship is meaningful, no prayer is meaningful because there is nobody as a person to answer you.
God is an inner experience. When you have reached your innermost core, to the very roots of your
being, a great explosion of bliss happens. It is like an atomic explosion.
Your consciousness explodes and you are showered, bathed in a totally new kind of splendour of which you have never dreamt before. That experience is god. It is not that you encounter somebody who is a god, you experience something inside you which is divine, godly.
All people who are creative are close to religion. Religion is the greatest creativity because it is an effort to give birth to yourself, to become a father and mother to yourself, to be born again, to be reborn through meditation, through awareness. Poetry is good, painting is good — but when you give birth to your own consciousness, there is no comparison. Then you have given birth to the ultimate poetry, the ultimate music, the ultimate dance. This is the dimension of creativity. On the rung of creativity, religion is the last. It is the greatest art, the ultimate art — that’s why I call it ‘the ultimate alchemy’.
What type of foolishness has settled in the human heart? When the flower is there, you avoid; and when only the emptiness is left, then you worship. You are afraid of real religion. That’s why you become a Hindu, a Mohammedan, a Christian. This is a trick of the mind, a deception. This is a way to avoid religion, because religion will transform you. Religion will destroy you as you are, and religion will give a new birth to you. Something unknown will come into existence through religion and you are afraid of that — of dying. of being reborn. So you belong to old traditions.
What to renounce? For what reason should you fast? Celebrate and dance! A real religion is celebration; a false religion is renunciation.
A religion is alive in the heart, it has nothing to do with temples and churches. If you are moved, if a rhythm arises in you, if you start dancing seeing Krishna or his statue, suddenly the flute on his lips is no longer just a symbol to you, it has become a real dance. You can listen to his tune, you can hear his tune.
Real religion consists of becoming utterly silent, unconditioned, unhypnotized. It is going beyond mind, beyond ideology; it is going beyond scripture and beyond knowledge. It is simply falling into your own interiority, becoming utterly silent, not knowing a thing, and functioning from that state of not knowing, from that innocence. When you function out of innocence, your actions have a beauty of their own.
In the West theology has overpowered religion. When theology overpowers religion, then religion is nothing but philosophy. And the philosophy is also not very philosophic — because philosophy can exist only through doubt, and theology bases itself on faith. So it is impotent philosophy, not even philosophy in the real sense. Religion is not based on belief or faith: religion is based on awe, religion is based on wonder.
Religion is based on the mysterious that is your surround. To feel it, to be aware of it, to see it, open your eyes and drop the dust of the ages. Clean your mirror! and see what beauty surrounds you, what tremendous grandeur goes on knocking at your doors. Why are you sitting with closed eyes? Why are you sitting with such long faces? Why can’t you dance? and why can’t you laugh?
The very courageous, the really strong people, the really adventurous, become attracted towards paths of self-realization or paths of self-transformation. Religion is the greatest adventure there is. Going to Everest is nothing, going to the moon also is nothing; going to the highest peak of your being is the real task. Because in the first place, we are not even aware that the peak exists. In the first place, we are so unconscious that we don’t know what we are doing. We don’t know what we are doing with our lives.
"I was inspired by Osho's wisdom when I wrote the song 'How fragile we all are'; Reading his books gave me hope for humanity. It is a must for everybody to have a look into his words ....."
- Sting, Singer and Performer
Perhaps this final act was meant
To clinch a lifetime's argument
That nothing comes from violence and nothing ever could
For all those born beneath an angry star
Lest we forget how fragile we are