No heaven, no hell, no doubt
ONE NIGHT IN DARSHAN I SUDDENLY SAW YOU SITTING THERE AS NOT ONLY ONE PERSON. IT WAS MORE LIKE ONE PART OF YOU WAS SPEAKING TO US, AND ANOTHER PART WAS DOING SOMETHING WITH THE WHOLE ATMOSPHERE AND ENERGY AROUND US AND INSIDE OF US.
BELOVED OSHO, HOW MANY ARE YOU REALLY?
Deva Karunesh, I am as many as you are; my heart is beating in you. Without you I don't have any purpose to be here. Just a thin thread of love is keeping me amongst you. It all depends on you - as you grow more, I am more.
I am reminded of Ramakrishna... he was a strange mystic. It was difficult for the Indian-conditioned mind to accept him. Many came, but very few remained with him. After he died, then millions followed him. The problem that was preventing people was so trivial, but for the conditioned mind, even something trivial becomes immensely important if it goes against its conditioning. And Ramakrishna was an absolutely free individual.
One queen had made a beautiful temple in Dakshineshwar, near Calcutta. But the queen belonged by cast the lowest, to the sudras - they are untouchables. So no brahmin was ready to become a priest in her temple - as if the God in the temple had also become a sudra, an untouchable.
The queen, Rani Rasmani, was very cautious about it. She never entered the temple; she always stood outside the door and from there she gave her gratitude and thanks to God. But the brahmins were all absolutely against becoming a priest in a sudra temple. The temple had also become sudra.
But Ramakrishna, when he heard about it, accepted the post. He was a high-caste brahmin, and all of the brahmins condemned him, boycotted him. But he laughed. He said, "Whoever makes the temple cannot change the quality of God." Against his whole society, he accepted the post. And his worship was also strange. He was a strange man... very colorful.
Sometimes he will worship the whole day, from morning till evening. People were amazed...
sometimes he will worship the whole day from morning till evening, and sometimes he will not worship at all - he will not even open the doors of the temple, he will keep them locked.
It was reported, and Rasmani could not believe it. She asked Ramakrishna, "What kind of worship is this?" He said, "I am not a man of rituals; I trust in love. When God behaves well with me I worship the whole day, and when He is adamant, stubborn, then I boycott Him completely - I don't even give Him food. Just within two, three days, He comes to his senses." Rasmani must have been a woman of great understanding. She could see the innocence of Ramakrishna, that he was not a priest in the ordinary sense.
Then it was reported that first, before offering food to God, he tasted it and then he offered it. "This is sacrilegious, this is too much," people said. Again he was called, "What are you doing? Don't you know that you should not taste the food first. First God has to take it, it has to be offered to Him; then you can distribute it, and you can take it."
He said, "You can accept my resignation, but I cannot do anything against my heart. My mother used to taste food first, and then she would give it to me. If it was really delicious she would give it; if it was not that good she would prepare it again. I cannot be cruel with God. I love Him. How can I offer Him something which I have not tasted?"
Rasmani understood this too. She was not only wise, she was also a woman. But the third thing was very difficult for people, and that was: Ramakrishna would be giving a discourse, and in the middle of the discourse - talking about God, talking about the ultimate, talking about prayer - he would suddenly stop and he would say, "Excuse me, I will be coming back." And he would go to the kitchen to enquire of his wife Sagar, "What are you preparing today? Make something really good."
This was too much. Even Sagar objected, saying, "This cannot be supported in any way - talking about God, and suddenly in the middle you remember about food, what will people think? - what kind of man is he?"
His closest circle of disciples believed that he had arrived, but even they were suspicious. Everything was okay, but this continuous disruption in the discourse, going to his wife to enquire... and the kitchen was not far away, so everybody was hearing what he was enquiring about. Back again, he would start talking about God. They said, "This you should stop. It discredits you." He would simply laugh, and would not answer.
One day his wife said, "Unless you answer this question, I am not going to prepare food today at all; we will all fast." He said, "If you insist, I can tell you. The day I am not interested in food, the day you feel that I am not interested in food, remember, only three days are left for my life. This is the last thread, very thin and fragile, that I am holding." Even if he was resting, lying down on the bed, as his wife entered with the food, he would jump - just like a small child - and just look at the plate: "What have you made?"
The wife said, "You should behave like a grown-up, you are not a child!" He said, "Who is going to see here? Don't be worried, just tell me what you have prepared. You make such delicious things that most of the time I am meditating on them. But remember, the day I show no interest only three days are left."
And it happened one day that he was resting, looking at the door; the wife entered, and he turned to the other side. Usually he would have jumped, but he did just the opposite. The plate fell down from the wife's hands. "Only three days?" And that very day it was discovered that he had cancer of the throat.
For the coming three days he was not able to eat or to drink. One of his closest disciples asked him, "You are so close to the sources of life, you can just ask, 'Remove this cancer.' If you are not eating, not drinking, none of your disciples are drinking or eating. How can we?" When they all insisted, he said, "Okay, I will try. The problem is, when I close my eyes I forget, because thoughts disappear, and I forget what I was supposed to ask. But I will do my best."
It was the third day, the day he died. He closed his eyes and his face became radiant. He smiled although the pain was immense and he opened his eyes and said to his disciples, "I asked, but the answer that I received was, 'Now, Ramakrishna, you should eat from every mouth that loves you, you should drink with every mouth that is connected with you. Why are you insisting on having only one body? All these bodies of your lovers are your bodies.' So if you want some nourishment to reach me, drop your fasting."
Sadly, the disciples ate that evening, but that was the last.... Ramakrishna came out of his room and enjoyed seeing his disciples eating. But he said, "Why are you sad? You know me, I love food. If you are eating on my behalf, just behave like me."
He made them laugh and rejoice in a situation when they were full of tears - because it was the third day and by the evening Ramakrishna was gone, he was dead. Just before dying, he told Sagar and his disciples, "I am only leaving the body, nobody should say that Ramakrishna has died. I will be here, and you have to remember to behave in this room as you behave in front of me - with the same love, with the same respect, with the same gratitude, with the same joy."
He said to his wife, "You need not be a widow, because I am not dying; I am only moving from body into bodilessness. Now it will be easier for me to be in all of you, wherever you are. "
Karunesh, your hands are my hands, and your eyes are my eyes, and only if this happens, you rise from disciplehood to the status of a devotee. So your feeling is perfectly correct. I am talking to you just to keep you engaged so that I can work in other ways on you, on your heart.
It is spiritual surgery. Unless you are silent, quiet, calm, just absorbed in listening to me, I cannot do the subtle work. My speaking is nothing but anesthesia.
Saint Peter was on vacation from guarding the pearly gates, so Jesus was his stand-in. An old man arrived, tired and downhearted. "Cheer up, old man, you have reached heaven," Jesus said. "Why are you so sad?"
"Well", replied the old man,"I am just a poor carpenter; but once I had a very special son who had a miraculous birth and became world-renowned. He left me many years ago and I have been searching for him ever since." "Father!," exclaimed Jesus, hugging him. "Pinocchio!" said the old man.
DOUBT, SHAME, FEAR, SELF-CONDEMNATION - ALL DISAPPEAR IN THE MYSTERY OF YOUR LOVE.
WOULD YOU CARE TO COMMENT?
Love is the greatest alchemy there is, the most profound science of transformation. If you love, your whole energy is gathered, becomes one-pointed. Doubt needs energy, shame needs energy, fear needs energy, self-condemnation... they all need energy.
If you do not love, then all these things can go on living in you; you are nursing them. As the great miracle of love happens, all the energies rush towards love, just as all the rivers rush towards the ocean. Doubt remains empty, and without energy it is dead. It was your energy that was keeping it alive.
Shame and fear and self-condemnation, they all need energy from you, your support. On the surface you think you want to get rid of them, but deep down you are supporting them; otherwise, they cannot exist. They are parasites.
Love takes up your whole energy - nothing is left for anything else. It is total and intense; that's why, except for love, everything disappears. It is a very simple phenomenon in a way, just you have to understand that love has a magnetic force which neither doubt nor shame nor fear nor self-condemnation have.
Love is your very being, and all these things have come from the outside. Doubts have been created by people who are giving you beliefs. If you don't have any belief, you don't have any doubt. Have you ever thought about it?
In a small school a teacher is telling the small boys and girls what qualifications are needed to enter into the kingdom of God. She explained in every possible way so that they could understand, that unless you drop sin you cannot enter into the kingdom of God. And afterwards she asked, "Now can you tell me, what is needed to enter into the kingdom of God?"
One small boy raised his hand. It was rare, because he never used to take the initiative to answer; this was the first time. The teacher was very happy; she said, "Yes, what is needed to enter into the kingdom of God?" The boy said, "First you have to commit sin." The teacher said, "You have to commit sin? For a whole hour I have been trying to teach you that you have to drop sin, and you are saying that you have to commit sin."
The boy said, "But unless I commit sin, how can I drop it? And without dropping sin, nobody enters the kingdom of paradise. So the first thing is, commit sin; then drop it and enter into the kingdom of God."
Doubt arises because you have been forced to believe. If you are not given any belief system, you will not have any doubt. For example, a Christian, a Mohammedan, a Hindu - all have doubts about God, because they have been conditioned that God exists. But they have no evidence, no proof, no argument, no eye-witness, and they themselves don't feel anything about God. The belief is creating a doubt in them. But there are religions like Buddhism, Taoism, Jainism, where God is not a belief; it is not part of their religions.
I have never come across a Jaina or a Buddhist who doubts the existence of God. How can you doubt if you don't believe? It looks strange, but it is not. Belief is an effort to repress your doubt. So underneath every belief there is doubt. But if there is no belief system, there is no place for doubt to exist.
In countries like the Soviet Union or China, where there is no heaven, no hell, nobody doubts. One of my friends was visiting the Soviet Union, and just out of curiosity - he was a professor in the University of Varanasi - he asked a little boy, the son of his host, while walking in the garden, "What is your idea about God, about heaven, about hell?"
The boy laughed. He said, "In the past, when people were ignorant, they used to believe in such things; now nobody even bothers about them. They are part of a dead history." The boy is not doubting. He is absolutely clear.
Beliefs create doubt. You are trained from the very beginning to feel ashamed of this, ashamed of that; you are never accepted in your simple naturalness. That's why shame exists, and with it the fear that you may do something wrong, you may go astray, you may miss the train - although there is no train and the question of missing it does not arise.
In India, all the trains run so late, and for twenty years I was continually traveling all over the country.
I was surprised that one day in Allahabad the train came exactly at the right time. It was almost a wonder. I went to the driver to thank him: "This is something of a great feat," but he looked very ashamed.
I said, "What is the matter? You have done a great job, bringing the train, exactly to the second, at the right time on the platform. In twenty years this is the first time that I have seen a train coming to the platform at the right time."
He said, "Don't make me more ashamed."
I said, "You are a strange person. I have come to show my gratitude to you."
He said, "Don't show your gratitude, because this is yesterday's train; I am twenty-four hours late.
So just go away, don't make me feel so ashamed."
I said, "I was not trying to make you ashamed; I had not even imagined that it is yesterday's train.
But anyway I have got in it at the right time, who cares which day's train it is!"
All the religions live on fear; they make every child fearful. And the fear becomes the psychological atmosphere of your being. So you are never total in doing anything, you are always hesitating - whether it is right: what you are doing, is it going to lead you towards reward or towards punishment; are you coming closer to God or going farther away? Each step is full of fear. And because of this, religions have been able to exploit you.
A man who has no fear cannot be exploited. He lives his life according to his own light. He has a lifestyle which is his, not borrowed, not given by somebody else.
Nobody has ever accepted you as you are. And because everybody wanted you to be somebody else other than who you are, slowly, slowly you have also become self-condemnatory: I am always a failure; my arrow always falls short, it never reaches the target.
There is an ancient story of a great king who was also a great archer. And he used to think that there was no parallel to him. As he was traveling in his golden throne, on a golden chariot - he was going to a meeting with another emperor - he passed through a village, and he was immensely surprised.
For the first time he felt, "Perhaps there is a greater archer than me in this small village, and I have never heard about him;" - because on every tree, on the fences, there were arrows exactly at the center of a circle.
It seems the man had never missed the center of the circle. He enquired from the people... he stopped the chariot and he asked, "Who is this archer?" and they started laughing. He said, "Why are you laughing? I love archery and I want to reward this man, because I used to think I am the greatest archer - once in a while I miss - but here I have seen that on every tree there are arrows exactly at the center of a painted circle."
They said, "We are laughing because you don't know; this archer is the idiot of this town." He said, "Idiot? It does not matter, but he is a great archer, you bring him."
They said, "You don't understand. First he shoots the arrow and then he goes and makes the circle around the arrow - this is not archery. But he is always happy, and anybody who passes through this village almost always enquires about that idiot; nobody enquires about anybody else. His archery is all over the town; the whole day, that is his business. There is no target, wherever the arrow hits, he will go there and make an exact circle around it, so it is always in the center.
"So you go, and don't be bothered about him, he is just an idiot and nothing else. We have been telling him, if you want to be an archer then learn archery. He said, 'What is the point? The archer can hit in the middle of the circle - it does not matter whether the circle is made before or after - but my arrow is always in the middle.'"
This society is utterly condemnatory. Whoever you are it is not acceptable, something better....
Slowly, slowly you become infected with the disease of self-condemnation.
But love is a miracle. If it happens, and you are totally involved in it, then it takes all the energy from fear, from self-condemnation, from doubt, from sadness, from misery, from anxiety. And once the energy is taken away, all those concepts are only corpses; they lose their grip on you.
Hence I say to you: Love is the golden key to transformation. But it should not be a superficial, ordinary love. It should not be so small that doubt can also exist by the side, self-condemnation can also exist, misery can also exist, hate can also exist, because your love needs only very small energy. It has to be life-absorbing. The moment your love is almost your very life, it becomes prayer.
To me there is no other prayer than love possessing you so totally that nothing else can remain inside you; love needs all the space and you have to throw all junk out of your being. A great love is the only prayer, the only true prayer. And Jesus is right when he says, "God is love." Just a little improvement is needed, because for two thousand years the statement has remained the same.
Statements don't grow with the evolution of consciousness, we have to change them, give them higher dimensions.
Jesus says, "God is love." I would like to say to you, "Love is God." On the surface you will not see much difference, but there is a great difference. "God is love" implies that he can be many other things, love is not his totality - he can be just, he can be all-powerful, he can be all-seeing, he can be present everywhere; love does not exhaust his whole being, love is only one of the attributes of God. But if you change it into "love is God", then God becomes an attribute of love.
And love has no other attributes. Love is the only experience on the earth which is not of the earth, which is not of this world, the only experience which can give you a taste of the beyond.
God cannot be proved because it is an attribute of love. But love can be proved. Love cannot only be proved, it can be lived. And as you live love you will know, something divine has entered into you. You are no longer just an ordinary human being. Something in you, in your consciousness, has gone beyond humanity. And that beyond-ness, the taste of that beyond-ness is, the only argument and the only evidence of something which people have called God.
I myself like to use the word godliness because the word God looks dull and dead - frozen, as if there is no possibility of any growth in God; he has come to the full stop. But godliness is a quality, a riverlike flow. It can become more and more and more; it need not be limited.
God is limited, godliness is infinite. And because godliness is a quality, you need not worship it; you have to develop it. You don't have to make statues of godliness - you cannot. And you cannot reach godliness directly, because it is an attribute of love. All these are the implications. You can forget all about God and the churches and the organized religions.
There is no one who has dared to deny that love does not exist. There is almost half of the population of the world which denies the existence of God; but there has been nobody, not a single person, who denies the existence of love. Because love is a potential in your heart, you can grow it. And when it comes to its blossoming, when the spring comes and the fragrance comes to the flowers, you will know what godliness is. It follows love just like a shadow.
You have been told to do strange things: "Love God!" - and God is only a quality of love. I cannot say such a stupid thing, "Love God." I can only say to you, "Love, and you will find God. Love, and God will find you. Love, and as your love will mature, it will turn into something superhuman, into something divine."
It is not a question of belief; you cannot believe in God. And there is no need to believe in love because you can experience love. In the temple of love, the very silence of the temple, the very spaciousness of the temple, is godliness.
But all the religions have been, in a very strange way, giving distorting ideas to humanity. Otherwise, religion can be so simple - just like music or poetry or singing or dancing. The priority should be of love. And you can forget all about God, it will happen on its own accord if you manage to be full, to be abundantly full of love. Otherwise, you can go on believing. Just the other day I came across a small joke: What are the three reasons that prove that Christ was a Jew? Firstly, he was thirty-three years old and still lived with his mother; secondly he believed his mother to be a virgin; and thirdly, his mother believed her son to be a god.
Let Jewish mamas believe their sons to be gods, but just by anybody's belief or your own belief, God cannot be discovered. I want you to deeply understand it, that God is not a person but only a presence. When love is abundant, overflowing, a presence surrounds you. You cannot catch hold of it, but you can feel it.
The presence transforms you from the world of human beings into the world of eternity, immortality, from all kinds of lies that religions have been preaching to you, to the naked truth of existence.