Osho on Committing Suicide – Sannyas is real suicide
Question – Osho, I always think of committing suicide, and wonder what you would say about my death?
Osho – Prashant, I AM REMINDED OF A BEAUTIFUL ANECDOTE:
The minister, who got himself a little mixed up now and again, was standing over the open casket of the dearly departed, Joe Hall. “Our friend Joe Hall is not dead,” he orated. “Only the shell is here to be buried; the nut has departed.”
Why should you think of suicide? Are you a nut or something? If you have become a sannyasin you have already committed suicide. Sannyas is a suicide — the real one. It is not destroying the body, because destroying the body is not going to help; you will be immediately born again somewhere in some other womb. It will only be renewing the body; it is not real suicide.
Sannyas is real suicide, because it destroys the mind, it takes you beyond the mind. And if you are beyond the mind you will not be born again. Why be born again and again? Why go on in this vicious circle?
I know you are bored with life. If you are really bored, then meditation is the way, not suicide — because suicide will bring you to the SAME life, maybe an uglier life than you have right now, because suicide will create its own ugliness in you. To commit suicide is such an ungrateful act towards God. He gives you life as an opportunity to grow, and you throw away the opportunity.
And unless you grow, unless you grow and become a Buddha, you will be thrown back into life again and again. Millions of times it has happened before: it is time now you should become aware. Don’t miss this opportunity.
Being here with me, learn the real art of suicide. The real art consists not in destroying the body…the body is beautiful, the body has not done any wrong. It is the ugly mind. The body is beautiful, the soul is beautiful, but between the body and the soul there is something which is neither body nor soul. This in-between phenomenon is the mind.
It is mind that goes on dragging you back into the womb. When you die, if you commit suicide you will be thinking of life. Committing suicide means you are thinking of life.
You are bored, fed up with life; you would like a totally different kind of life, that’s why you are committing suicide — not that you are really against life. THIS life you are against. Maybe you don’t want to be the way you are: you would like to be an Alexander, a Napoleon, an Adolph Hitler; maybe you want to be the richest man in the world, and you are not. This life has failed, and you would like to be famous, successful — destroy it!
People commit suicide not because they are really finished with life but because life is not fulfilling their demands. But no life ever fulfills anybody’s demands. You will always go on missing something or other: if you have money, you may not be beautiful; if you are beautiful, you may not be intelligent; if you are intelligent, you may not have money.
Once a man stopped Andrew Carnegie, who had gone for a morning walk in the garden. Andrew Carnegie was the richest man in America; the man who stopped him was looking like the very incarnation of a beggar. And the man said, “Please don’t be deceived by my appearance. I am an author, I have also written a book.”
Andrew Carnegie asked, “What kind of book have you written?” The man said, “I have written a book entitled ONE HUNDRED WAYS TO BECOME RICH.”
Andrew Carnegie could not stop himself laughing. He said, “ONE HUNDRED WAYS TO BECOME RICH? And you are a beggar! What kind of book is this?”
The beggar started laughing, and he said, “This is the hundredth way of becoming rich — it is included in my book.”
The beggar also thinks of becoming rich, writes books about how to become rich — even thinks that by begging he will become rich. But Andrew Carnegie is not happy either; he was one of the most unhappy men ever born on the earth. He lived in unhappiness, he died in unhappiness. The day he died somebody asked, “You must be dying fully contented — because you are leaving such a lot of money behind you. You are the richest man in the world.”
Andrew Carnegie opened his eyes and said, very sadly said, “I am not fulfilled in my desires. My target was far higher — I have not been able to reach it. I could accumulate only ten percent of my target.”
But even if you achieve one hundred percent of your target, how is it going to help? One is going to remain unfulfilled. Each life you will find the same thing repeated; forms change, but the discontent remains. People think that those who commit suicide are against life — they are not. They are too lusty for life, they have great lust for life; and because life is not fulfilling their lust, in anger, in despair, they destroy themselves.
Prashant, I will teach you the right way to commit suicide. Not the destruction of the body; the body is a beautiful gift from God. The mind is not a gift from God; the mind is a conditioning by the society. The soul is a gift, the body is a gift, and sandwiched between the two, the society has played tricks with you: it has created your mind. It gives you ambition, it gives you jealousy, competition, violence, it gives you all kinds of ugly diseases. But this mind can be transcended, this mind can be put aside. This mind is not a must.
I am sitting before you and I say it through my own experience, I say it on my own authority: that mind can be put aside. It is so simple, you just have to know the knack of it.
And remember, whenever I say that I say it on my own authority I am not saying that I am saying it AUTHORITATIVELY. Those two expressions are totally different. When something is said AUTHORITATIVELY it is a commandment; you have to believe in it. If you don’t believe in it you will suffer, here or hereafter. The priest speaks with authoritativeness, the politician speaks with authoritativeness.
A realized man speaks not with authoritativeness but on his own authority — because he KNOWS it. I am not saying follow me, I am not saying believe in me. I am simply stating a fact: that I have KNOWN it this way, it has happened to me…it can happen to you. Life is very precious and the greatest treasure is hidden in it — and that treasure is of becoming a witness.
A real story for you, Prashant:
One day in 1928 Bucky Fuller stood on the shore of Lake Michigan and planned to throw himself in. He was ready to give up because he was a failure financially, by the standards of the upper middle class which he had been born into.
As a construction engineer he had not succeeded. And because his daughter had just died of polio, the whole universe did not make any sense to him and he was ready to throw himself in. He stopped himself and said, “Wait, I can’t be sure. Maybe there is something I can do in this universe that is important.” He said, “Well, what can I do? Let us see what a man of average intelligence can do if he starts questioning everything that is taken for granted and starts looking for alternatives.”
I don’t know if he ever was a man of only average intelligence — IN FACT NO ONE EVER IS — but by questioning everything he came to realize, as he said, that when you don’t accept anything except that which can be experimentally verified, you are overwhelmed by the inherent integrity and rationality of the universe. The most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible, as Einstein said. And that gives you faith in the sane, sound center of the universe we mentioned earlier. As Ezra Pound wrote in the death-cells at Pisa, looking at the stars, out of all this beauty something must come.”
Now Bucky Fuller is one of the most wise men in the West — not yet a Buddha, but on the way, very close. And the art that has brought him so close to becoming a Buddha is the art of questioning everything that is accepted by the society: it is the art of becoming an inquirer.
Transform your life, Prashant, into a quest. Question the values that you have accepted. Question all that you have been brought up to believe in. Question the way you have lived up to now. Question your mechanicalness, question your robotlike existence.
Yes, something drastic has to be done, but it is not suicide. It won’t help, it won’t change you; you will be back again in another womb somewhere. Millions of stupid couples are making love every moment. Beware! You will be caught in some net somewhere. And you will get only what you deserve, remember; you can’t get more than you deserve. You get the womb that is right for you.
And dying in suicide is dying in such anguish, because it is one of the most unnatural things to do, most abnormal things to do. No animal commits suicide, no tree ever commits suicide — only man. Only man can go that insane. Nature knows nothing of suicide; it is man’s invention. It is the most ugly act. And when you do something ugly to yourself you cannot hope that you will get a better life. You will die in an ugly state of mind and you will enter an uglier womb.
But what is the need to commit suicide? Just question: you must have lived in a wrong way, that’s why life has not become a song. You must have lived foolishly, stupidly, unintelligently; that’s why life has not attained to celebration. You cannot dance with joy with the stars and with the flowers and with the wind and with the rain, because you have lived with wrong kinds of ideas imposed on you by the same kind of people as you are.
It is a perpetual phenomenon; stupidity goes on perpetuating itself. Parents go on giving stupidity to their children and the children in their turn will hand over their stupidity to THEIR children. This is the heritage. This is called tradition, heritage, culture… great names!
Question all that you have lived without questioning up to now, and your life will have a new intelligence arising in it. Your life will become more sharp.
Sheela has asked a question: “Osho, you say ‘Drop the mind.’ The more I drop the mind, the sharper and sharper my brain is becoming.” She is puzzled There is no need to be puzzled: the brain is a totally different thing from the mind. The mind is given by the society, the brain is part of your body. The brain is neither Hindu nor Mohammedan nor Christian; the mind is a Hindu, Mohammedan, Christian. The brain is simply a beautiful biocomputer. The more you drop the mind, the sharper your brain will be, the more intelligent. It is the mind that is creating your mediocrity.
Sheela, you need not be puzzled by it: this is how it is going to happen. The more and more people drop their minds, the more and more they will be able to function intelligently, because the brain will be unburdened. The brain will not be expected to carry unnecessary luggage.
Right now your brain is carrying so much rubbish! That it functions at all is a miracle. Just look how much rubbish you are carrying: of being a Hindu, of being an Indian, of being a Japanese, of being a Buddhist, of being this, of being that, a fascist, a communist…religious ideologies, philosophical ideologies, political ideologies. They are heaped upon you, layer upon layer. Your brain has lost all its functioning. Once the mind is dropped, the brain will come to its total functioning.
And every being is born intelligent. It is society that creates unintelligence. No child is born unintelligent. Have you ever seen a bird which is unintelligent or a bird which is wise, intelligent? All birds are alike. Have you seen a rosebush which is foolish or a rosebush which is a genius? All rosebushes are alike. So are all human beings: they come with the same potential but fall into different gangs.
These are all gangs: Indians, Chinese, British, American. These are all gangs, and politicians are the criminals. Then there are religious gangs…. And their whole effort is not to allow your intelligence to function, because an intelligent person is bound to become rebellious.
Prashant, question your values. If you have been a Catholic, question it; if you have been a Protestant, question it; if you have been a Hindu, question it. Question all that you have lived up to now; something is basically wrong somewhere.
Ezra Pound is right. And do you know from where he is writing this? From his death-cell! “Out of all this beauty something must come.” Ezra Pound in a dark cell, just waiting for death to come, can write such a tremendously important sutra: “Out of all this beauty something must come.”
The birds singing, and the trees, and the flowers…this infinite universe — is it the place to commit suicide? It is the place to dance, to sing, to celebrate, to love and to be loved.
And if you can love this existence, if you can feel blessed with this existence, I promise you that when you die you will not be coming back again…because you will have learnt the lesson. God never sends anybody back to the school if once they have learnt their lesson.
If you can learn to rejoice, you will be accepted. Doors of higher mysteries will be opened to you. You will be welcomed into the innermost mysteries of life. That’s what I call the true art of committing suicide: my name for it is sannyas.