Nothing More Practical Than Meditation
Osho, I am a practical man. My mind cannot
see that any purpose is fulfilled by meditation.
It is better to tell
you from the very beginning that
I am also a practical man, much more practical than you can ever
be. I don't believe in theories, I believe in experiments. I
don't say that religion begins in belief, I say religion begins
But I am a different kind of practical man than you are. You are
only halfheartedly practical; maybe you are practical in the
outside world. But there is an inner world too, which needs as
much scientific approach as the outside world does. In fact, it
needs more accurate observation, more unprejudiced mind, more
existential approach than the outside world. But I can
understand your problem. It happens to all the so-called
practical people who think in terms of money, power and
prestige, who are basically extroverts, who only look to that
which is outside,who have never tried to explore their inner
world; that dimension they have not even touched. They have
completely forgotten that they have got a within too.
Langley said to his wife, "This bell is used only for
emergencies. Now I am going out in the field and if anything
like an Indian attack happens, ring the bell."
So the Old West settler went off to plow and a couple of minutes
later the bell started ringing.
Langley hurried to the house screaming, "What's the matter?"
"I thought I saw an Indian," said his wife.
He said, "The bell is only for real important things." So he
went back out to work.
Suddenly the bell began pealing. He rushed back to the house.
"I made some cookies and I thought you would like some," said
"I told you, don't ring the bell unless something really
Langley went back to the field. Thirty minutes later the bell
started ringing again. He ran back to the house and saw that it
was on fire and his wife lay dead with an arrow in her back.
"Now this is more like it!" said the settler.
You must be this kind of a practical man. That's why you cannot
see that there is any purpose in meditation. In fact, in a
totally different sense you are right: it will not serve any
purpose if you are interested in money, power, prestige, fame.
Meditation will not be of any help; in fact, it will destroy all
your desires for money. It will destroy your greed, it will take
away your ambitiousness, it will show you the stupidity of all
power trips. It will kill the very root of your ambition: the
ego. In that sense it will not serve any purpose. But money,
power, prestige you can have, still inside you will remain
a dark continent, unknown to yourself You will remain unaware of
your infinite treasures, and outside treasures cannot fill your
inner emptiness. Whatsoever you try is bound to fail; you will
feel only frustrated.
My mind cannot see that any purpose is fulfilled by
The mind cannot see, that is true, because mind and meditation
cannot coexist. If the mind exists, there is no meditation; if
meditation happens, there is no mind. Mind has never seen
meditation; hence, naturally, how the mind can say what purpose
it can serve? Mind and meditation are exactly like light and
I have heard that once darkness approached God and said to him
that, "I have never harmed your sun, but the sun rises every
morning and starts torturing me, goes on and on chasing me
farther and farther away. I have to run the whole day and in the
night I cannot even rest – in the morning again the same thing
starts. Why, when I have done nothing wrong? You should stop the
sun chasing me. This is unfair!"
And God said, "I can understand. I will call the sun
immediately." And the sun was called and told that "Why have you
been torturing darkness? What darkness has done to you?"
The sun said, "I have never come across darkness, I don't know
darkness. I have not even been introduced to darkness! What do
you mean by darkness? Where darkness is? Please let me see her.
Bring her in front of me so that I can see about whom you are
And God has been seeing darkness and the sun, but he has not
been yet able to bring them together face to face; it is
impossible. And the sun is also right. She says, "Unless you
bring the person in front of me who is complaining against me...
how can I stop anything of which I am not even aware that I have
The same is true about mind and meditation. When the light of
meditation arrives, mind disappears like darkness. Hence
meditation is incomprehensible to the mind. Mind is very
mediocre – all minds are mediocre, even the very talented minds
are mediocre. Real intelligence is intrinsic to meditation, not
to mind. Mind is a fool, mind is an idiot. And we live in the
world of the mind, and it goes on and on telling us, "Do this
stupidity, now that stupidity." If you are tired of this
stupidity, the mind produces another stupidity. It is very
inventive, certainly, but not intelligent at all.
All minds are Polack!
The Polack was stationed in Germany. One day his wife telephoned
him from Detroit.
"We have a new baby," shouted his wife excitedly, "born thirty
"Is it a boy or a girl?" asked her husband.
"I don't know," she replied.
"Didn't you look between its legs?"
"Don't be nasty!" said his wife. "Who could think about sex at a
time like this!"
At his evening performance, a ventriloquist had told jokes about
the Jews, the Africans, the Japanese, and the Americans.
Addressing his audience he then said, "Now it is time for a
Polack joke." At this, a large, stubble-bearded man in a
beer-stained tee shin got up and shouted, "I don't want to hear
no jokes about the stupidity of us Polacks. We are not as thick
as you think!"
"Please sit down, sir, and keep calm," consoled the
The Polack replied, "Shut up, you! I am talking to the little
guy on your lap!"
The mind cannot comprehend what meditation is all about. How it
can decide, Vishnudas Sethia, that there is no purpose fulfilled
by meditation? The only way to decide is to experience
meditation. No outer purpose is fulfilled, agreed, but there are
inner purposes, higher purposes, greater purposes, more
intrinsic, more valuable purposes which will make your life
significant, meaningful, which will give you something of the
eternal, which will make you available to God and God
available to you.
Meditation is the only way to transcend death. Otherwise man
lives in fear, lives in trembling, anxiety and anguish. Unless
man comes to know that he is not the body nor the mind but
something transcendental to both, he remains afraid, scared. And
if you are surrounded by death, if your life is just like a
small island in the ocean of death, what life you can live? In
such fear there is no possibility of life. Life happens only to
those who know that life is eternal, that it is forever and
forever, that you have been always here and you will be always
here. Meditation reveals to you your Buddhahood. It will not
make you Alexander the Great, it will not make you a Rockefeller
or a Ford or a Morgan, but it will make you a Christ, a
Zarathustra, a Lao Tzu. And these are the people who have really
When Alexander the Great died, he died like a dog, died like a
beggar. And he recognized the fact, he had to recognize it,
because twice he was told by two great mystics. One was
Diogenes, a Greek mystic who lived like Mahavira, naked, but in
utter ecstasy, always in a dance, always in celebration.
When Alexander had gone to see him he felt jealous of him. He
said that "You are the first man I amfeeling jealous of."
Diogenes said, "That is strange, because I have nothing! I am
just a beggar and you are one of the greatest kings. You have
almost conquered the whole world; soon you will be the greatest
conqueror ever. And I have got nothing, no possessions. How you
can be jealous of me?"
Alexander said, "Still I feel jealous of you – because I may
have the whole kingdom of the world, but I don't see any joy in
my life. My life is barren, empty, like a desert, no greenery.
Not even a single flower has opened up within my being, and I
can see in you flowers and flowers. Your heart is in a dance,
your each breath is a song. If next time God is kind enough to
give me another opportunity, I would like to be born not as
Alexander but Diogenes."
Diogenes said, "Then why wait for the next time? You can be
Diogenes this very moment!" But Alexander must have been,
Vishnudas Sethia, a practical man like you. He said, "Right now
it is not possible, it is not practical. I am on the conquest of
the world. First I have to finish that, then only can I think
Diogenes said. "Remember my words: you will not be able to
finish it – you will be finished before it. Nobody ever finishes
life's work. Life is too short and our ambitions are so big, so
many. Our desires are infinite - impossible to fulfill them. And
each desire goes on begetting new desires, so don't think that
you will be able to fulfill your desires and then you can become
a Diogenes. One becomes a Diogenes as a jump; it is a quantum
Thanking him, Alexander went on his conquest. And he has met
another mystic in India. His name he remembers in his memoirs as
Dandamesh; it must be a Greek form of some Indian name. There
are no Indian records about it so we don't know exactly what was
the Indian name, but he calls him Dandamesh. He wanted Dandamesh
to go with him. Dandamesh laughed and refused. Alexander became
angry. He said, pulling out his sword that "If you don't come
with me I will cut your head!"
And Dandamesh said, "Please cut it. In fact, I have cut it long
before, and when it will fall on the earth you will see falling
it on the earth and I will also see falling it on the earth. You
are as separate from my head as I am separate from my head. I am
a witness to it."
Again Alexander says, "I felt jealous of this man who is not
afraid of death at all." And he died on the way back home; he
did not reach home. Diogenes' prophecy was fulfilled. Just a
twenty-four hours' journey more and he would have reached. He
told to his physicians, "I am ready to give whatsoever you want,
but save me for twenty-four hours." They said, "We cannot save
you even for twenty-four seconds. Your life is finished." He
said, "I had promised my mother that I will come back." The
physicians said, "A man who is mortal should not give promises,
because tomorrow is never certain." He died. His last wish was
that "My hands should be left hanging out of the coffin." "Why?"
the people asked him. "This is not conventional!"
He said, "Conventional or not conventional, I want everybody to
know that I am dying empty-handed."
Vishnudas Sethia, by meditation you will not become an
Alexander, but you will become a Buddha. Your hands will be
full; not only the physical hands, your invisible soul will be
full. There will be great contentment, bliss, benediction. That
is the purpose of meditation. You cannot calculate it in terms
of mathematics; you cannot weigh it, measure it. It is
immeasurable inestimable. You have to experience it.
(Osho - Zen, The Special Transmission #4)
And the problem is: a man like you would like first to be
convinced that it has some purpose, but that is not possible and
that cannot be done. You cannot be convinced that it has purpose
because the way you understand purpose it has no purpose at all.
But there is a totally different dimension of purpose, a
different dimension of meaning and significance, fulfillment and
contentment, bliss and benediction, but that language you won't
understand. The only way to understand that language is to learn
I am here to help you learn it. And I don't say believe in it: I
say just hypothetically experiment. Just few glimpses of your
inner being and that will be enough, and that will convince you
that all that you have done before was not really practical; it
was all impractical because death will take away all that you
have gathered. It is only meditation that gives you something
which death cannot destroy, which is indestructible.
If you are really a practical man, then go into meditation. And
I am talking to you as a practical man. I am a practical man, I
am not a theoretical man at all. No Buddha has ever been
theoretical; they have always been very practical people. And
they all have found that there is nothing more practical than