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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   Om Shantih Shantih Shantih: The Soundless Sound, Peace Peace Peace
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Chapter 1: Sound is Our Mind - Silence is Our Being

Osho,
I am always intrigued by Eastern scriptures that begin with Om, Shantih Shantih Shantih and end with Om, Shantih Shantih Shantih.
Would you please talk about this?

The East has approached reality in an almost diametrically opposite way to the West. First, the simple meaning of the word should be understood, and then all the implications. All Eastern scriptures begin with Om, Shantih Shantih Shantih and they also end with the same.

Om is the symbol of the universal heartbeat; it is not a word. And as you come closer and closer to the universal heartbeat, the by-product is a deepening silence. Shantih means silence and it is always repeated three times because by the time you reach to the fourth, you are no more - just the silence has remained. You have disappeared as an entity separate from the universe.

The West has not been able to begin even a single scripture with this intention. It is understandable. They never went into the deeper communion between your heart and the bigger heart of the universe. They have taken a wrong route, that of fighting, that of conquering, that of being victorious. They have chosen to be extroverts.

Their world is true, but they don’t know anything about themselves.

The outside is true and the inside has not been explored.

The Bible says, “In the beginning was the word.” Now this can be said only by somebody who is absolutely ignorant, because the word means a sound with a meaning. These sounds made by the words are just sounds; you cannot call them words. The moment you say, “In the beginning was the word,” unknowingly you have accepted that there is someone who gives meaning to it, but then the word is not in the beginning.

In the beginning is one who gives meaning to the word. And The Bible says, “God was with the word.” Anyone who wrote it must have felt uneasy that the world should begin only with a word. Immediately he needed someone to give meaning to it; hence the second statement that God was with the word.

If you look into things very impartially, deeply, you will be amazed how much they can reveal. Then he must have become aware to ask, “Who is first? God or the word?”

The third sentence then tries to make a compromise. It says, “God and the word were one.” Nobody in the whole Eastern search will agree with it. The East has not experienced the beginning because naturally you cannot see the beginning: you are already there, the beginning has happened. In your being you have preceded the beginning, so there is no possibility of any witness of the beginning. But there is a possibility to be a witness of the end.

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