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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol. 1
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Chapter 7: By Watching.

The fool is careless.
But the master guards his watching.
It is his most precious treasure.

He never gives in to desire.
He meditates.
And in the strength of his resolve
he discovers true happiness.

He overcomes desire -
and from the tower of wisdom
he looks down with dispassion
upon the sorrowing crowd.
From the mountaintop
he looks down on those
who live close to the ground.

Mindful among the mindless,
awake while others dream,
swift as the race horse
he outstrips the field.

By watching
Indra became king of the gods.
How wonderful it is to watch,
how foolish to sleep.

The bhikkhu who guards his mind
and fears the waywardness of his thoughts
burns through every bond
with the fire of his vigilance.

The bhikkhu who guards his mind
and fears his own confusion
cannot fall.
He has found the way to peace.

Life is three-dimensional, and man is free to choose. The freedom that man has is both a curse and a blessing. He can choose to rise, he can choose to fall. He can choose the way of darkness or he can choose the way of light.

No other being has the freedom to choose. Their lives are predetermined. Because they are predetermined they cannot go astray - that’s the beauty of it. But because it is predetermined they are mechanical - that’s what is ugly about it.

Man is not yet a being in the true sense. He is only a becoming, he is on the way. He is searching, seeking, groping; he is not yet crystallized. That’s why he does not know who he is - because he is not yet; how can he know who he is? Before knowing, the being has to happen. And the being is possible only if you choose rightly, consciously, with full awareness.

Jean-Paul Sartre is right when he says that man is a project, that man creates himself by his own effort, that man is born only as an opportunity, as a possibility, not as an actuality. He has to become actual - and there is every possibility that he may miss the target. Millions of people miss the target; it is very rare that a person has found his being. When a person finds his being, he is a buddha.

But the basic requirement is: choose your life with awareness. You have to choose anyway - whether you choose with awareness or not makes no difference, a choice has to be made. You are not free in the sense that if you don’t want to choose you will be allowed not to. You are not free not to choose - even not choosing will be a choosing.

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