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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol. 7
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Chapter 6: Don’t Take Enlightenment Seriously

The first question:

How did you become enlightened?

One never becomes enlightened - one is enlightened. One simply remembers it. It is not an achievement, but only a recognition. You are as much enlightened as I am, nothing is missing. You have not lost your god, it is impossible to lose him. He is our very life; without him we cannot exist for a single moment.

So the question is not how to find him. The question is how to become more alert, aware of that which already is the case.

Enlightenment is not a process of becoming, it is a discovery of being. You don’t grow towards enlightenment; hence it is never gradual - growth is gradual. It is an explosion - sudden, instantaneous. It happens in a single moment.it can happen any moment.

You are only asleep, not unenlightened. You have to be awakened. So remember it: never think in terms of becoming. Becoming is desire, and desire is a hindrance, desire is a dream. If you want to become enlightened you will never be enlightened. Don’t make it a goal, an object for desire, because all goals bring future in. And when the future comes in you are in a turmoil. That is what your so-called unenlightenment is. When there is no goal there is no future. When there is no desire, there is no possibility of dreaming. And the moment dreaming stops, sleep disappears.

The state of that no sleep, no desire, no dreaming, no goal, is enlightenment. Suddenly you find yourself utterly perfect. And one starts laughing, because one was searching for something which was never lost; one was seeking something which one has already been. How can you find that which you already are? It is impossible to find it. That’s why enlightenment seems to be such a difficult process - because it is not a process at all, hence the difficulty.

The masters down the ages have simply been devising methods to wake you up, to shake you up, into enlightenment. They have used all kinds of methods, all kinds of devices. But all those devices are arbitrary; they have no intrinsic value of their own. Their value depends on the master and his artfulness, his skill. If somebody else is going to try those devices they won’t work. It is not a science, it is an art, a knack.

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