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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol. 12
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Chapter 6: Life, Love, Laughter

When you are born you are born only with the potential to exist, to survive, not with the art of making life a joy, a bliss, a celebration. That art has to be learned. To me, religion is that very art, the supreme art: the art of transforming the lower into the higher. Religion to me is alchemy. It is the process of transforming the potential into the actual. Man has lived at the minimum; hence he looks so dull. Man can live at the maximum and then there will be great brilliance and great radiance and then there will be great flowering.

Laughter is as precious as prayer or even more precious than prayer, because the man who cannot laugh cannot pray either. A prayer that does not come out of a joyous heart is already dead. It cannot reach God, it cannot leave the earth, it has no wings. It is like a rock: it will fall back to the earth, it cannot fly into the sky.

Religion has lived without laughter, that’s why religion has been a corpse. And you are worshipping corpses in your churches and in your temples and in your mosques, you have become worshippers of death. Rather than worshipping life you have been worshipping death.

My approach is totally different - I bring you a new vision. Religion is against laughter, is against love, is against rejoicing, is against celebration. The religious person, the so-called religious person, condemns everything of this world; he lives surrounded by a thousand and one condemnations. He lives in fear, in trembling. He does not live, he only vegetates.

Your so-called saints and mahatmas are not real people, they don’t have the guts to be real, they are phony. But you have worshipped them for so long, and you still go on worshipping them. And the reason you worship them is because they are so dead, because they are so serious, because they are so ugly, because their whole approach towards life is so negative. They are anti-life, anti-love, anti-laughter - how can they be for God? It is only through love and laughter and a tremendous joy in life that you start feeling the presence of something that is beyond.

When life becomes an adventure, a dance of ecstasy, then only do you move beyond the confinement of the body and the mind and soar high towards the infinite.

Yes, Masta, you can say I live on your laughter. I rejoice seeing you dance, sing and laugh. I rejoice seeing you in deep love. I rejoice seeing you dropping the garbage of centuries, the rotten, stupid superstitions of centuries. I rejoice seeing you getting out of the old, being born anew.

All the religions were born thousands of years ago; everything has changed. Those religions don’t fit anymore, they have no relevance, their context has disappeared. But they go on sitting on your head, heavy mountains, and they don’t allow you to move. In fact, the older the religion, the more precious you think it is. It is not so: the older the religion, the more irrelevant it is.

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