Chapter 2: Bliss Is the Consequence
The day he realized it, he dropped all ascetic practices, he relaxed. That was the first time he ate in the night and he ate food offered by an untouchable woman. All five followers immediately left him, thinking that he had gone astray. First, eating in the night is not right; secondly, the food offered by an untouchable, a poor woman, is not acceptable to a holy man. He is no longer holy.
And that very night Buddha became enlightened. Those five fools missed his enlightenment. That very night he became enlightened, and he became enlightened for the simple reason that for the first time he relaxed into his being and simply followed his essential core.
All religions are destroyed by the nonessential. Your whole life is destroyed by the nonessential. But nobody else can decide for you what is essential and what is nonessential.
Remember that, I cannot say exactly, “This is essential and this is nonessential.” Each individual has to discover it. Each individual has to be a light unto himself or herself.
All that I can suggest is: be silent so that you can hear the still small voice of your heart. And it is always speaking, but you are so noisy you go on missing its message.
The second question:
The shankaracharya of Shardapeeth, Dwarka, is reported to have said that your ideas about spirituality do not conform with the sanatan dharma which gives great importance to self-control and prescribes rules of conduct given in the ancient scriptures. The shankaracharya also remarked that wherever you and your ashram move, it will spoil the spiritual environment of that place.
Osho, this is perhaps the first time that the shankaracharya has openly criticized you and this place. Would you kindly say something?
The shankaracharya is right in a way: I do not conform with his ideas about spirituality. Why should I conform to anybody else’s ideas of spirituality at all? Spirituality is not an ideology, in fact. It has nothing to do with ideas. It is a state of no-mind - how it can be an ideology? The shankaracharya has no experience of meditation at all, otherwise he would not have spoken this way.
Spirituality simply means that you have gone beyond the mind, and in that transcendence all ideas are transcended - Hindu, Mohammedan, Christian, communist - all ideas. Ideas as such are transcended. There is only silence, and two silences can never be different. They are like two zeros. What difference can there be?
Buddha in his deep meditation is not different from Mahavira. Mahavira in his deep meditation is not different from Zarathustra. Zarathustra in his deep silence is not different from Lao Tzu. And I call this the sanatan dharma.