||Question - Beloved
Master, Why does Gautama The Buddha insist that Life is always Misery?
Osho - Dharmendra, because it is so! Life as you know it IS misery. Buddha is not talking about HIS life, because what do you know about his life? That is not utter misery; that is utter bliss, that is ultimate bliss. But the life that you know IS misery. Does it need any proofs? Have you not observed yourself that it is misery? Do you need a Buddha to remind you?
And even when a buddha reminds you, you don't feel good. You feel offended, as if your life is being condemned. He is not condemning your life -- buddhas never condemn anything. They simply say whatsoever is the case. If you are blind, they say you are blind. If you are dead, they say you are dead. They simply state the fact -- and they state the fact because there is a possibility to go beyond it.
Buddha insists again and again that life is misery
because life CAN be tremendous bliss. But unless you understand the
first thing you will not understand the second thing.
First you have to be very very aware that your life is misery, so much
so that it becomes impossible to live in the old way even for a single
moment. When you see your house is on fire, how can you go on living in
it? You will run, you will escape from the house! You will forget all
your treasures. You will not carry your cherished items, beautiful
paintings, art works, or whatsoever you love. You will forget all about
your postal stamps and your picture albums. You will forget even your
wife, your husband, your children. You will remember them when you are
out of the house.
His logic had a point in it. He silenced his friends and physicians. But
one night the house caught fire. Those hundred eyes escaped -- they
forgot all about the old man. Yes, they remembered, but they remembered
only when they were safe outside. Suddenly they remembered that the old
man is in the house. What to do now? And the flames were so big now they
could not go in. And the old man was trying to find his way stumbling,
getting burned here and there. And then he remembered that his logic was
In times of real need only your own eyes can be of help. But it was too
late: he died, he was burned alive.
Not that he is a pessimist -- as many people in the West particularly have condemned him, and in the East too. People think that Buddha is a pessimist, saying life is misery. He is not a pessimist -- not a pessimist in the same way as Arthur Schopenhauer is. Schopenhauer is a pessimist: "Life is misery and there is no way to get out of it. You have to suffer it, nothing can be done about it. Man is a helpless victim."
It is said that when Schopenhauer read Gautam Buddha's works for the
first time he danced because he thought, "This enlightened man agrees
Remember one thing: the blind man knows nothing about darkness even, what to say about light! Because to see darkness eyes are needed. You may be thinking that blind people live in darkness -- you are totally wrong. They know nothing of darkness. Because YOU close your eyes and you feel darkness, so you think blind people must be living in darkness -- but they don't have eyes to close. And unless you know light you cannot know darkness; they are two aspects of the same coin. Eyes are needed for both.
Schopenhauer was utterly wrong -- Buddha was not agreeing with him. Of course, Buddha can be interpreted in such a way that he may look like a pessimist philosopher. He is neither a pessimist nor a philosopher. He is not even an optimist -- because pessimism and optimism both belong to the world of the blind.
Hopeless people hope. Blind people think sooner or later they will attain to eyes. In the dark night of your souls you cling to the hope that there must be a dawn. To tolerate the present misery you have to create a certain kind of optimistic attitude so that you can hope for a beautiful tomorrow -- although it never comes. But in hoping, you can tolerate. At least you can dilute your misery a little bit, you can avoid getting too much disturbed by it. You can remain occupied somewhere else. You can keep your eyes closed to the present anguish.
Buddha wants to bring you to the reality of your existence. He is a very
earthly man, very pragmatic. He is a realist, he is not an idealist. He
has nothing to do with pessimism and nothing to do with optimism. He is
simply trying to shake you up. It is a way of hammering on your head.
That's why he insists again and again that life is misery.
And remember: I am not against the world. And I am not saying don't earn money and I am not saying don't make a beautiful house. But remember: these things in themselves cannot make your life a life of joy. Yes, if you are meditative then a beautiful house will have a totally different quality. A beautiful garden, a pond in your garden....
Mukta has just made a pond by the side of my room, a really beautiful pond with a small waterfall. If YOU are meditative, then it is a tremendously beautiful experience just to see water dancing on the rocks, just to see the rocks, just to feel the texture of the rocks, the moss that will start gathering on them. Then everything is beautiful if inside your heart there is awareness; otherwise everything is ugly.
It is not that a meditative person enters into heaven -- no, heaven
enters into a meditative person. Paradise is not a geographical place,
it is a psychological experience. A meditative person can enjoy
everything -- only he can enjoy. He is not a renunciate. Only he knows
how to taste the beauty of things, how to experience the tremendous
presence of existence all around. Because he IS, he knows how to love,
how to live.
The Old Testament says God created the world in six days. And then? Then it seems the Devil is running it! Since then, God has not been heard of; since then the Devil is in charge. Your life is a cruel joke, as if some evil force is playing tricks with you. Just like small children torturing some insect, you are being tortured by some unknown force -- as if some unknown force is enjoying your torture, as if God is a sadist!
Buddha is right: your life simply proves not only that YOU are wrong, but it even proves that the God you worship must be wrong. It not only proves YOU wrong, it proves your popes and your shankaracharyas wrong. It proves your so-called religions wrong, because they don't help in changing your quality of life. They don't change your vision, they don't change your insight. They don't bring more sensitivity and awareness to you so that you can live on a new plane, in a new plenitude, in a new fullness.
Buddha insists for a certain reason. The reason is: if you listen to him
and if you become aware that your life IS misery, you are bound to ask
him, "Sir, then what should we do?"
Source - Osho Book "The Dhammapada Vol7"