Osho on Committing
Suicide - Sannyas is real suicide
Question - Osho, I always think of
committing suicide, and wonder what you would say about
Osho - Prashant, I AM REMINDED OF A BEAUTIFUL ANECDOTE:
The minister, who got himself a little mixed up now and
again, was standing over the open casket of the dearly
departed, Joe Hall. "Our friend Joe Hall is not dead,"
he orated. "Only the shell is here to be buried; the nut
Why should you think of suicide? Are you a nut or
something? If you have become a sannyasin you have
already committed suicide. Sannyas is a suicide -- the
real one. It is not destroying the body, because
destroying the body is not going to help; you will be
immediately born again somewhere in some other womb. It
will only be renewing the body; it is not real suicide.
Sannyas is real suicide, because it destroys the mind,
it takes you beyond the mind. And if you are beyond the
mind you will not be born again. Why be born again and
again? Why go on in this vicious circle?
I know you are bored with life. If you are really bored,
then meditation is the way, not suicide -- because
suicide will bring you to the SAME life, maybe an uglier
life than you have right now, because suicide will
create its own ugliness in you. To commit suicide is
such an ungrateful act towards God. He gives you life as
an opportunity to grow, and you throw away the
And unless you grow, unless you grow and become a
Buddha, you will be thrown back into life again and
again. Millions of times it has happened before: it is
time now you should become aware. Don't miss this
Being here with me, learn the real art of suicide. The
real art consists not in destroying the body...the body
is beautiful, the body has not done any wrong. It is the
ugly mind. The body is beautiful, the soul is beautiful,
but between the body and the soul there is something
which is neither body nor soul. This in-between
phenomenon is the mind.
It is mind that goes on dragging you back into the womb.
When you die, if you commit suicide you will be thinking
of life. Committing suicide means you are thinking of
You are bored, fed up with life; you would like a
totally different kind of life, that's why you are
committing suicide -- not that you are really against
life. THIS life you are against. Maybe you don't want to
be the way you are: you would like to be an Alexander, a
Napoleon, an Adolph Hitler; maybe you want to be the
richest man in the world, and you are not. This life has
failed, and you would like to be famous, successful --
People commit suicide not because they are really
finished with life but because life is not fulfilling
their demands. But no life ever fulfills anybody's
demands. You will always go on missing something or
other: if you have money, you may not be beautiful; if
you are beautiful, you may not be intelligent; if you
are intelligent, you may not have money.
Once a man stopped Andrew Carnegie, who had gone for a
morning walk in the garden. Andrew Carnegie was the
richest man in America; the man who stopped him was
looking like the very incarnation of a beggar. And the
man said, "Please don't be deceived by my appearance. I
am an author, I have also written a book."
Andrew Carnegie asked, "What kind of book have you
written?" The man said, "I have written a book entitled
ONE HUNDRED WAYS TO BECOME RICH."
Andrew Carnegie could not stop himself laughing. He
said, "ONE HUNDRED WAYS TO BECOME RICH? And you are a
beggar! What kind of book is this?"
The beggar started laughing, and he said, "This is the
hundredth way of becoming rich -- it is included in my
The beggar also thinks of becoming rich, writes books
about how to become rich -- even thinks that by begging
he will become rich. But Andrew Carnegie is not happy
either; he was one of the most unhappy men ever born on
the earth. He lived in unhappiness, he died in
unhappiness. The day he died somebody asked, "You must
be dying fully contented -- because you are leaving such
a lot of money behind you. You are the richest man in
Andrew Carnegie opened his eyes and said, very sadly
said, "I am not fulfilled in my desires. My target was
far higher -- I have not been able to reach it. I could
accumulate only ten percent of my target."
But even if you achieve one hundred percent of your
target, how is it going to help? One is going to remain
unfulfilled. Each life you will find the same thing
repeated; forms change, but the discontent remains.
People think that those who commit suicide are against
life -- they are not. They are too lusty for life, they
have great lust for life; and because life is not
fulfilling their lust, in anger, in despair, they
Prashant, I will teach you the right way to commit
suicide. Not the destruction of the body; the body is a
beautiful gift from God. The mind is not a gift from
God; the mind is a conditioning by the society. The soul
is a gift, the body is a gift, and sandwiched between
the two, the society has played tricks with you: it has
created your mind. It gives you ambition, it gives you
jealousy, competition, violence, it gives you all kinds
of ugly diseases. But this mind can be transcended, this
mind can be put aside. This mind is not a must.
I am sitting before you and I say it through my own
experience, I say it on my own authority: that mind can
be put aside. It is so simple, you just have to know the
knack of it.
And remember, whenever I say that I say it on my own
authority I am not saying that I am saying it
AUTHORITATIVELY. Those two expressions are totally
different. When something is said AUTHORITATIVELY it is
a commandment; you have to believe in it. If you don't
believe in it you will suffer, here or hereafter. The
priest speaks with authoritativeness, the politician
speaks with authoritativeness.
A realized man speaks not with authoritativeness but on
his own authority -- because he KNOWS it. I am not
saying follow me, I am not saying believe in me. I am
simply stating a fact: that I have KNOWN it this way, it
has happened to me...it can happen to you.
Life is very precious and the greatest treasure is
hidden in it -- and that treasure is of becoming a
A real story for you, Prashant:
One day in 1928 Bucky Fuller stood on the shore of Lake
Michigan and planned to throw himself in. He was ready
to give up because he was a failure financially, by the
standards of the upper middle class which he had been
As a construction engineer he had not succeeded. And
because his daughter had just died of polio, the whole
universe did not make any sense to him and he was ready
to throw himself in. He stopped himself and said, "Wait,
I can't be sure. Maybe there is something I can do in
this universe that is important." He said, "Well, what
can I do? Let us see what a man of average intelligence
can do if he starts questioning everything that is taken
for granted and starts looking for alternatives."
I don't know if he ever was a man of only average
intelligence -- IN FACT NO ONE EVER IS -- but by
questioning everything he came to realize, as he said,
that when you don't accept anything except that which
can be experimentally verified, you are overwhelmed by
the inherent integrity and rationality of the universe.
The most incomprehensible thing about the universe is
that it is comprehensible, as Einstein said. And that
gives you faith in the sane, sound center of the
universe we mentioned earlier. As Ezra Pound wrote in
the death-cells at Pisa, looking at the stars, out of
all this beauty something must come."
Now Bucky Fuller is one of the most wise men in the West
-- not yet a Buddha, but on the way, very close. And the
art that has brought him so close to becoming a Buddha
is the art of questioning everything that is accepted by
the society: it is the art of becoming an inquirer.
Transform your life, Prashant, into a quest. Question
the values that you have accepted. Question all that you
have been brought up to believe in. Question the way you
have lived up to now. Question your mechanicalness,
question your robotlike existence.
Yes, something drastic has to be done, but it is not
suicide. It won't help, it won't change you; you will be
back again in another womb somewhere. Millions of stupid
couples are making love every moment. Beware! You will
be caught in some net somewhere. And you will get only
what you deserve, remember; you can't get more than you
deserve. You get the womb that is right for you.
And dying in suicide is dying in such anguish, because
it is one of the most unnatural things to do, most
abnormal things to do. No animal commits suicide, no
tree ever commits suicide -- only man. Only man can go
that insane. Nature knows nothing of suicide; it is
man's invention. It is the most ugly act. And when you
do something ugly to yourself you cannot hope that you
will get a better life. You will die in an ugly state of
mind and you will enter an uglier womb.
But what is the need to commit suicide? Just question:
you must have lived in a wrong way, that's why life has
not become a song. You must have lived foolishly,
stupidly, unintelligently; that's why life has not
attained to celebration. You cannot dance with joy with
the stars and with the flowers and with the wind and
with the rain, because you have lived with wrong kinds
of ideas imposed on you by the same kind of people as
It is a perpetual phenomenon; stupidity goes on
perpetuating itself. Parents go on giving stupidity to
their children and the children in their turn will hand
over their stupidity to THEIR children. This is the
heritage. This is called tradition, heritage, culture...
Question all that you have lived without questioning up
to now, and your life will have a new intelligence
arising in it. Your life will become more sharp.
Sheela has asked a question: "Osho, you say 'Drop the
mind.' The more I drop the mind, the sharper and sharper
my brain is becoming." She is puzzled There is no need
to be puzzled: the brain is a totally different thing
from the mind. The mind is given by the society, the
brain is part of your body. The brain is neither Hindu
nor Mohammedan nor Christian; the mind is a Hindu,
Mohammedan, Christian. The brain is simply a beautiful
biocomputer. The more you drop the mind, the sharper
your brain will be, the more intelligent. It is the mind
that is creating your mediocrity.
Sheela, you need not be puzzled by it: this is how it is
going to happen. The more and more people drop their
minds, the more and more they will be able to function
intelligently, because the brain will be unburdened. The
brain will not be expected to carry unnecessary luggage.
Right now your brain is carrying so much rubbish! That
it functions at all is a miracle. Just look how much
rubbish you are carrying: of being a Hindu, of being an
Indian, of being a Japanese, of being a Buddhist, of
being this, of being that, a fascist, a
communist...religious ideologies, philosophical
ideologies, political ideologies. They are heaped upon
you, layer upon layer. Your brain has lost all its
functioning. Once the mind is dropped, the brain will
come to its total functioning.
And every being is born intelligent. It is society that
creates unintelligence. No child is born unintelligent.
Have you ever seen a bird which is unintelligent or a
bird which is wise, intelligent? All birds are alike.
Have you seen a rosebush which is foolish or a rosebush
which is a genius? All rosebushes are alike. So are all
human beings: they come with the same potential but fall
into different gangs.
These are all gangs: Indians, Chinese, British,
American. These are all gangs, and politicians are the
criminals. Then there are religious gangs.... And their
whole effort is not to allow your intelligence to
function, because an intelligent person is bound to
Prashant, question your values. If you have been a
Catholic, question it; if you have been a Protestant,
question it; if you have been a Hindu, question it.
Question all that you have lived up to now; something is
basically wrong somewhere.
Ezra Pound is right. And do you know from where he is
writing this? From his death-cell! "Out of all this
beauty something must come." Ezra Pound in a dark cell,
just waiting for death to come, can write such a
tremendously important sutra: "Out of all this beauty
something must come."
The birds singing, and the trees, and the flowers...this
infinite universe -- is it the place to commit suicide?
It is the place to dance, to sing, to celebrate, to love
and to be loved.
And if you can love this existence, if you can feel
blessed with this existence, I promise you that when you
die you will not be coming back again...because you will
have learnt the lesson. God never sends anybody back to
the school if once they have learnt their lesson.
If you can learn to rejoice, you will be accepted. Doors
of higher mysteries will be opened to you. You will be
welcomed into the innermost mysteries of life. That's
what I call the true art of committing suicide: my name
for it is sannyas.
Related Osho Discourses on Death and
Osho - How can we
prepare ourselves for Death?
Osho on Jati-Smaran, method of Remembering Past lives
Beloved Osho, What is
exactly your attitude about death
Osho on Art of Living
so that Death becomes a Celebration
What happens in
death, In the moment of death much is possible
One should die
celebrating - Guidance on helping the dying person
Beloved Osho, I have heard that your
Sannyasins Celebrate Death
Can you talk about facing the death of
each moment and letting Go
Osho on Bardo -
Bardo is the greatest contribution Tibet has made to the world
Osho on Suicide and Mahavira method of
Santhara (causing death to oneself as a spiritual
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