Osho’s Last Discourse

On 10 April 1989, Osho gives his last discourse. This is the first talk of a pre-scheduled series entitled 'The Awakening of the Buddha'. Later Osho requests that this talk be included in the book The Zen Manifesto.

In answer to a question, Osho explains how his Zen differs from the arduous practices in some contemporary Zen monasteries.

Gerta Ital was the first Western woman to enter a Zen monastery in Japan and work with an enlightened master. She wrote two books which give the impression of a hard and lonely path. Being with You is much more joyful and playful.

The traditional Zen is hard. It takes twenty to thirty years of constant meditation, withdrawing from everywhere all your energy and devoting it only to meditation.

That tradition comes from Gautam Buddha himself. He had to find his enlightenment after twelve years of hard work.

I am changing it completely from the traditional Zen, because I don't see that the contemporary man can devote twenty or thirty years to meditation only. If Zen remains that hard, it will disappear from the world. It has already disappeared from China, it is disappearing from Japan, and it disappeared from India long ago. It remained in India for only five hundred years after Gautam Buddha. In the sixth century it reached China, remained there for only a few centuries, and moved to Japan. And now it is almost extinct from both China and Japan.

You will be surprised to know that my books are being taught in the Zen monasteries. Zen masters have written letters to me: "Perhaps now Zen will exist in India, in its original place. It is disappearing from Japan because people are more interested in technology, in science."

That is the situation in India too. Very few people are interested in the inner exploration. Here you can find a few people from every country, but these are so few compared to the five billion human beings on the earth. Ten thousand is not a great number.

Zen has to be transformed in a way that the contemporary man can be interested in it. It has to be easy, relaxed, it has not to be hard. That old traditional type is no longer possible, nor is it needed. Once it has been explored, once a single man has become enlightened, the path becomes easy. You don't have to discover electricity again and again. Once discovered you start using it--you don't have to be great scientists.

The man who discovered electricity worked on it for almost twenty years. Three hundred disciples started with him and nobody remained because it took so long; everybody became exhausted. But the original scientist continued....

Now, you don't have to work for thirty years to know about electricity. Nor do you have to work thirty years for the Zen experience.

The awakening of the buddha is a very easy and relaxed phenomenon. Now that so many people have awakened, the path has become clear-cut; it is no longer hard and arduous. You can playfully enter inside and joyously experience the awakening of awareness. It is not as far away as it was for Gautam Buddha.

For Gautam Buddha it was an absolute unknown. He was searching for it like a blind man, knowing nothing about where he was going. But he was a man of tremendous courage, who for twelve years went on searching, exploring every method available in his time...all the teachers who were talking about philosophy and yoga. He went from one teacher to another, and every teacher finally said to him, "I can tell you only this much. More than this I don't know myself." Finally, he remained alone, and he dropped all yoga disciplines....

But in that ordinariness, when he had dropped everything--just being tired and exhausted--that fullmoon night when the five disciples left him, he slept under the bodhi tree, completely free from this world and completely free from the very search for that world. For the first time he was utterly relaxed: no desire to find anything, no desire to become anything. And in that moment of non-desiring, he suddenly awakened and became a buddha. Buddhahood came to him in a relaxed state.

You don't have to work for twelve years, you can just start from the relaxed state. It was the last point in Gautam Buddha's journey. It can be the first point in your journey....

Enlightenment is such a transformation that you are a totally different person. The old person dies away, and a totally new awareness, a fresh bliss, a flowering, a spring which has never been there...

It took twelve years for Gautam Buddha. It need not take even twelve minutes for you. It is simply an art, to relax into yourself. In the traditional Zen they are still doing whatever Buddha did in his ignorance, and finally they drop it.

I am telling you, why not drop it right now? You can relax this very moment! And in that relaxation you will find the light, the awareness, the awakening.

What has happened to Gerta Ital, is not necessarily an introduction to Zen. She has been in the company of old and traditional Zen masters. I understand Zen to be a very simple, innocent, joyful method. There is nothing ascetic in it, nothing life-negative--no need to renounce the world, no need to become a monk, no need to enter a monastery. You have to enter into yourself. That can be done anywhere.

We are doing it in the simplest way possible. And only if Zen becomes as simple as I am trying to make it, can the contemporary man be interested in it. Otherwise he has so much to do--so many things to do, so many paths to explore, so many things to distract him.

Zen has to become such a small playful thing, that while you are going to sleep--just before that--within five minutes you can enter into yourself, and you can remain at the very center of your being the whole night. Your whole night can become a peaceful, silent awareness. Sleep will be in the body, but underneath it there will be a current of light from the evening till the morning.

And once you know that even in sleep a certain awareness can be present inside you, then the whole day, doing all kinds of things, you can remain alert, conscious. Buddhahood has to be a very normal, ordinary, simple and human affair. zenman11

Zen masters know how to live and also know how to die. They take neither life seriously nor death seriously. Seriousness is a sick way of looking at existence. A man of perfection will love to live, and will love to die. His life will be a dance, and his death will be a song. There will be no distinction between life and death. zenman11

Our search is for the immeasurable. The measurable can be left to the scientists. The mystics are concerned with the immeasurable. zenman11

It is time for Sardar Gurudayal Singh.

Put the lights on! I love to see my people laughing. I am absolutely against seriousness, but unfortunately I have to discuss serious things. But it is good to make you first serious, then laughter comes more easily. Then it gives a great relaxation. zenman01

Last meditation at the end of discourse:

It is time, Nivedano... (Drumbeat)


Nivedano... (Drumbeat)

Be silent... Close your eyes...and feel yourself completely frozen.

This is the right moment to enter inwards.

Gather all your energy, your total consciousness, and rush towards the inner center with deep intensity and urgency.

The center is just two inches below the navel, inside the body.

Faster...and faster... Deeper...and deeper...

As you come closer to the center of being, a great silence descends over you, and inside a peace, a blissfulness, a light that fills your whole interior. This is your original being. This is your buddha.

At this moment, witness that you are not the body, not the mind, not the heart, but just the pure witnessing self, the pure consciousness. This is your buddhahood, your hidden nature, your meeting with the universe. These are your roots.


Nivedano... (Drumbeat)

Relax...and just be a silent witness.

You start melting like ice in the ocean. Gautama the Buddha Auditorium becomes an oceanic field of consciousness. You are no longer separate--this is your oneness with existence.

To be one with existence is to be a buddha, it is your very nature. It is not a question of searching and finding, you are it, right now.

Gather all the flowers, the fragrance, the flame and the fire, the immeasurable, and bring it with you as you come back.

Nivedano... (Drumbeat)

Come back peacefully, silently, as a buddha.

Just for a few seconds close your eyes and remember the path and the source you have found, and the buddha nature that you have experienced.

This moment you are the most blessed people on the earth. Remembering yourself as a buddha is the most precious experience, because it is your eternity, it is your immortality.

It is not you, it is your very existence. You are one with the stars and the trees and the sky and the ocean. You are no longer separate.

The last word of Buddha was, sammasati.

Remember that you are a buddha--sammasati. zenman11

On the evening of 10th Osho tells Anando that as he finished the discourse, his energy completely changed. He explains that in the same way one enters the world through nine months in the womb, nine months before dying the energy again enters an incubatory period for death.


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