Just imagine a person who comes to you and says that the efforts that you are putting in are all good but not producing good results due to all human beings in general being in a metaphysical sleep. Some might get angry, some might show some other emotions but for me, I would be glad and at peace with myself because of this. In this article I am commenting on the article of Osho- Desires grow like leaves on a tree.
The main message of Gautama Buddha to humanity is basically that man is asleep. The sleep he is referring to is not ordinary sleep, but a deep unconsciousness within man. This deep unconsciousness goes hand in hand with metaphysical sleep. Basically, all of us are acting out of that consciousness and hence he says that whatever we do, with how much ever effort we do goes wrong. Practically it is impossible to do right with this unconsciousness/ metaphysical sleep within us. This unconsciousness/ metaphysical sleep destroys/ makes void or null all our efforts and leads us into wrong directions.
Desire is like something that already exists in us. It can’t be dropped unless we wake up. The fatal mistake would be to be desireless without waking up. Being desireless is another desire (to put it plainly). There is great bliss or less of sorrow if desire is dropped. On having dropped desire, the result will be that we will attain eternity, that we will not know any birth, any death anymore; that we will become part of the universal celebration that goes on and on.
Osho reasons saying, ‘The desire for godliness, the desire for truth, the desire for liberation, the desire for truth, the desire for liberation, the desire for becoming desireless, each of these is still a desire.’ In the hunt of being desireless ‘a new greed- religious greed- has taken possession of you.’ He stresses on waking up so as to drop desire because dropping desire according to him is not an easy task. He says that desire is equal to dreaming and nothing else because we dream when we sleep and we are in unconsciousness/ metaphysical sleep. His basic idea is that our dreams will disappear once we wake up or in other words our desires will disappear.
He clearly states that our fight is not with desires but with our sleep. Fighting against desires is like cutting the branches of a tree which will soon come up again. We will function out our unconsciousness/ metaphysical sleep and do the same things. We have to cut the roots i. e. our sleep or else we will remain the same.
We constantly live in a world of dreams, we live in a world of dreams because there are so many desires of ours that are unfulfilled, and living with unfulfilled desires is really painful. In our dreams we basically try to fulfill our unfulfilled desires i. e. create a false feeling or an idea of fulfillment. Hence, our dreams are basically a portrayal of what our desires are and what we want to become.
Coming to the point where one is awake, he says that that person knows that there is nowhere to go and nothing to become. He is already the person that one has to become. Hence desires just fade away on their own on having seen the grandeur of his being. There is no effort required at all because those desires just fall by themselves like dry leaves that fall from a tree.
Therefore Buddha never urges anyone to ‘pray’ or ‘meditate’. Prayer is basically for something and hence it will be a desire. We will go to churches and temples and listen to people praying; and all that they do is basically ask, ask and ask (I personally don’t agree with this point because according to my experience, in Christianity asking is a form of prayer, thanking God is also a form of prayer and so on there are different forms of prayer……. So it’s not that we only keep asking, asking and asking……….. Statements can’t or shouldn’t be generalized as Osho has done). A little he further goes on to say that their prayers are superficial because they had gone to the holy place of worship to thank the Lord but ended up complaining (Once more I clearly state that I clearly disagree with what he says, because God for me is my parent who is also my best friend. Hence it is obvious that if someone has hurt me, I will go and complain to my parent or even shout or fight with Him for what someone else did to me. Osho must be made aware of the fact that life is not just full of joys but also of unexpected sorrows and it is precisely in these moments that we turn to our loved ones to either thank or to complain).
Buddha’s idea about prayer is that we shouldn’t be bothered with prayer, because by the fact that we are asleep our prayer is bound to be nothing but a desire. Further on he says that our asceticism is also bound to be a desire which is deep hedonism. Hence the allurements which drive all people to the places of worship are the talks about the joys and pleasures of heaven and paradise.
To get up from our deep slumber the solution that he gives is Silence. Silence according to him ‘creates the right space to wake up.’ He says that, ‘Silence goes to the very center of our being like an arrow and wakes us up. And when we are awake, our whole life becomes a prayer.
If you are filled with desire, your sorrows swell
Like the grass after the rain.
But if you subdue desire, your sorrows fall from you
Like drops of water from a lotus flower.
This is good counsel and it is for everyone:
As the grass is cleared for the fresh root, cut down desire
Lest death after death crush you as a river crushes the helpless reeds.
For if the roots hold firm, a felled tree grows up again.
If desires are not uprooted, sorrows grow again in you.