Competition is the Root Cause of Misery

 Competition has become an integral part of our lives. Consciously or unconsciously, we are always competing with others. Born and brought up in a society based on competition, we are conditioned to fight in different ways. If one has to be successful, then competition should be the way of life. Unless one is successful, society condemns him as a nobody. 

Parents teach their children to become successful and mark a mark for themselves, which makes their lives full of struggles and a continuous fight. This aspiration and flight for success is so destructive that it takes away the very juice and joys of life, leaving behind mere skeletons fighting for power, money and position. This attitude of competitiveness is the root cause of unfriendliness, hostility and misery prevailing in the world today. 
Sharing his insight, Osho says, "This competitiveness enters into our very bloodstream as a result of which we become absolutely unaware of it being there. Even in the pretext of searching for truth, there is competitiveness: whoever finds it first, he becomes the pioneer, the founder, the discoverer. Even in a field like humbleness, which one would think is outside the area of competitiveness, even there you will find the same spirit, the same competitive egoistic arrogance; then you are competing to be more humble than anybody else."
We all have experienced, at least once in our lives, when we tried on different occasions to work with colleagues, to cooperate and collaborate with them on projects, but after a few weeks or months it falls through and breaks up in competition. Osho explains, "We have been brought up in such a way that on the surface, we say that we want to cooperate but deep down we want to compete. We can cooperate only under some pressure: for example if you have a common enemy you can cooperate; then you will not compete. The enemy of your enemy will become your friend and you can cooperate but it is under pressure because the enemy is there. Because you have to compete with the enemy you cooperate with the friend, but if the enemy is defeated what are you going to do? Then you will start competing with the friend. When the enemy is gone, the friend will become the enemy. The friend was only the friend because of the enemy."
This is how we have been brought up i.e. in a very poisonous situation. Every child has been brought up to compete, to struggle, to defeat others and not to get defeated. Every child has been taught that the whole society consists of enemies. If we are not on guard, we will be nowhere; so be on guard, be cunning, be clever. Talk about love, go on smiling, keep a good face, and deep down go on planning how to defeat everybody, how to destroy everybody. This is the whole teaching of all the schools, colleges and universities. If we teach a child to compete for 20 years, then it becomes very difficult for him to simply drop it; it becomes part of their nature.
Osho points out that we have to be very scientific about destroying this inner core of competition. By cooperation, we will be working directly against it and that is not the right course. We will have to do something in which neither competition is involved at all nor cooperation is needed. For example, if we meditate we can neither cooperate nor compete, because there is nothing. In meditation we are alone, the moment we close our eyes we are alone. When we start going inwards, there is nobody. So we cannot cooperate and cannot compete. The whole mechanism of competition and cooperation does not function; it becomes irrelevant. If meditation starts growing in us, we will be able to see where this competition comes from. And with a more meditative mind, we will become more cooperative.
Cooperation can only be a by-product of a meditative mind, just as competition is a by-product of an achiever's mind. 
By dropping comparison, we will be ourselves. Comparison is the poison. We are always thinking in terms of how the other is doing. If we compare, we will imitate. If we compare ourselves with the rich people, we will start running in the same direction. If we compare ourselves with the learned people, we will start accumulating knowledge. We will be imitative and to be imitative is to miss the whole opportunity to be oneself.
Osho states, "Drop comparison. You are unique. Nobody else is like you, nobody else has ever been like you, and nobody else is ever going to be like you. You are simply unique - and when I am saying you are unique, I am not saying you are better than others, remember. I am simply saying they are also unique. To be unique is an ordinary quality of every being. To be unique is not a comparison, to be unique is as natural as breathing. Everybody is breathing and everybody is unique. While you are alive, you are unique. Only corpses are all alike; people who are alive are unique. They are never similar, they cannot be. Life never follows any repetitive course. God never repeats: he goes on singing a new song every day, he paints something new every day. Respect your uniqueness, and drop comparison. Comparison is the culprit. Once you compare, you are on the track. Don't compare yourself with anyone else - he is not you, you are not him. You are going to be yourself, he is going to be himself: let him be him and you also relax into your being. Start enjoying whatsoever you are. Take delight in the moments that are available to you."
Life is not a commodity. Happiness is also not a commodity. One can have as much of it as he or she wants. It simply depends on the person. Nobody can be competitive about it; nobody can be a competitor to another. People who are happy are, in fact, adding some quality to their existence; just by being happy they are creating vibes of happiness. One cannot think in terms of competition. It is not that if someone is happy, the other has to jump on them and snatch their happiness away. Happiness is available to everybody; whosoever opens his heart, happiness is always available.
All that is divine is non-competitive. And we should remember that our being is divine. The society has muddled our head; it has taught us the competitive way of life. Religion is a non-competitive way of life. Society is ambitious but religion is non-ambitious.
Naina Rajkumari (Ma Prem Naina) is associated with Osho World Foundation and travels widely facilitating workshops and seminars. Born in Jorhat, she was initiated as a Osho Sannyas in 2003 at Oshodham, New Delhi.