Ma Prem Naina
Our so-called religions are based on fear. We worship God because we are afraid, trembling and scared of death and do not know how to protect ourselves. We need a protector. It is out of fear. The so-called religions are just out of fear and anything based on fear can never be beautiful.
Buddha's religion is based on an inner benediction, in an inner blessing and it has nothing to do with fear. That is why he says the first step is to drop all beliefs. Those beliefs are because of fear. By dropping the beliefs, we will become aware of our fear, we will become aware of our death, of this whole infinite cosmos – nowhere to go, nobody to guide, nowhere to find any security. In that fear, in that awareness of fear, the only place left will be to start going within.
The inner journey starts when we have dropped all beliefs and have become aware of the fear, death and desire. Once one is in, suddenly he can see fears disappearing; because in the deepest core of the being there has never been any death, there cannot be.
A self can die. The no-self cannot die. If there is something, it can be destroyed. That's why Buddha says there is nothing inside us. Each of us is a pure nothing. That nothing cannot be destroyed. Once we have understood that death cannot destroy, that this nothingness is in itself so beautiful, there is no need to go on stuffing it with money, power, prestige, fame and his nothingness is so pure, innocent and beautiful that we are blessed in it, one starts dancing in that nothingness. Buddha hints you towards that dance.
Buddha throws humanity into the interior most core. Buddha says: "Go within and there is nowhere else to go. You are the shrine. Go within! There is no other God anywhere to worship. The more you move inwards, the more a worshipping consciousness will arise without any object for worship; a prayer will arise, not addressed to anybody. A pure prayer... out of bliss, out of being, out of inner benediction."
Buddha's last message to his disciples was "Appo Deepo Bhava", meaning "Be a light unto yourself". This very message of Buddha functions as a reminder to all the seekers of truth - on the path of enlightenment. It is a timeless message of eternal value for the whole humanity. In fact, it is the message of all the Buddhas who have attained enlightenment. They were also ordinary people like us before their enlightenment. They meditated deeply, transformed themselves and became illumined with their inner light. Thus they became glorious examples for all of us that we too can light our unlit lamps with meditation.
Beautifully bringing out the essence of the message of Buddha, Osho says, "Be a light unto yourself. Do not follow others, do not imitate, because imitation, following, creates stupidity. You are born with a tremendous possibility of intelligence. You are born with a light within you. Listen to the still, small voice within, and that will guide you. Nobody else can guide you, nobody else can become a model for your life, because you are unique. Nobody has there been ever who was exactly like you, and nobody is ever going to be there again who will be exactly like you. This is your glory, your grandeur – that you are utterly irreplaceable, that you are just yourself and nobody else."
The person who follows others becomes false, he becomes pseudo, he becomes mechanical. He can be a great saint in the eyes of others, but deep down, he is simply unintelligent and nothing else. He may have a very respectable character but that is only on the surface, it is not even skin-deep. Scratch him a little and you will be surprised that inside he is a totally different person, just the opposite of his outside.
By following others, one can cultivate a beautiful character, but cannot have a beautiful consciousness, and unless one has a beautiful consciousness, he/she can never be free. We can go on changing our prisons, we can go on changing our bondages, our slaveries. We can be a Hindu or a Mohammedan or a Christian or a Jaina, but that is not going to help us.
Buddha defines wisdom as living in the light of our own consciousness, and foolishness as following others, imitating others, becoming a shadow of somebody else.
Only our inner light can become the sunrise. The real master will not allow us to be a carbon copy, he wants us to be the original. An ordinary human being does not want to be free. He wants to be dependent. He wants somebody else to guide him. It is because then he can throw the whole responsibility on the shoulders of somebody else and the more responsibility we throw away onto somebody else's shoulders, the less is the possibility of us ever becoming intelligent. It is responsibility, the challenge of responsibility, which creates wisdom.
Osho says, "Be a light unto yourself and you will be wise; let others become your leaders, your guides, and you will remain stupid, and you will go on missing all the treasures of life- which were yours! And how can you decide that the other's character is a right character for you to follow?"
A Buddha lives in his own way, a Mahavira in his, a Jesus still different. A Mohammed is Mohammed, he is not Mahavira. Just by the accidents of birth, we cannot decide our life, our destiny. Life is a tremendously beautiful pilgrimage, but only for those who are ready to seek and search.
People are so unique and people are individuals. This is our glory. To deny it is to remain a fool. That does not mean not to learn from the Buddhas, the awakened ones. We have to imbibe the spirit!
A Buddha has not to be followed but understood. A Buddha has not to be imitated but listened to in tremendous silence, love, trust. The more we understand a Buddha, the more we will feel he is speaking not from the outside but from within, from the very core of our being. He is a mirror who reflects our original face.
Osho says, "Be a light unto yourself. Don't be bothered about what others say, don't be bothered about traditions, orthodoxes, religions, moralities. Just be a light unto yourself. Just a small light is enough, and you can go on with that small light for ten thousand miles without any difficulty. Your light may be falling only four feet ahead of you — just go on moving. As you move, the light will be moving ahead, and if you can see four feet ahead, that's enough. You can go as far as you want. You can go on an eternal pilgrimage with just a small light of your own.
Don't live on borrowed light.
Don't live on borrowed eyes.
Don't live on borrowed concepts.
Live according to your own light, and your life will be, each and every moment, a greater joy, a greater blissfulness, a greater ecstasy."