Coming back to the Chinese mystic Chuang Tzu, and remembering his wisdom, we can really learn from him the art of living and also the art of dying. He lived a very playful life of humour and loved telling incredible stories to awaken people. He was a master story-teller. Remembering him, Osho tells a unique story about his personal life: Chuang Tzu’s wife died. The emperor came to pay his respects. Chuang Tzu was a great sage, so even the emperor came. He was also a friend; the emperor was a friend to Chuang Tzu, and sometimes he would call Chuang Tzu to his palace to learn his wisdom. Chuang Tzu was just a beggar, but a great sage. The emperor came. He rehearsed in his mind what to say, because Chuang Tzu’s wife had died. He thought of every good thing to console him, but the moment he saw Chuang Tzu he became very uneasy because he was singing. He was sitting under a tree playing his instrument, singing loudly. He looked very happy, and just in the morning, his wife had died. The emperor became uneasy and he said, “Chuang Tzu, it is enough if you are not weeping, but this singing is too much. It is going too far!”
Chuang Tzu asked, “But why should I weep?” The emperor said, “It seems you have not heard that your wife is dead.” Chuang Tzu said, “Of course, my wife is dead, but why should I weep? She is dead, so she is dead! And I never expected that she was going to live forever. You weep because you expect. I never expected that she was going to live forever. She was going to die any day, and this day it happened. This was going to happen any day, and any day is as good for death as any other. “And why shouldn’t I sing? If I cannot sing when death has occurred, I cannot sing in life, because life is a continuous death. Every moment death will occur somewhere to someone. Life is a continuous death. If I cannot sing at the moment of death, I cannot sing at all. “Life and death are not two things. They are one. The moment someone is born, death is born with him. When you are growing in life you are also growing in death. And whatsoever is known as death is nothing but the peak of your so-called life. So why should I not sing? “And, moreover, the poor woman had lived so many years with me, so will you not allow me in gratitude to sing a little when she has left? She must go in peace, harmony, music and love. Why should I weep? You weep only when you expect and the expected doesn’t happen. I never expected that she was going to be here forever.”
In modern times, Osho taught his disciples to celebrate death as it is the peak of life. But first, one has to learn the art of living life also–living meditatively each moment in total watchfulness–watching our actions, thoughts and feelings…Be the watcher of everything you do, you think and you feel.
Osho talks about this watcher in us and says: Now, this watcher remains watching even in your sleep. The day you can feel your watcher even in your sleep, that day you know: now death is nothing but a longer sleep. For the body, it is eternal sleep, but the watcher simply moves forward, enters another womb, another body. And this movement continues, this transmigration of the soul continues till your watchfulness is absolutely pure. When the flame is without any smoke, then you disappear into the universal, into the existential. Then you are not going into another house; you don’t need any house anymore, you have learned the lesson. That was a school: moving from one house to another was moving from one class to another. But one day you graduate – you become part of existence. That’s why we celebrate because there is no death. Either the man is going into a new house – a good time to celebrate – or the man is going into the eternal existence. That is the best time to celebrate, and the last time to celebrate. Celebrating death will help you to understand that there is nothing in life to be afraid of. If death is a celebration, then what else can be a cause of fear? If you can celebrate death, you have attained maturity. It is possible only for those who live life as a rejoicing, a constant celebration. Then death is not the termination, but only a small incident of changing your clothes, your house, your body. But you remain exactly the same forever – nothing changes in your intrinsic being. From eternity to eternity you are exactly the same.