Osho disciples around the world celebrate the 21st of March as his Enlightenment Day. On this day, at the young age of 21, Rajneesh, as he was known then, died totally to his past, and was reborn anew. That fateful day was in the year 1953. The enlightenment blossomed under the Maulshree Tree, in a garden in Jabalpur. Millions of his lovers and admirers are very curious to know about this transformation. Osho himself has talked about it in one of his discourses.
He says: I am reminded of the fateful day of twenty-first March 1953. For many lives I had been working—working upon myself, struggling, doing whatsoever can be done—and nothing was happening. Now I understand why nothing was happening. The very effort was the barrier, the very ladder was preventing, the very urge to seek was the obstacle. Not that one can reach without seeking. Seeking is needed, but then comes a point when seeking has to be dropped. The boat is needed to cross the river but then comes a moment when you have to get out of the boat and forget all about it and leave it behind. The effort is needed, without effort nothing is possible. And also only with effort, nothing is possible. Just before twenty-first March 1953, seven days before, I stopped working on myself. A moment comes when you see the whole futility of effort. You have done all that you can do and nothing is happening. You have done all that is humanly possible. Then what else can you do? In sheer helplessness, one drops all search.
And the day the search stopped, the day I was not seeking for something, the day I was not expecting something to happen, it started happening. A new energy arose—out of nowhere. It was not coming from any source. It was coming from nowhere and everywhere. It was in the trees and in the rocks and the sky and the sun and the air—it was everywhere. And I was seeking so hard, and I was thinking it is very far away. And it was so near and so close.
Osho talks more about the process that continued on those seven days of a total transformation. And the last day the presence of totally new energy, a new light, and new delight, became so intense that it was almost unbearable—as if I was exploding, as if I was going mad with blissfulness. The new generation in the West has the right word for it—I was blissed out, stoned. It was impossible to make any sense out of it, what was happening. It was a very non-sense world—difficult to figure it out, difficult to manage in categories, difficult to use words, languages, explanations. All scriptures appeared dead and all the words that have been used for this experience looked very pale, anaemic. This was so alive. It was like a tidal wave of bliss.
Talking about meditation and enlightenment, Osho says: I talk about meditation. You can do two things. You can collect whatsoever I say about meditation, you can compile it. You can become a great, knowledgeable person about meditation – because every day I go on talking about meditation from different dimensions in different ways. You can collect all that, you can get a Ph. D. from any university. But that is not going to make you wise unless you meditate. So whatsoever I am saying, try it in life. While I am here don’t waste time in collecting knowledge. That you can do without me, that you can do in a library. While I am here take a jump, a quantum leap into wisdom. EXPERIENCE these things I am saying to you. But when you gain spiritual enlightenment you shall then find wisdom. Wisdom is only through one’s own experience. It is never from anybody else. Wisdom always happens as a flower opens… just like that. When your heart opens, you have a fragrance – that fragrance is wisdom. You can bring a plastic flower from the market, you can deceive neighbors.I used to live near Mulla Nasrudin once. I used to see him every day pouring water into a pot which was hanging in his window, with beautiful flowers. I watched him many times. Whenever he would be pouring water, there was no water, the pot was empty. I could see that there was no water and the pot was empty, but he would pour twice every day, religiously.
I asked Nasrudin, ‘What are you doing? You don’t have any water and you go on pouring it, which is not there! And I have been watching you for many days.’ He said, ‘Don’t get disturbed. These flowers are plastic flowers. They don’t need water.’ Plastic flowers don’t need water, they are not alive. They don’t need soil, they are not alive. They don’t need fertilizers, they are not alive. They don’t need any manure, they are not alive.
Real flowers are like wisdom. Wisdom is like real flowers, knowledge is plastic. That’s why it is cheap. It is very cheap, you can get it for nothing because it is borrowed. Experience is a radical change in your life; you cannot be the same.
If you want to become wise you will have to go through transformations, a million and one transformations. You will have to pass through the fire. Only then whatsoever is there which is ugly and useless will be burnt, and you will come out as pure gold. The knowledge thus attained leads you anon to the way…. And the wisdom only. The knowledge thus attained through one’s own experience, through one’s own enlightening experience, through one’s own satori, samadhi, makes you capable of falling in tune with the way.
The Buddha calls it Dhamma, tao. Then you are in harmony – what Pythagoras calls Harmonia. Then you are suddenly not there, only the law is there, the dhamma is there, the way is there – or call it god… is there. Then you are simply with the whole. You go with it wherever it goes. Then you don’t have any goal of your own. Then the whole’s destiny is your destiny. Then there is no anxiety, no tension. Then one is immensely relaxed.
In fact, one is so relaxed that one is not! The ego is nothing but accumulated tensions through lives. When you are totally relaxed and you look within, there is nobody. It is simple purity, emptiness, vastness.