It has been a few days since we had a really passionate discussion so I asked the Editors for this extract from Osho to be presented: Shahriar
“Ego takes itself very seriously. Now, there is a problem: egoistic people become very much interested in religion. And in fact, they are almost incapable of being religious. Only people who are non-serious can become religious, but they are not too interested in religion. So a paradox, a problem exists in the world. Serious people, ill people, sad people — uptight, hung-up in their heads — they become very much interested in religion because religion gives them their greatest ego-trip. They are doing something otherworldly, and the whole world is just worldly — materialists, condemned. Everybody is going to hell; only these religious people are going to heaven. They feel very, very strengthened in their egos. But these are the people who cannot become religious. These are the people who have destroyed all the religions of the world.
Whenever a Buddha arises, these people start gathering. While he is alive he does not allow them to become powerful. But when he is gone, by and by, the serious people start manipulating the non-serious people. That’s how all the religions become organized, and all religions become dead. While Buddha is there, he goes on spreading his smile, and he goes on helping people. So many times I have told the story: that Buddha comes one day with a flower in his hand, and sits silently. Minutes pass; then the hour is passing and everybody is worried, uncomfortable, uneasy: “Why is he not speaking?” He has never done that before. And he goes on looking at the flower as if he has completely forgotten the thousands of people who have gathered to listen to him. And then one disciple, Mahakashyap, starts laughing, a belly laugh. Amidst that hushed silence his laughter spreads. Buddha looks at him. He calls him close, gives him the flower and says, “Whatsoever I could say through words I have told to you, and whatsoever I cannot say through the words, I transfer it to Mahakashyap” — to a laughing Mahakashyap. To laughter Buddha gives his heritage? But Mahakashyap disappears. Those serious people who could not understand became the manipulators. When Buddha is gone, nobody hears anything about Mahakashyap. But what happened to Mahakashyap, to whom Buddha had given the most secret message: that which cannot be delivered through words, that which can only be delivered and received in silence and laughter, that which can only be given by tremendous silence to tremendous laughter? What happened to Mahakashyap? In Buddhist scriptures, nothing is mentioned — only this solitary anecdote, that’s all. When Buddha is gone, Mahakashyap is forgotten; then serious long-faces start organizing. Who will listen to the laughter? And Mahakashyap will recede back. Why bother? — these serious people are fighting so much that a man who loves laughing will get out of this mad mob of competitors: “Who is going to be the head of the Buddha sangha, of the Order of Buddha?” — and politics enters, and fighting, and voting, and everything. Mahakashyap is simply lost. Where did he die? — nobody knows. Nobody knows the real heir of Buddha.
Many centuries, almost six centuries pass; then another man, Bodhidharma, reaches China. Again Mahakashyap’s name is heard, because Bodhidharma says, “I’m not a follower of the organized Buddhist religion. I have received my message through a direct line of Masters. It started with Buddha giving a flower to Mahakashyapa, and I am the sixth.” Who were the other four in between? — but it became a secret thing. When mad people become too ambitious and politics becomes strong, laughter goes secret. It becomes a private, intimate relationship. Silently, Mahakashyap must have delivered his message to somebody, and then he to somebody else, and he to Bodhidharma.
Why did Bodhidharma go to China? Zen Buddhists have been asking for centuries, “Why? Why did this Bodhidharma go to China?” I know; there is a reason: the Chinese are more joyous people than Indians, more delighted with life and small things, more colorful. It must be the reason why Bodhidharma traveled so long, crossed the whole of the Himalayas to seek and search for people who could laugh with him, and who were not serious, not great scholars and philosophers, and this and that. No, China has not created great philosophers like India has. It has created a few great mystics like Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu, but they all are laughing Buddhas. It must be that Bodhidharma’s search towards China was a search for people who were non-serious, light.
My whole effort here is to make you light, non-serious, laughing. People come to me, particularly Indians, to complain that: “What type of sannyasins are you creating? They don’t look like sannyasins. A sannyasin, has to be a serious person, almost dead, a corpse. These people laugh and dance and hug each other. This is unbelievable! Sannyasins doing this?” And I tell them, “Who else? Who else can do that? — only sannyasins can laugh.”