The 3 M’s: Mathematics, Music, Meditation


Osho talks about the trinity: mathematics, music and meditation.

To me, music and meditation are two aspects of the same phenomenon. And without music, meditation lacks something; without music, meditation is a little dull, unalive. Without meditation, music is simply noise – harmonious, but noise. Without meditation, music is an entertainment. And without music, meditation becomes more and more negative, tends to be death-oriented.

Hence my insistence that music and meditation should go together. That adds a new dimension – to both. Both are enriched by it.

Osho playing the santoor

Remember three M’s just as you remember three R’s. The first M is mathematics; mathematics is the purest science. The second M is music; music is pure art. And the third M is meditation; meditation is pure religion. Where all these three meet, you attain the trinity.

My approach is scientific. Even if I make illogical statements, I make them very very logically. Even if I assert paradoxes, they are asserted in a logical way. Whatsoever I am saying has a mathematics behind it, a method, a certain scientific approach. I am not an unscientific person. My science serves my religion; the science is not the end but it is a beautiful beginning.

And my approach is artistic, aesthetic. I cannot help you unless this energy field becomes musical. Music is pure art. And if it is joined with mathematics, it becomes a tremendously powerful instrument to penetrate into your interiority. Of course, it will not be complete unless meditation is the highest peak, the purest religion.

This is my trinity:
This is my trimurti –
three faces of God.

And we are trying to create the ultimate synthesis. This is my trinity: mathematics, music, meditation. This is my trimurti – three faces of God. You can attain to God through one face, but then your experience of God will not be so rich as it will be when you attain two faces. But it will still lack something unless you attain all the three faces. When you know God as a trinity, when you have come through all the three dimensions, your experience, your nirvana, your enlightenment, will be the richest.

Buddha insists on meditation alone; that is one face of God. Mohammed insists on prayer, music, singing; hence the Koran has the quality of music in it. No other scripture has so much music in it as the Koran. The very word koran simply means “Recite! Sing!” That was the first revelation to Mohammed. Something from the beyond called forth and said, “Recite! Recite! Sing!”

Islam is another face of God. And there are religions which have approached God through the third M: mathematics. Jainism is the purest representative of the third approach. Mahavira speaks like Albert Einstein. It is not an accident that Mahavira was the first person in human history to talk about the theory of relativity. After twenty-five centuries, Albert Einstein was able to prove it scientifically, but Mahavira saw it in his vision.

If you read Mahavira, his statements are absolutely logical, mathematical. Jaina scriptures have no juice in them – dry, arithmetical. That is another face of God. And only three kinds of religion have existed in the world: the religions of mathematics, represented by Jainism; the religions of music, represented by Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism; and the religions of meditation, represented by Buddhism, Taoism.

My religion
has to be a
religion of dance,
love, laughter.

My effort here is to give you a total religion, which contains all the three M’s in it. It is a very ambitious adventure. It has never been tried before; hence I am going to be opposed as nobody has ever been opposed before. You are moving with a dangerous person, but the journey is going to be of tremendous beauty. Dangers, hazards don’t make a journey ugly; on the contrary, they make it tremendously beautiful. All the dangers that you will have to face with me are going to give you a thrill. The journey is not going to be dull, it is going to be very alive. We are going to move towards God in such a multidimensional way that each moment of the journey is going to be precious.

I started these Buddha lectures with a ten-day silence deliberately. It was a device to start with silence – Buddha would have been very happy. He must have shrugged his shoulders a little bit because of the music, but what can I do? It can’t be helped.

My religion has to be a religion of dance, love, laughter. It has to be life-oriented, it has to be life-affirmative. It has to be a love affair with life. It is not a renunciation but a rejoicing.

Osho, The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 1, Ch 2, Q 1 Excerpt

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