The whole of existence,
The birds, beasts, flowers and air call for our stillness,
All except one small insect,
This winged parasite
This buzzing disturber
Is he the devil?
Abhinandan, mosquitoes are ancient meditators who have fallen, hence they are against anybody succeeding in meditation; they are very jealous. So whenever you meditate they are there to disturb, to distract.
And this is nothing new, this has always been so. In all the ancient scriptures it is mentioned, in Jain scriptures particularly so, because the Jain monk lives naked. Just think of a naked Jain monk; and India, and mosquitoes! Mahavir had to give specific instructions on what attitude to take about mosquitoes. He had told his disciples that when mosquitoes attack, accept. This is the ultimate distraction: if you can win this then there is no other difficulty, no greater difficulty. And when he says, he knows! – to live naked in India is a difficult thing.
Once I stayed in Sarnath where Buddha delivered his first sermon, where Buddha turned the wheel of dhamma… the most important sermon, which became the beginning of a new tradition. I was staying with a Buddhist monk.
I have seen mosquitoes, but nothing to be compared with Sarnath mosquitoes. Poona mosquitoes are just nothing! You should feel very happy about it! You are fortunate that I am not in Sarnath. The mosquitoes were really that big!
Even in the daytime we used to sit under the mosquito nets. In one mosquito net, in one bed, would sit the Buddhist monk, in the other I would sit, and we would talk.
I said, “I am never going to come again” – because he was asking me to come again and stay. I said, “Never, never! This is my first and last time.”
He said, “That reminds me that down the ages Buddhist monks have been laughing and joking about why Buddha never came again to Sarnath. He came only once; he delivered the first sermon, and escaped!” He went many times to other places. He must have gone at least thirty times to Shravasti, he must have gone at least forty times to Rajgiri, and so on and so forth. Each place that he visited, he visited again and again. But Sarnath, only once; he never went back again to that place.
“And,” the monk said, “it is because of these mosquitoes. And you also say that you will never come again.”
I said to him, “At least in one thing I will follow Buddha! I cannot follow in other things – I have to be a ‘light unto myself’ – but about this thing let him be the light!”
I know it is difficult, very difficult, but you will have to learn. Don’t be distracted. That does not mean that you allow the mosquitoes to exploit you. Protect yourself in every possible way, but with no anxiety, no irritation. Protect yourself, avoid the mosquitoes, throw them away, shake them off, but with no irritation. They are doing their thing, and. that much has to be accepted. They are not particularly against you. Somebody must be having his breakfast or lunch or dinner… so be polite. You have every right to protect yourself, but no need to be irritated. Irritation will disturb the meditation not the mosquito. You can shake the mosquito off very meditatively, attentively, fully alert, with no irritation. Try it!
The real problem never comes from the outside, the real problem always comes from inner irritation. For example, dogs are barking outside and you are meditating. Now, immediately you are angry – these stupid dogs! But they are not in any way disturbing your meditation, they are simply enjoying their life! They must have seen a policeman or a postman or a sannyasin! Dogs are very much against uniforms, very anti-uniform; the moment they see a uniform they start barking. They don’t believe in uniforms, and they are entitled to have their own belief – but they are not particularly trying to disturb you.
Once I stayed in a resthouse where a politician was also staying. He was a chief minister of a state. And just as you see mosquitoes here… Somebody else has written that they have disappeared from all over the city and they have come to the ashram. They are not so much in the town as they are here in the ashram. In fact they cannot get such juicy food anywhere else!
Exactly the same was the case with that resthouse. All the dogs of the town somehow had gathered there. Such a great fight was going on. I fell asleep, and the politician could not. So he came, he shook me awake and he said, “I feel envious of you! How can you sleep when there is so much disturbance? And I have gone thrice outside and thrown stones at the dogs. They go away for a moment, I come in, and they are back. I don’t think that I can sleep the whole night.”
I said, “If I can sleep, you can also sleep.”
He said, “What is the secret?”
I said, “The secret is simple: you lie down and listen to the dogs as if they are singing a lullaby.”
He said, “Lullaby? And dogs?”
I said, “Try! You can’t lose anything in trying it. Why be against them? Just the idea that ‘I cannot sleep because dogs are barking,’ is the root cause of your disturbance, not the dogs and their barking – your idea. You drop that idea, you accept the barking. You listen attentively; you listen as if you are listening to music.”
He said again, “Music?”
I said, “You have to drop it! Otherwise get lost and don’t disturb me! I have to sleep.”
Finding no other way, he said, “Okay, so I will try.” After fifteen minutes he was snoring. I went in and shook him. He said, “What are you doing?” He said, “This is too much! Somehow I managed to sleep, and now you have awakened me again! ”
I said, “I have come to ask – does it work?” He said, “It works. And please, don’t come again. Let me try again. Somehow I had managed it; it was very difficult to think of it as music, to think of it as a lullaby, to think of dogs as friends, it was very difficult – but finding no other way I said, ‘Okay, let us try’. And it worked!”
And in the morning he told me, “I will keep this secret. It can work in many situations. It can work in all situations.”
Mosquitoes are doing their thing. You have to protect yourself, you have to do your own thing, but don’t get irritated. Just irritation is the problem. And then if you cannot get irritated, if you are not distracted by all the nuisance that mosquitoes are creating around you, you will even feel grateful to them: they have given you a secret key.
If you are not distracted by the mosquitoes, then nothing can distract you. Then you have come to a very stable state of meditation.
Osho, The Guest, Ch 2, Q 5