Osho speaks on death as “… a peaceful acceptance, a loving entry into the unknown, a joyful goodbye to old friends, to the old world. There should not be any tragedy in it.”
Make everything creative, make the best out of the worst – that’s what I call ‘the art’. And if a man has lived his whole life making every moment and every phase of it a beauty, a love, a joy, naturally his death is going to be the ultimate peak of his whole life’s endeavor. The last touches… his death is not going to be ugly as it ordinarily happens every day to everyone.
If death is ugly, that means your whole life has been a wastage.
Death should be a peaceful acceptance, a loving entry into the unknown, a joyful goodbye to old friends, to the old world. There should not be any tragedy in it.
One Zen master, Lin Chi, was dying. Thousands of his disciples had gathered to listen to the last sermon, but Lin Chi was simply lying down – joyous, smiling, but not saying a single word.
Seeing that he was going to die and he was not saying a single word, somebody reminded Lin Chi – an old friend, a master in his own right…. He was not a disciple of Lin Chi. That’s why he could say to him, “Lin Chi, have you forgotten that you have to say your last words? I have always said your memory isn’t right. You are dying… have you forgotten?”
Lin Chi said, “Just listen.”
And on the roof two squirrels were running, screeching. And he said, “How beautiful” and he died.
For a moment, when he said, “Just listen,” there was absolute silence. Everybody thought he is going to say something great, but only two squirrels fighting, screeching, running on the roof…. And he smiled and he died.
But he has given his last message: don’t make things small and big, trivial and important. Everything is important. At this moment, Lin Chi’s death is as important as the two squirrels running on the roof, there is no difference. In existence it is all the same. That was his whole philosophy, his whole life’s teaching – that there is nothing which is great and there is nothing which is small; it all depends on you, what you make out of it…
Start with meditation, and things will go on growing in you – silence, serenity, blissfulness, sensitivity. And whatever comes out of meditation, try to bring it out in life. Share it, because everything shared grows fast. And when you have reached the point of death, you will know there is no death. You can say goodbye, there is no need for any tears of sadness – maybe tears of joy, but not of sadness.
But you have to begin from being innocent.
Osho, Beyond Enlightenment, Ch 28, Q 1 (excerpt)