A sannyas darshan: “Shreyas … means ‘the ultimate good’ – and that’s the only approach towards God. If you become good you become godly, and when the good becomes total, you become God himself.”
Prem Shreyas [meeting Osho for the first time]
I am glad to be with you – you, my master.
When did you arrive?
One week ago – but I smelled, so I couldn’t see you. [Sannyasins are asked to be absolutely without odour or perfume of any sort in Osho’s presence.]
I love you.
[chuckling] I know, I know. Now you will smell of me!
You have received the name ‘Shreyas’? It is one of the most beautiful words in India. It means ‘the ultimate good’… and that’s the only approach towards God. If you become good you become godly, and when the good becomes total, you become God himself.
In the East we say that there are two paths: one of desire – that path is called ‘preyas’, and one of desirelessness – that path is called ‘shreyas’. Basically all desires are holding one down to the earth; they don’t allow you to fly into the sky – and man is born to fly into the sky. He has wings. We may not have used them, we may have even completely forgotten them, but they are there waiting and ready… just waiting for when you are going to take off.
So just three things I would like you to remember. One: never see bad in anybody – see good. Even when the bad is too much, try and find the good. Because it is impossible to find a man who has no good in him; even the devil has something divine in him – hence the word ‘devil’; it comes from ‘divine’. Even the devil is a fallen angel. He was not meant to be so. His destiny was different. So the first thing is to go on seeing the good.
The mind ordinarily looks for the bad, for the fault, for the error, for something to condemn. If one wants to drop the mind, one should start looking in the other direction. Try to see the good. And whatsoever you see, grows in you. That is the secret. If you go on seeing the bad, your very attention towards the bad creates bad impressions in you. Then you go on living on a level where bad can be seen. See the good and you start becoming good. See the holy all around, and you start becoming holy.
A saint is one who has stopped seeing the evil.
[Osho recounted the story of Rabiya, a Sufi mystic woman, who came across a passage in the koran that said ‘Hate the devil’. She crossed it out saying that this could not have been from Mohammed, for how could one hate the devil when one couldn’t see him anywhere?]
So the first thing is never to see evil anywhere. That is the meaning of Jesus saying: ‘Judge ye not.’
And the second thing: whenever there is a choice in the mind between good and bad, always choose the good. The mind cannot enforce anything on you; it is your choice. The mind has no power. At the most it can give you all the alternatives. At the most it can just give you the total view – this is good, this is bad – but the choice finally is yours. So whenever there is an alternative, lean towards the good, even if it is difficult in the beginning.
To choose the evil, the bad, is easy. It is downhill. In fact no gas is needed. You can put off the engine and the car will roll down. Goodness is uphill. Much energy is needed, effort and struggle. So always choose the uphill task. Never choose the easy; always choose the good. Then one grows. And it is moment to moment work. Each moment the alternatives are there, each moment you have to decide. One cannot decide once and for all. It is an on-going process.
But by and by, the more you choose good, the more you enjoy it. A moment comes when there is no need to choose. You simply naturally, spontaneously, start moving towards that because you have known the view from the peak of the hill. Now who longs for the valley and the darkness of it?
And the third thing is that goodness arises only when you are quiet, silent, peaceful. That is the right soil for goodness to sprout. So go on creating the right soil. Be more silent, collected, calm. Whenever you find a tension arising, immediately relax, because tension is the beginning of evil. In the West they say that an empty mind is a devil’s workshop; that is absolutely wrong. A tense mind is a devil’s workshop. An empty mind is, in fact, the very shrine of God, but it should be really empty.
So become more and more relaxed. The moment you find something creating a tension, a nucleus around which tension is arising, relax. Exhale deeply, relax, and laugh at the whole ridiculousness of it. By and by one becomes more centred. And that is the right soil for goodness to arise in.
And I have given you the name ‘Shreyas’, so remember it. It is hard work, but when I love somebody, I give them hard work.
Osho, A Rose is a Rose is a Rose, Ch 20 – 18 July 1976