Life is a leela

Osho A-Z

Osho speaks on ‘Leela’: “Life is a leela, it is a play, and the moment you are ready to play, you are enlightened… You are already that which you are trying to be.”

Children playing in woods

If you are here with enlightenment as your goal you cannot be here. Physically you may appear to be here, but you cannot be with me. The goal is in the future, I am here! And a mind which is goal-oriented is bound to be in the future – we will never meet.

I know you are here to attain something – that’s why you are missing it. I am here to persuade you to drop the very idea of attaining anything whatsoever: enlightenment, moksha, nirvana, God, included. If you drop this goal-oriented mind – and there are none but goal-oriented minds, there is no other mind – if you drop it, you are enlightened.

Enlightenment is not a search, it is a realization. It is not a goal! It is the very nature of life itself.

As life is, it is enlightened. It needs nothing to be added to it, to improve it. Life is perfect. It is not moving from imperfection to perfection, it is moving from perfection to perfection.

You are here to attain something. That is functioning as a barrier. Drop that barrier. Just be here! Forget about any purpose, life cannot have any purpose. Life is the purpose, how can it have any other purpose? Otherwise you will be in an infinite regress: then that purpose will have another purpose, then that other purpose will have another purpose…. Life has no purpose, and that’s why it is so beautiful.

Hindus have called it leela, a play. It is not even a game. Now in the West the word game has become very important; hundreds of books have been published within two, three years with ‘game’ in the title: The Master Game, The Ultimate Game, Games People Play, and so on and so forth. But there is a difference between game and play. Hindus have called life play not game, because even a game has something as a purpose: a result to be attained, victory to be achieved, the opponent has to be conquered…. Then a play becomes a game; then it becomes serious.

Grownups play games, children only play. Just the very activity is enough unto itself. It has an intrinsic end, there is no goal added to it. Life is a leela, it is a play, and the moment you are ready to play, you are enlightened.

Try to understand from some other dimension. You are already that which you are trying to be. The more you try, the more you will miss. You leave all effort, you simply accept yourself, you just be that – suddenly it is there! It has always been there but you were seeking so seriously, and that was the only cause for missing it.

You are here to attain something: enlightenment, samadhi, satori – or something. To me all those words are nonsense, because they give you again a new line of desiring.

Osho, Tao: The Three Treasures, Vol 3, Ch 10 – Fri, 20 August 1975 am in Buddha Hall

Quote published in The Book: An Introduction to the Teachings of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh
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Photo by Robert Collins on Unsplash

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