Joy: The Happiness That Comes from Within [NOOK Book]


In Joy, Osho posits that to be joyful is the basic nature of life. Joy is the spiritual dimension of happiness, in which one begins to understand one's intrinsic value and place in the universe. Accepting joy is a decision to "go with the flow," to be grateful to be alive and for all the challenges and opportunities in life, rather than setting conditions or demands for happiness.

The Insight for a New Way of Living series aims to shine ...
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Joy: The Happiness That Comes from Within

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In Joy, Osho posits that to be joyful is the basic nature of life. Joy is the spiritual dimension of happiness, in which one begins to understand one's intrinsic value and place in the universe. Accepting joy is a decision to "go with the flow," to be grateful to be alive and for all the challenges and opportunities in life, rather than setting conditions or demands for happiness.

The Insight for a New Way of Living series aims to shine light on beliefs and attitudes that prevent individuals from being their true selves. The text is an artful mix of compassion and humor, and readers are encouraged to confront what they would most like to avoid, which in turns provides the key to true insight and power.

Joy is a wondrous investigation into the source and importance of joyfulness in our lives.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781429907736
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/2010
  • Series: Osho Insights for a New Way of Living
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 670,973
  • File size: 313 KB

Meet the Author

The works of Osho challenge readers to examine and break free of the conditions, belief systems, and prejudices that limit their capacity to experience life in all its richness. One of the best-known and most provocative spiritual teachers of the twentieth century, Osho has been described by the Sunday Times of London as one of the "1,000 Makers of the twentieth century," and by the American novelist Tom Robbins as "the most dangerous man since Jesus Christ." More than a decade after his death in 1990, the influence of his teachings continues to grow, reaching seekers of all ages in virtually every country of the world.
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Read an Excerpt


Happiness has nothing to do with success, happiness has nothing to do with ambition, happiness has nothing to do with money, power, prestige. Happiness has something to do with your consiousness, not with your character.


What is happiness? It depends on you, on your state of consciousness or unconsciousness, whether you are asleep or awake. There is one famous maxim of Murphy. He says there are two types of people: one who always divides humanity into two types, and the other, who doesn’t divide humanity at all. I belong to the first type: Humanity can be divided into two types, the sleeping ones and the awakened ones—and, of course, a small group in between.

Happiness will depend on where you are in your consciousness. If you are asleep, then pleasure is happiness. Pleasure means sensation, trying to achieve something through the body that is not possible to achieve through the body—forcing the body to achieve something it is not capable of. People are trying, in every possible way, to achieve happiness through the body.

The body can give you only momentary pleasures, and each pleasure is balanced by pain in the same amount, to the same degree. Each pleasure is followed by its opposite because the body exists in the world of duality. Just as the day is followed by night and death is followed by life and life is followed by death; it is a vicious circle. Your pleasure will be followed by pain, your pain will be followed by pleasure. But you will never be at ease. When you are in a state of pleasure you will be afraid that you are going to lose it, and that fear will poison it. And when you are lost in pain, of course, you will be in suffering and you will make every possible effort to get out of it—only to fall back into it again.

Buddha calls this the wheel of birth and death. We go on moving with this wheel, clinging to the wheel … and the wheel moves on. Sometimes pleasure comes up and sometimes pain comes up, but we are crushed between these two rocks.

But the sleeping person knows nothing else. He knows only a few sensations of the body—food, sex; this is his world. He goes on moving between these two. These are the two ends of his body: food and sex. If he represses sex he becomes addicted to food; if he represses food he becomes addicted to sex. Energy goes on moving like a pendulum. And whatever you call pleasure is, at the most, just relief from a tense state.

Sexual energy gathers, accumulates; you become tense and heavy and you want to release it. To the man who is asleep, sexuality is nothing but a relief, like a good sneeze. It gives him nothing but a certain relief—a tension was there, now it is no longer there. But it will accumulate again. Food gives you only a little taste on the tongue; it is not much to live for. But many people are living only to eat; there are very few people who eat to live.

The story of Columbus is well known. It was a long trip. For three months they saw nothing but water. Then one day Columbus looked out at the horizon and saw trees. And if you think Columbus was happy to see trees, you should have seen his dog!

This is the world of pleasure. The dog can be forgiven, but you cannot be forgiven.

During their first date, the young man, looking for ways to have a good time, asked the young lady if she would like to go bowling. She replied that she did not care to go bowling. He then suggested a movie, but she answered that she did not care for them. While trying to think of something else he offered her a cigarette, which she declined. He then asked if she would like to dance and drink at the new disco. She again declined by saying she did not care for those things.

In desperation he asked her to come to his apartment for a night of lovemaking. To his surprise she happily agreed, kissed him passionately, and said, “You see, you don’t need any of those other things to have a good time!”

What we call “happiness” depends on the person. To the sleeping person, pleasurable sensations are happiness. The sleeping person lives from one pleasure to another pleasure. He is just rushing from one sensation to another sensation. He lives for small thrills; his life is very superficial. It has no depth, it has no quality. He lives in the world of quantity.

Then there are people who are in between, who are neither asleep nor awake, who are just in a limbo, a little bit asleep, a little bit awake. You sometimes have that experience in the early morning—still sleepy, but you can’t say you are asleep because you can hear the noise in the house, your partner preparing tea, the noise of the kettle or the children getting ready to go to school. You can hear these things, but still you are not awake. Vaguely, dimly, these noises reach you, as if there is a great distance between you and all that is happening around you. It feels as if it is still part of a dream. It is not part of a dream, but you are in a state of in-between.

The same happens when you start meditating. The nonmeditator sleeps, dreams; the meditator starts moving away from sleep toward awakening, is in a transitory state. Then happiness has a totally different meaning: It becomes more of a quality, less of a quantity; it is more psychological, less physiological. The meditator enjoys music more, enjoys poetry more, enjoys creating something. These people enjoy nature, its beauty. They enjoy silence, they enjoy what they had never enjoyed before, and this is far more lasting. Even if the music stops, something lingers on in you.

And it is not a relief. The difference between pleasure and this quality of happiness is that it is not a relief, it is an enrichment. You become more full, you start overflowing. While you listen to good music, something is triggered in your being, a harmony arises in you—you become musical. Or dancing, suddenly you forget your body; your body becomes weightless. The grip of gravity over you is lost. Suddenly you are in a different space: The ego is not so solid, the dancer melts and merges into the dance.

Now is the only time and here is the only space. And then suddenly the whole sky drops into you. This is bliss. This is real happiness.

This is far higher, far deeper, than the pleasure you gain from food or sex. This has a depth. But this is also not the ultimate. The ultimate happens only when you are fully awake, when you are a buddha, when all sleep is gone and all dreaming is gone—when your whole being is full of light, when there is no darkness within you. All darkness has disappeared and with that darkness, the ego is gone. All tensions have disappeared, all anguish, all anxiety. You are in a state of total contentment. You live in the present; no past, no future anymore. You are utterly here now. This moment is all. Now is the only time and here is the only space. And then suddenly the whole sky drops into you. This is bliss. This is real happiness.

Seek bliss; it is your birthright. Don’t remain lost in the jungle of pleasures; rise a little higher. Reach to happiness and then to bliss. Pleasure is animal, happiness is human, bliss is divine. Pleasure binds you, it is a bondage, it chains you. Happiness gives you a little more rope, a little bit of freedom, but only a little bit. Bliss is absolute freedom. You start moving upward; it gives you wings. You are no longer part of the gross earth; you become part of the sky. You become light, you become joy.

Pleasure is dependent on others. Happiness is not so dependent on others, but still it is separate from you. Bliss is not dependent, it is not separate either; it is your very being, it is your very nature.


Gautam Buddha has said:

There is pleasure and there is bliss.

Forgo the first to possess the second.

Meditate over it as deeply as possible, because it contains one of the most fundamental truths. These four words will have to be understood, pondered over: the first is pleasure; the second, happiness; the third is joy; and the fourth is bliss.

Pleasure is physical, physiological. Pleasure is the most superficial thing in life; it is titillation. It can be sexual, it can be of other senses, it can become an obsession with food, but it is rooted in the body. The body is your periphery, your circumference; it is not your center. And to live on the circumference is to live at the mercy of all kinds of things that go on happening around you. The man who seeks pleasure remains at the mercy of accidents. It is like the waves in the ocean; they are at the mercy of the winds. When strong winds come, the waves are there; when the winds disappear, the waves disappear. They don’t have an independent existence, they are dependent—and anything that is dependent on something outside of itself brings bondage.

Pleasure is dependent on the other. If you love a woman, if that is your pleasure, then that woman becomes your master. If you love a man—if that is your pleasure and you feel unhappy, in despair, sad, without him—then you have created bondage for yourself. You have created a prison, you are no longer in freedom. If you are a seeker after money and power, then you will be dependent on money and power. The man who goes on accumulating money, if it is his pleasure to have more and more money, will become more and more miserable—because the more he has, the more he wants, and the more he has, the more he is afraid to lose it.

It is a double-edged sword: wanting more is the first edge of the sword. The more you demand, the more you desire, the more you feel yourself lacking something—the more hollow, empty, you appear to yourself. And the other edge of the sword is that the more you have, the more you are afraid it can be taken away. It can be stolen. The bank can fail, the political situation in the country can change, the country can go communist … there are a thousand and one things upon which your money depends. Your money does not make you a master, it makes you a slave.

Pleasure is peripheral; hence it is bound to depend on outer circumstances. And it is only titillation. If food is pleasure, what actually is being enjoyed? Just the taste—for a moment, when the food passes across the taste buds on your tongue, you feel a sensation that you interpret as pleasure. It is your interpretation. Today it may look like pleasure and tomorrow it may not look like pleasure; if you go on eating the same food every day your taste buds will become unresponsive to it. Soon you will be fed up with it.

That’s how people become fed up—one day you are running after a man or a woman and the next day you are trying to find an excuse to get rid of the same person. The same person—nothing has changed! What has happened meanwhile? You are bored with the other, because the whole pleasure was in exploring the new. Now the other is no longer new; you are acquainted with their territory. You are acquainted with the body of the other, the curves of the body, the feel of the body. Now the mind is hankering for something new.

The mind is always hankering for something new. That’s how the mind keeps you always tethered somewhere in the future. It keeps you hoping, but it never delivers the goods—it cannot. It can only create new hopes, new desires.

Just as leaves grow on the trees, desires and hopes grow in the mind. You wanted a new house and now you have it—and where is the pleasure? Just for a moment it was there, when you achieved your goal. Once you have achieved your goal, your mind is no longer interested in it; it has already started spinning new webs of desire. It has already started thinking of other, bigger houses. And this is so about everything.

The mind is always hankering for something new. That’s how the mind keeps you always tethered somewhere in the future. It keeps you hoping, but it never delivers the goods.

Pleasure keeps you in a neurotic state, restless, always in turmoil. So many desires, and every desire unquenchable, clamoring for attention. You remain a victim of a crowd of insane desires—insane because they are unfulfillable—and they go on dragging you in different directions. You become a contradiction. One desire takes you to the left, another toward the right, and simultaneously you go on nourishing both the desires. And then you feel a split, then you feel divided, you feel torn apart. Then you feel as if you are falling into pieces. Nobody else is responsible; it is the stupidity of desiring pleasure that creates this situation.

And it is a complex phenomenon. You are not the only one who is seeking pleasure; millions of people just like you are seeking the same pleasures. Hence there is great struggle, competition, violence, war. All have become enemies to each other because they are all seeking the same goal—and not all of them can have it. Hence the struggle has to be total, you have to risk all—and for nothing, because when you gain, you gain nothing. Your whole life is wasted in this struggle. A life that could have been a celebration becomes a long, drawn-out, unnecessary struggle.

People don’t know much about Machiavelli, but they follow him—as if Machiavelli is very close to their hearts. you need not read him, you are already following him.

When you are so wrapped up in seeking pleasure you cannot love, because the person who seeks pleasure uses the other as a means. And to use the other as a means is one of the most immoral acts possible, because each being is an end unto himself, you cannot use the other as a means. But in seeking pleasure you have to use the other as a means. You become cunning because it is such a struggle. If you are not cunning you will be deceived, and before others deceive you, you have to deceive them.

Machiavelli has advised pleasure seekers that the best way of defense is to attack. Never wait for the other to attack you; that may be too late. Before the other attacks you, you attack him! That is the best way of defense. And this is being followed, whether people know about Machiavelli or not.

This is something very strange: People know about Christ, about Buddha, about Mohammed, about Krishna, and nobody follows them. People don’t know much about Machiavelli, but they follow him—as if Machiavelli is very close to their hearts. You need not read him, you are already following him. Your whole society is based on Machiavellian principles; that’s what the whole political game is all about. Before somebody snatches anything from you, snatch it from them; always be on guard. Naturally, if you are always on guard you will be tense, anxious, worried. Everyone is against you and you are against everybody else.

So pleasure is not and cannot be the goal of life.

Joy is spiritual. It is different, totally different from pleasure or happiness. It has nothing to do with the outside, with the other, it is an inner phenomenon.

The second word to be understood is happiness. Pleasure is physiological, happiness is psychological. Happiness is a little better, a little more refined, a little higher … but not very much different from pleasure. You can say that pleasure is a lower kind of happiness and happiness is a higher kind of pleasure—two sides of the same coin. Pleasure is a little primitive, animal; happiness is a little more cultured, a little more human—but it is the same game played in the world of the mind. You are not so concerned with physiological sensations, you are much more concerned with psychological sensations. But basically they are not different.

The third is joy—joy is spiritual. It is different, totally different from pleasure or happiness. It has nothing to do with the outside, with the other; it is an inner phenomenon. Joy is not dependent on circumstances; it is your own. It is not a titillation produced by things; it is a state of peace, of silence—a meditative state. It is spiritual.

But Buddha has not talked about joy either, because there is still one thing that goes beyond joy. He calls it bliss. Bliss is total. It is neither physiological nor psychological nor spiritual. It knows no division, it is indivisible. It is total in one sense and transcendental in another sense. Buddha uses only two words in this saying. The first is pleasure; it includes happiness. The second is bliss; it includes joy.

Bliss means you have reached to the very innermost core of your being. It belongs to the ultimate depth of your being where even the ego is no more, where only silence prevails; you have disappeared. In joy you exist a little bit, but in bliss you are not. The ego has dissolved; it is a state of nonbeing.

Buddha calls it “nirvana.” Nirvana means you have ceased to be; you are just an infinite emptiness like the sky. And the moment you are that infinity, you become full of the stars, and a totally new life begins. You are reborn.

Pleasure is momentary, it belongs to time, it is “for the time being”; bliss is nontemporal, timeless. Pleasure begins and ends; bliss abides forever. Pleasure comes and goes; bliss never comes, never goes—it is already there in the innermost core of your being. Pleasure has to be snatched away from the other; you become either a beggar or a thief. Bliss makes you a master.

Bliss is not something that you invent but something that you discover. Bliss is your innermost nature. It has been there since the very beginning, you just have not looked at it. You have taken it for granted. You don’t look inward.

This is the only misery of man: that he goes on looking outward, seeking and searching. And you cannot find it in the outside because it is not there.

One evening, Rabiya—she was a famous Sufi mystic—was searching for something on the street in front of her small hut. The sun was setting; slowly, slowly, darkness was descending. A few people gathered. They asked her, “What are you doing? What have you lost? What are you searching for?”

She said, “I have lost my needle.”

The people said, “Now the sun is setting and it will be very difficult to find the needle, but we will help you. Where exactly has it fallen? Because the road is big and the needle is so small. If we know the exact place it will be easier to find it.”

Rabiya said, “It is better not to ask me that question—because in fact it has not fallen on the road at all, it has fallen inside my house.”

The people started laughing and they said, “We always thought that you were a little insane! If the needle has fallen inside the house, then why are you searching on the road?”

Rabiya said, “For a simple, logical reason: Inside the house there is no light and on the outside a little light is still there.”

The people laughed and started dispersing. Rabiya called them back and said, “Listen! That’s exactly what you are doing; I was just following your example. You go on seeking bliss in the outside world without asking the first and primary question: Where have you lost it? And I tell you, you have lost it inside. You are looking for it on the outside for the simple, logical reason that your senses open outward—there is a little more light. Your eyes look outward, your ears hear outward, your hands reach outward; that’s the reason why you are searching outside. Otherwise, I tell you, you have not lost it there—and I tell you on my own authority. I have also searched on the outside for many, many lives, and the day I looked in I was surprised. There was no need to seek and search; it has always been within.”

Bliss is your innermost core. Pleasure you have to beg from others; naturally you become dependent. Bliss makes you a master. Bliss is not something that happens; it is already the case.

Buddha says: There is pleasure and there is bliss. Forgo the first to possess the second. Stop looking on the outside. Look within, turn in. Start seeking and searching in your own inferiority, your own subjectivity Bliss is not an object to be found anywhere else; it is your consciousness.

In the East we have always defined the ultimate truth as Sat-Chit-Anand. Sat means truth, chit means consciousness, anand means bliss. They are three faces of the same reality. This is the true trinity, not God the Father, the Son, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost; that is not the true trinity. The true trinity is truth, consciousness, bliss. And they are not separate phenomena, but one energy expressed in three ways, one energy with three faces. Hence in the East we say God is trimurti—God has three faces. These are the real faces—not Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh, those are for children, for those who are spiritually, metaphysically immature. Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh; the Father, the Son, the Holy Ghost—those names are for beginners.

Truth, consciousness, bliss—these are the ultimate truths. First comes truth. As you enter, you become aware of your eternal reality—sat, truth. As you go deeper into your reality, into your truth, you become aware of consciousness, a tremendous consciousness. All is light, nothing is dark. All is awareness, nothing is unawareness. You are just a flame of consciousness, not even a shadow of unconsciousness anywhere. And when you enter still deeper, then the ultimate core is bliss—anand.

Buddha says: Forgo everything that you have thought meaningful, significant, up to now. Sacrifice everything for this ultimate because this is the only thing that will make you contented, that will make you fulfilled, that will bring spring to your being … and you will blossom into a thousand and one flowers.

Pleasure will keep you a driftwood. Pleasure will make you more and more cunning; it will not give you wisdom. It will make you more and more a slave; it will not give you the kingdom of your being. It will make you more and more calculating, it will make you more and more exploitative. It will make you more and more political, diplomatic. You will start using people as means; that’s what people are doing.

The husband says to the wife, “I love you,” but in reality he simply uses her. The wife says she loves the husband, but she is simply using him. The husband may be using her as a sexual object and the wife may be using him as financial security. Pleasure makes everybody cunning, deceptive. And to be cunning is to miss the bliss of being innocent, is to miss the bliss of being a child.

At Lockheed, a part was needed for a new airplane and an announcement was sent around the world to get the lowest bid. From Poland came a bid of three thousand dollars. England offered to build the part for six thousand. The asking price from Israel was nine thousand. Richardson, the engineer in charge of constructing the new plane, decided to visit each country to find out the reason behind the disparity of the bids.

In Poland, the manufacturer explained, “One thousand for the materials needed, one thousand for the labor, and one thousand for overhead and a tiny profit.”

In England, Richardson inspected the part and found that it was almost as good as the Polish-made one. “Why are you asking six thousand?” inquired the engineer. “Two thousand for material,” explained the Englishman, “two thousand for labor, and two thousand for expenses and a small profit.”

In Israel, the Lockheed representative wandered through a back alley into a small shop and encountered an elderly man who had submitted the bid of nine thousand dollars. “Why are you asking that much?” he asked.

“Well,” said the old Jew, “three thousand for you, three thousand for me, and three thousand for the schmuck in Poland!”

Money, power, prestige—they all make you cunning. Seek pleasure and you will lose your innocence, and to lose your innocence is to lose all. Jesus says: Be like a small child, only then can you enter into the Kingdom of God. And he is right. But the pleasure seeker cannot be as innocent as a child. He has to be very clever, very cunning, very political; only then can he succeed in the cutthroat competition that exists all around. Everybody is at everybody else’s throat, you are not living among friends. The world cannot be friendly unless we drop this idea of competitiveness.

But from the very beginning we start corrupting every child with this poison of competitiveness. By the time he comes out of the university he will be completely poisoned. We have hypnotized him with the idea that he has to fight with others, that life is a survival of the fittest. Then life can never be a celebration.

If you are happy at the expense of another man’s happiness … and that is how you can be happy, there is no other way. If you find a beautiful woman and somehow manage to possess her, you have snatched her away from others’ hands. We try to make things look as beautiful as possible, but it is only on the surface. Now the others who have lost in the game will be angry, in a rage. They will wait for their opportunity to take revenge, and sooner or later that moment will come.

Use whatever happens to be with you in the moment, but don’t be possessive. Don’t try to claim that it is yours. Nothing is yours, all belongs to existence.

Whatever you possess in this world you possess at somebody else’s expense, at the cost of somebody else’s pleasure. There is no other way. If you really want not to be inimical to anybody in the world, you have to drop the whole idea of possessiveness. Use whatever happens to be with you in the moment, but don’t be possessive. Don’t try to claim that it is yours. Nothing is yours, all belongs to existence.


We come with empty hands and we will go with empty hands, so what is the point of claiming so much in the meantime? But this is what we know, what the world tells us: possess, dominate, have more than others have. It may be money or it may be virtue; it does not matter in what kind of coins you deal—they may be worldly, they may be otherworldly. But be very clever, otherwise you will be exploited. Exploit and don’t be exploited—that is the subtle message given to you with your mother’s milk. And every school, college, university, is rooted in the idea of competition.

A real education will not teach you to compete; it will teach you to cooperate. It will not teach you to fight and come first. It will teach you to be creative, to be loving, to be blissful, without comparing yourself to others. It will not teach you that you can be happy only when you are the first—that is sheer nonsense. You can’t be happy just by being first, and in trying to be first you go through such misery that by the time you become the first you are habituated to misery.

By the time you become the president or the prime minister of a country you have gone through such misery that now misery is your second nature. You don’t know now any other way to exist; you remain miserable. Tension has become ingrained; anxiety has become your way of life. You don’t know any other way; this is your very lifestyle. So even though you have become the first, you remain cautious, anxious, afraid. It does not change your inner quality at all.

A real education will not teach you to be the first. It will tell you to enjoy whatever you are doing, not for the result, but for the act itself. Just like a painter or a dancer or a musician …

You can paint in two ways. You can paint to compete with other painters; you want to be the greatest painter in the world, you want to be a Picasso or a Van Gogh. Then your painting will be second-rate, because your mind is not interested in painting itself; it is interested in being the first, the greatest painter in the world. You are not going deep into the art of painting. You are not enjoying it, you are only using it as a stepping-stone. You are on an ego trip, and the problem is that to really be a painter, you have to drop the ego completely. To really be a painter, the ego has to be put aside. Only then can existence flow through you. Only then can your hands and your fingers and your brush be used as vehicles. Only then can something of superb beauty be born.

Real beauty is never created by you but only through you. Existence flows; you become only a passage. You allow it to happen, that’s all; you don’t hinder it, that’s all.

Ego cannot bring anything extraordinary into the world; the extraordinary comes only through egolessness.

But if you are too interested in the result, the ultimate result—that you have to become famous, that you have to be the best painter in the world, that you have to defeat all other painters hitherto—then your interest is not in painting; painting is secondary. And of course, with a secondary interest in painting you can’t paint something original; it will be ordinary.

Ego cannot bring anything extraordinary into the world; the extraordinary comes only through egolessness. And so is the case with the musician and the poet and the dancer. So is the case with everybody.

In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna says: Don’t think of the result at all. It is a message of tremendous beauty and significance and truth. Don’t think of the result at all. Just do what you are doing with your totality. Get lost in it, lose the doer in the doing. Don’t “be”—let your creative energies flow unhindered. That’s why he said to Arjuna: “Don’t escape from the war … because I can see this escape is just an ego trip. The way you are talking simply shows that you are calculating, you are thinking that by escaping from the war you will become a great saint. Rather than surrendering to the whole, you are taking yourself too seriously—as if there will be no war if you are not there.”

Krishna says to Arjuna, “Just be in a state of let-go. Say to existence, ‘Use me in whatever way you want to use me. I am available, unconditionally available.’ Then whatsoever happens through you will have a great authenticity about it. It will have intensity, it will have depth. It will have the impact of the eternal on it.”

Jesus says: Remember, those who are first in this world will be the last in the kingdom of God, and those who are the last will be the first. He has given you the fundamental law—he has given you the inexhaustible, eternal law: Stop trying to be the first. But remember one thing, which is very much possible, because the mind is so cunning it can distort every truth. You can start trying to be the last—but then you miss the whole point. Then another competition starts: “I have to be the last”—and if somebody else says, “I am the last,” then the struggle, the conflict, begins again.

I have heard a Sufi parable:

A great emperor, Nadirshah, was praying. It was early morning; the sun had not yet risen, it was still dark. Nadirshah was about to start the conquest of a new country, and of course he was praying to God for his blessings, to be victorious. He was saying to God, “I am nobody, I am just a servant—a servant of your servants. Bless me. I am going on your behalf, this is your victory. But I am nobody, remember. I am just a servant of your servants.”

A priest was also by his side, helping him in prayer, functioning as a mediator between him and God. And then suddenly they heard another voice in the darkness. A beggar of the town was also praying, and he was saying to God, “I am nobody, a servant of your servants.”

The king said, “Look at this beggar! He is a beggar and saying to God that he is nobody! Stop this nonsense! Who are you to say you are nobody? I am nobody, and nobody else can claim this. I am the servant of God’s servants—who are you to say that you are the servant of his servants?”

Now you see? The competition is still there, the same competition, the same stupidity. Nothing has changed. The same calculation: “I have to be the last. Nobody else can be allowed to be the last.” The mind can go on playing such games on you if you are not very understanding, if you are not very intelligent.

Never try to be happy at the expense of another man’s happiness. That is ugly, inhuman. That is violence in the true sense. If you think you become a saint by condemning others as sinners, your saintliness is nothing but a new ego trip. If you think you are holy because you are trying to prove others unholy … That’s what your holy people are doing. They go on bragging about their holiness, saintliness. Go to your so-called saints and look into their eyes. They have such condemnation for you! They are saying that you are all bound for hell; they go on condemning everybody. Listen to their sermons; all their sermons are condemnatory. And of course you listen silently to their condemnations because you know that you have made many mistakes in your life, errors in your life. And they have condemned everything—so it is impossible to feel that you can be good. You love food, you are a sinner. You don’t get up early in the morning, you are a sinner; you don’t go to bed early in the evening, you are a sinner. They have arranged everything in such a way that it is very difficult not to be a sinner.

Yes, they are not sinners. They go early to bed and they get up early in the morning … in fact, they have nothing else to do! They never commit any mistakes because they never do anything. They are just sitting there almost dead. But if you do something, of course, how can you be holy? Hence for centuries the holy man has been renouncing the world and escaping from the world, because to be in the world and be holy seems to be impossible.

My whole approach is that unless you are in the world, your holiness is of no value at all. Be in the world and be holy! We have to define holiness in a totally different way. Don’t live at the expense of others’ pleasures—that is holiness. Don’t destroy others’ happiness, help others to be happy—that is holiness. Create the climate in which everybody can have a little joy.

JOY: THE HAPPINESS THAT COMES FROM WITHIN. Copyright © 2004 by Osho International Foundation, All rights reserved.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2013


    "Loving you." She purred. She pressed her nose against his smiling.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2013


    He looked at her. "What are you doing?" He purred.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2013


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  • Posted September 16, 2009


    Everything by Osho is good.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2008

    The JOY of reading Osho

    Something happens to my brain as I read Osho's words. I can feel it go soft as a marshmallow and happy as a tail-wagging pup as he gently pulls me away from my hard-edged expression of me-ness. Surging emotions calm and mental barriers dissolve. Recognition of the truth in this book brings up a lovely, subtle joy from within. There's something mysterious and magical here!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2007

    An Interesting subject

    A different approach that is creative and interesting.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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