Osho sees Zen not as a historical spiritual tradition, but as the future of a humanity that has matured to the point that people no longer need religions controlled by “priesthoods” and based on fearful superstitions that cripple people’s innate intelligence and divide them from one another. This book offers a deeper understanding of the underlying differences between Eastern and Western approaches to religion and the nature of consciousness. It's a beautiful introduction to a world where each individual has the capacity for an instant and profound understanding of existence, and a rebirth of the trust in life that each of us are born with. Dang Dang Doko Dang represents the sound of the drum beaten by a Zen master in an existential lesson for a disciple. As well as symbolizing the poetic quality of Zen, the title represents the special flavor of this collection of Osho’s commentaries on well-known Zen stories. This volume is part of the OSHO Classics series and also includes Osho’s responses to questions about the meditation technique of Zazen.
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
Excerpt from Chapter 7
On the path of Zen the first thing to be aware of is knowledge: the tradition, the scripture, that which has been handed over to you others. Those eyes are not yours, that light is not yours, and it is better to remain ignorant than to become knowledgeable because at least ignorance is yours. A least it is authentic, at least it is true, at least it belongs to you.
Out of the truth of ignorance, knowing can grow - but out of the falsity of knowledge you will be lost, nothing can grow out of it. Knowledge is an accumulation of dead facts and information. It has no life in it. It is like stones piled up, one upon another. It can rise to a very great height, but it has no growth because it has no sap of life in it.
A tree is totally different. It so goes higher and higher but it has an organic growth, a sap of life, running through it. It is growing on its own accord. It is rooted in life. It is an alive process. You can keep a plastic tree and it will look just like any other tree: it can be even more green, it can be even more deceptive, more beautiful but it will be dead. It will not have any roots anywhere, it will not be grounded in existence, it will not be at ease and at home, it will not be an insider. It will be a foreigner, it will be alien.
This is the first thing to understand then only can you understand the radical attitude of Zen. It is very easy to borrow knowledge. That’s what the schools, the colleges, the universities, are doing. They go on transferring information from one generation to another. They are the via media. And people who collect knowledge from them start feeling that they know. But how can you know if you have not known it?
I can talk about love to you, you can listen to me, you can even agree with me, but your agreement is not the point. I may be logical and clever enough to persuade you to agree with me, but that will not give you any taste of love. To know love, you will have to fall in love. To know love, you will have to travel the path of love. To know love, you will have to take the dangerous journey.
Knowledge is more of a certainty; knowing is more uncertain. That’s why people choose knowledge. Knowledge is more guaranteed, it has authority, centuries are standing behind it. That’s why every religion tries to prove that it is the oldest religion in the world. Why? Because the older a religion is, the greater the authority it has. Hindus say that the Vedas are the oldest scriptures in the world; Bibles and Korans and Guru Granthas are just very late arrivals. The Vedas are very, very old. Why so much insistence? Because the older a scripture is, the longer it has stood the test of time, the greater the authority it has gathered around it. Millions of seers are witnesses to it.
Zen says truth has nothing to do with authority, truth has nothing to do with tradition, truth has nothing to do with the past truth is a radical, personal realization. You have to come to it.
Knowledge is certain; the search for personal knowing is very, very hazardous. Nobody can guarantee it. If you ask me if I can guarantee you anything, I say I cannot guarantee you anything. I can only guarantee danger, that much is certain. I can only guarantee you a long adventure with every possibility of going astray and never reaching the goal. But one thing is certain: the very search will help you to grow. I can guarantee only growth. Danger will be there, sacrifice will be there; you will be moving every day into the unknown, into the uncharted, and there will be no map to follow, no guide to follow. Yes, there are millions of dangers and you can go astray and you can get lost, but that is the only way one grows. Insecurity is the only way to grow, to face danger is the only way to grow, to accept the challenge of the unknown is the only way to grow. So I can guarantee only growth.
Knowledge guarantees everything. There will be no danger if you follow the Veda, if you follow the Bible then you need not worry. Now it is Christ who has to worry about it, and he knows. You have simply to imitate him. And the seers of the Vedas know and Mohammed knows, so there is no need for you to make your own private effort. It has already been known, you simply believe. All that is required from you by ordinary religions is belief.
Zen says belief is counterfeit, borrowed.
You have to grow and you have to take the risk. I can guarantee you risk. In the open sky of the truth one searches, with trial and error; many times going astray, and again and again coming back to the right path. That’s the only way.
Truth is not cheap; belief is very cheap. Truth is very costly you will have to pay with your life. Truth requires total sacrifice, nothing less will do.
Zen says that if you are believing scriptures, tradition, others It is irrelevant if they are wrong or right, that is not the point. Remember, Zen doesn’t say that the Bible is wrong, Zen doesn’t say that the Veda is wrong Zen says they are irrelevant. It has nothing to do with right and wrong. They may be right, they may be wrong, but that is not the point to be considered at all. Through them growth is not possible. Those who have written them were grown-up people, mature. They have asserted something that they have known but for them that was knowing, for you it will be knowledge.
Knowing means that you have seen it with your own eyes; knowledge means you have heard it from others. It is very poor, and one who remains with knowledge remains poor. A pundit, a so-called learned man, is the poorest man in the world. He has only counterfeit money and he goes on counting it.
Table of Contents
Chapter #1 Never Pretend, Even about Skulls
Chapter #2 Magicless Magic
Chapter #3 As Within, So Without
Chapter #4 When Grapes Are Sour
Chapter #5 Two Ladies and a Monk
Chapter #6 Joy Is the Criterion
Chapter #7 Be a Light unto Yourself
Chapter #8 Another Sunday
Chapter #9 Dang Dang Doko Dang
Chapter #10 The Body Is a Friend