Rajneesh on Desire

Thanks to The Galactic Free Press.

IT IS ONE OF THE MOST significant things to understand that the very desire for NIRVANA is the only hindrance. You can desire money, you can desire power, you can desire prestige, but you cannot desire nirvana; that is a contradiction in terms. NIRVANA simply means the understanding that all desires are futile – the desire for NIRVANA included.

Desire as such is absurd. To be in a desireless state is what NIRVANA is all about. Everybody who comes here comes with a certain desire. The people who come always come with a background. If they have been brought up to believe in God, they come in search of God. If they have been brought up with the belief in self-realization, if they have been taught that the most important thing in life is to know thyself, they come here to know their innermost being, their supreme self If they have been brought up and conditioned that the ultimate search is for MOKSHA, NIRVANA, enlightenment, then they come with that desire.

Everybody who comes is bound to come with a certain desire. That is natural, otherwise you would not be here. But once you are here, as you start getting deeper and deeper into understanding me and what is happening here, you start seeing that desiring is the root cause of all misery. There is no other misery than desiring. It is desiring that is covering your eyes like a veil. It does not allow you to see that which is because you are always concerned about that which should be. Desire leads you into the future, and the future is not yet. And whatsoever you desire comes from the past.

Aruna Bharti, you must have been brought up with a Buddhist conditioning, otherwise why NIRVANA? Why not God? Why not moksha? Why not truth? You have come here to seek and search for NIRVANA for the simple reason that you have been told from the very beginning that unless one finds NIRVANA there is no fulfillment, there is no bliss, there is no joy, life remains a misery.

But that is a basic misunderstanding. Buddha’s whole effort was to help people see that desiring… it is not the question WHAT you desire, the question is that you desire. Desiring in itself is the cause of misery because it takes you away from the present, from the now, from the here. The very word NIRVANA means cessation of desire, so how can you desire NIRVANA? That is impossible; that is getting into a contradiction.

Many Buddhist monks have come to me, and they have asked how to attain NIRVANA. And I have to tell them that don’t be stupid. The very idea of attainment is egoistic, the very idea of attaining any goal whatsoever, of achieving any goal whatsoever is a mind game; it is a mind trip, it is an ego number. And NIRVANA simply means seeing all this and through seeing it, it drops. Not that you have to drop… Remember this: if you drop, you will always drop for some other desire. You can drop, but then immediately your mind will say, ”Why you are dropping this?” It will ask for another desire to be replaced.

Many times it has happened: People come here to meditate, to attain peace of mind, and they don’t know that the very idea of attaining anything is the cause of remaining into a turmoil. Peace of mind simply means you have dropped the whole nonsense of achieving, attaining, you have dropped the very idea of being ambitious about anything, worldly or other-worldly. And of course, desire is always impatient. They want it quick, like instant coffee, because why waste time? So they come to me and they ask, ”How long it will take to attain peace of mind?

I say, ”If you are asking how long, then you will make it very difficult; it will become almost impossible to attain. You forget about time. Time is mind. You forget about time.” Present is not part of time – time consists only of past and future; present is beyond time. ”You forget about time,” I say to them, ”and don’t be impatient.”

They say, ”Okay. If we are not impatient, if we forget time, how long it will take to attain?”

Do you see the contradiction? They are again in the same rut; from the back door… Now such a person cannot meditate because constantly he will be thinking, ”When it is going to happen? When?

One hour has passed and it has not happened yet. Two days have passed and it has not happened yet. Seven days have passed and it has not happened yet.” He will be constantly looking at his clock. Again and again, ”When? So much time has gone.” He will remain tense, he will not relax. Desires don’t allow you to relax; they keep you tense, they keep you anxious.

It is good, Aruna Bharti, that you say:


It is good that the desire for NIRVANA has disappeared. But remember, this wanting to be part of a Buddhafield may be just another way of the same desire – a new name, with a new label. Let this also go. You are here. While you are here be totally here. Why bother about the tomorrow? The tomorrow never comes, it is always today. Have you not experienced it? The tomorrow never comes. Your whole life is the experience that the tomorrow is nonexistential. It is always today. Be here now, and you are part of the Buddhafield. Now don’t create a new desire, otherwise it will create the same misery.


No, you must be caring a little bit. otherwise why you say, ”I don’t care a bit about NIRVANA anymore”?

When one is finished with something, one is so totally finished that one forgets all about it; one does not move to the opposite extreme. The opposite extreme is also part of the same desire. First you are too much attached, then you start becoming too much detached – another extreme. A man is running after money, then one day he gets tired, then he starts running away from money. He says, ”I don’t want even to see money, I don’t want even to touch money.” But this is the same man.

The greatest disciple of Mahatma Gandhi, Vinoba Bhave, does not look at money. If you take money in front of him he immediately closes his eyes. What does it mean? It simply means that still somewhere the attachment goes on lingering. Now, behind all this detachment it is the same attachment. Now attachment is standing on its head, it is doing SIRSHASAN, a headstand. But it is the same attachment.

My approach is neither of attachment nor of detachment, but of simple understanding.


Who has said to you that you are not worthy of it? God never creates any unworthy people – he cannot: existence always creates the most beautiful people possible. The sinners are as much beautiful as the saints. They have their own beauty. I have been with saints, I have been with sinners, and my experience has been the sinners have more innocence than your so-called saints. Sinners are more simple people, more innocent people than your so-called saints.

Your saints are cunning, clever; in fact, their sainthood is nothing but cunningness and cleverness. They are very calculative; they are taking each step with deep calculation. They are very greedy – of course, they are greedy tor the other world, but greed is greed; they are greedy for God, they are greedy for heavenly pleasures. But what pleasures they are imagining in heaven? The same pleasures; it is not going to be much different. All the religions say that there are beautiful women, very young, and they always remain young. Now the scriptures are five thousand years old, but the women there are still young.

There are religions which believe that there are streams of wine in heaven, trees of gold, and flowers of diamonds and emeralds. So what is wrong with this world? Here they teach: Renounce your family, your wife, your husband, your children. Here they say renounce, and there they allow you the same rewards millionfold. There are wish-fulfilling trees, KALPAVRIKSHAS: you just sit underneath the tree and any desire, any wish, and immediately it is fulfilled – not even a single moment is lost. Then there seems to be no difference at all.

Sinners are far more simple people.

A guy comes to heaven’s door and asks Saint Peter for permission to enter.
”Do you really want to come in?” asks Saint Peter.
”Yes,” answers the man.
”Your name?”
”Aristotle Onassis?” inquires Saint Peter.
”That’s it,” is the reply.
”Ah,” says Saint Peter, ”you are the famous shipowner from Greece who had that marvelous yacht that crosses the Mediterranean, and who gave incredible parties with lots of champagne and caviar?”
”Yes, that is me,” says Onassis.
”You are the one who had that beautiful woman called Jacqueline, who once was the First Lady of America?” continues Saint Peter.
”Yes, that is me.”
”Well, well. So you are the one who had that incredible island with a whole bunch of servants, pools, flowers and everything?”
”Yes, that is me.”
”You are the one who had carte blanche in the best restaurants of the world, and was always seen with the most beautiful women?”
”Yes, that is me.”
”Okay, okay,” says Saint Peter. ”You can come in, but you are going to find this place a shit, man!”

So why not be Aristotle onassis here? Why bother about the paradise and the beautiful women and the streams of wine and wish-fulfilling trees? All these things are possible here.

The sinners are satisfied with the momentary, and the saints want the permanent. Then who is greedy?

It is good, Aruna Bharti, but drop this idea that you are not worthy. I have never come across any man who is not worthy of being blissful. It is up to you. If you want to be blissful, nothing hinders you except your own unintelligence. And that unintelligence can be dropped very easily. Except your ego, nothing hinders you and that ego is nonexistential. And that ego does not allow you to be intelligent because it lives on stupidity, it lives on misery, it lives on anguish. Everyone is worthy, otherwise you would not have been.



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