WHY OSHO SAYS: “LOVE IS DEATH?”
It is because one dies in this love of the divine. It is not the kind of normal death in which only your body dies and you are born again with a new body. If you die in Omkar, the divine music, it leads to the ultimate death, your ego dies forever. The saints of India Gorakhnaath and Kabir are referring to this kind of death.
Osho’s several books are named on this death. It’s the ultimate death. It’s only after experiencing this that one can be called twice born. It is death of the ego (aham) but for the first time birth of the divinity (Brahma) in you. So it is both the Ultimate Divine Death and the Ultimate New Life as well. But the reason is none. Remember God is non-utilitarian. People try to reduce God also for utilitarian purpose. They go to pray in the Temples and mosques to ask for something. But you all are experiencing Samadhi and by going deep in it you can understand that God is absolutely non-utilitarian. Only this kind of love will be unconditional. There one ceases to be, one dies. There is no purpose there, no selfishness, immersing of oneself. And that is why love is known as death. The death of self and birth of divinity (Brahma) is the ultimate happening in love. And this is absolutely of no use. It has no utilitarian value at all.
You must have heard this story by Lao Tsu…
Lao Tsu was going through a jungle with his disciples. The trees were being cut at one place there. Many wood-cutters were cutting the trees. The jungle was being cleaned. But one big tree was coming in the way. Lao Tsu told his disciples to go and ask the woodcutters why that tree was not removed from the way. Those disciples went and asked. They were told by the woodcutters that that tree was absolutely useless. Animals don’t eat its leaves, no medicine can be made from its roots, the shape of its trunk and branches is such that they cannot be used for making furniture. If you burn its wood, it gives more smoke than fire and so cannot be used for cooking. That tree had been left from cutting because it is of no use. Lao Tsu smiled listening to this from his disciples and said this was his teaching also. You also become like this that you be of no use. I heard this story several times from Osho but always wondered what this story was about. I could never understand what Osho was trying to say through that story. Until I became enlightened I could not understand this story. Now I understand how beautifully this story is indicating the hidden message. Lao Tsu has given a wonderful message.
God is absolutely non-utilitarian. You just forget about the utility. And the saints are also non-utilitarian. They are of no use. Are they of any use? They do not do politics, run a shop, contribute towards the country, nor do they do any scientific research. Neither did Buddha open a hospital nor did Mahavira open any school. They did not serve the lepers either. They did nothing at all. They are absolutely useless just like God. Only those who have begun to understand non-utilitarian value can be interested in the Divine (Parmatma). Until you have any desire or expectation, your love and prayer will have a purpose, a reason. Love without purpose or condition is possible only with the divinity. That’s why Osho has discussed unconditional love in the context of the sound of one hand clapping. This mention is not coincidental. The love that you will have for the sound of one hand clapping can only be without any reason. What will you get out of the one hand clapping? And the one, who is desirous of receiving something, will not be able to fall in love.
Many people say they cannot experience Samadhi. They cannot drown in the sound of Omkar, the divine melody. What is the reason? The only reason is that your love is with a purpose. If you were getting anything from anywhere or even if there was a hope of getting something then you could have loved. You are used to loving for a purpose. Where you are sure of getting nothing in return, on the contrary you will lose yourself there and cease to be. You will not be able to love at such a place. That is why Samadhi is not dawning upon you. You are not being able to unite with the Divinity. Learn the language of unconditional love. Be a little non-utilitarian. Do not live only in the marketplace. Sometimes go to the real temple too. And this temple is within you. And the bell in this temple is making a sound. This is the sound of one hand clapping. Love this sound; drown in it.
It has no use at all but is full of bliss. Remember wherever there is utility there can be no bliss. There is a lot of utility in the business, in your shop but no bliss. Wherever something is done for a purpose, there will be its use but no bliss. And bliss can only be where there is no purpose. That’s why whenever you love without any reason you get a glimpse of bliss. Sometimes you get it in small things. You saw a handkerchief falling from someone walking ahead of you on the street. You picked it up for him and then went your own way. You don’t know this person, you don’t expect anything back from him, and there is no hope of meeting him and getting something from him in the future. You had not calculated any such thing while giving him his handkerchief, it had just happened naturally. You did an act of love without any purpose; it made you blissful. Whenever you do things with a purpose, it becomes work. When you do things without purpose, it becomes a play, ‘leela’, a prayer.
Work becomes worship, if from conditional it becomes unconditional. The same thing applies to love. When a young man and a woman fall in love, the proportion of unconditional love is very high. When they get married there is more of love with purpose than without. Now wife is being loved because she is wife. She will cook, take care of the children and look after the household. There is a purpose now. And if you make her angry, she breaks dishes, burns the food or makes it very spicy. Wife is loving the husband because he works and gets money home. If she troubles him much, he might run away and that can cause a lot of trouble. What if he becomes a sanyasi, goes to the jungle or divorces her and gets married again. So she troubles him to a limit. People keep a point up to which they can trouble the other depending on his limit to tolerate it. As the capacity to tolerate increases in a person, he can be troubled a little more. So, love and hate, which go on together, include the idea of troubling the other also.
Conditional Love brings Misery
One day I heard Nassiruddin shouting at his wife saying ‘it’s better to die than to live with you. Oh, why does not someone get me some poison. Wife replied, ‘you don’t seem to be able to do even this much yourself. At least this much you can do yourself ‘. Well, normally love is like this only, including hate with it, purpose with it. Only at times there are glimpses of unconditional love in it and then it makes us happy. But our utilitarian mind-set brings purpose again and again thus we reduce love also into business. We include it in our world of calculations and then it gives us sadness. That’s how we get both the things from love, a glimpse of bliss and then a lot of sadness. A small silver lining in the sky and then thick clouds again. These clouds of sadness envelop us. But try to understand that the other is not responsible for that. What is your own state of mind?
Conditional love brings you unhappiness. Whenever unconditional love happens to you, it fills you with happiness and bliss. Once you have understood this point deep in your heart, you will start loving unconditionally. The point is not whether the other will give you something in return or not, the fact is that loving itself is blissful for you. So be full of love. Only such a person can be in love with the sound of one hand clapping. Only he can go deep in Samadhi.
– Osho Shailendra