Osho on HOLI

By Osho, Posted on Mar 8, 2009

"In India we have a festival -- Holi. This Holi festival is just a catharsis for the whole country to throw out all nonsense. It is good, it cleanses. More days are needed because more nonsense is there. One Holi is not enough. In fact, every month a Holi-day is needed so people can throw stones, rubbish at each other, throw colors, dirt, and can use four-letter words. It cleanses. - Osho (Until You Die, Chp # 6)
Become acquainted with god in all his infinite gestures. He has given such a vast temple whose canopy is the sky! He has given such a vast temple where every night there is Divali, a festival of lights. He has lit so many lamps! Scientists have not yet been able to count them. You can count the stars with the naked eyes but it will not be more than three thousand. Counting and counting the scientists have gotten tired of counting. Four billion stars have already been counted. But this is only the beginning. There are more stars, many more. The more scientists count it seems there are more ahead, more ahead... There doesn't seem to be any end. Every night there is Divali and such blind people, no one sees Divali! Every morning his spring Holi festival happens, so much red powder is flying, so many flowers are blooming, so much fragrance is released, so much perfume is dispersed. But people are blind. Every morning his pipes are playing in so many throats. But people are deaf. (Death is Divine, Chp # 6, Q.3)
In the past, people came out in their best clothes to be smeared with all kinds of colors; now they go through it as if it is a kind of compulsory ritual. The festival of Holi was born when Indian society was at the peak of prosperity; now it is only dragging its feet somehow. In the past people were pleased when someone poured colors on their clothes; now in the same situation they are saddened, because they cannot afford enough clothes.
The West now can well afford a festival like Holi. They have already adopted Krishna's dance; sooner or later they are going to adopt Holi as well. It does not need an astrologer to predict it. They have everything -- money, clothes, colors and leisure -- which is necessary to celebrate such a festival as Holi. And unlike us they will celebrate with enthusiasm and joy. They will really rejoice.
When a society on the whole is affluent, even its poor are not that poor; they are better off than the rich people of a poor society. Today even the poorest of America does not cling to money in the way the richest of India does. Living in a sea of poverty, even the rich people of this country share the psychology of the poor. Their clinging to money is pathetic.
I have heard that on a fine morning a beggar appeared at the doors of a house. He was young and healthy and his body was robust and beautiful. The housewife was pleasantly surprised to see such a beggar, he was rare, and she gave him food and clothes with an open heart. Then she said to the beggar, "How is it that you are a beggar? You don't seem to be born poor."
The beggar said, "It seems you are also going the same way. I gave away my wealth in the same way you gave me food and clothes a little while ago. You will not take long to join me in the street."
Clinging to money is characteristic of a poor society; even its rich people suffer from this malady. And clinging disappears in a rich society; even its poor can afford to spend and enjoy what little they have. They are not afraid, they know they can make money when they need it. (Krishna: The Man and His Philosophy, Chp # 13, Q.5)
We have a few festive days. Once a year we observe Holi, the festival of colours, painting ourselves and each other with bright colors. Once a year we celebrate Diwali, the festival of lights, and light many lamps in the darkness. But our life is dry and dull; and it is just because this is so that man has had to create festivals. The birds, the beasts, the plants, the rivers, the waterfalls -- they have neither Holi nor Diwali. It is because man is sick that he is satisfied with just one Diwali. One Diwali is just a consolation. So on that day the new clothes, the firecrackers, the lighted lamps -- and then we return to the same gloominess, the same prison, the same misery, the same anxiety.
When Holi comes, and we sing and dance, breaking all bounds and throwing off our normal codes of conduct. On that day we throw all our morality, rules and etiquette to the winds; for one day our river flows, breaking all disciplines. But do you think that a river that flows for one day of the year is going to reach the ocean? And even this one day is only an apology for the real flowing; it is just a mockery of our real selves!
Look at nature: there is Existence enjoying Holi every day, and celebrating Diwali daily. In nature the colors flow afresh every day, new flowers open each morning. Even before the old leaves fall, the new buds are bursting out and the new shoots are springing up. The festival does not stop even for a moment -- it is non-stop, every moment is Diwali. Such will be the life of a religious person. He will be festive each moment -- he is grateful that he is. His every breath is an expression of gratitude and benediction.
And this is a by product of witnessing. In witnessing there is to be no frugality with the fuel; you are not to be de-energized. And neither is the lid to be weighted down -- you are not to be turned insane either. It is not intended that you should explode into madness, be broken into chaotic pieces. Witnessing means seeing from a distance whatever is happening. This burning fuel is very beautiful; these rising flames have a magnificence, and this life which is manifesting itself like a fire, has a deep attractiveness. These songs of boiling water -- the humming, the bubbles, the foam, the rising steam -- it is all so beautiful! All this is accepted.
Remove the lid, let the steam. Let the fire burn and the steam fly free and you see all this from a distance, and an extraordinary truth reveals itself: that you are watching all this happen in the body. This fuel, this water, this steam, all are happening in the body. You are surrounded by it but you are beyond it.
The day you begin to see that you are beyond all that which is surrounding you each moment, you have transcended. From that day on you will no longer be disturbed by anger, you will not be troubled by sex. From that day, even if you enter into sex you will be standing at a distance, and now you will know that you are flowing with the supreme energy of existence. If existence wills that you should enter into sex, okay! Let it be done! And even if you are angry, after this day has come, then anger will be a playing, a game, an act. If it is necessary you will allow it; but not for a single moment will you be identified with it. You and the passion will remain separate.
To be in the world, but not of the world; to be in the body, but to not belong to the body; to pass through the river, but without getting wet -- this is the essence of witnessing.
----Osho, Nowhere to Go But In,
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