Reading of the Day: Past Life

Seh Hui Leong


Kept for my personal reference:

From Osho Times Online: Your Answers Quetioned on Emotions - Will knowing where I was in my past life make it easier to follow the path?

The past exists nowhere. Many people write to me, “Give us methods so that we can remember our past lives.” What are you going to do? Even if you remember that you were Alexander the Great or Cleopatra, how is that going to help in any way? It will create more complications. You are already in such a mess!

That’s why nature closes the door every time you die. This is great compassion, otherwise you will be born mad. Remembering all your past lives you will be in such a state that it will be impossible for you to function at all, because your mother may have been your wife in the past life and in another life she may have been your daughter. Now, how to behave with her? — as your mother, as your wife, as your daughter? You will get very confused!

There is no need to bother about the past. As you become aware, the first thing to disappear from your mind is the past, and the past is one third of the mind. It is the very base of the mind, the foundation. Once it disappears, then the whole building starts collapsing.

The second to go is tomorrow. When there is no yesterday you cannot conceive of tomorrow. Tomorrow is nothing but a projection of yesterday. You would like to live the joys of yesterday again tomorrow and you would like to avoid the miseries of yesterday; that’s what your tomorrow is. If yesterday is gone, tomorrow is finished; soon it will disappear.

And when yesterdays are gone and tomorrows are gone, where is today? It exists between the two. If both the banks have disappeared, the river itself will disappear. If both the banks have disappeared, the bridge will disappear. Chunk by chunk in three pieces, time dissolves: first the past, then the future, and finally the present. Then you are left with no time, a state of timelessness. And this, Buddha says, is nirvana.

To experience timelessness is to experience deathlessness. To experience timelessness is to experience that which really is. It is neither past nor present nor future; it simply is. It cannot be confined to any compartment, into any category; it cannot be categorized. You simply experience each moment with tremendous peace and silence and joy. And each moment becomes so fragrant, so alive! Each moment becomes such a benediction that it is impossible to imagine it, it is impossible to describe it. One has to know it to know it; there is no other way. Nobody can explain it to you. It is not expressible, it is not explainable. It is the greatest mystery. When time disappears, mind disappears, what is left? That which is left, that vastness…that is your real being — in Buddha’s words, your non-being, your no-self.

Jesus will call it the kingdom of God ; that is a positive way of describing it. And Buddha calls it a state of cessation — all has ceased. And with great gladness he knows that he has finished. He has woken from his sleep.

Osho, excerpted from: The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Volume 12, Chapter 7

Enough for today

Written by

Seh Hui Leong

Python programmer by trade, interested in a broad range of creative fields: illustrating, game design, writing, choreography and most recently building physical things. Described by a friend as a modern renaissance man.