Beyond Suffering

being a two-part thingie in which first Osho answers Mada's question, and then in her own article below,
Mada talks about the transformative process of the Master's answer

Beloved Osho,

One line from Dostoevsky’s work has impressed me much in my childhood. He says, “In suffering look for happiness.” I used to think that nothing of value could be attained without sacrifice and hard work. After meeting you and drinking your message of love, life, enjoyment and celebration, I realize that my previous idea was quite masochistic and suicidal. Could you please shed some light on this?


ivan Mada, Fyodor Dostoevsky is a very special case – he was a genius. If one has to decide on ten great novels in all the languages of the world, he will have to choose at least three novels of Dostoevsky in the ten.

His insight into human beings and their problems is greater than your so-called psychoanalysts, and there are moments when he reaches the heights of great mystics. But he is a sick soul; he himself is a psychological case.

You are saying, “One line from Dostoevsky has impressed me much in my childhood. He says, ‘In suffering look for happiness.’ ”

That statement will appeal to many people because many are suffering and one can tolerate suffering only if one goes on looking for happiness; if not today then tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow. Suffering can be tolerated only through hope. Then one can suffer his whole life, just looking for happiness.

Your being impressed by the statement is dangerous. One should not look for happiness; one should look for the causes of suffering, because that is the way to come out of suffering. And the moment you are out of suffering there is happiness. Happiness is not something that you have to wait for. You can wait for infinity and happiness will not come to you, unless you destroy the causes of suffering.

I will not agree with the statement. I will say, “In suffering, look for the causes of suffering.” Don’t waste your time about happiness; it is none of your business. You are suffering; suffering is your state. Look what is causing it – jealousy, anger, inferiority complex – what is causing it?

And the miracle is: if you can go into your suffering as a meditation, watching, to the deepest roots of it, just through watching it disappears. You don’t have to do anything more than watching. If you have found the a
uthentic cause by your watching, the suffering will disappear; and if it is not disappearing, that means you are not watching deep enough.

So it is a very simple process and with a criterion: if your watching is deep enough... just the way you pull out a plant to look at its roots, it dies, because the roots outside the earth cannot survive. In the light is their death.

Suffering can exist only if its roots remain in the unconscious of your being. If you go deep down searching and looking for the roots , the moment you become conscious of the roots of suffering, suffering disappears. The disappearance of suffering is what you call happiness.

Happiness has not to be found somewhere else; it was always with you but the cloud of suffering was covering it. Happiness is our nature.

To say it in other words: for suffering you have to make much effort, for happiness you don’t have to make any effort. Just stop making the effort to create suffering.

“I used to think that nothing of value could be attained without sacrifice and hard work.” That is the disease Christianity has been spreading all over the world. In fact, everything of authentic value is achieved by relaxation, by silence, by joy.

Osho, from The Golden Future

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Don't be so Serious – Enjoy, Celebrate

excerpts from an interview with Ma Jivan Mada

sho's first silent message to me was: Don't be so serious – enjoy, celebrate. My question about Dostoevsky in The Golden Future was an affirmation of Osho’s message of celebration. I’d admired Dostoevsky for years and his message was always, “In suffering look for happiness.” After coming to Osho I saw that Dostoevsky’s insight stops at a certain point and I asked Osho to comment on that.

When I was a child in the USSR I can’t even say that I felt misunderstood; I felt not understood at all. I didn’t feel that I belonged to this planet and I kept everything inside. My family’s insights seemed very shallow. So when I came across Dostoevsky in school, I was overjoyed to discover his deep insights. Finally I could connect with someone who understood the deep psychology of things, the multidimensionality of feelings. Things aren’t black and white; the human being is a rainbow. That’s what comes through Dostoevsky – the sense of that rainbow.

Dostoevsky went deep into the human psyche and the human psyche is full of misery. I’ve heard Osho say that you can’t rise to the superconscious without first going into the unconscious. And that’s what I feel Dostoevsky’s work has done – it’s gone deeply into the collective unconscious. But he completely missed the other side.

When I asked the question I was rejoicing at my good fortune to be with Osho. Without Osho I never would have known about celebration; I would have been swimming in darkness.

His answer helped me to see how I was creating my own misery. I saw how very deep my Christian conditioning was: I had the idea that nothing valuable could be attained without suffering. This idea pervades the whole workaholic society: you have to sweat, you can’t just sit and let the grass grow by itself.

I was a sufferer for the whole world. How could I celebrate and rejoice if this whole world was in such a miserable condition? How could I be happy unless everyone was happy? Osho took me out of this way of thinking. The reality is that we’re all alone. I know now that I am alone; I came alone and I will go alone, regardless of what the world does.

I’ve seen how much I create my own suffering by identifying with the misery of my mind. The mind is like a computer program. A lot of the program comes from the experiences of childhood, and whatever the mind learns it repeats like a parrot.

So I can stop my suffering if I can step out of my mind. Stepping out is just watching it, witnessing it. I know it’s a program but I’m not in it, I’m not running together with it, I’m not identified with it. I can ask: where is this pattern coming from? Watching the conditioning I can see that this is coming from my mother, this is how she does things; this is coming from my father, it’s my father’s pattern; I’ve been unconsciously repeating my parents’ patterns, thinking that they’re mine.

Sure, I know my mother does things this way, my father does things that way – but who am I? This is not me. And the moment I realize this, I can see that these patterns are creating misery for me. The whole unconscious pattern of the society is rooted in greed and jealousy, creating misery, struggle and cutthroat competition. The society is not set up to create joy. Nobody says you’re just fine the way you are.

Meditation is the key to come out of the conditioned patterns of the mind, the process to disidentify from the mind. Basically meditation is the state beyond the functioning of the mind. When I can witness my mind I’m already beyond it; I’m outside it; I stand out. Actually the meaning of my name Mada is ecstasy, and the meaning of the word ecstasy is to stand out of the mind.

I’m aware of my dark side, my bright side, and the witnessing self. It reminds me of a statue in a cave in Elephanta near Bombay. It’s a statue of a Buddhist trinity – three faces, all connected, one in the middle, two on the sides. If you look from one angle you can see only a beautiful, creative face, a very joyful face – it’s a creator. When you go to the other side you see the face of a destroyer – full of anger, the destructive force. But if you stand in the middle, in the center, you see the third face – the buddha face, peaceful and expressing the beyond – and the other two profiles on either side.

For me that statue is very significant. I’m standing here; I can see the dark side; I can see the bright side. But I’m not identified with either. I’m in the center; I’m pure consciousness.

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