Some Remarks About Effort

Unenlightened people misunderstand what enlightened people say about effort.

Osho (Rajneesh)

By Osho

Some people think that effort cannot bring them closer to enlightenment. Osho disagrees, as shown in this short essay from his book In Search of the Miraculous. The title “Some Remarks About Effort” has been added here; it doesn’t appear in the book.

THOSE WHO HAVE attained God have invariably said, “Who are we and what value do our efforts have? We are just nobodies and our worth is not even equal to a particle of dust; yet we attained him. And if we meditated a while, how valuable was that compared to this priceless treasure we attained? There is no comparison between our efforts and our gain.” So those who have attained enlightenment have maintained that it was not the result of their effort. “It was his grace, it was his wish to bless us; otherwise, could we ever have found him?” they always ask.

In Search of the Miraculous by Osho

This is the statement of a person without ego who realizes the magnificence and magnitude of his attainment. However, if this becomes the way of thinking of those who have not yet attained God, it will be very dangerous. When it comes from those who have attained him, this statement is fitting and distinguished by its refinement of feeling...

What they say is correct but... there is an inherent difficulty... because they are the statements of those who know and are being read by those who do not. They take it according to their understanding and say, “Okay. If God meets only him whom he wishes to meet, according to his own liking, why should we bother? Why should we do anything?” Then the declaration of the person without ego excuses our lethargy.

There is a vast difference between the two — like between the sky and the earth. The humble and unegotistical statements of enlightened people justify our dullness and laziness. Then we say, “Well, God meets only whom he wants to meet and he does not meet those he does not want to...”

This is what the scriptures have done to the whole world. Scriptures are the words of those who are enlightened. However, those who know do not read the scriptures while those who do not know do read them, and the difference in understanding is poles apart. The meaning we give to their words is our own and not the actual meaning.

Text copyright © 1996 Osho International Foundation. Reprinted from In Search of the Miraculous, pages 42‒43

Osho was a college professor who became a guru and attracted an enormous following. He taught in India and the United States in the twentieth century.

Comparison

Sri Ramana Maharshi stated his opinion on this topic in two sentences:

Question: I want to be further enlightened. Should I try to make no effort at all?

Ramana: Here it is impossible for you to be without effort. When you go deeper, it is impossible for you to make any effort.

Sat-Darshana Bhashya by Kapali Sasriar

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This page was published on January 12, 2000 and last revised on June 14, 2017.


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