The Truth is: Renunciation is Supreme Enjoyment
Greek thinker Diogenes gave up everything. Like Mahavira, he lived naked. All he kept was a begging bowl, for begging and drinking water. One day, he saw a villager drinking water by cupping his hands, so he immediately threw away his begging bowl.
The villager asked him, “What have you done?” He replied, “I never knew that one could drink water by cupping one’s hands – now why should i be deprived of such a joy? The begging bowl is only a dead thing, and when i fill it with water i feel nothing from it. When i fill my hands with water, they feel the connection with water, its coolness, its life-giving energy. My love also enters the water through my hands, and it becomes alive. So i will be drinking that too.”
The first time Diogenes cupped his hands and drank water from them, he started dancing! He said, “What a fool i was to use a dead vessel to drink water from, because it made the water dead, too. The energy from my hands, the heat, could not pass through to the water. And this was also insulting to the water.”
Our senses have become numb like his bowl. Whatever we receive through them becomes dead. Food on the plate looks beautiful; the minute it enters your mouth it becomes ordinary. Music becomes mundane when it enters your ears. Flowers lose their beauty when seen through your eyes.
We make everything ordinary – whereas everything in the world is extraordinary. The flower you see on a tree has never blossomed before. It is absolutely new. It is impossible to find another flower like it on this earth. It has never existed before, and it will never exist again in the future. Our eyes turn the existence of a unique flower into something mundane when we say, “It’s okay – we’ve seen thousands of roses like this before.” Because of the thousands you have seen, your eyes have become blind and you cannot see what is there, present, in front of you. What have those thousands of flowers got to do with this one?
Emerson has written that upon seeing a rose it came to his mind that the flower has no idea of the existence of thousands of other flowers – neither of the flowers still to come, nor of those which have gone before. This rose is present, here and now, offering itself to the divine. It is joyful because it does not compare itself with any other. But when he sees it, the thousands of others which he has seen get in the way. His vision is blurred, and the unique experience of this flower goes to waste. He doesn’t perceive its beauty; the strings of his heart are not moved, nor are his senses stirred. We live in a unique world. The divine is manifested here in so many ways all around us. But we’ve made a grave of our senses. We are only passing through life – nothing touches us. We ask, “Where is bliss, where is godliness?” – and it is present all around us! Inside, outside, there is nothing other than godliness. By abusing our senses, we kill the one who could experience it.
Renunciation is the science of supreme enjoyment. Only someone who knows how to let go is able to experience. Let go of the meaningless so that you can realise the meaningful; let go of sensations so that you can perceive the subtle.
Voice Of Silence, Osho International Foundation, http://www.osho.com.