‘Darkness has no positive existence of its own’ 

Man doesn’t even know what life is.

Published: 22nd January 2019 10:24 PM  |   Last Updated: 23rd January 2019 03:27 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

BENGALURU : My beloved ones,
Man doesn’t even know what life is. And if we don’t know what life is, there is no possibility of knowing death either. As long as life itself remains unfamiliar, as long as it remains an enigma, it is impossible for one to be familiar with death, to ever know what death is. The truth is, death appears to happen, because we have no idea of what life is. For those who know life, death is an impossible word. It is something that has never occurred, never occurs, can never occur.

There are certain words which are absolutely false; they contain not even an iota of truth. The word ‘death’ is one of them. It is a totally false word; nothing like death occurs anywhere. But we see people dying every day. Every day, death seems to happen all around us.Every village has a cremation ground. And if we understand rightly, we will come to realize that wherever we stand on the earth, the dead bodies of countless people have been cremated on that very spot. The very land on which we may have built our houses has been a cemetery at some time or other. Millions upon millions of people have died, and are dying every day. And yet, you will be surprised if I say there is no other word in the entire human language more false than ‘death’.

There was a mystic in Tibet by the name of Marpa. Someone once came to him and said, ‘I have come to ask you about life and death.’ Marpa gave a laugh and said, ‘If you want to know about life you are most welcome, because I know what life is. As far as death is concerned, I have not had any meeting with it, I am not acquainted with it. If you want to know death, go and ask those who are as good as dead, or those who are already dead. I am familiar with life, I can talk about life. I can show you what life is. I am not familiar with death.’ 

This story is similar to the tale of darkness and light. Perhaps you may have heard it.
Once darkness went to see God and implored, ‘Lord, this sun of yours is out to get me. I am exhausted. He starts chasing me at dawn and only after much trouble leaves me alone in the evening. What wrong have I done? What kind of enmity is this? Why is this sun following me and harassing me? I barely manage to rest after a hectic day when once again I find him standing at my door at dawn. Again I have to run for my life, again I have to escape. And this has been going on since eternity. I have run out of patience. I can’t take it any more. I beg you, please make him understand.’

It is said that God called the sun and asked, ‘Why are you after darkness? What wrong has he done you? Why the enmity? What grievance do you have against him?’ 
‘Darkness?’ asked the sun. ‘I have been wandering the universe since time immemorial, but I have never come across darkness. I don’t know who darkness is. Where is he? Please bring him before me so that I may ask his forgiveness, come to know him, and stay out of his way.’ 

Infinite time has passed since this incident took place and the matter is still pending in God’s files; he has still not been able to bring darkness before the sun. He never can, and it is never going to be resolved. How can you bring darkness before the sun? Darkness has no positive existence of its own. Darkness is merely the absence of light. How can the absence of the sun be brought into the presence of the sun? 
And Now And Here by Osho excerpted with permission from Penguin Random House India.


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp