The ten famous Zen paintings telling the story of a farmer’s search for his lost bull are an allegory for everyone’s search for enlightenment.In The Search Osho explores the deeper layers of meaning behind each picture. In many traditions the tenth picture, showing the farmer returning to the marketplace with a bottle of wine, has been purposely omitted because the concept of celebration was not really understood. But for Osho this is a beautiful symbol of how we can only really celebrate life in the world once we are filled with inner richness. This is Osho’s vision : the New Man, whom he also calls Zorba the Buddha, whose feet are firmly on the ground yet whose hands can touch the stars.
The Search is Difficult because the truth is not only unknown-it is unknowable. The Search is difficult because the Seeker has to risk his whole life for it.
Osho defies categorization, reflecting everything from tie individual quest for meaning to the most urgent socia and political issues facing society today. His books are written but are transcribed from recordings extemporaneous talks given over a period of thirty-five years Osho has been described by the Sunday Times in London as one of the “1000 Makers of the 20th Century” and by SwuLt Mid-Day in India as one of the ten people along with Gandhi, Nehru and Buddha who have changed the destinof India.
Osho has a stated aim of helping to create the conditions for the birth of a new kind of human being, characterized as “Zorba the Buddha” — one whose feet are firmly on the ground, yet whose hands can touch the stars. Running like a thread through all aspects of Osho is a vision that encompasses both the timeless wisdom of the East and the highest potential of Western science and technology.
He is synonymous with a revolutionary contribution the science of inner transformation and an approach to meditation which specifically addresses the accelerated pace of contemporary life. The unique Osho Active Meditations are designed to allow the release of accumulated stress in the body and mind so that it is easier to be still and experience the thought-free state of meditation.
In Japan, they had a beautiful collection of paintings called “Ten Zen Bulls.” It is a series of paintings depicting the whole story of the search.
In the first, a man is looking here and there... his bull is lost. You see forest all around, ancient trees, and the puzzled man standing there looking, and he cannot see the hull. In the second painting, he looks a little happier because he has seen the bull’s footprints. It is the same painting, the same forest, just one thing he has discovered in this painting and that is, he has seen the hull’s footprints, so he knows where he has gone.
In the third painting he moves and sees the backside of the bull — because it is standing by the side of a tree, and the man is behind him — so he looks...and just the backside is shown in the painting.
In the fourth he has reached the hull; he sees the whole hull.
In the fifth he has caught hold of the bull by the horns.
In the sixth he is riding on the hull. It is difficult, the hull is trying to throw him off. By the eighth he is returning home, the hull is conquered.
In the ninth the hull is back in the stall and the man is playing on a flute
In the tenth, there is no question of the bull at all. The man is seen in the marketplace with a bottle of wine, drunk.
Buddhists were very much embarrassed about the tenth painting. It does not seem to be Buddhist at all — and there is no connection, because nine seems to be perfect; there is no need for the tenth.
So in the Middle Ages they chopped the tenth painting and they starred talking of the nine paintings. Only recently has the tenth painting been discovered again in the ancient scriptures with its description — because each painting has a description of what is happening. The bull is lost, your soul is lost — the bull represents your soul, your energy, your spirit. When the bull is found, you have become a realized soul, you are singing a song on the flute — that is the stage of enlightenment.
What about the tenth? That is the stage when you go beyond enlightenment; you become ordinary again. Now there is no split between this world and that, now there is no split between good and bad. Now all opposites have joined together into one single harmony; that’s what is represented by the bottle of wine, a bottle of wine in the hands of a buddha.
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