The First Sleep

Buddha says you are awakened only when these three sleeps are broken. One sleep is the sleep with things: many people are asleep there, that is the grossest sleep. Millions of people, ninety-eight percent of the people are asleep there — the first and grossest sleep, the sleep with things. One goes on thinking about his bank balance, one goes on thinking about the house, about clothes, about this and that — and one lives in that. There are people who only study catalogues for things….

I have heard one story: One religious man was staying overnight in a family. In the morning, as was his habit, he wanted The Bible to read a little and to pray a little.

The small child of the house was passing through the room so he asked the kid, he said, ‘Bring that book’ — because he thought the child may not understand what book The Bible was, so he said, ‘Bring that book which your mother reads every day.’

The child brought the Whole Earth Catalogue, because that was the book the mother read every day.

People, ninety-eight percent of them, are asleep in things. Try to find out where you are asleep, because the work has to start there. If you are asleep with things, then you have to start from there. Drop that sleep with things.

Why do people go on thinking about things? I used to stay in a house in Calcutta. The woman there must have had at least one thousand saris, and every day it was a problem…. When I was there her husband and I would be sitting in the car and her husband would go on honking and she would say, ‘I am coming!’ — and it was difficult for her to decide which sari to wear. So I asked, ‘Why is this a problem every day?’

So she took me and showed me, and she said, ‘You would also be puzzled. I have got one thousand saris and it is difficult to decide which one to choose, which will suit the occasion.’

Have you seen people?… from the very morning they start cleaning their car, as if that is their Bible and their God. ‘Things’ is the first sleep, the grossest. If you are attached too much to things and continuously thinking of things, you are asleep there. You have to come out of that. You have to look at what type of attachments you have, where you cling, and for what. What are you going to get there?

You may increase your things, you may accumulate a vast empire, but when you die you will go without things.

Death will bring you out of your sleep. Before death does, it is better to bring yourself out; then there will be no pain in death. Death is so painful because this first sleep has to be broken; you are to be snatched away from things.

Osho – “And the Flowers Showered”