To Live Dangerously.

You must have read this story –

‘The Japanese have always loved fresh fish. But the water close to Japan has not held many fish for decades. So to feed the Japanese population, fishing boats got bigger and went farther in the ocean than ever.

The farther the fishermen went, the longer it took to bring back the fish. If the return trip took more time, the fish were not fresh.

To solve this problem, fish companies installed freezers on their boats. They would catch the fish and freeze them at sea. Freezers allowed the boats to go farther and stay longer.

However, the Japanese could taste the difference between fresh and frozen fish and they did not like the taste of frozen fish. The frozen fish brought a lower price.

So, fishing companies installed fish tanks. They would catch the fish and stuff them live in the tanks, fin to fin. But after a little thrashing around, they got tired, dull, and lost their fresh-fish taste.

The fishing industry faced an impending crisis!

But today, they get fresh-tasting fish to Japan.

How did they manage…?

To keep the fish tasting fresh, the Japanese fishing companies still put the fish in the tanks but with a small shark. The fish are challenged and hence are constantly on the move.

The challenge they face keeps them alive and fresh!

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO LIVE DANGEROUSLY?

To live dangerously means TO LIVE. If you don’t live dangerously, you don’t live. ‘Living’ flowers only in danger. Living never flowers in security; it flowers only in insecurity.

If you start getting secure, you become a stagnant pool. Then your energy is no more moving. Then you are afraid, because one never knows how to go into the unknown. And why take the risk? The known is more secure. Then you get obsessed with the familiar. You go on getting fed up with it, you are bored with it, you feel miserable in it, but still it seems familiar and comfortable. At least it is known. Unknown creates a trembling in you. The very idea of the unknown and you start feeling unsafe.

There are only two types of people in the world. People who want to live comfortably — they are seeking death. They want a comfortable grave. And people who want to live — they choose to live dangerously, because life thrives only when there is risk.

Have you ever gone climbing the mountains? The higher the climb, the fresher you feel, the younger you feel. The greater the danger of falling, the bigger the abyss by the side, the more alive you are… between life and death, when you are just hanging between life and death. Then there is no boredom, then there is no dust of the past, no desire for the future. Then the present moment is very sharp like a flame. It is enough. You live in the here and now.

Or surfing… or skiing… or gliding. Wherever there is a risk of losing life, there is tremendous joy. Because the risk of losing life makes you tremendously alive. Hence people are attracted to dangerous sports.

People go climbing the mountains. Somebody asked Hillary, ‘Why did you try to climb Everest? Why?’ And Hillary said, ‘Because it is there — a constant challenge.’ It was risky, many people had died before. For almost sixty, seventy years, groups had been going, and it was almost a certain death. But still people were going. What was the attraction?

Reaching higher, going farther away from the settled, the routine life, you again become wild, you again become part of the animal world. You again live like a tiger or a lion or like a river. You again soar like a bird into the skies, farther and farther away. And each moment the security, the bank balance, the wife, the husband, the family, the society, the church, the respectability… all are fading away and away, distant and distant. You become alone.

This is why people are so much interested in sports. But that too is not real danger because you can become very very skilled. You can learn it, you can be trained for it. It is a very calculated risk — if you allow me the expression, calculated risk. You can train for mountaineering and you can take all precautions.

When I say to you, live dangerously, I mean not only bodily risk, but psychological risk, and finally spiritual risk. Religion is spiritual risk. It is going to such heights from where maybe there is no return. That is the meaning of Buddha’s term, anagamin — one who returns never. It is going to such a height of point of no return; then one is simply lost. One never comes back.

When I say live dangerously, I mean don’t live the life of ordinary respectability – that you are a mayor in a town, or a member of the cooperation. This is not life. Or you are a minister, or you have a good profession and are earning well and money goes on accumulating in the bank and everything is going perfectly well.

When everything is going perfectly well, simply see it — you are dying and nothing is happening. People may respect you, and when you die a great procession will follow you. Good, that’s all. And in the newspapers your pictures will be published and there will be editorials, and then people will forget about you. And you lived your whole life only for these things.

Watch — one can miss one’s whole life for ordinary, mundane things. To be spiritual means to understand that these small things should not be given too much importance. I am not saying that they are meaningless. I am saying that they are meaningful, but not as meaningful as you think.

Money is needed. It is a need. But money is not the goal and cannot be the goal. A house is needed, certainly. It is a need. I am not an ascetic and I don’t want you to destroy your houses and escape to the Himalayas. The house is needed — but the house is needed for you. Don’t misunderstand it.

As I see people, the whole thing has gone topsy-turvy. They exist as if they are needed for the house. They go on working for the house. As if they are needed for the bank balance — they simply go on collecting money and then they die. And they had never lived. They had never a single moment of throbbing, streaming life. They were just imprisoned in security, familiarity, respectability

To live dangerously means to live life as if each moment is its own end. Each moment has its own intrinsic value. And you are not afraid. And you know death is there and you accept the fact that death is there, and you are not hiding against death. In fact, you go and encounter death. You enjoy those moments of encountering death — physically, psychologically, spiritually.

Enjoying those moments where you come directly in contact with death, where death becomes almost a reality, is what I mean when I say live dangerously.

Love brings you face to face with death. Meditation brings you face to face with death.

Coming to a master is coming to your own death. Facing somebody who has disappeared, is entering an abyss in which you can be lost, and you can become an anagamin.

Those who are courageous, they go headlong. They search all opportunities of danger. Their life philosophy is not that of insurance companies. Their life philosophy is that of a mountain climber, a glider, a surfer. And not only in the outside seas they surf; they surf in their innermost seas. And not only on the outside they climb Alps and Himalayas; they seek inner peaks.

But remember one thing — never forget the art of risking, never never. Always remain capable of risking. And wherever you can find an opportunity to risk, never miss it, and you will never be a loser. Risk is the only guarantee for being truly alive.

Osho: The Discipline of Transcendence, Vol 2 Chapter #4 : The Blessed One Q 2 (Excerpts)

सब इक चराग़ के परवाने होना चाहते हैं
अजीब लोग हैं दीवाने होना चाहते हैं ………………..असअ’द बदायुनी

sab ik charāġh ke parvāne honā chāhte haiñ
ajiib log haiñ dīvāne honā chāhte haiñ ………………..ASAD BADAYUNI

Everyone wants to become moth of one candle
they are weird people who wants to become mad./Crazy

One amazingly romantic song fits the bill here…”Aage hai qatil mera, aur me peechhe peechhe.…Following my killer” from the film “Teesari Manzil” – dashing Shammi Kapoor and beautiful Asha Parekh, Mohammad Rafi, RD Burman (1966).
(279) Deewana mujhsa nahin – Teesri Manzil – YouTube

12 thoughts on “To Live Dangerously.”

  1. True, taking a risk is in a way to keep yourselves young! Elaborated in-depth as usual👍🏽🌻nicely brought together the Hindi movie song.🎼🎺

  2. While it’s exciting every now and then, Hindu philosophy asks us to be “sthir” – let not anything external get you too high or low. So while challenges of life should motivate us, they shouldn’t make the adrenal flow to the extent that one is constantly on an artificial high.

    1. Colonel Manish D Kachhy

      Seeking risk or living on the edge is a relative phenomenon. Seeking sthir avastha occurs amidst a turbulent surrounding – wherein your mind is seeking stability while the external environment surrounding the mind happens to be turbulent, uncertain, insecure, risk-prone, dangerous.
      Seeking internal stability in an already stable environment is akin to taking samadhi – resigning from LIFE.
      Staying alive, needs an unstable, challenging surrounding, else it would be a numbing experience.
      Hindu philosophy refers to seeking a stable mind in an unstable surrounding; by default – it is an exercise to seek the unknown, the unsought, the opposite of what’s surrounding. So long as we human beings continue struggling to seek stability amidst chaos, we continue to progress on the path of Life.
      Sitting stable in a static vehicle is a completely lifeless experience, but striving to sit stable in a speeding vehicle is more akin to how life ought to be…. Hence there has to be an endeavour to seek an environment of high seas where the fish are truly fresh, alive and continuously seekiing stability.

    2. As always, great perspective Rajiv Ji on “living dangerously” and taking risks.
      More importantly enjoying life by being truly alive by taking risks and be ready to face death.
      As they say in tv commercial, “Dar ke aage jeet hai”…

  3. The challenge they face keeps them alive and fresh!
    This was the perfect read for my Sunday morning! Thanks Rajiv, well written as always. Keep it going…

  4. One reason why Indians are generally excel in foreign countries is the insecurities in which we grow up. From birth to death life is so insecure in India and for Indians. There is absolutely no sign of security around us here. In India our talent does not get recognised so much because largely everyone feels insecure. When we go abroad and have to perform against the natives of that country, we excel mainly because we are competing against secure people and there we are recognised for our talent.
    You’ve nailed it again Bhai.
    Keep writing and thriving,
    Anupam

  5. You are as usual very profound in your thoughts and selection of the songs towards the end. The Zen Stories add to the humour and Osho’s saying sums it up beautifully. I look forward to all your articles every fortnight.

  6. One reason why Indians are generally excel in foreign countries is the insecurities in which we grow up. From birth to death life is so insecure in India and for Indians. There is absolutely no sign of security around us here. In India our talent does not get recognised so much because largely everyone feels insecure. When we go abroad and have to perform against the natives of that country, we excel mainly because we are competing against secure people and there we are recognised for our talent.
    You’ve nailed it again Bhai.
    Keep writing and thriving,
    Anupam

  7. As usual, a fantastic Sunday read!!
    I practice something and can relate here , “get comfortable wit uncomfort”
    Boundaries are meant to be pushed further!!!

  8. Rajendra Dhandhukia

    Thanks for a great timely tip… “But remember one thing — never forget the art of risking, never never. Always remain capable of risking. And wherever you can find an opportunity to risk, never miss it, and you will never be a loser. Risk is the only guarantee for being truly alive.”
    Great share. Keep it up…

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