The way of the Buddha is known as via negativa -the path of negation. This attitude, this approach has to be understood.
Buddha’s approach is unique. All other religions of the world are positive religions, they have a positive goal -call it God, liberation, salvation, self-realization- but there is a goal to be achieved. And positive effort is needed on the part of the seeker. Unless you make hard effort you will not reach the goal.
Buddha’s approach is totally different, diametrically opposite. He says you are already that which you want to become, the goal is within you; it is your own nature. You are not to achieve it. It is not in the future, it is not somewhere else. It is you right now, this very moment. But there are a few obstacles and those obstacles have to be removed.
It is not that you have to attain godhood, godhood is your nature-but there are a few obstacles to be removed. Once those obstacles are removed, you are that which you have always been seeking. Even when you were not aware of who you are, you were that. You cannot be otherwise. Obstacles have to be eliminated, dropped. Nothing else has to be added to you.
The positive religion tries to add something to you: virtue, righteousness, meditation, prayer. The positive religion says you are lacking something; you have to be in search of that which you are lacking. You have to accumulate something.
Buddha’s negative approach says you are not lacking anything. In fact, you are possessing too many things which are not needed. You have to drop something.
It is like this: You go trekking into the Himalayas. The higher you start reaching, the more you will feel the weight of the things you are carrying with you. Your luggage will become more and more heavy. The higher the altitude, the heavier your luggage will become. You will have to drop things. If you want to reach to the highest peak, you will have to drop all.
Once you have dropped all, once you don’t possess anything, once you have become a zero, a nothingness, a nobody, you have reached the peak. Something has to be eliminated, not added to you. Something has to be dropped, not accumulated.
When Buddha attained, somebody asked him, “What have you attained?” He laughed. He said, “I have not attained anything, because whatsoever I have attained was always with me. On the contrary, I have lost many things. I have lost my ego. I have lost my thoughts, my mind. I have lost all that I used to feel I possessed. I have lost my body-I used to think I was the body. I have lost all that.
Now I exist as pure nothingness. This is my achievement.” – Osho, Buddha; his life and teachings and impact on humanity