Oshos experiences in Raipur
I used to live on a university campus. The first day, I entered into my bungalow. I was alone, and the attached bungalow was occupied by a Bengali professor. And the walls were so thin that even if you plugged your ears, still you would be able to hear what was going on on the other side of the wall.
Because the husband and wife were fighting so badly, I thought that there was going to be some blood. I could not sleep. It was one o'clock in the night and they were fighting and fighting and fighting. And I could not understand what they were saying either, but things must have been serious because finally the professor said, "I am going to commit suicide"that he said in English.
I said, "This is something good; at least I can understand this much." So I came out of my house to prevent him"Just wait. In the middle of the night, where will you go to commit suicide? In the morning it will be better"but by the time I was out he was gone, fast.
I asked his wifewho had not come out even to say goodbye! I said, "What am I supposed to do? Should I go to the police station? Somebody has to be informed by phone? What has to be done?"
She said, "Nothing has to be done. Do you see his umbrella is here? Without his umbrella he cannot go anywhere. He will be coming soonthe moment he remembers the umbrella. In anger, he has forgotten the umbrella. A Bengali without an umbrella?"
I said, "But suicide is such a serious matter, and an umbrella is not needed at all."
She said, "You just wait. You sit here. I will make coffee for you because you have been
I knew that you must be hearing all this."
And within fifteen minutes he was back.
And I said, "What happened?"
He said, "What happened? I forgot my umbrella! And now it must be at least two o'clock in the morning."
I said, "That's the right thing to do. In the morning, take your umbrella and go out, find a right place." But who goes in the morning?
In the morning I reminded him, "You are still here? The sun has risen. You should go now and search for the right place."
He said, "I was thinking to go, but when I opened the umbrella it was not repaired because the rains have not come."
I said, "I see you with that umbrella every day, going to the university."
He said, "That is just habitual. Because there are no rains, nothing, so there is no question of opening it; one just carries it. Now I tried and opened itit is not repaired. And I have been telling my wife that my umbrella should be kept repaired in case some emergency arises. Now I wanted to commit suicide and the umbrella is not ready."
I thought, "This is really great of you, and every person who commits suicide should learn something from you."
One day, it must have been afternoon, three o'clock or something, I again heard that he is going to commit suicide. But this time I was not so much excited, because I thought that this is the usual business. Still, I came out to say goodbye.
He looked at me with a very strange face. He said, "What do you mean by goodbye?"
I said, "You are going to commit suicide, and I don't think that we will be meeting again so I am saying goodbye. But what are you carrying?" He was carrying a tiffin.
I said, "Where are you taking the tiffin?"
He said, "You know these Indian railway trainssometimes they are ten hours late, twelve hours late. And I cannot tolerate hunger at all, so I will lie down by the line and wait for the train. If it comes, good; otherwise, I am taking my supper with me."
I said, "You are a clever and intelligent personanybody looking at you would think you are going on some picnic."
And when he was gone, his wife came. She said, "Has he gone?"
I said, "He has gone."
She said, "He will be coming soon. This idiot," she said, "whenever he wants to go for a picnic
. But he is such a miser that he will not take even me with him, so he says that he is going to commit suicide. He must be eating just near the railway station; you can go and see right now."
The railway station was not very far away, so I went and I saw him. He was enjoying all Bengali sweets and things.
I said, "Chatterji, the train is standing on the platform. Leave your tiffin, run! Just lie down ahead of the train!"
He said, "It is too late. First I have to finish everything that I brought, and today I have missed. And the train comes to this station only once in twenty-four hours"because it was not a big station, it was a small station, and the train used to stop only once for the university because the university was outside the city. So he said, "Today it is finished."
But I said, "You were first saying, `I am going to wait.' And this is not suppertime; it is only three o'clock."
He said, "When you have such sweets in your hand, you cannot wait. And I am just coming back home with you." enligh01
It was almost thirty years ago. I was only their neighbor for a few months; since then I have not seen them, but they have given me one thing to which I have become addicted: earplugs
I cannot get rid of those earplugs. I cannot go to sleep without earplugs. I have tried. dark09
I was for a few months in Raipur as a professor teaching there. I have traveled all over India, but Raipur seems to be a strange place. You will be able to pass only two or three houses before you find a great board declaring: "Here lives a great astrologer." You pass only two, three houses, and there is somebody who knows how to bring ghosts out of you, how to drive devils out of you. That kind of man, in Raipur, is called an ojha, one who drives devils, ghosts, from people's mind.
In those days I used to walk at least eight miles every day, so I walked to almost every nook and corner of the city of Raipur, and everywhere there were boards on the wall, advertisements. There must be people who are suffering from ghosts and devils, otherwise how are so many people doing this businessand doing well? They seem to be the most established people.
Just in front of my house there was one astrologer who was very famous. People from faraway places used to come to him for everything, not only marriage. In India, if you are starting a business you go to the astrologer: "On what day, at what time, are the stars favorable to me?" That is the time for the opening ceremony of your shop. If you are going traveling, first you will go to the astrologer: "What time? I am going south; is it favorable with the stars that I go to the south on such a day? Or should I wait?" And the astrologer will give you the date and the time.
I saw that man doing it the whole day. Sometimes the train would leave in the middle of the night, but you had to leave at the time the astrologer has said, so you left your house in the middle of the day because that was the time when the stars were favorable. You left the house at that time and then you stayed at the station for twelve hours and waited for the train; but you should leave the house at the right moment, when all the stars are favorable.
One of my friends
he was also a professor, but he was a professor of Sanskrit. He was a great believer in all kinds of nonsense. Whenever he went to visit his family, he would ask this astrologer. And sometimes it was very difficult, because the astrologer would say, "This month you cannot go out. This month is not favorable for you at all."
He would come to me and say, "This is very difficult; this is the month I have got leave granted. Now this astrologer is saying I cannot leave this month."
I said, "You wait. Let me see the astrologer. I know him perfectly well; he lives just in front of my house. And there are ways
. You just give a one rupee note to the astrologer, and then he asks you, 'What date, what time?' So I will give him one rupee and tell him, 'This poor fellow will come; you please give him this date and this time'so you can catch the train directly, and go home."
I arranged many marriages; I just had to give one rupee to him. One day he said, "But you are a strange fellow. You go on giving rupees for others, their travel, their business, their marriage."
I said, "I enjoy the game, I see their foolishness and I see your cunningness. Just one rupee to see this whole gameit is not costly. And it is not only you, this is what all your forefathers have been doing. You decide about people's marriages, and every day your wife is nagging you, beating you. What happened to your astrology? At least for yourself you could have chosen the right woman. And these fools go on coming to you, knowing perfectly well that it is very difficult to find a more henpecked husband than you. But still they go on asking: 'I am going to be married; will this marriage prove to be successful, peaceful?' They are asking, and while they are sitting there, your wife comes in and starts shouting at you and screaming at youand those fools can't even see it? And what do you know about stars?
But the trick is, the astrology book of Hindus is the same. So if you inquire of one astrologer, he will give an answer. If you go to Benares and you inquire of another astrologer, he will give you the same answer, because they both depend on the same astrology book. If you go to Calcutta you will get the same answer. That makes you convinced that these astrologers must know, because three people in three cities cannot conspire against you. They don't know each other, and they don't have any idea that you are going to consult other people. You can consult all over India and you will find the same answer, because it is the same book. They consult the same book; nobody bothers about the stars, nobody knows about the stars, but only what the book says. unconc25
I was in Raipur teaching in the Sanskrit college there. A very beautiful young girl was asked by a gangster if she would be married to him. He was a dangerous man, a criminal. He had been to jail many times, he had committed many crimes, and he was almost the same age as the girl's father. But he took a fancy to her, and seeing the success of Gandhi fasting to death and how he managed everything
This man in Raipur went to the girl's house with a bed, and declared that if the girl was not married to him, he was going to fast to death. It became the talk of the whole city; photographers and journalists were there, and the whole day the crowd was there. The father became afraid, and pressure was put on him, "Why take the responsibility of his death?" But the father said, "This is absolutely ugly. This man is my age and he's a criminal. I cannot give my daughter to him."
I knew the father and the girlthe girl was my student in the college. The girl suggested to her father to consult me as to what could be done. I had not known him before. He came to me and he told the whole story. I said, "It is very simple. You just find some old, rotten prostitute."
He said, "What?"
I said, "Just listen to the whole point: find a very rotten, old bitch, and put another bed in front of the house. The bitch should declare, `I'm going to fast to death unless this man marries me.' Other than this nothing will work."
That gangster man escaped in the middle of the night. He was never seen again, he never asked again! This is the Gandhian methodology, a very religious thing. bodhi19
In Raipur where I was a professor for a few months, a house caught fire. Raipur is a hot area, a dry area, and it is an everyday thing, houses catching fire. It was very close to the bungalow where I was living, so I ran there. And what I found was that nobody was interested in the house that was burning, everybody was interested in something else.
I somehow made my way in the crowd to see what was the matter. The matter was that a woman who was paralyzed for three years had suddenly come running out. She forgot her paralysis! The moment people told her, "What are you doing? You are not supposed to run, you can't even walk. For three years you have been in bed"when people said that, she fell immediately.
I went into the crowd and I told the woman, "Just try to understand a simple fact. It is good that the house is burned; it has made one thing clearthat you are not paralyzed. Somehow you have lost the will to live." I brought her to my bungalow.
Her husband had died and on that very day she became paralyzed. It was really a shock, because in India, losing a husband means losing your life; you cannot get married again. She was young, not more than thirty. For her whole life, fifty years perhaps, she has to live alone, with no child.
She had been working, somehow cleaning people's houses, washing their clothes, but there was no energy in it. While her husband remained alive, although he was sick for at least three years, she continued to work. But the signs were clear that the husband was disappearing. The doctors were hiding it, but you cannot hide-she could see the person was disappearing.
She managed the work somehow to feed her husband and to feed herself. But the day he died she fell ill, and since then for three years she had not risen from the bed; she was paralyzed. Now people were just giving whatsoever they could manage, and she was living on that. She was a beggar. I brought her to my place and I tried to explain to her, "If it was paralysis, whether the house was on fire or not would make no difference. Paralysis cannot understand that the house is on fire, to leave you alone at least for a few minutes and then come back." I asked her, "What happened?"
She said, "I don't know what happened. The moment I saw the house was on fire, I simply forgot everything else: I had to run out." That brought her into the moment. The past, the husbanddead, aliveall the misery, all the suffering; the future, fifty years still to be carried on somehow
. This whole ugliness simply disappeared in a single flash! She ran out. She was herenow. The fire brought her whole being focusedin the moment.
I told her, "That's what is needed. Don't be bothered by idiots. If this place will not allow you to get married, I will arrange to send you somewhere else. I have friends all over the country; I can send you anywhere. You are beautiful, youngyou can get married, you can live again."
First she was not willing because it was against the tradition and convention. But I am not a person to leave somebody. If I get it into my heart, then
. I dropped everything else. My professors and students said, "Why are you after that woman? Forget about it if she is not willing."
I said, "That is not the question. I know what she wants, but she is not courageous; I just have to persuade her. And it is a challenge to me I am going to persuade her. Till I see her married and settled there will be no peace for me."
And I managed it within eight days, not more than that. The servant who was working with me, seeing my trouble, one morning said, "Sir, if you are so worried, I cannot sleep either. If I can be of any help, I am ready."
I said, "Do you understand what you are saying?"
He said, "If you tell me to jump into the well I will jump, but please, I cannot see you so troubled. I am ready." So I got that woman married to my servant, and just to protect her I moved her to my house. Of course she was married to my servant so I just said, "Move in." And I was living alone in a big house which the government provides for the professors, so I said, "You live happily. I am alonein fact the house is yours, I am confined to my room. The whole house you enjoy." And she blossomed. When after six months I left that place, she was a totally different woman. And with her, her husband also was so happy.
He said, "I married her out of compassion, and out of concern for you that you may become ill or something. But she turned out to be a jewel. Now I love her, and I will remain grateful to you for my whole life because I had never thought about marriage. I am such a poor man, somehow managing my own food. To get married, and then to have children, then where to get the house, all the problems
. You solved all the problems."
I said, "Don't leave this house, continue to live in it. I am trying to contact the other professor who is coming and I will explain the situation to him. He is also alone so there is not much troubleand if needed I will stay. When he comes, I will first convince him to be here and let you live here, and then I will go."
But on the phone he agreed. He said, "If this is the situationand I don't need a whole house because I am alone just like you."
I said, "That is perfectly good. And you will be here for at least five or six years. I cannot stay; otherwise I would have asked the government to let me live here. I have been posted wrongly. I have no work in this college because my qualifications are totally different. They don't need these qualifications; and the qualifications they need, I don't have."
The man who had been selected for this college reached the place I was meant to go to. He asked me, "What should be done?"
I said, "You enjoy it there, I will enjoy it here. Till they find it out themselves you need not inform anybody. You just keep quiet, it has nothing to do with you. The government sends youlet the government find it out." It took them six months; just such a small thing
six months. But it was impossible for me then to prolong my postponement so I told the man to come. He was a nice fellow: after two years I visited once, and he had kept my servant and his wife more respectfully than I had. And they were so happy, there was no question.
I asked her, "Has paralysis happened any time?"
She said, "No, no, paralysis, not at all. For these two years I have not even had a common cold. No sickness has happened." misery28