Colleagues and academics
My colleagueswhile I was a student or while I was a lecturer in the universitynever felt that I belonged to their generation.
In the university common room
it was just by chance, the first day I entered the common room a corner chair was empty. So I went to that chair. Strangely enough, I always found it empty. I inquired of the peon, "What is the matter?"
He said, "Since you have sat on that chair, not only that chair is empty, but a few chairs on both sides are empty. Nobody wants to disturb you, nobody wants to discuss with you. There is a certain fear."
I said, "Strange, because I am absolutely harmless!"
The old peon said, "You are harmless, but there is no common ground between you and the other professors in the university. They are professors but they are talking only about girls in their classes, gossips
. They are always talking about how to pull somebody's leg. They are always interested in politicsuniversity politics, inside politics. They cannot do that in front of you, they feel embarrassed."
Rarely did it happen that somebody would come and sit by my side, asking my permission, "Can I sit here?"
I would say, "This is a common room. The seat is empty and I don't own
"No," they would say, "somehow these three seats on this side and three seats on that side
you are occupying seven seats. People keep away. I also keep away," the person would say, "but today all the seats are full. I am sorry to disturb you, but can I sit here?"
I would say, "You can sit happily. And if you want to talk about all your gossips, all your love affairs, you can talk with me."
He would say, "No, I don't want to talk about anything with you. I want just to sit silently here."
I said, "That's great, because that is my teaching: Sit silently."
Just a single unconditioned person, and you create a center of the cyclone. Wherever he will be, he will have his uniqueness, and only a very few courageous people will be able to come close to him.
You will not find my photo in any of the photos of the university, for the simple reason that when for the first time the philosophical association was going to have its annual photograph, the head of the department asked me to come.
I said, "You are so oldand still interested in photographs!" Since then, nobody asked me. They understood it perfectly well, that it is a childish game. And the man was almost sixty years oldwhat are you doing with a photograph? dless38
I met Ranade*. He was retired, very old. I said to him, "Perhaps you will remember a man who deserved one hundred percent, but you gave him only ninety-nine percent."
He said, "Of course I remember, because this happened only once in my life. I had never gone beyond thirty-three percent. Are you the person?"
I said, "Of course I am the person. And I have come to say to you that you did not prove your greatness. You should have given me one hundred and one percent. What was your fear? Were you afraid that people would think you were favoring me? You didn't even know me."
He said, "Nobody talks to me this way. I am an old, retired, respected professor."
I said, "That does not matter. You showed your weakness in cutting me by one percent."
He said, "You are strange. Nobody fights with me, especially after ten years. Now what can I do?"
I said, "You can at least say `I'm sorry.'"
There were at least twenty professors who were sitting with him. He had become almost a holy place, where every kind of professor and intellectual gathered. They were all shocked.
I said, "Don't be worried about these idiots; it's because of them you cut my one percent."
He looked at me and he said, "I am sorry, and I say it publicly. You deserved one hundred and one percent."
I said to him, "Now I can forgive you."
I was speaking in Allahabad University. He had never come to listen to any lecturer visiting the university, but he was sitting just in front of me when I entered the hall. Everybody was surprised that Professor Ranade also had come to listen. I hit hard on the education system and on the professors who were supporting it.
He listened carefully, and as I came down from the podium he came to me and said, "Son"he was almost ninety years old"you are right. We did not have the courage to fight. We all know that our educational system is producing only clerks, secretaries, postmasters, stationmasters. Our whole education is based on the idea of creating servants. And what you want is to create masters. I absolutely agree with you." miracl03
*Note: Dr Ranade was Osho's examiner for his written MA degree, see Part IV
A great philosopher of India, a contemporary man, Dr. Ranade was the most respected and the most learned scholar, logician; he was a professor of philosophy at the University of Allahabad. In his days, the department of philosophy at the University of Allahabad had become the most prominent department of philosophy in India, and India has almost one thousand universities.
I had seen him just a few days before he died. He was very old, retired, but still people used to come from far and widenot only from this country but from all over the worldto ask questions, to inquire.
I was sitting with him. He said to me: "What are your questions?"
I said, "I know not."
"Then why have you come to me?"
I said, "Just to see you and to see the people who are continually coming to you from morning till night."
I watched him for almost six hours, and all the people who came had come with abstract questions: "Does God exist? Is the soul a reality? Is there life beyond death?" And he was answering them.
After six hours, I said to him: "You are old, and I'm too youngit doesn't look right for me to say, but perhaps we may not see each other again; forgive me if it hurts you: You have wasted your whole life. In these six hours, I have seen in what way you have wasted it. I have not heard a single question or a single answer that really concerns life. And these people have come from faraway places and you have lived a long life but as far as I am concerned
don't feel that I'm not respectful to you, I am saying this because I am respectful. Whatever small time you have left, don't waste it. At least in the evening of your life, inquire into something which is authentic."
He was shocked, because nobody had ever told him this. But he was an honest man. He said, "I am old, and you are young but you are right."
The real question is not whether life exists after death. The real question is whether you are alive before death. mess109
Sir Saiyad* was very happy, and later on whenever I used to go to Aligarh, he forced me to stay with him. I said, "You don't understand: the trouble is I am being invited by the Jains, and if I stay in the Mohammedan's house that creates trouble."
He said, "You can face trouble perfectly wellthat I knowbut you have to be my guest." While he was alive, I was always his guest, and the people who were inviting me were very much concerned because they even started asking me, "Have you dropped vegetarianism too?because staying with that Mohammedan, you must be eating with him."
I said, "Yes, I eat with him, but I eat my food. And you will not believe ithe calls in a brahmin cook to prepare food for me. And the food is far better than you will be able to manage because he takes every care that in a non-vegetarian house I should not feel in any way inconvenienced. He takes so much care that I start feeling a little uncomfortablebecause of his care. I tell him, `You need not worry about me, I can manage things myself,' but he won't listen." dark12
*Note: Sir Saiyad was the examiner for Osho's MA oral exams, see p.
It is very difficult for a professor to relax back, to see things again as they are. He knows so much. He has accumulated so much knowledge, so many screens are there on his eyes. It is difficult to find more blind people than professors.
I have been a professor, that's why I say soI know. I know from within. I have lived with professors for many years. They are the most unintelligent people in the world. Even a farmer in a village seems to be more intelligent, because he is more responsive to the reality. A professor never responds to reality. He is always reacting out of his knowledge.
So whatsoever I am saying, the professor will be interpreting it in his own ways. Right now, whatsoever I am saying, he will be interpreting and classifying and he will be saying yes or no. And he will be classifying me: to what school I belong, to what ideology, what I am talking about. He is not listening! It is very difficult for a professor to listen: he is so full of inner noise, inner chattering. The noise is so much that nothing ever enters in him. thund10
I came across a man in Varanasi. He was the only man in the whole world
and that was his only achievement, useless, but he was praisedperhaps I was the only man who condemned him in front of him
he had seventeen M.A. degrees in seventeen subjects.
All that he has been doing his life was moving from one subject to another, and attaining another M.A. to prove that he is, in the world, the only man who has seventeen M.A. degrees. And the people who had brought him to me had brought him with great praise. They told me, "He is a rare individual."
And I looked at him and I told him that, "You are absolutely idiot. What are you going to do with your seventeen degrees? You have wasted your whole life. Now collect all your papers and keep on your chest and move in your grave. Perhaps God may be very impressed seeing seventeen masters' degrees
First the man was shocked and then tears came to his eyes and he said, "Perhaps you are the first man who has told me the truth. I have wasted my life, I have never lovedI had no time, I never got marriedI had no time, I was running from one department to another department, my whole idea was to have all masters' degrees that are available in the university of Varanasi. But your attitude shocks me, hurts me, but still I do understandI have wasted my life." last530
But what about the unknowable? The scientist himself is unknowable. He knows everything, but he does not know who is the knower. In fact, he denies the knowerand that is so stupid
I asked one of the Indian scientists, Khorana, who got a Nobel prize, that, "You are a Nobel prize-winning scientist. Have you ever bothered that you go on searching, discovering new areas, but who is the seeker? Who is the searcher? Have you ever thought about yourself?"
He said, "I don't have time for that."
I said, "But this is strange, because whatsoever you can find cannot be more valuable than you, the finder. Whatever you can know, howsoever valuable it is, cannot be more valuable than the knower. It remains an object of knowledge. And you say you don't have time for yourself? This is not a scientific answer. This is trying just to avoid the subject. You cannot avoid it. I at least will not allow you to avoid it. You have to say something definite. You have to say whether you exist or not. If you exist, then what are youjust matter? or something more?"
He said, "You are putting me into trouble, because if I say I am just matter, it simply does not feel right. How can matter discover matter? How can matter know the mysteries of matter? That matter has no consciousness, I can understand. So I have to accept that there is something more than matter. But please don't insist, because science is not willing to accept the knower. Science's whole approach is: unless something is experimented through scientific methods in a scientific lab, it cannot be accepted."
I said, "Naturally, then the scientist will remain unknowable forever."
And that is the arena, the area of religion.
And this unknowability of consciousness, this mysterious phenomenon in youin everybodyis the most precious thing. last209
Once a psychologist and a professor of Jaipur University came to see me. He said, "I am a man of science and I have decided to prove through scientific methods and inquiry, the reality, the truth of reincarnation."
I told him, "Do you know what scientific inquiry means? Scientific inquiry means that you have not decided anything at all in the beginning. The inquiry is open. You say, 'I am a man of science.' You are not. And you say, 'I have decided to prove through scientific methods the existence, the reality, the truth of reincarnation.' If you have not already proved it, how can you accept it? And if you have proved it already, then what are you going to prove, then what is the point of your inquiry? Either you know the truth of reincarnationthen there is no need to inquire, or you don't know the truth of reincarnationthen how can you decide from the very beginning that you are going to prove it? This is a prejudiced inquiry; this is not inquiry."
Inquiry means you move without any conclusion. Maybe it is true, maybe it is not; maybe something else is true. You simply keep your doors open. Whatsoever the truth, you allow the truth to have its say.
I told the professor, "You are just a Hindu, already prejudiced, believing in reincarnation. Just as Christians don't believe in it, you believe in it. A Christian also starts a "scientific inquiry" to prove that there is no reincarnation. Will it be scientific? It will only be a Christian inquiry, an effort to use science to prove your prejudices. Your inquiry will be a Hindu inquiry, not a scientific inquiry."
The scientist cannot be a Hindu or a Christian or a Mohammedan; the scientist has simply to be a scientist. He can only inquire. Inquiry means you have not arrived at any conclusions, no a priori conclusion. That is the fundamental of all inquiry.
You cannot inquire and search for God. You can only inquire into the reality that is already available: these trees, these rocks, these rivers, these peopleyou. You have to go into it. No scripture is going to help you, because all scriptures will make you prejudiced and all scriptures will only be borrowed. You will become a donkey. secret08
I have come into contact with almost all kinds of religious scholars, and on one point they are the same, whether Hindu, Mohammedan, Christian, Jew. That point is that they are perfectly at ease, feeling very good, in whatever they are doingthey are doing God's work, and they are spreading wisdom. They don't even know the meaning of wisdom. They have never tasted anything like that; they have heard about it, they have read about it, they have crammed hundreds of scriptures
I am against all these scholars, not because their intentions are bad but because the outcome of their very good intentions is disastrous. They have destroyed millions of people on the earth; they never allowed them to grow, they gave them a false notion that they know already. This is pure poison
I gave the book The Prophet (by Khalil Gibran) to one of my colleagues in the department of philosophy of the university. He was teaching religion. He looked at the content and he said, "Why have you given this book to me? It is not about religion. Love, freedom, creativity, the relationship between parents and childrenI don't see anything," he said to me, "about religion in it."
I said, "You don't know what religion is, and you have been teaching for almost twenty years! Not only are you in darkness, you have been spreading darkness amongst other people. These are the authentic religious questions. God is not; neither is hell nor heaven."
On his table I saw one book that he was readingit was Swedenborg's Heaven and Hell. That is "religion." Now what does this fellow Swedenborg know about heaven and hell? Fictions! So the first thing to remember is, religion is not a fiction. Don't get caught in fictitious ideas.
Religion is a reality, a day-to-day reality, a moment-to-moment reality that you are living. You can live your life religiously, you can live your life irreligiously; but again rememberthe definition should not come from the priests, the definition should come from the mystics. mess216
I was brought to Poona for the first time by a man who was a close contact of Mahatma Gandhi, Rishabhdas Ranka. Mahatma Gandhi's basic theme was that all religions are equal, although it was not his practice; it was only theoretical, verbiage. And Rishabhdas Ranka lived in his ashram, so he was very much influenced by the idea that all religions are equal.
He was by birth a Jaina, so obviously he thought to write a book of synthesis between Buddha and Mahavira. He showed me the manuscript. I simply looked at the title and I returned it back. He said, "You have not looked inside even one page?"
I said, "The title is enough." The title was Bhagwan Mahavir and Mahatma Buddha.
I said, "Either you call both the people Mahatma or you call both the people Bhagwan."
He said, "That is difficult. I cannot call Mahavira Mahatma because there are millions of mahatmas. And I cannot call Buddha Bhagwan, because I am a Jaina by birth. I believe only in the twenty-four tirthankaras as Bhagwan, nobody else."
You will not believe that the Jainas have thrown Krishna into the seventh hell, because he created the greatest war India has ever known. He is the ultimate criminal.
And the same is true about Hindus
. The Hindus have not even mentioned this great splendor, this great religious man, this great beauty of Mahavira. They have not even mentioned his name in their scriptures anywhere.
No contemporary source, except Buddha, even mentions the name of Mahavira. If he was so great, such a splendor, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, do you think the contemporary literature would have completely missed him? And Buddha has mentioned him only to criticize him. It is only in the words of Buddha that we have a certainty that a man called Mahavira ever lived.
But the same is done to Buddha by the Hindus. He was certainly a very influential man, a very rational and logical man. Hindus could not deny him, but they could not accept him either, because he was against the caste system, he was against the Vedas, against the whole tradition of the Hindus. He was born a Hindu. poetry05
One of my friends, a professor of Sanskrit, Doctor Rajbali Pandey, wanted to go to Tibet. He was doing certain research on a few Sanskrit scriptures which have disappeared from India, but their translations exist in Tibet. He wanted to translate them back into Sanskrit.
Those were very important scriptures, particularly concerned with Gautam Buddha. Perhaps Hindus have burned those scriptures in India, but because Tibet became Buddhist, before they were destroyed they were translated into Tibetan. They exist in Chinese, they exist in Japanese; only in Indian languages they don't existand Buddha was born in this land, he was speaking the language of the people of this land.
So this man's research was really very significant in bringing Buddha back to his own land. But he was a high-caste brahmin, and he had learned Tibetan with great effort. Of course Sanskrit was his family language. He belonged to a very learned family; they used Sanskrit in their family instead of any other language of the people, so he was perfectly capable of translating from Tibetan into Sanskrit.
But I told him, "I expect to see you back within three days."
He said, "What are you saying? It will take at least three years."
I said, "Forget all about it. I know youand I know something about Tibet."
He said, "I don't understand, you always make strange statements."
He went to Tibet. He was a high-caste brahmin with all the superstitions of the brahmins. The brahmin has to take a cold bath in the river before sunrise; then he has to do his religious worshipand only after that he can take his breakfast. As he reached Tibet, he remembered me. My statement was not wrong. He took only one bath and that was enough; he forgot all about translations.
By the third day I had to receive him at the airport. I said, "What do you think about my statement?"
He said, "I would have been killed in three years. Just one day was enough. Even now I am still shivering; the coldness has entered into my bones. Without taking a bath before sunrise I cannot even take my breakfast. So the choice was either to live without food or to have a cold bath before sunrise."
I said, "That's why I had said what I said. You are a fanatic brahmin; you will not drop your stupid idea. It is perfectly good in India
In fact the best time to take a bath is before the sun rises; only then it is cool. As the sun rises things become hotter. The moments before sunrise are the most beautiful in India. But that is not the case with Tibet." satyam07
Once I went to Varanasi and a great scholar of the Vedas invited me to his home. He was very happy to show me his parrot, because the parrot could recite many things from the Vedas, from the Gita, from the Upanishads. I laughed. The pundit* said, "What's the matter? Why are you laughing?"
I said, "I am laughing because I don't see any difference between this parrot and you. The parrot is a scholar and you are a parrot." He has been angry since then. foll402
*Note: a pundit is a religious scholar.
I had one colleague in the university who was very much curious about enlightenment. Even while I was teaching in the university I was moving around the country, finding people who can belong with me one day
but his interest in enlightenment was only that of a student. One day he came to me and I said, "This day is very special."
He asked, "What do you mean?"
I said, "Today, if you want to be enlightened, I can manage it."
He looked worried. He said, "But I have a wife and children
I said, "Enlightenment does not prohibit you from having a wife or children."
He said, "If this is a day of such a strange quality I should come on some other day."
But I asked, "What about enlightenment?"
He said, "Forgive me, I am only curious. I love you and I feel to be close to you, but enlightenment right now
? There are so many things to be done, and moreover do you think as a buddha I will look adequate?"
I said, "You don't be worried about it. Enlightenment has nothing to do with whether you look like a buddha or not. Certainly you will be a special buddha." He had very strange eyesone looking this way, one looking that way. I said, "Don't be worried because I don't think that is a hindrance for enlightenment. It will be really very hilarious for people to see a buddha
" If he was talking to you he was looking another way. I said, "It will be a little strange when you are delivering sermons, but your eyes can be fixed. You don't be worried; that is my responsibility. First you become enlightened."
He said, "It is not only eyes. There are many things
I have false teeth. Do you think it will look right for a buddha to have false teeth? And if somebody comes to know
I said, "You don't be worried about these trivia."
But he stood up. He said, "I am going home. First I have to ask my wife. I never do such strange things without asking her; she is a very pragmatic woman."
I said, "It is up to you, but it has never happened in the whole history that somebody who becomes enlightened first asks the permission of his wife. You become enlightened; then you simply go and declare your enlightenment."
He said, "At least give me some time to think."
Then I said, "But such a day may not come again so soon. Today everything is ready."
He said, "I can wait. It will do even if it comes two or three years later."
And from that day he started avoiding me. If I was sitting in the common room he would not enter. He made sure that I was not in the university; then he would move everywhere freely. He would make sure that I was not in the library; then he would go to the library.
One day I arrived at his home. I said, "The day has come again."
He said, "My God, I have been avoiding you all this time, and just within three months the day has come again? My wife is absolutely against it!"
And then his wife came out and she said, "You should not make him enlightened. He is already a trouble, a nuisance. If he becomes enlightened our whole family's life will be disturbed. Even in his ignorance he is not what a husband should be and if he becomes enlightened I can visualize troubles and more troubles. You just leave him alone! He has been avoiding you for three months because of my advice. Now this is too much that you have started coming to our house."
And you will not believe that the next day he went to the capital and got himself transferred from that university to another university. After two or three daysI had been looking for himI went again to his home and the neighbor said, "They are gone!"
I asked, "What was the problem?"
He said, "You were the problem."
I said, "I was simply trying to make him enlightened."
Enlightenment is such a simple thing that nobody needs to be worried about it. But it has become such
Down the ages religions have been insisting that it is a very great phenomenon; it is not for ordinary mortals, it is only for those who have some special dispensation from God. Ordinary mortals should not try for it because that is trying for the impossible. It is good for a Gautam Buddha because he is an incarnation of God. It is good for Krishna because he is an incarnation of God, but ordinary people are not incarnations of God.
And I have been arguing my whole life with people that Gautam Buddha was not an incarnation of God before he became enlightened. Enlightenment came to him first; then you recognized him as an incarnation of God. tahui15