Oshos experiences with Medicine and 'Miracles'
It was just a coincidence: I was staying in Patna in 1960 and I was suffering from a migraine. I had suffered from migraine since my enlightenment; I had never suffered before. And the migraine is in only half of the mind; it is the active part of the mind that has it. If the active mind loses contact with the inactive mind, then it goes on working but it has no time to rest.
Because I was staying in the house of a doctor
he was very concerned that this was a terrible migraine, and it was really very strong. I could not open my eyes, it was so painful.
The whole day I would simply lie down with a wet towel around my head. But it was not a helpjust to pass the time
. And it remained with me for twenty-one days exactly when it came. And it came at least four times a year, so it was wasting too much time.
The doctor gave me some sleeping pills. He said, "At least in the night you will have a good sleep; otherwise this migraine continues twenty-four hours a day." Usually a migraine does not continue for twenty-four hours; ordinarily migraine starts at sunrise and disappears by sunset, because it is only in the active part. As you drop out of activity, and the world starts cooling down and you are preparing for sleep, the migraine disappears.
But that was not the case with meit continued for twenty-four hoursso I said, "There is no harm in trying." And it really helped: I could sleep, after many years, for the first time. I don't actually know what the sleeping pills did chemically, but one thing I am certain aboutwhich the chemist may not know: it made it possible again for the active mind to be connected with the inactive mind.
I remained a watcher, something in me remained awake, but only a small flame of awakening; otherwise everything went into sleep. My feeling was that the sleeping pill helped to make a contact with the non-active mind, which I had lost completely
It was just this doctor who, feeling so much for me, said, "The whole day you are in trouble so much; at least for the night, take a good dose and go to sleep."
But the strange effect was that I went to sleep and the next morning there was no migraine. He was also surprised. This was strange; these were only sleeping pills, they were not meant for migraine. And for migraine I had taken all kinds of medicinenothing helped. light35
I had one famous doctor in Jabalpur, Dr. Barat, a Bengali doctor, but the most famous physician in that part of the country. He was the president of the Rotary Club; that's how I came to know himbecause he requested me to address the Rotary Club.
So he had come to my house and taken me in his car, and had listened to me for the first time in the Rotary Club, and became very deeply interested in me. He used to come to see me once in a while. He was reading books I had suggested to him because he wanted to read something about Zen, something about Tibetan mysticism, something about Sufism, something about Hassidismthe things that I had been talking about to him.
So he came to the point of knowing about Bardo. He said, "What is Bardo?"
I said, "I will come to your clinic and give you a try."
He said, "What do you mean, you will give me a try?"
I said, "In fact, it is just the opposite. But let me come to your clinic."
So I went to his clinic and I told him, "Give me the chloroform."
He said, "What?"
I said, "You just give me the chloroform, and I will go on repeating: one, two, three, four, five
and you just listen at what number I stop. And when I come back, when you remove the chloroform mask, just listen to me. I will start counting at the same number where I had stopped, in reverse order."
He was a little worried. First he said, "Now we have stopped using chloroform."
I said, "You will have to do it if you want to understand Bardo."
He said, "But it is dangerous."
I said, "Don't be worried, it is not dangerous."
So I persuaded him. He put me under the mask and I started repeating the numbers: one, two, three
And I was watching inside that my voice was becoming slower and slower and slower, and that he was putting his ear close to my mouth to hear the lastit was nine. After that I could not speak, the body was completely paralyzed, my lips wouldn't move.
After ten minutes he removed the mask and he waited. As I became capable of moving my lips, he heard: "Nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one." And as I was coming in the reverse order, my voice was becoming clearer and clearer. By the time I reached one, I was back.
I said, "This is Bardo. When you are dying, if you can manage by yourself, good; otherwise call me. Then I will give you the idea where to go, what kind of womb to find, what kind of parents will give you freedom, what kind of atmosphere to look for where soon you will become intelligent and will not remain retardedthe idea of becoming a Gautam Buddha, the idea of becoming enlightened."
But he was still alive when I left Jabalpur in 1970, so I don't know what happened to the fellow. He was old, most probably he is dead and is born somewhere. And I don't think he was capable of creating the whole program for the new journey. Bardo is programming your whole journey. zenman02
I have been in hundreds of homes, and many miracles I have performedbut none of them was a miracle. I was just joking, and when I found there was a possibility, I never missed it.
So remember it, that I have never performed a miracle, because miracles as such are impossible. Nobody has performed them.
But the gullible mind
a man came to me almost in the middle of the night; it was twelve, I had been asleep for three hours. He knocked on the door, and made so much noise that I had to wake up and open the door, and I asked, "What is the matter? What do you want at this time of the night?"
He said, "I have a terrible pain in my stomach, and this pain has been coming on and going away, coming on and going away, for at least three months. I go to a certain doctor, he gives me medicine, but no permanent cure has happened. And just nearabout ten, this pain came; it was so terrible that I went to the doctor and he said that this pain was something spiritualhe suggested your name."
I asked him, "Who is this doctor? Is his name Doctor Barat?"
He said, "Yes."
Barat was my friend. He was an old man, but he loved me very much. So I said, "If Barat has sent you then I will have to do something. But you have to give me a promise that you will never say anything about this to anybody, because I don't want to be disturbed every night, and I don't want patients to be here the whole day. I have other things to do."
He said, "I promise, but just help me. Barat has told me that if you give me just a glass of water, with your hand, I will be cured."
I said, "First give me the promise." And he hesitated, because if he has found such a source of miracles, to give such a promise
He said, "You don't see my pain; you are talking about your promise. Just give me a glass of waterl am not asking much."
I said, "First you give me a promise. Take an oath in the name of God"and I could see that he was a brahmin and he had
. Brahmins of different faith believing in one god or another god have different marks on their forehead; those are trademarks, so you can judge, and know who the man is worshipping. So I knew that he was a devotee of Shiva, and I said, "You will have to take the oath in the name of Shiva."
He said, "This is very difficult; I am a loud mouth, I cannot keep anything to myself such a great thing
and you are asking me to make a promise. I may not be able to keep it because if I keep it then it will be more painful than my pain. I won't sleep, I won't go anywhere, I won't talk to anybody because it will be just there waiting to come out."
I said, "You decide. I have to go to sleep, so be quick."
He said, "You have created a dilemma for me. Whatsoever I do I will be in trouble. This pain is not going to go away because to keep your promise
and you don't know mel love gossiping. I am a liar; I go on lyingand this is the truth."
But I said, "Then you decide. You keep your pain."
Finally he said, "Okay, in the name of Shiva I give you the promise. But you are too hard, too cruel."
I gave him one glass of water. He drank the water and he said, "My God! The pain is gone!"
Now, there was no miracle, but because I haggled so much about the promise he became more and more certain that the miracle was going to happen
otherwise this man would not insist so much. The more I delayed, the more I insisted, the more he became certain that there was something in it. That certainty worked.
It was simple hypnosis, he got autohypnotized; he became ready. If I had given him the water directly, the pain would not have disappeared. This much gap of haggling was needed. And I reminded him when he was leaving, "Remember, if you break the oath, the pain will be back."
He said, "You have destroyed me. I was thinking that when Shiva meets me I will be able to fall at his feet and ask his forgiveness; and I have heard that he is very forgiving. Now you have destroyed that tooand the pain will come back."
I said, "Certainly the pain will come back, once you utter a word."
And the next day he was there. He said, "I could not manage it. At least I had to go to Doctor Barat and tell him, 'All your medicine and medical knowledge is nonsense. Just a glass of water did what you could not do in three months. And you have been taking fees each time I was cominggive my fee back. If you knew it beforehand then for three months you have been cheating me.' But the pain came back."
He came running to me, "I am a fool, but what to do? I just could not resist putting this Doctor Barat right in his place. For three months I have been suffering and he knew the cure, and he went on giving me this tablet and that, and then he started the injections. Finally he started saying, 'You may need surgeryand just a glass of water! And he did not suggest that at all."
I said, "I cannot help you. Now the water won't work; you have broken the promisethe miracle will not happen again. Now you go to Doctor Barat and take his medicine, or do whatsoever you want."
But he went around, even though still in pain, saying, "I have seen a miracle."
These people are theresometimes very educated people, but deep down they are as gullible as any uneducated person. Once I am not there, you have to remember it, that all my miracles were simply jokes and nothing else; that I have been enjoying every opportunity. If there was an opportunity to manage a miracle, I have not missed it. But there was no miracle at all. If you know just a little bit of human psychology you can do great things which are not prescribed in the psychology literature and textbooksbecause they are not concerned with that.
But if you know a little bit of human psychology, just a little bitnot much is needed
. And man is ready, he wants the miracle to happen. He wants to see the miracle happen; he is ready for the messiah. He is hankering, desiring deep down to find someone who is higher than him, more powerful than him; then he can follow him.
But I have been cutting all the roots
I used to know a man whose wife came to me, saying, "You have to come to my house, because my husband will not listen to anybody except you. We have tried our best. He has been sick for almost two weeks and we think something is seriously wrong. He's becoming weaker and weaker, but he is not ready to go to a doctor. And he is not ready even to say why he's not willing to go the doctor."
I went. I told everybody to go out of the room and I closed the door. I asked the man, "What is the matter? Why are you avoiding the doctor? If there is any problem, just tell me."
He said, "I can tell you. The problem is not with the doctor, the problem is with meI am worried that perhaps I have cancer. My father died of cancer, my grandfather died. My wife, my first wife died of cancer, and I have seen so many cancer deaths in the house that it has become impossible to forget it. So I feel I have cancer."
I said, "Do you think not being examined is going to help you in any way?"
He said, "No."
I said, "But there is a possibilityif the doctor says you don't have any cancer, you will be immediately cured. Secondly, if he finds there is something else, then medicines can take care of it. But fifty percent, the chances are that you may not have the cancer. You are missing a fifty percent chance. It is up to you, it is your life. I will not disturb you. Should I go or wait for your answer?"
He said, "Wait."
After a moment he said, "It seems right. There is a fifty percent chance. It is only guesswork."
The doctor was brought, and he had the cancer. He told me, "Look!"
I said, "No harm. To know the enemy is always better than not to know, because knowing the enemy you can fight it better. Now we know it is cancer, we can fight it. There is no problem, you are not going to die." sermon23
Anything that has to do with human beings can never be totally objective; it will have to allow a certain space for subjectivity.
It is not only true that the same medicine from different doctors has different effects; it is also true that the same medicine has different effects on different patients from the same doctor.
Man is not an object
For example, it has been noted that three persons can be suffering the same disease, but the same medicine will not work. On one person it is working; on another it is just fifty-fifty, working and not working; but on the third it is not working at all. The disease is the same, but the interiorities are different. And if you take the interiority into consideration, then perhaps the doctor will make a different impact on different people for different reasons.
One of my friends was a great surgeon in Nagpura great surgeon but not a good man. He never failed in his surgery, and he charged five times more than any other surgeon would charge.
I was staying with him and I told him, "This is too much. When other surgeons are charging a certain amount for the same disease, you charge five times as much."
He said to me, "My success in many other things also has this basis: when a person gives me five times more, he is determined to survive. It is not only because of money that I am greedy. If he is willing to give me five times morewhen he could get the operation at cheaper rateshe is determined to survive whatsoever the cost. And his determination is almost fifty percent of my success."
There are people who don't want to survive; they are not willing to cooperate with the doctor. They are taking the medicine, but there is no will to survive; on the contrary, they are hoping that the medicine does not work so they will not be blamed for suicide, yet they can get rid of life. Now, from the inside that person has withdrawn already. Medicine cannot help his interiority, and without his interior support, the doctor is almost helplessthe medicine is not enough.
I came to know from this surgeon
. He said, "You don't know. Sometimes I do things which are absolutely immoral, but to help the patient I have to do them."
I said, "What do you mean?"
He said, "I am condemned by my profession
And all the doctors of Nagpur condemned him"We have never seen such a cheat."
He would put the patient on the table in the operating theaterdoctors are ready, nurses are ready, students are watching from the gallery above. And he would whisper in the patient's ear, "We had agreed on a fee of ten thousandthat will not do. Your problem is more serious. If you are ready to give me twenty thousand, I am going to take the instruments in my hands; otherwise, you get up and get out. You can find cheaper people."
Now, in such a situation
. And the person has money; otherwise, how can he say yes? And he accepts it: "I will give twenty thousand, but save me."
And he told me, "Any surgeon could have saved him, but not with such certainty. Now that he is paying twenty thousand, he is absolutely with me; his whole interior being is supportive. People condemn me because they don't understand me. Certainly it is immoral to agree on ten thousand and then put the person in the operating theater and whisper in his ear, `Twenty thousand, thirty thousand
Otherwise get up and get outbecause I had not realized that the disease had gone so deep. I am taking a risk, and I am putting my whole reputation on the line. For ten thousand I will not do that. And I have never failed in my life; success is my rule. I operate only when I am absolutely certain to succeed. So you decide. And I don't have much time, because there are other patients waiting. You just decide within two minutes: either agree, or get up and get lost.'
"Naturally the person will say, `I will give you anything you want, but please do the operation.' It is illegal, it is immoral, but I cannot say that it is unpsychological."
Anything to do with man cannot be purely objective.
I used to have another friend, a doctor who is now in jail because he was not qualified at all. He had never been to any medical college; all the degrees that he had written on his sign were bogus.
But still I am of the opinion that an injustice has been done to the manbecause it does not matter whether he had degrees or not. He helped thousands of people, and particularly those who were becoming hopeless, going from one doctor to anotherwho all had degreesand getting tired. And this man was able to save them.
He had a certain charismano degree. And he made his hospital almost a magic land. The moment a patient would enter his office, immediately he would be surprised. He had been everywhere
because people used to go to him only as a last resort. Everybody knew that the man was bogus, it was not something hidden. It was an open secret.
But if you are going to die, what is the harm in trying?
And as you entered his gardenhe had a beautiful gardenand then his office
He had beautiful women as his receptionists, and it was all part of his medical treatmentbecause even if a person is dying, looking at a beautiful woman his will to live takes a jump; he wants to live.
After the reception, the person would pass through his lab. It was absolutely unnecessary to take him through the lab, but he wanted the person to see that he was not an ordinary doctor. And the lab was a miracleabsolutely useless, there was nothing significant, but so many tubes, flasks, colored water moving from one tube into another tube, as if great experiments were going on.
Then you would reach the doctor. And he never used the ordinary methods of checking your pulse, no. You would have to lie down on an electric bed with a remote control. The bed would move far up into the air, and you are lying there looking up and hanging over you there are big tubes. And wires would be attached to your pulse and the pulse would make the water in the tubes jump.
The heart would be checked in the same waynot by ordinary stethoscope. He had made all his arrangements visual for the patientso that he could see he had come to some genius, an expert.
And the man had no degrees, nothing at all. His pharmacist had all the degrees, and he used to prescribe the medicines because the man had no idea about medicine.
In fact, he never did any criminal thing. He never prescribed medicines, he never signed for them. This was done by a man who had degrees, who was absolutely qualified to do it. But because he arranged all this, and because he had written strange degrees on his sign
and since those degrees don't exist I don't think they can be illegal. He was not claiming any legal degrees, he was not claiming that they were from any university that exists. It was all fictionbut the fiction was helpful.
I have seen patients half cured just in the examination. Coming out, they said, "We feel almost cured, and we have not taken the medicine yet. The prescription is herenow we will go and purchase the medicine."
But because he had done all this
. This is when I saw that the law is blind. He had not done anything illegal, he had not harmed anybodybut he is in jail because he was "cheating people." He has not cheated anybody.
To help somebody to live longer, if that is cheating, then what is medical help?
Because of human beings, medicine can never become an absolutely solid, hundred-percent objective science. That's why there are so many medical schoolsayurveda, homeopathy, naturopathy, acupuncture, and many moreand they all help.
Now homeopathy is simply sugar pills, but it helps.
The question is whether the person believes.
There are people who are fanatic naturopathsnothing else can help them, only naturopathy can help them. And it has no connection with the disease.
One of my professors was madly into naturopathy. Any problem
and a mud pack on your stomach. I used to go to him to enjoy, because it was very relaxing, and he had a very good arrangementa beautiful bath and showers
. And without any difficulty I used to go and say, "I have a very bad migraine."
He said, "Don't be worried. Just a mud pack on your stomach."
Now a mud pack on the stomach is not going to help a migraine. But it used to help me, because I had no migraine! A mud bath, the full bathtub, and you are drowned in the mud, just your head is outit is very comfortable and very cool.
Soon he realized that, "You come again and again with new diseases."
I said, "That's true. Because I have got a book on naturopathyfrom the book I get the disease, and then I come to you. First I read it, to see what you will do. If I want it to be done to me, I bring that disease; otherwise, unnecessarily lying down in the mud for half an hour
He said, "So you have been cheating me?"
I said, "I am not cheating you. I am your most prominent patient. In the university everybody else laughs at you, I am the only one who supports you. And the others who come here, come here because of mebecause I say that my migraine disappeared."
He said, "My God, now I am suffering from migraine. Go!"
People used to become angry with me. They would tell me, "My migraine, instead of going, has become more intensebecause a cold stomach does not help migraine!"
I would say, "Then your system must work differently. With my system, it helps me!"
There are homeopaths, fanatics who believe that homeopathy is the only right medicine and all other medicines are dangerousparticularly allopathy is poison. If you go to a homeopath, the first thing he will do is inquire about your whole history from your birth up to now. And you are suffering from a headache.
One of the homeopathic doctors used to live near me. Whenever my father came to see me, I would take him to the homeopath. The homeopath told me, "I pray you don't bring your father because he starts back three generations, that his grandfather had a disease
I said, "He is also a homeopath. He goes deeper into the roots."
He said, "But he wastes so much time, and I have to listenand he just has a headache! About his grandfather and all his diseases, then his father and all his diseases
then himself. By the time he comes, almost the whole day is finished. My other patients are gone, and I am listening to him telling what kind of diseases he has suffered from his childhood, and finally it comes out that he has a headache.
"I say, `My God, why didn't you tell me before?' and he says, `Just as you are a homeopath, I am also a homeopath. And I want to give you a complete picture.'"
The first thing they will ask is about all your diseases because they believe that all diseases are connected, your whole life is one single whole. It does not matter whether you had something in your leg or your headthey are part of one body, and for the doctor to understand, he has to know everything.
The homeopath will ask you what kind of allopathic medicines you have been takingbecause that is the root cause of all your diseases; all allopathic medicines are poison.
That is the attitude of naturopathy too, that allopathy is poison. So first you have to do fasting, enemas
just to clean you of all allopathy. Once you are clean of allopathy
Man is a subjective being. If the patient loves the doctor, then water can function as medicine. And if the patient hates the doctor, then no medicine can help. If the patient feels the doctor is indifferentwhich is ordinarily the case with doctors, because they are also human beings, the whole day long seeing patients, the whole day long somebody is dying
they slowly slowly become hard, they create a barrier to their emotions, sentiments, humanity. But this prevents their medicine from being effective. It is given almost in a robot-like way, as if a machine is giving you medicine.
With love, the patient is not only getting medicine; around the medicine something invisible is also coming to him.
Medicine will have to understand man's subjectivity, his love, and will have to create some kind of synthesis in which love and medicine together are used to help people.
But one thing is absolutely certain: that medicine can never become entirely objective. That has been the effort of medical science up to now, to make it absolutely objective. sermon02
In one of the medical colleges in Bhopal, one of my friends was a doctor, and I used to stay with him. He was very much afraid of ghosts.
I said, "Being a doctor, and that too in a medical college where there are so many dead bodies collected for dissecting, and you are afraid of ghosts!"
He said, "Well, what to do, I am afraid. From my very childhood, I have been afraid."
So I said, "One thing has to be done. Tonight you get the key of that great hall where you are keeping many dead bodies and we will go there and seethere must be ghosts. So many dead bodies, their ghosts must be around them."
He said, "I don't want to go there. I don't go there even in the day. In the night, never!"
I said, "But I am going; give me the key."
He said, "But why are you getting into unnecessary trouble?"
I said, "For your sake, because if I am going you will have to come with me; you are my host."
Very reluctantly, unwillingly, he went with me.
I had made an arrangement. I had told another doctor who was also friendly with me, "You lie down amongst the corpses and when I enter the door
you have not to do anything, you just sit up. Cover yourself with a white cloth so nobody will knowthat will be enough."
I took my friend there, opened the door, and pulled him inside the room by the hand. I said, "Come in, there is nothing to be worried about, these are dead bodies, skeletons. You also have a skeleton within your skin. So there is no need to worry; you belong to the same category. Soon you will be dead and you will be in this hall. It is better to be acquainted with these people right now."
As we entered, the doctor not only got up, but he screamed. He screamed because he was not aware that I had put another man in there also. So while he was lying down there, the other man was getting up, going down, getting up, going down. The doctor was almost on the verge of death, because he was not aware that there was another man also; and the door was locked so he could not escape: it is better to remain silentif this ghost becomes aware of him, he's going to torture him.
As we reached the hall he threw off his white cloth, jumped out and said, "My God! You have put me in such trouble. I was thinking it is a joke; it is not a joke! There is another ghost, a real ghost! And he's doing exercises. He gets up, lies down, gets up, lies down
. You don't know in what hell I've been for these few hours."
And my friend who had come with me, his face became completely white.
He said, "This is a doctor?"
I said, "Yes, he is your colleague."
He said, "What is he doing here?"
I said, "Well, I don't know, just ask him."
But he was not in a situation to say anything. He was stuttering because he was shooing the other ghost away.
I said, "Let us go to him." Nobody was ready to go to him. I went and pulled up his cloth.
They both looked at him and they said, "Another colleague? My God, should we look at the other corpses also? Do doctors come to sleep here in the night?"
I said, "It is better you become acquaintedonce in a while come and sleep here, and see what the ghosts do in the night. Sometimes they dance, they sing, they play ping-pong. And one day you are going to be here, so it is better to be acquainted beforehand; otherwise you will be in much trouble."
All three left me there and escaped. I had not told the first doctor about the second, neither had I told the second about the first. When the first jumped up, the second was so shocked that he started trying to feel his heart, whether he is still alive or he is finished. And my host could not sleep the whole night, again and again he would come into my room.
I said, "What is the matter?"
He said, "I feel afraid."
I said, "There is no question of being afraid."
He said, "How did it happen, the two colleagues? Are they dead? Are they real? And what were they doing there?"
I said, "How am I to know? I am not part of your medical college. You should know better
But both those doctors stopped meeting meeven if I would pass them, they would close their doors. They all used to live in small cottages around the medical college, and I used to go for a walk in the morning. And I would knock on their doors, and they would look from the window and close the window, too. razor04