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> Osho’s interaction with Sikhs and Punjabis



The Sikh religion is in many ways interconnected with the Hindu religion. The Golden Temple in Amritsar, Punjab, is the main Sikh temple.

One man in Punjab…he was the most famous saint in Punjab, known as the Lion of Punjab, Baba Hari Giri. He was not aware of me, and it was just a coincidence that in a conference… In Amritsar they have every year a Vedanta conference, world conference, and at least one hundred thousand people gather in the conference.
It was just a coincidence that he spoke and I was to speak after him. And I criticized him point by point. The organizers were simply frozen to death, because that man was respected in Punjab. Thousands will be ready to die for him. I was not known in Punjab at all, that was my first time to be in Amritsar.
And I criticized him so totally, even on small points, that they were afraid that there is going to be a riot immediately. And I don't have not even a single person who knows me.
An ancient Vedanta story he has told. The story is that ten blind men cross a river, and after passing the river they think it is better to count. Perhaps somebody the river has taken away. The current is strong and it is rainy season. So they start counting. But the count always comes to nine, because everybody leaves himself. He starts from the other, ends with the last, does not count himself. Naturally, it is nine.
One man sitting on the bank was watching the whole scene. It was hilarious what they were doing. They started crying and weeping that, "One friend is lost."
That man came and he said, "Don't be worried. I will find your friend. You stand in a line. I will hit the first man on the head with my stick and you say one. I will strike the second man twice, you say two. Third three times, you say three. You count how many times I strike and you speak the number."
And they were immensely happy because the last man is found. The tenth man got ten hits.
This is an ancient Vedanta story told for centuries. Nobody has ever raised any question about it. I asked the people, "This story is absolutely idiotic, because how did these people know that they were ten? Had they counted before entering the stream? If they knew how to count before they entered the stream, how did they forget it? How did they know that they were ten? And Hari Giri has to answer it, otherwise…telling such idiotic stories and making them into great philosophy!"
He became so furious, knowing perfectly well that now there is no answer. If these people count themselves before entering the stream, then naturally they will be able to count afterwards. If they had not counted, then how did they come to know that they are ten?
He simply walked down the podium, and I told him, "This escape will not help. I have discussed every single point that you have raised. If you have any guts—and you are known as the Lion of Punjab, the whole pride of Punjab is at risk—then don't escape. Come back."
And he would not come back. He simply escaped. And I asked the people, "This man you still want to call the Lion of Punjab? And I will be here ten days and for ten days I will wait. If he wants, this challenge is open for ten days. I am ready to fight on every ground."
And the problem is that I am not against the essential message of the Upanishads. But what these people are doing has nothing to do with the essential. They are making the nonessential more important, because the nonessential helps them to exploit people. The essential will not help to exploit anybody.
The man simply escaped. Ten days I was there in the conference, and even the organizers were surprised that not a single Punjabi stood in favor of him. I asked that anybody, if he wants to accept the challenge in place of his guru, his Master, I am ready. Those one thousand people…one hundred thousand people just remained silent. In ten days time I was able to manage that what I am saying is the real essence of Vedanta, and what you have been told up to now is not the real essence.
The real essence is the same whether it is Vedanta or Zen or Sufism or the songs of Baul or Kabir. It doesn't matter. If anybody who has really attained, experienced, then he will agree with me. last330

It was an every day experience in India. I was worshipped in the temple of Amritsar by the Sikhs almost as one of their masters. They have ten masters. Actually the man who introduced me in their conference said that I could be accepted as their eleventh master. But now they won't let me into the temple.
At that time I was holding back many things. I had talked about one small book, Japuji, and the Sikhs were immensely happy because no non-Sikh had ever bothered. And the meaning I gave to their small booklet they had never thought of. But when I said, after two years, in a meeting in their Golden Temple that, "I consider only Nanak to be enlightened; the remaining nine masters are just ordinary teachers," they were ready to kill me. I said, "You can kill me, but you will be killing your eleventh master!" mystic27

I don't have any desire to die. That does not mean that I want to live forever. It simply means that as long as life is, I enjoy; if death comes, I will enjoy it too. But I am not going to Jerusalem knowing perfectly well that they are preparing a crucifixion.
It happened in Amritsar when I was getting out of the train, I was blocked. Two hundred Hindu chauvinist people wanted me to get back into the train and not enter Amritsar. The people who had come to take me had no idea that there would be two hundred people, so only twenty or twenty-five people were there just to take me home. And there was to be a meeting immediately—just time enough for me to take a cup of tea and go to the meeting. So everybody was in the meeting—ten thousand people waiting there—and these twenty-five people surrounding me in case those two hundred Hindu chauvinists do any harm to me. I could see in the faces of those two hundred people nothing but murder.
The stationmaster by chance happened to be one of my lovers. He phoned to the Golden Temple of the Sikhs, "This is the situation: We are not moving the train, because if we move the train there will immediately be trouble. We are not moving the train. Those people are insisting that he should get into the train and he is not going to get into the train, so immediately send a few temple guards.
The temple guards have naked swords, so a few temple guards came. As they came the crowd started dispersing, because naked swords—there would have been a massacre. And for the first time I had to be escorted, protected from all sides with naked swords, into the city.
I said, "This is my last time in this city."
They said, "Why?"
I said, "Because I don't want this kind of nonsense." And that was not only my last time in that city, I stopped moving altogether. I said, "Those who want to understand me will come, and those who do not want to understand me—in fact why should I interfere in their lives? If they don't want me to be in their city…. It is their city: if they want to remain idiots forever they have the freedom, and I respect their intention. I cannot force them to be enlightened. Let them remain endarkened—this is their choice. Why should I bother?"
That day became decisive: I was not going to move anywhere. dark26



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