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> Gandhians and Politicians



After Indian Independence in 1947, the National Congress Party was Gandhi's movement, so all politicians and most of the country were Gandhians. When Gandhi died in 1948, his ashram at Wardha was continued by his son Ramdas.

Because I was born into a certain Jaina religious group, they were the first people to surround me. When people started looking at me, asking me questions, feeling that something has happened in me, the first ones were bound to be Jainas because they were my relatives, they were my neighbors. It was obvious that they would be the first. Naturally their questions were concerned with Jainism, with Mahavira….
When I was surrounded with Jainas I had to talk with these people about things which have no importance, nothing. But those were the people and these were their questions. Slowly, slowly others started moving towards me, Jainas became a minority. Out of that minority a few are still here—very few, their percentage has fallen to one percent at the most.
The second group that followed, which was certainly the closest group to the Jainas…Mahatma Gandhi had adopted a Jaina doctrine of nonviolence, so all the Jainas became Gandhians, and all the Gandhians came close to the Jainas. At least on one point they were in agreement. So when Jainas were becoming alert that I am a dangerous man, Gandhians followed. Their great leaders—Vinoba Bhave wanted to meet me; Shankarrao Deo attended a meditation camp; Dada Dharmadhikari attended many meditation camps; Acharya Bhagwat attended many meditation camps. And because these were the thinkers of Gandhism, all over India Gandhians started becoming interested in me.
Again I was surrounded by a certain group with a fixed ideology. The day I criticized Mahatma Gandhi…I was simply stating the facts, not even criticizing him. Somebody had asked, "What do you think about Mahatma Gandhi and his philosophy of nonviolence?"…
I said that Mahatma Gandhi was simply a cunning politician. By adopting nonviolence he was managing many things. All the Jainas became his followers. They found a certain man who was in tune with them; although he was not a Jaina, he was at least nine percent Jaina. I have the percentages about Gandhi: he was born a Hindu, but he was only one percent Hindu. He was born in Gujarat, an area very dominated by Jaina philosophy; nine percent he was a Jaina. And ninety percent he was a Christian. Thrice in his life he was just on the verge of being converted to Christianity.
I said to them that by nonviolence he managed the Jainas; he also managed the upper-class Hindus who are nonviolent people; he also managed to influence Christian missionaries, Christians, because Jesus Christ's message is of love, and nonviolence is another name of love. And these were not all the benefits of accepting nonviolence. The most important thing is, India has been for two thousand years a slave country. It has forgotten what it means to be independent. It is not yet independent, its mind has become that of a slave….
Indians are very much afraid of fighting. They have never fought. A small group could manage to keep this vast continent in slavery. The ownership changed from one group to another, but India remained in slavery.
Secondly, Gandhi was intelligent enough to see that on the one hand Indians are not people who will fight, and on the other hand, they don't have any weapons to fight with.
Thirdly, the British empire of that day was the greatest power in the world. It was impossible to fight violently with the British empire: you don't have weapons, you don't have trained people to fight, you don't know anything about fighting.
Nonviolence was a political policy. It served many purposes, and served well….
So I said that Gandhi's nonviolence was not a spiritual philosophy, but a political policy. And it is proved by the facts. He had promised before independence that the moment India became free, all armies would be dissolved, all arms would be thrown into the ocean. When asked, "If you do this and somebody attacks, what are you going to do?" he said, "We will receive them as our guest and we will say to them, `We stay here; you also can stay.'"
After independence everything was forgotten. Neither the armies were dissolved, nor the arms were thrown into the ocean; on the contrary, Gandhi himself blessed the first attack on Pakistan. Three Indian Air Force planes came to receive his blessings and he came out of his house and blessed the planes. All nonviolence and all that bullshit talk that he was doing his whole life was forgotten.
The moment I criticized Gandhi…And this was only on one point. I am a man who loves to go deep into everything. If I don't go, I don't go at all. Once I started, I had to condemn Mahatma Gandhi on a thousand and one grounds, and on each point Gandhians disappeared; now I don't think even one percent of those present are Gandhians—not here, even in India, because they cannot be Gandhians if I am right. I have condemned him point by point.
I have not changed, just the people around me went on changing. When Gandhians disappeared then the people who were communists, socialists, who were against Gandhism thought, "This is a great chance. If he can support us…" But I had not condemned Gandhi to support communism. I had never thought about it, that this would become an opportunity for socialists and communists. And then I had to condemn them. There is no other way to get rid of such people.
So all those political talks were a necessity, to find out exactly who my people are: who are without any prejudice; who have come to me; who have not come to me to hear about Christ, or to hear about Buddha, or to hear about Gandhi, or to hear about Mahavira; who have come directly to listen to me. I have my own message, I have my own manifesto to the world….
I have never been a serious person. But I was surrounded by serious people for many years, and amongst those serious people it is very difficult not to be serious. It is almost like being in a hospital. You have at least to pretend that you are serious. For years I was surrounded by sick people and I had at least to pretend that I was serious.
I am not serious at all because existence is not serious. It is so playful, so full of song and so full of music and so full of subtle laughter. It has no purpose; it is not business-like. It is pure joy, sheer dance, out of overflowing energy. hari18

Gandhi's songs of the unity of Hinduism and Mohammedanism, his discourses that both are the same, that there is no difference, are proved all bogus, because his own son, eldest son, Haridas, who was a rebel from his very birth—and I love that man, he was far superior in every way than his father….
He wanted to go to school and Gandhi will not allow because he thought that all education poisons people. So no education for children. He will teach them enough so they can read religious scriptures. But Haridas was insistent that he wants to learn everything the way other boys are learning. Gandhi threatened him that, "If you go to school, then never enter in my house again."
Do you think this is the attitude of a non-violent man? And that too against a small child, and whose demand is not in any way for any crime. He is not saying that he wants to go to a prostitute. He is simply asking to go to school to study just like everybody else. And his argument is perfect. He said, "You have been educated and you are not poisoned, so why you are so worried? I am your son. If you can be educated, if you can attain to the degree of bar at law, then why can't I? Why you are so suspicious?"
But Gandhi said, "I have given you the ultimatum. Either you live in this house with me, then no school, or you go to school, then this house is no more for you."
And I love that boy. He left the house—with grace. He touched his father's feet, asked for his blessings, which Mahatma Gandhi could not give.
I cannot see non-violence and love. In these small acts you can find the real person, not in speeches, public performances.
The boy left. He lived with one of his uncles, studied, many times wanted just to come and see his mother but was refused. He graduated, and just to see how much Gandhi means that Hinduism and Mohammedanism are all one he became a Mohammedan. He was really a colorful man.
He became Mohammedan, he changed his name—meaning still the same. Haridas means servant of God. So he asked the Mohammedan priest to give him a name which means Haridas in Arabic. Abdullah means exactly the same. Abd means God, Abdullah means servant of God. So he became Abdullah Gandhi.
When Gandhi heard about it, he was so much shocked. He was so angry. His wife said, "But why you should be so angry? Every morning, every evening, you say both are the same. That's why he must be trying, that, "If both are same…. Hinduism I have lived for all these years, now let us see what is Mohammedanism."
And Gandhi was angry that, "This is not a matter to laugh. He is disinherited from my property. He is no more my son, and I don't want him to see again." And in India when somebody dies and his funeral pyre is lit with fire, the eldest son puts the fire. So Gandhi made it his will that "Haridas is not my son and I emphasize the fact that after my death he should not put the fire into my funeral."
What anger! What violence!
I have known this man, Haridas Gandhi. He was really a lovely man. And he said, "I simply became a Mohammedan just to see how my father reacts. And he exactly reacted the way I thought, so all that unity of religions, Hindu and Mohammedan, Christian and Buddhism, is all nonsense. It is all politics. That's what I wanted to prove and I have proved it."
The place where I lived, just eighty miles away from there, just a coincidence that Haridas…. It was a junction station. He was coming from one train and Gandhi was passing into another train, so he came close to the compartment of Gandhi just to see his father, and the mother will be there. Gandhi, seeing him coming towards the compartment, closed all the windows and told his wife that, "If you open the window and talk with him, then my connections with you are finished. Then you can go with him."
Kasturbhai, Gandhi's wife, was crying, weeping, but could not open the window. Haridas was knocking on the window. Gandhi was standing there. And this man is thought to be the greatest non-violent saint of the contemporary world. I don't agree.
And this is just one instance. I have gone through his life in very detail and I have found thousands of instances where his real personality surfaces. His public performance is a different thing. last404

Babasaheb Ambedkar was a sudra, but caught the eye of a very rich man who, seeing he was so intelligent, sent him to study in England. He became one of the greatest experts of law in the world and he helped make the constitution of India. He was continuously fighting for the sudras to whom he belonged, and that is one-fourth of the Hindu society. He wanted a separate vote for the sudras—and he was absolutely right.
I don't see why they should belong to the Hindu fold which has tortured them for ten thousand years, forced them to do every sort of ugly work and paid them almost nothing. They are not even allowed to live in the cities, they have to live outside the city. Just before freedom, they were not allowed to move in many streets of the town. In many places they were forced to announce loudly, "I am a sudra and I am passing through here. Those who can hear me, please move out of the way…" because even their shadows falling on you, defile you.
But finding no way, because Mahatma Gandhi was insistent that sudras should not leave the Hindu fold…. That was also a political strategy, because if one-fourth of the Hindus leave the fold, then Hindus will become a minority in their own country. There are Mohammedans, there are Christians, there are Jainas; now if a new big chunk would go out of the Hindu fold, the country of the Hindus would become almost the country of other religions. And if they all got together, Hindus would never be in power.
I don't consider Mahatma Gandhi a religious man either; he belonged to the same category as Doctor Ambedkar. Gandhi went on a fast to death so that Ambedkar had to take back his stand. He had to withdraw the idea that sudras should be given a separate vote. And Gandhi was clever…he started calling sudras harijans. Cunning people always play with words. Words don't make any difference—whether you call them sudras, untouchables, or harijans…harijans means, "children of God."
I had a long discussion with Mahatma Gandhi's son, Ramdas. I said, "Don't you see the cunningness? The children of God have been suffering for ten thousand years and those who are not children of God are exploiting them, torturing them, oppressing them, raping their women, completely burning their towns with all living people inside. If these are the children of God, it is better not to be a child of God. That is dangerous."
Gandhi changed the name just to give it a beautiful meaning, but everything inside remained the same. And he went on a fast unto death unless Ambedkar takes his statement back.
If I had been in the place of Ambedkar, I would have told Mahatma Gandhi, "It is your business to live or to die. It is your business if you want to fast—you are free to. Fast unto death or even beyond!"
But Ambedkar was pressurized from all over the country, because if Gandhi died the whole blame would come on Ambedkar. And I would have told Gandhi, "This is a very violent method, and you have been talking about nonviolence. Is this nonviolence?"…
After Gandhi had been fasting for twenty-one days, and his health had started to fall fast, the doctor said, "Do something; otherwise the old man will be gone." Ambedkar was much pressurized by all the Indian national leaders who said to him, "Go to Mahatma Gandhi. Ask for his forgiveness, offer him a glass of orange juice to break his fast…and renounce your movement; otherwise you will be remembered always as the one who killed the greatest man of this country, the great religious man." And Ambedkar had to do it, although unwillingly.
I would not have done it! I would have accepted the blame, I would have accepted history's condemnation. Who cares when you are dead what is written in history about you? At least you don't know what is written, and you don't read. Let them write anything….
But I would have insisted that this was not a nonviolent method. It was absolutely violent but in a very subtle way. I threaten to kill you—this is violence. And I threaten to kill myself if you don't accept me—is this logical? The standpoint that Gandhi was taking was absolutely illogical, but he supported it by threatening. It is blackmail to say, "I will kill myself."
Ambedkar managed another way. He started converting the sudras to Buddhism. That's why now there are a few lakhs of Buddhists, but they are not in any way religious. It was just a political manoeuver. bodhi19

In this context it is necessary to ask if Ambedkar used the right means, or Gandhi? Of the two, who is really non-violent? In my view Gandhi's way was utterly violent, and Ambedkar proved to he nonviolent. Gandhi was determined till the last moment to pressure Ambedkar with his threat to kill himself.
It makes no difference whether I threaten to kill you or to kill myself to make you accept my view. In either case, I am using pressure and violence. krishn10

People ask me what non-violence is every day. My answer is that non-violence is knowledge of the self. If you come to know yourself you will know the essence of man. This awareness gives birth to love, and it is impossible for love to inflict pain. This is non-violence. long06

Mahatma Gandhi's son Ramdas was very much interested in me for the simple reason that, as he said, "You are the only man who has criticized my father—everybody worshiped him. I could see many times that he was going too far in illogical, superstitious things, but he was a man of great weight. It was better to remain silent—because what happened with my eldest brother, Haridas? He was thrown out of the home, and my mother was told, `If you allow him any entry in the house, remember—you will be the next to be thrown out.'"…
Ramdas was very interested in me because I had been criticizing Gandhi point by point, and no Gandhian had dared to answer me on anything—they could not answer. So when Gandhi died, Ramdas became the head of his ashram, and he used to invite me once in a while. mess204

In Mahatma Gandhi's ashram you could not use a mosquito net. His son, Ramdas, was very friendly with me. He had invited me to the ashram, but I said to him, "I cannot stay here with all these mosquitoes. Any intelligent person can understand that a mosquito net is not a luxury, it is not something unspiritual."
And what had Mahatma Gandhi substituted? He had substituted kerosene oil. You put kerosene oil on your face, on your hands, on whatever parts are exposed, put kerosene oil.
Naturally, the mosquitoes are more intelligent than you—they don't come near you, because it stinks! But how can you sleep? You have to choose between mosquitoes or kerosene oil.
I said, "I am not going to choose, I am simply leaving. This seems to be some insane asylum—it is not an ashram."
Gandhi had adopted five basic principles of life from Jainism. The first is: aswad, no-taste—you have to eat, but if you taste, you are a materialist.
I am just trying to show you how they are making it difficult and impossible and unnatural. If you eat, you are bound to taste because you have taste buds in your tongue. Those taste buds don't know anything about your spirituality and the other world, they will simply function. sword09

The most difficult time was the mealtime, because Gandhi used to give everybody—and he was very particular about it—a chutney made of neem leaves, which are the bitterest in the world. They are very medicinal. They are good, they purify the blood. But one is not eating in order to purify the blood. And every day, purifying the blood—too much purified!…
And I asked—Gandhi had died—when I visited his ashram; his son was in charge. I asked him, "Do you think…is it not pure hypocrisy? Because tastelessness does not mean that you have to make your food bitter—to experience bitterness is also taste, just as to experience sweet. It is such a simple thing, but you never objected to your father."
He said, "Nobody ever thought about it…that bitterness is also a taste."
I said, "It is so simple. Whatever you do, it will be hypocrisy. Taste will be there." yaahoo24

I will give you the example of Mahatma Gandhi. In India railway trains have four classes—the air-conditioned, the first class, the second class and the third class. And the country is so poor that even to afford a third class ticket is difficult for almost half of the people of the land. Gandhi started traveling in third class.
I used to have discussions with his son, Ramdas, and I told him, "This is simply crowding the third class, it is already too crowded. This is not helping the poor." And you will be surprised; because Gandhi was traveling in the third class, the whole compartment was booked for him. In a sixty-foot compartment—where at least eighty to ninety persons would have traveled—he alone is traveling. And his biographers will write, "He was so kind to the poor."
He used to drink goat's milk because that is the cheapest, and the poorest of people can afford it. Naturally, everybody who is conditioned with the idea immediately appreciates what a great man he is. But you don't know about his goat! I am a little crazy, because I don't care about Mahatma Gandhi much, but I care certainly about the goat.
I inquired everything about the goat, and I found that his goat was being bathed every day with Lux toilet soap. The food of the goat cost in those days, ten rupees—ten rupees was the salary of a school teacher for one month. But nobody will look into these matters. Only one woman, a very intelligent woman in Mahatma Gandhi's circle, Sarojini Naidu—later on she became the governor of North India—joked once that to keep Mahatma Gandhi poor, we have to destroy treasures. His poverty is very costly.
But it worked. As a politician he became the greatest politician, because the poor people thought "This is the man who is our real representative, because he lives like a poor man in a cottage, he drinks goats' milk, he travels in third class." But they don't know the background—that to maintain his poverty was very costly….
I once said to Ramdas, Mahatma Gandhi's son, that if it is sympathy and kindness and compassion to live like a poor man amongst the poor, then what about other things? If there are a few blind people, should I live with a blindfold? Or if there are unintelligent people—and there are, the whole world is full of the unintelligent—should I also live like the retarded, the stupid, just out of sympathy?
No, this cannot be the criterion of being good, of being virtuous, of being religious. If somebody is sick, that does not mean that the doctor should come and lie down on another bed, so as to help the sick. Everybody can see the nonsense in it. The doctor has to remain healthy so that he can help those who are sick. If he himself becomes sick out of sympathy, then who is going to help? The same is true in the inner growth of man. mess211

For twenty years I have criticized Mahatma Gandhi and his philosophy. No Gandhian has answered. Many Gandhians have come to me and they say, "Whatsoever you say is right, but we cannot say it in public, because if we say that whatsoever you say about Mahatma Gandhi is right, we will lose." The public believes in Mahatma Gandhi. so utter nonsense has to be supported because Gandhi was anti-technological. Now this country will remain poor if this country remains anti-technological; this country will never be in a state of wellbeing. And there is no need for technology always to be anti-ecology; there is no need. A technology can be developed which can be in tune with ecology A technology can be developed which can help people and will not destroy nature—but Gandhi was against technology.
He was against the railway, he was against the post office, he was against electricity, he was against machines of all kinds. They know this is stupid, because if this continues… But they go on saying so, and they go on paying homage to Mahatma Gandhi because they have to get the votes from the people. And the people worship the Mahatma because the Mahatma fits with their ideas of how a mahatma should be.
Mahatma Gandhi fits with the Indian mob; the Indian mob worships him. The politician has to follow the mob. Remember always: in politics the leader follows the followers. He has to! He only pretends that he is leading; deep down he has to follow the followers. Once the followers leave him, he is nowhere. He cannot stand on his own, he has no ground of his own.
Gandhi worshipped poverty. Now if you worship poverty you will remain poor. Poverty has to be hated.
I hate poverty! I cannot say to worship it; that would be a crime. And I don't see any religious quality in just being poor. But Gandhi talked much about poverty and its beauty—it helps the poor man's ego, it buttresses his ego; he feels good. It is a consolation that he is religious, simple—he is poor. He may not have riches but he has some spiritual richness. Poverty in itself is not a spiritual richness; no, not at all. Poverty is ugly and poverty has to be destroyed. And to destroy poverty, technology has to be brought in.
Mahatma Gandhi was against birth control. Now if you are against birth control this country will become poorer and poorer every day. Then there is no possibility. sos204

One of the Congress presidents in India, U.N. Dhebar, was attending my camps and there should have been no difficulty, but one day he told me, "Osho, you are the real inheritor of Mahatma Gandhi's ideology, although you have never been with Mahatma Gandhi. You have never been associated with Gandhism, but if you start teaching Gandhism, then it can be saved from dying."
I said, "It would have been better if you had not said this, because I hate to be anybody's successor and I hate to propagate anyone else's philosophy."
And that day I criticized Mahatma Gandhi on many points. I would never have bothered because there are millions of people in the world; I am not going to criticize everybody, there is not time for that. But U.N. Dhebar just pointed me towards Mahatma Gandhi, so he was responsible, he was present.
After the meeting I asked him, "If you have anything to say you can say it to me now or you can say in the next meeting before everybody. I am willing to have an open discussion about it because I think that Gandhism should die if India has to live. If Gandhism continues then India will have to die. And if I have to choose between the two I would choose that India live—Gandhi is already dead. It does not matter if Gandhism also dies. Who cares?"
He said, "No I cannot discuss it publicly. I understand what you say is right, but you should be more discriminating."
I said, "You are a politician, I am not a politician. A politician has to be discriminatory, but why should I be?"
He said, "I am simply telling you that you have such a great following in the Gandhians that if you say things against Gandhi all these people will leave. They will not leave Gandhism, they will leave you. That's why I am saying you should be more discriminating. When you make any statement you should wait and see whether it is going in favor of you or against you." And he was giving friendly advice. But what he actually meant by discrimination was diplomacy.
I am not a diplomat.
I said, "I will say whatever feels to me to be the right thing, whatever the consequences."
I have lost many followers in these thirty years in the same way. last601

Certainly many people have come to me and have had to drop me for small reasons, because those small reasons, to them, were very fundamental.
I had many followers of Mahatma Gandhi around me at a certain time. Even the president of the Congress, the ruling party, U.N. Dhebar, was coming to my camps…Shankar Rao Dev, one-time secretary general of the ruling party, and many imminent Gandhians.
I used to wear hand-spun clothes, and that is something very spiritual to the Gandhians. It was perfectly good in India's freedom struggle as a token of protest against Britain, that we would not use clothes manufactured in Manchester, in Lancashire. And it had a certain logic behind it: before the British rulers came to India, India had such craftsmen that even today there is no technology to create such thin material as was spun and woven by the Indian craftsmen—particularly living in Dacca and around Dacca in Bangladesh. Their clothes were so beautiful that Britain was at a loss as to how to compete with them in the market.
And what was done was so ugly: the hands of those craftsmen were cut; thousands of people lost their hands so that the beautiful clothes coming from Dacca should disappear. This is not human. It was good as a protest, that "We will not use clothes woven by your machinery. You have destroyed our people, for whom it was not only a living but an art, an art that they have inherited for thousands of years, generation to generation."
But now that the country is independent, that protest no longer has any meaning. After the country became independent, it was idiotic to make hand-spun clothes and the spinning wheel something spiritual. To protest against this, I had to drop those hand-spun clothes. Because now India needs more machinery, more technology; otherwise, the people are going to be hungry, naked, without any roof over their heads.
The moment I started using clothes made by machinery, I was no longer spiritual. All the Gandhians disappeared. U.N. Dhebar, the president of the Congress, told me, "You are unnecessarily losing thousands of followers. Be a little more diplomatic."
I said, "You are telling me to be a diplomat, to be cunning, to be an exploiter, to cheat people? Just to keep them following me I should fulfill their expectations? I am the last one to do that."
And this went on happening in small things, small matters. upan31

I know lots of political leaders who always sit with their spinning wheels at hand. They never spin or anything. Just if someone should come visiting, quickly they begin spinning the wheel.
I was a guest at the house of a politician. I was much surprised; now how long can he deceive me! I was there at the house. But his spinning wheel never turned. And whenever anyone arrived, he immediately began preparing his wheel; began drawing out thread.
I asked him, "What is this set up? How long will it take you to spin thread this way? When that man comes in, you stop again because the man has arrived. As the man comes inside the door, you put up the thread. How will you ever spin any thread?"
He replied, "Who is spinning thread? No, this is just a show I have to put on for these idiots. And what do I know about spinning thread? It breaks again and again."
But clever politicians have very small spinning wheels made. They carry them on airplanes too. Those spinning wheels don't work. They buy khadi cloth—Pure khadi…etc. JyunThaTyun

I used to stay with one of the presidents of the ruling congress party, U.N. Dhebar. He was very much interested in me. He used to attend my camps, even though all his political friends tried to prevent him, telling him, "Don't go to this man." But he was not a politician, not cunning, a very simple and very authentic man.
It was just by chance, accidentally, that he had become the president. It happens in most cases. He was chosen as the president because he was the most polite—a nice man who would never say no. And Pandit Jawaharlal needed a yes-man. He was the prime minister and he wanted the organization of congress to be ruled either by himself—which would look dictatorial—or by a yes-man. And U.N. Dhebar was such a simple man that he would say yes to whatever Jawaharlal wanted. So it was Jawaharlal who was dictating almost everything.
I was staying once in his house in New Delhi, and he was talking to me and gossiping about all the political leaders, what kind of people we have got; all kinds of idiots he was telling me about….
And then suddenly came a phone call. U.N. Dhebar took the phone and said, "I am very busy and I cannot give you any appointment for at least seven days," and put the phone down.
I said, "You are not busy, you are just gossiping with me."
He said, "This is the trouble in politics. You have to pretend that you are very busy, that you don't have any time—and you have all the time. But you have to show the people that you are a very busy man, not approachable so easily. So I have told him after seven days he should phone again. If I have time, then I will see him. Although I am completely free…because you are here I have canceled all my programs. While you are here in my house, I don't want to waste my time with anybody else. I want to be with you. This is a rare chance, because in the camps I cannot have much time with you. This is a great opportunity. And I have told everybody—the guards—`Don't allow anybody…'"
I said, "This is strange. That man may have some important work."
He said, "Who cares? Nobody cares about anybody." Such a nice person, very cultured, educated, but who cares? gdead05

I don't like to waste people's time; I am not a political leader. A political leader is supposed to come late. Again, the same power—you have to wait….
I am not a politician. I am neither a big shot nor a small fry. I am just a human being, neither anything more nor anything less. I have been particular about arriving in time. dark03

I have known intimately many presidents of the ruling party, and I don't think any one of them had any high qualities of intelligence. mess121

The Gandhians now stay in palaces. But there also they apply novel techniques. I went to see Rashtrapati Bhavan when Rajendrababu was the president. The gate-keeper told me that the president had spread a mat over the viceroy's seat. What is the sense in spreading mats and wearing loin clothes in a palace which is tended by about a thousand servants? These are the symptoms of madness, result of our extremist philosophy. Stay in a hut if you like, or in a palace if you like, but what is the consolation behind faking the look of a hut in a palace? The two things do not harmonise. And that is because of the internal strife. gandhi01

The house of the president of India has one hundred rooms with attached bathrooms, one hundred acres of garden. This used to be the viceroy's house and still they have separate guesthouses. What are these hundred rooms doing there? One wonders….
I have once been there because one of the presidents, Zakir Hussain, was interested in me. He was a vice-chancellor of Aligarh University and when he was the vice-chancellor, I spoke there. He was presiding, and he loved what I had said. When he became president and he came to know that I was in Delhi, he invited me to come and he took me around. I asked him, "What purpose are these one hundred rooms serving?"
He said, "They are just useless. In fact to maintain them, one hundred servants are needed. For the maintenance of this big garden of one hundred acres, one hundred rooms—and in front you see two big buildings. They are guesthouses and each guesthouse must have at least twenty-five rooms, not less than that."
I said, "This is absolute wastage. In how many rooms do you sleep?"
He said, "In how many rooms? I sleep in my bed. I'm not a monster that I will spread myself into many rooms…head in one room, and the body in another and the legs in another."
"But then," I said, "these hundred rooms which are simply empty, fully furnished with everything available that a man needs, should be put to some use."
But this is the situation around the world. The emperors have big palaces and still there is no space. They are always making new palaces, new guesthouses. bodhi18

One of the prime ministers of India, Lalbahadur Shastri*, was a very good man, as good as a politician can be. I have known so many politicians that I can say perhaps he was the best out of all those criminals. He said, "If you are a little less sincere and a little more diplomatic, you can become the greatest mahatma in the country. But you go on saying the naked truth without bothering that this is going to create more enemies for you. Can't you be a little diplomatic?"
I said, "You are asking me to be diplomatic? That means being a hypocrite; knowing something but saying something else, doing something else. I am going to remain the same. I can drop being religious if it is needed, but I cannot drop being rebellious because to me that is the very soul of religion. I can drop every other thing which is thought to be religious, but I cannot drop rebellion; that is the very soul."… dark21
*Note: Lalbahadur Shastri was prime minister of India in 1964, after Nehru 

Lalbahadur Shastri, was immensely interested in me. He died with one of my books on his chest. He was reading it and must have fallen asleep, had a heart attack, and died…..
He was very available to me, but even he was not courageous enough to come to see me. He managed a lunch, in a political way, in the house of one of his cabinet ministers.
This man, Karan Singh, was interested in me—he was the king of Kashmir, and because Kashmir became dissolved into India, he was immediately taken into the cabinet. Naturally he had to be given something; he was the first to join India and give his whole country to the union. He was very much interested in me, so Lalbahadur said, "This would be good. You call him and me for lunch, so just casually we meet and discuss. My going to him will be dangerous to my career." And he confessed it to me that this is how diplomacy works. Nobody knows—just a casual, accidental meeting. And before lunch, after lunch, for almost three hours he was listening to me about every problem that he was facing.
But I told him it would be good if he came to my place and lived a few days with me. Everything could be cleared. He said, "That is impossible. If people come to know that I have gone to you for advice, I am finished. You have so many enemies in the country, in my party, in my cabinet, that I cannot take that risk. And I am simply a weak man—I have been chosen for my weakness." But he was sincere. last109

Lalbahadur Shastri was interested in me very much, and promised that although his party and colleagues did not agree with it, he would try his best to implement my ideas. But he died of a heart attack in the U.S.S.R. His secretary reported to me that all the way on the journey he was reading my book, Seeds of Revolutionary Thought*. And the night he had the heart attack, another of my books, The Perfect Way, was in his hands. unconc27
*Note: reprinted under title: Seeds of Wisdom 

Indira Gandhi came to power because she was living with her father. She was a born politician…
All these years she was a watcher of all the politicians, and she was collecting information about each politician: his weakness, his crimes against the society, his exploitation of others, his corruption…and yet on the outside he would go on keeping a pure white Gandhian face.
She was collecting a file—she showed me the file—against every leader, and that was her power. When Jawaharlal died all these politicians were afraid of Indira because she had the key. She could expose anybody before the public, before the court. She had all the evidence, she had all the letters. They were afraid of her for the simple reason that only she could save them; otherwise they would be exposed. That file was her power.
I have looked into the file. All these people have been exploiting that poor country. They all have bank balances in foreign countries, in Switzerland, in America. They all have connections outside India, from where they get bribes and money and everything, for giving secrets. They are all connected to one country or other; they are agents. They have one face before the masses, the poor masses, and their reality is something totally different. And they were also afraid because Indira was absolutely incorruptible. That was one thing she had learned from Jawaharlal. He was incorruptible because he was not a politician; he was more a poet. ignor03

I was talking to Indira Gandhi, and I told her, "India is so poor, you cannot hope to become a world power; there is no possibility. You cannot compete with Russia or America. It will take you at least three hundred years to come to where America is now. But in these three hundred years America is not going to just sit and wait for you to pick up speed.
"In three hundred years America will be nine hundred years ahead of you. Can't you see this simple thing?"
She said, "I can see it."
I said, "If you can see it, then drop all your projects for an atomic energy commission, and atomic energy plants and nuclear weapons. What nonsense are you doing? You cannot compete with the nuclear powers. If there was any hope I would have said, okay, go ahead; let people starve—they have been starving for millions of years, they can starve a few hundred years more. And anyway, starving or not starving, everybody is going to die; let them die, forget about them. You go ahead and compete.
"But you have no power to compete. Then will it not be a wise course that India declares itself an international country? that we drop the boundaries, we drop the whole idea that you have to come with a permit into the country, that you need a passport? No, we just open the whole country for the whole world. Whoever wants to come is welcome. We are so poor that we cannot be more poor.
"But this will be a precedent and this will be a historical moment: one country declaring that it is no longer a nation, that it belongs to the whole world.
"Anyway you cannot win against China, you cannot win against Russia or America. When you cannot win why not take some other course? Declare, 'We are defenseless, we dissolve our defense forces, we send our soldiers to the fields, to the factories. We are no longer in the game of war; we drop out of it."'
She said, "But then anybody can attack."
I said, "Anybody can attack now—what difference does it make? In fact, then to attack India will become difficult because there will be a worldwide condemnation. A country who declares itself defenseless, drops its arms and goes to the fields and the factories, welcomes everybody who wants to come, to invest, to bring industries, to do anything…. It will be almost impossible for anybody to attack India because the whole world will be against that attacker.
"You will have so much sympathy and so many friends that nobody will dare. Right now anybody can attack you. And you have been attacked by China already; China already occupies thousands of miles of land and India has not even the guts to raise the question, 'Please return that land."'
Indira's father, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, said, "That land is useless, not even grass grows there." I wrote him a letter, saying, "If not even grass grows there and it is useless, why did you go to war in the first place? You should have told the Chinese, 'You can occupy as much as you can. Not even grass grows. If you can manage to grow something, good, because for us it is useless anyway. We give it to you as a gift.'
"That would have been more gentlemanly—to give it to them as a gift, rather than to be defeated. Why did you go to war? Did you come to know it later on—that no grass grows there, that it is wasteland?
"You can be attacked," I told Indira. "You have been attacked, so your arms and your armies don't help. Even the biggest powers have been attacked. We have seen even a powerful nation like Germany defeated, a powerful nation like Japan defeated. We know that for five years Germany went on defeating all big nations, so you don't count.
"If you accept my suggestion you come out on top; you prove really wise in the true sense of the word. And you prove that it is not only a saying that India is a country of wisdom; you will prove by this act that you are certainly wise. Where you cannot win, the best way is to drop the whole idea of any fight."…
I told Indira, "India is in such a condition, you can make it a historical moment, an unprecedented thing, that no country has ever dared…. And you are not going to lose anything because what have you got to lose? You are not going to be attacked by those who want to attack; they can attack right now.
"And once you do this, invite the U.N.O.; say that the U.N.O. can only be in India, nowhere else, because this is the only neutral country, the only country which has dropped all its claims of nationality, of being a different nation. This is the only country which belongs to the whole humanity. Let the U.N.O. be here. Surrender all your arms and all your forces to the U.N.O. and tell them to use them for world peace, world friendship."
She said, "I understand you—you are always right, I am always wrong—but what to do? This is too much—I don't have that much courage to do it. Only a man like you can do such a thing, but a man like you is not interested in politics at all.
"My father was telling you, 'Come into politics.' I have been telling you, 'Come into politics,' and you say that you don't want to get into this dirty game. But without getting into this dirty game you cannot be in this position where I am. And to be in this position I have to consider a thousand and one things, because if I say such a thing, there are people just behind me who will not miss the opportunity, who will simply throw me out of office, saying, 'This woman has gone mad!'
"And this will look like madness because nobody has done it before. They will immediately capture power; they will immediately capture power by saying, 'This woman has to be medically treated,' and nobody will listen to me."
She wanted to come to me. So many times she made a time, and then at the last moment she would inform me, "It is difficult, because the people around me don't allow me even to come to you, because they say, 'Even going to this man will affect your political position in the country.
"'Nobody will bother what transpired between you, what you talked about—nobody will bother about it—just your going to this man is enough to affect your position; even your prime-ministership will be gone.' They are all against you—and I cannot go against them."…
In fact if I was in her place I would have taken the risk even of being called mad. It is worth taking. I would have taken the risk even to be thrown out of office. At least it would have been on record that one person had tried his best to bring some sense to humanity. misery27

The first prime minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, had a clash with another disciple of Gandhi's, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. The clash was such that if voting was allowed then Vallabhbhai Patel would have won. He was a real politician….
To avoid this voting, because this was going to be a party decision, Gandhi said, "It will be good to create one post of deputy prime minister, so Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel will be happy that he is, if not the first, at least the second man."…
Jawaharlal was innocent in that way. He was not a politician at all. So without any constitutional basis for it, immediately an amendment was made that there would be a post of deputy prime minister It was created for Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
Once Nehru and Patel both died the post was dissolved, because it was unconstitutional, but it was again revived with Indira and Morarji Desai. The same conflict: Indira was Jawaharlal's daughter, and Morarji Desai is almost a politically adopted son of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. He was his disciple in politics, the chief disciple.
Morarji became aware later on, that it was my suggestion to Indira to throw him out. And I had suggested it just by the way. I was talking for almost an hour to her. She listened, and in the end said only, "Whatever you are saying is right and should be done, but you don't know my situation: my cabinet is not mine, my deputy prime minister is not mine. There is so much conflict and continual fighting in the cabinet; he is trying to throw me out by hook or by crook, any way, and to become the prime minister.
"If I say the things—that you are saying, everybody will be with him, nobody is going to be with me—because the things that you are suggesting are so much against the Indian mind, the Indian tradition, the Indian way of thinking, that nobody is going to support me. If you want, I can propose it before the cabinet, but the next day you will hear that Indira is no more prime minister."
Then just by the way I said, "Then why don't you throw out Morarji Desai first, because he is the man who will manipulate all others. All those others are pygmies. They don't have any national character, they are all provincial people. In certain states, in Bengal or in Andhra or in Maharashtra they are important, but a provincial person cannot fight with you, he has no grounds.
"Only one man can manipulate all those pygmies, and that is Morarji Desai; so first finish him. And they all will be with you if you finish him; because of him nobody out of them can become the second man. So create the situation that this man is blocking the way of everybody, throw him out, and nobody is going to support him."
And exactly that happened: within eight days Morarji Desai was thrown out, and nobody supported him. They were all happy because now they were all equal; nobody was of national importance except Indira. So once Indira was gone, died, or something happened, then those pygmies were bound to have the power; otherwise they could not have it. So Morarji's removal was almost half the journey finished; now Indira was the only problem.
Morarji was not aware of it, but later on he became aware. Indira's secretary, who was listening from the other room, told him. But before the secretary told him, Morarji Desai had asked me to help him. He said that he had been thrown out and it was unfair, unjust; without being given any reason, any cause, he had been just told to resign.
And he said, "The strangest thing is that just eight days before there was no question of any change, there was no conflict between me and her. And another strange thing is I had always thought that the other people would support me against Indira. When I was thrown out, not a single cabinet minister was against it. They rejoiced! They had a party, a celebration!" He said to me, "I need help."
I said, "You have asked the wrong person. I would be the last person in the world to help you. If you were drowning in a river, and I was going along the side, and you shouted 'Help! Help! I am drowning!' I would say, 'Do it quietly. Don't disturb my morning walk.'"
He said, "What! Are you joking?"
I said, "I am not. With politicians I never joke; I am very serious."
Later on he found out that it was my suggestion basically that got stuck in Indira's mind; it was clear mathematics that if she threw this man out then there was nothing to be worried about: all those others were provincial people. Then she could do whatever she wanted to do and nobody could oppose her, because nobody represented India as such. And India is such a big country—thirty states—that if you represent one state, what does it matter? So it stuck in her mind. And Morarji became even more inimical. ignor15

Morarji Desai was sometimes chief minister of Bombay, sometimes chief minister of Gujarat, sometimes deputy prime minister of India, and finally he became the prime minister of India. nomind12

Once, when I started criticizing Mahatma Gandhi, Morarji Desai wanted that my entry into his province, Gujarat, should be prevented—even my entry—but he could not do a thing about it. secret10

I wanted to have a residence and a commune in Kashmir, because it is one of the most beautiful places in the world. But Indira Gandhi, who was immensely interested in me, suggested, "It is not right, you should not go to Kashmir. You will be killed. It is ninety percent Mohammedan." And she was a Kashmiri. She said, "I will not suggest it and I will not help you, because I know they cannot tolerate you for a single day."
They know only one thing, and that is the sword. They know no argument, they know no discussion. They have not come to that human stage where you can discuss problems and come to conclusions openheartedly—discuss, not to prove anything but to discover the truth. light33

I tried continuously for twenty years to get into Kashmir. But Kashmir has a strange law: only Kashmiris can live there, not even other Indians. That is strange. But I know ninety percent of Kashmiris are Mohammedan and they are afraid that once Indians are allowed to live there, then Hindus would soon become the majority, because it is part of India. So now it is a game of votes just to prevent the Hindus.
I am not a Hindu, but bureaucrats everywhere are delinquents. They really need to be in mental hospitals. They would not allow me to live there. I even met the chief minister of Kashmir, who was known before as the prime minister of Kashmir.
It was such a great struggle to bring him down from prime ministership to chief ministership. And naturally, in one country how could there be two prime ministers? But he was a very reluctant man, this Sheikh Abdullah. He had to be imprisoned for years. Meanwhile the whole constitution of Kashmir was changed, but that strange clause remained in it. Perhaps all the committee members were Mohammedans and none of them wanted anybody else to enter Kashmir. I tried hard, but there was no way. You cannot enter into the thick skulls of politicians.
I said to the sheikh, "Are you mad? I am not a Hindu; you need not be afraid of me. And my people come from all over the world—they will not influence your politics in any way, for or against."
He said, "One has to be cautious."
I said, "Okay, be cautious and lose me and my people."
Poor Kashmir could have gained so much, but politicians are born deaf. He listened, or at least pretended to, but he did not hear.
I said to him, "You know that I have known you for many years, and I love Kashmir."
He said, "I know you, that's why I am even more afraid. You are not a politician; you belong to a totally different category. We always distrust such people as you." He used this word, distrust—and I was talking to you about trust.
At this moment I cannot forget Masto. It was he who introduced me to Sheikh Abdullah, a very long time before. Later on, when I wanted to enter Kashmir, particularly Pahalgam, I reminded the sheikh of this introduction.
The sheikh said, "I remember that this man was also dangerous, and you are even more so. In fact it is because you were introduced to me by Masta Baba that I cannot allow you to become a permanent resident in this valley."…
Sheikh Abdullah took so much effort, and yet he said to me, "I would have even allowed you to live in Kashmir if you had not been introduced to me by Masta Baba."
I asked the sheikh, "Why?…when you appeared to be such an admirer."
He said, "We are no one's admirer, we admire only ourselves. But because he had a following—particularly among rich people in Kashmir—I had to admire him. I used to receive him at the airport, and give him a send-off, put all my work aside and just run after him. But that man was dangerous. And if he introduced you to me, then you cannot live in Kashmir, at least while I am in power. Yes, you can come and go, but only as a visitor." glimps38

Swami Maitreya,* in his past, was a politician, and he had much promise. He had been a colleague of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Jaiprakash Narayan, and Ramdhari Singh Dinkar. For many years he was a Member of Parliament. Somehow he got hooked with me, and all his dreams of becoming a great politician, a great political force, disappeared….
Now Maitreya is completely left alone—no money, no power, no prestige, no political status. Everything gone, he is just a bhikkhu. I have made a beggar of him; and he was rising high. He was rising higher and higher. He would have been a Chief Minister somewhere by now, or he may have been in the Central Cabinet. He was very promising. All those dreams disappeared….
When he met me he was an MP, but that accident changed his life. By and by he drifted away, became more and more interested in me and less and less interested in his political career….
I was a guest at another politician's house and he had invited Maitreya also. So because an old politician, a senior politician, had invited him, he must have come by the way, just to see what the matter was. But once you come in contact with some influence that can take you out of the world of ambition—and if you are a little sensitive and understanding—and he is—he understood the point immediately…. That old politician with whom I was staying remained with me for many years but never understood me. Now he is gone and dead, but he died a politician and he died a member of Parliament. He was one of the longest-standing members in the whole world. He remained a member of Parliament for fifty years. But he never could understand me. He liked me very much, almost to the point of loving me, but understanding was not possible. He was very dull, a dullard.
Maitreya came to me through him, but he is a very sensitive soul. And I say to him that he was not only promising in his political career, he is very promising as a candidate for the ultimate also. yoga910 
*Note: Swami Maitreya, one of Osho's oldest disciples, who became enlightened, see Part X.

I know one very famous Indian politician, Doctor Govindadas. Maitreya knows him because they both were in parliament together. Doctor Govindadas was in the parliament perhaps the longest time in the whole history of humanity: from 1914 till he died, I think in 1978, he remained continuously, without a single gap, a member of parliament. He was the richest man in the whole state of Madhya Pradesh.
His father was given the title of raja, king; although he was not a king, he had so much land, and so many properties—one third of the houses of the whole city of Jabalpur, which is ten times bigger than Portland*1, belonged to him. He had so much land that the British government thought it perfectly right to give him the title. And he was helping the British government, so he was called Raja Gokuldas, and his house was not called a house, it was called Gokuldas Palace.
Govindadas was Gokuldas' eldest son—a very mediocre mind. It hurts me to say so but what can I do? If he was mediocre it is not my fault. He was very kind and friendly to me and very respectful too. He was very old but he used to come every day whenever he was in Jabalpur. Whenever the parliament was not in session he was in Jabalpur; otherwise he was in New Delhi. Whenever he was in Jabalpur, in the morning from eight to eleven, his limousine was standing in front of my door, every day religiously.
Anybody wanting to meet him between eight and eleven need not go anywhere; he had just to stand outside my gate. What was happening in those three hours? He used to come there with his secretary, his steno. He would ask me a question, I would answer, and the steno would write it in shorthand. Then he published in his own name everything that I said.
Govindadas has published books, two books; not a single word is his. Yes, there are a few words from the secretary. I was puzzled when I saw those books—and he presented them to me. I looked inside…I knew that this was going to happen, it was happening every day—in newspapers he was publishing my answers all over India.
He was president of the Hindi language's most prestigious institution, Hindi Sahitya Sammelan; he was the president of that. Once Mahatma Gandhi was president of that, so you can understand the prestige of the institution.
Govindadas was president for almost twenty years, and he was the main proponent in the parliament that Hindi should become the national language. And he made Hindi the national language, at least in the constitution. It is not functioning—English still functions as the national language—but he put it in the constitution.
He was known all over the country. Every newspaper, every news magazine, was publishing his articles—and they were my answers! But I was puzzled, because once in a while there would be a quotation from Tulsidas, Surdas, Kabirdas. I could not believe that he had even the intelligence to put the quotation in the right place, in the right context.
So I asked his steno one day when I was staying in Delhi in Govindadas's house. I asked his steno, "Shrivastava, everything else is perfectly right; I just wonder about these—Surdas, Tulsidas, Kabirdas—how Seth Govindadas manages to put them…"
He said, "Seth Govindadas? I put them in."
I said, "Who told you to put them in?"
He said, "He says that at least something should be put from our side too."
I said, "I am not going to tell anybody, but just to deceive me, these two lines of Kabirdas in the whole question? You have been putting them in and you think I will be deceived?"
He said, "I had to work hard, looking into Kabirdas' collection to find some lines which could fit somewhere in your question."
I said, "You are a fool; you should have asked me. When your master can steal the whole article, you, being his steno, should at least learn this much politics. You could have said to me, `Just give me two or three quotations so that I can fit them in.' In future don't bother yourself."
He was a poor man, and where would he find Kabirdas, and something very relevant to me? So I used to give quotations to Shrivastava and say, "These are the lines you fit in so Govindadas remains happy."
Why did I want him to remain happy? He was helpful to me…. I was continually out of town without any leave from the university. Govindadas' limousine standing in front of my door was enough. The vice-chancellor was afraid of me because Govindadas was a powerful man; the vice-chancellor could be immediately transferred, removed—just a hint from me was enough. The professors were afraid. They were really puzzled why every day Govindadas was hypnotized; he spent three hours with me every day.
And he started bringing other politicians. He introduced me to every chief minister, every cabinet minister in the central government, because they all were his guests in Jabalpur. Jawaharlal used to be his guest in Jabalpur. He introduced me to almost all the politicians; I think Maitreya must have come to me through Seth Govindadas. He even arranged for a small group of important members to meet me in parliament house itself. Maitreya certainly must have been there.
Govindadas was helpful, so I said, "There is no problem. And it does not matter whose name goes on the articles. The question reaches to thousands of people. The answer reaches to thousands of people. That is important; my name or Govindadas's name, it does not matter. What matters is the matter."
This man remained continuously in contact with me for almost ten years, and when I told him, "We are strangers," he said, "What are you saying? We have known each other for ten years."
I said, "We don't know each other. I know your name, Govindadas; it has been given by your father. The doctorate you have received from the university. I know how much I said, "We don't know each other. I know your name, Govindadas; it has been given by your father. The doctorate you have received from the university. I know how much value that doctorate has, and why you have been given that doctorate—because it was you who proposed the vice-chancellor. Now the vice-chancellor has to pay you back with the doctorate. The vice-chancellor is your man, and if he manages to give you a doctorate there is no wonder in it. Your D.Litt is absolutely bogus."
First I used to hear…. He had written almost one hundred dramas. He was in competition with George Bernard Shaw because George Bernard Shaw was the great drama writer and he had written one hundred dramas. So Seth Govindadas was also a great drama writer of Hindi language—a hundred dramas. And he was not capable of writing a single drama!
He was not capable of even writing a single speech—his speeches were written by that poor Shrivastava. Govindadas has published one hundred dramas. By and by I came to know those people who had written them—for money—poor people, poor teachers, professors. So I told Govindadas, "I know what your D.Litt is: one hundred dramas, and none is written by you. Now I can say it authoritatively, because you go on publishing articles, and now you have published two books without even telling me, `I am going to put your answers in these books.' And they are nothing but my answers—there is nothing else."
So I said to him, "Doctor Govindadas, I also have such a doctor in my village—Doctor Sunderlal*2. I have given him the doctorate. He has not written one hundred dramas, neither have you. Just the way you believe you are a doctor, he believes he is a doctor. And I don't think there is much difference of quality in your minds, because Seth is a title…"
Before he became a doctor he was known all over the country as Seth Govindadas. Seth is a title, it comes from an ancient Sanskrit word, shreshth. Shreshth means the superior one; from Shreshth it became Shreshthi and from Shreshthi it became Seth. In Rajasthani Sethi, sethia—it went on changing. But it is a title.
So when Govindadas became a doctor he started writing "Doctor Seth Govindadas." It was Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru who told him, "Govindadas, two titles are never written in front of a name. Either you write "Seth," then you can write "D.Litt" behind, but if you write "Doctor" in front then you cannot write "Seth."
So he asked me what to do. I said, "There is no problem. You write "Doctor (Seth) Govindadas."
So he said, "Great!" And that's how later on he did it for the rest of his life: "Doctor (Seth) Govindadas." He could not leave out that Seth either. And when Jawaharlal saw those brackets, he said, "Who has suggested these brackets to you? Can't you leave out that Seth, or put it at the end?"
He said, "I cannot leave it out. It is one of my great friends who has suggested it to me, and he cannot be wrong. The brackets are perfectly right."
Jawaharlal said, "To me there is no problem. You write whatsoever you want, but two titles in front simply make you a laughingstock."
Govindadas again asked me what to do. I said, "You don't be bothered by Jawaharlal; the brackets are meaningless. The brackets simply mean "underground": doctor aboveground and Seth underground—and you are both. Tell Jawaharlal clearly, `I am both. If people don't write two titles in front, the simple reason is they don't have them. There is no other reason; they don't have them. I have got two titles so I have to write them.'"
What is the difference? But so much attachment to names, titles, professions, religions—and this is all your identity. And behind all this brown bag is lost your original face. dark06
*1 Note: Portland, capital of the state of Oregon, where this discourse is given
*2 Note: Dr Sunderlal, see Part III and VIII 

I used to know a very famous politician, Seth Govindadas. He had a very ambitious mind and wanted to become not less than prime minister of India. He and the man who became the first prime minister of India were both friends, and very intimate friends. Both had been together in jails, both had come from very rich families. In one of his speeches the father of Jawaharlal Nehru, Motilal, said, "I have two sons. One is Jawaharlal, the other is Govindadas."
Naturally, he was thinking of becoming the prime minister. If he cannot become the first prime minister, then his must be the second chance after Jawaharlal. But he could not manage even to become a cabinet minister. He could not manage to become even a governor, a chief minister of a state. He had tried everything, but basically he was not a politician. He was very simple, almost a simpleton. So the desire was there, burning his heart.
He had two sons, and he tried hard that they should become what he had missed. And he had all the political connections, so he helped his first son become a deputy minister. He was hoping that the son soon would become minister, then move to the cabinet of the central government and then become prime minister.
If he had not been able to become the prime minister himself, at least he can claim to be the father of a prime minister, which is far better. But the son died as a deputy minister in a state council. He was only thirty-six when he died.
But ambition is such a thing that this old man tried to commit suicide, because with the death of the son all his ambitions had failed again. I told him, "You have another son. Give him a try. You have all the best connections in the country, from the lowest to the highest. It is just very easy for you." And suddenly I could see his eyes shine again, as if life returned to him. He said "Yes, I had never thought about it. I was thinking simply to die, because what is the point of living? I missed, my son has died." So he managed that his second son enter into the same post; he became the deputy minister. But neither of his sons had the ability to be politicians. They were his sons, just as stupid as he was, perhaps a little more.
And you will be surprised that the second son also died. The man was now seventy-five or seventy-eight, and this was too much of a shock. Again he started talking about suicide. His wife phoned me and said, "You come. Last time you had done something and he dropped the idea of suicide. Now you do something because again he is talking of suicide." I said, "Don't be worried. People who talk of suicide never commit suicide. People who commit suicide are those who never talk about it. But I will come."
I went. He was sitting again in the same posture, and I said to him, "If you want to commit suicide, commit! Why do you harass the whole family by talking about it?" He said, "Everybody, the mayor of the city, the chief minister, all have come to console me. Indira Gandhi's telegram has come." He was sitting with a pile of telegrams from all the ministers and governors—India has thirty states and chief ministers—and he was showing them to everybody who was coming. I told him, "You don't seem to be interested in the death of the son. You are more interested in these telegrams."
Just one man had not sent him a telegram, and about that he was feeling very much hurt. He was one of his old colleagues, but then later on they became enemies in politics. He joined another party, and became a chief minister. Only Govindadas had not, so he was continuously telling everybody, "Only Dwarka Prasad Mishra…his telegram has not come. And I have made the man." And it was true, if you think that Dwarka Prasad lived in Govindadas' house and was financially supported by him. But it was not true that he had made the man. That man was capable to reach the post, any post, on his own. He was a very ambitious, very cunning, very clever man. He used him, he used all his friendships with all the great politicians.
And I said, "You are so much interested in telegrams, and you are not interested in the death of your son. Can you understand that you have lived your whole life in ambition? You failed, your first son died, your second son died, but your ambition—it continues. You are ready to commit suicide but you are not ready to drop the ambition. As if ambition is far more valuable than life!" And I said, "If you just want to project your ambition on somebody, then why not your son-in-law?" He said, "You are a genius, certainly! I never thought about my son-in-law." He had only one daughter and two sons. And because he was so rich the daughter was living with him, and the son-in-law also.
I said, "He lives with you. He is just like a son to you. Make arrangements, make him deputy minister in the cabinet somewhere and see whether he dies or not. Then we will think…. Why did these two sons die? It seems they were not capable of withstanding the political pressures, challenges, worries. They were both young and there was no need to die so soon. There was no reason except that politics proved poisonous to them. Let us try this one." And he tried. And this time things went well. The man became deputy minister and Seth Govindadas died!
And the moment he died, his son-in-law was thrown out of the ministry, because he was just taken in because of Govindadas's pressure, that he would commit suicide. All the politicians had known him for his whole life. He had been in the freedom struggle and he was known as father of the parliament. He was the only man in the whole world except Winston Churchill who had been a member of parliament so long, continuously from 1916 to 1978, without a break, so he was known as the father of Indian parliament. Everybody knew him and everybody was obliged to him in many ways. But the moment he died, the son-in-law was thrown out.
I said, "This is far better, because. if you were thrown out before, he would have tried to commit suicide again." And he was not capable of committing suicide, either, because still ambition was there, some hope from some corner. last316

I was very close to a chief minister. His sons had been my colleagues in the university, and because of them I had become acquainted with the old man. He was an old freedom fighter and he told me one day…he was very sick, and there was a danger that he might die. Doctors were not certain whether he would survive or not.
But the old man said, "Make sure that whether I am sick or healthy, that I remain the chief minister. I want to die as chief minister. It will be too hard for me to die if my chief ministership is gone."
I said, "What does it matter to a man who is going to die whether he is chief minister or not?"
He said, "It matters, it matters much. My whole life I have struggled to reach this post, and I want to die at the highest peak of my success, with government honors, seven-day holidays, national flags down everywhere in respect. I don't want to die just like any ordinary man. I am not afraid of death," that old man said to me, "but I am afraid that while I am sick, my colleagues—who deep down are all my enemies—must be trying to pull my legs; and while I am not able to fight with them, somebody may try to take over the chief ministership."
His deputy chief minister was also known to me, because when I was a student he was vice-chancellor of that university. I said, "Don't be worried. I will go to the deputy chief minister, who is the real danger to you, and who is trying not to miss the opportunity while you are sick. He wants to be declared by the president of the country to be the acting chief minister. That will be the first step.
"Then the second step will be that because you are too old and too sick, you are not able to function, you are not in a state to function…then he will manage to be declared not only as acting chief minister but really as chief minister. I will go to him, you don't be worried."
And that's what was going on in the house of the deputy chief minister. The whole cabinet was there—they were all trying to manipulate the situation. How to convince the president of the country that the old chief minister is too old and too sick, and the deputy chief minister is a far more intelligent politician, a better organizer, and he should be given the chance immediately.
I told the deputy chief minister, "That old man is almost on the verge of death, and I want you just to wait at least one week—not more than that. I have talked to his doctor; he says, `I cannot say it to them, but I don't think he will survive more than a week.' And his only desire, his last desire, is to die as the chief minister. So what? And you have always been a colleague, a friend, a follower of that old man. He has appointed you as the deputy chief minister. Just wait for seven days. You will not lose anything, but his last wish will be fulfilled."
He thought for a moment, and said, "Okay. Then seven days—exactly."
I said, "Do you mean I have to kill him in seven days? I will try. But you should not be so ugly and so harsh with your own boss. Just one day more or one day less, but he is going to die—that much is certain. Now don't force me to kill him to stay just within the seven days exactly. If he dies in eight days, just one day of waiting will not disturb anything."
He said, "I have told you seven days means seven days. And just because you have come, I cannot refuse. I have always loved you as my student." Fortunately, the old man died on the fourth day. It was such a relief! Otherwise I would have had to do something, because his last wish had to be fulfilled….
But how poor these people are! And what is their ultimate achievement? They have just learned how to climb ladders, and then they are sitting on the ladders which lead nowhere. And they don't want to come down because they don't want to be nobodies.
These are the most irreligious people in the world. That's why I'm so much against politicians. I am against the priests and the politicians because these two are the most irreligious people in the world. And they have a deep conspiracy, they support each other—for centuries they have been supporting each other. One has political power, the other has the power of numbers. And both together can manage to keep the whole of mankind in slavery; they have kept it up to now. The authentic religious man has to rebel against these two, and their conspiracy against humanity. rebel28

One man came to me—and I know the person; certainly he is not a bad man, but that does not mean that he is a good man. He is simply a coward. He wants everything that bad people have, but he is cowardly. He wants all the riches, he wants prestige and power, he wants to become a president or a prime minister, but he is not ready to go through all the gutters that you have to pass before you become a president. It is a long, winding way through gutters and gutters, and it becomes more and more dirty the deeper you get into it. He does not want to do that. He wants simply to become a president because he's a good man.
He wants to be the richest man, but he does not know that the rich man has earned through tedious effort, all kinds of cunningness, has been doing every type of cheating. All that makes him afraid, he does not want to go to jail. If you are afraid of jail then forget about being rich. Richness means a certain boldness, a daredevil courage, a readiness to fight, to compete without bothering whether the means are right or wrong. The rich man, the powerful man, the successful man…for them the end makes every means right—whether you have to cut throats, kill people, does not matter. Your goal is absolutely to succeed, and you are ready to pay everything for it.
Now, this man wanted all these things and also wanted to remain good, also wanted to remain virtuous, also wanted never to be cunning, never to be deceiving. You are asking too much…. upan36

One of my friends was contesting an election, a political election, so he came to me for blessing. I said, "I will not give the blessing because I am not your enemy, I am a friend. I can only bless that you may not get elected, because that will be the first step towards madness." But he wouldn't listen to me. He was elected, he became a member. Next year he came again for my blessing and he said, "Now I am trying to be a deputy minister."
I asked him, "You were saying that if you could become a member of parliament you would be very happy, but I don't see that you are happy. You are more depressed and more sad than you ever were before."
He said, "Now this is the only problem: I am worried. There is much competition. Only if I can become a deputy minister will everything be okay."
He became a deputy minister. When I was passing through the capital he came to see me again and he said, "I think you were right, because now the problem is how to become the minister. And I think this is the goal. I am not going to change it. Once I become the minister it is finished."
He has become the minister now, and he came to me a few days ago and he said, "Just one blessing more. I must become chief minister." And he is getting more and more worried, more and more puzzled, because more problems have to be faced, more competition, more ugly politics. And he is a good man, not a bad man.
I told him, "Unless you become the suprememost God you are not going to be satisfied." But he cannot look back and cannot understand the logic of the mind, the logic of the achieving mind. It can never be satisfied, the way it behaves creates more and more discontent. The more you have the more discontent you will feel, because more arenas become open for you in which to compete, to achieve. A poor man is more satisfied because he cannot think that he can achieve much. Once he starts achieving something he thinks more is possible. The more you achieve the more becomes possible, and it goes on and on forever.
A meditator needs a nonachieving mind, but a nonachieving mind is possible only if you can be content with purposelessness. Just try to understand the whole cosmic play and be a part in it. Don't be serious, because a play can never be serious. And even if the play needs you to be serious, be playfully serious, don't be really serious. Then this very moment becomes rich. Then this very moment you can move into the ultimate.
The ultimate is not in the future, it is the present, hidden here and now. So don't ask about purpose—there is none, and I say it is beautiful that there is none. If there was purpose then your God would be just a managing director or a big business man, an industrialist, or something like that. vedant11



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