Oshos discourse series: Gita Darshan
For the first time Osho gives a series of commentaries on religious sutras, and which he will continue to do for the rest of his life. On November 29th 1971, in Ahmedabad, Osho begins his 34-part series of commentaries on the most popular Hindu scripture Shrimad Bhagvadgita, which are published under the title: Gita Darshan, and are much loved throughout India*
*Note: earlier Osho had given single lectures on the teachings of certain mystics. Then in September 1969, in Kashmir, Osho gave a series of talks Mahavir: The Man and His Philosophy, and in September 1970, in Manali, He gave a series Krishna: The Man and His Philosophy, without commenting on their scriptures.
In India a person is called an acharya, a master, only if he has written a commentary on three things: first, the one hundred and eight Upanishads; second, Shrimad Bhagavadgita, Krishna's celestial songs; third, the most important of all, Badrayana's Brahman Sutras. I have never spoken about him. I was called acharya for many years, and people used to ask me if I had written all the commentariesthe Gita, the Upanishads and the Brahman Sutras. I laughed and said, "I only tell jokes, I don't write any commentaries whatsoever. My being called an acharya is a joke, don't take it seriously." books05
Sutras are very small maxims, aphoristic. The reason why sutras were used in the past was that until writing came into existence, everything had to be memorized. You cannot memorize a big book, but you can memorize small sutras in the seed.
So all the ancient awakened ones have spoken in sutras, so that those sutras would reach the coming centuries just by memory. There was no other way of conveying to the future generations. Hence all old languages are very poetic, for the simple reason that poetry can be memorized more easily than prose. You can sing it
When there was no way of writing, sutras came into existence; very small, aphoristic, two lines at the mostand that too written in a poetic form, so you can hum, recite, sing, and let them settle in your memory.
So there are sutra priests, and when writing came into existence, shastras, scriptures, were written. Now there was no need to write aphoristically, because in an aphoristic style there is the possibility of misinterpretation
You will find in India a strange phenomenon which has not happened in any place outside India. Every sutra book has been interpreted in thousands of ways, because the sutra is so small, so condensed, so full of meaning, that you can take any viewpoint. It opens in all dimensions; you can interpret it in such a way that nobody has ever thought of.
So there are interpretations of sutras, but these interpretations are also sutras. So then there are interpretations of the interpretations
. Sometimes it goes on until one sutra has been interpreted, then the interpretation has been interpretedtwelve times, fifteen times, thirty times. I have come across one thousand interpretations of Shrimad Bhagavadgita.
Such a thing has never happened anywhere else in the world, because never were such condensed sutras given. Seeing the difficulty of sutras, that they can be interpreted in millions of ways contradictory to each other and create many schools of thought
. This was not the purpose. There was a single meaning, but who knows which is the right meaning? When there are a thousand meanings available, how are you going to choose which was the original meaning?
Hence, shastras came into existence. `Shastras' mean prose scriptures. You don't have to interpret. Every detail is given; not just a condensed aphoristic form, but everything that the person wanted to say has been explained by himself. You don't need any interpreter
The sutra priests exist for sutras; they are just biological computers carrying sutras. You ask them for sutras, they will give you sutras. And there are shastra priests; they don't know anything on their own authority, but they can give you the whole shastra with all the interpretations possible. But it is all games, gymnastics of intellect and language. yaku02
Those who knew me for years, who knew that I had always been against God, were really puzzled, absolutely puzzled.
One of my teachers, whom I had tortured for three years continually in my high school because he was a very pious type of man: praying morning and evening, and continually keeping on his forehead the symbol of his religion
. I was continually harassing him about everything; he was incapable of answering any question
This teacher met me almost twenty years afterwards in a discourse in Bombay. I was speaking on the most popular Hindu scripture, the Shrimad Bhagavad Gita. He could not believe it: thousands of people
and I was speaking on Bhagavad Gita! And not only thousands of people but hundreds of sannyasins too. He came to the back and waited there for when I came out.
He said, "What has happened? You are transformed!"and he touched my feet.
I said, "Don't touch them. I am not transformed, I am the same man. And I am very stubborn: I am going to remain the same man to the last breath. Don't touch my feet"but he had already touched them.
He said, "You must be joking! If so many sannyasins
." That's why I had chosen the orange robe, just to sabotage the whole idea of ancient sannyas. There was now no difference between my sannyasins and their sannyasins: it was difficult to figure out who was who. And my sannyasins were increasing every day, in every place all over the country. And when he said that so many sages were also sitting there, I said, "None of them is a sage! Keep your eyes open and close your ears. You should not come hereyou are a simple person, this is not for you."
But he said, "I have heard you, the whole lecture, and I have been reading the Gita my whole life, and nobody has ever interpreted Krishna's words the way you have. I have read many commentaries, but listening to you I found that all those were third rate." person14