Be Authentic, Be Real
Birthday of Subhash Chandra Bose
Born on 23rd January, 1897 in Cuttack, Odisha, Subhash Chandra Bose was an Indian revolutionary prominent in the independence movement against British rule of India. He also led an Indian national force from abroad against the Western powers during World War II. He was a contemporary of Mohandas K. Gandhi, at times an ally and at other times an adversary. Bose was known in particular for his militant approach to independence and for his push for socialist policies.
Osho talks about democracy and mentions Subhash Chandra Bose. He says, “The people who fought for Indian freedom were all educated in England. Mahatma Gandhi, Subhash Chandra Bose, Jawaharlal Nehru, all these people were educated in Britain. They saw democracy functioning there beautifully and they be-came immensely impressed by it. But English democracy has a long tradition. When India became free it immediately imported the idea of democracy. Ideas cannot be imported like that. You have to create the soil, you have to create the right atmosphere. So Indian democracy is just like a paper flower: you can go on hanging it on your tree, but it will not give fragrance. It may deceive people who are not close to the tree, but it cannot deceive the tree, it cannot deceive you, it cannot deceive the butterflies and the bees, it cannot deceive the birds who sing on the tree — they know It is a paper flower…Before democracy can start functioning in India, India needs something like a cross between democracy and dictatorship, something in-between — something which has the ingredients of both, the best of both…I am not a supporter of dictatorship, I am for democracy, but democracy is possible only if we can prepare the ground for it. The parliamentary system that has been imposed upon India is so foreign to the Indian mind that it cannot function. You can see it in the Indian parliament — the behaviour of the members is so childish. They are continuously quarrelling, fighting. No work at all happens in Indian parliaments, simply unnecessary argumentation about pointless, meaningless things. Opposition for opposition’s sake. A sheer waste of time and energy.”
I HAVE NEVER BEEN NEAR SO MUCH AUTHENTIC LAUGHTER AS I HAVE HERE IN YOUR PRESENCE. AS I MAKE MYSELF AVAILABLE TO THE LAUGHTER HAPPENING AROUND ME, I NOTICE MYSELF WITHDRAW AND BECOME SERIOUS. INSIDE I LONG TO LET GO AND TO BECOME A PART OF THE LAUGHTER AROUND ME, BUT MY MIND AND BODY RESIST. WHY DO I FEEL INCAPABLE OF AUTHENTIC LAUGHTER? AND, IS THERE A WAY FOR ME TO REGAIN MY NATURAL CAPACITY TO LET GO IN A BELLY LAUGH?
Anurag Saleen, you are a victim, but you are not alone.
Almost the whole of humanity is a victim: victims of pretensions, victims of having masks, victims of not being natural, because being unnatural pays — society gives respect to the false. Society is not respectful to the authentic and to the real, because the false can be controlled, and society is deeply interested in controlling everybody. But the authentic cannot be controlled, and society is very much afraid of those people who are authentic and real and themselves, because they cannot be enforced into any slavery, into any obedience, into being oppressed or exploited.
The desire for reward keeps society respecting the false. And because the false is respected, each small child slowly starts following the false. Parents teaching, teachers teaching … the whole effort is to give you a certain mold that is acceptable to everybody. The end result is a phony world, where nobody is real, where smiles are false, where love is only a word. Just today I received news from England. A survey has been made of people aged between five and twenty-five. A single question was asked: “What are the two values which you think the most significant and important in life?” And it is shocking to see the answer, from the five-year-olds up to the twenty-five-year-olds. The answers are: money and success. These two things are the most important in life: not love, not laughter, not meditation, not blissfulness, not even God. Money and success. But in a world where money and success are everything, you cannot be authentic — it is dangerous. You will have to repress your individuality and compromise at every step for success, compromise at every step for money.
I am reminded of a young man. His name was Subhash Chandra. He became a great revolutionary and I have tremendous respect for him, because he was the only man in India who opposed Mahatma Gandhi; he could see that all this Mahatmahood is simply politics and nothing else. Indians believe themselves to be very religious. It is just a belief — nobody is religious. And Mahatma Gandhi was playing the role of a saint simply to be the leader of the majority of the country.
All those who thought they were religious were bound to be in favor of Mahatma Gandhi. Just one single man, Subhash, opposed and immediately the phoniness was apparent. What happened was this: Mahatma Gandhi used to say, “I am beyond love and hate. I am beyond anger, violence,” because that was his whole philosophy to go beyond violence and become nonviolent, become so loving that you love even your enemy.
Subhash was well known for not being in agreement with Mahatma Gandhi, although he was in the same party. There was only one party which was fighting for the freedom of the country, so all freedom lovers were in the party. And Subhash stood as a candidate to be the president of Congress, and immediately Mahatma Gandhi’s phoniness was revealed. On the one hand he was teaching that you have to love your enemy, and then seeing that Subhash, if he became the president of Congress, would be dangerous to his philosophy and to his leadership, he became a totally different kind of man. Subhash did not believe in hypocrisy, and there was a possibility of his winning. The only man who could defeat him was Mahatma Gandhi himself, but that would bring him down, very much down, from his great saintliness. So what he did was this: he supported a certain man, Doctor Pattabhi Sitaramayya, as his candidate. And he thought that because he was declaring him as his candidate, the doctor would certainly win. But Subhash was very much loved by young people, by the young blood, and this fellow, Doctor Pattabhi, was absolutely unknown. He was an obedient follower of Mahatma Gandhi, so he would serve him, but he was not known to the country.
And Subhash was almost a lion: he fought and, unbelievably he won. Gandhi did not participate in the gathering where he was going to be declared the president. He forgot all his philosophy. In fact, Subhash proved to be a far greater man.
Seeing that Gandhi was trying to create a split in the Congress — which would be a split in the movement for the liberation of the country — he resigned from the presidency, just so that the movement would remain one. He sacrificed himself completely; so as not to get into a fight, he moved out of the country. He showed this sincerity from the very beginning.
He was educated in England, belonged to a very rich family of Bengal, was going to be one of the top bureaucrats. He was trained for the Indian civil service in Britain, as were all top bureaucrats, most of whom were English. Very rarely was an Indian chosen — not more than one percent. Otherwise on some small excuse, Indians were rejected.
Shree Aurobindo was rejected and you will not believe on what grounds. He had come first in every subject, he was one of the geniuses of this century. Only in horse riding could he not succeed. But what has horse riding to do with being a top officer? This was a strategy: he was a scholar and he became world famous, but he was rejected. Every method was tried to reject Indians. Subhash they could not manage to reject. All their strategies he managed to overcome, so very reluctantly Britain accepted Subhash for their ICS. One thing more remained, which was a formality: every ICS officer had to appear for a personal interview before the governor-general. It was just a formality once you had passed the examination. Subhash entered into the office of the governor-general.
Bengalis always carry an umbrella — one never knows why. Whether it is raining or not, whether it is hot or not; it may be winter and there is no need; they may have to carry it by their side, but they will carry it. An umbrella is absolutely necessary for a Bengali. If you see anybody carrying an umbrella, you understand: he is a Bengali. Now, there is no need to carry an umbrella into the office of the viceroy; at least you should leave it outside. But Bengalis will not leave their umbrellas.
Subhash kept his hat on, and carried his umbrella into the office. And he took a chair. The governor-general was very angry. He said, “Young man, you don’t understand manners. Who passed you in the examinations of the ICS?”
Subhash said, “What manners?”
The governor-general said, “You have not taken off your hat and you have not asked my permission to sit down.” The governor-general was not aware what kind of man this was. Subhash immediately picked his umbrella up and hooked the governor-general’s neck into it. They were alone in the office, so ….
And Subhash told the governor-general, “If you want manners, then you should learn manners also. You remained sitting. You should have stood first. I was a guest. You did not remove your hat. Why should I remove mine? You did not ask my permission to go on sitting, why should I ask your permission? Who are you, do you think? At the most you can reject me for the ICS, but I will not leave it in your hands. I don’t want to join the service.” And he went out of the office, leaving the governor-general almost in shock. He never dreamt anybody could do such a thing.
Any person who has any dignity, any self-respect, society is afraid of. Society wants you to be obedient, to be servile, to be compromising, to be always ready in every situation to surrender. It does not want you to be rebellious. But individuality is intrinsically rebellious; you cannot do anything about it; the only way is to put it under a blanket of personality, to cover it from every nook and corner, and not allow it even a window to breathe. So everybody is suffering inside.
A closed, invisible wall of personality is surrounding you that does not allow you, Anurag Saleen, to gain your naturalness, your spontaneity, to have a belly laugh, even though here nobody is preventing you. In fact, it is impossible to go on holding yourself, controlling yourself, and not being spontaneous and relaxed. This is not your usual society. All these people are rebellious individuals.
But even here, you are carrying your mind, your unconscious, your conditioning. You will have to put it away. Others may not be able to help in your ultimate salvation, but others can help you have a belly laugh. So whoever is sitting by the side of Anurag Saleen, please help her. Tickle her! It is just a question of breaking her barriers. So tonight, I am telling this joke for Anurag, wherever she is. If she does not want to be helped by others, she should relax and have a good laugh. Otherwise, if you see anybody who is not joining in, tickle. There may be others who will be helped besides Anurag.
Hymie Goldberg is drafted to fight in Ronald Reagan’s latest war with Iran. However, he manages to convince the draft board officer that he is half blind and is sent home.
That evening, Hymie goes to the cinema and when the lights come on he notices that a member of the draft board is sitting next to him. Without a moment’s hesitation Hymie taps him on the shoulder and asks, “Excuse me, Madam, is this the train for New Jersey?”
This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune.
Discourse Series: Sat Chit Anand
Chapter title: You can be showered by flowers of bliss
23 November 1987 pm in Chuang Tzu Auditorium
Osho has spoken on many politicians, rulers and revolutionaries like Abraham Lincoln, Lenin, Mao Tse Tung, Jawaharlal Nehru, Kennedy, Stalin, Churchill, Roosevelt, Alexander, Napoleon, Subhash Cahndra Bose, Fidel Castro, Tito and more in His discourses. Some of these can be referred to in the following books/discourses:
- From Bondage to Freedom
- From Ignorance to Innocence
- The Path of the Mystic
- From False to Truth
- From Misery to Enlightenment
- Zen: Zest, Zip, Zap, Zing
- Beyond Psychology
- Live Zen
- The Invitation
- Communism and Zen Fire, Zen Wind
- The Book of Wisdom
- The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 3
- Tao: The Golden Gate, Vol 2