Dreams: A Substitute for Reality

Osho on Indian Poet, writer and politician Ramdhari Singh Dinkar

Born on 23 September 1908, Ramdhari Singh Dinkar was an Indian poet, essayist, politician, freedom fighter, and academic. He is well-known for his nationalist and rebellious poetry written during the independence period, influenced greatly by Rabindranath Tagore. Dinkar was given the title of a ‘Rashtrakavi’ and was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1959. He was also the part of Rajya Sabha from 1952 to 1964.

Dinkar’s poems reflected Indian history, demography, topology, secularism, and diversity – essentially, he composed poems and essays to express his love and admiration for his country. He published more than 200 pieces in his lifetime consisting of poems, criticisms, anthropologies, books, proses, and essays. His first work was Vijay Sandesh (1928), followed by  Rashmirathi, Hunkar (1938), Reti ki Phool (1954), Aadhunik Bodh (1973), etc.

Osho talks about Dinkar’s book, “The well known Hindi poet Dinkar has written a book entitled FOR THE DEFEATED, THE NAME OF THE LORD. Those who lose have nothing but the Lord’s name, the Lord’s name is left with them. He who loses is unable to take the name of God. But since he is helpless, he has nothing else to go by, he is forced to do so.

It is easy for us to understand that a loser’s hand is an empty hand, but a gainer’s hand also proves to be empty. This is because our inner nature, is to be empty. We cannot fill the emptiness within us just as it is impossible to darken the sun because it is its nature to be filled with light.

Nothing can be done against our nature. All efforts to do so become unsuccessful in the end. Those who attempt to go against nature are defeated ultimately. They are filled with sorrow and pain; their ego is wounded, their life becomes one long tale of distress and disappointment.

According to Lao Tzu, a saint is not one who has resorted to the name of God because he is defeated in life and hence, has resigned himself to accept his lot as it is. Lao Tzu says, “A saint knows that it is our very nature to be empty. It is a factual experience that he accepts.” He also knows that it is a vain attempt to go against nature. It is foolishness to do so. This is not defeatism; it is knowledge. The saint discovers through his wisdom, through his developed maturity. He understands — because he has experienced life — that it is the nature of the atman, the existence within a person, to be empty. Emptiness is its quality.”

Osho Says….






It is from Swami Maitreya. A beautiful question, and a beautiful and significant dream. It shows much about him. First thing, in his past he 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. But the past still clings. These dreams, in which Nehru, Jaiprakash, and Dinkar appear, are very indicative. They show that the political ambition is still lurking somewhere inside the unconscious. He has not yet been able to get rid of it totally. He is sincerely with me, he is authentically with me, but the past still clings. He wants to get rid of it; that’s why the past does not come in the day. It comes in the night when he is fast asleep and helpless. Then the mind starts playing old tricks again and again and again.

I don’t come much in his dreams, because I am already here. I am here in reality, so what is the point of creating a dream about me?

Remember, dreams are only about things which are not present; either they were in the past or you would like them to be in the future. Whosoever is part of your reality in the present will never come in your dreams.

Your own wife will never come in your dreams; neighborhood wives, they will enter. Your own husband will not come in your dreams; there is no point; but other people will appear.

A dream is a substitute for reality. It is complementary. If you have eaten well, enjoyed your food, loved it, and you are satisfied, you will not think and dream of eating again in the night; the dream will not come.

Fast one day, and then you will have dreams of food, beautiful, delicious food you are being invited by the Royal Family to the palace, and you are eating and eating and eating.

A dream simply indicates that which is missing in your life; that which is already there is never part of a dream. That’s why an enlightened person never dreams, because he is not missing anything. Whatsoever he wanted has happened and there is no more to it. He has no past, no future, to interfere with the present. His present is total. Whatsoever he is doing, he is enjoying it utterly. He is so contented that there is no need for any complementary dream. Your dreams are your dissatisfactions; your dreams are your discontents; your dreams are your unfulfilled desires.

Maitreya has been a politician, and the mind still carries. And that’s why: “… and that mischievous train which each time goes away with my luggage but leaves me behind.” That too Comes in his dreams many times; that is part of many people’s dreams. A train: somehow you reach the train — willy-nilly, running, anyhow you manage to reach the platform — and the train leaves. And his difficulty is more: his luggage is also in the train, and he is left alone standing on the platform without any luggage. That’s what has happened to him. Nehru has gone into the train, Dinkar has gone into the train, J.P. has gone into the train; and they have taken his luggage also and he is standing on the platform, empty. Those ambitions, political ambitions, are still lurking in the unconscious. That’s why I am not coming in his dreams. I am already here. I am not an ambition. I may come into his dreams when I am gone — when he has missed another train. One he has missed, and he has missed it absolutely. There is no way of going back, because a certain understanding has arisen in him. He cannot go back, he cannot become a politician again. There is no going back, but the past can cling; and the more it clings, he may miss another train.

And of course “Once you drove me in your jeep along a bumpy riverside.” It is a jeep, and along a bumpy riverside — it is very bumpy.

To be with me is to be always in danger, in insecurity. I don’t give you any security; in fact I take all your securities away from you. I make you almost empty — nothing to hold, nothing to cling to. I leave you alone.

Fear arises. 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. Now they go on being created and haunting him; they are ghosts. He will have to recognize the fact that going back is not possible. He has reached the point of no return. So now it is unnecessary to carry that load. Out of habit the mind goes on carrying it. Drop it. Recognize, see deeply into it. Don’t be deceived by it.

I have heard:

Mulla Nasrudin’s wife was very worried about her husband’s heavy drinking and one night she decided to give him a fright. She draped herself in a white sheet and went down to the local cemetery, knowing that her husband was in the habit of taking a shortcut through it on his way home from the pub. It was not long before he came staggering along, and out she jumped from behind a headstone.

“Ooooooo!” she screamed, “I am the Devil!”

Mulla Nasrudin stuck out his hand, “Put it there, pal,” he said. “I am married to your sister.”

Recognize! These ghosts of Nehru and Dinkar and J. P., recognize them. Your past has been married to their sister: politics. Don’t be deceived by these ghosts. They have left a mark; it has to be washed clean. And I know it is very difficult. It is very difficult when you were just on the point of succeeding and suddenly you turned and changed your path. 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. And he was just on the point of success. If he had succeeded — and suffered the pains of success — and the failure of success — then it would have been easier for him to drop the old ghosts. He was just at the point of succeeding. Just at the gate when he was entering the palace, he met me. Now the gate and the dream of the palace and the dream of living there continues.

It would have been easier if he had lived in the palace a little while and had known that there is nothing in it; then it would have been much easier. That’s why I say if you are in some career, it is better to succeed in it and then renounce. If you want to become wealthy, become wealthy. Be finished with this. Once wealth is there, you will come to know it is frustrating, it is nothing. But if you leave it before you have succceded, then there will be a problem. Many times the idea will again and again arise: “Maybe there was something. Otherwise why is the whole world interested in wealth and politics and power? There may be something. Maybe I missed the train. I should have continued; I should have seen, experienced the whole thing.”

If you have succeeded in a certain desire, the desire itself makes you desireless. The success kills the desire automatically. Then even with less awareness one can renounce. But if you renounce something when you were just reaching, touching, and everything was possible and you turn away, more intense awareness will be needed.

So Maitreya will need a more intense awareness. But that too was to happen, because once you come in contact with certain influences which take you out of the world, once you come in contact — and you come in contact unawares….

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. You have missed one train; don’t miss another. If you miss this time, not only your luggage, your clothes are also going. You will be left naked.

Once a great politician died and his ghost decided to go along to the funeral — to his own funeral. During the interment he met the ghost of another politician he had known years ago.

“Hello, old chap,” said the second ghost. “I say quite an audience, what?”

“Yes,” said the first ghost. “If I had known I would pull this big a crowd, I would have died a long time ago.”

The politician’s desire is a very childish desire: to look big and great in the eyes of others. Easy to achieve because the masses are simply mad. You just have to know how to manipulate their madness. You just have to know how to provoke their appreciation. You just have to be a little cunning. That’s all; nothing else is needed. The masses are foolish. But to become really great is a totally different thing.

To become really great, one has to go within, one has to become crystallized, conscious, desireless, unattached, one has to reach to the point of para, the beyond, the transcendental. It has nothing to do with others. Others are almost as mad as you are. You can manipulate them, you can provoke their clapping for you and their appreciation, but what is the point? Just think about it ill this way, be a little arithmetical. If one fool claps his hands in appreciation for you, will you be very gratified? You will not be. But what is the difference if one fool or one thousand fools or one million fools clap? If one wise man looks at you with love and blessing, that’s enough.

Two lions escaped from the zoo on the same day. After three weeks of liberty, they ran into one another. One of the lions was thin and emaciated, while the other was sleek, fat, and obviously well-fed.

“I am thinking of going back to the zoo,” said the thin one. “I have not had a bite to eat in nearly a fortnight.”

“Heavens,” said the fat lion, “you had better come with me. I am living in the gentlemen’s washroom in the House of Parliament. I eat a politician every day of the week — and the beauty of it is this: they are never missed.”

All your so-called important people, who misses them? They think without them the whole world is going to collapse. Nothing collapses; everything continues as it was. Don’t be worried that you have missed the train of ambition. It was not worth taking. If you had caught the train, you would have felt very frustrated and you would have repented. But this is how the mind functions. If you succeed, you repent; if you fail, you repent. Look. The mind creates misery somehow or other. Whatsoever happens, the mind creates misery out of it. That train was not worth it. Don’t look at it in this way, that only your luggage has gone in the train and you are left. Be happy that only your luggage has gone and you are left.

One day I was walking around a garden and I saw a beggar, with only one shoe on one of his feet. So I asked him, “Poor man, have you lost your other shoe?” He said, “No, I have found one.” Be positive.

A man undertook to stay the night in a haunted cottage for a bet. In order to ensure that he did not leave the cottage during the night, the front and back doors were locked and the windows sealed. The next morning when the cottage was opened up, there was no sign of the man, but there was a large hole in the roof, and it was obvious that he had made a speedy exit during that night. It was not until two days later that he arrived back in the village.

“Where on earth have you been for the past forty-eight hours?” his friends asked.

“Coming back,” he said. “Coming back!”

In fear he must have run so fast that it took forty-eight hours to come back to the same village. It is good Maitreya that you missed the train; otherwise it would have taken forty-eight lives to come back.

And the other part of the question: “And last night I saw you marrying a number of women, good ones, together and said to myself that you would manage them with ease and grace.” Can’t you see that I am managing them with ease and grace?

Each disciple is a woman — man or woman, that doesn’t matter — because a disciple has to be feminine; only then can he learn. There is no other way because a disciple has to be receptive like a womb. He has to receive me so totally… he has to be a passive receptor.

In India we have the myth that Krishna had sixteen thousand wives, or girlfriends. It is not right to say “wives,” because he was really a revolutionary. He didn’t believe in being a husband or a wife. He created the whole idea of the boyfriend or the girlfriend — gopis, girlfriends. Sixteen thousand girlfriends? Seems to be a little too much to manage. But the myth is symbolic; it simply says “sixteen thousand disciples.” They may have been men, they may have been women — that is not the point — but a disciple is feminine. A disciple is a gopi, is a girlfriend; otherwise he is not a disciple.

I have also got sixteen thousand sannyasins, the number has reached that exactly — and good ones, too. And you can see I am managing well. In fact it is not that I am managing it well; it is love that manages well.

Love always manages well — with grace and ease. Love knows no tension.

You cannot manage even a single woman because you don’t know love yet. You cannot manage a single love affair because love is missing. Only the affair is there and love is missing, so of course it creates much trouble. On my side, love is there and there is no affair. Love manages.


This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune. 

Discourse Series: Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, Vol 9

Chapter #10

Chapter title: Now you can jump off Waterloo Bridge

30 April 1976 am


Osho has spoken on distinguished poets like Byron, Coleridge, D.H. Lawrence, Ghalib, Heinrich Heine, John Ruskin, Kahlil Gibran, Kalidas, Keats, Leo Tolstoy, Mark Twain, Milton, Oscar Wilde, Rabindranath Tagore, Ramdhari Singh Dinkar, Rumi, Rudyard Kipling, Shakespeare, Shelley, William Blake, Wordsworth, Gertrude Stein and many more in His discourses. Some of these can be referred to in the following books/discourses:

  1. The Book of Wisdom
  2. The Sword and The Lotus
  3. Returning to the Source
  4. Light on the Path
  5. The Secret
  6. The Hidden Splendour
  7. The New Dawn
  8. Beyond Enlightenment
  9. From Bondage to Freedom
  10. The Golden Future
  11. Take It Easy, Vol 1
  12. The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 4, 5
  13. Theologia Mystica
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