From Darkness to Light 05

Fifth Discourse from the series of 30 discourses - From Darkness to Light by Osho.
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How come you speak about political leaders and religious leaders in the same tone – is there no difference between them?
Fundamentally there is no difference at all. Superficially of course there are differences.
The basic desire to be a leader arises in people who are suffering from an inferiority complex. It does not matter whether they move into the political world or into the religious world; the will-to-power is an absolute indication that the man feels himself inferior to others and he wants to prove to the world that it is not so.
It is not only a question of proving to the world; through the world he wants to prove it to himself too, that he is not inferior to anybody. The only way mind can manage it is to make everybody inferior to you.
Mind is not your intelligence.
It may sound strange but this is a truth, that mind is not your intelligence. Mind can be intellectual, which is a very poor substitute for intelligence. Intellectuality is mechanical. You can become a great scholar, a great professor, a great philosopher – just playing with words which are all borrowed, arranging and rearranging thoughts, none of which are your own.
The intellect is absolutely bankrupt.
It has nothing of its own, all is borrowed.
And that’s the difference between intelligence and intellect.
Intelligence has an eyesight of its own, a capacity to see into things, into problems.
Intelligence is your born quality.
It cannot be learned, it cannot be nurtured. Everybody is born with intelligence, but the society is in favor of intellect, because the intellectual person is not a real individual, he is phony. He has nothing of his own; he is a beggar, and beggars are not supposed to be emperors, are not supposed to be masters. They are destined to remain slaves.
So your so-called greatest scholars are continuously proving their slavery to the establishment. None of them is a rebel. They are hankering for the prizes and awards the establishment can bestow upon them: respectability, honor. They are all desiring to be Nobel laureates, but to get the Nobel prize you have to sell your soul. You have to accept a thousand and one things that no intelligent person can accept.
You have to support the status quo, the people who are in power, who have the money. You are just a puppet to them. Yes, it is a very mutual conspiracy: they give you the Nobel prize, they give you honorary doctorates, they make you world famous; in return you support their exploitation, their oppression, and whatever nonsense they are doing. You have to become a protecting wall.
And of course the world is going to listen to you because you are a Nobel prize winner, honored by Oxford, by Cambridge, by Harvard. The ordinary people, the common masses are bound to listen to you.
If you are supporting the society then naturally there is nothing wrong with the society; there is no need to change it. The problems are not created by the society but by the “anti-social” elements. And who are the anti-social elements? All the rebels are anti-social elements. It is these people who provoke the masses, steal their souls, make them aware that they also are human beings, not cattle. These are anti-social elements; they have to be destroyed.
Either they have to be purchased in some way…give them a Nobel prize, and purchase them; give them honorary doctorates and purchase them. If they refuse to be purchased then society has all the ways to condemn them.
Their books will not be published by the great publishers, because those great publications are owned by the vested interests. Their names will disappear from the newspapers, from the magazines, from the media. They will live almost as if they are not, as if they don’t exist.
This is a far superior way to destroy somebody than crucifying. At least when you crucify a person you give him immense publicity. Two thousand years have passed: Jesus is still hanging on the cross. He has become almost an eternal advertisement. Wherever you go you will see the cross – on the graveyard, on the churches, on the vehicles of the Red Cross Society.
Now this is free publicity for two thousand years! Isabel, you should learn something! Not a single cent has been wasted. Jesus was certainly a Jew, not only by birth but by his very spirit. He managed his own crucifixion, and created publicity which goes on increasing.
It is a very essential thing to understand, that the establishment first tries to persuade you, to bribe you. When it fails in purchasing and bribing you, then it comes into its true color: then it starts destroying you. And it has learned through the centuries that poisoning a Socrates is not good. You killed the man, but you made him immortal; you imprinted his message on the very soul of humanity. You proved foolish – it was not the right way.
Crucifying Jesus was not the way to destroy him. You have saved him.
Now the modern status quo, establishment, vested interests, are far more clever. If Jesus comes back he should not be afraid that he is going to be crucified again. No, this time it is going to be worse: he will be ignored. To be crucified does not take your dignity, but to be ignored…. Nobody bothers about you, nobody pays any attention, nobody is for or against you. This is real humiliation that is being done.
But intellectuals are not capable of resisting; they don’t have the guts, they can’t have, because all that they have is borrowed. They are easily purchasable, cheap. But they become a very significant protective wall around the establishment. People look toward them with respect. People think that if a Nobel prize winner is saying something it must be right – as if by winning the Nobel prize one attains to enlightenment, nirvana!
It is a political game. It is all politics.
Once in a while they go on giving a Nobel prize to a Russian scientist, to some scientist whom they would like to get out of Russia; his being in Russia is dangerous for them. He is close to finding something – or he has found it already – in which they are far behind.
Now you see the ways of the politicians? Give the man a Nobel prize – now you create trouble. The scientist is not capable of resisting the temptation of accepting the Nobel prize, because that is the world’s greatest honor. It does not happen to everybody; it happens once in a while to one individual in millions.
Now, a poor scientist, howsoever great a scientist he may be – as a man he is a poor man with all the desires to be famous, to be well known. Now, the politicians have put him into a dilemma: if he accepts the Nobel prize he goes against the Russian establishment because the Russian establishment knows perfectly well – politicians know each other well; nobody knows them as well as they know each other. They speak the same language, they work the same strategies.
The Russian politicians know why the Nobel prize has been given to this man. By giving the Nobel prize a rift has been created between the man and the Soviet government. The Soviet pressure will be: “Reject the Nobel prize. It comes from the capitalist world; it is not an honor, in fact it is an insult. Reject it, and if you don’t reject it then you will be in trouble.”
And it has happened with many people: either they have been imprisoned…that’s what the politicians of the other side wanted, that they should be imprisoned so their work is spoiled. They may have been coming close to something which may have made Russia the most powerful nation in the world. They have disrupted it; they have sabotaged it in a very clever way – without interfering, without saying a single world.
Or if the man has a world-wide reputation already – which scientists generally don’t have…perhaps a literary person, a poet, a novelist may have. If the person has a world-wide reputation, then from all capitalist countries all the intellectuals, their institutions, academies and societies will start a great campaign and movement against the Russian government.
Now, the Russian government has only two choices: either to release that man and stop this campaign…. But they cannot keep this man any longer in the country; he has become an enemy. And now he is in the hands of the enemies, he can become an informer. He is dangerous – he has to be expelled. That too is good for the capitalist world. Once the man is expelled he is received with great honor all over the capitalist world; he is made a hero.
If you look into the ways the politicians go on doing things you will be surprised. But they succeed only with intellectuals, because intellectuals are really not intelligent people. If they were intelligent then nobody could manipulate them, neither the communist nor the capitalist; nobody would be capable of manipulating them. It would be impossible; they would see things clearly.
Intelligence is of the soul.
Intellect is of the mind.
Mind is just garbage. Mind is that which has been given to you by others. The whole collection, the whole junkyard all kinds of people have been throwing in you – that is your mind. That mind continuously suffers from an inferiority complex, is bound to suffer: it has nothing of its own, it has no ground underneath its feet.
The mind wants power, prestige.
It can have power through politics, which is the criminal’s way. If your mind has a criminal tendency then you will follow the path of politics. Politicians and criminals are not basically different people.
Politicians are successful criminals.
Criminals are unsuccessful politicians.
Criminals are poor, pitiable. They had tried but they failed. Politicians are of the same tribe, with only one difference: they have succeeded.
And in this world success makes everything right. What you have done, how you have arrived, what method and means you have used – who bothers about it? When you are successful it is enough proof that you are a man of tremendous capacity. Your success is the proof.
And when you have failed, your failure is also a proof that you were hankering for the moon; you were just foolish. Try to walk on the earth, don’t try to fly toward the moon; otherwise you will fall and get multiple fractures. That’s what poor criminals have got – multiple fractures.
But the mind of the politician and the criminal is the same. Those who are not courageous enough will go in a way which can lead either to the world of criminals or to the world of politicians. Of course, of the hundred people who will walk on the path, ninety-nine will go to the world of criminals; ninety-nine will be in the jails. One percent will also be in jail, but of a different kind: it is called the White House.
All kinds of black deeds – naturally you have to call the house the “White House” to hide them.
I have heard: a black man, very old, hair all white, was following a woman, a young girl – must have been of the age of his grandchildren – with such lustful eyes that another old man, his friend, stopped him and said, “This does not suit you. It was okay at one time, but all your hair has become white, and you are following that girl with such dirty eyes – everybody is shocked.”
Do you know what the man said? He said, “You will never understand anything. My hair is white, but that doesn’t mean that my heart has become white: it is still black and it is going to remain black. Even if I were dead and this girl passed by my side, I would have opened my eyes and looked with the same lustful eyes. What has hair to do with it? What kind of argument are you giving to me, that ‘your hair is white’? Let my hair be white – I am not!” But white hair helps you to hide black deeds.
I have always wondered why they call this topmost criminal place in the world the White House. Perhaps unknowingly the idea came from their unconscious that everything inside is going to be black, but from the outside you have to keep a white face, everything clean.
One person reaches to the White House, ninety-nine to the black houses.
So there are people who are not courageous enough to take this risk – ninety-nine percent possibility of failing, and only one percent possibility of succeeding. They want far surer ground. Religion provides that ground: there is no failure in it.
You become religious, you become a great religious leader. If you succeed you become a great saint; if you don’t succeed, still you are a small saint, you don’t fail. The smallest saint is still a saint – the lowliest priest is still in the same line as the pope. In religion there is no failure. So, cowardly people – who are as much interested in gaining power, who are suffering as much from an inferiority complex, who are on a power trip but don’t have the guts to follow the criminal path – find the path of righteousness, asceticism, morality, prayer.
By becoming a saint they will also attain to power. Of course, this power cannot be very effective. They cannot become Alexander the Great, Adolph Hitler, Joseph Stalin; they cannot have millions of lives in their hands – and now such politicians have the whole of humanity’s life in their hands. Of course these saints can’t have that much, but in a certain way, from a different aspect, they are more powerful because the politicians will come to touch their feet, the presidents will come to bow down in respect to them.
The politician does everything according to a particular strategy. If just before the elections President Reagan goes to the Vatican to pay respects to the Catholic pope, it is not accidental, it is preplanned. When Reagan goes to the Vatican and gives his respects to the Catholic pope, all the Catholics of America are, without much effort, converted to giving him votes: this is the right man.
All the bishops, all the cardinals in America will now tell their congregations that Reagan is our man. Now, to persuade so many Catholics in America…if he had to go from home to home it would have taken eternity. And how many stupid things politicians have to do! They have to go on kissing all kinds of children – their noses are running and they are kissing them…. The politician has to do it.
This is easier, to go to the pope – just kiss his hand and millions of Catholics are on your side. And the pope blesses you: that way he feels far superior to the presidents, prime ministers, kings, queens. Of course his power is only airy-fairy, but you enjoy it. It has nothing substantial in it, it is hollow inside. But it does not matter, because when the presidents and the prime ministers come, the whole media is there, all the newspapers, all the television stations of the world, all the radio stations are talking about the pope – you can feel a certain gratification. But the gratification is of the same desire – the will-to-power.
That’s why I go on talking about the political leaders and the religious leaders without making any distinction – because there is no distinction at all, only a superficial distinction. Their psyches are functioning in the same way.
Neither the religious leader nor the politician is interested in the people whom they pretend to lead.
They are interested in being leaders – and of course the leader cannot be without the led, so it is a necessity to go on promising the people things. Politicians promise them things of this world; religious leaders promise them things of the other world. But do you see any difference in what they are doing? Both are promising so that you go on following them, afraid to get lost somewhere else, because if you lose the path then you will miss the promise.
The promise keeps you with the crowd – and promises don’t cost anything. You can promise anything. Promises are always for tomorrow, and tomorrow never comes. And you are not going to live here forever.
Just look at past history. All politicians have been promising people things which have not materialized in thousands of years. Thousands of political leaders have been promising the same things. How blind humanity must be!
The promises have not changed – that means certainly nothing has been achieved. The same promises are being given to you and you go on following, hoping.
Hope is the greatest drug that man has invented.
Strange, that religious people are against drugs; politicians are also against drugs. Politicians make laws against drugs, religious people create hell and punishment against drugs.
Why are they so afraid of drugs?
It needs a deep search, investigation. They are afraid of drugs because drugs are competitors to them. LSD can give you hallucinations of heaven. That’s the trouble. No religion can afford to allow people to use LSD. LSD is not dangerous; taken in the right proportions, under medical care, it can be tremendously helpful in religious growth.
But religions are not ready to allow it for the simple reason that if LSD can give you a beautiful experience – hallucinatory, but still it is an experience and tremendously satisfying, fulfilling – then just promises will look like dry bones without any juice in them. Only idiots perhaps may continue to chew the dry bones.
Dogs do that. They chew dry bones and enjoy very much, not knowing what is happening. When they chew dry bones those dry bones hurt their mouths and their mouths start bleeding. The more they chew, the more bleeding happens. And blood goes through their throat and they think – logically enough – that the blood is coming from the bone. Now, how to explain to a dog that, “it is your own blood; the bone is absolutely dry.”
So perhaps a few idiots may still continue to go to the churches, but intelligent people will stop. Rather, when they feel the urge to have a beautiful hallucination, whenever they want to live in another world, they will not wait for death to come: they will go to a medical clinic and have a two, three-day session with LSD, and enjoy everything that their religious leaders have been telling them that they will get after death.
Drugs are dangerous to religions for the simple reason that they are their greatest competitors. And even better drugs can be invented, but religions continuously cripple the research.
Politicians are against drugs, because if people start taking drugs then who cares about your five-year plans? Who cares about the classless society that will come in the future to your grandchildren? Who cares about the revolution, democracy, freedom of speech?
You don’t have even the freedom to hallucinate!
This is absolutely innocent because only you are doing it, nobody else is involved. No, you don’t have the freedom to hallucinate. Reduced to the basics, that’s what drug prohibition means, that you don’t have the freedom to hallucinate. The government is in control of your dreams. Drugs can give you dreams, and properly used, can help you to see many things in yourself which in psychoanalysis will take three years, four years; then too it is not certain that you will be able to see.
It is a well-known fact that scientists have discovered something like truth serum, but it is prevented from being used, because if something like truth serum is possible…. You take an injection of truth serum and then suddenly you can see all your falsities, your hypocrisies, your bogus personality…and certainly if anything can make you aware of truth, it is bound to make you aware of all that is false: that is going to happen simultaneously. The moment you see the truth you see the false too.
Now, the whole of politics depends on falsities.
Communism goes on talking about equality of people – an utter untruth.
People are not equal, people are unique.
Once you see the truth, that people are unique, how can they be equal? That does not mean that somebody is inferior to you and somebody is superior to you. You are not equal, you are not unequal either. You are simply different.
You don’t compare things that are different. You don’t say that the house and the tree are equal. If you say that, you will be thought insane, because a house is a house and a tree is a tree; they have different functions. Their individualities are different. You don’t compare them. You cannot say that the house is superior to the tree, or the tree is superior to the house. In fact, the category of comparison is inapplicable.
Each individual is so unique. When you know the truth of it you cannot be a communist.
Communism will never allow anything that makes you aware of the truth.
In the non-communist countries, there are different lies, different falsities. For example, freedom of expression: it exists nowhere; it is only written in constitutions.
Once I was in a court in Ahmedabad in India, for absolutely ungrounded complaints against me – I was talking to a big rally of at least twenty thousand people who had gathered to listen to me – for the simple reason that Morarji Desai was the chief minister of Gujarat at that time, and he wanted me to be prohibited from entering Gujarat.
He could not convince his own assembly and cabinet that by preventing a person…they said, “You will be creating trouble for yourself and for the cabinet. What reasons have you got? What has he done against Gujarat? What crime has he committed that you can prevent him from coming to Gujarat? And it goes against the constitution, because the Indian constitution declares it as one of the basic rights that in India, every citizen of India has the right of movement. Now, you are preventing him from moving into Gujarat: you have to give some solid reasons; otherwise you will be in trouble.”
And the moment I heard I said, “Let their parliament decide – I will be there already in Gujarat.” So I was addressing the people, and while addressing them I mentioned a small story.
In Mahatma Gandhi’s ashram they used to read the story of Rama, the Hindu incarnation of God, every day. Each evening Acharya Vinoba Bhave would read the story of Rama, and Gandhi and all the followers – and there were not many, just twenty, thirty people – would listen to the story.
There comes a moment when Rama’s wife, Sita, is stolen by his enemy, Ramana. She is in difficulty: How to make Rama know by what path Ramana has taken her? She must have been an intelligent woman; she tried one strategy – she started dropping her ornaments. And Indian women, and particularly a queen, have so many ornaments; they weigh much more than she herself does.
She started dropping her ornaments one by one on the path so Rama would know exactly where she
had been taken. And Rama found them but he could not recognize whether they were Sita’s ornaments or somebody else’s.
His brother, Lakshmana, was with him. Lakshmana said, “You seem to be puzzled. What is the matter?”
He said, “I cannot recognize them because I loved her so much that whenever she was with me I looked at her, I never looked at her ornaments. I cannot recognize them – perhaps you can. Just look at the ornaments: if they are hers then we are on the right path.”
Lakshmana said, “Forgive me, because I can only recognize the ornaments that she used to wear on her feet.” Indian women wear ornaments on their feet, even on their toes. He recognized them. He said, “These are her ornaments.”
At this point of the story Mahatma Gandhi said, “This is strange! I can understand Rama loved the woman so much he did not recognize her ornaments. But what about Lakshmana? – he was living with them for years. Ahead was Rama – because they had been expelled from their kingdom for fourteen years to live in the forest…. so ahead was Rama, in the middle was Sita, behind was Lakshmana, just to guard. It is strange that he could not recognize any other ornament.”
Vinoba, who was a celibate for his whole life – now he is dead – gave an explanation which appealed to Gandhi very much, so much so that just before this explanation, Vinoba was known only as Vinoba Bhave; but because of this explanation Gandhi gave him the title of acharya, a master.
The explanation was that Lakshmana never looked at any other part of Sita’s body. He was a celibate and to look at anybody’s wife is not right for a celibate. But because he used to touch her feet every morning, he had to see the ornaments on her feet, just out of necessity. What could he do? – he had to touch her feet every morning. The elder brother’s wife is just like a mother. She has to be respected, and the first thing in the morning was to touch her feet; so that’s why he could recognize the ornaments of the feet only.
This is an outlandish explanation, nowhere ever given before. The story is five thousand years old, and there have been so many commentaries on it, but nobody had even asked the question and nobody had answered it. Gandhi was immensely impressed, and said, “Vinoba is an acharya – just this simple explanation shows his insight into human psychology.”
Talking to the masses in the rally I said, “This explanation does not show anything about Lakshmana, it shows something about Vinoba Bhave. It is not Lakshmana’s explanation; obviously, it is Vinoba Bhave’s explanation, and it shows his mind. He is afraid to look at women’s faces, or the other parts of their bodies. It is his fear that he is projecting on Lakshmana.
“And if his explanation is true then Lakshmana falls in my eyes completely. If Sita was just like a mother to him, still was he afraid to look at her face? One has to be afraid of looking at one’s own mother? That means he must have been dreaming sexual dreams about Sita, fantasizing about her.
“This explanation is insulting to Lakshmana, and I reject it as an explanation. My feeling is that Sita was so beautiful – if she was so beautiful for her husband, what to say about others? If the husband himself was so hypnotized by her beauty that he never saw her ornaments, what to say of poor Lakshmana? He must have been hypnotized even more!
“A husband sooner or later gets fed up. In fact a husband stops looking at his wife’s face, her body: he looks at everything in the room except his wife. If you inquire into couples you can be convinced of what I am saying. Just ask any husband, ‘How long has it been since you looked directly into your wife’s eyes, her face?’ – and he will start scratching his head. ‘It is difficult; perhaps since the honeymoon I have not looked at her.’
“But Lakshmana…. And it is just one side, that your elder brother’s wife is equal to your mother. The other side is that the younger brother of a woman’s husband is known in Hindi as devar. Devar means her second husband. In case the husband dies he has the first right to marry her. Var means husband; devar means second husband.
“Just as there are presidents and vice-presidents – in case the president dies the vice-president becomes the acting president – devar is simply a ready-made husband in case of emergency.”
A case was put against me, that I had hurt the religious feelings of the Hindus. In the court there were many problems. The first was that I was asked to take the oath in the name of God, or in the name of the constitution of India, that I would speak only the truth.
I said, “Before I take the oath I would like to ask you: What about freedom of speech? The oath goes against freedom of speech. You are binding me. You are telling me I can speak only the truth; then why in the constitution do you talk about freedom of speech? You should have said, ‘You are free to speak only the truth.’ Freedom of speech has no boundaries to it.
“How can I go against the constitution? I can take the oath that I will follow the constitution, use freedom of speech, but I cannot say truth or untruth, because that divides freedom of speech in two parts.”
The magistrate said, “This is a little difficult. I have been a magistrate for twenty years, I have been studying the constitution in every possible way, all its aspects, but that this oath is against freedom of speech never occurred to me.”
I said, “You don’t know what freedom of speech is. But,” I said, “I don’t want to change the subject, so just to continue I will take the oath. But remember, you can believe in my oath, but you cannot believe in my other statements. On what grounds do you make the distinction? If I am a person who lies, I can lie when I am taking the oath. Who prevents me?
“You know perfectly well that everybody takes the oath here and everybody is not speaking the truth. Both the parties fighting in a case take the oath; certainly both the parties are not speaking the truth. At least one party certainly is not speaking the truth; perhaps both are not speaking the truth. But both speaking the truth is not possible; otherwise how are you going to make the judgment?
“You accept my oath – on what grounds? Do you know me, that I speak the truth? That I will take the oath and will follow it? What gives you that guarantee? I will remain the same person as I was afterward, so it makes no difference to me. I can take the oath just so that we can proceed, because there are so many problems.”
The judge said, “Problems? For you or for me?”
I said, “You have summoned me to the court” – and there were thousands of people who had come; they were in the court and outside the court. And that man who had put the case against me – a Hindu political leader, a Hindu chauvinist – became afraid seeing so many people sympathetic toward me.
I said to the judge, “Look: first, I was simply quoting a statement of Mahatma Gandhi, and an explanation of Vinoba Bhave. If anybody has hurt the feelings of Hindus, they should put cases against Mahatma Gandhi and Vinoba Bhave. I was just quoting them, without inverted commas.
“It was not my explanation. In fact I was offended by the explanation that Vinoba has given. Vinoba’s explanation means that he thinks that Lakshmana has some sexual interest in Sita. That is purely his explanation. Said in plain words, he is afraid to look at Sita’s face. Why? If he is not sexually interested he should not be afraid. Vinoba is trying to make an explanation which is insulting.
“I am saying that Sita was so beautiful – anybody would have been interested. I would have been interested. You would have been interested. Beauty is not something that one should not be interested in. It is one of the gifts of nature; it has to be adored. And my feeling is he was touching her feet every day because Sita was so beautiful; he was adoring her.
“And you know the meaning of devar – that he was the second husband. Now, if somebody is hurt, then he should put a case against the whole Hindu tradition, that this tradition is in a mess. On the one hand you say treat your brother’s wife as your mother – okay, treat her as your mother. But when the brother dies, then? – treat your mother as your wife!
“And this man who has complained against me and forced me to come from Calcutta to here, unnecessarily wasting my time – is he the only Hindu in Ahmedabad? These thousands of people are here – these are all Hindus. You ask those whose feelings are hurt to raise their hands. And if you don’t ask then I am going to ask.”
So the magistrate had to ask. Not a single hand was raised. I said, “Now you can see: nobody’s feelings are hurt. This man is a Hindu chauvinist.”
At that time the man became afraid and he told the magistrate, “I want police protection, because after the court this crowd can kill me.”
I asked the magistrate, “Do you want any more argument that nobody’s feelings are hurt? This man is afraid of Hindus, that they will kill him. They should kill me – I should ask for the protection of the court because I have hurt the feelings of Hindus, he hasn’t. Why should he be afraid?
“And why should I have been called to the court? Why is Vinoba Bhave not being called? Of course, Gandhi is dead – you cannot summon him, but he is not needed anyway. Vinoba is alive – why has he not been called to the court? Just because he belongs to the party who rules the country? Because he is a guru to all the politicians of the country, you didn’t have the guts to summon him?
“He was needed to answer whether I am quoting right or wrong. If he says that I am quoting wrong, then certainly I have to be answerable for it. And my advocate had asked you to summon Vinoba because it is most important and essential, what he says. Still you did not summon Vinoba. And still you go on saying that the courts are impartial?
“Just look at the fact: I was simply quoting him. It was the court’s duty to ask the man whether I am quoting him rightly or wrongly. You should have called him here; we could have argued in front of you and made it clear to Vinoba that he is sexually obsessed and he is projecting his sexual obsession on poor Lakshmana.
“I was protecting Lakshmana. Vinoba should put a case against me. And this man is simply an idiot: he does not understand even what I was saying. He does not know what it means. But Vinoba is not called. And,” I said, “I will not appear again in the court unless Vinoba is called.”
The judge had no guts – because the prime minister goes to Vinoba, the cabinet ministers go to Vinoba, the president goes to Vinoba. To call Vinoba to the court would incur anger from all sides. The judge dismissed the case. He could not do anything else – he simply dismissed the case.
Politics has power. Vinoba was a religious leader, but through the politicians he has power. Although that power is not very substantial, still the power is there.
The religious leader or the political leader – both are in the same boat, helping each other. The politician protects the religious leader, the religious leader protects the politician. He protects him through people’s religious feelings, and the politician protects the religious leader by his power. It is a mutual understanding. Hence I don’t make any difference between the two. To me, the political leader is more criminal-minded; hence is ready to take the risk.
The religious leader is a coward, but cunning; through cunningness he manages to rise even higher than the political leader; at least in the abstract sense he is higher than the political leader.
But the desire of both is the same: to rule, to have control over millions of people.
To me, a man who does not suffer from an inferiority complex has no need even to lead a single man, to be powerful over even a single man. Such a man, if he is a husband, will not have any power over his wife. He will be just a friend, not a husband.
The word husband is ugly. It comes from husbandry: just as the farmer sows seeds in the ground, the husband does husbandry with the wife, he sows seeds. The woman is just like the earth and the husband is the possessor of the earth, the owner. The word husband is ugly, it should be changed. The whole idea is very primitive, crude.
The wife is not taken as a human being but as earth which you can sell. And it has been the case in the past: in many cultures wives were sold, purchased. In China you could have killed your wife – it was not a crime because she was your possession. If you destroy your chair it is nobody’s business; the chair was your possession – so was your wife.
Just because I mentioned Vinoba Bhave I remember…I had met him many times. One time he was giving his daily discourse in his ashram – and what ashrams these people had! Twelve widows, that was his ashram. And those widows were listening to his great discourse.
I just happened to pass from Wardha to Nagpur and his ashram was just outside the Wardha city, by the side of a river, Pavnar; hence the name of his ashram, Paramdham Pavnar. The friend who was driving me said, “This is the time Vinoba’s discourse starts. Would you like…?”
I said, “There is no harm,” so we went and sat. He had already started and he was telling an upanishadic story. The story was about a very famous upanishadic seer. His name was Raikva, Maharishi Raikva, but he was better known as Gadiwan Raikva because he always traveled in a bullock cart. Gadiwan means one who drives the bullock cart.
But in those days to have a beautiful bullock cart was something very special, it was not ordinary. Even today in Indian villages to have a beautiful bullock cart is to have a great possession. Gadiwan Raikva went to a market where girls were being sold. It was a market to purchase slaves – men, women.
Now, in the first place what is a maharishi doing in a market where slaves are being sold? Vinoba did not bother about that. There was one very beautiful girl, and when the auction began on the girl, Maharishi Raikva started raising the price. But it was difficult because the king of the country was also present and he was also interested in the girl, and he was doubling the price. Now, Gadiwan Raikva was a rich maharishi, but not to be compared with the king. Finally the king purchased the girl at a very high price. Raikva was very angry.
After ten years…. this is the whole story that I am telling. Vinoba did not tell this part of the story, of the slave market, Raikva’s competition with the king, his defeat, the girl being purchased by the king. All this part was left out.
Vinoba began praising Raikva, his wisdom, and started the story ten years after this incident: The king was becoming old and wanted somebody to guide him in the spiritual life, so he went to Gadiwan Raikva with many chariots full of gold, money, valuable clothes. He offered everything to Raikva, touched his feet, and Raikva said – he used the word sudra for him.
Sudra is the worst you can say to a man. It is difficult to translate in English, so I will say, “You son-of-a-bitch! You think that by all this money you can purchase spiritual guidance? I spit on all your money – take it back!”
This was the main emphasis in Vinoba’s story, and he said, “These were the people who could throw all those valuable presents and say directly – even to the king – ‘You are a sudra, the worst kind of human being: untouchable. The very idea in your mind, that by money you can purchase spiritual guidance, makes you untouchable. Just take all this rubbish from here and don’t come back to me.’“
So Vinoba talked much about it, that this was the courage of the seers of India, that they could even insult a great king without being afraid. I was very puzzled, because those twelve widows were listening in great silence as if some great thing was being said.
I said, “Vinoba, you have not told the whole story. You have left out two portions, first in the middle of the story – which is very important in order to understand in what context this man Raikva was speaking – and you have left out the end part also…. Because the king went home and he asked his prime minister what to do: Raikva has refused, and he was very angry.
The prime minister said, “I knew it was going to happen. You must have forgotten: ten years before you had, in an auction, defeated Raikva; now if you want him to guide you, you take that woman rather than money. Offer the woman to the man. Touch his feet, ask his forgiveness, and he will guide you….”
He took the woman, and Raikva received him with great joy, accepted him as a disciple and guided him into spirituality.
I said, “These two parts you have dropped from the story. You are cheating these twelve widows. Now, what authority have you got to change the story? Who are you? On what grounds did you drop those two parts? – because without those two parts the story takes a totally different color. It seems as if Raikva is so high that money does not matter to him, but the reality is that it is not a question of money. The woman that was taken from his hands matters too much to him.
“And this man who carries for ten years a revengeful attitude, and for ten years is still lusting for the woman – what spiritual guidance can he give?” I asked him, “You tell me what spiritual guidance this man can give – and why you dropped these two parts from the story.”
And since that time Vinoba remained angry with me. He said, “The time is over, so if you want to discuss you will have to come to my…”
I said, “I don’t want to discuss, because there is nothing to discuss; I simply wanted to make the story complete – and I have made it complete and all the widows have understood. You have understood. What argument? I have nothing to do with all these kinds of rogues, this Gadiwan Raikva. What do I have to do with this man? I wanted simply to make the story complete, just out of a sense of appropriateness; otherwise I am not interested.”
But this kind of thing is not expected of a man of integrity. This is simply cheating.
These are “religious” people. Indira used to go for spiritual guidance to Vinoba Bhave. I told Indira Gandhi – I had told her this story – “This is spiritual guidance? You are also a widow; when you are no longer a prime minister go into his ashram.”
But Vinoba died before Indira, and then she died, so the chance never came; otherwise she would have ended up in Vinoba Bhave’s ashram of widows.
And I asked her: “What do you say? Is this a man who has some sense of being truthful? And if Raikva could not give guidance, I say to you this Vinoba also cannot give you any guidance.” Misguidance perhaps….
We have never heard what happened to the king, what spiritual growth he obtained; the Indian spiritual history remembers nothing of the king. But it is natural, because whatever advice this idiot must have given could not be called spiritual – this man was not spiritual.
But this is how religious leaders and political leaders…. They are all made of the same stuff, the same holy cow-dung. I don’t see any difference, except superficial differences about which there is no need to talk.

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