From Misery to Enlightenment 07

Seventh Discourse from the series of 29 discourses - From Misery to Enlightenment by Osho.
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Would you like to throw some light on politics, according to the three different levels of consciousness?
The world of politics is basically of the instinctive level. It belongs to the law of the jungle: Might is right. And the people who get interested in politics are the most mediocre. Politics needs no other qualifications except one – that is, a deep feeling of inferiority.
Politics can be reduced almost into a mathematical maxim:
Politics means will-to-power.
Friedrich Nietzsche has even written a book, Will To Power. It is very significant because will-to-power expresses itself in many ways. So you have to understand by politics not only the politics that is known by the name: wherever somebody is trying a power number, it is politics. It does not matter whether it relates to the state, the government, and matters like that….
To me, the word politics is much more comprehensive than is generally understood. Man has been trying throughout history a political strategy over women – that she is lower than him. And he has convinced the woman herself. And there were reasons that the woman was helpless and had to concede to this ugly idea which is absolutely absurd. The woman is neither inferior to man, nor is she superior. They are two different categories of humanity – they cannot be compared. The very comparison is idiotic, and if you start comparing then you will be in trouble.
Why has woman been proclaimed inferior by man all over the world? – because this was the only way to keep her in bondage, to make a slave out of her.
It was easier. If she were equal then there would be trouble; she should be conditioned to the idea that she is inferior. And the reasons given are: she has less muscular strength; her height is less; she has not produced any philosophy, any theology; she has not founded any religion; there have not been significant women artists, musicians, painters. That shows that she has not enough intelligence, she is not an intellectual, she is not concerned with higher problems of life; her concern, is very limited: she is only a housewife.
Now, choosing to compare this way, you can easily convince the woman that she is inferior. But this is a. very cunning way. There are other things also to be ~; compared. A woman can give birth to a child, a man L cannot. He is certainly inferior; he cannot become a mother. Nature has not given him that much responsibility, knowing that he is inferior. The responsibility goes to the superior. Nature has not given him a womb. In fact, his function in giving birth to a child is nothing more than that of an injection – a very momentary use.
The mother has to carry the child for nine months and take all the trouble of carrying the child. It is not an easy job. And then to give birth to the child…that is almost as if one is passing through death. Then she is involved in bringing up the child for years together – and in the past she was continually giving birth to children. What time have you left her to become a great musician, a poetess, a painter – have you given her any time? She was constantly either pregnant or taking care of the children to whom she has given birth. She was taking care of the house so that you were able to contemplate on higher things.
Just for one day, for twenty-four hours, change your work: Let her contemplate, create poetry or music; and for twenty-four hours you take care of the children, of the kitchen, of the house. And then you will know who is superior. Just twenty-four hours will be enough to prove to you that to take care of so many children is just to be in a madhouse.
They are not so innocent as they look. They are as naughty as you can conceive, and they are doing all kinds of mischief They will not leave you for a single moment; they want attention continuously – perhaps that is a natural need. Attention is food.
And just one day of cooking the food for the family and the guests, you will know that in twenty-four hours you have experienced hell. And you will forget that idea that you are superior, because in twenty-four hours you will not think even for a single split second about theology, philosophy, religion.
Think of it in other ways; the woman has less muscular power, because for millions of years she has not been given the work that creates muscles. I have been to aboriginals in India where the woman is muscular and the man is not. So it is not something natural, it is something historical. But for so long women have not been given muscular work that their bodies, by and by, naturally have lost the capacity for muscular development.
But in these aboriginal tribes the man is almost a housewife, and the wife is really the husband because she goes to work. She chops wood, she hunts for food; and the man simply sits, drinks alcohol, bums around, takes care of the children and the house. And for centuries he has been doing that; naturally, he has shrunk, he has lost his muscles. Strangely enough, with the muscular power gone his height has also dropped; the woman is taller.
When I first entered such an aboriginal tribe, I could not believe my eyes. I had never thought that this was something historical, that it had nothing to do with nature. And why has man in those aboriginal tribes chosen this way? That too is cunning – because those tribes allow you to have as many wives as you want. This is a beautiful thing. A man marries five or six wives and then he just relaxes, drinks, and the women have to work.
The women have been working at all kinds of things that man is supposed to do. Naturally, they have become stronger. And you will be surprised to know that it is the woman who plays on the musical instruments, who dances, who tries to make beautiful artifacts, sculpture. Anything beautiful that is done is done by the woman. She spins and weaves the clothes with beautiful designs.
The man has done nothing; for millions of years he has been uncreative in those tribes. He has just lived the life of a drunkard, and because he is so often drunk he cannot even take care of the children or prepare food. So when the wives return they have to prepare the food too and take care of the children, collect them from wherever they are – because the husband is flat on the ground. And he can afford to be flat on the ground because he has married…the only great thing he has done – he has married six or seven wives. Now, what more do you expect of him? He has done his job.
The society of these aboriginal tribes is matriarchal because the chiefs of the society are women. They have a committee to decide about problems concerning their lives. It is not the men who have the decisive power.
You have to think from other angles too. The woman has more resistance – power than man. Now that is a medically – established fact. Women fall sick less than men; they live longer than men, five years longer. It is a very stupid society where we have decided that the husband should be four or five years older than the wife – just to prove that the husband is more experienced, elderly, to keep his superiority intact. But it is not medically right because the woman is going to live five years longer. If you think medically, then the husband should be five years younger than the wife so that they can die at the same time, almost at the same time.
On the one hand the husband has to be four or five years older, and on the other hand the woman is not allowed to marry again, in almost all cultures and societies. It is a new development that she is being allowed; and that too only in very developed countries. You don’t allow her to marry so she is going to live at least ten years of widowhood. This is medically unsound – just the arithmetic is not right. Why enforce ten years of widowhood on a poor woman?
The best way would have been that the wife should be five years older and the man should be five years younger. That would have settled the whole matter. They would be dying almost simultaneously, at the same time. There would be no need for widowers and widows, and the problems that arise out of that.
Now if you think that a woman lives five years longer than a man, then who is superior? If she falls sick less, has more resistance, then who is superior? Women commit suicide fifty percent less than man. The same ratio is true of madness: fifty percent less women become mad than men. Now, these facts have never been considered. Why?
Why does man have to commit suicide at double the rate of women? It seems to be that he has no patience with life. He is too impatient and is too desirous, expectant; and when things don’t go his way then he wants to finish himself. He gets frustrated very soon. That shows a weakness: he hasn’t the courage to face the problems of life. Suicide is a cowardly step. It is escaping from problems, it is not solving them.
The woman has more problems – her problems and the problems that her man creates for her. She has double the problems, and still she manages to face them courageously. And you go on saying that she is weaker. Why do twice as many men as women go mad? That simply shows that his intellect is not made of strong materials – he pops off anytime.
But why has it been insisted continually that the woman is inferior?
It is politics. It is a power game.
If you cannot become the president of a country – it is not easy because there is so much competition. You cannot become a messiah because it is not so easy; the moment you think of becoming a messiah, crucifixion comes to the eye.
Just the other day I saw an advertisement from some Christian mission for new recruits, with Jesus hanging on the cross; and the advertisement says: “You need guts to be a priest.” Great advertisement! But that means except for Jesus…what about all other Christian priests? They are not priests, that advertisement is proof enough. So there has been only one priest.
All these popes, and cardinals, and bishops what are these? These are not priests…because when Jesus proclaimed his ideas, the cross was the answer. And when these popes go around the world…red carpets, warm, overwhelming welcomes from presidents of the countries, prime ministers of the countries, kings and queens – this is strange. You should not misbehave with popes and bishops – yes, it is misbehavior; you are proclaiming that he is not a priest. Crucify him! – that will be the only certificate that he was a genuine Christian. Crucify as many priests as you can. It is not my idea, it is their idea. They publish the advertisement that “you need guts,” with a picture of Jesus on the cross.
It is so simple to be a politician. One need not be concerned only with government, the state and connected affairs. Any power trip makes you a politician. The husband trying to be superior to the wife – it is politics. The wife trying to be superior to the husband…because the wife simply cannot accept the idea…. Even though for millions of years she has been conditioned, she finds ways to sabotage it.
That’s the whole reason why the wife goes on nagging, throws tantrums, starts crying over any small matter, makes a fuss over anything – things that you could not even have imagined would create a fuss. Why does all this happen? This is her feminine way to sabotage your political strategy: “You think you are superior? Go on thinking you are superior, and I will show you who is superior.” And every husband knows who is superior; still he goes on trying to be superior. At least outside the house he straightens up, makes his I tie right, smiles and goes on as if everything is good.
In a small school, the teacher was asking the students, “Can you tell me the name of the animal who goes out of the house like a lion and comes back like a mouse?”
A small child raised his hand. The teacher said, “Yes, what is your answer?”
He said, “My father.”
Children are very observant. They go on looking at what is happening. The father goes out almost like a lion, and when he comes home he is just a mouse. Every husband is henpecked. There is no other category of husbands. But why? Why has this ugly situation arisen? There is a male form of politics, there is a female form of politics – but both are trying to be on top of each other.
In every other area, for example in university…the lecturer wants to be the reader, the reader wants to be the professor, the professor wants to be the dean, the dean wants to be the vice-chancellor – a constant struggle for power. At least one would think it should not be so in education. But nobody is interested in education, everybody is interested in power.
In religion it is the same: the bishop wants to be the cardinal, the cardinal wants to be the pope. Everybody is on a ladder trying to climb higher, and others are pulling his legs downward. Those who are higher are trying to push him so that he cannot rise up to their level. And the same is being done to those who are on a lower rung of the ladder: some are pulling their legs; others are kicking and hitting them to keep them down, as low as possible. The whole ladder, if you see it just as an observer, is a circus. And this is happening all around, everywhere.
So to me politics means an effort to prove yourself superior. But why? – because you feel, deep down, inferior. And the man of instinct is bound to feel inferior – he is inferior. It is not an inferiority complex; it is a fact, a reality – he is inferior. To live the life of instinct is to live at the lowest possible level of life.
If you understand the struggle, the fight for being superior, and you drop out of the fight – you simply say, “I am myself, neither superior nor inferior….” If you just stand by the side and watch the whole show, you have entered into the second world – the world of intelligence and consciousness.
It is only a question of understanding the whole rotten situation in which everybody is caught. You have just to give a little patient observation to the whole situation: “What is happening?…And even if I reach to the highest rung of the ladder, what is the point?” You are just hung up in the sky looking like a fool. There is nowhere else to go.
Of course, you cannot come down because people will start joking about you: “Where are you going? “What happened? Are you defeated?” You cannot come down and you cannot go anywhere else because there is no step higher, so you are hung up in the sky pretending – smiling a Jimmy Carter smile – that you have arrived, that you have found the goal of life. And you know that you have not found anything. You have been simply a fool and your whole life is wasted. Now there is no way to go up; and if you go down then everybody is going to laugh.
So anybody who becomes a president of a country or a prime minister of a country – his only prayer is that he should die at his post…. Because lower you cannot go – that is very insulting, humiliating; higher, there is no way. You are stuck; only death can release you from the dilemma.
One of the chief ministers of Madhya Pradesh was very intimate with me. I was very young, but he loved me and he liked to discuss things with me. I told him many times, “You should discuss with people who are capable of understanding politics. I don’t know politics.”
He said, “That’s why I discuss with you – because I cannot say these things to anybody else. I can only say them to you because you will not tell them to anybody – in fact, you won’t be able to figure out what the problem is. But just talking to you I feel relieved.”
I said, “Okay, if you feel relieved I am ready to listen.” And this was the basic problem coming up again and again: “The only thing I hope is to die as chief minister. I don’t want to die in retirement.”
I asked him, “But what is the joy of dying remaining at your post? You can relax, you can retire – you are old enough.”
He said, “Never suggest that, because if I am without power then it is going to be a humiliation. The moment you lose power, everybody forgets you. I want to die with all the honors of a chief minister; with honors from the army, the government, the police – all the honors that are appropriate.”
He was the first chief minister of Madhya Pradesh, and he remained clinging to the very last. He died still the chief minister, and he was very happy.
Just one day before he died I went to see him, and I asked, “How are you feeling?”
He said, “I am feeling very good because it seems the time has come and I am still at my post.”
It seems sad. This man for his whole life struggled! to become chief minister. He was just a schoolmaster. It was a long way from being a high-school teacher to pass all the politicians – and all of them great, cunning, clever, trying in every possible way to prevent him – but he was determined, and finally he managed.
But he lost his whole life just to receive a great celebration, with a military parade and twenty-one guns, and a seven-day holiday all over that state. And all the flags were down for seven days in his honor. But what is the point? The man was dead! Whether you throw him in a municipal truck or you do all this, it makes no sense. Just for this army honor he lived and died.
If you watch you will be simply surprised; it must be something crazy in man’s mind that gives him continuous energy to go on rising higher and higher. I know for certain that the man who first reached the top of Everest was not the man that is known to the whole world. The real man who reached first the world will never know because he was just a servant: Tensing, a Nepalese, a poor man.
He reached first…because it was a very unsafe place. Hundreds of people had died within a hundred years just trying to reach the top of Everest. Of course the man who was arranging and investing money in it would not take the risk of being first because Everest is just a peak. Only one man can stand there, and that too, not for long, because the wind is so strong and the height is such that if you step one step this way or that way, you are gone, miles down. You will never be found again – nor what happened to you.
But the poor servant tried first, and when he found that it was safe, then he came back. Then the great explorer, and the “first” man to reach the top of Everest, Hillary, stood there ready to pose for a picture. And he put up the flags of Britain, India, and Nepal, because all three countries were concerned. So three flags he left there, but he was there not more than ten minutes; to be there longer was dangerous.
But the poor man who had really reached first, history will never know. And of course Hillary gave him enough money to keep his mouth shut. He opened a great institute, and made Tensing the principal of the institute for training people to climb mountains, mountaineering, the art of mountaineering. But such things cannot be hidden – because it was not only Tensing, there were at least fifty other servants also carrying every kind of instrument, tents, food, clothes. They all saw who had reached first. They all had been bribed, but when fifty persons see such a thing it is very unexpected if the rumor does not spread.
I have met one of the persons who was part of the team, and he said, “This is a truth – but we are poor people, and we are just servants.” He said, “It is just like when two armies fight and soldiers kill each other: one party wins, one is defeated, but the name of the victor is always the commander who never really fights, who remains far behind the soldiers, keeping enough distance so that in any dangerous situation he will be the first to move away from the dangerous spot. But when victory comes then he gets medals and everything. But this is how the world goes.” He said, “We are poor people and we have no complaint because he has given us enough money.”
Man is continuously trying in every possible way to be somebody higher, special, superior – but this is all politics. And according to me only the mediocre people are interested. The intelligent people have something more important to do. Intelligence cannot waste itself in struggling with third class, ugly politics, dirty politics. Only the third class people become presidents, prime ministers. An intelligent person is not going to be distracted by such a desert which leads nowhere, not even to an oasis.
So on the instinctive level politics is just, Might is right – the law of the jungle. Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Mussolini, Bonaparte, Alexander, Tamerlane – all these people are more like wild wolves than human beings.
If we want a real humanity in the world we should cross out these people’s names completely. We should forget that these people have existed; they were just night mares. But strangely, the whole of history is full of all these people.
I went to the history class in my college for only one day. When I had gone to fill in the form, the principal asked, “What subjects do you want to study? Four subjects you can choose.”
I said, “I will fill in the form, I will sign it and I deposit the fee, but I would like a little taste of all the professors who are teaching – because to me, the teacher is more important than what he is teaching. And moreover I have to be acquainted a little bit with what kind of subjects these people are teaching.”
He said, “This is a very unprecedented thing. This is something that you have to fill in first, only then can you enter the college.”
I said, “You will have to make an exception, otherwise I am ready to appear before the committee who I runs the college, to let me convince them. How can I choose subjects which I don’t know? and I don’t want much – just a little sample here and there of all subjects. I want just two weeks’ time: I will move around the whole college, and in all the subjects – I will have a little taste of the subjects, of the students, of the teacher, and then I will fill in the forms.”
He said, “Okay, but you had better keep quiet. Don’t say anything to anybody, because I think you would convince the committee.”
I said, “Obviously, because even if a person goes into the market to purchase an ordinary earthen pot, he goes to a few shops, knocks and feels.” In India at that time it was only one or two paisa for a beautiful earthen pot, but still you checked whether it had a hole or not. If it has a hole it makes a certain sound; if there is any crack, it has a different sound. and if it is really perfect then it gives a musical sound. “Even for a two-paisa earthen pot, people move around the whole market – and I am going to decide about four years of my life. You want me to fill in the forms without knowing what I am doing?”
The principal said, “Okay, I will keep it in my file. For two weeks go around, but don’t create any trouble, because if I am caught with this form then I will be in trouble.”
I said, “Don’t be worried.”
The first class I attended was history, because just accidentally that was the first classroom I came to as I entered the building. So I said, “Okay, this is good: start with history.” The lecturer was giving a general introduction, and all the people he was talking about were these idiots: Nadirshah, Tamerlane, Genghis Khan, Babur, Humayun, Aurangzeb – all the invaders of India.
I asked him, “Are you teaching us or are you simply reminding us that we are born to be slaves? Are you teaching us history or are you simply reminding us that we have been slaves for thousands of years and we are always going to be slaves – because a country so big has been conquered by small armies, barbarous, uncivilized.”
I said to him, “If you have any sense of dignity please stop all this nonsense. Can’t you find something that gives dignity to man, that makes him feel that the past has not been just idiotic and stupid, that there is something in the past which makes him feel that he inherits something of beauty, of grandeur, and makes him hopeful about the future?”
He said, “Have you come here to change the whole syllabus of history?”
I said, “Totally, because only then can I study here. I have come just to check whether it is worthwhile wasting time, because all these nightmares…. What have I to do with Nadirshah? And why should I want to know about him? There is something far more beautiful. Can’t you talk about Buddha, Bodhidharma Nagarjuna, Shankara, Parshvanatha, Mahavira, Vasubandhu? Can’t you talk about these people?”
He said, “My God! I have never heard these names! Vasubandhu? I am a doctorate, a degree-holder in history, but Vasubandhu? – I have never heard the name.”
I said, “Then you come down and sit here, and I will teach something about Vasubandhu. And this is not the only name that you don’t know. I will tell you a few other names that you don’t know either. Do you know Dharmakirti? Do you know Chandrakirti?”
He said, “No. Are you inventing these names?”
I said, “I am not inventing them – these are the real people. But they are not even in your footnotes because they never killed anybody, they never invaded any country, they never made any empire, they never massacred people, they never slaughtered people, they never raped women, they never burned people alive.
What is history? Just cuttings from newspapers of ancient times. If you go and help somebody, no newspaper is going to publish the story; you go and kill somebody and all the newspapers are full of it. And what is your history about except these people who have been a nuisance, who have left wounds on human consciousness? This you call history?”
I said, “If this is history then it is not for me, because I have a different dimension of history. What you are teaching is really the history of politics. You should change the name of your subject. This is not history, it is political history. And what I am talking to you about is the history of human intelligence and ultimately the history of human enlightenment.”
He was simply in shock. He just told the class, “Now I am not in a position to say anything. First I have to see the principal about this boy.”
I said, “There is no need to see the principal – I have seen him. He knows what I am doing. And I am not going to come again so you need not be worried; you go on teaching about all these idiots. You have only this garbage in your mind. It is very strange that the real flowers of intelligence are not even mentioned.”
It was so difficult for me to find out about these people. I had been looking in so many libraries, trying to find out something more about these people who; are really the creators; they have put the foundations. But we know only one kind of world, the world where might is right.
No, on the second level, right is might. Intelligence believes in finding what is right.
There is no need to wrestle with swords or bombs and kill each other, because might does not prove anything right. Do you think that Muhammad Ali boxing with Gautam Buddha…of course he will be the winner – in the first round. There will not be a second round, the first hit will be enough; poor Buddha will be flattened! And seeing the situation he himself will start counting: one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten. He will not wait for the referee to count. And he will not move from the ground; Lying flat on the ground he will count up to ten. And he will say, “It is finished – you are the winner.”
But might does not prove right. It is perfectly okay in the world of animals and in the world of instinct. Intelligence reverses the whole role: Right is might – and right has to be decided by intelligence, by logic, by reason, by argument.
That’s what Socrates was doing in the court. He was ready to answer any question that the juries and the judges wanted. He asked, “What are my crimes? Just start telling me them one by one – I am ready to answer.” They knew that it was impossible to argue with this man; but vague crimes – they thought perhaps Socrates could not answer about these. And even if he did the jurors were not going to be convinced, because it would go against their whole conditioning. The first thing they said was, “The greatest crime that you have been committing is that you are corrupting the minds of the youth.”
Socrates said, “That’s true, but it is not a crime. And what you call corruption I call creation. You have corrupted those peoples’ minds; now I have to destroy that corruption. And if you are right then why don’t you open a school, an academy, just as I have my school and academy? To whomever is right, people will be coming there.”
Since Socrates had opened his school all the schools of Athens were closed, because when a man like Socrates is teaching, who can compete? In fact, all the teachers who had been running schools became students of Socrates. He was a real master.
Socrates said, “You present before me a single young man who is being corrupted by me…. And what do you mean by corruption?”
They said, “You teach that there is no God or gods.”
He said, “Yes – because there is no God, no gods. What can I do about it? It is not my responsibility. If God does not exist, are you corrupting the mind of youth or am I corrupting the mind of youth? I am simply telling the truth. Do you think truth can corrupt the minds of the youth?” The debate continued for days. Finally the judges decided that “As far as intelligence is concerned he has shut the mouth of you all” a single man alone against the whole mediocre society of Athens – “so we should not argue any more; we will simply ask for a vote.”
Socrates said, “Voting cannot prove what is right and what is wrong. In fact, the greater possibility is that the people will vote for that which is wrong, because the majority consists of mediocre people.”
Socrates was trying to establish that right should be decided by intelligence. That’s what finally created the whole evolution of science. Socrates should be known as the father of all science, because in science it is not a question of: “You are powerful, that’s why you are right.” The question is: anybody can prove right; howsoever powerful you are does not matter. The question has to be decided by logic, by reason – in the lab, with experiments and experience. So on the second level of consciousness politics is a totally different matter.
India has been for two thousand years in slavery – for many reasons, but one of the reasons and the most fundamental reason is that all India’s intelligent people turned their back on politics of the lowest, the third class, the instinctive level. All intelligent people were, simply not interested in politics or power. Their whole interest was to decide what is true, what is the meaning of life. Why are we here?
At the time of Gautam Buddha, perhaps around the whole world, the second level of consciousness came to its highest peak. In China, Confucius, Lao Tzu, Mencius, Chuang Tzu, Lieh Tzu – these were the people, contemporaries. In India, Gautam Buddha, Mahavira, Makkhali Gosal, Ajit Keshkambal, Sanjay Vilethiputta – they were overpowering, giants. In Greece, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Plotinus, Heraclitus, Pythagoras – they touched the very peak of intelligence. All over the world, suddenly it was as if a tidal wave of intelligence came. Only idiots remained fighting; all the intelligent people were deep into finding ways how to decide what is right and what is wrong.
In India it was a tradition for every philosopher to travel all over India, challenging others. Challenge was not inimical – you have to understand that. On the second level there is no enmity, both challengers are seekers. It is a friendly phenomenon, it is not a fight; they both want the truth to win. Neither of them is trying to win over the other. That is not the question at all.
When Shankara began his discussion with Mandan Mishra, he touched his feet and asked his blessing, that truth wins. Now, to touch the feet of your enemy – what does it show? There is no question of conquering the person; he is old and respected all over the country. Shankara is just a young man, thirty years old; Mandan Mishra is of his grandfather’s age. Shankara touches Mandan Mishra’s feet, because it is not a question of defeating him; and he asks for a blessing, not so he should be the winner, but that the truth should win. And truth is nobody’s property.
That was happening all over the country. And such great intellectuals were born that even today we cannot find that quality, that sharpness – for the simple reason that all the intellectuals have moved toward science. Philosophy is deserted. At that time, all those people were in the world of philosophy.
But you have to remember, it is a fight but no longer a personal quarrel – not a desire to prove oneself superior, but an inquiry to find the truth. The whole emphasis has changed: the victory of the true…. The famous dictum in Indian history of philosophy – is: Satyameva jayate – ‘Truth should win, no matter who defeated.’ It is not arising out of an inferiority complex but it is coming out of a really superior intelligence.
The tradition went to China, to Japan, and it spread to other fields also. That is why if you see two Japanese boxers or aikido fighters or jujitsu or judo fighters, you will be surprised – first they bow down to each other with tremendous respect. There is no question of enmity.
This is one of the teachings of judo and all martial arts in Japan, that when you are fighting with somebody it is not a question of personal enmity. If it is personal you are already ready to be defeated because it is based in ego – you are falling to the lower level.
In the art of judo, whosoever proves the art of judo superior is the winner, not the person; it is the art that wins. Just as in philosophy it is the truth that wins is now the art that wins. Not even for a single moment should you remember yourself and your victory because that will be the moment of your defeat.
And it has happened many times – which nobody else can understand except one who has understood whole tradition of the Eastern way. Sometimes there are two equally non-egoistic fighters; then nobody wins. The fight continues for days, the end goes being postponed, but nobody wins. Every day they come and they bow down to each other – with great joy, with great respect. In fact they are honored by the person because he is not an ordinary person; just to fight with him is honor enough.
And the fight continues. Finally the judges have to say “Nobody can win. Because both are equally egoless – nobody can find the way to defeat the other.” Ego is the loophole. Ego is a kind of sleep in which you can be defeated. Just for a moment a thought can come in, and that’s the end of you. The art of judo, jujitsu, aikido – they are all similar, with only little differences, subtleties, but the basic foundation is one. And the basic foundation is that when you are fighting, you should not be there but utterly absent; then no sword can cut you. And if you see two swordsmen fighting, you will simply amazed….
One of my friends – he became my friend after he came from Japan – was caught in the second world war. He was in the British army, a colonel. He was a Sikh, a Sardar; Chanchal Singh was his name. He was caught by the Japanese as a war prisoner. And then one of the Indian revolutionaries, Subhash Chandra, went through Adolf Hitler to Germany, and then to Japan; and with Adolf Hitler’s recommendation Japan allowed all the Indian war prisoners to be trained by Subhash to fight against the British army.
The Japanese thought this a good idea; otherwise they were unnecessarily a burden. Subhash was fighting for the freedom of their country so he was easily able to convince the Indian prisoners. For them too it was good. In the first place, who would not like to fight for one’s own country? Secondly, it was better than being a prisoner. There was a chance to escape too!
Subhash trained them in all martial arts. After the war, when the prisoners were released, Chanchal Singh came back. I was simply sitting in a hotel with a friend discussing about the freedom of the country and I was telling the friend, “Just throwing out the British kingdom does not automatically mean freedom. Freedom is a positive concept. You can throw away the Britishers but if your mind remains the mind of a slave then anybody who rules – he may be Indian, but you will not be free.
“Yes, rulers will change: white skin gone, black skin comes in its place; but do you think by the change the color of the skin, slavery can become freedom? Freedom needs some positive change and transformation of mind. If you have the mind of a slave, you will be a slave; whoever is on the throne makes no difference.”
And I still hold to that argument because forty years have passed and India is still a slave, more than ever. At least when it was under the British Raj there was a possibility to throw the responsibility on the Britishers, that they were responsible. Now they don’t even have that excuse.
Just the other day, information came to me about something which can happen only in a country whose mind has become so accustomed to slavery that whatever you do it cannot accept itself as free. The information was that a truckload of all the secret files of the Indian government was caught crossing the country border going into another country – all the secret files! The driver was Indian, the conductor was Indian, and the truck belonged to a very big industrialist. And this industrialist…when the truck was caught, this industrialist was caught; then more, almost a dozen people have been caught, and it was found that perhaps this was the last truck of many. It is wondered whether India has been left with any secrets.
This has never happened in history. All the secrets were being sold by – Indians! No agents from other countries were doing it; they were being contacted by Indians – the slavery and its mind! – and asked, “Do you want the secret file about the nuclear plant that India is making?” And a plant worth fifty million was sold for fifty dollars! – the whole secret file, the whole plan, the place, everything.
A French private detective was purchasing all information. He had no purpose against India, but if such secrets are being given so cheaply they are worth collecting; any moment you can earn millions. If India goes to war with China, then China will be ready to pay anything for these secrets. If Pakistan goes to war against India, Pakistan will be ready to pay anything: Whatever you ask, you will get.
The most miraculous thing is that Russia tries to send spies into America, and America sends spies into India…. Then too it is not an easy job to find secrets. And the French agent gave the news to the media that “in the afternoon something was decided by Indira Gandhi and by the evening it was in my hands – just within three, four hours at the most. Any secret that was discussed in Indira’s cabinet was in my hands within three hours.”
So it is not only some industrialist and some other people, but even the cabinet ministers, the topmost…because a few secrets were discussed only with the three topmost cabinet ministers and the president. Only four persons knew about them, yet they were being sold in the open market everywhere. So who betraying? And what kind of people are these? Slavery has become part of their blood. They need a complete change and transfusion of new blood. They need a new mind.
I was discussing this slavery with some friend and this Sardar was also listening; while drinking tea, he was listening. Finally he could not resist the temptation and he came over and said, “Can I sit here? – because the discussion is really interesting. If you allow me to sit down – and let me introduce myself to you, because I have been a freedom fighter. I have been in Japanese jails and British jails – first I was a major in the British army – and I have just been released; because the British government has left the country, all the prisoners have been released. And I am searching for some job, some work, because I don’t know anything except fighting. But I do know Japanese martial art. Perhaps you can help me; I could open a class for students of martial arts.” And he became a friend.
We managed to open a school for him, and he was really deeply involved in it. And he used to show us small things once in a while just as an entertainment. He said, “In Japan they have a certain training for the voice. If somebody attacks you with a sword and you don’t have any arms, you just make a certain sound and he sword will fall from his hand.”
I said, “It seems to be really something! I have a wrestler-friend,” I said; “he does not know about swords, but with a staff…. And it is good because if you miss or something goes wrong then he will cut off your head. I will unnecessarily be in trouble – you will be gone but I will be in trouble unnecessarily, so it is better to try with a big staff.”
And I used to know a wrestler too. So I found the wrestler I used to know and told him about this thing. He said, “There is no problem. I will split open that Sardar’s head into two parts; just one hit, and that’s enough.” He was a strong man, and when he went to hit Chanchal Singh – just as he raised his hand to hit Chanchal Singh gave a shout, and the staff dropped from the wrestler’s hand as if his heart had stopped beating! Whatever happened, his hand lost all its power – just the sound!
I said, “How do you make that sound? – because it is nothing special; it can be learned very easily.”
Chanchal Singh said, “The sound can be learned very easily; the thing behind it is that you should not be there. That is the most difficult thing. I have been in Japan for all these years: everything is simple, only that is the trouble – that you should not be there. And at a time when somebody is going to make two parts of your skull, at such a time you are absolutely needed there!”
Even at such a time you are not to be there – only the sound with no ego behind it. Suddenly the man will forget what he is doing; he will be completely at a loss. Even his memory for a moment has slipped. He is not aware of what is happening, of what he is doing, of what he was doing. It will take a little time for him to recover. Just your ego has to be absent. That absence creates a certain change in the mind of the person, certain kind of break, a sudden break.
But if both persons are egoless then it is very difficult. Then a strange thing is known to happen in Japan, an everyday thing: before you take up your sword to hit the other man, the other man’s sword is already ready to defend. It is not taken up after your move, no, but before you have even thought of the move. It is as if in that split second when you think of the move, before your hand makes the move, the thought has reached him and the man is ready to defend.
That too happens only if you are absent. Then the sword is not separate from you. You are not doing anything; you are simply there, absent, allowing things to happen. But if both are egoless then it can go on for days. Nobody can hit, even scratch, the other person.
This is not the ordinary, instinctive level. You have moved to a higher level, even higher than the second you have moved to the third level, the intuitive. Just as it can happen with swords or boxing or Eastern – style wrestling, the same can happen with intelligence on the third plane.
One of my professors I have told you about.. I have loved only two professors in my whole career. I have troubled many, and I have not left even these two alone, but I loved them. About one, Doctor S.K. Saxena, I have said something to you. The other was Professor S.S. Roy. He had written his doctoral thesis on Shankara and Bradley – a comparative study. He presented the first copy of it to me. I said, “This does not look good: I am your student and you are presenting me with the first copy of your thesis, as it came from the press.”
He said, “In my opinion, you deserve it.”
I said, “But in my opinion your whole thesis is…even the title is wrong because you are comparing two men of two different levels. Bradley is an intellectual, a great intellectual…. He dominated, in the beginning part of this century, the whole world of philosophy. He was the topmost intellectual. Shankara is not an intellectual at all.
“Of course they both come to similar conclusions, that’s why you have compared them; you see the conclusions are similar. But you don’t see that they come to similar conclusions from different routes. And that my objection to it – because Bradley simply comes to those conclusions through logic while Shankara comes to those conclusions through experience.
“Shankara is not just arguing about them as a philosopher. He argues as a philosopher too, but that is secondary. He has experienced a truth. Now, to express that truth he uses logic, reason, intellect. Bradley has no experience, and he accepts that, that he has no experience, but intellectually he finds these conclusions the most tenable, the most valid.”
So I told Professor Roy, “If you ask me, you have compared two totally different persons who are not comparable.”
He said, “That’s why I have given you my first book. I know that if anybody will even think about it, go deeply into it, it is you. I will present this book to the vice-chancellor, to the head of the department and all my friends, but I don’t even hope that anybody else is going to object just seeing the title.”
I said, “You should go through it again because I will be reading it, and there are going to be a hundred and one questions. So you go through it again. You may have completely forgotten…. You have been working on the thesis for five or six years.”
And there were other points, but the basic point was continually, again and again, coming up. It is possible to come to a conclusion just logically, and it may be right, may not be right; you cannot be certain about its rightness. But to Shankara it is not a question a whether it may be right, or may not be right: it is right. Even if you prove logically that he is wrong, he will no move from his position. Bradley will; if you can prove to him that he is wrong he will move. I simply gave Professor Roy one example that I remembered.
Bradley says that the universe, the existence – he calls it “the absolute”…. Shankara calls it “Brahma,” but the definition is the same – the absolute. I drew, circle and asked S.S. Roy, “If this circle is perfect the there is no possibility of any development, evolution any progress. Perfection does not allow any change. I existence is absolute, perfect, then it is dead. If you want it to be alive, then keep it open, don’t close the circle; let it grow, move, evolve.
“I don’t agree with Bradley because he will not be able even to answer a simple argument such as: ‘Is your universe dead or alive?’ Of course he cannot accept that it is dead. If it is dead, then I am dead, Bradley is dead, everything is dead. Who is arguing? – and for what? There should be complete silence – everything dead. He cannot concede that. But if he accepts that is living then certainly he will have to accept that it not absolute yet, and it will never be absolute, ever.
“My conclusion is that it is always coming closer and closer to the absolute but is never going to become absolute. It will be always coming, coming, coming, but never arriving at the absolute: it will remain alive.
“Bradley will have to change his idea. And you being a disciple of Bradley” – and Professor Roy was philosophically a disciple of Bradley – “you have to accept this on behalf of Bradley, otherwise I am ready…. Tell me, How can you save the idea of an alive universe with a ‘perfect, absolute’ idea?”
He said, “That’s true, I have never thought about it; Bradley cannot be defended.”
But I said, “Shankara is also saying that God, Brahma, truth, is absolute. He cannot defend his argument either because the argument is the same. But the difference is that Bradley will have to change his standpoint and Shankara will simply laugh and say, ‘You are right. My expression was wrong and I knew that somebody who knows will find out that the expression is wrong. You are absolutely right, my expression is wrong.’ But Shankara will not concede that he is wrong. His position is that of experience, it is intuitive.”
There is no fight at all at the intuitive level. The politician on the instinct level is just a wild animal. He does not believe in anything except being victorious. Whatever means are needed to be victorious, he will use. The end justifies all his means, howsoever ugly they are.
Adolf Hitler says in his autobiography, “Means don’t matter; what matters is the end. If you succeed, whatever you have done is right; if you fail, whatever you have done is wrong. You lie, but if you succeed it will become truth. Do anything, just keep in mind that success must be at the end; then success, retroactively makes everything right. And defeat…you may go on doing everything right, but defeat will prove everything wrong.”
On the second level there is a struggle, but now the struggle is human; it is of intellect. Yes, there is still a certain struggle to prove that what you are holding to is true, but the truth is more important than you: If you are defeated in favor of greater truth you will be happy, not unhappy. When Shankara defeated Mandan Mishra, Mandan Mishra immediately stood up, touched the feet of Shankara and asked to be initiated.
There is no question of fight. It is a human, far superior world of intelligence. But still somewhere in the name of truth a little politics is lurking behind. Otherwise, what is the need even to challenge this man? If you know the truth, enjoy it! What is the point of going around the whole country defeating people? If you know the truth, people will come to you.
There is some very subtle politics in it. You can call it philosophical – religious politics but it is still politics – very refined.
Only on the third level, when intuition starts functioning, is there no fight at all. Buddha never went to anybody to conquer them, Mahavira never went to anybody to conquer them, Lao Tzu never went to anybody to conquer them. People came; whosoever was thirsty came to them. They were not even interested in those who came to challenge them for an intellectual discussion.
Many came – Sariputta came, Moggalayan came, Mahakashyapa came. All these people were great philosophers with thousands of disciples and they came to challenge Buddha. His simple process throughout his whole life was: “If you know, I am happy. You can think you are victorious, but do you know? I know, and I don’t think that I have to challenge anybody…because there are only two types of people: those who know and those who don’t know. Those who don’t know – how can I challenge those poor fellows? It is out of the question. Those who know – how can I challenge those rich fellows? That is out of the question.”
He asked Sariputta, “If you know, I am happy; but do you know? And I am not challenging you, simply inquiring. Who are you? If you don’t know, then drop the idea of challenging me. Then just be here with me. Some day, in some right moment, it may happen – not through challenge, not though discussion, not even through expression.”
And people were really honest. Sariputta bowed down and said, “Please forgive me for challenging you. I don’t know. I am a skillful arguer and I have defeated many philosophers, but I can see you are not a philosopher. And now the time has come for me to surrender and to see from this new angle. What am I supposed to do?”
Buddha said, “You have just to be silent for two years.” That was a simple process for every challenger who came – and many came: “Two years’ complete silence and then you can ask any question.” And two years’ silence is enough, more than enough. After two years they have even forgotten their own names, they have forgotten all challenge, all idea of victory. They have tasted the man. They have tasted his truth.
So on the intuitive level there is no politics at all. In a better world the people of intuition will be the guide lights for those who can at least understand them intellectually. And the intellectual politicians – professors of politics, the intelligentsia, theoreticians – they will be the guide for the instinctive politicians. Only this way can the world be at ease, live at ease.
The light should come from the highest level. It will have to be passed through the second category because only then may the third category be able to catch hold of something of it; the second category will function as a bridge. That’s how it was in ancient India – it happened once….
The really intuitive people lived in the forests or in the mountains, and the intellectuals, the professors, the pundits, the scholars, the prime ministers, used to come to them with their problems, because, they said, “We are blind – you have eyes.”
It happened to Buddha. He was holding his camp by the side of a river, and on both sides armies were standing. There were two kingdoms and the river was the boundary, and they had been fighting for generations over which kingdom the river belonged to, because the water was valuable. And they had not been able to decide – so many times they had made the river red with blood and the fight had continued. Buddha had his camp there and the generals of both the armies came to him. Just by chance, at the same time they entered his camp and saw each other. They were shocked at this strange coincidence, but now there was no way to go back.
Buddha said, “Don’t be worried; it is good that you have come both together. You both are blind, your predecessors have been blind. The river goes on flowing, and you go on killing people. Can’t you see a simple fact: you both need water, and the river is big enough.
“There is no need to possess the river – and who can be the possessor? – all the water is flowing into the ocean. Why can’t both of you use it? One side belongs to one kingdom, the other side belongs to the other kingdom – there is no problem. And there is no need even to draw a line in the middle of the river because lines cannot be drawn on water. And use the water; rather than fighting….”
It was so simple. And they understood that their fields and their crops were dying because they had no one for them. Fighting was first: who possesses the river? First water had to be possessed; only then could you water all your fields. But the stupid mind thinks only in terms of possession. The man of insight thinks of utility.
Buddha simply said, “Use it! And come to me again when you have used all the water. Then there will be a problem, then we will see. But come to me again only when you have used all the water.”
The water is still flowing after twenty-five centuries. How can you use all the water? It is a big river, thousands of miles long. It brings the water from the eternal snows of the Himalayas and takes it to the Sea of Bengal. How can you exhaust it? And those kingdoms were just small kingdoms. Even if they wanted to exhaust it, there was no way.
The insight should come from the intuitive person. But the insight can be only understood by the intelligent, and the intelligent can help the politician of instinct, for whom the only desire is power.
This I call meritocracy because the ultimate merit dominates and influences the lower rungs and helps them to rise above their level. It has no vested interest, and because it has no vested interest, it is free and its insight is clear. It will be difficult for the intuitive person to explain anything to the instinctive person because they are so far apart, belonging to two different dimensions without any bridge. In the middle, the intellectual can be of immense help.
The universities, the colleges, the schools should not only teach political science – it is such a stupid idea to teach political science! Teach political science but also teach political art, because science is of no use; you have to teach practical politics. And those professors in the universities should prepare politicians, give them certain qualities. Then the people who are ruling now all over the world will be nowhere at all. Then you will find rulers well-trained, cultured, knowing the art and the science of politics, and always ready to go to the professors, to the scholars. And slowly it may be possible that they can approach the highest level of meritocracy; the intuitive people.
If this is possible then we will have, for the first time, something that is really human – giving dignity to humanity, integrity to individuals.
For the first time you will have some real democracy in the world. What exists now as democracy is not democracy – it is mobocracy.

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