From Misery to Enlightenment 27

TwentySeventh Discourse from the series of 29 discourses - From Misery to Enlightenment by Osho.
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Is the world going to survive the third world war?
I don’t have any hope, but I am hoping against hope.
There are many things to be considered.
First, perhaps it is good that it does not survive. It has become so rotten, so ugly, that if it survives and remains the same it will be worse than not surviving.
Our world is in almost the same situation as thousands of people…around the world they are just surviving because they can still breathe. In the hospitals, with all kinds of medical support, they can continue to breathe; even the breathing is not their own – they need some mechanical device to help them to continue to breathe.
Do you call that life? It is mere survival, not life – and mere survival is worse than death, because death at least opens up a new door, cleanses the old, rotten stuff. That’s really the function of death: it is a cleansing process.
Everything becomes old, rotten, dirty, and a time comes when to go on – continuing is not a joy; it is pure anguish, agony, for you and for all those who are related to you. You cannot be in any way creative – and without being creative you cannot feel any justification for your being a burden on so many people. Death will be a relief.
Perhaps our world has come to the point where surviving will be dangerous; it is better that the chapter is closed.
We have done enough stupidities.
We have done enough harm to nature, to ourselves. We have been a nuisance on the earth.
Our whole history is a history of crimes – man against man, man against nature.
What have we been doing here? Why should we be bothered to survive?
I do understand that there is a desire to continue to live, whether there is any reason or not. There is a lust for life. People go on living, knowing perfectly well that it is absolutely unnecessarily burdening the earth; that tomorrow is not going to bring any good news to you, that each day you will be deteriorating, each day you will become more rotten, each day will be more gloomy and dark. Still, there is a biological instinct to continue to live.
People live in any kinds of circumstances: they are blind, they are crippled, they are paralyzed – still they are afraid of death. I have been puzzled: what can death take from them? Life has taken almost everything, nothing is left except agony, suffering, pain. What are they going to lose? Death will be a friend, it will take away all this hell that they are living in. But no; blind, crippled, paralyzed, deaf, dumb…still somewhere some strange instinct goes on forcing them to long for life.
This question also comes from the same instinct. It exists in everybody; there is a collective will to survive. But what have you done in the thousands of years that you have been here? Can you justify that your being here on the earth has been a creative addition to existence? Has it made it more blissful, more peaceful, more loving? Has it changed nature for something better?
What have you done in thousands of years except killing, murdering, butchering, slaughtering? – and in beautiful, good names: in the name of God, in the name of truth, in the name of religion. It seems you want to kill and destroy, and any excuse is enough.
In Aesop’s fables there is a beautiful, small fable. A young kid of a sheep is drinking water in a stream, and an old lion comes by. It is breakfast time. The old lion is just a few feet above, standing on a rock. But you need some excuse – you can’t just jump on the little poor kid and make a breakfast. Man can do that; man goes on doing it, but animals are not so irrational. The lion steps down into the stream and he says, “Hi, kid! How are you?”
And the kid says, “By your mercy, everything is going well.”
The old lion feels a little stuck – from where to start? He says, “But do you remember that your father insulted me?”
The kid says, “You must be mistaken, because I was born after my father died. I have no idea at all what happened between you and my father. And what can I do about it? I apologize, although I had no hand in it, I was not even born.”
The lion becomes really angry. He says, “You have some nerve: I am here to drink water and you are making the water dirty!”
The kid says, “Please, just look; the stream is going downward, and you are above me. I cannot make your water dirty, you are making my water dirty. How can…because the water I am standing in is going down, it is not coming to you. Excuse me, you are not looking rightly – perhaps you need glasses.”
The lion is now really angry that this…this is too much. He finally throws all argumentation and conversation and all civilization and culture, jumps on the kid and says, “Your parents have not taught you how to talk with older people, and I am going to punish you for that. You should be silent – you go on answering. This is insulting!” And he made a breakfast of the kid. Any excuse…. And this is your whole history.
Aesop’s fables are tremendously beautiful. They are not about animals, they are about you; they are about the beast within you.
Perhaps it is better that this world does not survive. But I am saying “perhaps” – remember that. Again, perhaps.
Each thing is born, grows, becomes young, old, dies. That’s the way of nature. Planets are born, and one day die. Suns are born, live millions of years, but one day, sooner or later, death comes. Wherever there is birth, there is death. They are two poles of one reality.
If humanity survives…you should not take it for granted that it will survive forever. Nothing survives forever, everything has its time. And as I look at humanity it seems to me perhaps we have lived overtime. We have already lived more than we deserve.
This oncoming crisis of a third world war is not something out of the blue. It comes through us. We are bringing it into existence.
All your great politicians, your popes, priests – they are all working hard to bring about that third world war. Seventy-five percent of America’s budget is going into the third world war. Thousands of people are dying, even in America, of hunger, cold, on the streets – and seventy-five percent of the budget is going to destroy those who are somehow managing clothes, food, and are not dying on the streets.
After all, a government has to take care of everybody; that seventy-five percent will ensure your death, the death of those who are going to escape from hunger, starvation, cold, disease. The government is for the people, by the people, of the people…it has to take care of you all, it has to finish you all.
And America is the richest country. Even poor countries like India are doing the same; seventy-five percent of their budget…. It has to be so, because if America is putting so much energy into war, if Russia is putting the same energy into war, then how can poor people, poor countries, afford not to put the same energy into war? They are just following these great leaders.
Their people are dying – but who cares about dying people? Who bothers about hungry people? The real question is how to create a total destruction of humanity.
And what are the problems which are causing such a drastic step? – democracy and communism. Both are beautiful ideologies – but only ideologies, not realities.
Communism is dictatorship of the proletariat, government of the poor, of the poorest. Seems to be perfectly Christian: “Blessed are the poor…” just with a little difference.
Jesus says they will inherit the kingdom of God after death. Perhaps Jesus is waiting for the third world war, because otherwise to manage to get all the poor in one place at one time will be very difficult. The third world war will make it very easy: people will be dying almost simultaneously. The greatest time distance will be ten minutes; around the world, within ten minutes everybody will be dead. It is not much of a difference.
And it is going to be rush hour anyway – so many souls rushing toward the kingdom of God. So whether you die ten minutes earlier or ten minutes later is not going to make much difference. Anyway, the crowd is going to be so big and huge – perhaps this is the time for which Jesus is waiting, for the poorest to take over the kingdom of God.
Marx simply brought the idea down to earth. He said, “Who knows what happens after death? Why not let the poor inherit the kingdom of God here and now?” I think he is a very pragmatic Christian. And both are Jews: Jesus was a Jew, Karl Marx was a Jew. It is the same mind. Jesus is the first communist because he was more against the rich people than Karl Marx himself. Karl Marx has not written, “A camel can pass through the eye of a needle but a rich man cannot pass through the gates of heaven.” That was written by Jesus.
I don’t think Karl Marx would even agree with it, because this is simply absurd. And who has said to Jesus that all camels are rich or all are poor? There are rich camels and there are poor camels.
In India there is a great desert…it is in Rajasthan, and I have been touring in that desert. There are poor camels and there are rich camels. I was not aware of the fact until I came to know it. Each caravan moving in the desert has two types of camels, and you will not be able to figure out who is who.
The poor camels are those who are simply taken into the caravan so that when there is a need of water they will be killed. Their only function is that they are water-carriers. The camel has the capacity to drink so much water that he can survive six weeks without drinking any water. That much water he preserves. There are times when you cannot get water; then the only way is to cut open the camel and take the water from his reservoir.
I came to know about this only because I thought they must be killing any camel when there is need. No, that is not true; the camels are divided into two classes. The only function of the poor camels is to carry water and to be killed whenever the need arises.
Now, I wonder whether Jesus knew about it or not, because he talks about camels as if camels are a classless society: “A camel can pass through the eye of a needle….” But which camel? Perhaps the poor camel will not be able to reach the eye of the needle at all; before that he will be killed. Only the rich camel will be able to reach there.
And the statement is absurd, because if a camel can pass, I don’t see any trouble for a rich man to pass through the eye of a needle. And when you die, then what difference is there between a poor man and a rich man? – because riches will be left behind just as poverty will be left behind. Or do you think the poor man will be carrying his poverty after death and the rich man, his riches?
Just put the rich man naked and the poor man naked; shave their head, beards, demolish all signs of differences between the two and you will be in a difficulty to decide who is the poor man and who is the rich. Most probably the poor one will be chosen by you as the rich man because he will have fewer lines of worry on his forehead.
Naked, he will look far more in shape than the rich man. The rich man can hide his shapelessness in beautiful clothes, the poor man cannot. The poor man may look more beautiful than the rich man, because the rich man’s beauty is more or less painted. The poor man’s beauty is natural.
I am reminded of one of my friends who was in a concentration camp in Germany. He is a Jew…. It is strange that I have more Jewish friends in the world than anybody else. Many times I have thought that these people don’t seem to be the people who could have crucified Jesus. One third of my sannyasins are Jews. I have many rabbis initiated into sannyas.
This Jewish friend was telling me that he survived because before the date fixed for his death, the war ended. Germany was defeated and all prisoners were released. Just two days before – two days more and he would have been just a black smoke in the sky. But he had seen thousands disappearing through the chimney of the gas chamber.
He was saying to me, “Many things became clear which were never clear and may have remained unclear for my whole life. That concentration camp made me aware of many things. The first thing was that as my death started coming closer and my friends started disappearing – every day a few numbers were gone….”
And people were known by numbers, not their names. All their things which made any difference between them were taken away. A doctor, a professor, an industrialist, an engineer, a beggar – you would not have been able to tell who is who.
That was one of the basic things in the concentration camp: to destroy your personality to such an extent…. Even people who had gold in their teeth, the gold was taken out – because that makes a difference, you look richer.
And before they went for their final meeting with death they were shaved and all their clothes were taken away. Everything – their shoes, their watches, clothes…everything was taken away. And then they had to pass along a corridor made of mirrors on both sides.
My friend was saying that it was a revealing experience to see oneself naked with hundreds of naked, shaved people. You cannot recognize yourself in the crowd. Who are you in this crowd? If you look in the mirror you cannot pinpoint that “this is me.” They all look alike. So all the differences were just in the persona. All the differences were in the packing but not in the content. The rich man, the beggar – they were both absolutely alike.
So he was saying, “This made me feel that man is born classless, and is forced by the society to become part of a class, of a caste, of a religion; otherwise a child comes into the world without caste, without nationality, without religion, and without anybody as an enemy or anybody as a friend – he comes without any ideology. And deep down he remains the same; you just have to take the coverings off and you will find the same human being.”
If this is so just by removing your clothes, what will be the situation when your body is also removed? Are there poor souls and rich souls too, and on what grounds will they be poor souls and rich souls? – because their bank balances won’t count anymore.
On what grounds is Jesus talking this nonsense, “Blessed are the poor”? Marx seems to be bringing Jesus to his senses. He says, “If the poor are going to inherit the kingdom of God, then why not here? When they are the real inheritors then let us start it right now, in this life. Why wait for death?”
The idea of communism is not bad – that everybody should have equal opportunity for growth, that everybody should get his needs fulfilled, everybody according to his needs. What is so wrong in it that the whole world has to be destroyed for it? And it is only an idea; it has not been realized anywhere – neither in Russia nor in China nor anywhere else.
By the very nature of your so-called man it seems impossible to realize it, because there are bound to be cunning people, there are bound to be innocent people – and the cunning will always exploit the innocent. Now, nothing can be done about it. There are always going to be industrious people and lazy people. Now, the lazy will be left far behind. What can be done about it? How can you provide equal opportunity to unequal people?
You can put the lazy man on the same line with the Olympic runner and tell them, “We give you equal opportunity, and exactly when the bell goes off or the whistle goes off – equal opportunity – you run.” You are giving equal opportunity, but those people are unequal. The lazy is not going to win the race. And it will not be his fault. What can he do about it? He is born lazy, just as the other is a born runner.
So communism is not possible. It is an impossible idea. And those who will be in power, the dictators…because all the poor people cannot be the dictators. When you read Karl Marx it seems as if it is going to be the dictatorship of the proletariat, by the poor. But can there be millions of dictators? It is bound to be represented by one dictator. It is going to be a bureaucracy, a hierarchy. There will be small dictators, then bigger dictators, then bigger dictators. And then at the top will be the greatest dictator.
In fact, Joseph Stalin had more power than any man ever had in the whole history of man. Strange: in a powerless, equal, classless society, Joseph Stalin happened to be history’s most powerful man.
I don’t think anybody has killed so many people as Joseph Stalin: at least one million, without any doubt, and with no difficulty. He is the only man who has converted a whole country into a concentration camp. Adolf Hitler is nothing. Adolf Hitler created a few concentration camps, but the whole country was not a concentration camp. In fact, the whole country was not even aware that there were concentration camps. They were located in deserted areas. They became known only after the world war ended.
Joseph Stalin was far more clever. He did not bother to make small concentration camps; he simply made the whole country a concentration camp so nobody even realizes that he is in jail. How can you realize that you are imprisoned? The boundaries are so far away from you. Russia is one sixth of the land area of the whole world, the greatest piece of land. Thousands of miles away is the iron curtain; you will never be aware of it. And it is not a visible iron curtain; it is very invisible.
The whole of Russia is living in a total imprisoned slavery. Such a slavery the world has never known before. You cannot rebel against it. This is the first time that rebellion has become absolutely impossible. In Russia, unless revolution is imported from the outside, there is no way – and as yet revolutions are not available to import. But inside there is no possibility of revolution because each person is being spied on by at least as many people as he knows.
The wife is spying on the husband and the husband is spying on the wife, because the husband belongs to a communist group where he becomes more and more respectable the more he reports about his wife, about his children, about his brothers, father, mother. He becomes more respectable, he gains power; he becomes a more significant member. He has chances to rise in the hierarchy.
The wife is a member of a woman’s communist league where she has the same opportunities it is up to her. And they have managed to implant ideas in every child’s mind that communism is the priority. It does not matter whether it is your father or your mother you are spying against; if you are spying for communism you are a patriot, you are a real son of a Soviet land, of a communist society.
For small children, for different age groups, they have many leagues…. A five-year-old child will come and say that his father said something against the government; and that report will reach, and that very night the father will disappear from the world – you will never hear of him again.
People are afraid to talk with their own wives, with their own sons, with their own friends, because nobody knows who is going to betray them. It has been only a proverb in all languages that “walls also have ears,” but in Russia it has become an actuality: walls have ears.
Communism exists nowhere, and the people who are in power have remained in power for all these sixty years since the revolution. The same group has controlled the country for sixty years continuously. One by one – if one person dies then another, next to him, of the same group, comes into power. And at the other end, one person gets promotion into the group. But the group as such is the same that came into power in 1917. It is 1985: the same group is in power – you cannot throw it out.
There are no strikes in Russia, because how can you strike? It is the government which is communist, it is the union which is communist, because only one party exists. And their reasoning is very correct. They say, when there is only one class how can there be many parties? One class, one party.
In a class-divided society there are many parties because there are conflicting interests, but in Russia there is no conflicting interest. All are equal, their interests are the same, so they have one party. All the land, all the industries – everything is owned by the government.
The communist party is the government, the communist party is the union, the communist party is everything. You cannot strike. Against whom? Who is going to strike? You cannot revolt. You cannot even use the word revolution.
Revolution happened in 1917; since then there is no need of any revolution. It has happened, it has already passed. It was needed to overthrow the old society – which has been overthrown. Now the new society has come into being.
There is no communism. These people who are in power are rich, richer than ever. And the people who are powerless are poorer than ever. But they cannot even say that. Yes, old classes have disappeared but new classes have come into being: the powerful and the powerless. There were the rich and the poor, now they are the powerful and the powerless – which is a far bigger poverty, to be powerless. And far bigger and richer is the group of people who are powerful – and total power is in their hands.
Now, fighting against this society is the other group, democracy. But that too is only an ideology: “For the people, of the people, by the people” – but where does it exist? Have you seen democracy anywhere? It does not exist anywhere at all. It is just a facade, a show.
Yes, countries like America have a two-party system, but have you noticed? – both the parties have almost the same program. What differences are there in their programs? Very strange….
One party rules four years; people get fed up with it, bored, seeing the same faces on the television, in the newspapers the same speeches, the same slogans, the same promises; no possibility of any fulfillment of anything. The problems go on growing and people get fed up: “Four years you have been given and you wasted them.”
The other party – which has the same type of people, the same type of ideas – is gaining sympathy. There is no difference either in people or ideologies. But this is a game, a very psychological game.
People’s memories are very short; four years is a long time. One party is defeated because people were getting bored and it was doing nothing. The other party gets the sympathy. What else to do? You have to choose between two kinds of dodos!
I have never voted in my life. My whole family was politically oriented. They were all fighters for freedom; they have been in prison, have suffered – naturally when the country became free they found themselves in politics. My uncles would tell me, “You are an educated person – why don’t you use your power of vote? That is power to create government or change government.”
I said, “I understand, but to change one dodo for another dodo is just futile. It doesn’t matter; it just changes names and everything remains the same.” In fact it is better to keep the old dodo there, because sooner or later he will have accumulated enough wealth, power, name, fame; he will become less greedy. Obviously, there is always a saturation point.
When you change from the old dodo, you give power to a new dodo – one was Republican, the other is Democrat; the new dodo immediately plunges into accumulating as much as he can, because four years will be finished soon and people will be fed up with him also.
So for four years he exploits whatsoever he can. Meanwhile the other party is gaining sympathy. This is the game. And people are forgetting, “This party we have thrown out already.” How many times in America have you thrown out the Republicans? And how many times have you thrown out the Democrats? And how many times are you going to do the same thing again and again?
Just simply count: in two hundred years how many times has the same party been thrown out? If you had any intelligence, once a party was thrown out it would be thrown forever! It has no intelligence, no potential, no ideology; that should be the end. But two parties just go on changing…. And this is a very subtle conspiracy. They appear opposed to each other – and they are befooling the whole country.
In Russia there is one party, in America there are two parties – but there is no difference. In America you need to befool people every four years; in Russia they have been befooled once and forever. They got rid of the need to befool – what is the point? And I don’t see that there is any difference, but it seems to be democratic.
In India, when somebody dies, his body has to be taken to the crematorium, because in India they burn the body. A bamboo stretcher is made to carry the body, and four persons carry the stretcher. On the way it happens that you are putting the stretcher’s weight on one shoulder; after a while you want to change because it feels tired – you change it to the other shoulder. It does not make any difference to the weight but it gives a certain relief; at least for a few moments you feel as if the burden is lifted. Again, after a few yards you start feeling the weight on the other shoulder; again you change.
I used to go to people’s funerals, anybody’s, because at least in death one should not be so much concerned who has died. In life you can keep distinctions: this is your friend and this is your foe, and this is your mother and this is your father. But in death at least you should drop all that nonsense. Now, just to say the last good-bye to whoever he was….
My family was opposed; they said, “This is not the way, not the custom. Unless you know the person, you are familiar with the person, unless you are invited….”
I said, “You are talking nonsense! How can the dead person invite you?”
And they said, “We are not talking about the dead person inviting you, but his relatives.”
I said, “Why should I bother about his relatives and their invitation? I am not going to give them a send-off. When their time comes I will go, but I am going to beggars, to the richest man, to anybody.” I enjoyed the whole journey. It was worth going two or three miles – because two, three miles outside the town was the burning place.
And I would see people carrying the body this way continuously, and I would ask, “Why do you go on doing this? – because the burden is the same. This shoulder is yours and this shoulder is yours: why this two-party system?”
They said, “Two-party system?”
I said, “Yes, this is the democratic way, this is democracy. This shoulder is Republican, this shoulder is
Democrat. Both are your shoulders and both are going to be tired, and both are going to do the same work.
Whom are you trying to befool?”
In Russia I think they have a better thing: they are carrying the dead body on their heads – a one-party system. They have dropped the old pattern of shoulders – just on their heads. It looks more respectable too.
Neither democracy exists anywhere, nor communism.
Both pretend to exist, and for these two pretenders the whole world has to die.
If people are so idiotic that they can’t see the pretensions, then I think perhaps it is good they should die. Why should we be worried? We are not going to live forever. As far as any individual is concerned, he is going to die. And when you die, what does it matter whether the society goes on living or not? For you, the moment you close your eyes everything is finished: the third world war has happened.
I have been trying hard to figure out…. If I die, then how does it matter whether the world goes on living or not? And why should I be worried and waste my lifetime? I should enjoy it right now. One thing is certain, that I am not going to be here forever. After me if the deluge comes, let it come!
And people seem to be almost deserving it. They have proved in every way stupid.
Even a great, giant thinker, Arthur Koestler, has come to a hypothesis that perhaps in the very beginning of human history something in the human brain went wrong. The mechanism is wrong, so whatsoever it does goes wrong. Even with good intentions, it goes wrong.
When a man like Arthur Koestler says something, you have to think over it twice. It is his whole life’s work. Thinking about man’s whole history, he finds that every time, in every society, every culture, every civilization, somewhere something goes wrong; and every individual in his individual life is continuously going wrong.
It seems there is something inbuilt which forces people to go wrong, and unless we change that, perhaps there is no hope.
Nobody knows which nut, which bolt is loose or tight. Nobody knows, nobody has looked in that direction. But something seems to be certainly wrong. Just anybody who has a little intelligence can see it.
The whole world is now ready to live affluently, luxuriously; science is ready to provide you food, clothes, health, medicine, long life – everything. But all scientific projects are ignored; the only projects that are chosen are for war.
Life seems to be nobody’s interest. Death seems to be immensely attractive.
I was talking to Indira Gandhi, and I told her, “India is so poor, you cannot hope to become a world power; there is no possibility. You cannot compete with Russia or America. It will take you at least three hundred years to come to where America is now. But in these three hundred years America is not going to just sit and wait for you to pick up speed.
“In three hundred years America will be nine hundred years ahead of you. Can’t you see this simple thing?”
She said, “I can see it.”
I said, “If you can see it, then drop all your projects for an atomic energy commission, and atomic energy plants and nuclear weapons. What nonsense are you doing? You cannot compete with the nuclear powers. If there was any hope I would have said, okay, go ahead; let people starve – they have been starving for millions of years, they can starve a few hundred years more. And anyway, starving or not starving, everybody is going to die; let them die, forget about them. You go ahead and compete.
“But you have no power to compete. Then will it not be a wise course that India declares itself an international country? that we drop the boundaries, we drop the whole idea that you have to come with a permit into the country, that you need a passport? No, we just open the whole country for the whole world. Whoever wants to come is welcome. We are so poor that we cannot be more poor.
“But this will be a precedent and this will be a historical moment: one country declaring that it is no longer a nation, that it belongs to the whole world.
“Anyway you cannot win against China, you cannot win against Russia or America. When you cannot win why not take some other course? Declare, ‘We are defenseless, we dissolve our defense forces, we send our soldiers to the fields, to the factories. We are no longer in the game of war; we drop out of it.”‘
She said, “But then anybody can attack.”
I said, “Anybody can attack now – what difference does it make? In fact, then to attack India will become difficult because there will be a worldwide condemnation. A country who declares itself defenseless, drops its arms and goes to the fields and the factories, welcomes everybody who wants to come, to invest, to bring industries, to do anything…. It will be almost impossible for anybody to attack India because the whole world will be against that attacker.
“You will have so much sympathy and so many friends that nobody will dare. Right now anybody can attack you. And you have been attacked by China already; China already occupies thousands of miles of land and India has not even the guts to raise the question, ‘Please return that land.”‘
Indira’s father, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, said, “That land is useless, not even grass grows there.” I wrote him a letter, saying, “If not even grass grows there and it is useless, why did you go to war in the first place? You should have told the Chinese, ‘You can occupy as much as you can. Not even grass grows. If you can manage to grow something, good, because for us it is useless anyway. We give it to you as a gift.’
“That would have been more gentlemanly – to give it to them as a gift, rather than to be defeated. Why did you go to war? Did you come to know it later on – that no grass grows there, that it is wasteland?
“You can be attacked,” I told Indira. “You have been attacked, so your arms and your armies don’t help. Even the biggest powers have been attacked. We have seen even a powerful nation like Germany defeated, a powerful nation like Japan defeated. We know that for five years Germany went on defeating all big nations, so you don’t count.
“If you accept my suggestion you come out on top; you prove really wise in the true sense of the word. And you prove that it is not only a saying that India is a country of wisdom; you will prove by this act that you are certainly wise. Where you cannot win, the best way is to drop the whole idea of any fight.”
I told her one of the incidents that impressed me very much. In my high school, every year there was a wrestling competition. Other competitions were there, wrestling was one of them. It was a district competition, so from all over the district at least thirty high schools would send their wrestlers.
It so happened the wrestler that had been chosen from my school proved really a strange man. He went to wrestle with the opponent, and seeing him, that he was double his size, he, without touching the opponent, just lay down flat on the ground.
Everybody was shocked: What is this? What kind of wrestling is this? And he was all smiles, so people could not even laugh and smile because of his smile.
He said, “It is foolish to fight with this man – he will break my bones. There is no chance of winning, but at least I can back out gracefully. I am happy, everybody is happy, he is happy. And I am not defeated, he cannot claim that he has defeated me.”
I liked that young man; I became very friendly with him, and I said, “This is true intelligence.” The whole school condemned him, teachers condemned him.
The principal called him and condemned him as well: “This is…do you think it is a joke? You made the whole school the laughingstock of the whole district! And we have been winners for three years continuously.”
The wrestler came to me and said, “This is difficult Everybody – except you, nobody is in support of me.’
I said, “You come with me to the principal.” And I told the principal, “You please repeat what you have told him.”
He said, “Why?”
I said, “Because this man seems to be wiser than any of your teachers – including you. What was the point of his fighting? His defeat was sure. He saved you from being a defeated school. You are not defeated; you are not victorious but you are not defeated either. And he made the whole situation hilarious, not something to weep and cry over.
“In fact he made the other man look silly, because standing there ready to fight he looked so silly that whenever I use the word silly, I see his picture immediately. He could not understand and figure out what was happening! This man was Lying flat” – because that’s the way in India: the man has to lie down flat, his whole back, both the shoulders touching the ground. Unless this happens the wrestling continues; one of the two wrestlers has to touch the ground.
“That man was standing there and this man was laughing, and he said, ‘Now, what do you want? – can I get up? Or if it pleases you I can lie down – there is no problem.’ And the whole crowd that had come to see the wrestling for a moment was stunned.”
I told the principal, “This boy did something spontaneous. He is a good wrestler, he has won the school competition; he has defeated all other wrestlers in the school. He is a good wrestler – you cannot say that he cannot wrestle – but this situation was so clear, that the other man was double his size. He looked like a professional wrestler, and I doubt” – and my doubt was proved right…”I believe that he is hired, that he does not really study in the school, because his age seems to be….”
And I told the principal, “This should be inquired into. I don’t think that man studies in the school.” And that was the truth – he was hired; and the school had come from so far away that of course in our city nobody knew the man, nobody knew whether or not he studied. And sometimes it happens; a few people go on failing and they remain behind.
In my school I had one person who was failing for eleven years in the same matric class. The people who had studied with him had become teachers – and he never passed. But the principal, the teachers, the school, all wanted him to remain; they said, “Don’t leave the school,” because he was good at many things.
I have seen many people playing hockey but that man was simply magical. In America, hockey is not as prominent a game as football, but in India – because of Britain – hockey is the most significant game. And this is the one man…I have seen many people playing hockey but the magical touch that he had was such that the ball almost seemed glued to his stick.
And when he was moving, his movements were so fast, so quick, that you could not catch him. Where he was going…what he was doing was so quick and so fast and the ball continued to remain glued, almost glued to his stick. I had even tried to see whether he did really use maybe some glue or something that made the ball remain glued – and he went on moving easily.
But it was not the case; it was just that his movements were really trained. Eleven years continuous training…everybody was just a child in front of him. So the school was happy that he went on failing because he was making the school the champion of the whole province.
So we thought perhaps that wrestler was failing or something; but it was found that he was hired: he was a professional wrestler. Then I told my principal, “What do you want now? You have to apologize to that boy. What he did was absolutely right, and now you should go to court against that school. The trophy has to come back to our school” – because that was the final between this school and that school.
And we went to court; we won the case and got the trophy back. And I said, “This whole thing was done because of this young man’s spontaneous understanding, seeing the point that it was useless.”
I told Indira, “India is in such a condition, you can make it a historical moment, an unprecedented thing, that no country has ever dared…. And you are not going to lose anything because what have you got to lose? You are not going to be attacked by those who want to attack; they can attack right now.
“And once you do this, invite the UN; say that the UN can only be in India, nowhere else, because this is the only neutral country, the only country which has dropped all its claims of nationality, of being a different nation. This is the only country which belongs to the whole humanity. Let the UN be here. Surrender all your arms and all your forces to the UN and tell them to use them for world peace, world friendship.”
She said, “I understand you – you are always right, I am always wrong – but what to do? This is too much – I don’t have that much courage to do it. Only a man like you can do such a thing, but a man like you is not interested in politics at all.
“My father was telling you, ‘Come into politics.’ I have been telling you, ‘Come into politics,’ and you say that you don’t want to get into this dirty game. But without getting into this dirty game you cannot be in this position where I am. And to be in this position I have to consider a thousand and one things, because if I say such a thing, there are people just behind me who will not miss the opportunity, who will simply throw me out of office, saying, ‘This woman has gone mad!’
“And this will look like madness because nobody has done it before. They will immediately capture power; they will immediately capture power by saying, ‘This woman has to be medically treated,’ and nobody will listen to me.”
She wanted to come to me. So many times she made a time, and then at the last moment she would inform me, “It is difficult, because the people around me don’t allow me even to come to you, because they say, ‘Even going to this man will affect your political position in the country.
“‘Nobody will bother what transpired between you, what you talked about – nobody will bother about it – just your going to this man is enough to affect your position; even your prime-ministership will be gone.’ They are all against you – and I cannot go against them.”
The day she was assassinated I was thinking, Now, what about all those men? They could not save you from assassination. They prevented you from coming to me; they could not prevent you from going to death. Now what about position?
In fact if I was in her place I would have taken the risk even of being called mad. It is worth taking. I would have taken the risk even to be thrown out of office. At least it would have been on record that one person had tried his best to bring some sense to humanity.
But right now this humanity is so senseless that if it is destroyed perhaps it is the right time. But I am not at all a pessimist. I am an incurably optimistic man. I still hope against hope. The whole humanity perhaps may not be able to survive, but the few, a chosen few, can be saved. And that’s enough.
The whole world began with only one couple – Adam and Eve. If we can save just one couple, one swami, one ma, that will do! And that much we can manage.
So there is no need to be worried. Let the whole world go to hell. We will manage at least one ma and one swami, and they can start the whole game again!

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