From Personality to Individuality 12

Twelth Discourse from the series of 30 discourses - From Personality to Individuality by Osho.
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In other religions death is almost never spoken of and when it is mentioned the tones are grave and fearful. In your religion, death is talked about freely and happily. Is this significant?
It is certainly one of the most significant things. It determines whether a religion is authentic or pseudo. The pseudo-religion knows nothing about death. In fact it knows nothing about life either, hence the fear, the fear of both. It is not possible to be afraid only of death because death is not separate from life, death is part of life. It is not the termination of life, it is an incident in life; life continues. Death happens many times, millions of times; it is a mere incident. But the pseudo-religions are afraid of both. The pseudo-religions are afraid of living too.
You should understand that first; only then can you understand why they are afraid of death. They are all in favor of renouncing life. They are all based on an anti-life attitude: something is wrong in life, life is born out of the original sin, it is not right that you are living. Adam and Eve were punished because they wanted to live, they wanted to know, they wanted to understand, explore, inquire – this is their original sin. You are the inheritors of Adam and Eve. You are born in sin.
Religions cannot support your living. They cannot teach you the art of how to live, and live intensely and totally. They can teach you only how to escape from life, how to avoid knowing the truth. You can relate it to the story of the original sin: the original sin was that Adam and Eve wanted to know what life was all about. They wanted to taste eternal life. Why just go on living a momentary, temporal existence which can be terminated any time by anything – a small accident, and you are finished. Is there something more, or is this all? This was their original sin. So what will be the original virtue? You can infer it very easily. The original virtue will be to renounce life. Adam and Eve were trying to know eternal life; they wanted to become eternal, like gods.
The pseudo-religions say you should renounce life totally, so you go against Adam and Eve – you have to go against them if you want to enter the Garden of Eden again – and renounce inquiry, doubt, skepticism, because these are the ways of knowing. This story is very symbolic. It gives you the whole key to all religions. What Adam and Eve have done, the religions have been trying to undo so that you are again accepted by God, welcomed back into heaven. Religions are afraid of life, are afraid of knowing – life and knowing are not separate. It is because of this story they appeared to be separate, because in a story they have to be separate: a tree of eternal life, a tree of knowledge. But in fact, living is knowing. Knowing is living.
There is no other way to know, except to live it. And there is no other way to live, unless you are aware of what you are living. Knowing and living are inseparable. The knower becomes enlightened, but he also becomes afire with life.
The pseudo-religions teach you to be afraid of life too – you have forgotten it in your question – they are not only afraid of death. They don’t talk about death; it is thought unmannerly to talk about death. It is not good etiquette if you are sitting at a dinner table and you start talking about death. What to say about a dinner table! Even at the grave when people are gathered together to pay their last homage they don’t talk about death.
It was one of my pastimes in my childhood to follow every funeral procession. My parents were continually worried: “You don’t know the man who has died, you have no relationship, no friendship with him. Why should you bother and waste your time?” – because the Indian funeral takes three, four or five hours: first going out of the city, the procession walking, taking the dead body, and then burning the body on the funeral pyre. And you know Indians, they can’t do anything efficiently: the funeral pyre won’t catch fire; it will just live half-heartedly and the man will not burn. Everybody is making all kinds of effort because they want to get away from there as quickly as possible; but the dead people are also tricky, they will try their hardest to keep you there as long as possible.
I told my parents, “It is not a question of being related to somebody. I am certainly related with death, that you cannot deny. It does not matter who dies – it is symbolic to me. One day I will be dying. I have to know how people behave with the dead, how the dead behave with the living; otherwise, how am I going to learn?”
They said, “You bring strange arguments.”
“But,” I said, “you have to convince me that death is not related to me, that I am not going to die. If you can convince me of that, I will stop going; otherwise let me explore.” They could not tell me that I would not die, so I said, “Then just keep quiet. I am not telling you to go. I enjoy everything that happens there.”
The first thing I have observed is that, even there, nobody talks about death. The funeral pyre is burning somebody’s father, somebody’s brother, somebody’s uncle, somebody’s friend, somebody’s enemy: he was related to many people in many ways. He is dead – and they are all engaged in trivia.
They would be talking about the movies, they would be talking about politics, they would be talking about the market; they would be talking about all kinds of things, except death. They would make small cliques and sit all around the funeral pyre. I would go from one clique to another: nobody was talking about death. And I know for certain that they were talking about other things to keep them occupied so that they didn’t see the burning body – because it was their body too.
If they had a little insight into things, they could see that they are burning there on the funeral pyre – nobody else. It is only a question of time. Tomorrow somebody else from these people will be there on the funeral pyre; the day after tomorrow somebody else will be – every day people are being brought to the funeral pyre. One day I am going to be brought to the funeral pyre, and this is the treatment that these people will be giving to me. This is their last farewell: they are talking about prices going up, the rupee devaluating – in front of death. And they are all sitting with their backs toward the funeral pyre.
They had to come, so they have come, but they never wanted to come. So they want to be there almost absently present, just to fulfill a social conformity – they were present. That too is to make sure that when they die they will not be taken by the municipal corporation truck. Because they have participated in so many people’s death, naturally it becomes obligatory for other people to give them a send-off. They know why they are there – they are there because they want people to be there when they are on the funeral pyre.
But what are these people doing? I asked people whom I knew. Sometimes one of my teachers was there, talking about stupid things – that somebody is flirting with somebody’s wife. I said, “Is this the time to talk about somebody’s wife and what she is doing? Think about the wife of this man who has died. Nobody is worried about that, nobody is talking about that.
“Think of your wife when you will be dead. With whom will she be flirting? What will she do? Have you made any arrangements for that? Can’t you see the stupidity? Death is present and you are trying to avoid it in every possible way.” But all the religions have done that. These people are simply representing certain traditions of certain religions.
The religions have first made you afraid of life; they have condemned it: everything that gives a sign of life in you is a sin. Love is sin, because it is a sign of life. It is life trying to reproduce itself; it is life’s creativity.
Falling in love – what is it all about? It is life trying to go on and continue. It is a biological effort of nature to go on producing more bodies so more lives, souls, or whatever name you give to them, can get new houses, new vehicles. If biology stops producing bodies, where are you going to get new houses when the old houses topple down? And old houses cannot be continually renovated. A time comes when renovation becomes more of a trouble than to demolish the whole house and make a new house. Biology is trying to provide you with new houses. You fall in love because of a tremendous biological force.
All religions are against biology. Biology means the science of living, life. All religions are trying to prevent reproduction; their monks, their nuns, should not reproduce. In a way it is a very great crime against humanity.
It is one thing if somebody has no biological urge, that his urge has moved into higher realms of creativity. Then it is perfectly okay; he should be allowed to move. A poet may not feel like reproducing children. His poetry is enough, more than enough: he feels fulfilled. His biology has taken a new way, but his poetry will live, will have its own life. He has poured his life into it, just as a painter or a musician can pour his life into his music, into his dance, into his painting, and may not feel any biological urge. But he is not against biology, his energy is simply moving in a higher dimension. Then I say okay to it.
But what are your monks doing in the monasteries? What are your nuns doing in the nunneries? The people in all the religions are not creative at all. They are the most uncreative on the earth for the simple reason that the only creativity they knew was biology. Below biology there is no creative possibility; biology is the bottom. You can move upward but you cannot go downward. Once your biological reproduction is prohibited you are just a fossil, a dead person; you have a posthumous life. You have died already, because the moment your creative energy is prevented you cannot live. Living means creativity.
Even animals are living more than your monks. Trees are living more than your monks – at least they produce flowers, fruit. What do your monks produce? They simply go on repeating the Bible. It has already been produced. Keep it in the library, keep it in the museum, read it in the university, but why every day, go on repeating it like a parrot? Do you think these people are, in any way, living?
There are monasteries where once you enter, you never come out till you are dead. What does that signify? In fact you died the day you entered that monastery. You are cut off from life. You are not allowed to enjoy food because that is part of life. Religions teach that you should not be interested in food, in taste.
In India many religions teach how to destroy the taste of the food before you eat it. There are many traditions in India where the monk will beg and put all kinds of things in one begging bowl, because he is not allowed to beg from just one house. And even if he begs from just one house, then in one begging bowl there are sweet things, there are salty things, there are all kinds of spices, there is rice, there are all kinds of dhals, and they all get mixed up. But that is not enough! First the monk should go to the river and dip the whole begging bowl in the river – they don’t take any chances – and then mix everything and enjoy it! Have a nice lunch, dinner, or whatever you call it.
In fact, it happened once that I was sitting on the bank of my village river, and a monk whom I knew – he used to beg from my house too, and he was very friendly with my father, and they used to chitchat – was doing this horrible thing of dipping his begging bowl.
I said to him, “Have you ever thought of one thing? The way you enjoy your food, even a buffalo would refuse it, a donkey would refuse it.”
He said, “What?”
I said, “Yes.” In India if you want to find donkeys, you will find them near the river because the washer men use donkeys to carry their clothes to the river. Only the washer men use the donkey. Nobody else even touches the donkey because the washerman is untouchable and his donkey is untouchable too. So while they are washing clothes their donkeys are just standing on the bank of the river waiting for the washermen to load them again, and then they will start moving home.
So I said, “There is a donkey; just give me your begging bowl. Don’t be worried – if he eats it I will bring you a full bowl again from my house. If he does not eat it, you have to eat it.
He said, “I take the challenge.”
I put the begging bowl in front of the donkey and the donkey simply escaped. He escaped for two reasons: one was the food, the other was me. It was not known to the monk that any donkey would have escaped. All the donkeys of my town were afraid of me because whenever I got a chance I would ride on them – just to harass my whole village. I would go to the marketplace sitting on a donkey. The whole village used to say, “This is too much!”
And I would say, “The donkey is a creation of God, and God cannot create anything bad. I don’t see what is wrong. He is a poor fellow, and nice.”
So all the donkeys knew me perfectly well. It became so that, even from far away, even at night, if a donkey was standing there and I was coming toward him, he would just escape. They started recognizing me. The monk was not aware that there were two reasons for the donkey running away, but he certainly saw that the donkey refused the food.
I said, “This is what your religion has been teaching you, to fall below the donkey. Even a donkey can sense that this is not food, not worth eating.”
But everything that gives any hint of life has to be cut from its very roots. The monk should wear only rags that he collects from the street where people have thrown them. In India people are very generous about that, they throw things everywhere. Although the municipal committees have specific places to throw away things, nobody takes any notice of it. Who bothers to go that far?
It was too difficult for me to explain to my grandmother that throwing all the unnecessary things, clothes, dirt, from the window of the second story onto the street was not right. She said, “But I am seventy years old and I have been doing it for seventy years. Don’t disturb me. I am not going to live much longer and I can’t change my habits. I can’t go downstairs and go to the municipal place, no. In seventy years no problem has arisen, so why should it arise for the next two or three years? I will manage.”
I told her, “Every day a problem arises, but you don’t think it is a problem. Your things sometimes fall on people and they shout.”
She said, “That is their problem!”
People go on throwing things, and the monks have to collect clothes this way. They will make their robes, clothes out of small pieces, any kind of cloth. My father used to give new clothes to sannyasins he liked very much, but they would say, “We cannot accept new clothes. You can give us old clothes. First tear them into pieces, and then we will sew them.” Whom are these people going to deceive? If their God is all-knowing he must know that these are new clothes made into rags. They put them in the dirt, rub dirt over them, and then they are perfectly good.
Religions have been against life because they know one thing perfectly well: if you live and live alertly, you don’t need any religion at all. Religion becomes a need only when your life is cut off. Then you don’t have any way except to be religious. If this life is cut off, then you will start thinking of that life: you have to think about something. You have to live at least in hope, if not in reality. To distract your mind and your being from this life to an imaginary life somewhere far away in heaven, the religions have used the most solid strategy: to condemn this life.
All religions are condemnatory but Jainas are superb. Jaina monks continually give sermons: “What is this body? – blood, flesh, bones, mucus, feces. What does this body consist of? – all kinds of dirty things just covered with a thin skin.” This is described in such detail that you will think, “Have these people been butchers or what? Or perhaps they go on tearing apart dead bodies and finding every detail?” Because they are not doctors; it is very rare to find a Jaina doctor. It is only within the last twenty or thirty years that a few Jainas have become doctors; before that a Jaina would not become a doctor. Who is going to do this dirty surgery and go into men’s bodies? The Jaina will faint, he will not be able to stand it.
They are not physiologists, they are not doctors, they are not butchers, but they have collected all the “dirty” details. For what? To create in your mind an image of dirtiness, so when you fall in love with a woman you know what you are falling in love with – with all the mucus, all the bones. Just think!
Just take the thin skin away and look at the woman – and you are falling in love with it! This bag – that is exactly the word they use – a bag, a skin bag. You are a skin bag, she is also a skin bag, and both are getting deceived by the skin. Just go a little deeper and what will you find? It will be nauseous. The Jaina monks create a continual idea of nauseousness about each other’s bodies – about your own body too. Jaina scriptures are the most condemnatory of all the religions.
Life is possible only through the body. By their condemning the body so much, life becomes impossible. And once your whole energy is blocked it cannot move into life. But energy has to move: it is its intrinsic nature to move. It will find some other way to move. Religions immediately give you a substitute: love God. He is not a bag of mucus and blood and bones!
I used to ask the monks, particularly the Hindu monks, “You call human beings ‘bags of every dirty thing’; then what are your incarnations of God? What about Rama? – no mucus?” Then he would be as dry as Oregon. He would have died, for the mucus is absolutely necessary. It keeps your body going. It is a kind of lubricant for your inner mechanism. Yes, once or twice a year you get a cold and you throw the mucus out. That too is necessary because that old mucus is no longer useful. It has to be thrown out so that new mucus is created and takes its place, which is just like changing the oil in your car.
Once in a while, the car has a cold; change the oil, otherwise it will stop. That oil is losing its quality of being a lubricant. It has been used enough. Were there no bones in Krishna and Rama? Then their bags would have just collapsed. Without bones, how could they manage to stand? Was there no blood? Then how can there be semen? – and Rama produced two boys! Great, a miraculous bag: no mucus, no semen, no blood, no bones – and he produced two children! This is a far bigger miracle than what the Holy Ghost did with Mary, because at least Mary was a real bag.
But in the story of Rama, Sita is also not an ordinary bag like you. Both bags were spiritual! Inside they were hollow. I asked these people, “Either you say they were hollow inside – hot air inside, what else? – or they were stuffed. There are only these two possibilities.” And I said to them, “I would like to be just an ordinary bag, rather than a stuffed bag or a hollow bag with hot air. I simply refuse; I am perfectly okay as I am.” Stupid ideas, but they have persisted for thousands of years just to make those people superhuman.
The first time I spoke in Mumbai – it must have been 1960 – I was invited by a Jaina committee. Mumbai has the richest and the biggest Jaina community of India. Their celebration for Mahavira’s birthday is perhaps the best in the whole country. Everywhere the Jainas celebrate it really luxuriously because they are rich people, but Mumbai certainly has the climax.
They invite great monks, nuns, scholars, to address them. The first time I spoke in Mumbai was on Mahavira’s birthday. At least twenty to thirty thousand Jainas were present. A Jaina monk who at that time was the top, the glory of Jaina monks – Chitrabhanu is his name – was invited. He is no longer a monk. He is also in America now, married to a Jaina woman; he escaped.
We had never met before and he had no idea what kind of man I am. Of course he was continually living in Mumbai, which is basically not allowed for a Jaina monk: he can stay for only three days in one city. So what have the Mumbai Jaina monks done? They don’t go. Once a monk has entered Mumbai he never leaves, because life in Mumbai is comfortable, and who wants to go again into the villages, on mud paths with naked feet? Mumbai has every luxury for them, and every arrangement is made for them.
They have divided Mumbai into many cities; each section, each suburb is a city. From Vileparle they move to Dadar – these are just wards, these are not cities – from Dadar they move to Marine Drive. Mumbai is big; there are so many suburbs and so many different markets. It is one of the biggest cities in the world. So the monks go on moving round and round: three days in Vileparle, three days in Dadar, three days in Santa Cruz, three days in Juhu, and three days in Chowpatty.
This man, Chitrabhanu, had been in Mumbai for fifteen years. He was well respected, the most respected in Mumbai. He was the best orator among Jaina monks in Mumbai, so of course he spoke first. I was an absolutely unknown young man, and not a monk either. Nobody was even certain whether I was a Jaina or not.
Just one man was responsible for bringing me to Mumbai, and that was a coincidence. The man, Chiranjilal Badjatya, of Wardha, was the chief manager for Jamnalal Bajaj, who was one of the super-rich people in India. Chiranjilal Badjatya was the cause of bringing Mahatma Gandhi from Sabarmati near Ahmedabad, in Gujarat, to Wardha in Madhya Pradesh. Chiranjilal Badjatya was a unique man, very simple, very loving, and so simple and so loving that he never thought that two persons could be such opposites.
He brought Gandhi to Wardha because he persuaded Jamnalal Bajaj it would be for the best – Jamnalal Bajaj had branches all over India and his head office was in Wardha in central India. His son was here last year.
But the cause was Chiranjilal Badjatya who, although a poor man, impressed on Jamnalal: “It will be a great service to the country if we can bring Gandhi to Wardha, and it will be a great service to Wardha also, because Wardha will automatically become the capital of India.” Certainly until freedom came to India, Wardha was the capital of India. Delhi remained the capital for the British Raj, but for all the Indian freedom fighters, Gandhi was the center, and his ashram was in Wardha. All trains and all roads for the revolutionaries were going to Wardha.
Chiranjilal Badjatya influenced Jamnalal Bajaj, and Jamnalal Bajaj used to respect the old man because he was really a lovely man. It was impossible not to respect him, although he was only his manager. He asked Gandhi to come to Wardha and told him, “Sabarmati is not the right place because you have to depend on other people for each single paisa. I will give you blank checks. Whenever one of your checkbooks is finished, you will immediately get another, and blank. It is absolutely up to you: draw from the bank whatsoever money you want. You need not ask me.”
Now Gandhi was also a born businessman and he saw a great opportunity. It was difficult to run Sabarmati even though it was not much of an ashram, only twenty people were living there. The way they were provided with food and clothes, any ordinary middle-class man could have run the whole show. But it was difficult for Gandhi.
Seeing this opportunity of a blank checkbook every month, Gandhi moved to Wardha. This was such a shock to Gujarat that one of Gujarat’s very famous poets, Nanalal Bhatt, wrote a poem against Gandhi. He had been writing poems in praise of Gandhi, worshipping him like a god. And in his poem he said, “The man who was a saint in Sabarmati is just a sinner in Wardha.” And this was from Nanalal Bhatt, who was a disciple of Gandhi: “The saint of Sabarmati has fallen so low, just for money.” The whole of Gujarat was disappointed. But strangely enough Chiranjilal was also the cause of my going to Mumbai.
He met me in a Jaina fair which used to happen every year near Jabalpur. There is a beautiful temple in the hills, a temple made by a very poor woman who used to grind wheat and earn a little food for herself by grinding. The whole day she was grinding other people’s wheat, and during her whole life she saved enough money to make this temple on the hill.
The temple is small. And in her memory, on top of the temple – the highest peak of the temple is called a kalash; it is made of gold – instead of a kalash, to respect the woman, people have put her grinding stone there. It is a primitive type of thing that is used in India. You cannot even call it a grinding machine, because there is nothing to it, just two stones: a round stone with another stone on top of it. The upper stone has a handle, and you move it on the stone underneath. You put whatever you want to grind between the two and just go on moving the stone; the two stones grind it.
Those two stones have been put on the kalash of the temple in memory of the woman because it was really a miracle: she was the poorest of the poor, and she managed to make this marble temple. Although the temple is small, and now many temples have been built around it, it remains the center. For thousands of years the fair has continued there in her memory.
I was speaking there and Chiranjilal heard me. When I came out of the crowd toward my car he was standing there. It was winter and he was standing there with a blanket around himself. He threw his blanket on the ground. I could not understand what he meant. He said, “Sit down just for a moment. I would love to sit down with you. I listened to you. What are you doing here? You are needed all over India. What you have said, I have not heard before in my whole life, and I have been in contact with all the great intellectuals and revolutionaries and mahatmas, because of Mahatma Gandhi.”
Because he was the general manager for Jamnalal, of course without any formalities he became the general director of Gandhi’s ashram. Jawaharlal, and Subash Chandra, and Maularia Azad – all the great leaders of India – were their guests, and he was taking care of them because he was the chief man. Jamnalal was old and too rich to bother about all this; it was Chiranjilal’s responsibility to take care. They had made a very big guesthouse where at least five hundred great leaders, thinkers, philosophers, sages could be accommodated, because people were continually going there to meet Mahatma Gandhi. There were continually conferences: political, religious, literary – all kinds of gatherings. Because of Gandhi, it was the center.
So Chiranjilal said, “I know everybody in this country, and nobody speaks like you. What are you doing here? You have to come to Mumbai for this Mahavira Jayanti.”
I said, “I don’t know anybody there and nobody knows me.”
He said, “Don’t worry. Everybody knows me and I know everybody; I will arrange it. You have to promise to come.”
I could not refuse that man. Tears were coming from his eyes just because nobody knew about me and because I didn’t bother that my words should reach people – what a calamity! To him it was a calamity. He said, “I will do everything: what I have not done for Mahatma Gandhi I will do for you. But just once let me introduce you in Mumbai. From there things will begin on the right track.”
I said, “Okay, I will come; don’t cry.” A crowd had gathered, and it looked so awkward – an old man crying – so I said, “I will come.” I gave him the date of my train, but he was an old man with such thick glasses that I could not feel sure that he was able even to see my face rightly, because the way he was looking up and down, above the glasses… He was trying to look at me from the side, to figure out what kind of man I was. I said, “Don’t be worried, I will come. And even if you don’t recognize me, I will recognize you – don’t worry.”
I went to Mumbai and a strange thing happened because of this old man. Somehow he described everything rightly, but he said I wore a white cap. How did that come to his mind? Perhaps because all the people that he knew who came to Wardha all wore the Gandhi cap, the white cap. He had seen thousands of people in white caps; perhaps he had forgotten that there were a few people who didn’t wear the cap at all.
He described me saying that I had a small beard, and I wore white clothes, a long robe; but somehow he got mixed up and said that I wore a white cap. I was standing at the door of the train, and people were running here and there. I could see they were looking for me, but I didn’t see that old man.
I was waiting for the old man because if he didn’t recognize me, I would recognize him. But I didn’t see him: he had fallen sick and could not come, so he had simply described me in a letter. All the people were looking at my head. Nobody looked at my face; they looked at my head and just went on. Finally I was the only passenger left and they were the only people there – twenty or twenty-five people.
Finally I said, “What is the point now? I alone am left, and I can see that you are looking for something on my head, but there has never been anything on my head.” They showed me the letter. I said “Yes, this man Chiranjilal Badjatya is the man who created the whole trouble for you and for me.”
They said, “But he has written, ‘a white Gandhi cap,’ and we are puzzled because we found so many people with Gandhi caps but they didn’t have beards. So we said, ‘No, this is not the man.’ We found somebody who did, but he was not wearing a long robe. You fitted perfectly but the cap was missing.”
I said, “I was suspicious of that old man’s glasses. Perhaps he saw the white cap because he has seen only white caps for almost his whole life. He has been taking care of thousands of Indian revolutionaries who were all white-cap people, so the white cap has become fixed in his mind. He must have seen it – I don’t suspect his intentions or anything – but where is he?”
They said, “He has fallen sick. He is very sorry that he has not come, but don’t be worried: he has talked about you to every man of any importance in Mumbai. But we were expecting that you would be very old because of the way he described you and said, ‘Nobody speaks like this man.’ We were not thinking of just a young man, a thirty-year old.”
At that meeting naturally, among those twenty, thirty thousand people nobody knew about me. Chitrabhanu spoke first and he talked about one of the most significant things about Mahavira, the only thing that can be called a miracle in Mahavira’s life. Mahavira is standing naked in meditation and a cobra bites him. Instead of blood, milk comes out of the wounds on his feet. Jainas have always believed that – there is no problem.
When I stood up I said, “This man Chitrabhanu seems to be a little nuts.” A few people at that meeting later on became my sannyasins. They told me, “We thought that now there is going to be a riot. Who is this man? He looks like a Mohammedan, with a beard, and the way he is speaking, and the way he is hitting Chitrabhanu who is the confirmed leader of all the Jaina monks and the Jaina community…!”
I really hit him hard, because either I really hit or I don’t hit; there is no third way. I said, “This man is mad. He will have to explain how milk can come out of the feet, because for milk a woman needs breasts, and a certain physiological arrangement that is in the breasts transforms her food, her blood, into milk. Either you have to prove that Mahavira had breasts on his feet, or you have to accept that he was a bag full of milk; otherwise take your words back.”
There was pin-drop silence. I spoke for thirty minutes, hammering him as much as possible. And I said, “These types of stupid people are your leaders. Then who are you? If you accept these kinds of idiots as leaders, you are certainly far below them. This man is cunning and he is going to deceive you, because whatever he was saying was simply to buttress your ego. That should not be the way of a man of truth. A man of truth simply says the truth; whether it hits you, makes you an enemy, who cares? The man of truth only cares about truth.
“This man was lying; everything that he has said was a lie, although it is written in the scriptures. Those scriptures were also written by such people, so I don’t take those scriptures as an authority. I don’t take this man as an authority. He should stand up and answer my questions. He has to prove what he is saying; otherwise, tomorrow I am going to bring a cobra, and the cobra will bite this man, and blood should not come out; milk has to come out. He should make arrangements. I give him twenty-four hours.”
Certainly that man finally deceived those people and escaped to America with a girl from a rich Jaina family. Now he is a professor in New York and teaches Jaina philosophy. What Jaina philosophy does he know? He still goes on pretending that he is a monk. In America nobody bothers to ask, “How can you be a Jaina monk?” He still continues to say that he is a Jaina monk, still carries the symbols of the Jaina monk.
The day he escaped from Mumbai he had to leave by the back door because thousands of Jainas were standing there just to kill him, because no Jaina monk had ever traveled by air before. And secondly, a Jaina monk escaping with a woman is just not heard of at all. It may have happened some time, but it is not known – and that too, so openly. The police were called because there was every possibility that if they could have caught him, they would have killed him.
Respect can turn into hatred so easily. It just moved to the other extreme because the reasons for which they were giving him respect were no longer there – in fact, what he was doing was just the opposite. This man who was escaping would pretend all over the world that he was still a Jaina monk and nobody would ever think that having a woman with him… They wanted to take away all his Jaina monk symbols: his bowl and other symbols that that particular sect has. Under police escort he was taken from the back door to the airplane, and since then he has not gone back to India. He cannot go: they are still waiting for him whenever he comes.
I had asked – and that was my only meeting with him: “In the twentieth century, you are still asking people to live against life? You yourself are not capable of living against life. All your desires are there as they are bound to be in everybody; it is natural. You have to accept that you are repressing them, if you are a man of truth. Or can you say that you have transcended them? Then I will make an effort to expose you.”
He was getting red-hot with anger. I showed them, “Look at his face. This man with so much anger can be without sex? This man with so much anger, can he be really nonviolent? What is his face saying?” He tried to kill me three times – while remaining a Jaina monk!
I was coming from Pune and an anonymous friend phoned just as I was getting into the car. He said, “Don’t bring Osho by car because on the way Chitrabhanu’s people are there and it may prove dangerous.” So I had to fly, they had to arrange a special flight. But I told one of my friends to go in the same car in which I was going to travel, and see. They were there – with pistols, and the road was blocked with big stones. When they saw that I wasn’t there they just felt embarrassed. But my friend said that the information was correct. This happened three times. That man was trying to kill me; this was his answer. And those people are nonviolent?
Violence goes on accumulating. Whatever you reject in your life you accumulate within yourself. Those people are more lustful than ordinary common people, more full of anger than ordinary people; because ordinary people become angry when they are angry, but it is momentary, it comes and goes. But those people go on accumulating anger. They are sitting on a volcano; they just need somebody to hit them at their weak point.
He never again spoke with me. He used to tell the organizers that only one person could speak, “Either he speaks or I. We cannot both speak from the same stage.”
But I told the organizers, “I would love to speak from the same stage. He can choose. If he feels that speaking first is dangerous, because speaking after him I criticize him, I am ready to speak first; let him criticize me. I am ready for any situation. If he wants, he can speak first and then I speak, and then he can answer – for that I am ready. He can speak twice, I will speak just once; but I know my once will be more than his twice. I have seen him.”
He was sitting there just like a stone, throbbing with anger, trembling, almost shaking. I told the people, “Look at his hands.” He was holding a piece of paper and the paper was shaking. I said, “Look at the paper.” On the paper he was taking notes to speak against me but finally decided that it was not going to be worth anything because what proof could he give? Nobody had argued about it before: in twenty-five centuries nobody had asked how it was possible for milk to be coming out of the feet.
No, followers don’t ask. They are trained not to ask any embarrassing questions. They are asked to believe, because belief is going to pay, and doubt is sin. But without doubt there is no knowing; there is no possibility of you ever becoming aware, conscious.
These people are cutting the very roots from where you can become aware and conscious – it is life, living situations, challenges, opportunities. But if you simply shrink yourself and withdraw yourself from living, you will never attain to consciousness.
It is said of a Hindu monk, who for thirty years remained in the Himalayas…

The monk’s problem was the ego. Some sage – I mean some fool – suggested to him, “Just go into the silent valleys of the Himalayas, and your ego will cool down. It will take some time, so don’t come back in a hurry unless you are certain.” And, of course, if you live in the Himalayas, in a deep, faraway valley where you never come to encounter another human being, how are you going to know that you have an ego? The ego needs another ego; then it immediately comes up. If there is no other ego, there is no challenge for it to come up. It goes fast asleep.
Thirty years is a long time, and the man became convinced that he had no ego. By this time his fame was spreading down onto the plains, and people had started coming to worship him. He was feeling even better: “I am so egoless,” and certainly when people are touching your feet you can feel egoless. There is no problem in it because your ego will feel satisfied.
But the problem arose because there was going to be a Kumbha, a fair which is the biggest in the world: at least thirty million people gather for it. Nowhere else in the world does such a gathering happen as in the Kumbha, the fair in Allahabad, that happens every twelve years.
So the Kumbha was going to happen and people invited him: “You are absolutely needed there. Your being will be a blessing for the millions of people who travel from all over the country.”
“Of course,” he said. Now he knew that he had no ego. He came down from the Himalayas to the plains and when he reached this vast oceanic crowd – you could not see where it begins and where it ends, and nobody knew him in that crowd – somebody stepped on his feet, and thirty years disappeared in a flash! He clutched the man by the throat and said, “I will kill you!” But then immediately he remembered what he was going to do: “What happened to my thirty years? It was a sheer wastage – I am still the same man.”

You can sit upon a certain thing for thirty lives; it won’t make any difference. The only way to know who you are, of what your mind consists, is to be amid life and living in as many possible ways as you can find, opening all the doors and windows to every side of life so that you can become aware of who you are within, because each window will open into you and a certain hidden part will suddenly be exposed.
One story I have loved very much…

A man was a very, very angry type, as if all his energy was converted into anger. And it was not just verbal; he was really a strong man, and every day he was fighting and beating people for any small thing. One day it was too much; he threw his wife into the well and killed her. It shocked him.
He loved the woman. If he could do such a thing to someone he loves, what could he do to others? Now he was repentant and guilty. A Jaina monk was in the city and the man went to him because he had heard Jaina monks preach nonviolence, no anger, “So perhaps he can teach me a way.”
The Jaina monk said, “It is simple: renounce life. Without renunciation you cannot get rid of these things because in life, every day your anger will be rubbed against others’ anger, your ego will be rubbed against others’ egos, and you will not find even a moment to relax and be silent. So renounce life. Renouncing life means getting out of all those situations which create trouble so that you can rest at ease and be silent. And I will give you a mantra to chant; do the mantra.”
You can understand it. The angry type of person is very quick in taking any decision. They can kill – when he killed his wife it was a quick decision, he did not think twice over it. If he had thought twice, he would not have thrown her into the well. This type of person doesn’t think twice. He said, “I am ready right now. Give me the initiation. I don’t like the five stages, I simply want to be at the final stage from this moment.”
The Jaina monk was very happy. He was a naked Jaina monk. He was happy because now it is getting very difficult to find new initiates – there are only twenty-two left. There were thousands in Mahavira’s time. Mahavira alone used to move with ten thousand naked monks; he himself used to move with that company. Now only twenty-two are left, and when one dies he is not replaced, because it is so arduous. First you have to pass the five stages, and that takes almost your whole life. You have to go on renouncing, and this is the ultimate renunciation: you renounce everything, even clothes. Then you don’t touch anything.
“This man is a rare man,” thought the Jaina monk. He said, “You are a unique person. You want to be initiated in the fifth stage right now?”
He said, “Right now” – and he dropped his clothes, the same way he had dropped his wife; there was no difference. But that Jaina monk could not see the point. It was so simple. If I had been there I would have said that what he was doing was the same, there was no difference in it. But the Jaina monk was very happy. He initiated the man and gave him the name Shantinath – Shantinath means “the lord of silence and peace” – just to remind him that anger had been dropped, violence had been dropped, and that from that day peace had to be his life, silence had to be his vibe.
After twenty years he had become very famous all over the country. A friend from his village came to see him. He was in New Delhi; he was staying in New Delhi because there the great leaders and the great scholars and great people from all over the world are available, so he had made it his place.
New Delhi is widely spread, the same way as Mumbai is: it does not have skyscrapers, so it does not rise vertically, but it spreads horizontally. You will need five to six hours to drive from one corner to another corner. And it has the worst traffic in the world, with all kinds of vehicles: bullock carts, camel carts, elephants, horse and carts, bicycle rickshaws, auto-rickshaws, cars, buses. All the centuries are together on those small streets of the old city, which were not made for buses and cars. It takes hours to cross – you can get stuck anywhere.
You can divide Delhi into many villages very easily, so Shantinath, the Jaina monk, was moving around, and remaining in Delhi. Ambassadors were coming, and it was greatly satisfying to see him, because a Jaina monk is really a thing worth seeing. Yes, I say a thing worth seeing: he is an exhibitionist. In the language of psychology, he is an exhibitionist.
There are a few people who, once in a while, are caught by the police because they exhibit their nudity to somebody on a street corner – these Jaina monks are exhibiting themselves to crowds of people. They should be behind bars or in mental institutions. They are perfect exhibitionists, and Delhi is the best place.
This friend from Shantinath’s village, hearing that his name had become so famous and seeing his photographs in the newspapers, became very interested. He went to Delhi to see him. He was a poor man; it was difficult for him to get there but he borrowed money and managed it. He wanted to see his friend who had become such a great world-famous figure.
As the man entered the temple, Shantinath saw him and immediately recognized him, but it was below him by then to recognize such an ordinary person, so he pretended he did not recognize him. The man could see in his eyes that he had recognized him, and that he was trying to pretend. He went close by and he asked Shantinath, “Sir, can I ask you your name?”
Shantinath said, “Don’t you read newspapers? I have never seen such a fool; everybody knows my name.”
He said, “I am an ignorant person from a faraway village” – and he told him the name of the village. “I am just a villager, so forgive me, but please tell me your name.”
He said, “My name is Muni Shantinath Deva.” Muni is the Jaina word for monk.
The man said, “Shantinath?”
He said, “Yes! Are you in some doubt?”
And the man said, “No, I am not in any doubt, I was just thinking…” He said, “But just one more time because I forgot: what did you say your name was?”
Now Shantinath was enraged. He said, “Did you not hear me? You are really an idiot. My name is Shantinath Deva!”
The man said, “I will try to remember it. It is so big, and I am such a fool.” He went a few feet away and then came back and said, “Just one more time.”
Shantinath Deva took his staff and said, “You will not understand easily; you will understand only the right language. Come here close to me and I will tell you who I am.”
The man said, “I have understood – there is no need. I understood from the very beginning, just as you have understood from the very beginning. You were pretending, I was pretending. But Shantinath Deva, nothing has changed; only the name is new, your whole personality is the same. I have simply been asking your name and you have taken your staff in your hand. If there was a well nearby you would have thrown me into it just as you did your wife.”

Nothing changes if you withdraw from life. Nothing can change. Life has to be lived to be known. And if you live life without any inhibition, without any fear… There is nothing to fear – it is your life; it has been given to you to live. It is a gift of nature to you. It is not a punishment; it is simply a gift from existence. Rejoice in it, and burn your life’s candle from both ends together. Live as intensely as possible, and the very taste of life will give you the clue why death is not to be feared. Once you have known your life, its fire, you will know that there is no death.
This life that one comes to know by intense living is eternal. The feeling of its eternity arises simultaneously as you live. The deeper, the more intensely you live, the quicker you feel there is no death. In my religion, death is celebrated because there is no death; it is only an entry into another life.
We celebrate birth – people think we are celebrating death – because there is no death as such. Nothing dies, only forms change. Life transmigrates from one form into another; it should be a moment of rejoicing for all concerned when a person dies, because he is only apparently dying. From our side it feels as if he is dying; from the other side he is being born. Yes, he goes out of one house – and we live in this house so we think he is finished – but he enters another house immediately. Or he may stay a little longer without a house, but there is no death.
Ninety-nine percent of people are instantly born into another form of life. The higher their consciousness, the higher will be the form; the lower their consciousness, the lower will be the form. It depends on you, how capable you have become of being aware and responsible. That much responsibility will be given to you by existence – you deserve it. You have proved yourself worthy of being given a better gift. You used the last gift so beautifully that you deserve a reward.
And it is all automatic. Nobody is there deciding; otherwise he could be bribed, he could be persuaded. You could just cling to his feet and say, “Lord, forgive me. You are a great forgiver, and I am a sinner and nothing, but forgive me.”
The Sufi mystic Omar Khayyam says, “Don’t stop me from sinning. Don’t stop me from drinking. Don’t stop me from going to women, because your stopping me shows that you doubt God’s compassion. I trust in God’s compassion.” Now, he is saying not to be worried: when you meet God just hold his feet; harass him till he forgives you. It is a single man’s monopoly. Nobody is above him, nobody is going to question him; he is not answerable to anybody. He will forgive you.
No. It is not a one-man dictatorship: existence is autonomous. Here, when you put your hand in the fire and it is burned, it is not that some God decides that you, somewhere in existence, are putting your hand in the fire and that now you have to be burned. Or, if he sees that you are a saint, then you have to be saved, not burned. For thousands of years man has believed that if you are telling the truth, fire will not burn you. In many countries the fire test has been prevalent to know whether a man is speaking the truth or untruth.
But it is so easy. I can ask you, “What is the time on your watch?” and you say, “9:05.” Then I tell you, “Just put your hand on a candle and we can see whether you are speaking the truth or an untruth.” Do you think you won’t be burned because it is 9:05? And if you are burned, then what about other things, other great problems where truth is not so easily decided, things where truth can be in question? Here there seems no problem, but perhaps there may be a problem; perhaps your watch is slow or fast – it is not 9:05, it is only 9.00 – and you may be burned. Then I can just ask something else: who is sitting by your side? Or how many hands do you have? – even simpler, so no problem arises. Or just, how much is two plus two? – and put your hand in the fire.
All these people were so against life that they have forced ugly, inhuman, unscientific things on you in the name of God, telling you that if you are true then God will save you. But you can check on it: there is no God and there is nobody who is going to save you; if you put your hand in the fire, you will be burned. You may be true, you may be untrue; it does not matter at all. Knowing life, slowly your awareness grows.
With awareness growing, you start feeling that you are not the body. You are in the body, but you are not the body. With awareness growing still more, you start feeling that you are not the mind either; you are in the mind, but not the mind. Slowly you are coming to your very center.
That center is simply awareness, from where you can watch your mind, your emotions, thoughts, body, pain, pleasure – everything. But you are simply a watcher, unidentified with anything else that you are watching.
Now this watcher remains watching even in your sleep. The day you can feel your watcher even in your sleep, that day you know: now death is nothing but a longer sleep. For the body it is eternal sleep, but the watcher simply moves forward, enters another womb, another body. And this movement continues, this transmigration of the soul continues till your watchfulness is absolutely pure.
When the flame is without any smoke, then you disappear into the universal, into the existential. Then you are not going into another house; you don’t need any house anymore, you have learned the lesson. That was a school: moving from one house to another was moving from one class to another. But one day you graduate – you become part of existence.
That’s why we celebrate, because there is no death. Either the man is going into a new house – a good time to celebrate – or the man is going into the eternal existence. That is the best time to celebrate, and the last time to celebrate.
Celebrating death will help you to understand that there is nothing in life to be afraid of. If death is a celebration, then what else can be a cause of fear? If you can celebrate death, you have attained a maturity. It is possible only to those who live life as a rejoicing, a constant celebration. Then death is not the termination, but only a small incident of changing your clothes, your house, your body. But you remain exactly the same forever – nothing changes in your intrinsic being.
From eternity to eternity you are exactly the same.

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