From Personality to Individuality 20

Twentieth Discourse from the series of 30 discourses - From Personality to Individuality by Osho.
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Is it wrong to try to save somebody? Is it not part of compassion?
Compassion is a very delicate affair. It certainly has some place in making an effort to save others, but there are many conditions which have to be fulfilled first.
The first condition is that you are saved; otherwise, in the name of saving others you will be simply destroying them. And in the effort of saving others you will be missing the opportunity to save yourself. Only a person who has himself come home can be of any help to somebody. A blind man cannot help blind people. You must have your eyes opened, you must have seen light yourself before you start telling others what it is.
Compassion certainly includes the idea of saving others, but not against their will. If somebody does not want to be saved, you are not to force him; you do not have to save him at the point of a sword. That is not saving. That simply shows that in the name of saving you are trying to dominate people.
In Raipur there is an old, very ancient pond. Because of its ancientness it is called boodha talub – old, aged, pond, and it belongs to the part of Raipur which is the most ancient. That part of Raipur is called boodha pada – the ancient part, very old; boodha means old man. The pond is certainly very beautiful in its oldness; all the old stone steps are covered with thick moss.
I used to go there just to sit because nobody goes there. The pond has become dirty – thick moss floats on the water and the water is almost green. The pond has not been cleaned for years, so nobody goes there. And there are other ponds in other places, so there is no need; the water is not used anymore. Because it was such a silent place I used to go there every evening to sit and see the sunset.
One day when I was sitting there a man suddenly fell into the pond and started shouting, “Help! Help!” I had not seen him when he came by, or how he slipped. Anybody could have slipped; those steps were so slippery with moss. I jumped in to help him and somehow I pulled him out. He was very angry.
He said to me, “Why did you do that?”
I said, “This is strange! You were asking for help.”
He said, “Yes, I was asking for help because I became so afraid, but really I wanted to commit suicide – and you prevented me. I would not have shouted if I had any idea that somebody else was present. Nobody comes here. What are you doing here?”
I said, “This is strange. When you started shouting, ‘Help! Help!’ I thought you were drowning. I have unnecessarily become wet in this muddy pond and now you are angry.”
He said, “Yes, I am certainly angry because that shout was just out of fear. I was not meaning to be saved.”
So do you know what I did? I simply pushed him back in. What else to do? Again he started shouting, “Help! Help!”
And I said, “Now I am not going to help. I have helped twice: the first time by getting you out; the second, by pushing you back in. Now do whatsoever you want.”
He said, “What kind of man are you?” And he was drowning – coming up and going down, and crying, “Help!”
I said, “Not against your will.
He said, “I am saying help” – but I simply sat there.
I said, “Try yourself.” He was not far away from the bank because I had just pulled him out, he was just close, so it was perfectly clear that he would manage. And he did. He got a little water inside him but he came out and said, “You are a strange man.”
I said, “I am a strange man? You are a strange man! First I saved you; you were angry. Then I helped you by throwing you back in; you were angry again, and started crying out for help.”
He said, “Yes, when I get into water I become afraid of death, but really I want to commit suicide.”
I said, “Then come at some other time because at this time I am always here, and if you start shouting, ‘Help!’ then it looks very strange not to help. But I cannot help you against your will.”
Compassion cannot allow you even to do good to the other person who is not ready for it. Compassion gives total freedom, respect and dignity to the other person; all these people who have been trying to save others are just a by-product of Christianity and its conditioning.
In Buddhism there is no place for saving anybody. Buddha says, “I can show you the way, but you will have to walk. I cannot walk for you. If you don’t want to walk, who am I to force you? At the most I can say I have walked the path, and I can describe the beauties of the path, but I cannot force you in any way. That will not be compassion, it will be cruelty. If it is your pleasure to go some other way, then all my blessings are with you. Even if you are going to hell, my blessings are with you.”
Mahavira has taken a very clear stand: “Nobody has ever been saved by anybody else. It is not possible by its very nature because if somebody can save you, then somebody can unsave you also. Then your being saved is not something in your possession, it is given by somebody. It is just as somebody can give you money and somebody else can steal it – you are not the master of it. And at least your self-realization, your enlightenment, must be something of which you are the master, which nobody can deprive you of.”
It is simple logic: if somebody can give it to you, then somebody can deprive you of it; there is no problem in it. If you can be forced to be enlightened, you can be forced to be unenlightened. Mahavira is very clear, and I agree with him, that at least one ultimate thing should be left to the individual. Enlightenment is the ultimate experience; it should not be borrowed, given, purchased, forced, otherwise it won’t be the real thing.
It is Christian stupidity that has spread the idea; no other religion before Christianity had ever thought of saving somebody. If you know the way, you know the joys of the way, you can sing the song, you can dance the dance. If somebody feels like moving with you, being a fellow traveler, not a follower, then he is welcome. But there is no enforcement and you are not obliging him.
These are the beautiful points which have arisen in the Eastern consciousness over thousands of years. Even if you show the way, you give the details of the path and you give the discipline; you don’t make the other person feel obliged to you. You are not doing it for him, it is just your own experience which wants to be shared. He is obliging you by hearing you, by giving you a chance to share your experience. He is helping you to be unburdened of the fragrance that you are carrying – and you want to be unburdened, you have to be thankful to the person – the question of saving does not arise.
But after Christianity it became an almost universal phenomenon. After Christianity came Mohammedanism, and of course they went to the very logical end: either you have to be ready to be saved or be ready to die. They don’t give you any other choice, because they believe that if you go on living unsaved you may commit sins and you will suffer in hell. By killing you they are at least taking away all the opportunities of falling into hell.
To be killed by a savior is almost to be saved. That’s what Mohammedans have been saying, that if you kill somebody in order to save him, he is saved; God will look after it. He is saved and you are accumulating more virtue in saving so many people. Mohammedans have killed millions of people in the East, and the strange thing is that they believed they were doing the right thing. Whenever somebody does a wrong thing believing that it is right, then it is more dangerous. You cannot persuade him otherwise, he does not give you a chance to be persuaded. In India I tried in every possible way to approach Mohammedan scholars, but they are unapproachable. They don’t want to discuss any religious matter with somebody who is not a Mohammedan.
They have a word of condemnation for the person who is not a Mohammedan. Just as Christians call him a heretic, Mohammedans call him kafir – which is even worse than heretic. Kafir comes from a word, kufr; kufr means sin, a sinner. Kafir means a sinner: anybody who is not a Mohammedan is a sinner. There are no other categories, only two categories. Either you are a Mohammedan, then you are a saint: just by being a Mohammedan you are a saint, you are saved, because you believe in one God, one prophet – Mohammed – and one holy book, the Koran. Believing these three things is enough for you to be a saint. And those who are not Mohammedans are all kafirs, sinners.
It is a strange fact that India has the greatest population of Mohammedans – even today, after Pakistan was divided from India. Before the division, certainly India was the biggest Mohammedan country in the world. With Pakistan, it was hoped that now Mohammedans were going to have their own country. They got a great portion of the country, according to their population, but not all the Mohammedans moved to Pakistan. All the Hindus in Pakistan were killed, so Pakistan is purely a Mohammedan country. But the Mohammedans who did not move to Pakistan and who remain in India are still more in number than in any other country in the world, Pakistan included.
India, although a Hindu country, has the biggest number of Mohammedans. Still it is impossible to communicate, they will not. I have tried my best, but if you are not a Mohammedan then how can you understand? There is no question of any dialogue: you are a kafir.
I had a professor as my colleague in the university, who loved me very much. He was a Mohammedan. Jabalpur is one of the big centers of Mohammedans and it has great scholars. One very famous scholar, Burhanuddin, was there. He was old, and famous as a scholar of Mohammedanism all over India and outside India too. I asked Farid, “Find some way for me to have a dialogue with him.”
He said, “It is really difficult – unless you can pretend to be a Mohammedan.”
I said, “That too is very difficult, because then you have to teach me a few basic things of Mohammedanism – their prayer and what they do. Moreover Burhanuddin knows me – we have spoken many times from the same platform – so it will be very difficult for me to act. I can try, there is no harm. At the most we may get caught and we can laugh at the whole thing.”
He said, “You can laugh, but my position will be very bad. They will kill me: ‘You are a Mohammedan and you are supporting a kafir, and deceiving one of your great masters.’” But he was willing to do it. He started teaching me the language, Urdu. It was difficult to learn because it is just absolutely the opposite of any language that is born of Sanskrit. An Urdu book starts from the back and the sentence starts from the right corner and goes toward the left.
It is so difficult to get adjusted: it is just upside down, the whole thing. You have to open the book from the end; that is the beginning. And then the sentence starts from the right and moves toward the left. Because of the way the Urdu language is written, a perfect way has not yet been found to print it or type it. The way it is written is not scientific at all; most of it has to be guessed. So those who are accustomed to read it can read it because they can guess what it will be. But for somebody who is learning, it is very difficult to guess.
I tried for six months. I learned enough so that I could deceive somebody into thinking that I was not very educated, but a little bit. I learned their prayers, Farid managed to get a wig for me and cut my beard like the Mohammedans cut theirs. Their beards are so strange that even to think of it again now my stomach starts churning. But I went through it; they cut my mustache off completely and left just my beard.
I said, “My God. If you had told me before then I would not have wasted these six months!” In a way they were right, because I know that a mustache is such a difficult thing – particularly a mustache like mine which is not trimmed but is wild. I don’t allow Mukta to trim it. It is difficult even to drink tea or to drink fruit juice because half of it will remain on the mustache. So Mohammedans have found a way: they cut off the mustache, they shave the mustache, and they keep the beard. But that looks so ugly.
But I said, “Okay, we will do it. Now, for a few days I will not leave my house. Just give me a wig and let me see Burhanuddin.” It certainly changed my face completely when Farid cut my beard like the Mohammedans’ – very thin along the jaw line and just a little bit of beard on the chin – like Lenin’s, a little less. Without a mustache and with a wig I looked different.
We went there, but the old man detected something about my eyes. He said, “I have seen those eyes somewhere.”
I said, “Farid, where could Maulana” – Maulana means master; he was known as Maulana Burhanuddin – “have seen me? I have never been to this city.”
Farid was trembling, he was having a nervous breakdown: we had never thought about the eyes. That old man continued to look, and he said, “I suspect something.”
I said, “Farid, he suspects something.” Farid just fell at his feet and he said, “There is no need to suspect – you know this man. Forgive me, I was just trying to help him because he wanted to have a dialogue with you.”
But he said, “First tell me who he is because as far as I can remember, I have known the man and I have seen him many times. You have just cut off his mustache.”
I said, ‘Now it is better, Farid, that you tell the whole thing, that not only have you cut off my mustache…” I took off the wig and I said, “Look at the wig.”
The moment I was without the wig, Burhanuddin immediately recognized me, and he said, “You!”
I said, “What else to do? You know me perfectly but you will not have a personal talk with me. Do you think that just being a Mohammedan is enough to be a saint? What sin have I committed?
“Certainly I am not a Mohammedan, but Mohammed himself was not a Mohammedan when he was born. Was he a kafir, a sinner? And can you tell me who converted Mohammed to Islam? He was never converted. Just as Jesus remained a Jew, Mohammed remained a pagan all his life; Mohammedanism is something that started after his death. So if Mohammed, a kafir, can become the messenger of God, can’t I discuss the message?”
Burhanuddin said, “This is what I was afraid of. This is why we don’t encourage any dialogue between Mohammedans and non-Mohammedans.”
I said, “That simply shows your weakness. What is the fear? I am opening myself to you, to be saved by you. Save me – and if you cannot save me then let me try to save you.”
But he simply turned toward Farid and said, “Take him away – I don’t want to talk anymore. And you have to come to see me tomorrow.”
Farid was punished, beaten. I could not believe it: he was a professor at the university, a well-known scholar who was a guide to many research students working on Mohammedanism, on Urdu literature, the Koran. Burhanuddin had a few hooligans there who gave Farid a good beating. He showed me his body; all over his body were signatures of the Mohammedan attitude.
He said, “I told you before, that if something went wrong… They have only beaten me because I am a well-known person – if I were somebody else they would have killed me.”
The stupidity has moved from Christianity to Mohammedanism. But except for these two religions no religion believes that you can save anybody, and in fact the other religions know more about compassion than those two religions. This idea of being a savior is simply illogical. Try to understand it.
You have been living for many lives; you have been doing things on your own. Now it is your responsibility to undo all that. How can I undo it? I have not done it, I have never been a partner with you in doing it. You have lived an absolutely free, individual life for many lives, and according to that you have grown and come to the stage where you are. This is not accidental, it is the growth of a long, long process. Now to undo that process you will have to take great responsibility on yourself. I can show you the way I have undone my process. Certainly, the same method will help you to undo your process – perhaps with a little modification here and there that you have to work out.
You can work it out with me, but it is going to be a dialogue, not dictation. I cannot dictate to you, “Do this,” and give you a simple panacea so that you will be saved: “Believe in me and you are saved.” Then not believing in me would be the only problem. Do you think that not believing in me is the only problem? If that is the only problem then certainly in believing in me the problem is solved, you are saved. But that is not the problem. In your believing in me, your anger will still remain anger, your greed will still remain greed, your jealousy will still remain jealousy.
Believing in me or Jesus or Mohammed is not going to change anything. Do you think people who believe in Jesus are different in any way from people who don’t believe in Jesus, who believe in Mohammed, who believe in somebody else? No, they are not different. Deep down they are the same people, with the same jealousy, with the same arrogance, the same egoism, the same violence. Everything is the same, all the garbage is the same. Believing changes nothing at all, so how can you be saved? The whole idea is idiotic.
Mahavira and Buddha are far more sophisticated than Jesus and Mohammed. One of my arguments with Jaina monks began with this same question. Mahavira says: “Nobody can save anybody except himself. Everybody has to save himself.” Buddha says: “Be a light unto yourself.” That was his last message before he died.

When Buddha was dying his closest disciple, Ananda, started crying. There were thousands of disciples there, at least ten thousand disciples. They were all ready to burst into tears, but they were holding back their tears somehow because Buddha would not like it: “At least while he is going beyond our reach let him go feeling that his disciples have followed his message.”
But Ananda could not contain himself. It was difficult for everybody, but for Ananda it was more difficult because for at least sixty years he had been like a shadow to Buddha, serving him in every possible way without asking anything in return. It was just a sheer joy to serve him and to sit silently while he was talking to others, answering others. Ananda would never interrupt. It is very difficult to find such a devoted person.
He was Buddha’s elder brother, his cousin-brother; he was older than Buddha. Before he was initiated into sannyas Ananda had asked Buddha three things. He said, “After being initiated I will be your disciple; whatsoever you say there is no question, I have to do it, and I will do it. But right now I am still your elder brother, so as an elder brother promise me three things and then initiate me, because after that I will never be able to ask anything.” He asked three things, but he never used a single promise.
One was: “You will not say to me, ‘Ananda, go somewhere else to spread the word.’ I am going to remain with you to serve you. You have to promise me.” The second was: “Even if in the middle of the night I bring somebody who needs your help, you cannot refuse them. Anybody I bring to you, you have to help; whether you are tired after the whole day’s work or not doesn’t matter. If I bring somebody to you, you have to help him, you cannot refuse.” And the third was: “If I ask a question, you cannot tell me, as you tell others, ‘Be silent for two years, three years, meditate, and then I will answer.’ No, you will have to answer immediately.” As his younger brother, Buddha promised Ananda that these three things would be granted to him.
But Ananda was a rare man, otherwise Buddha would have hesitated to accept these conditions, because initiation cannot be given in a conditional way. He could have simply said, “If you put conditions on me then initiation is not possible” – because many other times other people had come with conditions and he had refused them; but to Ananda he gave the promise. That is unprecedented in the whole history of initiation. But I can understand why he did it; he knew Ananda from his childhood – he was not a man to take advantage. Buddha knew that Ananda would never use those promises – he could be given them.
Ananda never used them. He never asked a single question, he never brought a single person, and of course, Buddha never told him to go away. If Buddha had said to, he would have gone – he would not have even mentioned the promise – but Buddha never asked him.
This man could not contain himself: sixty years was so long to be together. He had been just like a shadow – and now he was left alone. Tears came to his eyes. Buddha opened his eyes to look, to have a last look at his disciples. Seeing tears in Ananda’s eyes he said, “Ananda, be a light unto yourself. I was not your light and I was not your savior. My death makes no difference. In fact, now you will have to understand what I have been telling you for sixty years: don’t remain in any illusion just because you are serving me and you are being with me devotedly. It is very difficult to find such a devotion – still it is not going to save you.”

You have to go through a transformation and that, only you can do. It is such an inner work that even the master cannot reach there. Except you, nobody can reach there. And this is the beauty of the human soul, that it is absolutely unavailable to anybody. Your center is so protected by existence that nobody can even touch it.
The question of saving somebody does not arise. Yes, the man of compassion tries his best to explain to you the way, to explain to you how it has happened to him. But that is simply sharing his story with you. Perhaps out of that story you can get some hints for yourself, but that is up to you.
In the twenty-five centuries since Mahavira and Buddha, Buddhism has completely disappeared from India because Buddhist monks could not compromise with Hinduism in any way. And I think that it is perfectly right: there is no need to compromise with anybody. Rather than compromising they preferred either to be killed, burned, or to leave the country. So a very strange thing happened: Buddhism was born in India, Buddha was born in India, and yet in India there are no Buddhists. There was a time when the whole of India was afire with Buddhism. Either they had to die or they had to compromise, but not a single Buddhist is known to have been converted, it is impossible. If you have understood something how can somebody else convert you?
They left the country and spread all over Asia, so the whole of Asia turned to Buddhism. Except for India the whole continent is Buddhist. Buddhists from all over Asia come to India to pay homage to the place where Buddha became enlightened. The temple that was made as a memorial for Buddha’s enlightenment has a brahmin priest because Buddhists disappeared from India so totally that even to find a priest was impossible. For the memorial temple of Buddha’s enlightenment there was no Buddhist available. And a brahmin – Buddha’s whole revolution is against brahminism.
Brahmins are professional priests. You can tell them anything, you pay for it, and they will be the priest – it doesn’t matter. And to them it really does not matter because Hinduism has thirty-three million gods. When you can worship thirty-three million gods, one or two more makes no difference. And they are not getting involved in your religion: they just worship purely as professionals.
I have talked with the brahmin priest who is worshipping in Buddha’s temple, just as a heritage. For centuries his family has been worshipping there; they are almost the owners of the place. I asked him, “Are you influenced in any way by Buddha?”
He said, “The question does not arise – we are professional priests. Somebody is a professional doctor, somebody is a professional engineer, that does not mean that becomes his religion. My religion is Hinduism and I go to the Hindu temple to worship for myself. This is simply a paid job. I am being paid, and I go on receiving many gifts because people come from all the Buddhist countries – Sri Lanka, Japan, Vietnam, Indonesia, China, Korea, Taiwan, the whole of Asia. So many gifts go on coming to me, it is a really profitable job, but I am a brahmin and I am against Buddhism.”
Buddhists disappeared because they did not compromise, and Jainism remained a small stream because it did compromise. It was one of the questions of debate for me all over India when meeting Jaina monks or meeting them on a stage in some conference. They would all say, “Mahavira was born to redeem the whole of mankind from sin.”
I said, “This is absolutely wrong – you are just putting Mahavira’s name in place of Jesus Christ. It is a Christian influence, it is not at all in tune with Mahavira. He was not born to redeem the whole world, and if he was, the proof is that the world is not redeemed. Nor has Jesus’ crucifixion redeemed the world. Nobody has been able to redeem the world – it is nobody’s business to. If you can redeem yourself, that is more than enough. And if you can spread a little bit of light and fragrance around you, you are fortunate and blessed.”
Saving somebody is really a thankless job – you know, the way I saved the man in that ancient pond in Raipur. He was shouting, “Help! Help!” but he could not believe it when I pushed him back. When he came out he said, “The first time it was okay because I was shouting, ‘Help! Help!’ but I was just standing there and you pushed me!”
I said, “I was simply undoing what I had done because it was wrong, against your will. If you want to commit suicide all my blessings are with you. If just a little push is needed, I am not so miserly that I won’t give it to you.”
When I was a student, it happened that I had a friend who was in love with a Bengali girl. He was not a Bengali, but he was really a fanatic lover. He almost transformed himself into a Bengali; he even started speaking Hindi the way Bengalis speak. It was impossible to detect that he was not a Bengali because he was speaking Bengali very perfectly. That can be understood, but he also started speaking Hindi – which was his mother tongue – the way Bengalis speak it, and Bengalis destroy it!
He learned that too just to influence that girl and her parents, to show that although he was not a born Bengali, he was almost a Bengali. He started dressing himself the Bengali way and he started carrying an umbrella, which Bengalis always do – I don’t know why. If it is raining it is okay, if it is hot it is okay; but no matter whether it is raining or not, hot or not, cold or not, an umbrella is always with them. It is a multipurpose thing: to drive dogs away, to beat somebody or to fight with somebody. It has many purposes and is always handy. It has just become part of the Bengali personality – so he started carrying an umbrella.
I said, “Thakur” – he was by caste a Thakur.
He said, “You are my friend, but don’t call me Thakur, call me Thakoor. The way Bengalis say it, the u in Thakur becomes o: Thakoor – otherwise our friendship is finished.”
I said, “I am not a Bengali and it looks so foolish to call you Thakoor, I will be unnecessarily wasting my breath. Thakur is perfectly good.”
But the family refused him, because Bengalis are very arrogant in that matter. They are just like French people in Europe. They think their language is the best and their culture is the best. Even if a Frenchman understands English he won’t speak it, he will speak in French. He cannot fall down so low and just speak English. Bengalis do the same: they can speak Hindi but they won’t.
I have visited Kolkata hundreds of times but only Hindi-speaking people would come to listen to me. Even in Kolkata – which is the capital for Bengalis – not a single Bengali would turn up for a meeting. I had a few friends who would come to see me, and I asked them, “Why don’t you come to the meetings?
They said, “Unless you start speaking in Bengali, no Bengali is going to come.”
You will be surprised that in Kolkata they call everybody who is outside Bengal an Indian. They are Bengalis, and everybody, except them, is an Indian. That was strange to know. For the first time I came to know in Bengal that I am Indian and they are Bengalis.
So the family refused Thakur. They said, “You may speak Bengali, you may even speak Hindi the way Bengalis speak, you may carry an umbrella; you have managed everything well…” The boy started eating fish and rice, because that is the most important food for Bengalis – rice and fish. He would not eat any other sweets than Bengali sweets. He was really a Majnu, a Farhad, a Romeo – that kind of person. But the family refused him, they said, “We won’t accept you.” But he was not going to take no from them. He closed himself in his room and his family all tried to persuade him to open the door.
He said, “I am not going to open the door. I am going to die in this room unless you go and persuade that family. Either I have to marry their daughter or I am going to die.”
Now the family said, “How can we persuade them? Those people don’t even consider themselves Indians. You have become almost a Bengali.”
“If they have refused you,” the father said, “they will not even talk to me because that’s far below them. Bengalis have culture, they have great poets and great scientists and everything great. They won’t listen to me.”
Still, he went – what else to do? Thakur was his only son, and he was being so foolish that he wouldn’t open the door. The father went. He was a well-known doctor, but the family said, “We are sorry, but we cannot give our daughter to an Indian family. You will not be able to give her the comforts, the food, the culture, that she is accustomed to, so it is not going to happen. Just persuade your son.”
The trouble was that the girl was not interested, otherwise I would have managed something. I told the boy, “It is not a problem of being a Bengali or a non-Bengali. I would have managed something if the girl was interested in you, but she is not interested at all; otherwise you could have eloped. I would have managed it.”

I had done it two or three times in my life. I had even arranged for my own brother to elope with a girl, because my younger brother fell in love with the daughter of the landlord of the house where I used to live.
My landlord was furious, but I said, “Don’t be worried; I will persuade my brother when he comes next.” – because he was studying in the engineering college, so he came whenever he had time; the engineering college was almost ten miles away from the place – “Whenever he comes I will explain things to him. Don’t be worried.”
Meanwhile I asked his daughter, “What do you want? If you are really willing then tomorrow you can both escape – I will arrange everything. He is madly in love with you but the question is, are you in love with him?”
She said, “I am more madly in love with him than he is with me.”
So I said, “Then it is perfect.” I arranged a magistrate, but he was not willing to do the marriage in Jabalpur because the legal procedure is that a month’s notice has to be posted on the court board: “Such and such persons are going to be married. If anybody has any objection…”
But a month is a long time; if her father came to know… I said, “Do one thing. Post it tonight and back-date it a month. Who will prove that it was not there for a month? On your notice board there are hundreds of notices. Just paste it in a corner. It should be there – back-dated.”
He said, “You don’t know law or anything.”
I said, “You have to do it. It is not a question of law, it is a question of love. You have to do it! I have never asked anything of you – and I am not asking for myself. But my young brother and this girl will both suffer their whole lives. They will suffer anyway but let them suffer together! If they want that then it is my duty to help – just help too.”
He said okay. In the night he placed a back-dated notice on the board, but he was very afraid that even just in the morning something might go wrong – the court did not open till then. He said, “What I will do is this: I will go to a village nearby where I go occasionally for tours as a magistrate. So send your brother and the girl there – nobody will be able to prevent them.”
So he went thirty or forty miles away and stayed in a guesthouse. I drove my brother and his girlfriend there and got them married; the magistrate signed and sealed everything. But his fear was right, because a clerk from his court found that back-dated note. The clerk knew the girl’s father, so he immediately phoned and said, “Do you know your girl is going to be married? Today is the last day to register any objections, and the magistrate is not here, he has gone on tour.”
The father came running from his shop. I was missing and the girl was missing. They went around the whole town; their whole family was searching to find where we had gone. By the evening we returned. I went to Delhi; I said to my brother, “I am not coming home for a few days. Go to our father’s house in the village, don’t go to the girl’s father. Go to our father’s house; I will phone our father and tell him, ‘I have got one of your sons married and I am sending him and his wife to you, so receive them well at the station.’”
My father said, “You are just a trouble, because you have already done it without asking me. Now I can’t do anything about it – I will go to the station and receive them.”
I said, “Give them a good reception because the girl’s father is not going to give a reception. I will not be there because I don’t want to be seen with them; he is my landlord and he will throw me out and make me leave the house.”
After three days I came back. The landlord looked at me and he said, “Where have you been?”
I said, “I went to New Delhi.”
He said, “Yes, I see you must have gone, but what happened to my daughter?”
I said, “I don’t know. What happened to your daughter? I am not your daughter’s guardian.”
So he said, “You don’t know anything?”
I said, “No, I don’t.”
He said, “They got married!”
I said, “This is news to me. Who married them?” Then I persuaded him: “If they have got married then why make an unnecessary fuss about it? Give them a good reception. They are already married – you cannot do anything. Legally she is adult, he is adult; you cannot do anything legally. And you have showed me the one month’s notice: what were you doing for one month? Now, when they have married, you think about it? Be a little cool. This will be unnecessarily a scandal for your family. Why make it a scandal? Give them a good reception and say it is with your wishes that they have married.”
He said, “It seems right; there is no point in doing otherwise.”
So I arranged it; I arranged for my father to give them a good reception, and I organized things with the landlord, then I phoned my father: “Now you can bring the marriage procession to Jabalpur: her father is willing to give a good reception.”

So I told Thakur, “I have arranged marriages – there is no problem – but the girl simply hates you, it is not just that she does not love you. Even if she were not in love I would have persuaded her, talked to her; at least she could feel compassion for you – because he had been trying to become a Bengali for six years continually, and he had become one. “But the girl simply hates you; she says it is impossible!”
He would not open the door and he was threatening, “If you do anything I have poison inside.” He did have poison because he had got it from his father’s dispensary. “I will drink it if you force me or if you try to break down the doors.”
The father said to me, “Now do something.”
I went to the door. I said, “Listen, Thakoor.”
He said, “So it is you?” – because he understood, nobody else would call him Thakoor.
I said, “Yes, it is I.”
He said, “I want to commit suicide.”
I said, “I will arrange it – just come out with me. Here it will be difficult: even if you take the poison you are not going to die immediately. Your father is a doctor; the door can be broken down and you can be saved from the poison. It is not such a great thing. I found out from your father that that poison can kill, but it will take at least eighteen to twenty-four hours for a man to die. Meanwhile the poison can be got out, or an antidote can be given. So you see it is simply foolish. Just come with me; my car is waiting outside, just come with me.”
He came out and I took him home. I said, “The best place to die is by the marble rocks. It is one of the most beautiful places in the world.” For two continuous miles the Narmada flows between two mountains of white marble. On the full-moon night it is an absolute dreamland: you can’t believe that things can be so beautiful. So I said to him, “This is good; although it is not full-moon night it is very close. In just two days time it will be full moon. If you can wait for two days, good; otherwise still it is good light. You are going to die so what does it matter whether it is a full-moon night or a no-moon night?
“I will drive you early in the morning – because that is the best time. In the night there are people and you may be saved, because when the moon is there many people go for picnics or for boating, so it is full. But in the morning there is nobody. It is a night place. In the day there is no beauty – if you see it in the day you will not believe it is the same place that you saw in the night; a millionfold difference.”
I had actually requested the governor, who was my friend, “Close this place during the day. Nobody should be allowed to enter to see the marble rocks then because it destroys the beauty of the marble rocks. It should be open only when the moon is there, just for a few nights.”
He agreed but he said, “There is no law like that, and the Narmada is a holy river for Hindus: it will cause trouble if we prevent people. They will say they are going to take a bath – and this is a religious thing, so don’t get me into trouble.”
I told Thakur, “Five o’clock will be the right time, so I am fixing the alarm for four o’clock. It takes an hour to get from here to the marble rocks.” So in my room, on a table between our beds, I put the clock. Thakur was tossing and turning; I said, “What is the matter? You don’t feel like sleeping? This is the last night. Have a good sleep. You will never be able to sleep again, so just sleep.”
He said, “Are you my friend?”
I said, “Yes, certainly, Thakur, I am your friend.”
He said, “You are so interested in my suicide and you are making every arrangement: I wonder whether you are my friend or my enemy.”
I said, “I am just your friend. You want to die – I am ready to help. If you want to live, I am ready to help. A friend is really known when a crucial moment comes and this is such a moment. If you are going to die at least I can help you.” I brought the car to the porch, and I said, “In the morning somebody may get up late, so it is better if I go to the gas station to fill it up now; in the morning, at four o’clock, it may be difficult. We may not find the petrol pump owner, and a problem may arise, so I am making every arrangement.”
The more arrangements I made, the more he became afraid of suicide. At four o’clock when the alarm went off he immediately put his hand on the clock. I caught his hand and said, “This is not good, because then we will be late.”
He said, “But I am feeling too sleepy.”
I said, “You can sleep in the car – don’t be worried. And it only takes a few seconds, you just have to jump; if you cannot jump I can push you. Nobody can come out alive from the waterfall in the marble rocks; nobody ever has. Many people have committed suicide there; it is a special place. During examination times there are constables on duty twenty-four hours a day, because nobody can come out alive.
“The waterfall is big and it falls onto rocks; so when you take a jump the waterfall takes you down deep, perhaps a hundred feet or a hundred and fifty feet down, and then there are rocks all around. You may get hit on the rocks – nobody who has jumped there has ever come back alive.” So I said, “Don’t be worried: it is sure, guaranteed; there is no problem. Just have a good sleep in the car now.”
He sat in the car very reluctantly. On the way he said, “Are you really going to the marble rocks?”
I said, “We decided on it.”
He said, “Just take me to my home. I don’t want to get married to that girl. To hell with that girl! I became a Bengali for her, and now I am going to commit suicide?”
I said, “This is strange – you wasted my whole night and all the arrangements I have made. Don’t change your mind; keep to your word.”
He said, “You are saying that! It is my life and you are preparing for my death.”
I said, “If you want I can leave you at your house, but remember, never mention suicide again.”
He said, “That I understand. I will certainly not mention suicide to you, nobody should mention it to you: you are dangerous.”
I said, “I am simply helpful.”
He is still alive. He got married to another girl and he has children. The last time I went to Jabalpur in ‘69, he said, “If I had followed you and committed suicide it would have been better.”
I said, “I am still ready. You should not mention it to me because if you still want to, there is no problem.”
He said, “No, I don’t mean it. I am simply saying that getting married and having children and a job is worse than death.”
I said, “If it is worse, I am still ready to help you.”
There are people who are living a life which is worse than death, but they are not courageous enough even to commit suicide. And for transformation more courage is needed than for suicide. For suicide, only a few moments of courage are needed. You have to keep hold of yourself just for a few moments and then take a jump or shoot yourself. It is just a question of moments. Any coward can be brave enough for a single moment.
But transformation is a lifelong process – it is not a question of saving yourself for a few moments.
This is the reason people got interested in religions like Christianity, because Christianity sells the idea so cheap. You do not have to anything, no transformation – the word transformation does not even appear in the whole of the Bible – no meditation. The word is not Christian or Jewish. All that you need to do is to believe in the messiah and go to church every Sunday. They can talk about anything, because who listens to the boring preachers there? And because they are boring they cannot conceive that there is a possibility of listening to somebody with deep intimacy and love.
I saw on television a panel of three priests: a rabbi and two Christians. They discussed many things about me and about my commune – all rumors. There was nothing true in it. One thing they discussed was: “Osho has started speaking and he will be speaking every day now. Won’t people get bored?”
Of course that is the experience of three priests. They don’t speak every day for three hours continually. They speak only once a week, and not for three hours; otherwise people would kill them. All three priests were concerned that my people will get bored. They don’t know me, they don’t know my people.
I have been speaking for thirty years continually, and I have not seen a single person sitting in front of me, bored. It is impossible because whatever I am saying is not borrowed. I am opening my heart before you, and you are getting bored? That is impossible. I reveal myself to you, and you get bored? That is impossible. But what those three priests were saying had a certain relevance in their experience and so they all agreed that people would get bored.
The rabbi even suggested, “We should also start something like this, approaching people – because we have dropped talking about truth.” They don’t do that anymore because there is no need. Nobody wants to hear, nobody is interested in their God. Even they are not interested.
I have heard…

Three rabbis were discussing whose synagogue was the most modern. One said, “In my synagogue women are even allowed to sit side by side with men. Even girlfriends and boyfriends, those who are not married to each other, are allowed to sit together – even people sitting with others’ wives, who I know are committing adultery. But my synagogue is ultra-modern and we move with the times.”
The second one said, “This is nothing, because in my synagogue there is no preaching, no prayer, but a beautiful dinner is served and everybody enjoys it more than the sermon. The real question is enjoyment. With a sermon people get bored. You mention the Torah, you mention the Talmud, and they start thinking, How to escape from here? But just because of a delicious dinner everybody from the congregation comes.”
The third one said, “This is nothing – my synagogue remains closed on Jewish holidays.”

These people have nothing to do with truth, nothing to do with transformation, nothing to do with your personality: they are simply part of a business. These are firms of long, traditional standing. They are all doing business. The question is whose customer are you? That’s what they mean by saving: “Why are you being saved by somebody else? We can save you in a less costly way, more cheaply, in a more ultra-modern way. We can even keep the synagogues closed on Jewish holidays. What more do you want?” They are offering you everything – just be saved by them.
That reminds me again of Natthu Kaka. I was a regular visitor to his salon. I had no beard at that time – I was a child – and no mustache, so there was no fear, but I had to use a scarf because I had long hair, and if Natthu Kaka was in the mood he might start cutting it. Once he had cut your hair you could not do anything. And he was such a nice man, he would say, “Why be worried? – you need not pay.” It was a problem every day that he had shaved somebody without asking him, and the man was angry.
Particularly in India, people shave if they become sannyasins; that means they are dying in a ritualistic way. When a person dies he is shaved; it is just symbolic. Just as a person is shaved when he dies, in the same way when somebody becomes a traditional sannyasin he is shaved. Or if your father dies, traditionally all the sons will be shaved; but now they have found a more liberal way – only the eldest son has to be shaved. So to shave somebody’s complete head without asking him… And Natthu Kaka was really a craftsman: with just one hand half of your skull was shaved clean; now there was no way except to let him shave your whole head, because with it only half shaven you would look more of an idiot than with it totally shaven.
So it was a question of a fight every day, and I enjoyed the scene. Natthu Kaka’s shop was just in front of my father’s shop so whenever there was something happening I would immediately go there. But I kept my scarf in Natthu Kaka’s place because sometimes I might come by and just see some great thing happening – somebody ready to hit Natthu Kaka, and him saying, “You are getting unnecessarily upset. I am an old man, an opium addict. I don’t know whom I am shaving and what is happening – it is all mixed up. Somehow you got into my hands, and it is just an old habit to shave people, so I did it.”
So I used to keep my scarf there: the first thing I would do is put on my scarf. One day he shaved a man who was a kind of political leader. Of course the man was very angry and he said, “You have to be punished for this. I am going to the police, I am going to the court.”
I was there. I said, “There is no need to be angry, and even by going to the police and to the court your hair will not be replaced. This poor man is not even asking money from you. As far as your hair is concerned…” The man was educated, and I used to have discussions with him. So I told him, “You remember the Zen haiku: ‘Sitting silently, doing nothing and the grass grows by itself’? Why be so worried? Just change grass and put hair.”
That day an idea came to me. I made a small board and put it in Natthu Kaka’s shop. Natthu Kaka is dead but perhaps in his shop there will still be the board on which I wrote the haiku, with a note: “If Natthu Kaka shaves somebody, don’t get angry with him; he is just an old savior. And if he has shaved you, please meditate on this haiku: ‘Sitting silently, doing nothing, the hair grows by itself.’ The hair will grow – don’t be worried.”
Perhaps that board is still there, or perhaps the shop is finished, because his sons were not interested in doing business with him. They were trying to find employment because, they said, “With this old man we will lose business because we are not opium addicts. People forgive him because everybody comes running from all the shops around here saying, ‘Don’t be angry – he is a nice fellow.’”
When I last went to my village – that was in ’70 – he was still alive but very old. I went to see him and he said, “Since you have left for your studies, nobody comes regularly the way you used to come, and there is nobody to help this old opium addict. I go on doing my thing – I can’t help it.” He would sometimes catch hold of children and shave them, and then their fathers would come and say, “What have you done?” And his only answer was, “I don’t ask for any money, can’t I even practice? Where am I supposed to practice? No customers are coming and I am sitting without doing anything.”
In 1970 he told me, “You are the only person who can help me” – because in my childhood there was no legal prohibition on opium or any drugs; everything was available in the market. Only the person who was selling needed a license that cost five rupees per year; the people who were purchasing were not required to have any license or anything. But in 1970 when I went there, things had changed. All drugs were prohibited and the old addicts, like Natthu Kaka, were given licenses so that they could get a little quantity every day. He was very angry.
He said, “Only you can help, because I know how many people are opium addicts in the whole country. If you lead us, and if all the opium addicts become united, we can overturn this government.”
I said, “Great, Natthu! You want me to become the leader of the opium addicts?”
He said, “I don’t know anybody who would be as understanding as you.”
I said, “The idea is good, but to collect all the opium addicts and to persuade them to make a party and overturn the government is a very difficult job. I would have to do everything alone. Your opium addicts would create trouble rather than be any help! Just drop this political act – this is not for opium addicts.”
He said, “Think about it, because you go around the country: you can just tell all the opium addicts that this is simply unjust. I have lived my whole life with opium and I have not harmed anybody – except that once in a while I shave people, but I don’t take any money. I have not done any crime; in fact I don’t have any energy to do any crime, I am just enjoying my opium. My opium has made me so simple and so innocent that people come and milk my cow and I go on seeing what they are doing, but only later on I remember that it was my cow, that they were milking my cow and they have taken the milk.
“I have not committed any crime; on the contrary people have been committing crimes against me. They take soap from my shop, they take mirrors from my shop – and I am sitting there! But I enjoy my own world. So I don’t see what the point is in prohibiting opium. You can prohibit any other drug – I am not concerned – but opium simply makes a man a gentleman.”
I said, “It is true, Natthu Kaka, but it will be very difficult. I will try.” And I actually told Indira Gandhi the whole story.
She laughed and said, “He is, in a way, right, that opium addicts don’t create any trouble.” Opium simply makes them hallucinate, and opium is a drug which makes you very happy, it never makes you depressed; all other drugs have that possibility. Sometimes if your mood is depressed and you take LSD, it will depress you more; if your mood is happy and you take LSD, it will raise your happiness. It depends on your mood: the drug only exaggerates your mood. Opium does not work that way. It simply relaxes you and helps you to hallucinate beautiful things, nice things. It never gives you any nightmares, because this Natthu Kaka and his friends – I have talked to all of them – never had any nightmares with opium.
So Indira told me, “What he is saying is right, but to collect the opium addicts will be difficult for you, and to overturn the government with their support will be really a revolution if it becomes possible.”
This idea of saving is deeply insulting and humiliating to people. The moment you say, “I would like to save you,” you are reducing that person to a subhuman being: you are a savior and he is just to be saved. It is ugly, it is just sick. It is not compassion. Compassion shares, and if somebody is available and open he absorbs it. But the credit never goes to you; you cannot claim, “I have saved you.” The person saves himself: that’s the only way, there is no other way.

I have heard you say that you are not here to inspire anybody. However, the fact is that I come away from your recent talks totally afire and ignited by whatever it is that happens between you and us. Please comment.
Yes, I am not here to inspire, but you are here to be inspired. These are two different things. If you get inspired the credit goes to you. It is not me who is inspiring you, it is you who are open to me. If you bring your candle close to me and it becomes lighted, is it my flame that is responsible or is it you coming closer to me, bringing your unlighted candle? I don’t move a single inch toward your candle, because that I consider a trespass.
I open myself completely to you and I make my candle available to you; you can bring your candle. It is just as when a thirsty man comes to the well: if he drinks and his thirst is quenched all credit goes to him. In fact the well feels grateful, thankful to him because as more water is taken out of the well, fresh water goes on flowing in. If people stop drinking from a well and drawing water from it, the water dies; its inner sources become closed. Soon the well becomes poisonous.
If a man of enlightenment remains closed – which is impossible, I am just saying it for argument’s sake – if a man of enlightenment remains closed he will destroy his enlightenment. But it is impossible. Enlightenment becomes enlightenment only because he opens up. And he goes on opening – there is no end to his opening.
All that he is, is only a presence. That’s why I say I don’t do anything. I am just here for you to do something. You can come close to me. That’s what happens when I am talking to you: unaware, you start moving closer to me. Your physical bodies remain where they are – and leave them there! – but you start moving toward me. Perhaps you will understand what I am saying: when somebody starts moving toward me, I can see – the body is left behind and the person has come very close to me. It is in that moment you feel afire, ignited. But the whole credit always goes to you.
I am not the savior, and I do not want ever to be known by that ugly word, savior. I am just a presence. You can save yourself. You can burn your candles from my fire and my fire will not lose anything. Yes, you will gain eternity, you will gain ultimate bliss.

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