Atomic Bombing of Nagasaki
6th August is a black day in the history of mankind. It is the day when the United States detonated a nuclear weapon over the Japanese city of Hiroshima in 1945. Three days later, on 9th August 1945 another atomic bomb was dropped over the Japanese city of Nagasaki. Both these bombs had been developed under the Allies’ Manhattan Project led by the United States with the support of UK and Canada. The two bombings killed approx. 350,000 people, most of whom were civilians. Apart from the immediate devastation at impact, hundreds of people continued to die for months afterwards from the effects of injuries, illnesses and radiation compounded by malnutrition.
Atomic energy could have been a great benediction had it been used rightly to solve the persistent problems of mankind like energy sufficiency. But it was used for the worst possible crime against innocent people. Einstein was not aware of how politician’s minds work and how they will misuse the power. Osho says Truman was the president of America who had ordered that Nagasaki and Hiroshima should be destroyed — without any reason or rhyme, because Germany had surrendered and Japan too was going …. The papers were being got ready, just the signature was needed of the emperor of Japan. Within two or three days, or at the most seven days, agreements would have been completed and Japan would have surrendered. Seeing that Japan was going to surrender, Truman was very quick. Before Japan surrendered — because then he would not be able to test his atom bombs — he gave the order.
You can have me only if you move with me unconditionally. No condition from your side can be accepted. And sometimes I demand things which are patently absurd, and I know that they are absurd. My people slowly slowly start understanding that if you can do something absurd, that helps you become a little loose, out from your mind. Once you are unconditionally with me, then if I say, “Go and move naked in the streets,” you say, “Okay”…. If you can say that, simply and innocently, I am not going to send you to move naked in the streets; the purpose is fulfilled. If you hesitate, if you say, “What do you mean?” then you will have to go. These are small devices. And sometimes small devices work very deeply, because you cannot detect them. Big devices you can detect — they are so big, any stupid person can see them…
Joyce Brandt, if you want to be here, if you really want to relate with me, you will have to learn a totally different way of relating. I am not a teacher, so if you are only a student here to be inspired, and all that…. I am not a missionary, either; I am not here to convert you to some philosophy.
If you are really to relate with a master — who has no knowledge but who knows, who has knowing but no knowledge — then you will have to relax a little. You will have to drop your ideas of how things should be.
Remember always, many times it happens: you want to become a sannyasin, but you forget who is the master and who is the disciple, and deep down you start expecting things to be fulfilled by the master. He has to be according to you, then he is right. But any master worth the name can never be according to you. People who are according to you are politicians. They know that you will follow them only if they are according to you: that is a mutual arrangement. They have to follow you to make followers out of you: that is a mutual exploitation. That’s what political leaders are, followers of the followers. They go on looking at you, at what your expectations are, and they go on fulfilling them.
I offend in every way. I cannot fulfill your expectations. If I start fulfilling your expectations, I will not be of any use to you. Then really you will be the master and I will be the disciple. Who is taking sannyas from whom? This has to be decided in the beginning. Am I taking sannyas from you, or are you taking sannyas from me? Let it be very clear. Many times you take sannyas and it is not clear, and you want me to be this way or that way, to live this way or to live that way. And if I am not according to you, then you are disappointed.
The real master will always disappoint you. He has to disappoint you. This is how, slowly slowly, chunks of your mind will be broken off and taken away from you. I have to continuously hammer you, and I have to be absolutely clear about it from the very beginning.
The orange, the mala, the picture, have no other purpose. The purpose is that you have to know clearly that it is you who have to be unconditionally in accord with me, and that you have to drop all expectations of my being in accord with you. Only then can the work start. Those who are ready for it, Sannyas is only for them. Those who are not ready for it, Sannyas helps them to run away, to get lost.
You say: “Why are you so against the mind?”
I am not against the mind, I am simply stating the fact — what the mind is. If you see what the mind is, you will drop it. When I say, “Drop the mind,” I am not against the mind. I am simply making it clear to you what the mind is, what it has done to you, how it has become a bondage. And it is not a question of using it or abusing it. Mind itself is the problem, not its use or abuse.
And remember, you cannot use the mind till you know how to be without the mind. Only people who know how to be without the mind are capable of using the mind; otherwise the mind uses them. It is the mind that is using you.
But mind is very clever, it goes on deceiving you. It goes on saying, “You are using me.” It is mind that is using you. You are being used; the mind has become the master of you, you are a slave. But the mind is very clever, it goes on buttressing you. It says, “I am just an instrument, you are the master.” But watch, look into the mechanism of the mind, how it goes on using you. You think you are using it. You can use it only when you know that you are separate from it; otherwise how will you use it? You are identified with it.
If you say “I am a Christian,” you are identified with the Christian mind. If you say “I am a Hindu,” you are identified with the Hindu mind. If you say “I am German,” you are identified with the German mind. This identification has to be broken. You have to know that you are not the mind. And only in moments when the mind is not functioning — when you are unoccupied, when there is a gap, stillness, silence, when the mind has ceased — will you be able to know who you are, to know yourself as consciousness. Then you can use the mind. I am using the mind, Brandt, you are not using the mind. So how can I be against the mind? I am not against the mind. I may appear to be, but the whole effort is to disconnect you from the mind so that you can know your separation from it, your freedom. Once you know your freedom, you can use the mind. Then it is a beautiful instrument, one of the most beautiful instruments. Man has not yet been able to make something better. Even the biggest computer, the most efficient computer, is not yet capable of doing the things that the mind can do. A single mind can contain all the libraries of the world.
It is tremendous to think of the powers of the mind. But because those powers are great, there is danger also: they can overpower you. That’s what has happened: because the mind is such a beautiful, powerful instrument, you have become possessed by it. You cannot use it any more. It uses you, it directs you, it gives you programs. It goes on goading you in directions which it has decided to follow. It does not allow you any freedom, it does not leave you any choice. Unless it is convinced, it won’t allow you to move even a single inch. So who is the master? You cannot be the master unless you have come to know that you are not identified with the mind. The man who is identified with his car cannot drive it; the car will drive him, and then some accident is bound to happen. You have to be separate from the car; you have to know that you are separate, that the car is beautiful, a beautiful mechanism to be used, and it can perform many things. But you have to be separate.
You say: “Why are you so against the mind? Surely we all use it….”
No. All cannot use it.
Only very rarely is there a person who uses the mind: a Buddha, a Jesus, an Atisha, a Tilopa — only very rarely; and far and few between. Otherwise you are used by the mind.
No, all are not using the mind; otherwise what will the difference be between a Buddha and you? There will be no difference. You use the mind and Buddha uses the mind: what is the difference? Buddha uses the mind, you are used by the mind — that’s the difference.
And Buddha can use the mind because he knows he is utterly separate.
And remember, it is not a question of abuse. If you cannot use the mind, how can you abuse it? It is the mind: whether it uses you or abuses you, you cannot abuse it.
When scientists discovered atomic energy, do you think they used the mind or abused it? When the atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Albert Einstein could not sleep the whole night; for days his nights were disturbed. He could not sleep, he could not rest, he was really terribly disturbed. He had been instrumental in creating the atom bomb. It was he who wrote the letter to the president of America saying that the atom bomb was possible. Now the question arises: was Einstein consciously using his mind writing the letter to the president of America releasing this powerful information to the politicians? Was he aware of the consequences? Did he ever think of Hiroshima and Nagasaki — that thousands of people, innocent civilians, would be burned within seconds, for no fault of their own. No, he had not thought about it, he was not conscious about it. In fact he was not even alert to what use atom bombs would be put. And before he died somebody asked him, “If you are born again, what would you like to be? A great mathematician again, a great physicist, a great scientist?” He is reported to have said, “No, never! Rather, I would like to be a plumber. But now it is too late.”
Einstein had one of the most beautiful minds. Did he abuse it? Do you think the scientists who have created great technology and destroyed the whole ecology of the earth have used their minds or abused them? If one day this planet earth is going to die, it will be because of the great minds of the twentieth century — because if in the whole history of humanity there have been a hundred scientists, ninety-nine happen to be alive in the twentieth century. In fact seventy-five percent of the great scientists of all the ages are alive now. Mind has gathered such a great momentum. We have created great technology within the last hundred years, particularly within these last ten years, but that technology is going to destroy this earth. Who will be responsible? And what will you say? The scientists used the mind or abused it?
If you ask me, I will say they were not masters of their minds. They neither used nor abused the mind; the mind used them, abused them.
Science now needs great meditators, otherwise this earth is doomed. Science now needs people who can use their minds, who are masters of their being, who can use science in a conscious way. Otherwise we are on the verge of committing universal suicide.
Man cannot live for more than twenty-five years the way he has lived up to now, unless a drastic change is made. And the greatest thing that can be of help, which can help humanity to survive, and the earth to still go on living…. And this is a beautiful earth. Compared to this earth millions and millions of stars are just dead: no flowers bloom, no rivers flow, there are no birds, no animals, no people. This universe is almost a great desert. This earth is alive! Something tremendously important — consciousness — has happened here. But this consciousness is still not a master, it is a slave. It has to be freed.
That’s my work here, my basic fundamental work: to help you be free of the mind so that you can use it. And if you are the master, you cannot abuse it; that is impossible. When you are alert, conscious, meditative, abuse is not possible. If Einstein had also been a buddha, there would have been atomic energy but no atom bombs, and atomic energy would have become a blessing — the greatest blessing ever. The earth would have become a paradise. But Albert Einstein is not a buddha; unfortunately he knows nothing of meditation — a great mind, but the master is missing; a great mechanism, a great airplane without the pilot.
I have heard that they made an airplane which could go to the farthest distances without any pilot — pilotless, automatic. There was great thrill and enthusiasm, and on the first flight the automatic mechanism communicated to the people: “We are moving at such-and-such a height, at such-and-such a temperature, and at such-and-such a speed. Please be at ease, don’t be worried. Nothing can go wrong, nothing can go wrong, nothing can go wrong, nothing can go wrong…” and it went on! It has already gone wrong. Think of those people, what must have happened to those people! Now, what to do?
Great science is there, a by-product of the mind, but it is in the hands of slaves. Buddhas are needed to take possession of humanity — and one or two buddhas won’t do. Many many buddhas are needed in every field, in every direction, in every dimension of life, so that the mind can be used. Otherwise the mind was never as efficient as it is now, and that is the danger. The mind was never as clever as it is now, never as powerful as it is now. We have given atom bombs into the hands of children.
If no accident happens, that will be a miracle. There is every possibility that an accident is bound to happen. Children are playing with atom bombs.
Politicians are the most immature minds in the world. Only third-rate minds become interested in politics; mediocre people and people who are suffering from an inferiority complex, they become politicians. And in these people’s hands are atom bombs, hydrogen bombs, laser beams, and this and that.
You can cease at any moment! –
I may not be able to finish my discourse. Any moment… we are sitting on a pile of hydrogen bombs, and there are so many… it is unbelievable how stupid man can be. We have so many hydrogen bombs that we can destroy every single human being seven hundred times. Now, what stupidity! For what? A man simply dies a single time. If you want to be very cautious, twice will do — but what is the point of seven hundred times?
And they are continuously creating more and more. The whole earth is full of hydrogen bombs; we can destroy seven hundred earths like this. And still, seventy percent of our energy is being put into war efforts. This whole earth seems to be a madhouse.
And you say, Brandt: “Surely we all use it and need it and it seems to me that it is only when we abuse it — that is to say, using it as a defense against feeling too deeply and against transcending itself — that we are entitled to criticize it.” I am not criticizing it. In fact, you will be able to appreciate it more if you understand what I am saying, you will be able to use it more if you understand what I am saying.
If you become a transcendence of the mind, a witness to the mind, and you know that you are separate, and the mind no longer has any sway over you, you are no longer hypnotized by it, then you will be able to really appreciate it. I appreciate it. And you will also be able to use it, and you will never be able to abuse it. A conscious person cannot abuse anything.
This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune.
Discourse Series: The Book of Wisdom
Chapter title: The Enlightenment of the Lily
12 February 1979 am in Buddha Hall
Osho has spoken about the ‘Hiroshima/Nagasaki bombing’ in many of His discourses. More on the subject can be referred to in the following books/discourses:
- The Golden Future
- From the False to the Truth
- The Osho Upanishad
- Bodhidharma: The Greatest Zen Master
- The Buddha: The Emptiness of the Heart
- Christianity: The Deadliest Poison and Zen: The Antidote to All Poisons
- Come follow to you Vol. 1, 2
- From Bondage to Freedom
- The Path of the Mystic
- YAA-HOO! The Mystic Rose