The other night, I could have sworn I saw a man reading a newspaper in Anandos room during the discourse. Was I just seeing things?
Milarepa, not only have you seen him; Kaveesha has seen the same man sitting on a chair reading the newspaper, and because of the newspaper nobody could see his face. People could see only the legs, the shoes, the socks, the hands and the newspaper; nobody has seen his upper body and his face – and nobody has dared to go in there. When Kaveesha saw it she shrieked – and Kaveesha is a great occultist, a hypnotist, a knower of witchcraft and black magic; and if she shrieks it means something really substantial!
I have seen it too because when I passed after the discourse, the fellow was reading the newspaper. In fact I have suggested to Anando… because the ghost that lives in that room goes on knocking and disturbing Anandos sleep. Now she has got an air conditioner and she keeps it on full speed, so noisy that she does not hear him, but still this fellow knocks loudly. I have told her to talk to him, he is not a bad fellow. Many people have lived in that room before, and it has happened to everybody. Slowly, slowly, they become accustomed and because he is a nice man… just talk to him. So she has been talking but no answer was coming.
I said, “You go on talking.” Finally the man said, “I want the newspaper;” so she managed the newspaper. He was sitting in the middle of the room in the night – she could not sleep because he was sitting in the middle of the room with his newspaper, so she pushed the chair into the bathroom. And in the middle of the night she must have gone to the bathroom and had forgotten about the fellow – and he was there, still reading the newspaper. So she shrieked herself! And then she remembered that “this is the same newspaper, no harm; it is the same man.”
So Milarepa, what you have seen is not your imagination, it is a reality. Now Anando has trouble. Every day she has to bring the newspaper for the old man, but he is such a nice person… and it is natural that living in a ghost world, he must be interested to know what is happening in the world, so he just wants a newspaper.
Next time I will tell Anando that everybody can have a little look, just from outside the door because he may feel embarrassed. His shoes are very old, very ancient, his socks have holes in them, his pants are very old fashioned, but these must have been the clothes in which he died. And there is no laundry in the ghost world, no tailors, no Gayan and her department. I will tell Anando, “You can make a few better clothes for the old man; give him a nice shower, put new clothes on him and dont be afraid of him.”
You have seen rightly – that ghost has lived long; he is the oldest inhabitant of this house. This house used to belong to a royal family, a royal family of Rajasthan. Mount Abu was their estate, and when they donated this house to me they especially brought me into the room to tell me, “Whoever lives in this room, assure him not to be worried because the old ghost belongs to the royal family; he is a gentleman and has never misbehaved.”
But it will be a joy for all of you to see, so Anando can make arrangements and persuade the old fellow again to sit in the chair. But just look from outside the door, dont go in; he may feel embarrassed. Ghosts dont like crowds, and ghosts dont like to be seen. It is a great concession to Anando that he was willing to sit cross-legged on a chair.
But he was clever enough; he must have remembered the old habit every husband knows – how to read the newspaper so he can avoid the wife. Neither can the wife see his face, nor can he see the wifes face, because once they look at each other, immediately trouble starts. So every husband as he enters into the house, the first thing he does… he opens the newspaper. He may have read the same newspaper in the office, in the restaurant, in the railway train; he starts reading it again just to avoid his wife.
And ghosts are more sensitive, so you can see… Anando can arrange it today – perhaps he is still reading in the bathroom.
Maitreya is laughing because he is also a great reader of newspapers, he is a collector. He goes on collecting old newspapers. Perhaps he reads them or… what does he do with those newspapers? But he goes on piling them up, he enjoys them. Just before he became a sannyasin he was a politician, he was a member of the parliament; its just an old habit he still continues. Anando can introduce Maitreya to that old fellow; they will enjoy each others friendship.
Osho, The Rebel, Ch 3, Q 2