Rebellion, not Revolution

Osho on Rebellion

It is said that history repeats itself. I say it is not history that repeats itself; it only seems to repeat itself because man is absolutely unconscious and he goes on doing the same thing again and again without learning anything, without becoming mature, alert and aware. When all the revolutions have failed some new door should be opened. There is no point in again and again changing the powerful into the powerless and the powerless into the powerful; this is a circle that goes on moving. I don’t preach revolution. I am utterly against revolution. I say unto you that my word for the future, and for those who are intelligent enough in the present, is rebellion.

What is the difference?

Rebellion is individual action; it has nothing to do with the crowd. Rebellion has nothing to do with politics, power, violence. Rebellion has something to do with changing your consciousness, your silence, your being. It is a spiritual metamorphosis. And each individual passing through a rebellion is not fighting with anybody else, but is fighting only with his own darkness. Swords are not needed, bombs are not needed; what is needed is more alertness, more meditativeness, more love, more prayerfulness, more gratitude. Surrounded by all these qualities you are born anew. I teach this new man, and this rebellion can become the womb for the new man I teach. We have tried collective efforts and they have failed. Now let us try individual efforts. And if one man becomes aflame with consciousness, joy and blissfulness, he will become contagious to many more.

Rebellion is a very silent phenomenon that will go on spreading without making any noise and without even leaving any footprints behind. It will move from heart to heart in deep silences, and the day it has reached to millions of people without any bloodshed, just the understanding of those millions of people will change our old primitive animalistic ways.

It will change our greed, and the day greed is gone there is no question of accumulating money. No revolution has been able to destroy greed; those who come in power become greedy.

We have passed through a revolution just now in this country, and it is a very significant example to understand. The people who were leading the revolution in this country against the British rule were followers of Mahatma Gandhi, who preached poverty, who preached non-possessiveness. The moment they came into power all his disciples started living in palaces which were made for viceroys. All his disciples who had been thinking their whole lives that they are servants of the people became masters of the people. There is more corruption in this country than anywhere else. This is very strange — this is Gandhian corruption, very religious, very pious, and the people who are doing it were trained, disciplined to be servants of the people. But power has a tremendous capacity to change people; the moment you have power you are immediately a different person. You start behaving exactly like any other powerful people who have gone before.

I was very young when India became independent, so I have been watching this independence for forty years. My whole family was involved in the freedom struggle, and when freedom came there was so much celebration all over the country. But each year the celebration became less and less, and sadness started settling. I used to tease my father, my uncles, who had all been to jail, suffered as much as possible, and because all the elders were in the jails, we suffered too because there was nobody to look after the children. There were only women and children left, and Indian women cannot be of much help. They cannot even come out into society; they are not capable of earning money. I know how difficult it was when all the elders of the family were thrown into jail. After the freedom I used to tease them, “Is this freedom? You destroyed your family, you destroyed yourself, you suffered and you made us suffer. Is this freedom?” And my father used to say, “Don’t say such things. We know this is not the freedom that we have been fighting for. We were thinking that when the country becomes free, everybody will enjoy freedom.”

But nothing has changed. Only the Britishers are gone, and in their place a single party has been ruling for forty years. Now it is not just a single party, but a single family; it has become a dynasty — and the exploitation continues and the poverty continues — it has grown at least a hundred times more since the British Empire has been gone.

Everything has deteriorated — the morality, the character, the integrity, everything has become a commodity. You can purchase anybody; all you need is money. There is not a single individual in the whole country who is not a commodity in the marketplace; all you need is money. Everybody is purchasable — judges are purchasable, police commissioners are purchasable, politicians are purchasable. Even under the British rule this country has never known such corruption.

What has the country gained? The rulers have changed, but what does that signify? Unless there is a rebelliousness spreading from individual to individual, unless we can create an atmosphere of enlightenment around the world where greed will fall down on its own accord, where anger will not be possible, where violence will become impossible, where love will be just the way you live… where life should be respected, where the body should be loved, appreciated, where comfort should not be condemned. It is natural to ask for comfort.

Even the trees…

In Africa, trees grow very high; the same trees in India don’t grow that high. I was puzzled, what happens? I was trying to find out why they should grow to the same height but they don’t, and the reason I found was that unless there is a density of trees, trees won’t grow high. Even at a lesser height the sun is available, and that is their comfort, that is their life, that is their joy. In Africa the jungles are so thick that every tree tries in every way to grow as high as possible, because only then can it have the joy of the sun, the joy of the rain, the joy of the wind. Only then can it dance; otherwise there is nothing but death.

The whole of nature wants comfort, the whole of nature wants all the luxury that is possible. But our religions have been teaching us against luxury, against comfort, against riches.

A man of enlightenment sees with clarity that it is unnatural to demand from people, “You should be content with your poverty, you should be content with your sicknesses, you should be content with all kinds of exploitation, you should be content and you should not try to rise higher, to reach to the sun and the rain and the wind.” This is an absolutely unnatural conditioning that we are all carrying. Only a rebellion in your being can bring you to this clarity.


Listen to complete discourse at mentioned below link.

Discourse series: Satyam Shivam Sundram Chapter #26

Chapter title: This great adventure

19 November 1987 pm in Chuang Tzu Auditorium


Osho has spoken on ‘revolution, rebellion, rebel, consciousness, silence, being’ in many of His discourses. More on the subject can be referred to in the following books/discourses:

  1. From Misery to Enlightenment
  2. I Say Unto You, Vol 2
  3. The Rebel
  4. The Rebellious Spirit
  5. The Secret
  6. From Bondage to Freedom
  7. Come Follow To You, Vol 3
  8. The Heart Sutra
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