The Transmission of Lamp 07

Seventh Discourse from the series of 46 discourses - The Transmission of Lamp by Osho.
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When you relate to us the stories of your student days, or your time as a professor, I often wonder what it must have been like to have been one of those studying with you or under you – I know I certainly would have had a crush on you. I imagine your fellow students were both wary and admiring of you. Your own students must have enjoyed you tremendously. I was intrigued when you mentioned recently that you started a small meditation group in the university. I should love to hear you talk about how you affected the lives of those around you. I often wonder if they have followed your various exploits through the media and other friends. Quite possibly this is simply one of those questions which fall under the category of mere curiosity, but I adore it when you talk about your earlier days. It makes me feel I loved you even before I knew you.
The students who studied with me had strange feelings about me. Different persons have different ideas about me. The majority was certainly against me for the simple reason that to them I appeared as a disturbance. They were not there for any search, they were there to attain a degree, to find a job, to have a family. I was not interested either in the examinations or in the degrees, my focus was always in the present, on the subject that was being taught. And I wanted to explore it exhaustively.
The majority was against that, because if each subject has to be studied in such an exhaustive way, then the syllabus cannot be completed in three years…it cannot even be completed in two hundred years…and they were worried about their examinations. My concern and their concern were totally different – diametrically opposite.
I was interested in the moment, in the subject; they were not interested in the subject, they were only interested in taking notes, preparing for the future examination. I have never taken any notes; neither have I allowed any student, when I became a professor, to take notes in my class, because taking notes means you have moved to the future, you are not here now, you are preparing for somewhere else, for something else.
Even professors continually encouraged students – and I think that is the practice all over the world – to take notes of important things they are teaching, without understanding the simple fact that while a student is concerned with taking notes, he is not being totally available to what is being taught.
I told my professors, “It is unimaginable for me that you people encourage rather than discourage an activity which is a direct insult to you. You are teaching; the taught should be totally alert, listening to it, absorbing it, drinking it. Not one of you bothers about it. You tell them to take notes; you are teaching them postponement for the future.”
The teachers were against me, the majority of the students were against me, but these were the mediocre people.
There were a few students who were immensely in love with me because what they could not question out of fear, what they could not present in an articulate way as an argument, I could. And they all enjoyed. I became, in a certain way, their spokesman. They were more interested in my arguments than in what the teacher was saying, because my arguments were taking the subject to its deeper roots.
A few teachers were also there who loved me. But very few enjoyed and openly accepted that my argument was weightier than their own argument. They said, “But please remember that my argument will help you to pass the examination. Your argument will not help.”
I told them, “I have no concern with the examination at all. Whether I fail or pass, that is not the point. To me, the point is whether I present myself sincerely, authentically.”
In my final MA examination, one of my professors was very much concerned because my paper was going to be examined by an old professor of Allahabad University who was world famous as a scholar on Indian philosophical thought – Dr. Ranade. And it was well-known that to get a passing mark from him was the most you could hope for. He has, all over the country, a name for that. Mostly, people failed; his criteria were not ordinarily fulfilled.
My paper was also going to be examined by him, so my teacher of Indian philosophy was very much concerned. I told him, “Relax, because it is my examination, not your examination!”
He could not sleep. He said, “I know you are going into a difficulty. That man is a little eccentric, and he is such an authority that nobody can challenge him.”
I said, “The need will not arise. Who knows, he may be waiting for me. I may be his criterion.”
He laughed; he said, “You don’t know him. He has failed so many people and he has not given a first class rating to anybody in his whole life. And now he is retired. But still because of his fame, universities go on sending him examination papers.”
It was almost as if he was going into the examination. I had to console him and tell him to relax and rest and not be worried.
And I did just what he was afraid of…I did exactly that because I could not do anything else. My answers to his paper, his question paper, became rather an argument, and that’s what my professor was worried about: “He is such an authority that nobody questions him. And you will create a situation in which he may feel offended. He may give you zero; he has given zero to many people.”
His first question was “What is Indian philosophy?” and I simply answered in one line: “There is no such thing in the world. The question is absurd and does not deserve any more wastage of time for the simple reason that philosophy cannot be divided by geography; you are putting geography on a higher scale than philosophy. Now, what has philosophy to do with geography? Thoughts have no geographical boundaries, they are universal. There is only one philosophy, and that is universal. So never again ask such a question.”
Certainly he must have been shocked because he was not expecting…and his whole life people have been polite to him. And now he was an ancient, wise man…but all his questions I answered in the same way. And when I told my teacher how I had answered his questions, tears came to his eyes.
I said, “You are mad! I am going to be given a mark of zero because he cannot give less than that. But why are you…?”
He said, “I feel for you. I understand you. What you are saying is right. But right is not the question; the question is what is acceptable, what the knowledgeable people recognize as right.”
But Dr. Ranade really proved to be a man of integrity. He gave me ninety-nine percent and wrote a special note to the vice-chancellor mentioning that the note should be shown to me. And the note was: “You shocked me as nobody ever has. But your answers were original, and you did not care at all whether you were going to pass or fail. You were so total in each of your answers that it was irrelevant what happened to be the result. I loved your totality, I loved your intensity, I loved your originality – and for the first time I have come across a student I have been waiting for.”
The vice-chancellor called me. My teacher said, “Some note against you must have come because the papers have come back. I am coming with you.” And when he saw the note he could not believe it. He said, “Today I can say that miracles happen. I was thinking you were going to get zero, and you have ninety-nine percent!”
And Dr. Ranade had mentioned in his note, “I was going to give you one hundred percent but that may look as if I am favoring you too much; that’s why I have taken off the one percent. It is not that something is wrong in your answers, it is just my old habit, a lifelong habit of cutting. I cannot do much, but at least I can take off one percent.”
I enjoyed my student life immensely. Whether people were against me, for me, indifferent, loved me…all those experiences were beautiful. All that helped me immensely when I myself became a teacher, because I could see the students’ viewpoint simultaneously when I was presenting mine.
And my classes became debating clubs. Everybody was allowed to doubt, to argue. Once in a while somebody started worrying about what would happen to the course, because on each single point there was so much argument.
I said, “Don’t be worried. All that is needed is a sharpening of your intelligence. The course is a small thing – you can read for it in one night. If you have a sharp mind, even without reading for it you can answer. But if you don’t have a sharp mind, even the book can be provided to you and you will not be able to find where the answer is. In a five hundred page book the answer must be somewhere in one paragraph.”
In Russia they have already experimented with it, and they have made significant conclusions. They allow students to carry as many books as they want. They allow students to ask the teacher in the examination hall, “I need a certain book.” Immediately it will be brought from the library.
Their understanding is that the old kind of examination was only an examination of the memory; now this is an examination of your intelligence. You have to find an answer – and you can find it only if you have studied, argued, known those books. Only then can you find the answer. In a dozen books you cannot immediately find the question and its answer.
They were surprised to find out that in the ordinary old-style examinations – as they do all over the world – certain students come first. With the same class, with the new methodology – where all books are available – a different kind of student comes first, not the same old ones who were coming first, because now it is an examination of intelligence not of memory. Now memory is not of much help. You need a sharpness, an understanding of what is being asked, and you need to be well read so that either you know the answer by yourself or you can consult the books. But the time is limited; if you are not sharp enough, within three hours you may not be able to answer even one question.
And the phenomenon that a different category of students comes first and the category that was coming first gets a second class rating, a third class rating, definitely proves that intelligence is a totally different phenomenon from memory. Memory can create servants, slaves, computers, not intelligent people.
So my classes were totally different. Everything had to be discussed, everything had to be looked into, in the deepest possible way, from every corner, from every aspect – and accepted only if your intelligence felt satisfied. Otherwise, there was no need to accept it; we could continue the discussion the next day.
And I was amazed to know that when you discuss something and discover the logical pattern, the whole fabric, you need not remember it. It is your own discovery; it remains with you. You cannot forget it.
My students certainly loved me because nobody else would give them so much freedom, nobody else would give them so much respect, nobody else would give them so much love, nobody else would help them to sharpen their intelligence.
Every teacher was concerned about his salary. I myself never went to collect the salary. I would just give my authority to a student and say, “Whenever the first day of the month comes, you collect the salary, and you can bring it to me. And if you need any part of it you can keep it.”
All the years I was in the university somebody or other was bringing me my salary. The man who was distributing the salaries once came to see me just to say, “You never appear. I have been hoping that sometime you would come and I would see you. But seeing that perhaps you will never come to the office, I have come to your house just to see what kind of man you are – because there are professors who start early in the morning, on the first of each month, lining up for their salary. You are always missing. Any student might appear with your signature and authority, and I don’t know whether the salary reaches you or not.”
I said, “You need not be worried, it has always been reaching me.” When you trust someone, it is very difficult for them to deceive.
All the years I was a teacher, not a single student to whom I had given the authority had taken any part of it, although I had told them, “It is up to you. If you feel like having it all, you can have it. If you want to keep a part of it you can keep it. And it is not lent to you so that you have to return it, because I don’t want to be bothered by remembering who owes how much money to me. It is simply yours; it doesn’t matter.” But not a single student ever took any part of the salary.
All the teachers were interested only in the salary, in the competition of getting higher posts. I have seen nobody who was really interested in the students and their future and particularly in their spiritual growth.
Seeing that, I opened a small school of meditation. One of my friends offered his beautiful bungalow and garden, and he made a marble temple for me, for meditations, so at least fifty people could sit and meditate in the temple. Many students, many professors – even the vice-chancellors came to understand what meditation is, tried….
But as I left the university and I initiated the movement of sannyas, a tremendous change happened. My initiation of the movement of sannyas created trouble. None of my colleagues – teachers who had been with me for years – would even come to see me. Some were Hindus, some were Mohammedans, some were Jainas – and I was a rebellious spirit. I belonged to nobody.
And the people who used to come to me – I was still teaching the same meditation – started spreading opposition to me, because now it was a question of their religion, their tradition, their church. They did not even come to understand that I am doing the same thing. Just because my people have started wearing red clothes does not mean that my teaching has changed. I just wanted to give an identity to my people so that they could be known all over the world and they could be recognized everywhere.
But they stopped coming – not only teachers but even students who had loved me. And then I saw that all our love and all our respect, all our friendship is so shallow that if our tradition, our convention, our old, ancient beliefs are in some way attacked, all our love, all our friendship disappears.
You will be surprised: even the friend who had given me his bungalow and had the marble temple made especially for me sent a message – he could not face me himself – he sent a message from his manager that because I did not belong to any ancient path, I should not use his place for my meditation school…as if anything old is bound to be gold. Most probably the older it is, the more rotten it is.
I sent him a message, “I will leave your house and the temple, and you can do whatsoever you want with it. But I am with the sunrise; I am not with the sunset. And I want the whole world to be with the new and not with the old.”
Truth always moves with the fresh and the young and the innocent. It dies with the knowledgeable, the scholarly, the clever, the so-called wise – who are really otherwise.
After sannyas, there was a demarcation line. The people who used to know me before, slowly, slowly backed away. New people, new faces started coming. And this has been going on with each new phase of my work. A few old faces disappear and a few new faces bring new blood and new juice to the movement.
From all over the world messages have come to me that at every center, even though the whole movement is in a difficulty – I do not have a home, the movement does not have a headquarters – from each small center news goes on coming that new people are becoming sannyasins, people who we have never thought would become sannyasins. The pressure from all the governments of the world is helping immensely. Anybody who is courageous, who has some respect for freedom, some taste of intelligence, has started coming into the movement.
A few old faces will be lost, and it is good that they are lost. Perhaps they were no longer in tune; their time was over. You can be with me only if you are alive. The moment you are dead, we simply celebrate. We say good-bye to you, and you vacate a space for some new one, some new blood, new life, a new flower to take your place. This has been going on….
There are many layers of people who have been with me and have dropped. Only very few people have remained with me from the very beginning; they are the most blessed ones. Since they have come they have broken their bridges, they have forgotten to look backwards. They know they have come to the home they were searching for and seeking, and now there is nowhere else to go.
One thing is certain: those who for some reason or other are left on the road, who have moved in some other direction, will never find again the same love, the same light, the same understanding. They will miss me forever. And this is going to be my last life, because I will not be in the body again – so I feel sorry for them.
Those who are with me can understand it, what those people are missing – people who for some small reason, some excuse, departed on their own. I have never told anybody to leave – I am always a welcome. I feel sad for them, because they cannot find any other place on this planet. They will always remain missing, and because of their ego they will not be able to come back.
But the whole journey has been of tremendous joy. I started alone, and then people went on coming without my calling them, without my inviting them. The caravan began to become bigger and bigger, and now it is spread all over the world.
This bigness and this spontaneous coming of people has made all the politicians and all the religious people tremendously afraid. Their fear is not unfounded. They know that they cannot give what people can get somewhere else; hence, their efforts are to prevent me from reaching people, to prevent people from reaching me – in such ugly ways. It was good in a way to know that this whole world for which I have been struggling my whole life to make a better world…. But I have never been in such contact all around the world.
From one island, the prime minister himself has invited me to come there and said that he would love it if I accepted his invitation. I sent Jayesh and Hasya to see the place, and when they reached there – just today they informed us – the prime minister asked for one billion dollars as a bribe.
This is our world.
He invites me himself, and I sent my people to work out how many people he can give permanent residence to, how many people will be coming every year to visit. When they arrived he immediately – he didn’t even bother to talk about anything else – he immediately said, “I am ready to accept, but the price is one billion dollars, cash.”
These are our political leaders.
In another country we are trying to purchase a castle. Because my name is involved, the price immediately goes so high. The owner is asking nine million dollars for the castle! He cannot sell it for nine million even if he tries for his whole life.
And this is not all – he is asking almost double the price…. The country has two parties, and each party wants some money so there will be no problem from anybody – the ruling party gets money, the opposition party gets money. And it is not only once; every time there is an election they are saying that we have to give at least two hundred and fifty thousand dollars to each party.
And these people teach about morality, purity, character – and this is their character.
It has been a good round. I have just sent Hasya and Jayesh to the last country. I have sent the message to the prime minister: “We were going to bring five billion dollars, but not now. With such a mean-minded prime minister who invites us and then asks for one billion dollars…we are not going to come to your country, we are going somewhere else.”
There is one country left which is a possibility – a one percent possibility; otherwise, we have to go on a liner, an ocean liner. And that will be a clear-cut condemnation of the whole earth and all these nations. If a man speaks the truth, he has no place on the earth…he has to live on the ocean.
We will be bringing the biggest ocean liner so at least five thousand people can be on it. My only worry is that these mean politicians and religious leaders may start – and it has never been done – to make laws that our ocean liner cannot stop at their ports. If they can make laws that my airplane cannot land at their airports, they can make laws that my ocean liner cannot come to their ports.
But that too…it will be good for the whole world to see their real faces, that they can kill five thousand people, let them go hungry, without water, without food…. They are talking about loving your enemy and they are talking about beautiful things – and their behavior is simply disgusting.

In an American magazine article, Mother Teresa is described as a rebel in the male-dominated hierarchy of the Catholic establishment. If Mother Teresa is regarded as being on a par with someone like Joan of Arc, God help the Catholic church!
The person who has described Mother Teresa as a rebel does not know the meaning of the word. She is a slave in the male-dominated Catholic hierarchy. She is no one. No woman has ever been a pope and no woman ever will be.
And what kind of rebel is she? – she kneels down before Pope the Polack and kisses his hand. This is rebellion? And she goes on supplying more orphans to the Catholics to increase their population…because population is a great factor in politics, so much so that nobody looks at the whole world.
Just the other day I saw that because Mohammedans produce more children – naturally, because they can marry four wives – Israel is very worried. The Mohammedan ocean all around is becoming bigger. So, Israel is perhaps the only country now in the world whose government is giving incentives to produce more children, saying that everybody should have at least four children. They are not concerned about the world, that the population is already too much. Their only concern is with their local politics, that Mohammedans should not become too many, and Jews, in number, too small.
There is a politics of population. The Catholic church has more than seven hundred and fifty million people in the world – the biggest single block as far as religions are concerned. And Mother Teresa is praised, not because she is a rebel but because she is a servile person who is simply bringing more and more orphans into the Catholic church, converting poor Indians to the Catholic religion. So the pope blesses her.
I would have accepted the description if the pope had knelt before Mother Teresa and kissed her hand; then it would have meant something, that the Catholic, male-oriented hierarchy accepts Mother Teresa as being higher than the pope. But she is simply an instrument in the hands of the male-dominated church. She has no position. But because she has been helping the population to grow so much, they arrange a Nobel Prize for her, they arrange other awards, doctorates for her. Don’t be befooled by these things; these are just toys, and all are political.
One of my sannyasins, an economist from England, got a Nobel Prize. Our sannyasins told him, “You are now a Nobel Prize winner…nobody has contributed so much to modern insights into human relationships, the human revolution, as Osho. You should try for a Nobel Prize for him.”
He said, “Do you think I have not tried? In fact, I tried so much that I said, ‘Don’t give it to me; I am his disciple. Let this Nobel Prize be given to Osho.’ But his name, just his name is enough to shock everybody. There was a pin-drop silence in the committee, and my friends suggested, ‘Don’t mention that name in the committee again. It has nothing to do with what a person has contributed or is contributing – it is all politics. And unless there is political support, it is impossible to get a Nobel Prize.’”
I informed the sannyasins: “You tell him to tell the committee that even if they want to give me a Nobel Prize, I will reject it because I know it is all a political drama. And I don’t want to be categorized with Mother Teresa and all kinds of fools.”
In fact, Mother Teresa is against women’s liberation, so whoever has written the article is either ignorant or trying to praise Mother Teresa. And there is a political motive behind it: she is against women’s liberation for the simple reason that she is against birth control. She is against the pill, and the pill is the greatest possibility for women to be liberated from men; otherwise, women will always remain dependent, slaves.
If you follow Mother Teresa’s ideas, then a woman will have child after child, a woman will remain only a mother, continually pregnant. Her whole life will be wasted in producing children, bringing up children. She cannot be economically independent, she cannot be educated, she cannot stand in any field with man as a competitor.
The pill can create the situation where the woman is equal to the man, because the pill makes her free from constant pregnancy, it makes her free from dependence. She can be economically free, financially free, and ultimately she can demand that marriage not be needed: “If we love, we are together; if we don’t love, we say goodbye to each other – in good faith.” There is no question of any fight.
So whoever calls Mother Teresa a rebel is just an idiot. She is one of the persons in the world who is the most reactionary.
Rebellion needs real guts.
She is traditional, orthodox, conventional…a believer in the virgin birth of Jesus Christ, a believer in the miracles of Jesus Christ, a believer in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, a believer that Christianity is the highest religion, a believer that only one who is Christian will be saved – and you call this woman a rebel?
Then who am I?

Sitting in the dark I become lighter and lighter, emptier and emptier, like a soap bubble bouncing on the grass. And a giggle arises from my belly to play with the soap bubble, and I feel possessed. I am so happy to be with you. Osho, when I took sannyas you taught me how to feel possessed, and this was the greatest gift of my life. And yet after it happened a few times, I remembered that it used to happen often when I was a kid, at night, lying in my bed. Is that what you mean when you said that you are giving us back what we always had?
Right…absolutely right!

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