The Way of the East
Osho on East and West
WHY DO YOU APPEAR TO GIVE MORE ATTENTION TO WESTERNERS AND, ON THE WHOLE, TO ALMOST IGNORE INDIANS? — I AM THINKING ESPECIALLY OF WHEN YOU GIVE SANNYAS.
THIS QUESTION IS VERY IMPORTANT and has to be understood both by Indians and non-indians.
When a Westerner comes to me I have to approach him through his head, because there is no other entry possible. When an Indian comes to me a simpler approach is possible through the heart. When an Indian comes to me he comes for SATSANG — he wants just to be in my presence. He has no questions. And those Indians who have questions, they never come to me. I have created too many barriers for them to come. Those Indians whose minds are too much stuffed, they don’t come to me — and I don’t want them here.
I have made every possible effort to prevent them from coming to me. I am not interested in them.
The Indians who come to me, come to be with me — silently. They can understand the language of silence. But when a Westerner comes, he cannot understand the language of silence. He can understand only the language of logic. So I have to talk — I have to talk too much to the Westerners. By and by, I persuade them to become silent. By and by, they also become Indians. But it takes time.
For a spectator it may appear as if I am not paying attention to the Indians. And the question is from a Westerner — the question is from Anurag. You may see that when an Indian comes to take sannyas, I simply give him sannyas. Even if I ask him whether he has something to ask, he says no. Sometimes I don’t even ask him — I can see that he has not come to ask any question. He has come to be with me. And that is far more significant, far more deep. He has come just to see me, just to be with me. He wants a bridge in silence. But to a watcher it will seem that I am not paying much attention, because when I talk then you think I am paying attention. When I talk for half an hour to one person, of course, you think I have been too much attentive to him. That simply shows that the person is too much in the head and I have to persuade him.
The Western mind is only mind — it has forgotten the heart. The Eastern mind is not only mind — the heart is still predominant, fortunately; the mind is secondary. So there is no need to talk much. He touches my feet and he is happy, he is tremendously happy — he has touched something real, he has touched something from the unknown. To a Westerner it seems just meaningless: Then why have you come? — just to touch the feet? just to sit silently? Silently you can sit at your home. Then why did you travel so far? The Westerner knows only one way of communication and that is through language, through logic, reason. I have to convince him. The Indian needs no conviction. He is convinced about the fact of Sannyas. If he has not taken Sannyas, it is not that he is not convinced — it is only that he is not courageous enough. He wants a little courage.
Convinced he is! Convinced he is for many lives — that Sannyas is the only way to be, to be rightly in existence. Sannyas is the only way to reach God, to reach truth, he is convinced. That is in the blood and in the bones. An Indian is born with the desire to be a Sannyasin. He may not be able to dare — that’s another thing. So when he comes to me, he has not come for any conviction — conviction is already there — he has come to me just to feel my vibe, so that he can gather a little more courage and take the jump. When a Westerner comes, he is not convinced at all. Sannyas? Seems just outlandish, bizarre, eccentric! For the Westerner, Sannyas simply has no appeal. He has never thought about it. So many Western sannyasins are here: have you ever had any dream in your life that you would become a sannyasin? Even now that you have become a sannyasin, you are puzzled — what has happened to you? What are you doing here? — such an intelligent person, what is he doing here?
Ask Heeren: he is continuously thinking, such an intelligent person, almost a Jew, what is he doing here? He should be somewhere in the London market earning more and more money, having bigger and bigger houses — what is he doing here? Just jumping and dancing like a fool!?
The Westerner comes to me without any conviction, without any idea of what Sannyas is. I have to talk him into it. I have to pull him into it. And I have to be very logical. I use logic only for Westerners. For Indians I use magic. And these are two different approaches.
This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune.
Discourse Series: The Discipline of Transcendence, Vol 3
Chapter title: The Forbidden Path
28 October 1976 am in Buddha Hall
Osho has spoken on ‘Sannyas, satsang, silence, heart, courage’ in many of His discourses. More on the subject can be referred to in the following books/discourses:
- A Sudden Clash of Thunder
- The Guest
- I Am the Gate
- Tao: The Golden Gate, Vol 2
- Walk Without Feet, Fly Without Wings and Think Without Mind
- Zen: The Path of Paradox, Vol 3
- The Mustard Seed: My Most Loved Gospel on Jesus
- Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, Vol 1
- The First Principle
- The Fish in the Sea is Not Thirsty
- Beyond Psychology
- The Osho Upanishad
- Zarathustra: A God That Can Dance