Devageet... really good, and after being hit, you have seen stars. I too can see the stars along with you. Okay.
The village where I was born was not part of the British Empire. It was a small state ruled by a Mohammedan queen. I can see her now. Strange, she was also as beautiful as the queen of England, exactly as beautiful. But there was one good thing: she was Mohammedan, whereas the queen of England is not. Such women should always be Mohammedan, because they have to remain hidden behind a veil, called a burqa. She used to visit our village once in a while; and of course, in that village, my house was the only one where she could stay, and moreover, she loved my grandmother.
My Nani and she were both talking when I first saw the queen without her veil. I could not believe it: a queen, and so homely! Then I understood the purpose of the burqa, the veil - what the Hindus call parda. It is good for ugly women. In a better world it would be good for ugly men too. At least then you can't attack anybody with your ugliness. It is an aggression. If beauty is an attraction, then what is ugliness? It is an aggression, an attack, and nobody is protected against it. No law protects anyone.
I laughed in the very face of the queen.
She said, "Why are you laughing?"
I said, "I am laughing because I always wondered what was the purpose of a parda, and burqa.
Today I know."
I don't think she understood, because she smiled. Although she was an ugly woman I must concede her smile was beautiful.
The world is full of strange things. I came across many people who were beautiful, but when they smiled their faces would look distorted, ugly. I have seen Mahatma Gandhi, again only when I was a child. He was ugly to the core. In fact I would say he was uniquely ugly, but his beauty was in his smile. He knew how to smile; about that I cannot be against him. About everything else I am against him, because except for his smile everything was just rubbish, rot! He was really a great Bodhigarbage. Our own Bodhigarbage is nothing compared to him.
I have heard that people call Swami Bodhigarbha, Bodhigarbage. I like it! They have added something to the name. In fact they have put him exactly where he is. I gave him the name Bodhigarbha, which can only be his future. But people can only see what is under their feet; they call him Bodhigarbage. Perhaps this name would have been good for Mahatma Gandhi.
The queen...(DEVAGEET STIFLES A SNEEZE) Now, this really distracts me. Do you know, Devageet, that in India people believe that when you sneeze, the devil enters into you? So when they sneeze, to prevent the devil from coming, they say, with a click (OSHO SNAPS HIS FINGERS WITH A CLICK) "OM SHANTI, SHANTI, SHANTI... OM SHANTI, SHANTI, SHANTI... OM SHANTI, SHANTI, SHANTI...." Thrice you have to click with your fingers. I don't know what you call this click with the fingers; whatsoever it is, the Indians actually do it.
I don't know whether the devil is prevented or not, but whatsoever you were doing is not disturbed.
Now you are a Jew, not a Hindu, so at least you only sneezed and did not go through the whole Hindu procedure. Otherwise I would really have gone sane, and I am so afraid of sanity. But I am not saying anything wrong. I mean SANITY... I am so afraid of sanity.
I can feel your bewilderment. No need for you to be bewildered. I am an insane man afraid of being sane again; and that procedure could drive anybody sane. But you are a Jew, thank God! Like an Englishman, you tried hard to prevent the sneeze; even that I can understand. An Englishman prevents everything possible, even a sneeze, particularly when you are in the presence of someone who pretends to be holier-than-thou.
But relax, I don't pretend to be holier than you. You can sneeze joyously, then it will not distract me.
It may even give me a few hints for the story I am telling you. Back to the work. Enough distraction from this sneeze.
As I was saying, my village belonged to a small state, very small, Bhopal. It was not part of the British Raj. Of course the queen of Bhopal used to visit us once in a while. I was talking about the time when I was present, and laughed at the ugliness of the woman and the beauty of her mask. Her burqa was really beautiful; it was studded with sapphires. She was so impressed by my grandmother that she invited her to the coming yearly celebration in the capital. My grandmother said, "It is impossible for me to go because I can't leave my child uncared for for so many days."
In Hindi "my child" is a tremendously beautiful phrase, mera beta; it means "my child, my boy."
The queen said, "There is no problem: you can bring him too. I also love him."
I could not understand why she should love me. I hadn't done anything wrong. Why should I be punished? Just the very idea of being loved by this woman was as if a monster was crawling on you.
At that moment she looked exactly like a monster, full of sticky stuff. Perhaps she liked to chew gum - she was all gum. In my life I have never been afraid, except of that woman. But the adventure of going to the capital as a guest of the queen, and staying at her beautiful palace, of which I had heard a thousand and one stories, was too much. Although I never wanted to see the woman again, I went with my grandmother to the yearly celebration.
I remember the palace. It is one of the most beautiful in India. It has five hundred acres of woodland and a five hundred acre lake, one thousand acres in all. The queen was good to us, as her guests, but I confess, I avoided seeing her face as much as I could. Perhaps she is still alive, because she was not very old then.
A strange incident happened concerning that palace - I should call it a coincidence. On the day I said, "Okay, I am ready to move to the Himalayas," on that very same day the son of the queen of Bhopal phoned saying that if we were interested they were willing to offer their palace - the same palace that I am telling you about. That palace... for a moment I could not believe that they would offer it. They had lost everything; the whole state was gone, merged into India. All that was left was only the one thousand acres, and that palace. But still it is a beautiful kingdom - five hundred acres of ancient trees, and five hundred acres of a lake that was just part of the great lake of Bhopal.
In India the lake of Bhopal is the greatest lake. I don't think there is any other lake in the world that can compete with it, it is so huge. I can't remember how many miles wide it is, but one cannot see the other shore from anywhere. Those five hundred acres in the palace grounds are part of the same lake but they belong to the palace.
I said, "It is too late. Tell the prince and his mother, if she is still alive, that we are thankful for their offer but I have decided to go to the Himalayas." For seven years I have been trying to find just a few thousand acres of land, and the politicians are always interfering. Tell him, "I remember visiting your palace and your mother." Perhaps she is still alive, I don't know. But tell him, "I loved the palace, and still do, even more so now that you have offered it to me. But I have decided to go to the Himalayas."
My secretary was shocked and she said, "He is offering the palace to you and not even asking for any money. It must be worth at least two million dollars."
I said, "Two million or twenty million dollars, it does not matter at all. My 'thank you' is far more valuable. How many million dollars do you think it is worth? Just say to him, 'Bhagwan sends his thanks, but your offer came just a few hours too late. If you had offered the palace just a few hours earlier perhaps He may have accepted it. Now nothing can be done at all.'"
When he heard, the prince was shocked. He could not believe that one could offer such a palace without asking for anything in exchange and just be told "Sorry, no thank you."
I know the palace. I was a guest there once in my childhood, and once again later in my life. I have seen it through the eyes of a child and also through the eyes of a young man. No, I was not deceived when I had seen it as a child, but it was far more beautiful than I had understood it then.
A child, although innocent, has limitations; his vision cannot imply all that is possible. He sees only that which is apparent. I also visited the palace as a young man, again as a guest, and I knew that it must be one of the most beautiful structures in the world, particularly its location, but I had to refuse it.
Sometimes it feels so good to refuse, because I already knew that if I accepted, there were bound to be troubles ad infinitum. That palace could not be my palace. The politicians, who have become all-powerful - uneducated, corrupt, untalented and immoral - would be bound to jump in. Although I refused, they still jumped in, thinking that the prince was lying, because how could anyone refuse such an offer?
I have come to know that they are torturing him in every possible way to know why he offered me the palace. I did not accept it. Nothing happened in reality, just a phone call; but that was enough.
Indian politicians must be the worst in the world. Politicians are everywhere, but they are nothing like Indian politicians.
The reason is clear: for two thousand years India has been in slavery. In 1947, just by luck, India became free. I say by luck because India still does not deserve it; the whole credit goes to Attlee, the English prime minister at that time. He was a socialist, a kind of dreamer. He thought about equality and freedom and all kinds of great things. It was he who was really the father of Indian freedom. It is not that India earned it or even deserved it. It was just luck to have Attlee as the prime minister of England.
After two thousand years of slavery the Indians have become really cunning. Just in order to survive, the slave has to be cunning. The slavery has finished but the cunningness continues. No Attlee could destroy it. It is not in anybody's hands; it has spread all over India. By the end of this century India will be the most populated country in the world. Just to think of it is enough for me not to sleep.
Whenever I don't want to sleep I think of India at the end of this century. That is enough! Then, even if you gave sleeping pills they would not affect. The very idea that India will be the most densely populated country, with all those pygmy politicians, is enough! Can you think of another nightmare to defeat it?
I refused that beautiful palace. I still feel sorry that I had to refuse the only man who has come with an offer, without even asking for money. Yet I had to. I certainly feel sorry for him.... I had to refuse because I had decided, and once I decide, rightly or wrongly, I cannot go back. I cannot cancel it; it is not in my blood. It is just a kind of stubbornness.
What is the time, Devageet?
"Ten thirty-one, Osho."
Good! Just give me ten minutes. Remembering that, I did not sleep the whole night.
Without my insistence where would you be? You would have stopped long ago. Continue - don't be a Jewish wife... Jewish, and a wife, both together! Even God could not handle that, so He manages with a Holy Ghost.
Poor Devageet, no matter how hard I hit him he never takes revenge. So good. Anybody - and when I say anybody, I mean Moses, Jesus, Buddha - would be jealous of me. Gautam Buddha had his own personal physician but no Buddha has ever had his own personal dentist. They were certainly not so fortunate. At least nobody had a Devageet with them, that much is absolutely certain.
Good, now stop.