Look what an English gentleman I am! Although I wanted to interfere, I didn't. I had already opened my mouth to speak but I stopped myself. This is called self-control. Even I can laugh. When you whisper it feels so good. Although I know that you are not whispering nonsense, it still sounds nice - although it is technical and what you are saying is perfectly scientific. But between the two of you, you know, the rascal is lying in the chair.
I have not yet said okay. First go to the point where I can say okay. When the "okay" is far from me it means something. An okay from me is just far out... I'm a faaar gone guy! I don't know anybody who is so spaced out. Now, to the work....
"Tubhyamev vastu govind. Tubhyamev samarpayet: My Lord, this life you have given to me, I surrender it back to you with my thanks." Those were the dying words of my grandfather, although he never believed in God and was not a Hindu. This sentence, this sutra, is a Hindu sutra; but in India things are mixed up, particularly good things. Before he died, among other things, he said one thing again and again, "Stop the wheel."
I could not understand it at the time. If we stopped the wheel of the cart, and that was the only wheel there was, then how could we reach the hospital? When he repeated again and again, "Stop the wheel, the CHAKRA," I asked my grandmother, "Has he gone mad?"
She laughed. That was the thing I liked in that woman. Even though she knew, as I did, that death was so close... if even I knew, how could it be possible that she did not know? It was so apparent that just at any moment he would stop breathing, yet he was insisting on stopping the wheel. Still she laughed. I can see her laughing now.
She was not more than fifty at the most, but I have always observed a strange thing about women:
the phony ones, who pretend to be beautiful, are the ugliest at the age of forty-five. You can go
around the world and see what I am saying. With all their lipstick and makeup, and false eyebrows and whatnot... my God!
Even God did not think of these things when He created the world. At least it is not mentioned in the Bible that on the fifth day He created lipstick, and on the sixth day He created false eyebrows et cetera. At the age of forty-five, if the woman is really beautiful, she comes to her peak. My observation is: man comes to his peak at the age of thirty-five, and woman at the age of forty-five.
She is capable of living ten years longer than a man - and it is not unjust. Giving birth to children she suffers so much that a little bit of extra life, just to compensate, is perfectly okay.
My Nani was fifty, still at the peak of her beauty and youth. I have never forgotten that moment - it was such a moment! My grandfather was dying and asking us to stop the wheel... what nonsense!
How could I stop the wheel? We had to reach the hospital, and without the wheel we would be lost in the forest. And my grandmother was laughing so loudly that even Bhoora, the servant, our driver, asked, of course from the outside, "What is going on? Why are you laughing?" Because I used to call her Nani, Bhoora also used to call her Nani, just out of respect for me. He then said, "Nani, my master is sick and you are laughing so loudly; what's the matter? And why is Raja so silent?"
Death, and my grandmother's laughter, both, made me utterly silent because I wanted to understand what was happening. Something was happening that I had never known before and I was not going to lose a single moment through any distraction.
My grandfather said, "Stop the wheel. Raja, can't you hear me? If I can hear your grandmother's laughter you must be able to hear me. I know she is a strange woman; I have never been able to understand her."
I said to him, "Nana, as far as I know she is the simplest woman I have seen, although I have not seen much yet."
But now to you I can say, I don't think there is any man on the earth, alive or dead, who has seen so much of the woman as I have. But just to console my dying grandfather I said to him, "Don't be worried about her laughter. I know her, she is not laughing at what you are saying, it is something else between us, a joke that I told her."
He said, "Okay. If it is a joke that you told her then it is perfectly okay for her to laugh. But what about the chakra, the wheel?"
Now I know, but at that time I was absolutely unacquainted with such terminology. The wheel represents the whole Indian obsession with the wheel of life and death. For thousands of years, millions of people have been doing only one thing: trying to stop the wheel. He was not talking about the wheel of the bullock cart - that was very easy to stop, in fact it was difficult to keep it moving.
There was no road; not only at that time, even now! Last year one of my distant cousins visited the ashram, and he said, "I wanted to bring my whole life to your feet, but the real difficulty is the road."
I said, "Still?"
Almost fifty years have passed, but India is such a country that there, time stands still. Who knows when the clock stopped? But it stopped exactly at twelve, with both hands together. That's beautiful:
the clock decided the right time. Whenever it happened - and it must have happened thousands of years ago, but whenever it happened - the clock, either by chance or by some computerized intelligence, stopped at twelve, with both hands together. You cannot see them as two, you can only see them as one. Perhaps it was twelve o'clock at night... because the country is so dark, and the darkness is so dense.
"My God," the man said to me, "I could not bring the whole family to see you because of the roads."
Perhaps they will never see me, just because of the roads. No roads existed then, and even today no railway line passes by that village. It is a really poor village, and when I was a child it was even poorer.
I could not understand at that moment why my Nana was so insistent. Perhaps the bullock cart - because there was no road - was making so much noise. Everything was rattling, and he was in agony, so naturally he wanted to stop the wheel. But my grandmother laughed. Now I know why she laughed. He was talking about the Indian obsession with life and death, symbolically called the wheel of life and death - and in short, the wheel - which goes on and on.
In the western world only Friedrich Nietzsche had the guts and the madness enough to propose the idea of eternal recurrence. He borrowed it from the eastern obsession. He was very impressed by two books. One was Manu's SMRATI. It is called THE COLLECTION OF MANU'S VERSES; it is the most important Hindu scripture... I hate it! You can understand its importance. I cannot hate anything ordinary. It is extra-ordinarily ugly. Manu is one of the men that if I see him I will forget all about non-violence. I will just shoot him! He deserves it.
MANU SAMHITA, MANU SMRATI... why do I call it the ugliest book in the world? Because it divides men and women; not only men and women, but it divides humanity into four classes, and nobody can cross from one class to another. It creates a hierarchy.
You will be surprised to know that Adolf Hitler always had a copy of Manu's SAMHITA on his desk, just by the side of his bed. He respected that book more than the Bible. Now you can understand why I hate it. I don't even have a copy of Manu's SAMHITA in my library, although I have been presented with at least a dozen copies, but I always burned them. That was the only way to behave with it. Respectfully, of course, I burned it.
Nietzsche loved two books and borrowed from them immensely. The first was Manu's SAMHITA and the other was the MAHABHARATA. This book is perhaps the greatest as far as volume is concerned; it is huge! I don't think that the BIBLE, the KORAN, DHAMMAPADA, TAO TE CHING can even compare with it as far as volume is concerned. You can only understand me if you put it by the side of ENCYCLOPAEDIA BRITANNICA. Compared to the MAHABHARATA the ENCYCLOPAEDIA BRITANNICA is just a small book. It is certainly a great work, but ugly.
Scientists know perfectly well that there have been many very huge animals on the earth in the past, almost mountainous, but very ugly. MAHABHARATA belongs among those animals. Not that you cannot find anything beautiful in it; it is so big that if you dig deep you can certainly find a mouse here and there in the mountain.
Those two books influenced Nietzsche immensely. Perhaps nothing was more responsible for Friedrich Nietzsche than those two books. One was by Manu, and MAHABHARATA was written by Vyasa. I must concede that both books have done a tremendous amount of work, dirty work! It would have been better if these two books had not been written at all.
Friedrich Nietzsche remembers both books with such respect that you would be amazed. Amazed, because this was the man who called himself "anti-Christ." But don't be amazed, those two books are anti-Christ, in fact they are anti-anything that is beautiful: anti-truth, anti-love. It is no coincidence that Nietzsche fell in love with them. Although he never liked Lao Tzu or Buddha, he liked Manu and Krishna. Why?
The question is very significant. He liked Manu because he loved the idea of hierarchy. He was against democracy, freedom, equality; in short he was against all true values. He also loved Vyasa's book MAHABHARATA because it contains the concept that only war is beautiful. He once wrote in a letter to his sister, "This very moment I am surrounded by immense beauty. I have never seen such beauty." One would think that he had entered the garden of Eden, but no, he was watching a military parade. The sun was shining on their naked swords, and the sound which he calls "the most beautiful sound I have ever heard..." was not Beethoven or Mozart, not even Wagner, but the sound of the boots of the marching German soldiers.
Wagner was Nietzsche's friend, and not only that, but something more: Nietzsche had fallen in love with his friend's wife. At least he should have thought of the poor man... but no, he thought that neither Beethoven, nor Mozart, nor Wagner, nobody could compare with the beautiful music from the boots of the German soldiers. For him swords in the sun and the sound of the parading army were the very ultimate in beauty.
Great aesthetics! And remember, I am not a man who is against Friedrich Nietzsche as such; I appreciate him whenever he comes close to truth, but truth is my value and my criterion. "Swords in the sun..." and "the sound of the marching boots"-when he goes away from truth, then whatsoever he is, I am going to hit his head with a naked sword. And how beautiful it looks: the naked sword, and the sound of the head of Friedrich Nietzsche being cut off, and the beautiful blood all around....
This is what his disciple, Adolf Hitler, did.
Hitler got Manu's ideas from Nietzsche. Hitler was not a man who could have found Manu on his own, he was a pygmy. Nietzsche was certainly a genius, but a genius gone astray. He was a man who could have become a Buddha, but alas, he died only as a madman. I was telling you about the Indian obsession, and in that reference remembered Nietzsche. He was the first in the West to recognize the idea of "eternal recurrence"; but he was not honest. He did not say that the idea was borrowed, he pretended to be original. It is so easy to pretend to be original, very easy; it does not need much intelligence. And yet he was a man of genius. He never used his genius to discover anything. He used it to borrow from sources which were not ordinarily known to the world at large.
Who knows Manu's SAMHITA? - and who cares? Manu wrote it five thousand years ago. And who bothers about MAHABHARATA? It is such a big book that unless one wants to really go insane one would not read it.
But there are people who read even the ENCYCLOPAEDIA BRITANNICA. I know such a person; he was my personal friend. This is the moment when I should at least remember his name. He may
still be alive - that's my only fear - but then too, there is no reason to be afraid, simply because he only reads ENCYCLOPAEDIA BRITANNICA. He will never read what I am saying - never, never; he has no time. He not only reads the ENCYCLOPAEDIA BRITANNICA, he memorizes it; and that is his madness. Otherwise he looks very normal. When you mention anything that is part of his encyclopaedia he immediately becomes abnormal, and starts quoting pages and pages and pages.
He does not bother at all whether you want to listen or not.
Only such people read MAHABHARATA. It is the Hindu encyclopaedia; let's call it the "Encyclopaedia Indiana." Naturally it is bound to be bigger than ENCYCLOPAEDIA BRITANNICA.
Britain is just Britain - no bigger than a small state in India. India has at least three dozen states of that size, and that is not the whole of India, because half of India is now Pakistan. If you really want the full picture of India then you will have to make a few more additions.
Burma was once part of India. It was only early in this century that it was disconnected from India.
Afghanistan was once part of India; it is almost a continent. So MAHABHARATA, the "Encyclopaedia Indiana," is bound to be a thousandfold bigger than the ENCYCLOPAEDIA BRITANNICA, which is only thirty-two volumes. That is nothing. If you collect all that I have said, it would be more than that.
Somebody else has counted. I don't know for sure because I never do such rubbishy things, but they estimated that I had written three hundred and thirty-three books, up till now. Great! - not the books, but the man who counted them. He should wait, because many are still in manuscript, and many others are not yet translated from the Hindi originals. When all that is collected it will really be the "Encyclopaedia Rajneeshica." But MAHABHARATA is bigger, and will always remain the largest book in the world - I mean in volume, in weight.
I mention it because I was talking about the Indian obsession. The whole of the MAHABHARATA is nothing but the Indian obsession written at length, voluminously, saying that man is born again and again and again eternally.
That's why my grandfather was saying, "Stop the wheel." If I could have stopped the wheel I would have stopped it, not only for him but for everybody else in the world. Not only would I have stopped it, I would have destroyed it forever so that nobody could ever turn it again. But it is not in my hands.
But why this obsession? I became aware of many things at that moment of his death. I will talk about everything that I became aware of in that moment, because that has determined my whole life.