There are six great religions in the world. They can be divided into two categories: one consists of Judaism, Christianity and Islam; they believe in only one life. You are just between birth and death.
There is nothing beyond birth and death - life is all. Although they believe in heaven and hell and God, they are the earnings from one life, a single life. The other category consists of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism. They believe in the theory of reincarnation. One is born again and again, eternally; unless one becomes enlightened, and then the wheel stops.
That was what my grandfather was asking while he was dying, but I was not aware of the whole significance of it... although I repeated the bardo just like a machine, without even understanding what I was saying or doing. Now I can understand the poor man's concern. You can call it "the ultimate concern." If it becomes diseased, as it has in the East, then it is an obsession, then I condemn it. Then it is more of a disease; it is not something to be praised but really condemned.
Obsession is a psychological way of condemning something, hence I have used the word. As far as the masses in the East are concerned, it has been a disease for thousands of years. It has stopped them from being rich, prosperous and affluent, because their whole concern was how to stop the wheel. Who then is going to grease it and who is going to run it smoothly?
Of course I need my sannyasins to keep the wheels of the Rolls rolling. Just a little noise and they are in trouble... even a sweet noise. For two days the Rolls was making a little noise - it happens once in a while - very sweet, like a small bird singing in the trees. But it should not be so, a Rolls is not supposed to be a bird. And where is the noise coming from? From the steering wheel. I cannot tolerate it. As you know, I am not an intolerant man, but a new Rolls Royce starting to sing? - and that too in the steering wheel.
In fact, I don't know anything about what is under the bonnet. I have never looked and I don't ever want to. That is not my business. But I must say the noise is sweet, just like a very tiny bird whistling;
but it has to be stopped. A Rolls Royce is not meant to whistle, sweetly or not. And what are the guys doing? Their whole function is - and their meditation too - just to keep the Rolls in perfect working order. Even if the other two guys, Rolls and Royce, were to be born again, they would be jealous because we have been trying to improve on what they have done. Of course the Rolls is the best car in the world, but it is not unimprovable. It can be, and should be, improved... and I don't want its wheels to be stopped.
Indians are obsessed. It has become a disease of the soul to stop the wheel of life and death. Of course to them, the wheel always reminds them of the bullock cart. If they want to stop it I am in perfect agreement. But there are better wheels; one need not stop all of them. In fact the very idea not to be born again simply shows that you have not lived. It may seem contradictory to you, but let me say it: only one who has totally lived stops the wheel of life and death. Yet those who want to stop it are those who have lived not at all. They will die a dog's death.
I am not against dogs - please note it - I am just using a metaphor. And it must be significant, because in Hindi there is also the same metaphor. It is the only metaphor which is similar in both Hindi and English. In fact, not similar but the same: Kutte ki mout - "a dog's death." It is exactly the same. There must be something in it. To discover what it is I will have to tell you a story.
It is said that when God made the world - remember it is only a story.... When God made the world - men and women, animals and trees and everything, He gave everybody the same age limit, twenty years. I wonder why twenty? Perhaps God also counted on His fingers, and not only on His hands but His feet too: that makes it twenty.
I do my own research. Once in a while in your bath tub, while cleaning your fingers and toes, you must have counted them. Perhaps one day He counted His, and an idea may have struck Him: to give everybody twenty years of life. He seems to be a poet. He also seems to be a communist. Now the Americans will be very offended. Let them be - I don't care. If I have not cared about anybody else in the world why should I care about Yankees? And in this phase of my life I want to remain as outrageous, or even more than I was before.
I certainly know that if Jesus was allowed to teach a little longer, he would not have been so outrageous, he would have come to his senses. After all, he was a Jew. He would have understood, and then he would not have talked such nonsense - "the kingdom of God" - and those twelve fools that he or they themselves thought were apostles! He must have given them some hint, otherwise being such fools, they could not have thought of it themselves.
Jesus was so outrageous that even the greatest revolutionary of the day, John the Baptist, who was also the master of Jesus and who was imprisoned in jail - even he from his cell sent a message to Jesus. He said, "Listening to your statements I wonder are you really the messiah we have been waiting for? - because your statements are so outrageous."
Now I call this a certification. John the Baptist was one of the greatest revolutionaries in the world; Jesus was only one of his disciples. It is an accident of history that John the Baptist is forgotten and Jesus is remembered.
John the Baptist was real fire. His head was cut off. The queen had ordered his head to be presented to her on a plate, only then would she feel that the country would remain at ease. And that's what
was done. John the Baptist's head was cut off, put on a beautiful golden plate and presented to the queen. This man, John the Baptist, had also become a little worried when he heard the outrageous remarks of Jesus. And I say that once in a while they need to be edited - yes, even I say so - not because they were outrageous, but because they start becoming foolish. Outrageous is okay, but foolish? No.
Just think of Jesus cursing the fig tree because he and his disciples were hungry and the tree had no fruit. It was not the season. It was not the fault of the tree, yet he became so angry that he cursed the fig tree that it would remain ugly forever.
Now, this I call foolishness. I don't care whether it was said by Jesus or anybody else.
Outrageousness is part of religiousness, but foolishness is not. Perhaps if Jesus had taught a little longer - he was only thirty-three when he was crucified - I think, being a real Jew, he would have become pacified by the time he was seventy. There would have been no need to crucify him at all. The Jews were in a hurry.
I think it was not only the Jews who were in a hurry - because Jews know better - perhaps the crucifixion of Jesus came from the Romans, who have always been childish and stupid. I don't know of anyone like a Jesus, or a Buddha, or a Lao Tzu, who has ever happened to their race and to their history.
Only one man comes to me, he was the Emperor Aurelius. He wrote the famous book, MEDITATIONS. Of course it is not what I call meditation, but meditations. My meditation is always singular; there can be no plural to it. His meditations are really contemplations; there can be no singular to it. Marcus Aurelius is the only name I can remember in the whole Roman history worth mentioning - but that not too much. Any poor Basho could defeat Marcus Aurelius. Any Kabir could hit the emperor and bring him beyond his senses.
I don't know whether this is permitted in your language or not, to "bring someone beyond their senses." Bringing him to his senses is certainly permitted, but that is not my work, anybody could do that. Even a good hit could do it, a stone in the road could do it. A Buddha is not needed for that, a Buddha is needed to bring you beyond your senses. Basho, Kabir, or even a woman like Lalla or Rabiya could really have brought this poor emperor to that beyond.
But this is all that has come from the Romans - nothing much, but still something. One should not reject anybody totally. Just by way of courtesy I accept Marcus Aurelius, not as an enlightened one but as a good man. He could have been enlightened if, by chance, he had come across a man like Bodhidharma. Just a look from Bodhidharma into the eyes of Marcus Aurelius would have been enough. Then he would have known, for the first time, what meditation is.
He would have gone home and burned what he had written so far. Perhaps then he would have left a collection of sketches - a bird on the wing, a rose withering away, or just a cloud floating in the sky - a few sentences here and there; not saying much, but enough to provoke, enough to trigger a process in the person who comes across it. That would have been a real notebook on meditation, but not on meditations.... There is no plural possible.
The East, and particularly India, can be called by the psychologists not only obsessive about death, but really possessed by the idea of suicide. In a way the psychologist would not be wrong. One
should live while one is alive; there is no need to think of death. And when death comes one should die, and die totally; then there is no need to look backwards. And every moment being total in living, in loving, in dying - that's how one comes to know. To know what? There is no what. One simply comes to know - not what, but that, the knower. "What" is the object, "that" is one's subjectivity.
The moment my grandfather died, my Nana was still laughing the last flicker of her laughter, then she controlled herself. She was certainly a woman who could control herself. But I was not impressed by her control, I was impressed by her laughter in the very face of death.
Again and again I asked her, "Nani, can you tell me why you laughed so loudly when death was so imminent? If even a child like me was aware of it, it is not possible that you were not aware."
She said, "I was aware, that is why I laughed. I laughed at the poor man trying to stop the wheel unnecessarily, because neither birth nor death mean anything in the ultimate sense."
I had to wait for the time when I could ask and argue with her. When I myself become enlightened, I thought, then I will ask her - and that's what I did.
The first thing I did after my enlightenment, at the age of twenty-one, was to rush to the village where my grandmother was, my father's village. She never left that place where her husband had been burned. That very place became her home. She forgot all the luxuries that she had been accustomed to. She forgot all the gardens, the fields, and the lake that she had possessed. She simply never went back, even to settle things.
She said, "What is the point? All is settled. My husband is dead, and the child I love is not there; all is settled."
Immediately after my enlightenment I rushed to the village to meet two people... first Magga Baba, the man I was talking about before. You will certainly wonder why. Because I wanted somebody to say to me, "You are enlightened"... I knew it, but I wanted to hear it from the outside too. Magga Baba was the only man I could ask at that time. I had heard that he had recently returned to the village.
I rushed to him. The village was two miles from the station. You cannot believe how I rushed to see him. I reached the neem tree....
The word neem cannot be translated because I don't think anything like the neem tree exists in the West at all. The neem tree is something strange: if you taste the leaves they are very bitter.
You cannot believe that poison could taste more poisonous. In fact it is just the opposite, it is not poisonous. If you eat a few leaves from the neem tree every day... which is a difficult thing. I have done it for years; fifty leaves in the morning and fifty again in the evening. Now, to eat fifty leaves of the neem tree really needs someone who is determined to kill himself!
It is so bitter, but it purifies the blood and keeps you absolutely free from any infection, even in India, which is a miracle! Even the wind passing through the leaves of a neem tree is thought to be purer than any other. People plant neem trees around their houses just to keep the air pure and unpolluted. It is a scientifically proven fact that the neem tree keeps away all kinds of infection by creating a wall of protection.
I rushed to the neem tree where Magga Baba sat, and the moment he saw me do you know what he did? I could not believe it myself - he touched my feet and wept. I felt very embarrassed because a crowd had gathered and they all thought Magga Baba had now really gone mad. Up till then he had been a little mad but now he was totally gone, gone forever...gate, gate - gone, and gone forever.
But Magga Baba laughed, and for the first time before the people he said to me, "My boy, you have done it! But I knew that one day you would do it."
I touched his feet. For the first time he tried to prevent me from doing it, saying, "No, no, don't touch my feet any more."
But I still touched them, even though he insisted. I didn't care and said, "Shut up! You look after your business and let me do mine. If I am enlightened as you say, please don't prevent an enlightened man from touching your feet."
He started laughing again and said, "You rascal! You are enlightened, but still a rascal."
I then rushed to my home - that is, my Nani's home, not my father's - because she was the woman I wanted to tell what had happened. But strange are the ways of existence: she was standing at the door, looking at me, a little amazed. She said, "What has happened to you? You are no longer the same." She was not enlightened, but intelligent enough to see the difference in me.
I said, "Yes, I am no longer the same, and I have come to share the experience that has happened to me."
She said, "Please, as far as I am concerned, always remain my Raja, my little child."
So I didn't say anything to her. One day passed, then in the middle of the night she woke me up.
With tears in her eyes she said, "Forgive me. You are no longer the same. You may pretend but I can see through your pretense. There is no need to pretend. You can tell me what has happened to you. The child I used to know is dead, but someone far better and luminous has taken his place.
I cannot call you my own any more, but that does not matter. Now you will be able to be called by millions as theirs, and everybody will be able to feel you as his or hers. I withdraw my claim, but also teach me the way."
This is the first time I have told anybody; my Nani was my first disciple. I taught her the way. My way is simple: to be silent, to experience in one's self that which is always the observer, and never the observed; to know the knower, and forget the known.
My way is simple, as simple as Lao Tzu's, Chuang Tzu's, Krishna's, Christ's, Moses', Zarathustra's...
because only the names differ, the way is the same. Only pilgrims are different; the pilgrimage is the same. And the truth, the process, is very simple.
I was fortunate to have had my own grandmother as my first disciple, because I have never found anybody else to be so simple. I have found many very simple people, very close to her simplicity, but the profoundness of her simplicity was such that nobody has ever been able to transcend it, not even my father. He was simple, utterly simple, and very profound, but not in comparison to her. I am sorry to say, he was far away, and my mother is very very far away; she is not even close to my
father's simplicity. You will be surprised to know - and I am declaring it for the first time - my Nani was not only my first disciple, she was my first enlightened disciple too, and she became enlightened long before I started initiating people into sannyas. She was never a sannyasin.
She died in 1970, the year when I started initiating people into sannyas. She was on her deathbed when she heard about my movement. Although I did not hear it myself, one of my brothers reported to me that these were her last words.... "It was as if she were talking to you," my brother told me.
"She said, 'Raja, now you have started a movement of sannyas, but it is too late. I cannot be your sannyasin because by the time you reach here I will not be in this body, but let it be reported to you that I wanted to be your sannyasin.'"
She died before I reached her, exactly twelve hours before. It was a long journey from Bombay to that small village, but she had insisted that nobody should touch her body until I arrived, then whatever I decided should be done. If I wanted her body to be buried, then it would be okay. If I wanted her body to be burned, that too would be okay. If I wanted something else to happen, then that too would be okay.
When I reached home I could not believe my eyes: she was eighty years of age and yet looked so young. She had died twelve hours before, but still there was no sign of deterioration. I said to her, "Nani, I have come. I know you will not be able to answer me this time. I'm just telling you so that you can hear. There is no need to answer." Suddenly, almost a miracle! Not only was I present, but my father too, and the whole family, were there. In fact the whole neighborhood had gathered. They all saw one thing: a tear rolled down from her left eye - after twelve hours!
Doctors - please note it, Devaraj - had declared her dead. Now, dead men don't weep; even real men rarely do, what to say about dead men? But there was a tear rolling from her eye. I took it as an answer, and what more could be expected? I gave fire to her funeral, as was her wish. I did not do that even to my father's body.
In India it is almost an absolute law that the eldest son should begin the fire for his father's funeral pyre. I did not do it. As far as my father's body was concerned, I did not even go to his funeral. The last funeral I attended was my Nani's.
That day I told my father, "Listen, Dadda, I will not be able to come to your funeral."
He said, "What nonsense are you saying? I am still alive."
I said, "I know you are still alive, but for how long? Just the other day Nani was alive; tomorrow you may not be. I don't want to take any chances. I want to say right now that I have decided I will not attend any other funeral after my Nani's, so please forgive me, I will not be coming to your funeral.
Of course you will not be there so I am asking your forgiveness today."
He understood and was a little shocked of course, but he said, "Okay, if this is your decision, but who then is going to give fire at my funeral?"
This is a very significant question in India. In that context it would normally be the eldest son. I said to him, "You already know I am a hobo. I don't possess anything."
Magga Baba, although utterly poor, had two possessions: his blanket and his magga - the cup. I don't have any possessions, although I live like a king. But I don't possess anything. Nothing is mine.
If one day someone comes and says to me, "Leave this place at once," I will leave immediately. I will not even have to pack anything. Nothing is mine. That's how one day I left Bombay. Nobody could believe that I would leave so easily without looking back, even once.
I could not go to my father's funeral, but I had asked his permission beforehand, a long time before, at my Nani's funeral. My Nani was not a sannyasin, but she was a sannyasin in other ways, in every other way except that I had not given her a name. She died in orange. Although I had not asked her to wear orange, but on the day she became enlightened she stopped wearing her white dress.
In India a widow has to wear white. And why only a widow? - so that she does not look beautiful, a natural logic. And she has to shave her head! Look... what to call these bastards! Just to make a woman ugly they cut off her hair and don't allow her to use any other color than white. They take all the colorfulness from her life. She cannot attend any celebration, not even the marriage of her own son or daughter! Celebration as such is prohibited for her. The day my Nani became enlightened, I remember - I have noted it down, it will be somewhere - it was the sixteenth of January, 1967.
I say without hesitation that she was my first sannyasin; and not only that, she was my first enlightened sannyasin.
You are both doctors, and you know Doctor Ajit Saraswati well. He has been with me for almost twenty years, and I don't know anybody else who has been so sincerely with me. You will be surprised to know he is waiting outside... and there is every possibility that he is almost ready to be enlightened. He has come to live here in the ashram. It must have been difficult for him, particularly as an Indian, leaving his wife, his children, and his profession. But he could not live without me. He is ready to renounce all. He is waiting outside. This will be his first interview, and I can feel that this is going to be his enlightenment too. He has earned it, and earned it with great difficulty. To be an Indian, and to be totally with me is not an easy job.
What is the time?
"Quarter to nine, Osho."
Five minutes for me. It is so immensely beautiful.... No, this is just great. No, one should not be greedy. No, I am a consistent man, consistently... no... and remember that I am not saying "no" as a negative. To me "no" is the most beautiful word in your language. I love it. I don't know if anybody else does or not, but I love it.
You are both patient... and I am the doctor. It is time. Everything has to come to a full stop.