This morning I said a very abrupt goodbye to Masto, and I felt it the whole day. It simply cannot be done, at least in his case. It reminds me of when I was going to college and leaving my Nani after being so long together.
Since my grandfather died and left her there had been no one in her life except me. It was not easy for her. It was not easy for me either. Except for her there was nothing to keep me in that village. I can see that day: the early morning - it was a beautiful winter's morning and people from the village had gathered.
Even today, in those parts of central India, things are not contemporary, they are at least two thousand years old. Nobody has much to do. Everybody seems to have enough time to loaf around.
I really mean that everybody is a loafer. I simply mean the literal meaning, not any association that has arisen about the word. So, all the "loafers" were there. Please write the word in inverted commas so nobody misunderstands.
My whole family was there, which was a big crowd. They had come because they had to come, otherwise I could see no point in seeing their faces, which were then, and now, faceless, just names.
But my poor father was there, my mother was there, my younger brothers and sisters were there, and they were all really weeping. Even my father was weeping.
I had never seen him tearful, never before, and never afterwards. And I was not dying, just going a hundred miles away. But it was the very idea of going away for four years at least, to get a bachelor's degree. Then, what if I decide - and nobody knows - to stay two more years for a master's degree; then a minimum of two more years for a Ph.D.?
It was a long separation. Perhaps by that time many of them would not be in the world, who knows?
But I was only concerned about my Nani, because my mother and my father had lived so long
without me when I was so small. Now I could live on my own, I could help myself. I needed no other help.
But for my Nani.... I can still see the early morning sun, the warm sun, the crowd, my father, my mother. I touched the feet of my Nani, and said to her, "Don't be worried, whenever you call I will immediately rush. And don't think that I am going far away. It is only a hundred miles, just three hours by train."
In those days the fastest train did not stop at that poor village. Otherwise the journey was only two hours. Now, it stops - but now it does not matter whether it stops or not.
I told her, "I will come running. Eighty or a hundred miles is nothing."
She said, "I know and I am not worried."
She tried to keep herself as collected as she could, but I could see the gathering of tears in her eyes.
That was the moment when I turned away, and left for the station. I didn't look back when I turned the corner of the street. I knew that if I looked back, either she would burst out crying, and then I would never go to college; or, if she did not burst out crying she may even die, just stop breathing. I was so much to her. Her only existence was around me. My clothes, my toys, my room, my bed, my bed sheets, the whole day.
I used to say to her, "Nani, you are mad. Twenty-four hours a day you are engaged doing things just for me, who is never going to do anything for you in his life."
She said, "You have already done it."
I don't know what to make of it. Now, there is no way to ask her, but the way she said, "You have already done it," was so powerful, with so much energy, that whether you understood it or not, you were overwhelmed. Even today, remembering it, I am overwhelmed.
Later on I came to know that when I turned the corner of the street, the whole neighborhood wondered, "What kind of boy is this? He didn't even look...."
And my Nani was very proud; she said to them, "Yes, he is my boy. I knew he would not look back, and not only on this street corner, he will never look back in his life. And I am also proud that he understood his poor Nani, knowing that if he had looked back I would have burst into tears, and he never wanted that. He knew perfectly well, better than I knew, that if I had burst into tears he would not have been able to go. Not because of me, but because of his love for me. He would have stayed his whole life just so that I would not have to weep and cry."
Saying an abrupt goodbye to Masto is just like that. No, I cannot do it. I will have to come to a natural end with no full stop just arbitrarily chosen; because my life is such that if I go on talking about it, there will be neither beginning nor end. In my life there will be neither beginning nor end.
The BIBLE at least says, "In the beginning...." You will have to publish this within a beginning or an end. It will be very difficult to publish that way. But Devageet can understand, he is a Jew. A Jewish
scroll can be almost without beginning and end. Of course there seems to be a beginning, but it is only seemingly so. That's why all the ancient stories begin, "Once upon a time" - and then you can start anything. And once upon a time everything stops, without even saying, "The End." My life cannot be an ordinary autobiography.
Vasant Joshi is writing a biography of me. The biography is bound to be very superficial, so superficial that it is not worth reading at all. No biography can penetrate to the depths, particularly the psychological layers of a man. Especially if the man has come to the point where the mind is no longer relevant to the nothingness hidden in the center of an onion. You can peel it layer by layer, of course with tears in your eyes, but finally nothing is left, and that is the center of the onion; that is from where it had come in the first place. No biography can penetrate to the depths, particularly of a man who has known the no-mind also. I say "also" consideredly, because unless you know the mind, you cannot know the no-mind. This is going to be my small contribution to the world.
The West has gone deep in search of the mind, and has discovered layers upon layers - the conscious, the unconscious, the subconscious, and so on and so forth. The East has simply put the whole thing aside and jumped into the pond... and the soundless sound, the no-mind. Hence East and West stand opposed.
In a way the opposition is understandable, and Rudyard Kipling was right in saying, "West is West, and East is East, and never the twain shall meet." He is right to a point. He really emphasizes a certain point that I am making.
The West has only looked into the mind, without looking into who is looking into the mind. It is very strange. The so-called great scientists are all trying to look into the mind, and nobody is bothered about who is looking into the mind.
H.G. Wells was not a bad man - a good man, just a goody-goody. In fact he is too sweet for my taste, a little too much white sugar. But still I should not consider my taste; you have your own tastes, and not everybody is a diabetic. I am not only a diabetic, I am also against white sugar. Even before I came to know about diabetes, I was against white sugar. I call it "the white poison," so perhaps I am a little prejudiced against white sugar.
But H.G. Wells, although very full of white sugar, is not just that. Once in a while he came up with an insight which was rare. For example, his idea of a time machine. He had the idea that one day a machine is discovered that goes back into time. Do you understand the meaning of it? It means you can go back into your childhood, into your mother's womb, or perhaps, if you are a Hindu, into your past lives - perhaps as an elephant, an ant, or whatnot. One could just go back, and one could go forward.
The idea itself is a great insight. I don't know whether there will ever be machines like that or not, but there have been people who could move back into time just as easily as you move. Do you have any difficulty in moving back to your yesterday? In the same way, the daring ones have moved into their yesterlives.
Perhaps that word may not be allowed, but I don't care. To me "yesterlife" looks perfectly right. When anything looks right to a wrong man like me, then you can be certain it must be right. It has to be right.
I suddenly said full stop to Masto, but the whole day it tortured me in a way. You know I cannot be tortured, you know I cannot be unhappy either, but the idea that I had finished so abruptly again reminds me of one incident which is directly concerned with Masto.
He had come to take me to the station at Allahabad. Deep down we both never wanted to separate, particularly on that day. The reason only became clear later on, but that had nothing to do with it. I will just mention it and give you the details later on. He had come to give me a sendoff, because he said that perhaps for two or three months he may not be able to see me. So, as long as he could be with me, he would like to be.
Masto said, "Let us hope the train is late."
I said, "What nonsense are you talking, Masto? Have you really gone mad? Indian trains and you have to hope for them to be late!"
The train came, of course, six hours late, which is not much for an Indian passenger train - just usual. But we could not separate. We talked and talked, and got so involved in talking that the train was missed. We both laughed. We were happy that at least we could be together for a few hours more, before another train came.
Listening to our talk, and our laughter, and the reason for the laughter, the station master said, "Why are you wasting your time on this platform? You can go to the other platform opposite."
I asked him, "Why?"
He said, "Only goods trains stop there, so you can talk, hug each other, and enjoy yourselves, and there will be no need to worry that you may catch the train. You cannot catch it on that platform."
I told Masto that the idea sounded very spiritual. The station master was thinking that we might hit him over the head, but when we both thanked him, and went over to the other platform, he came running behind us saying, "Please, don't take the idea seriously: I was just joking. Believe me, only goods trains stop here. You will never catch any train on this platform."
I said to him, "I don't want to catch any train. Nor does Masto want me to catch any train, but what to do?" The host where we were staying was very insistent that it was time for me to go back to the university hostel, saying that my time should not be wasted.
And Masto too wanted me to at least get a master's degree, according to the wishes of my dead friend Pagal Baba. So I had to go. You will not believe me, but I only remained at university because I had promised Pagal Baba to get a master's degree. The university gave me a scholarship for further studies, but I said, "No, because I had promised only up to this point."
They said, "Are you mad? Even if you go directly into service you cannot get more money than you will get with this scholarship. And the scholarship can extend from two to as many years as your professors recommend. Don't waste the opportunity."
I said, "Baba should have asked me to get a Ph.D. What can I do? He never asked me, and he died without knowing about it."
My professor tried hard to persuade me, but I said to him, "Simply forget it, because I only came here to fulfill a promise given to a madman."
Perhaps if Pagal Baba had known about Ph.D. or D.Litt. then I would have been in a trap, but thank God he only knew about the master's degree. He thought that was the last word. I don't know whether he really wanted me to go for more scholarship. Now there is no way. One thing is certain, that if he had wanted it, I would have gone and wasted as many years as necessary. But it was not a fulfillment of my own being, nor was the master's degree. Somehow Pagal Baba got the idea that unless you had a master's degree, a postgraduate degree, you would not be able to get a good job.
I said, "Baba, do you think I will ever desire a job?"
He laughed and said, "I know you will not desire it, but just in case. I am just an old man, and I think of all the worst things possible. You have heard the proverb, 'Hope for the best, but expect the worst.'" He added something more to it. Baba said, "Prepare for the worst too. It should not be met unprepared, otherwise how are you going to face it?"
Masto cannot be given a farewell so easily. So I will drop the very idea. Wherever he pops up, it's okay. This is not going to be an orthodox, conventional autobiography. It is not an autobiography at all, just fragments of a life reflected in thousands of mirrors.
I was once a guest at a place called "the mirror palace." It was made only of mirrors. It was horrible, to live in it was so difficult, but perhaps I was the only man who enjoyed it. The raja who owned the palace was puzzled. He said to me, "Whenever I put a guest there, after just a few hours they say to me, 'Please put me somewhere else, it is too much.' To see so many people just like yourself all around... and whatever you do, they all do. If you laugh, they all laugh; if you cry, they all cry; if you hug your girl, they all hug.... It is so horrible. You feel that you are just a mirror and nothing else, and all the mirrors seems to be doing even better than you are."
I said to the raja, "I don't want to change anything; in fact if you want to sell this palace I am ready to purchase it and make it a meditation center. It will be hilarious. People just sitting there looking at themselves from all directions, everywhere thousands of miniatures of themselves.
"They may go mad - which is not a calamity anyway. They will go mad sooner or later in some other life. It will just take a little longer. I will do it quickly. I believe in instant-coffee methods. But if they can relax with the whole crowd surrounding them and not be worried; if they can accept that and say 'It is okay, thank you for surrounding me for so long,' and still remain centered, they will become enlightened. Either way they will be benefited."
Madness is falling below the mind. There is a madness that is falling above the mind; that madness is enlightenment. It is abnormal, hence it is not wrong that poor psychologists think that people like Jesus or Buddha are abnormal. But they should be a little sensitive about their words.
If they use the same word "abnormal" for the inmates of a madhouse, with what face can they use the same word for the Buddha? They should say "supranormal." Buddhas and madmen are certainly not normal; about that we agree. One is below normal, one is above normal. Both are abnormal, we agree, but they need different classifications. And psychology has no place for what I call "the Psychology of the Buddhas."
Masto was certainly a Buddha. I cannot just say, "Thank you, see you again," for the reason that he has done so much for me. "Thank you" is very small, and too inappropriate. Nobody does so much for anybody.
That's why there is no word for it - nobody needs it. And I cannot say, "See you again," because neither he is going to again be in this world, nor am I going to again be in this world. The meeting is, in the very nature of things, impossible. So the only way is to let him come whenever it happens.
And in this way these memoirs will have their own flavor. Sudden abrupt arrivals and departures.
So, I bring Masto in again. He was not the same type of man as Pagal Baba. Pagal Baba was simply a mystic; Masto was a philosopher too. At night, we would lie for hours by the banks of the Ganges discussing so many things. We enjoyed just being together, either discussing or being silent. That same Ganges, where the UPANISHADS were first sung, where Buddha delivered his first sermon, where Mahavira moved and preached.... One cannot think of eastern mysticism without the Himalayas and the Ganges. In fact, both have contributed infinitely.
I remember the beauty of that silence.... We sat there for hours. Once in a while we even slept there, on the sand, because Masto had said, "It is so beautiful tonight that it would be insulting to go to bed. The stars are so close." That's his word, "insulting." I am simply quoting.
I said, "Masto, you know that I love the stars, and particularly when they are reflected in the river.
Stars are beautiful, but their reflection is a miracle. What water does so simply is only possible to compare with dreams. I love the stars, the river, the reflection of the stars, and I love your company, and your warmth. So there is no question about staying. Never consider me even for a single moment when you want to do something, because even that consideration will hurt me. It will show that I am being a burden to you."
He said, "What! I have not said anything about you being a burden to me."
I said, "You have not said it, nobody has. I was just saying it for the future. Remember, if you consider me, for any reason, then tell me about it, because I feel very offended by any consideration."
I told him that day, and today I will tell you too, that Gurdjieff had a very strange idea. I don't think any Master had ever entertained it. It is not that it could not have knocked on their doors, but I think nobody was the type to receive it, and respond to it.
Gurdjieff used to say, "Please, never, never consider others. It is an insult." He had these words written over his door. It is a tremendously significant statement.
People force one another to consider each other. They say, "Please consider me." What could be more humiliating than to say to somebody, "Please consider me"? In my life I have never said that to anybody, not a single person.
I remember many situations where just those words would have helped me immensely, but they are so humiliating. It is not ego, remember. The egoist is always asking for consideration; in fact more so, because he is no ordinary person, he has to be considered first. A really humble person cannot ask for consideration; in fact, he will reject any consideration even if it is given to him.
I was at university, a poor student. I reached university somehow, by working at different kinds of jobs. Again, just by coincidence, I participated in a national inter-university debate. One of the judges, who is now the head of the department of philosophy at Allahabad University, S.S. Roy, just fell in love with me. And the same was true from my side too.
He gave me ninety-nine marks out of a hundred he was one of the judges in the debate; naturally I won. It was a very important debate because the winner was going on a three months' tour of the Middle East as a government guest. He was to be treated almost as an ambassador. It was a great opportunity.
S.S. Roy gave me ninety-nine out of a hundred, and to everybody else he gave just zero - just to be sure that I would win. I asked him later, "Why were you so partial to me?"
He said, "The moment I looked into your eyes I became hypnotized. My wife also says that I am hypnotized by you, otherwise how could I do such a thing? If anybody sees your sheet the partiality will be apparent: ninety-nine out of a hundred and simply zero for all the other dozen participants!"
I said, "No, I have not asked why you have given me ninety-nine percent; that is your wife's question.
Perhaps others may ask it too. I have come to ask why you didn't give me one hundred percent."
For a moment he looked at me astounded, then he started laughing and said, "I was one of Masta Baba's devotees. He was right when he said to me, 'Once you see this man you will not need me.'
And Masta Baba told me this almost two or three years before he disappeared. Now I can truthfully say to you I was not hypnotized: it was just that your eyes reminded me of his eyes. I have also seen Pagal Baba, and it is strange how your eyes are almost the same. How it happens I don't know."
I said, "It is not the eyes, it is the transparency which makes them appear to be the same. I am happy that you are reminded of Pagal Baba and Masta Baba for a reason which to me is the greatest reward in the world, that in my eyes you saw something of the same. Now, I have nothing to ask you except, Why not one hundred percent?"
He said, "I am a poor professor. If I gave you one hundred percent, and gave zero to all the remaining eleven participants, it would appear that I was not being fair. I am fair, but who would understand?
Where would I find Masta Baba, or Pagal Baba to understand it? I gave you ninety-nine percent just because of my cowardice."
I loved this man because he could say so simply that he was a coward. Although he had really done an uncowardly act already, almost, so what difference would one percent have made? Ninety-nine percent for one person, and zero percent for the others? It is the same. He could have given me one hundred percent, or even more.
But that debate, and his remembrance of Pagal Baba and Masta Baba was the reason I stayed at the university of Sagar. He was there at that time. I said, "If I have to be a postgraduate then let it be under you."
It was Pagal Baba's desire, and also Masta Baba's, that I should be prepared in case I was ever in need. I have never needed anything. Not only have I never needed anything, ever, but I have been
showered constantly by things from all sides. That's why I told you something went right for me from the very beginning.
S.S. Roy was one of my most loved teachers, for the simple reason that he was capable of asking me to stand up in class and explain something to him that he could not understand. And I had to do it. Once I said to him, "Roy Sahib" - that's what I used to call him - "it does not look good that you ask me, your student."
He said, "If Pagal Baba could touch your feet, and if Masta Baba could not only touch your feet but had to fulfill every rational and irrational demand made by you" - and I have been irrational from the very beginning, just irrational - "then why could I not ask? I am just a small man."
I have known hundreds of professors as teachers, as colleagues and acquaintances, but S.S. Roy stands apart. He was so authentic that you could not find more authenticity in any teacher. And he was so much in love with what I used to say to him that he used to quote me in his lectures. Not just use it, but he referred to it as my statement. Of course the other students were jealous. Even the other professors in the philosophy department were jealous. You will be surprised to know that even his wife was jealous.
I came to know just by chance. One day I went to his house and she said to me, "What! You have even started coming here? He is mad about you. Since you have been in his department our love life is shattered. It's on the rocks."
I said, "I will never come to this house again, but remember, that will not put it right. One day you will have to come to me." And I never went to his house again. After a year or so his wife had to come to me, and she said, "Forgive me. Please come, only you can reconcile us."
I said, "My work of separating or reconciling couples has not begun yet. You will have to wait."
She cried and so I had to go. I didn't say anything to S.S. Roy. I just sat by his side holding his hand, and after an hour left, without saying a single word. And that did it; the alchemy worked. There is magic in silence.
How much time is left?
"Three minutes, Osho."
Good, because maximus, the maximum is my principle. The whole trinity is available, we can do miracles....
Is the time over...? Then it is over.