Stand in Your Son's Shoes

Fri, 8 March 1977 00:00:00 GMT
Book Title:
Osho - Tao - The Pathless Path, Vol 2
Chapter #:
am in Buddha Hall
Archive Code:
Short Title:
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The first question:

Question 1:



WHEN I SAY SOMETHING there is no need to ask anybody about it. Meditate over it.

When I said that Krishna was a BRAHMIN I mean that he has known the ultimate truth. BRAHMA is the ultimate truth. By knowing it one becomes a BRAHMIN. When I say Krishna is a BRAHMIN I mean Mahavira is a BRAHMIN, Buddha is a BRAHMIN - so is Moses, so is Jesus, so is Lao Tzu. I don't mean the caste BRAHMIN. By birth nobody is a BRAHMIN, nobody can be. I also know that he was a KSHATRIYA a KSHATRIYA by birth. That is meaningless. That is formal, accidental. I don't talk about accidents.

By accident I was born in India but I am not an Indian. By accident you may have been born in Germany but you are not a German. By accident you may be black or white but you are neither. The accident can only decide the form, not your being. Your being is beyond accident, beyond caste, beyond religion, beyond nation, beyond colour. When I am talking I am talking about the innermost core.

So I repeat: Krishna is a BRAHMIN. Even if the whole world says he is not, I don't care a bit. That knowledge is of no significance at all.

'It is surprising,' said the professor to his wife, 'how ignorant we all are. Nearly every man is a specialist in his own particular line and in consequence he is as narrow-minded as it is possible to be. He knows nothing of what other men are doing.'

'Yes, dear,' said his wife.

'I, for instance,' he continued, 'am ashamed of my failure to keep abreast of modern science. Take electric light, for example. I have not the least idea how it works.'

His wife gave him a patronising look and smiled, 'Why, Herbert, I am ashamed of you too. It is simple. You press a switch, that's all!'

This wife thinks that by pressing a switch you know all about electricity. That's all. Simple. And she says she is ashamed of her husband - that he does not even know how electricity works.

You also know how electricity works. You press the switch, that's all. So simple. But has anybody really got any idea of how electricity works? And I am not talking about you and I am not talking about the professor. Even the man who worked miracles with electricity, Thomas Alva Edison. had no idea how it worked.

It happened once that he went to a summer resort where people did not know anything about him at least, nobody recognised his face. He was very happy - because famous people become very tired of being recognised the whole day, they are never at ease. So he was very happy, running on the beach, collecting pebbles. He had again become a child.

Somebody invited him to come to a high school exhibition. Looking at his childishness on the beach, at how he was running and playing with the foam and the pebbles and the sea-shells, somebody said, 'Come to our high school. We are having an exhibition and the children have done many beautiful things.' So he went. They had made an electric fan - Edison was the inventor of the electric fan - and a small boy was explaining how it worked. Edison became interested and he asked, 'Do you know how electricity works? What is electricity?' And the boy said, 'That I don't know. I will call my teacher.'

So the teacher was called to explain - of course, he did not know who was asking the question. He was a graduate in science and he tried to explain the mechanism of the fan. But electricity itself?

Electricity in itself is inexpressible. Nobody knows.

And Edison insisted, 'Tell me, what is electricity? You are explaining how the fan moves, how the switch works, how the motor works, but I am not asking about the motor and the fan and the switch, I am asking about electricity, the power behind it. What is it?' And the man said, 'You are asking a difficult question. I am just a graduate. I will ask my principal to come - he is a D.Sc. He will explain!'

The principal came and he tried hard to explain but Edison insisted. The D.Sc. principal was very puzzled about this man asking such a significant question, and he became very embarrassed because he could not explain. So he said, 'Sorry, I will enquire from some higher people who are more in the know.' Then Edison said, 'I don't think anybody is going to help.' He said, 'What do you mean?' 'I am Thomas Alva Edison and I don't know myself what electricity is, so from whom are you going to enquire?' He had invented one thousand things which worked through electricity - the radio, the gramophone, the fan and a thousand and one things - he was one of the greatest inventors of the world, but he said, I myself don't know what electricity is. I play with it, I manage it, it works. That's all we know how it works. But what it is, nobody knows. So don't be puzzled and don't feel embarrassed.'

You must have asked somebody who has the mind of this wife who says, 'Why, Herbert, I am ashamed of you. It is simple. You press a switch. That's all.' I also know that Krishna is a KSHATRIYA but that is not what I am saying to you. I am not interested in the accident of his birth, in which womb he was carried for nine months. I am talking about his innermost experience - that experience makes him a BRAHMIN because he has known the BRAHMA. One who knows is a BRAHMIN. One who does not know is not a BRAHMIN.

The second question:

Question 2:


THE FIRST THING: never meditate on anything negative. 'DON'T DO UNTO OTHERS WHAT YOU DON'T WANT OTHERS TO DO UNTO YOU.' This is a negative message 'DON'T DO.'

If you don't want to get stuck then meditate on something positive. The same thing can be made positive: Do unto others what you would like others to do unto you. Then you will not get stuck.

When you move in a negative commandment you cannot move much. How can you move in a negative commandment? A negative commandment is like death. How can you meditate about death? You can start but you will be stuck at the very start. You can meditate about life, certainly.

Life has so many things to meditate about - the flowers, the birds, the rivers, the stars, love, people, the beauty of it, the song of it. You can meditate about life infinitely and you will never get stuck - because vast is life, infinite is life, the whole universe is life.

In fact, when you meditate on life - meditating, meditating - one day you will come across death too because death is just a part of life. As other things are part of life - love, birth, joy, sadness, happiness - so is death. Death is not something against life, death is not something beyond life - death happens in life, death is an intrinsic part of life.

So if you meditate on life you will come to know death too, but if you meditate on death nothing will happen. What will you meditate on? You will simply feel darkness, and get stuck. How can you move in non-being? How can you think about nothing? You will go round and round and sooner or later you will wonder what you are doing. Chasing your own tail? Where are you going? There is nothing much to meditate on.

Meditation has to be about the positive. You can ride on the positive, you can go to the very source of existence - but on the positive, with the positive, in the positive. And of course, if you go with the positive, one day you will come across the negative too - but as part of the positive. And then you will know the negative too.

Listen... I would like it this way: Do unto others what you would like others to do unto you. Make it that way. Then you have a thousand and one things to think about.

And when you do unto others what you would like them to do unto you, naturally the negative part of it - don't do unto others - follows like a shadow. Remember, the negative is the shadow of the positive. The positive is the figure, the negative is the shadow. If you run, your shadow will run behind you. If you stop, the shadow will stop. But don't get too involved with the shadow otherwise you will get stuck. If you try to make the shadow run and then you want to follow it, it is impossible.

Then you will feel very impotent. You will create a very crazy situation for yourself.

Look... all the Ten Commandments are in a way negative. If you go deep into Patanjali's Yoga Sutras you will not find a single negative commandment. Everything is positive. With the positive there is growth. Judaism has not grown at all. It remains stuck. In fact, it has not added anything to Moses.

It is where Moses left it.

Hinduism has grown tremendously. It goes on growing. It is not a dead stone. And what is the reason for it, what is the secret of it? The secret is: it moves through the positive. If you get stuck with the negative then from the very beginning you are moving in a wrong direction - which will not allow you much movement. You are heading for trouble.

Judaism has not evolved any subtle religion. The Jews have remained the most irreligious people on the earth, the most worldly, money-minded, prestige-oriented. They have not developed anything deep in meditation or prayer; religion to them is just a formality. Religion is not something tremendous; it is not something that shatters you, uproots you, gives you wings; it is not something that destroys you and recreates you; it is not something that you become possessed with; it is not something that manages you - it is something that you manage.

Jews did not like Jesus because he became too possessed by religion. Jews did not like Jesus because he was too other-worldly. Jews have not liked any people born to Jewish families who became too possessed by religion. They have always denied and rejected them. They deny and reject all the messiahs because a messiah is a person who is almost in a passion. Religion is his love, it is not formality; He can stake his life for it. If crucifixion comes through it, he is ready to go to the cross.

The day that Jesus was ready to die on the cross he said that he was not a Jew in the ordinary sense. The Jews were puzzled. Why was this man so mad? Life is so beautiful, why be worried about things higher than life? Life is enough. Jews have lived in the merry-go-round of eat, drink and be merry - and, of course, sometimes go to the synagogue too. That is part of the social formalities.

Remember, if you start your meditations with a negative you will be stuck. And, another thing, if you think too much of the negative, you will become desert-like, you will not flower, you will become dry, your juice won't flow. The juice cannot flow in the negative - for that you need some positive passion, something alive, so that it can flower.

If you want to meditate, contemplate, good. But choose something positive. Meditate on a rose flower, it is positive. Meditate on the rising sun, it is positive. Meditate on the moon. Meditate on a child playing, laughing, jumping, dancing. Meditate on something which is flowering, opening unfolding, which is alive. Meditating on the negative is meditating on the desert - and you become that on which you meditate. You will become that on which you meditate so meditate on love, meditate on life, meditate on God.

And if something looks very beautiful to you but it is a negative statement, turn it into a positive statement. Each statement can be turned into a positive statement. And great is the change. When you want to say 'no' try to say it in such a way that it has the form of 'yes'. Don't say 'no'. You can always find a way to say something in such a way that even if it is a 'no' it comes in the form of 'yes'.

And it will be helpful to you.

You must have come across people who are so addicted to the 'no' that even sometimes when they want to say 'yes' they find a negative way of expressing it.

The third question:

Question 3:


AGAIN? The day you became a sannyasin you got married to me. This question is from Dharma Chetna. To ask again means you have forgotten!

When he was very old somebody asked Immanuel Kant, the German philosopher, 'Why didn't you ever get married? Did you never propose to anybody?' Kant brooded over it and said, 'To think of it, yes, once I did propose to a girl.'

The enquirer became very interested. He said, 'Then what happened?' Kant said, 'Something went wrong. I proposed a second time. I proposed one day and the next day I proposed again. And the girl got very mad.'

Kant's memory was not very good - the girl had accepted him the previous night. Can you marry a person who proposes a second time? This man is not reliable. After marriage he will come one day and he will say, 'Who are you and what are you doing here?'

Sannyas is a marriage - but it is deeper than the marriage that you know about. In an ordinary marriage two bodies meet At the most, if one is very fortunate, two minds meet - that is rare. The marriage that sannyas is, is not of the body not of the mind, but of the souls. Two beings meet. To be with the Master is to be in deep love with the Master, to be surrendered, to be open, to go with him wherever he is going with gratitude, with trust.

You are married, Chetna. Keep alert. Don't go on forgetting.

The fourth question:

Question 4:


I CAN understand the difficulties of a parent. Try to persuade your son, I am all in favour of it. Try to persuade him but don't force him, don't threaten him. Avoid subtle or gross threats. Just open your mind to your son, put your heart before him, tell him how you feel. What you are saying is not very meaningful so leave the decision to him.


There must have been something wrong in the home otherwise why should one escape from home and come to this ashram? This ashram is another home again. Think about your home. What is wrong there? Something must be missing love, aliveness. Something must be missing. Watch it.

Your son has given a signal that something is wrong.

Maybe the father and the mother are not in deep harmony and the house is a chaos. Maybe the children are neglected or maybe too much care is taken. Either way the child must be feeling suffocated - either by indifference or by too much love or too much care. Balance is missing.

Put your home right. Just taking the child back home will not help much because he will escape again. So think about it. Your child has given you an indication that something is basically wrong.

That is the first thing.

The second thing - you say: HE IS FREE TO HAVE ANY SORT OF THOUGHT BUT FIRST.... You are just talking, you are not giving him freedom. What do you mean by 'but'? Parents have that trick of talking. They say, 'You are completely free, absolutely free, but....' That 'but' is too big. It destroys all freedom.

And parents have an old habit of saying, 'First grow up and then you will understand.' But, excuse me, I would like to ask you if you have grown up. Have you seen any grown-up person? Maybe the person is well-educated, has graduated from the university, was on the merit list, has a good job, is married, has children - everything is going fine. But look deep is he grown-up? Has he really understood what life is? Has he any awareness? Or is he as ignorant of life as any child?

Sometimes it happens that children are more alert than grown-ups because children have a fresher consciousness. Less dust has gathered on their mirrors. As yet they have not been poisoned by the society.

What do you call your university? It is an institution in the service of society. It poisons. It manipulates people. It forces people into the service of the society. It destroys people's individuality. Out of beautiful people it makes clerks, collectors, commissioners, TAHSILDAR, station-masters, things like that. Out of beautiful people, out of beautiful children it creates ugly things, dead things. The whole education system is a way to destroy a person, his freedom; to destroy his consciousness; to destroy his aliveness; to make him usable - to reduce him to a means so that the society can use him in profitable ways, so that he becomes an instrument. Then he becomes a soldier in the army - kills and, is killed. Or he becomes a clerk in an office or a collector or a commissioner and wastes his whole life for something he cares nothing at all about and goes on doing things which he never wanted to do in the first place.

The closer and closer death comes, the more and more afraid you become - and fear cripples. And then you cannot change. It is very difficult for a person who is at the age of forty or forty-five to change, because now everything has settled - somehow. It has been a long struggle, things have settled, and now to change seems very difficult. Now one simply goes on waiting for death to relieve one.

You say:.. .BUT FIRST HE MUST COMPLETE HIS GRADUATION STUDIES SO THAT HE CAN UNDERSTAND THE WORLD IN A BETTER WAY. Do you think educated people understand the world in a better way? I have never come across it. Educated people are the worst because they have such a screen on their eyes. They may understand what is written in books but they don't understand what is there in life. An educated person has such a cultivated mind that he does not allow anything from the real to enter him. He looks in the books but he never looks into the faces of people, into the eyes of people. He never looks around. Even if God comes he will go on reading his Bible and he may even say to God, 'Wait, wait outside, I am doing my religious meditation,' or something like that.

There is a Hindu story about a very great scholar who used to do chanting every morning for three, four, five hours. From three o'clock in the morning he would start doing his chanting and prayers for years together. And he was a great scholar, a great Sanskrit scholar, a very learned man.

Then finally Krishna had compassion on him and one day he came to him. He stood behind the man, put his hand on his shoulders. The man looked up and he said, 'What are you doing? Can't you see I am doing my prayers? Is this the time to disturb me?' And Krishna shrank back and disappeared.

Now this story looks very absurd. The man had been chanting HARI KRISHNA, HARI KRISHNA, HARI KRISHNA for years but when Krishna came he could not recognise him. He thought some intruder had come - some very foolish man who couldn't see that the scholar was meditating. This man may not even have taken his morning bath and here he was touching the scholar's body and spoiling the whole meditation. And the scholar had to go and take a bath again in the Ganges and again start his prayer. So he was very happy that he got rid of this foolish man. Who was this?

If Jesus comes to a Christian who is pondering on his Bible would the Christian recognise Jesus? If Mahavir comes to a Jaina who is on his fast and doing his mantra NAMOKAR NAMOKAR, would he be able to recognise him? Impossible. To recognise truth you need naked, nude eyes - uncultured, uncultivated, uneducated.

I can feel you care for your child, that is true, but what you are saying is not true. I can understand and I would like your boy to go back home, I am all for it, but the reason you are giving is not right.

I can feel your love for your child. You are worried about his future. You are worried what he will do, how he will earn his bread. I can understand, I am in total sympathy with you - but the reason that you are proposing is absolutely false.

You say: ... FIRST HE SHOULD COMPLETE HIS GRADUATION STUDIES SO THAT HE CAN UNDERSTAND.... Understanding never comes that way. For understanding to come one has to one day unlearn all that one has learnt. For understanding to come one has to become a child again, one has to wash off all that the society has done, one has to make his heart clean.

Once a man came to Buddha, a very cultured, educated man, a pundit. And he asked Buddha a question. Buddha said, 'Please. Right now I cannot answer.' The man said, 'Why can't you answer?

Are you busy or something?' He was an important man, well-known all over the country, and, of course, he felt offended that Buddha was so busy that he couldn't give a little time to him.

He said, q have walked thousands of miles.' In those days there were no trains, nothing, it was really difficult. It was dangerous to travel. He had walked far; he had come from the deep south.

Buddha said, 'No, that is not the question. I have enough time, but right now you will not be able to receive the answer.' The pundit asked, 'What do you mean?' Buddha said, 'There are three types of listeners. The first type is like a pot placed upside-down. You can go on answering, nothing will enter him. He is not available. The second type of listener is like a pot with holes in the bottom. It is not upside-down, it is exactly in the right posture, it is as it should be, but it has holes in the bottom.

So it looks like it is being filled but that is only momentary. Sooner or later the water flows out and it is again empty. Only apparently, on the surface, does it look like something is entering - nothing really enters because it cannot hold anything. And then there is a third type of listener who has no holes in the bottom and who is not placed like an upside-down pot but is full of filth. Water can come into it but the moment water enters it, it becomes poisoned.

'And you are all three together, sir. So it is very difficult right now. You are filthy, filthy because you are so knowledgeable. Knowledge is filth. That which you have not known is filth; only that which you have known purifies, transforms, liberates. All that is borrowed is filth. You have stolen it, how can it purify you? Without knowing it you think you know. You are a pretender. You deceive. You are a hypocrite.'

So when a man's head is like a pot which is full of filth, even if God comes and says something to him, the moment it enters him it will become poisoned. It will not be heard the way it has been told.

It will be misinterpreted. It is very difficult to change a learned man because he has already got fixed ideas. He is hiding behind those ideas.

I have heard about a very shy man - a young man, very shy - who had never asked a girl for a date.

His mother was very worried, naturally so. But one day the mother and father were both surprised because the boy said, 'I am going on a date tonight.' They were very happy. They helped him. They gave him money and they said, 'Go and enjoy yourself.'

He went out but came back within half an hour. They were again surprised and said, 'So soon? Did you see the girl?' He said, 'Yes, I did see her. And had I not been hiding behind the hedge she would have seen me.'

Now what type of date is this? Hiding behind the hedge! He says, 'I have seen the girl and had not I been hiding behind the hedge she would have seen me.'

A man of knowledge is hiding behind hedges and more hedges. His understanding is less than ever even if his knowledge is more.

What do you mean, sir, when you say: HE WILL UNDERSTAND MORE? He will be more knowledgeable, true, but he will not understand more. Right now he can understand more although even now it may be already too late. Had he come a little earlier he would have understood more.

Society can be transformed totally if small children start meditating. They are not serious so they are very ready for meditation. They are joyful, playful. They take everything in fun. Sometimes it happens that when a small child comes to take sannyas and I tell him 'Close your eyes' he closes the eyes and he enjoys it as nobody else enjoys it. The very idea that he has been taken so seriously rejoices him. He sits silently. Sometimes I have seen grown-up people looking, just opening their eyes a little to see what is happening. But small children, when they close their eyes, they really close them. They close them very hard because they are afraid they will open if they don't do it hard. They really do it hard. They bring their total energy there because they know that if they are not doing it totally then the eyes will open and they will start looking to see what the matter is, what is going on. I have seen them really closing their eyes. And to see a child sitting silently is one of the most beautiful things you can come across.

Children can be taught meditation more easily because they are not yet spoiled. When you have been spoiled the hard work is to help you to unlearn.

I have heard that whenever anybody came to Mozart, the great composer and musician, he would ask, 'Have you learnt music anywhere else before?' If the man had, then he would ask double fees.

If he had not learnt music at all then he would say, 'That is okay. Even half the fee will do.'

People were very puzzled because this was illogical - 'When a fresh man comes, who has not known anything about music, you say half the fee, and when somebody who has been working for ten years comes you say double the fee!' Mozart said, 'There is a reason. First I have to clean the slate. That is the harder work. To destroy all that the person is carrying is harder than to teach.'

Teaching is very easy if you are available. With a virgin heart, teaching is very simple - and a child is a virgin heart.

So I will not agree that your child will become more understanding of the world. He may simply become more worldly, as worldly as you are. Right now he is not so worldly, that's why he has come to the ashram and has become a sannyasin. He is other-worldly. He does not care a bit about money, power, prestige - all those trips. He is very other-worldly. You can see.

And you can see many young people here - ninety-nine per cent of my sannyasins are young people.

Why? Why should young people be so interested in sannyas, and not the old people? Old people become cunning. counting, calculating. Old people become clever. They think in terms of profit and loss. They think of what is going to give them more, more profit, and they think of a thousand and one things. Except life they think about everything; except love they think about everything. They take care of all that is non-essential; the essential they don't take care of. They are worldly. What do I mean by worldly? I mean a man who thinks about the non-essential .

Mulla Nasrudin went to his boss one day and said, 'Sir, can I have your car on the twenty-fifth of this month?' The boss asked, 'For what? Why do you need the car, Nasrudin? You have never asked for it before.' He said, 'I am going to get married on that day.' The boss said, 'Certainly you can have it. One does not get married every day. You can have not only one car. You can have all of mv three cars '

Nasrudin was very happy. And then the boss said, 'Please tell me. Who is the fortunate girl?'

Nasrudin answered, 'I have not decided that yet. I thought I should first enquire about the car. If I can have the car, I can find a girl. That is not a big problem.'

This is the worldly man. He thinks first about the non-essential: money, power, prestige, pull, car, house, bank, insurance. He thinks about these things first; security comes first. He is not at all worried about who you are. For whom is this security? For whom is this bank balance? For whom is this house and this car? For whom? You are disappearing, your life is slipping out of your hands - and you are worried about the non-essential!

The other-worldly man is one who thinks about the essential first. Your child is still other-worldly, non-worldly, hence he is here. And whatsoever you are saying is not very relevant, it is just an argument. If you have become more understanding then give proof of it. Then you tell the child, 'You go home and study and I am going to become a sannyasin.' That will be proof. And then, I think, the child will have to go because now he knows his father means it. That will be something.

I am ready to exchange. You be here and let the child go - and he will go happily because then his father really cares and understands and so whatsoever he is saying is meaningful.

One day an old Indian man came to me - he was seventy-five years old. Of course, in India, people are very much against me - bound to be, naturally - because they think that giving sannyas to young people is destroying their life. This man's young son had taken sannyas and he was very worried.

He said, 'What are you doing? This is against the scriptures. A person has to become a sannyasin only after seventy-five years of age. Give my son back. This is not the right time. First he has to get married.' Just as you say your son has first to become a graduate, he said that first his son had to get married, experience life, have children, move into the work of the house-holder and then one day he could become a sannyasin.

The son was sitting by my side. 'Okay, I can understand,' I said to the old man. 'Your son can go back but you sit in his place!' He said, 'Why?' I said, 'You are seventy-five, now the time has come. You have lived in the world. The scriptures say that after seventy-five one has to become a sannyasin.

What do you say?' He said, 'This is difficult.' So I said, 'Then what is the guarantee that your boy, if he ever becomes seventy-five - and who knows he may never become seventy-five - what is the guarantee that he will be able to take sannyas if you cannot take it? Give proof. You take sannyas and I will release your son and I will say, "Go and get married."' Since then that old man has never turned up and I don't think he will ever come again.

Just look at life. So many people are educated, particularly in the West. Everybody is educated now. Education is no more a value. In fact, the great thinkers of the West are thinking about how to de-school society. Ivan Illich has proposed a whole programme of how to de-school society. And D.H. Lawrence used to say again and again that if man is to be saved all universities should be closed for one hundred years.

There are all those dreams and ideas that when humanity becomes educated, when everybody is educated, there will be paradise. That paradise has not happened. In fact, all paradise has disappeared because of education. Uneducated people are far more innocent, far more loving, far more beautiful than the educated.

The man of education becomes cunning, clever, exploiting. That's all that education is about - how to make you more efficient in exploiting people, how to make you capable of doing less and getting more. That is the whole technique of education. What else is it? What else is education but how to do nothing and get everything? Then you are the most educated person. The higher the education, the less the work - and the more the profit. The real man of education does not work at all. He simply exploits, he simply robs people.

No, education is not going to give him understanding or anything. Don't enforce anything on him; just put your mind before him and tell him that this is how you feel. Certainly tell him how you feel - it is your responsibility to tell him - but then your responsibility is finished. You told him, you made him aware of the situation, but if he decides to remain a beggar, let it be so. If he decides to remain a sannyasin and wants to live a dangerous life, let it be so. You have lived a very sheltered life. What have you gained?

When I came back from my graduation, from the university, my parents were very worried about my marriage. That is one of the most worrying problems in India - particularly for a person like me. My parents were very worried. It was time to get married and they were worried that I might say 'no'.

One night when I was going to sleep my mother came to me. She sat on my bed and told me that they were very worried. I said, 'There is no need to worry. Tell me, what is the problem?' She said, 'We are afraid you may say "no".' I said, 'I can say "yes" without asking what it is. You just tell me.'

She became very happy. She said, 'We would like you to get married. You choose any girl - you choose, we are not con-cerned about that - but you get married.' I said, 'Okay, I have said "yes" so I will follow it. There is just one thing - I will give you two weeks to think about it. Have you gained anything by marriage? After two weeks you simply tell me. You are my mother and I hope that you will not deceive me. Mediate over the matter for two weeks... if the chance was given to you again would you marry again or would you remain unmarried?'

My mother is a simple woman. Those two weeks were really hard on her. I saw her sitting and crying and weeping because the truth was coming to her again and again that it was simply meaningless.

She had suffered her whole life. Marriage, twelve children, continuously taking care, this child is ill, that child is ill, poor family, twelve children, and all worries and worries.

After two weeks I asked, 'What do you say?' She said, 'You have put me into such trouble. No, I will not suggest that you get married but don't tell your father that I have said so.'

I told her, 'I will take care of him separately, you don't be worried. He is my father, he will also feel for me. What has he gained?' He never asked me. Never. He simply avoided the subject because he knew what had happened.

You have lived in the world, you are educated, you have lived a sheltered family life - what have you gained? Anything really? Anything really substantial? Can you really show that substance to your child? Can you say that you have lived wisely? Can you say that you are happy and that if God gives you another life you would like to live the same way you have lived? Just think, ponder over these things.

I can understand your love for the child. It is perfectly good. I am happy that you have come from so far to take your child back. You must be in deep love with him. But become a little more alert.

Tell your heart. Tell what you have experienced in your life. Would it not be a great desire in your heart also that if you were born again and life was again given to you. you would like to start it as a sannyasin? Wouldn't it be good for a change, at least? Just think over it. If your boy becomes convinced by you, take him with all my blessings But if he is not convinced, don't go in anger. Then too go on loving him. Let him do what he wants to do. Let him have his own life experience in his own way. Who knows?

When Buddha left his palace his father was worried. And when he became enlightened and came back after twelve years his father was very angry - naturally. This was his only son born when the father was very old. He was a gift of God. He was the only heir to the kingdom and he had left the old man. To whom was this kingdom going to belong? There was nobody to look after it - and the old man was eighty years old.

When the son came back of course the father was angry. He came to the door and he said, 'I am your father. I still feel for you although I know you have done a foolish thing. But you are not meant to be a beggar, a sannyasin, you are an emperor's son and you are meant to be an emperor. You come back. I am angry but I am your father, I can forgive you. You come back. Drop all this nonsense and disperse all these sannyasins, these mad people, who are following you. Their mothers and fathers must be suffering like me. I have not slept for twelve years. I could not sleep. It has been a nightmare. You have hurt me very deeply.'

Buddha was standing there. The father was very angry He went on shouting at him until finally he cooled down a little Then Buddha said, 'Sir, you don't see that I am not the same person who left the palace. Look at me. I am a totally new being. I am not the same person who left the palace, who used to be your son. My body may look the same but look deep into me. Something has happened.

And I have come just to show my gratitude to you, to show I am happy that I was born to you, that you gave me birth. I have attained and I have come hare my experience with you. In your old age I would like you also to attain - because death is coming. I can see your legs are shaking, you cannot stand rightly Death is coming. Before death comes, know what truth is, know what life is. Before death comes, realise yourself.'

The father looked. Certainly this was not the same man although he looked the same. This figure was luminous, a great light had happened to him. The father cooled down, he meditated over it, he thought about it again and again and he found that it was right. His reaction was just a reaction, an unconscious reaction. Finally he himself became a meditator. Eventually, before he died, he became a BHIKKHU, he became a sannyasin.

Your responsibility is great, but don't just react out of unawareness. Give the boy a chance also. He may be right. Think from his side too. Always remember that truth is nobody's monopoly and truth has nothing to do with age. Sometimes a small child has it and sometimes an old man does not have it. And whenever you say something remember not to Judge.

Just a few days before, something happened. Old Paritosh had written a journal, a beautiful journal.

I have looked into it and many other sannyasins have looked into it - and we have many talented people around here, authors, poets, published novelists. They have all looked at it and they liked it.

So he sent it to a friend who is a publisher in England.

A few days before he received the journal back. By mistake, by some unconscious mistake, the letter that he had written to the publisher came back with the manuscript. The publisher must have given the manuscript to a reader - and on the letter the reader had written: 'this man is boring'.

First this letter should not have come with the manuscript. People go on doing things in a very deep sleep. Secondly, you cannot say: 'this man is very boring' because the reader is supposed to talk about the book not about the man. The book may be boring but what do you know about the man?

Thirdly, the reader was supposed to show his reaction, not to judge it. He should have said 'I am bored with this book' not 'the book is boring'. These are two different things. 'I am bored with this book' - this is perfectly okay. This is my response - if I feel I am bored, I am bored.

But somebody else may be intrigued. When Vivek was reading the journal she was so interested she could not get away from it until she finished it, she had to finish it. She became very involved.

It depends on you. The person may be saying something about the journal but really he is saying something about himself. He may have felt bored. He may have no understanding about meditation, he may never have heard about sannyas. He may not know what is going on here. He may have felt completely unconnected. That is his response. But people work in deep sleep.

When I was looking at this letter and the reader's comment I remembered when Bertrand Russell was once travelling in America. He could not sleep the whole night because the train compartment had so many mosquitoes in it that they wouldn't allow him to sleep. In the morning he was very angry. You pay for a first-class carriage, air-conditioned, but what is the point if there are so many mosquitoes in it?

So he wrote a very angry letter to the director of the company. Prompt came the reply by the next post. Bertrand Russell was very happy because the reply was very gratifying. The director said:

'Sir, nobody has ever complained so we never knew about this. We are tremendously grateful to you that you took the trouble to inform us. Things will be put right. Next time you travel in our train this will not happen.' He was very happy. And again and again the director had said: 'We are grateful, grateful, very grateful, blah, blah, blah.... '

Then suddenly Bertrand Russell became aware of a small slip in the envelope. He took the slip out. On the slip was a hand-written message: 'Send this fool the bug letter.' The director must have written that message to the clerk concerned - 'Send this fool the bug letter'. He was very shocked.

And then he became aware that the letter was printed - so it was not the first letter. It was being sent to everybody.

But this is how things go. People are very unaware. You don't know what you are doing, you don't know why you are doing it, you don't know what will be the consequence, you don't know what the source of it is.

This is my suggestion to this father. You please meditate here, be here for a few days, see what your son is doing, try to understand from his side. Stand in his shoes for a little while. And then explain your heart to him. But you can explain only if you have understood him - what he is doing.

Otherwise your understanding will be prejudiced, you will be a stranger. You will say something which may not fit. Try to see his view-point, what he is doing.

And who knows, you may be convinced rather than trying to take him back. You may start thinking about becoming a sannyasin or you may at least start thinking about meditating. Your son may have opened a door for you. Sometimes it happens that when old people have no courage then young people open the door. Young people are certainly dare-devils. They can do certain things which old people cannot do.

In the whole history of humanity it has always been because of young people that new things have happened - never because of old people. They cannot do new things because they are too efficient with the old.

Have you heard the beautiful parable about the clothes of the emperor?

It happened once that a cheat convinced an emperor that he could bring dress for him from heaven.

Of course, the king became greedy. He said, 'I am ready to pay. Whatsoever the cost, bring them but don't try to deceive me!' The man said, 'I will never leave the palace because the way to heaven is not an outside way, it is an inner way. I have to go into my consciousness - from there I enter heaven. I know the key so I will bring the clothes for you. And remember, never before have God's clothes ever come on earth. This is the first time. You will be the first to have them, you will be a unique person. But millions of rupees will be needed.' The king said, 'Everything will be supplied.'

The king put guards on the palace and the man was given a big room. And every day he asked for more money, more money, more money. The king became a little troubled - 'What are you doing with so much money?' He said, 'Bribery. The guards there in heaven and the ministers and the court people - it is a difficult thing to reach to God's clothes. But I am coming closer so you just go on supplying the money.'

He took millions of rupees. Then the date, the cherished date came, and the man came out with a very beautiful box. He said, 'These clothes should be received in a celebration.' So a great celebration was arranged. The whole capital gathered. The court, the palace, everything was decorated. It was a rare thing. Never before had it happened. It was historical.

Then the cheat came to the king and said, 'You come here, close to the box.' He opened the box and he said, 'There is one condition. These are invisible clothes.'

Certainly - God is invisible so his clothes cannot be visible otherwise it would look very awkward, just shirts walking, coats walking. The clothes are invisible.

'But, said the cheat, one thing I enquired about when I was bringing these clothes. They said that they are invisible, but that people who are born, really born, from their own fathers, will be able to see them. Those whose birth is suspicious, doubtful, they will not be able to see them.' He opened the box and he showed the king, 'Look! How beautiful they are!'

Now the king thought, 'If I say that there is nothing people will think that I am not born out of my own father. This is tricky.' And then he called his court people and said, 'Look, come here! See these beautiful clothes.' And they all looked and they all said, 'We have never seen such beautiful clothes.' And they started praising the clothes like anything; they started competing with each other in praise. And the king said, 'It was good I didn't say anything because everybody is seeing them.'

But everybody was thinking, 'Everybody else sees the clothes, only I am suspicious, but it is better to keep the secret. What is the point?'

The cheat took up an invisible cap, gave it to the king and took the cap of the king and put it in the box. By and by the king's clothes started disappearing. He became afraid. When the last piece was going there was a moment when he started thinking, 'Should I say the truth?' But now it was too late. All his prestige was at stake - not only his, his father's, his mother's, his whole heritage.

And everybody saw and the crowd was shouting and became very excited. Nobody saw and yet everybody saw the clothes. So the king said to himself, 'It is better this way. When everybody is seeing, why be worried? I only see myself as naked, everybody sees me as not naked.'

So he took the last jump - his underwear also went. He was standing nude. And people were shouting and clapping and everybody saw that he was nude.

Then a small child, who had come with his father and was sitting on the shoulders of his father, said to his father, 'But the king is naked.' The father said, 'You stupid! Keep quiet. You are not grown up yet. When you are grown up you will also see the clothes. Can't you see? Everybody sees the clothes.'

Only that small child had seen the truth and was able to tell it. It has always been so. Only young people have been able to see the truth first - because they don't worry, they don't have anything to be worried about, they have nothing at stake. They can be courageous and daring.

So who knows? Your son may have seen the truth. Don't drag him back. Put your heart before him, talk to him, but in no way, subtle or gross, enforce anything. Just show how you are feeling and feel what he is feeling here. And don't say 'When you are grown up and well-educated you will be able to understand more.'

The same thing was said by the father to the young child and he was the only one in that big crowd who was man enough to see the truth, to recognise the truth and to say it. But the father immediately hushed him. That's what fathers have been doing down the ages.

The fifth question:

Question 5:


I DON'T accept your recommendation. If you feel ready it means you are not ready. This is your ego assertion that you are ready. One who is ready will never assert because readiness comes through non-ego. One who is ready will be humble and meek, one who is ready will stand at the back of the queue. He will not try to come first. Remember, those who are the last will be the first and those who are trying hard to be the first will be the last.

There is no need to come and propagate that you are ready. If you are ready I will know first, you will not know first. So leave it to me.

In fact, this is greed - and a very strange human mind. When I hit, people don't feel good. Ananda Prem felt terrible, so was the case with fat Veena - so-called fat Veena, she is not so fat. She cried the whole morning. And so was the case with Amida. When I was talking here she was feeling terrible. When I hit, you feel terrible.

But when I don't hit, you ask for it... because sometimes the mind is so cunning that it starts thinking that by being hit you will become special. That will be a proof that you are ready, ripe. That will be a proof that now you deserve to be hit.

This is ego. And ego is the only barrier. And it is the ego that doesn't allow you to change. I am not interested in little changes here, I am not interested in reforming you - I am interested in destroying you utterly so that something utterly new is born. Less than that won't do.

What you want is for your ego to be decorated with a few medals so that you can go out and you can say, 'See, Osho has hit me - and harder than anybody has ever been hit before. I am special.'

This desire to be special is a disease. And sometimes it happens that this desire to be special can lead you to become humble too. Because I say that those who are the last will be the first, you can start competing for the last place. Again you are competing for the first. Watch. Mind is really cunning. It can play game upon game upon game. It is like a Chinese box: you open one, there is another; you open that, there is still another. And they fit each other so perfectly. There is just a slightly smaller box inside and again a smaller one, and again a smaller one. Ego is a Chinese box.

Watch it, otherwise you will never get rid of it.

And, let me repeat again: I am not here to reform you. Reform is an ugly word. Reform means that you remain the same with a few touches here and there - I paint you here and there. You remain the same, basically the same structure, the same gestalt, although perhaps a little more beautiful.

No, I am not interested in that, I am interested in your utter disappearance - when you are no more.

When you are not, for the first time you will be virgin, innocent, fresh as the dew-drop in the morning.

That's what God is. That freshness is God. That original happening is God. That entry of the new into the old is God. When that new enters, the old simply disappears, or, when the old disappears, only then the new enters. The entry of the new and the disappearance of the old are simultaneous.

In a single moment they happen.

But I understand your trouble.

In a New England resort town there was a man so homely that he was the butt of every practical joke that his townfolk could think up. A plastic surgeon who visited the resort on a vacation was so touched by his ugliness that he offered to change the man's face without charge. 'In fact,' he said, 'just for the heck of it, I will do some plastic surgery that will make you the handsomest man in New England.'

Just before he put the man under the knife, the surgeon said, 'Do you want me to change your face completely, totally?'

'No,' answered the man, 'not too much. I want the fellows to know who it is who is so handsome.'

This is how the ego functions. You want the fellows to know who it is who is so handsome. You want the fellows to know who it is who is so meek, so humble, who it is who is standing at the back of the queue. If even that much desire is there the ego is completely alive, thriving. Nothing has changed.

Only a total change is a change.

And you need not suggest to me what I should do. You leave it to me. When the time is ripe and I feel you need a hit on the head I will do it. I will never do it because you ask, I will do it when it is needed.

You cannot understand what is needed. Again and again you misunderstand your want as a need.

Your want is not a need. I understand that you want it but you want it for wrong reasons. I will give the hit when you need it, not because you want it. And when all your wanting has disappeared you will need it - when you are not at all aware about it then it comes suddenly, it comes abruptly. Only then is it meaningful.

You have asked a question.... If you are waiting and I come there and hit you on your head it will be meaningless. You were waiting for it, you were expecting it, you will be thrilled, your ego will become a big balloon. You will go around with a big chest saying, 'See what happened? I am ready.'

God comes to you only when you are not expecting him at all. He comes in moments when you are completely oblivious of desire. He comes only in moments when there is no desire, when there is desirelessness. He comes abruptly, suddenly. When you expect is exactly when you remain closed.

When you don't expect, you open.

Have you not watched it again and again in life? All that is beautiful happens only when you are not expecting it. When you expect, things don't happen. And even if they happen you don't get any blissfulness through them. All bliss is abrupt, unconnected with the past, discontinuous with the past.

So please wait. Wait without expecting. Wait oblivious of all desires. Whenever anything is needed, that is my business to do it, that is my responsibility. When you become a sannyasin it is your commitment and my responsibility.

The last question:

Question 6:


You have always been mad it is not that you are becoming mad. You are becoming a little bit more alert about it.

Mind is madness. That's why you don't look within. If you look within, you will find a mad rush. Not only one mad person is there, there is a mad crowd. And the whole crowd is at each other's necks.

That's why I go on saying 'Look within.' So says Socrates, so says Buddha, so says Jesus - 'Look within. The kingdom of God is within.'

Nobody is willing to look within. They listen, they say 'Okay, sometime we will look.' But nobody is ready to look. Why? Because when you look within, you don't see a kingdom of God, you see a madhouse. When you look within, you don't see the blissfulness of Buddha, you see just neurosis.

You see the same thoughts repeating, repeating - as if a gramophone record has got stuck and goes on repeating the same, the same, the same. When you meditate you start becoming aware.

When you become aware you feel you are becoming mad. No! If you are becoming aware that you are becoming mad, you are getting away from it, you are going beyond it.

A person who is aware that he is mad is already on the threshold of sanity. A mad person is never aware that he is mad. You can go to the madhouse and ask mad people. They will laugh. Nobody will be ready to say that he is mad. They think the whole world is mad except themselves. This is a criterion of a mad person - he thinks the whole world is mad except himself.

What about a sane person? Lao Tzu says, 'The whole world seems to be very intelligent except me. The whole world seems to be very clear except me - I am confused. The world seems to have clarity, transparency of mind, I am muddle-headed. The whole world is clever and wise, I am an idiot.' Look what Lao Tzu is saying. This is the indication of a sane man - the sanest ever.

So, Satisha - this is a question from Satisha - you are coming closer to sanity because you are becoming aware of your madness. Watch it. Don't get scared and don't rush out. Go into it. Look into it. Go into it and look into it. Persistent perseverance is needed.

Just remember one thing: the one who is aware is not the one you are aware of. The observer is separate from the observed. If you see a mad thought running, humming inside, you are not that thought - you are the witness that knows that it is there.

You say: IT SEEMS TO ME THAT I AM BECOMING REALLY MAD. Then there are two things:

something is going mad and something is watching. That watcher is you. Mind is always mad, that's why we don't watch the mind. Watch the mind and you will start feeling what is happening. You never thought that you were mad, now you feel as if you are. It is a good sign, a good indication.

You are coming closer to home.

An anecdote.

A man was charged with striking a woman fellow-passenger in a double-decker bus. The magistrate asked him what excuse he could offer.

'Well, Sir, it was like this,' replied the culprit. 'She sat on the seat beside me on the lower-deck of the bus. Then she opened her bag, took out her purse, closed her bag, opened her purse, took out a dime, closed her purse, opened her bag, put back the purse and closed her bag. Then she noticed the conductor was going upstairs, so she opened her bag, took out her purse, closed her bag, opened her purse, put in her dime, closed her purse, opened her bag, put in her purse and closed her bag. Then she saw the conductor coming down the stairs so she opened her bag, took out her purse, closed her bag, opened her purse, took out a dime and closed her....'

The magistrate could not bear it any longer. 'Stop!' he cried. 'You will drive me crazy.'

'That's just what happened to me, Sir,' said the man.

That is what is happening to your mind continuously. If you watch it, it feels as if it will drive you crazy, but watching is the only way to go beyond it. Otherwise whether you know it or not, you are crazy. Just by not knowing it you don't become a sane person.

Watch it, go into it, Satisha. And I know Satisha must be getting crazy. Today she asked almost three dozen questions. She must be going crazy! But it is good. In your becoming alert you are blessed. Hold on to this alertness. Get more centred in this alertness. The more alert you become, the further away the noise of the mind will go. When you are really centred the mind disappears - because it is the same energy that is involved in the thoughts which is used in centring. When the energy becomes centring, thoughts simply flop dead. They don't have any energy. They disappear.

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"The final goal of world revolution is not socialism, or even
communism, it is not a change in the present economic system,
it is not the destruction of civilization in a material sense.

The revolution desired by the leaders is moral and spiritual,
it is an anarchy of ideas in which all the bases established
nineteen centuries ago shall be overthrown, all the honored
traditions trodden under foot, and, ABOVE ALL, THE CHRISTIAN

(Nesta Webster, Secret Societies and Subversive Movements,
p. 334;

The Secret Powers Behind Revolution, by Vicomte Leon De Poncins,
p. 143)