Books I Have Loved — 04 June 2016

Okay, how many books have I talked about in the postscript – forty?
“Thirty, I think, Osho.”

Thirty? Good. Such a relief, because so many books are still waiting. You could understand my relief only if you had to choose one book out of a thousand, and that’s exactly what I am doing.

The postscript continues.

Being and NothingnessFirst book, Jean-Paul Sartre’s Being and Nothingness. First I must mention that I don’t like the man. I don’t like him because he is a snob. He is one of the most snobbish people of this century. I call him a snob because he has become the leader of Existentialism without knowing at all what it means to be existential. But the book is good – not for my disciples but for those who have gone a little bit nuts, just a little bit. It is unreadable.

If you are a little bit nuts it will bring you to your senses. It is a great work in that sense – medicinal. Devaraj, note it: medicinal. It should be prescribed in all mad asylums. Each madman should be forced to read it, study it. If it cannot bring you to sanity nothing can. But only to first-degree nuts, like philosophers, professors, mathematicians, scientists – but only the first degree, not those very advanced in madness.

The existentialism of which Jean-Paul Sartre is the representative is a mockery. Without ever knowing anything of meditation he talks about ‘being’, and he talks about ‘nothingness’. Alas, they are not two: being is no-thingness; that is why Buddha has called being, anatta – no-self. Gautama the Buddha is the only man in history to call self ‘no-self’. I love Buddha for a thousand and one reasons; this is only one of the reasons. The thousand I cannot count because of the shortage of time. Perhaps one day I may start talking about those one thousand reasons too….

But Jean-Paul Sartre I dislike – just dislike, not even hate, because hate is a strong word; I save it for the second book. Jean-Paul Sartre knows nothing of existence, but he has created a jargon, a philosophical jargon, intellectual gymnastics. And it really is gymnastics. If you can read ten pages of Being and Nothingness, either you will become sane or insane. But to read ten pages is a difficult task. When I was a professor I gave it to many of my students, but nobody ever completed it. Nobody could even read ten pages – one page was too much; in fact one paragraph itself was too much. You cannot make any head or tail of it. And there are a thousand pages or more. It is a big book.
I remember it in my postscript because though I dislike the man, I may dislike his philosophy… yes, I will call it philosophy, even though he wanted it to be called anti-philosophy. I cannot call it anti-philosophy for the simple reason that every anti-philosophy ultimately proves to be only another philosophy. Existence is neither philosophical nor anti-philosophical. It is.

I include the book because he has done such a tremendous task. It is one of the most monumental books ever written, with such skill, such logic. And yet the man was just ordinary, a communist – that’s another reason why I dislike him. A man who knows existence cannot be a communist, because he will know that equality is impossible. Inequality is the way things are. Nothing is equal and nothing can ever be equal. Equality is only a dream, a dream of stupid people. Existence is multidimensional inequality.

Second: I will wait… Devageet’s ink has run out. What a fountain pen you have! My God, it seems it must have belonged to Adam and Eve! What a noise it makes! But one cannot expect anything else in this Noah’s Ark.

Being and TimeThe second – because the noise has stopped – the second is Martin Heidegger, Time and Being. I hate this man. He was not only a communist, but a fascist too, a follower of Adolf Hitler. I cannot believe what the Germans can do! He was such a talented man, a genius, and yet a supporter of that retarded imbecile Adolf Hitler. I am simply amazed. But the book is good – again not for my disciples, but for those who are very advanced in their madness. If you are really advanced in madness, read Time and Being. It is absolutely un-understandable. It will hit you like a hammer on the head. But there are a few beautiful glimpses in it. Yes, when somebody hits you on the head with a hammer, even during the day you start seeing stars. This book is just like that: there are a few stars in it.

The book is not complete. Martin Heidegger had promised to bring out a second part. He continued to promise again and again throughout his whole life, but he never produced the second part, thank God! I think he himself could not understand what he had written, so how to continue it? How to bring out the second part? And the second part was going to be the culmination of his philosophy. It was better not to produce it, and not to become a laughingstock. He died without producing the second part. But even the first part is good for advanced insane people – and there are many; that is why I am talking about these books and including them in my list.

Tractatus Logico PhilosophicusThird: This is for the real adepts in madness, who have gone beyond all psychiatry, psychoanalysis, who are unhelpable. This third book is again the work of a German, Ludwig Wittgenstein. Just listen to its title: Tractatus Logico Philosophicus. We will just call it Tractatus. It is one of the most difficult books in existence. Even a man like G.E. Moore, a great English philosopher, and Bertrand Russell, another great philosopher – not only English but a philosopher of the whole world – both agreed that this man Wittgenstein was far superior to them both.

Ludwig Wittgenstein was really a lovable man. I don’t hate him, but I don’t dislike him. I like him and I love him, but not his book. His book is only gymnastics. Only once in a while after pages and pages you may come across a sentence which is luminous. For example: That which cannot be spoken should not be spoken; one should be silent about it. Now this is a beautiful statement. Even saints, mystics, poets, can learn much from this sentence. That which cannot be spoken must not be spoken of.

Wittgenstein writes in a mathematical way, small sentences, not even paragraphs – sutras. But for the very advanced insane man this book can be of immense help. It can hit him exactly in his soul, not only in the head. Just like a nail it can penetrate into his very being. That may wake him from his nightmare.

Ludwig Wittgenstein was a lovable man. He was offered one of the most cherished chairs of philosophy at Oxford. He declined. That’s what I love in him. He went to become a farmer and fisherman. This is lovable in the man. This is more existential than Jean-Paul Sartre, although Wittgenstein never talked of existentialism. Existentialism, by the way, cannot be talked about; you have to live it, there is no other way.

This book was written when Wittgenstein was studying under G.E. Moore and Bertrand Russell. Two great philosophers of Britain, and a German… it was enough to create Tractatus Logico Philosophicus. Translated it means Wittgenstein, Moore and Russell. I, on my part, would rather have seen Wittgenstein sitting at the feet of Gurdjieff than studying with Moore and Russell. That was the right place for him, but he missed. Perhaps next time, I mean next life… for him, not for me. For me this is enough, this is the last. But for him, at least once he needs to be in the company of a man like Gurdjieff or Chuang Tzu, Bodhidharma – but not Moore, Russell, not Whitehead. He was associating with these people, the wrong people. A right man in the company of wrong people, that’s what destroyed him.

My experience is, in the right company even a wrong person becomes right, and vice-versa: in a wrong company, even a right person becomes wrong. But this only applies to unenlightened men, right or wrong, both. An enlightened person cannot be influenced. He can associate with anyone – Jesus with Magdalena, a prostitute; Buddha with a murderer, a murderer who had killed nine hundred and ninety-nine people. He had taken a vow to kill one thousand people, and he was going to kill Buddha too; that’s how he came into contact with Buddha.

The murderer’s name is not known. The name people gave to him was Angulimala, which means ‘the man who wears a garland of fingers’. That was his way. He would kill a man, cut off his fingers and put them on his garland, just to keep count of the number of people he had killed. Only ten fingers were missing to make up the thousand; in other words only one man more…. Then Buddha appeared. He was just moving on that road from one village to another. Angulimala shouted, “Stop!”

Buddha said, “Great. That’s what I have been telling people: Stop! But, my friend, who listens?”

Angulimala looked amazed: Is this man insane? And Buddha continued walking towards Angulimala. Angulimala again shouted, “Stop! It seems you don’t know that I am a murderer, and I have taken a vow to kill one thousand people. Even my own mother has stopped seeing me, because only one person is missing. I will kill you, but you look so beautiful that if you stop and turn back I may not kill you.”

Buddha said, “Forget about it. I have never turned back in my life, and as far as stopping is concerned, I stopped forty years ago; since then there is nobody left to move. And as far as killing me is concerned, you can do it anyway. Everything born is going to die.”

Angulimala saw the man, fell at his feet, and was transformed. Angulimala could not change Buddha, Buddha changed Angulimala. Magdalena the prostitute could not change Jesus, but Jesus changed the woman. So what I said is only applicable to so-called ordinary humanity, it is not applicable to those who are awakened. Wittgenstein can become awakened; he could have become awakened even in this life. Alas, he associated with wrong company. But his book can be of great help to those who are really third-degree insane. If they can make any sense out of it, they will come back to sanity.

Vimalkirti Nirdesh SutraFourth: Before I utter the name of the fourth, I feel tremendously thankful to existence…. Now I am going to talk about a man who was beyond numbers, Vimalkirti. The name of his book is Nirdesh Sutra. Our Vimalkirti was not the only Vimalkirti; in fact I had given him the name because of this Vimalkirti of whom I am going to talk to you. His statements are called Vimalkirti Nirdesh Sutra. Nirdesh Sutra means ‘guidelines’.

Vimalkirti was one of the most wonderful men; even a Buddha could be jealous of this man. He was a disciple of Buddha, but never became a disciple formally, he was never initiated by Buddha outwardly. And he was such a terrible man that all Buddha’s disciples were afraid of him. They never wanted him to become a disciple. Just to see him on the way, or to greet him, was enough for him to say something shocking. To shock was his method. Gurdjieff would have loved him – or who knows, even Gurdjieff may have been shocked. The man was really terrible, a real man.

It is said he was sick and Buddha asked Sariputta to go and see the old man and ask about his health. Sariputta said, “I have never said no to you, but this time I say it, and I say it emphatically: No! I don’t want to go. Send somebody else. That man is really terrible. Even on his deathbed he will create trouble for me. I don’t want to go.”

Buddha asked everybody, and nobody was ready to go except one man, Manjushree, the first of Buddha’s disciples to become enlightened. He went, and that is how this book came to be created. It is a dialogue. Our Vimalkirti was given the name because of this man. The original Vimalkirti was dying on his bed, and Manjushree was asking him questions, or rather answering his questions. That’s how the Vimalkirti Nirdesh Sutra was born – a really great work.

Nobody seems bothered about it because it is not a book of any particular religion. It is not even a book of the Buddhists, because he was never a formal disciple of Buddha. People pay so much respect to the form that they forget the spirit. I recommend the book to all true seekers. They will find a mine of diamonds.

Commentaries on LivingFifth, I want to bring J.Krishnamurti back to your notice again. The name of the book is Commentaries on Living. There are many volumes of it. It is made of the same stuff stars are made from.

Commentaries on Living is his diary. Once in a while he writes something in his diary… a beautiful sunset, an ancient tree, or just the evening… birds coming back home… anything… a river rushing to the ocean… whatever he feels, he sometimes notes it down. That’s how this book was born. It is not written systematically, it is a diary. Yet to just read it is enough to transport you to another world – the world of beauty, or far better, beautitude. Can you see my tears?

I have not read for some time, but just the mention of this book is enough to bring tears to my eyes. I love the book. It is one of the greatest books ever written. I have said before that Krishnamurti’s First and Last Freedom is his best book, which he has not been able to transcend – of course not as a book, because Commentaries is only a diary, not a book in the real sense, but all the same I include it.

Sixth… is my number correct?

“Yes, Osho.”

So good to hear “Yes, Osho.” Just to hear yes is so good, so nourishing, so vitalizing. I cannot be thankful enough for it. And I have thousands of sannyasins around the world singing “Yes, Osho, yes!” I must consider myself the most fortunate man who has ever been on the earth, or any other planet.

Commentaries NicollSixth… the sixth book is again called Commentaries, an immense work of five volumes by Maurice Nicoll. Remember, I have always pronounced his name Morris Nickoal. Just this evening I asked Gudia what is the real, exact, proper English pronunciation – because he was an Englishman. She said, “Nickle.”

I said, “My God! My whole life I have been calling him Nickoal, just because of the spelling: N-i-c-o-l-l. I wonder how it can be pronounced Nickle. Nickoal seems to be just the right pronunciation. But right or wrong, if Gudia says so – she is properly English – then I will say okay. I will call him Morris Nickle… and his Commentaries.

Nicoll was a disciple of Gurdjieff, and unlike Ouspensky, he never betrayed, he was not a Judas. A true disciple to the very last breath and beyond it too. The commentaries of Nicoll are vast – I don’t think anybody reads them – thousands and thousands of pages. But if one takes the trouble one is immensely benefited. In my opinion Nicoll’s Commentaries should be considered as one of the best books in the world.

Our Life with Mr GurdjieffSeventh: Again a book by another disciple of Gurdjieff, Hartmann. The book is Our Life with Gurdjieff. Hartmann – I don’t know the exact pronunciation… because I can hear a little giggle somewhere. But don’t be bothered about the pronunciation. Hartmann and his wife were both disciples of Gurdjieff. Hartmann was a musician and played for Gurdjieff’s dances. Gurdjieff used dances as meditations, not only for the disciples but even for the people who saw the disciples dancing.

In New York, when he performed for the first time, Hartmann was playing the piano, the disciples were dancing, and the moment when Gurdjieff shouted “Stop!”…. It was a stop exercise. – not Devageet, you go on writing…. When Gurdjieff shouted “Stop!” the dancers really stopped. In the middle of a dance! They were just on the edge of the stage. They all fell on top of one another on the floor, but still nobody moved! The audience was awestruck. They could not believe that people could be so obedient. Hartmann wrote the book Our Life with Gurdjieff and it is a beautiful description by a disciple. It will be helpful to anyone who is on the way.

What is the number?

“That was number seven, Osho.”

Good, you are hearing.

Eighth… and do you see my way of teaching? And do you see that even when I try to annoy you it is just to teach you something of which you may not be aware right now? But someday you will feel grateful.

Seventh… is that right?

“It is number eight, Osho.”

So good to be corrected by a disciple, immensely good. A master always feels blessed if a disciple corrects him. And it is only a question of numbers. When I am trying to correct you all, at least I can allow you to have a little pleasure as far as numbers are concerned. So what is the number now?

“It is number eight, Osho.”

Good. Sometimes I want to laugh…. Eighth? Good.

Ramanaja Brahma SutrasThe eighth book I am going to talk about is written by Ramanuja, a Hindu mystic. It is called Shree Pasha. It is a commentary on Brahma Sutras. There are many commentaries on Brahma Sutras – I have already talked about Badrayana’s Brahma Sutras. Ramanuja comments on him in a way which is unique.

The original book is very dry, absolutely desertlike. Of course the desert also has its beauty and its truth, but Ramanuja in his Shree Pasha makes it a garden, an oasis. He makes it juicy. I love the book Ramanuja has written. I don’t like Ramanuja himself because he was a traditionalist. I hate the traditionalists, the orthodox, from my guts. I consider them to be fanatics– but what can I do, the book is beautiful; once in a while even a fanatic can do something beautiful. So forgive me for including it.

The Psychology of ManNinth. I have always loved the books of P.D. Ouspensky, though I have never loved the man himself. He looked like a schoolmaster, not like a master, and can you love a schoolmaster? I tried while I was in school and failed; in college, and failed; in university, and failed. I could not do it, and I don’t think anybody can love a schoolmaster – particularly if the schoolmaster is a woman; then it is impossible! There are a few fools who even marry women who are schoolmasters! They must be suffering from the disease called by the psychologists ‘masochism’; they must be searching for someone to torture them.

I don’t like Ouspensky. He was exactly the schoolmaster, even when he was lecturing on the teachings of Gurdjieff. He would stand before a blackboard with a chalk in his hand, with a table and chair in front, exactly like a schoolteacher… with specs and all, nothing was missing. And the way he taught! – I can see why so few people ever became attracted to him, although he was bringing a golden message.

Secondly, I hate him because he was a Judas. I cannot love anybody who betrays. To betray is to commit suicide, spiritual suicide. Even Judas had to commit suicide just within twenty-four hours of Jesus being crucified. Ouspensky is not my love affair, but what can I do? – he was a capable writer, talented, a genius. This book I am going to mention was a posthumous publication. He never wanted it to be published during his lifetime. Maybe he was afraid. Maybe he thought it may not prove up to his expectations.

It is a small book, and its name is The Future Psychology of Man. He wrote in his will that the book should only be published when he was no more. I don’t like the man, but I must say, in spite of myself, that in this book he almost predicted me and my sannyasins. He predicted the future psychology, and that is what I am doing here – the future man, the New Man. This small book must become a necessary study for all sannyasins.

Tenth… am I still right?

“Yes, Osho.”


The Book of BahauddinThe book I am going to talk about is a Sufi one, The Book of Bahauddin. The original Sufi mystic, Bahauddin created the tradition of Sufism. In his small book everything is contained. It is like a seed. Love, meditation, life, death… he has not left anything out whatsoever. Meditate over it.

Enough for today.

Osho, Books I Have Loved, Session 10

Previous sessions
1. Silence Speaks in Its Own Way
2. My Time Was Over Long ago
3. It Must Have Been a Conspiracy of the Gods
4. I am Facing the Immeasurable, the Unaccountable
5. Truth Needs No Commentary
6. Truth Is Unspeakable
7. It is Unsayable
8. The Miracle of All Miracles
9. You Have to be Rich to be Enlightened