Osho speaks about the time when he learned how to drive and about a trip he made during which his car broke down.
When I came to learn driving… Majid will be surprised that the man who was teaching me driving was called Majid, he was a Mohammedan. He was one of the best drivers in the city, and he loved me very much. In fact, he chose my first car. So he told me, “I will teach you.”
I said, “I don’t like to be taught. You just drive slowly so I can see and watch.”
He said, “What do you mean?”
I said, “I learn only by watching. I don’t want any teacher ever!”
He said, “But it is dangerous! A bicycle was okay. At the most you could have hurt yourself or one other, and not much. But a car is a dangerous thing.”
I said, “I am a dangerous man. You just drive it slowly and tell me everything about where is the pedal, where is the accelerator, where is the brake… you just tell me. And then you slowly move, and I will be walking by your side, just watching what you are doing.”
He said, “If you want it this way, I can do it, but I am very much afraid. If you do the same thing with the car as you have done with the bicycle…”
I said, “That’s why I am trying to watch more closely.” And once I got the idea I told him to get out. And I did the same thing as I had done with the bicycle.
I went so fast. Majid, my teacher, was running behind me, shouting, “Not that fast!” And in that city there was no limit on speed, because in Indian streets you cannot go above fifty-five. There is no need to put a sign everywhere that the speed limit is fifty-five miles per hour, you cannot go above fifty-five anyway.
But that poor fellow was very much afraid. He came running after me. He was a very tall man, a champion runner, there was every possibility that he could have become champion of the whole of India, and he might perhaps someday have participated in the Olympics. He tried hard to follow me, but soon I disappeared from his vision.
When I came back, he was praying under a tree, praying to God for my safety. And when I stopped by his side, so close that he jumped, he forgot all the prayer.
I said, “Don’t be worried. I have learned the whole thing. What were you doing here?”
He said, “I followed you, but soon you disappeared. Then I thought, the only thing is to pray to God to help him, because he knows nothing about driving. He is sitting in the driver’s seat for the first time, and he has gone nobody knows where. How did you turn? Where did you turn back?”
I said, “I had no idea how to turn, because you were just moving straight and I was walking by your side. So I had to go around the city. I had no idea how to turn, what signals to give, because you had not given any signals. But I managed. I went round the whole city so fast, the traffic was simply giving way. And I came back.”
And he said, “Khuda hafiz.” It means, “God saved you.”
I said, “Don’t bring God in.”
Osho, God is Dead, Now Zen is the Only Living Truth, Ch 1
I was driving from Jabalpur to Nagpur. And just outside a small village the car broke down. I was hoping to reach the nearest government rest house, because it was time for my afternoon sleep. So I took out a blanket and went under a tree, and the three persons who were with me simply watched what I was doing. And I went to sleep. They said, “This is strange. We are looking embarrassed and stupid, we are sitting here, and he has gone to sleep already. And he does not bother that the car is broken and something has to be done. And he was driving. And we don’t know how to drive, we don’t know what has gone wrong.” They all three came and shook me.
I said, “Don’t disturb me. Wake me at two! Car or no car, but I have to have my sleep.”
They said, “This is strange, where should we go now?”
I said, “Go to hell, but don’t disturb me!”
They said, “This is strange, you were driving us.”
I said, “Forget all about it. Now the car is not worth driving. Find some car. While I am asleep, do something!”
At two o’clock I woke up. All three were sitting by the side of the car, very sad-looking, hungry. I said, “What are you doing?”
They said, “What can we do? We are feeling very hungry and …”
I said, “At least, the village is near, you could have gone there.”
They said, “We could not leave the car, all our luggage and everything is in it.”
I said, “Then at least one person could have gone, two could have remained here. Or two could have gone, one could have remained here.”
They said, “Nobody trusts anybody.”
I said, “This is strange. I went to sleep, I trusted you all, though I knew perfectly well with a broken car, where could you go?”
Then I stopped a car and I asked the man who was driving if he knew anything about cars to have a look at mine, because I have never looked under the hood. I have never… opened the hood. I don’t know what is inside it. Whether a ghost runs it or an engine is there, I don’t know at all. I simply know how to drive. That too is illegal, because I cannot keep both things in mind. When I am driving, I am driving. And then as fast as the car can go, it goes. I cannot bother that the government thinks it should go fifty-five miles per hour.
I think all these governments are a little unintelligent. If you don’t want a car to go beyond fifty-five, then why are cars allowed to be produced which can go one hundred and forty miles per hour? Strange! It is such an absurd situation. If you allow cars to be produced to go one hundred and forty miles per hour, you are giving me permission. And I trust that if the car says one hundred and forty, it will go a hundred and forty.
So I told the driver just to have a look. And there was nothing wrong, just something small and he fixed it within fifteen minutes.
Those three people said, “This is strange. So many cars have passed, but the idea did not arise in our minds to stop a car and ask somebody to look at ours.”
I said, “You must be waiting for experience to guide you.”
To me this was a new situation, my car had never broken down before. In fact I had never driven alone. Somebody was always driving ahead of me; sometimes two cars were driving, one behind me, one ahead of me, just to take care of my car. This was the first time that I had tried to go on my own.
Those two cars prevent me from being illegal. If my front car does not move at more than forty miles per hour, how can I? So they keep me within the limit. I wanted to try the car at its full speed and that was the reason why it broke down, because although they say it should go a hundred and forty but nobody tries it. Nobody thinks that the roads are made for only fifty-five miles per hour. And in India, they are not even made for that much.
And the traffic is so crazy – many, many centuries all going along in the traffic. A bullock cart, a camel, an elephant, you name it and you will find it in the traffic. And cows are resting in the middle of the road and because they are mother cows, you cannot disturb them. And father bulls … they are standing in the middle of the road and, being a nonviolent country, you cannot do anything against them. You cannot take them to the court or …
Life brings every day new situations. And if you are waiting to be guided by past experience, you will miss the opportunity to act responsibly, to act spontaneously. To me the greatest morality is to act spontaneously. And you will always be right, because your full awareness will be involved. More than that you cannot do. More than that existence cannot demand from you. And if you are focused totally in the present, what more can you do? You are bringing your whole energy and consciousness to solve the question, to get out of the situation. More than that is not possible. So whatever happens is right.
This whole idea of responsibility and being guided by experience is told to you by people who don’t want you to be here and now. They go on giving you advice on how to act, what to do, but they don’t know that life does not go according to their guidelines. Their guidance becomes misguidance in any real moment.
Osho, Sat Chit Anand, Ch 20, Q 2