Epitaph – or a New Sunrise?

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Destruction is all around us and it appears that the next war is just one step away – or is it? In this video he calls ‘Epitaph’, Zen Gardner describes a possible future humanity is headed towards yet ends on a positive note with the encouragement “learn to follow your heart … and keep your fire burning brightly.”


Up to now there have been wars, big wars – the first world war, the second world war, and thousands of other wars – but they were not total. Somebody was going to win, somebody was going to be defeated. The third world war is going to be a total world war: nobody is going to win, nobody is going to be defeated. All are going to be finished.

Now this is the ultimate in war, the ultimate in idiocy. What is the point of fighting if both are going to be finished? The whole point was that you can win, there is a possibility of your winning. At the worst you can lose, but the other will win; somebody is going to be victorious.

In the third world war nobody is going to be victorious because nobody is going to survive it. Neither democracy nor communism, neither American nor Russia – nobody is going to survive it, so what is the point? But the politician has come to such a state, he cannot go back. He has to go on, knowing perfectly well that this is going to end finally in the ultimate destruction of this whole planet, this beautiful planet.

There are millions of planets in the universe but perhaps the earth is the most beautiful. All those planets are without greenery, without flowers, without birds, without animals, without human beings; without poetry, without music, without dance, without celebration. They are just dead – the earth is so alive.

It is not only the question of humanity’s future. It is also the questions of existence missing its most precious planet.

It is an existential question, not just a planetary one, not confined to this small earth.

It is a question for the whole infinite universe, because in this whole universe this small planet has become an oasis of consciousness. And there are more possibilities; they should not be stopped.

Hence I say there is hope – but the hope lies in the religious person’s rebelliousness.

I have been asked thousands of times, “You go on teaching religion, there is no problem; but why do you mix religion with rebellion? That creates a problem.”

One of the prime ministers of India, Lalbahadur Shastri, was a very good man, as good as a politician can be. I have known so many politicians that I can say perhaps he was the best out of all those criminals. He said, “If you are a little less sincere and a little more diplomatic, you can become the greatest mahatma in the country. But you go on saying the naked truth without bothering that this is going to create more enemies for you. Can’t you be a little diplomatic?”

I said, “You are asking me to be diplomatic? That means being a hypocrite; knowing something but saying something else, doing something else. I am going to remain the same. I can drop being religious if it is needed, but I cannot drop being rebellious because to me that is the very soul of religion. I can drop every other thing which is thought to be religious, but I cannot drop rebellion; that is the very soul.”

The day I became convinced that now I have enough people who can move towards that Everest I have been pointing to all my life, I dropped my contact with the masses completely, so that I can give my whole time – whatsoever there remains – so that I can give my whole energy, whatsoever existence allows me, to a small concentrated group. The need is not of millions of religious people, no. The need is only of a few chosen ones.

If I can ignite fire in my sannyasins then I have done my work.

Then each of my sannyasins will be capable of doing the same as I have done to him.

And we can put this whole earth afire, aglow with a new humanity and with a new sunrise.

Osho, From Darkness to Light, Ch 21, Q 1

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