Osho explains the background of the esoteric group of Ashoka and their influence on Adolf Hitler.
Ashoka created a group which is still existing – a group of nine persons. Whenever a person dies, another replaces him, so the group still continues. Whenever one dies, the eight remaining ones will choose one to replace him. He will be trained by the eight, so the training continues. Persons change, but the group remains, and still today the group is there, because a reincarnation of Buddha is awaited. He can come at any time. And when Buddha is there, you cannot suddenly create the group, because this group of esoteric adepts is created through a long training and discipline. This is not a sudden happening.
So many times groups have been started. Sometimes they continue and then wither away. Sometimes they go on and then are no more, because so many difficulties are there. Many difficulties are there! This group of Ashoka’s nine esoteric ones still continues because there are many conditions which help it to. One is it never comes directly in contact with the masses itself. It has still other groups is between. It always remains unknown, hidden. You can never know its whereabouts. And any person who is initiated in the group, the very moment he is initiated he disappears from your world – completely disappears. Then you can never know anything about him, the group can continue anonymously.
This group has many keys and many methods. Through those keys and methods, it goes on working in many ways. This is a group whose members are in the physical body, they are as alive as we are. Once someone has become a member of the group, he cannot be chosen again in another life. Then he will work as a link between the group and the masses. This creates another circle around the nine, a greater circle, because so many persons have been members of it. They know Buddha directly; they know the esoteric adepts directly. They are so experienced that they can remain in the masses and can continue the work with the group. But they will not be its members. When someone of this group is not born on this earth, when he is without a physical body, if he remains in a non-body existence, he still continues to work.
There are so many adepts who are not in this physical body who go on working. Theosophists call them masters – such as Master Koot Humi. These are fictitious names, but they refer to a particular personality, an individuality. They are fictitious names, but they refer to a particular unembodied soul which is helping.
This Master K.-H., one of the most ancient adepts of Ashoka’s circle of nine, created the whole movement of theosophy. They were trying to create a situation in which Buddha’s coming incarnation could be possible, because Buddha had said that after twenty-five centuries he would again be born and his name would be Maitreya. And an enlightened person like Gautam Buddha is capable of knowing about who is going to be enlightened twenty-five centuries later. So Buddha predicted, and for this happening Ashoka’s circle of nine has been working for centuries. Now the time is near, so the theosophy movement was just a preparation.
It failed, the experiment failed. They experimented with three or four people to be made vehicles for Maitreya to descend, but the experiment failed. Something or other missed. Sometimes the thing was just on the brim of success, and something happened. Krishnamurti was ready, completely ready, to be made a vehicle. Everything was ready. He came on the pulpit to surrender himself and to become so empty that Maitreya could come in. But at the last moment he denied surrender. No one around him could think that this was going to happen. Not even a hint was given that Krishnamurti, in the last step, would fail and come back. And that is why, after that phenomenon, after that happening of coming back, for his whole life, continuously for forty years, he has been emphasizing individuality, “Be an individual!”
This has a meaning. The whole preparation was to lose one’s individuality, otherwise one cannot become a vehicle: “Be as if you are not! Surrender totally to forces beyond you.” He denied surrender just on the brink of jumping. Everything was ready. One step and Maitreya would have been in the world.
But the last step could not be taken. He came back. He said, “I am myself.” That is why his whole philosophy became, “Do not surrender, do not follow, do not believe, do not be a disciple.” The whole thing is just an outcome; it is just rationalization and consolation.
He has been working for forty years continuously out of that step that could not be taken. Still he is not out of it. The repentance is there, the wound is there. He could not surrender at the last moment. So theosophy failed with Krishnamurti and became a dead movement, because the movement existed only for the materialization of this happening. It became meaningless. The house had been built, but the master never came to reside in it. So after Krishnamurti’s denial to be a vehicle for Maitreya, theosophy became meaningless. It still continues, just like a hangover, but nothing substantial exists now.
This whole movement was created by the nine adepts of Ashoka. They are still working. In so many ways, they go on working. And there is a history behind our so-called history of which you will not even be able to conceive. History has a deeper base. The periphery which we know as history is not of real events. Behind out so-called history continues another, a deeper one, about which we know nothing.
For example, we all have heard about Hitler, his fascism, his whole movement, his desperate efforts to do something. But no one knows that there is something behind which is hidden. Hitler was just a vehicle for other forces. Now there are glimpses that he was not the real actor in the drama. He was just a means, he was used. Someone else was behind him, some other forces were working. For example, the choice of the swastika, the symbol of Adolf Hitler’s party – this is the oldest, the most ancient symbol of a particular school of adepts.
In India, one of the most ancient groups is that of the Jains. The swastika is their symbol, but not exactly as it was with Hitler. Hitler’s swastika design was in reverse. The Jain’s swastika is clockwise; Hitler’s is anticlockwise. This anticlockwise swastika is a destructive symbol. They searched for three years continuously to choose a symbol, because a symbol is not just a symbol. If you can take a symbol from a deeper tradition, then the symbol becomes a link. So persons were sent to Tibet to discover one of the most ancient symbols of the Aryan race, because with that symbol much that is hidden can be contacted.
The swastika was chosen, but in reverse. And the person who found the symbol, Hessenhoff, convinced Adolf Hitler that the symbol should be in reverse order. He was one of the persons who was in contact with many esoteric groups, but he was confused. He was searching for two things: firstly, for a symbol which was very ancient; secondly, for a symbol which could also be made new. Because of this, the swastika was chosen and was made in reverse order. It had never existed in this way before, but due to this, events took altogether a new shape.
And with this reverse symbol it was known all over the world to those who were in contact with any esoteric knowledge that Hitler was going to destroy himself. He was going to become mad; he would be in contact with suicidal forces.
The entire concept of Hitler’s philosophy was given by some hidden schools. They used him just as Krishnamurti was going to be used by the theosophists and the hidden groups. Hitler continued winning up to a certain extent, up to a certain moment. He was just winning: there was no defeat. The thing was phenomenal, he could just win anything, it looked as if he was undefeatable. But beyond a certain time, everything begins to go in reverse. Why did this happen?
Forces which were against Nazism defeated Hitler, but that is not the real history. That was just an outward phenomenon. Hitler was used by an esoteric group. This was one of the most desperate efforts, because this esoteric group was working for centuries but could not help humanity as they desired to help. This was a desperate effort to help humanity before humanity destroys itself on this earth. So they had tried through saints, through persons who were powerless, who were poor in spirit. They tried through Adolf Hitler to win the whole world before it is destroyed and to give a certain teaching to humanity.
But just like Krishnamurti became independent at the last moment, Hitler also became independent. He began to go down. This is the miracle of war history. It had never happened before. Hitler would not take the advice of any general. He would move or attack, but no advice would be taken from any general. And even against the advice of all his trained persons, he would act and move as he liked, and still he would win. There were absurd moves, nonsensical moves. No one who knows anything about war would have taken those moves. But Hitler would take them and he won for three years.
Everyone who was around him knew that he was just a vehicle of some greater force. This was not explainable. And whenever he would order, he would not be in his conscious mind. This is a new fact which has become known now. Whenever he would order, he would just be ecstatic. His eyes would be closed, he would begin to tremble, he would perspire, and then his voice would change completely. Another voice would order. But the day he began to fall, his own voice began to order. From that point, from that moment, he was never in ecstasy. Some contact which was working was lost.
Now those who study Adolf Hitler and his life all feel that the phenomenon was not merely political. The person himself was not just a political maniac, not just a mad politician, because whatsoever he did was absolutely non-political – his whole approach. And those who had remained with him felt that he was a split personality. In his ordinary moments, he was so ordinary that you could not conceive of it. There was no magic; he was just ordinary. But when he was taken over, possessed, he was quite an altogether different personality.
Who was behind this? Some esoteric group was behind this, and that esoteric group was trying something. When Hitler became independent, he lost every power. In his last days, he was just ordinary. After this particular moment, when he lost contact, whatsoever he did went against him. Before this, whatsoever he did was always in his favour.
The same group I have been talking to you about, the nine of Ashoka, was behind it. They were trying to capture the whole world. With man, it is always a possibility that if you begin to work with some force from behind, you yourself are not aware of it. If you succeed, then you are not aware that someone else is succeeding. You succeeded, your ego is strengthened. And there comes a moment when your ego is so strengthened that you will not listen to any force. This has happened so many times.
This esoteric group, as I said to you, functions primarily as a continuity whenever there is any need. In many ways, they can help. It was not just a coincidence that Japan became friendly to Germany. It was because of this group of nine people. This is the hidden fact. The esoteric group that was working behind Hitler was a Buddhist group, so a Buddhist country, Japan, could be influenced to side with Hitler. And the whole East felt exhilarated when Hitler was winning. The whole East was with Hitler inwardly. The group that was working behind him was an Eastern group.
Nothing happens accidentally, everything has a causal link behind it. Whenever a teacher like Buddha happens, the primary work of an esoteric group is to help by becoming a mediator. Another work of these esoteric groups is to preserve the knowledge once it is obtained. Buddha obtained something supreme, but who will preserve it? Preserving in books is no preservation, because the knowledge is so living and books are so dead. Only words can be preserved, not knowledge. Knowledge can be preserved only by living persons, not by books, because books will have to be interpreted again, and who will interpret them? They will have to be decoded again, and who will decode them? And if someone is able to decode them, to interpret them rightly, then that person can give you the message without the books. And those who depend on books will not be able to interpret it rightly.
You cannot read any book which you have not known in some way. You only can read “yourself” and nothing else. So if you are reading Buddha’s Dhammapada, it is not Buddha’s Dhammapada you are reading, it is your Dhammapada. Now you will be a creator. Now your depth will become the depth of Buddha’s sayings. You cannot go beyond yourself; you cannot have any glimpse beyond yourself.
So whenever knowledge is attained – subtle, foundational, ultimate – it cannot be preserved in books. Only ordinary knowledge can be preserved in books, which cannot be misinterpreted, in which any ordinary school training can train you. If you know the language, you can know it, but supreme knowledge cannot be preserved in that way. It can be preserved only in living persons, hence, esoteric groups. Then it is being transferred from one living person to another. And the transfer is not just like mechanical transfer. It is not mechanical, it cannot be. It is just like an art.
Osho, I Am the Gate, Ch 8, Q 1 (excerpt)