Osho speaks on 10 books, among them The Brothers Karamazov and Jonathan Livingston Seagull.
Osho read an uncountable amount of books on every conceivable subject, approximately between 150,000 to 200,000.
He once said of his immense interest that he read so extensively to explore all paths, collecting the fragrance of man’s wisdom and experience upon the earth, so he could give it to his disciples and others.
While undergoing dental treatments, Osho spoke during 16 sessions about the books he considered most important. What he said was recorded by hand.
The guest, the host, the white chrysanthemum… these are the moments, the white roses, when no one should speak.
Neither the guest,
nor the host…
But silence speaks in its own way, sings its own song of joy, of peace, of beauty and blessings; otherwise there would not have been a Tao Te Ching, nor would there have been a Sermon on the Mount. I consider these to be the real poetries although they are not compiled in any poetic way. They are outsiders. They are kept out. This is true in a way: they don’t belong to the norm, to the standard, they don’t belong to any measurements; they are beyond all of them, hence they are brushed over.
A few pieces in Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Brothers Karamazov are pure poetry, and so are even a few pieces from that madman Friedrich Nietzsche’s book, Thus Spake Zarathustra. Even if Nietzsche had not written anything else but Thus Spake Zarathustra he would have served humanity immensely, profoundly – more cannot be expected from any man – because Zarathustra had been almost forgotten. It was Nietzsche who brought him back, who again gave him birth, a resurrection. Thus Spake Zarathustra is going to be the bible of the future.
It is said that Zarathustra laughed when he was born. It is very difficult to imagine a new-born baby laughing. Okay, smiling – but laughing? One wonders at what, because laughter needs a context. At what joke was the baby Zarathustra laughing? The cosmic joke, at the joke this whole existence is.
Yes, write in your notes the cosmic joke and underline it. That’s good. I can even hear you underline it. That’s beautiful. Do you see how good my hearing is? When I want to I can hear even the sound of drawing a sketch, a leaf. When I want to see I can see in darkness, utter darkness. But when I don’t want to hear, I pretend not to hear, just to give you the good feeling that everything is going good.
Zarathustra at his birth, laughing! And that was only a beginning. He laughed throughout his whole life. His whole life was a laughter. Even so people have forgotten him. The English have even changed his name, they called him ‘Zoroaster’. What a monstrosity! ‘Zarathustra’ has the softness of a rose petal, and ‘Zoroaster’ sounds like a huge mechanical disaster. Zarathustra must be laughing at his name being changed to Zoroaster. But before Friedrich Nietzsche, he was forgotten. He was bound to be.
The Mohammedans had forced all the followers of Zarathustra to become Mohammedans. Only a few, very few, escaped – to India, where else. India was the place where everybody could enter without a passport or visa, without any trouble. Only very few followers of Zarathustra escaped the Mohammedan murderers. There are not many in India, only one hundred thousand. Now, who bothers about a religion of only one hundred thousand – who not only almost all live just in India, but in and around only one city, Bombay. Even they themselves have forgotten Zarathustra. They have compromised with the Hindus with whom they have to live. They escaped the well and fell into the ditch – a deeper ditch! On one side the well, the other side the ditch. And through the middle goes The Way – Buddha calls it the middle way – exactly in the middle, just like a tightrope walker.
Nietzsche’s great service was in bringing Zarathustra back to the modern world. His great disservice was Adolf Hitler. He did both. Of course he was not responsible for Adolf Hitler. It was Hitler’s own misunderstanding of Nietzsche’s idea of ‘superman’. What could Nietzsche do about it? If you misunderstand me, what can I do about it?
Misunderstanding is always your freedom. Adolf Hitler was a juvenile mediocrity, a retarded child, really ugly. Just remember his face – that small mustache, those fearful eyes staring as though trying to make you fearful, and the tense forehead. He was so tense that he could not even be friendly to anybody throughout his whole life. To be a friend one needs to be a little relaxed.
Hitler could not love, although he tried in his dictatorial way. He tried, as many husbands do unfortunately, to dictate, to order, to maneuver and manipulate women – but he was unable to love. Love needs intelligence. He would not even allow his own girlfriend to be alone with him in his room at night. Such fear! He was afraid that while he was asleep… one never knows, the girlfriend may be a girl-foe; she may be an agent working for the enemy. He slept alone all his life.
How could a man like Adolf Hitler love? He had no sympathy, no feeling, he had no heart, no feminine side to him. He had killed the woman within himself so how could he love the woman outside? To love the outer woman you have to nourish the woman within, because only that which is within is expressed in your actions.
I have heard that Hitler shot one of his girlfriends for just a small reason; he killed her because he had said she should not go to visit her mother, but when he was out she went, although she was back before Hitler returned. He came to know through the guards that she had gone out. That was enough to finish the love – not only the love, but the woman too! He shot her saying, “If you disobey me, then you are my enemy.”
That was his logic: who obeys you is your friend; who disobeys you is your enemy. Who is for you is for you, and who is not for you is against you. It is not necessarily so – somebody may be just neutral, neither being for you nor against you. He may not be your friend, but that does not necessarily mean that he is an enemy.
I love the book Thus Spake Zarathustra.
Thus Spake Zarathustra will be the first on my list.
The Brothers Karmazov is the second.
Third is The Book of Mirdad
Fourth is Jonathan Livingston Seagull.
The fifth book is Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu.
The sixth is The Parables of Chuang Tzu. He was the most lovable man, and this is the most lovable book.
Seventh is The Sermon on the Mount – only The Sermon on the Mount, not the whole Bible. The whole Bible is just bullshit except The Sermon on the Mount.
Eighth… is my numbering right? That’s good. Then you can feel that I am still in my insanity. The eighth, Bhagavadgita – the divine song of Krishna. By the way ‘Christ’ is only a mispronunciation of ‘Krishna’ just as ‘Zoroaster’ is of ‘Zarathustra’. ‘Krishna’ means the highest state of consciousness, and the song of Krishna, the Bhagavadgita, reaches to the ultimate heights of being.
Ninth, Gitanjali. It means ‘an offering of songs’. It is the work of Rabindranath Tagore, for which he got the Nobel prize.
And the tenth is the songs of Milarepa – The One Thousand Songs of Milarepa – that’s how it is called in Tibetan.
No one spoke.
nor the white chrysanthemum.
Ahhh!… so beautiful… the white chrysanthemum. Aahhh, so beautiful. Words are so poor. I cannot describe what is being brought to me.
The white chrysanthemum.
No one spoke.
the white chrysanthemum.
Good. Because of this beauty, my ears are incapable of even hearing the noise, my eyes are filling with tears.
Tears are the only words the unknown can speak,
The language of silence.
Osho, Books I Have Loved, Session 1
Journey of a Book