What did you do in those years immediately after your enlightenment?
It is a difficult question. The first thing was that a great silence, almost unbreakable, followed the experience, as if the mind had stopped functioning. There was nothing to do about it – except to watch. It was difficult for my family, my friends. Obviously, they thought I had gone mad.
My family has always been worried about me, concerned that I’m not following the well-trodden path and I am moving into dangerous experiments; the danger of going mad was easily conceivable.
And when I stopped speaking – it would be better to say that the speaking stopped itself, I was not a partner to it – people would ask questions and I would not even be able to give answers to simple things.
For almost two years, inside it was a tremendous rejoicing. Outside, it became a trouble. The people who thought they were trying to help me were really a nuisance. I should have been left alone to myself. But they were worried that I may go deeper into this madness.
They could also feel that I am not miserable, that I am immensely happy. But mad people ordinarily are happy, are rarely miserable. So that was not against their idea of madness; on the contrary, it was supportive of the idea that something should be done to me.
They were bringing people thought to be wise, and I was really amazed that these people were not even in the category of the commonsense people. They were full of the garbage of the scriptures.
Just one man, a man who was not known to be a wise man, met me in those days – and he was the only sane man in those two years of my silence. He was a strange beggar – strange because he was respected by many people, but he was a beggar. His only possession was simply a small mug. Because of that mug, he was called Magga Baba. People would drop money or food or anything into his mug. And he would not prevent others who wanted to take money from his mug or things that others had dropped into it. He would be as willing to those who wanted to take money out of it…
One of my uncles thought that perhaps this man could be of some help. He was silent, or sometimes he would speak gibberish. You could not understand what he was saying. Nobody could even figure out what language it was; it was no language. He was just like small children when they start speaking for the first time – they go on saying anything, repeating anything.
But the man had some magnetic quality. During the rains he used to lie down at night under the awning just in front of his shop. I had seen him a few times and he had smiled whenever I had seen him – he was not far away from my place. His smile was of great understanding.
And when my uncle thought that it would be good to bring Magga Baba and “see what he does to him,” Magga Baba was brought. His bringing was also a special kind; you could not invite him because he was not on talking terms with anybody. He would not say “yes” or “no.” You simply had to bring a rickshaw and catch hold of him. He would not refuse. At least three times he was stolen, because his followers in other villages simply took him away. They would sit him in a rickshaw – and he was willing, he was not resistant or anything. He enjoyed the ride and he went there. But then hundreds of his followers here missed him.
So my uncle went with a few of his friends and put Magga Baba in a rickshaw and brought him home. He came close to me and whispered in my ear, “This is it. And don’t be worried about these people; they are all mad.” Perhaps this was the first time he had spoken to anybody without any gibberish.
Everybody gathered around. It was a trouble for them to figure it out because Magga Baba would not say what he had whispered, and I was not going to say what he had whispered. But one thing they felt, that Magga Baba was very happy with me. He hugged me and left.
That helped my family and friends: “There may be something we are not understanding” – but others thought that both are mad: “He is an old madman, famous; now he has got another one also.”
But still it was a great solace that there was one man who was able to understand me. And because of his understanding me, I started slowly to speak – because perhaps there may be a few more people who can be helped. Maybe they are just on the verge. But as I began speaking… It came in the same way as silence had come, just as if the whole ocean of silence… and when I started speaking the same was the case with speaking. Suddenly the mind started functioning and I was speaking continuously.
People started coming to me, asking my advice. People started coming to me to lecture in their congregation, in some conference, in some other city. I was discoursing sometimes five times a day, almost the whole day, in different conferences and different meetings, colleges, universities. And my silence was untouched.
to a higher level
For many years I traveled alone all over India talking to all kinds of people. And slowly, slowly, troubles started arising. Politicians started becoming afraid. They cannot tolerate anybody who has power over millions of people. It was difficult for politicians to collect a few people to listen to them, and I was speaking before a hundred thousand people or two hundred thousand people. This became a great problem for them, that if this man turns towards politics he can prove a great danger.
They started disturbing my meetings. They started creating chaos in the meetings, blocking the roads so I could not reach to the place in time, even trying to prevent me from stopping at a station. They would collect their people and they wouldn’t let me step down from the train to the platform. This was the terminus – the train could not go ahead – but they were insisting that I should be taken back, that I cannot stop here in their city.
When it became almost impossible, I dropped traveling. I had already enough people, so I started a new phase: meditation camps in hill stations or in faraway Kashmir for those who wanted to be with me for twenty-one days or seven days – small camps, big camps.
For a while it went well because I was not entering the cities, but politicians cannot sit silently. They were living so much in the fear of being thrown out of their power positions that they started creating trouble for the meditation camps. Hotels were reserved but when we arrived the government had canceled the reservation.
Now the hotel manager would say, “We cannot do anything, it is from higher up; the government wants to have a special conference for these seven days so we cannot give it to you.”
And there was no conference. The hotel remained empty just so that we could not have the camp. When even to have a camp became impossible, that was the time I moved to Poona – just to remain there. “Now, anybody who wants to come should come here” – because they had made it almost impossible for me to move.
Anything that has
happened to me
has been good.
In Poona, thousands of people came, and not only from India – because now I was staying in one place – but from all over the world. This became even more troublesome to them. I was not even going out of my house. In those seven years in Poona, I had gone only twice out of the house: once to see my father when he was dying and once when Vimalkirti was dying. Otherwise I was just remaining in the house because now they were so desperate that they wanted to kill me. Now it was not only a question of preventing me, now people were coming to me. I was not going anywhere so they could not prevent me.
And in front of ten thousand sannyasins they tried to kill me by throwing a knife. It was something unprecedented, because attempts to kill somebody are not made so publicly – ten thousand eyewitnesses. The knife was there, and twenty highly posted police officers were there because they had got an anonymous phone call in the morning: “Some people are trying to kill Osho this morning in the discourse.”
They rushed to the ashram, they informed us, and they were sitting there. In front of those twenty police officers and ten thousand people the man threw the knife. He missed. But the court… It was a police case; we did not put a case, there was no need. The police were present – and not one policeman, twenty police officers. Ten thousand witnesses were ready to go to the court to testify, the knife was there, the man was caught red-handed – but the court released him saying, “There has been no attempt at assassination.”
The magistrate must have felt guilty. He said to a doctor who was coming to listen to me… They were friends. Through that doctor he sent a message to me, “Tell Osho to forgive me. The pressure from the central government was so much. I am a poor man, I cannot stand such pressure. I am just going to be promoted, and they threatened me that my promotion will be dropped and I will be transferred to some far-removed area, that my whole life I will not be able to get any promotion. I knew… because everything was clear. There was no question of doubt in it. And it was a police case. Now twenty police officers are not going to tell a lie for no reason. But I had to release him; otherwise, you know these people – they can even kill me.”
So that man was released. And as I have been moving around, the dangers have been becoming larger and larger every day. First, it was one government, one country, then another government, and now it is the whole world.
… their transformation
is not going to stop.
It is something
no going back.
It has been a strange experience, of how uncivilized humanity is and how far away is the possibility of its ever being cultured – because anybody who tries to raise humanity’s consciousness to a higher level becomes its enemy. Every friend becomes its enemy, and every enemy who is keeping it enslaved is thought to be its protector; they are its saints, they are its leaders.
Perhaps no man has gone through so much as I have gone through, because everybody before me was localized.
Jesus was crucified in a small, faraway corner of the world, in Judea, just a small colony of the Roman empire.
Socrates was killed in Athens, a city-state, not even a country. He never went out of Athens.
So those people never came in contact with the whole humanity the way I have come in contact with it, and they never saw the ugly faces – because all these people who have power are tremendously articulate, skillful in hiding their reality. They are perfect hypocrites.
My whole life’s experience will be helpful to anybody who wants to awaken people. They cannot crucify me because I have not committed any crime; neither have I been fighting against one religion nor against one country. My fight has been universal. It is not against any religion in particular or any political ideology in particular. It is a fight against the barbarous in every human being.
So they are a little bit in difficulty to pinpoint how to destroy me. They will not be able to. In fact, all their efforts will expose them more and more.
And their efforts have also been helpful in another way: it has helped me to see amongst my own people who are really with me and who are not, who are only pretending to be with me and who are really with their total heart with me… that if I am crucified, thousands of people will be crucified simultaneously. So it has been, in a way, good. Every attack on me has helped me to get rid of those who were phony.
I am happy that I have found thousands of people who resonate with me, whose love, whose trust, is unconditionally with me. Their lives are being transformed. Even if I am taken away from my people, their transformation is not going to stop. It is something that knows no going back. Once it sets in, it goes on growing in you; it is just like a seed, and your heart becomes the soil.
And I am happy that thousands of people have been courageous enough to be available to me in spite of all kinds of opposition, lies, allegations. When the whole world is against you, you can get only the really chosen few. Then the mediocre cannot come close to you; they cannot gather courage.
So it has been a great experience from all aspects. I had gone into silence again just to see whether you can understand me in silence or not, whether you can be with me in silence or not. And most of you were totally with me, happily, joyfully. It did not matter whether I was silent or speaking. It was not a matter of mind; it had become a question of the heart.
I had to come out of silence because a few people started misusing, exploiting, my people for their own ends, for their own lust for power.
The commune was a great experiment, but because of a few traitors, the government was capable of destroying it; otherwise even the most powerful government of the world would not have been able to destroy it. It is always the traitors within you which allow the political powers to destroy. But as far as I am concerned, that too was good.
Anything that has happened to me has been good. Perhaps because of my way of looking at things I cannot see otherwise.
Now we can create small schools around the world as a final phase of my work. I am simply in search of a place where they can let me settle, and a few people can come and go to visit me – so whatever has remained to be said can be said to you before I enter again into silence. There is too much to be said yet.
Perhaps the vested interests are afraid that I am coming close to saying things which may be more dangerous to their existence than nuclear weapons.
One of the Dutch publishers, who has published a dozen books of my discourses in Dutch, wrote me a letter a few months ago saying, “Now you are talking dangerously. We cannot risk our publishing company. We are business people. What you were speaking before, we could manage; but now it is beyond us. So I will not be publishing any more books, and I want to be completely dissociated from you. And I am also not going to reprint those books. If sannyasins want to, they can take all those books at cost price; otherwise, I will keep them in the warehouse but they will not be sold. I simply don’t want to be associated with your name.”
What he is saying is meaningful. All these governments are feeling the same. All the religions are feeling the same. They would like me to stop because I am coming close to saying things which they have been hiding from humanity.
For that I don’t need thousands of people. I just need a small group like you with whom I can be totally in tune and say whatever I have always wanted to say. I have been holding back many things; now I don’t want to hold back anything, and there is no reason to – because all that they could do against me they have done. So I just want to settle in a small place with a small group, and people can come and go silently. There is no need to make any noise.
And whatever I say, all that is needed is to publish it in all the possible languages. That will be your main work, because now you will not find publishers to publish it. Now we will have to publish it with our own resources: we will have to translate it ourselves, publish it ourselves, make arrangements for the marketing. And that great responsibility falls on you.
The word should reach. People may understand today or tomorrow or day after tomorrow – that doesn’t matter – but one day they will understand it.
One thing I can say, that whatever I am saying is going to become the future philosophy, the future religion, of the whole humanity; and you are blessed to be co-creators in it.
Osho, The Path of the Mystic, Ch 27, Q 1
Osho Speaks on Magga Baba
Osho’s Last Public Talk