Osho Speaks on Ancient Civilisations


There are stories about cultures reaching to the peak. But those that reached the ultimate height eventually had to go underground.

Osho discourse

There is a lake named Titicaca in South America. It is a unique lake. It has puzzled scientists, because a river falls into this lake. Millions of gallons of water fall daily into this lake and there is no way for it to flow out of the lake. Yet not an inch of water rises in the lake. Scientists are confounded. Where does all this water go? The lake has been observed for hundreds of years. It is said that beneath the lake there are the ruins of the ancient civilization of the Incas. This lake is supposed to have been its reservoir. The Incas are no more, but their arrangement for collecting water still remains. Scientists now think that this was the water supply of a people who lived beneath the lake. A lot of research is going on to discover this lost civilization.

The more developed a society becomes, the more it goes underground. In Mohenjo Daro and Harappa, there are seven tiers of townships. This cannot be because of earthquakes or any other calamity. The greater possibility is that the civilization had moved underground. Scientists and archaeologists have maintained up to now that Mohenjo Daro was built seven times and destroyed seven times by earthquakes. This does not seem plausible: that seven cultures could disappear in the same place, one after the other. It seems more plausible that the culture must have reached such a peak where it became absolutely necessary to go more and more underground. Man must have lost all his power to bear the conditions above the ground.

Osho, The Way of Tao, Vol 2, Ch 18 (translation from Hindi) (excerpt)


The two cities I am talking about are Mohenjo Daro and Harappa; now they are both in Pakistan. I have been to both the cities. It is simply unbelievable but those cities had bathrooms attached to the bedrooms.

You will be surprised as to why this fact should be so important, but just in the last century – just a hundred years ago – when people in America started to make attached bathrooms, there was such a reaction from the masses that the government had to step in. There were cases in the courts claiming that it is ugly, unchristian, because cleanliness is second to godliness, and these people are doing something ugly – having a bathroom, a toilet, attached inside the house. It has always been outside the house; its name was the outhouse.

Seven thousand years ago those people were far more advanced in thinking – they had beautiful swimming pools…. And the most miraculous thing is that in Harappa and Mohenjo Daro they had a hot and cold running water system. It was a highly developed civilization. And they must have had vehicles big enough; otherwise there was no need to make such broad roads. They had big windows, which was rare; big doors, which was rare at that time; gardens….

was highly

According to Hindu scholars, the Rigveda is ninety thousand years old. And the man who proved it, Lokmanya Tilak – one of the most intelligent Hindu scholars of this century – has proved it on such grounds that nobody has been able to argue against him – because he proved it on grounds not logical, but astronomical. In the Rigveda there is a description of a certain happening in the world of stars, a certain meeting which has not happened since then. The description is absolutely clear, and it would have been possible only if the people who were describing it had seen it. And in fact astronomy now agrees with Lokmanya Tilak – that it happened ninety thousand years ago, and the way it is described in the Rigveda is exactly right – the way astronomical things should be described.

So astronomy was highly developed, and the people could see the conglomeration of the stars. They even described stars and planets which we have just discovered; otherwise, fifty years ago people were simply laughing, “Where are these planets?” Pluto and Neptune had not been discovered fifty years ago and people were laughing. “This is just fictitious!”

But now they have been discovered with better instruments; more and more stars, more and more planets have been discovered; and they are all fitting together with the chart that is given in the Rigveda.

Osho, The Transmission of the Lamp, Ch 25, Q 1 (excerpt)


…it is unclear how
they were destroyed.

Jainism is not a part of Hinduism; it is far more ancient than Hinduism. In the excavations at Mohenjo Daro and Harappa – both places now are in Pakistan – great cities have been found in ruins, and there is a possibility that those cities had naked statues like Mahavira. And the symbol of the swastika, which is the symbol of Jainism, is also found in those excavations. It is a possibility that those cities existed long before Hinduism entered this country. Hinduism is not a native philosophy to this country.

The people who lived in Harappa and Mohenjo Daro – it is unclear how they were destroyed. But either through natural catastrophe or by invasion, something happened that those two cities were destroyed seven times. On seven layers excavations have revealed new older cities, and with an absolute indication that they were not primitive, not tribal. They were as advanced as a modern city.

Their roads were sixty feet wide, as wide as in any modern city. That indicates those people must have invented vehicles, otherwise there was no need for such big roads. And they had a very strange method of piping water into houses. They had great reservoirs built on a height so the water could flow, without any mechanism, towards the city. They had swimming pools, and strangely enough, they had attached bathrooms, which shows a very high culture.

Osho, The Zen Manifesto: Freedom From Oneself, Ch 8, Q 1 (excerpt)


One is unable
even to comprehend
how old the oldest is.

When Aryans came to India, nearabout ten thousand years before, India was a very civilized country. When the Aryans came India was flourishing; it was not unpopulated. Now explorers have discovered Harappa and Mohenjo Daro. These two cities, they must have gone into tremendous calamities because both the cities show indications that seven times they were destroyed. Because they have gone digging and they have founds seven layers; the oldest is the seventh at the bottom. One is unable even to comprehend how old the oldest is, but somehow it was destroyed – maybe a great earthquake, some upheaval in the earth – and it is covered with earth. Then the second time again the city was populated and the third time… seven times it has been populated and destroyed.

Naturally it has been destroyed by some natural calamity and the possibility is that the Himalaya was rising up very close by, and when such a great mountain rises, then all around it there are great upheavals, bound to be so. Such a great, huge… the greatest mountain coming up means for thousands of miles around everything will change. And Himalaya is still growing. It is the youngest mountain in the world – still growing, still becoming higher. But when the first time it must have arisen out of the earth you can think what calamity must not have surrounded the whole of North India; Harappa and Mohenjo Daro were destroyed seven times.

Osho, I am That, Ch 5 (excerpt)


We are living
in the past
as far as our psychology
is concerned.

In science we are living in the twentieth century, and as far as our superstitions are concerned we are living three thousand years back. We are almost like Mohenjo Daro. In Pakistan, the most ancient civilization that has been excavated up to now is that of Mohenjo Daro, a city that has been discovered. The city was destroyed at least seven times, and the city must have been at one of the peaks of civilization because seven layers have been discovered. Seven times the city flourished and was destroyed – maybe some natural calamity, maybe some war, earthquake, flood; nothing can be determined now. One thing is certain: that seven times the city flourished, seven times it was destroyed; again it flourished on top of the old city, again it was destroyed.

Mohenjo Daro, the word itself, simply means murdon ka teela – ‘a hillock of the dead’. It is a hillock, a seven-layered hillock, and millions of dead people are buried there. Mohenjo Daro is seven thousand years old – your superstitions are also that old. A statue of a naked man has been found in Mohenjo Daro and Jainas think, “That belongs to our religion” – of course: they worship naked teerthankaras, so Jainism is seven thousand years old. One of the statues of a brahmin priest has been discovered with the thread that brahmins wear around their necks – yagno paveet – so they claim that their culture and religion are seven thousand years old.

We are living in the past as far as our psychology is concerned and we have not gone beyond Mohenjo Daro, that hillock of the dead. Our psychology is full of corpses. Scientifically we are in the twentieth century, psychologically we are lagging far behind. And this is one of the causes of misery on the earth, of poverty on the earth, of illness on the earth, of sadness. This whole sadness and misery can disappear once we decide to be contemporary as far as psychology is concerned; in fact, psychology should be a little ahead of scientific technology.

And that’s my whole effort here. My sannyasins have to be psychologically ahead of the time, psychologically far more developed than the scientific technology is. Only then can you use it, otherwise you are bound to misuse it. Now science has made possible everything which can transform the earth into a paradise. There is no need to look for a paradise in the afterlife – it can happen now and here. And for the first time it is possible: it can happen now; you need not wait for it any more.

Osho, Philosophia Ultima, Ch 16, Q 1 (excerpt)

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