This World Is Not to Be Renounced

Osho A-Z

Osho visits the white marble rocks in Jabalpur with Dr. S.K. Saxena.

I always wanted my people to be in the world, occasionally coming to me, being with me, refreshing themselves, then going back again to the world — because the world has to be changed. We are not the ones who renounce the world.

All the religions have been teaching, “Renounce the world.” I teach you, transform the world.

Renouncing it is sheer cowardice, and by renouncing it, nothing significant happens — the world goes on living, producing new generations in the old pattern. And the persons who have renounced the world — they also don’t go through a transformation, for a simple reason that they lose all opportunities where they can test whether they are growing or not. You can sit in the Himalayas for a half a century and you will feel silent, but that silence is not yours; it belongs to the Himalayas. Everything is silent, eternally silent, and there is nobody to disturb you.

Just to get out of the situations where you get disturbed does not mean that you are attaining peacefulness; it simply means you are running away from situations where you are certain that your peace will be disturbed. Renouncing the world has never been my idea; it was always to change it.

Osho in boat

Millions of people are suffering, and suffering for stupid reasons. It is absolutely inhuman to turn your back on it and move to the mountains or to the deserts to live peacefully there. That peace is very cheap, very superficial; it has almost no meaning. Just come back to the world and it will be disturbed, it will be shattered into pieces. And that will be immensely significant to awaken you, that what you have been thinking of as peace, silence, has been just a dream which is shattered by the reality, just as a mirror is shattered when hit by a rock… and it is shattered forever. That mirror you cannot put together again, and all those years that you were enjoying the idea that you have attained peace have gone down the drain.

So my idea has always been: come to me to rejoice, come to me for a holiday. Come to me for pure joy. Be filled with the fragrance, be filled with my presence, then take it back into the world. There is the real test: whether it remains with you or not. If you want to keep it, spread it, share it, and it will grow within you. But whenever you feel somewhere stuck, not growing, I am available — come back to me, be with me. When you feel the clarity again, go back to the world. If you start living with me you will be a loser on two counts. One: you will by and by start taking me for granted — which is a great loss, because I will be available to you. It is dangerous, because the more I am available to you, the less you will become available to me.

I have lived for almost twenty years in Jabalpur in India; it has one of the most beautiful spots in the world. For two to three miles continuously a beautiful river, Narmada, flows between two mountains of marble… just three miles of pure white marble on both sides, high mountains. And the river is deep. On a full-moon night, when the moon comes in the middle and you can see those rocks also reflected into the waters, it creates almost a magical world. I don’t think there is anything in the world which can be compared to that magic. It is simply unimaginable.

I insisted again and again to my professor, Doctor S.K. Saxena… I had loved him very much because he was the only teacher I came across who never treated me as a student. We argued, we fought on small points, and if he was wrong he was always ready to accept it, and he was grateful.

He had a Ph.D. from America — he lived his whole life in America, and taught as a professor of Indian philosophy there. Just at the end, he wanted to go back to his own country. He had been searching for someone who could translate his doctoral thesis into Hindi, but he never came across a man who could. And his thesis was really of great significance; just a literal translation would not have done. It needed someone with a deep understanding. The subject matter of the thesis was, “The evolution of consciousness in the East.” It was one of the most difficult subjects, very elusive, but he had managed, worked hard, and had come to certain very significant conclusions.

He asked me — I was only a student — to translate it. I said, “You should ask some professor, at least someone qualified.”

He said, “I have seen many professors, many qualified people; they can translate only literally. And I trust you. Arguing with you I have come to the conclusion that this is the man who can translate it.”

It took me two months continuously — my whole holiday one summer. It was hard work. And it was harder because there were faults, there were mistakes, and I could not tolerate them. So I pointed out to him, “These are mistakes; out of your seven conclusions, three are wrong, and if it was in my hands I would take your doctorate back. The people who have given you a doctorate know nothing about consciousness.” He said, “I was afraid of this!”

But I said to him, “I have translated it; just in the footnotes I have made my comments where you have gone wrong, why you have gone wrong. Perhaps anybody would have gone wrong. Just as a scholar it was bound to happen, this mistake. I am not a scholar.”

I gave the thesis to him and I said, “You look at it, and you tell me how you feel.”

He hugged me and told me, “You have done such a tremendous job that I feel ashamed. It looks like my book is a translation and your book is the original! And I am not going to publish it because that would destroy my whole reputation. You have also made comments which I agree with — you are right and my examiners were wrong. I was wrong, my examiners were wrong.”

So he kept the translated thesis with him and never allowed anyone to see it, never allowed anyone to publish it.

I said, “You wasted my two months unnecessarily!” I said, “Just to compensate, now you have to come with me to Jabalpur.” It was one hundred miles from the university where he was professor, to the marble rocks. “I would not let you die without seeing it.”

But he said, “Howsoever beautiful it is, I have seen the whole world” — he had been a world traveller — “I have seen everything that is worth seeing. What can be there?” I said, “I cannot describe… you just come with me.” And I took him there. He was asking again and again, when we were moving in the boat, “Do you call this the most beautiful place?”

I said, “You just wait. We have not entered into it yet.” And then suddenly the boat entered into the world of marble, the mountains of marble. And in the full-moon night they were just so pure, so virgin-pure, and their reflections… The old man had tears in his eyes. He said, “If you had not insisted, I would have missed something in my life. Just take the boat close to the mountains, because I would like to touch then. It looks so illusory! Without touching I cannot believe that what I am seeing is real.”

I told the boatman to come close to the mountains. He touched the mountains, and he said, “Now I can leave — they are real! But for three miles continuously…!”

This man wrote beautifully, spoke beautifully, but still was miserable. And I said, “Neither your writings mean anything, nor your speeches mean anything. To me what is significant is whether you have been able to drop all the causes of misery. You are so miserable that you drink, just to forget. You are so miserable that you smoke, just to forget. You gamble, just to forget.”

Now, this world is not to be renounced. There are beautiful people, there are immensely capable people; they just have never come across a person who could have triggered a process of mutation in their life. So my idea has always been: come to me whenever you start feeling, “Perhaps I am living in an illusion.” Then come and just touch me. Let yourself be showered by my presence, my love, so that you can regain confidence, courage, and you can go back to the world.

But the world is where the work is.

Osho, Beyond Psychology, Ch 17

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