Ageh Bharti recalls a time when he tried to sell Osho’s books to make him even more widely known.
It happened maybe in the middle of 1968, when I was a locomotive pilot at Indian Railways in Jabalpur. I was under suspension because I had been involved in an accident and was just idling at home when I thought I should do something to spread Osho’s thoughts and visions faster, as to me this was the most significant thing to do. I bought some 40-50 books by Osho from Arvind Bhai and decided to sit on the side of the road and sell them. I chose an important place called ‘Satpula Bridge’ to sit at. I took a carpet and loaded the books on a bicycle; when I reached the location I spread the carpet on the side of the road, arranged the books on it and stood waiting.
It was time for the Government factory workers to finish work for the day. Several thousands of workers, supervisors and other staff passed but none stopped to see the books. Maybe it was the wrong time of the day to be standing there – I could not sell a single copy!
The next day I decided to go door to door in the most elite area of Jabalpur, called Pachpedi, where many high officials with their highly educated families lived.
I walked up to a large house and rang the bell. A woman opened the door and asked in a very rude manner, “What do you want?” I told her that I merely wanted to show some books of Osho. She said she didn’t want any books and closed the door. I returned home.
On the third day I had to go to Allahabad, so I carried some books with me. In those days there were no AC2 coaches (second class with air-conditioning), only AC1 were available in very few important trains. I was travelling in a 1st class non AC coach which has about seven or eight cabins. As the train started from Jabalpur, I proceeded to comply with my project and went into a cabin.
I announced, unfortunately in English, “I have some books of Osho to show; he is the most important and significant sage and philosopher of the day in the whole world.” One passenger put me in an awkward position when he said, in Hindi, in a taunting manner, “You are selling Hindi books and speaking in English!” I apologised but my plan failed as nobody showed any interest. I entered only two more cabins, but as I could not sell even a single copy I stopped checking out the remaining ones. I had neither heart nor courage to try any further.
On return I gifted some books to my friends and then went to see Osho to whom I related the story in a few words. He said, “I knew already it’s not for you, but you were asking repeatedly, so I said.’OK, let him try.'”
Osho told me further, “When you go to somebody, you are always on the lower rung, because you have come to him – he has not come to you, but you have gone to him. So by the very nature of things you are lower and not everyone can do that. It needs a persuasive type of person.”
Ageh Bharti is a regular contributor
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