Osho has spoken many times lovingly about Dr. S.K. Saxena, one of his professors at the University of Jabalpur during the 1950s.
When on the first day I entered the university’s philosophy class, I met Doctor Saxena for the first time. Only for a few professors did I have really great love and respect. These two were my most loved professors – Doctor S. K. Saxena and Doctor S. S. Roy – and for the simple reason that they never treated me like a student.
When I entered Doctor Saxena’s class the first day, with my wooden sandals, he looked a little puzzled. He looked at my sandals and asked me, “Why are you using wooden sandals? – they make so much noise.” I said, “Just to keep my consciousness alert.”
He said, “Consciousness? Are you trying to keep your consciousness alert in other ways too?”
I said, “Twenty-four hours a day I am trying to do that, in every possible way: walking, sitting, eating, even sleeping. And you may believe it or you may not, that just lately I have succeeded to be aware and alert even in sleep.”
He said, “The class is dismissed – you just come with me to the office.” The whole class thought I had created trouble for myself the first day. He took me into his office and took from the shelf his thesis for a doctorate that he had written thirty years before. It was on consciousness. He said, “Take it. It has been published in English, and so many people in India have asked to translate it into Hindi – great scholars, knowing both languages, English and Hindi, perfectly well. But I have not allowed anybody, because the question is not whether you know the language well or not; I was looking for a man who knows what consciousness is – and I can see in your eyes, on your face, by the way you answered… you have to translate this book.”
I said, “This is difficult because I don’t know English much, I don’t know Hindi much either. Hindi is my mother tongue, but I know only as much as everybody knows his mother tongue. And I believe in the definition of the mother tongue. Why is every language called the mother tongue? – because the mother speaks and the father listens – and that’s how the children learn. That’s how I have learned.
“My father is a silent man; my mother speaks and he listens – and I learned the language. It is just a mother tongue, I don’t know much; Hindi has never been my subject of study. English I know just a little bit, and that is enough for your so-called examinations, but for translating a book which is a Ph.D. thesis…. And you are giving it to a student?”
He said, “Don’t be worried – I know you will be able to do it.”
I said, “lf you trust me, I will do my best. But one thing I must tell you, that if I find something wrong in it then I am going to make an editorial note underneath, putting a star on it, that this is wrong, and how it should be. If I find something missing, I am going to put a star again and a footnote that something is missing, and this is the part that is missing.”
He said, “I agree to that. I know there are many things missing in it. But you surprise me: you have not even seen the book, you have not even opened it. How do you know that things will be missing in it?”
I said, “Looking at you… in the way you can see by looking at me, that I am the right person to translate it, I can see perfectly, Doctor Saxena, you are not the right person to write it!”
And he loved that so much that he told it to everybody. The whole university knew about it – this dialogue that had happened between me and him. In the next two-month summer vacations I translated the book, and I made those editorial notes. When I showed him, there were tears of joy in his eyes.
He said, “I knew perfectly well that something is missing here, but I could not figure it out because I have never practiced it. I was just trying to collect all the information about consciousness in Eastern scriptures. I had collected a lot, and then from that I started sorting it out. It took me almost seven years to finish my thesis.” He had done really a great scholarly job – but only scholarly. I said, “It is scholarly, but it is not the work of a meditator. And I have made all these notes – that this can be written only by a scholar, not by a meditator.”
He looked at all those pages and he said to me, “If you had been one of my examiners for the thesis I would not have got the doctorate! You have found exactly the right places that I was doubtful about, but those fools who examined it were not even suspicious. It has been praised very much.”
He was a professor in America for many years, and his book is really a monumental work of scholarship; but nobody criticized him, nobody has pointed…. So I asked him, “Now what are you going to do with the translation?”
He said, “I cannot publish it. I have found a translator – but you are more an examiner than a translator! I will keep it but I cannot publish it. With your notes and with your editorial commentary it will destroy my whole reputation – but I agree with you. In fact,” he said, “if it were in my power I would have given you a doctorate just for your editorial notes and footnotes, because you have found exactly the places which only a meditator can find; a non-meditator has no way to find them.”
So my whole life from the very beginning has been concerned with two things: never to allow any unintelligent thing to be imposed upon me, to fight against all kinds of stupidities, whatsoever the consequences, and to be rational, logical, to the very end. This was one side, that I was using with all those people with whom I was in contact. And the other was absolutely private, my own: to become more and more alert, so that I didn’t end up just being an intellectual.
Intellect and meditation, meeting together, growing together, give you the wholeness of being.
There have been meditators who have not had very grown-up intellects. They enjoyed their meditation, they were fulfilled, but they were incapable of conveying the message to anyone – because for that a very sharp intelligence is needed. You will have to cut the whole jungle of the other person’s mind, you will have to make a path in the jungle of thoughts. You will need a really sharp, sword-like intelligence.
But if you just create the path, that is not the purpose. A path is meaningless unless there is a traveler.
Intellect can make the path but meditation travels on it.
Osho, From Misery to Enlightenment, Ch 1, Q 1 (excerpt)
One of my professors, Doctor S. K. Saxena, loved me very much. Most days I used to stay with him instead of in the hostel, because he would not allow me to go to the hostel.
I asked him, “Why do you insist…? Because I am of no use to you – I simply sit in the garden and meditate.”
He said, “That is the reason I want you to be here. I am getting old, I have never meditated. Most of my life I have been a professor in America. I have never given any thought to meditation.”
Despite this, he had written for his doctoral thesis a book, History of the Evolution of Consciousness. He said to me, “When you are here I feel something settling in me. When you sleep in my house” – he lived alone – “I have a better sleep. I don’t know why, but just your presence somehow helps me to be more together.”
I said, “I can tell you why. But rather than depending on me, why don’t you start meditating?”
And by chance, today it happens that his son is present in the audience. S. K. Saxena is dead.
I received a message that he wanted to see me before he died. He wanted that I should be present by his side when he died. But I received the message after he had died, months after. Perhaps he wanted to die in the same peaceful silent atmosphere that he had found around me.
I feel sad for him, sorry for him, that what he could have attained himself he unnecessarily depended on somebody else for.
Meditation is something that is your birthright. Claim it! Make it a decision, a commitment that whatever happens, you will not die before you have attained to a meditative state.
It is only a question of a firm determination. And if you can attain to meditation, your life will become real life, and your death will become a door to the divine.
It will no longer be a death, it will no longer be an end. It will just be freedom from the body and entering into the universal, unlimited, infinite.
Osho, The Sword and the Lotus, Ch 8, Q 3
Comment by Osho News: Prof Dr. Saxena’s family uses the spelling Saksena