It was just a joke. You are not enlightened, relax!


In Rajneeshpuram, Osho declared a few sannyasins enlightened. Here is a question of one of them. Osho comments on how they reacted differently mentioning, among others, Vinod Bharti and Maitreya.


Beloved Osho,

I was one of those who was taken for a ride when the list of enlightened people was announced, because I thought, “If Osho says I’m enlightened, why not try it out?”

I enjoyed it: I threw a party for a hundred or so friends, and for the next six months – until I became endarkened again – tried to use what I saw as a really potential situation.

The main thing I saw was that I really am okay. Am I kidding myself about that experience?

No, if you can understand it you cannot be kidding.

First let me explain a few other things.

After I declared a few people enlightened – Santosh was also one of them. He wrote me a letter saying, “Your declaration of my enlightenment gives me no excitement, but my being accepted as a member of the committee of the enlightened ones makes me feel very great.”

I sent him the message, “Why does your being enlightened not make you feel excited? The reason is that you think that you are already enlightened – and that is not true. That’s why your becoming a member of the committee of the enlightened ones makes you feel great – at last your enlightenment has been recognized. It is not a declaration for you but a recognition that you have been enlightened long before.

“But if enlightenment is not an excitement, then how can it be a great thing to be a member of the party, or the committee, of enlightened people? If enlightenment itself makes no sense to you, then being the member of the committee cannot make any sense, except this: that it fulfills your ego.

“You were enlightened, and nobody was taking note of it. Finally I have recognized it, and now you are part of the committee of enlightened people, so it is sealed. But you are wrong – because it was all a joke! The committee was a joke, the declaration was a joke. And it was a device.”

Somendra immediately sent a telegram to Teertha, saying, “I have got it – what about you?” He was continuously in competition – that was his problem, that he should be higher than Teertha. And this was a good chance.

He has dropped sannyas, he has not been in any contact with us, but my declaration of his enlightenment – that he accepts. Sannyas he has dropped – he is no longer part of my family – but enlightenment… immediately a telegram: “I have got it – what about you?”

It was a device to see how people would react.

Your response to it was perfectly beautiful.

Your response was, “If Osho says I am enlightened, I must be.”

It simply shows trust, love. It has nothing to do with ego. And your throwing a party and rejoicing the moment with your friends was perfectly right.

And when I said it was a joke, you were not angry. You simply took it again the same way: “If Osho says I am not enlightened, and it was a joke, perhaps I am not enlightened and it was really a joke.” And the six months that you lived as enlightened, the joy and the peace and the serenity that you felt was not of enlightenment – it was of trust and love.

It was a good experience for you.

But different experiences happen to different people.

There were only two Indians in the group who were declared enlightened, and they understand traditionally what enlightenment means. One was Vinod Bharti.

He became very nervous, was crying, came to Vivek to give me the message, “Osho, I am not enlightened. And you have created a trouble for me: I cannot say you are wrong, and I know perfectly well myself that I am not enlightened. So what am I supposed to do? I am just torn apart. You just tell me the truth!”

He knows about enlightenment. He knows that for centuries in India enlightenment has been the ultimate peak of spiritual search. In the West the very idea has never existed. So he cannot conceive of himself as Gautam Buddha, and he cannot deny me because he loves me and trusts me. So I can see his trouble. So I sent him the message, “Don’t be worried, it was just a joke. You are not enlightened, relax!”

Until he heard that he was not enlightened, he could not sleep for two days. Then he relaxed – he is not enlightened; there is no problem.

The other man was Swami Anand Maitreya, who was the only one who understood the joke immediately, because as he left the room he said, “Osho is really a rascal! Saying to me that I am enlightened, proves it!” But he was also an Indian and particularly comes from Bihar where most of the enlightened people happened in India – Gautam Buddha, Mahavira, Parsunatha, Naminatha, Adinatha… a long series of enlightened people. All twenty-four enlightened masters of the Jainas… Gautam Buddha – they all happened in Bihar. Bihar has the deepest understanding and experience of enlightenment. So naturally he said, “Osho is a rascal.” But it was also his love.

He was not disturbed, because once you know that it is a joke, there is no question of any difficulty about it.

A few people simply remained silent: they neither reacted this way or that. That too is good. They were not affected by it; they simply remained themselves, as they were. “If Osho says it is enlightenment, it may be; if he says it is not, it may not be.” But it did not make any difference to them; they remained aloof and detached.

And it was a good experience to see how people react to a single idea, with their different minds. Those who were not included in the committee were angry. I received a few letters saying, “If these people have become enlightened, then why have I not become enlightened?” As if it were something…”You have given it to these people. Why have you not given it to me?”

Somebody wrote, “I have been with you longer than these people, and I am not enlightened yet. Have you forgotten me or what?” But it was good to know how people react.

Your reaction was perfectly beautiful on both ends. “If Osho says it is enlightenment, it must be” – that is a simple trust. “And if He says it is not….” Then you don’t feel any contradiction or inconsistency, you simply accept it: “If he says it is not, then it must not be.” You have transcended the world of consistencies, inconsistencies.

Love knows no contradiction.

It knows no comparison.

Each moment it is available.

Osho, Beyond Psychology, Ch 10 , Q 2

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