The madhouse on the India-Pakistan border

1001 Tales told by the Master

Osho speaks on the meaninglessness of boundaries and nations: “It is a mad world. All boundaries are absolute nonsense. Anything that divides man from man is inhuman, uncivilized, uncultured.”

Pakistan India border

I have told you a story…

When India was divided into two nations, India and Pakistan, a rumor was heard that there was a madhouse just on the boundary. Neither India nor Pakistan was interested to take the madhouse. But something had to be done. It had to go somewhere.

Finally, the chief superintendent of the madhouse called all the mad people and asked them, “Do you want to go to India?”

They said, “No, we are perfectly happy here.”

The superintendent said, “You will be here. Don’t be worried about that. Just tell me – do you want to go to India?”

They all looked at each other and they said, “People think we are mad! Something has gone wrong with our superintendent. If we are going to be here, then the question does not arise of going to India. Why should we go to India?”

The superintendent was in a difficulty how to explain to these insane people. He said, “Then, would you like to go to Pakistan?”

They said, “No, not at all. We are perfectly happy here. Why should we go anywhere?”

He again tried to explain to them that, “You will be here, whether you choose India or Pakistan. You are not going anywhere.”

Then they said, “It seems to be very strange. If we are not going anywhere, then why should we even be asked about it? We are here.”

It was impossible to convince them that it is not a question of physically moving to India or Pakistan. It is a political question: “Under which country, within which boundary do you want to remain?”

Finally it was decided by the officials that the madhouse should also be divided into two parts. One will be in India, one will be in Pakistan. They raised a huge wall, just dividing the whole madhouse in two.

And I have heard that the mad people still climb up on the wall, talk to the people on the other side and say, “We cannot figure it out. We are here, you are here, but you have gone to Pakistan and we have gone to India – just because they have raised this wall. And the strangest thing of all is that they think we are mad.”

It is a mad world. All boundaries are absolute nonsense. Anything that divides man from man is inhuman, uncivilized, uncultured. But nobody asks whether nations are a fiction, and because you never ask, you start believing in the reality of nations. Then arise questions of responsibility towards the nation. You even have to sacrifice your life for the nation, which is a fiction. No such thing exists anywhere, no India, no Germany, no Japan, no America. It is a single planet, one humanity.

But because of the fiction, people go on killing each other. Real people are killed for an unreal idea. Responsibility towards the nation has been the cause of all the wars. If all those people who had gone to the wars had refused: “We are not going to kill anybody for a fiction and we are not going to be killed for a fiction,” there would have been no wars, no politicians. The world would have been a peaceful, beautiful place to live in.

For centuries we have done nothing else except fight, except kill. Our only profession seems to be war. Sometimes we fight, and sometimes we prepare for a future fight. But all the time we are engaged in a single profession, that of murderers, because we have been taught a stupid idea: responsibility towards your nation, responsibility towards your religion. All the religions have been teaching that your life is not more valuable than your religion. It is such a strange idea. All these things should be for man, not vice versa. A religion exists to help man, not to destroy man. But all religions have been destroying man, none has been helping.

They say, “It is your responsibility, if your religion is in trouble or if your religion is trying to conquer bigger territories, to acquire more people, it is your responsibility to sacrifice.” It reminds me of the primitive religions, because it is a relic of those days. In the ancient book of the Hindus, Rigveda, they sacrificed to a fictitious God. Nobody has seen him, nobody has any idea what you mean by the very word. There exists no proof, no evidence, no witness. But for that unreal, fictitious God, which is just a hypothesis, even men were sacrificed before a stone statue – a statue that you have made.

Osho, Sat Chit Anand, Ch 30, Q 1 (excerpt)

Series compiled by Shanti
All excerpts of this series can be found in: 1001 Tales

Comments are closed.