War will be fought in the vastness of space

Discourses Osho on War

On July 20, 1970 Osho began the Hindi discourse series Krishna: Meri Drishti Mein (कृष्ण : मेरी दृष्टि में) (Krishna: The Man and His Philosophy) at C.C.I. Chambers in Mumbai.

This excerpt shows Osho’s far-reaching vision that helps understand what is happening with man’s lust for creating wars that is spanning now even into outer space.

Osho discourse Bombay

It is so ironic that, despite our opposition to war, we have been dragged into war over and over again. First we refused to fight, then some external power attacked and occupied our country and made us into slaves, and then we were made to join our masters’ armies and fight in our masters’ wars. Wars were continuously waged, and we were continuously dragged into them. Sometimes we fought as soldiers of the Huns, then as soldiers of the Turks and the Moghuls and finally as soldiers of the British. Instead of fighting for our own life and liberty we fought for the sake of our alien rulers and oppressors. We really fought for the sake of our slavery; we fought to prolong our enslavement. We spilled our blood and gave our lives only to defend our bondage, to continue to live in servitude. This has been the painful consequence of all our opposition to violence and war.

But the Mahabharat is not responsible for it, nor is Krishna responsible. Our lack of courage to fight another Mahabharat is at the root of all our misfortunes.

Therefore I say it is really difficult to understand Krishna. It is very easy to understand a pacifist, because he has clearly chosen one side of the coin of truth. It is also easy to understand warmongers like Genghis, Tamburlaine, Hitler and Mussolini, because they believe in war as the only way of life. Pacifists like Gandhi and Russell believe that peace alone is the right way. Both doves and hawks are simplistic in their approach to life and living. Krishna is altogether different from both of them, and that is what makes him so difficult to understand. He says that life passes through both doors, through the door of peace and also through the door of war. And he says that if man wants to maintain peace, he needs to have the strength and ability to fight a war and win it. And he asserts that in order to fight a war well, it is necessary, simultaneously, to make due preparations for peace.

War and peace are twin limbs of life, and we cannot do without either of them. We will simply be lame and crippled if we try to manage with only one of our two legs. So hawks like Hitler and Mussolini and doves like Gandhi and Russell are equally crippled, lopsided, useless. How can a man walk on one leg alone? No progress is possible.

When we have men like Hitler and Gandhi, each with one leg, we find them taking turns, just like passing fashions. For a while Hitler is stage-center, and then Gandhi appears and dominates the stage. For a while we take one step with Hitler’s leg and then another step with Gandhi’s leg. So in a way they again make for a pair of legs. After Genghis, Hitler and Stalin are finished with their war and bloodshed, Gandhi and Russell begin to impress us with their talk of peace and non-violence. The pacifists dominate the scene for ten to fifteen years – enough time to tire their single leg, and necessitate the use of another. Then again, a hawk like Mao comes with a sten gun in his hands. And thus the drama is kept on going.

Krishna has his two legs intact; he is not lame. And I maintain that everyone should have both legs intact – one for peace and another for war. A person who cannot fight is certainly lacking in something. And a person who cannot fight is incapable of being rightly peaceful. And one who is incapable of being peaceful is also crippled, and will soon lose his sanity. And a restless mind is incapable of fighting, because even when one has to fight a kind of peace is needed. So even from this point of view Krishna is going to be significant for our future.

In regard to our future we need to have a very clear and decisive mind. Do we want a pacifist world in the future? If so, it will be a lifeless and lackluster world, which is neither desirable nor possible. And no one will accept it either. In fact, life goes its own way. While the doves fly in the sky, the hawks continue to prepare for war, and in the way of fashions, the pacifists will be popular for a while and then the warmongers will take their turn, becoming popular with the people. Really, the two work like partners in a common enterprise.

Krishna stands for an integrated life, a total life; his vision is wholly whole. And if we rightly understand this vision, we need not give up either. Of course, the levels of war will change. They always change. Krishna is not a Genghis; he is not fond of destroying others, of hurting others. So the levels of war will certainly change. And we can see historically how the levels of war change from time to time.

When men don’t have to fight among themselves, they gather together and begin to fight with nature. It is remarkable that the communities that developed science and technology are the same that are given to fighting wars. It is so because they possess the fighting potential. So when they don’t fight among themselves, they turn their energies towards fighting with nature.

After the Mahabharat, India ceased to fight with nature simply because she turned her back on fighting. We did nothing to control floods and droughts or to tame our rivers and mountains, and consequently we failed, utterly, to develop science and technology. We can develop science only if we fight nature. And if man continues to fight he will first discover the secrets of this earth by fighting its nature. And then he will discover the secrets of space and other planets by fighting their nature. His adventure, his campaign will never stop.

Remember, the society that fought and won a war was the first to land its men on the Moon. We could not do it; the pacifists could not do it. And the Moon is going to exert tremendous significance on war in the future. Those who own the Moon will own this Earth, because in the coming war they will set up their missiles on the Moon and conquer this earth for themselves. This Earth will cease to be the locale for war. The so-called wars that are currently being fought between Vietnam and Cambodia, between India and Pakistan, are nothing more than play-fights to keep the fools busy here. Real war has begun on another plane.

The present race for the Moon has a deeper significance. Its objective is other than what it seems to be. The power that will control the Moon tomorrow will become invulnerable on this Earth; there will be no way to challenge it. They will no longer need to send their planes to different countries to bomb them; this job will be done more easily and quickly from the Moon. They will set up their missiles on the Moon, warheads directed toward the Earth – rotating a full circle in its orbit each twenty-four hours. And that is how each country on this Earth will be available, every day, to be bombed from the Moon.

This is the secret of the great competition between the world powers to reach the Moon first. And that is why the world powers are spending enormous amounts of money on the exploration of space. America spent about two billion dollars just to land one man on the Moon. This was done not for the fun of it; there was a great objective behind this effort. The real question was, who reaches the Moon first?

This contest for space is similar to another historical contest that happened about three hundred years ago when the countries of Europe were rushing towards Asia. Merchant ships of Portugal, Spain, Holland, France and Britain were all sailing towards the countries of Asia – because occupation of Asia had become immensely important for the expansionist powers of Europe. But now it has no importance whatsoever, and so, soon after the Second World War, they left Asia. The people of Asia believe they won their freedom through their nationalist struggles, but it is only a half-truth. The other half of the truth is quite different.

In the context of the modern technology of warfare, the occupation of Asia in the old way has become meaningless; that chapter is closed forever. Now a new struggle for the conquest of lands altogether different and distant from this earth has begun. Man has raised his sights to the distant stars, to the Moon and Mars and even beyond. Now war will be fought in the vastness of space.

Life is an adventure, an adventure of energy. And people who lag behind in this adventure, for lack of energy and courage, eventually have to die and disappear from the scene. Perhaps we are such a dead people.

In this context also, Krishna’s message has assumed special significance. And it is significant not only for us, but for the whole world. In my view, the West has reached a point where it will, once again, have to wage a decisive war, which of course will not take place on the planet Earth. Even if the contestants belong to this earth, the actual operation of the war will take place elsewhere, either on the Moon or on Mars. Now there is no sense fighting a war on the Earth. If it takes place here it will result in the total destruction of both the aggressor and the aggressed. So a great war in the future will be fought and decided somewhere far away from here. And what would be the result?

In a way, the world is facing nearly the same situation India faced during the Mahabharat war. There were two camps, or two classes, at the time of the Mahabharat. One of them was out-and-out materialist; they did not accept anything beyond the body or matter. They did not know anything except the indulgence of their senses; they did not have any idea of yoga or of spiritual discipline. For them the existence of the soul did not matter in the least; for them life was just a playground of stark indulgence, of exploitation and predatory wars. Life beyond the senses and their indulgence held no importance for them.

This was the class against which the war of Mahabharat was waged. And Krishna had to opt for this war and lead it, because it had become imperative. It had become imperative so that the forces of good and virtue could stand squarely against the forces of materialism and evil, so that they were not rendered weak and impotent.

Approximately the same situation has arisen on a worldwide scale, and in twenty years’ time a full replica, a scenario of the Mahabharat will be upon us. On one side will be all the forces of materialism and on the other will be the weaker forces of good and righteousness.

Goodness suffers from a basic weakness: it wants to keep away from conflicts and wars. Arjuna of the Mahabharat is a good man. The word “arjuna” in Sanskrit means the simple, the straightforward, clean. Arjuna means that which is not crooked. Arjuna is a simple and good man, a man with a clean mind and a kind heart. He does not want to get involved in any conflict and strife; he wants to withdraw. Krishna is still more simple and good; his simplicity, his goodness knows no limits. But his simplicity, his goodness does not admit to any weakness and escape from reality. His feet are set firmly on the ground; he is a realist, and he is not going to allow Arjuna to run away from the battlefield.

Perhaps the world is once again being divided into two classes, into two camps. It happens often enough when a decisive moment comes and war becomes inevitable. Men like Gandhi and Russell will be of no use in this eventuality. In a sense they are all Arjunas. They will again say that war should be shunned at all costs, that it is better to be killed than to kill others. A Krishna will again be needed, one who can clearly say that the forces of good must fight, that they must have the courage to handle a gun and fight a war. And when goodness fights only goodness flows from it. It is incapable of harming anyone. Even when it fights a war it becomes, in its hands, a holy war. Goodness does not fight for the sake of fighting, it fights simply to prevent evil from winning.

By and by the world will soon be divided into two camps. One camp will stand for materialism and all that it means, and the other camp will stand for freedom and democracy, for the sovereignty of the individual and other higher values of life. But is it possible that this camp representing good will find a Krishna to again lead it?

It is quite possible. When man’s state of affairs, when his destiny comes to a point where a decisive event becomes imminent, the same destiny summons and sends forth the intelligence, the genius that is supremely needed to lead the event. And a right person, a Krishna appears on the scene. The decisive event brings with it the decisive man too.

It is for this also that I say Krishna has great significance for the future.

Osho, Krishna: The Man and His Philosophy, Ch 1, Q 2 (excerpt, translated from Hindi)

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