#Osho on #Mahatma #Gandi ’s life and #Philosophy (part ii)

Posted: March 10, 2011 in Articles, Other collections
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In Mahatma Gandhi’s ashram tea was prohibited. You could not drink tea. You could not smoke, you could not play cards, you could not do this, you could not do that — small things. And he forced people to do these things.

Because somebody just likes a cup of tea in the morning, he would have to hide — close the doors and prepare a cup of tea. And others would be watching and trying to find out why he closes the doors in the morning, why he is keeping a stove in his room. And when he is out somebody may search and find some tea leaves. And he is exposed and brought before Gandhi as a criminal — that he has been hiding tea leaves. Every morning he has been closing his doors, and one knows not what he was doing with the tea. What can you do with tea? At the most you can drink tea! What else can you do?

And slowly there were factions — somebody else was also doing it — and those who were in favor of tea would become a party: "Alone we cannot exist, we have to fight." Those who were smokers would become a party. And what would Gandhi do? He was a masochistic person. He would not punish those people, he would go on a fast unto death. Why? — because those people are drinking tea!

But why are you going on a fast unto death? His logic was, "There must be something still incomplete in my being a master; otherwise, how can it happen that my disciples disobey me? So to purify myself, I am going on a fast unto death till I am purified. I am not going to stop my fast."

And naturally, the poor people who are drinking tea or smoking cigarettes would think, "Now his death will be on our heads," so they would go and they would say, "We bow down to you and we promise that we will never look at tea; we will never touch a cigarette — smoking is far away — but please stop this fast unto death."

And he would harass the whole ashram for three or four days. And from all over India wires and telegrams would come — "This is stupid that disciples should do such a thing; they should give an apology." And they were giving apologies the whole day. From morning to evening they were sitting there saying, "Forgive us! This is the last time — never again I will see tea! But stop this fast." And finally, after three or four days he would stop the fast. But he had tortured them, he had condemned them all over the whole country.

Love was prohibited. His own secretary, a very talented man… Many people have written on Gandhi, but the two books that Pyarelal has written are just the best. They are big volumes; perhaps each volume is twelve hundred pages. Pyarelal fell in love. Now, love is not something that you can prevent. One comes to know only when one has fallen. It is not that it comes with a signal ahead that, "Beware! I am coming! If you are a Gandhian, escape!" It comes so slowly that you never know you are falling in love. One day, suddenly you become aware, "My God, I have fallen in love." Now that was the greatest crime.

Pyarelal was his secretary… but he was turned out of the ashram in a very disgraceful way, and condemned all over India — for nothing, because he had fallen in love with a young woman. They both were young, and there was nothing wrong in it.

Then his own son, Devadas, fell in love, and that was even more of a problem for Gandhi. Certainly he is impure: his own son falling in love! Devadas fell in love with the daughter of another great Indian leader, Rajagopalachari. And the daughter was pregnant, so throwing them out was not the right thing; they had to be married, and they were not of the same caste. And Gandhi, who was saying his whole life that castes should disappear, there should be no castes — now he was disturbed that his son is going to be married to someone of a different caste.

Rajagopalachari was of the same age as Mahatma Gandhi, and he became the first governor-general of India after Mountbatten left. But Gandhi was the most cunning politician.
Rajagopalachari was not a follower of Gandhi — although he was in the party of Gandhi — but he was of the same age and had his own standing. In South India he was supreme, so Gandhi could not make rules for him. Rajagopalachari would come to visit his daughter and he would drink tea and he would smoke in the ashram — and then Gandhi would not go on a fast.
Somebody asked, "Why don’t you fast unto death now?"
He said, "He is not my disciple. I am not concerned with him. And when he leaves we will clean the room" — and cleaning the room meant whitewashing the wall, putting cow dung on the floor. Cow dung is the purest thing: it purifies every sin! And what sins? — just drinking tea and smoking a cigar.

But Gandhi could not prevent Rajagopalachari because he was now a relative, of the same standing, and politically he was also very powerful. But he took revenge with that man by making him the first governor-general. Everybody thought that Gandhi was being partial, making his own relative, his son’s father-in-law, the first governor-general, while there were more important, intelligent people more devoted to the freedom of the country. They thought that Gandhi was being partial, but politics is such an affair that you never know the whole story unless it comes to its end.

Gandhi made Rajagopalachari the first governor-general knowingly so that he could not become the first prime minister, because that would be the real power. This was simply a transfer period of fifteen days. What could he do in fifteen days? It was just a transitory period. Britain was leaving, Mountbatten had to turn over his duties to somebody, and the Congress Party had not decided yet who was going to be the prime minister, who was going to be the deputy prime minister.

The post of governor-general was going to be finished! — because the governor-general was the representative of the British government. Mountbatten was in a hurry and Gandhi managed Rajagopalachari… Rajagopalachari was happy that he is the first — and the last — governor-general of the British empire, but he was befooled because now he could not be the prime minister. Gandhi wanted to avoid him.

Now he was the governor-general and he had to give the oath to the prime minister, to other cabinet people. He was out of the running — he was finished! Once he had given the oath to these people, to the president of India and everybody, after fifteen days he was back in South India.

But politicians can fall so low in dignity. Seeing that he had been cheated, badly cheated — otherwise he would have been the president or the prime minister… Just to be the first and last governor-general for fifteen days means nothing. He was ready to become the chief minister of a province in the south, Madras. He became the chief minister of Madras, and he agreed to it after being the governor-general of all of India. Such is the lust for power. Now that there was no chance of being the president or the prime minister — and he was very old — he was ready to become the chief minister of a small province.

In Gandhi’s ashram there was a continuous fight going on amongst the people. I know it intimately because I knew one of Gandhi’s sons, Ramdas, very closely. So once in a while when I was passing near his ashram I would meet him, or if I was nearby he would come to meet me. Gandhi was dead then. Ramdas said that it was not a joy to live in the ashram because Gandhi had been too strict about trivia. He wanted to control everybody in every possible way. He was talking of freedom and creating slavery in his own ashram.

But this has been the way of all the religions, of all the religious saints. They create slavery for themselves, and then they have the right to create slavery in their disciples — and on such small matters that one wonders about these people. Were they concerned with human growth, with consciousness, or were they just concerned about how many sets of clothes you have? If you have more than three, it is a sin. And at what time do you get up? If you don’t get up at four o’clock in the morning, it is a sin. What time you go to sleep? If you don’t go to sleep before nine, you are committing a sin. What are you eating? In every possible way…

And then naturally cliques will develop. People will find ways to manage. A few people want to play cards. There is nothing harmful in it. They are not gambling, there is no money at stake — just playing cards. But they have to hide to play cards, and if they are caught, then they will be condemned by the whole country. Gandhi managed in such a way that what was done did not remain only in the ashram, the whole country condemned them.

I am a totally different person. I want you to be absolutely free. I want you to do everything according to your own conscience, your own consciousness. There is nothing to be kept hidden. You can expose yourself without at all feeling that you will be condemned for it — because condemnation means that people will remain closed, they will not open up.

So this is a totally new experiment in the whole history of man, where freedom really means freedom — freedom to be yourself — because I cannot see how, unless you are yourself, you can trust me. If I am preventing you from being yourself I am creating a wall between me and you. I want you to be yourself, to do whatever feels right to your consciousness. Except for your consciousness, nobody is going to decide about it.
I have never thought in terms of punishment; the very idea does not exist in my vocabulary. I have always thought of how I can reward you for being so silent, so alert. And I have nothing to reward you with except my blessings. So with my blessings — under the whole sky, wherever you are — just feel that you are close to me. Get into the same space in which you get when you are close to me.

It is a question of a knack. It is not something that you have to force. Just watch carefully what happens when you are close to me. Then try it in different situations, and it will start happening away from me. And in this way — and this is the only way possible now, because if all the ugly political forces want me to be isolated from my people… and all these great powers have proved cowards, criminals. So the only way left is that whenever it is possible and you can manage, you be with me; otherwise I will be with you. Just allow me. Just have a little space in your heart for me.

And one never knows that blessings come in disguise. There were many sannyasins who were useless. There were a few who were harmful. And I am not a person to say no to anybody. It hurts me, however wrong the person may be. I have never rejected anybody, and I will never reject anybody. Whatever he has done — even against me — I will not mention it. But this has been a good opportunity to see the real faces behind the masks. So those who were harmful are exposed; those who were useless will be lost. And only the chosen few — for whom I am living, and for whom I will die — will be left with me.

Source – Osho Book "The Path of The Mystic"

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