Saturday, May 18, 2013

From ‘The Ultimate Iconoclast. Understanding Rajneesh Osho's Revolutionary and 'Dangerous' Ideas’ by Dr Kuldip Kumar Dhiman

Kabira jab ham paida huye, jag hasa ham roye,
Aisi karni kar chalo, ham hasen jag roye
(Sayeth Kabir, when I was born I cried and world rejoiced,
Do such deeds that as I die, the world cries while I rejoice)

At times he appears to be a fool, at times a wise man, at times with all the majesty of a king, at times like a misguided person, at times blissful, at times quiet like a motionless python; At times honoured, at times disgraced, often wandering unknown, Thus lives an enlightened person in everlasting supreme bliss

- Sankaracarya, Vivekacudamani

Regarding his Rolls-Royces, he responded typically, saying that a Rolls-Royce was a perfect vehicle for meditation; one would find it very difficult to meditate in a bullock cart. Not many got it, but Rajneesh was actually making fun of both the East and the West. His Rolls-Royces were not only a practical joke on Western consumerism, but also on Indians who think that to be spiritual one has to be necessarily poor.

Different people need different approaches to be provoked, to be awakened …. Buddha called such methods kusala upaya. What is being said need not be actually true, but if it is useful in teaching the truth, it is justified.

……he reminded listeners repeatedly that although language may be very powerful tool, it has severe limitations. ….it is difficult to convey certain experiences in language, and even if we manage to do so partially, the listener might not grasp them fully. … That is why, after the truth is uttered, it becomes an ‘untruth’…. Rajneesh gives a good example of how knowledge gets distorted as it is passed on. In the Bhagavadgita, Krsna is an enlightened person, he ‘knows’; he has experienced the ultimate truth himself. Now, he is trying to tell what he has experienced to Arjuna, who is an educated person but not enlightened. So Arjuna understands only a fraction of what Krsna is saying. Further, the dialogue between Krsna and Arjuna is being reported by Sanjay, who is not there on the scene at all. He is twice removed from the truth than Arjuna; therefore, by the time the truth reaches him, it becomes a lot more distorted. And Sanjay is reporting all this to Dhrtrastra, who is not only thrice removed from reality, he is also blind. How much Dhrtrastra could comprehend, we can well imagine. And five millennia later, thousands of other blind Dhrtrastras are trying to understand the dialogue with the aid of various commentaries and interpretations at our disposal. People have changed, times have changed, and the context has changed. How much of the original message of Krsna we can actually understand could well be imagined.

Mahavira held that reality is so complex tht there can be several views about it; however, no view can fully capture it. All assertions or negations are, therefore, conditional; and there is no need to be dogmatic about a particular view. When someone came to Mahavira with a question, he would give not one but seven answers. If you pointed to a simple object like a pot and asked him what it was, he would say:

Perhaps it is
Perhaps it is not
Perhaps it is and is not
Perhaps it is inexpressible
Perhaps it is and is inexpressible
Perhaps it is not and is inexpressible
Perhaps it is, is not and is inexpressible

This view is called Syadvada, and it is in sharp contrast to Aristotelian logic, which says with certainty that A is A, and A is not B. …..He felt that Mahavira was perfectly right, but he was of not much use to the common man because Syadvada leaves the seeker more confused than he already was.

Although Sankaracarya called the entire creation an illusion, maya, it does not mean, as many wrongly conclude, that the external world does not exist. It only means that we do not see the world as it is; we see fit the way our mind interprets it. The worled of a child is different from the world of old people. When we are in love, we find everything beaufiful, and when we are heartbroken, we find nothing beautiful. We all live in a world of our own creation although the external reality is the same for all. ‘The mind is a wall around you. You are enclosed in it as a prisnor. But the wall is transparent. It is a glass wall made of only thoughts, prejudices, theories, scriptures; that’s why you cannot touch it, that’s why you are not even aware of it. But you live behind it, and whatsoever you see and feel is not the fact. It is an interpretation.’

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