Since beginning, I have been a worshipper of heroism, a lover of valor, the worshipper of courage, the worshipper of a love, which can meet any challenge head-on without hesitation or fear, the worshipper of that martial spirit which knows not how to bow to cowardice and fear, to tyranny and injustice, whatever price it has to pay.
In this journey of heroism, I got inspired by many heroes starting from Bhagat Singh, Azad, Bismil, Khudiram, Subhas Chandra Bose to Vivekananda, Gandhi & Osho. Every hero taught me something which was unique and uplifting. A synthesis of their collective influences is present in me to an exceptionally deep extent.
Of late, Rajneesh’s teachings guided much of my thinking and insights, much of my own values & principles. My first interaction with Rajneesh’s teachings was in class 11, when I read one of his books ‘Bharat – Kucch Jalte Prasna” (India – Some burning questions), in which he talked with exceptional clarity about the shortcomings of Indian culture, like deeply ingrained political unconsciousness and selfishness in Indians – a stupid conditioning that politics is something which is not for good people and a stupid conditioning of each one for him/herself, either for his/her salvation or his/her materialistic desires – an utter lack of collective consciousness, unity and organization among Indians for millenium. A culture of cowardice and fatalism.
These words may not be relished by many people, who might think otherwise about Indian culture. But, I do agree with him on these points.
By reading his first book itself, I realized his words were fire, which will alter the thinking of many people permanently. In 10 pages of that book, he described that political unconsciousness is part of India’s heritage. India was never a nation in true sense, but a crowd of people living just for themselves and their families. Of course, eventually, in other books, he talked about a world without any nation and described the barbarous insanity of humanity, using sometimes the mask of nationalism, sometimes the mask of religion, sometimes the mask of communism and all kind of ideologies, to hide the blood-thirsty wolves present in them, to find ideological rationalizations to mask their bloody, barbaric behaviour.
He consistently asked people to cultivate awareness (pragya) and compassion (karuna), to become a light unto yourself. He has tremendous insights into the human psychology and prescribed that meditation (thoughtless awareness) only can save the humanity from misery and agonies created by its own habitual barbarism and madness.
He talked about respecting and promoting individual’s freedom by recognizing that every individual is unique (nature never does produce exactly same two individuals) and needs sufficient freedom and space to flower in a way which suits him/her the most and allows him/her to contribute to existence in his/her own unique way.
He talked about bringing a revolution which will promote political consciousness across the globe so that people with high consciousness feel encouraged to join the political stream, in order to use the vast powers of politics for upliftment of humanity.
He talked about destroying caste-system from India – to undo the foolishness of old generations who practised & perpetuated caste-system as if it is something which is divine, instead of being ugly – the blood-sucking parasites and barbarians of India, the priests and kings who were most cunning, mean and crooked, became so-called high caste and common man was deprived of all avenues for religious and secular education, reduced to the status of animals and eventually India lost all her shine and vitality, becoming a slave of all and sundry for thousands of years.
The women have always been treated as second-class citizens not only in other parts of the world, but in this country of Sitas and Madalasa also, in this country of Buddhas and Mahaviras also. The religious murder of women through sati and religious prostitution through dev-dasi, have been promoted in India by these parasite priests for thousands of years: what a barbarism! And yet, these parasites, who were worse than animals on plane of consciousness, dared to call themselves brahmins, which means, one who is established in the highest level of consciousness. A day will come when caste will get totally uprooted from India – that will be the most proper justice to those who were suppressed under the tyranny of caste-system and the most proper respect to true brahmins (enlightened sages) of India.
Rajneesh’s vision is a world where one is first and foremost a human being, where humanity is our first and foremost identity and no other identity, which degrades our humanity and stands as walls between us, will be allowed to exist in this world. He gave a clarion call to reject all labels, which divides us.
He called upon us to undo the injustices of past meted to women. His first sannyasin was a woman and he did it deliberately, as a redressal of huge injustices meted to womankind. To undo the dark heritage of humanity, where women were mere property of husband rather an individual being, deserving all respect and freedom that every individual being deserves. To undo the dark culture of this country, where females were burnt alive on funeral pyres after their husbands’ death and husbands were allowed to marry again after their wives’ death. To redress the wrongs of this country, where widows’ life was a curse for even their so-called own family members, their own brothers and sisters-in-law and widowers used to merrily marry again with gleeful consent of their families. To remove the dark, barbarism of female foeticide. To remove that barbarism, which makes people dance, sing and beat drums when a male child is born and make them depressed and frustrated when a female child is born. To destroy the cultural and religious disease among mentally retarded people which make them feel that their progeny can be sustained only through a male child and not through a female child, which make them think, that only by begetting a male child, they are going to get salvation and happiness in the hereafter. To create a world where there is such a gender equality that no sister feels it a curse to be born as a female. To create a world, where everyone, whether male or female, develops both positive masculine qualities of firmness, decisiveness, determination, courage and assertiveness as well as develop positive feminine qualities of softness, patience, compassion and lovingness and thus become a complete human being.
His vision is to unite East and West, Male and Female qualities in both individuals and institutions. His vision is to unite Science and Spirituality, to unite Sannyasin with the world.
Many parts of his vision will be carried out by Sarvodaya Mission and Sarvodaya Sannyasa.
Let us read his thoughts and learn from them. We may reject whatever our own intelligence and moral principles, born out of our own awareness, commands us to reject in his/her teachings and accept whatever own intelligence and moral principles, born out of our own awareness, commands us to accept. He himself believed and practised this with respect to all thinkers and sages of the past and he himself promoted this spirit of independent thinking. And this is what everyone must do – follow one’s own intelligence and awareness, wherever it leads ourselves to, with full readiness to learn from one’s own and others’ experiences as well as readiness to gladly accept the challenges and sacrifices that this courageous way of living would entail upon us.
I am glad that in the long and arduous journey of this movement, many of us will be able to find highly uplifting and accurate guidance and inspiration from Rajneesh.