Osho and indulging desires
dwaite at INTERALPHA.CO.UK
Mon Aug 18 14:22:11 CDT 1997
On Sat, 16 Aug 1997 16:06:55, Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian wrote a diatribe
about Osho's supposed urging that we indulge our desires:-
>1. It cannot be satisfied by indulging because no one can get all the
>women he wants.
>2. Even if he did, some woman he is not with right now would be more
>attractive and the process continues.
>3. Since there are about 1/2 a billion women in the world and time is
>limited to about 100 years (max) such a thing is not possible.
>4. Even if the desire for women is completely satisfied, some other
>desire would crop up, after all there are infinite number of desires.
>What does one do if some desires which cannot be satisfied crop up?
>Suppose a man feels that shooting whoever he feels like is very
>desirable. Is it your proposal that he go about shooting people till he
>is sated? Don't give me reasonings like it cannot occur. It does for
>some people at least and we can see it in the newspapers.
>Ergo, the above reasoning of Osho sounds good, but cannot work.
......and more of the same.
I admire Ramakrishnan's scholarship but find it difficult to accept his
claim that "PS: I wrote the above in an objective manner. If if it offended
anyone, I apologize once again. Please send me mail if it offended you.",
when he says such things as:-
>But then, if Osho-Om-Rajneesh were to tell that to his fat, middle-aged,
>rich, male disciples they would've laughed and been on their way.
>Instead providing them with unrestricted access to young women and they
>providing him with Rolls-Royces is a very comfortable arrangement
>indeed. Based on this I wouldn't call Rajneesh a philosopher but a
>member of another profession.
I am not offended but would question the objectivity. I find it a pity that
all of this judging is going on based upon unreliable, ususally antagonistic
press reports, rather than on a simple reading of what he says.
Below is a short sample of what he said about desire, pulled from his main
It is time for you to stop seeking outside yourself for that which would
make you happy. Look inside.
There is a very famous Sufi story.
An emperor was coming out of his palace for his morning walk when he met a
beggar. He asked the beggar, "What do you want?"
The beggar laughed and said, "You are asking as if you can fulfill my desire!"
The king was offended. He said, "Of course I can fulfill your desire. What
is it? You just tell me."
And the beggar said, "Think twice before you promise anything."
The beggar was no ordinary beggar, he was the emperor's past-life Master.
And he had promised in that life, "I will come and try to wake you in your
next life. This life you have missed, but I will come again." But the king
had forgotten completely--who remembers past lives? So he insisted, "I will
fulfill anything you ask. I am a very powerful emperor; what can you
possibly desire that I cannot give to you?"
The beggar said, "It is a very simple desire. You see this begging bowl? Can
you fill it with something?"
The emperor said, "Of course!" He called one of his viziers and told him,
"Fill this man's begging bowl with money." The vizier went and got some
money and poured it into the bowl . . . and it disappeared. And he poured
more and more, and the moment he would pour it, it would disappear. And the
begging bowl remained always empty.
The whole palace gathered. By and by the rumor went throughout the capital,
and a huge crowd gathered. The prestige of the emperor was at stake. He said
to his viziers, "If the whole kingdom is lost I am ready to lose it, but I
cannot be defeated by this beggar."
Diamonds and pearls and emeralds . . . his treasuries were becoming empty.
That begging bowl seemed to be bottomless. Everything that was put into
it--everything!--immediately disappeared, went out of existence. Finally it
was evening, and people were standing there in utter silence. The king
dropped at the feet of the beggar and admitted his defeat. He said, "Just
tell me one thing. You are victorious--but before you leave, just fulfill my
curiosity. What is this begging bowl made of?"
The beggar laughed and said, "It is made of the human mind. There is no
secret . . . it is simply made of human desire."
This understanding transforms life. Go into one desire-what is the mechanism
of it? First there is great excitement, great thrill, adventure. You feel a
great kick. Something is going to happen, you are on the verge of it. And
then you have the car, you have the yacht, you have the house, you have the
woman . . . and suddenly all is meaningless again.
What happens? Your mind has dematerialized it. The car is standing in the
drive, but there is no excitement any more. The excitement was only in
getting it . . . you became so drunk with the desire that you forgot your
inner nothingness. Now--the desire fulfilled, the car in the drive, the
woman in your bed, the money in your bank account--again excitement
disappears. Again the emptiness is there, ready to eat you up. Again you
have to create another desire to escape from this yawning abyss.
That's how one goes on moving from one desire to another desire. That's how
one remains a beggar. Your whole life proves it again and again--every
desire frustrates. And when the goal is achieved you will need another desire.
The day you understand that desire as such is going to fail comes the
turning point in your life.
The other journey is inwards. Move inwards, come back home.
I don't think he is saying anything different from what you are, is he
Ramakrishnan? Nor is he saying anything at odds with advaita is he, Jaldhar?
The only thing is, he is making use of an attention catching and
illustrative story to get the point across; far more entertaining that the
dry facts of the sruti or the straight scholarly approach. Personally, I am
all in favour of this.
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