Osho on Sanjay Gandhi Life and Death
Question - Osho, Please say a few words about sanjay gandhi and his death. He respected and loved you and had said to Laxmi just a week before his death that soon he will be coming to visit the ashram and to see you.
Osho - Anand Arun, Sanjay Gandhi was a beautiful person, a man of immense integrity, individuality, adventure. He lived adventurously and he died adventurously. in fact, that's how one should live and one should die. He lived dangerously. the only way to live is the way to live in danger, because it is only in moments of tremendous danger that one transcends lower planes of being.
It has been reported in the newspapers and when Vivek read she asked me how it was possible -- because dying in a plane crash his whole body was just a mess. All his bones were broken, his skull was broken, his brain had come out of the skull -- but on his face there was great peace. She was puzzled. After such a horrible death, how one's face can be peaceful?
But there is a secret in it worth understanding. When one dies on a deathbed after a prolonged disease, continuously thinking and worrying about death, the face cannot be calm and quiet; the worry, the tension, the clinging to life will be there. But when one dies suddenly, when death comes like a surprise, suddenly the mind stops.
I have been in many accidents myself and the people who have been with me in those accidents have all experienced that in the moment when the accident is actually happening the mind disappears, because the mind cannot THINK about it. There is nothing to think about it, there is no way to think about it. The mind stops because the mind can only move in the vicious circle of the known, and the unknown has entered so suddenly that the mind is absolutely incapable of figuring it out, what is happening. In a deep shock the mind stops; for a moment there is a glimpse of the no-mind.
Sanjay Gandhi died in a better death than millions of people who die in their beds after a long, long disease, because they cannot use the opportunity of death. He may not have experienced meditation while he was alive, but he must have tasted just a drop of the nectar of meditation while he was dying. Death came with such immediacy, giving no time for the mind to think about it. Such a death is a beautiful death.
Many questions have been asked to me for the past week, since he died. I had not answered them for the simple reason because people who have not meditated. people who have not been here, who have not been my sannyasins will not be able to understand what I am saying.
Vinoba Bhave said on Sanjay Gandhi's death that he died an immature death. That is absolutely wrong. He was far more mature than Morarji Desai. Chronologically he was very young, only thirty-three, but chronological age is not the real age. He had far more perceptiveness, he had far more intelligence, he had far more clarity. He lived totally, he lived each moment of his life. And it was a very natural death to him; it belonged to his very style of life.
That's why I have kept complete silence about it. Now all the people who had to say something have said, I can say my word, which is going to be absolutely different. I don't feel sad about his death. Yes, the country will miss him, but as far as he is concerned he died beautifully. The country has lost a great opportunity in him because he was a promise, a great hope, because he had the guts to go against the traditional, orthodox mind of this country. He was a man of steel -- he could have fought against conventions, and he was learning how to fight. And he was succeeding. Slowly slowly his grip on the events was growing better every day.
The country has certainly lost an immense opportunity of becoming contemporary. He was a contemporary man; he had no hangovers from the past, he did not believe in the past. But as far as he himself is concerned he could not have died in a better way. This death is a logical conclusion to his whole life.
If dying at the age of thirty-three inevitably means immature death, then Adi Shankaracharya also died an immature death -- he was exactly thirty-three. Then Jesus also died an immature death; he was exactly thirty-three. Then Vivekananda also died an immature death; he was also exactly thirty-three. Just living long means nothing; length has no meaning. Meaning comes from intensity. It is not a question of quantity but of quality. How long you live makes no difference. HOW you live, how deeply, how totally, how intensely, how passionately -- everything depends on that. And he certainly lived totally, intensely, passionately -- and he risked everything for it; he was not in any way a coward.
People like Sanjay Gandhi are bound to die in some
strange way. This country needs more people like Sanjay Gandhi. For
centuries this country has been a coward country. The Himalayas belong
to this country -- the greatest mountains in the world -- but for one
hundred years continuously people have come from all over the world to
climb the virgin peaks of the Himalayas. But no Indian has bothered:
Indians believe in security, comfort -- why take the risk? Many have
died in trying to climb the Everest.
Hillary said, "Just because it is there. It is a great challenge. Standing there, unconquered, it is a challenge to human spirit. It has to be conquered -- it is not a question of gaining anything. Just a challenge to the spirit of man..."
Indians can't understand this. That's why they have lived for two thousand years in slavery. They will not climb the mountains, they will not swim in the ocean they will not glide in the sky. They will move very mathematically, very calculatingly. Sanjay Gandhi was a good beginning; he was a pioneer in this way. He was always interested into adventure. He could not fit in any school, he could not fit in any conventional pattern of life. I loved the man.
We need many more people who can die in adventures. Their death raises the spirit of the people. If they live they bring new quality, new perfume to people's life; if they die, their death also brings a new fragrance. Hence I am not sad about him. I am certainly sad about the country. It is really a misfortune for the country, a great calamity, far more greater than the death of Jawaharlal Nehru, Sanjay Gandhi's grandfather, because Jawaharlal had lived his life, he had done whatsoever he wanted to do. There was nothing else that he could have done even if he had lived ten years more; he had blossomed. He was a poet, not a politician; he was also adventurous. Something of him has entered into Indira Gandhi, his daughter, and something of him was very much in the bones and the blood and the marrow of Sanjay Gandhi.
Sanjay Gandhi's death is far bigger a calamity to the country because he had yet to contribute much. He had just begun to open his petals; he had yet to become a flower. He was still a potential. Certainly he would have been a great prime minister of the country if he had lived -- he may have proved the greatest prime minister this country has known up to now -- he was showing every indication of that.
Hence, as far as the country is concerned, Anand Arun, it has been a calamity. But as far as he himself is concerned he lived beautifully, he died beautifully. And the peace that was on his face which must have looked miraculous to everybody -- not only to Vivek but to everybody... Whosoever must have seen his face must have wondered why he looked so calm and quiet and serene.
You have to understand the psychology of such accidents. The mind is very clever about day-to-day affairs; it continues its chattering. It stops only when there is some shock, something which is not digestible, which the mind cannot take in. That's, in fact, the attraction of adventure. The people who go on mountain climbing know it, what really is the attraction. The attraction is not just climbing beautiful mountains with a scenic panorama surrounding it -- that is not the point. Far deeper there is a psychology of it. When you are climbing a mountain there are thousand-and-one dangers. When you are surrounded in dangers your mind stops. You become suddenly aware. There is great alertness and a serenity. You have to take each step very carefully, consciously. That is really what meditation is all about.
In my childhood days I used to take my friends to the river. There was a small path by the side of the river. To walk on that edge was very dangerous; just one step taken in unconsciousness and you will fall into the river, and that was the place where the river was the deepest. Nobody used to go there, but that was my most loved spot. And I will take all my friends to come along with me to move on that narrow edge. Very few were ever ready to go along with me, but those few had really a beautiful experience. They will all report, "This is strange, how the mind stops!"
I will take my friends to the railway bridge to jump from the bridge into the river. It was dangerous, certainly dangerous; it was prohibited. There was always a policeman standing on the railway bridge because that was the place from where people used to commit suicide. We had to bribe the policeman, that "We are not committing suicide, we have just come to enjoy the jump!" And slowly slowly he became aware that these are the same people -- they don't die or anything, they come again, they come again and they are not interested in suicide. In fact, he started loving us and stopped taking bribes. He said, "You can jump -- I will not look at that side. Whenever you want you can come."
It was dangerous. The bridge was very high and to jump from there... And before you will reach the river there was a time between -- the gap between the bridge and the river -- when the mind will suddenly stop.
Those were my first glimpses of meditation; that's how I became more and more interested in meditation. I started inquiring how these moments can be made available without going to the mountains, to the river, to the bridges; how one can allow oneself to move into these spaces without going anywhere, just by closing one's eyes. Once you have tasted, it is not difficult.
Sanjay Gandhi died beautifully. He will be born on a far higher plane because he died in a moment when the mind was no more functioning. He died the death of a meditator without knowing what is happening. Of course it was not a conscious meditation, but still there was something of meditativeness in it. His next life will be of a higher quality. Maybe his next life will become more concerned with the INNER adventure; this life was more concerned with the outer adventure. He was an extrovert.
He wanted to come here. Many times I had been informed that he wants to come, and this time he had seen all the slides of the ashram. For two hours he was with Laxmi, with Indira, talking, inquiring, was very much interested and wanted to come. But my feeling was that this life he was more of an extrovert. But this sudden death will bring a transformation into him: he will become an introvert in his next life, and that is something of immense value.
Indira Gandhi must be in great pain. She cannot understand how we celebrate death here. She also wants to come, has been thinking for many days to come. Now she has settled that in August she will be coming, but now the death of Sanjay may again postpone her coming. She is interested in meditation, but she is, obviously, too much occupied with the world, with the problems. And this country has so many problems, almost insoluble.
I his country is in such a situation that if you solve one problem you create ten others immediately. It is a mess! If you really want to solve the problems, people go against you. She told Laxmi that, "I perfectly agree with Osho that population has to be reduced, and it can be reduced only forcibly. But we have tried and that does not work because the country is a democratic country: people become enemies, then you can't come back into power again." And whatsoever Indira and Sanjay together did in five years, Morarji Desai undid within three years. Now the problems are again the same -- or even far more worse.
China now has the greatest population in the world, but by the end of this century India will have the greatest population, because China is not a democracy and they are using every possible way to prevent the growth of population. And they are succeeding.
By the end of this century India will be the greatest populated country in the world and, of course, it will have the greatest problems -- almost impossible to solve. They can be solved right now, but to solve them means you have to fight with the people for their own sake. They will be against you. They are against me for the simple reason because whatsoever I say can be of help, but it goes against their traditions, against their conventions, against their orthodox mind.
Sanjay created more enemies in the country than friends for the simple reason that he REALLY wanted to help the country. He was far more interested in the well-being of the country than becoming a popular leader. If you want to be a popular leader you have to be a follower of your followers; you have just to say what they want to listen. He created more enemies than friends, he was the most hated person, for the simple reason because he had great dreams to help the country. And he had a clear vision -- and he was on the right track. All the idiots of the country deep down will be feeling very happy, that "It is good that he is gone!" Now they can continue living their old stupidities and superstitions.
I was shocked to know that on his funeral they were chanting Vedic mantras; that is not right. He would not have liked that at all. He was not a believer of any religion. He certainly believed in service and he believed that to serve is the only way to come closer to God -- and he was right! And they were doing all kinds of foolish things, and Indira was in such a shock that she simply looked dazed, didn't say anything. The Indian priests, the Indian priesthood, immediately took over the chants; in their hands...
And the people who were against him are now praising. People are so stupid, so unconscious, so mechanical; the!.! don't know what they go on doing. If they had supported this young man he would have been a blessing to the country. But they tried in every possible way to prevent him. There were at least hundred cases against him in the courts. He was running from one court to another court, for last three years. He has been harassed as much as anybody can be harassed, but he faced all that harassment without any strain, without any tension; he accepted it as part of his life.
If you want to change people, if you want to bring a radical change in their life, if you want to bring a revolution, you have to accept all these things as your destiny; they are inevitable. We need more people like him, particularly in this country. More young men should die climbing the mountains, flying in the sky, diving deep in the ocean, exploring the unknown -- first outwardly and then inwardly too.
My work is totally different -- it is inner -- but on the fundamentals Sanjay Gandhi would have absolutely agreed with me. I believe in adventure. Of course I am not interested that my sannyasins should go climbing the mountains because I know of far bigger mountains that are waiting inside you. And I would not encourage you to fly in the sky because there is a far bigger sky within you, far more unknown, far more unexplored, unmapped, uncharted. But the fundamental is the same.
The quality of adventure to me is a religious quality, it is a spiritual quality. Whether you use it outwardly or inwardly, it doesn't matter. But I love all adventurous people, and I love all those who are courageous enough to live in insecurity -- and he lived in insecurity -- and of course, in insecurity you are always living with death. That's what insecurity means: that each moment of life is also a moment of death.
Anand Arun, you ask me to say few words on Sanjay Gandhi and his death. Death is an illusion, death never happens -- only the form changes. And because we become too much identified with the form, that's why we feel so miserable. To know that you are not the body, not the mind, is to know that there is no death, that you are eternal. Everybody is part of eternity.
There are only two illusions in the world, and they are not really two but two aspects of the same illusion. One is ego, which is false; it gives you the false idea that, "I am separate from existence." And out of this illusion arises the second illusion -- the illusion of death. You are not separate from existence, hence how can you die? The wave is not separate from the ocean; it cannot die either. Yes, sometimes it manifests and sometimes it rests and goes into unmanifestation. There is no death, Anand Arun, remember it. But I am not saying to believe in me; I would like you to experience it. There is no death. There is only life and life eternal.
Source - Osho Book "Tao: The Golden Gate, Vol 2"
Osho on famous people: Annie Besant, Alan Watts, Albert Einstein, Adolf Hitler, Confucius, Friedrich Nietzsche, George Santayana, Karl Marx, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Machiavelli, Madame Blavatsky, Mahatma Gandhi, Marilyn Monroe, Martin Buber, Mother Teresa, Nijinsky, Shakuntala Devi, Somerset Maugham, Soren Kierkegaard, Vincent van Gogh, Vinoba Bhave, Werner Erhard