Osho on Mahatma Gandhi Death, Jawaharlal Nehru Speech
and His Love for Gandhi
Osho - The story of Mahatma Gandhi's death, and
Jawaharlal's bursting into tears on the radio, stunned the whole world.
It was not a prepared speech. He was just speaking out of his own heart,
and if tears came, what could he do? And if there was a pause, it was
not his fault but his greatness. No stupid politician could have done it
even if he had wanted to, because their secretaries would even have to
write in the prepared speech: "Now please start weeping, cry and leave a
pause so that everybody believes that it is for real."
Jawaharlal was not reading; in fact, his secretaries were
very worried. One of his secretaries, later on, after many years, became
a sannyasin. He confessed that, "We had prepared a speech but in fact he
threw it exactly in our faces and said, `You fools! Do you think I am
going to read your speech?'"
Photo details - Jawaharlal Nehru (left -first Prime
Minister of India) with Mahatma Gandhi (Right)
This man, Jawaharlal, I immediately recognized as one
of those very few people in the world at any moment who are so sensitive
and yet in a position to be useful, not just to exploit and oppress but
I told Masto, "I'm not a politician and will never be one, but I respect
Jawaharlal, not because he is the prime minister but because he can
still recognize me although I am just a potentiality. Perhaps it may
happen, or it may not happen at all, who knows? But his emphasis to you,
to protect me from the politicians, shows that he knows more than is
This incident of Masto's disappearance, with this as his last statement,
has opened many doors. I will enter at random, that is my way.
The first was Mahatma Gandhi. He was just mentioned by Jawaharlal, who
wanted to compare me-and naturally -- to the man he respected most. But
he hesitated, because he knew a little bit of me too, just a little bit,
but enough to make me a presence while he was making the statement.
Hence he hesitated. He felt as if something was not as it should be, but
could not immediately find any other name. So he finally blurted out,
"One day he can be another Mahatma Gandhi."
Masto protested on my behalf. He knew me far better than Jawaharlal.
Hundreds of times we had discussed Mahatma Gandhi and his philosophy,
and I was always against. Even Masto was a little bit puzzled why I was
so insistent against a man I had only seen twice, when I was just a
child. I will tell you the story of that second meeting. It was suddenly
interrupted, and then one never knows what comes. I never knew that this
was going to come in.
I can see the train. Gandhi was traveling, and of course he traveled
third class. But his "third class" was far better than any first class
possible. In a sixty-man compartment there was just him and his
secretary and his wife. I think these three were the only people. The
whole compartment was reserved. And it was not even an ordinary
first-class compartment, because I have never seen such a compartment
again. It must have been a first-class compartment, and not only first
class, but a special first class. Just the name plate had been changed
and it became "third class" so Mahatma Gandhi's philosophy was saved.
I was just ten. My mother -- again I mean my grandmother -- had given me
three rupees. She said, "The station is too far and you may not be back
in time for lunch, and one never knows with these trains: it may come
ten hours, twelve hours late, so please keep these three rupees." In
India in those days, three rupees was almost a treasure. One could live
comfortably for three months on them.
She had made a really beautiful robe for me. She knew I did not like
long pants; at the most I wore pyjama pants and a kurta. A kurta is a
long robe which I have always loved, and slowly slowly, the pyjama has
disappeared, only the robe remains. Otherwise one has not only divided
the upper body and the lower body, but even made different clothes for
each. Of course the higher body should have something better, and the
lower body is just to be covered, that's all.
She had made a beautiful kurta for me. It was summer and in those parts
of central India summer is really difficult because the hot air going
into the nostrils feels as if it's on fire. In fact, only in the middle
of the night can people find a little rest. It is so hot in central
India that you are continuously asking for some cold water, and if some
ice is available then it is just paradise. Ice is the costliest thing in
those parts. Naturally, because by the time it comes from the factory, a
hundred miles away, it is almost gone. It has to be rushed as quickly as
My Nani said I should go to see Mahatma Gandhi if I wanted to and she
prepared a very thin muslin robe. Muslin is the most artistic and the
most ancient fabric too, as far as clothes are concerned. She found the
best muslin. It was so thin that it was almost transparent. At that time
gold rupees had disappeared and silver rupees had taken their place.
Those silver rupees were too heavy for the poor muslin pocket. Why am I
saying it? -- because something I'm going to say would not be possible
to understand without it.
The train came as usual, thirteen hours late. Almost everybody was gone
except me. You know me, I'm stubborn. Even the station master said,
"Boy, you are something. Everybody has gone but you seem ready to stay
the whole night. There is no sign of the train and you have been waiting
since early this morning."
To come to the station at four o'clock that morning I had to leave my
house in the middle of the night. But I had not yet used those three
rupees because everybody had brought so many things with them, and they
were all so generous to a little boy who had come so far. They were
offering me fruits, sweets, cakes and everything. So there was no
question of feeling hungry. When the train finally arrived, I was the
only person there, and what a person! Just a ten-year-old boy, standing
by the side of the station master.
He introduced me to Mahatma Gandhi and said, "Don't think of him as just
a boy. The whole day I have watched him, and I have discussed many
things with him, because there was no other work. And he is the only one
who has remained. Many had come but they left long ago. I respect him
because I know he would have stayed here till the last day of existence.
He would not leave until the train arrived. And if the train had not
arrived, I don't think he would ever have left. He would have lived
Mahatma Gandhi was an old man; he called me close and looked at me. But
rather than looking at me, he looked at my pocket -- and that put me off
him forever. And he said, "What is that?"
I said, "Three rupees."
He said, "Donate them." He used to have a box with a hole in it, by his
side. When you donated, you put the rupees in the hole and they
disappeared. Of course he had the key, so they would appear again, but
for you they had disappeared.
I said, "If you have the courage, you can take them. The pocket is
there, the rupees are there, but may I ask you for what purpose you are
collecting these rupees?"
He said, "For poor people."
I said, "Then it is perfectly okay." And I myself dropped those three
rupees into his box. But he was the one to be surprised, for when I
started leaving, I took the whole box with me.
He said, "For God's sake, what are you doing? That is for the poor!"
I said, "I have heard you already, you need not bother repeating it
again. I am taking this box for the poor. There are many in my village.
Please give me the key, otherwise I will have to find a thief so that he
can open the lock. He is the only expert in that art."
He said, "This is strange...." He looked at his secretary. The secretary
was dumb, as secretaries always are, otherwise why should they be
secretaries? He looked at Kasturba, his wife, who said, "You have met
your equal. You cheat everybody, now he is taking your whole box. Good!
It is good, because I am tired of seeing that box always there, just
like a wife."
I felt sorry for that man and left the box, saying, "No, you are the
poorest man, it seems. Your secretary does not have any intelligence,
nor does your wife seem to have any love for you. I cannot take this box
away -- you keep it. But remember, I had come to see a mahatma, but I
saw only a businessman."
That was his caste. In India, baniya, "businessman," is exactly what you
mean by a Jew. India has its own Jews. They are not Jews, they are
baniyas. To me, at that age, Mahatma Gandhi appeared to be only a
businessman. I have spoken against him thousands of times because I
don't agree with anything in his philosophy of life. But the day he was
shot dead -- I was seventeen -- my father caught me weeping.
He said, "You, and weeping for Mahatma Gandhi? You have always been
arguing against him." My whole family was Gandhian, they had all gone to
jail for following his politics. I was the only black sheep, and they
were, of course, all pure white. Naturally he asked, "Why are you
I said, "I am not only weeping but I want to participate in the funeral.
Don't waste my time because I have to catch the train and this is the
last one that will get there on time."
He was even more astonished; he said, "I can't believe it, have you gone
I said, "We will discuss that later on. Don't be worried, I will be
And do you know that when I reached Delhi, Masto was on the platform
waiting for me. He said, "I thought that however much you are against
Gandhi, you still have a certain regard for the man. That is only my
feeling." He then said, "It may or may not be so, but I depended on it.
And this is the only train that passes through your village. If you were
to come, I knew you would have to be on this train, otherwise you would
not be coming. So I came to receive you, and my feeling was right."
I said to him, "If you had spoken before about my feeling for Gandhi, I
would not have argued with you, but you were always trying to convince
me, and then it is not a question of feeling, it is pure argument.
Either you win, or the other fellow wins. If you had mentioned only once
that it is a question of feeling, I would not have even touched that
subject at all, because then there would have been no argument."
Particularly -- just so that it is on the record -- I want to say to you
that there were many things about Mahatma Gandhi that I loved and liked,
but his whole philosophy of life was absolutely disagreeable to me. So
many things about him that I would have appreciated remained neglected.
Let us put the record right.
I loved his truthfulness. He never lied; even though in the very midst
of all kinds of lies, he remained rooted in his truth. I may not agree
with his truth, but I cannot say that he was not truthful. Whatsoever
was truth to him, he was full of it.
It is a totally different matter that I don't think his truth to be of
any worth, but that is my problem, not his. He never lied. I respect his
truthfulness, although he knows nothing of the truth -- which I am
continuously forcing you to take a jump into.
He was not a man who could agree with me: "Jump before you think." No,
he was a businessman. He would think a hundred times before taking a
single step out of his door, what to say of a jump. He couldn't
understand meditation, but that was not his fault. He never came across
a single Master who could have told him something about no-mind, and
there were such people alive at the time.
Even Meher Baba once wrote a letter to Gandhi not exactly that he
himself wrote; somebody must have written it for him, because he never
spoke, never wrote, just made signs with his hands. Only a few people
were able to understand what Meher Baba meant. His letter was laughed at
by Mahatma Gandhi and his followers, because Meher Baba had said, "Don't
waste your time in chanting `Hare Krishna, Hare Rama.' That is not going
to help at all. If you really want to know, then inform me and I will
They all laughed; they thought it was arrogance. That's how ordinary
people think, and naturally it looks like arrogance. But it is not, it
is just compassion -- in fact, too much compassion. Because it is too
much, it looks like arrogance. But Gandhi refused by telegram saying,
"Thank you for your offer, but I will follow my own way"... as if he had
a way. He had none.
But there are a few things about him that I respect and love -- his
cleanliness. Now, you will say, "Respect for such small things...?" No,
they are not small, particularly in India, where saints, so-called
saints, are expected to live in all kinds of filth. Gandhi tried to be
He was the cleanest ignorant man in the world. I love his cleanliness. I
also love that he respected all religions. Of course, my reasons and his
are different, but at least he respected all religions. Of course for
the wrong reasons, because he did not know what truth is, so how could
he judge what was right? -- whether any religions were right; whether
all were right, or whether any ever could be right. There was no way.
Again, he was a businessman, so why irritate anybody? Why annoy them?
They are all saying the same thing, the KORAN, the TALMUD, the BIBLE,
the GITA, and he was intelligent enough -- remember the "enough," don't
forget it -- to find similarities in them, which is not a difficult
thing for any intelligent, clever person. That's why I say "intelligent
enough," but not truly intelligent. True intelligence is always
rebellious, and he could not rebel against the conventional, the
traditional, the Hindu or the Christian or the Buddhist.
You will be surprised to know that there was a time when Gandhi
contemplated becoming a Christian because they serve the poor more than
any other religion. But he soon became aware that their service is just
a facade for the real business to hide behind. The real business is
converting people. Why? -- because they bring power. The more people you
have, the more power you have.
If you can convert the whole world to be either Christian or Jew or
Hindu, then of course, those people will have more power than anybody
ever had before. Alexanders will fade out in comparison. It is a power
The moment Gandhi saw it -- and I say again, he was intelligent enough
to see it -- he changed his idea of becoming a Christian. In fact, being
a Hindu was far more profitable in India than being a Christian. In
India, Christians are only one percent, so what political power could he
It was good that he remained a Hindu, I mean for his mahatmahood; but he
was clever enough to manage and even influence Christians like C.F.
Andrews, and Jainas, Buddhists, and Mohammedans like the man who became
known as "the frontier Gandhi."
This man, who is still alive, belongs to a special tribe, Pakhtoons, who
live in the frontier
province of India. Pakhtoons are really beautiful
people, dangerous too. They are Mohammedans, and when their leader
became a follower of Gandhi, naturally they followed. Mohammedans of
India never forgave "frontier Gandhi" because they thought he had
betrayed their religion.
I'm not concerned whether he fulfilled or betrayed, what I am saying is
that Gandhi himself had first thought of becoming a Jaina. His first
guru was a Jaina, Shrimad Rajchandra;
Hindus still feel hurt that he
touched the feet of a Jaina.
Gandhi's second master -- and Hindus will be even more offended -- was
Ruskin. It was Ruskin's great book, UNTO THIS LAST, that changed
Gandhi's life. Books can do miracles. You may not have heard of the
book, UNTO THIS LAST. It is a small pamphlet, and Gandhi was going on a
journey when a friend gave it to him to read on the way because he had
liked it very much. Gandhi kept it, not really thinking to read it, but
when there was time enough he thought, "Why not at least look into the
book?" And that book transformed him.
That book gave him his whole philosophy. I am against his philosophy,
but the book is great. Its philosophy is not of any worth, but Gandhi
was a junk-collector. He would find junk even in beautiful places. There
is a type of person, you know, who even if you take them to a beautiful
garden they suddenly come upon a place and show you something that
should not be. Their approach is negative. And then there is a type of
person who will collect only thorns -- junk-collectors; they call
themselves collectors of art.
If I had read that book as Gandhi did, I would not have come to the same
conclusion. It is not the book that matters, it is the man who reads,
chooses and collects. His collection would be totally different although
we may have visited the same place. To me, his collection would be just
worthless. I don't know, and nobody knows, what he would think about my
collection. As far as I know, he was a very sincere man. That's why I
cannot say whether he would say, the way I am saying, "All his
collection is junk." Perhaps he may, or perhaps he may not have said it
-- that's what I love in the man. He could appreciate even that which
was alien to him and tried his best to remain open, to absorb.
He was not a man like Morarji Desai, who is completely closed. I
sometimes wonder how he breathes, because at least your nose has to be
open. But Mahatma Gandhi was not the same type of man as Morarji Desai.
I disagree with him, and yet I know he has a few small qualities worth
His simplicity... nobody could write so simply and nobody could make so
much effort just to be simple in his writing. He would try for hours to
make a sentence more simple, more telegraphic. He would reduce it as
much as possible, and whatsoever he thought true, he tried to live it
That it was not true is another matter, but about that what could he do?
He thought it was true. I pay him respect for his sincerity, and that he
lived it whatsoever the consequences. He lost his life just because of
With Mahatma Gandhi, India lost its whole past, because never before was
anybody in India shot dead or crucified. That had not been the way of
this country. Not that they are very tolerant people, but just so
snobbish, they don't think anybody is worth crucifying... they are far
With Mahatma Gandhi India ended a chapter, and also began a chapter. I
wept, not because he had been killed -- because everybody has to die,
there is not much in it. And it is better to die the way he died, rather
than dying on a hospital bed -- particularly in India. It was a clean
and beautiful death in that way. And I am not protecting the murderer,
Nathuram Godse. He is a murderer, and about him I cannot say, "Forgive
him because he did not know what he was doing." He knew exactly what he
was doing. He cannot be forgiven. Not that I am hard on him, just
I had to explain all this to my father later on, after I came back. And
it took me many days because it is really a complicated relationship
between me and Mahatma Gandhi. Ordinarily, either you appreciate
somebody or you don't; it is not so with me -- and not only with Mahatma
I'm really a stranger. I feel it every moment. I can like a certain
thing about a person, but at the same time, there may be something
standing by the side of it which I hate, and I have to decide, because I
cannot cut the person in two.
I decided to be against Mahatma Gandhi, not because there was nothing in
him that I could have loved -- there was much, but much more was there
which had far-reaching implications for the whole world. I had to decide
to be against a man I may have loved if -- and that "if" is almost
unbridgeable -- if he had not been against progress, against prosperity,
against science, against technology. In fact, he was against almost
everything for which I stand: more technology and more science, and more
richness and affluence.
I am not for poverty, he was. I am not for primitiveness, he was. But
still, whenever I see even a small ingredient of beauty, I appreciate
it; and there were a few things in that man which are worth
He had an immense capacity to feel the pulse of millions of people
together. No doctor can do it; even to feel the pulse of one person is
very difficult, particularly a person like me. You can try feeling my
pulse, you will even lose your pulse, or if not the pulse, then at least
the purse, which is even better.
Gandhi had the capacity to know the pulse of the people. Of course, I am
not interested in those people, but that is another thing. I'm not
interested in thousands of things; that does not mean that those who are
genuinely working, intelligently reaching to some depth, are not to be
appreciated. Gandhi had that capacity, and I appreciate it. I would have
loved to meet him now, because when I was only a ten-year-old lad, all
that he could get from me were those three rupees. Now I could have
given him the whole paradise, but that was not to happen, at least in
Source - Osho Book "Glimpses of a Golden Childhood"
Related Osho Discourses:
Osho on Mahatma Gandhi
and His Life
Osho on Indian First Prime
Minister Jawaharlal Nehru
Osho on Indian First Prime
Minister Jawaharlal Nehru Death
Osho on Gandhi Life and
Philosophy - Gandhi was a businessman
Osho on Mahatma Gandhi and Rules in the
Mahatma Gandhi Ashram
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