Osho on Somerset Maugham and Ramana Maharshi
Osho - It happened that one very famous english novelist, Somerset Maugham, came to India and went to see Ramana Maharshi, a great sage. Maugham was a man of rational outlook -- he had gone there just out of curiosity; he had no religious search as such, no spiritual quest. He was staying in the ashram taking his breakfast, and suddenly Ramana himself came. He was going to see Ramana in the place where he used to sit for many years, but Ramana, hearing that Somerset Maugham had come -- somebody told him -- said, 'Okay, I am going to see him!'
He came so suddenly that Somerset Maugham could not believe that Ramana Maharshi himself had come. The shock was so sudden, and the impact was so great that he fell in a swoon... he became unconscious!
Now in the whole ashram Ramana's coming was thought to be a great blessing -- it was rare that he should come to see a guest... and then this happening that Somerset fell in a swoon and became unconscious. So the whole ashram gathered and people started singing and were very joyous; they started dancing.
They thought -- and it was right -- that under Ramana's impact, Maugham had moved into samadhi, into deep meditation. And that's exactly what had happened. But when Somerset Maugham came back he could not believe what was going on. He said, 'This is nothing -- no meditation, nothing. It is just because I was tired and because it is too hot -- that's why I fell into unconsciousness.'
He found this rationalisation: too hot, tired from the journey. And when he wrote an article about his visit, he wrote this: 'People are foolish there! Just out of tiredness and too much heat I had fallen unconscious, and they thought that I had entered some samadhi because of Ramana's blessings or his presence. This is absurd! And I deny it!'
I know that when he is denying, he is honest -- he is not dishonest. That is his explanation -- because he simply became unconscious so he did not know what happened. And when he came back this is the rationalisation that he made. That looks scientific: tired, long journey, climbing up the mountain, then too much heat, hot sun -- maybe a heat stroke or something. Any explanation would do, but this explanation that Ramana's impact.... The sun's impact is okay, the journey's impact is okay, but the presence of this sage? That is not acceptable: the rational mind cannot accept that.
And Somerset Maugham missed a great opportunity by refusing it. He could have entered into a deeper space. He became so much afraid of it; consciously he denied it, but then he became afraid. Then he escaped from the ashram -- he wouldn't stay there for long.
When he went to see Ramana to take his leave, he wouldn't enter the room. And again he found a rationalisation -- that he would have to remove his shoes, so he would take leave from the outside. You see the point? (chuckling) So from the window, standing outside the room, he took his leave. I know what fear.... And he may still not be aware that the fear is still there -- that he may fall into that unconsciousness, and then it will be too difficult, because now he is neither tired, nor it is hot, and the sun has set. Now the old explanation won't do. But the mind can play tricks. He said, 'Just to remove the shoes -- it is better that I take leave from the outside, and go.'
Source - Osho Book "The Shadow of the Whip"
Osho on famous people: Annie Besant, Alan Watts, Albert Einstein, Adolf Hitler, Confucius, Friedrich Nietzsche, George Santayana, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Machiavelli, Madame Blavatsky, Mahatma Gandhi, Marilyn Monroe, Martin Buber, Mother Teresa, Nijinsky, Shakuntala Devi, Soren Kierkegaard, Subhash Chandra Bose, Vincent van Gogh, Vinoba Bhave