Swami Ram Tirtha
Osho on Swami Ram Tirtha
Question - It's the brilliance and cleverness, that which thinks and judges. What is the unfamiliar? It's enlightenment, nirvana, true thusness, the buddha-nature -- where there is no thought or discrimination, where figuring and calculating cannot reach, where there's no way for you to use your mental arrangements.
Osho - Ta Hui is important for you to understand, because he is a representative of thousands of intellectuals in the world who go on deceiving themselves because they can consistently, logically, think about experiences that have not happened to them. Perhaps they are influenced by people who have actually experienced, and that impact is so great that they start believing that certainly such things happen. Then they are capable of intellectual systematizing -- and they can go on systematizing -- but underneath they don't know a thing.
These people are the theologians, these people are religious heads, these people are philosophers, these people are great professors. These people dominate humanity, and they are the wrong people -- wrong because they are dishonest, wrong because they don't accept that it is not their experience. They simply go on fabricating beautiful words and theories and creating an illusion in the minds of people that perhaps they are authentic seers, enlightened people.
I will tell you an actual incident that happened,
just at the beginning of this century. One young man, Ramateertha,
was a professor of mathematics in Lahore University, and he was
certainly a genius. He is well known for this incident -- perhaps nobody
else has done it this way... In examinations, the question paper comes
with a note, "Answer any five out of the seven questions." When he was a
student this was his consistent practice: he would answer all seven
questions with a note, "Examine any five questions."
Vivekananda was a monk and a disciple of Ramakrishna, who was an enlightened man but uneducated. Ramakrishna was not articulate enough to manage to say something about his experience, so he had chosen Vivekananda, who was a very intelligent person, from the cream of Bengal's intelligentsia. Vivekananda impressed people all over the world, wherever he went; now he had come back from America and was going around India. He came to Lahore, to the university where Ramateertha was a professor, and Ramateertha was so much impressed by Vivekananda that he wanted to be initiated by him immediately.
Vivekananda himself was just an intellectual, but a very forceful personality, a very imposing personality. He appealed to Ramateertha immediately because they were both intellectuals, so there was immediately a harmony, a synchronicity between their minds. Vivekananda initiated him into sannyas, and Ramateertha left for a world tour himself.
Ramateertha was far more articulate than Vivekananda himself, far more poetic, far more impressive... not as a personality, because Vivekananda looked like a giant -- he had a huge body -- but Ramateertha seems to have been far superior, intellectually. In particular, he was so much drowned in Persian, Arabic, and Urdu poetry, which are all unique as far as their mysticism is concerned -- they all belong to the Sufi tradition of mystics.
So Ramateertha had some new area about which Vivekananda had no knowledge. He also impressed people very much wherever he went. And the problem with the mind is that if people are impressed by you, slowly, slowly, it has a feedback effect. Because they get impressed by you, you become impressed by yourself: "I must be carrying some great message; otherwise why are so many people mad about me?" He became convinced that he was enlightened. The crowd that was following him everywhere convinced him that he was enlightened.
When he came back to India, he was imagining a great reception... Naturally, an enlightened person coming back home, after impressing the whole world... He went directly to Varanasi, which has been the Hindu citadel for centuries, and where the Hindu learned people have their council which decides who is enlightened and who is not. None of these learned people is enlightened, but they are immensely learned as far as scriptures are concerned. So Ramateertha first approached the council of the learned to get recognition.
Now to me, even the idea of getting recognition from someone means you are not certain about your own attainment -- you are asking recognition from those who are not enlightened! On what grounds do they have the authority to recognize you?
In the first place, your asking makes it certain that you are not enlightened. Secondly, you are asking people who are not enlightened themselves -- that reinforces that you don't understand what enlightenment is. It never needs anybody's recognition; it is a self-evident phenomenon. Even if the whole world says you are not enlightened, it does not matter. And even if the whole world says you are enlightened and you are not, then too, you will not become enlightened.
Something very strange happened there: one scholar of the council asked Ramateertha -- It was sheer stupidity for Ramateertha to go to the council -- one scholar asked, "Do you know Sanskrit?" And Ramateertha had no knowledge of Sanskrit, because he came from the part that is now in Pakistan. It was a Mohammedan area; there the language of the learned people was Arabic, Persian, Urdu. It was not the part where Sanskrit had any influence. So he was very deeply rooted in Persian and Arabic literature, and certainly Sufi literature has a beauty which Sanskrit literature does not have.
Sanskrit literature is very dry, like mathematics. Sufi literature is pure poetry. It has a certain juiciness about it, because the whole of Sufism is based on a foundation of love. Sufis are the only people in the world who think of God as the beloved, like a girlfriend. Naturally they have written beautiful poetry for the beloved. God is not a man, but a beautiful woman! No poetry can reach to the heights of Sufi poetry.
Ramateertha was at a loss. He said, "No, I don't know
anything about Sanskrit. I come from the part of the country where
Sanskrit is far away; even Hindi is not spoken.
I can forgive all those idiots, but I cannot forgive Ramateertha, because he started learning Sanskrit! -- just to get the recognition from unenlightened people that he is enlightened.
I have always liked his discourses, but I have always found places in them which show decisively that the man is only an intellectual. He has no experience of his own. He knows beautiful poetry, he can talk in a very poetic way; he knows beautiful Sufi stories, he can explain those stories very impressively. But he himself is a beggar -- his bowl is empty.
Such is the situation of Ta Hui. Understanding Ta Hui will help you to understand many others who are in the same boat.
Ramateertha went to the Himalayas, to a small state called Tihri Garhwal. The king of that state was very much impressed by Ramateertha, so he made him a special bungalow in the mountains, where he was learning Sanskrit in order to be recognized.
One day it happened... Ramateertha had a secretary, a certain Sardar Pooran Singh who was a great writer in Punjabi, certainly a very refined writer -- his prose is almost like poetry. He was so impressed by Ramateertha that he dropped his job, became Ramateertha's secretary and was taking care of his body, his letters and the correspondence from all over the world...
One day, looking out of the window, Ramateertha saw his wife coming. He had been married, but he had renounced his poor wife and become a sannyasin. The wife was so poor that she was doing all kinds of jobs in the village, grinding people's wheat or washing people's clothes. She did not even have the tickets for traveling...
When she heard that Ramateertha was in Tihri Garhwal, she had sold a few ornaments that had been given to her at the time of their marriage. She just wanted to touch the feet of Ramateertha. She had not come to complain -- she was really glad. In the East that has been the tradition: if the husband becomes a world-renowned sannyasin... even though the wife was living in rotten circumstances, still she was very happy that she had a husband whose name would go down in the corridors of history.
When Ramateertha saw his wife coming, he told Sardar Pooran Singh, "Close the window and close the door, and go out on the veranda. My wife is coming. Tell her that I am not here, that I have gone into seclusion in the forest, and nobody knows when I am supposed to return. Just somehow get rid of her."
Sardar Pooran Singh was a very sincere man. He said,
"This is strange, because I have seen you allowing people, both men and
women, to see you. Why are you preventing your own wife, whom you have
renounced? Now she is no longer any relation to you. Your preventing her
means that deep down your mind still believes that she is your wife. Why
are you discriminating between other women and her? And why are you so
Ramateertha could not afford for Pooran Singh to go. He was dependent on him for everything. So he said, "Okay, if you insist, I will see her." And his wife came with tears of joy and just touched the earth, not even his feet. And Pooran Singh wrote in his diary, "Even my tears started flowing. The woman is so respectful, she does not consider him her husband anymore. He has become so divine to her that even to touch his feet will be defiling him."
Pooran Singh touched the feet of Ramateertha's wife. He said, "To me you are more religious and more understanding than Ramateertha." And Ramateertha felt so ashamed... you will not believe what he did: he immediately changed his clothes. He was wearing the orange robe of a Hindu sannyasin. He dropped that and took clothes from Sardar Pooran Singh -- ordinary clothes, not those of a sannyasin. Sardar Pooran Singh asked, "What are you doing?"
Ramateertha said, "I am so ashamed. I am not enlightened; I am not even worthy to be called a sannyasin. The recognition has come to me, although late, but still it is good that it has come to me. I have been believing that I am enlightened, that I have renounced the world. No, seeing my wife I could see all my lust, all my repressed sexuality. I am not worthy of these orange clothes." And then he went out of the bungalow, and jumped from the mountains into the Ganges -- the Ganges flows just nearby, coming down from the mountains. He committed suicide.
But such is the hypocrisy of the society that the same learned people who refused to accept him as enlightened started saying that he had "renounced his body" -- not that he committed suicide, not that he had committed a crime. Their actual word is jal samadhi: "He has dropped into the water and become one with existence."
And still there exists a Ramateertha League, and there
are followers... and his books are published, and people are reading
those books in order to become enlightened.
Be very careful; don't be impressed easily. Certainly don't be impressed through intellect. If suddenly a connection happens from being to being, that's another matter.
Source - Osho Book "The Great Zen Master Ta Hui"