Chapter 4: How about You?
Those who have lived a life of being a stranger come to know strange things, which ordinarily you will not come across in life. Just the other day I received a letter from a sannyasin who was present in a Jaina gathering, which also had one night invited the great poets of the country. One of the greatest poets of contemporary India, Neeraj, was there - he has been here, so you all are acquainted with him - and he was hooted down, forced to leave the stage, and the reason was that he mentioned my name. He introduced himself before the recital saying, “All my poetry belongs to Osho. He is my source of inspiration.”
Thousands of other writers and poets go on repeating what I am saying, but don’t have the courage to make it clear to people from where their inspiration comes. Sheer fear of the crowd! But Neeraj is a man of all the qualities of a lion. He said, “It does not matter even if you shout. This hooliganism, this gunda-ism, won’t make any difference.” He left the stage saying, “Long live Osho!”
People are afraid to come here, and you can see the reason: if somebody knows that they have been here, then they must be connected with me in some way or other. There are many people who want to be here, but do not have the guts to face the masses. Even to come to hear me needs courage! Nobody is asked to agree with me; they may disagree with me - but even for disagreement they cannot come to listen to me. They read my books hiding them under the covers of other books, because if somebody knows that they are reading my books, their respectability is at risk.
One of the chief ministers of Gujarat used to come here before he became chief minister. After becoming chief minister he stopped coming; not only did he stop coming, he told my secretary, “You should not come to see me for any work in Gujarat, because I don’t want anybody to know that I have been influenced by Osho, or any association with Osho.” Then he was defeated and again he started coming here. When you are defeated there is no need to fear: already people are not in your favor. He came here a few months ago. I told my secretary, “Anyway I am not seeing anybody - and particularly I will not see this man who is such a coward that when he comes to power, he sends the message that it should be kept a secret that he has been following me, attending my camps. I don’t like such cowardly sheepish human beings.”
He understood that that is right. Now he has become again the chief minister, and I told one of my sannyasins there, “Ask him: does he want to see me?” He said, “Just don’t mention his name - at least while I am in power!”
To be rebellious you have to live as a stranger amongst your own people. Isan had the possibility of becoming a rebel - and then there would have been some profoundness in his statements. In his anecdotes some new quality, some new dimension, some new flowers may have blossomed. But because of respectability he kept his rebellious spirit dormant. So once in a while something comes out; otherwise he is an example of a rebel who has repressed his rebellion.
A small biographical note:
Isan’s foremost disciple was Kyozan, also known as Yang-shan.