But there are people who read even the Encyclopaedia Britannica. I know such a person; he was my personal friend. This is the moment when I should at least remember his name. He may still be alive – that’s my only fear – but then too, there is no reason to be afraid, simply because he only reads Encyclopaedia Britannica. He will never read what I am saying – never, never; he has no time. He not only reads the Encyclopaedia Britannica, he memorizes it; and that is his madness. Otherwise he looks very normal. When you mention anything that is part of his encyclopedia he immediately becomes abnormal, and starts quoting pages and pages and pages. He does not bother at all whether you want to listen or not.
Only such people read Mahabharata. It is the Hindu encyclopedia; let’s call it the “Encyclopedia Indiana.” Naturally it is bound to be bigger than the Encyclopaedia Britannica. Britain is just Britain – no bigger than a small state in India. India has at least three dozen states of that size, and that is not the whole of India, because half of India is now Pakistan. If you really want the full picture of India then you will have to make a few more additions.
Burma was once part of India. It was only early in this century that it was disconnected from India. Afghanistan was once part of India; it is almost a continent. So Mahabharata, the “Encyclopedia Indiana,” is bound to be a thousandfold bigger than the Encyclopaedia Britannica, which is only thirty-two volumes. That is nothing. If you collect all that I have said, it would be more than that.
Somebody else has counted. I don’t know for sure because I never do such rubbishy things, but they estimated that I had written three hundred and thirty-three books, up till now. Great! – not the books, but the man who counted them. He should wait, because many are still in manuscript, and many others are not yet translated from the Hindi originals. When all that is collected it will really be the “Encyclopedia Rajneeshica.” But Mahabharata is bigger, and will always remain the largest book in the world – I mean in volume, in weight.
I mention it because I was talking about the Indian obsession. The whole of the Mahabharata is nothing but the Indian obsession written at length, voluminously, saying that man is born again and again and again eternally.
That’s why my grandfather was saying, “Stop the wheel.” If I could have stopped the wheel I would have stopped it, not only for him but for everybody else in the world. Not only would I have stopped it, I would have destroyed it forever so that nobody could ever turn it again. But it is not in my hands.
But why this obsession? I became aware of many things at that moment of his death. I will talk about everything that I became aware of in that moment, because that has determined my whole life.