I feel for the man, although I have always criticized him for his politics, his sociology, and his whole stupid idea of turning the wheel of time backwards – you can call it the spinning wheel. He wanted man to become primitive again. He was against all technology, even against the poor railways, the telegraph, the postal system. Without science man will be a baboon. The baboon may be very strong…but a baboon is a baboon. Man has to go ahead.
I object even to the title of the book because it is not only a title, it summarizes his whole life. He thought because he had been educated in England, he was a perfect Indian Englishman – utterly Victorian. These are the people who go to hell, the Victorians! He was full of etiquette, full of manners, full of all kinds of English stupidities. Now Chetana must be hurting. Chetana forgive me. It is just by chance that you are here, and you know me – I always find something to hit people with.
But Chetana is fortunate: she is not an English lady, she is an Osho freak! And she comes from a poor English family, that’s very good. Her father was a fisherman, simple. She is not snobbish; otherwise English ladies, more than gentlemen, always keep their noses up, as if they are always watching the stars. They really stink – stink of snobbishness!
Mahatma Gandhi was educated in England; perhaps that messed him up. Perhaps he would have been better if he had remained uneducated, and then he would not have experimented with truth, he would have experienced truth.
Experimenting with truth? Absurd! Ridiculous! If one wants to know the truth one has to experience it.
Second: Saint Augustine’s Confessions. Augustine was the first person to have written his autobiography without fear, but he went to the other extreme. That’s why I appreciated Gandhi. In his Confessions Augustine confesses too much – even the sins he had never committed! – just for the sheer joy of confessing. What a joy! For the sheer joy of saying to the world that “There is not a sin which I have not committed. I have committed every sin man is capable of.”
That is not true. No man can commit all the sins. No man is capable of that, not even God himself. What to say of God, even the devil himself will start thinking how to enjoy those things that Augustine is confessing! Augustine exaggerated!
Exaggeration is one of the common diseases among saints. They exaggerate everything, even their sins; then, naturally, they become capable of exaggerating their virtues. That is the second part of the story. When you exaggerate your sins, certainly against that background even your small virtues look very big, very bright – lightning in the dark clouds. Those dark clouds help immensely to show the lightning. Without sins you cannot become a saint. The greater the sins, the greater the saint – simple arithmetic!