Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Did Krishna induce Arjuna to fight in Mahabharatha ? Osho Explains.


Questioner : The stanza from Bhagvadgita "The one who thinks it to be the slayer, and the one who believes it to be the slain - both do not know. It neither slays nor is slain."

In the context of the discussion we had about this verse this morning, if indeed the being neither slays nor can be slain, then General dyers acts in India and the Nazi's concentration camps can be justified. Where do these events stand as far as total acceptability is concerned ?

Osho : No one ever dies and no one ever kills. That which is, has no possibility of ever being destroyed. Is one therefore to deduce from this that there is nothing wrong in commiting violence ? Does this mean that the violence commited by General dyers or the genocide that took place in Auschwitz, Germany, or the total violence that happened in Hiroshima are not condemnable ? Are they worthy of acceptance ?

No. This is not what Krishna means, and this is worth understanding.

Just because no one is ever really killed doesn't mean that the desire to kill is not bad. Death is not there, but the desire for violence, the motivation for violence, the violent state of mind is there. One who has a desire for violence, one who takes an interest in killing, one who feels happy killing other person, one who takes credit for killing someone - even though no one ever actually dies, the idea that he killed someone, his taking pleasure in killing, his mental belief that killing is possible - all of this is evil, sinful.

The sin is not in occurence of violence. The sin is in the act of commiting violence. The occuernce of violence is impossible, but the act of violence is possible.

When a person is commiting an act of violence, two things are involved; Krishna says that the occurence of violence is impossible, but a psychological state of violence is possible.

Let us also consider this from the opposite end. Does this imply that there is no meaning in Mahavira's and Buddha's nonviolence ? If the violence that took place in Hiroshima and in the Aushtwitz concentration camps has no relevance, then does Mahavira's and Buddha's nonviolence also lose all meaning ? Yes, if you think that the only purpose of non-violence is to save someone from dying and being destroyed, then it has no meaning.

But no, Mahavira's and Buddha's nonviolence has a different meaning. This desire, this intent to save and protect, this desire and intent not to kill, this state of having no interest in killing, this mental state of feeling joy in protecting...... For example, when Mahavira is walking, making sure that not even an ant is killed under his feet, it doesn't mean that the ant was saved because of Mahavira's efforts. That which is going to survive in the ant has already survived forever, and that which is not going to survive cannot be saved by Mahavira either. But this feeling in Mahavira to avoid killing is of great value. This feeling does not cause any particular benefit or loss to the ant, but it certainly does to Mahavira.

Deep down what matters is how one feels, not what happens. Deep down the question is of the feeling, of what the person thinks, because a person lives surrounded in his thoughts. Events take place in reality but the person lives in his thoughts, in his feelings.

Violence or killing is evil. It is evil despite Krishna saying that it doesn't actually take place. And Krishna's statement is not at all wrong. In fact, Krishna is speaking from the existential state, he has discovered this in the layers of existence itself.

When Hitler is killing people, he is not in the same state of mind as Krishna is. Hitler enjoys killing; he delights in destroying, in exterminating. Whether anything actually gets destroyed is another matter, but Hitler has a passion of killing. This passion for killing is violence.

Understood rightly, the passion to destroy, the desire to kill is violence. Whether death actually occurs or not, is all together a separate issue. And this passion in Hitler to kill is the passion of the sick mind.

It is important to understand that if someone feels an interest in killing and destruction, that person is insane inside. The more silent and blissful a person is inside, the more impossible it will be for him to be interested in destruction. The more blissful a person is inside, the more he will be interested in creativity.

Mahavira's nonviolence is a creative feeling, a creative feelings towards the world. Hitlers violence is a destructive feeling towards the world. So the feeling is important. But from where we are living, what happens existetially is not valuable yet. Let me try to explain this to you through a small anecdote..........

Many of Kabir's devotees used to visit his place. The would sing hymns and songs in praise of the divine, and just as they were getting ready to leave, Kabir would invite them to have a meal. This created a lot of trouble for Kabir's wife and son.

Finally, one day his son said to him, "This is going too far! How long can we go one borrowing money and supplies ? How can we go on feeding people like this ? Please stop asking people to stay for a meal."

Kabir saud :"I completely forget; when guests come to visit, I completely forget that we have nothing in the house to feed them with. But at a time like this, when guests have come, how can one bother about whether there is anything in the house or not ? So I go on urging them not to leave without a meal."

Angrily and sarcastically the son retorted, " So should we start stealing now ?"

Kabir said, "That is a great idea! Why didn't you think of it before?"

The son could not believe his ears. He never expected Kabir to say such a thing.

But the son was not an ordinary son - after all he was Kabir's son. So he said, "So shall I go and steal tonight?" Kabir said, "Absolutely!"

Testing Kabir even further the son asked, "Will you join me?" And Kabir said "Ofcourse!".

That night, the son said to Kabir, "Let's go!". He wanted to take the whole matter to logical conclusion; he wanted to see if Kabir would really be ready to steal.

Kabir ready to steal? It was simply beyond son's comprehension. And similarly it is beyond Arjuna''s comprehension: Krishna ready to kill?

Kamaal, Kabir's son, took Kabir along with him. He started breaking into house, and as he was doing so he kept looking around.

Kabir asked "why are you so nervous? Why are you so shaky ?"

The son finally managed to break the wall, and he asked Kabir,"Shall I enter now?" And Kabir said "Ofcourse. Go ahead!" The son entered and pulled out a sack full of wheat. He thought Kabir would stop him any minute. It was really too much.

But Kabir helped him to pull the sack all the way out of the house, and then he said to his son. "Now go inside to where the people are sleeping. Inform them that their house has been broken into, and that we are taking away a whole sack of wheat away with us."

The son said, "But what kind of stealing is this? Does one ever disclose the act of stealing?"

Kabir said, "Stealing that cannot be disclosed is a sin. So go ahead and inform them!".

The son said "All this time I was wondering, and it really kept bothering me, how you could allow me to steal."

Kabir replied, "I was completely oblivious to it, because since I have come to realize that all is one, I haven't seen anything is mine or as belonging to anyone else. So if this belongs to another, then ofcourse stealing is a sin. But I didn't remeber that what we are taking is not ours. I am glad you reminded me. Why didn't you tell me this before ?"

Kabir is saying that as long as something belongs to the other, then stealing is a sin. But if nothing belongs to anyone in particular, if everything belongs to the whole, and if the air the other is breathing is as much mine as the air that I am breathing, then in this respect, on this level, it is meaningless to call stealing a sin.

But Kabir is talking about this from a existential level. This is being said by one who has entered the ultimate state of enlightenment.

So Kabir said "If you are unable to wake this people up, then return this sack of wheat - because if you are afraid of informing about something to those who are none other than your own self, then the thing in question is certainly not yours. Then it is better to go and put it back. After all, whom are we really trying to hide this stealing from ?"

Now this has become a matter of two totally different levels, two totally different worlds. Make sure you understand this well. One is the existential world, where everything belongs to the whole, to existence, where stealing is impossible. Kabir is living in this world. The second is the world of our minds where the other is "the other" and I am "I" ; where my thing is mine and what belongs to the other is "the other's." At this level, stealing is possible; it is happening, it can happen.

As long as a thing that belongs to the other person is "the other's", stealing is sin. In reality, stealing never occurs; objects are moved from one location to another. How can the phenomenon of stealing can ever happen in this earth ? Neither you nor I will be alive in the future; neither will my possesions remain as mine, nor will your possesions remain as yours. Just the objects will remain here. What difference does it make whether they remain in this house or that one ?

Stealing does not happen at the existential level. Stealing occurs at the psychological level, at the level of our feelings and emotions.

If Hitler had been capable of saying that there is no violence in killing, that there is no death, then there would have been no need for him to have had bodyguards all around him. And if that had been the case, then he would have gone ahead and killed the people in Auschwitz. I would have no objection. But a person like Hitler, who is anxious to save himself and who is eager to kill the other, believes very deeply that one does get killed. After all, he is doing everything to save his life.

If Krishna were to say to Arjuna: "These people on the battlefield cannot die, so go ahead and kill them.... but please protect yourself, guard yourself lest you die at someone's hand," then that would be dishonest. But Krishna is telling him, that neither does anyone kill, nor is anyone killed: "If these people kill you, then nothing will die. If you kill these people, then nothing will die." We have to remeber that what Krishna is saying here is deeply existential.

But as long as someone is keen on saving himself, he cannot be allowed to put forward a doctrine as a rationalization for killing others. As long as a person is saying, "This belongs to me, let no one steal it," and at the same time is going and stealing from someone else house, it will not be the same as Kabir's stealing from a house. Kabir's stealing is not stealing at all; Krishna's violence is not violence at all.

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