When the “Good” man fights, it then becomes a holy war. : Alok John takes a View
Most sannyasins and most Osho discourses veer towards pacifism rather than militarism. However in this striking (edited) extract from chapter 1 of “Krishna : The Man and his Philosophy” Osho appears to say that a major war will need to be fought against the forces of materialism. The discourse was given in 1970. Note the twenty year gap given in the discourse which takes us to 1990, the year, it could be argued, when the US defeated communism and became the sole superpower. You could argue that the US represents the forces of materialism. As for “out-and-out materialism” I would have thought popular writers like Hitchens and Dawkins endorse this view.
Anyway here it is…make of it what you will…
“In a way, the world is facing nearly the same situation India faced during the Mahabharat war. There were two camps, or two classes, at the time of the Mahabharat. One of them was out-and-out materialist; they did not accept anything beyond the body or matter. They did not know anything except the indulgence of their senses; they did not have any idea of yoga or of spiritual discipline. For them the existence of the soul did not matter in the least; for them life was just a playground of stark indulgence, of exploitation and predatory wars (the West?, Alok John’s interpretation). Life beyond the senses and their indulgence held no importance for them.
This was the class against which the war of Mahabharat was waged. And Krishna had to opt for this war and lead it, because it had become imperative. It had become imperative so that the forces of good and virtue could stand squarely against the forces of materialism and evil, so that they were not rendered weak and impotent.
Approximately the same situation has arisen on a worldwide scale, and in twenty years’ time a full replica, a scenario of the Mahabharat will be upon us. On one side will be all the forces of materialism and on the other will be the weaker forces of good and righteousness.
Goodness suffers from a basic weakness: it wants to keep away from conflicts and wars. Arjuna of the Mahabharat is a good man. The word ”arjuna” in Sanskrit means the simple, the straightforward, clean. Arjuna means that which is not crooked. Arjuna is a simple and good man, a man with a clean mind and a kind heart. He does not want to get involved in any conflict and strife; he wants to withdraw. Krishna is still more simple and good; his simplicity, his goodness knows no limits. But his simplicity, his goodness does not admit to any weakness and escape from reality. His feet are set firmly on the ground; he is a realist, and he is not going to allow Arjuna to run away from the battlefield.
Perhaps the world is once again being divided into two classes, into two camps. It happens often enough when a decisive moment comes and war becomes inevitable. Men like Gandhi and Russell will be of no use in this eventuality. In a sense they are all Arjunas. They will again say that war should be shunned at all costs, that it is better to be killed than to kill others. A Krishna will again be needed, one who can clearly say that the forces of good must fight, that they must have the courage to handle a gun and fight a war. And when goodness fights only goodness flows from it. It is incapable of harming anyone. Even when it fights a war it becomes, in its hands, a holy war. Goodness does not fight for the sake of fighting, it fights simply to prevent evil from winning.
By and by the world will soon be divided into two camps. One camp will stand for materialism and all that it means, and the other camp will stand for freedom and democracy, for the sovereignty of the individual and other higher values of life. But is it possible that this camp representing good will find a Krishna to again lead it?
It is quite possible. When man’s state of affairs, when his destiny comes to a point where a decisive event becomes imminent, the same destiny summons and sends forth the intelligence, the genius that is supremely needed to lead the event. And a right person, a Krishna appears on the scene. The decisive event brings with it the decisive man too.
It is for this also that I say Krishna has great significance for the future.
There are times when the voices of those who are good, simple and gentle cease to be effective, because people inclined to evil don’t hear them, don’t fear them, blindly go their own way. In fact, as good people shrink back just out of goodness, in the same measure the mischief makers become bold, feel like having a field day….”
(Osho, Krishna, The Man and his Philosophy, chapter 1)