Today I remembered the Taran Taran Jayanti celebration at Fawwara Square, Jabalpur. I can’t remember the date but it might have been the break of winter 1967 or 1968. On the stage, Osho was seated with Shri Kunji Lal Dube, former Vice-Chancellor of Rani Durgavati University Jabalpur (then a Minister of the State), Dr Raj Bali Pande, VC, RD University, a Jain Muni, a Sardarji and a Christian Father, who all were there to represent their religions. The idea of the organisers was that it should be a meeting of all religions.
The Jain Muni emphasised in his talk that religion is one. Kunji Lal Dube said that he longed to be a contemporary to Buddha, because then he must have sat at his feet. I can’t remember even a bit what the Sardarji, the Father and Dr Raj Bali Pande spoke about. But one thing I remember very well is that when Dr Raj Bali Pande was speaking, he quite frequently looked back at you as if hesitant to speak in front of you – as he was older and a VIP, the Vice-Chancellor of the University. Then you were to speak as the last one.
In Jabalpur, when there were several people to speak at an event, you were always put last, because the main speaker or most respected person is usually scheduled to speak as the last one. Here with you, one more thing was vital, that if you would speak earlier, the whole congregation would disperse after you finished. Nobody would be there to listen to anybody else. Big gatherings used to happen only because the people exclusively came to listen to you.
Then you were on the mike. I am in wonder-filled tears to remember your roar like a lion in the crowd of goats… you said, “If there is only one religion, then you will have to stop saying that there is only one religion. Because if there are not many religions, there is no point in saying one religion. One religion is relevant only if there are two, three, four or more religions. And if you say one religion, then a Hindu moves his head in affirmation that yes, there is only one religion, the Hindu religion. And a Muslim thinks, yes, that religion is the Muslim religion; that’s what Hazrat said. A Buddhist will enjoy that yes, that is the Buddhist religion because only Buddha has attained the unattainable… and so on, and so forth. We will have to say there is religiousness or irreligiousness. Either you are religious or you are not religious.
“It is a self-deception to say that if I had been in Buddha’s time, I must have sat at his feet. Because this earth is never without a Buddha. There is always a lamp burning. Even today there may be one. He may be in your own town but you have no time even to look at him. You are too far away to sit at his feet. Because you are too active in politics. Even in Buddha’s time you must have not gone near him because you were engaged in politics then too. So, stop saying that if you were in Buddha’s time you would have sat at his feet. Don’t deceive yourself. Be true and authentic.
“If one wants to be religious in the right sense, one should enquire within oneself as to who you are. Close your eyes and ask intensely ‘Who am I’? Who am I? Because you are not the name, you are not the body, you are not the mind either. Then who are you? Go on asking within yourself. Let your being become the question ‘Who am I’? And then one day when innocence is absolute, in that silent state you realize yourself. And that is the most blessed day. Now nothing remains to attain. I pray that one day you realize who you are. That is the fulfilment!
“You listened to my talk with so much peace and attention, I feel grateful for this. And in closing, I offer my regards to the Divine residing inside you. Please accept it.”