The moment of ecstasy.

Rajiv Vaishnav
10 min readFeb 25, 2024

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Recently, I saw “The Railway Men: The Untold Story of Bhopal 1984” on Netflix and now seeing “Einstein and The Bomb.”

The night of 2nd December 1984 saw one of the world’s worst industrial disasters at the Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal, India. Methyl Isocyanate, a highly poisonous gas, leaked from the plant killing ~2300 persons immediately and ~8000 over the next 2 weeks. Official estimates of injured persons stand at 600,000 of which 1% were permanently disabled.

There is an ongoing debate about responsible development and deployment of Artificial Intelligence (AI), it reminded me of what Osho has said about human consciousness.

Osho has spoken on the Bhopal Gas Tragedy. Osho says “Do not throw the blame of your follies on God. The carelessness of persons that caused this disaster should not go unpunished. With technological advancements, man has at his disposal dangerous assets; without a commensurate increase in his awareness, mankind is headed for a tragic finale.

Remember one fundamental principle of all sane thinking: Don’t bring in a hypothesis which doesn’t help to solve anything. On the contrary, because of the hypothesis a thousand other problems start arising. A hypothesis is brought in to solve problems, not to increase them.

God is the most useless hypothesis ever propounded by man. Because of Him there has been so much trouble, so many crusades, so many butchering, so many people slaughtered, so many women raped — in the name of God. Please just flush Him down the toilet. Forget about God. Existence is enough unto itself. That’s what I teach.

And then we cannot throw the responsibility on anybody’s head: there is no God, then the whole responsibility falls on us. That is my hidden desire. Why am I throwing God down the toilet? Because I want man to understand that he is responsible. Because man has the highest consciousness in the whole of existence, you should accept the greatest responsibility. Stars, trees, animals, birds are far below you; you cannot throw the responsibility on them.

To be conscious means you are mature enough now to accept all responsibility for yourself and for the existence that surrounds you.

You have created things which are so dangerous, but you have not created a comparable consciousness which can be careful about these things.

If you create nuclear technologies… I am not against them because those can prove creative, immensely creative. Anything that can be destructive can always be creative — it all depends on you. The sword in your hand can kill somebody and can also save somebody. The sword is neutral; it is up to you how you use it.

I say: Increase man’s awareness in the same proportion as he has increased his dangerous powers, and there is no problem.

Don’t put a sword in a child’s hand — that’s true — but let the child learn with a wooden sword. Let him mature, let him become more aware. I am not in favor of disposing of the sword. It cannot be done in the very nature of things.

In the whole history of man is there any precedent where we have gone back a single step on anything? It is against the law of existence to go backwards. So don’t just hit your head against a wall, do something else: Increase man’s consciousness, his awareness.

A prince was sent to a Zen Master to learn swordsmanship. It is a strange phenomenon, but in Japan it has become a reality that a Master of consciousness, a Master who teaches meditation, also teaches swordsmanship. To me it is very significant. That is what is needed.

The prince went to the Master, and he said, ”My father has sent me. He is old and he is not going to live long — maybe one year, two years at the most. He has sent me to you with the urgent message to prepare me before he dies. He would like to see me with your recommendation saying that I am ready, because if I am not ready then he cannot die peacefully.

”In every other way I am ready: I have learned archery, swordsmanship and all kinds of things that are needed in war; I am a master in every dimension. And I went back from the university to my father to say that I had all these medals and trophies and certificates; I was ready.

”He said, ’No, you are not ready yet, because the basic thing is missing. All that you have brought is good, maybe it will be of use some day, but first go to this Master to learn meditation, and to combine all your warrior’s training with meditation. Unless meditation is supporting the warrior in you, you are just an ordinary warrior, and dangerous: I cannot put the kingdom in your hands. I will have to find somebody else. Go fast and learn fast.’”

The prince said, ”I am ready. Whatsoever you say I will do but be quick.”

The Master said, ”That is the first requirement, that time is not binding. I cannot say how much time it will take — one year, two years, ten years, fifty years — nothing can be said about it. It all depends on you, on how quick you learn. I will try my best because I am old, I am also in a hurry. I was not going to accept another disciple, but if the king sends you — he is my old friend, we both were under the same Master learning meditation — I cannot refuse you. Your training starts from now.”

The prince asked, ”What do I have to do?”

The old Master said, ”You have not to do anything except just ordinary things: cleaning, cooking, drawing the water from the well, cutting wood. But remember one thing, I can hit you any time from behind, so remain alert. Do anything, but remain alert.”

The prince said, ”What kind of training is this? — but my father has sent me to you so it must be right.”

And he was continually being hit. The old man was really a great, skillful man. He would walk without any noise; you could not hear the sound of his feet, and suddenly from nowhere he would jump out and hit you hard!

Within fifteen days the prince’s whole body was aching. It was difficult to sleep on one side because there it was hurting, and it was difficult to sleep on the other side because it was hurting, but he was happy too because now he had started hearing his Master’s footsteps. Awareness had grown.

Before he was not so conscious, so those footsteps were making a certain noise but it was so small, so subtle, that it was not in his grasp. Now his awareness, in such conditions, was bound to grow.

He had to be alert, continuously alert: while doing everything he knew that the Master would be coming. He would be chopping wood, but no other thought would be there other than about the old man: from where would he appear and how would the prince defend himself?

The old man would try to hit him and the prince would just catch his bamboo staff. Within three months the old man could not hit the prince a single time in the whole day. The prince was very happy; he thought, ”This is a great day!” And his body was no longer hurting: in three months of continual beating his body had become like steel. Now he understood that he had gained a certain strength that was never in him before.

Now when his hand held a sword, it was not a human hand but one made of steel. He was happy about his body, the way it had become stronger under his Master’s hits. He was happy that he had become so alert that even when the old man was far away in the other room, he would be able to detect it. He would shout from his room, ”Don’t try anything — I am alert”

The Master used to come in from his room. One day the prince listened out for noises from the other room for twenty-four hours; and the Master could not beat him a single time. The Master called the prince to him. The prince was very happy, the old man was also very happy; he said, ”Now the second part starts. Up to now I have been hitting you with a bamboo — from tomorrow it will be a real sword.”

The prince thought, ”A real sword! The bamboo was one thing — I managed somehow and remained patient — but now a real sword! If I miss even one time I am finished. And this old fellow, if he can hit me with the bamboo so hard that he has made my whole body like steel, what will he do with a real sword?”

The old man took out his sword and he said, ”This is my sword, so look at it. Watch it! This is now going to be after you continually.”

The prince’s awareness arose like a pillar of light. He could feel it, because danger was there and now it was not a joke: it was a question of life and death.

So, the old man started trying to hit him but could not succeed for three months; not even a single time did he hit him. And the prince’s awareness was going higher every day: he could save himself immediately. From the back the Master would try to hit…. And all kinds of work the prince was doing.

With closed eyes he would be sitting in meditation: the Master would go to hit him and he would jump aside and save himself.

The Master called him, and he said, ”I am happy. The second part of training is over.” The prince said, ”I am tremendously grateful and happy. I never thought that there was such a possibility inside me to be so alert. Not even a small breeze can pass by me without me knowing it. Not even a single thought can move within me without me knowing it. And I am happy that there is still something to learn.

”At first, I was very hesitant, reluctant, unwilling: I was here just because my father had sent me. But now I am here because I want to be, and I don’t think of my father and the kingdom or anything else. All I think of is to bring my consciousness to its highest peak, because the joys that I have known I was not even aware of, I could not have even dreamed about them. So start the third step.”

The Master said, ”The third step is: while you are sleeping, I will be hitting you with the real sword.”

The young man said, ”That is perfectly right — I am ready. I was afraid even of the bamboo; now I am not afraid of your real sword, not even in my sleep. Lately I have been watching myself sleeping. Turning, I know I am turning. When sleep comes to my body, I know that sleep is descending…descending… descending, that it has taken over my whole body. But I am just like a flame inside, not asleep.”

The Master started trying to hit the prince, but the moment he entered the prince’s room, the prince would wake up. For three months he tried, but he could not strike the prince even once. Then the Master gave the prince his sword and said, ”Your father will understand, because he knows this is the sword my Master had given to me. Now you are capable of having a sword because you also have a higher quality of consciousness. Now the need for the sword is left far behind.”

Increasing man’s consciousness has to be done. The responsibility is man’s.

If humanity has become irresponsible it is because of God, not in spite of Him. It is because of Him
and because of all the religions that have been teaching you that God created the world, and God is compassionate and kind. All rubbish. He is not there at all. And what kindness? What compassion?

He is a creation of the cunning priesthood because without Him they cannot exploit. That is an
absolutely necessary hypothesis for exploiting man.

Drop the idea of God and suddenly you will feel a freedom, a spaciousness, an expansion and a
great responsibility.

There is just nobody above you.

You are the highest peak of creation, of existence, of life.

There is nobody above you.

A sense of great responsibility arises in you.

To me that is what makes you religious.

You start feeling responsible for all the animals, the birds, the existence. With responsibility, your humanity becomes awake. For the first time you can raise your head and you can stand straight.

Freedom and responsibility come together.

And when the joy of freedom and the joy of responsibility meet, it is so great that I have called that moment, the moment of ecstasy. Then you are so blessed that you can bless the whole existence.”

Osho: From Personality to Individuality: CHAPTER 11. GOD — THE PHANTOM FUEHRER (Excerpts)

तेरी बख़्शिश के भरोसे पे ख़ताएँ की हैं
तेरी रहमत के सहारे ने गुनहगार किया ……………मुबारक अज़ीमाबादी

terī baḳhshish ke bharose pe ḳhatā.eñ kī haiñ
terī rahmat ke sahāre ne gunahgār kiyā ………………MUBARAK AZIMABADI

I made mistakes keeping faith in your generosity,
The assurance of your mercy made me a sinner.

This story of the Prince and his Master reminded me of this amazing training scene from the film “Karate Kid” I Love this film. Hope you will relate to it…..and a spirited song from “Chak de India”
The Karate Kid (2010) — Pick Up Your Jacket Scene (2/10) | Movieclips (youtube.com)

Chak De India Song | Title Song | Shah Rukh Khan | Sukhwinder Singh | Salim-Sulaiman | Jaideep Sahni (youtube.com)

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