Osho on Gurdjieff Early Childhood and Passion for Truth
a: Death of Gurdjieff's grandfather and the valuable advice which Changes Gurdjieff's Life
Osho - Gurdjieff remembers that when his grandfather was dying -- he was only nine years old -- the grandfather called him. He loved the boy very much and he told the boy, "I don't have much to give to you, but departing from the world I would like to give you something. I can only give you one piece of advice that has helped me; it was given to me by my father, and he was also dying when he gave it to me. I am dying. You are too young, you may not be able to understand it right now, but remember, a day will come when you will understand. Whenever you find yourself capable of following my advice, follow it, and you will never be in misery. You can avoid the hell of life."
And what was the advice? Just this sutra -- not exactly in these words. He said to Gurdjieff, "Remember one thing: if you want to do any bad thing, postpone it for tomorrow; and if you want to do something good, do it immediately -- because postponement is a way of not doing. And bad has not to be done, and good has to be done. For example," the old man said, "if somebody insults you and you feel angry, enraged, tell him that you will come after twenty-four hours and answer him."
Gurdjieff remembers, "That advice transformed my whole life. Although I was too young, only nine years old, I tried it just out of curiosity. Some boy would insult me or would hurt me or would say something nasty, and I would remember my old dying grandfather and I would tell the boy, 'I will have to wait; I have promised an old man. After twenty-four hours I will answer you.'
"And it always happened," Gurdjieff remembers, "that either I would come to conclude that he was right, that whatsoever he had said LOOKED nasty but it was true about me.... He was saying, 'You are a thief,' and that is true, I am a thief. He was saying, 'You are insincere,' and that is true -- I am insincere." So he would go and thank the boy: "You pointed out something true about me. You brought up a true facet of my being which was not clear to me. You made me more conscious about myself. I am immensely grateful."
Or, after twenty-four hours' thinking, he would come to conclude that, "That man or that boy is absolutely wrong. It has nothing to do with me." Then there is no point in answer-ing; he would not go back to the boy. If something is utterly wrong, why become enraged? This is a big world, millions of people are there; you cannot go answering everybody, otherwise your whole life will be wasted. And there is no need either.
This is half of the
story. If you can postpone the bad for tomorrow you will be able to do the
good immediately. And you will never repent -- because if you do bad
immediately, you will repent tomorrow; if you do good today you will never
repent, there is no question of repentance. This is a simple secret of
transforming the hell that you live in into a lotus paradise.
Osho - Gurdjieff, when he was very young, only twelve years of age, became part of a party of seekers: thirty people who made a decision that they would go to the different parts of the world and find out whether truth was only talk or there were a few people who had known it. Just a twelve-year-old boy, but he was chosen to join the party for the simple reason that he had great stamina, he had great power.
One thing was certain about him: whatsoever he decided, he would risk all for it. He would not look back, he would never escape even if he had to lose his life he would lose his life. And three times he was almost shot dead – almost, but he pulled himself back into life somehow; the purpose was still unfulfilled.
Those thirty people
traveled all over the world. They came to India, they went to Tibet and the
whole Middle East, all the Sufi monasteries, all the Himalayan monasteries.
And they had decided to come back to a certain place in the Middle East and
to relate whatsoever they had gained; after each twelve years they were
going to meet. At the end of the first twelve years almost half of them did
not return; they must have died somehow, or forgotten the mission, or become
But this man had very great decisiveness: if he had decided then nothing was going to deter him. He was almost killed three times; the only thing that saved him was his mission, that he had to go back, and he pulled himself out of his death. It needed great inner power. He had no time to become an intellectual. He was moving with mystics – from one monastery to another monastery, from one cave to another cave, from one country to another country. He came to India, he went to Tibet, he went up to Japan; he gathered knowledge from all over the world. By the time he himself became enlightened there was no time left for him to intellectualize it, to put it into words. He knew the taste, but the words were not there. He needed a man like Ouspensky.