Osho on Annie Besant
- George Bernard Shaw was impressed by Nietzsche's idea of
superman; he wrote a drama on superman too. Strangely enough, he was
also rejected by a woman. The name of the woman was Annie Besant. She
was the godmother -- is it okay to use "godmother" as well as
"godfather"? -- of j. Krishnamurti. She was the president of the
Theosophical Movement for the whole world. She was a very beautiful
woman with great charisma of her own, very intelligent, and one of the
greatest orators ever. If she had remained in England she would have
become prime minister anytime, because none of the prime ministers of
her time had the same charisma, or the art of speaking that she had.
Bernard Shaw heard her for the first time in a Theosophical conference, and he immediately fell in love. When he approached Annie Besant she said, "Please excuse me, I have far bigger things to do." And certainly she had far bigger things to do than be the wife of George Bernard Shaw. But George Bernard Shaw thought that he was the greatest man on the earth: "And she has far greater things to do...?" But the wound remained with him.
Annie Besant went on becoming more and more popular. It is simply unbelievable that she became the president of the Indian National Congress. When India was under the British Raj, a British woman was accepted by Indian revolutionaries -- who were fighting the British Raj -- as their president! You can understand her charisma.
Even the white skin was hated because that represented the rulers, the oppressors. And to accept a woman who comes from the same country with which you are fighting.... And the people who were struggling -- the Indian National Congress was the party fighting with Britain to get independence -- accepted her as president. She must have had a magic personality. So if she refused Bernard Shaw, I don't think that she did any*ling wrong; she certainly had much bigger things to do.
She created the whole Theosophical Movement, for the first time, into a worldwide movement. She created the idea that a world teacher is going to be born and made the idea worth being believed by millions of people. It is not so easy. Even Jesus was not able to convince his own people that he was the messiah. But this woman was saying, "I am going to introduce to you, at the right moment, the messiah who is going to save the whole world," and millions of people believed in her word. And she was not the messiah, but she had some quality to create trust in people. Bernard Shaw was rejected by Annie Besant, and he carried that wound his whole life; and he started projecting the idea of the superman.
Source - Osho Book "From Personality to Individuality"
Osho on Annie Besant - I love George Bernard Shaw's small book MAXIMS FOR A REVOLUTIONARY -- forgotten by all, but not by me. I choose strange things, strange people, strange places. MAXIMS FOR A REVOLUTIONARY seems to have descended on George Bernard Shaw... because otherwise he was just a skeptic. He was not even a saint, not enlightened nor even thinking about enlightenment. He may not have even heard the word; he belonged to a totally different world.
By the way, I can tell you that he loved a girl. He fell in love and wanted to marry her, but the girl wanted to become enlightened. She wanted to seek the truth, so she went away to India. That woman was none other than Annie Besant. Thank God G.B.S. could not persuade her to become his wife; otherwise we would have missed a tremendously powerful woman. Her insight, her love, her wisdom... yes, she was a witch. I really mean she was a witch. I don't mean bitch, I mean witch. 'Witch' is really a beautiful word; it means wise. This is a man's world. When a man becomes wise he is called a buddha, a christ, a prophet; when a woman becomes wise she is called a witch. Look at the unfairness of it. But the original meaning of the word is beautiful.
Source - Osho Book "Books I have Loved"
Osho on Annie Besant - Alice Bailey is not the first person on this earth to have received such messages. Many people like Madame Blavatsky, Annie Besant, Colonel Olcott and Leadbeater have worked as mediums for such bodiless souls in the past. And by contacting such souls who have attained higher states of spiritual growth many things can be known and communicated.
Source - Osho Book "Krishna: The Man and His Philosophy"
Osho on Annie Besant - My approach and Krishnamurti's approach are bound to be different, because I had no master in my life. That has given me a totally different space to work from. Because I have never been under a master, I can give you total freedom. I have enjoyed total freedom myself. I have never listened to anybody, I have just lived the way I wanted. And that is my message to you: live the way you want. I can share my understanding with you -- you can choose. There is no need for me to be angry.
Krishnamurti was forced to become enlightened. For twenty-five years the Theosophical Movement, particularly the president, Annie Besant and one of the spokesmen, Leadbeater, kept him almost imprisoned. He was not allowed to meet ordinary people. Their idea was to present suddenly to the world a world teacher. So they were preparing the ground for a world teacher to come, who would save the whole of mankind. They were spreading books, literature, that "soon the world teacher is to appear."
They were hiding Krishnamurti and five other children -- because who knows who will be right at the right time? Four were rejected, one died, and Krishnamurti was chosen to be a world teacher, but he was completely trained for it. Even books were written in his name by Leadbeater. A great book, AT THE FEET OF THE MASTER, is supposed to have been written by him when he was thirteen years of age -- and he himself does not remember! Later on when asked, "Have you written this book?" He said, "I don't remember." The reality is, he never wrote that book. That book -- and I have looked deeply into Leadbeater's other books -- is in the same style. It is the same man, Leadbeater, who has written that book in the name of J. Krishnamurti. It is to prove to the world that it is not an ordinary human being, but a divine incarnation -- that at the age of thirteen he was writing such a great book.
The book is certainly great, and Leadbeater was a very articulate writer and well-studied man. He chose J. Krishnamurti and his brother Nityananda just when Krishnamurti was nine years old. Those two boys were playing in the river, near Adyar in Madras, where the headquarters of the Theosophical Movement was. Leadbeater saw those two boys swimming and enjoying in the river, throwing water at each other. And he was certainly a very perceptive man -- he could see that something great was possible with these two boys. He found three other boys. They all became great in their own fields.
Nityananda died because of too much discipline. He was a very fragile person. They had to wake up at three o'clock, to go through all kinds of rituals, to listen to scriptures, to eat only certain things...
One of the great difficulties with Leadbeater was, he
was a homosexual. And he abused every child, including J. Krishnamurti.
There was a case against Leadbeater in Madras High Court. When the
father of these two children -- he was a poor man, a poor clerk whose
wife had died and so he was in trouble about how to manage these two
boys and his office... So when Leadbeater proposed the idea that Annie
Besant could adopt them, the father was very happy. Annie Besant was a
To avoid the situation, the judge was ready to return the children because there were witnesses of this abuse. Annie Besant, being a very famous British woman, managed to smuggle all those children to England before the court orders were passed. This was easy for her because India was under British rule, and Annie Besant was a powerful woman. So she managed to take the children out of the country.
Then when the magistrate's orders were issued, saying
that the children should be returned, the children were not there.
All this created a situation in which he revolted. A day was appointed when they were going to declare him as a world teacher, enlightened. In Holland six thousand representatives of the Theosophical Movement gathered from all over the world. And at the last moment, when he was going to declare it, he stood up and said, "I am not a world teacher and I refuse to be the head of any organization."
A special organization, The Star of the East, was created for him, which would work for the world teacher. It was a section of the Theosophical Movement. He carried those wounds his whole life. Those twenty-five years he could not forgive his teachers. It is a very strange case, and a tragic case.
So when he was speaking he was not free from his past experiences, he was still fighting against those teachers who had forced him. I don't think that he was really enlightened. He had the capacity and the intelligence to become enlightened, and he was very close to enlightenment. The only barrier was his hatred, anger, about his masters and their behavior with him. That anger continued as an undercurrent.
I love the man. He has contributed great insights to the world, but he himself remained just close to enlightenment. He was not a Gautam Buddha, or a Ma Tzu, or a Hyakujo. I feel sad to say it, because I love him. His insights are very clear, but something was pulling him back, he could not open up in full flower. Something remained hanging around him, around his psychology. He was not a man of absolute freedom, although he talked about it.
He was a sincere man, otherwise he would not have refused to be the world teacher. He knew that he was not enlightened and that it would be insincere, dishonest, to declare himself as the world teacher. I love his honesty, but that does not mean I have to say that he was enlightened. Perhaps next life -- this life he missed, and he missed because of his teachers.
Source - Osho Book "Hyakujo : The Everest of Zen, with Basho's Haiku's"
Osho on famous people: Alan Watts, Alauddin Khan, Albert Einstein, Adolf Hitler, Confucius, Edmund Burke, Friedrich Nietzsche, George Santayana, Jawaharlal Nehru, Karl Marx, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Machiavelli, Madame Blavatsky, Mahatma Gandhi, Marilyn Monroe, Martin Buber, Mother Teresa, Nijinsky, Ravi Shankar, Sanjay Gandhi, Shakuntala Devi, Somerset Maugham, Soren Kierkegaard, Subhash Chandra Bose, Trotsky, Vilayat Ali Khan, Vincent van Gogh, Vinoba Bhave, Werner Erhard