Osho on Machiavelli
- Trusting unconditionally, you will be relieved of the burden.... Such
a big burden you are carrying on your heart, a Himalaya, because there
are so many millions of people you have to distrust.
Machiavelli, the only significant political philosopher of the West, writes in his masterpiece THE PRINCE: "Don't trust even your friend, because tomorrow he can become your enemy, the possibility is there." He also says, "Don't say things against your enemy, because tomorrow he can become your friend." These are the teachings he was giving to the princes from all over Europe. Princes were being sent to Machiavelli to learn politics, diplomacy, how to rule over people, how to conquer new lands, how not to be invaded.
But a strange thing.... One sannyasin told me she is a direct descendant of Machiavelli. I said, "I wanted to see Machiavelli, but he died a long time ago. It is good you have come to be a sannyasin. Some part of Machiavelli is within you, and I would like to talk to that part, because I always wanted to ask Machiavelli about all these princes whom he had been teaching...." No prince, when he became king, accepted Machiavelli as his prime minister. He applied again and again. Those were his own students; now they had become kings, and he wanted to become their prime minister.
It seems so logical that the prince would like his own wise teacher to become his wise adviser. But none of his disciples accepted him, they all refused. They said, "You are too cunning, too clever; we cannot trust you. And this is according to your teaching. We are simply following the dictums that you have given to us. We don't want to lose our kingdom" -- because if Machiavelli is prime minister today, tomorrow he will be the king. Machiavelli died a pauper, poor -- and he was the teacher of almost all the kings of Europe!
You teach people to distrust that means you are
teaching them to distrust you too.
Source - Osho Book "From Death to Deathlessness"
Osho on Machiavelli - Cruelty is a misunderstanding. It arises in us because of the fear of death. We don't want to die, so before anybody else kills you, you would like to kill him -- because the best method of defense is attack. I am quoting Machiavelli, whose great-granddaughter is a sannyasin. Machiavelli influenced immensely the political mind in the West.
The same kind of man, five thousand years ago, was born in India; his name was Chanakya. He has influenced the Eastern political mind in the same way.
You will be surprised to know that even after India's freedom and all the talk of nonviolence and the great power of nonviolence that has given India freedom... while Gandhi was still alive they named the diplomatic part of New Delhi "Chanakyapuri" after that man of five thousand years ago, Chanakya. Chanakyapuri means the City of Chanakya. And he was saying exactly what Machiavelli said just two to three centuries ago: "The best way of defense is to attack."
You don't know who is going to attack you. In the animal kingdom, in the human world, there is tremendous competition. So people simply go on attacking, not bothering whom they are attacking or whether he was really going to attack them. But there is no way to find out -- it is better not to take a chance.
And when you attack somebody, slowly slowly your heart becomes harder and harder and you start enjoying attacking. The phenomenon can be seen in the animals because it is the same competition -- for food, for power...
Source - Osho Book "The Path of The Mystic"
Osho on Machiavelli - Machiavelli is for the outside world; Lao Tzu, Patanjali and Buddha are for the inside world. And they teach different things. Machiavelli says attack is the best defense: "Don't wait. Don't wait for the other to attack, because then you are already on the losing. Already you have lost, because the other has started. He has already gained, so it is always better to start. Don't wait to defend; always be the aggressor. Before somebody else attacks you, you attack him and fight with as much cunningness as possible, with as much dishonesty as possible. Be dishonest, be cunning and be aggressive. Deceive, because that is the only way." These are the means that Machiavelli suggests. And Machiavelli is an honest man; that's why he suggests exactly whatsoever Is needed.
But if you ask Lao Tzu, Patanjali or Buddha, they are talking of a different type of victory -- the inner victory. There, cunningness won't do, deceiving won't do, fighting won't do, aggression won't do, because whom you are going to deceive? Whom you are going to defeat? You alone are there. In the outside world you are never alone. The others are there; they are the enemies. In the inside world you alone are there. There is no other. There is no enemy, no friend. This is a totally new situation for you. You will carry the old weapons, but those old weapons will become the cause of your defeat. When you change the world from without to within, leave all that you have learned from without. That is not going to help.
Somebody asked Ramana Maharshi that, "What I should learn to become silent, to know myself?" Ramana Maharshi is reported to have said that, "For reaching to the inner self you need not learn anything. You need unlearning, learning won't help. It helps to move without. Unlearning will help."
Whatsoever you have learned, unlearn it, forget it,
drop it. Move inside innocently, childlike -- not cunningness and
cleverness, but childlike trust and innocence; not thinking in terms
that someone is going to attack you. There is no one, so don't feel
insecure and don't make any arrangements for defense. Remain vulnerable,
receptive, open. That's what shraddha, trust, means.
That's why everybody carries this warrior-like attitude, but it is not needed. It is a hindrance, the greatest hindrance. Drop it outside. You can make it a point to remember that whatsoever is needed outside will become a hindrance inside. Whatsoever, I say unconditionally. And just the reverse has to be tried.
If doubt helps outside in scientific research, then faith will help inside in religious inquiry. If aggressiveness helps outside in the world of power, prestige, others, then non-aggressiveness will help inside. If cunning, calculating mind helps outside, then innocent, non-calculating, childlike mind will help inside.
Remember this: whatsoever helps outside, just the reverse will do inside. So read Machiavelli's PRINCE. That is the way for outside victory. And just make a reverse of Machiavelli's PRINCE, and you can reach inside. Just make Machiavelli stand upside down, and he becomes Lao Tzu -- just in shirshasan, in the headstand. Machiavelli standing on his head becomes Patanjali.
So read his PRINCE; it is beautiful -- the clearest statement for the outside victory. And then read Lao Tzu's TAO TEH CHING or Patanjali's YOGA SUTRAS or Buddha's DHAMMAPADA or Jesus' SERMON ON THE MOUNT. They are just the contradictory, just the reverse, just the opposite.
Jesus says, "Blessed are those who are meek because they will inherit the earth" -- meek, innocent, weak, not strong in any sense. "Blessed are the poor because they will enter the kingdom of my God." And Jesus makes it clear, "poor in spirit". They have nothing to claim. They cannot say, "I have got this." They don't possess anything -- knowledge, wealth, power, prestige. They don't possess anything, they are poor. They cannot claim that, "This is mine."
We go on claiming, "This is mine, that is mine. The more I can claim, the more I feel, 'I am.' " In the outside world, the greater the territory of your mind, the more you are. In the inner world, lesser the territory of mind, the greater you are. And when the territory disappears completely and you have become a zero, then -- then you are the greatest. Then you are the victorious. Then the victory has happened.
Warrior-like attitudes -- struggle fight, over-concern with strict rules, regulations, calculations, planning -- this mind is carried inside because you have learned it and you don't know anything else. Hence, the necessity of a Master. Otherwise you will go on trying your ways which are absolutely absurd there. Hence, the necessity of initiation. Initiation means somebody who can show you the path where you have never traveled, somebody who can give you a glimpse through him of a world, of a dimension, that is absolutely unknown to you. You are almost blind to it. You cannot see it because eyes can see only whatsoever they have learned to see.
Source - Osho Book "Yoga, Vol 1"
Osho on famous people: Annie Besant, Alan Watts, Albert Einstein, Adolf Hitler, Confucius, Friedrich Nietzsche, George Santayana, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Madame Blavatsky, Mahatma Gandhi, Marilyn Monroe, Martin Buber, Mother Teresa, Nijinsky, Shakuntala Devi, Somerset Maugham, Soren Kierkegaard, Subhash Chandra Bose, Vincent van Gogh, Vinoba Bhave
Portrait of Machiavelli by Santi di Tito