Osho on Swami Ramtirtha
Swami Ramtirtha

Osho : Swami Ramtirtha used to tell a beautiful story: There was a very great atheist and he was continuously talking against God. He had written on the wall of his drawing-room in big golden letters: ”God is nowhere.” And then a child was born to him, and one day he was playing with the child and the child was learning language.

He was not capable OF reading such a big word – ”no-where” – so he divided it in two. The child read the sentence: ”God is now-here.” ”Nowhere” was too big a word; he divided it in two: ”now-here.” It must have been a rare moment for the atheist. In fact, when you are playing with a child you forget your seriousness, you forget your ideologies, you forget your religion, you forget your philosophy, you forget your theology.

When you are playing with a child, something of meditativeness happens to you, hence playing with children is of great value. Playing with a child, for a moment you become a child. And remember Jesus’ saying again and again: Unless you are like small children you will
not enter into my kingdom of God. In that moment something happened. The child said, ”God is now-here,” and the father was taken unawares.

He heard it and he was in a playful mood with the child. And you cannot argue with a small child by saying, ”There is no God.” And because he was playful, silent, enjoying, the statement from the child became something of tremendous importance, became very pregnant, as if God had spoken through him.

He looked at the wall for the first time. His whole life he had been looking at that sentence. It was never: ”God is now-here.” It was always: ”God is nowhere.” He had never conceived that ”nowhere” could be divided into ”now-here,” that ”nowhere” consists of ”now-here.” He was transformed. It became almost a satori. He was no more an atheist.

People were puzzled. They could not believe what had happened because he had been so
argumentative and he had had so many proofs against God. ”What has happened?” And when they asked him he would shrug his shoulders. He would say, ”I can also understand why you look so puzzled. I myself am puzzled. Ask this child – he has done something. Hearing this sentence from him, something has changed in me.

Looking into the eyes of the child, something has been transformed in me. And it is not only that logically I am a different person, I am existentially different too. Since then I have been seeing God now-here: in the wind passing through the trees, in the rain falling on the roof, I hear his footsteps, I hear his song. The birds sing, and I am reminded God is now-here. The sun rises, and I am reminded God is now-here.

Now it is no more question of argumentation, it has become something of my experience.But mind is always going somewhere else. It is never now-here; it is always then-there. Mind exists only in THEN and there. That’s why Max Ehrmann has missed. He says: HEAR THEN… THEN looks more logical, but it is not existential.

Now is existential, although very illogical – because you cannot catch hold of NOW with logic. The moment you think you have caught hold OF it, it is already gone, it is already past. You can be in the now, but you cannot try to understand, to know NOW. By the time you try to continuously.

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