Osho on Vincent Van Gogh

Osho – Bliss makes one victorious.
Money cannot make one victorious; at the most
It covers up your property
It does not make you rich, remember.

It simply helps you to forget your poverty,
That’s all — poverty remains, persists
But becomes repressed.
Wealth is a way to repress poverty
Power is a way
To repress your inferiority complex,
But you remain inferior
Power cannot make you superior.

You can become the president of a country
You can become a prime minister of a country
But you remain the same person,
Only the label changes, nothing else.
It changes nothing in you but
One can become hypnotised by the label.
People live by labels
People become very hypnotized by labels.

Vincent Van Gogh’s paintings were not sold
So he used to give to his friends —
What else to do with the paintings?
Not even a single painting was sold.
When he died even friends
Were not ready to hang his paintings
In their sitting rooms, in their drawing rooms
Because those paintings were very strange.

To hang them there
Was thought to become a laughing stock.
Anybody will see and he will think,
‘Have you gone mad or something? What is this?
What nonsense is this?’
So they will accept
Just not to hurt the feeling of Van Gogh
But they will throw the paintings in the basement
And then Van Gogh became famous when he died
And then people
Started searching for his paintings and suddenly
Paintings started coming into the drawing rooms
Of the kings and the emperors
And the prime minister and the presidents —
Even ordinary people were not ready!

One man was hanging a painting in his bathroom
Because nobody else will see except himself.
And he can tolerate it — he is a friend of Van Gogh
And the man is dead: Just in his memory
He can suffer it.

When Van Gogh’s name started becoming famous
The painting moved to the drawing room and
He was jubilant that he has a real painting.
But some critic wrote an article and proved that
It is phony, it is not true, it is not authentic
So he threw it into the basement —
The same painting.

But then there was great controversy
And other critics proved that it was authentic
Other scholars proved it was authentic.
When it was proved authentic
It came back again into the drawing room.
People live by labels! Nobody seems
To be interested in the painting itself.
The man is more concerned what others say.

And these are the power seekers:
They are always concerned what others are saying
And they completely forget who they are.
These are not the victorious people.
They may have money, they may have power
But they are poor people, very poor
They are beggars.

They real victorious people are very few.
They are the Buddhas, the awakened ones.
The are the people who have achieved bliss.
And the miracle is that
If you want to conquer the world
It is a very very arduous task because
There are so many competitors
And if you want to conquer yourself
There is no competition at all.
You can simply go in and conquer yourself —
No fight with anybody
No competition with anybody
No jealousy, no question of any politics…
But people never go inside.

Source – Osho Book “No Man Is an Island”

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