Thursday, April 28, 2005

Osho on conversion to Christianity

Why do Hindus convert to other religions? The main reason is untouchability. The so-called 'lower' castes are almost trampled upon by 'caste' Hindus. Organisations like RSS have realised this and have been trying to do something about it. But it has been an uphill task.

One of my friends sent the following incident in Osho's life. It's in Osho's own words. It shows how Christians manage to convert.

If a sudra becomes a follower of Buddha, immediately he is no longer untouchable. If a sudra becomes a Christian he is no longer untouchable. This is a very strange world.

I had a friend who was the principal of a theological college in Jabalpur, Principal Mackwan. I was saying to him, "Why are you Christians interested only in the poor?"

He said, "Please come to my house." I was sitting in his office. He said, "My house is just behind the college; come to my house; I want to show you something."

He showed me an old man and woman's picture. They were certainly beggars, in rags, dirty; you could even see it in their faces-so hungry. You could see that all their lives they had suffered; it was written in the lines on their forehead.

He said, "Can you recognize who these are?"I said, "How can I recognize them?-I have never seen these people, but they look like beggars."

He said, "They were beggars. He is my father, she is my mother. And not only were they beggars, they were sudras, untouchables. They became converted, in their old age, to Christianity because they were so old, tired of begging; and now they were concerned about their children-particularly this boy, who is now principal of Leonard Theological College. What would happen to him if they died? He would also become a beggar.

"Because they were sick they entered a Christian hospital, because no other hospital will take poor people and give them free medicine, food, care, doctors. So they entered, they had to enter, a Christian hospital. And there the whole methodology is: with the medicine to go on giving as much of The Bible as possible; with each injection a little Bible. With food, the doctor talks about it, the nurse talks about it; the priest comes every day to inquire about their health, how they are.

For the first time they felt that they were human beings. Nobody had ever asked them about their health. They were treated like dogs, not like human beings. And had they remained Hindus they would have died like dogs, dying on the street corner. You don't know, because that is not the way in the West….

Professor Mackwan told me, "This is my father and mother. They would have died like dogs and the municipal truck would have thrown them out of the city with all the garbage that it carries every day, because there is nobody to carry a beggar to the funeral pyre. Who bothers about a beggar? Beggars are not men, not human beings."

And then he took me to another picture of his daughter and his son-in-law. I was looking at three generations: the father and mother, almost below human beings; Mackwan, who has gained status and is now in a very respectable post, highly salaried.

Now brahmins come and shake hands with him, not knowing at all that he is the son of two beggars who were sudras. I know his daughter, one of the most beautiful women I have seen; she is married to an American.

Looking at the three generations…such a change. You cannot connect the daughter with the grandmother and how can you connect the son-in-law with her grandfather? There seems to be no bridge. The son-in-law is a well-known scholar, professor-six months teaching in India, six months teaching in America. Saroj, the daughter herself is a professor. They are all well-educated; the son is a principal. They have moved in a completely different direction by being converted to Christianity.

I could not object. I said, "Your father and mother did well."