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Plants, the Oracle of Delphi and the Dalai Lama

Beloved Osho,
While traveling in Greece with a group of sannyasins, we visited Delphi, the place of the ancient Oracle, and where it is said Pythagoras once lived. We all felt a peaceful happiness while walking around the ruins, and in the end we all gathered on the top of the stadium and sat silently with each other. What happened to us? Why does one have such different feelings about different places?


People like Pythagoras, Socrates, Plotinus, Gautam Buddha, Lao Tzu, Chuang Tzu... the people of such state are continuously radiating - not with any effort, but effortlessly and spontaneously. Their experience, just like a candle, radiates light; their consciousness has become a light. Their being has attained to a fragrance, to a flowering, and everything around them is going to catch it. For centuries it will continue to vibrate.
I have not been to Delphi. I was thinking to go, but before being at Delphi I was arrested and thrown out of Greece. But Delphi was one of the places I would have liked to visit.
In India I have visited a few places... The place where Gautam Buddha became enlightened is called Bodh Gaya. It is a small temple - some follower made the temple as a memorial, by the side of the tree under which Buddha became enlightened. That tree still remembers something, and I came to know later on that the bodhi tree has a certain substance which no other tree has, and that is the substance which makes a man a genius. Only geniuses have that substance in their mind, and in the world of trees only the bodhi tree has that substance. Perhaps it is more perceptive, more receptive; it has a certain genius.
Buddha remained under that tree for many years. The whole area is still fragrant, and just by the side of the tree is the place where he used to walk. When he used to get tired of sitting and meditating then he would walk and meditate, so that place is marked by marble stones. But sitting under the tree or walking on those marble stones, you can feel you are not in this world, that this place has something which no other place has. Perhaps the moment Buddha became enlightened something exploded in him and was caught by everything that could catch it. We used to think before... but it is not the case. Now it is well proved that trees are very sensitive, more sensitive than man - their sensitivity just has a different level.
One scientist was working on trees. He had put on the tree a certain mechanism, just like a cardiogram, that takes the graph of the feelings of the tree, and he was surprised that when the gardener came... He had told the gardener, "You go and cut one of the branches of the tree. I want to see the effect." But there was no need to cut the branch. As the gardener came with his axe, the graph was already going mad!
The scientist said, "Don′t do that - the tree has already caught the idea that you are going to cut and hurt her." Later on he became more amazed, because when you cut one tree, all the other trees in the surrounding area, their graphs go mad. When the same gardener comes to water the tree, the graph remains perfectly balanced - it becomes even more harmonious. It seems the tree is able to catch your thoughts, your ideas. (read in this regard Plants Respond).
Perhaps the same may be found about rocks, the earth, because they are all alive. Their life may be on a different level, but they are all alive - and certainly they are more simple and more innocent. People have been keeping... In Tibet they have been keeping the bodies of enlightened people, because if the trees and the stones and the earth are impressed by the great experience, then certainly the body of the man, his bones, must be impressed - they are closer.
Perhaps Tibetans were the first to understand it: they have covered ninety-nine great masters′ bodies with gold. That used to be the most sacred place in Tibet. It is just... If you have seen the picture of Potala, the palace of the Dalai Lama, it is just underneath it. Potala is high in the mountains, and underneath there are many caves. One cave is devoted only to those ninety-nine bodies.

dalai lama in resort

Why did they stop at ninety-nine? A strange figure! A hundred would have been more appropriate. They had to stop because the lineage of Dalai Lamas dropped from the height it used to be, and the country could not produce anybody worthy of taking the hundredth seat in the sacred, secret temple. It was opened once a year for the people, and just to pass through it was to pass through another world.
Now it is completely closed so that the communists cannot find it - because they will not be interested in the bodies; they will be interested in the gold. They will destroy those bodies and take the gold - and it is a great quantity of gold. So before the Dalai Lama left Lhasa because of the communist invasion of the country, he sealed it in every possible way so that they cannot discover it. And they have not been able yet to discover it.
Slowly, slowly in all the countries where spirituality has flowered, people became aware that something happens... So people have preserved things that were used by these people, or just have made memorials of their bodies. In India bodies are burned, but you will be surprised to know that the remains left after burning a body are called "flowers". Ordinary people′s ashes are thrown into holy rivers, but enlightened people′s "flowers" are preserved in samadhis - in beautiful marble memorials. Just to go and sit there is in itself a meditation. But the trouble is that the world is ruled by those who know nothing of this.
For example, Delphi should not be open for everybody, because they will destroy its subtle vibration. But the government is interested in tourism!
Delphi should be open only to a few people who are chosen - chosen by a mystery school that should exist there. Delphi was a mystery school. In the days of Pythagoras and Socrates, Delphi was the temple - the most famous temple - of wisdom. And the priestess used to go into a trance. While praying and dancing and singing in the temple, she would go into a trance, and in her trance she would say things which always proved to be true. She herself could not remember anything when she came back from the trance; perhaps the trance was taking her higher into the mind, perhaps to the cosmic mind.
In such a trance she declared that Socrates was the wisest man in the world. And a few people visiting her from Athens were very happy, because Socrates was an Athenian. They reached Socrates - he was old - before his death, before his murder, and said, "You should be happy; the oracle of Delphi has declared you the wisest man in the world."
Socrates said, "It is too late. When I was very young I used to think that I was very knowledgeable, very wise. The more I came to know, the more I became ignorant - aware that what I know is nothing, and what I do not know is so much. Now, in my old age, I can say without any hesitation that I do not know anything. The oracle, for the first time it seems, has missed."
The people were very much surprised, because Socrates should have been happy hearing it. They went back and the priestess again danced, fell into a trance. They asked her in the trance, "You said Socrates is the wisest man in the world, but he denies it. He says, ′I do not know anything...′"
And the priestess in her trance said, "That′s why he is the wisest man in the world. Only idiots say that they know. Those who are wise cannot say that."
Places like these, or Bodh Gaya, should not be available to tourists - which is an ugly race with all their cameras, binoculars, and stupid things. And they are not interested in the place at all; they are taking photographs and rushing from here to there. Later on, sitting at home, they will look at the photographs and say, "Great! Our tour has been great. We visited beautiful places - you can see."
But they were never there; they were with their cameras. They should sit there, they should allow themselves to absorb the subtle vibe of the place... Something of Gautam Buddha must be there; it has to be there!

(Osho - Beyond Psychology #34)