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Osho on Roerich

roerich self-portrait

One very great painter not much known in the West, although he was a Western man - he lived in the Himalayas. He was a Russian, Nicholas Roerich, and he belonged to the czar's family. So while the revolution was happening and nineteen members of the czar's family were slaughtered, even a six-month-old child - sometimes these revolutions can be so ugly - Nicholas Roerich escaped; he was just a boy at that time.

He lived in the Himalayas. He was a painter, but not a painter for art galleries and marketplaces. He never sold any of his paintings - not because people were not ready to purchase, but because he was not willing to sell. He said, "It is not a commodity, it is me spread on the canvas. How can I sell it?" He died with all his paintings in his house.

I have been to his house - he was very old at that time - and seeing that he was vegetarian, I asked, "You are a Russian, why should you be vegetarian?"
He said, "Because of my paintings. I cannot even destroy a painting, which is not alive. How can I destroy a living being for my food? And if I can destroy a lion or a tiger, then why not destroy a man?"

Because human meat will be more digestible, more in tune with you, what is wrong with the cannibal? Why is everybody against the cannibals? Just because they are eating human beings? But cannibals say human meat is very delicious. They say there is nothing so delicious on the earth as human meat, particularly the meat of small children. If deliciousness and taste are decisive.... And perhaps they may be right, because they have eaten other foods also, and if they are saying it - and all cannibals agree.... But you can't think of eating a man. How can you think of eating a tiger? How can you think of eating a deer? Just if there is no mind given to you by the past, or if you can put it aside and see directly, you will be simply amazed at what people have been doing.

Vegetarianism should not be anything moral or religious. It is a question of aesthetics: one's sensitivity, one's respect, one's reverence for life. To me this is the law of karma. All other interpretations of it are absolutely wrong, just boo boo.

(Osho - From Personality to Individuality:)

You are here in Manali, in the Himalayas, surrounded by beautiful hills and majestic mountains. But you can see only that much beauty in these mountains as your eyes, your perception, your perspective are capable of. Nicholas Roerich, the renowned painter, happened to live here for a long time. If you go and see his paintings, they will give you quite a different perspective of the same mountains; you will see them with the eyes of Roerich. He came to these mountains from distant Russia at a time when there were no roads as there are today to connect the Himalayas with the rest of the world. And once he saw the Himalayas he made them his lifelong home; he never left again. These very mountains before you now had possessed Roerich, enchanted him.

You have been in the Himalayas for some time, and I don't think you look at these mountains any more. You might have seen them for a little while the first day you arrived and you were finished with them. They are now nothing more than mountains. But Nicholas Roerich spent his lifetime watching and painting the same Himalayas. The eternal and inexhaustible beauty of these mountains continued to enchant him till his last day; he never felt sated.

He dedicated his life to painting them, yet his thirst and passion and love for them remained undiminished. He looked at them from hundreds of angles - during the day and night; morning, noon and evening; summer and winter; spring, rains and autumn; sun and moon and stars - and in all their myriad colors and moods. He was busy painting them even at the time of his death.

So these mountains will look very different if you see them through the eyes of Roerich. They will tell you a different story if you get acquainted with the works of this man. I don't say that you should see these mountains the way Roerich saw them. No, I don't say that. And it is impossible for you to see them as this great painter has. But for sure, after knowing him and his works your perspective will change and deepen, you will know these mountains better.

(Osho - Krishna: The man & his philosophy)