Osho – A Rich Man’s Guru

I was upset a couple of hours back as I had overslept in the afternoon. The heat in Mysore is unbearable and after visiting the Mysore Palace and a few other places we were just drained. Came back to the hotel and just slept !! I hadn’t walked my 10000 steps, nor could I gather my thoughts for a blog. Just started to write about the Mysore Palace and got interrupted. So I put on my headphones and tuned into My Master’s Voice – Osho’s discourse on the 42 Sutras of Buddha. Listened to the last portion of discourse no. 10 from Volume 3 …. the question is – Are you not a rich man’s Guru?

Read Osho’s answer below and to read the entire transcript of the discourse please click here.

“I AM – BECAUSE ONLY A RICH MAN CAN COME TO ME. But when I say ‘a rich man’ I mean one who is very poor inside. When I say ‘a rich man’ I mean one who is rich in intelligence; I mean one who has got everything that the world can give to him, and has found that it is futile.

Yes, only a rich person can become religious. I am not saying that a poor person cannot become religious, but it is very rare, exceptional. A poor person goes on hoping. A poor person has not known what riches are. He is not yet frustrated with it. How can he go beyond riches if he is not frustrated with them? A poor man also sometimes comes to me, but then he comes for something which I cannot supply. He asks for success. His son is not getting employed; he asks, “Bless him, Osho.” His wife is ill, or he is losing money in his business. These are symptoms of a poor man, one who is asking about things of this world.

When a rich person comes to me, he has money, he has employment, he has a house, he has health – he has everything that one can have. And suddenly he has come to a realisation that nothing is fulfilling. Then the search for God starts.

Yes, sometimes a poor man can also be religious, but for that very great intelligence is needed. A rich man, if he is NOT religious, is stupid. A poor man, if he is religious, is tremendously intelligent. if a poor man is not religious, he has to be forgiven. If a rich man is not religious, his sin is unpardonable.

I am a rich man’s guru. Absolutely it is so. Let me tell you one anecdote:

They were married for twenty-five years and had their biggest argument on the day of their silver anniversary. She never hit harder or lower: “If it weren’t for my money, that TV set wouldn’t be here. If it weren’t for my money, the very chair you’re sitting on wouldn’t be here!”

“Are you kidding?” he interrupted. “If it weren’t for your money – I wouldn’t be here!”

And let me say this to you: If it were not for your money, you would not have been here. You are here because you are frustrated with your money. You are here because you are frustrated with your success. You are here because you are frustrated with your life. A beggar cannot come because he is not yet frustrated.

Religion is luxury – the last, ultimate luxury I call it, because it is the highest value. When a man is hungry, he does not bother about music, cannot. And if you start playing sitar before him, he will kill you. He will say, “You are insulting me! I am hungry and you are playing sitar – is this the time to play sitar? Feed me first! And I am so hungry I cannot understand music. I am dying!” When a man is dying of hunger, what use is a Van Gogh painting? or a Buddha’s sermon? or beautiful Upanishads, or music? – meaningless. He needs bread.

When a man is happy with his body, has enough to eat, has a good house to live in, he starts becoming interested in music, poetry, literature, painting, art. Now a new hunger arises. The bodily needs are fulfilled, now psychological needs arise.

There is a hierarchy in needs: the first is the body; it is the base, it is the ground- floor of your being. Without the ground-floor, the first storey cannot exist.

When your bodily needs are fulfilled, psychological needs arise. When your psychological needs are also fulfilled, then your spiritual needs arise. When a person has listened to all the music that is available in the world, and has seen all the beauty, and has found that it is all dream; has listened to all the great poets, and has found that it is just a way to forget yourself, just a way to intoxicate yourself, but it does not lead you anywhere; has seen all the paintings and the great art – amusing, entertaining, but then what…? Then hands remain empty, more empty than they ever were before. Then music and poetry are not enough.

Then the desire to meditate, the desire to pray, a hunger for God, a hunger for truth arises. A great passion takes possession of you and you are in search of truth, because you now know: unless you know what the secretmost truth of this existence is, nothing can satisfy. All else you have tried and it has failed.

Religion is the ultimate luxury. Either you have to be very rich to come to this luxury, or you have to be tremendously intelligent. But in both the cases you are rich – rich with money or rich with intelligence. I have never seen a person who is really poor – poor in intelligence, poor in riches – ever become religious.

Kabir becomes religious. He was not a millionaire, but he was tremendously intelligent. Buddha became religious because he was tremendously rich. Krishna and Ram and Mahavir became religious because they were tremendously rich.

Dadu, Redas, Farid, they became religious because they were tremendously intelligent. But a certain sort of richness is needed.

Yes, you are right: I am the rich man’s guru.”

I found this video where Osho answers a journalist about why he is the rich man’s Guru –

Here’s the link incase the video doesn’t play – https://youtu.be/H0O9IK8bxM8.

It’s so refreshing to hear Osho speak and for me His voice is meditative. It just calms me down and gets me back to feeling a sense of balance.

What Osho says about riches is so true. Till we were struggling to get out of our financial hole, there was little time to think of anything else. We continued listening to Osho and reading several books, but the lingering feeling at the back of our minds was about the financial situation. Only when that situation got resolved we could move forward in our spiritual quest. The point is not to fixate on money or any worldly stuff beyond a point, that’s where most folks go wrong.

Thank you Master. 🙏🏿

1 thought on “Osho – A Rich Man’s Guru”

  1. Osho’s references to rich and poor deserves consideration, but I responded to your discomfort with the heat in Mysore. Where does physical discomfort fit into this picture of rich and poor? The body must eat, for sure, but that body can still be miserable if in pain or physically uncomfortable.

    Maybe Osho’s talks will go into deeper explanations of what the body requires for comfort. Perhaps this is another interpretation of what it means to be rich.


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