Two Hundred Torches Can Give Fire to Millions – Osho

You have just been saying that the words of the Master become mere words after the Master is gone. What will happen after you are gone?

Do you think my words are not already dead for you? First, think of that. The master is there, his words are there, but are those words alive for you? If they are alive for you, don’t be worried. You know the secret.

It is not the words. The master can be there and the words can be dead. So why can’t it happen the other way around? – The master is dead, but the words are still alive. It all depends on you. It is not a question of the master’s life or death, but how you relate to those words.

Yes, it is simpler when the master is there, only in one way. Because those words are spoken, they carry some flavor of the master’s heart. They carry a few beats of the master’s heart towards you. It is simple in this way. But on the other hand, when the master is alive, perhaps the words will never become alive to you, because you start taking the master for granted. Then the words are dead.

It happened in the Second World War that Adolf Hitler declared that he was going to destroy the Tower of London. Millions of people rushed towards the tower – they had passed the tower thousands of times in their lives, but had never taken the trouble to see it. People come from all over the world to see the Tower of London, but Londoners take it for granted. The moment Hitler said he was going to destroy it, suddenly those people who had lived their whole lives in London became aware that the Tower of London could not be taken for granted anymore. They rushed to see it before this madman, Adolf Hitler, destroyed it.

The master is alive – but the disciple can take him for granted. You can take me for granted. Then those words are already dead, because your aliveness is not available. If you are capable of being alert, alive, responsive, it makes no difference: the master may be dead, but his words will go on resounding in you. Even the written words, which are dead, can become alive in you; you just have to open your heart.

The question is not of the master’s life and death, the question basically is of your response.

So don’t be worried about when I am gone. Those who are missing me now will be missing me then too – no loss. Those who are living my message now, they will go on living it. And if they go on living it, they cannot help but spread it. I am not depending on books – all the religions have depended on books – I am depending on you!

George Gurdjieff used to say – very sadly, of course – that if even two hundred people are enlightened, they can make the whole world full of light, full of life. Just two hundred people can transform the whole character of humanity. He could not manage it, but what he said is true.

I am going to manage it! I will not leave you unless I have made enough people enlightened so that they can make the whole world afire, alive. I am depending on you, not on any books. Those books may be helpful in some way to bring people to you, but my word will be throbbing in your heart; only then can you help anybody who comes to you.

And it is so simple. I have more than half a million sannyasins in the world, and more than one million people who are just on the borderline – a little push and they will be sannyasins. One million more who are lovers but cannot drop their camelhood….

On this big a scale, a worldwide scale, nobody has worked before. Gautam Buddha remained confined to the small state of Bihar in India – not even the whole of India. India has thirty states;

Buddha remained confined to one space, one state. He did great work, but it was impossible to transform the whole quality of consciousness on the earth. The same is true about Jesus, Moses – anybody who has been trying.

For a simple reason I have been able to contact millions of people around the world: I am not confined to any tradition. I am not burdened by the past, I am completely weightless. So anybody who is burdened – and who is not burdened? – becomes interested in me, particularly the young people who are fed up with all the nonsense that is being taught in the churches and the synagogues, in the temples, in the mosques.

All these people, these churches, synagogues and mosques, are trying to bridge the gap. You have heard the phrase “generation gap.” Between you and the church, between you and the synagogue, there is not just a generation gap; there is a gap of hundreds of generations. And in trying to bridge it, they are proving themselves buffoons, because truth never compromises. It cannot – with whom will it compromise? Compromising truth means compromising with lies.

And all these people have become afraid that young people are no longer interested; they don’t come to the synagogue, they don’t come to the church, so something should be done that can attract young people. Their whole business is going down.

I have heard about three rabbis…. And by the way, don’t let me drift. Whenever I come across the word “rabbi” I immediately associate it with rubbish. These three rabbis were meeting, discussing, talking about great things. One rabbi said, “My synagogue is the most modern, because we allow people to smoke in the synagogue. There is no harm in it.”

The second rabbi said, “This is nothing, my synagogue is even more modern: we even allow people to make love in the synagogue. What is wrong with it?”

The third rabbi said, “This is nothing. My synagogue is the most avant-garde.”

The two rabbis said, “Just tell us what you have done.”

He said, “My synagogue remains closed for Jewish holidays!”

They are trying hard, but it is just foolishness. They cannot catch hold of the new spirit of man.

I don’t give you any tradition.

I don’t give you any scripture.

I don’t give you any discipline.

Those are all non-essentials. I simply concentrate my whole work on making you more conscious. Consciousness is the key to transform the whole of humanity.

And yes, Gurdjieff is right: if even two hundred people are aflame, enlightened, the whole world will become enlightened, because these two hundred torches can give fire to millions of people.

Those people are also carrying torches, but without any fire. They have everything, just the fire is missing. And when fire passes from one torch to another, the first torch is not losing anything at all.

The enlightened consciousness is an infinite reservoir: it can give to you and yet it remains the same. Its quantity does not decrease, because it is not a question of quantity at all; it is a question of quality. Qualities can be shared without losing anything.

You can love as many people as you want – that does not mean one day you will go bankrupt, and you will have to declare, “Now I have no love.” You cannot go bankrupt as far as love is concerned. Yes, you can go bankrupt as far as money is concerned. Money is a quantity; love is a quality. What to say of enlightened consciousness? It is the highest quality possible; there is nothing higher than that.

Don’t be afraid, worried that if I am gone, then what will happen to my words. I will not be gone before I have sown the seeds of those words in you. They are not mine! They are nobody’s. They are coming out of existence itself – I am simply a vehicle. You can become a vehicle. Everybody is capable of becoming a vehicle. Hence, I am not depending on old strategies; they have all failed. I am depending on living human beings.

And that is the only way to save humanity without becoming a savior, to save humanity without creating in them greed for heaven and fear of hell. The only way to save humanity is to give them some taste of what it means to be enlightened, a little fragrance, so they can feel the invisible.

And I am absolutely certain, utterly happy, that I have got the right people: people who are going to be my books, my temples, my synagogues. This is the reason I call this the first religion, because it depends on living human beings, not on dead holy scriptures, traditions, beliefs.

I am giving you the taste of my being, and preparing you to do the same, on your part, to others. It all depends on you, whether my words will remain living or will die. As far as I am concerned, I do not care.

While I am here, I am pouring myself into you. And I am grateful that you are allowing it to happen. Who bothers about the future? There is nobody in me who can care about the future. If existence can find me as a vehicle, I can remain assured that it can find thousands of people to be its vehicle. I am simply giving you a little opportunity to become vehicles of the whole.


From The False to the Truth, Discourse #16.

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation


An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from  or you can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

Many of Osho’s books are available in the U.S. online from and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from and


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