May 6, 2001
Bill Gates must be feeling poorer after being declared number two amongst the richest people on earth and he must be busy planning to regain the lost glory of being number one.
According to New York Times, “Microsoft was preparing a broad campaign countering the movement to give away and share software code, arguing that it potentially undermines the intellectual property of countries and companies.”
Recently there has been undue concern in the Western countries for protecting the so-called intellectual copyrights and trademarks of not only their scientific knowledge but of the spiritual and the traditional knowledge that is our common heritage.
The scientific knowledge has its own tradition. Osho tells us about this tradition: “…Scientific truths, once discovered, become the property of everybody else. Albert Einstein worked hard for thirteen years to discover the theory of relativity; now you can read all about it within hours – you need not discover it again. Edison worked for years, at least for three years, to discover the first electric light bulb; now you can go on producing electric light bulbs – you don’t need Edison’s to produce them. Ordinary labourers knowing nothing of electricity can do the job – they ARE doing it.”
Do you know? Where is it all coming from, what Microsoft has today and which it sells, thereby making billions? It has its root in the traditional scientific knowledge that has been freely available all along. And those earlier scientists did not make billions. Because all their inventions and discoveries have been a gift to the whole humanity. Similarly, what Eastern mystics like Patanjali gave to the whole world, the science of total health of the inner, the yoga-sutras, has been available to the whole world without any restrictions. Shiva gave 112 techniques of Tantra and the world has been benefiting from this inner science without ever feeling a need of any trademark or patent.
We, in the East believe that whatever comes in the realm of science and knowledge should remain an open source and everybody should be welcome to drink from the fountain of knowledge. Knowledge is a liberating phenomenon. Upanishads declare: „”Sa vidya ya vimuktaye – knowledge liberates.” The true knowledge is of universal nature and is meant for the liberation of whole mankind.
Media is right in observing that Mr. Bill Gates is being stingy in his approach. He is already the richest man of the world but his greed seems to have no limit.
Some others in the West have gone to the limit of patenting Neem, Haldi and Basmati Rice, an act which could not even be conceived in the East, hopefully it won’t be in the future, either. Now some misguided people are trying to register the trademarks for eastern meditation techniques, especially Osho Active Meditations. This is patent non-sense.
Osho once said:
“I would like you to be enriched by Newton, Edison, Eddington, Rutherford, Einstein; and I would like you also to be enriched by Buddha, Krishna, Christ, Mohammed, so that you can become rich in both the dimensions – the outer and the inner. Science is good as far as it goes, but it does not go far enough – and it cannot go. I am not saying that it can go and it does not go. No, it CANNOT go into the interiority of your being. The very methodology of science prevents it from going in. It can go only outwards, it can study only objectively; it cannot go into the subjectivity itself. That is the function of religion.
The society needs science, the society needs religion. And if you ask me what should be the first priority – science should be the first priority. First the outer, the circumference, then the inner – because the inner is more subtle, more delicate.
Science can create the space for real religion to exist on the earth.”
About knowledge he says, “Sa Vidya Ya Vimuktaye. Knowledge is that which liberates.” This is a marvellous saying. It is the most original definition of knowledge. This is the definition of knowledge as well as its criterion.”
Osho advocated against copyrighting of knowledge and thought and said, “Things can be copyrighted, thoughts cannot be copyrighted, and certainly meditations cannot be copyrighted. They are not things of the marketplace.”
For ten thousand years the East has been meditating and nobody has put trademarks upon meditations.”
Today is Buddha Purnima, the birthday of the world’s most glorious son, Gautama the Buddha, the benevolent friend of humanity, who gifted the world with Vipassana among other things. Let us celebrate his birthday with his meditation and remind the whole world again that there should be a total freedom to the knowledge of inner and outer science.
Greetings of Buddha Purnima
Swami Chaitanya Keerti