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Michael Skowron


Muhammad Iqbal, Sri Aurobindo, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh

In this paper I do not want to examine what Nietzsche thought about India but to take the
other point of view and ask what and how Indians think or thought of Nietzsche, taking as
examples Muhammad Iqbal (1877-1938), Sri Aurobindo (1972-1950) and Bhagwan Shree
Rajneesh (Osho) (1931-1990).
Nietzsches few but approving notes about India and especially Indian philosophy, including
Buddhism, are well known. In Dawn, which has a motto from one of the oldest Indian books,
the Rigveda: There are so many sunrises that have not yet dawned, the Indians (and not the
proverbial Germans) are called the people of thinkers and put forward as an example for
the Europeans, whom they should follow in their religious development, because in India
already some thousand years ago not only the gods had been discarded, but also the priests
and the old rites and customs, on which their power had rested, giving way for the Buddha,
the teacher of the religion of self-redemption. (D 96). The book ends in a question and a
comparison to the India traveler Columbus, who discovered America instead: Will they
some time in the future say of us, that we also, steering to the West, hoped to reach an India, but that it was our fate to get wrecked? (D 575)
Buddhism, the religion of self-redemption and the invitation to everyone to follow the
Buddha in his steps to become a Buddha oneself,1 however, almost disappeared later in India
again and the traditional Hinduism with its many gods and, coming from the West, the strict
monotheistic Islam, replaced Buddhism, up to the point of separation of the newly found
Islamic Pakistan from India in 1947. The spiritual father of an independent Islamic
Pakistan, Muhammad Iqbal (1877-1938), had studied philosophy and law in Great Britain
and received his doctorate 1908 in Munich with a thesis on The Development of Metaphysics
in Persia, in which he retraced the development of metaphysics in Persia from Zoroaster to
Bahaullah, the founder of the Bahai religion. It is therefore not surprising that he also
showed interest in Nietzsche, the poet of Thus spoke Zarathustra and the concept of the
overhuman proposed in it.
Iqbals well-known statement about Nietzsche in a poem published in his Message of the
East (1924) that his mind (or brain) is a disbeliever, but his heart is believing,
distinguishes between heart and mind and observes a contradiction of both in Nietzsche. The
result can only be paradox paganism or a paradox religiosity. The question is, what belief or
believes Nietzsche had and how they differed from Iqbals. Since it is Nietzsches Zarathustra,
who proposes the overhuman, we should distinguish between Nietzsche and his
First published in The Korean Journal of East West Science 2006, Vol. 9, No.2, pp. 1-14.
Not depending on words and speech, a special transmission outside the Sutras: pointing directly to mind, see
your true nature, become Buddha. (Zen Master Seung Sahn: The Compass of Zen. Boston & London 1997, pp.
23, 205, 244).

son Zarathustra, who is not only a disbeliever in his mind, but also in his heart. The main
difference between Iqbal and Zarathustra, which affects all others, is probably the belief in
god. Whereas Nietzsches or rather Zarathustras concept of the overhuman is independent
from the concept of god, because God is dead, Iqbals corresponding idea of the perfect
man is still or again hinging on the believe in god: The perfect mans arm is really Gods
arm, dominant, creative, resourceful, efficient, human, but angel-like in disposition, a servant
with the Master's attributes. 2 An even more important difference, which is generally
overlooked is, that what is for Iqbal a modesty is for Zarathustra a presumption and a kind of
arrogance and vice versa. Whereas the overhuman is for Zarathustra an expression of
modesty, acknowledging that the human is not the measure of all things and something
overhuman exists in the human, without giving it the traditional status of divinity, to render it
infallible and impregnable, the reverse view holds for someone who still believes in god. We
will see the same argument and (mis)understanding in Sri Aurobindos reproach of titanic
egoism against Zarathustras concept of the overhuman.
Nietzsches description of his experiences of inspiration in writing Thus spoke Zarathustra
shows clearly that he resisted the temptation to understand himself merely as gods arm or
to be merely incarnation, merely mouthpiece, merely a medium of overpowering forces, an
idea which one could hardly reject if one had the slightest residue of superstition left in
ones system (EH, Za 3). To raise the highest suspicion against him, Nietzsche emphasized
instead himself and his personal engagement: I want to inspire the highest suspicion against
me: I am talking only of things I have personally experienced and I am not presenting merely
brain-acrobatics. (PN 1884, KSA 11, 27[77]).

Sri Aurobindo (1872-1950) spent his early years from 1879 to 1893 also in Great Britain and
encountered Nietzsche and his Zarathustra, which he might have even read in German.
Regarding the overhuman we can see a similar ambiguous attitude as in Muhammad Iqbal,
since Aurobindo considered it to be a solid teaching on one hand but also a titanic
egoism on the other, because he too connected it again (or still) to the concept of god.
Nietzsches idea that it is our real task to develop the superman from our present, unsatisfactory humanity, is in
itself a very solid idea. His expression of our goal: to become who we are, to overcome ourselves, which is
including that humans have still not yet completely discovered their true self, their true nature, through which
they can live successfully and spontaneously, this formulation could hardly be improved. But then the question
of all questions arises: what is our self and what is our true nature? (SABCL, Vol. 15; quoted in Huchzermeyer,
Wilfried: Der bermensch bei Friedrich Nietzsche und Sri Aurobindo, Wrzburg 1986, p. 79).

For Aurobindo Nietzsche was an apostle who did not fully understand his own message and
had only a vague idea about the overhuman. According to Aurobindo a distinction has to be
made between the mental and the supramental and the corresponding mental and supramental
In mental thought superhumanity means only that a human being is gradually surpassing the normal human state,
only by extension of his personality, an enlarged and exaggerated ego, increased power of mental and vital

For a Perfectionism without god, cf. Conant, James: Nietzsches Perfectionism. In: Schacht, R. (ed.):
Nietzsches Postmoralism. Cambridge 2001, pp. 182-257.

powers and sophisticated or concentrated and massive exaggeration of the powers of human ignorance. (SABCL,
Vol. 19, p. 1067, op. cit., p. 84).

Supramental overhumanity on the other hand is supposed to be our true nature,

our hidden self, which we are not yet but have to become and which is not the strong but unenlightened vital
will, which Nietzsche praised, but a spiritual nature, that can use our mental being, which we already are, in a
spiritual way and transform the goal-oriented activity of our vital and physical nature into a spiritual idealism.
(SABCL, Vol. 15, p. 224, op. cit., p. 79).

The method, through which the human nature has to be sublimated in a triple psychic,
spiritual and supramental transformation, is Aurobindos integral yoga. But we can find a
similar triple transformation already in Zarathustra first speech On the three Metamorphoses,
which leads from the weight-bearing camel through the freedom-searching lion to the playing
child. Aurobindo catches on to this speech but cuts it short of the decisive third stage and
equates the overhuman with the lions soul: Nietzsche regarded the superman as the lions
soul, which grows out of the state of the camel; but the true symbol of the superman is the
lion, sitting on the camel, that is standing on the cow of abundance. (SABCL, Vol. 15, p.
218, op. cit., pp. 85). Whereas Zarathustra surpasses die first two stages, represented by two
animals through the third stage, represented by the playing human child, Aurobindo adds
another animal, the cow and puts it underneath the first stage. The child, which is according
to Zarathustra innocence, and forgetting, a new beginning, a game, a self-propelled wheel, a
first movement, a sacred Yes(Za I, On the three Metamorphoses, KSA 4, p. 31), was
obviously not compatible with Aurobindos preconceived idea of Nietzsches overhuman.
The question is therefore not so much, whether Nietzsche understood himself properly but
whether Sri Aurobindo understood Nietzsche properly.

Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (Osho) (1931-1990) does not even try or claim to understand
Nietzsche properly. Commenting on his Talks on Friedrich Nietzsches Thus Spoke
Zarathustra (1987), which were published in two volumes under the titles: Zarathustra. A
God that can Dance (I) and Zarathustra the laughing Prophet (II), Osho admits openly that
he treated Nietzsche and Zarathusra (and we could add others too) very freely and does not
claim to be very scientific or academic:
It is a very complicated affair. I was not speaking directly on Zarathustra, I was speaking on the Zarathustra who
is an invention of Friedrich Nietzsche. All the great insights are given by Nietzsche to Zarathustra. Zarathustra
many times his original books have been brought to me, and they are so ordinary that I have never spoken on
them. Nietzsche has used Zarathustra only as a symbolic figure [...]. Nietzsche had used a historical name but in
a very fictitious way.
So, first, it is Nietzsches Zarathustra, you should remember; it has nothing much to do with the original
And secondly, when I am speaking on it, I dont care what Nietzsche means and I dont even have any way to
know what he means. The way he used Zarathustra, I am using him! So it is a very complicated story. It is my
Nietzsche, and Nietzsche is my Zarathustra. So what heights you are flying in has nothing to do with Zarathustra.
(Zarathustra I, Introduction)

Looking at this statement, we can see that it is even more complicated than Osho says,
because this statement makes already itself free use of Nietzsche and Zarathustra. Because
Osho talks in his book as if Nietzsches Zarathustra and the historic Zarathustra twenty five
centuries ago were simply identical (e.g. Zarathustra I, p. 7, 67), his remark, that he was not
talking on Zarathustra but on Nietzsches Zarathustra becomes necessary. Zarathustra
however has not only lived several hundred years earlier than Osho says, there are also no
books of him, which could have been shown to him. All that remains from the historic
Zarathustra are some short hymns (gathas) which are ascribed to him. It is also misleading to
say that Osho used Nietzsche in the same way Nietzsche had used Zarathustra, because
Nietzsche relates his Zarathustra in a very specific and definite sense to the historic
Zarathustra. His Zarathustra is for him the self-overcoming of morality, out of truthfulness;
the self-overcoming of the moralist, into his opposite (EH, Why I am a Destiny 3). Osho
gives instead another explanation why Nietzsche and he himself had chosen Zarathustra as
their spokesperson: He chose Zarathustra for the same reason that I chose him: Zarathustra,
among all the religious founders, is the only one who is life-affirmative, who is not against
life, whose religion is a religion of celebration, of gratefulness to existence. (Zarathustra I, p.
6). This can be said only insofar, as necessary self-overcoming is for Nietzsche and
Zarathustra the law of life itself (Za II, On Self-Overcoming; GM III, 27, KSA 5, p. 410),
whose foremost example Zarathustra becomes, calling himself the advocate of life, suffering
and the circle (Za III, The Convalescent 1). Oshos relation to Nietzsche and Zarathustra
could be rather compared to Nietzsches relation to Schopenhauer, of whom he says:
I am far from believing that I have understood Schopenhauer correctly, but I have only understood myself
through him a little bit better; that is why I am so very grateful to him. And it seems anyway to me to be not so
important, as people think nowadays, to find out exactly what a philosopher exactly meant and that it has to be
brought to light, what he really taught, what not: such knowledge is at least not suited for people who are
looking for a philosophy for their lives and are not seeking new erudition for their memory: and in the end I
doubt whether this can really be fathomed. (PN 1874, KSA 7, 34[13])

This way Nietzsche comes again much closer to Osho, since we can suppose that Osho does
not philosophize for erudition and memory but for life and his own better selfunderstanding. Philosophy of this kind cannot be reduced to mere historic correctness
towards assumed historical facts but it should also not contradict them and give a wrong
impression as it happens many times with Osho. Some statements of Osho are simply wrong
or misleading, for example when he says, Nietzsche had written the Antichrist in the insane
asylum (God is dead, p. 72) or that Hitler got the idea of the overhuman from Nietzsche, 3 or
when he is (mis)guided by dubious accounts of Nietzsches sister (without naming her) or
explains the attractivity of the overhuman with inferiority-complexes like Alfred Adler (The
Rajneesh Bible I, p. 703, Bible III, pp. 506-534). 4 Sometimes Osho puts sentences in

Hitler has probably never read Nietzsche. Neither does his name appear in My struggle (1925), nor in his
Tabletalks or in his Notes from 1905-1924 (Ottmann, Henning: Philosophie und Politik bei Nietzsche. Berlin
1999. p. 2; cf. Riedel, Manfred: Nietzsche in Weimar. Leipzig 2000. p. 124f.).
Nietzsche has also never said: Before you can reach heaven, you have to reach hell. (Bible II, p. 715). Or: If
you avoid hell, heaven is already avoided, because heaven is a second step. You have missed the first
step. Osho is probably thinking of the story of King Vishvamitra which Nietzsche refers to in the Genealogy of
Morals, who, after millennia of self-torture, acquired such a sense of power and confidence in himself that he
undertook to build a new heaven. Here we have a majestic parable of the most ancient as well as the most
modern philosophers development. Whoever, at any time has undertaken to build a new heaven has found the
strength for it in his own hell. (GM III, 10; cf. D 113, GS 338, KSA 3, p. 566). Nietzsche however wants to free
philosophy from this larval form of the ascetic ideal. The similar passage which Osho quotes about the tree

Nietzsches mouth, which are only half text or quote, while the other half is already
interpretation, e.g. Nietzsches famous statement: God is dead, which Osho completes
with: therefore man is free. (God is dead, p. 3; Bible II, p. 191; Bible III, p. 46; Light on
the Path, p. 114). Even though the addition makes an important point, it is already
interpretation, not text. The inevitable following question: free for what? is also taken by
Osho from Zarathustra (without quotation), who says: Free from what? As if that mattered to
Zarathustra! But your eyes should tell me brightly: free for what? (Za I, On the Way of the
Oshos wrong, misleading and negative views are compensated by his positive and insightful
views, which are nevertheless quite often later qualified. Besides being a born mystic
Nietzsche is on one hand perhaps the greatest philosopher the world has known. (Zarathustra
I, p. 4), but the reservation lies in the word philosopher, because philosophers are for Osho
one-sided and preoccupied only with thinking, thereby forgetting meditation. In a different
context therefore, Nietzsche is only a thinker, a philosopher of tremendous genius. But
whatever he is saying is only a logical, rational, philosophical statement. It is not
existential. (God is dead, p. 239). Osho did not realize that for Nietzsche his thoughts were
his experiences and events, abstract thinking for him on good days, a feast and a
rapture (PN 1885, KSA 11, 34[130]), not only brain-acrobatics.6
When Nietzsche refers to the Indians as the people of thinkers as mentioned in the
beginning, it could also mean that for Nietzsche thinking was something similar to meditation
in India. Nietzsche describes thinking as lying still, [...] idleness, [...] waiting and being
patient (EH, HH 4), not as calculating with the watch in ones hand (GS 329) and as if
we had a incessant rolling machine in our heads (GS 6). 7 Osho disagrees in this respect also
with Sri Aurobindo, for whom Nietzsche was primarily a seer and prophet, not a thinker:
Nietzsche does not think, but he sees, clear or unclear, right or disfigured, but rather with the
whose roots have to reach deeper and deeper in order for the tree to grow higher and higher (ibid. p. 716, cf.
God is dead, p. 239), is not a real quote, but refers probably to the chapter On the Tree on the Mountainside in
Part I of Zarathustra (cf. also GS 371). Nietzsche has also never written exactly that sentence: Dont be fooled
by my smiles. I smile only when I want to hide my tears. I dont want to expose my wounds to anyone it is so
humiliating. (Zen: The Diamond Thunderbolt, p. 113). We find rather the opposite in Zarathustra, when he
says: It is my favorite malice and art that my silence has learned not to betray itself through silence. [...] And
must I not conceal myself like one who has swallowed gold, lest they slit open my soul? [...] I show them only
the ice and the winter of my peaks and not that my mountain still winds all the belts of the sun around itself.
[...] How could they endure my happiness if I did not wrap my happiness in accidents and winter distress and
polar-bear caps and covers of snowy heavens [...] Let them hear me chatter and sigh over my chilblains. The ice
of knowledge will yet freeze him to death! they moan. Meanwhile I run crisscross on my mount of olives with
warm feet, in the sunny nook of my mount of olives I sing and mock all pity. (Za III, On the Mount of Olives,
KSA 4, p. 220f.)
It is also possible that Oshos understanding of Nietzsche has changed over time or that he makes at least
different statements in different contexts, which are difficult to reconcile. In 1977 he says e.g.: Nietzsche is
right about modern humanity when he says God is dead. Not that God is dead! How can God be dead? God
means the eternal element, the first principle. God cannot be dead. But you can be so against God, you can be so
empty of God, that for you he is dead. (The First Principle, p. 27; cf. And the Flowers showered p. 173). Ten
years later (1987) he says: With Zarathustra and with Friedrich Nietzsche I agree totally. Just my expression is
different. I want to say that God has never been alive; there has never been any God. God is an invention out of
fear, or out of greed, or out of frustrations in life. (Zarathustra I, p. 44; cf. Bible I, p. 334; Bible III, p. 57; God
is dead, p. 205-206).
You know these things as thoughts, but your thoughts are not your experiences but the repercussion of those
of others, as if your room trembles when a carriage passes by. But I am sitting in the carriage, and sometimes I
am the carriage myself. (PN 1880, KSA 9, 6 [448]).
The tempo of Zarathustras speeches is correspondingly a tender slowness (EH, Preface 4, KSA 6, p. 260) in
a rhythm with wide arches (EH, Za 3, KSA 6, p. 339).

eye of the seer (prophet) than with the brain of the thinker. (SABCL, Vol. 9, The Future
Poetry, p. 32, quoted in Huchzermeyer, loc. cit., p. 76). But for Osho neither Sri Aurobindo
nor Nietzsche were fully enlightened: Aurobindos path is as yet the path of an
unenlightened person, moving towards it but yet in the dark. The morning is not very far, but
it has not happened yet. (The Search. Talks on the ten bulls of Zen. Gtersloh, p. 133).8
Nietzsche was also not enlightened, but Nietzsches madness is a symbol that he was almost
ready to become enlightened, but could not find the door. [...] meditation is the name of the
door. (God is dead, p. 192, 205).
For Osho it was Nietzsches and his Zarathustras greatness that they did not remain secluded
and separated from ordinary people in their heights but that they came again down like
Bodhisattvas into the marketplace and never forgot the ordinary human being (Zarathustra I,
p. 4f.). Nietzsche would have probably described it as overabundance. Osho also admonishes
Nietzsches readers to be careful because Nietzsche had written in a very condensed form,
and where everyone could have written a whole book, he wrote only one paragraph, so that
unless one is very alert one misunderstands or misses the point. (Zarathustra I, p. 10, Light on
the Path, p. 288). As Nietzsche had said: my ambition is to say in ten sentences what
everyone else says in a whole book what everyone else does not say in a whole book. (TI,
Skirmishes 51; cf. KSA 14, p. 484f.).
Different from Muhammad Iqbal and Sri Aurobindo however, Osho agrees with Nietzsche in
separating the concept of the overhuman from the concept of god. But he modifies the
concept of the superman for another reason and calls him the new man, because the
superman gives a sense of superiority [...] Otherwise the word is beautiful,, but it can be
misguiding; hence I call it the new man, or the Buddha, because the new man is going to be
fully awakened. (God is dead, p. 116). If Osho would not have simply accepted the old
translation of bermensch as superman, but had taken a more recent translation like
overman or overhuman or would have left the word untranslated and asked for its
meaning, he might have come to a different result. Whereas bermensch was already for
Nietzsche and Zarathustra a very thoughtful word (EH, Why I write so good books 1, KSA
6, p. 300), an inappropriate translation can create more and new problems. Whereas Iqbal
qualifies the goal of human development by the adjective perfect, replacing the obviously
inadequate super, Aurobindo by supramental (retaining an allusion to super) and Osho
by new, Zarathustra uses the word ber, meaning over or above. Super, perfect,
supramental and new are different attempts to translate and to understand the
preposition ber, and new replaces a spatial expression (ber) merely by a temporal one
(new). 9 The first task to understand the bermensch is therefore to understand the
word ber:
Who has fully understood the preposition ber, has also understood the whole range of human pride and
misery. Who is above things, is not in things therefore not even in himself! The latter can be his pride. (PN
1876, KSA 8, 17[33])

According to Osho, physical immortality was Sri Aurobindos contribution to the idea of the superman
(Bible III, p. 528; Zarathustra I, pp. 59-61). As negative as Osho is about this contribution he is about
Aurobindos writing, which he calls just the worst possible. [...] Aurobindos books are unreadable, pedantic,
verbose. [...] In those books there is nothing. (Bible III, pp. 522-523). Just the opposite is for him the case with
Nietzsches very condensed writing where you can make a whole book out of one paragraph. [...] That should
be the ultimate way of writing. (Light on the Path, p. 288).
Cf. Vattimo, Gianni: Nietzsche und das Jenseits vom Subjekt. In: Jenseits vom Subjekt. Wien 2005, pp. 37-63,
who is again refering to Bataille, Georges: La vielle taupe et le prfixe sur dans les mots surhomme et
surraliste. In: Oevres Compltes, crits posthumes 1922-1940. Paris 1970. Vol. 2, pp. 93-109.

To be above or over does therefore not necessarily express a superiority to be proud of, it
can also be an insight into the misery of the human self and therefore a reason for utmost
modesty.10 Who can see only the pride in ber and the bermensch, cuts them in half
and has strictly speaking not understood them at all, probably because the modesty of the
spirit is even more difficult to endure than its pride, as Zarathustra says: Verily, you do not
know the pride of the spirit! But even less would you endure the modesty of the spirit if ever
it would speak. (Za II, On the Famous Wise Men)
Osho claims that beside the terminological question the new man is the same as the
bermensch: The new man will not be higher or holier than you, he will be totally
different from you there is no comparison. [...] It will be totally different from you and yet
it will be your very essence. (Zarathustra I, p. 62).11 Being totally different from the human
on one hand but at the same time his proper essence on the other, explains why Osho can call
him a Buddha. It also agrees with the definition of the bermensch given above, as that in
human being which at the same time transcends the human being, without being god or
Whereas Osho differs from Muhammad Iqbal and Sri Aurobindo in not connecting the
concept of the overhuman to the concept of god anymore, coming close to the Buddhist
religion of self-redemption and to Zarathustra, he applies a similar distinction between
mind and no-mind, which corresponds to their difference between mind and heart and the
mental and supramental. According to Osho Nietzsche suffered from a one-sided overdevelopment of the mind, neglecting his meditative no-mind, which led to his eventual
I have a tremendous love for Friedrich Nietzsche, and a deep compassion, because the man suffered his whole
life for the simple reason that he remained a thinker and he never went beyond thoughts; otherwise there would
be no question of suffering. (Light on the Path, p. 289)

Osho continues to compare himself to Nietzsche and recognizes that he was even more
misunderstood than him, which does nevertheless not drive him insane because he grew up in
the East where meditation is a well known widespread practice. Nietzsches death in madness
is for Osho a condemnation of the whole Western approach, because in the West
meditation is hardly known and misunderstanding becomes therefore an unbearable
experience (ibid., p. 286). Nietzsche, he claims
should have been in the East, because in the East it is very difficult to avoid meditation. Sooner or later you are
bound to stumble upon it, and particularly a great thinker like Nietzsche. If he had meditation too, he would
have been in the same state as Gautam the Buddha not less than that. As far as intelligence is concerned,
perhaps he is more intelligent than Gautam the Buddha. [...] If the mind is developed fully, the person is going


Already at the beginning of the second Untimely Meditation on Schopenhauer as Educator Nietzsche wrote:
your true being does not lie deeply hidden within you, but rather immeasurably high above you, or at least
above what you commonly take to be your ego. (SE 1; italics M.S.).
The new man is the very ordinary man: Nothing special, nothing superior, supramental. The new man is the
first man who recognizes that it is enough to be human. There is no need to be a superman. There is no need to
become gods and goddesses. It is so fulfilling just to be an ordinary human being. I declare to you: There is
nothing above human consciousness. Everything that is possible is within you. You are not to become special,
superior. You have to become absolutely simple, ordinary, just nobodies. (The Rajneesh Bible, Vol. III, p. 530).
This reminds of Zen-Master Lin-chis (Rinzai) sermon on the true man: Over (!) a mass of reddish flesh sits
a true man who has no title (or status).

to be mad, unless, side by side, he is also developing no-mind, and no-mind becomes the base. Then he can use
the mind as much as he wants, it leaves no trace behind. (ibid., p. 289f., cf. God is dead, p. 13)

Oshos description is one more time not in agreement with Nietzsche himself, who mentions
in Ecce homo, that he knew already in an absurd early age, with thirteen years that no
human word would ever reach me and that nevertheless nobody had ever seen him to be
saddened by it. And as much as he had never suffered from being not understood he had also
never suffered from loneliness. (EH, Why I am so smart 10, KSA 6, p. 297). For Osho not
only Nietzsche, but the new man too should have his base in meditation and no-mind. After
the death of god, Zen is for Osho the only living truth: If God is dead and you dont come
close to the experience of Zen, you will become insane. Your sanity depends now only on
Zen, that is the only way to find the truth. (God is dead, p. 12).
For Nietzsche and Zarathustra however the base, which has to be developed first, is neither
only mind nor no-mind, neither only brain nor heart and neither the mental nor the
supramental, but the body with all its health and illnesses and in which all these opposites are
rooted and originally united. Awakened and knowing is for Zarathustra someone who says:
body am I entirely, and nothing else; and soul is only a word for something about the body. The body is a great
reason, a plurality with one sense, a war and a peace, a herd and a shepherd. An instrument of your body is also
your little reason, my brother, which you call spirit - a little instrument and toy of your great reason. I you
say, and are proud of the word. But greater is that in which you do not wish to have faith - your body and its
great reason: that does not say I, but does I. (Za I, On the Despisers of the body)

Despisers of the body are therefore for Zarathustra no bridges to the overhuman (ibid., p.
41) and the first requirement for understanding the type Zarathustra and probably also
Nietzsche, is a physiological presupposition, which is called the great health, i.e. a health
that one does not merely have but also acquires continually, and must acquire, because one
gives it up again and again, and must give it up. (EH, Za 2). Nietzsches corresponding
suspicion that all philosophy so far has been merely an interpretation and misunderstanding
of the body (GS, Preface, KSA 3, p. 348f.), means also that all development of the spirit
might be in the end all about the body und the sensible becoming history that a new and
higher body is developing. (cf. PN 1883/84, KSA 10, 24[16]; TI, Skirmishes 47).
Should we say then that Nietzsche got wrecked in this infinite task of self-overcoming or did
he only become a witness for the infinity of the task and that India and her philosophers have
to be searched for again and again anew in order to discover a new world?

SABCL = Sri Aurobindo Birth Centenary Library. Pondicherry 1972.
= Nietzsche, Friedrich: Smtliche Werke. Kritische Studienausgabe, ed. G. Colli and M.
Montinari. Mnchen 1980.
= The Dawn (or Daybreak)
= Ecce homo
= Human, All-Too-Human
= On the Genealogy of Morals
= The Gay Science
= Posthumous Notes in KSA 7-13.
= Schopenhauer as Educator
= Twilight of the Idols
= Thus spoke Zarathustra
Bataille, Georges: La vielle taupe et le prfixe sur dans les mots surhomme et surraliste. In: Oevres
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