You are against the Pope so much -- is that because the Roman Catholic religion is the most organized religion?
Anand Maitreya, I am not against anyone -- but I am certainly for the truth. Anything that goes against the truth, I am determined to criticize; it is a sacred duty as far as I am concerned. That the Roman Catholic religion is the most organized religion is only one of the reasons I am criticizing the pope so much. There are many other things, too.
I would like to give you all the implications of my criticism. First, the Catholic church in particular, and Christianity in general, is not a religion at all. To call it an "organized religion" is to use the wrong language. It is organized superstition.
In the twenty centuries after Jesus, Christianity has been defending all kinds of superstitions, and fighting against science, against any discovery of truth. And the people who have been the leaders of this war between superstitions and science are the popes.
In the first place, the popes down these twenty centuries have been declaring one thing: that they are infallible -- which is an absurdity. But their logic is: they represent Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ is the only son of God. So, in an indirect way, they are the vehicles of God -- how can they be fallible?
But life is not logic. Your God itself is a fiction; Jesus Christ being the only begotten son is another fiction. And the infallibility of the pope is just ridiculous.
When Galileo discovered for the first time that it is not the sun that goes around the earth, but the earth that goes around the sun -- he was very old, seventy-five or eighty, almost on his deathbed -- he was dragged to the court of the pope. And the pope said, "Before you die, change that statement, because it goes against The Bible. And anything that goes against The Bible is automatically wrong, because The Bible is the word of God."
Galileo was a great scientist, and I have immense respect for a man who, even at the age of eighty, when he was dying, had such a beautiful sense of humor.
He said, "There is no problem. I will change it; I will write in my book exactly what God has written in The Bible -- that the sun goes around the earth. But one thing I must make clear to you: neither the sun reads my book nor the earth reads my book. As far as reality is concerned, the earth will continue going around the sun.
"And why should you insist? Because I have every proof; I have devoted my whole life to the search, and all those who have a scientific mind are in absolute agreement with me. Sooner or later you will have to agree because one cannot remain against truth for long."
The pope said, "We cannot allow even a single statement to go against The Bible for the simple reason that if one statement becomes false, God's infallibility disappears. And if God himself is fallible, what about Jesus Christ? And what about the pope? And if God can write one thing wrong, who knows? -- he may have written many things wrong. We cannot afford it."
For three hundred years, the popes have been fighting a hard battle against each and every scientific discovery of truth. Nobody can be victorious against truth, but they have tried their best. It is the only religion that has been fighting against science -- that is one of the fundamental reasons why I criticize the pope.
Even today they go on fighting science, knowing perfectly well that each time they will be defeated, and that they are fighting a losing battle. And still, they go on declaring themselves infallible.
It is amazing that people can be so shameless. It is time they learned.
They crucified and burned Joan of Arc by the order of the pope, because he declared that she was a witch. Now on what grounds, what reasoning, what revelation? because the pope says it is so, it has to be right. The word of the pope is the law; the word of the pope is the truth. They burned a young, beautiful, courageous, intelligent woman who had fought for the freedom of the country and who had won the freedom of the country. And that was the reason for the jealousy -- that a woman should become so prominent that even the pope is left behind.
She was burned because of jealousy; she had not committed any sin. The whole of Europe was shocked and slowly, slowly, people started raising their voices against her crucifixion; but it took almost three hundred years for people to be so strong about it that another pope declared Joan of Arc a great saint.
One pope burns her alive because she is a witch -- she is in sexual relationship with the devil. And after three hundred years, another pope -- his own descendant, his own successor, representative of the same Jesus Christ and the same God -- declares that she was a saint. Her bones were taken out of the grave and worshipped, and a beautiful cathedral now stands in her memory. Now, nobody calls her just "Joan of Arc" -- her name is "Saint Joan of Arc."
The pope goes on traveling around the world preaching that birth control is against God, that any method of preventing the birth of a child is anti-God -- particularly in the countries of the East where people are so poor, and they are going to become poorer and poorer every day. But the pope's interest is not that man should live comfortably without hunger.
People should not die just because they cannot even get water, cannot get food.
And you will be surprised to know that on one hand, the pope goes on talking against birth control methods, and on the other, the Vatican has a hidden factory where they create birth control pills -- because it is good business; it brings millions of dollars.
You call such people religious?
He goes around the world saying that Christian priests and bishops and cardinals should not get involved in politics -- because he wants politicians to be in favor of him. And it has been found that the same man sent one hundred million dollars to Poland, to a political party, to fight against the Communists.
Is this not politics?
And his interest in birth control is really to increase the population. Whatever consequences happen to people is not the problem. If people are poor and hungry, they can be easily converted to Christianity, and particularly the Catholic church. Their schools, their hospitals, their orphanages are nothing but factories for converting people into Catholics.
It is now a well-known fact that by the end of the century, almost half the population of the world will be dying of hunger. You cannot even conceive of the situation where one man out of every two will be dying. All around there will be corpses and there will be nobody even to bury them or to take them to the mortuary or to the funeral. In fact, dying will be better than living amongst those corpses.
The whole world will be stinking of death.
The popes don't seem to be interested in saving humanity.
Their basic interest is how to get more and more people into their religion, because that is going to be their power. It is pure politics.
The whole Christian theology is based on such stupid ideas that to call it "religion" is just absurd. Jesus is born of a virgin mother. The whole of medical science is against it -- it cannot be possible, but it is one of their fundamentals. If you remove it, the whole edifice of Christianity falls down.
They have not given the world any method for how to raise consciousness. They have not produced awakened and enlightened people; but they have caught seven hundred million people in the Catholic fold alone. These people are full of absurd beliefs -- and even though they have eyes, they don't see; they have ears, but they don't hear. And if you say anything, immediately they are ready to crucify you. They are against the crucifixion of Jesus, but they are, every moment, ready to crucify you if you just tell the truth.
I said in one of my speeches, that The Holy Bible is the most unholy book in the whole world, because it has five hundred solid pages of pure pornography. One of my friends in America, hearing this, actually collected all those five hundred pages and published a book called the X-rated Holy Bible. And now I have received a summons from Kanpur -- ten Christian associations have made a case against me; that I am hurting their religious feelings.
I cannot believe that people are so blind. If anything is hurting your religious feelings it is your Bible -- I have nothing to do with it. You should tell the government that The Bible should be banned, or it should be labeled and listed among the pornographic literature.
I am not saying anything myself. Those five hundred pages are there in The Bible and those ten associations at least could have looked in their Bibles to see what I am talking about; otherwise in the court they will look absolutely foolish.
Now, they are creating agitation in every country for homosexuality to be made a severe crime.
And everybody in the world knows that Pope Paul the Sixth was a homosexual. Before he became the pope, he was the cardinal in Milan -- and that was the talk of the town. The whole of Milan was surprised that he was always seen with his boyfriend -- a young, beautiful man. Knowing this perfectly well...still he became the pope. And the moment he became pope, his boyfriend was called to the Vatican, and the boyfriend became the secretary. Ordinarily, the secretary becomes the girlfriend; here, it was just a little different...but the same story.
And it has never been denied by the Vatican; they could not deny it -- it was so factual. But if you say it, that means you are against the pope. I am not against the pope. I am just in favor of truth.
But perhaps this kind of thing begins with the virginity of Mary and the birth of Jesus.
I have heard...it is a story of the future, because this Polack pope seems to be very slow to die....
Popes ordinarily have died within an average of one or two years at the most because by the time they become popes, they are always around the age of seventy-five, seventy-eight. And they must have been hoping that this Polack would also die -- but they don't know Polacks. He has completely forgotten about dying; and he is enjoying his popehood so greatly -- no other pope has ever done such things.
He is continuously touring around the world, and the Vatican is getting into debt: nine million dollars he has spent on traveling. The last time he went to Australia, just two days before him the British queen had also gone to Australia. More money was spent on the pope's visit to Australia than on that of the queen of England. And these are the people who say, "Blessed are the poor."
...But finally, the Polack pope died and went to heaven with pomp and circumstance. At the pearly gates, Saint Peter stopped him and said, "Hey, you can't walk in just like that. Who are you?"
The pope answered, "Well, I am your very own representative on earth. I am the pope."
Saint Peter said, "Pope? My representative? I have never heard of you."
The pope, puzzled, said, "Ah, just tell God I am here. He will tell you to let me in."
Saint Peter yelled, "Hey, boss, a guy here says he is the pope. Do you know him?"
God answered, "Never heard of him."
The pope said, "Strange, but ask Jesus. He knows me."
Saint Peter yelled, "Hey, sonny. There is a guy here says he is the pope. You know him?"
Jesus answered, "No."
Saint Peter said, "Sorry, I can't let you in. Nobody around here knows you."
The pope said, "You can't turn me away like this. I am the pope himself. Ask the Holy Ghost. He knows me for sure."
Saint Peter yelled again, "Hey, spook! A guy here claims you know him. Says he is the pope."
And the Holy Ghost shouted, "The pope, sure I know him. He is the guy that spread those dirty rumors about me and Mary. Kick him out of here."
The whole religion is founded on a dirty joke.
Pope Paul the Sixth, who was the homosexual, was followed by Pope John Paul the First. He was an intelligent, liberal man who ordered an investigation of the cardinals and bishops who belonged to Masonic Lodges, which were outlawed by the Catholic church.
These Masonic Lodges have as their members only the wealthiest people of the world. They are secret societies doing secret rituals. They were outlawed by Christianity -- no Christian priest, bishop or cardinal, or anybody officiating in any position, should be a member of any Masonic Lodge -- because their secret rituals consist of sexual orgies and all kinds of ugly things. John Paul the First ordered an investigation of the cardinals and bishops who belonged to these Masonic Lodges. He discovered that many top Vatican officials were Freemasons, and ordered that they be removed from office.
You see the hypocrisy? These are the same people who made the law that no Christian priest could become members of Masonic Lodges, but in the Vatican itself, the cardinals and bishops and archbishops were found to be members of Masonic Lodges. And because John Paul the First ordered that they be removed from office, the whole Catholic hierarchy and bureaucracy turned against that intelligent man. In the whole history of Christianity, perhaps he was the only pope who had some intelligence, some humanity, some understanding.
At the same time, he ordered an investigation into the Vatican bank which would have shown that the bank was laundering hundreds of millions of dollars of Mafia heroin money every year.
These are your religious institutions.
The Vatican bank itself, which is under the pope, is nothing but the greatest Mafia organization. Hundreds of millions of dollars of heroin money.... They go on talking and preaching against drugs, while behind the curtain they are dealing in drugs themselves.
He also ordered a meeting to announce that the church supported birth control. He was really a man of understanding -- he wanted to call the pill the "Catholic pill." But before any of these orders could be carried out, he was found dead in suspicious circumstances.
He was murdered.
Vatican officials said it was of a heart attack, but that is absolutely wrong because his own personal physician said he had a perfect heart -- he had had no heart trouble, ever. And the most important thing was that his personal physician was not called. Instead, the Vatican officials ordered immediate embalming and refused to let his personal physician examine the body -- even the dead body. They also refused a post-mortem. No death certificate was issued; even up to now, officially he is living because there was no death certificate issued for him.
After they had embalmed him, an autopsy was done. But once you embalm a dead body -- once you take all the blood out of the body and fill it with chemicals -- it becomes impossible to find whether it has been poisoned or what has happened. But the whole situation is very clear: insiders say that papers he was clutching in his hand when the body was discovered were the papers in which he had written his will. Realizing in the middle of the night that he has been poisoned, feeling that he was going to die, he may have tried to write his will. Or he may have tried to write what had happened to him, what had been done to him. But all those papers mysteriously disappeared, along with his medicine bottle and the will. It has been thought that they mixed poison in his medicine bottle, and he drank the poison, thinking it was medicine. Once the poison started having its effects, he must have tried to write his will, and he tried to write that it seemed he had been poisoned and that he was dying. The people who found him first saw the will he was clutching in his hands.
And the most amazing thing is: even before his body was found, orders for embalming the body were given because the people who were in the conspiracy were aware that in the morning the embalmers would be needed, so every arrangement was made beforehand.
It was not an accidental death.
He was followed by Pope John Paul the Second, the Polack who prohibited all birth control methods except the rhythm method -- even though the Vatican actually owned a company which made birth control pills. He also dropped the church law forbidding membership in the Freemasons. And he promoted Marcinkus, the head of the Vatican bank, to Archbishop, and made him part of his personal group. This is the man who was running all the Mafia heroin money through the bank.
In 1982 Archbishop Marcinkus was involved in a huge financial scandal after an Italian bank collapsed. One of his business friends was found hanged beneath a London bridge. And another colleague, who was in jail on charges of murdering a police commissioner, died from drinking coffee with cyanide. These were the people who could have been witnesses against Archbishop Marcinkus; these two people knew all the secrets -- and both were killed.
A warrant for the arrest of the Archbishop had been issued, but the Vatican is a separate government -- just eight square miles -- and the Italian government has no power to interfere in the Vatican. And the pope was hiding the man inside the Vatican; the arrest warrant was waiting outside. These are your religious leaders.
The Polack pope also strongly reprimanded priests around the world for their involvement in politics, but he himself ordered one hundred million dollars of Vatican money to go to the Solidarity group in Poland who were fighting the communist government.
I am against organized religion because the moment anything becomes organized, it has its own vested interest. Then religion is forgotten -- other things become more important. Truth and the search for truth need your total involvement; nothing else should be in the way.
Organized religion becomes a prison.
It gives you ready-made doctrines, and your only function is to believe in them -- whether they are reasonable, logical, or not. You are not supposed to experiment on your own because, who knows? -- you may find something which goes against the official doctrine.
But official doctrine cannot become your enlightenment. The official doctrine can make you learned, scholarly -- but it cannot make you wise, it cannot make you intuitive, it cannot make you aware of God.
I am criticizing the pope because he is not only the head of an organized religion, but also the head of a government. It is not much of a government, eight square miles, but still, he is being accepted as head of a country; he has his representatives in the UN; he has his ambassadors in different countries.
Religion is something so high, and politics is so low that one thing has to be remembered: whenever there is a mixture of something lower with something higher, it is always the higher which becomes polluted -- not the lower. It is always the higher which loses its quality of being higher. The lower has nothing to lose; it cannot fall any more -- it has already fallen to its uttermost.
Religion and politics should be separate.
And the moment religion becomes organized, it becomes politics. Hence religion should not be organized at all; it should be everybody's private, personal, intimate search.
At least some area of life should be left to the individual where he is totally free, without anybody else deciding for him, where he can open his wings like an eagle and fly across the sun -- no chains, no bondages, no hindrances.
Religion blossoms only in a heart which is absolutely free of all doctrines, all beliefs, all churches, all mosques.
I want the whole world to be religious but not Christian, not Catholic, not Hindu, not Mohammedan.
Just to be religious is enough.
Can't you see these simple facts? Honesty is honesty -- it is neither Christian nor Hindu. Truth is simply truth -- it cannot be Mohammedan, it cannot be Christian. Love is simply love -- it cannot be Eastern and it cannot be Western. Compassion is compassion -- it does not belong to any race, to any country, to any climate; it is not dependent on any geography, or any history. These are the ingredients of a religious consciousness.
Meditation is simply so scientific that just as you accept physics without bothering about whether it is Hindu or Mohammedan, you accept chemistry without ever thinking whether it is Protestant or Catholic.... When you go to the doctor, you never bother whether the medicine is Hindu or Buddhist.
The inner reality is simply a pure silence: thousands of flowers blossom there but they don't belong to any organization. They are the reward of your own search, of your own inward-going.
All the organized religions care basically depriving humanity of religion because they are misdirecting you. They are always directing you outwards -- their God is far away in the sky. And when you pray, folding your hands towards the sky, you don't realize that there is nobody to hear you.
In fact, the one who is praying, the one who is alive in you, the one who is breathing in you, is the God.
You have just to discover it.
It is hidden in the layers of your false personality. Find out, in your innocence, and life becomes a sheer joy, a song without words, a dance, a celebration.
And at the very end of your celebration, there is nothing but tears of gratitude. I cannot think or conceive that those tears of gratitude belong to any religion. They belong to the individual heart, overflowing with gratefulness towards existence.
The other morning before lecture, I suddenly felt an overwhelming urge to touch, with great gratitude, the floor where you walk. In that moment, I heard again that voice -- it still sounds like your voice: "If you can kiss in gratitude the place on earth where I have stepped.... I want to tell you, that I've stepped everywhere on this earth." This is really too much, for I see myself in tears, kissing every spot on the earth. And again that voice comes in me, or from me, whispering, "If you can kiss in gratitude all the earth, and all that abides on the earth, you don't need me anymore." Please, Osho, tell me that I was just imagining, that it was just a dream. You haven't said that to me, have you?
Sarjano, the idea is Catholic. You come from the country of the pope, and that fellow goes on kissing the earth wherever he goes -- even in India, where kissing the earth means kissing cow dung. When he kissed it here, that very day I said, "He has tasted something of Hindu religion."
It is just your imagination, Sarjano. There is no need for your gratitude to be expressed in stupid gestures. Just being grateful, your eyes full of tears, your heart just melting and merging with existence, is enough. Kissing the earth is just an idiotic symbol; I could never have said anything like this to you. But you love me, and you are so full of me that even if you speak in your imagination, you may hear my voice.
But remember one thing: except for silence, everything else is your imagination -- howsoever beautiful. Only your silence I can say has my support, because only in your silence are you close to the very center of existence. In absolute silence, you become the very center yourself. But remember to avoid any kind of imagination -- all imagination -- even beautiful imagination, apparently looking like the divine.
It happened once: I had a few Mohammedan friends and they were followers of a Sufi mystic. The mystic used to come to the city once a year to see his disciples, and they were continuously telling me, "This time when he comes, some way has to be found so that you both can meet."
I said, "There is no problem with it. I can be his host; he can be my guest. That will be the best thing because he is going to be here three days, so for three days we can be together."
They liked the idea. The most impressive thing to them in the Sufi mystic was that he saw God everywhere: he would see a tree and he would go and hug the tree and start talking to the tree. Almost in a trance, he would kiss the earth; he would hold your hand and kiss it and he would start talking in a trance and address you as "God! My Lord!" People were very impressed.
He came to stay with me. Before he could kiss my hand, I said, "Wait! Do you really see God in me or have you been imagining for years?" -- because that is one of the traditions in the Sufis: you start imagining and slowly, slowly, the imagination becomes a reality.
He was shocked. There was a moment of silence -- painful silence, because his disciples were there. But he was an honest man; he said, "Ah, at least thirty years ago I started on the path, and this was the path shown by my teacher: 'Look into everything for God.'
"In the beginning, it was difficult to see God in a camel, in a donkey, in a buffalo. But my master insisted: All these forms are gods; you don't have to judge them -- your path is just to see God in everything, so that one day you can see God everywhere. And I succeeded in three years, and I started seeing God everywhere. Now I see God everywhere."
I said, "Just listen to me. For the three days you will be here, stop imagining. Just see things as they are: a table is a table, not God; a camel is a camel, not God; and a buffalo is a buffalo, not God -- just for three days."
He was very reluctant and afraid and nervous, but he was staying with me, so I said, "I will remind you about this kissing and hugging -- don't forget! After three days you can hug with a vengeance, because no tree can prevent how much you hug it. For three days...you can fill the quota afterwards, but for three days I will be constantly after you. You have to see things as they are."
There was no need for three days. Within just one day, in twenty-four hours, the god that had been there for thirty years, disappeared. In the morning, he was very angry at me. He said, "What have you done? I really see a table is a table! Just now I saw a man going by on a bicycle, and I saw neither the god in the man, nor in the bicycle. You destroyed my thirty years of practice."
I said, "Just think a little. If something that you have spent thirty years discovering was really true, then in one day it could not disappear. For thirty years you have lived in a hallucination -- you created the hallucination, and the hallucination can be so strong that all doubts disappear. And thirty years is a long time."
I told him a story of Ramakrishna which is very rare in the history of mystics.
After attaining enlightenment, nobody ever tries to look into other paths to see whether they also reach to enlightenment or not -- there is no point. You wanted to reach here, you have reached -- now what is the point of finding out whether other roads also reach here or not? But Ramakrishna had something tremendously significant on his mind, so he gave six months to each religion that was available in his vicinity; for six months he would practice the religion and forget everything else. Of course, he was already enlightened so the path was not a problem; in six months, he would reach back to the point of consciousness.
In Bengal, there is a small local group of a very strange religion: they believe that Krishna is the only man, and those who follow him are all women. They may be men, but that is only an illusion; in reality, except for Krishna, there is no other man -- all are women. He is the lover and you are the beloved. In the night, the followers of that sect, men and women both, dress alike -- like women. And even men sleep with a statue of Krishna in their beds -- he is their husband.
Ramakrishna followed that path also for six months. For others it was just a ritual; they were born into that religion, just as you are born into Christianity, or Hinduism, or Jainism. You don't really care; it is just accidental that you are born into a certain religion and you follow it, but it is a formality -- at the most.
But Ramakrishna was not going into those processes in a formal way: when he was following something, he was following it with totality and intensity. And almost a miracle was seen! Even in the day, he used the same clothes as women use in Bengal. Even the people of that sect told him, "In the day you can use men's clothes; otherwise it looks very awkward."
But he said, "When I follow something, I follow it totally. I cannot divide my day from my night. And I don't care about the world."
His breasts started growing; his disciples became very much afraid. So much intensity of projecting that even the doctors who came to know about it when they visited Ramakrishna and saw his breasts, could not believe it -- because this was a physiological miracle. But his disciples whispered in the ears of the doctor, "This is nothing -- he is having monthly periods!"
For six months continuously...his voice changed, it became more like a woman's. He started walking like a woman -- which is very difficult; difficult because only a woman can walk that way. She has a womb inside her body and that womb gives a different kind of movement to the legs. Man has no womb inside; his legs have a different movement.
He started walking like a woman, speaking like a woman, his voice changed. And when the menstrual period started, then the disciples became really afraid. They said, "We have lost him. How can we get him back?" They tried to persuade him, but until six months was up, he was not going to change his path. They said, "This path is dangerous. We don't think that these breasts and this period are going to disappear even after six months. Your whole life you will be a laughingstock -- and we are going to be laughingstocks because we are your disciples."
It took almost six months after he stopped for the change to take place again. Slowly, slowly, he became a man again -- before that he had become a woman. Such a deep psychological projection.... It is through such projections that people are experiencing Krishna, Jesus, Buddha -- and when they experience it, they see it.
And if you say to them that it is only an illusion, how can they believe you? Their illusion looks more real than you are. Mind has a capacity to project anything and make it appear almost real; or sometimes, if the mind is very powerful, even more than real.
But my path is not the path of imagination: It is the path that does not use the mind at all.
Imagination and projection and hallucination and illusion -- they are all parts of the mind. My simple approach is transcendence of mind; so only when you start seeing absolute nothingness, utter silence, can you see that I am very close by.
In that silence, you have heard me; in that nothingness, you have seen me. But if you see something, if you hear something, then it is your imagination -- you have fallen from the beyond, back into the mind.
Only one thing has to be remembered: the mind is the world -- and going beyond the mind is the beginning of God.
OSHO :The Hidden Splendor, Chapter 9