A Beautiful Death

World Population Day

World Population Day is an annual event, observed on July 11 every year, which seeks to raise awareness of global population issues. The event was established by the Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme in 1989. World Population Day aims to increase people’s awareness on various population issues such as the importance of family planning, gender equalitypovertymaternal health and human rights.

Less population is always considered as a fortune, because resources are less and space is constant. Today population is increasing day by day and man is still getting more and more lonely. Osho says communication has disappeared from the world. Everybody is living a lonely life — lonely in the crowd; the crowd is becoming bigger and bigger every day. The world population is exploding; there have never been so many human beings as there are today — and man has never been so lonely.

Osho also says And as humanity has grown in population, murders have grown, crimes have grown, homosexuality has grown, lesbianism has grown. People are committing suicide like anything. War seems to be the only thing we are preparing for; it seems war is the only thing we are born for.

Osho Says…..



Man is a strange animal. It worships the dead. It misses the past. It feels absence, it does not feel presence, because it does not live in the present. `Now’ is only a word for man, it is not an experience. Past has experience, future exists — but the present man goes on passing through it almost asleep. The past has been, the future will be; both are no more. One is dead, another is not born yet. And this is the strange quality of human beings: that that which is, they don’t take any note of. The present, which is the only existential moment, is nonexistent for the human mind. You have to see. Mind is divided in two parts: one is the past, which is no more, and the other is the future, which is not yet. This is your whole mind. Mind knows nothing of the present. And the strangeness becomes more mysterious because existence only knows the present. That which is gone is gone forever, without any trace. And that which has not come yet, for existence means nothing.

All our philosophers have been dividing time into three tenses: past, present, future. That division is wrong. Past and future are divisions of the mind, and present is the only time there is. Time is always present. Mind is never present. That’s why the basic necessity for anybody to be transformed is to shift himself from mind to time. As the past disappears, as the future is no longer important, what is left? This moment. But in all the languages of the world, throughout history, these three tenses have been thought to be part of time. This is a great confusion. Two belong to mind  — both are nonexistential — and one belongs to reality. But about the real there are difficulties which have to be understood. First, the real, the existential, is a very atomic, small moment. Unless you are alert, very alert, you are going to miss it. You have to be absolutely herenow, focusing yourself; then only will you be able to see the atomic present.

Once you have become aware of the present, then you have the golden key which opens the doors of eternity.

Because we miss the present, that’s why we miss our contemporaries. The dead are worshipped, the living are crucified. The living are never accepted as saints. The first qualification to be a saint is to be dead. Once you are dead you are no longer a problem to people, a trouble to people. You are no longer a competitor. And that’s why all over the world, nobody says anything bad about the dead. Not that they were all saints, but to speak badly of the dead seems simply meaningless.

I have heard that once in a town there were five brothers; each was worse than the other. The eldest brother died. The whole town had a great sense of relief; everybody was happy that one troublemaker was gone. But the tradition of the town was that when somebody dies, before you put him on the funeral pyre, somebody has to speak a few words in his honor. Now everybody was at a loss because they could not find any word in his honor.

Finally an old man stood up, and he said, “Compared to his four brothers he was a saint.”

I was in India, and I spoke on every problem that that country is facing — and more or less every country is facing. But no politician was ready to listen, for the simple reason that whatever I was saying was against their vested interest. No religious leader was ready to listen. It went against their profession, their business. In India, attempts on my life were made. The last attempt on my life was made when ten thousand sannyasins were present — just in a morning discourse. The police got somewhere, from someone, a message that a few people had gone to the meeting and they were going to throw a knife at Osho so twenty police officers arrived in time. The knife was thrown at me. Twenty police officers were eyewitnesses. It is very rare that twenty high-ranking police officers are eyewitnesses, and ten thousand sannyasins are eyewitnesses. Still, the man was released by the court.

The magistrate privately apologized to me. The said, “The political and the religious pressure is so much — that man belongs to a fanatic Hindu religious party, and to punish him will create chaos in the country. And the political pressure is there, because that man has immense power over many voters. If he is punished, then the politician who is being elected by his constituency will not have a chance.” And the magistrate said, “I am an ordinary man, and they are threatening me that if I do something, then my future is finished, then there is no promotion for me.”

Now the president can say that the country is full of evil, and why have I left the country? Now he can condemn me, because I have left the country. The country was full of evil when I was there. No politician had the guts even to have contact with me, because if the public knew that the prime minister or the president had some connection with me, it would have been dangerous to his political future. They knew what I was saying was true, and if they had listened to me, the country would not have been facing all the kinds of evil that it is facing today.

What are the problems in India in particular? They are the problems of the whole world in general. Fifty percent of India’s population is just starving.

Soon India will be a bigger Ethiopia — Ethiopia is a small country. Fifty percent of Indians means four hundred million people. And if fifty percent of the country is dying, the remaining fifty percent cannot live in the country of the dead. There is every possibility they will revolt, every possibility they will turn communist — every possibility. When a person has nothing to lose, he can do anything, commit any crime. And when fifty percent of the country is dying, it will not leave others to live in peace, in comfort.

For thirty years I have been saying that abortions should be legal. But it was against religions, so every religious person was against me, saying I am teaching things which go against religions.

Now they should ask their religions to provide food, shelter, clothes, employment, for fifty percent of the people of the country. They should catch hold of their religious leaders! I was continuously telling people to use birth control methods. But the politicians and the religious leaders were both condemning me, saying that I was trying to destroy the morality of the country, that if people start using the pill, the morality of the country will be destroyed, because India is a very strictly monogamous country. If your wife uses the pill and makes love to somebody else, you will not have any way of knowing. If there is no birth control available, then the child that is born to your wife is yours, you can be certain about it. And if the pill is available, what about those people who are not married? They will start making love, and there will be no way to find whether a girl is a virgin.

In India they are too much concerned about virginity. So much so, that in the past they married small children so there would be no doubt, no suspicion. My mother was married when she was only nine years old. And the whole village was celebrating; the marriage party was coming and there were bands from the big city. And my mother was only nine years old — of course she could not understand why she was not allowed to get out of the house when everybody in the village was out of the house celebrating. What had she done wrong? They kept her bound in the house because she was trying to escape and see what was happening outside — fireworks, bands, and so many people. And she was the only one who was denied. She had no idea that she was going to be married. But nine years was really not the common age when people were married — four years, three years, and there are millions of cases when people were married when they were not born yet! Two persons would make a contract, that if a girl and a boy are born to them, they will be married. The ceremony of the marriage is happening even before they know that who is going to be born. That was an absolute guarantee that the girl is virgin. And Hindus don’t believe in the Holy Ghost….Christians may not be certain, because the Holy Ghost can do any stupid thing; he can make a girl who is in her mother’s womb pregnant. For the Holy Ghost nothing is impossible!

I was talking about the greatest revolution in history — the pill, because it frees women from the bondage of men, it frees a woman from slavery and gives her an individuality of her own; now she can get educated, employed. She can be creative; she can be a painter or a musician, a scientist or a poet. Otherwise, the woman was simply doing one thing: getting pregnant again and again. One dozen children, in India, has been the common rule. I used to tease my father, because he had only eleven children. I said, “You are strange — at least you could have completed one dozen.” There are still people in India today who have sixteen children, eighteen children. From the very moment the girl becomes capable of being pregnant — her whole life until menopause — she goes on reproducing. She is just a productive machine. Naturally, she cannot have any individuality of her own. Her whole time is taken up either by pregnancy or by bringing up children. And before one child is even six month old, she is again pregnant. Women have been treated like cattle.

These are simple facts, not much intelligence is needed to understand. But nobody was ready to listen; they were more interested in their morality. And what morality is there in a virgin girl? What great spirituality is there? I don’t see the point. If somebody shakes hands with me, it does not make me immoral or him immoral. And what is sex except shaking hands? And if you are too fanatic and clinical, then you can have a good douche, clean yourself and forget all about it. Your virginity cannot be destroyed. Even if a woman gives birth to a child, she is again virgin. Even the child cannot destroy her virginity. But stupid ideas — that a woman has to be virgin, then she has to be devoted totally to her husband….Of course whatever I was saying was going against them. But if they had heard me, the country would not have been in such a state, because when I started speaking the population of the country was half what it is now. And still they are continuously producing children.

And it seems my going out of India has caused all the evil there. The president of India never told me, “What you are saying and doing is right;” it should be a strict policy of the government to prohibit the population from growing.” They were all against me. You will be surprised — the politicians were telling people that I was too young, I didn’t understand the complexities of morality, religion, spirituality. One of the topmost political leaders was Kaka Kalelkar — he was ninety years old. He condemned me because I was too young. I asked him in a public meeting, and gave him an open challenge: “I am ready to discuss the problems before the masses, from the same platform, and if my being young makes my argument wrong, then your being senile makes your argument wrong. But arguments are not to be decided by the age of the person. Arguments have to be decided by the counter-arguments. I am saying that the country is growing so fast that soon you will all be beggars. You give the alternative!”

In fact, I told him that if he had any sense of dignity, now was the time he should commit suicide — “Because what is the need? And what are you doing? Unnecessarily, a ninety-year-old man….” All his colleagues were dead, all his contemporaries were dead, his children were old — the eldest was seventy. “So what are you doing here except becoming an unnecessary burden, continuously sick, continuously in bed? And still you won’t leave, you won’t create some space for a new person to take over.” That was even more shocking to these presidents and prime ministers of India.

I was saying two things: birth control — but that is only half the story. The second is death control — which nobody in the whole world has been talking about — because that is the logical end. If you stop people from being born, that is one part of reducing the population. The second part should be that those who are too old, a burden to themselves, a burden to others, and who are simply suffering — relieve them.

And there is no need for them to jump into the ocean, or to hang themselves from a tree.

The government should provide facilities in every hospital so that these people can come and you can give them a peaceful death — just an injection which takes them into deeper and deeper sleep, into eternity.

And make at least their death beautiful — you could not make their life beautiful.

Life is a long affair; to make a person’s life for ninety years a beautiful phenomenon is difficult. But death comes within seconds. So at least for twenty-four hours, let him do whatever he always wanted to do. Let him enjoy everything that he wanted to enjoy.

And for twenty-four hours before his death let him learn how to be silent, how to relax, so that death does not come only as death, but also comes as a deep meditation. So not only will we be helping the population to be reduced, we will be helping old people to die with dignity, with smiles on their faces, and with a deep serenity within them which will change their whole future course of consciousness.

But naturally they all were against me, saying that I am preaching suicide, that I am talking against the law.

The medical profession was against me, because the doctors have been given an idea hundreds of years old. Hippocrates has created the oath for the doctor. And every doctor — even today, when he passes the examination — has to take the oath that he will always serve life, that he will try in every way to prevent a person dying. That oath is now stupid.

But Hippocrates is far more important to them than the whole humanity on the verge of death.

The oath should be that a doctor should help the person to live beautifully, and to die beautifully. Life and death should not be separated as enemies; they are one phenomenon. The oath is half. The full oath should be that a physician should serve the man in life and death both. The best he can do for life he will do. The best he can do for death he will do.

But no doctor — I was speaking in medical clubs, medical colleges, universities — no doctor was ready to accept the idea because of the fear that some doctor may take advantage of it and may kill someone.

I said to those people that if somebody wants to take advantage, do you think Hippocrates can prevent him? His oath can prevent him? He can still take advantage. The patient knows nothing of what is being done to him, what medicine is being given to him, what injections are being given to him. If the doctor wants to take advantage, he can take it now; nobody can prevent him. In fact, the oath protects him. But if you understand the whole situation, he cannot kill a young man; otherwise he will be behind bars. He can help a man to die only when the man has given him his authority and the man’s family has made its farewell to the man. Taking advantage will be impossible. But people are addicted to the past.

India has been becoming poorer and poorer and poorer; and poverty is the source of all evil.

And now, four years after my leaving India, the president has become aware — why, when the country is full of evil, have I left the country? That’s why — I don’t want to live in an evil country. And whatever I could do…. I had no power, I could only persuade people, convince people. But the people are so conditioned — they hear, but they don’t listen. Seeing the situation I simply dropped the idea of transforming the Indian mind. Not when I left the country — seven years before I left India I had dropped the idea of changing the Indian mind. It is stubborn, dull, mediocre. It lost its intelligence at least twenty-five centuries ago.

After Buddha, India has not produced a single man comparable to him. And for two thousand years India has been a slave — to one country, then another country; then one race, then another race. A country which can remain for two thousand years under slavery, a country which is a continent in itself yet is ruled by small groups of people, has lost its soul. It is a country of dead people. Yes, they still breathe, they still walk, they still do things; but that is not enough to prove that they are alive.

Trees breathe. There are even trees in Africa which walk miles in search of water. There are trees in Africa which are cannibals. If a man comes near them, they will spread their branches around him and get hold of him. You cannot escape from their hold. They will suck your blood. Intelligent….They open the petals of their flowers with beautiful fragrance, so that birds become attracted — immediately, magnetically the birds come because there is so much juice. The moment the bird sits on the flower it closes. The bird is gone forever, and he had come in search of juice!

So I don’t consider a man alive because he is breathing, eating, reproducing children; this is not enough to be alive. This is vegetating.

And when I said this to Indian leaders — religious, political, social, educational — they were all angry. I was calling their country a country of dead people, and saying it has been dead for at least twenty-five centuries, it is a ghost land. Nobody is ready to change, so the president, now blaming me, is showing how politicians are cunning. When I was there, they wouldn’t listen to me. Now that I am not there, they can dump the responsibility on me — that the country is full of evil, and I have left the country. So what do you want: that I should join in creating more evil there? Thirty years is not a small time — almost half my life I wasted with idiots. And this president is a perfect idiot. It is very difficult to find perfect people — some imperfection or other is bound to be there — but this president, Zail Singh, is a perfect idiot. His statement shows his stupidity.

All these politicians in India are Gandhians, they follow Mahatma Gandhi. I was criticizing Mahatma Gandhi for thirty years continuously, single-handedly. There was nobody who would join with me in criticizing Mahatma Gandhi. Even prominent political leaders tried to persuade me, “Why are you after Mahatma Gandhi? The whole country respects him.”

I said, “That’s why I am against him — because that man has given such a rotten ideology to the country, that if he is respected, his ideology is going to influence people.”

For Mahatma Gandhi all human progress stopped when the spinning wheel was invented. After that no science, no technology — the spinning wheel is the last invention, the last discovery. He wanted all the mills to be closed, all the factories to be closed. And everybody should create his own cloth. I have worked it out. If a man wants cloth for himself only, he will need a bed, bedsheets, towels, clothes to wear — at the minimum. For this he has to spend eight hours a day, continuously spinning for the whole year. Then he will be able to provide for himself — and that is himself, not his wife, not his children, not his old parents, not his sick mother. They will all be naked! And if he is going to create clothes for himself, working eight hours on that stupid spinning wheel, then when is he going to earn his bread? When is he going to earn enough to send his children to the school, to the college? There are a thousand and one things in life — not just having enough clothes. How is he going to create a house, or purchase a house, or make a house? There is no time.

Mahatma Gandhi was against such simple and absolutely necessary things like telegraph, electricity, railway trains — all these should disappear. Do you think such a man should be left outside into the masses, freely spreading all this poison? And his ideology is not going to solve anything — it is going to create more trouble. But he was a religious man…. I don’t see anything religious in him.


This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune. 

Discourse Series: Communism and Zen Fire, Zen Wind

Chapter #5

Chapter title: Socialism is a judas

3 February 1989 pm in Gautam the Buddha Auditorium


Osho has spoken on ‘population explosion and its solution’  in many of His discourses. More on the subject can be referred to in the following books/discourses:

  1. Communism and Zen Fire, Zen Wind
  2. The Hidden Splendor
  3. The Last Testament, Vol 1, 2, 3, 4
  4. The Path of the Mystic
  5. The Transmission of the Lamp
  6. Beware of Socialism
  7. Christianity: The Deadliest Poison and Zen: The Antidote to All Poisons
  8. From Death to Deathlessness
  9. From Personality to Individuality
  10. From the False to the Truth
  11. The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 12
  12. Hsin Hsin Ming: The Book of Nothing
  13. Sermons in Stones
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