Be Still and Know 02

Second Discourse from the series of 10 discourses - Be Still and Know by Osho.
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The first question:
Does witnessing always bring joy? The moments that I call witnessing sometimes feel distant – almost cold in their neutrality. Other times it is like sprouting wings and soaring in joy over the open sea.
The state of witnessing is neither cold nor hot. It is neither happiness nor unhappiness. It is neither dark nor light. It is neither life nor death. The Upanishads say neti neti – neither this nor that.
If you feel joy you have already become identified, witnessing is gone. If you feel sad you are no longer a witness, you have forgotten witnessing, you have become involved. You are colored by your psychology of the moment. Joy, sadness – all these dualities are part of your psychology. And witnessing is a transcendence, it is not psychological.
The whole art of meditation consists of witnessing. Then what does it bring? At the most we can say it brings total peace, it simply brings eternal silence. You cannot define it as joy. The moment you define it as joy you have fallen into the world of duality again. Then you have become part of what is passing, you have started clinging to it.
The state of witnessing remains indefinable. That’s why Buddha has not used the word bliss at all, because it can give you a wrong idea – because in your mind bliss will mean happiness. That’s how you are going to translate it, to interpret it. Buddha has not used the word bliss, he has not used the word God.
The word that he has used is absolute void shunyam. There will be nothing left, just absolute silence, absolute emptiness – but not emptiness in the English meaning of the word. Shunyam has a totally different connotation; it has been translated and can only be translated as emptiness. But emptiness is negative, emptiness means something is missing, emptiness means loneliness. Emptiness is not a life quality but a death quality.
Shunyam is not negative; it is not even positive, how can it be negative? It simply means you are alone – not lonely, but alone. You are not missing anything. You are spacious, there is great space in you, but it is not empty of something. On the contrary, it is utter plenitude. It is full of emptiness – if you allow me the expression, it is full of emptiness, but one is fulfilled.
Shunyam is a blossoming in you. There is great peace but not joy, because joy becomes positive; but not sadness, because sadness becomes negative. Peace is exactly in the middle, neither cold nor hot. It is not neutrality, it is not indifference. It is not a state where you turn your back toward something, where you are no longer interested. No, there is no question of disinterest, indifference or neutrality. You are utterly there, absolutely there, totally there, but like a mirror, just reflecting whatsoever is the case.
Joy passes by and the mirror reflects it, but the mirror does not become joy itself; it never becomes identified. And sadness comes like a cloud, a dark cloud, and passes by, and the mirror reflects it. The mirror has no prejudice against it. The mirror is not favorable to joy and unfavorable to sadness. The mirror has no liking, no disliking; it simply reflects whatsoever is the case. It is not neutral, otherwise it will not reflect; it does not turn its back toward things. It is not indifferent, because indifference means you are already prejudiced again, you have a certain conclusion. It is not disinterested and you cannot say it is interested either. It is a transcendence.
Don’t get identified with the joy that comes – watch it. Remain a watcher on the hills, a mirror. Reflect it but don’t cling to it.
A bird on the wing – and the lake reflects it. Zen people say this is the state of buddhahood. The bird has no mind to be reflected in the lake and the lake has no mind to reflect the bird, but the bird is on the wing – and the lake reflects it. You see the point: the bird has no mind to be reflected and the lake has no mind to reflect the bird, but the bird is reflected. It simply happens that the lake is there and the bird is on the wing – the reflection is bound to happen – it is natural. The bird is gone; the lake does not miss the bird, it does not hanker for it, it does not long for it, it does not hope that it will come again. It does not go into the past, into the memories, or into future projections. The bird has flown; it never thinks of the lake again, it never desires to be there again. One day it may be there again, and again it will be reflected, but no relationship is created. The happening is there but no relationship is there.
This is what I call relating, not relationship. It is a fluid phenomenon. This is witnessing.

The second question:
Is it absolutely inevitable that a buddha will always be misunderstood?
Yes, it is absolutely inevitable. It can’t be otherwise. A buddha is bound to be misunderstood. If a buddha is not misunderstood then he is not a buddha at all. Why is it so? – because the buddha lives in a state which is beyond mind, and we live in minds. To translate something from the beyond to the mind is the most impossible thing in the world. It can’t be done, although every buddha has tried to do it. That too is inevitable; no buddha can avoid it.
The buddha has to say the unsayable, he has to express the inexpressible, he has to define the indefinable. He has to do this absurd act, because the moment he reaches beyond the mind great compassion arises. He can see people stumbling in the dark, he can see people suffering unnecessarily – creating their own nightmares, creating their own hell and drowning in their own created hells. How can he avoid feeling compassion?
And the moment compassion arises he wants to communicate to them that this is your own doing, that you can get out of it; that there is a way out of it, that there is a state beyond it; that life is not what you think it is. Your thinking about life is just like the thinking of a blind man about light. The blind man can go on thinking about light, but he will never be able to come to a true conclusion. His conclusions may be very logical, but still they will miss the experience. Light is an experience; you don t need logic for it – what you need is eyes.
Buddha has eyes. And eyes are attained only when you have gone beyond the mind, when you have become a witness to the mind, when you have attained to a higher state than psychology. Then you know that you are not your thoughts, not your body, you know that you are only knowing – the energy that reflects, the energy that is capable of seeing – that you are pure seeing.

Once Buddha was asked, “Who are you?” He was such a beautiful man and buddhahood had conferred such grace on him, that many times he was asked, “Who are you?” He looked like an emperor or a god who had come from heaven, and he lived like a beggar. Again and again he was asked, “Who are you?” And the man who was asking was a great scholar. He said, “Are you from the world of gods? Are you a god?”
Buddha said, “No.”
“Then are you a gandharva?”
Gandharvas are the musicians of the gods. Buddha had such music around him – the music of silence, the sound of no sound, of one hand clapping – that it was natural to ask him, “Are you a gandharva, a celestial musician?”
Buddha said, “No.”
And the man went on asking. There are many categories in Hindu mythology from gods to man. Then finally he asked, “Are you a great king, a chakravartin, one who rules over the world?”
And Buddha said, “No.”
Annoyed, the scholar asked, “Are you a man, or not even that?”
Buddha said. “Don’t be annoyed, but what can I do? I have to state the truth as it is. I am not a man either.”
Now the scholar was too angry, enraged. He said, “Then are you an animal?”
Buddha said, “No, not an animal, not a tree, not a rock.”
“Then who are you?” the man asked.
Buddha said, “I am awareness, just pure awareness, just a mirror reflecting all that is.”

When this moment arrives, great compassion happens. Buddha has said that those who know are bound to feel compassion for those who don’t know. They start trying to help. And the first thing that has to be done is to communicate to people who are blind that eyes are possible, that you are not really blind but only keeping your eyes closed. You can open your eyes. You are not born blind, you have only been taught to remain blind.
Your society teaches you to be blind because the society needs blind people. They are good slaves because they are always dependent on the leaders, politicians, pundits, priests. They are very convenient people, they never create any trouble. They are never rebels. They are obedient, always ready to submit to any kind of nonsense, to any stupid politician, to any stupid priest.
And in fact, who else wants to be a politician except stupid people, and who wants to be a priest except stupid people? These are the dimensions for the mediocre, for the inferior. Those who are suffering from an inferiority complex, they become politicians – just to prove that they are not inferior, to the world and to themselves.
The society, the establishment, wants you to be blind. From the very beginning it teaches every child: “You are blind”; it conditions every child: “You are blind.” Your whole educational system is nothing but a conspiracy against every child – to keep you blind. It does not teach you meditation, because meditation is the art of opening your eyes.
When somebody arrives at awareness he naturally feels great compassion. All around he sees that people – who have eyes, who have inbuilt capacities to see the truth, who are from their very birth capable of becoming buddhas, enlightened ones, awakened ones – are suffering. And this whole suffering is ridiculous, it need not be so. Compassion happens and compassion starts communicating, but communication is difficult, impossible.
Buddha speaks from the hilltop and you live in the dark valleys where light never reaches. He talks in words of light; by the time they reach you their meaning changes. By the time your mind catches hold of them it colors them in its own color.
It is not only so about buddhas – even ordinary communication seems to be impossible. The husband cannot communicate with his wife, the parents cannot communicate with their children, the teachers cannot communicate with their students. What to say about buddhas? People who exist on the same level, even they cannot communicate, because words are tricky things. You say one thing, but the moment it reaches the other person then it is in his power how to interpret it.

The Queen was traveling in England’s back country when she saw a man, his wife, and a flock of children. Impressed, the Queen asked, “Are all of these your children?”
“Yes, Your Highness,” answered the man.
“How many children do you have?” asked the English sovereign.
“Sixteen,” was the reply.
“Sixteen children,” repeated Her Highness. “We should give you a knighthood.”
“He has one,” piped up the lady, “but he won’t wear it.

Or, if you have missed, another story for you:

Thor, the Germanic god of thunder, was feeling restless so he decided to have a weekend fling. Taking a handful of jewels from the Valhalla petty cash department he slipped down to earth, got himself an elegant disco suit and a few gold chains, and began hitting the Saturday night dance bars.
After a big night on the town he finally took home the most beautiful woman he had seen and spent the rest of the night and morning satisfying his heroic libido. When he got out of bed and began dressing he realized that the exhausted girl on the bed lacked his godly sexual stamina. By way of explanation, he leaned down over her and whispered, “Honey, I think you should know – I am Thor.”
Wide-eyed, the girl exclaimed, “Thor! You big thon-of-a-bitch, I can’t even thtand up!”

Ordinary communication, very mundane communication, even in the marketplace, is difficult. And a buddha wants to communicate to you something which he has found in a state of no-mind, which he has found when all thoughts disappear, which he has found when even he himself is no more – when the ego has evaporated, when there is utter silence, absolute peace, and the sky is without clouds.
Now how to bring this infinite experience into words? No word is adequate enough – hence the misunderstanding.
Yes, it is absolutely inevitable that a buddha will always be misunderstood. Only those few people who are disciples and devotees can understand a buddha.
By disciple is meant one who has put aside all his prejudices, one who has put aside all his thoughts, and is ready to listen – not to his own mind and his mind’s interpretations, but to the words of a buddha; who is not in a state of argument with the buddha, who is not inside thinking about what the buddha is saying, who listens to a buddha as you listen to classical music, who listens to a buddha as you listen to the sound of running water, who listens to a buddha as you listen to the wind passing through the pine trees or the cuckoo calling from the distance. That is the state of a disciple.
Or if you rise a little higher and become a devotee…. A devotee is one who has not only dropped his mind but has brought his heart in, who listens from the heart, not from logic but from love. The disciple is on the way to being a devotee. The disciple is the beginning of being a devotee, and the devotee is the fulfillment of being a disciple.
Only these few people understand a buddha. And in understanding a buddha they are transformed, transported into another world – the world of liberation, nirvana, light, love, benediction.

The third question:
Jesus said that his sacrifice on the cross was for the salvation of the world from the sins of man.
Please would you comment on this.
The first thing to be understood about a man like Jesus is that whatsoever the church, that is bound to grow around such a man, says about him, it is bound to be wrong. What the Christian church says about Christ cannot be true. In fact the Christian priest does not represent Christ at all. He is the same old rabbi in new garments, the same old rabbi who was responsible for Jesus’ murder. The Pope is not a different kind of person.
It makes no difference whether it is a Jewish establishment or a Christian establishment or a Hindu establishment; all establishments function in the same way.
Jesus is a rebel, just as Buddha is or Lao Tzu is. When the church starts establishing itself it starts destroying the rebelliousness of Jesus, or Buddha, because rebellion cannot go with the establishment. It starts imposing its own ideas – once Jesus is gone it is very easy to impose your own ideas. It starts selecting what to keep in the Bible and what not to keep. Many things have been dropped, many things have not been included in it.
For example, the Gospel of Thomas has not been included in the New Testament. It was discovered just a few years ago – and it is the most important gospel. The four gospels that have been included are nothing compared to it, but it is very rebellious. It seems Thomas has simply reported Jesus without polluting or contaminating his message. That must have been the reason why the gospel has not been included in the authorized version of the New Testament. And those gospels which have been included, they have also been edited. For centuries conferences went on editing them, destroying them, distorting them.
I know Jesus because I know meditation. My knowing of Jesus is not through the Bible, it is not through Christian theology. I know Jesus directly. I know Jesus because I know myself; that is my way of knowing all the buddhas.
The moment you know your own buddhahood you have come to know all the buddhas, the experience is the same. All differences are in the mind, the moment you transcend mind there are no differences left. How can there be differences in an absolute void? Two voids can only be exactly the same. Minds are bound to be different because they consist of thoughts. When there are clouds in the sky then each cloud is different, but when there are no clouds at all then the sky is one and the same.
I don’t know Jesus through Christian theology, I know him directly. And my knowing is that he cannot talk in terms of sacrifice – the first thing, the very first. A man like Jesus does not talk in terms of sacrifice – it is celebration, not sacrifice. He is going to meet his God dancing, singing. It is not sacrifice, he is not a martyr. The Christian church tries to make him the greatest martyr, the greatest man who has sacrificed himself for the salvation of the world from the sins of man. In the first place it is not sacrifice – sacrifice looks business-like – it is celebration! Jesus is celebrating his life and his death.
Secondly, nobody can solve the problems of others, nobody can be the salvation of the world. And you can see it; the world is still the same. Twenty centuries have passed and Christian priests go on talking nonsense, that he sacrificed himself for the salvation of the world. But where is the salvation of the world? Either he failed, he could not manage – that they cannot accept, that he failed. Then what happened? The world seems to be exactly the same – nothing has changed. Humanity remains in the same misery. But Jesus cannot have said, “I have come for the salvation of the world.”
But it happens always when a church starts establishing itself, it has to create such ideas, otherwise who is going to listen to the priests? Jesus is salvation – not only that but the only salvation.
Just the other night I was looking at a book: Jesus, The Only Way. Why the only way? Is Buddha not a way? Is Lao Tzu not a way? Is Zarathustra not a way? Is Moses not a way? Is Mohammed not a way? There are infinite ways to reach God. Why make God so poor? – only one way?
But the Christian priest is not interested in God, he is interested in creating a business. He has to claim that Jesus is the only way, that all other ways are wrong. He is in search of customers.
That’s why every religion creates fascists and fanatics. Every religion claims, “My way is the only right way – only through me can you arrive at God. If you go on some other way you are destined for hell, you are doomed.” This is a fascist way of thinking and this creates fanatics. And all religious people are fanatics, and the world has suffered very much from this fanatical approach. It is time, the ripe time now, to drop all kinds of fascist and fanatical attitudes.
Jesus is a way, but the way has to be walked. The way can go on lying there, it is not going to help you. Just by being there, just by being crucified, Jesus cannot be the salvation of the world – otherwise it would have happened. Then what are we doing now? Then what are the priests doing now? What is the Pope doing now?
Just the other day somebody asked: “Osho, have you heard? The new Pope has done a miracle?”
Yes, I have heard; he has made a blind man lame. What else can these popes do? What are these popes doing now? The world’s salvation has happened. Now no religion is needed and no church is needed. Even Christ is not needed any more. The work is finished.
I have heard:

One young man came from medical college with a gold medal; he had topped the university. His father was also a physician. The father said, “Now that you have come I would like to go to the mountains for a rest. For years I have not taken even a single holiday. Now you look after my practice and for one month I would like to go to the mountains.”
So the old man went to the mountains. After one month when he came back the young doctor received the father at the airport and said, “Dad, do you know? – The old woman whom you have been treating for thirty years and could not manage to cure – I have cured her within one month.”
The father simply hit his head with his hand and said, “You have destroyed the whole business. It is because of her that you could go to medical college. And I was hoping that your younger brother would also become a doctor. You fool! What have you done? That woman was our business. You have finished my whole life’s career.”

If Jesus has really done the work of salvation, then there is no point in Mohammed – Mohammed came after Jesus. Then there is no point in Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, no point in Kabir coming. He has closed the shop. But it has not happened.
Buddha says: “Buddhas can only point the way.”
But the fanatic disciples always want to claim… What to say about Jesus? Even Jainas claim that Mahavira came to the world for the salvation of humanity. Now it may be a little bit relevant with Jesus because he speaks in such a way that he can be very easily misinterpreted, but Mahavira is very clear. He says in absolutely definite terms that nobody can save another: “I have not come to save anybody. If I can save myself, that is enough.” Even a man like Mahavira has stated this absolutely, but his disciples – the Jaina munis and the Jaina monks and the Jaina pundits – go on claiming that he came for the salvation of humanity.
Why are people after humanity? And how can you manage it? You have not created the misery for the world so how can you destroy it? If Jesus is the cause of the misery of the world, then certainly he can withdraw it. If he is the person who has imprisoned you, he can open the gates, unlock the doors and tell you to leave, and you are free. But he is not the person to do it. You have done it, your hell is created by you. What can Jesus do about it?
But this stupid logic has gone very deep in the mind of humanity – for a certain reason. We always want somebody else to be responsible – for our misery, for our happiness, we always want somebody else to be responsible. We don’t want to be responsible. To avoid responsibility we become trapped in these kinds of ideas.
Now, Christians say Adam and Eve committed the original sin and the whole of humanity is suffering. It is so patently foolish. Scientists say that humanity has existed for millions of years. Millions of years ago, a couple, Adam and Eve, committed a sin and we are suffering for it. Can you think of a more ridiculous thing? – that you are imprisoned because millions of years ago somebody committed a crime. You did not commit it, how can you suffer for it? And what original sin are they talking about? It is neither original nor sin. What Adam did is a simple phenomenon; he disobeyed the father.
Every child has to disobey the father. Unless a child disobeys the father he never becomes mature. It is nothing original, it is very simple and natural. It is very psychological. There comes an age when every child has to say no to the parents. If he does not say no to the parents he will not have a spine, he will be spineless. If he cannot say no to the parents, he will be a slave his whole life. He will never attain to individuality.
Adam and Eve did not commit any sin, they simply became mature. They said no, they disobeyed. When your child goes behind the house and starts smoking don’t be worried too much; he is simply disobeying you. That is part of growth. If he never disobeys you, be worried. Take him to the psychoanalyst – something is wrong with him. If he always obeys you then he has no soul; he is abnormal, he is not normal.
Be happy when your child disobeys you. Thank existence that now he has started moving toward becoming an individual. It is only by disobeying, rebelling, that a child attains authentic individuality. If parents are wise they will be happy.
And I think God cannot be so foolish as Christian priests. God must have been happy the day Adam and Eve disobeyed; he must have rejoiced. He must have sung a song, “Now my children are becoming mature.” I can’t see him being annoyed. I can’t conceive of a God who cannot understand such a simple psychological phenomenon.
You have to give your God a little more intelligence than Sigmund Freud. It is such a simple fact of life that each child has to disobey. It is not sin – disobedience is not sin. And what is original about it? It is nothing unique and it did not only happen millions of years ago; it happens each time a child starts growing. You will see it happening in your child; somewhere near the age of three or four the child starts asserting his freedom.
That’s why if you want to remember your life you can only remember back to the age of four or at the most three; beyond that all is dark. Why? You had no individuality, hence no memory. You attained your first individuality when you were three or four. Girls attain at about three, boys attain at about four; they are always lagging behind, and this is going to be their whole life pattern. The husband may appear to be walking ahead, but deep down he is always behind the wife.
I have heard a story:

The great King Akbar once asked his ministers, “My wife was saying to me that all my ministers are hen-pecked. Is it true? I want to know the truth and please don’t try to deceive me. If I find that you have deceived me, then the penalty will be death. So all those who are hen-pecked husbands stand in a row on the right, and those who are not on the left.”
All except one moved to the line of hen-pecked husbands – embarrassed, hesitating, but they did not want to be false to the King. They knew perfectly well, “He will go into deep research, and sooner or later, if he calls our wives, we will be caught. So it is better to say it once and finish it.”
But one man, whom the King had never thought very heroic, who was the most cowardly, was standing alone. The King said, “I am happy. At least there is one person who is not hen-pecked.”
The man said, “Wait! Don’t misunderstand me. When I was coming from my home my wife said, ‘Avoid crowds.’ That’s why I am standing here – just to avoid the crowd. If she comes to know that I was standing in the crowd there will be difficulty, sir, and I don’t want any difficulties.”

At about the age of three or four – that’s why I say this parable of Adam and Eve has so many aspects; I am never tired of talking about it from different angles. It was Eve who was the first to disobey – that means one year ahead. Adam came to his senses a little later; in fact he was persuaded by Eve.
If the world is really left free then women will seduce men, not men women; that will be the natural course. And in fact that’s exactly what happens right now, but in a very subtle way. The woman seduces the man, but seduces in such a subtle way that the gross male mind cannot understand it. The gross male mind thinks, “I am taking all the initiative,” and the woman goes on laughing deep down; she knows who is pulling the strings. She never takes a single step on her own visibly; you cannot see it. She always allows the man to approach her; she can wait. She trusts her own capacity to pull the man. She does not want to wag her tail; she always manages, persuades the man to wag his tail.
That’s what happened: Eve ate the fruit first, disobeyed God, and then Adam followed. This is not something that happened once, it happens always. It happens to every child and it is good that it happens. It is at about four that the child starts feeling a kind of individuality of his own, he starts defining himself.

Lanahan, an Irish political prisoner, escaped from jail by digging a tunnel that opened into a school playground. As he emerged in the open air Lanahan could not help shouting at a small girl, “I am free, I am free!”
“That’s nothing,” said the girl, “I am four.”

There is a time when the child wants to declare to the world that “I am here!” that, “I am!” He wants to define himself, and the only way to define himself is by disobedience. So there is nothing original about it and nothing like sin; it is a simple process of growth. And because Christianity has been denying it as a simple process of growth, it has not helped humanity to become mature.
All the religions have been trying to keep humanity immature, juvenile, childish. They are all afraid that once humanity becomes mature then they will not be of any value, they will lose all luster. They will not be able to exploit a mature humanity; they can exploit only children.
So what sin has humanity committed so that Jesus was needed to come for the salvation of the world?
I would like to make it absolutely clear to you that there is no need for any salvation. Secondly, if you feel there is any need, it can’t be done by anybody else except you, yourself. Thirdly, you are not living in sin, you are living in nature – but if nature is condemned you start feeling guilty. And that is the trade secret of the priests – to make you feel guilty.
I don’t think Jesus said that his sacrifice on the cross was for the salvation of the world from the sins of man. Priests must have imposed their ideas on Jesus. The New Testament was written centuries afterward, and then for centuries it was edited, changed, and the words that Jesus spoke were in a language which is no more alive – Aramaic. It was not even Hebrew – a dialect of Hebrew, but different in many ways.
When Jesus’ words were translated – first into Latin – a great change happened; they lost their original quality, their flavor. They lost something very essential – their soul. And when from Latin they were translated into English, something was again lost. For example, you can meditate over a few words: Repentance is one of the key words because Jesus uses it again and again, says to his disciples: “Repent! Repent ye, because the Day of Judgment is very close.” He repeats it so many times that it must have been of tremendous value to him. But what does it mean – repent? Ask the Christian priest; he will say, “This is a simple word, everybody knows what it means: repent for your sins, repent for your guilt, repent for all that you have done.” And the priest can be helpful; he can help you in the ways of repentance. But the word has nothing to do with repentance.
Jesus’ word for repent simply means return; it does not mean repentance at all. It means, “Turn in, return to the source”, it means, “return to your own being”. That’s what meditation is all about – returning to the source, returning to the center of the cyclone, returning to your very being.
Now you can see the difference. When you use the English word repent it has something very ugly about it – sin, guilt, the priest, confession – this is the climate of the English word repent. But the Aramaic word simply means return to the source, return. Return, don’t waste time. And that’s how it is with almost all key words.
It is almost impossible to understand Jesus through the priests. The only pure way, the only possible way, is to go in, return inside. There you will meet Christ-consciousness. The only way to understand Christ is to become a christ. Never be a Christian – be a christ. Never be a Buddhist – be a buddha. Never be a Hindu – be a krishna. And if you want to be a krishna, a christ or a buddha, then you need not go into the scriptures and you need not ask the scholars. You will have to ask the mystics how to go in.
That’s exactly what I am doing here – helping you to become aware of yourself. And the moment you know yourself you will be surprised – you have never committed a sin. Sin is the invention of the priest to create guilt in you.
You don’t need any salvation. All that you need is a little shaking up so you can wake up. You don t need priests. You certainly need awakened people, because only the awakened ones can shake those who are fast asleep and dreaming. And humanity needs to be free of guilt, free of the idea of sin, free of the idea of repentance. Humanity needs innocence, and the priests don’t allow you to be innocent; they corrupt your minds.
Beware of the priests. They are the people who crucified Jesus – how can they interpret Jesus? They are the people who have always been against the buddhas – and the irony is that finally they become the interpreters.

The fourth question:
Why can't I tolerate people who belong to other religions?
It is because of your upbringing. You have been brought up as fascists, as fanatics – as Christians, Hindus, Jainas, Mohammedans; you have not been brought up as human beings. You are hypnotized from your very childhood, you are living in a kind of hypnosis. To live as a Christian or as a Mohammedan is to live in hypnosis, is not to live really.
That’s why you cannot tolerate people who belong to other religions, because deep down you know they are wrong, they are stupid, they are committing a great crime. They have to be put right, they have to be brought under your flag, into your flock – because only Jesus saves or only Buddha saves. You cannot tolerate them because they look like pretenders.
To a Christian, a Buddhist is a pretender, because God has only one son. It is very strange – why should God have only one son? Is he in favor of birth control? But Jesus is the only begotten son of God, and the Buddhists claim that Buddha has arrived, that he has attained. It becomes intolerable, the very idea. It creates suspicion in you, it creates doubt. Maybe the Buddhists are right, and you don’t want to see this doubt inside yourself, because doubt is heavy and doubt disturbs your peace and doubt disturbs your sleep.
Hence you would not like to read the Buddhist scriptures, you would not like to read the Koran, you would not like to read Mahavira, because their words can be dangerous. Or even if you read them you will read them as ordinary books, because there is only one holy book, the Bible, or only one holy book, the Koran. Your book is the only holy book and all other books are unholy.
There are many things involved in this attitude. And this is not only your attitude, this is the attitude of the greater masses. It is good that you have become aware of it.
You ask me: “Why can’t I tolerate people who belong to other religions?” First: they create doubt in you, they create suspicion, skepticism about your own beliefs. And you are so settled with your beliefs, they are so consoling; they are like tranquilizers. And the person who lives in a different way, behaves in a different way, worships a different God, meditates in a different way, prays in a different way, he certainly creates doubt. Maybe he is right – who knows? You certainly don’t know. Whatsoever you have been told has been told by others; it is not your own knowing so you don’t have any trust in it.
You have repressed your doubts deep down inside yourself. Those doubts are alive, very much alive. They are ready to explode any moment – any opportunity and they will surface. The people of other religions become an opportunity for the doubts to surface.
In Jaina scriptures it is written that if you are on a road being followed by a mad elephant and you come across a Hindu temple, you can enter the temple and save your life, but it is better not to enter the temple and be crushed underneath the elephant, to be killed by the elephant. Don’t enter the Hindu temple, even to save your life! It is better to be killed, but to remain a Jaina, then heaven is absolutely guaranteed.
And the same, exactly the same, is written in Hindu scriptures too, about the Jainas: don’t enter a Jaina temple. It is better to die, be killed by a mad elephant, than to be saved by going inside a Jaina temple. Why? – Because the Jaina priest may be saying something there; you may hear something that may disturb you, may create doubt inside you. And doubt is dangerous, the door to hell; belief is the door to heaven.
The first thing: people who are not like you – not only religiously, but people who dress differently from you – even they are not liked.
That’s why my disciples are disliked by the so-called Indian society. The reason is not that you are doing anything wrong, the reason is simply that you are different. And that is the problem; nobody likes the different person. People like you to be like them, exactly like them. Dress like them, behave like them, use the same language, go to the same temple – and then you are accepted, because you don’t create doubt.
Now my disciples are bound to create doubt, my sannyasins are bound to create doubt. They are behaving in a totally different way, they are behaving with freedom, and the slaves are bound to get disturbed. Slaves of tradition, slaves of orthodoxies, they are bound to get disturbed.
Just seeing a young man and a young woman walking together holding hands and it is enough to disturb the Hindu mind. It has repressed so much that all that repression starts coming up. They would also like to walk hand in hand with their beloveds but they cannot. If they cannot, then they cannot allow anybody else to do the same.
In the West if you are walking hand in hand with a woman no problem arises, because the society is also the same. But walk hand in hand with a man, two men walking hand in hand, and people start looking at you. Something is wrong – you look homosexual, you look gay. It is dangerous.
Now homosexuals have been one of the tortured minorities in the world, very much tortured. In some countries they are killed. In some countries, for example in Iran, if it is found that two persons are living as homosexuals or lesbians, then the only punishment is death. What nonsense. They have not committed any crime against anybody, they have not harmed anybody. Two men living together, or two women living together, this should be nobody else’s business. But there is a great fear of homosexuality, and the reason is that homosexuality has been repressed down the ages.
In fact, in every person homosexuality is repressed, because there are four stages. First the child is autoerotic, then the child becomes homosexual, then the child becomes heterosexual, and the fourth and the ultimate state is that of brahmacharya – the person goes beyond sex.
Each child passes the stage of homosexuality. If he passes it naturally there will be no repression, but because he is not allowed to pass it naturally, repression happens; then a hangover remains. Now these people who kill homosexuals are really homosexuals themselves – repressed homosexuals – they cannot tolerate it.
It is so about everything – you cannot see the things that you are doing.
For example in India – just the other day somebody asked: “I was saying good-bye to my girlfriend; we hugged and kissed and we were caught by the police. It took two hours for us to manage somehow to get out of the trouble. They were going to put us in jail and they were trying to take us to the court, to make a case….” Now, kissing in a public place. The questioner has asked, “and I see Indians pissing in public places and nobody objects. Kissing is objectionable, pissing is not?”
You don’t know: this country belongs to Morarji Desai. Pissing is a holy act. If you are pissing in a public place you are doing something great – you are making the earth holy. It is not urine, it is water of life.
In India you can piss in a public place, you can go and defecate anywhere. The whole country is a latrine. But that is allowed. Nobody takes any note of it. Only Westerners, when they come to India, they note it. They immediately note it – what is happening? Just coming from Santa Cruz airport to Mumbai, the whole way on both sides people are defecating – but no Indian takes any note of it.
We only see things which are not accepted by us. We only see things which are strange. The Indian has lived in the same way for centuries; he is not taking any note. It is just the natural way; no question arises in his mind.
You see beggars on the street. All the Westerners go on writing letters to me: “We feel very much disturbed. And no Indian seems to be disturbed at all – what is the matter? ” The Indians accept the beggars, that is accepted. They are suffering from their past karmas; nobody else is responsible for it. They have created a beautiful strategy, a defense, with this theory that everybody has to suffer according to his past lives. These people must have done something wrong, something really ugly; now they are suffering. Everybody has to pay for their past, so there is no question of compassion.
In fact you will be surprised to know that there is a Jaina sect in India, Terapanth, whose head is Acharya Tulsi. This sect believes you should not help the beggar because by helping the beggar you will be disturbing his life pattern. If you help him then he will have to suffer some other time. He has to suffer. If a man has fallen into a well, don’t take him out, because if you take him out he will fall into another well some day – so what is the point? Let him suffer and let him be finished with the karma so he is free from it – one thing. And secondly, if you save this man from the well, if you take him out and he goes and kills somebody then you are also responsible for the murder. If you had not taken him out of the well he would not have committed the murder – so fifty-fifty. Then beware – in some other life you will have to suffer also. You will have to fall in some well – maybe not so deep…
So on two grounds Acharya Tulsi and his sect teach: don’t help anybody. And if you look, the logic is there. If the theory of karma is right then Acharya Tulsi’s conclusion is very logical, the logical conclusion cannot be doubted. But the theory itself is an invention; you don’t suffer for your karmas in your next lives.
Life is immediate: if you put your hand in the fire you will be burnt right now, not in your next life. Each karma is immediately finished. You immediately suffer or you immediately enjoy the bliss, but there is no waiting. The whole theory is nonsense. To try to postpone for other lives is a strategy – political, social.
Indians can accept the beggars but they cannot accept a couple kissing good-bye. But why should you be so worried? If kissing is something bad, they may be suffering from their past karmas – let them suffer. Why should you interfere? But interference is there because you are sexually suppressed. Indian society is very much sexually suppressed, it cannot accept people who are sexually free.
So, it is not only a question of religion – it is a question of everything. The different person creates doubt, the different person creates suspicion about whether what you are doing is right or wrong. You want to destroy the different person so that you can suppress your doubt again – one thing.
Secondly, a person belonging to a different religion hurts your ego; you would like your religion to be the suprememost, the only religion. It hurts your ego that there are other religions also claiming the same supremacy.
You have a double-bind mind: for yourself you think in one way, for others in a totally different way. If you claim your Bible to be the holy book, you don’t allow Mohammedans to claim their book to be the holy book. And the Mohammedans don’t allow the Hindus to call their Vedas the holy book. And the people who believe in the Vedas – the Hindus – they laugh at the nonsense of calling the Koran or the Bible holy books. The Vedas is the only holy book – because the Vedas are written by God himself; all other books are written by human beings. Maybe they contain something good, but written by human beings they are bound to be fallible – the Vedas are infallible.
This is the way of the ego.

Mrs. Keen and Mrs. Monahan were sitting on their stoop watching the apartment across the street, which was rented by a young Italian girl. As a steady stream of men entered and left at half-hour intervals they kept saying, “She is a slut. She is no good. She is a disgrace to the neighborhood.”
Then after ten visitors, Father Gilhooley, the neighborhood priest, went in. “Oh my!” said Mrs. Keen. “The poor girl must be sick.”

Now you see the change. Immediately a different standard is applied.

Walsh stumbled out of a saloon and into a church he thought was a cathedral, and fell asleep. The sexton soon woke him and told him they were closing. “They don’t close cathedrals,” said Walsh.
“This is not a cathedral,” said the sexton. “It is a Presbyterian church.”
Walsh looked around and saw stained-glass windows of St. Luke, St. Mark and St. Thomas.
“And since when,” asked the Irishman, “did the saints become Presbyterians?”

All the saints belong to your religion.
Mahavira and Neminath are not even mentioned by Hindu books – not even mentioned. A man like Mahavira remains unmentioned in Hindu books. Jesus is not mentioned in any Jewish book. A man like Jesus remains unmentioned?
You apply double standards. For your own religion you have one valuation, for the others, different valuations. You don’t weigh on the same weighing machine. This is the way of the ego; it is always doing it, in every dimension of life.
And let me repeat again: each religion creates fascism in you. Each religion creates Adolph Hitlers because of this idea, that “My way is the only right way.” And when you are a fascist and when you are a fanatic you are murderous. You may not murder, but deep down you are murderous. You may not murder anybody, but one thing is certain: you will murder your qualities of love and compassion and brotherhood.

A group of young men – all Irish Catholics – go into a pub. They don’t greet Abbie, one of the men already standing at the bar. Paddy, one of the young Irish fellows, asks his friends why they don’t greet Abbie. “Oh, he is a Jew,” they say, “and Jews are awful people. They killed our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Paddy is very upset to hear this and goes over to Abbie and starts beating him up.
“Stop, stop!” shouts Abbie. “What are you doing this for?”
“I’m doing it because Jews tortured Jesus and killed him.”
“Yes, I know,” says Abbie, “but it is nothing to do with me. That happened two thousand years ago.”
Paddy gives him another blow and says, “I don’t care. I only heard it ten minutes ago!”

I don’t want you to be tolerant of other religions. Mahatma Gandhi used to teach people: “Be tolerant of other religions.” But if you become tolerant of other religions that simply means intolerance persists underground.
I don’t teach tolerance, tolerance is ugly. It is better to be knowingly intolerant; at least the disease is on the surface and sooner or later you will become aware of it – as you have become aware of it. If you become tolerant, as Gandhians have become tolerant, then the disease goes deep into the unconscious. On the surface you are very polite, sweet, and you say good things, that the Bible and the Gita, they say the same thing: “Allah ishwar tere nam sabko sanmati de Bhagwan – all are names of the same God, and let God give understanding to all.” You go on saying these things, but deep down it is not so.
Mahatma Gandhi prayed his whole life, morning and evening, saying that Allah and Ram are the names of the same God. But when he was shot in Delhi – by a Puneite, remember… Beware of the Puneites! The man who murdered Gandhi, Nathuram Godse, was a Puneite. Pune is one of the strongholds of Hindu orthodoxy. I have knowingly chosen a place to create trouble for you. When Gandhi was shot dead he didn’t say Allah. The last words were “Ram – Hey Ram! Oh Ram!” He forgot all about Allah.
His whole life…but still deep down he knows that he is a Hindu. He says the Gita is his mother. And who is his father – the Koran? He never says anything about that. The Gita is his mother but the Koran is not his father. And he chooses words from the Koran which are really nothing but echoes of the Gita, and he also chooses words from the Bible which are echoes from the Gita. He is really clinging to the Gita; the Gita is the criterion. Whatsoever is in the Gita is right; if it is in the Koran, then too it is right because it is in the Gita. He leaves out everything that goes against the Gita. This is tolerance…
I don’t teach tolerance. I teach freedom from all the nonsense of being Hindu, Mohammedan, Christian. Be free from all prejudices, be just a human being. And in that freedom you will find great joy, and in that freedom for the first time you will feel love for other human beings, compassion, brotherhood. You will start feeling the whole universe as your family, your commune. And not only with human beings – when the fascist in you has disappeared and the fanatic is gone, you will even have a communion with the trees and the birds and the animals. You will be constantly in a beautiful dialogue with existence.
Drop all this nonsense. To be a Hindu, to be a Mohammedan, to be a Christian, to be a Jaina, to be a Buddhist, these are stupid hangovers from the past. Be finished with them – and in a single blow – not slowly, not gradually. See the point and be finished with them right now, this very moment! Because who knows? – tomorrow may come, may not come. Who knows? – the next moment may come, may not come. This is the only moment available. Rebel against all nonsense. Be free!
Enough for today.

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