From Darkness to Light 26

TwentySixth Discourse from the series of 30 discourses - From Darkness to Light by Osho.
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History shows that when a great master appears on the earth, other, lesser leaders recognize him and bring their followers with them. Do you see this happening here?
It has never happened, and it cannot ever happen either. There is a fundamental reason why it cannot happen. The lesser cannot recognize the higher, the lower cannot recognize the higher. The higher can recognize the lower. So it is existentially impossible. What history are you talking about? History cannot go against existence and its principles.
The first thing to be remembered – which is very simple – is, the man who has eyes can recognize the man who has no eyes; he can see that this man is blind. But do you think the blind can recognize that this man has eyes? That is sheer impossibility. And this is about the physical eyes….
When you think of the inner eye, the third eye, then it becomes absolutely impossible. Those who live on higher planes of consciousness are simply beyond your grasp. You cannot see them, you cannot understand them. Your intelligence is not capable of understanding planes of silence, meditation, experience of bliss.
You live in suffering; you know the language of suffering. That’s all your experience is. You can understand somebody is in suffering, but you cannot understand when you come across somebody who is in blissfulness, “the blessed one.” How will you recognize him? From where will you find the criterion? What measurements do you have? In your experience there is nothing similar to it, not even a faraway echo.
You must have heard an ancient fable: A frog from the ocean was just on a pilgrimage – it must have been on religious pilgrimage. He comes across a well; he is thirsty – it has been a long journey, a hot day – he takes a jump into the well and drinks to his heart’s content. There lives another frog in the well, who is sitting in his corner looking at the stranger and his arrogant behavior – without permission, not even saying, “Can I come in, Sir?” And this is my territory….
But he waited: let the stranger first drink – he can see the day is hot. When the stranger is satisfied, he looks around. Seeing another frog, he says, “Hello, how are you?” Then they start a conversation, and one thing leads to another. The frog from the ocean asks the other frog, “Have you ever been to the ocean? Come sometime – I invite you. I have been your guest without asking you; I was so thirsty that I could not take care of manners before I drank water. But you are welcome – you come to the ocean.”
The frog in the well looked with suspicion, as strangers are always looked on with suspicion…the way we are looked on with suspicion. We are the people from the ocean. Oregon is a small well. The attorney-general of Oregon is nothing but a frog, worried that these strangers have suddenly appeared; afraid, and out of fear he is going nuts, doing everything illegal.
The frog in the well looked with suspicion. He said, “Ocean? Never heard about such a thing! How big is your ocean?”
The frog from the ocean said, “It is very difficult to describe.”
The frog from the well laughed; he said, “Ha ha! I knew it, I knew it from the very beginning: how can you describe a thing which does not exist? If a thing exists it can be described. It is simple; if it exists, then howsoever difficult the description will be, you cannot say that it cannot be described. It is not indescribable; it must have some attributes.”
The frog from the ocean is at a loss. The frog from the ocean is always at a loss because he has known something which this poor frog has never dreamt of. But the poor frog thinks the frog from the ocean crazy. He says, “I will help you. I will take a jump, and I will ask you, ‘Is your ocean this big?’ If not, I will take another jump: ‘Is your ocean this big – two jumps of mine?’“
He jumped one fourth of the well. The frog from the ocean said, “Forgive me – this kind of measurement cannot be applicable.” But the frog from the well jumped a second time, a third time, a fourth time – that was the whole area of the well. And then the stranger said again, “Excuse me, your well is too small – and the ocean is so vast. Your well cannot be used as a measurement.”
“The well so small?” – the frog from the well was really offended, just the way the Oregonians are offended. Their religion so small? Their Jesus Christ so small? Their churches meaningless? Their Bible nothing but superstitions?
But he felt compassionate. Strange is the story – that the well’s frog felt compassionate toward the frog from the ocean. He said, “You must be mad, you must have dreamt it. Once in a while I also dream of bigger things; but there exists nothing bigger than this well. And don’t try to seduce me – I am not such a fool as to go in search of utopias. You just get lost! I don’t want to hear more of this nonsense. There has never been anything bigger than this well. Since my very birth I have seen…. My father was here; my forefathers have lived here, and they have all told us that this is all the world is. There is no world outside this well.”
But the frog from the well can be understood; and the frog from the ocean also can be understood – he is also very much embarrassed. He cannot answer; he can only show. He invites the frog from the well, but he refuses. He says, “Unless you convince me that something as vast as you are talking about exists in reality, unless I am intellectually convinced of it, I cannot leave my beautiful well.”
How to convince him? The only way is to invite him. But he is not ready to accept the invitation before being convinced. The frog from the ocean is doing the right thing. He is saying, “Come with me and I can show it to you. I cannot explain, I cannot describe, I cannot convince you. This is my fault, but because of my fault don’t deny the existence of the ocean. That’s dangerous: you are denying your own possibilities – that you can live in an unlimited space with tremendous beauty, the
wind, the sky, the sun, the moon, the stars….”
I am not interested in convincing you that the ocean exists; I am interested in showing you that you are capable of being part of an oceanic existence.”
You are asking me, “History says….” I don’t know which history you mean. I have read enough to destroy my eyes – I have never come across any history where it describes that when a great religious master appears, lesser leaders recognize him and come to him.
Who had come to Jesus? Yes, there is one story only: three wise men from the East. Their names are not known. If they were really wise people, at least their names must have been known. If they were so wise, so insightful, as to see in the seed the whole future of the tree, of the flowering and the fruits and the birds and their nests and all the beauty of it, their names must have been known in the East.
But in the Eastern scriptures there is no mention of any wise men going to Jerusalem to pay tribute to a recently-born child who is going to become a messiah. This is not history – this is fiction. And why do they have to bring three wise men from the East? Weren’t there any wise men in Jerusalem? There were so many rabbis, the high priest…and Jews had their own tradition of intellectual, philosophical growth. Not a single Jew recognized Jesus.
What to say of recognition? – he is born in a stable. Because it was a religious festival time, all the hotels, all the caravansaries were packed with people; and he was going to be born to a very poor couple, Joseph and Mary – Joseph was just a poor carpenter.
No door opened. Joseph begged: “My wife is pregnant, and her time has come to give birth. It may happen any moment, and I am standing on the street. Just for the night give us some shelter.”
Perhaps all caravansaries were packed with people, all hotels were packed with people; it is never so. In India there is perhaps the biggest gathering that happens anywhere in the world. It is after each twelve years in Allahabad, where three rivers – the Ganges, Yamuna and Saraswati – meet. This meeting of three is thought to be very symbolic, so Allahabad has become the most sacred meeting place. After each twelve years there is a huge gathering; millions and millions of people gather there. Naturally all hotels are packed, all caravansaries are packed. There is no place anywhere.
I had been there, the first time when I was only twelve or thirteen; with my uncles I went there. And the whole day, from morning – in the morning we had arrived; my two uncles were with me – up to evening, we looked for some place for the night because we were going to stay there for at least three days. The festival continues for one month.
I was just a child so I simply remained silent. They tried their hardest. Finally, in a hotel, I said to them, “You please keep quiet. The whole day you have wasted; let me talk to the manager.”
They said, “What can you do in this matter? It is a problem: hundreds of people are wandering about; there is no place. Ten million people have already arrived, and people are continually arriving. Hundreds of special planes are running from all over the country; thousands of special buses, planes…. Everybody is going to Allahabad. What will you do?”
I said, “Just watching you the whole day…. Give me a chance.”
They said, “Okay.”
I asked the manager, “Is there really no place?”
He said, “There is no place at all.”
I said, “If the prime minister comes to the hotel, will there be a place or not?”
He said, “For the prime minister or for the president or for the governor we have emergency rooms. Of course they are empty.”
So I said, “Give us the emergency room, and if the prime minister comes we will immediately vacate it – there is no problem in it. If nobody comes, you need not be worried.” He looked here and there, he could not find what to say.
I said, “If you need the room, we promise as you get the information…. It is not going to be that the prime minister will come directly to you, his secretary will phone. As you get the information…. And you are not the best hotel in this city. Don’t be foolish. If the prime minister comes, he will be staying in the Hilton, in the Oberoi. He is not going to come to your third-class hotel. But if he comes, we are willing – we can give it in writing – we will leave immediately.”
He said, “Your argument seems to be right. In fact in my whole life they have never come, and I don’t think they are ever going to come. You are right – they always go to the Hilton. And we are really foolish, we are keeping the most beautiful room empty. You just get into it. You are the first person who has made me aware that we are wasting our best room for years. Now I am not going to bother.”
I told my uncles, “Get in!” And I told the manager, “Because I am the first person who has given you the idea, just be courteous. Anyway your room was empty for years; you give us three days more.”
He said, “Absolutely right. You are our guests: for three days you live here.” And we became really very friendly, so friendly that he would take us in his car to the festival place which was almost ten miles away and impossible to get any taxi or any bus to: everything was overloaded. My uncles were very much impressed for the first time.
They said, “For the first time we are impressed; otherwise we always thought you are a nuisance. But sometimes nuisance works. The way you were arguing with that manager, we were thinking, ‘He is going to throw us out! At least during the whole day the hotel-owners were polite; this man is going to throw us out – he will kick us out of the place!’ But it is strange, that you managed.”
I said, “It was so simple, and the man is intelligent: he understood.”
Joseph and Mary could not find a wise manager. Jesus may have helped; he was just there inside the belly of Mary – he could have managed some miracle. He was born in a stable – this is history. The three men coming from the East is fiction because no Eastern source refers to them. And even the Christian sources don’t mention their names. The reason is obvious: Whose name were they going to mention?
If they mention a Hindu, Hindus will deny it and say, “This is nonsense – no wise man has gone from India.” If they mention a Buddhist, Buddhists are going to deny it; if they mention a Jaina, Jainas are going to deny it. Hence the best way is, don’t mention the names of those three anonymous fools. And they brought immensely valuable gifts for the just-born child….
Except in this fiction, who is mentioned in the Christian sources as a lesser religious leader who recognizes Jesus as the messiah and brings his following and becomes a follower of Jesus? Those three fools were also to come when Jesus was just born. All that is left about those three fools is, when the first fool entered – it was a stable – he hit his head. It was a small door; because he hit his head he said, “Jesus!”
Mary said to Joseph, “This seems to be a very good name for the child.”
This is the only impact those three wise men have left on the world; so whenever you get hit, you say, “Jesus!”
I have not heard of any religious leader coming to Buddha and recognizing him, or to Mahavira and recognizing him, or to Mohammed or to Moses or to Zarathustra. Yes, people had come but they were not religious leaders.
For example, Sariputta came to Buddha, Mahakashyap came to Buddha – but they were not religious leaders, they were great philosophers. A philosopher is always a thinker; a philosopher is always ready to accept something which seems logical, rational, even though it goes against the whole philosophy of his past. A philosopher is a lover of wisdom. He has not arrived; he is making all the efforts to arrive. In all those efforts, this was also an effort.
Sariputta had gone to many people in search of the truth. He wanted to find someone whose presence could give him just a little taste of what religion was. Arguments he had heard enough; arguments he had given enough. He was a well-known philosopher in India, and he had defeated many philosophers – which was a unique tradition in India. It must prevail all over the world.
Philosophers used to move from one place to another place, challenging other philosophers – an open challenge. Thousands heard them – and this raised the whole intelligence of the country. When two giants are struggling, going to finer and finer logical levels, splitting hairs, certainly if thousands have come to watch…. It is better than to watch a bullfight or Mohammed Ali’s boxing. The people who are watching boxing can’t be accepted as human beings. Yes, they may be Americans, but not human beings; they are a subhuman species.
Darwin was continually concerned about one thing his whole life. He lived with the problem; he died with the problem; it remained unsolved because the person who could have solved it was not there. I could have solved the problem – it is so simple. The problem was that monkeys became man, but there must have been a middle link. Monkeys cannot just jump down and become man; first they will become something in the middle: half monkey, half man. About this problem poor Charles Darwin continually worried. It was so simple: Americans – they are the middle link! There is no need to be worried about the problem, it is so simple. It just needs a simple man like me to state it.
But in India they were not watching football matches, boxing, bullfights – all that nonsense was not there. Huge crowds gathered to listen to great philosophical discussions in utter silence. Of course when a man like Shankara or Ramanuja is arguing, it is time to be silent. Nobody will even whisper, nobody will move for days. Every day the discussion will continue until one is defeated, and you will have to accept that. They are what I call cultured human beings. When one was defeated, he accepted it; there was no need for a judge. That’s what I call culture. There was no need for a judge to decide who has won the debate. The people who were fighting tooth and nail, they themselves decided who is victorious and who is defeated.
This was honest, sincere. It was not just an effort to defeat the other, it was a search for truth; and if the other has better arguments than you, certainly he deserves to be your master. Then the defeated one will become the follower of the victorious, and all the followers of the defeated one automatically will become followers of the victorious. This way philosophers roamed around the country with thousands of disciples. And wherever they came, they created a climate of great depth, intensity, alertness.
But these were philosophers: your question says, “lesser religious leaders.” That has never happened. Not a single religious leader came to Buddha or Mahavira. Religious leaders went against them – that’s history. In fact the lesser the religious leader was, the more he was against them, because his whole profession was at stake. Can’t you understand simple business?
The religious leaders were doing a tremendously beautiful business: no investment, all profit, no income tax. The religious profession is really the only superb business. You don’t have to invest any money into it, no risk of losing, no risk of the dollar going down. Wherever the dollar goes it doesn’t matter; it is always profit, never loss. In religious business it is always profit.
And you don’t have to manufacture any commodity; you don’t have to create factories and bring labor and labor problems – strikes and lock-outs. No problems at all. You deal in invisible commodities. Nobody can see the god, nobody can see the angels, nobody can see the heaven. It is really a strange business.
I have heard of a Jewish real estate man who was very angry with one of his agents; he was boiling! This man was always late coming to the office: the real estate man was looking again and again at the clock and the agent was still not there. But he could not even fire him because he was the best agent. The agent really did miracles, so he could not afford to lose him. He used to boil and be angry when the agent was not there, but when he came the real estate man would become absolutely cool and smiling. The agent came, but today it was really too much, what he had done. The owner of the firm said, “Today you have done really too much! Do you think people are blind? – you sold to a man one property which is six feet under water, and you told the man that it can become a beautiful place to live. The poor man purchased it, and yesterday he was here: when he saw the property…. And I have been waiting for you; I could not sleep the whole night thinking that this is too much. I know you are a great artist in seducing people’s minds, but this is too much! Sooner or later he is going to see his property six feet under water. Where is he going to make his house?”
The agent said, “Cool down – don’t be worried. I have seen him – I have sold him two boats also. Those two boats we were stuck with for years, they are rotten. So just cool down and smile again. When I do something I have my whole plan. I knew that this was going to happen, that he would come; but if he is foolish enough that without seeing the land he purchases it – I trusted in his foolishness, that he would purchase those two boats also once he sees the land. But even though the land was six feet under water, it was there. It is Jewish business, but at least the land existed. Those two boats were rotten; they will not float, but at least they were boats.”
But religious business goes far higher than anything Jews have ever done. It sells you things which don’t exist. It sells you heaven.
I used to go to the university, and one day my car was stopped by a beautiful lady. I never give lifts to anyone, particularly beautiful ladies, because it is easy to give them lifts but it is difficult then to get rid of them. But she was standing just in front of me so I had to stop. I said to her, “Lady, this is not the way to get a lift; and anyway I never give lifts. Just standing in front….”
She said, “I don’t want a lift, I just want to give you this little piece of literature about our religion” – she was a Christian. She handed over a few pamphlets. I just looked: the first pamphlet was a beautiful house, a picture of a beautiful house surrounded by beautiful gardens, a river flowing by the side. And the pamphlet had the caption, “Do you want a house like this?”
I became interested; I said, “Why not!” Otherwise I was not going to read that nonsense, but because of that house I turned the page and it said, “It is in the garden of God.” I said, “That’s perfectly good: if you follow Jesus Christ you will have such beautiful houses to live in near God Himself.” This is real salesmanship!
Religion is doing the greatest criminal act in the world: deceiving people on such a mass scale that whenever a really religious person appears, all religious leaders go against him, nobody goes to him.
Of what history are you talking? I don’t think you have written your question consciously. History says only one thing, that whenever there was a man of the caliber of Buddha or Jesus or Socrates, then all religious people – the so-called established, organized churches – went against them.
It was the religious people who crucified Jesus. Not a single rabbi ever came to him, except one, and that too, in the middle of the night when the whole city was asleep – a rabbi called Nicodemus. He was a professor in the Jewish university of Jerusalem…a learned man, but he could not gather courage to come in the daylight. In the middle of the night he woke Jesus.
Jesus was surprised. He said, “You could have come in the day, anytime – I am just staying next to your house.”
Nicodemus said, “Speak silently! If any of your disciples wakes up and sees me here, there will be trouble.”
Jesus said, “What trouble?”
Nicodemus said, “I don’t want to be seen with you. I don’t want it to be known that I had gone to you to ask a few things.”
Jesus said, “If you don’t have even this much courage then forget all about religion. If you cannot come even in the daytime, if you are such a coward, then nobody can be of any help to you. In the search for truth the most significant qualification is courage – and you don’t have any courage.
“Go home, and unless you are born again, remember: you will not be able to understand what religion is. ‘Unless you are born again’ – what does that mean? It means unless you drop your cowardliness and become just the opposite of what you are today – a courageous man…. That is rebirth, and unless you are reborn again, don’t come to me; I cannot help you. If you want to be helped, at least you should prepare the ground.”
Except this Nicodemus, no rabbi ever approached Jesus – and Nicodemus approached him in the night. It would have been better that he also had not approached Jesus, because he shows the cowardliness of your so-called religious people and who crucified Jesus? The high priest and the supreme command of rabbis who overruled the whole community of Jews – they decided that he should be crucified.
There were many attempts made on Buddha’s life by religious people, and I have always suspected – although it is impossible now after twenty-five centuries to find out whether my suspicion is right or wrong, but there is a ninety-nine percent possibility that it is right…. It has to be right because some fundamental principles are involved. Buddha died of food poisoning. I suspect he was given poison, that it was not a coincidence.
There were many attempts on the life of Mahavira. Yes, in India it was not as primitive as it was in Judea. Even the cross on which they hanged poor Jesus was not a piece of art – so ugly. At least they should have shown some respect. Even if they were in disagreement, even if they were going to crucify him, they should have found something beautiful – just out of respect for a human being. But no, what did they do?
For miles they forced him to carry his own cross – which is really ugly, big. Jesus was young, thirty-three years old, and healthy, but he fell down three times; the weight of the cross was so much.
When you are killing a person at least you should be a little more courteous, a little more human. You are doing your worst, but do it the best way you can. There was no need for the cross to be carried by Jesus himself, and there was no need to go miles uphill. Anywhere else it would have been perfectly good, he would have died anywhere else. The cross would have worked – there was no need to go on that hill, Golgotha. But it was purposely done so he had to carry that load uphill. They wanted to torture him as much as possible.
Even in the most primitive societies, whenever a person is sentenced to death, at the last moment he is asked if he has any wish that he would like to be fulfilled. That is a simple courtesy. A man is going to die: why not let him die at least with the contentment that his last wish was fulfilled?
This is almost universal.
But Jews behaved very brutally. The reason was that Jesus was not an ordinary criminal. With ordinary criminals they were also courteous. In fact on that day there were three crucifixions happening: two were of murderers, well-known criminals – who had been visitors to the prison many times, better known than Jesus himself.
Those two criminals were going to be crucified, and Jesus. It was a privilege for the priest, the high priest of the Jewish temple, that he could release one man every year from being crucified. And every year he had released criminals.
The Roman governor-general, Pontius Pilate, was hoping…it seemed natural that he would ask for Jesus’ release, because those two were such notorious criminals, and Jesus had done nothing illegal, no harm to anybody, was an innocent man. Yes, he talked outrageously, but that does not harm anybody; and if you don’t want to hear, you don’t hear it, you just plug your ears and go home. You ignore him. He is simply a talker, he is not a doer.
But it was a shock and a surprise that Jesus was not released. The high priest asked for a murderer who had committed seven murders to be released. Strange it seems, but no; deep down there is logic. The murderer is not a danger to the priest; in fact he is a help. Anybody who creates crime, anybody who creates misery, anybody who makes people suffer, is a help to the religious leaders, to the organized church.
Jesus was dangerous. Although he had done nothing, he had been saying things which could become dynamite and destroy the whole organized religion: he had to be stopped.
And you tell me that history proves that whenever there was a religious man, lesser leaders of religion had recognized him. Nobody has ever been recognized by lesser religious leaders or bigger bigshots.
Buddha was not recognized, while he was alive, as being religious; on the contrary, he was condemned by all other religions that were established as sabotaging the very roots of religion. And in fact he was sabotaging, not the roots of religion, but the roots of the organized religion – which is nothing but an exploitation mechanism.
But when Buddha died, then things changed. Then the same people recognized him. History never says that Buddha was recognized by religious people while he was alive, but it certainly says he was recognized after his death. But let me tell you the way he was recognized.
Hindus accepted him as one of the incarnations of God. They had to. It was just impossible to ignore him, because he had left such a great influence over India that almost the whole country was under his wings; Hindus had completely lost all hold over the masses. So this was a political strategy: recognize Buddha. And now there is no danger in recognizing him – he is dead. Now he can be recognized as not only religious but as an incarnation of the Hindu god, so the people who have become Buddhist can be under the Hindu fold again. Bring Buddha himself into the Hindu fold. And he is dead; he cannot do anything. He cannot resist; he cannot say, “I don’t want to come into your fold; I have been always against you – I have fought my whole life against you. For forty-two years I have argued against all your scriptures.”
But Buddha was no longer alive. It was easy to bring him into the Hindu fold; but in a very cunning way it had to be done because his statements were against the Hindu religion. His whole philosophy – it was not a question of one or two sentences here and there. They could have been edited, they could have been commented on, their meaning would have been changed – everything is possible – but the whole philosophy…. For forty-two years he taught the same thing continuously – that the Vedas are rubbish.
And Hindus say the Vedas are written by God. If God is writing rubbish…. Buddha was continually against all Hindu rituals, saying that this was simple exploitation of poor people. There is not a single sentence in favor of Hinduism. In forty-two years of continual talking, not a single statement for Hinduism; all are against. How can you manage this man?
But Hindus are of a very ancient religion, and have been logical for centuries; they can play with logic – they manage. They invented a simple story and changed the whole substance of Buddha’s philosophy…changed his whole life’s efforts by a small story.
The story is that God created the world; He also created at the same time, hell and heaven. Heaven for those who do good, virtuous acts, believe in God, have faith in the Vedas – the holy scriptures of the Hindus – follow the Hindu priest from birth to death; they will reach heaven. And those who deny all these things will fall into hell and the tortures of hell.
Centuries upon centuries pass; the man in charge of hell became tired and bored because nobody came there. You see the beautiful story? He approached God and he said, “What is the point of keeping this space – nobody ever comes. And I have been waiting and waiting and getting more and more bored. And I have not committed any sin. You have made me in charge of the place; it seems only I am suffering in hell. I don’t want this job – you can give it to anybody.
God said, “Don’t be so much in a hurry. You should have come before. For me, centuries mean nothing because it is an eternal existence; centuries are not even seconds. You should not have waited that long. For you it looks so long, for me it seems as if I have just created hell and heaven and the earth. My time-scale is different from your time scale.”
This story in fact was invented twenty-four centuries ago, but it contains the whole content of Albert Einstein’s philosophy of relativity. God said, “The time-scale in hell is one thing; in heaven it is different. For me of course it is totally different.” In hell even a single moment seems like a century. And we can understand it….
When you are in pain, just a single moment seems to be so long. You start suspecting that perhaps your clock has stopped, or is it some conspiracy against you by the clock, that it is going so slow? Pain makes time longer. The greater the pain, the longer you will feel the time.
Just the opposite happens with pleasure: it makes time shorter. The greater the pleasure, the shorter the time; hence, in hell, moments turn into centuries, and in heaven, centuries turn into seconds. And beyond these both is the Hindu concept of moksha, ‘ultimate freedom,’ where no time exists. It is all eternity; hence there is no question of small, long. There is no question of relativity – it is beyond relativity.
But the very idea of scales of time is the whole content of Albert Einstein’s philosophy, that time is not something fixed; it is relative, relative to many things – particularly to pain and pleasure.
God said, “You should have come, knowing perfectly well that you are in hell where each moment looks like centuries; and without your coming here there was no way for me to know. I was thinking you must be enjoying.”
He said, “I cannot remain there unless you start sending people. Heaven is full of people. There are people who are not dying because they are on the waiting list! Death is simply waiting; when there is space she can take them. And on the other hand I am sitting there with all the space, and nobody is coming.
God said, “You go back – I will manage…. I will come back to the world in a new incarnation – as Gautam the Buddha – and I will teach people everything that leads to hell.”
This is superb sophistry, cunningness. Hindus have defeated Jews. Putting Jesus on the cross seems to be stupid. This is the real cross, and with what art they have managed it! So Buddha, on the one hand, is declared an incarnation of God and taken back into the fold with all his following naturally becoming part of the Hindus; and yet they have condemned Buddha and his philosophy, because whosoever follows that philosophy is going to fall into hell. It is God’s strategy to fill the space which is lying down there empty.
And the story says that since Buddha’s time, things have changed to just the reverse, heaven is becoming emptier every day, and hell is overcrowded. Now people are on the waiting list for hell. You can see them in the hospitals, hanging their legs up. What are these people doing? They are on a waiting list! And the doctors are going to push them as hard as possible on respirators, on drugs…people are in coma; their brains have died, only their bodies are there – but what to do? Hell is so full that unless there is some space, unless some people are released from hell – unless some people have received their full punishment and are released – the queue cannot move.
There will be more and more hospitals, there will be more and more people hanging upside down, there will be more and more doctors. It is nothing but in the service of death, because death cannot take these people. Where to take them? They are not worthy of heaven, and hell has no space.
Such a beautiful story, and yet with such ugly intentions. Can you see the trick? But when Buddha was alive, even to accept him as religious was not possible; and when he was dead he was an incarnation of God.
The same is the situation with all religious authentically, existentially religious people: no organized religion, their heads, the leaders, their priests, their popes, have ever gone to them. They cannot – they want to destroy these people.
You are asking me: “Is something like this happening here too?” It has never happened; how can it happen here? The same thing is happening here as it has happened always. Intelligent people are coming, people who are in search of truth are coming; people who are seekers – who want to know on their own, who want to feel and experience – they are coming, but not religious leaders.
All the religious leaders are against me. They would like to crucify me, they would like to poison me – they have made attempts on my life. But I have learned much since Buddha’s time. Twenty-five centuries is enough – I have learned much. If I know that in Jerusalem they are going to crucify me, I am the last person to go there. Why should I go to Jerusalem? – unless I want to be crucified. That’s why I say Jesus must be carrying some suicidal instinct, some will to die.
Perhaps seeing that nobody listens to him, nobody understands him – only a few illiterate, uneducated poor people have gathered around him hoping that they will inherit the kingdom of God…. But nobody of real caliber ever comes. Perhaps he got tired; perhaps he was too impatient. And you can see it in Christian gospels that this man is impatient. The way he talks is the way of an impatient mind.
He tells people, “In this very life, in your life, you are going to see the glory of God.” This is utter nonsense. And now there is no need to prove it – it is proved already. Twenty centuries have passed: how many generations in twenty centuries? – at least a hundred generations. If you think that one generation changes in twenty years, and in one century, five generations change – in twenty centuries at least one hundred generations have existed and disappeared.
Jesus was telling his contemporaries, “In your very life, in this very life, you will see the glory of God descending. You will see the kingdom of God attained by the poor.”
He was teaching only for three years – not more than that – but it seems that even in three years he became utterly tired. Impatient people become really tired very soon. Buddha was teaching for forty-two years; Mahavira was teaching for forty years; Lao Tzu was teaching for sixty years – but not a single statement of impatience. Even in the time after teaching for sixty years, Lao Tzu is not impatient.
In these centuries, which are crystal-clear before me…. I don’t have any suicidal instinct because to me the suicidal instinct means that something in you has still remained unreligious. Religion can only be life, equivalent to life. There cannot be even a small dark corner for death, and death is….
If I am still alive it is not because the twentieth century has become more civilized, no…because people are being killed, people are being shot – people who are not more dangerous than me. Now, what danger is Mahatma Gandhi? It was just unnecessarily wasting one cartridge. That old man was going to die soon himself. But he had also started to think of dying.
Before India’s freedom he used to say, “I want to live one hundred and twenty-five years.” After India’s freedom he started saying, “I feel that it is time for me to be finished; perhaps I am no longer needed.” That suicidal instinct was arising in him.
I don’t have any desire to die. That does not mean that I want to live forever. It simply means that as long as life is, I enjoy; if death comes, I will enjoy it too. But I am not going to Jerusalem knowing perfectly well that they are preparing a crucifixion.
It happened in Amritsar when I was getting out of the train, I was blocked. Two hundred Hindu chauvinist people wanted me to get back into the train and not enter Amritsar. The people who had come to take me had no idea that there would be two hundred people, so only twenty or twenty-five people were there just to take me home. And there was to be a meeting immediately – just time enough for me to take a cup of tea and go to the meeting. So everybody was in the meeting – ten thousand people waiting there – and these twenty-five people surrounding me in case those two hundred Hindu chauvinists do any harm to me. I could see in the faces of those two hundred people nothing but murder.
The stationmaster by chance happened to be one of my lovers. He phoned to the Golden Temple of the Sikhs, “This is the situation: We are not moving the train, because if we move the train there will immediately be trouble. We are not moving the train. Those people are insisting that he should get into the train and he is not going to get into the train, so immediately send a few temple guards.
The temple guards have naked swords, so a few temple guards came. As they came the crowd started dispersing, because naked swords – there would have been a massacre. And for the first time I had to be escorted, protected from all sides with naked swords, into the city.
I said, “This is my last time in this city.”
They said, “Why?”
I said, “Because I don’t want this kind of nonsense.” And that was not only my last time in that city, I stopped moving altogether. I said, “Those who want to understand me will come, and those who do not want to understand me – in fact why should I interfere in their lives? If they don’t want me to be in their city…. It is their city: if they want to remain idiots forever they have the freedom, and I respect their intention. I cannot force them to be enlightened. Let them remain endarkened – this is their choice. Why should I bother?”
That day became decisive: I was not going to move anywhere. Still, even when I stopped moving absolutely, one man made an attempt on my life. Many of you were present there; seven thousand sannyasins were present there. The police were present there, the police officers were present there, the police commissioner himself was present there – because they got some information: some anonymous person phoned to say that a certain gang was going to throw a knife at me.
So they arrived before the gang arrived. They all witnessed the man throwing the knife. But you know, Indians are lousy. It seems that man has never thrown anything in his life: the knife fell some eight feet away from me. Even I felt sorry.
This country – how long can it remain free, with such people? If he wanted to kill me then he should have practiced a little bit. Eight feet away…even eight inches cannot be allowed. And what kind of knife? When I saw the knife I simply laughed: Indians will always remain without any intelligence it seems.
The knife was, at the most, capable of cutting vegetables. That too it has not been used at least for a few decades. It could not kill a man at all, not even a man like me who is absolutely fragile. But seven thousand eyewitnesses, twenty policemen eyewitnesses, ten police officers, one police commissioner – still the court freed the man.
If the court can simply release the man – not even a three-day punishment or a five-rupee punishment – with all the evidence against him…. The court was under pressure from the political sources to free that man; perhaps political and religious sources were behind him.
The man was completely free. I said, “If this is the case, then to remain in this country means going to Jerusalem. I am not interested in committing suicide or being available to be murdered. My work is not finished, my people are growing. It is still a nursery.
I have to see it become a wild garden; only then can I say good-bye. Before that, to leave you will be an act not of love, not of trust, not of compassion.
It is very difficult for me to go on living in this body, because my work was finished long ago. I am not sick; I am not suffering from any diseases the way medicine will understand. Of course, medicine will understand in its own way that there is diabetes, that there is asthma and this and that; they will find their own way. But I know I am not medically sick – of course I am not medically fit either.
My problem is existential, not medical. My work is finished. My ship has arrived long ago; it is waiting there. Where? Do you know? Portland! That’s why I had to come so far. The ship was waiting in Portland. I have to be nearby: any moment the captain of the ship can say, “Enough!”
My problem is existential.
There is nothing for me to go on breathing for. There is no need. What has to happen has happened; it is already past.
For you there is future:
For me there is no future…no present even.
In my inner world all stopped long ago. That’s why there is a disparity between my body and my life. That disparity creates many kinds of sicknesses. That disparity has made my body very fragile.
I am somehow hanging around; but I will insist on hanging around until you understand your responsibility, until you give me the proof that not only my inner work, but my outer work is also complete…that now I can leave without looking back…that I know now that the seeds I have sown will go on growing forever.

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