From Death to Deathlessness 14

Fourteenth Discourse from the series of 40 discourses - From Death to Deathlessness by Osho.
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Why are there so few American sannyasins? I recall you saying that America would be a very spiritual country because they had already mastered material abundance and found it did not satisfy. Why are they so sleepy? Please comment.
America has no roots. It is just a three-hundred-year-old country; it is passing through its childhood. Compared to a country like India which has been there for at least ninety thousand years, America is a just-born baby. So wait a little; babies don’t tend to be spiritual.
Secondly, America has promoted itself as being really rich. That is not true. Thirty million Americans are in utter poverty; millions of black people are not first-class citizens, and the people to whom the country belongs, the Red Indians, are kept in reservations. Those reservations are not very much different to the concentration camps in Germany – in fact, they are more dangerous.
In Germany, the concentration camps were made of barbed wire; you could not escape. The American reservations are open. If you want to go out, nobody is preventing you. They have created some psychological barbed wire – invisible. The Red Indians are being paid for doing nothing. Naturally, when a man has nothing to do and gets enough money, he gambles, he drinks, and he produces more and more children, because each child brings with him more money from the government.
This is a very psychological slavery; the Red Indians will not want to be freed. If they are free, and the country belongs to them, then what about their gambling, rowdiness, fighting, killing, rape? What about their addiction to drugs? They are not ready to work again; America has crippled them psychologically, spiritually. But the land belongs to them, the country is theirs, everybody else is a foreigner here. Thirdly, the politicians of America would not like the country to become spiritual. They want bigger armies, air forces, navies; they want more nuclear experts. They are not interested in spirituality; spirituality is dangerous to them, because if the American people get involved in meditation, silence, serenity, they will refuse to kill anybody – war or no war. They will simply be able to see that the third world war is going to be a total war in which nothing of life will remain.
American politicians would not like people to have such clarity of vision.
American religious leaders pretend to provide spirituality to the people, but what they are giving they don’t have themselves. The priests are against, have always been against, real spirituality. This has to be understood. Jesus was crucified by the rabbis – the priests. Buddha was opposed by the brahmins – the priests. Attempts on the life of Mahavira were made by the priests. Strange…it seems whenever they find a man who is genuinely spiritual, they want to kill him. There must be some reason behind it.
The reason is that if real spirituality spreads, religion will disappear. Religions are substitute spirituality, saccharin. And if you can get real sugar, who bothers about saccharin? And the latest findings say saccharin creates cancer!
The priest is pretending to be your spiritual leader, just pretending. He knows nothing of silence, he knows nothing of reality. He is still talking like primitive people five thousand years ago to a God who does not exist. He is preaching to you from books which are complete rubbish. Just look in the Bible, anywhere – you need not try to find rubbish, it will find you.
And it is not only the Bible, the same is true about the Koran, about the Vedas. But priests are imposing the Bible, the Koran, the Vedas, on people. And on every child when he is innocent, when he is a clean slate, parents start writing Catholicism, communism, or anything they want. The priest starts programming the child. By the time he can think on his own, he has lost his thinking intelligence. The program, the conditioning has created a big wall between himself and his being. Now he will remain always outside the home, somewhere on the porch, thinking, “This is my palace.”
America is dominated too much by Christian priests, Jewish rabbis. And if a few young people escape from the rabbis and the Christian priests, then they get caught by people like Esalen, Est, Muktananda, Satchidananda. These people – Satchidananda, Muktananda, Hari Bhajan – they are in the same profession as the Christian priest. And they are more dangerous in a way, because they bring you new words, a new language, and you start thinking, perhaps you have found the way. Est and Esalen-type movements exploit the youth.
America is really in bad shape. Yes, I did say once that America can be the most religious land. I repeat it still: it can be the most religious land. But these hindrances are there, and these hindrances are powerful. Unless these hindrances are removed, America will remain spiritually poor.
You are asking me why Americans are not coming here more. There are a few other reasons too.
Americans were coming to me in India – India has a halo of spirituality. Who has ever heard of Oregon being a holy place? India is no longer spiritual – once it was, but the idea has become ingrained in people that if you want to find real spirituality, you have to go to India. Searching in India, sooner or later they ended up with me. The faraway thing seems to be appealing. Now I am here – not far away, just amid you – the challenge of the faraway is no longer there.
And there were other things behind it. Americans were coming to me in India, remaining there for one month, two months, three months, and going back home. Their families never knew what they were doing in India. Now, it is a difficult thing to come here. Their families know that they are going to a dangerous place; perhaps they may not return. The families are worried so much, that many families have told their sannyasin sons and daughters, “If you don’t drop sannyas we will disinherit you.”
I know exactly about one of my sannyasins, one of the oldest. For fifteen years she was coming to see me in India at least two or three times every year. When she came to India, she would be in red clothes, and when she left India she would also leave those clothes behind.
Her father was ninety years old, but he was threatening her that if she got involved in India he was going to disinherit her. And he was a billionaire. So she was waiting – once he dies, she can become a sannyasin totally, without any fear.
But meanwhile, I have come here. The father is now dead, but the whole family – the mother, the uncles – now she is afraid of them. I have been here for four years; she has not come even once. In India, three times a year for fifteen years she was coming. I am here for four years, she has not come once.
On the contrary – certainly under some pressure because she is a billionaire – she has written a letter to Sheela saying, “I am no longer connected with the sannyas movement of Osho, I am no longer a sannyasin; and a note of this fact should be taken.”
In America or in any other country, wherever I am there is going to be conflict with the people of that country. They are bound to be hostile, just because we are new, just because we are teaching a new way of living. And their investment with the old life is so much, that it is better to stay away from us. So only a few Americans who have guts are here.
The same was the situation in India. People from all over the world were coming, but Indians were not coming. In India they have their vested interests; they are afraid of the society, they are afraid of their religion. They are afraid of to whom they are going to marry their girl. Who will accept her? – because they have dropped out of the society.
But you will be surprised. India is so poor; still, at this festival there were two hundred and fifty Indians. There would have been five hundred, but two hundred and fifty were rejected, not given permission to come. Those two hundred and fifty people who came from that faraway place – thousands of miles – they were not coming to me in Pune. It is strange, but understandable. Coming here, nobody knows. Going back, nobody knows. Their society, their family – everything is safe. But coming to me in India would have been difficult.
I used to live in Bombay. Just above my apartment, there lived a family…Once in a while we passed each other, either in the elevator, or on the steps, or in the garden, but they never came to see me. And every day at my place, in my apartment, a group of two hundred sannyasins was meeting. And I was talking on a tremendously significant subject, which is published in The Book Of The Secrets – one hundred and twelve methods of meditation. But they could not gather courage.
Then I left Bombay, and to my surprise, the next day they reached Pune and wanted to become sannyasins. But I said, “You have never heard me, you have never even waved to me!”
They said, “In Bombay, we were living with our parents’ joint family. It was risky and we did not want to create any problem. Now, you give us sannyas – we are going to live in Pune.” It was a real surprise. The man who had been living with his wife the floor above me – both had come to be initiated, and they turned out to be beautiful people.
Americans can go to the Himalayas…. I have heard about one American who got fed up with all the money he had, all the luxuries he had – and death was coming near. So he went in search of someone to assure him that death is illusory and you are eternal. Of course, he could not believe Americans, he knew them perfectly well. He could not believe the bishop, he knew the bishop perfectly well.
He was searching, and people told him, “If you really want the taste of reality, you will have to walk hundreds of miles into the Himalayas. And there lives a grand old man. Nobody knows how old he is, but just to touch his feet is enough. He is showering bliss.”
The man – tired, tattered, because he had never walked hundreds of miles – reached the old man, touched his feet and said, “I have come in search of truth.”
The old man said, “We can talk about truth later on. There is no hurry, the whole eternity is available to talk about truth. First things first: have you got an American cigarette on you? – because I have been waiting for an American, and you are the only one who has come.”
The man was shocked. What kind of spirituality…? But he gave the cigarette – perhaps this was some device – and gave his golden lighter. The old man smoked joyously, and put the lighter in his pocket. The American said, “Any message for me?”
The old man said, “Whenever you come, bring a big lot of American cigars. Just one cigarette won’t do. Go back home, and whenever the urge, the itching arises in you for spiritual search, you can come to me. But remember what I have said.”
I have been in India for fifty years; I have not found a single man who has arrived. But millions of people from all over the world go on pouring into India in search of truth.
Indians have been coming to me, but their search is different. Somebody came to me to ask if I could arrange employment for his son, because the minister knows me. If just a hint is given, his son will get a good job. Somebody came and said, “I am going bankrupt. I do not need much, just fifty thousand rupees. And you can tell any of your disciples; it will not be difficult for them to help me.”
But not a single Indian was coming for truth, for spirituality. I don’t think there is any country which is more materialistic than India, but it has a long past and the fame of being spiritual.
I have chosen Oregon, because this is the last place where any prophet, messiah, incarnation of God would ever try to appear. I thought it would be good here, we would be left alone. Nobody will be coming in search of truth, or in search of a bigger salary, better business, a better political post; and nobody is going to bother us.
I have got my people. The remaining time of my life I want to devote to my people, who are neither Americans, nor Indians, nor French, nor Italians; they are simply my people. The day you become a sannyasin you drop your nations, you drop your religions, you forget all your programs. You become again an innocent child.
It will be difficult for Americans to come here, just because I am here. But if you can create…and you are already doing it: creating an oasis in the desert, against all the hostility, illegality of the government.
One simply wonders…. The state government of Oregon is against us because of land use laws. None of them have come here and seen that we have transformed the land. It was a desert; we have made it a beautiful oasis full of laughter.
This one hundred and twenty-six square mile area, when I first came there was not a single bird, no greenery. We have made it green and we will be making it more and more green. We have made it full of dance and laughter and song, and we have changed the desert to produce enough for our commune. We are self-sufficient – vegetables, fruits…. In need of water we have made dams; we have enough water. We have made roads.
When I came here there was only one house. Now there are houses for five thousand sannyasins – all centrally air-conditioned. We have hundreds of vehicles, buses, airplanes. I don’t think there is any city in the world with a population of five thousand which has ninety Rolls Royces. And that is only a beginning! We will put a full stop only when there are three hundred and sixty-five Rolls Royces.
Our way of living – our freedom about love, about everything, our great respect for the individual – also prevents Americans from coming here. They believe that saints should be dull, almost dead, living in poverty, renunciation, living against nature in celibacy, never looking at a woman even in their dreams – although their dreams are full of women.
A saint can avoid looking at women in the day, but he has no control over his unconscious in the night. That’s why all the saints of all religions have been afraid of sleep. They go on cutting their sleep: four hours, three hours – the less you sleep, the greater spiritual quality you have.
But the basic reason for cutting sleep was that that sleep was full of Arabian Nights. The whole day they were fighting against the woman or the man, and in the night the reward was millionfold – so many women, so many men, so beautiful.
A dream girl after all is a dream girl. You cannot find a woman on the earth comparable, as beautiful as your girl in the dream. It is your creation. It does not perspire, it does not need to use deodorants, it has no menstrual period. Nobody has ever heard that a girl in a dream was having her period. The girl in your dream never says, “Not today, I am suffering from a headache.” She is always willing, more than willing. The saints have been afraid of sleep.
I am bringing to the world a totally new perspective of spirituality.
Americans still think in terms of old ascetics. They cannot believe that sannyasins are not celibate; a monk has to be celibate. But celibacy is impossible, biologically impossible. Unless a man happens to be impotent, celibacy is not possible. If you enforce celibacy on people, their sex energy will become perverted.
I want you to be natural, absolutely natural.
I want you to follow existence – not me, not any bible, not any messiah.
And if you can follow your own existential feelings, you will find the truth.
It is not outside you; it is within you.
When you are absolutely natural, a great silence descends on you, a great serenity blossoms within you, and you find that which you have been seeking for many lives. But you were looking in wrong directions, and looking with wrong techniques, wrong methodology.
All the religions have preached that you have to be against this world, this body; only then can you enter into the kingdom of God. Nobody has asked these idiots, “If this world, this body are such great barriers in reaching the kingdom of God, why in the first place did God create them? Is he your friend or your enemy?”
He has given you a body. He has given you your capacity to love and be loved. He has given you all that you have. But all the priests are against their own God! God goes on creating people who are not celibate, and priests go on imposing celibacy on people. Can you see that these priests must be in the service of the devil? The pope must be the representative of Satan.
To be natural is relaxing.
And to be utterly relaxed with yourself is all that is needed to find the truth.
But all the religions make you tense, full of anxiety, anguish, fear. Then naturally, you are going to miss.
Here, we are creating an authentic spirituality.
The plastic Americans will go on searching in Kabul, Kathmandu, Goa. Let those fools search there. Finally, they have to end up here in Oregon. But first let them go.
I will tell you one Sufi story. A man was going in search of truth. As he left his village, he saw an old man sitting under a tree. The old man asked, “My boy, where are you going?”
The young man explained, “I am in search of truth. I will go around the earth, but I have to find it.”
The old man said, “You will find it, and you will have to go around the earth. Some advice I would like to give you, that if you find such-and-such a man under such-and-such a tree” – he was describing the tree he was sitting under, and he was describing himself – “if you come across such a man sitting under such a tree, you have reached your master.”
The young man thanked the old man and rushed fast in search of the tree and the man, the master – and certainly he had to go around the earth. By the time he came back to the tree, he himself was old, and that old man was almost ancient.
He fell at the old man’s feet and said, “You are something. Why didn’t you say that you are the man? Now I recognize the tree and I recognize you!”
The old man said, “I was waiting for you; otherwise there was no reason for me to live. Because I had given the advice, I could not die! And it was not possible for you to recognize me at that time, you were not mature enough.”
One has to knock on one thousand doors, then one finds the door that leads to reality. Perhaps it is the first door, but at that time you are not mature, you are not centered. You don’t have the intelligence. You have to fall many times, you have to get caught by all kinds of religious traps, pretensions.
All this is a necessary training, nothing is wrong in it. That’s how one becomes mature, that’s how one starts knowing what is false. The day you know exactly what is false, the real is not far away.
To know the false as false, is to know the real as the real.
So don’t be worried about Americans or Russians or Chinese. You simply create this buddhafield, this dance, with such joy that it becomes a gravitational force in itself, so those who are on the verge of finding will start moving toward this place.
Rajneeshpuram is the world capital of all sannyasins, seekers, lovers of truth.
You have to create it, because our world capital will not be of skyscrapers – it will be higher than that. Your joy, your rejoicings, your love, your compassion, your meditation – these will create this world capital.
Already we have one million sannyasins around the world. As the politicians are piling up nuclear weapons, and religious leaders are helping to destroy humanity by creating the disease AIDS…. You should remember it: AIDS is a religious disease. It started in the monasteries where monks were put together and no woman was allowed. It is the ultimate result of homosexuality, it is a by-product of homosexuality.
On the one hand political leaders are collecting nuclear weapons to destroy this earth. They have so much already that it seems to be absolutely foolish to waste a single cent more on it. They can destroy the earth seven hundred times already. AIDS is spreading fast – like a wildfire. These two death forces are going to push thousands of people who love life into becoming sannyasins.
A really bumper crop of sannyasins is ahead of you!

I'm confused. There is fear and wanting in me. There are moments of silence and moments of suppressing my body, my feelings. Why don't I let go totally? Am I still greedy? Is the falling back into old patterns an expression of cowardliness? I have never really been a coward, but always half-hearted. In the last weeks I have become so much in love with you, my trust has grown. The more I could say, “You are not serious,” or “I don't agree,” the more my feelings got in contact with you. Can you say something?
First, confusion is far more significant than certainty which comes out of belief, faith, blindness. Confusion is a good beginning. Confusion will be leading you to become one day Confucius! Just go on. Don’t be worried about confusion.
Confusion simply means you have started thinking, you have started being an individual on your own. Confusion means: your Christianity is dropping, your Judaism is falling apart, your Mohammedanism is no longer capable of keeping you faithful. Confusion is not a bad state at all. Every seeker has to start with confusion.
You say you have never been a coward. If it is true, then this is the moment to prove it. But you know you are a coward; otherwise, who was asking you to say that you have never been a coward?
You say, “But I have been always half-hearted in everything.” That’s what cowardice is. One foot wants to go ahead, the other foot wants to go backward. Half of your being is ready to take the jump, the other half holds back. The other half seems to be not just fifty, it seems to be fifty-one/forty-nine. Because you are always being held by it, it cannot be of equal force. It has more force than your desire to go ahead.
It is good that once in a while you have started saying, “Osho, You can’t be serious.”
I am never serious. There is no need to say it. Once and for all, categorically: I am never serious! I cannot be. Seriousness belongs to the dead. The living is playful, nonserious, joyous. The serious is somber, long-faced, British.
A woman had come to a station to meet her husband. He came down from the train, almost staggering, looking sick, very tired. The woman said, “What has happened? The journey was not that long, only six hours, and you are looking so pale, you cannot even walk.”
The man said, “The trouble is that I cannot sit on a seat when the train is moving in one direction and I am facing the opposite direction. I cannot sit in that way, it makes me feel sick.”
The woman said, “Then why didn’t you ask the other gentleman in the compartment, ‘It makes me sick – perhaps it does not affect you. Can you take my seat?’”
He said, “I thought of it thousands of times, but nobody had introduced us. And without an introduction….” These are serious people.
I don’t want you to be serious. So if you have started feeling sometimes, “Osho cannot be serious,” drop it. There is no need to say it, I am never serious.
Secondly, you find many times that you cannot agree with me. What the hell am I doing here? Persuading you every day that you should not agree with anyone! You should be yourself. You were agreeing with Jesus, you were agreeing with Moses, and now you have started agreeing with me. But you remain the same – the agreeing fool. Your subjects change, but you don’t change!
I am talking to you in such a way that if you have a little intelligence you cannot agree with me. Every day I go on contradicting myself. How long are you going to put up with me? Sooner or later you will say, “I cannot agree with all these contradictions.” And that’s exactly what I want.
I want you to agree with yourself – a great agreement with whatever you are.
And certainly something of that kind is happening. That’s why you feel more love toward me, more trust toward me. You are puzzled because you are disagreeing, you are thinking me nonserious – and love is growing, your heart is opening toward me. There is nothing contradictory in it.
The more you are an individual, the more capable you are of loving. The more you are free of any kind of psychological slavery…. Agreeing with someone else is a psychological slavery. When you are totally free from all the slaveries, your heart is bound to open toward me with gratitude, with love. And this love and gratitude will have a totally different quality.
You will love me because I have loved you so much that I don’t want even myself to become a fetter to you. Your heart will open toward me without any resistance, without any reluctance, because you know that here is a man who is not going to exploit you, who is not going to put you into another prison.
You cannot open to the pope. You cannot open to Ayatollah Khomeini. They force you to believe, because unbelievers go to hell. They force you to have faith, because the faithful will be rewarded in paradise. They are playing on your fear and greed.
I have nothing to promise you: no heaven for those who agree with me, and no hell for those who disagree with me. What does agreeing with me have to do with heaven and hell? It is a subtle psychological strategy to make you more and more a slave. The whole humanity is living in slavery. Every faith is slavery; every religion, every church, every synagogue, every temple is nothing but a prison with open doors.
Doors are kept open to delude you that you are not in a prison. And doors are kept open because they have caught your very being, now there is no need to be worried about your body. They have programmed your mind so totally that even if you want to go out, you will not. Going out is dangerous. Remain in the fold.
Have you ever thought about the words used by Jesus for you? He calls himself the shepherd, and you? – his sheep. Reducing humanity to sheep. Now the sheep is the most cowardly animal in the whole world. Sheep move in herds, in crowds; a sheep cannot stand being alone. She needs six hundred million Catholics all around, then she feels everything is okay. “I am not alone, there are six hundred million Catholics with the special representative of Jesus, Polack the Pope.” Now there is no fear.
I want you to get out of this sheepskin, and declare your individuality.
I am not your shepherd, because I am not your enemy. I am not holier-than-thou, I am not higher-than-thou. I am just one of you who has thrown all the programs, who has come out of the sheepskin. And because, coming out of all these bounds, all these imprisonments, I have found the eternal source of bliss, I would like you to do the same.
But it is not a question of agreeing with me. It is a question of experimenting with what I am saying. Don’t make a belief of what I am saying; otherwise you will never forgive me. What I am saying is only hypothetical. Who knows? – I may be lying. How can you be certain? There is no need to believe. There is no need to have faith, no need to take me seriously.
To me all this is beautiful fun!
I love talking – that is fun.
You love listening – that is fun.
If in this fun and playfulness something transpires and revolutionizes your life, that is just a by-product. We are not serious about it.
If you become enlightened, so what?
If you become enlightened, I will start saying, “Drop it! Forget all about it, don’t be caught by it. You have far to go. There are far stars to go to.”
Enlightenment? Just a little piece of experience and you are finished. You have to conquer the whole existence.
A beautiful story is told about Gautam Buddha. When he reached the doors of nirvana – that is the Buddhist paradise – the doors were opened, there was a red-carpet welcome, with angels playing on their harps. But Buddha turned his back toward the door and stood outside. The angels could not believe what he was doing: “We are welcoming him in, and he is showing his back to us.” One of the angels asked, “What are you doing?”
Buddha said, “Unless everybody who is groping in the dark enters the gate of heaven, I am not going to enter. I will stand here. I am going to be the very last!”
He is kicking the whole nirvana aside. This is love, this is compassion. He wants every human being to enter into this blissful state first, and he is going to be the last.
He said to the angels, “You go away, because it will take eternity. And don’t be worried about the door; when I come in last, I will close it. And in fact, there will be no need even to close it, because there will be nobody outside who has to come, everybody will be in.”
Buddhists have always wondered what kind of story this is. Nirvana denied? Enlightenment? And Buddha is not ready to enter unless everybody else becomes enlightened?
But I can see the compassion of the man. The story is just a story, not a historical fact. But if you go on being more and more individual, independent from the past, from the future, from everything; just listening to your own still small voice, and following it wherever it leads – you will know what a beauty life is, what tremendous joy, what a blessing…so much so that if you have blessed the whole world, still you have an inexhaustible source of blessings.
It is good you are confused. That means you are no longer certain about your beliefs and faith. You have moved. It is good that once in a while you don’t agree with me. I suggest, never agree with me! It is good once in a while you think I am not serious. Please remember, I am never serious because I am alive.
Have you seen any dead man smile? He is always serious. I am full of life – how can I be serious? I am absolutely nonserious, and I take life just as a beautiful play, a beautiful drama, a beautiful poetry, a beautiful music, a beautiful dance.
Your heart is opening, your love is growing. Confusion, perplexity will be there for a while, because you have been told for centuries that if you have faith, only then will your heart open. That is wrong!
Faith means you have closed all possibility of your heart ever opening. You have been told, “Believe, and believe totally, with no doubt; only then will you arrive at truth.” That is absolutely wrong.
I am not saying, “Disbelieve,” because belief or disbelief are the same. One is positive, one is negative, but there is no basic difference between the two.
Why not be free from belief and disbelief and just live your life moment to moment, responding to reality according to your consciousness? And the more you respond to reality according to your own consciousness – not according to some dogma, some catechism, some holy scripture, but just according to you – you will be surprised how much you have missed up to now. But it is never too late.
In India we have a proverb: If a man gets lost in the morning and arrives back home in the evening, he should not be called lost. In the end he has arrived!
So whenever you arrive, it is perfectly the right time. You are in a good space. Just allow it to grow, expand, and you will be blessed by the whole existence.

Each morning at discourse, as soon as I hear your voice, I begin to feel a sense of deep relaxation. I start to feel drowsy and find it difficult to stay awake. Could you explain?
That’s great, because the same happens to me! The moment I start speaking I go to sleep. And by and by I have become so expert that you don’t detect that I am talking in my sleep.
That’s perfectly good; relaxation is beautiful. And what I am saying today, tomorrow I will contradict, so no need to be bothered. Relax and go to sleep; you need it.
And as far as hearing me is concerned, it is nonserious. It is not a sermon; I am not giving you a doctrine, I am not giving your principles.
I am just speaking in my sleep. If you all also go to sleep and listen to me in your sleep, that will be really groovy!

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