From Death to Deathlessness 16

Sixteenth Discourse from the series of 40 discourses - From Death to Deathlessness by Osho.
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The president of India said in a speech recently, “There is so much evil around here, and Osho went to America. Why?” I find it disappointing that the president of India should miss your presence in that country now, but would not listen to your advice when you were sharing your vision for thirty years before coming to America. And even now it is not too late. Please comment.
Man is a strange animal.
It worships the dead. It misses the past.
It feels absence, it does not feel presence, because it does not live in the present. “Now” is only a word for man, it is not an experience. Past has experience, future exists – but the present man goes on passing through it almost asleep.
The past has been, the future will be; both are no more. One is dead, another is not born yet. And this is the strange quality of human beings: that that which is, they don’t take any note of. The present, which is the only existential moment, is nonexistent for the human mind.
You have to see. Mind is divided in two parts: one is the past, which is no more, and the other is the future, which is not yet. This is your whole mind. Mind knows nothing of the present. And the strangeness becomes more mysterious because existence only knows the present. That which is gone is gone forever, without any trace. And that which has not come yet, for existence means nothing.
All our philosophers have been dividing time into three tenses: past, present, future. That division is wrong. Past and future are divisions of the mind, and present is the only time there is.
Time is always present. Mind is never present. That’s why the basic necessity for anybody to be transformed is to shift himself from mind to time. As the past disappears, as the future is no longer important, what is left? This moment.
But in all the languages of the world, throughout history, these three tenses have been thought to be part of time. This is a great confusion. Two belong to mind – both are nonexistential – and one belongs to reality. But about the real there are difficulties which have to be understood.
First, the real, the existential, is a very atomic, small moment. Unless you are alert, very alert, you are going to miss it. You have to be absolutely herenow, focusing yourself; then only will you be able to see the atomic present. Once you have become aware of the present, then you have the golden key which opens the doors of eternity.
Because we miss the present, that’s why we miss our contemporaries.
The dead are worshipped, the living are crucified.
The living are never accepted as saints. The first qualification to be a saint is to be dead. Once you are dead you are no longer a problem to people, a trouble to people. You are no longer a competitor. And that’s why all over the world, nobody says anything bad about the dead. Not that they were all saints, but to speak badly of the dead seems simply meaningless.
I have heard that once in a town there were five brothers; each was worse than the other. The eldest brother died. The whole town had a great sense of relief; everybody was happy that one troublemaker was gone. But the tradition of the town was that when somebody dies, before you put him on the funeral pyre, somebody has to speak a few words in his honor. Now everybody was at a loss because they could not find any word in his honor.
Finally an old man stood up, and he said, “Compared to his four brothers he was a saint.”
I was in India, and I spoke on every problem that that country is facing – and more or less every country is facing. But no politician was ready to listen, for the simple reason that whatever I was saying was against their vested interest. No religious leader was ready to listen. It went against their profession, their business.
In India, attempts on my life were made. The last attempt on my life was made when ten thousand sannyasins were present – just in a morning discourse. The police got somewhere, from someone, a message that a few people had gone to the meeting and they were going to throw a knife at Osho. So twenty police officers arrived in time.
The knife was thrown at me. Twenty police officers were eyewitnesses. It is very rare that twenty high-ranking police officers are eyewitnesses, and ten thousand sannyasins are eyewitnesses. Still, the man was released by the court.
The magistrate privately apologized to me. The said, “The political and the religious pressure is so much – that man belongs to a fanatic Hindu religious party, and to punish him will create chaos in the country. And the political pressure is there, because that man has immense power over many voters. If he is punished, then the politician who is being elected by his constituency will not have a chance.” And the magistrate said, “I am an ordinary man, and they are threatening me that if I do something, then my future is finished, then there is no promotion for me.”
Now the president can say that the country is full of evil, and why have I left the country? Now he can condemn me, because I have left the country.
The country was full of evil when I was there. No politician had the guts even to have contact with me, because if the public knew that the prime minister or the president had some connection with me, it would have been dangerous to his political future.
They knew what I was saying was true, and if they had listened to me, the country would not have been facing all the kinds of evil that it is facing today.
What are the problems in India in particular? They are the problems of the whole world in general.
Fifty percent of India’s population is just starving. Soon India will be a bigger Ethiopia – Ethiopia is a small country. Fifty percent of Indians means four hundred million people. And if fifty percent of the country is dying, the remaining fifty percent cannot live in the country of the dead. There is every possibility they will revolt, every possibility they will turn communist – every possibility.
When a person has nothing to lose, he can do anything, commit any crime. And when fifty percent of the country is dying, it will not leave others to live in peace, in comfort.
For thirty years I have been saying that abortions should be legal. But it was against religions, so every religious person was against me, saying I am teaching things which go against religions.
Now they should ask their religions to provide food, shelter, clothes, employment, for fifty percent of the people of the country. They should catch hold of their religious leaders!
I was continuously telling people to use birth control methods. But the politicians and the religious leaders were both condemning me, saying that I was trying to destroy the morality of the country, that if people start using the pill, the morality of the country will be destroyed, because India is a very strictly monogamous country.
If your wife uses the pill and makes love to somebody else, you will not have any way of knowing. If there is no birth control available, then the child that is born to your wife is yours, you can be certain about it. And if the pill is available, what about those people who are not married? They will start making love, and there will be no way to find whether a girl is a virgin.
In India they are too much concerned about virginity. So much so, that in the past they married small children so there would be no doubt, no suspicion.
My mother was married when she was only nine years old. And the whole village was celebrating; the marriage party was coming and there were bands from the big city. And my mother was only nine years old – of course she could not understand why she was not allowed to get out of the house when everybody in the village was out of the house celebrating. What had she done wrong?
They kept her bound in the house because she was trying to escape and see what was happening outside – fireworks, bands, and so many people. And she was the only one who was denied. She had no idea that she was going to be married.
But nine years was really not the common age when people were married – four years, three years, and there are millions of cases when people were married when they were not born yet! Two persons would make a contract, that if a girl and a boy are born to them, they will be married. The ceremony of the marriage is happening even before they know that who is going to be born. That was an absolute guarantee that the girl is virgin. And Hindus don’t believe in the Holy Ghost….
Christians may not be certain, because the Holy Ghost can do any stupid thing; he can make a girl who is in her mother’s womb pregnant. For the Holy Ghost nothing is impossible!
I was talking about the greatest revolution in history – the pill, because it frees women from the bondage of men, it frees a woman from slavery and gives her an individuality of her own; now she can get educated, employed. She can be creative; she can be a painter or a musician, a scientist or a poet. Otherwise, the woman was simply doing one thing: getting pregnant again and again. One dozen children, in India, has been the common rule.
I used to tease my father, because he had only eleven children. I said, “You are strange – at least you could have completed one dozen.”
There are still people in India today who have sixteen children, eighteen children. From the very moment the girl becomes capable of being pregnant – her whole life until menopause – she goes on reproducing. She is just a productive machine. Naturally, she cannot have any individuality of her own. Her whole time is taken up either by pregnancy or by bringing up children. And before one child is even six month old, she is again pregnant. Women have been treated like cattle.
These are simple facts, not much intelligence is needed to understand. But nobody was ready to listen; they were more interested in their morality.
And what morality is there in a virgin girl? What great spirituality is there? I don’t see the point. If somebody shakes hands with me, it does not make me immoral or him immoral. And what is sex except shaking hands? And if you are too fanatic and clinical, then you can have a good douche, clean yourself and forget all about it. Your virginity cannot be destroyed. Even if a woman gives birth to a child, she is again virgin. Even the child cannot destroy her virginity. But stupid ideas – that a woman has to be virgin, then she has to be devoted totally to her husband….
Of course whatever I was saying was going against them. But if they had heard me, the country would not have been in such a state, because when I started speaking the population of the country was half what it is now. And still they are continuously producing children.
And it seems my going out of India has caused all the evil there. The president of India never told me, “What you are saying and doing is right;” it should be a strict policy of the government to prohibit the population from growing.”
They were all against me. You will be surprised – the politicians were telling people that I was too young, I didn’t understand the complexities of morality, religion, spirituality. One of the topmost political leaders was Kaka Kalelkar – he was ninety years old. He condemned me because I was too young.
I asked him in a public meeting, and gave him an open challenge: “I am ready to discuss the problems before the masses, from the same platform, and if my being young makes my argument wrong, then your being senile makes your argument wrong. But arguments are not to be decided by the age of the person. Arguments have to be decided by the counter-arguments. I am saying that the country is growing so fast that soon you will all be beggars. You give the alternative!”
In fact, I told him that if he had any sense of dignity, now was the time he should commit suicide – “Because what is the need? And what are you doing? Unnecessarily, a ninety-year-old man….” All his colleagues were dead, all his contemporaries were dead, his children were old – the eldest was seventy. “So what are you doing here except becoming an unnecessary burden, continuously sick, continuously in bed? And still you won’t leave, you won’t create some space for a new person to take over.”
That was even more shocking to these presidents and prime ministers of India. I was saying two things: birth control – but that is only half the story. The second is death control – which nobody in the whole world has been talking about – because that is the logical end. If you stop people from being born, that is one part of reducing the population. The second part should be that those who are too old, a burden to themselves, a burden to others, and who are simply suffering – relieve them. And there is no need for them to jump into the ocean, or to hang themselves from a tree.
The government should provide facilities in every hospital so that these people can come and you can give them a peaceful death – just an injection which takes them into deeper and deeper sleep, into eternity.
And make at least their death beautiful – you could not make their life beautiful. Life is a long affair; to make a person’s life for ninety years a beautiful phenomenon is difficult. But death comes within seconds.
So at least for twenty-four hours, let him do whatever he always wanted to do. Let him enjoy everything that he wanted to enjoy. And for twenty-four hours before his death let him learn how to be silent, how to relax, so that death does not come only as death, but also comes as a deep meditation.
So not only will we be helping the population to be reduced, we will be helping old people to die with dignity, with smiles on their faces, and with a deep serenity within them which will change their whole future course of consciousness.
But naturally they all were against me, saying that I am preaching suicide, that I am talking against the law.
The medical profession was against me, because the doctors have been given an idea hundreds of years old. Hippocrates has created the oath for the doctor. And every doctor – even today, when he passes the examination – has to take the oath that he will always serve life, that he will try in every way to prevent a person dying. That oath is now stupid. But Hippocrates is far more important to them than the whole humanity on the verge of death. The oath should be that a doctor should help the person to live beautifully, and to die beautifully.
Life and death should not be separated as enemies; they are one phenomenon. The oath is half. The full oath should be that a physician should serve the man in life and death both. The best he can do for life he will do. The best he can do for death he will do.
But no doctor – I was speaking in medical clubs, medical colleges, universities – no doctor was ready to accept the idea because of the fear that some doctor may take advantage of it and may kill someone.
I said to those people that if somebody wants to take advantage, do you think Hippocrates can prevent him? His oath can prevent him? He can still take advantage. The patient knows nothing of what is being done to him, what medicine is being given to him, what injections are being given to him. If the doctor wants to take advantage, he can take it now; nobody can prevent him. In fact, the oath protects him.
But if you understand the whole situation, he cannot kill a young man; otherwise he will be behind bars. He can help a man to die only when the man has given him his authority and the man’s family has made its farewell to the man. Taking advantage will be impossible.
But people are addicted to the past.
India has been becoming poorer and poorer and poorer; and poverty is the source of all evil. And now, four years after my leaving India, the president has become aware – why, when the country is full of evil, have I left the country? That’s why – I don’t want to live in an evil country.
And whatever I could do…. I had no power, I could only persuade people, convince people. But the people are so conditioned – they hear, but they don’t listen. Seeing the situation I simply dropped the idea of transforming the Indian mind. Not when I left the country – seven years before I left India I had dropped the idea of changing the Indian mind. It is stubborn, dull, mediocre. It lost its intelligence at least twenty-five centuries ago.
After Buddha, India has not produced a single man comparable to him. And for two thousand years India has been a slave – to one country, then another country; then one race, then another race. A country which can remain for two thousand years under slavery, a country which is a continent in itself yet is ruled by small groups of people, has lost its soul. It is a country of dead people. Yes, they still breathe, they still walk, they still do things; but that is not enough to prove that they are alive.
Trees breathe. There are even trees in Africa which walk miles in search of water. There are trees in Africa which are cannibals. If a man comes near them, they will spread their branches around him and get hold of him. You cannot escape from their hold. They will suck your blood. Intelligent….
They open the petals of their flowers with beautiful fragrance, so that birds become attracted – immediately, magnetically the birds come because there is so much juice. The moment the bird sits on the flower it closes. The bird is gone forever, and he had come in search of juice!
So I don’t consider a man alive because he is breathing, eating, reproducing children; this is not enough to be alive. This is vegetating. And when I said this to Indian leaders – religious, political, social, educational – they were all angry. I was calling their country a country of dead people, and saying it has been dead for at least twenty-five centuries, it is a ghost land.
Nobody is ready to change, so the president, now blaming me, is showing how politicians are cunning. When I was there, they wouldn’t listen to me.
Now that I am not there, they can dump the responsibility on me – that the country is full of evil, and I have left the country. So what do you want: that I should join in creating more evil there?
Thirty years is not a small time – almost half my life I wasted with idiots. And this president is a perfect idiot. It is very difficult to find perfect people – some imperfection or other is bound to be there – but this president, Zail Singh, is a perfect idiot. His statement shows his stupidity.
All these politicians in India are Gandhians, they follow Mahatma Gandhi. I was criticizing Mahatma Gandhi for thirty years continuously, single-handedly. There was nobody who would join with me in criticizing Mahatma Gandhi.
Even prominent political leaders tried to persuade me, “Why are you after Mahatma Gandhi? The whole country respects him.”
I said, “That’s why I am against him – because that man has given such a rotten ideology to the country, that if he is respected, his ideology is going to influence people.”
For Mahatma Gandhi all human progress stopped when the spinning wheel was invented. After that no science, no technology – the spinning wheel is the last invention, the last discovery. He wanted all the mills to be closed, all the factories to be closed. And everybody should create his own cloth.
I have worked it out. If a man wants cloth for himself only, he will need a bed, bed sheets, towels, clothes to wear – at the minimum. For this he has to spend eight hours a day, continuously spinning for the whole year. Then he will be able to provide for himself – and that is himself, not his wife, not his children, not his old parents, not his sick mother. They will all be naked!
And if he is going to create clothes for himself, working eight hours on that stupid spinning wheel, then when is he going to earn his bread? When is he going to earn enough to send his children to the school, to the college? There are a thousand and one things in life – not just having enough clothes. How is he going to create a house, or purchase a house, or make a house? There is no time.
Mahatma Gandhi was against such simple and absolutely necessary things like telegraph, electricity, railway trains – all these should disappear. Do you think such a man should be left outside into the masses, freely spreading all this poison? And his ideology is not going to solve anything – it is going to create more trouble. But he was a religious man…. I don’t see anything religious in him.
But every country, every race, has its definitions of who is religious. Mahatma Gandhi was religious because he was vegetarian; that means all non-vegetarians around the world are irreligious – yes, Pope the Polack included. All the religions of the world are irreligious. Gandhi was not in favor of drinking tea or coffee; those are irreligious things. Now this is going too far. Smoking is out of the question, alcohol you cannot even mention.
If people cannot smoke, cannot drink tea, cannot enjoy coffee, what substitutes are you giving them? Their life is already boring. It will become even more boring because there will be no coffee breaks, no tea breaks. People are continuously afraid and nervous. When they start smoking, it helps their nervousness. If you are a smoker, you know perfectly well – whenever you are nervous, you start smoking. It makes you busy, you forget about your nervousness.
I have heard that one day, early one Sunday morning, a hippie-type fellow entered the biggest church of New York. The bishop asked him, “What are you doing here?” The hippie laughed, he said, “You are asking me what I am doing here? I am Jesus Christ. I ask you, what are you doing here?”
He looked like Jesus Christ – Jesus Christ must have looked like a pioneer hippie. The bishop became afraid. He immediately made a long phone call to the Vatican to ask the pope, “What am I supposed to do? Jesus Christ has come here. I think he is a hippie, but who knows?”
Jesus Christ also looked like that man – and what is the criterion to decide? Even when Jesus was there, there was no criterion. Jews crucified him as a criminal! There was no criterion to prove that he was the only begotten son of God. Even then, there was no criterion. What criterion is there now?
The pope was silent for a moment – could not figure out what to say. And the bishop said, “You must remember that Jesus Christ has promised that he will come again. Perhaps he has come again. But now what should I do?”
The pope said, “You should not do anything. You just look busy so that you can overcome your nervousness – and I am going to do the same. Just look busy, and meanwhile inform the police.”
When you start feeling nervous, your cigarette, your cigar, gives you a certain relief. You start becoming busy without business. But Gandhi was against smoking.
In India, for the farmers – which are eighty percent of the country – smoking is a necessity. Otherwise they cannot work so hard in the hot sun. Nicotine is needed, their physiology needs it. And cigarettes, or tea, or coffee – they all help the poor people to work twelve hours. Their work starts early in the morning, four o’clock. If you take away all these things from them, the whole country will fall flat. People will not have enough energy.
I am not against anything that helps you to live a little more joyously, more intensely. Yes, I would like you to have enough food to satisfy your needs, so that you don’t need any nicotine, you don’t need any coffee, you don’t need any tea. That is a totally different matter. But the basic point is that you should be provided with rich food. The food is missing.
In India almost ninety percent of the people are living below the survival level. And you stop them even from small, silly things like smoking! And I can’t think how smoking can be against spirituality. I have tried hard – how can it be against spirituality? How can it be against religion? In what way is it going to degrade you?
But Gandhi is their political philosophy, ideology. President Zail Singh should try to look at what Gandhi has been teaching to people. He has made the country poor, he has made the people poor, he has made the people feel guilty about unnecessary things. And if you follow him, then at the spinning wheel – which must have been invented some ten thousand years ago – humanity has to come to a full stop there.
The spinning wheel cannot take you to the moon, however hard you spin. It is not going to help create more food; it is not going to help you have more health. But still they are preaching Gandhian ideology to the country. Gandhi was against birth control, Gandhi was against the pill; certainly he was against abortion.
And he never came to know my idea: that if old men want to die, it is their birthright.
I cannot conceive…if I want to die, whose responsibility is it to prevent me? But all over the world, all the laws are against committing suicide. And you can see the insanity of it: if you are caught red-handed committing suicide, then the court will give you a death sentence. Great!
In the first place, if the man really wanted to commit suicide, I don’t think anybody could prevent him. If he was caught red-handed, that means he was fifty-fifty, wavering. Standing on the hill, looking down into the lake, having another thought – to do or not to do, to be or not to be. That’s how he was caught red-handed. He was only fifty percent for death – now the court sends him to one hundred percent death. Great punishment!
Man is not asked by anybody whether he wants to be born or not in the first place. That is something imposed upon you. You have never been asked, your permission was not needed. You have just been thrown into life. That chance you have already missed, of saying no. But now, if you want to say no – I don’t think any law is legal which prevents you.
And I was not saying that young children should commit suicide, that young people who have responsibilities to fulfill, work to do, should commit suicide. I was saying that a man who has passed at least seventy years, has done everything that he wanted to do, and now there is nothing – he is a spent cartridge – now why should he be forced to live?
In America, there are thousands of people in the hospitals, hanging in strange situations – somebody’s legs are up, somebody’s hands are up, somebody’s bed is in a position that nobody would like to live in. A few are unconscious; a few are in coma for years, and doctors say that there is not any possibility for these people to be conscious again. But tremendous effort is being made to keep them alive – because of the Hippocratic oath.
The Hippocratic oath should be thrown out of all medical colleges. That man has done enough wrong. All these people are suffering because of his idea.
Now, a person who is in coma and is not going to be conscious again – what do you think? Is he a man or a cabbage? If he is poor, he is a cabbage. If he is rich, he is a cauliflower. A cauliflower is a cabbage with a college education.
But what are you doing with these cabbages and cauliflowers, when people are hungry and dying on the streets? Thirty million people in America are dying in the streets, living in the streets. And you are taking care of these people who are not going to come back again.
But the law…the doctor cannot stop the artificial breathing that is being given to the man. He cannot breathe by himself, now artificial breathing is being given. That cabbage is keeping at least several people engaged: a nurse there twenty-four hours a day, a doctor coming in the morning, then in the evening; then medicines, then breathing. He is occupying a beautiful room – and people are dying on the streets, hungry. And he is being forced, by injections; because he cannot eat, so all necessary things have to be directly injected into him.
That’s why I say man is a very strange animal.
I was teaching birth control – and I was teaching death control. And I was teaching that the country should become more scientific, more technological. It should stop all this spinning. Enough! You have done spinning! Now do something else.
But their problem is their prejudice. In India they have seen their days of glory in the past. India is an old country.
And you have to understand a simple law: the child has no past. He looks ahead because only in the future is there space. He projects, imagines, hopes, desires: they are all in the future.
For the old man who has one foot already in the grave, what future is there? Only the second foot, that’s all there is left. He looks backward. He remembers all those beautiful days that he never lived.
You are young. Are you living something that will be worth remembering when you are old?
You were a child. Is there something worth remembering from when you were a child?
Every child wants to grow up as fast and as quickly as possible because he can see young people are enjoying everything. Ask the young people, “What are you enjoying?” They are passing time by playing cards. In old age they will look backward and create a hallucination that they have lived a beautiful life. All that is old immediately becomes gold.
The same happens with countries. India is a very ancient country – perhaps the most ancient country. In the future there is only darkness, death, poverty. The past, you can manage – nobody is going to prevent you from dreaming that in the past you had everything. And that is what Gandhi exploited. He told India, “Go back to nature, back to the past,” without understanding a simple thing – nobody can go backward; otherwise nature would have given you four eyes – two to look backward.
Man has no reverse gear. When Ford created his first car, it also had no reverse gear – naturally, because nobody had thought that things can go backward. But Ford found that this is a very strange thing…if you want to come back to your home, you have to go all around the town, and just by going back a few feet you would have reached your garage. This is strange! Henry Ford proved more intelligent than your God the father who is in heaven – he has still not given you a reverse gear!
Man cannot go backward. Man can only go forward.
Yes, you can delude people. You can give them great pride that they had a golden past. You can become a great saint in their eyes because you have fulfilled their egos. Now, in return, they fulfill your ego. It is a mutual arrangement.
I was not fulfilling anybody’s ego. Naturally, they were against me. In fact, I was trying to destroy the ego that Mahatma Gandhi and people like him had created in them.
They were seeing a beautiful dream of the past, going back to nature when everything was abundant – but how can you go back to nature?
In Gautam Buddha’s time, India’s population was only twenty million. Now it is eight hundred million. And in this population Pakistan is not included, Bangladesh is not included. If you include those two also, then India has already made the century. It has passed one billion. From twenty million to one billion – how are you going to go backward? Eighty million people will have to be killed.
And Gandhi was not for violence. But his whole ideology needs great violence – floods, war – so the population can be cut. But why wait for nature to do these things, when we can do it very easily?
Just for twenty years, absolute birth control. And within twenty years you will be able to come to one-fourth of your population. Then you can allow every couple to have two children – so the population never goes again to the same proportions.
President Zail Singh wants to dump the responsibility on me? I can come back to India – but for that, Zail Singh will have to come here to invite me and accept what I am saying. No politician has guts, because by coming to me he will lose his presidentship. And if he tries to have my ideas implemented in India, he will be assassinated.
The Indian mind is so ancient, so full of nonsensical ideas, like every child is God’s gift. Strange – nobody has seen God, but gifts go on coming. And if it is God’s gift, we have every right to return it. What is wrong in it? You cannot impose a gift on me; I can return it with thanks. That’s what the pill is doing.
And God has such a big universe – he can send these gifts somewhere else. Why to this poor earth? And can’t he send something else as gifts? Only children? If he is sending children, then send a few acres of land with them, an electricity generator, a car, some vehicle – it is his duty. Just going on sending children without anything else, not even clothes….
Even if you send a gift to somebody, you package it, you put a beautiful ribbon around it. And these children go on coming without any package, without any ribbon. These are not God’s gifts, these are just accidents – and accidents should be prevented.
But in India they have been preaching that the poor are poor because they have committed bad, evil acts in their past lives. That’s why they are poor. And the rich are rich because in their past lives they have done good deeds. But it is very strange: you put your hand into fire – and it will be burned in your next life? Cause and effect are connected; why this much distance? A man murders somebody; in his future life he will be punished. Why? Why this distance?
But the distance is needed to deceive people, because those poor people have not done anything wrong in this life. So you cannot say, “Because you are doing wrong things, that’s why you are poor.” In fact, just vice versa is the case: because they are not doing wrong things, they are poor. Those who are doing wrong things are already rich. That is the reality.
But Indian religions have created a beautiful camouflage.
Unless India becomes totally free of its religious superstitions, unless India enters into the contemporary world, it is going to die. And it is going to die a very ugly death.
It is already happening in Ethiopia – one thousand people are dying every day. When it happens in India it will not be one thousand people every day, it will be fifty thousand people every day. There will be nobody to create funeral pyres for them. From where are you going to get that much wood?
India has destroyed all its forests – so much so that Bangladesh is suffering in poverty, because India has cut all the trees in the Himalayas. Those trees were preventing too much water from flowing into the rivers, so the water was going slowly. Now there are no trees, so all the Himalayan rivers pour their waters into Bangladesh so fast that the ocean cannot absorb it. It starts flowing backward and Bangladesh is dying from floods. And who is responsible for that? India will not have enough wood for funeral pyres.
And this is not in their minds at all, what they are doing. Fifty percent of the people are ready to die any moment and India is selling its wheat, exporting it. Why? – because the Indian government wants nuclear weapons. For that, money is needed. Half the country is ready to die, and you are selling their food to create nuclear weapons!
And what are you going to do with nuclear weapons? You cannot make India a nuclear power. It will take three hundred years for India to become equal to the Soviet Union or America. But in three hundred years the whole of India will be dead. And in those three hundred years America and the Soviet Union are not going to wait for you; they will have gone three thousand years further ahead.
India’s problem is very simple: just drop the old religious superstitions. Just forget all about Mahatma Gandhi and his idiotic ideology, and do whatsoever is necessary without any fear of God.
Within ten years I can change that whole country.
There is no problem – not much. In ten years we can solve all the problems of the whole world; you just have to be more scientific, more logical, more reasonable.
But no, the same is the case everywhere.
Just now Pope the Polack is in South Africa. And in South Africa he is teaching against birth control, against abortion. And South Africans are very efficient in creating children – perhaps more efficient than anybody else in the world. They are already starving. They should catch hold of this pope and give him to the cannibals – because there are still a few cannibals. They can have a good breakfast, and a little taste of Christianity too!
What business does this man have to go there? They are dying, and you are teaching them, “Bring more children.”
But these people are not interested in humanity, its life, its joy, its comfort – no. Their interests are very different. When they say these things, they give you different excuses, for example, “These are God’s gifts.” The reality is that the pope wants more Catholics in the world, and the only way is to produce more children.
One of the Christian priests has written a letter to me: “In four years in your commune, not a single child has been born. Then how are you going to survive in the future?”
I said, “You are talking about the future?” He was telling me that children should be born; otherwise soon there will be no sannyasins. He does not know me! We pick up ready-made sannyasins. Why bother giving birth to a child and then raising it up? We catch them from all over the world. There are so many young people Catholics have prepared, Protestants have prepared. We believe in ready-made things.
Sannyasins are not going to disappear.
Catholics, Hindus, Buddhists are going to disappear, and they will disappear because they are creating so many children. We cannot disappear because we are not creating any troubles for ourselves. And we will take ready-made people only if we have facilities for them. They will not be gifts from God. It will be our choice, whether to take them in or not.
Already there are six hundred million Catholics in the world, but nothing satisfies people. More Catholics…. In India Mother Teresa continuously preaches against birth control, abortion, because if there is birth control, and there is abortion, and children are no longer born, then from where is she going to get all her supply of orphans? And without orphans, who is Mother Teresa? Who is going to give her a Nobel Prize?
And you should understand it, that those orphans come from Hindu families, Mohammedan families, but once they enter into Mother Teresa’s orphanages they all become Catholic.
The pope calls Mother Teresa to the Vatican, gives her titles. The Nobel Prize is given to her. All over the world, from every country, Catholic universities are giving her titles and degrees. For what? Destroying India with more population? But the reason is not the orphan, it is not in the service of humanity, of the poor. It is in the service of the church. And why?
Why did Ronald Reagan go to the Vatican? He should have come here!
The Vatican is dead. What advice can the pope give him? And that too, a polack pope. Have you ever heard that Polacks have produced any wisdom? – or have written any beautiful literature, poetry, music, sculpture? Do you remember anybody becoming enlightened in Poland?
But Ronald Reagan goes for different reasons. America is continuously losing ground to the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union has a certain ideology of communism; America has no ideology. America also wants to have a certain ideology against communism; without it, just nuclear weapons won’t help.
Ronald Reagan is trying to enforce Christianity on America more and more. First he wanted prayers to be made compulsory in all educational institutions from the kindergarten to the university. But the Supreme Court ruled against it unanimously. They said, “This is bringing religion into politics, creating a mixture of religion with the state.”
Then he started another thing – that all Christian educational institutions should receive the same grants that public educational institutions receive. The Supreme Court has again decided against it, because this is against the constitution of America, to give support to a religious institution.
But why is Reagan so interested? And now, see how politicians work. Now he has found a way roundabout. The Supreme Court has decided that no religious institution – and in America, most of the religious institutions are Catholic or Protestant – should receive any state support. So what is he doing? Now he is proposing, “We will give grants to the parents, not to the institution. And then the parents are free to send their children wherever they want.”
The Supreme Court ruling has been canceled in a very cunning way. “Don’t give to the institution, but give to the parent whose child is in a Catholic school.” Now it is the parents’ freedom to send their children wherever they want.
Reagan is afraid that America has no ideology to present before the world, as the Soviet Union has. But Christianity is not going to give any counter-argument to communism.
Communism says, “There is no God.”
Christianity has not been able to prove in two thousand years that there is.
Communism says, “There is no heaven and no hell.”
Christianity has not been able to prove…in two thousand years of continuous theological and philosophical argumentation, no proof has been found for heaven and hell.
Communism does not believe in the independence of soul. Christianity has no answer for it.
Christianity will be a poor ideology against communism. If anything can stand against communism, we are the alternative.
I have been in India, continuously arguing with communists, and they were at a loss. Because I say there is no God, they cannot fight on that ground; there is no heaven and hell, so they cannot fight on that ground.
The only thing that remains is consciousness. And I have been asking them, “How much meditation have you done? What right have you to say anything about consciousness? You have not entered into your own consciousness. How can you say that the consciousness that is within you is going to die with the body? While it is alive, you have not made any effort to understand it. So the first thing you have to do is to come to my school of meditation and learn meditation.”
And anybody in the whole history of man, who has who has been able to meditate cannot deny consciousness.
It is such a tremendous experience!
It is not a question of logic, it is a question of living it.
It is not a mere argument, it is the answer!
So if Ronald Reagan really wants an ideology which can stand against communism, we have it here.
I have chosen the red color not without consideration. I have taken it away from the communists already; now the red has become associated with me. Communists have only a red flag. I have colored the whole personality red. My flags are moving all around the world.
Ronald Reagan should understand: it is better to be red than dead! Your nuclear weapons will create only death.
And if he had asked that every institution – educational, academic – should have a few moments of meditation, then perhaps the Supreme Court would not have denied him, because meditation has nothing to do with any religion.
Meditation is a pure, scientific method. In science you call it observation, observation of the objects. When you move inward it is the same observation just taking a one-hundred-and-eighty-degree turn and looking in. That’s what we call meditation. No God is needed, no bible is needed. You need not have a belief system as a prerequisite.
An atheist can meditate, just as anybody else can, because meditation is only a method of turning inward. Nobody denies that you have an inwardness – that you are there, that something is inside. Even the communist cannot deny it.
When I said this to the president of the communist party in India, he said, “Why can’t I deny it?”
I said, “Your very denial will be the proof that you are there. Who is denying? A corpse cannot deny, a stone cannot deny. Your very denial will be the proof that you are there. And all that I am asking is, try to find out who is denying, or who is affirming.”
I could have fought for Ronald Reagan with the Supreme Court, for the simple reason that meditation has nothing to do with any religion. Meditation is a simple scientific method of observing your own subjectivity. And education is incomplete – very incomplete, if you know nothing about yourself. You know everything about thousands of things, and you don’t know anything about yourself?
I was talking to a Nobel Prize-winning scientist in India. He was the head of the atomic plant in India. I asked him, “You know everything about atomic energy; for that you have been given a Nobel Prize. But have you ever wondered who you are? Who is it who has discovered? Who has made this atomic plant? Who is it?”
He said, “You always raise strange questions. I have never thought about it, I don’t have time.”
I said, “You don’t have time to know about yourself, and you have time to know about atoms which will only create more Hiroshimas and Nagasakis?”
Meditation cannot be denied by any court in any country, because it has nothing to do with Christianity, nothing to do with Hinduism, nothing to do with Buddhism.
Meditation is the only thing that can transform a man into a spiritual being, without making him Hindu, Christian, Mohammedan.
Meditation can release all his potential and intelligence.
Therefore I say, I am the answer!
Forget the Vatican. You are going to a graveyard. Come to the living people who are enjoying, rejoicing, dancing, singing – who are alive. And aliveness is contagious. If Ronald Reagan comes here and you are dancing and singing, he will start dancing and singing with you. And anyway, he is an old cowboy film actor…..
But the West is unaware of meditation, it knows only prayer. Prayer demands belief in a God which you cannot prove.
Meditation demands no belief. It needs only an inquiring, exploring, adventurous spirit. And that you have – everybody is born with it, a curiosity to know.
We don’t say to anybody, “Believe in this, believe in that.” We simply say, “Doubt everything in which you have believed, because doubt is the right method for both science and spirituality.”
In three hundred years science has progressed so much – and nobody gives the credit to doubt. It is because of doubt that science has given us so much in three hundred years. In ten thousand years, religions have not given anything except bloodshed, wars, burning living people – millions of people. That is the only contribution of your religions.
Prayer is stupid.
Meditation is intelligence.
I stopped moving around in India seven years before I came here. And in those seven years, by and by Indians disappeared from my vision. People from all over the world started coming. We had become, in India, an island where you could find Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, Americans, Germans, Italians, French, English, Swiss, Dutch; even people from Soviet Russia – even they are here.
But Indians simply disappeared, for the simple reason that I was not consolidating their beliefs. I was destroying their beliefs, and I was creating a totally new vision of meditation which needs no belief system as a support.
That’s why people from all over the world who had an inquiring mind, who were fed up with their religions, with their priests, with their churches, synagogues – they started coming there. They were ready – because there was no question of believing anything – just experimenting. And the more they experimented, by and by they started feeling a new energy arising in them. Who bothers about God? And who bothers about paradise? We can create paradise here. And when you are in deep silence and meditation, you are a god, not a bit less – a little more, because God is just a fiction and you are a reality.
But I could see that India had come to a point where perhaps it could not accept any living truth.
Just as people are young, become old and then die, civilizations also are in their childhood…. For example, America is in its childhood. Its whole history is three hundred years. India has a history of almost ninety thousand years. Compared to India’s old age, what are three hundred years? Europe is middle-aged. Perhaps India has to die – except that, there is no way out. And there is no harm; just as people die, civilizations die.
For thirty years continuously touring all over India, talking to people day in, day out, the only thing I realized was, that I was talking to dead people. The civilization is ready to die any moment. I had come to America – President Zail Singh must know it – for my own health, which India has destroyed. Thirty years’ journeying in India, continuously on the train, on the plane – even on the camels….
That reminds me about a card a friend has sent from Santa Fe, showing that in Santa Fe there is a rock formation which looks like a camel. It is a printed card, so that means Santa Fe must be promoting the camel. This is strange! My camels have also gone there.
I had come here because my health was deteriorating and I was continuously talking to walls. I thought it would be good to be here for my health. But since I have been here, I have felt that there are even more important things than my health. And the most important thing is that America is still a child, is capable of learning, is capable of changing, is capable of becoming really the new brave world.
I am going to be here!
And I am going to spread my red people all over America, because this is the place where the new man will be born.
In a disguised form, he has already arrived.

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