From Death to Deathlessness 22

TwentySecond Discourse from the series of 40 discourses - From Death to Deathlessness by Osho.
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William James says, “The most important thing in life is to live your life for something more important than your life.” Can you comment?
What William James is saying has been said for thousands of years, by almost all the politicians, all the priests – and you can see the result of such a teaching.
What does it mean, that you should live for something higher than life? Is there anything higher than life?
Some religions say God is higher than life. Other religions say liberation, salvation is higher than life. Politicians say the nation is higher than life – ideologies, like communism, are higher than life. All these people are agreed on one point, that you have to sacrifice your life for something. It looks like a beautiful statement, but it hides a very ugly reality.
In thousands of ways the same thing is repeated. The child is told he should live for the parents…. Nobody seems to realize a simple fact, that there is nothing higher than life, cannot be. And if there is anything higher than life it is bound to be dead; otherwise, how can it be higher than life?
But man has been manipulated to sacrifice himself, either for ideas or for ideals. And to sacrifice your life for something else means you stop living, you start committing suicide. You start murdering yourself so slowly that you don’t become aware of it. But every man who has sacrificed his life for any goal, realizes at the moment of death that he missed the train, that he has been a fool.
“Always sacrifice. Don’t live, don’t enjoy. Today has to be sacrificed for tomorrow.” And tomorrow never comes, it is always today. And every today has to be sacrificed for tomorrow, which is not going to come – has never come.
No, I cannot agree with William James. He is talking junk. He is simply paraphrasing all vested interests, because they don’t want you to live, they want to use you.
Nations want to use you for war. Naturally, the politicians are bound to say, “The nation is far bigger than you, and you should not be selfish. You should be ready to sacrifice your life for the nation” – not only for the nation, but a piece of cloth they call the flag. You have to die for it!
Intelligent people have been conditioned for such a foolish thing, and they have been doing it for thousands of years. What is the attainment? What have we achieved by sacrificing?
The other day a journalist was asking me, “You say to your people, ‘Live in the moment.’ But then what about the future? – future generations?”
I asked him, “Your father was thinking about you, you were his future generation. His father was thinking about your father, he was his future generation. And what has happened? Where are you?”
A very cunning strategy not to allow you to live…. But it cannot be said directly, because then you will not follow it. It has to be made sweet-sounding, tasteful. Thinking of the future – when you will not be here, sacrificing for things which never materialize…
The people who took part in the revolution in Russia in 1917 had sacrificed everything for the revolution because it was to bring a classless society, a society where nobody would be higher than anybody else, a society of freedom. Those poor people are in their graves. All their sacrifice has turned their country into a vast concentration camp! Every Russian is imprisoned – no freedom of any sort. Before the revolution at least he was free to rebel; now even that is not possible.
He is being given information only by the government. No other publications, newspapers, magazines, exist in Russia. So the government goes on saying whatever it wants to say. There is no question of right and wrong. There is no way for the Russians to decide whether this is true or not.
We used to think of the Dark Ages – they have not passed, they still exist around the earth.
But the people who had sacrificed were not intentionally creating a country of slaves; they were thinking riches would be distributed. But before distributing riches you have to have them. Russia was a poor country. In a poor country if one percent of the people are rich, you can distribute their wealth but nobody will become richer by that. So in fact what has happened is, poverty has been equally distributed. Yes, it gives a certain consolation that nobody is richer than you, everybody is just like you.
And Russia is very afraid to send Russians outside Russia for any purpose, because there they can see a totally different world.
But the people who had sacrificed could not live their life. And the ideals for which they had sacrificed have not materialized.
In India, I have seen that happen with my own eyes. My whole family – except me – was involved in the freedom movement. And they were all angry with me; they asked me, “Don’t you value freedom?”
I said, “I value freedom, but not in a stupid way. What you are doing will not bring freedom to the country, it will only change masters. Slaves will remain slaves.” And in forty years I have proved that what I had said is true.
Just a few months ago my uncle was here. He was a great freedom fighter, went to jail and suffered much. And I asked him, “Now just look backward: has any of your dream been fulfilled?”
He had tears in his eyes, and he said, “You were so young, but you were right and we were wrong. Freedom has not come; on the contrary, the country has become more and more poor.”
I had been telling them, “India as one country has never existed in history. You should be thankful to the British government that they forced India and consolidated her into one country. India has been one country only under British rule. In Gautam Buddha’s time there were two thousand independent kingdoms in India!”
And I had told my family, “Your freedom will certainly remove the British from power, but remember, the country will start falling into the old patterns” – and that has happened.
Now Pakistan is separate from India, Bangladesh is separate from India, Punjab is asking for independence; Assam is asking for independence, and fighting. Soon all those two thousand kingdoms will be there. India will simply evaporate.
And millions of people suffered, went to jail, were sentenced to death. They were romantic people, not realistic.
No ideal in the whole history of man has been achieved. And how many million people have been deprived of living their life!
The journalist asked me, “Then you don’t want to do anything for the future?”
I said, “I don’t want to do anything for the future. I want to live my present as totally, as intensely as possible, because one thing is certain, the future will be born out of this moment. The future does not come from nowhere, it follows this moment. And if this moment is rich, the next moment can be richer. So I teach clearly to live without sacrificing anything. The method of sacrifice has been tried and it has failed – just give me a try.”
Live your today as fully as possible.
From where is your tomorrow going to be born? It is in the womb of today.
It is going to come from your life that you have lived today. There is no need to worry about it, it will be taken care of.
By your living in the present without sacrificing a single moment for any ideal, I can guarantee you all the ideals that have haunted human imagination can be fulfilled – not by sacrifice, but by living as deeply, as fully as possible.
If all people on the earth live joyously today – singing, dancing, praising the beauty of life and being grateful to existence – can tomorrow be different? It will be better. You will have become more alert to the beauty of living in the present. Perhaps today you were a little reluctant, you went a few steps, but tomorrow you will have more confidence to go farther and farther.
Ideals are not waiting somewhere in the future; you have to go on creating them every day, every moment. Freedom is not a commodity, that you have just to travel to the place where you get it.
Freedom is an experience.
If you want freedom in the future, for future generations, you be free! You live in freedom!
Naturally, you cannot impose slavery on your children. A free man knows the beauty of freedom. He would like his children also to be free, more free than he is.
The future is always born out of the present. So my insistence is: drop the word sacrifice. There is nothing higher than life.
What can be higher than life? Freedom? But if there is no life? All the dead people in their graves are enjoying absolute freedom. Is that your goal? or richness? affluence? peace?
Once Confucius was asked by one of his disciples, “Master, how can I be peaceful, silent, blissful, after my death?”
Confucius said, “You idiot! Why are you bothering about the time after death? If you want to be peaceful, be peaceful here, now. Be more loving and more enjoying now. All dance has to happen now. And as far as your peace is concerned, in the grave you will be peaceful, completely peaceful, no disturbance. Leave it for the grave.
And I am not interested beyond the grave, because nobody has ever returned and said that there is something beyond the grave. Everything is on this side! And you want to sacrifice this side for everything that is only in imagination on the other side. But there is no proof for it, no evidence for it.”
Christians, Hindus, Buddhists – they are all saying, “Renounce this life so that you can have a better life in paradise.” It is simply so silly and stupid. If you are not living life here, you will forget completely how to live when you reach paradise. This life is the school for all learning. Do everything that you want to do now, because the next moment is not certain.
Paradise is not certain, but there is no need to worry about it. If you have lived life here and know all the nuances, all the colors and all the beauties of life, then if there is a paradise, it will be proud to receive you – a man who has lived so richly.
I tell you, Zorbas will be received in paradise with great rejoicing – not your saints. Your saints are simply sick. They have cut every joy from their life, they are simply vegetating. These vegetables – cabbages and cauliflowers – will be entering paradise? I don’t see any hope for these people.
Zorbas will enter paradise – if there is any paradise – because they know how to live, they know how to love. They will break down all the doors of paradise and invade it! They are not the people to be returned from the door, told that “you are not meant for paradise.” They will do the same there that they have been doing here – of course, on a bigger, vaster scale.
The poor Zorba here has only one woman to love – Bubbalina. In paradise he is not going to be satisfied with an old, ugly Bubbalina. He will find all the fairies, and he is not going to cling to one either.
Live totally with one person and then move on, because there are other beautiful people with different tastes, with different beauties, with different dimensions opening.
A man who has known only one wife, a woman who has known only one man, they have to console themselves with statements of Jesus Christ: “Blessed are the poor.” They have to repeat the Bible every day, because it is so illogical that unless you repeat it every day you are bound to forget it.
Jesus says, “Blessed are those who mourn, because they shall be consoled.” Great idea! And I am worried about my people who are already rejoicing. What will be in the future for them? They don’t need any consolation – they have never mourned. Wherever they are – it does not matter, they will rejoice. And as they become more and more disciplined in rejoicing, if they reach paradise by mistake, they will seduce all the saints, will bring some life to those dead people.
Or – which is more probable – if they end up in hell, they will make hell one of my communes! Who is going to prevent them? No saints, no priests, no mahatmas, no pope; you will be totally free – no Bibles, no Gitas, no Korans. You will find all the playboys and all the playgirls. Hell will be paradise immediately. Even the people from paradise will start moving toward hell – “Just once I have to get there!”
I am against any sacrifice. That is cunning exploitation.
You have such a small life, and everybody is asking you to sacrifice it! They use big words, but don’t be deceived by these people.
Rejoice now, because if there is a tomorrow you will be able to rejoice more deeply.
If there is no tomorrow, who cares? We have rejoiced already!
Either way, I am making you victorious, you cannot be defeated. You rejoice before death, and if there is something after death, you will be able – you will know all ways of rejoicing, you will rejoice there. And if there is nothing after death, there is no problem. You have lived your life so intensely, so rejoicingly, so blissfully, there is no need for any more time.
A man of understanding can live the whole eternity in a single moment!
And the fools may live an eternal life, sacrificing for the tomorrow, for the nation, for the religion, for God, for this, for that – and the whole eternity will be lost.
Don’t be deceived. William James is simply saying what has been told, preached all down the centuries. And you can see the result. This mad world is the outcome of millions of people’s lives of sacrifice. They destroyed themselves. They destroyed you too, because if your father is sacrificing for you, he will hate you deep down, because it was for you.
The wife of one of my friends died. This friend had three children, and he was afraid to marry again because stepmothers are not motherly, and what would happen to the three children? That was the argument he was telling everybody, and because he was young, everybody said, “You will be living forty years, perhaps more. Why are you unnecessarily insisting that you don’t want to get married?”
But he would not budge. He said, “I will sacrifice everything for my children’s sake.”
Somebody told me, “He is very stubborn, miserable. He is missing his wife, but goes on insisting that he has to sacrifice for the future of his children.”
I said, “Bring him to me.”
I took him inside and left his other friends outside. I said, “I want to talk to him in privacy because in front of you he will continue to repeat the same nonsense.”
Inside the room, I locked it. He said, “What are you doing?” I said, “I am making you comfortable. And you can rely on me, I will never tell anybody – but be truthful. One thing: are you missing your wife?”
He said, “Yes, I am missing her. She was such a joy in my life. She was my life. These three years that I have lived without her are almost dead.”
I said, “Do you think she was the only woman on the earth?”
He said, “No, there are millions of women.”
I asked him, “Do you think you cannot find a better woman? Your wife has been very compassionate in dying. You can find another woman, you can have another experience.”
The man said, “You are strange – you are saying my wife was compassionate?”
I said, “Certainly, because wives are clinging. She made you free; be grateful to her. But you are not using the opportunity that she has given to you. You are being ungrateful.”
He said, “Strange logic! In three years, I have met so many people – everybody was trying to convince me to get married.”
I said, “I am not trying to convince you. I am simply asking questions so that you become alert to what you are doing. My second question is: you continuously say you are sacrificing for your children, but be sincere – do you really love your children? Or is there deep down hate and anger, that because of these three kids you are not able to marry another beautiful woman?
“You will never forgive these kids, remember, because you are destroying your life for these kids. If they were not there, wouldn’t you have married?”
He said, “Yes, if they were not there.”
“Then their existence is a burden on you. They are crippling your life.”
He said, “Perhaps you are right, because many times the idea has arisen in me – I have never told it to anybody – I hate those kids! Because of those kids, my whole life is destroyed.”
But to everybody he was saying he was sacrificing. Remember one thing: whomsoever you sacrifice for, you will hate.
And I asked him the third question…I said, “This is my third question. Then I will open the door and you get lost. My third question is: if you hate your children and you continuously brag that you are sacrificing your life for them, then when they are grown up, are they going to forgive you? Your hate – you may not say it, but it will be expressed in many ways. Your anger – you may not say to others, but your children will catch it just through your vibe.
“And hearing continuously that somebody is sacrificing for you – sacrificing his love, sacrificing his youth, sacrificing his future – those children, when they are older, will never be able to forgive you.”
In fact no child, unless he becomes enlightened, can forgive the parents. Impossible. And no parent, unless he becomes enlightened, can be satisfied with his children’s life when they become young.
I have not come across any parent who is contented with his children, because he has sacrificed his own life for dreams – that the child will become a great leader of humanity, a hero in history…and the child has become just a hippie! Now how can the father forgive this boy? He sacrificed his life to make him a hero.
I said, “This is nonsense. If you had some desire, some dream, you should have become a hero. Why postpone it for somebody else, who will have his own desires, his own dreams? You have given birth to him, but you cannot give birth to your dreams in him, your ideas in him. You have given him his body, but you cannot give him his soul.”
That’s why no parent is ever satisfied – because he sacrificed so much and the result is nil. Neither he can forgive the children nor can he forgive himself. He will live in tremendous anguish.
Just the other day I received a letter from a sannyasin. She wrote, “My father has started hating me since I became a sannyasin” – because he wanted her to become a Catholic nun. Now a Catholic nun and my sannyasin are poles apart. There is no meeting ground, the distance is infinite.
Naturally he was asking, “Are you celibate?” She said, “My master teaches that celibacy is unnatural, it is sick.”
“What discipline are you following? What prayer are you doing? What austerities are you going through?”
She said, “You don’t know my master. Anybody who goes through austerities he calls a masochist, and says he needs psychiatric treatment – not the respect given to a saint, but the pity of all those who are living naturally.”
Her father’s dying words to her were, “I used to love you before you were a sannyasin; after that I have simply hated you.”
Now, the poor girl is worried: her father is dead and these were his last words to her. How can she do something so that his soul attains peace? – because he died in tremendous hatred, anger, disgust. Now this woman is asking me again the same wrong question.
You are not responsible for his disgust, his hatred, his anger, his anxiety. He himself was responsible for it. Who was he to decide that you should be a Catholic nun and not my sannyasin!
Children are born out of parents, but they are not things, they are living beings. They will find their own way, they will live their own life. They have to live their own life!
If they somehow manage to live the ideals of the parents because they sacrificed, then certainly they are never going to forgive those parents and their dreams and ideals. And they are not going to forgive themselves either, because they were cowards. They could not rebel, they could not disobey. They could not follow their own natural course, their own potentiality.
Now this woman sannyasin has done exactly what she wanted to do. She is not a possession of anybody. And if the father dies with anguish that is his own creation.
And don’t be worried – he was a Catholic and he must have read, “Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be consoled.” Don’t be worried. God and Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost all will be consoling your father, because he has mourned enough.
But you remember one thing: you will never be consoled by anybody. You will find everybody jealous of you, everybody against you, everybody hostile to you. Strange: Blessed are those who mourn and not blessed are those who rejoice. What kind of religions have we created?
The man who is capable of rejoicing should be respected as a saint because he is creating the vibration of joy around him. He is creating the fragrance which is available to anybody who is ready to receive it.
But religious, political, social, educational – all kinds of systems have been telling you to sacrifice your life for something that is higher than life.
There is nothing higher than life.
To live it is to be religious.
To live it totally, to squeeze the whole juice of it, is what will make you the holy man.
Be a zorba and the buddha will follow automatically.
These people are saying, “Sacrifice zorba so that you can become the buddha.”
I am telling you, “Live the zorba so completely that the buddha has to follow.”
I have heard a beautiful story. In a restaurant in paradise Gautam Buddha, Confucius, Lao Tzu – they were all contemporaries – were just sitting and chitchatting. What else can you do in heaven? Everybody is wise; you cannot teach. You can only chitchat – small gossip, small talk. And as they were chitchatting, a beautiful naked woman, with a beautiful flask full of wine, came to their side and said, “This is the juice of life; would you like to have some?”
Buddha immediately closed his eyes. First, a naked woman…. He has not allowed his disciples to see even a woman who is perfectly clothed – and in India a woman is perfectly clothed. You cannot imagine what figure is hidden behind the sari – impossible! In a way it is good, you can only see the face. Everything else may be ugly, but the sari is a great protection; the body may not be proportionate.
A naked woman, so beautiful…with the exact proportions to be chosen the universal queen, a beauty queen. Naturally Buddha closed his eyes. He had to keep them closed tightly because they wanted to open.
And then she was carrying the juice of life; and he was teaching his disciples to renounce life, and he has renounced life himself. A great stir in him – perhaps it is worth tasting? But to go against his own philosophy, and that too before Confucius and Lao Tzu. No, it was against his ego. He is the suprememost Buddha and he cannot fall just because of a naked woman with a flask containing the juice of life.
Confucius was a very practical man. He looked at the woman from up to down, from down to up, and he said, “Perfect proportions.” He was a very practical man, perhaps the only practical master in the whole of history, very pragmatic.
And he said, “Bring the flask. I cannot drink it completely because I don’t know what the taste of life is. I sacrificed my life for my disciples and for future generations, so I have never tasted it. I will just take a sip, just to experience what I have missed, whether I have missed anything or not.”
He sipped from the flask and returned the flask. He said, “It is bitter.” It has to be bitter for a man who his whole life poured condemnation on life, poisoned millions of people, convinced them not to live. The bitterness is not in the juice, it is in the tongue of Confucius. His tongue has become bitter through all that condemnation, hatred….
Lao Tzu was a totally different man. He stood up, touched the woman, went through her geography, said, “Really groovy! Now give me the flask” – and he drank the whole flask.
And he said to Confucius, “To know the sweetness of the juice of life you have to clean your tongue.”
To Buddha he said, “Now you can open your eyes. The woman is gone and the juice of life is also gone. I have drunk it completely.”
Now this is the man I want to be.
Whatever is available to you, live totally.
You may not get a woman of such proportions as Lao Tzu got. It does not matter, just put the light off – and then drink as much as you can.
But dying, you should be grateful to the life which gave you so many opportunities. And you can be grateful only if you have not missed anything; otherwise there will be repentance.
I am against sacrifice.
Sacrifice is a strategy to exploit people.
I want you to live each moment not sacrificing anything, so when you die you can die with a song on your lips, with a great thankfulness in your eyes. This is the way a religious man should die. But to achieve such a beautiful death, first you have to live a beautiful life.
And who are you to bother about the future? The people who will be coming in the future will take care of themselves. Why are you burdening yourself? The old generations burdened themselves for you – what have you gained out of it? Leave the future free. In fact, trying to sacrifice for the future is a way of dominating the future even when you are dead – because you sacrificed your life and you planned the future without ever knowing who the future people are going to be.
They will not think the same way, that much is certain. They will not look at things in the same way, that is certain. You think you are creating a beautiful palace; they may think, “This is a prison.” Every generation has made prisons for the future generation.
Please, be compassionate to the future:
Leave it free.
Let them do their thing, you do your thing.
This is human. Sacrifice, the very idea of sacrifice, is inhuman.

You said that your sannyasins are not jealous, but now I am experiencing just the opposite. It almost makes me laugh. And most of all I am jealous and possessive about you. What to do?
There is nothing to be done. You can be jealous and possessive of me as much as you want…because I am not here!
You can hug the empty chair, kiss the empty chair, do whatever you want. There is no need to be worried. I died thirty-three years ago, the day I became enlightened. Since then I am absent. How can you possess somebody who is absent? How can you be jealous of somebody who is not here?
In fact your jealousy about me and your possessiveness about me will be helpful.
Why are you jealous of me? – because you see something in me that is missing in you. And that is what I am doing every day, trying to wake you up to the fact that you are missing something. I was also missing it once, but now I don’t want you to miss it.
It is perfectly good to be jealous of an enlightened man, because that means you have fallen in love with enlightenment.
And be possessive, there is no problem. If you possess the whole sky – what is the problem? Just don’t possess small things. Possessing the whole sky, you will think you are possessing it – in fact the reality is just the opposite. The sky is possessing you from every side, and there is no way to escape from the sky’s possession.
I possess you. And you cannot escape!
Even if you go to Santa Fe, I am there.
One of my sannyasins, Niranjana, was in Santa Fe. She had made a beautiful house. That was her whole life’s dream, to make a house according to her own ideas. She is rich enough, and just now her father has died so she has become even richer. She has inherited immense businesses, corporations…. She made a really beautiful house. But she was the only sannyasin there.
A few camels have also reached – they are ex-sannyasins. Naturally, Niranjana was meeting with those people and they were meeting with her. Once you are a sannyasin, you can never be an ex-sannyasin. Only in language can you be. But she got fed up with those ex-sannyasins, dropped her beautiful house, and is living in New York now. And she has informed me, “You are more present in Santa Fe than in Rajneeshpuram, because all those camels who have left continuously talk about you.”
Perhaps they talk against me; that does not matter. Whether you talk for me or against me, just keep talking about me – and you are in my possession!
There is no place on this earth – or on any other planet – where you can escape from me. The day I disappeared I have become the whole sky.
So baby, don’t be worried!

Can you talk about money? What are all these feelings which are around money? What makes it so powerful that people sacrifice their lives for it?
This is a very significant question.
All the religions have been against wealth because wealth can give you all that can be purchased in life. And almost everything can be purchased except those spiritual values – love, compassion, enlightenment, freedom. But these few things are exceptions, and exceptions always prove the rule. Everything else you can purchase with money. Because all the religions have been against life, they were bound to be against money. That is a natural corollary. Life needs money because life needs comforts, life needs good food, life needs good clothes, good houses. Life needs beautiful literature, music, art, poetry. Life is vast!
And a man who cannot understand classical music is poor. He is deaf. He may hear – his eyes, his ears, his nose, all his senses will be perfectly right medically – but metaphysically….
Can you see the beauty of great literature, like The Book Of Mirdad? If you cannot see it, you are blind.
I have come across people who have not even heard the name of The Book Of Mirdad. If I am to make a list of the great books, that will be the first. But to see the beauty of it you will need a tremendous discipline.
To understand classical music is possible only if you learn – and it is a long learning. It is not like jazz music, for which no learning is needed. Even monkeys can understand jazz – in fact, only monkeys understand it. It is not music, just a few crackpots making all kinds of noises, and you think it is music.
You will find better music in a waterfall, or when the wind blows through the pine trees, or simply when you walk in the forest in autumn on dry leaves, and sounds are created. But to understand that, you will need to be free from hunger, free from poverty, free from all kinds of prejudices.
For example, Mohammedans have prohibited music; now they have deprived man of a tremendous experience.
It happened in New Delhi…one of the most powerful Mohammedan emperors, Aurangzeb, was on the throne. And he was not only powerful, he was really terrible.
Up to his time Mohammedan emperors were saying only that music was against Islam, but that was all; Delhi was full of musicians. But Aurangzeb was not a gentleman, he was really a Mohammedan. He declared that if any music was heard in Delhi, the musician would be immediately beheaded. And Delhi was the center, naturally, because it was the capital for thousands of years. So it was the place where all kinds of geniuses were living.
When this declaration was made, all the musicians gathered together, and they said, “Something has to be done, this is too much! They used to say it is against Islam – that was okay. But this man is dangerous, he will start killing.” So as a protest, all the musicians – of which there were thousands – went to Aurangzeb’s palace.
He came on the balcony and asked the people, “Who has died?” – because what they had done…they were carrying a corpse the way it is carried in India. There was no corpse inside, just pillows, but they had managed to make it look like a corpse. Aurangzeb asked, “Who has died?”
And they answered, “Music. And you are the murderer of it.”
Aurangzeb said, “Good that it has died. Now please be kind enough to me – dig as deep a grave as possible, so that it can never come out from the grave again.” Those thousands of musicians and their tears had no effect on Aurangzeb: he was doing something “sacred.”
Music is denied by Mohammedans. Why? – because music was basically played in the East by beautiful women. In the East and in the West the meaning of the word prostitute differs. In the West the prostitute is selling her body. In the East, in the past, the prostitute was not selling her body; she was selling her genius, her dance, her music, her art.
You will be surprised that every Indian king used to send his sons who were going to become his successors to live with great prostitutes for a few years, to learn etiquette, to learn gentleness, to learn music, to learn the delicacies of dance – because a king should be really rich about everything. He should understand beauty, he should understand logic, he should understand manners. That has been the old Indian tradition.
Mohammedans disrupted it. Music was against their religion. Why? – because to learn music you had to enter a prostitute’s house. Mohammedans are very much against any rejoicing, and the house of the prostitute was full of laughter, songs, music, dance. They simply prohibited it: no Mohammedan can enter a place of music; to hear music is a sin.
And the same has been done by different religions – for different reasons, but they have all been cutting man’s richness. And the most basic teaching is that you should renounce money.
You can see the logic. If you don’t have money, you can’t have anything else. Rather than cutting branches, they were cutting the very roots. A man without money is hungry, is a beggar, has no clothes. You cannot expect him to understand Dostoevsky, Nijinsky, Bertrand Russell, Albert Einstein, no; that is impossible.
All the religions together have made man as poor as possible. They have condemned money so much, and praised poverty so much that as far as I am concerned, they are the greatest criminals the world has known.
Look what Jesus says: A camel can pass through the eye of a needle, but a rich man cannot pass through the gates of heaven.
Do you think this man is sane? He is ready to allow a camel to pass through the eye of a needle – which is absolutely impossible, but even that impossibility he accepts may be made possible. But a rich man entering into paradise? That is a far bigger impossibility; there is no way to make it possible.
Wealth is condemned. Richness is condemned. Money is condemned. The world is left in two camps. Ninety-eight percent of the people live in poverty, but with a great consolation, that where rich people will not be able to enter, they will be received with angels playing on their harps, “Alleluia…Welcome!” And the two percent who are rich are living with tremendous guilt that they are rich.
They cannot enjoy their richness because of the guilt. And they are deep down afraid: perhaps they may not be allowed to enter into paradise. So they are in a dilemma. Riches are creating guilt in them – they will not be consoled because they are not mourning: they will not be allowed in paradise because they are having so many things on the earth. They will be thrown into hell.
Because of this situation, the rich man lives in a very fearful state. Even if he enjoys, or tries to enjoy things, his guilt poisons it. He may be making love to a beautiful woman, but it is only the body that is making love. He is thinking of paradise where camels are entering, and he is standing outside and there is no way to go in. Now can this man make love? He may be eating the best food possible, but he cannot enjoy it. He knows this life is short, and after that is just darkness and hellfire. He lives in a paranoia.
The poor man is already living in hell, but he lives with a consolation. You will be surprised to know that in poor countries people are more contented than in rich countries.
I have seen the poorest people in India with no dissatisfaction at all. And Americans are going around the world to find some spiritual guidance – naturally, because they don’t want to be defeated by camels; they want to enter into the gates of heaven. They want to find some way, some yoga, some exercises, as a compensation.
This whole world has been turned against itself.
Perhaps I am the first person who is respectful of money, of wealth, because it can make you multidimensionally rich.
A poor man cannot understand Mozart. A hungry man cannot understand Michelangelo. A beggar will not even look at the paintings of Vincent van Gogh. And these people who are suffering from hunger don’t have enough energy to make them intelligent. Intelligence comes only when you have superfluous energy in you. They are exhausted just in earning bread and butter. They don’t have intelligence. They cannot understand The Brothers Karamazov, they can only listen to some stupid priest in a church.
Neither the priest understands what he is talking about, nor the audience. Most of them are fast asleep, tired after six days of work. And the priest finds it more comfortable that everybody is asleep, so he need not prepare a new sermon. He can go on using the old sermon. Everybody is asleep, nobody will figure out that he is just cheating them.
Wealth is as significant as beautiful music, as great literature, as masterpieces of art.
There are people who have a born capacity to be a musician. Mozart started playing beautiful music at the age of eight. When he was eight, other great masters of music were not anywhere near him. Now, this man is born with that creativity.
Vincent van Gogh was born of a poor father who worked in a coal mine. He never got educated, he never knew any art school, but he became one of the greatest painters of the world. But in his whole life he could not sell a single painting. Now each painting…There are only two hundred of Vincent van Gogh’s paintings available; he painted thousands but he gave them away just for a packet of cigarettes, or a meal, or a cup of tea. Now each of his paintings is worth a million dollars or more.
What happened? Why couldn’t people understand his paintings? His paintings need tremendous intelligence to be understood.
Just a few days ago I saw a picture of one of his paintings. For that painting he was laughed at by all painters, what to say about others? – because he had painted stars in a way nobody had seen stars: like nebulae, every star in movement, like a wheel turning continuously. Who had seen stars like that?
Even other painters said, “You are going mad – these are not stars!” And moreover, the trees that he painted underneath the stars are going higher than the stars. Stars are left far behind, trees have reached far ahead. Now who has seen such trees? This is just madness!
But a few days ago I saw a picture of this type. Physicists have now discovered that van Gogh is right: stars are not as they look, they are exactly the way van Gogh has painted them. Poor van Gogh! What eyes that man must have had, to see what physicists took one hundred years to find out, with all their big labs and big technology. And Vincent van Gogh, strangely enough, just with bare eyes figured out the exact shape of the stars. They are whirling, they are whirling dervishes; they are not static the way you see them.
And when he was asked about his trees, that “Where have you found these trees which go above the stars?” he said, “These are the trees I have found, sitting by their side listening to their ambitions. I have heard the trees say to me that they are the ambitions of the earth to reach to the stars.”
Perhaps a few more centuries may be needed for scientists to discover that certainly the trees are the ambitions of the earth. One thing is certain, that trees are moving against gravitation. The earth is allowing them to move against gravitation – supporting, helping them. Perhaps the earth wants some communication with the stars. The earth is alive, and life always wants to go higher and higher and higher. There is no limit to its aspirations.
How are the poor people going to understand? They don’t have the intelligence.
Just as there are born poets, born painters, I would like you to remember there are born wealth-creators. They have never been appreciated. Everybody is not a Henry Ford, and cannot be.
Henry Ford was born poor, and became the richest man in the world. He must have had some talent, some genius for creating money, for creating wealth. And that is far more difficult than to create a painting, or music, or poetry. To create wealth is not an easy job. Henry Ford should be praised just as any master musician, novelist, poet. In fact, he should be praised more, because with his money all the poetry and all the music and all the sculptures of the world can be purchased.
I respect money. Money is one of the greatest inventions of man. It is just a means. Only idiots have been condemning it; perhaps they were jealous that others have money and they don’t. Their jealousy became their condemnation.
Money is nothing but a scientific way of exchanging things. Before there was money, people were in real difficulty. All over the world there was a barter system. You have a cow and you want to purchase a horse. Now it is going to be your whole lifelong task…. You have to find a man who wants to sell a horse and wants to purchase a cow. It is so difficult a job! You may find people who have horses but they are not interested in buying cows. You may find people who are interested in buying cows but they don’t have horses.
That was the situation before money came into existence. Naturally, people were bound to be poor: they could not sell things, they could not buy things. It was such a difficult job. Money made it so simple. The man who wants to sell the cow need not search for the man who wants to sell his horse. He can simply sell the cow, take the money and find the man who wants to sell the horse, but is not interested in a cow.
Money became the medium of exchange; the barter system disappeared from the world. Money did a great service to humanity. And because people became capable of purchasing, selling, naturally they became more and more rich.
This has to be understood. The more money moves, the more money you have. For example, if I have one dollar with me…. It is just for example, I don’t have one; I don’t have even a cent with me. I don’t even have pockets! Sometimes I get worried that if I get a dollar, where am I going to keep it?
For example, if I have a dollar and I go on keeping it to myself, then in this mandir there is only one dollar. But if I purchase something and the dollar moves to somebody else, I get the worth of the dollar – which I will enjoy. You cannot eat the dollar. How can you enjoy it just by keeping it? You can enjoy it only by spending it. I enjoy; the dollar reaches to somebody else, Now if he keeps it, then there are only two dollars – one I have enjoyed already, and one is with that miser who is keeping it.
But if nobody is a clinger, and everybody is moving the dollar as fast as possible – if there are three thousand people, three thousand dollars have been used, enjoyed. That is one single round. Just give more rounds and there will be more dollars. Nothing is coming in; there is, in fact, only one dollar, but by movement it goes on multiplying itself.
That’s why money is called currency. It should be a current. That’s my meaning. I don’t know about others’ meanings. One should not keep it. The moment you get it, spend it. Don’t waste time, because that much time you are preventing the dollar from growing, from becoming more and more.
Money is a tremendous invention.
It makes people richer, it makes people capable of having things that they don’t have. But all the religions have been against it. They don’t want humanity to be rich, and they don’t want humanity to be intelligent, because if people are intelligent, who is going to read the Bible?
Just the other day, I received the information that one atheist group in America has published a Bible with pictures. That Bible will be condemned by all the Christians, by the government, because it is pornographic. It is more pornographic than anything else, because in the Bible there is so much pornography….
Just by reading it you are not aware. Now, when I was talking to you about Sodom…in this new Bible they have made pictures of men making love to animals, women making love to animals. There is adultery, there is homosexuality, there is sodomy, there is rape. You name it and it is in the Bible!
I have said that we should immediately order it. My people should start reading the real Bible! And order it immediately, because there is every possibility it will be prohibited. Never in the world has any book been so pornographic as this Bible.
And they are not doing anything which is not in the Bible – they are just making pictures of it. You can understand pictures better. Just reading the word rape is nothing, but when you see a series of rapes pictured, then you become suddenly aware – this is a holy Bible.
Religions never wanted man to be intelligent, never wanted man to be rich, never wanted man to rejoice, because people who are in suffering, poor, unintelligent – they are the clients of churches, synagogues, temples, mosques.
I have never gone to any religious place. Why should I go? If the religious place wants to have some taste of religion it should come to me. I am not going to Mecca, Mecca has to come to me! Otherwise I don’t care. I am not going to Jerusalem, I am not mad – just a little bit crazy, but not mad. And when we can create a place of joy and laughter and love here, what is there in Israel? We have created the new Israel.
Drop all ideas that have been imposed upon you about money.
Be respectful to it.
Create wealth, because only after creating wealth do many other dimensions open for you.
For the poor man all doors are closed.
I want my sannyasins to be as rich as possible, as comfortable as possible. This is the first commune in the whole history of man where every house is centrally air-conditioned. Never before has any commune happened with air-conditioning.
This is the only commune where, while I am talking to you, you can laugh, you can enjoy, you can dance, you can do anything – because your laughter connects you to me more than your sitting there sad, with a long face.
You cannot laugh in a church the way you are doing here. Just looking at Jesus Christ hanging on the cross all laughter will die.
In fact, for the first time we are giving religion its true color, its music, its dance, its love, its laughter.

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