From Ignorance to Innocence 24

TwentyFourth Discourse from the series of 30 discourses - From Ignorance to Innocence by Osho.
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You have been saying that disobedience is a religious quality. It suddenly means I have to disobey you, the commune and the discipline of sannyas. I cannot even participate in our prayer, the gachchhamis.
The questioner is certainly an Oregonian, a born Oregonian, not just twenty days resident in Oregon. As far as I am concerned it is enough to breathe Oregon’s air for twenty minutes to become an Oregonian!
I have said that disobedience is a religious quality, but to be disobedient you need to be very intelligent. To obey – an idiot can do it. All that he has to say is, “Yes sir.” To disobey is not just saying no; that too can be done by an idiot very easily.
Disobedience needs tremendous intelligence because you are deciding your life, your future, your destiny.
I have said disobey anything that is imposed on you, against you, against your will, against your intellect, against your reason, against your being. Then risk everything and disobey it – because in fact by disobeying it, you are obeying your inner self. By disobeying it, you are obeying existence.
In other words, by disobeying it you are disobeying the personality and obeying the individuality.
I have not said that you have to disobey everything – you will go nuts, unless you are already nuts. I have emphasized disobedience because all the religions have been emphasizing obedience. Obedience to whom? Obedience to their God, which is their creation; obedience to the commandments, which are their creation; obedience to society, convention, tradition – which are all their vested interests – obedience to the parents, to the teachers, to the priests.
All the religions have been teaching you obedience; hence, just to emphasize it clearly before you, I had to say disobey, rebel.
That does not mean that I am against obedience. But the obedience I am for is a very different phenomenon. It does not come as an imposition on you, it comes as a flowering of your being. It is your intelligence, your maturity, your centeredness, your aliveness, your response. You are the source of it; not Moses, not Mohammed, not Jesus, not me, but you, just you.
But do you know who you are? You know you are a Jew, and you are not. You know you are a Christian, and you are not. You know you are a Hindu, and you are not. These are all impositions.
People have been painting on you as if you are a canvas. They are making your face according to their idea. They want to become in some way ideals for you, and they want to reduce you to imitators.
There is a great Christian classic, Imitation of Christ, which is respected by the Christians almost next to the Bible. But it is an ugly book. The very title of the book shows what it is: Imitation of Christ. You may imitate Christ for millions of lives; still you will not be a Christ, you will be only an imitation. And the imitation is not your original face.
The more you succeed in imitating, the more you are failing as far as your being is concerned. The deeper you go into imitation, the farther away you are going from yourself; and the return journey is not going to be easy.
It is going to be immensely difficult, because when you were continuously imitating a certain pattern, you were becoming identified with it. The return journey means you will have to start killing all that identification. It will look like committing suicide, as if you are cutting off your own limbs. It is not going to be just like dropping your clothes, not that easy. It is going to be like peeling your skin.
It is so difficult that even a very intelligent man like Bertrand Russell confessed, “My reason says that Gautam Buddha is certainly the greatest figure in the whole of human history, but although I am not part of any Christian congregation, although I have completely disassociated myself from Christian mythology, religion, theology, somewhere I cannot put Buddha above Christ. With my reason I understand, but as far as my feelings are concerned Jesus remains higher – and I know he is not.”
Now, a man like Bertrand Russell cannot get rid of a certain conditioning. He has been told from his very childhood that there has never been anybody like Jesus. Although he has renounced Christianity consciously, publicly… He wrote a very famous book, Why I Am Not a Christian, and gave all his reasons, very valid reasons. Anybody who has a little bit of intelligence can understand that if what Bertrand Russell is saying is the case, then you cannot be a Christian either. And that is the case; he has exposed Christianity completely.
But even after that… And this confession was long after he had written that book. He had written the book some twenty years before, and this confession came when he was nearabout eighty-five, absolutely mature. He remained intelligent to the very last moment of his life. He lived almost a century; he never became senile. Even at the last moment of his life he was as intelligent and alive as ever.
He confessed: “As far as my feelings and emotions are concerned, Jesus somehow hangs above everybody else. And I know perfectly well there is no comparison of Gautam Buddha with Jesus; Gautam Buddha is far superior. But that is only intellectual; emotionally Christ still has the grip.” Although he has said that he is not a Christian, he is still a Christian.
That’s why I say it is very difficult to come back. Going is difficult, but coming back is far more difficult. Imitation is going to be a difficult thing: you are trying to be something which you are not meant to be, which is not your destiny. You are going against the very nature of your being, you are trying to swim against the current. Yes, it is difficult to imitate – but not so difficult as when you start coming back to your natural self.
You have lost it somewhere far back. You can’t remember even where you lost it. You can’t remember where you deviated from yourself. You deviated in such moments when you were not even aware.
If you remember your past, you will at the most go back to the age of four, on average. Not all people can go back to the age of four. A few people, very rare people can go to the age of three. And rarely, once in a while, you can find a person who can go back to the age of two. It happens only once in a century that a person can go back to the age of one. And it happens only once in many centuries that a person can go into the memories of his mother’s womb.
But your deviation starts even when you are in your mother’s womb, because whatsoever your mother is doing is affecting you. When you are in your mother’s womb, your mother’s mind is your mind, her feelings are your feelings, her emotions are your emotions. If she is angry, something in you gets angry. If she is happy, something in you rejoices.
In the East, psychology is one of the most ancient sciences; in the West it is just a hundred years old – not even a hundred years old. The oldest name in Western psychology, the ancientmost, is Sigmund Freud, who was alive just a few years ago. But in the East, in India, psychology goes as far back as Patanjali – five thousand years. And Patanjali cannot be said to be the source because he quotes more ancient sources. In China it goes as far back as Lao Tzu. But Lao Tzu quotes at least five-thousand-year-old sources: five thousand years before Lao Tzu, who is twenty-five centuries before us.
Eastern psychology says that when the mother is pregnant, those nine months are the most important period in the life of the child who is not yet born. In these nine months as much care as possible should be taken. The mother should not become angry, should not become sexual, should not become worried, should not become irritated, annoyed. She should be kept in such a way that the child is not affected at all by her emotions. She should be almost in a meditative state for all those nine months.
That’s the recommendation of Eastern psychology, that the mother for nine months should be continuously in a meditative state; that’s the only way to save the child from becoming an imitator. Otherwise neither the mother knows the child, nor the child knows himself, and he becomes an imitator. This is the situation in the womb – what to say about when the child comes out of the womb. Then, at every step everybody is determined to give a certain shape, a certain color, a certain character, a certain career to you – and with all good intentions. The path to hell is paved with good intentions. Nobody is your enemy, but they all prove to be your enemies.
There is one statement of Gautam Buddha which Buddhists try to avoid because they don’t have the understanding to explain it. And it is so clear, they cannot even explain it away. The statement that Buddha makes is, “Unless you hate your father, your mother, your brother, you cannot follow me.” Now, what kind of statement is this? – “Unless you hate your father, your mother, your family, you cannot follow me.”
The Buddhists don’t quote it. In no Buddhist monastery does anybody even give a sermon on it. Monks just pass it by quickly. How to explain it? A man like Buddha who teaches love, nonviolence, is saying to hate your mother and father.
Then Jesus certainly seems to be far superior: “Love your enemy; not only the enemy, love your neighbor” – which is certainly far more difficult. The enemy is far away and once in a while maybe there is some trouble, but the neighbor is a twenty-four hour trouble, and just a pain in the neck continually, twenty-four hours a day. And Jesus says, “Love your neighbor just like yourself.”
Naturally if you compare these statements Jesus will look far more religious than Buddha. But before I say anything else, let me quote Bodhidharma, who defeated his own master, Buddha, in every possible way. And that is the only joy of a real master, that he should be defeated by his disciple. Of course, they were not contemporaries; there was at least eleven hundred years’ difference between Buddha and Bodhidharma.
Bodhidharma says: “First go and kill your father and mother, then come to me. First, be finished with your father and your mother and then come to me. Otherwise go somewhere else – I am not for you.” How you are going to explain it? And I say to you that what Jesus says is just hocus-pocus.
What Bodhidharma is saying is pure psychology. He is not saying that you should kill your father and mother, but in a certain way you have to kill the father that has entered you, and the mother that has entered you. That is your family inside, which is surrounding your being, which won’t allow any ray of light to reach your innermost corner. The crowd has gathered there, and because of that crowd the inner center is in darkness.
Bodhidharma brings Buddha’s statement to its logical conclusion. Why just hate? – be completely finished, because hating is again a relationship, just like love. If you love somebody, you remember him; you cannot forget him – you are not supposed to forget the person you love. Sometimes you may forget the person you love, but you cannot forget the person you hate. Although all the so-called moral teachers have been telling you to forgive and forget, you can neither forgive nor can you forget. Perhaps you can forgive, with effort, but how can you forget? Then you will remember two things: first, that you hated him and second, that you have forgiven him – now you will remember even more. So what have you done?
You cannot forget your enemy. It is a relationship, a very close, very intimate relationship. And that’s why it is very easy for lovers to become haters, friends to become enemies, enemies to become friends. It is very easy because both are relationships: just a little turn, a little change in the situation…
For example, in the Second World War America and Russia became friends, great friends, fighting together hand in hand. They were enemies before, they are enemies afterward. Strange! But the situation took such a turn… Adolf Hitler did a miracle, he was a man worth counting. All the miracles of Jesus are nothing compared to what Adolf Hitler did: he turned Americans and Russians into friends. Both flags flying together by courtesy of Adolf Hitler! And the moment Adolf Hitler was finished, the friendship evaporated immediately, instantly. They were enemies again.
You could see the Berlin Wall… Half of Berlin remained with the Russians – they could not even wait for Berlin to become whole again. Adolf Hitler gone, the friendship finished. When the magician is gone, the magic is finished; the enemies are again enemies. But enemies can become friends, and without becoming friends you cannot become enemies. First you have to be friends, that is the first step; then only can you become enemies – that is something higher, more evolved. Perhaps you have brought your friendship to its logical conclusion.
So Buddha, by saying hate your father and mother, also does not mean your father and mother, but the father and mother that have penetrated you, that have become like a thick layer of personality in you. But he was a very sophisticated man, the son of a king, very educated. Bodhidharma is very raw; he simply calls a spade a spade. Why bother about sophistication, hate, and this and that – simply kill. And I say to you, without killing you cannot get out of the prison.
So when I say disobey, I mean disobey everything that is not coming from your own self.
Obey that which is your nature.
Now, this man is saying that this means he cannot obey me. That’s why I called him a born Oregonian, because if listening to me say disobey, you disobey, that is obedience – can’t you see it? Before listening to me you were obeying; now because I have said disobey, you have to disobey. This is disobedience? Then what is obedience? This will be obedience!
You have not understood me at all. You have just heard that I am saying disobey, so now you have to disobey me, disobey the commune, disobey the discipline of sannyas. This man may be representing parts in all of you, because I have been receiving letters continually: “Osho, you are teaching disobedience, and in the commune we have to follow a certain discipline.” To them it seems contradictory.
Disobey me, or the commune, or sannyas, if it is not from you. Who has forced you to be part of the commune? It is your choice. You were not born in the commune. It is your choice, and a difficult choice, because by being part of my commune you are going against everybody else around you. You are taking a risk.
It is dangerous to be part of my commune. It is dangerous to be in association with me. You have chosen it. I don’t convert anybody; I try my best to dissuade you from becoming a sannyasin – what more can I do? I give you no consolation.
There is one question: “Osho, you have taken God away, now there is only existence. Existence means nature; it is harsh, it is indifferent, it doesn’t care. If there is no God then I feel very much afraid.”
Naturally, you will feel very much afraid because your God was nothing but a way to hide your fear. It was fear-oriented. It was just to keep your fear suppressed. Take God away and fear springs up. It is there; even when you are putting the rock of God on the spring, it is still there. You know perfectly well that it is there, alive, ready to burst forth any moment – just waiting for its chance, an opportunity.
Your whole life you have believed in God, and I have just said that there is no God – and that’s enough! Perhaps for fifty years you have believed in God, found consolation in it, then just an ordinary man like me says there is no God, and fifty years of conditioning disappears and fear arises! Whom are you trying to deceive?
If I can do this, anybody can do this. Just anybody meeting you on the road can whisper in your ear, “There is no God” – finished! Your God is dead! Your fear is more alive than ever. Hence all the religions teach, their scriptures teach, “Don’t listen to anybody who does not belong to your faith.”
In India, Jaina scriptures say that if you are being followed by a mad elephant and you come close to a Hindu temple – although you could be saved if you take refuge in the temple and close the doors – don’t go inside the temple. It is better to die on the road under the mad elephant’s feet, because who knows? – in the Hindu temple you may hear something which will spoil your faith. And the same, exactly the same, is repeated in the Hindu scriptures: “Don’t go in a Jaina temple, because sometimes a single sentence coming from an antagonistic religion may spoil your whole life’s effort.” But this is strange.
Just a few days ago an old man was here because he wanted to sit close to me at least once. He has been coming here for almost one year, has been doing all kinds of therapy groups, meditations, and is immensely interested in becoming a sannyasin – but unfortunately he is a billionaire. The family, the company of which he is the chairman… He is afraid of all those people – the board members, the company, the family.
They give millions of dollars every year in donations, but of course those donations go to the faith in which he was born. This time he was wavering between to be or not to be. Finally he decided that it was better, before he takes sannyas, to go and tell the family and the whole board of directors. Rather than afterward, it was better to say it before. So he went. Now, he must be at least sixty, not less than that – not somebody immature who can be easily converted, programmed, deprogrammed. But you will be surprised: his family immediately went to a deprogrammer. The first thing, hearing his ideas they were shocked, they were angry; they could not believe that a man of sixty years old who earns one thousand million dollars per year can be so easily converted by a cult. He has to be deprogrammed.
These people are not special; it’s just the common mind. And the deprogrammer suggested, of course, the right thing to do. He said, “He is not a child so you have to be very careful. You are not to be angry, you are not to show that you are against his new ideology, because your anger and your clear disappointment in him will take him farther away from you. You have to be very supportive, very loving.”
The deprogrammer is really cunning but he understands one thing, that a sixty-year-old man cannot be treated like a child, that you deprogram him in two days. And we have not programmed him at all. We have not tried to make him become a sannyasin, he was asking to become a sannyasin. Now the family is pretending to be loving and very supportive. And the old man finds it very strange. The message has come, “Very strange things are happening. My family has never been so loving.”
But deep down they are all boiling inside. I don’t think that by their lovingness and supportiveness, which is all phony and American, the man can be prevented from coming here. In fact he will think – which the deprogrammer has not thought about – that my ideology is so beautiful that just hearing about it the family has become so loving and so supportive. It would have been perfectly right to go as a sannyasin. And next time he is going to become a sannyasin.
But they will make every effort: this is just trying the first deprogrammer. If it doesn’t work they may try saying, “This man is mad, he cannot be in a responsible post like the chairman of a company. He should be put into a mental asylum or into some nursing home where he needs to be treated psychiatrically.” They will not leave him so easily. That’s why I said unfortunately he is a billionaire. If he were a poor man, the family would have been happy: “Get lost. Who cares! It is good that we get rid of you. Why have you come back? You should have become a sannyasin there.”
I have not given you any discipline. The questioner says, “…the discipline of sannyas.” Can’t you understand a little bit of humor? What discipline of sannyas have I given to you? That you have to wear red clothes – does that mean anything? It is simply to annoy the old traditional sannyasins, just to give them a good headache. And that’s what we were doing in India, because I had thousands of sannyasins and it was becoming difficult for people to decide who was my sannyasin, and who was the old traditional sannyasin.
They would even touch the feet of my sannyasins. But when they looked at my picture on the mala, they were shocked! That mala and picture are just to shock people. What discipline have I given to you? You don’t know discipline. You should go and look in a Trappist monastery and then you will understand what discipline is.
I am reminded of a story:

In a Trappist monastery you enter for ever; you cannot get out unless you are thrown out. Unless you become a nuisance and the monastery decides to throw you out, you cannot get out on your own. That freedom is not allowed; about that, you have to decide before you enter. You can take your time, but once you enter the monastery it is for your whole life, it is lifelong. Only your dead body will come out of the monastery.
This man entered the monastery, perhaps the most orthodox in the whole world. The monks remain absolutely silent. Only one time can they speak, after three years. After each three years they have the right to speak once, if they have any complaint or any difficulty or any problem.
This man was suffering continually for three years because he had no mattress, so he was just sleeping on the naked floor, and it was really cold. Even his bones started hurting. But you had to wait three years before you could say, “I need a mattress.”
After three years all the monks of the monastery gathered and the chief abbot asked them, “If anybody has anything to say, he can say it. For three years again there will be no meeting; nothing is to be said.”
This man waited, then he said, “I need a mattress.” Now, do you think for three years he was thinking of Jesus Christ? – only the mattress. And waiting and waiting, looking at the calendar for three years.
The chief abbot said, “Okay. For three years, now, no more complaints. In three years time you can speak again. A mattress will be provided.”
The mattress was provided but it was too big, and his cell was too small, so that while they were bringing in the mattress they broke the glass of the door. The mattress was in but the glass was broken so the wind started coming in, the rain started coming in, and now three years… The poor man. At least before he could stretch his body; now he was sitting in a corner, the rain was coming in, the snow was coming in.
And what do you think? – that for these three years he was praying? Yes, he was praying that these three years should pass, “And if I am still alive…” It looked as if it would be difficult to be able to survive three years, but he survived. Man has an immense capacity to adjust to any kind of circumstances. Even in a Trappist monastery people survive. He survived.
And after three years, again the gathering. He came running to the gathering, and even before the chief abbot had asked, he raised his hand. The chief abbot was very angry. He said, “You are the same man again! Any complaint?”
He said, “For three years I have been suffering rain, wind, snow. My glass was broken when the mattress was brought in. The mattress was big, and the door was small.”
The chief said, “Okay. Now for three years be silent. Your door will be mended.”
The door was mended. The three years he had survived, but the mattress had not survived. It was stinking, and because the door had been open the stink was not so much. Now the door was closed and no air was coming in… And the mattress had become utterly rotten because for three years every kind of hazard that had been possible… Now the man could not breathe! It became so… And for three years!
He said, “Now these are my last days. I will not be able to raise my hand again.” But he survived. Again he survived, because the adjustment capacity of man is really tremendous. If you are living in a stinking room, sitting on a rotten mattress, soon you will not smell it because your sensitivity to smell will be dulled, will be killed by the stink, the continuous stink. Your nose is not so strong, it is not made of steel, and very small parts in your nose have the capacity to smell. If there was this continuous warfare against your capacity to smell your nose would become dead.
He survived, but when three years had passed he ran as fast as he could. And before he could raise his hand, the abbot said, “Stop! Since you have come I have never heard anything but complaints. Get out! I don’t want to listen anymore.”
He said, “But I have not said anything yet. Just please listen to me.”
The abbot said, “This type of people are not acceptable in a Trappist monastery. I have not heard anything from you in nine years except complaints, complaints, complaints.”
They threw the poor man out.

And you say that you cannot follow the sannyas discipline? I have not given you any discipline. Yes, three things I have done…
I have given you a new name so that you can start disidentifying yourself from your old personality, and you can begin anew, as if a new child is born.
I have given you red clothes to wear just to destroy the monopoly of traditional sannyasins on red clothes – they are nobody’s monopoly. And it was just a mockery of the sannyas that has existed in the East for thousands of years. I was saying that just by changing your clothes to red you don’t become a sage.
I have given you a mala, because all the ancient sannyasins of all religions have used a rosary for prayer. I have not given it to you for any prayer.
It was an old method of counting. For example in Hinduism: how many times you take God’s name is your account in the other world. But to remember “Ram, Ram, Ram…” You will forget. But to continue to remember, “One Ram, two Ram, three Ram” will be a disturbance. And “one, two, three, four, five” will grow to “one thousand and four…one million, two million, three million…” You are going to get lost somewhere and forget the counting. Then it will be a real loss because God will ask, “How many times…?”
So the rosary was a method: you count, you just go on, you say “Ram” and you slip one bead down. You needn’t say “One.” You say “Ram,” and you slip the second bead down. You don’t say “Ram two, Ram three,” you just go on slipping the beads down. And it was good also because you could say it inside with nobody knowing about it. In India they have a small bag hanging around the hand, and the rosary is inside; so even walking on the road they can go on counting.
You will see shopkeepers selling things, and their hand is in their rosary bag: they are counting. With the customer they are talking but deep down they are saying, “Ram, Ram, Ram, Ram,” and with the rosary they are counting. In between they will say to the wife: “The beggar!” and their rosary continues.
It was just to mock all these idiots that I put the rosary around you. It is not a prayer method for you, it is just a mockery of the whole tradition. And then I put an ordinary man’s picture – anybody’s picture will do. That annoys them even more.
But this world is strange. Sometimes things can happen which you had never expected or even dreamed of. Just the other day Sheela brought a letter from the Punjab – because in the Punjab there has been great trouble, with Hindus and Sikhs continually fighting and killing each other. Thousands of people have been killed.

In one small village there were two Sikhs, both our sannyasins, but the whole village was Hindu. These two Sikhs were teachers in the school. The principal suggested to them, “Don’t come out of your home; and be careful, very careful because the whole village is mad. The whole of the Punjab is in madness, and you are only two – the crowd can kill you.”
And that day, the whole day the crowd was moving around the city to find some Sikh to kill. They knew those two Sikhs were there, but where had they disappeared to? By the night as the sun set and darkness came over, those two Sikhs thought the crowds must have disappeared. The whole day they had been hiding in the house, so they thought to just come out for a little bit and breathe fresh air.
When they came out, immediately – as if the crowd had been waiting, hiding just nearby, knowing that they were hiding in the house – from both sides the crowd rushed toward them. One of them escaped into a nearby forest; in the darkness it was difficult to find him. But the other one was caught. He has written the letter to thank me, because when the crowd took hold of him, somebody in the crowd said, “This is not a Sikh, this is an Osho sannyasin!” So they said, “It is useless to kill this man – he is no longer a Sikh.”
He writes to me, “Osho, you saved me; otherwise they would have cut me into pieces.”

I have never thought that somebody would be saved by me, but strange things in this world always happen! This is simply a strange thing. You can be killed in my name, but you cannot be saved. It was a strange situation: they were going to kill a Sikh, but seeing his orange clothes and the mala with my photo, they said, “This man is already no longer a Sikh. To kill him is pointless.” And they left.
But basically I had put that picture there so that it hangs around your neck and irritates everybody, and you cannot go anywhere without being noticed.

One of my sannyasins in Mumbai… He took sannyas, and after two, three days he came back and said, “I am in a real trouble. Will you give sannyas to my wife too? I have brought her.”
I asked, “Why?”
He said, “The problem is, wherever I go with her people say, ‘What kind of sannyasin is this? Sannyasins are not supposed to move around with women.’ And I cannot say that she is my wife, because if I say that, they will kill me. A sannyasin having a wife? So it is very awkward; what to do? It is better you give sannyas to her.”
I said, “I will give sannyas to her but this won’t solve the problem. Try it.” I gave sannyas to his wife. After two days he was back. He said, “You were right. Yesterday in the train…” It was a local train; he takes the train to work in his office and goes back. It was a holiday so he had come with his wife and child. A crowd gathered, and they asked, “Whose child is this?” – because in Mumbai children are being stolen. In all the big cities of India children are being stolen. Then they are crippled, blinded, and they are made beggars. And there are gangs: a certain man who feeds them and takes all their earnings in the evening. He feeds them, he gives them clothes, he gives them shelter. But unless they are blinded, crippled, their legs cut off or their hands cut off, who is going to give them money? The more crippled and the more miserable they look, the better are their chances for begging, and the more money they bring in.
So in every big place children are being stolen. And they end up in some gang where there are hundreds of children. The police know; the police take their own part of the money. The police do not prevent the children from begging on the streets; rather, they protect them. In fact they help the owner of these children so that these children cannot escape anywhere.
In fact these children cannot escape because they have been blinded, crippled – where can they escape to? Who will look after them? They don’t know where their father is, their mother is, from where they have been brought – because if they were caught in Kolkata, they would be used in Mumbai. If they were caught in Mumbai, they would be used in Chennai. So they don’t know where they come from or where they are right now.
They cannot escape, but the police still keep an eye out so that nobody tries to escape. Everybody has his share, except that child. And if he comes back from begging one day without any money, then he gets beaten. So he has to come with it. He cannot try to hide some money from the owner, because he knows how much a child earns.
The owner goes on walking around and looking to see how much this child will have earned by the end of the evening. So tentatively he knows that this boy is bound to come with ten rupees, fifteen rupees. And if he comes with only two rupees then he gets beaten. And where can he hide the money? That money is found immediately.
So a crowd gathered and they asked, “You are both sannyasins; this woman is a sannyasin, you are a sannyasin. In the first place, why are a woman and a man sannyasin together? That is not allowed. In the second place, this child – from where did you get this child?”
They said, “This is our child.” They had to say it. And people started getting ready to beat them: “This is your child? You are a sannyasin and you have a child.”
Somehow they tried to explain, showed the mala, and said, “We are not old, traditional sannyasins.”
Somebody in the crowd knew about me. He said, “Leave them. They are not your type of sannyasins. They belong to a different kind: neo-sannyas.”
From the station they came directly to me. They said, “Give sannyas to our child also, because without it we will be caught again. We are poor people and anybody can start beating us and can create trouble for us.” I had to give sannyas to the child too!

It was not a discipline; it was simply a revolt. I wanted to show the sannyasins of India, who are in millions, that just by changing the clothes or having a rosary it does not mean that you have become a saint. I can create millions of saints like them without any trouble. And I have created them!
The only thing that you can call a discipline is meditation. And it is not an order from me that you have to meditate. I explain to you what meditation is. If it appeals to your reason, if something clicks in you, if a desire arises in you to explore this dimension of meditation, then it is not that you are following my idea, you are following your own intelligence. And if it does not appeal to you, of course you should not do it.
And saying, “I cannot even participate in the gachchhamis,” the person has used the words “our prayer.” It is not prayer. A prayer is always to beg for something. That’s actually the meaning of the word prayer, praying for something: “Give us, Lord, our daily bread,” or whatsoever it is, but “Give us something. You are the giver, and we are the beggar. You are compassionate, and we are in need of your compassion; save us. This life is miserable, this existence is suffering, take us out of this wheel of life and death.” Different religions, different prayers… But everybody is asking for something.
You cannot call our gachchhamis “prayer.” It is not; because what do you say in the gachchhamis? “I go to the feet of the awakened one; I go to the feet of the commune of the awakened one; I go to the feet of the ultimate truth of the awakened one.”
You are declaring something, you are not praying. It is a declaration, and a determination – “I go the feet of the awakened one” – a determination to drop the ego, a declaration, “From now on, to be awakened is going to be my whole effort, my whole involvement, my whole commitment; I am not going to live an unconscious life anymore.” It is not a prayer.
In my vision there is no place for prayer because there is no place for God. To whom can you pray? – there is no one. The sky is absolutely empty. You are simply wasting your time and throwing nonsense words into the atmosphere, crowding the atmosphere with meaningless words.
You must remember: these words never die. Once uttered, a word goes on resounding just like a pebble thrown in a lake: waves start moving toward the farther away shore. But this existence has no shores, no banks, no boundaries. Once you say something it is going to remain forever. It will go on resounding farther and farther away. It will touch other planets, it will touch other stars; it will go on moving and moving.
Now we know – before the invention of radio we had no idea – that something said in Washington is passing just by your side. Now you know because we have discovered how to catch hold of it. Whatsoever they are creating is already passing all the stations of the world. Of course they are creating very strong vibrations. They go on moving around you; you just have to attune your radio to a certain wavelength, then on that wavelength whatsoever is uttered will be caught.
It is true about us too. Whatsoever we are saying is not very strong, but it never dies, the sound continues. One day we will find a way to catch hold of sounds which were uttered by different people in the past – because each person has a different vibe, a different frequency. If we can get hold of the frequency of Krishna, then what he really said in the Gita five thousand years ago, and whether it was said at all or not, will be caught again. And I am certain that this big book, the Gita, could not possibly have been written in the situation in which it was said to have been.
Two armies facing each other – they are just waiting for the signal and they will start slaughtering each other. And Arjuna says to his charioteer, Krishna, “Take me in front.” He is the chief warrior of one side. Seeing all the people there, his friends, his relatives… The other party was nobody else but his cousin-brothers, and they had all grown up in the same house, in the same palace, they were taught by the same man. Dronacharya, the man who had taught both parties the art of archery, was there on the other side: his own master.
On this side everybody was related to those on that side. On that side everybody was related to those on this side: it was a family quarrel. Arjuna freaked out. He simply said to Krishna, “I will not fight this war. This is not war, this is simply suicide. These are all our people. Whosoever dies will bring tears to my eyes. My father’s father, my grandfather, is standing there. My master who has taught me, who has brought me up to be the greatest archer in the world, he is on the other side. No, I cannot fight. I would rather renounce the world and become a sannyasin and go to the Himalayas.”
Now, this is the situation. This big book is a dialogue in which Arjuna goes on asking questions and Krishna goes on answering them. For me to comment on it took almost – Taru, how many years? – perhaps three years: twelve volumes, one thousand pages each. In this situation it doesn’t seem to be likely that this big sermon… In eighteen days the whole war was finished; in eighteen days the whole Gita cannot be finished! So perhaps he had spoken a few words and later on it is just elaboration, and more and more was added to it to clarify and simplify and to make it understandable.
But one day it is possible that we may catch hold of Krishna – or Jesus giving his sermon on the mountain – because no sound ever dies; once it is uttered it remains forever. Yes, it will become weaker and weaker and weaker and weaker, and you will need more and more forceful, forcible, stronger receivers to catch hold of it. And of course it will be a tower of Babel, because millions of people have been speaking for millions of years and all their words will be mixed.
But there is a possibility… It is just as your fingerprints are yours alone: they have never existed before and there never will be a possibility for them to exist in the future. You fingerprints are simply your fingerprints. Your sound prints are also simply your sound prints; sooner or later we will be able to sort them out. And once we get your sound print, your frequency, then whatsoever you have said in your whole life can be reproduced.
You will be surprised to know that Mahavira is the only man in the whole of history who has said, “Don’t say anything which you would not like to be associated with you forever, because whatsoever you say is going to be eternal.” He is the only man, but what he is saying certainly has a tremendous insight. His reason for not saying bad words, ugly words, is very scientific, not religious. He is saying it because those words will remain always; they will be your footprints in time. Don’t leave anything ugly behind you.
When you declare, “Buddham sharanam gachchhami – I go to the feet of the awakened one,” you are not saying a prayer. You are simply declaring to existence, to yourself, your intention: “I want to drop my ego.”
Hence, gachchhamigachchhami simply means “going.” The English word go comes from the Sanskrit word gachchh. You will be surprised that the Sanskrit word for cow is gau, because the cow was very much loved by the Hindus, worshipped as a mother, thought to be holy. The movement of the cow – cow is pronounced gau – his movement is called “Gachchh.” And from gachchh comes the English word.
“Going to the feet” needs one absolutely necessary condition: that you drop the ego. With the ego you cannot go to the feet of the buddha, the awakened one. And by “the awakened one,” we are not saying any particular person. We are simply saying that because the quality of awareness is the same, all the awakened ones become the same when they are awakened: there is no difference at all. Awakening is simply awakening. So we go to the feet of whosoever is awakened, wherever he is awakened – in the past, in the present or in the future.
It is a decision to drop the ego. It is a declaration that: “Existence, remain my witness, I am going to the feet of the awakened one. Let me be reminded if I forget.” That’s why it has to be repeated. The more you repeat it, the better, because the more it becomes a determination, the more it becomes a clear perception of what it means.
But to go to the feet of the awakened one is not very difficult. It is very easy. The very presence of the awakened one will create in you the desire to go to his feet. It is not something literal, that you have to go to his feet. It simply means that you start feeling a kind of surrender. The surrender is not asked; if it is asked, disobey. If the surrender happens to you, obey; it is your own feeling, your own authentic experience. But it is easy, hence the second gachchhami: “Sangham sharanam gachchhami.”
It is easy to go to the feet of the awakened one, it is a little difficult to go to the feet of the commune of the awakened one, because in the commune all will not be awakened. Many will be fast asleep and snoring; many will be even deeper in sleep than you. Now, the ego will feel it more difficult to go to the feet of these people. That means you will have to drop the ego now even more determinedly. Perhaps in the first gachchhami you had only dropped a few leaves of your ego. In the second you will have to drop the whole tree.
The third is even more difficult, but for a different reason. “Dhammam sharanam gachchhami – I go to the feet of the ultimate truth of the awakened one.” What it is that the awakened people have experienced, they have not said; it is inexpressible. They have all remained silent about it.
Where are you going to find the feet of the ultimate truth? And in your state of unawareness, in your state of unconsciousness, in what direction are you going to search? And not knowing where to surrender, to whom to surrender, what to surrender, it becomes even more difficult for the ego. You will even have to bring the roots of the tree out from the ground; they are hiding underground. Even if the tree has fallen, the tree can again grow from the roots. These are simple declarations – and they have to be your declarations, they can’t be my declarations.
But listening to me saying that disobedience is a quality of religion, immediately the desire to disobey arises in you. And you have listened to many things from me, but never before has any desire like this arisen. Certainly deep down you want to disobey.
Perhaps you have forced yourself into obedience. Then you have done wrong; then this is not the place for you. Then you have simply trapped yourself in something which has not come out of your decision. Perhaps you have imitated some other people – perhaps your friend was becoming a sannyasin, and you became a sannyasin. Perhaps you were impressed by my words, impressed by my reasoning. But your sannyas has not arisen from your deepest core; otherwise after listening to me say that disobedience is a religious quality, you would have waited a little and thought about it.
You should have asked, “Then what is obedience? Is not obedience also a religious quality?” That would have been the right question. I am continually giving you the right answer to the wrong question, but nothing else can be done. I can understand you can’t ask the right question and I can’t give you a wrong answer; so what to do? This way it goes on. You go on asking the wrong question. But I don’t care much about your question: I go on answering what I want to answer. Your question is just an excuse.
Obedience is a greater religious quality than disobedience.
Disobedience is only for the beginners who are just starting to learn how to walk – wobbling. Disobedience is a religious quality for those who are much too attached to their personality, their conditioning, their programming. Disobedience is a technique for you to deprogram yourself, so that you become clean of all Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Mohammedanism. You simply come clean out of all that. You come out just simple, yourself, innocent. Then obedience is the quality of religion.
Then comes the time to obey; but first learn to disobey. Disobey is a negative word. It is simply to cut all the crap from you, to burn all the rubbish in you. It is a negative process. But it is only the beginning. When this negative process is complete and you have burned all the crap, and you are unburdened and free and ready to fly, then obedience is the quality of religion. But that is a higher quality, a far more conscious quality.
But you don’t obey anybody else. You now simply obey your being. Wherever it leads you, go fearlessly, in freedom.
To be with me you have to disobey all that has been taught to you. I have not taught you anything. I have not said to you, “Do this, don’t do that.” I am not bothered about details, I am simply concerned with the fundamentals; to make clear to you that these are the fundamentals. Now it is up to you what you want to do with these fundamentals. You can turn your back and go anywhere you like, and it is perfectly okay with me. But when you understand the fundamentals you cannot turn your back on them. It is not possible; in the very nature of things it is impossible.
Once you see a certain truth you cannot do anything other than obey it. But it has to be your seeing, your perception, your realization.
Begin with disobedience. It is always necessary to begin with the negative, with the no. If you want to reach the yes, you will have to say a thousand no’s to find one yes in life. Because your whole life has been ruined by so many people, you will have to say no to all those people. And after a thousand no’s, perhaps you may find yourself in a state where you can say yes.
But that yes will come from the deepest core of your being, and it will bring out a fragrance in you.

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