From Ignorance to Innocence 25

TwentyFifth Discourse from the series of 30 discourses - From Ignorance to Innocence by Osho.
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Yesterday we were met by five bible-packing Christians who had come to save us. What do you say? Can we be saved?
These idiots are all over the world, perhaps more so in Oregon. The very idea of saving somebody is violent. It is interfering, trespassing on somebody’s life. Nobody has the right to save anybody.
He can save himself… But there is a psychological reason why these Bible-packing people start saving others: they are not confident that they are saved. To gain that confidence they have to shout loudly, make a noise, make efforts to save others. And certainly they will find a few fools who are ready to be saved. That will give them tremendous confidence, but there is no base. Their very life is just the life of a fanatic who thinks he is saved because he believes in Jesus Christ.
Life needs transformation, and transformation is a great work upon oneself. It is not a child’s play: “Just believe in Jesus Christ, go on reading the Bible again and again, and you are saved.” Saved from what? Saved from transformation!
So if you meet these people again, please tell them, “You have come to the right place. Here we unsave people who have fallen into the mistaken idea that they are saved. We unsave them again. We pull them back to the earth from their foggy mind.”
But the responsibility is not with these poor people – they are pitiable – the responsibility goes back to Jesus himself. He was trying to save people. And what signs was he providing them? No signs, no idea how they can change their lifestyle, how they can find their true being, how they can discover the truth that they are carrying within themselves. No structure, no process, no methodology is given. All that is required is: “Believe that I am the only begotten son of God, that I am the Messiah,” and that’s enough.
Is transformation of life so cheap that you believe in anybody and just by believing…? You are not losing anything, and Jesus is not giving you anything but a sort of hallucination that you are saved.
Not a single person has been saved by Jesus. And I don’t think he was able to save himself. The way he behaves, the way he talks all show that it is not the flavor of an awakened being; something is missing. His ego is tremendously strong. Yes, it has a religious jargon about it, the “only begotten son of God” – but any madman can say that.
What evidence does he bring? It is because of this that the Christians go on emphasizing the miracles of Jesus, because without those miracles what evidence has he got? And those miracles were never performed, because if such things were performed, it is impossible that Jewish sources would not have mentioned them. He would have been accepted as the messiah.
The Jews never accepted him, not even today. His contemporaries have to be asked why not a single authoritative source even mentions his name. And if such a miracle man was around he would be the only news for centuries, but not even his contemporaries bothered about him. And his contemporaries have given a clear-cut indication by crucifying this man. Why did they crucify him?
People have not inquired into the incident, why the Jews crucified Jesus. They crucified him for the simple reason that this man is mad, and is pretending something which will misguide millions of people. It is better to be finished with him. He is not the messiah because the Jews have criteria for who is the messiah, who will save the whole world from suffering, from misery, from anguish. The same idea that Jesus gives to the Christians, he has got from his ancestors. He is a perfect Jew.
What the Jews were saying was about some messiah somewhere far away, happening in the coming history, in the future. Jesus’ fault was only this: he started saying, “I am that man you have been waiting for. I am that hope you have been desiring. I have come.” And they really laughed at him – anybody would have laughed at him.
The hope of the Jews has to remain a hope. Whenever anybody will try to say, “I have come to fulfill the hope,” he will be crucified, for the simple reason that he is taking away the hope of a whole race. They are living on that hope; that is their only light, their only guiding star. And this carpenter’s son – ignorant, illiterate, good-for-nothing – wants to prove that he is that hoped for messiah: “This man has to be finished off!”
And there was one more reason why they crucified him: “If on the cross he can manage to provoke God to help him, then we will be able to see whether he is the messiah or not – God will save him.” If God is not even bothering about saving his own son on the cross, then what to say about others? And if Jesus cannot provoke God to save him, how can he provoke God to save others?
The crucifixion was going to be a criterion. Thousands of people had gathered; it was not an everyday thing. Only once in a while a madman declares such a thing. And they were laughing and joking and throwing stones at him and spitting on him.
They had put a crown of thorns on him, they had forced him to carry his own cross. Three times he fell on the way; the cross was too heavy. He could not carry his own cross and he was trying to carry the crosses of the whole of humanity, trying to save the whole of humanity, taking all their miseries, their anguishes, their sufferings. And whenever he fell people laughed, and they said, “You can’t carry even your own cross, how you are going to carry the crosses of everybody else?”
And on the cross they had written “King of the Jews,” just as a joke, because this man was constantly talking about the Kingdom of God, and saying, “Those who believe in me will be saved. At the judgment day, I will be there with God indicating the people who are my people: sorting out people into those who have to be saved, and those who have not to be saved. And I am going to be your witness. The judgment is in my hand.”
On the cross he himself feels shaken up. He cries to God, “Have you forgotten me? Have you forsaken me?” – because he sees that the crucifixion is happening and there is no miracle. He looks upward toward the sky…that God will be descending on a white cloud, angels will be coming, singing “Alleluia, Alleluia.”
But no angels are coming, no God is seen anywhere; the sky is completely clear, not even a cloud. And the crowd is shouting and rejoicing and dancing. They are hilarious, saying, “Look at the fool! He was going to save the whole world!”
And he feels thirsty, obviously. Walking a long way, carrying a heavy cross in the hot sun – and the crucifixion happened on a hill, Golgotha – he was thirsty, and on the cross as blood started oozing out from his hands and feet…
The Jewish crucifixion was the most cruel way of killing a man that has been practiced anywhere. It took sometimes thirty-six to forty-eight hours for a man to die. An electric chair is far more nonviolent. You simply sit in it and you are gone – just a switch. Perhaps you may not even hear the click. By the time you hear the click, you are no more.
Every country has its way, but the Jews had the most torturous. Death is not a torture; death may be a relief from a torturous life, but on the Jewish cross you will be praying, “Kill me, God, kill me; I cannot wait anymore” – because you are hungry and thirsty, and as the blood goes out of your body, you feel more thirsty, more thirsty, because you are losing liquid. You are still alive, and the pain is tremendous. Such a slow death. It is not just death. Death can be very simple: you cut the head off the person; it’s not much of a problem. It does not need forty-eight hours, forty-eight hours of dying.
He started asking for water. Now, this is the man who used to walk on water. This is the man who used to turn water into wine. This is the man who raised the dead from their grave. But he cannot stop his blood flowing out of his body. He cannot make his blood flow backward into the body. He cannot even manage a glass of water – and he was able to change stones into bread!
Why can’t he change the air into water? Why can’t he arrange a cloud to shower just on him so he can have a good shower and drink the water? He proved absolutely impotent on the cross.
But the Christians go on, all over the world, saving people. They don’t even understand what it means to save.
In the East, no religion has ever proclaimed that anybody can save you except yourself; and the East knows far more deeply about man’s life and its transforming forces. It has been working on the human psyche for thousands of years. Still much has to be discovered – perhaps that is not the right word: rediscovered will be the right word – by the West, which the East has already discovered long before.
For example, when Sigmund Freud, Jung and Adler and other great psychologists of the beginning of this century started talking of the unconscious mind, the subconscious mind, the conscious mind, it was Freud’s rediscovery. But he never came to know that it was a rediscovery, that in India for thousands of years we have known all these divisions are there.
But the West was shocked, could not believe there was an unconscious. “If there is an unconscious then why is it not mentioned in the Bible? – because anything which is not mentioned in the Bible certainly does not exist. God has given the whole message entirely about everything: the unconscious mind is not mentioned.”
Jung went a little deeper and found the collective unconscious mind. But you will be surprised that Buddha talks about not only these minds but a few more minds, because this is only one way… For example, Freud goes downward: the conscious mind is of course acceptable to everybody because that’s where we are, but Freud goes downward and finds the subconscious mind. That’s when you dream. A boundary line between the unconscious and the conscious, it is just the middle part that joins the unconscious with the conscious.
Jung goes a little deeper and finds that if you go deeper into the unconscious, you suddenly find a depth which is not individual, which is collective. It is as if on the surface you see many icebergs, but as you go deeper you find only a big iceberg with many peaks above the surface of the water – but underneath it is only one big iceberg.
Buddha goes upward too. He goes downward – and farther than Jung. After the collective unconscious mind he says there is a cosmic unconscious mind, because the collective unconscious mind means the unconscious mind of the whole humanity – but what about the animals and the trees and the mountains and the rivers and the stars? Go a little deeper and you will find a cosmic unconscious mind.
And Buddha goes upward too. So going downward, the conscious mind is just in the middle, where we are. Below it are the subconscious mind, unconscious mind, collective unconscious mind and cosmic unconscious mind. He also moved upward, which in the future psychology has to do. He says, “Above the conscious mind is again the same ladder that goes downward. Just as below there is a subconscious mind; above there is a superconscious mind.”
If you move upward then above the superconscious mind you will find, in Buddha’s language, the super-superconscious mind. Then you will find the collective conscious mind, and then you will find the cosmic conscious mind. Then you have traveled the whole journey, downward and upward.
Now, before Sigmund Freud, people thought that Buddha was just imagining. But Freud was not a religious man in any sense. He had a scientific mind: he proved the subconscious, the unconscious. Jung was not a religious man; he proved the collective unconscious. Now some other scientist is needed to prove the cosmic unconscious.
And he will be coming soon, because if it is a fact – and it must be, because if this man Buddha goes about finding the fourth absolutely correctly, there is no reason to doubt that he is correct about the fifth. And if he is correct about the downward ladders, then why should he not be correct about the upward ladders?
But to move upward you will need the religious mind. The scientific mind will not be enough.
The scientific mind can go more toward things. And this is how you are going to move toward things: from the conscious mind you have to come to the cosmic unconscious mind. Perhaps things have a cosmic unconscious mind, absolutely dormant, but it must be there. Otherwise how is it possible that you eat food, which is dead, which is a “thing,” but it feeds your brain, your mind, and keeps them functioning. Somewhere, some part of the things you eat is releasing some consciousness, some mind quality to you. Otherwise from where do you get your mind?
They say if you don’t breathe for six minutes, and oxygen does not reach the brain, the brain starts deteriorating. Its cells are so delicate that at the most they can survive without oxygen only six minutes.
It happened in the Second World War that a few people had heart attacks, just a psychological heart attack: a bomb fell just in front of them, exploded and killed many people. When you see so many people dying – suddenly an explosion and so many people dying – it is possible to have a psychological heart attack. You may fall dead. You are not dead, but among so many dead how can you stand alive? You can’t be an exception. You are not the only begotten son of God; you are just an ordinary human being, and when everybody is dying what are you doing here? Just the shock may stop your breathing.
They revived many people like this in Russia in the Second World War. If the person was revived after six minutes had passed, he became alive, but he never became conscious. He remained in a coma because already the brain had broken, but the rest of the body came back; everything else started functioning.
I have seen one woman who had been for nine months in a coma, with everything functioning. She was breathing, her pulse was normal, everything was good, just somehow her brain had gone into non-functioning. The doctors said she could live years. If you went on supporting, helping, feeding her, she could live for years, but there was no hope that her brain could be restored. And we don’t yet have banks for brains, to put somebody else’s brain in your skull.
But somebody else’s brain will bring somebody else’s personality, not your personality. That is a difficult problem. Even if one day we can manage to have banks of brains for transplant, those brains will be carrying memories of somebody else, his education… Perhaps he was a mathematician, a poet, a painter; perhaps he was a beggar or a very rich man: he will have different kinds of memories.
His brain could be fixed into your skull, but it will not be you who comes back to consciousness, he will come back: he will use your body. He will speak his language: if he was French, he will speak French, if he was Russian, he will speak Russian. He will not take any notice of who you are, whether you have been somebody who had not even heard a single word of Russian.
That’s a problem. First, to have transplant banks is a problem because the brain cells die so quickly. But perhaps we can find some way that when a person is dying, before he dies the brain is taken out and put into a tank where enough oxygen is available, so the brain can go on functioning. He will be dreaming there in the tank – making love to a woman, or if he is a pervert then doing something else. Still, certainly he will be dreaming and doing his thing – what he was doing inside his original body.
Now he will be doing it in the tank – perhaps far better because more oxygen and more pure oxygen will be available. And he will not be able to know that he has been taken out, because one strange thing about your skull is that inside the skull there is no sensitivity.
So if you take the brain out, the brain will not feel as if it has been taken out, removed from its original place, placed into something else. It could simply live on its own. It could function on its own. And whenever it is put back again into a body, the body will start following the orders of this brain.
Buddha goes upward too. He says this brain… And there are certain facts about the mind and the brain to be known, which scientists have discovered that half of the brain is non-functioning. Only fifty percent of your brain is functioning, and the other fifty percent of the brain, toward the back, is almost completely non-functioning.
Now, nature never creates anything for non-functioning. It only creates things to function, and such a valuable thing as the brain… If half the brain is non-functioning it simply means that we don’t know its uses yet. We have not discovered for what it is meant to be used.
That gives me a clue. The half of the brain that is functioning is being discovered by our psychologists, and the half of the brain that is not functioning starts functioning with meditation. And slowly, slowly you start becoming aware of something higher than you, beyond you, and beyond, and beyond. The cosmic conscious mind is your ultimate truth.
Unless you know it you are not saved, because then you will be moving in the labyrinth of the unconscious, the collective unconscious, the cosmic unconscious; you will be moving in this labyrinth of darkness which creates all your misery.
Now, what does Jesus know about it? Just by his telling people, “Believe in me,” I don’t think that the other half of their brain will start functioning. These Bible-packing people – do you think that their other half is functioning? Most probably their whole mind has stopped functioning; they are in a coma.
Faith is a kind of coma. You stop reasoning, you stop doubting. You stop questioning. Naturally, because these are the functions of your mind, and when those functions disappear, by and by your mind stops. If it is not used it gathers junk; it becomes more and more dull, because doubt is not allowed. Strange things are expected from you…
Just the other day, Sheela brought me the latest message to humanity from pope the Polack, a message of one hundred and thirty-nine pages. Naturally it has to be one hundred and thirty-nine pages because he has not left a single stupid thing unsaid. You will be surprised that he has found some new sins which are not mentioned in the Bible. Only a Polack can do that; otherwise what were all those Old Testament prophets, and then Jesus, doing?
The Polack has found new sins, but those sins are worth consideration. One of the sins that he speaks of is the idea of class struggle: to believe in the idea of class struggle is a sin, a major sin. Now whether you believe in the class struggle or not, the class struggle is there. There is a struggle between the rich and the poor. It is not a question of your belief.
In India there is a struggle between castes, a double struggle: class struggle and caste struggle. Hindus have divided their society into four major varnas. The word varna is significant; it means color. Perhaps in the beginning the division was done by color. The whitest were the Aryans, whom Adolf Hitler claimed to be the Germans, the Nordic Germans, the purest Aryans. He used the word Aryans for Germans, and he used the Aryan symbol of the swastika for his flag. That is a Hindu symbol, an ancient Aryan symbol. They were the highest, and as your color became darker, you became lower and lower and lower.
South India is almost black. If you cut Africa and India from a map and put them side by side, you will be surprised – they fit absolutely. It is a very recent finding that once South Africa and India were connected, then slowly they drifted away. So South India is really of Negro blood. And it is strange in many ways that the color of the South Indians is black and their languages are the only languages in India which are not Sanskrit-oriented, while all the European languages are Sanskrit-oriented. For example, thirty percent in English, forty percent in German, thirty-five percent in Russian, seventy percent in Lithuanian, forty percent in Italian…
So in Europe the roots have come from Sanskrit, but the South Indian languages – Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam… Not a single percent of their language has been borrowed from Sanskrit. This is a very strange thing. It indicates something: these people are not Aryans. Germans and Russians and Swiss and French and English are offshoots of the Aryans, but the South Indians are not Aryans.
So perhaps in the beginning just on the basis of color… That’s why they call them the four varnas; but later on, slowly the color got mixed. When you live with people… Even in America, you will find a person who is half Negro and half Caucasian, half Negro, half Italian, half Negro, half English. When people live together they go on mixing. It is very difficult to keep blood separate. So slowly the varnas got mixed, the colors got mixed, but the castes remained.
There is a certain struggle between the brahmin and the sudra. The brahmin is the highest caste, and the sudra is the lowest caste. There is a struggle, a five-thousand-year-old struggle. Thousands of sudras have been killed, murdered, butchered, burned alive; even today that continues for small excuses.
For example, in a small Indian village you will find two wells. One well is for the higher castes, the three higher castes: the brahmins, the priest class; the kshatriyas, the warrior class; and the vanikas, the business class. And the sudras, the untouchables, have a second well. Untouchables are not allowed to take water from the same well as the three higher classes.
And sometimes it happens that those poor people cannot manage to have a deep enough well – and they are the poorest of the poor. In summer their wells dry up, so they have to go miles to a river or to a lake to bring water, but they cannot go to the well in the city. If they are found… Sometimes it happens in the night, when somebody is thirsty. The river is so far away, everybody is asleep, and nobody will come to know… He goes silently and tries to take a bucket of water – and he is caught. That is enough. That well has become impure, and that will create a riot.
These poor untouchables, the sudras, live outside the town. They don’t live inside the town, hence their other name is antyaja. Antyaja means “those who live outside the town.” And they have the poorest huts made of grass and bamboo. You can go with just one burning torch in your hand and set fire to the whole of their village. Just a single man within five minutes can set the whole untouchables’ village on fire.
Their children will be burned, their animals will be burned, their old men who cannot escape in time will be burned. And if a whole village is trying to burn the sudras, then with torches, burning torches, they will not allow anybody to escape; they will force them back into their burning huts. This happens even today on any small excuse.
A rumor that a high-caste girl is being seduced by an untouchable young man – just a rumor is enough! It may not be true; most probably it is not true, because in an Indian village it is very difficult to have any love affair, it is such a close-knit society.
And the women are not free to move outside the house. They don’t go to school, they don’t go to college, they don’t go to the university; there is almost nowhere they can go. The only places they go are the water well and the temple. In both places, the sudra is not allowed. So where will a high-caste girl meet an untouchable? To fall in love you have at least to be introduced.
And the sudras are so impure, so dirty in the minds of the higher classes that even their shadow is dirty. Great imagination! Now, a shadow has no existence. A shadow is simply there because you are standing in the way of the sun rays so the sun rays cannot pass you; hence you create a shadow. There is nothing like a shadow. You cannot catch hold of it, you cannot put it in a bag and take it home; you cannot escape from it, it will follow you. It does not exist; it is just an absence of rays because you are blocking them.
But Hindus have condemned those poor people so much that even if their shadow passes over you – you are sitting and a sudra passes by, not touching you but his shadow touches you – it is enough to create a riot! A few people may be murdered, because: “Why was he so arrogant? He should be more careful.”
In the old days, and in very remote corners even today, the sudra first has to declare, “I am a sudra and I am coming; so please, if anybody is on the road, move away.” In the past a sudra used to have to do two things… There were streets which were not open for him, he could not go on them. But for certain purposes it was impossible not to, so at certain hours he was allowed.
For example, he was to clean the latrines of the higher classes, so at certain hours, early in the morning before anybody gets up, he would come and quickly clean the latrines. But even then – perhaps somebody may have gone for a morning walk – he had to go on doing two things. He had to shout, “I am coming – I am a sudra. Please move away if you are somewhere on the way.”
And the second thing – you will be surprised – he had to keep something like a brush made of a certain kind of grass that is used in India for cleaning the floors. That brush, that grass brush, used to hang behind him just like a tail; he had to keep it tied to his waist. That was to clean the path behind him. As he was moving, automatically the brush was cleaning the path after him, his shadow, any dirt that he is leaving behind – so nobody becomes impure. This is a caste struggle.
Now, no sudra was allowed to study or be educated. If he was found studying, perhaps secretly, then it was enough of a crime for him to be killed; that was the only punishment.
And this pope, the Polack, says, “The idea of class struggle, the very idea is a sin.” This is a great discovery! And why does he say it? The fear of communism – he is not courageous enough to say that to believe in communism is a sin because the whole philosophy of communism is based on the idea of class struggle. Cunning. Why not be clear that to be a communist is a sin? He must be afraid that when he goes back to Poland, then those communists there will kill him. And what will happen to communists in Poland? Poland now is a communist country; the whole of Poland will become sinners.
You see the trickiness of these priests? So he calls it class struggle: the idea of class struggle, to spread the idea of class struggle, is a great sin.
And another thing, even more marvelous: he says that nobody can have a direct contact with God; that is a sin. You have to go via the Catholic priest; you cannot confess directly, that is not possible. God is not going to hear you. Your confession is useless.
Can you see the strategy? The strategy is very complicated, but simple to understand. The Catholic priest lives on your confessions. The whole function of the priest disappears if you can have a direct contact with God; then what is the need of the priesthood?
The pope is not interested in saving you, he is interested in saving the priesthood. He is the head of the priesthood class, and he is worried about the thousands of Catholic priests if people start a direct communication with God. You have to go to the Catholic priest to confess; only then will you be forgiven. The priest will persuade God to forgive you. You cannot ask directly.
The implications are many. The Catholic priest knows about every Catholic: with whose wife he is flirting, who is a homosexual; he also knows with whom his wife is flirting. He knows about every Catholic – that is his power. No Catholic can go against him. He has all the keys in his hands; he can expose you at any moment.
Confession is a strategy of power politics. Hence the Catholic is the most imprisoned religious man in the world, because the priest knows every wrong thing that you have done. The court does not know, the police do not know, your wife has not any knowledge of it, but the priest knows everything. That is his power over the flock: he can expose you any moment in front of the society. The police will be after you, the government will be after you, your wife will be after you, your father will be after you – you will be crushed.
He knows all the sins that you have committed; but you have not been caught, so they are not crimes. And you yourself had gone to confess. In fact, that is his only joy in life. The Catholic priest, what else has he got? There is no need for him to go to the movies or to see the television: just sitting in his confession box and listening to all the groovy things is such a joy. And he goes on giving the punishment also. He says, “Go out in the church and do this prayer ten times.”
One day it happened…

A rabbi who was a friend of a Catholic priest was visiting the priest; it was a confession day. Suddenly a man came running. The Catholic priest had just finished one confession and given the man a punishment of ten prayers because he had raped a woman. The rabbi was also sitting in the confessional box. They were friends so he was just listening to what was going on.
The man came running and said, “Somebody is very sick, almost dying and you are needed to bless him for the journey.”
So the priest said to the rabbi, “I will have to go. I will come back as quickly as possible. But meanwhile somebody may come to confess, so you just sit here.”
The rabbi said, “But what am I to do?”
The priest said, “You just have to listen to so many confessions; just give them some punishment. And you can’t see them face to face – there is a curtain – so nobody feels awkward.” Otherwise confessing one’s sins feels awkward. And the priest, inquiring more about it and going more and more into your sin – how you committed the rape, and what happened; what you did and what she did – would feel awkward asking these things… “So the curtain is there so nobody will know who is inside – a rabbi or a Catholic priest.”
So the rabbi said, “Okay, go, but come back quickly because I am not accustomed to this business – we do things differently.”
A man came, and by chance he had also committed a rape. The rabbi felt at ease, he said, “Don’t be worried, son.” Exactly in the tone of the minister: “Don’t be worried, son. You just go and do ten prayers.”
But the man said, “The last time I committed a rape you asked only for five prayers.”
The rabbi said to himself, “This is a difficult problem.” So he said, “Don’t be worried; you can commit one more, but do ten prayers.” What else to do? “For the future, you have five in advance.”

Now these people are gathering details of your underground life, which is very dangerous because that man now has every power over you. Whatsoever he says, you have to do it. Now, the pope is trying to save the priesthood and its power, and its hold over you. It has nothing to do with saving you, because what is the problem in confessing directly to God? What can this priest do? But no, you have to go via the right channel, the proper bureaucracy. Even with God there is a bureaucracy: you have to go through the priest. You cannot contact God directly.
This is his great message to humanity: disconnecting you from God completely; your only approach is the priest. It is none of your affair to think of having any direct contact with God. Now is this a religion?
True religion teaches you that you are part of this existence, already connected with it, already one with.
The pope is teaching that you are not connected, that you are a lost soul; only through the priest can you be saved.
So when these Bible-packing Christians come to you, tell them, “In the first place we are not lost, so don’t waste your time. In this place nobody is lost, we have never been lost, so the question of saving does not arise. And for your sake, we advise you, don’t come near here because our whole effort is to unsave people who believe that they are saved. If you go on coming here, we will unsave you again.”
In India I have come across these kinds of people; they are the most stupid type. And perhaps if they are Oregonians – and they must be – then they have an even better chance of being idiotic. In fact, listening to the question I thought that it would be a good idea to have a special election on the first of April every year.
All Oregonians would be eligible candidates and eligible voters. The only hearing process would be that before the polling booth they would have to do twenty minutes’ deep breathing. That is enough to prove that they are Oregonians. A simple process, not a difficult process – I believe in simple things. Just breathe for twenty minutes and that is enough proof that you have lived in Oregon. And twenty minutes are enough to contaminate anybody.
This election will choose three persons: The Idiot General for Oregon, the Idiot General for America, and the Idiot General for the whole world. But all the three can only be Oregonians. If nobody stands then you can fill in the name of anybody you feel is the right person. And the polling booth will only be in this unique illegal city of Rajneeshpuram.
So each April I now give this work to poor K.D., the mayor of the illegal city of Rajneeshpuram: he has to listen to the breathing, the twenty minutes’ breathing, and then everybody… And there will be no age limit, because children are more capable of seeing who is an idiot. By the time you become older, you become duller. And living with idiots, and dealing with idiots, you start, by and by, speaking their language. So even children, anybody who wants, man, woman, living, dead… Just the breathing process will decide who can vote. The dead person of course will be in difficulty, but he need breathe for twenty minutes only.
Every April first we will declare three Idiot Generals: Idiot General of Oregon, Idiot General of America, Idiot General of the world. And you cannot fill in the name of anybody who is outside Oregon because those idiots are lukewarm idiots. Here you will find real hotcakes.
Okay, you can ask one more question. My hands are not tired yet.

Were you not punished for your mischievous acts in childhood?
I have been punished, but I have never taken any punishment as punishment. From my very childhood that has been my attitude: that how you take a thing makes all the difference. Nobody can punish me if I don’t take it as a punishment.

One of my teachers in the primary school when I was in the fourth grade… It was my first day in his class, and I had not done anything very wrong, I was just doing what you do in meditation: “Aum, aum…” but inside, with closed mouth. I had a few of my friends, and I told them to sit in different places so he could not figure out from where the sound was coming. One time it was coming from here, another time it was coming from there, another time it was coming from here; he went on looking from where the sound was coming. So I told them, “Keep your mouths shut, and do the aum inside.”
For a moment he could not figure it out. I was sitting at the very back. All the teachers wanted me to sit in the front so they could keep an eye on me, and I always wanted to sit at the back from where you can do many more things; it is more feasible. He came directly to me. He must have heard from the third grade teacher, “You keep an eye on this boy!”
So he said, “Although I cannot figure out who the people are who are doing it, you must be doing it.”
I said, “What? What am I doing? You have to tell me. Just saying, ‘You must be doing it’ does not make sense. What…?”
Now it was difficult for him to do what I was doing, because that would have looked foolish, and everybody would have started laughing. He said, “Whatsoever it is, hold both your ears in your hands and sit down, stand up, sit down, stand up – five times.”
I said, “Perfectly okay.” I asked him, “Can I do it fifty times?”
He said, “This is not a reward, this is a punishment.”
I said, “This morning I have not done any exercise so I thought that this was a good chance, and you would be very happy. Instead of five I will do fifty. And always remember, whenever you give me any kind of reward” – that’s exactly the word I told him – “whenever you give me any kind of reward, be generous.” And I started doing fifty.
He went on, “Stop! It is enough. I have never seen such a boy. You should be ashamed that you have been punished.”
I said, “No, I am doing my morning exercise. You helped me, you have rewarded me; this is a good exercise. In fact, you should do it too.”
I never took any punishment as punishment. How can you punish a man who is ready to accept it as a reward?
In my high school it was an everyday affair that I was standing outside the classroom, because the moment the teacher would see me, he would say, “You better go out before you do something. I will have to send you out in any case. Please go out and leave us alone.”
And I would say, “Thank you sir, because outside I enjoy it so much; it is so beautiful.” And we had beautiful trees and birds and vast greenery for miles behind the school. “Standing on the verandah is such a joy and the air is so pure that I feel sorry for you all sitting in this dirty room.” And I really enjoyed it outside.
They figured out that this was not a punishment, they were really providing a good opportunity and a chance for me to enjoy myself in complete freedom – because outside I was free to move anywhere or to just go into the thick forest that was behind. They figured out that this was not a punishment, this was a reward. They started stopping it.
I would ask them, “What happened, has the policy changed? I am no longer sent outside. Have I to do something before you send me? It saves me from the torture of you and your history. I am not interested in Alexander the Great, I am not interested in Emperor Akbar. What have I to do with these people? I am not interested in history at all. If I am interested then the only interest can be to make history. Only fools who cannot make history, read history. Read, and teach all these fools that are here, but throw me out.
The teacher of history took me to the principal. He said, “What am I supposed to do? You cannot give him any corporal punishment – he immediately threatens to go to the police station, and unfortunately the police station is just nearby, in front of the school, and he will create trouble. And he is so strange that he has found a legal expert to support him.”
One of my friends’ fathers was the best advocate in the city. Everybody called him Bachchubhaiya, I don’t know what his full name was. Bachchu is just a nickname for small children. It means just a child; the literal meaning is “a child.” He must have been loved by people; he was a very lovable person. He used to be called Bachchubhaiya. Bachchubhaiya means brother. He was almost sixty, still everybody called him Bachchubhaiya, and he was very friendly with everybody.
So I went to him and asked him, “They threaten me with corporal punishment. You have to support me, because I will report it to the police but the police may listen to me, may not listen to me. It is better I go with a legal expert.”
He said, “Don’t be worried. I will keep your case prepared. Whenever you want I will come along with you and I will see that what you want has to be done.”
So this teacher of history told the principal, “Bachchubhaiya has promised him that he will go with him. That will create immediate trouble because the police inspector, the police commissioner, nobody can deny Bachchubhaiya: he is the most powerful advocate, and he has power over all police authorities, civil authorities, criminal authorities. And Bachchubhaiya has told him that if the police inspector does not listen he will go directly to the collector. So we cannot punish him.
“I asked him to sit down and stand up. He thinks this is exercise. And one day it became such a scene that he told all the students ‘Why are you sitting? You also do it. Exercise is exercise, it is good for the body.’ And all those students – they listen to him more than to me – they all started doing the exercise. I looked like a fool standing there, and I started thinking why I punished him. And he won’t stop. Then I started throwing him out of the class, but he enjoyed it so much that it is not a punishment any more.”
The principal sent me back. He wanted to talk with the teacher in private. He suggested, “Give him a punishment such that his family comes to know.”
There used to be a register in the principal’s office – whenever somebody was doing real mischief, the teacher would go and write in it his name and the fine of ten rupees. Then I would have to collect the ten rupees from my family, from my father; I would have to ask them.
So he did that. He put a ten-rupee fine on me and came back and told me, “We have found the way: I have put a ten-rupee fine against your name.”
I said, “Okay. Now I am going to fine you.”
He said, “You are going to fine me?”
I said, “Of course, because in the register it is not mentioned anywhere that only teachers can fine the students. There is no condition like that.” And I went and I put twenty rupees against his name.
The principal said, “Are you mad or what? You are a student!”
I said, “I know I am a student, but is there any prohibition that says I cannot fine a teacher if he is doing mischief? – and this is mischief. If I am doing anything wrong then I should be punished; this fine is punishing my father. Can you justify it? Why should my father be punished? He is not involved in it at all.”
I wrote my teacher’s name and the twenty-rupee fine and I said, “Unless he pays, I am not going to pay.”
Still in that register those two punishments remain unpaid because he would not pay me what the principal asked: “You pay the twenty rupees.”
And I told the principal, “Don’t cross this out, otherwise I will fine you. And even crossing it out won’t make any difference because when the inspector of the school comes I am going to report this, and I am going to show him what has been crossed out, and you will have to answer for it.”
So he never asked for the ten rupees from me because my condition was: “First you get twenty rupees from that man, then I will consider it.”

Punishments have been given but I enjoyed the whole thing. It was sheer joy. It is a question of attitude – how you take it – and that is something to be learned about your whole life.
I am reminded…

There was a world conference of psychologists, psychiatrists, therapists – people who are involved in the mind games. They are still games, they have not yet got to the point where you can call them a science. Although they are arriving slowly, and are on the right track, still they are playing games. It was a world conference of all the famous psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists.
While the president was inaugurating the conference, he was feeling very uneasy, very disturbed by something just in the front row. There was a beautiful woman, a famous psychiatrist, and an old psychologist, also very famous in his own way – the only surviving colleague of Sigmund Freud. He was playing with the tits of the woman; and just in the front row! Now, how could the president go on speaking?
He tried looking this way, looking that way, but you can’t address a conference just looking this way or that way; you have to look in front too, at least once in a while. And it was too much. The old man was really something; he was not worried that the whole conference, everybody in the hall, could see what was happening. And the woman was even greater; she was sitting and listening to the lecture.
Finally it was too much, and the president said, “Please forgive me, but, lady, can I ask you a question?”
She said, “Of course.”
He said, “Why don’t you complain against this dirty old man?”
She said, “It is his problem, it is not my problem. His dirtiness or whatever he is doing, that is his problem. How am I concerned in it? – he is doing no harm to me. And if it gives him some consolation, some satisfaction, so far so good. He is a patient, that much I can say; he is not a therapist, he is a patient. But you don’t complain against a patient – I feel sorry for him. Buy why are you disturbed? Continue. If I am not disturbed then why are you disturbed and why is everybody else disturbed?”
It is not a joke. The woman is saying something immensely meaningful: she is saying, “It is his problem, and he is suffering from a problem. He needs sympathy not complaint.” But this woman must have been of immense understanding, really a therapist, not only playing games but moving to the very roots of man’s psychic troubles.
The woman simply said that he is behaving like a child, and treating her like his mother, so what is wrong with it? He has not grown up, he is retarded. Now, to make a fuss about it, to disturb the whole conference about it, is meaningless. Let him. She told the old man, “Continue,” and she told the president, “You also continue. I am undisturbed because it does not concern me at all. Just touching my skin, what does it matter?”

This woman can become awakened because she is behaving like a watcher, even about her own body. She is not identified with the body, she is far above, looking at the retarded old man but not feeling offended – because “I am not the body.”
I have been caned, not by my teachers, because they were afraid I would go to the police station, but by my uncles. My grandfather was always favorable toward me about anything. He was ready to participate if he could; of course he never punished me, he always rewarded me.
I used to come home every night and the first thing my grandfather would ask was, “What did you do today? How did things go? Was there any trouble?” We always used to have a good meeting in the night in his bed, sitting together, and he enjoyed everything. I used to tell everything that had happened in the day, and he would say, “It was really a good day!”
My father only punished me once because I had gone to a fair which used to happen a few miles away from the city every year. There flows one of the holy rivers of the Hindus, the Narmada, and on the bank of the Narmada there used to be a big fair for one month. So I simply went there without asking him.

There was so much going on in the fair… I had gone only for one day and I was thinking I would be back by the night, but there were so many things: magicians, a circus, drama. It was not possible to come back in one day, so three days… The whole family was in a panic: where had I gone?
It had never happened before. At the most I had come back late in the night but I had never been away for three days continuously, and with no message. They inquired at every friend’s house. Nobody knew about me and the fourth day when I came home my father was really angry. Before asking me anything, he slapped me. I didn’t say anything.
I said, “Do you want to slap me more? You can, because I have enjoyed enough in three days. You cannot slap me more than I have enjoyed, so you can do a few more slaps. It will cool you down, and to me it is just balancing. I have enjoyed myself.”
He said, “You are really impossible. Slapping you is meaningless. You are not hurt by it; you are asking for more. Can’t you make a distinction between punishment and reward?”
I said, “No, to me everything is a reward of some kind. There are different kinds of reward, but everything is a reward of some kind.”
He asked me, “Where have you been for these three days?”
I said, “This you should have asked before you slapped me. Now you have lost the right to ask me. I have been slapped without even being asked. It is a full stop – close the chapter. If you wanted to know, you should have asked before, but you don’t have any patience. Just a minute would have been enough. But I will not keep you continually worrying where I have been, so I will tell you that I went to the fair.”
He asked, “Why didn’t you ask me?”
I said, “Because I wanted to go. Be truthful: if I had asked, would you have allowed me? Be truthful.”
He said, “No.”
I said, “That explains why I did not ask you – because I wanted to go, and then it would have been more difficult for you. If I had asked you and you had said no, I still would have gone, and that would have been more difficult for you. Just to make it easier for you, I didn’t ask, and I am rewarded for it. And I am ready to take any more reward you want to give me. But I have enjoyed the fair so much that I am going there every year. So you can… Whenever! I disappear, you know where I am. Don’t be worried.”
He said, “This is the last time that I punish you; the first and last time. Perhaps you are right: if you really wanted to go, then this was the only way because I was not going to allow you. In that fair every kind of thing happens: prostitutes are there, intoxicants are available, drugs are sold there” – and at that time in India there was no illegality about drugs, every drug was freely available. And in a fair all kinds of monks gather, and Hindu monks all use drugs – “so I would not have allowed you to go. And if you really wanted to go then perhaps you were right not to ask.”
I told him, “But I did not bother about the prostitutes or the monks or the drugs. You know me: if I am interested in drugs, then in this very city…” Just by the side of my house there was a shop where all drugs were available: “The man is so friendly to me that he will not take any money if I want any drug. So there is no problem. Prostitutes are available in the town; if I am interested in seeing their dances I can go there. Who can prevent me? Monks come continually in the city. But I was interested in the magicians.”

And my interest in magic is related to my interest in miracles. In India, before the partition, I have seen every kind of miracle being done on the streets by magicians, poor magicians. Perhaps after the whole show they may get a one-rupee collection. How can I believe that these people are messiahs? For one rupee, for three hours they are doing almost impossible things. Of course everything has a trick to it but if you don’t know the trick then it is a miracle.
You have simply heard – I have seen them throwing a rope up, and the rope stands by itself. They have a boy with them they call “Jamura”; every magician has a jamura. I don’t know how to translate it… Just “my boy.” And he goes on talking with the jamura, “Jamura, will you go up the rope?”
And he will say, “Yes, I will go.” And this continual conversation has something to do with the trick; it keeps people’s mind on the conversation, and the conversation is funny in many ways. I have seen that boy climbing up the rope and disappearing!
And the man calls from down below, “Jamura?”
And from far above comes the voice, “Yes, master.”
And he says, “Now I will bring you down part by part.” Then he throws a knife up, and the head of the boy comes down! He throws the knife up, and a leg comes down! Part by part the boy comes down, and the magician goes on putting the parts together, covers them with a bed sheet and says, “Jamura, now be together.”
And the jamura says, “Yes, master.” The magician removes the bed sheet and the boy stands up! He pulls down the rope, winds it up, puts it in the bag and starts asking for money. At the most he would get one rupee – because in those days sixty paise was equivalent to one rupee and nobody was going to give him more than one paise, two paise at the most; a very rich person would give him four paise. If he can gather one rupee for his miracle he is fortunate. I have seen all kinds of things, and the people who are doing them are just beggars.
So when I hear that your faith in Jesus will disappear if you know that he never walked on water, that he never turned water into wine, I cannot conceive of it, because in the twentieth century, the secrets of how to do all these magic tricks are available, even in books. And you can do them, you just have to learn a little strategy.

One sannyasin was with me; he lived with me in Mumbai, and he was interested in magic. So I told him, “Have a press conference and give a show of your magic, but call them miracles, not magic.” And he did it. Even my caretaker Vivek was one of the participants in his magic – miracles, not magic.
The miracle was that Vivek had to swallow a thread, a long thread which she goes on swallowing. And then he takes back that thread from her navel; he goes on pulling it and it all comes out. And the whole trick was just a small operation. A few days before, he just made a little cut near the navel and pushed a thread inside; and this was the thread that was coming out. The thread that she had swallowed was a different thread – but to the press it was a miracle. “The woman has taken the thread inside and he takes it out from her navel! – and it comes out, the same length and everything.” But just a small trick…
He did many things there, and you know, just because he was my disciple many papers described how I had done these miracles. He drank some poison, enough to kill a man… But everything was a trick. He was just practicing there, in my own house and on my own people, and they all were saying, “What is happening?”
Vivek was saying, “This is cheating. I thought it was going to be a real miracle. It is nothing like a miracle, it is just a cheat.”
I said, “Everybody has been a cheat; there has never been a miracle.”

So I told my father, “I was interested only in the magic, because in the fair all kinds of magicians gather together, and I have seen some really great things. My interest is that I want to reduce miracles into magic. Magic is only about tricks – there is nothing spiritual in it – but if you don’t know the trick, then certainly it appears to be a miracle.”
I have been punished, but I have enjoyed every mischief so much that I don’t count those punishments at all. They are nothing.
I have a certain rapport with women, perhaps that’s why mischief – if it was Mister Chief or Master Chief, perhaps I would have avoided it, but Miss Chief! – the temptation was so much that I could not avoid it. In spite of all the punishment I continued it. And I still continue it!

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