From Misery to Enlightenment 24

TwentyFourth Discourse from the series of 29 discourses - From Misery to Enlightenment by Osho.
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I was shocked to hear you say that the pyramid of humanity consists only of Ayatollah Khomeini and Albert Einstein, and there is no qualitative difference between the two. Isn't there a third alternative?
I am shocked too, but one is helpless against the reality.
The truth is that there is no qualitative difference between Ayatollah Khomeini and Albert Einstein; I would have loved to declare it if there was even a small possibility of some qualitative difference. That does not mean that both are the same type of person.
Ayatollah Khomeini is a madman.
Albert Einstein is a super-genius, the sharpest intelligence humanity has ever produced.
So I am not saying that they are the same kind of people, but what can I do? – they belong to the same range. Ayatollah is the lowest in the line, Albert Einstein the highest, but the difference is only of degrees; it is the same pyramid.
Ayatollah Khomeini, Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Benito Mussolini, Mao Zedong, they are as human as Albert Einstein, Bertrand Russell, Jean-Paul Sartre, Karl Jaspers; they belong to one humanity, to one mind. But Ayatollah Khomeini and his company are sick. The mind is the same but it is a sick mind, it is upside down. Albert Einstein and Bertrand Russell are healthy. It is the same mind but in the right shape; it is as it should be.
But I cannot say that they belong to two different categories; that would be a lie – consoling. You would not be shocked, I would not be shocked, everybody would be happy, but to destroy truth for such stupid consolations is not going to help anybody.
But why do you look only from one side? There are many aspects which have to be considered. Why don’t you see it as a great revelation? You have thought only of one thing, that’s why you got shocked. I got shocked too, but I also got excited, ecstatic.
You thought only of one thing, that Albert Einstein is reduced to the level of Ayatollah Khomeini. But why can’t you see the other possibility? – that Ayatollah Khomeini can be raised to the level of Albert Einstein.
I am opening a tremendous possibility for these mad people. And these mad people have dominated humanity; something has to be done.
Humanity as such is not bad, not evil, but one Ayatollah Khomeini can drive a whole country crazy, idiotic. The names, the words, the principles these people use to hide their madness and stupidity are beautiful.
Ayatollah Khomeini recites the holy Koran every day. He does not need to read; he has memorized it – the whole holy Koran. He quotes continuously from the holy Koran, and those who are listening to him and following him believe that he is a prophet, a messenger of God, sent to help Islam succeed. That’s what all the religions believe: if they succeed, only then is there any future for humanity; otherwise there is no future, man is finished.
And what he is doing is so barbarous, so ugly, so inhuman…. People are being slaughtered continuously, beheaded continuously. People are being beaten to death on the crossroads before thousands of spectators – and all those spectators are rejoicing because this is the success of Islam.
Ayatollah Khomeini says that anything done according to the Islamic principles is right. There is no other way, no other criterion to decide right and wrong. There is only one way: if it is according to the Islamic principles. And those Islamic principles are just barbarous, to say the least.
To behead a man is Islamic. If the man is not willing to become a Mohammedan then it is better he should die. Living as a non-Mohammedan is worse than dying, because death may change his life pattern. Perhaps in this body, in this mind, he is incapable of becoming a Mohammedan, so this body and mind have to be destroyed. These are hindrances to his salvation. And to die by the hands of Islamic soldiers is a glory in itself. You should be proud: you attained a great death. You could not attain a great life but you attained a great death.
So the person who is being killed by the Islamic murderers is fortunate. And the people who are killing him are also earning great virtue, because there is no other motive – they are trying to help the man, to transform his being. They are making the way to God clear and clean for the person. They are doing God’s work: they will be born as saints in paradise. So both are benefited. How can something be wrong and evil when both the parties are immensely benefited, spiritually benefited?
Do you see the cunningness of people? But Ayatollah has the same mind as you have, it is just that it has gone nuts. But it can be repaired.
This is happening all over the world…. Just the other day in the Vatican one woman jumped from St. Peter’s basilica – the highest church in Christendom – and killed herself. Nobody knows why, and perhaps nobody will ever know why. But hearing this, the immediate response that came to me was that this woman has declared something significant.
The whole of humanity is going to die in the Vatican from St. Peter’s basilica. This woman is a pioneer. She has simply said that this is going to happen to the whole of humanity. And they are doing everything – the pope, the cardinals, the bishops, the priests – to let this happen.
Just today a very respected humanitarian, a Catholic nun, Sister Judith Vaughan, has been expelled from the Catholic church. She runs, in California, a shelter for poor women, abandoned women, rejected women. And she has helped thousands of women. But all her life’s work is nothing; she has just committed a small mistake, a mistake in the eyes of the Christian bureaucracy.
She signed a newspaper advertisement in favor of abortion. The newspaper had asked those who were in favor to sign and send the advertisement back to the newspaper, so they could say that not all Christians are against abortion. Sister Judith signed it – and that is a great sin.
The woman worked her whole life, served thousands of women, is respected all over California, and she understands the problems of women – abortion, children, orphans – more than those idiots who have expelled her from the church. Not only have they expelled her from the church, they have prevented her from entering the shelter that she has made for poor women, suffering women. She is not allowed to enter the church, the shelter, and she is no longer a nun. Nobody bothers even that what she was doing was humanitarian.
More population means more problems – and you are not able to solve the problems that are present. Each child brings thousands of problems with him. Already more people have arrived on the earth than the earth can support. Even countries like America have problems which should have disappeared from the world long before – what to say about the third world, the poor world? Africa, Latin America, Asia: what to say of those countries?
In America there are thirty-five million illiterate adults. In the twentieth century, in the richest country of the world technologically, scientifically, culturally – in every way on the top – thirty-five million adults are still uneducated, they can’t read a newspaper. And you go on bringing people. You cannot solve simple problems – and there are complicated problems.
In the gas explosion in Bhopal thousands died. All the women that were pregnant and did not die, now have started giving birth to children. Thousands of children are coming out of the womb dead or crippled or blind or retarded. A few which are born alive die within six weeks. The physicians and the scientists did not think that the gas was going to affect the fetus so dangerously.
And this was only a small explosion. When your nuclear explosions and atomic explosions start happening, how they are going to affect you is unimaginable. And it will not affect only you; it will affect all the generations that follow you. It will affect the whole future of humanity.
Who is creating these problems? The mind. The same mind can solve them.
So when I say Ayatollah Khomeini and Albert Einstein belong to the same line…if you think that Albert Einstein is also like Ayatollah Khomeini you will get only a shock. But if you also think that Ayatollah Khomeini has the capacity to be an Albert Einstein then you will be excited like me.
But I have talked only about the pyramid of the mind. I have not talked about people who have dropped out of the mind, I have not talked about the meditators. They are qualitatively different from both.
A man of meditation is as far away from Ayatollah Khomeini as he is from Albert Einstein, because he is far away from mind itself.
The pyramid was only of people living in the mind so don’t be depressed. You can jump out of the pyramid; nobody is forcing you to be in it. It is your decision to be in it or not to be in it. You can become a watcher. You stand outside the pyramid and watch the whole stupid game that goes on.
I am not part of the pyramid. That’s why I can talk about the pyramid, describe it in total detail from all the aspects, because I am just a watcher. I can move around the pyramid, I can see all its faces. I can see its lowest depth, I can see its highest peak – because I am not in it.
If you are in it, then it is impossible for you to watch it in its totality; you have to be out of it. And there have been such people down the ages – very few, but that does not make any difference: even if a single person can escape from the pyramid that is enough to prove the potentiality. And many have escaped from it.
Just a little effort on your side, a little alertness, and you can slip out of the mind – because the pyramid is not made of something solid; the bricks it is made out of are thoughts. You are surrounded by a wall of thoughts. It is so easy to come out of it. You don’t even have to dig a hole in the wall, you don’t even have to open a door: you have simply to stand silently and see whether the wall really exists or only appears to.
In the East they call it a mirage; it only appears real. The closer you come to it, and the better you look at it, the more it starts disappearing. Thoughts are the most insubstantial things in the world; they don’t have anything material in them. Thoughts are the only holy or unholy ghosts. If you are afraid of a ghost, the ghost is very substantial.
I am reminded of my childhood. In my hometown there was a monastery where a very famous follower of Kabir, Sahibdas, had lived long before me. He had left a big monastery, a huge temple and many caves for meditators. They are very beautiful caves because his monastery is very close to the river. He had made those caves in small hills by the river, and inside the caves there are small ponds of water. You can go inside the caves, from one cave to another, although a few are blocked: either the water has filled them completely or the earth has fallen. But it is something beautiful to see.
And just to sit in those caves… They are so silent – not even the breeze comes there. They have made them exactly in the right proportion so that a man can live in a cave without being short of oxygen. Air will not come in from the outside, but the size of the cave is enough to provide oxygen for at least three months. So people were sent to meditate in those caves.
I was very young; Sahibdas must have died twenty or thirty years before I was born. But I knew his successor, Satyasahib, very well, and he was an idiot. As it happens, for some particular reason, saints somehow attract idiots.
I am not a saint, so you need not be worried, but saints attract idiots. Perhaps there is a certain balance nature has to keep; if there is a saint then a certain amount of idiots are needed to keep the balance. Nature believes in balance; it continuously goes on balancing everything.
This Satyasahib was an utter idiot, but he was a great friend of my father. So it is because of my father I started going there and moving around and looking in those caves. It was really a huge monastery and the man – his master – must have been of great influence.
Now there is nobody else there except Satyasahib, his successor; everybody has left. There are huge gardens, fields, and the monastery is in a very secluded spot, very green and just with the river by the side. Satyasahib’s master was buried in the campus of the monastery.
In India many religions don’t cremate their saints; everybody else is cremated. But a few religions – for example, Kabir panthis – don’t cremate their saints: their bodies have been in contact with such a great soul that they have become living memories of something so great that to destroy them is not right.
So their bodies have to be buried just as Christians and Mohammedans do: a samadhi, a grave, is made. It is not called a grave, it is called a samadhi, the same word that is used for the ultimate state of consciousness. Because the man had attained samadhi, his grave is no ordinary grave: it is a symbol of samadhi, of the ultimate consciousness.
The monastery was huge and only one person was living there. The samadhis of Kabir panthis are not completely closed; they have a sliding side so every year the body can be brought out and every year they can worship the saint again.
One of my teachers was an atheist. I said to him,
“Your atheism is perfectly good, but do you believe in ghosts or not?”
He said, “Ghosts? I don’t even believe in God. Why should I believe in ghosts? They don’t exist.”
I said, “Before saying that, give me a chance to prove that they do. I have been meeting a ghost – seeing, talking to it. And he is the ghost of such a great man, Sahibdas.”
He said, “All nonsense! You must have got the idea from that idiot, Satyasahib. He goes on talking about his guru; nobody listens but he goes on talking. And I have seen that you have been going there.”
I said, “You have rightly seen me going there, but you don’t know that I have managed meetings with his master, which he himself has not been able to manage.”
My teacher looked suspicious, but I sounded just the way I always sound – so certain. I said, “There is no problem, there is no need to discuss it. Discussion will come later on. First let the encounter…”
He started feeling a little fear. I said, “Don’t be afraid; I will be with you, and three or four of my friends will be there because we have to slide the door which is heavy; then we have to pull out the body.”
He said, “All these things will have to be done?”
I said, “Yes, they have to be done. The body has to be pulled out; only then can I ask Sahibdas to materialize. Just one thing you have to be aware of: don’t make any noise because if the successor, Satyasahib, gets up, then there will be trouble because this is very much against their religion. Only one day in the year – the day he died – can they pull out the body. And this is absolutely against their religion and there will be great trouble.
“So be very quiet and be very silent. And if any situation arises where you have to run away, then don’t wait for anybody and don’t call anybody’s name; simply run away. Just take care because the trouble is that the ghost sometimes catches hold of you, particularly your clothes. So just take care.”
This teacher was a Bengali, wearing a long kurta and dhoti. Bengalis use very loose clothes, so anybody who is of no use, who cannot run, who cannot do any hard work, is called “Bengali Babu.” In India to be called “Bengali Babu” is an insult. These are the two extremes. If somebody calls you “Sardarji,” that is an insult. That means you have no mind – not in the sense that you are a meditator but in the sense that you are an Ayatollah Khomeini. Or if somebody calls you “Bengali Babu,” that means you are just useless.
Bengalis have strange habits: their dhoti is so loose that if they run they are bound to fall. They continuously carry an umbrella, twelve months a year. Whether it is raining or not does not matter, whether it is hot or not does not matter. And in India, seasons are very fixed; you need not carry the umbrella all year. In the whole of India nobody carries an umbrella the whole year, but Bengali Babus – somehow it has become part of their style. They continuously carry an umbrella, unnecessary luggage, for no reason.
So I told my teacher – Bhattacharya was his surname – I said, “Sir, leave your umbrella because if he catches hold of it – these ghosts do catch hold of things.”
He said, “I cannot leave my umbrella. Without my umbrella I feel as if I am naked or something is continuously missing.”
“And,” I said, “you have to make your dhoti tight, because if it falls open then you will have to run naked. And these ghosts are ghosts: they don’t believe in your manners, your etiquette. He may catch hold of your dhoti and you will have to run without it.”
He said, “But he is a saint!”
I said, “He is a saint but now he is a ghost too. But it is up to you: if you want, you can come the way you want.”
He came. He had his dhoti as tight as he could. The fashion they make… The dhoti can be made in many fashions: the Maharashtrians make the best; then it functions almost like a pajama – parted in two ways. You can run, you can work in it.
The Bengalis make the worst. One part that they tuck at the back is so loose that it goes on touching the floor, and the other part that they tuck in front of them, that too goes on touching the floor. They are just hodgepodge.
We went in the middle of the night. We had chosen a dark night when there was no moon because if the successor saw us… And I needed a dark night for ghosts because I had made a young man ready to be a ghost, to catch hold of Bhattacharya’s dhoti if he did not come with his umbrella.
The grave was big because the panthis had to pull out the body; it was in a casket which you had to pull out. But the grave was big enough so that by the side of the casket my ghost could be lying down. This was the arrangement: we would pull out our man, and at that very moment one of us would drop something and somebody would shriek and the running would start. And before Bhattacharya could see who the ghost was, the ghost would catch something of his. And that’s what happened.
It went perfectly well. The ghost caught his dhoti, and Bhattacharya – you cannot believe what a man can become when he is really afraid. He himself dropped his dhoti; he did not wait for the dhoti to drop by itself, he himself opened it up. Dhoti, umbrella… The ghost did not even catch the umbrella because the ghost was lying down and the umbrella was up under Bhattacharya’s arm; but Bhattacharya thought, “Who knows? He may jump for the umbrella!” And when he started taking off his kurta, I said, “The ghost is satisfied – come on!”
Two days later I asked him, “What about your atheism?”
He said, “All that was nonsense; I was a fool. You are right – there is a God. But what a strange night!”
I said, “You should at least thank me – I saved your kurta.”
He said, “That I remember. I was throwing it off because if the ghost started holding onto anything then I would be caught. I thought, ‘I will leave everything so I can at least reach my home. At the most, people will laugh and it will be embarrassing.’ And it was embarrassing: when I got there in my kurta…”
We had made arrangements that people should be there; otherwise in the middle of the night who would see? In a town, a small town, all the people go to sleep by nine, at the most ten. In those days there was no cinema, so by nine the town would be almost deserted. We had arranged: “Something really great is going to happen. Just wait, nearabout twelve you will see Bhattacharya coming home naked.”
They said, “Naked!”
We said, “But don’t tell anybody. He will even be without his umbrella!”
So people were really excited and they were waiting, everybody lying down on his bed. In summer, in India, people sleep with their beds on the streets. Everybody was lying down but awake, and as Bhattacharya came there was a great crowd: torches and lamps and people.
Bhattacharya was perspiring and just trembling, so we had to say to people, “This is not right – you should go. He has met a ghost and now you are bothering him. He may die; he has got such a shock.”
We took him inside; we gave him a good cold bath, and poured as many buckets of water over him as possible to bring him to his senses. It was very difficult to bring him to his senses, but at last he said, “Yes, now I am feeling better, but where is that ghost?”
I said, “That ghost has gone. We have closed the casket.”
“And my umbrella and dhoti?”
I said, “We have brought them. We prayed to the ghost: ‘Poor Bhattacharya is a very poor man and you are a saint. It is enough punishment for the atheist; more than that is not needed.’ So he has given them back to you.”
From that day we saw that Bhattacharya was going every morning to put flowers on that samadhi, to pray and worship there.
I said, “Have you become a Kabir panthi?”
He said, “I have to become a Kabir panthi. I am reading the scriptures of Kabir panthis, the sayings of Kabir, the songs of Kabir – they are really beautiful. But I must thank you,” he said to me. “If you had not arranged that encounter with the ghost, I would have died an atheist.”
Ghosts don’t exist, but millions of people believe they do; they not only believe, they have seen ghosts, they have met them. But all those meetings are such meetings: arranged. And it is so easy.
Your thoughts are just like ghosts.
You simply go on believing in them, never trying to have an encounter, never turning yourself toward them and staring at them. You will be simply surprised that any thought that you stare at simply melts away. It cannot stand your watchfulness.
So there is a third alternative. You need not be either Ayatollah Khomeiniac or Albert Einstein. Albert Einstein is a good man, but good and bad are two sides of the same coin. Saint and sinner are two sides of the same coin; heaven and hell, God and devil – two sides of the same coin. Neither can exist without the other.
But there is a third alternative: you need not be either, and that’s really to be yourself.
To be out of the pyramid of the mind is to enter into the temple of your being.
The pyramid is for the dead. Actually the pyramids were made as graves for Egyptian kings and queens. They are graveyards; and when I used the word pyramid for the mind I used it knowingly. Mind is also a graveyard of dead things, past memories, experiences, shadows…all shadows. But by and by they become so thick that they create a dark curtain around you.
If you want to escape from your shadow, what do you think you have to do? Run? Then you will be in the same position as Bhattacharya. The shadow will follow you wherever you go, it will be with you; it is your shadow. And a shadow is non-existential; it is a ghost.
The only way to get rid of it is to turn back and look at it and try to find whether there is any substance in it. There is nothing! – it is pure negativity. It is just because you are standing in the way of the sun rays that the sun rays cannot come in; and the absence of sun creates the shadow.
Exactly this is the situation about your thoughts. Because you are not watchful, because you are not silent, because you can’t see things clearly without any disturbance, thoughts are substitutes for awareness.
Unless you become aware, thoughts will continue.
I have loved a story very much – I don’t know whether it is true or not. One of the great Buddhist scholars, Bhadant Anand Kausalyayan, listening to me telling this story, came to see me that very night and said, “My whole life I have devoted to Buddhist scriptures – “and he is a world – famous authority on Buddhist scriptures “ – but you are a strange man: whenever you come….”
He used to live in Nagpur, and I used to pass through Nagpur two or three times a year at least; whenever I would go to South India I would pass through Nagpur. And I had many friends in Nagpur, so whenever I was there, there would be two or three lectures, talks, discussions.
He said, “Whenever you come you always come with a new story about Buddha! From where do you get these stories? – because I have been reading all the Buddhist scriptures, I have been checking, and I have not found a single instance, not one of these stories, anywhere.”
I said, “Don’t be bothered. I don’t care whether the story is true or not; what I care about is whether the story is significant or not. What does it matter whether it historically happened or not? What matters is whether it is potentially possible or not.”
He said, “That means you have totally different criteria. I have never heard about this criterion: ‘potentially possible.”‘
I said, “If you have not heard it, I can repeat it again. You can listen well.”
This was the story that he was very puzzled about…. He came in the morning again – I don’t think he could sleep – and he said, “The story is simply not historical.”
I said, “I don’t care! I don’t care even if Buddha is historical or not – what does it matter to me? If Buddha was not born, that is his business. I will not be worried in any way. Millions of people have not been born: what does it matter? One more person not born – we would not even have noticed that Gautam Buddha was missing.
“But,” I said, “why are you worried? You forget that story if you don’t want it, if you don’t like it.”
He said, “That is the trouble – I love the story, I liked it. I would love the story to be historical.”
I said, “That is impossible – I cannot make history. I cannot write down your scriptures again; I don’t have time nor any desire. But if you loved the story and you see the significance of it, then I will tell you one thing – but don’t tell anybody because nobody will believe it.”
He said, “What?’
I said, “Come close to me.” So I whispered to him in his ear, “I am the Buddha, and I am telling you the story myself. Don’t say it to anybody because nobody will believe it. And even if you say it, I will deny that I ever said it to you.”
He said, “You are something! You are just right now…you are telling me…!”
I said, “You don’t have any witness. There is nobody here – we are alone and I will simply deny having said anything. And why should I say such a thing? Buddha died twenty-five centuries ago: I am nobody’s ghost, I am just myself.”
This is the story that he remained puzzled about. Whenever I went there he would say, “If you can some way help me…. From where did you get it?”
I said, “I don’t get things from ‘right sources’; I have my own ways of finding, creating, inventing. I am not obliged to be strictly historical, to be strictly this or that. Anything that I feel is meaningful, that can be indicative of some truth, I pick up from anywhere and I put it through anybody’s mouth.”
This is the story: Buddha is going from one village to another, and on the way – it is a hot day, summer – he feels thirsty. He is old, so he asks Ananda, “Ananda, I am sorry but you will have to go back. Two or three miles back we have left a small stream of water, and I am very thirsty: you go and bring water.”
Ananda said, “There is no need to feel sorry. This is my joy – to serve you in any way. I am obliged; you are not obliged. You rest under this Saal tree, and I will go.”
He went back. He knew exactly where the stream was; they had just passed it. And when they had passed by the side of the stream, it was crystal-clear – a mountain stream has a clarity of its own. But when Ananda returned to take the water, two bullock carts had passed through the stream, and the whole stream was muddy; all the mud that was settled on the bottom had risen to the surface. Old leaves, rotten leaves, were floating on top. He could not think that he could take this water for Buddha to drink.
So he came back and said to Buddha, “This is the situation. I could not bring that water for you, but don’t be worried. Four miles ahead you can rest; I know a big river, and from there I will bring the water. Although it is getting late and you are thirsty, what else can I do?”
Buddha said, “No, I want the water from that stream. You unnecessarily wasted time; you should have brought the water.”
“But,” Ananda said, “the water is dirty and muddy; rotten leaves are floating all over it. How can I bring it?”
Buddha said, “You go and bring it.”
When the master says so…. Ananda went back reluctantly, but was surprised: by that time the leaves had moved. The water was continuously flowing, and it had taken the leaves away; the dust and the mud had settled down – just a little was left. But Ananda got the message; he sat by the side of the stream.
That’s what Buddha had meant: “Go back.” And seeing that things had changed…. If he had just waited, soon the crystal-clear water would have been there.
He waited, and soon the water was there. He brought some back.
Buddha said, “Ananda, did you get the message?”
Ananda was crying. He said, “Yes, I got the message. In fact, I had not told you: when I went the first time and saw this whole thing – those two bullock carts passing just ahead of me, just in front of me, disturbing the whole stream, I went into the stream to settle it. And the more I tried to settle it, the more it became unsettled. The more I walked into it, the more mud came up, more leaves.
“Seeing that it was impossible to settle it, I came back – I did not tell you this. I am sorry, I was foolish. That was not the way to settle the stream back into its natural way. I should have simply waited by the side, I should have simply watched.
“Things happen on their own. The leaves were going down the stream and the mud was settling. And just sitting there watching the stream, I got the message, that this stream is the stream of my mind – of all rotten thoughts, past, dead, mud – and I am continuously trying to settle it. Jumping into it makes it worse than before and creates a pessimistic attitude that ‘perhaps in this life I am not going to attain what Buddha says – the state of no-mind.’
“But today, seeing that stream, a great hope has arisen in me: perhaps the stream of my own mind is also going to be settled in the same way. And just sitting there I had a little glimpse.”
Buddha said, “l am not thirsty, you are thirsty. And you were not sent to bring water for me, you were sent to understand a certain message. While we were coming I had seen those two bullock carts on top of the hill and I knew by what time they would be passing, so I had sent you right in time to bring water.”
Just sit by the stream of your mind.
Don’t do anything; nothing is expected from you.
You just keep quiet, calm, as if it is none of your business. What is happening in the mind is happening somewhere else.
The mind is not you; it is somebody else:
You are only a watcher.
And just a few glimpses of watching will prepare you to get out of the pyramid without any fighting, without any struggle, without any practice. You simply stand up and get out.
There is no ghost, so nobody is going to catch your clothes and your umbrella and pull you back.
You will be surprised that after a few days I told Bhattacharya the whole thing; he wouldn’t believe me. He said, “You cannot deceive me anymore.”
I said, “that time you were deceived.”
He said, “No, I have encountered the ghost myself and I have seen what it means.” He said, “I know what you are trying; you are trying to arrange another encounter. If somehow you can convince me there is no ghost then one day again, another encounter.
“I believe! I don’t want to encounter; I have encountered once and for all. I will remain a believer unto my last breath. Nobody can convince me now; you have convinced me forever!”
I tried many times, but the more I tried, the more he said, “Why are you after me? First you were trying to convince me there is a ghost, there is a God, there is this, there is that. Now you are trying to convince me that there is nothing.”
I said, “I can arrange another encounter and explain, the whole thing – how it was arranged, who was Lying inside, how we pulled him out, how things were dropped, how your dhoti was pulled….”
He said, “I don’t want…. Whether ghosts exist or not, I don’t want to have any encounter.”
After twenty years he met me at a railway station. I was just looking at the bookstall and he was also looking there.
I said, “Bhattacharya, it is so great to see you! Do you still believe?”
He said, “Don’t say a single word against religious things. I have become a very sincere believer, but I must say the whole credit goes to you.”
I said, “That’s certainly true, the whole credit goes to me because I arranged the whole thing. But now you are so old; at least now you should try to understand that it was all a joke.”
He said, “Don’t mention that thing at all because even to remember that my being starts trembling. That night has transformed my whole being.”
I said, “This is called transformation? – you were better before! This is the original fall.”
He said, “Whatsoever it is, I am perfectly satisfied.”
People go on believing in anything that is consolatory. Their ghosts, their gods, their heaven and hell – these are all just consolations. Their saints, holy men, sages – all consolation. A true man needs guts to get out of all this rotten mess. And the only way to get out of it is to become a witness of your own thought processes. And it is easy, it is the easiest thing in the world. You just have to do it once; but you never try even once, and you go on thinking it is the most difficult thing.
I also used to think that it was a very difficult thing, because that’s what I had been told by everybody, read in every book – that it is such a great, difficult phenomenon; it takes lives together for a man to come to the state of no-mind. When everybody is saying that, and there is not even a single exception, it is very natural that you may start believing in it.
But I am a little eccentric. My logic does not follow the ordinary course, it goes zigzag. Once I became certain that everybody says it is difficult, every scripture says it is difficult…. My mind functions differently.
The first idea that came to me was that it is possible that nobody has tried; otherwise there would be different opinions. Somebody would say it is this difficult; somebody would say it is more difficult than that; somebody would say it is less difficult than that. It is impossible to have unanimous support for its difficulty from all over the world.
The only possibility is that nobody has tried – but nobody wants to confess one’s ignorance. Then the best course is to agree with the collective consensus, that it is difficult, very difficult; it takes lives together.
I dropped that idea. I said, “It has to happen in this life; otherwise I will not let it happen in any life, I will struggle against it. Either this life or never.” “Now or never” became my fixed approach, and the day I decided “Now or never,” it happened. Since then I have been simply amazed how people have been befooled.
The simplest thing has been made the most impossible – and the simplest thing opens the door for the third alternative.
It takes you out of the pyramid: you are no more a mind. And then only do you know who you are. And to know it is to have achieved everything worth achieving.

Second question:
Is America prepared to receive your message?
Nobody is ever prepared to receive such a message as mine. It is not the fault of people, it is the very nature of the message.
I am telling you to be yourself.
This is the most natural thing in the world.
I am telling you to be silent.
This needs no talent, no genius.
I am telling you to live totally in the moment.
This requires no qualification.
My message is very simple, but the nature of the message is such that nobody is ever prepared for it. You are prepared against it.
So it is nothing to do with America. The whole of humanity is in the same state – different names, different labels, but the state is the same. They are all caught by parasites. Those parasites are political, those parasites are religious; there are all kinds. You can find them in every size, every sort, every shape, every color. Whatever your preference, whichever kind of parasite you want to suck you, they are available.
And those parasites have been preparing you against messages like mine, because either I can exist my message can exist, or those parasites can exist. We both cannot exist together.
When Jesus appeared, were Jews ready for his message? If that is what you call readiness, then it is good that America is not ready for my message, because I don’t have any interest in being crucified.
I have my own style of life and I will choose my own style of death. That kind of death, of carrying a cross on my own shoulders, simply does not suit me. It is very primitive.
Were Hindus ready for Buddha’s message? Then where has that message disappeared? Hindus are there, but Buddha’s message in India has completely disappeared. Hindus were far more clever than Jews: they did not crucify Gautam Buddha. That was their whole trick. They knew – they were an ancient race and knew perfectly well that crucifying Buddha would mean making him a demarcation line in history. Crucifixion would have been the greatest publicity possible in those days. There was no other media available.
And death was such a thing that when you killed somebody it meant that you were afraid of his message, afraid of his existence, afraid of his being here for a few years more. So afraid – why, if you are right? You must be wrong.
Jesus’ crucifixion proved Jews wrong, wrong forever. Whether Jesus was right or not, that is a totally separate question. I know he was not right, but Jews proved him right by crucifying him. It was their stupidity, and they have suffered long for it. They are still suffering for it.
Just today I saw the news that the pope has met with the highest rabbi of the Jews to celebrate a declaration that was made in 1965 by the Vatican Council, that Christians are not anti-Semitic, that Christians and Jews are brothers.
Twenty years have passed since 1965, so they were celebrating the twentieth year’s celebration of the declaration that Jews and Christians are brothers, that all Jews are not responsible for Jesus’ crucifixion. This is something worth contemplating.
It means before 1965 all the popes were wrong; that means throughout almost the whole of Christian history, except these twenty years. Twenty centuries against twenty years – all the popes, who were “infallible,” were all fallible because they were all anti-Semitic; they were fighting holy wars against Jews. And before 1965 never was it said that Jews and Christians are brothers; they were enemies.
If Christians are not anti-Semites, then who is? Just me! I simply wonder…. I have nothing to do with Christians, nothing to do with Jews – and one rabbi declared me an anti-Semite. I am anti-Semite? – and Pope the Polack is declaring that Jews and Christians are brothers!
But in these twenty centuries since Jesus’ crucifixion no Jewish high command of rabbis has declared that Jesus was right – or even that Jesus was sane; and that is a long way from thinking that he was right. In twenty centuries no authoritative rabbi has said that it was a mistake to crucify him. They still hold it to be absolutely right; he got what he deserved.
But why did the pope in 1965 suddenly start being so nice to the enemies? What is the politics behind it? The politics is clear. Now the question is not between Christians and Jews: the question is between communism and capitalism.
The polarities have changed, the questions have changed. Now it is pointless to fight against Jews because you are killing people of your own camp. Now the enemies of the past can become friends because the friends of the past have become enemies.
Russia was the most orthodox Christian country in the whole world. The Vatican is nothing before the Russian Orthodox church. Russia was the citadel of orthodox Christianity. Russia turned communist, and the whole of Christianity simply disappeared. Poland, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, China – slowly slowly countries went on becoming communist.
The pope is now saying that Jews and Christians are brothers. I can predict that soon he will say that Hindus are also brothers, Mohammedans are also brothers, Buddhists are also brothers – all religions are brothers; there is no need to fight. Now the question is not between religions. It is not a question anymore of which religion is going to rule the world; the question is whether communism or anti-Communist forces are going to rule the world.
So forget all about Jesus; anyway he is hanged, you cannot do anything about it. And just for that carpenter’s son, a young hippie, why bother?
Basically it is very significant that rabbis and popes make the declaration together. These rabbis were the ones who decided unanimously that the crucifixion should happen. But priests can change their faces very easily, and now they have. They have some nerve to say that all Jews are not responsible. Then the whole high command of rabbis is not representative of all the Jews? Then who are you and on what authority are you making these declarations that we are brothers?–because all Jews and all Christians are not represented.
When Jesus was crucified by all the rabbis unanimously – not even a single rabbi objected to it – the only man who was objecting to it was Pontius Pilate, a Roman pagan who was neither Christian nor Jewish, who did not believe in religion at all, who thought it all crap.
That was the only man who was trying to save Jesus – because there was no crime against him, he had not done anything. He might be a little crazy, outrageous, might be saying things which should not be said; but he had not done anything, he had not harmed anybody. It was a Roman pagan who was trying to save him, but no Jew was ready to.
Now, these rabbis have some nerve to declare that all Jews are not responsible for Jesus crucifixion. Then your declaration is also just your declaration. It does not represent all the Jews, or all the Christians either.
But why do the rabbis and the bishops and the pope…. All are priests; that point has to be noted. All are priests: their vested interest is the same. Jesus does not matter to anybody. The rabbis two thousand years ago killed Jesus because he was destroying their priesthood. Now the Jews are not in any way afraid of Jesus.
Christians – why should they carry the old grudge unnecessarily? Deep down they also understand that they would have done the same. If Jesus comes back again and suddenly declares in the Vatican, “I have come back as I had told you before – the only begotten son of God,” what do you think the pope and his bishops and his cardinals and his committees, what are they going to do? I can’t think of anything else except another crucifixion.
Now the interests of the Christian bishops and priests are the same as those of the Jewish rabbis. Either they are saying rightly that they are brothers…. Brother-parasites! And that’s why Jesus has not been coming.
He has promised – and I think he is a man of his word; I never suspect his intention. Why is he not coming? He knows perfectly well, one crucifixion is enough. He is not such an idiot; he may be mad but he is not an idiot. He knows perfectly well that it will be even more painful to be crucified by his own priests.
There was some consolation at least at that time, that the priests were not his followers. He could pray to God, “Forgive them because they know not what they are doing.” If the Christian pope and bishops and cardinals crucify him he will not have even his prayer. What will he say to God – “Forgive them because they know what they are doing”?
Priests of all religions sooner or later settle for compromise. Now there is no antagonism between Buddhists, Jainas, Hindus. When their founders were alive it was fire; the whole country was on fire. Now there is no fire at all.
Hindu scholars come to speak in Jaina temples, Jaina scholars go to speak in Hindu temples; there is no problem at all. And these were enemy camps: once they were ready to destroy each other completely. But that is only when the man with the message is alive; then nobody is ready, nobody is prepared to accept it.
Once the man is gone then everybody is ready to accept it, respect it, because a dead messiah can do no harm to you. But a living messiah is going to destroy you completely and create you afresh.

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