From the False to the Truth 23

TwentyThird Discourse from the series of 34 discourses - From the False to the Truth by Osho.
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The way you walk, it seems as if you are drunk. What is the truth?
Man, I am drunk! But not drunk with ordinary alcohol, marijuana, hashish, opium, LSD. I grow my own marijuana within me. No government can interfere with it. My source of drunkenness is my silence, my love, my centeredness, my rootedness in myself. Yes, I walk like a drunkard because I am a drunkard. You have observed truly.
Once you know the inner serenity, a gap between you and your body arises, a gap between you and your mind arises. That creates my wobbly walking. Nothing can be done about it. It is not a medical question, it is natural to anyone who is enlightened.
Mostly enlightened people die immediately after enlightenment, for the simply reason that they cannot manage any connection with their body and mind. It is very rare that somebody goes on living after enlightenment. But one has to compromise.
That bobbling is the compromise.

Most people, rightly or wrongly, equate democracy with the freedom to choose their politicians, yet you seem to envisage a country which is both democratic and pollution-free, because you see politicians as pollution. How is this possible?
Just the very existence of nations, countries dividing humanity into stupid parts, is the whole game of the politician. And this I call pollution. It is poison to humanity. That’s why you don’t see really authentically alive people in the world.
You are asking, “People generally understand democracy to mean the freedom to choose politicians.” Do you see the idiotic understanding of the people? It is choosing between poisons. The bottles contain the same poison – on one is written “Democratic,” on another is written “Republican.”
Politicians have been befooling you. They have managed the whole strategy in such a way that you never become aware what is happening. You choose one kind of poison for five years; for those five years you have to suffer that poison. After five years you are fed up with this kind of poison. You change to another bottle – Republican, Liberal, Democratic, Communist, Socialist. They are all available in all shapes and sizes, whatsoever suits you. But you will fall in the same ditch. Maybe there are minor differences between poisons, but poison is poison.
I do not see democracy as the freedom to choose between the politicians. To me, democracy means there are no longer any politicians around. You individually choose somebody you feel is the right person; there are no political parties. In a real democracy, political parties cannot exist; there is no reason why they should exist. People are intelligent enough to choose on their own. The politician need not go and convince the people, “I am the right person and the other is wrong.” And the other is also doing the same, and the poor people in their utter confusion somehow choose somebody.
I have never voted in my life, for the simple reason that all those politicians and political parties are basically the same. They want to exploit you, oppress you. And it is a good strategy that after five years when you get fed up with one party, you can choose another.
People’s memory is not very strong. So for five years it is the Republican party sucking you, doing everything that is wrong, deceiving you and the whole world. After five years, it is the Democratic party doing the same thing behind a different label. And when for five years the Democratic party is ruling, you get fed up with them, and you forget completely that those Republicans had done the same before. Five years is enough time for people to forget. And you go on moving between two parties.
There may be more parties in other countries, but basically two parties are in a deep conspiracy against the people: “Five years we exploit them, then we will give you five years to exploit them. And again we will come back.”
In a real democracy what is the need of political parties? The real need is to make people more alert, more intelligent, so they can choose individually, not impressed by propaganda.
And what small things impress you! Why was Nixon defeated by Kennedy? You will be surprised and shocked, because it will prove to you how idiotic you are: It was the television that made the whole difference. On television, the supporters, the advisors of Nixon, had insisted that he wear dark clothes “so your figure comes out clearly, strongly, because millions of people will never see you in person; they will only see you on the television.”
Nixon did not listen to them. He came in a gray suit, and that decided his defeat. Kennedy came in a dark, black suit. When they were together you saw that Nixon looked gray, weak, while Kennedy looked clear, strong.
Television has changed almost the whole political phenomenon. Before television, you were coming in contact with the real person. Now when you come in contact with a person, experts have decided his hairstyle, make-up, the color of his clothes. They have taught him how to walk, how to stand, how to look exactly into the eyes of the people; what to say, how to say it, when to make a gesture with his hand; when to almost shout, and when to almost whisper. Now it is in the hands of the experts to program him.
Nixon was not ready for it, and I think any man who has any sense of integrity will not agree to all this nonsense. He is not an actor. But Kennedy followed the advice of the advisors. He came on the television very strong, very clear, standing the way a strong person stands, speaking the way a strong person speaks. He was chosen. It has nothing to do with politics – just two poison bottles, but one has a beautiful container, more modern. The other is an old container, out-of-date.
Nixon looked lousy on the television. That decided his fate, and also made him learn that television has changed the whole situation. The next time he came like an actor, played his role well, and was chosen. And he proved to you that he was a poison.
It is very strange, nobody assassinated Nixon. Kennedy was assassinated. Then his brother, another Kennedy, was assassinated because he was also fighting to become the president of the country. And now the third brother, the last brother, is being threatened: if he tries to become the president, he will be gone the same way the two others have gone. You call this country democratic?
Yes, in the constitution it may be written that everybody has the right to run for any office, but the third Kennedy is being threatened, and he knows that the people who are threatening him mean business. His mother is very old – ninety years old; he had to listen to her. She has suffered her whole life. She has lost two of her sons and she does not want to lose the last one; otherwise the whole family tree will be destroyed. She has taken a promise from the third Kennedy that while she is living he will not run for president.
Is this politics or mafia? Is this democracy? It is not. The only difference between a communist country like Russia, and America, is superficial. In Russia, one party rules forever. In America, they give you a chance to choose which political party you want to be exploited by. But what is the difference? – you are going to be exploited. The exploiters go on changing, but the exploitation remains the same. What does it matter? One party exploits you forever, or two parties make a pact and in rotation they exploit you? But your exploitation is the same.
My concept of democracy is people deciding on their own, without any political propaganda from anybody. Choose the candidates you like. In fact, the candidate approaching the people and asking, “Please choose me,” is ugly, disgusting. If he is of any worth, people should reach him and ask him, “Please take this responsibility for us. We want you to be in the parliament.”
Then a different quality of people will be coming into the assemblies and the parliament, people who will not have any political leadership of the party, its program. They will be free individuals acting out of their intelligence. They can choose the president, the prime minister – anybody. And they will be deciding on every issue according to themselves. People have given them immense respect by sending them to the government; they cannot be exploiters.
A real democracy will choose the wise people. They are all around. But remember, a man of wisdom is not going to beg you for a vote. He is not going to kiss your children and shake hands with you. He is not going to act on the television screen so that he appears to be the way you would like your president to be.
The wise man is not interested – in fact, he will not be inclined to be dragged into this mess. You will have to persuade him. The whole scene changes – not the politician persuading you, but you persuading someone to represent you. More fresh blood will be coming into the government.
And secondly, democracy can exist only if the countries are dissolved. With so many countries preparing to fight with each other continuously, of course you choose the most cunning politician you can, because he will be safer. You want him to be smarter, more cunning than the Soviet premier. The same is the situation in every country.
The wise people remain out of politics. It is so dirty, stinkingly dirty. And it will remain dirty till nations dissolve and we have one world where there is no question of any war, no question of preparing for war.
You can divide history in two parts: one, when people are really fighting, killing, burning people – innocent people who have not done anything wrong to you. In fact, you don’t know whom you are killing. Or the second part of history, when you are preparing for the next war. Of course, a little time is needed between two wars, and if the wars are going to be world wars, then at least ten or fifteen years’ gap is needed.
Now we are on the verge of a third world war. Albert Einstein was asked once, “Can you say something about the third world war?” He said, “No, but I can say something about the fourth world war.”
The questioner was simply surprised. He said, “If you cannot say anything about the third, what can you say about the fourth?”
He said, “The fourth is not going to happen.”
The third world war is going to finish all living beings: men, birds, animals, trees – anything that is alive it is going to be destroyed completely. And your politicians are preparing for it.
The world needs to be free from politicians, only then can it be free from pollution.
What is the need for nations? Why can’t we have the right to move freely around the earth? This is our earth! Now I have been here for four years, and I am still a tourist. It seems I am going to die as a tourist. The government agencies who are responsible for deciding are in a difficulty. If they say no to me, I am going to fight the courts up to the Supreme Court. That will give me enough time – almost twenty years. So they are afraid to say no. Yes, of course, they cannot say. So they are in a dilemma, just waiting for some miracle to happen. But I am not a miracle man!
But who are these men to decide? They are also foreigners, America is not their country. Perhaps they came four generations ago and I came a little later, just four years ago. But they are invaders – I am not an invader. I have come to the country as a friend.
Man should have a birthright of free movement around the earth, and one day a birthright to move around the stars. We have to dissolve all the boundaries and all the nonsense that exists because of these boundaries. Anybody who divides man, for any excuse, is unforgivable. Black and white…. And what about me? – neither black nor white.
In India, we have a beautiful joke…. When God created man – of course he was an amateur, he had never created before – so when he put the man made of mud into the oven, he pulled Him out a little too soon. These are the white men, uncooked. And it is natural – because he saw that this is an uncooked man, next time he waited a little longer, went to the other extreme, and when he pulled the man out, he found a Negro. He said, “This is going to be a difficult job.” So he decided on a time exactly in the middle. That’s why there are people like me neither uncooked nor cooked too much.
But what difference does color make? What difference does sex make? Why should woman be treated differently than man?
In China, for centuries it was thought that the woman has no soul. Great thinkers! Great discoverers! They have not bothered about themselves, whether they have any soul or not, but they decided unanimously that the woman has none. She is a thing to be possessed. Therefore, for centuries in China if a husband killed the wife it was not murder, it was not something against the law. You could not drag the man to the court as a murderer, because the idea was that the woman was a thing. If you destroy your chair it is your business, if you want to put your house on fire, it is your house. The wife belongs to you, you can do anything to the wife.
And they did everything to the woman. From her very childhood the Chinese girl was given iron shoes, so that her feet remained very small. That was their idea of beauty. In fact, they crippled the woman. Of course, her body want on growing, but her feet remained small. They thought they looked very dainty – they were simply out of proportion. The feet should grow in proportion to the body, because they have to take the whole load of the body. It was difficult for the Chinese woman to dance or to walk properly.
All kinds of ugly things around the world…just because one is man, another is woman. And what is the difference between a Christian and a Jew and a Hindu and a Mohammedan? Just their conditionings are different; otherwise, they are exactly the same people. But they have been labeled by their conditioning as Jews, as Christians, as Mohammedans. You are not a thing. You should refuse to be labeled.
Man has to rebel against all these stupidities, because stupidities have divided the world. And divided, naturally everybody is afraid of everybody else. Your neighbor starts doing gymnastics; you get paranoid. Why is this man trying to become stronger? – you join a gymnastics course immediately. Seeing you – that you are going for a gymnastics program, you have joined the gym – the neighbor becomes afraid. He starts making better efforts, because it is going to be a tough fight.
And this is happening around the world. In Pakistan they have American soldiers. Now, it is absolutely natural for India to invite Soviet soldiers. The American politicians say, “Expel Soviet soldiers from India, remove them; then we will remove the American soldiers from Pakistan.” But who is going to remove them first? Both say, “You remove them first, because we don’t want to take the risk.” Nobody is removing soldiers, nobody wants to remove them.
If you look clearly, the way I see…. Because I am nobody; I don’t belong to any nation, I don’t belong to any religion, I don’t belong to any political party. I am simply an individual, the way existence created me. I have kept myself absolutely uninfluenced by any idiotic ideology – religious, political, social, financial. And the miracle is that because I am not burdened with all these glasses on my eyes, and curtains before me, I can see clearly.
The world can be a paradise any moment it decides! It will just have to drop a little crap: Christian, Hindu, Mohammedan, American, Russian. Politicians will not help you to do it, they will hinder you from doing it. Priests will not help you to do it, they will hinder you from doing it. All their greatness – the president of America, the premier of the Soviet Union, the infallible pope in the Vatican…what will happen to these people?
If you drop all your conditionings, and if you remove all the lines from the map, you burn all your identity cards, your passports, your visas, and you start moving around the world absolutely freely – it is our world – what will happen to these idiots who are sitting on your head? They will create every difficulty.
But the time has come to face the fact; otherwise, you are on the very verge of a total global war which will destroy everybody. Before that happens, get free of all poisons – nations, politicians, priests, religions – and the world will be pollution-free.
It is not the ordinary pollution that exists in L.A.; that is nothing. That too exists because of vested interests. A car can be created which does not pollute the air, but what will happen to all the manufacturers of hundreds of cars around the world? Their factories will go bankrupt. Right now they are billionaires; they will be beggars immediately.
You may not know that many inventions which are going to help humanity are prevented; their copyright is purchased by somebody whose vested interest will be interfered with. And the poor scientist, if he gets enough money, how can he refuse? There are hundreds of inventions which have been prevented. Money has been paid, and humanity goes on suffering.
Man has to declare his freedom. it is not a question of a nation being free, it is a question of every individual on the earth being free from all the jargon that the past has left within you.
The cars pollute the air but the politicians and the priests pollute your very soul.
The air can be cleaned, the cars can be changed. If man is capable of reaching to the moon…I don’t see why the scientists who can reach to the moon cannot make a fountain pen which does not leak! It seems simply absurd. Man has come to a maturity, and now decisions have to be made by free individuals – not Americans, not Russians, not Indians. We can make this earth pollution-free, outwardly and inwardly.
That’s my message to my sannyasins: First, be free, and then let others taste your freedom and the joy it brings with it. It is not a difficult job at all. People are waiting for some savior to come and deliver them from all this misery. The savior is not going to come, but half of their waiting is right: they are waiting to be transformed. If they go on waiting for the savior they are waiting for Godot, who has never come, who will never come. They have to drop this idea that tomorrow somebody is going to come and deliver them from their suffering, misery. No, it is not going to happen.
You have to become the savior of yourself.
I teach selfishness, because to me to be selfish is not wrong, it is natural. Everybody should be selfish, self-centered, not waiting for anybody’s help. Declare your freedom individually. And that’s my movement. You are here, not as a society, not as a community, you are here as an individual. There is nothing higher than an individual and his freedom.
Just be a little courageous. And to suffer for freedom is not suffering, it is a joy. To suffer for individuality is not painful; it is a pleasure, because you are moving toward a blissful state. Just a little courageousness – I don’t ask you for great courage. Just a little courage, and the world can be free of politics and pollution. The world can be free of fights, murder, massacre, burning people alive….
If you look at history, it is so ugly. In my university, one day I went into the history department. I was looking around and getting introduced to all the subjects, so I could choose. And that was my last day too, because immediately I was fighting with my professor. I told him, “If this is history that you are teaching, then don’t poison people’s minds. It is better they forget all about the past. Don’t go on pouring rubbish into their heads, because then there will be no space for the present and no space for the future.” There is no need of history. All history is bunk!
It can happen in a single moment of understanding. That is the only miracle I know. All other miracles are inventions or gullible people, of stupid followers, of cunning scholars. But one miracle is part of nature.
If you see something clearly, then don’t wait for the next moment. Do it right now, drop all nonsense. And you will see the birth of a new man in you.

I heard you say that Moses was responsible for the persecution of the Jews, because he created the concept of the chosen people. What's the difference between the Jews and us? I know the difference between Moses and you, but what about the phenomenon of a rising anger and hate in the outside society? Are we, or you, responsible for our persecution?
Baby, you don’t know the difference between me and Moses. If you had that much intelligence there would have been no question at all. What do you know about Moses? And what do you know about me? What difference do you know?
Moses was a politician, not a prophet. He was taking his people from slavery to find a new land where they could live without slavery. But to convince slaves that you can be free is difficult; hence, he invented all kinds of incentives: “It is God’s wish,” and, “I have spoken with God face to face, and he has said to me that the Jews are the chosen people, my people.”
Strange, God’s people were slaves for centuries, making pyramids in Egypt. What was this God doing all the time? His chosen people were being murdered mercilessly, continuously beaten. It is now a well-established fact that the pyramids are made of such big stones that unless there were better cranes than we have, there was no possibility of lifting them. How did they manage to move those big stones, going higher and higher into the sky?
They were not managed by cranes, they were managed by “God’s chosen people,” followed by the Egyptians with their whips, on their horses, continuously whipping the people who were carrying the stone. And when somebody has to choose between death and life, he is ready to do anything. What was God doing all this time before Moses? It seems that the post reaches God after thousands of years – a very inefficient postal service. It must be managed by Indians – so lousy, so lazy….
I lived in Jabalpur for many years. Katni is a small place eighty miles away from Jabalpur. One letter came from Katni to Jabalpur in thirty-six years! Even if the envelope had walked, it would have come long before. By the time it reached Jabalpur, the man to whom the letter was written was dead. So it was returned to the sender, but by that time the sender was dead! But the postal service between God’s chosen people and God seems to be even more lousy.
There is nothing in this whole idea of the chosen people of God. Everybody is chosen; otherwise you would not be here. Everybody – not only man, but animals and birds and trees – is chosen by existence; otherwise, there is no reason why they should be there. They are, because existence wants them, needs them.
Moses bluffed those poor slaves. And it is very easy. When you say to a poor man, “You will be rewarded immensely after death, it is just a question of a few years. Be patient and these rich people who are enjoying here only for a few days will suffer in hell for eternity,” he does not argue, it is so consoling.
When Moses said to the Jews, “You are the chosen people of God,” they accepted it without any argument. I have not heard anybody arguing with Moses: “On what grounds are you saying we are the chosen people of God? Then why did we suffer for thousands of years? Why were our women raped by the Egyptians? Why were our people killed by the Egyptians? And why has God given only one work to His chosen people?” – to carry huge stones, almost an inhuman job. If this is what it means to be chosen by God, they should have refused; “We don’t want to be chosen. Now choose somebody else!”
But poor people – slaves, hungry, starving – don’t argue; they want consolation. They were immensely happy. They did not ask, “What evidence do you have that you encountered God? Was there any eyewitness? What proof have you got that these ten commandments that you are bringing from God are written by God and not by you? because they are in Hebrew. Is Hebrew also the chosen language of God, among three hundred languages in the world?”
Nobody argued. In such a position nobody argues; people simply swallow it with relish. They followed Moses out of Egypt – but soon they became worried, because their leader seemed to be as lost as they were, in the vast desert of the Middle East. But leaders have to go on pretending that they know what they are doing: “You simply believe us, you follow us.”
It took Moses forty years to reach a place, Israel – which is not much of a place. If he had encountered God himself, if he had had that clarity of consciousness, he should have moved just in the opposite direction, toward Kashmir – which can be called a paradise on earth. But Israel and the whole surrounding area is just desert. If he had had any insight and the extraordinary powers of a prophet, he would have chosen the countries which have oil – Israel has no oil. Then perhaps Jews would have been the richest people in the world, just as Saudi Arabians are today. And Saudi Arabia he had by-passed.
What do you know about Moses? He was lying, purely lying to his people, pretending that he knew where the holy land was. And why did he stop at Israel? Had he found the holy land? No, but he was getting old, his people were dying of starvation, dehydration – no water, no food. Only one-third of the people survived; two-thirds had already died in this search for the holy land.
And the one-third that survived were almost of a different generation. There was a great gap between these people and Moses. These were small children when the journey started, the search for the holy land. They had no idea of the slavery of Egypt, they had no idea what had been happening to their race for centuries, they had no idea whether this Moses had really encountered God or was just a pretender.
The new generation and the generation gap begins with Moses and the Jews. You will be surprised to know that Moses felt so frustrated that he himself escaped from Jerusalem. Of course, he found an excuse. He said, “One of our tribes is lost somewhere in the desert, and I have to find them.”
It was true. A few of the Jews, seeing the situation, had turned in the other direction – that is natural logic: “If this direction goes on and on into desert, perhaps going in the opposite direction we may find good land.” And these are the people who live in Kashmir now. They are Jewish, forcibly converted by Mohammedans to follow Mohammedanism. Moses finally reached Kashmir. He was very ancient at that time; he could not live much longer, and he died in Kashmir in India.
A great coincidence: Moses died in India, Jesus died in India, Buddha died in India, Mahavira died in India, Krishna died in India. The founders of almost all the great religions of the world were either born in India or at least managed to die in India. Just to disconnect myself from all that rotten lot, I left India. It was not in my hands not to be born there, but it is in my hands to be assassinated in Oregon.
What do you know about Moses? And what do you know about me? You know nothing, so please be clear about it. Yes, your question is relevant. Moses is responsible for the persecution of Jews down the centuries, because he declared them to be, and convinced them that they are, the chosen people of God, that they are born higher than anybody else; all human beings are lower than them, they are a superior race. Or course, the implication is clear: they are here to rule, not to be ruled. They are here to dominate the whole world, and not to be dominated.
This idea made them fanatics, and naturally, anybody claiming superiority over everybody else creates persecution. They have been persecuted down the ages; they are still being persecuted. Moses is responsible. He implanted that idea, and these poor people have carried that idea for three thousand years. It is very difficult for them to drop it. The Jewish nose keeps itself higher than that of anybody else.
You are asking me: if my people are going to be persecuted, who is going to be responsible – I or they? My whole effort is that whatsoever I am doing I am responsible for. If I am persecuted and assassinated, I am responsible for it. But if you are persecuted and assassinated, remember, it is your responsibility, not mine. Why in the first place did you join me? I will not allow you to shirk away from your responsibility. I will not take your responsibility on myself.
I am responsible for whatsoever I am doing, and whatsoever happens to me. You are responsible individually – because I don’t believe in any collectivity. Every individual has to accept his responsibility for whatsoever he is doing, whatsoever happens to him.
I had started alone. Then people started coming by and by, and my caravan started becoming bigger and bigger, and now it is all around the earth. But those people I respect. They have joined me on their own decision; I have not persuaded anybody.
I have not given you any promises of a holy land. I have not given you any incentives after death. I have not given you any guarantee that if you are with me, soon you will be with God. I don’t give you promissory notes, and I don’t take any responsibility on your behalf, because I respect you. If I take the responsibility on myself, then you are slaves; then I am the leader and you are the led.
No, I am not the leader, and you are not the led. We are fellow travelers. You are not behind me but by my side – just together with me. I am not higher than you, I am just one among you. I don’t claim any superiority, extraordinary power, and all kinds of nonsense which Jesus, Moses, Mohammed, Krishna, Buddha, Mahavira, all are to be condemned for. Do you see the point? To make you responsible for your life is to give you freedom.
A few of the sannyasins – for trivia, absurd reasons – have left the caravan. I am not at all angry with them. They had joined; it was their responsibility. They have left; it is their responsibility. If they want to come back, it will be their responsibility.
Every single sannyasin is responsible, remember. You cannot dump your responsibility on me. I am simply taking my own doings, sayings, happenings on myself. If you feel that because of me you are persecuted, drop sannyas. Why should you be persecuted for me? Who am I?
But if your sannyas is your love affair with me, then take the responsibility: be persecuted. And persecution cannot do any harm to you, for the simple reason that we are not fanatics, we are not dogmatic. My people are open, vulnerable, available.
Some Jesus freaks come on the county road to save my people. They take real trouble coming down to save my people, and nobody listens to them. Or, if sometimes somebody stands there, he simply laughs and walks away. This is a new experience for those people. Either people start arguing with them or agreeing with them. They know those two kinds: arguing, agreeing.
This is a different kind of species: they listen, they laugh and go on their way. The reason is obvious: you cannot save somebody who is already saved. Saving somebody twice is not possible – that’s why they simply laugh at the whole absurdity of the idea. But remember, I have not saved you. I am very clear about it: if you are saved, you are your own savior, and persecution cannot destroy you.
Persecution is going to happen; it is already happening. But you are intelligent people; you can fight the persecution through legal means in the courts, in the Supreme Court. I have given you no dogma, nobody can criticize you – and I have made you capable of criticizing everybody else in the world. So what can persecution do to you? Anybody who comes to persecute you is going to become a sannyasin! Let them come.
They are very much afraid even to visit the commune. They are continuously talking about the commune, they are continuously talking about me – knowing nothing, just gathering things from gossips. But their interest is clear. Why don’t they come here? They don’t have guts – particularly the Americans don’t have any guts. It happens when you are rich enough and you have all the comforts of life: you start losing guts because you become afraid – anything can take you away from your comforts and your television.
And there are rumors about me that I am hypnotizing people. When I used to go driving on the highways, sometimes I was stopped by a police car, but the police officer would not look directly into my eyes – afraid of getting hypnotized!
Nobody is hypnotizing anybody here. In fact, we have a program of dehypnosis, which exists nowhere else in the world. We are teaching our people how to dehypnotize themselves – because the society has hypnotized you already. What is your Christianity? What is your being American? What is the reason for your being a Hindu?
Society starts hypnotizing you when you are a child and you don’t know what is happening. By the time you are adult, you are already full of bullshit. Now you go on carrying that bullshit as treasure. You are afraid if you lose this bullshit, you will find emptiness within – something is better than nothing. And you have become accustomed to the smell of the bullshit; perhaps not only accustomed, but enchanted.
I have heard about a fisherman’s wife who used to come from her village to the nearby, bigger town, to sell fish. One day after selling the fish, when she was returning back home, she met one woman, a childhood friend. The woman said, “We have just moved to this town and it will be a great joy if you spend the night with us, and in the morning you can go.” The house was beautiful, with a big garden around it, beautiful flowers and their fragrance. The woman’s friend did everything to please the guest. She put roses around her bed – the whole room was full of rose fragrance. But the woman was tossing and turning; she could not sleep.
Finally, the host asked the guest, “What is the matter? Is there some problem? Is something uncomfortable? As far as I see, I have made everything as comfortable as possible. But tell me, because I don’t want you to remain awake the whole night.”
The woman was a little ashamed in answering the host. She said, “Please forgive me. Just give me back the clothes and the bucket in which I had brought the fish; unless I smell fishes I cannot sleep. And please remove these roses, they are such a disturbance.”
The roses were removed, her bucket and clothes were given back to her. She kept the bucket by her side, made the clothes damp with water, put those clothes on her face – and then she was fast asleep, snoring. Fish have a disgusting smell, but not to the fisherman. He knows nothing better than the smell of fish.
It is difficult for you to drop everything that the past has given to you and just be free. And then you will see that everything you do, and everything that is being done to you is your responsibility. You will never dump things on others – that is childish; that is the way of the retarded.
Just the other day in the World Press Conference, I could not communicate with only two people, they were from Africa. The first one could not manage to say what he wanted to ask me. Somehow it was figured out what he was asking. He was asking why Africans don’t come to me. Now, is it my responsibility? Is it my business, my concern why Africans don’t come to me? Ask the Africans!
They know only the smell of fish; roses are not going to satisfy them. And I am offering roses to you, so only those who can understand the fragrance of roses can be here with me. I am offering you the best of everything.
The people who can understand Mozart’s music or Wagner’s music, the people who can understand Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, the people who can understand the beautiful poetry of Rabindranath, Kahlil Gibran, the people who can understand Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, Turgenev, Chekhov, Gorky, and can find the beauty, the truth in these people – they can understand me. Then there is a possibility of communication. I was not wanting to be rude to the poor African, but this is the truth, the naked truth.
It was happening in India too. We had become an island; people from all over the world were coming there – except the Indians. Strange, but not really: Indians cannot understand anything which is so superior, so delicate. In two thousand years of slavery, they have forgotten all. In two thousand years of slavery, they have learned only how to polish the boots of the British, of the Moguls. Now these boot-shiners cannot communicate with me. Yes, they can hear what I say, but they will not understand it.
This happened with the second African. He asked the question, and he was looking all over the place. I was answering his question in front of him, and he was not looking at me. Poverty, no education…Africa is far behind. The gap is big.
When I was answering his question, he was looking all around, finding himself in an awkward situation, because what I was saying was beyond his grasp. And the moment I stopped answering the first question, he immediately came up with a second question. Perhaps while I was answering his first question he was thinking and preparing the second question. He was not listening to me, because the second question was not connected with the first question at all. The second question was not connected with my answer at all.
If he had listened to me, he would have asked something in response to my answer. But he must have crammed two questions, and he must have been trying to keep remembering what he was going to ask next. And he did not want to be disturbed by my answer! If he gets interested in my answer, he may forget the second question. Now, what can I do if Africans don’t come? It is their responsibility.
Scientists now have agreed on the fact that man was born in Africa. Naturally, Africa has the biggest chimpanzees, monkeys; only those chimpanzees and monkeys can turn into men. Indian monkeys are too small, they won’t do. Man was born in Africa – but why is Africa so backward? It is not only that their skin is black – because black skin has its own beauty, as white skin has its own beauty. More important is that they are living in darkness, in a total, black night. What has happened?
The intelligent people…. If man was born in Africa, the intelligent people left Africa thousands of years ago, because it was not a land worth living in. And the intelligent man is always searching for something better, so the man of intelligence left Africa. Only the retarded who were still very close to the chimpanzees remained there.
I am not condemning, I have all compassion for them. I would like them to come up and be equal to the whole humanity. But what can I do except tell it to them? They have to take the responsibility on their own shoulders. And the backward people are the last to accept responsibility.
Your question makes you a confirmed retarded person. Drop thinking such questions. Without responsibility you are not a real human being. Come of age, grow up. And remember always, growing old is not growing up. Even donkeys grow old, but they don’t grow up. Only man has the prerogative, the privilege of growing up. Become more conscious, more alert, more meditative, more silent, and you will see what I am saying.
Everybody is responsible for himself.

Since you have been speaking again this time, many of us feel that you are taking us into another phase of your work. Is this true?
Absolutely true. I had to give a three year gap and remain silent for so many reasons.
One of the reasons relevant to your question is that I had been speaking on Jesus, on Krishna, on Buddha, on Mahavira. I was speaking on all other traditions of religion: Hassidism, Zen, Sufism. I had spoken on almost all important people who had contributed something to human consciousness: Lao Tzu, Chuang Tzu, Lieh Tzu, Bodhidharma, Bokuju, Socrates, Pythagoras, Zarathustra, Kabir, Shankara, Dadu, Milarepa, Marpa Nagarjuna, Vasubandhu. I covered almost the whole world. Wherever I found a man who has contributed to human consciousness, whether it was Greece – Heraclitus, Diogenes, Dionysius – or it was Tibet, or it was China, or it was Arabia, it did not matter to me.
I was speaking on these people for a certain reason, a simple device. I had no people of my own. I had to throw my net far and wide. When I spoke on Jesus, Christians were happy, immensely happy; they started coming to me. Even priests, bishops, became sannyasins.
And I was laughing all the time inside, that what I was saying was my own, it had nothing to do with Jesus; Jesus was just an excuse. I used his words, but put my meaning into them. And those people were thinking, “We have never understood Jesus rightly, we were thinking something else.” In fact, they were right; I was changing the wine, keeping the bottle.
And when I had enough people who were capable of listening to me directly, and I didn’t have to drop things which are ugly in Jesus, ugly in Mahavira, ugly in Mohammed…because in the beginning I was not in the position to offend these people. To offend these people in the beginning would have been a disaster: you would not have been here, I would not have been here.
So I used those devices, and then I stopped speaking just to give a gap – so that those who are only interested in me because I speak on Jesus will leave. Those who think that I am supporting Hinduism by speaking on the Gita will leave – because silence is not a discourse on the Gita.
This was a beautiful experience. A few people left, just enough to be counted on your fingers. But more than half a million people are now ready to listen to me. Now I don’t care. I can call Jesus just what he is: a crackpot. I can call Mahavira just exactly what he is: a masochist. Now I know that you can understand me.
It was a preparatory period. I was not thinking that I was going to catch so many fish, but truth has its own mysterious ways. I have with me, with great love, trust, friendliness, more than half a million sannyasins. But that is not the whole number who are getting close to me. There are at least two million people who are in great sympathy with what I am saying, but they don’t yet have courage enough to come out and declare, “I have dropped the past and I am ready for the present.”
And there are at least one million people who are just fifty-fifty: they read my books, they go to church too. I know that if they go on continuing to read my books – particularly now that I am creating the new Bible and The Last Testament…. You have heard about the Old Testament and the New Testament; I am creating The Last Testament. If they go on reading what I am saying now, things will be settled. Either they will burn my books and take shelter in a church, or they will burn the Old Testament and the New Testament and be my people.
Right now they are in a split. But I don’t see how any intelligent person can choose – if he understands me – anything two thousand years old, three thousand years old, five thousand years old, unless he is a junk collector.
Yes, it is totally a new phase, because I have found my people and now I can open my heart totally. Now all the cards are open on the table!
I have nothing to hide from you, because I know your love will be able to understand it.

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