From the False to the Truth 25

TwentyFifth Discourse from the series of 34 discourses - From the False to the Truth by Osho.
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All our lives we have been forced to learn grace, beauty, etiquette. But now, when you are teaching us genuine grace and beauty, a lot of us are so insensitive to graciousness and aesthetics that even coming close to you, in the presence of you, we continue the resentments of forced grace, beauty, etiquette, etc. We behave without respect, love, dignity toward our beloved master – you, Osho.
Please say something to our thick brains so we do not miss out on the graceful experience.
It is almost natural that when you drop any conditioning there is a gap between the dropping of the conditioning and the beginning of the genuine, the natural, the spontaneous in you. That gap happens easily.
From your very childhood you have been told to be respectful. You were not able even to see why you should respect this man. You had no reason to respect the man, but you were forced. You were dependent, you were too small to fight against it. That resentment is always underneath your respect. Just a little scratching and your resentment will come up, because it is as old as your respect, etiquette, grace. Each time you have been trained for these things, resentment has been created in you side by side, just like a shadow.
These are not things to be taught, these are qualities to be caught. And when they are caught there is no resentment; when they are caught they are spontaneous, natural. You don’t have to do them, they happen of their own accord. But this has not been the case up to now. For millions of years you have lived with a duality, a thick layer of resentment – which is deeper, more underground – and a thin layer of forced grace, sensitivity, aesthetics, respect, love.
The basic thing, the fundamental thing is to understand that when you drop your grace – the learned one; when you drop love – the learned one, remember also to drop the resentment. That too is learned. You have learned it on your own, against all those people who had power over you. If you don’t drop it then I can go on telling you, “Be naturally graceful,” and you will think, “It is good, there is no need to make any effort to be graceful.” Your thin layer will disappear – but where will the resentment go?
That resentment will become your behavior. Instead of respect, you will start disrespecting anybody and everybody. Instead of the arousal of a natural love…the bogus love has gone, now you have only hate. That’s why societies and cultures are afraid. They are trembling always because they are depending on something which is not natural.
But you have to understand that when you drop the learned thing, the conditioned thing, don’t forget to drop with it the resentment that had come with it; otherwise, you will become ungraceful, and to be ungraceful is ugly. You will become disrespectful and to be disrespectful is not human. It is falling below the human.
You have got this whole beautiful existence. You don’t deserve it; nobody deserves it. You had not even asked for it. You have suddenly found yourself amid these beautiful millions of stars, the flowers, the birds. And if you are disrespectful, you will be blind to all that commands respect, you will turn your back to all that which commands respect.
It does not demand. It does not say to you, “Respect me, I am your father.” But silently have you not felt sometimes the flowers, without saying a word, are commanding your respect, your love, your grace? And the same applies to other human beings.
We are all strangers to each other. We come into the world alone, and if you are not graceful, not loving, not sensitive, you will find yourself in a state of loneliness, abandoned. Who cares about such a person? That will strengthen your resentment even more, and will make you more and more ugly.
The basic fault has been made by the society, the culture, the religion. Nothing can be done about it, except one thing, of which you are capable: seeing the fact, drop the fiction. But always remember that behind the fiction you have been always carrying antagonism to it.
From my very childhood I was wild. My whole family was trying to make me cultured, graceful, respectful, but they failed. Fortunately, they failed. I had decided one thing: that if something is natural, it will come on its own. There is no need to learn it, to rehearse it.
In India, there are joint families. In one family there may be fifty people, sixty people. Every old person in the family has to be respected. And I know that this old guy needs to be beaten, rather than respected; there is no reason why I should respect him. Just because of his age? But then, I don’t see any relationship between respect and age. There are trees four thousand years old, there are animals who live longer than man.
Nietzsche has described these three stages: the camel, the lion, the child. He has taken only the evolutionary part and described these three stages. He has forgotten that there are exactly the same stages below the camel – the camel is not the lowest animal in the world. Of course, considering Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution, I say the monkey is below the camel; otherwise there would be no man.
Nietzsche is not talking about the actual camel, he is talking about man – that he can be a camel. And if man is born out of monkeys, then certainly the monkey will be a lower stage than the camel. And you can easily recognize among yourselves how monkeyish is your behavior. That destroys your grace, that destroys your serenity.
Below the monkey is certainly the donkey, who is absolutely thick. You cannot teach a donkey any tricks. Have you seen any circus where donkeys are doing something? – impossible. Elephants are there, horses are there, monkeys are there, but everybody has forgotten about the donkey – such an important personality, more famous than the monkey and the camel.
Donkeys are absolutely stubborn – no intelligence; you cannot teach them anything. You can go on loading the donkey with your holy scriptures; he will carry the weight, but will never understand the meaning. And of course, below the donkey there is only the Yankee. And you all know about the Yankee; there is nothing to be said about the Yankee. You have to start from the Yankee – at least become a donkey.
The Yankee is absolutely phony. The donkey is at least authentically real. He may not listen to you, but he follows his nature, his instinct, without any interference from anybody.
In my village there were many donkeys – of course, in every place there are many donkeys – and I loved to ride on donkeys. In India, that is not right. In other countries, for example in Judea, Jesus was riding on the donkey always, it was acceptable. But in India, the donkey is thought to be the worst kind of animal – they don’t know about the Yankee. After even just touching the donkey you have to take a bath.
I became enchanted with the donkeys. Why should the poor animal be abandoned? I started finding donkeys in the night, and I would ride on them. And I was amazed to know that it is wrong, the idea that the donkey is without intelligence.
If you ride on the donkey, he will never move in the middle of the road. He will go to the sides and move so close to the walls of the houses that your whole leg is almost crushed. It is very difficult to keep him in the middle. Right or left – either he is a rightist or a leftist, but never has the donkey listened to the advice of Gautam Buddha, that exactly in the middle is the right path.
And then I recognized that they are intelligent people. To get rid of me – he has no weapons, but he has found a way. If I see my leg being rubbed against a stone wall, I am bound to jump off and leave the donkey to himself.
I was trying all the donkeys of the town. Slowly, slowly they became really acquainted with me, and then I could see even a deeper layer of intelligence. They became aware even of my footsteps in some miraculous way. The donkey may be fifty feet, a hundred feet away, and I would move very slowly, very cautiously so that he did not become aware that I was coming – but he immediately would start running. He knew my steps, he felt in some way my presence.
Other people would be just passing by him and he was not worried. And I was a hundred feet away, taking every care not to disturb the poor fellow, but he would start escaping. He knew who was coming, he knew what my purpose was. He knew there was going to be trouble, because when I saw that these donkeys are cunning, not so dumb as people think, I started to take them into the fields where there were no walls. Then the donkey, of course, was at a loss. What to do? Whether he was rightist or leftist, it did not matter; there were no walls.
Because I started taking them to the fields outside the town, they became very sensitive about my presence. Even donkeys have a certain intelligence.
Camels, howsoever ugly they look, are very gentlemanly. And in the deserts they are very friendly – to the point that if you are dying of thirst, they are ready to sacrifice themselves. When in the desert a camel is killed – because he keeps a reservoir of water inside himself….
I have heard from people who own caravans of camels that when you kill a camel in the desert the camel makes no resistance, he simply allows you to kill him. He is perfectly aware that this is the moment to be of some service to you. In some unknown way he feels you have been thirsty for days and you cannot survive unless he gives you his water reservoir.
A camel can move in the desert for six weeks without any trouble, needing no water. That much water he keeps within himself for emergency purposes. I could not believe it, that he does not resist being killed. I enquired, “If you kill a camel where there is no emergency or any danger to your life, does the camel resist?”
They said, “You say resist? He will kill you! He knows that there is no need for him to be sacrificed; this is simple murder.” And a camel is a big animal, huge, of great power, he can simply crush you under his feet, no weapons are needed. But deep in the desert, lost in the desert, he does not resist. That is something really to be understood.
The camel is graceful to the point that he can sacrifice himself. He is respectful and loving, so much so, that he is ready to die so that you can live. He puts your life above his. He is not egocentric.
And in man you will find all these animals. I am not talking about the real monkeys, donkeys, camels, lions, the child, so don’t get confused. The real child is so nasty that even after enlightenment I cannot sleep in the same room as a small child. The whole night he will disturb you. In the day he sleeps perfectly well, but as the night comes – of course, his sleep is over, now he is ready to torture you. He finds excuses: “I want to go to the toilet. I am thirsty. I am hungry. I am feeling too cold, I need one blanket more.”
So when I am talking about these stages, I am talking symbolically. To me, when I say the child it simply means innocence, simplicity, no desire for any power, no hankering to dominate anybody, and a tremendous beauty.
Have you seen any child who is ugly? All children are beautiful. But what happens to all these beautiful children when they grow up? They all disappear. They start becoming cunning, cruel, diplomatic, political. They lose their innocence, they lose their grace, they lose their beauty.
Among you, all kinds of these people are there. And it is not that you can define somebody as the camel. In fact, in each person they are all mixed up. Each person has all these qualities, from the Yankee to the child.
The society is afraid that if you are left alone…. You will turn into a Yankee, a monkey – at the most a donkey, or perhaps if you are fortunate enough, a camel. But beyond that your parents, your civilization is afraid. You cannot be left alone; you have to be trained, and their training has proved poisonous. With all good intentions they have destroyed your spontaneity. With all their well-wishings, they have made you a hypocrite.
I am all for naturalness.
The question is significant, because when you listen to me say that I am all for naturalness, you immediately drop what you always wanted to drop. But you don’t become natural. You have forgotten the resentment. By dropping your etiquette, by dropping your grace, by dropping your cultivated beauty, by dropping your make-up, you are not simply going to become natural. There is something more between your phony self and your real self: your resentment. And you have thick layers of resentment, because for your whole life you have resented.
And the resentment was yours. The grace was imposed by others – it is easy to drop it, you always wanted to drop it – but the resentment was yours. It is closer to you, it is more difficult to drop it. But unless you drop your grace, cultivated beauty – just make-up; unless you drop your nice etiquette – behavior which is just diplomatic – unless with all this that has been forced upon you, you remember to drop the resentment…because now there is no need for resentment.
You are getting free of all those things which were the causes of your resentment. You can easily get rid of things that have been forced upon you, but the things that arose within you – there comes the real problem. You have to drop your resentment. If you cannot drop it, the natural flow of your energies will not be available.
It has been happening in all of history: many people have dropped the forced values. Just a few years back you had hippies all around – they had dropped the forced etiquette, the forced niceness, the forced cleanliness. They had been told, “Cleanliness is next to God, only God is above cleanliness.” They were forced to take baths, they were forced to do this, that. They were forced to go to the school, to the college. They dropped all that, but they did not drop the resentment.
Hippies did not flower into beautiful human beings. Their resentment burned them. They went just to the opposite pole; they stopped taking baths. Dirtiness became next to God, uncleanliness became a value. The more unclean, the more dirty you were, the greater you were considered to be by other hippies who were not so courageous as you were. Once in a while they took a bath, once in a while they cleaned themselves. It created guilt in them. Just see the phenomenon!
Many hippies have visited me. I felt really sorry for them. They were going on a right path, but somewhere the path turned to the polar opposite. Their resentment was so strong that they started doing exactly the opposite of what they were taught to do. They dropped out of schools, out of colleges, out of universities, because it was not their own choice.
But do you know what happened to the hippies? You don’t find them. After the age thirty-five they come back to the society, become again what they have been taught. Their long hair disappears, their beards disappear, their mustaches disappear. All the hippies who have reached nearabout the age of forty are now perfectly accepted gentlemen in the society. They are good businessmen, good salesmen, successful.
This was bound to happen. You cannot live in resentment for long; it is a fire, it will burn you. So you don’t find old hippies – seventy years old. You don’t find old hippies. In fact, that should have been the case: as a hippie gets older, he should become even hippier. But something happens by the time they start crossing the borderline of thirty-five.
There was a day when hippies declared, “We do not believe anybody who is more than thirty years old.” There was a truth in it. But you cannot stop your age at thirty. It isn’t like a clock that you can stop at any moment; it goes on growing whether you are a hippie or not. And by the time they are close to thirty-five, the exact middle point in life – after thirty-five they will start declining, their energies will start getting lower and lower – they become afraid. How are they going to live?
Then suddenly they want to be married, to have a stable life, to have some profession, some job, some money. Old age is coming close – they don’t want to die on the streets. It was perfectly good when they were young, they had energy enough. That energy has been burned by their resentment.
They thought they were being revolutionaries; they were not, they were simply reactionaries. They were reacting to their parents, to their society, to their education. Reaction is not revolution, revolution needs much more meditative understanding. Then you don’t go to the other pole, the other extreme; then you remain just exactly in the middle. And only in the middle will your natural being show. But there will be a gap. Before the natural starts flowing in you, you will have to get rid of all the hindrances to it.
I can understand your question. You say, “It hurts to see sannyasins becoming disrespectful.” But the commune has to be patient with any sannyasin who is disrespectful, ungraceful, behaves in a cruel way, talks just to hurt you. The commune has to be patient: that person is going through a great change. Patience and help – both are needed for him.
Even if he is not respectful to you, you all have to be respectful to him. He needs it – this is the moment. He may not be very loving to you, or may be even hateful to you. He is sick, he needs all your compassion.
And that’s the function of the commune. If five thousand people go on pouring their love on the person who replies with hatred, how long is he going to survive? He behaves disrespectfully, and five thousand people don’t take any note of his disrespectfulness; they go on being respectful to the person. Soon he will drop his resentment.
These are not the people who had forced him to do certain things against his will. These are a totally different kind of people: you disrespect them, still they smile and are loving and respectful to you. They are not your parents, they are not your teachers. They are not your old rotten society.
My communes are harbingers of a new man, a new world.
But you have to be very aware, because if somebody is disrespectful toward you, it is a little difficult to be respectful to him. But be respectful out of love for humanity, out of compassion for your brothers and sisters, and understanding the fact that that man is not being disrespectful to you – he is being disrespectful to his parents, to his teachers, to the priest. You are just an excuse. It is just a coincidence that he has found you; otherwise, he would have been disrespectful to somebody else.
Don’t take it personally. Living in a commune, remember you are not personalities. Certainly you are individuals, but don’t take anything personally. The person is sick, he needs hospitalization. He needs more love than anybody else, he needs more warmth than anybody else. This is the way the commune becomes the crucible of transformation.
The sannyasins who are living outside the communes don’t have this opportunity. If they can manage to be in the commune, they should be in the commune, because there you have the possibility of dropping all garbage, all your resentment, and becoming your natural self again. There you can find your original face again.
But there may be thousands of sannyasins who cannot manage for hundreds of reasons to be in a commune. For them I would suggest, if you cannot be a permanent resident in a commune, at least every year make it a point – six weeks, eight weeks, twelve weeks – to be in the commune. Learn the flavor of the New Man. Then perhaps even in the outside, old, rotten and dead society you may be able to protect yourself from their rottenness.
Just the other day one journalist had asked me, “Cannot your commune and the neighbors live in coexistence?” I simply said, “No!” I don’t think he will be able to understand my no, there is every possibility he will misinterpret it. But my no has tremendous implications in it.
It means…he was asking, “Can you sleep in the same room in coexistence with a corpse?” It will be difficult to sleep if the corpse is also sleeping by the side on the double bed. You may have loved the corpse before, but now that you know it is a corpse you will be in a nightmare, waiting for the morning, to get out of this room.
I said no, because the old society and the New Man cannot coexist. The old, the dead will have to give way for the new, for the fresh.
We are not hostile toward them, for the simple reason that we are the new, and the victory is ours! They are hostile; deep down in their unconscious they understand that they’re dying and you are living, that they are getting more and more rotten and you are getting more and more juicy. They are hostile. It is natural, because they have to empty the space for the New Man to take over.
Somebody else had asked me, “Do you intend to take over Oregon?”
I said, “No. Oregon is too small a thing. I would love to take over the whole world.”
I am saying it on behalf of the new. I am saying it on behalf of the sun that is rising on the horizon. And it is not just a coincidence that I come from the East. In the West the sun is always going down, it is always sunset. The sunset represents death; the sunrise is the beginning of a new life.
It is not a coincidence that all that is great, beautiful, truthful, has arisen out of the East. India could not produce Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Benito Mussolini – just inconceivable! India could produce Gautam Buddha, Bodhidharma, Nagarjuna. We are not separate from existence, we are very deeply connected. The countries of sunrise have given the best to humanity.
India has never invaded any country. Such a big country could have produced the biggest empire in the world. If England can do it – which is just equal to a district of India, not even a state – why could India not create a great empire? On the other hand, the greatest emperor in India – and of course the greatest emperor in the whole history of man – Ashoka, renounced his empire. Not only did he renounce his empire, he sent his son and daughter as messengers of peace to different countries.
His daughter, Sanghamitra, went to Ceylon. Now Ceylon is Buddhist – then Ceylon was thought to be one of the most violent parts of the world. To convert Ceylon, Ashoka sends his beautiful only daughter? He understood human psychology: only something beautiful, something with freshness can help those barbarians then in Ceylon. It was a risk, but worth taking.
Those who are not living in my communes, start making efforts to move toward the communes. And nothing is impossible if you want to do it. What can prevent you? What is there left in the old society? Why are you hanging around there? You are being just as stupid as dogs are.
You give a dog a dry bone and he will start chewing it, and will enjoy it very much. Nothing comes out of the dry bone, there is no juice in it. But the dry bone makes wounds in his mouth and blood starts coming out of those wounds. He sucks his own blood, thinking it is coming from the dry bone.
Don’t be foolish! The society outside is just a dry bone; you will be sucking your own blood. And they will all be hostile to you. They will try in every possible way to destroy your newness.
And remember, a new plant is very fragile – you just have to put a rock on top of it and it will disappear. And those people have big rocks – the church, the state. They will use all kinds of means. My sannyasins have been removed from colleges as teachers, from schools, from universities, for no reason – just because they are sannyasins. Strange – you don’t remove anybody because he is a Christian, you don’t remove anybody because he is a Hindu. Why are you afraid of the sannyasin?
Their attitude makes me feel proud of the sannyasins. They are afraid of you. The whole university may have hundreds of professors, but just a single sannyasin and they are afraid. They know that this single man is more powerful because he is new. The future belongs to him, not to them. To them belongs the past, which is just a burden.
But if you are removed from your job you will find it difficult to survive. Your family will be against you. From everywhere you will find antagonism. My sannyasins have been beaten on the streets. They had done no harm to anybody, but just because they were sannyasins they were beaten. Their malas have been taken.
There is no need to torture yourselves with those who are already dying. There is no need to cling to the family, to the society. Perhaps you may be helpful if you change yourself, move to the commune, and once in a while visit the family, the friends, and let them see what has happened to you, what is happening to you. That is the only way to help them.
Parents have written to me, “We were afraid that when our sons or our daughters became sannyasins we had lost them forever. But we want to be forgiven by you, because when this time my daughter came back home, for the first time we could relate heart to heart. There was no need to say much, she was just holding my hand and it was enough.” Something transpired between the sannyasin daughter and the old father. She would not have been able to do it if she had remained with those old people. A certain gap is needed.
You need to live in the commune to catch the fire, to become aflame. Then once in a while, certainly go.
We are not interested in converting those dead people, because what is the point? We will have to celebrate every night in the crematorium; that will be too much unnecessary work. We are not interested in converting those people, but we are certainly interested that those whose days are gone should understand that they need not feel sorry; a better man, a better woman is going to take their place. They can go without any complaint. They can leave life joyously, because the people who are going to take over will be able to manage better than they have ever done.
For thousands of years, the politician and the priest, in a deep conspiracy, have been in power. But what have they done to you? What have they done to the world? Monkeys remain monkeys, donkeys remain donkeys, camels remain camels – no transformation in human beings.
It is not their fault. A camel cannot see that there is anything better than a camel. It is just short-sightedness. And you cannot put glasses on the camel – have you seen a camel with glasses? He will stumble, fall down on the earth, he will not be able to make any sense of what is happening to his eyes. The monkeys cannot see beyond themselves.
Those old people, even if they can understand a simple thing, that sannyasins are going to create a better earth, which they themselves have failed to do…. And they had enough time – thousands of years – and they have not been able to create love, beauty, grace. All that they have been able to do is just train you, and force you into being phony.
I invite all the sannyasins of the world: slowly start moving to the closest commune. You will find a great rhythm between yourself and others. You will find for the first time a loving, compassionate, rejoicing group of people, who do not expect anything from you, but who are always ready to share with you whatever they have got.
Then once in a while go to the old society just to show them that you have started flowering, just to make them aware that they need not be worried about you. You have found the holy land, Israel. And we are creating many Israels around the earth.
Before true love arises in you there will be a time gap. The time gap can be made smaller if you are living with other sannyasins. If you are really immersed in the commune, the gap can completely disappear. The moment you drop the false values imposed upon you, resentment also will disappear.
And remember, when your resentment disappears, then for the first time you will be able to be loving toward your father, toward your mother, toward your brothers, sisters, toward your teachers – because you will have the understanding that whatsoever they did, there was no bad intention behind it. They were simply doing to you what was done to them by their teachers, by their parents. You will have a deep compassion for them. You will have a new feeling arising in you, of love – and of sadness too, because those people have missed.
The day you can feel sad that your father and your mother have missed life, do you think you will be still angry against them? You will feel great love. Just go once in a while and share your love, share your song, share your dance. They will be surprised, and you will be surprised also. They will be surprised that this boy who has always been a troublemaker in the family has become so peaceful, so serene, just a silent lake full of lotus flowers.
And you will be surprised that they are not treating you the way they used to treat you. In fact, you will see that they want to understand what has happened to you. You look so beautiful, you look a totally new being – what has happened? They would like to know, and they would desire, if it is possible, for them also to be in the same space you are in.
But if sannyasins go on living for small things – the salary, the position, the power in the old rotten society – there is every possibility…. Those dead corpses are many, too many, and you will be very alone. And when death is stinking all around you, there is every possibility you will become accustomed to it, just the way others are accustomed to think this is the only fragrance in the world – the stinking death, the sick, slave mind, souls chained by the past, hearts burdened with mountains that are millions of years old. It is very difficult for you to save yourself where everything is just a grave.
Why live in a graveyard? Even if you are paid as a watchman for the graveyard, forget about that pay. Of course, you are great there – the only living being, and everybody is dead. You are almost a king – the watchman in a graveyard is almost a king. His whole empire…nobody can go against him, nobody can move against him. He is whole and sole authority; he can do anything to anybody. He can change their names, he can change their gravestones.
But please, don’t enjoy such stupidities. Life is very valuable and very short. Move to the communes. Make new communes. If old communes are too big and cannot take you in, create new communes. These oases around the earth – which is completely a desert – will become the womb for the New Man to be born.
And don’t be worried in the commune by people who start behaving…because they always wanted to rebel against anything that has been forced upon them. If they start behaving a little wrongly, don’t be hard on them. Your hardness will not help them. Be soft, loving. Your love will cleanse them, and a natural growth of all that makes you the privileged beings in existence will arise of its own accord.
We don’t teach any discipline. People ask me, “You don’t teach any discipline – then how can five thousand people go on living together?” There is no need to teach discipline. All that is needed is that everybody should feel loved, respected, dignified – whatever he is doing.
In our commune whether you are the vice-chancellor of the university or just a driver makes no difference. These are functional things. One is serving the commune as a vice-chancellor, another is serving the commune as a driver. Both are necessary. Both are exactly dignified human beings.
Don’t be worried about a few people being disrespectful toward me, because I have never come across a sannyasin who is disrespectful toward me. Perhaps I am blind, perhaps I don’t understand the language of disrespect? No, I am not blind. No, I do understand every kind of language.
But when I am respectful to you, how can you manage to be disrespectful to me? It is just impossible. If I love you so much, how can you manage not to love me? And I am not expecting it. I love you because I cannot do anything else, and I am grateful to you that you don’t refuse my love. That’s enough for me.
But this is bound to stir your heart – a new dimension opening. Your father was giving you gifts because you respected him; your mother was very favorable to you because you loved her. Between me and you there is nothing other than love.
It is happening for the first time in the history of man that a master declares himself as ordinary as you are, that a master wants to be just one among you. There is no desire in me to be holier than you, higher than you, better than you. How can you manage to disrespect me? If you can manage, manage. If you can manage to hate me, do it. Perhaps I deserve it. Perhaps that is the only way for you to get rid of the hate.
Even the person who hates me relates with me emotionally, just like the person who loves me. They both are relating to me: one positively, one negatively. And this is such a small job, for me to change the negative into the positive. I can do it any day, so I never feel in a hurry and jump upon you to change; I wait. I wait for the change to come on its own, otherwise, something of resentment will remain – a thin layer maybe, somewhere.
So as far as I am concerned, be absolutely sure I have no complaint against any sannyasin – even against those sannyasins who have left sannyas. My love to them remains the same, my hope for them remains the same. I know perfectly well, sooner or later, they will have to come back, because they cannot exist with the dead, old society. Once they have tasted the juices of a living, new commune, they cannot mix with the old society. Where are they going to go? Santa Fe?
It is so simple, you can understand…. Those few sannyasins who have left me have all gathered in Santa Fe. Now I have to take care of two communes: your commune and the commune of the camels in Santa Fe. But those camels are going to come back home sooner or later. You should not have any resentment for those who have left. Freedom to me is the highest value; there is nothing higher than that.
Out of freedom you have joined my caravan.
Out of freedom, some day you feel to depart.
I bless you exactly the same on both occasions. When you become a sannyasin I bless you, and when you drop sannyas I bless you – because sannyas does not matter. What matters is the respect, the dignity of a human being, and I cannot in any way hurt your dignity.

You have about four hundred thousand sannyasins around the world. Nobody ever reached that many people before. Is there any limit to the number of your disciples?
First, correct your numbers. I don’t have four hundred thousand sannyasins. I have almost double that number: eight hundred thousand sannyasins. And there is no limit – we are going to take the whole earth! There is no limit. And this takeover is not political. Politicians should not be worried about it. This takeover is far deeper, far more significant; it is spiritual.
The reason why nobody before me in his lifetime has been able to reach so many people is simple: he was not open to all. He had a certain prejudice, a certain ideology, a certain program that he wanted to impose upon you. He could reach only those people who were ready for that kind of program.
I don’t have any program. I am available to all. Whether you are a Jew, or a Hindu, or a Mohammedan, or a Christian, or a communist does not make any difference, because I don’t have any program to enforce upon you. My work is just the opposite: I am deprogramming you.
So if you are a communist, my work is the same – I deprogram the communist, he is no longer communist. If you are a Jew, I deprogram the Jew – the process is the same, you are no longer a Jew. If you are a German, I deprogram you. It is a little hard, but on the other hand, when the deprogramming succeeds, the German proves to be the most reliable. He takes a little time, resists, but when he gives way he gives way totally.
Whoever comes to me, I don’t give him any discipline that he has to live by: don’t smoke cigarettes, don’t drink alcohol, don’t look at somebody else’s wife with desire.
I don’t know…how can you look at a beautiful woman without desire? It is insulting to the woman, it is against her human dignity. A woman, a beautiful woman, should be desired. The more she is desired, the more people look at her with desire, the more beautiful she becomes, the more contented she becomes.
I don’t see that anything that all old, stupid religions have been telling you will prevent you from reaching God. In the first place there is no God to reach, so don’t be worried about it. You are not going anywhere – to any God, to any paradise.
Secondly, I have not experienced that anything – alcohol, cigars, gambling, love affairs – anything that all the religions have been prohibiting can prevent your becoming enlightened. You can perfectly become enlightened, there is no need to sit under a Bo tree.
You can become enlightened with a Havana cigar, resting in your chair by the side of Patanjali lake, naked – there is no problem in it. How can a Havana cigar prevent enlightenment? I don’t see the arithmetic of it. It may perhaps help, but it cannot prevent.
It may help you to relax. It may help you just to be in the moment – naked, by the side of Patanjali Lake, enjoying the fresh air. A little champagne, may help you to be more meditative, because it will help you to get rid of other worries: that you have a wife, a nagging wife, that you have a husband who is just an idiot. Just a little champagne will take you away from all these ideas.
That’s why I have been able to reach eight hundred thousand people around the world. And these are the sannyasins. There are millions more who are just on the borderline; any moment they can become sannyasins. There are many more who may never become sannyasins, but feel that they are cowards, feel that this is the right thing to do. Perhaps in their next life they may become sannyasins.
We are going to take over the world in a spiritual sense. We are not interested in taking over governments, nations. We are interested in destroying nations, governments – there is no need of all this paraphernalia! What is the need of a president? Yes, if there are nations, then presidents are needed, premiers are needed, commanders in chief are needed, an army is needed, nuclear weapons are needed.
I don’t see that these things are needed to make humanity happier, more comfortable, more lovable, more dignified, more free. I don’t see how these things can help; they have not helped for thousands of years. It is time that we take over the whole world spiritually, and dissolve all kinds of nonsense that have been torturing man, stopping his growth.
The world can live in so much peace, serenity…. My effort, in short, is not to take you to paradise, but to bring the paradise to you on this earth. It can be done, because I have done it for myself.
I don’t think paradise can give anything more to me. In fact, I don’t want to go to paradise – if there is any paradise – because I don’t want to associate with those dead, ugly saints, ascetics, of all the religions. They will be there.
If…it is only an “if,” there is no heaven, no hell, but if there is a hell I would like to go there, because there I will find all the juicy people of the world, not dead bones, dry. I will find there Maupassant, Tolstoy, Byron, Van Gogh, Lautrec, Rabindranath, Nijinsky – the list is infinite. All the poets, all the musicians, all the dancers, all the lovers, all those who are creative will be in hell because they were not religious people. They were not ascetics, they enjoyed life to the fullest.
Now, you cannot think of Byron in heaven. England had to expel him – do you think paradise will accept him? England had to expel him because he was a woman’s man. All the so-called ladies completely forgot that they were ladies. Byron was so beautiful, so charming, that any woman would have fallen in love with him, and hundreds of women did fall in love with him.
It is said that husbands became so much afraid – and you can imagine British husbands! – that if Byron entered a restaurant, husbands would take the hands of their wives and rush out from the other door. Finally they could not stand him anymore, he was creating so much nuisance. And he was doing nothing, he was just a loving being, non-possessive. They expelled him. The day he was expelled, even the ladies from the royalty were there to give him a send-off – thousands of women. Now, this man cannot enter heaven, that much is certain. And I would like to meet Byron; I see a potential sannyasin in him.
Of course, I will be doing the same work in hell. If I can do this work on this earth, which is far worse than any hell, why can’t I do this work in hell? It will be easier there, because there is a better quality of people – intelligent people, creative people. They are just waiting for me to come. The moment you allow me to go, I will be with them. That is the company I would like to be associated with.

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