Light on the Path 03

Third Discourse from the series of 35 discourses - Light on the Path by Osho.
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These questions are from a center in America, and they say, “We are starting a new newspaper in America dedicated to your vision for humanity. We would like to call it, ‘Vision International.'“ Their first question is: Do you like the name?
Yes, absolutely yes.

The second question: Do you have any message for us in this new beginning?
Just remember one thing: the sannyas movement has entered a critical stage. It is a good sign; it will bring maturity, strength, togetherness.
What is to be remembered is that this strength, this togetherness does not become an organization. It remains the movement of individuals who are together because their experience is similar. They are not part of a religion, they are not a church; their individuality is absolutely intact….
Because that is one of the most difficult things: in times of difficulty one tends to become organized because that way you can fight better, you can oppose the enemy better. But my emphasis is that in opposing the enemy you create a bigger enemy within yourself: the organization, the church, the religion. The whole thing is defeated.
So remain continuously aware and make your readers remember in different ways in different times, that my message is for the individual, and I stand for absolute freedom, individuality. If we are together and if we are fighting together our aim is to fight for individuality and freedom. We are not going to become unconsciously a church, an organization.
That has happened to all the religions in the past. It was a calamity. Avoid the calamity.

Almost two years ago Sheela told us you wanted your sannyasins to leave California and close the centers there. But now that the ranch is ending, thousands of sannyasins have gone there to live. Would you like to say something to them?
It was simply a device to call people to the commune in Oregon. Now that the commune exists no more, the sannyasins in California should start their centers – if possible, communes. But remember that Oregon’s commune was the model, and in California no compromise should be made.
California is in a strange kind of mind – everything there is fashion. So within four, five years, it dies; a newer fashion takes place. Within the last thirty years many things have happened in California with a predictably great future, but they all died within two, three years. So make centers and communes in California, but avoid the Californian tendency of taking everything as a fashion.
Sannyas is not a fashion – it is one of the most eternal things in existence. It will be there always, it has been there always – because it is the search for the truth, it cannot be reduced to a fashion.

When we are scattered throughout the world, most of us far from you and living in small groups. Then what is the meaning of the second gachchhami: Sangham sharanam gachchhami?
Now it has more meaning than it had before. Let me tell you about all the gachchhamis.
The first is: Buddham sharanam gachchhami: “I go to the feet of the awakened one.” It is an approach of humbleness, openness, non-resistance. Without such an approach no master can function. The disciple has to give way for the master to enter the innermost core of his being. And that’s what he is saying: Buddham sharanam gachchhami – “I go to the feet of the awakened one.” He is saying, “I am no more.” He is saying, “Now you can do anything you want to do with me. I am absent and I want your presence in me.”
The second gachchhami is Sangham sharanam gachchhami – “I go to the feet of the commune of the awakened one.” The question has arisen about the second because now the commune in America is no more – but there are sannyasins all around the world. In a very subtle way, now our commune exists all over the world.
So don’t take it that the Oregon commune’s disappearance is just a disappearance; it has appeared everywhere where a sannyasin is alive and breathing. So the second gachchhami does not lose any meaning, it gains more meaning. It becomes universal.
It is easy to go to a master and to surrender. It is the simplest thing to do because the awakened person functions almost like a magnet. You are not doing anything, you are simply being pulled by the magnet. The second gachchhami is difficult, and hence more important than the first.
Now you are not only magnetically attracted by the charisma of the master…. You have tasted his love, his compassion, his awareness, his being. In his disciples it will not be so strong, it will not be a magnetic force…. But you have tasted the very being of the master in your surrender: you can recognize that anybody who has surrendered to the master has become in a very deep sense your brother or your sister. A love, because of the master, has arisen amongst the disciples. I call it love, I don’t want to call it any kind of organization. And to surrender to these simple people who have not yet arrived will make you more humble, will take your ego completely away from you.
The commune is now all over the world. Wherever a sannyasin exists, the commune exists. And when you are saying, “I go to the feet of the commune,” you are surrendering to millions of people. It is a tremendous experience of being egoless.
With a master there is a difficulty: you may surrender to a master because he is worthy of that – it is almost a demand from his very being. He is not saying anything to you, but his every breath is a demand. And the height of the man and the flight of his consciousness, on the one hand will help you to go to his feet; but on the other hand it may give rise to a subtle ego, that you have found a great master. In finding a great master, unconsciously you think you have become a great disciple.
But when you are doing the second gachchhami that possibility does not exist at all. You are simply being humble, you are simply showing your love – through the disciples – to the master.
The third gachchhami is Dhammam sharanam gachchhami: “I go to the feet of the ultimate realization of the master.” It is possible only after these first two gachchhamis that you can meaningfully say, “I go to the feet of the ultimate experience” – because it is abstract. The master was very tangible. The commune was not so tangible. And now particularly when you say, “I go to the feet of the commune,” you cannot even visualize or imagine it, because there is no commune as such, but individual sannyasins all over the world. But the third is the most difficult in the sense that you are entering abstraction – the religious experience, the experience of truth. You don’t know anything about it.
You have seen the man who has visited the land, you have felt his vibe, you have smelled the fragrance that he has brought, you have seen the light that is still lingering around him. In your deep surrender you have felt that this man is not what he looks; he is much more. He is carrying something invisible within himself.
This has been only a vague feeling, but it gives you an impetus to surrender yourself to the ultimate experience that has created the master, that has created the commune and that has become a star of attraction for you, a deep inspiration for you.
In the beginning the third gachchhami will be vague, abstract, but as you go on deeper in your surrender, with the first two gachchhamis, the third starts taking on more of a reality. It is not a dream, it starts becoming a truth.
All those three gachchhamis are deeply interconnected so none of them can be dropped at any point.

If national boundaries and visa restrictions continue to separate us from you and from each other, what is best for us to do about it?
They will not. It is for me to find a way that they don’t restrict you from seeing me, from being with me. I am working on it, and I don’t think it will take a long time to find a way; perhaps a month at the most. So nobody need worry about it. We will soon have our own place which will not be under any country’s rule.
And I want a totally new experiment that has not happened in history. There have been anarchists – their philosophy is one of the best. But it is so good that it becomes impossible to make it real; it remains utopian. Prince Kropotkin, Tolstoy – these people dreamed of a humanity which one day would drop all governments.
They thought that governments are the causes of all the evil that exists on the earth. To some extent they are right, but only to some extent. I cannot agree with them totally, because I know that if governments are removed, it will not be a beautiful world; it will be simply a chaos, full of evil – and much more than it was before, because all restrictions will have been removed, and all ugly instincts in man will still be there.
Just by removing a government you cannot change a murderer, and you cannot change a thief, and you cannot change a rapist. The government is not the cause but the effect. That’s where I differ from Prince Kropotkin, who has the clearest vision of anarchism. The government is there because man is not able to remain ungoverned. He needs somebody to keep him in control; otherwise he will be violent and he will do every nasty thing that is possible. The government exists because man needs it. The government is ugly; it should not exist, but what can be done?
If you have cancer then somebody has to do the surgery. We don’t want surgeons in the world, but if cancer continues to exist, we will need surgeons for it. The surgeons are not creating the cancer, the cancer is creating the surgeons.
This is one philosophy which has for centuries dominated the most highly intelligent people – the idea of absolute freedom, no restriction, no nation, no government. The other idea that has dominated human mind – and which has already tried to become a reality – is also very important. That is communism – that all men should be equal, there should be equality.
Inequality is ugly. Some people have all the riches, some people have nothing. In America, thirty million people are dying because they don’t have any food. And exactly the same number – thirty million people – are dying because of overeating.
Now, this must be a mad world! Things can be figured out very easily: these people should not overeat. They are eating those thirty million people’s lives, and they are destroying themselves in that effort. They can all live – sixty million people can live peacefully, but the second thirty million are eating the food of the first thirty million. These will die of starvation and the other people will die of obesity.
Communism has a tremendous appeal, but to me there is a very basic flaw in it. That is, that men basically and psychologically are not equal, neither physically nor mentally nor…in any way. Equality can be forced, but anything forced cannot remain forever. The moment the force is removed the equality will disappear.
In Russia now seventy years have passed since the revolution and they go on increasing the force to keep people equal. Now what kind of equality is this? The whole country has become a concentration camp. And whenever you try to make people equal by force, a strange thing is bound to happen: the lowest denominator will be the determining factor. You cannot make an idiot Albert Einstein, but you can make Albert Einstein an idiot. If you want equality then the lowest will be the norm – and that is absolutely unacceptable. So to me equality is not a value.
But I understand communism in a totally different way. I think of communism as an equal opportunity for everybody to be himself – not to be equal but to be unique. Equal opportunity to be unequal – that is my definition of communism. And I want, in the place that I am searching for – and I am very close to finding it – that we create a small commune for the first time in history, which has no government and which has no classes like the rich and the poor; still, equal opportunity for everybody to be himself.
Somebody is going to be Yehudi Menuhin and somebody is going to be Rabindranath Tagore and somebody is going to be Albert Einstein. And it will be ugly to destroy these people – because they are the very salt of the earth – just to create a society of idiots, retarded people. They may be equal but that society will not be worth living in.
And in the commune in Oregon I became aware of a simple method to do it: just remove money from the commune. Anybody can donate to the commune but nobody can purchase anything with money. Yes, whatever is anybody’s need, the commune should fulfill it: each according to his need. And if you just remove money as a method of exchange, a miracle happens. You may have millions of dollars, and I may not have a single dollar; but you are not richer and I am not poorer – because you cannot use your millions of dollars. In fact I am freer than you. You are carrying a load, a burden, unnecessarily; and I am not carrying the load of a single dollar. And my needs are fulfilled by the commune as much as your needs are.
There are still islands which are absolutely without any control by any government. A few are very undeveloped, so it will be a difficult job to develop them. But there are three islands which are fully developed; one has even an airport – it belongs to an individual who is willing to sell it.
The situation is such – there are five miles of land which is lush green with big trees…immense beauty. It is almost an oval-shaped island. One part is above sea level. It has the greenery and on it the owner has made small houses.
From the outside they look like the houses ancient, primitive people used to live in, so they do not stand apart from the trees and from the greenery; they are part of it. But from inside they are air-conditioned and with all modern equipment. The island has twelve bungalows, one hotel for eighty persons, one airport where, morning and evening, the plane comes; we can have our own planes.
And the other part of the island is five, six feet under the sea. The owner has not done anything on that part, and to me that part seems to be the most important, because we can make a five-mile row of houseboats – like Kashmir – on that. And it will look far better than Kashmir because on Kashmir you can see the land; the boat is attached to the land, the land is underneath the boat.
You can see water all around and there can be boats for five miles. We can accommodate thousands of sannyasins in those houses. They are beautiful houses, and we can improve upon them. And between the two – the forest in front, the houseboats at the back – between the two is a big lake. So small boats can move in the lake to provide small things for people on the boats. It is something absolutely ideal.
And the person is in a hurry to sell it. Perhaps he is financially broke, perhaps he is too old and now he has no energy for it. So most probably we will get it.
And the most historical thing will be…. Communism and anarchism have remained enemies, because anarchism says no government, and communism says a very strict government is needed; otherwise you cannot destroy the divisions between classes of the rich and the poor.
So communism says, “We need a dictatorship; even democracy will not do. We need an absolute totalitarian dictatorship.” On this point these two beautiful philosophies have such a disagreement that there is no possibility of agreement: “Government is the evil and you are making the evil more evil – you are making it a dictatorship. Even democracy is an evil. No government is the only way for humanity,” according to the anarchist.
But we can manage very easily because for seventy years, although communism has tried, it has failed: it has not been able to create a classless society. Yes, the rich have disappeared – they destroyed them. They killed one million people after the revolution, so the rich have disappeared. Only the poor are still poor. But the poor feel a certain satisfaction because now there is nobody to compare themselves with. There is nobody who is richer than them: everybody is equally poor.
This was not the idea; everybody should be equally rich. Then only there is some point; otherwise this is sheer stupidity. These people were poor before; a few people were rich and were enjoying the riches. You have not evolved the society; you have destroyed those people – their culture, their music, their literature, their dances – and you have created a society which is equally poor. And to keep them equally poor…because there are people who are creative, and if the government pressure is removed, soon you will see, within four years, there will be richer people and there will be poor people in Russia.
For seventy years they have been repressing and within four years all their repression will be gone: the rich will be rich and the poor will be poor…. Because richness is also an art. For example, you can see in America – before three hundred years ago, American Indians had lived for millions of years, poor. The same country, the same land, the same potentiality of the country, and for millions of years they have been the most poor on the earth.
And then three hundred years ago, as Columbus discovered America and the people from the West reached there, America became the richest country. Strange! The American Indians could not make anything out of America, and these people made it the richest country in the whole history.
So there are people…and there is an art how to create wealth. Russia is poor, and it will remain poor because it is not allowing its creative people, who can manage, to create wealth. It is repressing them and keeping them equal.
In my conception we can, for the first time, manage anarchism and communism both together. Just remove currency within the commune, and without any enforcement, without forcing people to be equal, we have brought a classless society. They will remain unequal; they will remain unique; they will remain themselves. And the commune’s function is to fulfill their needs. Their needs are different: somebody who plays on a flute needs a flute, and somebody who wants to play on a guitar needs a guitar.
In every dimension people should remain themselves, but the dignity of humanity will be equal because they have equal opportunity – and no government, because government is not needed.
There can be only a functional organization, just like the post office. Nobody knows who is the head postmaster of India – there is no need and the post office is working perfectly well. It is a functional organization. The railways – now, who knows who is the chief of the board of the railways? It is a functional organization. So we can have functional organizations without having any government.
There will be no need for any visas for anybody to come for as long as he wants to stay; there will be no need for any passport. At least we can create one place in the world where no nationality is recognized, no religion is recognized, no political boundaries are recognized. And perhaps that may give the idea to other people, that it is possible – and these are the same human beings, they have come from us. Just an absolutely clear-cut model is needed.
So there is no need to be worried. It is only a question of a few weeks…. And soon we will have our own place, and I will call all my people to start working. And we can absorb as many people as we want, because we are not thinking of making houses, we are thinking of making houseboats. Then the ocean is unlimited; then there is no problem about it. Why bother about land? Just a small piece of land will be enough for the functional things – the hotel, the airport. Otherwise we can go on spreading on the ocean.
And about the ocean the laws are such that around any island or land, two hundred miles of ocean is yours. So around the island for two hundred miles we can spread as much as…. And it will be a more mobile society. All those boats can move, all those houses can move. It will be more alive; it will not be a dead society, fixed, where everything remains where it is.
Man has not tried to live…otherwise water can be a far more beautiful place to live. Freedom to move – otherwise you become attached to the house, to the land. And I know of methods in Japan: they float gardens on the water. They mix straw with earth and float it, and then you can put any seeds on it; you can have roses and you can have all kinds of flowers. Japan has tried floating gardens for thousands of years; it is a perfect science.
And we have our sannyasins who can come and make floating gardens all around, so you don’t miss anything. One sannyasin has reported that one of his friends, a scientist, has made a house under water, fully air-conditioned with everything palatial, and on top he has made a beautiful garden. So you see only the garden; the house is underwater. And from the garden is the door to enter into the house. And he has found a special glue to mix with cement so that water cannot disturb it.
And he has succeeded in it. He has made it – it is now a successful experiment. We can call that man and we can give him all the opportunity to make houses underwater. An underwater house has a totally different beauty. You can make it in glass all around. Just as you can see the sky, you can see the ocean and the fish. And they are so colorful and they have such a beauty. Many of them have their own torches. In the night it is a procession of torches – those fishes flash light.
I have been reading about one man who has made a small experiment, which is successful, so that houses…. If the earth is shrinking because of the population…he has made houses in the air. It used to be just a proverb, “Castles in the air,” things to be rejected; but now he is ready to make real castles in the air. Just a big balloon, and inside you can make a whole city – and it will be floating. You can direct it in any direction, and you can send people from it to the earth.
Just, people remain orthodox about everything, so whatsoever has been done, they go on doing it. My hope is that in our commune we will try everything new; and drop the whole idea of how people have lived. And we will start not only on the economic, the psychological, the spiritual, but on the physical – on everything…fresh and new, and make it a model for the whole universe. You will have so many tourists that it will be enough to feed your whole commune.
And these Japanese who float pieces of earth on the ocean, on the river, on the lake – they grow flowers; they can grow food also. It is only a question of accepting the unknown and exploring it.
So no sannyasin has to be worried about it. Within a month we will have our place, and within a year people will start coming. And my idea is: perhaps on earth we cannot make a commune of one hundred thousand sannyasins, but on the ocean we can. And we are going to do it!

Can you say something to us to help us remember you as our friend, and not get caught up in our conditioning which tries to make you an authority figure?
Everything that I am saying to you is the answer to your question. Why the fear? – I am not an authoritarian figure. I don’t claim to be the only begotten son of God, an incarnation of God, a messiah, a prophet. How can you make me an authoritarian figure?
These people who have become authoritarian figures – they themselves were responsible; nobody made them. In fact the whole of Judea was trying to convince Jesus Christ: “You are not the only son of God – drop this nonsense!” But he was insistent. He was so insistent that they got fed up with the man and crucified him.
All these people were trying to become authoritarian figures. But a small distinction has to be understood: to be an authoritarian figure is one thing, and to be an authority is a different thing.
The authoritarian says, “Whatever I say, you believe, because it comes directly from God and I have a direct communication line – which you don’t have. It is none of your business to doubt. Doubt will be punished – faith will be rewarded.”
But to be an authority is a totally different thing. It means that whatever I am saying, I am saying on my own authority; it is not within quotation marks. It is not that I am representing God, that I am representing Jesus Christ, or Krishna, or Buddha. It is not that I am simply a successor to any authority figure.
To be an authority simply means that it is my own experience, and I am speaking out of my own authority. It does not require you to believe, it requires you to inquire. But I can say authoritatively that you will find it, because I have found it. There is no reason why you cannot find it.
So anybody who speaks on his own experience is an authority, but he is not an authority figure. He is not authoritarian; he is simply an authority. You can doubt what I say – you will not be punished. You can believe what I say – you will not be rewarded. All that you have to do is to inquire and follow the path and find it out yourself. One thing is certain, that when I am saying it to you, it is not borrowed, it is my own experience.

Will you describe for us what your daily life is like?
It is the same as it has always been! – and it will be the same always. I never miss anything. Even in jail I enjoyed it; although it was absolutely a different world. In twelve days I took only one shower! – and that too because Vivek persisted. She used to meet me in court and her only insistence was, “You should take a shower!”
And I told her, “I am enjoying resting in my bed twenty-four hours a day. And when I come out I can take a good shower for all the twelve days – don’t be worried!”
In the jail they were asking me…because as I was being moved from one jail to another the press would ask many questions. One question was: “How are you feeling?”
I said, “Great – as I have always felt.”
They said, “This is a jail!”
I said, “This may be a jail but you cannot imprison me. Yes, my hands are chained, my legs are chained, but that does not imprison me; I am simply watching the whole scene. And for years I have not rested twenty-four hours a day with closed eyes.”
Even the inmates would come and say, “Bhagwan, are you sick or something?”
“I am not sick, I am really feeling very good!”
And exactly that’s what happened: when I left the jail the jailer told me, “You are the first person in my life who is leaving jail better than he had come in! You look so rested.”
I said, “What else to do in a jail!” And this is my whole philosophy: to make the best out of the worst.

Indian people particularly ask the question again and again, that just as you have dropped the religion of Rajneeshism – freed the sannyasins from the mala and red clothes – are you one day going to drop the title of “Bhagwan” too? It prevents many people from coming to you.
It has been raised in many articles and many books written against me, so it is good to go into it in a little detail.
First, “Bhagwan” is not a title. Nobody can give that title. Nor is “Bhagwan” a degree, that you can pass an examination and the degree can be conferred on you. Nor is “Bhagwan” some position that can be appointed by a committee or by some people. Nor is “Bhagwan” an elected post, that you fight an election and whosoever has the majority of votes becomes Bhagwan.
The critics who have been writing against me, they have always made it a point that I am “self-appointed” Bhagwan. And I have always wondered, do they have anybody – Rama, Krishna, Buddha, Mohammed – appointed by somebody else?
If Rama is appointed by somebody else as Bhagwan, then certainly the appointing authority is higher – and if you can be appointed, you can be dis-appointed too.
This is absolutely stupid! Basically, they have not understood the idea: “Bhagwan” is a state of experience – nothing to do with an appointment, an election, a title or degree. It is the experience of bhagwata, of godliness, that the whole existence is full of godliness, that there is nothing other than godliness.
There is no God, but in every flower and in every tree, in every stone, there is something which can only be called godliness. But you can see it only when you have seen it within yourself; otherwise you don’t know the language.
“Bhagwan” is simply a state of being, the highest state of being; you cannot go beyond it.
The second confusion in the critics has been because they don’t understand that in India there are three religions. Hinduism uses “Bhagwan” for God. Buddhism uses “Bhagwan” for godliness, Jainism uses “Bhagwan” for godliness – they don’t have any God, both the religions are godless.
But Buddhists for centuries have been calling Gautam Buddha “Bhagwan,” and Jainas have been calling Mahavira “Bhagwan.” And very strange – nobody has objected that “you don’t have a god in your philosophy, then how can you call Buddha a god, or Mahavira a god? It has not been raised because neither Buddha nor Mahavira ever claimed themselves to be God; they simply said that they have experienced godliness.
Now, it is a state – and even if I want to drop it, I cannot drop it. It is me.
I dissolved the organization that was becoming a religion. I allowed my sannyasins the freedom to choose their clothes, to have a mala or not to have a mala; and now it is more beautiful. If you have a mala, it is your choice; if you are using red clothes, it is your choice. It is nothing imposed on you, it is not against your will.
It was easy to drop the organization because I have always been against organizations. It was created while I was in silence, it was not created by me. I told you to burn the book of Rajneeshism because it was not written by me; I have never written anything.
It was in my silence that people collected my sayings from here and there according to their understanding, and mixed them with their own ideas to create something equal to other religions’ holy books.
I told you to burn all the books.
Red clothes don’t mean anything – they were used as a device. I wanted my people to be courageous enough to stand in society – aloof, alone. I had given them the mala so that they become associated with me, they become associated with all my ideas, which are against all religions, all political ideologies. That point has been made. Now my sannyasins are around the world.
It is perfectly easy to drop the color, the mala – there is no problem. Now you have to be more…
I have not made things easier for you, remember – I have made things difficult. Now only meditation remains for you.
And now, only through meditation will you be recognized as sannyasins.
Meditation has to change you so much that you become a different species, that even in a crowd my sannyasins can be picked out. They will have a radiation of their own, a silence of their own, a peace of their own. Their eyes will show it, their bodies will show it, their gestures will show it.
Meditation I cannot drop because that is what is going to transform you and bring you one day to bhagwata, godliness. Meditation is the way to godliness.
It is impossible for me to drop “Bhagwan.” If it was a title it would be very easy to drop it. If it was anything other than an experience, an existential state, it would be possible to drop it. It is impossible to drop it because now there is no distinction between me and it, so who is going to drop whom?
Secondly, even if it was possible to drop, I would not drop it. In your question you say, “because many people are prevented because of it.” That is the reason why I will not drop it: I don’t want those people to come to me who cannot come to me just because of a word. And for what do they need to come to me? In India there are nine hundred million people who are not Bhagwan – they can go to them.
Why do they come, or think of coming, to me? It is strange that they can go anywhere – everywhere they will find millions of people who are not Bhagwan and they can enjoy meeting them. If they want to meet me, they want to meet me because of “Bhagwan.”
But their ego is hurt. I will not drop it because I want them to understand that it is their ego that is hurt. If they want to come; they will have to drop their ego.
They will have to drop their ego. I have not to change myself for them to come to me – they will have to change themselves if they want to come to me. I don’t need them to come to me, I have no necessity. It is their desire to come to me, so they should pay for it.
It is a very strange demand, that I should change myself because they want to meet me; they should change themselves if they want to meet me.

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