Light on the Path 12

Twelth Discourse from the series of 35 discourses - Light on the Path by Osho.
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I was sitting in Holland, and through everything that happened around you, I got really worried, so I just decided to come. I wanted to see you, I just wanted to see whether you are okay. I was so mad when I saw what happened to you, I got so angry.
I have a question – I just made it up. What I see happening in Europe for the last months, is the attitude that religion is dead and leaders are “out.” You have shown me the meaning of religion, and I consider myself a leader, so I decided to call myself a religious leader. Everybody freaked out, saying, “You are nuts – that is not the thing to do today.” I said, “That's why I'm doing it!”
Osho, what do you think?
The question is very significant. There is a prophetic saying of Nietzsche’s: “God is dead and man is free.” He had tremendous insight into the matter. Very few people have been able to understand it, the depth of his statement. It is a milestone in the history of consciousness.
If there is a God, man can never be free – that is an impossibility. God and man’s freedom cannot co-exist, because the very meaning of God is that he is the creator; then we are reduced to puppets. And if he can create us, he can destroy us at any moment. He never asked us when he created us – he is not obliged to ask us when he wants to destroy us. It is purely his whim to create or to destroy. How can you be free? You are not free even to be. Even your birth is not your freedom, nor is your death your freedom – and between these two slaveries do you think your life can be freedom?
God has to die if man’s freedom is to be saved.
The choice is clear; there is no question of any compromise. With God man will remain a slave and freedom will remain just an empty word. Only without God does freedom start having meaning.
But Friedrich Nietzsche’s statement is only half; nobody has tried to make it complete. It looks complete, but appearances are not always true. Friedrich Nietzsche was not aware that there are religions in the world which have no God – yet even in those religions man is not free. He was not aware of Buddhism, Jainism, Taoism – the most profound religions of all. For all these three religions there is no God.
For the same reason Lao Tzu, Mahavira and Gautam Buddha have denied God – because they could see that with God, man is just a puppet. Then all efforts for enlightenment are meaningless; you are not free, how can you become enlightened? And there is somebody omnipotent, all-powerful – he can take away your enlightenment. He can destroy anything!
But Nietzsche was not aware that there have been religions which are godless. For thousands of years there have been people who have understood that God’s existence is the greatest barrier to man’s freedom – they removed God. But still man is not free.
What I am trying to lead you to understand is that just by making God dead you cannot make man free. You will have to make one more thing dead – and that is religion.
That’s why I said religion also has to die; it has to follow God. And we have to create a religiousness which is godless and religionless, which has nobody above more powerful than you, and no organized religion to create different kinds of cages – Christian, Mohammedan, Hindu, Buddhist. Beautiful cages…
With God and religion both dead, one more thing dies automatically – and that is the priesthood, the leader, the different forms of religious leader. Now he has no function. There is no organized religion in which he can be a pope or a shankaracharya or Ayatollah Khomeini. He has no God whom he can represent; his function is finished.
Buddha, Mahavira, Lao Tzu dropped God in the same way as Friedrich Nietzsche – not knowing, not aware that if religion remained even without God, the priest would manage to keep man in slavery. And he has kept man in slavery.
So to complete the insight of Friedrich Nietzsche, religion has to die. There is no point of an organized religion if there is no God. For whom does the organized religion exist? The churches, the temples, the mosques, the synagogues have to disappear. And with that the rabbis and the bishops and all kinds of religious leaders become simply jobless, they become futile. But a tremendous revolution happens: man becomes utterly free.
Before I can tell you the implications of this freedom you have to understand: if Friedrich Nietzsche’s insight is complete, then what kind of freedom will be available to man? God is dead, man is free…free for what? His freedom will be just like any other animal’s.
It is not right to call it freedom – it is licentiousness. It is not freedom because it does not carry any responsibility, any consciousness. It will not help man to raise himself upwards, to become something higher than he is in his slavery. Unless freedom takes you higher than what you were in your slavery, it is meaningless.
It is possible your freedom may take you lower than your slavery, because the slavery had a certain discipline, it had a certain morality, it had certain principles. It had a certain organized religion to look after you, to keep you afraid of punishment and hell, to keep you greedy for rewards and heaven, and to keep you a little above the wild animal – who has freedom but that freedom has not made him a higher being. It has not given him any quality that you can appreciate.
And because Nietzsche has no idea that just to give freedom is not enough…is not only not enough, it is dangerous. It may reduce man to animality. In the name of freedom he may lose his path towards higher states of consciousness.
When I say that God is dead, religion as an organized body is dead – man is free to be himself. For the first time he is free to explore his innermost being with no hindrances. He is free to dive into the depths of his being, rise to the heights of his consciousness. There is nobody to hinder him, his freedom is total.
But this freedom is possible only if – with God going out of existence, religion going out of existence, priesthood, religious leadership going out of existence – we can save something that I call the quality of religiousness, so only religiousness is alive…and it is perfectly harmonious with human freedom; it enhances human growth.
And by “religiousness” I mean that man, as he is, is not enough; he can be more, he can be enormously more. Whatever he is, is only a seed. He does not know what potential he is carrying within himself.
Religiousness simply means a challenge to grow, a challenge for the seed to come to its ultimate peak of expression, to burst forth in thousands of flowers and release the fragrance that was hidden in it. That fragrance I call religiousness. It has nothing to do with your so-called religions, it has nothing to do with God, it has nothing to do with priesthood: it has something to do with you and your possibilities of growth.
So I have removed all the barriers. And I can understand your problem. I have made you religious, I have made you a religious leader, and naturally, suddenly I have taken everything away from you.
The situation is such…I found you crying and weeping, in misery, in anguish, and it was not the time to talk about religiousness. You needed a few toys to play with – I gave you the toys. You enjoyed the toys; you stopped crying, you forgot your misery, you were happy, you were singing and dancing. But the problem is that that is not the end of your potential, and I was so much concerned that you may get stuck in this superficial happiness, joy…
I had to take away those toys – you may get too identified with them, you may cling to them because they gave you a moment of joy. Those toys have taken your tears away, you have forgotten your worries and your anguish. Those toys have proved something like opium. Before you get too addicted to those toys, a real master has to take them away.
Only a false master can be happy with your happiness, because you will be grateful to him – although you are living in an illusion. Toys cannot give you the authentic, the real. The original face cannot be revealed by them. Yes, they can keep you engaged, occupied, so that you can forget yourself. But the real question is not to forget yourself but to remember.
Now those toys are a hindrance. They did their work, they have taken away your tears. They did their work, they have given you a consolation; at least you are now in a position where something of the higher can be talked about. Those toys have to be taken away quickly. Given time, you will start carrying those toys with you twenty-four hours a day, just like little children with their teddy-bears; they cannot sleep without them, they cannot go anywhere without them. They have become almost part of their being.
Naturally, you will be in an embarrassing situation – because I gave you religion, I gave you a certain leadership. You created around you a following. You created, converted, convinced people of the truth of the new religion. And the more people were convinced by you, the more you were convinced that certainly you are a great leader.
And then suddenly, in the middle of a sweet dream, I wake you up and tell you that it is all nonsense: there is no religion, there is no leadership, there is no possibility of any organized truth, and there is no way that somebody can represent it.
It is very shattering. It takes away the earth, and you find yourself hanging in a limbo. But I want you to allow this situation to penetrate you as deeply as possible so that you can be free, and you can also make those people who have come under your influence free.
It is very easy to influence somebody, to convert somebody, to create a following; it is very difficult to unconvince him – to say that you are no longer a leader, in fact you have never been a leader; that there is no religion, that you were talking in your dreams.
It needs guts to say to people, “I am not your savior,” to say to people, “I am not your leader; I am a seeker, just the way you are a seeker. At the most we can be fellow travelers, we can be friends, but that ugly relationship of the leader and the follower does not exist anymore.
“We can love each other; there is no need of any agreement, there is no fear about disagreement. You have to be yourself. Certainly there will be things you will not agree about, and there will be things I will not agree with you about.” That’s what makes individuals and gives them uniqueness – and that’s one of the most beautiful experiences, to see in somebody a unique individual.
They will be shocked. Those who have become convinced, those who started looking up to you for guidance, for growth – they will be shocked. But that shock is necessary. It is necessary because unless the child’s cord that joins him with the mother is cut…and it is a shock, the greatest shock.
You will not come across such a shock in your whole life, because the child has been living through the mother, he has been feeding, breathing through the mother. For nine months he has been simply a part of the mother, and suddenly you disconnect him; you disconnect that helpless child from the source of his life. To the child the shock is almost like death. You are trying to give him an individuality; you are giving him his own being, his own life.
The womb may be cozy, the womb may be comfortable – it is very comfortable. The scientists say we have not yet been able to create any kind of situation which is so cozy, so comfortable as the mother’s womb. The child has not to worry about food, about tomorrow. The child simply lives unworried, unconcerned with any problem. He knows no problem for nine months, and then suddenly all the problems…he is no longer connected with the source of his life. But these problems have to be faced. These problems will give him a backbone. The earlier he accepts the challenge, the better.
Exactly the same happens when somebody follows you. He becomes dependent for all insight, for all guidance. He need not think about it: you know it, the leader knows it, the priest knows it. He has simply to ask – he need not bother to find the answer himself.
You had taken away his worries, and now you are giving him all the worries back again, all the problems, all the challenges. You are not only giving him all the worries that you had taken away from him, you are multiplying them by saying there is no God. At least before he had met you there was a God; he could have prayed!
I was in jail in America. In one of the cells in one of the jails, I was sharing with an old man – very nice, but each morning he would kneel down, put his head on the bed and pray to God. The whole day he was looking at The Bible; then before going to sleep again the same ritual, he would kneel down. He was a little puzzled that I was not doing anything like that. The next day he asked me, “Are you not a Christian?”
I said, “I am available if you can convert me to Christianity. Only one thing I can say to you, that I am available to everybody. Just try to convert me.”
He was very happy – a great chance to convert a man to Christianity. He started talking about God, and I started asking him questions which of course he was not even able to answer. He read passages from The Bible and I told him, “This is all nonsense!”
By the evening he said, “Forgive me, I have not been able to convert you – but you have disturbed me completely. The whole day I have been trying again and again. Whenever you have been out for your lunch or your supper I tried my prayer: it does not work, because even I am suspicious myself that what I am doing may be stupid – kneeling down and putting my head on the bed and trying to talk to a God who does not exist.
“But you have disturbed me very much. I have been in jail for seven years and God has helped me immensely. But you say there is no God, so perhaps it was just my imagination. I was thinking it was God who is taking care of me, that it is only a test – this jail, for ten years – and that he is always there and I need not be worried. Seven years have passed, another three years will also pass, and I have not complained a single time. I was very proud that I trusted him. If he has put me in such a situation then there must be some meaning in it. It is God’s act – it cannot be meaningless.
“But if there is no God…and I cannot answer your questions. I had never doubted, but you have created doubt in me. You will be gone in a day or two – how am I going to pass the coming three years? I will look in The Bible and I will find doubts. I will try to pray and I will know that I am doing just a stupid thing: there is nobody here. I am just doing the whole thing on my own, creating a hallucination.”
He came close to me, took my hands in his hands and asked me, “Just please put me back – whatever it is, right or wrong, just put me back into my illusions. Don’t leave me in this situation; otherwise these three years will be too much to bear.”
So when you tell people, you will not only be simply returning their worries. You will be giving them a multiplied form of their worries, because meanwhile you have taken away many of their consolations, their beliefs, their illusions. They will be angry; they will be very much disappointed.
It is easy to convert somebody to a system of belief; it is very difficult to convince somebody to be free of all beliefs, because you are destroying all possibilities of creating hallucinations.
But this is the function of the authentic man.
I gave you toys – I have broken them. And you have to understand the significance of why I have broken them…because I feel that now my people are mature enough that they can live without God, that they don’t need any teddy-bear; that they can live without any organized religion, that they can live on their own, alone.
With this tremendous trust in you, I have taken your toys away, knowing that it will hurt for a moment. But you have come of age, and I am not going to be here forever: before I leave I have to take away all the illusions that I have given to you, because I don’t want to be responsible before existence.

I don't want you to be worried about me. I haven't gone nuts organizing religions, don't be worried that I am doing that – I am not that serious about it. I thought you would have a good laugh!
You think that I have gone nuts out there – no, I was just trying to tell you, “Hey, Osho, I'm in your corner.” I'm not telling people to join my team. No, don't worry about that.
No, I'm sitting here saying, “Oh, man! He thinks I've gone crazy!” No, no, no, no – I was just adding a question. I thought she [indicating Samadhi] was going to do the interview, and I thought, “Here is a laugh for the end: ‘Osho, I am a religious leader!'“
I know that, but I’m not only answering you. Through you I’m answering so many people around the world: you are just an excuse!
So I know you, that’s…Don’t be worried about it. But there are people who will be really shocked. They were enjoying their leadership, they were enjoying following people who had become convinced. Now I have simply destroyed the whole structure. They will all be angry with me. Rather than being grateful to me they will be angry at me.
Only those who are mature enough will feel the gratitude that I am leaving you absolutely free, that I am giving you the taste of what it means to be free. And yet that freedom is not going to drag you downwards; that freedom is going to take you upwards.
So I have kept the word religiousness just to remind you that God can die, religions can disappear, but religiousness is something interwoven into existence itself.
It is the beauty of the sunrise, it is the beauty of a bird on the wing. It is the beauty of an opening lotus. It is all that is truthful, all that is sincere and authentic, all that is loving and compassionate. It includes everything that pulls you upwards, that does not make you stop at where you are, but always keeps reminding you that you have yet far to go. Every place that you stop for a rest is only a rest for the night; in the morning we go again on the pilgrimage. It is an eternal pilgrimage, and you are alone – and you are totally free.
So it is a great responsibility – which is not possible for a man who believes in God, which is not possible for a man who believes in the priest, who believes in the church, because he is giving his responsibility to other people. The Christian thinks Jesus is the savior, so it is his responsibility: “He should come and deliver us from our misery, from this hell.”
Freedom simply makes you absolutely responsible for everything that you are and that you are going to be.
Hence I have kept the word “religiousness.” It is beautiful. It is not organization; it is not Hindu, Mohammedan, Christian. It is simply a fragrance just to keep you going. There is nowhere to stop.
In life there is no full stop, not even a semi-colon – just small commas. Just for a while you can rest, but the rest is just to gather energy to go forward, to go upward.
I know your question has nothing to do with you; nor has my answer anything to do with you. But it is a significant question and it has to do with thousands of people around the world. They need clarity about it, what is happening: From this, where do we go?
Samadhi, do you have a question?

I just thank you so much!
I know!

I have been crying very much. I thought I was crying about you – I think not. All the time I felt sad and so embarrassed for you, and I never want it to happen again!
I see a lot of people…I know that lots of people love you so much. They cannot take the stories of Sheela, the commune, but whenever they read your words or they read a book or they hear a thing, they feel you.
And I just wonder: how will it be possible for people still to have you available? There are no big centers anymore. How will it be possible?
Is there anything that can be done?
Now it will be easier. Now I will be more available to individuals, and they will be able to be in direct contact with me more easily.
And the communes will come together again, but on a higher level, on a higher plane. The centers will come to function again. It is good for the time being just to have a discontinuity, so everything that comes has not even a shadow of the past over it.
I don’t want very organized communes, for the simple reason that whenever you become very organized you start losing something for which you had started to organize in the first place. Other things become more important.
For example, in Pune there was a totally different quality. People were coming from all over the world. They had small centers. There was no centralized domination over the centers; all the centers were free to do whatsoever they wanted to do. To me it was far more beautiful.
People were working six, nine months; then for three months they were with me. And then those three months were just of pure joy because there was no need to work, there was no need to be concerned with all kinds of unnecessary problems. They were enjoying meditations. If they wanted, they were doing therapy groups. If they simply wanted to be there to listen to me, they were there. Those three months or six months, or whatsoever they could manage, were sheer joy.
In America the whole fabric changed. People had no time even to meditate. Out of sheer necessity they had to built the houses, they had to make the roads, they had to make the reservoir; otherwise how could they live? For five thousand people they had to make all the living facilities.
Sooner or later that kind of commune was going to break down, for the simple reason that people were engaged twelve to fourteen hours per day. They had never thought about it; they had come to the commune with the idea of Pune – that it would be a relaxation, it would be a meditation, it would be a growth facility, and their whole time would be for their spiritual growth. They could play music, they could be creative on their own.
But what they found there was that out of sheer necessity they were building houses, they were making roads, they were making reservoirs; they were fighting hundreds of cases against the government, against the neighbors. Their whole energy…as if they had forgotten for what they had come. There was no time to meditate, no time to dance, no time to sing your songs or play on your flute. They were just hoping that soon, when the commune was complete, they would be able…
But I knew that this was impossible. First, the commune would never be complete in the sense that new people were joining; you had to make new houses, new roads, new facilities, more food, more clothes, more medical facilities, more schools for children. The commune was growing, people were coming, so you would continuously work for this growth.
Secondly, how long can you exist on donations? So even if you come to a point where you see all the facilities of our commune are complete – which is not possible! But just hypothetically, if you come to a point where your facilities are complete – for five thousand, for ten thousand people, you have enough – then the question will arise that you have to be productive. And productive not in the sense of creative, but productive in the sense of being commercial; otherwise how are you going to survive?
These five thousand people had given everything that they had to create the facilities. But you cannot just live in a house and move on the road. You need food, you need milk, you need medicine, you need clothes: you will have to produce things. And you are caught in a wheel.
So rather than being meditative, rather than just enjoying, being on a holiday, now you are creating factories, working in the factories, producing things…then trying to sell them, finding a market, marketing them…
I knew that this could not be possible. And if it becomes possible, you will turn out to be just another village. You will lose the basic thing for which you had come; you may completely forget about it.
So the commune was going to break down. But it was a necessary step. Always remember that before you succeed in something you have to pass through many failures; success never comes directly. Each failure brings you closer to it because each failure gives you clarity, insight.
People wanted to live with me their whole lives. I knew that this is an impossible demand, but I don’t want to hurt anybody. As far as I can manage I never say no, even if I see that this is not going to work. But my saying no will not be right. Let them try and find it out.
So now we are in a better position because all the communes in Europe are going to break down for the same reasons. Economically they will be in difficulties; legally they will be in difficulties. Soon, when there are difficulties, people start being annoyed, irritated, angry; they start fighting with each other…
It is good there are small centers where people come to meditate, to read. At the weekend they can stay there, be together – small groups which can manage themselves. There is no need for any production, there is no need to build houses; there is no other need.
And these people have to work in the world. That’s why I have given the freedom to wear all colors – no need to wear the mala if there is any problem – so that you can mix with society, work, and there is no trouble for you. And if you are working for a year, you can certainly save for three months, two months, to be with me.
And I will find a place – I am looking for it – a beautiful place, idyllic, just pure beauty, so that you can enjoy those two months to your heart’s content. Then you can go back into the world, and you can radiate the joy and the beauty and the experience. You can contaminate other people…
But the place I am going to find is not going to be a commune where you have to stay for your whole life – just a skeleton crew to take care of visitors, guests who will be coming to stay and then going away. This way it will be easier – the unnecessary legal problems, unnecessary financial troubles can be avoided.
The people who have been working as therapists can continue to work, but on an individual basis. You have friends in small centers who know you – they can arrange a group for you. Rather than having an institution, you become a moving institution where people can arrange a group for seven days. You can be with those people for seven days or whatever; you can be available to them, you can become available to them. You can be my wandering messengers.
And anybody who wants to come to me can always come and be here for the time that they can manage. Neither am I responsible, nor will the place where I will be living be responsible. You are responsible: for however long you can manage, you can be there. And then, you go back to the world.
This will bring more people in direct contact with me, because it was happening that people found it difficult even to make arrangements to come to the festivals. They wanted to, but they had given all their money to the commune.
In Germany, in Switzerland, or in Holland, they had given their money to the commune – now they had no money. They wanted to come to the festival in America to be with me, but they didn’t have money. And the commune had its own problems. It had four hundred people; everybody wanted to go, but they could not arrange for four hundred people. Whatsoever money they had given had gone into construction and houses and instruments and everything – and they didn’t have money. They were all at a loss.
So there are people who used to come to Pune every year and were not able to come to me in America in four years. Every year they were trying to come – but how to come? And the communes where they started living necessarily needed money, so they had given all the money to the commune.
And then the commune was not able to send those people. It could send ten people, twenty people at the most per year. That meant if a four-hundred-people commune was there, it would take somebody ten years, twenty years to reach me. And he was capable of coming every year when he was alone, not living in a commune. So that was absurd.
But we had to pass through that phase, and we have passed through it without any damage, because unless I am damaged, nothing is damaged!
So don’t be worried about it. Just tell those people to decentralize. Big communes won’t function – decentralize! The small centers, the old way, was far better; people enjoyed it because somebody’s house became a center, and the person loved it, that his house was being used for my work. It becomes something integrated, that people come there to meditate – it is not something impersonal.
The commune becomes impersonal. And the commune is continuously looking for people who can put in more money. That is nothing to condemn the commune for, because the commune’s problem is that it is going downhill all the time. People are there, their necessities are there, and prices are rising and you don’t know…a person has given everything, now he has cancer. You have to take care of the person, you have to take care of his surgery; a person has AIDS, now what to do with that person? You cannot say, “Simply leave the commune” – that seems ugly. But you cannot allow him to live there either, because that seems to be dangerous for four or five hundred people.
You have to decide something. That man may have given everything; he has nothing, nowhere to go. And it is ugly that when he is in a difficulty…and not an ordinary difficulty; when he is facing death you are not supporting him, so you feel guilty. But you are in a dilemma: if you keep him in the commune, then too you will feel guilty because you are risking five hundred people’s lives. So you have to choose the lesser evil, but whatever you choose, you will feel guilty. If you leave that man out, you will feel guilty; if you keep him in you will feel guilty. Something has to be done.
It is better to decentralize the communes. There is no need…just individual homes, individual sannyasins who have small farms or some holiday place in the hills can easily manage weekends or a full week. And now all my therapists are free, so they will be moving all around the world. Wherever they are, use them. Because the place I am going to find is going to be totally different. There will not be therapy groups: there will be meditation groups, there will be music groups, there will be sculpture groups, there will be poetry groups. How long are we going to do just therapy?
People have done therapy; now they need something creative to do. They are in a position now to do something creative. There should be painting groups…So it will be a school of a different kind. You learn painting, you learn to play the guitar, you learn some other instrument, you learn dancing. So we will have these kinds of teachers – dancers, musicians, painters, sculptors, poets – and that will be sheer joy. It will be up to you to join any, or as many as you like. And there will be meditation groups; these will continue.
And I will be available to you in a totally different format – in this format, that you can sit by my side and ask questions. Anybody who has a question can ask a question, because now you are mature enough: there is no need to think that you will ask some stupid question. And even if you do, there is no harm because I never remember what you have asked! I simply answer what I have to answer. Whatever the question, my answer is going to be certainly significant and meaningful to you.
So I would like now that two hundred people will be there at a time. They can sit just by my side and have a more close, more intimate contact. When there are ten thousand or twenty thousand people I cannot see even your faces, you cannot see my face. You are present, but what kind of presence is that?
So my new idea is that there is going to be my residence only, with a facility for two hundred people who can sit around me on the lawn, anywhere. There is no need for any formal setup; informally we can talk. Or if there is no question, we can just sit in silence. Or if somebody wants to dance, he can dance; if somebody wants to play the flute, we can listen to the flute. So it will be more of a communion.
It will be a totally different way.
So go back and tell my people that they should decentralize, so they don’t unnecessarily have troubled heads and the burdens of financial difficulties. Every big commune is going to be bankrupt. So go fast! If it is going to be bankrupt, then go bankrupt! But just disperse people, make them free.
And small, intimate groups, small groups…and nobody dominating, no coordinators. You have not to ask somebody whether you can do this or not – each small center is autonomous.
I am for freedom.
How can I go on allowing you to be dominated, directed, forced? It has been such a painful experience for me.
Because Veeresh did not listen to the international committee that dominated all the communes and centers, because he was behaving individually, his own way – he was not fitting into a certain pattern – his institute was to be dissolved, it was not to exist in my name.
And that was happening all the time, that this institute had to be closed, that that commune had to be closed, because they didn’t listen, because they didn’t follow orders; they went on in their own way. It was becoming such a heartache for me – every day, continuously.
So I don’t want that kind of thing to happen again. You just have total freedom. And I am available always. And my people are all intelligent people – they can manage to come to me for two, three months per year, and be with me…or whenever they can manage, for however long they can manage.
My feeling is, this will be of deeper significance. And I will not be burdened…because I don’t want to hurt anybody, and then it becomes a problem to me.
I will be the last person to say to Veeresh, “Close your institute.” And he knows it. But the people in power were continually harassing me; it became a point for them to harass me that Veeresh’s institute should be closed. If I didn’t listen to them, then they would start being destructive in other ways.
And that’s what happened ultimately. Sheela never wanted me to speak again, for the simple reason that if I speak then she is no longer of any importance. If I am in silence then she is the representative, and whatever she says is the holy word. If I am speaking directly, and you can question me directly, she is simply no longer the image she has created in four years.
She was insisting that I should not speak, and because I started speaking, she started being destructive to the commune. She created it in every possible way…that the commune could not exist if she leaves. She had not even left food for the next day when she left the commune; she had stopped purchasing food and everything for fifteen days and she left exactly when all the food was finished.
I had sent her to India to look for a location in the Himalayas, because I had told her one year before that if this continuous government fight is going to be there…four hundred sannyasins are involved in legal services – what nonsense! These people had come to meditate here; they had not come to be attorneys and advocates and in paralegal service and this and that. That they could have done anywhere. That’s what they have been doing their whole life – they had come here to get rid of it! Now again, they were in the same rut.
If this was going to be, then it would be better, before something drastic came…because the government was getting more and more illegal; that was an absolute sign that they were getting drastic. Legally, they could not win; legally we were winning the cases. And to win against the government legally was certainly very shameful to the government. What were you doing if you went on losing cases? That means you were harassing these people. The courts were not supporting you, you were being illegal.
I had told her that sooner or later they will take a drastic step to finish the commune at whatever cost. And that’s what they did.
So I had sent her one year before to look for a location where I wanted to start this new phase of work. She came here, but because I had not agreed to her idea of keeping silent, forever…That was her idea, so she would remain forever dominant, the high priestess of the religion. She went on saying things which I had not said, and she did not say the things which I had said. She went on doing things, and then later on she asked my permission – and she had already done it!
Rather than looking for the place, for seven days she remained in Delhi, informing us from there, “Because of Punjab and India’s central government, and Indira’s assassination” – that was the time – “it is very dangerous to move in the Himalayan areas, so I am stuck in Delhi. If you say so I will go, but it is dangerous.”
So I said, “You come back. Don’t take an unnecessary risk; after a few months you can go again.”
When I came back here…She was not aware of the fact that one sannyasin she had asked, who must have been close to her in Pune, meanwhile got married to the daughter of one of my brothers. She asked the sannyasin – not knowing that he had got married to one of my brother’s daughters – she asked him, “You have an approach to the government” – he lives in Delhi – “so try to create something so that Bhagwan cannot re-enter India.”
I had sent her to find a place where I could move in case the government becomes absolutely mad – and that was going to happen. Instead of finding a place, she was trying to create a situation so that I could not enter India.
So the question was with me continuously that if I say “No” to the people who are in power, then they start being destructive. If I say “Yes” to them, then I go through a deep suffering that they cannot understand. Any one of my sannyasins, anywhere, unnecessarily harassed is a torture to me. So now I don’t want anybody to be on top of any sannyasin.
So tell my people they should not be worried: it is just a passing moment – it will pass. I am trying to find the right place; soon I will have the right place, and they will have more opportunity to come close to me.
And this will be better – smaller groups all the year round. I am going to drop all the festivals so there is no need for twenty thousand, thirty thousand people together, because then there is no intimacy. So the festival will be every day. And why have only one festival when you can have three hundred and sixty-five!

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