Birthday of Mother Teresa
26th August is the birthday of Macedonia born Roman Catholic nun and Missionary Mother Teresa who is known to have established Christian missionaries, hospices; centers for the blind, aged, orphans and disabled; and a leper colony. She received the Nobel Prize in 1979 for her humanitarian work. Her practices, and those of the Missionaries of Charity, the order which she founded, were subject to numerous controversies. These include objections to the quality of medical care which they provided, suggestions that some deathbed baptisms constituted forced conversion, and alleged links to colonialism and racism. Her writings revealed that she struggled with feelings of disconnectedness that were in contrast to the strong feelings which she had experienced as a young novice. In her letters Mother Teresa describes a decades-long sense of feeling disconnected from Godand lacking the earlier zeal that had characterized her efforts to start the Missionaries of Charity. As a result of this, she was judged by some to have “ceased to believe” and was posthumously criticized for hypocrisy.
Osho says, “To me Mother Teresa and people like her are hypocrites: saying one thing but doing something else behind a beautiful facade. It is the whole game of politics — the politics of numbers. And she says, ‘For the adjectives you add to my name I forgive you with great love.’ First of all, love need not forgive because in the first place it is not angered. To forgive somebody first you have to be angry; that is a prerequisite. I don’t forgive Mother Teresa at all, because I am not angry at all. Why should I forgive her? She must have been angry. This is why I want you to start meditating on these things. She says, I forgive you with great love’ — as if there is small love and great love, and things like that. Love is simply love; It cannot be great, it cannot be small. Do you think love is a quantitative thing? — one kilo of love, two kilos of love. How many kilos of love make it great? Or are tons needed? Love is not a quantity at all, it is a quality. And quality is immeasurable: it is neither small nor great. Whenever somebody says to you, ‘I love you very greatly,’ beware! Love is just love; it cannot be less than that, it cannot be more than that. There is no question of less and more.”
WHY DO I WANT PEOPLE TO ADMIRE ME? WHY DO I WANT YOU TO TELL ME THAT ONLY VERY SENSITIVE AND INTELLIGENT PEOPLE CAN ASK SUCH A QUESTION? WHY DO I WANT YOU TO TELL ME THAT YOU WERE ONLY WAITING FOR ME TO SAVE THE WORLD? AND WHAT IS THE HELL IS THE WAY OUT OF THIS VICIOUS CIRCLE OF ADMIRATION AND REJECTION? IT IS REALLY HARD TO LAUGH AND DANCE FREELY AND WITHOUT PURPOSE WITH THIS LONGING ENGRAVED DEEP IN MY MIND.
One wants to be admired because one has no respect for oneself. We are brought up with guilt feelings deeply rooted in us. From the very beginning we are condemned by the parents, by the teachers, by the priests, by the politicians, by the whole establishment. A single note is continuously repeated to every child: that ‘Whatsoever you are doing is not right. You are doing what should not be done and you are not doing what should be done.’ Every child is given directly and indirectly the impression that he is not really wanted, that his parents are tired, that he is being somehow tolerated, that he is a nuisance.
This creates a deep wound in every person, and a rejection of oneself arises. To cover up that wound we expect admiration, admiration is a compensation.
If you respect yourself that is more than enough; if you love yourself there is no need for any admiration, there is no desire at all, because once you start expecting admiration from others you start compromising with them.
You have to fulfill their expectations, only then will they admire you. You have to be according to their dictates, you cannot live a life of freedom. You become crippled and paralysed, you become retarded, you don’t grow up. You become so afraid of your own self that you are constantly on guard, because you know if you allow yourself you are bound to do something wrong — because all that you have ever done was labelled wrong and now there is a trembling inside. You cannot depend on yourself, you have to depend on others.
This is a very psychological strategy to create slavery. Condemn the person in his own eyes and he will remain dependent on others. The priests have done this for centuries: create guilt and the person will never be rebellious, he will always be obedient because he will always be rooted in fear. He cannot gather enough courage to say no to something that is absolutely wrong in his vision. In spite of himself he will go on accepting the authoritative, the powerful. Those who wield power, those who have might, simultaneously become right for him.And as time passes this self-condemnation goes on getting deeper and deeper; it becomes your very being. You become just a wound while you could have been a lotus flower! Your whole energy becomes poisoned.
The politician uses the same strategy. The politicians and the priests have always been in deep conspiracy, they have divided man. The politician rules the outside and the priest rules the inside: the politician the exterior and the priest the interior. They are joined in a deep conspiracy against humanity — they may not even be aware of what they are doing. i don’t suspect their intentions; they may be absolutely unconscious. Just the other day I received a letter from Mother Teresa. I have no intention of saying anything against her sincerity; whatsoever she wrote in the letter is sincere, but it is unconscious. She is not aware of what she is writing; it is mechanical, it is robot-like. She says, ‘I have just received a cutting of your speech. I feel very sorry for you that you could speak as you did. Reference: the Nobel Prize. For the adjectives you add to my name I forgive you with great love.’
She is feeling very sorry for me… I enjoyed the letter! She has not even understood the adjectives that I have used about her. But she is not aware, otherwise she would have felt sorry for herself. The adjectives that I have used — she has sent the cutting also with the letter — the first is ‘deceiver’, then ‘charlatan’ and ‘hypocrite’.
The deceiver is not only the person who deceives others, in a far more fundamental sense the deceiver is one who deceives himself. Deception begins there. If you want to deceive others, first you have to deceive yourself. But once you have deceived yourself you will never become aware of it unless you are shocked by somebody from the outside, shaken, hammered; you will not become aware that the deception has gone very deep on both sides. It is a double-edged sword. She is a deceiver in this double-edged sense. First she has been deceiving herself, because meditation can certainly create a life of service, a life of compassion, but a life of service cannot create a life of meditation. Mother Teresa knows nothing of meditation: this is her fundamental deception. She has been serving poor people, orphans, widows, old people, and she has been serving them with good intentions, but the way to hell is full of good intentions! I am not saying that her intentions are bad, but the results don’t depend on your intentions.
You may sow the seeds of some tree with the intention of growing beautiful flowers, and only thorns may come out because the seeds were not those of flowers at all. You did it with good intentions, you worked hard, but the results will come out of the seeds, not out of your intentions.
She has been serving the poor, but the poor have been served for centuries and poverty has not disappeared from the world. Poverty is not going to disappear from the world by serving the poor; in fact, this whole society exists through serving the poor. The poor have to be served in some way so that they don’t feel absolutely rejected, otherwise they will take great revenge, they will go wild, they will become murderous. It is good to keep them consoled that this society is doing so much’ for them, for their children for their old people, for their widows — this is a ‘good’ society. Hence the same people who exploit the poor donate to these missions. Mother Teresa’s mission is called Missionaries of Charity. From where does all this money come? She feeds seven thousand poor people every day — from where does this money come? Who donates this money?
In 1974 the Pope presented her with a Cadillac and immediately she sold the car. The car was purchased at a great price because it was for Mother Teresa, and the money went to the poor. Everybody appreciated it but the question is: from where had the Cadillac car come in the first place? The Pope had not materialized it, he had not done any miracle! It must have come from somebody who had enough money to give a Cadillac — and the Pope has more money than anybody else in the world. From where does that money come? And then a little bit — not even one percent — goes to the poor, through these Missionaries of Charity. These are the agencies. They serve the capitalists: they serve the rich, not the poor. On the surface they serve the poor, apparently they serve the poor, but fundamentally, basically, indirectly they serve the rich. They make the poor feel that ‘This is a good society, this is not a bad society. We are not to revolt against it.’
These missionaries, these servants of the people, function like buffers in a railway train or like springs in a car. When you move on a rough road the springs protect you from the roughness of the road. The buffers between two bogies of a train protect the bogies from colliding with each other — they protect. These missionaries are buffers. These missionaries function like springs.
Life remains a little smooth because of these springs, and the poor go on feeling that soon things will be better; they go on hoping. These missionaries give hope to the poor. If these missionaries were not there, those poor would become so hopeless that out of that hopelessness there would be rebellion, revolution.
Now I have criticized her and said that the Nobel Prize should not have been given to her, and she feels offended by it. She says in her letter, ‘Reference: the Nobel Prize. ‘This man Nobel was one of the greatest criminals possible in the world. The First World War was fought with his weapons; he was the greatest manufacturer of weapons. He accumulated so much money out of the First World War. Millions of people died; he was the manufacturer of death. He earned so much money that now the Nobel Prize is being distributed only from the interest on Nobel’s money. One Nobel Prize now brings twenty lakh rupees with it, and each year dozens of Nobel Prizes are being given. How much money did this man leave? And from where did that money come? You cannot find any money which is more full of blood than the money that one gets from a Nobel Prize.
And now this Nobel Prize money has gone to the Missionaries of Charity. It comes from war, it comes from blood, it comes from murder and death! And now it serves a few hundred orphans, feeds seven thousand people — kills millions and feeds seven thousand people, raises a few orphans and makes millions of orphans! This is a strange world! What kind of arithmetic is this? First make millions of orphans and then choose a few hundred and give them to the Missionaries of Charity! Mother Teresa could not refuse the Nobel Prize. The same desire to be admired, the same desire to be respectable in the world — and the Nobel Prize brings you the greatest respect. She accepted the prize….
Now, the Nobel Prize is given to her for helping thousands of orphans and there are thousands of orphans in the homes she runs. Suddenly she ran out of orphans? And in India can you ever run out of orphans? Indians go on creating as many orphans as you want, in fact more than you want! And the Protestant family which has been refused was not refused immediately. If there was no orphan available, if all the orphans had been disposed of, then what is Mother Teresa doing with seven hundred nuns? What is their work? Seven hundred nuns… then whom are they mothering? Not a single orphan — strange! — and that too in Calcutta! You can find orphans anywhere on the road — you find children in the dustbins. They could have just looked outside the place and they would have found many children. You can just go outside the ashram and you can get orphans. They will come themselves, you need not find them!
Suddenly they ran out of orphans… And if the family had been refused immediately it would have been a totally different matter. But the family was not refused immediately; they were told, ‘Yes, you can get an orphan. Fill in the form.’ So the form was filled in. Till they came to the point where they had to state their religion, up to that moment, there were orphans, but when they filled in the form and wrote ‘We belong to the Protestant Church,’ immediately they ran out of orphans! And this reason was not given to the Protestant family itself. Now, this is hypocrisy! This is deception! This is ugly! The reason given to the family itself was that because these children… because the children were there, so how could she say, ‘We don’t have any orphans’? They are always on exhibition!
And one thing to be understood: these children are basically Hindu. If Mother Teresa is so concerned about their psychological welfare then they should be brought up according to the Hindu religion, but they are brought up according to the Catholic Church. And then to give them to Protestants, who are not different at all from Catholics… What is the difference between a Catholic and a Protestant? Just a few stupid things! Otherwise both believe in Jesus, both believe the Bible, so what is really the problem? Protestant or Catholic — just different brands of cigarettes! The same tobacco is used, the same paper is used, it may even be the same manufacturer. Just different names! There is no difference between Protestants and Catholics but there is certainly a great difference between a Hindu and a Christian. Hindu children are being brought up according to the Catholic religion and their psychology is not disturbed? Now their psychology will be disturbed! And if this is true then Mother Teresa should never try to convert any person to the Catholic religion. And that’s their whole work: conversion…
If Mother Teresa is really honest and believes that converting a person disturbs his psychic structure, then she should be against conversion unless a person chooses it by himself. For example, you have come to me, I have not gone to you. I don’t even go outside the door. Just three days ago I went to see Vimalkirti — after years. Just in passing I saw your boutique for the first time, otherwise I had no idea… I told Vivek, ‘This has changed completely! The whole scene is different!’ It was out of courtesy to Vimalkirti that I became acquainted with the new face of the ashram, the new boutique; everything seemed to be absolutely new. I have not gone to anybody, you have come to me. And I am not converting you to any religion either. I am not creating any ideology here, I am not giving you any catechism, any doctrine. I am simply helping you to be silent. Now, silence is neither Christian or Hindu nor Mohammedan; silence is silence. I am teaching you loving. Now, love is neither Christian nor Hindu nor Mohammedan. I am teaching you to be aware. Now, awareness is simply awareness; it belongs to nobody. And I call this true religiousness.
To me Mother Teresa and people like her are hypocrites: saying one thing but doing something else behind a beautiful facade. It is the whole game of politics — the politics of numbers. And she says, ‘For the adjectives you add to my name I forgive you with great love.’ First of all, love need not forgive because in the first place it is not angered. To forgive somebody first you have to be angry; that is a prerequisite. I don’t forgive Mother Teresa at all, because I am not angry at all. Why should I forgive her? She must have been angry. This is why I want you to start meditating on these things. She says, I forgive you with great love’ — as if there is small love and great love, and things like that. Love is simply love; It cannot be great, it cannot be small. Do you think love is a quantitative thing? — one kilo of love, two kilos of love. How many kilos of love makes it great? Or are tons needed? Love is not a quantity at all, it is a quality. And quality is immeasurable: it is neither small nor great. Whenever somebody says to you, ‘I love you very greatly,’ beware! Love is just love; it cannot be less than that, it cannot be more than that. There is no question of less and more.
So if anybody has to be forgiven it is these people. It is the Pope, Mother Teresa, etcetera, who have to be forgiven. They are criminals, but their crime is such that you will need great intelligence to understand it. And see the egoistic ‘holier than thou’ attitude. ‘I forgive you,’ she says. ‘I feel sorry for you,’ she says. And she asks, ‘May God’s blessings be with you and fill your heart with his love.’ Just bullshit! I don’t believe in any God as a person, so there is no God as a person who can bless me or anybody else. God is only a realization, God is not somebody to be encountered. It is your own purified consciousness. and why should God bless me? I can bless all your gods! Why should I ask for anybody’s blessing? I am blissful — there is no need! And I don’t believe that there is any God. I have looked in every nook and corner and he does not exist! It is only in ignorant people’s minds that God has existence. I am not an atheist, remember, but I am not a theist either.
God is not a person to me but a presence, and the presence is felt when you reach to the climax of your meditativeness. You suddenly feel a godliness overflowing the whole existence. There is no God, but there is godliness.
I love the statement of H. G. Wells about Gautam the Buddha. He has said that Gautam the Buddha is the most godless person yet the most godly too. You can say the same thing about me: I am the most godless person you can find, but I know godliness.
Godliness is like a fragrance, an experience of immense joy, of utter freedom. You cannot pray to godliness, you cannot make an image of godliness, you cannot say, ‘May God’s blessings be with you’ — and that too with a condition: ‘May God’s blessings be with you during 1981.’ Such misers! And what about 1982? Great courage! Great sharing! Such generosity!
You ask : AND WHAT IS THE HELL IS THE WAY OUT OF THIS VICIOUS CIRCLE OF ADMIRATION AND REJECTION?
There is no way out.
You have to see what this ego is, and just seeing is enough.
When you project something… for example, you can project a snake on a rope in the night and ask. ‘What is the way to get rid of this snake?’ What am I going to say to you? I will say there is no way to get rid of this ‘snake’. because this ‘snake’ does not exist at all. Just bring light and see. Seeing is enough, because you will see there is only a rope there is no snake in the first place. And seeing that there is only a rope you are finished with the rope; then the question does not arise. Or, Alfred, will you ask me, ‘Okay, I have seen this is a rope — now what to do with the snake?’ Then you cannot ash that question at all.But that’s what has been happening. Down the ages the so-called saints have been trying to get rid of the ego, to become humble, because they have heard people like Jesus saying ‘Blessed are the meek for theirs is the kingdom of God.’ Now, everybody wants to be in the kingdom of God, everybody is greedy for it, and people are even ready to become meek. humble: ‘If this is the price to be paid, okay, we will be humble, we will be meek, but anyway we have to conquer the kingdom of God.’ Now the whole idea of conquering the kingdom of God is egoistic.
What Jesus means is totally different — listen to his statement again. He says, ‘Blessed are the meek for theirs is the, kingdom of God.’ He is not saying that if you want the kingdom of God, then be meek. What he is saying is that if you are meek, the kingdom of God is just a by-product, a consequence of it. It happens of its own accord; you need not worry about it.
If you try to get rid of the ego — this desire to be admired — then the desire will come in from the back door. It is very cunning, it can hide in every possible way.
A feeble little man finds out that his wife is at home with, another man. Filled with rage he rushes to his house and enters the bedroom to find his wife lying lazily in bed.
‘Where is he, you bitch? Where is that man?’The husband frantically starts looking under the bed, in the bathroom, out the window. Finally he opens the closet and finds a very handsome, tall, athletic, Mr America type looking straight at him.
Stunned and petrified, he turns to his wife and says in a croaky voice, ‘Well, dear, there is a man here, but it’s not him!’ The ego is so tricky! You cannot escape the ego very easily. If you try to deceive it, it will deceive you. You have to understand it — deceptions won’t help.
A master forger lived in New York. His counterfeit ten and twenty-dollar bills were so good that he had become a millionaire. Bored by the repetitive task of turning out these forged notes, he decided one day to make an eighteen-dollar bill which would be so realistic that it would be accepted without question. It was his masterpiece, but being cautious as well as smart, he decided to try it out first in a small country village before passing it in the city. He drove into upstate New York and stopped in a tiny village outside a shop bearing the sign ‘Murphy’s General Stores’. The forger walked confidently into the shop, pointed at the cigar display and said, ‘Well, fellah, I’d like one of those fancy fifty-cent cigars, but all I have is this eighteen-dollar bill. I hope you can change it for me. Murphy took the bill, turned it over a few times, and said, ‘Sure can, mister. What would you like — two nines or three sixes?’
There is no need to be clever and cunning with the ego you just have to be alert, aware, watchful. Just look at it to see what it is — whether it exists or not. Those who have looked at it have found without exception that it is not there. It is there only if you don’t look at it; the moment you look at it it is not there. And then the question of getting out of this vicious circle does not arise.
And don’t ask the priests, the philosophers, the psychoanalysts, because if you start asking how to get rid of this vicious circle there are fools all around who will give you beautiful recipes. Beware of all those great wise men with whom the world abounds! They are the cause of great misery in the world. They will give you techniques for getting rid of the snake which does not exist at all. Now the snake is accepted and you will be in more trouble, because now you will be trying to get rid of it — of something which is not there. If you start fighting with it you are going to be a loser…
Don’t fight with the ego, otherwise the ego will eat you! The very fight will destroy you. Fighting with anything non-existent is the most dangerous thing in the world. It is like fighting with darkness; if you start fighting with darkness, wrestling, even if you are a Mohammed Ali you are not going to win. Soon you will be tired, exhausted, and you will fall flat on the ground, thinking that darkness seems to be very powerful. Darkness is not powerful, darkness is not weak, because darkness does not exist at all. All that you need is just a small candle and the darkness will be gone. I call that small candle meditation, and out of that small light thousands of flowers blossom within your heart: love blossoms, freedom blossoms, truth blossoms, godliness blossoms, and so on and so forth. There is no end to it — it is an eternal garden.
Flowers and flowers… your whole being becomes fragrant. Don’t fight with the ego. See where it is, what it is, otherwise it will come in some other form. You will push it away on this side, it will come from another side. You will repress one aspect, it will come through another aspect.
This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune.
Discourse Series: Zen: Zest, Zip, Zap and Zest
Chapter title: Godliness: An Experience of Immense Joy
8 January 1981 am in Buddha Hall
Osho has spoken on many politicians and social reformers like Abraham Lincoln, Lenin, Dr, Ambedkar, Helen Keller, Madame Blavatsky, Plato, Aristotle, Confucius and more in His discourses. Some of these can be referred to in the following books/discourses:
- From Bondage to Freedom
- From Ignorance to Innocence
- The Path of the Mystic
- From False to Truth
- From Misery to Enlightenment
- Zen: Zest, Zip, Zap, Zing
- Beyond Psychology
- Live Zen
- The Invitation
- Communism and Zen Fire, Zen Wind
- The Book of Wisdom
- The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 3
- Bodhidharma: The Greatest Zen Master
- From Personality to Individuality
- No Mind: The Flowers of Eternity