The Goose is Out 06

Sixth Discourse from the series of 10 discourses - The Goose is Out by Osho.
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The first question:
I have got all the degrees that a university can offer. Why am I still ignorant?
Knowledge has no capacity to dispel ignorance. Knowledge is a false phenomenon; it is not wisdom at all, it is just the opposite of wisdom.
Knowledge is borrowed; wisdom is the flowering of your innermost being. You can borrow a plastic flower, but if you want real roses then you will have to grow them in your innermost being. No university can offer it, no scripture can offer it, no scholarship is capable of doing it. They are all impotent efforts, but they have been deceiving millions of people for thousands of years. Yes, they can make you knowledgeable. To be knowledgeable is one thing, and to know is totally different.
A blind man can be knowledgeable about light, but he knows nothing of light; he has not experienced it. He can collect all kinds of information about light, he can argue, philosophize, systematize; he can write great treatises on light, but he has not tasted the joy of light – he has not seen even a single ray of light. He has not seen the rainbow, the colors of the flowers, the wings of a butterfly. He has not seen the green trees, he has not seen the stars, the sun, the moon. He has missed all that. And what he has accumulated is simply rubbish.
It is better to be ignorant and have eyes than to be very knowledgeable about light and be blind.
The universities exist for that purpose specifically. No society wants you to become wise – it is against the investment of all societies. If people are wise they cannot be exploited. If they are intelligent they cannot be subjugated; they cannot be forced into a mechanical life, to live like a robot. They will assert themselves – they will assert their individuality. They will have the fragrance of rebellion around them; they would like to live in freedom.
Freedom comes with wisdom, intrinsically – they are inseparable – and no society wants people to be free. The communist society, the fascist society, the capitalist society, the Hindu, the Mohammedan, the Christian – no society would like people to use their own intelligence because the moment they start using their intelligence they become dangerous, dangerous to the establishment, dangerous to the people who are in power, dangerous to the “haves,” dangerous to all kinds of oppression, exploitation, suppression; dangerous to the churches, dangerous to the states, dangerous to the nations.
In fact, a wise man is afire, alive, aflame. He would prefer to die than to be enslaved. Death will not matter much, but he cannot sell his life to any kind of stupidity, to any kind of stupid people. He cannot serve them. Hence, societies down the ages have been supplying you with false knowing. That’s the very function of your schools, colleges, universities.
They don’t serve you. Remember, they serve the past, they serve the vested interests. Of course, they go on puffing your ego up bigger and bigger, they go on giving you more and more degrees. Your name becomes longer and longer. But just the name – you go on becoming shorter and shorter. A point comes where there are only certificates, and the man has disappeared. First the man carries the certificates, then the certificates carry the man. The man is long dead.
It is not possible to become wise through the universities. Wisdom needs a totally different approach, a diametrically opposite approach. Knowledge is of the mind; wisdom is a state of no-mind. Knowledge creates the bottle around the goose – a beautiful bottle, very beautifully painted, but it is just a bottle.
Inside there cannot be a real goose, alive. Inside a bottle either you can have a stuffed goose – that’s what your scholars are, stuffed tomatoes, potatoes, but all stuffed, stuffed with junk – or you can have a painted goose inside. It will look beautiful from the outside, but in fact you are carrying only a bottle.
The bottle becomes heavier, because knowledge has its own way of accumulating; it goes on reproducing itself. Knowledge does not believe in birth control at all. If you know one thing, it will drive you into another, because as each question is answered ten new questions arise. Again the same will happen: ten questions are answered and you have a hundred questions ready for you. It goes on spreading. It becomes bigger and bigger and you are lost in it.
You ask me: “Why I am still ignorant?”
This is why you are ignorant: you have not yet come out of the illusion of knowledge, the illusion of the mind.
Get out of the mind. The mind is the bottle I am talking about. The moment you drop the mind…and mind is only your idea; it is not a reality, it is fictitious, it is just a fantasy. It is made of the same stuff as dreams are made of. You can simply step out of it.
This is the moment, because this is a great insight, in fact, to recognize this: “Why am I still ignorant when I am carrying all the degrees of the university?” Accept the fact that all those years of acquiring knowledge have been a sheer wastage. Get out of it! The moment you are out of the mind, you are out of the bottle. See…the goose is out! And the whole freedom of the sky, and the whole freedom of insightfulness…
Just the other day I was reading:

What does a degree mean? I have got four: B.A., M.A., Ph.D., and LL.D. Put them all together and what have you got? – BAMAPHDLLD!

A young man at college named Breeze,
Weighed down by M.A.s and LL.Ds
Collapsed from the strain.
Said his doctor, “‘Tis plain,
You are killing yourself by degrees!”

A very agitated professor, a father-to-be, desperate for a son, was pacing up and down in the waiting room at the maternity hospital. Eventually the midwife came out of the delivery room and said to him, “It’s all over, Dr. Jones. Congratulations!”
Still in a state of total panic he replied, “Am I a father or a mother?”

That’s what it means: BAMAPHDLLD.

A professor-couple living in the country received an invitation from the local squire to a costume party. They decided to go as a cow, with the husband at the front and the wife at the back.
The party was to be held in the squire’s mansion, which was only across a couple of fields, so they thought they might as well walk across in costume.
They had only gotten half way across the field when the husband, in the front, said to his wife, “Don’t panic, darling, but there is a bull looking at us.”
So they kept walking and the bull kept looking. Then the bull started pawing the ground and making his way toward them in a meaningful manner.
“He’s charging us, darling, he’s charging!” said the husband.
“What are we going to do?” yelled the wife.
So the husband said, “I am going to bend down and eat grass – you had better brace yourself!”

It was the young British professor’s first visit to the United States, and in his innocence he sought lodging in the city’s red-light district. His money, however, was as green as his outlook, and the madam gladly offered him a room for the night.
When a friend questioned him about his accommodation over lunch the following day, the young Briton replied, “Well, the room was very pretentious, you know, but Gad! what maid service!”

The so-called learned, the scholarly, the knowledgeable go on living in a world of their own fictions. They have no concern with reality at all; they are disconnected from the real. And it is the real which can make your life a joy, a bliss.
The word God is not God, the word love is not love either. So the poor people who go on thinking about the word God or the word love are simply missing a great opportunity. They may have known what God is, they may have become acquainted with the mysteries of love, but the word is hiding the truth; the word is covering their eyes. All the eyes of the knowledgeable people are so covered with theories, theologies, dogmas, creeds, that they cannot see. They are not transparent. And wisdom is a transparency, a vision unclouded – unclouded by all thoughts, unclouded by all dust.
One has to cleanse oneself every moment, because dust tends to gather on the mirror every moment. It is a natural process. While you are sitting here, the mirror in your bathroom is gathering dust. Even in the night when nothing is happening – even when the doors of the bathroom and the windows are closed – still some dust is gathering, settling on the mirror, because dust particles are there in the air itself. In the morning you have to cleanse the mirror every day.
One has to be even more alert about the inner mind, the inner mirror, the inner capacity for reflection. Each moment you have to cleanse the dust. I prefer to put it in this way: each moment a sannyasin has to die to the past and be born anew. Then he remains transparent, then his mirror remains clear. Then there is nothing to obstruct his perspective. Then he is not a Christian, nor a Hindu, nor a Mohammedan, nor a Buddhist. Then he is simply a mirror, just a mirror, a mirroring – mirroring all that is, within and without. Out of that mirroring, wisdom is born.
Wisdom is the flowering of your transparency, of your translucency, of your luminous being. That’s what we are doing here. In fact, the function of the master is to undo what the society has done to you. It is an anti-university, anti-school, anti-college, because it is not to impart knowledge to you but to impart something totally different, something of a different dimension. It is to create a triggering process in you so that you can get out of your so-called scriptures, words, theories, and you can become just ordinary. You can just become whatsoever you are without any pretensions.
I exalt the ordinariness of consciousness. I am not teaching here you as the superman. Friedrich Nietzsche went mad simply because of the idea of the superman. In India also, Sri Aurobindo, his whole life, was feeding the Indian ego with the idea of the superman, of the supermind, of the supernatural.
All this esoteric nonsense has become such a heavy burden on man that it has to be totally burned – less than that won’t do. A fire is needed so all that can be burned can be burned, and only that which remains after will be your true self.
I am not esoteric, I am not occult, I am not teaching you the other world, I am not teaching you the supernatural, the superman. I am simply exalting the very ordinariness of every human being, the very ordinariness not only of human beings, but of animals, of trees, of rivers, and rocks – this very ordinariness is godliness. To me, godliness and ordinariness are equivalent, synonymous.
If I have to choose I will drop the word God, because it has become really god-damned. Just pure ordinariness…and to live it moment-to-moment, joyously, dancingly, celebratingly. Then wisdom blooms. Then the spring comes and the grass grows by itself.

The second question:
Your compassion toward India brings, in return, anger and condemnation toward you. Every day Indian newspapers and magazines are full of third-rate criticism against you. Even so, you keep hammering this rotten culture. What is this business? Does India deserve so much compassion?
It is because I am saying something which India has completely forgotten. It hurts. It has forgotten the truth. For thousands of years it has lived in a foggy state of mind – not only that, it has become very attached to that foggy state for the simple reason that it has nothing else to cling to. This was the only prop for its ego.
For twenty-two centuries India has been in political slavery. Now, a country existing for twenty-two centuries in slavery cannot have any source of ego as far as the political world is concerned. It cannot brag about world conquerors like Alexander the Great.
For five thousand years, India has been living in a very superstitious way. The priests have dominated India more than any country ever, and they are the most cunning people in the world. Because of their exploitation, oppression, because of their poisoning of the Indian soul, for five thousand years India has not been able to find any way into truth. They were standing like a China Wall against the truth.
It is a question of life and death for the priesthood. Either the truth or the priest – both cannot survive together; there is no possibility of their co-existence. If truth wins, the priest disappears. Hence, the truth has not to be allowed to win so the priest can go on dominating. No other country has been dominated by priests like India. For five thousand years a spiritual slavery…
There is nothing to support the ego of the nation – no science, no technology, no richness, no political freedom, no democracy. You can see the problem. The problem is… A nation has to depend on some props, because a nation is not a true reality, remember; it needs props.
The individual can exist without the ego because an individual is a reality and that reality has no need of the ego. But the nation, the race, the church, the state – these cannot exist without egos. Without an ego they will fall apart. It is the ego that functions as a false center and keeps them together. Hence, a Buddha can exist without the ego but Buddhists cannot exist. Krishna can exist without an ego but Hindus cannot exist. Remember this always: a false entity needs a false center, otherwise it will wither away.
India as a country, as a nation, as a race, was in tremendous need somehow to create a false center. There was no ordinary alternative available – money, technology, science, political power – so the only thing to rely on was a spiritual longing, the longing for other world. It is easy, because then you are dealing with invisible goods. Nobody can prove it, nobody can disprove it. It is very easy to live in the hope of the other world. But who will create that hope? Then you have to depend on the crafty priests, the brahmins – they became the mediators. They talk about the other world. They have even given you maps of the other world; they don’t know the map of the physical world, this world. If you ask them, “Where is Timbuktu?” they may not be able to answer, but they can tell you each detail of heaven – not only one heaven, but seven heavens, a seven-storied heaven. They can tell you all the details, minute details of seven hells. There is no problem with it; it is religious fiction.
Hindus believe in seven hells. Mahavira believed – Jainas believe in three hells and three heavens. There was a very beautiful man in Mahavira’s time – his name was Sanjaya Vilethiputta. He said, “This is all nonsense. There are seven hundred hells and seven hundred heavens!” But people said, “Mahavira says only three, Hindus say only seven.” Sanjaya Vilethiputta said, “Because they have only gone that far. I have searched the whole terrain.”

Once a follower of Radhaswami came to me. They believe in fourteen heavens, fourteen stages of paradise. Of course, the founder of their religion has reached to the fourteenth. Others are somewhere on the ladder: Rama and Krishna and Buddha are somewhere on the seventh; Jesus, Mohammed and Zarathustra somewhere on the sixth; Nanak, Kabir, Meera, somewhere on the fifth, and so on and so forth…each according to his need, and each according to his capacity…
He had brought the whole map. He wanted my approval – what did I think about this map, what do I say, is it right or not?
I said, “It is absolutely right!”
He was a little shocked because people had told him not to go to me because I will disturb him. And I said, “It is absolutely right. I know. Your guru has reached the fourteenth – I have seen him there.”
He said, “What do you mean?”
I said, “I am on the fifteenth, and he is always begging me, ‘Pull me out of the fourteenth’!”
He was shocked, he was angry. But if there are fourteen, why not fifteen? Nobody can prove it, nobody can disprove.

I have heard: In New York a shopkeeper was selling invisible hairpins. And, of course, the women were immensely attracted – invisible hairpins!
One woman looked in the box… Of course, when the hairpins are invisible you cannot see – the box looked empty. She said, “Are they really there?”
The shopkeeper said, “They must be! Nobody has ever seen. In fact, for months we have run out of stock, but they are selling!”

When something is invisible you can go on selling it; there is no problem with it.
India has been selling invisible goods to the world. Visible goods are not there. Naturally they become angry with me because I insist that goods should be visible, that you are carrying an empty box, that there is no goose in your bottle. For five thousand years they have been doing such a good business and I am destroying their very foundation.
It is natural that they get angry at me. But anger simply shows fear. Remember always: anger is fear standing on its head. It is always fear that hides behind anger; fear is the other side of anger. Whenever you become afraid, the only way to hide the fear is to be angry because fear will expose you. Anger will create a curtain around you; you can hide behind anger. The Indian mind is becoming really afraid of me. And it is not only the Indian mind but all other minds in the world who are doing the same kind of business, dealing in invisible goods. They all are becoming afraid.
When they become angry with me I know that I have hit on the right point. I rejoice in it! They have been pretending love, compassion, sympathy, understanding, but I am exposing them to their very core. Without knowing what they are doing, they are doing what I want them to do. They are in my hands. Anybody who gets angry at me is caught by me. Now he will be in a whirlwind. I will churn him, I will haunt him. Sooner or later he will himself throw his clothes off and stand naked in the sun. That’s what is happening. When they are angry at me they are really showing that they have been exposed.
The only way to defend themselves is to be aggressive. They are defending themselves, but they can defend only if they become aggressive. Their anger is showing simply their impotence.
I have heard a beautiful story, an ancient story:

A man came to China. When he entered the country – this must be an old, ancient story – just on the boundary he saw a crowd. Two persons were almost ready to kill each other. They were shouting, jumping, making all kinds of angry gestures, swords naked in their hands. But nothing real was happening, as if it was a movie, as if it was just a play. The man could not detect any anger on their faces. Their eyes were calm and quiet, their faces were relaxed. They looked very centered and grounded. Why all this shouting and swinging of swords, and jumping and jogging and running at each other? Nobody was being hit, and nobody was preventing them either. The crowd was simply standing there witnessing the whole scene.
The man became a little tired after a while, a little bored too. One needs some excitement, something should happen. And then one of the men became angry; his face became red, his eyes became flaming. And the crowd dispersed! The fight ended there.
The newcomer could not believe it; he could not understand what was happening. He asked one person, “What is the matter? I cannot follow the whole sequence. They were ready to kill one another, and when the time of real action came – a man had become really angry, had lost his cool – why did the crowd disappear?”
The person said, “They are both Taoists, followers of Lao Tzu, and this is the criterion in Taoist schools: that the moment a person becomes angry he is defeated. There is no need to fight – he has shown his impotence, he has shown his fear. That’s enough! His anger shows that he is a coward. Now there is no point. The other person has won the victory, he is the conqueror – he remained cool. He could not be distracted from his center. He could not be pulled out from his grounding. He remained integrated.”

I know what is happening all over India – thousands of people writing against me, shouting against me – they are losing their so-called cool, which was phony, because only a phony cool can be lost. Their whole idea of tolerance, their whole idea of accepting others, of accepting different points of view is lost. A single man, who never even moves out of his room, is enough to create a turmoil in the whole country.
But it is a significant phenomenon. It shows that all those five thousand years of bogus spirituality have not done any good for India. That’s what I wanted to show the whole world. They are making my point emphatically true. I am stating the point; they are supporting the argument. They are supporting me!
One man has suggested that I should be given shock treatment, electroshocks. This is real Indian culture. Another man has suggested that I should be immediately deported from the country. This is tolerance, acceptance of different points of view. The third man has suggested I should be thrown into the Arabian Sea – not even into the Indian Ocean because I might poison the Indian Ocean – into the Arabian Sea. This is a nonviolent country, the country of the seers and the sages, of the saints, mahatmas…and all kinds of dodos.

Creeping around the bedroom window, the Indian private detectives saw their client’s wife in bed with another man.
“Just as I suspected,” said the first Indian. “Let us go in after him.”
“Great idea,” the other Indian replied. “How soon do you think he will be finished?”

A traveling Indian guru, His Holiness Swami Etceterananda Paramahansa, founder of Holy Cow-Dung Ashram, Miami Beach, arrived hot, tired and thirsty at a small farm and asked the farmer, of his charity, for a drink.
“Would ye fancy a drop of ale, reverend?” asked the farmer.
The Indian guru blanched, “Nay, I would not, brother,” he said sternly, “for I have taken the pledge. Not a drop of the demon drink shall pass my lips. A glass of your good, fresh milk will suffice me.”
So the farmer, being a bit of a wag, fetched a glass of milk and splashed a liberal lacing of rum into it. He handed it to the guru, who drank deeply, smacked his lips, raised his eyes to heaven and said, “Oh, Lord! What a cow!”

Vacation time was suntan time as far as Joan, an admirably proportioned secretary, was concerned, and she spent almost all of her day on the roof of the Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai, sopping up the warm sun’s rays. She wore a bathing suit the first day, but on the second she decided that no one could see her way up there, and she slipped out of it for an over-all tan.
She had hardly begun when she heard someone running up the stairs. She was lying on her stomach, so, pulling a towel over her derriere, she continued to recline as before.
“Excuse me, miss,” said the flustered little assistant manager of the hotel, out of breath from running up the stairs, “the hotel does not mind your sunning on the roof, but we would very much appreciate your wearing your bathing suit as you did yesterday.”
“What difference does it make?” Joan asked rather coolly. “No one can see me up here, and besides I am covered with a towel.”
“I know, I know,” said the embarrassed little Indian manager of the Taj Mahal hotel, “but unless you wear your bathing suit, the dinner cannot start. And the governor of Mumbai has given a big dinner to all the respectables of the city.”
The woman could not understand. “What is the matter?” she said. “I don’t see the point. Why can't the dinner start? What does it have to do with my bathing suit?”
“Right, lady,” said the embarrassed little man. “You are lying on the dining room skylight!”

Now, how can the dinner start? All the Indians will be looking toward the heaven – they are always looking toward the heaven. Such a sight! They should not miss. But they will pretend – they may be kneeling on their knees with folded hands toward God. They will not look at the skylight directly; they will not say that they are enjoying the scene, they will do a long prayer, so long that they will forget completely about the dinner. Everybody will pretend that he is not looking at the woman lying naked on the roof.
This country is a country of pretenders, and I am hurting them. I want to hurt them, because that is the only way to pull the pus out of their centuries-old wounds. They are angry at me; they are condemning me. That shows that I am on the right track. They cannot ignore me. Either they have to be with me, or they have to be against me – either way I am willing – but I would like it to be a decisive phenomenon.
Even if a few intelligent people are with me – and they are with me – we can transform this whole rotten culture and give it a new life. It needs compassion. Five thousand years of spiritual, political, economic slavery… What else do you think is needed for me to be compassionate toward this culture?
They will not easily be ready to change. Change is hard; it goes against your grain; it goes against your habits; it goes against your hangover. And the hangover of India is very long. They are suffering from the past – they have only the past.
Remember one thing: a child has only the future, he has no past. Hence, a child never thinks in terms of nostalgia. There is nothing at the back. He is so fresh he has no memories. The young man lives in the present. The present is so beautiful; the past was only a childhood, a preparation at the most. And the young man does not bother about the future – one starts thinking of the future when the present starts slipping out of hand.
The old man thinks only of the past; he has no future. There is only death, a dark night waiting for him. He wants to avoid it. The only way is to turn his back toward the future and look at the past. The child looks toward the future; the old man toward the past; the young man remains in the present.
The same is true of cultures. When a culture is very new it looks to the future. It has a tremendous aspiration for the stars; it grows, it expands. When a culture becomes really young – which very rarely happens, in fact, it has not happened yet – then the culture remains in the present. And when the culture becomes old it starts thinking in terms of nostalgia, of the past, the golden age that is no more.
A youth, individually, is also a new phenomenon. In the past a child used to go from childhood to old age; youth was not at all a stage.. In the poor countries it is still so. You can see in poor countries, aboriginal tribes, children six years old, five years old, working like old men. Seven years old, eights year old, and they are already burdened with worries. They will not have a chance to be young. Hence, in the past there was no generation gap. The generation gap is a new phenomenon, a very significant phenomenon. For the first time it has happened, for the first time we have been able to afford it. It belongs to an affluent society; it belongs to a certain richness when the generation gap appears.
The child and the old man are facing each other; there is no gap. The child looks at the future; the old man looks at the past. Hence, you will always find a great friendship between children and old people. They are facing each other. That has been the case always – the children and the old people were living together. There was no gap.
The youth is a new phenomenon in the world. He is neither a child nor an old man. He is breaking new ground. He is trying to live now, here. Yes, a few individuals in the past lived in that constant youthfulness, but only individuals, not whole cultures. There is a possibility now that even a culture may start living in the present. Many individuals will be needed to prepare the ground for the culture to live in the present.
The Indian concept of time will show you many things. It says the best age has passed; it was the first age, the golden age; they call it satyuga, the age of truth. It was prehistoric. At that time life was the most beautiful; it was the golden peak. Time walked on four legs; it was very stable. Then the fall began.
The Indian idea of time is anti-Darwinian, unscientific, totally inhuman. Then the age began, the age of fall, not of evolution, not of progress; but things started shrinking. Time started walking on three legs. Things became hazy, unbalanced – that age is called treta, three legs. Then things fell even further: time had only two legs, things became even more difficult. It is called dwapar, two-legged time. And now is the fourth and the last stage is here, the most condemned stage: it is called kaliyuga. Now three legs have disappeared. Time is standing only on one leg, ready, at any moment, to fall, to be toppled. Just a one-legged man, and the one leg is already in the grave.
This is a very dark and dismal vision. This is the vision of an old, ancient, rotten country. India needs a rebirth, it needs a new childhood. It will protect its ideas because it is so accustomed to those ideas. They are its only treasure! So when I hit on those ideas I look like an enemy. The friend looks like an enemy, and the enemies are being taken as friends. But this is natural, this is logical. It can be understood.

A grave digger, thoroughly absorbed in his work, dug a pit so deep one afternoon that he could not climb out when he had finished.
Come nightfall and evening’s chill, his predicament became more uncomfortable. He shouted for help and at last attracted the attention of a drunk staggering by.
“Get me out of here!” the digger pleaded. “I am cold!”
The drunk peered into the open grave and finally spotted the shivering digger in the darkness. “Well, no wonder you are cold, buddy,” said the drunk, kicking some of the loose sod into the hole, “you don't have any dirt on you!”

Now, if you ask a drunkard, he will have his own logic. He will see reality in his own drunkenness.
Indians get angry because they have become accustomed to being praised continuously. Nobody has ever criticized them. Nobody has ever said to them, “You are living a death, not a life. You are shrinking and dying. You have lost the fervor, the zest, the gusto to live authentically, to live totally.”
They have been praised. Their paleness has been given the halo of holiness. Their anti-life attitudes have been raised to great spiritual fantasies. Their hysterical experiences have been called samadhi. Their madness has been respected as if something of the beyond has descended in them. Their gibberish is thought to be esoteric; people go on finding meanings in them.
Fools have been worshipped; masochists have been thought to be ascetics; sadists have been thought to be great saints. Perversions of all kinds have been given a spiritual connotation. Now, to expose this whole lie of thousands of years is risky.
But I am willing to take the risk, because I have nothing to lose – the goose is out! I have nothing to lose. At the most they can kill me; that is not going to help them. Even my death will be of tremendous help to them. It may shock them out of their nonsense. It may bring them out of their stupor, their sleepiness.
Hence I am going to continue. They can go on criticizing me. Their criticism is basically because of my life-affirmative approach. They have lived a life-negative philosophy. They are against all that gives you joy; they are suppressive, repressive; they are boiling within, but they go on carrying a blanket cover. Nobody wants to show one’s nakedness. When your blanket is so worshipped, not only in India but all over the world…
There are so many fools in the world that any Indian can find disciples. It is not a problem at all. Just being Indian is enough, and you are a guru. I have seen such things happening before my eyes.
One of my disciples, Srivastava, has now become a great spiritual leader. Now her name is long name: Her Holiness Jagatjanani – “The mother of the whole world” – Mataji Nirmalaji Srivastavaji.
She was once traveling with me in a car, and I passed by the Muktananda ashram. The people staying in Muktananda’s ashram had invited me just to be there for five minutes, or so, just to take a cup of tea. It was a long journey, so I said, “There is no harm.” Anyway I love a cup of tea! So I stayed for five minutes.
Nirmala saw Muktananda. She could not believe that this stupid-looking man – disgusting, more or less a buffoon – has become a great spiritual leader.
After the tea, when we entered the car, she said, “If this man can become a spiritual leader, then why cannot I become one?”
I said, “You can become one.” And she has become one.
There is one man here from Australia who asked me a question, because now she is in Australia, doing great spiritual work. He asked me, “Once in a while you talk about a woman, Rabiya al-Adabiya. What do you think about Mataji Nirmala Deviji? Is she also of the same category as Rabiya al-Adabiya?” The man is here.
I know her perfectly well; for ten years she was my student. There is nothing in it, no spirituality, no meditativeness…but she got the idea from Muktananda. And it is not only one case.
You must have heard about the name of a great Sardar yogi in America, Yogi Bhajan. He was just a porter at the Delhi Airport. He saw Muktananda coming with seven hundred Americans…Of course at that time his name was Sardar Harbhajan Singh; a poor porter, but certainly he looked far better than Muktananda, more impressive. The idea came into his mind, “If this fool can be a paramahansa, a satguru, etcetera, etcetera, why should I waste my time in being just a porter?” He dropped the job, went to America, and is now the greatest spiritual leader of the Sikh hierarchy in the Western hemisphere.
Just a few days ago he was back in Delhi with all his disciples. His old boss, who is a lover of mine, passed by. He saw him sitting in the lawn of the Delhi Taj Mahal Hotel with his disciples. He could not recognize him; he had changed so much. He thought, “A great mahatma.”
Yogi Bhajan is a simple man in that manner, far simpler than Muktananda or Nirmala Devi. He sent a disciple to the boss and told him, “Come to my room. I have something to say to you.”
The boss could not understand why the great yogi was calling him; he was thrilled, excited. He went to the room; Yogi Bhajan came in and he said, “Boss, can’t you recognize me? I am just that poor Sardar Harbhajan Singh, your porter. Have you forgotten me completely?”
Then he recognized his face. He said, “But what has happened? You have become such a great yogi with so many disciples!”
Then he told the whole story, that it is due to Muktananda. The whole credit goes to Muktananda!
Indians cannot drop that garbage easily because that is the only garbage they are capable of selling to the world. They cannot get rid of that crap. It stinks! – but it sells. There are millions of people in the world who are hankering for it, and they don’t know where to go. India has become their hope…and they will be exploited.
They are angry with me, all the gurus of India are angry with me, because I don’t belong to their tradition. I am not here to exploit anybody; I am not here to force any indoctrination on you: Indian culture, Indian religion, and all that nonsense. I am just here to help you to be free from Christianity, Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism. I am here to help you to be yourself, just to be yourself.
My sannyasins are not my followers, they are just my friends. I love them; they love me, but there is no hierarchy. I am not holier than you or higher than you. That goes against the Indian investment. They are bound to be against me. I am affirming life, and they have been denying it all long.

Nirmala met her friend Vimala on the street one afternoon and noticed that Vimala was well along the road of pregnancy.
“You know,” Nirmala said, “I would give anything to have a baby. But I guess it’s hopeless.”
“I know just how you feel,” Vimala said. “My husband was that way too, but everything is fine now. In fact, I am eight months pregnant.”
“What did you do?”
“I went to Swami Etceterananda.”
“Oh, we tried that,” Nirmala replied. “My husband and I went there for six months.”
“Don’t be silly,” Vimala told her. “Go alone!”

They will find all kinds of arguments against me. They are argumentative people. For centuries they have done nothing else but make arguments. But their arguments are not going to help them, because I am not arguing for any philosophy; otherwise they would be able to refute me. I am arguing for existence, and there they are at a loss.
If it were only a philosophical argument there would be no problem.
India has known many philosophies. Buddha argued against the Vedas and there was no problem. Mahavira argued against the Upanishads; there was no problem. Shankara argued against Buddha and Mahavira; there was no problem. Ramanuja argued against Shankara; there was no problem. It is an accepted fact, if you argue only for a philosophical standpoint, nobody is worried because it is just airy-fairy; it does not make any change in life.
I am arguing not for a philosophy. I am not philosophical at all, I am totally existential. That’s where they are finding it difficult. They are finding it absolutely difficult to cope with me – what to do with me. Hence the anger, hence the condemnation, hence all kinds of third-rate criticism. They simply show their reality. Those third-rate criticisms that they go on making against me are simply bringing their reality to the surface. They are showing their nakedness, their ugliness. And that’s serving my purpose.

The real estate salesmen in Mumbai lead lives entirely unbounded by mere prosaic fact. One of these gentlemen was showing some property to a possible rich customer, and he was pulling out all the stops.
He finished up with, “Why, the climate is the best in the country! Do you know? – no one ever dies here.”
And just then a funeral procession came into view, wound slowly down the street and disappeared from sight. The real estate agent was taken aback for a second, but he made a quick recovery.
Removing his hat, he said solemnly, “Poor old undertaker – starved to death.”

Indians are clever in argumentation. If I were arguing they would have found a thousand and one arguments. But I am not arguing, I am simply pointing to the moon. My fingers are not my arguments but only indicators. Don’t cling to my fingers, see the moon. It is time that the moon should be seen.
You ask me, “Even so, you keep hammering this rotten culture…” I will go on hammering. It is so rotten that there is every hope that we may get rid of it. It is falling apart on its own; just a little hammering is needed. I am going to hit it mercilessly.
You ask: “What is this business?” This is the business of people like me. It has always been the business of people like me.

Socrates was told by the court in Athens, “If you stop talking about truth, we can release you. You will not be put to death.”
Socrates refused, and the words he used were very beautiful. He said, “That is my business. I cannot stop talking about truth. Just as I breathe, I talk about truth. It is my business.”

I am going to continue. My hammering will become harder because I have to bring more and more rubbish to the surface. My hammering will go deeper. It is a surgical hammering: many rotten parts of this god-damned country have to be removed. It needs nothing less than that. Medicines won’t help; it needs operation. And I am preparing the operating table…
It is going to be a great adventure. Even if the patient dies, there is no harm. At least there must be some space, at least there must be a little less of a crowd. Anyway, the patient is dead This country is living a posthumous existence. It has died long ago: the day it started the idea that we are falling down, that the golden age is lost, that we are falling deeper and deeper into darkness and hell – it lost all qualities of life. Since then it is a posthumous existence.
My effort is to give this country a real death so that a real birth becomes possible. Resurrection is possible only after crucifixion. There is no other way. Death is the way of life coming back, so don’t be afraid of death! In fact, life and death are not opposites, they are not contradictions to each other. They are like two wings: they help each other, they are complementary.
I teach you to live totally, and I also teach you to die totally. Totality has to be the taste of a really religious person. When I say “really religious person” I don’t mean anything supernatural, anything higher, holier. I simply mean the innocent life, the ordinary life. I exalt the ordinary, I praise the ordinary, I worship the ordinary.
Enough for today.

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