The Great Pilgrimage 01

First Discourse from the series of 28 discourses - The Great Pilgrimage by Osho.
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Why am I such a beggar for attention? What can I do about it?
It is one of the human weaknesses, one of the deep-rooted frailties, to seek attention.
The reason one seeks attention is because one does not know oneself. It is only in other people’s eyes one can see his face, in their opinions he can find his personality. What they say matters immensely. If they neglect him, ignore him, he feels lost. If you pass by and nobody takes any attention, you will start losing what you have put together – your personality. It is something that you have put together. You have not discovered it, it is not natural. It is very artificial and very arbitrary.
It is not only you who is a beggar for attention; almost everybody is. And the situation cannot change until you discover your authentic self – which does not depend on anybody’s opinion, attention, criticism, indifference, which does not have anything to do with anybody else. Because very few people have been able to discover their reality, the whole world is full of beggars.
Deep down you are all trying to find attention; it is nourishment for your personality. Even if people condemn you, criticize you, are against you, that is acceptable, at least they are paying attention to you; if they are friendly, respectful, of course that is far better, but you cannot survive as a personality without some kind of attention. It can be negative, it can be positive, it doesn’t matter. People must say something about you; respectful or disrespectful, both fulfill the same purpose.
I would like you to think about the word respect. It does not mean honor, as it is said in all the dictionaries without exception. Respect simply means looking again, re-spect. When you are passing by on the road, somebody looks back again, you have caught his eye – you are somebody. Because respect gives you the idea of being somebody special, you can do anything stupid just to get attention.
In all the ages people have tried in a thousand and one ways to get attention. Those ways are not necessarily rational – for example, the punks in the West. What are they really wanting by cutting their hair in strange and weird ways, and then painting it with different psychedelic colors? What are they wanting? They are beggars. You should not be angry with them because that is what they want. You should not condemn them because that is what they want. Their parents should not criticize them because that is what they want. They cannot survive without people paying attention to them.
People have done all kinds of things you may not believe in the past. People have remained naked…. What was the need for Mahavira or Diogenes to be naked? It is no longer natural for man to be naked in all the seasons; he lost that capacity long ago. All animals are naked, but they have a natural immunity. When it is winter their hair grows, when it is hot summer their hair falls. Nature has given them a protection.
The same protection was available to man too, but man is intelligent and can improve on nature. He found ways to cover his body according to the seasons. Naturally his body lost the natural growth of hairs. Now, to be naked…suddenly your body cannot create the mechanism to protect you.
I know Mahavira or Diogenes are unique individuals, but I think they were a little uncertain of their uniqueness. They fulfilled that suspicion, that missing gap, by being naked, because you cannot avoid giving attention to a naked person in a world where everybody is wearing clothes. The naked person stands aloof. You cannot avoid…it is almost irresistible to look at him, to ask, “What is the matter?”
But their nakedness became something spiritual; people started being respectful just because they were naked. Now, nakedness is not a quality or any qualification or any creativity; all the animals, all the birds, all the trees are naked.
There are still Jaina monks in India, not more than twenty. They used to be in thousands, but now to find that many stupid people is a little difficult. One Jaina monk dies and is not replaced, so their number goes on falling. Only twenty people all over India are still naked – and I have seen many of them; they don’t show any sign of intelligence, they don’t show any quality of silence, they don’t show any joy. Their faces are sad, dull, sleepy. They are suffering, they are torturing themselves, just for the simple reason that it brings the attention of the people.
Anything, howsoever stupid, is possible for man if it can bring attention to him.

In Russia before the revolution there was a Christian sect which used to cut their genitals publicly on a particular day each year – and they had thousands of followers. Their only qualification for being spiritual was that they had cut their genitals. When the day arrived, they would gather in a church courtyard and they would cut their genitals and pile them up. And thousands of people would come to see this stupidity.
The women were not left behind…of course they were in a difficulty because they don’t have hanging genitals to cut; their genitals are inwards. They started cutting their breasts – they were not ready to be left behind. It was such a messy and bloody affair, but people were touching their feet, worshipping them, and all that they have done is just an ugly act against nature and against themselves.

What is significant if a man goes on a fast? Mahatma Gandhi used the strategy his whole life: It was nothing but catching the attention of the whole nation. And if he was going to fast unto death, the whole world’s attention was immediately caught. Otherwise there is no spirituality in fasting: millions die starving. Millions are going to die in the coming ten, twelve years from starvation. Nobody will give any honor or respect to them. Why? Because their starvation is inevitable. They are not starving willfully but because they don’t have food; they are simply poor and starving people.
But Mahatma Gandhi had everything available to him, although he lived like a poor man. One of his intimate followers, a very intelligent woman, Sarojini Naidu – has a statement on record that to keep Mahatma Gandhi poor they had to spend treasures on him. It was not a simple poverty, it was a managed show.
He would not drink the milk from a buffalo because it is rich, rich with vitamin A and other vitamins. He would not drink the milk of a cow because that too is rich, and poor people cannot afford it. He would drink only the milk of a goat, because that is the cheapest animal and poor people can afford it. But you will be surprised: his goat was being washed twice a day with Lux toilet soap! His goat’s food consisted of the richest nourishment that any rich man may feel jealous of. It is such an insane world! The goat was given the milk of a cow to drink. Cashew nuts, apples and other nourishing fruits were her only food; she was not living on grass. Her daily food in those old days cost ten rupees per day; that ten rupees per day in those days was enough for a man to live for a whole month.
And Gandhi was traveling third class. Naturally, he was attracting attention – a great man is traveling third class! But nobody saw that the third class compartment, which could have carried sixty people at least, was carrying only a single man; it is far more costly than the air-conditioned compartment. But it attracted attention.
He started using clothes just like the farmers of India – they are eighty percent of the people in the country. Because he was using farmer’s clothes – the upper body is naked, only the lower body has a small piece of cloth to wrap around – the poor people of this country became immensely respectful and started calling him Mahatma, the great soul.
But I have been looking into his life as deeply as possible. I don’t find any great soul; I have not found even a little soul – just pure politics in the name of religion. Knowing perfectly well that India can be impressed only by religion, he was doing devotional songs every day in the morning and in the evening, but it was all to attract attention.
Attention gives you tremendous nourishment for the ego. And there are instances…his secretary – private secretary, Mahadeo Desai – has written a whole diary of the many years that he spent with Mahatma Gandhi as his secretary. Many times there are mentions about J. Krishnamurti, with such sarcastic remarks that one cannot believe that Mahatma Gandhi had any insight into meditation or awareness: otherwise he cannot be sarcastic.
You can criticize, but criticism needs understanding. You can say Krishnamurti is not right, but then you have to give evidence – on what grounds? But just to laugh and giggle when Krishnamurti’s name was mentioned…Krishnamurti was saying, “I am the awakened one; you also have the capacity to be an awakened one,” and that was making Mahatma Gandhi laugh sarcastically.
Meher Baba, another man of the same caliber as J. Krishnamurti, gave a telegram to Mahatma Gandhi saying, “You have been in search of God, you have written your autobiography and titled it Experiments with Truth, but you don’t know anything of meditation, of silence. If you are really interested I can come to you and I can make you aware of the dimension of meditation.” And the whole gang that was around Mahatma Gandhi laughed – “This fellow thinks that he is God himself.” And Mahatma Gandhi replied, “I will do my own search; you need not trouble to come here.”
A third time it happened. One man of the name Kedarnath was of the same caliber as J. Krishnamurti, but was not world known. He was not a man of words but a man of silence, peace. He stayed in Mahatma Gandhi’s ashram, and soon the pendulum started moving towards him. The disciples of Mahatma Gandhi by and by started deserting him. In his morning devotional songs, the number of people was declining: they were going to sit in silence with Kedernath.
Finally it became such a situation: the ashram was Mahatma Gandhi’s, Kedarnath was just a guest, but he captured almost all Gandhi’s disciples. Gandhi was left alone, but his ego would not allow him to go and sit where all his disciples were sitting – in silence with Kedarnath. It was with great humanity and compassion that Kedarnath left the ashram in the middle of the night just to avoid a clash, because now it was becoming clear that Mahatma Gandhi had lost control of his own disciples. Kedarnath did not want to create any conflict.
Sri Aurobindo had a certain clarity. He was not an enlightened man of the category of J. Krishnamurti or Meher Baba, but he was very close. Perhaps one life more and he will be enlightened; he was just on the border line. He declared, “India will become free, will attain freedom on my birthday” – and it actually happened. The fifteenth of August is Sri Aurobindo’s birthday, and he had declared it thirty years before. People had completely forgotten about his declaration, but India became free on the fifteenth of August.
Sri Aurobindo sent a message to Mahatma Gandhi, “Now that the country is free, you need a complete program for its progress, because it is one thing to fight for freedom and it is another thing after attaining the freedom to create a nation; tremendous responsibility falls on your shoulders.”
And the reply that Mahatma Gandhi gave was again simply sarcastic: “You have left the world; you live in your ashram. You don’t have to worry about what happens to freedom and what we are going to do; that is our business. You have left it, you don’t have to interfere.”
Now a man like Sri Aurobindo could have given insight, but that insight was not accepted – and it shows. In those forty years that have passed since freedom, India has become worse every day. It has no program; its population has doubled, more than doubled. Its poverty has doubled – the poverty grows according to the population. By the end of this century, India will be for the first time in the whole history of mankind, of millions of years, the most densely populated country. Up to now, China has been the first. So only one achievement seems to have come out of forty years of freedom: people have produced more and more children.
By the end of this century, just thirteen years away, India will have one billion people in the country. When it became free it had only four hundred million people. It seems that each year there is an increase of one million people – but no technology is growing, no science is growing, no new methods are being used. And this population growth goes on making the country poorer and poorer. India is living on loans from the rich countries like America, and that is a new kind of slavery, economic slavery.
The days of political slavery are past, because it was unnecessary…. It is a similar case: the days of slaves are past, and the days of servants have come in because the slave was a great responsibility to the slave owner. He had to take care of the slave’s health, he had to take care of his body, food, clothes, his medicine, because he was an investment. He has purchased the man, and if he dies his whole investment is gone.
Slavery disappeared not because slaves revolted against it; there is no instance of slaves revolting. Slavery died because the people who were enslaving other people found better ways – servants. You are not purchased; hence it is not an investment. If you die, you die; it is not a loss to the owner. He pays you, but he has no concern for your body, for your health, for your family. This was far better.
The same has happened in the world of freedom. The British Empire disappeared, all other empires have disappeared, because political slavery became costly, very costly. It was the responsibility of the rulers to feed people, at least.
The moment Britain saw that India is growing so fast in population that it will be impossible to feed the people, and the whole responsibility will be on the head of Britain, Atlee sent to Mountbatten an urgent message: “You finish the whole thing before 1948, and if you can do it earlier I will praise you. Whatever way has to be found, be quick, and let them be free. Because then the whole responsibility will be on their own heads. They cannot complain, ‘Britain is exploiting us; that’s why we are poor.’”
Now nobody is exploiting you, and your poverty has grown much greater than it has ever been under slavery.
Politicians can pretend to be religious if religion is attractive. Because they need attention their whole personality is false. It depends on how many people are following them; it depends on the number of people who are attentive to them. It is a politics of numbers.
The Catholic pope is against birth control, against abortion, not because he is compassionate, saying, “This is absolute cruelty and violence,” not because he is life-affirmative – the whole Catholic attitude is life-negative, it is against life. Then why this insistence that there should be no birth control and no abortion? Because this is the only way to increase the number of Catholics, and this is the only way to make other people so poor that they have to come under the fold of the Catholic empire.
Now that there are so many orphans in India, Catholics have a good opportunity. And one wonders…a woman like Mother Teresa is awarded a Nobel prize, is awarded many doctorates in India by Indian universities, is awarded prizes by the Indian government, all because she is taking care of orphans. But nobody thinks that that care simply means converting those orphans into Catholics. Naturally Mother Teresa cannot be in favor of birth control – from where will she get the orphans?
Christianity cannot be in favor of a world which is rich. The scientists are declaring continually that we have come to such a point of technological progress that now there is no need for anybody to be hungry, to be starving or dying because of shortage of food. It has never before been possible, but now scientists are saying that we can feed five billion people very easily, we can feed even more – but those voices are silenced. No politician pays any attention, because politicians are also interested in having a big following.
In India Mohammedans will not be ready to accept that you should not marry four women…which is simply a human matter. But they have made it a point that it is a religious matter. I cannot understand how it is religious to marry four women. And if it is religious to marry four, then it will be doubly religious to marry eight. Perhaps that’s why Mohammed himself married nine women. The reality is that four women can produce four children in the year; vice-versa will not help. One woman marrying four men will still produce one child, not four children. But one man marrying a number of women can produce more children.
You will be surprised to know that India has already been divided in the name of religion, and Mohammedans have taken Pakistan on one side, and Bangladesh on another side; the country has been cut into three parts. Now again Mohammedans are growing so much that India is the greatest Mohammedan country in the world. No Mohammedan country has so many Mohammedans as India has. Any day they can start demanding a separate country, because they are second in number to Hindus, and Hindus are not a converting religion. Mohammedans are a converting religion, forcibly too. There is no need of any argument; the sword is the argument!
Your so-called religious leaders, your so-called political leaders, all need attention, all need their names and their photos continually in the newspapers, because if newspapers forget anybody’s name for a few months, people forget that man also. Now what do you know about Richard Nixon? Where is that poor fellow? One day he was the greatest, most powerful man on the earth, and now you will only hear about him the day he dies, and that too will be on the third, fourth page of the newspapers in a small column. What happens to these powerful people? When they lose people’s attention, their personality starts disappearing.
I have known many political leaders in this country. Perhaps this country has more ex-ministers, chief ministers, governors than any other country. Once they become “ex” they are finished. Then nobody pays any attention to them, nobody asks them to inaugurate bridges, railway lines, hospitals, schools. No paper even bothers where they are, whether they are alive or dead. And there was a time when they were in the newspapers every day, on the radios, on television.

One of my sannyasins works in the Indian television. She wanted to bring a small piece from my talks every day to the television. The director said, “We can accept the material, but we cannot mention Osho’s name.”
She said, “But this is absolutely illegal, and it is stealing.”
But the director said, “You should not mention his name at all” – because that’s what the Indian politicians want, and that’s what the politicians of the whole world want.
The Attorney General of America has emphatically declared in a press conference, “Our whole effort will be to silence Osho’s voice completely.”
One reporter asked, “What does it mean? Do you want to assassinate him?”
And the Attorney General laughed. He said, “No, we will find some roundabout ways so he is not heard any more.”
The American government is pressurizing the Indian government so that no foreign news media will be allowed to reach me. And I am receiving letters from Germany, from America, from Greece, from England, from Australia, “What is the matter? Why is the Indian government absolutely stubborn that they don’t want any news media, newspapers, radio, or television people to come to Pune?”

This is the way, in their eyes, to silence me. They are wrong. I have my own ways: I have my own people who are enough…just person to person. If a man like Gautam Buddha, without any television, without any newspapers, without any radio, could convert the whole of Asia, what is the problem? I am not dependent on their news media.
But the fear of the politicians is…the whole media attention should be focused on them – and why are people asking to go to Pune? Why don’t they ask to come to Delhi? That hurts them very badly.
It is not only your problem, that you are a beggar for attention; it is a human reality. And the reason is that you depend on your personality – which is false, which has been created by the society, and which can be taken away by society. Don’t depend on it. It is not in your power.
That which is in your power is your own individuality. Discover it! And the name of the science to discover it is meditation.
Once you know yourself, you don’t care about others. Even if the whole world forgets you it does not matter, it does not even make the slightest difference to you; or the whole world can know – that too does not give you any ego. You know ego is false, and to depend on the false is to make houses on the sand, without foundation. Your personalities are almost signatures on water. You have not even signed, and they disappear.

A group of Jewish mothers were drinking coffee together, and bragging about their children. One had a four-year-old who could read already. Another had a five-year-old who had already appeared on television. Then Becky Goldberg spoke up and said, “That’s nothing. You should see my little Hymie. He is only five years old, but the other day he went to the psychiatrist all by himself!”

A middle-aged woman confessed to her priest that she was becoming vain.
“Why do you think so?” asked the priest.
“Because,” replied the woman, “every time I look in the mirror I am inspired by my beauty.”
“Don’t worry,” said the priest, “that’s not a sin, that’s only a mistake!”

It was a big meeting of the medical society in honor of an ear specialist who was retiring after more than fifty years of service. As a gift, they presented him with a golden ear. He stood up to make a speech, and after the applause had died down, he looked at his gift and said, “Thank God I was not a gynecologist!”

Don’t depend on others!
Be independent in your being.
Just listen to your inner voice.
You can listen the moment you start being still and silencing your mind – and it is not difficult. And when I say it is not difficult, I say it with absolute authority: It is not difficult! If it has happened to me, it can happen to you – there is no difference. All human beings are potentially capable to know themselves. And the moment you know yourself, then nobody can take away your individuality. Even if they kill you, they can only kill your body, not you.
When Socrates was poisoned, the chief judge said to him, “I feel sorry that I had to agree with the majority. They all wanted to kill you. And you are such a strange fellow…I gave you three alternatives, but you did not accept.”
The chief judge had tremendous respect, but what to do? The majority was shouting, “He should be killed because he is corrupting our youth. He is giving them ideas which are against our tradition, against our religion. He is making them skeptical of the old and the ancient. He is making them explore the reality on their own, and not just believe in knowledge and ancient scriptures. He is destroying our tradition. We don’t want this man; this man should be destroyed.”
But the chief judge understood the whole situation. He said to Socrates…because in those days in Greece there were city states; Athens was a city state and the Athenian law was not applicable outside Athens. So he said, “The first simple choice is, you just move out of Athens, just outside the boundary line, and there you can make your school, your academy. Those who want to learn will come there.”
Socrates said, “That will show my fear of death…and some day I am going to die, I am old enough. These people are too impatient; I will die by myself. So to escape from Athens just for a few years…my being does not support such an idea. I cannot act out of fear. I would rather accept death, because you can only kill my body but not my spirit. And the body is going to die anyway, any moment!”
The chief judge said, “The second alternative is if you promise not to talk about truth, to stop teaching, you can live in Athens.”
He said, “Then what will be the point of living? To me, truth is higher than life. Life comes and goes; truth remains. No, I cannot accept that.”
The chief judge said, “Then the last thing is that you can say, ‘I am sorry that I have hurt people’s feelings.’ Just a simple apology will make me stand in your favor, and you can be saved from this ugly act of poisoning you to death.”
Socrates said, “That is not possible, because I have not done anything wrong. I cannot say I am sorry. I can only say I am immensely happy, and the question of an apology does not arise. For centuries you all will be condemned because you poisoned me. And one thing I would like you to know is that your name will be remembered only because you gave the judgment for my death; otherwise, nobody will remember you.”
This is the man of individuality, who does not care for his life, for his body, who has no fear. He accepted death with joy.
An individual is the only person who can get rid of this state of begging; otherwise you are going to remain a beggar your whole life. And in subtle ways you are continuously begging. Every young man falling in love with a woman will ask the woman, “Am I the first man you have fallen in love with?” It is almost inevitable. And every woman will ask, “Am I the first woman you have fallen in love with?” Why such questions? The woman wants you never to have paid attention to anybody: “I am the first, the most beautiful woman in your eyes.”
Man all through history has insisted that he will marry only a virgin – for what? It is such a stupid idea, because a virgin is absolutely inexperienced. You should insist, “I should marry someone who has some experience.” This is simple, logical, rational and scientific. But all the societies have insisted that they will accept in marriage only a virgin girl.
In the middle ages there were doctors in Europe…because the woman’s virginity can be judged, checked. There is a very thin layer of skin – if she has not been in a sexual relationship, that skin remains intact; if she has been in a sexual relationship, that skin is broken. That broken skin proves that she is not a virgin. Now sometimes it can be broken just by riding on a bicycle, it can be broken by riding on a horse, it can be broken by any accident – falling from the staircase. It is not something that can be broken only by making love. But every young man was alert on his first night as to whether the woman was virgin or not, so there were doctors in Europe who used to fix a false skin to make anybody virgin! Their profession was flourishing greatly.
I was in Greece, and I asked one of my sannyasins, “In Greece is virginity immensely valued by the orthodox church of Greece?” And the sannyasin I was asking had been one of the most beautiful women, one time chosen as Miss Greece.
She laughed. She said, “The church goes on saying that virginity is our fundamental principle, but it is very difficult to find a virgin in Greece!” But before getting married, they become virgin. It is just a very small thing for a gynecologist to fix a thin layer of skin.

I have heard one priest was asking and thundering and threatening the people of his congregation, “If you are not virgin, you will suffer hellfire. So all women who are virgin, or who have been virgin before their marriage, stand up!” Nobody stood up. He said, “I say again…” One woman with a little baby stood up. He said, “I am happy at least one woman has followed the religious principle of the Greek orthodox church.”
The woman said, “Forgive me Father, I am not standing for myself; I am standing for the baby. You cannot expect a six-month-old baby to stand by herself! She is certainly a virgin, I can guarantee it!”

All kinds of stupid notions have prevailed in humanity. And you have to follow these notions if you want attention. In India, if you want to have attention…There was a man in Mahatma Gandhi’s ashram, and he was an intelligent man. He had been a professor, a retired professor, Professor Ranga. He lived for six months only on cow dung and cow urine – just these two things for six months – and he became more of an attraction than Mahatma Gandhi himself. Everybody who was coming to the ashram was going to see Professor Ranga. Even Mahatma Gandhi called him a great man, a great spiritual man! I don’t see how cow dung can make a man spiritual. It simply can prove that he is stupid. But in Hindu society where the cow is accepted as the mother, the holy mother, this is a great spiritual attainment.
All over the world you will find the same kind of superstitions in different ways. And if you want the attention of people, you have to follow their ideas. You have always to be a follower, you have always to be a believer, you have always to be stupid and idiotic.
But if you want to get rid of this begging, you will have to get rid of your ego and your personality. You will have to learn that there is nothing in respect, there is nothing in reputation, there is nothing in respectability. They are all bogus words, meaningless, contentless. The reality belongs to you, but unless you discover it, you will have to depend on others.
You are emperors, but you have to discover yourself.
And this discovery is not difficult:
Your kingdom is within you.
You just have to learn to close your eyes and look inwards. A little discipline, a little learning not to remain focused on the outside continuously, but to turn inwards at least once or twice a day, whenever you can find time…slowly, slowly you start becoming aware of your eternal being. Then the idea of attention simply disappears.
And the miracle is: the day you don’t need anybody’s attention, people start feeling your charisma, because charisma is the radiation of your individuality. They start feeling that you are somebody special, unique – although they cannot pinpoint where your uniqueness is, what it is that attracts like a magnet.
People who have discovered themselves have found thousands of people attracted towards them, but they are not asking for it.

How can hypnosis and meditation come together?
Hypnosis has been condemned by all kinds of ignorant people. They don’t understand anything about it, but you will find people everywhere condemning it. The word is used without knowing even the meaning of it. People will say to you, “You are hypnotized, that’s why you go to Osho!” But just ask them what hypnosis is. They cannot even tell you the literal meaning of it, nor can they tell you what is the technique of it. Just the word is enough to condemn anybody, “You are hypnotized.”
Hypnosis is a tremendously beautiful art, and there is nothing wrong in it. But everything can be used in a wrong way or in a right way. You can have a sword and cut somebody’s head. That is not the fault of the sword; the sword is neutral. With your sword you can prevent somebody from raping a woman. But the sword is absolutely neutral, neither good nor bad; every energy is neutral.
Hypnosis is a tremendous source of energy. The word itself means deliberate sleep. You know ordinary sleep, you sleep every day; because it is ordinary sleep, it does not go deep enough. Its function is to help your body to recover its energy lost in the day-to-day work, so tomorrow morning you can get up fresh, again able to work. The ordinary sleep only goes so deep that it can help your body to recover, rejuvenate.
Deliberate sleep is the meaning of hypnosis. It is a simple thing, but it goes as deep as you are ready to go. It refreshes your body, it silences your mind, it cleanses your heart, it can reach to your very being. It all depends on your willingness – nobody can hypnotize you against your will. That also is a greatly fallacious idea prevalent in the world, that somebody can hypnotize you against your will. That is impossible. Nobody can hypnotize you against your will.
Simple methods are used by the hypnotist. He will tell you to relax and concentrate on something shiny, without moving your eyelids; just keep your eyes open as long as you can, and only when it is almost impossible for you, when the eyelids close by themselves – you cannot do anything, you cannot stop – only then…You are relaxed, lying down in a silent place, looking at a very strong light which tires the eyes, staring at it. The hypnotist is repeating, “Your eyelids are becoming very heavy, the light is too strong and you are going to fall asleep soon.” And he will go on repeating it.
It takes not more than three to five minutes before you will start feeling your eyelids have become heavier, and heavier, and heavier. And a moment comes when you cannot keep them open, they simply close. Then the hypnotist starts telling you, “You are going deeper, deeper. And you will hear only my voice and nothing else.” Your total willingness is needed. If you are reluctant, if you don’t want it, then the hypnotist is absolutely helpless. It is not a power of the hypnotist as it is understood in the world, it is the willingness of the hypnotized that brings that deep kind of deliberate sleep.
If you follow, cooperate with the hypnotist, he can take you deeper, deeper, deeper…the mind has become silent. And the moment he says anything, it simply sinks into your being. Your heart is dancing with harmony – no tension, no thought. You have entered into the innermost shrine of your being; now relax there.
But this is possible only, and I am saying categorically only, if you are willing to go into it. But it is tremendously helpful, because you find it very difficult on your own to go into that deep silence where the world is left far behind. And if the hypnosis is going to be used for meditative purposes…It can be used for many kinds of purposes, it can be used for healing.
Seventy percent of your diseases are just mind diseases, they are not really there. You simply believe they are there, and because you believe, they are there. It is because of this there are so many “pathies”: allopathy, homeopathy, naturopathy, ayurveda, unani. There are so many “pathies,” Chinese, Japanese…and all function perfectly well, but only for seventy percent.
Only allopathy is a scientific methodology; it functions on one hundred percent of your diseases. But every pathy…homeopathy is nothing but sugar pills, but it works, and the work is not small – seventy percent. For seventy percent of sicknesses it is perfectly good. Naturopathy works, and naturopathy is very simple, for example, having a mud bath. Fill your bathtub with mud and lie down in the mud, and it cures many things. It has been found that seventy percent of diseases are in your own hands.
I had a doctor who was a fake doctor. He was my friend. He had no degrees, but his board was full of degrees – all kinds of degrees, from inside India, from outside India. And he made a lab. As you entered into his clinic, first you would pass through a tremendous lab, which was all just bogus – great machines that you have never seen, which have nothing to do with medicine – and he would impress you in this way.
When you reached his office you would be surprised. He never used an ordinary stethoscope; he had a very special arrangement. He was a genius although he was a fake. But he was a genius! You would have to lie down on the table, and above your head there were many big bottles with colored water, joined with a tube. That tube he would attach to the stethoscope, and the water would jump. You would see the water jumping – whether red water is jumping or green water is jumping. You have never seen such a thing!
It created great trust in the man: “That man is not ordinary.” And he was just watching the water…! That could have been done by anybody, by an ordinary stethoscope; it was nothing…your heart is jumping, so the water is jumping. Everything was special! He had almost cured the person by the time he was out of his clinic, and he was simply giving water, colored water, to people.
He was caught by the police. As I heard that he had been caught, I went immediately to the police station and I told those people, “He is fake, but he has helped hundreds of people – you should also consider that. It is absolutely unjust to harass him. It is true that those degrees are false, but those degrees are not given by any university, any medical college; so what is wrong if he has used the alphabet and he has made his degrees himself? Your concern should be how many people he has helped. And those are the people whom nobody could help.”
People used to go to him only as a last resort, because his fees were very high. Naturally, he had such a great establishment, his fees were almost eight times more than any qualified doctor. And he said to me, “Even taking eight times the fees helps the patient. When he pays so much, he gets well quickly. When he pays so much, he believes that the doctor is not ordinary. So it is not only a question of getting more money, it is a question of helping the patient. It is part of treatment.”
But the police were not ready to listen to me; he was presented before the magistrate. I went there too, and I said, “You should look at the record of how many people he cures. And those are the incurable people. They have been to allopathy, they have been to ayurveda, they have been to homeopathy. Nothing helps, but this man manages to help them. Now the real criterion should be how much service, how much help he has given, but you are simply bothering about certificates.”
The magistrate said, “I can understand you, but I have to follow the law.”
So the poor doctor is behind the bars. But I was continually talking to him, and he was very open and clear. He said, “I have arranged this whole thing as a hypnotic strategy. Once the patient is hypnotized, is ready to cooperate with me, once he trusts me…and he has to trust because he has paid so much money, and he has to trust because I am the last resort. He has been to all kinds of doctors. If I fail, then he has no hope, so naturally he has to trust me. And he can see that it is not an ordinary doctor’s clinic. It is so extraordinary that it is impossible for the doctor to fail.”

If somebody is not willing, the hypnotist has to create the willingness. Hypnotism is not some power in the hands of the hypnotist. That idea I want to criticize absolutely, without any conditions attached to it. It is thought all over the world that it is a power in the hands of the hypnotist. It is not; it is your power.
The hypnotist is only a help to awaken you to your own power, and then it can be used for many things: for healing, for making you live longer, for changing your harmful habits, smoking, drinking. It can do tremendous work.
It can be used as an educative methodology. You can learn in hypnosis better than you can learn ordinarily, because everything is silent and you are hearing only one voice. Even if somebody else comes and talks, you will not hear, you are open only to a small narrow way to the hypnotist. He can teach you any new language. He can teach you any new science. He can teach you arithmetic, anything within minutes for which people take hours and days to learn.
And it can be used for meditation too. As far as I am concerned hypnosis is simply a relaxed, deliberate sleep with a small opening, a little window, to the person who hypnotized you. He can tell you that your meditation will go deeper every day, and if this thought gets in your unconscious, your meditation will start going deeper. Just a few sessions and he can give you the last post-hypnotic suggestion: now you don’t need any hypnosis; your meditation will go deeper on its own accord.
Hypnosis has not been used in the whole of history for meditation, but it can be used, and it can be used with tremendous power, because you have to fight so much with your thoughts unnecessarily. That whole struggle with your mind can be dropped by hypnotic sessions without much effort.
Hypnosis is also capable of giving you a post-hypnotic suggestion, if you want to hypnotize yourself, by a simple strategy: count from one to one hundred, and from one hundred back to one. By the time you have reached back to one, you will fall into deep hypnosis. And you can tell yourself before going into hypnosis – because you will be alone – “The state of hypnosis will last only for fifteen minutes. After fifteen minutes I will come out of it.” This is auto-hypnosis.
Hetero-hypnosis means somebody is helping you. In the beginning it is good to take help. But you have to be very willing, in a very loveful atmosphere.
An old man was torturing his family continuously with this disease, that disease. And he was reading the encyclopedia and finding diseases. He was reading medical magazines and finding new diseases that have just been discovered, and he would immediately start torturing his family, “I am suffering from this disease.” It was a way of remaining in power. He was retired. Nobody cared about him; in fact, he was a burden. But even if you are a burden, you don’t want to be neglected. His method not to be neglected and not to be ignored was to create new diseases.
Doctors were tired because they said, “That man is strange, he has no disease. He just goes on reading and finding diseases from encyclopedias, and then we have to treat something which he has not got – and that may unnecessarily create trouble.” Medicine which is given to a person who has no disease may cause some trouble, particularly allopathic medicines which are almost all based on poison. So the doctors were saying, “We are tired, just…”
Then one doctor said, “It will be good if you go to a hypnotist. I have a friend who is a very good hypnotist, perhaps he may be helpful.” Now the old man is saying that he is suffering from sleeplessness, so the hypnotist will be perfectly the right person. He will give him sleep. He will also give him the post-hypnotic suggestion, “You will go to sleep – just drink hot milk before you go to bed and immediately you will fall asleep.” He will associate sleep with the hot milk, and once it gets associated in the mind, it works.
Every child knows that the teddy bear works; you take the teddy bear away, and the child cannot sleep. And everybody has his own methods of creating teddy bears. You will find somebody clutching his blanket. If you don’t allow him to clutch his blanket, he cannot sleep. Everybody has a certain posture of sleeping. If you don’t allow him that posture, he cannot sleep. These are natural ways of auto-hypnotizing yourself.
So the hypnotist was brought, and the old man was told, “Now you forget…all your diseases will be finished. We have found the greatest hypnotist.” The old man lay down, and the hypnotist said, “Just as I say you are falling asleep, asleep…and your eyelids are becoming heavy, so heavy, mountainously heavy so that you cannot keep them open…” And soon the old man was fast asleep.
The doctor took away his bag, slipped silently out, took his fees, and the family was very happy that this is the right man. But as the son came back, the old man opened one eye and said, “Has that crank gone or not?” He was not willing; he was just pretending. Immediately the moment he said, “Your eyes are becoming heavy,” he closed his eyes, listened to the whole thing, and knew that this is stupid. How can this create sleep?
Your willingness is absolutely needed. It is you who creates the hypnosis, not the person who hypnotizes you. But it is good in the beginning if you can help each other. There is nothing much to it; anybody you trust can help you and take you deep into hypnosis. And when you are in deep hypnosis he can check whether you are in deep hypnosis or not. He can push a needle in your hand; you will not feel it. He can take your hand up and leave it, and it will fall because you are not awake and you cannot keep it that way. So there are just a few small things he can try to find out if you are really in hypnosis.
Then he can tell you about meditation: whenever you sit to meditate, take a bath, make a special room for your meditation. Don’t do anything in that room so that it remains vibrating with your meditativeness. Burn incense, bring roses and flowers, sit silently. Close your eyes, watch your thoughts and you will immediately go into deep silence; thoughts will disappear. This can happen without hypnosis but it takes a longer time. Hypnosis is a short cut.
Your question is significant. You are asking, “How can hypnosis and meditation come together?” They can come together very easily. Hypnosis can be used for many purposes – it can be used for meditation. And the people who said you are being hypnotized by me are, in a way, right. Just because I don’t use methods of hypnotizing you, that does not mean that hypnosis is not created by you.
I am not hypnotizing you, but you love me, you trust me – that’s enough. And then when I stop for a moment, you also stop with me. When I am not speaking…just a gap, and you are also in a gap. Slowly, slowly your heart starts the same rhythm as my heart. My words start having a certain music, a certain solacing, a certain relaxing quality. All depends on love, all depends on trust, but you are creating it.
I am not hypnotizing – I am not a hypnotist.
I don’t need to be, I am myself. My presence is hypnotizing. So I don’t need to tell you, “Lie down and I will move a crystal…ding-dong, ding-dong. You are falling asleep, ding-dong….”
I have told you the story…
A sex maniac was being hypnotized by a ding-dong hypnotist, and the sex maniac jumped; he said, “Doctor, it works! My ding-dong is asleep!”
I am not a ding-dong hypnotist!…
I love you. I want to share my truth with you for no other reason except that I am so full of it, I cannot contain it. I want to share; I want to unburden myself. And if you are ready on the other end to receive it, hypnosis will happen automatically. And with hypnosis, because my insistence is continuously on meditation, you will find it easier to meditate here with me than anywhere else – in the beginning at least.
Later on, when you have developed on your own and you are more confident that you can fly in the silent spaces of your heart, then you will be able to create the same state anywhere; I will not be needed.
I don’t want you to be addicted to me – because I am not a drug, and I don’t want you to be addicted to anything. But you can use things which have been condemned by ignorant people, not knowing what they are saying. You can use them for tremendous benefit, for your spiritual growth.
Just an innocent heart is needed for meditation. And hypnosis can cleanse your heart and can bring you into the state of a small child.

Little Roger was frightened of the large bulldog that occupied the yard next to his home. One day, feeling adventurous, Roger climbed the fence. The huge bulldog rushed up to him and licked his face. The boy began to scream and his mother came running to his side.
“Did he bite you, darling?”
“Not yet,” whimpered Roger, “He just tasted me.”

That is the simplicity of a child.

Old Sam Rosenbaum was seventy-five, really very old, and finally got his nerve together to take a flight in a small airplane. As he climbed out after the ride, he turned to the pilot and said, “Sir, I wish to thank you for both those rides.”
“What are you talking about?” said the pilot, “You had only one ride.”
“Oh no I didn’t,” said old Sam. “I had two: my first and my last!”

In old age also, if people have lived rightly they come back to the same innocence of a child. And according to me, unless an old man becomes again a child, he has missed the opportunity of growing in the spiritual dimension; he has wasted his life in trivia. He has been collecting only seashells and colored stones on the sea beach, but he has not been able to discover the treasure of consciousness, awareness, enlightenment.
Hypnosis can be certainly used. Here we are going to create a school for hypnosis, where you will be able to learn how to auto-hypnotize yourself so you don’t have the dependence on the hypnotist. And then you can use that auto-hypnotizing process for meditation.
This is a pioneer effort to bring hypnosis and meditation together for the first time. But together they can be tremendously great. They can bring you so much light, so much blissfulness – and so easily. I like to repeat Chuang Tzu’s statement, “Easy is right; right is easy.” I don’t want you to become unnecessarily self-torturing, following unnecessarily long, arduous ways to come to yourself.
You don’t have to go anywhere.
I want to teach you the great pilgrimage from here to here. I want you to learn the art of reaching to God singing, dancing, rejoicing.
Laugh your way to God.
In essence that is my teaching.
And it is possible, with the help of hypnosis, to make meditation the easiest process. But drop any idea of condemnation of hypnosis, which you may have gathered because all the world, the whole world, is afraid of being hypnotized. There have been people, highly intelligent, who wanted to come to see me but they finally decided not to because they were afraid they may be hypnotized. Nobody can hypnotize you against your will.
Millions of people would like to come. They are reading my books, they are listening to my tapes, they are seeing the videos, but they are afraid to come close to me. A fear has been created by the so-called religious leaders that they will be hypnotized.
It happened that one famous but ugly and pornographic magazine, Stern, from Germany, had sent a reporter. He became so interested because he wanted to write an inside story. So he meditated, he listened to me, he did everything that sannyasins are doing here. He became so joyful and blissful that he became a sannyasin! He wrote the story, he went back. The Stern editorial board was very annoyed. The first thing they said was, “You have been hypnotized. We cannot publish your article. You have written it under hypnosis.”
He said, “What nonsense you are talking!”
They did not publish his article. On the contrary, they fired him. And they managed to distort his article the way they wanted: they left out everything that was positive, they inserted their own interpretations, and colored the whole thing in such an ugly and negative way that even he was surprised, because when they fired him…and he was one of their most important chief reporters.
He had come to live here, then he lived in the commune in America, and I think soon he will be coming back. Wherever he will be, he will be a sannyasin. He has tasted the experience himself. It is no more a borrowed knowledge; it has entered into his being, but it is not hypnosis.
He was wrongly understood, and he was wrongly condemned. Journalists come, but they always are spectators. They will not know what is happening to people in their inner being. Unless they become insiders, their reports are worthless. Many other people come, just as spectators to see what is happening.
This place is not for spectators.
This place is only for those who have courage to participate in this tremendous experiment of consciousness awakening.

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