The Guest 09

Ninth Discourse from the series of 15 discourses - The Guest by Osho.
You can listen, download or read all of these discourses on oshoworld.com.

The first question:
If you know, can you tell me what is best for me?
Miguel, the best thing is to never be born, but you have already missed that. The second best thing is to die as soon as possible – that’s a little bit difficult. I don’t mean physical death, that is not difficult. To commit suicide is the easiest thing in the world, the most cowardly. It needs no guts. But to commit psychological suicide needs great courage – to be and yet not to be, to drop the ego.
Yes, there are a few people who have managed to do the first. Lao Tzu must have been one of those who were born and yet not born, who came into the world utterly egoless. Hence the story that Lao Tzu lived in his mother’s womb for eighty-two years. He resisted the temptation to come out of the womb until he became ripe, until he became capable of existing in the world without the ego. He allowed himself to be born – permitted himself – only when there was no possibility of any ego arising. What Buddha attained under the bodhi tree, Lao Tzu must have attained in his mother’s womb. Yes, there is a way to be aware even in the mother’s womb. Then a person is born, but born without the ego; Jesus must have come that way.
Some people have managed the second best way: this means to go on dying to the past. The ego is nothing but the cumulative effect of all your yesterdays. If you can die to all your yesterdays, even to the moment that has just passed and is no more, you remain without the ego. You are there in utter radiance, in great splendor, there is no idea of “I.” There is a pure “amness,” just a fragrance of being, with no center – then you exist in godliness and godliness exists in you.
This second way is also very difficult. One needs to be utterly alert, so that the instant a moment passes by, one has slipped out of it. One does not stay lingering in the past, one does not go on clinging to memories. There is no nostalgia, no looking back. It means not looking ahead because looking ahead is another way of looking back. It means not beginning life in the future, projecting life into the future, because the future is nothing but a reflection of the past. What you desire in the future is bound to be nothing but a repetition of the past. Modified, refined, more sophisticated, more polished, but still the same. There cannot be any qualitative difference; maybe there are some quantitative differences. The future is nothing but a projection of the past.
So I am not saying drop the past so that you can live in the future – that is the past coming in again through the back door. If you drop the yesterdays, you will have to drop tomorrow too. When all your yesterdays and all your tomorrows have disappeared, then what is left? – this moment, this purity, this silence. Thisness. Buddha calls it tathata, suchness. There is nothing else to desire, there is no should, no ought, there is nowhere to go. One is utterly contented in this moment; one is relaxed, calm and quiet. All desires have disappeared because they can exist only through the past or through the future. And when there is no desire, how can there be a mind? The mind is desire. And when there is no mind how can there be an ego? Ego is the center of the false mind. This is the second best way.
The third best way is to love because love is a sweet way to die, to disappear. The sweetest way to die is to love. It helps you to drop the ego, and with no effort. It helps you to drop the ego with such grace, with such joy, that if you cannot drop the ego through love then it will be very difficult to drop it at all.
In love, the other is available, the beauty of the other, the caressing warmth of the other, the protection, the shelter; the other is an excuse to drop the ego. It is easy to die because love gives one courage, courage to do the impossible. And love gives one a kind of drunkenness – in that drunkenness it is easy to make the jump, the quantum leap.
Love sends one mad. That madness is higher than what you call sanity because your sanity remains crawling in the dark holes of the earth, and love opens its wings toward the sun. Love dares, is adventurous. Love is ready to die because in love one feels that even if one dies – one cannot die. Love gives a feeling of immortality. And the path of love is full of flowers – the birds are singing, the trees are green and it is very sunny. The third best is the easiest.
But for some people it is very difficult, the very idea of drowning oneself in the other makes them very scared. The very presence of the other makes them shrink inward; the very presence of the other, and they become closed. If you are of that type, Miguel, then the fourth way is to meditate.
This too is a way of dying, a little dryer than the third way, a little more alone, not so sweet certainly, even a little bitter. But likes differ, some people like bitter tastes – coffee, cocoa. And there are people who are intrigued only by a harder course; the easy is not a challenge for them, the easy has no appeal for them. The harder the task, the more they rise to it. They are challenged only by the arduous, the difficult, the impossible; the impossible is their passion – for them is the way of meditation.
So if you like something bitter, spicy, something hard: be alone, doing nothing, sitting silently – the spring comes and the grass grows by itself. In love there is a song, a dialogue, a meeting, a merging, but in meditation one simply evaporates. Slowly, slowly, in aloneness one evaporates, and one day nothing is found, the ego has died.
These are the four possibilities.
Miguel, you ask me, “Can you tell me what is best for me?” These four things. But the basic note is the same, and that is: learn to die because that is the only way to learn to live. Let the ego die and your life starts taking on the flavor of the divine. Death – the death of the ego – becomes the door to the divine.
And the fifth way – which is not really the fifth but a combination of all four ways, a symphony, an orchestra – I call sannyas. It combines all that is beautiful in the four, it is multidimensional. All these four ways are one-dimensional; sannyas is multidimensional. It teaches you how to be born and yet never be born. It teaches you how to die and yet live immensely. It teaches you how to fall in love and yet go on rising up. It teaches you how to disappear in love and yet remain aloof, unpossessed, nonpossessive. It teaches you how to be with the other and yet remain free and let the other be free. It teaches you how to meditate and be alone and yet not let your aloneness become an escape; to be alone and yet be in the world. It teaches you how to be a lotus leaf in the lake; in the water, yet untouched by it. Sannyas is the synthesis of these four dimensions; it is the very crescendo, the cream of them all.
Many religions have concentrated on the first way, particularly the Indian religions; their emphasis is on how not to be born. Hence, in India all the religious people are praying, “God, help us to not be born again. We don’t want to go back into the wheel of life and death.” All Indian religions are basically rooted in this one concept: how to be free from the vicious circle of birth and death, how to go beyond birth and death, how to not be born, how to enter into eternity and never come back into the turmoil of time.
The Christian, the Mohammedan, the Jew: their emphasis is on the second way – to die as soon as possible, to surrender to God. Prayer is their method. Prayer means dying; dying and disappearing as a person, becoming part of the universal; a surrender, a trust in God. Their whole emphasis is on how to surrender their ego, sacrifice their ego, at the altar of the divine.
The third way, to love as a method of dying, has been chosen by all the devotees of the world: the Vaishnavas in India and the Sufis of Islam and the Hasidic mystics of Judaism have all chosen the third. Love: love intensely, love totally, love holding nothing back and you will attain because love kills the ego.
The fourth way, to be aware, to be meditative, has been chosen by Buddhism, Jainism, Zen, Taoism.
My effort here, Miguel, is to create a symphony of all the religions. Here, Sufis and Hasids and the people of Zen and Taoism, are meeting and merging. I am creating an ocean in which rivers from different mountains, bringing different flavors, bringing different fragrances, are meeting and merging; and creating something absolutely new that has never happened before – a universal religiousness. I don’t give it any name.
Miguel, if you are listening to my suggestions, become a sannyasin. And the only way to know what that is, is to be a participant.
Miguel is a journalist from South America. It will be very difficult for him to participate. The whole training of a journalist is to observe, to be a spectator, to watch with a critical eye, and to find whatsoever he can find that is negative. And if he cannot find the negative, then to invent, project, because only the negative becomes news. The positive has no news value, only the negative, only something sensational. People are only interested in the wrong.
If you murder somebody it is news, but if you help somebody, you can go on helping your whole life, it will never become news. If you love it is not news, but if you hate and you destroy, it becomes news. Buddhas don’t really count in the history books.
That’s why it remains a problem whether men like Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, Lao Tzu, ever existed or are just mythology. Nobody is suspicious about Alexander the Great, and Napoleon, and Tamerlane, and Genghis Khan, and Nadir Shah; nobody is suspicious about them. They have left such destructive proof, you cannot deny it. History is full of fools: from Tamerlane to Adolf Hitler they are the major part of history because they create news. History is ancient news. What is in the newspaper today will become history tomorrow, and what is history today was news yesterday.
But somehow the buddhas are left out of the accounts. Why? What is the reason? The reason is that these people were not destructive: they never killed, they never conquered, they never possessed anybody. They lived so silently, so blissfully, they never created a ripple.
Once I was talking to the Prime Minister of India and I asked, “How do you choose your cabinet colleagues? What are the qualifications?”
The Prime Minister said, “Whosoever has nuisance value, whosoever can create more nuisance has to be chosen.” That is the qualification. If he is left out of the cabinet he will create trouble. He has to be taken into the cabinet, he has to be made a minister so he does not create trouble. Troublemakers become powerful, troublemakers become heads of state, troublemakers create news.
Miguel is a journalist. If his training has gone too deep it will be really difficult for him to participate here. But there are a few things you can know only by participation. If you don’t dance you will not know what dance is. You can see somebody else dancing, but it is one thing to see a dancer and it is totally another thing to be a dancer. Seeing a dancer from the outside, you are simply seeing physical gestures. Being a dancer from the inside, you will know the real feel of it.
Somebody can tell you that he has a headache and you can understand that he is in pain. But from the outside – if you have never known a headache – will you be able to understand exactly what his agony is? You will never be able to understand it; it is something interior. You have to participate.
Even suffering cannot be known from the outside – suffering, which is gross. What to say about bliss? What to say about peace, serenity? They are the highest peaks, the Everests of human consciousness. Even dark valleys cannot be known from the outside. You have to go into them, you have to disappear into them.
So if you are really interested, if the question is not just for question’s sake, then be a participant. Fall en rapport with me. Put your mind aside, put your ego aside – that’s what I mean by death. Enter into this buddhafield like a small child, innocent, knowing nothing. Function from a state of not-knowing – that’s what I mean by death. Function from a state of innocence, and the possibilities are tremendous: you also can bloom, as other flowers are blooming in my garden.

The second question:
Is God really dead?
Friedrich Nietzsche killed God, and Sigmund Freud buried the corpse. God’s death is no longer new and no longer news either. Now the new idea is that death is God. And that’s what I am teaching you here: forget about God – let us learn death, the art of dying. And if you know how to die you will know what God is.
The old God is certainly dead, and that is good. The old God was getting heavier and heavier on the human heart; the old idea was becoming like a rock, not helping growth, but hindering it. It was very childish, it was created by primitive people, it was their need; it was perfectly suitable for them.
Just go back five thousand years, to the days of the Vedas: it is cloudy, there is thunder and lightning and you are sitting in your cave, with no clothes on of course, shivering, trembling. You will create a kind of God, a God that is born out of fear.
The caveman was constantly in fear: wild animals were roaming all around, no security, no medicine, no protection, no shelter, no light, no fire. Just think of the plight of that man with danger, insecurity, darkness, all around. It was natural for that man to create God as a consolation; it was his illusion. Hence he created a God in the heavens.
If you pray to him he will help you, he will protect you. If you don’t pray, if you don’t obey him, he will punish you. This is a childish concept, perfectly suitable for the people who created it, but it persisted. Times changed, caves disappeared, life became totally different; man was more secure, more sheltered, more safe. How could he keep on carrying that old idea? Sooner or later a man was needed to declare that God was dead.
That’s what Nietzsche did. He did a great service to humanity, he declared something which needed to be declared. He was a courageous man, and he risked much because he was the first man to declare that God is dead. Remember, there were people before him who had said there was no God, but that was totally different. There had been Charvaka in India and Epicurus in Greece, and many more courageous, intelligent people all over the world who denied the existence of God. But to deny the existence of God is one thing, and to declare that God is dead is another. Hence Charvaka never went mad, Epicurus never went mad.
Nietzsche went mad. To say God does not exist is one thing, then there is no question, but to declare that God is dead is another. He was the first man to encounter the fact that the old God had become irrelevant and the new was not on the horizon. The old was gone and the new had not come. And the gap – that gap was maddening, as if somebody has taken the earth from beneath your feet and you are falling into abysmal darkness. You cannot find the bottom anywhere, you go on falling and falling. That’s what happened to Friedrich Nietzsche. He went mad. The day he declared God is dead, the whole edifice that had been used as protection up till then was shattered.
Some people had the idea that “God is” because they felt protected by God. But a few others, who rather than feeling secure in God wanted to be more natural, started feeling afraid of God – because he could punish them. “If you are natural then you will be in hell.” Just to avoid that fear many of those people declared that there was no God. See the point: the person who believes in God and the person who disbelieves in God may not be different. Their psychologies may be exactly the same, they may be two sides of the same coin. One declares that God is, because without God he feels alone, afraid. The other declares there is no God because he feels afraid in the presence of God, afraid of being judged – God is the judge and is there, constantly watching.
Remember, those people who were ascetic, who were ready to deny their nature, were very happy to believe in God. And the people who were more natural, more normal, were happy to believe that there was no God. The reason is the same: the natural person will feel afraid because the natural person will have sex, will have anger, will have jealousy. And God is going to punish him; if God is there, then punishment is certain. It is better for him to say that there is no God; at least for the time being he can relax. And the person who can repress his sex, his jealousies, his anger, would like to declare that God is, because all his investment is in God’s existence. God’s existence is very necessary for his asceticism.
The pathological people declare that God is, and the natural people declare that there is no God. And because there have been very few natural people – society does not allow them to exist – the majority declare God is. But also, the majority only declares “God is” on the surface; deep down they all become hypocrites because to deny nature is not easy, it is a rare feat. Only a few people can deny it; really mad, insane people are needed to deny nature.
Then what is the natural person supposed to do? – he is supposed to become a hypocrite. He should go to the church and the temple, and on the surface, formally, declare that God is, but go on living his natural way. He will become a dual personality.
Nietzsche’s declaration was very original, he was a pioneer. He said, “God is dead” – not that God is not. Up to then, God had been; but now God was no more. Nietzsche took away all the shelter, security, safety; he left man all alone. And naturally, Nietzsche suffered; he himself went mad, he could not tolerate the absence of God. Nietzsche had declared something of immense importance, but it was difficult even for him to absorb it. The truth of it was too much, he was not yet ready.
You ask me, “Is God really dead?” Yes, the old God is dead. The God that used to sit on a golden throne in the seventh heaven is dead. The God you used to believe in during your childhood is dead. The God of your conceptions is dead.

Recently, a new jet plane was invented that goes nine hundred miles an hour. The test pilot was taking it on its maiden flight when he noticed a button he hadn’t used before. He pressed it and the plane zoomed miles upward at a fantastic rate.
He breathed in sharply, and whispered, “Oh, my God.”
And a voice answered, “Yes?”

The God that used to say “Yes” from on high is gone. But it is good that the old God is dead; man needs a new conception, a new perceptivity. God will not be back, godliness will be back. God will not come back as a person again – man has passed that phase, man has come of age. Now we have to think in terms of godliness, not God, of presence not personality.
That’s what happened to Gautam Buddha. H. G. Wells has made a tremendously significant statement about Buddha: that he was the most godless man, and yet the most godly. Godless in the sense that he never believed in any childish conception of God, he never believed in God as a person. But he was the most godly; he believed in the quality of godliness. In that way, now God will not be a father figure, but an experience of love. Now God will be synonymous with love; now God will be synonymous with meditation, awareness. Now God need not be worshipped; God will not be the deity in the temple anymore. God will be your inner consciousness, your inner witnessing, your subjectivity; God will be synonymous with life itself.
Yes, a new God is being born. He has already arrived, but it will take time for humanity to understand it. Nietzsche declared, “God is dead.” I declare, “God is born again,” but with a new face, certainly – Nietzsche would not recognize it. Only a man like Gautam Buddha will be able to recognize it, or a man like Kabir, or a man like Rinzai. Only those who have loved tremendously and meditated tremendously. Only those who have died as egos will be able to understand this new God – not as a person, but as a quality; not as something in particular, which can be pinpointed, but as something diffuse, permeating the whole of existence.
God is the green in the trees, and the red and the gold. God is the song of the bird. God is the white cloud floating in the sky. God is the starry night. God is when two persons meet and hug each other. God is when two lovers melt and merge into each other. God is in all experiences of beauty, joy, celebration. God is in every orgasmic experience.
Now this is a totally different conception of God. You can experience it, but you cannot worship it. You can be it, but you cannot be the worshipper. That’s why my sannyasins are not worshippers. My sannyasins are experiencers. Their God is not something outside, their God is something inside. The inside of things is God. The inside of this whole universe is God.
And if you can experience your own interiority, you will know God is not dead. God cannot be dead. Yes, concepts change because man changes, but God is eternity, God is this totality – how can God be dead? If God is really dead then Nietzsche cannot be alive, then trees cannot bloom anymore, then the earth will not be here, then the sun will not shine, then the stars will simply disappear. Then there will be only darkness and emptiness.
But all is as it has always been. God as an old concept is gone. Prepare the way for the new God to arrive – that’s what sannyas is all about. I am not initiating you into any traditional sannyas, I am not helping you enter any traditional way. I don’t represent the past, I represent the approaching dawn that is very close by. It only needs a little love in your hearts, a little awareness in your beings, and you will become aware.
This time God is going to be born in you. You have to be a little more innocent, more virgin. You have to become the womb. And as man grows, again and again new concepts will be coming. They simply show the growth of man. God is always there, but we grow, our concepts grow, our vision becomes clearer. Naturally, old concepts have to be discarded, thrown out to the junkyard.
All the old Gods are dead – the Hindu Gods and the Mohammedan Gods and the Christian Gods. All the old Gods are dead, and those who are still worshipping in the ancient temples and mosques are simply following a dead routine. God has disappeared from there. Now God needs new people, new mediums to become his vehicles. He needs a totally new human being, a new man.
Become part of this great experiment. My whole experiment is to bring the new God into the world, to help the beyond penetrate the earth. What Nietzsche has done has to be undone.

The third question:
I laughed like everyone else when you humorously replied to the question, “If I see you walking along the road, should I kill you?” yet my heart experienced flutters of fear because I perceive fanatics in this town and all over the world who would like to kill you. I see so many angry people who drink the hemlock of hate and scoff at the nectar of love. Are these feelings of fantasy, reality or paranoia?
The feelings that arose in your heart are not of fantasy, are not of paranoia, they are real. There are fanatics, the world is full of them. They would like to kill me. They killed Jesus, they killed Socrates, they killed al-Hillaj Mansoor. Those same fanatics are still here, but there is no need to be afraid of them because in a way, unknowingly, they help the work.
Just think, if Jesus had not been killed, there would have been no Christianity at all. It was the murderers who helped create Christianity. In fact, George Gurdjieff used to say humorously that it was Jesus’ own plan – that he arranged for them to kill him, that he wanted to be killed so that his message would spread. George Gurdjieff used to say that Judas was not Jesus’ enemy, he did not betray him, he simply followed orders. He was the closest disciple, and the most intelligent of all Jesus’ disciples, the most educated, the most sophisticated. Gurdjieff used to say that Jesus ordered Judas: “If you really love me and if your surrender is total, then go now and hand me over to my enemies.”
This is a beautiful story that Gurdjieff invented; it has some truth in it. The truth is that the people who murdered Jesus played into his hands. He may not have planned it, but it worked out perfectly well in his favor.
Just think, there have been many Sufi mystics of the same caliber as Mansoor, but the world knows only Mansoor’s name, nobody else’s. Bahauddin is not known so much, Junnaid is not known so much, Hassan is not known so much, Junnun is not known so much. And they were of the same stature and the same quality, the same enlightenment; but Mansoor has become the greatest name. Without Mansoor there would be no Sufism at all. Mansoor has become the central focus for a simple reason: he was killed.
There were many great philosophers of the same caliber as Socrates, but because he was poisoned his name cannot be effaced. As long as humanity exists, as long as there is some intelligence available somewhere, he will be remembered. Looking back now it does not seem a bad thing, retrospectively, that he was poisoned and killed. He was going to die anyway, he was an old man; he could have lived one more year, two years, four years at the most.
The court told Socrates, “You can save your life if you leave Athens. We will leave you free, but you will not be entitled to enter Athens again.”
Socrates said, “No, I will not compromise just for the sake of my life. I am going to die sooner or later, so why compromise for something which is going to happen anyway? What difference does it make? It is better to be killed, than for it to be known later on that I compromised, that I was a coward.”
The court made another proposal, “We can give you one more option. The pressure is such, we may have to kill you, but we would like to help you in every possible way. If you insist on living in Athens, you can live in Athens, but then stop talking about truth.”
Socrates said, “That is impossible, that’s my business. If I live, I will talk about truth. To me, life and spreading truth are synonymous. What is the point of living if I cannot even talk about truth? If I cannot commune with people, if I cannot initiate people into the world of truth, what is the point of living at all? Please kill me and be finished with the whole thing. I am not going to compromise.”
And he did well. If he had compromised nobody would ever have heard of him. It would have been more calculating to compromise. He could have saved himself, but he was ready to die. He chose death. Why? Because in a very mysterious way death becomes a seal of approval. So don’t be worried about those fanatics. If they kill me they will be helping my work.
Death is bound to come one day, and the best way is not to die in bed; almost ninety-nine percent of people do that. And people like me have been known to find better ways of dying.

A Zen master was dying. Thousands of disciples had gathered; he was a great master. In his last moments he opened his eyes and asked his disciples, “Can somebody suggest how to die? Because people go on just dying in bed. I would like to try something new.”
The disciples were shocked. What kind of question was that? Who had ever heard of someone asking how to die? People don’t even ask how to live. People go on living without asking how to live, and here is a man who cannot even die without asking how to die. He wants to make it a celebration, something a little special.
Seeing that the disciples were silent, he himself suggested, “Have you ever heard of anybody dying buddhalike, in a sitting posture, in padmasana?”
A disciple said, “Yes, I know of a Zen master who died sitting in the lotus posture.”
The old master said, “That won’t do. If somebody has already done it, it is not worth repeating. Have you heard of anybody dying standing up, like Mahavira?”
Mahavira used to meditate while standing. That is unique, very unique; ordinarily, people don’t meditate standing. That’s why in India you will find thousands of Mahavira’s statues standing. You will never find a single statue of Buddha standing, he is always sitting. The sitting posture had always been used for meditation, but Mahavira was his own type of person.
Someone said, “Yes, we have heard – we have not seen but we have heard – that in ancient times one Zen master died standing up.”
The old man said, “Then that won’t do either. Find something soon because death is close by.”
“Have you ever heard,” he then asked, “of somebody dying standing on his head?”
Now nobody had ever heard, nobody had ever even dreamed, of anybody dying standing on his head – in shirshasan, a headstand. They said, “No, we have not heard of it, we have not even thought of it.”
The old man said, “Then that’s perfectly right” – and he stood on his head.
It was a problem now to decide whether he had died or not. And the disciples were afraid to disturb him now that he was standing on his head. They tried: “His breathing seems to have almost disappeared. But how can a man go on standing on his head if he is dead? He will fall. What do we do now? There is no precedent.” Normally, you know what to do when a man dies, what has to be done. But nobody had ever heard of anybody dying standing on his head: “Now what has to be done?”
Somebody remembered that he had a sister who was a nun; she was older than him and lived in a monastery close by. So they ran and asked the old nun what to do. She said, “I am coming. That old fool, is this any way to die? – I will teach him a lesson. I tell you, he has always been a nuisance, even when he was alive he was doing eccentric things.”
She was not worried about death. She came and shouted at the old man, “This is not right! Doing such a stupid thing, and creating trouble for your disciples. Is it right for you? Get up and be normal!”
So the old man laughed, got up, lay down on his bed and said, “Okay, I will die in a normal way then” – and died.

Don’t take death too seriously. Nothing is serious, neither life nor death because nothing matters in the ultimate sense. Life and death are just episodes in the eternity of time, just soap bubbles – life and death both.
I can understand your apprehension, your love for me, but don’t be worried. Neither life nor death have any significance. The only thing that is significant is: if while I am here I can impart some truth to you, if I can impart something that I have seen, if I can impart my perspective to you; if I can help you to see a little bit of reality through my eyes, if I can help you just a few steps into the unknown, then you will be able to go on on your own. Everything else is irrelevant.
And remember, if your love for me is immense, even if I am gone I will go on helping you. These connections are not disconnected by death. Death simply makes no difference for lovers. Death does not exist for lovers. If you have trust, if you have love for me, death doesn’t mean anything at all; we will go on communing the same way. Everything will be the same, nothing will change at all.

The fourth question:
Are children really as intelligent as you say they are, before society starts destroying them?
A child is pure intelligence because a child is as yet uncontaminated. A child is a clean slate, nothing is written on him. A child is absolute emptiness, a tabula rasa.
Society starts writing on you immediately that you are a Christian, Catholic, Hindu, Mohammedan, Communist. Society immediately starts writing the Bhagavadgita, Koran, Bible. Society cannot wait, it is very much afraid that if the child’s intelligence is left intact, he will never be a slave; he will never be a part of any slavery, of any structure of domination; he will neither dominate nor be dominated; he will neither possess nor be possessed – he will be pure rebellion.
His innocence has to be corrupted immediately. His wings have to be cut. He has to be given crutches to lean upon so that he never learns to walk on his own two feet, so he always remains in a kind of dependence.
First, the children are dependent on the parents, and the parents enjoy it very much; whenever children are dependent, the parents feel very good. Their life starts to have some meaning: they know they are helping some new people to grow up, some beautiful people to grow up – they are not meaningless. They have the vicarious enjoyment of being creative; it is not true creativity, but at least they can say they are doing something, that they are occupied. They can forget their own problems in the anxiety of bringing up the children. And the more the children are dependent on them, the happier they feel. Although they go on saying they would like their children to be independent, that is only on the surface. A really independent child hurts the parents; they don’t like it because an independent child has no need of them.
That is one of the big problems the older generation is facing today: the new children are not dependent on them. And because they are not dependent you cannot force things upon them, you cannot tell them what to do and what not to do. You cannot be their masters. The old generation is really suffering. For the first time in human history the old generation is feeling utterly empty, meaningless because their whole occupation has gone, and their joy in bringing up children is shattered. In fact they are feeling guilty, afraid, that they may be destroying their children. Who knows, whatsoever they are doing may not be the right thing.
Parents destroy the intelligence of children because that is the only way to enslave them; then the teachers, school, college, university – nobody wants a rebel, and intelligence is rebellion. Nobody wants to be questioned, nobody wants his authority questioned; and intelligence is questioning, intelligence is pure doubt. Yes, one day trust arises out of this pure doubt, but not against doubt – it arises only through doubt.
Trust comes out of doubt like a child comes out of the mother’s womb. Doubt is the mother of trust. Real trust comes only through doubting, questioning, inquiring. And false trust, which we know as belief, comes by killing the doubt, by destroying questioning, by destroying all quest, inquiry, search, by giving people ready-made truths.
The politician is not interested in children’s intelligence because leaders are only leaders when people are stupid. Just think, if this country were intelligent, can you believe that a man like Morarji Desai would be Prime Minister? It would be impossible. It is ridiculous. But people are so stupid they get stupid leaders. People are so unintelligent that are ready to fall into the trap of anybody who pretends lead them.
Children are born with pure intelligence and we are not yet able to respect it. Children are the most exploited class in the world, more than women even. Sooner or later, after women’s lib there is going to be children’s lib – it is far more necessary. Man has enslaved woman, and both man and woman have enslaved the children. And because the child is very helpless, naturally he has to depend on them. It is very mean of them to exploit the child’s helplessness. And hitherto parents have been mean, although I am not saying that they have been so deliberately or consciously, but almost unconsciously, not knowing what they were doing. That’s why the world is in such misery, the world is in such a mess. Unconsciously, unknowingly, each generation goes on destroying the next generation. This is the first generation which is trying to escape the trap; this is the beginning of a totally new history.
But certainly, children are utterly intelligent. Just watch children, look into their eyes, look at the way they respond.

Little Papo, at the zoo with his father, seemed to be enjoying himself thoroughly. As they were looking at the lions however, a troubled look came over the boy’s face. His father asked him what the matter was.
“I was just wondering Daddy. If a lion breaks loose and eats you, what number bus do I take home?”

Just watch children, be more observant…

A teacher asked her class of small children to draw with crayons a picture of whichever Old Testament story they liked best.
One small boy drew a man driving an old car. In the back seat were two passengers, both scantily dressed.
“It is a nice picture,” said the teacher, “but what story does it tell?”
The young artist seemed surprised at the question. “Well!” he exclaimed, “doesn’t it say in the Bible that God drove Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden?”

No proof is needed. Just look around, children are everywhere, just watch.
Another story I have heard…

In another school the teacher asked the children to do the same, to draw a picture of any Bible story that they liked. And instead of a car, one child drew an airplane. The airplane had four windows. From one window God the Father was looking out, from another, the Holy Ghost, and from the third, Jesus Christ. But the teacher was puzzled, “These three I can understand, but who is the fourth?”
And the child said, “Pontius the Pilot.”

But nobody watches children. In fact, everybody thinks they are just a nuisance. They should not be heard, they should only be seen; has been the dictum down the ages. Who cares what they ask? Who cares what they say? Who listens?

A child came running home, panting and breathing hard, and said to his mother, “Listen to what happened! A tiger chased me from school all the way up to the house. Somehow I managed to get away. I had to run so hard.”
The mother said, “Listen, I have told you millions of times not to exaggerate – millions of times. And there you go again. You found a tiger in the street? Where is it?”
The child said, “Look out of the window, it’s standing there.”
The mother looked: a small dog!
She said, “That is a tiger? You know perfectly well that’s a dog. Go upstairs and pray to God, ask for forgiveness!”
So the child went upstairs. After a few minutes he came back down. The mother said, “You prayed? You asked God for forgiveness?”
The child said, “Yes. I said, ‘God forgive me. It was totally wrong of me to think of that little dog as a tiger.’ And God said, ‘Don’t be worried. When I first saw it, I thought it was a tiger too.’”

Children have immense intelligence, but down the ages they have not been allowed to use it. We have to create a new kind of education where nothing is imposed on the children, where they are helped to strengthen their natural, God-given intelligence. They should not be stuffed with information which is in fact almost useless. Ninety-eight percent of the information that we are throwing into our children’s minds is just stupid, foolish. Because of that load, that baggage, the children will never be free of the burden. I have been a university professor, and I have been a student from primary school to university. My own observation is that ninety-eight percent of the information is not needed at all; to go on throwing it at children is utterly futile. And not only is it futile, it is harmful, positively harmful.
Children should be helped to be more inventive; not more repetitive, which is how our education is geared right now. Our whole educational system is based on repetition. If a child can repeat things better than others then he is thought to be more intelligent. In fact he only has a better memory, not better intelligence. It almost always happens that a man with a very good memory is not very intelligent, and vice versa.
Albert Einstein didn’t have a very good memory. Newton, Edison, and so many more great inventors were really very forgetful. Once it happened that Edison even forgot his own name. Now that should be the last thing you forget. Can you imagine forgetting your own name? Even asleep you don’t forget it. If all three thousand of you go to sleep and I suddenly come and call “Rama,” nobody else will hear it, but Rama will say, “Don’t disturb me. Let me sleep. Somehow I have managed to sleep a little bit, fighting with the mosquitoes, but now you are here, calling me.” Nobody else will hear it, but Rama, even in his sleep, knows that is his name.

Edison once forgot his own name. He was standing in a queue during the First World War; he had gone to get his rations. When Edison’s number came up, the man on the counter looked here and there, and asked, “Where is Thomas Alva Edison?”
Somebody in the queue said to Edison, “If I’m not mistaken, you are Thomas Alva Edison.”
Edison said, “You must be right. I suspected it too. The name seemed familiar, but I was thinking maybe it’s a friend’s name, or some other name I’m familiar with.”

Our whole education system is built around memory, not intelligence: stuff more and more information into the memory, and make the man into a machine. Our universities are factories where men are reduced to machines. Twenty-five years are wasted – one-third of your life – in making you into a machine. And then it becomes really difficult to unwind you, to make you a man again.
That is my trouble, and my work here. You come as machines, very uptight, full of memories, information, knowledgeability; absolutely in the head, hung up in there. You have lost all contact with your heart and your being. To pull you down toward the heart, and then toward the being, is a really difficult task.
But in a better world this will not be needed. Education should help people to become more and more intelligent, not more and more repetitive. Right now education is repetition: you cram in whatsoever nonsense is told to you, and then you vomit it out on the examination papers – and the better you vomit the more marks you get. There is only one thing you have to remember: be repetitive, repeat exactly. Don’t add anything, don’t delete anything, don’t be inventive, don’t be original.
Originality is killed, repetitiveness praised. And intelligence can only grow in an atmosphere where originality is praised. The goal should not be efficiency, but originality.

One morning, Johnny came late to his school in the farming district.
“Johnny, why are you late today?” the teacher asked.
“I had to bring the bull out to the cow this morning, teacher.”
“That’s no excuse,” said the teacher. “Couldn’t your father do that?”
“No teacher,” said Johnny. “You’ve got to have the bull.”

Meditate over it – you missed it.

The last question:
Why should there be a press office in the ashram?
Why not?
I am an ancient Jew, you know – I answer a question with another question, it is an ancient Jewish habit.

Once Adolf Hitler asked a rabbi, “I don’t understand. Whenever anything is asked of you Jews, why do you always answer with another question?”
And the rabbi said, “Why not?”

I am a modern man; in fact I’m a little ahead of my time. I am going to use every possible means to spread the truth: newspapers, video, tape recorders, films, radio, television, satellite transmission – everything.
Buddha had to go to every village. You didn’t ask him, “Why do you go on walking from one village to another?” That was the primitive way of spreading the message. For forty-two years he was traveling and traveling. But to do that now would be foolish.
I can be in my room and I can fill the whole earth with my message. Now it would be very unintelligent to go walking from one village to another; Buddha was helpless. If I had been there in Buddha’s time I would have done the same as him. If Buddha were here now he would do the same as me.
The Press Office creates a question in many people’s minds – they think truth need not be declared. It needs to be declared. Jesus said to his disciples, “Go in every direction and shout from the housetops. Only then will people hear because people are deaf.”
I will not tell you to go and shout from every housetop. Better means are available, man has invented great technology. Everybody else is using that technology, but when it is used for truth, questions start arising. If you use it for business, good; if you use it for politics, good; if you use it for evil, perfectly all right. But if you use it for God, then questions start arising. I am going to use all kinds of media.

A new, and rather young, lady teacher had joined the school. One day she found written on the blackboard the words: “Johnny Jones is a passionate bastard. He can kiss and cuddle better than any other boy in the class.”
“Who wrote this?” she demanded. After a while, she discovered that Johnny Jones had written it himself.
“Right,” she said, “you can stay behind after class.”
When he eventually reappeared, several of the other boys clustered round him and asked, “What happened, Johnny? Did she cane you?”
“Oh no, nothing like that,” replied Johnny, who was rather a big boy for his age. “But it pays to advertise.”

It always pays to advertise, and that is not a new thing either. Krishna Prem has been with Moses as well. He is an ancient pilgrim, he is not here with me for the first time.

Moses, standing on the shores of the Red Sea with his press agent, announces, “I am now going to raise my hand and the sea will part so my people can walk across safely. Then I will lower my hand and the sea will come together again.”
Elated, Krishna Prem, his press agent, screams, “Baby, you pull that one off and I’ll get you two full pages in the Old Testament!”

Enough for today.

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