The Last Testament Vol 1 02

Second Discourse from the series of 30 discourses - The Last Testament Vol 1 by Osho.
You can listen, download or read all of these discourses on

Erich Widdeman & Rainer Weber
Der Spiegel, Hamburg, Germany
I don't know what Sheela has told you about the way we like these discussions to go. We do a complete write-up, edit it, and then send the text to you or to your confidants to be reedited. These interviews are not meant to be question and answer, but rather a controversial discussion. For you, it is an opportunity to get rid of prejudices against you and your religion.
There will be a couple of questions which have been asked many times before, for which I apologize.
No problem. You just ask whatsoever you want, and in whatever way you want. And a question may have been asked thousands of times, but I have not given the same answer again and again and again. My answer has been different a thousand times. So you need not be worried; this is my business. You just ask.
That might be one of the reasons you're being judged by the public so controversially, because your answers are not always the same on the same subjects.
But I am controversial! It is not a judgment of the public, it is the reality.
You say that it is not your answer that changes, it is the reality that changes?
Yes. It is reality that changes, and I change with reality. I am certainly controversial. There is nothing wrong about the public thinking me controversial.
Is there anything you are really angry about? Any controversial issue?
You're beyond all this controversy?
I just enjoy it.
Your followers call you “Bhagwan.” How should people who do not belong to your group address you?
They have to address me as Bhagwan.
What does Bhagwan mean?
The blessed one.
What is the difference between the meanings of “the blessed one,” “the enlightened one,” and “the awakened one”?
There is no difference.
So it's also true that a blessed person is a continuous laughter?
That’s true.
And also every enlightened person is a continuous laughter?
That’s true.
Would you please for our audience give a brief rundown of your biography and your first enlightenment? What happened, and how?
I don’t have any biography. And whatsoever is thought to be biography is utterly meaningless. On what date I was born, in what country I was born, does not matter. What matters is what I am now, right here.
Something that matters, for instance, for the American immigration authorities is whether you were adopted by an Indian gentleman who is an American citizen, for instance. Could you elaborate on that?
Everything has been explained to them. All the documents have been given to them. Now it is for them to decide. If they decide against me, I am going to fight up to the Supreme Court.
That means they have not yet accepted the explanation?
For four years those lousy people are just sitting there, doing nothing – no decision this way or that.
I understand that your real estate agents have started purchasing property in the Himalayas. Is that true? Do you plan to move?
No, I don’t plan to go anywhere. I am going to be here.
Whatever happens?
Whatever happens.
But you are still buying property in the Himalayas?
That is my Indian followers making a commune, just as I have communes all over the world.
For their own use?
For their own use.
That means whatever happens, you have decided to fight to stay here?
I will fight to the very end.
Will it be a hard battle?
It is going to be.
Will it be just a legal battle, or will there be other means involved?
I would like it to be legal, but if they force me, everything can be involved.
That means even armed resistance?
Not from my side.
But from the side of your sannyasins?
No, not from my sannyasins’ side either, that is my side. But if anybody tries to be violent in any way with us, we are not nonviolent people. We are neither violent nor nonviolent, we are simply human beings.
But if violence erupts, you are…
We will answer tit for tat.
Okay, that's a very straightforward answer.
What do you do all day?
Nothing, just nothing.
Where do you do nothing?
Just sitting in my room, in my chair, enjoying myself.
And writing books? Did you write all the books that carry your name?
I have never read any of my books.
That means you have ghost writers?
No, those are my discourses, and my sannyasins edit them. They are published but I have never read them. What is the point? – they are my words.
How come just now somebody has published something called The Osho Bible? That's a big title for a book.
Bible simply means “the book.” It is not a big thing.
Well, it also has an allusion toward the founder of a religion. Are you about to found a new religion?
I am the founder of the only religion. All other founders were all hocus pocus.
Why is yours true?
Because I find them all – Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha, Mahavira – you name the person and I will show you why he is not the founder of a religion, but is simply exploiting people’s gullibility.
Would you explore that with Jesus?
Jesus, in the first place, knows nothing of religion. He never meditated in his life; whatever he was doing was prayer. Prayer means you have already accepted the existence of God, to whom you are praying. Your prayer is based on a belief, and all beliefs are ignorant. Knowing is something else. If you have experienced a headache, then you know it; but if the whole world goes on talking about headaches and you have not experienced it, just for etiquette’s sake you may believe in it. But that belief is ungrounded.
And they also take an aspirin.
If you believe too much, perhaps you may take an aspirin, then things become worse than before! Jesus’ whole ideology is based on belief.
Where I suppose yours, I think…
…is on experience. I don’t say to my people that you have to believe in anything that I say. I explain my experience, you can try to experience. If you find it right there is no question of believing in it – you know it. If you find it wrong, of course, there is no question of believing it, either.
Apparently your religion does not have a set of dogmas.
However, are there some sentences which might help us to understand the essence of your religion?
Well, for example, you teach selfishness.
Yes, because it is natural. And I teach to be natural.
Yes, lion eats man. So do you teach the survival of the fittest?
It happens. It is not a question of my teaching.
When you say it happens, you are never concerned with whether these things are good or bad?
There is no question of good or bad; there has never been a question of good and bad. The fittest survives, and the fittest writes all the histories and all the judgments. And of course he is right; might is right. And being German, you will understand it better.
Well, you maybe understand it as well, as you occasionally have a strong preference for Hitler.
I love the man! He was crazy.
So are you, you have said.
I am more crazy than him.
That's why you are a bigger or greater man than him?
No, not bigger or greater – just crazier.
Last time when we talked to Sheela, I wanted to have some clarification of a sentence in which you said, “Hitler, in the end, failed because he was only a tool in the hands of higher powers.”
Don’t bring in Sheela or anybody. Only I am here; be direct.
She said, “Ask this question to Osho,” which I have now done. Could you explain this sentence to us?
Ask directly, don’t bring anybody in. Don’t make it unnecessarily complex, ask directly. Why are you afraid of asking the question directly? Are you afraid of people in Germany?
Not really.
No? Just ask directly.
It was only a polite reference to Sheela.
Don’t be polite to me, because I will not be polite to you.
I was only being polite to Sheela.
Sheela is no longer concerned here.
Okay. The question is: “Hitler was an instrument in the hands of magical powers. This is why he was victorious only up to a certain point.” What does this mean, and who are these magical powers?
Adolf Hitler was very much concerned about astrology. He was not listening to his generals on where to attack, when to attack. Rather he was listening to his astrologer on what was the right time, and what was the right place. The generals were puzzled because astrologers have nothing to do with military science. But for five years continuously he went on winning, simply because the leaders of the opposite nations – Roosevelt, Churchill, Stalin – were following the rules of military science, and he was just going according to something which is not part of military science. They could not conceive where he was going to attack. They could not conceive where they should gather their forces. Finally, Churchill had to import astrologers from India to England.
Apart from military aspects, how would you judge him morally and politically?
Morally, he was as moral as Mahatma Gandhi.
As Mahatma Gandhi?
Yes, because I consider both absolutely immoral. In fact, he was more a Hindu than Mahatma Gandhi himself.
In what respect?
In his life, in his way of living.
Because he was a vegetarian?
He was a vegetarian.
But he was not nonviolent, as Mahatma Gandhi was.
Mahatma Gandhi was also not nonviolent.
Just wait a bit, let me finish with Adolf Hitler. He was a vegetarian, he was an early riser in the morning, and went early back to sleep. He remained a bachelor almost his whole life – he married only three hours before he died. He was not a drunkard, he was not a smoker. He was a puritan in every possible way and he lived a life of discipline, living just as a saint lives in a monastery.
You asked me if Gandhi was nonviolent. That was a political strategy – but he was not nonviolent. He declared that after India became independent, armies would be dissolved. But when India became independent and he was asked about armies being dissolved, he remained silent. He was really a cunning man; his secretary said that it was his day of silence.
May I bring your attention back to Adolf Hitler: is it true that you have a certain amount of anti-Semitism in common with Hitler? There was a joke related by Sheela… I don't know whether it's true: you are supposed to have told the joke of a tiger who stuck his nose into the ass of another tiger, and when asked why he did it he said, “I just ate a Jew and I want to get rid of the bad taste.” Is that true? Is the joke properly related?
It will be good if you don’t bring Sheela or anybody in between me and you. Be direct.
Did you tell this joke? Is that your joke?
I cannot remember. For thirty-three years I have been speaking constantly, two hours in the morning, two hours in the evening. Perhaps there is no single individual alive who has spoken as much as I have spoken. So, ask the question!
Do you like Jews or don't you like Jews?
I love them – what is the question of liking? I have among my sannyasins more Jews than anybody else; almost forty percent of my sannyasins are Jews.
From Israel, or American Jews?
From America, from Israel, from Europe, from Germany.
That means you don't have any national, any racial prejudices?
I don’t believe in the very concept of nations, or religions. I don’t draw any line between one human being and another. And if I have told any joke which you think is anti-Jewish, then I have also told jokes which are anti-Hindu, anti-Mohammedan, anti-Christian. In fact, I have been telling jokes which are against me! Jokes are just jokes, they are not a philosophical standpoint.
You said your religion is the first and last religion. So after you there will be no more need for any religion anywhere?
Does that apply to after your death?
I say it is the first and last religion for the simple reason that I don’t consider old religions authentic religions. They were pseudo; they pretended to be religions, but they were not religions.
Because they were religions for the poor?
No, because they were religions of superstition. Not a single religion has been able to prove God’s existence. Not a single religion has been able to give any proof for heaven and hell.
That doesn't mean God doesn't exist, if you can't prove that he exists.
It does not mean that, it simply means you cannot go on worshipping something for which no evidence exists in the whole history of man.
So, maybe for an outsider it is correct to put the core of your religion into the words: “Find your own ego, find your own self.”
No, not your own ego, but your own being. And there is a great difference between the two – not only different, but they are absolutely contrary to each other. The ego is the false idea in you, created by the society: you are a Jew, you are a Mohammedan, you are a Nazi, you are a communist, you belong to this family, this is your holy book, this is your name, you have to remain attached to your tradition, convention.
All these things contribute to your ego. Out of a combination of all these your ego is created. Your being is not given to you by the society, church, education, family – nobody. Your being you bring with you when you are born; it is existential.
Is this why you have said… And probably have done… Is this why you have said, “I have to destroy all your egos”? – meaning the egos of your followers.
So, the twenty or thirty people sitting right behind me have no ego anymore?
You can just look and see.
Well, they don't really look like it, but you're still working on it, aren't you? I mean, if this is your aim, your target…
Do you, the teacher, notice that somebody's ego has been crushed, disappeared, vanished, or whatever happens?
Yes, I immediately recognize it.
You sense it?
Does your pupil sense it?
[to those sitting there] When did you all realize your egos had been destroyed?
My disciples are at several stages of development. Somebody’s ego has completely disappeared, somebody’s ego is just on the boundary to disappear, somebody’s ego is still trying to survive, somebody else is trying not to let it go. So they are at all stages. But I try to explain to them where they are, and where they have to move from there.
Would you agree to call this method of treating people totalitarian?
No, because I am not giving them orders to follow me. I am simply sharing my experience. I have not called them here, they have come on their own. It is their decision to be with me; it is not my decision that they should be with me.
So how do you make people give up the family, their property, their home?
I don’t.
But you must have an idea why they are coming here. They give up everything they had before, just to be close to you. They even give up their personality, and what are they getting for it?
Whatsoever they feel around me, they are on their own accord ready to leave everything behind. But I have never told a single person to leave his family or leave his job. I am not in favor of renunciation. All the old religions were in favor of renunciation; they were telling people to leave the family, to remain celibate. They were telling people to move to the monastery, they were taking people out of the society. I have never told anybody to do anything on my order. But if, being with me, they start feeling that something that they are carrying is stupid and they drop it, that is their business.
The vast majority of your followers are coming from Western civilizations – from the United States, from Western Europe – but hardly anyone is coming from your own home country, hardly any Indians. Or am I wrong?
India is a dead country.
Mentally or physically?
You call a country with such a big cultural tradition mentally dead?
It had once, but for two thousand years – slavery.
What happened to the tax case, by the way? Is there any new development?
I have no idea because I have never paid any tax. I have no income, either.
You have no income?
No income.
What are you living on then?
Just my friends – I am their guest. I have been a guest for thirty-five years continuously – in fact my whole life. In the beginning I was a guest in my family, and after that I have been a guest in other families.
Just one more question concerning the motivation of people coming to join you. I have the feeling that principally frustrated Western youth are coming, who seem to be the more obedient kind of customers, who don't ask too many questions. Aren't the Indians, for instance, more practically minded?
Do you think you are an Indian? You are from the West.
No. I don't feel to be the kind of frustrated Westerner but maybe the percentage of that type of people…
Do you see anybody here more frustrated than you?
No, no.
Go to the commune and see if you can find a single frustrated person.
Not here, but they seem to be dissatisfied with Western civilization.
They are dissatisfied because they are intelligent people. Only buffalos don’t get frustrated.
There are a number of intelligent people in your own home country, too, why don't you attract any of them?
I’m telling you, India is a dead country. Everything which is born has to die one day – even civilizations are born and they have to die. But it is very difficult for people to drop the corpses of the ancient past; their glory, their tradition. They go on carrying the corpses on their shoulders. They are very traditional, very orthodox, and completely closed to anything new. They have the idea that their scriptures have all the truth that is possible. There is no need for them.
We have the impression that the majority of your followers are – I don't mean it negatively – dropouts from Western civilization.
I read a book by Andres Elten, and he described the feeling that he was completely dissatisfied with Western civilization, and…
Will you call Jean-Paul Sartre a dropout?
Jean-Paul Sartre. Will you call Bertrand Russell a dropout?
In the Western sense, ja.
Bertrand Russell, a dropout?
In the Western sense, ja, I would call him a dropout.
In no sense can you call Bertrand Russell a dropout. On the one hand you give a Nobel Prize to the man, and on the other hand you call him a dropout.
Well, life is full of contradictions. By dropout I mean…
I understand perfectly what you mean. Anybody who is intelligent, is a little aware of the situation of the world, of the society, of the family, is bound to be a dropout. Dropping out is absolutely positive. If the house is on fire you run out of it – that is not escapist.
But you feel that your way is the only way to salvation?
No, I don’t say that I’m the only savior, or the only salvation, but…
What alternative would you suggest then?
I don’t suggest any alternative.
Well, you called for the creation of what you call a new man.
I simply explain to them what I have experienced, and if they feel themselves somehow falling into a kind of synchronicity with me, then it is up to them – whether they want to be with me or go back to their home. I never persuade anybody to be here, I never prevent anybody from going; it is all up to them. This commune is completely free.
But yet, you say you are trying to form the new man.
I am trying to form a new man, which is just an idea. It is not that a new man can be made like a sculpture. I am just explaining what a new man should be.
There have been many explications by Lenin, by Marx, even by Adolf Hitler, but no one ever managed to create the new man.
Because all their ideas were not right, they did not fit with existence, they all failed.
What's the difference between your new man and Nietzsche's superman?
The superman is a fascist idea. A new man is not superior in any way; a new man is really the most ordinary and simple man. Just try to understand one thing: that I want man to live naturally, ordinarily, without trying to become superior, without going into a pilgrimage toward paradise. Just here and now, and enjoy whatsoever life gives to you. Be creative, be intelligent – but this is not making you a superman. Nietzsche’s superman created Adolf Hitler and the whole stupidity that followed. The new man is not the superman.
What happens if you die? Will there be a successor?
Who cares?
Your followers.
That is up to them.
Will they vote for one? Will there be an election?
I have nothing to do with it. The moment I die…
How will he be chosen?
You have to understand me: I don’t care.
So you have no responsibility whatsoever for your church?
No responsibility whatsoever, because every responsibility makes them slaves, and then I am totalitarian.
Once you said when you go, “many of you will go with me.” What do you mean by that?
When did I say it?
I don't know when you said it, but I read it in one of your scripts. It was, ”If I go many of you will go with me.” Does that mean that if you die that others will have to follow?
No. If you have read it somewhere, you must have read it wrongly, out of context.
That's a very interesting question because it keeps cropping up in The Osho Bible, as well. You are strongly for what you call death control – euthanasia. You say that a man has the right to go to the medical board to be freed from his body.
So that's why I'd like to keep to this topic. Also, your first enlightenment started with a…
You are not keeping to any topic at all, I am trying to keep you.
I have to entertain my readers, not only you.
I am not concerned with your readers, I am concerned only with the truth that I can impart to you.
What's truthful about death control then?
Once there is birth control, there has to be death control. It is just the logical consequence of birth control. If you try to control birth you are only trying to control one end – what about the other end? You are preventing new children being born, it becomes absolutely necessary that people should not be just vegetating in hospitals. They want to die; if they want to die, this is their birthright. And medical facilities should be provided to these people.
I think I have the very point here. The Osho Times quoted you just recently, saying, “I teach you to realize suicide so that you can go forever.” What does that mean, does that mean you are teaching suicide as part of your religion?
I am simply saying that nothing is wrong with death. It is as beautiful as life. If you have lived, and you feel that now life has no more to give to you, and you feel that you are tired, exhausted and spent, then what is the point of being forced to drag on because an old idiot, Hippocrates, created a medical oath for doctors that they should always try to save the man? The man wants to die; he is hanging between life and death, and they go on trying every way to keep him alive. Who are you?
Would you also commit suicide, under certain conditions?
If I feel like now there is no work for me, I will. There is no problem in it. I am master of my own self: nobody is to control me.
And would you encourage someone else to follow you?
No, I never encourage about anything. I simply explain myself, I never encourage anybody.
You are a great admirer of the Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh. You said something like, “He committed suicide for the simple reason that he had painted everything he had wanted to paint. To the whole world it seems like suicide, not to me. To me it simply seems a natural end. The painting is completed, life is fulfilled.”
Yes, absolutely.
By the way, would you like to own a painting by van Gogh, in addition to your ninety Rolls Royces?
No. I own nothing.
But who is there to decide whether this euthanasia should be done? It's an important question – maybe not for you – but if death control is exerted, who should do it? A committee of doctors? A lawyer? A politician?
Politicians, certainly not. Legal experts have no business in deciding about life and death. But the medical profession should be freed from the Hippocratic Oath; that their function is just to save, whatsoever the situation. Their function is to serve, whatsoever the condition. If the person is still capable of living a meaningful life, if he is still wanting to live, if he has still the lust for life, help him. But if a person has nothing to live for and he is telling you that it is time for him to be freed from this body…
You keep saying you have no influence, and you're not trying to influence people, but you keep writing thick books, and you're holding interviews.
I will continue, but I am not trying to influence anybody.
But can't you understand that people are afraid of what you do? Someone said in an interview, “If Osho told me to commit suicide I would immediately take a gun and kill myself.” Isn't that an evil kind of influence?
What he is saying is from his side. He is not saying that I am going to tell him to, because I don’t tell anybody even to drink a glass of water or a cup of tea!
There are other means of influencing people, just…
No, I am not. I am consistently making them alert not to be influenced by me; I may be wrong. What that man has said is his trust.
There is a book written by you, the title is Dying for Enlightenment
That’s perfectly good.
But don't you think that people might feel encouraged by such a title, and what it contains?
No, that dying means the death of your ego.
The death, enlightenment through death?
Yes, that means the death of your ego, not the death of you.
Another thing you try to destroy is conscience.
Yes, the conscience that has been created by the society; because that is the only way to free the consciousness – and these are two different things, except in the French language. In French, there is only one word – conscience – for both consciousness and conscience. But they are two different things. Consciousness the child brings with himself. Conscience is given by the society, the family, the educational system and everybody else.
Isn't it conscience that refrains people from going round hurting other people?
It is conscience that has been creating all the wars in the world and killing millions of people.
Maybe there are different types of conscience.
All the consciences: Mohammedans have done that, Hindus have done that, Christians have done that. All the nations have been… For three thousand years there have been five thousand wars in the world, and they are still preparing for the third, total war. This is the conscience of your presidents, of your prime ministers, of your leaders, of your popes, of your priests. A man of consciousness cannot do anything wrong. It is impossible.
Is Mother Teresa a woman of conscience? I mention the name because I have a quote…
Can’t you find anybody better?
It's very good for a start, that remark; and you called her, by God, criminally minded and idiotic!
Do you think that's the right thing to call someone who dedicates her life to helping the miserable in the world?
The people who devote themselves to helping the miserable keep misery alive.
They are trying to fight it, at least.
No. They are simply exploiting misery for their own glory. Misery can be destroyed completely, but it cannot be destroyed by Mother Teresa. Mother Teresa wants more orphans, Mother Teresa wants more poor people so that she can convert those people to Catholicism. It is sheer politics.
There are plenty of poor people, plenty of miserable people in India.
All the religions have been exploiting and doing the same thing. I don’t make any distinction between those religions.
You wouldn't approve good-heartedness as…?
No, not at all. I approve only of one thing: if you have plenty – abundant life, joy, anything – and you want to share it, and if that sharing is a joy to you, share it. It does not matter with whom you share. Whether the other person is rich or poor, Hindu or Mohammedan, Western or Eastern, if you are full of fragrance, you will share it. There is no other way. When the cloud is full of rain water it showers.
I do not teach serving the poor, I teach destroying poverty. And we have the means in our hands to destroy all poverty. But the politicians will not allow it, the priests will not allow it, because they will both disappear with poverty, remember.
Who is “we” – mankind, or the Rajneeshees? You say “we” have all the means in our hands.
I mean the intelligence of mankind. I am not a Rajneeshee.
I still find it difficult to accept the fact that it would be a big step forward for mankind if conscience is destroyed.
All that conscience has done up to now has been simply ugly, destructive. We need a better concept – and that is consciousness. Consciousness is a purification of your being through meditative methods; that’s my whole work. Then whatever a conscious man does is right. Then there is no question of choosing for him.
He may kill?
If he feels it right, he may kill.
That's quite far away from civilization as we understand it.
You are not civilized, and where is civilization?
Right here in America.
Nowhere does civilization exist. It is just an idea that humanity has been hoping for. What exists is barbarism with clothes covering it, masks hiding the real faces of people. But true civilization does not exist.
Did I really understand you correctly? Anybody who has reached consciousness may kill if he feels like it?
I am saying the man who has become totally conscious cannot do anything wrong. Whatever he does is right, there is no question of choosing right and wrong.
Disregarding the effect on the community?
There is no question for him; he sees where the door is, and he moves. He has eyes of his own, he does not need to borrow eyes and insight from others.
That means in practical terms, if it comes to the worst, and the Oregon police sends many police to get you out of here because of legal reasons, you would resist by means of arms – even at the risk of killing people?
We will decide in the moment. We never plan.
But if it happens, you would be prepared to kill people?
No. We will see in the moment what we can do; whether it is right to stand before them with our chests open and tell them to kill us and prove that they are civilized, and prove that they are democratic.
Yes, provided this is a civilized democracy.
It is not.
The American society is not democratic?
No society anywhere is civilized as yet.
That means you wouldn't approve of an independent judgment of an Oregonian judge if he decides to expel you…
I have seen their judgments.
That means you wouldn't approve – if they decide to expel you, you would resist?
I will resist, certainly.
By any means available?
Even at the risk of creating bloodshed, like Jonestown?
It does not matter, nothing matters: if somebody is being nasty to innocent people who are not doing any harm to anybody, then, whatever happens…
Yes, in a democracy it's up to the judicial authority to decide what is harmful and what is not.
We will go on fighting up to the Supreme Court of America, and even if we see that…
So, if you lose there?
Then we will fight.
With the arms you are collecting already?
No, we don’t have arms to fight America.
So what are the arms for? I read a quote somewhere, I think it was from a Senator. He said: “They have arms for a combat regiment, like a combat regiment in Vietnam.” What are the arms for?
Just two dozen arms for the police, which are declared to the government? You think they are enough to fight America? Then what is the Soviet Union doing?
You mean the two dozen guns you have.
They are just cowards.
They said it's enough for a regiment in Vietnam.
No. They are absolutely absurd.
You are such a loving community, why does your police force need arms?
We are such a loving community, that’s why. We don’t want this loving community to be destroyed by idiots. In four years in this commune, no crime has happened, no drug has entered, no theft has happened, no murder has happened, nobody has been raped, no violence. These few arms and policemen are part of the Oregon government.
In case a crime did happen, do you have the judicial means to deal with it?
We have every judicial means, we have four hundred sannyasins who are legal experts. Perhaps nowhere else would you find such a big legal firm. And these four hundred legal experts are going to fight to the very end.
How in your community is deviation treated? If somebody does something the rest of the community doesn't feel right, what happens?
He is taken to the hospital.
Against his will?
Otherwise he is told to leave. If he does not want to live here in communion with people, he is free to leave. If he wants to live in communion here, and if the community feels that something is wrong in him, he goes to the hospital. And in four years nobody has resisted, nobody has been taken to the hospital forcibly.
You perform your own marriage and death ceremonies, would you please describe them to us?
I do not perform anything, my people do everything. I am just a non-doer – just good for nothing. My people do everything. If they want to perform marriage, they will perform marriage. If they want to perform divorce, they will perform divorce. It is up to them, their business – nothing to do with me. I am completely an outsider. Let me repeat: I am not a Rajneeshee, I don’t even live in the City of Rajneeshpuram. I live outside in a guesthouse, I am not a resident.
Well, at least they don't put you a “dog tag” on your arm, like they do with other visitors.
I’m not a visitor.
What I'm trying to say is that it seems simply stylish and very coquette to say, “I have nothing to do with this community.”
It is true, what else can I say? – I have nothing to do with it. I have never performed a single marriage, I have never gone to any service for somebody who has died.
But if you drive along the street, they stand and cheer.
That is their business and their joy. Just now they were standing outside – I had not asked anybody to stand there – and they will still be standing there, just open the door and see. Nobody is telling them to. For two hours those loving people will be waiting for me.
You said once, “It is dangerous to be a part of my commune, you are taking a risk.” What kind of risk does everybody take who joins you?
The risk is of dropping all the rubbish that everybody carries and thinks is very valuable – all kinds of crap. Your religion will disappear, your nationality will disappear, your whole idea of racism will disappear. Your belief systems, your political ideologies will disappear. Here you will be just a simple, innocent human being. I believe in the individual.
Innocence also means irresponsibility.
Yes. It means both; it means irresponsibility to those who have been forcing responsibility on you. But in fact it means responsibility, because a person who is totally free is responsible for whatever he does. He cannot say, “My commander-in-chief ordered me,” or, “It was from the pope, what can I do?” “It is from Jesus, the only begotten son of God.” He has nobody to dump anything on. All responsibility is his, so whatsoever he does, he has to take the responsibility upon his own shoulders. So to him it means responsibility, but certainly to others it will look like irresponsibility.
Perhaps he can also be manipulated easier?
Everybody is being manipulated everywhere and very easily.
Two days ago you were asked whether you were trying to spread your power or your influence over the whole of Oregon. You said you want to try to spread it over all of the United States. Was that misunderstood?
No, these are not my words. They had asked, “Are you going to take over Oregon?” The question is stupid, and a stupid question does not need…
But what would be your honest reply to that stupid question?
I told the person that I would love them to take over the whole world, Oregon is too small.
But there is a certain risk for the Oregonians, that you'd take over the whole of Oregon.
There is no risk for anybody from my people.
But they feel it's a risk.
They are just cowards.
But you brought in truckloads of displaced persons and drunkards and whatnot just to increase your voting power. Can't you understand that people are a little bit afraid of your tactics?
We did not vote at all. They were absolutely creating that whole situation.
But why did you bring in all these people?
They are still here.
But they were not sannyasins… Were they?
A few of them are still here, a few of them have become sannyasins. Those who wanted to leave have left. We brought them because we wanted to share something with them. Next year we will bring someone else. Next year… Every year after our annual celebration we have enough money to share.
It just so happens that this coincided with the election date?
It was just a coincidence, and we did not vote at all.
So it was the same kind of coincidence when you discovered that you were adopted, when it just came in handy for the immigration authorities?
No, it is not a question of my declaring it. I myself was not aware up to that point that I was adopted in my childhood. It was a secret pact between Swarupananda and my father. They were friends, and it was just superstitious astrology. Astrologers said that if I was not given in adoption I would die, and I should be given to somebody who does not belong to my family, does not even belong to my caste, to my religion… To somebody utterly a stranger.
But somebody must have known that all the time.
Only Swarupananda and my father; those two persons knew it all the time. My father is dead, so Swarupananda was the only person who knew, and who had all the documents. So when he declared it, I came to know about it.
Well, I'm quite amazed by that high rate of coincidence.
It is not a coincidence, it happens in India every day. If people are told by astrologers that their children will die, it is good to let them be adopted – that way they think they are going to deceive the stars and death, and everything. It is foolish, but it happens every day. And they kept it a secret pact between themselves.
Until they could use it, or until somebody could use it.
There was no question. Yes, my father told Swarupananda, “If there is a need any day, you are authorized, he is your son.”
You predicted World War Three for some undisclosed year, I think between 1984 and 1999. Have you got any more precise idea now, could you predict exactly when it will happen?
No, it is not a prediction.
Or your feeling?
It is simple reasoning.
A vision. How…?
No, it is not a vision.
But how real is the vision? Could we rely on it, or is it just an idea?
I don’t say rely on it, I am an unreliable man. What I said is a simple, logical conclusion of the world situation.
A conclusion of what? Of political events of recent years?
Yes, political events, nuclear weapons.
Have you got anything particular in mind: SDI, or AMEX, or Pershing?
No, it is just the whole mess in which humanity is. The politicians go on creating more and more weapons to kill and sooner or later they are going to explode.
But you couldn't say who is more responsible, and who is less responsible?
Everybody is responsible.
Do you have some advice for the politicians?
One piece of advice: that all nations should dissolve into one global government. The only way to avoid the Third World War is that there are no more nations, but only one world.
In that context you have said you were going to save the elite of the world by creating underground shelters. Furthermore, that only sannyasins will survive the war, and that all the rest of mankind will perish, commit suicide or degenerate into monkeys. So, is this the prospect of what the world will look like after that war?
If the war happens, then only a few people are going to survive. Perhaps even they will not survive.
And the sannyasins will survive? Are you preparing for it? Are you constructing shelter, a nuclear-proof shelter?
The state is preventing us from making anything – from making even a house. And we are fighting the case in court.
Are you building bunkers for…?
We will make them once our case is finished.
You will start building.
We will.
Nuclear-proof bunkers?
We will. I would love my people to survive.
But are you taking practical steps?
We are fighting in the court, what more practical step do you want me to take right now?
No, practical steps against dying in a holocaust – not against surviving in Rajneeshpuram, against being expelled from Rajneeshpuram.
Are you part of the peace movement?
No, I am not interested in the peace movement. They have never succeeded, and they are utter nonsense.
Is it true when the Osho Times writes “Everyone who dies in Rajneeshpuram or within twenty-four miles of its boundaries will be enlightened”?
That’s true.
Is it true? What exactly is meant by twenty-four miles, why not twenty-two?
At one hundred degrees, water evaporates, why not at ninety-nine? It is simply a law of existence, you cannot ask why. This is a law of existence, that if there is one man in the state of absolute enlightenment, his being there creates a certain vibe in the twenty-four-mile radius around him. In that radius…
When did that happen before, when Buddha died, or…?
Yes, Buddha also had exactly the same twenty-four-mile radius.
What about Jesus?
Other religious leaders?
None, except Buddha.
And you.
There have been many others whose names are not known; but these people – Jesus, Moses or Mohammed – were not enlightened. But there have been many: for example, Kabir, in India; Farid, a Mohammedan in India; Bodhidharma, an Indian in China; Chuang Tzu, a Chinese; Lao Tzu, a Chinese. It has happened around many people in different countries, and I have spoken on all these people. I have spoken at least 350 books and I have talked about these people, their methods, what happened in their lives, and what happened in their death.
But these people, Mohammed, Moses, Jesus were themselves not enlightened. Jesus was a mental case; thinking that he is the only begotten son of God, thinking that he is the savior of the whole world, telling his people that he will come back to save them. And the things that he did – condemning, cursing a fig tree because he and his disciples were hungry and the fig tree was not welcoming them with fruits. It was not the season, it was not the responsibility of the fig tree, and this man cursed the fig tree. You think this man is sane?
This is a very important question, not a very philosophical one, but a question that interests large crowds of people and readers in Europe: In Pune you favored unlimited sex as a kind of birthright and so it was exercised. Now, as I understand from what I have read, it seems to be the contrary: you say sex is only allowed with rubber gloves and even kissing is forbidden. What made you change your mind?
Because of the facts of life. In Pune I had said to my people that sex is simple, natural, a joyous game which you can enjoy. Don’t take it seriously, it is not sin, it is not a crime, but don’t impose yourself upon anybody. When two persons are willing to be together, it is their absolute right to enjoy a sexual meeting.
But you'd rather they turn it into consciousness, you said.
Yes. I would love that slowly their meditation grows so that even while making love…
Like the Christian monks in the monasteries?
Christian monks in the monasteries have been masturbating and nothing else.
They are not turning it into consciousness?
They cannot because they are repressive people. If you repress your sex, you can never become meditative. The moment you become silent, immediately sexual fantasies will come up.
Is it a matter of age or is it a matter of stage of consciousness? You say you are not opposing it directly, but you wouldn't favor it the same way as you did in Pune?
It is exactly the same as it was in Pune. There is sexual freedom but a new disease, AIDS, is spreading. Now we have to take notice of it, and to my people I have said that if you want…
How is your own sex life? Are you still active?
My sex life?
You were active before in Pune?
I have been active all my life.
Till now?
But now it is enough, I’m finished with it. I enjoyed it before my enlightenment, and I enjoyed it more after my enlightenment. And I proved one traditional idea wrong: that an enlightened man cannot enjoy sex. It is something of historical importance. But now I am completely satisfied – very!
You're not a very healthy man these days, are you?
I am not. My body is fragile, my back is bad.
Will you have to undergo another operation?
The possibility is always there, because I have allergies to many things: dust, perfume, smoke.
Has it become worse since you came here, or has it improved?
No, it has improved. Oregon’s dry climate has been immensely helpful. I am grateful to Oregon – not to Oregonians – my asthma has almost disappeared because there is no humidity, and my back is perfectly good.
How are you medically treated?
I have my two physicians of my own.
Do they do massage, or what do they do?
No. If my back is bad – as it was in India – then they were massaging it, giving me traction, giving me medicines for it. For my asthma they were giving me medicines. So whenever it is needed, whatsoever is needed…
So you are not opposed to pharmaceutical products?
Not at all. I am absolutely in favor of all the sciences, and I am against all religions.
May I please jump back in discussion to a point we had some time ago: we were talking about doctors and you said they should be freed from the Hippocratic Oath, in favor of science. Now, if doctors are not bound by the oath, they can do human experiments, can't they? It's perfectly all right to experiment with human beings?
It is absolutely right, in fact, it is needed. Not to experiment with human beings is dangerous.
Experiments with human beings are often brought about against their own will. So, for science one should sacrifice human beings?
It is not a question of sacrificing. People like Mother Teresa should offer themselves in the service of humanity. And there are six hundred million Catholics, they should offer.
I was not talking about India and Mother Teresa, but about human engineering.
I am also talking about human engineering. You were saying, “Should people be forced against their will?” No, but people could be invited, and there would be enough people.
Should they be forced to be sterilized if it's necessary population-wise – as happened in India?
If the population becomes a problem for the whole country, then it is up to the country to decide. They should vote for it, for absolute birth control.
You are for it?
I am not for it. I’m saying that country should vote for it; the whole country should decide if they want to die starving. It is up to them.
Would you favor sterilization?
Not against anybody’s will.
Not against his will but, for instance: would you try to persuade somebody here in Rajneeshpuram, because the family and children do not fit into the framework of this community?
I never persuade. I simply explain the situation and my people are intelligent enough that there is no need for persuasion.
Do they exercise sterilization here?
Not a single baby has been born here in four years.
Due to sterilization of women here?
Every kind of birth control method is being used.
Is sterilization widespread here?
In India it was.
And in Rajneeshpuram?
Not many women are sterilized because of the unwanted consequences?
No, they can use other birth control methods. There is no question.
Is that the way your relation toward the community works: you explain the situation, and then somebody else makes the consequences and does the dirty work?
No, everybody has to take his responsibility. I simply…
Except for you.
…explain the situation, the consequences. And everybody has to think what he would like for himself.
And you call that not having influence on the community?
It is absolute democracy, nowhere does that exist except here.
I may be old fashioned, but my notion of democracy is two people arguing a point and reaching a conclusion.
But when you have somebody who can see the light, then of course he is not going to grope like a blind man. Your idea of democracy is the idea of people who are blind. So blind people are arguing about the shape of the elephant; they are arguing about whether light exists or not. And to what conclusion can they ever come?
If you are not responsible for what your community does, it works the other way round, too: basically your commune isn't responsible either. So nobody in this valley is responsible for anything.
Everybody is responsible for himself, nobody is responsible for anybody else. That’s why I don’t call it even a community, I call it a commune. And I make a distinction between the two words: a community is a certain kind of contract between people, a commune is open, without any contract.
Yes, it's lawlessness.
It is lawlessness, because there is no need of law.
Tell me one more thing: how can a community survive without the family, without children?
It is surviving.
For a certain period, yes, but…
Who cares? I’m very irresponsible about the future. I don’t bother at all about tomorrow, if tomorrow the whole world simply evaporates…
You won't have finished your atomic bunker.
…I will say goodbye. Good morning, America!
That would be a fun, very good final sentence, but finally we have to draw your attention to some material questions: It's probably a question you have been asked a hundred times, but concerning your Rolls Royces… We understand that you are preaching a non-materialist ideology, yet you are enjoying a luxury life with Rolls Royces and a diamond wristwatch.
No, your understanding is wrong.
Your understanding is wrong, I am utterly materialistic,
Are you materialistic?
Yes, because to me matter and spirit are not two different things. Existence is materialist-spiritualist; it is together, there is no duality.
But being materialist at the expense of others is what others have described as exploitation. Would you approve of that?
Not at all. I don’t possess a single Rolls Royce – you were talking about Rolls Royces, I don’t possess any.
Who owns them?
My people possess them.
But you use them.
They allow me for one hour. If they don’t allow, I will stop.
You go every day and say, “May I please…”?
Every day I go for a ride for one hour and my people allow me. I am not against riches, and I am not against luxury – but I am not asking anybody.
But we see others are…
You were talking about the watch.
Is it original diamonds, or is it imitation?
Are you a jeweler?
Is it imitation? I'm not an expert on jewelry, but it looks rather genuine. Is it?
It is not. To me, diamonds or stones are the same.
I see.
I enjoy it, it is beautiful; and it has been made by my people. It is not Piaget, but they have defeated Piaget. And these are all ordinary stones.
Do you know how many Osho enterprises there are in the world?
No, I don’t know and I don’t bother.
But nevertheless you enjoy a kind of luxury. Would you agree with that?
I am a perfect showman.
Even if you don't own them, if you want to hire a Rolls Royce…I wouldn't be able to afford it.
Not one, my people have managed to have ninety.
But it's very uneconomical to have ninety Rolls Royces, have them in the garage and use one a day.
We don’t bother about economics, economy, future. They are going to have 365.
But wouldn't it be better to let your people enjoy the fruits of their work a little bit more, spread it a little bit more?
That is up to them. My commune has hundreds of other cars, hundreds of buses, four planes, they have everything. It is not that only I am enjoying luxury – they have everything. It is simply that out of respect they will not use a Rolls Royce. And I am using it because I have tried all the cars and only the Rolls Royce seat suits my backbone.
And a Mercedes wouldn't be good enough?
I have tried it; it was not good enough. Not even other Rolls Royces, which are far more costly. I had a Corniche; it didn’t suit me. That was the costliest Rolls Royce. Then I had a Commarque – in cost that was the number two Rolls Royce; it didn’t suit me. Now I am on the third grade, the Silver Spur.
But you would not, in special regard to our German readers, recommend a Mercedes for wealthy people with backaches?
No, I have used it, I would not recommend it.
I doubt very much whether we will be able to print this, because they have big advertisements in Spiegel, you know.
You have to print it!
All right, we promise.
I love Germans, I have amongst my sannyasins a large number of Germans. And they are the most stable, intelligent, reliable, responsible people in the commune.
They also provide the most money into the funds.
And were they also the most frustrated before they came here?
I don’t know what they were.
We're trying to build a bridge toward current German civilization. Do you have the impression that frustration – that's what Andres Elten wrote – frustration with civilization drove them to you?
There may be some truth in it, because as man becomes more intelligent, more alert, he starts looking for meaning in life; and he does not find it – hence frustration. Then he starts looking for some way…
So Germany is first in intelligence but only second in making cars?
Certainly. You have not yet been able to create a Rolls Royce.
We are trying hard, you know.
You can try hard.
Do you know who decides who comes comparatively close to you, who surrounds you in your study, in your everyday life? Obviously, not five thousand or two thousand people can be around.
No, in the morning everybody listens to me, the whole commune together. In the evening my secretary comes, if there is any problem for which she needs guidance from me. In the day Vivek takes care of my food. She comes only when I give her a call to bring my food or my tea. Otherwise, I remain completely alone.
Do you happen to know why the people sitting here have the privilege of seeing you tonight?
No, that is Isabel’s decision. People who are editing, people who are part of the publicity department, people who are concerned in some way with our magazine, with our newspaper, with our newsletter; these are the people Isabel has collected, because they need to be here.
In your Bible you told a nice, moving little story about a billionaire – an old man of sixty-four or so – who tried to join the movement or to join the commune, and then had to struggle with his family. This was in 1984, has he joined now?
I told the story you are mentioning this morning?
I can't recall his name, but it's a long episode in The Osho Bible.
What exactly was it? Tell me.
It's a story of an old man, a billionaire, who…
Yes, I remember now. I am such a materialist, the moment you said billionaire, I immediately remembered. He was here, he still comes almost every month. His family is very disturbed because he is the head of the family and head of the businesses and corporations, and they are naturally worried that if he becomes a sannyasin, he may start donating to my Rolls Royce collection. But nobody is interested in converting him to be a sannyasin. In fact, he was amazed that nobody has even asked him to be a sannyasin.
For almost a year he has been coming here. His family is worried, but nobody here is bothered. Here, nobody takes any interest in anybody’s personal life: why you are not a sannyasin, why you don’t become a sannyasin. If you have been coming for a year continuously and doing all the groups and the therapies, you must be somehow thinking of becoming a sannyasin? – even that is not asked.
Just let me ask one last question that I asked Sheela before.
Drop Sheela completely.
No, I'm not asking her, I just want to ask you the same thing because I'm interested in what you think about it.
Just ask directly.
Yes. Why is it you have only women in your inner circle, in your inner power circle? Are you convinced that they are more intelligent, or that women are generally more intelligent than men, as Sheela put it? Or is there any other reason for it?
There are many reasons. The woman is not more intelligent than man. But because the woman has not been allowed to use her intelligence for centuries…
She kept it fresh.
…she has kept it fresh. That’s why she looks superior and more capable. Otherwise, there is no question; it is just a land which has not been used, not been cultivated, she gives better crops. Woman has always been symbolized by the earth, that’s why the husband… The word husband simply means the cultivator.
I would like to compensate because women have suffered for centuries. Man has done sheer inhumanity to women, they have been treated worse than cattle. So in my commune, I have allowed them to express and come up with their whole potential. One thing is certain, that they are more loving.
And as far as religion is concerned, a loving person has more possibility to grow than a man who is stuck in his head with logic, ideas, philosophies. The woman is free. If she falls in love, she is more courageous than any man. And to be with a master is a kind of love affair – for men, for women, it makes no difference – these people love me.
But not in the real sense of the word.
In the real sense of the word.
Not only philosophically.
Not in the unreal sense of the word to which you are accustomed.
You said once that death would be a new door opening, with the whole of life condensed, a new dimension opening. On the other hand, you sharply attack any Christian or any other belief of life after death. What's the difference between a new dimension opening after death, and life after death?
The difference is that I am not saying that you have to believe in it, I am saying it is my experience. I am not telling you either to believe or disbelieve. I am simply telling you my experience, and side by side continuously insisting that you are not to believe in anything. I remember my past lives, so I know absolutely that life goes on and on. There is no end to life, only the body changes.
Which past lives do you remember, and which ones do you like best?
The best is this moment.
And which ones do you remember?
I remember many: sometimes fragments, sometimes a few incidents, sometimes the whole series. But it is pointless.
Tell us some.
It would be meaningless.
But we are curious.
I am not curious.
If it's meaningless, it doesn't…the same as so many of your statements.
No, because they will be simply stories for you – what is the point?
Well, if nothing is the point of anything – which is the whole point of your religion – you are completely unattackable.
I am.
We quite understand that.
Completely unattackable – because there is no point, no principle, no dogma. I will attack everybody and nobody can attack me. That is simply true.

[the journalist’s tape recorder clicks off]
Good! Now that was a coincidence.
This is a coincidence, right.
No more questions, thank you.
It has been a great pleasure talking to you.
I enjoyed it.
We are not yet enlightened, but we are quite satisfied with our interview.
One day you will get enlightened too.

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