The Last Testament Vol 1 19

Nineteenth Discourse from the series of 30 discourses - The Last Testament Vol 1 by Osho.
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Carlo Silvestro, (Svatantra Sarjano)
Panorama, Milan, Italy
Our magazine is a weekly magazine in Italy with a reputation of an opinion maker – like Newsweek in America. Since it is the first time any Italian journalist has this opportunity to speak with you, we will have a lot of questions and we hope that we have an answer for all of them for our readers.
The first question is: you say that you are not a prophet, you are not a messiah, you are not a god, you are not a saint. So we want to know: who are you?
Is it necessary for anyone to be a messiah, to be a prophet, to be a son of God? Cannot one just be a human being? I am simply a human being as everybody else is, with a very little difference: I am awake and others are asleep.
It may look like a great difference to the person who is asleep, but to the awakened there is no difference at all. Just a little shaking, shocking, and the asleep one will be awake and they both can laugh at the whole stupid game of master and disciple, of messiah, of the savior and the saved. Except laughter there will be nothing, because they will know that they are both exactly the same. And because these names – prophet, messiah, incarnation of God – have been used in the past to exploit people, to create bondage for their spirits, for their psyches, these names have divided people into different religions and the ultimate result was thousands of wars. Five thousand wars in three thousand years – crusades in the name of God, people killing thousands of other people, burning people alive in the name of God, and with the authority that they are the representative of the messiah or the prophet or the successor.
I don’t want to be in this company of criminals. I want simply to be an ordinary human being – that’s what I am.
Do you think that you have a big power?
I don’t have any power. I have love – big love – but love knows no power. Power is desired by those who are incapable of love. Only the loveless become politicians, power hungry. They think that if they have power over people perhaps their desire for love will be fulfilled. It is never fulfilled. No politician dies contented. It is impossible – he has gone wrong from the very beginning. The path of power leads farther away from yourself, and from love. The path of love brings you closer, home to yourself
I have immense love to give, inexhaustible love to give, but no power to order or command or tell somebody to be this, be that. I don’t have any Ten Commandments.
Why have you said that you are a guest here?
Do you plan to leave, to travel?
No. I have always been a guest wherever I was, because I belong to the whole universe. So anywhere I am, that particular place is only a guesthouse. I am not planning to leave – I never plan. I can leave any moment, I may not leave ever.
You said, “If I must choose, I prefer to be Zorba rather than Buddha.” What does it mean?
It means that Zorba is the foundation and Buddha is the palace. Buddha is the peak, but the foundation stones are laid by Zorba. It will be foolish to choose to be a Buddha without having the foundation stones.
I am absolutely mathematical about it: Zorba should be there and the stronger a Zorba is there, the better a Buddha is possible, so I can become Buddha any moment. Zorba is absolutely needed as the basic energy out of which the Buddha is going to be carved. Zorba is the marble rock out of which the Buddha statue has to be carved. I choose the rock – and the Buddha is easy.
It is just a question of opening your eyes. I don’t bother about Buddha; I am worried about people who are not Zorbas. How will they become Buddhas? They don’t have the basic material out of which a Buddha is made.
And this poverty has been given to people by our religious leaders. They have been told not to be materialists. They have been told to be celibate. They have been told to live in poverty. They have been told that life is out of sin. All these things have destroyed their Zorbas. Otherwise, every man is a born Zorba the Greek.
And if everything goes according to me, every man will die as Zorba the Buddha. Between the Greek and the Buddha there is not much distance, but first you must be the Greek.
What do you mean when you say that you are the guru of the rich people? Are you rich, as are many of your sannyasins? Your critics – and I'm trying to understand – say that you collect money just as you collect the Rolls Royces and the watches. Are you against the poor?
First, I collect nothing. There is not a single thing that I possess. For thirty years I have been the poorest man in the world. And on the judgment day, if there is a line you will find me in the front, ahead of Jesus Christ.
But my people who love me are there; that is my possession, that makes me rich. Their love is more to me than power over the whole world. I would not like to become Alexander the Great. Out of their love, whatsoever they want to do, they do.
If they want me to have Rolls Royces, they are free. If they want me to have diamond watches, they are free. They know my taste, and for that simple reason my people can manage to offer me everything that not even a king or queen is capable of having.
The reason is very simple: whatever I teach can be understood only by the very intelligent and creative people. So only the cream of intelligence comes close to me.
I am against poverty and against the poor. I don’t want any poverty, any poor people in the world. I am not in agreement with Jesus that the poor are the blessed; they are the cursed, they shall inherit the kingdom of hell. There is no need for anybody to be poor. We have enough intelligence, we have everything that can make the whole earth a beautiful garden. But politicians will not allow it to happen; priests will not allow it to happen, because if the garden of Eden can be created here, then what is going to happen to their paradise, their God, their hell and all the business that goes on around those bogus words which mean nothing?
Politicians would not like that there are no poor people in the world. If there are no poor people in the world, communism will lose all hold immediately. If there are no poor people in the world, it will not be easy for the capitalists to exploit anybody. In the capitalist countries, the capitalist wants there to be poor people because they can be purchased easily. In India you can purchase any vote for two rupees; that is the highest price for any vote. Now what kind of democracy can exist where you can purchase a vote for two rupees?
The rich people want the poor to exist; the priest wants the poor to exist, because without the poor, who is going to go to the church? The rich people have their Rotary Clubs, their Lion’s Clubs, the Club of Rome – who is going to the church? The priest wants the crippled, retarded, blind, sick, old, starving, all kinds of people who are not wanted at all. The priest needs them; otherwise, who is going to gather around Billy Graham?
If there are no orphans, who is going to give a Nobel Prize to Mother Teresa? These people are exploiting. With all the scientific and technological developments in the twentieth century, I am saying that it is absurd to allow poverty to exist for even a single moment longer.
We've been here a few days now and the commune looks so peaceful and people are really beautiful. Your words are very beautiful, too. How come the press and the Oregonians are so unusually aggressive against you and your people?
Because I want them to be aggressive. They are simply following my wishes. If they are not aggressive, then there is not much hope. If they are aggressive, we can put them right.
Their being aggressive is their first step toward friendship. They may not understand, but I understand it. For my whole life I have been creating enemies and turning enemies into friends. And in fact it is better this way, rather than vice-versa: you put all your energy into creating a friend and then he becomes your enemy. That is sheer wastage. The better thing is to put your whole energy into creating enemies, and then let them turn into your friends. And they are bound to turn, because whatsoever they are carrying is absurd. The moment they come to know the truth, they will become your friends.
And it is a simple psychology: the deeper their hate, the deeper will be their love, in the same proportion. I do not believe in people like Dale Carnegie. I work just in the opposite way, and you can see my business is succeeding. And where is Dale Carnegie? And how many people has he turned into friends?
I want the whole earth, the whole humanity, to be divided into two camps – no more Russian, no more American – either they hate me or they love me, but both ways they are connected with me, and I love both of them. They are like the two wheels the bullock cart moves on; they are not aware that they are playing into my hands.
You said, “I am a simple man.” But why do thousands and thousands of people, simple men, follow “a simple man”?
Because it is very difficult to find a simple man. Nobody is simple, everybody thinks himself extraordinary. He may not have the guts to say it – that’s another matter – but everybody, deep down, thinks himself to be the most superior, the most beautiful, the most intelligent person in the world. And if he is not succeeding, it is because the whole world is hostile to him, everybody is preventing him. Otherwise, he would be on top of Everest.
I am a simple man with no ambition to be anybody other than I am, and these people have been attracted toward me just because of my simplicity, humanity. They have fallen in love with an innocent man who has no secrets and no privacy, who is absolutely open, available.
You cannot find people open, available, innocent, simple. Even the most idiotic people think they are great geniuses. I am not a genius, just an average, ordinary person.
Do you have any kind of personal strategy for the future, any message to leave? Do you have any idea of Rajneeshism and Rajneeshpuram after you? Do you have any successor?
No, because all the religions who have followed those lines have turned poisonous, have turned into curses on humanity. I don’t want to be a curse to humanity. I am a blessing and I want to remain a blessing.
So nobody is going to succeed me. And my message for my people is that the moment I am gone, your religion is gone. Then whatever remains is just a corpse. Don’t start worshipping the corpse. I am a free man and I want every sannyasin to be a free man. My love is the only binding force between them; otherwise, there is no theology, no belief system, no agreement on anything.
Only one thing is keeping them together around the world, and that is their love for me. When I am not there nothing can keep them together, there is no bridge. Each sannyasin is individually connected to me. You don’t ask the sun, “If one day you stop rising, what is going to happen to the rays?” You know that the rays will not be there.
The moment I am dead and gone… They have lived with me, they have danced with me, they have enjoyed with me – now they know the secret of how to enjoy life, how to live life. And there is no need to go on making a church, popes, successors, because they have done so much harm. I will not allow my people to do that.
When I am gone, then disperse. What is the point? My love was keeping you together, and I am no longer there. It is good that I am no longer, because now your last attachment is also dropped. I was the last attachment to be broken, now you are totally free. You were free from your family, from your nation, from your religion, but a small thin thread of love was binding you with me. Now I am no longer there; I give you the last, the final taste of freedom.
And then whatever happens, happens. I am not responsible for it. The people who will be coming after me will have the responsibility. And I never think about the future. I am so totally involved with the present. I am talking to you, and at this moment only you exist for me. The whole space has disappeared and the whole of time has stopped. Just you and me: only then can there be some communication.
And I don’t think about what is going to happen tomorrow. I am not thinking what you are going to write about me, and I am not going to read it, whatever you write! It doesn’t matter at all. What matters is that we enjoyed this moment together, loved this moment, laughed together, felt each other’s humanity.
I cannot see anybody as a journalist, as a doctor, as an engineer. Those are not your realities, they are just your jobs. When I look at you, I put aside your journalist, I am talking directly to you. Journalism is just your way of earning bread and butter. What importance does it have? I cannot love bread and butter, but I love you as a person, as an individual, and whatsoever I am saying is totally different from what you would have found in the past with the many other people you have interviewed. Even in the future you may not come across a man like me.
My whole interest in this moment is how to help you rejoice the time you have been with me. Your magazine, your writing, does not come between me and you – so when he started introducing the magazine, I was going to stop him, but just out of politeness I listened. What concern do I have with magazines, newspapers?
My concern is purely with the individual, and then it is up to him. Whatsoever he wants to make out of it, he will make out of it. I trust in my love, and I trust in the dignity of the individual that is sitting before me, and the trust will take care of everything. I never think of tomorrow.
But you don't think that you are responsible for all the sannyasins living here, for the life and the future of the children I have seen in this city?
I am not responsible for anybody. I am not even a member of this commune. I live outside the City of Rajneeshpuram. And I am not a sannyasin, as you can see. It is the commune’s responsibility. I am very irresponsible.

When I was leaving the university, one girl used to love me. But just the way girls are – and particularly in India – she was shy, and I am not the one to chase anybody. I do chasing sitting in my chair… I am just a lazy man. She loved me, and she was continuously sending messages to me. She wanted to get married to me. Then the day of departure came and we were leaving. We had passed our final examinations and then she could not contain it any more.
She pulled me aside and told me, “I have loved you for two years, but I had not the courage to say it. And you are a strange man. I made so many efforts and so many messages, and you just remained as if I am not here.”
I said, “You do not know: it is just out of compassion that I have remained that way, because I am a very irresponsible man. I may marry you, and tomorrow morning I may forget all about you. I may give birth to children and then I will not bother at all what happens to you and your children.”

Just out of compassion, I kept out of it. It is enough that I am carrying my own responsibility toward myself That’s why I have never accepted any responsibility for anything.

India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, wanted me to join politics. I was introduced to him by India’s very old, senior-most parliamentarian, who had been a member of parliament from 1916 up to 1976. He was known as the father of the Indian parliament. Jawaharlal used to stay at his palace; his father was given the title of rajah, king, so his house had become the palace – and it was palatial.
Jawaharlal was a man of tremendous intelligence. He talked for just five to ten minutes with me and he said, “You’d better join politics. Don’t waste your time here and there, you have a great future, and I am with you and I will support you.”
I said, “Thank you for your generosity, but I am not going to be in any position where I am responsible for anybody.”

Politics means responsibility, and if you are not responsible you have to become a hypocrite. That’s what all the politicians have become. They talk about being responsible and nobody is responsible.
Now, millions of tons of food in Europe have been thrown in the ocean, but they will not send it to Ethiopia. One hundred thousand dollars were needed to take it to the ocean, and they dumped it there – fresh fruit, fresh food. But its presence was going to bring the prices down, and that they would not like. And who cares about Ethiopia? And why should anybody care?
In speeches, everybody will talk about Ethiopia and responsibility, but the real face is totally different. The prime minister of India, Rajiv Gandhi, is one of my friends. He is Jawaharlal’s grandson. If I had accepted Jawaharlal’s offer, perhaps I would have been in his place. He is selling wheat to other countries while half of India is starving and dying.
And they go on talking about sympathy and compassion for the poor… But he needs nuclear weapons. For that he needs money, and India has only raw materials to sell. It has no technology, no high technology. The poor man works his whole life producing wheat and dies starving while the wheat will be sold to purchase uranium to make nuclear weapons.
I don’t take anybody’s responsibility. In this way I help whoever comes close to me to be responsible for himself. People who take others’ responsibility are responsible for creating retarded, dependent slaves all around the world. If nobody had taken their responsibility, they would have taken the challenge of life and struggled for themselves.

I have heard about a very super-rich woman. She had come to a holiday resort, to the best hotel. Her boy, who looked perfectly healthy and young, was carried from the car on a stretcher. Even the hotel manager and others thought that there must be something wrong. The young man looked perfectly healthy, in the best of health. They said, “What is wrong with this young man? What has happened?”
She said, “Nothing has happened, but he can afford to be carried on a stretcher. Why should he walk?”
Now, this woman thinks she is making the life of the boy luxurious, but she is crippling him. He may become crippled, he may not ever be able to walk. Somebody took away the whole responsibility.

It is a known fact that in the whole history of humanity, not a single genius has come from super-rich families. And the reason is simple: all that he wanted was available, there was no challenge. When there is no challenge intelligence goes out of function, it is not needed.
It is strange; it should have been otherwise. The richer people should have given birth to better geniuses, better Einsteins, better painters, musicians, poets, but they have just given birth to buffalos.
I don’t take anybody’s responsibility, because I love people and I have compassion enough not to take their responsibility on my shoulders. They have to take their own responsibility.
Is the sannyasin a sort of new man? You say that the sannyasins are innocent children. Your critics say that they are your slaves – slaves of your attitude toward work, life, love, sex. May we have your opinion of the sannyasins?
I don’t care at all what the critics say. They all can go to hell – the sooner the better. But I can tell you about my sannyasins.
I don’t have any dogma that they can follow. I have no philosophy that they can live. I don’t have any catechism that they have to repeat and cram.
Being with me, all that happens is a very delicate deprogramming, and once a person is deprogrammed I don’t have any program for him. In fact, my sannyasins are simply losing what they have, and I am not going to replace it with anything. They will lose Christianity, they will lose Hinduism, and I will not replace it with another program. I will leave them to themselves.
They are not my slaves; neither am I their slave. Because slavery is a very strange phenomenon, it is a double-edged sword. The master is dependent on the slaves as much as the slaves are dependent on the master.
I am nobody’s slave, nobody is my slave, because I know that if you create slaves you become a slave immediately. My sannyasins cannot even expect anything from me for the simple reason that I never expect anything from them. When I said that I am not celibate because I am not unnatural, a few sannyasins were shocked. They started writing letters to me, and I informed them that they cannot have any expectations about me. I can do anything I want. We don’t have any contract that I will follow your expectations or you will follow mine.
I have no contract of any kind. My sannyasins cannot expect what I am going to do tomorrow. I can do anything, and they also are absolutely free. They can do anything they want: they can be here, they can leave. It is their freedom.
Out of freedom they have become sannyasins, out of freedom they can become non-sannyasins. There is no problem. It is not a church and it is not some contract which has always existed between the leader and the follower, the master and the disciple. But this delicate thing is rarely understood – that they both become dependent on each other.

I am reminded of a beautiful story about Diogenes. Greece has given a few beautiful people to the world, but none comparable to Diogenes. He is not much mentioned in the history of philosophies or even if he is mentioned, it is only in the footnotes – for the simple reason that the man was so rebellious and such an outsider that the professors of philosophy would find it difficult to explain the man and his behavior.
He lived naked. Now, in India it is a tradition, there are many naked sannyasins. But in Greece he was the only one in the whole of history who lived naked. Just like Buddha in India, he used to carry a begging bowl to beg food or to drink water.
One day he was thirsty. It was hot and he was rushing toward the river to fill his begging bowl with cool water. Just before he was going to dip his begging bowl, a dog came running in and started drinking. He stopped, for a moment he thought, and he said, “This dog seems to be more independent than me. I have to depend on this begging bowl. If a dog can manage without a begging bowl, then Diogenes is going to manage it, too.”
He immediately threw the begging bowl into the river.

Even in small things…
What to say about human beings? When you make human beings your slave you are entering into a mutual slavery, a mutual dependence. I have no contract with my people. I have not promised them that I should be this or that, so they can never question my behavior. I remain individual; and that’s what I want them to remain – individual.
Now, the persons who were shocked when I said I am not celibate had carried the idea for centuries that a religious person should be celibate – and particularly nobody has heard that an enlightened man has made love to any woman after his enlightenment. Naturally they were shocked.
It is up to them. They can think that perhaps I am not enlightened. Perhaps it is time for them to leave this place, they have come to a wrong person. But as far as I am concerned, I am going to be totally free, absolutely frank, no secrecy, no privacy.
I know for certain that celibacy is unnatural unless you are impotent; and I don’t think any impotent person has ever become enlightened. No, there is no mention of it. In fact, just the opposite is the case. The people who became enlightened were really much too sexual, that’s why I call them Zorbas. They were really much too sexual – so much that finally they understood that there is nothing much in it. They experienced it through and through, and found nothing in it. And that was the point from where they started searching for something else. That led them toward buddhahood, enlightenment.
But once they had become enlightened – they were fulfilling people’s expectations because they wanted to be great enlightened masters, prophets, messiahs – they could not go on fooling with women. Buddha would not even look at a woman. What cowardliness! Buddha would not allow any woman close to him, she had to remain eight feet away.
Is this enlightenment? So afraid, so shaky, that a woman even coming close and you become afraid? This is repression, this is not enlightenment.
I want to declare to the whole world that unenlightened people can have only sexual relationships – which they call love, which is not right. They should stop calling it “making love”; they are simply “making sex”. Only an enlightened person can make love, because it is no longer his need. He can be without it for years and not even for a single moment will he feel its need. But he can enjoy it as fun.
I can play cards; it is not a need. I can drink once in a while; it does not disturb my enlightenment. I can make love; I don’t see it can disturb people’s idea of enlightenment – that is their business. My enlightenment is not made of such fragile matter, it cannot be disturbed by anything. In fact, they have been asking whether enlightened people transcend sex, and I have sent the answer to them that the enlightened person finally transcends enlightenment too.
And I have transcended enlightenment too. Now I am again the same old ordinary man I was before all this round-trip journey. I am back home.
I have passed through everything, all meditation, all enlightenment, and come back home, but with new eyes, new clarity, new vision. It is almost like living continuously on LSD.
Why are so many women sannyasins?
Because I am a man, and it is natural for women to be attracted to me. You can see my gray beard. This beautiful gray beard is the work of the ladies. The whole credit goes to them, otherwise I would have a black beard at this time. But so many ladies… But I don’t bother about the color of the beard – the gray is so beautiful!
It seems the whole commune is run by women. Is there a particular purpose or strategy to that?
Certainly there is a particular strategy. Man has dominated women for centuries and forced the idea on them that they are the weaker sex, that they cannot do anything that man can do. They can do small homely things – that is their world. I want to destroy that idea completely. And you can see I have destroyed it.
My communes are run by women, and they have proved far superior to men in every possible way. My sannyasins are doing better business than any man can do, finding better bargains than any man can find. I wanted it to be a solid argument before the whole of humanity that women are not inferior, that if you give them a chance they can even prove superior in many matters. At least they are going to prove equal.
And this is a strange way: to keep half of humanity in a downtrodden state. How much is the loss? Half of humanity means that women, if they were accepted as equal, would have produced a Dostoevsky, a Turgenev, a Chekhov, a Gorky, a van Gogh, a Picasso, a Nijinsky. They may have proved a Buddha, a Jesus. Half of humanity! It is a vast ocean to whom you have denied all possibilities of creation, expression. And you have behaved with women as if they are cattle, not human beings.
It is not going to be so in my commune. And I do not agree with the liberation movement of women, because that is going in a reactionary way, creating hate for men – so much so that their basic approach is now that no woman should love any man, that they should all be lesbians.
Here, women are running the whole commune, everything, but no man who is here has ever felt that he is inferior. In fact, for the first time he feels a respect for women. He can see the dignity of women. Every day I receive letters from my male sannyasins asking, “What is happening? The commune sannyasins, the women, are becoming juicier and juicier, more and more graceful, more and more beautiful. And they are working so hard!”
For the first time, they have been given the chance to show their mettle. It is not a loss to men: you have found a companion, equal to yourself, side by side with you.
You were missing half of humanity. And remember, because you have repressed that half, that half was trying to take revenge in every possible way. Of course, the woman has her own ways of taking revenge, and every man knows how the woman can take revenge. Every woman has been taking it for centuries. She will be nagging the husband, she will be spying on the husband. She will make the husband just a henpecked person.
All husbands are henpecked! I have never come across another category. Outside they may roar like lions, but that is not to be believed. Just look through the keyhole in their houses – the woman is roaring and the husband is hiding like a rat behind this chair, behind that table. It is natural, because if you repress their energy, somehow they are going to revolt against it. Here, men are also feeling tremendously relieved because no woman is nagging them.
Women’s liberation is automatically men’s liberation. Women’s slavery is automatically men’s slavery. They go together.
But this is only a transitory period. Once I have proved my point, all around the world in different countries and different communes – even where I am not present – women will be on the top, once the point is proved and people can see.
Just four years ago, when we came here, we did not have a single dollar. My women sannyasins managed to purchase 126 square miles, an area three times bigger than New York. In four years we have poured almost two hundred million dollars into creating this oasis, and all has been managed by women. They have proved their mettle – and without insulting men, without putting them down, without in any way taking revenge. And they are not lesbians.
So it is in fact a tremendous revolution which is needed, which has been needed for centuries. And the sooner the whole world goes the way my communes function, the better, because I don’t think women will be ready to use nuclear weapons in the Third World War. Women won’t want to kill, that is not part of their feminine psychology. They would like people to come closer, to be more loving.
If the world is run by women – and man can take his place more significantly in scientific research, in the service of life and creativity – and the governments and all other functional things are run by women, we will have a tremendous balance.
It will take a little time for women to produce Einstein and Picasso and Michelangelo. It will take a little time to bring a Mozart, a Leonardo da Vinci, because for thousands of years – in fact, for the whole history – they have been repressed, so it will need a little time. And once the repression changes into expression, it will be just like land which has been lying fallow for thousands of years gathering all kinds of fertilizers, rain water, and nobody cultivating it. When you cultivate it, it is going to give you a bumper crop. All other fields will look poor because they have been exploited every year; they have lost their energy to produce more.
The same is the situation of the human mind. The feminine mind has not been used, has not been allowed to function. If it is allowed, it may take a quantum leap. And it will be a blessing for all.
An intelligent woman, respected as equal to men in the society, will not become a lesbian because it is unnatural, absolutely unnatural. She will be heterosexual. And if all women turn to heterosexuality, we will be declaring war on homosexuality too, because from where are they going to find men? They will chase the homosexuals to their deaths. They are chasing them here. We have got a few homosexuals, and they go on writing letters of complaint to me: “We are homosexuals and women are chasing us. We are not interested, but we do not want even to declare that we are homosexual.” I say, “What can I do? Drop your homosexuality.”
We can make a better world together. Men and women should be really half-and-half of a whole. There are qualities which men have and women do not have; there are qualities which women have and men do not have. Both together, the human being will be richer in every possible way.
Just think of a woman pilot dropping the atom bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I cannot conceive of it. If there had been a woman pilot, she would have refused to follow the order. She would have preferred to be shot dead, but she would not go to kill innocent people who have nothing to do with war.
And anyway, the war was ending. Germany was already on its knees, it was only a question of a week or two until Japan would surrender. There was no need of an atom bomb to create a hell for two beautiful cities.
I don’t think a woman could have done that. A woman would rather have said, “You can court-martial me. You can shoot me. That seems to be easier than killing one hundred thousand people in one city, and one hundred and twenty thousand people in another city.”
But what did the man-pilot do? He dropped atom bombs on both the cities, came back to his base, had a good dinner, smoked the best cigar, joked with his friends, and went to sleep with a woman. In the morning when the journalists reached him, they asked the man if it had been very difficult for him to sleep having caused two hundred and twenty thousand people’s deaths.
He said, “No, I slept beautifully. I did my duty, and once the duty was fulfilled – and it was a great duty to be fulfilled – I was feeling so happy that I managed to do it that I went to sleep with a woman and had a beautiful sleep.”
Because it had been his orders, President Truman was asked early in the morning the next day, “How was your night?”
He said, “I felt immensely relieved. Now there is no question of the war being prolonged any more. Not only that, we have made a point to the whole world: don’t come in conflict with America, otherwise the result will be more Hiroshimas, more Nagasakis.” Not a single word of sympathy for those innocent people. They were civilians, they were not in military camps.
I have seen a picture that I cannot forget. One friend from Japan sent me a photograph of a small child, maybe eight or nine years old. His bag hanging on his shoulder, his books in the bag, he was going upstairs into the attic which was allotted to him as his place to study and sleep. And just when he was on the middle of the staircase, the atom bomb fell on Hiroshima. The boy simply got burned and got stuck to the wall – just a burned body with a burned bag, burned books.
When I saw that picture, I could not believe that man can do this to man. If a woman was president of America, I don’t think this could have happened. Man has been given enough chance; now let the woman come up, and man can pour his energies more into scientific fields. Meanwhile, women will pick things up.
Yes, there is a certain basic strategy why my communes are run by women. But you can meet my male sannyasins. They are not in any way thought to be inferior. No woman is treating them as inferior, as they have always treated women as inferior.
Perhaps it is that the male ego functions in that way: unless it makes somebody feel inferior, it is not satisfied. The woman functions in a different way: unless she feels somebody needing her, desiring her, she feels frustrated. A man’s need seems to be to dominate, and the woman’s need seems to be to be needed. That is a far better need – to be needed.
And I am doing an experiment. I am not a philosopher. I hate philosophy because it is simply a wastage of time. My commune is my experiment, and everything that I have envisioned has come true in it. The same can happen all over the world. This is a prototype.
You have also said, “We are not missionaries.” Why? Don't you want more sannyasins?
We are not missionaries because we don’t want anybody to be converted into sannyasins by us. We are available for anybody who wants to join us. He is welcome. We are receptive to anybody without conditions, but we are not going after people like the Christian missionaries or the Witnesses of Jehovah, forcing their Bible on you, knocking on your doors every morning. We are not going to knock on anybody’s door.
Yes, we will spread the message – that’s why I am talking with you. We will spread the message and if anybody wants to come with us and join our caravan, we are perfectly happy.
But this is a very different approach from missionaries. It is not aggressive, it is receptive; it is not masculine, it is feminine. That is the difference I make between these two psychologies. The male psychology is to go after the woman – that is the missionary. The woman’s psychology is to escape from the missionary, but remain receptive. She never escapes too much. She always remains within the boundary so you can catch hold of her, but she allures by running away. By running away she becomes more beautiful; by running away she becomes a dream girl. A very homely girl can become a dream girl.
I trust in the feminine psychology, because these missionary types of people around the world are aggressive. They are in a kind of war; very subtle, but it is a war. They are in politics – very subtle, but it is a politics of numbers. What has the pope got that he should be respected? I have seen his statements – which are not even his statements, his secretary goes on writing them. Even then, all those statements prove only a thick head. Nothing of importance ever comes out of these popes.
And the missionaries I have been in touch with in India were of a very high caliber – men like Stanley Jones – but the whole effort is how to convert people into Christianity. What did Stanley Jones do? He created a “Christian ashram.” To exploit Hindus, he used the word ashram. He managed his ashram just the way Hindus live in their ashrams: getting up early in the morning, going to the Ganges for the bath, then going to the church to pray. Every ritual of the Hindus was copied.
The only difference was that Krishna was missing, and there was Christ. And that is not much of a difference – because there are scholars who say that Christ never existed, it is just another name for Krishna. I was looking at how Krishna can become Christ in Indian languages, and then I came across Bengali: in Bengali, Krishna is called Christo. Now, that comes very close to Christ.
There are scholars who think there has never been any Christ; it was just that the story of Krishna, changing through many forms, finally took this Aramaic transformation, and Christianity was born out of a borrowed myth.
I asked Stanley Jones, “Can’t you see your diplomacy? Whom do you want to deceive?” He used to wear Hindu clothes. In his ashram, everybody used to wear Hindu clothes. Nobody could smoke there. No alcohol was allowed. But the whole point was somehow to attract Hindus there, and then convert them.
This is aggression, violence. It is interfering in your inner being. It is far worse than cutting off your head. At least I cut off your head without changing you. I respect you as you are and cut off your head. They don’t cut off your head, but they destroy your mind, they reprogram you. They replace Krishna with Christ, they put a cross in place of a flute – which is an ugly replacement.
The flute is life-affirming and the cross is death-oriented. No Jonestown could have ever happened under Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism. It is impossible. A Jonestown absolutely needed a Christian context. It needed a cross.
And Reverend Jim Jones was doing exactly the same foolishness that Jesus did – he was simply following step by step. Jesus had told his people that they would be coming with him into the kingdom of God. Of course, he would be going first to make arrangements for them. And for two thousand years he has been making arrangements – and the idiots are still waiting.
Jim Jones was more contemporary. He thought it better to take the whole lot, the whole congregation with him. Why should he go first and prepare the ground? And then Jesus has not been heard from for two thousand years. Perhaps people are not allowed to come back here; it seems to be better to take everybody with you. This could happen only in a Christian context.
If women are leaders in politics, leaders in science, leaders in poetry, painting, they will bring a totally new perspective to everything. Women should be professors, educationists, they should be everywhere. They are half of the world – they own half the world. And my experience here is that they are tremendously capable, reliable. You can trust them more, because they connect with you not from the head but from the heart.
You say you can't coexist with the rest of the world. Do you want a red Oregon, a red world? And are you ready to fight for this purpose?
We never plan anything, but we are always ready to fight for human rights. Whatever the consequence, we will fight for democracy. We will fight for freedom. We will fight for respect toward the individual. We will fight for America and will not allow Americans to destroy its beauty, its Constitution, its Declaration of Independence. We are on the side of America, and the Oregonians are not. That is my basic standpoint.
We have not committed a single crime, we have not done anything illegal. We have not done anything against the Constitution, and the State of Oregon has done everything against the Constitution, against the law. They have used the law in a way it has never been used against anybody. They have taken advantage of the loopholes in the law.
But my commune is not Reverend Jim Jones’ uneducated black people. My commune has four hundred law experts. There is no other firm in the whole world which has four hundred law experts.
We are going to fight to the very end. And remember, we are fighting for the values America stands for, and they are fighting against their own values, their own Constitution, their own law.
They are fascists, and I don’t think fascism can win. We are a small minority, but we are not threatened by them; they are a big majority, and they are threatened by us. You can see clearly what is the reason.
The reason is that we are standing for their Constitution, and they are going against their own Constitution. In the courts they are getting defeated everywhere. In the lower courts perhaps they may succeed, because they belong to the state, they are under the pressure of the state; but as we move higher, our score of wins gets bigger.
The moment we are in the federal courts we immediately win. And I am absolutely certain I myself am going to stand in the Supreme Court of America, to save the Constitution of America against all those who want to prostitute it. Is it a Constitution or a prostitution?
We are not threatened, we are really enjoying the whole game.
Anything more?
The last question: once you spoke about a holocaust between 1984 and 1999. What does it mean?
It means nothing. Eat more spaghetti! There will be no holocaust.

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