The Last Testament Vol 1 28

TwentyEighth Discourse from the series of 30 discourses - The Last Testament Vol 1 by Osho.
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Tracy Berry
KEZI TV, Eugene, Oregon, United States

Glad to meet you
Good evening.
I wanted to start out with a series of questions about these interview sessions. Journalists, I'm sure, have gotten to learn a lot about you, and I'm wondering what you've learned about some of the journalists?
This is probably the highest degree of visibility that you've had in this country since you came here several years ago. Where do you go from here? You've called yourself the world's greatest showman. Are you planning to take your show on the road?
No, the roads will come to Rome! All roads will be coming to Rajneeshpuram. I’m not going on any road.
Do you plan to continue speaking?
There've been rumors you might go back into a silent period.
I create rumors also.
Does this herald an expansion phase for Rajneeshees – your going so public? Is it possible in the next few years we might see communes going to Portland, or Rajneeshees recruiting a new membership, led with you in this more vocal phase?
They are increasing, and they are expanding all over the world.
Specifically, what sort of efforts are going on?
The same that is happening here, is happening around the world in all of my communes. People are trying to live in a new way. The past of humanity has failed, utterly failed. It has not been able to create a better man, a better society. Civilization has only remained a word; it has not been yet actualized. In my commune you can see the beginnings of a new man.
The commune is not a family. It is just the opposite – dissolution of the family. Families are small units which have kept people confined, their love confined, their respect confined. A commune is coming into the open, out of your small circle of hypnotic conditioning.
In the commune you are not a Hindu or a Christian or a Mohammedan. In the commune you are not a communist or a fascist. The commune does not live according to any ideology – political or religious or social. Each individual lives according to his freedom, according to his responsibility, according to his meditative consciousness. And the more a person meditates, goes deeper into himself, he starts living on the outside with new values which he had never known before: love, compassion, friendliness, joy, celebration – and for no reason at all.
People celebrate when there is some reason to celebrate. We simply celebrate, because celebration in itself is a reason. There is no need for any other reason; it is enough unto itself.
Our people are free in every possible way. So we are dropping the old patterns of jealousy, competitiveness, politics. There is no politics, there is no competitiveness, there is no jealousy. If one lover moves to another lover, there is no antagonism – it is simply understood that it is human.
Many inhuman things have been imposed on man. For example, marriage is inhuman: it is forcing two people to live together for a future about which they know nothing. Here, this moment is enough, and if you find yourselves loving each other the next moment also, good. And if you find that it is difficult, it has become nagging, it has become poisoned – that you are no longer interested in each other – then to go on living in it is ugly. Then being together is wasting energy, the lives of two people. Both can move, and both can move before things become bad, before things go sour. When they are sweet, friendly, they can move, with gratefulness for all those beautiful moments that they lived together.
Do you feel that you have a moral code? Is there a wrong? Is there a right?
No, I don’t have any moral code. All moral codes are inventions of different societies in different geographies in different situations, but there is no moral code which is universal.
So I don’t teach any moral code, because what is moral today may become immoral tomorrow; what is immoral today may become moral tomorrow. So I don’t teach a code that fixes people with the past. I give them insight – to see, to be clear, to be aware, to be conscious – so that they can find what is good, what is bad, in each situation without any code.
My people are not living according to any code, any doctrine, any creed. They are living according to their consciousness. And the whole effort is how to raise your consciousness higher and higher. So to me there is only one morality, and that is being a conscious being. And then act out of it. You cannot act wrongly.
The perception outside of Rajneeshpuram is that what you're teaching amounts to anarchy – maybe a pleasant sort of anarchy. Would you agree with that definition?
That is absolutely wrong. Anarchy is a reaction against what the governments have done to man. It is not a revolution. It is simply a reaction, and you cannot live by reactions. For example, the founder of anarchy, Prince Kropotkin, simply wants all the governments to be dissolved immediately. That is stupid, because man is not capable of coping – even with all the courts, all the police, all the army and the whole hierarchy of government. Man is criminal, man is a murderer, man is a rapist – so this is a stupid idea, to dissolve all the governments.
My idea is not for anarchy – that is not my goal – but to create better individuals. Finally, perhaps, one day we will have so many conscious individuals on the earth that there will be no need of any government. But I am not preaching anarchy.
In that case, for your followers who are dealing under current forms of government, how do you counsel them to deal with the laws of the land? Do you urge them to perform civil disobedience where they see it necessary?
No. We fight the government, the government agencies – and we follow their rules, because we are playing their game. And we can play the game better than they are playing. In four years we have proved to them how stupid they are. Laws are made by them, rules are made by them, but we can find loopholes in their laws and loopholes in their rules. And we are going to be here, and are going to fight to the ultimate end.
So we are not against their laws. But their laws are made by mediocre politicians, and we have far more intelligent people to fight them. We have the biggest law firm in the whole world: four hundred legal experts, continuously getting ready for more and more fights, on more and more grounds.
And your governments – the state government, the federal government – are all doing many things illegally, against the constitution. It is their constitution, it is their law, but they are doing things against it, going against it. We will be in favor of the constitution, and we will go against them. We will be in favor of the laws, and prove to them that they are illegal. So our way of fighting is not to disobey; our way is to prove that we are obeying the laws and you are disobeying your own laws. The laws are yours, made by you, and you have committed so many stupidities in them that we are perfectly capable of fighting with you.
After all the time that Rajneeshees have invested in setting up this incredible social experiment, it must be disappointing to you to have met with the level of rejection and persecution.
No, in fact, it was perfectly expected. Any new idea has to be ready to accept the challenge of hostility, rejection, persecution. I would have been disappointed if they had ignored me. They could not ignore me. And it is strange: it is a small commune, living in a desert, trying to make the desert green, an oasis – and they are terrified. These people who are living, loving, dancing, singing – what harm are these people going to do to them?
In four years we have not committed a single crime. Not a single rape has happened in the commune. There is no prostitute in the commune, there is no murderer in the commune, there is no thief in the commune. The police in the commune are just sitting doing nothing, because there is nothing…
We have a city magistrate, but in four years, nobody has been brought in the court as a criminal. Against such peaceful, loving people, the whole of Oregon is afraid. They must be just retarded people.
It also sounds, though, like you're enjoying some of the commotion you're causing around the state.
Mm…? I want it! Because that gives us strength; every challenge brings us strength. And we will go on creating more and more challenges. We will not let them sleep peacefully. We sleep peacefully, we have no trouble!
I don't suppose there is something specific on the agenda that you'd like to discuss?
No, nothing on an agenda.
Has the furor throughout Oregon and the U.S. contributed at all to cynicism? You seem to have some very sharp-edged humor and I'm wondering if that helped develop some of that.
The U.S. has nothing to give to me. In fact, in that way I am disappointed. I was thinking that America must be more intelligent than any other country, less prejudiced than any other country, really democratic – but being here for four years, what I have found is that democracy is just in the name. Behind the democracy, everything un-democratic is going on. Our own experience is a proof of it. I have not found that America is really a country where individuals are respected, freedom of speech is respected. It is only talked about.
And I don’t see any sense of humor – not at all. They have been taking us so seriously, and we are taking them so nonseriously. But they cannot understand. We are joking all the time, but they cannot understand simple jokes. They have secret meetings, the governor, the attorney general, and they did not allow… They were discussing us and they did not allow a single one of our representatives to be there. If you are discussing us, it is simple courtesy that at least one person from our side should be there, and you should listen to what we have to say. They did not allow it. They did not allow any journalist either.
The governor said, “After our secret meeting I will talk to you and inform you.” And whatever he informed us was simply lies and nothing else. We have found the confidential file which says just the opposite of what he had said to the people, to the journalists, to the media. He was saying, “Everything is under control and we are pacifying people. There is no problem to be worried about; the heat is cooling down.” And in the secret report that they prepared in the meeting, they are alerting the army to stay ready! Any moment, if they are ordered, they have to be able to reach Rajneeshpuram in three hours.
Now, what kind of people are these? And what is the need to bring the army here? We are not a nation, that you have to attack us. And they are lying to the media, that things are getting settled and there is no problem. If there is no problem, then why is the army given the alert? And why have you given them a time, that within three hours you have to be able to reach Rajneeshpuram?
So I don’t think these people have any sense of humor. They are just dodos.
Who do you feel has treated you fairly since you've come to this country?
I mean, I can't believe that everyone here has been against you.
No, not everyone. Most of the journalists have been very fair, very loving, and those are the only people I have come in contact with from the outside world. They have been intelligent, and they could understand what I am saying and they could understand the sense of humor.
All the journalists who have come here, except one or two, have enjoyed the place, loved the place, wanted to come again and again.
I guess that's one reason I started to ask if you plan to maybe go out and speak to people?
So many Rajneeshees here have said, “Oh, if only you could meet Osho, you'd find out what a wonderful man he is!” – which to me would logically indicate that if you went out and met Oregon and talked to the people, and they found out you weren't this horrible monster in the middle of a bunch of red-robed followers, it would be easier that way?
No, it would not be, because I have been moving around the country for thirty years in India. No, it is not so. Shoes have been thrown at me, stones have been thrown at me. I am speaking, and in the crowd a band is playing so nobody can hear what I am saying. Poison has been given to me twice, to kill me.
The last thing before I left was an attempt on my life, before ten thousand sannyasins. And, because the police got information beforehand that someone is going to attack me, twenty police officers were present, and a man threw a knife at me. Ten thousand eye witnesses, twenty government officers as eye witnesses – and still the man is freed by the court because the political pressure, the religious pressure, is too much. And the magistrate accepted it, in privacy, that nothing can be done about it. The man was freed.
So I know – and I have had enough of it. So I want to be here. If anybody is thirsty, he can come. If he wants to think me a monster, so far so good. That will give him good nightmares!
Well, let's say I'm the average person in Eugene or Portland, I haven't seen anything except what's on the news or in the paper – does that mean that I have to drive to Rajneeshpuram to find out, or how would I get information?
That’s the only way. You have to come. And it is such an experiment that there is no other way: you have to come here and be here and meet people and see with your own eyes what is happening.
And it is open. It is not like Soviet Russia, that you cannot enter here, that you cannot meet people, that you cannot remain for a few days as our guest. You can move freely, nobody is preventing you. That’s the only way.
And we have our communes all over the world. So if Germans want to know about us, in Germany we have twelve communes; if Holland wants to know about us, we have our communes there, on the same pattern, with the same way of life, the same approach toward life. We have places in Australia, in India, we are opening one in Japan, and soon we’ll be all over the world. Small oases, so whoever wants to know about us has to travel.
The past few months, there has been talk of the effort going on in Australia, rumors that perhaps you might be moving to Australia. And yet I see Rajneeshees bidding on heavy equipment at auctions in Eugene, I see a lot of expansion going on here. What is the real story?
I was just joking – because Australia seems to be so much afraid of me! Only Sheela has been there – my secretary – and she has created so much turmoil there that they are getting very afraid that I may be coming. So I told the journalist, “Yes, I am coming. Tell them to get ready.”
But I am not going anywhere. I am going to be here and fight the American idiots who are destroying democracy and all the human values for which America stands. It is a very strange situation. I am fighting for the American constitution, American values, against the Americans! But this will expose America to the whole world – that is their fear. And I’m not going anywhere.
I'm sure Oregonians will be delighted to hear that!
A question on the joking: you've rattled so many people's cages by saying, “Oh, well, maybe I'll go to Australia,” or, “Oh, yes, I want to take over the world.”
Do you and Sheela sit down and say, “OK, let's frighten Australia this week,” or is it…?
No, it is spontaneous. There is no need, because we are absolutely nonserious about it. In joking, everything is allowed. There is no problem.
The Constitution offers freedom of religion. It seems that what you are offering is freedom from religion.
So how do you counsel people to pursue that? Is freedom from religion possible?
It is possible, and should be made possible, because religion has dominated people, exploited people, kept poverty in the world. Religion has committed so many crimes that it is time we should be finished with it.
Jesus says, “Blessed are the poor.” The same is the tone of Buddha, the same is the preaching of Mahavira. They are all consoling the poor people, that, “You will inherit the kingdom of God.” Marx was right on only one point in all his writings, that religion has been the opium of the people. And I agree with him only on that point. It has been the opium; they have drugged people to remain poor.
Even in a country like America, which has all the riches, is the richest country, there are thirty million people suffering from poverty. Thirty million people are suffering from poverty, and Ronald Reagan goes on piling up nuclear weapons. And there is no point in having more nuclear weapons, because Russia and America combined have enough nuclear weapons to destroy humanity seven hundred times. So what is the point now? Nuclear weapons have made war absolutely obsolete. It is meaningless. The whole meaning of war is to win. Now there will be no winner, and nobody defeated: the whole of life will be finished. So now war is against life and in favor of death. It is not a question of American democracy or Russian communism; it is a question of whether life is to exist on the earth or not.
Thirty million people in your own country are starving on the streets, and you are preparing for war. And you are already too well equipped. But the politicians are not interested; in fact they want poor people. Every politician wants poor people because they can always be purchased. The religious people want poor people because they can be easily converted. That is what Christianity is doing all over the world. Islam used to do it – in one hand the sword, in the other hand the Koran. You can choose: either the Koran, or the sword will behead you. Christianity has changed the technique. In one hand the Bible, in the other hand bread and butter. A little bit nicer, but the inner game is the same.
In India, I tried to find out whether any rich person has ever been converted to Christianity. I could not find a single case. Those who are converted to Christianity are orphans, beggars, poor people, starving people. Now, naturally the Catholic pope and his bishops and the whole army of their priests would like that abortion should not be legal – because if it becomes legal, Catholics will be less in number. Where are they going to find orphans? Birth control should not be allowed, it is against God; the population should be allowed to grow, so people are more and more poor – and that is more customers for the Christians.
I agree with some of your analyses of the major religions of the world; but it seems that one reason so many people become religious is that they need a church to make decisions for them. And if people rely on churches, how could these religions ever be abolished, when it is those people who are supporting them?
In fact, this is a very vicious circle. Religions teach every child: as the child is born, immediately religions catch hold if him – either Hindu or Mohammedan or Christian – and they start making him feel that he is not capable of deciding for himself, that he has to depend on those who know, that he has to listen to the parents, that he has to listen to teachers, that he has to listen to the priests. They make children slowly dependent. And those children lose their sense of strength, their being, and then naturally they want to be advised and commanded, to be ordered on everything. They can function only if they are ordered. If they are not ordered, they are in confusion; they are always in search of a father figure.
It is not strange that they call the Christian priest “father.” It is not strange that God is called “the father.” There is a simple psychology behind it: they need a father figure. But I am saying it is a vicious circle. Religions create it, and then they say people need guidance. Nobody needs guidance.
I have people here – there are five thousand people here, there are one million sannyasins around the earth – and none of them needs any guidance. None of them is dependent on anybody else. If one million people can depend on themselves and take the sole responsibility for themselves – because I am not their father, I am not even their uncle! And I am not their leader, because I cannot humiliate a person by forcing him to follow me. I am just a friend, not more than that. I can talk to these people; it is up to them to decide for or against. I am not asking them to believe in me.
And all the religions have done that, that’s why they are called faiths. I am against faith. My whole approach is, unless you know it, never believe anything. And the beauty is that when you know, there is no need to believe – you know it.
Belief is always for the ignorant. Faith is always for those who are not courageous enough to inquire. I teach doubt, I teach skepticism, I teach inquiry. And a person has to remain in the state of not-knowing until he comes to know. Belief covers his ignorance. You do not know about God, you do not know about what happens after death: naturally you start believing in somebody who pretends to know.
Neither your popes know about it, nor did Jesus Christ know about it. Even on the cross, he shouted toward the sky, “God, have you forsaken me?” He was a believer – just illiterate, uneducated. And the people who were following him were also of the same grade, third rate. Those third-rate people became apostles of Christianity – carpenters, woodcutters, fishermen. The whole of Judea was full of learned rabbis, and not a single rabbi was a follower of Jesus Christ!
What does it show? It simply shows that Jesus’ appeal is only for the very ignorant. And those ignorant people want to cover their ignorance – they are ready to believe. You will find a totally different kind of people around me. You will not find ignorant people, you will not find illiterate people; you will find people who are almost all graduates from universities, have Master’s degrees, have Ph.D.s, D.Litts. Most of them are highly qualified professionals: psychologists, professors, doctors. You cannot force these people to believe.
They have come to me because everywhere they were being indoctrinated, and their intelligence was in rebellion. Here, they have found a place where no indoctrination is happening. I don’t have any doctrine to teach. I don’t have any program to give. I only deprogram people and leave them to themselves. Now find your way, be courageous and go into the unknown.
Here in Rajneeshpuram, so many of these people who have come to be near you have worked – “worshipped,” I believe is what they call it – and they've made the desert flower. It is impressive how this place looks. A lot of people have drawn some parallels between that and the Mormons settling in Utah, the Jews when they first went to Israel; and there is the theory that the only thing that really separates organized religions from cults, or what you choose to call them, is just time and money and effort. Do you see similarities between the Rajneeshees and…?
None: how many Rolls Royces do the Mormons have? In a five-thousand-member community, we have ninety Rolls Royces, hundreds of other cars, one hundred buses, five planes, the city centrally air-conditioned. What those people can…?
Well, you have Rolls Royces, they had wives!
They cannot have more wives than we can have!
Not now, that's true!
We can defeat anybody. And just look at my commune women: you will not find more juicy women anywhere. They are just gorgeous!
Which brings us back to sex. I wanted to deal a little bit with the precautions the commune has taken against AIDS, because it is probably one of the foremost efforts worldwide to fight the disease. How did you first become aware of it and recognize the serious nature of that illness?
I have a medical center here: we have the best doctors possible from all over the world, not only from Oregon – we have an FRCS from England – and they are continuously watching everything, so that our commune can be protected from any kind of attack. And AIDS is going to be the most tremendous disease that man has ever seen.
It is their research on it. And if they feel there is something that I should be informed about, they inform me; Sheila brings the information. And soon we are going to do something about it. We will be the first in the whole world to do something.
Right now what is being done about it is that every government is trying to suppress the information about it, because no government wants the world to know how many AIDS patients they have. The Oregon government has made such a test, that ninety percent of AIDS patients will pass it. This is simply criminal, because those ninety percent that you have passed and cleared will be spreading the disease. And the disease is such that even by kissing you can give it to another person. It is not necessary that you should make some sexual contact – just by kissing. Saliva is the carrier.
I have told my people to stop kissing. Instead of it, rub noses with each other – and enjoy it! And in fact, there are people, Eskimos, who do it already. They are five thousand years behind, but as far as AIDS is concerned they are far superior to us. It is not that they don’t know about kissing – they have seen missionaries kissing, and they laugh at it: “What kind of dirty people are these?” Because kissing means transferring all kinds of diseases to each other, it is absolutely unhygienic. In India we have many aboriginal tribes where kissing is simply laughed at. They have their ways – and man is so inventive: they rub noses, they rub each others’ ear lobes; these are all erotic points. And woman is so erotic, her whole body is erotic; there is no need to put her in danger.
In India, you will be surprised to know that the ordinary position of making love – man on top of woman – is known as the missionary posture, because it was the Christian missionaries who were first seen in that posture. Otherwise, in India, it was insulting. A woman, who is softer, more fragile – and a huge animal is doing push ups on the poor woman! In India it was always otherwise, man underneath and woman on top of him. And in fact it is psychologically also very significant, because if the woman is active on top, then there is a possibility of her having orgasm with the man. But in the West, the stupidity has been that the woman should lie down, almost like a corpse. If she is active, that means she is not a lady.
Somehow we keep returning to this topic!
It is you!
That's what all the guys say!
I peered through the window and watched as your car arrived, and you danced with your sannyasins. When you look into their eyes, what do you see on their faces?
Just love, and nothing else. Great love and great gratitude. I don’t think anybody has been loved so much as I have been loved. Jesus had only twelve disciples. I have one million – and out of one million, ninety percent are women. So it is really groovy!
Are you afraid of death?
No. Death is not the end of life, it is the culmination of life. It is one of the most beautiful experiences. If you have really lived, then only will you experience the beauty of death. If you missed life itself – in listening to the sermons in the churches, in reading the Bible, and all kinds of nonsense – if you have missed life itself, you will die in a coma. Before death comes, you will become unconscious, so you will miss the experience of death.
The people who are living consciously – and that is my basic teaching – live consciously every moment. Even while making love, remain conscious and a witness. It is a life-long growth of becoming alert. Then you can die consciously, and you can experience death as the ultimate orgasm. It is far bigger than any sexual orgasm. In fact, the difference is not only of quantity, the difference is of quality. It is immeasurable.
Living moment to moment, one learns how to die beautifully, silently, joyously. One is going on another adventure – unknown. I don’t give them any ideas what is going to happen after death, because that is absolutely wrong, destructive. It is as if I loved a movie and I tell you the whole story of the movie, and then tell you, “I have brought a ticket for you, go and see it!” I have destroyed it already, what is the point of seeing it? I give them the ticket, but I don’t tell them what is going to happen. That, they have to discover on their own.
It is tremendously beautiful. I have lived before and I have died before. And I have died consciously, so I know what a beauty it is. It is not the end; it is always a new beginning.
In existence nothing dies – cannot. You cannot destroy even a small pebble. You can grind it, but it will be there, now in powder form. You can throw the powder into the ocean; it will be there, resting somewhere in the bottom of the ocean. But now it is an accepted scientific truth that nothing can be destroyed, you can only change its form.
And if this is so about matter, what to say about consciousness, which is the highest evolution on the earth? Existence cannot be so stupid, so unintelligent, as to destroy consciousness. It does not even destroy stones – how can it destroy your soul?
But I don’t say to anybody to believe in me. I say, experiment. And right now you are alive, so don’t bother about death. When it comes, it comes. Right now, experiment with life, and be ready. Death can come any moment, and particularly in these days when politicians are preparing to destroy the whole of humanity, and religions have made their contribution through AIDS. That will destroy – if politicians cannot, then AIDS will destroy humanity.
So we are really living without any tomorrow. Man has always lived without tomorrow, but never with such a crisis. And I say that AIDS is a religious disease, because its beginning is in homosexuality and homosexuality was born in the monasteries of the religions. There, they segregated men and women, they did not allow men and women to meet. No woman can enter in a monastery where only men live, neither can men go into a nunnery: you are creating the situation for homosexuality.
Religions have been teaching celibacy, which creates perversions because it is unnatural. It is just as if somebody says to you that unless you stop urinating you will not enter into the kingdom of God. That is just nonsense! But you can find a few idiots who will start making an effort, because if this is the price they are ready to do it. But what they will do is they will pretend, they will be hypocrites, and they will find perverted ways, from the back door.
You cannot go against nature. Celibacy is against nature, and all the religions have been preaching celibacy: they are responsible for AIDS. So today the situation is really more dangerous than it has ever been. Tomorrow is more uncertain than it has ever been.
So live today – with intensity, with totality, with as much consciousness as possible. And I have here 112 methods for how to increase your consciousness. So if death comes tomorrow, there is no problem. Only my people will be dying joyously, with smiles on their faces.
At your news conference a couple weeks ago, you made the comment… I think you invited someone to assassinate you. I couldn't tell if it was a joke or not. You made the comment that Jesus didn't have the media, you have the media.
Yes, I have.
Is it a joke? Is it fear of death by natural causes, or is it just because that would be the logical way you could see the end of your life?
Most probably that will be the logical end of my life. It is a serious joke! And I would prefer that way, rather than dying on the bed. Ninety-nine percent of people do that; I don’t want to belong to that crowd! I would rather be assassinated than die on my bed.
And to me, there is no problem. I have experienced life. I have tasted all its joys. There is nothing that I have missed. If death comes this moment, I will not ask for even one more moment to complete my sentence. It is perfectly okay. In existence, nothing is ever completed. Only in novels stories begin and end. In life, there is no beginning and there is no end. Abruptly things start, and abruptly things finish. There is no preface, there is no appendix, there are no footnotes, nothing. It is always in the middle that the story begins.
When I used to read – for five years I have not been reading anything – but I loved reading so much that I had to find ways to make the book more interesting. I would begin in the middle, then go to the end, then come to the beginning. And that was more hilarious, gave more suspense.
Life is really hilarious. You just have to know how to love it. We don’t have any God, we don’t have any heaven and hell. We have only this moment, so we can pour all our energies into it. And we are doing that. We are celebrating and enjoying and loving and laughing and dancing. In fact, that is what creates hostility toward me.
The poor are hostile toward the rich; the sad people are hostile toward those who can laugh and love and dance. The whole world lives in such misery and suffering that they cannot tolerate me. My existence and my people’s existence proves them wrong. I am not a person just to argue: I give existential argument. My commune is an existential argument to the whole world, that you also could have loved and danced and sung and enjoyed, but you have chosen wrong paths, so you go to church, you go to the synagogue.
My people don’t go there. There is no need for them to go anywhere. They don’t pray – they are not beggars. And to whom to pray? There is nobody in the sky to pray to. My people meditate. They sit silently doing nothing; they enter into their own silence, enjoy it. The more you enjoy it, the deeper and deeper you enter into it. There comes a point where you are exactly at your center of being.
And that’s what I call enlightenment: a great explosion of luminosity, clarity. All questions disappearing, all doubts dissolved, you have found the answer. The answer is within you – nobody can supply it. And all these prophets and messiahs have been doing just that: they are supplying you with the answer. And a borrowed answer is not going to help. Those borrowed answers have made the whole of humanity miserable. They have taken their individuality, they have taken their intelligence, they have taken their inquiry, they have taken everything away from the people and left them utterly poor.
My people are multidimensionally rich.
Years from now, when you die, what happens to the Rajneeshees?
They will celebrate my death.
And then go to the four winds – or stay together?
It is for them to decide what to do. I am not going to decide. Remember, that is the strategy of a politician: he wants to control people even after his death. The religious leaders declare their successors – but what is the point of it? The point is, the dead ruling over the living.
When I am gone, I am gone. And it is a double thing to be understood: when I am gone, I am gone to you, you are gone to me. I will be doing whatsoever I want to do, you should do whatsoever you want to do. Nobody has to control. You cannot control me when I am dead, you cannot tell me what I should do after death. Neither will I tell anybody.
I have made you love life, relish every moment. You know the secret. You will not miss me; you don’t need any successor. You are my successor – everyone, individually. If you still decide to remain together, good; if you want to go separately on your own ways, that is even better. But I am not going to dominate you, either alive or dead. To dominate anybody in any way is criminal.

Sheela: We need to change the tape.

You can take a few grapes.
I think after the interview.
After the interview? Okay.
What will Rajneeshpuram look like in ten years? Or what do you want it to look like in ten years?
Nothing – I never think about the future. The future is not my concern at all. To me, now is the only time and here is the only space. Beyond that, I have no concern.
While I am here, I love my people making a desert into an oasis. When I am gone, these people will be here. These are intelligent people, they don’t need any instructions. Even now, I am not giving them any instructions. They can understand: they know that I love greenery, so they started planting as many trees as possible; they know I love water, so they have made dams, lakes. They love me. From my shoes up to my hat, they make everything for me. Even my watch is made by my sannyasins. That’s why it is invaluable. I cannot sell it for one million dollars or one billion dollars: no price can purchase this watch, because it has been made with such love. And these are not diamonds, just real stones. Not phony diamonds – authentic stones. But love cannot be sold or purchased.
I never think about the future. That’s why my life is without any tensions; I never think about the past, so I am not burdened with the past. I never imagine about the future, so I’m not worried about the future. And today is enough unto itself. I enjoy it. When I go to bed, I thank the whole of existence that it has been beautiful today. And if by chance I wake up again, we will see.
You made the comment that you think there can never be peace between Oregonians and Rajneeshees. Why is that? Do you not want peace?
I always love peace, but what I had said actually has been misunderstood – and it was bound to be, because the question that was asked was not about peace, it was about coexistence. And I said, “Never,” because coexistence is an ugly word, political. It means you are an enemy: “I am hostile, I am an enemy, but what to do – we have to live. I am here, you are here, and we have to live somehow, so some compromise is needed.” That is coexistence.
I don’t believe in coexistence. Either I will turn Oregon red, or they are free to turn us into Oregonians. That is peace, not coexistence: one existence. Till that happens, the fight will continue.
What if Oregonians decided just to leave Rajneeshees alone?
I don’t think anybody can leave Rajneeshees to live alone. We won’t allow that!
I didn't think so.
I wasn't there to hear the comment, but it was said that before you take final sannyas you may tell your followers to wear rainbow colors.
Just a joke, because I don’t want my sannyasins to look like buffoons.
One more thing on the Oregon issue: the thing that seems to be the most open wound in the state was when the Rajneeshees won the election in what was then Antelope. It was a legal election, it was by the democratic process, but still there was the feeling in Oregon that this was a take-over. Is there any way to ever bridge the gap that was caused by that? Is there any chance the Rajneeshees would ever pull out of the City of Rajneesh, or is that now always going to be the twin city?
No, there is no way, because they are absolutely wrong and we cannot compromise with anything wrong. It is a simple democratic process: the sannyasins are the majority, and whoever is the majority will rule. If they want to rule, they should create a majority and they can have the rule. There is no problem in it. And one should not be so ugly in behavior, that you don’t want to be ruled by the majority, and the minority wants to rule the majority!
It is not a take-over. Otherwise, Ronald Reagan has taken over America – kill that man! If the majority supports it, then that’s a democratic process. And in the dead city of Antelope it is not a small majority. There are not more than one dozen people, and there are hundreds of sannyasins there. They can bring more people if they want, otherwise we are going to bring more people.
So what's next, then? Will you and Rajneeshees get involved in the Oregon political system you so despise, run for office?
No, there is no political problem for us. And we are not involved in any way with politics. The sannyasins who are living in Antelope were being tortured by the minority; they were not being allowed small, legal things that they wanted. The minority should have thought about it – it was such a simple thing. They were denying the majority things which they asked for legally. They were not asking for anything illegal. If they wanted to make a house, the permit would not be given; if they wanted to purchase land, the permit would not be given – on what grounds? Their children would not be admitted in the school – on what grounds? A minority torturing a majority: that is democracy?
And since we have come there, nobody can complain that we have harassed any Oregonian. We invited them: they have taken their children out of school, and still you think that there should be some peace! Many of them have already left, and the others who are still hanging around are hanging around because there is nobody else except us to purchase their properties. We will purchase their properties, so they can leave. If they cannot be with us, there is no reason for them to be there – but we are going to be there.
Can we expect people in Rajneeshpuram to be running for the State house or the State senate in the next few years?
No, we are not interested in politics. Our interests are our own comforts – our houses, our lands; we wanted more land, we wanted more houses. Our interest is not politics at all. We are not politicians; nobody is running for the assembly. You have many idiots in the state to do that, you need not…
I guess I asked because you've received so much opposition from the political arena that you've mentioned, that you've beaten them at their own game before.
No, but if sometimes the need arises, we will do everything to beat them on their own grounds. But we are a small minority, and the majority of millions of people in Oregon is threatened by us. This is something ridiculous. We should be threatened by them, we are not; they are threatened by us, which is simply absurd.
That’s why I say I have known people from all the countries of the world, but Oregon seems to be special. It seems all the idiots of the world go on being born in Oregon. Strange!
For example, they are unnecessarily harassing us. That’s what they did in Antelope. We were not interested in making a mayor or a council if they had not harassed our people. Why should we bother about all that? We are not interested in power or prestige. In fact, it was so difficult for our people to persuade somebody to be mayor, to persuade somebody to be the councilor – nobody wants it. Who wants to get that sort of job? There are so many groovy things going on around, and the poor mayor is sitting in the town hall having a meeting about unnecessary things. We are not interested – but if they harass us too much, we can do anything.

Sheela: We need to change…

You can change, but I will not change!
I was saying, we will fight in every possible way. We do not want to harass anybody, and we do not want to be harassed by anybody. We are harmless people, we will not do any harm to anybody. But if somebody does harm to us, then we are not Christians – we are not going to follow Jesus Christ, that when somebody hits you on one cheek, give him the other cheek. To me, that is insulting the person who has hit you. It is making him subhuman; you are becoming holier than thou. No – we are just human beings and we respect you. If you hit me on one cheek, I will hit you on both your cheeks immediately. Just, I respect you as a human being; you needed it, you deserved it, you earned it.

There is a story in Buddha’s life. He said in one sermon that you should forgive a person seven times. One of his disciples stood up and asked, “What about the eighth time?”
A reasonable question. Buddha was at a loss for a moment. He had never expected that somebody would ask about the eighth time. So he said, “Okay, make it seventy-seven.”
But the man stood up again and he said, “It makes no difference. What about the seventy-eighth time?”

I have heard one story of a Christian saint who was hit on one of his cheeks. Obviously, being a follower of Jesus, he gave his other cheek. But the other man was also a man of some guts: he hit the saint on the other cheek even more forcibly.
At that moment the saint jumped on the man, clutched his neck and told him, “Now I am going to kill you!”
But the man said, “Wait! You are a saint and your master has said that you should give the other cheek.”
He said, “Okay, I followed the master, I gave you the other cheek – but now I have no other cheek. Now I am free, and I will teach you a lesson!”

If they go on harassing us, we enjoy it – so there is nothing serious in it. But we will harass them in our own way.
But you're not planning to run for governor?
No, we don’t need, we don’t need. It is far better to harass the governor than to put our governor, and then that governor will be harassed by the Oregonians. No, we will do it this way: let the governor be theirs – we will harass him!
And we are enjoying the whole game. If they can understand a little sense of humor, all the clouds can disappear within a second. From our side, there is no problem at all.
They are talking about land-use laws, and none of them has come here to see what we have done to their land. They may be knowing land-use laws, but they don’t know what has happened to the land. For fifty years the land was lying dead – it was under land-use law! They were perfectly happy; no-one was bothered with it. It was for sale for fifty years. Nobody purchased it, because it was only a desert – what are you going to do with it?
We purchased a desert, we changed the desert to bloom: now we are creating sufficient crops for the commune, we are creating enough vegetables for the commune – and they are talking about land-use laws! They should learn here how land has to be used. We can teach their farmers who have similar kinds of deserts. They should send their farmers to our place to learn. But those people are strange – they never come themselves, they never want to see, they are so afraid.
Even your governor is so afraid. We have invited him many times: “At least come once, before you decide against or for, but at least come once, and see what harm we have done to your land.” But I have never seen such cowards. It is so simple to come here and see we have done no harm; we have for the first time made the land here happy.
When I had come here, there was only one home. Now we have homes for five thousand sannyasins, centrally air-conditioned; we have created all the roads; we have created the lakes, sufficient for our people in any time of crisis. We are doing everything to make all the hills green. But they won’t allow it, because we are against land-use laws. They should burn their land-use laws, and learn how land has to be used! And we are going to force them. We are going to fight on every issue, up to the Supreme Court. And we are not going to accept any stupid laws; if those laws don’t fit with us, then change them. Man is not for laws, laws are for man.

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