The Last Testament Vol 2 04

Fourth Discourse from the series of 30 discourses - The Last Testament Vol 2 by Osho.
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Yoga Pratima,
Rajneeshpuram, Oregon, United States
How are you helping to change the world?
The world does not exist; it is only a word. What exists is the individual. By changing the individual, the world is changed. What has been done in the past with humanity is that people have been deprived of their individuality. That’s how there are crowds, but no individuals; Mohammedans, Christians, Hindus, but no individuals.
It is the same process which has been applied down the ages in the armies. The whole training of an army is a basic effort to destroy the individual completely, and to make him just a number.
If a man dies in the fight, in war, his name does not appear on the notice board. What appears is that “number sixteen” died. Now, number sixteen has no wife, no children, no friends, no old father and mother. Number sixteen is simply a number, and number sixteen is replaceable. Some other person will soon fill the gap and will become number sixteen. And the man who was behind the number sixteen is reduced, by and by, with subtle processes.
The whole training of the army is that the person is made to do things which are irrational. In the beginning, his reason tries to assert. But his reason is punished, his disobedience is punished, his argumentativeness is punished. His obedience is rewarded. Soon, the person can see that he can only allow his reason to function, if he is to remain in continuous misery and punishment. Otherwise, he has just to follow whatever the order is. Even if the order is to drop the atom bomb on Hiroshima, the person does it just like a robot, without considering that he is destroying 160,000 people within seconds.
But he is not an individual, he no longer thinks. His thinking has been very scientifically destroyed. For hours in the morning, in the evening, for years he’s been parading: turn right, turn left. He cannot even ask, “What is the point?”

It happened in the Second World War – because soldiers were needed, everybody from every profession was asked to sacrifice himself for the country. A professor in Germany was asked to join the army. He had no more students anyway; for three years nobody had entered into his post-graduate research work. He was sitting unnecessarily; he should go into the army. He said, “There is no problem for me. I can go anywhere, but the army will find difficulties with me.”
But he was not listened to. And when he was standing in line the first day and they said, “Left turn,” everybody turned, except him. The commander asked him, “Have you heard me or not?”
He said, “I have heard, but I don’t see any reason why I should turn left. And these people will be ordered again and again, and they will finally come to the same position in which I am already standing.”
“March forward!” And he would not. He wanted some reason for every single act. Why should he march forward, why not backward? The commander got fed up. Such a person cannot be made into a soldier. He asked his chief what to do with this man: “He asks about everything. I don’t know myself, I had never asked myself. This is a simple training of learning obedience, but this man is impossible. Everything is confronted with ‘Why?’”
The commander-in-chief said, “You don’t know him, he is a very famous professor of philosophy. His whole life he has been arguing, doubting, and it is certainly difficult for the poor old man to drop all those habits. Give him some work which he can do, something very simple.”
So he was sent to the kitchen. And he was given a pile of peas, and told that he had to sort them, the smaller ones on one side, the bigger ones on the other side. After an hour, the chief commanding officer came in and the professor was sitting there with closed eyes – and the pile was exactly the same as when he had left, one hour before. Nothing had been done, not a single pea had been moved.
He asked the man, “What are you doing? You have not done anything!”
He said, “So many problems have to be solved before I start. You said to me, ‘The smaller ones on one side, the bigger ones on the other side.’ What about those that are in the middle? Where do they go? And it is not only a question of just three grades. In fact, there are many grades. Between the bigger and the medium, there is again the middle; between the medium and the small, there is again the middle.”
He said, “It is such a complicated mathematical thing, and I am absolutely ignorant about mathematics.”
Finally he had to be discharged because he was good for nothing.

What was the problem? The problem was they were trying to take away his individuality. They were trying to make him a robot: “Just follow, there is no question of ‘Why?’”
Years of turning left and right, and marching forward and backward. One slowly stops asking, “Why?” What is the point? One simply starts doing things mechanically. Only then can you make a human being drop the atom bomb on Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and he does not ask “Why?” Those people of Hiroshima had done nothing wrong, they had not harmed anybody. They were civilians, small children, women, pregnant women, old people – they had nothing to do with the war as such. Why destroy them?
No, such a question does not arise anymore. An order is an order, and to follow it is his duty. He dropped the bomb on both the cities, went back to his camp, had a good dinner, drank with his friends, laughed, joked – and Hiroshima and Nagasaki were burning. Never before in history had such destruction been seen. But this man seemed to be absolutely unaffected. In fact he seemed to be enjoying, celebrating, because he had done a great job. As the first man to drop the atom bomb, he had become a historical figure.
In the morning, he was asked by the journalists, “We certainly believe you could not have slept in the night. After killing 160,000 people, how could you sleep?”
He said, “You don’t understand the psychology of the soldier. I have done my duty, and I have done it perfectly. And I had a very good sleep. I had not had that good a sleep for months because this project was there, and I was so excited by the project of dropping the atom bomb.”
He was being prepared for it. And, naturally, when the work is finished – and finished with perfection – one has the right to relax and go to sleep. So he said, “I ate well, drank, danced with my friends and went to sleep.”
Now, something is missing in this man. His heart is no longer functioning. His reason is dead. He looks like a man, but he has become a robot.
What has happened in all the armies has happened on a subtler level in all the societies. The basic method is the same. Every child is brought up to follow, to be obedient, to respect the elders. Every child is conditioned that on his own he is always going to be wrong, that he is a worthless person. One is not born worthy; worth has to be deserved, it has to be earned, it is a goal. Very few people achieve it. As a human being, he is condemned. As he is, he is condemned. He is given all kinds of shoulds and should nots. The child is so helpless that sooner or later he is caught in the net.

It was a continuous problem for me, and for my family. In India it is an accepted fact that if any elderly person comes into a house, you have to touch his feet. Now, I was not willing to do that. The first time it happened a neighbor came in – he was the age of my father, or perhaps older than my father – and my father touched his feet, asked him to sit comfortably. And then my father told me, because I was still there, “Touch his feet. He is older than you, he is older than me.”
I said, “He may be older, that does not mean that I have to touch his feet. In fact, I know this man: he is a drunkard, he goes to the prostitutes, he has been imprisoned twice for stealing. Now the police are suspecting him of a murder, which has happened just two days ago in front of the house.”
In fact, my whole family had to force me not to say anything about it, because I had seen it happen. And I told my father, “I suspect this was the man, although he had a black cover over his face. But I know his feet, I know his hands, I know the way he walks – and you want me to touch his feet? I cannot do it.”
My father said to me, “Then it is better that whenever anybody comes into the house, you simply move from this place. Don’t remain there to confront the man, to confront us and to create an embarrassing situation. Now what will that man think?”
I had said everything in front of him. He became really nervous when I said, “I can recognize this man’s walk and how he killed the man. Just because you are insisting, I am not going to the police station. Otherwise, this man is a murderer.”
Hearing this he almost started trembling and perspiring. I said, “Look at him. He should touch my feet, otherwise I am going to the police.” And the man touched my feet because he knew that I had seen him. He had seen me seeing him – I was the only eyewitness.
It was not late, just nine o’clock in the evening, and in front of my house there was a small, dark street. He was hiding in that street as the man passed on the road; the man’s shop was nearby, and the time in India to close a shop is nine o’clock.
So everything was settled: nine o’clock he would close his shop, and he would walk in front of my house – because his house was there, four houses away, and that was the best place, because the murderer could hide in the darkness. There was not even a lamp post. Electricity had not come yet to that place. I saw him come out of the street.
It was a hot summer night, and I have never felt at ease with heat. Cold I love, heat I simply hate. So, I was just sitting on my bed waiting for the air to cool down a little, and then I would go to sleep. At that very moment the case happened. The man was not aware that I was sitting on my bed on the terrace, because all the lights of the house were off and everybody had gone to sleep. I was in darkness, and as he came out of the street I immediately recognized the man, although he had a black cover over his face.
I told my father, “Now look. You touched a murderer’s feet, just because he is a little older than you. But there are men, donkeys, many bulls and many dogs older than you, older than me. If this is the rule – that I have to touch the feet of anybody who is older than me – then perhaps I should commit suicide, because I cannot continue from morning to night touching everybody’s feet. Do you think I don’t have any other work?”

These are subtle strategies to distract the child from his innocence. If he follows the convention, the tradition, he is rewarded. I was always punished, never rewarded, but I accepted each punishment with great dignity because each punishment made me a more solid individual. They were not aware that they were unknowingly helping me; their rewards would have been bribes, their punishment gave me mettle.
Every day I was punished, at home, in school. And they were wrong and I was right. But my crime was that I would follow only what I felt to be right. It has been a great adventure to be right and to be punished. That gave me tremendous integrity, and everybody – my father, my teachers – later on recognized it. Almost all of them recognized that they were wrong. But they treated me just like any other child. They never thought that I would be able to stand all the punishments, and still insist on doing the things I wanted to do.

For years, I had been standing outside the class. The teachers would find it easier to teach – otherwise I was constantly asking questions. And I knew, and they knew, that they didn’t know the answers. The moment I would ask anything they would say, “Simply go out of the class.”
I would say, “But that is not the answer to my question.”
For example, I asked the man who started teaching me arithmetic, why in every language there are ten basic digits, one to ten. He said, “My God, I have been teaching mathematics for almost twenty years.” – and he was a first class MSc in mathematics – “Nobody has ever asked me, nor have I ever thought myself why there are ten digits.”
I said, “I know the answer. But first I want to know whether a gold medalist in mathematics from the university knows a basic thing which is fundamental to mathematics.”
He was angry and embarrassed. I said, “It is very simple. I have seen the villagers counting on their fingers, and there are ten fingers. Man must have started thousands of years ago counting on fingers. And, because all over the world man has ten fingers, hence every language, every country has those ten basic digits. Otherwise there is no reason.” And there have been mathematicians who have used fewer digits; Godel used only three. He said, “That’s enough: one, two, three. After three, comes ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen. After thirteen comes twenty.” And he managed to solve all kinds of mathematical problems with only three digits.
I was interested in mathematics, that’s why I had joined the class. But before joining the class, I had looked in all kinds of mathematical books in the library, and found this Godel, who managed to work only with three digits. That gave me the idea, that the ten digits has nothing to do with mathematics, it has something to do with the hands of man.
I said, “Rather than answering me, you are telling me to go out of the class and stand there at the window. There is no problem for me, because I enjoy the air outside better than this dark hole which you call your classroom. And this dirty furniture, ugly, hard. And you force small children to sit on this furniture, six, seven hours a day; that is enough to destroy their soul. I am perfectly happy outside. There are trees and birds and fresh air. And particularly you are not there, so I need not bother about any questions.”
One day, the principal was on his round, and I was standing outside the mathematics class. She said, “This is strange. Whenever I come on the round, you are always standing at this window looking at the sky. Sometimes, out of curiosity, I simply look out of my office to see whether you are there or not. Without exception you are always there.”
I said, “You have to ask my mathematics teacher, because he tells me to stand here. And I enjoy. He is boring, and whatever he teaches can be learned very easily from any book. Standing here, in front of lush green trees, and so many birds and such fresh air, who bothers about arithmetic? And anyway, I am not going to count money in my life. So please don’t disturb me, things are going perfectly well. He thinks this is punishment, I think this is reward – reward for asking a reasonable question.”

And I learned with these small things, by and by, that this society rewards lies, punishes truth. It teaches truth, but never rewards the truth. This whole society is against the individual, it wants everybody retarded. The retarded people are good: they never give anybody any problem, they cannot raise questions, they are easily enslaved. The individual is essentially rebellious. He will say yes only when he feels it, otherwise he is going to say no.
You ask me how I am preparing to change the world. I am doing just the opposite of what society has done to individuals. I have to undo it; there is no need to do anything else. My sannyas is simply a process of undoing what the society has done to you. I am simply provoking your intelligence again. It is dormant – it is there, nobody can kill it, it can only be repressed. Finding a suitable, comfortable situation, it can again start growing.
I want every one of my sannyasins to be utterly unique. This is one of the reasons I am against communism, because communism is the ultimate result of destroying individuals. Other societies have done it partially, communism does it totally – hence in these seventy years in Soviet Russia, not a single rebel. Strange. A country which brags about revolution, but does not produce revolutionaries.
It is something worth noting that before the revolution Russia was a poor country, but it had many geniuses. Perhaps no country could have competed in the early years of this century, or the last part of the preceding century. If you wanted to choose the ten best novels of the whole world, from all languages, you will be surprised that at least five will be Russian. And they will be the topmost. And after the revolution, not a single novel. What happened to the genius of the country?
There was Fyodor Dostoyevsky, who has written as nobody else has written in the world. His insight is so penetrating that if the Bible is lost, nothing is lost; but if his books are lost, humanity will be always poor, because Fyodor Dostoyevsky cannot be replaced by anyone. And there were all these men: Leo Tolstoy – a giant, each thing that he has written should be written in gold – Chekhov, Gorky, Turgenev. These five people you would have to put first. Only then, five from the rest of the world.
A country that produced people like Turgenev has not produced any poet of the same caliber, any novelist of the same caliber since. What happened? What went wrong? The individuality has been completely destroyed: people are just robots. A slight disobedience and you are finished, nobody will ever hear of you.
Just a few years ago, Andrei Sakharov was given the Nobel Prize because he was – and he is – the greatest nuclear physicist in the whole world. Any country could be proud of the man. He has gone deeper than Albert Einstein, farther than anybody else in the whole history of man. But because he signed a few petitions – not much, he has not created any revolutionary party or killed somebody or bombed a train, he just signed a few petitions.
Before him, three other scientists had received the Nobel Prize, and all three were immediately thrown into imprisonment, because the Soviet government does not want any Soviet citizen to receive the Nobel Prize. In their eyes, the moment a man receives the Nobel Prize he becomes world famous and starts having influence around the world, which he can use against the Soviet government.
The Soviet government does not want the world to know who the people are who create the nuclear weapons. The Soviet Union does not want these people to go out of the country even for a single day. They don’t want these people to know that their country is poor and starving, and that all this nonsense about communism is baseless. Outside, the world has everything of which Russians cannot even dream. And intelligent people like Sakharov will immediately be able to see how far the world has progressed.
In Russia all publications are from the government – no private publications, no private newspaper, no private magazines. The Soviet people know only what the government wants them to know. It goes on hiding many truths, it goes on spreading many lies, but the Soviet people have no way to find out what is true and what is not. If a man accepts the Nobel Prize, then he will be invited to receive it. He will have to go outside of the country.
So, three scientists who were members of Sakharov’s academy – he was the director – had received the Nobel Prize. The government told them to refuse and they did not; that was a crime. They asked the government, “Why? If our efforts and our researches are being rewarded by the world, you should be proud of us. Three Soviet scientists getting the Nobel Prize – you should be immensely happy, because in the same year not a single American is getting the Nobel Prize. But on the contrary, you want us to refuse it.”
And what they did with these three people is absolutely inhuman. They kept them awake for fifteen days – they went on giving them anti-sleeping doses – fifteen days continuously, not a single wink. First, after three or four days, they started losing interest in their families. Their wives would come, but they would not look at them; the children would come but they would not respond.
After the first week they were like zombies, they could not recognize their friends. After the second week they had forgotten their own names, and they had forgotten all about the subject for which they had received the Nobel Prize. After three weeks they were finished, their whole psychology was messed up. And then they were produced in the court: these people were insane and the court had to decide what to do with them.
They had been made insane. Of course, the court asked what their names were, and the scientists were standing there, looking with empty eyes as if they had not heard. One was shaken, forced to say his name. As if he had lost his voice, he looked all around – what is happening? And finally he managed to stutter, “I don’t know. Perhaps somebody here may remember my name. I am trying hard, but no name is coming.”
The court decided they were insane. Just three weeks before, these people were declared Nobel Prize winners. Within three weeks, all three persons went mad. And there is no account of where they had been for these three weeks. And why were they not produced immediately after they got the Nobel Prize? If they had refused and disobeyed the government, then they should have been produced immediately. What had been done in those three weeks? Sakharov knew everything that had happened because he was the director. His conscience started hurting, because everything was happening before his eyes. He was not doing it, but it was happening in the academy itself, and certainly he felt he was responsible.
The man somehow had saved a little bit of individuality. He signed a petition that this was absolutely inhuman – because he knew what had been done to these people, what kind of medicines and injections had been given to them, and he knew what would be the result. They had destroyed three Nobel Prize winning geniuses, and now the court was sending them to a mental asylum.
Sakharov simply signed a petition appealing to the president of the country that justice should be done. Even if they didn’t want the scientists to receive the Nobel Prize, this was not the punishment for it. And because he signed the petition, the same happened to him. He was immediately arrested in the middle of the night. He was removed from the directorship of the academy. But because he had already become a world-renowned physicist, they could not give the same treatment as had been given to the three others. His name was known all around the world. So they sent him to Siberia.
Siberia is hell for Soviet Russians. Sakharov is still alive there; his wife has followed him voluntarily. Doing nothing, such a genius is rotting. They hardly get food enough for survival, and the whole day they have to work like slaves. Now, Sakharov has never worked in this way. He is a man of intelligence, not a manual worker.
I am against communism because it totally destroys the personality. But this is simply the logical conclusion of all the societies in the world. They differ in degrees; communism has stretched the logic to its very end. In Russia they say the society is not for the individual, the individual is for the society. I would like to say to my people that the society is for you, you are not for the society.
Society is simply a word: there is no society. Civilization, ideology, all is jargon; the reality is the individual. So if we can undo, deprogram enough young people around the world, we are sowing the seeds of changing the world without talking about any change. We are changing it.
There is no direct way to change the world, because there is no world which you can change. Wherever you go, you will find individuals. So the individual has to be changed. And that is simple, not difficult at all. If the society had been able to make you something which is absolutely not your potential, it had succeeded in doing the impossible. What I am doing is simply the natural course. If you have to take water upward, you will have to pump it, make arrangements for it. But if you have to take water downward, no arrangement is needed. The water will flow downward itself: it is its natural law.
The societies around the world, religions, civilizations, cultures, have created very subtle mechanisms to destroy the individual. All that we have to do is to free the individual from those subtle mechanisms. That’s why I am continuously hitting on every device that society has created to destroy people. The moment you are no longer a Christian, something immensely beautiful will arise in you. The moment you are no longer American or Russian or Indian, you will feel wings growing in you.
The moment you are no longer addicted to any doctrine, you will be surprised what sharpness comes to your intelligence – how you start looking at the same world with a totally different meaning, different eyes. Everything is the same, but you are no longer the same. As if suddenly a blind man has found eyes, or a deaf person has suddenly started hearing.
Those examples don’t do justice, but just give an indication. The man who is completely deprogrammed is my revolution. And we need only a small minority in the whole world. There is no need for a big majority to change the world. The majority in the world has never done anything. It is always a small group of people who has run the world.
Now, Jesus is running millions of people. Karl Marx is running half the world. Mohammedans are second only to Christians in number. Buddhists are third, Hindus are fourth. A few people – not more than a dozen, you can count them on your fingers – have been running the whole world.
We can create thousands of deprogrammed people, and those deprogrammed people will be like a fire – a wildfire. Wherever they will move, with them will move a new perspective, a new way of life. And they will become magnetic forces, to which people will simply be pulled.
So, I have no plan to change the world directly. That has not happened. Many have tried it; basically they went wrong from the very beginning. Start with the individual and release his intelligence. Don’t give him any program, don’t give him any project. Just make him free, and tell him, “The whole sky belongs to you – now you can fly anywhere you like. And whatever you want to do, do because there is no God to punish you, or reward you. You are totally free for any act that gives you bliss, that gives you peace, that gives you serenity.” These people will become models and they will set the whole world afire.
So that is my idea of how we are going to change the world. By changing you.
What is the responsibility of a doctor toward a patient who is dying and no longer wants to live? Should the doctor help him to die?
It is something very significant to be understood. In the past – in the beginning days of medicine and medical science – nine children would die out of ten, only one would survive. The population of the world was very scarce.
Hippocrates created an oath for doctors – he was the father of Western medicine, allopathy. Humanity is immensely grateful to that man, and his oath was perfectly right for those days. The function of the doctor was always to save life. Life was so difficult; to save people was certainly the need of that time. But times change, needs change. Books don’t change.
In medical colleges and universities, Hippocrates’ oath is still given to doctors before they can practice. Now, this is so stupid. The world population is four times what it should be. Scientists have been trying to find out how long people used to live five thousand years ago. They have not found any skeleton which is more than forty years old. Around the world, in every excavation, it is the same situation. People had died at thirty, thirty-five. At the most, the longest life was forty.
Now things are totally different. The population is four times more than the earth can afford. And the progress of medicine has helped people’s lives to be physically healthy, with less possibility of sickness. And it has lengthened life; in Russia there are thousands of people who are beyond one hundred and fifty. In every country of the world the average age has gone up, even in countries like India. Just forty years ago, under the British Raj, the Indian’s average age was twenty-three. Now it is forty-seven, more than double. The population has become four times bigger, the age has become double – more than double – and India does not have all the modern facilities. Its water is polluted, fortunately; food is scarce. Fifty percent of the population lives hungry, on one meal a day.
In spite of all this the population still goes on exploding. If Hippocrates was here he would change the oath, I am absolutely certain, because the man who cared for life would have cared for the whole living earth.
Now, in the oath these words should be added: that a doctor’s duty is to help the patient, if he wants to live or if he wants to die. It is his choice and the doctor has to be respectful to the choice of the person. It is his birthright. If he no longer wants to live, only he can decide. In certain cases – perhaps the person is in a coma – then his family, his wife, his children, his parents, can decide. Perhaps he has nobody, he is alone, then the medical board can decide – that if this person is going to live in a coma forever, then what is the point of keeping him alive? This is not life. And in keeping him alive we are keeping so many people unnecessarily engaged, so many mechanisms unnecessarily used, so much money unnecessarily wasted – and he will never open his eyes.
So these are the three things: if the person is still in his senses, aware, and makes a will that if he goes into a coma, then don’t go on keeping him alive. And if he wants to die, just today, it is his freedom. Up to now we have been victims of death. For the first time we can become masters of death. Up to now we have been just helpless: whenever death comes, it comes. Now it is possible for us to decide both when to die, and what kind of people will be born. Up to now it has been accidental.
You need carpenters and you go on producing doctors: strange. You need doctors and you produce plumbers. Everything is topsy-turvy. The plumber is doing the work of a doctor; the doctor is somewhere catching fish. We are in a position to decide what kinds of people are needed in the society, and it would be the sanest way.
You grow certain vegetables which you need; you grow certain foods which you need. You make houses comfortable, beautiful and so you can feel cozy, safe against the wind, against the sun, against the rain, against the snow. And you need a certain comfortable, relaxed place. You ask the architect: you can give him your needs and he knows how to manage those needs in as aesthetic a way as possible. About everything we have become scientific; only about man are we still unscientific. This is unbelievable.
We should decide what kinds of people are needed. How many engineers, how many doctors, how many dental surgeons, how many surgeons, how many nurses, how many teachers, professors, scientists; everything can be decided. And we can decide that these people should not suffer from the diseases that are known to us. We can create a protective wall. We can manage that these people will not be indoctrinated into some unnatural life pattern. We can create the first seed of being always a rebel.
So, on the one side we have to be scientific about birth, and on the other side we have to be again scientific, human, compassionate. Help the person if he wants to live, perhaps he has not had time enough to live. If he wants to live, give him health, give him life – not a life in a coma in a hospital bed, that is sheer nonsense. If Hippocrates was in such a state, going into a coma, coming out for a moment, going back again, he would have shouted, “Destroy that oath! I want to die, this is not life.”
For anybody who wants to die, it is the function of the medical profession, of the commune, of the people who love him to make his death as beautiful as possible. Why make it accidental? Why should he die of old age? Why can’t he die without becoming old, and suffering all kinds of things which come with old age? He has lived, he has loved, he has created, now there is no need for him just to go on and on. And he is not being forced, we are not telling him to die, but we are simply giving the right, the constitutional right that if he wishes to die…
Yes, there are problems. For example, this moment he may think he wants to die, and by the time you have arranged everything for his death he changes his mind, he says no. So precautions can be taken, he can be given time, so that if he wants to die, he thinks it over for three weeks. And if after three weeks he still finds that he wants to die, and he has not wavered – he can keep a diary for three weeks – it is enough. And we can give him a beautiful departure.
There should be beautiful places – death temples – in every hospital, in every nursing home, where everything is arranged for the best: the flowers, the garden, the people. And every person who wants to die must be given time so that he can learn something of meditation. So while he is going into a deeper and deeper sleep from which he will never return, he can go on doing his meditation.
Meditation and death happening together is the best that can happen to anybody – because he is dying, yet he is aware that he will be dead for you all, but not for himself. He will simply be freed from this body. And because he has died with awareness, he will not be born again. He will be free, a white cloud in the vast universe.
We have to make death beautiful: music, dance, silence, meditation. Up to now man has been born accidentally, dies accidentally. And between the two do you think you can live meaningfully? – between two accidents? Your beginning is an accident, your end is an accident. Do you think between these two you will be able to live meaningfully? Impossible.
The beginning should be considered by the most intelligent people. You are creating a body for a soul; create the best body, so only a better soul can enter into it. You cannot create the soul, but you can create a beautiful house. That’s what scientists are now capable of. And if you can get the best souls, you will have a totally different world – without wars, without poverty, without sickness, without old age.
And you will have transformed even death itself into a ceremony. It is a departure. All your friends can be invited, all those who have loved you can be present. The dying man can say good-bye, thank all those people, can have another look, because he will not be meeting them again. In an accidental death, this is not possible. Death has to be made according to the will of the man. And the medical profession is just to serve the freedom of the man, the freedom of the individual. It does not matter whether he wants life or death – whatsoever he wants, he should be provided for.
And there comes a moment in life when you would like to die. It is an immense relief. You have done everything that you wanted to do; you have lived every kind of experience that was valuable to you. Now, going on living would be simply repetition, as if you are seeing the same movie again and again and again – because the army is surrounding the movie house, you cannot be allowed to escape, you have to see the movie till you die. And even if you start dying they will immediately call the ambulance and take you to the hospital, because you have to live and see the movie. But you have seen the movie millions of times, and it is time – and you want to be allowed to get out of the movie house.
This is exactly the situation. When you have lived a hundred years, you have lived enough. Mostly people start feeling that now it is time to retire from life after eighty. Just as they start feeling to retire from work near about sixty, near about eighty they start feeling to retire from life. There is no point.
These people’s wishes should be respected. But provisions can be made, time can be given for them to consider. Time can be given for them to learn a certain simple meditation. They can be asked if there is anything they would like; it can be supplied. For a man who is going to die within three weeks, it is simply human that we should give him everything that he wants, and then let him go with celebration.
To me, death is not something bad. It is just a deep sleep. Those who fall asleep without meditation will wake up in some womb almost instantly. Here, you are preparing their funeral pyre, and they have entered into some womb already! You are unnecessarily wasting your time. The man has managed to enter another body.
But if a man can die with meditativeness, then he is going to become part of the whole. No longer will he be imprisoned in a small body; he will be as vast as the universe. And that is the goal of true religion, to help you to become part – an organic part – of the whole existence.
What is it that happens within a twenty-four-mile radius of a living master that causes a person to become enlightened when he dies within that radius?
It is simply a law of existence, like other laws. The enlightened man has a certain energy aura around him. Everybody has, but different people have different colored auras; the color depends on their psychology. In fact, one can see the aura. There is a certain training how to see the aura that surrounds your body, and particularly your head. Looking at that aura, much can be said about your mind, your past, your actions, your desires, your imagination, your ambitions – almost your whole biography in the past. And, if you remain continuous with the past, the future can also be predicted.
As a person starts meditating, the colors of his aura start changing. When the meditation is complete – when you have come to your innermost point – you are surrounded by a twenty-five-mile-radius aura of immense whiteness. It is not like the sunrise, but like just before the sunrise, those few moments when there is light but the sun has not arisen. In the East we have called it brahmamuhurt, “the moment of the divine.”
And why have we called it “the moment of the divine”? The reason was because of that exact type of light: without any source because the sun has not yet risen; it is far below the horizon but the night is over, between the night and the day. In India, meditation has a very beautiful name, sandhya. Sandhya means the time just before the sun rises, and the time just after the sun sets – just a few seconds – because they are the same, a light without source.
The ordinary person’s aura is an average of two inches around him, but as he grows, becomes mature, the aura also becomes bigger. Finally, at the ultimate peak of your meditation, the length of the aura is twenty-five miles. Now, if somebody is dying in this area who is in love with the enlightened one, has trust in the master, whom do you think he will remember? The last thing is the whole of life condensed.
The man who was after money will remember his bank balance. Certainly he is going to remember his money: “Now what is going to happen to the money?” He is not concerned with his death, he is worried about the bank balance and the stupid sons and daughters who will destroy everything. That is going to be his thought.
A man whose sex has been repressed – a monk, Catholic, Jaina, Hindu – his last moment is going to be full of sexual dreams, because now there is no life energy to repress it. They have all uncoiled; the spring is no longer pressed by energy. Death is coming, energy is moving away. His past of repression will give him a sexual dream. He will die in that dream.
But if a man has loved a master, has been in tune with someone who is enlightened, he is not going to think of dollars, is not going to think about anything else, because that love with the master was the greatest thing in his life. In that moment he will open up toward the master, just like sunflowers open toward the sun. As the sun moves, the sunflower moves; in the morning it is facing east, in the evening it is facing west.
The dying sannyasin – the dying disciple – is just a sunflower. So when you do your gachchhamis, you should be sitting in a posture facing toward your master, because in those moments it can happen. If your gachchhamis are really authentic, if you are not doing them just as a formality, if you are really saying with your whole heart, “I go to the feet of the awakened one,” space disappears, time disappears. Suddenly you are available to the master.
The dying sannyasin will die with gachchhamis in his heart: utterly open, available, unconditionally available. Now, what is there to be afraid of? He is going to die. There is no risk. Living, there was trouble, there were problems. He could not commit totally, his commitment was divided, partial. He had a wife, he had children, he had a job, he could not say to the master, “I am absolutely, unconditionally surrendered to you, now you are my way. Lead me wherever you want.”
But now he can say it. Now there is no longer any wife, no children to go with him, no job, no money. Nothing that has been important up to this moment, and was preventing him from being totally connected with the master, is there any longer. Then why not take the chance? He could not do it in life, but he can do it in death. He can really feel – there is no need to say, “I go to the feet of the awakened one” – you need not utter the words. Your whole being feels it.
And in that is the whole secret. If you are within the twenty-five-mile radius, it is as if you are just sitting by the side of the master, because that energy field is your master’s energy body. And the moment you become open, suddenly there is just light, and eternal life opens its doors.
First try it in life, because if you can become enlightened in life, you will be able to enjoy this beautiful life which you were just passing by like a somnambulist. There are really a large number of somnambulists – ten percent. So if there are five thousand people here, ten percent of them will be somnambulists. They will not know it, but they will get up in the night and go to the fridge – the whole day they had been trying to diet – and they will come back and go to sleep, and in the morning they don’t remember anything. But they are puzzled: there has been nobody in the house and the ice cream has disappeared – and it is ice cream that the doctors are against – but they have no remembrance.
There have been very strange cases of somnambulists who will get up in the night and burn something in the house and go back to bed. And in the morning they will report to the police that somebody is doing mischief, their things are being burned every night.

It happened when I was visiting Hyderabad in south India. My friends there said it was not good that I accept the invitation of the family I was to stay with. “They are rich and have a very beautiful mansion with a big garden, swimming pool, everything. But perhaps you don’t know that house is haunted.”
I said, “If I had known it, then I would have certainly gone to their house. Then there was no other way. It was just accidental that their letter reached before yours. I am going to stay there and see what kinds of ghosts are haunting the house.”
There were not many people in the house: the husband, the wife and a daughter – only three persons. The daughter was not more than fourteen. What was happening in the house was that things were being moved in the night, from this room into another room, sometimes being thrown onto the roof, or onto the terrace, or in the garden. And naturally as neither the father was doing it, nor the mother was doing it, nor the daughter was doing it, the obvious conclusion was that it was haunted.
I told them, “I would like not to sleep away from you. I want to sleep in the same room with your family.”
The man said, “Why? We have made a beautiful place, the best room in the house with the best view.”
I said, “You can all come there if you want, but I am going to stay with you, because I am going to finish this haunting forever.”
They said, “But how will you stop the haunting? We are afraid of the ghosts. We lock every door, window, we all check.” First the husband checked, then the wife, then the girl, “To be absolutely certain. Whatsoever happens in other rooms let it happen, but the ghost should not enter into this room.”
And they said, “Strange, the locks remain locked, but things from our room are thrown out. Still, the ghosts seem to be very nice people: they are not destroying anything, not burning anything, not stealing anything. They simply change things around. But what is happening…the dining table we find in the sitting room, all the chairs have disappeared and they are on the roof of the house!”
I said, “Just leave it to me. Let me sleep with you.”
It was the daughter who was doing the whole thing. It happens mostly at the time when a girl or a boy becomes sexually mature, which is a very delicate period. But she was doing it in her sleep. I had to remain awake till the girl got up. I watched her. She was the last one to check, and she used to leave one window or one door available for herself. It was all unconscious; she was not doing it consciously. She would throw things out – I caught her red-handed, her eyes were open but she was asleep. I had to shake her. She suddenly woke up and she asked, “What is the matter? What is happening? Why am I standing here? Why is the door open?”
The father and mother came running. I said, “There is no problem. The first sexual desire is arising in this girl.” In India, particularly, you have to repress it continuously. And this was a rich family; the girl had to pass at least a post-graduate degree, then she would be married. So it was going to be at least ten more years. This repressed sexual energy was a kind of poison. Unconsciously she was taking revenge, she was angry. And all that together made her a somnambulist.
I asked the parents, they said she was a somnambulist from the very beginning. In her childhood she used to move from one bed to another, from the mother’s bed to the father’s bed, and in the morning she would be puzzled who had moved her from her mother’s side.
So I said, “Now the whole mystery is clear. She is a somnambulist, and now because she has to repress her sexuality, she is taking revenge on you. And she has done a really good job. But now it will not happen any more. Do one thing: make her free about her sexuality. If she goes with boys, let her go. Give her the pill, and the pill will destroy all the ghosts, don’t be worried.”
And that’s how it happened. The pill worked, and the house is no longer haunted.

People are living almost in sleep, but the knock of death wakes them up. Suddenly they see their life is finished, and they are drowning in darkness. In that moment they realize that they have missed life, they never lived it. They always postponed for tomorrow. They always thought to go to Kashmir, to go to the Himalayas; to see this, to see that, but they always postponed, “What is the hurry? There is so much work to be done. I cannot waste time. Three months in Kashmir?”
So you go on postponing living, and you go on preparing to live tomorrow. You sacrifice today for tomorrow, and tomorrow never comes. One day suddenly, instead of tomorrow, death comes. It is a shock. You were waiting for tomorrow, you were planning for tomorrow your whole life, and now there is no tomorrow. And you have never learned how to live today, you were always preparing.

There is a strange story in Tibet that a man wanted to be the wisest man in the world. He collected as many scriptures as were available in all Tibet. His library had thousands of ancient scriptures, and he was running from one place to another, because in those days books were not printed. He wasted fortunes on every book because it was the only copy. His whole life he was collecting, and waiting until the library was complete. Then he was going to study all these scriptures.
But life completes in death. He fell sick, and his physicians said that he could not survive more than twenty-four hours. He said, “My God, in twenty-four hours, how am I going to read all these scriptures that I have collected and wasted my whole life on?”
The physicians said that there was only one way: “You can ask the Dalai Lama for one thousand Buddhist monks to go through all the books and condense the essential points in those scriptures. So before you die at least you know the essentials.”
But those poor scholars also had to read, and there were thousands of books. They said even one thousand monks wouldn’t do, and time was passing and the monks were trying, and the man was getting more and more nervous – that soon the sun would set and he would be finished.
And he was inquiring again and again, what was happening, why the essential message was not being brought. First it was thought that everyone would bring the essential core of the scripture that he had looked in, but then there was no time to listen to one thousand monks and their summaries. So the monks were asked to please make one summary out of all the summaries, “And be quick! – because by the time the sun sets, the man will be finished.”
They rushed back into the library, and there were great quarrels, which is always certain where scholars are – arguments about what should be included and what should not be included. And by the time they decided, the man was gone.

This is not a story. This is actually an existential fact about almost everybody. I say almost, because I have to leave a few enlightened people out of it. Only in death is everyone surprised. But then it is too late, nothing can be done. Everybody dies in frustration, in despair, in anguish. But a man of meditation dies in joy, in peace, at ease with the whole universe. And it becomes very easy if he is connected in some way with someone who has already arrived.
The best is to do it in life, because then you can live life in an enlightened way. And life is tremendously beautiful: it is just a miracle all around. But if it cannot happen in life, because you have this and that and there are conditions, then at least let it happen in death. But it may not be possible for you alone – unless you have meditated so deeply that death will not create any disturbance in your silence. Then it can happen without the twenty-five-mile radius aura. It can happen anywhere.
But the chances of such a happening are rare because if it could happen anywhere, it would not wait for death. It would have happened long ago. So this device of a commune is simply to keep you engaged here. If you cannot become enlightened alive, I say, “Okay, at least don’t forget me when you are dying.” But you have to become enlightened – dead or alive!
The commune is an immense field of energy and experiment. And soon in other communes around the world, I will manage at least one person to be enlightened, so no commune misses this twenty-five-mile radius of energy.

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