The Last Testament Vol 2 07

Seventh Discourse from the series of 30 discourses - The Last Testament Vol 2 by Osho.
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John McCarthy,
Lewiston Tribune, Idaho, United States
I'm pleased to be able to have a chance to talk with you.
I have a bunch of questions and maybe we won't get to all of them. But some of them I'd like to try and get short, simple answers.
Okay, just start.
Are you pleased with the place your followers have created here? Is it the kind of home you wished to have when you came to America?
I never think of the future. I never think of the next moment, hence nothing can disappoint me. Whatever happens is perfectly good. The problem of disappointment arises only if you have a certain expectation. I have never expected anything in my life. So, whatsoever has happened, I am thankful to existence. Everything is as it should be.
Do you wish that the politics in Oregon would be different, in the treatment of you and your followers?
I don’t wish anything, I simply live my life. If that changes somebody, it is his problem. If it changes the politics of Oregon, that is the Oregonian’s problem. I am not trying to change anything. I’m not interested in interfering in other people’s lives; neither do I want that they should interfere in my life. To me the individual, individuality, is the highest value. I respect the individual. I don’t want to be interfered with, nor am I interested in interfering in anybody’s life. And that’s what politics is – continuously interfering into everybody’s life.
I am not a politician; my people have nothing to do with politics. In fact they have gathered around me to live their lives as joyously and peacefully as possible. They have not gathered around me to create a revolution in the world, change the world, make it a classless society or this and that. We are not interested in all that garbage at all. Tomorrow is always uncertain; even the next moment has no guarantee. We have only this moment to live.
The politician is a fool. He is destroying his life and he is destroying other people’s lives. Everybody should live his life, should sing his song and let everybody else be himself. That will be a really human world. So I do not wish to do anything; I simply live, and my people want to live with me. They love me, they rejoice with me. For them, I am their whole world; for me, they are my whole world. Beyond the red clothes, nothing exists.
I don't know a whole lot about Rajneeshism as a religion. Can you explain to me whether you consider yourself to be God, a prophet, a wise man, a teacher? How do you think of yourself or your followers?
I am not a God – I am not that stupid. Only a stupid God can create this world, this mess, this madhouse. Certainly I am not that idiotic. And I don’t think God can be idiotic, so the only answer will be that there is no God. That’s why this world is in a mess. It is enough proof that there is no God. There is nobody creating, controlling, maintaining; it is all accidental. In a way it is good, because in this accidentalness of existence there is freedom. In fact, the very idea of God creating us is ugly. Then we are puppets; only puppets are created.
To me, existence has always been here. It has no beginning, no end. It is a tremendous explosion of energy in all dimensions. But everything is accidental, nothing is planned. Planning is not the way of existence.
So I am certainly not God. And without God there is no possibility of any prophet, any messiah. God is a basic necessity for a prophet to exist. Moses will be nobody if he does not create the illusion that he has encountered God, and God has given him the Ten Commandments; nobody will listen to his Ten Commandments. But he is using the authority of God, for which no evidence exists – because those Ten Commandments are so simple, ordinary, that any human person of average intelligence can make them. There is nothing special in them, nothing unique, nothing that can prove that they are coming from a divine source.
But to be a prophet you need a God, to be a messiah you need a God. God is an absolute necessity for all those mad people who want to project their egos; without the backdrop of God it cannot be done. So they all insist, “Believe in God.” Once you believe in God, then naturally you have to believe in the messenger of God, in the messiah of God, in the only begotten son of God. Those are logical corollaries.
The moment that I deny there is a God, I have denied all possibility of there being a prophet, a messiah, a messenger. All that is finished. I am simply a human being, just as you are. I don’t have any pretensions of being higher than anybody. Certainly I am different from you, but not higher, not lower – different only in the sense that you are fast asleep and I am awake. But that is not much of a difference. Just a little cold water has to be thrown into your eyes, and you will be awake.
And that’s what I am doing with my people: throwing so much ice-cold water in their eyes.
How can I get cold water thrown in my face? How do I go about it?
I’m already doing it. And you know it. Just don’t start shivering, because the temperature is three degrees centigrade in this room. In fact, there is no need to throw ice-cold water: you are sitting in an ice-cold atmosphere where one has to become awake.
How do you know at a glance, without me speaking but a few phrases and introducing myself, that I'm asleep?
Only one who is awake can know who is asleep. The person who is asleep cannot know who is asleep and who is awake. I am awake, that’s why I know you are asleep. You cannot know – perhaps I may be talking in your sleep, perhaps you may be dreaming. You cannot be certain about me, but I am absolutely certain about you. Your eyes are open but you are asleep. You are trying hard to wake up a little, and look through your glasses and find out who is awake and who is asleep – and that’s a good sign. That means you will have to come here again and again, till finally you are awake.
The moment one awakes, one is simply shocked, seeing that the whole world is asleep. And in sleep, people are walking, talking, going to the church, to the synagogue; in sleep, writing books, making films – doing all kinds of businesses, but their spiritual sleep continues.
When I say spiritual sleep my meaning is that you don’t know who you are. You may know everything around you, but just one thing you are not aware of – your own center, your own being. The moment you know yourself, you are awake. So I am using awakening and sleep as metaphors.
What does a man or a woman experience by following your religion? Do they become awake?
There is no promise. I never promise anything to anybody. I am here, available; I am ready to explain how one becomes awake – and my work is finished there. Then it is up to you. If you fail, I will not be disappointed. If you succeed, you succeed. I don’t take the credit for it. So the success is yours, the failure is yours. My only work is to give you a clear-cut idea how you can become more conscious – I call it meditation – working, walking, sitting.
I don’t believe in what others call meditation – that for ten or twenty minutes you do it, and then just be your ordinary self for twenty-four hours, then again meditate for twenty minutes. This is stupid. It is like saying to a person, “Every morning breathe for twenty minutes and then forget all about it, because you have to do many other things. Then the next morning you can breathe for twenty minutes again.”
To me, meditation is exactly like breathing. So, whatsoever you are doing and wherever you are, do it more consciously. For example, I can raise this hand without any consciousness, just unconsciously, out of habit…

I have heard about two Jews walking by the ocean. It was a cold morning and one Jew was keeping his hands in his pockets. It was really cold. And the other was continuously talking, and saying this and that. And he was puzzled that the other man was saying only, yes, no, but did not participate in the conversation. This is not Jewish.
Finally he asked, “What has happened to you? Have you changed your religion?”
The other said, “You can say whatever you want to say, but I am not going to take my hands out of the pockets.”
But the first said, “What has that to do with it?”
The other said, “A Jew cannot talk without his hands. I am not going to talk; it is too cold to take my hands out!”

But you can also raise your hand with full awareness, and you can see the difference between the two. The act is the same: one is mechanical, the other is full of consciousness, and the quality is tremendously different.
Try it, because it is a question of taste and experience. Walking, just try for a few minutes to walk consciously. With each step be alert, and you will be surprised that the quality of your walk is totally different, it is relaxed. There is no tension, and there is a subtle joy that is arising out of your relaxed walking. And the more you become aware of this joy, the more you would like to be awake. Eating, eat with awareness. People are simply throwing food into their mouths, not even chewing it, just swallowing it.
Thirty million people in America are suffering from overeating. A strange world we are living in: one thousand people are dying every day in Ethiopia because they don’t have food; thirty million people are dying in America because they have too much food. These people are suffering from obesity, fatness, cannot resist eating more and more. No doctor is going to help them – unless they become aware while they are eating, if they become aware… A few things happen as a by-product of awareness. Their eating will be slowed down; they will start chewing – because unless you chew your food you are putting an unnecessary burden on your whole system. Your stomach has no teeth. One has to chew each bite exactly forty-two times, then anything that you are eating becomes liquid.
A man of awareness only drinks, because before he swallows he has changed the solid food into liquid. And the strange thing is that when you chew forty-two times, you enjoy the taste so much. One bite of an unconscious man gives forty-two times more taste to the conscious man. It is simple arithmetic: the unconscious man will have to eat forty-two bites just to have the same taste. Then he becomes fat and still unsatisfied, and still he feels to eat more. The man of awareness eats only as much as his body needs. He immediately feels, “Now there is no need, the hunger is gone.” He is content doing anything.
So my meditation is a totally different kind of approach. It has to be spread over the twenty-four hours of each day. Even falling asleep, remain alert to how sleep is descending on you, so slowly, so silently, but you can hear the steps. The darkness is growing, you are relaxing – you can feel the muscles, the body, the tense parts which are preventing sleep – and soon you will see the whole body has relaxed and sleep has come. But slowly, slowly a great revolution happens. Sleep comes to you, but something deep inside you goes on remaining awake, even in sleep.
So the situation is that you are asleep even when you think you are awake, and I am awake even when you think I’m asleep. And unless a man becomes aware in his sleep he is not aware, not awake. That is the criterion.
And there are so many by-products by which you can judge. Dreams disappear because dreams need you to be completely unconscious. They come from the unconscious mind, but if you are conscious they cannot come. Sigmund Freud would have been immensely enriched if he had come to a man like me, who has no dreams. He would have been puzzled also – and he would have had to change his whole idea of psychoanalysis. But he only came across people who were asleep. He himself was asleep – he had no idea of any spiritual awakening. Otherwise, he would certainly have realized that there is a space where man is conscious, just conscious, and there are no dreams at all.
If dreams disappear in the night, the second thing will happen to you: thoughts will disappear in the daytime. That does not mean you will become incapable of thinking, it simply means you will not just go on thinking mechanically, unnecessarily. You will be capable of thinking if you want to think, otherwise you will be silent. And a man who can remain silent for hours is gathering energy – so whenever he wants to think, his thinking has some strength, some power, some tremendous energy. Ordinary people’s thinking is just impotent; their thoughts are just vagrant, clouds floating in their minds.
A man of meditation will find that dreams disappear, and then the sleep is of incomparable beauty. Then sleep becomes spiritual. To transform sleep into spirituality is religion. Then your whole day becomes a day of silence. You will talk, but something deep down in you will remain a silent witness. So you will not say things which will unnecessarily create trouble for you and trouble for others. You will say only that which is absolutely needed. You will only say the truth, otherwise you will be able to say, “I do not know.”
You will not believe in anything. Either you will know it or you will not know it. Belief is a deception – you don’t know, yet you pretend as if you know. All these people in temples, in churches, in synagogues, what are they doing? To whom are they praying? They don’t know God. Their priest does not know God. They don’t know that any prayer has ever been heard by anybody. They don’t know that any prayer has ever been answered by anybody. Still they are praying to a God.

There is a beautiful story by Leo Tolstoy: Three uneducated, illiterate villagers, who used to live on a small island in a river, became famous all over the country as great saints. Now, this was too much for the archbishop, because in Christianity you can be a saint only if the church certifies you to be a saint. In fact, the word saint comes from sanction. If the church sanctions you – certifies you – you are a saint. And without the archbishop signing, who has made these fools saints?
Their fame was far and wide; people even started coming from outside the country. Finally he decided to go and put these people right. He got into a boat and reached the small island. They were sitting under a beautiful tree, all three looking so happy. They were sitting naked, they had not even clothes. The archbishop went close to them.
All three touched his feet and said, “Why did you trouble yourself? You could have sent a message and we ourselves would have come to the church.”
Now the archbishop felt confident. Up to now he had been feeling a little nervous: three saints and he himself knows nothing, except that he has reached the top in a religious-political hierarchy. But now he was confident, and he asked the three people, “What is your religion?”
They said, “We don’t know. Religion? Are there many religions?”
Those simple fellows are asking a significant question. Only simple people can ask significant questions like, “Are there many religions?”
They said, “We thought there is only one kind of religiousness. But you can teach us – if you feel just being religious is not enough, you can teach us. We are available. We are illiterate, ignorant people, so please don’t feel offended by our answers.”
The archbishop asked, “Okay, whatever your religion, what is your prayer? Certainly you must be Christian” – because in Russia at that time, there was no other religion – “you must be Christian. What is your prayer?”
They all looked at each other and they said, “You say it.”
The second said to the third, “You say it.”
And the third said to the first two, “Please, better you say it!”
The archbishop was getting angry: “What is this nonsense? You cannot say your prayer?”
They said, “The reality is, we don’t know how to pray and we don’t know what prayer is, but we have invented our own prayer. Hearing that God is a trinity and we are also a trinity, so we have made a simple prayer for ourselves. Please don’t feel offended. We pray whenever the moment makes us feel like praying. In the early morning sun, when it is so beautiful on the lake and the whole lake becomes gold, we feel like thanking existence. Our prayer is, ‘You are three, we are three, please have mercy on us.’ This is our prayer.”
The archbishop said, “This is absolute nonsense. ‘You are three, we are three, have mercy on us.’ Who has ever heard of such a prayer?”
Those poor people said, “We are ready to learn.” So he gave them the official prayer. But it was a long prayer, so by the time he ended it they said, “This is very difficult, because we have forgotten the beginning by the time you came to the end. You will have to repeat it. Please repeat it so we can remember the beginning.”
He repeated it – just the beginning – but they said, “Please go on, because now we have forgotten the end.”
Three times he repeated it, so that they could grasp the prayer. They thanked the archbishop. He was very happy that he had put them right and now he could tell people, “Those are idiots, and you were thinking of them as saints.”
He went back into his boat, and just in the middle of the river he saw something unimaginable. Those three, naked, idiots were coming, running on the water! He could not believe his eyes. He had never even believed that Jesus had walked on water; he knew deep down that this was all nonsense. He had never told anybody, and as far as his sermons were concerned, he was trying to prove that Jesus could do anything.
But those idiots were walking on water, running on water, and they caught hold of the boat and said, “Just a moment please. We have forgotten the prayer. Will you teach us again?”
But this was enough for the archbishop. He touched the feet of those three idiots and said, “Your prayer is right, mine was wrong. Just go and say your prayer. I unnecessarily interfered in your life; just forgive me. Seeing you walking on the water, in fact, for the first time I have become a Christian. I had never believed that Jesus really walked on water.”

Religion is a very simple phenomenon. Theology has nothing to with religion; it makes things unnecessarily complex. Religion is a simple awareness of whatever you are doing, wherever you are. And when this awareness surrounds you always, like a luminous aura, you become aware for the first time of the universe – its beauties, its music, its eternal song. To me that is the religious experience. In religious experience you don’t encounter a God. There is nobody there, just this pure existence. But it is all alive – these flowers, these birds on the wing, these stars – everything is alive, but because you are asleep you cannot experience the aliveness that surrounds you.
And we are not islands. No man is an island. We are part of this whole living, infinite continent. Those flowers are part of us, just as we are part of them. Those faraway stars are within us, as we are within the universe. That experience of unity, of at-one-ment, is liberation.
So my teaching is very simple. Meditation is the key, becoming totally aware is the result. Experiencing oneness with the whole is the reward.
“You are three, we are three, have mercy on us.”
This is my trinity: meditation, awareness, oneness.
Do you think there are many people in the world who need that message or want that message, and who will come here to Rajneeshpuram? And because of that, will Rajneeshpuram grow?
Everybody needs that message. Everybody has a birthright to experience existence, its ecstasy. But your question has many questions in it. The first part: I say everybody needs it. The second part of what you are asking, “Will all of them come to Rajneeshpuram?” no, only very few will come – because although everybody needs it, to know that you need it a certain intelligence is needed, a certain youthfulness is needed, a certain daring, courage, adventurousness is needed, which is missing.
So only a very few people will arrive here, although it is everybody’s need. But I have my communes all over the world; I have my people in almost every country. There are nearabout one million sannyasins all around the earth. In every language, in every country, even in places where it is almost impossible, I have my people – even in Soviet Russia.
Just the other day I received a Soviet communist magazine written against me. Everything was just rubbish and false. But I was happy; it shows that the communists and the government are now getting frightened, the same way as they are getting frightened here in Oregon. And in Russia I don’t have many sannyasins, but enough. In fact, I have even taken the monopoly of the red color from the communists! My people are underground, they meet in basements. They cannot publish my books: they write by hand, or type, or send messages, so that it can reach other people. Whatsoever books they have been able to smuggle in are mostly caught by the government. The KGB is against them, and many of my sannyasins have been persecuted, although they cannot prove that they are sannyasins. But still, in Russia just suspicion is enough. There is no need for any proof.
They have published the names of twenty people in the newspaper: “These seem to be his contacts in the Soviet Union, beware of them.” That is enough for those people to be persecuted by the police, by the people. They may lose their jobs, they may lose their facilities, they may be sent to Siberia. But you will be surprised that they are more excited about me and my work than anywhere else – because for sixty years Russia has forgotten what youthfulness means. It has forgotten that being a revolutionary is a part of being young. Now you cannot be revolutionary in Russia.
Will your religion become a major religion in the world, in terms of numbers?
No, it will never, because we don’t convert anybody. Conversion is insulting the other person, his intelligence, his integrity. When you convert a person you are saying, “You are wrong and I am right. You don’t know, I know, so just follow me.” No, I cannot allow my people to say that to anybody. My people just have to live their lives, and if somebody becomes interested on his own, he is welcome.
But we are not missionaries, so naturally our numbers cannot grow. And we don’t believe in the politics of numbers; that is a political game. But anybody who has a desire to explore into the reality of his own being is bound to move toward me, sooner or later. But the well remains in its own place; the thirsty come to it. The well does not go and propagate, “Come to me, because only I have the right kind of water. Don’t go to other wells.” Where they want to go is their problem. They will not be prevented from drinking the wine that I am offering here; they will be our respected guests.
But I cannot humiliate anybody by saying to him that we have the only true message; that I am the only begotten son of God; that I am the only prophet of God; that the holy Koran is the last message; that you need not think of anything else, just read the Bible, everything is there; that the Vedas contain all knowledge, it is enough, more than that is dangerous – that’s what Hindus say.
I don’t belong to these people and their company. I am a totally different person. I respect everybody. If somebody chooses to be wrong, it is his freedom. It may be wrong according to me, but if to him it looks to be right, let him go on his way. If it is right, good; he is blessed. If he is wrong, sooner or later he will have to come back.
Why are you now giving interviews to people like myself?
I enjoy talking.
Why speak to a person like myself, who is not a believer in what many other people would like to hear from you?
Just because you can send the message to many people. I am going to talk to every journalist around the world. I’m going to use every media, just to announce to people that if they are thirsty, we have the right drink for them. If they want to come, they are welcome. It is not to convert them, it is just to invite them. Truth only invites, truth never converts. But the invitation is enough.
Why now? Why not two months ago, a year ago?
I am a man of absolute spontaneity. When I feel to be silent, then nobody can force me to speak. When I want to speak, nobody can stop me from speaking. Whatever I want to say, I never make any compromise. Whether it is going to be liked, disliked, respected, disrespected; these are not my considerations at all. I felt to be silent. For three and half years I enjoyed silence. Then suddenly one day I felt the time had come to sing the song again, so I started speaking. But I cannot promise for tomorrow. I may be silent again.
I am just a little crazy. I just go according to my whims, and the people who have to live with me have to live with my whims.
Where do you live and what do you do?
I don’t do anything. I am not a doer.
How do you spend your time? How does the day pass for you?
It passes so fast, but I enjoy it immensely. I must sleep about ten hours every day – eight hours in the night, two or three hours in the day – because to me, sleep is meditation. For three hours I enjoy my bathroom – one and a half hours in the morning, one and a half in the evening.
I have loved water from my very childhood, because it is my understanding that life has arisen out of water. And now scientists are thinking on the same lines, that life must have arisen in water. Every child in the mother’s womb repeats the whole cycle of evolution. First he looks like a fish; only later on does he start looking like a monkey. And between these two he passes through almost all the phases that man has passed through. In his last stage he even has a tail that falls off before his birth, and everybody still has the place where the tail was attached. Those bones show that there was something attached to them, which is missing.
But the beginning is as a fish, and for nine months the child lives continuously in sea water. In the mother’s womb, the water in which the child floats has exactly the same components as the water in the sea. That’s why when a woman is pregnant she starts eating more salt, starts enjoying more salty things – because that water needs more salt, that baby needs more salt. She is unaware of why she is doing it, but the child needs it exactly like sea water.
So, I have enjoyed water from my very childhood. My birthplace had a beautiful river. I don’t think of anybody in that place, but once in a while, lying in my tub or in my swimming pool, I remember that beautiful river. That’s the only thing that I remember of my birthplace – no teacher, no family, no friends. My only friend, my only teacher, my only school was that river. And it has taught me immensely. Just to create the illusion, I have a swimming pool here of Olympic size.
I have beautiful bathrooms. Nothing else matters to me much, but my sannyasins have made me two beautiful bathrooms – two, because any moment if something goes wrong with one bathroom, then I am not going to miss my bath. And they have made my bathrooms with such love that they look like temples, with beautiful Jacuzzis – with hot water, normal cold water, ice-cold water. And I enjoy. That to me is meditation. In every act, my meditation continues.
And then I talk for five hours every day – two and a half hours in the morning, two and a half hours in the evening. One and a half hours goes to my food, one hour I go driving. That I have always enjoyed. I have my own road; my people love me so immensely, I don’t think anybody has ever been so loved, and has been so blessed. I don’t know – I wonder why they love me, because I don’t have anything to offer them. But it is a miracle, and miracles happen. They have created a special road just for me. It is used only for one hour every day; twenty-three hours it has to rest – no traffic.
My people are so concerned about my life that they don’t want me to drive in traffic, because I am a terrific driver and I don’t believe in any rules – I may drive on the right, I may drive on the left, I may drive in the middle. So my poor people had to create a road just for me, so I can drive anywhere, any way, any speed I want.
And this is how my day passes. It passes so fast, but I live every moment of it very intensely.
Why haven't your people who live here shown more love, and cooperated with their neighbors in Oregon more?
You have to ask them – and you have to ask the Oregonians. My people have not shown any hostility to anybody. My people are living in a place where the nearest neighbor is twenty miles away. We are so engrossed in our own life, who bothers about the Oregonians? Who has time for them? Nobody even talks about them. We don’t even know whether we are in Oregon or in Afghanistan! We are not interested in anything; they are just afraid. And that too, is simply animal psychology. Oregon must have the most primitive people in America, still much closer to animals than to man. Perhaps all the orangutans have come to Oregon!
Strange – we are such a small minority, and the governor keeps the army on alert: any moment they are ordered, within three hours they have to be able to reach Rajneeshpuram. I cannot believe that you can choose such idiots as governors. What has the army to do here? If they want their army to learn meditation, we can invite them. There is no need to keep them on alert – we can make them alert twenty-four hours a day! They should ask us. And they can go on sending one battalion after another, and we will destroy their whole army by making them alert – because an alert person cannot kill, only sleeping people can destroy.
We have no problem with the Oregonians – we have no contact even. We are so self-sufficient, we don’t need anything from them. We grow our food, we grow our vegetables, we have our milk products. We have everything that we need. Even if the whole of Oregon disappeared completely, we would not know about it unless somebody came and informed us. We are not interested at all.
And why should a majority be afraid of a small commune? They seem to be real cowards, impotent. Such a big majority – what can we do to them? But there is a reason why they are hostile; it shows something about their psychology. They cannot believe that people can be so happy, and they cannot tolerate the laughter, the love, the rejoicing of my people.
Jesus says in the Bible, “Blessed are those who mourn, because they shall be comforted, consoled in paradise.” I think Oregonians will have the first place. My people have no chance, they don’t mourn. They can even console God: “Please don’t cry, don’t weep, don’t feel guilty that you created the world. Forget it; whatsoever happened, happened. Don’t go on having nightmares that you created Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Josef Stalin, Genghis Khan, Tamerlane, Nadirshah – forget it all, it was a nightmare!”
If my people reach paradise, the first thing we have to do is to console God. And we have good people here, who do the best massage possible – a beauty clinic. They will all do whatsoever they can for poor God. But we don’t want to be consoled, there is no need.
This is the trouble: the basic trouble is that the rich man hates the super-rich and he is being hated by the poor. These unhappy people, miserable people all around – we are just like an island and they can hear the laughter in the valley.
For fifty years this place was dead. It was for sale, and nobody would purchase it because it is simply a desert. But when our people saw it, we took the challenge of the desert. It is not a small place – it is 126 square miles, almost an independent country. We have taken the challenge, and we are defeating the desert every day. The day I came here there was only one dilapidated house; now there are beautiful houses for five thousand sannyasins, all centrally air-conditioned. No religious community has ever lived in an air-conditioned commune, monastery – this is the first commune in the whole history of religion. They think in paradise there will be cool air; we don’t bother about it, we create cool air. We don’t want to be a burden on God, or on paradise – what we can do ourselves, why should we pray for it?
And we can do everything: we have our own hospital, we have our own school, we have our own legal experts, we have our own veterinary surgeons, we have our own university, our own psychologists. My people are not like Jesus’ twelve fools that he called his apostles. Any of my sannyasins would have defeated Jesus in discussion – an illiterate man, uneducated, a carpenter’s son – and that, too, is under suspicion. What does he know?
These people are all graduates from universities; they have doctorates and DLitts. Don’t be deceived if they are working on the farm – they have master’s degrees. And it is very easy: a man you will find today teaching in the university as a professor, you will find tomorrow working as a plumber. There is no problem, there is no hierarchy. The plumber and the professor are both needed, and my people are so educated that plumbers can teach in the university and professors can do the plumbing.
We are not concerned with Oregon at all. It is just one-sided hostility.
You speak of the independence of your community, its self-sufficiency, its ability to grow the food and take care of other needs. Is not the community run by electricity from an outside source?
We pay for it – we are not taking anything without paying. We pay for it and we have the right to have electricity on this land. This land is part of America; they cannot refuse. In fact, many of the businesses of the Oregonians have not gone bankrupt because of us. Many factories that make houses were on the verge of going bankrupt, but because we allowed them to make our houses, they survived.
We have been a help to Oregon. Every year thousands of sannyasins are coming here, spending money in Portland, in Madras, while reaching here. We have made a place for visitors from all around the world; we have helped the economy of Oregon. Otherwise, have you ever heard of anybody going to Oregon? People go to Egypt to look, people go to India, people go to Japan, people go to Nepal, deep in the Himalayas, people go to Switzerland. But this is the first time that people are coming to Oregon from every country. Such big economic, financial gain for Oregonians, and they are being simply stupid. They should help us. We can make it the biggest place for visitors, and they will all be benefited by it.
They should come and see – and they don’t even come. They should come and see that we have not destroyed their land, we have beautified it. We have made it an oasis. If they have any intelligence, their whole government should help us to make this big desert into a lush, green, beautiful place. And we are ready to put in any kind of intelligence, labor, planning, everything.
But rather than helping us, they are creating every kind of legal hindrance – although in every court we are defeating them, but still, work is delayed. And four hundred sannyasins are working in our legal department. This is unnecessary – and we are certain to win because we are not wrong on any point, and in every court…
A few days ago, the attorney general declared six hundred thousand dollars’ punishment because we had made a few tents without permission. Tents don’t need permission, but because we had made winterized tents – they were a unique, new thing. They should really have praised it, that we have made a new kind of tent which can be used in winter, in snow. But instead they put a case against us. And the attorney general fined us six hundred thousand dollars for making permanent structures without permission.
I told my people, “Simply take a tent to the court. Unfold it in the court, fix it – it takes ten minutes to fix; then unfix it – it takes ten minutes to roll it down and put it in a bag, and ask the court, ‘Is this a permanent structure?’”
That was enough argument, and the court simply dismissed the case. Now, this attorney general should jump in some lake and commit suicide. Idiots! At least you should have come and seen what we are doing. But Oregonians seem to be shameless. They don’t have any sense of feeling. Now they are in another litigation against the city, that it is illegal. This is a unique city in the world – an illegal city! There are cities or there are no cities, but have you ever heard of an illegal city? And particularly a city where no crime has happened in four years: no rape, no theft, no murder. And a city where no rape happens, no murder happens, no stealing happens, is illegal? And cities like New York, where every kind of crime is happening every moment, are legal cities.
People should have a little more humanity and they should start trying to understand strangers. We are strangers, naturally they feel afraid – they don’t know us. That is one of the weaknesses of mankind. It is always afraid of the new, afraid of the strange. We are strangers, but we don’t want to remain strangers. That’s why I’m talking to you and to every journalist, so that you can see we are not coming in flying saucers from other planets.
Our lifestyle may be different, but it is better than your lifestyle. You can come and see, and compare. You can invite us to see your lifestyle, we can invite you to see our lifestyle. And we are absolutely certain that anybody who comes to see our lifestyle is going to praise it, because not a single person is in misery, not a single beggar, not a single person is on the street – hungry, without clothes, without shelter – and everybody is living equally, without any communism being imposed on them. Everybody is respected equally; it does not matter what his work is.
They should come and see these smiling, laughing, dancing people, and I don’t think that they will not change their minds. But they don’t come. And of course I cannot take my whole circus on the road; that is not possible because I cannot provide everywhere air-conditioned rooms for five thousand people. They should come. And we have all the facilities, hotels for them to stay in – they will not miss anything. Anything that they can get in a five-star hotel they will get here in our hotel, which is not even one star. We still have to make a five-star hotel. Once we make five-star hotels, then your five-star hotels will be just junk!
They should come and see what our people are eating, how healthy our people are. Their water is pure, their food is pure, and as far as possible everything is being made by us – even things like my watches. You may be thinking it is a Piaget – you are wrong. The Piaget costs a quarter of a million dollars. This is made by my sannyasins, and the Piaget people should be ashamed. These are not diamonds; these are just real stones, authentic stones. But with stones we can create a quarter million-dollar watch and we have not spent anything on it, almost nothing. These are stones. Our people have made my watches; they love me, they want to do everything for me.
Everything, from my shoes to my hat, is made by my own people. And I love it because it has a flavor, it contains their love. If somebody asks me to sell this watch for one billion dollars, I am going to say no – not even for ten billion dollars. It is not for sale, because love is never for sale. It has no price, although it is a very cheap watch.
Do all the guns and the helicopters and the sentries, do they make you feel more secure?
There is no reason for me to feel insecure. I have lived my life so totally that if I die this very moment, I will not be losing anything, because tomorrow is going to be simply the same story.
So I don’t need tomorrows. If they are given by existence, good; if not, I don’t need them. I have fulfilled myself. For thirty-two years I have been living a posthumous life. In these thirty-two, thirty-three years, if I was killed – and many attempts have been made on my life, but I have never felt insecure. There is no insecurity for me.

When I was a professor in the university, insurance people used to come to me saying that I should get insured.
I said, “That is stupid, because I never feel any insecurity. Why should I get insured?”
“No,” they would say, “for your children.”
I would say, “I am unmarried. Do you want me to produce children the way Jesus was produced? Just for your insurance policy, I have to produce children?”

I don’t feel any insecurity. I am secure in my own inner reality because I know that there is no death, that my innermost core is eternal, so no bullet can reach. As far as my body is concerned, it is going to die someday anyway, and as there are only seven days in a week, what is the choice? Monday is as good as Saturday. I don’t think that Saturday will be better – at the weekend – or Monday will not be good because it is an office day. I don’t have any office. I am always on the weekend, so there is no problem.
And these people are living with me now. There was a time – for thirty years – when I was traveling alone around India, not even a single person with me, facing hostile crowds of thousands of people. But I have never felt insecure, for the simple reason that if I am saying the truth, how long can you remain hostile?
Is the watchful eye of security here to keep outsiders out, or to keep insiders in?
No, the purpose of the security is just that we don’t want any nuisance. Inside there is no problem. But just two days before, two people who have been coming for ten days continuously – and because the police force, which is part of the government police, suspected them, they did not allow them in, today somehow they simply ran their car… The traffic policeman had to get to the side, because they were not going to stop. They were going full speed, and he was trying to stop them, but they were not going to stop. Now, the policeman could have fired, but my people don’t want to harm anybody, so he simply stood by the side and informed. Because it was the morning meeting time, they rushed into the temple, and started screaming and shouting. We enjoyed it – there is no problem. But then the police took them away; they could not allow us to enjoy more.
But they are Oregon’s police, we don’t have anything to do with it. We don’t have a jail here in the city; we don’t have even a police station where we can keep somebody for a few hours. They were delivered to Wasco County. That is their business; they should do whatsoever they want to do. But as far as we are concerned, we enjoyed the scene. These people think they are Christians and they had come to save my people – they were saviors!
Jesus has given such rotten ideas to people, that if I get this man I’m not going to hit him on one cheek, because he will offer the other. Why waste time? I’m going to hit him on both his cheeks and ask him, “Where is your third cheek? Give it to me!” Jesus has given an ideology to people who have been for centuries behaving madly – neurotics, psychotics. They have murdered millions of people, burned thousands of women alive, and they cannot even allow us if we don’t want to be saved!
Is it compulsory to be saved? And particularly as we are already saved, we have told them, “We are already saved, go and find people somewhere who are not yet saved.” But they had come to save us. And do you think shouting and screaming is going to convince anybody? Yes, it will convince people that you are simply nuts.
So those guards are simply to keep the nuisance out. Inside there is no problem at all. And even then it rarely happens, because these Oregonians are such cowards that they don’t even come to create a nuisance. They just go on gossiping everywhere, from the streets to their assembly – they go on talking about us. Nobody knows exactly what we are, what we stand for.
Just a few days ago, there was a professor from a California university on television. He is thought to be an expert on cults. What kind of expert is he? He has never been here – so close. And he is talking about me, condemning me. He knows nothing about me, he knows nothing about this commune. I have sent a challenge to him: that he can come, and I am ready to discuss with him. How much religion does he know, I would like to know. And what kind of expert is he? That too, I have to see. I know these experts, these professors, who just collect knowledge sitting in a library. That is not knowledge – that is all bullshit.
One of the things that has gotten spectacular coverage from the press is the sexual activities of Rajneeshees. What kinds of sexual practices are people encouraged to participate in?
Nobody is told to participate in any sexual practice. Sex is something natural, you need not learn about it. You don’t have to go to school to learn about sex. People know already what to do and they do it. In fact, only here are they naturally free to do whatsoever they feel like doing.
Everywhere else they are repressed. And because they are repressed by Christianity, by Hinduism, by Buddhism, by all kinds of ideologies, their repression sooner or later expresses in some perverted way. They become homosexuals, lesbians, masturbators, even making love to animals – and this is the result of your religions. Because of all these perversions, a greater danger than nuclear weapons is now facing humanity, which is AIDS. It is a religious disease. All the religions have contributed to it by enforcing celibacy on people.
Celibacy is unnatural. Forcing monks to live in one monastery and nuns to live in another, and with no way for men and women to meet each other – so what you expect? Homosexuality was absolutely predictable, and out of homosexuality, the ultimate is AIDS. Now it is spreading like wildfire, and nobody seems to know what to do to prevent it.
Nothing is being done anywhere in the world, except in this commune. All our sannyasins went immediately for tests, because it is a question of the whole commune: if one person has it, he can infect the whole commune. And infection does not need actual sexual intercourse, just kissing. Saliva is a carrier. A woman is crying and weeping and you console her… Now, just think of Jesus’ sentence again: “Blessed are those who mourn.” But if God tries to wash their tears and console them, he may get AIDS, because tears carry the virus. Any liquid coming out of your body has the possibility of carrying the disease. It is a strange disease. Who is responsible for it? It is spreading and nobody knows what to do, and nobody wants to do anything.
But we have done; we have taken all the precautions. All our sannyasins have been tested, and only two persons have been found positive. Those two people are living in the most beautiful house that we have, in the most scenic place, by the lake. All that is necessary to them is provided – the best we can do, better than we are doing for other sannyasins – because those people are not going to live much longer, at the most two years. That is the maximum. In fact, they are not going to live more than six or eight months, because there is no cure for it. But we have segregated them, put them separate, with all facilities and whatever they need, and with all respect because they are victims – victims of popes, victims of messiahs, victims of prophets. Those poor people are suffering because of Moses and Jesus and Abraham, Mohammed and Buddha. Anywhere else they would be condemned.
So, a problem has arisen around the world: nobody wants to be tested because who knows, he may have the disease. And if the society comes to know, then even your own family will not accept you in the house: “Just pack your luggage and get lost!” All those people who had said they love you, all those people who had said they would sacrifice their life for you – your wife, your children, your parents – they will be unanimous, “Just get lost, don’t enter the house.” Your friends will turn into enemies. You will be thrown out of your job. You will become a sub-human person. You will lose all your dignity, all your respect, all your integrity, and you will feel condemned.
So information is prevented. If somebody is found with AIDS, he bribes the physician to keep it to himself: “Don’t tell anybody. Otherwise, before AIDS kills me, the people will kill me.” There are millions of people with the disease already around the earth. But governments are also repressing the information, because they don’t want to be condemned around the world that their country has AIDS. That means their country has homosexuality, lesbianism, sadism; that their country is a perverted, sexual place. No government wants that to be known. No religion wants people to come to know how many AIDS sufferers are in the church or in the synagogue.
But it is a very dangerous thing not to make everybody aware who is carrying the disease, because that is the only way to prevent it. The person who is already sick cannot be saved, so make his life as beautiful as possible for the few months he is going to live, and don’t condemn him.
Those two sannyasins are here with no condemnation, with all the respect of the community, with all that we can provide for them. And they are resting, meditating. If they can die in deep meditation then perhaps AIDS has not done them any harm. Perhaps it has proved a blessing in disguise. For six or eight months they will be just meditating by the side of the lake, under the trees, under the moon. They may not ever have had that much time just for meditation, completely free of all responsibility.
Our effort is to change every misfortune into a blessing, and we are grateful to those two people because they did not resist, did not protest that they did not want to be tested. In the outside world people are not willing to be tested; they are afraid of the test. If the test comes and proves them to have AIDS, they are gone. So in the outside world nothing is being said. The pope is silent about AIDS – and he is not a silent person.
Right now he is visiting South Africa, which has the fastest rate of population growth, which is already over-populated and suffering, starving. The government is of white people, and the white people are only fifteen percent of the population. They are ruling over the eighty-five percent black people. They have encroached on every valuable thing that is in South Africa – all the gold mines, silver mines, diamond mines; everything that is valuable is in the hands of the fifteen percent. The eighty-five percent exist just like slaves. They don’t even have the right to vote: only the fifteen percent white people have the vote.
The pope is visiting South Africa and is teaching those poor South Africans, “Don’t use birth control methods, don’t use abortion; it is against God, and is a great sin.” They are dying – overpopulated, hungry, starving – and this Polack comes there to teach them against birth control.
And in South Africa AIDS is one of the major problems right now. More blacks have been found to suffer from AIDS than white people. Perhaps it has something to do with their different physiology – they have a little different physiology – or perhaps it has to do something with the climate.
Even three monkeys in South Africa have been found to have AIDS. The scientists who have found these monkeys are all men, so naturally they concluded that AIDS has arisen from monkeys. I could not believe it. When I received the information I said that man is so chauvinistic, macho. The simple conclusion would have been that these three poor monkeys have received AIDS from man, because in Africa – or in forests or mountains where a woman is not available – men are known to make love to animals. And monkeys have the same physiology, so it is easier to make love to monkeys than to any other animal, they are your cousins. I say confidently that those monkeys have been given AIDS by man, not vice versa.
No wild animal has been known up to now to be homosexual. But in zoos it happens: if females are not available, then monkeys start becoming homosexual, other animals start becoming homosexual. Our monasteries are zoos, our university hostels and colleges are zoos. Don’t allow man and woman together, and you are going to create perversions in their minds. Then those people will suffer because of your strange doctrines, strange ideas.
Now, it is simply lunatic to teach people celibacy. It is almost like saying to people to control pissing. And if somebody starts that movement, you should not be amazed, he will find followers! But they will all be hypocrites – they will piss somewhere, in some way, but they will keep up the hypocrisy that they never piss.

I have heard that two small children – one a little older, six years old, the other smaller, five years old… A few monks, Christian monks, were passing on the street. The smaller boy asked, “I am always puzzled. Do you know, can you tell me something? What is the difference between a man and a monk?”
The other one said, “I don’t know exactly, but I have heard the older boys say that the difference between a man and a monk is very small.”
The little boy said, “Please explain to me what little difference.”
“The little difference is that the monks use their ding-dong only for pissing.”
The little boy said, “I don’t understand.”
The older one said, “I don’t understand either, but this is what I have heard from older boys. Boys who are old enough, perhaps they know. It is mysterious.”

You cannot use your ding-dong only for pissing. No, the ding-dong is made for two things: ding and dong.

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