The Last Testament Vol 2 15

Fifteenth Discourse from the series of 30 discourses - The Last Testament Vol 2 by Osho.
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Portland, Oregon, United States
I've come to ask you a series of questions about AIDS.
We saw your forecast a year and a half a go, when you said that two-thirds of the world's population would eventually die of the disease. I'm curious where that number came from, and why you believe this is true.
I am not an astrologer or a prophet; it is just simple arithmetic, the way AIDS is spreading and no adequate efforts are being made to prevent it. On the contrary, governments are repressing the information, patients are repressing the information. Governments are making homosexuality illegal – that means they are making it go underground. In Texas alone, one million homosexuals have suddenly become criminals.
Laws have never changed anybody. It is just sheer stupidity – that just by making a law against homosexuality you have done a great preventive act. In fact, you have made it more dangerous. Known, diagnosed, there was a way at least to prevent the disease spreading. Now it will not be known, it will not be diagnosed; it will be underground. Nobody will be ready to go for a test.
And the disease is no ordinary disease. It cannot be cured; there seems to be no possibility to cure it. Secondly, its way of spreading is very strange. Sexual intercourse, of course, is one of the ways, but even if that is prevented, kissing can be enough to spread it. Somebody’s tears are enough to spread it – perhaps any liquid coming out of the body carries the virus. This is the first time a disease is being spread in so many ways.
Nobody is going to say if he has it, because the moment he says it, his own family will condemn him. His wife will leave him, his children will close the doors to him, his parents will deny him. His society will condemn him, his friends will turn into enemies; nobody would like even his shadow to be close by. Naturally, people will suppress it, they will not inform anybody. And that is the most dangerous part of it.
The disease originates in homosexuality, and all the religions are preaching, in disguise, homosexuality, all kinds of sexual perversions, because they are teaching people to remain celibate – which is unnatural, which cannot be supported by medical science. Nobody can be celibate who is not impotent; he has to find some outlet for his sexual energy which goes on accumulating.
Your monks eat food, they drink milk, they do everything that the body needs. Then the body produces everything that it has been producing for millennia. And the body has no way of knowing that you have taken a vow of celibacy. The body is neither Christian, nor Hindu, nor Mohammedan, and the body does not know whether you are a householder or a monk.
Secondly, all the religions have put their monks in one monastery, their nuns in another, and there is no way of meeting for man and woman. In the armies you are doing the same; in hostels, in schools, in colleges, in universities, it has been the routine. Now, all these are the places from where AIDS has arisen. Homosexuality is the source.
And the strangest thing is that now people like Falwell are saying that it is God’s punishment for homosexuals. If God is there, and if he has any sense of justice, then the punishment should be given to the popes, to the prophets, to the messiahs who have created this idea – a lunatic idea – of celibacy. And because of that idea, homosexuality came into being, sodomy came into being – and just now they have found three apes in Africa who have AIDS. The scientists thought that it is the apes who are spreading it. This is simple stupidity. It is not the apes who are spreading it; it must be man who has had intercourse with the apes. It is well known in remote corners of the world – in jungles, in mountains – that when people cannot get anybody else they make love to animals.
And it is not something new, it is coming from the Old Testament. A whole city called Sodom became interested in animals; that’s why the name sodomy…
Excuse me, can I change tapes?
If I may, I'd like to turn my question around perhaps. You said that two-thirds of the population will die of AIDS. Who will be the survivors? Who will be left?
People who want to survive will have to live like we are living, in a commune. Only in a commune is it possible to prevent the disease from spreading, to take every precaution. And only in a commune is it possible not to be afraid of being known to be suffering from the disease, because you are only a victim.
In my commune there are a few people who are suffering from AIDS, but they are getting more respect than they have ever got, and more love than they have ever got. And we are making every facility available to them: better houses, a more scenic place for them to live, because they are going to live only for a few months, or at the most two years – which is rarely possible, six months may be the most possible for them. For six months we can make their life as pleasant as possible. We can teach them meditations, we can help them to be silent – to prepare for death.
In fact, I am telling these sannyasins, “Take it as an opportunity: perhaps in your whole life you may not have had an opportunity to remain in silence for two years. And death comes unknown to others; to you it is coming with a notice. It is perfectly useful, because you can prepare. Nobody else is ready for death, everybody is caught unprepared; you can prepare. And the preparation is to go deeper into meditation. Reach the point where death can never reach, and then let death come. You don’t die, you simply go on moving into new forms.”
So only in an intelligent, loving, understanding commune – every sannyasin has gone through the tests. In the cities people are resisting; even if they have symptoms they don’t want to be tested. The fear of condemnation will kill them. Two years of living in such a condemnation, there will be only one way: to commit suicide rather than be condemned by your own family, by your own people, friends, and live like a ghost, welcome nowhere. These people can only commit suicide. That will be the only respectable thing left for them.
But in a commune it is a totally different situation. All over the world we have communes, and we are making the commune the model for everything. Any city can follow the same ground rules. The basic thing is that the AIDS patient should not be condemned, that there should be special shelters, nursing homes – better than any other – for these people who are living under the shadow of death. And the best music, the best paintings, the best films, the best literature, anything that they want should be provided.
And the whole responsibility should be thrown onto the religious people. They should be charged for all the expenses, because it is they who have done it. And they are still doing crimes, and nobody is preventing them. They still go on telling people – in South Africa the pope is talking to people against birth control, against abortion, against the pill, because, “These are all against God’s will.” As if he knows God. As if he knows God’s will. And he is saying it to people whose birthrate is the highest in the world, who are already over-populated, starving, in utter degradation, in slavery – he is teaching them this nonsense. He should be immediately shot.
And the same is being done by all the other religions. Mohammedans still insist to marry four wives. That means they can create a four-times greater population than anybody else. And they say it is a religious question, and you cannot interfere in anybody’s religion.
The population is growing, starvation is growing, sicknesses like AIDS are spreading, nuclear weapons are piling up – it is enough for any man of intelligence to understand that we are very close to a global death. Some way or other this beautiful earth is going to be destroyed, unless something very drastic is done.
Do you see any possibility that that drastic change will come?
I don’t see any possibility, but I will make every effort. It is hoping against hope, but I still hope. I don’t see that anything can be done because all these people are divided into religious groups; their minds are so conditioned that they can’t see the reality.
In India I was teaching about birth control for thirty years, and the only reward that I got was stones thrown at me, shoes thrown at me, knives thrown, attempts to kill me were made. The last attempt before I left India was made before ten thousand sannyasins in a morning discourse. Ten thousand eyewitnesses – it is a rare case to find! And twenty topmost police officers were there, because they got the news from some anonymous source that something was going to happen, so, “Go there immediately.”
So twenty police officers were there. They caught the man who threw the knife at me and they presented the case. We were out of it; we said, “It is a police case. The police have caught the man red handed. They have the knife, they have the person.” But still the court released him. Ten thousand witnesses don’t mean anything; twenty police officers unanimously saying it, the proof is there… The man belongs to the same Hindu fanatic group that killed Mahatma Gandhi. Still, he was honorably released, with no charge.
But the magistrate must have started feeling guilty. It was such an injustice that through a common friend he asked my forgiveness. I said, “There is no need to ask for forgiveness. This way he will not get rid of his guilt; he has done something far more dangerous than murder.”
The friend said, “But the magistrate’s situation is that he belongs to the same religious group, he believes in the same religion. The religious leaders are pressing him, the politicians are pressing him that that man should not be punished. And his promotion is due. If he punishes that man, of course, they will release him in the higher court, but his promotion will be gone.”
I said to the magistrate’s friend, “Tell him, ‘Don’t feel guilty, just enjoy your promotion. As far as I am concerned, now there is no longer any promotion for me. I have reached the very end of my consciousness, now there is nothing more. So if anybody kills me it should not be considered a murder, because he is not preventing me from anything.’”
The last time I heard you talk was at the news conference, and at that time there was talk of a gun in the audience. And the question of your being killed came up at that time too. Is this something that you can think about a lot? Is this something that…
I don’t think.
…is in the minds of your people?
I don’t think of it at all. But every day we go on receiving phone calls, letters, every day we receive threats. So it is not on our part. We don’t care about those letters, we simply give them to the police. We don’t bother about those telephone calls – we are not at all worried. We are doing our thing so totally that nobody has any time for any nonsense.
I simply mentioned it because the world is divided into fanatic religious groups. The world is divided also into political groups. They all have their vested interests, and their vested interest is in this kind of society where AIDS is absolutely bound to happen.
So I don’t see that anything can succeed against so many vested interests and so many powerful people – religious, political. But I am doing my best. I am creating communes in every place, in every country. They are trying that these communes should not be created, and they are doing the same here.
We have not done any harm to anybody. In four years we have changed a desert into a beautiful oasis. There was only one house when we had come here, now there are houses for five thousand people with all the latest facilities – a fully air-conditioned city. No illegality has happened in four years: nobody has been fighting, nobody has been killed, nobody has committed suicide, nobody has raped anybody, there is not a single prostitute – and your government is declaring this city illegal. If this city is illegal, then no city can be legal.
The city that you built, is it complete now, or what is the next step or stage of its development?
We don’t plan ahead, we go spontaneously. Right now it is under litigation, so nothing can happen. Once the litigation is over – and it has to be over; we are going to win, because we still believe in the constitution of America. We don’t believe in Americans but we believe in the constitution.
What does that mean?
That means the constitution is certainly going to protect us. We have done nothing against the constitution, and your politicians have done everything against the constitution. So we have every certainly of winning in the Supreme Court, and we will fight to the very end. Our defeat will be the defeat of the American constitution, American democracy, the American idea of freedom, individuality. So if that is going to be the case, then it is okay.
Could you explain to me: clearly your goal in winning this litigation is far more than air-conditioned houses, and what you've achieved here now. There is more inside. Your goal is beyond this, and that's what I would…
There is no goal.

[some talking between the interviewer and the crew]
Forgive me…
Change it. Just don’t change sex, you can go on changing the tape!
I don’t have any goal. We live moment to moment, and when tomorrow comes, we will live tomorrow. Naturally we will be expanding – that is the nature of life. Death is shrinking, life is expanding. So if we are free to expand we will expand. Nobody knows the limits, and nobody can determine the limits. And we have enough land – 126 square miles. It is three times bigger than New York.
So we can make a beautiful place, a hill station, with people living on all the mountains. We can create many lakes; we can make it lush green. Nobody will ever remember that it was a desert, and that for fifty years it remained for sale and nobody purchased it because it was worthless.
But we are already self-sufficient as far as our food is concerned, our vegetables are concerned, our milk products are concerned. We are trying in every way to grow and be self-sufficient. And we will invite more and more people to share and be part of us. One thing is certain: the moment the barriers are removed – and they will have to be removed; they can be postponed, that does not matter – we are going to expand. And we are going to make the first city in the world without crime, without homosexuality, without prostitution, without priests – who are worse than prostitutes. And we are going to create as luxurious and comfortable a life for the people in the commune as possible; they will not think at all of any heaven.
Heaven is the projection of people who are living in hell. If you are already living in paradise, who cares about heaven and hell? My people are perhaps the only small community in the world which has no need of a God figure, because deep down they are growing, maturing, and that need of a child for a father figure has disappeared. God has nothing to do with religion, nothing to do with philosophy; it is something to do with a retarded child, a child who has not been able to grow and still needs a father figure to protect him.
Nobody prays here, there is no need. There is nobody to pray to and there is nothing to pray for. Whatever we need we will produce. What we ourselves can do, why go on dumping on somebody else’s head? Yes, everybody is meditating. Meditation needs no system of beliefs; it does not require you to be a theist or atheist, democrat or communist. You may be whatever you are. Meditation is a scientific methodology: you need not believe in it, you have just to hypothetically experiment with it.
And it has never been, in the whole history of man, that a single man who has meditated has ever said anything against the innermost supreme consciousness – not a single man. Those who have spoken against it have never meditated. Marx, Engels, Lenin, or Mao – none of them has ever meditated for a single moment. They know nothing of their own interiority. Their denial is just stupid; their denial is as idiotic as the acceptance of God of all other religions. They have not meditated, they have not searched within themselves. They have not looked at who they are.
So, these people are searching within themselves and finding peace, silence, joy, arising. We don’t have much, but we are living as richly as even the rich people in the world cannot afford. They are miserly, they are suffering, they are in misery. They may have riches but they don’t have the consciousness to use those riches. Whatever we have, we share, we enjoy, and we are perfectly contented, not a single complaint.
And we now have dozens of communes exactly the same around the world, growing on the same lines. They are going to be models for people to see, to understand. And if they feel, “This is right,” then my communes will become the schools for future cities. Then send your people to be here, to live here for three to six months – it will be a training period for them so that they can go back and create a commune of your city. Or, if it is a big city, then four communes, five communes, but divided into communes, no longer families.
We have one kitchen for five thousand people. It is so cheap, so simple, and so many women are freed for other work. For the first time they can paint, they can sculpt, they can compose music, they can write poetry. They need not waste their lives, only rearing children and taking care of the kitchen, and then their whole life is finished – from the cradle to the grave, the same routine.
In four years not a single child has been born in the commune. And nobody is prohibited; it is just a simple understanding of the situation, that the world is overpopulated and this is a crime to give birth to a child. A crime against the world, a crime against the child, because the child will be a beggar, the child will create another Ethiopia, the child will be hungry, starving, and you are not being human to your own child.
No child has been born in four years. There is no need. The family is a dangerous thing now, it should not exist.
Should not exist today and for the next twenty years? Or should not exist from now on?
From now on, because its function is finished. It has done its job. The future belongs to communes. That does not mean that people cannot live together, it simply means that children are no longer their possessions. They can love their children, they can meet their children, but the children will be the responsibility of the commune.
The commune will decide how many children we need, what kind of children we need. The medical board will decide who is going to be the mother and who is going to be the father. It cannot be decided by priests and the church, or the astrologers or the palmists; this is idiotic. Who can be the father and who can be the mother, has to be decided by a medical board.
Do you think anyone would accept that, even here?
They already accept it here, there is no question about it.
Is there any effort to establish a medical board with that direction?
We have a medical center, we have enough medical people. You cannot find, in such a small commune anywhere else, all the professions – and the topmost people of the professions. We have four hundred legal experts, the biggest law firm in the whole world. And those four hundred people are going to fight for every single inch. We have doctors, all qualified – highly qualified. We have surgeons – one of the best plastic surgeons in the world, one of the best heart surgeons in the United States. We have nurses, we have everything that is needed. And in our other communes we have more people if we need any help.
We have one million sannyasins around the world, in every profession. And because only very intelligent people become interested in me, this is bound to be so. None of my people are uneducated, almost all are graduates from the universities; most of them have masters degrees, many are PhDs. We are perfectly balanced in every way, and that’s why I say the commune is the way for the future, because nobody needs to be paid, but all his needs are taken care of.
I don’t believe in austerity. I am against it – it is masochistic, a psychological disease. All your saints have suffered from it. Everything that my people need is made available; they themselves make it available. They have pooled all their energies into one pool, and things have become so simple.
For example, five thousand cars are not needed, just one thousand cars will do. Anybody can take a car, there is no problem, there is no question. So everybody has the facility of a car. We have one hundred buses; if you don’t want to go in a car and drive and unnecessarily take a risk, you go in an air-conditioned bus. We have five airplanes, which is perfectly sufficient for our people. Anybody can use the airplanes in any emergency. We have our own pilots, we have our own engineers. We have our own garages, we have our own mechanics.
Everybody that we need is here, and we have pooled all the energies. So one kitchen is sufficient for five thousand people, and gives better food than you can ever get from a nagging wife!
If I put all this together…I'm trying to describe a goal to you, and you can stop me after I say this – but you're striving for self-sufficiency, you try to demonstrate it here at the commune. You talk of pestilence, you talk of war. It sounds like what you're establishing here is an attempt for an oasis that will survive all the dire things that you predict within the next decade, the next twenty years. The goal then, it might be guessed, would be for Osho and the sannyasins to lead humanity out of all of this through the communes.
No, it is not the goal. The goal is to become a new type of school of training, a model for the future, for the whole of humanity. But it depends on them. If they don’t want to come, we are not going to send missionaries to convince them. If they want to die, they are perfectly free; that is their choice. If they want AIDS to spread all over the world, it is their freedom. But we will not allow them to destroy our communes.
We are ready to help, but they will have to come to us; we are not going to them. The thirsty has to come to the well, the well is not going anywhere.
We have not left the world. I was arguing for thirty years, traveling and arguing and talking, and then I realized, “This will not do. I have to give proofs of what I am saying – not just arguments but existential proofs.” That’s why in 1970 I started the movement of sannyas, and started creating small centers, making them bigger and bigger. Now they have flowered, they have blossomed into communes. Now we are ready to accept anybody who wants to learn anything.
They can see our children, they can see how they are being taught, how they are being treated – with what respect and love. They can see our teachers – that they are not just teachers, they are mothers and fathers too. They can come and see that every child is moving freely within the whole commune. All the sannyasins are aunts and uncles. It is a beautiful and rich experience for the child.
There was one small child, Siddhartha, I used to ask his mother where he is. She would say, “It is very difficult to find him. Sometimes he is with this uncle, sometimes he is with that aunt; many days he disappears, sleeps in other houses. But he is so happy; there is no problem. Once in a while he comes, and each time we can see that he is growing fast, knowing things that we never knew at his age, becoming more mature and understanding.”
Being with so many people is a tremendous training. And getting so much love from so many people is a great fulfillment. Why keep the child poor by just giving him a mother and a father? And in fact, because the child has to be disciplined by the father he will never forgive the father. He will always hate him, deep down. And also because, if the child is a boy he was in love with his mother and the father was the enemy; if the child is a girl she was in love with her father and the mother was the enemy. No woman is without that hate in her unconscious for her own mother.
Psychologists say that ninety percent of diseases are because of the family. If we can free the child from this addiction to two people and make him free and available to many impressions, he will not be angry with his father, and the girl will not be hateful towards the mother. On the contrary, they will be grateful that their parents helped them to grow in such a big human energy field.
It has been found that no man is ever satisfied with any woman, nor is any woman ever satisfied with any man. Something is always missing. And the reason, psychologists say, is that the girl first fell in love with her father. Now she will seek and search her whole life for the same type of man, her father, exactly. That is impossible, she cannot find it anywhere. Nature never produces two people alike. So she has to compromise and be in love with a man who in some partial way resembles her father. But once they get married she will have to become acquainted with his whole personality. Just a part resembles, but the whole is a stranger. And the same is true for the man: only a part resembles his mother, the whole is different. This creates continuous conflict with every couple, and it drives them nuts.
In a commune this will not happen, because children will not be carrying a single clear-cut picture of a woman or a man. They will have a vague sensation, which can adjust to any woman or to any man very easily. They have only a vague sense of thousands of qualities, because every woman has different qualities, different ways; every man has different qualities, different ways. And if a child becomes aware of five thousand people, then he has a richness which will make him capable of adjusting to someone. If he can adjust to five thousand strangers, there is no question of his adjusting to one wife, one husband. And we can create a better, more loving world.
What you're saying is all reasonable, but it sounds like it's from the head and not the heart that people want families, people want children. They want the comfort, they want the love that these provide. They want the tradition of these things. I think that's from the heart, what you're saying is from the head.
What I am saying is of the heart, but the heart cannot say it. It has to use the head to say it. Just try saying from the heart – anything, just a single word. So, whatever I am saying is from the heart, but the heart has no tongue; it has to go via the head. So you will be hearing via my mouth, not through my heart – that I can understand.
Everything that I am saying is from the heart, and if I am supporting it from the head, that is the function of the head. The head has to speak for the heart, the head has to rationalize for the heart, the head has to be a servant to the heart. The heart is the master. I am against the head being the master. As a master, the head is the worst master; as a servant, it is a perfect servant.
But whatever I am saying is absolutely my heart. But there is no other way: I have to use the head, its language, its reasoning to reach you. Certainly it will reach your head first. If you don’t block it there, perhaps it may enter into your heart. But you can block it, you can keep it in the head, you can listen to me just intellectually. That is not my fault, that is your fault. As far as I am concerned, I am speaking my heart.
Let me ask you a totally different subject. Tomorrow there was a news conference scheduled, where you and Sheela were to appear. As we understood, it was going to be something about AIDS. What happened?
I don’t know, because I don’t get involved in the details of things that the commune is doing. They inform me, they bring the car, and they tell me that you are waiting here. Seven o’clock I have to be here, so I am here. If there is a press conference tomorrow, I will certainly be there.
You realize you could tell these people what to do…
I don’t know.
…if you wanted.
No, I don’t impose anything on the commune. It is the commune’s work. I never go into the commune office; I never inquire what is happening. Whatsoever they feel that they want to inform me about, they inform me. And I have told them, “Be as minimum as possible.”
So, every night, half an hour before – at the most one hour – they inform me; if there is a press conference, I will know about it tonight. If there is not…
There was an effort called “To the Heart of America” that we heard about, which was an effort to send sannyasins out to cities in what reporters saw might be a missionary effort by the religion. Will you approve of an effort of that sort?
What are you are saying?
About six, eight months ago, there was a program sponsored by the church, called “To the Heart of America,” which sent sannyasins out to…
…four cities.
For what?
Can you help me with this, Isabel?
Vidya answers: Part of the university developed some programs in different cities in America. The program was called “To the Heart of America.”
We were told that it was an experiment at that time, and there was a possibility that the next – judging on the success of this effort – that the next efforts would be in Washington, DC and New York, which looked as I say, very much like a missionary effort. Would you approve of such a thing?
I have not even heard about it. These people must have done something, but I have not heard about it; that’s why I could not understand your question. The people from the university may have gone to other universities, or other cities where people were asking to understand what is going on here and what is my basic philosophy. So a few people had gone on invitation.
We are not missionaries. We will never go anywhere uninvited. If a university invites us, then we can send somebody from our university to talk to them, to answer their questions, their curiosities. But there is no question of any missionary effort.
And you can see that I am not even aware of it. I have never heard of the program called “Heart of America.” I am just hearing it now. That’s great.
A question of personal curiosity: it strikes me, and I may be wrong here, but you are teaching people how to live, how to get by in this world – and to get by on their own, find their strength within themselves ultimately, which to me, means to find their way without Osho.
If these people are paying attention to the lesson, why are they still here?
It is not wrong on your part to ask the question, it is significant.
The people who have come to understand themselves, their silence, their peace, their joy, certainly no longer need me. And if they were going to decide from their heads – as the question is arising from your head – they would have left. But just because they have experienced their ultimate joy and ecstasy in my presence, in my love field, they feel a tremendous gratitude that is of their heart. Nobody is preventing them from going away, but they would not like to go. They simply love the place where their greatest experience happened. They love the man with whom their greatest experience happened.
I am reminded of a story in Gautam Buddha’s life.

Sariputta, one of his chief disciples, became enlightened. And Buddha said, “Sariputta, now you have to go to spread the word. You don’t need me anymore, you yourself are in the same space as I am.”
Sariputta said, “I was worried about this. I was postponing my enlightenment up to now just to be near you. And be kind to me: although I am enlightened, you are old – who knows how long we will be able to sit in your fragrance, in your presence? And how are we going to pay the debt? It is impossible. But at least let me be here, so that every day I can touch your feet.”

This happened many times, because slowly many other disciples became enlightened. Buddha would ask them to go, and the same was the situation: they would cry – enlightened people crying and asking not to be sent away.
There is something of tremendous gratitude that happens when side by side. And a disciple – although he is no longer a disciple, he himself is a master. Just the fact that this miraculous thing has happened to him which he had never dreamed about, creates great gratitude; he wants to be near me for as long as possible.
I cannot send them away. That would be too heartless. I am not preventing them; that would be against my teachings. So it is up to them. If they want to go into the world to spread the word they are welcome. But if they want to remain here, and just being here is such a joy for them, then I should not disturb them. Then they can be here. But many people are going out.
There is an exchange program now, because we have so many communes and everybody wants to be here with me. So we have found this way: twenty persons, thirty persons, will voluntarily offer themselves that they would like to give a chance for thirty people from Germany to be here for three months – or from Italy or from Holland or from India or from Japan. And this way those people will be here, and my people will be there.
In both the cases it will be good. Those people will enjoy and relish the feeling of energy that is here, and my thirty people will spread in Germany or in Japan all that they have gained, learned, experienced in the commune,. And this is going to be continuous; all the year round people will be moving. And anybody will be ready to go voluntarily for three months, because it is not going to be a lifelong thing – only for three months. And in fact it is compassionate to go and give thirty other people a chance to be with me. So, that is our exchange program around the world for other sannyasins.
But whoever wants to be near me, I am available. Whether he has achieved or not does not matter; it is his decision.
As a religious leader, how would you define what your obligation, in turn, is then? You say you're available to the people who want to learn. Beyond that, is there is an obligation you feel to those people?
No, there is no obligation on anyone’s part – neither on my part nor on the sannyasins’ part. I am available out of my own joy; I am not obliging anybody. Nobody even gives me a simple thank you – there is no need. I am so full that I would like to share. In fact, that’s what I mean by availability – the opening of a flower and the fragrance spreads. It is not obliging anybody.
Anybody who is available and close to the flower, who is sensitive enough, will be able to get something out of it. So it is not a commandment, that you have to follow me, that you have to receive what I give, that you have to accept it. There is no question of any commandment, no order. I am not a leader. I am simply a human being who has blossomed to full humanity, of which everyone has the potential. So there is no question of holier-than-thou, higher-than-thou. There is no problem and no question. The difference is, you are just a little late in getting up, that’s all. I got up a little early.
That difference does not make any difference. So they are not obliged to me. If they open their hearts and receive whatever I have to offer, they are doing it out of their own choice. They are not doing a duty, they are not following a discipline; they are simply experimenting out of their own freedom.
I call it an experiment of inner exploration. If somebody has already reached, just sitting silently by his side something transpires. It is infectious. You can easily go in. And if there are thousands of people who are doing the same in-going, a new person can simply be caught in the current of in-going.
But nobody is forcing anybody, nobody is directing anybody. Nobody is even asking whether you attained it or not, at what stage you are. All these are business things, and this is a commune, absolutely non-serious, playful – even about meditation we are playful.
So I am happy if somebody attains, but it is not that he is obliged to me.
Is work still a meditation here?
My whole work is meditation.
I'm thinking of the sannyasins. Does that definition still hold true, that work is meditation?
The work is just meditation. A sannyasin simply means one who has agreed to meditate, nothing more – who is willing to go as far as possible. It is his declaration, his dedication, his commitment – to himself, not to anybody functioning as an authority. He is declaring to himself, “I am deciding to go in.” And his sannyas is only a remembrance. His change of clothes is nothing but to remind him continuously, twenty-four hours a day, that now he has chosen meditation as his path. The day he has achieved, there is no need for his red clothes, but again the same question…
People who have attained are still using red clothes. They feel a certain gratitude even to the clothes, because for years, twenty-four hours a day, they were reminding them. They have become something of tremendous value to them; they have helped them on the path.
So sannyas is only a declaration. The work is meditation. In one single word my religion is complete, and that is meditation.
We were told that the people who are working here at the commune, driving a bulldozer, for example, that is their meditation. Do you agree with that?
You will have to understand what I mean by meditation. Meditation means alertness, awareness, mindfulness. So whatever you are doing, just do it consciously, don’t do it mechanically.
I can move my hand mechanically; I can move it very consciously, fully alert. And there is a difference of quality. When you move it with consciousness there is grace; when you move it just like machine there is no grace, no beauty. When you are doing any kind of work…
All the old religions have been telling you that your religion is a Sunday religion. Every Sunday you have to go to church, and for six days you are free. This is very strange. For six days God was creating this world. He was tremendously creative: in six days he created this whole universe – and on the seventh day there is no mention that he went to church!
In fact, after those six days he has gone for a long weekend – and it has been really long! According to Christians, six thousand years have passed. According to Hindus, ninety thousand years have passed. The weekend seems to be unending! For six days you do everything, and the seventh day you go to church, pray – and your religion is finished. Other religions give you twenty minutes meditation – sit in the morning and meditate for twenty minutes. These are not meditations. Meditation has to be something like breathing; you cannot go on holiday, even in sleep you have to continue breathing.
So, whatever you are doing – even just breathing, then breathe consciously in. As you take the breath in, remain alert. As the breath starts moving out, remain alert. You are meditating. Walking, just go consciously and you are meditating.
My meditation is not something separate from life; it is something that has to be spread all over life. Your whole life has to be colored by it. So whatever you do – you make love, but meditation remains. You cannot drop it even while making love. It is not like your glasses; you cannot take it off. It is like eyes; they are always there. You cannot just take them off and put them on again.
My meditation is a method of being aware of whatever you are doing, thinking, feeling. On all three layers you have to become aware. A time comes when even when you are going to sleep, even then, while you are sitting on the bed, sit in awareness, lie down in awareness. Wait for sleep, fully watchful: when it comes, how it comes, how slowly it descends on you, how your body starts relaxing, in which points there was tension, and now the tension is gone.
A day will come, certainly comes, when the body will have gone to sleep and your meditation will still be there like a flame inside you, burning, fully aware. This is the moment that I say your meditation is complete. Now you can meditate even in sleep. So there is no question: while you are awake you will be able to meditate, there is no problem.
And the man who can meditate in sleep will be able to meditate while dying, because the process is the same. Just as in sleep you slowly, slowly go deeper inside you – the body is left far away, relaxed, the mind slows down, the thoughts go on disappearing – exactly the same happens in death. A man who knows meditation never dies. He remains alive, aware. Death is happening, he is there.

When Socrates was given poison, he had gathered all his disciples. One of the disciples asked, “Before you leave us, please tell us whether the soul survives or not.”
Socrates said, “Again you are asking the same stupid question. Let me die and see! I will die fully aware. There are only two possibilities: either I am gone, finished with the body finishing, and there is nobody left to be aware; or the body will be dying and I will be moving into some other form. But before death, how can I say? I am so excited.”
The man who was preparing the poison was delaying because he loved Socrates. Everybody loved the man – even the man who was going to give him poison was delaying. Socrates said, “This is not right. It is the time for you to come.”
The man who was preparing the poison said, “You must be crazy Socrates. I am simply delaying the process so you can live a little longer.”
Socrates said, “I have lived long enough, and I have lived so totally that I don’t think I have left anything unlived. My life is complete, so don’t waste time. I am excited to experience death; I want to see death.”

And that is exactly the situation of every meditator, he wants to see death too. Seeing it means you are separate from it, you are something eternal. And this experience of eternity, immortality, is authentic religion – not worshipping a God, not a Holy Bible, not a Gita. Those are just for retarded people.
The man taking the pictures is Michael Hawkins. He would very much like to ask you a question as well. Would that be permitted?
[to the cameraman] You wanted to ask a question? Ask it.
There are several. The AIDS precautions that are being set up here would seem to me to attract two types of people. One, who possibly already have AIDS and want a peaceful place to live out the rest of life. But the other person will be somebody that is so paranoid about getting the disease, that this would be a place that they could ultimately avoid it completely. Are there problems with either of those people coming here?
No problem, but we had not thought about it. You are giving a good idea. [aside] Note it down. Thank you. We will manage…

[back to the interviewer]
One thing I would like to ask you about. Has there been a change in the mood of the commune in the four years? As someone who visits occasionally…it was a younger group, maybe a little more dynamic, four years ago. These people, they've matured is one way of saying it. Are you aware of a change here in the way that people behave, and the way they perceive the effort of the commune?
They are certainly more mature, more meditative, more joyous, more at ease, for many reasons. The four years have given them many challenges. So, in the beginning they were finding themselves harassed by the government, by the Oregonians.
Slowly, I have had to explain to them, “Enjoy it, there is nothing to be harassed about. Nobody can harass you unless you are ready to be harassed. The person who harasses you – if you don’t get harassed, he is harassing himself.” Slowly, slowly they have understood. Now everything is calm and quiet. They go to the courts, they fight the cases, and take it easily. There is no problem about it. We have accepted that we will have to fight, so why not fight joyously? We have accepted that the government of Oregon is one of the most primitive governments, illegal, unconstitutional, so now there is no problem.
Firstly there was a problem, because we were thinking it was a democratic government and would follow the law and the constitution. And when they did not do that my people were a little puzzled, disappointed. Now they have accepted the fact that we have to depend on the constitution and not on the politicians. We have to depend on the Supreme Court and not on the parliamentarians, senators, assembly members, governors, president – we are not to depend on those people. So they have figured it out, and now everything is clear. We are going to be here, that much is settled. Nobody can throw us out of here; we are at home. That has given a certain calmness.
And secondly, we have become aware of all their tricks and strategies, their loopholes, and we are fighting well and we are winning. And we are going to win every single case against us because they are illegal and unconstitutional. So there is no problem; just the legal department has to work – and it is good to sharpen your intelligence.
The commune as a whole has settled. It is no longer a campus, it is an illegal city. And it is more of a joy to be an illegal city than to be just an ordinary legal city. We are unique in the world. There is no other illegal city anywhere. Either a city is a city or there is no city; but an illegal city is really hilarious.
And we are enjoying it now. We are not at all disturbed by anything. We are enjoying it, and we will give them a tough fight, because we are not Christians, we are not going to give them the other cheek. And we are not even allowing them to give us the other cheek. We will hit both their cheeks simultaneously. So we are just rejoicing in the whole game. Now it is a game for us – a football game. And in four years, people have been meditating, and people have been creative, and people have changed.
At first they were a little afraid, facing this vast desert. How are we going to manage to make streets? We have never made streets. How are we going to grow our food, our vegetables in this desert? But intelligent people can always find ways, and we have managed to do everything. People who had never made roads have made better roads than your roads. People who have never cooked have proved tremendously inventive in cooking.
And we have sorted things out. Things have settled, and everybody is enjoying his work. And we change people from one work to another, so everybody is capable of many things in any emergency. The plumber can teach in the university, and the professor can be the plumber. We are shifting people. They are all educated, so there is no problem. The plumber can be the electrician, the electrician can be the plumber. Doctors are cooking, cooks are doctors – it is beautiful.
Come sometimes and remain here for a few days and you will find it groovy!

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