The Last Testament Vol 2 18

Eighteenth Discourse from the series of 30 discourses - The Last Testament Vol 2 by Osho.
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Yoga Pratima,
Rajneeshpuram, Oregon, United States
When asked whether Rajneeshees and their neighbors in Oregon could ever coexist peacefully, your reply was, “Never.”
What do you mean by never? What do you mean by coexistence?
The word coexistence has a very bad political connotation. Coexistence simply means that the two parties remain hostile, that there is no other way for reconciliation, for meeting, for merging. Coexistence is the least that can be done.
For example, the Soviet Union and America are in coexistence. Coexistence actually means a cold war: full of hostility, ready to fight, waiting for the right moment when you are more powerful, yet on the surface playing the game, “We are human beings, peace-loving people, we can coexist.”
I hate the word coexistence. The journalist who asked the question did not wait even to inquire why I simply denied it in a single word, never. She thought that she had understood it.
I want one existence, not coexistence. Truth knows no compromise. Lies are always ready to compromise because they have nothing to lose; they have nothing in them. But truth cannot compromise. By compromising, it becomes untrue. If we are true, then those who are wrong should merge with us. If they are true, we are ready to merge with them. The question of coexistence does not arise.
I believe in one existence, but I don’t think the journalist would have come to this conclusion from a single word when I said, “Never.” I am open; my commune is open. We are ready to discuss intellectually, humanly, everything that the neighbors may have against us. If they are right, we will change ourselves; but if we are right, they have to change themselves. The question of coexistence does not arise.
Truth has to be victorious. From which side it comes does not matter. If they have the truth, then we will naturally become part of them. And that is something to be understood because it means dropping all hostility, dropping all anger, hatred, fear.
In coexistence you don’t drop anything, you simply accept the fact, there is no way – they are here, we are here – and somehow we have to manage to exist together.” But what kind of existence will that be – somehow? There is no joy, there is no friendship, there is no love. In the sentence it was asked, “Is there any possibility of a peaceful coexistence?” For that, too, my answer is, “Never.”
People don’t know what peace is. How can you be peaceful with anybody? First you have to be peaceful with yourself. And if you are not peaceful with yourself, how can you be peaceful with me or anybody else?
We are already peaceful; we are not creating any trouble for anybody. We are not in any way unkind to anybody. The neighbors have to learn how to be peaceful with themselves. The question of being peaceful with your neighbors arises only because you are not peaceful, your neighbor is not peaceful – or perhaps one is peaceful, the other is not peaceful – so it is not a question of agreement, that “We will live peacefully together.” If I am peaceful and you are peaceful, we live peacefully, without any declaration about peace.
If you see the history of man, you can divide it into periods of war and periods of peace. But when you see a period of peace, it simply means a preparation for a new war. It is not peace; it is just on the surface. The enemies were exhausted in one war, now they are preparing peacefully for the second war. Now the world is at peace, there is no war, but you can’t see any peace anywhere. Everywhere there is fear of war looming on the horizon. Any moment it can explode.
Do you call this peace? Peace cannot exist between two wars; it is not the gap between two wars. Any gap between two wars is simply cold war – simply preparation for another war, and time is needed so the fighting stops. There will be peace only when after a war there is no other war. Not between two wars, but after one war, and the next war never comes – that is peace.
And my understanding about peacefulness is that it is not a question of being peaceful with anybody. The basic question is being at peace with yourself. Out of that, peace arises for everybody. So whosoever is ready to receive it, whosoever is ready to synchronize with your peace, there is immediately a meeting point, a merging and the fragrance of friendship.
I don’t want the peace of a cemetery. Of course, there is a peace in a cemetery, too. All the graves are silent – no fight, no struggle, no quarrel. I want the peace of a garden in the early morning when birds are singing, flowers are opening, the sun is rising. There is music in it; it is not without sound. There are sounds, but the sounds and the silences together create peace.
I love peace, but it is not a political strategy. The question was political; hence, I immediately replied, “Never.” We are peaceful, the neighbors should be peaceful. And two parties who are peaceful in themselves cannot create any hostility. There is no question of being peaceful with somebody. The basic question is about being peaceful, and we are peaceful. Our peace is not addressed to somebody, is not related to somebody. Our peace is our own experience. Our peace is our life.
We are peaceful – not to anyone in particular, unaddressed; it is our state, not a relationship. And there is only one living peace possible, that you are peaceful as a state, not as a relationship. The moment you are peaceful in a relationship, it simply means cold war. It simply means a cease fire for the time being,.
I don’t like that kind of peace at all. Then it is better to fight and be alive and be hot. Those people who think they are neighbors to us have not even the courage and humanity to come and see what kind of people are living here. We are their guests; they are our hosts. There is no question of any neighbor-hood. And if the host has no acquaintance with the guest, then only a dead kind of peace can exist. I am against it. Then it is better to have a hot war. At least there is some excitement, some life.
So we will fight till either we prove that we are right, or it is proved that we are wrong. Either way, we are available. If we are right, then we are ready to accept our neighbors totally, but they will have to drop their hostility. If they are right, we don’t have any hostility at all – we will simply merge with them. That I call one existence.
In coexistence, two remain two; they just decide diplomatically that war is unnecessary wastage. And the strange phenomenon is that we have not started it. We came here just to be in this desert, left alone. The nearest neighbor is twenty miles away – what kind of neighbor-ship? We don’t meet. We are so absorbed with our own life and its experiences, its experiments, its adventures, that we are not interested in any kind of stupid relationship with the neighbors. We want to be left alone; that would be enough compassion towards us, just forget us.
We are not creating any problem for you. But the whole of Oregon is full of fear, hatred, hostility – not even bothering to think that a small commune of five thousand people cannot do any harm to such a big majority as the whole state. What harm can we do to them? They can destroy us within seconds; there is no problem, they can make another Hiroshima.
But the most hilarious part is that we are not frightened and they are frightened. One journalist was asking me, “If you and your commune were the majority in Oregon, and Oregonians were a small minority, would not you be frightened?”
I said, “You are stupid. We are not frightened when we are in the minority, why should we be frightened when we are in a majority?” We would love the minority. We would come to the minority. If they have something to share, some experience, we would be available. And we would be in total support for everything because they are a minority; they are strangers to the place, they need all kinds of support. And if they had shown just a little kindness and a little support, there would have been no quarrel, no problem. We have not raised any problem.
We are simply living here, but I know that although we have not raised any problem, we have become a problem for them psychologically. The problem is our joy, our dance, our song, our way of living – and our turning into an oasis a desert which was there for sale for fifty years. Nobody purchased it because nobody could see any possibility in the land. We purchased it as a challenge: deserts can also be changed, just a little intelligence is needed.
In the beginning they were laughing. Then by and by they became hostile; they saw that what we have said, we have done. And they have never been as happy as our people are. They have never lived life so totally and so freely as we are living. They have missed the train and that’s why they are angry. Now, what coexistence? We are in the train and they have missed the train. And what neighborhood? – we are living and they are dead.
It is good that you don’t ask us to live with the graves in a peaceful coexistence. Of course, with graves what else can you do? To us, the people around us are nothing but a big graveyard. And their problem is that they are jealous of our freedom, of our love, of our joy. They could have all this, too, but they were not intelligent enough. What can we do about it?
We feel sorry for them. We are ready to help them. But our help means we will turn them into our selves, that’s the only way to help them. They want to be happy, but they don’t want to come here, to see, because even seeing everybody happy – and you have never been so happy… Our laughter is reaching to the neighbors miles away. Our dances, our music is heard all over Oregon and soon will be heard all over America. And that is freaking them out.
Now, it is their birthright to freak out, but we are not going to compromise in any way as far as our laughter is concerned, as far as our rejoicing is concerned, as far as our creativity is concerned, as far as our freedom is concerned, respect for the individual is concerned. We are not going to compromise on any point. In fact, for the first time the American Constitution is really being applied. Otherwise it was just a talk.
And once these small matters are solved, we are going to raise bigger matters. We are going to fight for the American Constitution against the Americans. We are going to expose them to the whole world – that they don’t follow the Constitution, that in fact they have been sabotaging the Constitution.
They are hypocrites. At least the Soviet Union is not a hypocrite – whatever they are, they accept it. Not only accept it, they declare that that’s what they want to be. We may not agree with what they are, but we have to appreciate their sincerity. They don’t call themselves a democracy. They could have, but they call it the dictatorship of the proletariat. They could have called it the democracy of the proletariat, there is no problem, but they have chosen a more straightforward word, dictatorship. It is a word condemned all over the world, but they have accepted it because that is what they are doing.
America talks about democracy, but it is simply talk. Underground, everything is dictatorial. We may never have known about it if we had not come here. With us, they are being so cunning, so diplomatic, so dictatorial, so undemocratic that soon they will realize their mistakes. The sooner they realize it the better, because this small commune is enough to expose them to the whole world.
They can’t do any harm to us, but we can make it clear to the whole world that the whole of American politics is a deception, a hypocrisy. And it is our experience. We are not speaking from the outside, we are speaking from inside. We are going to become the voice of America.
There is no question of any peaceful coexistence. Either they have to change us to their color, or we are going to change them to red. It is simple arithmetic: just prove your truth and we are ready and happily willing to be with you. But you are miserable, and certainly how can you absorb our laughter and our rejoicing? You will have to raise your consciousness to the same point as we are. Only then is the meeting possible. And to raise your consciousness, you will have to understand ways of raising it – who is going to teach you?
We could have done everything to help America to raise its consciousness, to become more meditative, to become an authentic democracy. And there is their fear – that this small group of people is dangerous, far more dangerous than all their nuclear weapons. This small group is going to be exposing their misery to them, their utter degradation, their inhumanity, their hypocrisy. Even without saying a word – our very existence and presence here, and they are trembling.
In a secret meeting the governor and the high officials of the state have decided to keep the army on alert: to reach Rajneeshpuram in, at the most, just three hours. You want us to live peacefully in coexistence with these people? They want to destroy us. They want to bring their army, their national guard. They want to kill us, and you want us to be peaceful and in coexistence with them?
We are not fools. If they can put their army on alert, we can manage many nations’ armies to be on alert, because this is simply inhuman. You are keeping your army on alert for people who have nothing? Then you don’t know us yet. Just a little bit and you are trembling; the moment you know us completely, you will simply die of shock. We can raise the whole world and its intelligentsia against the American government. We can raise all the American intellectuals, fair and democratic American people, American justice, judges, Supreme Court – and your Constitution happens to be on our side.
So be careful. If you want peace, then learn how to be peaceful. We are ready to teach; my whole commune consists of teachers. Any meditator who meditates becomes automatically a teacher, he can teach it to millions of people.
They should approach us. They should invite our people to their universities, to their parliaments, where they can teach meditation. We can be of immense spiritual help to America, and America needs it. And the world needs America to be really democratic, because this is the only hope. Otherwise countries are turning by and by towards dictatorship. They have to turn; there seems to be no other way for them.
America is rich enough that it need not become a dictatorship. It can become really a flowering democracy. Around the world, America is hated. This is strange, that a democratic country is hated everywhere – because however clever and cunning you may be, you cannot hide your real face for long. Once in a while, your mask slips and people can see your real face. And your real face is not of democracy.
I said, “Never,” because I do not appreciate any compromise. Either this way, or that way. My approach is this: if I am right, then you have to accept us; if we are wrong, we are willing to accept you. This is an open challenge.
I challenge the American president. I challenge the American leaders of religion. I challenge the American educationists. Whoever wants to confront us, we are ready. And whatever the question, we are ready to discuss it. And if they can prove us wrong on any point, we will appreciate it very much; but they should remember that if we can prove them wrong, then they have to show some guts for a change.
You have said you have never paid any taxes because your work is concerned with outcome, not with income. What do you mean by this outcome?
Just the opposite of income.
Many times you have stressed that you are not a Rajneeshee, often pointing out that one can tell by your clothes. Why do you insist on the distinction? Is there a great difference between you and the people who call themselves Rajneeshees? Or is it just a matter of clothes?
It is just a matter of clothes.
Because of the way your hosts look after you – your beautiful clothes, the jewelry, the cars – do some of your sannyasins put you on a pedestal and feel that you are higher than them? How can they avoid this trap while still giving you all the love and care that they do?
Nobody is putting me on a higher pedestal. There is no need to avoid it, because I am alert enough not to sit on any higher pedestal. I sit on such a low chair – I have always avoided any place from where you can fall. So nobody can do that to me, there is no need to avoid it. And nobody is doing it.
When you love someone, you cannot be so nasty. To put someone up higher has tremendous implications. Putting someone higher, you are putting yourself lower – and whoever makes you feel lower or inferior you are never going to forgive. So, all the higher ones are hated by the same people who worship them. It is not a coincidence that Judas betrayed Jesus. The same happened in Buddha’s life: his own cousin-brother betrayed him and made many attempts to kill him. The same happened in Mahavira’s life: his own son-in-law betrayed him. You cannot betray me.
Why is there this pattern? It is not an exception, it is the rule. Whoever you put higher than yourself, deep down you feel hurt. On the surface you go on adoring the person, but in the unconscious you go on collecting all kinds of antagonism – because of him you are inferior. How can you forgive a man who makes you feel inferior? And if sometime your inferiority becomes too heavy on you, then a Judas is born.
It is something psychological. Judas is simply a victim; he was the only follower of Jesus who was literate, a little intelligent. All the others were uneducated, illiterate, poor people. Judas was an exception; naturally he felt the wound of being inferior more deeply than anybody else. All the others had lived the life of being always inferior, it was not something new. But Judas was an educated man with aspirations to become higher. And as long as Jesus was alive, he could never become higher than him. Jesus had to be removed from the way. He paid respect to Jesus, he adored Jesus; but deep down there was a wound which was becoming bigger and bigger. And one day it exploded.
Christians have been very unfair to Judas. They have not understood his psychology. Otherwise, it would have given a great insight into many things. After Jesus was crucified, within twenty-four hours Judas committed suicide. He was split. He loved the man, he adored the man, and he hated the man.
His hatred betrayed Jesus and then when he was killed, instead of inferiority a great feeling of guilt arose: “What have I done?” The feeling of guilt was so much that he had to destroy himself. It was the only way to get rid of that guilt. What did he gain? Just suicide.
And the same has happened around the world with all the masters – their own disciples have betrayed them. And the disciples who betrayed were their best disciples, perhaps hoping to be the successors. But the ego is always in a hurry. It wants things immediately, it cannot wait – and in fact, how long can one wait?
When Mahavira’s son-in-law betrayed him, Mahavira was eighty. His son-in-law was sixty; he had waited enough, and the old man went on living. At sixty, he simply felt that it was never going to happen. “Perhaps I may die before him – and he seems to be strong enough, he may outlive me and others. There is no time, we have to revolt against him.”
This may not have been a conscious, deliberate thinking, but an unconscious current; and when he betrayed Mahavira, he was not alone. That is also significant. Five hundred other sannyasins of Mahavira also went with him. That means they were also feeling the same thing. Just the other day they were touching his feet and today they have become his enemies. Nothing has happened to create this enmity; from where has this enmity suddenly risen to the surface? It has not come from the outside because Mahavira has not done anything to provoke it.
But Mahavira, Jesus or Buddha are also in a way responsible. They should have known the very day they accepted the adoration that this was going to happen. I don’t accept any adoration, hence there is no possibility of having any antagonism about me. I know the psychology of adoration far better than Jesus and Buddha and Mahavira. There is always a hurt heart behind it, because the other person is continuously feeling inferior. To adore you he has to become lower. But if you deny adoration, you are destroying his inferiority.
I can dance with you. You cannot conceive Gautam Buddha dancing with you – impossible. Even in your imagination you cannot conceive of Gautam Buddha dancing with you. He is superhuman, you are ordinary mortals. My whole effort is to destroy your inferiority, to give you dignity, to give you self-respect. And because I give you dignity and self-respect, that’s why you love me. Your love is not adoration. It is natural. Adoration is something unnatural, it is an ego game.
Your love towards me is a totally different phenomenon. It has never happened around a master before because no master has been capable of putting himself with his followers as a friend, calling his followers his fellow travelers. They were all high up and their whole work was condemning you, pointing out what was wrong with you. They condemned people their whole lives, reduced them lower and lower – and those people were giving them adoration. That adoration was superficial.
I have never condemned anything in you. On the contrary, I have been telling you to accept yourself in totality. There is nothing wrong; there is nothing like sin. There are mistakes, which are human. I commit mistakes – perhaps more than you commit – because that is the only way to learn, to grow. There is no other way to learn. That’s why you see me contradicting myself a thousand times. I have no fear of contradiction. All your great leaders of religions, politics, society, culture – whatever their field, all your leaders have pretended that they are infallible. And it is so clear that nobody is infallible.
Mahavira and Buddha were contemporaries, both great masters of thousands of people and both in the same state, Bihar, in India. Many times they stayed in the same city, and one time in the same caravanserai. Half was occupied by Mahavira and his followers, and half by Buddha and his followers. But both were criticizing each other: Buddha criticized Mahavira, saying that he was not infallible. Mahavira and his followers believed that he was omniscient, all-knowing, past, present, future – all the qualities of God. Jainism and Buddhism do not believe in God, so all God’s qualities have to be put somewhere else because people need them. So Mahavira is exactly what God is to other religions, the father figure; if he commits mistakes, then certainly he will lose his following. And Buddha was continuously criticizing him.
Buddha was younger than Mahavira, and naturally, the younger generation is critical of the older. Mahavira was already established; Buddha was trying to find converts – he had to criticize those who were established, but he forgot that in turn he started doing the same. Mahavira was gone and he started doing the same, allowing his people to believe in his infallibility.
Buddha was criticizing, saying, “If Mahavira knows everything – even the future, the eternal future is known to him – then why was he standing before a house begging one day when there was no one in the house? What kind of omniscience is this? He does not know even a small thing – that the house was empty, the people who used to live there had gone on a religious pilgrimage.” The last time Mahavira was in that place they were there, but this time they were not. And he was standing before the house with his begging bowl, and the neighbors informed him that there was nobody in the house: “Your followers have gone for a religious pilgrimage.”
Now, Buddha is making a laughingstock of Mahavira. He said that once in the early morning when it was still dark, Mahavira walked on the tail of a dog who was sleeping. When the dog jumped up and barked, then he came to know there was a dog. And this man thinks he is omniscient? He knows all and he cannot know about the dog?
But to me, the same happened with Buddha. They made a small change – they had to make a little change, otherwise people would have said, “This is what you have been criticizing in Mahavira.”
You can see the strategy. Buddha said, “I am omniscient, but only when I want to be; omnipotent, but only when I want to be; omnipresent, only when I want to be. And I have dropped wanting. I have dropped desiring.” But he was putting himself on the same pedestal.
I simply walk amongst you. Many of you may be in many ways more talented than me. Naturally, if my body is sick, then my doctor knows more than I know. I don’t interfere with my doctor. I am really a good patient; you can ask Devaraj, you can ask Shunyo. When something is wrong with my teeth – you can ask my dental surgeon – I am quite patient.
In fact he must be wondering – because nobody loves the dentist’s chair, but I love it. I really enjoy it. I find a small excuse and I immediately tell my dentist, “Make arrangements, I am coming.” Just a slight excuse, which does not need any dentistry – but I love the chair. And I never interfere in whatever they are doing; messing with my teeth, or whatever they are doing I allow them. That is their work and their responsibility, and I don’t know anything about it so I simply keep myself out of it.
There are people amongst you who are better in many ways. There is no question of adoring me; it is more than enough that you love me, and with a love which arises in you for no reason at all, just for the experience that happens to you in close proximity with me. And I am absolutely certain that no disciple of mine can have any grudge against me, because I respect you so much. Not for a single moment have I put myself above you.
In fact, many times I think that I don’t deserve that much love. Existence is simply much too kind towards me. I am simply thankful and grateful to all of you. So there is no question of stopping my people; my very way of working is such that you cannot put me on a pedestal. From the very roots, cut the possibilities. If I see you doing it, I am going to come to the disco every day!
I know a little bit of playing cards, too; and drinking is vegetarian, so there is no problem. Once in a while I can get drunk and you will not even see the difference, because ordinarily I am also the same. I cannot walk in a straight line, so whether I am drunk or not, it is very difficult to make the distinction. Perhaps I am already drunk. Ask Avirbhava, she knows a little bit.
There are many deprogrammers in America who deprogram people who have left cults. What would happen if one of these deprogrammers kidnapped a Rajneeshee and tried to deprogram him?
The Rajneeshee would deprogram him. There is no fear about it because it is not a cult and we don’t have any program. Our whole work is deprogramming.
It will be good. Get abducted and deprogram the deprogrammer; soon they will become afraid. The moment they see the red color, they will say, “These people are not…they are already deprogrammed. And to talk with them – they confuse you and they deprogram you.”
Nobody can do that. Our whole religion is basically deprogramming. Those deprogrammers know just a little technique. My sannyasins are living it. It is not just knowledge, an expertise, a degree that they have got from a university; it is their very life. They are living a life without any program, without any plan, spontaneously.
Any deprogrammer will be in immediate difficulty with my sannyasins. He will feel that his expertise is of no use, that he himself needs to be deprogrammed. His clarity is not enough. My people’s clarity is not an expertise, that is the difference. You are not simply learning a course in a school, you are living life in a commune.
Your whole being is being transformed, it is not just a small part of your mind that collects information. The deprogrammer has information, but you are passing through a transformation. It will be very good – in fact, once in a while we should send our sannyasins to deprogrammers, just to make them afraid. Just to make them aware that expertise is nothing, knowledge is nothing. There is no fear about that.
Did you choose to come at this time in history, even though you say that you have come at the wrong time? Is there something about this time that makes it the “right” wrong time for you?
No, I have not chosen anything. Whenever and wherever I would have been, it would have been both the wrong time and the right time. It will be a little difficult to understand: wrong, because wherever, whenever, in whatever century I would have been, I would have had to face the same hostility, the same antagonism, the same anger of the masses. That way it would be the wrong time.
But it depends on me to change the wrong time into the right time. The hostility of the people, the anger of the people, the enmity of the people are symbolic. I am unable to do anything only if people remain absolutely inattentive towards me. If they can ignore me, then I cannot do anything. That will be simply the wrong time; then it cannot be changed into the right time.
But if people are angry, they have given an indication that they are already emotionally attracted towards me. Their anger is because of their fear. They are angry because they are afraid: “This man is dangerous. Coming close to him, perhaps you will not have any way to escape.” They are creating the hostility and anger and enmity just to protect themselves.
But when somebody has started protecting himself, it simply means he is already influenced. He already smells the truth, and he is not capable of facing it. That’s why he is creating walls of hostility – so that he does not need to face it. But he has already become interested in me, he has already shown some kind of emotion towards me. It does not matter that the emotions of anger and hate and hostility are not favorable. It is very simple to change them. Once a person is emotionally attracted towards me, his hate can be changed into love very easily, because hate and love are not very different things, just two sides of the same coin.
The only person who is difficult to change is one who has no emotional idea about you – neither of love nor of hate – who simply passes by your side as if you are not there. But that is difficult as far as I am concerned. It is difficult to ignore me. I will not allow anybody to ignore me. They will have to take notice, and they will have to take a certain stand, for or against. That is the beginning of my work.
Those who are for are already with me. Those who are against are getting ready, sooner or later, to be with me. Their very hatred is symbolic.
It is symbolic that they cannot ignore me. It is symbolic because their hate simply shows that they are afraid that if they don’t hate, they will fall in love. But how long they can do this to themselves? Hate is not a very good space. They are not harming me, they are poisoning themselves. How long can they remain in this poisoning state? Seeing others with me dancing, singing joyously, living a life in its intensity and totality, they are burning with hate and creating poison in themselves.
Just a little intelligence is enough to see, “What is the point?” I am not harmed by your hate. You are harming yourself Those who love me are immensely helped by their love. Once this becomes clear to people, they start moving from one camp to another. It takes just a little patience.
I have not chosen this time to be, because I don’t choose anything. I happen to be here, but it is true that it is one of the most critical times in the history of man. Perhaps never before has man come to such a point – where something of an ultimate decision has to be made, a decision whether life is to continue on the earth or not. Single individuals have committed suicide; for the first time, the whole of humanity is going to commit suicide, totally – and not only humanity, but all living animals, trees, everything that has life. It is a tremendous decision, and I don’t think that people would like to destroy all life.
That is where we can make a space for transformation, because if they don’t want to die, if they don’t want life to disappear, then the only way is that mankind has to change its ways, its lifestyle, its thinking patterns – because these are the things, the thinking patterns, the ideologies, the religions, which have brought man to this point.
The point is not unconnected with your history; it is the climax of your history. If you want this point never to happen again, then you have to start living in a totally different way. Otherwise, history repeats itself. You will have to begin from scratch – a new history and a new man.
That’s why I say it is a very wrong time – moments of global suicide – but it is a very right time also because man could prefer to be transformed rather than to die. They have written against me on the walls: “It is better to be dead than to be red” – but they have not thought about it. If it really comes to a choice to be dead or to be red, I don’t think even Oregonian idiots will choose to be dead.
If it really comes to a decision, they will say, “Okay, so we would like to be red too. Red is at least alive! Dead we don’t want to be.” Nobody wants to be dead.
So the time is good too, because the choice is such that we cannot be defeated, we can only be victorious. We just have to correctly put the alternative. Make the alternative as loud as possible. Shout it from every rooftops, that there is an alternative which can avoid this catastrophe and which can avoid any other catastrophe in the future. The very possibility of such a thing can simply be dropped if man changes his ways of thinking. And when death confronts you – just to think about it is one thing, but when death is directly in front of you, you may choose anything rather than to die.

It happened to one of my friends when I was a student in the university. I very rarely had friends because my interests were such that I would not go to the movies, I would not go to concerts, I would not go to parties. My interest was only one – the library of the university. My only companions were books and nothing else. My teachers, my friends all thought, “He is a bookworm, he has no human heart.”
But this one young man was very friendly towards me. The reason was that he was in love with a girl who lived in front of my house. The girl was a Bengali, a very beautiful girl. And just to make friends with her – because she used to come to my family, to my house, and once in a while she used to sit in my study and discuss things. She was a very intellectual type. It was the girl who brought him to be my friend, but she was not interested in him at all. And he was becoming more and more mad after her, so mad that he started learning Bengali, speaking Bengali, wearing Bengali clothes. He went to Calcutta for six months to learn to speak exactly the way Bengalis speak.
Bengali is a very sweet language. Each word is very rounded, no corners. Even if two persons are fighting, it will seem as if they are in a friendly conversation, the language is so sweet and low. It is just the opposite of Marathi: if two persons are in conversation, it will seem that a fight is going to start any moment. The language is very primitive, rude. The sounds are not musical, care has not been taken that the sounds of the words should be musical, too. A real language will not think only of meaning, it will also think of music, so that even a person who does not understand the language can at least experience the music of it.
He became a perfect Bengali – but the more he pursued the girl, the more she became adamant. She told me, “Whatever happens, I am not going to have any relationship with this man. He seems to be crazy, utterly mad. I want a sane man to live with, but he is not a sane man. Now he is walking in Bengali dress, always keeping an umbrella” – because Bengalis always keep an umbrella, “Now that looks odd. Even in the university he is always with his umbrella and everybody is laughing.”
He even started speaking his own mother tongue, Hindi, the way Bengalis speak Hindi. They distort it, because the same word in both languages will be pronounced differently. For example, the name of the wife of one of my brothers was Rama, and whenever the Bengali family came to meet our family, they always called her, “Roma.” Rama is straight – Hindi is a simple and straight language – but Rama becomes very rounded, “Roma.” It does not sound at all like Rama. It seems perhaps it is connected with the city Rome, Roma.
I told him, “Everybody is laughing at you. Stop this nuisance. At least you should speak Hindi. You look like an idiot; if a Bengali speaks Hindi in a Bengali tone it is understandable, but your mother tongue is Hindi.” But there was no way. He was determined to be Bengali in every possible way.
He would ate Bengali food. His father was a doctor. He told me, “I have only one son and that too, insane. Now that idiot has started bringing fish into the house because, he says, ‘Bengalis eat fish and rice’” – that is their main diet, rice and fish. And the father said, “The fish…I never in my life imagined that in my house my own son – and he is my only son, my wife is dead. I have given him the love of a mother, of a father, and everything – and he turned out to be an idiot. Now I can smell the fish – even when he leaves the room I can smell it. Because he is such an idiot: if Bengalis are eating fish once a day, then he will be eating at least twice a day to be absolutely a Bengali.”
But finally the girl got so fed up that she called him to her house, and before her father she said, “Tell this young man that I don’t want to have any relationship, any friendship with him. I don’t want even to know that we know each other. Marriage is out of the question.”
Her father said, “It is your marriage. If you don’t want it, you could have told him.”
She said, “No, it has to be absolutely decided. Otherwise, he will start pestering you. You don’t know him; he has been pestering me, and because of him I have also become a laughingstock in the whole university.”
He did his last act. He went home, he closed the door, and announced from inside the room, “I am going to kill myself. Nobody should try to open the doors or do anything, otherwise I will immediately shoot myself.” His father used to have a gun, he was a hunter. So the gun was inside and everybody was afraid. They persuaded, they tried everything, but he said, “No. Unless that girl comes and says that she is going to marry me…otherwise there is no way. I am going to finish myself. I cannot imagine myself without her.”
The father went to the girl’s father. He said, “I can understand that this is simply forcing you, violent, but you should see my situation. He is my only son. All that I have done and earned and collected is for him, and now he is sitting with a gun and he says that unless the girl comes and says that she is going to marry him…”
The girl’s father said, “I can understand your difficulty. I will call the girl. I have no objection; in fact, I like your boy, there is nothing wrong in it. He has learned Bengali and he talks with me, and even I cannot detect that he is not a Bengali. He has a certain strength, a certain individuality. I have no objection. But my girl – without her I cannot say yes. If she is willing, you can take her.”
They both explained to her that this was the situation. She said, “That is up to him. It is my life. I cannot live with that madman. This is madness, and if he can force me to marry him, he can force me to do anything. Any day he can sit with the gun: ‘Do this, otherwise I am going to kill myself.’ I am not going to get into such a situation. No, if he wants to kill himself, it is his business. What have I to do with it?”
Then the father remembered me – because I was his only friend, and was just in front of his house – so he came to see me. I said, “Don’t be worried, I am coming. And simply drop the idea…there is no problem.” I went there and I told him, “If you want to die, then why are you making such a fuss? Do you really want to die?”
He said, “Yes!”
Then I said, “Please come out; I have brought the car. Come with me and we will go home. This is a full moon night and we will go to the marble rocks, which is the best place in the world to die. You jump and I will say good-bye, and I will return. This is a beautiful night and you cannot find a better place.”
He said, “This is something! I am dying and you are thinking of the place and the beauty and the full moon.”
But I said, “Don’t make so much fuss. I am showing you the best way. If you cannot live beautifully, at least you can die beautifully. And who knows, because we will be sleeping and we will go in the middle of night, and you will be in my home, perhaps the girl, seeing you – and I will inform her that this is the procedure how we are going to dispose of you completely. And perhaps she may change her mind.”
He said, “That seems to be logical, so I am coming.”
He came with me. I informed the girl and the family, and I told them, “Don’t be worried.” I told him that the best time would be between two and four in the night. “You are going to die, I am still going to live, so why waste the whole night? We will go at four o’clock. You will take the jump and I can see you off and have a good morning bath back home.” He looked at me with suspicion.
He said, “I used to think you were my friend.”
I said, “That’s what I am doing – a friend in need is a friend indeed. You want to die, I am trying to make it as beautiful as possible. What else do you want? Anything else, you just say.”
He said, “I am not saying that. All the people – the neighbors, my father’s friends, and others-came and they all persuaded me not to kill myself: ‘Wait. You can find a better woman, or perhaps she may change her mind. Don’t be in a hurry. This is stupid. If this girl does not want…the world is full of so many beautiful girls, we will find a better girl for you.’ They all tried so that I should not die. You are the only person who is making every arrangement for my death.”
I said, “This is my approach: if I am your friend, I will do whatever you feel like doing. If you want to die, I will not interfere in your freedom. I will help as far as I can. So we will go to sleep and we will put the alarm for four o’clock.”
And at four o’clock when the alarm went off, I reached to the clock and his hand was already putting it off. I asked, “What are you doing? You are putting the alarm off.”
He said, “Yes, I am putting the alarm off, and I don’t want to die. The whole night I could not sleep – and you are so insistent. I used to think that I am crazy; it seems you are crazy. A friend? – you took the car to the garage, filled the whole tank, checked the tires so that nothing would go wrong. You seem to be strange.”
I said, ‘But according to the decision…now it is four o’clock. I don’t want to be caught by the police, so just get up and we go. And we have to finish the whole thing before the sun rises and anybody comes to know. I have to be out of the place and far away, because I don’t want to be caught. I have still to live.”
He said, “Forgive me, I don’t want to die at all.”
I asked, “What changed your mind?”
He said, “Changed my mind? There are millions of women that I can find.”
I said, “But you were going to die. What happened to that?”
He said, “You understand perfectly well. And you knew that this was going to happen, because when death is really actually in front of you, then one is willing to do anything. I don’t want to die, and I will forget that girl forever.”
And he got married the same year. Now he has five, six children. The last time I saw him, in 1970, I asked him how things were going. He said, “Perhaps if I had followed your idea and died, that would have been far better. Life is so ugly. I have got a woman who is continuously a pain in the neck; half-a-dozen children – no peace, no silence. My father is dead, so I have to take care of all his properties and lands, and I am too burdened. And I think many times of that night. Perhaps you were right.”
I said, “I am still ready, although I don’t live here. I will have to borrow somebody’s car, and… But a friend in need is a friend indeed. I will do it”
He said, “You are something. I have six children to look after!” As death again became a reality, and seeing that I was absolutely serious and I would arrange everything, he said, “No, no need to arrange.”
And I asked, “Then why are you saying that you are miserable, and the wife…?”
He said, “No, I will not talk to you again. Forgive me again. That time you forgave me; once more – I am perfectly happy. I don’t want to die.”

Death is something that you may enjoy the idea of. You may sometimes enjoy the idea of committing suicide. Everybody – almost everybody – once in a while enjoys the idea. But that is only an idea. If it actually becomes a reality, you will change your mind immediately.
For the first time death has become a reality for the whole of humanity, so it is a wrong time in that sense. It is a very critical, tragic phase; but because death has become so real, so close, so tangible, man may be persuaded to change his ways, his thinking, his ideologies; to drop his nations and religions if he wants to survive.
That’s why I say it is a right time. We can put the alternative: either be ready for global suicide, or be ready for global transformation. And I don’t think anybody is going to choose death. The alternative just has to be made clear.
And that is going to be the effort of all the sannyasins around the world. Make the alternative clear to everybody, that sannyas is not just a question of personal whim, it is a question of saving the whole of humanity and life on this beautiful earth.
Are there more questions?
No more questions, Osho, thank you.

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