The New Dawn 19

Nineteenth Discourse from the series of 33 discourses - The New Dawn by Osho.
You can listen, download or read all of these discourses on oshoworld.com.

You are the greatest marketing person of a product that gratifies the soul. We are in the business of selling a product that gratifies the mind; there are others who sell products that gratify the body. What lessons can we learn from you to effectively market mind and body products?
Sameer, I am reminded by your question of an anecdote. H.G. Wells had completed his great work on the history of the world…. And he has made tremendously important statements in his rare book. For example, he has said about Gautam Buddha that “He was the most godless, yet the most godly man that has ever walked on the earth.”
His book was the talk of all the intellectuals around the world, and one intellectual journalist interviewed him about the book. His first question was, “What do you think about civilization?” And the answer that H.G. Wells gave is of such depth that it has not to be forgotten; it is still fresh and new. He said, “The idea of civilization is good, but somebody must do something about it, because it is still an idea. Civilization has not happened. Researching for my book on world history, I have come to know that man is still uncivilized.”
And one of the reasons man is still uncivilized is the division between mind, body, and soul. This division has been preached by all the religions of the world. They have condemned the body; a few of them have condemned the mind, too. And they have all praised the soul. The result has not been as they expected. The result has been a very strange poisoning of humanity. People have not dropped their bodies, they have not dropped their minds, but they have become guilty about them. They have lost self-respect, they have lost touch with the wisdom of their own bodies, and they have lost the mastery of their own minds. And the reality is that unless all three function in a total organic unity, a man is not whole.
One who is not whole is not holy either.
My basic approach is: I am not against the body, I am not against the mind; I am all for a unity, a symphony, a synchronicity among these three spheres. And a man will be fulfilled only, complete only, when all three are functioning in total harmony.
In the East, the body has been so much condemned that the ultimate result is poverty – no science, no technology, a poor, hungry body; starved, condemned, neglected. And in the West, the result has been a healthy body, an evolved technology, richer literature, art, all for the nourishment of the mind, but a poor soul, almost nonexistential. This is a strange tragedy. The West is suffering from a poor soul, and the East is suffering from a poor body and a poor mind.
My suggestion to you, Sameer, is that the work for the future humanity, for a new man, is to drop the old conditioning – of the East, and of the West. Drop all antagonism, either of the spiritualist or of the materialist. Accept the realistic approach that existence is both – matter on the outside and spirit on the inside. And in between the two is the bridge of the mind.
In a miniature form, the same is true about every human being. The new man will come out of this unity.
It feels…if somebody says that Gautam Buddha is only half, it hurts. But truth is truth. Mahavira is half – just a soul, anti-life. So is Zorba – against spirituality. So are all the scientists – even the greatest, like Albert Einstein – who cannot conceive the possibility that there is an interior existence of consciousness.
Albert Einstein is half; that is the tragedy of the West. Buddha is half; that is our tragedy. And the work for the future is to bring them together.
I have been using one expression, and that is “Zorba the Buddha.” The body has to be enjoyed as much as your soul. Matter has its own beauty, its own power, just as consciousness has its own world, its own silence, its own peace, its own ecstasy. And between the two is the area of the mind – something of matter and something of the spirit. The poet is just in the middle, between the materialist and the spiritualist; his poetry touches both extremes. I would like all three points – the two extremes and the middle – to become one unity.
A man who rejoices in his body and the wisdom of the body, a man who uses his mind as a tremendously significant mechanism that evolution has brought, and a man who does not stop at mind but goes on searching beyond, into the realms of divineness, into the realms of godliness – to produce this man should be the effort of all those who are in some way concerned with educating the new generation. The educationists, the journalists, the spiritual teachers – all people who are involved in some way in creating a better human being than has been possible in the past – have to accept the totality of man without rejecting anything.
Journalists can do a tremendous service to humanity if their minds are clear, if they are not themselves prejudiced, either in favor of spiritualism or in favor of materialism. A journalist has to be of an open mind, receptive to all kinds of possibilities. He has to be a seeker and a searcher and an agnostic; he has not to be a believer. The moment you believe in something, you start enforcing your belief, whether it is right or wrong. The journalist has to be open to all dimensions, ready to accept anything that is going to beautify existence and make man more blissful, more healthy, more intelligent, more aware of the tremendous mystery that surrounds us.
To me, that is the only prayer: to become aware of the miraculous, the mysterious that surrounds us. And only a man who has come to a unity within himself is capable of understanding the mystery of existence.

When a person enters a temple, one feels a sense of sensory appeasement – music, chanting, incense, prasad, the visual beauty of the architecture, etc. Can corporate houses, the temples of the modern age, have anything to learn from this?
Sameer, not only the corporate houses but every place where man dwells has much to learn from the temples. First, you are always moving on holy ground. Not only in the temple are you in a holy place, but even in the marketplace you are moving on the same holy ground. You are not to be just prayerful in the temple, in the mosque, in the church. Your prayerfulness has to become just your breathing. You have not to create only in your temple a beautiful world of incense, of flowers, of music, of chanting, of beautiful architecture, of sculptures – the temple should simply be the model for every house. Not only corporate houses, every house should be a temple, because every body is a temple.
God dwells in you, and wherever you are, you should create the aroma, the fragrance of godliness.
The authentically religious person is neither Hindu, nor Mohammedan, nor Christian, nor Jaina, nor Buddhist. An authentic religious person is simply a prayerful person, a loving person, a creative person – a man who has the golden touch; whatever he touches becomes beautiful and valuable.
It is not possible that our houses remain in hell and once in a while, for an hour, we can enter a temple and find heaven – that is not possible. Unless you are twenty-four hours in heaven, you cannot enter into a temple and suddenly change – suddenly drop your jealousies, your anger, your hatred, your competitiveness, your ambitions, your politics. You cannot simply drop all your ugliness.
You can pretend, you can be a hypocrite …and in fact all the people who are visiting temples of any religion are hypocrites, because their other twenty-three hours show their reality. For only one hour, they cannot become a different being.
A religious person has to understand that it is not a question of believing in a certain theology; it is not a question of believing in a certain tradition. It is a question of transforming yourself in such a way that compassion becomes your very heartbeat, that gratitude becomes your very breathing, that wherever you are, your eyes can see the divine – in the trees, in the mountains, in people, in animals, in birds. Unless you can make the whole existence your temple, you are not religious.
Wherever you move, you are always in a temple, because you are always surrounded by that mysterious energy that people have called “God.” A few others have given it other names – they differ only in names. But one thing is certain: we are not living in a mundane universe. On each step there is a mystery, and there are mysteries beyond mysteries. If you are simply aware of all the mysteries, your worship will be to make everything as worthy of God as possible.
Sitting in your shop, you should be waiting for a customer who is going to be a god….
Kabir became enlightened, and even kings were his disciples. They all said to him, “Now it is time: you stop weaving clothes. It hurts our pride. People laugh at us, they say, ‘Your master has to function like a poor weaver. The whole week he weaves clothes and then he takes the clothes on his own shoulders to the marketplace. It does not look right for a man who has so many disciples. Can’t you take care of him?’”
But Kabir insisted, “It is not a question of my livelihood, it is a question that some god will be coming to the market to purchase what I have woven with such love, with such gratitude, with such meditativeness. And if he does not find me there…I cannot do that. As long as I am alive, I will go on serving God by the only art that I know – that is weaving.”
And he made clothes with such love, with such prayerfulness, with such grace, that you could feel that this man is not only weaving clothes – he is weaving something more; something spiritual is being woven into the clothes. And in the market every customer was addressed by Kabir as Ram, the Indian word for God. “Ram, I have been waiting so long for you; where have you gone? It is time for the closing of the market, the sun is setting, and I am waiting for you.”
And at first customers used to be very puzzled: this great saint calls them “Ram”? By and by they became accustomed to the fact, and they started behaving in a different way – it was not a question of being a shopkeeper and a customer, it was a question of being two lovers. It was a love affair.
I would like all corporate houses to be temples – but not only corporate houses; I would like every house, every kitchen, every bedroom, to be a temple. And I would like you to behave with everybody…. He may be your enemy, but still he has deep in his being the same source of life you have. You have to be respectful to his being, as much as you are respectful to your friend. Your wife should be as much respected as any goddess in any temple.
I cannot believe that people who have been pretending up to now to be religious, have behaved with women in such a barbarous way, and they have not seen any shadow of God in the woman. The same religious people have behaved with the poorest of the poor – the sudras, the untouchables – as inhuman beings. They could not see. They could see gods in stone statues, but they could not see in living beings that a god is throbbing in their hearts just as he is throbbing within you.
I want to say it with absolute certainty: these people were not religious. Just as civilization has not happened yet, religion also has not happened yet. We have to create the space where religion, civilization, culture, can happen. They are different aspects of the same consciousness, of the same awareness.

For a commercial organization, marketing is the ultimate life source; however, some marketing professionals suffer from an element of contradiction in their personal lives. Vis-à-vis professional objectives, are we selling things to people that they don't need?
Sameer, the question is a little complex – complex because in a way you are selling people what they need…but whether their need is sick or healthy is a totally different matter.
You are fulfilling people’s sick needs. And that should be felt as a responsibility. Needs have to be fulfilled, but you have to learn a great discrimination: what are the sick needs, and what are the healthy needs?
For example, pornography is a need. And millions of people are providing pornographic literature, photography, all kinds of pornographic films, blue films. They certainly are fulfilling a need – people have been so repressed sexually for centuries that they are hungry to see the naked woman. Certainly your business prospers, but you are depending on a very ugly exploitation of people.
The responsibility of the journalist is great: he has to make people aware – why do they need pornography? In an aboriginal tribe, nobody is interested in pornographic literature because people are almost naked; they don’t have any clothes. From the very childhood, the boys and the girls become aware of each other’s bodies, it is a natural acquaintance. They never become peeping Toms. And they will not be interested in magazines like Playboy. But in our so-called civilized society, people are hiding Playboys in the Shrimad Bhagavadgita, in the Holy Bible, because that is the safest place to hide anything; nobody opens it. Who bothers to look into the Holy Bible, or the Shrimad Bhagavadgita?

I have heard about a man who was a salesman of encyclopedias, a door-to-door salesman. He knocked at the door, a woman opened it and as he started his sales talk the woman said, “We already have a good encyclopedia; we don’t need any. You can see: there in the corner on the table is the encyclopedia. So please forgive me, I am not interested.”
The man said, “I can say definitely, that is not an encyclopedia; it is a Bible.”
The woman said, “You seem to be a strange man – how can you say that so categorically?”
He said, “Because so much dust has gathered on it, nobody opens it.” Encyclopedias are opened, people look into them, but who looks into Bibles? And he said, “I am ready to bet.”
The woman said, “No there is no question, it is a Bible; just forgive me for telling you a lie.”

Just the layer of dust was so thick, it was enough proof that it was not an encyclopedia but something holy. People are hiding all kinds of ugly things in Holy Bibles, holy Gitas, holy Korans.
The need is to make society aware that any kind of repression is against nature, to create a climate where what is natural is accepted, not denied. On the one hand, you will deny what is natural; then from some other door, your natural instinct will demand its satisfaction. That becomes a perverted need. In a very strange way, your so-called saints and your pornographers are in a conspiracy; they are both partners in the same business.
The saints go on telling people to repress sex, to be celibate. And these repressed people are hungry – you know if you have ever fasted, then the whole day you are thinking only about food and nothing else. You never think about food – every day you eat whatever you feel like eating and whatever your need is. You don’t think about it, you don’t dream about it, you don’t need some pornography, some delicious dishes to look at. But I know people who have been on a fast…then their whole thinking becomes concentrated on food. They dream about delicious food; if you take them out in the market, they only see food stores, restaurants, hotels. They don’t see anything else; nothing else is attractive.
It has been found in psychological experiments that if a man is kept for three weeks on a fast, he loses interest in seeing a pornographic picture. He would rather see a picture of a beautiful dish. It is not strange that people call women “beautiful dishes.” It is humiliating, ugly, but somehow sex is also a hunger, as any other hunger is.
The problem becomes complex because people need pornography – if you provide pornography, you sell, you earn. If you don’t provide it, the circulation of your newspaper or your magazine drops. You are in a very difficult dilemma: either you lose business or you have to do something which is absolutely ugly.
Unless the whole situation changes, unless the whole news media becomes aware of the fact, of why people are interested in pornography…. They should start creating an atmosphere – with articles, with stories, with poetry, with films, with television, with radio – that repression is anti-life. The day there is no repression in the world, there will be no need of pornography. The day there is no repression in the world, there will be no perversion, there will be no homosexuality, there will be no lesbianism.
And journalism has to become aware of the complexity of the situation. For example, now there is a great disease spreading all over the world – AIDS. It has come out of homosexuality. And the Catholic pope and other heads of religions are condemning homosexuality, but homosexuality is only a symptom. The real disease is the teaching of celibacy – because homosexuality was born in the monasteries, in soldier’s camps, in boy scouts living together, in the hostels of boys and girls, which we have separated. Wherever we have separated man and woman, some kind of perversion arises.
In Texas, the government passed a law that homosexuality will now be a crime, punishable by five years in jail. And one million homosexuals – one would have never thought that Texas has so many homosexuals – one million homosexuals protested before the assembly hall. And these are not all the homosexuals of Texas, certainly – not everybody has joined in the protest. And they declared that “If you don’t withdraw this law, we will go underground. There are gay restaurants, gay clubs, and all kinds of homosexual groups, openly – if you make it a crime we will go underground.” And once homosexuality goes underground, then it will become more difficult to fight the disease that is being created by it.
The disease is spreading like wildfire, and every government of the world is trying to hide the fact of how many homosexuals there are in their countries, and how many homosexuals have tested positive for the AIDS virus. Because AIDS has no cure; the person is absolutely certain to die.
And scientists have shown with absolute certainty that we will not be able to find a cure. The disease is such that it is almost a slow death. It is not an ordinary disease; it has come out of behaving against nature, and nature is taking its revenge – with vengeance.
Just the other day, I was informed about South Africa: in one hospital they did a survey, just one month before – in the whole city, seventy percent of the prostitutes had AIDS. And after one month, when they did the survey the next time, a hundred percent of the prostitutes had AIDS. But this is not something to be surprised about; the more surprising fact which came to light was that out of all the mothers who came to give birth in the hospitals, seventy percent also had AIDS – the same percentage as the prostitutes. They had AIDS: and these were not prostitutes, these were housewives…and their children will be born with AIDS. But the whole world is silent.
This is more dangerous than nuclear weapons, because nuclear weapons at least are something that can be controlled, something within our hands. But AIDS seems to be out of our hands.
The responsibility of the journalist is to bring before the people authentic facts, to make them aware how to avoid perversions. Homosexuality is not a disease; it is just a symptom of a disease. The real disease is celibacy, which is being preached by all religions. Now it is a strange game. The same people who are the cause of creating AIDS are condemning homosexuals. And they are the real criminals – if anybody needs to be behind bars, it is all your saints and all your preachers and all your priests. But not the homosexuals, they are victims – victims of an absolutely wrong psychology being preached for centuries.
Don’t fulfill sick needs. Expose the fact that those sick needs are arising from a certain source. And create a protest in the minds of people so that the sources can be stopped. You cannot fight with the sick needs if the sources are not dropped. On the one hand you go on supporting the sources, and on the other hand you want people to drop their sick needs, which is impossible.

The fire and brimstone fundamentalist was ranting and raving before his congregation. “Praise the Lord, I know there are those among you who have committed the unspeakable sin of he-ing and she-ing. Stand up and repent!” Three-quarters of the congregation stood up.
“And there are those among you,” continued the preacher, “who have committed that double sin of sins, he-ing and he-ing. Stand up and repent!” The rest of the men stood up.
“And I know there are those among you who have committed the triple sin, she-ing and she-ing. Stand up and repent!” The remaining women all stood up. No one was left sitting except one little boy with a puzzled look on his face.
“Preacher,” he cried, “I would like to know where you stand on me-ing and me-ing?”

But this is the situation your religions have created. There is a great need for all these bogus, unscientific, unpsychological doctrines to be exposed to the public, and the public should be made aware to live a natural and healthy life, accepting whatever the need of the body is as a natural gift. Then only is there a possibility that we will be able not to exploit people’s sick needs…because there will be no sick needs at all.
Journalism should not be only a business; it should also be a great responsibility toward humanity. It is no ordinary business, it cannot look only for profits. You have many other businesses for profit – at least don’t corrupt journalism for the sake of profit. Journalism should be ready to sacrifice its profits; only then can it avoid fulfilling people’s sick needs, and expose their original and basic causes – which can be removed.
Journalism should be a revolution, not just a profession. A journalist is basically a rebellious person – who wants the world to be a little better, who is basically a fighter – and he has to fight for right causes. I never look at journalism as just another profession. For profit, you have so many professions available; at least something should be left uncorrupted by the profit motive. Only then is there a possibility that you can educate people: educate them for a rebellious attitude against all that is wrong, educate them against anything that causes perversions.
One thing more I would like to remind you of. Life is not just a bed of roses, there are thorns too. But there is no need to make too much fuss about thorns. By making too much fuss about thorns, you slowly start forgetting about roses.
Journalism and other news media are a new phenomenon in the world. There was nothing like that in the times of Gautam Buddha or Jesus. That is one of the reasons that people go on bragging that the days of old were very beautiful. Hindu chauvinists go on saying that in the times of Gautam Buddha, people had no need to lock their doors. Their argument is that there was no stealing – but that is sheer stupidity, because Gautam Buddha preached every day for forty-two years against stealing. Do you think he was mad? If there was no stealing, to whom was he preaching, “Don’t steal, don’t lie”? All the teachings of all the old saints are against lying, against stealing, against adultery. You will not find anything new in the world that was not there before – you just have to look into their preaching.
If there were no locks, it is not because there were no thieves; in fact, there were no locks! And there was nothing to be locked, people were so poor. The lock is a certain stage of technology that was not there…and you have to have something to lock. You don’t even have food for two meals a day – what are you going to lock?
It happened in Gujrat in this century: Mahatma Gandhi was going on his tour toward Noakhali, and a woman came and touched his feet and said, “Just wait a minute. My husband wants to touch your feet.” So Mahatma Gandhi said, “But why has he not come with you?”
She said, “Don’t make us embarrassed. We have only one good set of clothes, so I have come; now I will go and give the clothes to him and he will come. He’s standing naked in the house.”
This is in the twentieth century! We don’t know about things that were happening which were evil in those times because there was no news media. The existence of news media has brought a very new thing – because everything evil, everything bad, everything negative, whether true or untrue, is sensational; it sells. People are interested in rapes, in murders, in briberies, in all kinds of criminal acts, riots. And because people are asking for all this news, you go on collecting all the wrong that is happening in the world. The roses are completely forgotten; only thorns are remembered – and exaggerated. And if you cannot find, you invent, because your whole problem is how to sell.
The same or even worse was the situation in the past, but people never came to know about it. They always knew about what can be called the “good news” because scriptures were written not about thieves, not about murderers, but about saints and their statements. That was the only literature. Journalism has brought the possibility of making saints out of criminals.
There was one case in Sweden…a man murdered a stranger whom he had never met; he had no idea who he was. He had not even seen his face. The man was sitting on the beach, looking at the ocean, and this other man came from behind and shot him dead. And in the court, the man said, “I wanted my picture to be printed on the front pages of all the newspapers. My desire is fulfilled. Now I don’t care; you can sentence me to death, that’s perfectly okay. My only desire was to see my picture in the newspapers.” Now, you are creating a strange kind of person by the attention that you are paying to wrongdoings.
Last year a California university did a survey: after each boxing match, after each football match, the crime rate suddenly goes fourteen percent higher, and it remains fourteen percent higher for seven to ten days – then slowly it tapers down. But the government is not interested in preventing a barbarous thing like boxing – which is absolutely inhuman, and definitely inhuman to those two persons who are fighting. It creates in the whole state of California fourteen percent more crimes: more murders, more rapes. Strange…still boxing continues, football matches continue. And the news media goes on reporting all these things. If the news media is alert, it should stop all commentaries on football matches, boxing – let them happen, but don’t make so much fuss about them that the whole country becomes involved. They will die out by themselves.
The news media has to learn to boycott a few things which are creative of crimes, of inhumanity to human beings. But rather than boycotting them, you are flourishing, profiting from them, making your sales bigger and bigger, your circulation more and more, without ever giving a single thought to what the ultimate consequence is.
The old economics had the idea that wherever there is a need, there will be a supply. But the latest research shows that wherever there is a supply, slowly, slowly the need is also created. For example, nobody needed a car five hundred years ago, nobody needed airplanes, nobody needed the railway.
When for the first time a railway train started from the London station, all the priests and bishops and cardinals and the archbishop of England gathered great congregations and declared: “This railway train was not made by God. When God created the world, it is obvious he never made the railway train, so who is making this railway train? It must be the devil.”
And the old railway train, its engine, looked like the devil! The train was just experimental, only going for ten miles. The train was offering a free journey – breakfast, lunch, every comfort and luxury – to whoever wanted to come. And the preachers in every church were preventing people. What they were saying was, “In the first place, God never created it; in the second place, why are they persuading people by giving free tickets, breakfast, lunch, and all the comforts?”
“We can tell you,” the archbishop told the congregation, “that this train will start, but it will never stop. So if you want to go, you can go. But remember, you will repent.”
Nobody was ready to go into the train. A crowd was waiting all around the railway station, all along the ten-mile path, but nobody was ready. Only a few daredevils, thinking… “Let us see what happens. If it does not stop, so what? If they go on giving lunch and breakfast, let it not stop! What is the harm?”
A few people…the train was meant to carry one hundred and twenty people, but only eight people managed enough courage to enter the train. But once the train was there, it became an absolute need – now you cannot think of a world where trains don’t exist, or cars don’t exist, or airplanes don’t exist.
Journalism not only has to look to fulfill the needs of the people, it has to create healthy supplies – which will create needs in people. That old law of economics is out of date…and that is the whole secret of advertisement. Why do people advertise? Particularly in America – the product will come two years afterward, and advertisement starts two years before. They are simply making people aware of something which is coming into the market. The supply is first, and the supply is creating the need; hence, great advertisements are needed.
You can create better needs, healthy needs. You are not compelled to fulfill the sick needs of people. Fulfilling their sick needs is really committing a great crime.
But I have been around the world, and I have been puzzled that the so-called news media, if it cannot find something negative, invents it. All kinds of lies are invented. It never talks about anything beautiful, anything great. It does not create the idea in people that we are progressing, that we are evolving, that a better humanity is ahead. It only gives the idea that the night is going to be darker and darker.
And looking at your newspapers, your radio broadcasts, your television, your films, it seems that there is no way of going in any other direction than toward hell. Just in California alone…school kids are taking drugs – six year olds, eight year olds. Those days when there were hippies are gone – hippies have disappeared. Hippies were at least adult: twenty-one years, twenty-two, up to thirty. They are gone, they are there no more. Now it is small school kids. There have been cases of murder by thirteen and fourteen-year-old boys, and there have been cases of rape by fourteen, fifteen-year-old boys. How does all this get into their minds? They see the films, and particularly the films that are prohibited to them – that prohibition becomes an invitation. They see in the news every day what is happening in the world.
In America alone, surveys show that every person is watching television for an average of seven hours every day – just glued to the chair for seven hours. And what is he watching? Murder, rape, robbery…slowly, slowly it gets into his head. He starts thinking, “This is all that is happening in the world; I’m just a fool who still goes to the church!” He never sees anybody praying, he never sees anybody meditating; he only sees people who are raping, people who are murdering: “Something must be wrong with me, I’m something abnormal. Normal people are doing normal things; all that I am doing is just being glued to the chair and watching television. Something has to be done.” And slowly, slowly his mind is conditioned by all the input of the news media.
A healthy news media is a great need. And if you feel that perhaps this is not the need of the people, then create the need; create a beautiful supply. I don’t think that there are not people who are going to be interested in the good side of life.
Don’t take the attitude of a pessimist. There are people who are interested in the good side, there are people who are interested in the roses, there are people who are interested in all that is great in man. Bring it out; make everybody feel that if he is not doing something good, he is sick, abnormal. Right now just the opposite is the case.

In our journalism training course, the growth of being, the spiritual dimension, is totally ignored, while other psychosomatic subjects are all very much highlighted. Osho, could you please explain: why is it significant to include the spiritual dimension in the teaching of journalism?
Nandita, this country has been under slavery for two thousand years. That has created a psychological slavery in people. Although politically we are free, psychologically we are still slaves. Journalism is a product of the West, and we are imitating whatever is being done there; it is not our creation. The West does not believe in any spirituality, and it is suffering great anguish and great anxiety because of it.
The suicide rate is four times more than it is in the East. And in the East, people commit suicide because of hunger, starvation; you have to be compassionate toward them. In the West people commit suicide because they have everything, and they feel life is meaningless. They have all the money, they have all that money can purchase…but there are a few things which money cannot purchase. They cannot purchase silence, they cannot purchase joy, they cannot purchase love, they cannot purchase meditation….
In the life of Mahavira, there is a beautiful story.

One great king of Mahavira’s time, Prasenjita, had everything that was possible in those days. But one day he came across a Jaina monk who said to him, “You may be a great emperor, but do you know the blissfulness and the ecstasy of meditation?” And for the first time, Prasenjita was very shocked – he used to brag, thinking that he had everything. For the first time somebody had pointed out that he didn’t have everything. He asked the monk, “From where can I get meditation?” He thought perhaps that too could be purchased. “I am ready to pay any price.”
The monk said, “For that you will have to go to my master, who is living just outside the capital. You have to go to Mahavira.”
Prasenjita went to Mahavira, and asked him the same question: “I have come here to purchase meditation, whatever the price. You don’t be worried about the price – I am ready to pay right now – but I want meditation.”
Mahavira looked at him, and said, “You certainly want meditation, but I don’t want to sell it – at any price. But I know a very poor man in your own capital, my disciple. Perhaps he may be ready to sell it.” Just a joke…so he gave him the name of the poor man, and he said, “Perhaps he may be in need of money, and he may sell his meditation.”
And Prasenjita went in his golden chariot to the quarters of the poorest people, and they could not believe it – a great crowd gathered, and they found the poor man. Prasenjita asked, “Whatever the price, it will be given to you right now; I am carrying enough money in the chariot. But give me your meditation.”
The man said, “My master must have been joking. It is not something that you can purchase. Although I am poor…. But it is not possible to sell meditation, you have to evolve into it.”

In the West, four times as many people are committing suicide – and these people are not poor people, these people are from the highest class, super-rich. What is the problem, what is missing? And those who are not committing suicide are feeling at a loss. They have reached the highest rung of the ladder, and now…nowhere to go, and inside there is simply darkness and death.
Journalism is coming from the West. You are still copying something that has not grown within your culture, within your atmosphere; which is not part of this earth, it is not a flower here. So you are carrying a plastic flower; it has no roots.
In the West, the news media is not interested in spiritualism because in the West, nobody is interested in spiritualism. That has been their choice for centuries, and they are suffering because of it – badly suffering. So many people are in psychoanalysis, so many people are inside psychiatric hospitals, so many people are going insane, committing suicide, murdering, doing things just because they find life so meaningless, so useless.
One of the very famous novels of Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov, has a statement by one of the brothers: If I meet God, I want to return my ticket. I don’t want to be in the world; it is simply useless, there is no meaning.
You are asking me: “In our journalism training course, the growth of being, the spiritual dimension, is totally ignored.” It is because you are not growing a journalism that belongs to this earth, that has the fragrance of this earth. You are simply imitating.
And you are doing a tremendous harm to this society, because here spiritualism is the most fundamental thing. But the same is happening in your educational systems. In your universities, in your colleges, in your schools, everywhere there is a mental slavery to the West. Whatever is happening in the West, you have to imitate it; it has become your unconscious habit. Journalism has to learn its own way, has to evolve its own individuality, just as education has to evolve its own individuality.
Nandita, you are asking if it is significant, and why it is significant to include the spiritual dimension in the teaching of journalism.
Spiritualism is the very meaning of life.
Without a spirit, a man is only a corpse. And without spiritualism, anything – education, journalism…they are only corpses, they stink.
Your politics is an imitation from the West. That’s why even after forty years of freedom, nothing seems to have changed. The same bureaucracy…it has even got worse, because imitators cannot be better than the originals.
Your education is just an imitation. I have been a teacher in the university, and I had to fight with the university continuously. They were not ready to include yoga or meditation in the university courses, but they go on bragging that this is the land of Gautam Buddha and Mahavira and Bodhidharma and Patanjali and Kabir and Nanak – they go on bragging, but they don’t see what they are doing. Their journalism, their education, their politics, has no impact from Kabir, or Nanak, or Patanjali, or Buddha.
They are under the impact of Western masters. Although politically you are free, psychologically you are not free.
Journalism has to attain freedom from the West and it has to give an authentic, original shape to itself. And you will be surprised that if you can manage to introduce a spiritual dimension to journalism, the West is going to imitate you sooner or later – because there is a great hunger, a great thirst. Rather than being imitators, why can you not be the originals, and let others be the imitators? That will be for the first time that something out of freedom happens in this country.
And spiritualism does not mean any kind of fanaticism. Spiritualism does not mean that you have to preach Hinduism, that you have to preach Jainism, or you have to preach Mohammedanism. Spiritualism simply means you have to spread the basic fundamentals of all religions, which are the same.
Can love be Hindu or Mohammedan? Can a peaceful mind be Hindu or Buddhist? Does a man of compassion have to be a Christian or a Jew?
An authentic spirituality will be without any adjective. It will teach only the essentials of all religions. And journalism should give it the first preference: on your laundry list, it should be your first item and politics should be the last. Unfortunately, politics is the first and spiritualism is not even the last.
I cannot understand how you can go on and on being slaves. Is not the time ripe that we should be spiritually free from the West? That we should have our own education, that we should have our own journalism? That we should have our own fragrance, and our own nuance?
The time is ripe, and journalism can become the beginning of a new era. Push politics as far back as possible, to the last pages of your newspapers. Politics is not our soul, it is the dirtiest game that you are propagating in people’s minds. It is absolutely necessary that the politician be made clearly aware that he is not the man of wisdom, that he is not to guide the destiny of the nation; that he is only the servant of the people, his role is that of a functionary.
You don’t make much fuss about who is the postmaster general; his role is that of a functionary. You don’t make much fuss about who is the head of all the railways; what is the need? He is doing his work, he is getting his salary, that’s enough. Why do you go on bothering about politicians? More than fifty percent of your energy is wasted on those whose life span is only four years. Tomorrow they will be forgotten.
They are exactly like your newspapers. Yesterday’s newspaper is just as useless as your politician of yesterday.
But why give so much importance to momentary things? Spirituality means giving importance to something which is a permanent value, which gives life, light and guidance forever, which is Sanatan, which is eternal. Eternal values constitute spirituality; momentary values constitute politics. Politics and religion are just polar opposites.
And politics is trying to make every effort to suppress religion in every part of the country. The only danger for politicians is from the religions, because only from the religions can people come out with more wisdom.
For example, I cannot see any problem so big that the country should remain struggling and not be able to solve it. Within ten years, every problem of this country can be solved. But the politicians don’t want to solve the problems, they want to create them. In fact their very life depends on problems.
Adolf Hitler, in his autobiography, has a very significant statement: a politician, if he wants to be a great politician, a great leader of people, should never allow peace in his land. He should always create turmoil, keep people afraid, insecure, worried, concerned. He should keep people in such a situation that they need him. Always create enemies in the neighbors – real or phony, but always keep enemies on the side – and the moment you feel that your leadership is going, create a war, because only in war are great leaders born. And he is right. But what is the conclusion from it?
The conclusion is that the politician is not interested in solving problems, he is interested in making them as complex as possible. So he becomes absolutely essential; you need him always. He wants to keep you always afraid of the enemies – from China, from Pakistan – they are gathering atomic weapons, nuclear weapons, so you need your leaders, whether they are of any worth or not. In times of war, whoever is in power should be given total support, because it is a question of crisis. The cunning politician keeps every country always in crisis.
There is a saying that the first statement which can be called political was asserted by Adam to Eve. When they were driven out by God from the Garden of Eden, passing through the gate, Adam said to Eve, “We are passing through a great crisis.” Since then, every politician has been saying the same thing: “We are passing through a great crisis.” And the crisis is so great that only he can tackle it, you cannot manage it.
One of the greatest revolutions in journalism will be, Nandita, if we can create in this country a different kind of journalism – which is not dominated by politicians, but is inspired by its wise people. And you can remain absolutely certain that the wise people of any country are not going to fight in the elections; they are not going to beg for votes from the masses. So the wise people by their very nature remain out of power. It should be one of the basic functions of journalism to bring the wise people and their wisdom before the masses, into the light.
Politicians should not be paid too much attention; it is dangerous. They should be ignored as much as possible. They should be paid attention only when they do something which is authentically good.

What is healthy journalism? Can journalism survive on positive news? Please explain your vision on the responsibility of the media.
Nandita, by healthy journalism, I mean journalism which nourishes the whole personality of man – his body, his mind, his soul – journalism whose whole concern is to create a better humanity, not just to report what is happening. Journalism should not be just a news medium, it should also be great literature – then it is healthy. Even yesterday’s newspaper should remain of some worth, so that even today it can be read. It should not be so momentary. But if you are only a news medium then naturally, once the day has passed, the news is old. You should make something that never becomes old, and always remains new.
That’s what great literature is. Dostoevsky’s novels, or those of Leo Tolstoy, Anton Chekhov, or Turgenev, Rabindranath Tagore…they will remain significant as long as humanity remains, and as fresh as ever.
Something in your journalism should have that quality, and that quality can be introduced. You can have space for news, but that should be secondary. Because what are those news reports? What are they going to do? Somebody steals – what is the point of reporting it? And somebody commits suicide – what is the point of reporting it? Why make it news unnecessarily? You are filling your space with absolutely nonessential things.
Bring the essential in. You have poets, you have painters, you have writers, you have spiritual giants – you can introduce all of them. They should be your major part, and politics should be just your third page, or fourth page – or maybe no page! You have made these politicians so huge, so exaggerated, and then the whole country suffers. The whole world is suffering because of these people, and you will have to take responsibility for it. These people should be cut down to size and put in their place. Somebody may be the president of the country; that doesn’t mean much. The question is whether he is a great president; the quality is the question.
It happened when Abraham Lincoln became the president: The first day in the Senate, the aristocrats were very much arrogant and angry because he was not an aristocrat; he was the son of a shoemaker. And one aristocrat could not resist his temptation, and stood up. He said, “Mr. Lincoln, before you start your speech” – that was the inaugural speech – “I want you to remember that you are the son of a shoemaker.”
The whole Senate clapped and laughed; they wanted to humiliate Abraham Lincoln. But you cannot humiliate a man like him. He stood silently and as the clamor died, he said, “I am very grateful to you, that you reminded me of my great father. I know my frailties, my weaknesses; I can never be as great a president as he was a great shoemaker. I stand as no comparison. My father was a great artist. I will try my best, but I know I cannot surpass him.”
The Senate was shocked, but they recognized that this is not the kind of man whom you can humiliate. And he said to the man who had raised the question, “How have you remembered him? Because I remember perfectly well: my father used to go to your house also. Are you wearing the shoes made by my father? Are they pinching? Because I know something, I can mend them. I am not a great artist, but just by working with my father I have learned a little bit. So if any of you have any trouble with your shoes, you can always depend on me.”
A president, just by being a president, is not much, but his quality…Talk of the qualities, don’t talk of personalities. A prime minister, just by being the prime minister, does not mean anything. Talk about the qualities – what has he done to the country, what is he capable of doing? Provoke him to do it.
Days go on passing…I have seen these forty years passing. My whole family was involved in the freedom struggle, all of them had been in jails; we suffered as children. In my childhood I used to ask my father, “Are you certain that the freedom you are fighting for will ever come? It is possible that the British may go, but are you certain that the people who replace them will be better? I can understand that you are fighting against slavery, but I don’t think you have any idea that you are fighting for freedom; you don’t have any positive program.”
The whole liberation movement in India was running without any positive program. And the result is that forty years have passed, and the country has been falling down and down. When I started speaking thirty years ago, the population of the country was four hundred million. I spoke in favor of birth control methods, and I was stoned, my meeting was disturbed. And next time when I reached that city, I was not allowed to get off the train. Two hundred Hindu chauvinists were standing on the platform; they would not let me get out.
And now the country’s population has reached nine hundred million. By the end of this century it will pass one billion. For the first time in history, India will be ahead of China. Up to now, China was the most idiotic land; now India will be ahead of it. China has managed to cut its population, but your politicians don’t have guts; they are afraid to tell the truth to people, because they have to get their votes.
Journalists should not be afraid of anybody; you are not dependent on anybody’s votes. You should bring truth to the people: You are creating children – but in fact you are creating death. By the end of this century, half of the country – that means five hundred million people – will be dying of starvation: one man out of two. You will be surrounded by corpses. What are your politicians doing about it? And if I speak for birth control methods, then shankaracharyas condemn me, then the politicians try to destroy my efforts, because it goes against the religious superstitions of the people.
No politician has even the courage to come and meet me. Indira asked…six times she had appointments to come to me, and just one day before, she would cancel. Finally, I sent my secretary to ask her, “What nonsense is this? If you want to come, you come; if you don’t want to come, nobody is inviting you. You have been asking….” And then she told my secretary, “My colleagues prevent me. They say if I go there, it is dangerous for my political future.” Because I don’t have any votes! The shankaracharyas and the imams and the bishops will all withdraw their votes, if they see a politician coming to me.
And it is one of the wonders that none of them is able to argue. I have been challenging them, saying that I am ready for a public debate with anybody on any point, and those cowards…none of them comes.
The journalists should bring to the public news of the people who are fighting for unpopular causes, because the unpopular causes are the future of man. The popular causes are the past, rotten heritage. The politician cannot have that courage, but the journalist can have it, and should have. Nandita, I call that journalism healthy.
And you are asking, “Can journalism survive on positive news?” I am not saying that; I am saying don’t try just to survive on negative news. Bring out the positive, in all its beauty, and put the negative in the background; it should not be the focus. I don’t want you just to be positive, I want you to be realists.
The negative side is a part of life, yes; death is a part of life. But that does not mean that you have to make your funeral ground in the middle of the market. You make your funeral ground outside the city, where you go only once and you don’t come back. Why don’t you make it in the middle of the bazaar so that everybody can see, passing by every day, that people are being burned?
It is part of life, so once in a while you can talk about the funeral, but don’t focus on it. Death is certain, but life is more important. Talk about life, make life a celebration. Don’t make people too much afraid of death.
Don’t create a phobia with the negative; that’s what I am saying. I am not saying that the media can survive only on the positive news – that will be wrong, that will be half. The negative should be brought to light, but should not be emphasized. It should be criticized.
The positive should be supported, and the negative should be condemned. In that way you are not being simply positive, you are bringing both…but the negative side is ugly. You know that in life we go on putting the negative out of the way, and we go on putting the positive in front. The same should be the attitude of a healthy journalism: the positive should be the goal. The negative should be used as a stepping stone to it, but never emphasized, because that creates in people’s minds the idea that the negative is what life is all about. That is a very dangerous cancer of the soul.

What is your trade secret? Please make your trade secret an open secret.
Nandita, I don’t have any secret – but if you want to call it an open secret, then it can be described simply: I have been bringing the truth as I see it, without any fear of any vested interest. Whatever the consequences for me were, I have always accepted those consequences as rewards. And I have no regrets about life; I have lived it according to myself. Even if the whole world was against me I have never bothered to compromise.
You can call this my secret: I am a non-compromising man. Either I am true or I am wrong, and I fight for my truth, tooth and nail.
I have been around the world fighting for my truth, and it is hilarious to see that a single man can put the whole world against him, and great nations like America and Germany and England and Greece can freak out – and they don’t have any answer.
I have been prohibited from entering twenty-one countries, because they are afraid that if I enter their country for three weeks I will destroy their morality, their religion, their tradition. I have been asking, “If your religion, that you have been establishing for two thousand years, is so poor that it can be destroyed in three weeks’ time, if your morality is so rotten that a single person on a three-week tourist visa can demolish your morality, then it is worth demolishing whether I come or not! You should do it yourself.”
And you will be surprised to know: countries like Germany have even passed laws in their parliaments saying that I cannot enter the country. I have never entered their country, and I have never said that I wanted to enter their country. It is just from the air, from nowhere. But the fear, the paranoia is spread all over the world.
Other countries were doing the same – England did it, America, then Germany. It was almost like wildfire, and they forgot completely that at least you have to be intelligent in what you are doing. Germany has passed a law that I cannot enter the country, and not only that, my airplane cannot land at any airport of Germany, for refueling or anything. They are afraid that perhaps sitting in my airplane I can destroy and corrupt the people of their land.
What a weak humanity we have…. Is this the country of great intellectuals like Kant and Hegel and Feuerbach and Karl Marx? Is this the country that has created really great thinkers…that is afraid?
In Greece, I had a four-week tourist visa, and I had not gone out of my house – I never go; whoever wants to come, comes. I am just a well: if you are thirsty, you are welcome; if you are not thirsty, the well is not going to run after you, because that would be a very weird scene.
I had not gone out of the house. People were with me in the house, twenty-five people, and those who wanted to come, were coming to see me. The archbishop of the oldest church in the world, the Greek Orthodox Church, started a campaign against me. He said that if I were not thrown out from the country within twelve hours, the morality would be in danger, the religion would be in danger, the youth would be corrupted.
And these are the people who talk about peace, about love; they say “God is love,” they talk about Jesus as “the prince of peace.” The archbishop threatened the government, and he threatened me, that if within twelve hours I was not out of Greece, then he was going to dynamite my house with all the living people inside, and burn them all. Now, these are your religious leaders. The prime minister became afraid. The police came immediately…I was asleep, and my secretary stopped them and said, “Just wait, I will go in and wake him.” But even the police were carrying dynamite, saying that “If you don’t allow us, we will start dynamiting the whole place.”
They threw my secretary, a young girl, from the first floor to the gravel on the ground, and dragged her into a jeep. I was asleep; I was awakened by the noise, because they started throwing stones and rocks against the beautiful palace that was my host’s house. I could not understand what was happening, because I was sleeping on the second floor. And then one sannyasin came running, and he said, “The police seem to be absolutely mad! We were telling them that we were going to wake you up, but they have started throwing stones and breaking windows.”
So I had to go down without even changing my clothes, and they said, “You cannot stay even for a single moment.” No arrest warrant, no search warrant – and they forced me, at gun point. Forty loaded guns, against a man who has nothing in his hands, and who has not gone out of the house.
And I told the chief of the Greek police – because he was among the forty – “Now I can understand what kind of people poisoned Socrates. You must have been one of those people, born again.”
I said, “Is there any reason for this? I have not done any crime, I have not done anything wrong against your society, I have not gone out of the house. And your morality is disturbed, your religion is disturbed.” I have been around the world and I have seen the ugly faces…and the dead humanity.
I have enjoyed it immensely, hilariously, seeing that one man can put the whole world on fire – without having any dynamite in his hand, just with his words.
I don’t have any secret – simply that I have been saying whatsoever I have felt as truth from the depths of my being. And I have been ready to fight for it in every possible way. If you think of that as a secret, Nandita, you can call it a secret; otherwise I am just a lover of stories, a storyteller. And through stories I have been demolishing people’s superstitions as politely as possible.
Just the last thing…

A little girl was complaining to her mother about the long prayers she had to recite before going to bed at night.
“Why can’t I say the short prayers that you and daddy use?” she asked.
“What prayers do you mean, sweetheart?” replied her mother.
“Well,” said the little girl, “last night I heard Daddy say, ‘Oh, dear God, I am coming!’ and then you said, ‘Lord, Jesus Christ, wait for me!’”

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