The Secret 12

Twelth Discourse from the series of 21 discourses - The Secret by Osho.
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The first question:
What is mysticism?
Mysticism is the experience that life is not logic, that life is poetry, that life is not syllogism, that life is a song. Mysticism is the declaration that life can never really be known; it is essentially unknowable.
Science divides existence into two categories: the known and the unknown. The known was unknown one day; it has become known. The unknown is unknown today; tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow, it will also become known. Science believes that sooner or later a point of understanding will arrive when there will be only one category, the known: all will have been known. The unknown is slowly being reduced to the known.
Mysticism is the declaration that life consists of three categories: one, the known; another, the unknown; and the third and most important is the unknowable, which has not been known and which will never be known – and that is the essential core of it all.
That unknowable can be experienced but not known. It cannot be reduced to knowledge, although your heart can sing its song. You can dance it, you can live it, you can be full and overflowing with it, you can be possessed by it, but you will not be able to know it.
It is like a river that disappears into the ocean. Do you think the river comes to know the ocean? It becomes the ocean, but there is no knowing. In fact, when you become one with something, how can you know it? Knowledge requires division, knowledge is basically schizophrenic. The object has to be separate from the subject, the knower has to keep a distance from the known. If the distance disappears, there will be no knowledge possible.
And that’s what happens in mysticism: the seeker becomes one with the sought, the lover dissolves into the beloved, the dewdrop slips, falls into the ocean and becomes the ocean. There is no knowledge. In such unity, knowledge is not possible. In such unity there is only experience, and experience not of something outside you, but something inside you. It is experiencing rather than experience.
The word mysticism comes from a Greek word, mysterion, which means “secret ceremony.” The people who have touched the unknowable gather together to share. The sharing is not verbal, it cannot be verbal. The sharing is of their being, they pour their being into each other. They dance together, they sing together, they look into each other’s eyes, or they simply sit silently together. That’s what was being done with Buddha, with Krishna, with Jesus, in different ways.
The lovers of Krishna were dancing with him. That was a mysterion, a secret ceremony. If you looked from the outside at what was happening, you would not be able to know what was really the case. Unless you became a participant, unless you danced with Krishna, you would not know what was being shared because that which was being shared was invisible. It was not a commodity, it could not be transferred from one hand to another; you would not see anything like that happening. It was not objective, it was the flowing of one being into another, flowing of the presence of the master into the disciple.
These kinds of secret ceremonies in India have been called ras; in the tradition of Krishna they are called ras. Ras means dancing with the master, so that one’s energy is flowing and the master’s energy is flowing. And only flowing energies can have a meeting. Stagnant pools cannot meet, only rivers can meet. It is only through movement that meeting is possible.
The same was happening with Buddha too, with no visible dance. Buddha was sitting silently, his disciples were sitting silently; it is called satsang: “being with truth.”
Buddha has become enlightened, he is a light unto himself. Others who are not yet lit – whose candles are yet unlit – sit in close proximity, in intimacy, in deep love and gratitude, coming closer and closer to Buddha in their silence, in their love.
Slowly, slowly a moment comes, the space between the master and the disciple disappears – and the jump of the flame from the master to the disciple. The disciple is ready to receive it; the disciple is nothing but a welcome. The disciple is feminine, a receptivity, a womb. This too is a mysterion, a secret ceremony. It was happening again and again, with Zarathustra, with Lao Tzu, with Jesus, in different ways.
This is what is happening here. While I am talking to you, if you are just a curious person who has come here to listen and to see what is happening, you will only listen to my words. You will miss the real treasure. The words are spoken only to those who cannot listen to silence. Those who have become intimate with me, those who have become sannyasins, are listening to the words, but they are not in any way intellectually dissecting, analyzing, arguing with the words. The words are heard as one hears music; the words are heard as one hears the wind blowing through the pine trees; the words are heard as one hears raindrops falling on the roof, or the roar of the waves in the ocean. And while the mind is hearing the music, the heart starts absorbing the being, the presence. This is a mysterion, this is a secret ceremony.
But why is it called secret? It is not secret in the sense that we are hiding somewhere in a cave. It is secret because it is available only when you are related to the master in deep love. Others are allowed to come in, but for them it will remain invisible; hence it is called secret. When Buddha is sitting with his disciples, he is not hiding somewhere in the mountains – he is in the world, people can come and go and see – but still the ceremony is secret. This secretness is something to be understood. The people who come and see will only see a few bodies sitting silently, that’s all. They will not see the transfer of light, the transfer beyond the scriptures that is happening.
That’s the case here too. Every day watchers, spectators come. They see you sitting here listening to me, or dancing, or meditating, and they think they have known. They go, and they start giving “authoritative” reports about the place. They may have been here just one day or two days and they become experts. They are being simply stupid. They don’t know a word, they don’t know anything about mysticism. All their reports are false, bound to be false.
To know something of what is going on here, you will have to become a participant, you will have to fall in deep harmony with me and the space that is being created here. You cannot be a spectator, you cannot observe from the outside. These things are not observed from the outside, they are secret. You have to dissolve yourself. You have to risk. Only then, a taste on your tongue; only then, an experience in your heart; only then, a vibe that penetrates you and becomes part of your life.
That is the meaning of “secret ceremony.” It is available for everybody to see, but only those who are initiated into it will really be able to see it.
Mysterion in its own turn comes from another root, myein, which means “to keep one’s mouth shut.” Mysticism means you have seen something, you have experienced something, but you cannot express it. Mysticism means you have come across a truth which makes you dumb. It is so big, so huge, so enormous that it cannot be contained in a word. Not even the word god contains it. That’s why Buddha dropped the word god. It is bigger than what the word god can contain. Not even the word soul can contain it; that’s why Buddha dropped even that word. Those are just words, reality is far richer.
Just watch in your ordinary life also. When you say something, does it really express it? You have seen a beautiful tree and when you say to somebody, “I have seen a beautiful tree,” what does the word beautiful tree contain? It does not contain the greenery of the tree; it does not contain the shape arising in the tree; it does not contain the roots that have gone deep into the earth; it does not contain the sun rays falling on the tree leaves and dancing. It does not contain the beautiful flowers of the tree, and the fragrance, and the smell of the wet earth that surrounds the tree, and the nests of the birds, and the song of the birds. What does the word tree contain when you say, “I have seen a beautiful tree”? It contains nothing. The word has no roots, the word has no wings, the word has no gold, no green, no red; the word is colorless. The word is very poor. Tree? It is only symbolic, but it is meaningful because we all know trees, so when somebody says, “I have seen a beautiful tree,” you can have a little understanding about it.
But about God, even that little understanding is not possible, unless you have seen God. If I say, “God is,” you hear the word, but you don’t hear the meaning; you can’t hear the meaning. There is no response in your heart.
When I say, “a beautiful roseflower,” yes, there is a little response – and if you close your eyes and meditate a little on the word rose you may start seeing a roseflower opening its petals in your being because you have seen roseflowers. If you are a really sensitive person you may even start smelling the rose and seeing the dewdrops in the early morning on the rose petals. A memory may be provoked, an experience may become alive, you may start reminiscing; but it is because you have known a rose. What about the person who has never known a rose? Then just the word rose will not stir any feeling in him, will not bring any pictures. The word will be heard, but will not be listened to; there will be no meaning behind it.
That is the case when the word God is used, that is the case when the word prayer is used, that is the case when the word gratitude is used, and so on, so forth. You don’t have any understanding because you don’t have any experience.
Those who have experienced become dumb. Not that they stop speaking, but they speak about the methods, they speak about the way. They don’t speak about the truth. They say how to attain it; they say how to avoid the pitfalls on the path; they say how not to go astray. They say, “This is the way, this is the direction.” They give you a few maps, road maps; they make you aware of a few signs that you will come across on the road so that you can be certain you are moving in the right direction. That’s all they can do. But about the truth, or God, they can’t say a single word.
So that meaning is also beautiful: myein means “to keep one’s mouth shut.” It is from these two words: from myein comes mysterion, from mysterion comes mysticism.
Mysticism is the very soul of religion.
Hence my insistence: drop the mind that thinks in prose, revive another kind of mind that thinks in poetry. Put aside all your expertise in syllogism, let songs be your way of life. Move from intellect to intuition, from the head to the heart, because the heart is closer to the mysteries. The head is anti-mystery, the whole effort of the head is how to demystify existence.
That’s why, wherever science has grown, religion has disappeared. Wherever the mind becomes trained in scientific ways of thinking and doing, religion simply dies; then the flower of religion blooms no longer. In the soil of the scientific mind there is some poison that does not allow the seed of religion to grow; it kills it. What is that poison? Science believes in demystifying existence.
Religion says it cannot be demystified. The deeper your understanding goes, the more mystical it becomes, the more mysterious it becomes.
Now there is a possibility that science and religion can be bridged – because the greatest scientists have also felt it, in a very indirect way. For example, Eddington, Albert Einstein, and others have come to a feeling that the more they know about existence, the more puzzled they become because the more they know, the more there is to know. The more they know, the more their knowledge seems to be superficial. Einstein died almost a mystic; that old pride that “One day we will come to know all” had disappeared. He died in a very meditative mood. He died not as a scientist, but more as a poet.
Eddington has written, “First we used to believe that thought is just a by-product” – just as Karl Marx says that consciousness is just a by-product of social situations – “a by-product, an epiphenomenon of matter, a shadow of matter. Matter is substance; consciousness is just a shadow, very insubstantial.”
Eddington says, “I was also perfectly convinced” – because that was the climate of those days. For three centuries in the West, science had been growing the climate. Eddington had grown up in that climate, but finally, ultimately, in his last days, he said, “Now things have changed. The more I inquired, the more I became convinced that the world does not consist of things, but consists of thoughts – and existence appears less like matter and more like consciousness.”
This is good news: science is coming to a great understanding. That understanding is arising out of its failure to demystify existence.
But I don’t see a similar understanding arising in the so-called religious people. They are lagging far behind, they are all talking in old, stupid ways. They are still obsessed with the Vedas and the Koran and the Bible. And not that the Vedas are wrong, or the Koran or the Bible are wrong – they are perfectly right – but they are expressed in a very, very ancient, primitive way. They are not capable of meeting modern science.
We need contemporary religious mystics of the same caliber as Albert Einstein and Eddington and Planck. That’s my effort here, to create contemporary mystics, not only scholars who can talk like a parrot about the Upanishads and the Vedas. No, scholars won’t do. We need contemporary mystics; we need people in whose hearts new Upanishads can arise. We need people who can talk the way Jesus talked, on their own authority. We need courageous mystics who can say they have experienced God – not because the scriptures say God is, but because they have known God. Not just learned people, knowledgeable people, but people of wisdom.
Enough of scholarship. Scholarship is just very mediocre, scholarship cannot bridge modern science with mysticism. We need buddhas, not people who know about Buddha. We need meditators, lovers, experiencers. And then the day is ripe, the time has come, when science and religion can meet and mingle, can be welded together. That day will be one of the greatest days of the whole of human history. It will be a great day of rejoicing, incomparable, unique because from that day, the schizophrenic, split humanity will disappear from the world.
Then we need not have two things, science and religion; one thing will do. For the outer we will use scientific methodology, for the inner we will use religious methodology. Mysticism is a beautiful word; it can be used for that one science or one religion, whatever you call it. Mysticism will be a beautiful name. Then science will search for the outer mystery, and religion will search for the inner mystery; they will be the two wings of mysticism. Mysticism can become the word that denotes both. Mysticism can be the synthesis of both.
With this synthesis, many more syntheses will happen on their own accord. For example, if science and religion can meet in mysticism, then East and West can meet, then man and woman can meet, then poetry and prose can meet, then logic and love can meet, then layer upon layer, meetings can go on happening. And once this has happened, we will have a more perfect man, more whole, more balanced.

The second question:
Is not man the purpose of all evolution?
Evolution has no purpose. The very idea of purpose is mediocre; it comes from the marketplace. Existence is playful, not purposive. It is leela, it is not work. But we think in terms of economics, business; we think in terms of the marketplace. Everything has to be with purpose.
People come to me and they ask, “What is the purpose of meditation?” They take it for granted that there must be a purpose behind it. There is none. Meditation is its own end, there is no end beyond it. What is the purpose of love? Is love a means to something else, or is love an end unto itself?
Purpose means division, division between the means and the end. What is the purpose of these green trees, and what is the purpose of the bird singing, and what is the purpose of the sunrise, and what is the purpose of the starry night? What is the purpose? If there is a purpose, you would have a very ugly existence. And then the question will persist. If you say, “A is the purpose,” then the question will arise, “What is the purpose of A?” There will be no end to it. There is no purpose at all. That’s why life is so beautiful.
Somebody asked Pablo Picasso, “What is the purpose of your paintings?” and he said, “Why don’t you go in the garden and ask the roseflower, ‘What is your purpose?’ Why don’t you go to a bird singing: ‘What is the purpose?’ Why don’t you ask the sun and the moon? Why do you bother me? If the rose can bloom without any purpose, why can’t I paint a picture? I enjoy painting, and that’s all.”
But we have a very mediocre mind, we always think in terms of purpose. Purpose means “business,” purpose means “I am doing this for that.” And because of this purposive obsession, you never do anything totally – you cannot because you are not interested in doing it for its own sake. There is a purpose.
You are painting to sell in the market to earn money. Then your painting cannot be great, cannot be because you will not be lost while you are painting. Continuously you will be thinking, “How much am I going to fetch? Will it be possible to sell it, and who are the potential buyers? Whom should I approach, how should I advertise?” And you are painting! Your painting may be a technically well-performed job, but it will not be art. You are not an artist, you are not a creator.
The real artist disappears into his art. While he is painting he is not: he is in a state of fana, he is absent. The painting is happening on its own. He is not doing it, he is not a doer. Then great works arise. Whether the painting is sold in the market or not is a secondary thing. That is not the purpose, that was not in the mind of the painter. He also needs bread and butter and he will sell it; that is a thing apart. That was not the purpose of the painting, he was not thinking of bread and butter while he was painting it. If he was thinking that, he is not a painter, he is just a businessman.
Remember the difference between a technician and an artist. The technician is one who works with some goal in his vision, and the artist is one who has no other goal: art for art’s sake.
Why do you ask, “Is not man the purpose of all evolution?” Just go and ask the parrots. They may be thinking that they are the purpose of evolution. Look how green they are, and their red beaks. What do you have compared to them? And their beautiful wings, and the way they fly – zigzag, playfully – and the way they sing. They must be thinking they are the purpose of the whole evolution.
Or ask the lion or the elephant. They must be thinking they are the purpose. Do you think the lion thinks man is the purpose of evolution? In the bibles of the lions it is written, “God made the lion in his own image.” This poor man is very poor, in fact. You don’t have the energy of a lion; you don’t have the capacity of the eagle to fly far away; you don’t have the grace of an elephant; you don’t have the beauty of a lotus flower. What do you have that you think you are the purpose of evolution, that God has created you specially?
This is the way of an egoist, it is the way of the ego. The ego wants, “I am the purpose of the whole of evolution.” You have asked, “Is not man the purpose of all evolution?” Now think, whether woman is the purpose or man? If you are a man you will think man, if you are a woman you will think, of course, woman. Then think, if you are a man and you decide that man is the purpose, not woman, then black or white? If you are black you will think black, if you are white you will think white. If you go on searching deeply into it, finally you will arrive at the point, “I am the purpose of the whole of evolution.” Look at the absurdity.
There is a Russian parable…

A man was walking along and happened to spit three times, all in the same place. The man went on, the gobs of spit remained.
One of the gobs of spit said, “We are here but the man is not.”
And the second said, “He is gone.”
And the third, “That is the only thing he came here for, to plant us here. We are the purpose of man’s life. He is gone but we remain.”

Drop all kinds of egoistic ideas. There is no purpose, neither man nor woman, neither birds nor animals. There is no purpose, there is no goal. Existence is not moving toward something. It is sheer joy, exuberance, a ceremony, for no other purpose at all.
Life delights in itself, energy delights in itself. It is like a child, jumping and dancing and shouting. If you ask him for what purpose, he will be surprised at your foolish question. Shouting, jumping, dancing is enough. What other purpose is needed? But as you grow older you forget this, you start doing things only if they pay. If there is a good payoff, only then do you do things.
Otherwise, the question goes on haunting you: “What is the purpose?” You don’t sing a song without any purpose. You don’t dance, you don’t love, you don’t paint, you don’t sing. What is the purpose?
Unless you are paid! So money seems to be the end of it all. And what is the purpose of money? You will be gone and the money will be left. And your hundred rupee notes will think, “So we were the purpose of this man. Now we are here and he is gone. He had certainly come here to collect us, what else?” You will be gone, your house will be here and the house will say, “Look! So we are the purpose of this man’s life.”
There is no purpose at all. This understanding brings freedom, this understanding is what I call spiritual insight. The man who lives for some purpose is a materialist, and the man who simply lives for no purpose at all, the man who simply lives as if he is on a morning walk, not going anywhere, that man is spiritual, his life is holy. That is sacredness.

The third question:
You said the other day that you desire that all people should be rich and have lotuses in their garden ponds. Why then do many people not own houses and gardens and lakes and lotuses? The question is: why is there so much poverty in this country?
The poverty is there because this country has behaved in a very foolish way. Nobody else is responsible for it. You are responsible for it. But you have behaved foolishly for so many centuries that not only do you continue to behave in the same way, you are even proud of it.
This country decided to live a lopsided life. This country decided to be anti-life, anti-body. Now, if you are anti-life and anti-body, you cannot live richly, you are bound to remain poor. Unless you love life, how can you create richness? If you don’t love life, how will you love lotuses and lakes and gardens and beautiful houses? If you don’t love your body, why should you bother about the body? Let it go to the dogs. And that’s what has happened.
In fact, for five thousand years, your so-called religious people have been teaching you the beauty of poverty, the spirituality of poverty. You have been praising poverty as the highest goal. Now you have attained it, the whole country has become “spiritual,” so who is at fault?
Just think: why do you praise Buddha? Because he renounced the kingdom. Why do you praise Mahavira? Because he renounced the kingdom.
People go on writing letters to me: “If you are a Buddha, why don’t you renounce and become a beggar?” They are against me. Morarji Desai said that I cannot be compared to Mahavira. Why? – because he renounced the kingdom. He became a beggar, a naked beggar on the streets, and I live in a palatial house, surrounded by beautiful gardens. How can I be compared to Mahavira?
Just watch the logic. If you praise Mahavira because he renounced the kingdom and the joys of life, then those who are beggars are really very fortunate. They have nothing to do, they are already spiritual! Buddha had to do something. Buddha must have committed some sins in his past life, that’s why he became the king.
And the beggar? He must have been living a very spiritual life all along down the ages for many lives. His beggary, his being poor, is the outcome of all the great deeds that he has done in the past. If to be a beggar is to be spiritual, then certainly this whole country is spiritual.
Poverty has been praised, and if you praise poverty and if you worship poverty, how can you destroy it? How can you destroy something that you worship?
Your whole mind is the cause of your poverty. I am against your mind, I want to destroy your mind because that is the only way to release your energies, to become rich.
Do you think America has anything special, better land than you, a better climate than you? That is not true. You have one of the most beautiful lands in the world. You have all kinds of climates available to you. Your country is almost a miniature world. You have Switzerland in your Kashmir. You cannot find any country which is so rich, potentially so rich, but you are the poorest people in the world. It is a miracle how you have managed it!
It is your mind. You are carrying a very wrong attitude toward life. You are against life, and if you are against life, life cannot be for you. You have never befriended existence. You have always praised the other world. Naturally, if you praise the other world, you will not use this world.
You are just waiting. The Indian mahatmas go on sermonizing to their disciples and followers, “This life is like a waiting room at the station.” Who bothers about the waiting room? Your train will be coming and then you will be gone. So make it as dirty as you can. Who bothers? You are here only for a few minutes or a few hours, so do all the nasty things that you can. Make it unbearable for the others who will come, now that is their business. If life is thought to be just a waiting room at a station, then you cannot make it beautiful. Then you will not make it clean.
The people who come from the West cannot believe how Indians are living, in dirt, dirtiness – and completely oblivious of the fact, completely oblivious because they have lived that way down the centuries. They know only this kind of life, they have known no other. There is no possibility of even comparing with anything, so they go on living this way. Just go into any Indian kitchen. It is not even as clean as Western toilets. In fact who bothers? And what to say about Indian toilets!
This whole body is dirty, rotten, this body is your enemy. Everybody is waiting for when to leave this body; when the train arrives they will leave. This body is just a waiting room. It is none of your business to keep it clean, beautiful, healthy, lovable, no. Love is a four-letter dirty word. People are somehow dragging.
And then you ask me why this country is so poor. It is because of you all. And you still persist in thinking that your mind is a great spiritual mind! You still persist in thinking that you have a message for the world.
What really went wrong is, man has hitherto never been accepted in his totality. That has been the misery in the West, that has been the misery in the East. The West has chosen only the body part and has forgotten about the soul. The Western culture is the culture of the without, and the Eastern culture is the culture of the within. The East tries to live only as a soul, and the West tries to live only as a body.
The West is rich, affluent, and will become more and more affluent, richer and richer. It has worked hard to make the world beautiful. The West knows how to live, but because the soul has been neglected, there is great tension inside. The West is poor inside – rich on the outside, poor on the inside. The East has tried to meditate, to pray, to search for the inner truth, and has neglected the outside. So the outer has become very poor, the inner has a richness. But both are suffering because both are half. The suffering means you are half – unless the circle is complete, unless you fulfill both… You are neither soul alone nor body alone. You are both together, you are a togetherness. Man is body-soul and both have to be contented, both have to be satisfied.
That real man is waiting to be born. That real man, the future man, will not be otherworldly, will not be this-worldly either. The future man will not be religious in the old Indian sense and will not be materialist in the Western sense. The new man will be total: both religious and materialist, and more. That’s my vision of a new man.
But there are difficulties. The new man will offend everybody. The new man will offend the religious people who have always been against the body. The new man will offend the materialists who have always been against the soul. The new man is really going to be a great rebellion in the world.
My sannyasins are just the beginning of the new man. Hence you will be persecuted, you will be tortured. Nobody will agree with you, nobody will be able to understand you. In the East you will be a foreigner, in the West you will be a foreigner. To be with me means now you will be a foreigner everywhere.
Even I am a foreigner in this country! My sannyasins are going to be foreigners everywhere because you can be at home only in a new world, where the duality between the body and the soul has been dropped. You are harbingers of a new concept of life, of total acceptance.
You ask me, “Why is there so much poverty in this country?” This country has longed for poverty, has desired poverty, has worshipped poverty. But even if you worship poverty, desire poverty, your innermost longing remains to have a more beautiful life, more healthy, better surroundings. That is a natural inclination. So even after five thousand years of stupid antagonism toward life, still the desire to live beautifully has not disappeared.
And the same is the case in the West. Even though for hundreds of years it has been taught that there is no soul, you cannot deny it just by teaching people that there is no soul, that the body is all and there is nothing else, that man has no psychology but only physiology. You can teach and you can create trouble in people’s minds, but the reality is the reality. Sooner or later the real will assert itself.
It is asserting, you can see it happening. People are coming from the West to the East to learn more about meditation, and from the East people are going to the West to learn more about technology, science. The Indian youth has only one desire and one fantasy: how to get into Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, how to have a degree from the West. If he can have a Western degree, his hope is fulfilled.
And now people who have degrees from Harvard and Oxford and Cambridge have come to me by the thousands, forgetting all about their degrees, just to sit here and to learn how to go inward. They are suffering all kinds of things in India. They have lived in a better world, physically, they have lived in better houses, with better medical facilities, with better everything; and now they are here, living in all kinds of difficulties. But still, the desire to meditate, to know something of the inner is so great that they are ready to sacrifice everything.
You can see it happening. The East is turning more and more toward communism, a materialistic attitude, and the West is turning more and more spiritualistic.
But the problem that I go on thinking about is that it may happen – seeing the unfortunate steps of man up to now, it is possible, looking at the unlucky state of man – it is possible, it may happen: the West may become the East, the East may become the West, and the foolishness may continue. That is possible. We have to avoid that possibility, we have to be very alert so that it doesn’t happen.
That’s why I don’t want my sannyasins to live like poor people, like beggars. I would like them to live intelligently in both worlds, inner and outer. They should live beautifully, poetically in both worlds. They should live in synthesis.
But that creates trouble. That’s why my sannyasins will not be accepted by the traditional Hindu mind: “What kind of sannyasins are these people? They live in good houses, they move in cars, they eat good food. What kind of sannyasins are these?” You are not going to be accepted by the old mind. Don’t feel hurt. That’s natural. We will have to create a new mind. Only then will you be accepted, not before that. We will have to create a new society. Only then will you be loved and respected, not before that. And it is a long, arduous journey.
But Indians have this idea in their mind, as if somebody else is responsible for their poverty. That’s why they go on asking such questions. This question is from an Indian. They think that somebody else is responsible for their poverty. Nobody else is responsible for your poverty. You think because you were slaves, the country was not free for hundreds of years, that’s why you are poor. The truth is vice versa: you became dependent, you lost your freedom because of your nonsense mind. The people who had come to conquer you were in no way powerful, but you were lethargic. Your religions had taught you to be lethargic. You had become fatalistic. You had lost all joy of living. You had lost all will to live. You had become suicidal.
So small tribes of Moguls, Turks, Mongols, Huns – anybody – came. They were less cultured, they were poorer than you, their armies were not better than your armies, but they had one thing: the will to live. And that was missing in you. This is a big country. Small tribes came with a few people and they conquered this country. How did it happen? Could you not resist them? You had forgotten how to resist. You were ready to be reduced to anything because you had lost the will to live.
Your religious teachers were teaching you how to get rid of life, how to be free from life. The greatest goal in the Indian mind has been how to be free from life, how not to be born again. Now, just see: if this becomes your innermost foundation, you lose the will to live, anybody can conquer you. And that’s what happened. When the Europeans came, they conquered you.
Now, England is a small country. We even have districts which are bigger than England. England is a small country. And the whole of England had not come to conquer you! And still, a continent like India became a slave. How did it happen? Something is wrong with you, something is fundamentally wrong with you. You don’t have the desire to live.
Now medicine has discovered that if a person loses the desire to live, no medicine can help. If he does not want to live, that very idea is enough to kill him. If he has the desire to live, sometimes even if the disease is incurable, it is cured. And sometimes even without medicine it is cured if the will to live is strong enough.
You can also experience such moments in your life. For example, one day you come home tired, utterly exhausted, you simply want to go to bed, to sleep. You don’t have even an iota of energy to do anything. Your wife wants to talk, but you don’t even have the energy to say yes or no to her, you simply want to go to sleep. Then suddenly your house catches fire. Then from where do you get the energy? All tiredness disappears. Suddenly you become young, from nowhere energy pours into you. You start fighting the fire. Maybe the whole night now there will be no rest, but not even for a single moment will you feel tired, not even for a single moment will the idea of sleep come to you. What has happened? The will that was dormant has become active.
This country is poor because it has lost the will to live. And who is responsible? – your moralists, your priests, your so-called religious leaders. They are the cause of your misery because they go on supporting your rotten mind. Your mind needs a complete overhauling. It needs new visions. It needs new blood to circulate in it. It needs an infusion of life again, an enthusiasm to live and to love and to be again. It needs to look at the world again: this is God’s world, his creation.
You need to celebrate life again. You have been against life, that has caused this situation. And now you go on shouting. Indians have become very expert in shouting – slogans, shouting – as if the whole world is responsible for your poverty. Nobody is, except you. Stop shouting. Stop all your nonsense slogans. Start doing something.
And if somebody tries to do something, you go against him. Just a few days ago I have spoken and I have said that India needs a compulsory birth control plan: compulsory birth control. Many letters immediately arrived. Compulsory birth control? That means our freedom. What about our freedom? Then be poor and be free. Then choose. Then don’t shout, “Why are we poor?”
Do you know, just one hundred years ago, if you had given birth to twenty children, even two might not have survived. So it was okay to give birth to as many children as possible because if you gave birth to two dozen children, two might have survived – that too was not certain, nobody could guarantee. It was perfectly okay to give birth to as many children as possible.
Indian women, for centuries, have remained constantly pregnant. Their whole life has been destroyed. Their whole life has been nothing but a factory producing children. Now think of a woman producing twenty children in her life, her whole life is gone. She is constantly in pain, constantly heavy, constantly carrying a child, constantly ill – cannot paint, cannot read, cannot create poetry, cannot play music, cannot dance, cannot have anything. Her whole work consists in going on giving birth to children.
But it was okay in the past because even two may not have survived. Now all twenty are going to survive.
Letters to me have arrived: “You seem to be cruel. You say compulsory birth control?” I am not cruel. I am being compassionate. If you create twenty children, as you have become accustomed to, there will be real cruelty. By the end of this century you will not have any place to stand alone. It will always be crowded, everywhere. From where are you going to feed so many people? You are hungry already. Seventy-five per cent of Indians are starving already. By the end of the century, ninety-nine per cent of Indians will be starving. And when ninety-nine per cent of the people are starving, the one per cent who have enough to eat will not be allowed to eat. That is so simple. You will be killed, you will be looted, there will be murder and rape and violence and nothing else. That will be cruelty. And you write letters to me: “You are cruel because you are saying compulsory birth control is needed.”
What was happening in the past? There was no birth control, but eighteen children out of twenty were dying. Do you think that was compassionate? And God was imposing war on you, great illnesses, calamities like earthquakes, fires, floods. Those were God’s ways in the past to keep your population limited, so that it did not go beyond the possible means to feed people.
Compulsory birth control is very compassionate. If you want the world again to be a victim of floods and fires and earthquakes and great wars, it is perfectly okay; go on producing. Now, this is what I call the rotten mind: not ready to change at all, would like to persist in its old ways, and then shouting…
And because of these long, long conditionings, you have started looking for false causes. For example, you think a few people are living in richness and that’s why you are poor. You are utterly wrong. You can distribute those few people’s wealth, you will not become rich. It will be like dropping a spoonful of sugar in the ocean to make it sweet, that’s all it will be. That will be utter nonsense. But this is how the Indian mind thinks: if everybody lives a poor life, the country will be rich.
Just a few people, a few people, not more than two per cent of the people, are living a better life. I would not call it luxurious – nobody lives a luxurious life in India, cannot live – but better. You can distribute the things of the two per cent of the people, and foolish people are trying to do that. They call it socialism, communism, etcetera. Distribute it, it can be distributed. That is not going to help at all. It may help your jealousy. You may feel a little better that you have taken revenge, but that is not going to change your situation at all. You don’t have enough richness to distribute. All that you can do is, you can distribute your poverty. You have only poverty.
That’s why I am not for communism at all – because communism does not know how to produce wealth, it only knows how to distribute wealth. But before you can distribute, you need to produce. I am all for capitalism. Capitalism knows how to produce wealth. And once the wealth is there, ways and means can be found to distribute it. But the first thing is to produce it. India is not concerned with producing wealth, it is concerned with distributing it – and you have nothing to distribute.
Because of this nonsense type of thinking, Indian leaders and politicians go on consoling you. Some politician reduces his pay; he says, “I will take only half,” and all the Indians are happy and say, “Look – this is a mahatma: Mahatma Morarji Desai.” Just because he has reduced his pay to half, do you think India’s problem is solved? What problem is solved?
From the front door he reduces his wealth to half, from the back door his son Kanti Desai brings in millions of rupees. That’s okay. Indians have become very accustomed to living double lives. That’s okay.
Or, Morarji Desai starts flying in Air India’s airplanes, not using the special plane for the prime minister, and everybody, the whole country, is agog with joy. So your poverty is solved. In fact, he creates more trouble. It would have been better and less costly to use the private plane because now many seats have to be reserved for him. Other passengers suffer. His security officers and guards and secretaries… And unnecessary hassle is created for other people. But this is how India goes on thinking.
Mahatma Gandhi used to travel in a third-class railway compartment and the whole country was happy: “Look. This is a great mahatma.” By his traveling third class, what happened?
Then there was another prime minister who suggested that if every person fasted one day, that would help. So fast one day. And he started fasting. His fasting meant that he would take milk and fruit and dry fruits, which are more costly. But just the idea: “Our prime minister is fasting for one day. He loves the country and the poor people so much.” And the poor people were not getting anything.
When a certain mind is created, many more things are created in its wake. These are all foolish attitudes, these are not solutions. But you are not ready for the solution. The solution is that you have to drop your anti-world attitude, that you have to drop your anti-body attitude, that you have to learn how to produce more wealth, and you have to drop your fatalistic attitude: “What can we do? If God wants us poor we will be poor. If God wants us rich we will be rich.” Don’t throw the responsibility on God. He has given you enough freedom to be rich or poor. Don’t bring these unnecessary things into your prayer. They destroy your prayer and they destroy your religion.
Man has been given enough intelligence to be rich or to be poor. You have to drop your whole tradition of poverty-worshipping. If this mind disappears, there is no reason why you should be poor. You can be as rich as any country, in fact, richer than any country. You have a big country with great potential. But you go on shouting and you go on throwing your responsibility on somebody else; it feels good.
And now you are in difficulty. When the British were here, you were happy, saying, “It is because of the British that we are poor. They are exploiting.” Now who is exploiting you? Now a government is there and you start throwing the responsibility: “This government is wrong.” Then you change the government. Then the next government, and you start throwing the responsibility on the next government: “This government is wrong.”
But you never see the point that somewhere you are wrong. It hurts your ego. And you are wrong. That’s why people are angry with me – because I am simply stating the fact that you are wrong.

A little baby boy and a little baby girl were playing together in a cot. All of a sudden the little baby girl screamed out, “Rape, rape!”
The little baby boy turned around and said, “You silly little girl, you are sitting on your dummy.”

Unnecessarily shouting “Rape, rape!” Just drop this old, rotten mind.

The fourth question:
The other day you said that you do fly, but without helicopters. Can you please do it in front of us?
No, certainly no! Did you hear about the first enlightened human being ever to fly…?

He was running down a hill, gathering up speed, his arms outstretched and flapping.
Suddenly a man jumped on his back, put a gun to the flyer’s forehead and said, “Now fly me to Cuba.”

I am not going to do any such thing.

The last question:
I am constantly chattering with people and this is driving me mad. What should I do?
There was once a Jew, Ohrenstein, who used to go to the rabbi with all his problems…

Periodically he would go to the rabbi and ask him, what shall I do about my wife, what should I do about my business, what should I do about this, what should I do about that? My son-in-law is misbehaving, what should I do about it, rabbi? And so on.
Each time Ohrenstein came with one of his many problems, the rabbi would listen patiently and courteously, and then he would fulfill Ohrenstein’s eager expectations by giving him some advice or making a suggestion.
Ohrenstein always went away beaming, invariably told his friends about the wonderful advice the rabbi had given him, and within a week was back with a new problem and asking for more advice.
Finally, the rabbi’s patience began to run out. Enough is enough, even for a courteous and loving rabbi. But what to do about it? Ohrenstein was a perfectly good and sincere man.
One day Ohrenstein came with an unusually big problem. He had fallen in love with a girl and his wife had found out about it. He could not leave the girl, but he did not want to disappoint his wife. On and on he went: the girl this, his wife that, and so on. He talked for two hours and finally, at the end, he asked, “Rabbi, give me some advice, what should I do?”
“Hmm,” the rabbi pondered and tapped on the table as though he were deep in thought. Finally he said, “I have some advice to give you, but I am afraid it may hurt your feelings. You may feel offended by it, so I don’t know if I should really give you any advice this time.”
“Hurt my feelings?” Ohrenstein exclaimed. “Rabbi, you can say anything to me!”
“Okay,” said the rabbi, “then my advice is: convert to Christianity, let yourself be baptized and start going to confession.”
“What on earth are you saying, Rabbi?” Ohrenstein exclaimed, shocked. “Have you gone out of your mind?”
“Not at all,” the rabbi replied. “Let yourself be baptized and start going to confession, and then you can drive some stupid parish priest crazy and not me!”

That’s good advice for you too. Become a Catholic and torture the priest! Don’t torture poor people.
You say, “I am constantly chattering with people and this is driving me mad.” What about others? “What should I do?” Think of others too.

The grizzled old beggar had chopped his quota of stove wood and the kind lady had admitted him to the kitchen for his meal. She was an inquisitive person and while the tramp made away with all the food placed before him, she set up an endless line of questioning.
“And what was your occupation before you fell into this sad plight, my man?” she asked.
“I was a sailor, mum,” said the bum between mouthfuls.
“Oh, a sailor. Well, you must have had some exciting adventures then?”
“That I did, mum. Why once, mum, I was shipwrecked on the coast of South Africa, and there I came across a tribe of wild women who had no tongues.”
“Mercy!” exclaimed the inquisitive woman. “Why, how could they talk then?”
“They could not, mum,” replied the man, reaching for his hat and the last piece of bread on the plate. “That’s what made them wild.”

You must be driving people crazy, but I cannot suggest that you stop, otherwise you will go crazy. The best way is to become a Catholic. Confession is invented for people like you. Go and torture the priest. If you cannot do that, sit silently in your room and start talking to the walls, but don’t torture people. Start talking to the walls, do gibberish.
Gibberish should be taught to every person. The world will become saner if you can simply sit in your room and talk loudly to nobody in particular for one hour. In the beginning it will look crazy. It is! But it will relieve you of much heat, steam, and after one hour you will feel tremendously quiet.
And it is inhuman to force your gibberish on other people – because you can force it on them. Then they are in trouble, then whatever you have said to them goes on rumbling inside their heads. They have to search for somebody else, and on and on. This way the problem that could have been solved becomes a world problem! You may be gone, but the gibberish that you have put into other people’s heads will go on and on for centuries. There is no way to end it; the full point cannot be put on it.
The only way to put a full point on it is either a Catholic confession… Because the priest does not listen to what you are saying – he cannot if he is to remain sane, he simply pretends.

A young psychoanalyst was very puzzled by his older colleague. The older psychoanalyst was seventy. They both entered the same building, they both had offices in the same building. Sometimes they met on the elevator going to their offices, and sometimes coming back.
One day the young psychoanalyst asked the old one, “How do you manage? I feel so tired, so dead tired, listening to all kinds of nonsense.”
Because the whole work of a psychoanalyst is to listen. That’s why the patient has paid him. He is a professional listener; he sits by the side of the couch and the patient raves and goes on saying whatever he wants to say. Because nobody else is ready to listen in the West, professional listeners are needed. The profession of the psychoanalyst is growing because there is nobody else. The husband is not ready to listen to the wife’s nonsense, the wife is not ready to listen to the husband’s nonsense, so both go to a professional listener – one has to pay for it – and then he listens. But of course, listening day in, day out to mad people, all kinds of stupid things, their dreams – rubbish – one gets tired, fed up. One wants to beat the patient.
But the younger analyst was very surprised because the old one was as fresh in the beginning as in the end. In the morning he would come fresh, jubilant, and in the evening also he was as radiant and fresh.
He asked, “Sir, one thing I have to ask you. What is your secret? I am completely killed by these stupid, neurotic persons that come to me. You look so jubilant.”
He said, “Don’t listen to what they say. That’s what I do. I learned it long ago. Just pretend that you are listening. Their purpose is served, they think they are being listened to. It is not harming them at all. The only question is that somebody is listening, somebody is attentive. That makes them feel very good, they are important people: look, one of the most famous psychoanalysts is listening so attentively, as if their words are of wisdom. They are happy, they are relieved of their steam. Don’t listen. Otherwise their steam will get into you and you will not be able to sleep in the night. And all that nonsense that they have told you, if you carry it in your head, sooner or later you will have to go to another psychoanalyst.”

You will be surprised to know, psychoanalysts go mad more often than any other profession, twice as often. And psychoanalysts commit suicide more than any other profession, twice as much. And even if they don’t commit suicide, if they are not that brave and don’t go mad, they remain boiling within. They are continuously in a kind of fever, a delirium. They are of course paid well – so they have chosen the profession – but it is a dangerous profession.
If you want to throw out your junk, please make it a point not to throw it on any other human being. People have their own already, and it is too much; don’t add to it.
But you can go to the river and talk to the river. And the river won’t listen, so there is no problem, the river won’t go mad. You can go to a tree and talk to the tree, and you can talk to the stars, and you can talk to the walls, and that’s perfectly good. And if you feel it is too crazy, then write it down, make a diary and write all that you want.
You have to get rid of your steam, but it should not enter anybody else’s being, otherwise you are violent. And if people learn this simple thing, the world will become saner.
Enough for today.

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