The Sword and the Lotus 06

Sixth Discourse from the series of 24 discourses - The Sword and the Lotus by Osho.
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Who are you?
I am not a messiah, nor a prophet, nor a savior. I am simply a human being, with a little difference that you are not awake and I am awake. You can call me the awakened one. I emphatically deny the role of the messiah, the prophet, the savior, for specific reasons.
My understanding is that nobody can save anybody else – the very idea is insulting. And if somebody can save somebody, he can also drown him, because both the capacities come together. I am not a prophet, representing God, his message. As far as I am concerned existence is divine, but there is no God as a person. It is a quality of creativity, but not a creator. So the people who are creative are more religious than the people who go on praying in the churches, in the temples, in the synagogues to a God above in the heaven which does not exist. They are simply befooling themselves.
I am not a messiah especially sent by God. In the first place there is no God to send anyone. In the second place, for the argument’s sake, if there is a God who can create the whole creation, he need not have these mediocre messiahs to change people. He can do it himself. All these people who have been trying to be messengers of God, incarnations of God, the only begotten son of God…may not be bad people. They may be good people; their intention may not be bad. I never suspect their intention, but they are utterly wrong. And because of these people, humanity has suffered tremendously.
I want human beings to understand that they have the capacity to fall in their consciousness to the lowest level or they can rise to the highest pinnacle of consciousness. They can have friends. Gautam Buddha, Hazrat Mohammed, Jesus Christ should be understood as great friends. Their advice may be of immense value, but the moment they become leaders, the moment Jesus becomes the shepherd and his followers become sheep, it is ugly; it is absolutely inhuman.
When Mohammed becomes a prophet of God, he raises himself above humanity. That is just an egoistic trip.
When Buddha allows himself to be worshipped, that his word has to be taken in deep faith, he is harming humanity. I don’t belong to their category at all.
I am a simple, ordinary human being just like you. But I am aware and you are not. This is not much of a difference – you can become aware.
I am conscious and you are not. I can show you the path just like a friend, but you have to follow the path. I cannot take you to paradise because there is none. These are all fictions created to exploit humanity – the paradise, the hell – because it is a simple psychology that man can be controlled by two things, fear and greed. For fear there is hell; for greed there is heaven.
It is very easy to manipulate human beings between these two poles. Nobody wants to be in hell for eternity – everybody wants to be in heaven and have all the pleasures eternally. Naturally, if you want heaven and you do not want hell, you have to follow these people who are proclaiming themselves to be the only son of God, the only prophet of God.
Humanity has suffered for thousands of years. No prophet, no messiah, no savior has been of any help; on the contrary, they have created every kind of trouble for man. They have created different religions, and this has to be emphatically noted – that truth cannot be organized. It is not something that a crowd attains; it is something absolutely individual.
One goes to his own innermost being alone, absolutely alone, and finds it. Everybody is born to become a fully conscious being. That is my term for religiousness. To me, whatever wrong you do, you do because you are unconscious. And whatever good you do, you can do only when you are conscious. So I reduce your whole religion and your whole morality to two simple principles: behave unconsciously and you will be doing some harm; behave consciously and you will be doing some good, beautifying life.
These people try to put themselves high above human beings for the simple reason that people have lived in a spiritual slavery. They don’t want to have freedom; they want a savior to save them. They want a prophet to bring a message from God to them. They are not at all interested in taking the pilgrimage themselves, so they are happy that somebody else is doing it for them on their behalf. And the people who are pretending to be all these things are enjoying great ego numbers. They may have been good people, but deep down there is a subtle current of ego which cannot be denied.
I don’t have any ego.
I just want to be in the crowd, in the people, just like them. And perhaps this is the only way to help them. When somebody is so high that you cannot reach even to his feet, you start thinking this is an experience for special people. You are not the only begotten son of God, you are not the last prophet, you are not an incarnation of God. But this distance gives them a chance. What can they do? You are crawling on the earth – the distance is too much, it will take lives for you to come close to them. It looks logical, and at the same time they can enjoy the specialty which even kings and emperors cannot enjoy.
The future of religiousness is the future of people like me who have no ego trip, who are not creating any distance; on the contrary, who are destroying all distances and becoming as simple and ordinary as everyone. Then I can take your hand in my hand. And if I know the way, we can walk on the way hand in hand.
And remember, finally, that you will not be obliged to me; on the contrary, I will be obliged to you that you allowed me to hold your hand, because I was so full of my experience, my ecstasy, my religiousness, my truth, that I wanted to share it. By sharing it grows.
The more you share your inner experiences, the more you find them. It is an inexhaustible source.

How can a Christian best understand it? What is your understanding about who Jesus was and what he advocated?
The question has many implications. First, the Christian remaining a Christian cannot understand me. His Christianity will be the barrier in the same way as Hinduism will be the barrier for a Hindu, and Buddhism will be the barrier for a Buddhist, and Islam will be the barrier for a Mohammedan.
What is Christianity? It is a certain belief system, it is not an experience. It is a kind of prejudice. You have been brought up in such a way that you are conditioned to the Christian view of life. If you want to understand me, that conditioning of Christianity will prevent you. It will go against it, because I don’t believe that there are any religions. I know that there is only one religiousness. You are coming with set formulas, a catechism, with faith, with belief – and my whole approach is scientific not superstitious.
I would like you to doubt all your beliefs, because a belief is just to cover ignorance. And I would like you not to have faith. Faith comes, you don’t have to create it. It comes the moment you realize truth, the moment you come to self-realization. Then there is a totally different quality of faith. The ordinary faith is just a solace, a consolation.

I was given a Bible in America while I was in jail. The sheriff of the jail was a very nice person and he was concerned about what I would do for twenty-four hours there, so he thought it would be good to present me with a beautiful Bible. He brought me the Bible and he said, “You will enjoy it.”
I said, “What is it?”
He said, “It is the word of God.”
I asked him, “Can you make any distinction between the word of God and the word of man? – because all these words are man’s words. You are an intelligent and very gentle fellow, and I would like to remind you that Hindus think the Vedas are the word of God, Buddhists think the same about their scriptures, Mohammedans think the Koran is the word of God…There are so many contradictory scriptures claiming to be the words of God, how do you choose which is the right one?”
He said, “I have never thought about it.”
And I said, “Do you know that five hundred pages in your Christian Bible are full of pornography? Have you read it from the first page to the last page? And don’t tell a lie because you are holding in your hand the word of God, the Bible – you are under oath.”
He hesitated a little and then he said, “You are right. I have never read it from the first page to the last. I have read only a few pages which I hear each Sunday in the sermon of the priest.”
Then I said to him, “You go through it. There are not less than five hundred pages which are sheer pornography. And if they are read and understood, the Bible should be banned from every church, from every library, from every university. Every government should make a law that the Bible is one of the ugliest scriptures in existence.”
“But,” he said, “there is a God.”
I said, “Your very statement shows you are not certain of it, you have no experience of it. You have not encountered him, you have just been repeating like a parrot.”

Each generation goes on giving its own conditionings to the new children. And the children cannot doubt, cannot ask…and this whole circus goes on continuing.
Do you know that there are religions that don’t have any God? Buddhism and Jainism don’t have any God, and for a very logical reason, almost irrefutable. They say: If everything needs to be created…That is the argument of the theist, that everything has to be created. So this whole existence cannot come out of nowhere, it has to be created – we need a creator. Jainism and Buddhism say: We accept your premise, but then we ask if God is there, who created him? And if he can be without any creator, then your whole logic falls. Things can be there which are not created. So why go on unnecessarily from A-God to B-God to C-God? And this will lead to a regression. You will never reach to a point where you can say that this is the last God. The question will still be haunting: Who created?
Seeing this absurdity, we accept existence itself as eternal, uncreated – there is no God.
We experience that this existence is not material – it is conscious, fully conscious.
If a Christian wants to understand me, first he has to put his Christianity aside so that he can hear me directly without his Christianity interfering. Otherwise it is the same – Christian or communist, Hindu or fascist, they are full of their own ideas for which they have no foundation, for which they have never looked. They have simply believed. And all the religions teach belief. Religions call themselves faiths.
And my approach is scientific. Science says doubt, go on doubting until you have eliminated all that was not right and you have come to the last thing which you cannot doubt. Its very existence, its very experience, creates a rapport between you and it. That is faith – not something acquired, but something encountered.
So certainly a Christian can understand me, but he will have to unload himself of his Christianity.
As far as Jesus and his teachings are concerned, the first thing to be noted is he was never a Christian. He was born a Jew, he lived as a Jew, he died as a Jew. His whole life’s effort was to be accepted by the Jews as their long, long awaited messiah. He had never heard the words Christian or Christ.
It is a very strange phenomenon that Christians are worshipping a Jew who for his whole life was teaching only one thing – that he should be accepted as a Jewish messiah. It was only three hundred years after his death when the Hebrew statements of Jesus were translated into Greek, that messiah became Christ and the followers became Christians.
Jesus was never aware that he was creating a new religion. Certainly he has a few very beautiful sayings, but not many compared to people like Lao Tzu, Chuang Tzu, or the seers of the Upanishads. They are very small in number, but they only look beautiful. I will have to analyze a few sayings so that you can understand what I mean.
He says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit because they shall inherit the kingdom of God.” This is a kind of opium for the poor, because it promises them, “After death, you will be received with great rejoicings. Your only great spiritual quality is your poverty.” And against it he says, “A camel can pass through the eye of a needle, but a rich man cannot pass through the gates of heaven.” This is how the poor have been kept poor – hoping for something to happen after death. The rich have never bothered about all this nonsense – and I think they are right. If you can manage to be rich here – which is God’s world according to the Christians – then why can you not be rich in the other world which is also God’s world? There is no logic in it.
And the people who are beggars here, why should they be beggars here in God’s world? And why should they be called blessed? If they are blessed, then the whole earth should become poor, beggars. Perhaps that is happening today. The whole earth is becoming more and more poor. More and more population, hungry people, starving people dying in Ethiopia – almost one thousand people every day. The ordinary poor will be far back in the line; Ethiopians will be received first.
And this is a long history. How many poor people have lived here? So God’s paradise will be full of beggars and poor, uneducated, uncultured, uncivilized…And poverty is the root cause of all crime. It is not a blessing, it is a curse. But when Jesus says it to the poor people – and, in fact, he had no approach to the rich – he is giving them a great consolation. These consolations are dangerous.
Karl Marx is right that these messiahs and prophets have given opium to the people so they will not see the reality and remain in a hallucinatory world. No, the poor are not blessed! They are suffering. And you have some nerve to say that they are blessed.
We know perfectly well that the rich are making their way to success here. They know all the ways of how to succeed. They have lived all the luxuries, all the comforts, all that this world can provide. In fact they are perfectly trained. This life has been a school, and they are the right people to enjoy paradise. What will the poor do there? They will be absolutely unprepared. They will not be able to understand what has happened. If God is so compassionate, then why is he so cruel here?
Jesus says, “If somebody hits you on one cheek, give him the other cheek.” A beautiful saying, but just a saying.
I have heard about a Christian saint who was continuously talking about this beautiful maxim….

A man – a wrestler, very strong – one day stood up and hit the saint on one cheek. Naturally, according to his own philosophy, he gave him the other cheek. The wrestler hit him on the other cheek even harder.
This was not mentioned in the Bible – that when you give the other cheek what is going to happen? And immediately – the congregation could not believe it – the saint jumped over the wrestler and started beating him as hard as he could.
The wrestler said, “What are you doing? You are a Christian saint. Your whole teaching is to give the other cheek when you are hit upon one – and you are beating me…!”
He said, “Yes, because there is no third cheek. Now I am free. Jesus talked only of two cheeks. About the third he has said nothing – and there is no third cheek anyway. So now you have to take not only my philosophy but my anger, my violence too. I have been suppressing it for my whole life. You may be a wrestler, but my violence and my anger are far bigger. I will kill you.”

Friedrich Nietzsche has made a very significant comment. He said: “If somebody hits you on one cheek, hit him on his cheek as hard as possible. Don’t give him the other, because that is insulting.”
When somebody hits your cheek and you give him the other, you become superhuman. You reduce the person to a subhuman species. The maxim is beautiful, but the implications are very, very significant, that is true. I agree with Friedrich Nietzsche, not with Jesus Christ, on this point. Nietzsche says, “Hit him, so that you both remain human. Give him the respect of being a human being. Don’t pretend to be a god. That is ugly and egoistic.”
Jesus says, “Love your enemies just as you love yourself.” But Jesus has never told the people to love themselves. In fact, it is not only Jesus, but all the religions have told their people to hate themselves. That’s how austerities have come into the world. Torture yourself, fast, remain hungry, remain naked in the cold, move barefoot in the forest…All the religions have been teaching only one thing: hatred towards yourself. They have not said a single word about self-respect. And just look at what the Christians have done. They have done all kinds of cruelties to themselves.
In Russia, there was a big sect, the most respected. They cut off their genitals. And the women were not going to be defeated – they started cutting their breasts. They were respected highly because “they are really people who have gone beyond sex.”
There are Christian sects which use shoes with nails penetrating into their feet and keeping their feet continuously wounded, blood flowing…And those wounds cannot heal, because those nails are always there. They have belts of the same type and those belts are worn for their whole lives. You lock them and throw the key into the ocean or in the river. And they have nails, reaching to the belly, to the back, and they are continuously creating a fuss…and these people have been respected…!
If this is self-love, then what does the maxim, “Love your enemies the way you love yourself,” mean? You don’t love yourself. No religious person loves himself. He loves God – who does not exist – and he hates himself, because religions have conditioned his mind that everything you do is ugly. Sex is ugly, eating food with taste is ugly…even taking a bath is ugly because you are decorating your body. Washing your mouth, your teeth, is ugly…! If this is all that self-love means then please don’t do it to your enemies. Don’t do it to your neighbors – Jesus says, “Love your neighbors just the way you love yourself.”
The maxims on the surface look very beautiful, but the implications are not very beautiful. And his whole life Jesus pretends that he is the son of God – the only begotten son of God. Now this is crazy. Then what are all these people in the world who all call God, “Father”? You should not only call Jesus the begotten son.
I always wonder what happened, because before Jesus was born eternity had passed. And after Jesus also, two thousand years have passed…Has God started using birth control methods? Why not a second son? And if God is using birth control methods, then what are people like the Vatican pope, Mother Teresa and other missionaries doing? They are teaching people not to use birth control because these children are given by God. If he is satisfied with one, why should he burden his poor people…perhaps to make them more blessed with a dozen, two dozen children?
And see the point: in the Christian trinity, God is there, Jesus the son is there, and the Holy Ghost is there – but there is no woman. What kind of family is this? Why has the woman not been taken into the family? It would have been a beautiful unit. God the father, the woman mother, and the son – exactly a right family for today.
But what is this strange fellow the Holy Ghost doing there? And how does God manage to produce a son without a woman? Is this Holy Ghost bisexual? But just to avoid the woman, all the religions have done that to women.
God made man – according to Christianity – with mud, humus. That’s why he is called a human being. Why could he not make a woman also with mud? Was mud such a problem? So scarce? No, he created the woman by taking a rib out of the man. And out of the rib of the man he created the woman. This is really deeply disrespectful, and one cannot conceive that women should be made from the rib of a man.
It shows many things. It shows that the woman is just a small part of the human body; she cannot be equal. How can a rib be equal to the whole man? To reduce her completely, the strategy has been used in the story to make her out of a rib; otherwise there seems to be no reason. Why should she not be made equal?
Again…the Devil is in the story! He persuades Eve, not Adam. It is the woman, Eve, who is the source of Adam’s fall. She has to be condemned because she led Adam into a world of sin. But why did the snake not speak to Adam? Why choose Eve? These are small strategies to reduce women and make men great – to create in women an inferiority complex.
And what certificate has Jesus got to say that he is the son of God? What proof has he got? Christians say that his miracles are his proof. But if you look into the miracles, you can understand one thing very easily. He creates as much food as thousands of people need from a loaf of bread; he changes water into wine, he walks on water, he heals the sick just by his touch…he even raises a dead man, Lazarus, back to life. If any man was doing all these things, do you think no contemporary book would mention it? No contemporary Jewish literature has any mention of Jesus or of his miracles.
And do you think a man who can do such things will have only a small following of idiots? Someone is a fisherman, someone is a farmer, someone is a woodcutter, uneducated, uncultured…. These are his twelve apostles. Not a single rabbi, not a single scholar, not a single professor, not a single man of any integrity is his follower – and he is doing all these things…! If somebody was doing it here in Kathmandu, the whole of Kathmandu would be there – even the king would be there. It would become the event, the most important in the whole of history.
No, all those miracles were invented by the disciples after Jesus’ death. The man who was doing all these good things was a Jew. Can you conceive that the Jews would ask for him to be crucified when they were given a chance that of the three men going to be crucified one could be pardoned, according to the convention? And even the Roman governor-general was thinking Jesus would be asked for, because he was a simple man, and only thirty-three. But the whole crowd shouted, “We want Barabbas” – and Barabbas was a born criminal. He had committed seven murders. He had committed every kind of crime, and the Jews asked that Barabbas should be released. Nobody asked for Jesus, not a single voice.
It is absolutely unimaginable that a man who was doing all these good things to the people had not impressed them. Raising the dead to life did not leave any impact on the populace. He had healed thousands just by touch, the blind had got eyes, the lame had got legs…Even in the twentieth century this man would have been most spectacular and would have been thought to be the man of the century – not only of the year. But not a single person asked that he should be saved, and instead they asked for Barabbas.
The whole thing is that Jesus was a nice man, but something was loose in his head, otherwise he would not have claimed to be the only son of God. Only mad people do that. A sane person will simply state what he is. Only insane people try anything…So unless a Christian puts his Christian conditioning aside I don’t think there can be a communication between me and him.

Christianity in the United States today is moving towards more literal messianic thinking. Does this correlate with the Hindu expectation of the tenth incarnation of Vishnu? What is your place in this? Does your ministry in life have a messianic character?
No. I just want to be myself, not a mission. I hate to use borrowed clothes – how much I must hate to have borrowed souls?
What is happening in America is really not messianic Christianity. It is a fanatic movement headed by President Ronald Reagan who is a fundamentalist Christian. And the reason is, up to now communism had a message, communism had a philosophy, and capitalism had no message and no philosophy. On that point America was losing. Now the underground movement…
I have been five years in America, and what I have seen is that America is becoming more and more fanatically Christian to encounter the fanatical communists. It is just a hypocrisy to call it a democracy. It is a Christian kingdom, and it is better to name things exactly what they are – it helps immensely.
Now the fight is between communism and Christianity. That is a great turn, but it has nothing to do with the Hindu expectation of Vishnu’s incarnation.
All these expectations have been carried by all the races. Jews are still waiting for the messiah to come. And strange, when he comes they crucify him. And anybody after him has not made any claim, knowing well that they will crucify him. The psychology behind it is very clear: the messiah has always to be coming, but not to come. It has to be a hope in the future; it keeps people hoping. And if the messiah comes, it destroys the hope, it destroys the future.
Communism has a philosophy which is godless, soulless. It is absolute materialism. Now America is trying Christianity with God, with soul, with all kinds of spiritual garbage to encounter Russia. The whole of America is gripped by the Christian fanatic. I had to leave America because of this fanaticism. They could not tolerate me because I will say only what I can see, I can feel, I can experience. I accept Jesus as a nice man, but I cannot deny that he has a crazy mind. He was a crackpot.
The American situation right now is absolutely irreligious. It is a very strange phenomenon: eat, drink and be merry. Rather than giving it a Christian color, it will be good to call it an epicurean country. On the other hand, in Russia, seventy years after the revolution, they have been repressing religion, all search for truth, all search for something higher than ordinary life.
A great effort has emerged so that man cannot actualize his potential. But you cannot do it forever.
You will be surprised…I have my sannyasins in Russia, and their number is increasing every day, although the Russian government is persecuting them. But they are immensely excited by the adventure that meditation can bring you more consciousness, that the soul is not nonexistential, it can be experienced. So seventy years of repression is going to explode any day, and Russia can become one of the greatest religious countries in the world.
In America, just the opposite is happening: there is no religious repression, but people take Christianity just as a formality. Nobody reads, nobody goes to church except very old women who have nothing else to do. Churches are empty or are for sale. America is very materialistic. Philosophically it may pretend anything, but it lives with matter; its real life is materialistic. And as far as these messiahs of the Jews coming, and Jesus Christ who will come back again, and Krishna who says that he will come whenever you will be in misery…what more misery does he want?
These are all hopes to keep people going. Nobody comes again, particularly people who have become enlightened. Even if they want to come again, they cannot. Buddha cannot come back again. So his statement that he or anybody else who is awakened will be coming back can only be taken symbolically. The quality of awakeness is the same. It does not matter what body the awakening happens in.
Vishnu is a mythological figure. He is not a historical figure. But Hindus have been waiting that some day Vishnu will come and everything will be right. This is such a fraud. It is better to tell people, “Nobody is going to come to help you. If you want anything to happen, do it. Except you, the whole existence is silent.”
But it hurts. The hope is very sweet. My whole effort is to bring you down to the reality. And the reality is that nobody is going to solve your problems, nobody is going to give you a utopia, nobody is going to change your misery and suffering and anguish. It is you – if you want and decide to, you can change it. Each individual has to take the responsibility on himself.
Up to now, we have been shifting the responsibility onto messiahs, onto saviors, onto prophets. No longer.

What is the main purpose of your life?
There is no purpose. The whole idea of purpose is mundane and illogical. You will have to come to a point where you will have to say there is no purpose. Life is a perfect point. Life is an overflowing of bliss, truth, love, but not purposeful; it is not a commodity.
If I speak to you, I enjoy it. If I help you, I am grateful to you that you accepted my help; you could have rejected it. As far as I am concerned, I am fulfilled, I am utterly contented.
Purpose is when you are discontented, when you need something, when you want something, when you want to reach somewhere.
I don’t want to reach somewhere.
I am already there and so full of joy and so full of love and so full of song that I want to share it. This wanting is not a purpose, because I don’t want anything in return. It is simply like when a roseflower opens and releases its fragrance.
I am reminded of Picasso….

He was painting by the sea beach. A man watched him for a long time, and then he approached him and said, “Sir, I don’t want to disturb you. I just want to know one thing: what is the purpose of your painting?”
Picasso said, “It is strange. You don’t ask the flowers, ‘What is your purpose?’ You don’t ask the sun, ‘Why do you rise every morning?’ You don’t ask the stars, ‘What is your purpose?’ You don’t ask the ocean, ‘What is your purpose?’ Then why do you torture a poor man like me? I am not doing any harm. I am simply playing with colors on this canvas. I don’t have any purpose. Just enjoying myself…this salty breeze, this beautiful morning…. I have so much sensitivity for beauty that I want to bring it out so that others can share it. There is no purpose.”

All the religions have been teaching that life should have a purpose. They are reducing life as a means to some end – which is ugly. Life is an end unto itself. To be alive, to be fully alive is enough. There is no goal, there is no purpose. Just here and now, all is. Nothing is missing.
I don’t have any purpose, because life has no purpose. Those who have purposes in life, are going against life. Life is a let-go. You are not swimming against the current, you are simply floating with the river wherever it leads. So wherever I reach, I am fulfilled. Or even if I am drowned, I am fulfilled. The purposeful mind is a very mundane mind.

In my childhood I had a beautiful river by my village. And my tailor was in great difficulty, because I had to force him to make as many pockets on my dress as possible. He said, “But you go on telling everyone that I am your tailor, and if they see all these pockets they will think I have gone mad. So if you promise me that you will say that the tailor across the street is your tailor, I am ready. But don’t mention my name to anybody.” He said, “And for what do you need so many pockets?”
I said, “You will not understand. You can ask my father.”
The need was that around the river there were such beautiful colored stones, so shining in the sun, that I would collect them and fill all my pockets. I would come home, and my mother would be very angry: “You spoil your dress. You make a mockery of all of us having so many pockets. Nobody has ever heard…your dress is just pockets and pockets. And then you come with all kinds of useless stones. What is the purpose of these stones?”
I said, “I have never thought about the purpose – I love them.” And that was enough.

I love life, but there is no purpose.
I love people, but there is no purpose.
I do everything that my love wants me to do, but there is no purpose. It is sheer joy being shared. And the moment you start sharing, purpose disappears.
Purpose is a business world.
Sharing takes you to a different world. And my sannyasins particularly should remember that their life has to be a sharing, not a purpose.

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