IN THE POONA YEARS, I REMEMBER YOU SO OFTEN USING THE PHRASE, "BE IN THE MARKETPLACE, BUT NOT OF IT." I THOUGHT THIS MEANT THAT WHEN I WAS AWAY FROM YOU, I WOULD NEED TO CONSTANTLY REMIND MYSELF THAT I WAS NO LONGER PART OF THE MARKETPLACE MENTALITY -- I WAS A SANNYASIN.
RECENTLY, DROPPED INTO THE SO-CALLED NORMAL REALITY OF BARGAIN-HUNTING AND FLAT-FINDING, OF SUPERMARKETS AND SKINHEADS, I REALIZED YOUR PEOPLE AREN'T PART OF THE MARKETPLACE; THAT NOW THERE IS NO NEED TO REMIND OURSELVES -- WE ARE VERY OBVIOUSLY AND IRREVOCABLY A RACE APART.
ONLY WEEKS AGO, MY QUESTION WAS ABOUT HELPING YOUR VISION TO BE REALIZED. NOW, AFTER MY RECENT EXPERIENCE OF THE WORLD, AND SEEING ITS TREATMENT OF YOU, I DON'T EVEN HAVE THE ENERGY TO TALK TO PEOPLE ABOUT YOU. DOES THIS MEAN THEY ARE TOO FAR GONE -- OR AM I?
The way the world has treated me is absolutely natural, you should not feel offended by it. If they had been respectful, understanding, and loving towards me, that would have been a shock. Their treatment is absolutely expected.
You have not gone far away, they have gone far away and they have been going on and on for millions of years. The distance between the real man and the man that exists in the world has become almost unbridgeable. They are so far away from their own reality, they have forgotten the way back home.
They have forgotten what was the purpose of their being here.
There is an ancient parable... A very wise king wanted his son -- the only son, who was going to be his successor -- to be a wise man before he succeeded him and became the king of a vast kingdom. The old man chose a way which was very strange: he sent the son away from the kingdom, told him that he was abandoned, that he should forget completely that he was a prince -- "He is no longer a prince and I am not going to make him my successor."
All his beautiful clothes, ornaments -- everything was taken away. He was given the clothes of a beggar and sent away in the middle of the night in a chariot to be thrown out of the kingdom. And there were strict orders that he should not be allowed back in the kingdom from anywhere.
Years passed; the prince really became a beggar. He really forgot that he was a prince. In fact there had been no effort on his part to forget -- he was a beggar. He was begging for clothes, for food, for shelter, and he had slowly accepted the condition he was in.
After many years, one day he was sitting outside a hotel, begging. It was hot summer and he wanted enough money to purchase a pair of shoes -- secondhand of course -- because the earth was almost like fire, and to walk without shoes was becoming impossible. He had wounds on his feet, and he was crying out for just a few coins. At that very moment a golden chariot stopped before the hotel, and a man descended. The man said, "Your father has called you back. He is very old and dying, and he wants you to be his successor."
In a single split second the beggar disappeared. The man was totally different; you could see it in his face, his eyes... the clothes were of the beggar still, but the man was totally different. A crowd gathered -- the same crowd before whom he had been spreading his hands for a few coins -- and they all started showing great friendship. But he was not even paying attention to them. He went up to the chariot, sat in the chariot and told the man who had come to get him, "First take me to a beautiful place where I can have a good bath, find clothes worthy of me, shoes, ornaments... because I can go before the king only as a prince."
He came home, and he came as a prince. He said to his father, "Just one thing I want to ask: Why did I have to be a beggar for so many years? I had really forgotten... If you had not called me back, I would have died as a beggar, never remembering that once I was a prince."
The father said, "This is what my father did to me. It was not done to harm you, but to give you the experience of the extremes of life -- the beggar and the king. And between these two, everybody exists.
"That day I told you to forget that you were a prince; now I want you to remember that being a prince or being a beggar are just identities given by others. It is not your reality, it is not you -- neither the king, nor the beggar. And the moment you realize that you are not what the world thinks of you, you are not what you appear to be, but you are something so deeply hidden in yourself that except for you, nobody else can see you, then a man becomes wise. Knowing it, wisdom follows.
"I was angry with my father and I know you must have been angry with me. But forgive me, I had to do it to make it clear to you: don't get identified with being a king, don't get identified with being a beggar, because in a split second these identities can be changed.
And that which can be changed is not you. You are something eternal, something unchangeable."
People have gone far away from their reality, and to remind them of their reality hurts them. Their treatment of me is nothing but an expression of their wounded heart. They don't want to see those wounds; they don't want to be reminded of anything else which they have tried so hard to forget, to forgive. Somehow they have managed a certain identity in the world... and here comes a man who shatters it completely.
It is natural they should be angry with me. It is natural they will stone me. It is natural they will do everything that they have always done with people like me. That does not mean that you have to lose hope, that you have to become pessimistic, that you have to stop even talking about me. That way you are not helping them, and that way you are not helping yourself either.
Their behavior should not be taken into account at all. They are absolutely asleep. We are trying something which goes against their sleep, and naturally they feel disturbed and react. This is absolutely acceptable. But how long can they react? It is a question of a great challenge.
Losing hope means you have lost the game.
I am not going to lose the game.
To my very last breath I will go on doing the same, whatever their reaction. It is only by bringing their reaction to the surface that there is a possibility of change. It will take time, because millions of years have taken them away from themselves. You should have patience with them. They need your compassion, they need your patience.
They will come home; they want to come home, but it goes against their ego to recognize that they are not at home already. It goes against their ego to recognize that they are false, that they are phony.
But their reaction -- their throwing stones at me, or throwing knives at me, or putting me in jails, or crucifying me -- is going to change them. This is the only way that they will start thinking about what they are doing and why they feel offended. You feel offended only when something truthful about you is told, something which you have been hiding.
You are never offended by lies.
Truth is the greatest offender.
Their very disturbance, their fear that I will destroy their morality, I will destroy their religion, I will destroy their tradition, shows one thing: they don't have religion, they don't have morality, they don't have any tradition. They are managing to believe that they have, but it is only a belief which can be easily destroyed; otherwise what happened in Greece?
I was just a tourist for four weeks in a country thousands of years old. The Greek Orthodox church is the oldest church in the world -- the Vatican is not that old. Jesus and his sayings were first translated into Greek; that's why he became "Christ," and his followers became "Christians." These are Greek words.
Now, this country -- which for two thousand years has been perpetually propagating Christianity, teaching every child a conditioning -- is afraid of a tourist who is going to be there for only four weeks. The archbishop was disturbed so much that he threatened that my house would be burned, that I would be stoned if I was not removed immediately from the country, because my presence would destroy the morality of the country, it would destroy the religion of the country, the family, the church, the tradition -- just in four weeks!
If I can manage to do that in four weeks, then whatever I am destroying deserves to be destroyed. It simply means that it is phony. People are not really in it -- they are just pretending. Only pretensions can be destroyed in four weeks; realities cannot be destroyed. But the archbishop of the oldest church of Christianity is so much afraid, and he goes on saying things which are absolute lies. But that's what I have been telling you again and again -- that all your religions are based on lies, and hence they are afraid.
The archbishop was sending telegrams to the president of the country, to the prime minister, to other ministers, and he was saying that I had been sent specially from hell to destroy the Christian Orthodox church in Greece. Can you believe a sane man saying something like that? And he holds the highest post, so even the president is afraid, the prime minister is afraid, and they have to do something criminal because that man can provoke the masses against them.
But I enjoyed the whole thing for the simple reason that it shows that truth has really a strength and power of its own. Truth has an authority which lies cannot have. You may have been conditioning people with those lies for centuries, but just a ray of light, just a small truth, can destroy that whole structure.
So there is no need to be hopeless. Talk to people -- and if they are offended, rejoice. It means whatever you have said has disturbed their conditioning, and they are trying to protect it. You cannot disturb an unconditioned man. You can say anything about him, but you cannot disturb him.
Now my sannyasins are in the world, and I have told them to mix with the world so that they can spread the truth more easily. You are fortunate -- just our people, a small minority in the world of five billion people, is enough to create a wildfire. But don't be in a hurry and don't be impatient. And there is no need ever to be in a state of losing hope.
Truth is intrinsically undefeatable, intrinsically impossible to defeat.
It may take time, but there is no scarcity of time. And there is no need that the revolution should happen before our eyes. It is contentment enough that you were part of a movement that changed the world, that you played your role in favor of truth, that you will be part of the victory that is going to happen ultimately.
WHY IS MONEY SUCH A LOADED ISSUE? IT SEEMS AS THOUGH WHEN WE HAVE MONEY, EITHER WE FEEL GUILTY ABOUT IT, AND THUS COMPELLED TO SPEND IT, OR INSECURE, AND THEREFORE WANT TO HOLD ONTO IT.
OBVIOUSLY IT AFFECTS A MULTITUDE OF AREAS THAT REVOLVE AROUND THE PIVOT OF POWER AND FREEDOM. THE CURIOUS THING IS THAT EVEN TO DISCUSS THE SUBJECT OF MONEY IS SOMEHOW AS MUCH A TABOO AS DISCUSSING SEX OR DEATH AT THE DINNER TABLE. PLEASE COMMENT.
Money is a loaded subject for the simple reason that we have not been able to work out a sane system in which money can be a servant to the whole humanity, and not the master of a few greedy people.
Money is a loaded subject because man's psychology is full of greed; otherwise money is a simple means of exchanging things, a perfect means. There is nothing wrong in it, but the way we have worked it out, everything seems to be wrong in it.
If you don't have money, you are condemned; your whole life is a curse, and your whole life you are trying to have money by any means.
If you have money it does not change the basic thing: you want more, and there is no end to wanting more. And when finally you have too much money -- although it is not enough, it is never enough, but it is more than anybody else has -- then you start feeling guilty, because the means that you have used to accumulate the money are ugly, inhuman, violent. You have been exploiting, you have been sucking the blood of people, you have been a parasite. So now you have got the money but it reminds you of all the crimes that you have committed in gaining it.
That creates two kinds of people: one who starts donating to charitable institutions to get rid of guilt. They are doing "good work," they are doing "God's work." They are opening hospitals, and schools. All they are doing is trying somehow not to go mad because of the feeling of guilt. All your hospitals, and all your schools and colleges, and all your charitable institutions are outcomes of guilty people.
For example, the Nobel prize was founded by a man who earned money in the first world war by creating all kinds of destructive bombs, machines. The first world war was fought using the means supplied by Mr. Nobel. And he earned such a huge amount of money...
Both the parties were getting war material from the same source; he was the only person who was creating war materials on a vast scale. So whoever was killed, was killed by him. It doesn't matter whether he belonged to this side or to that side; whoever was killed was killed by his bombs.
So in old age, when he had all the money in the world a man can have, he established the Nobel prize. It is given as a peace award -- by a man who earned the money by war!
Whoever is working for peace receives a Nobel prize. It is given for great scientific inventions, great artistic, creative inventions.
And with the Nobel prize comes big money -- right now it is near about two hundred and fifty thousand dollars. The best award, and two hundred and fifty thousand dollars with it; and it goes on increasing because money goes on becoming less and less valuable. And such a fortune that man must have created that all these Nobel prizes that are distributed every year are given only out of the interest. The basic money remains intact, will remain intact forever. Every year so much interest accumulates that you can give twenty Nobel prizes.
All charitable work is really an effort to wash your guilt -- literally. When Pontius Pilate ordered the crucifixion of Jesus, the first thing he did was to wash his hands. Strange!
The order for crucifixion does not make your hands dirty, why should you wash your hands? It is something significant: he is feeling guilty. It took two thousand years for man to understand this, because for two thousand years nobody even mentioned or bothered to comment on why Pontius Pilate washed his hands. It was Sigmund Freud who found out that people who are feeling guilty start washing their hands. It is symbolic... as if their hands are full of blood.
So if you have money, it creates guilt. One way is to wash your hands by helping charitable institutions, and this is exploited by the religions. They are exploiting your guilt, but they go on buttressing your ego, saying you are doing great spiritual work. It is nothing to do with spirituality; it is just that they are trying to console the criminals.
The first way is what religions have been doing. The other is that the man feels so guilty that either he goes mad or commits suicide. His own existence becomes just anguish.
Each breath becomes heavy. And the strange thing is that he has worked his whole life to attain all this money, because the society provokes the desire, the ambition, to be rich, to be powerful. And money does bring power; it can purchase everything, except those few things which cannot be purchased by it. But nobody bothers about those things.
Meditation cannot be purchased, love cannot be purchased, friendship cannot be purchased, gratitude cannot be purchased -- but nobody is concerned with these things.
Everything else, the whole world of things, can be purchased. So every child starts climbing the ladder of ambitions, and he knows if he has money then everything is possible. So the society breeds the idea of ambition, of being powerful, of being rich.
It is an absolutely wrong society. It creates psychologically sick, insane people. And when they have reached the goal that the society and the educational system have given to them, they find themselves at a dead end. The road ends there; there is nothing beyond.
So either they become a phony religious person or they just jump into madness, into suicide, and destroy themselves.
Money can be a beautiful thing if it is not in the hands of the individuals, if it is part of the communes, part of the societies, and the society takes care of everybody. Everybody creates, everybody contributes, but everybody is not paid by money; they are paid by respect, paid by love, paid by gratitude, and are given all that is necessary for life.
Money should not be in the hands of individuals; otherwise it will create this problem of being burdened with guilt. And money can make people's lives very rich. If the commune owns the money, the commune can give you all the facilities that you need, all the education, all creative dimensions of life. The society will be enriched and nobody will feel guilty. And because the society has done so much for you, you would like to pay it back by your services.
If you are a doctor you will do the best you can do; if you are a surgeon you will do the best you can do, because it is the society that has helped you to become the best surgeon, given you all the education, given you every facility, taken care of you from your very childhood. That's what I mean when I say that children should belong to the communes, and the commune should take care of everything.
And all that is created by people will not be hoarded by individuals; it will be a commune resourcefulness. It will be yours. It will be for you, but it will not be in your hands. It will not make you ambitious; it will make you more creative, more generous, more grateful, so the society goes on becoming better and more beautiful. Then money is not a problem.
Communes can use money as an exchange, because every commune cannot have all the things it needs. It can purchase from another commune; then money can be used as a means of exchange -- but from commune to commune, not from individual to individual, so that every commune is capable of bringing in things which are not available there. So money's basic function remains, but its ownership changes from the individual to the collective. To me this is basic communism: the money's function changes from the individual to the collective.
But the religions will not want that. Politicians will not want it, because their whole game will be destroyed. Their whole game depends on ambition, power, greed, lust.
It seems very strange to say that the religions exist almost on irreligious things, or it will be better to say, on anti-religious things. They use those things, but on the surface you don't see that. You see charity, but you don't see from where charity comes, and why. In the first place, why should there be a need for charity? Why should there be orphans, why should there be beggars? Why in the first place should we allow beggars to happen and orphans to happen? And in the second place, why are there people who are very willing to do charity work, to give money, to give their whole lives to charity and serving the poor?
On the surface everything seems to be right because we have lived in this kind of structure for so long; otherwise it is absolutely absurd. No child is an orphan if the commune owns the children, and if the commune owns everything, then nobody is a beggar; we all share whatsoever we have. But then religions will not have their sources of exploitation. They will not have the poor to console, they will not have the rich to help get rid of their guilt. These are the reasons why they are so much against me.
My work is almost like that of a gravedigger who goes on digging up beautiful marble graves and bringing out skeletons. Nobody wants to see them. People are afraid of skeletons.
One of my friends was a student in a medical college, and I used to stay with him once in a while, while traveling. If I had to stay the whole night, rather than staying at the station I would stay in the hostel with this student. One day it happened that somehow, late in the night, the discussion went on about so many things, and came around to ghosts. And I was simply joking; I said, "They are a reality. It is strange that you have not come across them."
Almost fifteen students were there in the room, and they said, "No, we don't believe in them. We have dissected so many bodies; we have never found any soul, and there is no ghost, nothing."
So I prepared my friend... In their surgical ward they had many skeletons, and they also had another ward where autopsies are done, when beggars die or somebody is killed or commits suicide -- it was a big city, it was the capital of a state. The wards were joined together. On this side of the hall were the skeletons, and the other side of the hall many dead bodies used to wait. And who cares about the beggars and this and that? -- whenever there was time the professors would do the autopsies and decide.
I told my friend, "You do one thing: tomorrow night, you lie down on a stretcher where the dead bodies are lying, and I will bring in your friends. You have to do nothing. In the middle of the conversation, when I am there with your friends, you just have to sit up.
From the lying position you simply sit up."
It was a simple thing, there was no problem. He said, "I will do it."
But a problem arose... it became very complicated. We went into the surgical hall, and my friend was lying down. As we entered he got up, and all the fifteen people started trembling. They could not believe their eyes that a dead body...! But the problem became real because a real dead body got up! So my friend who was pretending jumped up and he said, "There are really ghosts! Just look at that body!"
There had been some misunderstanding: that man was in a coma. Some servants had brought him in the night so they put him in with the dead bodies. Then he came back to consciousness, so he stood up. When he saw these people he thought it must be morning and now it is time to get up and ask what is going on. Even I could not manage at first to work out what had happened, because I had sent only one. This second man...! We closed the doors and started to leave. The man was shouting, "Wait, I am alive! Why I am being put here?"
We closed the doors. We said, "It is not our business," and we left. It was difficult to convince my friend who had been lying there that it was not a ghost, that the other man was just a mistake. He said, "But never a next time! It was good that he stood up only when you all had come. If he had stood up when I was lying there alone I would have died! I could not have survived."
If you go on digging at the roots -- which are ugly, which nobody wants to see.... That's why words like `sex' or `death' or `money' have become taboos. There is nothing in them that you cannot discuss at the dining table, but the reason is that we have repressed them deep down and we don't want anybody to dig them out. We are afraid.
We are afraid of death because we know we are going to die, and we don't want to die.
We want to keep our eyes closed. We want to live in a state as if "everybody else is going to die, but not me." That is the normal psychology of everybody: "I am not going to die."
To bring up death is taboo. People become afraid because it reminds them of their own death. They are so much concerned with trivia, and death is coming. But they want that trivia to keep them engaged. It functions as a curtain: they are not going to die, at least not now. Later on... "whenever it happens, we will see."
Sex they are afraid of because so many jealousies are involved. Their own life experiences have been bitter. They have loved and failed, and they really don't want to bring the subject up -- it hurts.
And so is the case with money, because money immediately brings in the hierarchy of the society. So if there are twelve persons sitting around the table, immediately you can put them in a hierarchy; the similarity, the equality, for the moment is lost. Then somebody is richer than you, somebody is poorer than you, and suddenly you see yourself not as friends but as enemies, because you are all fighting for the same money, you are grabbing at the same money. You are not friends, you are all competitors, enemies.
So at least at the dining table when you are eating you want no hierarchy, not the struggle of the ordinary life. You want for a moment to forget all those things. You want to talk only of good things -- but these are all facades.
Why not create a life which is really good? Why not create a life where money does not create a hierarchy, but simply gives more and more opportunity to everybody? Why not create a life where sex does not make bitter experiences, jealousies, failures; where sex becomes just fun -- nothing more than any other game, just a biological game.
A simple understanding... I can't conceive why... if I love some woman and she enjoys some man, it is perfectly okay. It does not disturb my love. In fact I love her more because she is being loved by more people; I have chosen really a beautiful woman. It will be really ugly to find a woman whom only I love, and she cannot find anybody else in the whole world to love her. That will be really hell.
And what is wrong if she is happy sometimes with somebody else? An understanding heart will be happy that she is happy. You love a person and you want him to be happy. If she is happy with you, good; if she is happy with somebody else it is as good. There is no problem in it.
Once we stop the old nonsense that has been poured into our minds continuously -- of monogamy, of one-to-one relationship, of fidelity -- which is all nonsense... When there are so many beautiful people in the world, why shouldn't they be intermixing? You play tennis; that does not mean your whole life you have to play tennis with the same partner, fidelity...! Life should be richer.
So it is only that a little understanding is needed and love will not be a problem, sex will not be taboo. Nor will death be a taboo once your life has no problems, no anxieties; once you have accepted your life in its totality, death is not the end of life, it is part of it.
In accepting life in its totality, you have accepted death too; it is just a rest. The whole day you have been working -- and in the night do you want to rest, or not?
There are a few insane people who don't want to sleep. I have come across one person who was brought to me because he did not want to sleep. The whole night he made every effort to keep himself awake. The problem was that he was afraid that if he sleeps, then what is the guarantee that he will wake up? Now, who can give the guarantee? That is really a great problem -- who can give him a guarantee?
He wants a guarantee that "I will wake up. What is the guarantee that I will not go on sleeping? -- because I have seen many people just go to sleep and... finished! People say that they are dead, and they take them to the burning place and burn those people. I don't want to be burned. So why take the risk? This sleep is risky!" Now sleep can become a problem.
Death is a little longer sleep, a little deeper. The daily sleep rejuvenates you, makes you again capable of functioning better, efficiently. All tiredness is gone, you are again young. Death does the same on a deeper level. It changes the body, because now the body cannot be rejuvenated only by ordinary sleep; it has become too old. It needs a more drastic change, it needs a new body. Your life energy wants a new form. Death is simply a sleep so that you can easily move into a new form.
Once you accept life in its totality, life includes death. Then death is not against it but is just a servant, just as sleep is. Your life is eternal, it is going to be there forever and forever. But the body is not eternal; it has to be changed. It becomes old, and then it is better to have a new body, a new form, rather than dragging the old.
To me, a man of understanding will not have any problems. He will have only a clarity to see -- and the problems evaporate. And tremendous silence is left behind, a silence of great beauty and great benediction.