Empty from birth to death
I REMEMBER WHILE YOU WERE IN THE POLICE STATION IN CRETE, THOSE TWO YOUNG SMILING GREEK WOMEN, DRESSED IN BLACK LIKE TYPICAL CRETAN WOMEN, COMING TO THE WINDOW, HOLDING YOUR HAND AND SAYING IN VERY BROKEN ENGLISH, "OSHO, WE LOVE YOU. WE ARE CRETAN, WE WANT YOU TO STAY HERE."
IT SEEMS THAT AS THE GOVERNMENTS BECOME INCREASINGLY STRIDENT IN THEIR ATTACKS ON YOU -- IN SPITE OF THE INCREASINGLY OBVIOUS LOVE THE COMMON MAN HAS FOR YOU -- ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT PARTS OF YOUR WORK WILL BE TO SHOW HOW THE BUREAUCRACY, FAR FROM REPRESENTING THE COMMON MAN, IS IN FACT IN COMPLETE OPPOSITION TO HIM.
I certainly remember those two young women holding my hand and trying to convey to me that "We, the people of this island, want you to stay here. We love you."
The question you have raised has occurred to me many times in my life, again and again.
The bureaucracy is not for the people, it is against them. It uses them, it exploits them, it manipulates them; it makes them believe that it is serving their purposes. But the reality is just the opposite.
They define democracy as the government of the people, for the people, by the people. It is none of these things. It is neither by the people, nor of the people, nor for the people.
The people who have been holding power down the centuries have always been able to persuade people that whatever is being done, is done for their sake. And the people have believed it because they have been trained to believe; it is a conspiracy between religion and state to exploit humanity.
The religion goes on preaching belief and destroys the intelligence of people to question, makes them retarded. And the state goes on exploiting them in every possible way -- still managing to keep the people's support, because the people have been trained to believe, not to question. Any kind of government -- it may be monarchy, it may be aristocracy, it may be democracy, it may be any kind of government... Just the names change but deep down the reality remains the same.
In Japan before the second world war, Hirohito, the emperor of Japan, was believed to be the direct descendant of the God Sun, and whatever he was saying was not human, it was divine; his order had just to be followed. For centuries Japanese people have believed in him as a Sun God, And they have died in hundreds of wars, willingly, joyously, because they are dying for God himself. What more blissful and beautiful a death could one aspire to?
Japan is a small country but no other country has been able to conquer it -- even countries like China, vast countries. China is the greatest country as far as numbers are concerned, as far as land is concerned, but a small tiny Japan was able to defeat the Chinese because the people had this fanatic belief that God is behind them, so victory is theirs. And more or less the same has been the situation all over the world.
That day when those two Cretan women, holding my hand with great love, said to me, "We are not against you. We love you and we want you to stay here," they represented the real consciousness of the people. And then I saw at the airport, three thousand people -- it must have been the whole population of Saint Nicholas -- came to show their support, and to show that they are not with the brutality and nazi actions of the police against me, that they are for me.
Yes, it has to be one of my works to awaken people to the real situation: you are being exploited in different names. The exploiters even call themselves public servants, to tell you that they serve you. For thousands of years they have been "serving," -- and the people are in immense misery, ignorance. They don't have anything to their life; they are born, they somehow live, and they die. Nothing happens to them which could be called ecstatic, which could be called an experience.
Empty from birth to death, nothing flowers, nothing blossoms... and they have all the potential of being a song of joy. But these bureaucracies, religious and political, would not allow it. They are so afraid of joyous people.
It was a strange feeling for me in the beginning. I had never thought that people should be so afraid of joyous people. Slowly slowly, I became aware that joy has many implications:
A joyous person is not retarded.
A joyous person is intelligent.
A joyous person knows the art of life; otherwise he cannot be joyous. And a joyous person is dangerous to all those vested interests which go against humanity.
Those interests want humanity to live in hell forever. They have managed in every possible way to keep you in misery. They destroy everything that you can rejoice in, and they give you ample opportunity to be miserable. A miserable person is not a danger to this rotten society.
Yes, it has to be one of my basic works to make people aware that the powerful ones -- either religious or political -- are not your friends. They are your enemies. And unless the common humanity goes through a rebellion against all types of bureaucracies, man will remain stuck, not evolving, not reaching to the heights which are his birthright.
HAS ANYONE REALLY UNDERSTOOD YOUR MESSAGE OF LOVE?
RECENTLY IT HAS BEEN PAINFULLY CLEAR TO ME THAT I HAVEN'T, AND I WONDER IF WE AREN'T ALL, WITH SOME SLIGHT VARIATIONS ON THE THEME, STILL SINGING THE SAME OLD SONG.
WHY IS IT SO DIFFICULT TO LIVE SOMETHING THAT IS SO SIMPLE AND NATURAL?
Just because it is so simple and so natural, that's why it is so difficult.
You are not simple and you are not natural.
And it is simple and natural.
My message of love is absolutely simple; nothing can be more simple than that. But your mind is very complex, very tricky. It makes simple things complicated. -- that's its work.
And for centuries it has been trained for only one thing: to make things so complicated that your life becomes impossible.
Your mind has become expert in destroying you, because your life consists of simple things. The whole existence is simple, but man's mind has been cultivated, conditioned, educated, programmed in such a way that the simplest thing becomes crooked. The moment it reaches to your mind it is no longer simple. The mind starts interpreting it, finding things in it which are not there, ignoring things which are there.
And you think that you have heard whatever I have been telling you? It is not so. I have been telling you one thing, and you have been hearing something else because your hearing is not direct. There is a mediator -- your mind. It functions in many ways as a censor, it does not allow many things to enter inside you.
You will be surprised to know how much it prevents -- ninety-eight percent. It allows in only two percent of what is being said to you, and that too not in its purity. First it pollutes it by its own interpretations, by its own past experiences, conditionings, and by the time the mind comes to have the sense that it has understood, what was said and what was heard are poles apart.
Gautam Buddha used to tell a story... it is strange that all great masters have depended on stories. There is some reason for it: the mind relaxes when it is a question of a story; when it is just a joke the mind relaxes. There is no need to be tense and serious, just a story is being told, you can relax.
But when something like love or freedom or silence is being explained, you are tense.
That's why the masters have to use simple stories. Perhaps by the end of the story they can manage it so a small message enters in from the back door while you are still relaxed.
Gautam Buddha used to say -- it was his custom after his evening talk -- he used to say to his disciples, "Now go and do the last thing before you go to sleep." That last thing was the meditation.
One day it happened that a prostitute was listening and a thief was also in the audience.
When Buddha said, "Now it is time for you to go and do the last thing before you go to sleep," all the sannyasins went to meditate. The thief simply became awakened -- "What am I doing here?" This was the time to do his business. The prostitute looked around and felt that Buddha was really very perceptive, because when Buddha had said that, he was looking at her. She bowed down in gratitude because she was reminded, "Go to do your business before you go to sleep."
A simple statement, but three types of people heard three meanings. In fact there must have been more meanings, because to somebody meditation must have been a joy, to somebody else meditation must have been something one has to do; and then the meaning differs. To all those meditators the message was the same, but what was heard by them could not have been the same.
All my life I have never taught anything complex to anybody. Life is already too complex, and I don't want to burden you more. But I have been more misunderstood than perhaps anybody else in this whole century, for the simple reason that I am saying simple things which nobody says. I am talking about the obvious which everybody has forgotten, which has been taken for granted. Nobody talks about it.
You can look at the great theological treatises of the Christians, at great works of religion by Hindus, Mohammedans, Jews -- very scholarly, very difficult to understand. The more difficult they are, the more they are respected. When people cannot understand something they think it is something great, mysterious, something far above their comprehension.
And naturally it becomes respectable.
The Hindus use a language for their religious treatises, Sanskrit, which has never been a living language. It has never been spoken by the people in the marketplace; it has been a language of the experts. But they have resisted continuously that Hindu scriptures should be translated.
I was always wondering, why this resistance? In fact they should be happy that their scriptures are being translated and their message is being spread to all corners of the earth. But when I studied their scriptures, I understood the reason.
The reason was that those scriptures have nothing. Just the language is so difficult, and people don't understand it, so they go on paying respect to it. Once it is translated into the language of the people, it loses all glory, all spirituality. It becomes so ordinary because it is no longer difficult.
And the same is true about others -- for example the Jews. The rabbis will still prefer Hebrew. Now it is not a living language, why go on insisting on it? But it gives the mind the impression of something mysterious, impenetrable, holy, far beyond, so that all that you can do is to bow down. Once it is translated, it has nothing. And specially, it has nothing that you need.
None of these scriptures teach about love, its implications, its different dimensions. None of these scriptures teach about freedom. None of these scriptures teach about you, your life, and how it can be transformed into a celebration. They talk about God! I have never come across a single man who has any problem with God -- it is so irrelevant. Is God anybody's problem? Is the Holy Ghost anybody's problem? -- things which are absolutely irrelevant to human existence.
The mind has been filled with all kinds of unnecessary luggage. No space is left in the mind for the realities that you have to live. So even your greatest theologian is as foolish about love as you are, has no understanding of freedom, has never enquired into the distinction between personality and individuality.
I had one professor who was teaching religion. After listening for a few days I stood up and told him, "I think you are talking about irrelevant things. I don't see a single student here for whom God is a problem, and I don't see either that God is a problem to you" -- because I used to live just in front of his house, and his wife was the problem.
I told him, "Your wife is the real problem; that you can discuss. God is absolutely abstract. I have never seen you thinking about God in your house. And all that you are teaching about God has nothing of your experience in it, it has not been your quest. You are filling the minds of these innocent people with ideas which are of no use. Talk about love!"
He was very angry. He said, "You have to come with me to the principal."
I said, "I can come even to God. You cannot threaten me."
On the way towards the principal's office he said, "You don't feel afraid?"
I said, "Why should I feel afraid? You should feel afraid! I know all the students; their problem is love, and your problem is love. And I am going to tell the principal, `If you don't believe me, just call this professor's wife, and you will know what I mean by problem.'" He said, "You are making it too complex."
I said, "I am making it absolutely simple, factual. I can bring all the students to the office; they all have problems of love. Somebody is chasing a woman, and is not getting her -- that's his problem. Somebody has got her -- and that is his problem."
He said, "It is better you should come back; there is no need."
I said, "I never go back from anywhere. If you are not coming, I am going alone."
He said, "When I am saying there is no need..."
I said, "It may not be a need for you; it is a need for me. I have to decide it finally, because to me love is a religious phenomenon, while God is not. God is only a hypothesis. It means nothing because there is nothing corresponding to it.
"And love is a religious phenomenon. Unless it is understood in its totality, a man is bound to become miserable by something which could have made his life divine. The same thing which could have been his heaven is going to become hell because he has no understanding. And it is certainly an art. Who cares about God? So you start talking sense. We have come here to understand religion, not nonsense."
"But," he said, "in the whole syllabus there is no mention of love, freedom, individuality, silence... we have to complete the syllabus."
Universities are completing their syllabuses without bothering about the real life of man, his real problems.
Because I am talking about simple things, many people simply feel that this is not what religion has to be. They have got an idea of religion, of complicated abstract hypotheses, you can go on thinking about them but it makes no difference to your life -- you remain the same. You may be a Hindu, or a Mohammedan, or a Christian it does not matter; your real problems are the same. Your unreal problems are different, but those unreal problems are nothing but a burden to the mind.
It is possible to understand me if you can just put aside your mind and its complicated mechanism. It is not needed because my work is heart to heart.
I am speaking from my heart.
I am not a theoretician, I am not speaking from my mind. I am pouring my heart to you, but if you are going to listen from the mind you are going to miss it.
If you are also ready to open a new door into your being, if you are ready to hear from the heart, then whatever I am saying is so simple that there is no need to believe in it because there is no way to disbelieve it. It is so simple that there is no way to doubt it.
I am against belief for the simple reason that for all my teaching, no belief is needed. I am all for doubt because for my simple teaching, you cannot doubt. All the religions of the world insist on belief, because what they are teaching can be doubted. And they are all against doubt because doubt can destroy their whole edifice.
I am simple and real. I am not metaphysical; hence there is no need to believe in me. If you have heard me, a trust is bound to arise which is not belief, which is closer to love; even if you try to doubt, you cannot. And when you cannot doubt something, then there is real trust, indubitable trust. It transforms simply by being within you.
In the whole history of man, only Mahavira has made a distinction to be remembered -- which is significant in this reference. He says that there are two ways to reach to the truth. One is the way of the shravaka. Shravaka means one who can hear, one who is able to hear from the heart. Then he need not do anything. Just hearing is enough, and he will be transformed. The other is the way of the monk, who will have to try hard to reach to the truth.
My effort has been not to create monks. That's why I have chosen to speak because just hearing you can be reborn. Nothing else is needed on your part, except a willingness to open the doors of your heart. Just let me in and you will not be the same again.
I have seen thousands of my people changing without their knowing; they have changed so drastically, but the change has happened almost underground. Their mind has not been even allowed to take part in it -- just from heart to heart.
These people had not needed any therapy. These people here have not needed any meditation. If they have heard, the way I am telling you, then this is their meditation, and this is their therapy, and this is their revolution.
I HAVE HEARD YOU EXTOL "COMMUNE-ISM" AS THE HIGHEST FORM OF ECONOMIC SYSTEM, THE EQUAL SHARING OF ABUNDANCE AND RICHNESS IN A LOVING FAMILY OF MAN. HOWEVER, I HAVE HEARD YOU SAY THAT THE POOR SHOULD BE BROUGHT UP TO THE LEVEL OF THE RICH RATHER THAN THE RICH BEING DRAGGED DOWN INTO POVERTY, AS HAS HAPPENED IN ALL EXISTING COMMUNISTIC SOCIETIES. BUT HOW CAN THE RICH SHARE WEALTH NOW, AND LIVE IN "COMMUNE-ISM" WITHOUT BEING DRAGGED DOWN INTO ECONOMIC MEDIOCRITY?
The first thing is that the rich people of the world should start living in communes. Let those communes be of the rich! -- so they will not be dragged down from their standard of life, their comforts, their luxuries. Let there be around the world hundreds of communes of rich people -- rich communes.
And to me, wealth is a certain kind of creativity. If five thousand rich people who have all created wealth individually are together, they can create wealth a millionfold. Their standard will not go lower; their standard can even go higher. Or they can start sharing.
They can start inviting people who are not rich but who are creative in some other way, who will enhance the life of their commune although they may be poor.
Five thousand rich people together with their genius for creating wealth are capable of creating so much wealth that they can invite thousands of other people who may not be rich in the sense of being wealthy, but who may be rich as painters, as poets, as dancers, as singers.
What are you going to do only with wealth? You cannot play music on money; you cannot dance just because you have so much cash in the bank. And these rich communes can start becoming bigger, absorbing more and more creative people. These rich communes will need every kind of thing.
Talking about the rich commune, I am reminded of the Jaina community. There was a time, in India, in the history of Jainism... because Jainism is a small community and it is a community of rich people. In India you cannot find a single Jaina beggar, a single Jaina orphan. In the ancient days it was a fundamental rule that if a Jaina was poor, then all other Jainas would simply contribute just little bits.
For example, if he needs a house, the whole commune simply provides it. Somebody provides the wood, somebody provides the bricks, somebody provides the tiles and the whole community provides some money for the man to start off with. You have changed a poor man into a rich man. Nobody has been forced to do it, it is just out of generosity.
And that man will do the same when a new arrival happens to come to the commune.
You are asking me right now what the rich people should do. They should drop their private ownership and make a rich commune wherever they can manage -- and they can manage everywhere, anywhere. They can make beautiful places all around the world, and slowly, slowly more people can be absorbed.
For example, you will need plumbers, however rich you may be; you will need mechanical people; you will need technicians; you will need shoemakers. Invite these people -- and they come to you not as servants, but as members of the commune. They will be enriching the commune doing whatever they can do the best. And it is the commune's duty to raise those people to the same standard of life.
Slowly slowly we can transform the whole world -- without any bloodshed and without any dictatorship.
A communism that comes out of love, out of intelligence, out of generosity, will be real.
A communism that comes through force is going to be unreal. And there is not a single man in the world, howsoever poor, who has nothing to contribute.
I am reminded of Abraham Lincoln... I love this anecdote so much! It was his first address in the Senate as president. He was a poor man's son, his father was a shoemaker - - in India he would have been an untouchable. Even in America people were very annoyed, irritated, angry that a shoemaker's son had become the president; the aristocrats, the rich, the super-rich naturally were angry. There was great tension on the first day when he addressed them.
As he stood up, one aristocrat also stood up and said, "Mr President, before you start speaking, I would like you to remember that your father used to make shoes for my family. Right now I am using the shoes made by your father, so don't forget that. Just becoming president does not mean anything. Don't forget that you are a shoemaker's son."
There was absolute silence, pin-drop silence. Everybody felt that Abraham Lincoln would feel embarrassed, but instead of feeling embarrassed, he made the whole Senate feel embarrassed.
He said, "It is good, I am immensely thankful to you that you reminded me about my father" -- and tears came to his eyes. And he said, "How can I forget him? I know that he was a perfect shoemaker and I can never be that perfect a president. I cannot defeat the old man.
"You are still wearing shoes he has made -- many of you must be wearing them. If they do not fit you, if they are pinching, if you are feeling uncomfortable, don't be worried.
Although my father is dead, he made me learn the art enough to mend your shoes. I cannot replace him; he was a perfect master. I am just an amateur, but I can mend your shoes and I will always remember to try at least to become as good a president as he was a shoemaker. I cannot hope to be better than him -- that is impossible, because I know him."
The poorest man in the world has also got something to contribute.
Create rich communes and suddenly you will find that you need many people, not just the rich. They may be able to create wealth, but wealth is not all. Life is much more than wealth. It needs so many things that naturally you will have to invite many people.
Around the world all the rich communes will need people; and slowly, slowly your commune will become bigger and bigger.
The richer will not become poorer, but the poorer will become richer, and respectable, and equal -- in no way inferior to anybody else -- because they are also functioning in the same way as anybody else. And whatever they are doing is needed as much as anybody else's expertise is needed.
I conceive of this just like a flower opening up, becoming bigger -- all the petals opening up. A commune, full-blown, complete, lacking nothing, will not be only of rich people.
Many poor people will have been transformed into richness. And they will be contributing -- they will not be a burden, and they will not be beggars. They will have their pride. You cannot exist without them.
We can transform the whole earth into a rich society, but it should start the way I am telling you: not by the dictatorship of the proletariat, but by communes of the rich.
I REALLY FELT AFFECTED WHEN YOU TALKED ABOUT RAJEN THE OTHER NIGHT, BECAUSE I FEEL FRIENDSHIP FOR HIM, AND I FEEL HE LOVES YOU AS HE DID BEFORE. I FEEL THAT IN DROPPING THE MALA AND THE RED CLOTHES, HE IS SIMPLY TRYING TO EXPERIENCE SOMETHING NEW.
I MUST ADMIT, THOUGH, THAT HAVING WORKED WITH HIM FOR YEARS, IN THE MOST RECENT GROUP EXPERIENCE WITH HIM JUST A FEW DAYS AGO THE QUALITY OF HIS WORK FELT DIFFERENT: I MISSED THE FEELING OF YOUR PRESENCE THROUGH HIM. PLEASE COMMENT.
Your question itself is the answer. If he loves me, then in his groups my presence would have become even more tangible. If my presence in his groups has disappeared, then what he calls love is just an empty word. This is a simple thing.
Neither dropping the mala nor the red clothes is important, because I have allowed it myself. But in his groups he is saying, "I used to serve Osho through surrender. I am still serving him, through making you free of Osho."
The whole world is free of me. Nobody needs to work to make people free of me. The whole world is already free of me.
But why is my presence being missed? He has lost contact with my heart; his heart is no longer beating with my heart. And it is not only with Rajen. It is so with many other therapists. Only a few have proved the fire test, like Prasad. He has not just remained the same, but has become more deeply involved with me on a new basis, a new flowering of love. In his groups my presence has become deeper. And his work has changed; his therapy has become different, more effective.
But all these people are unconscious. Their love is not what I mean by love. Perhaps at the most, their love means that they don't hate me. Even that much will be great, because most of them may even be angry with me for the simple reason that they had become accustomed to being just a follower. The whole responsibility was on me. Now I have given back the responsibility to them; they can be angry -- they are bound to be angry.
They may go on saying like old parrots, "I love you," but their actions don't prove it.
Ananda Teertha and a few others with him have opened a meditation academy in Italy.
Devageet was there. In finding the place, in arranging the place he worked hard, but finally he was very disappointed because they did not want my name to be associated with the academy.
Devageet said, "I have been working day and night just so that we can create an academy for Osho, and you are not ready even to mention His name in the brochure!" They all had their pictures in the brochure, and they were not willing to have my picture in the brochure.
Devageet had to leave in disgust. They all were saying, "We love Osho," but no mention of me in the brochure, no mention of me in their groups. And all their groups are filled by sannyasins, and those sannyasins are coming because of me. Devageet made it clear that this is pure exploitation. "These people are coming to your groups because of Osho, not because of you. And you are no longer working for Osho."
Devageet came to see me in Crete, and I told him, "Don't be disturbed. This is how unconscious humanity is. Let them do what they are doing. If it is good for people, people will go on coming to them; if it is not good, they will disappear."
"But," he said, "it hurts that you made these people great therapists. You made their name famous around the world."
I said, "You don't understand the unconscious mind's logic: now they are taking revenge.
They cannot forgive me because I have made them; they feel a certain inferiority, and they would like to proclaim their superiority. So let them do it -- don't be worried. This is how this world goes on."
It makes no difference to me whether my name is associated with their academy, because there are thousands of other therapists in the world who have nothing to do with me, so these few also can be part of that. Or, they may realize sooner or later that what they are doing is ugly, unloving, and to a man who has made you world-famous; otherwise nobody knew about you, nobody would have ever heard about you.
But this is the problem: it is very difficult to forgive a person who has helped you in any way. You cannot pay it back to me; there is no way of repaying, and you feel indebted. A certain inferiority that you are not self-made creates anger, revenge. But all this will subside.
Just look at your question. You say that you have been with Rajen, and you feel, "He loves You just as he loved You before." And still you observe that in his work I am no longer there; I am absent.
Can't you see the contradiction? If he loves me, I should be more present and he should be more absent. If he loves me totally, then only I will be present and he will not be present at all; otherwise the word `love' is just a word as everybody else is using it.
But these people will come to understand soon. It will take a little time because while they were with me, and they were working with the people in therapy groups, it was as if they were constantly nourished by my love.
Soon they will find out that that nourishment is no longer there because their hearts are closed, and they will start feeling tired, exhausted, because all those people who come for therapy are going to take their energies. Soon they will find that they have lost their roots, that now they cannot blossom. But it will take a little time. You can cut the roots -- still the flowers will remain for a few days, but not for long.
So let them come to the understanding by themselves, that here they used to work so much with so many people -- thousands of people they worked with -- but they never felt as if their energies were sucked. But they were not aware why they were not feeling like that -- because their roots were within me.
But in the name of freedom, they have withdrawn their roots. They will start dying. It will be sad if they don't understand it.