Close your eyes and find me
I WORK IN EUROPE AS A JOURNALIST, AND EVERYBODY IS ASKING ME ABOUT SHEELA, "IS IT TRUE THAT SHE BETRAYED HER MASTER?" THE ONLY ANSWER I CAN GIVE IS, "I DON'T KNOW." WHEN THEY ASK ME WHAT I FEEL ABOUT THE RECENT EVENTS, I SAY THAT I FEEL TREMENDOUSLY GRATEFUL TO SHEELA, WHATEVER SHE HAS DONE.
AT THIS POINT, EVERYBODY THINKS I'M CRAZY. MY QUESTION IS, DO YOU? PLEASE COMMENT.
Certainly you are crazy - for two reasons. First, nobody can betray me. You can betray Jesus Christ because he asks faith from you. You can betray Gautam Buddha because he requires total surrender from you. How can you betray me? Faith can be betrayed; but I ask you to doubt, to be skeptical, to be rational, to be intelligent. How can you betray me?
Sheela has not betrayed me, she has betrayed herself. She has fallen in her own eyes, and she will live with all the crimes heavy on her heart for her whole life. As far as I am concerned there was no expectation. I have never demanded any commitment to me. I have never said that you have to be loyal to me: how can you betray me? This is the first point which proves you are crazy, when you say to people that you do not know. That means you do not know me and you do not know my work.
Secondly, you are telling people that Sheela has done great work and the commune should be grateful to her. She has certainly done great work, and the commune is grateful for all the good that she has done. But side by side she has been committing crimes. The commune cannot be grateful for those crimes - crimes ranging from killing people, attempts on people's lives, to bugging houses - and taping phone calls, which cannot be forgiven, because that is trespassing on individual privacy. And she was planning bigger crimes.
People are accustomed to see things as black or as white. In life it is very rare to find somebody who is absolutely black, or somebody who is absolutely white. People are different in degrees between these two polarities. But one thing has to be remembered, that you may be doing ninety-nine percent good work, but a single crime will destroy your credibility completely. Your good work cannot save you.
You are saying that the commune should feel grateful because Sheela burned the planning office of Wasco County? that she tried to poison one of the judges of Wasco County and one of the attorneys of Jefferson County? that she tried to kill Doctor Devaraj and Vivek, here in the commune? You are going to be grateful to her that she was lying to me continuously?
She bugged my room. She bugged almost the whole commune. Nobody was left their independence, their freedom of privacy. One hundred and forty-five rooms in the hotel were bugged.
Nixon looks like a pygmy before her!
I have heard that she placed guards, thirty-two guards at my house, pretending that they had to be protection for me. But she ordered the guards not to speak to anybody who lives with me in the house - my physician, my kitchen people, my cleaners, my seamstresses, people who do everyday work for me.
The guards were ordered not to recognize that the people in my house even existed. They were not to smile at them, they were not to wave at them, they were not to talk with them; they were not to create any kind of contact with them.
One guard must have asked "Why? If we are there to protect the Master, then what is the point of this precaution?"
She said, "The precaution is absolutely necessary. One day you may have to shoot all those people who live there."
Yes, you should be grateful to her. She has made roads, she has made houses - but she has also stolen forty-three million dollars. Even before I came to America she had stolen three hundred thousand dollars, and managed in the court to show that that money had gone to Rajneesh Foundation. Now the court has decided one point four million dollars is to be returned to the person.
And the money had never come to the Foundation. All those papers were bogus.
Yes, we have to be grateful to her - she was doing great work. She created this fascist group. She threw out every person who was capable, far more capable than herself, of making the commune better, more comfortable, less tedious. She harassed those people - the vice-chancellor of the university, the chancellor of the university, many psychotherapists, doctors. People who were competent like Sushila, Makima - they had to leave. Not that they were leaving me, because they are all coming back. They had to leave simply because there is a limit to suffering humiliation, harassment.
And why should a person like Sushila be thrown out? ... Because Sushila could have managed this commune far better than Sheela. But you are not aware of it, that when we came here we had not a single dollar, and Sushila managed to collect thirty-three million dollars to start the commune with.
Now, she was a dangerous woman in the eyes of Sheela, because she had done such a great job to get the commune started. This was the reward for her - to be thrown out from here!
In Australia Sushila was managing, with another sannyasin, a company which was capable of producing millions of dollars. And her idea was that that money would come to the commune. I prevented Sheela... I told her, "Don't interfere. They are working well." But seeing millions of dollars and the possibilities, she unnecessarily went there and forced Sushila from there too - in my name.
She told her, "The Master says you should leave. I am going to take charge of the company."
That was a pure lie; I had told her just the opposite. When Sushila was in charge there, there was no problem. I have known Sushila for many more years than I have known Sheela. I know her love towards me, and I have great respect for her capacities. But when Sheela used my name, finally Sushila left. And the moment she left, the whole company fell into pieces. Those millions of dollars disappeared; the company is in a mess, under litigation. Yes, you are right, we should be grateful to her.
What has she done? - forced you to work twelve, fourteen hours a day, made you slaves. I told her, "I see people don't have good clothes; in winter they don't have enough clothes. So go and purchase clothes." Because I had said to, she purchased clothes, but they were never given to you; they were locked in a warehouse. Now they have been found.
So what you see is not always the whole truth; there is much more behind it.
She destroyed hundreds of centers around the world which I had created. People were running them with love, joy, and new sannyasins were coming through those centers. She destroyed those centers and concentrated sannyasins into six communes in Germany.
Everybody who has an ambition for power wants centralization. Those centers were independent, they were not under anybody's rule. They were spreading my love, my message to people on their own; there was no need to destroy them. But they were not under her.
In England Poonam had a beautiful commune - four hundred sannyasins were in the commune - and a beautiful place, lush green, with all the facilities. Sheela called Poonam here and took power over the commune, then sent all the sannyasins to European communes. And she was going to sell the commune property. She was destroying all the centers of England - she had almost succeeded.
So you know only one side of the story, you don't know the other side.
And I understand your mind.... The question is from an Italian sannyasin, Sarjano. Italy has lived under the authoritative rule of the popes, which ended finally in the fascism of Benito Mussolini.
Somewhere deep in his mind there is no place for democracy and democratic values.
Yes, she did some good work - as a facade! But behind the facade, she was doing every kind of criminal activity. Two persons she placed in Desiderata declaring that they had positive AIDS tests, for the simple reason that they were not willing to do something that she wanted them to do. This was a punishment - you cannot find a better punishment. Their blood was either mixed with the AIDS virus, or changed, so the test came back from outside as positive. And after she left, their blood was checked again - they have no AIDS.
Do you see the criminality of the mind? Putting two people who don't have AIDS with eight other people who have AIDS is putting them in great danger. And they cannot say anything, because the report is coming from outside. But the blood that was sent must have been taken from the people who have AIDS.
Sheela's intimate, her assistant in crime, was Puja, who was trying to create the AIDS virus. I don't understand what is the need of creating the AIDS virus, of culturing the AIDS virus. Perhaps that would have been their next step: anybody who does not listen to them goes to Desiderata. Without killing him, they have killed him.
If you look at things... for example, Adolf Hitler: you will find many good things that he did. The superhighway that he has created across Germany is the only superhighway in the whole world of its kind. It is straight - few curves, few turnings; hence, you can go at any speed, there is no problem. He changed the old pattern of crossroads; there are no crossroads because that delays the speed. Roads meet, but first they run by the side of the road and slowly slowly merge with the road. So there are no crossroads. You can go very easily one hundred and twenty, one hundred and fifty miles an hour.
You can say he has done a great work - but the same man killed ten million people in the world. A person who wants to see the wholeness of any situation has to look from all sides, from all angles.
Sheela has done a few good things. She has made houses - but anybody could have done that, and in a far better way, not making you slave workers. She has made roads, which cannot be said to be very great, nothing to be compared with Adolf Hitler's superhighway. She was managing sufficient food for you - but she was also poisoning three thousand street people for twenty-one days continuously through their food, to keep them drugged so that they could vote for her. She wanted to take over the county.
I have been insistent that sannyasins should not be in any way involved with politics. I am absolutely against politics. I want the world to be freed from politics - it is a cancer of the society.
So I would like to say to you, first look at the whole picture, all the sides of it, before you say anything.
That's why I say you are certainly crazy.
I AM SO TOUCHED AND OVERWHELMED BY YOUR TOTAL LOVE TOWARDS US, AND I FEEL HURT AND ASHAMED WHEN I SEE HOW WE GO ON ASKING STUPID QUESTIONS, MAKING COMPLAINTS, AND THROWING RESPONSIBILITY ON YOU.
I DON'T HAVE ENOUGH WORDS TO EXPRESS HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU, HOW MUCH I FEEL THANKFUL TO YOU. I AM AFRAID YOU'RE GOING TO LEAVE US BECAUSE WE'RE NOT RIPE ENOUGH. BUT PLEASE, BELOVED MASTER, FORGIVE US AND STAY WITH US LONGER. IT IS NOT EVERYBODY WHO DOESN'T TAKE RESPONSIBILITY. NOT EVERYBODY DROPPED THE MALA, NOT EVERYBODY STOPPED WORKING. I TRUST YOU MORE THAN EVER, AND I WANT TO BE WITH YOU, WHATEVER HAPPENS.
I know. There are only a very few idiots, but idiots have a quality of pulling people downwards to their own state.
Man is not an island. If an enlightened person can pull you upwards, an idiot can pull you downwards. And, of course, the journey downwards is easier. Going uphill is difficult; going downhill no intelligence is needed, no effort is needed.
Even a rock, rolled, will go downhill. Have you seen any rock going uphill? That will be against gravitation, that is not possible. Idiots function like gravitation; so there may be only a few people, but they create a certain atmosphere which pulls you downward. And it is easier to go downward.
I know you love me. And I am not going to leave you, even though there are moments when anybody else in my place would leave. But I am not that type of person. Every difficulty to me is a challenge.
Until I change those idiots, I am going to be here. It is a question of great importance: a struggle between enlightenment and retardedness. I am not going to be defeated by retarded people. Either they will have to change, or they will have to leave. So don't be worried about me.
The same I have told the INS: "If you give me the green card, perhaps I may leave America. If you don't give me the green card, then there is no way I am going to leave America. America can leave - I am going to be here!"
I have to fight with any challenge; that's my nature. I have never turned my back on any challenge.
I am not a hippie. Do you know the meaning of "hippie"? One who shows his hips and escapes.
Sheela and her gang are hippies. People have forgotten the meaning of the word. The meaning of the word is, a coward who runs away from the challenge.
Just as you love me, you know that I love you... even more. Even those who go on doing stupid things, I love them in the same way. I want them to change, because they are living a life which is not life - at the most vegetation. I have every compassion for them.
This commune is a place of love. And if love cannot transform you, then what else can transform you? Love is the alchemy. And when so many people are radiating love, there is no fear of a few idiots. Our love will bring them up, will make them understand, will make them new human beings.
So be absolutely satisfied... don't be worried about me leaving you. You are free to leave me; I am not free to leave you. If Sheela can leave with twenty people - and I gave all those people all my love, but my love never takes away anybody's freedom. But I cannot leave you, for the simple reason that I am not imprisoned here. It is my own will to be here, because I see the possibility in this commune for the future of the whole humanity.
These are small episodes - Sheela and her gang, somebody doing a stupid thing... these are small episodes. My caravan is so big that a small percentage of idiots can be accepted with love and compassion. And the percentage is so small that it is bound to be changed.
And this is my whole life's stand: I have never turned from any fight. I cannot leave this place. I have to fight for the American Constitution against the Americans. I have to fight for all the beautiful values in the American Constitution. That is the only Constitution in the whole world which has some hope.
But the politicians are the same around the world. Just third-rate street dogs! And in America they are in more difficulty because they have to keep up with high ideals, which is beyond their capacity.
We have given all the proofs, all the evidences, testimonies, eyewitnesses, for so many crimes of Sheela and her group, but the attorney general of Oregon is silent, as if nothing has happened. He is not taking any step against the criminals. And he was so quick to take steps against us because we simply made him look foolish.
We had made tents of a special kind - winterized, so even in winter, in snow, they can be used. They can be heated, they can even have air-conditioning. But they were tents, they were not permanent structures.
Thinking that if heating is possible, air-conditioning is possible - without coming here or sending somebody to see - he immediately declared a one point four million dollar fine, because we had not taken out a permit, and these are permanent structures. For permanent structures you need permission; for tents you don't. Then he was so quick.... In the whole history of Oregon nobody has been fined one and a half million dollars.
I told my people that in the court there is no argument needed, no question of law. You just take a tent there, unfold it, put up the tent within ten minutes - it takes ten minutes to put it up. Tell the judge to go into the tent and have a look. Then fold it; within ten minutes it is packed up again. And ask him, "Is this a permanent structure? Can you do that with the White House?"
And even the judge felt ashamed. He simply dismissed the whole case. But the attorney general has no feeling of shame. That time he was so quick. And he was so quick to declare Rajneeshpuram illegal because, according to him, religion and state are mixed.
To make things clear I declared the religion dead. We have burned the religion completely. Now there is no religion here. But now he is not so quick to take his case back. If there is no religion, how can you mix religion with the state? We don't have any clergy, we don't have any church, we don't have any theology, we don't have any system of beliefs, we don't have any holy scripture. We don't have anything that defines a religion.
This is a commune of mystics, seekers. It is not an organization. It is just an organic unity of friends who are searching for the truth on their own. The search is individual; hence, there is no question of any religion.
If he had any intelligence, the attorney general should have withdrawn the case. But it is good that he is not withdrawing it, because that gives us another chance to be victorious in the court.
But about the crimes - she has committed every crime possible; otherwise, there was no need to escape like a thief. Even these people have my love, still intact. I know whatever they have done is out of unconsciousness, blindness. There was no need to escape from here. They could have simply come and told me whatever they had done. That would have been more dignified, more like a sannyasin. And they should have faced the law with all our love and support. And even if they got a few years' imprisonment, that would have been a blessing to them, because after that they would have come out clean, and I would have sent you all to receive them.
But now they will go on carrying all that they have done - and done to innocent people, and done to me, who has always loved them, still loves them. They will carry a burden in their hearts, and they will remain criminals hiding here and there.
Don't be worried; I am not going to leave you. Of course you are always free to go, but wherever you go, you will find me there just within you. Whenever you close your eyes, you will find me. Whenever you are silent, you will hear my voice.
Love is not a child's play; it goes deep into the heart, and there is no way to get rid of it.
So be cheerful.
ONCE YOU SAID JESUS WAS FULLY ENLIGHTENED. RECENTLY, I HEARD YOU SAY JESUS WAS NOT ENLIGHTENED. YOU TELL US THAT YOU ALWAYS SAY THE TRUTH. HOW CAN TRUTH CHANGE SO FAST?
Truth never changes, but statements about truth can change. When we start teaching a child, his book is full of big pictures and very little written matter. If he is learning the alphabet, then every letter stands for something. "M" stands for mango. The child can understand the mango, not the "M," and he can see the mango - a colorful, beautiful picture. But slowly slowly the mango will be dropped. Now when you read, have you to repeat every time, "M stands for mango"? You have completely forgotten what stands for what. Now you can read the alphabet directly.
Yes, I had said to you, "Jesus is enlightened." It was "M stands for mango," because you were not in a state to understand that Jesus is not enlightened. To say to you something which you cannot comprehend is meaningless. For centuries you have become accustomed to believe that Jesus is the only begotten son of God: he is light, he is love, he is life, he is the savior - twenty centuries of conditioning.
Now you can understand my problem. I have to start with conditioned people, programmed people.
Their conditioning is thick; I have to go with them so that they can go with me!
So I had been going with all kinds of people: Hindus - and I have spoken twelve volumes on Krishna; Jainas - and I have spoken many volumes on Mahavira; Buddhists - and I have spoken more on Buddha than anybody else; Christians.... And even bishops and cardinals have written letters to me, "It is surprising - you are not a Christian, and in two thousand years nobody has shown such insight into the meanings of the statements of Jesus Christ."
And I had a belly laugh. Those statements are third-rate - not only third rate, but wrong too; the meaning that I had given to them was mine. But that was the only way that a Christian could become available to me, a Buddhist could become available to me.
Now I have found my people, I need not say, "M stands for mango." Now I can say to you exactly what is in my heart, and I know you will be able to understand. I have walked so long with you, can't you walk a few steps with me? I have suffered so much, managing your conditionings, giving them meaning. Now I want you to listen to the naked truth.
Jesus was not enlightened.
Truth never changes, but statements have to change because the statement depends on the audience. I am not talking to the walls; if I were there would be no need to change the statement. I am talking to people who are conditioned and programmed. It is a very skillful work to uncondition them, to deprogram them, to create a trust, a friendship, a love stronger than your conditioning - so that if a moment comes that you have to choose between your conditioning and the love, you will choose love.
Now I have people who are ready to listen to the truth without any Jesus, any Krishna, any Buddha.
I can now talk directly to you. These three and a half years of silence were simply a device to give a gap so that you could forget all that I have said before, and I could start afresh.
Jesus is not enlightened. In fact, in the Western world enlightenment has been very rare.
People have not worked for enlightenment, people have remained part of organized religion. And enlightenment needs a rebellious spirit so that you come out of all organized religions; you drop everything that has been taught to you, and you start looking within yourself for the truth of your being.
Jesus is not a meditator - how can he become enlightened? He has not even taken the first step.
He prays - and there is a tremendous difference between prayer and meditation.
Prayer is directed towards a mythological God, a fiction. Prayer is always directed outward.
Meditation is an inward journey, not to some fiction but to your own reality. Enlightenment happens to those who come to realize their being.
Jesus is still praying to a God, thinking still that he is the only begotten son of God - that proves him just to be a crackpot - thinking that after crucifixion God will raise him again, more luminous, glorious. But on the cross nothing happens. He is thirsty and he asks for water, and God cannot even give him a bottle of Coke. Frustrated, he shouts towards the sky, "Father, have you forsaken me?" The very word "father" shows that he is still a helpless child, he is not a mature person. He still needs a father figure, and is afraid perhaps the father has forsaken him. But now it is too late - he is crucified.
Jesus thinks that he is the savior. No enlightened person has ever said that he can save anybody; he can only share his experience. Then to save yourself or not is your business. See the subtlety of the point: if somebody can save you, then even your being saved is not your freedom, it is dependent.
What kind of saving is it?
Not a single enlightened man - Bodhidharma, Chuang Tzu, Basho, Nagarjuna - has ever said that he is a savior. All that he can say is, "I am saved, and I have an experience which you don't have. If you are ready to share it with me, I can open my whole heart to you." And then it is your decision to be saved or not saved.
I was sitting in Allahabad on the bank of the Ganges, alone. A man jumped into the river - and the Ganges at Allahabad is very deep, vast. I thought that he was just taking a bath, but after jumping he started shouting, "Save me!" He was going down and up, and whenever he came up, he would shout, "Save me!"
Seeing no other way - and there was nobody else - I jumped into the water and pulled the man out.
He was a heavier man, it was difficult to get him out. And he was very angry when he got out. He said to me, "Why did you save me?"
I said, "My God! You were calling, and I am alone here. I have unnecessarily destroyed my clothes; now with wet clothes I have to go three miles to the place where I am staying. And if you didn't want to be saved, why were you calling?"
He said, "I want to commit suicide."
I said, "That's perfectly okay. If you want to commit suicide, who am I to prevent you? Then why were you calling 'Save me'?"
He said, "Just natural instinct - when I started drowning, I forgot all about suicide."
I pushed the man back into the river.
He said, "What are you doing!"
I said, "I am simply undoing what I have done. Now I will not be deceived by what you say." And he was drowning and again shouting, "Save me!"
I said, "Nothing doing."
Nobody can save someone who does not want to be saved. And if somebody wants to be saved, he has to find the way himself.
The enlightened person is just like a bird: he flies into the sky but leaves no footprints. You cannot follow him; you can simply see the joy, the freedom - that the whole sky is available to him.
Perhaps that may awaken in you a desire also. Perhaps for the first time you will find that you also have wings. And if that bird can fly, why can't you fly? The function of the enlightened person is just to create the milieu in which you become aware of your wings, you become aware of your potentialities.
Jesus is not doing that. He is the shepherd and you are the sheep. No man has insulted humanity in such a way as Jesus has done. Enlightened people don't humiliate; in fact, they respect you because they can see your potential - if not today, then tomorrow you will be flying. If not tomorrow, then the day after tomorrow.
Time does not matter, because we are part of eternity. On both ends it is eternity. Time does not matter. When you start flying has no significance; flying has significance.
But to tell you, "I am the shepherd and you are the sheep," is to destroy your individuality, is to destroy your freedom, is to destroy your integrity; is to destroy everything that is valuable, is to reduce you from human beings to animals. An enlightened person raises you, helps you to rise to super-human beings. He does not make you sheep.
No, Jesus was not enlightened. In fact, in the Judaic and Christian tradition the orthodox have never been enlightened. Amongst Jews, there have been a few enlightened people, but they are not accepted by the orthodox Jews. Those are the Hassids - rare and really genuine people. But the orthodox will not accept them... and they are the only beauty that Judaism has created. The very flowering of Judaism is Hassidism, but it is rejected.
The enlightened person is bound to be rejected by every tradition. In Greek tradition you will hear about Aristotle, Plato, Plotinus, and so many other philosophers; but you will rarely see Heraclitus mentioned as an enlightened man, or Pythagoras, or even Socrates. But these are the people....
But the very word "enlightenment" does not exist in the Greek traditions.
The same is true in Mohammedanism. Mohammed is not enlightened, and the orthodox tradition of Mohammedans rejects Sufi mystics who are enlightened: Jalaluddin Rumi, al-Hillaj Mansoor, Sarmad, Rabiya al-Adabiya. These people are not part of the traditional religion. They are rejected, condemned. The same has been true all over the world.
But now it is time - I can tell you things directly. Rejoice that you are accepted as capable of hearing the truth.
IS GOD REALLY DEAD?