I have never expected that one of my sannyasins would ask such a bullshit question!
I am simply myself. I am not a messiah, because there is no God to send messengers to the world. Moreover, I don't want to be crucified. To prove that you are a messiah of God, crucifixion is absolutely necessary. Not that I am afraid of death, but I would like a comfortable, luxurious death.
Not carrying the cross on my own shoulders, not even on your shoulders - the cross will be carried on a Rolls Royce limousine.
I am not a prophet either. I don't know what is going to happen in the next moment. I don't know even what I am going to say in the next moment. The future does not exist for me. That's exactly the meaning of the future: that which does not exist. And the prophet is one who prophesies, predicts.
This is the most cunning business in the whole world.
And how can I be an incarnation of God? God is invented by those people who want to be incarnations of God. Their God is phony - American, plastic. And all those prophets, messiahs and messengers of God, incarnations of God, what have they done to the world?
Look... in five thousand years, all these people have turned the earth into a big madhouse. What kinds of things have they been telling you to do? What kind of belief systems have they imposed upon you? They have humiliated you, degraded you, turned you into a subhuman species. All these messiahs, prophets, gods - they have made life impossible, love impossible, laughter impossible.
They have made the whole earth a big graveyard.
And they have all been fighting with each other. Millions of people have been killed because of these few criminals. Somebody is a Christian - that means he is conditioned by the ideology of Jesus Christ. That man, Jesus, was a crackpot! He was trying to save the whole world; he could not save himself. He was telling people things which are absurd.
He was telling the people, "Blessed are the poor." As a corollary he must have said, "Blessed are the ugly, blessed are the blind, blessed are the deaf, blessed are the crippled." All the blessed people are in the hospitals. The most blessed of all are in Ethiopia. There is going to be a tremendous fight on the day of judgement to decide who is the most poor - because of course, if the poor are the blessed, then the poorest is the Blessed One.
Forget it! No American can enter paradise. Nobody who has at least two meals every day can enter paradise. You are all going to be defeated by Ethiopians, by Indians. The western world has no hope!
But why did Jesus say, "Blessed are the poor"? He himself was poor, uneducated, uncultured. There was no way for him to rise higher in any hierarchy, to become richer, affluent, to have all the joys and comforts of life. It was not possible for him, he was not capable of it - and he saw millions of other people in the same boat. It was a self-consolation: Blessed are the poor. I wonder why he did not say, "Blessed are the poor carpenters"? He consoled himself, he consoled the poor people.
Do you know who was attracted to his teachings? - not a single man who was rich, educated, who was living life joyously. He attracted miserable people, poor people, starving people - and even they did not come in multitudes.
Those who came to Jesus, you can count on your fingers. But they were feeling great - this man has opened a door for their egos. This man is the only begotten son of God; they had to believe it, because unless they believed that he is the only begotten son of God, then what about his promises about paradise? They believed in him - not truly; they simply wanted a consolation, sympathy, and a hope that some day they will take revenge on the rich, on those who are enjoying life and its beauties.
Of course, it was not possible even for Jesus to give them those blessings here, now. They had to wait for death to come. Everything he promises is after death. You can see the strategy. Nobody comes back and says what there is after death. You can see the strategy. You can befool people:
just keep them drugged about the future life after death. And those poor people, of course, wanted to live blissfully. They had failed here; now comes this man - a carpenter, Joseph's son - and gives them a great hope, a promise.
But all those twelve apostles were simply idiots. Not a single one of them had enough intelligence to wonder what was happening. Jesus turns stones into bread, why can't he turn all the mountains into great loaves of bread? He knows the secret, and once you know a secret, it is only a questions of using it on a bigger scale. There would have been nobody poor.
He changes water into wine - why not change all the oceans into wine? Nobody will feel thirsty ever again. He raises dead people from their graves. But why only one person? Why only Lazarus?
In Jesus' lifetime, many people must have died; he should have raised all of them. And if he can raise a person who has been dead for four years, he can raise a person who has been dead for four thousand years - Moses, Abraham, Ezekiel. He could have raised all the prophets, at least, back to life. But all these are stories invented to prove that this man is no ordinary man: he is a messiah, he has extraordinary powers.
I don't claim any powers, extraordinary or ordinary. I am a simple human being. I don't want to put myself on a high pedestal and condemn you all for your sins, curse you all for your sins, and bless only those few who have faith in me.
The same is true about other messengers of God, incarnations of God. For example, Krishna is a Hindu incarnation of God - not a partial incarnation, God has come in his wholeness on the earth to save it. Strange, nobody seems to be saved. In fact, Krishna was the cause of destroying the very backbone of India, because he forced his disciple and friend, Arjuna, into a war.
Five thousand years ago that war happened. The whole responsibility goes to Krishna - because Arjuna, the warrior, seeing millions of people, started thinking, "What is the point of it all? - killing all these people just to sit on a golden throne? There will not even be people to see that you are sitting on a golden throne. What is the point?"
Arjuna was far more intelligent than your incarnation of God, Krishna. Arjuna said, "This war seems to be absolutely meaningless. I am going to the Himalayas to meditate. Let my cousin-brothers rule, but at least there will be life. I am not going to take this great responsibility of killing so many people for my own glory, to become Arjuna the Great."
But Krishna is very clever, very cunning. He goes on arguing, convincing, persuading Arjuna. And finally he says to Arjuna, "You don't understand that God wants this war, because without him not even a leaf in a tree moves. You are not responsible if people are killed; it is God's will."
And when you bring God in and relieve people of their responsibility, it becomes difficult to refuse.
I would have certainly refused it, but Arjuna had a conditioned mind. Krishna says, "God's WILL!...
the war has to happen whether you participate or not. By not participating you will fall in the eyes of God. The war will happen." His actual words are, "You see these millions of warriors on both the sides gathered, alive? In fact, they are just waiting to die. They are dead, you are not killing them.
You cannot do anything on your own; you are just a puppet in the hands of God."
God is the greatest lie that these people have been teaching. And in the name of God you can convince people to do any stupid thing.
If I had been in the place of Arjuna I would have said, "Perfectly okay, I am going to the Himalayas.
How can I go to the Himalayas if God is not willing me to go there? Let him kill these people through other puppets."
It was so simple. But Krishna goes on forcing him: "You are born in a warrior family, you are a warrior by nature, from your very birth. This will be dropping out. It will be ugly, shameful to you and to your whole family and to your forefathers. Don't be a coward! Prove your mettle - the opportunity has come!" And he forced Arjuna into a war which is called Mahabharata, the Great Indian War. It must have been something like the third world war which is looming on the horizon. And there are so many Arjunas; only one Krishna is needed to convince some Arjuna to start it, to be the pioneer.
It must have been of tremendous proportions, because since that war, India has never been able to regain its strength. It has been going down and down; it lost courage, it lost the joy of life. It became too concerned about death. Any religion which is concerned too much about death is fundamentally wrong. And all the religions are death-oriented.
Hence I say, all these messiahs, prophets, incarnations of God are simply clever, cunning politicians.
They have destroyed humanity, they have poisoned you in every possible way. Whatsoever you enjoy is a sin, and whatsoever you suffer is virtue. Look at their logic! They have made you all into sado- masochists. You cannot recognize it, because all around you are the same kind of people. Just in names they differ - Christians, Hindus, Mohammedans, Buddhists - but fundamentally what they have done, and are doing, is exactly the same.
If you relish life, you are condemned. If you renounce life, you are respected. If you enjoy the beautiful treasures that existence makes available to you, you are going into the abysmal depth and darkness of hell. But if you torture yourself... you stand on your head in the hot sun of Oregon doing yoga exercises - which are nothing but inventions of somebody who must have been a masochist - torturing yourself. You fast; the longer you fast, the more spiritual you become.
I don't see any connection between food and spirituality, between hunger and spirituality. And if hunger is spiritual, rejoice about Ethiopia! Those people are becoming holier and holier every day. Strange that the missionaries - the pope, Mother Teresa, and their kind - are appealing that "Ethiopia should be saved; people are starving, people are hungry, people are dying in thousands."
This is contradictory.
Ethiopia today is the most holy land in the whole world. And if thousands are dying, they will be entering paradise; they are the poorest people in the world. Christians, particularly Catholics, should rejoice all over the world that Ethiopia has become the real holy land - it is no longer Israel.
But they are asking for help, for food, for people to come and save these dying, hungry people. For what? to convert them to Catholicism?
These religious leaders need the world to remain poor; otherwise they are out of a job. Mother Teresa receives the Nobel prize because she takes care of orphans. Orphans are absolutely needed; otherwise Mother Teresa loses her Nobel prize. It is necessary to create more orphans so more Mother Teresas can be there. They become respectable, they receive prizes, honorary degrees. They are welcomed all over the world, they are thought to be great saints.
And to create more orphans, birth control methods should not be used. Abortion should be illegal, criminal. If birth control methods are used, and abortion is legal, then from where can you get the orphans? Those orphans give business to the priests, to the pope. And those orphans are your power, because you will convert them to your religion. It is a simple politics of numbers.
I would say: if you don't want poor and hungry people, starving people and dying people, and countries like Ethiopia, then you have to get rid of all your messiahs, your prophets, your incarnations of God, because they are basically, originally responsible for all this misery, suffering, pain.
No, I absolutely deny having any kind of relationship with these people. I am a simple human being, just the way you are. I am not special in any way.
This is something momentous and historical that is happening here, because never before have people gathered around an ordinary, simple man who has no extraordinary powers, who has no miracles to his credit, who does not walk on water.... Really, I find it difficult even to walk on earth. I am bobbily, almost a drunkard! Somehow I manage.
The day humanity is completely finished with these exploiters in the name of religion, this very earth can become a paradise. There is no need to wait for death. What has death to do with paradise?
Paradise is the way you live. Paradise has something to do with life, not with death.
If you don't listen to these people, just simple reasoning will show you that this much population on the earth is impossible - we have already crossed the borderline. Starvation is natural; nature is trying to keep the balance, and you don't allow nature to keep the balance because you need more Catholics!
Why are people dying in poor countries? In the first place, why are those countries poor? - because poverty has been praised, poverty has been explained away by beautiful theologies.
Hindus say you are poor because in your past life you committed great sins. It seems to be a very delayed result. The cause was in some past life far away, and the effect comes now. You put your hand in the fire and wait for the next life for it to get burned! Cause and effect are connected; the cause is nothing but unmanifested effect. You cannot put them so far apart, and you cannot put death in between than. But Hindus have been doing that, Jainas have been doing that, Buddhists have been doing that.
You give beautiful explanations to the poor, you give them respectability. Mahatma Gandhi used to call the most poor people in India Harijanas, the people of God. If to be poor, to be condemned by the whole society... because Hindus don't even touch them, they are called untouchables. You will be surprised, they don't touch these people because there are so degraded; they don't even allow their shadows to touch them. If an untouchable passes by and his shadow touches your body, you have to take a bath immediately to cleanse yourself - you have been polluted.
And Gandhi calls them the people of God! If poverty, humiliation, oppression, exploitation, make you people of God, then why should one try to become rich? Because in the kingdom of God, even a camel can pass through the eye of a needle, but not a rich man. Strange, camels are holier than a rich man. Only the poor can enter there.
If that is the truth, then let this whole world be poor, suffering, starving, dying. What is the need of serving the poor, giving them food, hospitals, schools? What is the need? You are destroying their license to heaven!
No, I don't belong to this company. I absolutely disconnect myself from all the religions of the world that have existed before, because I say to you, they were not religions. They were cunning strategies of clever people to exploit you, to keep you in your ugly situation, your disgusting state. These religions have not allowed you to make the earth the Garden of Eden. I don't have a God above the roof of Rajneesh Mandir, so I cannot ask him, "Father, forgive these messiahs and prophets and incarnations of you, because they do not know what they are doing!"
I cannot pray in this way for two reasons: one, there is no God above the roof - maybe some electrician working.... Secondly, I cannot say that these prophets and messiahs and incarnations of God do not know what they are doing. They do know! They are perfectly aware of what they are doing. They are cheating you, they are keeping you repressed; they are forcing you to remain attached to the past, to the dead traditions, conventions, beliefs which have no evidence. They are preventing you from rebelling against this whole nonsense!
To me, the truly religious person is a rebel, and his religion will be rebellion against this state of affairs. I don't want you to become faithful, I want you to doubt intensely all that you have been taught to believe.
I don't say, "Remain contented as you are because contentment is a great virtue." Contentment is a great virtue, but these people are using the word very cunningly. The real contentment comes only when you are utterly happy, rejoicing, when you are so full of joy that you want to dance and you want to sing, and you want to share - because you have so much that if you don't share it will become a heavy burden on you. Then there is contentment.
But these people have been telling you, "Remain contented as you are." They are agents of politicians, they are agents of the status quo. They have not allowed you to think of passing through a great revolution so that we can have a better earth, a better humanity. They are not concerned with humanity at all.
No, I am not a messiah. And it is very difficult too, to become a messiah. First you have to be given birth to by a virgin girl - and who wants to be a bastard? Strange things are expected of you ... Mahavira does not perspire - I cannot manage that. Mahavira remains naked. There is nothing wrong in remaining naked, particularly in a hot country like India, but in winter when it becomes so cold, I don't see any point. Yes, when the sun is there and it is hot, it is perfectly good to be nude - even in your office, sitting and working nude should be thought rational. But in winter when things are getting frozen, to remain naked... I cannot do it.
Naturally, I cannot enter in this club of messiahs, prophets and incarnations of God. But I am not sorry for that. I am immensely happy that I was not born from a virgin girl; I am happy that I am the son of my own father, not of somebody who is on the roof. I see utter ugliness in all these people.
But they have made it philosophical, and it is all garbage, simply shit! But you can wrap around it beautiful philosophy, theology, and it becomes a commodity of great price.
I am not with them, I am against them. And I am against them totally, because I never do anything partially. If an enlightened man - one who is alert, awake, conscious of reality - can do things like Krishna or Mohammed or Jesus did, then I don't want even to be enlightened anymore.
Mohammed married nine wives. It is criminal - the wives are not human beings, they are just cattle.
But Mohammed is nothing compared to Krishna, who had sixteen thousand wives. And these were not women who had fallen in love with him: otherwise, I have no objection to it. These women were already married to somebody else. They were hijacked, forcibly taken away from their children, from their husbands, from their families.
Sixteen thousand women? But a perfect incarnation of God cannot just have one wife like an ordinary man! I don't think that he could have even remembered the names of sixteen thousand women. And I don't know whether those sixteen thousand women made love to Krishna. If it happened, he must have been the most spent man in the whole world.
Even one woman is more powerful than man as far as her capacity to have sexual orgasm is concerned. A woman can have multiple sexual orgasms. A man is very poor in comparison, he can have only one - that too is not necessarily an orgasm, because for the orgasm to happen you need a little time, a little foreplay. You need to not be looking at your watch while making love.
But everybody is in such a hurry, without knowing where they are going. You are only concerned whether you are going with the topmost speed or not. Within seconds, the man's love is finished.
He turns to the other side and goes to sleep and starts snoring, and leaves the wife weeping and crying, because it has not even started and the man is finished.
Sixteen thousand women? - a sure way to commit suicide. No, I cannot do that. And don't think that this must be simply mythological, it is not. It is a historical fact. I used to think it must be just mythological, but when I went to Hyderabad, a Mohammedan state in India, the Nizam of Hyderabad - the king of Hyderabad state - had five hundred wives in the twentieth century! I told the Nizam, "It is good I came here, met you and came to know about your five hundred wives. Now I can believe in Krishna and his sixteen thousand."
Sixteen thousand are only thirty-two times more. And if it can happen in the twentieth century, then five thousand years ago you can think anything is possible. Man is still so superstitious; how much more superstitious must he have been five thousand years ago. But this was a certificate... because it is written in the Hindu scriptures, "When God comes on the earth, he will have sixteen thousand wives." The scripture has to be fulfilled; only then will you be recognized by people as the complete incarnation of God.
Because Rama, another incarnation of God, had only one wife, he is thought to be a partial incarnation - just a little bit of God in him. Strange, I think... is it the quantity of women that is used as a criterion of how much godliness is in you? Then I don't want this type of godliness. The woman is not a measurement. The woman is just like you.
Have you ever thought about the word "woman"? It simply means a man with a womb. She has something more than you. If it is to be decided who is more, then the woman is more: she is a man with womb. And a womb is not an ordinary thing; it is something of immense value, because all life comes out of the womb.
Man has always felt inferior to woman. Because he has felt inferior to woman, he has tried in every way to repress woman and make himself superior. It is a simple logic: only the inferior man wants to be superior. The superior is already superior, there is no question of wanting it. Unless man frees woman completely from all bondage - religious, political, social - he will never get rid of his own inferiority complex.
The freedom of woman is going to be the freedom of man too. It is not only woman's liberation, it is as double-edged liberation. And science has given you all the means to be liberated now. The greatest revolution in human history, after the discovery of fire, was the pill. That makes you equal, unafraid of getting pregnant, unafraid of becoming dependent. And sex loses all the stupid ideas around it; it becomes simple, fun - neither sin nor virtue, but simply fun.
I am the beginning of a totally new religious consciousness. Please don't connect me with the past.
It is not even worth remembering. It will a great blessing to humanity if we burn all the past histories, destroy the whole past, and give man a fresh beginning, unburdened. Make him again Adam and Eve, so that he can start from scratch - a new man, a new civilization, a new culture.
My God! My business? I am busy without business.
I have heard.... One Sunday morning a hippie-type young man with long hair entered the biggest church of New York. It was very early; the people of the congregation had not started to come, but the bishop was there. Looking at this man, he asked, "Who are you? And what is your business to be here?" The hippie-type person laughed, and he said, "Can't you recognize me? I am Jesus Christ."
And of course, Jesus Christ must have looked like a hippie - there is a similarity. Perhaps he was the first hippie. It is no coincidence that hippies go on turning into Jesus freaks; they have found the way.
The bishop got a little puzzled because he had never imagined in his life that Jesus Christ is going to appear in his church one morning. Now, how is he supposed to behave? He immediately had a long phone call with the pope. He said, "I am puzzled, confused, I don't know what to do. A man here says he is Jesus Christ. And he says that he had promised to come back, and he has come back. What am I supposed to do?"
The pope was puzzled. For a moment there was silence, and then the pope said, "The most I can think of is, look busy. Who knows, he may be the Lord. Just look busy. And by the way, inform the police too."
I don't even look busy. I am just doing nothing, and spreading this infectious at-ease to everybody.
My whole message is: Sitting silently, doing nothing, and the grass grows by itself. You cannot call it a business. But in the world you have to give some name - then I can call it a great show business.
In fact, from my very childhood I wanted to create a big circus. And it has happened; I am running the biggest circus around the world!
I take life nonseriously.
It is a circus, it is a carnival.
When Jesus says rejoice, those words do not sound right on his lips. Just look at his face - so British, so long, as if he has always been on the cross, crucified. He is so serious that there exists not a single description or any picture or any statue in which he is smiling or laughing. He was a serious businessman.
I am utterly nonserious. I don't care whether this circus continues or stops; it does not matter. To me, what mattters is this moment. This pause between me and you is the bridge.
I am not saying don't work, I am saying transform your work into worship. Transform whatsoever you are doing into art, into music. Let it be a dance, not a burden and a duty. Let it be love, not marriage.
Marriage is a serious affair; business people do it, with all the business considerations - financial, educational, social status. These are the considerations for marriage.
Love can even fall in love with a wildflower. Love is not serious, it is sincere; it is truer than anything in life. But all other religions have been doing business, great business, and doing it seriously. All their so-called missionaries are nothing but salesmen. In their theological colleges they are taught for six years nothing but salesmanship.
I am reminded of one person, Erhard, who created a little stir called EST. In the beginning the word "EST" meant Erhard Seminar Training. But later on, he found out from somebody that in the Greek language, EST means "is." Then the meaning changed, he dropped the old meaning: he started talking about "is-ness."
But before he started EST he was a salesman of dictionaries and encyclopedias. That is one of the most difficult jobs, to sell encyclopedias. Who wants encyclopedias? And even those who have them, they keep them just so that their drawing room looks a little literate; nobody turns the pages of the encyclopedia. And they are costly: thirty volumes, thirty-two volumes, thirty-six volumes - they cost a fortune.
This man selling encyclopedias was successful. He thought, "Even if I go on selling encyclopedias my whole life, how much am I going to get?" He gave it a little serious thinking, and he said, "If I can sell encyclopedias, why not do the real serious business of religion? Why not give people something which doesn't exist - growth. Growth is just an American name for God.
People are fed up with God; enough is enough. They don't want to think about God. But growth? - they immediately become interested. Just two weekends for two hundred and fifty dollars or so, and growth happens to you. In fact he left all other competitors far behind. Esalen started dying because the people were going to Erhard.
And you must know that Erhard is not his real name. The name sounds German. Whenever you want something to sound solid, real, a German name is good; it is just like steel. He is a Jew.
He must have thought, "Who is going to get this commodity of growth from a Jew?" From the very beginning they will become suspicious, doubtful. A Jew selling growth? Jews have been selling all kinds of things, but about religion they have been failures. They missed the biggest business when they crucified Jesus. They repent; they don't say it to anybody, but they know they missed the greatest business.
Nobody is going to purchase growth or such phony ideas from a Jew. He changed his name into a German name - solid, it makes sense. Then this man started teaching people other things. Once the business started moving he started bringing new commodities in: relationship, friendship, and all kinds of "ships."
He had escaped from his own home, leaving his wife and children, old father, old mother - who were all dependent on him. And he is teaching other people how to relate, how to make your love flower, how to be an authentic individual. But now everything has become known about him, and EST has died.
If you become aware of all the religions and what they have done to man, there will be no need to kill them. Just a kick, a good kick, and the pope is gone. They are already dead, they just need a kick; they will fall down of their own accord.
You can call that my business.
Don't do anything to prevent it, because this humanity that you see around the earth is not worth anything. A good third world war will at least clean this planet of human garbage: cathedrals, temples, mosques, White Houses where only lies are manufactured. Perhaps that's why it is called the White House - because we know the phrase "white lie." Lies are always white; they have to be painted white.
All these politicians, with no awareness, no love, and with all the nuclear weapons in their hands....
The world right now contains so many nuclear and atomic weapons that this poor humanity can be killed seven times - although that is not needed, once is more than enough. And they go on piling them up.
But I am not a pessimist. I am saying it to you just to emphasize the fact that it is not a question of the third world war, it is a question of a change in human consciousness. You cannot prevent the third world war with the same mind as human beings have today - and there is no need either. But human consciousness can be changed.
You can become the beginning of a new mankind. And the very newness of your consciousness will be contagious. If sannyasins go on growing around the world as they are growing, there is every possibility there will be no third world war. My sannyasins are not politicians. My sannyasins have no political aspirations; only idiots have those kind of aspirations - chimpanzees and others.
My sannyasins are learning to live right now, intensely, totally, burning the torch of life from both ends together. If you can make the people around the world dance and sing and celebrate.... You may not see the connection between the third world war and what I am saying, but there is a great connection.
The third world war is possible only if humanity feels suicidal, if people lose all interest in life and become so frustrated that they don't want to live - for what? For Ronald Reagan to become the president? For Ethiopia, so that thousands will die every day? For India, which goes on producing children? The Indian woman is continuously pregnant. Half of India is starving; soon it will be a second Ethiopia, far bigger. If you cannot manage Ethiopia, it is impossible to manage India. And the same is going to happen to other third world countries.
What is there to save? - your football matches? the Olympics? What is there in people's lives?
They are living empty, hollow lives. In fact, the third world war is coming closer and closer because people are feeling more and more hollow, without any meaning. They will certainly be happy that the whole world is finished. But if we can create a little joy in people's lives, a little silence, so that what they think of as hollowness is no longer hollowness; it is serenity, it is silence, it is emptiness, but intensely full, overflowing with joy....
I don't have any dogma, any creed, any cult to spread. I want you to be carriers of joy - in small things. Life does not consist of big things.
Alexander the Great is just a fool. You have another fool in America - Muhammad Ali the Greatest.
There is nothing big in life, because nothing is small either. There is no question of thinking in terms of great, not great. There is no need to think in terms of mundane, spiritual; materialistic, spiritualistic. All these divisions are false. Life is one single whole. It is material, and at the same time it is spiritual. It is mundane, and at the same time the holiest thing possible.
If you can become the carriers of my at-ease - that is just the word I have invented against dis-ease - if you can do this.... And it is not much, just rejoice in small things: a cup of tea... sipping it, feel blessed, because who knows? tomorrow moring you may not be there, the third world war may have happened. When you go to sleep, say goodbye to the stars and to the universe, because who knows at what time Ronald Reagan may go berserk. When you wake up in the morning, greet it.
Greet the sun, greet it the way the birds are greeting it with their songs, greet it the way flowers are greeting it by releasing their fragrance.
Dance! Don't be bothered that you will be thought crazy. Once you are my sannyasins you are crazy.
And craziness gives such great freedom that the so-called sane people cannot even understand.
You can dance for no reason at all. You can laugh although no joke has been told to you. You can do anything, because you are a recognized crazy man.
Why have I given you this red uniform? So it will be recognized: "This man is crazy. He talks to himself, he laughs when there is nothing to laugh at. Watching the sunset, we have seen tears of joy flowing from his eyes."
I gave you the mala with my picture to be certain; I don't want to take any chances. I want you to be recognized in the world as the craziest people around. And slowly you will be surprised: the people who call you crazy will become curious. They also want to laugh, but their mouths are tightly closed by the society. They also want to dance, but their culture does not allow it, or allows it only in certain situations, certain occasions.
In my childhood I was very much interested in going to the crematorium. Anybody dying in the city...
I was always going. Whether I knew the man or not was not the point. My father asked me, "Are you crazy? That man was a beggar. Why did you go with him and waste your time?"
I said, "I have become immensely rich going with the people carrying a dead body to the crematorium. I have seen many things which I would not have seen. I have seen that the body they are carrying, and the people who are carrying it, both are dead. It was a shock in the beginning.
"And I have seen these people.... The body is on the funeral pyre, and they are sitting around it far away - because the fire creates so much heat, particularly in India - talking about film actresses.
Somebody is looking at PLAYBOY others are gossiping about people who are not present there, telling all kinds of lies, but nobody is concerned with the person who has died. In fact, whatever they are doing is an effort to create a barrier between them and the burning body. Nobody is thinking that one day their body will be on the funeral pyre and people will be reading PLAYBOY. They don't want to see it; it is escapism."
One of my teachers died. He was a funny man, very fat, and he used to have a very ancient type of turban - very big, maybe thirty-six feet long or more. Thirty-six feet is normal for the old, ancient turban. His face was also such that you could not remain looking at him without smiling. And he was my Sanskrit teacher.
He was a simple man - in fact a simpleton. We had been playing all kinds of tricks on him, and he was never able to find out who had done it; he never punished anybody. We had been really hard on him. He would fall from the chair, because we had managed to cut the legs of the chair before he came. He would fall from the chair, his turban would fall all over the class, and there would be great laughter. But he would start putting his turban back on and writing on the board again, not getting disturbed. He was really a nice fellow.
He died. We used to call him Bhole Baba. That was not his name. Baba is simply used for grandfather, a respectful word. Bhole means a simpleton, so innocent that anybody can deceive him. I have completely forgotten his name, because we never used his name; we always used Bhole Baba. I have been trying to figure out what was his real name, but I cannot find it anywhere in my mind.
When I went to his house with my father, his wife came running from inside the house, fell on the chest of that poor fellow, and said, "Oh, my Bhole Baba!" I could not contain my laughter. My father tried telling me, "Keep quiet!"
I said, "The more I try to keep quiet, the more it is becoming difficult. I cannot contain it; let me laugh!" But everybody was shocked: somebody is dead, and you are laughing so loudly. I said, "Please, don't be shocked. If you knew the whole thing as I do, you would all be laughing."
And I told the whole thing, that he was always getting irritated by being called Bhole Baba. And we used to write on the blackboard every day, "Welcome, Bhole Baba". And the first thing he would do was, he would erase it. And now the poor man was dead and his own wife...
When I told them this, everybody started laughing. And the wife also became silent and said, "It is really strange for me to call him Bhole Baba, because I used to tell that boy not to call him Bhole Baba, that it is not his name."
And who was the boy? Mostly I was the boy who always going past his house, would knock on the door and say, "Is Bhole Baba inside?" And the wife knew me. With the door closed she would say, "No, he is not inside" - he was always inside - "But remember, don't call him Bhole Baba! If you stop calling him Bhole Baba, I can open the door and you can find him inside."
Perhaps continually hammering, "Bhole Baba, Bhole Baba," then at the moment of death.... Of course, a Hindu wife is not supposed to say her husband's name. She cannot, that is thought to be disrespectful - just the male chauvinistic mind. The man can call her by her name, but the woman cannot call her husband by his name. So perhaps... there was no time to figure out what to say; Bhole Baba came in handy.
But even the wife started laughing, thinking that this was really hilarious. "My whole life I have been telling you and other boys who are your friends... who you have been telling that whenever they pass the door, they should knock and enquire, 'Is Bhole Baba inside?'"
The death became a laughter. But back home, my father said, "I am not going to take you to another death, another cremation - not with me, at least. What you have done is not right."
I said, "Everybody laughed - even the wife who was crying, started laughing. You should all be grateful to me that I made even death nonserious, fun, a joke."
If my people go on being nonserious, laughing, dancing, singing, not finding any reason for it - life is enough reason for it - we can make the whole world aflame with laughter. Nuclear weapons can be destroyed by a laughing, smiling, dancing humanity. But as humanity is now, there is no hope.
You are the only hope! So don't keep your joy to yourself, spread it, make it available to anybody.
Don't even think whether he is introduced to you or not. Don't be British, be human! These are the only two kinds in the world.
The third world war can be completely stopped - should be stopped. But it is not going to be stopped by the pacifists and their processions and their screaming and shouting for peace. They are not the people to stop it. They are really showing by shouting and screaming that they are not peaceful men. They may be pacifists, but they are ready to fight for it!
I am not a pacifist, I am at peace.
I have never participated in any protest of any kind. I have never been a part of any organization of any kind, and I would like you not to be pacifists, but peaceful, radiating your silence around you. It is invisible but it stirs hearts. Radiate your love - not even to your wife, which is the most difficult thing, so I am leaving it for later stages. Radiate your love - not even to your neighbors, that is too difficult. Radiate to strangers.
Start radiating your being to a tree. Hug it. Have you ever hugged a tree? If you have not hugged a tree you have missed something of grandeur. If in a silent, deep, peaceful moment you hug a tree, you will find it is not a one-sided hug; the tree is responding. And the response is so tangible, that the tree is happy. Dance, and the tree will also rejoice with you; it may become greener, may bring more flowers.
Have you not watched this happening to this desert, this Big Muddy Ranch? When I came here it was really a sad place: no flowers anywhere, no trees except the juniper. The juniper seems to be German. And those junipers were also very few, not thick, somehow surviving like human beings, at the minimum. Now, after just four years of our being here - and we have not done anything to those junipers - they are greener, thicker, bigger. You can feel their joy.
We have changed the desert into an oasis. And soon the whole Muddy Ranch will be green. Your laughter is nourishment even to the trees. There were no birds when I came here, not a single bird. Now birds have started coming. Life is such an organic whole. In my garden there must be nearabout eighty peacocks. Near my house we have made a small river out of rainwater. There are beautiful swans.... Your joy, your love, your peace does something without your knowing to everything that is around you.
So I cannot say, "Go and become pacifists. Take the flags and the banners and go to Washington or to Moscow and scream against nuclear weapons." Nobody is going to hear you. Those politicians are deaf; those politicians are just dodos. That is not going to help. But doing something totally different, which has nothing to do with the third world war.... That's why I said, "Please don't try to prevent it," because that would be directly making an effort to prevent the third world war. You cannot do it; things have gone too far.
The third world war is the conclusion of all the religions and the politicians and all the cultures of the past. It is a logical conclusion. It is only a question of time - and the time, too, is not so much.
Things are moving. The way they are moving, before this century ends, the world will be finished.
But you can help the world to continue. I am not concerned with the war directly, I am concerned with something else, some other energy as an antidote. Be meditative, be loving, be silent, be sharing - and spread your craziness.
Soon the same people will start doubting their sanity; you just have to go on spreading your craziness. It takes a little time to hammer the fact, but the so-called sane people will not be incapable of seeing. What is the point of being sane if you cannot love, you cannot dance, you cannot sing, you cannot even whistle? What is the point of being sane? They will say, "Let this sanity go to hell, or to Oregon, but we are no longer going to be sane. We are going to be human, alive, thriving, so full of life that it starts touching others and everyone."
And you know it by your experience. What I am saying is not giving you a belief, it is your experience too. Just don't be miserly and hoard it. Remember the law of existence: the more you give, the more you get.