It is in fact easier if you have not seen me, and yet the love has happened, the commitment. It will be far more pure, far more unconditional, far more impersonal. Seeing me, being with me, and yet loving me totally, is more difficult.
The reasons are that our minds are brought up in such a way that we are always full of expectations.
If I fulfill your expectation, it is good; but if I don't fulfill your expectation, then your dedication, your trust, start wavering. And as far as I am concerned, I cannot fulfill your expectation. If I fulfill your expectation, then I will not be the person to help you grow. Your expectation fulfilled, you remain as you are - no new openings.
I am not here to support your mind.
I am here to take it to ultimate heights.
But your expectations are a problem. In small things, unconsciously, throughout your whole life you are expecting. And whenever something goes against your idea, you never think that your idea can be wrong; then certainly the person is wrong.
It happened in one Jaina family I used to stay with.... It must have been six in the evening. A very old man, the father of the woman in whose house I was staying, came to see me. Now, in Jaina families, six is almost the last limit for the evening supper. As the sun sets, you cannot eat.
I was just going to take my bath and then to take my supper, but because the old man had come from far away and he must have been almost ninety-five, I said, "Wait, there is no hurry. I can take my bath a little later on and the supper can wait - there is no problem in it. First, let me talk to him about why he has come."
He was a ninety-five-year-old man and he had been living in a Jaina monastery for thirty years: he had renounced the world. He was recognized as a saint, but just to come to see me was still to be in the Jaina community, so many Jainas had come following him. He told me... the first thing, he touched my feet. I said, "This is not right, because you are ninety-five; even my grandfather is not ninety-five."
He said, "I have wanted to touch your feet for so long. I was afraid that death might spoil everything, and I might not be able to touch your feet. I have read only one of your books - PATH TO SELF- REALIZATION, and that was it. It changed my whole life. Since then, you have been my master. If it was in my power...."
Jainas have twenty-four tirthankaras, twenty-four prophets, in one period of creation. That means that after millions of years, when this creation dissolves and a new creation starts, then again there will be twenty-four teachers.
He said to me, "We already have twenty-four tirthankaras, but if it was in my power, I would have declared you the twenty-fifth, because what the twenty-four have not been able to do for me, you have done." He was just all praise.
Just then, a servant came and said, "Your bath is ready and the supper will become cold."
The old man was in a shock. He said, "What? In the evening you take a bath?"
The Jaina tirthankara does not bathe at all because that is decorating the body, making it non-smelly.
It is in the service of something that is lower than you; it has to be sacrificed for the higher. So Jaina tirthankaras don't bathe.
I said to him, "Yes - one in the morning, one in the evening. I take two baths."
He said, "Moreover, the sun has set, and you have not taken your supper yet?" In the first place, the Jaina tirthankara eats only once - there is no question of supper. And even if you are eating twice, at least you should be understanding enough to see that it has to be before sunset.
He forgot all his praise - I was no longer a tirthankara. I had been for years, and just because of a single expectation which I had never promised him I would fulfill.... That was his mind.
But he said, "Then I have been completely wrong. For all these years I have praised you, I have read your books - but you are not the right man to follow."
I said to him, "Understand a small thing. I never told you to follow me, I never said to read my books.
I never told you to make me a tirthankara. I never asked you to have any expectations of me. It was easy because you had not seen me, you had not known me. A book is dead, and the book you are reading is my first book; and I have gone far. If you had started reading my second and third and fourth books, they would have spoiled all your admiration."
But he was so angry that when he left, I said, "Won't you touch my feet again? - because you are so old, and next time... we may meet, we may not meet."
He said, "I have made the mistake once, I cannot make it twice."
So it is not a problem for people who have come to me through books, tapes, videos, films. It is easy for them to carry on in their old mind. I don't disturb their old mind: they can interpret my books according to their expectations.
The real difficulty is to be with me.
Every day you will find me saying things which are inconsistent. You will see me doing things which I should not be doing, behaving in a way which is not suitable for a prophet, for a messiah, for an incarnation.
So the real problem is for those who have been living with me, because they have had to drop, chunk by chunk, their minds, their conditionings - themselves. They have to choose continuously every moment between me and themselves: either I exist or they exist; both cannot exist at once.
Otherwise, they will be in constant trouble, anxiety. So either they will have to leave me just to protect themselves, or if they are courageous, they will pass through a process which is almost like death, and they will be reborn.
The people who have not come to me are having a very fancy trip, imaginary. Their trust, their love, their commitment is to their own minds. I am only a figment in their minds, not a reality outside, not a reality with which they will have to shatter themselves the way the ocean shatters itself continuously on the rocks. And that will be the only test.
But ordinarily we think it very strange that people who have only heard my voice on the tape or have only seen me on video, have fallen in love. This is one of the reasons why people love dead saints - why they are ready to die for Jesus Christ, not even knowing whether he ever existed or not.
There are people who think that Jesus Christ never existed, that it was a Jewish drama that was played every year - just like, in India, every year we play Rama's life. Nobody knows whether Rama really existed. All that we know is the drama which we have been playing for five thousand years.
Our playing the drama for five thousand years continually has given Rama a certain reality.
And it is easier to devote yourself, dedicate yourself to Rama because Rama is only a figment of your mind. You can shape him; you can make him the way you want. You can interpret according to your own thought processes, and he cannot interfere.
It is a known fact that all the religions that you see in the world were born after their founders were dead. Strange! Then why do you call them "founders"? They never founded anything. They were hunted, tortured - you did everything nasty to them - and when they died, a great religion arose; and great admiration, because now you could manage them. It is all a game of your imagination.
To accept any man who is contemporary with so much love that your commitment becomes total is a superhuman task. But it transforms.
To recognize Buddha, Mahavira, Jesus Christ changes nobody. Half of the population of the world is Christian, but we don't see anything that can make us feel that Jesus is alive in half of humanity.
Millions of churches, millions of priests, but you cannot see in a single priest the glimmer, the shine, the authority that come from one's own experience. All that they can have is an imaginative dedication.
Gods are made by man. But when somebody is alive, it is very difficult to make him a god because he will continuously disturb your idea of a god.
For example, Jainas think that Mahavira never perspired. Now, I cannot manage that, and I know that neither could Mahavira manage it, because perspiration is a natural process - without perspiration the person will die.
Perspiration keeps you at a constant inner temperature. When it is too hot you perspire. The glands all over your body are full of water. In the case of it being too hot, they will release the water. They will deceive the sun. The water is released, and the sun starts evaporating it. The sun does not penetrate inside you; it has been prevented by the perspiration - completely befooled. It becomes engaged in evaporation and your inner temperature remains exactly the same.
If it is cold you don't perspire; if it is cold you shiver. Shivering makes you hot - it is a movement against the cold. Shivering keeps you at the same temperature. So whether it is hot or cold, your body is capable of maintaining the same temperature, because its life is very limited: it can survive only within twelve degrees of temperature, from 98 to 110. Below 98 you die, above 110 you are finished. The temperature has to be kept constant - it is immensely necessary for the life process.
But if you are writing a story or creating an imaginary idea, you can put anything in it - like Mahavira never perspires. And then that becomes the criterion for the Jainas. They cannot accept anybody as really realized unless they see that, standing naked, he is not perspiring in the hot sun.
It is very easy to create gods out of the past. There was a time when Mahavira was a contemporary man. His contemporaries never recognized him as a god. Buddha and Mahavira were contemporaries. Neither of them recognized the other as a god - what to say of other people?
They had their definitions, and no living being can remain limited within your definitions.
So it is easier for people who are far away, for whom I am almost not a contemporary. They can create any kind of qualities they want in me; they can hallucinate any ideas around me. They have a free choice to dream about me. Their dedication and their love and their commitment is a dream phenomenon. And they will feel very good, very centered, very happy that they have found a man who fits absolutely with their idea of how a man should be. They have not found him; they have created, they have invented him.
But to be near to me, you will have to drop your expectations - which everybody has in very subtle ways - and particularly with me because I am persistent that I should not fulfill anybody's expectation; because that would mean I am against him, I am helping his poisonous mind. I have to shatter it, even at the cost of making him my enemy - but I have to shatter it and I have to live in a way, speak in a way, say things which he has to accept, understand, even against his whole mind.
It is a struggle to be with a master: the struggle between your mind and the master.
And if the master is a real master, he will not allow your mind to win. Either the master wins or you are free to leave, but you cannot be allowed to win in the game.
This is a very strange game in which the master always has to win. And to be constantly defeated - and yet be in love with the same man who is defeating you, and yet be committed to the same man who is destroying you - needs guts. Ordinarily, people can't understand it, but this is the reality.
In fact, tell those mediocre people that it is not only a brainwash, it is a mindwash - far deeper, from the very roots. Brainwashing is just pruning the leaves, which will come again. In fact, if you cut one leaf, three leaves will replace it. The tree is not going to be defeated so soon.
Tell them, "It is a mindwash. And you are on the right path; whatever you are saying is right, but not the total truth, only a fragment. The total truth is, that we have decided to drop the mind completely because the mind has given nothing but misery, suffering, torture and nightmares. You can have it.
"You can see our people - they are simple, they are innocent, they are rejoicing, they are loving. If brainwashing can give you this much, it is worth it. What is wrong in it?"
And tell them, "Our master does not stop at brainwashing because that is just superficial. He wants to destroy the mind completely and make us no-minds. That's what he calls meditation.
"But what is the problem for you? You remain happy in your misery, you remain happy in your suffering, you remain happy in all your tortures that you are giving to yourself and others. Why can't you leave a few people who don't want to be miserable and who want to rejoice in life?"
In fact, we should learn to face the mediocre people exactly on their own ground. They say it is mindwashing, they say it is brainwashing. Tell them, "It is. Why are you waiting - not being washed?
It is absolutely dry cleaning. What have you got to save? For what are you afraid?"
Take them - whatever they say, take them at their own word. If they say it is hypnosis, accept that it is. "But what is wrong in it? You are not happy, you are not rejoicing in your life. You are suffering.
You are waiting for a paradise after death - we have found it here. And if you want to label it as hypnosis, we have no objection. But it is worth it. Come and try! Perhaps you may also like the taste.
"We have tried both: your life we have lived and we know it is hell; and our life, which you call hypnosis, we have also lived. We choose hypnosis against hell."
Those people simply throw words at you. They think just by throwing words they can condemn a certain phenomenon. They are stupid. And rather than fighting about words - that it is not brainwashing, it is not hypnosis.... You are getting caught by those idiots in their trap.
It is better to shock them and say, "It is." But make it clear: "We know both - we know your life, we have lived it; and we know this life, we are living it. You don't know both so you cannot say anything about our life.
"Have a little courage. Experience our life too, then you will be able to compare. And if you find that the brainwashed life of a sannyasin, the hypnotized life of a sannyasin is not so great as the old hell was, you can always go back to your hell. We will all support you - we will throw you out of the ashram!"
I have found that it is easier to accept their label and not to make any unnecessary argument about the label - the label does not matter. On the contrary, make it a point: "You should experience it - you are talking without experience. You don't have any way to compare. We can compare, and still we are not coming to your hell."
No, you have not missed anything. It was so new for you that you could not figure out what was happening; you were in a state of confusion. But you showed your strength perfectly well, and you made the American government aware that they cannot do anything to me without destroying their own image of democracy. It was a high-risk thing.
One of the sheriffs of a jail I was in - the first jail I was in - became very friendly and he told me, "I should not tell you, but thousands of telegrams, thousands of phone calls, thousands of flowers from all over the world, thousands of protests... the government is shaken.
"They had not expected that, in touching a single man, they were playing with fire. So one thing I can tell you - they cannot harm you. They will not even touch your body. On the contrary, instructions are that you should be given absolute security, that nothing should happen to you; otherwise we will not be able to show our face to the world."
And it was strange that they had to give me the same kind of security as they give to the president of America: five cars following me, five motorcycles following, and the roads blocked. They were afraid that anybody could do any harm to me under their protection - they would be responsible for it.
This man said to me, "This is for the first time in my life that we are not concerned about your escaping. We are concerned that nobody harms you, otherwise that harm will be on our heads."
On the first day - just two or three hours after I had arrived - somebody from Australia called him:
"You must be worried because so many phone calls will be coming, telegrams coming."
The sheriff said to the man, "No, we are accustomed... this is a very special jail and we have had people of importance, of cabinet standing - that is, from the highest political structure. So there is not much of problem."
But after three days, with tears, he apologized to me. He said, "What I said to that man will remain heavy on my heart. I don't know his number; otherwise I would have apologized to him. You had been here only two or three hours, so I did not know about you. But now, after three days, I can say with absolute certainty that we have never had such a man in the jail. The whole jail is for you!
Five hundred inmates are for you, the whole hospital department is for you - I am for you. And the whole world is focused on you. If something happens to you it will be really dangerous for America's image.
"So I want you to forgive me for telling that man that we have had many very important people. That was wrong. We have never had such a person, about whom the whole world is concerned. We have had people of cabinet standing; they were, at the most, of national importance, but nobody who had any international importance, and so much love."
The second day he asked me, "What are we going to do with the flowers? So many flowers are coming, and in this big jail, we don't have space."
So I told him, "Send the flowers to all the schools, colleges and universities, from me." He did that, and the response was immense. When I was taken from the jail to the airport again, all along the way were students throwing flowers.
In fact, the government must have been repenting that they made a stupid mistake. They unnecessarily made our silent movement a world-famous phenomenon. Now it is a household name around the world, in all the languages.
Those twelve days in jail have been of immense help to the movement. They could not do anything because there was nothing that was in their hands to do; they simply became fools. What have they gained?
We had changed their desert into an oasis; again it will be a desert - that is their gain. But we have gained much. Those four years will now become the foundation of a new commune - naturally, far superior, far better. Then, we were not so expert, and it gave us many ideas....
For example, now I am not going to make a commune in a country under any government. I am trying for an absolutely independent island, so you don't need any visa, you don't need anybody to tell you how long you can stay.
We are not going to create a government there, we are not going to make it a nation - because I am against nations and against governments. And we have to prove in that commune something more now: that people can live without government, and people can live without a nation, and people can live without armies; that people need not have jails, they don't have to have the police, they don't need any judges.
So, it has been tremendously helpful, and to the whole community of sannyasins around the world it has brought life. They started realizing that they were doing something significant which could disturb the greatest power of the world.
It is not without reason that America was disturbed. It was disturbed because we were creating something that would disturb every government and every politician.
So now sannyas is no longer just your meditation, your peace, your silence, your life. Now we have become involved, in a very strange way, in the destiny of the whole world. They have forced us. We were going silently on our own; we were not troubling them.
They have provoked us, so now it is for us to prove that they were right!
Now it is not only going to be an individual revolution in a person's life. We will create a place which will become a model for the whole world - if this can happen with five or ten thousand or more people, why can't it happen everywhere? We, for the first time, are entering into problems which the world leaders have failed to solve in thousands of years; we can solve them within five years. And the spirit is high.
Certainly sannyasins suffered because I was in jail, and they felt helpless that they could not do anything. But they should not feel that way. They did everything that was needed. All that was needed was the world opinion, and they changed the world opinion. We have now more sympathy than we ever had. More of the intelligentsia than ever is now interested. All the news media of the world... we have been covered for almost two months continuously, and still there is a demand from every country: they want to come and want to know more about it.
In the light of all that has happened, we have been immensely victorious. Who cares if they destroy the houses and the streets? We are not houses and we are not streets. And if we could create that commune, then we can create many communes anywhere.
And this time it will be the focus of the world. It will not be just for the people who want to separate from the ordinary world, recluses. This time we are going to make it a point that it remains the focus of the world, that the whole world has to learn something from it. They have provoked us - now we have to take the challenge. And I love challenges. And I love changes - so there is nothing to be worried about.
We are in a far better condition than we have ever been. It is always difficult situations which bring out the best in you. When the situations are not difficult, the human tendency is to relax, to be lazy.
If the house is on fire, immediately you will see everybody at his best. Nobody will bother about the snow or the cold or anything.
America has provoked its own death by attacking us. It will take a little time, but that's how I see it.
I am very close. But many things have changed in the meantime.
One thing is certain, that we will be able to produce two hundred enlightened people and prevent the third world war. The question which has arisen in the meantime - that is where I become unpredictable - is whether we would like to prevent the third world war. Is it worth preventing these idiots continuing? Will it not be better that the idiots fight and destroy each other and very few people are left in the world to start from scratch?
Nobody has thought about it, but my feeling is that it may be an existential necessity: humanity has arrived at such ugly, inhuman, and poisonous ways that it is better then to let it be finished. Why bother to protect Ronald Reagan? I don't see the point.
So this is something of great importance - why not start afresh? Humanity is so much burdened with old, rotten stuff, that to go on protecting it and protecting it.... That rotten stuff is also protected, those conditionings are also protected. It will be good that Islam is gone, Hinduism is gone, Christianity is gone, the pope is gone, the Vatican is gone.
Certainly a few people will remain. Those people will be the aboriginals who had no religion, who had no politics, who had no education, who are living as naturally as possible. It will be far better, once this Soviet Union and U.S.A. are gone, to begin the new man - because he will not have any past. All past will be gone. The new, the remaining few, will have only a future and the experience of what happened to the past; not to repeat it... to find out new ways of living.
So I am trying to search for an island so far off that it will remain unaffected by any war that happens between America and Russia - let them have it, they deserve it - and we can create a society there.
If the world is finished, then we can spread around the world the people that we have saved, to start absolutely fresh. Perhaps existence is tired of man and the ways he has turned to.
So those two hundred people are close by, but I may prevent... I may tell them just to wait a little.
First let the third world war happen and then you can become enlightened and go around the world finding people, because then there will be no passports needed, no visas needed and the whole world will be available to everybody for the first time.
It looks dangerous, the idea....
But I like dangerous ideas.
The reason is simple: there is no such thing as free Indian journalism. Either the government is keeping a hold on the latest news media, television, radio, directly... and particularly in a country like India, where most of the people cannot read - but they can see, they can hear. So the government is being really cunning in keeping the radio and television in their own hands to approach eighty percent of India and just fill those minds with their own ideas.
Only the newspapers are there. They look free, but they are not. The government has indirectly curtailed their freedom as much as possible. Any newspaper that goes against the directions given to it has its quota for newsprint cut.
Newsprint paper is not available on the market, it is in the government's hands. Now, this is a subtle strategy; "You write what we want; otherwise you don't have anything to write upon."
The Indian newspapers live mostly on government advertisement. The moment they start writing anything that the government does not want, those advertisements are removed. Those newspapers die automatically without anybody directly killing them. All the newspapers belong to a few super-rich people - just four or five families.
Those four or five families are basically for the government because they need licenses; they need every kind of support from the government, and it is a deal that their papers should remain according to the government policy. So in fact, looking at the whole picture, India has no free journalism. They write only what their owners want them to write.
Now as far as I am concerned, they have to write only things which create antagonism against me in the Indian mind. To me, life is both day and night, life and death, and I have spoken on it from all possible angles. But a paper which is owned by a Hindu owner will not publish anything that creates sympathy towards me in the masses.
I have spoken on so much that no Hindu has ever spoken on. If they choose to, they could convert the whole of India for me. But that is what they are afraid of, so they choose only those parts where I have criticized.
And I am not a politician. My whole life, politicians have been advising me, "You could become an immense phenomenon in the country, millions of people could stand with you; you just have to be a little careful. You speak so beautifully about Hinduism - then why do you sometimes start criticizing it! You speak so beautiful about Jainism; then on some small point you criticize it.
"You have spoken so much on Buddhism - nobody has spoken so much - and still no Buddhist is sympathetic to you because you go on criticizing it. Ninety percent of your talks explain to them the beauties of Gautam Buddha and his teachings, so if you can avoid the ten percent...."
I said, "That is impossible. That will be cheating people. I know that that ten percent is there; it will be cheating the people not to say anything about it. And it will be a heavy burden on my heart that I have not been completely open: that I have been looking at the people and saying to them what they want to listen to, rather than talking to people about what I have to say."
So I told them, "I have decided to remain alone - I don't want your millions of people with me. But I will say the whole thing. I will bring out the beauty but I will not neglect the ugliness that is there, because the beauty is something that only a few, rare, intelligent people can understand. So even Buddha has talked about it, but it has gone over people's heads. But the ugliness, which is only ten percent, has affected people's lives.
"The ninety percent has not affected people's lives at all, but the ten percent has. Now you are telling me not to also talk about that ten percent which has caused all the misery, all the poverty, and all kinds of stupidities in the country. I cannot accept your advice."
For example, it is beautiful that Buddha talked about nonviolence, but then who is going to be responsible for the two-thousand-years' slavery of the country? His teaching of nonviolence is incomplete. People accepted it, that it is perfectly good; and the teaching made people not brave but cowards. They were talking about not killing people, but basically what was in their minds was that they should not be killed. So if you are not to kill, you will be saved also.
That is not necessary. Buddha never told them, "Your not killing others does not mean that they will not kill you." Nor did Mahavira tell them that. Then what will you do when people want to invade your country, take your possessions, take your wives, kill your children, rape your women, burn your houses and cities? Then what is the nonviolence going to do?
According to me, a really nonviolent person is one who does not kill anybody, does not harm anybody, because he is against killing and against harming; but if somebody starts harming him, then too, he is against killing; he won't allow it.
He will never initiate any violence, but if violence is initiated against him, then he's going to fight tooth and nail. Only then can the nonviolent people remain independent; otherwise they will be slaves, and poor, and continually robbed.
For two thousand years, how many people have been robbed in India? Who is responsible for it?
Buddha and Mahavira are both responsible for it. Now, to say that will mean that immediately the Jaina newspapers will take it, the Buddhist newspapers will take it and antagonize the Buddhists and the Jainas. But I cannot prevent myself from saying the whole truth.
So it will take a little time.
In fact, the way our movement has spread is phenomenal. None of Jesus' disciples were educated, none of them were cultured, civilized. They were fishermen, farmers, woodcutters - of the same category as Jesus himself was. He was uneducated, he could not read or write. All that he could manage, altogether, was twelve disciples. Not a single rabbi was his follower, not a single professor was his follower. Not a single man of culture, understanding, intelligence, was his follower.
Our movement is phenomenal. Just within fifteen years it has already taken over the world. Just ten years more and there will be no problem: all these idiots who are trying to provoke antagonism - they will all be running after you.
This happened when I was in jail. The whole American news media turned immediately sympathetic, because they could see that America was torturing an innocent man who has done no harm, who has not committed any crime. His only crime is that he has created a beautiful commune, a lovely place: whoever visits it comes out dreaming, "Someday I would like to join." This was my only crime.
We have the most intelligent people around the world as sannyasins. So all these mediocre people and journalists don't matter at all. And these are slaves. You will see: as the Western press and news media are turning sympathetic towards me, these idiots will follow them. They have that mentality, of slaves.
It happened that when Rabindranath Tagore was given a Nobel Prize, only then did India come to know that they had a great poet. And universities started inviting him to accept doctorates. The first was Calcutta University - and he had lived in Calcutta his whole life, and he has written his best things in Bengali. He got the Nobel Prize for a small book which he himself translated. The major part of his literature, which remains untranslated, is far more important.
But Calcutta University had not bothered to give him a doctorate, and now, because he had gotten the Nobel Prize, all Indian universities.... But Rabindranath was a man I love. He refused Calcutta University. He said, "You are giving a doctorate to the Nobel Prize, not to me. I have been here my whole life; you have never even asked me to come to the university to recite my poetry to people.
Why should I accept your doctorate? It is an insult."
But this is how this country is. For remaining slaves for two thousand years you cannot condemn them. They just look towards the West - whatever happens there, soon they are bound to follow.
And the West - its press, its news media - is becoming very friendly and very loving. So these people should be following soon. There is nothing to be worried about.
And what harm can they do? My experience is that nobody harms me, whether he writes for me or against me. He should just go on writing.
I will use both ways. You can't have the whole world as your friend - and it would be monotonous.
Enemies add some spice.