14 October, 1982 in INS Portland Oregon
[NOTE: This was published in THE RAJNEESH TIMES, 26th August 1983 while Osho was in silence.]
OSHO'S VISIT TO THE U.S. IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE WAS IN CONNECTION WITH AN APPLICATION FOR PERMANENT RESIDENCE IN THE USA, FILED ON HIS BEHALF A YEAR EARLIER. THESE EXTRACTS ARE HIGHLIGHTS OF WHAT OSHO SAID ABOUT HIS WORK AND VISION.
Q: ON APRIL 11, 1981, IT WAS ANNOUNCED IN POONA THAT BEGINNING MAY 1, 1981 YOU WOULD SPEAK ONLY THROUGH SILENCE AND THAT A NEW PHASE OF YOUR WORK WOULD BEGIN. THIS IS CORRECT?
Osho: This is correct. One month in Poona while I was there. I was simply sitting and people were sitting by my side. Seven thousand sannyasins were living with me there. This was only one hour every day in the morning. Here also, once or twice, we have sat together. Slowly slowly, it will come again, everything, every day... it is kind of a prayer in silent communion.
Q: THIS WAS YOUR DECISION TO GO INTO THIS SILENT STAGE?
A: My decision.
Q: OKAY, HOW LONG WILL THIS SILENT STAGE CONTINUE?
A: It will continue.
Q: UNTIL WHEN?
A: Until I feel again to speak. I have spoken so much that I felt I was speaking to the walls. It is almost futile.
Q: THEN YOU WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO GIVE ME A SPECIFIC DATE IN THE FUTURE THAT YOU WOULD RESUME SPEAKING?
A: I cannot even say anything about tomorrow.
Q: WAS THE SILENT PHASE OF YOUR WORK, SO TO SPEAK, IN ANY WAY CONNECTED WITH YOUR MEDICAL CONDITION?
A: No, not at all. I had been telling it for years, that one day I'm going to stop speaking and just communicate through silence.
Q: WHEN DID YOU DELIVER YOUR LAST DISCOURSE?
A: That date you mentioned.
Q: OKAY, ALL I KNOW IS THAT IT WAS ANNOUNCED THAT YOU WOULD STOP SPEAKING ON MAY 1.
A: That must have been the last.
Q: WHO DO YOU COMMUNICATE WITH THEN DURING THIS SILENT STAGE, ASIDE FROM THE PRESENT COMPANY?
A: It is something difficult... less of the intellect and more of the heart.
Q: I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW, WHO DO YOU ENGAGE IN CONVERSATION WITH?
A: I don't engage in anything, I simply sit there silently in a prayerful mood.
Q: OKAY, BUT DO YOU TALK WITH ANYBODY DURING THE SILENT MOOD?
A: No, but that prayerful mood is infectious.
Q: DO YOU NOT TALK WITH SHEELA?
A: No, with Sheela I talk every day. That is a different matter.
Q: OKAY, THAT'S WHAT I'M INTERESTED IN, WHO YOU VERBALLY COMMUNICATE WITH THEN DURING THIS SILENT STAGE.
A: Only with Sheela because she has to bring the work to me, and what she cannot decide I will seek an answer to. She has to ask me.
Q: THEN SHE IS THE ONLY ONE THAT HAS CONVERSATION WITH YOU?
Q: AS I SEE THE RITE OF SANNYAS, WHEN YOU INITIATE SOMEONE INTO YOUR RELIGION...
WELL, I GUESS THAT YOU CAN CALL THE RITE OF SANNYAS INITIATION INTO THE RELIGION - IS THAT RIGHT?
Q: IN THE BEGINNING, IS IT TRUE THAT YOU WERE THE ONLY ONE THAT COULD CONDUCT THE RITE OF SANNYAS?
Q: HAS THIS CHANGED NOW?
A: Now I have given responsibilities, because more people have grown up to this state of consciousness.
Q: WHEN DID YOU APPROVE THIS ISSUE AS TO SOMEONE ELSE CONDUCTING SANNYAS?
A: In Poona.
Q: HOW MANY PEOPLE CAN ADMINISTER SANNYAS AS FAR AS YOU KNOW? THAT YOU ARE AWARE OF NOW?
A: Near about thirty.
Q: ABOUT THIRTY?
Q: CAN YOU GIVE ME A DESCRIPTION OF WHAT SANNYAS MEANS TO YOU.
Q: I MEAN BRIEFLY, IF YOU CAN DO SO.
A: Yes. Sannyas to me means a life lived moment to moment, fruitfully, sincerely, without any idea of really why. All the old religions are motivating people that you get rewards, even in this life, or in some other life or after life. To me, this suggests exploiting their greed. This is not religious. This is pure business.
My initiation simply means that you do not consider any reward. If you love the work, then do it for love's sake. To me work is worship and there is no need for any other worship and there is no need for any other worship. There is no need for any church or for any temple; there is no need even to believe in God.
I don't teach any belief. I simply teach that you live because life is already there - you need not believe in it. and do not consider any reward. It is reward that makes you cunning, greedy, and then in devious ways you try to get it.
Sannyas is a totally new kind of religion - religion in the sense that it does not bother at all about God, whether he exists or not, it does not bother about afterlife.
Its whole existence is to know this consciousness that you already have and use this consciousness lovingly in whatsoever you are doing. Let go desire for any reward. If nothing comes out of it, there is no problem, because the work itself was its own reward.
Q: IN SEVERAL OF THE BOOKS THAT I HAVE READ OF YOURS YOU SPEAK OF THIS STAGE OF ENLIGHTENMENT. I'M ALSO INTERESTED IN WHAT ENLIGHTENMENT MEANS TO YOU.
A: Enlightenment means being fully conscious, aware. Ordinarily we are not conscious and not aware. We are doing things either out of habit or out of biological instincts...
Just as Freud's conscious mind, unconscious mind, and Jung says collective unconscious mind, I say there is a superconscious mind and collective conscious mind. To reach to the collective conscious mind they are going to the roots and I am going to the flowers.
But they're all interconnected and all the devices and matters are to discover in you, something which is simply watchfulness.
For example, I can watch my body - certainly I'm not the body. I can watch my hand: it's hurting, but I'm not the hurt - I'm the watcher. I can watch my thoughts, then I'm not the thought. I'm the watcher and I can watch even the watcher. That is the moment beyond which you cannot go and enlightenment comes.
Enlightenment is simply that you become so conscious, so full of light, that it starts overflowing your life, your being. You can impart it.
Q: THERE HAVE BEEN MANY THINGS WRITTEN BY YOU, AND ABOUT YOU. I HAVEN'T HAD TIME TO RESEARCH EVERYTHING THAT I HAVE READ... I'M GOING TO READ SOME THINGS TO YOU AND I MERELY WANT YOU TO CONFIRM WHETHER OR NOT YOU SAID THIS. WOULD YOU DO THAT FOR ME? DO YOU UNDERSTAND?
Q: OKAY, NOW I THINK THIS IS AN EXACT QUOTE THAT OCCURRED IN JULY OF 1979 FROM YOU "Book of the Books": "THIS ASHRAM IS ONLY A LAUNCHING PAD ON A SMALL SCALE. I AM EXPERIMENTING. THE NEW COMMUNE WILL BE ON A BIG SCALE - 10,000 SANNYASINS LIVING TOGETHER AS ONE BODY, ONE BEING. NOBODY WILL POSSESS ANYTHING, EVERYBODY WILL USE, EVERYBODY WILL ENJOY. EVERYBODY IS GOING TO LIVE AS COMFORTABLY, AS RICHLY, AS WE CAN MANAGE, BUT NOBODY WILL POSSESS ANYTHING." DID YOU SAY THAT?
A: Yes, I said it.
Q: DO YOU REMEMBER?
A: We have already started those communes in the world. Now we have communes: two communes in Italy and one in Sicily, one in England, two in Holland, two in Germany, one in France, one in Japan, one in India, one in Nepal and in many other countries.
Q: DO YOU CONSIDER THESE ONE COMMUNE?
A: They are separate communes.
Q: IS RAJNEESHPURAM THE COMMUNE THAT YOU SPOKE OF AT THAT TIME?
A: It is the commune for America.
Q: OKAY, DO YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF A TEACHER OF RELIGION?
A: I will have to explain it.
Q: YOU MAY FEEL FREE TO EXPLAIN THAT TO ME.
A: In India we have five categories of teachers. The first category is called the arihanta; he's a teacher and also a master. Being a master means that he has realized what he says. For example, Jesus will be called an Arihanta because whatsoever he says is his own realization. He says, "It is on my own authority."
The second category is called the siddha. The Siddha is only a master. He has realized but he's incapable of communicating it. He cannot say what he has realized; in a way he is dumb. And there have been many saints in the world who have not spoken because they cannot manage to bring the beyond within the words. That too is called a Buddha, a teacher.
The third category is called an acharya - who is only a teacher but not a master. He knows exactly what he's teaching, but not on his own authority. The Pope is an Acharya. If Jesus is an Arihanta, then the Pope is an Acharya. He is speaking on the authority of the Bible, not on his own authority.
The fourth category is called ubadhyay - one who is not even certain of what he says. Perhaps fragments are true. P.D. Ouspensky has written a book on Gurdjieff: IN SEARCH OF THE MIRACULOUS. Its subtitle is "FRAGMENTS OF AN UNKNOWN TEACHING", and he's very true in writing the subtitle - only fragments, because he could understand only parts of it; parts were beyond him. He's also called a teacher.
And the fifth is called a sadhu. A Sadhu is one who has not achieved but is trying sincerely to achieve. He may be just one foot ahead of you, but he can teach that much. He cannot claim the achievement; he cannot say with certainty that this is so.
English is poor in that way, it has only two words. English is poor in many ways, particularly as far as religion is concerned, but is bound to be so. Eastern languages are poor in scientific terms. So you have only one word, teacher, for everything. You can call me a teacher but to us it means a very lower category.
Q: WHERE WOULD YOU PUT YOURSELF ON THIS LIST OF FIVE CATEGORIES?
A: I am an Arihanta. You can call me a super teacher, because I speak on my own authority. I don't have to rely on Jesus, or Buddha, or Krishna. What I say, I know. If I don't know, I don't say it.
Q: DO YOU CONSIDER SHEELA ENLIGHTENED?
A: No, not yet.
Q: DOES SHE NOT HAVE THE POWER TO CONDUCT SANNYAS?
A: She has the power to conduct Sannyas, as one of the Acharya category - those five categories all can conduct Sannyas - but she has to conduct Sannyas only with my consent, she cannot conduct Sannyas on her own.
Q: SHEELA HAS NOT REACHED?
A: She may reach any moment, but she has not reached yet.
THERE IS SOME DISCUSSION OF THE RUNNING OF THE ASHRAM IN POONA. OSHO EXPLAINS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE DAY-TO-DAY RUNNING OF THE ASHRAM AND THE SPIRITUAL WORK.
A: about these small things I give them absolute freedom. As far as initiation is concerned and the inner transformation is concerned, sannyas is total surrender. Either you are a Sannyasin or you are not. You cannot be in a doubtful situation.
And it is not democratic, remember... no transformation process can be democratic because it is like asking the sleeping people, "Would you like to be awake?" So what?... A sleeping person has to be awakened. He cannot be asked. He may even resist, he may even fight you, that you are disturbing his beautiful dream.
I'm not talking about the society. For the society and the political world, democracy is perfectly okay, but for any inner transformation process democracy does not work, it has never worked.
Q: ARE YOU EVEN CONSULTED THEN IN SO FAR AS THE BUSINESS MATTERS OF THE FOUNDATION GO?
A: No, nothing.
Q: NOT SO FAR AS THE PURCHASE OF ANY PROPERTY?
A: No, I know also nothing.
Q: YOU HAD NOTHING TO SAY ABOUT THE DEVELOPMENT OR THE CONSTRUCTION OF RAJNEESHPURAM?
Q: ARE YOU AWARE THAT MANY SANNYASINS HAVE RECENTLY MARRIED HERE IN OREGON?
A: I have heard.
Q: DID YOU APPROVE OF THESE MARRIAGES?
A: Nothing - I neither approve nor do I disapprove. That is their business if they want to marry here; it is perfectly for them...
Q: IN YOUR OPINION, SHOULD THEY GO INTO THIS MARRIAGE WITH THE IDEA THAT IT BE A LIFE-LONG RELATIONSHIP?
A: No, nothing can be lifelong in this life. Only bogus and hypocritical things can be lifelong.
Q: WELL, I REALIZE THAT THINGS CHANGE IN EVERYBODY'S LIFE...
A: Everybody changes, everything changes. Today maybe... it may look like we will be together for the whole life, tomorrow it may not look...
Q: BUT SHOULD THERE NOT BE THAT COMMITMENT AT THE TIME THEY ENTER INTO THIS MARRIAGE?
A: No, any commitment for the future is a bondage, and is a destructive bondage. You can commit only for the moment. I can say about this moment, I cannot say about tomorrow. What that tomorrow will bring, who knows?
So to me, marriage is only a working partnership. If it works, good; if it works your whole life, good.
If it does not work, then say good-bye. I don't think it's anything sacred. It is just an institution and a working partner ship like any working partnership of the business world; nothing to be bothered about so much.
And every marriage carried the divorce behind it. Either you have to become one day a hypocrite - you go on smiling and saying "dear" and "darling" and you don't mean it - or the society condemns you if you divorce. Marriage brings divorce in. If you want no divorce in the world, then the marriage has to go. And it should be a working partnership: two person who want to live together, perfectly good.
Q: THERE HAVE BEEN ARTICLES WRITTEN IN MAGAZINES WHICH DESCRIBE THE DISMANTLING OF THE ASHRAM IN POONA AFTER YOUR DEPARTURE. IT WAS REPORTED THAT IN SOME OF THESE MAGAZINES...
A: The ashram exists still.
Q: WELL, ON A MUCH SMALLER SCALE, THOUGH, RIGHT?
A: It is bound to be because I'm not there and for one and a half years I've not been there.
Q: DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY GURUS THERE ARE IN INDIA? JUST AN ESTIMATE?
A: It is very difficult. In India there must be thousands of people.
Q: HOW DO YOU PUT IMPORTANCE UPON WEALTH?
A: All the religions have condemned it and praised poverty, and I've condemned all those religions.
Because of their praise of poverty, poverty has persisted in the world. I don't condemn wealth.
Wealth is a perfect means which can enhance people in every way, can make their life rich in all....
So I am a material spiritualist. I'm not just a spiritualist, and I'm not just a materialist.
Q: WITHIN THE VOLUME OF ARTICLES THAT I READ, I CAME ACROSS A STORY THAT TALKS ABOUT A GURU WHO LIVED 700 YEARS AGO. HE WENT ON A FAST THAT WAS SUPPOSED TO LAST 21 DAYS, WAS MURDERED ON THE 18TH DAY OF HIS FAST AND WAS REINCARNATED 700 YEARS LATER. THE FIRST 3 DAYS OF HIS LIFE HE NEITHER CRIED OR NURSED. IS THIS STORY TOLD ABOUT YOU?
Q: DO YOU KNOW HOW THAT GOT STARTED?
A: I have told it.
Q: HAVE YOU EVER BEEN TREATED FOR ANY MENTAL DISORDER?
A: No, I have been treating people for mental disorders.
Q: HAVE YOU EVER BEEN TREATED FOR ANY DRUG ADDICTION?
A: I don't even take coffee or tea...
Quoted in Max Brecher's A Passage to America, page 177:
The Rajneesh Times printed Hunter-Rajneesh interview at the Portland INS, what was left out, as far as Sheela was concerned, was more important:
From The Oregonian, "For Love and Money", July 1985
"I am not making anybody head of my religion because I don't want any books to be followed. I don't want people exploiting others in my name. I am not going to be succeeded by anybody. The day I am dead, I am dead. There is no question of my successor."