Rich man's guru, poor man's guru
I HAVE GLIMPSES OF HOW PSYCHOLOGICAL, EXISTENTIAL PAIN IS CREATED BY THE EGO. IT IS HOMEMADE, AND IT CAN BE UNMADE. BUT WHAT ABOUT PHYSICAL PAIN: WHY IS IT THERE? IS IT A NECESSARY PART OF DYING? I DO NOT FEEL I AM AFRAID OF DEATH AS MUCH AS I AM AFRAID OF PHYSICAL PAIN, SENILITY, OLD AGE.
PSYCHOLOGICAL PAIN can be dissolved; and only psychological pain can be dissolved. The other pain, the physical pain, is part of life and death; there is no way to dissolve it. But it never creates a problem. Have you ever observed? - the problem is only when you are thinking about it. If you think of old age you become afraid, but old people are not trembling. If you think of illness you become afraid, but when the illness has already happened, there is no fear, there is no problem. One accepts it as a fact. The real problem is always psychological.
The physical pain is part of life. When you start thinking about it, it is not physical pain at all; it has become psychological. You think about death; there is fear. But when death actually happens there is no fear. Fear is always about something in the future. Fear never exists in the present moment.
If you are going to the front in a war, you will be afraid, you will be very apprehensive. You will tremble, you will not be able to sleep: many nightmares will haunt you. But once you are on the front - ask the soldiers - once you are on the front, you forget all about it. Bullets may be passing and you can enjoy your lunch; and bombs may be falling and you can play cards.
You can ask Gurudayal. He has been in the war, he has been to the front, he has been a soldier; he knows: the fear is about the future. Then the problem is not physical - because the fear exists in your psychology. When the pain is actual, physical, there is no problem about it.
Reality never comes as a problem; it is only the ideas about reality that create the problem.
So the first thing to be understood is: if you can dissolve the psychological pain, no problem is left. Then you start living in the moment. 'Psychological' means: of the past, of the future, never of the present. Mind never exists in the present. In the present reality exists, not the mind. Mind exists in the past and the future, and in past and future reality does not exist. In fact, mind and reality never come across each other. They have never seen each other's face. Reality remains unknown to mind, and mind remains unknown to reality.
There is an old fable....
Darkness approached God and said, "Enough is enough! Your sun goes on haunting me, chasing me. I can never rest; wherever I go to rest he is there, and I have to run away again. And I have not done any wrong to him. This is unjust.
And I have come to you to get justice."
It was perfectly right; the complaint was true.
And God called the sun and asked the sun, "Why do you go on chasing this poor woman, darkness? What has she done to you?"
The sun said, "I don't know her at all. I have never seen her. You just call her in front of me; only then can I say something. I don't remember ever having done any wrong to her, because I don't know her. We are not familiar. Nobody has ever introduced us to each other, we are not even acquainted. It is for the first time from you that I am hearing about this woman, this darkness. You call her!"
The case remains pending - because God could not call darkness before the sun.
They cannot exist together, they cannot encounter each other. When darkness is, the sun cannot be; when the sun is, the darkness cannot be.
Exactly the same is the relationship between mind and reality: the psychology is the problem, the reality never is a problem. You just dissolve your psychological problems - and they are dissolved by dissolving the center of them all: the ego.
Once you don't think yourself separate from existence, problems simply evaporate, as dewdrops disappear in the morning when the sun rises, not even leaving a trace behind. They simply disappear.
Physical pain will remain, but again I will insist that it has never been a problem to anybody. If your leg is broken, it is broken. It is not a problem. The problem is only in imagination: "If my leg is broken, then what am I going to do? And how am I to avoid, or how am I to behave and work my way so my leg is never broken?" Now, if you become afraid about such things you cannot live, because your legs can be broken, your neck can be broken, your eyes can go blind.
Anything is possible; millions of things are possible. If you become obsessed with all these problems which are possible.... I am not saying they are not possible. They are all possible. Whatsoever has happened to any human being, ever, can happen to you. Cancer can happen, TB can happen, death can happen; everything is possible. Man is vulnerable. You can just go outside on the road and you can be hit by a car.
I am not saying don't go outside on the road. You can sit in a room and the roof can fall. There is no way to save yourself totally and perfectly. You can be Lying down on your bed, but do you know that ninety-seven percent of people die on a bed? That is the most dangerous place! Avoid it as much as you can; never go to bed. Ninety-seven percent of people die in bed. Even travelling by aeroplane is not so dangerous; it is more dangerous to be in bed. And remember, more people die in the night... so, remain trembling. Then it is up to you. Then you will not be able to live at all.
Psychological problems are the only problems. You can become paranoid, you can become split, you can become paralyzed because of fear - but this is nothing to do with reality.
You see a blind man walking on the road perfectly well; blindness in itself is not the problem. You can see beggars - their legs broken, their hands gone, and still laughing, still gossiping with each other, still talking about women, making remarks, singing a tune. Just watch life: life is never a problem. Man has tremendous capacity to adjust to the fact, but man has no capacity to adjust to the future. Once you try to protect yourself and secure yourself in the future, then you will be in a turmoil, in a chaos. You will start falling apart. And then there are millions of problems - problems and problems and problems. You cannot even commit suicide, because the poison may not be the right poison. In India you cannot rely on anything! They may have mixed something into it; it may not be poison at all. You may take it and you will lie down... and you will wait and wait and wait - and death is not coming.
Then everything creates a problem.
Mulla Nasrudin was going to commit suicide. He came across an astrologer on the street, and the astrologer said, "Mulla, wait. Let me see your hand."
He said, "What do I have to do now with astrology? I am going to commit suicide! So there is no point; now there is no future."
The astrologer said, "Wait. Let me see whether you can succeed or not."
Future remains. You may not succeed, you may be caught by the police, you may misfire. There is no way to be certain about the future - not even about death, not even about suicide. What to say about life? Life is such a complex phenomenon; how can you be certain? Everything is possible and nothing is certain. If you become afraid, this is just your psychology. Something has to be done to your mind.
And if you understand me rightly, meditation is nothing but an effort to look at reality without the mind - because that is the only way to look at reality. If the mind is there it distorts, it corrupts. Drop the mind and see reality - direct, immediate, face to face. And there is no problem. Reality has never created any problem for anybody. I am here, you are also here - I don't see a single problem.
If I fall ill, I fall ill. What is there to be worried about? Why make a fuss about it?
If I die, I die.
A problem needs space: in the present moment there is no space. Things only happen, there is no time to think about it. You can think about the past because there is distance; you can think about the future, there is distance. In fact, future and past are created just to give us space so that we can worry. And the more space you have, the more worry.
Now in India they are much more worried because they think, "Next life... and...
and" - ad infinitum - "what is going to happen in the next life?" A person is doing something and he does not think only about the consequences that are going to happen here now; he thinks, "What KARMA am I going to gather for my future life?" Now he will become even more worried; he has more space. And how is he going to fill that space? - he will fill it with more and more problems.
Worry is a way to fill the empty space of the future.
The questioner says, "I have glimpses of how psychological, existential pain is created by ego. It is homemade, and it can be unmade."
Just understanding it intellectually won't help; you have to do it. Do it, and then the next question will disappear. Do it, and then you will find there is not any problem left.
"But what about physical pain?"
Now this is how problems arise. Intellectually you have understood one thing, but that doesn't make any sense. The next question immediately brings your reality to the surface: you have not understood.
It is as if a blind man goes on groping with his stick; he finds his path by it. And then we say, "Your eyes can be cured, but then you will have to drop your walking stick. It is not needed." The blind man will say, "I can understand that my eyes can be cured, but how can I walk without my stick?"
Now, intellectually he has understood that eyes can be cured, but existentially, experientially, he has not understood it - otherwise the next question wouldn't arise.
Sometimes people come to me and they ask one question, and I say, "You go on; you ask the next two." Because one question may not show the reality; they may be just showing their intellectual understanding. But with the next question they are bound to be caught. They are bound to be, because with the next question, immediately they will miss.
The first part of the question is perfect, but you have got the point only through the mind. It is not yet chewed well, it is not yet digested. It has not become blood, bones, marrow. It is not yet part of your existence. Otherwise you can never ask, "What about the physical pain?" - because the very question is psychological.
Physical pain is not a problem - when it is there, it is there; when it is not there, it is not there. A problem arises when something is not there and you want it to be there, or when something is there and you don't want it to be there. A problem is always psychological: "Why is it there?" Now this is all psychological.
Who is to say why it is there? There is nobody to answer. Only explanations can be given, but those are not really answers. Explanations are simple.
It is very simple: pain is there because pleasure is there. Pleasure cannot exist without pain. If you want a life absolutely painless, then you will have to live a life absolutely pleasureless. They come together in one package. They are not two things really; they are one thing - not different, not separate, and cannot be separated. That's what man has been doing through the centuries: separating, to somehow have all the pleasures of the world and not have any pain; but this is not possible. The more pleasures you have, the more pain also. The bigger the peak, the deeper will be the valley by the side. You want no valleys and you want big peaks. Then the peaks cannot exist; they can exist only with valleys. The valley is nothing but a situation in which a peak becomes possible. The peak and the valley are joined together.
You want pleasure and you don't want pain.
For example: you love a woman or you love a man, and when the woman is with you you are happy. Now, you would like to be happy whenever she is with you, but when she goes away you don't want the pain. If you are REALLY happy with a woman when she is with you, how can you avoid the pain of separation when she is gone and she is no longer there? You will miss her, you will feel the absence. The absence is bound to become pain. If you really want that you should not have any pain, then you should start avoiding all pleasure. Then when the woman is there don't feel happy; just remain sad, just remain unhappy - so that when she goes, there is no problem.
If somebody greets you and you feel happy, then when somebody insults you you will feel unhappy. This trick has been tried. This has been one of the most basic tricks that all of the so-called religious people have tried: if you want to avoid pain, avoid pleasure. But then what is the point? If you want to avoid death, avoid life - but then what is the point of it all? You will be dead. Before death, you will be dead. If you want to be perfectly secure, enter into your grave and lie down there. You will be perfectly secure. Don't breathe, because if you breathe there is danger... because there are all sorts of infections, particularly in Poona. Never breathe in Poona; you breathe infections. A million diseases exist all around you; how can you breathe? the air is polluted. There is danger, so don't breathe, don't move... just don't live. Commit suicide; then there will be no pain. But then why are you searching for it? You want no pain and all pleasure.
You demand something impossible: you want that two plus two should not be four. You want them to become five, or three, or anything, but never four. But they are four. Whatever you do, howsoever you deceive yourself and others, they will remain four.
Pain and pleasure go together like night and day, like birth and death, like love and hate. In a better world, with a more developed language, we will not use words like 'hate' and 'love', 'anger', 'compassion', 'day', 'night'. We will make some words which will carry both together: 'lovehate' - one word; 'daynight' - one word, not two; 'birthdeath' - one word, not two; 'painpleasure' - one word, not two. The language creates an illusion.
In language pain is separate, pleasure is separate. If you want to look in the dictionary for 'pain', you have to look for 'pain'; 'pleasure' will be separate. You want to look for 'pleasure', then you have to look for 'pleasure'. But in reality pain and pleasure are together, just as your right and left hands are together, just as two wings of a bird are together. The dictionary creates a great illusion; language is a very great source of illusions. It says 'love', and when it says 'love' you never think about hate. You completely forget about hate, but love cannot exist without hate. That's why you love the same person and you hate the same person.
Many disciples come to me very disturbed, because they say, "Osho, we love you, but we hate you also." And this creates a great uneasiness in them. Never be uneasy about it. If you love me, you will hate me too. There will be moments when the hate part will be on top of you; there will be moments when the love part will be on top of you. Don't be uneasy about it; it is natural and human.
You would like a world where coldness exists without anything like heat, or heat exists without anything like cold. Just think about it; it is absurd - because heat and cold are together. And it depends on what you call them.
You can put water in two buckets: in one, hot water, boiling, and in the other, cold, ice-cold water. Just put both your hands into them, and just feel. Are there two sensations? or just one spectrum? - on one extreme is cold, on the other extreme is hot. Then let them settle. By and by you will see that you are coming closer and closer; the hot is becoming less hot, and the cold is becoming less cold.
After a few hours you will say, "They are both the same now." Or you can try in one bucket of water: put one hand near heat and one hand near ice. Make one hand cold and one hot, dip both hands into one bucket of water and feel what it is. One hand will say it is cold, one hand will say it is hot, but it is the same water. It's relative. Something may look like pleasure to you, and the same thing may look like pain to somebody else.
For example: you are making love to a woman; you think it is very pleasurable.
Ask a Buddha; he will be simply horrified: "What are you doing? Have you gone mad?" Maybe that's why people make love in private - otherwise others will laugh and ridicule. The whole movements of lovemaking will look very absurd.
They will look ridiculous. In a passionate state of mind, you are almost drunk.
When you are angry you do something; in that moment it gives you pleasure, otherwise you wouldn't do it. Anger gives tremendous pleasure, power, the feel of power. But when anger is gone you start feeling repentance, remorse. You start feeling that it was not good, now it is painful. When it was there you felt power and you felt pleasure. Now you look again in a less insane state; in' a less feverish state you look again. You are more cool and collected now; now it looks painful. The same thing can be pleasurable, the same thing can be painful - it depends. And the same thing can be pleasurable to you and for somebody else can be painful - that too depends. Pleasure and pain go together.
What I am saying, what my suggestion is for you to do, is: there are two ways, and two ways to get out of it. One is, start becoming more and more insensitive.
That's what old religions have been teaching - become insensitive. When you are dull, insensitive, unintelligent, a crust, a hard crust surrounds your being. You will neither feel pain nor will you feel pleasure. That's what is happening to Jain monks and other monks - they try to become insensitive. By and by, you can become insensitive. Then nothing feels pleasurable, nothing feels painful. You come to a state of stupor, stupidity, where you become very aloof. You are almost dead. Your eyes lose fire, your being loses all energy. You are just dead stuff, a stagnant thing, and you will start stinking of death. This is one way - simple, easy, cheap. I don't suggest it. It is life-negative. It is violent; it is violence against yourself. It is a self-torture. You try it, it is simple.
You can go to Benares and you can see people, sannyasins, lying on a bed of thorns - and you will be amazed! But what have they learned? They have not learned anything - just that if you go on lying on hard things your body becomes dead, it doesn't feel. But just to avoid pain they are avoiding life itself. It is as if you wanted to be healthy and you wanted to drop the disease; just to drop the disease you killed yourself, because the disease was too painful. But now you don't exist at all.
What I suggest is a very life-affirmative, life-loving way. My suggestion is: when there is pain, go deeply into it, don't avoid it. Let it be so, be open to it, become as sensitive as possible. Let the pain and its arrow penetrate you to your very core.
Suffer it. And when the pleasure comes, let that too move you to your innermost core. Dance it. When there is pain be with pain, and when there is pleasure be with pleasure. Become so totally sensitive that each moment of pain and pleasure is a great adventure.
And I would like to tell you one thing: that if you can do this, you will understand that pain too is beautiful. It is as beautiful as pleasure. It also brings a sharpness to your being; it also brings awareness to your being - sometimes even more than pleasure. Pleasure dulls. That's why people who live just in indulgence will be found to be shallow. You will not see any depth in them. They have not known pain at all; they have lived only on the surface, moving from one pleasure to another. The playboys... they don't know what pain is.
Pain makes you very alert, and pain makes you very compassionate, and pain makes you sensitive to others' pains too. Pain makes you immense, huge, big.
The heart grows because of pain. And it is beautiful, it has its own beauty. I am not saying seek pain; I am only saying whenever it is there, enjoy that too. It is a gift of God and there must be a hidden treasure in it. Enjoy that too; don't reject.
Accept it, welcome it, be with it. In the beginning it will be difficult, arduous. But by and by you will learn the taste of it. The taste has to be learned; it is just like other tastes.
If you start drinking alcohol, in the beginning the taste is just bad and bitter.
Mulla Nasrudin is a drunkard.
One day his wife went to the pub, and he was drinking there with his friends.
And the wife was in a REALLY bad mood; she had tried every way and he wouldn't listen. Today she wanted to shock him. And of course he was a little puzzled; she had never come to the pub: "Is she going to create a scene here?
Home, it is okay. Home is the place where scenes are created and enacted, but in the pub?"
And she came and just sat by his side and said, "Mulla, I have also decided to drink, from today. He was a little more puzzled. But then he poured a glass for her. She tasted and it was so bitter, and she just could not believe it.
She said, "It is so bitter, Mulla."
And Mulla said, "Look! And you have always been thinking that I am enjoying.
It is a great SADHANA; it is not easy!"
When you start anything new, you have to learn the taste. And of course the taste of pain is bitter. But once you have learned it, it gives such sharpness and brilliance to you. It shakes all dust, all stupor and sleepiness away from you. It makes you so fully mindful that nothing else can make you so mindful. In pain you can be more meditative than in pleasure. Pleasure is more distracting.
Pleasure engulfs you. In pleasure you abandon consciousness. Pleasure tends to make you unconscious; pleasure is a sort of oblivion, a forgetfulness. Pain is a remembrance: you cannot forget pain.
Have you not observed? - whenever you are in pain you remember God, never when you are happy and in pleasure. Who bothers7 In fact. when you are in pleasure you forget yourself, you forget God, you forget everything. Things are going so well....
But in pain, you remember God.
So pain can become a very creative energy; it can become a remembrance of God.
It can become prayer, it can become meditation, it can become awareness.
What do I teach? I teach: when pain is there, use it as awareness, as meditation, as a sharpening of the soul. And when pleasure is there, then use it as a drowning, as a forgetfulness. Both are ways to reach God. One is to remember yourself totally, and one is to forget yourself. totally. And pain and pleasure both can be used, but to use them you have to be very, very intelligent. What I am teaching is not the stupid person's way; what I am teaching is the intelligent, the wise man's way. Whatsoever God gives you, try to find a way to use it, in such a way that it becomes a creative growth situation for you.
the second question:
AFTER TODAY'S LECTURE, I FELT AS IF LEVITATING AND FLYING. I WALKED ALONG THE ROAD IN FRONT OF THE ASHRAM GATE, APPROACHED A FLOWERING BUSH, AND LOOKED AT IT, SUDDENLY HAVING THE SENSATION OF BEING ONE WITH NATURE AND FLOATING LIKE DRIFTWOOD IN THE RIVER. ALL OF A SUDDEN I REALIZED THAT THE DRIFTWOOD HAD STEPPED INTO A HEAP OF DOG SHIT. DO YOU HAPPEN TO SEE ANY SYMBOLIC SIGNIFICANCE TO THIS?
The significance is there, but not symbolic; it is very real. You need not go into symbolism, because it is not a dream, It happened when you were perfectly awake. The reality is saying something to you....
Listening to me you can feel that you are levitating, but you cannot levitate. The feeling is not the thing, not the real thing. Listening to me you can feel very happy, but that happiness is like a reflection. It is my happiness reflected in your mirror, it is not your happiness. You are bound to land somewhere in dog shit.
One should not depend on anybody else. You need your happiness. Listening to me, you can become engulfed, you can be overwhelmed, but the farther you go from me, that music will start disappearing from you. It was not yours in the first place.
It is as if I am sitting here: in my light your darkness disappears. Then you go away; the farther away you go, the darkness starts surrounding you again.
It is as the Sufis say:
Two travellers were going into a forest. One had a lamp, a lantern of his own, the other had none. But the other was not even aware of the fact. They both walked in light because one had the lantern, so the other also had the light on the path.
Then came the moment where they had to depart; their paths were going separately. And when the man with the lantern went on his path, suddenly the other traveller recognized, realized, that there was immense darkness all around.
You can walk with me to a certain extent. The disciple can walk with the Master to a certain extent, but then the paths separate. Then you have to go on your own way. Suddenly you will find you are in darkness.
So while you are with a Master, don't just enjoy his bliss. Enjoy, but learn also how to create your own bliss and your own light. Those moments with a Master have to be tremendously enjoyed - good. But just enjoyment is not enough. You have to learn the secret of how to create your own light - so when the Master departs, or you have to go on your own way and paths are separate, you are not lost in darkness. Otherwise this will happen again and again.
I heard one day that Mulla Nasrudin had been caught by the police, so I went to see him in the jail. I asked him, "Mulla, how do you happen to be here? What happened?"
He said, "Housebreaking, and my fault too."
I asked, "And how was that?"
He said, "I spent three months getting acquainted with the dog, and then I went and stepped on the cat."
You have to be fully aware.
In Zen they say: The art of meditation is almost the art of being a thief.
You have to be so aware that you can walk into somebody else's house where you may never have been before; not only can you walk, you can remove things without making any noise; not only that, but without any light in the dark night.
You have to be like a thief: very aware, very conscious.
What happened to this questioner? - he was floating, he was no more in this world, he had moved into another world. A vision had dawned on him; he was in a dream, he was not aware, he was drunk. Hence he stepped into dog shit.
This is very, very meaningful; remember it. Otherwise there are many ways to land in wrong places. Unless you are tremendously aware, many times you will come nearer to home and again you will miss the door.
the third question:
OSHO. ARE YOU ALSO THE POOR MAN'S GURU?
Whenever you give me an opportunity to contradict myself I never lose it. I contain contradictions. I am vast. I never feel uneasy about contradictions; I love them.
Yes, I am a poor man's guru. But if you understand me there is no contradiction.
My definition of a rich man and my definition of a poor man have to be understood well.
Jesus says, "Blessed are the poor because theirs is the kingdom of God." And mind you, he does not say theirs will BE the kingdom of God; he says theirs IS the kingdom of God. Let me repeat it: he says, "Blessed are the poor, because theirs is the kingdom of God." But who are the poor in Jesus' definition? - the same people I call rich.
I call a man rich who has become absolutely frustrated with the world, who has known all that it can give, and has come to know that all of it is illusory. And he has become aware of his inner poverty. "No richness of the world can fulfill my hungry heart; nothing that I can possess can ever be a contentment to me. My poverty remains untouched by my riches." I call this man a rich man because he has come to see the futility of all riches; but he is also the poor man, the REALLY poor, because he has understood his inner poverty. He is'the poor in spirit'.
Now let me confuse you a little more.
There are two types of rich men: one, the first type, who has riches; and the other, who has no riches but still is a rich man - because he has desires to be rich.
The first has riches, the second has no riches, but both are rich men - because both move for more and for more and for more. You may have ten rupees and you desire a hundred rupees. Somebody has ten million rupees and he is desiring a hundred million rupees. What is the difference? - the proportion is the same. Both are moving towards riches.
So there are rich people with riches and there are rich people with no riches at all. A beggar can also be rich if he is still moving into desire.
Then there are two types of poor people: a poor person who has no riches, and a poor person who has all the riches in the world. If the poor person has understood that there is no meaning in riches, and the person who has all the riches has also understood that there is no meaning in riches, then both are poor in spirit. The basic thing to realize is that whatsoever is outside is not going to fulfill you. Whether you are rich or poor does not matter. But, it is easier....
That's why I said that if a poor man wants to be religious, he will have to have more intelligence than the rich man - because he will have to substitute by his intelligence what is lacking in riches. He will have to have a great vision, visualization power. If you have a beautiful woman, it is very easy to understand that just by having a beautiful woman by your side, no contentment comes. It is very easy to understand it; much intelligence is not needed. But if you don't have a woman and you live in a desert alone, and dream - and dreams come, and you fantasize about women - now, to understand that just by getting a woman you cannot be satisfied is difficult, very difficult. When you have riches by your side it is very simple to understand. Not much intelligence is needed to see that nothing has happened to your inner world. But when you don't have anything, not even something to eat, no house to give you shelter, it is very difficult to see that houses, food, money, are all meaningless. It is very difficult for a poor man to understand that money is meaningless. For a rich man, it is very simple.
That's why I say if a rich man does not become religious he must be extraordinarily stupid, and if a poor man becomes religious he must be extraordinarily intelligent. Because when you have, it is very simple to see the arithmetic that nothing has happened; but when you don't have, then just to visualize and just to think in imagination that even by having it nothing is going to happen, is very difficult. A lurking doubt will remain inside... maybe there is something in it; the whole world is running after it: "Are they all fools? Am I alone the wise man? Then why is the whole world running after riches, money, power, prestige?" It is very difficult. When you live in a palace you know that life does not happen just by living in a palace. But when you live on the road, you live in a slum, it is very difficult to understand that just by living in a palace nothing happens. That's why I told you I am a rich man's guru. But only for that rich man who has understood that he is not rich is there the possibility of opening into the religious dimension. When he has understood his inner poverty, only then. So whosoever understands that he is poor, and he has nothing, and this world cannot give you anything, is capable of making a contact with a Master. There is no other way.
Sometimes it seems very hard. Listening to me, sometimes you become very disturbed. The moment I say that I am only a rich man's guru, of course you become disturbed. You are not rich; then am I not your guru? But you misunderstood me. You could not get the point of it.
Many times it is happening: I say something, you hear something else.
Three little old ladies, loving but deaf, met at the supermarket.
"Beautiful day," said one.
"No, it is Thursday," said the other.
"Me thirsty too," said the third. "Let us have a cup of tea."
This is how things transpire between me and you. I say something, you hear something, and then you go on questioning and I go on answering....
Two guys talking: One said, "I got married because I was tired of going to the laundromat, eating in restaurants, and wearing socks with holes." The other guy said, "That's funny. I got divorced for the same reason."
When I say a poor man cannot be religious, it hurts - and particularly in a country like India, which is poor. It hurts very much, and more so because India thinks it is a religious country, and I say a poor man cannot be religious. The country is poor and has pretensions of being rich. It hurts very deeply; it wounds the ego. But try to understand.
There is a hierarchy, and unless you have fulfilled the lower needs first, the higher needs don't arise. In life you follow the rule very arithmetically: a boy has to go to the primary school, then to the middle school, then to the high school, then to a college, then to a university. There is a hierarchy. If somebody says, "I want to enter into the university directly," you won't allow. You will say, "First you have to fulfill a few requirements."
God is the ultimate truth, and now everybody thinks he should be able to approach directly and that there should be no requirement. This is absolute nonsense. To me, your physical needs have to be fulfilled first. Your body has to be in a deep contentment, a well-being. When the body is perfectly well, healthy, has a pleasure of its own, is like a beautifully humming car - no disturbance, no noise... I am not talking about Indian cars.
They say that when the manufacturer of Ambassador cars died, when Birla died, the man who received him at the gate of heaven was very angry. He said, "We have received many complaints about your car, this Ambassador: that except for the horn, the whole mechanism makes noise!"
When the car is really beautifully humming and the mechanism has a rhythm to it, there is well-being. When your body is humming in a musical, harmonious way, when everything fits together, when there is nothing wrong and you are simply happy with the body, suddenly there is an upsurge of energy. You start seeking aesthetic objects: art, music, poetry, painting. Suddenly you become interested in Picasso, Michaelangelo, Mozart. Suddenly your taste starts growing for something beautiful.
When your mind is also humming, when your mind is also in a well-being - the music is there, the poetry is there, the beauty is there, and you are satisfied - again another jump, another quantum leap, and you start asking about truth, you ask about God. You ask the ultimate question only in an ultimate state of well- being, not before it. And then the search starts. Now it is very difficult; it is as difficult as in this story:
Myron Cohen tells about the lady who was asked, "Sadie, if You found a million dollars in the street, what would you do with it?"
"That depends," answered Sadie. "If I found it belonged to somebody very poor, I would give it back."
Now, one million dollars! And the lady says, "If I found it belonged to somebody VERY poor, then I would give it back. It depends; otherwise I am going to keep it. If it belongs to a a rich man what is the point of giving it back?"
But one million dollars belonging to somebody very poor? - look at the absurdity of it.
I have never come across a man whose lower needs are not fulfilled who can really inquire into the truth of God; not possible. I feel sorry to say so, but... truth is truth, and it has to be said even if it hurts. I cannot do anything; it is so. Then his desire remains hanging around - his unfulfilled layer. He may talk about prayer, he may talk about love, but he will mean sex. If his sex is unfulfilled, his talk about love is not going to be about love; it will be about unfulfilled sex. He may use the word'love'; that is irrelevant. That doesn't make any difference. But if you go deeper into his love and his talk about love, you will find sexuality hidden there.
It is impossible to jump to higher needs when the lower are not fulfilled. India was, one day in the past, a religious country - in the days of Buddha and Mahavira. It was religious because it was the richest country in the world. It was thought to be as a golden bird - most fabulous, most rich, luxurious. It has known its days; it was young, full of energy and vigor. It was at its peak.
Nobody can remain at the peak forever. It goes on changing. In those days India was religious because it was rich. Then the richness was gone; India became more and more poor. And there is a logic in it.
Whenever a country is very rich it starts becoming religious; when it starts becoming religious it becomes poor. When it becomes poor it is difficult to be religious. This is the mechanism, this is the dialectic. Why does it happen?
Now look at America: America is now the most affluent country in the world, but the young generation is going against technology. The young generation talks about love, prayer, meditation. But if you go against technology, and if you burn Cadillacs, Rolls Royces, and you start living like mendicants, you become hippies and yippies and you drop out of the society, now what will happen? If it happens on a larger scale, America will become the poorest country in the world.
Now look at the dialectics of it: America is interested in religion, America is interested in meditation, America is interested in God - because it is rich. Now, once you become interested in God you say, "What is there in riches? Nothing. A poor man's life is beautiful; I would like to be a vagabond like Buddha, I would like to be a wanderer. I don't want to continue with this mechanical society. I don't want to be part of a consumer society anymore." Then you drop out; then bigger portions of the society drop out.
And you are the future - because the young generation will have to decide. The older generation will disappear soon. And when the new generation has to decide, it knows no technology. You will fall from your riches; you will become poor. When you become poor, then you will go on carrying that religion which.happened when you were rich, as a hangover. Just see it: when you were rich religion was true because you were trying to reach a higher peak. Now you have fallen from the riches, and you have fallen because of religion. Now you will carry a hangover of religion for centuries. You will go on talking about meditation but it will not mean anything.
That's why in India the hangover has continued. India has known a golden peak.
When it knew the golden peak, Buddha and Mahavira and Neminatha and ALL intelligent people dropped out of the society. They became mendicants, wanderers, BHIKKHUS; they started begging. And they said, "This is all nonsense. These great palaces and these great riches are all useless." And they were true: I am not saying they were wrong; I am simply telling you how the mechanism functions, how the wheel moves. They were true; they had to say this, there is no way to avoid it. But when they said it millions were convinced.
Buddha had thousands of disciples, and they all came from rich families. They were either from royal families, or they were from very rich families. Of course, a few poor people also came. But in fact, at the time, nobody was poor.
Now in America there are poor people, but if you look at them from the Indian standard, they are very rich. Even a poor person can have a car in America. Even your chauffeur can come in his car. Now, in India, just to think that a driver has his own car! Nobody will believe it: "Then why does he drive somebody else's car? It is impossible!"
I used to stay in Indore at a rich man's family. He had gone for the first time to Switzerland, and the guide who was travelling with him to show him places invited him to his house. He had a beautiful house in the hills. This rich man was telling me - he had been to the West for the first time - he was telling me, "I could not believe, I was amazed - because he had nine rooms - just a wife and husband! And each room with attached bathroom!" In his house where I used to stay, he had only two rooms with attached bathrooms, and he is one of the richest men of Indore. One was for me and one was for himself. Attached bathrooms are a luxury. He could not believe it; and he could not understand why the man was functioning as a guide. He had his own car, he had his own house, he had a beautiful garden - so why was he working as a guide? This rich man felt poor in comparison to that poor man.
India was rich; even the poor men were rich. Millions of people were converted by Buddha and Mahavira, and they all left. Just think of the point: if millions of people suddenly turn into beggars, only a very rich society can afford them.
Otherwise, how will you afford it? Who will give them food? Who will give them shelter? They were all sheltered, they were all getting good food, they were getting good clothes. In fact Buddha had to make rules that they should not receive more than this, otherwise people were given so many things that it would become difficult for the beggar to carry all that load. So one should not receive more than this - a limited amount. And if you received more, then immediately you had to give something. But your possessions should be of a limited number. There were millions of BHIKKHUS, and Buddha had to make rules for them not to possess more. It was a rich country; religion flowered.
When religion flowered, because of its very flowering the country became poor.
When the country became poor, the religion continued as a hangover. Now India is not a religious country; religion is just a hangover from the past. If you look at the past, you can think that "Yes, sometime it must have been a religious country." But if you look at the future, it is going to be a communist country, sooner or later. It is one of the most materialist countries in the world now.
Now let me tell you another thing: when a country becomes poor it becomes materialist; when it becomes materialist it does not bother about religion at all - or, at the most, pays lip-service. Then it starts becoming rich; materialism makes you rich. When you again become rich, one day you become religious. And in this way the wheel goes on moving.
Religion is always for the rich. And a hangover religion is very dangerous: it does not allow you to be really materialist, and you are materialist. It does not give you freedom to be really materialist. I am not against materialism, because I know that only at the highest peak of materialism does religion happen.
Karl Marx had predicted that the richest country of the world would become communist. But he failed; his prediction was wrong. It was wrong because he never understood the real dialectics of society, he only understood the economic structure. If he was right then America should have been communist; not China, not Russia. Both are poor countries, the poorest. Karl Marx was wrong.
What I am saying is truer: a rich country can never become communist; only a poor country becomes communist. A rich country becomes religious, not communist. A poor country becomes communist - but this is how it is. I am not saying it should not be so: I am not saying anything about what should be and what should not be. I am simply saying what is; this is the mechanism. Now if Russia really becomes rich someday, it will lose contact with its communism.
That's why there is a conflict between China and Russia: Russia is richer than China. China is really a poor man's country, and only the poor man can be materialist. Now, to China, Russia seems to be bourgeois. They don't want to have anything to do with Russia; it is already a bourgeois country. Sooner or later when Russia becomes richer.... That is bound to happen: when you become materialist, technological, scientific, you become rich. When you become rich, suddenly religion starts flowering.
In Russia, you will be surprised to know that there are secret societies now gathering together somewhere in privacy, praying, meditating - because now it is illegal. You cannot pray in public, you cannot talk about meditation in public.
But there are societies, and people even risk their lives just to be together and talk about Jesus and Buddha. But they are all secret societies.
the last question:
It is from Yatri.
FOR THE RECORD.... OSHO, TWO DAYS AGO, FOR REASONS CLEARLY SPIRITUAL, YOU ADMITTED TO SPEAKING ONLY A MODEST FIVE THOUSAND WORDS PER DAY. FROM A PURELY SCIENTIFIC VIEWPOINT, THIS STATEMENT WOULD SEEM TO CONTAIN CERTAIN INACCURACIES.
THE ACTUAL FIGURE - AND THIS ANY TRANSCRIBER, EDITOR OR TAPE OPERATOR WILL INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY - IS APPROXIMATELY THREE TIMES THE AMOUNT, COUNTING BOTH THE MORNING DISCOURSE AND THE EVENING DARSHAN. THIS MEANS THAT ONE HUNDRED AND FIVE THOUSAND WORDS ARE SPOKEN EACH WEEK, AND A HANDSOME TOTAL OF FIVE MILLION FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND WORDS ARE GIVEN TO US IN ONE YEAR. IN THREE SHORT YEARS A CHAIN OF SUCH WORDS WOULD INDEED GIRDLE THE EARTH. IS THIS A RECORD FOR AN ENLIGHTENED VOICE?
WE ARE SURE THE MASTER NEEDS THE OPPORTUNITY TO VERIFY OR REFUTE SUCH EXTRAVAGANT CLAIMS.
They are not extravagant, and I absolutely agree with you, Yatri. But, a Master always has his ways to escape; you cannot catch him so easily. And he can always bring some esoteric thing into it.
Yes, fifteen thousand words are spoken: remember, I am not saying I am speaking.... Fifteen thousand words per day are spoken: five thousand from the body, five thousand from the mind, five thousand from me!
Let me tell you one anecdote:
A jaguar persuaded a cat to teach him how to pounce. After a few successful experiments with bugs and insects, the jaguar, his appetite whetted, decided to try out this new technique on the cat itself. The cat, however, jumped out of danger like a flash, and the jaguar landed in a heap.
"That is not fair!" whined the jaguar. "You did not teach me that trick."
"A smart teacher," the cat reminded him, "never teaches a pupil all his tricks."
And Yatri is right: my mathematics are poor. It has always been so. So whenever it comes to mathematics I will always agree with you. But metaphysics has its own ways to get out of any entanglement. That s why I can so easily contradict myself.
I speak only five thousand words a day.