A Fellow Traveler
[NOTE: This discourse is published in the book: The Last Testament, Volume 1, as Chapter 23.]
Lynn Hudson INDIA ABROAD NEW YORK
QUESTION: YES, BHAGWAN, I'VE BEEN ASKED TO TELL YOU A LITTLE BIT ABOUT 'INDIA ABROAD.' IT'S AN ENGLISH-LANGUAGE WEEKLY NEWSPAPER ABOUT INDIANS AND ABOUT INDIA, MAINLY FOR INDIAN AMERICANS IN THIS COUNTRY, OR ASIAN INDIANS IN THIS COUNTRY, BUT IT IS CIRCULATED SOMEWHAT IN INDIA, AS WELL. ANOTHER THING I WANT TO SAY IS THAT I HAVE COVERED THE ACTIVITIES OF THIS COMMUNITY SINCE ITS INCEPTION. SINCE YOU'VE BEEN IN THIS COUNTRY FOR FOUR YEARS NOW, I'D LIKE TO ASK YOU WHAT YOUR REACTIONS ARE TO AMERICA, AMERICANS AND AMERICAN INSTITUTIONS.
ANSWER: America is not what it pretends to be. It is just a second Soviet Union.
But they are truthful; America is hypocritical. The democracy is just in the name, it does not function.
Q: WOULD YOU LIVE IN THE SOVIET UNION?
A: I am living in the Soviet Union. Oregon is a state in the Soviet Union.
Q: WELL, IF YOU FEEL THAT WAY ABOUT IT, WHY ARE YOU HAPPY HERE? OR ARE YOU HAPPY HERE?
A: I am happy anywhere.
Q: EVEN IN A PLACE AS OPPRESSIVE AS THE UNITED STATES?
A: Yes, even in Oregon.
Q: HOW ABOUT THE INDIVIDUAL AMERICANS? HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE ONES THAT YOU'VE MET, THAT YOU'VE COME INTO CONTACT WITH? OR THE ONES THAT YOU'VE READ ABOUT?
A: I know only the Americans who are with me, but they are no longer Americans. I don't come in contact with other Americans, because I never go anywhere.
Q: BUT MANY AMERICANS COME HERE TO SEE YOU, DO THEY NOT? THE PARENTS OF YOUR SANNYASINS, AND OTHERS?
A: I don't meet them. Thousands of Americans are my sannyasins, but the man who becomes a sannyasin drops all hangovers: American, Christian, Hindu, Indian, Mohammedan, communist. He throws all that crap away. That is the essential thing for a sannyasin to do, to be just a human being without any labels.
Man is not a commodity that you can label. To label human beings is ugly. So there are people who were once Americans who have become sannyasins. I can tell you about them; they are in contact with me. They are some of the best and most beautiful people in the world.
Q: I WONDER IF I MIGHT ASK YOU ABOUT YOUR CHILDHOOD IN INDIA?
WHAT WAS IT LIKE? HOW DID OTHER CHILDREN RELATE TO YOU? HOW DID YOU RELATE TO THEM? HOW DID THEY FEEL ABOUT YOU? HOW DID YOU FEEL ABOUT YOURSELF AS A CHILD?
A: I was a little strange as a child. I never played with any children because deep down I never felt that I was their age. In my childhood I was discussing with adults, old people, but my relationship with my own age group was nil.
Q: YOU FELT YOURSELF A TEACHER EVEN THEN, ISN'T THAT RIGHT?
A: Yes. I have always felt that I have something to give, and as I grew up, that thing became more and more clear. I had always related with people who were at least twenty, thirty years older than me, only with them could I argue and discuss things in which other children were not interested.
Q: DID THIS MAKE YOU AN OUTCAST WITH CHILDREN YOUR OWN AGE?
DID THAT MATTER TO YOU?
A: I was an outcast, and I am still an outcast. Perhaps that's my fate, my destiny - - to be the outsider -- but I have enjoyed it my whole life. I don't remember a single moment when I have felt badly about whatever I am. I have rejoiced in my being and I have kept my freedom completely intact. Nobody has been an
influence on me -- neither a teacher, nor a professor, nor a saint, a religious leader, a political leader. In fact, as I grew up and my arguments became sharper, teachers and professors were afraid of me. And I was not just an outsider; I was expelled from many colleges for the simple reason that the professors felt embarrassed. They were not able to answer my questions, and they were not courageous enough to accept my answers.
Q: DO YOU THINK THERE'S A PSYCHOLOGICAL DYNAMIC THERE, THOUGH, IN YOUR FEELING AN OUTCAST, THAT LED YOU IN THE DIRECTION OF FORMING A COMMUNE OF WHICH YOU ARE THE CENTER?
A: I have not made the commune. I started on the way alone. People started coming to me and it became a vast caravan which is now spread all over the world. And people are still coming. I have not made it, it has happened. It was not a planned thing, not something considered.
I don't have any discipline, any rules, any regulations. Somebody coming and becoming a fellow traveler is welcome. If he leaves at some crossroads, we say goodbye to him with the same joy, ecstasy, as we had when he joined us. And we tell him, "Whenever you want, the doors will always be open for you."
But I have not made the commune. Certainly, when five thousand people are living here, so many arrangements have to be made; but all that credit goes to the sannyasins. I have nothing to do with it.
Q: THE ADULATION THAT IS OBVIOUSLY FELT FOR YOU HERE IN THIS COMMUNITY, DOES THAT GIVE YOU A SENSE OF HUMILITY OR A SENSE OF OMNIPOTENCE?
A: Just ecstasy.
Q: I BEG YOUR PARDON?
A: Just ecstasy, it gives to me. It does not give me a bigger ego; it does not give me the opposite, the humble ego. They are both egos. Sometimes the humble man is more egoistic than the straightforward egoist. As far as I am concerned, it is not adoration. They rejoice. They love me. I am not higher than them; they are my friends, my lovers, on an equal basis as far as I am concerned. Now it is up to them whether to listen to me or not to listen.
Q: ONE OF THE THINGS I'M ASKING, I GUESS, IS WHAT DOES IT DO TO YOUR HEAD, AS THEY SAY, TO FEEL ALL THIS LOVE? -- I MEAN, AS A HUMAN BEING TO BE THE CENTER OF SO MUCH WHATEVER YOU CALL IT, LOVE, ADORATION, ADULATION?
A: I rejoice. It is beautiful to have so many hearts beating in the same tune as my heart is beating.
Q: DO YOU THINK YOU WOULD BE AS HAPPY IF YOU WERE ONE OF THE SANNYASINS AND THERE WAS ANOTHER LEADER?
A: I cannot be more happy; I cannot be less happy. Happiness is something that is within me, it is not dependent on anybody. If all the sannyasins are gone, I will be happy with the trees, I will be happy with the stars. And I can dance with the trees and the stars; it does not matter -- I can dance in my bathroom. I am a happy person.
Q: IN REGARD TO THE REMARKS YOU MADE EARLIER ABOUT THE UNITED STATES, I WOULD GATHER THAT YOU DO COMMENT ON POLITICS. I WOULD LIKE TO ASK YOU WHAT YOUR FEELINGS ARE ABOUT RAJIV GANDHI AND THE PRESENT GOVERNMENT OF INDIA.
A: Rajiv Gandhi is just an amateur politician, knowing nothing about politics, and he is going to be destructive. He is going to impose the same emergency that his mother did. All that he knows is his mother and he simply will be repeating what she has done.
Q: SO YOU FORESEE ANOTHER EMERGENCY?
A: Another emergency, another assassination. And this time it is going to be worse than before.
Q: WHAT ARE YOUR OPINIONS OF SIKHISM AND OF THE SIKH EXTREMIST ELEMENTS?
A: Sikhs are beautiful people. Perhaps the community of the Sikhs is the only community in the whole of India you can rely upon for something. They are simple, courageous people -- most trustworthy, reliable, not cunning. They are unafraid of anything; otherwise, the Indians are cowards.
Q: DO YOU FAVOR SEPARATE STATEHOOD FOR PUNJAB?
A: India has never been one nation and can never be. It is something forcibly put together. In Gautam Buddha's time, India was divided into two thousand independent nations. It was the Moguls who conquered India and started making other states dissolve into the Mogul empire. They created the background for the British raj. When the Britishers took over, India for the first
time became one country -- but forcibly, under slavery, because there was no other way.
Once India became independent, all the troubles started. Even before independence, Mohammedans were asking for a separate country of their own.
And I think they were not wrong. In a country in which Hindus are a majority, Mohammedans will have no chance. They will be suppressed and Hindus will take the revenge of thousands of years. It was good that Pakistan was taken apart from India. I am in favor of freedom at any cost.
If Sikhs want to be free, if they want their own nation, they have every right to have it. To prevent them is undemocratic, against freedom, against the dignity of people. Who is Rajiv Gandhi to prevent them? Who was Indira Gandhi to prevent them? I have been a friend to Indira Gandhi, and she had immense respect for me. But when she was assassinated, I didn't feel sorry. I simply felt it was her own doing. It is a simple thing: if Sikhs want independence, give it to them. Why enforce? -- and other provinces are also asking.
Assam is asking for independence. Their leaders have been crushed, jailed, or they have escaped from the country, but the fight continues. The same is going to happen sooner or later to the south Indian states, because they don't belong to the north in any way. They are not Aryans as the northern Indians are. They don't have any language derived from Sanskrit as are all the languages of northern India. In color they are different, in culture they are different. Why should they be forced? Everybody should be given independence. Even if India disappears completely, it is perfect. It is disappearing in favor of freedom and democracy.
Q: YOUR STATEMENTS ABOUT MRS. GANDHI SEEM TO SUGGEST THAT YOU WERE ON GOOD TERMS WITH THE INDIAN GOVERNMENT WHEN YOU LEFT INDIA.
A: I was with Indira Gandhi not with the Indian government.
Q: HOW DID THAT WORK? WHAT WERE THE DYNAMICS OF THAT?
A: Because she was interested in my ideas, she was reading my books, and whenever I was passing through New Delhi, she always tried to meet me and discuss with me. She always agreed with what I said to her, but she said, "I know what you are saying is right, but I cannot do it" -- because this whole political game is so dirty that if you want to be at the top, you have to follow the whole cunning, hypocritical style.
Q: WERE THERE PROBLEMS BETWEEN YOU AND OTHER MINISTERS OR DEPARTMENTS OF THE INDIAN GOVERNMENT?
A: Yes. With Morarji Desai I have been enemies for many lives.
Q: WAS THAT A KEY FACTOR IN YOUR LEAVING INDIA?
A: No. I remained in India until he was no longer the prime minister. I had made it a point that while he is the prime minister, I was not going outside India. I was hammering him every day, hitting him every day, for the simple reason -- I am not a politician, I am not a competitor to anybody -- that I can't see stupid things happening.
Q: WHAT WAS YOUR QUARREL WITH DESAI?
A: Everything -- because I was against his political master, Mahatma Gandhi. I am against the whole philosophy of Gandhiism because it drags people backwards. It is not a forwards movement; it does not take account of the future.
It adores, and teaches people to adore, the dead past. He was not ready to accept anything that was invented after the spinning wheel. For him the spinning wheel was the last human invention, for him time had stopped there. This is stupid. On the spinning wheel you cannot keep your country clothed. If a person spins for eight hours every day, then he will be able to have enough clothes just for himself.
Now this is an idiotic ideology. If a person spins eight hours, then when is he going to earn his food? How is he going to take care of his children, his wife, his old parents? How is he going to have a roof? Gandhi was against simple things:
telegraph, telephone, railway. Just think....
Q: BUT HAVEN'T YOU YOURSELF SAID THAT IT'S THE TECHNOLOGY WE'VE DEVELOPED THAT'S GOTTEN US INTO THE POSSIBILITY OF A HOLOCAUST?
A: I have said it, but I have said it from a totally different direction. I say it is technology that has disturbed the whole harmony of nature. Now it is the duty of technology to put it back. Nobody else can do it. I am not against technology; I am simply against the technology which has been growing blindly, unconsciously, unaware of its effects. I would like a better technology, superior to the technology we have, which takes care of nature and human beings. Our whole technology has developed as an effort to destroy.
Q: BUT NO ONE'S EVER FOUND A WAY TO PUT A CAP ON SCIENCE, HAVE THEY? I MEAN, IT HAS A LIFE OF ITS OWN.
A: It has NOT a life of its own. It is politically dominated. No scientist can manage a nuclear plant. The nuclear plant is owned by the American
government or the Soviet Union or some other idiots, and the scientist has to work under the direction of the politicians. This technology has not developed independently. Scientists are simply the servants of the politicians; and the moment they start just a little to do something on their own, their careers are finished. In the ancient days it was difficult and different. It was difficult to create all that technology is now creating because it needed a certain background which was not available. Second, it was simpler for a scientist to work independently in his own small lab. Galileo was independent, Copernicus was independent, but not Albert Einstein.
Q: BUT EVEN GIVEN THAT, DO YOU REALLY SEE A WAY TO PUT THE NUCLEAR GENIE BACK IN THE BOTTLE WHEN EVEN GRADUATE STUDENTS HAVE THE TECHNOLOGY TO MAKE A NUCLEAR BOMB TODAY?
A: There is no need to put it back. Any energy which can be destructive can also be creative. It is only a question of application. The nuclear weapons are meant to destroy. The whole science is motivated towards a third world war. The same energy that is being put into making these weapons and these new discoveries can be put into creative ways. There is no need for Ethiopia to starve and die.
Q: DOES THIS PUT YOU ON THE SIDE OF NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS?
A: Not to destroy -- but the energy can be used in a creative way, and the sooner we realize it, the better. All governments should be forced by the people to see that atomic, nuclear, or any kind of energy that is in the service of war, has to be released into the service of humanity to destroy hunger, poverty, unemployment. We can make this earth for the first time a paradise. It will be really so foolish to have so much energy in our hands and destroy the earth, destroy all life.
Q: HOW DO YOU THINK WE CAN GO ABOUT CHANGING THE PRESENT ATTITUDE IN THE WORLD TO CREATE THIS SORT OF FUTURE THAT YOU SEE?
A: The people just have to be made more alert and aware. They have to be made conscious of what their politicians are doing. And once the politicians see that the masses are no more for war, they will immediately jump ahead of the masses.
That's a necessity for being a political leader -- you have to be ahead of the crowd. It is not that the crowd follows you, it is just the opposite. The politician has to keep alert to where the crowd is going, and the successful politician is one who always keeps himself ahead of the masses. The unsuccessful politician is
one who goes on without looking back to see that the followers have taken some other route.
It is very simple. Just the people -- the media, all kinds of newspapers and magazines, the universities where intelligence exists -- should start a campaign for consciousness raising. It is not a question of one person, it is a question of life being destroyed.
Q: AND HOW WOULD YOU GO ABOUT CREATING THAT CONSCIOUSNESS THROUGHOUT MANKIND?
A: I am trying. I am trying in my own way. I have more than half a million sannyasins around the world who are trying in every possible way to raise human consciousness. Perhaps nobody else is doing what I am doing and on such a vast scale. My methods of meditation are in reality sabotaging the political structure that exists anywhere today. If people meditate, they become more rebellious, they become more understanding. Their eyes see more clearly. Their consciousness is on a far higher level. They can become teachers to those who are lagging a little behind. They can help them.
Within ten years it is possible we can make humanity alert and aware of their own politicians. American politicians are making Americans aware of the danger of Soviet Russia; Soviet politicians are making Soviet citizens alert to the danger that America is. Americans have to be made aware of the danger of their own politicians. Russians have to try to become aware.... I have my sannyasins there -- of course, they are all underground.
Q: HOW MANY IN RUSSIA?
A: I cannot give you the number. I cannot give you the names. The Russian government is already persecuting the people they have found with my books. A few Russians have escaped and they are here.
Q: ARE THERE OTHER LEADERS TODAY THAT YOU FEEL ARE WORKING IN THE SAME DIRECTION YOU ARE? OR DO YOU FEEL THAT YOU ARE DOING THIS ALONE?
A: There is nobody. Political leaders cannot do it; it would be suicidal on their part. They would lose all power. The so-called religious leaders have been in deep conspiracy with the politicians for centuries. They are afraid that if people become more alert, more conscious, then who is going to bother about their God?
And who is going to believe that there is a God?
There have been two religions in India devoted to meditation: Jainism and Buddhism. Both deny the existence of God, for the simple reason that when your consciousness becomes clear, you can see that this God and the creation of the
world is all fiction. The religious leaders are afraid of a person like me. They are afraid of my sannyasins. They are afraid because among my sannyasins there are Hindus, there are Mohammedans, Sikhs, Christians and Jews. And of course the moment they become my sannyasins, they have to leave their Jewishness, their Christianity, outside. They cannot bring it in. Naturally the religious leaders will be afraid.
I am the only person who is condemned by all religious leaders, all political parties. Strange: a single person is being condemned by all those who are against each other. Even communists are against me, socialists are against me. A few days ago, I received a letter from the president of the American Nazi party: "You are hurting our religious feelings by speaking against Adolf Hitler." He told me in the letter that Adolf Hitler was not a politician, he was the reincarnation of the ancient Old Testament prophet Elijah. Now do you think these are the people who are going to raise people's consciousness? They are exploiting people in the name of religion.
Q: AS I RECALL YOUR PRESS CONFERENCE LAST WEEK, YOU MENTIONED EUGENICS AS A WAY IN WHICH WE COULD AVOID CREATING OTHER MONSTERS SUCH AS HITLER, STALIN, AND GENGHIS KHAN. IS THAT CORRECT?
A: Yes, it is right.
Q: BUT WHEN YOU INTRUDE INTO PEOPLE'S LIVES TO TELL THEM WHEN AND HOW THEY CAN HAVE CHILDREN, ISN'T THAT SOMEWHAT FASCISTIC, SOMEWHAT HITLERIAN IN ITSELF?
A: No. If you can operate on their cancer, is that Hitlerian? When the doctor says, "Take this medicine for your tuberculosis," is he intruding in your life? Is that fascist? You are entering in everybody's life in every way, but because eugenics is something new, people freak out.
In fact, a couple making love has no idea what kind of a child they are going to produce. This is blind biology. It is better to be in the hands of scientists than to be in the hands of blind biology. We can conceive that there can be exploitation, but that is true about any invention, any discovery, any new thing. But I am totally in favor of it, because I see it can really change man even though he has not changed in thousands of years. Since the first monkeys jumped on the earth and started walking on two legs, man is the same. Yes, he wears better clothes, flies in airplanes, but just scratch a little bit and you will find the monkey there.
Q: IF YOU'LL PARDON A COUPLE OF PERSONAL QUESTIONS, HAVE YOU NEVER WANTED TO HAVE A CHILD YOURSELF?
A: No, for the simple reason that I don't want to burden this earth. It is already burdened too much. There is no religious reason why my sannyasins are not giving birth to children. In the four years we have been here, not a single baby has been born. And nowhere is so much love being made as is made here.
Q: THERE'S BEEN A STORY RECENTLY THAT YOU PLAN TO RETURN TO INDIA AND TO MOVE THIS COMMUNE BACK TO INDIA. IS THERE ANY TRUTH IN THAT?
A: I go on creating many kinds of rumors; they are part of my work. But I am not going anywhere. I am going to remain here.
Q: WHY ARE YOU DETERMINED TO REMAIN HERE, INASMUCH AS YOU SEEM VERY CRITICAL AND UNFAVORABLY DISPOSED TOWARD THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT AND THE UNITED STATES IN GENERAL?
A: Because I want to spread that idea. I need to be here.
Q: IS THERE ANY REASON THAT THERE ARE NOT MANY INDIAN SANNYASINS HERE IN OREGON?
A: Only a few are here... not many. There were not many even when I was in India, for the simple reason that what I am saying goes against their conditioned minds, and they have the oldest conditioned minds in the world. They are so much conditioned over thousands of years that they have become incapable even of listening to anything new. They believe that everything that is true is in their scriptures, that there is no need for anything new. The old is gold. The older it is, the golder it is.
Q: WERE YOU EVER A PRACTICING HINDU?
A: Never, never. I have never been practicing any religion. I have been trying to remain an individual on my own, right or wrong, heaven or hell. I have never considered about anything. I want to remain completely myself. It gives a certain strength, freedom, dignity; and that's my teaching to my people. It is not a religion -- it is just the gathering of people who feel some similarity, some synchronicity. But each is respected as an individual.
This commune is not an organization, it is an organism just like the body. They are all working on their own responsibility. There is nobody higher, nobody lower; there is no hierarchy. The professor and the plumber are equally respected and loved. In fact, nobody even bothers whether you are a plumber or a professor. Nobody even asks anybody, "What are you doing?" because
everybody is doing what is needed. So all are equal; they are fulfilling the needs of the commune in different ways, in the way they can fulfill.
Q: WELL, HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE THING THAT BRINGS YOU ALL TOGETHER?
A: I had not come here to stay. I had come here because my health was bad. My back was so bad that we tried everything.... Experts from England were called but they could not fix it. I was suffering from asthma so much that sleep became difficult. I am allergic to all kinds of perfume, smoke, dust; any small thing immediately triggers my coughing and then it goes on for hours.
Otherwise, why should I choose Oregon? It is a desert, dry. Humidity is dangerous for me. Whenever I went to Bombay, attacks of asthma would immediately increase. And whenever I went to the desert part of India, Rajasthan, it would settle down. That gave me the clue that it is not a question of medicines; I had to find some desert place, and big enough. For simple reasons....
If I was living in the city and at somebody's house they were having a fire or celebrating a Hindu festival with firecrackers, that was enough to trouble me.
You cannot stop them just for my allergy. So I needed a big place, and this place is big enough. It is 126 square miles.
My sannyasins know what my troubles are, so they don't do anything that can trouble me. And the climate is dry. I had never come here with the intention to stay. I came only so that I could get healthier, and I have been getting healthier. I am far better than I was there, but my troubles are such that they can be triggered any moment. You just come here and you have been smoking, that is enough. You are not smoking here, just talking, and if I get the smell of tobacco, you have done it.
So it has become a problem. My Indian commune is there. They are waiting for me; but I know that if I go back the same problem will arise again. I was 180 pounds when I came; now I am 132 pounds. Just the dry climate helped me to reduce the weight without any difficulty.
So I am going to be here. And I am not a person to just sit and watch whatsoever goes on, because I don't think America belongs only to Americans and India belongs only to Indians. This whole earth belongs to us. I am feeling perfectly good here, healthwise, so I am not going to leave.
Secondly, I am feeling immensely interested by the hostility of Oregonians. For thirty years in India I had been hammering people. By and by they became accustomed to me, to my criticism. These people are new and they are really getting disturbed, and I am getting great joy out of it!
Q: YOU APPARENTLY ARE THE HEAD OF A VERY RICH WORLDWIDE ORGANIZATION. WHAT IS YOUR POSITION ON ANY OBLIGATION YOU MAY HAVE TO CONTRIBUTE TO WORLD CHARITY? TO THE FAMINE
COUNTRIES? TO POVERTY IN INDIA? TO THE MANY OTHER PLACES THAT NEED HELP?
A: First, I am not the head of a worldwide organization. I am not even a sannyasin. Nothing is in my hands; it is my sannyasins' business. I am simly a guest.
Q: WHAT IS YOUR PERSONAL FEELING ABOUT IT THEN?
A: My personal feeling is that there should be no more preparation for future war. And all the nations who are putting seventy-five percent of their energy and income into making new weapons, should move all that energy to help those who need it. I don't have anything to give to Ethiopia, because I don't possess anything.
Q: DO YOU NOT BELIEVE THAT IF YOU WISHED TO HELP ETHIOPIA, YOUR SANNYASINS WOULD COMPLY WITH YOUR WISHES AND RENDER HELP?
A: No. I would not wish it either. This should be the work of the politicians and the religious leaders. They should take the responsibility -- I have nothing to do with it. In fact, if people had listened to me, India would not have been poor. For thirty years I was saying to them, "Go for birth control. Abortion should be made legal" -- and I was condemned for that. They were throwing stones and shoes and knives at me for teaching them immorality.
So I don't feel responsible if they are starving. It is their doing. Anybody who is dying and starving should remember that the whole crime is due to people like the pope, Mother Teresa, and other religious leaders who are against birth control, against abortion. They are increasing the population of the world, and they are getting Nobel prizes. Mother Teresa should be hanged!
Q: WELL, EVEN IF YOU BELIEVE WORLD HUNGER IS A RESULT OF MISGUIDED POLICIES ON THE PART OF WORLD LEADERS, WHAT ABOUT HUMAN COMPASSION FOR THE PEOPLE WHO ARE STARVING? -- SIMPLE HUMAN COMPASSION.
A: If you really want to know the truth, I say just send medical groups to help the Ethiopians die peacefully if you cannot provide food and clothes. And how long are you going to provide? Ethiopia has been starving and dying for four years continuously, and those dying Ethiopians are still creating children.
The people who have increased the population of the world by their teachings should take the responsibility and feed those people; or, if they are incapable, my suggestion is that rather than starving, suffering, dying, it is better to give them
an injection so they can go peacefully into eternal sleep. And I know the soul never dies, so I am not worried about anything. They will be incarnated somewhere else, and next time they will find something better than Ethiopia.
Q: YOU BELIEVE IN REINCARNATION, THEN?
A: I know. I don't believe.
Q: WOULD THAT BE PART OF YOUR INDIAN HERITAGE, SINCE IT IS A STRONG BELIEF AMONG INDIANS?
A: No. It is not because they believe. I have tried to find it. It is not my belief, I never accept any belief. It only covers your ignorance, it never makes you wise. I have meditated; I have come to a point where I can see my own past lives, and that's proof enough. It is my knowing, my experiencing; it is nothing to do with Indian heritage, beliefs, or anything. I speak on my own authority.
Q: YOU'VE OFTEN EXPRESSED A VIEW OF A COMING WORLD APOCALYPSE IF MAN DOESN'T CHANGE HIS OUTLOOK. IS THAT VIEW OF AN APOCALYPSE SOMETHING THAT'S RATIONALIZED FROM AN ANALYSIS OF HISTORY AND CURRENT EVENTS, OR IS IT A VISION?
A: It is an analysis of man's whole past. The way man has been functioning -- continuously unconscious, fighting, violent -- one day it will come to its ultimate logical conclusion. And it is coming. After the second world war, you cannot have the first world war -- you can only have a third world war. It is not a vision, I am not a visionary. I can calculate the way nuclear weapons are growing. In 1945 the first atom bomb was used in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Within just forty years our power of destruction is seven hundred times more, and it is growing every day.
Q: YOU WOULD CALL YOURSELF A RATIONALIST ABOUT THIS, THEN?
Q: AND YOUR ANALYSIS ALSO SUGGESTS A WORLD EPIDEMIC OF SOME DISEASE -- POSSIBLY AIDS, I BELIEVE YOU SAID.
A: Yes. It is also part of all that man has done to nature, to man, to animals, to everything. He has created the situation.
For example, in my childhood in India -- and it is not long, just fifty years ago -- the seasons used to come exactly the same day each year. India has three clear- cut seasons. Every year winter starts at the same time, disappears at the same
time. Since 1945 it has not been so. Now the seasons are not predictable. Some great disturbance has shaken the routine of millions of years. The water is polluted, the air is polluted; it is really a miracle that we are still surviving. So it is simply a rational analysis that if we don't change human consciousness by the end of this century, the chapter of life on this earth closes forever.
Q: I BELIEVE THAT YOU'VE ALSO PREDICTED A TERRIBLE FLOOD. WHAT REASONS DO YOU SEE FOR THAT?
A: That, too.... All around the world even poor and small nations are experimenting with atomic energy, even India. People are starving, dying, and India is exporting its wheat -- for what? Your people are dying. They have been producing the wheat, they will not get even one meal a day, and you are exporting wheat. Naturally, the government will have to impose an emergency, because how long can people tolerate that they are dying and their food is being exported? But India is exporting because money is needed for more nuclear plants, atomic bombs. All that India has is farming. Eighty percent of Indians are farmers; they can only sell their raw product. And they will be purchasing death.
So if great explosions go on happening, it is scientifically estimated how many explosions will start melting the eternal snow of the Himalayas. And even just the Himalayas melting is enough to drown India completely, because the height of the ocean will rise fifty feet, and cities like Bombay will have no future. And this is only about the Himalayan ice. If the ice of the north pole and the south pole starts getting heated and they start melting, then you can understand....
It is a man-made calamity. And there is still time to stop, because it has not happened yet. I am not a prophet in the sense that I am a visionary. I don't support all that rubbish.
Q: YOU DO HAVE SOME FAITH IN THE PROPHECIES OF NOSTRADAMUS, THOUGH. IS THAT CORRECT?
A: I don't have any faith in him. The fact is that the man was crazy, and what he has written can be interpreted in any way you want. I found this rational analysis and managed to look into Nostradamus, and found similarities, which was very easy. There are many books of that kind in the world.
In India there is an ancient scripture thought to be written by Vyasa himself, five thousand years ago. Everything about you is written in it. You just have to go to the priest, you have to give your name, your birth time, your birth chart, and he will figure it out and find the right page where Vyasa has described you. And it is possible because in the Sanskrit language, each word has at least one dozen meanings. So looking at you, watching you, talking with you, the scholar will figure it out, and he will start reading from the scripture. And he will be very much correct.
Copies of the scripture exist all over India; so you have it done in Delhi but if you are not satisfied -- who knows if it is right or wrong? -- you can go to Madras or Calcutta, and they will find the same page again. And because in the process of finding the page the clue is given by you, you can just change your name.... Go to Delhi, tell one name, one date of birth; in Madras, tell another name, another time of birth and you will know what is going on. He will not be able to find the same page. He will find some other page. But ordinarily, the type of people who go will not do this. They are immensely impressed.
Nostradamus can be interpreted in any way you want. The sentences are not clear, the grammar is not correct. The words are such that you can fit them into any context you want.
Q: BUT HAVEN'T YOU USED HIM AS THE SOURCE OF THE PREDICTION THAT THIS DREAD DISEASE WOULD SWEEP THE EARTH?
A: No. I use all kinds of devices. If people are foolish, I can use even their foolishness to raise their consciousness. I don't feel any problem in it. If I was predicting on my own they would not listen to it, so I drag in Nostradamus. And that's what I have been doing my whole life. If I speak to Christians -- I have been speaking to Christians in India; they have the biggest theological college in Jabalpur where I was for twenty years -- and I was speaking on Jesus, I was simply speaking on myself. Just here and there I would have to put Jesus' name, and they were immensely happy; not only happy, they said, 'We have never heard any Christian, any theologian, finding the true meaning of Jesus." I said, "Yes, how can they find the true meaning of Jesus?"
Q: YOU DO NOT BELIEVE IN THE EXISTENCE OF A GOD, IS THAT CORRECT?
A: I don't believe in anything. Belief is simply not part of my vocabulary. Belief simply means you don't know, yet you believe. A blind man believing in light -- what can that belief do? He does not need a prophet, a messiah; he needs medicine, a surgeon, perhaps an operation on his eyes, so that he can see.
And do you believe in light? Nobody asks such questions -- you know light is there. The question of belief is asked only when the thing is non-existential. You cannot see it, you cannot touch it, you cannot feel it. God is a belief, heaven is a belief, hell is a belief The reason why you believe in these things is within your psychology; the priest is only exploiting. You have greed for immortality, you have greed for paradise and all the pleasures there. You have fear of death, you have fear of falling into the darkness of hell and all the tortures there. Naturally you start believing, because you don't want to go to hell, you want to go to heaven.
It is because of this psychology that an idiot like Reverend Jim Jones managed the suicide of his whole commune. He persuaded them to die with him, because if they died with him, they would all enter into heaven. This is the logical conclusion of Jesus' telling his disciples, 'I will take you into heaven." Jim Jones went a little farther. He was really a great Christian! -- after Jesus only he is the prophet.
Q: SO YOU BELIEVE THAT IF GOD EXISTED, GOD WOULD REVEAL HIMSELF IN SOME TANGIBLE WAY?
A: There is no God, and there is no question of his revelation. I don't see any possibility of God's existence. I can understand the existence of consciousness, because it is within me and I can experience it. And in my silent moments of awareness, I have never come across any God, any hell, any heaven.
Q: IS RAJNEESHISM A RELIGION?
A: No. It is a religionless religion. It is simply religiousness.
Q: DO YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF A PROPHET?
A: No. I am not so stupid. I don't consider myself in any way special, extraordinary, a messenger of God, a prophet, a messiah. No. I am just an ordinary human being like you and everybody else.
Q: I HAVE ONE MORE QUESTION FOR YOU. WHAT ARE YOUR ULTIMATE AIMS HERE IN OREGON?
A: I never think of tomorrow... and you are asking about the ultimate aim!
Q: WELL, SIR, I GREATLY APPRECIATE YOUR LETTING ME COME HERE TO VISIT YOU.
A: I loved it.
Q: IT'S BEEN A PLEASURE, AND I THANK YOU VERY MUCH....
A: Whenever you feel like coming, come.
Q: THANKS VERY MUCH.
The Last Testament, Vol 1