Awareness Is My Successor

From:
Osho
Date:
Fri, 3 September 1985 00:00:00 GMT
Book Title:
Osho - The Last Testament, Vol 2
Chapter #:
14
Location:
pm in Jesus Grove
Archive Code:
N.A.
Short Title:
N.A.
Audio Available:
N.A.
Video Available:
N.A.
Length:
N.A.

[NOTE: This discourse is published in the book: The Last Testament, Volume 1, as Chapter 6.]

MA YOGA PRATIMA RAJNEESHPURAM, OREGON

QUESTION: BELOVED BHAGWAN, CAN ONE BE A DROPOUT AND STILL BE RESPONSIBLE? IS THERE A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DROPPING OUT AND ESCAPISM?

ANSWER: There is tremendous difference between the two. Escaping is an act of cowardliness, because you could not face the situation. You could not find guts enough to encounter whatever was the situation. You escaped. You showed your back out of fear. The escapist will never be able to forgive himself. How can he forget that he has been cowardly?

The dropout is a totally different phenomenon. He is not dropping out of a particular structure, society, religion, out of fear. In fact he was preventing himself from dropping out, out of fear. His dropout is his declaration of freedom, individuality. His dropout signifies that he is no more part of a crowd, that now he is going to seek and search on his own; that he is no more a follower of Christ or Krishna, that he does not believe in any god or in any hell or heaven.

Now he is becoming a seeker, a searcher. Whatever the consequences he is getting ready to risk everything he has, because unless one risks everything, one cannot find the truth. Truth is not a compromise. It is a total letgo, risking all.

Even if you are saving a little bit in case it is needed, you will not find the truth.

You are still behaving in a cowardly way. Saving a little bit shows your fear.

A dropout has to be total. It is not out of fear, it is out of awareness -- a certain consciousness that we are living in a bondage of many kinds: social, cultural, racial, political, educational. All kinds of chains are around our being. A dropout simply drops out of all these chains. And the moment he decides to drop out, miraculously he finds those chains cannot prevent him. They are only cowbells.

All that was needed was courage and a tremendous sense of freedom, excitement of discoveries, a grounding in one's own self, a responsibility for the first time felt, that "I am alive and I have a responsibility to live with my totality.

Otherwise how am I going to answer existence?" Life was given to you and you never lived it. You went on postponing till death destroyed everything.

A dropout is a revolutionary. The escapist is not a revolutionary, he is a reactionary. That difference has to be remembered. My sannyasins are dropouts, not escapists.

Q: YOU HAVE SAID THAT YOU DON'T CARE IF THERE IS ANY SUCCESSOR WHEN YOU ARE GONE. WHAT DO YOU SEE HAPPENING TO YOUR SANNYASINS, TO RAJNEESHISM, THE MOMENT YOU DIE?

A: I don't at all think about it. Never does the thought occur to me, for the simple reason that the very idea goes against my approach. The people who are living with me are enjoying the moment. Do you want me alone not to enjoy the moment?

I am teaching everybody to enjoy the moment, and don't be bothered by tomorrow. Living in the moment intelligently, consciously, meditatively, will take care of the future. There is no need for me to give you directives, guidelines for what you have to do when I am gone. That's what all the old religions have done.

Manu gave all the guidelines for Hindus five thousand years ago, and they are still following them. Everything has changed, nothing of Manu is applicable any more. In fact it is a hindrance to the evolution of Hindus to become contemporaries. Now, Manu has committed a crime against humanity by giving these directives. He did not prove a blessing, he proved himself a curse.

But the same is done by Moses, Mohammed, Mahavira, Jesus, Buddha. On one thing they are all agreed: that when they are gone they have still to control the people who had come into contact with them, who had trusted them. But they don't trust their people.

I trust my people. I know that they are living fully, joyously. They know how to live joyously, how to live fully, and that's enough. I have given them the experience; now the experience will be decisive. And they will have a freedom, because things will change, situations will change. I could give directives that will become hindrances to their growth, but I cannot do that. That is criminal, very criminal.

For example, Mahavira gave the directive to his disciples not to wear shoes. In his time it was perfectly right, because to use leather means you are in some way or other indirectly supporting the killing of animals. And the best leather comes out in a very torturous way. Young calves have to be boiled, and their skin has to be taken off. Then it is soft, very soft. The moment an animal dies his skin becomes hard, then you cannot make beautiful shoes out of it. You can make shoes, but they will not be so soft, so velvety. And the younger the kid the better leather you get, softer leather you get.

Mahavira, seeing this whole scene happening in every town, every city -- young animals being boiled alive -- stopped his people. They were not eating meat, but they were using shoes at least, and that leather comes from torture. But Mahavira becomes decisive for the future too; he makes it a rule that his sannyasins should never wear shoes.

This is going too far. Now, I'm wearing shoes which are not made of leather.

Mahavira had no idea of rubber; he had no idea of synthetic leather. He had no idea that shoes can be made of canvas, of cloth -- of so many things. But we cannot condemn him for not having the idea; there was no possibility of that. All he knew was that he had forbidden his people to use leather, but he should have left them open for the future.

For example, Mohammed said to his disciples that they can marry four wives.

But that became a guideline for the future, and now Mohammedans everywhere are insisting that this is a question of their religion. They have to marry four wives. In Mohammed's time there was so much war, murder, arson, that the population of men and women had come to that proportion -- one man, four women -- because men were being killed in war. It was simply compassionate of Mohammed to say that one man should marry four wives; nothing was wrong in it. But to make it a guideline for the future, forever, is dangerous.

Now the situation is different. If one man marries four wives, then three men will remain bachelors. The situation has completely reversed, but the stupid mind of followers is such that they will not see the point. Why had Mohammed insisted on marrying four women? So that three are not left spinsters, because they will suffer unnecessary psychological repressions, they will become prostitutes, they will destroy the whole moral structure. But now the situation is just the opposite:

if a Mohammedan marries four wives then he is driving three men to remain celibate. Those three people are not going to sit silently, they will have to do something.

Then all kinds of perversions -- the same perversions that Mohammed was trying to avoid -- are all over Mohammedan countries. Because you are richer you can get as many wives as you want -- and four is not the limit, it is the minimum. Mohammed himself married nine wives; that is example enough for rich emirs and sheiks and oil kings. They can marry hundreds of women -- all the beautiful women of their country are brought to them -- but what about all those hundreds of young people who are deprived of their wives and their rights? You are driving them to homosexuality. You are driving them into other perversions, sodomy.

It is a very common phenomenon in Mohammedan countries -- men making love to animals. It is worse than rape, because the innocent animal is in your hands.

Whatever you want to do you can do. When you rape a woman, in some way or other she cooperates. Otherwise it is not easy. Perhaps deep down she desires it, because whenever a woman is raped -- the man is certainly criminal, I am not saving him from his crime -- the woman is not absolutely innocent. In the unconscious somewhere there is a desire that somebody should find her so beautiful, so irresistible, that he will even be ready to commit a crime. That is a kind of tremendous satisfaction, a confirmation of her beauty, of her charm.

I know women who have been raped, and I have asked both parties. The man who was raping her was also puzzled that the woman was cooperating, she was not screaming, shouting or doing something. Otherwise, if a woman is really against it, even her husband cannot make love to her -- what to say about rape.

She can bite, she can hit, she can throw stones, she can shout. She can do everything, but the poor animal cannot do anything. The poor animal cannot even understand what is happening. This is sheer abuse. Children are being sexually abused.... And for all this, Mohammed is responsible. And the amazing part of the story is that in all Mohammedan countries there are more bachelor men than anywhere else, because so many women are taken away by the richer people.

For homosexuality, death is the only penalty. On the one hand you are driving people towards homosexuality and on the other hand you make it the greatest crime, to be punished by death. You are putting such a pressure on people that they cannot even be homosexuals, so they are bound to move towards animals.

At least there is no law in Mohammedan countries against animals.

Nobody should try to make any guidelines for the future. The future is always open. I am not willing to be a participant in a crime which has been committed for thousands of years. I absolutely decline to stand with Buddha, Mahavira, Krishna, Mohammed, Jesus, Moses. No, that is not my company.

I want to make a complete breakthrough about everything, and this is one of the most fundamental things. There is hidden in it a deep desire to dominate people, even when you are gone -- to put it in other words, that the dead should be dominating the living. That's what has been happening all around the world. The living are not given freedom even to choose their own course, to choose their own moralities, to choose, according to the time, what is right and what is wrong.

Those people were very much concerned, because they were writing, they were dictating rules and regulations in detail. In Buddhist scriptures there are 33,000 rules for a monk. People have come to seek freedom, they have come to seek truth. What they are getting is a strange psychological slavery in its place, and that too even for coming generations.

So when I am asked whether I am going to make somebody my successor, I say absolutely no. I am giving my people clarity, understanding, awareness. That is going to be my successor.

Every one of my sannyasins has to decide for himself. I have given him that much understanding, and I am making every effort to make him more and more conscious, so there is no need for him to be dictated to about things which are absolutely new by people who are dead, and who had no idea about those things.

For example, none of these prophets had any idea about AIDS. We don't know what else is going to be in the future, but none of these people could have given any guidelines about AIDS. In fact, they have given guidelines which are very dangerous. Mohammed says that when there are a few Mohammedans eating together, they should eat from one plate. Now that is risking AIDS.

Eating out of one plate is dangerous if any single one of them is carrying AIDS, if in some way his saliva gets into the food by his hands. In the East people eat with their hands; the fingers can carry the saliva to the food, and the food is being eaten by everybody. When Mohammed gave that idea it was to give them companionship, friendship -- and even if a stranger passes by he should be invited. Now, this is absolutely dangerous. Jesus practiced this every day. He would drink from a cup, then he would pass the same cup to somebody else. He would drink from it and then it would go on being passed. It was thought to be a great blessing; wine touched by Jesus' mouth has become somehow divine. And that practice is still being continued.

What are they going to do now that all the information about AIDS is becoming more and more clear every day? This religious practice is no more religious, it is illegal. It is immoral. It is sickening, nauseating. It should be stopped immediately. But Christians cannot stop it; their master did it, and their master told his disciples to do it. It will be going against the master. But AIDS is far more powerful than your dead master. And he had no idea about it, so I don't condemn him; but I do condemn these idiots who will insist that this is their practice and they will have to continue it.

I am not going to give a single instruction about anything. In fact there is no need. These people had to give instructions because they left people blind. They gave only beliefs to them; they never gave them consciousness, awareness. They never gave them the capacity to decide on their own. They never made them responsible for their own life.

Yes, they gave them a blind man's stick, and directions on how to move so you can get to the door. But the house is being continuously renovated, continuously remade. Doors are being changed, windows are being changed, and the old blind man goes on finding the way with the old instructions.

No, I don't want to give my people sticks. I want to give them eyes. And the people who ask me who is going to be my successor are asking because that's how it has always been: somebody should succeed, and I should give clear-cut instructions about what you have to do and what you have not to do when I am gone. The people who ask me the question think that I am very irresponsible, that I will simply die and leave the sannyasins without any instructions, without any moral code, without any ten commandments. They do not understand me.

I love my people so much that I cannot create any hindrance in their life in the future. I cannot give them any instructions. I am giving them eyes so they can see where the door is for themselves. Why should I give them a map of the house when the house is continuously changing? And it has been proved by these five thousand years that all codes, all religions, all ethical systems have failed for the simple reason that they were trying to decide the future, which was not in their hands. Their intention was good, but their understanding was not enough.

I want my sannyasins to inherit my freedom, my awareness, my consciousness.

And each sannyasin has to be my successor, has to be me. There is no need for anybody to dominate. There is nobody for anybody to dictate to. They are on their own. If they want to be together they can be together. Out of their own freedom, it is their choice and their decision. If they want to move free they have all the rights to move free.

So the thought never occurs to me. All that occurs to me is that the sooner I can make my people more clear about life and its complexities the better, because nobody knows when I may be gone. Before that my people have to be capable of blissfully and joyously giving me a send-off.

And I will not be leaving any ethical code, any structure to be followed. They will have to make it. And they will have to remember that they make it only for themselves, not for the future. They will have to do the same as I am doing for them. They will have to keep alert, because it is very easy to be tempted so that the new generation does not get lost. It is better to get lost than to be imprisoned.

So I am not giving you any structure, any instructions, but only clarity, understanding, consciousness. Remember, the same thing has to be done for the future generation. One day the same question will be before you. What are you going to decide for the younger generation of sannyasins for when you are gone?

Nobody has the right to decide for anybody else. Help the person to grow, to mature. Help the person to stand on his own feet, this is real compassion.

And my compassion does not allow me to say a single word about the future. I am absolutely concerned with the present. And if the present is golden, the future born out of it will be even more golden.

Q: YOU SAY THAT INDIA IS A DEAD COUNTRY -- MENTALLY, PHYSICALLY AND ECONOMICALLY DEAD. HOW DID THIS HAPPEN, AND IS THERE ANY WAY NOW TO AVOID A CATASTROPHE?

A: There is always a way. But the problem is the people who are almost dead, because their tradition is so old, so rotten, and it has molded their mind, their consciousness. It has given them their guidelines on how to live, what to do, what not to do, and the prejudices are so long programmed in their mind that they have almost reached to their bone marrow.

The alternative is there, the catastrophe can be avoided-but who is going to listen? The trouble is not that there is no way. Everything can be changed but they are all against change. If the catastrophe were something from the outside, it would not be difficult to prevent it, to divert it. The catastrophe is within India's own soul. The cancer is there, but they are not ready for any surgery because they don't believe it is cancer. They believe it is their great heritage. Otherwise, for thirty years I was continuously giving them the way to get out of this stupidity -- and in thirty years they have doubled the population, in thirty years they have become twice as poor, they have gone far deeper into darkness.

I was telling them to drop this idea that God gives birth to children, that you cannot prevent God from doing it. If God is giving birth to children, don't be afraid: use the pill, use all birth control methods. If God still wants to give you a child -- he is powerful, omnipotent, what can the poor pill do against him? -- he will manage some way, he will have to find some way. You don't be worried about him, he is not somebody who can be prevented just by a pill. If your God can be prevented by a pill, then it is better to worship the pill than the God. The pill is more powerful.

But nobody seems to listen. People go on giving birth to children. Nobody is ready to change any old, dead idea. Even if you logically prove it to them and they don't have any argument, still they will do the same.

For example, amongst the Jainas in India, the oldest religion, vegetarianism has gone to stupid extremes -- so much so that my grandmother did not allow tomatoes in the house because they are red and look like meat. Up to my eighteenth year I had not tasted the poor tomato. It was not possible to bring a tomato into the house.

I have been trying to convince Jainas to start eating vegetarian eggs. But the very word egg was enough. They said, "You cannot deceive us. How can an egg be vegetarian?" I explained to them that it is unfertilized, there is no life in it because the male sperm has not reached the egg. But the very idea of eating eggs is impossible.

They are missing in their food many essential proteins, vitamins -- so essential that without them their intelligence cannot grow, but will remain retarded. It is an absolute necessity for Jainas to accept the vegetarian egg.

Not a single Jaina has received a Nobel prize, and they are well-educated, more than anybody else in India. They are rich; you will not find a single Jaina beggar in a whole country of beggars. The whole country is full of beggars, but you will not find a single Jaina beggar. They are all middle class or super high class, well- educated, educated in the West in the great universities of the world, but something is missing. Their intelligence does not seem to shine.

Their food is insufficient, it lacks some essential thing. And I have told them, "You can go to the medical college, you can inquire what are the essentials for intelligence to grow, and you can show your food that you eat. Are those essential elements in it or not? You need not listen to me, just go to the scientist, to the doctor, to the chemist, and find out. You certainly need something like the vegetarian egg." But the very word egg simply disturbs them. They have not accepted the idea.

Now, Jews are not a big majority in the world; they are a small minority, but proportionately they get more Nobel prizes than anybody else. Their food should be looked at. Why have they produced more intelligent people? This whole century has been revolving around three Jews: Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, Albert Einstein. These three persons have made this whole century. And what is the contribution of all others? It must be looked into.

And it is not only these three people; most of the Nobel prizes go to the Jews.

They don't have anything special, but their food should be accurately estimated, and it should be made known to everybody in the world.

I have been telling Hindus and Jainas that they should start circumcision as compulsory. They would simply say, "You are crazy. We are not Jews, we are not Mohammedans -- and circumcision? You want us to become Jews and Mohammedans? And nobody ever in the whole history of India was as crazy as you, talking about circumcision."

But I told them that circumcision is going to become almost compulsory all over the world sooner or later. It is hygienic, it prevents many sicknesses, many diseases. And a few Jewish thinkers even have said -- and there may be some truth in it -- that when a child is circumcised, he is so small, so delicate, that on the one hand just cutting the foreskin does no harm to the child. But on the other hand, it gives a certain shock to his mind -- and that is the reason they have been receiving so many Nobel prizes.

This is a very strange kind of argument; but there is a possibility, because the genitals are joined with the head. The sex center is in the head, and the small child, if he is circumcised, certainly gets a shock, and that shock will vibrate to the very sex center in his brain. That may be doing something. It has to be studied; I am not saying it is true, but it is worth studying, it is worth inquiring into scientifically. But one thing is absolutely certain, that circumcision is healthy, is hygienic; and it does not mean that because Jews do it, you cannot do it.

Now, I could not convince a single Hindu, a single Buddhist, a single Sikh, a single Jaina, in favor of circumcision. They simply said, "Don't bring such strange ideas to us. You may convince a few young people...."

I was staying in the palace of the Maharani of Gwalior, who had invited me. It is one of the most beautiful palaces in India and perhaps in the world, with miles and miles of beautiful gardens around it. It has everything: lakes, gardens, fountains, and many small cottages for guests. The main palace is all marble. She had chosen a very beautiful cottage for me to stay in, just half on the lake, half on the ground.

Every day, for seven days, they were having religious discourses. There was a big congregation because it was a palatial function; nearabout twenty thousand people were there. Her son heard me and was immensely impressed. She was also impressed, and the next morning she came to see me and she would not sit on the chair. I told her, "You are old." She said, "No, I cannot do that. Please don't stop me sitting at your feet. And first I have to confess one thing: that I have prevented my son from coming to you. Forgive me. I was afraid because he seemed too much excited by last night, and he is continuously talking about you and what you said.

"I became afraid he may get too impressed by you. And we are a traditional family, royal family, and he is my successor. I cannot allow him to be impressed by you, although I myself am impressed, but I am mature enough that I can intellectually be convinced by you, yet I will go on doing whatever I was doing.

That has been our tradition, and I cannot betray that tradition."

I said, "You can betray your intelligence, and you cannot betray some dead ancestor thousands of years old who has made rules and regulations for you?

But you are ready to betray your intelligence.... And you say you are impressed, and still you prevent your son from meeting me?"

She said, "I am sorry, but I will not allow him. And he cannot go against my wishes because he knows I can deprive him of the inheritance and the inheritance can go to his younger brother."

With this threat he had been prevented. Later on, after five, six years, he met me in Delhi -- he had become a member of parliament -- and he said, "I have been trying hard since you stayed in my house, but my mother -- if she comes to know that I met you in Delhi, she has threatened that she will deprive me, and it is too much a risk. She is one of the richest queens in India, and I will have to wait till I succeed her, and then my first thing is to come to you and be with you. All sorts of nonsense has been told to me; all kinds of religious teachers and saints go on coming to the house, but you were the first man I became interested in. They are all boring, but I have to listen to them because of the inheritance."

I said, "You are also a coward. If you had really the mind of a seeker, you would have said to your mother,'Keep your inheritance yourself. I renounce it.' " He said, "Yes, I don't have that much guts, but it has left a wound in me that my mother is threatening me. And she is also impressed by you. She does not say that you are wrong, she says that a young person should not come in contact with such a person: 'He can be dangerous. You are immature. You first become mature.'" I said, "So that you can become a hypocrite, in other words; so you can intellectually say it is right, but I am going to do what I am expected to do."

This is the problem in India. Indira was absolutely convinced by me, and was sincere and honest enough to say that, "I cannot do anything, because if I follow what you are saying -- which seems to be absolutely the right thing to do -- then I will lose my power, because then I will be going against my illiterate, uneducated voters. If I accept your suggestion, then my voters will desert me, my cabinet will be against me.

"And you know perfectly well that my deputy prime minister is Morarji Desai, who is continuously talking against you. If he comes to know that I am trying to implement any idea of yours, I am gone. And that's what he is waiting for, so he can become the prime minister if somehow I can be thrown out. And this will be the easiest thing to drive my voters against me.

"So I cannot do anything. It is cowardly, I accept, but this is how politics is. We have to look for many things, watch for many things. I read your books, I want to come to see you in Poona, but my cabinet people prevent me. They say, 'Even going to his ashram in Poona you will be creating trouble for yourself.

Immediately Hindu priests will be against you, Vinoba Bhave, who controls all the Gandhians, will be against you, Mohammedans will be against you.

Everybody will be against you, so you can choose.'" She could never come. For seven years she was trying, almost deciding the date and then postponing it again. So I say there is a way, but it is not going to be followed. India is going to die. It is just on the verge of death. Its leaders are impotent, its people are retarded. Its religious leaders are in favor of the past.

You will be surprised to know that in India the theory of evolution is not accepted. They have just the opposite theory, the theory of involution. They say man was made perfect by God, and in a way it looks logical. If God makes man, then certainly he will make a perfect man. Why he should he make a monkey and then the monkey will become a man? So Indian mythology says God created man perfect, and then man started falling down.

So they have four stages, four ages; they compare these four ages to the four legs of a stool. The first they call the age of truth, when man was perfect and truth was his life. When man fell from the first stage, the stool became a tripod with three legs, one leg missing. The first age is called satyuga, the age of truth.

The second age is called simply tretha, three legs. Man has lost something very essential, he is unbalanced. And in the next fall he loses one leg more; now he has only two, and that is called dwapur, a very unbalanced state. A stool standing on two feet is ready to fall any moment; how it is managing to keep on standing is a miracle.

Now man has lost all balance, and this is involution. Man is going down and down and down. And the fourth, in which we are living according to the Indian mind, has only one leg left -- a crippled man who has lost three-fourths of his being. This age they call kaliyuga, the age of darkness.

So according to the ideology, their philosophy, what is happening is expected.

That is also a difficulty. They say it was bound to happen; after the fourth age there is nothing but death. Just a little fall more and civilization disappears. So they have some intellectual, traditional background also for the coming death -- and to accept it. Their leaders are cowards because they have to depend on the votes of the people. They cannot do anything against the people and their opinion and their tradition.

So although I say there is a way -- I am the way -- there is no possibility that the way should ever be realized. India has come to a point of old age when one has to accept death as natural. Perhaps if this idea is made available to all Indians -- that they are on the verge of death, either change or die -- there may be a possibility, because seeing death clearly in front, nobody wants to die.

So my sannyasins who are in India have to make it clear to the country that it is facing death. The whole civilization is on the verge of falling apart, and we provide a way to get out of this calamity. I don't think they will listen, but the effort should be made. That is the responsibility of all Indian sannyasins, to make the effort. At least we will not feel that we never did anything.

For thirty years I was doing everything that was in my power. I wasted my health, my body. I was never sick, but those thirty years continuously traveling I accumulated all kinds of sicknesses unnecessarily. And it is so difficult to change the traditional mind.

But now that I am outside India, their negativity towards me is less. It was a miracle that in this festival, 250 Indians came. People who had never come to see me in India write letters that they want to come here; if I can give them a little time, they want to meet me. They never came in India -- and I was available.

Perhaps it is good that I am far away and they cannot take me for granted.

And the situation has become even worse. When Indira was assassinated, the government was on shaky ground. Rajiv has nothing to contribute. He cannot solve the problem of Punjab. He tried to bribe the leader of the revolutionary Sikhs who want Punjab to be an independent nation. It is very easy in India to bribe, so he bribed the leader of the revolutionaries. He must have promised him privately that he would be made the chief minister or governor: "The whole government will be yours, so you choose all the Sikhs in the government. We give you the capital of Chandigarh for Punjab."

Chandigarh is the only new city in India. Made by a very famous architect from France, the whole city is absolutely new, the only city that is really clean, and has beauty, art. But it has been up to now the capital of two provinces, Haryana and Punjab, which were one province before. Then Sikhs said they want to be separate from Hindus; they don't want to live with Hindus, they want a separate province, a separate state. That was granted after much struggle.

It is a strange thing in politics -- you know you will have to grant something, then why waste time with unnecessary killing, murdering, riots, army, curfew, martial law, and then finally you accept? They accepted finally that Punjab should be an independent state and the Hindu majority would make another state, Haryana. But then trouble arose because Punjab had Chandigarh as their capital. Now both provinces were fighting for Chandigarh. It is worth fighting for; it is the best city now in India, everything made new, and with tremendous contemporary art.

Rajiv conceded that the government would give Chandigarh to Punjab alone and for Haryana it would make another capital. An underground agreement must have been made with the leader: "You will be the chief minister, you will have the cabinet, all the Sikhs you have, but don't ask for an independent country."

And of course he was much gratified. He agreed and signed.

The day Savita brought the news to me, I told her immediately that that leader would be assassinated within a few days; and yesterday she brought the news that he has been assassinated. Now the problem is again back where it was.

It is such a simple thing. Just make Punjab independent. If the people of that state want to be independent, it is nobody's business to prevent it. First you were not willing to give them a separate state, and you had to give it. Second, you were not ready to give them the whole capital of Chandigarh, only half. Finally you agreed to give it... and now you are not agreeing to give them Punjab. You will have to agree, because Sikhs are simple people, but very strong-willed. If they have decided, then nobody can change their decision.

So why unnecessarily waste time? Why not be friendly? And just tell them that this is perfectly good -- if you want to be an independent country, be an independent country and whatsoever help we can give to make you independent, self-sufficient, we will give you. And even if after independence you find that it is difficult, you are always welcome, you can come back to the union.

But this is how politics is -- so complicated that nothing is ever solved. If they give Punjab to the Sikhs, then the Nagars are asking for Assam as an independent country. For forty years they have been fighting. Then too Bengalis would like to be separate, because they don't consider themselves in any way part of India. Their language is better, their culture is better. Everything they have is better, they think, and they don't want to mix with second-rate people.

Then there is Tamil Nadu in South India, which is even racially different. They belong to South Africa, they don't belong to India. Africa was joined with India, and thousands of years ago it drifted away. You just try the map of India and the map of Africa: put them together and you will be surprised -- they fit exactly, line for line. It was one land, and now scientists accept the idea that continents drift, they are not in the same place. At least one foot every year, every continent is drifting somewhere. They are floating on the ocean.

South India wants to be independent, so the problem is if you allow Punjab, then you give the idea to other states also. But then, too, I say, what is the problem?

Let everybody who wants to be independent be independent.

India has never been a country, it has been always many countries. Maharashtra is a country in itself; their language is different, their culture is different. Kerala is a country in itself; its language is different, its religion is different, its political ideology is different. Kerala is the only state in India which is communist, the only state in India which is majority Christian. Why should they be forced to live together?

The only reason is that if all these provinces and states become independent countries, then India shrinks to a small country. And in the same proportion, the prime ministers and the presidents of India also shrink. They don't want to shrink, that is the only problem; otherwise there is no problem.

And it will be far easier to solve other problems: let them solve their own problems. Why bother?if Punjab wants to be independent, then they have to take care of poverty and other problems. It will be really good. I am in absolute support of independence for every state that wants to be independent, so it has to solve its problems also.

And what is harmful in India becoming smaller? What does it matter? Just because the president will not be that big, the prime minister will not be that big -- there will be at least twenty presidents and twenty prime ministers in India -- but what is wrong with that? In fact, to me it seems to be more psychologically healthy. So many people's ambitions will be fulfilled; why prevent them?

And then they have to solve their own problems, and when your country becomes smaller, your problems become smaller, and perhaps you may be able to solve them. If India is disintegrated completely there is a possibility of its survival, but it cannot survive as one country. It can survive as many countries, small countries -- and they are not so small. If Sweden, Denmark, Holland, Italy, England, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, can all be independent countries....

Each state of India is bigger than any country in Europe, so why keep this whole load together? Distribute it.

Perhaps by distribution, Punjabis will put their whole energy into solving their problems. They are not concerned if Bengalis are dying, that is not their concern.

Bengalis will put their whole intelligence into solving their problems, they are not bothered if Assamese are dying.

My approach is to let India be disintegrated. Let it be twenty, thirty, as many countries as they want. There are thirty states; perhaps they all want to be independent -- so let them all be independent. And the problem will be distributed also into thirty sections and each new country will put its whole energy in, now that it is their country and they have to solve its problems, and they have to face the reality. Perhaps that may wake up the sleeping soul of people.

So my sannyasins in India should spread the idea that this is perfectly good.

There is no need of any riots, no need of any martial law, no need for the army. If anybody wants to be free, let him be free in a friendly way, help him.

So don't become enemies when you become separate. Remain friendly, and the problems can be solved. The old India will be dead; now there will be thirty new countries. Perhaps the freshness, the youth, the newness may help them to get rid of the whole past.

Q: IS MAN CAPABLE OF BEING CIVILIZED, OF CREATING A TRUE CIVILIZATION A TRUE DEMOCRACY?

A: Man is capable, and only man is capable; just no effort has been made yet. If we can create in this small commune a certain atmosphere of love, this is enough proof that the same can happen all around the world. They just have to do what we have done.

Families should disperse into bigger communes. Rather than creating a demarcation -- a small group called family -- make children available to bigger communes. Their experience will be richer, their loving qualities will be higher, their intelligence will be sharper.

And the whole world need not have big cities. All big cities should become many small communes, and much of the crime will disappear. Crime exists because people don't receive dignity, respect, love, and their necessities. Each commune should take care of its people -- their necessities, their education, their dignity, respect.

In a big city like New York or Bombay or Tokyo or London, you are lost in a crowd, you don't have any identity. You are in the crowd, but you are always alone. You shake hands with people, but you are strangers. For hours you are standing in the same commuter train; nobody is talking with anybody else, everybody is looking at the newspaper. We have to create smaller groups where everybody is acquainted with everybody else, where people mix with each other, not as separate families -- they have dropped that separation -- but as part of one commune.

And the commune can pool everything. For example, if we can manage food for five thousand people, what is the need of having five thousand kitchens? Sheer wastage, stupidity. When the world is hungry, undernourished, you have so many kitchens in every city, and so many people are involved in working in those kitchens -- so much labor! -- millions of hours in every city are simply wasted.

We can see in our commune that very few people can manage, and can manage far better than individual homes. Because the commune will always be richer... if five hundred families pool their resources into the commune, the commune is going to be really rich. Everybody need not have a car, you can just have a pool of five hundred cars. Anybody who wants the car can take it, so five hundred cars can serve five thousand people without any trouble -- and everybody has a car.

Now this is not possible in a world which is family -- divided. The commune is the way to make man civilized. The commune should decide how many children we need this year, and the commune will be responsible for the children. Parents can be loving to them, but they cannot claim them as their possessions; they belong to the whole commune.

Naturally, they cannot be taught to be Christians, Hindus, Mohammedans; no -- the commune has no religion. It will teach the children everything that has been found truthful, and it will teach the children that there are many things they will have to seek and find themselves. We cannot give them the answers for those things: God, soul.... We cannot give them any answers, but we will give them a curiosity, we will give them an inquiry, we will give them a doubting mind. We will give them a sharp intelligence. We will give them the art of meditation so they can be utterly still.

Archimedes used to say, "If I can find a single still point, I can change the whole universe." He was right, but he was looking in the wrong direction. That single still point exists within you. Archimedes could not find it, so he could not turn the whole universe. I have found it, and I find that the universe is turning perfectly well. There is no trouble.

The commune will teach the children to be meditative, to find their own still being, the still small voice, which always directs rightly, which is the only guide.

And all other guides are just hypocrites.

We can create a world without poverty, a world without crime, a world without war, and that will be a civilized world. Man is capable of it, and we have to show it with existential proof. We have to make communes all around the world in every place, so people can see that what I am saying is not just a philosophy -- it can be done, it can be made into reality.

In the beginning they will be hostile, in the beginning they will hate, in the beginning they will try to destroy you. But soon all that will disappear, because how long can they deceive themselves? Seeing the fact that you are more joyous, more intelligent, more creative, richer in every possible way, they will have to learn your art.

My communes one day will become schools for teaching man how to be civilized.

Okay, Pratima?

Q: THANK YOU, BHAGWAN.

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