[NOTE: This is a typed tape transcript and has not been edited or published, as of August 1992. It is for reference use only. The interviewer's remarks have been omitted where not relevant to Osho's words]
ANSWER:* I know. I can... I can feel your heart and your tears. So there is a possibility of authentic communion. You are no more a journalist. I can talk to you now heart to heart.
Otherwise, journalism is something superficial. The moment it becomes a communion of the heart....
Q:* I KNOW WITH YOUR HELP I'LL BE UP TO THAT CHALLENGE. I'VE NOT TRIED THAT WAY OFTEN BEFORE.
A:* It is very rare because journalists try to remain true to their profession, and their profession is superficial. Journalism does not become literature for the simple reason that it is so superficial. By the evening the newspaper is worthless.
But if it is heart to heart, then journalism can also become art and literature. And it should become.
Q:* I'D LIKE TO KNOW HOW MANY COMMUNES ARE THERE AND WHERE ARE THEY LOCATED?
A:* It is difficult for me to give you very detailed information because I myself don't know. But almost in every country of the world there are communes.
Germany has the largest number of communes. Holland has perhaps the second largest number. England has, Italy has. India, Japan, Switzerland.
In other than communes there are ashramas, which are smaller communes: very few people living. And then there are centers where only one or two sannyasins are living but other sannyasins come to meditate, to listen to the tapes, to read, to discuss.
In all we have almost one million sannyasins around the world. In these one million sannyasins, nearabout two hundred thousand sannyasins are underground. That means they are either in Russian, communist, countries or in Mohammedan countries where they cannot come in the open.
Even in communist countries we have communes, but underground you cannot declare, you cannot use the red clothes. Even in a red country you cannot use red clothes. My sannyasins are being persecuted by KGB in Russia. Their books have been taken away, their tapes have been taken away and they are constantly interrogated, harassed, to give more information about other sannyasins who may be having literature. My literature is banned.
But that does not make any difference. In fact, it creates more excitement, more curiosity, particularly in the intelligentsia.
So around the world I have one million very intelligent people, deeply interested, not only intellectually interested but existentially interested. They want to be transformed into a New Man. And that is the function of sannyas.
Q:* WHY DO SO MANY COME FROM WEST GERMANY, WHY ARE THE LARGEST NUMBER OF COMMUNES IN WEST GERMANY? COULD IT HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH ADOLF HITLER AND THE HOLOCAUST?
A:* It has certainly something to do with Adolf Hitler. He prepared the ground for me because he cheated and deceived the whole country. The youth of Germany is no more interested in politicians.
On the other hand, Adolf Hitler was also ambitious to be known as a religious leader. He declared himself to be the reincarnation of Old Testament Prophet Elijah, and German Christian heads prayed for his victory.
The leadership that he gave to the country almost changed people into robots. So the new generation is very much frustrated with politicians, religious leaders, of anybody who would like to impose a discipline on them.
And that's the reason why they are interested in me. I don't have any discipline to impose on anybody. My teaching is fundamentally for freedom of thinking, being. I have tremendous respect for individuality. The society is not more important than the individual. The society exists for the individual, not vice versa.
I don't have a dogma, I don't have a God in which you have to believe. I am not a prophet. I am not a messenger. I am simply a human being who can see a little more clearly than you. And I am ready to share my clarity and I am grateful if you allow me to share my clarity with you.
You are not obliged; I am obliged.
So that is the reason why most of the German intelligentsia is immensely interested in me. And the German politicians and the government is in the same proportion afraid. They are afraid that anybody who comes to me never returns back to Germany. They are afraid that I have more influence on their youth than they have.
I have never been in Germany. Still the German politicians have put few cases against me so that I cannot enter the country, or, if I enter, then I can immediately be arrested.
I have no desire to go anywhere.
Q:* ON WHAT GROUNDS WOULD THEY ARREST YOU?
A:* They have made stupid cases against me in the courts. Summons are there with arrest warrants, that I am speaking something which is hurting somebody's religious feelings. Now, anybody can put a case on that ground.
Even in America the president... I was not even thinking that there will be an American Nazi party. The president of the American Nazi party wrote a letter to me that, "You speak against Adolf Hitler and it hurts our religious feelings."
I could not believe that Adolf Hitler and religious feelings... how he is managing to join together? -- till I discovered that he was the reincarnation of Prophet Elijah and they believe that he had come for the salvation of humanity.
So they have put cases against me. There have been cases in India against me.
(interviewer is speaking simultaneously) Hmm?
Q:* THAT IS SURELY A CIVIL SUIT BETWEEN YOU AND THE NAZI PARTY.
A:* Civil suit, yes.
Q:* OUR GOVERNMENT IS WELL KNOWN FOR ITS RELIGIOUS TOLERANCE.
A:* Religious tolerance! Nobody is there.
If you have a religion you cannot have religious tolerance. Only a man like me can have religious tolerance who has no religion. So it does not matter to me. It is simply rubbish.
But to any man who is attached to any religion cannot really have religious tolerance. He has already decided what is right, what is true. Now he can show a hypocrite mask of tolerance, but if you look even in the word tolerance you can see there is the taste of intolerance already present in the very word tolerance.
If I say I simply tolerate your presence here, what does it mean? It simply means I do not rejoice your presence here. You are not welcome. I do not respect you as you are; I simply tolerate.
But tolerance is not a great quality. It is a very third-rate value.
Q:* IT BEATS PERSECUTION. GOVERNMENTS ELSEWHERE HAVE BEEN KNOWN TO PERSECUTE ON RELIGIOUS GROUNDS.
A:* In fact, persecution is better than tolerance because persecution at least recognizes you on equal grounds.
ersecution really means that the people who are persecuting are afraid of you, they are afraid that if you both are allowed to exist together, sooner the other party is going to win. They have the truth and you don't have it. So before it becomes known, they have to be destroyed.
But when you tolerate somebody, you have already accepted that they are inferior to you; there is no fear about it.
I would rather love to be persecuted than to be tolerated. Persecution simply means you are afraid, you are threatened.
Q:* THAT SEEMS TO BE THE ATTITUDE OF THE GERMAN GOVERNMENT AT THE MOMENT.
A:* Yes. They are threatened. They discuss about me in their parliament, against me -- a person who has never been in their country. But if I am there they are going to persecute me like anything.
But I love it! I enjoy it.
I am being persecuted here in America, what to say of Germany?
Q:* SO THEN YOU ARE PERSECUTED HERE (INAUDIBLE) TOLERATED?
A:* Yes, there are so many cases going in the courts against me -- false, utterly lies. And we are defeating all those cases because they are against their own laws, against their own constitution.
Q:* YOU MEAN THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES?
Q:* WE'VE BEEN MOST IMPRESSED IN LOS ANGELES, IN CALIFORNIA, AT HOW WELL THE COMMUNE HAS WON EACH CASE AND INSISTED UPON THE AMERICAN WAY BEING SERVED.
A:* We will fight.
Q:* EVEN IN OREGON THERE'S A GRUDGING RESPECT FOR YOUR TRIUMPHS.
A:* Certainly. They have to respect it because we are standing for the constitution and they are standing against their own constitution. It is a strange fate, that we are to protect the American constitution against the Americans.
Q:* WITH SO MANY SANNYASINS -- A MILLION OF THEM WORLDWIDE -- I UNDERSTAND THAT YOU PERSONALLY CHOOSE EACH SANSKRIT NAME FOR EACH SANNYASIN. IS THAT CORRECT?
A:* I used to.
Q:* HOW DO YOU ARRIVE AT THE APPROPRIATE NAME FOR EACH SANNYASIN? HOW DO YOU MANAGE THAT? AND IF YOU COULD ALSO EXPLAIN WHAT THE VALUE OF TAKING A DIFFERENT NAME THAN ONE'S FAMILY NAME.
A:* In India I used to give new names because mostly names in other languages are either meaningless or silly. For example, just the name of one American evangelist, Jerry Falwell -- now I cannot understand why fall-well should be given a name to anybody. It is simply silly.
So I was giving meaningful names to people. From all over the world people were coming there and I was giving them meaningful names which can have a certain significance for them, a certain relatedness to their personality, a certain message for their future growth.
If I saw a person, that he was very sad, long-faced, carrying many frustrations, disappointments, and out of that frustration and disappointments he has come to me but that long shadow is still with him, then I will give him something just the opposite of what he has been up to now, because I want him to discontinue with his past.
For example, I may call him Ananda Prem. Ananda means bliss, Prem means love. A blissful loving personality, that is his goal. And drop all this sadness and all this frustration. Whatever has passed has passed; now nothing can be done about it. Only one thing can be done about it: it can be dropped.
And you can start anew. The new name is simply symbolic of a new birth. When you are born you come without a name. Then your name is given to you.
Sannyas has to be a new birth. So symbolically the new name indicates that the old person is dead and you have to start living from this moment a new way of life.
I have given thousands of names. Now I don't give sannyas myself. But sannyasins who have been with me for fifteen years and are perfectly capable of reading the mind of the man, the personality of the man, they are giving sannyas.
And names I have given so many that out of all those names they can find what name will be suitable, because every kind of person and every kind of mind I have initiated into sannyas. So they don't need to bother about new names. I have given thousands of names; they have the whole list and they can find and they can work it out.
But it is certainly significant. Sometimes very small things are very significant.
For example, your clothes. It is nothing important that what kind of clothes you are wearing or what color, but when you are mourning you use black. Somehow it fits with your mood, somehow it shows others your situation. In a mourning black dress it will be difficult to have a hearty laugh. Just it will look absurd.
So small things -- I have given my sannyasins the color red because there are only two basic colors in existence: red and green. All other colors are in a very major -- ... minority. The basic is the green: the trees, the forest. And the red.
Strangely enough, the red is always the color of the flowers. It represents blossoming, flowering, life. Very few people reach to the stage of flowering. They remain barren. They die without any fruition, without any flowers.
I want to remind my people continuously. Twenty-four hours they will be using the red. They have to flower. Before death comes, flowering has to happen. They have to work for it hard.
Q:* DOES THE MALA HAVE HEALING POWERS?
A:* No. For the sannyasins it can have thousands of meanings. For a non- sannyasin, no meaning because it is a question of your love, your trust. Then anything can have healing power. If you trust me, then just a glass of water from my hand will have the healing power. It is not in the water, it is not in my hand.
It is in your trust.
So to a sannyasin the mala is certainly of many meanings. In sickness he can have healing through it, just holding it. In fear, just holding it and he will feel courage.
In a moment of loneliness, just holding it and he will not feel lonely, he will feel he is with me. But it all depends on his trust, it has nothing to do with mala itself.
Mala is only an excuse.
Q:* I HEARD THAT WHEN THE COMMUNE BEGAN HERE IN OREGON THAT THERE WAS A DAY OFF, BUT THEN SOMETHING HAPPENED THAT CAUSED YOU TO INSTITUTE A SEVEN-DAY WORK WEEK. COULD YOU TALK ABOUT THAT?
A:* No, in the beginning people simply started working the way they worked in the outside world. The outside world has followed the routine because in the biblical story God worked for six days and the poor fellow got tired, so seventh day he rested. And since then nothing has been heard about him. He went to eternal rest.
I don't want my people to go to eternal rest. I said it is better to continue working. The seventh day is dangerous.
I was just joking, but the reality was that we had so much to do that even seven days are not enough.
We came into a desert. When we came there was only one house, dilapidated, no greenery, just barren hills. And we had to make it an oasis. And tremendous work was needed. Soon we found six days are not enough. Even seven days are not enough.
Our people are working twelve hours per day and in festival times four times a year, for months they work fourteen hours a day -- but with great joy.
It is their commune, it is their creation. It is not an ordinary work in the ordinary world. It is just like a painter or a musician who goes on playing and practicing for hours without getting tired. In fact, the more he practices the finer becomes his music and greater is his joy.
We are creating an oasis. It is similar to creating poetry or music or sculpture.
And we have in four years changed the color of the whole scenery. Now it is green.
Birds have come, deers have come -- on their own accord, seeing that we have managed dams and made big lakes, seeing that so many people are here -- and harmless people. So we have thousands of deers now. And in the night if you go in the street you will find them standing, and they will not move. You will have to get out of the car and push them, because they know these people don't harm anybody.
In my garden I have three hundred peacocks. Even my car takes too much time to get out of the house and inside the house because they are all standing in the way, dancing. And they are not worried that the car is there, it is not a place to dance. But they know that nobody is going to harm.
Just my chauffeur was saying that in this place there is only one sin: that is, don't run over a peacock.
I said, "That's right."
Q:* BHAGWAN, IF I MAY, JUST FOR A MOMENT GO BACK TO....
A:* Yes, you can go anywhere.
Q:* I HEARD THAT WHEN THERE WAS A SIX-AND-A-HALF-DAY WEEK, ON THE HALF DAY OFF THERE WAS A TRAGIC ACCIDENT AND THAT A SANNYASIN WHO WAS A MEMBER OF THE COMMUNE DROWNED. AND IT WAS FROM THEN ON, PERHAPS LEST HE FALL INTO OBLIVION, THAT THE SEVEN-DAY WORK WEEK WAS INSTITUTED.
A:* No. It had nothing to do with that. It may have been a coincidence but I don't remember that it has anything to do with that.
Accidents can happen any day. It is not a question of....
But our work is so much because we want to be self-sufficient. We don't believe in poverty, we believe in luxury, comfort. This is the only commune in the whole history of man where five thousand sannyasins are living in fully air-conditioned houses. And we have made all these houses. We have made all the roads. We have made the hospital, the school, the university -- whatever is our need.
We cultivate our own food. We cultivate our vegetables. We have all our milk products because we are vegetarians, so we produce vegetarian eggs 'cause that is an absolute necessity for all vegetarians of the world.
Unless they start eating vegetarian eggs, their intelligence will lag behind others.
So not a single vegetarian has up to now received a Nobel Prize for the simple reason that his intelligence cannot grow. It needs certain proteins which are missing in his food.
So we have our chicken farm and we are now perfectly sufficient. We have our cars for every sannyasin who ever wants to use. We have our buses for every sannyasin. We have our airplanes for every sannyasin. We have our airport. We have everything that we want.
And we will go on producing more and more, because my approach is that true communism is possible only when capitalism comes to its peak. When there is so much wealth that nobody wants to hoard it -- there is no point in hoarding it; nobody hoards the air, it is so much available -- then only there can be a natural communism. And I am all for a natural communism which will not come from a revolution, which will come from evolution.
When capitalism evolves to its totality, it will be a simple matter.
Russian communism is not true communism. It is distributing poverty equally.
And I would like everybody to be luxurious, not equally poor. What is the point of equal poverty?
So we are working and we are being successful. And the strangest thing is, that after working twelve hours a day you will not find my people sad or grumpy.
They will be laughing and dancing and singing in the evening. They have enough energy after twelve hours work.
If work is something that you are not doing under compulsion, that you are doing out of your own choice and joy, it is never tiring. In fact, it is nourishing and it makes you stronger.
So after working twelve hours they are still able to dance for hours, sing for hours and enjoy the evening late in the night.
My approach towards life is that we have to create the paradise here and now, because there is no other paradise. Don't hope for things which don't exist.
For thousands of years people have been told to hope, and because they have been hoping they have not used their time to create it here. If it is ready-made available after death and you have just to go every day to the church or every Sunday to the church or do a certain mantra every day in the morning five times and there is ready-made paradise after death, then who bothers to work twelve hours and create a paradise here?
My reasoning is that you create paradise here and if there is any paradise after death you will be the only person to enjoy it because all others will be absolutely untrained amateurs. They will not know how to dance.
Just think of your saints. How they will dance? How they are going to hug a beautiful woman? Impossible! They will close their eyes. This kind of paradise...
and they have to live eternally there with all beautiful women and rivers of wine.
What your saints will do? They will try to commit suicide, that where they have come?
Only my people will be immensely joyful. They will immediately start making it better.
Q:* I BELIEVE IT WAS 1982 THAT YOU SUGGESTED TO THE CALIFORNIAN SANNYASINS THAT THEY MOVE OUT OF THE STATE. COULD YOU TELL US ABOUT THAT?
A:* Yes. I had asked my sannyasins in California to move out because California is now in the whole world the most sexually perverted place. And I have always been thinking that sexual perversion finally is going to lead into something which will be incurable. And it has come now. It is not a disease because a disease can be cured. AIDS is not a disease. It cannot be cured.
There is only one thing which cannot be cured and that is death. So AIDS I call a slow death. And California is the leader in that matter.
Homosexuality, lesbianism, sodomy, other kinds of sexual perversion -- California is on the top. Every day in just L.A. one person is dying of AIDS for almost one year. How many people are suffering from AIDS in California -- the government continues to repress the information. How many people are homosexuals -- the government does not supply the information.
In fact, every government is trying to repress information about homosexuality and AIDS because that makes them look so ugly, sick. But whatever you do, sooner or later you will have to face the fact.
In Texas they have made a law against homosexuality -- just few days before.
Now in Texas homosexuality is a crime. The politicians of California think that they have done something great. They are being simply idiotic. Because of their law, one million homosexuals protested. It is just because of their law we came to know that there are one million homosexuals in Texas.
Q:* ARE YOU REFERRING TO THE LAW THAT THE L.A. CITY COUNCIL PASSED RECENTLY THAT MAKES IT A CIVIL OFFENSE TO FIRE A HOMOSEXUAL WHO HAS AIDS OR A PERSON WHO HAS AIDS NOT FOR HEALTH REASONS?
A:* No, I am not referring to that. I don't know about that.
In Texas they have driven those one million homosexuals underground. That is more dangerous. Now you will not know who is homosexual, and nobody will turn up for tests in the hospitals. Hospitals are afraid.
So I had called my sannyasins here, and they are here and they are safe.
Perhaps this is the only place which is safe. Every sannyasin has gone through tests, six thousand sannyasins through tests, and only two persons have been found to have AIDS. This must be the lowest rate in the whole world. Among six thousand people only two persons.
And we are taking care of those two persons, giving them all that they need. The best houses we have given them, the best scenic place we have given them. They can come in the discourses, in the meetings. Just they have been told not to spread the disease in any way. Don't come in physical contact with people because AIDS is possible through kissing, through tears, perhaps through any liquid coming out of the body.
Four other sannyasins from other places have just arrived, because the moment it was known they have AIDS hospitals are not willing to admit because nobody wants to take the risk. Their own families -- their wife, their children, their parents -- don't want them to enter into the house any more. For them they are already dead. Their friends have turned enemies.
Hearing about this -- that we have made a special place for our AIDS patients -- four sannyasins have come. We have accepted them, that, "This is perfectly good.
You are simply victims. You should not be condemned."
So in the commune there is no condemnation for them. They are victims of a society which has been in many ways driving people into homosexuality.
For example, all the religions are teaching celibacy as something spiritual, which is simple nonsense. Celibacy is not possible even. Celibacy is not in your control, that you can be celibate or not. Your body goes on creating male sperms and your body has no idea that you are a celibate monk. So what you are going to do with your sperms? When they collect they have to be released.
My understanding is that homosexuality was born in monasteries where religions put men separate and women separate. That's where lesbianism and homosexuality both were born. These are religious diseases, and if anybody is responsible it is the founders of your religion and the teachers of celibacy. And they are still doing it.
They should be legally punished. Celibacy should be declared illegal, and anybody staying celibate should be imprisoned immediately.
So rather than punishing the celibates, you are punishing poor homosexuals.
All the religions have forced marriage, monogamy. Now, man is an intelligent being. He is not a buffalo. The buffalo is satisfied with the same grass eating her whole life, chewing the same grass whole day every day. She is never bored. You never see any buffalo bored nor you see any buffalo laughing. Both those things are together. It needs intelligence to be bored, it needs intelligence to laugh.
Now, man has immense intelligence. And intelligence has grown with the ages.
We are evolving.
In this state of evolution it is absolutely wrong to force one man and one woman to stick together for their whole life. That creates lesbianism, that creates homosexuality, because the woman is watching -- she will not allow you to talk to another woman and laugh with another woman and go to the movie with another woman. But if you are going with a friend, male friend, then there is no problem. But she does not know that you both are queens. This is a problem.
If your wife is going with some man you become jealous, suspicious, angry, outraged. But if she is going with a woman it is perfectly okay. But they may be lesbians.
So it is the responsibility of the society and the religion who are enforcing marriage and monogamy on people.
In my commune we take marriage as just a legal game, because the whole idiotic society is there with their laws. So we accept their laws but we are not serious about their laws. Their laws are absolutely inhuman, unintelligent.
So here there is every freedom. And it is good that once in a while your wife stays with some man and you stay with some other woman -- just for a change. It will not disrupt your marriage. In fact, it will make it stronger. And there is no need to hide it. You love each other, you give freedom to each other, and you would like each other to have more experiences of life.
You would like your wife to know more men because you are not all men. You have your individuality; other individuals have their own uniqueness. Loving them will make her richer. You will have a richer wife. And she will have a richer husband because he has known so many women.
Experience is never bad. Bigger the experience the better.
So in my commune there is no problem. It is taken for granted that people get bored. But if you don't allow them, then they will find some substitute. They are intelligent. But that substitute will be a perversion.
Religious leaders, political leaders, are the criminals but they will not be punished. Homosexuals, who are simply victims, will be punished.
I call from California my people because California is the worst place right now.
Q:* IT IS A STRANGE PARADOX. WE IN CALIFORNIA HAD THOUGHT IT WAS AN ENLIGHTENED POLICY TO INCORPORATE CITIES THAT HAD A LARGE VOTING POPULATION OF GAY PEOPLE AND PROTECT THEIR CIVIL RIGHTS. NOW, THE L.A. CITY COUNCIL LAST WEEK PASSED A CITY ORDINANCE, THAT MADE IT A FINABLE OFFENSE TO DISMISS AND THUS ENDANGER THE CIVIL RIGHTS OF A PERSON WHO IS AFFLICTED WITH AIDS FROM ANY JOB, INCLUDING JOBS WHERE HE MAY BE HANDLING FOOD, DEALING WITH THE PUBLIC ON A PERSONAL LEVEL LIKE THAT. IT IS NATURALLY QUITE CONTROVERSIAL. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THAT?
A:* Before AIDS became known, all the homosexuals and the lesbians were thinking that they are more progressive, avant garde intellectuals. Heterosexuals are backward people just clinging to the biological heterosexual relationship.
They have evolved higher. They are in a better intellectual position.
So they were proud. They were having conferences. They were publishing books, they were publishing periodicals, newspapers. And they were trying to prove that their way of sex is better than the ordinary kind. the ordinary kind is the animal. It has nothing human in it.
But now they cannot say that. AIDS has proved that they were simply perverted.
And they were not progressive, not intellectual. They were simply stupid and retarded.
To me, every child between the age seven to fourteen has certain homosexual tendencies. Between fourteen to twenty-one, because the society does not allow yet marriage, because they have to be educated, the danger is they may either become auto-erotic or they will become homosexuals. But after twenty-one age they get married and they simply forget all about it.
But few people remain stuck there. Their mind never grows beyond their homosexual state. So they are retarded people, they are not progressive people.
Q:* IS THAT A HOPELESS RETARDATION?
A:* It can be helped.
Q:* I DON'T THINK YOU HAVE MANY GAY PEOPLE IN YOUR COMMUNE.
A:* Yes, and we are trying to help them. And we are trying to bring them back to heterosexuality.
Q:* IN 1979 THE AMERICAN PSYCHIATRIC ASSOCIATION DECLARED THAT HOMOSEXUALITY WAS NOT A MEDICAL DISEASE, AND THE PRESUMPTION WAS THAT SINCE IT WAS A SEXUAL PREFERENCE IT NEED NOT BE HELPED.
A:* In fact, all these psychiatric societies are not sciences either. So whatever they say should be understood a statement coming from some vested interest.
There are so many psychologies and so many psychotherapies and so many kinds of psychiatrists. It cannot be science. Science has to be one.
And all these people themselves, most of them are perverted. Their statements make no sense at all. Just look at this thing: that in comparison to any profession, psychologists go twice mad. Twice they commit suicide. Then madness and suicide, because it is committed by a psychiatrist, should not be a medical problem. And no profession can compete with them. They are doing double the job with... in comparison to any profession.
So in the first place I don't accept psychiatrists and psychologists as a science.
And now with AIDS, they will have to swallow their own saliva that they have spit on their hands.
So tell them to swallow it and contradict your statement. It is not only a medical disease, it is an existential disease. It is pure death.
And you have been supporting it because homosexuality was growing and these were your patients. It was your vested interest. To say anything against homosexuals means losing your job, your profession. Now come out and say something in favor of AIDS. Then we will know whether you have any guts or not.
Gay people -- lesbians, homosexuals -- these constitute the major part of the patients of psychiatrists and psychologists. Now, these are clients and they are living on them. Naturally, their associations cannot condemn them.
But because they have not condemned these people, in my view they have condemned themselves as simply professionals interested in business, not interested in humanity and health.
California has been thinking itself that it is very enlightened state because more homosexuals, more lesbians, more women lib members, more Indian gurus and their followers. And all kinds of idiotic things claim to be therapies like primal therapy.
I have heard about one therapy in which hugging and kissing is the only methodology. I have heard of another therapy in which you act like an animal, naked on your four. You move in the room with your tongue hanging out, shouting like an animal, a wolf or a dog.
All these things -- Werner Erhard's est, in which the only important thing is that you have to sit six hours without pissing. Naturally it gives an enlightenment when you go to the bathroom! It is such a relief. And with two hundred fifty dollars, it is worth. Such a relief ordinarily you don't get. It is freely available, you can manage yourself. There is no need to join est.
And there are even more enlightened people who start pissing sitting there in their seats. Then it is even better relief because they don't care about anybody.
They are freed of any respectability or anything.
But these idiotic things don't make any state or country or people enlightened. It simply means that people are rich enough, gullible enough, and there are always cunning people around to cheat you.
When my secretary, Sheela, was searching a place for me I said that, "Not California. Anywhere is okay but not California, because all idiotic Indian gurus who don't have any hold in India, who don't have any intelligence -- I don't want to get mixed with that lot."
I have chosen Oregon because this poor state in the whole history has not known a single enlightened man.
Q:* PAUL BUNYAN?
Q:* YOU'VE TOLD ME THAT ONLY TWO SANNYASINS HAVE SO FAR COME UP WITH AIDS, ALTHOUGH FOUR MORE HAVE COME IN MAKING A TOTAL I PRESUME OF SIX AT THE HOSPICE. CAN YOU CALL IT A HOSPICE, THE PLACE IN DESIDERATA WHERE THEY ARE?
A:* No, we are calling anything, because we don't want to discriminate them in any way.
Q:* BUT IT IS A PLACE WHERE THEY CAN COME TO SPEND THEIR FINAL DAYS?
A:* Yes. There they will be, but they can come into the commune and go to the disco and go to the restaurant, go to the meetings. They are not prevented anywhere because everywhere we are taking preventive measurements.
Everybody going in the restaurant will have his hands sprayed by alcohol. All....
Q:* WHETHER OR NOT THEY HAVE AIDS.
A:* That doesn't matter. They have to. And anything they use for eating -- spoons -- which touch their saliva, will all go into total cleaning, sterilization. So there is no problem. But we don't want to separate them, that is inhuman.
We have given them a faraway place, but we will not call it a separate thing. It is part of the commune.
Q:* IF A PERSON HAS AIDS AND IS NOT A SANNYASIN, COULD HE COME TO THE RANCH AND STAY IN THAT FARAWAY PLACE?
A:* That will not be possible.
Q:* I FIRST HEARD YOU DESCRIBE, LAST MONTH, THIS PROGRAM OF CARING FOR VICTIMS OF AIDS WHO ARE SANNYASIN; THAT BECAUSE THESE PEOPLE HAD NOTHING TO LOSE THEY COULD MAKE LOVE WITH EACH OTHER AND PERHAPS THROUGH THAT COULD BE CURED.
A:* They are allowed. They are allowed to have love with each other because nothing more can happen. There is no harm. If something good happens, it may be a great revelation for the whole world. If nothing happens, they are going to die anyway.
And we are making arrangements for them to see films, to listen to talks, to read books. All that they have desired their whole life we are trying in every possible way to provide them, because that is their last time: six months, eight months, perhaps at the most two years.
And we are teaching them meditation simultaneously. That is something very essential because people go on postponing meditation and things like that for tomorrow. Today they have so many things that meditation goes on being postponed. But these people cannot postpone meditation for tomorrow. There is no tomorrow for them.
So we are teaching them meditation. If they can die meditatively, then their AIDS may have proved a blessing in disguise, because even the richest man cannot afford two years time with no work, rest, listening to beautiful music or swimming or going into the mountains, in the hills, in the forest, reading -- we have given them the best opportunity that is possible -- and meditate.
And they will meditate more intensely, more earnestly, because death is so close.
And if they can become centered in their being -- that's what is meditation is -- then death will come but not to them, only to their body.
Then they will be able to experience death and experience at the same time the eternal source of life that moves on, that never dies.
So I would like anywhere, if there are special arrangements for AIDS people -- hospitals or AIDS homes -- they should make it a point that these are not sick people, these are on the verge of death. They don't need medicine, they need meditation.
And you will be surprised to know that both the words come from the same root:
medicine and meditation. Medicine is for the body to heal and meditation is for the soul to heal. But both mean the same in the original root.
If there is no medicine, at least give them meditation.
Q:* HOW IS YOUR HEALTH?
A:* My health is really great.
Q:* YOU COMPLAINED LESS THAN A YEAR AGO THAT YOU WERE AILING FROM A VARIETY OF CAUSES.
A:* No. I have been suffering because my sickness is not something that I can say I am cured of it. It is allergy, so it can any moment erupt.
Q:* WHAT SYMPTOMS DOES IT TAKE WHEN IT DOES?
A:* Dust can create it, perfume -- most dangerous. And there are few things which I should not eat -- any things which have acids.
So just if I avoid them -- and in the commune everybody is aware of my trouble, so nobody will use perfume, nobody will come close to me if he has been smoking. Nobody will come to me if he has been perspiring, because any smell is enough to provoke. And what it does, it starts breathing trouble. My breathing becomes abnormal, difficult.
And then coughing starts. Then the coughing will continue at least for two hours to six hours, and it almost is a problem in the night, then I cannot sleep. So this disease is such that I can never say I am cured. And I can never say that I am sick, only once in a while when something happens I am sick for few hours.
Otherwise I am perfectly okay.
Second problem I had was my back. So my people have arranged for that too, because no medical treatment helped me. In India we had called experts from England who had worked their whole life only on back, but they also said that, "This is strange."
And I knew that they will not help and I told them that, "The problem is, it is not a sudden... somebody slips and falls down and the back comes out. Then you can fix it. My problem is that I have been sitting this kind of chair for almost thirty years. The chair changes but the shape remains the same exactly. So the back has got a certain curve. So if that curve is disturbed, then I am in trouble."
I cannot sit on your chair. It is more comfortable but my back will not fit with it.
So I can use only one car. I have used all the cars, the best in the world; just one car, one of the models of Rolls Royce, the Silver Spur, its seat fits with me perfectly. It is not their costliest car. Their costliest is Corniche*. Then Carmargue*. And then the third is Silver Spur. So I tried from Corniche* -- they didn't work, my trouble started. But with Silver Spur it has settled completely.
So up to '89 I can use it at least, because '89 they are going to change the model. I have persuaded the president that, "Don't change the seat," and he has to listen to me because I am the only person in the whole world who has ninety Rolls Royces.
Q:* WHY DO YOU HAVE SUCH AN ABUNDANCE? SURELY YOU CAN ONLY RIDE IN ONE AT A TIME.
A:* I believe in abundance.
Q:* ISN'T THAT A BIT OF OVERKILL, THOUGH?
A:* These ninety are not yet enough. My people are trying to arrange for three hundred sixty-five, so every day they can give me a new car.
Q:* PEOPLE IN LOS ANGELES WILL TRULY APPRECIATE THAT. YOU KNOW, THEY SAY THAT THERE'S MORE ROLLS ROYCES IN LOS ANGELES THAN THERE ARE....
A:* Yes, there are not in Los Angeles or anywhere.
So ordinarily I am perfectly okay if I take care, and I take care. Just the problem was that I was moving in the masses, going outside. That was creating trouble so I had to stop. Now I live in the commune and everybody is aware of my problem, so everybody keeps clean, non-smelly.
Q:* SOME OF MY FRIENDS WHO ARE NOT SANNYASIN, PARTICULARLY BECAUSE CALIFORNIA IS SUCH A HEALTH-CONSCIOUS PLACE, SUCH A ROBUST, ACTIVE SPORTS-MINDED PLACE -- POSSIBLY BECAUSE OF THE CLIMATE, THEY FIND IT HARD TO RESOLVE THE FACT THAT YOU HAVE POOR PHYSICAL HEALTH AND YET ARE ENLIGHTENED.
A:* In fact, they don't understand enlightenment. Anybody who has been enlightened had poor health, for the simple reason because enlightenment is something which goes beyond ordinary biology, physiology, chemistry. It is a great disturbance in your whole natural system.
The ordinary man, his consciousness is completely in tune with his biology. But once you become enlightened, you have a distinction between your biology and your consciousness.
Ordinary man follows biology, which is part of nature. It is healthier. The enlightened man follows consciousness, which is not part of nature, so many times he has to go against biology, against physiology. But he cannot go against his consciousness. That creates the rift.
So no enlightened people has ever been healthy.
Q:* COULD YOU GIVE SOME EXAMPLES OF THE CONSCIOUSNESS GOING AGAINST BIOLOGY AND NATURAL INSTINCT AND THAT SORT OF...?
A:* The ordinary man has no awareness that he has something in him which is not part of the body yet in the body.
And that space which is not part of the body and yet in the body is your real being. So once you get to it, it becomes your direction for everything. Then body cannot dominate you, physiology cannot dominate you, biology cannot dominate you.
And they go on in their blind way. So in fact now you are on two tracks, and to keep them together is the problem that creates unhealth, sickness.
Buddha was sick and was continuously having a private doctor with him.
Wherever he was going the doctor was with him -- and the best physician of the times. One king has presented his own physician to him, that, "Take care of him because he is in a fragile state." A small misbalance and he will be out of the body.
The strings between the being and the body become very loose as you become enlightened. The old tightness is no more there. Just a slight shock and the being and the body will fall apart.
So it is a wrong notion around. Many people think like that, that the enlightened person should be perfectly healthy. They don't understand. That means people like Mohammed Ali should be enlightened.
Q:* YET THERE ARE SOME YOGA TEACHERS, PARTICULARLY IN....
A:* They are not enlightened. Not a single yoga teacher is enlightened. Yoga teachers are healthy, but yoga teachers are just experts in an old gymnastics, nothing else. It does not lead to enlightenment or to self-realization or anything.
But it certainly leads to better health.
Q:* DO YOU PRACTICE HATHA YOGA?
Q:* I UNDERSTAND THAT YOU SWIM FOR YOUR HEALTH.
A:* I swim.
Q:* HOW OFTEN AND WHERE AND WHAT DO YOU WEAR?
A:* I used to... I don't wear anything. I used to swim twice, but for two months I had to stop it because my physicians became afraid. The water going into my ear was creating trouble and my drums may get hurt or some trouble will arise. And it is possible because I have been swimming from my very childhood for hours.
It may have damaged my drums.
So for two months I have not been swimming and my pool is there, Olympic size, just for me. That's how I live, in abundance.
Q:* AND (INAUDIBLE)....
A:* But if you want to swim in it, you are welcome. Just you will not have to wear anything.
Q:* I WOULD ENJOY IT, TO USE THAT INVITATION, SIR.
A:* Yes. Okay? You can come. My photographers will be there.
Q:* I HAVE A SHORT LIST OF PROMINENT AMERICAN PEOPLE, AND I WAS HOPING THAT YOU MIGHT BE ABLE TO GIVE JUST A BRIEF IMPRESSION, ONE LINE OR SO, ABOUT EACH, IF I MIGHT RUN IT DOWN.
FOR INSTANCE, WHAT DO YOU THINK OF JOHNNY CARSON?
A:* I don't think of idiots at all.
Q:* NATHAN PRITIKIN?
A:* Have you collected all the idiots in their names?
Q:* I BEG YOUR PARDON?
A:* Have you collected the names of all the idiots?
A:* Mm, it seems.
Q:* JERRY FALWELL?
A:* They are the same thing. I don't think about any, and for five years I have not read any book, I have not read any magazine, any newspaper, because for fifty years I have been reading so much that finally I saw that ninety-nine percent is rubbish and to find one percent you have to move into ninety-nine percent garbage. I stopped it.
And as far as that one percent is concerned, I have it. So there is no problem.
Q:* DO YOU WATCH MOVIES?
A:* Once in a while if my people feel that some movie is worth seeing. Very rarely.
Q:* HAVE YOU ANY FAVORITES? ANY MOVIES THAT YOU'VE ENJOYED?
A:* Anything that is really great literature, great art. For example, I enjoyed Dostoevsky's Brothers Karamazov.
Q:* THE DAVID BROOKS PRODUCTION.
A:* Yes. I have enjoyed the book, I have enjoyed the film too. I have enjoyed the film, Ten Commandments.
Q:* THE CECIL B. DE MILLE VERSION?
Q:* THE ONE WITH CHARLTON HESTON?
Q:* OR THE EARLY... HE DID TWO, YOU KNOW. HE DID ONE THAT WAS SILENT, I BELIEVE.
A:* I don't know which one it was. But whichever it was, it was really done with great insight and art, and my people had brought so they must have brought the best one.
So once in a while, if they see.... And they are seeing. They have movies here and they have television, so whenever they see something good they bring to me.
Otherwise I am not interested.
Q:* HAVE YOU SEEN THESE RECENTLY, BECAUSE THEY ARE AT LEAST TOP OF THE CHARTS IN TERMS OF AMERICAN POPULARITY.
A:* I have not seen them.
Q:* NEITHER WOODY ALLEN, FOR INSTANCE? OR PRINCE? HOW ABOUT JESSE JACKSON? NOW, HE'S A POLITICIAN, AND SURELY....
A:* Just I have heard the name, but I know nothing about. The Prince -- I think I have seen that film and the book. And another book similar to The Prince, which was really my autobiography: The Difficulties of an Ordinary God. That I enjoyed very much.
Q:* HAVE PEOPLE BEEN SEEKING THE MOVIE RIGHTS FOR THAT BOOK FROM YOU, SIR?
A:* Yes, that... certainly.
Q:* IS IT BEING MADE BY SANNYASINS?
A:* No. It is not made by a sannyasin. It is some outside production. But it simply is my difficulty. I am so ordinary and yet I have found in ordinariness the greatest blessedness, the most beautiful experience of divineness.
I don't believe in God but I have experienced godliness, certainly -- as a quality, not as a person. Every enlightened person experiences godliness, not God. And those who claim that they have experienced God simply indicate they have not reached to enlightenment yet. They are still hallucinating about a God of their belief. They are still projecting a Christ, a Krishna. But that is their projection.
In the moment of enlightenment there is no projection. It is absolute nothingness -- but not empty. Utterly full of light, love, blissfulness.
So I enjoyed that film the most. It is not a great film. It is just a small film but tremendously humorous -- the difficulties of an ordinary God. I would suggest you to see it.
Q:* WHERE MIGHT I FIND A PRINT?
A:* You will find anywhere. If I can find it in this desert, you can find it anywhere.
Q:* I UNDERSTAND THAT WHEN THE UNIVERSITY BEGAN WITH YOU IN POONA, SOME CALLED IT ESALEN EAST. ESALEN IS A GROWTH CENTER IN CALIFORNIA. HOW DOES YOUR UNIVERSITY DIFFER FROM CALIFORNIA GROWTH CENTERS?
A:* Absolutely, because the founder of Esalen had come to be initiated in Poona to become a sannyasin. And he became a sannyasin. He could see the difference, that what they were doing were just intellectual work, and what was happening in Poona was existential and experiential work.
In Esalen there was nothing like meditation, and meditation has been my center of teaching. Nothing else is needed. One simply has to come to a space within oneself where there is no thought, no feeling, but utter silence, and that comes through a very simple method: by watching your thought process.
So there are three steps in it. Start from the easiest: watch your body movements.
For example, I can watch my movement of the hand. Either I can do it mechanically or I can do it with full awareness. So walking, eating, swimming, doing anything with your body -- chopping wood -- just remain watchful. Don't get lost in the activity. As if you are somebody else standing by the side, not the person who is chopping wood. You are seeing the person as chopping wood.
Once you get accustomed with the body, then the second step is very easy. Then sit silently once in a while and watch the process of your thoughts, the constant traffic on the screen of your mind. The method is the same: just watch. Don't judge, don't condemn, don't evaluate. Whatever is passing just see.
And the strangest thing is, if you don't judge and can just see, thoughts start becoming less and less. There are gaps. A thought comes and for few moments there is no thought. And then the gaps start becoming bigger and bigger.
When the gap can be as big as forty-eight minutes, then you can move to the third step. Then there is no difficulty at all.
The third step is to watch your feelings.
So one is for body, one for your head and the third is for your heart. The process is the same.
When forty-eight minutes your feelings are no more there, a quantum leap happens on its own accord: the fourth step. But you don't take it. It happens.
Suddenly you find yourself standing in the innermost core of your being. And it is so full of light, so full of delight, so fragrant, that you cannot conceive anything can be more than this.
You have come home.
This was missing in Esalen. There was no meditation. Therapy alone is superficial.
Q:* THE PROGNOSIS AT YOUR UNIVERSITY IN MY PARTICULAR CASE WAS THAT I HAD THE CALIFORNIA SYNDROME. I WAS ONE WHO PROFESSED A GREAT EAGERNESS TO CHANGE, TO TRANSFORM MYSELF, TO DROP THE MASK, TO DISCOVER MY ORIGINAL FACE BUT THOUGH I PROCLAIMED THAT, I WAS UNWILLING SIMPLY TO DO IT. I FIND MYSELF STILL ON THE CUSP. HOW CAN I MOVE?
A:* The best way will be, just come for an unlimited time. Don't decide the time limit. And just be here. Don't do therapies. Just work with the sannyasins, meditate, enjoy, dance, and forget all about that you want to do, that you want to drop the mask, that you want to change. Forget all about it. Just live in the moment here for few days. And don't decide how many days, because your decision of days beforehand will be a hindrance.
So just come and be here, and when it happens you can go. It can happen the next day, it may take one month. It all depends on you, how quickly you can get absorbed into the commune and its work and forget about this self- transformation. That is one of the most hindering thing.
The more you want to transform, the more difficult it will be, because who it is who wants to transform? It is your ego, and ego has to be dropped.
Now, that's the very crux of the whole process. The ego wants to change, the ego wants to transform, the ego wants to become new, the ego wants to be enlightened -- for the ego is the only barrier.
So what had to be done is, put aside all enlightenment, all change, all transformation, and just drown yourself in the work with the commune.
Suddenly one day you will find what you have been finding and trying to find is there. And you may be dancing on any street because you have found it.
There is a saying in Jesus: Seek and ye shall find. And I say to my people: Seek and ye shall never find. Do not seek and it is there.
It is always there. It is because of seeking we go on missing.
Jesus says: Ask and it shall be given. I say: Never ask, otherwise it shall never be given to you.
Be silent and it is there.
Nobody gives it to you. You have it, you have brought it with you as your intrinsic part.
Jesus says: Knock and the door shall be opened unto you. I say to my people:
Don't knock, because the doors are already open.
If you knock, that will prove only two things: either you are standing before a wall or you are blind. But one thing is certain: you can't see that the doors are open. They have never been closed.
Q:* MUST ONE COME TO THE COMMUNE TO DO THIS? IT SEEMS A HEAVY PRICE TO GIVE UP THE WORLD AS I KNOW IT TO ENTER THE ALTERNATIVE SOCIETY.
A:* Whenever it feels that it is worth giving anything, only then you can get it. If you feel great price is there, then wait. Soon you will know there is nothing except frustration and AIDS. Just wait.