The End Of Heroes
[NOTE: This discourse is published in the book: The Last Testament, Volume 1, as Chapter 1.]
Ma Yoga Pratima RAJNEESHPURAM, OREGON
QUESTION: BHAGWAN, YOU HAVE SAID THAT YOU ARE THE NEW MAN THAT THE WORLD NEEDS, AND THAT THIS COMMUNE IS A PREPARATION FOR THE ARRIVAL OF THE NEW MAN. DO YOU SEE THAT OTHER PEOPLE HERE ARE GOING TO BECOME, LIKE YOU, THE NEW MAN, OR ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT A PREPARATION FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS?
ANSWER: I am never concerned about the future, neither about the past. My whole concern is the present. And when I say the New Man, I don't mean a certain model, type, an ideal. By the New Man I mean a man without ideals, a man with his own individuality, not imitative, not a carbon copy of somebody else. So the New Man will not be like me or like anybody else. Everybody will be authentically himself One of the most fundamental psychological things has to be understood: equality is an illusion. Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, Lenin, and other communist thinkers of the world have created almost a conviction in millions of people's minds -- not only those who are communist but also those who are not communist -- that equality should be the goal. Only machines can be equal; man cannot be. If you want man to be equal, then you will have to destroy his humanity and make him a robot.
It is very simple: just as two faces are not the same, in the whole world even two fingerprints are not the same -- and you want two beings to be the same? You don't value the being more than the fingerprint even? A very absurd idea of equality has become widespread.
Why it became so influential can be understood very easily. Everybody feels inferior to somebody, either intellectually, financially or physically. In some way everybody carries deep down an inferiority complex, because he is continuously comparing himself with others. Naturally, somebody has more intelligence, somebody has more physical strength, somebody can run faster than you, somebody can swim better. It is impossible for anybody not to feel inferior if he starts comparing.
Even a man like Napoleon... you would not think that he would ever feel inferior. For what? He was one of the greatest conquerors, one of the greatest fighters and warriors in the world. But on one point he was very touchy. His height was only five feet, five inches -- even his bodyguards were taller -- and that hurt. That gave him pain, and he could not even say it to anybody.
One day he was trying to fix a picture on his wall, and the nail was a little high up, beyond his hand's reach. His bodyguard said, "Sir, I can do it. I am higher than you." Napoleon became so angry. He said, "Take your words back, otherwise I will kill you right now, here." But he said, "What have I said?"
Napoleon said, "You are taller than me but not higher than me. I can tolerate taller; but higher? -- I cannot tolerate anybody." He had touched his wound.
Even the people who have immense power in some way or other feel inferior when they start comparing. That leaves almost the whole of humanity feeling an inferiority complex. And this is the root cause why communism is so influential.
It has nothing to do with economics, nothing to do with capitalism. It simply fulfills a deep desire in every man that everybody be equal. He feels gratified even to think that everybody is equal. Then there will be no wound, no hurt feeling, there will be no question of comparison.
Nobody has looked at communism from a psychological viewpoint. People have been studying communism only as an economic theory. It is not. Basically it is a psychological consolation to all those who are feeling inferior in any way. Hence more than half of humanity is already communist. Communism is the biggest religion right now and is growing fast, and will take over the world if we cannot create a New Man who has no inferiority complex.
The New Man will not be a communist, because he does not want to be equal to others. The New Man wants to be unique in himself, and wants everybody else also to be unique. A society of unique people -- everybody unique in his own way -- will be the richest society that has existed in the world.
Somebody is a painter, somebody is a poet, somebody is a scientist, somebody is a sculptor. They all have their own uniqueness. It does not matter what you do, all that matters is that everything you do has your fingerprint on it, and you have become a creator. There is no reason to compare. A painter is a painter and a poet is a poet. It is stupid that both start comparing. Then the painter becomes inferior because he is not a poet, and the poet becomes inferior because he is not a painter. And we have been living under this inferiority complex for thousands of years. So everybody is suffering -- "Existence has not been compassionate towards me."
Start looking at the uniqueness and drop the idea of equality, which is in every way impossible. Unless man is produced in a factory on an assembly line, there is no possibility of equality. And a man produced on an assembly line will not be a man; he will be just a machine.
The New Man will not be like me in the sense that he will not be my carbon copy. But in a way, in a very different way, he will be like me. I am independent; he will be independent. I am my own self; he will be his own self. I have never accepted anything just as a belief unless I have experienced it. Then there is no question of belief -- I know it. So either I know something or I don't know, there is nothing in between.
The believer is in between. He does not know, yet he pretends to know. You will find all these hypocrites assembled in churches, synagogues, temples, mosques, all over the world. They don't know God and they are praying to him. They don't know that any prayer has ever been heard, and still they are praying. They don't know that any prayer has ever been answered, but still they are praying.
The New Man will be a seeker, not a believer. He will trust in inquiry, in doubt -- and doubt is the only method that can lead you to the truth. Belief is a barrier, not a bridge. No believer has ever known the truth. His belief never allowed him to inquire. So in a very different sense, he will be like me.
I have doubted everything. I have never accepted anything because it is written in the holy scriptures, because the great founders of religions have said it, because great saints verify it. I have insisted my whole life that nothing else can prove it to me except my own experience. And when it comes as your own experience, it brings tremendous rejoicing, great blessings, flowering. Your being finds its home. The wandering is finished, you have arrived.
Now my wandering and your wandering will be different. The point where I started and the point where you will start will be different. I will arrive to my own innermost core; you will arrive to your innermost core. The ultimate experience of blossoming will be the same, but the path will be totally different.
Everybody has to search and seek in his own way.
The way to truth is just like the sky. The bird flies but leaves no footprints. You cannot follow. There are no footprints. The inner sky is exactly the same, and everybody has to find his own way. It will be better to say the New Man makes his way. He does not move on a ready-made way. Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism, are ready-made ways, superhighways, comfortable -- you need not bother -- but they go nowhere. They go round and round the earth. You can go on moving on them for millions of lives and you will never reach to your own being, because that way is not connected to you. It is not yours.
The real seeker steps out from all these ready-made ways. He moves into the unknown. It is great excitement, great ecstasy. And every step that brings you closer to home also brings you peace that you have not known before, brings you love and compassion that are absolutely unknown to you. Closer and closer...
and you start feeling a new music, a new poetry, a new song arising out of your own heart. Your every heartbeat becomes music.
These are the signs that home is coming closer. Your whole being becomes harmonious. You can feel in yourself a new coolness, freshness, aliveness -- indications that the source of life is not far away. And when you are just coming, maybe a few more steps, suddenly your walk is no more a walk, it becomes a dance. Nobody has reached into his being in any other way except dancing. It is not up to you. Your feet start feeling the dance. The whole milieu around you makes you thrive, thrilled.
Yes, I am the New Man and I am preparing the way for you to become the New Man. That's why I go on insisting that you keep yourself intelligent, meditative, silent. Keep yourself alert, aware. Change every stone on the path into a stepping-stone. Don't think, "Now the stone is blocking the way." No stone blocks the way. You just have to know that every stone can be turned into a stepping-stone.
Just now you have passed through a fascist, poisonous time. Those who can make it a stepping-stone will be grateful for it. There is no need to be afraid, to be worried, to be frustrated that it happened. Rather than wasting time over why it happened, use the energy to make it a stepping-stone to go higher. As I see it, the commune looks purer. It looks fresh. People look unburdened. These are good signs. A few people look angry that they have been deceived; that is stupidity.
Now, what has happened has happened. Anger is wasting your energy; that is hitting your head against the stone. That is not going to help. A few people look as if they are lost, because they had become dependent on a fascist kind of order.
They needed the order, they needed moms, and they look like helpless children whose moms are lost.
This is a good opportunity. The moms have escaped. It is time that you become independent. Drop this childish helplessness. Take responsibility and prove that independently you can do better than under a repressive regime, that you can be more creative if you are not being humiliated, dragged, forced to do something.
But a few people are feeling helpless because unless somebody is on their neck, continuously nagging them, they cannot work. They have become addicted to nagging just as people become addicted to smoking.
I know people whose wives are nothing but a pain in the neck. They know, and they have been telling horrible stories to me about their wives, and when their wives go for a few days to their parents' house, just within two or three days that man completely forgets all the horribleness of the woman's nagging and everything, and he starts hankering that she should come back. I was puzzled. I have seen many friends in the same position, in the same vicious circle, and I have asked them, "What happens to you? You are left free, now enjoy! Before you were saying you could not enjoy because the wife was so horrible, it was impossible to enjoy. Now why are you looking sad?" And they will say, "We feel very much alone. Something is missing. Without the wife, the house seems to be horrible."
I said, "This is great! With the wife it was horrible; without the wife it is horrible.
Then what do you want?"
They have become dependent. The wife was not only nagging them, she was taking care of them also. They don't know where their shoes are, they don't know.... I know people who don't know how to put on their necktie. Only the wife knows, because she has been doing it. Everything is in a mess. They have completely forgotten what pain she was giving them, and now they remember only the best part.
So there are people who have forgotten that they were not happy under a strict system where there was no question of independence, total surrender was asked.
They were unwilling to do it, but they were doing it. Now you are free, and you don't know what to do. You will have to learn that you can work out of your own love, that there is no need for surrender. You need not become a slave; you can remain a master. But certainly remember that the quality of the work of a master must be higher than the quality of the work of a slave. That's the only criterion to prove whether you are a slave or a master.
The New Man will live out of his own love, creativity and joy, without depending on any father figure. He will not need a God. God is a projection of the sick minds of people who want a permanent father. These human fathers are not reliable; today they are alive, tomorrow they may die. You cannot trust them.
They need a father who is eternal. They need a father who is all-powerful. They need a father who knows everything, past, present, future. That gives them great consolation.
Now a few people are angry at me. Why did I not stop it?... But I am not omniscient; I didn't know what was happening. I don't know even what is happening in the other room. I can just hear the noise; what is cooking, I don't know. Something must be cooking. But I don't pretend to be an omniscient father; neither am I a peeping tom, that I should go on looking into everybody's bathroom keyhole watching what is happening, who is doing what. I never go out of my own room.
They are angry. The reason is that they must have been unconsciously projecting the father figure on me. Please, don't make me a curtain to project anything you want. I am nobody's curtain. I am not a screen, that you can project any idea on me and then feel angry because I am not behaving according to you. When had I said to you that I will behave according to you? I don't expect you to behave according to me, neither do I want you to expect me to behave according to you.
Here we are agreed only on one point, and that is the independence of everybody; there is no other agreement.
The New Man will have communes, but the agreement will be freedom. You can look into my eyes and you can see my silence, my depth. You can feel my presence, my joy, my song. But you are not to repeat anything. I am simply indicating to you that what has happened to me can happen to you. There will be differences, there will be uniquenesses. I may be just a marigold flower and you may be a lotus -- so don't imitate me. You may be a rose and I am just a marigold, a very poor flower who has nothing. But whoever named it marigold must have had great insight; it is the poorest flower, but there is great merriness, great joy in it -- and it is pure gold, twenty-four carat.
One never knows what is hidden in you. Something certainly is hidden -- everybody is carrying a being -- you have to search and bring it into light and let your fragrance take its wings into the air.
I am the New Man. You have to be the New Man. I am not ordering you, I am simply saying so loudly so you can hear. And we have to create more opportunities for the New Man for more people around the world.
The New Man will not be a politician. The New Man will have no desire for power. The New Man will not create people like Adolf Hitler or Joseph Stalin or Mao Tse-tung. The New Man will not create heroes as in the past, because everybody will be a hero. With the New Man, history is finished. You cannot write history with a New Man. Otherwise it will be such a big job, because every man will be a unique man and he has to have as much space as anybody else.
In the old world, history was possible. You will be surprised to know that before India became a slave country there was no such thing in India as history.
Mohammedans started writing history about Mohammedan kings, then Britishers started writing history about the British rule, but before India was independent there was no history. A country so ancient that they had discovered mathematics, astronomy. They had discovered the most scientific language in the world. They had written the best literature, the best poetry. They had created the best architecture -- temples, palaces, memorials, statues which have no comparison anywhere, so alive that it seems the stone statue is just going to breathe again, or perhaps is deceiving you by stopping its breath. So alive!
But they had no history, and nobody has bothered why. My own understanding is that there were so many unique people that to write about all of them would have been an impossible task. So they found a different way of writing history which was called PURANAS, the ancient tales. They don't write about twenty- four tirthankaras of the Jainas, they only write about Mahavira. But in Mahavira's life everything essential about all the twenty-four tirthankaras is represented. Nothing is missing, so what is the point of writing about twenty- four people? Because Adinatha must have been ten thousand years ago, they write about Mahavira, the best, the last, whom they knew more than any of the others.
If you go into a Jaina temple you will see twenty-four statues of twenty-four tirthankaras, but you will be puzzled: they are all alike, exactly the same. It is impossible, twenty-four persons exactly the same -- the same size of nose, the same eyes, the same long earlobes -- because a Jaina TIRTHANKARA'S lobes should touch the shoulders -- the same height, the same type of athletic body.
Strange.... Even Jaina scholars cannot see any difference, so they have made small symbols underneath every statue. Those symbols indicate whose statue it is. For example, under Mahavira is the symbol of the lion. So any statue with the symbol of the lion is Mahavira's. You just change the symbol, and no scholar....
In my neighborhood, in the same university where I was teaching, lived the best Jaina scholar of India, Doctor Hiralal Jain. I took him a statue of Mahavira which was presented to me, but I erased the symbol. He was an old man, and really wise, knowledgeable. I asked Doctor Hiralal, "Whose statue is this?" He said, "But where is the symbol?" I said, "I have erased the symbol. I want to know from you, is there any way to find out whose statue this is?" He said, "You are strange. There is no way. Scholarship cannot help at all in this matter, because all twenty-four statues are really exactly the same." I asked him why they are the same. He said, "That, too, is beyond me, because no Jaina scriptures give the answer why they are the same. Do you have any idea?"
I said, "I always have some idea. My idea is that these statues don't represent real people, they represent qualities. And all the twenty-four tirthankaras are bound to have similar qualities. For example, this earlobe. Everybody who is not a Jaina laughs -- why such a long earlobe? It is never seen anywhere...."
In my whole life I have come across only one man, but even his were not perfect.
They were not touching his shoulders, just almost.... I said, "You just massage your earlobe. Try, so it starts touching your shoulders." He said, "Why? Already people call me donkey, and you want me to make my earlobes longer!" I said, "If you can manage to make your earlobe touch your shoulder, then I can declare you the twenty-fifth tirthankara of the Jainas. You will be immensely respected."
He said, "I don't want to get into any trouble. Your suggestions always lead to trouble. You just forgive me and don't tell anybody." Otherwise I have not seen anything like that. But why do all Jaina tirthankaras have such long ears? "To me," I told Doctor Hiralal, "they are symbolic. It is symbolic art. These long ears show that the man was capable of listening. People are dead they don't listen.
And these people must have listened to the ultimate music of life. How to represent it in marble?
"This is a beautiful symbol. The eyes are closed. That means these people are not seeing anything, that all thoughts have disappeared, that there is nothing to see.
The closed eyes are symbolic that there is nothing to see. The long ears are symbolic that they have started hearing the ultimate music of existence."
He said, "Your explanation looks plausible and I cannot argue with you, but you don't have any support from the scriptures." I said, "I don't need it. What I am saying is self-explanatory, it needs no support from scriptures. And what I am saying is not a scholarly statement; what I am saying is my own experience. With closed eyes I have been in a state when you don't see anything, but in that moment you hear for the first time a very celestial music surrounding the whole existence. So I am saying it on my own authority."
Jainas never wrote the history of the twenty-four tirthankaras, but only about one. And they cannot call it history because in Mahavira's life they have included all twenty-four tirthankaras' lives too. All that was essential in twenty-four lives, all that was meaningful, they have combined. Mahavira is just a representative, a symbol. Just the way the statues are symbolic, Mahavira's life is symbolic. So they don't call it history, they call it ancient tales, old stories. But they are not fiction, they relate to reality.
The New Man will be the end of the world of heroes. Alexander the Great will not be possible any more. Even if he comes riding on his horse, people will be simply entertained. He will look just like Don Quixote. Nobody is going to bother about Alexander the Great.
History ends with the old man. Heroes end with the old man. The New Man will write symbolically. He will write about the New Man and his qualities in a symbolic way -- not about separate persons, which brings comparison, which makes someone big, high, holy, someone a sinner, inferior, a nobody. The old man was living vertically, in a hierarchy. The New Man will live horizontally, with no hierarchy. Everybody is doing his best and doing what he wants to do, and doing it not just as work but as worship.
Q: BHAGWAN, YOU HAVE SAID THAT YOU LOVE TO DISTURB PEOPLE BECAUSE ONLY BY DISTURBING THEM CAN YOU MAKE THEM THINK.
TO WHAT EXTREMES WOULD YOU GO TO DISTURB PEOPLE?
A: It depends on the people, not on me. For example, I will not have to go far to disturb Avirbhava. It is easy. She tries, but again and again she gets disturbed. So it depends on the people.
There are people with very thick skins: they really need Zen hits; perhaps then they may open their eyes and see what is going on. But I can go to any length. If the person is stubborn and has decided not to be disturbed, then I can go to any length. Until he is disturbed, I don't stop. I don't have any limitation, and I am disturbing him only so that he can wake up. And I know, once he wakes up he will be grateful. In his sleep he may be angry.
I am reminded of Immanuel Kant, one of the great philosophers of Germany. He was very particular about his routine. People used to fix their clocks just seeing him, because at an exact time he would go for a morning walk, up to the exact mile, and he would come back every day at the same time. At the same time he would take his food, at the same time he would go to the university, at the same time go back home, at the same time he would go to bed. And people knew -- it was a small place -- that Kant is going to the university, so what should be the time? And immediately everybody would set his clock right. Your clocks can be wrong, but Kant cannot be.
Once it happened that it had just rained, and there was too much mud outside.
One of his shoes got caught by the mud when he was going to his classroom. He did not wait to take his shoe out. He entered his class with one shoe on and one foot naked. The students were puzzled because he was walking as if he were lame or had got his leg fractured. Everybody gathered and they asked, "What has happened? We don't see any fracture or anything, just one of your shoes is missing." He said, "I know. It got stuck in the mud, but I did not want to be late.
If I had taken the shoe out, I would have been a few seconds late. And this I cannot allow. I will take the shoe while going back."
This man Immanuel Kant had a servant. No other servant remained with him because he was such a difficult man. If his tea was even one second late, he would make so much fuss. Every night at ten o'clock he would go to bed. Even if he was talking to somebody, he would not say goodnight to him; he would just jump into the bed and pull the blanket over him. And the visitor could not believe what was happening. The servant would come and say, "The master has gone to sleep. You can go now. It is the exact time. He cannot even say goodnight, that will make him late; so you can just go." He gave strict orders for his servant to wake him early in the morning, at four o'clock. And it was cold....
He was a hard worker, working the whole day writing treatises -- one of Germany's most significant thinkers. The orders were, "You have to wake me, and pull me out of the bed. I may shout, I may scream, I may beat you. You can beat me, but don't leave me. You have to wake me up, because at that time I want to sleep. So I am making you aware beforehand: at that time I will make every effort to go to sleep, and you have to make every effort to wake me up."
Only one servant remained with him for many years. He was really a strong man. Kant used to hit him, but he was also good at hitting. He would hit even better. And every morning this wrestling would happen. But till Kant said, "Enough!" the servant would say, "No, you go into the bathroom, and I will take up your blanket and your mattress, so you cannot go back to sleep again while I'm working outside in the kitchen." And after the bath he would come to his senses and come to the servant and thank him, and would be very grateful. "You are the only man. So many servants... just one day and they are finished."
They would say "This is not the kind of job that we want to do. You yourself say 'Wake me,' and then you start beating us. And it does not look right to beat the master -- we are just servants -- and when we allow you to sleep, you wake up later on and start shouting and screaming and making the whole neighborhood gather, asking, 'What is the matter?' And Kant would say, 'The matter is that this man deceived me. For what am I paying him?'" The situation is the same whatever you do. I am going to wake you up.You yourself have asked me; it is not my own decision to wake you up. I never interfere in anybody's life. You became sannyasins; that was an agreement that you are going to be with me and I am going to wake you up whatsoever happens. So just keep on remembering the agreement. And I can go to any length, there is no limit for my efforts. It all depends on you.
For example, I told Avirbhava that she will wake up very soon. It won't take much time. But there are people who think they are already awake; then it is very difficult to wake them up, then it is going to be a hard struggle. But I will create every device. Howsoever hard I may look, whatever I am doing is just out of my love for you. It is not out of hardness but out of my softness.
Q: WHEN ASKED IF SHEELA WAS HEIR APPARENT TO YOUR SPIRITUAL KINGDOM, YOU REPLIED THAT THERE IS NO POWER AND NO KINGDOM. HOW CAN A COMMUNITY RUN WITH NO POWER AND NO KINGDOM?
A: Power is the word which has to be dropped by the New Man and replaced by love. Love has its own power, but it is not the power a politician has. It is not the power a rich man has. It is not the power of nuclear weapons. But still it is power, and more powerful than any weapons in the world, nuclear or not nuclear.
The New Man will live according to the laws of love. Kingdom is an old word with ugly associations. It reminds one of kings and kingdoms; it is the same political game. No, the New Man will have a paradise but not a kingdom; a commune, but not a society; a loving power.
If five thousand people in this commune can just be a little courageous and be loving to each other, without any conditions, you will see here what I mean. A new kind of power arises and a new kind of paradise where nobody is higher, ruling over others, where everybody is a king.
When everybody is a king you cannot call it a kingdom. It is a commune of kings and queens, but with no hierarchy. Of course, functionally somebody may be working as your president, somebody working as your plumber, but both are necessary and both are serving the same commune with the same love.
Q: WHEN ASKED HOW ORDINARY A MAN YOU ARE, YOUR REPLY ONCE WAS, "EXTRAORDINARILY!" WHAT DOES EXTRAORDINARILY ORDINARY MEAN?
A: Exactly that.
Q: IN A RECENT INTERVIEW, YOU SAID THAT IF THE HELL'S ANGELS CAME HERE, YOU WOULD WELCOME THEM. THEY'RE KNOWN AS ONE OF THE MOST VIOLENT MOTORCYCLE GANGS IN AMERICA. IF WE WOULD WELCOME THEM, WHY DO WE HAVE ALL THIS SECURITY?
A: Our security will welcome them. Do you think I am going to welcome them? I will not welcome even Ronald Reagan if he comes here. Our security will welcome them, and will welcome them the way they need to be welcomed, the way they deserve to be welcomed. Everybody according to his need.
If somebody comes with love, we will welcome him with flowers, and if somebody comes with hate, we will welcome him with bullets -- because we are fair people, we cannot be unfair to anybody. So when I say that we will welcome anybody who comes here, that does not mean that our welcome will be the same.
It will depend who comes and what is the purpose, what is the intention of the person who comes here.
We are not a suicidal group. This is not Jonestown. If somebody wants to destroy the commune, he has to understand that the commune cannot be destroyed so easily. We will fight for every inch, for every sannyasin's life. And it will be great excitement, something new! One gets bored doing the same routine thing, so something new once in a while brings excitement. But our motto is tit for tat.