[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]
INTERVIEW WITH NAOMI MENEZES, TIMES OF INDIA, INDIA
Q:* HOW DO YOU PLAN TO SUBSTANTIATE THE ACCUSATIONS THAT YOU HAVE MADE AGAINST SHEELA AND HER GROUP, OF ATTEMPTED MURDER AND POISONING, CONSPIRACY, ESPIONAGE, GRAND LARCENY?
A:* Every accusation has been given to the police with all the evidences possible, eyewitnesses, and the people who were part in all these conspiracies have confessed. Not a single thing that I have said is without any evidence.
All the rooms of the hotel were bugged. The FBI, the State Police, the Wasco County Police, the City Police -- they all have been here for almost two weeks.
They were surprised, they could not believe: one-hundred-forty-five rooms in the hotel -- all were bugged! My own room was bugged, my caretaker's room was bugged. My new secretary, Hasya's whole house was bugged. They have bugged almost the whole commune. And the evidence is there; they have taken all the mechanisms, the wires, the microphones. Every telephone was being taped, they have found the machinery on which all the telephones could be taped simultaneously. They were amazed to know that how sophisticated instruments were being used -- Nixon was left far behind.
Three persons in the commune were poisoned. My own physical physician -- who has been taking care of my body in India and has been taking my care here - - she was afraid of him because he was too close to me, and he may disclose something to me which she never wanted. So the only way was, she first tried to convince me that we have better physicians. I said it is not a question of better physician; it is a question of knowing my body and he knows my body. For ten years he has been looking after it and I am perfectly satisfied so there is no need to change. When I refused completely, then she started thinking to kill him.
First he was poisoned in her room, in a cup of coffee. Because he is a physician, he immediately could think of poison. Ordinarily, nobody would have thought of poison.
My caretaker was poisoned few days before in a cup of tea, in the same manner, in the same place -- Sheela's room -- but nobody even thought about it. Just we thought that she has fallen sick. The doctors could not find there is any sickness, so they simply suggested to rest.
But my physician is one of the most intelligent physicians. He is the youngest man who has ever been accepted in the Royal Society of Physicians in England as their member. He has the highest qualifications possible. He felt immediately that this is a certain poison which is undetectable -- but nobody will listen to him!
Even other doctors in the medical center looked and they could not find any poison in his blood, no indication that he has been poisoned. And while he was resting in the care home in the hospital, Sheela's nurse injected him again with the poison and he went through the same agony, the same trouble, the same sickness and the doctors could not diagnose it either that there is any sickness.
Third time while I was speaking, ten thousand sannyasins were there, and one of Sheela's... inner circle members injected him -- in the meeting, while he was attentively looking at me, listening, she simply injected him from behind. Feeling the prick he just looked and he saw the woman, disappearing in the crowd. He pulled his robes, showed to the people -- there was blood, and there was the mark of the needle and there was an eyewitness who has confessed before the police that "That woman, Shanti Bhadra, has injected the needle -- I have seen it with my own eyes." And that was my physician's suspicion because he saw her disappearing in the crowd.
Twenty people have escaped with Sheela; Shanti Bhadra is one of them. If she was not guilty there was no reason to escape. Only the group who had committed any crime has escaped. So for poisoning now we have an eyewitness, and when Sheela left, in her room, we found -- the police has taken all the evidences -- books on poison. Now what she has to do with books on poison?
How to murder people, how to make bombs.... And they have found chemicals and other elements which are needed to make bombs. And the book on the poisons has all kinds of poisons described, and only one poison is underlined -- that is the poison that my physician was continuously telling that that is the only poison that is undetectable -- and it is in the description of the poison, that it is undetectable. It will not kill the person, but it will go on weakening him.
You go on giving... within six months, the person will die a natural death. You cannot be caught because the poison is undetectable. And the person will not die immediately -- suddenly -- so nobody can suspect; he will simply go on becoming weaker and one day he will die. You have just to go on giving at certain periods. And it can be given in food, it can be given in tea, in coffee, it can be injected, it can be given in water....
She was planning to make bombs, because she told one of the pilots who is back now and has given his testimony to the police, that he was asked to carry a whole, whole plane load of bombs and other explosives, and crash the plane on the county office and destroy it completely, "And before the plane crashes, you jump out in a parachute, so you save yourself, but you destroy the whole county office -- and all the people working there...."
And the pilot could not think that it will not only destroy the county office; it will destroy many other houses by the both sides. So much explosives, so many bombs -- the fire will be simply wild, uncontrollable. He refused. Because he refused, immediately he was sent to Germany, to a commune that "You are needed there." And he was not needed there because there was no airport in the commune, no airplane -- what need of a pilot? But he had to be removed from here, fearing that he may start telling others. He was not one of the group.
And the problem was that none of the group was a pilot, so they had to use somebody outside the group. And the pilot even could not believe that this kind of thing should be expected of him.
So as he heard that Sheela and her group has left he phoned that "I am coming and I have a story to tell to the police." And whatever he has told, we have found all the literature -- that how to make bombs and what chemicals have to be used for explosives. And this man is a very simple and uncomplicated man, and the best pilot.
They burned the planning office of the Wasco county, for the simple reason that they had some papers there that Sheela did not want them to have; she wanted to destroy all those papers.
The twenty people who had left from here, one of them returned from Seattle back -- just a woman of some conscience. She said that "We have done wrong and now this will be doing even more. I don't want to remain my whole life hiding here and there like a criminal. I had not come here to Bhagwan to become a criminal; I had to come to live a simple, silent, meditative life, and you all turned me into a criminal. I am going back. I will confess everything." And she was one of the most important persons in the group, so she knows everything that the group has done, had planned to do.... Her coming has been of immense help. Her testimony is going on continuously for three days and it may take two, three days more.
It seems they were continuously planning to do some crime, to kill somebody.
She was the woman to take two sannyasins to the planning office. They burned the office and she was the sannyasin who drove them back. So nobody can be a better eyewitness than her. And she was present in all these meetings in which Shanti Bhadra was told to inject my physician in the meeting, and she was the one, when Shanti Bhadra did it -- she was with Sheela in her room -- and Shanti Bhadra came running, greatly joyous and saying "I did it, I did it!"
She could not understand what she has done. Only later on she could find that the plan that was arranged last night, to inject Devaraj, Shanti Bhadra has fulfilled it.
Now there are other, two more people, who had not gone with the group but who had been intimately connected with the group. They had not gone because they were working in Australia in one of the communes and they had no knowledge what was happening here. So while Sheela left from here, they came from Australia here, without knowing that Sheela has left.
They were first wavering, whether to go to Sheela or to remain here, and I had made it clear to them that if you want to go to Sheela then you will go to jail, not to Sheela; then we are going to hand you over to the police. Otherwise, you remain here and confess to the police, whatever you know and whatever you have been part in, then the commune can fight for you, because you have been confessing and you have been helping the police and the law, to catch hold of the main criminals. So they have stayed and now they are ready that perhaps tomorrow or day after tomorrow, they will be confessing and giving their testimony.
So whatever I have said, we have found enough evidence. There is no question now of Sheela and her whole gang to be brought to the court. The only problem here is that the Attorney General of Oregon, from the very beginning, has been against the commune, and he has not been able to find anything against it.
Now, he wants to have the criminals to be protected, to have some dealings with Sheela and to give them immunity and catch hold of innocent sannyasins. The people of the police who have been here have been overheard that he plans to arrest one thousand sannyasins so that he can cripple the whole commune completely. And those who have left, they have left; one thousand key-people -- doctors, plumbers, electricians, the people who make the food -- if all these people are caught, then his desire can be fulfilled. But it is not so easy....
That's why I have been giving interviews to the world media and making it known to the whole world, that what is in the mind of the Attorney General of Oregon. Even the police, the Federal agencies are simply surprised that he seems to be more criminal than the criminals: his desire is to protect the criminals and destroy the innocent people who have not done anything, who don't even know what was happening. Only that group of twenty people knew what was happening, what was going on.
So it is not going to be easy and we are going to give them good fight -- not only here, but around the world, in every country because I have almost more than one million sannyasins around the world. So I have challenged him that if any harm happens to any innocent sannyasin, then you have, are taking a risk. We are not violent people, we will not hijack your airplanes -- we have experts who can do it; we will not be taking over your embassies -- we have people who can do it -- but we don't want any violence at all. But we can silently be a world- protest against you.
In America we will protest, and before every American embassy we will protest, and before every government in the world we will protest that "You disconnect your connections with American government. This is not a democracy. This is pure fascism. So if you want to wave your mask of being democrat, then keep off! And let the law take its course.
We don't want anything in our favor. Anybody who is found guilty should be punished. It does not matter whether he is here in the commune or there with those twenty people, but no innocent person can be in any way harmed, otherwise you will have to make another Hiroshima here!
And I used to think that American government has some guts. It is not so.... I have told my Russian sannyasins that inform your government that don't be afraid of these cowards: a commune of five-thousand people, who have only three dozen old type guns for security -- not even automatic guns -- and a nuclear power who claims to be the greatest nuclear power, greater than Soviet Union, is afraid. They are keeping their army alert, they are bringing their national guard close to us, just so that within half an hour they can enter into Rajneeshpuram. They are gathering their vehicles in Madras.... And they don't have even guts to come themselves.
I have invited the Governor, the Attorney General that you come and be our guest and you see yourself -- what is happening, what we are doing. Without seeing you go on condemning. For fifty years this land was not used -- it was just a desert. Nobody was ready to purchase it. The owner was stuck. It was for sale for fifty years and not a single buyer turned up. We purchased it because we thought this is a good challenge for our sannyasins: if we can transform it into an oasis, and if we can make our commune self-sufficient as far as food is concerned, vegetables are concerned, fruits are concerned, milk products are concerned -- then it will be a great joy of creativity.
For fifty years nobody bothered about the land and when we started cultivating it, so many law cases against us, from the Attorney General.... First, that whatever we are doing is against their land use laws. And I told him publicly that first you should come here and you should see what we have done, whether it is against land.... It may be against your land use laws, but is it against the land?
We have transformed a desert and rather than helping us, rather than appreciating us, you are dragging us unnecessarily into courts. Just because twenty years away you had made some law and some technicalities, that we don't come under it, then change it! We are not against the land -- you have to come and see it -- and for twenty years your land use laws have not helped the land in any way.
Half of the Oregon's land has been sold to the Federal government because Oregon's economy goes on falling down. Still they are two-hundred-million in debts. Sooner or later they will have to give up their other lands also. So what kind of land use laws you have?
But they never came here.
Supreme court has decided in favor, in our favor. He has imposed, on a small matter.... We had made tents with a little difference than ordinary tents, because ordinary tents can be used only in summer, but not in snow, in winter -- and here it is seven months winter and heavy snow -- so we had made them winterized, they can be heated, they can be air conditioned. Still they are tents, they are not permanent structures, because within ten minutes you can put them up or you can fold them up. Without seeing them, just hearing that they are different from tents, he declared they are permanent structures. And unheard before, he punished us one million-four-hundred-thousand dollars punishment, without even sending an officer to see what kind of tents they are. And the courts simply was amazed when they saw that these tents can be folded in ten minutes and can be put up in ten minutes, it does not matter with what material they are made -- they are not permanent structures. He simply dismissed the whole case as stupid.
But he goes on finding anything. Now he has declared the city illegal, because religion and city are mixed.
We don't have a god, we don't have a temple, we don't have any ritual. We don't have any theology. My whole effort has been to create an individual who is not dependent on any organized religion.
So I say that my people have a certain quality of religiousness, but they are not a religion. And this quality of religiousness is just like the quality of lovingness, friendliness -- you don't have to become a part of an organization to have lovingness.
Religiousness is simply a gratitude towards existence, that it has given us so much and we cannot repay. So a silent gratitude and an inner search to find out the center from where we are connected with the lifeline -- of the stars, of the trees, of the mountains. And there is a point in us which joins us to the smallest blade of grass, to the biggest star, millions of light years away.
So this is a mystery school. We have explained it that it is not a religion, so there is no question at all of mixing religion with state. You are doing it: in your courts the oath is to be taken on the Bible -- that is mixture. Your president wanted that in every religious institution prayer should be introduced. It was Supreme Court who rejected it. That is an effort to mix religion. Then the president wanted that all Christian schools -- colleges, universities -- should be given the same grant as it is given to public schools, public institutions. Supreme Court refused that, that that is not possible. A Christian college, a Catholic university, we cannot support.
The government has to be above these religious creeds and cults.
Jews have their institutions, Christians have their institutions -- this is not possible. Government is secular.
Politicians have their own way, so what he has done -- because he could not manage the Supreme Court -- he has decided to give money to the parents of the children, not to the institution but to the parents, and now it is up to the parents:
where they want to send their children, they can send. That means, in a round about way the Christian schools, the Catholic colleges will receive the money but now it will come through the parents.
Q:* YOU SAID "HE HAS GIVEN THE MONEY" -- MEANING THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES?
A:* Yes. That's a decision.... It will be given to find a way around the Supreme Court.
Q:* WHO WILL GIVE THE MONEY, BHAGWAN?
A:* It is president of the United States, who is trying to support Christianity, who really wants, who himself is a fanatic Christian, a fundamentalist Christian and who wants the whole country to become Christian. And these are the ways: of indoctrination, enforcing.
Now if institutions cannot be given, then give to the parents and the parents will give to the institutions.
Q:* YOU HAVE MENTIONED MORE THAN ONCE HOW THE SUPREME COURT HAS GONE AGAINST VARIOUS PEOPLE. ONE OF THE GREATNESSES OF THIS COUNTY IS THAT THERE IS DUE PROCESS OF LAW.
A:* That is certainly. That is certainly true that there is a hope in this country and that is its Constitution, its law, its courts. And in fact that's what creates the difficulty for the politicians. The Constitution has really great values and the politicians are always third-rate as everywhere. They cannot rise to the level of the Constitution, so naturally, American Constitution is more prostituted than any other Constitution in the world, because other Constitutions are very close to the politicians. They can manage with the constitution and still go on doing every crime they want to do.
In America, even the president has to find out round about ways... so that's what I have publicly told to the media and Ronald Reagan must be knowing, the whole America must be knowing, because it is every day on the news, that I am going to fight for the Constitution of America -- against the Americans. This is a strange situation, but I am going to fight for the Constitution, because this is the best Constitution the world has. And it has a ray of hope.
And we will win certainly, but just it destroys so much time which we could have used creatively. We have one-hundred-twenty-six square miles land. If we are not distracted unnecessarily, we can make the whole land luscious green. The Oregon will be proud of it. It can become the best holiday resort. Already in America no place attracts more people than Rajneeshpuram. Every year near about thirty thousand people are coming and going. In each festival there are at least fifteen thousand people coming from all over the world.
We used to have a festival every year for four years, twenty-one days, annual festival, fifteen to seventeen thousand people used to come. Just to prevent it -- I could not see the stupidity of these people because twenty-one days, if fifteen thousand people from outside the world remain here, they help the economy of Oregon! And there is no other place in America where people are going to stay for twenty-one days.
America does not have a Jerusalem, neither a Mecca nor a Kashi.... They have passed a resolution in Oregon's assembly that no festival in Oregon can be more than five days -- and we are the only people who have the festival. There is no other festival going on anywhere. To just destroy our festival, naturally, just for five days a person will think many times whether to come from Calcutta or from Japan or from Australia or from England, wasting that much money and just within five days, even he has not recovered, rested, and he is to go back.
Q:* I'M SURE YOU WILL FIND A WAY OF MAKING THOSE FIVE DAYS SO WORTH IT THAT THEY WILL COME.
A:* No, I have managed.
Q:*... YOU NEED TO WORRY ABOUT THAT AT ALL.
A:* We will manage.
Q:* DO NOT BE BOTHERED BY... SMALL-MINDED PEOPLE ARE THERE ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD.
A:* No, no. We are not bothered, we are not bothered. I simply want you to make your readers aware of what is being done to a commune which has done no harm to anybody, which is simply trying to improve and which is trying to prove my arguments existentially.
I do not want the world to become communist in such a way that only poverty is equally distributed. That is not my of communism. My idea of communism is something better than capitalism -- so much wealth can be created that there is no need to hoard it, so much wealth can be created that there is no need to distribute it. People will be enjoying their wealth and it will be distributed.
People hoard only because the wealth is so scarce. When wealth is so much, just like air, you don't worry about it. If the air becomes scarce then only, of course, rich people will have air, poor people will not have.
And that what I am trying to prove: we have created a commune which is self- sufficient, everybody is comfortable, everybody is immensely happy. The whole commune has all the facilities that modern technology provides. The whole commune is air conditioned, almost everybody can get a car any moment he wants. There are pools of cars, so nobody is without a car. The commune has one hundred busses, most of them air conditioned. The commune has five airplanes.... And when we had come here, there was only one house, dilapidated, and just a desert -- not even a single bird!
When I came here I looked -- I surprised: I have never seen such a place where not a single bird! Now birds have started coming. Life has a certain organic unity. Deers have come in hundreds -- from all other ranches they have moved to this ranch -- for the simple reason because in every other ranch they are killed!
Only this ranch they are respected as people. Nobody can kill them, nobody can harm them. And I have told my sannyasins that make everywhere small ponds, this winter, in hundreds, so deers can have enough water wherever they want.
And grow as much alfalfa grass which they like -- the only grass they eat -- fill the whole valley with alfalfa grass. So let the whole commune become a deer park.
We have now three hundred peacocks, one dozen swans, and we are trying to bring other animals, other trees, and creating an ecological balance. We have made the dam... enough for commune's needs. We have another lake for people to swim, to enjoy, and we are not using this dam either for irrigation. For irrigation we have a river, so this dam is also used for swimming. In festival time, you will see in the lake ten thousand people. The whole place becomes such a dance and such a song.
All that I wanted these people that we are not asking any favor from you; we are putting money from our own sannyasins. We have not asked a single cent from you; just we want, please don't waste our time! You know perfectly well that you are going to be defeated, but you can waste our time. So we -- rather than creating -- four-hundred legal experts are simply wasting their time continuously, because so many cases -- on small things, on anything, and they start a case. And when there is a real case to start, they are delaying it as long as possible.
We are asking them that why don't you start it? When we have given you every evidence, we have given you open availability to enter any house, search any place -- and they have searched whatever they wanted -- and they have got enough evidence, then why you are delaying, for what? There must be something cooking behind the scene.
Q:* AND WHAT IS THE ANSWER, BHAGWAN?
A:* They are simply silent.
Q:* HAVE YOU PERSONALLY BEEN SERVED WITH A SUBPOENA?
A:* No. They cannot even have courage to do that.
Q:* SUPPOSE THEY WANT TO SERVE YOU WITH ONE, WILL YOU ACCEPT IT?
A:* I will see it. They don't have any reason.
Here, when their police was here, it would have been absolutely proper for them because I brought all the accusations publicly, into the notice of the government.
They should have asked for my interview; they did not. Today I waited, then I requested them that "I want you to interview me." They gave a date, the appointment and then they cancelled. This happened four times. They wasted almost ten days. They will fix a date, after two days, and then exactly fifteen minutes before, they will connect to the Attorney General what has to be done, and they will say that from the higher up it is cancelled.
But I don't see the point -- why it is cancelled and who are these higher ups? You are here to inquire, you are on the spot -- why you should ask anybody? And those were the topmost police officers, and fourth time I told them that "If you cancel this time, then by the evening I am going to call a national press conference and then I am going to tell everything to them," and still, fourth time they cancelled. They were thinking that I was simply threatening them. And I called the press conference -- sixty people from almost every media inside America and outside America were present -- and I told them that these people are trying something else; they are not looking for the criminals. We have provided enough proof, now the simple thing is just to inform the Interpol and catch hold of these people and bring them here back.
And we are ready! Whatever is needed from us, we will supply. But just silence.... They are afraid about my subpoena too, because I am going to raise that question that, "Why I have not been asked in the first place? I was the person to make it open -- it should have been just natural to ask me -- and I have to request you. And then too, for four times you go on canceling. So are you in the service of law or in the service of crime? Whom you are serving?
They know perfectly well, because once they have taken my deposition in a case -- and I chewed the guy perfectly well -- since then they don't ask for my deposition.
Q:* IS IT TRUE, BHAGWAN, THAT IF THIS MATTER COMES TO COURT OF LAW, YOU ARE GOING TO SPEAK IN YOUR OWN DEFENSE?
A:* Yes. I am going to ask... my legal people are going to ask for permission are going to ask for permission. They can assist me but I will speak on my own.
Q:* DO YOU THINK IT IS ADVISABLE CONSIDERING THE CIRCUMSTANCES IN WHICH THESE PEOPLE OPERATE?
A:* It doesn't matter. Because truth needs no defense. Only lies need defense.
And this much I know: that I can argue with any kind of people -- there is no problem in it.
My whole life I have been arguing and doing nothing else! I may not know the law -- that does not matter; I know that law is nothing but a branch of logic. I know logic, I does not know law; doesn't matter. I know the father, I don't know the son.
Q:* IS IT POSSIBLE FOR SOMEONE OF YOUR ENLIGHTENMENT, OF YOUR KNOWLEDGE OF HUMAN NATURE -- AS YOU SAY OF LOGIC, OF THE WAY PEOPLE ACT AND BEHAVE -- TO HAVE SOMEBODY IN YOUR MIDST FOR THREE YEARS AND NOT TO BE AWARE THAT THAT PERSON WAS UNDERGOING A FUNDAMENTAL CHANGE?
A:* No, the problem was that Sheela was never inclined towards spirituality, towards any inner growth, towards meditation... from the very beginning. If she would have been inclined, then I would have immediately detected the change.
She was never a meditator, she never meditated. She has other qualities: she was very pragmatic, very practical, and very strong. And in the beginning days of this commune, particularly so because I was in silence and in isolation, I cannot give it to someone who was too much in meditation.
Either someone who is enlightened could have been able to manage it or someone who has nothing to do with enlightenment, who is just earthly. A person who is in between would not have been able to manage millions of dollars, all these politicians, all these courts, all these legal affairs. A person who is just on the way is more inclined towards himself, wants to be left alone, wants to have peace and silence; he does not want to fight and struggle.
I can fight because I have nothing to lose. What I have gained is something which even if I want there is no way to lose it. But a meditator can lose easily. So there were only two possibilities: either I have to do it myself -- I was sick... badly, that I wanted complete rest for three, four years, until I am perfectly okay so that I can come back again.
Sheela has lived in America almost her whole life. She was married in America to an American. She knew America, she knew the American way of doing things.
The whole group that has come with me, none of them was American; only Sheela was the person who was not American but she has lived in America and was married in America -- she was almost an American... and she was absolutely materialistic. These were the qualities that I had chosen her.
As far as the future is concerned of anybody, one thing has to be understood, that it is not determined. Somebody may be absolutely loving this moment and next moment he may murder someone.
You cannot decide what is going to happen in the next moment. And this is one of the man's privilege, that his future is not determined -- that means his future is free and he has a freedom to move. The sinner can become a saint, the saint can become a sinner....
So I had no idea that Sheela -- who has never done anything like that -- will turn into a criminal. But she alone is not responsible for it. The politicians forced her; the Oregonians, their hostility forced her. She must have some instinct in her unconscious that became conscious, took advantage of the situation. But she was not alone. The hostility outside, the constant threat of those people -- that they will kill her, they will kill me, they will come and bulldoze the whole commune - - by and by she started functioning actually like those people. It is almost human and understandable.
Q:* BHAGWAN, IT HAS HAPPENED IN THE COURSE OF HISTORY -- IT'S NOT SOMETHING UNIQUE.
A:* No, it is not unique... it is not unique. Sheela is not unique.... It cannot happen with me. For thirty years people have been with me; it has never even occurred, not even an idea, that somebody has to be killed. Even though I have been attacked; attempts on my life have been made, then too it has never occurred to me, that I should retaliate. I had people who were really angry and wanted to retaliate, and when the person who had attacked last time before I left India and threw a knife at me -- ten thousand sannyasins were eyewitnesses, twenty top police officers of Poona were eyewitnesses, because they received an anonymous phone call that somebody is going to throw a knife at me, this morning's discourse, so you hurry up.... So all the top police officers were there before they threw. They caught him red-handed, they saw him, they took the knife with them, they took the man with them, and still the man was released by the court, honorably, that this thing has not happened -- the knife has not been thrown.
Ten thousand people, my tape record, suddenly my stopping, the noise of the knife falling on the floor, that man shouting... and then I started speaking again where I had left, twenty police officers, and it was not our case -- it was a police case. They had caught him red-handed.... Still he was left, and the magistrate must have felt very bad.
From a common friend -- a doctor -- he informed and asked my apology. He said, "Just forgive me, because that man belongs to a political party and the pressure is too much on me. The government wants him to be released, my promotion is due, and I am a poor magistrate -- children are there, my wife is there, my old parents are there -- and if I give him any punishment then my life is ruined, my children's life is ruined. They will send me to some far off place and my promotion is finished -- then it is not going to happen at least till this party remains in power. So please forgive me."
I told the doctor, tell the magistrate there is no problem in it -- I can understand your position. The difficulty is how I am to make my people understand, because they are almost ready to kill the man, because this is too much. Every evidence....
So it cannot happen with me, but with Sheela -- just an ordinary human being, with no higher qualities, with no higher aspirations -- she became ambitious, she became power-oriented, and suddenly she saw so much money she had never dreamt of: two hundred million dollars were in her hands. Forty-three million dollars she has kept in Switzerland -- which were bound to come here, that is a theft -- in her own name. But she is simply foolish.
Now she is purchasing a hotel in Germany and once she purchases it -- because that money was coming from German sannyasins and German communes... that money either belongs to German communes or it belongs to this commune, and she is purchasing a hotel, five-star hotel in Germany -- she will be soon, if these people don't catch in, then German sannyasins are going to put her into jail.
From where she got the money?
She is not rich, neither the other people in her group are rich. Forty-three million dollars -- from where she got?
Q:* DO YOU HAVE EVIDENCE THAT IT IS WITH HER IN FACT?
A:* Yes, because her secretary who left her two years before because she had cancer, she has come back. She is going to give her affidavit and her testimony, that she remembers the number of the account, the bank, how much money. And she also remembers that when she got this money, she started dealing in drugs, she started smuggling things from one country to another country -- gold from this country to that country and particularly hard drugs.
So forty-three is just from the communes, but she may have more than that. If she was dealing in hard, hard drugs, then she will get into more trouble. But nobody can, there is no way to predict what a man can do. The future remains always unpredictable and unknown.
Q:* BUT IN THE LIFE OF A COMMUNE, BHAGWAN, HOW ARE YOU GOING TO SEE THAT SUCH A THING CAN NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN?
A:* At least in my lifetime it won't happen, because I am not going into silence again -- just so that nothing like this happens -- and I am making every possible arrangement that even if I am not here, it will not happen. For example, I am decentralizing the power. Sheela had all the power in her hands.
Now I am distributing it into ten corporations so ten people will be equally powerful and they will all will be chosen from their corporations.
Secondly, I am making it that the people should not remain long time in power.
At the most, one year, six month to one year should be the longest term, then they should rotate. So nobody takes it for granted that it is his power.
So decentralization and rotation of the people, so many more people have the chances to show their ability, their potentiality, capacity, and nobody becomes addicted that it is something that is his, nobody else can have it.
Thirdly, I have changed. Now sannyasins will not be having any uniform, so that sannyas becomes available to many more people. Many intelligent people were simply prevented because of the red clothes -- their jobs are there, their parents are there, their wife, their children, their friends, and everywhere they feel in a kind of embarrassment, the mala is no more needed -- it is all optional. You can use any color, if you want you can use mala, if you don't want you don't need -- only meditation remains the central core, which is something inner, which has nothing to do with outside.
So I want it more wide, so more people can come in. What Sheela did, she removed all intelligent people from the commune: the chancellor of the university, the vice-chancellor of the university -- both she harassed and they had to leave. She harassed so many people, particularly all the people who have been close to me, she harassed them because she was afraid: these people can be her competitors at any time. And she was almost always afraid that I can change her.
She was asking me again and again that, "Bhagwan, help me when you change me that I can gracefully become an ordinary sannyasin again." And I said, "Certainly, I will help you...." But she escaped like a thief! That was not graceful. I had asked her to come to see me at least before you leave. I am not going to say anything to you -- it is perfectly your choice, your freedom. If you don't want to be here, there is no problem; you can go.
But I had no idea, but she had every idea what she has done and she was afraid, perhaps, I have come to know. She was not here for one month, she was in Australia, so she was afraid perhaps within this one month I have come to know few things. She never came to see me.
I reminded her, sent the message that, "Remember, you always used to ask that `Let me become gracefully an ordinary sannyasin, whenever you feel that somebody else can take over my place and do the work better....' So don't go without seeing me and remember that I am not going to ask any question. But she could not gather the courage and she escaped simply at the time when I always go into the mountains, just for one and half hour drive in, at two o'clock - - two to four -- I am in the mountains, at that time exactly at four, I saw the plane going. I had no idea that she is going. When I came back home, then I heard that she has left and she has taken twenty other people, all the topmost people, with her.
Q:* BHAGWAN, YOU HAVE BEEN ASKED BEFORE THAT WHY IS IT THAT YOU HAVE GIVEN WOMEN A CHANCE MORE THAN MEN AND THE ANSWER YOU HAVE GIVEN IS THAT YOU FELT THAT WITH WOMEN THERE WOULD BE A BETTER, MORE COMPASSIONATE CHANCE FOR PEOPLE. HAVE THE EVENTS OF THE RECENT PAST CAUSED YOU TO REVISE THAT OPINION?
A:* No. Not a single Sheela can represent the whole womanhood. I have given it again to another woman.
Q:* YOU ANNOUNCED THE END OF RAJNEESHISM, YOU SAY THE ROBES, COLORED ROBES ARE NO LONGER REQUIRED NOR THE MALA. HAS THERE BEEN ANY FUNDAMENTAL CHANGE IN YOUR WAY OF THINKING OR LIFESTYLE OF THIS COMMUNITY.
A:* No. Just outer symbols have to be dropped, so that there will be no difference between outsiders and sannyasins, no discrimination, and anybody who wants to be sannyasin -- because I know thousands of people have wanted and had asked, but were afraid about the robe and the mala, now there will be no fear for them. So I want it to become as wide as possible so more intelligent people, more intelligent, creative -- musicians, artists -- all those who are really not power- oriented, but have contributed to the beauty of life, become interested. They are interested and they would like to be part of such a commune.
I have chosen Prem Hasya as the President, because of her very creative mind.
She, with her husband, has created one of the best movies, GODFATHER, and she came close to me because she wanted to make a movie on me, on the sannyasins and my whole way of life. So she was working on it, that's why she had come. And I saw in her intelligence, creativity, a very loving heart, and no desire for power.
I have given again places to women.... The commune president is now Anuradha who has been with me almost for ten years, doing any kind of work, comes from one of the richest families in England -- so there is no question of that money can become important to her -- and is ready to do anything. She was very friendly to Sheela, but Sheela could not take her into her group for the simple reason because her love towards me and to the commune is so much that she will not do any such thing that goes against my ideology, so she was left out.
Just one woman cannot destroy my respect for womanhood. I will go on giving chances again and again, for the simple reason: for thousands of years women have not been given chance.
So it is possible that when they get the chance -- it is just like a hungry man who has been hungry for many days is bound to eat too much and is bound to become sick by eating. That's what happened to Sheela: she had never seen so big money, she had never seen so much power, in my name she had ten thousand people who could have died or done anything.... She was just a waitress in a hotel... and the mind has not changed -- again she has purchased a hotel!
Q:* YOU LEFT INDIA RATHER ABRUPTLY AND CAME HERE. MANY RUMORS HAVE BEEN FLOATING AS TO WHY YOU LEFT, WHY YOU CAME, WHAT ARE THE REASONS. WOULD YOU LIKE TO TELL US BRIEFLY, WHAT WERE THE CIRCUMSTANCES THAT MADE YOU COME HERE?
A:* No, there was nothing -- really my health and no other reason. My back was very bad, I could not walk, could not sit. In my commune in Poona we had all kinds of therapists, massage people, bodyworkers, and very good ones -- they all tried but there was no changer. They tried traction, nothing worked. Then from England we had to call experts, the best one in the world. He was known almost as a miracleworker on the back, but within two days he also lost hope; he said, "You will have to live with it. All that can be done is, take care, but don't hope that the back will be absolutely right, because it is not something that has gone wrong suddenly; it has gone wrong in a long period of time. Perhaps thirty, forty years, it has been going slowly, slowly, in a wrong state and you never became aware, and now it has come to a peak. When suddenly something happens to the back, it can be settled again, but this is not a sudden case. So when we push the bone back, it slips out again. It has become its natural state."
And then I was suffering from allergy -- any perfume, any dust, any smoke and I will have asthma attacks. Then the whole night it was difficult to sleep.
Thirdly, was my diabetes which is my inheritance. My great-grandfather had it, my grandfather had it, my father had it, I have it, my all uncles have it, my all brothers have it -- it seems to be something intrinsic, so it cannot be cured. It can only be kept in control.
And my allergy needed dry air and cool air, no humidity. That's why I shifted from Bombay to Poona, because Bombay was more humid, Poona was less, but still it didn't make much difference. I was asking Indian government to allow me to purchase land in Kutch, but Morarji has been my lifelong friend! When he was chief minister of Gujarat, he wanted to prohibit my entrance into Gujarat, but he could not do it because I said that "I will take you to the court -- on what grounds you can prohibit me from entering Gujarat? Gujarat is not a separate country!"
And he could not convince his own assembly either that they said, "It will be absolutely absurd. Before the Supreme Court what grounds, on what grounds?
What wrong he has done against Gujarat?"
But he was prime minister, so he made every effort that I should not get into Kutch, because now Kutch is part of Gujarat. Kutch was exactly the same climate as this place in Oregon -- desert, dry -- and the palace in Kutch, the father of the present Maharajah, had the same problem with allergies. So experts have explored all over Kutch, where the palace should be made, so it was exactly made as if for me. The palace was in such a place that the place was cool, dry, and immensely beautiful. And since the maharajah died, nobody has lived in that palace. And it was big enough for my commune; seven- hundred acres, and almost one thousand people could live, immediately, and then we could create more and we could purchase more, because Kutch is almost empty -- nobody lives there.
Morarji was creating trouble. He managed it because he could not do anything directly. The king was ready to sell it to me. He even took the advance of two lakhs.... Morarji could not do anything, whether you are a prime minister or what that does not matter. The property belonged to the Maharajah and I could purchase it. But what he did: he convinced the army -- they had army headquarters somewhere near the palace, fifty miles away, because it is the border of Pakistan -- that if I am there, then thousands of foreigners will be there and that will be dangerous to the security of India because it is on the boundary.
So army became the barrier. Army told the Maharajah, "You cannot sell it. It is a question of national security."
I tried in Himachal Pradesh, something similar, near Simla, but Morarji was forcing the chief minister of Simla -- who was willing to sell it because it was a government hotel, thirty miles away, interior into the Himalayas and they were going in loss. Once it was a palace of the Maharajah of Mysore. The sheer maintenance of it was too much, and as a hotel, nobody was going there. So he wanted to get rid of it. He was willing at any price, because he said, "Nobody wants to buy it. Now there are no more Maharajahs, so who will purchase that palace? But Morarji is adamant," and he said, "I cannot annoy him, he is fanatic, so you will have to wait."
And my health went on deteriorating and finally Morarji went away.... Then the Maharashtra government became interested in another thing, that I should not move out of Maharashtra, because that brings their tourism finished. Thousands of foreigners are coming, they bring money and Poona has become world- famous, all the hotels of Poona are completely full.... So the Maharashtra government was forcing that I should not be allowed anywhere to be purchased, any property. At that moment I got really frustrated and fed up that these idiots - - how long I have to suffer and they are not going to change in any way -- so I told that "I would like to go for few years outside."
I had not come to America with the intention to stay here. First, we had purchased a very beautiful castle, one hundred year old, in New Jersey.
A: Montclair. It was a beautiful castle and somebody who had made was himself a very creative architect. We made it completely new, renovated it totally. It became really a beautiful palace. But it was going to be just for the time being before we can find a place -- because New Jersey was not the right place, it was humid, very humid. It was beautiful, it is really a garden state -- the whole state is a garden -- so I loved it, but my allergy was giving trouble.
Then this place was found, and this suited me. Just as I entered here I felt a great relief, as if my heart and my lungs, both felt a burden removed. And for these four years, I have not had a single attack, otherwise it was almost three, four times per week. That means three, four nights per week sleep was impossible -- just coughing, sneezing -- and the pain with the neck, with the back was there, and this diabetes was there, so....
I would have had gone back, but because they refused the green card, then I told the INS authorities, "Then unless I receive the green card I am not going to leave America."
Q:* BUT BHAGWAN, DOESN'T THE GREEN CARD INDICATE YOUR DESIRE TO BE A PERMANENT RESIDENT OF THIS COUNTRY?
A:* I can change my desire. I had come here as a visitor, I had come for my health, but my health got improved. So I want to be here forever. Nobody can prevent me from changing my desire or my intention. And I have told them that I had no intention of staying here. I had come here just for my health.
And if you give me the green card there is every possibility I may go back, but if you don't give me the green card, then I am the last person to go back.
Q:* DO YOU HAVE ANY PLANS AT ALL FOR A VISIT OR FOR THE FUTURE TO GO BACK TO INDIA?
A:* I have forgotten all.
Q:* YOU HAVE SEVERED ALL CONNECTION WITH INDIA?
A:* No. My commune is there, my people are there, sannyasins are there, they come here -- this festival two-hundred-fifty Indians were here -- so there is no problem about that. But whenever something becomes a challenge, then I cannot move. I have made it clear: four years they have not been able to decide. They know perfectly well: yes they cannot say because of the political pressure; no, they cannot say because there is no ground for saying no. And I fulfill their five categories, not only one. Just only one category I don't fulfill and I have told them that if you insist, I can do that too -- that is marriage. I can marry as many women as you want!
But green card or no green card, I am going to be here. And unless Rajneeshpuram is a legal city and my people are completely victorious over this fanatic attorney general, it is difficult for me to leave. And anyway, Morarji is no more in power, so... no joy of coming back! Okay?
Q:* DO YOU FEEL CONCERN AND INVOLVEMENT WITH THE FUTURE OF INDIA?
A:* I never think of the future.
Q:* WHAT IS YOUR OPINION OF THE STEWARDSHIP OF RAJIV GANDHI AS OUR PRIME MINISTER?
A:* Something is better than nothing.
Q:* DO YOU FEEL THAT THE COUNTRY IS TAKING A NEW DIRECTION UNDER THIS YOUNG, NON-POLITICAL LEADER?
A:* I don't think.
Q:* IN THE DISCOURSE YOU GAVE ON SEPTEMBER NINTH YOU SAID THAT RAJIV GANDHI IS INDIA'S ONLY HOPE.
A:* That's why I said something is better than nothing because if Rajiv Gandhi is not there, then you can't even think of another name. So he is just filling a space, but he will not be able to do anything, for the simple reason that already he has started doing stupid things. He is selling wheat to outside world, while fifty percent of India is almost on the starving point, and he is selling wheat so that he can make India a nuclear power -- now this is stupid.
It will take three hundred years for India to become a big nuclear power like Soviet Union or America, and in these three hundred years, what will happen to India? Seventy-five percent of its income you go on pouring into nuclear weapons and the country goes on dying -- for whom those nuclear weapons you are creating? And in three hundred years America and Soviet Union will not stand still and wait for you, so that you can join them. In three hundred years they will be three thousand years ahead of you. So there is no point at all!
He should stop all nonsense about atomic energy, about nuclear weapons; he should think of how all technology can be in the service of the country and how the country can be saved.
For twenty years there must be a absolute birth control. Already you are eight hundred million people; by the end of this century, India will be one billion people. You would have crossed far ahead than China. You are going to create another Nigeria, far bigger and far more disgusting. If in Nigeria one thousand people were dying every day, in India ten thousand, twenty-thousand people will be dying every day.
And there is no need for India to become an atomic power. Whatever atomic energy you are able to create, direct it towards production, use it for productive methods. But his mind seems to be the same: to become a great power. What India needs is to reduce the population and to become a comfortable nation. And right now, it is beyond your capacity to become a big power, so simply forget all about it -- there is no need.
So I can see that there is no other alternative. Rajiv could be of great help if he understands correctly that India does not need to become a war country. Make it just comfortable, happy, rejoicing, and don't be worried about war, because war has gone so ahead of you that you cannot....
And this need not make you afraid. It makes you afraid only because you go on continuing a stupid policy, propagated by Jawaharlal Nehru, of being neutral.
The idea was that if you are neutral then Soviet Union and America, both will be friendly to you. The reality is: nobody trust you -- neither Soviet Union nor America.
The best thing will be, forget about creating nuclear weapons, become aligned to one camp.
Q:* WHICH CAMP WOULD YOU ADVOCATE?
A:* Whatsoever, whatever India decides -- that is not for me. Whatever India decides, become aligned to one camp so you need not be worried about somebody attacking you -- then what you will do? Make a treaty about with one big power and forget about creating yourself nuclear weapons, so that you can divert all your energy for creative purposes and the big power you become aligned, takes care. It is such a simple thing!
This neutral policy has been one of the most foolish things that Jawaharlal imposed on India's mind. For forty years India has been suffering under it. You can change the name: now he has started calling it "non-alignment." It does not matter what you call. I say be aligned, whomsoever the country prefers. I am not giving you any preference. Whomsoever the country prefers -- let the country decide -- and then join totally with that power.
My idea is so that you need not create any war, machinery, technology, big army, so you can drop that and you can divert your whole energy in creating better standard of life for the people.
Q:* YOU HAVE ADVOCATED THAT BIRTH CONTROL SHOULD BE ENFORCED; AT THE SAME TIME YOU SAY PEOPLE SHOULD BE ALLOWED FREEDOM OF SELF-EXPRESSION AND INDIVIDUALISM. HOW CAN YOU RECONCILE THIS WHEN YOU FORCE PEOPLE TO DO SOMETHING THAT THEY ARE NOT CONVINCED ABOUT? THIS HAS BEEN THE STUMBLING BLOCK OF INDIRA GANDHI, AS YOU KNOW, DURING THE EMERGENCY LAST TIME. HER SON, SANJAY GANDHI, TRIED TO ENFORCE BIRTH CONTROL AND THERE WAS A VIOLENT REACTION AGAINST IT. IN A DEMOCRACY HOW DO YOU ENFORCE SOMETHING?
A:* It was... it was not really Sanjay Gandhi's fault; it was Indira Gandhi's fault, to bring elections too soon. There was no need. Birth control has to be forced.
Democracy is not something that you can simply have. First you have to deserve it. India don't deserve it.
What kind of people you have got who deserve democracy? Most of them are uneducated, they don't know even the meaning of democracy. In fact, what you are doing for forty years is enforcing democracy on people who do not understand what democracy is!
Q:* SO WHAT IS THE ALTERNATIVE, BHAGWAN?
A:* India does not need democracy. It is not in a situation to afford it. India needs simply a very benevolent dictatorship, and Sanjay was absolutely right and Indira unnecessarily was worried about her image in the world -- that she is now condemned as dictator? So what!
If they are afraid, I can come! And within twenty years I can settle every problem of the country, but it cannot be settled by democracy. So if you love democracy so much, then Ethiopia will be the result.
Democracy needs a certain life standard, a certain education, a certain quality of intelligence in people.... Where people can sell their votes in two rupees, you talk about democracy? Where people vote for the symbol: if cow is your symbol, then people will vote you, because you must be right; cow is the mother... holy mother!
Nobody thinks that every kind of government needs a certain atmosphere. India is not in a position to afford democracy. It can be: Just twenty years of benevolent dictatorship, absolute birth control, alignment with a big nuclear power, all the efforts, energy, economy, technology, science, the whole intelligence of the country diverted towards production, and after twenty years you can have democracy... but not now!
I am a very practical man. I am not a dreamer. And Jawaharlal was a dreamer, and it was one of the greatest mistake that India chose a dreamer to be his first prime minister. And still, India is suffering because of his dreams.
India needs practical people.
Q:* DON'T YOU THINK RAJIV GANDHI IS BRINGING YOUNGER, PRACTICAL PEOPLE, GIVING THEM A CHANCE NOW... WHICH WAS NEVER DONE BEFORE? FIFTY PERCENT OF THE POPULATION IS UNDER FORTY AND THEY ARE MAKING THEIR VOICE HEARD.
A:* He has the chance... just tell him that no more nuclear power and no more this stupid non-alignment, and no more talk of democracy. India is not in a state to be democratic.
Q:* THERE WAS A RECENT PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NOTICE THAT I GOT TWO DAYS AGO, THAT FIVE TRUSTEES OF THE ASHRAM IN POONA ARE BEING CHARGED WITH TRYING TO DEFRAUD THE INCOME TAX AUTHORITIES BY PRODUCING A FALSE LETTER OF WAIVER -- ARE YOU AWARE OF THIS?
A:* No, I don't know anything.
Q:* YOU DO NOT KNOW ABOUT IT BECAUSE AT THE SAME TIME THAT THIS WAS HAPPENING HERE, THIS WAS HAPPENING IN INDIA. I WAS WANTING TO KNOW WHAT YOUR REACTION WAS.
A:* No. I don't know at all.
Q:* I THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR TIME.
A:* Okay. Come again.