[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 MA YOGA PRATIMA
QUESTION:* BHAGWAN, WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN RELIGION, RELIGIOUSNESS AND RELIGIO?
ANSWER:* The difference is simple, yet very vast. The difference is that of a dead rose you find in a Holy Bible. It has lost its color, lost its fragrance, lost its life. It is just a rose for name's sake. Otherwise there is nothing of the rose in it. It looks like a rose.
Once it may have been a rose, may have danced in the wind, in the rain, in the sun. It may have released fragrance without any conditions to anybody, to strangers or if there was nobody, even just to the winds. But now it is just past, a memory, faded. Religion is like that, a dead rose found in the Holy Bible.
Religio is a living rose: fully alive, totally alive, intensely alive, with immense glory, expressing the beauty of existence, very individual and unique...
unrepeatable, irreplaceable, radiant. It is full of juice and full of fragrance, a miracle. It is a mystery from where it comes, because it is not in the roots, it is not in the tree, it is not in the leaves. And yet the living rose is surrounded by a mysterious aura of fragrance. It stands in the sun with great pride. That pride is not of the ego, it is authentic. It is true. He is what he is showing to existence -- his color, his aliveness, his fragrance -- these are not pretensions. It is his reality.
Religio is the living flower, and religiousness is the fragrance. You can experience it, you can smell it, but you cannot catch hold of it. You cannot catch hold of it in words, in explanations, in definitions. It defies any kind of imprisonment. It is pure freedom. That's why I say the difference is simple, but vast, like the difference between a living man and his corpse. Simply: The living man breathes, loves, dances, sings, rejoices: the corpse does not do anything. It goes on deteriorating, it starts stinking. It is the same corpse whom you may have loved, whom you may have desired, whom you may have respected, honored. Now all that you can do is take it to the crematorium.
Religion is a corpse. Religio is a living being. And life has love, laughter, the possibility of all kinds of creativity., It can give birth to songs, beautiful, transcendental songs which can bring into words that which is almost impossible to express, songs which can be given live to a living audience from a living singer. Between the singer and the listener something can transpire which is not in the words, in the song, or in the music, but something by the side -- on the margin -- invisible, yet it reaches to the heart. The living man can dance. His body can rejoice in a thousand and one ways. That is religiousness.
So the difference is simple, but VAST , tremendously vast. And the time has come when there should be no religions in the world, because their corpses have been carried for thousands of years. They are all stinking. They are all rotten.
And under the load of those rotten corpses, living beings have completely forgotten how to live.
If you go on living with corpses, worshipping corpses, you will lose contact with life and its sources. You have become a worshipper of death. All the religions are teaching death. That's why they all say that their paradise is beyond death. First you have to die, then everything else is possible. But the first step is death in every religion.
No religion teaches you the art of living. They teach you hope, promises, but all hope and all promises are after death and there is no guarantee because no dead man ever returns.
It is time that religions should be taken to the place where they belong, the graveyard. They have been turning human beings into graves. And once we can get rid of religions, then we can start searching for religio. Religion prevents the search. You think you have got it, hence there is no need for any search.
Religio is an individual growth; it is not an organization, but a mystery that you have to unfold. You have brought it with you from the very birth, but you have not opened it. You have not allowed it to see the light. It has remained like a seed which has not been sown in the right soil where it can become a living plant, can grow, can come to fruition and flowering.
Religio is the search for truth within yourself. Finding it is the most glorious and the most ecstatic experience possible. And one who finds it is surrounded by fragrance, by an aura, by a subtle quality of love, compassion. That is religiousness. I want to destroy religions so that religiousness can become possible.
Religio is the bridge. Deprogram yourself from all religions and start moving into an individual search. Truth has always been found by individuals, not by collectivities, not by clubs, not by churches. Have you heard of any congregation in the whole history of humanity that has found truth? It always happens to an individual. Then why waste your time in congregations? They are just a religious type of rotary clubs. And a rotary club is not so dangerous, because you know it is just a club. But your churches, your synagogues, your mosques, your temples are dangerous because they are pretending to you that they have the truth. You believe in it, that's all that is needed to be done. A man who believes in religions remains unaware of religio, and remains absolutely unconscious of all the religiousness that was his birthright. He lives and dies, but without splendor, without glory, without fulfillment.
Q:* WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN RIMU, RAJNEESH INTERNATIONAL MEDITATION UNIVERSITY, AND RA, RAJNEESH ACADEMY?
A:* Let me say a few words before I answer your question, because without them the answer will not be complete. I would like to change the name Rajneesh Foundation International. Sheela and her fascist gang have contaminated the name. I would like it to be Rajneesh Friends International. It remains RFI.
RIMU and RA are two wings of RFI. RIMU is educational, intellectual, scholarly.
Both are totally unique experiments because the degrees that you will get will not be of any use in the world. They are non-utilitarian. There is no university in the whole history which was non-utilitarian. They were all serving some utility, and the moment you serve some utility you are no more a master. You become a servant.
All educational systems of the world have been supportive of the status quo -- the state, the society, the church -- all that is the establishment. They were supporting the establishment. They were dependent on the establishment. They were preparing people how to serve the establishment to their best capacity.
They were non-rebellious, they were all reactionary, anti-revolutionary.
RIMU and RA are both non-utilitarian. Their degrees won't help you to serve any purpose. They will serve you, but not anybody else. They will help you, but not the state, not the church, not the society. All those things have to be destroyed.
They are the accumulated poison of centuries.
The function of RIMU is to deprogram you intellectually through therapies, through courses, through meditations. The whole intention is to clean your mind completely of all that the establishment has forced upon you. You have to be unconditioned. All the degrees will not be given by any examination... I am against examination because an examination is not a criterion. It may be just a coincidence that you can answer five questions, but life is not five questions that you have answered. In fact, life never asks those questions that are being asked in the examinations. That's why you will be amazed that people who are tops in the universities get lost in the crowd and you cannot find them. Where are those gold medalists? Where have they gone? They should prove their mettle in life. In the university they were on the top, but what happens to these people when they enter life? Nobody asks the question because it is embarrassing. But I am very particular about raising questions which are embarrassing.
The people who were doing great in the universities prove phony in life for the simple reason that what they are being taught has nothing to do with life. Life has no examinations at all like the examinations they have passed. Life never asks questions like the questions they can answer. Life asks strange questions, and they don't know anything about those questions. Their textbooks don't know anything about those questions. Their teachers don't know anything about those questions.
It is a very strange phenomenon. Universities are supposed to prepare you, but they don't prepare you for life, for authentic existence. They prepare you for service to the church, to the state, to the culture, to the society, which are all fossils. They are not life.
You may have a gold medal from the university, but you don't know what love is. A gold medal will not help you to understand the real problems of life. In fact, your education has deceived you, and almost wasted the first third of your life, which is the most precious time when one can learn easily. One is fresh and capable of learning. They used that time and what they have taught to you is of no use.
When you become angry, can you find any answer from your education what to do about it? When you fall in love, has your university given you any clues, any idea what love is and what its implications are? -- That it is not just a bed of roses, that every rose is surrounded by thorns? Have they made you alert how to avoid the thorns? No, they don't prepare you for life. They prepare you to become a clerk, a stationmaster, a postmaster -- any stupid thing -- but they don't prepare you for real life.
You will be becoming a father, but you have no idea that there is an art to being a father, to receiving a new guest in the world. You are going to become a mother, and no university has bothered to teach you that just to produce a child is not enough. In fact, after producing the child, the real work starts.
So nobody knows how to become a mother, how to become a father, how to be a wife, how to be a husband. Life's real problems are simply ignored.
I was in constant trouble with my teachers, professors. Certainly, I was creating embarrassing situations for them. One of my professors used to teach English poetry. The very first day I asked him, "All this poetry is about love, how much love do you know? How many women have you loved? And is your wife aware of it?" He said, "What has that to do with this poetry?" I said, "It has everything to do with this poetry. Is your marriage a love marriage or an arranged marriage?" In India almost ninety-nine percent of all marriages are arranged. He said, "Of course it is an arranged marriage." So I said, "You have not fallen in love ever! Or do you think it can be arranged, that the astrologers and the palmists and the chart readers can manage to find the right woman for you, and you are bound to fall in love? Do you mean to say that?" He said, "You are strange. I have come here just to teach poetry, and you are raising strange questions." I said, "I am not raising strange questions. Next period I am coming here with your wife. I have talked to her. So either you be true and authentic, or next class you will have to face your wife, too, here in the class." He said, "My God, you have met my wife?" I said, "Already, because I do everything perfectly. Before asking you, I have asked your wife everything, and she has told me. She is far more sincere than you are. You please tell me how many women you have loved."
He said, "This is too difficult a question. Yes, one woman I used to love before my marriage." I said, "That is not true, because I have gathered every information about your love life." He said, "Who else have you met?" I said, "That woman that you are talking about. She lives just by your side. She is your neighbor. And you still love her; at least, that's what you say to her. If you want, I can bring both women, your wife and your mistress. If you won't want trouble-because this thing is going to end up in the court...." He said, "I had come just to teach you poetry." I said, "You can teach poetry, but first you have to be sincere, otherwise what is the value of your teaching? How can you say the truth? And you don't know any love. Neither do you love your wife, because she is not contented, nor do you love your mistress, because she is very angry that you have been promising all along that you would marry her and finally you married another woman. You have betrayed her.
"And what do you know about love? What is love? First we have to clarify definitions about things, then we can enter into the poetry."
The man simply disappeared. He resigned. He never came back, knowing that it was going to be difficult, impossible, and I may create trouble. He simply changed cities. But it was not his fault. Education avoids life.
RIMU is to teach you life itself in all its dimensionality: love, anger, hate, jealousy. It has to make you aware of all the possibilities and how to get rid of all that is going to create misery for you and those you love.
It is an experience to pass through RIMU. There will be no examinations, but your tutors, the professors in the university, will simply suggest to the vice- chancellor, to the chancellor, who should be given a certain kind of degree.
Those degrees are not of any use in any service, and we don't ask any recognition from any government or from any university, because we don't recognize them.
We deny their authenticity. They are just slaves. They have sold themselves in the service of the establishment; we don't want their recognition. We don't want any recognition from any government, because all governments are corrupt.
Unless the world is one and there is only one government, corruption is inevitable, and we don't want any recognition from any source of corruption.
RIMU is the only university which denies any recognition. Its degrees are not given for examinations, because examinations can only know your answers about a few questions. Its degrees are given to you by the teachers of the university, who watch you day in, day out, seeing changes in you, and when they feel some radical change has happened, it is on their recommendation that you will get the degree. And there will be no first class, no second class, no third class, because I don't want to create classes in any way. i am for a classless society. These degrees will all be honorary, because you have not passed any examination, you have been honored by the university. You have been recognized by the university, that you have passed a certain state of mind. It is an honor.
These degrees cannot be taken back. There is no way that you can lose your degree. There are M.M., Master's Degree; D.Phil.M., Doctor's degree; and D.Litt.M., the highest honorary degree. These three will be just on the recommendation of your teachers. And there will be a fourth degree, Ph.D.M., which will be given on a thesis written by you about meditation -- its psychology, its philosophy, its literature. That will not be given by the recommendations of teachers, but will be earned by you, by your thesis. That will be the only degree which will not be honorary. That will be your earnest labor. Of course, for that degree there will be three teachers. Unless all the three agree, you cannot have the degree.
I don't believe in a majority. I believe in unanimous decisions and I want to teach you to come to unanimous decisions about everything. Ordinarily, if two teachers are in favor and one is not, in any other university the degree will be given. But not in this university. All the three teachers have to agree. If they don't, then you have to write it again according to their recommendations.
That will become a literature on meditation. There is not much.
Perhaps I am the only one who has spoken on 112 methods of meditation. There is no other literature on those 112 meditations, and I have developed many new meditations which are not included among those. There is great need for literature on meditation from different angles, because there are meditations which you can do while doing anything. It is just an inner process. There are meditations which need specific times. There are meditations which you can do only while making love. There are meditations which need a certain kind of a structure. So much possibility is there for writing theses on meditations.
Narendra Bodhisattva, one of our sannyasins, has an M.A. in psychology.
Because he has been connected with me for so long, from his very childhood, he wanted to write his doctoral thesis on the psychology of meditation. But no university was ready to accept the subject. "Where are we going to find the guide for you? Then the examiners for you? There are no professors in the university who can claim that they are guides of meditation, and who will be examiners of your thesis? And on what grounds will they examine it? Because that is going to be the first thesis on meditation." Strange. For ten thousand years the world has been meditating, talking about meditation, and nobody has even written a thesis.
So I have a separate section, Ph.D., which will be only for doctoral theses.
The university's work is more intellectual, more theoretical, more scholarly. The Academy is something higher than the university. Both are wings of Rajneesh Friends International. RIMU is intellectual, academic, scholarly. RA is more experiential, more existential. It is really the mystery school I have been talking about.
It is the Academy which will initiate people into sannyas, which will help people to go into their past lives -- existentially, not intellectually. It will guide people for meditation, not to he head but to the heart.
It will also give titles. They will not be called degrees, they will be titles: SIDDHA , ARIHANTA , ACHARYA . These titles can be withdrawn any moment. It depends; if you fall from your experience you lose your title. The degrees you don't lose; they are merely intellectual. But when you enter into experience, you can fall back; you can become afraid, you can stop moving ahead. So these titles are not to make you clergymen, which is an ugly word.
Two small children were discussing how many types of human beings there are.
One was saying two, the other was saying three. The child who was saying two said, "You seem to be crazy. Three? I have never heard, I have never seen the third type!" He said, "You see the third type every day, but you don't understand. Man, woman, clergyman. That is a totally separate category. It is neither man nor woman. It is a very strange category."
We don't have any clergymen. It is not a religion, so these titles are not to make priests, these titles are simply indicating your states. A Siddha is one who has experienced deep meditation-just one step more and he will become enlightened.
But then that one step is the most difficult, because even without becoming enlightened, one feels so blissful in this deep meditative state that one cannot imagine there can be more. This is the difficulty. One cannot conceive that there is any possibility of any more bliss, so what is the point of going anywhere? Now sit down and rest.
Siddha is a special category, because he never speaks. He never says what he has attained. He keeps it to himself. He cannot find any words to convey, he cannot find any people to convey, he is not articulate. He is a tremendously beautiful person, but just like a statue. He does not share. He dos not know how to share.
That is a different quality.
If you know how to share, then when you come to this moment you will know how to share this experience, too. But if you have never shared anything, then this experience is so great that one feels simply dumb, as if everything has stopped -- time, breathing, heartbeat.
We give a separate name to Siddha, because he is as capable as others, but he is not articulate. Only eighty-four Siddhas are known in the whole history. There may have been thousands. Why were these eighty-four known? Because they happened to be disciples of some enlightened person who declared them as Siddhas. Otherwise they would have died unknown. Many have died unknown.
They have never written anything, there is no writing of any Siddha. They have not created anything, but they are as valuable as anyone else.
The second category is Arihanta. He is also in the same state as Siddha -- just one step more -- but he is articulate. In fact, he is too articulate, just the opposite of Siddha. He is so articulate that he completely forgets that his journey is not yet complete. He becomes interested in teaching, in propagating, in writing. He is so overflowing with experience that he wants to share it, and in this sharing he forgets that one step is still to be taken. So these are the two polarities, the Siddha and the Arihanta.
The third category is the Acharya, which is a very balanced category between the two. He knows how to be silent and he knows how to be expressive. He is the most important of the three, although all are in the same state. But he is the only one who is aware that his journey is not complete, that he has yet to go a little more. So he continues going in. He speaks, he explains, he shares, he remains silent. Whatever the situation demands, he does it. He is capable of being a Siddha, he is capable of being an Arihanta, and he is capable of one thing more:
because of his balanced attitude, he is aware that there is still a little gap before he becomes enlightened.
These three titles you can lose, because none of the three is yet enlightened.
The Academy's purpose is initiation into sannyas, then initiation into different mysteries of life -- meditation, reincarnation -- making people clear where they are, and also making them clear that there is still some journey left. What you have attained is great, but it is not the end. Even something greater is waiting for you.
So the function of the Academy is religio: intuitive, spiritual. And the function of the University is intellectual, academic. Both are needed, because humanity is incapable of understanding anything from heart to heart. First it needs its intellect to be convinced. The University will be doing that function. And once the intellect is convinced, the function of the Academy starts. It is a higher function. Now the person is no more interested in intellectual questions. He really wants to experience.
The Academy has another section: MAHASATTVAS , SAMBUDDHAS , BODHISATTVAS . Their number is fixed, and each group will have a fixed number. That is part of the Academy's secret work. Mahasattvas are bound to become enlightened before I leave my body, but there is one condition -- they should be in the Buddhafield. On their own they may be able, they may not be able; there is no guarantee. Bodhisattvas, if they remain in the Buddhafield, are certain to become enlightened before their death; but if they leave the Buddhafield they cannot become enlightened. It is almost impossible.
Mahasattvas perhaps may become enlightened even outside the Buddhafield, but it is only a probability. About Bodhisattvas it is a certainty that they cannot become enlightened outside the Buddhafield. All Sambuddhas are almost enlightened; but remember the word ALMOST . They can become enlightened any day, Buddhafield or no Buddhafield. They are so close to enlightenment that it will be a strange thing if they don't become enlightened. It is just within their reach. They have almost arrived, they have just to know on the door and enter.
So that is part of the Academy. People from these three groups can be on some post, president of RFI or president of the commune or other corporations, but while they are functioning on any post they cannot be part of the group. The moment they resign from their post, they will be part of the group. Otherwise, their seat will remain empty. This is to avoid the conflict of interest. When I am not here these groups will be decisive on every important issue, anybody on a post should not be part of the group. They can be on the post, but they lose their membership for as long as they are on the post.
And any conclusion arrived at should be unanimous. The most important conclusion will be of Sambuddhas. The second in importance will be of Mahasattvas. Third in importance will be of Bodhisattvas. They all three can meet together, but then too, they have to come to a unanimous conclusion. I don't want any party politics in the commune, ever!!
Q:* YOU HAVE SAID THAT YOUR SANNYASINS' HEARTS BEAT IN THE SAME TUNE AS YOUR HEART IS BEATING. CAN YOU TALK TO US MORE ABOUT THIS PHENOMENON? HOW DOES A DISCIPLE MOVE FROM THE HEAD TO THE HEART? IS IT THAT SOMETIMES A DISCIPLE IS IN TUNE WITH YOU AND SOMETIMES NOT? AND, IF SO, WHAT MAKES A DISCIPLE MOVE AWAY FROM YOU, AND WHAT HELPS A DISCIPLE TO COME BACK?
A:* It's a little difficult to understand. Things of the heart are always difficult to understand. There are a few disciples who are, day in, day out, in a deep harmony with me. There is no gap. In fact, only they deserve to be called friends.
Here I would like to say something which I have been keeping a secret my whole life:
One beautiful morning, Gautam Buddha had gone for a walk with his caretaker, disciple, Ananda. It was fall time; the trees were getting almost naked and all the leaves were on the path. The wind was fluttering the trees, and the leaves were making beautiful sounds. Walking on those leaves, Buddha was immensely happy... the music of the dry leaves.
He took a few leaves in his hand. Ananda asked him, "Bhagwan, I have always been thinking to ask one thing, but privacy is so difficult. You are always surrounded by people. Today you are alone in this forest, and I cannot resist the temptation. I want to ask you: Have you said everything to us, or have you kept some secrets? Buddha said, "Do you see the leaves in my hand? And do you see the leaves all over the forest?" Ananda said, "Yes, I do see, but I don't understand that that is the answer." Buddha said, "You will understand. I have said only this much, and I have kept secret all these leaves that are in the whole forest."
My situation is just different. I have said the whole forest; only one thing I have kept secret, just one leaf. Buddha declared before his death that he would be coming again after twenty-five centuries, and that his name would be Maitreya.
Maitreya means the friend. Buddhas don't come back; no enlightened person ever comes back, so it is just a way of saying....
What he was saying is of tremendous importance. It has nothing to do with his coming back; he cannot come back. What he meant was that the ancient relationship between the Master and the disciple would become irrelevant in twenty-five centuries. It was his clarity of perception -- he was not predicting anything -- just his clarity to see that as things are changing, as they have changed in the past and as they go on changing, it would take at least twenty- five centuries for the Master and disciple relationship to become out of date.
Then the enlightened Master will be only the friend .
I had always wanted not to be a Master to anybody. But people want a Master, they want to be disciples; hence, I played the role. It is time that I should say to you that now many of you are ready to accept me as the friend. Those who are in tune with me continuously, without any break, are the only real friends.
There are people who are sometimes in tune with me and sometimes not in tune with me. You are asking why it happens. The reason is -- perhaps you may be surprised to know -- sometimes they are in tune with me because I am in tune with them, because whatever I am saying is in accordance with them. They feel, "This is perfectly right." They are not in tune with me. On the contrary, they feel they are in tune with me only because I am fulfilling some of their ideas, some of their expectations. That is illusion.
Once you are really in tune with me, you cannot fall out of it. But if somebody falls out of it, that simply means that I have said something, I have done something, which is not in accordance with you. You remain the judge. You have not dropped judgment. Your ego is still there.
I used to go for a walk every day with one of my professors. One day when we were coming back, another professor met us on the way. He was going for a walk; we were returning. He knew me but he did not know my professor. My professor was very new, he had just joined the department two, three days before. So he asked me, "Do you come here every day?" I said, "Yes, I come every day. And for three days my professor has also been coming with me." My professor looked annoyed. I asked him, "What is the matter? You look angry." He said, "Certainly. You come with me, and you said that I come with you." I said, "That's really right. How can a professor come with a student? It is always the student who comes with the professor. So forgive me. But this simply shows that you are an idiot; and from tomorrow you are not going to come with me."
People are strange. I had been there for two years. He had been there only for three days, but he wanted to hear that I was coming with him. Just the ego wants fulfillment everywhere. So it happens that when you feel that I am saying something which fulfills your expectations, you are with me, your heart is beating with me, you are in tune with me. No. Please forgive me for being straightforward -- only I am with you. Soon something happens -- I say something, I do something -- and your heart is no longer beating with me.
So remember one thing: when you are with me, then it is a continuum, without any gap. What I say, what I do, does not matter, because you are not a judge. You love me the way I am. I don't judge you. I love you the way you are. And if it changes, then remember it is a judgment, and rather than going with me, you are trying to drag me with you. And that is not very loving.
I can come with you, but you are in darkness and you will lead me in darkness. I have no trouble in coming with you. You cannot destroy my light; I can destroy your darkness.
I cannot lose anything by coming with you. You will have to lose many things by coming with me. And when you love someone, you are ready to lose anything, everything, even yourself. The moment you are ready to lose yourself, the friendship is complete. And then there is great beauty.
It is exactly twenty-five centuries after Buddha's death that I am changing the name of the Foundation so that it becomes Rajneesh Friends International. It is not only just a change of the name. It is going to change the very flavor of our whole movement. And you have to rise up so that what I want the movement to become, it becomes. So that the dream is realized.
Don't let me down. Okay?