[NOTE: This discourse will be in the book "India Coming Back Home", which has not been published, as of August 1992.
Interview by India Today.
Q: ARE YOUR FOLLOWERS BEING ENCOURAGED TO SPREAD THE CONCEPT OF AWARENESS THROUGH MEDITATION? AND AFTER GETTING WHAT NUMBER OF ENLIGHTENED PERSONS AROUND, WILL YOU SAY, "THUS FAR AND NO FURTHER?"
I do not believe in converting anybody, but my people who are in deep meditation automatically attract many people asking about their silence, their peace, their togetherness. So people come to my people.
I have no interest in numbers. I am not a politician. And there is no limit to it, no time when I will say it is enough.
OF LATE, YOU HAVE RELAXED THE DRESS CODE FOR SANNYASINS; NO MORE DRESS RESTRICTIONS - ORANGE, RED, SAFFRON OR LAVENDER. WHY?
Because the function of the color red and its shades is finished. They don't have any more spirituality in them than any other colors. I had chosen them just to make the world aware of a new movement of religiousness. Now the world is aware. The movement is fast spreading. Now is the time that I should take away everything that is unnecessary. It was useful at one time, it is no longer useful.
It is, on the contrary, a hindrance, because there are people who cannot wear orange, red, cannot wear the mala - for so many reasons, their family, their job, their society. And I would like the movement for consciousness and meditation to spread as wide as possible; that's why I am opening all the doors.
I SEE YOU DON'T WEAR RED, BUT WHY DID YOUR FOLLOWERS WEAR RED? WHAT IS SO SPECIAL ABOUT THE COLOR?
There is nothing special about the color. That's why I don't wear red. The color was chosen just to make a point, to create a demarcation between the sannyasins and the non-sannyasins. That work is done, now it is no longer needed.
YOU ARE STILL REGARDED AS THE GURU OF FREE SEX IN MANY PARTS OF THE WORLD. IS THAT A MISNOMER?
It is simply a misnomer; I have never been a guru of sex. On the contrary, I am the only person in the whole world who has been trying to transform people's sexual energy into spiritual energy. I am against repression because repression of sexual energy means there is no chance of spiritual growth.
The people who have been with me have become less and less sexual, and have become more and more spiritual. Those who have been with me longer have lost all interest in sex.
If you want to call me something, I am the guru who is absolutely anti-sex. But you know third-rate journalism which thrives on sensationalism - they created the misnomer.
YOU HAVE TALKED A LOT ABOUT SEXUAL REPRESSION AND SEXUAL HYPOCRISY IN INDIA, BUT AREN'T THERE SIGNS THAT INDIAN SOCIETY IS OPENING UP?
I am no longer interested in it. I have got my own people around the world, and I don't divide the world into Indian and Chinese and Japanese because I have my people from all countries, all races. Now I have a world of my own, and my whole concentration is on how to help them. I am not interested in those who do not belong to my vision of life.
IN INDIA WE HAVE CREATED A TINY BUT POWERFUL RICH CLASS IN THE LAST FORTY YEARS. THEY ARE NOT THE MAHARAJAS OF THE PAST BUT ARE IN BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY. DON'T YOU THINK THAT THEY HAVE CONTRIBUTED VERY LITTLE TO THE PROGRESS OF INDIA?
They have not contributed much because India is an ocean of poverty. A small group of people who have created wealth is just a drop in that ocean. Unless you create a wider phenomenon of wealth-creation and you make people aware of how wealth can be created, it is not going to affect India. And whatsoever this small group will do will be destroyed by the increasing population.
By the end of this century this country will have one billion people, and it is impossible - the way it is going - that you will be able to cope with it.
IN THE LIGHT OF YOUR RECENT EXPERIENCE, WHAT DO YOU THINK OF RONALD REAGAN AS A LEADER?
I do not think much of political leaders. They are all the same - exploiting humanity, forcing humanity into bloodshed, wars. No political leader is really interested in the growth of humanity into a beautiful paradise. I don't think anything special about Ronald Reagan.
THE COMMUNIST COUNTRIES TODAY ACCOUNT FOR NEARLY HALF OF HUMANITY. IS IT THE FAULT OF THEIR LEADERS THAT COMMUNISM HAS GONE UNDER? OR DO YOU THINK THAT MARX'S BASIC PHILOSOPHY IS MISCONCEIVED?
The countries which have become communist have become communist as a reaction against centuries of poverty. They don't know anything about communism. Communists have exploited them, giving them the promise that the future will be classless and everybody will have whatever he needs. And the poor have nothing to lose.
So the poor countries have tried. There is no harm in trying; perhaps it will work.
It has not worked. And the reason it has not worked is in the very philosophy of Marx.
The idea of Marx was that communism would happen in capitalist countries - highly developed, technological, rich countries. He was thinking it would happen in America, not in Russia, because his idea was that in a capitalist country the masses become divided into two classes: on the one hand the poor, the proletariat, and on the other hand, the rich, the bourgeois. And the gap goes on becoming bigger and bigger.
The capitalists are the few holding almost the whole country's wealth and the whole country is poor. Naturally it cannot be tolerated. The poor are bound to destroy the rich. That was the idea of Marx: the poor will take over the power and distribute the wealth of the rich to everybody.
But it didn't happen in America. That shows that Marx's whole idea was basically false. It happened in Russia, and not because of capitalism, because Russia was not capitalist at all: no technology, nothing. It was a feudal country; the czar was the king. There was no capitalist class, but only the royal family and their relatives, who were holding all the riches. It happened in Russia in a situation which had nothing to do with Marx. Russia and Germany were at war, and the czar could not provide enough clothes, armaments, food for his armies.
Those armies were the real revolutionaries who turned upon the czar, and Lenin and Trotsky took advantage of the opportunity. Now the czar's own army was against the czar. This was a good moment to provoke the poor: "This is the time.
Finish the czar because he has no protection." They killed nineteen of the royal family, even a six-month-old child.
It had nothing to do with Marx's conception of communism. It was a revolt by the armies and the poor supported the armies. Lenin took advantage of it, became the leader, promised that everything would be settled, killed the czar and took over the country. Neither the soldiers nor the country benefited. The whole country became a concentration camp.
In my opinion, Marxism is not an authentic philosophy for communism. My idea of communism is totally opposite. My feeling is that if riches can be produced - and they can be produced, we have the technology.... If seventy-five percent of our energy and money is not wasted in wars, there will be such an affluence all over the world - everybody will have their needs fulfilled. And who wants to fight? To me, that will be communism: the whole society becoming wealthy, keeping its freedom, its freedom of expression, and its democracy.
In Russia they have lost everything and gained nothing.
I am a communist, but totally against Marxist communism. I would like the whole world to become a classless society, so rich and wealthy that there is no beggar, nobody dies of hunger, no unemployment. And this is the time we can manage it. If we are not managing it, it is because of the political divisions of the world and political leaders' egos, power trips - because no war means no politics. If there is nobody poor, then there is no Mother Teresa, no Pope the Polack.
All the religious leaders want poverty in the world, and all the politicians want continuous war and poverty. Nobody is interested in making this world a paradise. All the religions in the past have been telling people, "We will take you to paradise."
I say to my people, "I want paradise to come to you."
GANDHI IS DEAD AND GONE SINCE 1948 AND HAS LEFT NO LEGACY BEHIND EXCEPT THE SURNAME. WHY ARE YOU STILL ATTACKING HIM?
For five years I have not attacked him because in America Gandhi has no influence, but in India I will continue to attack him because he is one of the persons who is keeping the country poor. His teachings are against science, against progress, against technology, against wealth. And these are attitudes I want to destroy.
The people in India are still worshipping him as a great saint, and he was nothing but a cunning politician. I want to expose him, because his exposure is necessary to change people's minds: a spinning wheel is not going to give wealth to you.
Gandhi was against the telegraph, telephones, railways, cars, airplanes. He was consistently preaching to go backwards, absolutely unaware that if you go backwards with this much population - which was not there in the past - you will starve the whole country.
Gandhi is still influential in India, and the party which has been ruling the country since independence believes in the philosophy of Gandhism.
So it has to be hammered, criticized.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF MAHARISHI MAHESH YOGI AND HIS VIEWS ON TRANSCENDENTAL MEDITATION?
Transcendental meditation is neither transcendental nor meditation. But still what he is doing is good. What he is teaching in the name of meditation is only an ancient method of chanting. If you chant any word or any mantra continuously inside the mind, other thoughts stop because they don't have any space. And this continuous chanting is a certain device of auto-hypnosis; it is not meditation. It does not lead you to any spiritual enlightenment, but it certainly gives you a good feeling of wellbeing and health. You will feel refreshed - just as you feel refreshed after a good shower; but a shower is not a transcendental meditation.
So there is nothing wrong with what he is doing. It cannot harm anybody. He is harmless, but he is misdirected. He is giving a toy which is not the real thing. If people enjoy toys - and many people enjoy toys - I have nothing against them.
If they are happy, that's perfectly good.
But one thing I want to make clear: it is not meditation. It is just a mental trick which can also be done by auto-hypnosis, looking just at one thing continuously without blinking your eyes, you will fall into a sleep and that sleep will be deeper than your ordinary sleep. Certainly it will give you a feeling of rejuvenation, of well-being.
So it is something that should be part of gymnasium programs. It has nothing religious in it, nothing spiritual in it, but it is a good exercise. People who are doing physical exercise in gymnasiums should learn transcendental meditation; after their exercise for fifteen or twenty minutes they can relax, and it will help their bodies, but not their beings.
WILL IT HELP IF MODERN-DAY BUSINESS MAGNATES OF OUR TIMES TAKE LESSONS IN MEDITATION?
It will certainly help, just as it helps any human being. It has nothing to do with their being the richest people in the country. It will help them because they are human beings. So I don't give them any special credit for it. Every human being can be helped by meditation.
WHEN YOU ARE NO MORE, WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE REMEMBERED AS - MYSTIC, SPIRITUAL LEADER, PHILOSOPHER, OR WHAT?
Just a nobody. I would like it to be as if I had never been.