[NOTE: This discourse will be in the book "India Coming Back Home", which has not been published, as of August 1992.
Interview by DHARMA YUG.
Q: PLEASE DISCUSS THE STATE OF INDIAN PHILOSOPHY AS YOU SEE IT.
The most important thing about India is that it has no philosophy in the same way that other countries have philosophies.
The word 'philosophy' means love of knowledge. In India we have never praised love of knowledge; we have praised love of experience. Knowledge can be borrowed, experience cannot be borrowed. That is why we have called our way darshan, not philosophy. Darshan exists only in India, nowhere else.
To call darshan Indian philosophy is basically wrong. Philosophy is a mind thing - you think about it. Darshan is a realization, a thing of your innermost being; you realize it. Philosophy needs logic; darshan needs silence - no thoughts, everything in absolute nothingness. Only then you will come to know yourself.
So I don't call darshan Indian philosophy.
I have invented in English a word for darshan: 'philosia', which means love of seeing. I call it Indian philosia.
WHAT DO YOU SAY ABOUT VEDIC CULTURE, VEDAS, UPANISHADS, GITA AND MANSOOR?
VEDAS have only two percent philosia; ninety-eight percent is just rubbish. But that two percent is so valuable... It would be a great work to take out that ninety- eight percent, because that is what has been criticized by the Christians, Mohammedans and others. The two percent is the real thing, but it is lost in the ninety-eight percent.
The reason is that the Vedas are something like the Encyclopedia Britannica.
Everything that was available in those days was collected in the Vedas - they are called samitas, collections. In those collections ordinary things were collected - geniuses were collected, mediocrities were collected.
So it is my feeling that the two percent of rare gems should be separated out, and the ninety-eight percent should be dropped. Then there would be no one who could criticize the Vedas, there is no possibility.
UPANISHADS are just rare. There is nothing comparable to them in the whole human history.
The word 'Upanishad' means sitting by the feet of the master, just listening to one who has realized. It is not an ordinary teaching; the master is not teaching something he has collected as information. On the contrary, he is pouring his own being into the disciple. It is a totally different kind of teaching which has not existed anywhere else. It demands that the disciple should be absolutely open, available. While the master is speaking, the disciple should be absolutely silent, not even a small thought moving in his mind. Only then the master can pour his experience into him.
And that's the difference between a student and a disciple: a student gathers knowledge, a disciple tastes experience. A teacher gives information which may not be his own, but the master gives only that which is authentically his own. He is his own authority.
So the Upanishads are just the most spiritual documents in the whole history of man.
About GITA, it is different. I do not agree with Krishna for the simple reason that he is trying to persuade Arjuna to fight - he is for violence. I would rather be in tune with Arjuna than with Krishna.
Arjuna was making every argument not to fight: "What is the point of fighting when all of our people will be dead? Even if I am sitting on a golden throne there will be tears in my eyes. What is the meaning of all this? Let them fight, I will go to the Himalayas. But violence does not seem to me to be the answer."
Krishna continually forces, and none of Arjuna's argument is really answered.
And Krishna ultimately uses a strategy which is cunning: he says that whatever God wants, you have to do, that is your duty.
If I was in Arjuna's place, I would have stepped out of the chariot and said to Krishna, "This is what God wants me to do: I am going to the Himalayas."
So I am not in agreement with Krishna. And I am puzzled that even a man like Mahatma Gandhi, who his whole life was teaching, preaching nonviolence, was also calling Gita his mother. And they can't see the contradiction.
I am not in sympathy with Gita at all.
MANU SMRATI is one of the curses that has fallen on India, and that curse is still torturing us. Five thousand years have passed but Manu is still harassing us.
He divided the Hindu society into four divisions; this is ugly. He degraded woman; he degraded one-fourth of the community into sub-humanity, slavery, and that continues.
So I am not in favor of Manu Smrati. All I want is that all Manu Smratis should be burned, and we should be free from Manu - his ghost has tortured us too much. There is no way to support him. The whole world laughs at us because of Manu Smrati, and we go on clinging to him.
BUDDHISM AND JAINISM ARE QUITE CONTRARY TO YOUR OWN DARSHAN. THEN WHY DO YOU QUOTE LORD BUDDHA AND MAHAVIRA SO FAVORABLY?
There are reasons. I don't use the words Mahavira and Buddha as personal names. Mahavira's own personal name was Vardhamana. 'Mahavira' was given to him by people seeing his struggle for truth. 'Buddha' is also not a personal name, it means the awakened one. The man's name was Siddhartha.
So anyone who is awakened is a Buddha, is a Mahavira. I have used those names absolutely impersonally. I have nothing to do with their philosophies.
WILL YOU SYNCHRONIZE SPIRITUALITY AND SEX?
In fact there is no question of synchronizing. They are already synchronized. The question should be asked of people who separate them - why do they separate them?
To me it is a natural phenomenon. We are born of sex, we give birth to children; and giving birth to children does not go against any religiousness. Making love to a woman silently, meditatively, respectfully, is an act of worship; there is no need to degrade it, there is no need to condemn it. Love should be our highest expression of spirituality.
So far as your question is concerned, I do not have to synchronize them. They are already synchronized everywhere in nature. Existence itself has synchronized them.
It is the priests and the religious people who have been trying to separate them and create a rift in man. They are creating a schizophrenic humanity - they condemn sex, but you cannot do anything about it. Your body goes on creating sexual energy - it is beyond your thinking. You may take a vow of celibacy; that does not matter, because your body does not know you are celibate. The body follows nature, not your ideas.
GANDHI COULD NOT KEEP THE VOW.
Yes. Even after seventy years he was not able to do it.
So it is synchronized already. All that we have to destroy is the idea of making them separate, and accept them both - recreating bridges which have been broken by thousands of years of priests. To me, man as a whole - whatever he is - is perfectly right. If something is wrong, that simply means that we have not been able to put things right in the same unity.
It is like an orchestra. You can put the orchestra in the hands of people who don't know any music - then only a maddening noise will be produced. Just teach the people how to play, and dozens of instruments will become one.
Man is an orchestra. Nature has placed all the musical instruments in him. But we have failed to create harmony in the orchestra - that is why we create suicide and murder and crime and all kinds of mental diseases. The reason is that the orchestra is not in place and man is not trained for it. On the contrary, he is trained against his own orchestra; he is trained to throw away a few instruments, thinking them ugly, evil, profane, and then he becomes just a half. And the half is never fulfilled; it is always hankering for more.
The desire for more arises because we have not been able to create our music to its fulfillment. A man who is fulfilled will not be a politician, will not run after riches, will not be mad after fame. It does not matter to him. He is so fulfilled, so blessed that he can bless the whole world.
So my whole effort is to make man a musical harmony.
YOU EARN AN UNPRECEDENTED RESPONSE FOR YOUR FRANK AND STRAIGHTFORWARD DARSHAN, WHERE THERE IS NO PLACE FOR HYPOCRISY. I THINK YOU LEFT INDIA BECAUSE OF ORTHODOX THINKING - HYPOCRISY FORCED YOU TO LEAVE INDIA. BUT IN AMERICA TOO, YOU BECAME THE VICTIM OF THE SAME HYPOCRISY AND DOUBLE STANDARD.
That's true. In fact, I found Indian hypocrisy is obvious. It is too old and is almost lying on its deathbed. It is going to die; it is not going to survive. I have been a victim of Indian hypocrisy.
I was thinking that America is new, only three hundred years old; it may not have such traditional, conventional bigotry. But I was surprised when I went there that there are far more hypocrites than in India. Their hypocrisy has a different color. One, it is basically a fascist regime pretending to be democratic.
Secondly, it is basically a Christian country pretending to be secular. I am against fascism. I am against any organized religion.
I want people to become religious, but what is the need to get organized? A religion is something individual, purely individual. So again I became the victim.
American hypocrisy is new, and certainly stronger. Indian hypocrisy is old and dying, and is not so strong. American hypocrisy is supported by nuclear weapons, by all kinds of new technology. American hypocrisy has learned from all the hypocrisies of the world so it is thicker than any other hypocrisy - and able to wear a false mask and pretend to the world that it is a democracy. It is not a democracy at all.
IN INDIA THERE IS A FEELING THAT THE DEFECTORS - THE FORMER DISCIPLES OF YOURS - WERE IN A CONSPIRACY TO CREATE THIS PROBLEM IN AMERICA FOR YOU. IS IT TRUE?
It is possible that the defectors were conspiring with the American politicians, because those who escaped were criminals and America did not prevent them; it allowed them to do so.
America can do anything - it can threaten people, it can bribe people. It has come to my notice that it has been trying to threaten my sannyasins: "You have to say this; otherwise you will be finished." They have been bribing people, saying, "We can give you a residence visa, we can give you citizenship if you will speak against Rajneesh."
So there is every possibility that they were told, "Now you escape," so that the whole responsibility of their crimes would fall on Rajneesh.
INDIAN CULTURE IS A VERY TOLERANT CULTURE. HAVE YOU SEEN THIS DIFFERENCE WHEN YOU WERE LIVING IN AMERICA FOR FIVE YEARS?
I have seen the difference : India is very generous and liberal as far as thinking is concerned, but as far as social behavior is concerned it is very rigid. America is very generous as far as social living is concerned, but absolutely adamant, stubborn, as far as thinking is concerned.
About thinking: I have come across the most educated people in America and they talk like Indian villagers; they cannot see their stupidity.
While I was in jail, the jailer became interested in me. He came to see me. He was a well-educated, experienced old man. And he said, "I have come to give you a Bible. This is the word of God."
I asked him, "How did you come to know that this is the word of God?"
He said, "God himself says it in the Bible."
I said, "I can write a book and say that this is the word of God, my god. Will that be enough proof for you? And Hindus say Vedas are the word of God, Mohammedans say that Koran is the word of God, Jews say that the Torah is the word of God. Then what is the difference? - which is the right word of God and which is the right God?" But he could not conceive what I was saying.
I said, "This shows that intellectually you are far behind the East, where we have worshipped a man like Buddha who does not believe in God, but we have called him 'Bhagwan'."
I reminded him of H.G. Wells, who wrote about Buddha: "He is the most godless man yet the most godly." And that is a possibility - a man can be godly without god, there is no problem.
I told him, "I am in front of you and there is no God and there is no word of God.
There are only people who have realized the ultimate truth of existence, and even they consistently say that whatever they say is not exactly the same as they have experienced. Translating from that high level of experience to the language of man, much is lost. So to say these ordinary words and say they are the words of God - and that too from an intelligent, educated person from the most powerful country - looks very stupid."
But they are generous about social living. You can wear any clothes, you can move into any job, you can be educated, you can read any books. About social structure they are more generous than us, but about thinking they are very primitive.
In India we have always been generous about thinking. For thousands of years we have been arguing, and in a friendly way. There has been no conflict, there has been no enmity, because both parties were not really fighting each other - both were searchers for truth. Both were ready if the other wins to become a disciple of the other, without any humiliation.
But about social living, we have been very orthodox. A sudra cannot read the Vedas, a sudra cannot sit with the brahmins, cannot even listen to the Vedas. He has to live in a separate part of town, or outside the town. He cannot change his job. The family of a shoemaker has been making shoes for generations; he cannot change, he cannot become a doctor.
So we are very adamant, and the whole credit goes to Manu Smrati. If India can drop Manu Smrati, we will be the most generous and most open-hearted people in the whole world. Manu Smrati is blocking our hearts.
THOUGH YOU REMAIN QUITE CONTROVERSIAL IN INDIA, THE INHUMAN AND SHABBY TREATMENT GIVEN YOU BY THE AMERICANS HAS GENERATED A SENSE OF SYMPATHY. WHAT ARE YOUR FEELINGS ABOUT THIS?
It was bound to be. The human mind works in certain ways.
When I moved out of India, just because of my move many people became interested in me. When I was here I was taken for granted. When I was far away, more books, more tapes were sold; more people became interested.
And when I was tortured inhumanely, then certainly more sympathy came up.
They could see two things: one, that they had forced me to leave India. If they had been a little more generous towards me, this would never have happened.
So that feeling of guilt was also part of their sympathy. Secondly, they saw what had happened to me, and I became symbolic of the Indian philosia; their sympathy towards me was sympathy towards the Indian way of thinking. That the Indian way of thinking was treated in this way was a pain in their hearts.
ANY MESSAGE FOR INDIANS IN INDIA AND ABROAD?
Only one message: that wherever you are, don't forget India's spiritual heritage.
That is your real treasure. If you lose it , you lose all.