[NOTE: This discourse will be in book "India Coming Back Home", which has not been published, as of August 1992.
Interview by HINDI WEEKLY
IN AMERICA, RATHER THAN FIGHTING THE ALLEGATIONS AGAINST YOU, YOU ACCEPTED BEING GUILTY. DOES THIS INDICATE THAT ALL THOSE ALLEGATIONS WERE TRUE?
No, none of them were true. For the first time in my whole life I have spoken a lie, for a certain reason: because all my sannyasins were in immense despair all around the world. Many were on fasts, and those who were not on fasts were also in great mental torture. They all wanted me to be out of America. They were afraid for my life, that if I continued to fight the case I would be kept in the jail until the trial was completed.
I was sure to win on each count, because all those charges were fictitious. But looking at my people - and for three, four years their despair might have continued - I felt it was better to accept guilt and release my people from their despair.
It was out of compassion that I accepted that I was guilty, but I am not guilty at all.
WHY DID YOU CHOSE MA PREM HASYA AS YOUR PERSONAL SECRETARY TO REPLACE MA ANAND SHEELA?
I had chosen Ma Anand Sheela for her pragmatic, practical approach, because the commune needed somebody who was down-to-earth. She had no desire for any spiritual development, but she was really capable of doing things. And she was going to be replaced sooner or later, that she knew.
I had made it clear to her, "Unless you grow some spiritual strength inside... I cannot remain only with the foundation of the temple. The foundation needs stones - uncut, unpolished, ugly - because they are going to be underground; nobody is going to see them, but they are needed. I chose you because of your very materialistic attitude, but I cannot remain with this foundation only. Sooner or later either you develop into meditation, you show some inclination for spirituality, or I will have to change you."
I was looking for the right person to replace her, and she became aware of that before I made the change. She thought it would be better to escape with as much money as possible while she still had all the power. So she stole enough money, put it into Swiss bank accounts, purchased land in Nepal, opened a bank account in Nepal, and I don't know... whatever else she did.
Hasya is just the opposite of Sheela. She has no materialistic approach, just pure love. Her only desire is to grow in the inner world as deeply as possible. She is a creative woman. She made, with her husband, one of the most famous films, THE GODFATHER. She has insight, she has understanding, she has love.
Whether Sheela had a heart or not, Hasya was going to be my secretary.
I HEAR THAT THE LOCAL PEOPLE IN MANALI ARE NOT HAPPY WITH YOUR ARRIVAL HERE. WHY IS THIS SO?
It will be the same everywhere. People will not be happy with my arrival for the simple reason that I am against all kind of superstitions which they think are of immense value. I am against all kinds of dead traditions which they think are their life. Those traditions, those superstitions, are making them poor, but they cannot see it.
So wherever I go - it does not matter where - people will be apprehensive. That is natural. But once I am here, just within a few days - you will see - their fear will be gone, because I am not a dangerous person in any way. All I can do is speak, and that does not even kill mosquitoes! Nobody need be afraid of me.
And if their ideas are better, I am open to discuss them; if they are right, I am open to accept them.
Fear arises only when you know deep down that your idea is somehow not right.
So to me it is a good sign that people are afraid. It means that they are already shaken in their foundation just by my arrival. I have not done anything. So tell them that I take it as a great compliment to me.
IS IT TRUE THAT THERE ARE MANY UNDERGROUND SANNYASINS IN COMMUNIST COUNTRIES LIKE RUSSIA AND CHINA?
It is true. There are many underground sannyasins in all the communist countries. Most of them are in Russia.
And I would like you to inform the Russian government that my people are not against communism; my people are for a far better communism than the Russians have been able to give to their country. They should not persecute my people. They are persecuting them, thinking that they are FBI agents. Now my case is enough to prove that they are not FBI agents.
Stop persecuting - you are persecuting your own people for the wrong reasons.
Allow them freedom. They are not going to harm your community; they are going to enrich it.
And to my people I would like to say that, whatever happens, go on working - because you are working for the benefit of the whole humanity. Every sacrifice is a joy.
WHAT IMPRESSION HAVE YOU MADE ON INDIA AND OTHER NATIONS WITH YOUR OWN EFFORTS TO TEACH SPIRITUAL GROWTH?
I have had a worldwide effect, a great impact. Perhaps I am the only person who has not been refuted intellectually from every corner of the world.
I was amazed because whatever I am saying is controversial, and I love to support unpopular causes, but still the intelligentsia of the world has not been able to refute me. That is an absolute sign that they are not courageous enough to say yes to me; but they are not cowardly enough to say no to me either. They are just in between, sitting on the fence.
Whatever I have said, I have not said from some old authority - The Bible, Koran or Gita. I am saying it simply on my own authority, from my own experience. It is very easy to discuss, to disagree on the interpretations of Gita or the Vedas; but it is very difficult to encounter a person who is speaking on his own authority, on his own experience - unless you also have the same quality of experience and depth. So I remain unrefuted.
This episode in America has made it more clear. Thousands of telegrams came every day, thousands of phone calls every day, thousands of letters, thousands of flowers - from all over the world. Even the jailers were amazed. One of the jailers told me, "Perhaps in my whole life" - and he is just about to retire - "I have never come across such a prisoner. We don't have enough space for all the flowers that keep on coming. And we are tired just answering the phone calls from all over the world. But I have to apologize to you. On the first day you came, somebody phoned from Germany and said, 'In your whole life you may not have a more significant person in your jail.' And I said to him, 'No, it is not true, because I have even had senators in my jail.' But after these three days, I want to apologize to you - it was true. Those cabinet ministers were nothing.
The whole world's eyes are focused on this jail, and I can certainly say that we will never have another person like you here again."
So it has created a tremendous impact: that an innocent man, just because he has a different way of thinking and is not gullible about your traditions and your superstitions, can be forced into a certain category and be made to suffer. What kind of world have we created?
This episode has raised the sale of my books, it has raised the sale of my tapes. It has made my name reach almost every house around the world, and even people who were never sympathetic to me have become sympathetic. Thousands of letters arrived saying, "We were never sympathetic to you, but what has happened has made it clear that you are right: we are living in a very hypocritical society which says one thing and does exactly the opposite."
So it has been good for my movement. Twelve days' torture was not much; the result has been tremendously beneficial. My sannyasins are stronger, more powerful, more together, and the movement will spread faster now. Even in America, sannyasins are disgusted with their own government. They were never aware that such a thing could happen. So it was a good eye-opener.
WHY ARE THERE SO MANY FOREIGNERS IN YOUR MOVEMENT? IS IT BECAUSE OF THEIR BOREDOM WITH MATERIALISTIC ACHIEVEMENTS?
There are many reasons. One is certainly their boredom. While the East is struggling for bread and butter, starving, the West has seen all that the world can give, and still the frustration remains. Now something more is needed. Just a good house, good food, good clothes, a good job, is not enough.
But this becomes clear only when you have all these things, which may be necessary for living, but still they are not enough. Something more, of a higher value, is needed.
Secondly, they are more educated, more intelligent. They have seen all the intellectual gymnastics from Aristotle to Bertrand Russell, and they have not got anything from them, because neither Aristotle nor Bertrand Russell is a meditator; they are just thinkers, and the people want something beyond the mind. They are fed up with the mind, and beyond the mind there is only the secret that the East has - and that is meditation.
So certainly they are interested. And if the East were a little more alert, this is the moment for a far greater victory than the West had over the East. The West enslaved your souls, the West enslaved your bodies - it was ugly. We can make their souls free, giving them the whole sky of freedom of consciousness - and this is a chance that should not be lost. But the East is not aware of this at all.
Rather, when they see Westerners coming to me, they feel antagonistic towards them. They should be more compassionate because for the first time the Westerner has felt that the East has something which the West lacks. They should feel proud of it, and they should welcome them with open hearts.
This is the moment when we can prove that the East has known heights which the West has not even dreamed about. It can become a glorious moment of victory for the East, which could erase all the slavery of the past two thousand years. To me, it is immensely significant.
But the Eastern mind is still under the impact of the rule by the Western empire.
Officially they have become free, but deep down they still feel themselves to be inferior. I want them to drop that inferiority. For the first time the West is feeling inferior to the East; it would be idiotic to lose this moment. And it will help both the East and the West, because meditation has nothing to do with divisions such as East and West.
Meditation will bring immense communion to the whole earth.
WHY ARE YOUNG WOMEN SANNYASINS CALLED 'MA'? ACCORDING TO THE INDIAN TRADITIONAL BELIEF SYSTEM, ONE CANNOT HAVE SEXUAL RELATIONS WITH A MA. WHY THIS CONTRADICTION?
A few things.
Why do you call God 'the father'? He has no wife, he has no children. How does he become the father? There are people who call God 'the mother'. She has no husband, no children. Why do you call God the mother? The Christian priest who is a bachelor, celibate, is called father. Why is he called father?
You may not have thought about these things because they have been going on for centuries and we have accepted them. The reality is that 'father' is simply an honor, the greatest that you can give.
To me, 'mother' is even more an honor - because the father's function in creating the child is minimal. The whole of creation is from the mother. The mother should be respected more than anything - she creates life. The woman's highest quality is her capacity to create life; hence I have called my sannyasins 'ma' - just to give them the feeling that motherhood is the greatest honor. They need not be inferior to men. In fact, they are superior in that matter.
And as far as you said - that in Indian tradition sex with the mother is not acceptable - you are not right.
In the Vedas there are instances where a newly married couple comes to a great seer to be blessed, and the blessing is really rare - nowhere in the whole world is there any such blessing. The blessing the seer gives is that your wife will become the mother of ten children, and finally you, the husband, will be her eleventh child. He is saying that a mother is a mother; she will have ten children, and if things go right and smoothly you will be her eleventh child.
Now, the giving of such a blessing supports me, not you; and such a blessing also supports that sex is nothing profane or ugly. It is simply a process of life flowing on, just as the river is flowing on. Bodies become old, life moves into new bodies, the old bodies are left behind. But life continues forever and forever, from eternity to eternity, and woman is the passage.
It is possible to do without men - just an injection may be enough - but it is very difficult to do without women. Without women we can create test-tube babies, but they will not be human. They will be just robots, because the woman does not give the child only blood and flesh and bones; she also gives intelligence, she also gives emotions, she also gives love - simply all that the child is going to have is imparted by the woman. A test-tube cannot give that; it may keep him alive like a vegetable, but it cannot give him emotions, it cannot give him intelligence.
Before I started giving sannyas I had to think about it, because in the ancient scriptures the man has been given sannyas, the woman has always been denied.
So the man has the name 'swami', but the woman has no name.
Mahavira denied the woman, Buddha denied her, Hindus denied her. I am the first man who has initiated women into sannyas. I had to find a name. To me, 'swami' is perfectly good; it simply means becoming master of oneself. But it is dangerous also, because it gives some kind of power. It does not make you humble, it makes you more egoistic - you are a swami.
I could have called the woman 'swami' but I did not like the connotation of power, and I liked more that the woman should be given something which is natural to her, intrinsic to her. She is basically a mother.
You will be surprised to know that man's sexual energy is created every day; he does not get it all wholesale when he is born.
Women's eggs are a different story. Every girl brings wholesale all the eggs that she will ever have in her life with herself; so whether she becomes a mother or not she is always potentially a mother because she has everything. It is not going to be added to her, it is part of her nature.
And I love the word 'ma'. There are many implications in it. When you respect a woman by calling her ma, your very sex relationship will have a different meaning. Making love to a prostitute has a different connotation, making love to your beloved again different, making love to your wife again different. But making love to a woman you respect as a mother makes your love sacred. It is no more something obscene; it is something which has a power and holiness of its own.
It happened in Ramakrishna's life... his whole life he called his wife 'ma'. He had gone to see the girl before marriage, and when the girl came before him to give him some food, he touched her feet. His mother had given him three rupees to keep, and he put those three rupees also at her feet. Everybody was shocked.
"What is he doing? He is mad! She is going to be his wife and he's putting rupees at her feet as if she is a goddess, and touching her feet." Even the girl was in shock; the family of the girl was in shock.
When Ramakrishna was asked about it he said, "But she was so beautiful, I would have liked her to be my mother. She was so pure... I liked to touch her feet. And this is going to be my relationship to her my whole life." And that's how it remained.
So it is no problem.
WHY DON'T YOU SPEAK IN HINDI?
Because I have not spoken in Hindi for five years, I will have to find words again. That's why I am continuing to speak in English. Once I start speaking in Hindi it will take two or three months to get me on the right track.
When I started using English, for two or three months I was thinking in Hindi and speaking in English. It was a double trouble. Now, if I speak Hindi I will be thinking in English and speaking in Hindi - and that will be a trouble.
I am continuing with English right now, because I don't know whether I am going to be here or not. My people are looking for places all over the world where I can be absolutely independent, without any government, without any power to prevent me or dictate to me - what I have to say and what I have not to say. I am here just temporarily.
If I decide to be here permanently, then I am going to speak in Hindi. But for this temporary period, I will not change; I will continue speaking in English.