[NOTE: This discourse will be in the book "India Coming Back Home", which has not been published, as of August 1992.]
INTERVIEW BY SURYA MAGAZINE
AFTER FOUR YEARS IN AMERICA, WHAT ARE YOUR IMPRESSIONS?
It is a beautiful country, beautiful people; but dominated by very dirty politicians.
It is not a democracy; it is a hypocrisy.
They arrested me without any arrest warrant. They arrested me without showing any cause. They arrested me at the points of twelve guns around me - a man who has no gun, who has nothing in his hands. And for twelve days they tortured me as much as they could.
They knew my physical problems. They knew that I am allergic to many things which bring on asthma attacks. They put me in situations where it was bound to happen. They put me in a cell where twelve persons were continuously smoking; that smoke was enough to cause an asthma attack. In the FBI jail, they put me with a person who was living alone for months, because he had a high risk confirmed herpes, and they had not given that cell to anyone else, even though it was meant for two people. They put me with that man. I had no idea, but one inmate sent me a note from his cell saying "Osho, they are trying to harass you, harm you, and you will not even know what they are doing. This man in your cell has a serious case of herpes. They have not given that cell to anybody else, but you they have put in his cell."
When I showed that note to the jailer, he immediately changed my cell. But I said, "Why did you put me in that cell in the first place? You knew that for six months that man was living alone."
He said, "I cannot say anything. I am not allowed to say anything."
This way they harassed me.
So indirectly they tried in every way to harm me.
They forced me to sign under a false name. They would not allow me to write my own name. They told me - the U.S. marshal himself told me - "You have to write David Washington as your name. And we will call you 'David Washington' and you have to reply to it."
I asked him, "You are the law enforcement authority. What kind of law is this?
On your coat is written "Department of Justice" but what kind of justice is this?
David Washington is not my name, and I am not going to write it. If you want to write it, you can fill in the form; I will sign it, but remember, how long can you keep me in the jail? Once I am out then you will be in trouble."
He wrote in his own handwriting, and I signed my own name in Hindi so he could not figure out what it was. Now that is on record - his handwriting. My signature is on record.
They wanted nobody to know that I was in this jail, so they could torture me, harass me, or do anything whatsoever they wanted.
But the news media helped me immensely. They were following me continuously for twelve days with their helicopters, with their cameras - hundreds of cameras, newspaper people, journalists, magazine writers. Every jail was surrounded by journalists.
When all this was happening, one girl - a prisoner who was going to be released - heard this, and she immediately went out and released to the press that, "Osho has been forced to write under this false name, so on the board you will not find his name. If you phone, you will not find his name. Even his attorneys cannot phone him because he is not there."
I asked the marshal, "Can I contact my attorneys?"
He said, "No. Your attorneys can contact you."
I said, "But my attorneys don't know that I am David Washington. Do you think I am mad? Have you informed my attorneys that I have changed my name to David Washington? And for what reason are you forcing me to sign under a false name - just to avoid the attorneys, to avoid the press? But remember tomorrow morning" - because I had seen the girl and she made the sign to me not to worry - "tomorrow morning on every television station, in every newspaper, David Washington is going to be there." And the next morning it was all over America that I had been forced to sign under a false name.
This is fascism. This is not respect for the individual.
They immediately changed my jail - early in the morning so nobody would know. But the press was there the whole night because they knew they would move me. At five o'clock in the morning they took me out, but they could not deceive the press. The press was there, and they took photographs of me coming out of the jail. They followed the police cars to the other jail. They could not manage to avoid the press, and that was my only protection.
I learned one thing: that in every country television, radio, newspapers should not be owned by the government. They are protectors of individual freedom, individual expression. If the government owns them, then there is no question of protection.
After twelve days, when they brought the charges against me, all were false. Not a single charge was true.
For example, they said that I had come to America on false grounds. Now, that is absolutely nonsense because all the diseases that I had when I entered America are still with me. In fact they are incurable. All that is needed is a controlled environment so they don't have the chance to express themselves. My back is still bad, I just have to be aware and alert and walk slowly. My diabetes is there.
My allergies are there.
So I told my attorneys, "There is no question of bringing any other proof; just bring perfumed clothes to my nose and I will have an asthma attack in the court, and that will prove whether I came on false grounds or on right grounds."
They said that I had been arranging marriages just for residential purposes. That is an absolute lie; my whole philosophy is against marriage. And for three and a half years I was in silence. Nobody could see me except my secretary. So the question of arranging marriages, when nobody could see me... and I don't know even the names of the five thousand sannyasins who were living there. So everything that they had brought was absolutely false.
But my people, five thousand people in the commune and one million people around the world, were all asking me, "Don't fight. You will win, but it will take years. They will go on postponing, and in those four or five years they will destroy you - they may even kill you. Seeing that there is no way of being victorious, they can kill you very easily - and we will be suffering all those five years continuously."
Those twelve days I was not suffering as much as my people were suffering.
Many people were fasting - they would not eat until I was out of jail.
Out of compassion I accepted that, "Yes, I am guilty." In my whole life I have spoken only one lie.
I was not guilty, and I said that I was guilty; but I don't feel any prick of conscience about it because compassion is far more valuable, love is far more valuable than a small lie - which I can prove now out of court was a lie. And I will prove point by point that everything they have brought against me is absolutely bogus.
The court released me. My people had arranged that as the court released me they should immediately take me to the airport, because anything could happen any moment - and they were right.
When I went to the jail to get my clothes back, the whole ground floor was empty. It had never been empty, always there were people working and officers moving around. Only one man was there to give me my clothes. He filled out the form and told me to wait while he went to find his boss for a signature.
And later on a bomb was found in the room.
Now in the room of a jail a bomb cannot be planted by any ordinary citizen. It was preplanned. The whole ground floor was empty. Even the boss was not in his chair. Only one person was there, who told me that he was going to get a signature. But they missed, because it was not certain at what time the court would finish the case, and the bomb must have been a time bomb.
So my people were right, that the moment the court released me I should be flown out of the country immediately.
Seeing all this I can say only one thing: that the people are beautiful, very loving - even the criminals in the jails. I was in five jails in twelve days, just to be tortured. Even the criminals are beautiful, but not the politicians and not the bureaucracy.
America is in the grip of a very monstrous regime, and naturally they became afraid of a small commune that could become a model and people could become attracted to it. They were not so much afraid of Soviet Russia - it is so far away.
We were amidst them.
And their fear is natural.
If they were really democratic they would have helped us, they would have allowed us to spread the same kind of strategy that we were using all over the land; but that was not to be the case.
And now I can say with absolute certainty, that if there is going to be a third world war it is not going to be between America and Soviet Russia, it is going to be between America and the whole world.
YOU TALK ABOUT POLITICAL AND RELIGIOUS SUPPRESSION IN AMERICA. IS THERE ANY OTHER KIND OF SUPPRESSION?
There are many things which are not known outside America.
In India sexual suppression has destroyed much of its creativeness. America has gone to the other extreme - oversexuality, sensuality, has destroyed its creativeness. All the films, television, are nothing but sex, murder and rape.
Every child is fed on sex, murder and rape.
It has been reported by the University of California that whenever there is a big boxing match on television, for the next seven days the crime rate rises by thirteen percent, then it cools down and comes back to normal. And still they don't stop boxing. The same is the case with football games in America. After football games crimes increase.
America is living in a very criminal state of mind, and the politicians want people to remain involved in these things so they can go on doing what they want. People are more interested in boxing, more interested in football. They are not interested in the higher values of life, and so the government is left alone to do whatsoever it wants.
But it is an ugly state of affairs - rich, and yet ugly.
HOW DO YOU COMPARE THE SITUATION IN AMERICA WITH THAT IN INDIA?
It is there on the other extreme. Because people are poor, exploitation is easy; you can purchase the votes very easily.
The politicians talk of destroying poverty, but they don't mean it. If they destroy poverty and people are educated, then exploitation will be difficult.
And sexual repression is a very complicated phenomenon. Man has only energy - whatever name you give to it. You can call it sex, you can call it kundalini, you can call it anything you like. Names don't matter. But if this energy is repressed, that means man is divided in two - your own left hand is fighting with your own right hand.
So you are in a situation where you cannot do anything. You cannot be creative, you cannot manage great music, poetry, literature. You cannot even manage food, clothes, shelter, because you are locked inside yourself, fighting with yourself. Nothing is left that you can put into some kind of creativity.
And this is the greatest calamity that can happen to a man, and that has happened in India for centuries. That's why we have been slaves for two thousand years; otherwise, such a vast country becoming slaves to very small groups seems inconceivable. But the reason was that everybody was chained with his own struggle, no energy was available to fight with the enemy. The invaders who came to India had an easier success than they could have imagined.
But two thousand years of slavery has not given us any insight. Poverty and starvation have not given us any insight; and there are people who would not like India to see the reality of how we have been destroyed.
The priests of all the religions want you to remain in the same position. The politician wants you to be in the same position because if you are no longer in the same position or your energy becomes one, there is danger of revolution.
Such poverty is bound to turn into revolution, so the politicians and the priests are in a conspiracy. The priests want you to remain in this struggle with yourself so you feel weak, you feel guilty - because howsoever hard you try, you cannot get rid of sex. That is not the way to get rid of sex. You become more and more sexual, and that creates guilt in you that, "I am such a weak human being." That takes you to the priest because he is the person to help you, he is the mediator between you and God. God you don't know. It is the priest's invention, and he is the sole representative. So he exploits you - he gives you mantras, he gives you books, holy books; he gives you rituals, he tells you to fast, to eat this and not to eat that, and soon you will overcome your sin. And God is compassion, he forgives; don't be worried.
The grip of the priest - whether Hindu, or Mohammedan or Christian - depends on repression of sex, and the grip of the politician also depends on the repression of sex.
That's why for thirty years I have been fighting against repression of sex, and the only reward I have got is all kinds of condemnation from all corners - because I have attacked all the vested interests.
It is a unique situation. Nobody perhaps in the whole history has been condemned so unanimously - the Christian priests, the Hindu priests, the Mohammedan priests, the Buddhist priests, the Jaina priests, the Communists, the Socialists, the Congressites, the Republicans, the Liberals, the Democrats. You cannot find a single political party or a single religion that has not condemned me.
It is very strange. They differ in everything. On only one point are they in agreement; that is, against me. I am their agreement. And the reason is clear, because I am cutting the very roots of their power.
A single man against the whole world.
But I am perfectly happy. Although they are great powers, they have not been able to refute a single argument that I have produced; and even with their antagonism, condemnation, intelligent people have come to me. I have one million sannyasins around the world, and at least five million sympathizers around the world.
A single man may perhaps revolutionize the whole existence. The power of truth is immense.
DON'T YOU THINK THERE'S A FEAR OF OVERINDULGENCE IF THERE IS NO REPRESSION?
This is the fear that is being created by the vested interests, that if you don't repress you will overindulge.
My feeling is that overindulgence is better than repression. At least you will be one, and you will not feel guilty. And I don't think that a person who is intelligent enough to drop repression will not be intelligent enough to see that he is moving to the other extreme. Exactly in the middle is the healthy individual.
So it may be that for a time, when a person is released from repression, he may overindulge, but that will be only for a short period. Soon he will settle in the middle, because he will see that he is again falling into another ditch. So I don't feel any fear.
You can see my people. I have got one million people to prove this. They have dropped repression but they have not gone to overindulgence. On the other hand, by dropping repression their energy is freed; they have become immensely creative, and they have become meditative.
Sannyasins who have been with me for ten, twelve, fifteen years have almost lost all interest in sex. They are no more interested in it because the same energy can give them so much joy, that sex seems to be just a wastage. And the second day is a hangover - dull, dissipated, weak, while the same energy can reach to higher peaks of meditation and can give you spaces that you have never known, heights that you have never flown, light, clarity that has never been your experience.
Then the choice is yours - to have the clarity, light, health, a cleanliness, a well- being; or to have sex, which to a meditative man looks almost animalistic, looks stupid, makes no sense.
So my own experience is just the opposite. That idea of overindulgence is created by the vested interests.
You have clothes. Do you use too many coats? Do you overindulge because you are free to have many coats? You have freedom to sleep. Does that mean you sleep twenty-four hours? You have freedom to eat. Does that mean that you continuously eat?
Just look at other areas where you have freedom. Have you gone to overindulgence? You are free to have a shower. That does not mean the whole day you are sitting under a shower, overindulging. Then you would need some psychiatric treatment. Then it is not a question of repression or overindulgence, it is a question of something mentally wrong.
Anything accepted naturally - and sex is a natural phenomenon.... In the beginning I can understand overindulgence. For example, Jainas every year fast for ten days. In those ten days they think only of eating and nothing else. And I don't condemn them; it is natural. They are hungry. They continuously plan for the eleventh day - what they are going to eat, what is their most delicious dish.
And for two, three days after those ten days they eat too much - which is natural. It is just like a pendulum; if you take it to one end and let go from there you can't hope that it will stop in the middle. The momentum will take it to the other extreme, but the momentum will become less and less and less and less and within time it will stop.
The momentum was given by repression. If anybody overindulges the responsibility goes to those people who have been teaching repression.
So I don't see any fear of overindulgence.
NOW THAT YOU HAVE RETURNED TO INDIA, ARE YOU GOING TO LEAD A MORE SECLUDED LIFE?
I live moment to moment. Today I am here, tomorrow I may not be here.
And I have been leading a secluded life always, even though thousands of people have been around me. I have been alone, and most of my time I have been in my room isolated in silence. For one hour I may talk to my people and that is all; for twenty-three hours I can overindulge in silence.
HAS THERE BEEN ANY CHANGE IN YOUR IDEAS IN RECENT YEARS?
No. It has been growing. I don't believe that anything in existence comes to a full stop, everything goes on growing. The moment something comes to a full stop that means it is dead.
So if by change you mean that I have dropped some ideas, that is not right. If you mean that my ideas have been growing, that is true. But they are the same ideas.
This big tree is from the same seed. It will go on growing, it will bring new leaves, it will bring new fruits. You could not have seen those leaves, those fruits, those flowers, in the seed.
So I have been evolving rather than changing, because change gives a wrong idea - as if I have abandoned something and moved to some other standpoint. No.
I am a continuous flow - broadening, becoming bigger, flowering, covering more and more sky, spreading my wings as far as I can; so there is evolution, and it will continue until my last breath.
WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY SANNYAS?
It is a very simple phenomenon.
The ancient meaning of sannyas is renouncing the world. I am against it.
But I have still used the word sannyas because I can see another meaning far more significant than the old one. I mean renouncing all the conditions that the world has given to you - your religion, your caste, your Brahminism, your Jainism, your Christianity, your god, your holy book.
To me, sannyas means a commitment that "I am going to clean myself completely of all those things which have been imposed upon me, and I will start living on my own - fresh, young, pure, unpolluted." So sannyas is an initiation into your innocence.
And I don't think any intelligent person can deny it - that we have been polluted. No child is born a Mohammedan or a Hindu. We pollute the child; we give him ideas, concepts.
In America many people asked me, "Is it really true that your commune is vegetarian?" They have never thought about it. From their very childhood they were eating meat. Once in a while some crank may turn out to be vegetarian, otherwise, the whole society is non-vegetarian. They could not believe that five thousand non-vegetarians have turned to vegetarianism. I explained to them that it is ugly to kill animals, living beings, for your food while other food is available. If you do that then what is the difference between you and cannibals?
In fact, cannibals say that the most delicious meat comes from man. So if deliciousness is the decisive factor, then why not kill each other, why not kill your own child, why not kill your wife? And that's what you are doing when you kill a deer - you are killing a husband, a child, a wife, a father, a mother.
And they understood it. They said, "We never thought about it in this way, but it is true."
Sannyas, to me, simply means cleaning you off, making you a plain tabula rasa; nothing is written on it. So you are free now, according to your own intelligence, to write your own philosophy, to write your own religion, to write your own life.
Krishna writes your life, or Buddha writes your life. What right have they got?
They can write their life, they are perfectly free. But five thousand years before, Manu writes everything - what you have to do and what you have not to do. To accept such things is stupid, not intelligent.
Sannyas is an intelligent step of getting out of all the garbage that has accumulated around you, just jumping out of it clean, fresh, young, and starting anew so that when you die you can die with the satisfaction that you lived the way you wanted to live, that you did not live a borrowed life, that you were not an actor in a film, that you lived an authentic life.
ARE THERE ANY CONDITIONS FOR BEING A SANNYASIN?
No, no conditions.
WHY HAS YOUR TRUTH BEEN MISUNDERSTOOD?
That is the fate of people like me.
Socrates has always been misunderstood, Buddha has always been misunderstood, Sarmad has always been misunderstood. And I would rather be part of their company than the people who have been understood.
The people who have been understood are third rate. They are understood because they are saying the same things that you already believe in. They are not higher than you, they are not bringing something from beyond. You can understand them because they are actually of the same mental age as you are, in the same way retarded as you are.
You never ask, if you play a flute by the side of a buffalo, why the buffalo does not understand the flute. The flute is beyond the buffalo. But bring some grass and she will immediately be interested. That the buffalo understands.
So I don't want to belong with those people who are understood - like Mahatma Gandhi, who is always understood, Mother Teresa, who is always understood.
I would like to belong with people like Socrates, Buddha, Sarmad, Mansoor - who were never understood.
Even today, after thousands of years, very little of them is understood. They are still ahead of us. Perhaps it will take two thousand years more for humanity to grow to understand Socrates.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN REAL NONVIOLENCE AND TURNING THE OTHER CHEEK?
There is much difference. Turning the other cheek is just a conditioning.
I am reminded of a Christian saint who was always talking about turning the other cheek. One man got very fed up and he hit the saint on one of his cheeks.
The saint, of course - according to his ideology - turned his other cheek. The man hit him on the other cheek also.
At that moment the saint jumped on the man and started hitting him as hard as he could. The man said, "What are you doing? You are a nonviolent Christian saint."
He said, "The question finished when you hit me on the other cheek. Jesus has said, 'Turn the other cheek' but there is no third cheek to turn. Now I am free, and I will show you what it means."
Buddha, in one of his sermons, said, "Forgive at least seven times." It is too much.
Somebody harasses you seven times, cheats you, deceives you, and you go on forgiving him. But one monk stood up and said, "What about the eighth? Okay, seven times we will manage; but what about the eighth?"
These people don't understand the idea of nonviolence. They are simply following a certain concept, but every concept has a limitation. Buddha changed it. He said, "I will say seventy-seven times."
The monk stood up and said, "You can change it, but what about the seventy- eighth time? My argument remains the same. You can make it seven hundred and seventy-seven times, but what about plus one?"
Turning the other cheek is not a nonviolent act. On the contrary, it is very disrespectful of the other person. You are reducing him into a non-human being.
He has hit you on your cheek, and you are giving him your other cheek; you are becoming superior and you are putting him into a position of inferiority. This is not nonviolence; this is pure egoism.
Nonviolence simply means that killing, destroying, is ugly. That does not mean that allowing somebody else to do such a thing is not ugly. If somebody hits you on the cheek, you should hit him more strongly on his cheek - for two reasons.
One, that you are nonviolent and you don't allow any kind of violence to anybody, including yourself. Secondly, you have to hit him harder because you respect the other person; if he gives you one rupee's worth, you give him two rupee's worth. You don't make him inferior, you make him superior. I will not say, "Turn the other cheek."
I will say, "Hit on his cheek as hard as you can so he learns a lesson; otherwise, he will start hitting other people's cheeks. And you will be responsible for all that violence."
So nonviolence does not mean that you have just to be there, beaten. Then you are allowing violence. This kind of nonviolence has deprived this whole country.
For example, Jainas will not go into war. No Jaina will enter into armies because they are nonviolent people. But if they are nonviolent people, why do they accept the protection of the police? Why do they put locks on their doors? If they are nonviolent people why do they go on giving taxes to the government which go to maintain the army, navy and other kinds of war machinery? They live in this country, protected by the army; somebody else is fighting for them, somebody else is dying for them, so they can remain nonviolent.
Mahavira and Buddha both in some way or other are responsible for twenty centuries of slavery in India. And Gandhi again repeated like a parrot the same stupid nonsense.
Nonviolence simply means you should be so powerful that nobody can be violent towards you. It should not be out of weakness; it should be out of power.
Of course you will not hurt anybody out of your power - you will protect, you will not kill. But you won't allow anybody else to kill you either.
So my idea of nonviolence is different from Mahavir, Buddha, Gandhi.
My idea is nonviolence should be out of an abundance of power. Don't use that power to kill, to destroy; but use that power to create, to protect. And if anybody tries to harm you or anybody else, do everything to prevent that harm.
Violence has to be completely removed from the world, but it can happen only if nonviolent people are powerful; otherwise, how can you manage? If violent people are powerful and nonviolent people are powerless, then the violent people will overrule the nonviolent. That has been our experience of two thousand years.
I don't support weakness. I support power; but power with compassion, love and creativity.
DO YOU BELIEVE IN EQUALITY?
No. I do not believe in equality for the simple reason that it is psychologically impossible. Socrates is Socrates, and you cannot create four billion Socrates' to make the whole world equal.
Every human being is unique. No two human beings can be equal, and they should not be, otherwise the world will become a boredom. Just roses and roses all over the world - the same color, the same size. No. The world needs all kinds of flowers, all colors; that gives it richness.
So I believe in the uniqueness of the individual, I don't believe in the equality of the individuals.
But I do believe in equal opportunity for everybody. That is a totally different thing - equal opportunity for the rose to grow, equal opportunity for the lotus to grow, equal opportunity for the marigold to grow.
To put it as a principle: Equal opportunity for everybody to be unequal, unique.
So I don't believe in the equality of the individual, but I certainly believe in giving equal opportunity to everybody. Somebody wants to become a painter, and somebody else a doctor, and somebody else a sculptor - they should be given equal opportunities. But they should not be forced to be equal - that will be murdering the whole richness of humanity.