[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 SWISS WEEKLY MAGAZINE
QUESTION: I'M WONDERING, DO YOU FEEL AT HOME HERE IN INDIA?
ANSWER: I am always at home wherever I am. To be at home has nothing to do with places. It has to do something with your inner space. So you can take me anywhere, but you cannot take me out of my home.
Q: YOU ARE LIVING NOW WITHOUT A COMMUNE. HOW DOES THAT AFFECT YOUR SANNYASINS?
A: I have always lived without commune, even when I was living near the commune, I was an outsider. I was never a member of any commune, never a part of any commune. It does not make... whether the distance is one mile, or one thousand miles. And I have my communes all over the world. I am surrounded by my communes, so I never feel that I am missing anything.
Q: AND THE SANNYASINS YOU THINK ARE NOT MISSING YOU?
A: They certainly are missing me.
Q: HOW WOULD YOU ACTUALLY DESCRIBE YOURSELF NOW? WHAT ARE YOUR (INAUDIBLE)?
A: Just the same as I always have been: a friend who is available to anybody who wants to grow spiritually. So whether I am here or anywhere else, people will always be coming to me. They are not my followers, I am not their leader. I am just a fellow traveler.
Q: IS IT MORE A POLITICAL OR PHILOSOPHICAL WAY YOU ARE DOING NOW, YOU ARE GOING NOW?
A: I am not a political person at all, and that has created many troubles for me. I am simply philosophical, but philosophy is so vast, so comprehensive that it can throw light on political problems too. And that has been my problem.
I am not a political person, but I can see a political problem and the solution for it. I will not get involved either in the problem or in the solution. But I can make myself heard by those people who are already involved in the problem. I can be of great help to them, to understand it, to find a right direction. But I am not a political person.
Q: WHAT IS YOUR TASK NOW? HOW DO YOU FEEL YOU COULD GIVE TO THE WORLD NOW?
A: Just the same as I have been doing all my life. I have sharing my love, my understanding, my clarity. Wherever I have been, people start feeling something which they cannot describe, but which attracts them towards me; a magnetic pull. And if they are open, available, not closed, then miracles can happen in their life. They have happened in millions of people's lives.
And I am doing the same, and I will go on doing the same wherever I am.
YOU WERE TALKING ABOUT THE THIRD WORLD WAR, (INAUDIBLE) HOW DO YOU SUGGEST THE THIRD WORLD WAR COULD BE PREVENTED?
A: In fact, it is already prevented. The very growth of nuclear weapons is the end of the old concept of war. War was meaningful if somebody was going to be victorious, somebody was going to be defeated. That was the meaning of war.
But now there is no meaning to it. Nuclear war means destruction of all. There will be nobody victorious and nobody defeated.
What all the religions of the world could not do, and all the great philosophers of the world could not do, nuclear weapons have done it. There is no possibility of a third world war. They will go on talking about it, and they will go on talking about how to prevent it, for the simple reason because people have to be kept in fear. That is the only way to enslave them.
Soviet Union will make its own people afraid of what America is preparing, and America will go on doing the same, creating the same paranoia, that Soviet Union is a danger any moment. This gives power to the politicians, and makes people near slaves. So they will go on talking about the third world war, and they will go on talking about how to prevent it. But I say to you, it is already prevented. There is no reason to be worried about it. People should forget about third world war.
Q: WHAT IS YOUR SOLUTION TO POVERTY?
A: The solution is very simple, but the hindrances in the way are very big.
All the religions of the world are in favor of poverty, because it is only the poor who take their religion seriously; who take their paradise beyond death seriously. Naturally, those who are living already in paradise here will not be bothered by paradise after death.
Secondly, the poor are in such a situation that they can be converted. Christianity has converted millions of poor people, not because they have convinced them of the superiority of their religion, but because they could provide them bread and clothes and shelter.
Pope or Mother Teresa would not like poverty to disappear. That is their very investment; more poor, more Catholics. And other religions also don't want that the poverty should disappear, because poverty can disappear only by two things.
One is that the population growth should be curtailed. No religion wants the population growth to be curtailed, because that means their power is curtailed.
Their power is the power of numbers. There are six hundred million Catholics. If poverty is destroyed, they will remain stuck there.
In India, Mohammedans according to their religion are allowed to have four wives. Hindus are allowed only one wife. Naturally, Mohammedans can have more children, and this has been a great trouble to the Hindus; because these people are growing. One woman may have four husbands; still she can produce one child a year. But one man having four wives can produce four children.
Mohammedans are not willing to drop that idea although it is a simple fact that women and men are almost equal in number in the world. So to marry four women means three men will remain without wives, which is ugly. And those three women are bound to do something, they may rape, they may go to the prostitutes. Some perversion is bound to happen. Those three men cannot just simply sit. Their biology is too powerful.
But Mohammedans are not going to listen. I have talked to them that this is absolutely unnatural and absurd. It is written in the religious book, Mohammed himself married nine women, so there is a model, their prophet had nine women; and then things went on growing. Just forty years before the Nizam of Hyderabad had five hundred wives. So religions are one thing which are creating poverty, because their whole interest is having more population. It is a politics of number. Then you can have your own government.
Secondly, all these religions are teaching people against birth control. They say to people that it is against God. I have been talking to Christian ministers and missionaries. They don't have any answer. I ask them, your God is omnipotent, he is all-powerful; he can create this whole world out of nothing. Is the pill more powerful than your God? If he wants the child, then the pill cannot prevent it. If the pill can prevent the child, then you should start worshipping the pill rather than the God.
Otherwise, the solution for poverty is very simple. One is for twenty years, absolute birth control. Secondly, teaching to the people that you are not poor because it is a blessing. It is not a blessing; it is a curse. And the BIBLE goes on saying, "Blessed are the poor." If poor are the blessed, then there is no reason to destroy poverty because then you are destroying blessedness. That is absolutely contradictory. Then it is better to destroy richness, to destroy wealth. Make everybody blessed.
Mahatma Gandhi used to call the poor the children of God. If you give such consolation to the poor, that you are children of God, then you cannot prevent them from being poor, because that means you are preventing children of God.
And if God wants them to be poor, who are you to prevent them?
Hindus believe that nothing happens against God's will. So if somebody is poor, it is God's will. And it is a test for his trust in God. He should remain poor and he should remain contented, with no complaint, with no grumbling. Then, after death, he will be rewarded immensely.
Now we have to withdraw all these stupid ideas. We have to make it clear that poverty is a disease. It is not blessedness. And it is not created by God. It is created by our own foolishness. We go on producing children, and we don't grow in new technology with the same rate. Now Mahatma Gandhi says that poor are the children of God. And on the other hand, he thinks all scientific progress stopped with the spinning wheel. Spinning wheel must be ten thousand years old. In these ten thousand years, human intelligence has done nothing.
And if you listen to these people, and follow these people, the world will become more poor, it cannot become rich in any way. So second thing is, a widespread use of technology, and which can become possible very simply if it is understood by the world powers that third world war is not going to happen; then why go on wasting your energy piling nuclear weapons. Already they have so much nuclear weapons that they can destroy humanity seven hundred times. Now, this is idiotic. A man dies only once. Even Jesus Christ was never resurrected.
The simple understanding that we have come to a point where war is impossible; why not use nuclear, atomic and all energies that you are using in the service of death, in the service of life? All that energy released, poverty will disappear like a dewdrop in the early morning sun. Because we have put almost seventy-five percent of our national incomes into war. We are living on twenty-five percent.
So my simple solution is, that the war has become useless, and with the war becoming useless, nations have lost all meaning. And this is the time for the world to declare one. There is no need for war, then what is the need of nations?
They can exist as functionary units, but they should not have any defense forces.
They should not accumulate war materials. For whom?
If the whole world gives its war materials, war energies, war technicians, armies, navies, air forces to cultivation, to creation, I don't see that there is any possibility for poverty to remain.
On the one hand, stop population growing. On the other hand, turn energies towards life from the service of death. Certainly it will kill two kinds of people and their egos - the religious leaders and the political leaders. That's why they both are very much against me; because what I am saying is basically cutting their very roots. There are no nations and there are no presidents and bragging about, and prime ministers and having summits and all nonsense, because there is no need. What is the need of war? Why man should fight man?
If Soviet people want to live communism, they are free to live in communism; if America wants to live a capitalistic style of life, it is perfectly good. More lifestyles are lived around the world, the richer it will be. But there is no need to fight for it.
Nations have to disappear sooner or later, and then you will be surprised that, in Ethiopia people were dying and in Europe food and fruits and vegetables were being thrown in the ocean, because the market was too much overflooded, and the prices were going down.
Anybody looking from another planet will think us mad; one thousand people dying every day, just close by, and you are throwing food into the ocean to keep the prices high. America pretends to be the world's richest country, but there are thirty million beggars on the street. And when I ask that, how many people are suffering from over-eating, I was surprised by the coincidence. Exactly thirty million people are suffering from over-eating, and thirty million people are dying because they don't have to eat.
It is such a simple phenomenon that these people should not be given that much food, which is killing them, and that food should be transferred to people who are dying. If the world is one, we can very easily shift things from one place to another place.
There was a time in Soviet Russia, there was too much wheat crop that they started burning wheat in railway trains instead of coal, because coal was costlier, and wheat was cheaper. And half the world is dying for wheat. They cannot eat coal. But this is possible only if the world exists as one whole. All political lines are just insane. The earth is one. And once we declare the earth is one, poverty has no place.
My solution is very simple, but the religions will obstruct, the politicians will object, and nobody is ready to make the world one; which is already is. Your political lines don't divide the world.
I have been talking to politicians, to religious heads, to pacifists. They don't have any argument against me; but they don't listen. And on the contrary, they want me not to say these things.
Just the other day I received a summons from a Calcutta high court; seven people have signed that, by my one of statements I have hurt their religious feeling. If your religious feelings are so weak, make them strong. Send them to gymnasiums. And in a country of eight hundred million people, if only seven people's feelings are hurt, so what? You should exercise more! And if your feelings are hurt, I am ready to argue with you. If I am wrong, I am always ready to accept it, and one is hurt only when one is wrong.
Truth is never hurt. It is only the lie, because you can see in the light of truth that you have been carrying a lie, that feels hurt.
But my whole life I have been served summons and courts, harassing me unnecessarily that I have hurt their feelings. If I say that a Mohammedan should have only one wife, I have hurt his feelings. If I say that birth control is not against God, I have hurt Christians' feelings.
Solution is easy. But the vested interests are very strong.
Q: THE POPE AND YOU ARE TWO OF THE MOST IMPORTANT RELIGIOUS FIGURES AT THE (INAUDIBLE) HOW DO YOU FEEL BEING COMPARED TO THE POPE; FOR INSTANCE AS A LEADER, RELIGIOUS PRO-MASTER(*)?
A: I don't like being compared to pope, for the simple reason that whatever he teaches is absolutely wrong. I do not like the comparison because he is infallible, I am fallible. He is a representative of God; I am nobody's representative. I simply speak on my own authority.
His knowledge is borrowed. He can quote the BIBLE but he cannot quote his own heart. I have challenged him many times that it will be a good thing to have a public open discussion; and he seems to be just a coward. He has not answered it. And I can understand why he is not answering, because on what grounds he is going to argue with me?
He has not seen God; he only believes in God. And you believe only when you don't know. When you know, you don't believe.
Q: NOW DO YOU FEEL LIKE HAVING HIM AS GUEST NEXT YEAR IN INDIA, IN YOUR HOMELAND?
A: Yes, he is coming and I have asked the government that it should be made clear to him that if he makes his stupid kind of teachings here, he will be opposed everywhere. My people will oppose him.
This is going to be a rough journey for him. If he speaks sense there is no problem. But he cannot speak sense, he is a polack.
Q: ABOUT INDIA, USA AND INDIA DO NEED YOU IN A CERTAIN WAY. WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THESE TWO NEEDS?
A: There is a certain difference, which is making both suffer. India has leaned towards spiritualism too much. Its religious leaders have been teaching, "Abandon the world," and "Materialism is sin." The natural result was two thousand years of slavery, and millions of poor people starving.
The America has moved to the other extreme. Materialism has become the religion. To have more and more material things seems to be the goal of life.
They have completely forgotten that there is something inside them too. They are looking only on the outside. Certainly there are millions of things outside. You can get lost in those things, and you can forget yourself.
America has forgotten herself. It is spiritually poor, and India is materially poor, because it forgot completely that the spirit cannot live without bread, that the body cannot exist without certain support of matter.
My whole philosophy is that materialism and spiritualism are not opposed. They are working in synchronicity everywhere. In your body they are working, in the trees they are working, in the whole existence matter and life are working hand in hand together. Why separate them?
And the separation is going to create some kind of poverty. India is poor materially; America is poor spiritually. And I am against all poverty. Man can be rich both, spiritually and materially. I don't see any problem in it. Why can't you sit silently in meditation in a beautiful palace? I don't think that the beautiful palace will disturb you. It is more possible sitting under the tree, the crows may disturb you, the falling leaves may disturb you, the ants may disturb you; but in a beautiful palace, meditation will be more easier. Lying in a jacuzzi, meditation will be more easier.
So I am not against materialism, I am not against spiritualism. I want them stand together. Only then man is complete.
But in the past, this has not been so. East has chosen half, the West has chosen half. And a half man is bound to be miserable.
Q: WHY DO YOU THINK THAT GERMANS AND SWISS PEOPLE ARE SO MUCH IMPRESSED WITH YOU?
A: There are reasons. The German people are interested in me because they have seen the futility of the politicians in the second world war; they have seen where the politicians can lead them.
They have also seen the ugliness of religious leaders, because the head Christian priest in Germany blesses Adolf Hitler for victory. And in England, the Archpriest blesses Churchill for victory. And they both are representative of the same God. Both have direct communication with the same God.
Germany has seen that all these religious people are just pretenders; and the politicians finally lead to war, to destruction. So the new generation is absolutely frustrated with these two types of people.
I am neither a politician, nor a religious leader. I teach a whole life, a total life. An atheist can be with me, a Christian can be with me, a Jew can be with me. I don't make any distinctions. No nations, no religions, no distinctions. And I don't make any conditions that to be with me you have to accept something on belief. I say, you experiment, and if you find it true then it is up to you to believe it or not. But I am not the one to give you a faith. I can give you only a method of inquiry. Truth will be your own experience.
(Tape side B: gap, some text missing) And Swedish people are interested in me.... Because there are only few countries which have kept a little balance - Swiss, Swedish - these two nations have kept a certain balance. They have not leaned too much towards materialism, and neither they have leaned too much towards spiritualism. They have tried to live a healthy and clean and as natural a life as possible. And my whole approach is natural. One has to be natural. One has not to go against nature in any way. Any effort to go against nature is going to create perversion, neurosis.
That is the reason that around the world the people who are remained somehow balanced, or attracted to me, because I am giving them a more balanced view of life. I want the new man to be Zorba the Buddha. He should be like a Zorba as far as body, matter and nature is concerned. And he should be a Buddha as far as spirit, intelligence, and flights of the inner being are concerned. And there is no conflict. Zorba can become a perfect base for Buddha to take over, to take off.
Q: ISN'T IT A SORT OF FASCISM WHEN A GROUP DESCRIBES ITSELF AS A HAVEN FOUND THE ONLY AND REAL ANSWERS TO ALL QUESTIONS?
A: It is fascist if the group says to you that we have found the real answer. Now you have only to believe it. You need not try to inquire. Then it is fascism.
But if the group says that we have found the answer and we are ready to show you the method so you can find it, and you can see that this is the answer by your own experience, then the group is not fascist. The group is simply making you aware that there is an answer found by some people. And you are invited.
They are not enforcing the answer on you. If they enforce, it is fascist. If they say, like Jesus says, "You have faith in me and I will save you, you just follow me," that is fascism. My people does not say, "Follow us." They simply say that, "We have found something."
Would you say Albert Einstein, when he says that, "I have found the theory of relativity," is a fascist? You cannot say, because he is not imposing it on you. He says, "I have found the theory of relativity, you can check it. You can go step by step and find it."
The same is true about my people. We are not telling anybody to become believers; we are telling everybody to be seekers.
Q: ANOTHER QUESTION: WHAT IS THE HISTORY OF THE TRADITION, ASSOCIATION OF ENLIGHTENED PEOPLE AT THE HIMALAYAS?
A: Himalaya must be the place where more enlightened people have happened than anywhere else, for the simple reason because the West was not interested in enlightenment. Only the East was interested in enlightenment.
So Himalaya just in the middle of the East; on the one hand is China and Tibet, on the other hand is India, Burma and other small countries, and all these people have been interested in enlightenment - to find a silent peaceful place. Himalaya was the natural choice. It is nothing special about Himalaya; it was a natural coincidence.
Indians moved to Himalaya to meditate, Burmese moved to Himalaya, Nepalese moved to Himalaya, Bhutanese moved to Himalaya, Tibetans moved to Himalaya, Chinese moved to Himalaya. Just the situation of Himalaya is such; from one corner of Asia it comes to the other corner of Asia, and it cuts on both the sides China and India, the biggest countries in the world. And both the countries are the most ancient countries in the world, too. And both the countries have been concerned about enlightenment for at least ten thousand years. So anybody who wanted a peaceful, silent, a beautiful place to meditate, Himalaya was incomparable. There is no other place. So it was just a natural coincidence.
If, in Europe, they were interested, perhaps Alps may have become their Himalaya. But they were not interested.
Q: HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE REMEMBERED?
A: I would not like to be remembered at all. Just forgotten and forgiven!
Q: WHAT CAN I TELL YOUR SANNYASINS IN SWITZERLAND AND GERMANY FROM YOU?
A: Just tell them that I love them, and wherever I am my love will be reaching them. Space is not a barrier.
Q: THANK YOU VERY MUCH BHAGWAN.