The real freedom

Fri, 20 January 1987 00:00:00 GMT
Book Title:
The Messiah, Vol 2
Chapter #:
pm in Chuang Tzu Auditorium
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Man is born with a soul, but not with a self.

Although all the dictionaries will be saying that these two words, "soul" and "self," are synonymous, it is not true. Soul you bring with yourself. The self is created by the society as a substitute so that you need not feel without identity... because the search for the soul may take long years of pilgrimage, of seeking and searching, and it will be impossible to bear a namelessness, an emptiness, a nobodiness.

The intention to create the self was out of love, so that from the very beginning you start feeling who you are; otherwise how will you live? How will you be addressed? The people who created the idea of the self were full of good intentions, but because they themselves had no idea of their own soul, they remained a man-created self and they died as a man-created self. They never came to know what existence has made them, and for what.

Your soul is part of existence.

Your self is a social institution.

So the first thing to remember is that the distinction is unbridgeable. If you want to seek and know who you really are, you will have to go through a radical change of destroying your own self, because if you don't destroy the self, and by some accident you come to discover the soul, you will not be one. That's what is called "schizophrenia" by psychologists.

You will be split. Sometimes you will behave like the self, and sometimes like a soul. You will be in a constant tension. Your life will become simply a deep anguish and anxiety - and it is impossible to live such a life. Hence the society, the educational system, the parents, the priest - everybody around you, tries in every way to create such a strong self that you never become aware of the hidden soul. The journey is not long, but certainly very arduous.

The self is not a simple thing - it is very complex. You are a brahmin, you are a doctor, you are a vice-chancellor, you are a president; you are beautiful, you are very knowledgeable, you are rich, superrich - all these dimensions are of the self. And the self goes on accumulating more money, more power, more prestige, more respectability - its ambition is unfulfillable.

You go on and on creating more and more layers of self.

This is the misery of man, the basic misery.

Man does not know who he is, yet he goes on believing that he is this, he is that. If you are a doctor, that is your function, not your reality; if you are a president, that is your function, just as somebody else's function is to make shoes. Neither the shoemaker knows his self nor the prime minister knows his self. Parents start from the very beginning, from the very first day... and this false ego, self, or whatever you call it, almost becomes your reality, and the real is forgotten.

The English word "sin" is very significant - not in the sense Christians use it, not in the sense it is being understood all over the world, but in its very roots the word comes with a totally different meaning. It means forgetfulness. It has nothing to do with your action, it has something to do with your reality that you have forgotten.

Because you have forgotten your reality, and you are living with a false substitute, all your actions become hypocritical. You smile, but the smile is not coming from your heart. You weep, you cry, but the tears are very superficial. You love, but your love has no roots in your being. All your actions are as if you are a somnambulist - a man who walks in his sleep.

It happened in New York that one somnambulist.... There are so many people, somnambulists, that you would not believe it - ten percent of the whole humanity. They get up in the night, they go to the fridge; they eat something which the doctor has forbidden them, because they are getting fatter and fatter and creating their own death, committing a slow suicide. In the day somehow they manage to repress, but in the night the conscious mind is fast asleep, and the unconscious does not miss the opportunity. It knows the way, and they walk with open eyes; even in the dark they don't stumble.

They are worried, their doctor is worried, their family is worried: "We have reduced your food, we are not giving you any sugar, and still you go on becoming fat!" And they are also worried that things go on disappearing from the fridge. And you cannot hold that person responsible, because he doesn't remember anything at all in the morning.

But this New York case became world-famous. This man used to live in a fifty-story building, on the last story. In the night he would get up, go to the terrace and jump across to the other house which was close by. The distance was such that nobody could have dared, with consciousness, to take such a jump - and it was an everyday routine!

Soon people became aware and started gathering underneath to see, because it was almost a miracle. The crowd started becoming bigger and bigger, and one day, when the man was just about to jump, the crowd shouted loudly, hailing the man. That made him wake up. But it was too late - he had taken the jump. He could not reach the other terrace - although each day he had been going to the other terrace, coming back, going to his room and falling asleep. But because he became conscious and he saw what he was doing.... But he had already taken the jump. He fell down from fifty stories and his body was shattered in fragments on the road.

The self of man is his sleep.

The soul is his awakening.

And to keep the self, the society has given you certain rules and disciplines. For example, every small child is made ambitious. Nobody says to anybody, "Just be yourself." Everybody is giving him great ideals: "Be a Gautam Buddha or a Jesus Christ or an Albert Einstein... but be someone! Don't just go on remaining yourself - you are nothing."

Your self needs many degrees, your self needs recognitions, honor. Those are its nourishments; it lives on them. And even the people who renounce the world - become sannyasins, monks - do not renounce their selves. It is easy to renounce the world; it is very difficult to renounce the self, because you don't know anything else about yourself. You know your business, you know your education, you know your name - and you know perfectly well you had come without a name. You had come a tabula rasa; nothing was written on you, and your parents and your teachers and your priests started writing all over you.

You go on believing in the self your whole life. It is very touchy, because it is very thin. Thin, in the sense that it is false. That's why the egoist is a very touchy person.

I used to go for a morning walk when I was a teacher in the university. I had no idea who he was, but there was an old man, and just because of his age I used to say, "Good morning," to him - and we were the only two persons at that early hour, three o'clock in the morning. One day I forgot to say good morning to the man, and he said, "Hey, have you forgotten?"

I said, "This is strange! I don't know you at all; it was just out of sheer courtesy towards an older man, who was as old as my grandfather, that I used to say good morning to you. But it is not a contract that I have to do it every day."

He was demanding it because it had become a fulfillment of a certain part of his self. I had no idea who he was, but he had every idea about me, and it was hurting to him that I had not said, "Good morning, sir."

I said, "I will never say it again to you - or to any old man - just out of courtesy, because I was poisoning your mind."

Have you ever wondered: you have entered the world without a name, but if somebody says something against your name you will be ready to fight without knowing, "I had come into the world without a name; this name is a false label."

You don't have any name - namelessness is your reality.

People who renounce the world are worshiped as saints, but nobody sees that their egos have become even more subtle, stronger than ever before.

I have heard that there were three Christian monasteries deep in the hills, and one day three monks, one from each monastery, just by chance met on the road. They were tired - they had been coming from the city - so they rested under a tree.

The first monk said, "I am proud of my monastery. We may not be as knowledgeable as the people who live in your monasteries, but you cannot compete with us as far as living in austerity is concerned."

The second monk laughed. He said, "Forget all about austerities! - austerity is nothing but torturing yourself. The real thing is the knowledge of your ancient scriptures. Nobody can compete with us.

Our monastery is the oldest, and we have all the scriptures, and our people are so scholarly. What about austerities? - that you fast, that you don't eat in the night, that you eat only one time a day.

How dare you? - all these things can be done by any idiot. But what wisdom have you gained?"

The third monk was listening silently. He said, "You both may be right. One lives in a very arduous and hard way, sacrificing his body; and the other may also be right - that his people are great scholars."

They both asked, "But what about you and your monastery?"

He said, "What about me and my monastery? We are the tops in humbleness."

Tops in humbleness! It is so difficult.... Now they have grown, for their self, a religious garment. It has become stronger. Hence I say even sinners may have reached to the ultimate shores of life, but not the saints... because the sinner knows he is neither living in austerity, nor is he knowledgeable, nor is he humble; he is just an ordinary person who knows nothing. And perhaps he is the person who is more religious because he is less of a self, and coming closer to his soul.

Almustafa is touching on very significant things; hence, don't just hear, but listen too. He says:


The real freedom is neither political, nor economical, nor social; the real freedom is spiritual. If it were not so, then Ramakrishna could not have become what he became - a light unto himself - because the country was living under the slavery of the British rulers. Then Raman Maharshi would not have been such a glory, such a silence, and such a blessing, because the British imperialism was still keeping the country under slavery.

Spiritual freedom cannot be touched.

Your self can be made a slave, but not your soul.

Your self is sellable, but not your soul. Almustafa is saying that if you want to know what real freedom is, you will have to go on dropping fragments of your self - forgetting that you are a brahmin, not a sudra; forgetting that you are a Christian, not just a human being; forgetting what your name is - knowing it is only an ordinary utility, but not your reality; forgetting all your knowledge - knowing that it is all borrowed, it is not your own experience, your own attainment.

The whole world may be full of light, but deep inside you are living in darkness. What use is the world full of light, when you don't even have a small flame inside you, slowly, slowly trying to understand that whatever has been added to you after your birth is not your true reality?

And as fragments of the self disappear you start becoming aware of an enormous sky, as vast as the sky outside... because existence is always in balance. The outer and the inner are in harmony and in balance. Your self is not that which is confined to your body; your real soul is that which will not be burned even if your body is burned.

Krishna is right when he says, nainam chhindanti shastrani - "No weapon can even touch me"...nainam dahati pravaka - "And neither can the fire burn me." He is not talking about the body, the brain, the self - they will all be destroyed - but there is something in you indestructible, immortal, eternal. It was with you before your birth and it will be with you after your birth, because it is you, your essential being.

To know it is to be free, free from all prisons: the prisons of the body, the prisons of the mind, the prisons that exist outside you.


Laws go on changing, constitutions go on changing. That shows that no law is ultimately true, no constitution is forever. As man's understanding grows, he has to change his laws, his constitutions, his governments - everything.

But Almustafa is saying, "Don't condemn anybody because the law that looks unjust...." For example, the law of the Hindu society that divides it into four castes is absolutely unlawful, unjust. It has no reasonable support for it - I have seen idiots who are born in a brahmin family. Just because you are born in a brahmin family, you cannot claim superiority.

I have seen people who are born in the lowest category of Hindu law, the sudras, the untouchables, so intelligent: when India became independent, the man who made the constitution of India, Dr.

Babasaheb Ambedkar, was a sudra. There was no equal to his intelligence as far as law is concerned - he was a world-famous authority.

Brahmins were not called; shankaracharyas were not called and told, "You are superior beings - you should make the constitution of this country," but a man who just by chance slipped out of the torturous, unlawful, unjust division of Hindu society. Somebody who had riches saw in the boy a great potential, and he sent him to England to study, because in India no sudra in those days was allowed in any school, college, or university. From the very roots their intelligence was destroyed.

Ambedkar was educated in England, and he became the world-famous authority as far as constitutions are concerned. And when he came back to India, India became free and there was no choice; nobody was even close to him....

But for five thousand years the Hindu society has remained immobile; no movement is allowed. Even a Gautam Buddha is not accepted as a brahmin; he remains belonging to the second category lower than the brahmins. And the brahmins have not been able to create a single Gautam Buddha. But the man who wrote the Hindu law code, Manu, was a brahmin, and naturally, prejudiced.

So for the brahmins there are all facilities, and for the lowest - who work the hardest, who do all the dirty work of the society.... In fact they deserve to be respected more, because the society can exist without brahmins, but the society cannot exist without those poor people. They are so absolutely essential, and still they are condemned. Even animals are better; they are below animals. Even their shadow, if by chance it falls upon you, makes you dirty; you have to go and take a bath. And this continues even today.

Everybody knows nobody can argue for the reasonability, justification, of this strange, fixed division.

No education, no understanding, not even enlightenment can move you from the fixed structure of the society; you cannot go higher.

And those who are born higher, they may be criminals. They are criminals, because all that they do are nonessential things. But they exploit the whole society in that they are uncreative, unproductive.

They are sitting on the chest of everybody to suck his blood, and still you have to respect them, you have to touch their feet.

Almustafa is saying, "Still, five thousand years ago, when Manu was writing this Hindu law, you were also involved in it" - because the same blood, and the same bones, and the same marrow goes on being inherited by everybody. So you cannot just get yourself free from the responsibility - that it is others who have done something unjust; you are also to feel the responsibility. His effort is to show that human society is an organic whole, so whatever is done by one part is done by the whole. At least either you support it or you remain silent, you do not oppose.

Certainly you were not there in the same body, but you must have been present somewhere, in some other body. Manu should have been opposed, but he has not been opposed for five thousand years. And if I oppose him today, I am opposing my own forefathers; I am not opposing anybody else.

I am condemned. I am ordered not to criticize anybody, but I am going to criticize anything that is unjust, because I am also part of it - however far away. Jesus is a cousin to me. Seeing anything unjust, if I do not criticize him then I also become a partner. Nobody will know it, but those who understand the deepest core of human being will not forgive me. Should I listen to the police commissioner of Poona, or should I listen to my own soul?

I am not criticizing anybody else; I am criticizing only my own heritage. Even if you are lost in the morning, if you come back home in the evening, you should not be considered lost. If I can correct something which is unjust - it may have been there for thousands of years, it does not matter: I have been a part in it, either actively or silently. But now that I have become aware that the whole humanity - not only the contemporary humanity but the whole humanity of the past and the future - is one single whole.... So when I criticize somebody, I criticize mercilessly, for the simple reason that I am criticizing myself.

To me, the Mohammedan, or the Hindu, or the Jaina, or the Buddhist, or the Christian, are arbitrary, artificial discriminations. Within me, Moses also has a part, just as Zarathustra has a part, just as Mahavira has a part. They are not somebody's properties. Nobody can monopolize Gautam Buddha; he is yours just as he is mine.

And unless I am merciless, it will be impossible to destroy the unjust, the unlawful, the unreasonable that we have inherited. I would like to burn it all! And remember, in burning it, I am burning something in me too.


Just burning the law books will not help; or even if you pour the whole sea upon your judges, it is not going to wash away all the crimes that we have committed in the name of religion, in the name of nation, in the name of riches. Any excuse seems to be enough. People can fight so easily - it seems they are just looking all around to find some excuse.

In a court there was a case.... Even the magistrate was surprised, because those two men were known in the whole area as bosom friends. What had happened? - because they had been fighting, hitting each other's heads, blood was oozing.... He could not believe it. He said, "What happened?

- you were the ideal of friendship."

Both stood, ashamed, in the court and each said, "You explain what happened." But the other said, "You explain what happened."

The magistrate said, "It does not matter who explains, just explain to me what happened."

They said, "We are ashamed to." One of them gathered courage and told the whole story: "We were sitting on the beach, and I said that I was going to purchase a buffalo." He was just going to purchase a buffalo - he had not purchased it.

The other had said, "I am going to purchase beautiful land to cultivate, and I warn you that your buffalo should never enter into my field. Our friendship is one thing, but I cannot see my crops being destroyed by your buffalo. I will kill it!"

Things became so hot that the other man said, "You will kill my buffalo? Let us see!"

On the sand of the beach he drew a small field and said, "This is your cultivation land," and the other man said, "Agreed. Now let your buffalo enter." This man, with the same finger that he had made the field, drew a line and said, This is my buffalo entering into your field. Now do what you can do!

Touch my buffalo!"

And of course the challenge was so great that buffalo and field were lost, forgotten completely:

"We started hitting each other, and we ended up in your court; that's why we are feeling ashamed.

Neither do I have any field nor does that idiot have any buffalo. Not only have we destroyed our friendship, we have shown our stupidity. I have nothing to say, but just forgive us."

The magistrate must have been a man of intelligence. He said, "All fights are like that, whether real or imaginary. The question is not on what excuse you fought - any excuse will do." People are burning to fight, as if in their heart there is only hate, violence; they have never tasted any love, any friendship.

So it is not going to help, just burning the scriptures, because those scriptures are not outside you. You can burn the MANUSMRITI - the basis of all Hindu ideology about social system, social structure; you can burn the holy KORAN, upon which millions of Mohammedans depend; you can burn THE HOLY BIBLE... almost half of humanity believes in it.

So burning the books is not going to help. Those books have entered into your blood, they have entered into your hearts; and unless you are ready to destroy the self which contains them all - Hindu or Mohammedan or Christian, it does not matter - unless you are ready to burn your false self, there is not going to be any real revolution in the world.


It is not only that for thousands of years human beings had been auctioned in the marketplace as slaves. Although now that kind of slavery does not exist, if you look a little deeper it has only changed its form. Now you have better slaves and less expense.

To have a slave, first you have to buy him. That is an investment. Then you have to keep feeding him; otherwise how is he going to work? You have to provide shelter, clothes; otherwise how is he going to serve? In sickness you have to take care of him, and call a doctor, and find medicines, because if he dies, your whole investment is gone down the drain. It is not the slave that you are trying to save; you are trying to save your investment. That is a very costly thing.

Having servants is simpler, easier, more economical - and on the surface it looks more human. To go into a marketplace and to auction for a man looks ugly - man is not a commodity. But if somebody comes seeking employment, you need not go to purchase a slave. This looks more human, but it is the same thing improved, made more reasonable - he himself is asking, and there is no investment.

If he becomes sick, you can get rid of him. If he becomes old, you can get rid of him. At the most, only in the advanced countries you may have to pay one month or two months' salary, or to give him an advance notice - that's all. This is slavery in a new form, not in any way favorable to the slaves; it is still favorable to the masters.

India has remained, for two thousand years, under slavery. Masters went on changing; slaves remained the same. My whole family was involved in the freedom struggle; everybody has been punished and jailed. I was continuously - because I was too young - fighting with my uncles, with my father, saying, "Can't you see a simple thing? For two thousand years in a country, which is not a country but a continent so vast that the whole of Europe can be accommodated in it, small countries like England, which is not bigger than a big district of India, control and rule. And it is not a single instance: Moguls came, Turks came, Mongols came, Hunas came. To anybody who wanted, this country was available, ready to be enslaved.

My point was that the real question is not to fight the people who have become your rulers. The real question is to fight within you the one who has become a slave. Otherwise this seems to be absolutely impossible. How could small groups of people come and rule all over the country?

Certainly there must have been a slave in everybody's being.

And you can see it even today. After forty years of freedom, what have you got? When China attacked India after freedom, the first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, was immensely annoyed.

Forces were sent, and they were defeated; China had taken over thousands of miles of beautiful Himalayas. And once they were defeated, Jawaharlal Nehru said, "That land was useless - not even grass grows there." Then why had you sent all those people to be murdered and butchered? - to save a land where nothing grows, not even grass.

Since then no Indian president or prime minister has even mentioned it, or said, "What about those thousands of miles of beautiful Himalayas? When are you going to return it?"

Pakistan has taken a part of Kashmir. The man who was in charge of the Indian armies, General Chaudhuri... his wife was very interested in me and in my ideas. She told me the inside story.

General Chaudhuri was ready, and he wanted to attack before the sun rose, before the Pakistani armies were even awake. And his logic was absolutely right: "We should not only take our part that Pakistan has taken, we should go deeper towards Lahore, which is not far away. We should take Lahore too."

Then you have the upper hand when the question of negotiations comes: "We can leave your Lahore to you; you leave our part to us." Otherwise how are you going to negotiate? For what? You are not giving anything, you are just asking for something. For forty years continuously India has been asking, "The part you have taken should be returned." But rather than returning it they have made it, constitutionally, part of Kashmir. Now it is not an invaded part, now it is an essential part of Kashmir.

And the Indian leaders have been silent; nobody has even objected.

General Chaudhuri was phoning continually to say, "Allow me to go ahead." But Jawaharlal Nehru and his cabinet could not decide; they said, "You have to wait until sunrise." And you will be surprised to know that if he had waited until sunrise the whole of Kashmir would have gone into the hands of Pakistan.

He did not wait - he was a real, courageous man - but they delayed him so much that he started attacking just nearabout when the sun was going to rise, without the orders from the prime minister.

It was through his courage that Pakistan could take only a small part - but the most beautiful part, and the most significant part as far as military science is concerned, because that small part allows Pakistan to be joined with China. That small part is so significant - without it the boundaries of China and Pakistan were separate. Pakistan has taken that part, and now China has made a thousands- of-miles-long superhighway, reaching to Lahore. Both are the enemies of India, and now they are connected.

Chaudhuri was insisting, "Allow me.... Forget about that part, because Pakistan is focused on taking it. Let them take it - don't waste time. Allow me: I will take Lahore, their most important city" - and it was only fifteen miles away, a few minutes' job. But the cabinet discussed and discussed - this country is very clever as far as discussing is concerned; for centuries it has been discussing everything, and doing nothing.

As they became aware that Chaudhuri was going to take over Lahore, they stopped him and said, "Without our orders, who are you?" and Chaudhuri was punished, retired before his time. His wife was telling me, "If he had been allowed to take Lahore, we would have had an immediate solution to the problem. Pakistan would not have been ready to lose Lahore, because Lahore joins us with Afghanistan and the Soviet Union."

Chaudhuri was very clear in his conception that they would not take the risk of India becoming joined by road, by railway trains, to the Soviet Union. They would have rather changed and negotiated: "You can take the part we have taken, and you give the part that you have taken."

This country has learned, in two thousand years, to be slaves. So even though forty years of freedom have passed, there is no freedom anywhere - only in the words of the constitution; otherwise how could the police commissioner have dared to prevent me... and tell me to leave Poona within thirty minutes, on the grounds that I am controversial?

I simply want to know: Has there been anybody in the whole world who was of any significance and not controversial? Was Jesus not controversial? If he had remained just with his father in his carpentry, I don't think people would have crucified him. They did not crucify his father.

Was Buddha not controversial? But was he ordered by any kingdom...? India was divided into two thousand kingdoms at his time, and he was moving freely from one kingdom into another; not even a visa was asked, not even a passport. And nobody can be more controversial than Gautam Buddha, because he was against the VEDAS, which are the base of the Hindu religion. He was against the brahmins, who are the priests and the lawgivers of Hinduism. Still nobody prevented him just because he was controversial.

It seems we have become such slaves in our minds that we have written a constitution which is simply a copy of all the best constitutions of the world; we have chosen fragments from here and there. Whenever I think of the Indian constitution I always, without exception, remember a small story: It was Darwin's birthday, and the children of his neighborhood wanted to present him with something, because he was the most famous man, and of course the most controversial man, of his time. He was very friendly with children and used to play with them; they were all his friends.

For his birthday, they were thinking about what to present him. Because his single-minded interest was to know about animals, birds, how life has arisen, why life has taken so many forms, what the children did was - children are very intelligent before they are corrupted by their elders - they gathered a few insects and cut pieces from them: wings from one, legs from another, a body from the third, a head from the fourth - from different insects - and they glued them and made a new insect. They waited to see whether Charles Darwin, the greatest expert on insects and animals and birds, could even say what kind of insect this was.

They were very much excited, and in the evening they brought it to him. Even Darwin could not figure it out. He had seen... over his whole life he had been around the world. But these little children of his neighborhood, where had they found such an original insect? Then he looked closely - he was getting old - and he said, "Bring my glasses... because I have never seen such an insect."

And when he put on his glasses, the children said, "Now tell us the name of the insect."

He said, "This is a humbug!"

The Indian constitution is a humbug: something from the Soviet constitution, something from the American constitution, most of the English constitution, and from every other country whatever they could find which is good, sounds good - freedom of the individual, no discrimination, freedom of expression, government by the people of the people for the people. Everything is borrowed. It looks good when you read it, but it is not applicable.

Because I am controversial I should leave Poona within thirty minutes. Where should I go? - because I will be controversial wherever I am! And if to be controversial is a crime, then there is no place for me anywhere in my own country, which goes on bragging to the whole world that this is the greatest democracy.

This is the freedom for which my whole family fought, went to jail, suffered. And because all the elders of the family were suffering, only women were left in the house; the business was closed. We were children, small children, and we were suffering because there was even no money to pay the school fee. And this is the freedom for which not only my family, but thousands of families, suffered, thousands of people died.

And they were all controversial people.... Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Dr. Ambedkar - they were all controversial people. If you have even a little intelligence you are bound to be controversial. Only in the armies is your intelligence crushed and destroyed so that you cannot say no, even if you see something is wrong. You have been trained to say yes in every condition.

I am not a soldier, neither am I a saint - because saints are also very afraid of controversy; their whole reputation.... Just today I heard that one young Jaina nun - just twenty-one years old, but she must be very daring - escaped. And everybody thought - it happened in Indore, which is a very Jaina-dominated city - everybody thought somebody had abducted her. But that was wrong, because soon her letter came: "Nobody has abducted me. I am now adult; I have passed my twenty- first year. Now it is my right to choose my life. I don't want to remain a Jaina nun. I have fallen in love with a young man, and I want to live the way I want.

"And don't try to find me; otherwise I will expose everything about what kind of inhuman treatment has been given to me and what is going on behind the scene, behind the screen. All kinds of things which the Jaina monk and the Jaina nun go on teaching to people are wrong things - behind the screen all those things are happening. And I don't want to be tortured.

"If you try to find me I am going to expose everything. Then don't blame me. In the first place, to force me when I was very young and could not understand what you were doing... I became a nun."

The Jainas are very angry; they want the girl to appear in the high court. Seeing her letter, I feel that she is capable of exposing them; and if she is not, I invite her to come to me. I will appear with her in the high court and will expose all the inhuman behavior that goes on behind the walls - all kinds of sexual perversion. The same people are teaching that celibacy is divine - and none of them is a celibate. If anyone is a celibate, let him come out and be examined in a medical college. Except that... just his word is not enough. I know them very intimately - this is the situation all over the world.

In one monastery of Christians in Europe, half of the monks are fighting with the other half, and the monastery is divided now into two parts, because half of the monks are saying that everybody in the monastery is homosexual. The other half are trying to save their face and saying that this is not right. But if you force so many young people, full of sexual energy, into one place and don't allow any contact with the other sex, what do you expect from them? Yes, they will teach celibacy and they will behave just the opposite of their own teaching.

So the real thing is not to burn the scriptures.

The real thing is to burn the self which carries inside you the scriptures, the tradition, the past and all kinds of rotten things and superstitions. The dead people seem to be very cunning: they go on dominating the living people. What right has anybody to dominate the children of the future?

I have been asked again and again, "What about the future? What will happen to sannyasins, their children, when you are gone? You should write the discipline, the code, the morals; you should give them the ideals."

But I will be dead - and I am against the dead ruling the living. The living should find their own life, their own discipline, their own morals. And they will be living in a different time, in a different age, in a different atmosphere. Nobody should look backwards, and nobody should try to control even those who are not born.

Just live your life with as much joy and celebration, as a gift of God. Dance with the trees in the sun, in the rain, in the wind. Neither do the trees have any scriptures, nor do the animals have any scriptures; neither do the stars have any scriptures, nor do they have any saints. Except man, nobody is obsessed with the dead. This obsession I call one of the greatest mistakes which has been committed over thousands of years. It is time it should be stopped completely.

For each new generation, leave the space open to search, to find the truth, because finding the truth is less blissful than searching for it. The pilgrimage is the real thing, not the reaching to the temple.


Help your children to be proud, not obedient, not slaves. Help them to be free. Teach them that there is no higher value than freedom of living and freedom of expression. Make them capable...

that if the need arises it is better to die than to accept any kind of slavery.

But this is not being done. And unless it is done you cannot save the world from Adolf Hitlers, Joseph Stalins, Mao Tse-tungs, Ronald Reagans - you cannot save humanity from tyrants, dictators. In fact, deep down you desire them. Deep down you want somebody to dictate the terms and style of your life. You are so afraid of committing mistakes... because if you are free, naturally you will commit many mistakes. But remember, that is the way of life.

Many times you will fall. There is no harm. Get up again and learn not to fall. Be more alert. You will commit mistakes, but don't commit the same mistake again. This is how one becomes wise. This is how one becomes an individual, a proud man like a cedar tree rising high, reaching to the stars.

Don't be pygmies. Try to reach to the ultimate height of which you are capable.


What are your anxieties? What are your problems that are torturing you? You have chosen them; they have not been imposed on you. Who has told you to be jealous of somebody who is more intelligent, of somebody who is stronger, of somebody who is richer? Why have you chosen to be jealous? Your jealousy will destroy your energy unnecessarily. Rather than being jealous, find out what you can do with your energy, what you can create.

And I say unto you that not a single man is born in the world who has not a certain capacity which will make him proud, who is not pregnant with something to produce, to give birth to something new and beautiful, to make the existence richer. There is not a single man who has come into the world empty.

Have you seen children when they are born? Their hands are closed. A closed hand, a fist, is a mystery: one never knows what is hidden inside. And have you seen the dead man? When somebody dies... have you seen any dead man with a fist? It is impossible. A dead man dies with an open hand, empty, spent. These are only metaphors. I am saying a child is born full of possibilities - he need not be jealous of anyone.

I have never felt jealous of anyone; however great they may be - Lao Tzu or Moses or Krishna or Buddha - I have not felt jealous. I have simply felt immensely happy that at least a few people realized their potential. And it has given me the incentive: "You are also a man belonging to the same race. If Buddha can rise to such a height, certainly you can rise to the same height in some direction. Perhaps you may rise higher, because twenty-five centuries have not gone in vain. You are richer than any Buddha, because twenty-five centuries of learning, experience, and twenty-five centuries of thousands reaching to the same heights - Kabir, Nanak, Jesus, Rabindranath.... Why cannot you?" Except yourself, nobody is preventing you.


What can one take away from you? At the most your life, which is anyway going to disappear one day. And if somebody can be made happy, why miss the chance? Let him be happy! But there is no need to be afraid.

I have been going around the world alone, without any firearms, and I have been fighting with people who have nuclear weapons. And it is strange that they are afraid; I am not afraid. Sometimes I have even wondered: either they are mad or I am mad. They have all the powers to destroy me.

I don't believe in destroying anything, not even an ant. My whole philosophy can be called a reverence for life.

Why are they afraid? The seat of fear is in their own heart. Now it is one year, more than one year, since they destroyed my commune in America. But they destroyed it only after they had arrested me and forced me to leave America, because they knew perfectly well that if I am there.... For two years they had been trying to come, but.... We had sent them invitations - to the president of America, to the attorney general of America, to the governor of Oregon: "You are welcome; you just come and see. Don't go on deciding on rumors."

None of them had the courage even to visit the commune. And the commune was in a desert - the nearest American town was twenty miles away; we were not in fact in America. And we were not doing anything to them. Still, on the boundary of the commune they had gathered thousands of armed guards. Strange people.

And the attorney general, Mr. Meese, who is now in trouble - everybody who has committed the crime against the innocent people of the commune is going to have trouble. Every cause produces its effect. This man, the attorney general of America, was the cause. And in a press conference a representative from his office admitted, "Our first priority was to destroy the commune." But why?

Why should it be your priority to destroy the commune?

Asked, "Why did you not send Osho into jail?" he said, "First, we were not ready to make him a martyr." Certainly the desire was there, but also the fear that if they put me in jail, all their embassies around the world would be burned; it would be made difficult for every American to live outside America.

In making me a martyr they would help my work, because my people would become stronger and would come together with force. And those who had always been sympathizers and lovers would come out of their dark holes to support me.

And thirdly, he said, "Osho has not committed any crime. We don't have any evidence, any proof."

The same man was standing in the court against me and forced the judge to fine me four hundred thousand dollars, nearabout sixty lakh rupees. He must have been thinking that I don't even have pockets: from where am I going to produce four hundred thousand dollars? He was shocked because my people, who were present in the court, collected the money within ten minutes.

The jailer told me, "Your people have shocked all of us. Even the richest man in the country would find it difficult... because all his money is invested. Four hundred thousand dollars your people managed, and threw it on the table before the judge."

Now it becomes a strange case. He is accepting that I have not committed any crime. Then for what have I been punished? Just because I criticized Christianity - and Ronald Reagan is a fanatic Christian. I had challenged him, I had challenged the pope. They can all be together; I alone am enough for an open, public debate on the fundamentals of Christianity, because they are so idiotic that nobody can support them on reasonable, logical grounds.

How can you support the idea that Jesus is born out of a virgin mother? Just produce another child out of a virgin mother. You are speaking against the whole medical science... that Jesus is the only begotten son of God. What happened to God? Has He started following birth control?

Or perhaps He has become impotent? Or perhaps Friedrich Nietzsche is right, that He is dead.

But what happened - why should there be only one child? Even beggars in India create dozens of children.

And in the Christian trinity there is no woman: God the Father, God the Son, Jesus Christ, and a certain strange guy, the Holy Ghost. What are these three fellows doing without a woman? These are very pertinent questions today. Certainly it is a gay group.

They will have to prove.... They have all the powers. Now it has been one year that my people are being continually told by the prime minister of Italy, "We are going to give the visa next week." It is now one year! And just the other day one sannyasin came from Italy and he said, "Now he is saying that a fresh application is needed. We are sorry, because the time... one year has passed." But whose fault is it? It is not that we were not reminding him. Our sannyasins were sitting there the whole day, for the whole year!

But the pope is the problem; he was insisting that I should not be allowed in Italy. And these powerful people, prime ministers and presidents.... I am not powerful, but deep down there is fear. I have every right - because I am only asking for a three-week tourist visa - but the prime minister is afraid:

the country is Catholic, elections are coming near, and if the pope is not listened to, then Catholic votes will not be given to him. What kind of power is this, that depends on others? If they give you their vote you are a beggar, and constantly afraid.

Now in Italy it has almost become a great problem because one hundred and fifty celebrities, Nobel prize-winning people, scientists, painters, poets, world-famous actors, actresses have all signed a petition for me saying that this is absolutely against the freedom of expression and freedom of movement.

Now the prime minister is in much more difficulty because these one hundred and fifty people are world-famous: they also have weight. If they all go against him in the elections, then even the pope will not be able to save him. That's why he is saying, "A fresh application, a little more time...." Really he wants the time to pass so that this election passes. Then for five years he will not be afraid. But he is wrong.

Whenever I go into Italy... I have a standing challenge for the pope. And I don't want him to be here or amongst my people - I have many sannyasins in Italy - I want him to have an open discussion in the Vatican before all the Catholics. So he need not be worried; all his people will be there, and I will enter alone.

I know truth has a power of its own. And this Polack pope certainly knows that he has no answers for me. And it is better to avoid confrontation because my simple proposal is: If I am defeated I will become a Catholic; but if you are defeated I become the pope! A simple proposition. Then the Vatican becomes my kingdom.

And even if I get the visa I can predict it: for those three weeks he will escape from Italy. I am just closing the door so he cannot escape.


Your life is a hell for a simple reason: nothing is whole in you; everything is divided. You are living a life of contradictions. You desire something, and at the same time you are afraid to desire it. You feel something is very attractive but you are also afraid, and half of you says it is repugnant. ...the pursued and that which you would escape.... You are doing both the things together.

Just watch yourself. When you condemn something, just look within yourself; there must be some appreciation. And when you love, just behind it, like a shadow, follows the hate.

So it is not accidental that couples are continually fighting, and loving also. In fact, every fight ends in love. By and by it becomes such a conditioning that if they don't fight they cannot love - just like small children. They go on carrying their teddy bear - dirty, greasy, looking like an Italian pope. They want to get rid of it, but they have become so accustomed to it, they cannot sleep without it. Only when they are hugging their teddy bear will they go to sleep.

The husband may be fighting with the wife, but unless some negotiation happens he cannot feel at peace, at rest. He will bring ice cream, flowers, a new sari. He will feel at ease only when the wife shows signs that it is time to drop the fight: "It is late and we have to go to sleep." They both have become teddy bears to each other.

In one neighborhood, everybody was fighting, every couple was fighting.... And have you noticed?

When a woman throws anything at you - a saucer, a cup - it never hits you. It is half-hearted. She does not want to hurt you because if you are hurt, immediately she will run and find the ointment and.... But why in the first place hurt the poor fellow? Husbands and wives have found a very good thing to fight with: that is pillows. They don't hurt each other; they throw the pillows at each other, and they shout at each other.

The whole neighborhood was worried because one Sardarji who used to live in the same apartment building... from his apartment nobody heard anybody screaming or anybody shouting. On the contrary, they always heard laughter every night. They could not believe it: Are they really husband and wife, or has he abducted somebody else's wife? Why do they go on laughing? for what?

One day the whole neighborhood gathered around the Sardarji as he was getting out of his taxi - he was a taxi driver - and they asked, "We cannot resist the temptation any more. What is the secret?

- because we come home and a fight starts, and it goes on late into the night. You are an exception - just laughter! Just tell us your secret. We would also like to laugh."

The Sardarji said, "It would have been better that you had not asked, but if you are so curious to know, I will tell you the truth. The truth is that when she throws something at me, if she misses, I laugh. And if she hits me, she laughs. This is an agreement. So you always hear laughter; but we are in the same boat - there is no difference at all."

Man is divided in himself. You are never doing anything whole-heartedly - a half embrace. Such a state cannot create peace, silence, joy.

These things move within you as lights and shadows in pairs that cling.... Here is light; just outside the net the darkness is waiting.


There are layers and layers and layers in you. You peel one layer, another fresh layer is found.


These are immensely important statements. The journey is eternal; never think that the pilgrimage stops somewhere. You get rid of one thing, and suddenly you see another thing is waiting. Again you are fettered; as you get rid of it you find something even more subtle that you have never seen before.

These statements are true, but Kahlil Gibran does not know anything beyond your mind. He goes the deepest in the mind - deeper than any Sigmund Freud, or Jung, or Adler, or Assagioli - but he never goes beyond the mind. And in the East our approach has been just totally different. We know the mind is like an onion - layers upon layers. Why waste time? Just transcend it. Fifteen years of continual psychoanalysis and still the man is the same; nothing changes.

But only a small effort towards meditation... and meditation is just a step out of the mind. Leave the mind behind; there is no need to go on peeling its layers.

You are not the mind, just as you are not the body.

You are part of an immortal life.

Your body, your mind are all centered on a false self. As you go beyond the self, you suddenly discover a sky that has no limits. A few have called it God, a few have called it Brahma, but the best word is used by Mahavira and Gautam Buddha: they have called it moksha. Moksha means "total freedom" - freedom from all that binds you, freedom from all that is false, freedom from all that is going to die. And as you become free from all that is false and mortal, immediately doors of immortality open for you.

The VEDAS have declared you amritasya putrah: sons and daughters of immortality. And except meditation, there has never been any way and there will never be any way.

Those who miss meditation miss the whole dance of life.

I hope that none of you misses that dance, that song, that music of eternity.

Okay, Vimal?

Yes, Osho.

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"Which are you first, a Jew or an American? A Jew."

(David Ben Gurion)