WHY IS THE WORLD SO CONCERNED WITH THE ROLLS ROYCES AND THE WATCHES THAT YOU USE?
A: Because the world is so poor, because this is what they all want and cannot get. They are not concerned about my enlightenment, they are not concerned about my peace, about my silence, about my blissfulness. Those are not their needs. They need a Rolls Royce, they need a diamond watch, and in their need, they become so confused that they cannot see that I don’t have a Rolls Royce. Those ninety-three Rolls Royces belong to the commune. I have not taken one with me. I had never gone even to see those ninety-three Rolls Royces. Just, whenever I needed, the commune gave me for one hour or two hours, the car was brought to me. I never owned them.
Why people are concerned? Then certainly they need. Then more Rolls Royces will be here. Until they stop asking me, the Rolls Royces are going to be here more and more. Now it has to be seen. It is a challenge. The day nobody asks me about Rolls Royces, they will not be coming.
People’s interest in Rolls Royces shows their mind. They are not interested what is happening here. They don’t ask about meditation. They don’t ask about sannyas. They don’t ask about people’s life, love, the laughter that happens in this desert. They only ask about Rolls Royce.
That means I have touched some painful nerve. And I will go on pressing it till they stop asking.
I am not a worshiper of poverty. That’s what those Rolls Royces prove. I respect wealth. Nobody before me has the guts to say it. The pope cannot say that he respects wealth, although he is the wealthiest man on the earth.
I am not a hypocrite. I am the poorest man on the earth.
I don’t have a single cent with me. But I want to prove to these people that what attracts their mind.
If there were no Rolls Royces here, perhaps there was nothing for the whole world to be asked about me, about you, about meditation, about initiation into sannyas, about love, about anything.
It is for those idiots that I am keeping all those Rolls Royces, because they cannot move their eyes away from those Rolls Royces. And meanwhile I will go on pouring other things in their minds.
Without those Rolls Royces they would not have asked a single question.
Those Rolls Royces are doing their work. Every idiot around the world is interested in them. And I want them to be somehow interested – in anything in Rajneeshpuram. Then we will manage about other things.
So tell those people – anybody asks, tell that, ‘These Rolls Royces are for you idiots. Otherwise you are not interested in anything. Once you stop asking about Rolls Royces, then I will have to think for something else: whether to have rockets which are going to the moon. Something else I will have to think about.’
Strange, that people are not interested in my teaching, in me, in my way of life. They are interested in the Rolls Royces. It shows their mind.
‘You are not interested in my realization, you are not interested in the eternity of the soul, you are not interested in the art of love, you are interested in Rolls Royces. That shows the poverty of the people and their minds. And that also shows their ambition.’
DO YOU MISS THE ROLLS ROYCES?
‘I never miss anything. But it seems the whole world is missing my Rolls Royces. It is a very insane world. When the Rolls Royces were there, they were jealous; now that they are gone, they are missing them.
Every day when I went for the morning talk or the evening interview, one car was brought to me. It does not matter whether there are ninety-three, or nine hundred, or nine – or none. But the whole world was concerned about the Rolls Royces.
One bishop in America was continually condemning my Rolls Royces in his sermons. I created so much jealousy. They could not understand, they could not see, they were absolutely blind. They could not see that no man can use even two Rolls Royces together, so there must be something else behind this whole scene.
There was. I was attacking the very egoistic idea of America that they are the richest people in the world. And I still challenge them: if anybody has the guts, just produce ninety-three Rolls Royces.
This bishop, seeing that soon I will be arrested because the government and the fundamentalist Christians were determined to destroy the commune, wrote me a letter, saying, “Now that you will be going, can you give one Rolls Royce to my church in charity?” And this same man, for years, had been condemning them! All the condemnation was nothing but deep jealousy.
I informed him, “I can give you all the Rolls Royces. Do you have space in your church?” He wrote back to say, “No, I don’t want ninety-three, because that will destroy me! Just one …” I said, “I am not that miserly. Either ninety-three or none.” He became silent.
The whole world is against me because they are jealous of me – because I live comfortably and I want the whole world to live comfortably – that is part of my mission to make it clear that poverty is not religion, that if we can make the whole world luxurious there will be thousands of Gautam Buddhas blossoming, because when you have everything, then the only search left is for your own self.
It is the question of all poor people, ambitious people. They would have loved to see me naked, standing in the snow and then they would have worshiped me.
It simply shows the mind of the world. The world is not interested in truth, the world is interested in something sensational. Truth is not sensational. The world is not interested in enlightenment, the world is more interested in Rolls Royces.
I wanted the world to know that we have ninety-three Rolls Royces because that is the only way to make any bridge to the world. And then I can talk about truth and enlightenment too, by the side. Without Rolls Royces there is no communication at all. I know my business perfectly well.
Everything I did and I do is concerned with people’s psychology, in what they are interested. And then I can turn them towards what I am interested, but first let me have their hand in my hand.
It is part of my whole device to change the very structure of human consciousness.
The past has revered poverty, asceticism, masochistic attitudes. A man was respected if he was renouncing all that is pleasant, all that is comfortable. He was respected for torturing himself – the greater the torture, the greater the respect. The whole human past is masochistic, and all the religions have contributed to this insanity.
My effort is to change such a vast past and its influence. So it has been only a device. I have not been creating desires for materialistic things in people; they are there without anybody’s creating them. Yes, they have been repressed so deeply that people have even forgotten that they had them. I am not creating them; I simply want to remove the cover-up, the repression, and to make the person realize that he wants a Rolls Royce more than enlightenment.
This realization will be a basic step towards enlightenment, because it will make him aware of his own reality, his greed.
All the traditions and the whole past have done just the opposite. The so-called saint, in all the traditions, lives in such a way that you will never feel jealous of him. Note that point.
You will feel sympathetic towards him, respectful towards him; but respectfulness is not your reality, sympathy is not your nature. The saint is torturing himself, that is not his nature either. He is being unnatural to gain respect, to fulfill his ego. He is not interested in spiritual growth; he is interested in respectability, in being worshipped like a god. And he is ready to do anything for it.
He is living in an illusion, and he is creating a great illusion in people who come to him. He helps them to feel that they are religious, that they are spiritual, because they respect a saint, they worship a saint. They are not yet ready to do such ascetic disciplines for themselves, but they hope some day … this is their ideal. They are completely forgetting that they are jealous human beings. And the saint is helping them to forget their jealousy; he is helping them to repress it.
My work is bound to be totally different. I want to provoke your jealousy, because that is the only way to get rid of it. First you have to know that you have it; then you can drop it, because it is misery and hell. But you can repress it so deeply that the question of dropping it does not arise.
I have lived in abundance because to me there is no division between the material and the spiritual.
I will be condemned, I will be criticized. Every religion, every tradition, every morality, every ethical code is going to condemn me. That does not surprise me! I expect it, because what I am saying and doing is changing the very course of human consciousness.
I don’t think that by torturing yourself you can meditate more easily; on the contrary, if your body is pleasantly at ease you can meditate more easily. I don’t think that when you are fasting you can meditate. You can only think of food and nothing else; you will dream of food and nothing else. But if you are well fed, well nourished, you don’t think of food – there is no need. The body is completely satisfied, it does not create any disturbance.
To live pleasurably, to live joyously is not against meditation. It is really the basic need of meditation. I know many kinds of ascetics but I have never seen any intelligence in them, I have never seen any creativity in them. I have never seen in their eyes a light of the beyond, or in their gestures some message that cannot be said through words. They don’t have anything. They are simply starving – and starving because it fulfills the ego, because the more they starve, the more they torture themselves, more and more people come to worship them.
Now this is to me just an insane chapter in the history of man; it has to be closed. It is time that we start a new chapter – natural, existential, life-affirmative – and create a bridge between the body and the soul … not a wall but a bridge.
There is no need for any conflict and war. Fighting with yourself, you are not going to get anything; you will be simply destroying yourself slowly. All your so-called saints are mostly mentally sick, and they have made the whole of humanity sick.
My interest was something else: to provoke the jealousy of the American so-called rich.
Now you can see the mind … I was teaching meditation to thousands of people; America was not interested in it. Thousands of people were coming to the commune; America was not interested in it. Each festival, there were twenty thousand people coming from all over the world; America was not interested in it. The whole of the news media were continuously talking about ninety-three Rolls Royces.
I used to think, perhaps in a poor country this could be expected … but I destroyed the pride of America! I don’t need ninety-three Rolls Royces. It was a practical joke, and not even a single so-called intellectual of America could realize the fact that I cannot use ninety-three Rolls Royces simultaneously. And all were of the same model, the latest model; there was no difference between one car and another. Even the president of the Rolls Royce company came to visit, because this was the first time that in a single individual’s garage, there were ninety-three Rolls Royces. But I never went to that garage.
I have found freedom in dropping being respectable. Respectability is a social strategy to keep you imprisoned.
It is better to be notorious, because it gives you immense freedom. I am a notorious man. People go on condemning me. The moment I come to know that they are condemning me for a certain thing, then I go on doing the same thing on a bigger scale. I had only one Rolls Royce. They started condemning me, so I told my secretary, ‘Arrange for two.’
They were condemning me – a spiritual man, an enlightened person, having Rolls Royces when people are dying of starvation?
Perhaps I am the first man in the history of mankind who does not care a bit about respectability. What respectability? From ignorant people? I don’t have to make considerations for anyone. I just depend on my spontaneity and my consciousness.
COULDN’T YOU TELL YOUR PEOPLE TO GIVE THEIR MONEY FOR SOMETHING ELSE, OTHER THAN FOR ROLLS ROYCES?
A: All other religions are doing that. Let them do that as their work. Let me do my work. All other religions are looking after the poor. At least leave me alone to look after the rich.
You want that the poor should be given bread, butter, clothes, shelter, that there are sick people who need hospitals, that there are beggars in the world … something has to be done for them, and this should be my sannyasins’ responsibility.
I don’t consider it my sannyasins’ responsibility. If there are poor people in the world, the priests and the politicians, and the scientists and the educationalists all are guilty of it. They have created a world which has to be poor and they exploit the poverty in many ways. For example, Mother Teresa. These people who have been serving the poor, catering to the poor, are helping the poor to remain poor. Otherwise, the poor either would have died out of poverty, or would have gone through a great revolution and changed the whole structure of the society, destroyed the whole status quo, throw these governments away …
For example, in Ethiopia where thousands of people are dying every day, the priests and the bishops and the popes and politicians are all just sympathy for Ethiopia. And they are trying to send food, medicine, but their whole effort is very hypocritical. On the one hand they want to save the poor in Ethiopia, on the other hand they are piling up nuclear weapons. For whom? They are not life-loving people, they are showing sympathy to Ethiopia just as part of diplomacy. It has nothing to do with service to humanity, because their small support that they are sending is not going to help, it has not helped. It is almost like dropping a teaspoon full of sugar in the ocean to make it sweet. Great responsibility you are fulfilling: you destroyed one cup of tea!
I am not in favor of sending any help to Ethiopia. Only one thing is possible: if these big dodos around the world, presidents and prime ministers and kings and queens, if they are really concerned with Ethiopia, then there are alternatives for them. Stop piling up weapons and divert the whole money and energy towards Ethiopia, and Ethiopia will be saved today.
Either do something – that means stop piling nuclear weapons, that is my first alternative. If you are really sympathetic towards dying people, then why are you creating weapons for death? That is simple hypocrisy. Stop! If you are really concerned with dying people, then whatsoever is happening in Ethiopia is nothing to what has happened in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Those few moments, the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki have suffered as much as one can suffer in the Christian hell. And you have now seven hundred times more nuclear weapons than there were available at the time of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And they go on piling up.
On the one hand, seventy-five percent of the income of every country goes to war; and on the other hand, these politicians really have beautiful masks. When Ethiopia is there and people are dying, you are so sympathetic and you want to save Ethiopia … These two things don’t go together, they are inconsistent.
So my first alternative is that the nations should stop creating more war, and the poverty not only from Ethiopia, but from the whole world, will disappear today. The poverty is there because our whole energy is involved with war, with the preparation for war.
And if you cannot do it, then at least don’t be a hypocrite. Be direct and say, “Let Ethiopia die. We don’t care. We are going to make more nuclear weapons and we are going to have a third world war, and what does it matter?’