The Rolls Royces

‘All my efforts are to shock people. My ninety Rolls Royces have shocked millions of people around the earth. Can you see the joke?’

One of Osho’s modus operandi is to mirror what society holds dear. In India he blasts all the sacred cows of religion and religious superstition, including Gandhism and Mother Teresa.

In the US, the religion is basically materialism. So he chooses a major symbol of capitalist greed, the Rolls Royce. And he encourages his sannyasins to buy a huge fleet of them.  He doesn’t own the cars – in fact he doesn’t own anything at all. But he has the cars painted in flamboyant designs and drives one each day. The media jump on this, which is his point.

He says, ‘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… They are not interested what is happening here. They don’t ask about meditation. 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.’

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.

‘There was no need for ninety-three Rolls Royces. I could not use ninety-three Rolls Royces simultaneously. But I wanted to make it clear to you that you would be ready to drop all your desires for truth, for love, for spiritual growth to have a Rolls Royce. I was knowingly creating a situation in which you would feel jealous. The function of a master is very strange. He has to help you come to an understanding of your inner structure of consciousness: it is full of jealousy. I want to provoke your jealousy, because that is the only way to get rid of it.’

‘My interest was to provoke the jealousy of the American so-called rich. The Americans think they are the richest people in the world. But I created a simple joke with ninety-three Rolls Royces and all their pride was gone.’ More.

The US author Tom Robbins sums it up succinctly: ‘A lot of people don’t get the punchline. How many, for example, realized that [his] ridiculous fleet of Rolls-Royces was one of the greatest spoofs of consumerism ever staged?’

One of the criticisms about the cars is – think of all the charity you could do instead. This allows Osho to make more points: ‘For thousands of years, all the religions of the world have preached charity, service, giving. But look at the world they have created. Is poverty, misery, any the less for it? If there are poor people in the world, the priests and the politicians, and the scientists and the educationalists all are guilty of it.’

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