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Development of Osho's Teaching

I was known all over the country as the acharya. The acharya means a master, a teacher, and I was a teacher, and I was teaching and travelling. That was just the introductory part of my work; that was to invite people. trans204

In his last moments said he had been calling for one hundred people to come forward to work with him, but that they had not come and that he was dying a very unhappy and disappointed man. Vivekananda was convinced that he could have changed the world if those hundred men had come forward. But they never came. And Vivekananda died.

I have decided not to call but to go to the villages and search out those hundred men. I will look deep into their eyes to fathom the depths of their souls. And if they do not heed my call I will bring them forward by force, by compulsion. If I am able to bring together one hundred such men I assure you that the souls of those hundred men will stand out like Mount Everest, casting their brilliance on an erring mankind and leading it to the right path.

Those who accept my challenge and have the strength and courage to walk that difficult path with me must remember that the path is not only difficult, it is also unknown. It is like a tremendously vast sea, and we have no map, no chart of its depths. But the man who has the courage to enter the deep water should realize that he only has that strength and power because God himself has called on him. Otherwise he would never be so brave. In Egypt it was believed that when a man called on God for strength and guidance it was because God has already called on him and that there would have been no call otherwise.

Those who have this inner urge have a responsibility towards mankind. And today it is of the utmost urgency to go to the four corners of the world, to sound the call for men to step forward to sacrifice their whole lives to reaching the heights of spirituality and enlightenment...

I am throwing out a great challenge to those who feel they have something good to offer humanity. I intend to wander through as many villages as necessary, and if I encounter eyes that can serve as lights for others, or eyes in which I feel I can kindle the burning flame of conviction, I will take those people with me and I will work on them. I will make them able. I will impart to them all the faculties necessary to enable them to hold high the torch and illumine the dark path men tread to a brighter future, to a future full of knowledge and light.

As for myself I am fully prepared, I do not intend to die like Vivekananada saying I spent my life searching for a hundred men and could not find them. long05


I have been talking to ordinary people my whole life and I know how it is difficult to manage some kind of communication, but I can say with great humility that I have been able to succeed in reaching thousands of hearts. last508

My occupation has always been, in a certain sense, personal. Even if thousands of people are with me it is still a one - to - one relationship between you and me. It is not an organization, and it can never be. glimps37

When I was travelling in India for fifteen years continuously, I used to remember thousands of people's names. For five years I might not visit their town and then suddenly one day I would be there and I would remember all those people! Hundreds of people - and they were surprised how I could remember their names. But that was not a problem at all. They thought it had something to do with memory. It had nothing to do with memory - I have a very lousy memory - but I had a deep interest in people!

So whenever I am talking to one person I forget the whole world. Then that person is my whole world - at least for that moment, only he exists. So if you meet me after many lives somewhere, I will remember you. That one moment of total attention, that one moment of love, that one moment of focussing on you, that one moment when you become my world, is enough! You are engraved forever, enshrined forever - it is impossible to forget! madmen20

I have been fighting on two fronts. I have to fight the old traditions, old religions, old orthodoxies, because they will not allow you ever to be healthy and whole. They will cripple you. The more crippled you are the greater saint you become. So on one hand, I have to fight with any kind of thinking or theology which divides you.

Secondly, I have to work on the growth of your inner being.

Both are part of the same process: how to make you a whole man, how to destroy all the rubbish that is preventing you from becoming whole - that is the negative part; and the positive part is how to make you aflame with meditation, with silence, with love, with joy, with peace. That is the positive part of my teaching.

With my positive part there is no problem; I could have gone around the world teaching people meditation, peace, love, silence - and nobody would have opposed me.

But I would not have been of any help to anybody, because who is going to destroy all that rubbish? And the rubbish has to be destroyed first, it is blocking the way. It is your whole conditioning. You have been programmed from your very childhood with absolute lies, but they have been repeated so often that you have forgotten that they are lies...

So my work begins with negativity – I have to destroy every program that has been given to you. By whom, it does not matter – whether it is Catholic or Protestant does not matter; I have to deprogram you so you are clean and unburdened. Your doors and your windows are opened.

And then the second part, the essential part, is to teach you how to enter within. upan02

In my youth I was known in the university as an atheist, irreligious, against all moral systems. That was my stand, and that is still my stand. I have not changed even an inch; my position is exactly the same. But being known as an atheist, irreligious, amoral, became a problem. It was difficult to communicate with people, almost impossible to bridge any kind of relationship with people. In my communing with people, those words - atheist, irreligious, amoral - functioned like impenetrable walls. I would have remained so - for me there was no problem - but I saw that it was impossible to spread my experience, to share.

The moment people heard that I am an atheist, irreligious, amoral, they were completely closed. That I don't believe in any God, that I don't believe in any heaven and hell was enough for them to withdraw from me. Even very educated people - because I was a professor in the university, and I was surrounded by hundreds of professors, research scholars, intelligent, educated people - simply avoided me because they had no courage to defend what they believed; they had no argument for themselves.

And I was continually arguing on street corners, in the university, in the panwallah's shop - anywhere that I could get hold of somebody. I would hammer religion and try to clean people completely of all this nonsense. But the total result was that I became like an island; nobody even wanted to talk with me, because even to say hello to me was dangerous: where would it lead? Finally I had to change my strategy.

I became aware that, strangely, the people who were interested in the search for truth had got involved in religions. Because they thought me irreligious, I could not commune with them; and they were the people who would be really interested to know. They were the people who would be ready to travel with me to unknown spaces. But they were already involved in some religion, in some sect, in some philosophy; and just their thinking of me as irreligious, atheistic, became a barrier. And those were the people that I had to seek out.

There were people who were not involved in religions but they were not seekers at all. They were just interested in the trivia of life: earning more money, being a great leader - a politician, a prime minister, a president. Their interests were very mundane. They were no use to me. And they were also not interested in what I had to offer to them because it was not their interest at all.

The man who wants to become the prime minister of the country is not interested in finding the truth. If truth and the prime ministership are both presented to him, he will choose the prime ministership. He will say about truth, "There is no hurry. We can do that - the whole of eternity is available - but the opportunity of the prime ministership may or may not come again. It rarely comes, and only to very very rare people, once in a while. Truth is everybody's nature, so any day we can find that. First let us do that which is momentary, temporal, fleeting. This beautiful dream may not happen again. Reality is not going anywhere, but this dream is fleeting."

Their interest was in dreaming, imagination. They were not my people, and communication with them was also impossible because our interests were diametrically opposite. I tried hard but these people were not interested in religion, not interested in truth, not interested in anything that is significant.

The people who were interested were either Christians, or Hindus, Mohammedans, Jainas, Buddhists: they were already following some ideology, some religion. Then it was obvious to me that I would have to play the game of being religious; there was no other way. Only then could I find people who were authentic seekers.

I hate the word religion, I have always hated it, but I had to talk about religion. But what I was talking about under the cover of religion was not the same as people understood by religion. Now, this was simply a strategy. I was using their words - God, religion, liberation, moksha - and I was giving them my meaning. In this way I could start finding people; and people started coming to me.

It took a few years for me to change my image in people's eyes. But people only listen to words, they don't understand meanings: people only understand what you say they don't understand what is conveyed unsaid. So I used their own weapons against themselves. I commented on religious books, and gave a meaning that was totally mine.

I would have said the same thing without commenting - it would have been far easier because then I would have been directly speaking to you. There was no need to drag in Krishna, Mahavira, and Jesus, and then make them say what they had never said. But such is the stupidity of humanity that the same thing that I had been saying before, and they were not ready even to hear it... And now thousands started gathering around me because I was speaking on Krishna.

Now, what have I to do with Krishna? What has he done for me? What relationship have I got with Jesus? If I had met him while he was alive I would have said to him, "You are a fanatic and you are not in your senses, I cannot say that the people who want to crucify you are absolutely wrong, because they have no other way to deal with you."

So this was the only way. When I started speaking on Jesus, Christian colleges and Christian theological institutes started inviting me to speak, and I was really continually giggling inside, because those fools thought that this was what Jesus had said. Yes, I used Jesus' words - one has just to understand a little game with words and one can make any word mean anything - and they thought that this was the real message of Jesus... "Our own Christian missionaries and priests have not done so much for Jesus as you have done."

And I had to keep quiet, knowing that I have nothing to do with Jesus, and that what I was saying Jesus might not have been able to even understand. He was a poor fellow, absolutely uneducated. Certainly he had a charismatic personality so it was not difficult to gather a few uneducated people, fear - oriented and greedy for the joys in heaven. This man was making promises and asking nothing. So cheap: what was the harm of believing in him? There was no danger, no harm. If there was no heaven and no God, you were not losing anything. By chance if there were, and this man was the begotten son of God, then you were gaining so much for nothing: simple arithmetic!

But it is significant that not a single educated, cultured rabbi became Jesus' disciple, because those rabbis knew far better expressions, far better ways of philosophizing. And this man knew nothing. He was not giving a single argument, he was simply stating things which he had heard from others; and he was a stubborn type of young man.

What I said in the name of Jesus, I had been saying before also, but no Christian community, no Christian college, no Christian theological institute would have invited me. What to say of invitation? - if I had wanted to enter they would have closed the doors. That was the situation: I was prohibited from entering my own city's central temple, and they had the support of the police so that I should not be allowed in. So whenever there was a Hindu monk speaking inside, a policeman was on guard outside to prevent me coming in.

I said, "But I want to listen to that man."

The police officer said, "We know, everybody knows, that when you are there, everybody has to listen to you. And we have been called here just to prevent you, not anybody else; everybody else is allowed. If you stop coming we would not be bothered because we are unnecessarily standing here for two or three hours every day. While the discourse session continues I will be standing here just for you, one person."

But now the same temple started inviting me. Again the police were there - to prevent overcrowding! They said to me - one officer who was still there said to me - "You are something! We were standing here to keep you out, now we are standing here because too much crowding is dangerous - the temple is old."

It had balconies and at least five thousand people could sit inside. But when I used to speak there, nearabout fifteen thousand people would turn up. So people would go on the balconies which were usually never used. One day it became so serious that it was almost possible the balconies would fall down - so many people on the balconies, and it was an old temple. Then naturally they had to arrange that from the next day only a certain number of people were to be allowed in.

That created trouble. That officer said, "Now new trouble! You speak for two hours there, but people start coming two hours earlier, because if they come late they won't get in." He said to me, "But you are something! You were against God."

I said in his ear, "I still am - don't tell anybody because nobody will believe it. And I will always remain against God. Before I depart from the world I will expose everything. But you are not to tell because nobody is going to believe you, and I will flatly deny that I have ever said anything to you."

He said, "You are something. You are against God and speaking on God?"

But then I had to find my own ways. I would speak on God and then tell people that godliness was a far better word. That was a way of disposing of God. But because I was speaking on God, the people who were involved - who were true seekers being exploited by the religious priesthood - started becoming interested in me. I found from all the religions, the cream.

There was no other way, because I would not have been able to enter their folds, and they would not have been able to come to me: just those few words would have been enough to prevent them. And I could not have blamed them, I would have blamed myself I had to find some way so that I could approach them. And I found the way; it was very simple. I simply thought, "Use their words, use their language, use their scriptures.

"And if you are using somebody else's gun, that does not mean you cannot put your own cartridges in it. Let the gun be anybody's, the cartridges are mine!  - because the real work is going to happen through the cartridges, not the gun. So what harm?" And it was easy, very easy, because I could use Hindu words and play the same game; I could use Mohammedan words and play the same game; I could use Christian words and play the same game.

Not only were these people coming to me, but Jaina monks, nuns, Hindu monks, Buddhist monks, Christian missionaries, priests - all kinds of people started coming to me. And you will not believe it: you have not seen me laughing because I have laughed so much inside that there was no need. I have been telling jokes to you, but I have not been laughing because I have been playing a joke my whole life! What can be more funny? And I managed to befool all those priests and great scholars so easily.

They started coming to me and asking me questions. I just had to be alert in the beginning to use their vocabulary, and just between the lines, between the words, to go on putting the real stuff in which I was interested. I learned the art from a fisherman.

I used to sit by the bank of the river for hours because that was the most beautiful place in my village. The morning was beautiful, the evening was beautiful; and even in the hot summer there were spots where there were thick trees, just leaning over the river. You could just sit in the river, in the water, and it was so cool you could forget it was summer.

I was just sitting looking at the morning sun, and fishermen were there. In India they put out a bait for the fish. Everywhere fishermen put out bait, but in India it has to be non - vegetarian, because the people who are catching fish and the people who are going to buy fish, both are non - vegetarians. So the fishermen will cut small insects into pieces which are delicious to the fishes and hook them to their - what do you call it? Fishing line? - fishing line, and the fishes will come and catch the insect. And with the insect there is a hook; the hook will catch the fish. The fish will come to get the insect, but inside the insect the hook has been put, so once she swallows the insect, the fish is caught by the hook and she can be pulled out immediately.

Looking at this fisherman I thought, "I have to find some way that I can catch my people. Right now they are in different camps, nobody is mine." I was alone: nobody was courageous enough even to associate with me or to walk with me because people would think that he was also gone, was lost. I found the bait: use their words.

In the beginning people were really shocked. Those who knew me for years, who knew that I had always been against God, were really puzzled, absolutely puzzled...

This was happening again and again. Once I was speaking in a Mohammedan institute in Jabalpur. One of my Mohammedan teachers had become the principal of this institute; he was not aware that I was the same person he knew. Somebody told him that they had heard me speaking on Sufis and that it was something incredible: "We had not thought about Sufis that way, and our institute will be honored if he comes."

In India, or in any other country, if a Mohammedan comes and speaks on the Bible you feel very flattered, your ego is tremendously strengthened. Or if a Mohammedan, a Hindu, a Buddhist, is speaking on Jesus, praising him and his words... And particularly in India where Mohammedans and Hindus are continuously killing each other, if somebody who is not a Mohammedan can speak on Sufism... My old teacher was very happy; he invited me to talk.

I was in search of all these invitations because I wanted to find my people, and they were all hiding in different places.

When my teacher saw me he said, "I have only heard of miracles, but this is a miracle! You are speaking on Sufism, on Islam, on the fundamental philosophy of Islam?"

I said, "To you I will not lie - you are my old teacher. I will be speaking only on my philosophy. Yes, I have learned the art of throwing in the word Islam to people once in a while. That much I will do."

He said, "My God! But now we are caught: people are waiting in the auditorium. And you are the same mischievous person, you have not changed. Are you kidding or something? - because one of our trusted teachers who is an authority on Sufism has praised you. Because of his praise I have invited you."

I said, "He has spoken rightly, and you will also praise what I say. But remember always, I will say only what I want to say. It does not matter, it is so simple a thing: if a Buddhist calls me I have only to change a few words, and from Sufism I talk about Zen, not about Sufis. I say the same thing; it is just that Sufism is changed a little here and there. And I have to be alert - I should not forget about whom I am speaking, that's all."

And I spoke. Of course he had been sitting there very sad, but when he heard me he was so joyous. He came and hugged me and he said, "You must have been joking."

I said, "I am always joking - don't take it seriously."

"You are a Sufi" he said.

I said, "that′s what people say!"...

I was speaking in Amritsar in the Golden Temple which is now creating great trouble in India. This is the Sikh temple, and because of this temple Indira Gandhi has been assassinated; the whole country is shaken. I was speaking in this temple. Everywhere, all around the country, people had asked me thousands of times, "Why do you grow a beard?" I had become accustomed to the question and I enjoyed answering in different ways to different people.

But in the Golden Temple when I was speaking on Nanak and his message, a very old sardar came to me, touched my feet and said, "Sardarji, why have you cut your hair?" That was a new question, asked for the first time. He said, "Your beard is perfectly okay, but why have you cut your hair? - and you being such a religious man."

Only five things are needed to be a Sikh, very simple things; you can manage them, anybody can. They are called the five K's because each word starts with K. Kesh means hair, katar means a knife; kachchha means underwear - that I have not been able to figure out. It is the only question I cannot answer. What philosophy is being taught? Strange, but there must be some reason.

I enquired of the Sikh priests and their high priest, "Everything is okay – grow your hair and have a sword or a knife – but this kachchha...? What theological, theosophical, philosophical meaning does kachchha have?"

They said, "Nobody has ever asked about it; we just have to follow these five K′s."...

This old sardar thought that I was a sardar because nobody who was not a sardar had ever spoken in the Golden Temple; so it was unprecedented. He was certainly puzzled about why I, such a religious man, had cut my hair. And I was only thirty at that time.

So I told him, "There is some reason in it. I don't feel yet a perfect sardar, and I don't want to claim anything that I am not. So I have kept four things but I have been cutting my hair. I will grow my hair when I am a perfect sardar."

He said, "That's right. It is tremendously significant that a man should think about this, that he should not pretend to be a perfect sardar. You are a better sardar than us: we think we are perfect because we have all five things."...

From among these people I found my people. It was not difficult, it was very easy. I was speaking their language, their religious idioms, quoting their scriptures and giving my message. The intelligent people there immediately understood and they started gathering around me.

All over India I started creating groups of my own people. Now there was no need for me to speak on Sikhism, Hinduism, Jainism; there was no need, but for ten years I had been continually speaking on them. Slowly, when I had my own people, I dropped speaking on others. After traveling for twenty years I stopped traveling also, because there was no need. Now I had my people: if they wanted to come to me they could come.

So it was an absolute necessity; there was no other way to hook my people. Everybody is already divided. It is not an open world: somebody is a Christian, somebody is a Hindu, somebody is a Mohammedan. It is very difficult to find a person who is nobody. I had to find my people from these closed flocks, but to enter their flock I had to talk their language. Slowly, slowly, I dropped their language. Proportionately as my message became more and more clear, their language I slowly dropped...

In those days I had to speak in the name of religion, in the name of God. It was compulsory. There was no alternative: it was not that I had not tried it. I had tried it, but found it simply closes people's doors. But I could see a simple way out.

Even my father was puzzled, more so than anybody else, because he knew me from my very childhood - that I am an atheist, a born atheist; that I am against religion, against the priests. When I started speaking in religious conferences, he asked me, "What is happening? Have you changed?"

I said, "Not a bit, I have just changed my strategy; otherwise it is difficult to speak in the world Hindu conference. They won't allow an atheist on their stage. An amoralist, a godless person, they won't allow. But they invited me - and I said everything against religion, in the name of religion."

The shankaracharya, the head of the Hindu religion, was presiding over the conference. The King of Nepal - Nepal is the only Hindu kingdom in the world - inaugurated the conference. The shankaracharya was in great difficulty because what I was saying was absolutely sabotaging the whole conference. But the way I was presenting it, the people were getting impressed. He became so angry that he stood up and tried to snatch away the microphone - this old man. While he was trying to snatch it away, I said, "Just one minute, and I will be finished." So just for one minute he stopped - and in one minute I managed!

I asked the people - there must have been at least one hundred thousand people - I asked them, "What do you want? He is the president, he can stop me if he wants, and certainly I will stop. But you are the people who have come here to listen. If you want to listen to me, then you all raise your hands; and to make it clear raise both your hands."

Two hundred thousand hands... I looked at the old fellow and said, "Now you sit down. You are no longer president: two hundred thousand hands have canceled you completely. Whom do you represent? You were president - these people had made you president, now these people have canceled you. Now I will speak as long as I want to speak" - it would have been impossible otherwise. And I found hundreds of people from that gathering: Bihar became one of the most potential sources of my sannyasins.

The same way I was moving around the country going into religious conferences and catching hold of people. And once I had my own group in that city then I never bothered about their conferences; then my group was holding its own conferences, its own meetings. But it takes time. person14

(Compilation from many different of Osho's books)