Osho, on Rajneeshpuram and Sheela
The Last Testament, Vol 6Chapter #61 August 1986 am in Bombay, India
I have seen the questions for today and they make me feel ashamed — ashamed that Indian genius has fallen so low. It cannot even ask significant questions; to find significant answers is absolutely impossible. All the questions that have been shown to me are simply rubbish: yellow journalism fulfilling the demands of the third class humanity in which I am not interested.This is a country of tremendous intelligence. This country reached to the highest peak in the history of mankind, the Himalayan peaks of consciousness. And now it seems we have fallen so low that unless a question is concerned with something inhuman, ugly, nobody is interested in the answer.
I am not a politician, so whoever dares to ask me a question should remember that I am not here to console you or to give you answers which you want. You may get hammered on the head. Because I don’t have anything to get from you in response.
My whole effort is to create a little flame of intelligence, a little scent of humanness, so before you ask your questions, be aware! I am not only answering your questions, I am answering the whole mind of a certain continuity. This continuity is of Gautam Buddha, Kabir, Nanak — and your questions belong to the gutter. You should ask these questions to the politicians, don’t waste my time.
This is just to indicate to you that if you don’t want to be hammered badly then be alert. The questioner in the introduction says that he is my old lover; he has been writing against me for years. I can understand — old lovers are dangerous — love can change into hate very easily. And what kind of love did you have? You have not written a single word for me, you have been exploiting me and my name, and in such ugly ways that I feel it below myself even to answer you. So remember it, and ask your questions.
MOST HUMBLY, MY FIRST QUESTION: WE WERE ALL EXCITED ABOUT YOUR EXPERIMENT IN RAJNEESHPURAM. UNFORTUNATELY, THAT FAILED. KEEPING ASIDE THE U.S. GOVERNMENT AND CHRISTIAN BLACKMAIL. WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS FAILURE?
You, and your kind.First, the experiment never failed. The experiment has been absolutely successful. That was the problem, that it was successful.Who cares about experiments which should have failed? Why should the American government or Christianity or anybody be interested in an experiment which has failed? It was absolutely successful, beyond their comprehension. Its success was the problem, so please drop that word `failure’; it does not exist in my vocabulary.Whatever we wanted to do, we did it! A small commune of five thousand people against the greatest world power in history survived for five years and created the commune. And the commune was created in a desert which had never been cultivated, had never seen flowers, had never seen birds.Within five years it became an oasis; we made houses for five thousand people with every modern comfort. We made roads which are better than any government’s, America included.
The desert blossomed, it became green. We cultivated it, we made dams, created lakes; thousands of birds started coming. It was a miracle to see that thousands of deer from all over Oregon assembled in that desert of one hundred and twenty-six square miles.That said everything, because anywhere except Rajneeshpuram their life was in danger, they were going to be hunted. In America, for ten days each year, people are given total freedom to kill deer. In Rajneeshpuram they were standing on the road; you could go on honking your horn and they would not move. They knew you, that you were not going to harm them; you would have to come down and push them to the side.Swans appeared, in a desert. There were three hundred peacocks from all over America.
It seems that birds and animals are more intelligent than journalists. There was a tremendous harmony between the animals, the birds, the trees, the flowers. We created an ecological system.We were self-sufficient and we never begged a single dollar from America. We never asked for any help from America.You cannot live as a country without American help. You are a failure, you are beggars. Your country was at one time a golden bird and you have brought it to this condition.American politicians were tremendously hurt that their help was not needed, because that is their way to create slavery. Help is simply a cover-up. If you take help in money you become enslaved, without knowing. We never asked for anything.This was hurting the American politicians — the success. And each year there was a world festival; twenty thousand sannyasins were coming from all over the world.
That time was a golden dream come true: twenty thousand people meditating, singing, playing on their musical instruments, dancing, rejoicing. Twenty thousand people had one kitchen! Just conceive of twenty thousand people eating together, while there was dancing, singing, rejoicing, because that is my basic message: not renunciation, but rejoicing.Sannyas became degraded because it became associated with renunciation.
It was not so in the beginning. In the days of Upanishads, the days of Vedas, sannyas was not a renunciation. All your seers had their communes in forests, rich communes. Poverty has never been praised in the Vedas or in the Upanishads.And renunciation is against God. The Sanskrit word for god is `ishwar’, and ishwar means richness, abundance.Just look at Ram without Sita and you will see something is missing, something tremendously important is missing. Perhaps the heart is missing, only the dead corpse of Ram is there. Just think of Krishna without those beautiful girls dancing around him. His flute will lose its song.I was trying, in the commune, to bring back the original sannyas. Not of renouncing the world, but living the world as a gift of god; it is a gift.
This became a problem because American spectators, American television, American news media started coming every day — planes started coming to see the commune, to see what is happening. And the whole of America was agog to see that these people have turned the desert into a paradise.We were not politicians.
There was no political party, no political ideology. We were neither communists nor capitalists, and yet we were living the best life possible — of love, of friendship.We became a wound to the American politician. The only way was to destroy the commune, so that the very question would be removed and there would be no need to answer.
The commune was destroyed by the American government and fanatic Christians because it was the first time that Christians had moved out of their fold without getting into another fold.A Hindu becomes a Christian: he leaves one prison and enters another. A Christian becomes a Hindu: he leaves one bondage and accepts another.
For the first time they saw that you can leave the prison and there is no need to enter another prison. You can be a free man.A sannyasin is religious but has no religion. A sannyasin is a spiritualist but he is not a Hindu, not a Mohammedan, not a Christian. And by coincidence the American president, Ronald Reagan, is both a third-rate politician and a fundamentalist Christian.They tried every means to destroy us. Poor Sheela had nothing to do with it. She certainly became a victim; I have all compassion for her. It has to be understood how you can become entangled. All the telephones from the commune were taped. I was in isolation and silence; Sheela was my secretary and the president of the foundation. Seeing that all the telephones were taped , she started taping the incoming calls to find that the government, F.B.I., C.I.A.,and other government agencies, had their agents in the commune hiding as sannyasins, who went on giving information.Sheela was not a criminal. When I chose her as my secretary she was an innocent woman of great intelligence, but the American politicians destroyed her innocence. Whatever they were doing, she had to do as a counterattack, as a defence. All her crimes are basically the crimes of American politicians which she repeated — just to save the commune.I have nothing but compassion and sadness for her. She is not a criminal and whatever she did, there was no bad intention in it. She even bugged my own room; she bugged two hundred houses. Naturally, logically, it seems that she was even trying to find out what I do in my privacy, what I say in my privacy. That is not true. The truth is that she wanted to be alert because I lived in a house alone. If in the night anybody opened the doors, which were of glass, her bugging would inform her immediately and she could reach there. It was for my protection, not against me. She never did anything against me or against the commune.I know she would have died for me, she loved me — not the kind of love that you have shown me. Your love is simply cunning. You say you are my lover, old lover, but all these years you have been writing articles so ugly and obscene that you should be behind the bars, not asking questions to me.So drop the idea of failure. We succeeded — it was the first commune in the whole history of man which succeeded. And remember one thing about human jealousy: it is never jealous of failure. Have you seen anybody jealous of failure?
Jealousy is always of success. Seeing a beggar on the street, do you feel jealous? But seeing a rich man’s skyscraper you feel jealous.It is a strange mind, undeveloped, retarded. If the same building catches fire you will feel sympathetic, you will say to the man, “We all have sympathy for you. It was bad, it should not have happened.” And all the time, when the building was there, every day you had thoughts against the building and against the man who had made it.Who is jealous of India?
I have been around the world, I have not found anybody jealous of India. But I have found people who are jealous of Gautam Buddha, who are jealous of Krishna, who are jealous of Nanak, who are jealous of Kabir. Because these diamonds that we created, their countries have not been able to produce, even to imitate. In all the languages of the world there are not words which can be compared to Nanak or Kabir. There are not scriptures which can be compared to Dhammapada and Gita.
If the commune was a failure it would have been still alive, but it became a success and nobody can tolerate a success.
Osho From:The Last Testament, Vol 6Chapter #61 August 1986 in Bombay, India