From Bondage to Freedom Chapter 18 Existentialworship

CHAPTER 18

Existential worship

2 October 1985 am in Rajneeshmandir

Question 1 BELOVED MASTER, WE HAVE DROPPED THE WORD "WORK" BECAUSE OF ITS UGLY CONNOTATIONS. PLEASE SAY SOMETHING ABOUT THE WORD "WORSHIP" AND ITS CONNOTATIONS. Work is something that you have to do. It is imposed on you by your social circumstances, financial status, political structure. But worship is that which you love to do. It is creativity, another name for creativity. We could have called it "creativity," but I prefer the word "worship" for two reasons. There is no God for me except this existence, which is so utterly beautiful that work with love is bound to become your worship. In worship the worker is lost completely, only the worship remains. Digging a ditch in your garden, making food for those you love, or anything else, if you are lost in it so utterly that there is no ego or even its shadow left ­ you have become your work, the worker is no more there ­ it becomes worship. Religions have used the word "worship." Their use of "worship" is phony. Christians go every Sunday to church ­ that is their worship ­ for one hour or two hours. And what do they do in the remaining time, the whole week? Hindus worship in the morning every day, but then what do they do the whole day? It must be something which is not worship; otherwise there is no need to have a separate time, a separate place, a temple, a mosque, a synagogue, a church for worshipping.

I want worship to become your twenty-four-hour-a-day thing ­ just like breathing. It has to become existential. Then you don't need to go to any church, to any synagogue. Then wherever you are becomes your temple, you are always on holy ground. I am reminded of Moses when, according to the story, he met God in the form of a flame arising out of a bush; and the bush was still green. As he came closer, a voice thundered, "Take off your shoes, Moses. You are on holy ground!" To me the green bush and the flame have no meaning except as a fiction. What has meaning is that Moses is told, "Take off your shoes. You are on holy ground." But is ground divided into two, holy and unholy? Where is the line? To me the whole earth is holy, the whole existence is holy, and there is no need to take off your shoes either, because they are also holy. What wrong have those poor people done, that they should not be holy? Make every action of your life holy. Choose every action of your life as if it were a love affair. Perhaps you may not become very rich; there is no need. Richness will come to you in a totally different form: the richness of being blissful, contented, ecstatic. Choose your work, not according to others ­ let it arise out of your own heart. In any act, if your heart joins you, it becomes worship. If only the head is doing it, then it remains simply work. And when you are totally immersed in it, it brings so many blessings, blessings that no religion has been able to give to man. On the contrary, every religion has prevented man from gaining those blessings which are available to him. They have been distracting people, they have been telling silly things to people: "Repeat a mantra ­ in Sanskrit, in Hebrew, in Greek ­ and you are doing something religious." You are just being a parrot! All the religions have insisted that their books should not be translated into the languages which people understand. Why? because the priests know perfectly that in those so-called holy books, nothing is holy. Ninety-nine percent in those books is absolutely unholy. How that one percent has remained in them is a miracle, it must have been accidental. So it is good to let the BIBLE remain in Hebrew, let the VEDAS remain in Sanskrit, let Buddhist scriptures remain in Pali ­ which are dead languages. Nobody speaks them and nobody understands them, and people will remain ignorant of what they are chanting about. Sometimes people are chanting very stupid things, and thinking they are doing prayer, worship. For example, in the VEDAS there are passages ­ and not a few, but the major part of the VEDAS, which are the most ancient scriptures in the world... the major part is so ugly, stupid, primitive, crude, that if you understand it, you will not chant it. There are sutras which say, "God, let your clouds only shower on my fields. Particularly avoid the fields of my enemies." Do you think anything is religious in it? There are sutras which say, "God, give more milk to my cows, and let the cows of my neighbors become completely dry, so that no milk comes out of them." And these sutras you are chanting as worship, praying!

First, religions insisted that their books should not be translated into the common, layman's language. Then, when printing was invented, they insisted that their religious scriptures should not be printed ­ because to print them meant they would become available to everybody, and the priests knew what is there in those so-called holy scriptures! In THE HOLY BIBLE there is so much pornography that anybody who looks into it will call it the UNHOLY BIBLE, not the HOLY BIBLE. And when you are chanting something ­ Ave Maria, Ave Maria, Ave Maria ­ what actually are you doing? It is a simple process of autohypnosis. It can be done in many ways. Concentrate on anything. Just standing before a mirror, concentrate on your own reflection in the mirror. No Ave Maria is needed: you will start feeling sleepy, you will start feeling calm and quiet. Just after ten or twenty minutes of concentration you are bound to fall into an autohypnotic state. It does no harm. On the contrary, it will give you a good rest, it will give you better health, it will give you good sleep. But that is not the purpose of worship. That can be attained by anything. The purpose of worship is to reveal to you your own being. It is not a state of sleep. It is a state of absolute awakening ­ just the opposite of what the religions have been teaching you. They all have been teaching you methods of concentration, and all concentration methods are against meditation, because they bring hypnosis. Hypnosis simply means created, deliberate sleep. Meditation means an awakening: every fiber of your being is vibrant, alert, aware. And only in that awareness do you for the first time know that there is no ego in you. The ego disappears from you, the very idea of "I" is no longer existent, and the barrier between you and existence has fallen away. Then you are one with the whole. And the whole is vast. To become one with it is worship. And it can be approached from any dimension: chopping wood, carrying water from a well, cooking food or cleaning the floor, washing the clothes, taking a bath. All activities of your life should be done so totally, so intensely, that the ego disappears. And suddenly you find yourself expanding. That expanding consciousness reaches to the trees, to the flowers, to the animals, to the human beings, to the stars. Vincent van Gogh has painted pictures of trees which go above the stars. People thought he was mad, because no tree goes above the stars. But when he was asked why he paints this way ­ where has he seen any tree going above the stars? ­ he said, "I have seen the aspiration of the tree, the longing of the tree, the very spirit of the tree. It is on the way; it is going to reach to the stars, it is going to reach beyond them." When you feel expansion of your consciousness, that is the most ecstatic experience possible, because suddenly you are the whole universe. Stars are within you.

The sun rises within you and sets within you. The earth moves within you. The flowers blossom within you. This mystic experience is the outcome of worship. And you are always on holy ground. The God of Moses was wrong to tell him, "Now take off your shoes." Even God is trying to divide the ground like a politician, that this is America, this is Soviet Russia, this is England; this is holy land, and everything else is unholy. No. I say absolutely no to such a God who divides existence. Existence is one organic unity. And the moment you worship, you fall into that organic unity. And once you know the secret, then anything is worship. Walking, going for a morning walk, is worship. You are not doing anything. But just the wind, the sun, the beach, the ocean ­ what more do you want? Can't you see you cannot make a better church? ­ with the sun, with the wind, with the sand, with the ocean ­ unbounded. Even sleeping becomes worship. If all your activities start becoming worship, then sleep is also an activity. You fall into sleep so silently, so serene, so joyful. The whole day has given you so much that your whole sleep becomes a silent rest in the very bosom of existence. So there is a tremendous difference between work and worship. Worship will transform you. Worship will give you a real, authentic experience of life. Work, at the most, can give you a livelihood. But there is no need to do anything that you don't want to do. One has to be a little more rebellious, a little more individualistic, a little more alert and aware so that the society, religion, politics, do not exploit you. It does not matter even if you remain a beggar; you will be more blissful than Alexander the Great. He died in utter misery, because he could see he had conquered almost the whole known world, but what had he gained? He had simply wasted his life. He died when he was only thirtythree. He had not lived ­ there was no time to live, there was no time to love. There was no time to sing, there was no time to play on a flute, there was no time to dance. For thirty-three years he was simply murdering, continuously, innocent people for an insane ambition: he wanted to be the conqueror of the world. But what are you going to do? Even if you become the conqueror of the world, you will be empty and hollow. And if your whole life has gone into murdering people, killing people, burning people, you will become incapable of loving. You will become incapable of enjoying beautiful music, a beautiful painting, a beautiful dance. You are bound to become incapable, because a person who has been continuously killing people his whole life has also killed his own heart, has also killed his own sensitivity, has also killed his own aesthetic sense.

I know about a very famous surgeon... he was a friend of mine. He was retiring, and all his friends and students ­ he was also a professor in the medical college ­ had gathered to celebrate, to give him a beautiful farewell party. They were dancing and singing, but I looked at him ­ he was sad. I approached him and asked, "What is the matter? You should be rejoicing. These people have gathered here to give you a beautiful, joyful farewell." He said, "I am sad because I never wanted to be a surgeon. I wanted to be a musician. My parents forced me, and I was not strong enough to rebel, and they destroyed my whole life." I said to him, "But you became one of the best surgeons in the country." He said, "Who cares! Even if I was the worst musician in the country, I would have loved it. It was my own choice, my own individuality, my own expression, my own signature. This has been slavery. And because I am retiring I feel sad. My whole life is wasted, and it does not seem that now I can begin as a musician." I said, "It is never too late. You have still a few years to live. Forget the past; start what you wanted to be. Now your parents are dead; forgive them, they never intended anything bad for you. All that they wanted to show you was that if you become a musician, what are you going to get? Now you are one of the richest persons. As a musician you would have remained a poor person. "So just remember that their intention was good, although they did not care about your individuality, your freedom, your choice. They had taken it for granted that you are their possession. Forgive them, they are dead. Don't be angry and don't be sad. Start." He said, "You really mean that I can start?" I said, "I really mean it. And I know a musician, I will introduce you." He lived fifteen years more and died a very contented man, although he never became a famous musician. Nobody ever heard that he is a celebrity as far as music is concerned. His music remained not very developed, because Indian music particularly needs tremendous effort: eight to ten hours' practice every day, a lifelong discipline; only then can you create those subtle nuances. It is not jazz; that, any idiot can do. It is said that if the Indian musician does not practice for one day, he immediately recognizes the difference. If he does not practice for two days, then the people who understand the depths and the heights of music start feeling there is something different. If he does not practice for three days, then even people who are only acquainted with music start feeling the difference. It is a devotion, it is a worship ­ and he had loved it. If he had gone into music from the very beginning, he might have become one of the most authentic, creative musicians of the world. But even though he was old now, he died happy. I was by his side when he died, and he said to me, "There are no words of gratitude for you. You encouraged me ­ I had lost all hope. I am dying fulfilled, I am happy. At least for fifteen years I have been myself. At least for fifteen years there have been moments when I got lost completely into music. And those have been the greatest moments of my life."

Worship means you have to be very alert not to be manipulated by anyone, and you have to go and find your own way. It is risky, but it pays immensely. In fact, only very few live. Only those who can take risks are alive. Others simply vegetate. Question 2 BELOVED MASTER, YOU SAY YOU RESPECT AMERICA FOR ITS DEMOCRACY AND FREEDOM. I FEEL THAT WE ARE CONTRADICTING THAT SPIRIT BY SUBMITTING ALL VISITORS, WHO WANT TO COME TO SEE YOU AND OUR COMMUNE, TO CUSTOMS INSPECTIONS AT PORTLAND AND AT MIRDAD, BY HAVING THEM SIGN PAPERS AND WEAR WRISTBANDS. THIS DOES NOT HAPPEN ANYWHERE ELSE IN THE USA. WAS THIS PART OF THE FASCIST MENTALITY? DO WE STILL NEED THESE THINGS? I respect democracy, but I don't respect the so-called politicians who are only hypocrites and not democrats. I hate fascism, and I don't want anything in this commune which gives any indication of a fascist structure. And it is true, as you say, in no other city of America are visitors searched. But you are not aware of the whole situation. You are not yet accepted by America as one of its cities. They are trying hard to destroy you, and their ways of destroying you are very simple. They can bring drugs inside the commune. Then who will be responsible for those drugs? Do you want me to be responsible for those drugs? Those people can come with all sorts of germs, viruses, and they can spread them among you. And if you are all sick, who is going to take care of you? So we are in a position where every precaution has to be taken. It is not fascist; it is simply selfdefense. We don't want any drugs here. We don't want any people coming here with AIDS and spreading it amongst the commune. So how are we going to protect ourselves against it? It is absolutely democratic to defend yourself. We are not hurting those people, we are simply checking. And we will stop checking them the moment the hostility against the commune in Oregon is dropped. The hostility is so much ­ which is natural, the animal nature of man is always afraid of strangers, and who can be more of a stranger than you? You are all rebels ­ it is a commune of rebels. The only thing that connects you is not any ideology, is not any religion, is not any politics. The only thing that connects you is that you are all rebellious spirits. And the rebellious spirit is the very salt of the earth. You are not aware... the attorney general of Oregon had an interview with me the other day, and I told him that I have always been against organizations and organized religions. And before I

went into silence there had never been anything like Rajneeshism, there had never been the word "Rajneeshee." The attorney general has declared Rajneeshpuram an illegal city, because religion and state are mixed, which is unconstitutional. So I told him, "Now you withdraw your case. There is no religion here, so the question of mixing religion with state does not arise. Your case has gone down the drain." I insisted, "Answer me directly," and he went on saying that time and the court would decide. I said, "Time and the court will decide, but what do you say? If there is no religion, then if you have any grace, withdraw your case. It is absolutely absurd." The attorney general has been trying ­ and he has done it. The National Guard is on the alert against a peaceful group of people who have done no harm to anybody. Now, it is a well-known strategy of all these dirty politicians around the world: somebody can enter here and put a time-bomb, and you will be responsible for it. And because the bomb explodes, kills a few people, they can plant people here who can start shooting somebody. And that will be an excuse for the National Guard to come in. The governor is thinking of putting martial law on the city. It seems the third world war is happening between Rajneeshpuram and America. What is the need of martial law? ­ because we are not committing any crime. They cannot find any society anywhere which is so peaceful and silent, which just wants to be left alone to do its own thing. Now, these are the people who are forcing us to check people before they enter the commune, it is not our desire. It is their intention to destroy us. And we are nonviolent people, vegetarians; we don't want any violence here ­ but that is their desire. Otherwise, what is the point of collecting National Guard troops in Madras and keeping them on alert any moment, so that you can be destroyed? The governor and the attorney general are in conspiracy to destroy the commune. I am not going to let them do it in any way. If they have any sense at all they should keep off, they should not interfere at all illegally. They are getting into unnecessary trouble. But they are welcome. We have nothing to lose, and they have everything to lose. They will be condemned all over the world. I have been talking to the world media for almost one-and-a-half months every night, just to create the atmosphere around the world of what the real situation is. And everybody is aware of it. The governor and the attorney general should know it, that it is going to be very tough. America will lose all the respect of the world, because they have no grounds to arrest me or to arrest one hundred sannyasins. We are cooperating ­ and you want to arrest people who are cooperating? And these are not the people who have done any harm. It seems they want to protect the criminals and destroy the community. They have got a good chance to, but they should not remain in any illusion. Up to now they have been fighting with politicians of their own kind. We are not politicians, and they don't know how to fight with mystics. So please, remember that those small measures are just to protect you. If you want to withdraw them, they can be withdrawn right now. Please just raise your hands.... If you are ready for self-defense, for the defense of innocent people, and you are not going to allow these third-grade

politicians to destroy you, then we will have to take measures so that they cannot blame us and bring their army and bring their National Guards to bulldoze your houses and destroy this beautiful place where you have worked hard ­ twelve hours, fourteen hours a day for four years ­ and have changed this desert into an oasis. So please raise both of your hands.... Question 3 BELOVED MASTER, J. KRISHNAMURTI DOES NOT WANT AN ORGANIZATION ­ STILL HIS SECRETARY, RAJ GOPAL, BETRAYED HIM AND TOOK POSSESSION OF HIS FINANCES AND HIS ARCHIVES. YOU APPROVE OF INSTITUTIONS AND AT TIMES PERMIT ORGANIZATION WHERE NECESSARY. IN SPITE OF DUE CARE, A SIMILAR SITUATION TO KRISHNAMURTI'S WITH RAJ GOPAL HAS HAPPENED WITH YOU AND SHEELA. DOES THIS MEAN THAT IN THE VERY NATURE OF HUMAN BEINGS SUCH A SITUATION CANNOT BE AVOIDED? PLEASE EXPLAIN. A similar situation has not happened. Sheela has done much good, ninety-nine percent good. The whole credit of keeping all the commune together, of creating houses for five thousand people with all the modern facilities, with central airconditioning ­ I don't think any city is totally air-conditioned as you are ­ of giving you the best food possible.... She has done immense good to you, and you should be grateful for it. The credit goes to her. Only one percent she missed, and that seems to be natural to human nature, particularly for people like Sheela. Sheela had no spiritual aspirations. Seeing that she has no potential, at least in this life.... And this was my impression on the very first day she entered my room in 1970 ­ that she was utterly materialistic, but very practical, very pragmatic, strong-willed, could be used in the beginning days of the commune... because the people who are spiritually-oriented are stargazers. I am reminded of an astrologer in Greece who was the best astrologer, and he used to go out of Athens in the night to watch the stars. One night he fell into a well because he was looking at the stars, so he could not see the well. Hearing the sound, a woman who lived nearby threw a rope and somehow managed to pull him out. The astrologer was very grateful, and he said, "You have done so much for me ­ you have saved my life. Perhaps you don't know that I am the greatest astrologer in the whole country, and perhaps in the whole world. Kings come to see me, and they have to wait because my appointments are already fixed for weeks ahead. My fee is very high, but I will see you and predict your future without any fee. Tomorrow you can come, and I will cancel the appointment: tomorrow one of the kings is coming to see me, but you are more valuable to me." The old woman laughed. She said, "You just go! If you cannot see a well, how can you see the stars, and how can you see my future? Just forget all about it!"

Sheela was not a stargazer. The reason I had appointed her my secretary was basically this: she was not interested in meditation, she was interested in making roads, houses ­ which meditators would need. And she did her job well. Just one percent she took advantage of the opportunity, because I was not available to you. Five thousand people she could manipulate in my name, by saying, "This is what our Beloved Master wants." Now I have come to know things from sannyasins that I had no knowledge of. But each thing that she wanted, she said was wanted in my name. For example, if you were told to make a ditch for electric wires, you made it. You have nothing to do with the crime, although the ditch was made to bug the houses. But how can you know the difference, if you are not an electrician or an electronics engineer ­ that the wires are not for electricity but for bugging? You saw the wires, you have made the ditch; still you are innocent. Only the group of twenty people who have fled with her knew perfectly well what was happening. They had made the whole system of bugging. This is just the fear of any person who becomes ambitious for power. He is always afraid. Out of fear she drove away all the people who could have been rebellious, who could have doubted ­ because they have lived with me longer than Sheela, they knew my ideology. They could not believe that I was creating a religion, that she was the high priestess of the religion. She threw them out, harassed them in such a way that they had to leave. Only the group of twenty people that she had chosen ­ they were all new, they had not known me before. They were not aware of my ideology, my approach, my respect for everybody. They were simply gullible. And because Sheela made them heads of corporations, naturally they were happy. They were not expecting ­ new people getting all the power.... And she made them commit crimes ­ all of them. This is a simple strategy. If all those people have committed crimes, then nobody is going to open his mouth, because he will be caught too. She tried to kill three of the people who were intimate to me, for the simple reason that she was afraid these three people had the opportunity to approach me without her permission: my physician, my dentist, and my caretaker. They were living with me in the same house, but they were not aware of anything until she started poisoning them. First, my caretaker was poisoned in Sheela's room, with a cup of tea. But nobody ordinarily comes immediately to the conclusion that you are poisoned. She felt sick, the doctors examined her, but there was nothing, no disease. They said, "Simply rest will do." Then my physician was poisoned with a cup of coffee in the same place ­ in Sheela's room. Because he is a physician, and of great talent ­ has the highest degrees from England, was the youngest member ever of the Royal Society of Physicians. Such young people are never accepted by the Royal Society, but his genius is there ­ he immediately suspected there was poison, but there was no way to detect it. He said that there are poisons which cannot be detected through blood, or through any other way. He even named one poison that is undetectable. And when Sheela left, in her room we found all this literature on poisons, how to murder people. And in the literature on poisons, the same poison

that my physician was suspicious of is underlined. That is the only poison which is underlined, and it says it is undetectable. When I heard that these things were happening I started to speak. Sheela was insistent, "Your health is good, it has improved; you have recovered. If you start speaking again, it may be affected." I said, "What am I going to do with the health?" If my people are being poisoned ­ for whom I am living, to whom my health is dedicated, to whom my whole life is dedicated.... And the day I started speaking, everybody was excited, ecstatic ­ because they were thinking I was not going to speak for the rest of my whole life ­ except Sheela. She was sad, and her gang, because now it was clear that sooner or later I would find out things from people. Now I can see why she was asking me again and again, "Will you ever change me as a secretary?" I said, "Why do you ask me that question? I have told you I am not going to change you." But she went on asking the same question dozens of times. It was enough indication to me that she was doing something which made her suspicious that, if I found out, I was going to change her. And she did not even come to say goodbye to me. She simply escaped like a criminal, a thief, with all those twenty people. Just one woman amongst twenty, Ava, proved to be really a courageous woman. From Seattle she turned back. She told them that she could not remain her whole life with this burden and guilt, she was going to the commune. And she is giving her testimony today. She knows all the crimes, because she was part of the gang. Now the whole burden goes on Sheela. And if the FBI does not take any action when they have an eyewitness, that means they are protecting the criminals. Then I will have to take other measures. Certainly, I cannot be violent with them ­ but they have committed crimes that they can be imprisoned for by the Swiss police, who will be cleaner than the American police. Sheela has committed bigamy, and her Swiss husband, Dipo, has also committed bigamy. His American wife is here. She cannot go to India, because she committed many crimes after I left India, without my knowledge. After I left Sheela's gang committed many crimes there, so she will be immediately caught if she goes back to India. So I am waiting for the FBI and the American government to take action. Now we have given them every solid proof, and now there is a witness to all the crimes they have committed. If they don't do anything, then we are going to approach the Swiss government, and we are going to approach the German government.... The whole world, its intelligentsia, and the whole world media is with you. And if America wants to fall in the eyes of all the intelligent people of the world, then it is up to them. But we will give them a real fight, one they have not seen in the three hundred years of their history. It is not going to be easy.

But this is a totally different confrontation. We are nonpolitical people. And I am advising my people to undo everything that Sheela has done politically. We don't want to take over anything. We are not interested at all in any political thing. But the politicians are simply trembling. I don't see the point: why are they so afraid of us? Perhaps we are the people who can expose them ­ that they are against their own Constitution. And I don't think that Columbus had any visa or any green card, or any Americans who came in the beginning had any green card or any visa. But the people who have succeeded them have been holding back my green card for four years. If you want to say no, do you need four years? They are afraid to say no because they don't have any grounds to say no. And once they say no, we move to the courts. Then it goes beyond their hands. Yes they cannot say, because of the pressure of the politicians. It does not matter to me. The green card is of no value to me. I can live here without a green card ­ I have lived without it for four years, I can live without it twenty years more. They can keep their green card. But they have to know that they are going against the Constitution in every way. Either they have to say yes, or they have to say no. The whole department has been working on my green card for four years. Great intelligence! They have never confronted a group of people like us. So it is very exciting to us, but to them it is a nightmare. So have a good nightmare! What can we do? We are ready to withdraw the nightmare if they just do the right thing ­ that which the Constitution allows. But you have to be ready and alert. Whatever happens will be a good experience. In fact, as far as I am concerned, I am really excited. Okay?

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